The structure of rural Greece through a prism of social - ecological interactions

Ερασμία Καστανίδη, Απόστολος Παπαδόπουλος


There is a flux associated with rural spaces and that is the constant reshaping of their structures through interactions between socio-economic and environmental processes. These processes, which are driven both by internal and external forces, affect the sustainability of rural livelihoods. Furthermore, reforms on the Common Agricultural Policy have always been pushing changes in rural activities which, combined with the effects of the economic crisis and the policy reforms that come along, introduce rural areas to an era of high instability. In terms of natural processes, the effects of climate change also put their toll on rural functions, especially where agriculture is concerned. Moreover, it is natural that different rural areas are experiencing these forces of change in diverse ways whilst the capacity of a rural region to maintain a satisfactory standard of living, under these circumstances depends on the balance between its ecosystem, economic and cultural functions. Thus, the study of this capacity requires an interdisciplinary approach and the work presented here involves issues traditionally approached by different disciplines, each using different scientific terminologies and methodologies, running in parallel and with no association to one another. As a result, a combination of theories, concepts, techniques and tools within an integrative framework is required. Drawing on literature research from the social and natural sciences, as well as systems theory, such a framework has been developed in order to study the ability of rural areas to adapt whilst maintaining their rural livelihoods. This framework is used to identify the social and ecological characteristics of the study areas, as well as the activities taking place within that space and identify influences from external activities. It aims at contributing to the study of these interactions, first at regional and then at localised scales, using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) as a means to bridge across the disciplinary boundaries and scales.

Λέξεις κλειδιά

10ο Διεθνές Γεωγραφικό Συνέδριο; 10th International Geographical Congress; migration; transnationalism; μεταναστευτικοί πληθυσμοί; Rural areas; Social Ecological Systems; Sustainability; Framework; Peloponnese

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