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Special Issue "Changing Societies under Extreme Environments in Asia"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Teiji Watanabe

Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Hokkaido 060-0808, Japan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +81 11 706 2213
Interests: conservation and sustainable use of natural resources; protected-area management; terrestrial environment; land use and land cover change; geodiversity analysis and geoconservation; mountain geography; South Asia; Central Asia; Southwest Asia
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Toshiya Okuro

Department of Ecosystem Studies, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
E-Mail
Interests: combating desertification; land degradation and restoration; conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services; dryland ecosystems; paddy-centered/wetland ecosystems; landscape ecology and planning; plant ecology; rangeland ecology; sustainable land management; ecological engineering
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin

Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 886-2-33663468
Fax: +86 2 23686980
Interests: spatial statistics and modeling in environmental and ecological systems; applications of GIS and remote sensing in environmental and ecological systems; freshwater monitoring and modeling; optimal environmental monitoring network design; landscape ecology in land-use management and planning; ecohydrology; groundwater modeling; land-use planning and modeling; soil heavy metal pollution assessment; multiscale analysis in environmental and ecological systems; system dynamic modeling in environmental systems; ecosystem services; system dynamic modeling; optimization techniques

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Asia has high-altitude areas that are under extreme low-temperatures, such as the Pamir, Himalaya, Tibet, and Karakorum. It is also characterized by extremely arid areas, such as Western and Northern China, and Eastern Pamir. The drivers responsible for societal changes and the resultant land use/land cover changes in such countries and regions are not limited to climate change, but include civil wars, sudden change in political institutions, reinforcement of governmental controls, and environmental pollution and related health burdens. This Special Issue aims to recognize the diversity of such changes in different countries and regions of Asia, identify the drivers responsible for changes, and discuss future sustainability in changing societies. We invite case studies of synthesis studies, focusing on Asian issues. However, comparisons with other parts of the world, for global synthesis, are not excluded.

This Special Issue will select works from the Global Land Programme 2018 Asia Conference. Each submission to this Special Issue should contain at least 50% of new material, e.g., in the form of technical extensions, more in-depth evaluations, or additional use cases. These extended submissions will undergo a peer-review process according to the journal’s guidelines. At least two technical committees will act as reviewers for each extended article submitted to this Special Issue; if needed, additional external reviewers will be invited to guarantee a high-quality reviewing process. Participants of this conference will receive a 20% discount on the Article Processing Charges.

Prof. Dr. Teiji Watanabe
Prof. Dr. Toshiya Okuro
Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • land use land cover changes
  • Pastoralism and agriculture
  • High altitude and arid areas
  • Urban-rural teleconnections
  • Ecological migration
  • Sustainable mountain society

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Integrating Landscape Metrics and Hydrologic Modeling to Assess the Impact of Natural Disturbances on Ecohydrological Processes in the Chenyulan Watershed, Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020266
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
The Chenyulan watershed, located in the central mountain area of Taiwan, has been suffering from earthquakes, typhoons, and heavy rainfalls in recent decades. These sequential natural disturbances have a cumulative impact on the watershed, leading to more fragile and fragmented land cover and [...] Read more.
The Chenyulan watershed, located in the central mountain area of Taiwan, has been suffering from earthquakes, typhoons, and heavy rainfalls in recent decades. These sequential natural disturbances have a cumulative impact on the watershed, leading to more fragile and fragmented land cover and loss of capacity of soil water conservation. In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and a landscape metrics tool (FRAGSTATS) were used to assess the direct impact (e.g., by annual rainfall) and indirect impact (e.g., by landscape configuration and composition) of natural disturbances on the ecohydrological processes of the Chenyulan watershed. Six SPOT satellite images from 2008 to 2013 were analyzed by using the nearest feature line embedding (NFLE) approach and reclassified into six land cover types: forest, cultivated land, grassland, river, landslide, and built-up. Forest was found to have the largest patch size, indicating that it is more resilient to disturbances, while agricultural land tended to expand from the river side toward the hill. Two land cover change scenarios were compared in the SWAT model. The results showed that there was no significant difference in simulated streamflow during 2004–2015 and sediment loading during 2004–2009; however, the model performed better for sediment loading during 2010–2015 with dynamic land cover change (coefficient of determination (R2) = 0.66, Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient (NSE) = 0.62, percent bias (PBIAS) = 10.5%, root mean square error observation standard deviation ratio (RSR) = 0.62) than with constant land cover (R2 = 0.61, NSE = 0.54, PBIAS = −17.3%, RSR = 0.68), indicating that long-term land cover change should be considered in hydrologic modeling. Changes in landslides during 2008–2013 were found to significantly affect ecohydrological processes, especially after 2011. In general, annual precipitation plays a dominant role, and landscape composition had by far the strongest influence on water yield and sediment yield compared to landscape configuration. The results can be useful for understanding the effects of land cover change on ecohydrological processes in the Chenyulan watershed and the potential impact of ecohydrological changes on the environment and public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changing Societies under Extreme Environments in Asia)
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Open AccessArticle Pastoral Practices and Common Use of Pastureland: The Case of Karakul, North-Eastern Tajik Pamirs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2725; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122725
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 6 November 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
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Abstract
This study describes pastoralism practiced in the Karakul village, Northeast of Tajikistan, and discusses its sustainability. Tajikistan introduced a market economy at independence in 1991, and pastoralism is now practiced on a family-unit basis. The families in Karakul graze livestock in their summer [...] Read more.
This study describes pastoralism practiced in the Karakul village, Northeast of Tajikistan, and discusses its sustainability. Tajikistan introduced a market economy at independence in 1991, and pastoralism is now practiced on a family-unit basis. The families in Karakul graze livestock in their summer pastureland (jailoo) and move their livestock to winter pastureland around the village (kyshtoo). They make groups for pasturage with several families in jailoo and also in kyshtoo. Each group pastures their livestock every day, using a system called novad. In addition to jailoo and kyshtoo, they also practice pastoralism on two additional kinds of pastureland: küzdöö (spring pastureland) and bäärlöö (autumn pastureland). Still, now, the Karakul villagers use their pastureland as the commons: the Karakul village has not established private possession of pastureland even after a law enabled the division of common pastureland among individual families. Using the pastureland as the commons would be preferred by the local pastoralists. However, the free pasture access as the commons may result in a loss of sustainability as a trade-off. Regardless of privatization or the continued use of the commons, the possible development of the uneven use of the pastureland is inferred and should be avoided, and the introduction of a local management structure is urgently needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changing Societies under Extreme Environments in Asia)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Rural Households’ Livelihood Capital, Risk Perception, and Willingness to Purchase Earthquake Disaster Insurance: Evidence from Southwestern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1319; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071319
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (758 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Earthquake disaster insurance can effectively reduce the impact of earthquake disasters on rural households. Exploring rural households’ willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance in earthquake disaster areas provides an understanding of the motivations underlying the implementation of an insurance policy. However, few studies [...] Read more.
Earthquake disaster insurance can effectively reduce the impact of earthquake disasters on rural households. Exploring rural households’ willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance in earthquake disaster areas provides an understanding of the motivations underlying the implementation of an insurance policy. However, few studies have examined the perspectives of rural households, in order to explore the correlations between the rural households’ livelihood capital, their disaster risk perception, and their willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance. A cross-sectional survey data including 241 rural households from the most severe disaster counties (cities) during the 5 • 12 Wenchuan earthquake was examined with regard to rural households’ livelihood and disaster risk perception, and ordinal logistic regression models were constructed to explore rural households’ willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance, as well as the driving mechanism behind this willingness. The results showed that 34.44% of rural households were very willing to purchase earthquake disaster insurance, and 7.05% of rural households were very reluctant to purchase earthquake insurance. Rural households’ livelihood capital and risk perceptions were the most important factors affecting their willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance. Rural households with higher scores on natural capital, physical capital, possibility, and worry were more likely to purchase earthquake disaster insurance. Specifically, keeping all other variables constant, every one unit increase in nature capital and physical capital corresponded to an increase in the odds of willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance by a factor of 0.14 and 0.06, respectively; every one unit increase in possibility and worry corresponded to an increase in the odds of willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance by a factor of 0.03 and 0.04, respectively. This study contributes to the current literature by increasing the understanding of the relationships between Chinese rural households’ livelihood capital and risk perceptions, and their willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changing Societies under Extreme Environments in Asia)
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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