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Journal Cover   Environment, Development and Sustainability
  [SJR: 0.319]   [H-I: 26]   [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  [2300 journals]
  • Modelling livelihoods and household resilience to droughts using Bayesian
    • Abstract: Abstract Over the last four decades, the Indian government has been investing heavily in watershed development (WSD) programmes that are intended to improve the livelihoods of rural agrarian communities and maintain or improve natural resource condition. Given the massive investment in WSD in India, and the recent shift from micro-scale programmes (<500 ha) to meso-scale (~5000 ha) clusters, robust methodological frameworks are needed to measure and analyse impacts of interventions across landscapes as well as between and within communities. In this paper, the sustainable livelihoods framework is implemented using Bayesian networks (BNs) to develop models of drought resilience and household livelihoods. Analysis of the natural capital component model provides little evidence that watershed development has influenced household resilience to drought and indicators of natural capital, beyond an increased area of irrigation due to greater access to groundwater. BNs have proved a valuable tool for implementing the sustainable livelihoods framework in a retrospective evaluation of implemented WSD programmes. Many of the challenges of evaluating watershed interventions using BNs are the same as for other analytical approaches. These are reliance on retrospective studies, identification and measurement of relevant indicators and isolating intervention impacts from contemporaneous events. The establishment of core biophysical and socio-economic indicators measured through longitudinal household surveys and monitoring programmes will be critical to the success of BNs as an evaluation tool for meso-scale WSD.
      PubDate: 2015-03-01
  • Regional carbon footprints of households: a German case study
    • Abstract: Abstract Households are either directly or indirectly responsible for the highest share of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, programs helping to improve human consumption habits have been identified as a comparatively cost-effective way to reduce household emissions significantly. Recently, various studies have determined strong regional differences in household carbon footprints, yet a case study for Germany has not been conducted. Local information and policies directed at household consumption in Germany thus devoid of any foundation. In this paper, we analyze the impact of different criteria such as location, income and size on household carbon footprints in Germany and demonstrate how the impact of GHG mitigation opportunities varies for different population segments. We use a multi-region input output hybrid LCA approach to developing a regionalized household carbon footprint calculator for Germany that considers 16 sub-national regions, 15 different household sizes, and eight different income and age categories. The model reveals substantial regional differences in magnitude and composition of household carbon footprints, essentially influenced by two criteria: income and size. The highest income household is found to emit 4.25 times as much CO2e than the lowest. We identify indirect emissions from consumption as the largest share of household carbon footprints, although this is subject to fluctuation based on household type. Due primarily to local differences in vehicle availability, income and nutrition, an average household in Baden-Wuerttemberg is found to have 25 % higher carbon footprint than its Mecklenburg-West Pomeranian counterpart. Based on the results of this study, we discuss policy options for household carbon mitigation in Germany.
      PubDate: 2015-02-26
  • Forest sustainability and development in hills of Uttarakhand, India: Can
           they move together?
    • Abstract: Abstract Forest cover is viewed as a resource for the nation as it provides ecosystem services. However, it becomes a burden and retards development for the people of the area, particularly the hills, where such forests flourish. Enactment of stringent laws over the past few decades has strictly prohibited tree felling in these areas, and it has become a deterrent in their growth process. While on one hand, the plains are abuzz with economic activity, on the other hand, the sparse population of the hills is compelled to bear the responsibility of maintaining ecological balance. In this context, the issue of development along with forest sustainability becomes important. Using the case study of the hills of Uttarakhand, India, the paper attempts to highlight the problems and the possible strategies that may be adopted to facilitate inclusive socioeconomic development of forest dwellers while ensuring conservation and enhancement of forest cover.
      PubDate: 2015-02-24
  • Population typology to better target environmental education: a case from
    • Abstract: Abstract Faced with limited impact and growing pressures, conservation organizations are applying new approaches incorporating the local populations in the conservation processes. The lack of social, cultural and economic information concerning the population has limited the implication of the local population and the impact in many projects. Raising awareness begins with understanding the target population, such as identifying their current views on a particular issue and knowing how they receive their information. This case study defined the different existing population types using socio-economic criteria in four major wetlands in El Kala, Algeria. This typology provided useful targeting information to improve the impact of environmental education and awareness raising in El Kala and could serve as a reference for other protected areas in the Mediterranean basin.
      PubDate: 2015-02-24
  • Editorial
    • PubDate: 2015-02-21
  • Weaving complexity and accountability: approaches to higher education
           learning design (HELD) in the built environment
    • Abstract: Abstract The role of built environment professionals—planners, construction and project managers and property professionals—is to develop efficient cities improving social, environmental and economic outcomes. Professional practice that strikes a balance between the built and natural environment requires graduates with multidisciplinary skill sets, dictating the need for cross-disciplinary practice in undergraduate study. If we want alternative approaches to development, we must nurture professional capabilities that allow for a change in the way we see and act. In the light of this, we seek to enfranchise the many stakeholders engaged in the professional education programs offered in higher education. Higher education plays a central role in the development of professionals with the ability to recognise and mitigate the environmental impacts of traditional practice. This paper presents how courses in two Schools at RMIT, Global, Urban and Social Studies and Property, Construction and Project Management, have developed a transferable framework through which environmental capabilities may be embedded into undergraduate education. It explores the role higher education plays in the development of graduate capabilities and presents a conceptualisation of processes to realise this, through the Higher Education Learning Design Framework for development, and renewal, of traditional courses. The paper offers with a detailed exposition of the HELD framework against two courses. We explore this framework in relation to knowledge themes, professional and generic skills and assessment design.
      PubDate: 2015-02-20
  • Istanbul: the challenges of integrated water resources management in
           Europa’s megacity
    • Abstract: Abstract Effective integrated water resources management (IWRM) and developments impacting on water resources are recognized as key components of environmentally sustainable development. Istanbul (Turkey) is a very large metropolitan city with a population of approximately 14 million. Istanbul is one of the 23 megacities (metropolitan areas with a population of more than 10 million) in the world and one of the most rapidly growing cities in Europe. The annual population growth is 2.8 %. The population growth in the city is almost twice the overall rate of the whole of Turkey, because of a large in-migration. The present study is a baseline assessment of IWRM of Istanbul and also provides a critical review of Istanbul’s future challenges. The assessment is part of an action on water governance (City Blueprints) in the context of the European Innovation Partnership on Water of the European Commission. The City Blueprint indicator approach and process have been applied as first step of gaining a better understanding of IWRM and the challenges ahead. This is done by using well-established and high-quality data sets, a relatively cost-effective online survey and a relatively simple questionnaire. Istanbul has set a good example to the challenges faced in water supply in megacities, where illegal settlements on watershed zones posed a threat to scarce water resources. Despite these enormous efforts, the projected future population growth and climate change in Istanbul will necessitate further major transitions towards sustainable IWRM. This holds for all aspects of the water cycle: water quality, water quantity, water supply and sanitation, coping with extreme weather events (floods and droughts), as well as for the protection of the sources of water, i.e. ecosystem conservation. Istanbul is a place where problems emerge and solutions need to be found. The time window available to do this is rapidly closing. As such, this review of IWRM of Istanbul confirms the conclusions of the World Economic Forum that water supply is one of the top three global risks for both the impact and likelihood. Our framework has been applied for nearly 40 cities, and the results for Istanbul are discussed in the broader context of recent initiatives on water governance and smart cities by the European Commission.
      PubDate: 2015-02-20
  • John Blewitt: Understanding sustainable development
    • PubDate: 2015-02-19
  • Nicholas A. Ashford and Ralph P. Hall: Globalization and sustainable
           development. Transforming the industrial state
    • PubDate: 2015-02-19
  • A.R.G. Heesterman and W.H. Heesterman: Rediscovering sustainability:
           Economics of the finite earth
    • PubDate: 2015-02-19
  • Paul James: Urban sustainability in theory and practice: Circles of
    • PubDate: 2015-02-19
  • Tracy Bhamra and Vicky Lofthouse: Design for sustainability: a practical
    • PubDate: 2015-02-19
  • Daphne Halkias and Paul W. Thurman: Entrepreneurship and sustainability:
           business solutions for poverty alleviation from around the world
    • PubDate: 2015-02-19
  • Margaret Robertson: Sustainability principles and practice
    • PubDate: 2015-02-18
  • Use patterns of natural resources supporting livelihoods of smallholder
           communities and implications for climate change adaptation in Zimbabwe
    • Abstract: Abstract Declining crop and livestock production due to a degrading land resource base and changing climate among other biophysical and socio-economic constraints, is increasingly forcing rural households in Zimbabwe and other parts of Southern Africa to rely on common natural resource pools (CNRPs) to supplement their household food and income. Between 2011 and 2013, we combined farmer participatory research approaches, remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) to (1) understand the contribution of CNRPs to household food and income in Dendenyore and Ushe smallholder communities in Hwedza District, eastern Zimbabwe and (2) assess changes of the CNRPs in both space and time, and their implications on climate change adaptation. Across study sites, wetlands and woodlands were ranked as the most important CNRPs. Extraction and use patterns of products from the different pools differed among households of different resource endowment. Resource-constrained households (RG3) sold an average of 183 kg household−1 year−1 of wild loquats fruits (Uapaca kirkiana), realising about US$48, while resource-endowed farmers (RG1) had no need to sale any. The RG3 households also realised approximately US$70 household−1 year−1 from sale of crafts made from water reeds (Phragmites mauritianus). Empirical data closely supported communities’ perceptions that CNRPs had declined significantly in recent years compared with two to three decades ago. More than 60 % of the respondents perceived that the availability of natural resources drawn from wetlands and woodlands, often used for food, energy and crafts, has decreased markedly since the 1980s. Classification of land cover in a GIS environment indicated that CNRPs declined between 1972 and 2011, supporting farmers’ perceptions. Overall, woodlands declined by 37 % in both communities, while the total area under wetlands decreased by 29 % in Ushe, a drier area and 49 % in Dendenyore, a relatively humid area. The over-reliance in CNRPs by rural communities could be attributed to continued decline in crop yields linked to increased within-season rainfall variability, and the absence of alternative food and income sources. This suggests limited options for rural communities to adapt to the changing food production systems in the wake of climate change and variability and other challenges such as declining soil fertility. There is therefore a need to design adaptive farm management options that enhance both crop and livestock production in a changing climate as well as identifying other livelihood alternatives outside agriculture to reduce pressure on CNRPs. In addition, promotion of alternative sources of energy such as solar power and biogas among rural communities could reduce the cutting of trees for firewood from woodlands.
      PubDate: 2015-02-18
  • Sustainability of rice production systems: an empirical evaluation to
           improve policy
    • Abstract: Abstract An evaluation is needed to monitor the progress of sustainable development (SD) in rice production systems. The purpose of this study is to provide policy inputs, examine the sustainability of rice production, and determine major policy areas. A requisite set of 12 indicators of three dimensions of SD, namely economic, was generated by employing an assemblage of top–down and bottom–up approaches. The data were gathered from farm households’ survey as well as in-depth discussion with stakeholders from the regions that represent irrigated, rain-fed lowland, rain-fed upland, flood-prone, and saline-prone rice-growing ecosystems in Bangladesh. By constructing composite indicators, the results revealed that 44 % of rice growers were economically viable, environmentally sound, and socially developed. The irrigated rice production system was found to be the most sustainable. The path analysis measured the contribution of the indicators to the index, and results highlighted that rice growers’ knowledge, skills, and social networks development, improving land productivity, and integrated nutrient management were essential for promoting sustainable rice production. However, the study findings suggest that pluralistic (i.e., government and non-government) agricultural advisory services can serve as an engine of transition to rice production sustainability in which a multi-year planning and strategy formulation are crucial besides investing in the modernization of extension services. Overall and ecosystem-specific policy implications that emerged from the findings of this study are outlined.
      PubDate: 2015-02-17
  • Decoupling of nonferrous metal consumption from economic growth in China
    • Abstract: Abstract Nonferrous metal is an important basis material for the development of the national economy, and its consumption directly affects economic development. It has great significance in the effective utilization of nonferrous metals, development of an environment-friendly society, and investigation of the decoupling of nonferrous metal consumption and GDP growth. The decoupling indicators for nonferrous metal consumption and GDP growth (D r) in China from 1995 to 2010 were calculated in this study, and the results were analyzed. A productive model based on BP neural network was established. Then, the decoupling indicators for nonferrous metal consumption and GDP growth in China for the period of 2011–2020 were predicted. For the period of 1995–2010, the annual average decoupling indicators were <1 for copper, aluminum, zinc, lead, and nickel, except for tin, which was 0.21. The analysis showed that the decoupling of nonferrous metal consumption and GDP growth is in a less optimistic situation to copper, aluminum, zinc, lead, and nickel in China from 1995 to 2010. The annual average decoupling indicator for tin was 0.21, which indicates relative decoupling. For the period of 2011–2020, the predicted decoupling indicators for copper, aluminum, zinc, lead, nickel, and tin were between 0 and 1. This finding indicates the implementation of relative decoupling. However, the total consumption of nonferrous metals did not decouple from GDP growth.
      PubDate: 2015-02-17
  • Examining green public procurement using content analysis: existing
           difficulties for procurers and useful recommendations
    • Abstract: Abstract Green public procurement (GPP) promises great potential for improving the environmental impact of many public organizations. However, the effects this instrument will have in the near future are unclear as there is little evidence on its exact level of engagement. This study thus aims to analyze the contents of tenders in terms of green criteria by specifically focusing on the building and construction sector. A total of 164 Italian public tenders were analyzed according to a protocol of analysis based on the GPP toolkit developed by the European Commission. Starting from a content analysis used in previous studies, a complete list of green criteria was developed in order to investigate their prevalence in the sample selected, with the aim of exploring their frequency, distribution and correlation. The results revealed a limited use of green criteria, which were mainly included as technical specifications and award criteria, thus shedding light on the difficulties that procurers are experiencing in the implementation of GPP practices. Several suggestions for policy makers and managers are identified for a better and faster implementation of green public procurement tools and methods.
      PubDate: 2015-02-14
  • Microbial population dynamics under fertigation by distillery effluent in
           sugarcane-ratoon cropping system
    • Abstract: Abstract Distillery effluents, a major by-product of distilleries are a major environmental hazard as they are rich in organic matter, micro- and macroelements. Management of this enormous amount of nutrient-rich effluent and its effective utilization is a major challenge. These effluents can be used as a source of nutrient by C4 crops like sugarcane and subsequent ratoon crops under fertigation system. Impact of fertigation in sugarcane-ratoon cropping system on soil microbial biomass is important as the microbial population plays an important role in the nutrient and biogeochemical recycling. Keeping this in mind, a field experiment was carried out in the sandy loam soil of semi-arid to humid sub-tropical climate of Gajraula (28.85°N, 78.23°E) region, India with different doses of diluted and undiluted effluent for fertigation of sugarcane crop in presence and absence of 50 % recommended dose of fertilizers with suitable replicates. Two post-sown irrigations with four times diluted effluent gave the maximum yield in case of sugarcane crop. Taking into consideration the yield and the culturable microbial population sizes, it can be concluded that one to two post-sown irrigations with diluted effluent can be used to enhance soil fertility in terms of microbial population and to enhance sugarcane and ratoon crop productivity. This package is economically viable and can also take care of distillery waste management and reduction in consumption of chemical fertilizers by 50 %, a key for sustainable agricultural development.
      PubDate: 2015-02-11
  • The financial additionality and viability of CDM projects allowing for
    • Abstract: Abstract Financial additionality and viability for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects is commonly demonstrated through deterministic internal rate of return (IRR) benchmark analysis, supplemented with a sensitivity analysis. This method is vulnerable to assumptions on cash flows (including that from carbon credits) and is unable to differentiate grades of separation from the benchmark. This paper examines the financial additionality test and viability in the presence of cash flow uncertainty, where IRR becomes a random variable. A case example project involving wind power is exampled. It is seen that the boundaries between acceptance and rejection as a CDM project based on financial additionality and viability tests become blurred, leading to possible alternative conclusions. Comment is given on false positives and false negatives, in terms of acceptance and rejection of projects.
      PubDate: 2015-02-08
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