Assessing land take implications for environmental justice: a case study using the ecosystem services approach

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Land take is consuming a non-renewable resource and an essential one to human wellbeing?, with relevant social impacts and different implications as far as several sectors of the economy are concerned (EC, 2012). Assuming that (a) right livelihood is based on ecological balance and social justice (Shiva, 2008) land take may be considered as an unjust practice, in terms of fair share, equal opportunities, recognition and participation of present and future generations. Within the frame of the Land System Science (Verburg et al., 2013; Turner et al., 2013), the relationships between land take and environmental justice is analysed through the lens of the ecosystem services (ES) approach (MEA, 2005). ES evaluation is a challenge to be undertaken by planners (De Groot et al. 2010) because it enables the assessment of the benefits that the natural environment provides to human well-being and can help to assess environmental justice claims. A case study has been carried out for one of Rom 15 wards, the X Municipality, where large amount of green land was built up in recent years and more is expected in the future causing relevant impacts such as increasing flood risk, overloading of existing drainage and sewage systems, loss of agricultural land, natural area fragmentation. A GISbased semi quantitative assessment of relevant ES has been conducted, and a number of experts (including scientists and local administrators) have been consulted to gather their views on values and responsibilities connected to land use change occurred in the area. The case study draws out lessons for an analytical framework that operationalizes the ecosystem services approach to assess environmental justice land take implications.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
Ecosystem services, land take, environmental justice
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