Landscape character assessment and regional landscape strategy in the Azores, Portugal


Fast and continuous landscape changes have been considered as one of the strongest drivers behind the loss of nature values, along with degradation and regimes of ecological disturbances that have evident impacts on economic activities ( Olarieta et al., 2008 ; Nuissl et al., 2009 ). The need to preserve the diversity, identity and cultural heritage of landscapes and societal demand for sustainable development ( Roca and Oliveira-Roca, 2007 ; van Eetvelde and Antrop, 2009a ) has led to initiatives for inventorying, assessing and monitoring landscape dynamics (Meeus, 1995; Swanwick, 2002 ; Cancela d’Abreu et al., 2005 ). It has also improved landscape modelling based on future scenarios ( van Berkel and Verburg, 2011 ).