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Resources, Volume 8, Issue 3 (September 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The Monte del Diavolo (i.e. the Devil’s Mount) is a small isolated conical relief which marks the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Benefit Sharing in the Arctic: A Systematic View
Resources 2019, 8(3), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030155 - 06 Sep 2019
Viewed by 197
Abstract
Benefit sharing is a key concept for sustainable development in communities affected by the extractive industry. In the Arctic, where extractive activities have been growing, a comprehensive and systematic understanding of benefit sharing frameworks is especially critical. The goal of this paper is [...] Read more.
Benefit sharing is a key concept for sustainable development in communities affected by the extractive industry. In the Arctic, where extractive activities have been growing, a comprehensive and systematic understanding of benefit sharing frameworks is especially critical. The goal of this paper is to develop a synthesis and advance the theory of benefit sharing frameworks in the Arctic. Based on previously published research, a review of literature, a desktop analysis of national legislation, as well as by capitalizing on the original case studies, this paper analyzes benefit sharing arrangements and develops the typology of benefit sharing regimes in the Arctic. It also discusses the examples of various regimes in Russia, Alaska, and Canada. Each regime is described by a combination of principles, modes, mechanisms, and scales of benefit sharing. Although not exhaustive or entirely comprehensive, this systematization and proposed typologies appear to be useful for streamlining the analysis and improving understanding of benefit sharing in the extractive sector. The paper has not identified an ideal benefit sharing regime in the Arctic, but revealed the advantages and pitfalls of different existing arrangements. In the future, the best regimes –in respect to sustainable development would support the transition from benefit sharing to benefit co-management. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Development of Legislation on the Social Economy in Continental Western Europe
Resources 2019, 8(3), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030154 - 03 Sep 2019
Viewed by 247
Abstract
One of the main instruments for local development is the regulatory legal framework of the so-called Social Economy, a term and concept that is yet to be fully defined. The society’s approach to the generation of wealth encompasses different concepts, movements, approaches, and [...] Read more.
One of the main instruments for local development is the regulatory legal framework of the so-called Social Economy, a term and concept that is yet to be fully defined. The society’s approach to the generation of wealth encompasses different concepts, movements, approaches, and ways of acting, all of which pose a challenge to the determination of a precise definition. Within the European Union (E.U.), a common legislative base has been developed, although the specific legislation developed by each Member State has been uneven. The legislation may have started from the same common principles, but each country has adopted different legal forms. This work aims to outline the diverse ways of legislating on a concept that is still under construction and within similar legal frameworks, illustrating the lack of harmony between European states that, despite the sharing of borders and having common legislative foundations, distance themselves in the final legislation, a situation that does not benefit the economic unity of entrepreneurs with social principles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worldwide Research on Resources in Social Science)
Open AccessArticle
Valuation of Soil Organic Carbon Stocks in the Contiguous United States Based on the Avoided Social Cost of Carbon Emissions
Resources 2019, 8(3), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030153 - 29 Aug 2019
Viewed by 425
Abstract
Soil organic carbon (SOC) generates several ecosystem services (ES), including a regulating service by sequestering carbon (C) as SOC. This ES can be valued based on the avoided social cost of carbon (SC-CO2) from the long-term damage resulting from emissions of [...] Read more.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) generates several ecosystem services (ES), including a regulating service by sequestering carbon (C) as SOC. This ES can be valued based on the avoided social cost of carbon (SC-CO2) from the long-term damage resulting from emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). The objective of this study was to assess the value of SOC stocks, based on the avoided SC-CO2 ($42 per metric ton of CO2 in 2007 U.S. dollars), in the contiguous United States (U.S.) by soil order, soil depth (0–20, 20–100, 100–200 cm), land resource region (LRR), state, and region using information from the State Soil Geographic (STATSGO) database. The total calculated monetary value for SOC storage in the contiguous U.S. was between $4.64T (i.e., $4.64 trillion U.S. dollars, where T = trillion = 1012) and $23.1T, with a midpoint value of $12.7T. Soil orders with the highest midpoint SOC storage values were 1): Mollisols ($4.21T), 2) Histosols ($2.31T), and 3) Alfisols ($1.48T). The midpoint values of SOC normalized by area within soil order boundaries were ranked: 1) Histosols ($21.58 m−2), 2) Vertisols ($2.26 m−2), and 3) Mollisols ($2.08 m−2). The soil depth interval with the highest midpoint values of SOC storage and content was 20–100 cm ($6.18T and $0.84 m−2, respectively), while the depth interval 100–200 cm had the lowest midpoint values of SOC storage ($2.88T) and content ($0.39 m−2). The depth trends exemplify the prominence of SOC in the upper portions of soil. The LRRs with the highest midpoint SOC storage values were: 1) M – Central Feed Grains and Livestock Region ($1.8T), 2) T – Atlantic and Gulf Coast Lowland Forest and Crop Region ($1.26T), and 3) K – Northern Lake States Forest and Forage Region ($1.16T). The midpoint values of SOC normalized by area within LRR boundaries were ranked: 1) U – Florida Subtropical Fruit, Truck Crop, and Range Region ($6.10 m−2), 2) T – Atlantic and Gulf Coast Lowland Forest and Crop Region ($5.44 m−2), and 3) K – Northern Lake States Forest and Forage Region ($3.88 m−2). States with the highest midpoint values of SOC storage were: 1) Texas ($1.08T), 2) Minnesota ($834B) (i.e., $834 billion U.S. dollars, where B = billion = 109), and 3) Florida ($742B). Midpoint values of SOC normalized by area within state boundaries were ranked: 1) Florida ($5.44 m−2), 2) Delaware ($4.10 m−2), and 3) Minnesota ($3.99 m−2). Regions with the highest midpoint values of SOC storage were: 1) Midwest ($3.17T), 2) Southeast ($2.44T), and 3) Northern Plains ($2.35T). Midpoint values of SOC normalized by area within region boundaries were ranked: 1) Midwest ($2.73 m−2), 2) Southeast ($2.31 m−2), and 3) East ($1.82 m−2). The reported values and trends demonstrate the need for policies with regards to SOC management, which requires incentives within administrative boundaries but informed by the geographic distribution of SOC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Natural Resource Rents and Institutional Quality on Human Capital: A Case Study of the United Arab Emirates
Resources 2019, 8(3), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030152 - 28 Aug 2019
Viewed by 364
Abstract
For many years, the United Arab Emirates has been using its natural resource wealth to develop infrastructure and attain economic growth. Nevertheless, human capital theory stresses the importance of human capital to reach sustainability in the long-term. This study examines the impacts of [...] Read more.
For many years, the United Arab Emirates has been using its natural resource wealth to develop infrastructure and attain economic growth. Nevertheless, human capital theory stresses the importance of human capital to reach sustainability in the long-term. This study examines the impacts of natural resource rents and institutional quality on human capital by applying the cointegration and error correction model based on the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) approach. The study uses corruption and law and order as proxies for institutional quality. The results indicate that one percent increases in resource rents and corruption decrease the human capital by 0.16% and 0.14%, respectively, in the long-term. Moreover, in the short-term, the current corruption and lag of resource rents have significant negative impacts on human capital. However, law and order has a positive impact on human capital in both the short and long-term. Thus, this study suggests that there is an instant need to prioritize education to reach long-term sustainability. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Social Analysis of the Olive Oil Sector: The Role of Family Business
Resources 2019, 8(3), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030151 - 22 Aug 2019
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is one of the most popular products in Mediterranean diet. Spain produces about 52% of olive oil with the presence of larger firms; Italy follows with a share of 9% and a production structure characterized instead by small family [...] Read more.
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is one of the most popular products in Mediterranean diet. Spain produces about 52% of olive oil with the presence of larger firms; Italy follows with a share of 9% and a production structure characterized instead by small family businesses. A social analysis, based on a multiple-questionnaire, has analyzed the perspectives of 500 consumers conferring their olives to a family-owned olive oil mills (OOMs). This work aims to assess the role of family business evaluating the opportunities associated with the development of circular economy (CE) models. Results show that Italian consumers’ preferences give attention to the use of natural resource and the olive oil is perceived as a natural product. In addition, family owned-OOMs provide a great sense of trust and the relevant role of family within the entire life cycle of olive oil is demonstrated. OOMs that work for residential market are strongly preferred to industrial ones being able to manage single lots of olives belonging to the same customers’ land. The recovery of some by-products represents an opportunity for OOMs and policy support is required to favor the needed generational change, whose absence is perceived as a serious obstacle to the future development of the sector along circularity principles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Geotourism Resources on a Local Level: A Case Study from Southern Moravia (Czech Republic)
Resources 2019, 8(3), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030150 - 22 Aug 2019
Viewed by 417
Abstract
In the last decades, the geotourism has shown a considerable growth all over the world and it is appreciated and accepted as a useful tool for promoting natural and cultural heritage and for fostering local and regional economic development, especially within rural areas. [...] Read more.
In the last decades, the geotourism has shown a considerable growth all over the world and it is appreciated and accepted as a useful tool for promoting natural and cultural heritage and for fostering local and regional economic development, especially within rural areas. Geotourism focus especially on the geological and geomorphological aspects of the landscape; however, according to the current holistic approach, it also builds on the close relations between geodiversity and other assets of the territory, such as biodiversity, archaeological and cultural values, gastronomy or architecture. Currently, geotourism activities are promoted mainly within geoparks, but other regions also possess an important geotourism potential. A complex assessment of the geotourism resources of a particular area is crucial for geotourism-development. The paper presents two case studies from Southern Moravia (Czech Republic) where the assessment of geotourism’s potential was made by using the geomorphosite concept and extended SWOT analysis. Results show that these areas (situated outside the geoparks or large-scale protected areas and not far from a big city) have considerable potential for geotourism development, and geodiversity can be considered an important resource for local and regional development. Based on this, conclusions about the possibilities of geotourism development outside the geoparks are outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoheritage and Geotourism Resources)
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Open AccessReview
Exploring Renewable Energy Resources Using Remote Sensing and GIS—A Review
Resources 2019, 8(3), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030149 - 19 Aug 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 569
Abstract
Renewable energy has received noteworthy attention during the last few decades. This is partly due to the fact that fossil fuels are depleting and the need for energy is soaring because of the growing population of the world. This paper attempts to provide [...] Read more.
Renewable energy has received noteworthy attention during the last few decades. This is partly due to the fact that fossil fuels are depleting and the need for energy is soaring because of the growing population of the world. This paper attempts to provide an idea of what is being done by researchers in remote sensing and geographical information system (GIS) field for exploring the renewable energy resources in order to get to a more sustainable future. Several studies related to renewable energy resources viz. geothermal energy, wind energy, hydropower, biomass, and solar energy, have been considered in this paper. The focus of this review paper is on exploring how remote sensing and GIS-based techniques have been beneficial in exploring optimal locations for renewable energy resources. Several case studies from different parts of the world which use such techniques in exploring renewable energy resource sites of different kinds have also been included in this paper. Though each of the remote sensing and GIS techniques used for exploration of renewable energy resources seems to efficiently sell itself in being the most effective among others, it is important to keep in mind that in actuality, a combination of different techniques is more efficient for the task. Throughout the paper, many issues relating to the use of remote sensing and GIS for renewable energy are examined from both current and future perspectives and potential solutions are suggested. The authors believe that the conclusions and recommendations drawn from the case studies and the literature reviewed in the present study will be valuable to renewable energy scientists and policymakers. Full article
Open AccessArticle
“Perugia Upside-Down”: A Multimedia Exhibition in Umbria (Central Italy) for Improving Geoheritage and Geotourism in Urban Areas
Resources 2019, 8(3), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030148 - 17 Aug 2019
Viewed by 544
Abstract
Multimedia materials represent a promising approach to the promotion of geoheritage. Despite geology being normally associated with natural environments, new tendencies are noted towards better knowledge of the “geological reason” for the selection of a location and the development of urban settlements. The [...] Read more.
Multimedia materials represent a promising approach to the promotion of geoheritage. Despite geology being normally associated with natural environments, new tendencies are noted towards better knowledge of the “geological reason” for the selection of a location and the development of urban settlements. The urban environment is, in fact, a perfect laboratory for opening the scientific topics to a broad audience. In this paper, the experience of a geological exhibition organized in the city of Perugia (Umbria, central Italy) is discussed, highlighting the SECRET (SEe and CREaTe) for creating an effective dissemination activity. Panels, interactive tools, laboratories, and trekking tours outside the museum are the main activities, which hosted more than eight thousand visitors in a few months. Moreover, the exhibition was the starting point for ongoing projects on geotourism in the city, with important consequences in terms of visibility and financial return. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoheritage and Geotourism Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Differences, Constraints and Key Elements of Providing Local Sharing Economy Services in Different-Sized Cities: A Hungarian Case
Resources 2019, 8(3), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030147 - 17 Aug 2019
Viewed by 456
Abstract
The business models of sharing economy services can differ from each other in different-sized cities. This paper provides a deeper understanding of the implementation of locally operating services for car, bicycle and office sharing in the urban environment. Our goal is to reveal [...] Read more.
The business models of sharing economy services can differ from each other in different-sized cities. This paper provides a deeper understanding of the implementation of locally operating services for car, bicycle and office sharing in the urban environment. Our goal is to reveal the differences between the capital city and an economically well-developed city in order to provide beneficial findings to the development of the presently operating services, or to the possible implementation of future services. Methodology of the paper applies the Business Model Canvas approach (BMC). We introduce a comparative analysis using data from the Hungarian database, which records details of all the publicly visible sharing economy services countrywide. The results show that BMC can reflect the main differences, constraints and key elements in the business models of sharing economy services. We can say that, in the case of a bike sharing service operated in the non-capital city, there is more segmentation than seen in the same service in the capital. There are significant price differences, especially in the case of long-term tickets. The number of inhabitants and private capital remain the biggest constraints in the case of car-sharing services, but there is also a possibility of implementation in the non-capital cities by applying small-scale services with a good value proposition and segmentation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Practical Approach for Social Life Cycle Assessment in the Automotive Industry
Resources 2019, 8(3), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030146 - 16 Aug 2019
Viewed by 530
Abstract
Identifying social impacts along the life cycle of their products is becoming increasingly important for companies. Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) as a possible tool has not been conducted so far within industries with complex international supply chains using mainly company-specific data. As [...] Read more.
Identifying social impacts along the life cycle of their products is becoming increasingly important for companies. Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) as a possible tool has not been conducted so far within industries with complex international supply chains using mainly company-specific data. As a novelty, this work presents a practical SLCA approach along with the first case studies for the automotive industry, based on a previously developed indicator set and an extensive data collection. Social data was collected from companies along the life cycle of two specific car components, while analyzing data availability, validity and comparability. To obtain product references, both a top-down and a bottom-up approach for quantitative indicators based on time effort and data availability on the process level were devised. Also, two options were developed for how qualitative indicators (e.g., written principles for Corruption) can be applied together with quantitative performance indicators (e.g., number of accidents). The general practical applicability of the approach could be demonstrated by four quantitative and seven qualitative indicators. It is a first step towards analyzing the social performance of products with complex supply chains on a company level. Remaining challenges include social data availability and quality and obtaining data at the process level (allocation). These should be addressed in future studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How Do Chain Governance and Fair Trade Matter? A S-LCA Methodological Proposal Applied to Food Products from Belgian Alternative Chains (Part 2)
Resources 2019, 8(3), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030145 - 16 Aug 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 516
Abstract
Alternative food networks (AFNs) have emerged to improve both environmental and socio-economic aspects of food provisioning, including the living and working conditions of farmers. Their objectives are supposed to be mediated through the shortening of chains and/or the implication of alternative value chain [...] Read more.
Alternative food networks (AFNs) have emerged to improve both environmental and socio-economic aspects of food provisioning, including the living and working conditions of farmers. Their objectives are supposed to be mediated through the shortening of chains and/or the implication of alternative value chain actors (VCAs). Through the application of a social life cycle assessment methodological proposal on two products from three Belgian AFNs, we first verify how the AFNs meet sustainability promises. Second, we investigate how such social sustainability of the assessed products is influenced by the differentiated configurations of chain governance in the AFNs. Such a discussion of root causes of social sustainability performances in product chains have been investigated very little as of yet. Our results show that AFN perform well in some aspects (consumer aspects, work satisfaction, social ties between VCAs), but in some others, AFN chains use similar mechanisms as the ones used by mainstream chains (unbalanced market power, unfair prices, and low commitment between VCAs), with potentially detrimental effects on profitability and employment conditions for VCAs located upstream, i.e., farms. Our framework is useful to highlight social hotspots in product chains, and to discuss these across the differences in the configurations of the chain layout and—in the end—chain governance. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Morais Ultramafic Complex: A Survey towards Nickel Phytomining
Resources 2019, 8(3), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030144 - 11 Aug 2019
Viewed by 745
Abstract
Ultramafic areas are critical for nickel (Ni) phytomining due to the high concentration of this element in their soils and the number of hyperaccumulators they harbor. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential of the Morais massif, an ultramafic [...] Read more.
Ultramafic areas are critical for nickel (Ni) phytomining due to the high concentration of this element in their soils and the number of hyperaccumulators they harbor. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential of the Morais massif, an ultramafic area in Portugal, for phytomining using the hyperaccumulator species Alyssum serpyllifolium subsp. lusitanicum. Soil samples and A. serpyllifolium specimens were collected in four locations of the Morais massif. After determination of Ni concentrations in the samples, the results show that soil pseudo-total Ni concentrations in sites number 1 and 2 are significantly higher than in the soil samples collected in the other two locations, with 1918 and 2092 mg kg−1, respectively. Nickel accumulation is significantly greater in the aerial parts of plants collected at sites 1, 2, and 4, presenting Ni harvestable amount means of 88.36, 93.80, and 95.56 mg per plant, respectively. These results suggest that the sites with highest potential for phytomining are sites 1, 2, and 4. A nickel agromining system in these locations could represent an additional source of income to local farmers, since ultramafic soils have low productivity for agriculture and crop production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Land Resources Evaluation for Damage Compensation to Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic (Case-Study of Anabar Region in Yakutia)
Resources 2019, 8(3), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030143 - 10 Aug 2019
Viewed by 603
Abstract
The compensation for losses caused to the indigenous peoples in Arctic Russia due to the industrial development of their traditional lands is an urgent question whose resolution requires development of new mechanisms and tools. The losses caused to indigenous traditional lands are part [...] Read more.
The compensation for losses caused to the indigenous peoples in Arctic Russia due to the industrial development of their traditional lands is an urgent question whose resolution requires development of new mechanisms and tools. The losses caused to indigenous traditional lands are part of the damage caused to the natural environment, their culture and livelihood. In the Russian Federation cultural impact assessment is a rather new tool aiming to protect indigenous peoples’ rights to lands. In this paper the authors show the applied side of the cultural assessment that is used to improve the methodology of the calculation of losses adopted by ministry of regional development in Russia in 2009. This methodology is based on the resource disposition and evaluation of traditional lands. Accordingly, compensation payments are calculated as the sum of the losses in traditional economic activities such as: reindeer herding, hunting, fishing and gathering. Such compensation is considered by authors as the elements of a benefit-sharing system. In practice, this methodology has been tested at industrial projects on alluvial diamonds in Yakutia. In this paper we look at the Polovinnya project case-study which deals with indigenous peoples of Dolgans and Evenks and argues that such a justified, understandable methodology both for indigenous peoples and subsoil user could reduce to a minimum the conflict of interests. Full article
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Arfan M., et al. Assessment of Spatial and Temporal Flow Variability of the Indus River. Resources 2019, 8, 103
Resources 2019, 8(3), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030142 - 09 Aug 2019
Viewed by 651
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to the published paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle
The Water Footprint of European Agricultural Imports: Hotspots in the Context of Water Scarcity
Resources 2019, 8(3), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030141 - 07 Aug 2019
Viewed by 652
Abstract
This study investigates the Water Footprint (WF) resulting from the agricultural imports of the European Union (EU-28). Import trade statistics were compiled and linked with crop- and country-specific water consumption data and water scarcity factors. Within the study, the virtual water imports of [...] Read more.
This study investigates the Water Footprint (WF) resulting from the agricultural imports of the European Union (EU-28). Import trade statistics were compiled and linked with crop- and country-specific water consumption data and water scarcity factors. Within the study, the virtual water imports of 104 agricultural commodities for the baseline year 2015 were assessed and product and country hotspots were evaluated. It was shown that (a) Europe imported 100 million tons of agricultural goods and 11 km3 of associated virtual irrigation water; (b) the highest impacts of water consumption do not necessarily result from high import amounts, but from water-intensive goods produced in water scarce countries; (c) the largest external EU-28 water footprint occurred due to the product categories cotton, nuts and rice; and (d) the highest share of the EU external water footprint took place in the United States (US), Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt and India. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Toward Science-Based and Knowledge-Based Targets for Global Sustainable Resource Use
Resources 2019, 8(3), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030140 - 06 Aug 2019
Viewed by 756
Abstract
The article discusses key aspects to be considered for the orientation of sustainable resource policies. Resource management at the local scale needs to be supplemented by governmental action in order to adjust production and consumption toward acceptable levels of global resource use. What [...] Read more.
The article discusses key aspects to be considered for the orientation of sustainable resource policies. Resource management at the local scale needs to be supplemented by governmental action in order to adjust production and consumption toward acceptable levels of global resource use. What is acceptable is being informed by scientific findings on environmental degradation and relevant cause–effect relationships. However, the desired state of the environment, the tolerable level of uncertainties about environmental impacts, risks of societal conflicts, and ethical considerations all involve normative considerations. Policy decisions for sustainable global resource use must be taken on the basis of imperfect information. A wider systems perspective, longer time horizon, and broader involvement of available knowledge could provide a sufficiently valid basis to derive directionally safe targets. Possible proxy targets for global biotic and abiotic resource use, considering land, biodiversity, and water issues, are presented on a per-person basis for 2050 for further discussion and research. These values could be used to assess the resource footprints of countries with regard to sustainability, providing orientation for governments and industry. Full article
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Open AccessBook Review
Urban Renewable Energy on the Upswing: A Spotlight on Renewable Energy in Cities in REN21’s “Renewables 2019 Global Status Report”
Resources 2019, 8(3), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030139 - 02 Aug 2019
Viewed by 634
Abstract
Published in June 2019, the new edition of the annually updated Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) compiles the most recent developments and trends in the adoption of renewable energies worldwide and in specific regions, countries and sectors. The report represents a rich resource [...] Read more.
Published in June 2019, the new edition of the annually updated Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) compiles the most recent developments and trends in the adoption of renewable energies worldwide and in specific regions, countries and sectors. The report represents a rich resource for reliable and up-to-date information about individual renewable energy sources and their use. The analysis also covers a review of energy policies. Renewable energy policies still strongly concentrate on the power sector, while transport and heating and cooling are given less attention. Most investment in renewable energy today happens in developing and emerging countries, which is a major change to the situation some years ago. The 2019 edition of the GSR report includes a feature on renewable energy in cities, which highlights the importance of prioritising the urban context in order to achieve more sustainable schemes of energy supply and consumption. More than half of the global population today lives in cities, but around two-thirds of energy consumption happens in an urban environment. The GSR 2019 identifies that cities already are among the most active players in the adoption of renewable energies. One interesting finding is that in more than 100 cities worldwide at least 70% of the electricity already comes from renewables. This includes cities in both developed and developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underutilised Resources in Urban Environments)
Open AccessArticle
Towards Responsible Aggregate Mining in Vietnam
Resources 2019, 8(3), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030138 - 02 Aug 2019
Viewed by 647
Abstract
Responsible mining is a new catchword of our times. However, in practice, there seem to be many barriers that hinder the successful implementation of the concept. This is especially true for countries with high urbanization speed, and it is even true for one-party [...] Read more.
Responsible mining is a new catchword of our times. However, in practice, there seem to be many barriers that hinder the successful implementation of the concept. This is especially true for countries with high urbanization speed, and it is even true for one-party states where its implementation could, in general, be taken for granted as soon as the central government has taken respective decisions and put appropriate stipulations and mechanisms formally in place. On this background, the article deals with barriers and possible solutions regarding responsible mining taking the case of Vietnam, and more especially the Province of Hoa Binh, neighboring Hanoi. Based on a literature review on responsible mining, a set of principles promoting this approach is developed. This is taken as a criteria set for the assessment of respective policies and their implementation on the different levels of authority in Vietnam. Finally, proposals are developed how to advance responsible mining in this case and in other comparable countries. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Green Consumer Behavior in the Cosmetics Market
Resources 2019, 8(3), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030137 - 30 Jul 2019
Viewed by 832
Abstract
Consumers and producers are becoming more open to the usage of natural cosmetics. This can be seen in them using a variety of natural cosmetic resources and materials. This fact is further supported by the trend of environmental and health awareness. These phenomena [...] Read more.
Consumers and producers are becoming more open to the usage of natural cosmetics. This can be seen in them using a variety of natural cosmetic resources and materials. This fact is further supported by the trend of environmental and health awareness. These phenomena can be found within both the producers’ and the consumers’ behavior. Our research supports that green or natural products’ role in the cosmetics industry is getting more and more pronounced. The role of science is to determine the variables suggesting the consumer to change to natural cosmetics. The primary aim of our research is to find out to what extent the characteristics of the consumption of organic foods and natural cosmetics differ. We would like to know what factors influence consumer groups when buying green products. The novelty of the analyses is mainly that consumers were ordered into clusters, based on consuming bio-foodstuffs and preferring natural cosmetics. The cluster analysis has multiple variables, namely: Consumer behavior in light of bio-product, new natural cosmetics brand, or health- and environmental awareness preferences. The data was collected using online questionnaire, exclusively in Hungary during April–May of 2018. 197 participants answered our questions. The results of descriptive statistics and the cluster analysis show that there are consumers who prefer natural cosmetics, whereas some of them buy traditional ones. A third group use both natural and ordinary cosmetics. The results suggest that on the market of cosmetic products, health and environmental awareness will be a significant trend for both producer and consumer behavior, even in the future. However, it will not necessarily follow the trends of the foodstuffs industry, as the health effect spectrum of cosmetics is far shorter. In the future, the palette of natural cosmetics will become much wider. The main reason for this will be the appearance of green cosmetics materials and environmentally friendly production methods (mostly for packaging). The consumers will also have the possibility to choose the ones that suit them the most. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Population–Urbanization–Energy Nexus: A Review
Resources 2019, 8(3), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030136 - 30 Jul 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 749
Abstract
Energy expansion and security in the current world scenario focuses on increasing the energy generation capacity and if possible, adopting cleaner and greener energy in that development process. However, too often this expansion and planning alters the landscape and human influence on its [...] Read more.
Energy expansion and security in the current world scenario focuses on increasing the energy generation capacity and if possible, adopting cleaner and greener energy in that development process. However, too often this expansion and planning alters the landscape and human influence on its surroundings through a very complex mechanism. Resource extraction and land management activity involved in energy infrastructure development and human management of such development systems have long-term and sometimes unforeseen consequences. Although alternative energy sources are being explored, energy production is still highly dependent on fossil fuel, especially in most developing countries. Further, energy production can potentially affect land productivity, land cover, human migration, and other factors involved in running an energy production system, which presents a complex integration of these factors. Thus, land use, energy choices, infrastructure development and the population for which such facilities are being developed must be cognizant of each other, and the interactions between them need to be studied and understood closely. This study strives to analyze the implications of linkages between the energy industry, urbanization, and population and especially highlights processes that can be affected by their interaction. It is found that despite advancement in scientific tools, each of the three components, i.e., population growth, urbanization, and energy production, operates in silos, especially in developing countries, and that this complex issue of nexus is not dealt with in a comprehensive way. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Assessment of Airport Sustainability: Part 3—Water Management at Copenhagen Airport
Resources 2019, 8(3), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030135 - 29 Jul 2019
Viewed by 760
Abstract
Sustainable water management is critical for airports as they consume substantial volumes of water to maintain their infrastructure and operations. Airports also generate large volumes of surface and waste waters. The aim of this study was to examine Copenhagen Airport’s sustainable water management [...] Read more.
Sustainable water management is critical for airports as they consume substantial volumes of water to maintain their infrastructure and operations. Airports also generate large volumes of surface and waste waters. The aim of this study was to examine Copenhagen Airport’s sustainable water management strategies and systems from 2006 to 2016. The study used a longitudinal qualitative research design. The annual water consumption at Copenhagen Airport has risen from 2006 to 2016 in line with the increased passenger volumes and aircraft movements. Drinking water is sourced from the Taarnby and Dragør municipal water works. Non-potable water is used wherever possible and is sourced from a local remedial drilling. Copenhagen Airport uses two separate sewer systems for handling surface and wastewater. These waters are not discharged to same system due to their different nature. To mitigate environmental risks and impacts on soil, water, and local communities; the quality of drinking, ground, and surface water are regularly monitored. The airport has implemented various water saving initiatives, such as, an aquifer thermal energy system, to reduce water consumption. The strategies, systems, and the water-saving initiatives have successfully underpinned Copenhagen Airport’s sustainable water management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Groundwater Flow Model and Statistical Comparisons Used in Sustainability of Aquifers in Arid Regions
Resources 2019, 8(3), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030134 - 27 Jul 2019
Viewed by 771
Abstract
Groundwater provides the most important of the water resources used in the maintenance of communities in arid and semi-arid regions. In these areas, the usage of deep wells with motorized pumps in combination with the lack of effective regulatory policies and high human [...] Read more.
Groundwater provides the most important of the water resources used in the maintenance of communities in arid and semi-arid regions. In these areas, the usage of deep wells with motorized pumps in combination with the lack of effective regulatory policies and high human population growth (increase the water demand) impact the quality of the groundwater. This is especially the case for the San José del Cabo aquifer, in Baja California Sur. In the present study the groundwater flow system is analyzed in order to recognize the impact from variations in groundwater extraction and recharge on the phreatic levels and discharge values. In order to achieve this goal, a groundwater model was generated using the MODFLOW program. Different scenarios of extraction and recharge were calculated, based on different estimations of population growth. All the scenarios result in decreasing groundwater levels. As an important result, a relationship between the phreatic level and the extraction volume was found for the middle zone of the aquifer, where an average annual decrease of 0.5 m was observed from every 5 × 106 m3 additional extraction volume. This zone is up to three times more susceptible to changes in extraction values than the southern zone. As the results show, the San José del Cabo aquifer is in a fragile state where an increment in extraction is not an option without the use of remediation technics or new sources for water supply. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Recycled Plastic Granules as a Partial Substitute for Natural Resource Sand on the Durability of SCC
Resources 2019, 8(3), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030133 - 27 Jul 2019
Viewed by 749
Abstract
This investigation is focused on durability studies of binary blended self-compacting concrete (SCC) with the replacement effect of electronic plastic waste, namely high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) granules as partial sand. In the current investigation, for all the SCC mixes, cement is replaced with pozzolanic [...] Read more.
This investigation is focused on durability studies of binary blended self-compacting concrete (SCC) with the replacement effect of electronic plastic waste, namely high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) granules as partial sand. In the current investigation, for all the SCC mixes, cement is replaced with pozzolanic material fly ash in the binder content of 497 kg/m3 and an adopted water-to-binder ratio of 0.36. Durability properties such as porosity, water absorption, and sorptivity are assessed for the curing periods of 28 and 90 days on SCC specimens produced with HIPS (0%–40% replacement by volume of sand). Both surface and internal water absorption rates were found to be minimal for SCC with HIPS. Replacement of HIPS up to 30% in SCC exhibited improved trends for all tests results. Reported durability parameter values were within permissible limits and revealed the excellent performance of HIPS in SCC. The optimum durability values can be attributed to the dense microstructure of SCC obtained with the combined effect of HIPS and fly ash. The continuous gradation of aggregates in the matrix reduced porosity due to the spherical shape of HIPS; additionally, the hydrophobicity of HIPS inhibits moisture migration in SCC. The additional benefits of fly ash, such as pozzolanic action and the filler effect at the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) are also major contributions to the long-term performance of durability. Electronic plastic waste replacement for fine aggregates in concrete compensates for the disposal problem and conserves natural sand. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterizing the Urban Mine—Challenges of Simplified Chemical Analysis of Anthropogenic Mineral Residues
Resources 2019, 8(3), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030132 - 26 Jul 2019
Viewed by 850
Abstract
Anthropogenic mineral residues are characterized by their material complexity and heterogeneity, which pose challenges to the chemical analysis of multiple elements. However, creating an urban mine knowledge database requires data using affordable and simple chemical analysis methods, providing accurate and valid results. In [...] Read more.
Anthropogenic mineral residues are characterized by their material complexity and heterogeneity, which pose challenges to the chemical analysis of multiple elements. However, creating an urban mine knowledge database requires data using affordable and simple chemical analysis methods, providing accurate and valid results. In this study, we assess the applicability of simplified multi-element chemical analysis methods for two anthropogenic mineral waste matrices: (1) lithium-ion battery ash that was obtained from thermal pre-treatment and (2) rare earth elements (REE)-bearing iron-apatite ore from a Swedish tailing dam. For both samples, simplified methods comprising ‘in-house’ wet-chemical analysis and energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) spectrometry were compared to the results of the developed matrix-specific validated methods. Simplified wet-chemical analyses showed significant differences when compared to the validated method, despite proven internal quality assurance, such as verification of sample homogeneity, precision, and accuracy. Matrix-specific problems, such as incomplete digestion and overlapping spectra due to similar spectral lines (ICP-OES) or element masses (ICP-MS), can result in quadruple overestimations or underestimation by half when compared to the reference value. ED-XRF analysis proved to be applicable as semi-quantitative analysis for elements with mass fractions higher than 1000 ppm and an atomic number between Z 12 and Z 50. For elements with low mass fractions, ED-XRF analysis performed poorly and showed deviations of up to 90 times the validated value. Concerning all the results, we conclude that the characterization of anthropogenic mineral residues is prone to matrix-specific interferences, which have to be addressed with additional quality assurance measures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Devil Landforms as Resources for Geotourism Development: An Example from Southern Apulia (Italy)
Resources 2019, 8(3), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030131 - 26 Jul 2019
Viewed by 682
Abstract
The landscape of Murge Tarantine limestone ridge (southern Apulia, Italy) is marked by the presence of an isolated relief showing a singular shape and name, the Monte del Diavolo (i.e., the Devil’s Mount). The Monte del Diavolo is located in a very interesting [...] Read more.
The landscape of Murge Tarantine limestone ridge (southern Apulia, Italy) is marked by the presence of an isolated relief showing a singular shape and name, the Monte del Diavolo (i.e., the Devil’s Mount). The Monte del Diavolo is located in a very interesting area from a geological point of view since it shows an E–W trending high-fault scarp, the morphological effect of the right-lateral transtensive North Salento Fault Zone. The Monte del Diavolo is a small isolated conical relief reaching at its top 115 m above m.s.l.; it elevates about 20 m from the surrounding plain surface, stretching at about 95 m altitude. Its evolution has been influenced by the occurrence of strongly cemented breccia deposits, most likely due to cave roof collapse and calcite precipitation, which are more resistant to the karst denudation process than surrounding limestones. This paper would be the first step towards the cultural promotion of the Monte del Diavolo area, which is marked by geological and geomorphological peculiar features and by a relevant archaeological and natural heritage as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoheritage and Geotourism Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Knowledge, Attitude and Practice in Water Resources Management among Smallholder Irrigators in the Tsavo Sub-Catchment, Kenya
Resources 2019, 8(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030130 - 24 Jul 2019
Viewed by 728
Abstract
The rising demand for food production in a changing climate impacts water resources negatively in semi-arid agro-ecosystems. In the Tsavo sub-catchment of Kenya, this is compounded by a surging population and expansion of cropping as a land use; leading to increased abstraction of [...] Read more.
The rising demand for food production in a changing climate impacts water resources negatively in semi-arid agro-ecosystems. In the Tsavo sub-catchment of Kenya, this is compounded by a surging population and expansion of cropping as a land use; leading to increased abstraction of surface water resources and deterioration of related ecosystem services. The impact of increased abstraction is more profound during water stress seasons when stream-flow levels are low. While water policies have incorporated a requirement for environmental flows, unregulated abstractions persist suggesting an inherent challenge. Drawing on a sample of 279 households, we analysed farmers’ engagement in water resources management and explored how this can inform water resource planning. Seasonal water scarcity and user conflicts were the major challenges experienced by the farmers. Ordinal and logistic regression models show that knowledge, attitude and practices were culture-dependent being impacted by educational attainment, level of income, access to extension and membership to local networks. Attitude and practice were further influenced by land tenure and farm distance to water sources. Since knowledge of water management issues informed attitudes and practices, improved awareness and targeted extension support are necessary in the development and implementation of policy decisions on water resources management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating Consumers’ Perception of Discounted Suboptimal Products at Retail Stores
Resources 2019, 8(3), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030129 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
Following the increasing pressure to reduce food waste at supermarkets, many retailers are starting initiatives to prevent the disposal of food items or to manage the waste produced in a more sustainable way. The practice of applying discounts on close-to-date and other suboptimal [...] Read more.
Following the increasing pressure to reduce food waste at supermarkets, many retailers are starting initiatives to prevent the disposal of food items or to manage the waste produced in a more sustainable way. The practice of applying discounts on close-to-date and other suboptimal products is becoming popular, as reducing price pushes consumers to accept small defects of food products. Here, the attitude of 218 supermarket customers towards these discounts is analysed, basing on a questionnaire survey. Two-thirds of the sample declare to be interested in discounts on close-to-date products; the determinants of this interest are studied through a Generalized Maximum Entropy model against a set of socio-demographic and behavioral factors. Results suggest that the interest towards discounts on close-to-date product is primarily driven by a general attitude to save money in food shopping. However, an interesting positive effect is observed for the use of a shopping list at the supermarket, which may be linked to a greater attention on food planning and, consequently, to a lower production of food waste at home. In conclusion, date-based pricing seems to be an effective strategy to address food waste reduction in a sustainable management perspective, for its attractive capacity on different profiles of consumers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Intention to Adopt E-Government Services in Pakistan: An Imperative for Sustainable Development
Resources 2019, 8(3), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030128 - 19 Jul 2019
Viewed by 738
Abstract
For the attainment of sustainable development, the e-government phenomenon has become more imperative with its incremental implementations worldwide. In government organizations, e-government services are considered a valuable tool for the delivery of substantial and timely services to the public. Furthermore, the user’s intention [...] Read more.
For the attainment of sustainable development, the e-government phenomenon has become more imperative with its incremental implementations worldwide. In government organizations, e-government services are considered a valuable tool for the delivery of substantial and timely services to the public. Furthermore, the user’s intention plays a pivotal role in the success of e-government services. The existing research aims to examine the antecedents of the intention to use e-government among the employees of the public universities in Pakistan. The decompose theory of planned behavior (DTPB) model was enriched with the extension of the factor trust and its decomposition by relational bonds. Trust with the support of relational bonds is an effective instrument to build long term relationships, limit the anxiety of the users, and increase behavioral intention. A total of 396 valid responses were collected using the simple random sampling technique from the employees of public universities and responses were evaluated with the SEM. The results indicated that trust and its antecedents (economic bonds, social bonds, and structural bonds), attitude and its antecedents (performance expectancy, effort expectancy), subjective norms and their antecedents (mass media influence, family influence), perceived behavioral control and its antecedents (self-efficacy) have significant and positive effect on intention. However, perceived risk and facilitating condition have insignificant influence on attitude and perceived behavioral control, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Impacts of Energy Access Scenarios in the Nigerian Household Sector by 2030
Resources 2019, 8(3), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030127 - 18 Jul 2019
Viewed by 875
Abstract
Lack of access to modern forms of energy continues to hamper socio-economic development in Nigeria, and about 94% and 39% of the Nigerian population do not have access to clean cooking equipment and electricity, respectively. The United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative [...] Read more.
Lack of access to modern forms of energy continues to hamper socio-economic development in Nigeria, and about 94% and 39% of the Nigerian population do not have access to clean cooking equipment and electricity, respectively. The United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative and Sustainable Development Goal number seven seek to provide universal modern energy for all by 2030. However, the implications of these global goals on Nigeria’s energy system have not been well researched in the literature. In this study, we applied the Long-Range Energy Alternatives Planning Systems model to analyse the impacts of different energy access scenarios by 2030 on household energy consumption, CO2 emissions and local air pollutant emissions. We also analysed different scenarios for biomass renewability in order to understand its impact on household net CO2 emissions. We found that achieving a 100% modern energy access by 2030 would reduce final energy demand by around 845 PJ, which is equivalent to a 52.4% reduction when compared to the baseline scenario. A 100% modern access would also significantly reduce local air pollutants, but increase CO2 emissions significantly by 16.7 MtCO2 compared to the baseline scenario. Our analysis shows that the benefits of modern energy access have been limited in Nigeria due to poor financing and low income levels of households. Therefore, we argue that for a 100% modern energy access in Nigeria by 2030, there is a need to explore local and foreign funding sources, and a serious need to couple energy access programs in the country with income-generating activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Natural Resource Economics and Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Estimation of Mining and Landfilling Activities with Associated Overburden through Satellite Data: Germany 2000–2010
Resources 2019, 8(3), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030126 - 16 Jul 2019
Viewed by 800
Abstract
Despite ever-increasing material extraction on the global scale, very few studies have focused on the relationship between mining activities, overburden, and landfilling. This is mainly due to the lack of statistical data. Yet, large mining activities cause environmental strain to the natural environment, [...] Read more.
Despite ever-increasing material extraction on the global scale, very few studies have focused on the relationship between mining activities, overburden, and landfilling. This is mainly due to the lack of statistical data. Yet, large mining activities cause environmental strain to the natural environment, and are often cause of irreversible alterations to the natural landscape. To circumvent this problem, we develop a methodology that employs the digital elevation model and land cover to detect and analyze mining and landfilling site over time. We test our methodology with the case of Germany for the years 2000–2010. We then confront our results with statistically available data, to verify whether this methodology can be applied to other countries. Results from the analysis of satellite data give 15.3 Pg of extracted materials and 7.8 Pg of landfilled materials, while statistics report 29.4 Pg and 1.8 Pg, respectively. This large difference was likely due to the different frequency of recording, where satellite data was updated after 10 years, while statistics were reported yearly. The analysis of the anthropogenic disturbance with spatial information can effectively contribute to observe, analyze, and quantify mining activities, overburden, and landfills, and can thus provide policy makers with useful and practical information regarding resource usage and waste management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Management: Natural Resources and Human Interaction)
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