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A Longitudinal Approach to Examining the Socio-Economic Resilience of the Alento District (Italy) to Land Degradation—1950 to Present

1
Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics Department, University of Basilicata, Via dell’Ateneo Lucano, 85100 Potenza, Italy
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School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6762; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236762
Received: 6 November 2019 / Revised: 20 November 2019 / Accepted: 22 November 2019 / Published: 28 November 2019
Land degradation is a multifaceted phenomenon. In many mountainous and hilly areas that are marginal in terms of their economic and social sustainability, degradation is closely linked to population decline through ageing and outmigration, and to the abandonment of land, leading to a loss of community resilience. These processes acting together can produce positive feedback loops, with the consequential loss of socio-economic resilience at larger spatial scales that can ultimately lead to the disintegration of entire territories. Drawing on recent advances in defining, integrating, and operationalizing the measurement of resilience, this paper took a new approach by exploring changing resilience over an extended period in a rural region of southern Italy. The paper used both quantitative and qualitative methods to test the complex and shifting relationships between multiple domains, as an expression of spatial and temporal patterns of resilience, and examined the impact of shifting resilience on continuing degradation processes. The results suggest that the capacity of socio-ecological systems to respond sustainably to land degradation over an extended period of time is highly dependent on two critical processes: the availability and mobilization of critical factors within the five key domains noted above, and the strength of the temporal and spatial cross-scale relationships between those factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: community resilience; land degradation; measuring resilience; socio-economic resilience; time community resilience; land degradation; measuring resilience; socio-economic resilience; time
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Salvia, R.; Kelly, C.L.; Wilson, G.A.; Quaranta, G. A Longitudinal Approach to Examining the Socio-Economic Resilience of the Alento District (Italy) to Land Degradation—1950 to Present. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6762.

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