Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Scenarios for land use change in the Mediterranean at different scales

Scenarios have been developed for the European and Mediterranean level and for three Target Areas, the Guadalentín in Spain, the Val d'Agri in Italy and the Alentejo in Portugal. Scenarios were developed for the period 2000-2030. Scenarios are qualitative in the form of narrative storylines. Local scenarios focus more on short-term developments. The scenarios integrate the socio-economic and ecological driving forces in combination with policy-related factors, linking short-term objectives with long-term perspectives.

Development of European scenarios is closely linked to a set of existing scenarios developed during a previous EC-financed project, VISIONS (EC DG-XII RTD Programme - Project ENV4-CT97-0462). Main products are an update of the Factor Actor Sector framework from the scenarios developed within VISIONS and a description of the main developments within the FAS at European level between 2000 and 2030. Full storylines were not developed.

Information is available for the following three scenarios:
- Knowledge is King (KiK): What if technological development is such that a mass migration to the Mediterranean is initiated and a European Sunbelt is formed?

- Big is Beautiful? (BiB): What if the 'merger principle' oversteps all limits, creating an oversized EU and powerful multinationals, thus initiating societal degeneration?

- Convulsive Change (CoC): What if climate change is as disruptive as some are now predicting, triggering a series of severe droughts and desert formation, and outpacing society’s ability to adapt?

The Mediterranean scenarios were derived by downscaling the European scenarios, thus resulting in the same three scenarios, yet with more specific country-level and sectoral (particularly agriculture and tourism) information. Full storylines of 20-25 pages have been developed that describe main future changes of all Factors Actors Sectors in the Mediterranean and for Spain, Italy, Greece, and Portugal. Description in each scenario are subdivided into three periods: 2000-2010/15; 2010/2015-2025; 2025-2530. One-page summaries of the main developments are also available.

A wealth of products is available at the Target Area level for three of the four local case studies that were part of MedAction: the Guadalentín in Spain, the Val d'Agri in Italy, and the Alentejo in Portugal.

Four main products can be distinguished: a story of the present characterising the perception of the local stakeholders on the situation in their region; a story of the future in 2030 that was obtained during a forecasting session; an extension of the present representing the situation in 2008 based on an extrapolation of current trends; and a backcasting exercise, reasoning back from a desirable end-point in 2030 to short-term measurements that are necessary to realise this future. All products were developed during a number of participatory scenario workshops with 15-25 local and regional stakeholders. Below is a short summary of the products based on the stories of the future and the backcasting exercise:

The stories of the future were developed for the Alentejo, the Guadalentín, and the Val d'Agri and can be characterised as exploratory visions of the future developments between 2000 and 2030. Exploratory scenarios are linked to the Mediterranean scenarios.

All scenarios comprise of a 2-10 page storyline that emphasises the dynamic changes and a collage of pictures that illustrates the end-point. Scenarios include:
- Guadalentín: Elimination of the Middlemen (BiB); Sunbelt Formation (KiK); Aquatic Change (CoC).
- Val d'Agri: Local tensions (KiK); Big is NOT Beautiful (BiB); Human Desertification.
- Alentejo: Dominance of the Rich (BiB); Slow Change (KiK); Major Territorial Change (CoC).

The backcasting exercises were developed for the Val d'Agri and the Guadalentín and can be characterised as normative desirable futures between 2000 and 2030. Scenarios are linked to Mediterranean developments, although in a less strict top-down procedure. Scenarios include:
- Guadalentín: Sustainable Agriculture (BiB); Scientific Agriculture (KiK); Sustainable and sustained tourism (CoC); Controlled water distribution (CoC).
- Val d'Agri: Multifunctional Sustainable Agriculture (BiB); Multiple Solutions (CoC); Sustainable Tourism with Local Identity (KiK).

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