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EPIC WebGIS is an outcome of the project PTDC/AUR-URB/102578/2008 – “National Ecological Network – a proposal of delimitation and regulation”, financed by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), that has begun in March 2010 with the purpose of delimiting and setting out the National Ecological Network (NEN), in accordance with Decree-Law nº 380/99 of September 22th, changed by Decree-Law nº 316/2007 of September 19th and by Decree-Law nº 46/2009 of February 20th.


The main goal of this Project is to select the essential areas to maintaining natural cycles functioning, thereby ensuring an ecological management of the natural resources, under a sustainable development perspective (Bruntland Report, 1987). For that purpose, a large team was gathered with all the scientific backgrounds that are necessary to the study and interpretation of the several NEN sub-systems. The considered sub-systems are, among others, geology/lithology, soil, water, vegetation and climate, all of them spatially interpreted in relation with land morphology.


CEAP/ISA/UL team created the EPIC WebGIS where the entire georeferenced cartography in the scope of Ecological Network is made available to all users, upon a simple identification. It is intended that this WebGIS constitutes an interactive, national spatial data infrastructure, providing immediate access to the several available themes, using some data visualization tools.In addition to the results of this Project, EPIC also includes cultural and administrative data and will be further improved by the cartography produced in the scope of the ongoing project, PTDC/AUR-URB/119340/2010 – “Potential Land-Use Ecological Plan. Application to Portugal”. The goal of this Project is to evaluate landscape ecological suitability to several human activities, namely, nature conservation, agriculture, horticulture and forestry, leisure and recreational facilities, urban and rural areas. This webgis can be updated when improved cartography is available or other institutions may provide. Considering the general lacks and deficiencies in spatial information data availability, this Project may reveals itself a useful tool, contributing to the elaboration of landscape studies and plans, at all scales as well as a decision support tool regarding sustainable development.

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