Towards 2030 - policies and decision tools for an integrated management of natural resources

Specific Challenge

The land used by agriculture and forestry is subject to an increasing range of potential uses from food or biomass production, to recreation including soil sealing. Policies influencing the management and use of land resources at regional, national and EU levels have evolved considerably in the past decades as underpinning objectives have widened to meet societal needs (food security, environment, energy, climate change, etc.). However, this process has been fragmented and incomplete. In addition the technology and information available to decision-makers have advanced significantly in this time. To ensure sustainable management of land resources in the long term there is a need for an integrated framework that addresses all society's objectives appropriately by understanding trade-offs between uses and by incentivising actions / behaviours / investments contributing to desirable targets. Appropriate decision-support tools are needed to help implement such an integrated and systemic approach.


Activities will take place on various geographic scales reflecting levels of policy / use relevance, from regional to EU levels. Investigations relating to both policy and decision tools will be fully participatory so as to ensure the involvement of the society at large. Investigations in policies will take account of all current and expected major societal needs as regards land resources and their use in terms of products, ecosystem services and other types of goods, services and functions. Decision-support tools and models will help prioritise multiple land uses at various geographic scales (meso level and related regional strategies + policies at regional/national/EU level), taking advantage of existing databases and tools and what is possible on the basis of modern capabilities. Activities will mainly include agriculture and forest land use/cover and will extend to interactions of the former with other main land uses/covers. This should ensure usability of the results in larger contexts. While focusing on Europe, proposals are encouraged to draw on good examples from elsewhere.

Proposals should ensure that the integrated framework and systemic approach proposed will be compatible with and/or improve existing databases and tools used at the European Commission, with the aim to ensure synergies and targeted contributions to the complex policy analysis.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact

The project results are expected to:

  • improve knowledge of land resource availability and use at various geographic scales;
  • improve decision support tools for the management of land as a resource;
  • improve climate resilience of agriculture and forestry, and
  • provide the basis for a coherent and integrated policy framework for the management of land resources at regional / national / EU levels.

Cross-cutting Priorities

  • Socio-economic science and humanities
  • International cooperation
Application date
Social sciences : Management and Public administration, Economy, Environmental Sciences, Pedagogic & Education Research, Political science, Sociology
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology
Other : Biology, Physics, mathematics and engineering