Working Group 4

WG4 – Focus on Land Management – Creating and Designing Think-tank:

The issues tackled by this working group focuses on management and maintaining land quality for the benefit of the environment and local people post the initial vegetation establishment period including traditional and innovative technological and land management practices to ensure vegetation establishment is perennial and sustainable. WG4 will also focus on the integrated assessment and monitoring of restoration and land management and will consider increasing concerns related to food security. The group will examine how these lands can be used for ‘agriculture’, examining the levels of need, opportunities and constraints.

A focus on the management of drylands is crucial to this Action. Both restoration and land management practices must be suited to the land and ecosystem qualities and constraints, in accordance with the land evaluation principles. Once vegetation has been established (or is already established) strategies are required to maintain and enhance the long-term provision of ecosystem goods and services and to find a balance with the activities of people whether this be agriculture (such as grazing) or tourism. The remit of WG4 is to look at existing drylands restoration and management strategies and practice in Europe and around the world and to identify suitable approaches (concepts, methods, indicators) to assess and monitor their effectiveness in an integrated way (by considering both biophysical and socio-economic factors) to recommend best practice scenarios. This activity will strongly contribute to the development of the harmonised restoration indicators. To achieve that, the working group will build on the outcomes of the related on-going projects, such as PRACTICE and DESIRE, and others. Both traditional and innovative technological practices will be taken into account. Current best practice relative to identified criteria can then be transferred to a wide range of stakeholders and policy makers. Finally, the remit of the group is also to ‘move the goal posts’ in land management strategy and practice and to facilitate and identify new potentials and possibilities. Increasing concerns related to food security will be considered, along with the analysis of how (with regard to opportunities and constraints) restored lands can be used for ‘agriculture’.