MedAction Work Package 3.3: Forecasting land use change and land degradation


MedAction 4 was one of a cluster of four European Commission Funded projects forming a programme of integrated, multidisciplinary research, involving the principal stakeholders and concentrating on finding solutions to the strategic problem of desertification in the Mediterranean climate region. Project start date: 2001-01-01. Project end date: 2004-03-31. The full title of Work Package 3.3 (WP3.3 )was Forecasting land use change and land degradation: an internet tool for EU planners, decision-makers and citizens interested in the effects of global climatic change. WP3.3 was part of Module 3: Application of decision support systems to land management scenarios for policy formulation in the Target Areas. The Target Areas were the Alentejo (Portugal), Guadalentin (Spain), Agri (Italy) and Lesvos (Greece). The project was an opportunity to make an open version of a Synoptic Prediction System (SPS) prototyped in the Medalus III Topic 9.1 project.

Andy Turner was the Principal Investigator. James Macgill and Richard Kingston assisted in the early stages. Jianhui Jin assisted to complete the project.


Description of Work

Work Package 3.3 concerned the development of an interactive Web interface to a Synoptic Prediction System (SPS) which integrates predictions of the climate, physical and socio-economic environment to create scenario-based forecasts of agricultural land-use and land degradation at the Mediterranean regional scale. The interface was developed as a scenario testing tool that decision-makers, politicians and the public could use to learn about desertification issues by running "what if...?" type simulations. In addition to being an educational tool it aimed to actively encourage the public and experts to participate in the development and application of a scenario based modelling framework.

Development of the Synoptic Prediction System (SPS)

James Macgill populated a Web Map Server (WMS) with some of the data inputs. Richard Kingston developed a prototype interface. Jianhui Jin developed open source Java software for Neural Network and Fuzzy Inference and integrated a new back end with a new version of the interface. The source code was made available via the following URL:

Unfortunately shortly after the SPS system was developed the CCG Webserver machine suffered a catastrophic failure and was not replaced.