DPSIR analysis of land and soil degradation in response to changes in land use .

Jaume Porta, Rosa María Poch


In this paper we analyze the causal chain, from the driving forces to the state, impacts and system responses, for several present and past human activities related to land use and land degradation. The DPSIR framework approach is used for analysing and assessing land degradation problems within a comprehensive view of interactions between human society and the environment. With this approach, land use, land and soil degradation in several parts of the world (Mexico, Spain and Togo) are analyzed in relation to different land use types: the beginning of irrigation in the 1860’s in a semiarid zone with calcareous soils in North-eastern Spain; influence of the land utilization type (LUT) on land degradation in Mexico; soil erosion and reservoir siltation as a global problem (Spain and Mexico); and the protective effects against degradation when soil is considered as a sacred area in Togo. These analyses allow us to learn from the past and could help us to develop strategies to prevent land and soil degradation. This approach provides a useful insight for a systematic analysis when trying to understand the causes of land and soil degradation in response to changes in land use.
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