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Abstract

The ESI approach: integrating environmental, geographical and social data to assess sustainability in hydrographic basins

Author(s): Edivando Vitor do Couto

The development and use of sustainability indicators have been considered an active and practical area of research and has several interactive applications, since they aim to assign a value that describes the complexity between social, environmental and ecological health. This approach, thus, exerts a fundamental role generating data about questions related to the environment and its impacts into processes like construction of planning, strategies and political decisions. Our aim was to elaborate an environmental sustainability index (ESI) for hydrographic basins. three factors were defined: the factor that characterizes the land use and occupation, the topographic attributes of the land and the socioeconomic and basic sanitation conditions, all recommended by the organization for economic cooperation and development (OECD) and which reflect the pressure - state - impact assessment model. the results allowed to identify the variation of the level of sustainability in the basin, being these levels distributed in five classes along the basin in the following proportion: very low 0%, low 16.68%, intermediate 72.49%, high 10.82% and very high 0.0004%. there is a notorious influence of the land use factor on the composition of the index. in areas where native vegetation is present, the environmental sustainability presented a much higher level than in areas with other types of use


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