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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  [2210 journals]   [SJR: 0.319]   [H-I: 26]
  • Charles R. Goldman, Michio Kumagai, Richard D. Robarts: Climatic change
           and global warming of inland waters. Impacts and mitigation for ecosystems
           and societies
    • PubDate: 2014-08-12
  • Brian Richter: Chasing water—a guide for moving from scarcity to
    • PubDate: 2014-08-12
  • A model for the effect of density of human population on the depletion of
           dissolved oxygen in a water body
    • Abstract: Abstract A nonlinear mathematical model to study the effect of density of human population on the depletion of dissolved oxygen in a water body is proposed and analyzed. The proposed model is governed by interactions among five dependent variables, namely density of resource biomass, density of human population, concentration of organic pollutants, density of bacteria and concentration of dissolved oxygen. In the model formulation, it is assumed that density of resource biomass and density of human population follow logistic models with prey--predator type interaction. The model is analyzed using stability theory of differential equations. The analysis of model shows that increase in human population intensify the depletion in concentration of dissolved oxygen in a water body. Numerical simulations are carried out to illustrate analytical findings.
      PubDate: 2014-08-09
  • Measuring sustainability at universities by means of the Sustainability
           Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS): early findings from STARS
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper focuses on findings from an analysis of data submitted through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). STARS has addressed the demand for standard metrics to measure sustainability progress at US and Canadian colleges and universities, with expanding access to institutions in other countries gained through the launch of an International Pilot and release of STARS 2.0. Since its release in 2009, STARS has emerged as a reputable source of data that can provide a broad overview of the state of campus sustainability. The release of STARS Version 2.0 in 2013 improved upon the original reporting framework and also expanded accessibility of STARS to all higher education institutions worldwide. The findings in this paper tell the story of a campus sustainability movement that is quite young. As STARS matures along with this movement, STARS data will hopefully show a trend of continuous improvement at participating institutions. By participating in STARS and learning from examples set by other institutions, colleges and universities from across the world can be on the leading edge of moving toward a more just and sustainable world.
      PubDate: 2014-08-08
  • Jean Palutikof, Sarah L. Boulter, Andrew J. Ash, Mark Stafford Smith,
           Martin Parry, Marie Waschka, Daniela Guitart (Eds): climate adaptation
    • PubDate: 2014-08-07
  • Philipp Schmidt-Thomé and Johannes Klein: Climate change adaptation
           in practice: from strategy development to implementation
    • PubDate: 2014-08-07
  • Integrating energy and land-use planning: socio-metabolic profiles along
           the rural–urban continuum in Catalonia (Spain)
    • Abstract: Abstract Abandoning fossil fuels and increasingly relying on low-density, land-intensive renewable energy will increase demand for land, affecting current global and regional rural–urban relationships. Over the past two decades, rural–urban relationships all over the world have witnessed unprecedented changes that have rendered their boundaries blurred and have lead to the emergence of “new ruralities.” In this paper, we analyze the current profiles of electricity generation and consumption in relation to sociodemographic variables related to the use of time and land across the territory of Catalonia, Spain. Through a clustering procedure based on multivariate statistical analysis, we found that electricity consumption is related to functional specialization in the roles undertaken by different types of municipalities in the urban system. Municipality types have distinctive metabolic profiles in different sectors depending on their industrial, services or residential role. Villages’ metabolism is influenced by urban sprawl and industrial specialization, reflecting current “new ruralities.” Segregation between work activity and residence increases both overall electricity consumption and its rate (per hour) and density (per hectare) of dissipation. A sustainable spatial organization of societal activities without the use of fossil fuels or nuclear energy would require huge structural and sociodemographic changes to reduce energy demand and adapt it to regionally available renewable energy.
      PubDate: 2014-08-01
  • The oil palm boom: socio-economic implications for Q’eqchi’
           households in the Polochic valley, Guatemala
    • Abstract: Abstract Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) has become one of the most rapidly expanding crops in the world. Many countries have promoted its cultivation as part of a broader rural development strategy aimed at generating paid work and producing both export commodities and biofuels. However, oil palm expansion has often occurred at the expense of ecosystems and subsistence agriculture, and on lands riddled with tenure conflicts. In this article, we analyse the implications of the combined effect of labouring in oil palm plantations and land access on households, and we discuss how these implications affect human well-being in two indigenous communities of the Polochic valley, Guatemala. Combining participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and land-time budget analysis at household level, we reveal how oil palm cultivation increases incomes for plantation workers’ households, but decreases the productivity of maize cultivation, reduces the time that household members have available for other activities and, particularly, reduces women’s resting time. In contrast, households that focus more intensively on maize cultivation show higher degrees of food security and women can allocate more time to social activities. However, our results also show that maize consumption per capita has not decreased in households working in oil palm plantations since such crop is considered sacred by the Q’eqchi’ and plays a central role in their diet and culture. In conclusion, we argue that while working for an oil palm cultivation can increase specific elements of the basic material conditions for a good life, other aspects such as food security, health, freedom of choice, and social relationships can become deteriorated.
      PubDate: 2014-08-01
  • Land poverty and emerging ruralities in Cambodia: insights from Kampot
    • Abstract: Abstract Rural change in Cambodia manifests itself in rapidly declining land availability for the smallholder sector, posing the question of how farmers may be able to deal with limited access to land. In this paper, we discuss with a case study village and household livelihood strategies of smallholders currently operating under land-constrained conditions. Based on an integrated assessment of a smallholder village in Kampot province, we illustrate in quantitative terms how land shortage is creating problems of surplus generation and liquidity issues in monetary and non-monetary flows. At the household level, livelihood diversification based on the involvement of productive resources other than land may play an increasing role, particularly in the future, when levels of land shortage may increase. At the village level, smallholder may respond through institutional innovation, in particular through the establishment of a community banking system and a paddy rice bank to provide money and rice credits to overcome transitory shortages and to cover investment costs for additional productive resources. Thus, in this case, we observe the emergence of new patterns of livelihood in rural areas, based on the integration of non-land-based economic activities and new institutional settings.
      PubDate: 2014-08-01
  • An assessment of the metabolic profile implied by agricultural change in
           two rural communities in the North of Argentina
    • Abstract: Abstract The soy expansion model in Argentina generates structural changes in traditional lifestyles, which can be associated with different biophysical and socioeconomic impacts. To explore this issue, we apply an innovative method for integrated assessment—the multi-scale integrated analysis of societal and ecosystem metabolism framework—to characterize two communities in the Chaco Region, Province of Formosa, North of Argentina. These communities have recently experienced the expansion of soy production, altering their economic activity, energy consumption patterns, land use and human time allocation. The integrated characterization presented in the paper illustrates the differences (biophysical, socioeconomic and historical) between the two communities that can be associated with different responses. The analysis of the factors behind these differences has important policy implications for the sustainable development of local communities in the area.
      PubDate: 2014-08-01
  • Publisher’s note
    • PubDate: 2014-08-01
  • Erratum to: Pathways of rural change: an integrated assessment of
           metabolic patterns in emerging ruralities
    • PubDate: 2014-08-01
  • Pathways of rural change: an integrated assessment of metabolic patterns
           in emerging ruralities
    • Abstract: Abstract While rural transformations are nothing new in human history, current processes of rural change occur under multiple forces at an unprecedented pace, involving profound and unexpected changes in land use and users, and rapid transformations in the metabolic patterns of rural systems. The present special section aims to shed light on current drivers and pathways of rural change by analyzing, under a common conceptual and theoretical framework, examples of new ruralities that are emerging as responses across different world regions. Within this context, this introduction presents: (1) common research questions of the six presented cases of rural change; (2) the general theoretical and methodological framework of integrated assessment of societal metabolism adopted to analyze rural systems and (3) the main contributions and conclusions that could be drawn from six context-specific case studies from Asia, Latin America and Europe.
      PubDate: 2014-08-01
  • Water use in arid rural systems and the integration of water and
           agricultural policies in Europe: the case of Andarax river basin
    • Abstract: Abstract Water is a precious resource in arid rural areas with irrigated agriculture. Nonetheless, water and agricultural policies in Europe show different management scopes and objectives, usually translated in divergent drivers of rural change. This paper has a double aim: to propose a specific method for quantitative biophysical analysis of water use in rural systems with the multi-scale integrated analysis of societal and ecosystem metabolism approach and to show the usefulness of this method for the assessment of the integration of water and agricultural policies. The river basin scale is chosen, since it is the socioecological unit for water management established in the water framework directive 2000/60/CE. A multi-scale water use accounting is provided for a Mediterranean river basin in Andalusia, integrating water cycle, ecosystems and social levels. Particularly focusing on agricultural production, a relevant set of indicators is proposed in order to analyze and compare different metabolic patterns. Finally, the integration of water and agricultural planning is assessed in terms of external (biophysical) and internal (economic, institutional) constraints of the new water-use patterns generated by the scenarios posed in these policies. While on a European level water policy is ambitious in terms of ecological conservation, the lack of integration within the common agricultural policy and the entanglement of multiple scales of political and economic organization of local ruralities blur its priority in a rather slow transition to a new water culture.
      PubDate: 2014-08-01
  • Rural change and multidimensional analysis of farm’s vulnerability:
           a case study in a protected area of semi-arid northern Nicaragua
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper presents an empirical research in a protected area of northern Nicaragua, aimed at: (a) classifying predominant narratives surrounding present and future pathways of the local rural system, drivers of change, features of livelihoods’ vulnerability; (b) understanding current functioning of local metabolic patterns of rural systems by developing a typology of farms and (c) comparing types’ vulnerability to current drivers of change. To achieve these objectives, we integrated qualitative and quantitative analytical approaches. The different visions of rural spaces, which emerge from the analysis of the narratives, and the five types of farms, characterized by specific land-time budget and energy and monetary flows, suggest two emerging dynamics of local restructuration in protected areas: (1) a dominant land re-concentration process which is generating increasing inequality in access to resources and a progressive marginalization of the self-sufficient economy of landless and subsistence households; (2) an emergence of a paradigm of ‘environmentalization’ of rural spaces together with a valorization of small and medium-scale diversified economies. Moreover, the vulnerability assessment focuses on multidimensional features of types’ sensitivity to crisis, i.e. risk unacceptability, production instability, economic inefficiency, food and exosomatic energy dependency, as well as capacity to buffer and adapt to change, i.e. access to assets, including labour for men and women, social safety nets and degrees of economic diversification. The discussion highlights the occurrence of trade-off between the solutions adopted by farms within different development paths, suggesting the relevance of the proposed framework of analysis at the interface between science and policy.
      PubDate: 2014-08-01
  • Revisiting the link between socio-economic development and environmental
           status indicators—focus on panel data
    • Abstract: Abstract The link between economic, social, and environmental indicators is often complex and requires a detailed analysis for its understanding. The economy is dependent on the society and the environment, while the very existence of human race and society depends on and within the environment. Thus, these three entities are intricately interconnected, and it is therefore important to understand that any individual group of economic, social or environmental indicators must always be interpreted in connection with the other two groups, since only in this way, an integrated view of the functioning of an economy can be ensured. For the system to be sustainable, the different forces that act on this particular system of interaction must be in balance. Hence, a detailed analysis of selected economic, social, and environmental aspects of development and their linkages is a matter of utmost significance. The objective of this study is to identify an endogenously integrated relationship where economic factor such as gross domestic product per capita influences both qualitative and quantitative factors in social and environmental dimensions and vice versa and to focus on possible correlation between a set of ambient environmental aspects and a set of socio-economic dimensions that influence human well-being and sustainability. The results of the empirical analysis emphasise the fact that there exists bi-directional relationship between different developmental and environmental aspects in the developing countries. The study further argues that without consideration of depreciation/depletion charges for the environmental capital, this relation will not reflect the true interdependence.
      PubDate: 2014-07-23
  • Monitoring sustainable urban development using built-up area indicators: a
           case study of Stellenbosch, South Africa
    • Abstract: Abstract Rapid urbanisation in many developing countries causes land transformation from agricultural, rural, and natural landscapes into urban areas. Data to monitor this transformation are often out of date, unreliable, not in standard format, cumbersome and expensive to collect or simply unavailable. This inhibits local authorities and other stakeholders’ capacity to monitor and leverage resources towards sustainable urban development. This paper investigates the use of earth observation (EO) data for supporting sustainable urban development planning. The study demonstrates that EO adds value to sustainable urban development by providing area-wide and up-to-date thematic and geometric characterisation of the urban built-up area, which would be difficult to obtain from other data sources. This helps local planning authorities to monitor urban growth and sustainability, and facilitate evidence-based decision-making and an array of other practical uses.
      PubDate: 2014-07-20
  • Remittances in the face of disasters: a case study of rural Samoa
    • Abstract: Abstract In Samoa, like in most Small Island Developing States, remittances are important to sustain people’s daily livelihood and become even more significant in the face of disasters. This study investigates the role of remittances in households’ response to disasters. The focus is on Samoa, where participatory activities and interviews were carried out in coastal communities affected by the tsunami of 2009, and some of which were further hit by cyclone Evan in 2012. It is found that remittances are very fast in reaching those affected and remain high in the long term in order to cope with and recover from disaster. Moreover, remittances interact with external aid since remittances increase when external aid is low and decrease when external aid is higher. Households receiving remittances were able to deal more easily with immediate security needs and recovered more quickly than those with no or limited access to this resource. However, remittances also benefit the wider community, economically, socially, and culturally, for example in perpetuating local tradition. We conclude that governments and aid agencies should take into account remittances in their relief actions and recovery programs.
      PubDate: 2014-07-11
  • Future trends in urbanization and coastal water pollution in the Bay of
           Bengal: the lived experience
    • Abstract: Abstract The Bay of Bengal includes coastal seas of several countries, including Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar. We present scenarios for future river export of eutrophying nutrients into the Bay of Bengal, and the role of urbanization therein. We used NEWS (Nutrient Export from WaterSheds) model to analyze trends over the period 1970–2050. The scenarios are based on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and indicate the number of people living in urban areas may increase from 22 % in 1970 to about 50 % in 2050. We show that this may considerably increase nutrient levels in rivers from sewage and other sources. For 2050, we calculate that harmful algal blooms may be a potential problem in coastal waters of about 95 % of the total drainage basin of the Bay of Bengal. In addition, we analyze Bangladeshi citizens’ expectations of future trends and how citizens with different worldviews would experience environmental changes (i.e., their lived experience). The citizens indicate that trends as envisaged in our scenarios may be a negative experience. However, some people may experience the trends as positive, because they expected worse.
      PubDate: 2014-07-04
  • Experimental comparison of different heat transfer fluid for thermal
           performance of a solar cooker based on evacuated tube collector
    • Abstract: Abstract A comparison of thermal performance of solar cooker with two different heat transfer fluid (HTF) and effect of gate valve on discharge process of phase change material (PCM) had been investigated experimentally. In this experimental setup, solar cooker with inbuilt thermal storage unit was connected to evacuated tube collector through connecting pipes. The available solar heat in the collector was transferred to the solar cooker by natural circulation (thermosiphon) of HTF. The water and thermal oil (engine oil) were used separately as HTF to compare the thermal performance of solar cooker. Commercial grade acetanilide was used as thermal storage material in the solar cooker. The PCM discharging process was studied, firstly when both gate valves were open and secondly when both gate valves were closed during discharging process. Then, cooking was carried out using thermal oil as HTF, and both gate valves were closed during discharging of PCM. It was found that with water as HTF, the temperature of PCM at 18:00 h was 10.7 °C higher when both valves were closed as compared to the case when both valves were opened, whereas it was 13.1 °C in case of thermal oil as HTF. Using thermal oil as HTF, quantity of average energy stored by PCM was increased by an amount of 18.88 % as compared to water as HTF.
      PubDate: 2014-06-22
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