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Convergence or divergence in desertification risk? Scale-based assessment and policy implications in a Mediterranean country

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This paper explores changes (1990-2000) in two environmental indexes with the aim of providing empirical evidence on regional and local convergence in an increasing-impact phenomenon such as Land Degradation (LD) in Italy. Convergence analysis for ESAI (Environmental Sensitive Area Index) and LVI (Land Vulnerability Index) was developed at five different geographical scales. Results indicate that territorial disparities in land vulnerability tend to increase during the investigated period following a defined spatial pattern that depends on land quality, the environmental context and the economic performance of regional systems. Finally, the implications this process has on policy strategies aimed at mitigating desertification risk are discussed.
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Keywords: convergence; desertification risk; homogeneous regions; southern Europe; synthetic index

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), Rome, Italy 2: Council for Research in Agriculture (CRA) - Unit of Climatology and Meteorology applied to Agriculture, Rome, Italy

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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