A new vision for land use in Europe

In-depth studies and modelling scenarios of how land is being exploited have helped further policies that encourage sustainability and safeguard ecosystems across Europe.

In a rapidly evolving world, land use is changing in unprecedented ways, a reality which must be confronted with an appropriate vision and accompanying policies. The EU-funded project VOLANTE (Visions of land use transitions in Europe) developed a new European land management paradigm to address this issue. It established a platform that enables policymakers to propose solutions to land-use challenges.

By bringing together a number of researchers and experts on the topic, the project examined socioeconomic and ecological processes that shape land-use transitions across the continent. It also developed tools to assess resource management in relation to land use and ecosystems, in addition to encouraging sustainable resource management overall.

More specifically, the project investigated land-use intensity and land-use functions to produce a comprehensive study on land-use decisions in different settings. It examined governance systems linked to the Habitats Directive and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), outlining and analysing drivers of European land-use transitions in 29 countries.

In parallel, VOLANTE used two different modelling approaches to analyse land change scenarios in Europe and their impact on ecosystems in order to propose policy solutions. Through a series of stakeholder workshops and meetings that link these scenarios to desired land-use visions, it developed a roadmap to support European land management and decision making.

The roadmap proposes three visions of future land use in Europe. The first crosslinks food, feed production, fibre production, rural development and urbanisation, while the second features different scenarios to achieve these visions. The third focuses on implications of these visions and scenarios for society and decision makers, including related trade-offs.

Overall the project has deepened our understanding of land-use change in Europe, related policies and vital decision-making processes. It devised better tools for land assessment and environmental management, in addition to outlining future visions of land-use sustainability in Europe. The outcomes of Volante, including new policy proposals and recommendations, have been widely disseminated and have already begun fostering better land use across the continent.

last modification: 2016-04-25 14:53:03

Privacy Policy