| Project objectives:
Following a decision of the European Parliament, the European Statistical Office (EUROSTAT) in close cooperation with the Directorate General responsible
for Agriculture and the technical support of the JRC, is organising regular, harmonised surveys across all Member States to gather information on land cover
and land use.
This survey is known as LUCAS (Land Use/Cover Area frame statistical Survey). The name reflects the methodology used to collect the information. Estimates
of the area occupied by different land use or land cover types are computed on the basis of observations taken at more than 250,000 sample points throughout the
EU rather than mapping the entire area under investigation. By repeating the survey every few years, changes to land use can be identified.
During the 2009 survey, soil samples will be collected from more than 22,000 LUCAS point locations. These samples, weighing around 11 tonnes in total, will
be sent to the JRC and stored in the European Soil Archive Facility. The samples will then be analysed to assess key parameters (e.g. texture, organic matter
content, pH, heavy metals) in order to assess the state of the soil across Europe.
This is the first time that such a widespread exercise has been attempted. Initial results are expected in 2010.