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This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 265104
  
 
 

 



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VOLANTE Roadmap for future land resource management worth exploring

The landscapes of Europe have altered rapidly over the last few decades. In the past 50 years we have seen significant and unprecedented human impacts on our landscapes. We desperately need a vision for a more sustainable future land use. The European VOLANTE project designed a roadmap for future land resource management in Europe, and successfully presented this to 75 policymakers in Brussels 21 April. Representatives from the European Commission, NGO’s, professional organisations and national and regional institutions confirmed the timeliness of the endeavour: although there exists no land use policy in the EU nor in many of its member states, numerous existing policies have important unintended effects on land use.

Mairead McGuinness MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament, stated in her key note on 21 April: ”The three visions that emerge from this exercise ... are each interesting and worth exploring. Our roots are in our land. But we need to plan for its future. And we need to give signals about what we really want and how we can achieve it in the EU, against the background of an increasingly globalised world.“ To safeguard sustainable land management in Europe, Mrs McGuinnesss stressed the importance of the family farm model, which is at the heart of EU and global food production, but faces a sometimes uncertain future. 

On behalf of the Latvian Presidency of the European Council, Ms Indra Ciukša, Counsellor of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Latvia to the EU, welcomed the designed roadmap as significant source for future land use policy development across the Europe. Ms Indra Ciukša highlighted the importance of cross-sectoral involvement and engagement with different stakeholders in land use management, also acknowledged multifunctionality, resource efficiency and the provision of services in rural areas as significant elements for future land use.

The VOLANTE project started from the premise that in Europe we have entered a critical decision space in the management of our landscapes: a window of several decades within which it is still possible to avoid crossing planetary boundaries. We live in a Europe that is facing many challenges and changing aspirations. It is imperative to explore alternative visions of a more sustainable future land use, and evaluate the pathways that can lead us there. This implies managing natural capital to ensure the continued provision of ecosystem services into the future. Therefore the international project team led by Alterra Wageningen UR designed the VOLANTE Roadmap, the way to a future Europe that manages its land resources better to achieve the necessary societal and environmental goals.

The roadmap comprises three visions of future land use in Europe derived from consultations with a wide range of European stakeholders: ‘Best land in Europe’ (optimal use of land resources), ‘Regional connected’ (living closer to the natural environment), and ‘Local multifunctional’ (self-sufficiency of local communities). Extensive scientific analysis reveals that under the current socio-economic and policy conditions, none of these visions can be achieved without the need for trade-offs. ‘Local multifunctional’ seems the most challenging vision to achieve without a thorough transformation in society and decision-making processes, underpinned by individual behavioural change. ‘Best land in Europe’ would supply the greatest quantity of ecosystem services on a continental scale, but remote rural areas would struggle to support local communities unless land use and economic activities were restructured, for example by moving away from a dependence on agriculture to new rural businesses that require new infrastructure. ‘Regional connected’ would require strong regional governance and regulation and a broad acceptance of this by society.

The VOLANTE Roadmap represents a process for sustainable management of future land resources. Despite major contrasts between the three visions, there are important similarities. For the future of our landscapes we highlight the need for bold and coordinated change in European land use. This requires targeted policy intervention that takes account of the diverse regional contexts across Europe and that balances trade-offs in a transparent and well-informed way. To be effective and relevant, such policies also require cross-sectoral strategies for land use and management that depart from the traditional focus on sectoral policy. The incentive for such strategies is that European land resources will be used more efficiently, providing a wider range of benefits, including a better environment, enhanced socio-economic wellbeing, and ultimately a more equitable European society.

The Volante Roadmap - Towards Sustainable Land Resource Management in Europe

Visions of future land use in Europe - Stakeholder visions for 2040

 

More information:

Bas Pedroli ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +31 317 485 396)

Marion Bogers ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +31 317 481 813).

www.volante-project.eu

 
D12.3 Value-based trade-off evaluation of future ecosystem service supply under selected land use scenario
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Deliverable D12.3 Value-based trade-off evaluation of future ecosystem service supply under selected land use scenario is now available. This deliverable (D12.3) addresses the trade-offs that can be related to pathways leading to the three Volante visions, regional, European, or local. It builds on Volante deliverable 11.3 where feasible pathways have been identified. The trade-offs are dealt with on NUTS II level, and on their global impacts respectively. They are represented in absolute terms, indicating the expected changes in indicators for sustainable land-use, and in synthesized relative terms by means of a spatial multi-criteria analysis (MCA) to analyse the regional patterns of trade-offs.

D12.3 Value-based trade-off evaluation of future ecosystem service supply under selected land use scenario

 
D10.3 Synthesis report on trade-offs & sustainability limits workshops
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Deliverable D10.3 Synthesis report on trade-offs & sustainability limits workshops is now available. This deliverable (D10.3) covers the outputs and results of the European Stakeholder Workshop & Preview And Feedback Meeting, Brussels, 2-3 December 2013 and Trade-off Workshop, Vienna, Austria 5-6 May 2014. The stakeholder recommendations from these workshops form the basis of developing the final road map, and the interpretation of its results into conclusions, key messages and policy recommendations.

D10.3 Synthesis report on trade-offs & sustainability limits workshops

 
Visions of future land use in Europe - Stakeholder visions for 2040
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Visions_brochure_web

A new VOLANTE brochure is now available on our website. This brochure outlines three visions of future land use in Europe for 2040 developed in the VOLANTE project. The visions are based on the ideal future envisaged by sixty-nine stakeholders, all professionals representing the main land use sectors. They were developed in four highly interactive facilitated workshops. The workshops focused on nature conservation and recreation; food, bio-energy and timber production; settlements and transport infrastructure; and energy and water. The ultimate purpose of the visions is to provide a range of plausible and coherent descriptions of positive futures, helping to narrow down the vast spectrum of possible decisions to a smaller range of relevant and sustainable land management options. These options are considered the robust pathways for multifunctional and sustainable land use, and will be outlined in the VOLANTE Roadmap of future land resource management in Europe.

Visions of future land use in Europe - Stakeholder visions for 2040

 
D3.4 Maps of syndromes of land system changes in Europe
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Deliverable D3.4 Maps of syndromes of land system changes in Europe is now available. This deliverable (D3.4) brings together the results achieved in the individual tasks within WP3 to map achetypes of land system change across Europe between 1990 and 2006. We define archetypes in VOLANTE as typical, high-level processes of land-system changes. The results of D3.4 form an end point in VOLANTE and are the final output from WP3. The derived archetypes will be used to interpret the results from the scenario-based assessment of future land-system pathways in Europe (Module ASSESSMENT) by exploring how certain archetypes may develop in the future (WP11). The archetypes are furthermore foreseen to help in the interpretation and construction of the VOLANTE roadmap (WP13).

VOLANTE D3.4 Maps of syndromes of land system changes in Europe

 
New publication - Wild food in Europe: A synthesis of knowledge and data of terrestrial wild food as an ecosystem service
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Wild food is an iconic ecosystem service that receives little attention in quantifying, valuating and mapping studies, due to the perceived low importance or due to lack of data. Available data on the importance of wild food as ecosystem service, its spatial distribution and relations between supply, demand and benefits in the European Union (EU), covering all terrestrial wild food groups are synthesize in this paper.

Schulp, C.J.E., Thuiller, W. & Verburg, P.H. (2014). Wild food in Europe: A synthesis of knowledge and data of terrestrial wild food as an ecosystem service. Ecological Economics. 105: 292–305. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.06.018

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/wild_food_important_ecosystem_service_394na5_en.pdf

 
How do you want to live in 2040?
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It is impossible to successfully plan for the future without a clear goal in mind. For this reason normative scenarios, or visions of a desired future have an important role to play in supporting land use policy in Europe. In VOLANTE we designed a facilitated process involving 69 land use experts from different land use sectors across Europe to develop three alternative visions European land use in 2040. These visions form the end-points for an extensive back-casting study involving state-of-the-art computer modeling and extensive empirical research. This exercise allows us to explore alternative pathways that can take us to these visions, identifying what policy and societal change is needed to reach these visions. We are currently finalising this pathways analysis and preparing a roadmap that will provide a policy relevant synthesis of the VOLANTE project.

To supplement this research, and complement the expert visions, we feel it is also important to see how European citizens see their future lives. How do they wish live in 2040?  How does this differ from the three expert visions? And what implications does this have for future land use and land management? Do people want more of the same or are there desired changes? Are there difference in wishes across Europe, or between demographic groups? Do people from rural areas have different visions than urbanites? These are some of the questions we hope to answer though our online survey.

The www.life2040.eu survey forms a spin-off from main research project, which we hope will add saliency and relevance to the VOLANTE roadmap, which will be published in Spring 2015. We aim to reach 3000 responses from across Europe by Christmas. We encourage anyone to participate, but are especially keen to get responses from young Europeans.

Please take part in our 10 minute survey on www.life2040.eu and share it with your friends and (social) network!

Please help promote our survey

The text and image below can be used for this purpose:

How do you want to live in 2040? That’s the subject of a European survey aiming to help our policy makers make the right future planning choices. To plan for the right future, your future vision is very important. How do you want to live your life in 25 years? Where will you live? What will you eat? How will you travel and spend your holidays? Your answers will support a major research project inform decision makers about choices they need to make now to plan what our land will look like. Please take part in our 10 minute survey on www.life2040.eu and share it with your (social) network of friends and colleagues! If you want to know more about the research project and the contribution of the survey, check VOLANTE.

Suggested tweet: How do you want to live in 2040? Create your #life2040 vision in 10mins on life2040.eu !

life2040
 
Reports from dissemination and feed-back workshops with presentation of Volante results from WP1 and WP2, and response from local, regional, and national stakeholders
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This report constitutes an overview of the dissemination and feed-back workshops in the case study countries: Netherlands, Romania, Austria, Greece and Denmark. The workshops are developed based on the reporting of findings from WP1 and WP2 to national, regional and local stakeholders and representatives from the interviewed farmers and members of rural communities.

Reports from dissemination and feed-back workshops with presentation of Volante results from WP1 and WP2, and response from local, regional, and national stakeholders

 
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