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Assessing Sustainable Rural Development Based on Ecosystem Services Vulnerability

Author

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  • Pascual Fernández Martínez

    (Department of Applied Economics I and History and Economic Institutions, Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Campus of Vicálvaro, Tulipan, 28933 Móstoles, Madrid, Spain)

  • Mónica de Castro-Pardo

    (Department of Business Economics, Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Campus of Vicálvaro, Tulipan, 28933 Móstoles, Madrid, Spain)

  • Víctor Martín Barroso

    (Department of Applied Economics I and History and Economic Institutions, Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Campus of Vicálvaro, Tulipan, 28933 Móstoles, Madrid, Spain)

  • João C. Azevedo

    (Centro de Investigação de Montanha, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal)

Abstract

Sustainable Rural Development is essential to maintain active local communities and avoid depopulation and degradation of rural areas. Proper assessment of development in these territories is necessary to improve decision-making and to inform public policy, while ensuring biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services supply. Rural areas include high ecological value systems but the vulnerability of environmental components in development indicators has not been sufficiently pinpointed. The main objective of this work was to propose a new sustainable rural development composite indicator (nSRDI) while considering an environmental dimension indicator based on ecosystem services vulnerability and social and economic dimension indicators established using a sequentially Benefit of the Doubt-Data Envelopment Analysis (BoD-DEA) model. It aimed also to test effects of weighting methods on nSRDI. The composite indicator was applied to 10 regions ( comarcas ) in the Huesca province, Spain, producing a ranking of regions accordingly. The indicator was further tested through the analysis of the effect of an equal and optimum weighting method on scores and rankings of regions. Results showed substantial differences in nSRDI scores/rankings when vulnerability was added to the process, suggesting that the environmental dimension and the perspective from which it is conceived and applied matters when addressing sustainable rural development.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascual Fernández Martínez & Mónica de Castro-Pardo & Víctor Martín Barroso & João C. Azevedo, 2020. "Assessing Sustainable Rural Development Based on Ecosystem Services Vulnerability," Land, MDPI, vol. 9(7), pages 1-23, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:9:y:2020:i:7:p:222-:d:382414
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