This paper presents the development of a participatory multi-criteria analysis (MCA) process for the evaluation of irrigation management alternatives in the Caia irrigation district, Portugal. The focus is on the design, evaluation and comparison of irrigation management alternatives in a participatory setting, encouraging direct involvement of actors throughout the whole process.
A framework for participatory MCA was developed that integrates preparatory interviews (actors selection, understanding the decision context), workshops (alternatives and criteria identification, results discussion) and a second round of interviews (criteria weighting and alternatives evaluation). This framework combines elements from the analytical hierarchy process with social multi-criteria evaluation. The use of different participatory techniques is essential for enabling continuous participation and ensuring that different points of view are taken into account in the evaluation process.
The results obtained allowed the identification and comparison of the most preferred alternatives and the analysis of the positions of the different actor groups. Social learning was an important outcome: participants acknowledged that they have gained an improved understanding of the problem and of each other’s viewpoints. The direct engagement of actors in MCA presents two challenges: actors’ challenge, related to the participation in the process itself, and analytical challenge, mostly related to the interpretation of the results.
Stress-tolerant forage resources are increasingly needed for the environmental and economic sustainability of extensive Mediterranean livestock systems. Perennial forages such as cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.) can be a valuable alternative to annuals, if they can survive across successive summer droughts.
One Mediterranean cultivar of cocksfoot subsp. hispanica with complete summer dormancy (Kasbah), five non-dormant (Delta 1, Jana, Medly, Ottava) or incompletely dormant (Currie) Mediterranean cultivars of subsp. glomerata, and one Continental cultivar (Porto) of subsp. glomerata, were evaluated for dry matter yield over three years and persistence as final plant survival in six sites of Algeria, France, Italy, Morocco and Portugal, with the objectives of: (i) modeling adaptive responses and targeting cultivars as a function of environmental factors associated with genotype × location (GL) interaction; (ii) defining plant ideotypes, adaptation strategies and opportunities of international co-operation for regional breeding programmes. Adaptive responses were modeled by joint regression, additive main effects and multiplicative interaction (AMMI), and factorial regression.
The most predictive models were: (i) factorial regression as a function of site spring-summer drought stress (as long-term potential evapotranspiration minus actual water available), for yield; (ii) AMMI including one GL interaction principal component related to site annual and spring-summer drought stress, for persistence. GL interaction of crossover type for yield and persistence was large and mainly associated with the summer dormancy trait. Completely dormant germplasm was specifically adapted to severe drought. Non-dormant Mediterranean cultivars tended to be specifically adapted to moderate drought stress, although they varied to some extent in adaptive response to drought-stress levels.
The Continental cultivar was generally misadapted. The completely summer-dormant germplasm also tended to have greater general persistence across locations. Early flowering tended to correlate with higher yield and persistence of the cultivars across locations. Considerations on experimental conditions along with previous physiological studies from three sites suggested that water use efficiency of the cultivars tended to parallel their site-specific yield response.
On the whole, the results suggest different adaptation targets, plant types, genetic resources and cultivar recommendation for northern Africa and southern Europe. Summer-dormant material of subsp. hispanica has prevalent interest for northern Africa. Breeding widely adapted, non-dormant or incompletely dormant Mediterranean cultivars of subsp. glomerata has prevalent interest for southern Europe, especially when targeted to moderate crop duration (3-4 years). However, completely summer-dormant germplasm could gain adaptive potential for Mediterranean-climate European regions in the future, to mitigate the effects of the predicted increasing drought due to climate change.
While sustainable forest management (SFM) policy processes are well developed, implementation on the ground remains a challenge. Given the diversity of biophysical conditions, economic histories and governance systems on the European continent, regionally and temporally adapted and adaptive solutions are needed for both social and ecological systems.
To illustrate this, we apply (1) a biographic forest and woodland history approach to central Sweden’s Bergslagen region, where boreal sustained yield forestry was widely applied first and (2) a comparative case study approach using five European landscapes that represent different forest history phases in Scotland, Germany, Ukraine and Russia. Additionally, we illustrate the need to learn from reference landscapes for natural forest and cultural woodland systems such as in economically remote regions in Romania, Russia and on the Iberian Peninsula.
We conclude that there is great opportunity for innovative knowledge production about both governance and management for different SFM dimensions based on comparisons among concrete landscapes. In addition, there is a need to develop local place-based social learning processes that are characterized by a focus on a geographical area, commitment to SFM policy visions and collaborative approaches to development that include both ecological and social systems.
European policies can be relevant to protect soils under climate change scenarios and therefore preserve the wide variety of functions and services provided by the soil. The European Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection will require member states to identify areas under risk from various soil threats and establish procedures to achieve sustainability.
Five models Terraza, Cervatana, Sierra, Raizal, and Pantanal included in the Mediterranean Land Evaluation Information System decision support system packages were used to identify areas vulnerable to various soil threats under climate change scenarios in the Andalusia region While Terraza and Cervatana forecast general land use capability for a broad series of possible agricultural uses, the Sierra model predicts forestry land suitability for the presence/absence of 22 typical Mediter- ranean forest species Raizal and Pantanal models predict soil erosion vulnerability, contamination, and other processes Interpretation of results in different scenarios allows quantifying the effects of climate change in terms of agricultural productivity, forestry land suitability, erosion, and contamination risks.
The obtained results allow to identify detailed vulnerable areas and formulate site-specific management plans for soil protection Climate change is expected to impact crop growth with a higher impact on summer crops (corn, sunflower, and cotton). The results show a potential opportunity for reforestation (Quercus spp) in future climate scenarios, while other species such as Castanea sativa will not be suitable in the study area by 2070 and 2100. Soil contamination and erosion show only slight differences between the current and future scenario of climate change.
In this study we develop an “inference modeling” approach to compare and analyze how different disciplines (economics, political science, and behavioral science/environmental psychology) estimate vulnerability to drought. It is thought that a better understanding of these differences can lead to a synthesis of insights from the different disciplines and eventually to more comprehensive assessments of vulnerability.
The new methodology consists of (1) developing inference models whose variables and assertions incorporate qualitative knowledge about vulnerability, (2) converting qualitative model variables into quantitative indicators by using fuzzy set theory, (3) collecting data on the values of the indicators from case study regions, (4) inputting the regional data to the models and computing quantitative values for susceptibility.
The methodology was applied to three case study regions (in India, Portugal and Russia) having a range of socio-economic and water stress conditions. In some cases the estimates of susceptibility were surprisingly similar, in others not, depending on the factors included in the disciplinary models and their relative weights. A new approach was also taken to testing vulnerability parameters by comparing estimated water stress against a data set of drought occurrences based on media analysis.
The new methodologies developed in this paper provide a consistent basis for comparing differences between disciplinary perspectives, and for identifying the importance of the differences.
Assisted gene flow (AGF) between populations has the potential to mitigate maladaptation due to climate change. However, AGF may cause outbreeding depression (especially if source and recipient populations have been long isolated) and may disrupt local adaptation to nonclimatic factors. Selection should eliminate extrinsic outbreeding depression due to adaptive differences in large populations, and simulations suggest that, within a few generations, evolution should resolve mild intrinsic outbreeding depression due to epistasis.
To weigh the risks of AGF against those of maladaptation due to climate change, we need to know the species' extent of local adaptation to climate and other environmental factors, as well as its pattern of gene flow. AGF should be a powerful tool for managing foundation and resource-producing species with large populations and broad ranges that show signs of historical adaptation to local climatic conditions.
Future changes in climate pose significant challenges for society, not the least of which is how best to adapt to observed and potential future impacts of these changes to which the world is already committed. Adaptation is a dynamic social process: the ability of societies to adapt is determined, in part, by the ability to act collectively.
This article reviews emerging perspectives on collective action and social capital and argues that insights from these areas inform the nature of adaptive capacity and normative prescriptions of policies of adaptation. Specifically, social capital is increasingly understood within economics to have public and private elements, both of which are based on trust, reputation, and reciprocal action. The public-good aspects of particular forms of social capital are pertinent elements of adaptive capacity in interacting with natural capital and in relation to the performance of institutions that cope with the risks of changes in climate.
Case studies are presented of present-day collective action for coping with extremes in weather in coastal areas in Southeast Asia and of community-based coastal management in the Caribbean. These cases demonstrate the importance of social capital framing both the public and private institutions of resource management that build resilience in the face of the risks of changes in climate. These cases illustrate, by analogy, the nature of adaptation processes and collective action in adapting to future changes in climate.
The Mediterranean region is projected to be extremely vulnerable to global change, which will affect the distribution of typical forest types such as native oak forests. However, our understanding of Mediterranean oak forest responses to future conditions is still very limited by the lack of knowledge on oak forest dynamics and speciesspecific responses to multiple drivers. We compared the longterm (1966–2006) forest persistence and land cover change among evergreen (cork oak and holm oak) and deciduous oak forests and evaluated the importance of anthropogenic and environmental drivers on observed changes for Portugal.
We used National Forest Inventories to quantify the changes in oak forests and explored the drivers of change using multinomial logistic regression analysis and an information theoretical approach. We found distinct trends among oak forest types, reflecting the differences in oak economic value, protection status and management schemes: cork oak forests were the most persistent (62%), changing mostly to pines and eucalypt; holm oak forests were less persistent (53.2%), changing mostly to agriculture; and deciduous oak forests were the least persistent (45.7%), changing mostly to shrublands.
Drivers of change had distinct importance across oak forest types, but drivers from anthropogenic origin (wildfires, population density, and land accessibility) were always among the most important. Climatic extremes were also important predictors of oak forest changes, namely extreme temperatures for evergreen oak forests and deficit of precipitation for deciduous oak forests.
Our results indicate that under increasing human pressure and forecasted climate change, evergreen oak forests will continue declining and deciduous oak forests will be replaced by forests dominated by more xeric species. In the long run, multiple disturbances may change competitive dominance from oak forests to pyrophytic shrublands. A better understanding of forest dynamics and the inclusion of anthropogenic drivers on models of vegetation change will improve predicting the future of Mediterranean oak forests.
Addressing the gaps between theory, research and practice, this paper explores a hybrid mindset of participatory action research (PAR), geoprospective and participatory geographical information system (PGIS).
This approach brings together stakeholders, policy-makers and researchers - in an agricultural peri-urban region of Portugal, the Lezíria do Tejo region - to anticipate the possible changes in agricultural territories, while taking spatial dynamics into account. It uses a four-step methodology which integrates qualitative and quantitative approaches to select stakeholders' interview areas, implement prospective workshops to engage and explore the stakeholders' interests and encourage actions towards finding solutions for long-term agricultural sustainability in this region.
The results from our study highlight that more participative approaches such as the ones developed here must be implemented towards decision-making, since they help to dispel the distrust between stakeholders, strengthen community cohesion and also contribute to build common solutions drawing upon various perspectives. From a PAR perspective, this work contributes to bridge the gap between academia and practitioners, as is shown by a willingness of the practitioners to actively participate in the research under progress.
This paper evaluates the impacts of climate change to European economies under an increase in global mean temperature at +2. °C and +4. °C. It is based on a summary of conclusions from available studies of how climate change may affect various sectors of the economies in different countries. We apply a macroeconomic general equilibrium model, which integrates impacts of climate change on different activities of the economies.
Agents adapt by responding to the changes in market conditions following the climatic changes, thus bringing consistency between economic behaviour and adaptation to climate change. Europe is divided into 85 sub-regions in order to capture climate variability and variations in vulnerabilities within countries. We find that the impacts in the +2. °C are moderate throughout Europe, with positive impacts on GDP in some sub-regions and negative impacts down to 0.1. per cent per year in others.
At +4. °C, GDP is negatively affected throughout Europe, and most substantially in the southern parts, where it falls by up to 0.7. per cent per year in some sub-regions. We also find that climate change causes differentiations in wages across Europe, which may cause migration from southern parts of Europe to northern parts, especially to the Nordic countries.