Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
251N: Exploring land change dynamics across the Mediterranean for meeting the needs and value the priorities of people
Friday, 26/Apr/2019:
1:15pm - 2:45pm

Session Chair: Tobias Plieninger
Session Chair: Cristina Quintas-Soriano
Session Chair: Andreas Bürkert
Session Chair: Angeliki Foutri
Session Chair: Thymios Dimopoulos
Location: MB-215
Main Building, room 215, second floor, west wing, 80 seats
Session Topics:
What do people want from land?

Session Abstract

Panel presentations with opportunities for audience participation. Presentations of the latest research findings by the speakers and identification of new challenges emerging from the science. Fishbowl conversation.

In this session, we will analyze current land change dynamics across the Mediterranean Basin – a region of stark social and ecological contrasts and a global biodiversity hotspot. Covering different scales, modeling approaches and countries, we aim for a better understanding of the relationships between landscape dynamics and ecosystem services across gradients of land use management in the Mediterranean. We will also explore possibilities to foster the multi-functionality of managed landscapes.


The overall goal of this session is to stimulate discussion regarding our understanding of the relationships between managed landscapes, people and ecosystem services provision. To this end we aim to bring together an interdisciplinary group of presenters that work across different countries in the Mediterranean (i.e. South Europe, North Africa and the Middle East) and from research institutions and non-profit organizations, to discuss the need of different social-ecological perspectives on the land systems dynamics in the Mediterranean Basin.

Within the session, presenters from different parts of the Mediterranean covering land-use science and practice will discuss approaches for land management strategies that minimize potential conflicts and support synergies between multiple ecosystem services. Specifically, we aim to: i) provide an overview of the variety of approaches to assess land use dynamics; ii) analyze case studies that develop landscape stewardship to mitigate land use conflicts and support synergies in land systems across different scales (from place-based studies to the Pan-Mediterranean level); and iii) identify research gaps and the road ahead to better inform decision-making in sustainable land management in the Mediterranean.


Improved understanding of the dynamics and societal values of Mediterranean land systems that may lead to a joint synthesis paper.

Show help for 'Increase or decrease the abstract text size'
ID: 727 / 251N: 1
251N Exploring land change dynamics across the Mediterranean for meeting the needs and value the priorities of people
Keywords: Mediterranean land systems, trajectories, data mining, multiscale, local case studies

Land system dynamics in the Mediterranean basin across scales as relevant indicator for species diversity and local food systems

Marta Debolini1, Johanna Fusco2, Elisa Marraccini3, Claude Napoleone4

1UMR EMMAH, INRA, France; 2UMR IMBE, CNRS, France; 3UP INTERACT, UniLaSalle, France; 4UR Ecodeveloppement, INRA, France

The DIVERCROP project aims to highlights interactions between current dynamics of the Mediterranean agricultural practices, species diversity and local food systems at multiple spatial scales. An assessment of the land system diversity and related changes occurring on the Mediterranean area and their drivers has been carried out. From this framework, we will evaluate how these changes impact the agricultural and species diversity at different spatial scales, and how this measure of diversity allows to locate areas that should potentially experience an enhancement of local food systems. First, we classified Mediterranean land systems on the two dates 2005 and 2015 in order to highlight ongoing short-term dynamics. A multi-method classification scheme coupling expert-based and data mining approaches allows to identify four main type of changes: (1) from mixed agriculture to specialized fruit groves; (2) from agricultural areas to urban and/or periurban areas; (3) from agroforestry to arable systems and (4) from predominant bare soils to agricultural areas. These dynamics can be characterized as different ongoing process, such as intensification, periurbanization and specialization of agriculture. The analysis at the whole Mediterranean basin scale allowed to sample seven local case study located on different Mediterranean countries, and representative for the assessed land system dynamics. For each case study, we will identify local drivers of territorial dynamics in terms of governance and stakeholders’ behaviour through a series of interviews to key-informants and local farmers, together with the elaboration of agricultural census data. Moreover, we will implement a participatory approach aimed to propose possible future scenarios of local land system evolution. The final objective of the project is the development of a multi-scale model that investigate the consequences of local and regional land system changes on agricultural practices and species diversity, and on the spatial capabilities to enhance local food systems.

ID: 679 / 251N: 2
251N Exploring land change dynamics across the Mediterranean for meeting the needs and value the priorities of people
Keywords: urban ecosystems, green infrastructure, multifunctionality, small islands

Assessing spatial variability of ecosystem services to promote evidence-based decision-making for sustainable land use management

Mario Balzan, Judita Tomaskinova

Institute of Applied Sciences, Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, Malta

Recent ecosystem and ecosystem service assessment in the Mediterranean small island state Malta provide evidence of the multifunctionality of ecosystems and their contribution to human well-being. Results from islands-wide ecosystem service assessments indicate that there are several synergies between ecosystem services and but also demonstrates the presence of a rural-urban gradient in multi-functionality, as more intensive land uses impact more strongly on ecosystems and their services in urban landscapes. Ecosystem service capacity is low in urban areas, but the rate of urban ecosystem services flow is higher indicating a potential mismatch between ecosystem service demand and capacity. Based on these observations, a local-scale assessment of ecosystems contributing to ecosystem service provision in an urban agglomeration has been carried out. Preliminary results provide evidence of significant contributions of urban ecosystems to human well-being but may also provide the basis for the identification of targeted ‘nature-based solutions’. The latter is seen as an opportunity to operationalise the ecosystem service concept in urban planning and policy-making. Finally, this presentation will provide an overview of recently funded research activities that identify knowledge needs relating to the operationalisation of ecosystem services concept and which build the evidence-base through capacity-building and targeted participatory processes for knowledge co-creation, and finally through the development of policy-oriented tools and methodologies.

ID: 810 / 251N: 3
251N Exploring land change dynamics across the Mediterranean for meeting the needs and value the priorities of people
Keywords: assessment, biodiversity, ecosystem services, monitoring, policy

Developing positive futures for people and Mediterranean wetlands

Ilse Geijzendorffer1, Ziga Malek2, Özge Balkiz3, Anis Guelmami1, Nigel Taylor1

1Tour du Valat, France; 2Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 3DKM Turkey

The MedWet initiative is the only regional initiative of the Ramsar convention that provides a report at regular intervals on the state, trends and pressures of Mediterranean wetlands. These reports are called Mediterranean Wetland Outlooks and are developed by the Mediterranean Wetland Observatory hosted by the Tour du Valat. MedWet community unites both NGOs as well as representatives of Mediterranean countries and as such it bridges between science and policies as well as science and the reality of wetland conservation at site level.

Unfortunately, the Mediterranean Wetland Outlook 2 (2018) like the Mediterranean Wetland Outlook 1 (2012) demonstrates that wetlands and their related species are threatened at a higher rate in the Mediterranean basin than the global average. This despite that Mediterranean decision makers have been putting effort in designating new Ramsar sites. For decision makers like for the actors at site level, this lack of improvement is of course saddening news.

To help decision makers including meaningful and impactful measures to change the current detrimental land cover changes as well as to help them achieve their obligation for international conventions such as Paris climate agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Aichi Targets, we aim to develop positive narratives that demonstrate what steps need to be taken and how this results in a real change of the future outlook. This is to provide a positive empowering alternative, not only for decision makers but also for actors responsible for local sites and the wider public.

In this presentation we present results from the land change dynamics for Mediterranean wetlands and their biodiversity, from the recent past up to the first projections towards the future and how we engage with actors at different spatial scales along the process.

ID: 276 / 251N: 4
251N Exploring land change dynamics across the Mediterranean for meeting the needs and value the priorities of people
Keywords: Ethnobiology, change dynamics, Moroccan High Atlas, Amazigh, cultural landscapes

Ethnobiology as a tool to analyze change dynamics, minimize conflict over land use and support ecosystem services in the Moroccan High Atlas

Ugo D'Ambrosio

Global Diversity Foundation, United Kingdom

Research shows that the incorporation of local communities in participatory conservation actions in various regions of the world is more effective than previously promoted conservation models, with an increase of informative case studies being produced by scholars from multiple academic disciplines working with different populations and contexts. Nonetheless, such socioecological approaches in conservation are rather pioneering in North African contexts and specifically in Morocco, where top-down models of landscape management and planning have been prevalent until recent decades, yet with a new openness to community-based action and other innovative methodologies of co-management in current years.

Using an ethnographic approach and the adaptive co-designing of the research methods with community members from Ait M’hamed (Azilal), Imegdale (Al Haouz) and multiple regional experts, in this presentation we share how we use ethnobiological theory and practice as tools in the High Atlas Cultural Landscapes Programme lead by the Global Diversity Foundation in order to document native ethnoecosystems, analyze change dynamics from a local’s perspective, as well as to be applied to minimize conflict over land use while supporting and strengthening the myriad ecosystem services provided by these landscapes and their resources to High Atlas communities. In addition, we will present and contest some relevant challenges faced during research and its application which hinder biocultural modeling and its practice in the field, chiefly the still prevalent divides between positivist and interpretivist approaches, qualitative and quantitative methodologies, as well as between theory and praxis in conservation.

In conclusion, exploring further participatory ethnobiological research and action and their relationship to conservation and development of biocultural diversity will hopefully improve our understanding of the landscapes of the High Atlas and other regions of Morocco while taking into consideration the central role that local communities have in defining, shaping and transforming land and resource use.

ID: 436 / 251N: 5
251N Exploring land change dynamics across the Mediterranean for meeting the needs and value the priorities of people
Keywords: Mediterranean region, food sufficiency scenarios, drivers of food production, climate change

Food production scenarios for the Mediterranean to highlight relationships between agricultural production, climate change and food sufficiency

Dominique Ami1, Leonith Hinojosa1,2, Claude Napoléone2

1AMSE, France; 2INRA, France

In the Mediterranean region, the relationship between agricultural land use dynamics and food security has become increasingly complex. Agricultural land has been oriented mainly to global markets at the expense of local provision, inducing large-scale monoculture (Temme and Verburg, 2011)[i]. On the other hand, complex land use patterns have influenced the region’s landscape patterns (Pinto-Correia and Vos, 2004)[ii].

Our paper present results of the LaSer-Med research project, focusing on main factors that influence the potential of Mediterranean agriculture to contribute to food sufficiency and the formulation of socio-economic scenarios towards a more secure food provision in the context of global changes. By means of spatial econometric models, we estimate the relationship between the production of food and a set of socio-economic, land use/land management, climatic and bio-physical variables at the sub-national level of NUTS2 in EU countries and the equivalent scale in the rest of the Mediterranean (331 sub-national areas of 24 countries). Based on the identification of main drivers of food production, we draw scenarios of change in some of these drivers to foresee the expected impacts on food production and food sufficiency.

Our results suggest that the significant factors for food production, taking into consideration spatial dependence effects, are population, the land use share of forest and grasslands, irrigation, the food price level, altitude and climate. Given these factors, the scenarios to ensure food sufficiency in the 2050 horizon requires strong policy attention to the spatial configuration of food production in the region, which would heavily be impacted by climate change and food trade. A more local scale focus could induce changes in land use decisions that would better respond to the demographic, environmental and climate change pressures.

[i] Temme, a.J.a.M., Verburg, P.H., 2011. Mapping and modelling of changes in agricultural intensity in Europe. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 140, 46–56.

[ii] Pinto-Correia, T., Vos, W., 2004. Multifunctionality in Mediterranean landscapes – past and future. In: Jongman, R.H.G. (Ed.), The New Dimensions of European Landscapes. Wageningen UR Frontis Series. Springer, pp. 135–164.