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Desertification Indicator System for Mediterranean Europe


The main issues associated with Mediterranean desertification

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Table of indicators relating to littoralisation
Authors: Claudio Zucca and Veronica Colombo <nrd@uniss.it>

Based on the discussion of the issue of littoralisation and on a workshop session carried out by members of the DESERTLINKS project, we have attempted to structure the relationship of the indicators to the issue.

The littoralisation issue is divided into three themes:

  • what can be observed (or process or state dynamics);
  • reasons for what is observed (or factors influencing the issue or driving forces and pressures);
  • consequences of what is observed (or impacts and responses).

The different facets of each theme are given in sub-themes and indicators of direct relevance to measuring or monitoring are suggested. Some are also suggested as headline indicators which, if considered as a group, form a sub-set of indicators encapsulating the major processes in littoralisation (see also Combining and using indicators: Headline indicators).

Please note that the structure presented in the table below is open to discussion. It may not be comprehensive because it is restricted to the indicators currently in the DIS4ME database. Some indicators appear more than once because they relate to more than one theme. This structure is something we would like to develop further in the future.

Theme Sub-theme Indicators

What can be observed (process or state dynamics)

Economy by sectors (coast) Value added by sector
  GDP inland/ coast and rate of change GDP per capita
Tourism contribution to local GDP
  Tourism development (coast) Tourism change
Tourism intensity (Headline)
  Population and rate of change (inland/ coast) Population growth rate (Headline)
  Agriculture development (coast) Land use intensity
  Expansion of artificial areas and tourism settlements in coastal zones Urban sprawl (Headline)
Reasons for what is observed (influencing factors or driving forces and pressures) Role of planning and land use policy (coast) River basin management plan
Water use policy/law
Policy enforcement
  Employment opportunities (inland/coast) Employment index
Unemployment rate
  Existence of subsidies for economic activities (coast) National funding
Regional/local funding
  Tourism demand (housing, services etc) (coast) Urban sprawl (Headline)
  Tourism and irrigation demand for water (coast) Water consumption by sector (Headline)
Acquifer over exploitation
  Land abandonment (inland) Land abandoned from agriculture
Consequences of what is observed (or impacts and responses) Water consumption (coast) Groundwater depth (change in)
Water availability
Water scarcity (Headline)
  Soil consumption due to urban expansion (coast) Urban sprawl (Headline)
  Biodiversity loss (coast) Biodiversity conservation in natural environments
Forest fragmentation
  Water pollution (coast) Water quality
  Land/land use change (inland) Soil erosion control measures
Soil water conservation measures
  Sustainable policies
Local Agenda 21
Water use policy/law
Policy enforcement
Penetration of touristic eco-label

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