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Mediterranean goat production systems: vulnerability to population growth and climate change

Olivia Florence Godber, Richard Wall


In many Mediterranean countries, particularly those with substantive areas of marginal habitat that is unsuitable for crop production, small ruminant husbandry, especially goat production, is an important contributor to the national economy, rural livelihood and food security.  In this study, the vulnerability of goat production in the Mediterranean region is modelled using vulnerability analysis, to consider the effects of changes in climate, human population and novel disease.  A range of indicators derived from FAOSTAT and World Bank statistics are used.  The model shows that southern Mediterranean nations are the most vulnerable, while Greece is the most vulnerable nation of the European Union (vulnerability score of 0.47 on a scale of zero to one, ranked seventh overall).  The relatively higher adaptive capacity of France, Italy and Spain (scores of 1.00, 0.84 and 0.77 respectively on a scale of zero to one) is shown to counteract their high exposure (scores of 0.89, 0.91 and 0.96 for France, Spain and Italy respectively on a scale of zero to one) and reduce overall vulnerability (scores of 0.0, 0.05 and 0.13 for France, Spain and Italy respectively on a scale of zero to one).  Morocco, the second most vulnerable nation of the Mediterranean with a vulnerability score of 0.81 (on a scale of zero to one), is selected to demonstrate the complexity of potential mitigating strategies and the interaction of the drivers of vulnerability.

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