11/05/2022 New publication by the CEDER Biomass Unit at GCB Bioenergy

11/05/2022 New publication by the CEDER Biomass Unit at GCB Bioenergy

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New publication by the CEDER Biomass Unit at GCB Bioenergy on identification of potentially productive abandoned agricultural land

Soria, 11 May 2022.

In the context of increasing pressures on land for food and non-food production, it is important to better understand what land resources have been left unused and abandoned and where these lands are.  Data on where this land is and how large it is are not captured in the usual statistics. In this paper, we present an approach to detect signs of abandonment on farmland using consistent radar data. The methodology was tested in the Spanish regions of Albacete and Soria, where farmland abandonment is a common process. The results show that the detection of land abandonment using radar coherence data works well for the Albacete region on farmland. Radar-based analysis is a relatively simple method for detecting land abandonment at an early or long-term stage and can therefore be applied, once developed and tested in other regions, to wider areas of the EU where land abandonment is severe and needs monitoring and policy response.

The applicability of the method in the regions of Soria and Emilia Romagna (Italy) shows that there are still challenges to overcome in order to make the method more widely applicable to detect land abandonment in other environmental areas of Europe. The lack of reliable training and validation data, such as data from plot identification systems, in the regions is one of the challenges in this respect.

Open access in: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/gcbb.12939  

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