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Journal Cover Environment, Development and Sustainability
  [SJR: 0.419]   [H-I: 29]   [32 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  [2280 journals]
  • Climate change, sustainable water management and institutional adaptation
           in rural sub-Saharan Africa
    • Abstract: Abstract Much current work on climate adaptation options vis-à-vis water management in rural sub-Saharan Africa has tended to focus more on technological and infrastructural alternatives and less on institutional alternatives. Yet, vulnerability to climate variability and change in these contexts is a function not just of biophysical outcomes but also of institutional factors that can vary significantly at relatively finer scales. This paper seeks to contribute towards closing this gap by examining institutional options for sustainable water management in rural SSA in the context of climate change and variability. It explores challenges for transforming water-related institutions and puts forward institutional alternatives towards adapting to increasingly complex conditions created by climate change and variability. The paper suggests revisiting the Integrated Water Resources Management approach which has dominated water institutional debates and reforms in Africa over the recent past, towards actively adopting resilience and adaptive management lenses in crafting water institutional development initiatives.
      PubDate: 2016-01-20
  • A review of steel slag usage in construction industry for sustainable
    • Abstract: Abstract Use of by-products from the steelmaking process can play an important role in achieving sustainable development. The available literature suggests that the use of iron and steel industry slags as mineral admixture or partial replacement of cement improves the microstructure of the concrete as well as its mechanical and durability characteristics. This paper reviews utilization of steel slag (SS) in the construction industry by considering current and possible future utilization fields, advantages of SS usage, and problems associated with its use. Strength and durability evolution of concretes or mortars containing SS in different ratios as aggregate or cement replacement material, combined use of ground granulated blast furnace slag with SS, and some relatively new fields of utilization of SS are also addressed. Improvements in and results of SS utilization in cement and concrete are discussed by addressing its beneficial effects. This article could help researchers to understand the recent developments in evaluation of SS in the construction industry.
      PubDate: 2016-01-20
  • Ulrich Volz, Judith Bönke, Vanessa Eidt, Laura Knierim, Katharina
           Richert and Greta-Maria Röber: Financing the green transformation:
           How to make green finance work in Indonesia
    • PubDate: 2016-01-20
  • Retraction Note to: Perspectives for the long-term penetration of new
           renewables in complex energy systems: the Italian scenario
    • PubDate: 2016-01-14
  • Andy Dyer: Chasing the red queen: the evolutionary race between
           agricultural pests and poisons
    • PubDate: 2016-01-14
  • An exploration of the interaction between socio-economic productivity and
           water withdrawal
    • Abstract: Abstract The term sustainability invites interest in the main factors that affect the deterioration of natural resources. Different hypotheses have been put forward concerning the relationship between water and its effect on different economic sectors. Several questions can be asked here, for example: Does a higher water withdrawal for one sector mean that this sector is adding more to the GDP or is it a sunk cost (it is the cost that should be ignored compared to the benefit of water withdrawal for an individual economic sector) compared with the benefits to the economy? Do social factors affect water withdrawal more than economic factors or are they both impacting equally? We aim to answer these questions and to shed light on different socio-economic factors that affect water withdrawal in different economic sectors. This study investigates, in depth, the interaction between humans and the environment and can be useful in monitoring the direct effect on water withdrawal from agricultural and non-agricultural sectors and on different national economic variables that act as an indicator for economic development and growth. We used simultaneous equation models in our analysis, both the three-stage least squares and the two-stage least squares to explore the relationships. For more credibility, we run the fixed and random effects of 2SLS. Our results showed the influence of trade openness and economic growth on water withdrawal for different economic sectors, and the effect of an increasing demand for water for non-agricultural purposes, which adds pressure on the agricultural sector and eventually may lead to rising food prices.
      PubDate: 2016-01-12
  • Karen Chapple: Planning sustainable cities and regions: towards more
           equitable sustainable development
    • PubDate: 2016-01-11
  • Animal source foods consumed in two fishing communities on the northeast
           coast of Brazil
    • Abstract: Abstract Fish are a valuable source of essential micronutrients and animal protein consumed worldwide, especially in coastal regions. However, changes have been observed in eating habits of many fishing communities in Brazil, although this is seldom investigated in the northeast region of the country. Therefore, the aim of this study was to characterize food consumption of meat, especially fish meat, in two fishing communities of Brazilian Northeast. During 2013, information was collected through interviews and food frequency questionnaires regarding eating habits of artisanal fishermen and their families. It was found that fish was the main source of animal protein, although there are differences in consumption according to age and gender of respondents due to dietary restrictions. A difference in the frequency of fish consumption among the communities studied was also found, and there was no correlation between fishermen’s fish preference and fish with higher commercial value. The information obtained is important to understand eating habits of fishing communities, contributing to the development and implementation of public health policies with a focus on food and nutrition security.
      PubDate: 2016-01-09
  • The methylic versus the ethylic route: considerations about the
           sustainability of Brazilian biodiesel production
    • Abstract: Abstract Brazil is considered one of the world’s leading producers of biofuels given the predominance of ethanol fuel in its energy matrix. However, despite the prominence of Brazil in ethanol production, the vast majority of biodiesel production plants in Brazil use methanol instead of ethanol as the alcohol for transesterification reaction, as is generally the case in the rest of the world. The aim of this paper is therefore to examine the transesterification process in the Brazilian biodiesel production in terms of sustainability. In this regard, it was necessary to evaluate the way in which the industrial process is currently carried out, the role of government incentives or subsidies for the use of ethanol to produce biodiesel, and the investments of companies in technology development for the same purpose. This study presents indications that the development of the biodiesel market in Brazil is still oriented toward a production model which is inconsistent with the environmental and social aspects of sustainability.
      PubDate: 2016-01-09
  • Climate change and South Africa’s commercial farms: an assessment of
           impacts on specialised horticulture, crop, livestock and mixed farming
    • Abstract: Abstract South Africa, a main food exporter in SADC, is characterised by a dual agricultural economy consisting of a well-developed commercial sector and smallholder, often subsistence, farming. Using the Ricardian cross-sectional framework, we examine the impact of climate change on a nationwide sample of crop, horticulture, livestock and mixed commercial farming systems. We find that a simultaneous decrease in precipitation and an increase in temperature will reduce productivity; and that an increase in temperature alone negatively affects farm output more than a decrease in precipitation. One of the most robust findings is the difference in the extent to which different commercial production systems will be impacted. That is, the results indicate that the strongest impact will be amongst specialised commercial crop farming system. In contrast, mixed farming systems appear to be the least vulnerable. This finding is consistent with studies on small-holder farms in sub-Saharan Africa. Hence, it appears that despite the likely benefits derived from economies of scale, commercial farms are, somewhat, equally vulnerable to climate change. Further, a province-wise assessment revealed that areas that already face disadvantageous climatic conditions will become even less productive. Overall, the findings suggest that practicing mixed farming methods will strengthen the resilience of commercial farms to climate change and that access to extensions—insurance and irrigation—is likely to reduce the risks.
      PubDate: 2016-01-06
  • Separate waste collection in Italy: the role of socio-cultural factors and
           targets set by law
    • Abstract: Abstract The aim of this paper was twofold: on the one hand, we analyse the results achieved in terms of percentages of separate collection in Italy by testing the effectiveness of Legislative Decree 152/2006 in improving the separate collection process; and on the other hand, we investigate on some of the factors, related to the sociocultural local context, that could explain the different impacts of the law in the three macro-areas considered (North, Central and South Italy). To this purpose, an econometric analysis on the Italian regions for the 1996–2013 period is performed, comparing the period before (1996–2006) and after (2006–2013) the date of entry into force of the new law. The results show the effectiveness of Legislative Decree 152/2006 in promoting separate collection, although a regional difference in terms of separate collection rate is observed. Northern regions proved to be more dynamic and reactive to the above-mentioned legislation, while Central and especially Southern regions achieved poorer results in moving to higher separate waste collection rates. Finally, our work provides evidence on some local factors that may have hampered an effective policy implementation in Southern regions, among them, the presence of criminal activities and the lack of citizen participation in politics.
      PubDate: 2015-12-31
  • Costas Georgopoulos and Andrew Minson (eds): Sustainable concrete
    • PubDate: 2015-12-29
  • Simulating spatial pattern of urban growth using GIS-based SLEUTH model: a
           case study of eastern corridor of Tehran metropolitan region, Iran
    • Abstract: Abstract Tehran metropolitan region (TMR) has experienced rapid urbanization in the last few decades. This accelerating urbanization trend mainly arising from high natural population growth and rural–urban migration along with rapid socioeconomic changes formed unplanned and uncontrolled urban expansion in peri-urban areas and resulted in degrading environmental quality and considerable changes in the urban landscapes of the TMR. Thus, the main objective of this research is to model spatial pattern of urban growth in eastern corridor of TMR using GIS-based SLEUTH model and the prediction of future developments of the region from 2014 to 2060. The SLEUTH is one of the most powerful models for urban growth modeling. This model analyzes the spatial pattern of urban growth based on historical data obtained from satellite images of 1987, 2003, 2011, and 2014. The results indicate that the most important factors affecting the urban growth are slope resistance and road gravity. The slope resistance is the highest coefficients value, which illustrates the limiting influence of the slopes on general trend of urban growth in eastern corridor of the TMR. The road gravity stands in second place where it displaces orientation of linear form of outlying pattern alongside the transportation network; it represents that the main pattern of urban growth in peri-urban areas of the region have a linear nature and edge expansion due to slope resistance and road-influenced growth, while spread, diffusion, and breed coefficients display low probability of new spreading center and spontaneous growth in the study area. In addition, the prediction of urban growth for 2020–2060 revealed that urban expansion which was 41,500 ha in 2014 will increase to 179,400 ha in 2060 with noticeable growth rate of 145.6 %. Comparing study area and other researches indicate that the urban growth happens in high rate in eastern corridor. One of the main reasons of this growth goes back to the formation of the second homes for residents of Tehran metropolitan city.
      PubDate: 2015-12-29
  • Analysis of soil characteristics of different land uses and metal
           bioaccumulation in wheat grown around rivers: possible human health risk
    • Abstract: Abstract The present study was conducted to determine the physico-chemical properties and heavy metal contents in soils under three land uses (agricultural, riverbank and roadside) from areas situated around rivers (Beas and Sutlej) in Punjab, India. Heavy metal contents in wheat samples (grain and fodder) growing in the area were also analyzed in order to find out potential human health risk through wheat consumption. The studied soils under the three land uses were found to be basic in nature with sandy texture, low soil organic matter and other soil nutrients. Comparatively higher amounts of soil nutrients were observed in soils under agricultural land use as compared to riverbank and roadside land uses. The amounts of heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Co and Pb) analyzed in soils were lower than the various national and international maximum permissible limits, but heavy metal contents observed in wheat fodder samples exceeded the maximum permissible limits for fodder. The soil-to-plant metal bioaccumulation factor was found to be highest for Cu (3.812 for soil–wheat grain and 1.874 for soil–wheat fodder), which showed the bioaccumulation of heavy metals from soils to crops, and the wheat straw-to-grain translocation factor was found to be highest for Co (4.375). The hazard index calculated to assess non-carcinogenic health risks was found above 1 for children, meaning that the wheat grains can pose health risks to children.
      PubDate: 2015-12-24
  • Employment implications of stricter pollution regulation in China:
           theories and lessons from the USA
    • Abstract: Abstract While the goal of reducing environmental impact has become an urgent imperative for Chinese leadership, the central and potentially competing objective for policy makers and planners remains economic growth and job creation. This paper systematically examines the perceived trade-offs between pollution control regulation and employment at the microeconomic and macroeconomic scale. We synthesize the theoretical literature on the employment impact of pollution control regulation at the firm, industry, and economy levels and summarize the theoretically sufficient conditions for employment-enhancing regulation. The paper examines the US experience with the impact of pollution control on job growth in the 1980s and 1990s and draws out the mechanisms through which job growth and pollution control can be congruent, examining their adaptability to the Chinese context. Specifically, this paper highlights the importance of targeting regulations toward sectors where labor costs represent a small portion of overall costs or sectors with low labor intensity. We demonstrate that in the Chinese context, a transition to an economy with a higher proportion of tertiary output is likely to facilitate a joint strategy of stringent pollution control combined with job growth.
      PubDate: 2015-12-24
  • Agricultural innovation and adaptation to climate change: empirical
           evidence from diverse agro-ecologies in South Asia
    • Abstract: Abstract While impacts of climate change on agricultural systems have been widely researched, there is still limited understanding of what agricultural innovations have evolved over time in response to both climatic and non-climatic drivers. Although there has been some progress in formulating national adaptation policies and strategic planning in different countries of South Asia, research to identify local-level adaptive strategies and practices is still limited. Through eight case studies and a survey of 300 households in 15 locations in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, this paper generates empirical evidence on emerging agricultural innovations in contrasting socio-economic, geographical and agro-ecological contexts. The study demonstrates that several farm practices (innovations) have emerged in response to multiple drivers over time, with various forms of institutional and policy support, including incentives to reduce risks in the adoption of innovative practice. It further shows that there is still limited attempt to systematically mainstream adaptation innovations into local, regional and national government structures, policies and planning processes. The paper shows that the process of farm-level adaptation through innovation adoption forms an important avenue for agricultural adaptation in South Asia. A key implication of this finding is that there is a need for stronger collaborations between research institutions, extension systems, civil society and the private sector actors to enhance emerging adaptive innovations at the farm level.
      PubDate: 2015-12-22
  • Sprawl matters: the evolution of fringe land, natural amenities and
           disposable income in a Mediterranean urban area
    • Abstract: Abstract We investigate the relationship between land-use changes (1987–2007) and the spatial distribution of the average declared income of resident population in a southern European metropolitan region (Athens, Greece) as a contribution to the analysis of suburbanization processes in the Mediterranean region. To demonstrate that urban expansion is accompanied with multiple modifications in the use of the surrounding non-urban land, we developed a computational approach based on spatial indexes of landscape configuration and proximity as a result of changes in the local socio-spatial structure. Diversity in the use of land surrounding built-up parcels in the Athens’ metropolitan region increased significantly between 1987 and 2007, reflecting a progressive fragmentation of the exurban landscape. The percentage of forests and (high-quality) natural land surrounding built-up parcels increased from 8.1 to 9.4 % between 1987 and 2007. The reverse pattern was observed for (low-quality) sparsely vegetated areas, declining from 65 to 47 %. Large built-up parcels were surrounded by a higher percentage of natural land than small parcels. The largest increase over time in forest and natural land surrounding built-up parcels was observed in municipalities with high per capita declared income, and the reverse pattern was observed for sparse vegetation. Our results demonstrate that scattered urban expansion determines a polarization in suburban areas with high-quality and low-quality natural amenities. Sprawl increases economic inequality and socio-spatial disparities contributing to a spatially unbalanced distribution of natural amenities with higher consumption of high-quality land.
      PubDate: 2015-12-18
  • Effectiveness of EMS in Tunisian companies: framework and implementation
           process based on ISO 14001 standard
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper reports environmental analysis results of food and tannery Tunisian companies to identify the features of environmental management system (EMS) that is implemented recently. EMS via ISO 14001 has become one of the principal tools used by companies to handle environmental aspects and impacts through their various complex activities interacted with environment. While several companies have implemented and maintained a formal EMS, it has related mainly to their benefits in short term without responding to the sustainable development recommendations and practices. This study focuses on the strong linkage between the EMS effectiveness of food–tannery Tunisian companies and sustainability. A proactive environmental management approach is proposed and adopts a qualitative and quantitative assessment for factor analysis. It provides a strategic EMS framework and principles for sustainability to evolve the future enterprises’ benefits that has a clear influence on environmental performance in long term.
      PubDate: 2015-12-16
  • Search for social justice for the victims of erosion hazard along the
           banks of river Bhagirathi by hydraulic control: a case study of West
           Bengal, India
    • Abstract: Abstract Frequent erosion along the banks of the river Bhagirathi–Hooghly constitutes one of the most important hazards in West Bengal, India. This frequent nature of erosion is induced by hydraulic control by the construction of Farakka Barrage in 1975 and Indo-Bangladesh water sharing treaty of 1977 and 1996. Water sharing treaties result in fluctuating discharge on 10-day scale in the lean period (January–May). The stream discharge variability affects the bank erosion through its impacts on erodibility factors of banks. It has been observed that in the pre-Farakka period bank erosion was huge only during the monsoon months, and rest of the year, there was little or no bank erosion because in the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon periods, the river Bhagirathi received very little or no discharge from the river Ganga. But in the post-Farakka period, the river Bhagirathi received considerable amount of water in variable quantities from the river Ganga, especially in lean period which has steadied the river bank erosion in the year round. It is to mention that benefits of this planning are to survive the port-industrial economy of South Bengal and provision of fresh water for inhabitants of Kolkata. So beneficiaries of this controlled hydrology must have to pay affluent tax for the victims by this project. In this paper, the nature, mechanism and pattern of bank erosion and its impact on socio-economic vulnerability of the people in the selected erosion-prone areas have been depicted. At the end, a search for social justice for the victims has been articulated from the perspective of Pareto-optimal justice.
      PubDate: 2015-12-14
  • Contributions of sustainability science to the study of environmental
           health problems
    • Abstract: Abstract From the ontological point of view, environmental health problems do not differ from problems of unsustainability. This leads us to think that sustainability science could contribute to resolve important questions that studies on environmental health are not resolving. A literature review was made in order to analyse the scope and limitations of studies on environmental health problems. Based on the characteristics of environmental health studies, we highlighted some examples of questions that are being ignored and analysed four contributions that sustainability science could make to solve them. These contributions come from three key components of sustainability science: (1) the unit of analysis—social–ecological systems, (2) a theory—resilience theory and, specifically, social–ecological resilience, (3) and the approaches of complex systems and transdisciplinarity. From a sustainability science perspective, four contributions could be made: environmental health problems are redefined as social–ecological systems; environmental health is assumed to be the result of adaptation processes; the environment and society are recognized as systems, not as matrices of factors; and human action acquires content and structure and, in turn, explains the behaviour of environmental health problems.
      PubDate: 2015-12-09
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