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Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 5 (May 2011), Pages 720-788

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Research

Open AccessArticle Sustainable Water Resource Management and Participatory System Dynamics. Case Study: Developing the Palouse Basin Participatory Model
Sustainability 2011, 3(5), 720-742; doi:10.3390/su3050720
Received: 1 March 2011 / Accepted: 15 April 2011 / Published: 27 April 2011
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (432 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The complexity of explaining highly scientific information and juggling a plethora of social values is leading agencies and communities such as those in the Palouse Basin to explore the use of participatory modeling processes using system dynamics. Participatory system dynamics as a methodology
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The complexity of explaining highly scientific information and juggling a plethora of social values is leading agencies and communities such as those in the Palouse Basin to explore the use of participatory modeling processes using system dynamics. Participatory system dynamics as a methodology creates a transparent nexus of science, policy options, social concerns and local knowledge that enhances discussion of issues surrounding the use of natural resources. The process of developing a systems model uses the tenets of scientific theory, hypothesis testing and clear statements of assumptions. A unique aspect of the Palouse basin project is the use of system dynamics to describe ground water dynamics in a sole source confined aquifer system. There are, as of yet, no standards for analyzing participatory modeling projects, therefore, we use case study analysis to describe the process, insights and qualitative measurements of success. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Meta Analysis on Farm-Level Costs and Benefits of GM Crops
Sustainability 2011, 3(5), 743-762; doi:10.3390/su3050743
Received: 11 February 2011 / Revised: 15 April 2011 / Accepted: 3 May 2011 / Published: 10 May 2011
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (480 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews the evidence on the socio-economic impacts of GM crops and analyzes whether there are patterns across space and time. To this end, we investigate the effect of GM crops on farm-level costs and benefits using global data from more than
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This paper reviews the evidence on the socio-economic impacts of GM crops and analyzes whether there are patterns across space and time. To this end, we investigate the effect of GM crops on farm-level costs and benefits using global data from more than one decade of field trials and surveys. More specifically, we analyze the effects of GM-crops on crop yields, seed costs, pesticide costs, and management and labor costs and finally gross margins. Based on collected data from studies on Bt cotton and Bt maize, statistical analyses are conducted to estimate the effect of GM crop adoption on these parameters. Our results show that, compared to conventional crops, GM crops can lead to yield increases and can lead to reductions in the costs of pesticide application, whereas seed costs are usually substantially higher. Thus, the results presented here do support the contention that the adoption of GM crops leads on average to a higher economic performance, which is also underlined by the high adoption rates for GM crops in a number of countries. However, the kind and magnitude of benefits from GM crops are very heterogeneous between countries and regions, particularly due to differences in pest pressure and pest management practices. Countries with poor pest management practices benefited most from a reduction in yield losses, whereas other countries benefited from cost reductions. However, our study also reveals limitations for meta-analyses on farm-level costs and benefits of GM crops. In particular, published data are skewed towards some countries and the employed individual studies rely on different assumptions, purposes and methodologies (e.g., surveys and field trials). Furthermore, a summary of several (often) short-term individual studies may not necessarily capture long-term effects of GM crop adoption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnology and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Toward Food System Sustainability through School Food System Change: Think&EatGreen@School and the Making of a Community-University Research Alliance
Sustainability 2011, 3(5), 763-788; doi:10.3390/su3050763
Received: 7 March 2011 / Revised: 28 March 2011 / Accepted: 19 May 2011 / Published: 24 May 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (489 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes the theoretical and conceptual framework and the research and practice model of Think&EatGreen@School, a community-based action research project aiming to foster food citizenship in the City of Vancouver and to develop a model of sustainable institutional food systems in public
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This paper describes the theoretical and conceptual framework and the research and practice model of Think&EatGreen@School, a community-based action research project aiming to foster food citizenship in the City of Vancouver and to develop a model of sustainable institutional food systems in public schools. The authors argue that educational and policy interventions at the school and school board level can drive the goals of food system sustainability, food security, and food sovereignty. The complex relationship between food systems, climate change and environmental degradation require that international initiatives promoting sustainability be vigorously complemented by local multi-stakeholder efforts to preserve or restore the capacity to produce food in a durable manner. As a step towards making the City of Vancouver green, we are currently involved in attempts to transform the food system of the local schools by mobilizing the energy of a transdisciplinary research team of twelve university researchers, over 300 undergraduate and graduate students, and twenty community-based researchers and organizations working on food, public health, environmental and sustainability education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Security and Environmental Sustainability)

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