Land Use Change Interactive Map (click here to access)

In the face of future climate challenges, it is of the utmost importance to drive the transition towards more resilient and efficient land use in Europe.
As part of the work developed in the AGROMIX EU HORIZON project (2020-2024), this tool aims to provide broader spatial contexts where agroforestry (AF) and mixed farming (MF) could be implemented to increase the environmental resilience of agricultural systems and provide effective climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. This tool is supported by this report [add DOI link here] which describes the backend methodological of deliverable 3.3, the AGROMIX Land Use Change Interactive Map, so called LUCIM.


Brief Methodology description

The upscaling implemented a two-fold approach; the first part used a spatial explicit approach to identify target areas in Europe where resilient and climate-smart AF/MF systems should have high priority for introduction, while the second part adopts a non-spatial approach to develop future scenarios of land use/resilience strategies where different models of land use change are evaluated as pathways towards increased resilience to climate change, framed in a context of Exposure, Sensitivity and Adaptive Capacity.

The Spatial Approach identifies potential areas across Europe for the introduction of AF/MF systems. It involved selecting suitable areas, considering environmental, climate change risks, and socio-economic contexts, and defining target areas for intervention. The approach consisted of three steps: (1) selection of suitable potential areas from the total agricultural area in Europe, excluding nature conservation sites and AF areas already identified in the land use/land cover cartography (2) analysis of environmental and climate change risks and socio-economic context in the potential areas, and (3) definition of target areas. The outcome of this analysis is a collection of maps that visually represent the convergence of environmental risks and socio-economic pressures, delineating priority areas for AF/MF implementation. 

The Non Spatial Approach complements the spatial analysis by detailing future scenarios of land use and resilience strategies by evaluating various models of land use change as pathways to enhance climate resilience. The ‘problem’ addressed is the impact of climate change on agricultural and forestry systems, and the ‘solution’ is the change in land-use towards a more resilient system. An expert knowledge-based Delphi method was used to seek and to bridge research and evidence gaps regarding the resilience of agroforestry land use models to climate change. The methodology underscores the importance of engaging stakeholders in developing problem-solution-based land use change models, supported by real-world examples and expert consensus. The real-world examples use case studies captured in the AGROMIX project as well as from other sources including other EU projects, EIP Focus Groups, European agroforestry associations, and from expert knowledge. 

Key Findings and Statistics

Potential Area for Implementation: The spatial analysis identified approximately 1.5 million hectares across Europe as potential areas for the implementation of AF and MF systems.

Environmental Challenges: Of these 1.5 million hectares, over 500 thousand hectares are identified by significant environmental pressures, including water scarcity, soil erosion, and biodiversity loss.

Delphi Study Engagement: The non-spatial approach involved 60 experts in a comprehensive Delphi study, resulting in 7200 comments identifying key themes of resilience while providing a consensus framework on the resilience of agroforestry types to climate impact drivers and associated impacts compared with baseline scenarios. The Delphi study underlined 36 resilience themes framed in vulnerability components of Exposure, Sensibility and Adaptive Capacity, including Biodiversity Enhancement: The critical role of AF and MF in increasing agro-biodiversity and ecosystem services; Climate Adaptation Strategies: The effectiveness of AF and MF in adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change; Socio-Economic Benefits: The potential of AF and MF to contribute to rural development, improve farmers' livelihoods, and enhance social resilience.