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Moreover, and as this paper further makes plain, the environmental degradation leads to adverse economic consequences that are pervasive and profound—as may be expected in a country where several salient sectors of development are dependent upon the natural-resource base.In the long run, indeed, environmental degradation could well preclude the Philippines' prospects for sustainable development.
The spatial planning acts of some Austrian federal states are also given as examples, because they allow for the identification and delineation of priority fertile agricultural soils and protected green areas.
Soil protection and land degradation reduction are not explicitly mentioned as goals in the Austrian planning acts; they are, however, implicitly covered by the various roles soils fulfil in ecosystem functioning [20,27].
As this paper demonstrates, the Philippines is undergoing much environmental degradation—mainly in the form of deforestation, soil erosion, disruption of hydrological systems, over-exploitation of fisheries, destruction of coral reefs, and extinction of species.
These problems are accentuated by the pressures of a large, fast-growing and impoverished population; and they may shortly start to be aggravated yet more by climatic change in the wake of the global ‘greenhouse effect’.
This has generated attention from supranational organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Union (EU), as well as from the scientific community [4,5,6,7].
In accordance with both scientific and policy-oriented literature, land degradation is understood in this paper to be the result of interactions between physical and human factors, which generate a progressive reduction in the productive capacity of ecosystem services derived from land. Most importantly, land degradation threatens fertile agricultural soils and freshwater resources, which negatively affects food production and biodiversity [8,9,10,11,12].
In this paper, we review strategic spatial planning literature published between 19.
The focus is on the phenomena causing land degradation that are addressed by strategic spatial planning literature, as well as on the mechanisms describing the role of strategic spatial planning in land degradation reduction.
This is in line with Salvati et al., who argue that the increase in impervious areas can be considered a suitable indicator of land degradation . In 20, the EC published two reports on the most effective mechanisms to limit, mitigate, or compensate for soil sealing [20,27].
In 2014, a study assessing the feasibility of setting up a framework for measuring progress towards a more sustainable use of land was released .