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Proceedings, 2019, TERRAenVISION 2019

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Research

Open AccessAbstract
Identifying the Forest Surfaces Prone to Fire Ignition and Wildfire Spread in Metropolitan Areas; a Comparative Case from Western Balkans
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030001 - 25 Oct 2019
Abstract
Human activity combined with the dynamics of severe climate conditions are accepted the main drivers of wildfire events in the Mediterranean region. This fact is urging for further comprehensive research focusing on the wildland-urban interface (WUI) at metropolitan scale, at which the tension [...] Read more.
Human activity combined with the dynamics of severe climate conditions are accepted the main drivers of wildfire events in the Mediterranean region. This fact is urging for further comprehensive research focusing on the wildland-urban interface (WUI) at metropolitan scale, at which the tension between the cause and effect of wildfire is the highest. In this context, the study brings a comparative case between two metropolitan areas from Western Balkan countries, the forest lands of which are classified by their index of wildfire ignition probability (WIPI) and wildfire spreading capacity (WSCI). Originally, both indexing methods rely on a multi-criteria evaluation which considers simultaneously the geophysical, hydrometeorological and anthropogenic factors of the territory. All stages of the process are performed by utilizing QGIS software. First, the forest surfaces within the metropolitan zone of Tirana (AL) and Sarajevo (BH) are extracted from Urban Atlas land cover data being provided as an open source by Copernicus data portal (EU). Reference points grid (distance of 100m) overlapping with the forest surfaces serve as pivot points to which the relative values of each criteria are projected. Later the absolute values are normalized into 10 classes via Jenks natural break method. The class value of each criterion is introduced into the indexing equation multiplied by the unique impact factor being weighted via pairwise comparative method in Analytical Hierarchy processing. The majority of the workflow steps are automated via Graphical Modeler in QGIS utilizing open source spatial data, giving floor to further applicability of the method to similar cases. As a result, there are produced statistical and graphical information being useful for identifying wildfire prone forest surfaces within the metropolitan areas. Being applied into two different study areas, the results enable a comparative discussion and evaluation at regional scale. By utilizing open source software and data, this work contributes in the development of practical and re-applicable models of wildfire risk assessment promoting open access scientific culture. Finally, the study results successful in testing a rapid and cost free method for identifying the forest areas prone to wildfire ignition and spreading risk in metropolitan areas in support to disaster risk reduction agendas and sustainable Development Goals. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Implementation Challenges of Nature-Based Solutions: The Way forward?
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030002 - 28 Oct 2019
Abstract
The concept of nature-based solutions (NBSs) is widely addressed in the recent research agenda. [...] Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Nature-Based Solutions in an Urban Perspective
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030003 - 28 Oct 2019
Abstract
The traditional engineering approach to manage urban drainage is by combined or separated sewers. In urban catchments, drainage systems may include different types of storage and detention facilities to avoid flooding from heavy rainfall. However, during recent decades, alternative ways to manage floods [...] Read more.
The traditional engineering approach to manage urban drainage is by combined or separated sewers. In urban catchments, drainage systems may include different types of storage and detention facilities to avoid flooding from heavy rainfall. However, during recent decades, alternative ways to manage floods have evolved since traditional methods often harm the riverine ecosystems by pollution and erosion and increase the flood risk in the downstream extent of a catchment. Green spaces are important in urban areas for many different reasons: recreation, maintenance of biodiversity, city structure, cultural identity, environmental quality of the urban area, and as biological solutions to technical problems in urban areas. However, plans for urban green spaces often do not take into consideration the multiple purposes of green spaces and the relation between urban green spaces and water is only to a limited degree mentioned and discussed in such plans. Densification has become a dominating urban planning strategy, as many cities strive to reduce their negative, environmental impact. As a consequence of urban densification, the need for solid strategies to preserve, build, develop and ideally simultaneously increase the quantity (area) and quality of green and blue spaces (vegetation and surface water) in urban areas in a multifunctional manner increases. The combination of climate change adaptation, densification, pollution, the call for more green spaces, and a need to restore aging sewers, leads to strong interest in retrofitting of urban areas with nature-based solutions (NBS). Incorporation of NBS into decision-making and ways to handle integrative and multi-criteria aspects in the legal and organisational system are still to a great extent not done. The current regime for stormwater management, through piped drainage, is dominating and many cities face a lack of green spaces. Introducing more nature-based solutions is faced with barriers that are largely socio-institutional rather than technical. In this keynote session such barriers, as well as drivers, for wide-spread implementation of NBS, as well as data management strategies to help the implementation, are discussed. Based on transition theory, socio-technical transition towards wide-spread implementation of such measures were examined through interviews with municipal and water utility officials. Legal, organisational and financial changes are suggested. This keynote session also discusses urban, pluvial flooding and if NBS can be used as a strategy for resilient flood risk management. Spatial analyses of flood claims from insurance companies and the water utility company of Malmö are used to study how NBS impact flood risk. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
UAS Remote Sensing Products for Supporting Extraction Management and Restoration Monitoring in Open-Pit Mines
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030004 - 31 Oct 2019
Abstract
Accurate mapping of open-pit mine areas is a prerequisite for the efficient resource management of extractive companies, but also detailed mapping is a requirement for public administrations, especially regarding the monitoring of restored areas. In previous works, our team has contributed to a [...] Read more.
Accurate mapping of open-pit mine areas is a prerequisite for the efficient resource management of extractive companies, but also detailed mapping is a requirement for public administrations, especially regarding the monitoring of restored areas. In previous works, our team has contributed to a better knowledge of the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technologies for soil/vegetation restoration monitoring purposes, and in this work, we present a novel protocol to support combined interests of both private companies and governmental agencies. We introduce a case study in which we show the capability of multispectral sensors onboard of a low-weight multicopter to describe land cover typologies in restored areas (such as grass, scrubs, trees, topsoil and mine spoils) by applying remote sensing and GIS techniques. Moreover, we assess the capability of digital terrain models (Digital Elevation Model, Digital Surface Model, Digital Slope Model) derived from photogrammetric techniques, to provide useful and fast topographic information for the proper management of open-pit mine exploitation and restoration. By applying these techniques, we present a cost-effective workflow adequate to monitor land cover dynamics in restored areas, but also volumetric changes in stockpiles, waste dumps and extraction faces. This combined approach, supporting both environmental and industrial needs, aims to enhance the collaboration between sectors, establishing synergies, reducing costs by sharing knowledge, and adding transparency to their relation. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Use of Air-Based Photogrammetry for Soil Erosion Assessment
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030005 - 01 Nov 2019
Abstract
Water erosion affects all types of soils around the world at different intensities. However, in the tropics, water-based processes are the most important of the erosion processes and have received much attention in the last decades. Understanding and quantifying the processes involved in [...] Read more.
Water erosion affects all types of soils around the world at different intensities. However, in the tropics, water-based processes are the most important of the erosion processes and have received much attention in the last decades. Understanding and quantifying the processes involved in each type of water erosion (sheet, rill and gully erosion) is key to developing and managing soil conservation and erosion mitigation strategies. This study aims to investigate the efficiency of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry for soil erosion assessment, as well as to address some gaps in our understanding of the evolution of erosive processes. For the first time, we used a UAV-SfM technique to evaluate the relative contribution of different types of erosion (sheet, rill and gully sidewall) in gully development. This was possible due to the millimetric level of precision of the point clouds produced, which allowed us to evaluate the contribution of laminar erosion as a new component to gullies studies. As a result, it was possible to quantify sediment volumes stored in the channels and lost from the gully system, as well as to determine the main sediment sources. The UAV-SfM proved to be effective for detailed gully monitoring, with the results suggesting that the main source of sediments in the gully was mass movement, followed by rills and sheet erosion. Our findings support the use of UAV-based photogrammetry as a sufficiently precise tool for detecting soil surface change, which can be used to assess water erosion in its various forms. In addition, UAV-SfM has proven to be a very useful technique for monitoring soil erosion over time, especially in hard-to-reach areas. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Role of Negotiation in Upstream-Downstream Flood Protection: Demonstration in Role-Played Flooding Game
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030006 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
Large river floods threaten intensively used urban areas across the world. Projections of IPCC expect such risks to increase in the future. To deal with flood risk along rivers water can be retained upstream at places where less damage is caused and more [...] Read more.
Large river floods threaten intensively used urban areas across the world. Projections of IPCC expect such risks to increase in the future. To deal with flood risk along rivers water can be retained upstream at places where less damage is caused and more vulnerable land (downstream) can be adapted to the flood risk (resilient cities). This catchment-oriented approach to flood risk management implies that upstream and downstream parties need to agree on where to store and where to adapt to floods. However, this approach implies that many diverse stakeholders (such as mayors, spatial planners, homeowners, etc.) enter the decision-making process, which influences efficiency of the measure selection. Measures in a catchment of a river are often related and influence each other—what happens upstream can have substantial effects downstream. In particular, when rivers cross administrative or national boundaries, these upstream-downstream effects become an issue of hydro-diplomacy. Upstream is usually not motivated to implement measures from which mostly only downstream profits. Therefore, negotiation is necessary to find agreement between upstream and downstream and to implement the most effective and efficient measure. The negotiation becomes more complicated if multiple upstream and downstream parties are involved. In this contribution, a role-played game that tries to better understand the dynamics of negotiations in multiple upstream-downstream relationships is introduced. The game will be played with real stakeholders (mayors and river basin managers) and the dynamics of negotiation will be explored in different scenarios based on the Cultural Theory of Risk. This way, the game allows to compare effectiveness of negotiation in different scenarios. Beside the different institutional settings, the players’ level of flood risk aversion will be tested. The aim is to demonstrate (play) the game during the session focused on games and experiments. The attendees take on roles of mayors and will play one scenario of the game. The game shows how negotiations may (and indeed should from an economic point of view) lead to a Pareto-improving situation, making some players better off without worsening a situation of any other player. The demonstration presents the setup of the game and leads to discussion about results of the negotiations. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Climate Change Adaptation Measures Are Economically Justifiable even under No Climate Change: Evidence from the South-Moravian Region
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030007 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
Climate change has a strong influence on agriculture and will continue to do so in the years to come. As a result, significant social costs are generated. These effects may be eliminated by implementing various types of adaptation measures. However, the measures are [...] Read more.
Climate change has a strong influence on agriculture and will continue to do so in the years to come. As a result, significant social costs are generated. These effects may be eliminated by implementing various types of adaptation measures. However, the measures are also associated with costs and it is necessary to evaluate whether generated benefits and prevented climate change costs outweigh them. This contribution studies economic impacts of climate change in agriculture in the South Moravian region in a period of 2017–2040. Four scenarios are analysed based on combinations of the following states of a world (i) climate change worsens the current situation or there is no change; (ii) adaptation measures are implemented or the status quo is maintained. The scenarios are modelled based on an anthropocentric approach using a modified cost-benefit analysis and the concept of ecosystem services. The economic analysis covers investment costs, operating costs, loss of profits due to decreasing production and other costs. The benefits side consists mainly of regulation services prevented loss (thanks to lower soil erosion or better water retention), improved air quality as well as external benefits such as higher biodiversity. Based on measures effectiveness and costs, expected net present social benefits were calculated for each of the scenarios. The results showed that implementing the measures is always profitable regardless of climate change. Under no shift in climate change the estimated social loss until 2040 is 6.6 billion CZK with no measures implemented. If the situation regarding climate change becomes more serious, the net loss rises to 9.5 billion CZK. However, the implementation of adaptation measures leads to positive outcomes and is associated with net social benefits of 2.1 billion CZK if it is necessary to battle climate change and to barely positive outcome when climate change does not accelerate. The analysis confirms that implementation of adaptation measures is profitable either way (especially if climate change becomes more serious) and can serve as an argument in political decision-making as these measures appear to maintain sustainability of agricultural land use. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Contribution of Ecosystem Services to Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030008 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) for 2030 are established to address global challenges including environment and human well-being. The SDGs are interconnected and achievement of them requires consideration of the planet’s ecosystems and resources - land, water and air. Ecosystem services (ES) approach [...] Read more.
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) for 2030 are established to address global challenges including environment and human well-being. The SDGs are interconnected and achievement of them requires consideration of the planet’s ecosystems and resources - land, water and air. Ecosystem services (ES) approach has a high potential for better planning, policy and decision making. Understanding how different ecosystems (e.g., forests, rivers, wetlands, grasslands) contribute to the social and economic benefits is critical to ensure the long-term biodiversity protection and sustainable use of ecosystems. A conceptual framework linking biodiversity and ecosystem condition (its structure and functions), and ES to human well-being has been well-established in EU by so called MAES process (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystem Services) lead by the European Commission. The framework is applied in recent research studies and projects, as well as national MAES processes. Various methods are applied for MAES in terms to determine biophysical, economic and social values and to deliver integrated ecosystem assessment. Assessment of ES and trade off analysis shall provide a new perspective for land use planning and decision making at different administrative and spatial levels and in different sectoral policies. EU and national policies for instance on agriculture, fishery, forestry, climate should account the benefits provided by relevant ecosystems and to ensure that the values are not diminished but rather enhanced during the implementation of the policies. Terrestrial and water ecosystems are interconnected as land-based human activities creates pressure that impacts the conditions in water ecosystems and thus delivery of ES by rivers and lakes. For example, intensive agricultural land use produces food for people and income; however, the activity also most frequently causes problems with water quality and quantity in the catchment area and a loss of biodiversity. A risk of such trade-off shall be handled in policy development. Ecosystems also contributes to the resilience of communities by reducing the risk of natural hazards and mitigate adverse impacts. Regulating services such as flood control are substituting investments in flood protection ensured by forests, wetlands and grasslands instead of human built infrastructure. Appropriate land cover and land use shall serve as a basic flood protection measure. Natural processes are increasingly recognised to create new-type solutions that use and deploy the properties of natural ecosystems and their services in an “engineered” way. A wide range of measures called also as nature-based solutions provide another opportunity to work with nature towards global sustainability. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Geocomputing, New Technologies and Historical Analysis: Tools for a Changing Planet
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030009 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
Modern Earth Scientists need also to interact with other disciplines, apparently far from the Earth Sciences and Engineering. Disciplines related to history and philosophy of science are emblematic from this perspective. From one side, the quantitative analysis of information extracted from historical records [...] Read more.
Modern Earth Scientists need also to interact with other disciplines, apparently far from the Earth Sciences and Engineering. Disciplines related to history and philosophy of science are emblematic from this perspective. From one side, the quantitative analysis of information extracted from historical records (documents, maps, paintings, etc.) represents an exciting research topic, requiring a truly holistic approach. On the other side, epistemological and philosophy of science considerations on the relationship between geoscience and society in history are of fundamental importance for understanding past, present and future geosphere-anthroposphere interlinked dynamics. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Impact οf Pavement Distribution οn Hillslope Runoff ιn Peri-Urban Landscapes, Based οn Laboratorial Experiments
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030010 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
It is widely accepted that urbanization modifies the hydrological processes, increasing runoff and flood hazard. However, after decades of research, the magnitude of the impacts is not well understood. This is partially due to spatial-temporal differences in rainfall-runoff processes over complex landscapes comprising [...] Read more.
It is widely accepted that urbanization modifies the hydrological processes, increasing runoff and flood hazard. However, after decades of research, the magnitude of the impacts is not well understood. This is partially due to spatial-temporal differences in rainfall-runoff processes over complex landscapes comprising different land-uses, typical of peri-urban areas. This study aims to investigate the impact of different spatial patterns of pavement on surface runoff, under distinct weather conditions (dry vs wet). Inspired on urban cores observed in peri-urban catchments, 7 spatial patterns were investigated: 100% pavement, 100% pervious, and 60% pavement (and 40% pervious) under continuous placement located upslope or downslope, and under dispersed patterns with regular, irregular and linear distribution. Concrete blocks were used as pavement material, whereas pervious surfaces were simulated using either bare soil, 1.5 kg·m−3 with sandy-loam texture, or commercial natural grass carpets. The 13 configurations of pavement and pervious materials, pavement-soil and pavement-grass were simulated in the laboratory, in a 1.0 × 1.0 m2 flume, with 0.05 m soil depth and 9° slope. Three rainfall simulation experiments were performed for each spatial configuration. Each experiment comprises a set of four sequential storms with 50 mm·h−1 over 20-min, interrupted by 30-min intervals, to simulate dry and increasingly wet antecedent settings. Results show that runoff is driven by both spatial pattern and soil moisture. Runoff coefficients ranged from 70–81% in fully paved surfaces to 1.4–40% in bare soil and 0.2–3.8% in grass, exhibiting increasing values from dry to wet antecedent moisture conditions, especially in bare soil. Under dry conditions, continuous pavement generates more runoff if placed downslope than upslope (28% vs 5% with grass and 37% vs 33% with bare soil). Under wet settings, however, continuous pavement generated (i) higher runoff if associated with downslope than upslope bare soil (63% vs 52%), due to saturation-excess favored by cumulative rainfall and upslope runoff; and (ii) lower runoff if associated with downslope than upslope grass surface (33% vs 24%). When considering dispersed pavement, runoff increased from dry to wet conditions, ranging from 32% to 62% and 1.3% to 23% when distributed with soil and grass covers, respectively. Adequate urban planning based on spatial patterns that maximize runoff sinks over the landscape should be considered to enhance urban flood resilience. Grass (as other covers) has higher capacity to retain and infiltrate rainfall and runoff than bare soil, and may represent a nature-based solution to mitigate flood hazard in peri-urban areas. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Impact of Landscape Attributes on Surface Water in the Tiber River Basin (Central Italy)
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030011 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
River catchments are highly complex systems characterized by several properties such as self-organization, multi-scale variability, hydraulic and topographic gradients, patchiness and heterogeneity, resilience and a hierarchical structure. These features, coupled with several geomorphological, anthropogenic and climatic drivers, are expected to influence the surface [...] Read more.
River catchments are highly complex systems characterized by several properties such as self-organization, multi-scale variability, hydraulic and topographic gradients, patchiness and heterogeneity, resilience and a hierarchical structure. These features, coupled with several geomorphological, anthropogenic and climatic drivers, are expected to influence the surface water composition over different temporal and spatial scales. The knowledge of these complex interlinks plays a key role in both river basin management and predictability to potential pollution events. Nevertheless, due to the considerable amount of factors involved in the analysis, the unique combination of attributes characterizing each catchment and the lack of data at an adequate scale, it still remains unclear which of the environmental parameters have a major influence on the water chemistry. In this work, the hierarchy of the variability in the chemical composition of 160 water samples collected in 2017 throughout the Tiber River Basin, the largest catchment in Central Italy (17,156 km2), was explored. The results obtained by using advanced statistical methods, including the Compositional Data Analysis, highlighted different sources of variability linked to the geological (low variability) and anthropogenic origin (high variability) of the main solutes. Furthermore, for each sampling site, the corresponding watershed was calculated from the Digital Terrain Model using a Geographical Information System-based elaboration. The aim was to evaluate the relationships between the landscape morphological properties of the watersheds, such as elevation, drainage area, slope or other morphometric indexes and the physical-chemical parameters of the river waters on the basis of different geological and topographical settings of the basin. The outcomes proved to be particularly useful to discriminate between water chemistry mainly influenced by surface run-off processes and that affected by ground water circulation. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Slope and Groundwater Monitoring for 3D Numerical Modelling to Ensure the Structural Health of an Alpine Road Tunnel Crossing an Active Rock Slide
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030012 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
Railways and roads frequently cross natural corridors like alluvial plains and alpine valleys. Here, structures and infrastructures can be affected by natural hazards such as floods and landslides. In some cases, the design has disregarded the possible interactions between slope processes and linear [...] Read more.
Railways and roads frequently cross natural corridors like alluvial plains and alpine valleys. Here, structures and infrastructures can be affected by natural hazards such as floods and landslides. In some cases, the design has disregarded the possible interactions between slope processes and linear infrastructures. This work summarizes a 20-year long research comprising monitoring and laboratory data, field investigations and numerical modelling about an active 25-million m3 rock block slide threatening the serviceability of a highway tunnel in the Eastern Italian Alps, along the Tagliamento River Valley. The effectiveness of 3D geotechnical and hydrogeological numerical modelling calibrated on long-term monitoring datasets in planning countermeasures for landslide risk mitigation is demonstrated. A correlation between rapid snowmelt and/or extreme rainfall events and landslide activity is found. Moreover, monitored stream and spring discharges, together with seepage along the tunnel, appear to be strictly related to the displacements measured by GNSS and in-place inclinometers. In particular, the landslide accelerates once the threshold of 20 l/s in the tunnel seepage discharge is overcome. The continuous monitoring of specific electrical conductivity in five points allows tunnel discharge to be characterized identifying two type of groundwater circulation, one deeper and one perched, developing during extreme event. These facts clarify the role played by rainfall infiltration and groundwater flow in the fractured rock mass in promoting slope movements and damage in the tunnel lining. Based on these observations, two different 3D codes are used for groundwater flow simulation (FEFLOW by DHI-WASY) and stress and strain analysis (FLAC3D by ITASCA). The actual conditions of the slope and the possible countermeasures have been simulated. In FEFLOW, the Equivalent Porous Medium (EPM) approach is adopted with a model domain of 8-km2 including the landslide and the infrastructures. In FLAC3D, the properties of the sliding surface are reduced to simulate the wetting caused by the rising of hydraulic head in the fractured rock mass during the snowmelt or rainfall events. The 300-m long extension of an already existing T-shape drainage tunnel is analyzed. The simulated countermeasure work induces a lowering of the hydraulic head in the rock mass; consequently the reduced geotechnical properties have to be applied to a smaller section of the slip surface, resulting in a decrease of displacements. Even though the stabilizing effect is not definitive, mainly because of the volume of the unstable slope, the extension of the drainage tunnel reduces both the intensity and the duration of the water seepage into the tunnel with direct benefits for the tunnel serviceability. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Role Board Games as a Tool for Reconfiguration of Innovation Factors in Forest Ecosystem Services Governance
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030013 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
Forest ecosystem services (FES) are considered as public or common goods facing diverging individual and societal interests affecting the quality of ecosystems and well-being of the communities. This may result in overuse, degradation or unsustainable behaviour, as well as it can create also [...] Read more.
Forest ecosystem services (FES) are considered as public or common goods facing diverging individual and societal interests affecting the quality of ecosystems and well-being of the communities. This may result in overuse, degradation or unsustainable behaviour, as well as it can create also barriers for cooperation, economic profit and innovative business initiatives. The paper introduces the methodological approach which is applied within six different innovation regions (conceptualised as social-ecological systems) within the InnoForESt H2020 project. Each region uses innovative approaches in governance of FES and payments schemes. They are situated in Austria, the Czechia and Slovakia, Finland, Germany, Italy and Finland. All are characterised by manifold, sometimes diverging, FES, such as timber, recreation, regulation services or education. In order to get a better understanding of the role and the impact of key innovation factors for the regions, we have designed a behavioural [lab] experiment in the form of a Role board game (RBG). The proposed experimental game builds on Cardenas et al. (2013) and Castillo et al. (2011) as an interactive agent-based model arranging for repeated interaction and learning in real-world situations. It contributes to testing the effectiveness of incentives provision for the sustainable production of FES and the acceptance of such an intervention by FES communities (Kluvankova et al., in press). The game enables the adaptation to the specifics of each innovation region but at the same time it keeps the same internal experimental mechanism which will enable the comparison across the regions. The main question to be addressed by the RBG is: How to create conditions to enable innovations in forest management/governance for sustainable use and well-being in innovation regions under the diverging interest of FES users? We plan to test combinations of key innovation factors as preferred future scenario for sustainable FES provisions in regions, including fundamental policy interventions (e.g. strict regulation vs. payments for ecosystem services scheme), business incentives and external risk factors. RBG will allow testing stakeholders’ specific behaviour for resource use, and innovation activities, to create economic incentive, knowledge and social value. We argue that this will help to set conditions for successful development of policy and business innovations in innovations regions and to foster collaboration on FES provision for sustainability among stakeholders in a long term. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Small-Scale landslide Susceptibility Assessment. The Case Study of the Southern Asia
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030014 - 11 Nov 2019
Abstract
One of the prioritized project of the Belt and Road Initiative is the Silk Road Disaster Risk Reduction. The main aim of the project is to investigate natural hazards affecting Central Asia and Europe in order to understand their evolution and support the [...] Read more.
One of the prioritized project of the Belt and Road Initiative is the Silk Road Disaster Risk Reduction. The main aim of the project is to investigate natural hazards affecting Central Asia and Europe in order to understand their evolution and support the spatial planning related to the new infrastructures designing prevention and mitigation measures. The landslide susceptibility zoning is a common practice for land-use planning and environmental impact assessment. Considering the susceptibility as part of the hazard zoning work-flow, a multi-scale (multi-Tier) landslide susceptibility assessment has been carried out and the results are illustrated in this work. Starting from the continental (Tier 1) up to the regional analysis (Tier ≥ 2), the most susceptible areas have been defined to be exploited by successive zoning. Once the most susceptible areas at a regional scale are detected, the hazard zoning can be assessed. In the literature, the landslide susceptibility at continental or global scale has seldom been evaluated. The complexity of the analysis is strictly related to the extension of the study area: the smaller the scale, the higher the complexity of the analysis. Moreover, coordination issues between people and local governments, lack of data due to the absence of strategies for hazards and risk mitigation and data heterogeneity significantly affect the results and forces to find new and innovative solutions from the scientific point of view. In this framework, the Tier 1 landslide susceptibility of the southern Asia has been investigated. It represents the first application of the proposed approach. The results reveal a promising prediction capacity of the method which will be applied to the rest of the Belt and Road study area. The limits, and potentialities of a continental landslide susceptibility are here described. The uncertainty which affect the results of the Tier 1 assessment is mainly related to the lack of consistent data, especially, a global and reliable landslide inventory. However, the Tier 1 landslide susceptibility map has the role to give an overview of the entire study area and to provide the definition of the most landslides prone areas. The method adopted for the analysis is statistically-based and all the resources (software, libraries and data) are open-source. In order to support the reproducibility of the results, a new QGIS tool for statistical analysis has been developed. The Weights of Evidence method has been already implemented, whereas other methods will be coded during further activity. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Evolution of Green Areas in Europe—A Comparison Between Three Urban Areas
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030015 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Urbanization is a continuous and dynamic process which has a direct impact on ecosystems and their services provided to human society. Restriction of green areas greatly accentuates urban ecological risks, having an immediate negative impact on their viability and sustainability, on life quality [...] Read more.
Urbanization is a continuous and dynamic process which has a direct impact on ecosystems and their services provided to human society. Restriction of green areas greatly accentuates urban ecological risks, having an immediate negative impact on their viability and sustainability, on life quality and population health. Increasing population density in urban areas leads to an increasing need for space. Parallel to the tentacular development of urban agglomerations, structure, architecture and design have changed, at the expense of green spaces. The development of urban areas in several European Countries (e.g., Romania, Portugal, Sweden, amid substantial demographic growth, it was made at the expense of green areas. Historical milestones of urban and peri-urban development are also key milestones in green space strategies, both in terms of development and conversion into different land-uses. This article investigates the evolution of green infrastructure in three distinct countries in Europe. In western Romania (Timisoara urban area and its neighboring peri-urban zones) we investigate the strong correlation with the evolution of urban development and the strategies developed for improving the life quality. In central Portugal, we analyze the dynamics of green infrastructures in a peri-urban catchment close to Coimbra city Centre, driven by long term urbanization. In Sweden (Malmö city), we study the history of blue-green infrastructures such as sustainable urban drainage over the past two decades and application of this in the physical planning. We will emphasize the main key milestones in green space strategies, similitudes and differences between three urban areas located in three different bio-geographical areas. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Transforming Degraded Smallholder Farmland into Multi-Functional Land Use Systems: A Case Study From Tanzania
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030016 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
In our research, we have studied smallholder farmers in degraded farming systems in Northwest Tanzania and have compared them with farm households who were trained in sustainable land management by a local Farmer Field School. Both groups of farmers were affected by severe [...] Read more.
In our research, we have studied smallholder farmers in degraded farming systems in Northwest Tanzania and have compared them with farm households who were trained in sustainable land management by a local Farmer Field School. Both groups of farmers were affected by severe environmental degradation and poor soil fertility, but trained farmers have transformed degraded farmland into fertile, multi-functional land use systems. In this presentation, we discuss the successes and failures of both groups of farmers and draw conclusions towards restoring degraded land use systems. Farmers without training cannot restore degraded farmland with traditional agricultural management alone and fail to produce enough food, fodder, biofuel, and timber to support the whole family. The reasons for their failure are manifold and include environmental and socio-economic dimensions, e.g., poor management of soils and farm waste, lacking adaptation to climate change, traditional gender roles, and the loss of knowledge and labour in HIV/AIDS-affected households. In comparison, trained farmers change nutrient management by using advanced composting techniques. They also cultivate a greater variety of crops and trees, introduce organic pesticide management, ease manure collection, construct vegetable gardens that are watered by drip irrigation in the dry season, change gender roles and communication structures. The main differences between both groups of farmers occur in food security, health status, education level, marketing, income generation, prosperity, and gender-related responsibilities. However, the full potential of organic farm waste being used as soil fertiliser is not exhausted, as human excreta is not integrated into nutrient management. Farm households who are most vulnerable to food security, e.g., female-headed and HIV/AIDS-affected households, need to get support in strengthening their socio-economic base before transforming the farm management. In conclusion, local Farmer Field Schools significantly contribute to restoring land degradation. To transform smallholder agriculture in Tanzania, a joint partnership with local governmental organisations could help farmers to escape poverty and become food secure (SDG 1 and SDG 2). Similar approaches could support smallholder farmers in East Africa, where they contribute to three-fourth of the agricultural production. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
A Smart Multi-scale and Multi-temporal System to Support Precision and Sustainable Agriculture from Satellite Images
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030017 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Currently, the main goal of agriculture is to support the achievement of food security in a sustainable way through the improvement of use efficiency of farm resources, increasing crop yield and quality, under climate change conditions. Farm resources use improvement, as well as [...] Read more.
Currently, the main goal of agriculture is to support the achievement of food security in a sustainable way through the improvement of use efficiency of farm resources, increasing crop yield and quality, under climate change conditions. Farm resources use improvement, as well as the reduction of soil degradation processes, can be realized by means of high spatial and temporal resolution of field crop monitoring, aiming to manage the local spatial variability. In the case of high incomes crops, as the vineyards for high-quality wines, the monitoring of spatial behavior of plants during the growing season represents an opportunity to improve the plant management, the farmer incomes and to preserve the environmental health. However, because the field monitoring is an additional cost for the farmer, its diffusion is slow down and with it the achievement of sustainable agriculture. In the last decades, the satellite multispectral images have been widely used for the management of large areas, with a limitation in observation due to the pre-defined and fixed scale with relatively coarse spatial resolution, resulting in restrictions in their application. This paper presents a modified multiscale full-connected convolutional neural network (CNN) as a practical tool for pan-sharpening of Sentinel-2A images by UAV images. The reconstructed data are validated by independent multispectral UAV images and in-situ spectral measurements, providing a multitemporal evaluation of plant responses through a set of selected vegetation indices. The proposed methodology has been tested on plant measurements taken either in-vivo and through the retrospective reconstruction of the eco-physiological vine behavior, by the evaluation of water conductivity and water use efficiency indexes from anatomical and isotopic traits recorded in vine stem wood. Such a methodology, able to evaluate with high spatial and temporal resolution the plant responses, combining the pro and cons of space-borne and UAVs data, has been applied in a vineyard of southern Italy by analyzing the period from 2015 to 2018. The obtained results have shown a good correspondence between the vegetation indices obtained from reconstructed Sentinel-2A data and plant measurements obtained from tree-ring based retrospective reconstruction of eco-physiological behavior. Full article
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