Amaia Albizua, Unai Pascual, & Esteve Corbera (2019, January). Large-scale irrigation impacts socio-cultural values: An example from rural Navarre, Spain. Ecological Economics (ePub in advance of print). ( (Link:

Abstract: Large-scale irrigation is a form of agricultural intensification aimed at increasing productivity and adapting to climate change. However, we know little about how large-scale irrigation affects socio-cultural values over nature’s contributions to people (NCP). In this article, we fill this gap by investigating how a large-scale irrigation project in Navarre, Spain, has affected farmers’ values in relation to their farming systems and the local environment. We find that large-scale farmers who participate in the irrigation project value more highly regulating NCP than small-scale farmers who have not adopted such technology, while the latter hold higher values for non-material NCP related to cultural identity and traditional knowledge and experience. These findings suggest that the adoption of large-scale irrigation technology is associated with a set of values that underestimate the long-term ecological effects of agricultural intensification and neglect the relevance of traditional farming in sustaining more ecologically and culturally diverse landscapes.

Amaia Albizua <> and Unai Pascual <> are with the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), Parque Científico de UPV/EHU, Leioa, Spain, and Esteve Corbera <> is with the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Leave a Reply