Landscapes are a valuable but also limited and vulnerable natural resource, which currently are changing at unprecedented rates in many locations. Increasing our understanding of landscape change, including driving forces, policy tools (focusing on the ag ricultural landscape) and how different options of landscape change can be illuminated and communicated is the topic of this project.
Knowledge of what the landscape resource consists of, its characteristics as well its geographic distribution and variat ion are prerequisites for a sustainable management and development as outlined e.g. in the European Landscape Convention. While the need for information may seem obvious, we still lack this for Norwegian landscapes and thus have an urgent need for new lan dscape management tools. Also, to achieve environmentally friendly and innovative landscape-based commercial developments we require improved knowledge. An unfortunate but frequent consequence of the current lack of information, or undervaluing of landsca pe resources, is irreversible change, reducing future options for financially, socially and environmentally sustainable development.
Our approach to this challenging task is to develop a landscape model and use this, in conjunction with data on landscape change and information from stakeholders, to analyse driving forces of landscape change, options for landscape change and consequences of current and historic policy tools. This will make original and significant advances that strengthen Norway's researc h in this field and develop an important tool to secure sustainable landscape management.
This programme will be an essential component in fulfilling the strategic objectives of the newly established Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute.