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Sustainability, Volume 2, Issue 11 (November 2010), Pages 3339-3622

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Story of My Face: How Environmental Stewards Perceive Stigmatization (Re)produced By Discourse
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3339-3353; doi:10.3390/su2113339
Received: 25 August 2010 / Revised: 19 October 2010 / Accepted: 21 October 2010 / Published: 27 October 2010
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Abstract
The story of my face intertwines concepts of social semiotics and discourse analysis to explore how a simple type of printed media (flyer) can generate stigmatization of informal recyclers, known as binners in Western Canada. Every day, media exposes humans to signifiers (e.g.,
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The story of my face intertwines concepts of social semiotics and discourse analysis to explore how a simple type of printed media (flyer) can generate stigmatization of informal recyclers, known as binners in Western Canada. Every day, media exposes humans to signifiers (e.g., words, photographs, cartoons) that appear to be trivial but influence how we perceive their meaning. Amongst the signifiers frequently found in the media, the word “scavengers”, has been used to refer to autonomous recyclers. Specific discourse has the potential to promote and perpetuate discrimination against the individuals who deal with selective collection of recyclables and decrease the value of their work. Their work is valuable because it generates income for recyclers, recovers resources and improves overall environmental health. In this context, the present qualitative study draws on data collected with binners during research conducted in the city of Victoria, in British Columbia. First we analyze a dialogue between binners from a participatory video workshop, to explore their perceptions of the stigma they suffer. Second we use a flyer produced by the local government alerting against scavenging to illustrate how the content (i.e., structural organization [text and images] in which they are embedded work together to mediate stigmatization against recyclers. Third, we analyze videotaped data from a panel discussion with local government, the local community, and binners on inclusive waste management, to uncover different negative perceptions of binners. In our study we look at the official discourse that marginalizes informal recyclers and creates social injustices. We illustrate how the recyclers perceive stigma and suggest that marginalization could be overcome by reiterating the image of environmental stewards instead of scavengers. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainability, Food Security, and Development Aid after the Food Crisis: Assessing Aid Strategies across Donor Contexts
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3354-3382; doi:10.3390/su2113354
Received: 30 August 2010 / Revised: 21 October 2010 / Accepted: 26 October 2010 / Published: 28 October 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (301 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The most recent global food crisis has forced development agencies in the global North to rethink the nexus between agricultural development, food aid, and food security, and how development assistance strategies can enhance food security to more effectively respond to or prevent such
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The most recent global food crisis has forced development agencies in the global North to rethink the nexus between agricultural development, food aid, and food security, and how development assistance strategies can enhance food security to more effectively respond to or prevent such crises in the future. Central to this rethinking is the concept of sustainability, though the term has shifting and imprecise meanings across different institutional and strategic contexts. Analyzing the strategic response of major state and multilateral development agencies to the global food crisis, this paper examines the diverse and slippery meanings and uses of sustainability in the post-crisis development assistance architecture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Security and Environmental Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Sustaining Rainforest Plants, People and Global Health: A Model for Learning from Traditions in Holistic Health Promotion and Community Based Conservation as Implemented by Q’eqchi’ Maya Healers, Maya Mountains, Belize
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3383-3398; doi:10.3390/su2113383
Received: 30 August 2010 / Revised: 22 October 2010 / Accepted: 27 October 2010 / Published: 28 October 2010
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Abstract
The present work showcases a model for holistic, sustainable healthcare in indigenous communities worldwide through the implementation of traditional healing practices. The implementation of this model promotes public health and community wellness while addressing crucially important themes such as in situ and ex
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The present work showcases a model for holistic, sustainable healthcare in indigenous communities worldwide through the implementation of traditional healing practices. The implementation of this model promotes public health and community wellness while addressing crucially important themes such as in situ and ex situ conservation of medicinal plant resources and associated biodiversity, generational transmission of knowledge, and the preservation of biological and cultural diversity for future generations. Being envisaged and implemented by Q’eqchi’ Maya traditional healers of the southern Maya Mountains, Belize, this model can be replicated in other communities worldwide. A ethnobotany study in collaboration with these healers led to collection of 102 medicinal species from Itzama, their traditional healing cultural center and medicinal garden. Of these 102 species, 40 of prior reported 106 consensus study plants were present in the garden. There were 62 plants not previously reported growing in the garden as well. A general comparison of these plants was also made in relation to species reported in TRAMIL network, Caribbean Herbal Pharmacopoeia (CHP), the largest regional medicinal pharmacopoeia. A relative few species reported here were found in the CHP. However, the majority of the CHP plants are common in Belize and many are used by the nearby Mopan and Yucatec Maya. Since these 102 species are relied upon heavily in local primary healthcare, this Q’eqchi’ Maya medicinal garden represents possibilities toward novel sustainable, culturally relative holistic health promotion and community based conservation practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Futures)
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Open AccessArticle Deliberative Ecological Economics for Sustainability Governance
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3399-3417; doi:10.3390/su2113399
Received: 29 June 2010 / Revised: 26 October 2010 / Accepted: 27 October 2010 / Published: 29 October 2010
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (221 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We discuss the recent emergence of ‘deliberative ecological economics’, a field that highlights the potential of deliberation for improving environmental governance. We locate the emergence of this literature in the long concern in ecological economics over the policy implications of limited views of
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We discuss the recent emergence of ‘deliberative ecological economics’, a field that highlights the potential of deliberation for improving environmental governance. We locate the emergence of this literature in the long concern in ecological economics over the policy implications of limited views of human action and its encounter with deliberative democracy scholarship and the model of communicative rationality as an alternative to utilitarianism. Considering criticisms over methods used and the focus of research in deliberative decision-making, we put forward a research agenda for deliberative ecological economics. Given the promising potential of deliberative processes for improving the effectiveness and legitimacy of environmental decision-making, work in this area could help advance both theory and practice in environmental governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Reconciling Groundwater Storage Depletion Due to Pumping with Sustainability
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3418-3435; doi:10.3390/su2113418
Received: 21 September 2010 / Revised: 17 October 2010 / Accepted: 21 October 2010 / Published: 1 November 2010
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (198 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Groundwater pumping causes depletion of groundwater storage. The rate of depletion incurred by any new well is gradually decreasing and eventually becomes zero in the long run, after induced recharge and reduction of natural discharge of groundwater combined (capture) have become large enough
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Groundwater pumping causes depletion of groundwater storage. The rate of depletion incurred by any new well is gradually decreasing and eventually becomes zero in the long run, after induced recharge and reduction of natural discharge of groundwater combined (capture) have become large enough to balance the pumping rate completely. If aquifer-wide aggregated pumping rates are comparatively large, then such a new dynamic equilibrium may not be reached and groundwater storage may become exhausted. Decisions to pump groundwater are motivated by people’s need for domestic water and by expected benefits of using water for a variety of activities. But how much finally is abstracted from an aquifer (or is considered to be an optimal aggregate abstraction rate) depends on a wide range of other factors as well. Among these, the constraint imposed by the groundwater balance (preventing aquifer exhaustion) has received ample attention in the professional literature. However, other constraints or considerations related to changes in groundwater level due to pumping are observed as well and in many cases they even may dominate the decisions on pumping. This paper reviews such constraints or considerations, examines how they are or may be incorporated in the decision-making process, and evaluates to what extent the resulting pumping rates and patterns create conditions that comply with principles of sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Groundwater)
Open AccessArticle Destination Marketing Organizations and Climate Change—The Need for Leadership and Education
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3449-3464; doi:10.3390/su2113449
Received: 8 October 2010 / Revised: 27 October 2010 / Accepted: 27 October 2010 / Published: 2 November 2010
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Abstract
Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) operate at many levels ranging from the national to the municipal and have evolved over the years to respond to the geographical and political realities that are associated with tourism supply. Alongside providing information to potential visitors, DMOs work
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Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) operate at many levels ranging from the national to the municipal and have evolved over the years to respond to the geographical and political realities that are associated with tourism supply. Alongside providing information to potential visitors, DMOs work to make a destination attractive by showcasing its unique aspects and attractions. As the appeal of destinations, cost of doing business and the destination brand may be affected by the possible effects of climate change, this study aims to identify opportunities and threats to municipal and provincial/territorial DMOs and their members as well as identify measures they are undertaking to address the potential impacts. A study conducted of Canada’s provincial and municipal large DMOs was conducted in 2009. This research found that awareness of climate change in Canada’s tourism industry is increasing, but more efforts must be undertaken to mitigate climate change. To address climate change and tourism, this paper suggests doing three things: (a) DMOs need to demonstrate leadership about climate change education and mitigation to all their members; (b) government policy and action are needed to provide incentives for industry to address climate change; and (c) industry members require further education to take the steps necessary mitigate risk and to adapt. The internet has changed the DMOs’ roles and how they provide information to the consumer; as such, they have been presented with an opportunity to take on new roles as educational and marketing providers. This paper will outline in the current shifts among Canadian DMOs and will discuss the key issues that are applicable to DMOs worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Tourism: Issues, Debates and Challenges)
Open AccessArticle Deschooling Society? A Lifelong Learning Network for Sustainable Communities, Urban Regeneration and Environmental Technologies
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3465-3478; doi:10.3390/su2113465
Received: 25 October 2010 / Revised: 7 November 2010 / Accepted: 10 November 2010 / Published: 12 November 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The complexity and multifaceted nature of sustainable lifelong learning can be effectively addressed by a broad network of providers working co-operatively and collaboratively. Such a network involving the third, public and private sector bodies must realise the full potential of accredited flexible and
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The complexity and multifaceted nature of sustainable lifelong learning can be effectively addressed by a broad network of providers working co-operatively and collaboratively. Such a network involving the third, public and private sector bodies must realise the full potential of accredited flexible and blended formal learning, contextual opportunities offered by enablers of informal and non formal learning and the affordances derived from the various loose and open spaces that can make social learning effective. Such a conception informs the new Lifelong Learning Network Consortium on Sustainable Communities, Urban Regeneration and Environmental Technologies established and led by the Lifelong Learning Centre at Aston University. This paper offers a radical, reflective and political evaluation of its first year in development arguing that networked learning of this type could prefigure a new model for lifelong learning and sustainable education that renders the city itself a creative medium for transformative learning and sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Education)
Open AccessArticle Education for a Sustainable Future: Strategies of the New Hindu Religious Movements
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3500-3519; doi:10.3390/su2113500
Received: 10 October 2010 / Revised: 8 November 2010 / Accepted: 10 November 2010 / Published: 17 November 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasingly, sustainability is conceived as a crisis of the human mind and the key challenge for pro-sustainability education is developing sufficient motivation in learners. The spiritual aspirations of religious communities contain sufficient motivational force, which may be deployed for effective sustainability education. This
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Increasingly, sustainability is conceived as a crisis of the human mind and the key challenge for pro-sustainability education is developing sufficient motivation in learners. The spiritual aspirations of religious communities contain sufficient motivational force, which may be deployed for effective sustainability education. This paper explores the approaches to sustainability and sustainability education of some internationally-oriented Hindu religious movements. These include the rural education initiatives of Gandhian Sarvodaya, which emphasizes non-harming, self-reliance and personal ethics, ISKCON, which emphasizes devotional service, P.R. Sarkar’s Ananda Marg, which emphasizes cooperative enterprise, the Tantric body re-imagined at the social scale, and Swami Vivekananda’s Sri Ramakrishna Order, which emphasizes karma yoga, spiritual development through service to the God in each human. It also describes the British Hindu contribution to the UNDP/ARC’s multi-faith sustainability initiative “Many Heavens, One Earth”; which is the “Bhumi Project and its two main campaigns, Green Temples and Compassionate Living. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Education)
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Open AccessArticle Ecosystem Services and Food Security: Economic Perspectives on Environmental Sustainability
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3520-3548; doi:10.3390/su2113520
Received: 26 October 2010 / Revised: 10 November 2010 / Accepted: 16 November 2010 / Published: 17 November 2010
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Food security in developing countries depends in part on the sustainable use of natural resources. Food security is usually examined through three dimensions, namely the availability, access, and utilization of food. Ecosystems directly and indirectly support each of these dimensions through the provision
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Food security in developing countries depends in part on the sustainable use of natural resources. Food security is usually examined through three dimensions, namely the availability, access, and utilization of food. Ecosystems directly and indirectly support each of these dimensions through the provision of critical ecosystem services that facilitate agricultural production, create income-generating opportunities, and provide energy for cooking. However, in some cases, household uses of natural resources undermine particular elements of food security, hindering national poverty reduction strategies and threatening the sustainability of critical ecosystem functions. I examine the role of ecosystem services in rural food security through the lens of its three dimensions, and highlight the tensions that stem from household-level interactions and uses. In some cases, uses of resources and services that support the access and utilization dimensions may undermine the ecosystem functions that support food availability. The conclusions underscore the importance for the integration of ecosystem services into food security plans and poverty reduction strategies in developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Security and Environmental Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Macro Level Modeling of a Tubular Solid Oxide Fuel Cell
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3549-3560; doi:10.3390/su2113549
Received: 14 October 2010 / Revised: 5 November 2010 / Accepted: 8 November 2010 / Published: 18 November 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (186 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a macro-level model of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack implemented in Aspen Plus® for the simulation of SOFC system. The model is 0-dimensional and accepts hydrocarbon fuels such as reformed natural gas, with user inputs of current
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This paper presents a macro-level model of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack implemented in Aspen Plus® for the simulation of SOFC system. The model is 0-dimensional and accepts hydrocarbon fuels such as reformed natural gas, with user inputs of current density, fuel and air composition, flow rates, temperature, pressure, and fuel utilization factor. The model outputs the composition of the exhaust, work produced, heat available for the fuel reformer, and electrochemical properties of SOFC for model validation. It was developed considering the activation, concentration, and ohmic losses to be the main over-potentials within the SOFC, and mathematical expressions for these were chosen based on available studies in the literature. The model also considered the water shift reaction of CO and the methane reforming reaction. The model results were validated using experimental data from Siemens Westinghouse. The results showed that the model could capture the operating pressure and temperature dependency of the SOFC performance successfully in an operating range of 1–15 atm for pressure and 900 °C–1,000 °C for temperature. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis was performed to identify the model constants and input parameters that impacted the over-potentials. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Advancing the Structural Use of Earth-based Bricks: Addressing Key Challenges in the East African Context
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3561-3571; doi:10.3390/su2113561
Received: 15 October 2010 / Revised: 4 November 2010 / Accepted: 15 November 2010 / Published: 19 November 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (94 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The research discussed in this paper is a subset of a bigger, NSF funded research project that is directed at investigating the use of sustainable building materials. The deployment context for the research is the hot and humid climate using selected cases from
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The research discussed in this paper is a subset of a bigger, NSF funded research project that is directed at investigating the use of sustainable building materials. The deployment context for the research is the hot and humid climate using selected cases from the East African region. The overarching goal for the research is advancing the structural use of earth-based technologies. Significant strides can be made through developing strategies for countering the adverse factors that affect the structural performance of the resulting wall, especially ones related to moisture dynamics. The research was executed in two phases. The first phase was a two-day NSF supported workshop which was held in Tanzania in July 2009. It provided a forum for sharing best practices in earth-based building technologies and developing a research and development roadmap. The priority research areas were broadly classified as optimizing the physio-mechanical properties of earth as a building material and managing socio-cultural impediments. In the second phase of the research, the authors collaborated with researchers from East Africa to conduct experimental work on the optimization of physio-mechanical properties. The specific research issues that have been addressed are: (1) characterizing the chemical reactions that can be linked to deterioration triggered by hygrothermal loads based on the hot and humid context, and; (2) developing a prototype for a simpler, portable, affordable and viable compressed brick production machine. The paper discusses the results from the characterization work that ultimately will be used to design bricks that have specific properties based on an understanding of how different stabilizers affect the hydration process. It also describes a cheaper, portable and more efficient prototype machine that has been developed as part of the follow-up research activities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Cassava: The Drought, War and Famine Crop in a Changing World
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3572-3607; doi:10.3390/su2113572
Received: 18 October 2010 / Revised: 12 November 2010 / Accepted: 17 November 2010 / Published: 19 November 2010
Cited by 33 | PDF Full-text (924 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cassava is the sixth most important crop, in terms of global annual production. Cassava is grown primarily for its starchy tuberous roots, which are an important staple for more than 800 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, but also in other parts of
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Cassava is the sixth most important crop, in terms of global annual production. Cassava is grown primarily for its starchy tuberous roots, which are an important staple for more than 800 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, but also in other parts of Africa, Asia, the Pacific and South America. Cassava is important for both small-scale farmers and larger-scale plantations due to its low requirement for nutrients, ability to tolerate dry conditions and easy low-cost propagation. It is sometimes referred to as the “drought, war and famine crop of the developing world” and reliance upon this crop is expected to increase in the coming years as the global climate changes. As with all crops, cassava presents some challenges which need to be addressed, especially if its production is to continue to expand. We highlight here a number of key issues around the continued and increased reliance upon cassava as a staple food crop. Cassava contains cyanogenic glycosides that release hydrogen cyanide and many cultivars are toxic if not processed before consumption. The degree of toxicity is altered by plant breeding, agricultural practice, environmental conditions and methods of food preparation. We conclude that use of cassava has the potential to help many countries achieve food security in a sustainable manner, in the face of significant environmental change, but that its introduction should be accompanied by appropriate education about its toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Security and Environmental Sustainability)
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Review

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Open AccessReview What is Sustainability?
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3436-3448; doi:10.3390/su2113436
Received: 17 September 2010 / Revised: 15 October 2010 / Accepted: 19 October 2010 / Published: 1 November 2010
Cited by 41 | PDF Full-text (116 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability as a policy concept has its origin in the Brundtland Report of 1987. That document was concerned with the tension between the aspirations of mankind towards a better life on the one hand and the limitations imposed by nature on the other
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Sustainability as a policy concept has its origin in the Brundtland Report of 1987. That document was concerned with the tension between the aspirations of mankind towards a better life on the one hand and the limitations imposed by nature on the other hand. In the course of time, the concept has been re-interpreted as encompassing three dimensions, namely social, economic and environmental. The paper argues that this change in meaning (a) obscures the real contradiction between the aims of welfare for all and environmental conservation; (b) risks diminishing the importance of the environmental dimension; and (c) separates social from economic aspects, which in reality are one and the same. It is proposed instead to return to the original meaning, where sustainability is concerned with the well-being of future generations and in particular with irreplaceable natural resources—as opposed to the gratification of present needs which we call well-being. A balance needs to be found between those two, but not by pretending they are three sides of the same coin. Although we use up natural resources at the expense of future generations, we also generate capital (including knowledge) which raises future well-being. A major question is to what extent the one compensates for the other. This debate centres around the problem of substitutability, which has been cast into a distinction between ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ sustainability. It is argued that these two do not need to be in opposition but complement one another. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Futures)
Open AccessReview The Contribution of Wildlife to Sustainable Natural Resource Utilization in Namibia: A Review
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3479-3499; doi:10.3390/su2113479
Received: 21 September 2010 / Revised: 18 October 2010 / Accepted: 12 November 2010 / Published: 15 November 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (401 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa, but well known for its richness in species and sustainable natural resource utilization. The Namibian farming sector consists mainly of extensive farming systems. Cattle production contributes 54% of the livestock sector’s production output, followed by
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Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa, but well known for its richness in species and sustainable natural resource utilization. The Namibian farming sector consists mainly of extensive farming systems. Cattle production contributes 54% of the livestock sector’s production output, followed by sheep and goats (25%), hides and skins (9%), and other forms of agricultural production (12%). Namibia’s freehold farmers have obtained ownership rights over land and livestock since the early 1900s; commercial rights over wildlife and plants were given to freehold farmers in 1967 and to communal farmers in 1996. Natural resource-based production systems then overtook agricultural production systems and exceeded it by a factor of at least two. The shift from practicing conservation to sustainable utilization of natural resources contributed to the rapid growth of wildlife utilization. The wildlife industry in Namibia is currently the only animal production system that is expanding. There are in total at least two million head of different wildlife species. The broader impact of the utilization of wildlife on the economy is estimated to be around N$ 1.3 billion. Tourism, live sales and trophy hunting, cannot sustain further growth. Wildlife farming could offer better opportunities for ensuring long-term sustainability. As the game meat trade in Namibia is not formalized, harvesting wildlife to satisfy the demand for game meat in export markets is still in its infancy. Sustainable harvesting of wildlife for meat production, however, has the potential to increase earnings to the beneficiaries in the wildlife sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Growth and Sustainable Wildlife Management)
Open AccessReview Sustainable Development: Between Moral Injunctions and Natural Constraints
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3608-3622; doi:10.3390/su2113608
Received: 14 October 2010 / Revised: 8 November 2010 / Accepted: 17 November 2010 / Published: 22 November 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (184 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable development must satisfy the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Although it looks at the economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability, this article focuses specifically on an analysis of the concept in conjunction
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Sustainable development must satisfy the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Although it looks at the economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability, this article focuses specifically on an analysis of the concept in conjunction with the use and protection of natural resources. It shows how taking account of environmental goods, including the finite nature of certain natural resources, can change the way economists deal with the issues of growth, development and equity between generations. In this context, after a brief historical perspective on the concept of development, the paper shows how the potential for substitutability between natural and manufactured capital, for example in production technologies, lead to two paradigms, that of weak sustainability and that of strong sustainability. These two approaches are presented in an effort to explain how their merits can be mutually reinforcing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy and Sustainability)

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