Journal Cover Environment, Development and Sustainability
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1573-2975 - ISSN (Online) 1387-585X
   Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2355 journals]
  • Environmental pollution in Africa
    • Authors: Abioye O. Fayiga; Mabel O. Ipinmoroti; Tait Chirenje
      Pages: 41 - 73
      Abstract: Africa is blessed with natural and mineral resources, but exploitation of these resources has led to extreme pollution of the environment. Population growth and urbanization due to developments have also contributed immensely to the current pollution in Africa. Traffic emissions, transported dust and open burning are all significant contributors to air pollution in Africa. The Sahara desert is a major source of transported dust, especially during the harmattan season in West Africa. Mercury emissions are very high in South Africa due to coal combustion and gold mining. Air pollutants may contaminate water and soil through atmospheric deposition. However, the major pollution sources for surface waters are the urban and industrial discharges of untreated effluents into the water. A few African countries have standards for effluent discharge into surface waters, but it is unknown whether these standards are being enforced. Though groundwater sources in wells and boreholes are the major sources of drinking water for the African populace, the biological water quality of these groundwater sources is mostly low in the region due to close proximity to sanitary facilities. Identified sources of soil pollution in Africa include agricultural activities, mining, roadside emissions, auto-mechanic workshops, refuse dumps and e-waste. Oil spills are a major problem in oil-rich African countries such as Nigeria and Angola. Agricultural activities are the lowest impacting the soil in Africa, while e-waste recycling was the highest with Pb, Cu and Zn at extremely high concentrations (>1%). There is a need for proper regulation of environmental pollutants in Africa.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9894-4
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • Economical sensitivity analysis of rice husk utilization in a 300 kW el
           Micro Thermal Power Plant
    • Authors: Flávio Dias Mayer; Roger Gallon; Ronaldo Hoffmann
      Pages: 75 - 88
      Abstract: Production of rice husks in Rio Grande do Sul State, which is the major rice production state in Brazil, needs to be adequately managed to diminish environmental impacts. A Micro Thermal Power Plant (MTP), which is a compact and small-scale biomass thermal power plant technology, can be used in electricity generation in thermal power plants with a power capacity up to 800 kWel. This paper presents a feasibility analysis of a 300 kWel MTP that is fuelled by rice husks using two different scenarios: the autoproduction (Case 1) and the independent production (Case 2) of electricity. Both scenarios were found to be unfeasible. Therefore, a sensitivity analysis is performed to evaluate the variables that affect feasibility, such as the electricity commercialization price, the value of certified emission reductions and the financial interest rates. According to sensitivity analysis, small-scale thermal power plants could have feasibility if they received incentives through government programmes, such as through the exemption of equipment taxes and/or the reduction or elimination of the financial interest rate.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9871-y
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • Spatio-temporal analysis of climatic variables in the western part of
    • Authors: Md. Kamruzzaman; A. T. M. Sakiur Rahman; Md. Shakil Ahmed; Md. Enamul Kabir; Quamrul Hasan Mazumder; M. Sayedur Rahman; Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan
      Pages: 89 - 108
      Abstract: Monitoring and detecting trends of climatic variables like rainfall and temperature are essential for agricultural developments in the context of climate change. The present study has detected trends in annual and cropping seasonal rainfall and temperature data for the period of 1961–2011 using Mann–Kendall (MK) test, Spearman’s rho (SR) test and modified Mann–Kendall test that has been applied to the significant lag-1 serial correlated time series data, and slope has been estimated using Sen’s Slope estimator for twelve meteorological stations located in the western part of Bangladesh covering about 41 % of the country. Almost 71 % trends explored by MK test in annual rainfall are statistically insignificant, and SR test also complies it. The spatial distribution of rainfall trend shows insignificant positive trends in major part of the area. Significant positive trends both by MK test and by SR test at 95 % confidence levels are observed at rates of 8.56, 11.15 and 13.66 mm/year at Dinajpur, Rangpur and Khepupara stations, respectively, and the Kharif season rainfall of these stations also shows significant increasing trends except Dinajpur. On the other hand, significant decreasing trends in annual rainfall are found at Bhola (−11.67 mm/year) and Rajshahi (−5.951 mm/year) stations and decreasing trends in rainfall dominated the Pre-Kharif season over the area. But, 83.33 % of the stations show rising trends in annual mean temperature with significant positive trends (as observed by both MK test and SR test) at Rangpur, Bogra, Faridpur, Jessore and Bhola stations where the rate of changes vary from 0.013 °C/year at Faridpur to 0.08 °C/year at Bhola. Most of the trends in Rabi and Pre-Kharif seasons of mean temperatures are not statistically significant. However, all stations except Barisal show significant rising trends in temperature in Kharif season. To cope with this changing pattern of rainfall and temperature, effective adaptation strategies should be taken to keep up the agricultural production that is related to livelihood of the most people and to ensure the country’s food security.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9872-x
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • An integrated approach for water scarcity evaluation—a case study of
           Yunnan, China
    • Authors: Hongrui Wang; Linlin Fan; Yuan Liang; Cheng Wang
      Pages: 109 - 127
      Abstract: An integrated approach based on multiple indicators and individual and combinational evaluation methods is proposed to evaluate water scarcity. Four evaluation methods are employed, and their results are joined through three combination methods in order to obtain a consistent evaluation. This iterative-correction approach has been applied to Yunnan Province in China for water scarcity evaluation. The results demonstrate the capability of the iterative-correction framework to provide insightful analyses of water scarcity. Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Diqing) and Nujiang Li Autonomous Prefecture (Nujiang) ranked 1st and 2nd, indicating the best situation for water scarcity evaluation, while Yuxi and Zhaotong ranked 15th and 16th, indicating the worst situation. Two types of major water scarcities were observed in Yunnan Province. One was a typical representative of lack of water quality in the central part of Yunnan, and the other was a typical engineering type in the western part of Yunnan. The water scarcity has been found to arise from non-judicious water use, rapid urbanization and lack of protective measures for water resources. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct more water conservancy projects in future to alleviate the water scarcity issue.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9873-9
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • Experimental investigation of dust pollutants and the impact of
           environmental parameters on PV performance: an experimental study
    • Authors: Zeki Ahmed Darwish; Hussein A. Kazem; K. Sopian; M. A. Alghoul; Hussain Alawadhi
      Pages: 155 - 174
      Abstract: The accumulation of dust pollution on the photovoltaic (PV) module can have a significant effect on the productivity and efficiency of PV systems in different locations in the world. Dust which accumulated over time on the PV module and is based on weather conditions led to the reduction in the effectiveness of solar cells. The aim of this research was to experimentally investigate the effect of the natural dust and the effects of environmental parameters on PV performance. The experiments were conducted to propose a model for the current, voltage, power and efficiency and to simulate the effect of environmental parameters on PV performance. The natural dust investigated consisted of different compounds: SiO2 (45.53 %), CaO (24.62 %), Al2O3 (10.83 %), Fe2O3 (10.46 %), MgO (6.33 %), K2O (0.87 %), TiO2 (0.45 %), SO3 (0.24 %), MnO2 (0.21), Cr2O3 (0.23 %), SrO (0.13 %) and NiO (0.09 %). It was found that the most accurate correlation is a polynomial from seventh degree for current, voltage, power and efficiency, fourth degree for solar radiation and temperature, cubic degree for humidity and wind velocity. The coefficients of general model are 0.6343, 0.0110, 0.0 and 0.0001 for PV module, respectively, with 0.0011 fitting factor. The proposed model has been validated using models in the literature.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9875-7
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • Are neoliberalist behaviours reflective of bullying' New perspectives
           on influences on sustainability and global citizenship
    • Authors: Kim Polistina
      Pages: 175 - 196
      Abstract: The global sustainability crisis facing humanity is a cultural crisis with neoliberal culture, the primary driver. The necessity for global change away from neoliberal systems is well established with cultural systems pursued through sustainability seen as the most viable options to alleviate this global crisis. Whilst the goals of neoliberalism and sustainability are systemic and universal, those implementing them work at a specific level with individuals, groups and/or collectives. The literature fails, however, to provide specific examples of why, on a practical level, social change agents often struggle to implement sustainability goals. One of the primary reasons for these struggles can be found in an examination of human behaviour, for instance personality types, group dynamics and/or interpersonal or group communication skills (or lack thereof). This exploratory paper will investigate the existence of a nexus between neoliberalist and adult bullying behaviours to initiate discussion on the barriers this combination may have on social change for sustainability and global citizenship. This examination is warranted as the propensity in the neoliberalist system to support the use of bullying behaviours by its advocates is a complex, nuanced and underresearched topic. There are implications here for policy development, social and urban planning, education and governance for sustainability and global citizenship.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9876-6
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • The idea of weak sustainability is illegitimate
    • Authors: Katharina Biely; Dries Maes; Steven Van Passel
      Pages: 223 - 232
      Abstract: Since the introduction of the sustainability challenge, scientists disagree over the interpretation of the term “sustainability.” Weak and strong sustainability are the two main interpretations of sustainability, which are opposing each other. Some researchers stated that the interpretation of the term depends on the context; others disagree pointing out that it always implies the meaning of continuation. The term “sustainability” can be used as attribute, which adds a certain characteristic to the noun. If something can be attributed as being sustainable, it can also be unsustainable. The sustainability challenge consists of shifting from the current unsustainable towards a sustainable system. This paper outlines that the weak sustainability term is illegitimate, as it leads to a contradiction with the acknowledged assumption that the current state is unsustainable. This contradiction is revealed through an analysis of the occurrence of decoupling in agriculture: Agricultural land use could be decoupled from agricultural production, but only with the trade-off of massive increases in fertilizer, pesticide, energy and water usage. This paper outlines an inherent inconsistency within the ongoing discussion about the interpretation of sustainability. Through identifying the invalidity of the weak sustainability interpretation the focus can be shifted form the discourse to the sustainability challenge itself.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9878-4
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • The relationship between population and the environment and its impact on
           sustainable development in Egypt using a multi-equation model
    • Authors: Samar Khairy Ghanem
      Pages: 305 - 342
      Abstract: The relationship between population and the environment is a significant issue due to its impact on chances for achieving sustainable development, especially in developing countries. Previous studies on this relationship have primarily focused on the impact of population growth on the environment, while the impact of the environment on population has received less attention, where most of these studies have used single-equation models (SEM) in their analysis. In order to capture the interrelationship between population growth and the environment, and both its direct and indirect effects on the potential for achieving sustainable development, SEM may not be appropriate. This paper takes a step forward in providing such empirical evidence, by developing a multi-equation model based on the recursive equation system in order to empirically examine the relationship between population growth and the environment in terms of air pollution represented by increased CO2 emissions, health level represented by the mortality and morbidity due to air pollution, and labour productivity represented by GDP per hour worked, and using a time series data set for Egypt during the period of 1950–2010. Quantitatively, the current study finds that (1) In Egypt, a 1% increase in population raises the CO2 emissions by 2.4%. (2) An increase in CO2 emissions by 1% is associated with an increase in deaths due to outdoor air pollution (respiratory and cardiovascular diseases) by 2.5%. (3) Poor health due to air pollution leads to a decrease in labour productivity by 1.58%. (4) The impact of population growth on chances for sustainable development depends on how much the rise in air pollution decreases labour productivity through raising the rate of morbidity. (5) Even when rapid population growth rate plays a minor role in creating a specific problem, such as its indirect negative impact on labour productivity and thus economic growth, population management policies may still constitute a viable measure for dealing with that problem, especially with respect to policy intervention cost. The study argues that population growth in Egypt negatively affects the state’s ability to achieve sustainable development via its negative impact on the environment. Environmental degradation in turn leads to adverse effects on population, particularly with regard to public health. These negative effects on health lead to lower labour productivity, and thus hinder the state’s ability to sustain development.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9882-8
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • Sanitation entrepreneurship in rural Indonesia: a closer look
    • Authors: Janina Catalao Dionisio Murta; Juliet Rebecca Mary Willetts; Wahyu Triwahyudi
      Pages: 343 - 359
      Abstract: Enterprises are playing increasing roles in facilitating access to sanitation products and services in Indonesia and other developing economies. This study investigated the factors affecting the sustainability of sanitation enterprises in rural Indonesia. Interviews with 33 organisations representing sanitation enterprises, associations of sanitation enterprises, national and international civil society organisations (CSOs), donor organisations and national and local government agencies were conducted to explore different stakeholder perceptions about enterprise roles. The research revealed factors specific to the sanitation entrepreneurs themselves, such as their skills, entrepreneurial traits, pro-social motivations and intrinsic motivations, as well as factors within their enabling environment. Insufficient customer demand, inadequate capacity building opportunities, lack of financing options for entrepreneurs and their customers, and limited government support were observed to undermine sanitation enterprise success. Industry associations were found to be a useful intermediary support mechanism, particularly in the absence of significant government support for enterprises. However, such associations could also stifle innovation, and their role needs to be carefully developed, including financially sustainable models for such associations. This study has implications for how governments and CSOs in Indonesia and elsewhere might best support the role of enterprises and entrepreneurship towards improved sanitation outcomes.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9883-7
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • Mapping of bioclimatic comfort for potential planning using GIS in Aydin
    • Authors: Mehmet Cetin; Fatih Adiguzel; Omer Kaya; Ahmet Sahap
      Pages: 361 - 375
      Abstract: People are relaxed (satisfied or well-off) in what is described as comfortable climatic conditions. In such conditions, a person’s energy balance is not disturbed because of stresses from extreme heat or cold. Bioclimatic structure has been well researched and should be a consideration in the planning process for arranging comfortable spaces. It represents the understanding that energy balance is one of the basic elements of a sustainable landscape design. The goals of this study have been to create ideal places for human thermal comfort and to advance objectives focused on the importance of sustainable and ecological landscape planning and design work, along with their accompanying economic benefits. In this study, which focuses on the climate of the Province of Aydin, the most suitable areas for bioclimatic comfort have been identified. The climate values for the Aydin Province have been taken from a total of 22 meteorological stations. Stations at altitudes ranging from 11 to 871 m were used to note the climate changes that occurred. The average temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed from each station, including data collected using Geographic Information System (GIS) software, were transferred. GIS maps were then created from the imported data, and areas of optimal comfort around the city of Aydin were determined. The results show the range that is suitable for a bioclimatic comfort zone in Aydin. The bioclimatic comfort range was determined to be roughly 17 °C for Aydin, and the city of Aydin demonstrated a comfort range between 14 and 19 °C. As a result, the city of Aydin was shown to be a suitable area for bioclimatic comfort.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9885-5
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • Feasibility of PV–biodiesel hybrid energy system for a cement
           technology institute in India
    • Authors: Satya Prakash Makhija; S. P. Dubey
      Pages: 377 - 387
      Abstract: This paper compares an existing unreliable grid supply with a proposed PV–biodiesel hybrid energy system in order to find the feasibility of the latter for improvement in reliability of power supply, lower pollutant emissions and saving of coal reserves. In the present study, the electrical load of a cement technology institute located in Bhilai, India, has been selected for the purpose of analysis. The results show that hybrid PV–biodiesel system comprising 25 kW PV array, 8 kW biodiesel generator-1, 20 kW biodiesel generator-2, 10 kW inverter and 10 kW rectifier will supply power to the institute avoiding addition of 27.744 tons of CO2 in atmosphere and save 55,080 kg of coal per year with improvement in reliability from 93.15 to 100%.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9886-4
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • Adaptation to climate change as resilience for urban extreme poor: lessons
           learned from targeted asset transfers programmes in Dhaka city of
    • Authors: Md. Zakir Hossain; Md. Ashiq Ur Rahman
      Pages: 407 - 432
      Abstract: This paper aims to identify how targeted asset transfers help to build adaptive capacity and adaptive actions of the urban extreme poor to climate change phenomena. This paper explores the theoretical debates of community-based adaptation approach and failure of such approach to address urban extreme poor. The empirical evidence of these theoretical debates will be drawn from two informal settlements of Dhaka city, where a targeted asset transfer project has been implementing since 2009. This paper explains that urban extreme poor usually work as unskilled labour and lack different livelihood capitals; and climate change is an increasingly important influence exacerbating an already vulnerable livelihood context. There is growing recognition in the literature that poor urban people and communities are adapting to climate change in physical and behavioural terms. But, in the case of urban extreme poor these adaptation approaches are delivering short-term survival strategies disregarding the notion of wellbeing in the medium to long-term perspectives. It is also evident that community level initiatives structurally reproduce the exclusion of the urban extreme poor. However, poverty literatures acknowledge that poverty-centred approaches could help to reduce vulnerability. As urban extreme poor are significantly more resource constrained, it is reasonable to assert that targeted asset transfers could be a poverty-centred adaptation approach in a changing climate. Targeted asset transfers approaches are the outcomes of recent social protection revolution that especially consider accumulation of physical, financial, human, and social capital in order to build adaptive capacity of the urban extreme poor. This adaptive capacity of the extreme poor may facilitate adjustments in assets, livelihoods, behaviours, and technologies in order to reduce future climate vulnerability. In this context, this paper seeks to answer whether targeted asset transfer approaches can be considered as effective poverty-centred adaptation approaches for the urban extreme poor or not.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9888-2
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • Incentives for low-quality water irrigation of food crops in Morogoro,
    • Authors: Suzana Samson; Robinson H. Mdegela; Anders Permin; Christopher P. Mahonge; James E. D. Mlangwa
      Pages: 479 - 494
      Abstract: This article highlights the link between low-quality water and food crops irrigation. A cross-sectional research was conducted to assess factors motivating farmers to use low-quality water from the waste stabilisation ponds for food crops irrigation in urban and peri-urban areas in Morogoro Urban and Mvomero, in Morogoro Region, Tanzania, from October 2013 to March 2015. Data were collected through farmers’ survey (n = 80), in-depth interviews with key informants (n = 7) and focus group discussions (n = 4). Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in results presentation. The findings indicated alternative way of earning income during dry seasons, lack of alternative sources of irrigation water, alternative source of employment, the need to produce food, land availability near the low-quality water, plant nutrients in the water and limited awareness of the health problems associated with low-quality water irrigation as incentives for farmers to irrigate food crops using low-quality water. The results further showed that farming using low-quality water has been their livelihood strategy; farmers meet their family needs such as school fees, health and food by using the income generated from the sale of vegetables and paddy. Regardless of all these benefits, the existing use of low-quality water in farming activities is informal. Besides, there are no regulations guiding its use with no declaration to whether the resource is suitable for food crops irrigation. However, banning the practice on the ground of health risks might be devastating to farmers. This practice should therefore be regulated in such a way that low-quality water disposed from the ponds is considered as a potential source of water for food crops irrigation.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9895-3
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • Sanitation situations in selected Southeast Asian countries and
           application of innovative technologies
    • Authors: Thammarat Koottatep; Saroj Kumar Chapagain; Chongrak Polprasert; Atitaya Panuvatvanich; Kyu-Hong Ahn
      Pages: 495 - 506
      Abstract: Sanitation coverages in selected Southeast Asian countries, namely Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, were increased from 1990 to 2015. The toilet coverage of 96, 100 and 99% was reported in Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, respectively. On contrary, incidences of waterborne disease and water pollution are still in existence. This situation is due mainly to poor design, performance and maintenance of the dominantly used on-site sanitation systems (OSS) such as septic tanks, cesspools. In addition, fecal sludge (FS), which has to be emptied from these OSS, is not properly managed. There are lacks in rules and regulation on FS management (FSM). Recent research conducted at the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, involved the development of innovative OSS, namely solar septic tanks, Zyclone cube toilet and septic tank effluent treatment units. The operation of solar septic tanks with increased temperatures of 40–50 °C could inactive E. coli by 4–6 logs in the effluent. The solar septic tanks enhanced the microbial degradability with increased methane gas production and reducing fecal sludge accumulation by 50%. The Zyclone cube toilet separated the toilet wastewater into solid and liquid portions, which were treated by heating and electrochemical disinfection, respectively. The septic tank effluent was further treated by a unit consisting of granular activated carbon coated with nano-silver resulting in E. coli reduction of 5–6 logs. These technologies should be applied for OSS in Southeast Asian and other developing regions for environmental improvement and public health protection.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9892-6
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • Simon Nicholson and Sikina Jinnah (Eds.): New Earth Politics: Essays from
           the Anthropocene
    • Authors: Aviva Silburt
      Pages: 507 - 508
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9884-6
      Issue No: Vol. 20, No. 1 (2018)
  • Extending communities of practice: a partnership model for sustainable
    • Authors: Mary Moore; Paul O’ Leary; Derek Sinnott; Jane Russell O’ Connor
      Abstract: Eco Schools was established in 1994 following the UN Earth Summit in 1992 and the publication of the outcome document, Agenda 21. This began a sustainable approach to school management, with the implementation of an ISO-based Environmental Management System (EMS). At this time, EMSs were also beginning to be used formally in the industrial sector and were proving quite effective. However, in the school sector, there were many challenges including the technical aspects of facilities management and also the added necessity of addressing curriculum requirements. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was also an outcome theme of the UN Earth Summit, and to date, the literature and national documents are still citing challenges facing teachers in the implementation of effective ESD. This paper proposes a conceptual model of a triadic partnership between school Communities of Practice, higher education institutions and local industry, with the aim of facilitating a sustainable approach in schools, while simultaneously supporting teachers to embed ESD principles in the curriculum, thereby increasing the sustainability literacy of both current and future generations.
      PubDate: 2018-02-07
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-018-0101-7
  • Emerging conflict between agriculture extension and physical existence of
           wetland in post-dam period in Atreyee River basin of Indo-Bangladesh
    • Authors: Tamal Kanti Saha; Swades Pal
      Abstract: Alarming wetland loss and modification of wetland landscape in the Atreyee floodplain is an ensuing concern in post-dam condition (after the construction of a dam over Atreyee river in 2012). The nature of the conflict between the changing wetland and agriculture landscape in the altered hydrological state in post-dam period is investigated and illustrated. Agriculture and wetland maps are prepared from multi-temporal satellite images using frequency approach. The result clearly exhibited that agriculture land is increased substantially (4316.95–8047.53 km2) and wetland is declined (1098.25–592.88 km2) in the post-dam state. Out of the lost, 268.33 km2 of wetland area is transformed into agricultural land and the transformation rate is high from low-frequency water presence (wetland with irregular water appearance) wetland to agricultural land. The consistency and stability of agriculture land are gradually increased over time when it is decreased in case of wetland. Extension and perforation of agricultural practices toward wetland areas are caused for wetland loss and fragmentation of wetland. It causes physical and ecological vulnerability of the same. Increasing number of wetland patches (25,839–31,769), decreasing frequency of agriculture patches (94,280–16,296), dwindling of large core wetland area (656.10–212.04 km2), doubling of large core agriculture land (2270.87–3822.88 km2), etc., are some of the evidences signifying growing conflict between wetland and agriculture land. Aggressive growth in agriculture land has been emerging as a strong reason for wetland loss and transformation.
      PubDate: 2018-02-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-018-0099-x
  • Real-time monitoring of water requirement in protected farms by using
           polynomial neural networks and image processing
    • Authors: Amaresh Sarkar; Mrinmoy Majumder
      Abstract: The monitoring of water requirement in irrigation areas is mostly performed by on-farm methods like utilization of soil probes, tensiometers, or neutron probes. The probes are placed into the soil collected from different depths of the root zone of the crop. But such procedures are found to be time-consuming. As a result, non-portable capacitance-based probes were nowadays utilized for monitoring of soil moisture. However, the sensor-based non-portable system is expensive and out of reach of ordinary farmers. But an absence of on-time monitoring of soil moisture in the root zone of the soil often results in crop failure and incurs a substantial loss on the cultivators. In the present investigation, a real-time inexpensive water monitoring system was proposed to monitor soil moisture in the root zone of a crop such that both time and expenditure can be reduced. The present study is an attempt to develop a real-time monitoring process for crop water requirement (CWR) in protected farm irrigation systems as a function of the significant parameters such as soil porosity (SP), water availability, crop biomass equivalent (CBE), frequency of nutrient application, frequency of irrigation, and CWR. A systematic literature review was performed to identify parameters for CWR, which were then selected by a relevant group of experts on the field. A two-step methodology was followed to develop a function that can automatically estimate water requirement in the root zone of the crop. In the first step, a new probability optimization technique (POT) was proposed for the identification of the priority value of the selected parameters to generate an ideal scenario. In the second step, the index, developed from the parameters and respective priorities selected in the first step, was predicted recurring to polynomial neural network models. The implementation of the nonlinear transfer function in the development of the neural network framework ensures generation of a platform-independent model, which can be embedded to monitor watering requirement for crops cultivated in a protected farm concept. The data of SP and CBE were retrieved from two separate indices (index of soil porosity and biomass index) calculated from images captured from the root and surface areas of the crops. Here, the POT method was used followed by the z score of priority function of the selected parameters estimated by polynomial networks and was fed for the calculation of the water requirement index (WRI). The normalized relative difference of the WRI of two consecutive days provides the information about the necessity of watering and accordingly, the crops in the system are irrigated. The results from the decision-making method indicated that the most significant parameter among the compared factors is CWR. The peak pixel value of each column of the image, for retrieving information from captured images and to identify soil porosity and biomass, was found to be the most contributing factor. The polynomial neural network (PNN) model trained with the information from POT method was found to be the best predictive variant among all the considered configuration of the model having a mean absolute accuracy of 99.08% during the testing phase of the PNN model. This real-time system, when implemented in a real-life scenario, can conserve both water and energy expended in running the watering networks of protected farms.
      PubDate: 2018-02-03
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-018-0097-z
  • Mammalian fauna used in folk medicine among hunters in a semiarid region
           of Brazil
    • Authors: Iamara da Silva Policarpo; Raynner Rilke Duarte Barboza; Anna Karolina Martins Borges; Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves
      Abstract: Humans have established relations with non-human animals since the dawn of their existence on Earth through a wide variety of uses of faunal resources. Among these is the utilization of fauna for therapeutic purposes, which is a fairly widespread practice in Brazil and an important alternative to the use of pharmaceutical medicines. Mammalian species play a prominent role in zootherapy and are widely used for this activity in the semiarid areas of Northeastern Brazil. This study aims to survey the main species of mammals used for zootherapeutic practices in the municipality of Sumé, state of Paraíba, Brazil, and to identify the conditions and diseases treated with mammals species or their body parts. This is the first study that accesses zootherapeutic resources from information of local hunters, who are responsible for capturing these resources and represent the initial link in the chain of animal use for medicinal purposes. Fifty-one informants were interviewed; most of them male. The informants reported 19 species of mammals used for the treatment of diseases, of which 13 were wild animals found on the endangered species list. The study recorded at least 20 animal products or by-products commonly utilized in the administration and preparation of medicines for the treatment of 14 categories of diseases, with diseases related to problems of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue being the most often mentioned. This study revealed a wide variety of mammal species being used in folk medicine for the treatment of numerous diseases, as well as various animal products and by-products being employed in zootherapeutic practices. This type of research plays an important role in understanding the impact of zootherapeutic activities on faunal resources and assists in the implementation of techniques for the management and conservation of mammals.
      PubDate: 2018-02-02
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-018-0098-y
  • Sustainability performance evaluation of agricultural cooperatives’
           operations: a systemic review of the literature
    • Authors: Jaqueline Marcis; Sandro Cesar Bortoluzzi; Edson Pinheiro de Lima; Sérgio Eduardo Gouvêa da Costa
      Abstract: The article proposes to construct and analyze the research landscape on the sustainability performance evaluation of agricultural cooperatives’ operations. The research was characterized as a systematic review of the literature, carried out through the ProKnow-C structured process, complemented by a procedure known as Snowball to form the portfolio of articles, theses and dissertations to be studied. The research results highlight models for the evaluation of the sustainability of agricultural cooperatives’ operations that are still under construction. There are few studies that explain what a performance evaluation is, and there are no authors who have stood out in the research on this theme. Most sustainability assessment models for cooperatives do not address the three dimensions of sustainability in an integrated way, and the uniqueness of the decision maker is not proposed, since there is a predominance of Normativistic and Descriptive approaches. Mapping and organizing the body of knowledge on the theme of sustainability in agricultural cooperatives in the topic of performance evaluation is the main contribution of the article, since many previous studies did not address this. To that end, a conceptual map that outlines the thematic categories of sustainability performance evaluation of agricultural cooperatives’ operations was constructed, identifying where future research is needed, both for the construction of new theories and models and for the execution of empirical studies.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10668-018-0095-1
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