Biodiversity and socio-economic implications of the use of abandoned Agriculture land for future biomass production in central and Eastern Europe (CEE)
Land use change (LUC) effects from biomass production have emerged as an important area of global bioeconomy policy and research. The use of 'underutilised agricultural land', including 'abandoned agricultural land' is one of the most important solutions to minimise the LUC effects resulting from biomass production, such as indirect land use change (iLUC). Agricultural land abandonment in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is largely associated with dysfunctional agricultural and land reforms, and political and institutional issues following the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. The agricultural reactivation on these lands for biomass production can create economic opportunities for rural regions in CEE. However, the environmental implications, especially for biodiversity, are highly controversial. The goal of this research is to evaluate the trade-offs between the socio-economic and biodiversity effects of land use change scenarios that include biomass production on these lands. Prior to the evaluation, (i) a literature review was undertaken to better understand the biodiversity implications of land abonnement in the CEE context, (ii) a land-cover map was generated from the latest Sentinel-2A satellite images, and (iii) four land use change scenarios were developed for a rural region in northeast Poland.