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Soil Degradation and Socioeconomic Systems’ Complexity: Uncovering the Latent Nexus

Filippo Gambella (), Giovanni Quaranta (), Nathan Morrow (), Renata Vcelakova (), Luca Salvati (), Antonio Gimenez Morera () and Jesús Rodrigo-Comino ()
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Filippo Gambella: Department of Agriculture, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, I-07100 Sassari, Italy
Giovanni Quaranta: Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics Department, University of Basilicata, Viale dell’Ateneo Lucano, I-85100 Potenza, Italy
Nathan Morrow: School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
Renata Vcelakova: Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Lipová 9, CZ-37005 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
Luca Salvati: Department of Economics and Law, University of Macerata, Via Armaroli 43, I-62100 Macerata, Italy
Antonio Gimenez Morera: Departamento de Economia y Ciencias Sociales, Universitat Politècnica de València, Cami de Vera S/N, 46022 València, Spain
Jesús Rodrigo-Comino: Department of Physical Geography, University of Trier, 54296 Trier, Germany

Land, 2021, vol. 10, issue 1, 1-13

Abstract: Understanding Soil Degradation Processes (SDPs) is a fundamental issue for humankind. Soil degradation involves complex processes that are influenced by a multifaceted ensemble of socioeconomic and ecological factors at vastly different spatial scales. Desertification risk (the ultimate outcome of soil degradation, seen as an irreversible process of natural resource destruction) and socioeconomic trends have been recently analyzed assuming “resilience thinking” as an appropriate interpretative paradigm. In a purely socioeconomic dimension, resilience is defined as the ability of a local system to react to external signals and to promote future development. This ability is intrinsically bonded with the socio-ecological dynamics characteristic of environmentally homogeneous districts. However, an evaluation of the relationship between SDPs and socioeconomic resilience in local systems is missing in mainstream literature. Our commentary formulates an exploratory framework for the assessment of soil degradation, intended as a dynamic process of natural resource depletion, and the level of socioeconomic resilience in local systems. Such a framework is intended to provide a suitable background to sustainability science and regional policies at the base of truly resilient local systems.

Keywords: demographic dynamics; rural districts; resilience; desertification risk (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q2 Q24 Q28 Q5 R14 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:10:y:2021:i:1:p:30-:d:473621