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An Internet Tool For Forecasting Land Use Change And Land Degradation


An Internet Tool For Forecasting Land Use Change And Land Degradation ... Richard Kingston & Andy Turner. University of Leeds. UK. The presentation. Some background ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: An Internet Tool For Forecasting Land Use Change And Land Degradation

  • An Internet Tool For Forecasting Land Use Change
    And Land Degradation
  • In The Mediterranean Region
  • Richard Kingston Andy Turner
  • University of Leeds
  • UK

The presentation
  • Some background
  • The problem
  • Aims and objectives
  • Work packages
  • Building a common spatial framework
  • Land use predictors
  • Building the web interface
  • Conclusions next stages

  • MedAction funded by the EU
  • Fifth framework program
  • Key Action 2 Energy, Environment and Sustainable
  • Specifically looking at
  • Policies for land use to combat desertification
  • http//

The problem
  • Increasing desertification in the Mediterranean
    region is having a direct impact upon land use
  • It is largely a society-driven problem combated
    by various EC agricultural subsidies
  • A lack of coordinated action across the
    Mediterranean has led to a patchwork of policy

Overall aims and objectives
  • The EC have decided that we need to
  • Develop land use change scenarios at various
  • Analyse effects of past policies in four target
  • Analyse the costs of land degradation and
    benefits of mitigation measures
  • Develop options for land use policies, mitigation
    strategies, and incentives to combat

Specific aims and objectives
  • Develop a scenario based integrated land use and
    land degradation prediction model
  • Develop an interactive internet interface to the
    modelling system and associated data
  • Encourage experts, policy makers and the public
    to use the on-line modelling system and develop
    the way it operates, its functionality and its
    capabilities based on feedback from these users

Work Packages
our work
Work Package 3.3
  • Develop an internet interface to an existing
    stand-alone modelling system that
  • allows users to select which variables to include
  • enables them to try out different types of model
  • search for and evaluate available data with
    respect to the modelling tasks

Previous research
  • Developed a means of estimating the likely
    impacts of climate change on agricultural land
    use and land degradation
  • In order to
  • gain and raise awareness of the problems
  • inform political and public debate
  • have a way of contributing to the development of
    mitigation strategies

Previous modelling challenge
  • To predict contemporary agricultural land use
    based on a range of climatic, physical and
    socio-economic indicators
  • Forecast the various indicators for some time in
    the future in order to forecast land use and
    provide a land use change scenario
  • Translate land use change scenarios into land
    degradation indicators
  • Combine land degradation indicators to produce a
    synoptic forecast of land degradation

What was required
  • Highest possible level of spatial resolution
  • Complete coverage over the Mediterranean climate
    region of the EU
  • Produce forecasts for about 50 years hence
  • Base the results on global climate change
  • Incorporate socio-economic data
  • Produce outputs as maps
  • Provide a modelling framework that could be
    refined as better data and understanding of the
    processes is gained
  • something we are doing now

Creating the common spatial framework
  • Step 1 Assemble a database of all relevant
    physical, socio-economic environmental data
  • Step 2 Model the relationships between land use
    and other data assembled
  • Step 3 Obtain and make forecasts of the data
  • Step 4 Create and analyse maps of changes
  • Step 5 Translate the changes into land
    degradation risk indicators
  • Step 6 Repeat forecasting based on different
    climate change scenarios

Assembling the data
  • Decided upon a grid at a 1-decimal-minute
    resolution with a fixed origin aligned in terms
    of latitude and longitude covering the entire
    Mediterranean climate region of the EU
  • Manipulating available source data into the
    framework involved the use of GIS operations
    and/or modelling applications
  • Most environmental data could be manipulated into
    it in a relatively straight forward manner
  • BUT... socio-economic data need to be

The land use predictors
  • soil type
  • soil quality
  • biomass
  • temperature
  • precipitation
  • height above sea level
  • population density

Climatic Biomass Potential
Height above Sea level
Predicting future land use
  • An example rule
  • If a high proportion of land use
    estimated/predicted now is arable and a high
    proportion of estimated/forecast future land use
  • arable then land degradation is possible
  • trees then land degradation is unlikely
  • barren then land degradation is serious
  • other land use then land degradation is probable

Building a web interface
  • WP 3.3 main aim is to develop a Web interface to
    the existing stand-alone prototype modelling
  • allow the viewing of available input data and
    existing model results
  • allow users to alter climate change scenarios and
    input data and view the effects on land use
    change and land degradation

Work so far
  • On-line data viewer
  • allows users to view relevant spatial data
  • meta data
  • Developing web-based GIS
  • allows users to decide on input variables
  • model type

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Datasets library
  • Split into
  • socio-economic land use predictors
  • e.g. distance to nearest built-up area
  • e.g. frequency of night-time lights observation
  • physical land use predictors
  • e.g. soil type
  • e.g. biomass data

The Data Viewer
  • Extracts relevant gif image and associated meta
  • drop down lists of data types
  • data for
  • now
  • 50 years in the future

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Web enabled GIS
  • Developing in house GIS
  • Java based open source
  • vector and raster capabilities
  • runs on the Web or stand alone
  • http//

The modelling interface
  • After using the data library users then
  • select which variables to include
  • enables them to try out different types of model
  • Neural networks for classification
  • Fuzzy logic based for subjective interpretation
  • view results
  • re-run with different data-sets and/or models
  • The modelling interface still has to be developed!

Heres an example from some previous work
Next stages
  • Update the system with new
  • socio-economic
  • environmental
  • physical data
  • Develop the Web-based interface
  • Develop the modelling system
  • Allow users to add their own data

  • This work is still in its early stages
  • Results will only be good enough to enlighten
    debate not control policy
  • It is a first step towards providing wider access
    to land degradation data and models
  • It has the potential to open up the decision
    making process to those who are interested
  • It provide an example web-based tool for
    planners, decision makers and citizens interested
    in visualising the consequences of environmental

Further details
  • MedAction
  • http//
  • Java GIS
  • http//
  • http//
  • Other examples
  • http/