Full text: International cooperation and technology transfer

ISPRS Meeting of WG VI/3 and WG IV/3 in Ljubljana (SLOVENIA), 2-5 February 2000 
Willibald CROI, Christophe DUHAMEL, Gerd EIDEN, Maxime KAYADJANIAN 
CESD Communautaire - Land Use 
3 rue Wenceslas 1 er 
L - 2724 Luxembourg 
Email: w.croi@cesd.lu; 
Political responsibles and decision-makers at local/regional, national and European level require harmonised 
information on land use for spatial planning and policy formulation in a variety of fields e.g. agriculture, rural 
development and landscape, environment, regional development, urban areas etc. 
Numerous information systems on land use exist in Europe. Problems of compatibility between 
systems are of crucial importance: 
• Information systems or data sets are created for specific sectoral purposes (agriculture 
statistics, forest resource assessment, environment-monitoring etc.). The different 
'universes' are overlapping each other and land use or land cover categories are not 
• Data collection follows different approaches: exhaustive mapping vs. statistical sampling 
approaches. Earth observation provides imagery covering large areas but the information 
derived thereof satisfies only partly the requirements. 
• Spatial restitution units are varying greatly (from census block level to national or even 
European level). 
• Mapping units vary depending on the scale so that geometry and content, even with the 
same subject, are not compatible. 
Overall objective of CESD work on land use information is to improve that situation through awareness 
raising activities, methodological work and operational activities. Most of CESD land Use activities are 
carried out within a general framework of technical and methodological support to Eurostat, the Statistical 
Office of the European Communities. 
• Discussions on conceptual problems on land use and land cover, nomenclatures, classification 
systems, data integration and quality etc. are held during workshops and seminars, e.g. organised in 
the framework of the LANES network, an awareness raising activity funded by the EU research 
budget in 1997. The network comprised representatives from relevant European organisations, being 
researchers, statisticians, data suppliers and users. Several seminars have been organised in 
collaboration with Eurostat, e.g. on the potential of earth observation data in statistics in Bad 
Neuenahr and Rome. An international seminar on the requirements for land use information for EU 
policies, hosted by Eurostat, followed in January 1998. 
• Eurostat entrusted CESD with drafting a Manual of Concepts and terminology related to land cover 
and land use. 
• The development of a Meta database on Information Systems On Land Use in Europe, providing 
detailed information about the nomenclatures and the classification systems applied, is part of 
methodological work on harmonisation. This meta database allows careful analysis of existing 
information systems in Europe. 
• A study on the design of a reference land use classification based on a classifiers approach was 
carried out for FAO. 
• Concerning operational activities, CESD is partner in Landsis g.e.i.e., a European Economic Interest 
Grouping that carries out statistical activities (including land use) in line with recommendations of the 
Agricultural Statistics Committee. A recent project concerning a sampling survey on agricultural land 
use in Bulgaria has been implemented. 
Policy formulation and decision making require 
harmonised information on land cover and land use 
at different administrative levels. At European level 
the information is required to guide and implement 
several policies such as the Common Agricultural 
Policy (increase competitiveness by direct payment

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