May 7, 2018

REC Caucasus Announces Vacancy for Land Use Expert



Project Title: Applying Landscape and Sustainable Land Management (L-SLM) for mitigating land degradation and contributing to poverty reduction in rural areas [“L-SLM Project”]
Primary Donor: Global Environmental Facility (GEF)
Implementing Agency: UN Environment (formerly known as  United Nations Environment Programme – UNEP)
Executing Agency: Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (REC Caucasus)
Position Title: Land Use expert  
Contract type: Consulting Service Agreement
Duration: 01.06.2018 – 30.09.2018-
Duty Station: Home based  and

Akhmeta and Dedoplistskaro Municipalities, Georgia







The lack of efficient land management policies, a weak regulatory framework, limited access to appropriate information and technology, a weak institutional capacities and a lack of cooperation between various stakeholders along with high rate of natural disasters are causing significant problems in land management sector and for overall ecosystem integrity.

Therefore, from the management point of view, one of the major problems Georgia is facing today is an absence of comprehensive and integrated approach in land management sector. In addition, an irrelevant legal framework sometimes is the source of additional “conflicts” with the evolved national strategic and policy packages.

Although Georgia has shown clear drive to combat land degradation and improve land management system by moving forward with the establishment of a strong baseline, this includes accession and implementation of most pertinent international agreements, adoption of several related policies and laws (NEAP, NAPCD, etc.)

The above mentioned factors underlines the importance of the review of the country’s existing policy and regulatory framework related to the management of land resources, that will serve as upmost important components to overcome existing barriers to mainstream L-SLM activities. National plans and policies do not reflect holistic land management principles and practices.

There is a failure of national and rural decision-making frameworks to provide adequate legal parameters and tools to support L-SLM. Current policies result in disparate organizations responsible for various land management sectors making unilateral decisions that lead to uncoordinated approaches. Consequently, “on the ground” management decisions made by responsible communities and resource users do not benefit from the guidance of coordinated, national strategies.

Capacity and information pathways do not exist to provide rural community members with examples of alternative, sustainable methods of resource use. Remote communities and resource users now responsible for many land management issues do not have satisfactory access to the information and tools necessary for informed decision-making. As a result, community land use plans and other decision-making tools intended to address land degradation fail to reflect L-SLM principles and practices.

The overall objective of the project is to support integration of good Landscape and Sustainable Land management (L-SLM) principles and practices into national policy and institutional framework to ensure adoption of economically viable practices by rural communities.






The project’s pilot municipalities – Akhmeta, Dedoplistskaro and Gardabani, are characterized by socially vulnerable communities with low income,  mostly dependent on agriculture and are affected by climate change and land degradation.


Project component 2 aims to increase understanding of LSLM and it contribution to livelihood at local level via vulnerability profiles, local land use planning, and demonstration projects / proofs-of concept LSLM interventions.  Absence of local community land use plans, harmonized to other policy frameworks and developed according to local needs and realities.


There is lack of capacity of local government to develop land use plans which will support the optimal use of existing land resources and mitigate the land degradation process.


In fact, effective planning and management of land use is hindered by the fact that there is no strong state institution responsible for all these fields.


Community engagement works best where it is an ongoing cumulative process enabling relationships and trust to build and strengthen over time. Individual engagement events should be planned and designed with this in mind and aim to contribute to the overall aims of the engagement process. Community or voluntary groups may want to participate at a range of levels – from providing advice to co-designing the process and from undertaking some aspects of the engagement to delivering projects to meet some of the outcomes.


Farming is the primary economic activity and therefore farmers will have to play a central role in the development and designing the community land use plans.


Akhmeta municipality was selected for applying development of public engaged land use plans, as GIZ the partner organization already has the baseline GIS and RS Data for Akhmeta municipality, and preparing the spatial planning documentation for whole municipality of Akhmeta implementing by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.


Dedoplistskaro municipality was selected for applying development of public engaged land use plans, as National Agency of Public Registry is implementing the WB financed project on “Irrigation and land market development” and Norway Cartography “maps for sustainable land management: orthophotos of Georgia”, the outputs of which will serve as the baseline for development of land use plan for Arkhiloskalo community.


The project will provide recommendations on the development of local land use and community management plans, identifying stakeholders and champions through the demonstration activities.

Sustainable Land Management (SLM) is “the adoption of land use systems that, through appropriate management practices, enables land users to maximize the economic and social benefits from the land while maintaining or enhancing the ecological support functions of the land resources”. SLM is based on four common principles:

  • Land-user-driven and participatory approaches;
  • Integrated use of natural resources at ecosystem and farming systems levels;
  • Multilevel and multi-stakeholder involvement; and
  • Targeted policy and institutional support, including development of incentive mechanisms for SLM adoption and income generation at the local level.


Landscape and Sustainable Land Management (L-SLM) is the harmonization of these approaches, with an emphasis on combating land degradation and reducing rural poverty.


Significant part of the baseline information for socio-economic and vulnerability profiles[1], as well as information from UNCCD LDN Target Setting Programme (TSP) for Georgia[2] and guidelines for monitoring to implement the tasks under the LDN already exists under this project.


The land-use classification in this approach is based on the Corine Land Classification System. It has been split into sub-categories where it is needed to meet the needs of local land use practise. For easy use, a 3-charakter code is used for each category (to be used in the forms). In brackets (after the land us type) the code from the Corine Land Classification system is added (three-number-code).


This TOR has been developed to conduct consultancy service for:

  • elaboration of  two local community land use plans to decision makers and public and to develop midterm monitoring report on implementation pilot projects executing in Akhmeta and Dedoplistskaro municipalities;






Under the overall coordination of the Project Manager, Land Use expert should assist International expert in elaboration of land use plan for Shenako community (Akhmeta municipality) and develop the land use plan for Arkhiloskalo community (Dedoplistskaro municipality).


Tasks under this assignment will be as follows:


  • Providing support to the international expert in completing the field forms on  Land use category (LUC) and Land use intensity (INT) for Shenako Community;
  • Completing the field forms on  Land use category (LUC) and Land use intensity (INT) for Arkhiloskalo  community  (Dedoplistskaro municipality);  (Annex 1)
  • Assist the international expert during the trainings/workshops on community land use planning and in conducting training session on community land use planning in Shenako and Arkhiloskalo communities.
  • Presentation of local community land use plans on consultative workshops and reflect feedbacks;
  • Assist the international expert at national level in Elaboration of local community land use plan for Shenako (Akhmeta municipality) and Arkhiloskalo  (Dedoplistskaro municipality) communities


  • Take part in the monitoring of pilot projects’ implementation  by providing Photos and  support project manager in development of assessment reports for the L-SLM micro projects for Shenako, Kasristskali and Dedoplistskaro communities .


The main deliverables of the assignment will be as outlined below:

  1. Completed field forms on  Land use category (LUC) for Arkhiloskalo  community  (Dedoplistskaro municipality)
  2. Completed field forms on  Land use intensity (INT) for Arkhiloskalo  community  (Dedoplistskaro municipality);
  3. Photo assessment report of pilot project results in Shenako, Kasristskali and Dedophlistskaro communities


The expert shall deliver the Specified Service in accordance with the following timetable (the “Specified Timetable”)

All outputs have to be submitted in Georgian and English languages.





The expert should have successfully completed advanced university degree in botanic, plant specialization, landscape specialization, forestry  and other relevant natural sciences.


At least 5 years of experience in biology, forestry, botanic or etc.,


Experience and skills

•             Assignments related to the above issues;

•             Good analytical and reporting skills.



•             Proven ability to work in a complex environment with different national and international experts

•             Excellent technical writing skills in Georgian

•             Demonstrated ability to liaise and co-operate with various stakeholders



Payment mode


Payment will be made monthly, based on timesheets. In addition to the consultancy remuneration, the expert will be ensured by  transportation and DSA according to the rules of Rec Caucasus rate.




Annex 1. Land Use Classification Shenako/ Arkhiloskalo



Annex 1.


Land use classification Shenako/ Arkhiloskalo

Mapping and scale

Mapping is done using BING-Maps pictures for the agricultural used land. For the settlements, arable land and gardens an ortho-image based on images from UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) have been used in Shenako (2016), which are not available in Arkhiloskalo. The Bing images showed for Shenako significant better spatial correctness (compared with GPS-data from the field) than the Google-Images. The image-information is the same in Google Earth and Bing Maps and seams to be from 26. August 2006.

It is recommended to take reference points by GPS for locations that are clearly visible in the satellite image.

For the field work maps of the area should be printed in scale 1:2.500. The delineation of land use polygons is determined by the colours and structures visible in the images. The minimum size of a polygon is 25m². Houses with gardens (for mainly own consumption) are included in the category “Settlement area”. Only for Shenako the houses have been assessed separately to the gardens and roads within the settlement (as we used more detailed scale there). In the field map each polygon is addressed with a Map-ID number with is unique for each village. Polygons with the same lans use category and land use intensity can have the same Map-ID (eg. Windbreak-polygons of same conditions Windbreak-Condition can have the same Map-ID).

When the polygon is drawn on the map, the field form is used to describe the polygon by:

  • Map-ID
  • Land use category (LUC)
  • Land use intensity (INT)
  • Remark (a specification of the polygon if needed)


Only for Shenako

  • Historical land use (what was the historic land use > 20 years ago) (HLU)
  • Potential future land use (what could be the future land use) (FLU)



Classifications of land use categories (LUC)

The land-use classification in this approach is based on the Corine Land Classification System. It has been split into sub-categories where it is needed to meet the needs of local land use practise. For easy use, a 3-charakter code is used for each category (to be used in the forms). In brackets (after the land us type) the code from the Corine Land Classification system is added (three-number-code).

For Shenako and Arkhiloskalo the following land use categories have been selected.


Settlements and human infrastructure (Code, name)

  • SET         Settlement area
  • SRP        Roads and parking areas (CLC 112)
  • SOI         Other infrastructure (industry, shops …) (CLC 112)
  • SUD       Unidentified settlement area (CLC 231 – see particularities of this class)
  • MES      Mineral extraction sites (CLC 131)
  • DUS       Dump sites (CLC 132)

Only for Shenako:

  • SHR        Houses roofed (CLC 112)
  • SRU        Ruins (Houses without roof) (CLC 112)
  • SCH        Churches and scarified buildings (CLC 112)


Forests & shrubland

  • FCC        Closed Coniferous Forest (66-100% crown cover) (CLC 311)
  • FCO        Open Coniferous Forest (33-65% crown cover) (CLC 311)
  • FDC        Closed Deciduous Forest (66-100% crown cover) (CLC 312)
  • FDO       Open Deciduous Forest (33-65% crown cover) (CLC 312)
  • FMC       Closed Mixed Forest (66-100% crown cover) (CLC 313)
  • FMO      Open Mixed Forest (33-65% crown cover) (CLC 313)
  • FSC         Closed shrubland (66-100% crown cover) (CLC 324)
  • FSO        Open shrubland (33-65% crown cover) (CLC 324)
  • FWB       Windbreaks (CLC 211)

(Woodlands with crown cover < 33% will be classified as “open land” other than forests

Shrubland is built up by wooden species that will not exceed 5m in adult stage

Agricultural managed land

  • AP3        Pastures with high productivity (CLC 231)
  • AP2        Pastures with medium productivity (CLC 231)
  • AP1        Pastures with low productivity (CLC 231)
  • AH3        Hay Meadows with high productivity (CLC 211)
  • AH2        Hay Meadows with medium productivity (CLC 211)
  • AH1        Hay Meadows with low productivity (CLC 211)
  • AAF        Arable field cultivated (CLC 211)
  • AGL        Garden land (CLC 112)
  • AOR       Orchards, fruit trees, berry-culture (CLC 222)
  • AVY        Vineyards (CLC 221)
  • APD       Paddock (to gather sheep/cattle overnight, mostly no vegetation) (CLC 231)


Natural and seminatural habitats

  • NWL      Wetlands (with grass and herb cover) (CLC 411)
  • NRI         Rivers (CLC 511)
  • NLA        Lakes (including man made dams and ponds) (CLC 512)
  • NRO       Rocks (CLC 332)
  • NSF        Natural scree-fields (CLC 332)
  • NBS        Naturally bare soil (CLC 324)
  • NSG       Snow and glaciers (CLC 335)
  • NSV       Sparsely vegetated areas (CLC 333)
  • NGL       Natural grassland (CLC 321)
  • NMH     Moors and Heathland (CLC 322)


Classification of current use intensity

  1. Not used
  2. low intensity
  3. medium intensity
  4. high intensity



  1. low intensity: < 30% of plants are showing signs of browsing; signs of trampling hardly visible
  2. medium intensity:  30%-80% of plants are showing signs of browsing; signs of trampling are visible but < 30%
  3. high intensity: >80% of plants are showing signs of browsing; signs of trampling on > 30% of the area

Hay meadows

  1. Not used for more than 2 years
  2. low intensity: hay is cut 1x per year or 1x in two years
  3. medium intensity:  2x hay cut /year
  4. high intensity: more than 2 cuts a year, fertiliser/manure applied


Arable land

  1. Not used for more than 2 years
  2. low intensity: annual culture without user of pesticides, 1 culture a year
  3. medium intensity:  1-2 cultivations a year, fertiliser and pesticides applied
  4. high intensity: more than 2 cuts a year, fertiliser/manure applied



  1. no gravel bed, not paved (usually with grass/herb cover in the middle)
  2. gravel bed, not paved
  3. paved, local road
  4. paved, higher level road (main road, high way)



  1. Mainly ruins of old houses, only few houses are maintainted
  2. 1-2 storage house, rural settlement with gardens between houses
  3. Small city, 1-5 storage houses, administrative buildings, small commerce and industry buildings, shops
  4. City with houses > 5 storages, large commerce and industry buildings, shopping malls.



The assessment should take into regard timer harvesting dating back to approximately 50 years.

  1. no human management visible (no stumps, old trees, dead wood)
  2. single tree selection cutting (gaps with size of 1-2 tree crown in the canopy)
  3. group selection cuttings and small clear cuts/shelterwood cuttings < 0.5 ha
  4. clear cuts and shelterwood cuttings > 0.5 ha (even-aged stands)


Classification of historical and future land use (only Shenako)

  • AL           Arable land
  • PL           Pasture land use
  • HM         Hay meadows
  • SI            Settlement and infrastructure
  • FL            Forest land use


CLC Classification

Class 1.1 Urban fabric

112 Discontinuous urban fabric

The discontinuous urban fabric class is assigned when urban structures and transport networks associated with vegetated areas and bare surfaces are present and occupy significant surfaces in a discontinuous spatial pattern. The impermeable features like buildings, roads and artificially surfaced areas range from 30 to 80 % land coverage.

The discrimination between continuous and discontinuous urban fabric is set from the presence of vegetation visible in the satellite image illustrating either single houses with gardens or scattered apartment blocks with green areas between them.

The density of houses is the main criterion to attribute a land cover class to the builtup areas or to any other class. For example, in case of patchwork of small agricultural parcels and scattered houses (with distance between them less than 300 m), the threshold to be applied for separation between class 112 (discontinuous urban fabric) and class 242 (complex cultivation patterns) is 30 % of urban fabric within the patchwork area. Above that threshold the area should be assigned to class 112, below the threshold to class 242.

This class is applicable for:

  • permanent residential built-up areas of sparse to significant soil sealing degree.
  • residential suburbs made of individual houses with private gardens and/or small squares, private housing estates;
  • villages and hamlets with scattered blocks of residential buildings where numerous non-sealed spaces (gardens, lawns) can be distinguished between the houses;
  • areas of multi-flat or multi-storey houses forming built-up areas, representing a typical physiognomic uniformity, particularly at the outskirts of urban settlements;
  • mixed fabric of residential and industrial / commercial activities (the latter not dominating);
  • complex cultivation pattern areas with scattered houses occupying > 30 % of the patchwork area;
  • holiday cottage houses with well-developed infrastructure and road network connected residential built-up areas, and visually not separable on the satellite image;
  • street-along (‘ribbon development’) villages if houses and kitchen gardens reach 100 m width;
  • troglodyte villages along streets and subterranean housings visible from the satellite image.

This class includes:

  • individual houses,
  • small and large blocks of flats,
  • vegetation and green spaces between buildings (gardens, lawns, flower beds, shrub and tree formations),
  • parking areas/lots,
  • playgrounds;
  • transport network features, squares, streets;
  • sports areas < 25 ha;
  • buildings with educational, health care and production functions and market
  • places < 25 ha;
  • cemeteries (vegetated or non-vegetated) < 25 ha;
  • public utilities or community service facilities < 25 ha;

This class is not applicable for:

  • holiday cottage areas, holiday parks, permanent/static caravan sites, lodges etc., which are only used for recreational purposes and recognizable as a separate unit in the satellite image (class 142);

This class excludes:

  • greenhouses for crop production purposes (classes 211, 212). In this case they are not considered as buildings in the sense of being counted for soil sealing degree

Class 1.3 Mine, dump and construction sites

Artificial areas mainly occupied by extractive activities, construction sites, man-made waste dump sites and their associated lands.

131 Mineral extraction sites

Open-pit extraction sites of construction materials (sandpits, quarries) or other minerals (open-cast mines). Includes flooded mining pits, except river-bed material extracion.

This class is applicable for:

  • open-pit extraction sites of construction material (stone, gravel, sand or clay) or
  • ore / non-ore mineral material (iron, manganese ores, magnesite, lignite, brown
  • coal, kaolin, etc.);
  • rock salt pits;
  • sand extraction sites inside coastal dune areas;
  • extraction sites of petroleum (crude oil), natural gas and shale gas (fracking sites).

This class includes:

  • consolidated or non-consolidated surfaces of mineral materials under active
  • open-pit extraction;
  • heaps of extracted material piled up on storage areas ;
  • infrastructure of buildings and installations serving for extraction, or primary processing of the quoted material and minerals (extractive industry);
  • transport networks associated with areas of open-pit extraction;
  • lay-by areas belonging to the mine area;
  • water bodies (smaller than 25 ha), usually associated with open pit extraction of
  • gravel, sand, etc.

This class is not applicable for:

  • exploited peat bogs (class 412);

associated land of mines where barren materials are dumped (coal tips, slag

  • dumps) (class 132);
  • coastal and inland salinas (class 422);
  • natural outcrops of rocks or minerals, scree-covered areas (class 332);
  • extraction sites reconverted to leisure areas (class 142);
  • disused mineral extraction pits filled with water (512);
  • abandoned or reclaimed extraction sites, which are to be mapped according to their actual land cover (e.g. 231, 324, 333).

132 Dump sites

Public, industrial or mine dump sites.

This class is applicable for:

  • dump sites of public, communal waste (landfills);
  • dump sites of industrial waste – waste rock after processing of various raw materials;
  • dump sites of waste material from wastewater treatment plants (sewage sludge);
  • pools of waste water/liquid waste, products of various chemical processes;
  • associated land of mines where barren materials are dumped (coal tips, slag dumps).

This class includes:

  • surface of dumped material (solid or liquid)
  • protecting dikes;
  • line vegetation belts, part of buffering/protective zones around the dump sites;
  • buildings, transport networks including parking lots, associated with dump site;
  • non-vegetated slag heaps.

This class is not applicable for:

  • decanting basins of biological water treatment plants by means of lagoonage processing; recycling centres(class 121);
  • dump sites abandoned and reconverted to leisure areas (class 142);
  • abandoned or reclaimed dump sites, which are to be mapped according to their
  • actual land cover (231, 324, 333)

This class excludes:

  • completed buildings, other structures already in use (classes 11x, 12x, 14x);
  • completed parts of transport networks when they are larger than 25 ha (class 122)

Class 2.1 Arable land

2.1.1 Non-irrigated arable land

Cultivated land parcels under rainfed agricultural use for annually harvested non-permanent crops, normally under a crop rotation system, including fallow lands within such crop rotation. Fields with sporadic sprinkler-irrigation with non-permanent devices to support dominant rainfed cultivation are included.

This class is applicable for:

  • cultivated land under crop rotation with crops like:
  • temporary (1-3 years) fallow land under rotation system, where the below quoted agricultural crops were cultivated;
  • weeded crops;
  • fragmented agricultural land use resulting in juxtaposition of different annual crops;
  • drained arable land;
  • abandoned irrigated arable land when the irrigation channel network is still visible in the satellite image;

flooded crops as water cross beds;

nurseries of fruit trees and fruit shrubs.

This class includes:

  • cultivated herbaceous plants and low growing shrubs like:
    • regular annual crops, such as cereals, root crops, leguminous crops, oil crops;
    • fodder crops, annual or multiannual grown as part of the crop rotation (alfalfa, sown grass for silage or hay production);
    • vegetables;
    • multi–year plants as asparagus and chicory;
    • semi-permanent crops as strawberries;
    • non-permanent industrial crops as textile plants, oleaginous plants (e.g. cotton, flax);
    • tobacco;
    • condiment plants (e.g. mustard);
    • sugar cane;
    • flowers under a rotation system;
    • industrial flower crops as lavender species;
  • aromatic and medicinal plants;
  • bare soil of cultivated land;
  • weeds;
  • stubble of harvested arable crops;
  • ligneous crops (fruits and berries) or permanent grass occupying altogether <
  • 25% of area;
  • dispersed, mostly linear semi-natural or ruderal vegetation between parcels;
  • dirt roads between parcels;
  • hedgerows or stone walls separating parcels;
  • greenhouses ( (plastic or glass) out of the Mediterranean climate zone;
  • temporary deposits of harvested crops or crop residues (e.g. straw);
  • patches < 25 ha of other cultivation types (e.g. pastures, plantations), given that
  • > 75 % of the total area is under a rotation system.

This class is not applicable for:

  • city gardens (class 242);
  • allotment gardens within or around settlements (142);
  • lands that lay fallow for at least three years (classes 231 or 32x);
  • hop plantations (class 222);
  • rice field (class 213);
  • fruit trees and berry plantation under glass greenhouses (class 222);
  • willow trees for wicker production (class 222);
  • greenhouses (plastic or glass) in the Mediterranean climate zone (class 212);
  • permanent plantations of roses (class 222);
  • wine-growing nurseries (class 221);
  • pastures and meadows / permanent grassland under agricultural use (class 231);39
  • arable land abandoned for > 3 years, being in the process of succession by herbaceous vegetation (class 231) or shrubs (class 323 or 324);
  • areas where intermixed other cultivation types (permanent crops or pastures) occupy > 25% of area, but none of them predominates (class 242);
  • areas where a mosaic of parcels <25ha of agricultural land (arable crops, pasture,
  • permanent crops) are intermixed with natural vegetation and natural areas
  • (<25ha) that occupy >25% and <75% of the area (class 243);
  • arable crops with dispersed forestry trees in an agro-forestry system (class 244).


212 Permanently irrigated arable land

Cultivated land parcels under agricultural use for arable crops that are permanently or periodically irrigated, using a permanent infrastructure (irrigation channels, drainage network and additional irrigation facilities). Most of these crops cannot be cultivated without artificial water supply. Does not include sporadically irrigated land.

This class is applicable for:

  • arable land or sown grassland (as part of crop rotation) under permanent irrigation with
    • spray sprinkler line;
    • rotary sprinkler;
    • irrigation channels.

This class includes:

  • arable crops;
  • non-permanent grass;
  • irrigation infrastructure (channels, technical structures, ponds);
  • greenhouses in Mediterranean climate areas.

This class is not applicable for:

  • arable crops irrigated only sporadically (classes 211, 242);
  • permanent crops under permanent irrigation (classes 22x);
    • vineyards (class 221);
    • orchards (class 222);
    • olive groves (class 223);
  • agricultural land with drainage network intended to dry up wet soils (classes 211,
  • 22x, 231 or 242);
  • arable land, pastures or mixed agriculture under irrigation from superficial water
  • supplies with pumping infrastructure (classes 211, 231 or 242);
  • areas irrigated by underground irrigation pipes and above ground pipes and furrows (classes 211, 22x, 231 or 242);
  • spray sprinkler line used only sporadically (classes 211, 22x, 231 or 242);
  • land under irrigation with drop by drop system (classes 211, 22x, 242);42
  • arable land with abandoned irrigation system even the irrigation channel network
  • is still visible in the satellite image (class 211);
  • permanent grasslands, pastures, meadows under permanent irrigation (class 231).

This class excludes:

  • crops under greenhouses outside Mediterranean climate zones (classes 211 or 222);
  • rice fields (class 213).

Class 2.2 Permanent crops

2.2.1 Vineyards

Areas planted with vines, vineyard parcels covering >50% and determining the land use of the area.

This class is applicable for:

  • vineyards for wine production;
  • vineyards for consumer grapes and raisins;
  • complex cultivation pattern mosaics where vineyard parcels cover at least 50 % of the area;
  • permanently irrigated vineyards;
  • vine-growing nurseries inside vineyard areas.44

This class includes:

  • vine plants;
  • bare soil or grass cover among vine plants;
  • patches of orchards or annual crops, occupying < 50% of territory;
  • scattered patches or rows of (semi-) natural vegetation
  • constructions supporting crops (espaliers, climbers, canes);
  • access roads inside plantations;
  • stone walls separating parcels or terraces.

This class is not applicable for:

  • vineyards mixed with arable land and/or meadows within a single parcel (class 241);
  • single vineyard parcels < 25 ha in mosaic with arable land and/or meadows interspersed with significant natural vegetation where the vineyards themselves cover < 50 % of the area (class 243)
  • complex cultivation pattern where vines occupy < 50% of area, intermixed with other cultivation types in a mosaic (class 242).


2.2.2 Fruit tree and berry plantations

Cultivated parcels planted with fruit trees and shrubs, intended for fruit production, including nuts. The planting pattern can be by single or mixed fruit species, both in association with permanently grassy surfaces.

This class is applicable for:

  • plantations of berry shrubs;
  • plantations of orchards;
  • plantation of citrus fruit trees;
  • groves of nut crops;
  • plantations of tropical fruit trees;46
  • permanent industrial plants;
  • hop plantations;
  • willow plantation for wicker production;
  • permanent florist plantations of roses;
  • complex cultivation pattern mosaics where fruit parcels cover at least 50 % of the
  • area;
  • plantation of vines associated to fruit trees within the same parcel where vines
  • cover < 50 % of the surface;
  • recently abandoned orchards which still preserve characteristic alignment or installations (espaliers and climbers);
  • permanently irrigated orchards and hop plantations.

This class includes:

  • woody permanent crops such as
    • berry shrubs: black and/or red currants, raspberries, gooseberries, blackberry;
    • orchards: apples, pears, plums, apricots, peaches, cherries, quinces, other Rosaceae and figs;
    • citrus species: oranges, lemons, mandarins, tangerines, grape fruits, pomelos;
    • nut crops: chestnut, walnut, almond, hazelnut, pistacia;
    • tropical fruit species: avocados, bananas, guavas, mango, kiwis, passion fruits, papayas, pineapples, pomegranates, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, coconuts, nutmegs;
    • industrial plants: coffee, cacao, mulberry, tea
  • bare soil or grass among woody crops;
  • fruit trees under greenhouses;
  • scattered greenery, and natural vegetation <25% among plantations;
  • constructions supporting crops (espaliers, climbers, canes);
  • access roads inside plantations;
  • irrigation ponds and pools < 25 ha;
  • buildings, sealed or non-sealed storage areas associated to fruit production < 25ha.

This class is not applicable for:

  • strawberry plantations (class 211);
  • cotton plantations (class 211)
  • multi–year plants as asparagus (class 211);
  • olive groves (class 223);
  • vineyard and areas dominated by vine plantations, >50% share (class 221);
  • fruit tree nurseries (class 211);
  • carob tree plantations (class 311);
  • chestnut and walnut groves intended for wood production (class 311);
  • short (8-20 years) rotation forestry and coppice areas grown for pulpwood or as energy crop (classes 31x);
  • abandoned orchards where plantation structures have disappeared (class 324);
  • non-permanent crops (arable land) associated with permanent crops on the same parcel, with occupation rate of non-permanent crops > 50 % (class 241);
  • complex cultivation patterns where fruit parcels cover < 50 % of the area in mosaic with other crops;
  • complex cultivation pattern mosaics where patches of natural vegetation cover >25% and < 75% (class 243).


Class 2.3 Pastures

231 Pastures, meadows and other permanent grasslands under agricultural use

Permanent grassland characterized by agricultural use or strong human disturbance. Floral composition dominated by Graminacea and influenced by human activity. Typically used for grazing – pastures, or mechanical harvesting of grass – meadows.


Pastures can be described as extensively or intensively grazed permanent grasslands with presence of farm infrastructure such as: fences, shelters, enclosures, watering places, drinking trough, and/or regular agricultural measures and works: mowing, drainage, hay making, seeding, manuring, shrub clearance. Typical visible signs of use are regular parcel structure and/or animal paths

This class is applicable for:

  • permanent grasslands under grazing by domestic animals;
  • permanent grasslands (not part of the crop rotation) used for harvesting the grass (in form of hay or silage) by mowing;
  • abandoned arable land (after 3 years), arable land abandoned for more than 3 years, being in the process of succession by herbaceous vegetation;
  • permanent grasslands under strong human disturbance, degraded grasslands, ruderal areas dominated by grass cover;
  • humid meadows with dominating grass cover. Hygrophyle species, such as sedges, rushes, thistles, nettles cover < 25 % of the parcel surface;
  • pastures with scattered trees and shrubs, woody vegetation covering <30% of the ground
  • herbaceous vegetation cover of abandoned or reclaimed mineral extraction sites and dump sites;
  • grass-covered ski-pistes used as pasture most of the year;

grassland areas with hedges (bocage);

  • drained wetlands, in particular peatlands, converted to pasture;
  • heavily grazed semi-natural grasslands such as machair plains at the rear of sand dunes.

This class includes:

  • erbaceous vegetation;
    • grasses (Graminacea) that dominate the botanical composition,
    • herbs (Taraxacum officinale, Ranunculus spp., Chrisanthemum leucantemum, Knautia arvensis, Achillea millefolium, Salvia spp., etc.);
  • scattered woody vegetation, trees covering not more than 30% of area;
  • hedgerows;
  • stone walls separating parcels;
  • installations of farming infrastructure (fences, shelters, enclosures, watering places, drinking trough).

This class is not applicable for:

  • grass covered surfaces of airports (class 124);
  • lawns inside city parks (class 141) or sport and leisure facility areas (class 142);
  • sown grass grown as annual crop under the crop rotation system (for silage or hay production) (class 211);
  • arable fodder crops other than grass (e.g. alfalfa) (class 211);
  • military exercising grass fields (without grazing) (class 321);
  • high-productive natural alpine meadows far from houses and/or crops (class 321);
  • derelict (poorly or not maintained) grassland where semi-ligneous/ligneous vegetation cover at least 25 % of the parcel (class 322, 323, 324);
  • humid meadows where hygrophyle plant species cover at least 25 % of the parcel (class 411);
  • salt meadows (class 421).

This class excludes:

  • herbaceous grass cover composed of non-palatable and undesirable species for cattle such as Molinia spp. and Brachypodium spp. (class 321).

Particularity of class 231: Grassland on abandoned arable land

Uncultivated parcels that turned into grassland by not using arable land for more than three years. Identification of the quoted grassland requires application of multi-temporal (multiannual) satellite imagery.

This class is applicable for:

  • areas of grassland representing succession of natural overgrowth of arable land by prevailingly herbaceous vegetation;

This class includes:

  • herbaceous vegetation dominated by grasses
  • sporadically occurring shrubs


Particularity of class 2.3.1: Wooded meadows

Meadows where dispersed woody vegetation occupy up to 50% of surface. These meadows are characterised by rich floristic composition.

This class is applicable for:

  • areas of grassland used primarily for hay production (mowing) with scattered trees and shrubs occupying 30% – 50%.

This class includes:

  • herbaceous vegetation partially covered by tree crowns;
  • scattered shrubs
  • scattered forestry trees not occupying > 30% of total area.

This class is not applicable for:

  • areas of grassland with >30% tree cover (class 311, 312, 313);
  • fruit trees mixed with meadows within a single parcel (class 241);
  • pastures (grazing land) with dispersed forestry trees in an agro-forestry system (class 244).

This class excludes:

  • fruit trees


Particularity of class 231: non-used parcels between buildings and a