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Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 2 (February 2014), Pages 474-1106

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Open AccessArticle Education for Sustainability through a Photography Competition
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 474-486; doi:10.3390/su6020474
Received: 6 November 2013 / Revised: 10 January 2014 / Accepted: 10 January 2014 / Published: 23 January 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article describes the development and history of a sustainability photography competition. From its simple beginnings as an environmental officer’s idea, an environmental sustainability photography competition began in just one university. Now hosted by Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS), finalist entries are viewed
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This article describes the development and history of a sustainability photography competition. From its simple beginnings as an environmental officer’s idea, an environmental sustainability photography competition began in just one university. Now hosted by Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS), finalist entries are viewed on a public website gaining international attention. A purpose of this article is to demonstrate the diversity of views of sustainability by displaying the winning entries from 2013 and 2012. It is anticipated that readers may replicate these ideas in creative arts and across disciplines throughout primary, secondary and other higher education institutions, community groups and diverse organizations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Scenarios Analysis of the Energies’ Consumption and Carbon Emissions in China Based on a Dynamic CGE Model
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 487-512; doi:10.3390/su6020487
Received: 19 November 2013 / Revised: 11 January 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2014 / Published: 23 January 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1147 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates the development trends and variation characteristics of China’s economy, energy consumption and carbon emissions from 2007 to 2030, and the impacts on China’s economic growth, energy consumption, and carbon emissions under the carbon tax policy scenarios, based on the dynamic
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This paper investigates the development trends and variation characteristics of China’s economy, energy consumption and carbon emissions from 2007 to 2030, and the impacts on China’s economic growth, energy consumption, and carbon emissions under the carbon tax policy scenarios, based on the dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model. The results show that during the simulation period, China’s economy will keep a relatively high growth rate, but the growth rate will slow down under the benchmark scenario. The energy consumption intensity and the carbon emissions intensity per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will continually decrease. The energy consumption structure and industrial structure will gradually optimize. With the economic growth, the total energy consumption will constantly increase, and the carbon dioxide emissions are still large, and the situation of energy-saving and emission-reduction is still serious. The carbon tax is very important for energy-saving and emission-reduction and energy consumption structure optimization, and the effect of the carbon tax on GDP is small. If the carbon tax could be levied and the enterprise income tax could be reduced at the same time, the dual goals of reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions and increasing the GDP growth can be achieved. Improving the technical progress level of clean power while implementing a carbon tax policy is very meaningful to optimize energy consumption structure and reduce the carbon emissions, but it has some offsetting effect to reduce energy consumption. Full article
Open AccessArticle Making Sustainable Consumption and Production the Core of Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 513-529; doi:10.3390/su6020513
Received: 29 November 2013 / Revised: 15 January 2014 / Accepted: 16 January 2014 / Published: 24 January 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (825 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper argues that sustainable consumption and production (SCP) should play a prominent role in the formulation and implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and discusses how this could be practically done. Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production have been declared the
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This paper argues that sustainable consumption and production (SCP) should play a prominent role in the formulation and implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and discusses how this could be practically done. Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production have been declared the primary cause of environmental deterioration. This was clearly recognized already at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (or the Rio Summit) in 1992; and this recognition has been reconfirmed in all high-level sustainability meetings since then. SCP aims to change these patterns; it is a policy agenda for addressing the root causes of our ecological predicament, while, at the same time, providing for human wellbeing and prosperity. Drawing from international agreements, practical policy experience and research from a range of disciplines, the paper provides a clarifying framework for scientifically robust, policy-relevant and practical goal-setting for SCP within the SDGs. Special attention is given to how SCP in the SDGs can create synergies with other international policy initiatives. The paper explores the advantages and disadvantages of two possible options for reflecting SCP in the SDGs framework: (i) SCP as a stand-alone goal; and (ii) SCP as a cross-cutting objective, embedded within relevant goals. While these two options are not necessarily mutually exclusive, given the competing number of issues for prioritization and the fact that a 10-Year Framework of Programs on SCP has also recently been established, it is hardly foreseeable that both options can be realized. The paper further proposes a set of basic principles for SCP at the global level and makes recommendations towards the formulation of indicators supporting SCP objectives in the SDGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development Goals)
Open AccessArticle Blocking of Snow/Water Slurry Flow in Pipeline Caused by Compression-Strengthening of Snow Column
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 530-544; doi:10.3390/su6020530
Received: 7 November 2013 / Revised: 8 January 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
PDF Full-text (3233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In earlier works by the present authors, two systems for sustainable energy were proposed: (i) a system for urban snow removal in winter and storage for air conditioning in summer, applied to Nagaoka City, which suffers heavy snow fall every winter, and (ii)
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In earlier works by the present authors, two systems for sustainable energy were proposed: (i) a system for urban snow removal in winter and storage for air conditioning in summer, applied to Nagaoka City, which suffers heavy snow fall every winter, and (ii) a district cooling system utilizing latent heat of ice to reduce the size of storage reservoir and transportation pipeline system. In these systems, the hydraulic conveying of snow or ice through pump-and-pipeline is the key technique to be developed, since characteristics of snow (ice)/ water slurry is largely different from those of conventional non-cohesive solid particle slurries. In this study, the blocking of pipeline of snow/water slurry is investigated experimentally. While the blocking of conventional slurry occurs due to deposition of heavy particles at low flow velocity or arching of large rigid particles, that of snow/water slurry is caused by a compressed plug of snow formed due to cohesive nature of snow particles. This is because the strength of snow plug formed at a high resistance piping element, such as an orifice, becomes higher when the compression velocity is lower, resulting in a solid-like plug filling the whole channel upstream the element. Full article
Open AccessArticle Biofuel for Energy Security: An Examination on Pyrolysis Systems with Emissions from Fertilizer and Land-Use Change
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 571-588; doi:10.3390/su6020571
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 10 January 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
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Abstract
One of the most important concerns facing Taiwan is lack of energy security. The study examines to what extent the Taiwan energy security can be enhanced through bioenergy production and how bioenergy affects net greenhouse gases emissions. Ethanol, conventional bioelectricity and pyrolysis based
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One of the most important concerns facing Taiwan is lack of energy security. The study examines to what extent the Taiwan energy security can be enhanced through bioenergy production and how bioenergy affects net greenhouse gases emissions. Ethanol, conventional bioelectricity and pyrolysis based electricity are analyzed and emissions from fertilizer use and land use change are also incorporated. The study employs the Modified Taiwan Agricultural Sector Model (MTASM) for economic and environmental analysis. The results indicate that Taiwan indeed increases its energy security from bioenergy production but net greenhouse gases emissions are also increased. Emissions from fertilizer use and land use change have significant impacts on emissions reduction and pyrolysis does not always provide net greenhouse emissions offset. Some policy implications including goal determination, land availability and emissions trading systems are also provided for potential policy decision making. Full article
Open AccessArticle Understanding the Role of Built Environment in Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled Accounting for Spatial Heterogeneity
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 589-601; doi:10.3390/su6020589
Received: 14 November 2013 / Revised: 6 January 2014 / Accepted: 20 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (532 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, increasing concerns over climate change and transportation energy consumption have sparked research into the influences of urban form and land use patterns on motorized travel, notably vehicle miles traveled (VMT). However, empirical studies provide mixed evidence of the influence of
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In recent years, increasing concerns over climate change and transportation energy consumption have sparked research into the influences of urban form and land use patterns on motorized travel, notably vehicle miles traveled (VMT). However, empirical studies provide mixed evidence of the influence of the built environment on travel. In particular, the role of density after controlling for the confounding factors (e.g., land use mix, average block size, and distance from CBD) still remains unclear. The object of this study is twofold. First, this research provides additional insights into the effects of built environment factors on the work-related VMT, considering urban form measurements at both the home location and workplace simultaneously. Second, a cross-classified multilevel model using Bayesian approach is applied to account for the spatial heterogeneity across spatial units. Using Washington DC as our study area, the home-based work tour in the AM peak hours is used as the analysis unit. Estimation results confirmed the important role that the built environment at both home and workplace plays in affecting work-related VMT. In particular, the results reveal that densities at the workplace have more important roles than that at home location. These findings confirm that urban planning and city design should be part of the solution in stabilizing global climate and energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Density and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Multi-Objective (Energy, Economic and Environmental Performance) Life Cycle Analysis for Better Building Design
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 602-614; doi:10.3390/su6020602
Received: 24 November 2013 / Revised: 20 January 2014 / Accepted: 23 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (828 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Design improvement is critical for achieving a low-cost and high energy-efficient building with low carbon emissions. Thus, designers need to consider many factors (such as energy, economic and environmental performance) in the early design stage. This paper presents a multi-objective analysis for better
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Design improvement is critical for achieving a low-cost and high energy-efficient building with low carbon emissions. Thus, designers need to consider many factors (such as energy, economic and environmental performance) in the early design stage. This paper presents a multi-objective analysis for better building design and compares the EDH-based design improvements (introduced by the author in a previous work, EDH means energy difference between households) with seven potential improvement measures commonly used in achieving a better overall performance for the energy, economy and environment. A typical residential building in China was modeled for a number of simulations, and the simulation results were used to carry out a life cycle-based performance analysis. Seven potential improvement options that are commonly used are compared, and the results show that it is difficult to identify an option that has a better performance in all these three aspects. On the other hand, EDH-based design improvement achieves relatively high energy, economic and environmental performance compared to the former seven options. Moreover, EDH-based design improvement can provide designers with flexible options to select from in order to address diverse demands for building aesthetics, function, and so on, or to avoid potential difficulties when some kinds of materials or measures that are planned to be used are unavailable locally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Building)
Open AccessArticle Market Participation and Agro-Biodiversity Loss: The Case of Native Chili Varieties in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 615-630; doi:10.3390/su6020615
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 20 January 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2014 / Published: 28 January 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (867 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Policies for promoting the in situ conservation of underutilized crop varieties include the provision of economic incentives to farmers for their market commercialization. Nevertheless, market participation could also have the counter-effect of favoring the cultivation of uniform commercial crop varieties and inducing the
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Policies for promoting the in situ conservation of underutilized crop varieties include the provision of economic incentives to farmers for their market commercialization. Nevertheless, market participation could also have the counter-effect of favoring the cultivation of uniform commercial crop varieties and inducing the erosion of crop genetic diversity. The objective of this research was to identify the determinants of the in situ conservation of native chili varieties, including market participation. To this end, 128 farmers were surveyed in the Amazon rainforest region of Ucayali in Peru. The data were analyzed using probit, multinomial logit and truncated Poisson models with covariance matrix correction for cluster errors by rural community. Results suggest that participation in commercial agriculture statistically significantly increases the in situ conservation of native chili varieties; only when farmers sell their products to local retailers, but not when they supply wholesalers. In particular, this result implies that policies designed to encourage specific forms of market participation could have a positive effect on farmers’ economic well-being and simultaneously could help to achieve crop genetic diversity conservation goals. Full article
Open AccessArticle Strategies and Tools for Eco-Efficient Local Food Supply Scenarios
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 631-651; doi:10.3390/su6020631
Received: 31 October 2013 / Revised: 8 January 2014 / Accepted: 23 January 2014 / Published: 28 January 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Considering the wide demand for daily meals, the issue of the institutional food system has become very important in highly developed societies and, also, how it affects the flow of energy and matter within a territory. This research originates from a wide multi-disciplinary
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Considering the wide demand for daily meals, the issue of the institutional food system has become very important in highly developed societies and, also, how it affects the flow of energy and matter within a territory. This research originates from a wide multi-disciplinary project aimed at developing a self-sufficient approach to improve the institutional food system in an area of Northern Italy. Thus, the aim of this research is to give some guidelines to implement ideal scenarios of food production, processing, consumption, and waste management at the local level. To that end, the organization of the supply and demand within the local institutional food system is inquired. A methodology has been developed to analyze the main energy flows and matter related to this catering, and to outline possible optimal scenarios. This methodology also allows to analyze case studies and to formulate improvements in order to reduce their energy consumption while exploring all the steps of the supply chain (considering the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach). The use of quantitative indicators allows a comparison of the impacts related to the different steps characterizing the suggested scenarios. This paper presents results related to a test in the context of institutional catering in public schools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Chains)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Two Environmental Best Management Practices on Pond Water and Effluent Quality and Growth of Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 652-675; doi:10.3390/su6020652
Received: 2 December 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2014 / Accepted: 24 January 2014 / Published: 4 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1199 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The trajectory of aquaculture growth in sub-Saharan Africa has necessitated closer attention to the use of environmental best management practices (BMPs). Two BMPs in particular, water reuse and floating feeds, are being promoted for adoption by pond fish farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. In
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The trajectory of aquaculture growth in sub-Saharan Africa has necessitated closer attention to the use of environmental best management practices (BMPs). Two BMPs in particular, water reuse and floating feeds, are being promoted for adoption by pond fish farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, we investigated: (1) the effect of water source and feed type on water quality; (2) the effect of water source and feed type on tilapia growth; and (3) the quality of potential effluents from ponds using different water source and feed types. The study was conducted in Ghana using on-farm experiments involving monitoring of water quality and growth of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus for 160 days. Although considered low-intensity production systems, nutrients and solids in the study ponds exceeded levels expected in intensive culture ponds by wide margins, whereas BOD5 was within the range for semi-intensive ponds. Floating feed was associated with higher water quality, especially dissolved oxygen, and higher growth, but water source did not significantly affect growth. Water reuse appears to be a viable BMP for sustainable aquaculture in the region, but the use of floating feed as BMP will depend on the economic profitability of floating feed use. Full article
Open AccessArticle Urban Traffic Congestion Pricing Model with the Consideration of Carbon Emissions Cost
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 676-691; doi:10.3390/su6020676
Received: 6 November 2013 / Revised: 3 January 2014 / Accepted: 24 January 2014 / Published: 5 February 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (878 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As one of the most effective traffic demand management opinions, congestion pricing can reduce private car travel demand and the associated carbon dioxide emissions. First, we summarized the status quo of transport carbon dioxide emission charges and congestion pricing, and then, we analyzed
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As one of the most effective traffic demand management opinions, congestion pricing can reduce private car travel demand and the associated carbon dioxide emissions. First, we summarized the status quo of transport carbon dioxide emission charges and congestion pricing, and then, we analyzed the characteristics of urban transport carbon dioxide emissions. Then, we proposed a (pricing) framework in which carbon emission costs would be considered as part of the generalized cost of travel. Based on this framework, this paper developed a bi-level mathematical model to optimize consumer surplus, using congestion and carbon emission charges as the control variables. A dissect search algorithm was used to solve the bi-level program model, and a numerical example was given to illustrate the methodology. This paper incorporates the emission pricing into the congestion pricing model, while considering two modes, and puts forward suitable proposals for the implementation of an urban traffic congestion pricing policy in China. Full article
Open AccessArticle Educating the Future of Sustainability
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 692-701; doi:10.3390/su6020692
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 22 January 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2014 / Published: 5 February 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The future of global environmental sustainability is contingent upon educating the next generation of environmental stewards. Critical elements of training such an interdisciplinary workforce include mentoring and experiential learning in the areas of science, communication, and leadership. To keep pace with the ever
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The future of global environmental sustainability is contingent upon educating the next generation of environmental stewards. Critical elements of training such an interdisciplinary workforce include mentoring and experiential learning in the areas of science, communication, and leadership. To keep pace with the ever changing and increasingly complex issues of global environmental sustainability, environmental educators must encourage and support the participation and training of a diverse body of students in the environmental sciences. The Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network (RMSSN) is a partnership of over two dozen universities, federal agencies and other organizations designed to help train the next diverse generation of interdisciplinary leaders who are prepared to address issues related to global climate change, environmental sustainability, and the management of public lands and resources using the Rocky Mountains as a laboratory and classroom. Herein, we present the RMSSN as a model for engaging students in the environmental sciences with an emphasis on understanding key elements of sustainability. Our model is based on a foundation of: (1) diversity; (2) tiered mentoring in cohorts; (3) engaging lectures coupled with field experiences on public lands; (4) long term networking; and (5) environmental internships. Full article
Open AccessArticle Energy Consumption and Energy Efficiency of the Transportation Sector in Shanghai
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 702-717; doi:10.3390/su6020702
Received: 17 December 2013 / Revised: 24 January 2014 / Accepted: 26 January 2014 / Published: 10 February 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article investigates changes in the transportation sector in Shanghai between 2000 and 2010 and the implications of this on transportation energy consumption and energy efficiency. The results show that from 2000 to 2010: (1) the traffic energy consumption increased from 597.96 million
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This article investigates changes in the transportation sector in Shanghai between 2000 and 2010 and the implications of this on transportation energy consumption and energy efficiency. The results show that from 2000 to 2010: (1) the traffic energy consumption increased from 597.96 million tons of carbon to 2070.22 million tons of carbon, with an average annual growth rate of 13.49%, and oil met 94.49% of this energy demand by 2010; (2) among present transportation modes, waterway transportation accounts for over 50% of the energy consumption within the transportation sector (on the dominant transportation modes for Shanghai residents, private car use accounted for the largest proportion of energy consumption, whereas rail transportation accounted for the smallest proportion of energy consumption); (3) the energy consumption per unit conversion traffic volume had an upward trend, whereas the energy consumption per unit output value showed a declining trend. Across the study period, the energy consumption elasticity coefficient is 0.94 on average, indicating that the change rate of energy consumption has lagged behind that of economic growth. Correspondingly, some recommendations for energy policy were presented. Full article
Open AccessArticle Communicating Sustainability within Britain’s Hindu Community
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 718-740; doi:10.3390/su6020718
Received: 11 November 2013 / Revised: 2 January 2014 / Accepted: 17 January 2014 / Published: 10 February 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1387 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Focusing on the UK’s Hindu community, this explores some modes for the communication of pro-sustainability messages and their affective strength. These campaigns employ the community-center role of many UK Hindu temples to connect Hindu congregations to the cause of environmental sustainability through the
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Focusing on the UK’s Hindu community, this explores some modes for the communication of pro-sustainability messages and their affective strength. These campaigns employ the community-center role of many UK Hindu temples to connect Hindu congregations to the cause of environmental sustainability through the medium of Hindu scripture and tradition. The international Hindu Bhumi Project (and its larger “Many Heavens, One Earth” interfaith initiative) provide an umbrella for such pedagogic initiatives. Two are described. First is the festival-ground-based Karma to Climate Change (K2CC) campaign, which encourages pilgrims to pledge pro-sustainability lifestyle changes as part of their religious practice. The second, the Ahimsa Project, is devoted to the popularization and production of ethically pure, cruelty/slaughter free milk, which encourages people to develop greater empathy for the wellbeing of their fellow creatures and, ultimately, to abhor the casual slaughter of animals for meat. These projects are driven by the enthusiasm and concern of a younger generation of British-born Hindu people and their impacts are felt both through the campaigns themselves and the family structures of the volunteers who participate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Agricultural Biodiversity in Southern Brazil: Integrating Efforts for Conservation and Use of Neglected and Underutilized Species
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 741-757; doi:10.3390/su6020741
Received: 11 November 2013 / Revised: 30 January 2014 / Accepted: 6 February 2014 / Published: 10 February 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1418 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Brazil is one of the most biodiversity rich countries in the world, including a wealth of agricultural biodiversity in both wild and cultivated forms. This is particularly noticeable in southern Brazil, home to a wide array of underutilized food species whose genetic diversity
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Brazil is one of the most biodiversity rich countries in the world, including a wealth of agricultural biodiversity in both wild and cultivated forms. This is particularly noticeable in southern Brazil, home to a wide array of underutilized food species whose genetic diversity is maintained mostly by farmers through on-farm management practices. Farmers’ contribution in safeguarding and keeping alive traditional knowledge (TK) essential for recognizing, cultivating, valorising and consuming these resources is critical to their conservation. Part of this diversity, a rich basket of native fruits and landraces of vegetables and grains, is also maintained through ex situ collections managed by Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and its partners. This article discusses the integrated efforts for in situ/on-farm and ex situ conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity in southern Brazil. This diversity represents an important cultural heritage, since its use, cultivation and associated knowledge result from the dynamic history of the Brazilian population, including colonisation and immigration by several different ethnicities. Many of these species are sources of genes that convey tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, as a result of the combined action of natural selection and artificial selection by farmers in agricultural systems with low inputs and diverse environmental conditions. Due to their importance for food security, use in breeding programs, high nutritional value, and potential for income generation, Embrapa has taken responsibility for the ex situ conservation of these species. The genebanks that safeguard against the loss of these resources do also play an important role in the restoration of this germplasm to farming communities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Implementation of Brackish Groundwater Desalination Using Wind-Generated Electricity: A Case Study of the Energy-Water Nexus in Texas
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 758-778; doi:10.3390/su6020758
Received: 18 November 2013 / Revised: 13 January 2014 / Accepted: 26 January 2014 / Published: 10 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2937 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Growing populations and periodic drought conditions have exacerbated water stress in many areas worldwide. In response, some municipalities have considered desalination of saline water as a freshwater supply. Unfortunately, desalination requires a sizeable energy investment. However, renewable energy technologies can be paired with
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Growing populations and periodic drought conditions have exacerbated water stress in many areas worldwide. In response, some municipalities have considered desalination of saline water as a freshwater supply. Unfortunately, desalination requires a sizeable energy investment. However, renewable energy technologies can be paired with desalination to mitigate concern over the environmental impacts of increased energy use. At the same time, desalination can be operated in an intermittent way to match the variable availability of renewable resources. Integrating wind power and brackish groundwater desalination generates a high-value product (drinking water) from low-value resources (saline water and wind power without storage). This paper presents a geographically-resolved performance and economic method that estimates the energy requirements and profitability of an integrated wind-powered reverse osmosis facility treating brackish groundwater. It is based on a model that incorporates prevailing natural and market conditions such as average wind speeds, total dissolved solids content, brackish well depth, desalination treatment capacity, capital and operation costs of wind and desalination facilities, brine disposal costs, and electricity and water prices into its calculation. The model is illustrated using conditions in Texas (where there are counties with significant co-location of wind and brackish water resources). Results from this case study indicate that integrating wind turbines and brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO) systems is economically favorable in a few municipal locations in West Texas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Energy-Sustainability Nexus)
Open AccessArticle Unified Efficiency Measurement of Electric Power Supply Companies in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 779-793; doi:10.3390/su6020779
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 17 January 2014 / Accepted: 28 January 2014 / Published: 10 February 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1026 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper measured the economic and unified efficiency of 24 electric power supply companies in China. With the development of a low carbon economy, further requirements for energy-saving and emission-reducing have been put forward for electric power supply companies. In this case, we
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This paper measured the economic and unified efficiency of 24 electric power supply companies in China. With the development of a low carbon economy, further requirements for energy-saving and emission-reducing have been put forward for electric power supply companies. In this case, we considered the desirable (good) outputs (e.g., electricity sale amount) and undesirable (bad) outputs (e.g., line loss) in evaluating the performance of power supply companies. We combined the unified efficiency data envelopment analysis (DEA) model and the super-efficiency DEA model to create tge USDEA model, calculating companies’ unified efficiency. The unified efficiency DEA model can easily incorporate both desirable and undesirable outputs in a unified analytical structure. The super-efficiency data envelopment analysis model can make a comparison among various efficient decision making units (DMUs). Our results showed that the electric power supply companies of Hebei, Qinghai, Ningxia, Beijing and Shanghai achieved the highest levels of unified efficiency during the observed period (2003–2010), which differed from the economic efficiency results. The results meant that using unified efficiency to evaluate power supply companies will motivate them to care more about social and environmental benefit besides economic benefit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enterprise Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Climate Change Politics through a Global Pledge-and-Review Regime: Positions among Negotiators and Stakeholders
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 794-811; doi:10.3390/su6020794
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 30 January 2014 / Accepted: 6 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (655 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pledge-and-review is an essential pillar for climate change mitigation up until 2020 under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In this paper, we build on a survey handed out to participants at the Seventeenth Conference of Parties in
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Pledge-and-review is an essential pillar for climate change mitigation up until 2020 under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In this paper, we build on a survey handed out to participants at the Seventeenth Conference of Parties in 2011 to examine to what extent climate negotiators and stakeholders agree with existing critiques towards pledge-and-review. Among the critique examined, we find that the one most agreed with is that the pledges fall short of meeting the 2 degree target, while the one least agreed with is that pledges are voluntary. We also find that respondents from Annex 1 parties are more critical than respondents from Non-Annex 1 parties. Negotiators display strikingly similar responses regardless of where they are from, while there is a remarkable difference between Annex 1 and Non-Annex 1 environmental non-governmental organizations. We build on these results to discuss the legitimacy of pledge-and-review. Full article
Open AccessArticle Material Cycle of Agriculture on Miyakojima Island: Material Flow Analysis for Sugar Cane, Pasturage and Beef Cattle
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 812-835; doi:10.3390/su6020812
Received: 18 November 2013 / Revised: 10 February 2014 / Accepted: 11 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1204 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
Agriculture on Miyakojima Island is highly dependent on imported fertilizer and feed. To reduce this dependence, the present research examines the biomass resources on the island by conducting a material flow analysis of stockbreeding and other related systems. To accurately quantify the amount
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Agriculture on Miyakojima Island is highly dependent on imported fertilizer and feed. To reduce this dependence, the present research examines the biomass resources on the island by conducting a material flow analysis of stockbreeding and other related systems. To accurately quantify the amount of available biomass resources, loss ratios of the storage and composting processes are established. Then, a material flow analysis of a composting facility is made. Finally, current material flows between beef cattle, sugar cane and pasturage are shown. Based on this research, two proposals are made: the first is to use urine as liquid fertilizer, which is currently being done in Saga prefecture. The precedent of using urine as fertilizer is now widely accepted in the Saga area; is considered to be readily adoptable in other areas and could be substituted for the imported fertilizers on Miyakojima Island. The second is to use more residues of sugar cane for the beef cattle feed when the pasturage growth is slow in the winter. The present research suggests that the silage feeds for beef cattle. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Perspectives and Attitudes of Forest Products Industry Companies on the Chain of Custody Certification: A Case Study From Turkey
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 857-871; doi:10.3390/su6020857
Received: 27 December 2013 / Revised: 10 February 2014 / Accepted: 11 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (728 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The perspectives and attitudes of the companies of the forest products industry operating in the fields of solid wood products, pulp, paper and paperboard products, engineered wood products and furniture manufacturing in Turkey on the chain of custody certification system and certified forest
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The perspectives and attitudes of the companies of the forest products industry operating in the fields of solid wood products, pulp, paper and paperboard products, engineered wood products and furniture manufacturing in Turkey on the chain of custody certification system and certified forest products were investigated. Within this scope, face-to-face interviews were conducted with the managers or owners of 177 companies. The data were obtained by using the questionnaire technique. The research methods included descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance and the Duncan test. As a result, it was detected that there are differences in the perspectives and attitudes towards the chain of custody certification system of the companies operating in the four main branches of the forest products industry in Turkey. It was revealed by this survey that chain of custody (CoC) certification was known mostly by the companies operating in pulp, paper and paperboard companies. The certification most demanded is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) CoC certification, with a share of 15%; and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) CoC is demanded by 2% of companies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Corporate Social Responsibility and Competitiveness within SMEs of the Fashion Industry: Evidence from Italy and France
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 872-893; doi:10.3390/su6020872
Received: 30 December 2013 / Revised: 29 January 2014 / Accepted: 11 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
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Abstract
Our paper analyses the link between the adoption of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and competitiveness performance among small and medium enterprises operating in the fashion industry. The study refers to a sample of 213 SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprises) located in Italy
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Our paper analyses the link between the adoption of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and competitiveness performance among small and medium enterprises operating in the fashion industry. The study refers to a sample of 213 SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprises) located in Italy and France and is based on a correlation analysis between competitiveness variables and the CSR practice adopted. The results show a significant correlation with regard to the innovation process, both from the technical and the organizational point of view, and the intangible performances. On the other hand, another competitiveness macro-category, which is the market performance (measured as demand trend, turnover and business attraction), presents deceptive results, although a positive correlation with the adoption of market-oriented CSR practice emerges. The study is explorative and represents a relevant basis to future studies concerning the nature of the emerged co-relations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Institutionalizing Strong Sustainability: A Rawlsian Perspective
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 894-912; doi:10.3390/su6020894
Received: 17 October 2013 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 13 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
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Abstract
The article aims to provide some ethical orientation on how sustainability might be actualized by institutions. Since institutionalization is about rules and organization, it presupposes ideas and concepts by which institutions can be substantiated. After outlining terminology, the article deals with underlying ethical
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The article aims to provide some ethical orientation on how sustainability might be actualized by institutions. Since institutionalization is about rules and organization, it presupposes ideas and concepts by which institutions can be substantiated. After outlining terminology, the article deals with underlying ethical and conceptual problems which are highly relevant for any suggestions concerning institutionalization. These problems are: (a) the ethical scope of the sustainability perspective (natural capital, poverty, sentient animals), (b) the theory of justice on which ideas about sustainability are built (capability approach, Rawlsianism), and (c) the favored concept of sustainability (weak, intermediate, and strong sustainability). These problems are analyzed in turn. As a result, a Rawlsian concept of rule-based strong sustainability is proposed. The specific problems of institutionalization are addressed by applying Rawls’s concept of branches. The article concludes with arguments in favor of three transnational duties which hold for states that have adopted Rawlsian strong sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Institutional Change)
Open AccessArticle Tales of the Suburbs?—The Social Sustainability Agenda in Sweden through Literary Accounts
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 913-934; doi:10.3390/su6020913
Received: 1 July 2013 / Revised: 23 December 2013 / Accepted: 11 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (754 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable development has become increasingly influential. In light of environmental concerns, the social dimension of sustainability is now encompassing a growing number of concerns. Together with more traditional hard concepts, including basic needs, equity, and employment, soft themes, such as greater wellbeing, are
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Sustainable development has become increasingly influential. In light of environmental concerns, the social dimension of sustainability is now encompassing a growing number of concerns. Together with more traditional hard concepts, including basic needs, equity, and employment, soft themes, such as greater wellbeing, are becoming significant. The present paper compares qualitatively these theoretical themes with the concrete, lived experiences of inhabitants within deprived suburbs. To do so, a framework for understanding social sustainability is proposed, and then applied to analyze three literary accounts of residents within Swedish suburbs. The three accounts are analyzed through the lens of critical discourse analysis. The results indicate that employment and functional infrastructures did not prevent the stigmatization of these residential areas. Important social and cultural segregations are occurring, supported by the physical organization of urban space. Using biographical accounts incorporates subjective and emotional perspectives usually left aside in the context of urban development. These allow a better understanding of the complex realities of these suburbs and could therefore help urban developers to better grasp the complex and predominantly culturally oriented set of challenges confronting the establishment of socially sustainable communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Sustainability: Theory, Practice, Problems and Prospects)
Open AccessArticle Integrating Stakeholder Preferences and GIS-Based Multicriteria Analysis to Identify Forest Landscape Restoration Priorities
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 935-951; doi:10.3390/su6020935
Received: 5 April 2013 / Revised: 25 January 2014 / Accepted: 11 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1736 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A pressing question that arises during the planning of an ecological restoration process is: where to restore first? Answering this question is a complex task; it requires a multidimensional approach to consider economic constrains and the preferences of stakeholders. Being the problem of
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A pressing question that arises during the planning of an ecological restoration process is: where to restore first? Answering this question is a complex task; it requires a multidimensional approach to consider economic constrains and the preferences of stakeholders. Being the problem of spatial nature, it may be explored effectively through Multicriteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) performed in a Geographical Information System (GIS) environment. The proposed approach is based on the definition and weighting of multiple criteria for evaluating land suitability. An MCDA-based methodology was used to identify priority areas for Forest Landscape Restoration in the Upper Mixtec region, Oaxaca (Mexico), one of the most degraded areas of Latin America. Socioeconomic and environmental criteria were selected and evaluated. The opinions of four different stakeholder groups were considered: general public, academic, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governmental officers. The preferences of these groups were spatially modeled to identify their priorities. The final result was a map that identifies the most preferable sites for restoration, where resources and efforts should be concentrated. MCDA proved to be a very useful tool in collective planning, when alternative sites have to be identified and prioritized to guide the restoration work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Terrestrial Ecosystem Restoration)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Emergy-Based City’s Sustainability and Decoupling Assessment: Indicators, Features and Findings
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 952-966; doi:10.3390/su6020952
Received: 2 January 2014 / Revised: 11 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
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Abstract
Decoupling human well-being and local economic growth from resources consumption and environmental degradation has been recognized as a common vision to meet global sustainability. This paper taking Shenyang city as studied case aims to measure the decoupling process by proposing a set of
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Decoupling human well-being and local economic growth from resources consumption and environmental degradation has been recognized as a common vision to meet global sustainability. This paper taking Shenyang city as studied case aims to measure the decoupling process by proposing a set of new emergy-based and efficiency-oriented indicators. Decoupling process was verified in period of 1995–2010, and five new indicators including economic efficiency, the environmental pressure, the emergy-based five-year yield efficiency, the investment cost for decoupling, and the job-opportunities cost for decoupling were developed and applied. The results indicate that decoupling in Shenyang shows an erratic appearance, the trajectory of economic growth, and environmental pressure show absolute decoupling, while that of economic growth and resources utilization shows frequentative bending; emergy-based economic efficiency has been improved and the environmental pressure decreased along with the economic growth but the relative job cost per unit remains almost at the same level. However, this isolated and methodology-oriented case study provided the open-mind understandings to policy-making, thus, a wider scale comparison between different cities should be carried out for more knowledge mining. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment in Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Oil Consumption, CO2 Emission, and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Philippines
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 967-979; doi:10.3390/su6020967
Received: 26 November 2013 / Revised: 20 January 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (622 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper attempts to investigate the short- and long-run causality issues among oil consumption, CO2 emissions, and economic growth in the Philippines by using time series techniques and annual data for the period 1965–2012. Tests for unit root, co-integration, and Granger-causality tests
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This paper attempts to investigate the short- and long-run causality issues among oil consumption, CO2 emissions, and economic growth in the Philippines by using time series techniques and annual data for the period 1965–2012. Tests for unit root, co-integration, and Granger-causality tests based on an error-correction model are presented. Three important findings emerge from the investigation. First, there is bi-directional causality between oil consumption and economic growth, which suggests that the Philippines should endeavor to overcome the constraints on oil consumption to achieve economic growth. Second, bi-directional causality between oil consumption and CO2 emissions is found, which implies that the Philippines needs to improve efficiency in oil consumption in order not to increase CO2 emissions. Third, uni-directional causality running from CO2 emissions to economic growth is detected, which means that growth can continue without increasing CO2 emissions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Conservation and Use of Genetic Resources of Underutilized Crops in the Americas—A Continental Analysis
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 980-1017; doi:10.3390/su6020980
Received: 2 December 2013 / Revised: 7 February 2014 / Accepted: 7 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
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Abstract
Latin America is home to dramatically diverse agroecological regions which harbor a high concentration of underutilized plant species, whose genetic resources hold the potential to address challenges such as sustainable agricultural development, food security and sovereignty, and climate change. This paper examines the
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Latin America is home to dramatically diverse agroecological regions which harbor a high concentration of underutilized plant species, whose genetic resources hold the potential to address challenges such as sustainable agricultural development, food security and sovereignty, and climate change. This paper examines the status of an expert-informed list of underutilized crops in Latin America and analyses how the most common features of underuse apply to these. The analysis pays special attention to if and how existing international policy and legal frameworks on biodiversity and plant genetic resources effectively support or not the conservation and sustainable use of underutilized crops. Results show that not all minor crops are affected by the same degree of neglect, and that the aspects under which any crop is underutilized vary greatly, calling for specific analyses and interventions. We also show that current international policy and legal instruments have so far provided limited stimulus and funding for the conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of these crops. Finally, the paper proposes an analytical framework for identifying and evaluating a crop’s underutilization, in order to define the most appropriate type and levels of intervention (international, national, local) for improving its status. Full article
Open AccessArticle Following Gandhi: Social Entrepreneurship as A Non-Violent Way of Communicating Sustainability Challenges
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 1018-1036; doi:10.3390/su6021018
Received: 18 November 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (601 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the context of the Rio Earth Summit numerous international regimes, national policies and organizational guidelines have appeared that help translate the normative demands of sustainable development into political reality. The implementation of these instruments, however, often runs into difficulties or fails entirely.
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In the context of the Rio Earth Summit numerous international regimes, national policies and organizational guidelines have appeared that help translate the normative demands of sustainable development into political reality. The implementation of these instruments, however, often runs into difficulties or fails entirely. An example is the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), a progressive approach for the conservation of freshwater that is very unlikely to be implemented by 2015, the target year. We examine in this paper how a recent variation of Gandhian non-violent communication within social entrepreneurship suggests one way to deal with this challenge. Non-violent communication, rooted in Gandhian social action, has long been part of environmental politics. It has undergone a new variation as a mode of communication in the hands of social entrepreneurship initiatives that address urgent social and environmental issues with new, practical ideas. In the conceptual part of this paper, we outline our approach to sustainability, non-violent communication and social entrepreneurship. In a further part, we present data from a trans-disciplinary experiment to illustrate and critically discuss social entrepreneurship as a mode of sustainability communication. The experiment looked at, which is based on French social entrepreneur Roberto Epple’s idea of a Big Jump, is a collaborative campaign that invites young people to take action for water conservation in the context of the WFD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communication for and about Sustainability)
Open AccessCommunication Understanding the Causality between Carbon Dioxide Emission, Fossil Energy Consumption and Economic Growth in Developed Countries: An Empirical Study
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 1037-1045; doi:10.3390/su6021037
Received: 30 January 2014 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 13 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (692 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Issues on climate change have been recognized as serious challenges for regional sustainable development both at a global and local level. Given the background that most of the artificial carbon emissions are resulted from the energy consumption sector and the energy is also
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Issues on climate change have been recognized as serious challenges for regional sustainable development both at a global and local level. Given the background that most of the artificial carbon emissions are resulted from the energy consumption sector and the energy is also the key element resource for economic development, this paper investigated the relationship between CO2 emission, fossil energy consumption, and economic growth in the period 1970–2008 of nine European countries, based on the approach of Granger Causality Test, followed by the risk analysis on impacts of CO2 reduction to local economic growth classified by the indicator of causality degree. The results show that there are various feedback causal relationships between carbon emission, energy consumption and economic growth, with both unidirectional and dual-directional Granger causality. The impact of reducing CO2 emission to economic growth varies between countries as well. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Total Risk on Non-Target Organisms in Fungicide Application for Agricultural Sustainability
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 1046-1058; doi:10.3390/su6021046
Received: 16 November 2013 / Revised: 5 February 2014 / Accepted: 9 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (619 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Turkey, in 2010, the amount of pesticide (active ingredient; a.i.) used in agriculture was about 23,000 metric tons, of which approximately 32% was fungicides. In 2012, 14 a.i. were used for fungus control in wheat cultivation areas in Adana province, Turkey. These
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In Turkey, in 2010, the amount of pesticide (active ingredient; a.i.) used in agriculture was about 23,000 metric tons, of which approximately 32% was fungicides. In 2012, 14 a.i. were used for fungus control in wheat cultivation areas in Adana province, Turkey. These a.i. were: azoxystrobin, carbendazim, difenoconazole, epoxiconazole, fluquinconazole, prochloraz, propiconazole, prothioconazole, pyraclostrobin, spiroxamine, tebuconazole, thiophanate-methyl, triadimenol, and trifloxystrobin. In this study, the potential risk of a.i. on non-target organisms in fungicide application of wheat cultivation was assessed by The Pesticide Occupational and Environmental Risk (POCER) indicators. In this study, the highest human health risk was for fluquinconazole (Exceedence Factor (EF) 1.798 for human health), whereas the fungicide with the highest environmental risk was propiconazole (EF 2.000 for the environment). For non-target organisms, the highest potential risk was determined for propiconazole when applied at 0.1250 kg a.i. ha-1 (EF 2.897). The lowest total risk was for azoxystrobin when applied at  0.0650 kg a.i. ha-1 (EF 0.625). Full article
Open AccessArticle Agronomic Management under Organic Farming May Affect the Bioactive Compounds of Lentil (Lens culinaris L.) and Grass Pea (Lathyrus communis L.)?
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 1059-1075; doi:10.3390/su6021059
Received: 6 December 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
PDF Full-text (739 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A two year field experiment was carried out to evaluate the effects of three row and eight row seeding on the total phenolic compound (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), hydrolyzed (HTC) and condensed tannin (CTC), antioxidant activity (ABTS assay), protein content and soluble
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A two year field experiment was carried out to evaluate the effects of three row and eight row seeding on the total phenolic compound (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), hydrolyzed (HTC) and condensed tannin (CTC), antioxidant activity (ABTS assay), protein content and soluble dietary fiber (SDF) and insoluble dietary fiber (IDF) in the extracts of lentil (Lens culinaris L.) and grass pea (Lathyrus communis L.) cultivated under organic farming. The aim of this study was to determine whether row spacing used for seeding in organic farming systems for lentil and grass pea is a suitable method to increase the accumulation of antioxidant compounds in these crops. Grass pea showed the highest mean SDF and protein while lentil varieties showed the greatest and significant content of all of the antioxidant compounds. In lentil, there were increases in TPC (52%), HTC (73%), TFC (85%) and CTC (41%), passing from three rows to eight rows, while in grass pea, the increases were lower, and only significant for TFC and CTC (37%, 13% respectively). In both lentils and grass pea, the highest correlation coefficient was between TPC and HTC, which indicates that the HTC includes the predominant phenolic compounds in lentil as well as in grass pea (r = 0.98, 0.71 p < 0.001, respectively). Regardless of legume species, TPC, HTC, TFC and CTC showed significant (p < 0.001) and linear correlations with the ABTS assay. These data confirm the key role of row spacing for the improvement of the antioxidant properties of lentil in organic farming; moreover, they hint at the major responsiveness and adaptation of lentil to environmental stimulus with respect to grass pea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Farming and a Systems Approach to Sustainable Agroecosystems)
Open AccessArticle The Built Environment and Walking Activity of the Elderly: An Empirical Analysis in the Zhongshan Metropolitan Area, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 1076-1092; doi:10.3390/su6021076
Received: 24 January 2014 / Revised: 16 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (933 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Policies and interventions involving the built environment have become a promising opportunity for the promotion of walking as a sustainable transportation mode. Among voluminous literature, few studies were found that examined the association between the built environment and walking among the elderly in
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Policies and interventions involving the built environment have become a promising opportunity for the promotion of walking as a sustainable transportation mode. Among voluminous literature, few studies were found that examined the association between the built environment and walking among the elderly in China. This study investigated the relationship between the built environment and the walking activity of the elderly based on data collected in Zhongshan Metropolitan Area, China. The results suggest that abundant sidewalks, dense bus stops, easily accessible commercial establishments, and ample green land space are potentially effective to enhance walking among the elderly, albeit to varied degrees. The compact urban form, which is considered as walkability in the western context, may not necessarily play a positive role in Zhongshan’s context. The findings provide insights into the policy-making to promote sustainable transportation modes and the design of interventions on health promotion of the elderly in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Identification of Dried Native Chili Markets in the International Tourism Sector in Peru: An Open-Ended Contingent Valuation Study
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 1093-1106; doi:10.3390/su6021093
Received: 1 December 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (181 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many native chili varieties are becoming extinct due to the lack of economic incentives for farmers to their continued cultivation in Peru. A potential high value pro-poor market for selling native chilies is the international tourism segment. The objectives of this research were
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Many native chili varieties are becoming extinct due to the lack of economic incentives for farmers to their continued cultivation in Peru. A potential high value pro-poor market for selling native chilies is the international tourism segment. The objectives of this research were to assess the acceptability of the potential introduction of dried native chilies in the international tourism segment by identifying the motivations for buying dried chilies as souvenirs, and then by evaluating the factors influencing the price premiums’ magnitudes related to different label information conditions, such as information about the farmer community, traditional cooking recipes, organic certification, and Fairtrade certification. A face-to-face survey was conducted with 200 international tourists at the airport in Cuzco, Peru. The data were analyzed using a probit and tobit models with sample selection. The results suggest that dried native chilies would have a relatively good acceptance among international tourists. About 62% of the respondents indicated they would buy dried native chilies, and of them, 62%–74% would pay an average price premium ranging from S/1.16–1.58 for different label information conditions. Nevertheless specific marketing campaigns should be designed for different types of international tourists in order to maximize the economic benefits for small-holder farmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reframing Sustainable Tourism)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview How Assessment Methods Can Support Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries—A Critical Review
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 545-570; doi:10.3390/su6020545
Received: 10 November 2013 / Revised: 9 January 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (764 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Selecting actions for improvement of solid waste management in low and middle income countries and understanding how a specific decision choice will fit and impact on a local context is key to identifying sustainable solutions. Assessment of the choice (be it technical or
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Selecting actions for improvement of solid waste management in low and middle income countries and understanding how a specific decision choice will fit and impact on a local context is key to identifying sustainable solutions. Assessment of the choice (be it technical or managerial) and assessment of the local enabling or disabling conditions are both important steps in the decision making process. Various assessment tools and methods are currently available to support decision-making in solid waste management. Assessment can be used to identify weaknesses or strengths of existing systems in a structured way and hereby highlight factors of success and failure. Assessment methods can also evaluate and compare different possible choices as in project scenarios. This overview describes established and innovative assessment methods serving both these purposes. A range of assessment tools are often designed to assess a specific sustainability domain (technical, environmental and health, economic and financial, social and institutional, organizational aspects), others attempt to provide a more holistic picture by integrating different sustainability domains into the same tool. This paper reviews a number of methods describing and discussing each of them, and referring to their use in low and middle-income countries if published in scientific literature. The overview concludes that in low- and middle-income countries the use of comprehensive assessment methods is yet very limited. We hypothesize that most formal methods of assessment are still too complex and generally overburden the weak local capacities intended for their usage. The few applications identified, were conducted by academia for scientific purposes. Lack of resources to collect the vast data required for some assessment methods is a further restriction to their practical application. Future development is suggested to improve user friendliness of existing tools or to simplify certain approaches and develop more appropriate methods. A user-oriented focus in the development of assessment tools would enhance their application, provide sound data for informed decision making and foster a dialogue between technicians and policy makers in low- and middle-income countries. Full article
Open AccessReview Sustainable Treatment of Aquaculture Effluents—What Can We Learn from the Past for the Future?
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 836-856; doi:10.3390/su6020836
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 24 January 2014 / Accepted: 8 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (1210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many aquaculture systems generate high amounts of wastewater containing compounds such as suspended solids, total nitrogen and total phosphorus. Today, aquaculture is imperative because fish demand is increasing. However, the load of waste is directly proportional to the fish production. Therefore, it is
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Many aquaculture systems generate high amounts of wastewater containing compounds such as suspended solids, total nitrogen and total phosphorus. Today, aquaculture is imperative because fish demand is increasing. However, the load of waste is directly proportional to the fish production. Therefore, it is necessary to develop more intensive fish culture with efficient systems for wastewater treatment. A number of physical, chemical and biological methods used in conventional wastewater treatment have been applied in aquaculture systems. Constructed wetlands technology is becoming more and more important in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) because wetlands have proven to be well-established and a cost-effective method for treating wastewater. This review gives an overview about possibilities to avoid the pollution of water resources; it focuses initially on the use of systems combining aquaculture and plants with a historical review of aquaculture and the treatment of its effluents. It discusses the present state, taking into account the load of pollutants in wastewater such as nitrates and phosphates, and finishes with recommendations to prevent or at least reduce the pollution of water resources in the future. Full article

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