CitationPizzitutti, Francesco; Brewington, Laura; & Walsh, Stephen J. (2020). Human and Natural Environments, Island of Santa Cruz, Galapagos: A Model-Based Approach to Link Land Cover/Land Use Changes to Direct and Indirect Socio-Economic Drivers of Change. In Walsh, Stephen J.; Riveros-Iregui, Diego; Arce-Nazario, Javier; & Page, Philip H. (Eds.), Land Cover and Land Use Change on Islands: Social & Ecological Threats to Sustainability (pp. 183-203). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
AbstractThis paper presents a study of past and future trends of land cover and land use changes in the Island of Santa Cruz (SC) of Galapagos. Remote sensing images over the last 30 years of SC were classified to analyze the dynamics of land cover/use changes. A description of several drivers of land cover/use change was integrated in a quantitative System Dynamics model that projected past trends into the next 20 years to describe the human and natural dimensions of the island as a single system. Due to their strong influence on migration flows to Galapagos, the SC tourism economic sector expansion and Ecuadorian mainland economic development were identified as the main exogenous drivers of land cover/use change. The model represented the influence of migration on SC population growth and the direct and indirect impacts of human communities on land cover/use change processes. Four land cover/use types were represented in the model: built-up, including all types of human infrastructure, agriculture, invasive vegetation, and natural vegetation. The remote sensing imagery classification showed that in 2019, 7.8% of the island surface was degraded by direct and indirect human activities and a large proportion of this degradation was concentrated in SC’s rural humid vegetation area. Furthermore, the System Dynamics model outcomes suggested that under different tourism development scenarios in SC, the degraded areas will continue to expand. If tourism follows the current trend of exponential growth, the degraded areas will double in size over the next 20 years.
Reference TypeBook Chapter
Book TitleLand Cover and Land Use Change on Islands: Social & Ecological Threats to Sustainability
Series TitleSocial and Ecological Interactions in the Galapagos Islands
Walsh, Stephen J.