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120 researchers from 15 European countries develop science based decision support tools for European policy makers

International Conference: Impact Assessment of Land Use Changes

Scientists of the Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) Müncheberg - organise the International conference at the Humboldt University Berlin on 7-9 April 2008.

Land use is a key human activity, which shapes socio-economic development and alters structures and processes in the environment. At the European level, land use policy making is committed to foster sustainability of natural resource use and rural development.

Supporting social cohesion and decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation is a key target. To do so, tools are required that can provide anticipations of possible impacts of land use decisions for all dimensions of sustainable development.

Impact assessment is an emerging scientific field that includes a variety of methods and involves a range of scientific disciplines. At the European Commission level, sustainability impact assessment is designed to integrate all single sector impact assessment types with the aim of better regulation and fostering sustainable development objectives.

The EU funded Integrated Project SENSOR develops ex-ante Sustainability Impact Assessment Tools (SIAT) to support policy making related to multifunctional land use in European regions. SENSOR is part of a family of large projects launched by the European Commission to build science based support tools for sustainability impact assessment related to land use. They include EFORWOOD (forestry wood chain), PLUREL (rural-urban linkages), SEAMLESS (agriculture).

With this conference we intend to trigger and consolidate a scientific community integrating expertise in impact assessment, land use and landscape research, agriculture, forestry, environmental economics, rural sociology and the science policy interface. We wish to share ideas, approaches and innovative results on impact assessment of land use and policy support for sustainable development within a wider interdisciplinary forum.

About ZALF
The Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e. V. conducts integrated systems analysis of agricultural landscapes for sustainable management of land and water, conservation of natural and cultural resources, and sustainable development of rural areas. Research activities are focussed on the development of methods and models that can be used to anticipate policy impacts and changes of the land use systems, to evaluate the impact of such changes on environmental, social and economic sustainability indicators and to support decision making of land use management and policy. ZALF is member of the Leibniz association.

Interested journalists are invited to join the concluding round table discussion on Wednesday, 09.April 2008 at 16.00 at the main building of the Humboldt University, Unter den Linden 6, Berlin. The conference language is English.

For further information please contact Dr. Katharina Helming,

Heike Schäfer | idw
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