Simron Singh

Simron Singh
University of Waterloo | UWaterloo · School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED)

Ph.D. Human Ecology

About

93
Publications
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Publications

Publications (93)
Article
Full-text available
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face enormous sustainability challenges such as heavy reliance on imports to meet basic needs, tenuous resource availability, coastal squeeze, and reduced waste absorption capacity. At the same time, the adverse effects of global environmental change such as global warming, extreme events, and outbreaks of pand...
Article
Full-text available
Small island developing states are often characterized as vulnerable owing to their unique geographies of smallness and remoteness, resource insecurity, and more recently from the impacts of climate change. These vulnerabilities are often manifested in resource insecurity, significant imports, poor waste management, and the inability to develop eco...
Article
Small island economies are highly dependent on food imports. Self‐sufficiency through food localization is therefore often advocated. Can a small Caribbean island nation localize its food system? To answer this question, we conducted socio‐metabolic research on four Caribbean nations: Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, and Jamaica. Derived indicators fro...
Article
The Caribbean region remains susceptible to an increasing frequency of natural disasters, rising international debt, out-migration, rapid urbanization, and high imports to meet basic needs. Food and nutrition insecurity persists in these small island states, with around 67.5% of the population living in moderate or severe food insecurity. Policy ad...
Article
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Their geomorphological characteristics make island systems special focal points for sustainability challenges. The Circular Economy (CE) Action Plan of the European Union foresees tailored solution sets for Europe's outermost regions and islands to tackle region‐specific sustainability challenges. We address the question of how islands can achieve...
Article
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), representing approximately USD 13.5 trillion of the global GDP, is one of the largest free-trade agreements in the world. This trade agreement considers many important issues yet fails to address climate change or carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. CO2 emissions in trad...
Book
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This book makes the case for why we should care about islands and their sustainability. Islands are hotspots of biocultural diversity and home to 600 million people that depend on one-sixth of the earth’s total area, including the surrounding oceans, for their subsistence. Today, they are at the frontlines of climate change and face an existential...
Article
Full-text available
Global material extraction has tripled since the 1970s, with more than 100 billion tonnes of materials entering the world economy each year. Only 8.6% of this is recycled, while 61% ends up as waste and emissions that is the leading cause of global warming, and large-scale pollution of land, rivers, and oceans. This paper introduces Socio-metabolic...
Article
While excessive use of electronics and the resulting e-waste is a global problem, the situation is even more acute on small islands as bounded systems and the enormous costs associated with shipping it elsewhere. Dumping e-waste on islands can cause pollution of ground and surface water and degradation of coastal and marine resources. Yet, research...
Chapter
This entry reviews key trends in disaster research over the past century, in terms of definitions, causes, impacts, and current practices in dealing with disasters. The second part uses the case of the Nicobar Islands in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami and shows how an indigenous, subsistence, island community of hunters and gatherers has been tr...
Article
Islands are bounded systems, often plagued with several sustainability challenges of limited land and resource availability, as well as pressing waste management issues. Despite these known problems, research aiming to help develop proper e-waste management systems for small island nations is scarce. Focusing on five Caribbean island states, this s...
Article
Can a small island state be sustainable? Small islands often suffer from a myriad of sustainability challenges owing to their remoteness, size, dependency on imports, and limited waste absorption capacity. Most imports end up as waste accumulation in dumpsites at the end of their life-cycle, representing a one-way material flow. The concept of the...
Article
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This editorial introduces the Special Issue “Metabolism of Islands”. It makes a case why we should care about islands and their sustainability. Islands are hotspots of biocultural diversity, and home to 600 million people that depend on one-sixth of the earth’s total area, including the surrounding oceans, for their subsistence. Today, they are on...
Article
Full-text available
In the past decades, the Caribbean economy has transformed to rely primarily on tourism with a vast amount of infrastructure dedicated to this sector. At the same time, the region is subject to repeated crises in the form of extreme weather events that are becoming more frequent, deadly, and costly. Damages to buildings and infrastructure (or the m...
Article
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-disaster-aid-ravaged-an-island-people/
Article
Full-text available
Sustainability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is a growing concern particularly under climate change scenarios. Under the Ecosystem Service (ES) framework, we analyse the performance of five Caribbean countries (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago) regarding environmental and socioeconomic indicators, specify...
Article
Connectivity and affluence provide communities on small islands with opportunities and challenges. Both factors drive the expansion of material stocks which in turn determines future waste generation. For islands with limited waste treatment options an effective waste management strategy is inevitable. For the Greek island of Samothraki, constructi...
Book
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The current working paper results from our ongoing transdisciplinary efforts at supporting a sustainability transition on the Greek island of Samothraki (Fischer-Kowalski et al. 2011, Petridis et al. 2017). Our research activities on Samothraki revolve around identifying those ecological and social factors that cause insular societies to prosper an...
Article
The building stock consumes large amounts of resources for maintenance and expansion which is only exacerbated by disaster events where large‐scale reconstruction must occur quickly. Recent research has shown the potential for application of material stock (MS) accounts for informing disaster risk planning. In this research, we present a methodolog...
Presentation
Full-text available
Recommendations of the International Scientific Advisory Board to the Association Sustainable Samothraki. Summary brochure 2019.
Article
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Ecosystem Services are commonly understood as the goods and services people obtain from nature, such as carbon sequestration, provision of food and fibers, pollination, etc. The provision of these services is in part closely related to the level of biodiversity in a region. Since some forested regions are considered biodiversity hotspots, the loss...
Poster
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For many island communities dealing with waste represents one of the major challenges towards a local sustainable development (Eckelman et al. 2014). The EU Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) demands from EU member states a 70% recovery and recycling rate for construction and demolition waste (CDW) by 2020. With the implementation of the 2018 C...
Chapter
By virtue of being close to the epicentre, the Nicobar Islands located in the Bay of Bengal were severely affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Overwhelming aid followed, transforming an indigenous community of hunters-and-gatherers and coconut growers into a consumer society in a matter of months. Based on several years of fieldwork, this cha...
Article
Livestock keeping and food production from grasslands play an important role in the Mediterranean region, where grazing has a long tradition and still is a key livelihood strategy. Yet, in many places widespread degradation (caused by overgrazing) severely threatens the natural resource base and prospects for future food security and sustainable de...
Data
13 Scientists under the auspices of a local Environmental NGO "Sustainable Samothraki" provide an position statement on potential impacts from the proposed construction of wind turbine developments in the mountains of Samothraki Island, Greece. The proposed developments are within a Natura 2000 area (SAC, SPA) and a proposed UNESCO Man and Biospher...
Presentation
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A call for applications to the Summer School on the Greek Island of Samothraki: 3rd to 12th June 2018. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS NOW SET AT 15 FEBRUARY. This course primarily addresses students with some post-graduate research experience (Master’s Degree level or in course for post-graduate work) from both the natural and social sciences. Student...
Chapter
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The Introduction sets the tone for the book by outlining the main concepts, debates and applications illustrated by the various contributions in this volume. The theme of Local Food Systems (LFS) is a complex one, and therefore a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary effort, drawing on a myriad of research concepts and frameworks. The chapter beg...
Chapter
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This chapter summarizes the main sustainability challenges (in terms of science and policy) of the current dominant agri-food system and presents insights derived from the cases in the volume. We return to the two main questions asked in the introductory chapter of the book. How useful is the socio-metabolic approach in studying the sustainability...
Book
This book delves into diverse local food systems and critically assesses their ecological and societal benefits and trade-offs, their limits and opportunities for improving sustainability of food production, and framework conditions which either hinder or promote their development. More and more people with gradually meat heavier diets will demand...
Article
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Given the intricate link between biodiversity and poverty, this paper critically reflects on the role of mainstreaming biodiversity in development policy and practice. In order to better understand the operational challenges ‘on the ground’, we present some of the dominant development frameworks within which development organizations operate, all w...
Poster
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Poster presented at ISIE, Chicago (2017) regarding the quantification of energy and biomass flows for the Region of Waterloo (Canada) at three points in time (2006, 2011, 2016) in the context of food and energy security.
Article
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Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) are incentives offered to land owners or managers in exchange for practices that benefit society with ecological goods and/or services. For the success of PES schemes, the involvement of stakeholders, their needs, knowledge, and perspectives has been found beneficial. This paper presents a new approach in engag...
Article
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We highlight the importance of island research that aims to achieve sustainability transitions. All too often, developmental priorities are largely defined by economic policy imperatives, and island research either ignores or masks such normative connotations. This article reports on ten years of transdisciplinary socioecological research on the Gr...
Article
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This paper aims to advance our understanding of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) as ‘political projects’ by offering an analytical tool for investigating power relations, political decisions, place specific ideas and social norms in the construction and operation of PES schemes. This proposed analytic tool is based on a revised version of the...
Article
The so called “land grabbing” has gained increased attention since the outburst of the global financial and food crisis triggering a new trend of acquiring land for outsourcing production of food, feed and agrofuels. India as one of the newly emerging economies is investing heavily in farmland as it faces enormous challenges to sustain its rising p...
Chapter
Long-term approaches are an important concern of Social Ecology and Environmental History. This chapter outlines approaches developed within the Vienna School of Social Ecology to analyze society-nature interactions over long periods in a manner that combines the Humanities, the Social Sciences and the Natural Sciences. It discusses the interrelati...
Chapter
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From the socioecological perspective, society is conceived as a symbolic system that is coupled with biophysical elements. The biophysical and the symbolic components of society are considered to be coevolving. The expansion of the fossil energy regime, for example, was the result of changes in the symbolic systems of proto-industrial societies. At...
Chapter
This chapter is a case study of a local rural system affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The Asian tsunami clearly revealed the vulnerability of coastal communities with respect to dealing with ecological hazards. An area that was greatly affected was the Nicobar Islands, an archipelago belonging to India and located in the Bay of Bengal. Cr...
Poster
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The Greek island of Samothraki has undergone vast changes in the last five decades. The island had a typical agrarian socio-metabolic profile until the 1960s and has turned towards introducing a – however still moderate amount of - tourism, while at the same time responding to EU agricultural subsidies by increasing the number of small ruminants wh...
Article
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Market instruments such as Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) emerged as a concept to compensate and encourage landowners to improve land management practices for the maintenance and provision of ecosystem services. Since the early 1990s hundreds of PES schemes have been implemented around the world with varying levels of success. The high invest...
Presentation
Full-text available
The course is a 2-week excursion to Samothraki with the aim to learn and apply aquatic ecology and social ecology approaches in a local setting while supporting current research and building synergy with the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve process. The course gives students the opportunity to engage in a real-life project and utilise their scientific trai...
Chapter
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Wissenschaft, die sich an gesellschaftlichen Problemen orientiert, ist heute inter- und transdisziplinär. Dieses Buch gibt Einblicke in die damit verbundenen Herausforderungen: Die Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler verlassen das sichere Terrain akademischer Disziplinen. Ihre Expertise wird relativiert, methodisches Neuland wird betreten. Auf...
Chapter
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This contribution investigates the role of working time in the course of agricultural development. In so doing, we revisit Ester Boserup’s (1965, 1981) hypothesis of increasing land productivity at the expense of declining labour productivity as a consequence of agricultural intensification in subsistence communities. We introduce a theoretical fra...
Technical Report
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The two big global crises that erupted in 2008 – the world food crisis and the broader financial crisis that the food crisis has been part of – are together spawning a new and disturbing trend towards buying up land for outsourced food production. ‘Land grabbing’ as these acquisitions are now called, is often led by the private sector (with support...
Chapter
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The chapter is an experience in transdisciplinarity illustrated by the case of the Upper Ötztal, part of the Tyrolean LTSER Platform in the Austrian Alps. In this effort, the search was for an effective framework for integrated monitoring that would not be limited to observing and monitoring the state of nature alone, but one that would assess and...
Article
This chapter reviews approaches to analysing the ‘metabolism’ of socioeconomic systems consistently across space and time. Socioeconomic metabolism refers to the material, substance or energy throughput of socioeconomic systems, i.e. all the biophysical resources required for production, consumption, trade and transportation. We also introduce the...
Chapter
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One challenge in the implementation of Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) is the consideration of relevant spatial and temporal scales. Mismatches between the scale(s) on which biodiversity is monitored and analysed, the scale(s) on which biodiversity is managed, and the scale(s) on which conservation policies are implemented have been ide...
Book
The authors in this volume make a case for LTSER’s potential in providing insights, knowledge and experience necessary for a sustainability transition. This expertly edited selection of contributions from Europe and North America reviews the development of LTSER since its inception and assesses its current state, which has evolved to recognize the...
Chapter
A human ecologist, a systems ecologist, a biogeochemist, an environmental historian, and an industrial ecologist have come together to present this book, offering at least some evidence of the great multi-disciplinary interest in the still maturing approach of Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research. Indeed, we see that LTSER did not spring fully grown...
Article
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This article critically analyzes institutional change as a consequence of humanitarian intervention in the tsunami-affected Nicobar Islands in India. It shows that the state and aid agencies distributed resources on the basis of formal rules and norms different from those observed by the Nicobarese. This has created social upheaval by diminishing t...
Article
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India's economic growth in the last decade has raised several concerns in terms of its present and future resource demands for materials and energy. While per capita resource consumption is still extremely modest but on the rise, its sheer population qualifies India as a fast growing giant with material and energy throughput that is growing rapidly...
Article
Long term socio-ecological research across temporal and spatial scales Simron Jit Singh and Helmut Haberl Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna, Austria Understanding trajectories of change in coupled socio-ecological (or human-environment) systems requires monitoring and analysis at several spatial and temporal scales. Long-term ecosystem research...
Chapter
Understanding complex adaptive social-ecological systems is an important prerequisite to be able to deal with the question of sustainability in the context of ongoing global change. Modelling has been used as a tool in different disciplines and has especially gained ground in inter – and transdisciplinary realms due to its capacity to integrate var...
Article
Full-text available
In the context of sustainable development, we investigate four subsistence communities, one each from India, Bolivia, Laos and Thailand, to understand the systemic interrelations between the food production systems and related environmental pressures. In doing so, we revisit Ester Boserup's theory of increasing land productivity at the expense of d...
Article
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This research explored the feasibility of transforming the island of Samothraki, Greece, into a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The goal was to assess whether this would help to foster a sustainable socio-economic development and to preserve the unique natural and cultural heritage of the island. In recent years the number of seasonal residents and touri...
Chapter
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In order to support the emerging network of long-term ecological research (LTER) sites across Europe, the European Union has launched ALTER-Net, a network aiming at lasting integration of long-term socio-economic, ecological and biodiversity research. Due to its high population density and long history of human habitation, however, Europe’s ecosyst...