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Characterising the rural-urban gradient through the participatory mapping of ecosystem services: Insights for landscape planning

By S. Palomo-Campesino, I. Palomo, J. Moreno and J.A. González


The application of the ecosystem services (ES) framework in landscape planning has become particularly relevant in rural-urban gradients since it allows for the integration of the complex interactions between ES supply and demand. This framework might be a powerful tool to inform landscape planning and decision-making intended to maintain the current and future flow of ES. In this study, we developed a process of participatory mapping of ES in a rural-urban gradient in southern Spain, which comprises the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Granada valley and the city of Granada. First, we interviewed 21 key stakeholders from different professional sectors and gradient zones. These stakeholders prioritised nine ES in terms of their importance for local human well-being and their vulnerability to current drivers of change. Then, a workshop was organised in which 23 local actors shared their experience and knowledge regarding ES in the studied landscape. Sorted into five groups (composed of stakeholders with different profiles), the participants spatially mapped the most important supply and demand areas for the nine ES previously prioritised. The results show that the city of Granada has a very high demand for ES and a very low supply, while the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the valley of Granada appear to be very important ES supply areas. According to 95% of the stakeholders that attended the workshop, participatory mapping of ES is a very important (69%) or an important (26%) methodology to elicit the views and perceptions of the population, to identify the main conflicts and potential solutions for the territory and to visualise the high dependence of urban areas on the ES provided by adjacent rural areas. Our results also highlight the importance of incorporating the analysis of ES flows to inform landscape planning at the regional scale. Participatory mapping of ES can enhance decision-making regarding the maintenance of human well-being and the sustainability of social-ecological systems. © Palomo-Campesino S et al.Financial support was provided by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (project #CGL2014-53782-P, ECOGRADIENTES). Sara Palomo-Campesino was funded by a grant from the Spanish National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology, co-funded by the Social European Fund (FPI-INIA). We acknowledge all interviewees and participants of the workshop for their time and knowledge

Publisher: 'Pensoft Publishers'
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.3897/oneeco.3.e24487
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Provided by: Communities in ADDI
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