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Title: Impacts and social implications of landuse-environment conflicts in a typical Mediterranean watershed
Author: Salhi, Adil
Benabdelouahab, Sara
Bouayad, E.
Benabdelouahab, Larifi, I.
El Mousaoui, M.
Acharrat, N.
Himi, Mahjoub
Casas i Ponsatí, Albert
Keywords: Mediterrània (Costa)
Mediterranean Coast
Issue Date: 10-Apr-2020
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Abstract: In coastal watersheds, services and landuse favour coastal tourism and urbanization, depriving rural upstream of infrastructure and attention. This unbalanced management leads to an intensification of socioeconomic changes that generate a structural heterogeneity of the landscape and a reduction in the livelihoods of the rural population. The incessant dissociation between the objectives of the stakeholders triggers landuse-environment-economy conflicts which threaten to mutate large-scale development programs. Here, we used multi-assessment techniques in a Mediterranean watershed from Morocco to evaluate the effects of landuse change on water, vegetation, and perception of the rural population towards environmental issues. We combined complementary vegetation indexes (NDVI and EVI) to study long-term landuse change and phenological statistical pixel-based trends. We assessed the exposure of rural households to the risk of groundwater pollution through a water analysis supplemented by the calculation of an Integrated Water Quality Index. Later, we contrasted the findings with the results of a social survey with a representative sample of 401 households from 7 villages. We found that rapid coastal linear urbanization has resulted in a 12-fold increase in construction over the past 35 years, to the detriment of natural spaces and the lack of equipment and means in rural areas upstream. We show that the worst water qualities are linked to the negative impact of anthropogenic activities on immediately accessible water points. We observe that rural households are aware of the existence and gravity of environmental issues but act confusedly because of their low education level which generates a weak capacity to understand cause and effect relationships. We anticipate the pressing need to improve the well-being and education of the population and synergistically correct management plans to target the watershed as a consolidated system. Broadly, stakeholders should restore lost territorial harmony and reallocate landuse according to a sustainable environment-socioeconomic vision.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Science of the Total Environment, 2020, vol. 764, p. 142853
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ISSN: 0048-9697
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Mineralogia, Petrologia i Geologia Aplicada)

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