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The European Landscape Learning Initiative: Past and Future Environments and Energy Regimes shaping Policy Tools

Project description

Learning from the past: new land use and climate change models integrating past human actions

History has much to teach us. A look back at more than 10 000 years of human land use and socio-cultural transitions can show us major previous shifts in resource use and energy regimes that could provide insight valuable to our current transition to a low carbon society. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the TerraNova project will create an innovative training network to develop a new generation of landscape and climate change models integrating the effects of past human actions. This approach will enable the development of new and improved scenarios for better land management and rewilding, supporting goals for a carbon-neutral Europe.


Terra Nova: The New Learning Initiative between Humanities and Science: Mapping Past Environments and Energy Regimes, Rethinking Human Environment Interaction and Designing Land Management Tools for Policy. This project aims at improving our diachronic long term understanding of landscape histories and land use strategies in Europe in the Holocene and Anthropocene. Previously identified socio-cultural transitions and the effects of natural forcings will be critically assessed in a new intellectual interdisciplinary arena created by the Terra Nova project. Regional and continental syntheses will be used to anchor a new generation of landscape and climate change models which include the effects of past human actions and generate scenarios for landscape management and rewilding.
Ultimately this project will contribute to identifying major previous shifts in resource use and energy regimes and provide options for the future transition to a low carbon society.
Can we identify a balance between natural and cultural landscapes changing over space and time? Can we establish a natural reference for ‘European landscapes’ to evaluate current and future measures of landscape planning, ecosystem restoration and rewilding? Or are both systems so intertwined that the separation of the human from the natural is complex and scale and time dependant? Some researchers mark the industrial revolution as the start of the Anthropocene, others argue that long ago humans in Europe had a larger influence than natural processes upon the landscape. Notwithstanding these differences, there is consensus that the intensity of management and impacts of land management on natural systems today is unprecedented. This leads on to consideration of themes of sustainability and societal impact upon landscapes in the 21st century. From this perspective knowledge of past energy regimes and landscape interactions are essential components in understanding the present transition to a low carbon society.


Net EU contribution
€ 796 859,64
De boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam

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West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (8)

Partners (14)