CONTEXT Identifying the marginal lands distribution and understanding the criteria and processes which characterize them, is strategic both to improve their conditions and to support a broad-scale suitable landscape development. OBJECTIVE The main aims of the work are: i. to support the identification of marginal land for agricultural uses and, specifically, for bioenergy crops in Mediterranean contexts, according to the recent European and worldwide energy crisis; ii. to overturn the vision of these contexts, from problem to opportunity for the relaunch of local economies, the care of the landscape and respect for ecosystems; iii. to support the decision makers activity, for a medium-long term landscape governance and, at the same time, the interests of farmers and local communities, in guaranteeing opportunities for economic growth and environmental/social returns. METHODS The methodological approach encompasses two main activities: i. the marginal lands identification; ii. the bioenergy scenarios building. They belong to land-use/landscape planning approaches and support the decision makers in the integrations of different criteria and stakeholders points of views. According to literature, the geo-morphologic, agronomic and socio-economic conditions were analyzed using a spatial-multicriteria decision analysis and target modelling tools. The ecosystems services approach, their mapping and quantification, via a dedicated software, were used to support the process still in the analysis phase and in the marginal lands identification one. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS A considerably huge area (approximately 7730 km2) was identified as marginal for traditional agricultural uses. Marginality factors are both physical (soil, climatic, agronomic conditions) and social (population structure, depopulation, employment). The study area ecosystem services assessment also confirms lower values than the regional averages. The results highlight the need for decision-makers to monitor these contexts to stem the effects, as well as to provide suitable socio-economic development policies capable of recovering those territories that in the past have held up the regional economy. The energy crops scenarios building can support different production chains (ligno-cellulosic biomass, seeds, oils), and the energy conversion plants types. SIGNIFICANCE The present work proved to be useful in the meta-analysis study-phase for identifying marginal lands, allowing a significant reduction in analysis costs and times. Although the study is focused on a specific Mediterranean context, the approach can provide scientific guidance for marginal lands identification and management (related to energy crops scenarios) and a support for the ecosystem services restoration. In these terms, the study supports both potential market investors for estimating expected profits, and policy makers for landscape management and land use changes. The integration of multi-criteria assessments and species distribution models supports the choice of specific such as: facing climatic needs, mitigating morphological characteristics, making up for agronomic deficiencies, supporting the population with social policies and incentives for agricultural activities.

Marginal lands between recovery and valorization. An inclusive definition to support bio-energy supply chains. The Southern Italy contexts case study / Cervelli, Elena; Recchi, PIER FRANCESCO; Fagnano, Massimo; SCOTTO DI PERTA, Ester; Pindozzi, Stefania. - In: AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS. - ISSN 1873-2267. - 217:(2024). [10.1016/j.agsy.2024.103951]

Marginal lands between recovery and valorization. An inclusive definition to support bio-energy supply chains. The Southern Italy contexts case study

Elena Cervelli
Primo
;
Pier Francesco Recchi;Massimo Fagnano;Ester Scotto di Perta;Stefania Pindozzi
Ultimo
2024

Abstract

CONTEXT Identifying the marginal lands distribution and understanding the criteria and processes which characterize them, is strategic both to improve their conditions and to support a broad-scale suitable landscape development. OBJECTIVE The main aims of the work are: i. to support the identification of marginal land for agricultural uses and, specifically, for bioenergy crops in Mediterranean contexts, according to the recent European and worldwide energy crisis; ii. to overturn the vision of these contexts, from problem to opportunity for the relaunch of local economies, the care of the landscape and respect for ecosystems; iii. to support the decision makers activity, for a medium-long term landscape governance and, at the same time, the interests of farmers and local communities, in guaranteeing opportunities for economic growth and environmental/social returns. METHODS The methodological approach encompasses two main activities: i. the marginal lands identification; ii. the bioenergy scenarios building. They belong to land-use/landscape planning approaches and support the decision makers in the integrations of different criteria and stakeholders points of views. According to literature, the geo-morphologic, agronomic and socio-economic conditions were analyzed using a spatial-multicriteria decision analysis and target modelling tools. The ecosystems services approach, their mapping and quantification, via a dedicated software, were used to support the process still in the analysis phase and in the marginal lands identification one. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS A considerably huge area (approximately 7730 km2) was identified as marginal for traditional agricultural uses. Marginality factors are both physical (soil, climatic, agronomic conditions) and social (population structure, depopulation, employment). The study area ecosystem services assessment also confirms lower values than the regional averages. The results highlight the need for decision-makers to monitor these contexts to stem the effects, as well as to provide suitable socio-economic development policies capable of recovering those territories that in the past have held up the regional economy. The energy crops scenarios building can support different production chains (ligno-cellulosic biomass, seeds, oils), and the energy conversion plants types. SIGNIFICANCE The present work proved to be useful in the meta-analysis study-phase for identifying marginal lands, allowing a significant reduction in analysis costs and times. Although the study is focused on a specific Mediterranean context, the approach can provide scientific guidance for marginal lands identification and management (related to energy crops scenarios) and a support for the ecosystem services restoration. In these terms, the study supports both potential market investors for estimating expected profits, and policy makers for landscape management and land use changes. The integration of multi-criteria assessments and species distribution models supports the choice of specific such as: facing climatic needs, mitigating morphological characteristics, making up for agronomic deficiencies, supporting the population with social policies and incentives for agricultural activities.
2024
Marginal lands between recovery and valorization. An inclusive definition to support bio-energy supply chains. The Southern Italy contexts case study / Cervelli, Elena; Recchi, PIER FRANCESCO; Fagnano, Massimo; SCOTTO DI PERTA, Ester; Pindozzi, Stefania. - In: AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS. - ISSN 1873-2267. - 217:(2024). [10.1016/j.agsy.2024.103951]
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/958336
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact