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Project Policies for land use to combat desertification

  •     MEDACTION is funded by the European Commission,
  •     It is part of the EC Fifth Framework Programme,
  •     Key Action 2: Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development.
  •     Area 2.3.3: Fighting land degradation and desertification

As in most other semi-arid regions, desertification in the Mediterranean region is largely a society-driven problem which can be effectively managed only through a thorough understanding of the principal ecological, socio-cultural and economic driving forces associated with land use and climate change, and their impacts.

For this reason, MEDACTION adopts an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach, involving social and natural scientists as well as the principal stakeholders in the region to:

    * Develop land use change scenarios at various scales
    * Analyse effects of past policies in four target areas
    * Analyse the costs of land degradation and benefits of mitigation measures
    * Develop options for land use policies, mitigation strategies, and incentives to combat desertification

Project number EVK2-CT-2000-00085
Geographical coverage Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Netherlands
Budget (in €) 0
Programme FP5 EESD
Web site
Objectives MEDACTION 4 is one of a cluster of four projects forming a programme of integrated, multidisciplinary research, involving the principal stakeholders and concentrating on finding solutions to the strategic problem of desertification. Sustainable land use Policies and degradation management strategies will be developed which will address specific problems of desertification and sustainable development at various scales. The project is divided into four modules which will address land management concerns, scenario-generation and policy formulation at various scales (local and Mediterranean). At the local scale four target areas will be investigated: Alentejo (Portugal), Guadalentin (Spain), Agri (Italy) and Lesvos (Greece).
Results MEDACTION developped an information and decision-support base on land degradation to assist decision-makers from the local to the European level in the formal and informal decision and policy making processes to combat desertification in the Northern Mediterranean region.

The specific problems of land degradation, desertification and mitigation measures are addressed at the European, Mediterranean and local scale.

Module 1: Land use change scenarios

In this module land use change scenarios are developed at the European, Mediterranean, and local scale levels to aid local decision-making with regard to policy formulation for sustainable land management in the target areas.

Module 2: Effects of past policies

In this module the effects of the implementation of a variety of past policies on land use and land degradation across the physically, culturally and economically diverse four target areas are analysed.

Module 3: Decision Support Systems

Decision Support Systems will be used to develop guidelines on, and contribute towards, policy formulation for land use in the four target areas.

Module 4: Policy Support Framework

This module analyses policies affecting land use, and desertification in the EU and the four countries - Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal - and aims to produce a framework for their improvement, integration and synthesis.


The most important among the more than 35 MEDACTION deliverables are:

    * European, Mediterranean and local land use change scenarios
    * Reports on the effects of past desertification policies in the four target areas
    * Decision Support Systems to analyse the effects of land use change scenarios, management and proposed policies in the target areas
    * Overview of the costs of land degradation and benefits of mitigation measures
    * CD ROM and user manuals with guidelines for sustainable land management at local scales
    * An interactive Internet interface based modelling system for estimaing land degradation risk
    * A Desertification Policy Support Framework with guidelines for policy design at the level of the European Union and the four Mediterranean countries
Period [01/01/2001 - 31/03/2004]