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Sustainable Land Management for Rural Adaptation in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Watersheds

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Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


The Mediterranean Basin and the Middle Eastern Region have witnessed the transformation of their landscapes due to climate change and anthropogenic land-use. Given their geography, land-use changes at the local scale have induced perturbations that, beyond affecting the local-to-regional climate, may have propagated to larger scales. While some of these land-use practices have intensified desertification, others have fostered lasting and sustainable landscapes. Learning how past land-use has affected the regional environment provides insight into shaping holistic measures aimed to combat climate change. With this work, we highlight sustainable land-use practices that assist in mitigating environmental degradation and adapting to current and future climate change in the Mediterranean Basin and the Middle Eastern Region. For that, we have used an integrated assessment of the ecosystem services and the social functions of 141 sustainable land management practices clustered in 23 groups. The assessment indicates that the more successful practices are those that can be mainstreamed on their own, yet their combination facilitates the integrated management of full watersheds. This type of study is relevant in the context of decision-making on land management, as policies at the local and regional levels can benefit from interdisciplinary science and the knowledge of land-users. Moreover, past (unsustainable) environmental impacts resulting from land-use practices are taken into account in the design of future adaptation strategies, thus avoiding greater impacts.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-78566-6_21
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Fig. 1

Modified from Millan (2007) and Millan (2014)

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source for the Köppen-Geiger climate classification in Rubel and Kottek (2010)

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Ruiz, I., Sanz, M.J. (2022). Sustainable Land Management for Rural Adaptation in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Watersheds. In: Leal Filho, W., Manolas, E. (eds) Climate Change in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Region. Climate Change Management. Springer, Cham.

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