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Conceptual evaluation of the Swiss landscape monitoring program 2018-2020


Many landscape monitorings are limited to the physical and biological space, despite the fact that the European Landscape Convention calls for a both a physical and a socio-cultural and a perception assessment. The latter is an important component for quality of life and people’s place attachment. The Swiss Landscape Monitoring Program LABES (abbreviation for German “Landschaftsbeobachtung Schweiz”) is one of the first large-scale landscape observatories (total area ca. 40’000 km2) where landscape perception is systematically monitored with representative surveys. The entire monitoring consists of roughly 30 indicators that are embedded in the DPSIR framework (i.e. Driving force – Pressure – State – Impact and Response). Approximately 25% of the indicators measure perception properties. At the moment ca. 50% of the indicators are available as time series. A rigid quality control with advanced statistical methods showed that the indicators are geographically representative for Switzerland. Between 2008 and 2017 the monitoring was done for the first time. Between 2018 and 2020 we will evaluate the monitoring for the usefulness of all indicators and check what new technologies are available to measure both the physical change in the landscape and its perception by the public.  This involves the use of social media to gain insight into people's perception or the use of multispectral remote sensing tools to analyze intra-annual land cover properties. New topics are the energy transition and its impacts on landscapes and the new agricultural policy with the direct payments for landscapes.