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GEORANGE Geomatics in the Assessment and Sustainable Management of Mediterranean Rangelands

Objectives: The GeoRange approach is explicitly based on an adequate consideration of the multifunctionality of Mediterranean rangelands by integrating specialists from different fields. Based on conceptual research and specific field studies, the project aims at creating an efficient documentation, management and decision support environment, dedicated to the specific needs of rangeland ecologists, managers and conservationists who are also involved in the project.
Sectorial Topic (Note): Desertification monitoring and assessment
Actor(s)[Nation(Ministry, Agency)/Organization]: University of Trier (Germany), European Joint Research Centre Space Applications Institute Environment and Geo-Information (Ispra, Italy), Sardinia Region (Italy), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas Estacion Experimental de Zonas Aridas (Almeria, Spain), Fundacion Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterraneo Parque Tecnologico de Paterna (Paterna, Spain), Generalitat Valencia Conselleria del Medio Ambiente Servicio de Prevencion de Incendios (Valencia, Spain), National Agricultural Research Foundation (NAGREF) Forest Research Institute Laboratory of Ecology (Thessaloniki, Greece), Aristotle University (Thessaloniki, Greece), Region of Central Macedonia Directorate of Forests (Thessaloniki, Greece)
Contents: After a long history of utilisation, large areas of Mediterranean rangelands are today affected from transitional processes that cause conflicts between past and present land uses or economic and ecological priorities. Heavy overgrazing or the accumulation of woody biomass triggered by the abandonment and under grazing, are causing substantial management problems. Often aggrieved by physical factors, the depletion of rangee resources, or the increasing frequency and severity of wildfires have become a major concern in the environmental policies all over the European Mediterranean countries.
Means of Implementation: Amount of financing 1.121.079,00 euro.
Funding for the project was provided by the European Commission, DG XIII under the 4th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Programme.
Assessment of the currant range condition and range health by establishing a rule-base incorporating state variables and related indicators to be derived in the project.
Retrospective analyses of range development to understand how ecosystes have responded to previous management efforts or changing determinants.
Efficient organization, integration, visualization and distribution of spatial and non-spatial data through a customised GIS-environment and Internet based user interface.
Synthesis of the accumulated expertise on driving factors and past developments resulting in site-specific scenarios for sustainable management of rangelands aiming at a reconciliation between ecological and economical interests.
Development of a dedicated "Data Processing and Analysis Environment" enebling end-users to monitor the impact of new management strategies and continually revise scheme by updating their spatial databases with recent data.
Target year: 2003
Target Area/Place: Mediterranean Rangelands
Expected Outcome(S): The integration of the knowledge of specialists in different fields of science with the demands of land managers and policy makers puts a focus on the European dimension of rangeland management, and supports the competitiveness of European research in this field. It will help respond to obligations arising from the ratification of international treaties, such as the U.N.C.C.D.. The project will result in the implementation of techniques and tools to evaluate the current condition of rangelands and define scenarios under consideration of the multi-functional use of Mediterranean rangelands. A sustainable use of Mediterranean lands is expected to lead to a unique mosaic of land-uses, thus ensuring maximum landscape diversity, and allowing for the production of a wide range of goods and services, while at the same time preserving biodiversity and wildlife habitats.
Relevance to the Plan of Implementation of WSSD: This project addresses several priority actions identified in the plan of implementation which are related to the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification to address causes of desertification and land degradation in order to maintain and restore land, and to address poverty resulting from land degradation (§ 41). In particular providing affordable local access to information to improve monitoring and early warning related to desertification and drought ( § 41, e).
Other Information:
(Contact): Prof. Joachim Hill
University of Trier Remote Sensing Department
FB VI Geography/Geosciences Behringstrasse 15 54286 Trier Germany
Tel: +49.651.201.45.92
Fax: +49.651.201.38.15
E mail:
Web site:
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