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Land use — SOER 2010 thematic assessment

Land use shapes our environment in positive and negative ways. Productive land is a critical resource for food and biomass production and land use strongly influences soil erosion and soil functions such as carbon storage. Land management largely determines the beauty of Europe's landscapes. It is important therefore to monitor land cover and land-use change through tools such as Corine land cover. Data on land-cover change in Europe from 2000–2006 show that growth in built-up areas and forest land leads to a continued loss of agricultural land. In turn, global economic and environmental change will increasingly influence the way Europeans use land (e.g. as communities work to mitigate and adapt to climate change). Policy responses are needed to help resolve conflicting land-use demands and to guide land-use intensity to support environmental land management.

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Europe's ecological backbone: recognising the true value of our mountains

Europe's mountain areas have social, economic and environmental capital of significance for the entire continent. This importance has been recognised since the late 19th century through national legislation; since the 1970s through regional structures for cooperation; and since the 1990s through regional legal instruments for the Alps and Carpathians. The European Union (EU) first recognised the specific characteristics of mountain areas in 1975 through the designation of Less Favoured Areas (LFAs). During the last decade, EU cohesion policy and the Treaty of Lisbon have both focused specifically on mountains.

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10 messages for 2010 — Mountain ecosystems

European mountain regions provide essential ecosystem services for lowlands and host a great diversity of habitats and species, many adapted to specific extreme climatic conditions. Mountain ecosystems are fragile and vulnerable, and face severe threats from land abandonment, intensifying agriculture, impacts of infrastructure development, unsustainable exploitation and climate change.

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10 messages for 2010 - Agricultural ecosystems

Within the framework of the CAP, the last 50 years have seen increasing attention to biodiversity, but without clear benefits so far. With agriculture covering about half of EU land area, Europe's biodiversity is linked inextricably to agricultural practices, creating valuable agro-ecosystems across the whole of Europe.

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10 messages for 2010 - Forest ecosystems

Short assessment of the status of the European forest ecosystems

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Land in Europe: prices, taxes and use patterns

Developments in land‑use patterns across Europe are generating considerable concern, particularly in relation to achievement of environmental goals. Land‑use trends — such as urban sprawl and land abandonment — are jeopardising the future for sustainable land use. Moreover, these trends endanger the achievement of European environmental goals in areas such as biodiversity protection and water management and also hinder the effectiveness of instruments in these areas, including the Natura 2000 network and the Water Framework Directive.

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Land accounts for Europe 1990-2000

Towards integrated land and ecosystem accounting

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The thematic accuracy of Corine land cover 2000 - Assessment using LUCAS

Assessment using LUCAS (land use/cover area frame statistical survey)

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How much bioenergy can Europe produce without harming the environment?

The purpose of this report is to assess how much biomass could technically be available for energy production without increasing pressures on the environment. As such, it develops a number of environmental criteria for bioenergy production, which are then used as assumptions for modelling the primary potential. These criteria were developed on a European scale. Complementary assessments at more regional and local scale are recommended as a follow-up of this work.

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EEA Report 2/2006 - Integration of environment into EU agriculture policy - the IRENA indicator-based assessment report

This report aims to provide a fair reflection of the progress, the achievements and obstacles in the integration of environmental concerns into EU agriculture policy, based on indicators developed in the IRENA operation (see Section 1.3). It also tackles limitations to successful policy implementation at Member State level, and challenges ahead.

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