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What Do the IUCN Categories Really Protect? A Case from the Alpine Regions in Spain
Published: 29 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Related Topics
Protected area (PA) coverage is used as an indicator of biodiversity protection worldwide. The effectiveness of using PAs as indicators has been questioned due to the diversity of designations included in such measures, especially those PAs established for other purposes than biodiversity protection. Although international standards have been developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the policies on the ground have been developed independently of the IUCN categories. This makes the use of IUCN categories dubious measures of biodiversity conservation. The World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) developed a framework for the evaluation of management effectiveness of PAs, based on six stages (context, planning, inputs, process, outputs and outcomes). This evaluation method has often been confined to the study of outputs and outcomes. Generally, monitoring of populations and biodiversity has been the most commonly used approach for evaluation, but such evaluations are costly and do not always allow for comparisons of parks. A management plan is crucial for effective management of the parks and for guidance on how biodiversity should be prioritized against other goals. The evaluation of management plans using standardized coding schemes and content analysis is a useful tool that can be reproduced in other studies, allowing comparisons between different parks, regions and countries. In addition, it allows the detection of management weaknesses from the beginning of the protection process. We therefore analyzed the aims and the regulations in management plans of alpine PAs in Spain, as a first step for evaluating the conservation performance. We used content analysis and CAiv to assess how aims and regulations vary in relation to three explanatory factors: IUCN categories, Vegetation Zones and Autonomous Communities. We found the aims of many parks to be vague, without clear indication on how to prioritize biodiversity goals. Furthermore only 45% of the alpine PAs actually have a management plan, which strengthens our argument about unclear guidance of PA management. Although aims could partly be related to IUCN categories, the regulations showed no clear relationship to international policies, which reflects that aims are not necessarily implemented in practice. The overall weak correspondence in management practices among PAs indicated that management is influenced by other factors than international standards. Devolution to Autonomous Communities could be one explanation for the large variation in management practices among parks. The Spanish Constitution passed in 1978 allowed Autonomous Communities declaring and managing PAs and resulted in a sudden declaration of many PAs, and also in a large difference in the development of protection in different parts of the country. In addition, the lack of policies that have coordinated the PA management of central and local governments has probably contributed to the large variation of aims and regulations. We did not find any effect of the alpine versus Mediterranean mountain vegetation zones on management policies. The analysis of management plans shows that clearly defined aims are needed. Aims are, however, not sufficient. Management practices also need to correspond to the prioritizations made in management plans. Obviously there also need to be a management plan for each park to guide prioritizations among a diversity of aims. Information about aims and management practices is needed to apply protected areas coverage as a measure of biodiversity protection. Finally, such evaluations of management plans could not replace the analyses of impacts on biodiversity, but is an important first step in evaluating management effectiveness.
  • Open access
  • 7 Reads
The Use of Nanomaterials with Thermoplastic Matrices to Produce the Anti Hail Systems
Published: 29 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Related Topics
New nanomaterials was developed in the field polymer-matrix nanocomposites. Because of incorporated nanoparticles these materials exhibit better phisico-chemical and mechanical properties compare to the appropriate pure polymer matrix. For this reason, these materials can be used for the production of components of anti hail system eg. for the production of large tubes. Nowadays, hail is the most common problem for growers. Current anti hail systems are rapidly destroyed corrosion and mechanical. Therefore, a new idea is to use nano-engineering to replace some elements of quite popular in Europe the anti hail systems.
  • Open access
  • 11 Reads
Healthy Light Source
Published: 29 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Related Topics
In this paper will discuss the main source of light, their impact on work and human health. Sources of natural and artificial light can be classified in terms of spectral and photometric. For artificial lighting are also important determining the performance characteristics of the conversion of electricity into light. In addition to these classifications, the light sources differ from each photon generation process, as well as the influence of light on the human eye. Will discuss the effects on the human eye light from organic LEDs and to what result this technology aims.
  • Open access
  • 3 Reads
Sustainable Development Programs in Rio de Janeiro: Assessing Conflicts Between the Environment, Society, and Industry
Published: 30 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Urban Development
For sustainable development projects to be beneficial to the environment, society, and economy, awareness is key on all levels. I have dissected several sustainable development projects in Rio de Janeiro, in order to demonstrate the constraints forced on developing areas through Westernized ideologies and top-down approaches. It is key to focus on local members of the community and their needs before initiating a sustainable development project. Instead of the transference of ideas and projects from the Westernized nations, it is detrimental to embark upon the different cultural, social, environmental, political, and economical constraints that could produce undesirable consequences. Bottom-up approaches allow grassroots involvement and knowledge to maximize benefits of sustainable development, so that the local population and environment are at the heart of all projects. Urban sustainability is key in this growing industrial and capitalist phase of development, and the shift of focus to these different approaches will not only eliminate the conundrums in the city of Rio, but also create sustainability throughout the world as a whole.
  • Open access
  • 6 Reads
Sustainable Human Development Case Study: Brazil
Published: 16 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Social Values for a Sustainable Economy
This paper analyzes the sustainable human development performance of Brazil, by giving a comprehensive account of what is faring well, as well as what areas are lacking in performance. Sustainable human development (SHD) is the ability to achieve development standards in the present that can be sustained for future generations. I have used a qualitative case study methodology, as well as a comparative analysis to explore the development context within economic, political, social, and environmental sectors that all contribute to SHD. Although Brazil exhibits economic strength, environmental factors continue to be a concern. However, political instability and inequality further impair development in these other areas. As a result, I have dissected the area of governance to display the negative impacts of corruption on SHD. Corruption affects the quality of life of society, and the majority of the poor pays the price because it increases inequality. Economic growth is reduced, while political instability is heightened as illegal investment activity is encouraged. This has created an entangled network of politicians, law enforcement officials, and drug traffickers that continues to cycle through corruption, violence, and money. Corruption has not lessened over the past decade, because punishment is not enforced on corrupt officials. Accountability reforms are needed to combat corruption. Congress immunity from prosecution must be eliminated, along with a reform of the Federal Accounting Court independent judicial system in order to create secure checks and balances on all branches of the government. Also, transparency in the areas of public service and law enforcement is detrimental for development because corruption leaks through all levels of society. Although institutional mechanisms exist, they are highly ineffective because bribes often supply a form of income stability and security for all who are involved, especially in the area of the illegal drug trade. The reduction of corruption is a vital component for sustainable human development to influence growth in all levels of society.
  • Open access
  • 9 Reads
Review of Voluntary and Legal Instruments for Assessing Sustainability of FennoScandinavian Forests and Their Use
Diana Tuomasjukka, Staffan Berg, Marja Kolström
Published: 29 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Related Topics
The concept and definition of sustainability, particularly of sustainable forestry from where the concept of sustainability has started from, has evolved over time in different fields and created different methods for assessing sustainability: in science, in industry and in policy. With that also different methods for assessing the state of sustainability or the impact different external drivers have on sustainability have been developed. In the forest-based sector, different methods have evolved, starting from a restricted aspect, such purely resource-based sustainability based on the non-depletion over time of standing volume of trees, and have broadened in covering additional aspects later. There are very strictly defined concepts, e.g. the sequestering of Carbon (Carbon footprint), while others are rather vague (e.g. Corporate Social Responsibility). This concept is a base for initiatives in standard development and subsequent certification (ISO, FSC, PEFC) and for international agreements or conventions serving the legislation. This means that the initiatives created voluntary and legally binding norms. These concepts and initiatives can be applied to/at different levels (regional, national, international agreements). Selected concepts even can be only applied at company level. This paper demonstrates a SWOT (Strength-Weakness-Opportunities-Threats) analysis for of assessing different aspects of sustainability. Each of them is compared against the other. Results highlight covered, overlapping and missing aspects for each concept and how they can support or reinforce each other. Special attention is given to current tools of impact assessment, particularly on their areas of application (companies, regional development, products, production practices, etc), if it is a voluntary or legally binding instrument and recommendations for supplementing it with sustainability impact assessment for regional development in Fenno-Scandinavian forests and their use.
  • Open access
  • 7 Reads
Simulation of Vertical Growth Near the Green Area of "Avenida Brasil" in Antofagasta Midtown, Chile
Published: 17 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Urban Development
Vertical cities growt is argument of discussion world-width. Population increases and better soil use is needed, in terms of efficiency and density, in many cities of the world. However, an excessive vertical growth seems to be dengerous, especially near the green areas of midtowns. In this paper the case of Antofagasta, Chile, is studied. Town of Antofagasta locates in the north desert coast of Chile, in a typical arid climate, latitude 23° South and longitude 70° West. Green areas are quite precious in arid climates, and have to be preserved by building overheating effect. In the last 20 years, in Antofagasta have been constructed almost 30 new towers, more than 70 meters high. At least 7 of these towers are negatively affecting nowadays the "Avenida Brasil" area, a green park of 70 meters large and one kilometer long, which is the principal green area of the city center. Paper studies two possible future evolutions: one following the actual trend, and other one proposing new building concept, limited in vertical dimension and integrated in the environment. Parameters analyzed are: temperature, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and direction in the green area. Results show the impact of building growth in terms of overheating and wind reduction on the ground area studied. Additionally, social impact of living in towers is also discussed in the paper, searching for better design in order to guarantee user\'s comfort, satisfaction and stimulation in their residences. Thermal, visual and acoustical effects produced by towers are considered in the critical evalaution of Antofagasta city evolution. Part of this work relates to architectural laboratory "energy and architecture" currently on-going at School of Architecture of the Northern Catholic University.
  • Open access
  • 10 Reads
Effect of Temperature and Steam to Biomass Ratio on NO and SO2 Formation in Palm Kernel Shell Catalytic Steam Gasification with In-situ CO2 Adsorption
The emissions of NOx and SOx has given considerable attention in last few decades due to the severe problems associated such as acid rain which has harmful effect on aquatic animal life, plant and infrastructure. The topic is more concerned in coal combustion/gasification which contains high sulphur and nitrogen content. Biomass contains less sulphur and nitrogen content and thus threat to environment is less compared to coal. Power plants using biomass combustion and co firing of biomass with coal are of great concerned in the recent years to generate electricity. Moreover, the threat to the global warming due to the use of fossil fuel also encouraged biomass as the substitute source of energy. Therefore, the present study highlights the emissions of NO and SO2 from local biomass feedstock i.e. palm kernel shell under catalytic steam gasification with in situ CO2 adsorbent in pilot scale fluidized bed gasification system. Two important variables i.e. temperature and steam to biomass are considered. Temperature is varied from 600 °C to 750 °C while steam to biomass ratio is varied in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 (wt/wt). The lower reactor temperature (600 °C) contributes to the lower concentration of NO and SO2 i.e. < 70 ppm and < 120 ppm, respectively, at steam to biomass ratio of 2.0, adsorbent to biomass ratio of 1.0 and catalyst to biomass ratio of 0.1. By increasing steam to biomass ratio from 1.5 to 2.5, the NO and SO2 formation is decreased, and achieved the minimum concentration of 20 ppm and 100 ppm, respectively, at temperature of 675 °C, adsorbent to biomass ratio of 1.0 and catalyst to biomass ratio of 0.1. The results are then discussed and compared with commercial biomass power plants.
  • Open access
  • 8 Reads
"Wolf Wars": Embodiment and Symbolism in North American Wildlife Conservation
Published: 26 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Social Values for a Sustainable Economy
Wolves (Canis lupus) have long been held as a symbol of the North American wilderness and figure prominently in United States frontier mythology. Currently the legal status of wolves is being hotly contested following their near extermination and then successful reintroduction in the North Rocky Mountain region. The opposing positions on the status of wolves very neatly conform to political party lines, with Democratic Party members supporting the protection of wolves and Republican Party members opposing it. Wolves are recognized on both sides as symbols: for Democrats, the wolf is a positive symbol representing not only environmental wholeness but also the power of positive social programs legislatively; for Republicans, the wolf is negative, representing the destructive influence of outside forces, especially that of the federal government. Because the protection of wolves does in fact require the implementation of legislature, these associations are not without merit. This paper will review existing literature on this subject, extending back to the enactment of the Endangered Species Act in the 1970s', and will contribute new research on the recent developments, including the "delisting" of wolves from the Endangered Species List in August of this year, in order to elucidate the idea that a truly viable plan for animal conservation must be socially sustainable.
  • Open access
  • 59 Reads
Application of Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment to the Bamboo and Aluminum Bicycle in Surveying Social Risks of Developing Countries
Published: 21 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Corporate Sustainability Strategy
Due to the arising internationally awareness of sustainable development, sustainability has become an ultimate goal for worldwide industries to pursue. To construct a sufficient method for assessing sustainability on the product level nowadays is an important issue but still a challenge. The mature approach, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), is used to evaluate the environmental burdens. Taking the economic and social dimensions into consideration for a comprehensive life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) is necessary and so far in its infancy. Therefore, developing the LCSA is essential and inevitable. To do so, there are two main aims of this study: first, combining LCA, life cycle costing (LCC) and social life cycle assessment (SLCA) on a case study of the bamboo bicycle and the aluminum bicycle, to emphasize on the theoretical development of an overall, scientifically and widely valid method for the integrated sustainability assessment. Second, the study takes the origin of raw materials for bamboo and bauxite from respectively China and Guinea, and bicycle manufacturing in Germany to administer the SLCA practically. The hot spot social life cycle database is used as a starting point for the practical analysis of the social situations of the countries. The study compares environmental impacts between the two bicycles. The overall LCA results indicates that the bamboo bicycle is more environmental advantageous than the aluminum one. If observing only the processes related to frame production, the outcome shows there are significant differences between the two bicycles in specific impact categories such as freshwater eco-toxicity, freshwater eutrophication, marine eco-toxicity and human toxicity; however, while checking the results for the whole life-cycle of the bicycle, the mentioned differences are minor. Besides, this paper adopts LCC fitting best together with LCA boundary as a consistent pillar of sustainability assessment. In LCC, the study focuses on the two perspectives from the manufacturer and the user of the two bicycles. While probing social circumstance of developing countries deeply in the SLCA, the results reveal that in China, shortage of labor right, low average wage, and insufficient sanitation in urban area are the main issues. For Guinea, the critical topics are gender equity, child labor, long working time, low wage, lack of labor law and completed legal system, high dropout rate, less improved sanitation, and low living standard.