Home Database Research and knowledge projects Employing land stewardship to transform terraced landscapes into green infrastructure to better adapt to climate change
Project

Employing land stewardship to transform terraced landscapes into green infrastructure to better adapt to climate change (LIFE TERRACESCAPE)

Description:

The LIFE TERRACESCAPE project aims to demonstrate, on the Aegean island of Andros, the use of drystone terraces as green infrastructures resilient to climate change impacts. The cultivation of drystone terraces constitutes the most significant large-scale human intervention on the landscape of the Aegean Islands since the emergence of their civilisation. Until the mid-1960s, the cultivation terraces provided almost the only network supporting primary production on the islands (cultivation, livestock raising and beekeeping). They supported the island ecosystem services by improving rainwater percolation, reducing soil erosion and favouring local biodiversity (harvest plants and associated animal species). The recent abandonment of cultivation terraces has caused the end of self-sufficiency of the islands in primary goods, and has made the island ecosystem more vulnerable and susceptible to climate change impacts.

The LIFE TERRACESCAPE project aims to demonstrate, on the Aegean island of Andros, the use of drystone terraces as green infrastructures resilient to climate change impacts. The project will promote climatic adaptation by mobilising scientific knowledge, traditional farming and land stewardship (LS) practices for a large-scale revitalisation of island terrace farming. By addressing climatic and environmental extremities and supporting a modern, extensive and climate-smart agricultural sector for the Mediterranean islands, profound benefits for local societies, economies and biodiversity are expected to accrue.

The specific project objectives are to:

  • Demonstrate climate adaptation of island landscapes using innovative farming methods to highlight the significance of terraces as key green infrastructure elements;
  • Establish for the first time in the country an operational LS scheme and a smart local products cluster involving multiple stakeholders;
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of large-scale (>150 ha) restoration and re-cultivation of abandoned terraces in Andros;
  • Produce climate-smart added-value products by establishing a smart local cluster of farmers, food and tourism businesses to contribute to the sustainability and continuation of the approach;
  • Promote the transferability of the approach to other Aegean islands, through a strategic adaptation plan for agriculture, to improve the islands’ resilience to climate change impacts; and
  • Increase awareness of target groups and encourage behavioural changes towards climate-responsible attitudes.

Project information

Lead

University of the Aegean

Partners

Hellenic Agricultural Organisation - DEMETER, Greece National Observatory of Athens, Greece Municipality of Andros, Greece Green Fund, Greece Research Committee – National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Source of funding

LIFE programme

Published in Climate-ADAPT Dec 10 2018   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Jun 17 2021

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