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Title: Can local policy options reverse the decline process of small and marginalized rural areas influenced by global change?
Authors: Tenza Peral, Alicia
Pérez Ibarra, I.
Breceda, A.
Martínez Fernández, J.
Giménez, A.
Issue Date: 2022
Citation: Environmental Science & Policy, vol. 127, (2022)
Abstract: Rural depopulation generates deep territorial imbalances, threats regional food security, and causes the irreversible loss of culture and local institutions that manage natural resources and ecosystem services worldwide. While local leadership and economic diversification have been pointed as factors that could trigger rural development, what happens to remote rural areas whose continuous process of depopulation has undermined their social capital and leadership and their endogenous capacity for economic diversification? What realistic policy options could trigger an effective and endogenous rural development process in these weakened areas? Here we used a dynamic simulation model and a sensitivity analysis to explore the long-term effects of local policy options suggested by institutional, academic and local stakeholders that could act on leverage points to revert the depopulation of a marginalized rural area in Mexico, the oasis of Comondú in Baja California Sur. The identified leverage points are related to improving the production yields of irrigated agriculture and livestock farming, the main economic activities of this social-ecological system. Our results showed the positive, but limited, effects of acting on these leverage points. However, they seem plausible good places to act to start an endogenous revitalization process in this rural area. We found complementariness between the stakeholders’ management proposals, and high proximity of these proposals to the leverage points, especially the most place-based-specific proposals. This study shows the relevance of place-based research for rural development and how modeling is a valuable decision support tool to evaluate in advance the effectiveness of policy options proposed by stakeholders.
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Appears in Collections:[DOCIART] Artículos científicos, técnicos y divulgativos

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