Environmental fragility evaluation and guidelines for environmental zoning: a study case on Ibiuna (the Southeastern Brazilian region)
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Environmental fragility models are important decision tools for policy makers as they help quantify environmental sensitivity and understand the relationship between human activities and environmental quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate three different environmental fragility models within the Brazilian rainforest region and to use the results to develop environmental zone classes. Two rural river basins located in Ibiuna, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, were studied. Input variables, including slope class, relief dissection rate, soil class, lithology, land cover, and climate data, were used to compute environmental fragility classes using three standard models. The model outputs were evaluated on their ability to accurately predict the most sensitive and least sensitive areas. The best models for each region were used to derive environmental zoning maps, including restoration priorities, best regions for agriculture, and areas with high needs for soil management. These maps will help support land use strategies for environmental restoration. This study provides insight into territorial ordering and management of environmental services with a regional perspective.