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Sustainability, Volume 2, Issue 6 (June 2010), Pages 1448-1848

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Towards Adaptive Governance of Common-Pool Mountainous Agropastoral Systems
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1448-1471; doi:10.3390/su2061448
Received: 18 March 2010 / Revised: 27 April 2010 / Accepted: 11 May 2010 / Published: 26 May 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper deals with analyses and propositions for adaptive governance of an alpine (A) and an Ethiopian (B) agropastoral system with common-pool pastures. Sustainability can be enhanced by augmenting (i) the ecological and social capitals in relation to costs and (ii) the [...] Read more.
The paper deals with analyses and propositions for adaptive governance of an alpine (A) and an Ethiopian (B) agropastoral system with common-pool pastures. Sustainability can be enhanced by augmenting (i) the ecological and social capitals in relation to costs and (ii) the resilience or adaptive capacity. In (A), a multifunctional agriculture appears to maintain the ecological capital providing many ecosystem services. In (B), the ecological capital can be increased by reversing the trend towards land degradation. In (A), there are several opportunities for reducing the high costs of the social capital. In (B), the institutions should be revised and rules should restrain competitive behavior. (A) and (B) exhibit a high degree of transformability. Many drivers appear to be responsible for the cycling of the agropastoral and higher level systems vulnerable to multiple stressors. Measures are proposed to escape from possible rigidity (A) and poverty (B) traps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle A Methodology for Assessing the Sustainability of Hydrogen Production from Solid Fuels
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1472-1491; doi:10.3390/su2061472
Received: 21 February 2010 / Revised: 1 April 2010 / Accepted: 24 May 2010 / Published: 28 May 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (298 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A methodology for assessing the sustainability of hydrogen production using solid fuels is introduced, in which three sustainability dimensions (ecological, sociological and technological) are considered along with ten indicators for each dimension. Values for each indicator are assigned on a 10-point scale [...] Read more.
A methodology for assessing the sustainability of hydrogen production using solid fuels is introduced, in which three sustainability dimensions (ecological, sociological and technological) are considered along with ten indicators for each dimension. Values for each indicator are assigned on a 10-point scale based on a high of 1 and a low of 0, depending on the characteristic of the criteria associated with each element or process, utilizing data reported in the literature. An illustrative example is presented to compare two solid fuels for hydrogen production: coal and biomass. The results suggest that qualitative sustainability indicators can be reasonably defined based on evaluations of system feasibility, and that adequate flexibility and comprehensiveness is provided through the use of ten indicators for each of the dimensions for every process or element involved in hydrogen production using solid fuels. Also, the assessment index values suggest that biomasses have better sustainability than coals, and that it may be advantageous to use coals in combination with biomass to increase their ecological and social sustainability. The sustainability assessment methodology can be made increasingly quantitative, and is likely extendable to other energy systems, but additional research and development is needed to lead to a more fully developed approach. Full article
Open AccessArticle Consumers’ Sustainability Perceptions of the Supply Chain of Locally Produced Food
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1492-1509; doi:10.3390/su2061492
Received: 13 April 2010 / Revised: 26 April 2010 / Accepted: 24 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article is based on a qualitative focus group study regarding consumer perceptions about the sustainability of locally produced food supply chains. Sustainability perceptions were analyzed through thematic content analysis, where the most important economic, environmental and social themes of the supply [...] Read more.
This article is based on a qualitative focus group study regarding consumer perceptions about the sustainability of locally produced food supply chains. Sustainability perceptions were analyzed through thematic content analysis, where the most important economic, environmental and social themes of the supply chain were emphasized. According to the research findings, the socio-cultural aspects encompassing locally produced food form the most important sustainability dimension for consumers. Although the sample size is small, consisting of 19 consumers and limited to Central Finland, the findings suggest that the sustainability of local food should be promoted via socio-cultural arguments alongside economic or environmental ones. The results conclude that the development of local food networks requires direct personal relationships with producers, social networking, consumer education and communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle Interpreting Sustainability for Urban Forests
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1510-1522; doi:10.3390/su2061510
Received: 16 April 2010 / Revised: 4 May 2010 / Accepted: 27 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (177 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Incisive interpretations of urban-forest sustainability are important in furthering our understanding of how to sustain the myriad values associated with urban forests. Our analysis of earlier interpretations reveals conceptual gaps. These interpretations are attached to restrictive definitions of a sustainable urban forest [...] Read more.
Incisive interpretations of urban-forest sustainability are important in furthering our understanding of how to sustain the myriad values associated with urban forests. Our analysis of earlier interpretations reveals conceptual gaps. These interpretations are attached to restrictive definitions of a sustainable urban forest and limited to a rather mechanical view of maintaining the biophysical structure of trees. The probing of three conceptual domains (urban forest concepts, sustainable development, and sustainable forest management) leads to a broader interpretation of urban-forest sustainability as the process of sustaining urban forest values through time and across space. We propose that values—and not services, benefits, functions or goods—is a superior concept to refer to what is to be sustained in and by an urban forest. Full article
Open AccessArticle The System Dynamics of Forest Cover in the Developing World: Researcher Versus Community Perspectives
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1523-1535; doi:10.3390/su2061523
Received: 22 April 2010 / Revised: 7 May 2010 / Accepted: 26 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (483 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Efforts to increase forest cover in the developing world will only succeed if the root causes of deforestation are addressed. Researchers designing reforestation initiatives tend to emphasize macro-level drivers of deforestation, about which they have extensive data and knowledge. On the other [...] Read more.
Efforts to increase forest cover in the developing world will only succeed if the root causes of deforestation are addressed. Researchers designing reforestation initiatives tend to emphasize macro-level drivers of deforestation, about which they have extensive data and knowledge. On the other hand, local people have contextually based knowledge of forest cover dynamics in their region—about which external researchers may be largely ignorant. This type of perception gap between researchers and community members has led to many failed or insufficiently implemented projects. An emerging tool—group model-building with system dynamics—shows promise in its ability to integrate different perspectives on a complex problem such as forest cover loss. In this study, I use system dynamics modeling methodology to compare causal loop diagrams of forest cover dynamics on Negros Island, Philippines generated by researchers working for the World Wildlife Fund with causal loop diagrams generated by community members in upland Negros. The diagrams were significantly different, with very few variables in common, but both illuminate critical aspects of the deforestation problem on the island. I conclude that reforestation initiatives in the Philippines would benefit from incorporating all relevant information into a single, coherent model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Conservation Value of Residential Open Space: Designation and Management Language of Florida’s Land Development Regulations
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1536-1552; doi:10.3390/su2061536
Received: 15 April 2010 / Revised: 27 April 2010 / Accepted: 26 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The conservation value of open space depends upon the quantity and quality of the area protected, as well as how it is designed and managed. This study reports the results of a content analysis of Florida county Land Development Regulations. Codes were [...] Read more.
The conservation value of open space depends upon the quantity and quality of the area protected, as well as how it is designed and managed. This study reports the results of a content analysis of Florida county Land Development Regulations. Codes were reviewed to determine the amount of open space required, how open space is protected during construction, the delegation of responsibilities, and the designation of funds for management. Definitions of open space varied dramatically across the state. Most county codes provided inadequate descriptions of management recommendations, which could lead to a decline in the conservation value of the protected space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Sustainability)
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Open AccessCommunication On the Chinese Carbon Reduction Target
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1553-1557; doi:10.3390/su2061553
Received: 30 April 2010 / Revised: 19 May 2010 / Accepted: 27 May 2010 / Published: 2 June 2010
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (127 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In November 2009, China pledged a 40–45% decrease in CO2 emissions per GDP by 2020, as compared with the 2005 level. Although carbon intensity (emission) targets by nature are ambiguous, this study demonstrates that China’s pledge is consistent with the current Chinese [...] Read more.
In November 2009, China pledged a 40–45% decrease in CO2 emissions per GDP by 2020, as compared with the 2005 level. Although carbon intensity (emission) targets by nature are ambiguous, this study demonstrates that China’s pledge is consistent with the current Chinese domestic agenda that simultaneously pursues economic growth and energy security. The target numbers in the pledge seem reasonable, given the technological feasibility and measures, considered along with the assumption that moderate economic growth will occur. However, the study also argues that financial and institutional constraints exist as potential obstacles to achieving the target if the trend of the current economic tendencies continues. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Energy Development: The Key to a Stable Nigeria
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1558-1570; doi:10.3390/su2061558
Received: 20 April 2010 / Revised: 8 May 2010 / Accepted: 17 May 2010 / Published: 3 June 2010
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (466 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposes the use of sustainable energy systems based on solar and biomass technologies to provide solutions to utility challenges in Nigeria and acute water shortage both in rural and urban areas of that country. The paper highlights the paradoxes of [...] Read more.
This paper proposes the use of sustainable energy systems based on solar and biomass technologies to provide solutions to utility challenges in Nigeria and acute water shortage both in rural and urban areas of that country. The paper highlights the paradoxes of oil-rich Nigeria and the stark reality of social infrastructure deprivations in that country. Perennial power outages over many years have translated to the absence of or poorly-developed basic social infrastructures in Nigeria. The consequences of this lack have been an increase in abject poverty in rural and urban communities as well as the erosion of social order and threats to citizen and their property. This paper proposes the adaptation of two emerging technologies for building sustainable energy systems and the development of decentralized and sustainable energy sources as catalyst for much-needed social infrastructure development through the creation of Renewable Energy Business Incubators, creative lending strategies, NGO partnerships and shifting energy-distribution responsibilities. These changes will stimulate grassroots economies in the country, develop large quantities of much needed clean water, maintain acceptable standards of sanitation and improve the health and wellbeing of Nigerian communities. The proposed strategies are specific to the Nigerian context; however, the authors suggest that the same or similar strategies may provide energy and social infrastructure development solutions to other developing countries as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Real Estate and Economic Crisis: An Opportunity for Urban Return and Rehabilitation Policies in Spain
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1571-1601; doi:10.3390/su2061571
Received: 18 April 2010 / Revised: 10 May 2010 / Accepted: 14 May 2010 / Published: 3 June 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2326 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the early 1980s, suburbanization and periurbanization processes became widespread in major cities within Spain. An interesting stage of returning to city centers commenced that materialized in the start of rehabilitation policies within historic centers. These processes coincided with weak population growth, [...] Read more.
In the early 1980s, suburbanization and periurbanization processes became widespread in major cities within Spain. An interesting stage of returning to city centers commenced that materialized in the start of rehabilitation policies within historic centers. These processes coincided with weak population growth, an acute industrial economic crisis, and new democratic policies in municipal councils. Three decades later, we may be witnessing similar processes, although with different origins. The consequences of a construction-based economic model have been disastrous in Spain, from both an economic as well as an environmental point of view. The artificial land boom was significant throughout the country, but was especially prominent within the Mediterranean areas that specialize in tourism and real estate (second homes). The burst of the real estate bubble has shown the irrationality of the economic model and the serious social and environmental consequences that the model has entailed. Within this context, some of the territorial transformation processes that occurred in Spain during the real estate boom period are being studied for the first time. Additionally, changes in land policies (urban renewal of centers and urban renewal in general) within the current economic and real estate crisis are analyzed. An urban rehabilitation that gradually includes new spaces for intervention and for introducing new sustainable methods for recovering degraded spaces, such as the Master Plan for Platja de Palma, a mature tourism destination that seeks a final ‘0 CO2 balance’ scenario, among other objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle On the Applicability of the Green Chemistry Principles to Sustainability of Organic Matter on Asteroids
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1624-1631; doi:10.3390/su2061624
Received: 20 April 2010 / Revised: 27 May 2010 / Accepted: 2 June 2010 / Published: 4 June 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (143 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The connection between astrobiology and green chemistry represents a new approach to sustainability of organic matter on asteroids or similar bodies. Green chemistry is chemistry which is environmentally friendly. One obvious way for chemistry to be green is to use water as [...] Read more.
The connection between astrobiology and green chemistry represents a new approach to sustainability of organic matter on asteroids or similar bodies. Green chemistry is chemistry which is environmentally friendly. One obvious way for chemistry to be green is to use water as a solvent, instead of more toxic organic solvents. Many astrobiological reactions occur in the aqueous medium, for example in the prebiotic soup or during the aqueous alteration period on asteroids. Thus any advances in the green organic reactions in water are directly applicable to astrobiology. Another green chemistry approach is to abolish use of toxic solvents. This can be accomplished by carrying out the reactions without a solvent in the solventless or solid-state reactions. The advances in these green reactions are directly applicable to the chemistry on asteroids during the periods when water was not available. Many reactions on asteroids may have been done in the solid mixtures. These reactions may be responsible for a myriad of organic compounds that have been isolated from the meteorites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Astrobiology and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle E-Waste Recycling Systems and Sound Circulative Economies in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Systems in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1632-1644; doi:10.3390/su2061632
Received: 20 April 2010 / Revised: 6 May 2010 / Accepted: 26 May 2010 / Published: 4 June 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main purpose of this paper is to review and compare E-waste management systems operating in East Asian countries in efforts to identify future challenges facing the circulative economies in the region. The first topic of this paper is cost sharing (physical [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this paper is to review and compare E-waste management systems operating in East Asian countries in efforts to identify future challenges facing the circulative economies in the region. The first topic of this paper is cost sharing (physical and financial) as applied to the various stakeholders, including producers, consumers, local governments and recyclers, in the E-waste management systems. The second topic is the environmental and economical impacts of these E-waste management systems on recycling technology, trans-boundary movement of E-wastes and Design for Environment (DfE). The final topic is the possibility for international cooperation in the region in terms of E-waste management systems. The authors’ preliminary result is that the E-waste management systems operating in these East Asian countries have contributed to extended producer responsibility and DfE to some extent, but many challenges remain in their improvement through proper cost sharing among the stakeholders. It is also clear that the cross-border transfer of E-wastes cannot be resolved by one nation alone, and thus international cooperation will be indispensable in finding a suitable solution. Full article
Open AccessArticle Formulating Future Just Policies: Applying the Delhi Sustainable Development Law Principles
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1694-1718; doi:10.3390/su2061694
Received: 26 April 2010 / Revised: 5 May 2010 / Accepted: 28 May 2010 / Published: 9 June 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The nature of the concept of sustainability makes it difficult to coordinate and monitor the implementation of sustainable development in the formulation of effective policy. The International Law Association at its meeting in New Delhi in 2002 offered a set of seven [...] Read more.
The nature of the concept of sustainability makes it difficult to coordinate and monitor the implementation of sustainable development in the formulation of effective policy. The International Law Association at its meeting in New Delhi in 2002 offered a set of seven Principles of International Law Relating to Sustainable Development as a definitive tool to inform the formulation of policy and potentially legal arrangements. This article describes a research project by the World Future Council that used these principles as the basis for a methodology to assess and evaluate how a range of policies might contribute to sustainable development in the interest of future generations. Three ―"best" policies on food security are evaluated and their common characteristics are identified. The article finally discusses how policy assessments based on principles accepted internationally might contribute to accelerated, effective and coherent implementation of sustainable development, even where the prevailing institutional approach treats ecological, social, economic and cultural issues as separate factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Laws and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Hot Spots and Not Spots: Addressing Infrastructure and Service Provision through Combined Approaches in Rural Scotland
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1719-1741; doi:10.3390/su2061719
Received: 11 May 2010 / Revised: 5 June 2010 / Accepted: 7 June 2010 / Published: 17 June 2010
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is widespread acceptance that the absence or presence of infrastructure and services in rural areas can lead to cycles of decline or resilience in these localities. It is also accepted that in remoter areas, population sparsity leads to a higher unit [...] Read more.
There is widespread acceptance that the absence or presence of infrastructure and services in rural areas can lead to cycles of decline or resilience in these localities. It is also accepted that in remoter areas, population sparsity leads to a higher unit cost for delivery of services and infrastructure, and that private sector providers do not find such areas attractive for investment. At the same time, there is a reduction in spending capability within the public sector due to the significant impact of economic crisis on their resource base, affecting provision of services. How are these seemingly intractable challenges being addressed? Using an interpretive policy analysis approach [1] and narrative tools, the storyline of policy statements, approaches and policies in Scotland is presented and discussed, within a wider European setting. This is complemented by a brief presentation of public-private and third sector initiatives in response to service and infrastructure challenges in rural Scotland. The paper concludes with the argument that we are facing two alternatives—the current “hot spots” and “not spots” pattern of provision, where the fittest survive, or further shifts towards strategic, cross-sectoral investment which gives scope for more cohesive development for rural communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human Populations in Remote Places)
Open AccessArticle Addressing Climate Change at the State and Local Level: Using Land Use Controls to Reduce Automobile Emissions
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1742-1764; doi:10.3390/su2061742
Received: 29 April 2010 / Revised: 13 May 2010 / Accepted: 17 May 2010 / Published: 18 June 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Automobiles are a major source of CO2 emissions. Because there is no immediate technological fix to reduce these emissions, the most promising current strategy is to promote less automobile use. In the United States, this is difficult because federal programs such [...] Read more.
Automobiles are a major source of CO2 emissions. Because there is no immediate technological fix to reduce these emissions, the most promising current strategy is to promote less automobile use. In the United States, this is difficult because federal programs such as the interstate highway system and local land use planning and regulation have encouraged suburban sprawl. In 2006, the state of California passed legislation to roll back greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. This legislation did not link the roll back target with land use policies. However, NGOs and the state Attorney General used the state’s pre-existing environmental impact assessment act to sue a large county east of Los Angeles alleging that its revised land use plan was inconsistent with the 2006 legislation. The state and the county settled the suit after the county agreed to new greenhouse gas mitigation duties, and in 2008 California passed additional legislation to implement its 2006 statute. Communities are strongly encouraged to adopt compact, transit-oriented development strategies to limit automobile use. The new legislation gives the attorney general and NGOs additional legal authority to challenge local land use plans and regulatory decisions which fail to adopt these strategies. California’s important experiment has lessons for all urban areas struggling to reduce automobile CO2 emissions. It suggests that local land use controls can be added to the list of workable greenhouse gas mitigation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Laws and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Cairo’s Contested Garbage: Sustainable Solid Waste Management and the Zabaleen’s Right to the City
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1765-1783; doi:10.3390/su2061765
Received: 30 April 2010 / Revised: 31 May 2010 / Accepted: 4 June 2010 / Published: 18 June 2010
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (987 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the decades, the Zabaleen, the traditional waste (garbage) collectors of Cairo, have created what is arguably one of the world’s most efficient and sustainable resource-recovery and waste-recycling systems. Yet the continuation of this intricate relationship between community, environment and livelihood [...] Read more.
Over the decades, the Zabaleen, the traditional waste (garbage) collectors of Cairo, have created what is arguably one of the world’s most efficient and sustainable resource-recovery and waste-recycling systems. Yet the continuation of this intricate relationship between community, environment and livelihood is jeopardized by the official privatization of municipal solid waste (MSW) services through contracts with technology-intensive multinational corporations which threatens the sustainability of the garbage collectors’ communities by removing access to their chief economic asset, waste or garbage. The situation is exacerbated by an official policy of moving the Zabaleen and their MSW sorting, recovery, trading and recycling activities further out of the city, on the grounds that this will turn their neighbourhoods into cleaner and healthier living environments. The consumption of Cairo’s sites of MSW collection and sorting open new socio-political spaces for conflict between multi-national companies and the Zabaleen’s traditional system. This is further indicated in the way Cairo’s waste materials have been subjected to new claims and conflict, as they are seen as a ‘commodity’ by global capital entrepreneurs and multi-national corporations, and as a source of ‘livelihood’ by the disadvantaged and marginalised Zabaleen population. Full article
Open AccessArticle Energy, Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability: Five Propositions
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1784-1809; doi:10.3390/su2061784
Received: 1 May 2010 / Revised: 7 June 2010 / Accepted: 9 June 2010 / Published: 18 June 2010
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper advances five linked and controversial propositions that have both deep historical roots and urgent contemporary relevance. These are: (a) the rebound effects from energy efficiency improvements are significant and limit the potential for decoupling energy consumption from economic growth; (b) [...] Read more.
This paper advances five linked and controversial propositions that have both deep historical roots and urgent contemporary relevance. These are: (a) the rebound effects from energy efficiency improvements are significant and limit the potential for decoupling energy consumption from economic growth; (b) the contribution of energy to productivity improvements and economic growth has been greatly underestimated; (c) the pursuit of improved efficiency needs to be complemented by an ethic of sufficiency; (d) sustainability is incompatible with continued economic growth in rich countries; and (e) a zero-growth economy is incompatible with a fractional reserve banking system. These propositions run counter to conventional wisdom and each highlights either a "blind spot" or "taboo subject" that deserves closer scrutiny. While accepting one proposition reinforces the case for accepting the next, the former is neither necessary nor sufficient for the latter. Full article
Open AccessArticle Contribution of Online Trading of Used Goods to Resource Efficiency: An Empirical Study of eBay Users
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1810-1830; doi:10.3390/su2061810
Received: 19 May 2010 / Revised: 10 June 2010 / Accepted: 14 June 2010 / Published: 23 June 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (136 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper discusses the sustainability impact (contribution to sustainability, reduction of adverse environmental impacts) of online second-hand trading. A survey of eBay users shows that a relationship between the trading of used goods and the protection of natural resources is hardly realized. [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the sustainability impact (contribution to sustainability, reduction of adverse environmental impacts) of online second-hand trading. A survey of eBay users shows that a relationship between the trading of used goods and the protection of natural resources is hardly realized. Secondly, the environmental motivation and the willingness to act in a sustainable manner differ widely between groups of consumers. Given these results from a user perspective, the paper tries to find some objective hints of online second-hand trading’s environmental impact. The greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the energy used for the trading transactions seem to be considerably lower than the emissions due to the (avoided) production of new goods. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for second-hand trade and consumer policy. Information about the sustainability benefits of purchasing second-hand goods should be included in general consumer information, and arguments for changes in behavior should be targeted to different groups of consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle Impact of the Introduction of Biofuel in the Transportation Sector in Indonesia
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1831-1848; doi:10.3390/su2061831
Received: 27 May 2010 / Revised: 17 June 2010 / Accepted: 17 June 2010 / Published: 23 June 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (469 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Indonesia faces serious energy problems; its status as an oil exporter has changed to that of a net oil importer. Additionally, a highly subsidized price of fossil fuels, combined with a high dependency on oil, burden Indonesia’s national budget. In 2006, the [...] Read more.
Indonesia faces serious energy problems; its status as an oil exporter has changed to that of a net oil importer. Additionally, a highly subsidized price of fossil fuels, combined with a high dependency on oil, burden Indonesia’s national budget. In 2006, the government enacted a Mix Energy Policy, which strives for a mixture of energy sources by introducing renewable energy into the existing energy systems. Among the several alternative renewable energy options, biofuel is perceived as having the most potential in Indonesia, due to favorable climate and the availability of land and technology. This paper assesses the impact of the introduction of biofuel in the transportation sector of Indonesia in terms of energy, economics and the environment. A linear programming model was built to simulate the impact of the introduction of biofuel. The author concludes that the introduction of biofuel may have a positive impact by partially replacing the oil used for domestic transportation, generating income due to export of excess production, creating jobs in several sectors, and reducing carbon emissions in a sustainable way. In the model, four scenarios are tested: under the scenario ‘land and technology’, with proper land allocation and technology development, biofuel production can reach 2,810 PJ/annum and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 168 million tons/annum CO2-equivalent. Furthermore, a profit of 49 billion USD can be generated in 2025 (all maximum values). Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Resistance of Microorganisms to Extreme Environmental Conditions and Its Contribution to Astrobiology
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1602-1623; doi:10.3390/su2061602
Received: 26 April 2010 / Revised: 6 May 2010 / Accepted: 24 May 2010 / Published: 4 June 2010
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last decades, substantial changes have occurred regarding what scientists consider the limits of habitable environmental conditions. For every extreme environmental condition investigated, a variety of microorganisms have shown that not only can they tolerate these conditions, but that they also [...] Read more.
In the last decades, substantial changes have occurred regarding what scientists consider the limits of habitable environmental conditions. For every extreme environmental condition investigated, a variety of microorganisms have shown that not only can they tolerate these conditions, but that they also often require these extreme conditions for survival. Microbes can return to life even after hundreds of millions of years. Furthermore, a variety of studies demonstrate that microorganisms can survive under extreme conditions, such as ultracentrifugation, hypervelocity, shock pressure, high temperature variations, vacuums, and different ultraviolet and ionizing radiation intensities, which simulate the conditions that microbes could experience during the ejection from one planet, the journey through space, as well as the impact in another planet. With these discoveries, our knowledge about the biosphere has grown and the putative boundaries of life have expanded. The present work examines the recent discoveries and the principal advances concerning the resistance of microorganisms to extreme environmental conditions, and analyzes its contributions to the development of the main themes of astrobiology: the origins of life, the search for extraterrestrial life, and the dispersion of life in the Universe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Astrobiology and Sustainability)
Open AccessReview A Review of the Ecological Footprint Indicator—Perceptions and Methods
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1645-1693; doi:10.3390/su2061645
Received: 20 April 2010 / Revised: 11 May 2010 / Accepted: 1 June 2010 / Published: 7 June 2010
Cited by 64 | PDF Full-text (605 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We present a comprehensive review of perceptions and methods around the Ecological Footprint (EF), based on a survey of more than 50 international EF stakeholders and a review of more than 150 original papers on EF methods and applications over the last [...] Read more.
We present a comprehensive review of perceptions and methods around the Ecological Footprint (EF), based on a survey of more than 50 international EF stakeholders and a review of more than 150 original papers on EF methods and applications over the last decade. The key points identified in the survey are that the EF (a) is seen as a strong communication tool, (b) has a limited role within a policy context, (c) is limited in scope, (d) should be closer aligned to the UN System of Environmental and Economic Accounting and (e) is most useful as part of a basket of indicators. Key issues from the review of methods are: (a) none of the major methods identified can address all relevant issues and questions at once, (b) basing bioproductivity calculations on Net Primary Production (NPP) is a promising approach, (c) advances in linking bioproductivity with ecosystem services and biodiversity have been made by the Dynamic EF concept and the HANPP indicator, (d) environmentally extended input-output analysis (IOA) provides a number of advantages for improving EF calculations and (e) further variations such as the emergy-based concept or the inclusion of further pollutants are not regarded as providing a fundamental shift to the usefulness of EF for policy making. We also discuss the implications of our findings for the use of the EF as a headline indicator for sustainability decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Footprint Indicator)
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