Evidence-Based Integrated Analysis of Environmental Hazards in Southern Bolivia.


Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI), Università degli Studi di Firenze, 50145 Firenze, Italy. [Email]


The "Valles Cruceños" rural region plays a fundamental role for securing food and other resources for the neighboring, and fast sprawling, city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia). Due to the increasing pressure on its natural resources, the region is affected by progressive and severe environmental degradation, as many other rural regions in South and Central America. In this situation, sound policies and governance for sustainable land management are weak and not supported by data and scientific research outputs. With the present study, we aim at developing a novel and practical integrated hazard analysis methodology, supporting the evidence-based understanding of hazard patterns and informing risk assessment processes in the urban-rural continuum. Firstly, the main environmental hazards affecting the area were identified via questionnaire campaigns, held by the staff of local municipalities. Focusing on the hazards mostly perceived by the inhabitants of the region, including deforestation, water pollution and precipitation changes, hazard maps were created by using multiple environmental hazards indicators. An integrated hazard map was then built in a GIS environment, after a pair-wise comparison process. The maps represent a first baseline for the analysis of the present status of natural resources in "Valles Cruceños" area, and the proposed approach can be scaled up for integrated environmental hazards analysis in similar areas of Latin America.


CHIRPS,GIS,agricultural intensification,deforestation,integrated hazard assessment,precipitation shift,remote sensing,sustainable land and water management,water pollution,