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Linkages between land degradation and economic inequality in global drylands

Maegaard Elvekjær, Neija LU (2017) In Student thesis series INES NGEK01 20171
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Abstract
Land degradation has a negative effect on agriculture, food security and ecosystems. It severely impacts the livelihood of the many people directly depending on agriculture around the world. Drylands are some of the most vulnerable areas around the world. Population increase and climate change add strain on the food production of these areas, making them especially vulnerable to land degradation. The aim of this thesis was to explore possible linkages between land degradation and economic inequality. The residual trend method was applied for global drylands, and the resulting vegetation trends were correlated with three measures of income inequality: the Gini coefficient, the income quintile ratio and the decile dispersion ratio. All three... (More)
Land degradation has a negative effect on agriculture, food security and ecosystems. It severely impacts the livelihood of the many people directly depending on agriculture around the world. Drylands are some of the most vulnerable areas around the world. Population increase and climate change add strain on the food production of these areas, making them especially vulnerable to land degradation. The aim of this thesis was to explore possible linkages between land degradation and economic inequality. The residual trend method was applied for global drylands, and the resulting vegetation trends were correlated with three measures of income inequality: the Gini coefficient, the income quintile ratio and the decile dispersion ratio. All three correlations showed significant negative relationships, meaning that land degradation can be associated with economic inequality.
No other research could be found that quantifies the association between land degradation and economic inequality. The results underline the importance for policy makers to tackle inequality and land degradation simultaneously, since they are interconnected. Further research is needed to determine the nature of this relationship, and how the understanding of this relationship could help combat inequality and land degradation in the future. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Land degradation is considered one of the main environmental problems of today. It has a negative effect on agriculture, food security and ecosystems. It severely impacts the livelihood of the many people directly depending on agriculture around the world. About 30 % of the global land area shows signs of land degradation and 3 billion people are directly affected by this.
The most vulnerable to land degradation are the poor as they do not have the economic power to mitigate or adapt to the challenges of land degradation. Land degradation can hinder economic growth, thereby affecting society. However, land management decisions, largely driven by the economy, in turn also affects land degradation. Land degradation and its connections to... (More)
Land degradation is considered one of the main environmental problems of today. It has a negative effect on agriculture, food security and ecosystems. It severely impacts the livelihood of the many people directly depending on agriculture around the world. About 30 % of the global land area shows signs of land degradation and 3 billion people are directly affected by this.
The most vulnerable to land degradation are the poor as they do not have the economic power to mitigate or adapt to the challenges of land degradation. Land degradation can hinder economic growth, thereby affecting society. However, land management decisions, largely driven by the economy, in turn also affects land degradation. Land degradation and its connections to society are very complex, affected by many different factors and feedback loops. Therefore, quantifying this relationship can be very difficult. In this thesis, I will present significant evidence that land degradation and income inequality can be associated.
Drylands occupy 45% of earths land area and is the home of more than 38% of the global population. Population increase and climate change add strain on the food production of these areas, making them especially vulnerable to land degradation. These areas will be the focus of my analysis.
The aim of this thesis was to explore possible linkages between land degradation and economic inequality. This was done by correlating trends in land degradation from 1982-2013 with three different measures of income inequality. The measure of land degradation was found with the use of satellite images. The change in vegetation after removing the effect of rainfall was assumed to be caused by land degradation.
The correlations between land degradation and income inequality showed significant negative relationships. This means that land degradation can be associated with economic inequality. Areas with more severe land degradation also have a more unequal distribution of income within the society.
No other research could be found that quantifies the association between land degradation and economic inequality. The results underline the importance for policy makers to tackle inequality and land degradation simultaneously, since they are interconnected. Further research is needed to determine the nature of this relationship, and how the understanding of this relationship could help combat inequality and land degradation in global drylands. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Maegaard Elvekjær, Neija LU
supervisor
organization
course
NGEK01 20171
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
global drylands, Gini coefficient, income inequality, NDVI, Mann Kendall trend analysis, inequality index, restrend, land degradation, socio-economic inequality
publication/series
Student thesis series INES
report number
421
language
English
id
8918461
date added to LUP
2017-08-18 01:42:23
date last changed
2017-08-18 01:42:23
@misc{8918461,
  abstract     = {Land degradation has a negative effect on agriculture, food security and ecosystems. It severely impacts the livelihood of the many people directly depending on agriculture around the world. Drylands are some of the most vulnerable areas around the world. Population increase and climate change add strain on the food production of these areas, making them especially vulnerable to land degradation. The aim of this thesis was to explore possible linkages between land degradation and economic inequality. The residual trend method was applied for global drylands, and the resulting vegetation trends were correlated with three measures of income inequality: the Gini coefficient, the income quintile ratio and the decile dispersion ratio. All three correlations showed significant negative relationships, meaning that land degradation can be associated with economic inequality.
No other research could be found that quantifies the association between land degradation and economic inequality. The results underline the importance for policy makers to tackle inequality and land degradation simultaneously, since they are interconnected. Further research is needed to determine the nature of this relationship, and how the understanding of this relationship could help combat inequality and land degradation in the future.},
  author       = {Maegaard Elvekjær, Neija},
  keyword      = {global drylands,Gini coefficient,income inequality,NDVI,Mann Kendall trend analysis,inequality index,restrend,land degradation,socio-economic inequality},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Student thesis series INES},
  title        = {Linkages between land degradation and economic inequality in global drylands},
  year         = {2017},
}