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Journal Cover Environment, Development and Sustainability
  [SJR: 0.419]   [H-I: 29]   [29 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  [2335 journals]
  • Solar-driven technology for freshwater production from atmospheric air by
           using the composite desiccant material “CaCl 2 /floral foam”
    • Abstract: Abstract In this communication, experiments have been performed to check the capability of the newly formed composite desiccant material (CaCl2/floral) for the extraction of freshwater from atmospheric air. Three numbers of solar glass desiccant box type system (SGDBS) with a captured area of 0.36 m2 each, have been used. The design parameters for the water production are height of glass from desiccant bed at 0.22 m, inclination in angle as 30°, the effective thickness of glass as 3 mm and number of glazing as single. The maximum yield by the new composite desiccant material is 0.35 ml/cm3/day. The efficiency of the system SGDBS with 37 % concentration of CaCl2 is 76.44 %.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • City Blueprints: baseline assessments of water management and climate
           change in 45 cities
    • Abstract: Abstract Climate change and urbanization are among the most significant trends of the twenty-first century, affecting global natural resources such as water, economic development and human well-being. The growth of the world population will be absorbed by the cities. The necessity of cities adapting to these trends calls for radical changes in urban water management. In this paper, baseline assessments, i.e., City Blueprints, have been carried out for 45 municipalities and regions in 27 countries, mainly in Europe. The assessments showed that cities vary considerably with regard to their water management. This is also captured in the Blue City Index® (BCI), the arithmetic mean of 24 indicators comprising the City Blueprint®. Theoretically, the BCI has a minimum score of 0 and a maximum score of 10. The actual BCIs in the 45 cities and regions varied from 3.5 (Kilamba Kiaxi in Angola) to 8.5 (Helsingborg in Sweden). The BCI was positively and significantly correlated with the gross domestic product per person, the ambitions of the local authorities regarding water management, the voluntary participation index and governance indicators according to the World Bank (2013). The study also demonstrated a very significant correlation between the BCI and the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index. The impacts of water scarcity and floods in cities are discussed. It is concluded that cities in transitional and developing countries are particularly at risk.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Erratum to: Understanding determinants of farmers’ investments in
           sustainable land management practices in Ethiopia: review and synthesis
    • PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Ecological clusters as a tool of improving the environmental safety in
           developing countries
    • Abstract: Abstract The article is devoted to the research of ecological clusters as a tool of improving the ecological safety in developing countries. The authors offer to use a specifically developed methodology for determining the level of ecological security in developing countries. Formation of a city skeleton on the basis of ecological clusters, generated on the basis of biologically active natural complex, is offered. We offer the methodology of introduction of the cluster organization of the city environment with introduction models on the example of the city of Volgograd of the Russian Federation.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Farming adaptation to environmental change in coastal Bangladesh: shrimp
           culture versus crop diversification
    • Abstract: Abstract Farming in coastal Bangladesh includes rice/shrimp and rice/non-rice cropping systems. The former has been highly profitable but has exacerbated salinization of soil and water. We evaluate the relative profitability, riskiness, and sustainability of the two cropping systems, using data from two coastal villages in Khulna District. Shrimp cultivation was initially very rewarding. However, over 12–15 years, the cropping system experienced declining profitability, increased salinity, and adverse impacts on rice cropping and the local environment. From 2009, farmers adapted the system by changing the pond (gher) infrastructure, adopting delayed planting of a saline-tolerant rice cultivar, flushing out accumulated salt with freshwater during rice cropping, and allowing the soil to dry out after harvesting rice. The budgeting results show that with current management practices, the rice/shrimp system is economically more viable (higher returns to land and labour and less risky) than the rice/non-rice system. Soil analyses showed that while salinity was higher in the gher during the dry season, it was significantly reduced in the wet season and was very similar between the two systems (1–2 dS/m). Hence, as well as being more profitable and less risky, the rice/shrimp system may well be more sustainable than previously observed.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • A situational analysis of Cameroon’s Technical Operation Units
           (TOUs) in the context of the landscape approach: critical issues and
    • Abstract: Abstract The integrated landscape approach is re-emerging in the global agenda as an approach which can give a fair deal to landscape functions such as climate change response, biodiversity conservation, food security, poverty reduction and economic growth. However, transformational change might be required to enable landscapes respond to these different functions. This is due to the sensitive nature of landscapes to local, national and global economic, social and political drivers. Based on national policy instruments, this paper presents a situational analysis of the landscape concept in Cameroon, operationalized as Technical Operation Units (TOUs) and in the context of the present institutional, social, economic and political features, it examines the rationale for a landscape approach in Cameroon. We notice potential trade-offs, indicating that the landscape approach is an opportunity for TOUs in Cameroon. Firstly, TOUs are characterized by multiple resource regimes with overlapping claims each having a legal land allocation and management plan. Secondly, TOUs are characterized by different stakeholders, with different land-use interests and motives, each controlling key components in the landscapes. Thirdly, the interests and motives of stakeholders overlap spatially and are connected to different sectoral policies at the national level. This setting might threaten decision making and the sustainability potentials of landscapes. Nonetheless, we propose areas for in-depth studies to generate knowledge and information to orientate win–win policy construction for landscapes. This is relevant for the social, ecological and economic objectives that underpin the sustainable development goals proposed in the post-2015 development agenda.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Vietnam’s seafood boom: Economic growth with impoverishment?
    • Abstract: Abstract By 2050 most seafood will be sourced through aquaculture, with a range of production intensities being required to sustain livelihoods and to meet future needs from seafood. This makes Vietnam a particularly insightful case, since Vietnam is at the forefront of the trend toward greater aquaculture production. Our aim in this paper is to examine the social-ecological sustainability of small producer livelihoods contributing to Vietnam’s seafood boom. This paper uses original survey data to understand the range of fishery-based livelihoods that have contributed to Vietnam being a leading global exporter of seafood. We investigate the kinds of fishery-based livelihood activities that households are engaged in, consider the type and amount (kilograms) of species caught or farmed annually, and examine household perceptions’ of change in species quantity. We find that Vietnam’s seafood sector is facing real sustainability challenges: Nearly 30 % of small producers—fishers and fish farmers—within our sample rest at or below Vietnam’s rural poverty line. Ecological decline and disease in farmed fish is perceived to be a serious issue for all fishers. In this context, policy and management interventions need to better reflect social and ecological variability, adopt an integrated coastal systems perspective across fisheries and aquaculture, and consider the most impact-effective poverty interventions.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Household preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for freshwater quality
           improvement in Pakistan’s Swat River Valley
    • Abstract: Abstract This two-part study investigates household preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for water quality improvement of the Swat River in Pakistan. First, a four-point Likert scale was used to rank preferences for water quality benefits without using any financial metric. Results show that households have comparatively strong preferences for non-use benefits. Second, a contingent valuation question was designed to determine WTP for adopting a management plan developed exclusively for water quality improvement in the Swat River. The estimated annual mean WTP per household for water quality improvement is $2.40 when donating to an NGO. Generalizing this value to households living in Swat Valley would generate up to $544,000 per year. The present value aggregate benefit for 15 years would be sufficient to cover the present value of aggregate costs to adopt the management plan. A mandatory program that would require paying for the management plan generates half the WTP compared to the voluntary plan, but is still sufficient to cover costs and may be more feasible than a voluntary program because payment is assured.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Assessing agricultural land-use change in the Midlands region of
           KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: application of mixed multinomial logit
    • Abstract: Abstract On-farm tree cultivation is considered an important strategy to mitigate detrimental environmental impacts of agricultural land-use change (ALUC). In South Africa, however, little is known about farm-level incentives and constraints that govern ALUC decisions among small-scale farmers. To address this knowledge gap, this study employs a mixed multinomial logit model by using a combination of revealed and stated preference data. After correcting for endogeneity, the estimated results show that decisions about ALUC are rationally derived and driven by clear but heterogeneous preferences and trade-offs between crop productivity, food security and labour saving. The results further show that the decision to plant sugarcane is constrained by landholding, whilst farmland afforestation is negatively influenced by household size. Decisions to convert land use are also driven by the behaviour of peer groups and agro-ecological conditions. Based on these findings, important policy implications for sustainable land use are outlined.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Farmers perception and awareness of climate change: a case study from
           Kanchandzonga Biosphere Reserve, India
    • Abstract: Abstract This study was an attempt to document the indigenous Lepcha people’s perception on climate change-related issues in five villages of Dzongu Valley located in Kanchandzonga Biosphere Reserve, India. Personal structured questionnaire was used for interview of 300 households selected randomly. Results showed that 85 % of the households have perceived climate change, mainly in the form of increasing temperature and unpredictable pattern of rainfall. In terms of climate change-related events, 75 % of the households believed that wind is becoming warmer and stronger over the past years. Majority of the households have observed changes in crop phenology, while about 90 % agreed that the incidences of insect pest and diseases have increased over the years, especially in their large cardamom crop. A comparison of community perceptions, climatic observations and scientific literature shows that the community have correctly perceived temperature change, unpredictable occurrence of rainfall and increased incidence of insect pest and diseases, which have largely influenced the experiences and perceptions regarding climate-related events. Results reveal that households have adopted the use of locally available material as mulches against soil erosion, to conserve the soil moisture and manage soil temperature. Majority of the households have diversified their cropping system through traditional agroforestry systems and intercropping. Unfortunately, most of the households were unaware about the scientific sustainable approaches to combating impact of climate change. This documentation will aid in assessing the needs in terms of actions and information for facilitating climate change-related adaptation locally in Sikkim state of India.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Energy consumption and emission projection for the road transport sector
           in Malaysia: an application of the LEAP model
    • Abstract: Abstract This study has attempted to estimate the energy consumption and emission of pollutants namely carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) from the road transport sector in Malaysia from the year 2012 till 2040. This was done using the long-range energy alternatives planning (LEAP) model. Estimates of energy consumption and emissions were evaluated and analysed under a business-as-usual scenario and three other alternative fuel policy scenarios of biodiesel vehicles (BIO), natural gas vehicles (NGV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). The aim of this study has been to identify the potential alternative fuel policies that would be effective in reducing the future growth of road transport energy consumption and emission in Malaysia. Results indicate that the NGV scenario contributes towards the highest reduction in road transport energy consumption followed by BIO and HEV. The NGV scenario also achieves highest mitigation of emission of all the four pollutants. In the case of CO2 emission, BIO scenario attains second highest mitigation, whereas in the event of CO, NOx and NMVOC emission, HEV scenario achieves second highest mitigation.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • A happiness Kuznets curve? Using model-based cluster analysis to group
           countries based on happiness, development, income, and carbon emissions
    • Abstract: Abstract This exploratory study uses model-based cluster analysis to group sixty-one countries based on statistical similarities in terms of happiness, development, income, and carbon emissions. Model-based cluster analysis is appropriate for an initial identification of a pattern that is worthy of further investigation. A key finding is that there may be a Kuznets curve for happiness. The Kuznets curve graphs the proposition that, as an economy develops, economic inequality first increases and then decreases. Similarly, the authors find that clusters of countries at the extremes of the lowest and highest average levels of development and income have the highest self-reported levels of happiness. Clusters of countries in the middle of the development and income spectrum have the comparatively lowest average levels of happiness. Further, carbon emissions are not perfectly associated with happiness. For example, between two clusters with the highest average levels of development, income, and happiness there is a 43 % difference in carbon emissions. A highly developed cluster has roughly the same mean carbon emissions as a cluster with 83 % less income, and the least developed cluster has 93 % of the happiness as the most developed cluster yet 86 % less carbon emissions. Despite limitations of both data and methodology, the overall pattern—that there may be a happiness Kuznets curve and that development, income, and carbon emissions are not associated lockstep with happiness—contributes to the literature on decoupling development from growth in emissions.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • A comparative review for understanding elite interest and climate change
           policy in China
    • Abstract: Abstract China’s climate change policy has rapidly evolved from one of neglect to necessity with sinologists drawing on a wide range of theories in trying to explain this shift. The rising influence of citizens' movements coupled with international pressure are often cited as significant drivers behind the government’s evolving climate change strategy. But can the influence of public pressure and international lobbying offer a complete explanation for the government’s dramatic policy changes? In this article, we advance theoretical pluralism where three contending schools of thought are made complementary to offer distinct explanations for understanding the mechanisms and rationale for Beijing’s elite-driven climate change policy. In brief, by bridging three separate theoretical streams including rational choice theory, authoritarian environmentalism and advocacy coalition framework, we show that the interests of elites in China’s upper political echelon are the driving force behind the country’s climate change policy.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • The sustainability of positive environments
    • Abstract: Abstract Inspired by the emergence of the positive psychology (PP) movement, recent environmental psychology studies have identified a need for further inquiry into “positive environments” (PEs). Recognizing that PP has largely neglected the role of environmental factors in the appearance of positivity, this paper proposes the study of person–environment relations in order to explain human well-being, psychological growth, sustainable behaviors, and other psychological positive factors, in addition to studying the material and social well-being that a positive environment provides. The traditional view of environmental positivity (i.e., the environment as an inexhaustible and infinite source of resources that satisfy human needs) is contrasted against an ecological vision of PE in which the conservation of the quality of the environment is as important as the satisfaction of human needs. A definition of positive environment is presented and discussed, which conceives PE as a context that promotes individual and collective benefits and that also influences human predispositions to conserve—in the long run—the sociophysical structures on which life depends.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Indigenous knowledge on use values of Karvan district plants, Iran
    • Abstract: Abstract Traditional and indigenous knowledge on plants usage is a valuable source of information from cultural and natural perspectives, reflecting society’s complicated and close relationship with the environment. Communities have a valuable source of traditional knowledge on the utilization of natural resources, and it is worth to be documented and preserved for current and future applications. We conducted this research to collect and identify plant species of Karvan District and document the traditional knowledge on their use and consumption values. Regarding the results, 150 plant species are used by local communities, more than 30 % of which are directly consumed as food, 24 % (37 species) are used as medicinal plants, and 16.3 % are applied for decoration purposes; 58.6 % of the species are consumed in the raw form, and the remaining is processed before consumption. Leaves (35 %), seeds (21 %) and flowers (21 %) are the most frequent parts of the plants that are used. High number of young emigrants to industrialized areas in seek of job opportunities is threatening this precious source of indigenous knowledge. Attempts to preserve this empirical source of information by encouraging trans-generational knowledge transmission would help to maintain it for future applications.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • The impact of farmers’ participation in field trials in creating
           awareness and stimulating compliance with the World Health
           Organization’s farm-based multiple-barrier approach
    • Abstract: Abstract The results of a study aimed as assessing the extent to which urban vegetable farmers’ participation in field trials can impact on their awareness and engender compliance with the World Health Organization’s farm-based multiple-barrier approach are presented in this paper. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches have been used in this paper. One hundred vegetable farmers and four vegetable farmers’ associations in the Kumasi Metropolis in Ghana were covered. The individual farmers were grouped into two, namely: (1) participants and (2) non-participants of the farm-based multiple-barrier approach field trials. The results of the study show that participation in the field trials has statistically significant effects on farmers’ awareness of the farm-based multiple-barrier approach. Compliance has, however, been undermined by the farmers’ perception that the cost of compliance is more that the benefits. Policy tools that can address these constraints have been recommended in the paper.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Fishers’ perceptions of climate change, impacts on their livelihoods
           and adaptation strategies in environmental change hotspots: a case of Lake
           Wamala, Uganda
    • Abstract: Abstract Fisheries resources support livelihoods of fishing communities but are threatened by over-exploitation, habitat degradation, pollution, invasive species and climate change. Unlike the other threats, climate change has received limited consideration and reducing its risks requires appropriate adaptation strategies. This study used quantitative and qualitative methods to generate knowledge on fishers’ perceptions of climate change, changes in climate variables and their impacts on livelihoods, adaptation strategies, constraints to adaptation and required interventions to promote adaptation strategies that would enable fishers to build resilience to sustain their livelihoods. We found that fishers were aware of changes in climate conditions manifested by unpredictable seasons, floods and droughts. Fishing remained the main livelihood activity. However, the dominance of fishes had changed from Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) to the African catfish (Clarias gariepinus Burchell). Floods and droughts were associated with damage to gears, boats, landing sites and changes in fish catches and sizes, income from fishing and fish consumption. The fishers adapted by increasing time on fishing grounds and changing target species and fishing gear among other things. Some innovative fishers diversified to high-value crops and livestock. This increased their income beyond what was solely earned from fishing which provided an incentive for some of them to quit fishing. Livelihood diversification was enhanced by use of communications technology, membership of social groups, increasing fishing days and fishing experience. Adaptation was, however, constrained by limited credit, awareness and access to land, which require interventions such as improving access to credit, irrigation facilities, appropriate planting materials and awareness raising. We identified adaptation strategies, which if promoted and their constraints addressed, could increase resilience of fishers to the influence of climate change and sustain their livelihoods.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Understanding determinants of farmers’ investments in sustainable
           land management practices in Ethiopia: review and synthesis
    • Abstract: Abstract Although there has been several efforts made to reduce land degradation and improve land productivity in Ethiopia, farmers’ investments in sustainable land management (SLM) remain limited. Nevertheless, the results regarding determinants of farmers’ investments in SLM have been inconsistent and scattered. Moreover, these factors have not been reviewed and synthesized. Hence this paper reviews and synthesizes past research in order to identify determinants that affect farmers’ investments in SLM practices and thereby facilitate policy prescriptions to enhance adoption in Ethiopia, East Africa and potentially wider afield. The review identifies several determinants that affect farmers’ investments in SLM practices. These determinants are generally categorized into three groups. The first group is those factors that are related to farmers’ capacity to invest in SLM practices. The results show that farmers’ investments in SLM practices are limited by their limited capacity to invest in SLM. The second groups of factors are related to farmers’ incentives for investments in SLM practices. Farmers’ investments in SLM are limited due to restricted incentives from their investments related to land improvement. The third groups of factors are external factors beyond the control of farmers. The review also shows that farmers’ capacities to invest in SLM and their incentives from investments have been influenced by external factors such as institutional support and policies. This suggests that creating enabling conditions for enhancing farmers’ investment capacities in SLM and increasing the range of incentives from their investment is crucial to encourage wide-scale adoption of SLM practices.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Income sources and inequality among ethnic minorities in the Northwest
           region, Vietnam
    • Abstract: Abstract This study analyzes the sources of income inequality among ethnic minorities in the Northwest region—the poorest and highest inequality region of Vietnam. Using an analysis of Gini decomposition by income source, the results show that while agricultural income, notably crop income, considerably decreases income inequality, off-farm income sources (wage and non-farm self-employment incomes) are found to increase inequality. This can be explained that in comparison with other income sources, agricultural income is more equally distributed and the main income source for most poor households. However, off-farm income sources are more unequally distributed and flow disproportionately toward the better-off. The findings support the hypothesis that income diversification in non-farm activities results in either greater inequality if opportunities for these activities are skewed toward to the better-off or less inequality if such opportunities are accessible to the poorer part of the population.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
  • Evaluation of decoloration potential of Xanthium Strumarium seed hull for
           adsorption of Direct red 81 in aqueous solution
    • Abstract: Abstract An unmodified natural adsorbent, Xanthium Strumarium, was explored for its decoloration potential for treatment of textile effluents. Batch mode experimentation was carried out to optimize several process parameters with the well characterized adsorbent. For proper assessment of optimized pathway of adsorption, adsorption isotherms were implemented to the experimental data using nonlinear method. Apart from coefficients of determination, three error analysis methods standard error (S.E.), Chi-square (χ2) statistic and residual mean square error were additionally used to determine the best fitted isothermal model for the system. Freundlich model was creditably fitted to the adsorption data with minimum errors and high R 2 values. The adsorption capacity obtained was 14.7, 15.2 and 18.7 mg g−1 at 30, 40 and 50 °C, respectively. Overall adsorption process was endothermic with positive enthalpy and entropy values. Kinetic study revealed adsorption to be a two stage process initially controlled by film diffusion followed by pseudosecond order as the rate administering step during adsorption. About 95 % decoloration was achieved in 60 min. High decoloration tendency of the opted adsorbent proved that it is an effective and cheap adsorbent for treatment of coloured effluents providing a good alternative to activated carbon.
      PubDate: 2016-07-14
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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