Viterbo, Italy
Viterbo, Italy
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Sunderland T.,Center for International Forestry Research | Sunderland T.,James Cook University | Abdoulaye R.,Center for International Forestry Research | Ahammad R.,Charles Darwin University | And 20 more authors.
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2016

The expansion of agriculture has resulted in large-scale habitat loss, the fragmentation of forests, significant losses in biological diversity and negative impacts on many ecosystem services. In this paper, we highlight the Agrarian Change Project, a multi-disciplinary research initiative, that applies detailed socio-ecological methodologies in multi-functional landscapes, and assess the subsequent implications for conservation, livelihoods and food security. Specifically, the research focuses on land use impacts in locations which exhibit various combinations of agricultural modification/change across a forest transition gradient in six tropical landscapes, in Zambia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Bangladesh. These methods include integrated assessments of the perceptions of ecosystem service provision, tree cover loss and gain, relative poverty, diets and agricultural patterns of change. Although numerous surveys on rural livelihoods are undertaken each year, often at great cost, many are hampered by weaknesses in methods and thus may not reflect rural realities. We attempt to highlight how integrating broader socio-ecological methods can be used to fill in those gaps and ensure such realities are indeed captured. Early findings suggest that the transition from a forested landscape to a more agrarian dominated system does not necessarily result in better livelihood outcomes and there may be unintended consequences of forest and tree cover removal. These include the loss of access to grazing land, loss of dietary diversity and the loss of ecosystem services/forest products. © 2017 The Authors.

Colantoni A.,Forests | Delfanti L.,Forests | Recanatesi F.,Forests | Lord R.,University of Strathclyde
Land Use Policy | Year: 2016

This study provides a preliminary agro-environmental, economic and energetic analysis to critically evaluate the biomass potential of an area of central Italy (Tuscia Romana). This area is selected as representative for agro-forestry from its orographic characteristics, climatic conditions, land use and potential energy sources. Accordingly, the model we have obtained could be used for other similar areas of central Italy. We have assessed the potential agro-forestry biomass availability, energy potential and transport infrastructure using multi criteria analysis and geographic information system approaches. Finally, optimum locations to develop an energy plant were identified. This model could be applied at a local level to help deliver environmental policy. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Salvati L.,Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l'analisi dell'Economia Agraria CREA | Ferrara C.,Forests | Mavrakis A.,Panteion University | Colantoni A.,Viterbo University
Journal of Forestry Research | Year: 2016

The present study analyzes the structure and dynamics of the forest landscape in a peri-urban area (Rome, Italy) during the city’s expansion from 1949 to 2008 using landscape metrics and change detection analysis of digital maps of the area (1500 km2). While urban settlements increased continuously from 6.5 to 27.5 % of the study area, woodlands changed less clearly, with a moderate increase (from 11.2 to 11.9 % of the total area) and a higher fragmentation as a consequence of Rome’s expansion. The structure of forest landscape changed along the urban-to-rural gradient with patch size increasing with the distance to the inner city in 1949 and substantial landscape homogeneity in 2008. The indicators proposed in this study inform dedicated measures for conserving forest and maintaining landscape diversity. Measures adopted in Rome’s forestation plan to counteract woodland fragmentation were analyzed and discussed. Based on the complex landscape dynamics found for Rome, an integrated multiscale planning approach targeting forest conservation is considered a key contribution to urban sustainability. © 2015, Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Malleson R.,University College London | Asaha S.,Forests | Egot M.,EU Microprojects Programme | Kshatriya M.,University College London | And 3 more authors.
International Forestry Review | Year: 2014

SUMMARY This paper discusses the relative importance of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for rural households in Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana. It aims to compare and contrast the significance of NTFPs for income generation in rainforest areas, both within and across these countries to draw out regional patterns in a wider ecological, social and political context. In doing so, we bring the added value of highlighting the different roles which NTFPs currently play, or might likely begin to play out, in wider landscapes. The contribution NTFPs make to rural livelihoods depends largely on the availability of forest resources and access to markets, as well as socio-economic variables including wealth, gender and migration status. The findings indicate that remote communities and poorer households rely more on NTFP-based income compared to more accessible communities and wealthier households. NTFPs are relatively unimportant as an income source for households in more accessible rural areas, where farm-related income dominates. These findings support the theory that NTFPs are an important component to rural livelihoods and make significant and timely income contributions to poor households. Furthermore, in times of economic and climatic uncertainty, NTFPs and the forest and agricultural landscapes within which they are found, make a significant contribution to the resilience of rural forest dwellers' livelihoods.

Salvati L.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Barone P.M.,The American University of Rome | Ferrara C.,Forests
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2015

Topsoil organic carbon (TOC) and soil organic carbon (SOC) are fundamental in the carbon cycle influencing soil functions and attributes. Many factors have effects on soil carbon content such as climate, parent material, land topography and the human action including agriculture, which sometimes caused a severe loss in soil carbon content. This has resulted in a significant differentiation in TOC or SOC at the continental scale due to the different territorial and socioeconomic conditions. The present study proposes an exploratory data analysis assessing the relationship between the spatial distribution of soil organic carbon and selected socioeconomic attributes at the local scale in Italy with the aim to provide differentiated responses for a more sustainable use of land. A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis contributed to understand the effectiveness of local communities responses for an adequate comprehension of the role of soil as carbon sink. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

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