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The first full operational version of the Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) was developed for the implementation of the Africover - East Africa Project, which was supported by the Government of Italy (Trust Fund GCP/RAF/287/ITA) in collaboration with the Environment and Natural Resources Service (SDRN) and the Soil Resources, Management and Conservation Service (AGLS) of FAO.

These land cover classification concepts were discussed and endorsed at the meeting of the International Working Group on Classification and Legend (Senegal, July 1996) supported by Government of France Trust Fund GCP/RAF/311/FRA (FAO, 1997).

The second version of the LCCS was developed through an interactive feedback approach involving a large global community, as well as from the experience gained through the implementation of the Africover and other projects.

In particular, the following are thanked for their contribution to the development of the LCCS software: Louisa Jansen, Luca Morandini, Antonio Martucci, Wolfgang Prante, Keya Choudhury, Enrico Botte, Andrea Bellancini, Simone Maffei and Davide De Marchi (see Appendix E).

Appreciation also goes to the many other institutions and individuals who responded to earlier versions of the system, especially the U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee - Vegetation Sub-committee and Earth Cover Working Group, Washington, October 1996 and Rome, January 1997 (with special thanks to Gyde Lund of the USDA Forest Service, Washington, D.C.); the LANES concerted action funded under the 4th Framework Programme of Research on Environment and Climate of the European Commission, which focused on the development of a harmonized framework for multipurpose land cover and land use information (with special thanks to Christophe Duhamel of CESD-Communautaire, Luxembourg, coordinating the LANES concerted action). Furthermore, Salomon B. Kroonenberg of the Geology Section, Subfaculty of Applied Earth Sciences, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, is thanked for provision of the information on lithology. Finally, UNEP is gratefully acknowledged for its financial contribution to this publication.

Gratitude also goes to Reuben Sessa, Paolo Prosperi, Thorgeir Lawrence, Carlos Tapia, Gaia V. Laurin and the Studio Bartoleschi for assisting in the preparation and printing of the manual.

Antonio Di Gregorio
Senior Remote Sensing Officer, SDRN

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