Featured projects (1)

MOVING is H2020 project coordinated by myself and gathering 23 partners from all over Europe. Mountain covers 36% of Europe area and play an essential role in the provision of public and private goods. Despite their relevance in both ecological and socioeconomic terms, we lack updated and comparable knowledge of the impacts of climate change, demographic trends and socioeconomic drivers in these areas; as well as the necessary policy-mix to address them. Advanced knowledge on the vulnerability of land use and production systems and related value chains; and on the long-term trends and dynamics affecting European mountains is necessary to design the next generation of policies. MOVING objective is to build capacities and co-develop policy frameworks across Europe for the establishment of new or upgraded/upscaled value chains contributing to resilience and sustainability of mountain areas, valorising local assets and delivering private and public goods.

Featured research (6)

In Europe today, there is increasing interest in the management of protected spaces, not only in an attempt to ensure their conservation but also because of their enormous potential for promoting rural development. These protected spaces are generally designed from the top down, although, in an increasing number of cases, they are being promoted by rural communities themselves. The situation across Europe with regard to protected areas is extraordinarily complex due, among other reasons, to the variety of categories and types of protected areas at the regional level. The objective of this study was to compare two parks: the Sierra Nevada National and Natural Park in Andalusia, Spain, and the Alta Murgia National Park in Apulia, Italy, in order to identify any similarities and/or differences between them. To this end, we performed a dynamic analysis of the evolution of the crops, uses, and livestock species using a specific indicator that can detect local dynamics by comparing areas inside the parks with those in the immediate surrounding areas. The results pointed, in part, to a resurgence of these places. In both cases, a trend was observed towards more extensive farming of certain crops and livestock species that are more profitable and/or more highly regarded as quality products. In other cases, there was a risk of traditional crops and agricultural landscapes being abandoned and lost. Various threats were identified in relation to capital-intensive forms of agriculture, especially involving greenhouse cultivation on the Mediterranean coast in the provinces of Granada and Almeria.
Over the last 25 years, some rural development programmes implemented as part of the LEADER initiative have adopted a neo-endogenous approach in an attempt to reduce territorial disparities between urban and rural areas, and between prosperous and poor rural territories. This second aim, in particular, has been very hard to achieve. This study seeks to prove that the investments in the LEADER programme over the period 2007-2013 were concentrated in the most dynamic rural areas while these projects and investments have sidelined the rural areas with severe structural problems (here called 'deep rural areas'). This is verified for the cases of Andalusia (Spain) and Apulia (Italy). The list of projects implemented during the 2007-2013 programming period was used as a source of information.
Rural tourism has commonly been identified as one of the main areas of application of the principles of sustainable tourism, but the literature has typically focused solely on the ecological dimension, particularly when referring to agritourism. This study presents a new approach to assessing the "eco-effectiveness" of the evolutionary dynamics of agritourism, as applied in a study of NUTS-2 regions in two European countries (Spain and Italy) that have implemented similar rural development strategies. To this end, a synthetic sustainability index was developed using the Index Decomposition Analysis (IDA) technique. The last period of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) 2007-2013 was chosen for the study in order to analyze the outcomes of a programming cycle focusing on the diversification of agriculture through tourism. The results show that the sustainability of agritourism growth is not homogeneous and has specific features in different regions of the same country. In some cases, there were more similarities with regions from other countries. This tool could help evaluate the impact of agritourism and facilitate comparisons between different regions, in this way supporting the process of transition from a linear to a circular economy.
Neo-endogenous approaches to local development in rural areas are today a question of important debate. In the implementation of rural development, it is very unlikely to find genuinely and exclusively endogenous policies. It is therefore advisable to set aside the overly simplistic distinction between exogenous and endogenous, and explore the outcomes of a hybrid version of these approaches, such as neo-endogenous development. This approach involves the active participation of local stakeholders, a process which, according to the literature, can be achieved via “social innovation”. Using in-depth interviews with stakeholders, the dynamics, actors and processes involved in social innovation are explored in two significant cases in Italy (Castel del Giudice) and Spain (Huéscar). These are remote, marginal municipalities with serious economic and social problems that have embarked on interesting paths towards development by harnessing both local territorial capital and external support.

Lab head

Angelo Belliggiano
  • Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences

Members (10)

Juan Carlos Maroto
  • University of Granada
Eugenio Cejudo
  • University of Granada
Francisco Antonio Navarro
  • University of Granada
Aida Pinos
  • University of Granada
Angelo Salento
  • Università del Salento
Letizia Bindi
  • Università degli Studi del Molise
Stefano De De Rubertis
  • Università del Salento
Marilena Labianca
  • Università degli studi di Foggia
José Manuel Maroto
José Manuel Maroto
  • Not confirmed yet