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Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 7 (July 2011), Pages 937-1089

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Open AccessArticle Ecosystem Management: Tomorrow’s Approach to Enhancing Food Security under a Changing Climate
Sustainability 2011, 3(7), 937-954; doi:10.3390/su3070937
Received: 25 April 2011 / Revised: 16 May 2011 / Accepted: 8 June 2011 / Published: 28 June 2011
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (375 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper argues that a sustainable ecosystem management approach is vital to ensure the delivery of essential ‘life support’ ecosystem services and must be mainstreamed into societal conscience, political thinking and economic processes. Feeding the world at a time of climate change, [...] Read more.
This paper argues that a sustainable ecosystem management approach is vital to ensure the delivery of essential ‘life support’ ecosystem services and must be mainstreamed into societal conscience, political thinking and economic processes. Feeding the world at a time of climate change, environmental degradation, increasing human population and demand for finite resources requires sustainable ecosystem management and equitable governance. Ecosystem degradation undermines food production and the availability of clean water, hence threatening human health, livelihoods and ultimately societal stability. Degradation also increases the vulnerability of populations to the consequences of natural disasters and climate change impacts. With 10 million people dying from hunger each year, the linkages between ecosystems and food security are important to recognize. Though we all depend on ecosystems for our food and water, about seventy per cent of the estimated 1.1 billion people in poverty around the world live in rural areas and depend directly on the productivity of ecosystems for their livelihoods. Healthy ecosystems provide a diverse range of food sources and support entire agricultural systems, but their value to food security and sustainable livelihoods are often undervalued or ignored. There is an urgent need for increased financial investment for integrating ecosystem management with food security and poverty alleviation priorities. As the world’s leaders worked towards a new international climate change agenda in Cancun, Mexico, 29 November–10 December 2010 (UNFCCC COP16), it was clear that without a deep and decisive post-2012 agreement and major concerted effort to reduce the food crisis, the Millennium Development Goals will not be attained. Political commitment at the highest level will be needed to raise the profile of ecosystems on the global food agenda. It is recommended that full recognition and promotion be given of the linkages between healthy, protected ecosystems and global food security; that sufficient resources be allocated for improved ecosystem valuation, protection, management and restoration; and that ecosystem management be integrated in climate change and food security portfolios. We will not be able to feed the world and eradicate extreme poverty, if we do not protect our valuable ecosystems and biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Security and Environmental Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Proportioning of Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Mixes for Pavement Construction and Their Impact on Environment and Cost
Sustainability 2011, 3(7), 965-983; doi:10.3390/su3070965
Received: 22 May 2011 / Accepted: 16 June 2011 / Published: 8 July 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (734 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) is a construction material investigated for more than 40 years including for pavement applications. A number of studies have demonstrated the technical merits of SFRC pavements over conventional concrete pavements; however little work has been carried out [...] Read more.
Steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) is a construction material investigated for more than 40 years including for pavement applications. A number of studies have demonstrated the technical merits of SFRC pavements over conventional concrete pavements; however little work has been carried out on the environmental and economical impact of SFRC during the pavement’s life cycle. Therefore, extended research was undertaken within the framework of the EU funded project “EcoLanes” to estimate the environmental and economical loadings of SFRC pavements. The innovative concept of the project is the use of recycled steel tyre-cord wire as concrete fibre reinforcement, which provides additional environmental benefits for tyre recycling over landfilling. Within the project framework a demonstration of a steel-fibre-reinforced roller-compacted concrete (SFR-RCC) pavement was constructed in a rural area in Cyprus. In order to assess the economical and environmental picture of the demonstration pavement, life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) studies were undertaken, which also compared the under study pavement design with four conventional alternatives. The main output of the studies is that SFR-RCC is more environmentally and economically sustainable than others. In addition, various concrete mix designs were investigated by considering parameters such as fibre type and dosage, cement type, and transportation distances to the construction site. Fibre dosage has been highlighted as a crucial factor compared with economical and environmental loadings in SFR-RCC pavement construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Environmental Innovation and Sustainability in Small Handicraft Businesses in Mexico
Sustainability 2011, 3(7), 984-1002; doi:10.3390/su3070984
Received: 3 May 2011 / Revised: 5 July 2011 / Accepted: 6 July 2011 / Published: 14 July 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (723 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, the relationship between environmental innovation and sustainability is analyzed in 168 handicraft businesses in the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Puebla, and Tlaxcala. The results show a direct, positive relationship between environmental innovation and sustainability in three dimensions: economic, social, [...] Read more.
In this study, the relationship between environmental innovation and sustainability is analyzed in 168 handicraft businesses in the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Puebla, and Tlaxcala. The results show a direct, positive relationship between environmental innovation and sustainability in three dimensions: economic, social, and environmental. In terms of determination, the variables that best explain sustainability are: organization type, product innovation, and process innovation. The age of the handicraft businesses was not a significant factor in explaining sustainability. This study concludes that handicraft businesses make sustainable choices more as a result of a desire for profit maximization than as a result of environmental consciousness, as can be explained by neoclassical view of economics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and Environmental Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Climate Change and Industrial Policy
Sustainability 2011, 3(7), 1003-1021; doi:10.3390/su3071003
Received: 24 June 2011 / Accepted: 30 June 2011 / Published: 14 July 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (402 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Industrial policy (IP) can make an important contribution to both environmental and social sustainability. The purpose of this paper is to explore the new rationale for IP due to climate change and to determine its implications for the how of industrial policy. [...] Read more.
Industrial policy (IP) can make an important contribution to both environmental and social sustainability. The purpose of this paper is to explore the new rationale for IP due to climate change and to determine its implications for the how of industrial policy. Five implications are discussed, namely the need for international coordination of IPs; for putting human-development, and not emission targets, as the overriding objective of low-carbon IP; of stimulating innovation for energy efficiency, energy diversification, and carbon capture and storage; and for aligning IP with trade policies. Finally the funding needs of low-carbon IPs are discussed, and the importance of private sector funding emphasized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue On the Socioeconomic and Political Outcomes of Global Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Planting Trees for Publicity—How Much Are They Worth?
Sustainability 2011, 3(7), 1022-1034; doi:10.3390/su3071022
Received: 11 March 2011 / Revised: 13 June 2011 / Accepted: 6 July 2011 / Published: 18 July 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (270 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Corporate marketing departments use trees and forests for advertising and public relations (PR). Trees and forests constitute a tangible symbol of the environment, reinforced by the growing awareness of the role that trees play in preventing climate change. Although the carbon sequestration [...] Read more.
Corporate marketing departments use trees and forests for advertising and public relations (PR). Trees and forests constitute a tangible symbol of the environment, reinforced by the growing awareness of the role that trees play in preventing climate change. Although the carbon sequestration function of trees is valued in monetary terms, its derivative services to marketing, CSR or HR departments are not (‘greening the image’). We focus on voluntary carbon offsets and other tree-planting activities undertaken by companies, aiming to demonstrate that the value of these derivative services of trees should be considered in monetary terms. Based on a small survey and an analysis of financial data for 10 tree-planting projects in Poland, we estimate this value at USD 7.42 per tree. This value depends on external circumstances, such as the current interest in climate change and ways to prevent it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Branding and Marketing)
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Open AccessArticle Continuum of Risk Analysis Methods to Assess Tillage System Sustainability at the Experimental Plot Level
Sustainability 2011, 3(7), 1035-1063; doi:10.3390/su3071035
Received: 3 July 2011 / Accepted: 14 July 2011 / Published: 20 July 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study applied a broad continuum of risk analysis methods including mean-variance and coefficient of variation (CV) statistical criteria, second-degree stochastic dominance (SSD), stochastic dominance with respect to a function (SDRF), and stochastic efficiency with respect to a function (SERF) for comparing [...] Read more.
This study applied a broad continuum of risk analysis methods including mean-variance and coefficient of variation (CV) statistical criteria, second-degree stochastic dominance (SSD), stochastic dominance with respect to a function (SDRF), and stochastic efficiency with respect to a function (SERF) for comparing income-risk efficiency sustainability of conventional and reduced tillage systems. Fourteen years (1990–2003) of economic budget data derived from 35 treatments on 36 experimental plots under corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max L.) at the Iowa State University Northeast Research Station near Nashua, IA, USA were used. In addition to the other analyses, a visually-based Stoplight or “probability of target value” procedure was employed for displaying gross margin and net return probability distribution information. Mean-variance and CV analysis of the economic measures alone provided somewhat contradictive and inconclusive sustainability rankings, i.e., corn/soybean gross margin and net return showed that different tillage system alternatives were the highest ranked depending on the criterion and type of crop. Stochastic dominance analysis results were similar for SSD and SDRF in that both the conventional and reduced tillage system alternatives were highly ranked depending on the type of crop and tillage system. For the SERF analysis, results were dependent on the type of crop and level of risk aversion. The conventional tillage system was preferred for both corn and soybean for the Stoplight analysis. The results of this study are unique in that they highlight the potential of both traditional stochastic dominance and SERF methods for distinguishing economically sustainable choices between different tillage systems across a range of risk aversion. This study also indicates that the SERF risk analysis method appears to be a useful and easily understood tool to assist farm managers, experimental researchers, and potentially policy makers and advisers on problems involving agricultural risk and sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental and Resource Economics)
Open AccessArticle Public-Private Partnerships and Sustainable Agricultural Development
Sustainability 2011, 3(7), 1064-1073; doi:10.3390/su3071064
Received: 1 July 2011 / Accepted: 12 July 2011 / Published: 20 July 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (104 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agriculture in Africa is not sustainable because average yields have been stagnating for decades due to underinvestment, especially in the development of agricultural markets, crop improvement and the sustainable management of agricultural systems. Low public sector funding for agricultural research and lack [...] Read more.
Agriculture in Africa is not sustainable because average yields have been stagnating for decades due to underinvestment, especially in the development of agricultural markets, crop improvement and the sustainable management of agricultural systems. Low public sector funding for agricultural research and lack of incentives for the private sector to operate in areas where there is no market largely explain the yield gap in many food-importing developing countries. Yet, there are effective ways in which the public and the private sector could work together and jointly improve agricultural sustainability in poor countries. The public sector provides a favorable institutional environment for the development of agricultural markets and investment in rural infrastructure, facilitates local business development and funds research with local relevance. The private sector, in return, brings its considerable expertise in product development and deployment. This article illustrates how new forms of public-private partnerships (PPPs) for agricultural development can work in challenging environments. It discusses three promising examples of PPPs in which the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) is actively involved, and shows that an experimental approach can sometimes be more effective than social planning in efforts to achieve sustainable agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnology and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Urban Development and Land Use Change—A Case Study of the Yangtze River Delta in China
Sustainability 2011, 3(7), 1074-1089; doi:10.3390/su2071074
Received: 20 May 2011 / Revised: 30 June 2011 / Accepted: 12 July 2011 / Published: 21 July 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1137 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper introduces a sustainability assessment method for the rapidly urbanizing Yangtze River Delta in China addressing the role of land use pattern. We first calculated the sustainability component scores of 16 cities in the area in 2000 and 2005. The results [...] Read more.
This paper introduces a sustainability assessment method for the rapidly urbanizing Yangtze River Delta in China addressing the role of land use pattern. We first calculated the sustainability component scores of 16 cities in the area in 2000 and 2005. The results showed that socioeconomic and environmental conditions improved while the performance of resource-use degraded from 2000 to 2005. We then made a spatial analysis of land use change (LUC) using geographic information systems during 1990–2000. We found that diverse spatiotemporal transformation occurred among the cities and identified urban development cluster patterns and profiles based on development density. Finally, we examined the impact of LUC on sustainable urban development (SUD). Using regression techniques, we demonstrated that urbanization, infrastructure development, industrial structure and income significantly affected environmental performance and resource-use. These results suggest a moderate pace of LUC with steady economic growth being key to SUD. Full article

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Open AccessCorrection Correction: The Theory and Practice of Genetically Engineered Crops and Agricultural Sustainability Sustainability 2011, 3, 847-874
Sustainability 2011, 3(7), 955-956; doi:10.3390/su3070955
Received: 2 May 2011 / Revised: 7 June 2011 / Accepted: 7 June 2011 / Published: 30 June 2011
PDF Full-text (58 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract Replace the second sentence in the Introduction on p. 848. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnology and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessDiscussion Limiting Size of Fish Fillets at the Center of the Plate Improves the Sustainability of Aquaculture Production
Sustainability 2011, 3(7), 957-964; doi:10.3390/su3070957
Received: 15 June 2011 / Accepted: 22 June 2011 / Published: 6 July 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
North American dining customers like to have a singular large piece of protein in the center of the plate. When fish is the protein of choice, the portion size from many species is limited by the overall size of the fish. Therefore, [...] Read more.
North American dining customers like to have a singular large piece of protein in the center of the plate. When fish is the protein of choice, the portion size from many species is limited by the overall size of the fish. Therefore, for these species, the means to achieve a singular larger portion of “center of the plate” protein is to grow a larger animal. However, fish become less efficient in converting feed to protein as they age. A second option would be to provide two smaller fillets originating from younger, more efficient fish. Here, the sustainability ramifications of these two protein provisioning strategies (single large or two small fillets) are considered for three species of fish produced in aquaculture. Growth data for channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) produced in ponds, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in raceways, and sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in marine net pens, were modeled to assess the total biomass and overall food conversion ratio for the production of small, medium or large fish. The production of small fish added an additional 50% or more biomass per year for trout, catfish, and sablefish compared to the production of large fish. Feed conversion ratios were also improved by nearly 10% for the smaller compared to larger fish of each species. Thus, even though all of these species tend to be considered aquaculture species of low environmental impact (and hence “green” or sustainable options), the product form requested by retailers and served by chefs can further increase the sustainability of these species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Consumption)
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