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 Environment, Development and Sustainability   [SJR: 0.419]   [H-I: 29]   [30 followers]  Follow         Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)    ISSN (Print) 1573-2975 - ISSN (Online) 1387-585X    Published by Springer-Verlag  [2280 journals]
• An assessment of the impacts of acid mine drainage on socio-economic
development in the Witwatersrand: South Africa
• Abstract: Abstract For more than a century, the mining sector has played a crucial role in the economic development of South Africa. However, it also causes immense harm to the country’s people and environment. Gold and coal mining have serious implications for water management. The problem arises when contaminated water in the form of acid mine drainage (AMD) reaches the river basin systems and affects water usages important for socio-economic development. This article looks at the impacts of AMD on different constituencies in the Witwatersrand Basin for the South African society and on sustainable socio-economic development. It includes different responses by the media, civil society, scientists and Government on AMD, how they interpret AMD and its effects on socio-economic development.
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• The speciation of cobalt and nickel at mine waste dump using improved
correlation analysis: a case study of Sarcheshmeh copper mine
• Abstract: Abstract Investigating the speciation of potentially toxic elements in mining waste dump systems provides valuable knowledge about the potential for transfer in the environment and the risks posed to mining sites. Sequential extraction analyses are common experiments, which are often used to determine the speciation of potentially toxic elements. However, there would be some drawbacks for using this experiment including labour-intensive procedure, interferences of fractions, impractical for testing large numbers of samples from a heterogeneous environment and the inability to determine the individual minerals relevant to the corresponding fraction. The present paper is an attempt to determine the speciation of cobalt and nickel as potentially toxic elements in the waste dumps of Sarcheshmeh using improved correlation analysis. This method employed the cobalt and nickel contents together with the exact mineral contents which were classified according to the paste pH experiments for improving the correlation matrix. To achieve the aim of study, sixty samples were collected from two waste dumps at the Sarcheshmeh Copper mine in Kerman province of Iran. The result of proposed method showed that cobalt bound to hydroxysulphate minerals, muscovite and iron and manganese oxyhydroxide minerals and nickel is controlled by hydroxysulphate minerals, and manganese and iron oxyhydroxide minerals, as paste pH ranges ascend. Furthermore, at all paste pH ranges, pyrite was the main source of cobalt and nickel. These results were in agreement with the sequential extraction method and also previous experimental investigations, which confirms the performance of applied improved correlation analysis.
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• Alleviating climate change impacts in rural Bangladesh: a PROMETHEE
outranking-based approach for prioritizing agricultural interventions
• Abstract: Abstract This paper presents a PROMETHEE multicriteria outranking-based approach for prioritizing agricultural interventions to alleviate climate change on a farm basis. The drought-prone areas of Rajshahi and flood-saline-prone areas of Barisal in rural Bangladesh were chosen as case studies. A number of existent agricultural interventions have been comparatively evaluated upon several diversified criteria. The process of evaluation was held through an online survey to experts with knowledge in rice farming and climate change effects in Bangladesh. The findings indicate that water storage systems were prioritized first in northern drought area, whereas the introduction of improved rice varieties in flood-saline south was of the highest importance. Furthermore, the combined implementation of water storage, improved rice varieties, and seminars on agricultural management to farmers was signified as an integrated response to climate change for both regions. The findings were already presented to key stakeholders where a strong support for the combined implementation of the suggested interventions in pilot sites was given.
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• Service life of concrete structures considering the effects of temperature
and relative humidity on chloride transport
• Abstract: Abstract Chloride is one of the main factors responsible for damages related to the corrosion of the concrete reinforcement in marine environments. It is known that this mechanism of degradation is directly related to environmental variables. Within this context, it can be inserted the global climate change. This paper deals with the effects of temperature and relative humidity changes on the service life of concrete structures affected by chloride attack. This way, three situations of environmental aggressiveness were simulated: past, current, and future. Then, models for predicting the chlorides penetration were analyzed to the three selected situations. So, a practical methodology is presented, and the results are consistent with the literature data. Among the results, it can be noted that changes in temperature and relative humidity identified in a period of 100 years were responsible for a reduction from 7.8 to 10.2 years of service life. Most standards provide a design service life of 50 years for reinforced concrete structures.
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• 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: 2015-10-01

• Opportunities and challenges for mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation
in local government: evidence from the Western Cape, South Africa
• Abstract: Abstract Ecosystem-based adaptation can reduce social vulnerability to climate hazards and can be more sustainable in the long term than hard technical solutions to adaptation. Thus, it can provide a strong argument for the conservation of natural ecosystems. As the entities most directly responsible for local-level planning and management, municipalities represent a potentially key site for implementing ecosystem-based climate adaptation. This paper presents the results of a study that investigated the extent of eight local municipalities’ knowledge and mainstreaming of ecosystem-based adaptation issues in the Western Cape, South Africa. Most municipalities had little understanding of ecosystem-based adaptation issues and limited implementation of relevant actions. Our findings suggest that ecosystem-based adaptation mainstreaming in local governments will be assisted by increasing learning and networking opportunities for municipalities and by increasing the “profile” of the concept of ecosystem-based adaptation, as well as by conducting research on barriers and enablers to collaborative governance.
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• Impact assessment of rapid development on land use changes in coastal
areas; case of Kuala Langat district, Malaysia
• Abstract: Abstract The first large urban conurbation in Malaysia stretching from the central mountain spine to the west coast has expanded all rounds to emerge as a potential mega-urban region. It covers the area from the Bernam River basin in south Perak to the Linggi River basin in Negri Sembilan. The analysis of the land use change patterns and the prediction of future changes can highlight the problems of continuing current pattern of growth. Kuala Langat as the case study is located in the strategic area, because this area is identified as a Klang Valley II. The district has been experiencing rapid development, influence by some fast growing new centers like Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Klang Valley, Cyberjaya, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur mega-urban region. These have caused degradations of the natural habitats located in this area such as forests, peat swamp, mangroves and wetlands and land use changes from forest and agriculture to development areas. Also some sensitive area such as reclaimed lands, geo-disaster area, flash flood prone areas, dumping grounds and high erosion area need urgent sustainable plan for future development. Also, coastal lands are being developed very fast through establishments of residential, industrial and commercial centers. The analysis of land use changes have led to a better understanding in exploring suitable growth pattern for future development. The land use map obtained from Department of Agriculture for the year 1974 and 1981 and data of Landsat TM for the years of 1988, 1991, 1996 and 2010 obtained from the Malaysian Center for Remote Sensing were analyzed using GIS. From the investigation of land use changes detection over 35 years, the current unsustainable pattern of growth was highlighted. This emphasizes the urgent need for a sustainable development plan.
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• Dynamic impact of household consumption on its CO 2 emissions in Malaysia
• Abstract: Abstract This article aims to measure the dynamic impact of household consumption (final household consumption expenditure, LHC) on CO2 emission from household’s energy consumption in Malaysia from 1971 to 2010. The estimation of autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds test confirms a non-monotonic relationship between LHC and residential CO2 emission. In the long run, there is a positive relationship between LHC and CO2 emission as well as a negative relationship between quadratic forms of LHC and CO2 emission which indicates the existence of an inverted U-shaped relationship between these two variables. The analysis also found a similar relationship in both the short and long run. To confirm the non-monotonous relationship, the U test of Sasabuchi–Lind–Mehlum (2010) approach has followed to obtain the sufficient conditions for the existence of inverted U relationship. Moreover, the U test of Sasabuchi–Lind–Mehlum (2010) found that CO2 emission increases with increasing LHC up to 6.5 units, but it declines with an additional increase of LHC which is also found by the ARDL model. However, the existence of environmental Kuznets curve implies that in the long run, household CO2 emission declines with the additional increase of household consumption in the Malaysian economy.
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• Walter Leal Filho (ed): Transformative approaches to sustainable
development at universities: working across disciplines
• PubDate: 2015-10-01

• 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: 2015-10-01

• Progress and prospect in the integrated development of medicinal and
aromatic plants (MAPs) sector in Uttarakhand, Western Himalaya
• Abstract: Abstract Conservation, sustainable utilization and cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) have received much attention in the recent years. MAPs are important ecosystem service, and dependence on MAPs for sustaining livelihood in the developing regions is still high. Despite, the tradition of trade, priorities and practices for integrated development of MAPs sector in developing regions, including the entire Indian Himalayan Region are inadequate. Uttarakhand (India—Western Himalaya), is pioneer in categorizing potential MAPs, determining priorities and developing practices for integrated development of MAPs. On the basis of regional agro-climatic conditions, available MAPs resources and prospect, a total of 132 indigenous and exotic species of MAPs in the Uttarakhand are categorized as substantial. In addition, a total of 28 plans for integrated development of MAPs sector through four prioritized areas (6 plans for coordination, 5 for research, education and documentation, 3 for conservation and sustainable development and 14 for cultivation and marketing) are introduced in past 10–12 years. Recent facilitations in the sustainable harvesting, cultivation and marketing have enabled to achieve the considerable progress in production of planting materials, promotional cultivation and sustainable harvesting and marketing. MAPs produce from cultivation-associated sources, having an economic value of Rs. 93.90 lakhs to 294.60 lakhs (cf. to US $147,479.19–462,698.29.00) from 2007–08 to 2012–13, and produce obtained through sustainable harvesting with the value of Rs. 321.54 lakhs to 1,791.00 lakhs (cf. to US$ 505,010.21–2,812,941.73) from 2003–04 to 2012–13 was marketed from Uttarakhand. Even though, the facilitation-driven progress in MAPs sector is encouraging; however, considering some key aspects for ascertaining sustainability and competence in the MAPs sector are still required. An attempt is made to describe decadal progress in the MAPs sector in Uttarakhand with associated and expected prospect.
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• Adopting material flow cost accounting model for improved waste-reduction
decisions in a micro-brewery
• Abstract: Abstract This paper report findings from a pilot study in a micro-brewery that demonstrates the adoption of the MFCA model to capture adequate waste-cost information to support and improve waste-reduction decisions. While studies have shown that applying MFCA is a relevant tool in providing both financial and non-financial waste information for improving waste-reduction decisions in large- and medium-sized organizations, its adoption in a micro-brewery set-up is lacking. Findings reveal that the MFCA model can be adopted within different management systems to improve waste-reduction decision and cost savings. A significant implication for practice is the potential to adopt the MFCA model under different organizational circumstances that generally do not support systematically structured management approaches. A major significance of the findings in this study serves to focus the attention of owner–managers in micro-business circumstances on the management of product material and energy losses as well as the inclusion of certain production processes costs in product cost.
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• Biodiversity, environmental health and human well-being: analysis of
• Abstract: Abstract Well-being, a condition of positive physical, social and mental state of life, has become a prime focus of research in recent years as people seek to achieve and sustain it. Interacting with the natural environment has been established as a way of acquiring well-being benefits. However, the extent to which well-being depends on various aspects of the environment particularly biodiversity has received less attention. This paper examines the relationship between the level of biodiversity in an environment and human well-being. The depression and happiness scale was employed to sample 236 visitors of eight green spaces in Anglesey and Gwynedd, North Wales, while also noting socio-demographic and environmental factors such as perceived naturalness, density of visitors and noise level to establish the relationship. In each green space, the levels of native and introduced plant diversity were estimated. The paper established that level of ecological diversity determines level of people’s wellness and happiness derived from a green environment. Visitors to green spaces with higher plant diversity receive higher levels of happiness. Significantly too, diversity of introduced species was a better predictor than native plant diversity. Perceived naturalness, density of visitors and visitors’ age was also predictors of happiness. It is concluded that increasing the level of biodiversity in an environment could improve people’s well-being. However, the finding about introduced versus native species deserves more attention.
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• Sustainability in environmental education: new strategic thinking
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• The utility of postmodern thinking in climate adaptation research
• Abstract: Abstract Adaptation has assumed centre stage in current climate change discourse, yet there has been minimal attention to the explicit exploration of epistemological and ontological concerns in the area. This paper focuses on these critical dimensions by exploring the contributions of a postmodernist perspective to climate adaptation research and analysis. Based on the ideas of three leading postmodern thinkers, Jean-François Lyotard, Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, the paper presents postmodernism as an integrative research paradigm which acknowledges the complexity of the adaptation discourse by embracing the diversity of meanings and narratives around climate adaptation and the utilization of a plurality of methodologies and approaches in research with a potential to drive rigorous and contextually relevant climate adaptation research.
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• 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: 2015-10-01

• Determinants of food security under changing land-use systems among
pastoral and agro-pastoral households in eastern Ethiopia
• Abstract: Abstract A number of previous studies have emphasized the determinants of land-use change, as well as the management of communal lands in the pastoral systems, without assessing the effects of such changes on pastoralists/agro-pastoralists’ food security. Therefore, the objective of this paper was to assess the determinants of food security under changing land use and land management systems—from communal to private investment—using household survey data collected from pastoral and agro-pastoral communities. The data were analyzed using ordinary least-square econometric analysis. The results showed that having sufficient land for crop farming, competition over land for private use, number of plots, use of improved seeds, access to infrastructure, and distance from main markets have a negative impact on food security. However, conflict with neighbors and use of crop residue as livestock feed have a positive impact on food security; impacts were also shown to affect geographically distributed pastoral and agro-pastoral communities differently. There are a number of constraints associated with such land-use changes in order to improve land productivity on privately held land, including unstable market prices, reducing the benefits from irrigated farming, moisture stress where pastoral land classified as arable suffers from water unavailability and expansion of gullies resulting in abandonment of farmland. In conclusion, land conversion to encourage pastoralists to take up sedentary farming to ensure food security will only accelerate rangeland degradation. Therefore, it is imperative that investment in land management be complemented with other interventions, which can thereby increase land productivity, for example, adoption of drought tolerant crops, water harvesting, enhancing pastoralists/agro-pastoralists’ technical knowledge and improved marketing infrastructure.
PubDate: 2015-10-01

• Exploring factors that shape small-scale farmers’ opinions on the
adoption of eco-friendly nets for vegetable production
• Abstract: Abstract If agro-ecological systems are to realize their potential as sustainable alternatives to conventional agricultural systems, innovation diffusion needs to be enhanced. We conducted surveys among 214 small-scale vegetable farmers in Benin, a food-deficit country in West Africa, on how they perceived the different attributes of eco-friendly nets (EFNs). The nets act as physical barriers against insects in vegetable production and so reduce pesticide use. Understanding farmer perceptions about new technologies helps reveal farmers’ propensity to adopt them. Intensity of attitude was measured on a Likert scale, and an ordered probit model was used to determine which characteristics of nets were most influential. Eighteen percent of farmers thought that EFNs would benefit them, but almost half preferred not to adopt this technology at all. The main reason for rejecting the nets was the perceived high labor requirement, particularly on larger plots of land. This largely negative perception was strongest among farmers with large areas cultivated with vegetables, farmers who had little or no experience in a trial, and those living far from extension services. We recommend expanded trials that engage a higher proportion of farmers, strengthening of external support for those wanting to use the nets and further technological development to reduce labor costs, improved access to finance and increased education about the negative impacts of insecticides abuse.
PubDate: 2015-09-28

• Healing with animals in a semiarid northeastern area of Brazil
• Abstract: Abstract This study presents information on the use of medicinal animals in a semiarid area of northeast Brazil, a region where animals have recognized importance in local popular medicine. The information on the use of animals for medicinal purposes was obtained through semi-structured questionnaires, complemented by free interviews and informal conversations. The results obtained showed that the residents of the area studied utilize a considerable richness of animal species (n = 42) for medicinal purposes, as occurs in other areas of Brazil’s semiarid region, demonstrating that zootherapy represents an alternative form of health care that is important to the inhabitants of the region. There is a need for new investigations on medicinal fauna, aimed at promoting the sustainable use of eventual medicinal species and preserving popular knowledge associated with the use of animal species.
PubDate: 2015-09-24

• World Water Week 2015
• PubDate: 2015-09-23

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