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The area of Liguria known as "Cinque Terre" is an example of how a successful agricultural system was created by the ancient inhabitants through the construction of terraced hillsides along the steep slopes of the coastal mountains. UNESCO has declared the area a �unique and irreplaceable human heritage site�, and is working with national and local authorities to protect it from deterioration and inappropriate building. Recently the Cinque Terre region has lost its traditional forms of agriculture, and upkeep of the terraces has generally been abandoned, leading to concern for their stability and safety.

Starting from this concrete problem, a prototype working method was developed for forecasting future landslides based on the latest remote sensing tools and the traditional laboratory analysis of applied geology. A study programme was drawn up, and was designed to identify:
- Evidence of past landslides.
- The characteristics and features of the soil on the terraces and in the zones that have not been cultivated.
- Possible reactions of the region to major slope movements.

The maps produced by the SINMAP programme show that the situation of the Cinque Terre region is rather complex, and in the next few years could lead to many problems of instability. This situation requires greater intervention for the conservation of the region, both because of the possible danger to the population and because of the value of the area in terms of landscape. scape.

Additional information

Authors: SALINA F, European Commission, Joint Research Council, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20126 IT (2002), pp.208. Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9843 or +39 033278 9864 Fax: +39 033278 9623 E-mail:
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