Study supporting EU indicators and targets for a more sustainable land use
This study assesses the feasibility of setting up a suitable framework for measuring progress towards a more sustainable use of land as a resource.
By many accounts the EU is not making the most efficient use of its land. Yet, an important share of EU production, consumption, investments and jobs are directly or indirectly dependent on the quantity and quality of land. In order to use this natural capital more sustainably, decisions on land use at EU, national or local level must be taken on the basis of solid knowledge and driven by targets based on common efficiency considerations. This study assesses the feasibility of setting up a suitable framework for measuring progress towards a more sustainable use of land as a resource.
- Substantial discrepancies exist in current land use datasets, due to the lack of harmonised terminologies and consensus on how to assess the environmental and socio-economic impacts of land use
- The capacity of land to fulfill several functions (e.g. synergies or antagonisms between productive, regulating or recreational use) is still little reflected, like mismatches between the land demand and actual supply, which questions the relevance of the current set of indicators for the policy process
- Target setting, although voluntary and rarely based on robust analysis, ensures the permanence and high ranking of land-related issues in national agendas.
Recent efforts in monitoring, indicator definition and target setting in the EU and in the MS have gone to the right direction. However, further action is urgently needed in order to halt land degradation and promote an efficient use of land in a coordinated and cost-effective manner for the 28 MS. The study highlights possible courses of actions.