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Journal Cover Environment, Development and Sustainability
   [30 followers]  Follow    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
     ISSN (Print) 1573-2975 - ISSN (Online) 1387-585X
     Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2210 journals]   [SJR: 0.319]   [H-I: 26]
  • A critical analysis of building sustainability assessment methods for
           healthcare buildings
    • Abstract: Abstract The healthcare building project contains different aspects from the most common projects. Designing a healthcare environment is based on a number of criteria related to the satisfaction and well-being of the professional working teams, patients and administrators. Mostly due to various design requirements, these buildings are rarely designed and operated in a sustainable way. Therefore, the sustainable development is a concept whose importance has grown significantly in the last decade in this sector. The worldwide economic crisis reinforces the growing environmental concerns as well as raising awareness among people to a necessary and inevitable shift in the values of their society. To support sustainable building design, several building sustainability assessment (BSA) methods are being developed worldwide. Since healthcare buildings are rather complex systems than other buildings, so specific methods were developed for them. These methods are aimed to support decision-making towards the introduction of the best sustainability practices during the design and operation phases of a healthcare environment. However, the comparison between the results of different methods is difficult, if not impossible, since they address different environmental, societal and economic criteria, and they emphasize different phases of the life cycle. Therefore, the aim of this study was to clarify the differences between the main BSA methods for healthcare buildings by analysing and categorizing them. Furthermore, the benefits of these methods in promoting a more sustainable environment will be analysed, and the current situation of them within the context of standardization of the concept sustainable construction will be discussed.
      PubDate: 2014-12-17
  • Designing public spaces through the lively planning integrative
    • Abstract: Abstract The current sustainability-driven urban reality is complex. Planning for such a multidimensional environment is even more complex. Alternatives to traditional planning approaches are sought in an attempt to create liveable and lively urban public spaces. The lively planning approach is based on the principles of place-making, planning scales and within various planning dimensions, with the aim to design successful public spaces. This paper evaluates the role that lively planning integrated approach can play in creating sustainable, liveable and lively public spaces, by determining the scale of implementation and identifying the dimensions of lively planning that could be incorporated in public space design and planning. The scale and dimensions of the lively planning integrative approach are linked to each another, and examples of elements to be incorporated in the design of a public space are included as a conclusion of this research.
      PubDate: 2014-12-13
  • Risk-return and Volatility analysis of Sustainability Index in India
    • Abstract: Abstract Companies screened for their superior performance in environmental, social and governance (ESG) parameters comprise the sustainability index introduced at global as well as national stock exchanges. This study not only compares the performance of the sustainability index of India—the S&P ESG India Index with two broad market indexes, viz., the Nifty and the S&P CNX 500 using daily index data—but also analyses the inherent conditional volatility using generalised autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity models. The results indicate that though the daily compounded returns to the ESG India Index are not statistically different from those of the Nifty or those of the CNX 500, annualised returns of the ESG India Index have been better than the returns of the other two indexes. Thus, focussing on environmental and social sustainability is a win–win situation for companies, investors and the society at large. There is significant volatility clustering in all the three indexes. The ESG India Index has been less volatile compared with the Nifty during the period. These results have corporate implications to focus on ESG parameters seriously in order to benefit from its sensitivity in the stock markets. It also reflects upon investor acceptance and potential for growth of socially responsible investments in India.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
  • Scenario-based evaluation of urban development sustainability: an
           integrative modeling approach to compromise between urbanization
           suitability index and landscape pattern
    • Abstract: Abstract Sustainability analysis of urban complex systems, as an interdisciplinary study, necessitates integrative modeling approaches for analyzing relationships between land parameters and landscape patterns. The present paper emphasizes applicability of dynamic and scenario-based investigation of urban environments for understanding the interactions between urbanization suitability and landscape pattern. Combining parameter modification and model integration approaches for introducing growth alternatives, a basis was established for detailed assessment of the Karaj urban context, Iran. SLEUTH’s probabilistic images of future urbanized lands of two growth scenarios (historical trend-based urban growth and compact urban growth) were simultaneously employed as dynamic factors for urbanization suitability mapping and landscape pattern analysis of the years 2011, 2020, 2030 and 2040. Findings of the present studies showed while historical trend-based urban expansion occupied more land resources, this growth option resulted in a more manageable pattern of urban landscape in terms of its connectivity and compactness as well as possessing higher urbanization suitability index across the study time frame. This study addresses utility of scenario-based analysis of urban areas that furnishes urban planners with insights into cumulative impacts of an ongoing urbanization process under different environmental circumstances.
      PubDate: 2014-12-07
  • Community attitudes toward forest conservation programs through
           collaborative protected area management in Bangladesh
    • Abstract: Abstract The formulation of conservation policies with options for creating protected areas is significantly influenced by the social factors of the surrounding communities. Therefore, indigenous knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of the local communities need to be explored during the planning and implementation stages of conservation projects. A government-initiated experiment in co-management was conducted in the Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary, Bangladesh. This paper analyzes the attitudes toward conservation by members of local communities living in and around the wildlife sanctuary. Training incentives on alternative income-generating (AIG) activities and allotment of agricultural lands were distributed among the Forest User Groups. It is of interest to policy makers and resource managers whether this technique leads to improved attitudes on the part of local people. Although there were different attitudes toward protected areas and conservation, overall, a favorable attitude of the respondents was observed. The opinions of respondents also varied based on factors such as village position, village dependency level on forest resources, ethnicity and gender. Increase in annual income resulting from the augmented skills by trainings on AIG activities and getting agricultural lands leased from the Forest Department contributed significantly to the variation in respondents’ conservation attitudes. It is suggested that eliminating inequity and inequality in incentive distribution, discovering and launching training on more need-based livelihood activities, and liberalizing the restriction of resource extraction from the protected area by fixing the harvesting limit would encourage the community to be more cordially and actively involved in the conservation efforts of the sanctuary.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • On shrimp, salt and security: livelihood risks and responses in South
           Bangladesh and East India
    • Abstract: Abstract Bangladesh and India are among the world’s most populous but also most vulnerable countries to environmental risks. In addition to storms, sea-level rise, floods and droughts, local communities face a multitude of pre-existing and concomitant economic and socio-political risks. To understand these risks and how communities respond to them is critical in securing community livelihoods. We therefore ask what are the livelihood risks; how do they impact the human security of environment sensitive communities in Satkhira, Bangladesh and in Odisha, India; and, what are the responses of these communities to the livelihood risks? The communities studied in Bangladesh depend mainly on the shrimp and fish resources of the Sundarbans mangrove forest. The two communities researched at Lake Chilika in India depend on fishing and salt farming, respectively. The field research, conducted in 2012 and 2013, shows that the communities face multiple and interacting livelihood risks. While storms and floods are common environmental risks in both countries, related livelihood risks are case-specific. In Bangladesh, attacks by criminals are the major threat to human well-being, while in India, it is violent conflict between lake users. Unsustainable resource extraction is found in both study countries. In Bangladesh, shrimp farming weakens the flood protection, while in India, illegal prawn farming marginalizes poorer lake users. Accessing loans and labor migration are responses observed in both countries. We conclude that adaptation to environmental changes needs to be sensitive to the interaction between governance, local institutions and socio-economic developments.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Assessment of adoption and impact of rainwater harvesting technologies on
           rural farm household income: the case of rainwater harvesting ponds in
    • Abstract: Abstract Rainwater harvesting is increasingly viewed as a major strategy for enhancing agricultural productivity and boosting farm income in many drought-prone areas. While this technology is being promoted in many developing countries, there is conflicting evidence in the literature about its impact on welfare of farm households. This study uses propensity score matching and discrete choice regression techniques to assess the impact of rainwater harvesting ponds on farm household income and factors that influence adoption of such technologies in Rwanda. It finds that households with rainwater harvesting ponds have significantly higher income than their counterparts of comparable observable characteristics. It further finds evidence that increase in farm income occurs via increased input use and that household size, asset endowments and participation in farmer organizations condition adoption of rainwater harvesting ponds. The study concludes that adoption of rainwater harvesting technologies has positive benefits on farm households. It discusses the policy implications that adoption of rainwater harvesting ponds presents a pathway for reducing rural poverty.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • The effectiveness of environmental education workshops for teachers,
           learners and schools in Malaysia
    • Abstract: Abstract In Malaysia, various efforts have been introduced to increase the knowledge, skills and awareness of citizens to the benefit of the environment by means of a variety of programmes. However, uncertainty about the effectiveness of environmental education programmes and the way they contribute to sustainability still exists. This paper reports on an evaluation of the Kelab Pencinta Alam (KPA) (School Nature Clubs) programme organised by the Malaysia Nature Society and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia. The Kellogg Logic Model was used as an evaluative instrument as the impact of the programme had to be determined. This was done through questionnaires to teachers and principals in KPA schools. School visits were also undertaken to evaluate workplace success and to validate the findings from the questionnaires. Overall, the evaluation showed a high level of success for the programme.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Performance analysis of solar water heating system in Centre for DNA
           Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Southern region of India
    • Abstract: Abstract In the present study, a natural circulation thermosyphon flat plate solar water heater has been tested at the CDFD, Hyderabad (17.37°N, 78.43°E) Andhra Pradesh, India. Experimental data were noted on a sunny day. Dynamic response of the system to variations in solar insulation was studied and analyzed. T inlet °C and T outlet °C temperatures were recorded. The performance of the system can be improved by using aluminum tape inserts into the collector fins. The objective of the present study is to evaluate the performance of flat plate collector with and without inserts (aluminum strip of 1 mm thick, 3 mm width and 203 mm length). It is expected that with the same collector with the same flow rate, higher efficiency can be obtained by inserting the tapes inside the collector copper fins (9 mm). Thus, the cost of the system can be further bringing down by enhancing the collector efficiency.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Managing common pool resources without state support: insights from
           Shisholeka community in Central Zambia
    • Abstract: Abstract Increasingly, emphasis is being placed on the role of indigenous or locally crafted natural resources management systems in sustainable natural resources management. While it is generally agreed that their potential to sustain and protect natural ecosystems exists in large measure, such systems are increasingly facing diverse internal and external pressures that threaten their viability. These pressures include demographic and economic change, land privatisation policies, renewable energy investment projects and large-donor-driven livelihood projects. Such pressures and their complexity raise the need to understand how local communities organise to protect resources they collectively value in the face of both internal and external pressures. Based on empirical data collected through interviews, participant observations, focus group discussions and a questionnaire survey conducted with local level actors in Shisholeka village of Central Zambia, this paper shows how local actors, in the absence of state support, react to internal and external pressures to develop robust and locally suited governance and institutional arrangements that best suit their interests in order to sustain their resource base.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Integrated hydrologic–economic decision support system for
           groundwater use confronting climate change uncertainties in the
           Tunuyán River basin, Argentina
    • Abstract: Abstract This study presents an integrated hydrologic–economic model as decision support system for groundwater use and incorporates uncertainties of climate change. The model was developed with the Vensim software (Ventana Systems) for system dynamic simulations. The software permitted the integration of economic variables along with hydrologic variables, in a unified format with the aim of evaluating the economic impacts of climate change on arid environments. To test the model, we applied it in one of the upper Tunuyán River sub-basin, located in the Mendoza Province (Argentina), where irrigation comes from groundwater. The model defines the best mix of crops and the total land use required to maximize the total river sub-basin monetary income, considering as a limit the amount of water that does not exceed the natural annual aquifer recharge. To estimate the impacts of climatic changes, four scenarios were compared: the business as usual (with the number of existing wells) in a dry year with a temperature increase of 4 °C; the business as usual in a wet year with an increase in temperature of 1.1 °C; an efficient use of wells in a dry year and a temperature increase of 4 °C and an efficient use of wells in a wet year with a temperature increase of 1.1 °C. Outputs calculated by the model were: land use per crop, total sub-basin net benefit, total sub-basin water extraction, water extraction limit depending on river discharge and total number of wells required to irrigate the entire area. Preliminary results showed that the number of existing wells exceeded the optimized number of wells required to sustainably irrigate the entire river sub-basin. Results indicated that in an average river discharge year, if wells were efficiently used, further rural development would be possible, until the limit of 350 million m3 of water extraction per year was reached (650 million m3 for a wet year and 180 million m3 for a dry year). The unified format and the low cost of the software license make the model a useful tool for Water Resources Management Institutions, particularly in developing countries.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Sustaining cultural and biological diversity in rapidly changing
           communities: the revitalization of the Voladores ritual in northern
           Veracruz (Mexico)
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper aims to contribute to the ongoing debate on the protection of cultural and biological diversity, and their interconnectedness. It highlights the importance of understanding the dynamic and complex strategies that cultures are developing to protect their biocultural diversity in the face of the ongoing cultural, economic, and social reductionist transformations occurring worldwide. We analyze Totonac society in the present time, and provide evidence on how cultural revitalization processes are emerging from the grass roots, by focusing on the ceremony of the Voladores, a pre-Hispanic ritual performed by several indigenous groups in Mesoamerica. The preoccupation of Totonac communities to safeguard this millenary tradition fostered a process of dialogue, reinforced local institutions, and catalyzed the development of strategies to preserve a tree species and its habitat.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Philipp Schmidt-Thomé and Johannes Klein: Climate change adaptation
           in practice: from strategy development to implementation
    • PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Sensitivity analysis assessment of remotely based vegetation indices to
           improve water resources management
    • Abstract: Abstract Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is estimated from Landsat 8 sensor acquired in June 2013 to drive four different water-related indices calculated as NDVI derivatives. Different vegetation indices (VIs) have been extracted exclusively in estimation of different VIs: Leaf Area Index, Water Supply Vegetation Index, Crop Water Shortage Index, and Drought Severity Index in addition to estimation of daily evapotranspiration (ET). Sensitivity analysis assesses the contributions of the inputs to the total uncertainty in the analysis outcomes. Vegetation indices are complex and intercepted, therefore the interceptions of the five different vegetation indices are considered in the current study. A comparative analysis of Gaussian process emulators for performing global sensitivity analysis was used to conduct a variance-based sensitivity analysis to identify which uncertain inputs are driving the output uncertainty. The results showed that the interconnections between different VIs vary, but the extent of the features sensitivity is uncertain. Findings from the current work conducted are anticipated to contribute decisively toward an inclusive VIs assessment of its overall verification. Daily ET is the less sensitive and more certain index followed by Drought Vegetation Index.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Causality relationship between CO 2 emissions, GDP and energy intensity in
    • Abstract: Abstract This article analyzes the causality between the economic growth, the energy and the environment, measured by CO2 emissions. Our empirical study is based on a series of annual data from 1980 to 2010 in Tunisia. Our study was conducted using the Granger causality test and variance decomposition. The empirical results confirm the presence of a positive effect between the energy consumption and the economic growth measured by gross domestic product (GDP). Thus, there is a unidirectional relationship between GDP and CO2 emissions in the short term. This analysis shows, as is common to relatively fast-growing economies in Tunisia, that the biggest contributor to the rise is CO2 emissions. Hence, in congruence with the result of variance decomposition, the GDP affects CO2 emissions in the short and medium term at an almost constant level (10 %). The non-renewable energy intensity in Tunisian economy is responsible for a modest reduction in CO2 emissions, which suggests the implementation of conservation policies aimed at energy efficiency and the orientation toward renewable energy.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Innovation through collaboration: scaling up solutions for sustainable
    • Abstract: Abstract The open collaborative philosophy employed in the success of open source (OS) software can be applied to hardware design. Specifically, the development of OS appropriate technologies (OSAT) can improve sustainable development efforts worldwide. Yet, widespread OSAT use is far from ubiquitous. Given that lack of communication, access to information and poor collaboration are among the largest barriers to a more effective OSAT dissemination, this paper explores opportunities to overcome such obstacles using four techniques: (1) collaborative online platforms, (2) crowd-sourcing, (3) the concept of knowledge commons, and (4) enabled educational institutions through service learning and applied research. The results are analyzed, and conclusions are drawn that outline paths to higher multiuser collaboration for OSAT deployment.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Oil palm plantation investments in Indonesia’s forest frontiers:
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper examines the implications of oil palm estate development in Indonesia’s frontier province of Papua. Government planners believe that oil palm investment will develop the local economy, create jobs and reduce poverty. Using the input–output approach, we find that, in aggregate terms, oil palm investments boost the economic output in the province, generate jobs and increase worker salaries. However, the oil palm subsector operates in isolation and has limited economic multipliers. The number of jobs is potentially large, but those best positioned to benefit from them are mostly skilled migrants, not local poor. The government should reduce the size of plantation investments and plan their implementation as part of a broader development package to allow greater economic integration and skill acquisition by local communities. The priority areas for plantation development should be degraded, non-forest land.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • The finishing stage in swine production: influences of feed composition on
           carbon footprint
    • Abstract: Abstract Several studies in swine feed composition have demonstrated that protein levels may be modified without significant changes in meat quality in terms of carcass, lean and back fat yield. However, this variation may change certain technical indicators, such as daily weight gain. The aim of this study was to calculate the carbon footprint of the finishing stage in swine production considering four scenarios of feed composition (P18, P16, P15 and P13). The life cycle assessment methodology was applied with a life cycle inventory based on reports in the literature. The feed composition used in P18 (no soybean hulls or maize starch) had the best environmental performance for global warming per kilogram of feed. However, when evaluating the life cycle of finishing swine, P16 (containing soybean hulls, maize starch and synthetic amino acids) exhibited better environmental results; the feed used in this scenario had better technical indicators (in terms of daily weight gain), thereby reducing the feed amount for finishing swine. Using the feed composition for swine P16, the impact may be reduced by an average of 12 % compared with P13 (a high level of soybean hulls, maize starch and synthetic amino acids).
      PubDate: 2014-11-30
  • The paradox of the sustainable city: definitions and examples
    • Abstract: Abstract It is well known that sustainability has become a much needed target, especially considering the recent rapid urban sprawl and the subsequent exacerbation of social, environmental, and economic problems. Thus, many studies have been conducted to define sustainability and the sustainable city. However, many of these definitions suggest a range of contradictions, implying that the achievement of sustainability is elusive. The problem lies in setting unreasonable definitions of sustainability and in the various contradictions to these definitions, making sustainability seemingly unattainable. Hence, some models of cities are emerging that are labeled as sustainable cities; among these are the “zero-carbon city” and the “ubiquitous eco-city” (“U-eco-city”). This study reviews the history and definitions of sustainability, in order to acknowledge the contradictions inherent in these concepts. It also briefly presents the compact city, the zero-carbon eco-city, and the U-eco-city by determining their individual pros and cons and highlighting where there are any conflicts with the principles of sustainability. The aim of the study was to adjust the use of sustainability as a terminology in the field of urban sustainable development and to demonstrate the extent to which we use marketing names for eco-cities without compliance with sustainable dimensions. The study will also discuss the key sustainability pillar required for a project to be kept sustainable. The study concludes that the use of the term “sustainable city” may limit the potential for further enhancing sustainability in future projects; using the term “transition toward the sustainable city” may be more accurate and more effective. The results show that reducing energy consumption through efficient use, and relying on renewable energies, will be the keys to reaching urban sustainability. The study also finds that recent tyranny in the name of ecology will not result in real sustainability. Although the free eco-city and the u-eco-city are considered advanced models, their limitations are related more to the economic and social aspects than to the compact city, which clearly reflected the pillars of sustainability, despite its being an outdated model.
      PubDate: 2014-11-29
  • Ingenuity of skating on marshy land by tying a pot to the belly: Living
           with flood is a way of life
    • Abstract: Abstract Households do not easily agree to move out of their natural habitat in spite of frequent flooding and loss of life and property because of their attachment to the place and established socio-economic network. This also shapes their risk perception, pre-flood preparedness, and livelihood resilience. In this backdrop, the paper attempts to find out the role of households’ risk perception and their flood preparedness as a mediator between place attachment and livelihood resilience. It further explores different adaptive methods households develop to overcome flooding issues. The study is based on a sample of randomly drawn 472 households from the river basins of Ganga and Kosi in the district of Bhagalpur, Bihar. The mediation analysis and Sobel’s test were used to analyze and interpret the data. The study reveals the role of risk perception and flood preparedness as a partial mediator between the place attachment and livelihood resilience. The households do not perceive flood as a ‘threat’, as they have learnt to ‘live’ with it as ‘a way of life’ because of their attachment to the place, experience of frequent exposure to flooding, and knowledge of local resources.
      PubDate: 2014-11-29
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