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 Environment, Development and Sustainability    [30 followers]  Follow        Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)      ISSN (Print) 1573-2975 - ISSN (Online) 1387-585X      Published by Springer-Verlag  [2210 journals]   [SJR: 0.319]   [H-I: 26]
• 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
• 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
Rwanda
• 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
Tunisia
• 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
development
• 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

• UN decade on education for sustainable development (UNDESD): enabling
sustainability in higher education
• Abstract: Abstract Inspired by the UN decade on education for sustainable development, the Learning City designed an innovative curriculum and pedagogy to enable sustainability learning in a university classroom setting. We provide a brief overview of the project and then detail the classroom in regard to the five features that shape it. We also introduce the two major legacies of the Learning City and detail their relationship to the five features. The relevance of this work extends to many fields beyond sustainability education, including educational research, program evaluation, sustainability, urban policy, social capital, and the emerging field of the scholarship of teaching and learning.
PubDate: 2014-11-23

• Spatio-temporal effects of fertilization in Anhui Province, China
• Abstract: Abstract In order to understand the status and trends in spatio-temporal variations and effects of using inorganic, chemical fertilizers, indexes of hazards of fertilization, including the Fertilization Environmental Hazard Index (FEHI), and fertilization environmental safety threshold were developed and used to evaluate potential for hazards of fertilization and thus sustainability of the use of artificial, exogenous inorganic fertilizers in Agriculture in China. An example case for Anhui Province, China, is presented. Anhui Province is one of the primary agricultural provinces in China, with serious eutrophication of surface waters due to non-point source pollution from application of fertilizer in agriculture. The FEHI increased from 0.57, which represented little hazard in 1990 through 0.65 (medium hazard) in 1995 to 0.77 (serious hazard) in 2012. Based on increases in this index and current trends in use of chemical fertilizers, it is predicted that rural aquatic environments of Anhui Province will continue to be affected by cultural eutrophication. Among 16 regions, there were two regions in Anhui Province classified as being at extreme hazard due to over-fertilization, seven regions being at serious hazard and six regions being at moderate hazard. Extreme hazard of pollution due to excess nitrogen (N) was predicted for two regions, and hazard was extreme for five regions due to excess phosphorus (P), and the predicted hazard from potash (potassium; K) was serious for eight regions.
PubDate: 2014-11-23

• The impact of households characteristics on the state of housing in the
Offinso South Municipality (OSM), Ghana
• Abstract: Abstract Housing deprivation is a major problem confronting Ghanaian households both in the urban and rural environments. This paper investigates the housing condition in the Offinso South Municipality (OSM). It finds out the adequacy of housing to households in the municipality. It sampled eight neighbourhoods in the OSM for data collection. Questionnaires were employed to garner empirical data from the households and property owners in the OSM. The paper finds out that there is high room occupancy rate and high household and population concentration in the housing units in the OSM. It notes that characteristics such as the level of education, authorization status of the house, annual household income, household size and autochthony correlate with measures of housing adequacy. The paper suggests that the municipal authority put in place appropriate standards to guide developers on the minimum acceptable housing facilities. Also, the municipal authority should adopt innovative approaches to encourage voluntary compliance to its building regulations.
PubDate: 2014-11-22

• Econometric analysis of industrial water use efficiency in China
• Abstract: Abstract Low industrial water use efficiency has become a resource bottleneck to industrial development in China. The SBM-undesirable and meta-frontier models were used in combination with empirical data in 30 provinces in mainland China (Tibet excluded due to data missing from 1999 to 2013), to compare industrial water use efficiency in mainland China under meta-frontier and group-frontier, and explore the influencing factors. The empirical results of the study reveal that: (a) there is a large difference in the industrial water use efficiency between meta-frontier and group-frontier in mainland China, due to the heterogeneity in the levels of industrial water use technology; (b) given the low recycle rate of polluted industrial water, there is room for improvement in the industrial water use efficiency in the 30 provinces in mainland China. Further, the study finds that the current price of industrial water is distorted to some extent, failing to coordinate with the use of water resources. Policy implications indicate that industrial water use efficiency is not only related to technological heterogeneity in different regions, but also the control and treatment of industrial water pollution. Therefore, the current price of industrial water should be gradually raised. A scalar water pricing system as residential water could also be applied to industrial water.
PubDate: 2014-11-22

• Introducing education for sustainable development into Egyptian schools
• Abstract: Abstract Unsustainable development in Egypt has increased water, air and soil pollution, which caused health problems and endangered natural and human resources. The effort to increase the economic well-being has caused enormous damages to the society and the environment. Only sustainable development will enable Egyptians to attain a better quality of life and meet their current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. EduCamp is a European–Egyptian project entitled ‘EduCamp: education for sustainable development beyond the campus’ which aims to introduce key sustainable development principles into teaching and learning in the Egyptian public schools. EduCamp followed four main principles to introduce ESD into Egyptian schools. These include (a) a partnership approach between different stakeholders, (b) changing pedagogical practices, (c) teacher development through training the trainers, and (d) developing public understanding and awareness of sustainability. The main achievements of EduCamp are (a) Developing ESD resource kits for schools to provide activities for teachers and students which link the existing school curriculum to the local community. The kits include activities related to biodiversity, agriculture, energy, and water. (b) A school teachers’ training programme has been developed and applied to enable teachers to implement ESD and use the kits in their teaching activities. (c) Seven ESD Centres of Excellence have been established to promote and support the introduction of ESD into the education system and provide teachers’ training programmes. It is premature to draw a quantitative conclusion about the impact nationwide because change takes time and the implementation of ESD presents a long-lasting process, which will take many years to achieve. The indicators of direct impact on teachers’ and students’ performance are promising. This discussion paper presents and examines EduCamp. The paper is divided into three main sections. Firstly, the authors set the context for the project, explore the issue of education for sustainable development (ESD) and examine current issues facing education in Egypt. Secondly, the authors discuss the project in relation to relevant literature, often curriculum change literature, in order to explore the merits and challenges of the project and the extent to which curriculum change is actually feasible as a result of the project. Finally, the paper concludes by reflecting on the challenges ahead.
PubDate: 2014-11-20

• Domestic low-tech anaerobic digesters in Guiné-Bissau: a bench-scale
preliminary study on locally available waste and wastewater
• Abstract: Abstract Solid organic waste (SOW) and sewage (SEW), in developing contexts as Guiné-Bissau, can be converted into biogas in domestic low-tech anaerobic digesters (AD), avoiding their dispersion in the environment (cause of infective diseases) and simultaneously providing local sustainable/clean fuel to substitute firewood (cause of deforestation and respiratory diseases). Here, SOW and SEW, sampled from local markets/households of Bissau City, were processed in a bench-scale reactor, to define the potentials of low-tech mesophilic (30–37 °C) AD in removing pathogen microbial population, responsible for infective diseases spreading through untreated SOW/SEW and in domestic fuel generation in substitution to firewood. Pathogens removal above 99.9 % were obtained for E. coli and Streptococci. Considering a target scenario (4-persons household unit), a low-tech AD of 2.35 m3 functional volume, co-digesting 32 L day−1 of SEW and 8 kg day−1 of SOW, would produce about $$1. 5\, {\text{Sm}}^{ 3}_{\text{biogas}} {\text{day}}^{ - 1}$$ and substitute nearly 11 kg day−1 of firewood for cooking needs, avoiding black carbon particles emissions and inhalation in households. Alternatively, ten biogas lamps could work for 3 h day−1 or a 1-kW electric power generator run for over 2 h day−1, with important socio-economic benefits. Finally, firewood substitution and the use of digestate as soil conditioner can simultaneously contribute in limiting deforestation and desertification, particularly in transition sub-Saharan tropical areas, such as Guiné-Bissau.
PubDate: 2014-11-19

• An analysis of Canadian STARS-rated higher education sustainability
policies
• Abstract: Abstract Uptake of sustainability into campus administration has been identified as important for establishing and maintaining campus sustainability initiatives because of its ability to institutionalize sustainability on campuses. This paper explores how higher education institutions (HEIs) are defining and enacting sustainability in campus administration, using policy documents as a tool to achieve this. This paper analyzes the sustainability policies of 21 Canadian HEIs that have used the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The policies were coded thematically with a focus on the conceptualizations of sustainability, conceptualizations of campus sustainability, and how the documents address the dominant themes found in the sustainability in higher education scholarly literature. This paper finds that most policies conceptualized sustainable development using the Brundtland definition, with aspects of environment, society, and economy. Policies conceptualized campus sustainability as including teaching, research, operations, and community outreach, with policy goals that emphasize facilities initiatives. This paper contributes to our understanding of the challenges and priorities associated with integrating sustainability into the administration of Canadian HEI institutions at the end of the DESD.
PubDate: 2014-11-18

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