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Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 6 (June 2016)

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Open AccessArticle 2D Versus 3D: The Relevance of the Mode of Presentation for the Economic Valuation of an Alpine Landscape
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060591
Received: 13 May 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2153 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to value the transformation of landscapes from an economic perspective, survey respondents are usually presented with pictures of various landscapes with the aim to visualize differences in their appearance. The current paper presents a classroom experiment ascertaining differences, and potential advantages
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In order to value the transformation of landscapes from an economic perspective, survey respondents are usually presented with pictures of various landscapes with the aim to visualize differences in their appearance. The current paper presents a classroom experiment ascertaining differences, and potential advantages and disadvantages, of 2D versus 3D (stereoscopic) presentations of landscape changes. The landscape to be valued was a traditional Alpine pasture in the Austrian Alps as a prominent example of natural and cultural heritage (traditional economy and specific ecology). Two alternative scenarios included, on the one hand, changes in agricultural uses, leading to natural afforestation (reforestation) and decay of existing infrastructure (e.g., hiking trails). On the other hand, significantly extended tourism infrastructure (e.g., new attractions for visitors) was presented. Two groups were presented manipulated pictures (2D/non-stereoscopic), and 3D (stereoscopic) presentations with 3D glasses, respectively. Both groups were then asked for their perception of landscape changes. It turns out that significant differences between the two groups could be detected in terms of the frequency of vacations at Alpine pastures. For instance, respondents in the 3D stereoscopic group stated a significantly higher frequency of trips. However, on the other hand, they did not state a significantly different willingness-to-pay to prevent landscape changes disadvantageous in terms of sustainability. The study results thus suggest that the mode of presentation may affect the valuation of landscape changes depending on the valuation instrument. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Cultural and Natural Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Study on Solar Radiation Models in South Korea for Improving Office Building Energy Performance Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060589
Received: 16 May 2016 / Revised: 19 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2391 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hourly global solar radiation in a weather file is one of the significant parameters for improving building energy performance analyses using simulation programs. However, most weather stations worldwide are not equipped with solar radiation sensors because they tend to be difficult to manage.
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Hourly global solar radiation in a weather file is one of the significant parameters for improving building energy performance analyses using simulation programs. However, most weather stations worldwide are not equipped with solar radiation sensors because they tend to be difficult to manage. In South Korea, only twenty-two out of ninety-two weather stations are equipped with sensors, and there are large areas not equipped with any sensors. Thus, solar radiation must often be calculated by reliable solar models. Hence, it is important to find a reliable model that can be applied in the wide variety of weather conditions seen in South Korea. In this study, solar radiation in the southeastern part of South Korea was calculated using three solar models: cloud-cover radiation model (CRM), Zhang and Huang model (ZHM), and meteorological radiation model (MRM). These values were then compared to measured solar radiation data. After that, the calculated solar radiation data from the three solar models were used in a building energy simulation for an office building with various window characteristics conditions, in order to identify how solar radiation differences affect building energy performance. It was found that a seasonal solar model for the area should be developed to improve building energy performance analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessReview Vulnerability Assessment Models to Drought: Toward a Conceptual Framework
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060588
Received: 5 April 2016 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1564 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Drought is regarded as a slow-onset natural disaster that causes inevitable damage to water resources and to farm life. Currently, crisis management is the basis of drought mitigation plans, however, thus far studies indicate that effective drought management strategies are based on risk
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Drought is regarded as a slow-onset natural disaster that causes inevitable damage to water resources and to farm life. Currently, crisis management is the basis of drought mitigation plans, however, thus far studies indicate that effective drought management strategies are based on risk management. As a primary tool in mitigating the impact of drought, vulnerability assessment can be used as a benchmark in drought mitigation plans and to enhance farmers’ ability to cope with drought. Moreover, literature pertaining to drought has focused extensively on its impact, only awarding limited attention to vulnerability assessment as a tool. Therefore, the main purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for designing a vulnerability model in order to assess farmers’ level of vulnerability before, during and after the onset of drought. Use of this developed drought vulnerability model would aid disaster relief workers by enhancing the adaptive capacity of farmers when facing the impacts of drought. The paper starts with the definition of vulnerability and outlines different frameworks on vulnerability developed thus far. It then identifies various approaches of vulnerability assessment and finally offers the most appropriate model. The paper concludes that the introduced model can guide drought mitigation programs in countries that are impacted the most by drought. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Sustainable Development of Resources-Based Cities in Shanxi Province Based on Unascertained Measure
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060585
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (427 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An index system is established for evaluating the level of sustainable development of resources-based cities, and each index is calculated based on the unascertained measure model for 11 resources-based cities in Shanxi Province in 2013 from three aspects; namely, economic, social, and resources
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An index system is established for evaluating the level of sustainable development of resources-based cities, and each index is calculated based on the unascertained measure model for 11 resources-based cities in Shanxi Province in 2013 from three aspects; namely, economic, social, and resources and environment. The result shows that Taiyuan City enjoys a high level of sustainable development and integrated development of economy, society, and resources and environment. Shuozhou, Changzhi, and Jincheng have basically realized sustainable development. However, Yangquan, Linfen, Lvliang, Datong, Jinzhong, Xinzhou and Yuncheng have a low level of sustainable development and urgently require a transition. Finally, for different cities, we propose different countermeasures to improve the level of sustainable development. Full article
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Open AccessShort Note The Rise of the Food Risk Society and the Changing Nature of the Technological Treadmill
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060584
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (563 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Economic development of transition and developed countries is associated with increasingly unhealthy dietary habits among low-income population segments. Drawing on Ulrich Beck’s sociological theory of risk society, the present research note calls attention to the positive relation between national economic development and food
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Economic development of transition and developed countries is associated with increasingly unhealthy dietary habits among low-income population segments. Drawing on Ulrich Beck’s sociological theory of risk society, the present research note calls attention to the positive relation between national economic development and food risks that result in the rise of food-related diseases and healthcare costs. On this basis, we argue that the knowledge-intensive agribusiness may translate Cochrane’s technological treadmill into Beck’s risk treadmill that shifts a growing share of food-related healthcare costs from producers toward consumers, state, and the healthcare system. This argument motivates a novel research program dealing with the “food risk treadmill” that emerges in response to modern farming and agribusiness practices. Awareness of the food risk treadmill may help to streamline the development of agricultural science and to prevent it from being excessively dominated by the agricultural and food industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Impact Analysis of Acidification and Eutrophication Due to Emissions from the Production of Concrete
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060578
Received: 2 May 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (805 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Concrete is a major material used in the construction industry that emits a large amount of substances with environmental impacts during its life cycle. Accordingly, technologies for the reduction in and assessment of the environmental impact of concrete from the perspective of a
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Concrete is a major material used in the construction industry that emits a large amount of substances with environmental impacts during its life cycle. Accordingly, technologies for the reduction in and assessment of the environmental impact of concrete from the perspective of a life cycle assessment (LCA) must be developed. At present, the studies on LCA in relation to greenhouse gas emission from concrete are being carried out globally as a countermeasure against climate change. However, the studies on the impact of the substances emitted in the concrete production process on acidification and eutrophication are insufficient. As such, assessing only a single category of environmental impact may cause a misunderstanding about the environmental friendliness of concrete. The substances emitted in the concrete production process have an impact not only on global warming but also on acidification and eutrophication. Acidification and eutrophication are the main causes of air pollution, forest destruction, red tide phenomena, and deterioration of reinforced concrete structures. For this reason, the main substances among those emitted in the concrete production process that have an impact on acidification and eutrophication were deduced. In addition, an LCA technique through which to determine the major emissions from concrete was proposed and a case analysis was carried out. The substances among those emitted in the concrete production process that are related to eutrophication were deduced to be NOx, NH3, NH4+, COD, NO3, and PO43−. The substances among those emitted in the concrete production process that are related to acidification, were found to be NOx, SO2, H2S, and H2SO4. The materials and energy sources among those input into the concrete production process, which have the biggest impact on acidification and eutrophication, were found to be coarse aggregate and fine aggregate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Timber Chips as the Insulation Material for Energy Saving in Prefabricated Offices
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060587
Received: 9 May 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
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Abstract
This research demonstrates the feasibility of a roof insulation method for prefabricated offices that uses vinyl packed timber chips to reduce air conditioning loads (hereinafter referred to as AC loads) and which also improves indoor thermal comfort. The advantages of the new roof
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This research demonstrates the feasibility of a roof insulation method for prefabricated offices that uses vinyl packed timber chips to reduce air conditioning loads (hereinafter referred to as AC loads) and which also improves indoor thermal comfort. The advantages of the new roof insulation method were revealed through comparing the impacts of four roof types on prefabricated offices. The AC load and indoor thermal comfort (surface temperature and air temperature) were evaluated. The disposal of scrap timber discarded from building construction projects is costing money, and is also a waste of natural resources. The assessment of a new roof insulation method with timber chips demonstrates the advanced usage of timber chips, reducing the environmental load in the building construction process. On the other hand, since prefabricated offices have lower thermal storage capacities and are less airtight than RC (reinforced concrete) or S (steel) structured buildings, the AC load consumption and indoor thermal comfort exacerbation in prefabricated offices is more serious. Especially in summer, a large amount of solar energy absorption from the roof raises the indoor air temperature and significantly increases the cooling load. This research contributes to the environmental design for prefabricated offices, and develops a method for the reuse of wood chips. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Covering Indirect Emissions Mitigates Market Power in Carbon Markets: The Case of South Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 583; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060583
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
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Abstract
One of the main concerns of policymakers regarding emissions trading markets is that some firms may well enjoy market power owing to their share of the emissions. This study shows that including indirect emissions within the coverage of an emissions trading scheme can
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One of the main concerns of policymakers regarding emissions trading markets is that some firms may well enjoy market power owing to their share of the emissions. This study shows that including indirect emissions within the coverage of an emissions trading scheme can help to reduce market power and thereby enhance social efficiency. In this study, the market concentration measured by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index significantly drops after including indirect emissions in the South Korean emissions trading market. In addition, other market concentration measures are also considered to verify that the conclusion does not depend on the choice of concentration measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Coordinated Development Analysis of the “Resources-Environment-Ecology-Economy-Society” Complex System in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060582
Received: 26 May 2016 / Revised: 17 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6446 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of investigating the coordination of the complex system constituted by resources, environment, ecology, economy and society subsystems (CSR3ES), is to achieve sustainable development by: (1) describing the complicated relationships of the inner-subsystems and inter-systems; (2) designing the calculation method of the
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The aim of investigating the coordination of the complex system constituted by resources, environment, ecology, economy and society subsystems (CSR3ES), is to achieve sustainable development by: (1) describing the complicated relationships of the inner-subsystems and inter-systems; (2) designing the calculation method of the coordination degree for CSR3ES; (3) analyzing its developing trends from a macro point of view through comprehensive coordination degree; and (4) to determine the direction of system restoration from a micro point of view based on the inner-subsystem and inter-subsystem coordination degree, and to develop specific improvement strategies. By setting a province-level administrative region as a decision-making unit (DMU), the nationwide coordination of CSR3ES was studied. The main conclusions are: (1) The coordination degree between the subsystems is directly influenced by interactions between the elements. (2) Within the provinces and autonomous regions (PARs) in China, the levels of coordinated development of inter-subsystems are high, while the coordinated development between the elements within a single subsystem level are low. Furthermore, a positive coherent effect is exerted on the comprehensive coordination degree of CSR3ES by the inter-system synergistic effects. (3) In terms of spatial correlation, five comprehensive coordinated development modes of CSR3ES are formed: the northeast regional coordination mode group; the northwest regional uncoordinated mode group; the southeast regional coordination mode group; the central regional random mode group; and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei polarization mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Soil Seed Bank and Plant Community Development in Passive Restoration of Degraded Sandy Grasslands
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060581
Received: 14 March 2016 / Revised: 11 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (887 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively
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To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively restored for 0, 4, 7, and 12 years (S0, S4, S7, and S12) in a degraded grassland in desert land. Compared with S0, three more species in the soil seed bank at depths of 0–30 cm and one more plant species in the community was detected in S12. Seed density within the topsoil (0–5 cm) was five times higher in S12 than that in S0. Plant densities in S7 and S12 were triple and quadruple than that in S0. Plant coverage was increased by 1.5 times (S4), double (S7), and triple (S12) compared with S0. Sørensen’s index of similarity in species composition between the soil seed bank and the plant community were high (0.43–0.63), but it was lower in short-term restoration sites (S4 and S7) than that in no and long-term restoration sites (S0 and S12). The soil seed bank recovered more slowly than the plant community under passive restoration. Passive restoration is a useful method to recover the soil seed bank and vegetation in degraded grasslands. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Supporting Farmer-Led Irrigation in Mozambique: Reflections on Field-Testing a New Design Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060580
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
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Abstract
Smallholder irrigation technologies introduced in sub-Saharan Africa are often unsustainable in the sense that they are not maintained by their users. In contrast, there is clear evidence that smallholder farmers have been developing and expanding irrigated areas. An approach was developed that takes
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Smallholder irrigation technologies introduced in sub-Saharan Africa are often unsustainable in the sense that they are not maintained by their users. In contrast, there is clear evidence that smallholder farmers have been developing and expanding irrigated areas. An approach was developed that takes these farmers’ initiatives as a starting point to stimulate further irrigated agricultural expansion in central Mozambique, dubbed the PIAD approach (Participatory Irrigated Agricultural Development). The approach was documented through field diaries, participatory monitoring and evaluation. This article presents an analysis and reflection on the design process. Amongst other things, it shows that a crucial difference is the division of roles between users, contractors and irrigation engineers, both in terms of division of responsibilities and in understanding the interdisciplinary connections of irrigated agricultural production. The approach allowed users to be kept in the driver’s seat of development while going beyond improving irrigation infrastructure, including agronomic and institutional interventions. Additionally, the results show that technologies are being sustained by their users and copied by farmers in neighboring areas. We conclude that the approach allows for active investment by the users, both in design as well as in project costs and labor, which later results in the improvements being maintained and copied, a clear marker of sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
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Open AccessArticle A Study on Life Cycle CO2 Emissions of Low-Carbon Building in South Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060579
Received: 25 February 2016 / Revised: 27 April 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1794 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There have been much interest and many efforts to control global warming and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the world. Recently, the Republic of Korea has also increased its GHG reduction goal and searched for an implementation plan. In buildings, for example,
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There have been much interest and many efforts to control global warming and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the world. Recently, the Republic of Korea has also increased its GHG reduction goal and searched for an implementation plan. In buildings, for example, there have been technology developments and deployment policies to reduce GHG emissions from a life cycle perspective, covering construction materials, building construction, use of buildings and waste disposal. In particular, Korea’s Green Standard for Energy and Environmental Design is a certification of environmentally-friendly buildings for their energy saving and reduction of environmental pollution throughout their lives. In fact, the demand and adoption of the certification are rising every year. In construction materials and buildings, as a result, an environmentally-friendly aspect has become crucial. The importance of construction material and building development technologies that can reduce environmental load by diminishing GHG emissions in buildings has emerged. Moreover, there has been a rising necessity to verify the GHG reduction effects of buildings. To assess the reduction of carbon emissions in the buildings built with low-carbon construction technologies and materials, therefore, this study estimated life cycle carbon emissions in reference buildings in which general construction materials are used and in low-carbon buildings. For this, the carbon emissions and their reduction from construction materials (especially concrete) between conventional products and low-carbon materials were estimated, using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). After estimating carbon emissions from a building life cycle perspective, their reduction in low-carbon buildings compared to the reference buildings was reviewed. The results found that compared to conventional buildings, low-carbon buildings revealed a 25% decrease in carbon emissions in terms of the reduction of Life Cycle CO2 (LCCO2) per unit area. If diverse production technologies and sales routes are further developed for low-carbon construction materials, carbon emission reduction effects would considerably increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Thermal Anomalies in Multi-Boreholes Field Considering the Effects of Groundwater Flow
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060577
Received: 18 April 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5089 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, the performance of multiple boreholes (multi-BHEs) field is evaluated by considering the groundwater flow. Optimization strategies are presented to mitigate thermal anomalies in the BHEs field. This study shows that groundwater flow greatly improves the heat transfer but causes thermal
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In this paper, the performance of multiple boreholes (multi-BHEs) field is evaluated by considering the groundwater flow. Optimization strategies are presented to mitigate thermal anomalies in the BHEs field. This study shows that groundwater flow greatly improves the heat transfer but causes thermal anomalies downstream. To overcome this problem, a heat transfer model is established for multi-boreholes based on temperature field superposition and moving finite line source model (MFLS). The MFLS multi-boreholes model considers the axial effect and groundwater flow and produces results in agreement with the field tested data of a 4 × 4 boreholes field. Using a dynamic annual load pattern, the long-term performance of the 4 × 4 boreholes field is analyzed. Three dynamic diurnal cooling load models are proposed to evaluate the temperature changes in the underground. The intermittent load model could reduce the local temperature anomalies in downstream tubes. The optimization model for cooling cases for multi-BHEs is elaborated to keep the outlet temperature as low as possible and minimize the extreme temperature anomalies, and by this, ultimately improve the system performance. Furthermore, the temperature variations and thermal anomalies downstream of multi-BHEs are investigated by evaluating the arrangement optimization and load optimization. The results show that the optimization could mitigate thermal anomalies downstream and reduce the rate of temperature imbalance of the BHEs field. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Modeling the Habitat of the Red-Crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) Wintering in Cheorwon-Gun to Support Decision Making
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060576
Received: 23 March 2016 / Revised: 12 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
PDF Full-text (5936 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cheorwon-gun is an important wintering area for the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis). Although eco-tourism has been recently proposed as a means to stimulate the local economy, it may have adverse effects on the crane. We believe a science-based conservation plan is
[...] Read more.
Cheorwon-gun is an important wintering area for the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis). Although eco-tourism has been recently proposed as a means to stimulate the local economy, it may have adverse effects on the crane. We believe a science-based conservation plan is needed to mitigate these negative effects. To this end, our study had three objectives: (1) to analyze the red-crowned crane habitat and its suitability in Cheorwon-gun, using field surveys and habitat modeling; (2) to check the feasibility of alternative habitat patches across demilitarized zones (DMZs); and (3) to propose a conceptual diagram that minimizes habitat loss during development activities. We aim to quantify habitat suitability, the farmland area needed to support existing crane populations in wintertime, disturbance caused by human activities, and vehicular spatial patterns. These data could be used in spatial planning. The framework of this study and the process of making a conceptual diagram could be applied to other areas where there is a conflict between development and habitat conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wildlife Management)
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Open AccessArticle From Food Waste to Donations: The Case of Marketplaces in Northern Spain
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060575
Received: 17 March 2016 / Revised: 4 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (460 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing increase in the number of disadvantaged people whose basic needs, such as food, should be covered. In crisis periods, food banks and other entities have a special role to play in that social function. This research focuses on the
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There is a growing increase in the number of disadvantaged people whose basic needs, such as food, should be covered. In crisis periods, food banks and other entities have a special role to play in that social function. This research focuses on the marketplaces that are great generators of organic food waste due to the fact that almost all of their stalls are dedicated to the sales of fresh food. The work combines both qualitative (interviews with the person responsible for most of the marketplaces in a northern Spain region and with two health inspectors, as well as a participatory workshop with different stakeholders related to food recovery: a regional waste management company, a food bank and several beneficiary entities) and quantitative techniques (a massive survey of the market stalls where the interviews were previously conducted). The results allow us to estimate the volume of organic waste generated by these marketplaces and to propose guidelines that would facilitate a better management of the food surpluses with potential for use, in the first place, as donations to food banks and, secondly, as recoverable bio-waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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