3rd Workshop in Lesvos, Greece on Validation of an Agent-Based Landscape Change Model
Gera is located in the southeastern part of Lesvos, next to the Gulf of Gera. It contains a group of low populated villages (namely Mesagros, Papados, Skopelos, Palaiokipos, Plakados and Perama) that share an olive tree-dominated landscape, characterized by traditional farming practices. The workshop took place in “Polykentron”, an event center in Papados village where participants and local stakeholders had easy access, on 21 April 2016.
The objectives of this workshop were (a) to inform participants about the research findings of the 2015 HERCULES fieldwork, namely interviews with farmers and tourists about farm characteristics, farmland characteristics and management, decision-making behaviour and individual/sectorial future prospects, (b) to present the model of landscape change in Gera, exploring alternatives for the next 25 years and (c) engage participants and local stakeholders in two activities discussing research outcomes.
Firstly, HERCULES researchers welcomed the participants and made a short summary of the workshop’s aims and agenda. After this introduction, HERCULES programme activities in Gera were presented, namely (a) the results of the recording and mapping of landscape values of Gera landscapes from local people (PP GIS exercise), (b) landscape change in Gera and farming practices of olive cultivations and (c) the Integrated Management protocol for olive trees and its application.
The PP GIS results regarding land use change modeling in Gera were also presented, ahead of the different scenarios yielded by Agent-Based Modeling with the participants, aiming to improve research findings.
A discussion followed with local stakeholders concerning the landscape values of olive cultivations and how they can be reclaimed, then the topic of additional activities related to olive plantations such as hiking trails and agritourism in our study landscape. Furthermore, a presentation was held by Alexandros Tzimos, focusing on the mapping of hiking trails in the municipality of Gera, while two external speakers, P. Karavatakis and K. Artakianos, talked about different strategies of reclaiming olive plantations’ values in Lesvos.
Finally, after an open conversation concerning the application of Integrated Management protocol for olive cultivations and its adaptation to the needs of local farmers, Thanasis Kizos concluded the workshop addressing future actions.
In Lesvos, some of the participants were residents who have completed the PP GIS questionnaire and the workshop facilitated them to understand the application of WP5 Agent Based Modeling and its results. The PP GIS results regarding land use change modeling in Gera were presented at the local workshop, and the different scenarios yielded by Agent-Based modeling were discussed with the participants, to improve research findings.