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Title: Land use inventory as framework for environmental accounting: an application in Italy
Authors: Corona, Piermaria
Barbati, Anna
Tomao, Antonio
Bertani, Remo
Valentini, Riccardo
Marchetti, Marco
Fattorini, Lorenzo
Perugini, Lucia
Keywords: Land Use Survey;Land Use Change;Statistical Sampling;Forest;Environmental Accounting
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: The Italian Society of Silviculture and Forest Ecology
Source: Corona, P. et al. 2012. Land use inventory as framework for environmental accounting: an application in Italy. "IForest" 5: 204-209
Land use inventories are sound measures to provide information on the area
occupied by different land use or land cover types and their changes, although
less widespread than traditional mapping; as such, they are distinctively wellestablished
tools for generating statistics on the state and the dynamics of land
use in the European Union. Italy has recently set up a land use inventory system
(IUTI) as a key instrument for accounting removals and emissions of greenhouse
gases (GHG) associated to land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF)
activities elected by Italy under the Kyoto Protocol. IUTI adopts a statistical
sampling procedure to estimate the area covered by LULUCF land use
categories in Italy, and associated uncertainty estimates. Estimates of land use
have been so far processed for the period 1990-2008 and highlight three interlinked
land use change patterns in Italy: (i) increase in forest land for a total
uptake of 1.7% of the Italian territory; forest cover estimates, with a standard
error of 0.1%, indicate an annual increase of forestland higher over the period
1990-2000 (32 901 ha year-1) than in 2000-2008 (22 857 ha year-1); surprisingly,
also a significant deforestation rate is observed (-7000 ha year-1), due to
forest land conversion mainly into artificial areas; (ii) consumption of arable
land (-4.2% of the Italian territory) primarily due to land uptake by urban areas
and to conversions to permanent crops (mainly orchards and vineyards); (iii)
urban sprawl uptakes 1.6% of the Italian territory in this period, with a total
coverage of settlements reaching 7.1% of total land surface in Italy in 2008.
Overall, land use dynamic results in land uptake by forest land is of the same
magnitude of land uptake by urban areas, but the effects of these processes on
GHG removals (by forest sinks) and emissions (by urban areas) is expected to
be significantly different. In a broader perspective, IUTI methodology, by
providing reliable estimates and well-defined levels of statistical uncertainty
for assessing stocks and flows of land use at national level, can be further implemented
to frame other key questions for sustainable development policies,
like the set up of environmental-economic accounting systems.
L'articolo è disponibile sul sito dell'editore
ISSN: 1971-7458
DOI: 10.3832/ifor0625-005
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