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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 8
1
Institut d’Estudis Catalans (IEC), 08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
2
Institució Catalana d’Història Natural (ICHN), 08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
3
Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals (CREAF), 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
4
Consell Superior d’Investigacions Científiques (CSIC), 28006 Madrid, Spain
5
Institut d’Ecologia Aquàtica, Universitat de Girona (UdG), 17003 Girona, Catalonia, Spain
6
Centre de Recerca en Agrigenòmica, CSIC/IRTA/UAB/UB, 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
7
Laboratori de Botànica, Facultat de Farmàcia i Ciències de l’Alimentació, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), 08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
8
Departament de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), 08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
9
Consultor Ambiental, 17800 Olot, Catalonia, Spain
10
Institut de Diagnosi Ambiental i Estudis de l’Aigua (IDAEA-CSIC), 08034 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
11
Architect, 08009 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
12
Departament de Ciència Política i de l’Administració, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
13
Centre per a la Sostenibilitat Territorial (CST), 17178 Sant Privat d’en Bas, Catalonia, Spain
14
Fundació Miquel Agustí/Escola Superior d’Agricultura de Barcelona, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), 08201 Sabadell, Catalonia, Spain
15
Centre de Ciència i Tecnologia Forestal de Catalunya (CTFC), 25280 Solsona, Catalonia, Spain
16
Departament de Geografia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
17
Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC), CSIC/UCLM/JCCM, 13005 Ciudad Real, Catalonia, Spain
18
Associació Congrés d’Energia de Catalunya, 08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
19
Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC, 08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
20
Estudi Ramon Folch i Associats, SL, 08015 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
21
Àrea d’Ecologia Urbana, Ajuntament de Barcelona, 08012 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
22
Comitè de Comunicació i Educació de la UICN, 1196 Gland, Switzerland
23
Laboratori d’Anàlisi i Gestió del Paisatge, Universitat de Girona (UdG), 17071 Girona, Catalonia, Spain
24
Institute of Computational Biology, German Research Center for Environmental Health, 85764 Oberschleißheim, Germany
25
Institut de Recerca Educativa, Universitat de Girona (UdG), 17004 Girona, Catalonia, Spain
26
Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
27
ResChem Analytical Limited, Derby DE21 4BJ, UK
28
Consultora SGM, 08010 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
29
Departament de Biologia Vegetal, Biologia Animal i Ecologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 80193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
30
Comissió Mundial d’Àrees Protegides de la UICN, 1196 Gland, Switzerland
31
Departament de Geografia, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), 08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
32
Fundació Agroterritori, 08038 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
33
Departament de Control i Qualitat de les Aigües, Agència Catalana de l’Aigua (ACA), 08036 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
34
Servei de Fauna i Flora, Departament de Territori i Sostenibilitat, Generalitat de Catalunya, 08036 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
35
Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya (ICGC), 08038 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
36
Fundació ENT, 08800 Vilanova i la Geltrú, Catalonia, Spain
37
Xarxa per a la Conservació de la Natura (XCN), 08500 Vic, Catalonia, Spain
38
Secció de Sanitat Ambiental i Edafologia, Facultat de Farmàcia i Ciències de l’Alimentació, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), 08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
39
Societat d’Història Natural de les Balears (SHNB), 07011 Palma, Catalonia, Spain
40
Facultat de Ciències de la Terra, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), 08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
41
Geographer, 08860 Castelldefels, Catalonia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew Millington
Land 2021, 10(2), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020144
Received: 12 November 2020 / Revised: 1 January 2021 / Accepted: 27 January 2021 / Published: 2 February 2021
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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Figure 1

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. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020144

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. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020144

Chicago/Turabian Style

Peñuelas, Josep; Germain, Josep; Álvarez, Enrique; Aparicio, Enric; Arús, Pere; Basnou, Corina; Blanché, Cèsar; Bonada, Núria; Canals, Puri; Capodiferro, Marco; Carceller, Xavier; Casademunt, Alexandre; Casals, Joan; Casals, Pere; Casañas, Francesc; Catalán, Jordi; Checa, Joan; Cordero, Pedro J.; Corominas, Joaquim; de Sostoa, Adolf; Espelta Morral, Josep-Maria; Estrada, Marta; Folch, Ramon; Franquesa, Teresa; Garcia-Lozano, Carla; Garí, Mercè; Geli, Anna M.; González-Guerrero, Óscar; Gordillo, Javier; Gosálbez, Joaquim; Grimalt, Joan O.; Guàrdia, Anna; Isern, Rosó; Jordana, Jordi; Junqué, Eva; Lascurain, Josep; Lleonart, Jordi; Llorente, Gustavo A.; Lloret, Francisco; Lloret, Josep; Mallarach, Josep M.; Martín-Vide, Javier; Medir, Rosa M.; Melero, Yolanda; Montasell, Josep; Montori, Albert; Munné, Antoni; Nel·lo, Oriol; Palazón, Santiago; Palmero, Marina; Parés, Margarita; Pino, Joan; Pintó, Josep; Planagumà, Llorenç; Pons, Xavier; Prat, Narcís; Puig, Carme; Puig, Ignasi; Puigdomènech, Pere; Pujol-Buxó, Eudald; Roca, Núria; Rodrigo, Jofre; Rodríguez-Teijeiro, José D.; Roig-Munar, Francesc X.; Romanyà, Joan; Rovira, Pere; Sàez, Llorenç; Sauras-Yera, Maria T.; Serrat, David; Simó, Joan; Soler, Jordi; Terradas, Jaume; Vallejo, Ramon; Vicente, Paloma; Vilaplana, Joan M.; Vinyoles, Dolors. 2021. "Impacts of Use and Abuse of Nature in Catalonia with Proposals for Sustainable Management" Land 10, no. 2: 144. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020144

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