MaiL – Identifying Marginal Lands in Europe and strengthening their contribution potentialities in a CO2 sequestration strategy.

The global climate change is a worldwide problem where its mitigation is one of the 17th Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. An effective mitigation strategy should assess all the possible sustainable actions that can contribute to this direction. A challenging and very prominent contribution to raise CO2 sequestration could come from the Land Use Land Use Change and Forestry sector (LULUCF sector) and the utilization of Marginal Lands (MLs) that today are widely available in the EU. MLs can play significant role as potential Carbon Sinks. Especially those on mountainous and semi-mountainous areas (m/sm MLs) are of great capacity and can contribute actively to that goal having no effect in the agri-food production sector. Even though MLs’ contribution is acknowledged the influence of their active inclusion in the climate change mitigation strategies has not yet been estimated in depth.

MAIL focuses on m/sm MLs in order to classify them into Carbon sequestration capacity categories based on innovative approaches fully consistent with the IPCC methods and the UNFCCC requirements. The final goal is to deliver a methodology and application set in a web-based platform format, which will be valuable for policy makers, stakeholders or researchers. Free open access data of other EU initiatives will be combined, (land cover, soil, topography, climate, etc.) in order to detect the potential existence of m/sm MLs. These, will be further examined, validated and classified in Carbon sequestration capacity groups through stratified field sampling. State of the art remote sensing (RS) techniques and free open access satellite images with improved spatial and radiometric resolution will be used in order to augment the accuracy of the produced pilot thematic maps. In addition, actions that have to be taken in order to increase the Carbon sequestration capacity will be proposed, while their feasibility will be assessed. A final methodology will be delivered for on-demand production of thematic maps within Europe.

The project is being realized by a consortium consisting of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (project leader), HOMEOTECH, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, IABG, Department of Earth Observation CBK PAN and CESEFOR.

Project duration: January 2019 – December 2021
Funding: European Union’s Horizon 2020
Principal Investigator: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Contact in CBK PAN: dr Edyta Woźniak