Mitigation and adaptation investments for desertification and climate change: an assessment of the socioeconomic return

  • Carla Ximena SalinasEmail author
  • Jon Mendieta


Climate change will further increase the risk of desertification, which is already affecting large areas of the world. Many countries are making investments for the implementation of mitigation and adaptation strategies to combat desertification. The long term effectiveness of these strategies necessarily require a socioeconomic return for its sustainability. The main goal of our paper is to assess the relation between the mitigation and adaptation investments and the socio-economy of the rural population. The area of study is located in north-central Chile. The northern regions are mostly composed by arid land, which can be considered as a marginal area for agriculture. The area formed by the southern regions is optimal for the agricultural activity which is characterized by an industrialized agriculture with and increased use of technology. The indicators we have used for our study are the following: the Investments provided by the Chilean Agriculture Livestock and Forestry (ALF) promotion agencies, the ALF Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Population Employed in ALF. The results show that the relationship between the investments and the socioeconomy varies among the regions analyzed. Investments are positively correlated (P ≤ 0.05) with the ALF GDP and the labor in ALF in the northern regions, but do not seem to be directly related to labor in ALF in the southern regions (P ≥ 0.05). Therefore, our conclusion is that the Investments are significantly relevant for the agricultural activity in the arid northern regions, while in the southern regions they have no direct impact on the labor in ALF.


Adaptation investments Atacama Desert Agriculture Forestry and Livestock GDP Climate change Desertification Ecosystem services Land abandonment Mitigation Socioeconomic return Modern irrigation 



The authors would like to thank Guido Soto, Director of CAZALAC (Water Center for Arid and Semiarid Zones in Latin America and the Caribbean), for his help and financial support in the data collection and for his helpful comments. This paper also greatly benefited from conversations with Dr. Sergio Zelaya, Coordinator Policy for Advocacy on Global Issues and Platforms UNCCD Secretariat and also from comments M.Sc. Wilfredo Alfaro, Focal Point of the UNCCD for Chile. We also thank to CONAF, to CNR and to SAG for their inestimable collaboration. Thank also go to Ximena Santo for her valuable help in reviewing the language of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ARNATUR, Association for Natural ResourcesSopelanaSpain
  2. 2.ARNATUR, Association for Water and Natural ResourcesSopelanaSpain

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