Why map land use and land cover?
Mapping land cover and land use is essential to determine what quantity of land is currently being used for what purpose, and to identify land use changes from year to year. This knowledge helps develop strategies to balance conflicting uses and nature protection. It helps assess urban growth, model water quality issues, predict impacts from floods, and track wetland losses and potential impacts from rising sea levels, etc.
The CORINE Land Cover (CLC) inventory was initiated in 1985 (reference year 1990) to standardize data collection on land in Europe to support environmental policy development.
The standard European CORINE Land Cover (CLC) database will be implemented for a selected area of the Republic of Armenia (currently 6,000km² with full coverage of 29,743 km2 when funding is available) based on computer assisted photointerpretation of satellite images and ancillary data.
Land use and land cover tend to be used interchangeably, but there are some fundamental differences. Land cover is commonly defined as vegetation (natural or planted) and manmade constructions (buildings, etc.) on the Earth’s surface. Water, ice, bare rock, sand and similar surfaces also count as land cover. Land use refers to the purpose the land serves, for example, recreation, wildlife habitat or agriculture. The same land cover type can have different types of land use (for example a forest may be used for timber production, wildlife management or recreation). And the same land use can take place on different land cover types (recreational use could occur in a forest, shrubland, grasslands or on manicured lawns).