Specific Objectives in 2002:
- Implementation and integration of results from the first 3year R/D phase of the EUROLANDSCAPE Project into the European Forest Information and Communication System (EFICS) and linking to the IUFRO GFIS;
- Develop the spatial dimension and regional approach to assessing and reporting bio-diversity in Europe's diverse forested landscapes;
- Reinforce support to the definition of the renewal of the Regulation on Protection of the Forest against Atmospheric Pollution ( 3528/86);
- Initiate a pilot study on using IMAGE-2000 for providing a European forest type database.
Urban and regional development:
- Develop criteria and indicators for assessing territorial impacts of structural and cohesion fund programmes and projects. The indicators will be applied for the mid-term and final evaluation of programmes;
- Development of models and scenarios of future evolution for urban areas and regions;
- Definitions and computation of environmental indicators for benchmarking purposes;
- Contribute to the set up of the action-plan for the Thematic Urban Strategy;
- Initiate a pilot study on using IMAGE-2000 for providing maps of changes in build-up areas.
- Leadership of project 3.1 (Development of a Common GIS) as part of the implementation strategy for the Water Framework Directive;
- Development of a data model and a prototype for a European GIS according to the needs of the WFD;
- Derivation of GIS layers with pan-European drainage networks and catchments boundaries as a support to the EEA, Eurostat-GISCO and DG Env.;
- Start research into the European-wide characterisation of catchments and the development of a catchments typology;
- Initiate a pilot study on using IMAGE-2000 for adding information on river networks and other water-bodies.
Specific deliverables to DGs:
- DG AGRI: Prototype of EFIS (European Forest Information System)
- DG AGRI: Final report for Admin. Agreement (JRC/DG AGRI
- DG AGRI: Spatial digital data layers for input into EFIS
Urban and regional development:
- DG ENV / DG TREN: Reference and historical database for transport corridors Dresden-Prague and Tallinn-Parnu;
- DG ENV / DG REGIO: Preliminary release of reference database for Northern Ireland and Border Counties of the Republic of Ireland for impact assessment of structural measures;
- DG ENV: Action plan for the preparation of the Urban Thematic Strategy - Definition of European Common Indicators;
- DG REGIO: First draft of reference guide on territorial impact assessment for Structural and Cohesion fund programmes.
- DG ENV: Leadership of Working Group 3.1 (Development of a Common GIS) for the Implementation of the WFD.
As a result of the research:
- Reports and publications in peer reviewed journals
- Spatial data sets of forest cover for integration into EFIS
- Preliminary version of forest type database for Europe;
- Spatial indicators of forest fragmentation;
- Methods for habitat characterization and mapping of Umbrella species;
- Maps of structural information for forests, major roads and man made;
Urban and regional development:
- Tools, methods and models for land use monitoring and forecast for urban areas, regions and corridors;
- Definition and computation of indicators of carrying capacity for areas subject of structural measures.
- Algorithms for the derivation of drainage networks and catchments boundaries from digital elevation data and other information;
- European Layers of drainage networks and catchments boundaries as part of a GIS;
- Pan-European map of crest lines.
Summary of 2001 Deliverables: 31/12/2001
- Joint UN-ECE/JRC Publication on 'Structural compositional and Functional Indicators of Forest Biodiversity in Europe' (Janna's)
- Joint JRC/EFI Publication on 'Combining Earth Observation Data and Forest Statistics';
- Publication on ' Analysis of European Forest Condition data base';
- Contribution to Technical Report 'Assessing Forest biodiversity on a pan-European scale' IUFRO Conference in Palermo;
- Project report ''Development of Methods and Tools for Monitoring Forest Diversity as a contribution to sustainable forest management in Europe';
- Sample maps and digital data layers of forest (09/2001);
- EU-15 Calibrated forest database (1 km);
- EU-15 Forest map (200m);
- Recommendations for improving the geo-location of Level-I plots of the ICP/EU pan-European Network.
Urban and regional development:
- Indicators of sustainable development for EUROSTAT's publication 'Measuring progress towards a more sustainable Europe';
- Indicators of transport evolution (land taken) for the EEA report on Transport TERM (not yet published);
- Consultancy to DG ENV in the frame of the European Common Indicators and Urban Actions;
- Modelling tool for forecasting urban and regional development; GIS tools for spatial analysis;
- DG ENV: Draft report on Dresden-Prague corridor.
- Contribution to drafting the Strategic Implementation Document for the WFD (DG ENV);
- Set-up and leadership of Working Group 3.1 (Development of a Common GIS) for the Implementation of the WFD. (DG ENV)
- Development and testing of algorithms for the derivation of drainage networks and catchments boundaries from digital elevation data and other information.
Output Indicators and Impact
- Number of peer-reviewed papers and accepted reports;
- Deliverables according to Project Plan;
- Number of invited meetings in DGs and Working groups;
- Number of external required scientific tasks (lectures, reviewing);
- Deliverables to Member States, local and regional authorities on EU issues.
Summary of the project
The EUROLANDSCAPE project deals with aspects of the Pan-European landscape. Earth Observation data, Geographical Information Systems and methods for modelling are used to analyse the different components of the landscape and the complex interactions found both within and between these components.
The sustainable development and protection of the environment are major issues in policies, and are included in many directives of the European Union.
The definition of the in various sectorial policies call for an integrated approach in the evaluation and strategic assessment of plans, programmes and projects which might influence the sustainability of European regions. As stated in the Union Treaty, environmental issues have to be taken into account when formulating and implementing sectorial policies, not least those relating to agriculture, forestry, water management and regional development. On this background, there exists a clear need for assessing, quantifying and monitoring the evolution of the landscape caused by the implementation of policy decisions at various levels (e.g. 6th Environment Action Programme and the application of the SEA Directive, Agenda 2000, Water Framework Directive, the European Spatial Development Perspective, European Climate Change Programme, the Cork Declarations). Geo-spatial information is a key input for monitoring the effects related to the implementation of policies and in the provision of data relevant to international agreements.
The composition, the structure and the use of the European landscape are influential for the local and regional water balance, as well as for the sustainability and the diversity in habitats for flora and fauna. Forest and other wooded land cover a third of Europe's surface. Grasslands cover another fifteen to seventeen percent. These permanent land cover types form the major semi-natural reserves of European landscapes and house the majority of the biodiversity in Europe; preserving their stability is of utmost importance for environmental sustainability.
Forest and grasslands are our most important assets in binding carbon and thereby play an important role in reducing CO2 emissions. Processes related to urbanization, development of transport infrastructure, industrial constructions and other build up areas are severely influencing the environment and are sometimes modifying the landscape in an unsustainable way. It is especially these land cover types, their complexity, or, occasionally lack of such, which the EURO-Landscape Project (Geo-Information for Development and Environmental Monitoring) embraces.
The core elements are forest, other wooded land, grassland, terrain characteristics, drainage networks and catchment boundaries, urban and regional development, their socio-economic importance and the impact of legislation. Environmental protection in terms of biodiversity of natural and semi-natural terrestrial areas is addressed as well. The assessment of urban areas, regions and transport corridors is complemented by the analysis of anthropogenic stress factors (such as expanding settlements, tourism and transport) on the environment.
The objectives of the project are: Application of EO and other spatial data l for assessing, mapping and monitoring the European landscape with special emphasis on the development of criteria and indicators for sustainable development, environmental conditions and bio-diversity. EURO-LANDSCAPE aims to:
- Assist the Commission on a sound scientific basis in collecting and producing the information required for the formulation of new strategies and policies for environmental protection, landscape planning and regional and rural development;
- Facilitate timely access to information relevant for monitoring the environment and for answering questions, which may arise from the implementation of EU policies and their impact on the environmental resources;
- Develop integrated and cost-effective methods based on remote sensing and GIS for environmental management, and for the management of less favoured areas and renewable resources within the Pan-European area.
The importance of the EURO-Landscape Project is underpinned by the fact that it directly supports a series of EU regulations and international conventions. The Project links closely to the EU regulations and agendas on environmental conservation (PEBLDS; 2078/92), forestry (EEC 1615/89;
EEC 3528/86), biodiversity (CBD; NATURA 2000) and water (Water Framework Directive (WFD)), rural development (98C170/06), sustainability (COM (2001) 264), impact assessment (1692/96/EC), the urban environment (6th Environment Action Programme's Thematic Strategy for the Urban Environment), and the SEA Directive (2001/42/EC).