Business and Biodiversity


Sensor: Sustainability Impact Assessment

Tools for ENvironmental, Social and EcOnomic Effects of Multifunctional Land Use in European Regions

SENSOR is an aid to decision-making, with a particular focus on the impact of EU policy upon multifunctional land use. The assumption behind SENSOR was that increasing attention would be given to rural development, and that CAP reform will be geared to inserting agriculture into a multisectoral rural economy matrix. Rural land-use policy would therefore be stressing both compatible and complementary activities. How to know that what is planned will turn out to be compatible/complementary?

The prevalence of land-use models, and their increasing accuracy, corresponds to an interest in ex ante analysis. This is the heritage of environmental impact analysis (EIA), and more recently of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). This interest is convergent with an economic imperative of value for money when the allocation of public monies is being decided upon.

The aim of SENSOR was to combine, and test, a comprehensive set of analytical tools regarding rural land use that operate at different spatial and temporal scales, to see if these models can be integrated and at the same time remain accurate in their previsions.

Analyse the combined, synergetic and interrelated policy effects for various sectors on land use with regard to sustainability objectives at the European level.


The role of ECNC was to participate in the advisory board, and Peter Nowicki of ECNC chaired the Peer Review Committee that provided quality control on the execution of the project. The project leader was ZALF, the Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape and Land Use Research, an ECNC Network partner.

Click here to visit the Sensor website.