Natural Capital and Its Services in the Caatinga Phytogeographic Domain




Tropical Semiarid – natural resources. Solar energy. Rural development. Rainfall – droughts. Caatinga. Ecosystem services.


A new millennium has begun, and a new paradigm in exploitation of natural resources to generate products has emerged. In this sense, a model in line with local environmental reality and based on the sustainable development goals (SDG) proposed by the UN is required. The document addresses the suitability of natural capitals in the Caatinga phytogeographic domain (CPD) for generating products, encompassing primary (solar energy and rainfall) and secondary (soil and vegetation) natural resources. These resources have well-defined scarcity (water, soil, and vegetation) and abundance (solar radiation) characteristics. Water is scarce due to uncertain rainfall and frequent droughts. Due to their fragility, soils, when shallow and/or with a low organic matter content, are susceptible to erosion and salinization. In turn, vegetation is scarce due to low potential for biomass production (50% of the area has a biomass production below 2 Mg ha-1. As for solar energy, there is no uncertainty regarding its occurrence in the CPD. Moreover, the region has the highest solar radiation intensities in Brazil, with daily averages ranging from 4.8 to 6.0 Kwh m-2 within a year. Therefore, a new model must be adopted, in which socioeconomic development is based on the potential of local natural resources. In short, abundant resources should be prioritized over scarce ones. Furthermore, exploitation must be democratized and not only in the hands of few privileged individuals

Biografia do Autor

Eunice Maia de Andrade, Federal University of the Semi-Arid Region

Ph.D. Natural Resources, Bolsista de Pesquisa CNPq. Department of Soil and Water Conservation, Federal University of the Semi-Arid Region.

Deodato Nascimento Aquino, Federal University in Ceará – UFC

D.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering, Federal University in Ceará – UFC, Perito Federal Agrário do INCRA- SR(02)/Ceará - Av. Américo Barreira, 4700 - Bairro Bela Vista, CEP: 60.442-800, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brasil.

Francisco José Canafístula, Federal University in Ceará – UFC

D.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering, Federal University in Ceará – UFC






Seção Especial: 15 anos da Agro@mbiente On-line