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Development of Integrated Web-Based Land Decision Support System Aiming Towards the Implementation of Policies for Agriculture and Environment

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - LANDSUPPORT (Development of Integrated Web-Based Land Decision Support System Aiming Towards the Implementation of Policies for Agriculture and Environment)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2020-10-31

What is the problem/issue being addressed?
LANDSUPPORT aims at building a smart geo-Spatial Decision Support System (S-DSS) providing a powerful set of trans-disciplinary decision supporting tools – that will be open and freely accessible through the web devoted to reconciling agriculture, environmental sustainability and policy implementation. Overall, the S-DSS will contribute to the development and implementation of land use policies in Europe, and it will promote an integrated and participatory approach towards rural development and environmental policies allowing, among others, evaluation of trade-offs between different land uses.

Why is it important for society?
Nowadays there is a huge amount of data mainly produced after satellite, drones, etc. but still there is an evident lack on the side of the operational use of these data in decision making. This is especially bad when dealing with urgent environmental challenges. Unfortunately, only few DSS have been developed in the last decades to provide a support to environmental policy making, agriculture and land use management. Moreover, these approaches are often too simple, and available DSS are scale-specific and monodisciplinary – thus hardly adaptable to different contexts and territorial scales. In LANDSUPPORT we aim to reconcile grand agriculture and environmental sustainability policy ambitions with operational reality addressing the overlooked support for planning and management actions at the very local scale.

What are the overall objectives?
The LANDSUPPORT aims to: (i) support sustainable agriculture and forestry, (ii) evaluate their interaction and trade-off with other land uses, including spatial planning and (iii) support the achievement of selected CAP and 2030 SDG’s land policies of both EU and UN agenda. In terms of SDG LANDSUPPORT will contribute to the following:
• ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices strengthening capacity for adaptation to climate change (Target 2.4)
• improve water quality by reducing pollution (Target 6.3) and increase water-use efficiency (target 6.4)
• integrate climate change measures into national policies (Target 13.2)
• achieve a land degradation-neutral world (Target 15.3)
The LANDSUPPORT S-DSS tools will be applied across 4 geographic scales: European Union, 3 Nations (Italy, Hungary, Austria), 3 European Regions (Campania region (IT), Zala County (HU), Marchfeld (AT)), 3 local sites (Valle Telesina (IT), Keszthely (HU), RMEL (Tunisia)).
The project is proceeding along the chrono-program. In the 2nd RP we report all activities apart from those having a delay already agreed in the force majeure action related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the followings:(i)(i) the development of climate change resilience modules in biophysical models and LULUCF models (ii) Evaluation from public authorities Partners using LANDSUPPORT to simplify and verify land policies implementation and (iii) All European, National, Regional and local level case studies ready to be used by enduser.
All the other Deliverables and Milestones referring to land policy analysis, the build-up of database, modelling, graphical user interface, DSS tools and communication and exploitation activities have been fulfilled and some deviations have been implemented and mitigated to enable the project to overcome some criticalities.
The land policy and socio-economic investigation to tune the LANDSUPPORT system has been successfully completed at the end of the 1st year while databases, Modelling, Earth Observation (EO) data and Graphical User Interface (GUI) are proceeding as expected following the timeline for tool development. Thus, the technical and scientific results achieved are in tune with the tools to be delivered.

A synoptic view of our current results (at the time of this Reporting) is provided observing the list of the following tools (family of tools and meso-tools) available on our LANDSUPPORT platform (www.landsupport.eu).

List of LANDSUPPORT tools
TOOL SCALE
Land Take European, National
Land Degradation Neutrality European, National
Climate Change Resilience: LAND European, National, Regional
Land use change (matrix) European (National, Regional)
Land Use Classification European
Climate Change Resilience: CROP National, Regional
Agroclimatic Services Regional, Local
Viticulture Regional, Local
Forest Regional, Local
Ecotourism Regional
Agritourism Regional
Biomass Potential Productivity Regional, Local
Olive Growing Local
Groundwater Vulnerability Local
Crop growth (Dynamic ARMOSA) Local, Regional
The following items are treated as connection between (i) progress beyond the state of the art, (ii) expected results until the end of the project and (iii) potential impacts:
• Overcoming the fragmentation and incompleteness in the implementation of land planning and management policies by providing a unique, interactive, smart multi-objective Geospatial platform, freely accessible on the web, that produce multi- functional/users/scales decision supporting tools addressing sustainable land management and land planning.
• Applying a systemic approach compatible with existing databases and tools used at the EC and contributing to their improvement.
• Tackling agriculture/environmental problems over large areas (e.g. Europe, Country) while preserving a relatively high spatial detail. This is achieved thanks to the use of the state-of-the-art in computer science and technologies (datacube, COMPs, GPU technologies) and (ii) the opportunity to produce scenario analysis bridging the gap between large areas, policies implementation and local actions.
• Applying effective participative multi-actor approach, including all relevant stakeholders and developing landscape awareness tools.
• Bridging the divide between local practitioners and researchers will enable the reconciliation of environmental policy requirements with local agriculture communities by providing operational support to farmers for sustainable farm management,
• Converting research into useful knowledge and practices and the task of transferring research knowledge and practice to farmers, particularly smallholder farmers putting into operation the ‘quantified farmer’ concept (farmers who has access to hard figures to guide his/her decision making).
• Optimizing land management techniques and improving agriculture resilience to climate change (adaptation and mitigation strategies).
• LANDSUPPORT expects an increase in the economic competitiveness of (i) the participating SMEs after the acquisition of new competences and support in R&D activities and (ii) many local business activities (e.g. spatial planners, agri-tourism, eco-tourism working at the local and regional scales), including those participating in the Stakeholder group (INU, AGRITURIST), will benefit at local and regional scales from the availability of the LANDSUPPORT platform.
The LANDSUPPORT platform with the family of tools available at the time of this 1st Reporting.
The LANDSUPPORT car symbolizes the many different features that also the DSS should fulfill.