Contrary to claims from American politicians, lobbyists, and oil and gas executives, allowing energy development in the Alaskan
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) will harm the environment, compromise international law, erode the social significance
of wilderness protection, and ultimately fail to␣increase the energy security of the United States. After exploring a brief
history of the ANWR controversy, this piece argues that the operation of oil and gas refineries in ANWR will release discharged
solids, drilling waste, and dirty diesel fuel into the ecosystem’s food-chain, as they have from oil operations in Prudhoe
Bay. Less obvious but equally important, oil and gas exploration in ANWR will violate a number of international treaties on
biodiversity protection. In the end, development in ANWR will threaten the concept of wilderness protection, and will do little
to end US dependence on foreign sources of energy.
Since 2000, the shrimp industry expands at a fast rate in the coastal areas of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Shrimp farming is
known for its negative impact on the coastal environment. However, other human interventions like agriculture and urbanization
also deteriorate the coastal environment. The land cover changes between 1968 and 2003 were determined and analyzed for the
Cai Nuoc district, Ca Mau Province, Vietnam, using photos from 1968, 1992 (aerial photographs), 1997/98 (Spot) and 2003 (Landsat).
It was clear that the district underwent serious land cover changes: deforestation between 1968 and 1992, with a simultaneous
increase in rice land; a rapid decline in rice acreage from 1997 onwards, and, simultaneously, a blitz-increase in shrimp
farming area. The forest area declined by 75% between 1968 and 2003. About 40% of this loss could be attributed to shrimp
farming, while the remaining 60% was attributed to needs for agricultural land. Still, at present, shrimp farming is the major
source of mangrove loss in the district. In 1999 shrimp farms covered 6.374ha, in 2000 they covered 61.049 ha of the Cai
Nuoc area. The swap from rice cultivation to shrimp farming was most-probably driven by households’ hopes for a higher income.
It must be feared that the shrimp industry will have a negative impact on the environment (e.g. salinization) and on the livelihood
of the district’s households. In 1968 saline water covered 219.9km2, in 1992, 1997/98 and 2003 the saline surface water area covered 92.4, 135.2 and 835.0km2, respectively.
Searching for practical means to assessing economic growth’s sustainability, we extend a standard theoretical model to calculate
“true” income measures for Chile, during the 1985–2004 period, and use estimates of natural capital depreciation to obtain
genuine national saving measures. We found that, for the period, Chile’s economic growth was sustainable, even when approximately
2.5% of the income recorded by national accounts corresponded to depreciation of natural resources plus costs of atmospheric
pollution. This performance can be partially explained by policies implemented to force fiscal responsibility and to assure
wise public investment and expending during a natural resource driven growth. This evidence reinforces recent findings contradicting
the natural resource curse, and the indirect negative effect of resource abundance over growth that would operate through
the quality of institutions.
KeywordsSustainable development-Green accounting-Sustainability indicators-Less developing countries-Chile
The north-eastern province of Quang Ninh is one of the areas in Vietnam characterised by rapid economic, social and environmental development. Using LANDSAT TM images, this paper analyses land cover changes between the period of 1988-1998. The changes were classified into three main groups: coastal features, natural land features and human features. These main groups were further subdivided into 22 different mapping categories.
The study shows that by 1998, 39.9 per cent of the 1988 land cover had changed. The results also indicate:
(a) a fast expansion of the human features: during these 10 years the area of urban settlements doubled and the area for coal mining activities increased by 75 per cent.
(b) the coastal area changed in a complex way driven by expansion of urbanisation, aquaculture activities, agriculture and mangrove expansion (replanting and natural colonisation of tidal flats without vegetation).
(c) the original dense forest in the area rapidly declined: of the 2,010 ha cover in 1988, only 335 ha remained in 1998. Dense forests mainly changed to degraded and secondary forest.
This approach allows for an accurate quantification, analysis and description of land cover in the present and the past. Therefore the data offer a powerful tool for both planners and strategic environmental assessments. The latter allow for an evaluation of the observed trends and processes in a sustainability context.
The concept of sustainable development is forcing standard economic analysis to acknowledge and address the existence of dimensions
of performance, which are not reducible to monetary accounting. In particular, the implementation of this concept in practice
requires: (a) the simultaneous handling of indicators developed in different disciplinary fields; and (b) an approach more
related to the procedures adopted by consultants (Participatory Integrated Analysis), rather than theoretical academic analysis
looking for ‘the’ optimal solution. The case study considered in this paper is a multi-criteria analysis of changes, which
occurred in the Swedish milk production sector for the period 1989–1999. Multi-criteria impact matrices and multi-criteria
representations are used to provide a transparent method of integrated analysis. Changes are characterized and quantified
in a way that makes it possible to relate the impact of existing trends in relation to different sub-objectives (variation
in performance in relation to social, economic and ecological indicators). The results of this analysis confirm a few well
known predicaments of sustainability associated with agriculture. The growth of Sweden economy is driving a major increase
in material throughputs within its agricultural sector. The need of increasing agricultural throughput (especially labour
productivity) has moved the Swedish dairy sector in a clear situation of decreasing marginal return ( = large increases in
inputs are not reflected in a proportional increase in output). Therefore, sound policies of development of this sector aimed
at increasing the goal of sustainability have to be developed by considering several indicators of performance, and not only
Because watershed collaborations connect economic and environmental concerns, they are of interest to students of sustainable
economic development. The economic outcomes of such collaborations are difficult to study because socio-economic data collection
areas do not generally correspond to collaboration boundaries and also because of the simultaneity of economic stimuli and
restrictions in collaborative arrangements. This case study of New York City’s Watershed Collaboration in its Catskill Delaware
Watershed used a mapping program to create a database of Watershed residents from the 1990 and 2000 census. It provides a
heretofore unavailable socioeconomic portrait of the Watershed and trends in indicators relevant to Collaboration effectiveness
such as age, demographic pressures, and economic welfare. Through the use of national, state, regional and rural controls,
the study also explores the impact of the agreement on the Watershed. Results do not provide evidence of a net negative impact
and are consistent with a net positive impact. Several trends which work against agreement effectiveness are identified.
No studies were reported on the field of coastal eutrophication research by using bibliometrics. The objective of this study
was to evaluate the coastal eutrophication research performance based on all the related articles in Science Citation Index
databases from 1993 to 2008. Document type, publication output, authorship, keywords, publication pattern, country, and institute
of publication were analyzed. The USA contributed 35.0% of total articles where the ten major industrial countries accounted
for the majority of the total production. An indicator citation per publication was presented in this study to evaluate the
impact of number of authors, institutes, countries, and journals. The mean value of citation per publication of collaborative
papers was higher than that of single country or institute publications. Collaboration trend was toward multi-authors, multi-institutes
and multi-countries papers. This was coincident with the research trends of coastal eutrophication, which was thought to be
a component of global change. Additionally, keywords analysis was used to indicate the formation and shift of hot research.
KeywordsCoastal eutrophication–Web of science–Bibliometric–Research performance–Research trend
Latin America comprehends notable variations in terms of natural environment, availability of natural resources, living standards, and demographic patterns. Latin America is a mosaic of cultures, post-and pre-Columbian. The rich variety of life forms discovered and described by chroniclers and traveling naturalists in the Neotropics contributed to the proposal, in mid-XVIIIth century, of a new system of classification and a scientific code of nomenclature for all organisms. Biodiversity was, for many centuries, a source of resources to be exploited in natura. In scientific circles, its inventory became the domain of taxonomists. But modern technology showed how important the miriad of life forms really are as sources of chemical molecules to be engineered as drugs and reassembled as novel manufactured products. We are on the brink of a new agricultural and medical revolution, thanks to the techniques of genetic engineering, which will lead eventually to the elimination of hunger and malnutrition.
The implementation of sustainable development requires several support instruments. One of the major instruments in the Rio
Declaration to support this process has been environmental assessment that has been given considerable emphasis as to its
potential ability to help achieve more sustainable forms of development.
Regional environmental assessment (REA) has shown to be effective in supporting local sustainable development process. Selected
environmental assessment methods have been␣used to improve the REA exercise and provide reliable data for decision-making
not only to correct environmental problems due to past unsustainable social-economic developments but also help local governments
to implement Agenda 21 (AG21) plans and projects.
Both the Aalborg Commitments and the guidance on integrated urban environmental management and sustainable urban transport
plans proposed by the EU Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment foresee a baseline review as the first step in developing
integrated urban management plans and systems. A baseline review of urban sustainability undertaken in Riga reveals significant
discrepencies between the sustainability criteria of the Aalborg Commitments and the: responsibilities and competencies of
the municipal government and administration as defined by statutes; policy goals and measures defined in municipal planning
documents; policy goals and measures defined in the Riga Development Plan. To better orient the mandate of the municipality
towards sustainable development, municipal statutes should be supplemented to more fully reflect the issues defined by the
Aalborg Commitments and should include sustainability as a goal. In order to strengthen the implementation of sustainable
development specific policy goals, measures and targets should be formulated for all the Aalborg Commitments issues when revising
existing municipal planning documents or developing a municipal sustainable development management plan. An analysis of the
European Common Indicators and the State of the Environment in Riga 2001 indicators indicates that they can only partially
fulfill a monitoring function for the implementation of the Aalborg Commitments. This highlights a need to better coordinate
sustainable development initiatives at the European level. The methodology used for the baseline review in Riga is useful
for assessing the status of urban sustainability when preparing integrated urban management plans or systems, but requires
In Australia, governments are committed to water infrastructure developments that are both environmentally sustainable and
economically viable. Consumption-based pricing is seen as a water conservation strategy. This has significant implications
for Aboriginal communities, many of which do not pay for water use and experience economic hardship. This paper outlines attitudes
towards paying for water use in five Aboriginal communities in South Australia. Inability to pay for services was a common
factor hindering willingness to pay for water. While different factors were raised in different communities, most communities
believed that water is a ‘cultural right’ that should not be paid for. The research found that strategies such as communication
and community involvement in the decision-making processes around water supply are necessary to facilitate cost recovery and
to promote water conservation.
While the role Aboriginal people play in environmental governance programs are often underpinned by the Crown, Aboriginal
peoples are ratifying negotiated agreements with mining proponents to ensure their issues and concerns are addressed. This
paper examines Aboriginal participation in mine development to show how more inclusive social and environmental development
models can support a more sustainable development. Through two complementary processes, negotiated agreements and environmental
impact assessment, Aboriginal peoples are maximizing their benefits and minimizing the adverse impacts of a project to create
a more sustainable resource development. Case study analysis of the Galore Creek Project in northwestern British Columbia,
Canada, illustrates how environmental impact assessment and negotiated agreements can co-exist to positively contribute to
a successful mineral development, and hence operationalize sustainability within this context.
KeywordsNegotiated agreements-Mineral development-Aboriginal-Environmental impact assessment-Canada
Traditional environmental knowledge (usually imparted orally) is being lost from many regions of the world, requiring novel forms of transmission if this situation is to be redressed. Loss of this knowledge may be a significant contributory factor towards ecological decline. Undoubtedly, disruption to ecosystems and societies that depend on these has impacted on traditional land management practices, with negative ramifications for biodiversity. From an environmental perspective, scientists in northern Australia need to understand traditional Aboriginal methods of ‘caring for country’, such as burning regimes, so that these can be incorporated into strategies today for maintaining Australia’s rich biodiversity. However, information exchange should be two-way: as well as learning from local people, science can in turn benefit people who may have little experience of, for example, invasive species. The challenge is how can the complexity of biological knowledge from within different ontologies be represented and integrated in a way that it can be of use to scientists and local people, in order to ensure a sustainable future? The main aim of this study was to record existing local knowledge of biodiversity for the community of Aurukun (far north Queensland), integrating this knowledge with scientific data, while giving parity to both knowledge systems and protecting intellectual property rights. A cross-cultural collaboration between community members and ethnobiologists resulted in development of the Aurukun Ethnobiology Database. An interdisciplinary approach was taken to effectively model autochthonous biological knowledge and scientific data to create a database with a number of practical applications.
This article presents a case study of an existing study abroad program to New Zealand interested in infusing sustainability
themes into the curriculum. The review of the program is set in the context of United Nations Education for Sustainable Development
goals and the role of sustainability in institutions of higher education. The author was an invited external observer and
suggests that study abroad programs in support of sustainability education provide transformative learning experiences that
invest in the well being of both people and places.
Industrial society will move towards collapse if its total environmental impact (I), expressed either in terms of energy and
materials use or in terms of pollution, increases with time, i.e., dI/dt>0. The traditional interpretation of the I=PAT
equation reflects the optimistic belief that technological innovation, particularly improvements in eco-efficiency, will significantly
reduce the technology (T) factor, and thereby result in a corresponding decline in impact (I). Unfortunately, this interpretation
of the I=PAT equation ignores the effects of technological change on the other two factors: population (P) and per capita
affluence (A). A more heuristic formulation of this equation is I=P(T)·A(T)·T in which the dependence of P and A on T is
apparent. From historical evidence, it is clear that technological revolutions (tool-making, agricultural, and industrial)
have been the primary driving forces behind successive population explosions, and that modern communication and transportation
technologies have been employed to transform a large proportion of the world’s inhabitants into consumers of material- and
energy-intensive products and services. In addition, factor analysis from neoclassical growth theory and the rebound effect
provide evidence that science and technology have played a key role in contributing to rising living standards. While technological
change has thus contributed to significant increases in both P and A, it has at the same time brought about considerable eco-efficiency
improvements. Unfortunately, reductions in the T-factor have generally not been sufficiently rapid to compensate for the simultaneous
increases in both P and A. As a result, total impact, in terms of energy production, mineral extraction, land-use and CO2 emissions, has in most cases increased with time, indicating that industrial society is nevertheless moving towards collapse.
The belief that continued and even accelerated scientific research and technological innovation will automatically result
in sustainability and avert collapse is at best mistaken. Innovations in science and technology will be necessary but alone
will be insufficient for sustainability. Consequently, what is most needed are specific policies designed to decrease total
impact, such as (a) halting population growth via effective population stabilization plans and better access to birth control
methods, (b) reducing total matter-energy throughput and pollution by removing perverse subsidies, imposing regulations that
limit waste discharges and the depletion of non-renewable resources, and implementing ecological tax reform, and (c) moving
towards a steady-state economy in which per-capita affluence is stabilized at lower levels by replacing wasteful conspicuous
material consumption with social alternatives known to enhance subjective well-being. While science and technology must play
an important role in the implementation of these policies, none will be enacted without a fundamental change in society’s
dominant values of growth and exploitation. Thus, value change is the most important prerequisite for avoiding global collapse.
Growing population, human settlements, industrialization and intensification in groundwater-based cultivation have resulted
in severe onslaught on underground aquifers in West Bengal, an eastern province of India with high population density. The
present paper focuses on this water resource management issue. The study shows that traditional, village-level surface water
reservoirs which for centuries had supplemented irrigation in addition to providing water for all sorts of domestic needs
are now in doldrums. Through statistical analysis, the study shows that for all practical purposes, there is very little effective
management of these precious open-access water resources. The situation calls for paradigm shift in policy on water resource
management that entails development of community-based management catalyzed by government intervention, external agencies
and NGOs under supervision and control of local elected bodies.
KeywordsWest Bengal-Surface water-Groundwater-Management issues-Sustainability
It is considered that use of hydrogen as an energy source may contribute to environmental improvement and provide an alternative energy system. Moreover, it is anticipated that hydrogen will be in great demand in the near future for use in such vehicles as fuel cell-based cars. Research and development of a number of advanced methods of hydrogen production (OTEC, water photolysis using a semiconductor, a municipal waste gasification—smelting system, etc.) is currently under way.
A comparison of different hydrogen-rich fuels in this paper shows that methane is advantageous for hydrogen production from the viewpoint of energy efficiency as measured by thermodynamic analysis. This paper therefore proposes combining existing technology for hydrogen production with an unconventional methane source in order to facilitate the realization of a hydrogen energy system: i.e., this paper proposes combining the process of steam reforming, which is commercialized worldwide, with use of untouched natural gas hydrate (NGH) resources. Gas hydrate deposits, which are distributed worldwide, hold great amounts of methane gas and have hardly been touched. This paper presents the economic parameters of NGH development and discusses the concept of devising useful applications of NGHs, with consideration given to (1) independence from current fossil fuels; (2) energy transport using the hydrate system; (3) CO2 sequestration — replacement of methane hydrate with CO2 hydrate in the submarine layer and (4) improvement of current steam reforming of methane by CO2 reuse and zeolite application. This paper thus proposes a new solution that will make a key contribution to the systematic development of a new sustainable energy structure.
It can be stated in general that (with the exception of agriculture) the Hungarian economy, because of its outdated technologies, is a bigger threat to the environment than countries of Western Europe. However, as the volume of economic output, per capita consumption and the number of motor vehicles is considerably lower than those in more advanced industrial nations, by most indicators low per capita figures put Hungary in a better position. Still, we must remember that the EU's environmental policy puts heavy emphasis on the efficient utilization of resources and environmental efficiency, calculated against pollution generated in the course of creating units of national wealth and the amount of energy and natural resources required to it. By these standards, Hungary lags far behind the West European model.
The problem is compounded by the fact that, while nations of Western Europe had created environmental infrastructure (i.e., wastewater disposal and treatment, waste management) in an earlier phase of their economic development, Hungary is only now embarking on a similar project. Indeed, the existing gap between utility services of drinking water and sewage disposal and treatment, and large amounts of untreated and illegally dumped waste lead to serious environmental damage. Although the state of the country's natural environment is considered satisfactory, factors outlined above indicate there are many responsibilities ahead of us if we are to meet western environmental standards.
Agriculture's contribution to radiative forcing is principally through its historical release of carbon in soil and vegetation
to the atmosphere and through its contemporary release of nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CHM4). The sequestration of soil carbon in soils now depleted in soil organic matter is a well-known strategy for mitigating the
buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere. Less well-recognized are other mitigation potentials. A full-cost accounting of the effects of agriculture
on greenhouse gas emissions is necessary to quantify the relative importance of all mitigation options. Such an analysis shows
nitrogen fertilizer, agricultural liming, fuel use, N2O emissions, and CH4 fluxes to have additional significant potential for mitigation. By evaluating all sources in terms of their global warming
potential it becomes possible to directly evaluate greenhouse policy options for agriculture. A comparison of temperate and
tropical systems illustrates some of these options.
The current trend in foreign aid is toward small-scale sustainable development projects in partnership with defined communities.
However, these projects are subject to the influences of self-interested human behavior, poorly defined community structures
and resources and organizational constraints that can prevent full realization of development models. Under these constraints,
attempting participatory community development models to the exclusion of other techniques may not be the most effective way
to achieve positive change. Instead, development agencies should consider adopting other proven elements of development in
combination with the spirit of community development to achieve a positive impact within the community and organizational
structures and ensure accountability for success. A small-scale attempted, sustainable development case study in Rwanda is
reviewed, as well as a new concept for larger scale development integrating ‘carbon credits’. Additionally, a development
accreditation organization is proposed to ensure additional accountability in this field.
KeywordsSustainable development-Rwanda-Carbon credits-EWB-USA-Capacity building-Case study
In this paper we develop a novel, comprehensive method for estimating the global human carrying capacity in reference to food
production factors and levels of food consumption. Other important interrelated dimensions of carrying capacity such as energy,
non-renewable resources, and ecology are not considered here and offer opportunities for future work. Use of grain production
(rain-fed/irrigated), animal product production (grazing/factory farm), diet pattern (grain/animal products), and a novel
water accounting method (demand/supply) based on actual water consumption and not on withdrawal, help resolve uncertainties
to find better estimates. Current Western European food consumption is used as a goal for the entire world. Then the carrying
capacity lies in the range of 4.5–4.7 billion but requiring agricultural water use increase by 450–530% to 4725–5480km3, the range based on different estimates of available water. The cost of trapping and conveying such water, will run 4.5–13.5
trillion over 50years requiring an annual spending increase of 150–400%, straining the developing world where most of the
population increase is expected. We reconfirm estimates in the literature using a dynamic model. ‘Corner scenarios’ with extreme
optimistic assumptions were analyzed using the reasoning support software system GLOBESIGHT. With a hypothetical scenario
with a mainly vegetarian diet (grazing only with 5% animal product), the carrying capacity can be as high as 14billion. Ecological
deterioration that surely accompanies such a population increase would negatively impact sustainable population. Using our
approach the impact of ecological damage could be studied. Inter- and intra-regional inequities are other considerations that
need to be studied.
The paper addresses the topic of wealth accumulation in Russia. This phenomenon plays an important role for the understanding
and forecasting the future economic and social development of the country. The “westernized” paradigm calls for hard honest
work during the life and approves getting a reward in a form of wealth in the end. When brought to Russia, this paradigm faces
the orthodox traditions and rules together with the post-soviet mental patterns. In this paper, we consider how the pattern
“first accumulate wealth, then consume it” competes with its opposition, the pattern “first consume wealth, then accumulate
it” in Russia. We base our discussion on the consumers’ simple optimization problem, which exhibits a bifurcation between
those two patterns depending on the relation between the consumption “impatience” and the wealth growth rate. We also suggest
a framework to model the phenomenon of unfair wealth through impulse type of wealth development.
KeywordsDynamical consumption optimization–Fair wealth accumulation–Russia