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Impacts of Use and Abuse of Nature in Catalonia with Proposals for Sustainable Management

by 1,2,3,4,*, 2, 3, 5, 6, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,13, 14, 15, 14, 3,4, 16, 17, 18, 8, 3, 1,19, 1,20, 21,22, 23, 10,24, 25, 16, 3, 1,8, 1,10, 3, 3, 26, 10,27, 28, 19, 8, 3,29, 5, 9,30, 31, 25, 3, 32, 8, 33, 1,16, 34, 3, 21, 3,29, 23, 13, 16, 8, 35, 36, 1,6, 8, 8, 37, 8, 23, 38, 15, 29,39, 8, 1,40, 14, 41, 1,3,29, 8, 3, 40 and 8add Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Institut d’Estudis Catalans (IEC), 08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Institució Catalana d’Història Natural (ICHN), 08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals (CREAF), 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
Consell Superior d’Investigacions Científiques (CSIC), 28006 Madrid, Spain
Institut d’Ecologia Aquàtica, Universitat de Girona (UdG), 17003 Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Centre de Recerca en Agrigenòmica, CSIC/IRTA/UAB/UB, 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
Laboratori de Botànica, Facultat de Farmàcia i Ciències de l’Alimentació, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), 08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Departament de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), 08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Consultor Ambiental, 17800 Olot, Catalonia, Spain
Institut de Diagnosi Ambiental i Estudis de l’Aigua (IDAEA-CSIC), 08034 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Architect, 08009 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Departament de Ciència Política i de l’Administració, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
Centre per a la Sostenibilitat Territorial (CST), 17178 Sant Privat d’en Bas, Catalonia, Spain
Fundació Miquel Agustí/Escola Superior d’Agricultura de Barcelona, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), 08201 Sabadell, Catalonia, Spain
Centre de Ciència i Tecnologia Forestal de Catalunya (CTFC), 25280 Solsona, Catalonia, Spain
Departament de Geografia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC), CSIC/UCLM/JCCM, 13005 Ciudad Real, Catalonia, Spain
Associació Congrés d’Energia de Catalunya, 08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC, 08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Estudi Ramon Folch i Associats, SL, 08015 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Àrea d’Ecologia Urbana, Ajuntament de Barcelona, 08012 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Comitè de Comunicació i Educació de la UICN, 1196 Gland, Switzerland
Laboratori d’Anàlisi i Gestió del Paisatge, Universitat de Girona (UdG), 17071 Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Institute of Computational Biology, German Research Center for Environmental Health, 85764 Oberschleißheim, Germany
Institut de Recerca Educativa, Universitat de Girona (UdG), 17004 Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
ResChem Analytical Limited, Derby DE21 4BJ, UK
Consultora SGM, 08010 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Departament de Biologia Vegetal, Biologia Animal i Ecologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 80193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
Comissió Mundial d’Àrees Protegides de la UICN, 1196 Gland, Switzerland
Departament de Geografia, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), 08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Fundació Agroterritori, 08038 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Departament de Control i Qualitat de les Aigües, Agència Catalana de l’Aigua (ACA), 08036 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Servei de Fauna i Flora, Departament de Territori i Sostenibilitat, Generalitat de Catalunya, 08036 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya (ICGC), 08038 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Fundació ENT, 08800 Vilanova i la Geltrú, Catalonia, Spain
Xarxa per a la Conservació de la Natura (XCN), 08500 Vic, Catalonia, Spain
Secció de Sanitat Ambiental i Edafologia, Facultat de Farmàcia i Ciències de l’Alimentació, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), 08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Societat d’Història Natural de les Balears (SHNB), 07011 Palma, Catalonia, Spain
Facultat de Ciències de la Terra, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), 08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Geographer, 08860 Castelldefels, Catalonia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew Millington
Land 2021, 10(2), 144;
Received: 12 November 2020 / Revised: 1 January 2021 / Accepted: 27 January 2021 / Published: 2 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Land Socio-Economic and Political Issues)
This paper provides an overview of the last 40 years of use, and in many cases abuse, of the natural resources in Catalonia, a country that is representative of European countries in general, and especially those in the Mediterranean region. It analyses the use of natural resources made by mining, agriculture, livestock, logging, fishing, nature tourism, and energy production and consumption. This use results in an ecological footprint, i.e., the productive land and sea surface required to generate the consumed resources and absorb the resulting waste, which is about seven times the amount available, a very high number but very similar to other European countries. This overexploitation of natural resources has a huge impact on land and its different forms of cover, air, and water. For the last 25 years, forests and urban areas have each gained almost 3% more of the territory at the expense of agricultural land; those municipalities bordering the sea have increased their number of inhabitants and activity, and although they only occupy 6.7% of the total surface area, they account for 43.3% of the population; air quality has stabilized since the turn of the century, and there has been some improvement in the state of aquatic ecosystems, but still only 36% are in good condition, while the remainder have suffered morphological changes and different forms of nonpoint source pollution; meanwhile the biodiversity of flora and fauna remains still under threat. Environmental policies do not go far enough so there is a need for revision of the legislation related to environmental impact and the protection of natural areas, flora, and fauna. The promotion of environmental research must be accompanied by environmental education to foster a society which is more knowledgeable, has more control and influence over the decisions that deeply affect it. Indeed, nature conservation goes hand in hand with other social and economic challenges that require a more sustainable vision. Today’s problems with nature derive from the current economic model, which is environmentally unsustainable in that it does not take into account environmental impacts. Lastly, we propose a series of reasonable and feasible priority measures and actions related to each use made of the country’s natural resources, to the impacts they have had, and to their management, in the hope that these can contribute to improving the conservation and management of the environment and biodiversity and move towards sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural resources; ecological footprint; overexploitation; Catalonia; European countries; environmental research; education and policies; sustainability natural resources; ecological footprint; overexploitation; Catalonia; European countries; environmental research; education and policies; sustainability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Peñuelas, J.; Germain, J.; Álvarez, E.; Aparicio, E.; Arús, P.; Basnou, C.; Blanché, C.; Bonada, N.; Canals, P.; Capodiferro, M.; Carceller, X.; Casademunt, A.; Casals, J.; Casals, P.; Casañas, F.; Catalán, J.; Checa, J.; Cordero, P.J.; Corominas, J.; de Sostoa, A.; Espelta Morral, J.-M.; Estrada, M.; Folch, R.; Franquesa, T.; Garcia-Lozano, C.; Garí, M.; Geli, A.M.; González-Guerrero, Ó.; Gordillo, J.; Gosálbez, J.; Grimalt, J.O.; Guàrdia, A.; Isern, R.; Jordana, J.; Junqué, E.; Lascurain, J.; Lleonart, J.; Llorente, G.A.; Lloret, F.; Lloret, J.; Mallarach, J.M.; Martín-Vide, J.; Medir, R.M.; Melero, Y.; Montasell, J.; Montori, A.; Munné, A.; Nel·lo, O.; Palazón, S.; Palmero, M.; Parés, M.; Pino, J.; Pintó, J.; Planagumà, L.; Pons, X.; Prat, N.; Puig, C.; Puig, I.; Puigdomènech, P.; Pujol-Buxó, E.; Roca, N.; Rodrigo, J.; Rodríguez-Teijeiro, J.D.; Roig-Munar, F.X.; Romanyà, J.; Rovira, P.; Sàez, L.; Sauras-Yera, M.T.; Serrat, D.; Simó, J.; Soler, J.; Terradas, J.; Vallejo, R.; Vicente, P.; Vilaplana, J.M.; Vinyoles, D. Impacts of Use and Abuse of Nature in Catalonia with Proposals for Sustainable Management. Land 2021, 10, 144.

AMA Style

Peñuelas J, Germain J, Álvarez E, Aparicio E, Arús P, Basnou C, Blanché C, Bonada N, Canals P, Capodiferro M, Carceller X, Casademunt A, Casals J, Casals P, Casañas F, Catalán J, Checa J, Cordero PJ, Corominas J, de Sostoa A, Espelta Morral J-M, Estrada M, Folch R, Franquesa T, Garcia-Lozano C, Garí M, Geli AM, González-Guerrero Ó, Gordillo J, Gosálbez J, Grimalt JO, Guàrdia A, Isern R, Jordana J, Junqué E, Lascurain J, Lleonart J, Llorente GA, Lloret F, Lloret J, Mallarach JM, Martín-Vide J, Medir RM, Melero Y, Montasell J, Montori A, Munné A, Nel·lo O, Palazón S, Palmero M, Parés M, Pino J, Pintó J, Planagumà L, Pons X, Prat N, Puig C, Puig I, Puigdomènech P, Pujol-Buxó E, Roca N, Rodrigo J, Rodríguez-Teijeiro JD, Roig-Munar FX, Romanyà J, Rovira P, Sàez L, Sauras-Yera MT, Serrat D, Simó J, Soler J, Terradas J, Vallejo R, Vicente P, Vilaplana JM, Vinyoles D. Impacts of Use and Abuse of Nature in Catalonia with Proposals for Sustainable Management. Land. 2021; 10(2):144.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Peñuelas, Josep, Josep Germain, Enrique Álvarez, Enric Aparicio, Pere Arús, Corina Basnou, Cèsar Blanché, Núria Bonada, Puri Canals, Marco Capodiferro, Xavier Carceller, Alexandre Casademunt, Joan Casals, Pere Casals, Francesc Casañas, Jordi Catalán, Joan Checa, Pedro J. Cordero, Joaquim Corominas, Adolf de Sostoa, Josep-Maria Espelta Morral, Marta Estrada, Ramon Folch, Teresa Franquesa, Carla Garcia-Lozano, Mercè Garí, Anna M. Geli, Óscar González-Guerrero, Javier Gordillo, Joaquim Gosálbez, Joan O. Grimalt, Anna Guàrdia, Rosó Isern, Jordi Jordana, Eva Junqué, Josep Lascurain, Jordi Lleonart, Gustavo A. Llorente, Francisco Lloret, Josep Lloret, Josep M. Mallarach, Javier Martín-Vide, Rosa M. Medir, Yolanda Melero, Josep Montasell, Albert Montori, Antoni Munné, Oriol Nel·lo, Santiago Palazón, Marina Palmero, Margarita Parés, Joan Pino, Josep Pintó, Llorenç Planagumà, Xavier Pons, Narcís Prat, Carme Puig, Ignasi Puig, Pere Puigdomènech, Eudald Pujol-Buxó, Núria Roca, Jofre Rodrigo, José D. Rodríguez-Teijeiro, Francesc X. Roig-Munar, Joan Romanyà, Pere Rovira, Llorenç Sàez, Maria T. Sauras-Yera, David Serrat, Joan Simó, Jordi Soler, Jaume Terradas, Ramon Vallejo, Paloma Vicente, Joan M. Vilaplana, and Dolors Vinyoles. 2021. "Impacts of Use and Abuse of Nature in Catalonia with Proposals for Sustainable Management" Land 10, no. 2: 144.

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