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Sustainability, Volume 4, Issue 4 (April 2012), Pages 430-793

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Architecture and Measurement of an Ecosystem Services Index
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 430-461; doi:10.3390/su4040430
Received: 5 January 2012 / Revised: 6 March 2012 / Accepted: 13 March 2012 / Published: 23 March 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (360 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper discusses the construction of an ecosystem services index (ESI) and the respective roles of ecology and economics in that effort. It extends the concept of an ESI, analogous to Gross Domestic Product, to other analogous indices, including an ecosystem price [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the construction of an ecosystem services index (ESI) and the respective roles of ecology and economics in that effort. It extends the concept of an ESI, analogous to Gross Domestic Product, to other analogous indices, including an ecosystem price or value index, and a net ESI that accounts for interactions between ecosystem stocks and service flows. A central aim of this paper is to account for services in an economically and ecologically defensible manner. It thus also discusses the connection between ecological models and economic models in the construction of ecosystem services indices, the former on the quantity side and the latter on the price/value side of the index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental and Resource Economics)
Open AccessArticle Energy Analysis of a Biomass Co-firing Based Pulverized Coal Power Generation System
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 462-490; doi:10.3390/su4040462
Received: 24 January 2012 / Revised: 15 March 2012 / Accepted: 16 March 2012 / Published: 27 March 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (580 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The results are reported of an energy analysis of a biomass/coal co-firing based power generation system, carried out to investigate the impacts of biomass co-firing on system performance. The power generation system is a typical pulverized coal-fired steam cycle unit, in which [...] Read more.
The results are reported of an energy analysis of a biomass/coal co-firing based power generation system, carried out to investigate the impacts of biomass co-firing on system performance. The power generation system is a typical pulverized coal-fired steam cycle unit, in which four biomass fuels (rice husk, pine sawdust, chicken litter, and refuse derived fuel) and two coals (bituminous coal and lignite) are considered. Key system performance parameters are evaluated for various fuel combinations and co-firing ratios, using a system model and numerical simulation. The results indicate that plant energy efficiency decreases with increase of biomass proportion in the fuel mixture, and that the extent of the decrease depends on specific properties of the coal and biomass types. Full article
Open AccessArticle Moving towards Energy Self-Sufficiency Based on Renewables: Comparative Case Studies on the Emergence of Regional Processes of Socio-Technical Change in Germany
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 491-530; doi:10.3390/su4040491
Received: 28 February 2012 / Revised: 12 March 2012 / Accepted: 26 March 2012 / Published: 28 March 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (503 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The change of conventional energy systems to a system mainly based on renewable energies is occurring in many parts of the world. A processual analysis of three case studies from regions in Germany that are moving towards renewable energy self-sufficiency were conducted [...] Read more.
The change of conventional energy systems to a system mainly based on renewable energies is occurring in many parts of the world. A processual analysis of three case studies from regions in Germany that are moving towards renewable energy self-sufficiency were conducted in order to better understand this process of socio-technical change. This paper scrutinizes the role of actors and their activities, which are driving the change of the local energy system. Three discrete distinguishable phases of this change were found: pioneer phase, pivotal network phase, and extended network and emerging market dynamic phase. Each phase can be characterized by the type of actor, their specific activities, artifacts involved, and their underlying motives. We suggest using the phase model as a heuristic instrument to identify the elements which shape socio-technical change. Full article
Open AccessArticle Socioeconomic Assessment of Meat Protein Extracts (MPE) as a New Means of Reducing the U.S. Population’s Salt Intake
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 531-542; doi:10.3390/su4040531
Received: 5 January 2012 / Revised: 13 March 2012 / Accepted: 27 March 2012 / Published: 29 March 2012
PDF Full-text (260 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Excessive salt intake causes a number of cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and hypertension. This is a burden on the individual as well as on society, because these diseases are fatal and costly to treat and live with. Much of the salt [...] Read more.
Excessive salt intake causes a number of cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and hypertension. This is a burden on the individual as well as on society, because these diseases are fatal and costly to treat and live with. Much of the salt comes from processed meat such as sausages, ham, and bacon and has, so far, been hard to avoid because of consumer taste preference as well as the technological benefits. Meat protein extract (MPE) is a broth of hydrolyzed protein which can reduce the salt in processed meat by more than one third without compromising on taste and functionality. This study estimates the socioeconomic impacts of implementing MPE widely across the United States (US) by relating the national salt intake reduction potential of MPE (5%) to a broad range of health, societal, and individual factors derived from the literature. Results show that benefits for society are substantial and MPE could be part of the solution for the problem of excessive salt intake. MPE could deliver 25% of the U.S. ‘National Salt Reduction Initiative’ goals, avoid approximately 1 million hypertension cases and save around USD 1.6 billion in annual direct healthcare costs. Verification indicates that these estimates are conservative. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Traits Related to Weed Competitiveness in Sweet Corn (Zea mays L.)
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 543-560; doi:10.3390/su4040543
Received: 27 February 2012 / Accepted: 21 March 2012 / Published: 30 March 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Weed management in sweet corn can be costly; genetic improvements in sweet corn competitiveness may reduce this expense. Competitive ability can exist as weed suppressive ability (WSA), or crop tolerance (CT). Previous studies in corn have found year of hybrid release, maturity, [...] Read more.
Weed management in sweet corn can be costly; genetic improvements in sweet corn competitiveness may reduce this expense. Competitive ability can exist as weed suppressive ability (WSA), or crop tolerance (CT). Previous studies in corn have found year of hybrid release, maturity, plant height, leaf angle and leafiness may affect WSA, while hybrid era, maturity, and plant height may affect CT. However, many of these studies were limited to very few genotypes. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of phenomorphological traits on sweet corn competitiveness and the inheritance of these traits. An incomplete half-diallel from seven historic sweet corn inbred lines of varying morphologies was evaluated in a split-block randomized complete block design in three environments. Forage sorghum was interplanted in half of the blocks to act as a model weed. Significant differences among hybrids were generally found for both phenomorphological traits and traits measuring WSA and CT, such as sorghum biomass and yield stability, respectively. Crop plant height was most predictive of WSA and CT. In this set of genotypes, competitive ability may be passed with reasonable fidelity from parent to offspring, suggesting that sweet corn could be bred for competitive ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Breeding for Sustainable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Approaching Resonant Absorption of Environmental Xenobiotics Harmonic Oscillation by Linear Structures
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 561-573; doi:10.3390/su4040561
Received: 1 February 2012 / Revised: 20 March 2012 / Accepted: 21 March 2012 / Published: 30 March 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (275 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the last several decades, it has become increasingly accepted that the term xenobiotic relates to environmental impact, since environmental xenobiotics are understood to be substances foreign to a biological system, which did not exist in nature before their synthesis by humans. [...] Read more.
Over the last several decades, it has become increasingly accepted that the term xenobiotic relates to environmental impact, since environmental xenobiotics are understood to be substances foreign to a biological system, which did not exist in nature before their synthesis by humans. In this context, xenobiotics are persistent pollutants such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls, as well as plastics and pesticides. Dangerous and unstable situations can result from the presence of environmental xenobiotics since their harmful effects on humans and ecosystems are often unpredictable. For instance, the immune system is extremely vulnerable and sensitive to modulation by environmental xenobitics. Various experimental assays could be performed to ascertain the immunotoxic potential of environmental xenobiotics, taking into account genetic factors, the route of xenobiotic penetration, and the amount and duration of exposure, as well as the wave shape of the xenobiotic. In this paper, we propose an approach for the analysis of xenobiotic metabolism using mathematical models and corresponding methods. This study focuses on a pattern depicting mathematically modeled processes of resonant absorption of a xenobiotic harmonic oscillation by an organism modulated as an absorbing oscillator structure. We represent the xenobiotic concentration degree through a spatial concentration vector, and we model and simulate the oscillating regime of environmental xenobiotic absorption. It is anticipated that the results could be used to facilitate the assessment of the processes of environmental xenobiotic absorption, distribution, biotransformation and removal within the framework of compartmental analysis, by establishing appropriate mathematical models and simulations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Remote Sensing Time Series to Evaluate Direct Land Use Change of Recent Expanded Sugarcane Crop in Brazil
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 574-585; doi:10.3390/su4040574
Received: 22 February 2012 / Revised: 23 March 2012 / Accepted: 26 March 2012 / Published: 2 April 2012
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (1202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of biofuels to mitigate global carbon emissions is highly dependent on direct and indirect land use changes (LUC). The direct LUC (dLUC) can be accurately evaluated using remote sensing images. In this work we evaluated the dLUC of about 4 million [...] Read more.
The use of biofuels to mitigate global carbon emissions is highly dependent on direct and indirect land use changes (LUC). The direct LUC (dLUC) can be accurately evaluated using remote sensing images. In this work we evaluated the dLUC of about 4 million hectares of sugarcane expanded from 2005 to 2010 in the South-central region of Brazil. This region has a favorable climate for rain-fed sugarcane, a great potential for agriculture expansion without deforestation, and is currently responsible for almost 90% of Brazilian’s sugarcane production. An available thematic map of sugarcane along with MODIS and Landast images, acquired from 2000 to 2009, were used to evaluate the land use prior to the conversion to sugarcane. A systematic sampling procedure was adopted and the land use identification prior to sugarcane, for each sample, was performed using a web tool developed to visualize both the MODIS time series and the multitemporal Landsat images. Considering 2000 as reference year, it was observed that sugarcane expanded: 69.7% on pasture land; 25.0% on annual crops; 0.6% on forest; while 3.4% was sugarcane land under crop rotation. The results clearly show that the dLUC of recent sugarcane expansion has occurred on more than 99% of either pasture or agriculture land. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Sustainable Business: Are We Heading in the Right Direction?
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 586-603; doi:10.3390/su4040586
Received: 21 February 2012 / Revised: 19 March 2012 / Accepted: 27 March 2012 / Published: 11 April 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (309 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper questions why, despite the sustainable development concept having been prominent at an international level for well over 20 years, there is little to show by way of a transition to a sustainable world. Instead, in many ways, the situation is [...] Read more.
This paper questions why, despite the sustainable development concept having been prominent at an international level for well over 20 years, there is little to show by way of a transition to a sustainable world. Instead, in many ways, the situation is deteriorating. The paper critiques the mainstream sustainable development approach as advocated by business, and as is prominent in the political sphere, to consider if this is itself a key problem. The paper concludes that it is. Rather than helping society achieve needed change, this approach can create a false sense of progress that acts as a barrier to the more decisive action that is necessary to address the underlying drivers of humanity's unsustainable behaviours. Further, the paper proposes that the very act of pursuing mainstream sustainable development makes a sustainable world harder to achieve. A way forward for the business sector is proposed by it embracing a more transformational sustainable world approach in both its internal activities and in its advocacy in the broader public and political space. Full article
Open AccessArticle Transdisciplinary Evaluation of Energy Scenarios for a German Village Using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 604-629; doi:10.3390/su4040604
Received: 6 March 2012 / Revised: 27 March 2012 / Accepted: 28 March 2012 / Published: 11 April 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (618 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) can assist local decision processes towards selecting renewable energy systems as it is able to manage qualitative data and offers opportunities to integrate knowledge from local stakeholders. However, little experience is available regarding practical applications of MCDA in [...] Read more.
Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) can assist local decision processes towards selecting renewable energy systems as it is able to manage qualitative data and offers opportunities to integrate knowledge from local stakeholders. However, little experience is available regarding practical applications of MCDA in real decision processes in communities on their path towards a renewable energy supply. Within the “Bioenergy-Region Ludwigsfelde” project, an MCDA evaluation has been applied to a small village on its way to becoming a “bioenergy village”. Here, MCDA has been combined with already established tools accompanying the process to becoming a “bioenergy village”, such as planning workshops, citizens’ meetings and best-practice trips. A comprehensive set of sustainability criteria was applied aimed at addressing the questions of local actors. An emphasis was placed on social criteria that comprise the perceived values of local impacts. In general, it was observed that MCDA provides many benefits for this application context. In particular, the group weighting using the SIMOS method demonstrated good results in the process. However, for real-world applications of MCDA, the challenge of data compilation in particular must be addressed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Facilitating Sustainable Waste Management Behaviors Within the Health Sector: A Case Study of the National Health Service (NHS) in Southwest England, UK
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 630-642; doi:10.3390/su4040630
Received: 6 March 2012 / Revised: 21 March 2012 / Accepted: 9 April 2012 / Published: 12 April 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (269 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Waste costs the National Health Service (NHS) £71.2 million in 2007/2008; recycling all papers, newspapers and cardboard produced by the NHS in England and Wales could save up to 42,000 tonnes of CO2. As the largest employer in the UK, the [...] Read more.
Waste costs the National Health Service (NHS) £71.2 million in 2007/2008; recycling all papers, newspapers and cardboard produced by the NHS in England and Wales could save up to 42,000 tonnes of CO2. As the largest employer in the UK, the NHS is in a prime position to both lead the way towards a sustainable future, but also act as a test bed for organizational change and provide evidence of what works at an individual level to change attitudes and behavior. However these require changes in mindset, including values, attitudes, norms and behaviors which are required along with clear definitions of the problems faced in terms of economics, society and culture. Initial investigations of the literature indicate that behavior change theory may provide a feasible means of achieving constructive changes in clinical waste management; such approaches require further investigation. This paper describes a feasibility study designed to examine issues that might affect the introduction of a behavior change strategy and improve waste management in a healthcare setting. Guided by the evidence gained from our systematic review, 20 interviews were carried out with senior managers, clinicians and support staff involved in the management of healthcare waste from a broad range of agencies in South West England. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed for analysis. Thematic content analysis was conducted in order to identify key issues and actions. Data extraction, coding and analysis were cross checked independently by the four members of the research team. Initial findings suggest tensions, between Government and local policies, between packaging and storage space at ward level and, and between the operational requirements of infection control and maintaining appropriate and ethical patient care. These tensions increase pressures on staff already trying to maintain high quality care in a resource restricted and changing environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Waste Management)
Open AccessArticle Polymer Recovery from Auto Shredder Residue by Projectile Separation Method
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 643-655; doi:10.3390/su4040643
Received: 29 February 2012 / Revised: 31 March 2012 / Accepted: 4 April 2012 / Published: 16 April 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (683 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The number of vehicles on the road has been increasing at an enormous rate over the last decade. By 2015, the number of vehicles that reach the end of their life will be close to a million per year in Australia. Most [...] Read more.
The number of vehicles on the road has been increasing at an enormous rate over the last decade. By 2015, the number of vehicles that reach the end of their life will be close to a million per year in Australia. Most metallic parts of the vehicle can be recycled but the plastic components and components of other materials are normally shredded and disposed in landfills. As more vehicles are using composite materials, the percentage of materials sent to landfill is alarming. This paper reviews existing polymer recycling techniques for End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs) and proposes a more efficient electrostatic based projectile separation method. The test rig is at the preliminary stage of development and initial outcomes are promising. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and Environmental Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle “Decent Living” Emissions: A Conceptual Framework
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 656-681; doi:10.3390/su4040656
Received: 2 February 2012 / Revised: 4 April 2012 / Accepted: 9 April 2012 / Published: 18 April 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (516 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is very little elaboration in literature of the phrase “equitable access to sustainable development” that is referenced in the Cancun Agreement on climate change. We interpret this at a minimum as people’s right to a decent living standard, which gives rise [...] Read more.
There is very little elaboration in literature of the phrase “equitable access to sustainable development” that is referenced in the Cancun Agreement on climate change. We interpret this at a minimum as people’s right to a decent living standard, which gives rise to claims by countries to an exemption from mitigation for the energy and emissions needed to provide a decent life to all. We elaborate a conceptual framework for a comprehensive quantification of such an energy requirement, including the energy required to build out infrastructure to support these living standards. We interpret decent living as the consumption by households of a set of basic goods including adequate nutrition, shelter, health care, education, transport, refrigeration, television and mobile phones. We develop universal indicators for these activities and their infrastructure requirements, and specify a methodology to convert these to energy requirements using energy input-output analysis. Our main recommendations include estimating bottom-up, country-specific energy and emissions requirements, incorporating a minimum for methane emissions, and using international benchmarks at the sector level to encourage the reduction of countries’ energy and emissions intensity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Policy on Climate Equity)
Open AccessArticle Biogas Production Potential from Economically Usable Green Waste
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 682-702; doi:10.3390/su4040682
Received: 16 February 2012 / Revised: 2 April 2012 / Accepted: 6 April 2012 / Published: 18 April 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (176 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biomass production for energy purposes on agricultural land competes with food production. This is a serious problem, considering the limited availability of farmland, rising demand for varied food products, demand for more organic crop production resulting in considerably reduced yields per area [...] Read more.
Biomass production for energy purposes on agricultural land competes with food production. This is a serious problem, considering the limited availability of farmland, rising demand for varied food products, demand for more organic crop production resulting in considerably reduced yields per area and the need for more environmentally sound agricultural practices meeting long-term sustainability criteria. Residual land currently not used for agricultural production has been considered a promising resource, but in terms of potentials, difficult to estimate for biomass for use in the energy sector. Biomass potentials associated with “green waste” from residual grasslands were assessed for Schwäbisch Hall County in the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Roadside edges, conservation grasslands subject to low intensity use (landscape maintenance sites), riparian stretches along ditches and streams, and municipal green spaces (public lawns, parks and sports fields) were the area types considered. Data for biomass and biogas yields were either determined through a sampling program or obtained from the literature and through interviews with experts. In an iterative process and distinguishing between theoretical, technical and realized (economic) potentials, unsuitable areas and fractions were subtracted from the theoretical potentials. Theoretical potentials for Schwäbisch Hall County were originally estimated at 21 million m3 of biogas. The results of the investigation suggest that a very high percentage of the theoretical residual biomass potential cannot be accessed due to various technical, legal, ecological or management (economic) constraints. In fact, in the end, only municipal lawns and green spaces were found to provide suitable substrates. Current use of residual biomass in the model communities did not exceed 0.4% of the theoretical potentials. Provided all residual biomass available under current management practices could be accessed, this would amount to 6.1% of the theoretical maximum potentials. Full article
Open AccessArticle Urban Densification and Recreational Quality of Public Urban Green Spaces—A Viennese Case Study
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 703-720; doi:10.3390/su4040703
Received: 17 February 2012 / Revised: 10 April 2012 / Accepted: 11 April 2012 / Published: 19 April 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (889 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Public urban green spaces play an important role in urban sustainability. These places should provide high-quality recreation experiences for the urban residents. However, they are often overused. The Wienerberg area in the south of Vienna, Austria, was transformed from a waste disposal [...] Read more.
Public urban green spaces play an important role in urban sustainability. These places should provide high-quality recreation experiences for the urban residents. However, they are often overused. The Wienerberg area in the south of Vienna, Austria, was transformed from a waste disposal site into a natural recreation area. During the past years, intensive settlement densification processes have taken place, resulting in a doubling of the local population living within a few minutes walking distance. An on-site survey among green space visitors (N = 231) revealed that the majority of them considered the area to be overcrowded on Sundays/holidays and reported a perceived increase in visitor numbers during the past years. Visitors with more past experience, as well as those who have perceived an increase in visitor numbers during recent years, reported higher crowding perceptions. A significant proportion of them try to avoid these crowds, relying on behavioral coping strategies, such as inter-area displacement. While urban regeneration has provided an attractive recreation area, urban densification around the green space appears to have reduced its recreational quality. Monitoring recreation quality indicators, such as crowding perceptions, seems to be useful for sustainable urban green space management and city planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Regeneration and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Approaches and Software for Multi-Objective Optimization of Nuclear Power Structures
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 721-739; doi:10.3390/su4040721
Received: 29 February 2012 / Revised: 11 April 2012 / Accepted: 11 April 2012 / Published: 20 April 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1052 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The work presents the approaches and software developed for multi-objective optimization of nuclear power structures: the modules for energy planning package MESSAGE intended for modeling purposes of developing nuclear power systems and multi-objective evaluation of its effectiveness and an integrated approach based [...] Read more.
The work presents the approaches and software developed for multi-objective optimization of nuclear power structures: the modules for energy planning package MESSAGE intended for modeling purposes of developing nuclear power systems and multi-objective evaluation of its effectiveness and an integrated approach based on the method of system dynamics and parameter space investigation, allowing the problem of optimizing a nuclear power system structure in multi-objective formulation to be solved. Some results of implementation of these tools for multi-objective optimization of nuclear power structures are shown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Nuclear Energy)
Open AccessArticle Scenario Archetypes: Converging Rather than Diverging Themes
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 740-772; doi:10.3390/su4040740
Received: 8 March 2012 / Revised: 26 March 2012 / Accepted: 30 March 2012 / Published: 20 April 2012
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (481 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Future scenarios provide challenging, plausible and relevant stories about how the future could unfold. Urban Futures (UF) research has identified a substantial set (>450) of seemingly disparate scenarios published over the period 1997–2011 and within this research, a sub-set of >160 scenarios [...] Read more.
Future scenarios provide challenging, plausible and relevant stories about how the future could unfold. Urban Futures (UF) research has identified a substantial set (>450) of seemingly disparate scenarios published over the period 1997–2011 and within this research, a sub-set of >160 scenarios has been identified (and categorized) based on their narratives according to the structure first proposed by the Global Scenario Group (GSG) in 1997; three world types (Business as Usual, Barbarization, and Great Transitions) and six scenarios, two for each world type (Policy Reform—PR, Market Forces—MF, Breakdown—B, Fortress World—FW, Eco-Communalism—EC and New Sustainability Paradigm—NSP). It is suggested that four of these scenario archetypes (MF, PR, NSP and FW) are sufficiently distinct to facilitate active stakeholder engagement in futures thinking. Moreover they are accompanied by a well-established, internally consistent set of narratives that provide a deeper understanding of the key fundamental drivers (e.g., STEEP—Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental and Political) that could bring about realistic world changes through a push or a pull effect. This is testament to the original concept of the GSG scenarios and their development and refinement over a 16 year period. Full article
Open AccessArticle Land Reforms and the Tragedy of the Anticommons—A Case Study from Cambodia
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 773-793; doi:10.3390/su4040773
Received: 14 March 2012 / Revised: 5 April 2012 / Accepted: 12 April 2012 / Published: 23 April 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most of the land reforms of recent decades have followed an approach of “formalization and capitalization” of individual land titles (de Soto 2000). However, within the privatization agenda, benefits of unimproved land (such as land rents and value capture) are reaped privately [...] Read more.
Most of the land reforms of recent decades have followed an approach of “formalization and capitalization” of individual land titles (de Soto 2000). However, within the privatization agenda, benefits of unimproved land (such as land rents and value capture) are reaped privately by well-organized actors, whereas the costs of valorization (e.g., infrastructure) or opportunity costs of land use changes are shifted onto poorly organized groups. Consequences of capitalization and formalization include rent seeking and land grabbing. In developing countries, formal law often transpires to work in favor of the winners of the titling process and is opposed by the customary rights of the losers. This causes a lack of general acknowledgement of formalized law (which is made responsible for deprivation of livelihoods of vulnerable groups) and often leads to a clash of formal and customary norms. Countries may fall into a state of de facto anarchy and “de facto open access”. Encroachment and destruction of natural resources may spread. A reframing of development policy is necessary in order to fight these aberrations. Examples and evidence are provided from Cambodia, which has many features in common with other countries in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa in this respect. Full article

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