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Landscape Scenarios and Multifunctionality: Making Land Use Impact Assessment Operational

Katharina Helming, Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)
Marta Pérez-Soba, Alterra WUR

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Abstract

Ex ante impact assessment can help in structuring the analysis of human-environment interactions thereby supporting land use decision making for sustainable development. The contributions to this special feature focus on some of the challenges of making land use impact assessment operational for policy making. A total of nine papers deal with the needs and uses of assessment tools for policy making at the European level, with the value-based influence in scenario development, and with ex ante impact assessment studies in different contexts, spatial systems, and for different purposes and user groups. The concept of landscape multifunctionality was implicitly or explicitly employed as an integrating entity between socioeconomic and biogeophysical features of a spatial system. Three major aspects were revealed that could improve the relevance of the policy of land use impact assessment: the involvement of decision makers early on in the design of the impact assessment study; the integration of quantitative analysis with participatory valuation methods; and the robust and transparent design of the analytical methods.

Key words

impact assessment; landscape; land use; multifunctionality; science-policy interface
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087