Socio-Economic Drivers, Land Cover Changes and the Dynamics of Rural Settlements: Mt. Matese Area (Italy)

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Abstract

The paper elaborates on the relationship between land cover changes and transformation drivers, by analysing the dynamics that took place between 1990 and 2010 in Mt. Matese area (Italy). Mt. Matese is an interesting case study which was included as a pilot area in the Italian Strategy for Inner Areas. Drivers related to land cover changes include population characteristics, the agricultural and production system, tourist offer, location and settlements dynamics. Land cover changes and the dynamics of studied drivers are analysed in-depth, through a descriptive and multivariate analysis. Results highlight the difficult situation of the study area for many drivers. However, the slow changes in land cover and the potentialities offered by the natural environment, as well as by the agriculture and tourism sectors, outline some development prospects. The paper outlines the current scenario in the area and provides useful references for future policies aimed at setting up this area as National Park and at implementing the Strategy for Inner Areas.

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