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  • Characterizing spatio-temporal patterns of social vulnerability to droughts, degradation and desertification in the Brazilian northeast
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Characterizing spatio-temporal patterns of social vulnerability to droughts, degradation and desertification in the Brazilian northeast

Source(s):  Environmental and Sustainability Indicators (Science Direct)

Examples of how environmental susceptibility has a direct impact on the social vulnerability of a population, by affecting both the social and cultural life quality are discussed in this research for the Northeast of Brazil, which is considered to be the poorest region of the country. Several direct and indirect mechanisms associated to soil degradation/desertification are addressed, mainly in relation to the impact they cause to the livelihood such as income, immigration/emigration rate, and mortality. The authors' purpose is to provide, based on a social vulnerability index, a spatial-temporal analysis of the population dynamics in response to the effects of degradation/desertification and extended periods of drought. The results of this study demonstrated that social vulnerability is mostly dictated by social factors but marginally by environmental factors. This conclusion has an impact on federal public policies designed to reduce social inequality in the region.

The results showed that the physical characteristics of drylands do not necessarily imply high social vulnerability, in the same way, that low vulnerability is not a direct consequence of a more humid climate regime. Factors linked to human, economic and social aspects of communities have an important role in the better distribution of resources and survival. This is explained by the fact that cooperation and reciprocity enable access and participation in policy formulations that meet local needs. The transition from a high social vulnerability situation, combined with environmental degradation, to a condition of low vulnerability and sustainability depends on the achievement of public policies through a partnership between government and civil society.



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  • Characterizing spatio-temporal patterns of social vulnerability to droughts, degradation and desertification in the Brazilian northeast
  • Publication date 2020
  • Author(s) da Silva Pinto Vieira, Rita Marcia; Sestinia, Marcelo Francisco; Tomasella, Javier et al.
  • Number of pages 9 p.
  • ISBN/ISSN 10.1016/j.indic.2019.100016 (DOI)

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