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Journal Cover   Environment, Development and Sustainability
  [SJR: 0.419]   [H-I: 29]   [30 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1573-2975 - ISSN (Online) 1387-585X
   Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2276 journals]
  • Scenario-based evaluation of urban development sustainability: an
           integrative modeling approach to compromise between urbanization
           suitability index and landscape pattern
    • Abstract: Abstract Sustainability analysis of urban complex systems, as an interdisciplinary study, necessitates integrative modeling approaches for analyzing relationships between land parameters and landscape patterns. The present paper emphasizes applicability of dynamic and scenario-based investigation of urban environments for understanding the interactions between urbanization suitability and landscape pattern. Combining parameter modification and model integration approaches for introducing growth alternatives, a basis was established for detailed assessment of the Karaj urban context, Iran. SLEUTH’s probabilistic images of future urbanized lands of two growth scenarios (historical trend-based urban growth and compact urban growth) were simultaneously employed as dynamic factors for urbanization suitability mapping and landscape pattern analysis of the years 2011, 2020, 2030 and 2040. Findings of the present studies showed while historical trend-based urban expansion occupied more land resources, this growth option resulted in a more manageable pattern of urban landscape in terms of its connectivity and compactness as well as possessing higher urbanization suitability index across the study time frame. This study addresses utility of scenario-based analysis of urban areas that furnishes urban planners with insights into cumulative impacts of an ongoing urbanization process under different environmental circumstances.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • Carbon leakage: pollution, trade or politics?
    • Abstract: Abstract In recent years, carbon leakage has attracted widespread attention from both environmental researchers and a broader public. Despite its popularity, there has been some confusion around the concept of carbon leakage, resulting from very different and sometimes imprecise definitions of a phenomenon that can be calculated using different, outcome–relevant methods. The aim of the present article is to bring clarity to this research field, to classify available definitions and to offer specific recommendations for good practice. In particular, we discuss and compare different understandings of carbon leakage and the methodologies used to calculate them. Our analysis highlights crucial differences with respect to diverse research purposes and points out shortcomings and potential problems that may, in extreme cases, create policy-relevant grey areas.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • Adoption and intensity of integrated pest management (IPM) vegetable
           farming in Bangladesh: an approach to sustainable agricultural development
    • Abstract: Abstract The common use of pesticide is a major challenge in trying to accomplish sustainable agriculture. Farming systems based on integrated pest management (IPM) technologies can reduce the use of pesticides to a great extent without causing harm to the yield. Therefore, Bangladesh, like many developing countries, launched IPM technologies to reduce the adverse effects of pesticides in social, economic and environmental aspects. This study made an attempt to analyze the level of IPM adoption and the intensity of IPM practices by vegetable farmers of Narsingdi district, Bangladesh. A total of 331 vegetable producers were sampled. The results revealed that less than one-third of the farmers (30 %) adopted IPM and they varied in terms of the number or type of practices. The use of logistic regression model in this study was to identify the significant factors of IPM adoption, explore several factors, including farmer field school, land ownership status, perception toward IPM, use of improved varieties and extension contact. Furthermore, the linear regression model showed that vegetable cultivation area, farmers’ age, household size, land ownership status and perception toward IPM are necessary in the adoption intensity of IPM practices. This study also made an attempt to clarify the role of these factors in the adoption behavior of IPM practices in vegetable farming. The findings could be used to formulate better policies toward increasing the adoption of this sustainable approach.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • Impact of economic growth and population on agrochemical use: evidence
           from post-liberalization India
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper analyzes the impact of population and per capita income on agrochemical use in India. Traditionally, few researchers have used I = PAT equation in its original form to study the impact of population and per capita income on agrochemical use. In this paper, a variant of I = PAT is used which relates per capita income and per hectare population with per hectare agrochemical use. The sample covers the period 1990–2008 for 25 Indian states. Our results suggest that per capita income has a nonlinear relationship with per hectare agrochemical use. Observed negative relationship between pesticide use per hectare and persons per hectare is indicative of public awareness regarding harms related with intensive use of pesticides; however, a positive relationship between fartilizer consumption per hectare and population pressure, found here, reiterates importance of fertilizers for food security. An examination into dematerialization of agriculture is also carried out at all India level which indicates that declining intensity of fertilizer and pesticide use in post-1990 period is mainly attributed to structural change in the economy. In summary, the paper concludes that India needs environment friendly agriculture policies and rural infrastructure to manage agriculture-related environmental problems.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • Understanding inter-community performance assessments in community-based
           resource management at Avu Lagoon, Ghana
    • Abstract: Abstract Community-based natural resources governance (CBNRG) is becoming increasingly important as a means to achieve both conservation and sustainable livelihood goals. Assessing the performance of such approaches is an important step in improving their performance and facilitating their expansion. However, CBNRG initiatives are often not restricted to one community, and significant differences may exist among communities that can be obscured using performance assessments that do not attend to those differences. This paper first assesses the performance of the Avu Lagoon Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) in Ghana through a survey of 232 households and an 18 participant workshop that compares desired outcomes with those outcomes that were perceived to have been achieved (i.e. performance). This paper next examines the differences among four communities within the Avu Lagoon CREMA and provides some insight as to why these differences occur. Results indicate that overall, achieved outcomes fall short of desired outcomes. This is particularly the case for socio-economic outcomes and less so for conservation outcomes. We also find that communities are more homogenous in their desired outcomes than they are in their assessment of performance outcomes. There are important differences among the four communities in terms of the importance attached to outcomes and the achievement of those outcomes. Influential variables include how and who introduced the CBNRG concept to the local communities, existing socio-economic and cultural context, the development status and challenges of the community, effective leadership, and institutional capabilities.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • The paradox of the sustainable city: definitions and examples
    • Abstract: Abstract It is well known that sustainability has become a much needed target, especially considering the recent rapid urban sprawl and the subsequent exacerbation of social, environmental, and economic problems. Thus, many studies have been conducted to define sustainability and the sustainable city. However, many of these definitions suggest a range of contradictions, implying that the achievement of sustainability is elusive. The problem lies in setting unreasonable definitions of sustainability and in the various contradictions to these definitions, making sustainability seemingly unattainable. Hence, some models of cities are emerging that are labeled as sustainable cities; among these are the “zero-carbon city” and the “ubiquitous eco-city” (“U-eco-city”). This study reviews the history and definitions of sustainability, in order to acknowledge the contradictions inherent in these concepts. It also briefly presents the compact city, the zero-carbon eco-city, and the U-eco-city by determining their individual pros and cons and highlighting where there are any conflicts with the principles of sustainability. The aim of the study was to adjust the use of sustainability as a terminology in the field of urban sustainable development and to demonstrate the extent to which we use marketing names for eco-cities without compliance with sustainable dimensions. The study will also discuss the key sustainability pillar required for a project to be kept sustainable. The study concludes that the use of the term “sustainable city” may limit the potential for further enhancing sustainability in future projects; using the term “transition toward the sustainable city” may be more accurate and more effective. The results show that reducing energy consumption through efficient use, and relying on renewable energies, will be the keys to reaching urban sustainability. The study also finds that recent tyranny in the name of ecology will not result in real sustainability. Although the free eco-city and the u-eco-city are considered advanced models, their limitations are related more to the economic and social aspects than to the compact city, which clearly reflected the pillars of sustainability, despite its being an outdated model.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • 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: 2015-12-01
  • Ingenuity of skating on marshy land by tying a pot to the belly: Living
           with flood is a way of life
    • Abstract: Abstract Households do not easily agree to move out of their natural habitat in spite of frequent flooding and loss of life and property because of their attachment to the place and established socio-economic network. This also shapes their risk perception, pre-flood preparedness, and livelihood resilience. In this backdrop, the paper attempts to find out the role of households’ risk perception and their flood preparedness as a mediator between place attachment and livelihood resilience. It further explores different adaptive methods households develop to overcome flooding issues. The study is based on a sample of randomly drawn 472 households from the river basins of Ganga and Kosi in the district of Bhagalpur, Bihar. The mediation analysis and Sobel’s test were used to analyze and interpret the data. The study reveals the role of risk perception and flood preparedness as a partial mediator between the place attachment and livelihood resilience. The households do not perceive flood as a ‘threat’, as they have learnt to ‘live’ with it as ‘a way of life’ because of their attachment to the place, experience of frequent exposure to flooding, and knowledge of local resources.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • Adaptation to climate change as social–ecological trap: a case study
           of fishing and aquaculture in the Tam Giang Lagoon, Vietnam
    • Abstract: Abstract The ways in which people respond to climate change are frequently analyzed and explained with the term “adaptation.” Conventionally, adaptation is understood as adjustments in behavior either to mitigate harm or to exploit opportunities emerging from climate change. The idea features prominently in scientific analyses as well as in policy programs. Despite its growing popularity over the years, the concept has also received critique. Social scientists in particular take issue with the implicit assumptions about human behavior and “fitness advantages” (or optimal behavior) that come with the term. Clearly, not all human and animal behavioral responses are “optimal” or display “fitness advantages.” To the contrary, sub-optimal and maladaptive behavior is rather widespread. Explaining the possibility of maladaptive or sub-optimal behavior led scholars to introduce the idea of “traps.” Trap situations refer to a mismatch between behavior and the social and/or ecological conditions in which this behavior takes place. This paper reviews the analytical value of traps for the study of human responses to climate change. It first lays out the theoretical assumptions underpinning the concept. A case study of the Tam Giang Lagoon, in central Vietnam, is used to evaluate how well the trap concept captures the sub-optimality and variety of human responses to climate change.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • A critical analysis of building sustainability assessment methods for
           healthcare buildings
    • Abstract: Abstract The healthcare building project contains different aspects from the most common projects. Designing a healthcare environment is based on a number of criteria related to the satisfaction and well-being of the professional working teams, patients and administrators. Mostly due to various design requirements, these buildings are rarely designed and operated in a sustainable way. Therefore, the sustainable development is a concept whose importance has grown significantly in the last decade in this sector. The worldwide economic crisis reinforces the growing environmental concerns as well as raising awareness among people to a necessary and inevitable shift in the values of their society. To support sustainable building design, several building sustainability assessment (BSA) methods are being developed worldwide. Since healthcare buildings are rather complex systems than other buildings, so specific methods were developed for them. These methods are aimed to support decision-making towards the introduction of the best sustainability practices during the design and operation phases of a healthcare environment. However, the comparison between the results of different methods is difficult, if not impossible, since they address different environmental, societal and economic criteria, and they emphasize different phases of the life cycle. Therefore, the aim of this study was to clarify the differences between the main BSA methods for healthcare buildings by analysing and categorizing them. Furthermore, the benefits of these methods in promoting a more sustainable environment will be analysed, and the current situation of them within the context of standardization of the concept sustainable construction will be discussed.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • The finishing stage in swine production: influences of feed composition on
           carbon footprint
    • Abstract: Abstract Several studies in swine feed composition have demonstrated that protein levels may be modified without significant changes in meat quality in terms of carcass, lean and back fat yield. However, this variation may change certain technical indicators, such as daily weight gain. The aim of this study was to calculate the carbon footprint of the finishing stage in swine production considering four scenarios of feed composition (P18, P16, P15 and P13). The life cycle assessment methodology was applied with a life cycle inventory based on reports in the literature. The feed composition used in P18 (no soybean hulls or maize starch) had the best environmental performance for global warming per kilogram of feed. However, when evaluating the life cycle of finishing swine, P16 (containing soybean hulls, maize starch and synthetic amino acids) exhibited better environmental results; the feed used in this scenario had better technical indicators (in terms of daily weight gain), thereby reducing the feed amount for finishing swine. Using the feed composition for swine P16, the impact may be reduced by an average of 12 % compared with P13 (a high level of soybean hulls, maize starch and synthetic amino acids).
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • Designing public spaces through the lively planning integrative
    • Abstract: Abstract The current sustainability-driven urban reality is complex. Planning for such a multidimensional environment is even more complex. Alternatives to traditional planning approaches are sought in an attempt to create liveable and lively urban public spaces. The lively planning approach is based on the principles of place-making, planning scales and within various planning dimensions, with the aim to design successful public spaces. This paper evaluates the role that lively planning integrated approach can play in creating sustainable, liveable and lively public spaces, by determining the scale of implementation and identifying the dimensions of lively planning that could be incorporated in public space design and planning. The scale and dimensions of the lively planning integrative approach are linked to each another, and examples of elements to be incorporated in the design of a public space are included as a conclusion of this research.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • Risk-return and Volatility analysis of Sustainability Index in India
    • Abstract: Abstract Companies screened for their superior performance in environmental, social and governance (ESG) parameters comprise the sustainability index introduced at global as well as national stock exchanges. This study not only compares the performance of the sustainability index of India—the S&P ESG India Index with two broad market indexes, viz., the Nifty and the S&P CNX 500 using daily index data—but also analyses the inherent conditional volatility using generalised autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity models. The results indicate that though the daily compounded returns to the ESG India Index are not statistically different from those of the Nifty or those of the CNX 500, annualised returns of the ESG India Index have been better than the returns of the other two indexes. Thus, focussing on environmental and social sustainability is a win–win situation for companies, investors and the society at large. There is significant volatility clustering in all the three indexes. The ESG India Index has been less volatile compared with the Nifty during the period. These results have corporate implications to focus on ESG parameters seriously in order to benefit from its sensitivity in the stock markets. It also reflects upon investor acceptance and potential for growth of socially responsible investments in India.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • Causes and consequences of gully erosion: perspectives of the local people
           in Dangara area, Nigeria
    • Abstract: Abstract This study examines the causes and consequences of gully erosion, as perceived by the local people of Dangara area, Nigeria. The study particularly seeks to explore the local people’s perceptions of gully erosion and how it affects crop, settlement development, crop yields, land ownership and values, rural economics and private conservation investments in Dangara area of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory. It is based on analysis of data collected using questionnaires administered to 346 respondents in the area. The responses received for the various aspects considered in evaluating the respondents’ perspectives of the processes, causative factors, consequences and control measures of gully erosion in the study area were subjective to Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) to detect and explore relationships between knowledge of causes of gully erosion and use of conservation measures. The results obtained indicated that the major factors causing erosion that the respondents identified in order of preference were climate, land cover, hydrology, land use and topography. For the processes, the main ones identified were slope wash and valley slope retreat, while all the other (including potholing, solution, hydraulic action, corrosion and attrition) ones were ranked with zero (0) scores indicating that the respondents were not aware of them. In the case of consequences of gully erosion, the MCA analysis indicated that livelihood, infrastructure, economy and social life were the main ones. For measures of controlling gully erosion, the analysis revealed that engineering, mechanical, land use control and agronomic measures were the ones being applied. The results obtained thus indicated that (1) the farmers were familiar with gully erosion but less aware of splash, stream bank, sheet and rill erosion; (2) the farmers did not fully understand the processes involved in gully erosion; (3) the respondents’ personal traits significantly influenced the level of their perception of the problem in the area; (4) only the uneducated among the respondents claimed to largely be unaware of gully problem in the area; (5) most of the respondents were aware of gully erosion-control measures such as sand filling, terracing, afforestation, planting of cover crops, grazing control and road construction control but could not adopt to them; and (6) the main control measures being adopted by the people include avoiding cultivating steep slopes, contour ploughing across slope, stopping land scarification, crop rotation, bush burning control, fallowing and strip cropping. These findings suggest that promoting gully erosion control in the area requires that adequate attention be given towards educating the people on the processes of gully development and the values of adopting new control measures as well as those they were aware of but have not been adopting. Since the farmers were not adopting some of the measures they are aware of largely due to lack of technical and financial base, there is the need for the development and adoption of strategies that could improve their technical and financial capabilities to enhance their capability for adopting them. In order to enhance capacity of the people of the studied community, there is the need to develop and adopt strategies that could improve technical and financial bases of the people in the area. It was further recommended that any policy aimed at comprehensively addressing gully erosion in the area must address the differences in people’s perception of the problem at the outset.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • World Water Week 2015
    • PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • Focus on relative humidity trend in Iran and its relationship with
           temperature changes during 1960–2005
    • Abstract: Abstract In this research, the mean relative humidity (RH) trend was investigated in the monthly, seasonal and annual timescales during 1960–2005 in 32 synoptic meteorological stations. The Mann–Kendall test after the removal of the significant lag-1 serial correlation effect from the RH time series by pre-whitening was used to determine significant trends. Sen’s slope estimator was used to determine the median slope of positive or negative RH trends in seasonal and annual timescales. Also, in order to facilitate trend analysis and exploring in datasets, 10-year moving average low-pass filter was applied on mean annual normalized RH. Furthermore, smoothed time series by the mentioned filter were classified in four clusters and then they were mapped to show the spatial distribution of trend patterns in Iran. Results showed both significant downward and upward trends, but the number of negative trends was more than positive ones. In general, the stations located in arid central and eastern parts of country had more negative trends. Results of the Sen’s slope estimator showed that in annual timescale, Gorgan synoptic station had the most increasing slope by (+) 2 % per decade, while the most negative slope was detected in Bam by (−) 2.79 % per decade. Also, the analysis of smoothed time series of RH and their relationship with smoothed temperatures showed a strong inverse relationship particularly after 1995. It can be concluded that alongside the increasing of temperature in many parts of Iran, lack of sufficient water vapor has led to decreasing trend of RH in the country.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
  • Factors affecting incentive dependency of residents to participate in
           e-waste recycling: a case study on adoption of e-waste reverse supply
           chain in Iran
    • Abstract: Abstract Modern societies face a dilemma called electronic waste (e-waste). This waste, which may contaminate the soil or cause unwanted impacts on human health when treated improperly, is one of the fastest growing waste streams in developed as well as developing countries and has brought great environmental impacts. Developing countries like Iran also face this modern waste management challenge. In order for more appropriate disposal or, if possible, recycling of this waste, more attention has been paid to reverse logistics as the most appropriate way to manage them. The first and most important action to address e-waste and implementation of reverse logistics is to persuade residents to bring back their obsolete electronic products. This paper attempts to understand significant factors affecting residents’ incentive dependency to participate in e-waste recycling program. Socioeconomic and demographic information of different residents is discussed by means of logistic regression for the first time in Iran. The results show that about 58.7 % of residents will participate even if no incentive is given. Household income, household size, education, e-waste concern level, and marital status are the significant factors affecting the incentive dependency of respondents.
      PubDate: 2015-11-28
  • Green examination: integration of technology for sustainability
    • Abstract: Abstract The recent development of infrastructure all around the world has resulted in an increasing trend of online examination in universities. The paper is an approach in theory and practical aimed at analyzing the feasibility of sustainable examination in four universities and its environmental impact reducing the paper use terming it as green examination. The paper studied the integration of sustainability through the use of computers and technology in the examination of the universities viz. King Khalid University (KKU), Saudi Arabia, Integral University (IU), India, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), India, and The Hague University (HU), The Netherlands. The study has analyzed the trend of paper requirement, paper utilized and paper wasted in all the four universities. The environmental impact resulting from reduced paper use has been also analyzed. The feasibility of e-examination, its implementation and the implications has been undertaken in the study. The study concludes that the e-examination can almost make the examinations paperless and feasible in the four universities.
      PubDate: 2015-11-24
  • Can coffee certification schemes increase incomes of smallholder
           farmers? Evidence from Jinotega, Nicaragua
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates the impact of Fairtrade and organic certification on household income of smallholder coffee farmers in the Jinotega Municipality of Nicaragua. Using a sample of 233 coffee farming households and employing endogenous switching regression model and propensity score matching method, the results found that Fairtrade and organic certification standards have different effects on the certified farmers; while Fairtrade farmers had experienced yield gains, organic farmers had the price advantage. However, the overall impact of these certification standards on the total household income is found to be statistically not significant. While some of the Fairtrade-certified cooperatives have used the social premium in creating community-level infrastructure, there is a need for more investment. The major constraint the organic-certified farmers face is lack of availability of adequate organic inputs such as manures and organic herbicides.
      PubDate: 2015-11-20
  • Comparative analysis on financial viability of cocoa agroforestry systems
           in Ghana
    • Abstract: Abstract This study employs an ex-ante analytical approach to explore the financial viability of cocoa agroforestry systems in Ghana using cross-sectional data on smallholder cocoa farmers in the Western Region of Ghana. The empirical results generally show that cocoa agroforestry systems are profitable, but the medium shade tends to be more profitable. The no-shade cocoa agroforestry has the highest yield compared with other cocoa agroforestry systems. Sensitivity analysis revealed that increasing the market price by 12.2 % tends to increase the profitability of cocoa agroforestry systems. Also increasing fertilizer price does not lead to any significant change in the profitability. The study recommends the medium-shade cocoa agroforestry system as the most profitable agroforestry system for optimizing ecological and economic outcomes of smallholder cocoa farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
      PubDate: 2015-11-20
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