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Sustainability, Volume 4, Issue 3 (March 2012), Pages 278-429

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Open AccessArticle Linking Energy- and Land-Use Systems: Energy Potentials and Environmental Risks of Using Agricultural Residues in Tanzania
Sustainability 2012, 4(3), 278-293; doi:10.3390/su4030278
Received: 16 January 2012 / Revised: 30 January 2012 / Accepted: 16 February 2012 / Published: 27 February 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (358 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper attempts to assess whether renewable energy self-sufficiency can be achieved in the crop production and processing sector in Tanzania and if this could be accomplished in an environmentally sustainable manner. In order to answer these questions the theoretical energy potential of
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This paper attempts to assess whether renewable energy self-sufficiency can be achieved in the crop production and processing sector in Tanzania and if this could be accomplished in an environmentally sustainable manner. In order to answer these questions the theoretical energy potential of process residues from commercially produced agricultural crops in Tanzania is evaluated. Furthermore, a set of sustainability indicators with focus on environmental criteria is applied to identify risks and opportunities of using these residues for energy generation. In particular, the positive and negative effects on the land-use-system (soil fertility, water use and quality, biodiversity, etc.) are evaluated. The results show that energy generation with certain agricultural process residues could not only improve and secure the energy supply but could also improve the sustainability of current land-use practices. Full article
Open AccessArticle Conceptualizing Sustainably Produced Food for Promotional Purposes: A Sustainable Marketing Approach
Sustainability 2012, 4(3), 294-340; doi:10.3390/su4030294
Received: 5 January 2012 / Revised: 4 February 2012 / Accepted: 14 February 2012 / Published: 1 March 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Progress in transforming current food consumption and production practice in a sustainable direction is slow. Communicative, sustainable consumer policy instruments such as eco-labeling schemes have limited impact outside the green segment and within the mainstream market. This article asks how sustainably produced food
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Progress in transforming current food consumption and production practice in a sustainable direction is slow. Communicative, sustainable consumer policy instruments such as eco-labeling schemes have limited impact outside the green segment and within the mainstream market. This article asks how sustainably produced food can be described in order to promote such food. Based on six cases, it aims to conceptualize the common denominators of sustainable food production by drawing on recent literature on sustainable marketing and on food and sustainable development. Contradictions and implications in terms of labeling schemes, global sourcing and consumer food practice are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Introducing Modern Energy Services into Developing Countries: The Role of Local Community Socio-Economic Structures
Sustainability 2012, 4(3), 341-358; doi:10.3390/su4030341
Received: 30 November 2011 / Revised: 15 February 2012 / Accepted: 22 February 2012 / Published: 5 March 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable energy technologies are widely sought-after as essential elements in facing global challenges such as energy security, global warming and poverty reduction. However, in spite of their promising advantages, sustainable energy technologies make only a marginal contribution to meeting energy related needs in
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Sustainable energy technologies are widely sought-after as essential elements in facing global challenges such as energy security, global warming and poverty reduction. However, in spite of their promising advantages, sustainable energy technologies make only a marginal contribution to meeting energy related needs in both industrialised and developing countries, in comparison to the widespread use of unsustainable technologies. One of the most significant constraints to their adoption and broad diffusion is the socio-economic context in which sustainable energy technologies are supposed to operate. The same holds true for community-based energy projects in developing countries supported by the WISIONS initiative. Practical strategies dealing with these socio-economic challenges are crucial elements for project design and, particularly, for the implementation of project activities. In this paper experiences from implementing community-based projects are reviewed in order to identify the practical elements that are relevant to overcome socio-economic challenges. In order to systematise the findings, an analytical framework is proposed, which combines analytical tools from the socio-technical transition framework and insights from participative approaches to development. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Economic Value of Mangroves: A Meta-Analysis
Sustainability 2012, 4(3), 359-383; doi:10.3390/su4030359
Received: 4 January 2012 / Revised: 25 February 2012 / Accepted: 28 February 2012 / Published: 7 March 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (680 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper presents a synthesis of the mangrove ecosystem valuation literature through a meta-regression analysis. The main contribution of this study is that it is the first meta-analysis focusing solely on mangrove forests, whereas previous studies have included different types of wetlands. The
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This paper presents a synthesis of the mangrove ecosystem valuation literature through a meta-regression analysis. The main contribution of this study is that it is the first meta-analysis focusing solely on mangrove forests, whereas previous studies have included different types of wetlands. The number of studies included in the regression analysis is 44 for a total of 145 observations. We include several regressions with the objective of addressing outliers in the data as well as the possible correlations between observations of the same study. We also investigate possible interaction effects between type of service and GDP per capita. Our findings indicate that mangroves exhibit decreasing returns to scale, that GDP per capita has a positive effect on mangrove values and that using the replacement cost and contingent valuation methods produce higher estimates than do other methods. We also find that there are statistically significant interaction effects that influence the data. Finally, the results indicate that employing weighted regressions provide a better fit than others. However, in terms of forecast performance we find that all the estimated models performed similarly and were not able to conclude decisively that one outperforms the other. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental and Resource Economics)
Open AccessArticle The Tragedy of Maldistribution: Climate, Sustainability, and Equity
Sustainability 2012, 4(3), 394-411; doi:10.3390/su4030394
Received: 12 December 2011 / Revised: 2 March 2012 / Accepted: 12 March 2012 / Published: 16 March 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (268 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This essay is an initial exploration of the dimensions of the equity/sustainability linkage from the perspective of public goods analysis. Sustainability requires an abundance of public goods. Where these commons lack governance, sustainability is at risk. Equity is a critical component of sustainability
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This essay is an initial exploration of the dimensions of the equity/sustainability linkage from the perspective of public goods analysis. Sustainability requires an abundance of public goods. Where these commons lack governance, sustainability is at risk. Equity is a critical component of sustainability that can itself be viewed as a public good, subject to deterioration (maldistribution) when left ungoverned. As is the case for so many forms of environmental degradation, the private benefits of maldistribution tend to overshadow the larger social costs, and the result is a degradation of equity. This article sketches out the analogy of equity as a public good by: examining the evidence regarding current and historical income equality within and between countries; introducing the characteristics of public goods and grounding equity in this idiom; reviewing several theories explaining the sub-optimal provision of environmental goods; applying these theoretical frameworks to the case of equity, with an examination of the potential causes of, and solutions to, maldistribution; and, finally, addressing equity’s critical role as a component of sustainability in the case of climate change, with implications for climate policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Policy on Climate Equity)
Open AccessArticle Land Use and Natural Resources Planning for Sustainable Ecotourism Using GIS in Surat Thani, Thailand
Sustainability 2012, 4(3), 412-429; doi:10.3390/su4030412
Received: 13 February 2012 / Revised: 12 March 2012 / Accepted: 13 March 2012 / Published: 21 March 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1074 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the land use and natural resources for future sustainable ecotourism site planning using GIS as a tool. The study is based on 2007 land use land cover data and ecotourism suitability data which are
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The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the land use and natural resources for future sustainable ecotourism site planning using GIS as a tool. The study is based on 2007 land use land cover data and ecotourism suitability data which are then integrated with other GIS datasets to evaluate the land use and natural resources at a district level in Surat Thani province. The final step of this study was the prioritization of the area that is best suited for ecotourism in assessing ecotourism sustainability in Surat Thani province. The result is useful for tourism facilities development and ecotourism resource utilization where ecotourism could be more developed. Additionally, the results can be used for managers and planners working in local and central governments and other non-governmental organizations. These integrated approaches cover complex and universal issues such as sustainable development of ecotourism, biodiversity conservation and protected area management in a tropical and developing country such as Thailand. Moreover, it is believed that this study can be used as a basis for evaluating the suitability of other areas for ecotourism. In addition, it may also serve as a starting point for more complex studies in the future. Full article

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Open AccessOpinion Dynamics of Change in Human-Driven and Natural Systems: Fast Forward, Slow Motion, Same Movie? A Case Study from Plant Protection
Sustainability 2012, 4(3), 384-393; doi:10.3390/su4030384
Received: 3 January 2012 / Revised: 23 February 2012 / Accepted: 5 March 2012 / Published: 14 March 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (176 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Evolutionary biology and evolutionary ecology deal with change in species and ecosystems over time, and propose mechanisms to explain and predict these. In particular, they look for generic elements that will drive any organism or phylum to adaptive changes or to extinction. This
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Evolutionary biology and evolutionary ecology deal with change in species and ecosystems over time, and propose mechanisms to explain and predict these. In particular, they look for generic elements that will drive any organism or phylum to adaptive changes or to extinction. This paper, using examples from the field of plant protection against pests and diseases, shows that the patterns of change observed in natural and in human-driven systems are comparable, and proposes that their similarities result from the same mechanisms operating at different paces. Human-driven systems can thus be seen simply as ‘fast-forward’ versions of natural systems, making them tractable tools to test and predict elements from evolutionary theory. Conversely, the convergence between natural and human-driven systems opens opportunities for a more widespread use of evolutionary theory when analyzing and optimizing any human-driven system, or predicting its adaptability to changing conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation or Extinction)

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