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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Land cover distribution and change - outlook from MNP / Land cover distribution and change - outlook from MNP (Outlook 046) - Assessment published Jun 2007

Land cover distribution and change - outlook from MNP (Outlook 046) - Assessment published Jun 2007

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Generic metadata

Topics:

Environmental scenarios Environmental scenarios (Primary topic)

Tags:
land cover | forward looking indicators
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • Outlook 046
Geographic coverage:
Armenia Austria Azerbaijan Belarus Belgium Denmark Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Greece Iceland Ireland Italy Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Moldova Netherlands Norway Portugal Russia Spain Sweden Switzerland Tajikistan Turkmenistan Ukraine United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: How much and in what proportions is agricultural, forest and other semi-natural and natural land being taken for urban and other artificial land development?

Key messages

 

In the European region agricultural activity leads to expanding agricultural areas over the 2000-2050 period, while in Russian Federation and North Asia region  the amount of arable land is decreasing, as land is taken out of production. This land is available for restoration of natural biomes, mainly boreal and temperate forests, steppe and grasslands. (Assessment was created in 2007)

Land cover distribution (percent) - Russia and North Asia

Note: Distribution of land-cover types (in % of total regional area) in the baseline scenario and for the options in 2050

Data source:

The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

Downloads and more info

Land cover distribution (percent) - Europe

Note: Distribution of land-cover types (in % of total regional area) in the baseline scenario and for the options in 2050

Data source:

The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

For European region

Baseline development

  • The European agriculture maintains its position in expanding world markets under continued agricultural policy and trade rules and regulations. This region already has an intensive agriculture, and increased production leads to expanding agricultural areas.

Effects of options

  • Liberalisation. Hence, the upward trend in agricultural land use of the baseline is reversed as agricultural production declines by 24%. The abandoned land is slowly returning to a more natural state, with a higher biodiversity value; however this process is still not be completed by 2050. Mediterranean forests, woodland, and shrub and temperate forest areas, show the biggest improvement.
  • Relatively modest volumes of bio-fuel production, relative to the energy consumption, emerge in the climate mitigation case. Suitable land is scarce and the net loss of habitat remains limited in size, affecting primarily temperate forest area.
  • The forestry option. Establishing plantations therefore leads to additional habitat loss that is not yet counteracted in 2050 by biodiversity gains in slowly restoring forests.

For Russia and North Asia region

Baseline development

  • The amount of arable land is decreasing, as land is taken out of production. This land is available for restoration of natural biomes, mainly boreal and temperate forests, steppe and grasslands.
  • The wood production in this region has dropped sharply between 1990 and 2000, and only recovers at the former production levels after 2040. Not much additional semi-natural forest area is therefore lost to forest exploitation in the baseline. Nevertheless, model calculations underestimate the total demand for this region, as Russia also produces for Europe and China. This increased trading will put additional pressure on the remaining vast boreal forest biome.

Effects of options

  • The option with the largest effect for Russia and North Asia is reduction of climate change. Developments in the baseline have led to large areas of abandoned agricultural land that can be exploited. The increased land use more than counteracts the positive effect of climate measures.
  • Liberalisation of agricultural markets leads to a small increase in the area of arable land, at the expense of natural biomes (forest, grassland and steppe).
  • The other options all have a very small effect. The effect of the forestry option is underestimated if the region will become an important production area for other regions.
  • The main reasons for the described trends in land cover distribution structure are considered to be climate change, and possible measures following by the alternative scenario such as liberalization of market, changes in forestry activities and etc.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Anita Pirc Velkavrh

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Comments

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100