The EU funded LANDSUPPORT project officially launched on May 1st. The project partners, an international and complementary group of research centres, SMEs and policy makers, aim to develop an integrated web-based decision support system for the implementation of agricultural and environmental policies.
The LANDSUPPORT research project envisages an open and freely accessible decision support system that enables the evaluation of trade-offs between land uses to support the development of sustainable agriculture, forestry and environmental policies and practices. It will include a combination of user-friendly tools to help determine the impact of land use decisions at multiple scales, through data collection, integration, modelling and analysis.
“With LANDSUPPORT, we want to show that the reconciliation of agricultural and environmental goals in land use management is not a wicked, unsolvable problem but a complex challenge that can be addressed by a thorough analysis of the appropriate supporting data”, says Project coordinator, Professor Fabio Terribile, Director of the CRISP interdepartmental research centre at the University of Naples Federico II.
An important objective of the project is the integration of already existing databases at different scales with new, high performance modelling engines simulating agriculture & forestry, land degradation and environmental issues. The system will be validated (e.g. crop yield) by remote sensing data and will be based on state of the art technology for the developing environment (i.e. COMPSs), high-performing computing (e.g. GPU) and massive raster data management (e.g. RASDAMAN).
“The main innovation of LANDSUPPORT is that we want to integrate decisions at many geographical scales in one toolset, enabling to align agricultural and environmental sustainability policy ambitions with very local operational realities, which are often neglected”, underlines Fabio Terribile. “To demonstrate this concept, LANDSUPPORT will run testcases at four geographic scales: EU, National (Italy, Hungary, Austria), Regional (an Italian and Hungarian region) and locally (pilot sites in Austria, Italy, Hungary, Tunisia and Malaysia).”
The LANDSUPPORT system is planned to remain freely available to the end users after the project. The LANDSUPPORT project is funded by EU’s Horizon 2020 programme for a total budget of close to 7 million euros.