6 million euros to develop tools that promote the more sustainable use of ecosystems

The University of Coimbra (UC) is part of a European project that focuses on the development of tools for the more sustainable use of ecosystems. Helena Freitas, full professor at the Center for Functional Ecology and the Department of Life Sciences (DCV) at the UC Faculty of Science and Technology (FCTUC), is the national coordinator of the project, which has now received more than 6 million euros.

«The Towards Sustainable Land-use Strategies in the Context of Climate Change and Biodiversity Challenges in Europe (Europe Land) focuses on integrating resources from the natural and social sciences to identify, develop, test and implement integrated tools to improve understanding of factors underlying land use decisions, as well as stakeholder awareness and involvement in terms of climate change and biodiversity challenges», explains Helena Freitas.

According to the FCTUC professor, this is a project that hopes to fill specific gaps associated with integrated indicators to monitor land and resource use, the effects of awareness and behavioral typologies for the more sustainable use of ecosystems across Europe, as well as interactive tools to explore different scenarios and engage participatory approaches.

Europe Land also «aims to challenge the dominant narrative through the choice of case studies, specifically comparing situations in Eastern and Western Europe, while paying special attention to the role of stakeholders in land use decisions», clarifies the coordinator national.

Within the scope of this international project, the entities involved also aim to «produce an interactive toolbox for users to experience different land uses, understand the connections between them and develop a holistic and systemic way of thinking. In conjunction with strategic stakeholder engagement efforts and capacity-building initiatives, project resources are expected to support sustainable land use and decision-making», concludes Helena Freitas.

In addition to Portugal, Europe Land, a Horizon Europe project, includes institutions from Germany, Greece, Estonia, Denmark, Romania, Poland, Latvia, Slovakia, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

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