EUROSTAT is carrying out the LUCAS 2012 survey on the state and the dynamics of changes in land use and cover in the European Union. The LUCAS 2012 survey covers all 27 EU countries. The field work is completed; preliminary release of primary point data is now available. Eurostat expects to release the statistical tables in Q2/2013.
Land is the basis for most biological and human activities on the earth. Agriculture, forestry, industries, transport, housing and other services all use land as a natural and/or an economic resource. Land is also an integral part of ecosystems and indispensable for biodiversity and carbon cycle.
Land can be divided into two interlinked concepts:
Land cover refers to the bio-physical coverage of land (e.g. crops, grass, broad-leaved forest, or build-up area).
Land use indicates the socio-economic use of land (e.g. agriculture, forestry, recreation or residential use).
Examples of data use
Data and information on land cover/use status and changes is widely used for:
forest and water management,
urban and transport planning,
natural hazards prevention and mitigation,
soil protection and mapping,
monitoring climate change,
Land cover/use data also forms the basis for spatial and territorial analyses which are increasingly crucial for policy planning in many respects.