Sustainability2014, 6(9), 5785-5800; doi:10.3390/su6095785 (registering DOI) - published 29 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Increasing and sustainable production of rice in tropical hill area is facing various problems where rice ratooning can overcome the limitations. In this study; 22 rice entries were transplanted into experimental tank placed in the hill slope following Completely Randomized Design with five replications to asses’ agronomic performance of main crop and ratoon crop where Entry 13 demonstrated highest grain yield per plant (42.06 ± 1.2 gm) as main crop, as well as ratoon crop (3.37 ± 0.28 gm); Entry 19 produced lowest grain yield per plant (5.01 ± 0.31 gm) as main crop and Entry 31 as ratoon crop (0.47 ± 0.03 gm). The grain yield per plant of both the main and ratoon crop demonstrated significant (** at 5% level and *** at 1% level) positive correlation with number of tiller per plant (0.64 ** and 0.52); number of fertile tiller per plant (0.66 ** and 0.63 **); grain per panicle (0.72 ** and 0.53); fertile grain per panicle (0.80 *** and 0.63) and thousand-grain weight (0.66 ** and 0.54). The Duncan Multiple Range test and Analysis of Variance also confirmed the different grouping and significant differences of productivity and agronomic performances of the entries. The information of this investigation will helps the rice breeder as well as marginal rice farmers to consider rice ratooning as an important practice for sustainable rice production in tropical agriculture system for maximum gains.
Sustainability2014, 6(9), 5763-5784; doi:10.3390/su6095763 (registering DOI) - published 29 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper investigates regional inequality in a multi-scale framework, using Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis, based on the per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of counties and municipalities within the Zhejiang province in China between the years of 1990 and 2010. A Spatial Markov Chain is used to identify the dynamics of regional wealth disparity in Zhejiang. The results show that the regional inequality of Zhejiang is sensitive to the geographic scale of the analysis. In addition, the inter-county inequality shows an inverted-U shape pattern. At the same time, the inter-municipality inequality displays a more consistently upward trend, and the evolution of the interregional inequality is relatively stable over time. The regional inequality is more significant at finer (larger) spatial scales. The decomposition of the Theil Index shows that the contribution of the inequalities between Northeast Zhejiang and Southwest Zhejiang increased. The increasingly larger values of the Global Moran’s I show that there is an intensifying spatial aggregation of economic development. The comparison of the traditional Markov transition matrix and the Spatial Markov transition matrix illustrates how the relative wealth or poverty of neighboring counties make a significance difference in wealth in a given county as measured using domestic GDP per capita in Zhejiang province. This space-time analysis is valuable for policy making towards sustainable economic development in China given the soaring spatial inequality.
Sustainability2014, 6(9), 5745-5762; doi:10.3390/su6095745 - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The main purpose of this study is to propose a visitor centric perspective that can support museums towards sustainability. The main premise of this study is due to a concept of economic and social sustainability of museums, defined as the possession of sufficient resources to maintain the existence of an organization, and achieve their goals in the future, ensuring a certain flow of visitors. A great number of museums are characterized by a low number of visits; therefore, in order to become sustainable, museums should pay attention to audience and its internal diversity. In this way, a cultural site can plan tailored strategies to increase the number of visits and re-visits and to achieve community support. For this reason it is necessary to understand the cultural needs of visitors, acquiring appropriate monitoring tools, such as qualitative and quantitative ones. Generally, quantitative analyses are more reliable and complete, even if they require a considerable number of observations for the reliability of the results. Moreover, qualitative analysis provides more in depth information, even if their data do not allow us to make generalizations. The qualitative and quantitative methods for the detection of satisfaction are usually used separately, but their integration may bring significant added value in terms of the wealth of information. This study follows the analysis of the potential of the integration of qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques customized with respect to different types of targets. The results of the experimentation performed on ethnographic museums shows a consistency of the results obtained by the two different tools that increase the capacity information of survey instruments.
Sustainability2014, 6(9), 5730-5744; doi:10.3390/su6095730 - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Energy planning has become one of the most powerful tools for urban planning even if several constraints, (i.e., aesthetic, archaeological, landscape) and technological (low diffusion of Renewable Energy Sources, RES) reduce its spreading. An efficient and sustainable urban planning process should be based on detailed energy issues, such as: (i) the effective energetic characteristics and needs of the area like urban density and energy consumption, (ii) the integration of different RES and (iii) the diffusion of high efficiency technologies for energy production like cogeneration and district heating. The above-mentioned energetic issues and constraints must be constantly updated, in order to evaluate the consequences on environment and landscape due to new distributed generation technologies. Moreover, energy strategies and policies must be adapted to the actual evolution of the area. In this paper the authors present a Geographical Information Database System (GIS DB) based on: (i) the availability of land use (Land Capability Classification, LCC) to evaluate the productive potential; (ii) the estimation of residential energy consumptions (e.g., electricity), (iii) the integration of RES. The GIS DB model has been experimented in a wide area of Central Italy, considering exclusively the solar energy source for energy generation.
Sustainability2014, 6(9), 5714-5729; doi:10.3390/su6095714 - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Biomass Research Centre, section of CIRIAF, has recently developed a biomass boiler (300 kW thermal powered), fed by the poultry manure collected in a nearby livestock. All the thermal requirements of the livestock will be covered by the heat produced by gas combustion in the gasifier boiler. Within the activities carried out by the research project ENERPOLL (Energy Valorization of Poultry Manure in a Thermal Power Plant), funded by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, this paper aims at studying an upgrade version of the existing thermal plant, investigating and analyzing the possible applications for electricity production recovering the exceeding thermal energy. A comparison of Organic Rankine Cycle turbines and Stirling engines, to produce electricity from gasified poultry waste, is proposed, evaluating technical and economic parameters, considering actual incentives on renewable produced electricity.
Sustainability2014, 6(9), 5697-5713; doi:10.3390/su6095697 - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Both government and international donor agencies now promote the use of tourism to alleviate poverty. The Botswana government has embraced tourism as a meaningful and sustainable economic activity and diversification opportunity, which now ranks second after mining in its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product. The study reported in this paper investigates perceptions of stakeholders on the opportunities that would be created for the poor by opening up Botswana’s forest reserves for ecotourism. Data was collected through mixed methods involving in-depth interviews with government departments, traditional leaders, quasi-government organisations and the Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana. Focus group discussions were also held with village development committees, Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust (CECT) and Kasane, Lesoma and Pandematenga Trust (KALEPA) members, and a consultative national workshop of stakeholders was also held. The findings indicate that opening up forest reserves for ecotourism has the potential to alleviate poverty among the disadvantaged groups living adjacent to forest reserves through direct (employment, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)), secondary (linkages/partnerships) and dynamic effects (sustainable livelihoods). The study concludes by cautioning that whilst pro-poor tourism may yield short- and medium-term benefits, in keeping with sustainability objectives, participants in the programme need to be mindful of forestry encroachment and come up with strategies to ensure the sustainability of the Botswana forest reserves.