Household demographic and socio-economic predictors of agricultural practices, land use and environmental degradation perception in the Paute catchment (Ecuador)

Raul Vanegas, Université de Namur
Fabrice C. E. M. Demoulin, Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, Belgium
Sabine J. F. Henry, Université de Namur

This paper seeks to improve the understanding of the household-level dynamics (life-cycle) and their relationship, through livelihood strategies, to environmental change (agricultural practices, land use & environmental degradation perception) focusing on long-settled communities in the Ecuadorian Andes, and considering external as well internal migration (impacts on origin place) as one of the most influencing local livelihood factors on such relationships. The current research carried out a primary data generation throughout a survey on the three pilot areas (May & June 2011) obtaining 239 households surveyed. Gathered data have been analyzed by applying the Factor Analysis for Mixed Data (FMDA), the Hierarchical Clustering on Principal Components (HCPC); as well as Chi2 test of independence, ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests for measuring dependencies or relations among variables. The findings advance our understanding on long-settled Andes communities in four ways: 1) a group of demographic as well as socio-economic factors are necessary to properly explain the complex dynamics of some agricultural practices, land use and environmental degradation perception factors; 2) migration (external & internal) plays an important role on the demographic & socio-economic dynamics; 3) the impact of local contextual characteristics are fundamental for identifying the reciprocal relationships between population and environment and vice versa; and 4) the relevance of demographic & socio-economic variables extends beyond a focus on macro-level factors to those operating at the household life-cycle level.

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Presented in Poster Session 2