Advertisement

Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 1147–1158 | Cite as

Farmers’ vulnerability to global change in Navarre, Spain: large-scale irrigation as maladaptation

  • Amaia AlbizuaEmail author
  • Esteve Corbera
  • Unai Pascual
Original Article

Abstract

Agricultural landscapes are dynamic environments which change in response to cropping and trade opportunities, available technologies and climatic conditions. In this article, we investigate farmers’ vulnerability to climate-related stressors and crop price volatility in rural Navarre, Spain. Specifically, we analyse the extent to which livelihood differences and vulnerability can be partly explained by the development of a large-scale irrigation project promoted by the Spanish and regional governments. Grounded on qualitative and quantitative data gathered across 22 villages, we demonstrate that small-scale diversified farmers appear the most vulnerable and least able to adapt to climate-related stressors and crop price volatility. In contrast, more market-driven, large-scale intensive farmers, who participate in the irrigation project, are the least vulnerable to these stressors. We argue that the irrigation project has increased the short-term adaptive capacity of irrigation adopters while establishing the institutional conditions for the displacement of small-scale farming. Therefore, we suggest that farmers’ vulnerability in Navarre can be explained by maladaptive irrigation policies designed to favour large-scale and market-driven agriculture.

Keywords

Social vulnerability Large-scale irrigation Global change Sensitivity Adaptive capacity Exposure 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the insightful comments by Dalal Hanna and H.M. Tuihedur Rahman; Adam Searle for their help in proof-reading the paper. We would also like to thank two anonimous reviewers for their useful comments and suggestions. The usual disclaimer applies.

Funding information

This article has received funds from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under the Grant agreement no.264465 (EcoFINDERS). This research is supported also by the Basque Government through the BERC 2018-2021 program and by Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness MINECO through BC3 María de Maeztu excellence accreditation MDM-2017-0714. Amaia Albizua also wants to thank the grant for contracts of Postdoctoral Training of the Education Department of the Basque Government. Esteve Corbera acknowledges the support of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona-Banco de Santander-Talent Retention Programme and the contribution of this article towards ICTA’s María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence 2015 (MDM-2015-0552).

Supplementary material

10113_2019_1462_MOESM1_ESM.docx (147 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 147 kb)

References

  1. Adger WN (2006) Vulnerability. Resil Vulnerability Adapt Cross-Cut Theme Int Hum Dimens Programme Glob Environ Change Resil Vulnerability Adapt Cross-Cut Theme Int Hum Dimens Programme Glob Environ Change 16:268–281.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2006.02.006
  2. Ahmed SA, Diffenbaugh NS, Hertel TW (2009) Climate volatility deepens poverty vulnerability in developing countries. Environ Res Lett 4:034004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Albizua A, Williams A, Hedlund K, Pascual U (2015) Crop rotations including ley and manure can promote ecosystem services in conventional farming systems. Appl Soil Ecol 95:54–61.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2015.06.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Albizua A, Pascual U, Corbera E, (2016) Social-ecological impacts of agrarian intensification: the case of modern irrigation in NavarreGoogle Scholar
  5. Andreas J, Zhan S (2016) Hukou and land: market reform and rural displacement in China. J Peasant Stud 43:798–827.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2015.1078317 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barnett J, O’Neill S (2010) Maladaptation. Glob Environ Chang 20(2):211–213.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.11.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Beaumont MJ (1997) El embalse de Itoiz, la razón o el poder. BakeazGoogle Scholar
  8. Berbel J, Mateos L (2014) Does investment in irrigation technology necessarily generate rebound effects? A simulation analysis based on an agro-economic model. Agric Syst 128:25–34.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2014.04.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berkes F, Folke C, Gadgil M (1994) Traditional ecological knowledge, biodiversity, resilience and sustainability. In: Perrings CA, Mäler K-G, Folke C, Holling CS, Jansson B-O (eds) Biodiversity Conservation: Problems and Policies. Papers from the Biodiversity Programme Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Ecology, Economy & Environment. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 269–287.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-1006-8_15 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Borras SMB, Franco JC (2011) Global land grabbing and trajectories of agrarian change: a preliminary analysis. J Agrar Chang 12:34–59.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-0366.2011.00339.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cabello V, Willaarts BA, Aguilar M, del Moral Ituarte L (2015) River basins as social-ecological systems: linking levels of societal and ecosystem water metabolism in a semiarid watershed. Ecol Soc 20.  https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-07778-200320
  12. Calvário R (2017) Food sovereignty and new peasantries: on re-peasantization and counter-hegemonic contestations in the Basque territory. J Peasant Stud 44(2):402–420.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2016.1259219
  13. Campbell BM, Thornton P, Zougmore R, van Asten P, Lipper L (2014) Sustainable intensification: what is its role in climate smart agriculture? Curr Opin Environ Sustain 8:39–43.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2014.07.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cinner JE, Adger WN, Allison EH, Barnes ML, Brown K, Cohen PJ, Gelcich S, Hicks CC, Hughes TP, Lau J, Marshall NA, Morrison TH (2018) Building adaptive capacity to climate change in tropical coastal communities. Nat Clim Chang 8:117–123.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-017-0065-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Colloff MJ, Martin-Lopez B, Lavorel S, Locatelli B, Gorddard R, Longaretti P-Y, Walters G, van Kerkhoff L, Wyborn C, Coreau A, Wise RM, Dunlop M, Degeorges P, Grantham H, Overton IC, Williams RD, Doherty MD, Capon T, Sanderson T, Murphy HT (2017) An integrative research framework for enabling transformative adaptation. Environ Sci Pol 68:87–96.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2016.11.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cox M, Ross JM (2011) Robustness and vulnerability of community irrigation systems: the case of the Taos valley acequias. J Environ Econ Manag 61(3):254–266.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeem.2010.10.004
  17. De Vries A, Garcia M (2012) OTN Observaciones Territoriales de Navarra. Gobierno de Navarra, pp 1–20. http://nasuvinsa.es/sites/default/files/pdfs/Observacion4Agric_web.pdf
  18. Diario de Noticias de Navarra (2016) La segunda fase del Canal “es desproporcionada y de alto coste”. [WWW Document]. URL http://www.noticiasdenavarra.com/2016/02/20/economia/la-segunda-fase-del-canal-es-desproporcionada-y-de-alto-coste. Accessed 2.22.16
  19. Diario de Noticias de Navarra (2018) Canal de Navarra: sin agua para 21.500 nuevas ha. [WWW Document]. URL http://www.noticiasdenavarra.com/2018/03/23/opinion/tribunas/canal-de-navarra-sin-agua-para-21500-nuevas-ha. Accessed 5.16.18
  20. Dirzo R, Raven PH (2003) Global state of biodiversity and loss. Annu Rev Environ Resour 28(1):137–167.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.energy.28.050302.105532
  21. Dumenu WK, Obeng EA (2016) Climate change and rural communities in Ghana: social vulnerability, impacts, adaptations and policy implications. Environ Sci Pol 55:208–217.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2015.10.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dwiartama A, Rosin C (2014) Exploring agency beyond humans: the compatibility of actor-network theory (ANT) and resilience thinking. Ecol Soc 19.  https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-06805-190328
  23. Eakin H, Bojórquez-Tapia LA (2008) Insights into the composition of household vulnerability from multicriteria decision analysis. Glob Environ Chang 18:112–127.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2007.09.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Foley JA, DeFries R, Asner GP, Barford C, Bonan G, Carpenter SR, Chapin FS, Coe MT, Daily GC, Gibbs HK, Helkowski JH, Holloway T, Howard EA, Kucharik CJ, Monfreda C, Patz JA, Prentice IC, Ramankutty N, Snyder PK (2005) Global consequences of land use. Science 309:570–574.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1111772 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ford JD, Smit B, Wandel J (2006) Vulnerability to climate change in the Arctic: a case study from Arctic Bay, Canada. Glob Environ Chang 16:145–160.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2005.11.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. García-Martín M, Plieninger T, Bieling C, García-Martín M, Plieninger T, Bieling C (2018) Dimensions of landscape stewardship across Europe: landscape values, place attachment, awareness, and personal responsibility. Sustainability 10:263.  https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010263 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Garrote L, Iglesias A, Granados A, Mediero L, Martin-Carrasco F (2015) Quantitative assessment of climate change vulnerability of irrigation demands in Mediterranean Europe. Water Resour Manag 29:325–338.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-014-0736-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. German L, Schoneveld G, Gumbo D (2011) The local social and environmental impacts of smallholder-based biofuel investments in Zambia. Ecol Soc 16(4):12.  https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-04280-160412
  29. Gobierno de Navarra (2015) Registro de explotaciones agrarias [WWW Document]. Obs. Agrar. URL http://www.navarra.es/home_es/Temas/Ambito+rural/Vida+rural/Observatorio+agrario/Agricola/Informacion+estadistica/Registro+de+explotaciones.htm. Accessed 29 Oct 2015
  30. Hahn MB, Riederer AM, Foster SO (2009) The livelihood vulnerability index: a pragmatic approach to assessing risks from climate variability and change—a case study in Mozambique. Glob Environ Chang 19:74–88.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2008.11.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hara MM, Backeberg GR (2014) An institutional approach for developing south African inland freshwater fisheries for improved food security and rural livelihoods. Water SA 40:277–286.  https://doi.org/10.4314/wsa.v40i2.10 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Huber García V, Gampe D, Ludwig R (2018) Estimating future water scarcity in two European river basins under different integrated climate, land use and water management scenarios. Presented at the EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts, p 2848Google Scholar
  33. Ifejika Speranza C, Wiesmann U, Rist S (2014) An indicator framework for assessing livelihood resilience in the context of social–ecological dynamics. Glob Environ Chang 28:109–119.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.06.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. INTIA (2016) Preguntas Clave Sobre el Embalse de Itoiz y el Canal de Navarra [WWW document]. URL http://www.intiasa.es/es/comunidad-de-regantes/areas-de-interes/itoiz-canal-de-navarra.html. Accessed 16 Feb 2017
  35. IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press. https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg2/ar4_wg2_full_report.pdf
  36. Larragueta (2012) Sector primario en NavarraGoogle Scholar
  37. Lin K-HE, Polsky C (2015) Indexing livelihood vulnerability to the effects of typhoons in indigenous communities in Taiwan. Geogr J 182:135–152.  https://doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12141 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Maleksaeidi H, Karami E, Zamani GH, Rezaei-Moghaddam K, Hayati D, Masoudi M (2016) Discovering and characterizing farm households’ resilience under water scarcity. Environ Dev Sustain 18:499–525.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-015-9661-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. McGinnis M, Ostrom E (2014) Social-ecological system framework: initial changes and continuing challenges. Ecol Soc 19Google Scholar
  40. Murgida AM, Gonzalez MH, Tiessen H (2014) Rainfall trends, land use change and adaptation in the Chaco salteo region of Argentina. Reg Environ Chang 14:1387–1394.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-013-0581-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Notenbaert A, Karanja SN, Herrero M, Felisberto M, Moyo S (2013) Derivation of a household-level vulnerability index for empirically testing measures of adaptive capacity and vulnerability. Reg Environ Chang 13:459–470.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-012-0368-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. O’Brien K, Leichenko R, Kelkar U, Venema H, Aandahl G, Tompkins H, Javed A, Bhadwal S, Barg S, Nygaard L, West J (2004) Mapping vulnerability to multiple stressors: climate change and globalization in India. Glob Environ Chang 14:303–313.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2004.01.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Partelow S, Winkler K (2016) Interlinking ecosystem services and Ostrom’s framework through orientation in sustainability research. Ecol Soc 21.  https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08524-210327
  44. Rasmussen LV, Coolsaet B, Martin A, Mertz O, Pascual U, Corbera E, Dawson N, Fisher JA, Franks P, Ryan CM (2018) Social-ecological outcomes of agricultural intensification. Nat Sustain 1:275–282.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-018-0070-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rivera-Ferre MG (2008) The future of agriculture. EMBO Rep 9:1061–1066.  https://doi.org/10.1038/embor.2008.196 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sanchis-Ibor C, Boelens R, García-Mollá M (2017) Collective irrigation reloaded. Re-collection and re-moralization of water management after privatization in Spain. Geoforum 87:38–47.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.10.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Schröter D, Cramer W, Leemans R, Prentice CI, Araújo MB, Arnell NW, Bondeau A, Bugmann H, Carter TR, Gracia CA, Vega-Leinert AC, de la Erhard M, Ewert F, Glendining M, House JI, Kankaanpää S, Klein RJT, Lavorel S, Lindner M, Metzger MJ, Meyer J, Mitchell TD, Reginster I, Rounsevell M, Sabaté S, Sitch S, Smith B, Smith J, Smith P, Sykes MT, Thonicke K, Thuiller W, Tuck G, Zaehle S, Zierl B (2005) Ecosystem service supply and vulnerability to global change in Europe. Science 310:1333–1337.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1115233 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Smit B, Wandel J (2006) Adaptation, adaptive capacity and vulnerability. Glob. Environ. Change, Resilience, Vulnerability, and Adaptation: A Cross-Cutting Theme of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change 16:282–292.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2006.03.008
  49. Smith A, Stirling A (2010) The politics of social-ecological resilience and sustainable socio-technical transitions. Ecol Soc 15.  https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-03218-150111
  50. Tarjuelo JM, Rodriguez-Diaz JA, Abadía R, Camacho E, Rocamora C, Moreno MA (2015) Efficient water and energy use in irrigation modernization: lessons from Spanish case studies. Agric Water Manag 162:67–77.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2015.08.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tilman D, Balzer C, Hill J, Befort BL (2011) Global food demand and the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Proc Natl Acad Sci 108:20260–20264.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1116437108 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Turner BL, Kasperson RE, Matson PA, McCarthy JJ, Corell RW, Christensen L, Eckley N, Kasperson JX, Luers A, Martello ML, Polsky C, Pulsipher A, Schiller A (2003) A framework for vulnerability analysis in sustainability science. Proc Natl Acad Sci 100:8074–8079.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1231335100 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Varela-Ortega C, Blanco-Gutierrez I, Esteve P, Bharwani S, Fronzek S, Downing TE (2016) How can irrigated agriculture adapt to climate change? Insights from the Guadiana Basin in Spain. Reg Environ Chang 16:59–70.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-014-0720-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Yagiz S, Gokceoglu C (2010) Application of fuzzy inference system and nonlinear regression models for predicting rock brittleness. Expert Syst Appl 37:2265–2272CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3)Scientific Campus of the University of the Basque CountryLeioaSpain
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA)Universitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Ikerbasque, Basque Science FoundationBilbaoSpain
  4. 4.Centre for Development and EnvironmentUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations