The LANDSUPPORT project aims at supporting sustainable agriculture and forestry, evaluating the trade-off between land uses, and contributing to a better implementation of land policies in Europe.
The project is managed by the Research Executive Agency and received EU-funding of €7 million under Horizon 2020. It began on 1 May 2018 and will last for 42 months.
A press conference on 3 July presented the project and allowed attendees to get hands-on with some of the web-based tools at its core. Comments and input came from agriculture and soil experts from LANDSUPPORT, the European Council of Spatial Planners (ECTP), the Istituto Nazionale di Urbanistica (INU), and the Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA).
The loss of fertile soil to urban sprawl is one of the most prominent causes of land degradation affecting the European agricultural landscape. Without decisive action, we face compromised food security, reduced biodiversity, flooding, water scarcity, and increased global warming. Once healthy soil is lost, future generations will not see it come back within their lifetimes.
To encourage better policy decisions and protect against land degradation, the project created the Land Take tool - one component of a web-based, open access GeoSpatial Decision Support System (S-DSS) - the LANDSUPPORT S-DSS platform. It employs a combination of data, modelling, and on-the-fly calculations to analyse, monitor and mitigate land take for the entire European territory.
The tool has a number of potential applications – aiding National Public Authorities who require ongoing monitoring of land take in their territory; assisting planning at a regional or provincial level where planning guidelines need to be adopted; and informing decisions at an administrative level where final land take decisions are made.
Attendees of the press conference were invited to explore the tool and its potential uses in a hands-on session. Although still in the prototype phase, it is fully functional and openly accessible on the web at www.landsupport.eu.
3 July 2019