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Approaches to the Non-conflictual Use of Resources

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Resources and Sustainable Utilization".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (26 March 2023) | Viewed by 20297

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Water, Environment, Civil Engineering, and Safety, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences, Breitscheidstr. 2, D-39114 Magdeburg, Germany
Interests: interdisciplinary research; ecological engineering; water and waste management; environmental assessment and impact mitigation; responsible use of resources
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Guest Editor
1. Department of Water, Environment, Construction and Safety, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences, Breitscheidstraße 2, 39114 Magdeburg, Germany
2. Water Board Stendal-Osterburg, Am Bueltgraben 5, 39606 Hansestadt Osterburg, Germany
Interests: biodiversity and climate change; water ecology and management; waste water treatment; energy production

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural resources are the material, energetic, and spatial basis of our standard of living. However, disputes over the ownership, use, and extraction of natural resources often play a disruptive role in peace and security (Brown & Keating, 2015). Several types of natural resources, such as metals and industrial minerals, are reaching their availability limits due to an increase in the world’s population and global prosperity. However, resources such as forests, water, pastures, and land might be subject to competitive usage claims. Resource scarcity is recognized to be one of the greatest structural risks for differences or conflicts in the 21st century, and resource use is changing ecosystems, often permanently. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2005) underlined the types of differences that can lead to conflict situations: a) there is competition over material goods, economic benefits, property, or power; b) parties believe that their needs cannot be met; and c) parties perceive that their values, needs, or interests are under threat. The United Nations (2012) promoted the strengthening of the capacity for conflict-sensitive natural resource management in order to promote and support the non-conflictual use of resources.

The extraction and processing of non-regenerative raw materials are often energy-intensive, involve considerable interventions in the natural and water balance, and lead to emissions of pollutants in water, soil, and air. Furthermore, the production and extraction of renewable raw materials is often associated with a high degree of energy, material, and chemical use that is sometimes water-intensive and might be associated with a wide range of pollutant emissions. In order to obtain new production areas, natural land is converted and, in some cases, entire ecosystems are destroyed. In addition to the environmental impact, the use of natural resources also has a variety of social impacts as it is connected with further issues such as the distribution of raw materials, safe access to fresh water, and food security for people worldwide. The per capita consumption of raw materials in the industrialized nations is currently estimated to be four times higher than that in less-developed countries. While a large proportion of the added value of raw material use is produced by industrialized countries, less-developed countries are often disproportionately affected by the ecological and social effects of raw material extraction. The competition for resources has become the second most common cause of disputes and conflicts with a broad range of dimensions and scales that range from community stakeholder involvement to transboundary resource access competition.

This Special Issue aims to provide interdisciplinary input to the further development of approaches to the non-conflictual use of resources at all scales. We welcome contributions that:

  • address the mitigation of resource disputes and conflicts at all scales and levels;
  • explore the potential of a circular economy to decrease the use of non-renewable resources and quantify the overall risk reduction potential;
  • explore the role of responsible mining in the context of the non-conflictual use of minerals; or
  • address the usually complex causes of conflictual resource use, which often lie primarily in political issues.

This Special Issue further aims to unlock the economic dimensions of peace-building in resource conflicts as proposed by Maphosa (2012).

Prof. Dr. Petra Schneider
Dr. Fengqing Li
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Sustainability 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 2400 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

  • quantifying resource scarcity and competitive use
  • mitigation of resource disputes and conflicts
  • recommendations for responsible resource use
  • stakeholder involvement for resource conflict mitigation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 2086 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Variations in Water Quality of the Transboundary Shari-Goyain River, Bangladesh
by Debasish Pandit, Mohammad Mahfujul Haque, Ahmed Harun-Al-Rashid, Bishwajit Sarker, Mohammad Amzad Hossain, Petra Schneider and Mrityunjoy Kunda
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 5218; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15065218 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1781
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the seasonal and spatial variations in water quality parameters and determine the main contamination sources in the Shari-Goyain River, Bangladesh. Therefore, surface water was sampled monthly from six sampling sites, where six water quality parameters were evaluated. Data [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the seasonal and spatial variations in water quality parameters and determine the main contamination sources in the Shari-Goyain River, Bangladesh. Therefore, surface water was sampled monthly from six sampling sites, where six water quality parameters were evaluated. Data were analyzed by applying the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) water quality index (WQI) and multivariate statistical methods. The results reveals that most of the examined water quality parameters crossed the acceptable range, and significant variations were observed spatiotemporally (p < 0.05). Based on the CCME WQI value, the water quality of the river is classified as poor to marginal with a score range between 33.40 and 51.30. This range of values demonstrates that the river’s water quality is far from desirable for aquatic life and that it is being impacted and deteriorated by external drivers. Principal component analysis (PCA) retained two principal components (Factors 1 and 2), explaining about 79.17% of the total variance in the studied parameters and identified acidic pollution sources. Cluster analysis also reveals relative differences in water quality throughout sites and seasons, which supported the CCME WQI and PCA. Finally, Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance by ranks has identified coal mine drainage (CMD) as the main pollutant source for the Shari-Goyain River. In order to mitigate the CMD impact on land and water, different nature-based solutions are proposed, particularly passive mine water treatment approaches through constructed wetlands that could also mitigate the transboundary waters problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Approaches to the Non-conflictual Use of Resources)
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23 pages, 1890 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Alternative Routes versus Linear Economy and Resources Degradation in Eastern Romania
by Florin-Constantin Mihai and Ionut Minea
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10574; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910574 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3234
Abstract
This paper reveals the linear economy contribution to resource degradation and environmental pollution in eastern Romania that could further feed environmental crimes and conflicts, such as in the Pungesti shale gas case. Preservation of material and water resources in the region is required [...] Read more.
This paper reveals the linear economy contribution to resource degradation and environmental pollution in eastern Romania that could further feed environmental crimes and conflicts, such as in the Pungesti shale gas case. Preservation of material and water resources in the region is required through various circular mechanisms under a cross-sectoral approach including solid waste as a material resource for industry and agriculture; wastewater treatment and water reuse; composting and organic agriculture; and using renewables. Six non-conflictual sustainable alternative routes related to circular economy mechanisms, water preservation, and to the clean energy transition are proposed in this paper, which are further examined through key statistics and indicators, current best practices, and local development pathways in both urban and rural communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Approaches to the Non-conflictual Use of Resources)
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18 pages, 10027 KiB  
Article
Analyses Implementation Realities of Legal Frameworks for Sustainable Management of Tanguar Haor Fisheries Resources in Bangladesh
by Tanjina Akter Tima, Petra Schneider, Swapan Kumar Chanda, Mohammad Mojibul Hoque Mozumder, Mohammad Mosarof Hossain, Amany Begum and Md. Mostafa Shamsuzzaman
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8784; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168784 - 6 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2940
Abstract
Tanguar Haor (TH) is considered one of the Ecologically Critical Areas (ECAs) of Bangladesh and is internationally recognized as RAMSAR wetland (2nd Ramsar site) known to provide multiple ecosystem services to the society. Nevertheless, multidimensional threats and stressors, the capacity to supply ESs, [...] Read more.
Tanguar Haor (TH) is considered one of the Ecologically Critical Areas (ECAs) of Bangladesh and is internationally recognized as RAMSAR wetland (2nd Ramsar site) known to provide multiple ecosystem services to the society. Nevertheless, multidimensional threats and stressors, the capacity to supply ESs, and the biodiversity of the TH significantly degrades and threatens this wetland’s conservation and sustainability. Although the legal framework promises the sustainable conservation of fisheries resources, information on the implementation scenarios of fisheries laws, regulations, and policies in the TH Ramsar are scant. By merging qualitative and quantitative data of primary and secondary sources, this research aimed to analyze the legal framework to check the effectiveness of regulations for non-conflicting fisheries resources and the sustainable conservation of the TH Ramsar. Primary empirical data were collected by employing Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools, i.e., 204 semi-structured questionnaire-based individual interviews with fishers, three focus group discussions, and 14 key informants’ interviews in three fishing villages in the TH. In contrast, secondary data was set by reviewing published literature and related official documents. Results showed that, due to weak enforcement with inadequate surveillance and poor implementation of the legal framework, there was a high non-compliance with fishing laws, rules, and policies. Destructive and prohibited fishing gears, e.g., the use of small mesh fine nylon nets (current jal), purse seine net (ber jal), and the harvesting during ban period-illicit catch were widespread in the study areas. In addition, catching undersized fish, fishing at the restricted areas (sanctuary area), and fishing during spawning seasons occur often. There is a crying need for a comprehensive legal and policy framework to contextualize the local context, ensure the proper implementation of the fishing laws and regulations, increase the managerial inefficiency of enforcing agencies, ensure livelihood support during the fishing ban, and afford good alternative income options are still significant issues for good governance in the Tanguar Haor ECA. Findings might help to identify the gaps and misunderstanding of the existing legal practice while submitting urgent attention to the need for drawing a comprehensive legal and policy framework (contextually modified according to the local context), taking initiatives and acting synchronously for proper implementation, and calling transdisciplinary collaboration and cooperation among the agencies that may ensure the non-conflicting use of the natural resources of the TH that can be also helpful for the better conservation of this Ramsar wetland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Approaches to the Non-conflictual Use of Resources)
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Review

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24 pages, 2914 KiB  
Review
Driving Forces and Socio-Economic Impacts of Low-Flow Events in Central Europe: A Literature Review Using DPSIR Criteria
by Lukas Folkens, Daniel Bachmann and Petra Schneider
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 10692; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310692 - 6 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1197
Abstract
Recent drought events in Europe have highlighted the impact of hydrological drought and low-flow events on society, ecosystems, and the economy. While there are numerous publications about flood risk management and the socio-economic consequences of floods, these have hardly been systematically dealt with [...] Read more.
Recent drought events in Europe have highlighted the impact of hydrological drought and low-flow events on society, ecosystems, and the economy. While there are numerous publications about flood risk management and the socio-economic consequences of floods, these have hardly been systematically dealt with in the scientific literature regarding low flows. This paper fills this gap by summarizing the current state of research in the form of a systematic literature review combining the criteria of the drivers–pressures–state–impacts–responses (DPSIR) framework with the propositional inventory method. In particular, the driving forces of low-flow events, their pressures, and the impacts on different economic sectors such as navigation, fisheries, industry, agriculture, forestry, energy, and tourism and recreation as well as resulting competitive usage claims for water and responses are presented and validated through expert interviews. In doing so, the study examines the causal chain of low-flow events and serves as a fundamental base for the future development of a damage cost database for low-flow events by preparing literature data on the socio-economic consequences of low-flow events for parameterization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Approaches to the Non-conflictual Use of Resources)
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17 pages, 1291 KiB  
Review
Responsible Carbon Resource Management through Input-Oriented Cap and Trade (IOCT)
by Lukas Folkens and Petra Schneider
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5503; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095503 - 4 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1696
Abstract
Fossil fuels store primary carbon. When they are combusted, CO2 is released into the atmosphere. The accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere causes the anthropogenic greenhouse gas effect, which has led to the existing climate crisis. Academic literature, international climate deliberations [...] Read more.
Fossil fuels store primary carbon. When they are combusted, CO2 is released into the atmosphere. The accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere causes the anthropogenic greenhouse gas effect, which has led to the existing climate crisis. Academic literature, international climate deliberations and most domestic climate mitigation plans have so far focused primarily on reducing emissions (output orientation) and have paid little attention to supply-side climate policies. Thus, this study shows that output-oriented literature is heavily overweighted with over 7000 publications compared to input-oriented literature with just 107 publications (equivalent to 1.5% percent). The overall scope of this review article was therefore to identify the gaps of output-oriented mechanisms such as the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), and to point out how an Input-Oriented Cap and Trade (IOCT) system might overcome those gaps. IOCT refers to limits to the carbon input into the global fossil fuel trading system instead of limiting only the emissions caused by already burned fuel. For this purpose, a global cap on the extraction of coal, gas and oil must firstly be defined. Accordingly, IOCT provides for the allocation of allowances for the extraction, processing and trading of carbon-based products. IOCT is a source-oriented approach that refers to a joint allocation of the resource consumption responsibility to the fossil fuel producer and consumer as well. This review represents a unique, comprehensive and current collection of supply-side literature that can be used as a starting point for further applied research on this topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Approaches to the Non-conflictual Use of Resources)
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Other

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24 pages, 828 KiB  
Case Report
Water Conflicts in Central Asia: Some Recommendations on the Non-Conflictual Use of Water
by José Antonio Peña-Ramos, Philipp Bagus and Daria Fursova
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3479; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063479 - 21 Mar 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 7110
Abstract
Central Asian states, where freshwater is a strategic resource, are oriented towards regional conflict rather than cooperation. First, the article analyses the role of the unequal distribution of freshwater that has been generating conflicts in Central Asia in the post-Soviet period. Next, these [...] Read more.
Central Asian states, where freshwater is a strategic resource, are oriented towards regional conflict rather than cooperation. First, the article analyses the role of the unequal distribution of freshwater that has been generating conflicts in Central Asia in the post-Soviet period. Next, these conflicts are examined. Finally, we provide some recommendations on the non-conflictual use of water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Approaches to the Non-conflictual Use of Resources)
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