Planning Tools for the Protection of the Natural and Cultural Heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean Area
Rapid changes are happening in the Eastern Mediterranean region under the pressure of urban sprawl, rural abandonment and adoption of different agricultural technics, tourism intensification, and movement of displaced populations between the Mediterranean shores. In view of the risks to cultural and natural heritage, the American University of Beirut (AUB) team at the Landscape department developed a Landscape Risk Assessment Model (RA), and Landscape Decision Support System (LDSS) to take into account the protection of landscapes of particular interest, as well as the rational planning of all the landscapes with special emphasis on the use of natural resources. The paper reports the results of the research conducted during the ENPI EU project MEDSCAPES in developing landscape planning tools for the protection of the natural and cultural heritage in the region. The assessment was applied in the study area of each partner country of the ENPI project, allowing for a better understanding of the implications in land use and conservation decision making.
KeywordsLandscape Risk Assessment Landscape Decision Support System Landscape planning tools
The research was conducted with the financial support of the cross-border cooperation ‘Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme—ENPI’ of the European Union. My gratitude goes to my University, AUB, and my department in particular, LDEM, for the support and help throughout the duration of the project. A special thanks to all the governmental institutions that directly and indirectly contributed to the smooth development of the research by giving access to resources and data necessary to run the project.
A special thanks goes to Jessica Nicolas and Ammar El Halabi for the work produced in analyzing the data and performing the LRA and LDSS experiments.
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