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Looking beyond Sustainability: Selected Papers from the 9th World Sustainability Forum (WSF 2021)

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 27258

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, Building 1096, Mattenstrasse 24a, CH-4058 Basel, Switzerland
Interests: light harvesting using inorganic coordination complexes as dyes in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs); development of emissive complexes for application in light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs); water splitting and water oxidation catalysts;functional coordination polymers and networks
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grade E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
Interests: tourism and human mobility; regional development and social/green marketing; human dimensions of global environmental change and conservation; environmental history, especially national park history & wilderness conservation; the use of tourism as an economic development and conservation mechanism
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Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Sapienza University of Rome, Via Ariosto 25, 00185 Rome, Italy
Interests: bioeconomy; biomethane; circular economy; e-waste; economic analysis; photovoltaic; renewable energy; sustainability; waste management
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Guest Editor
1. Institute of Comparative Economic Studies, Hosei University Faculty of Economics, Tokyo 102-8160, Japan
2. Head of Department Global Health Economics & Policy, University of Kragujevac Faculty of Medical Sciences, 34000 Kragujevac, Serbia
Interests: global health; Global Burden of Disease Project; big data; health care financing & expenditures; evaluation of policy; programs and health system performance; organisation of health care markets; health economics; emerging markets; Mememship of euroCRIS; an appointed WHO EACHR Committee Member; an senior Clinical Pharmacology Specialist Physician been engaged in Advisory capacity to the WHO Director Cabinet Office for Europe in Copenhagen, Denmark and continue to do so since 2018; acquainted with Patents and brand name protection policies in Pharmaceutical industry
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Special Issue Information

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Dear Colleagues,

September 2021 marks the sesquianniversary of much of the world entering into various forms of a lockdown or pandemic management, as well as the 6th anniversary of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The pandemic has challenged our expectations for the future and has prompted a re-evaluation of the relationships between society, politics, and the commercial world. In the 9th World Sustainability Forum (https://wsf-9.sciforum.net/), we will consider all aspects of these new and evolving relationships and their impact on sustainability. Although all topics are welcome, we will have major sessions on the topics of Business & Finance, Climate, Health & Medicine, Water, and Education.

The health crisis and its consequences will not guarantee a more sustainable future, but it certainly provides a narrow window of opportunity to rethink outdated economic, social, and environmental arrangements. It is encouraging to note the widespread calls for a sustainable “new normal”.

This Special Issue is dedicated to the global debate as the world contemplates returning to a new normal, and we hope it will contribute to establishing platforms and networks among stakeholders, including lawmakers, commerce, the general public, and academic disciplines. The aim is to bring structure to the vision of a sustainable world, which deals fairly and transparently with the multifold issues of sovereignty, governance, and society that have arisen in the pandemic.

Prof. Dr. Edwin Constable
Prof. Dr. Colin Michael Hall
Prof. Dr. Idiano D'Adamo
Prof. Dr. Maxim A. Dulebenets
Prof. Dr. Mihajlo (Michael) Jakovljevic
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

  • business and green finance
  • climate change
  • health and medicine for sustainable wellbeing
  • water security and quality
  • education equality and sustainability
  • energy consumption and transition
  • food, agriculture, and soil sciences
  • transport and mobility sustainability
  • other multi- and inter-disciplinary foci of sustainability

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 4497 KiB  
Article
A New Approach for Improving Microbial Fuel Cell Performance Using Artificial Intelligence
by Yaser Abdollahfard, Mehdi Sedighi and Mostafa Ghasemi
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1312; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021312 - 10 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2193
Abstract
Microbial fuel cells have recently received considerable attention as a potential source of renewable energy. Due to its complex and hybrid nature, it has significant nonlinear features and substantial hysteresis behavior, making it hard to optimize and control its power generation directly. This [...] Read more.
Microbial fuel cells have recently received considerable attention as a potential source of renewable energy. Due to its complex and hybrid nature, it has significant nonlinear features and substantial hysteresis behavior, making it hard to optimize and control its power generation directly. This study modeled power density and COD removal using random forest regression and gradient boost regression trees. System inputs are three key parameters that affect performance and commercialization. There is a range of 0.1–0.5 mg/cm2 of Pt, a degree of sulfonation of sulfonated polyether-etherketone varying from 20% to 80%, and a cathode aeration rate of 10–150 mL/min. Based on the model’s accuracies, gradient boost regression was selected for power density prediction and random forest for COD removal prediction. Particle swarm optimization was used as the optimization algorithm after selecting the best models to maximize COD removal and power density. It was found that DS was the most critical parameter for COD removal, and Pt was the most critical parameter for power density. There is a different optimal input value for each model. In order to maximize power density, DS (%) must be 67.7087, Pt (mg/cm2) must be 0.3943, and Aeration (mL/min) must be 117.7192. To maximize COD removal, the DS (%) must be 75.8816, the Pt (mg/cm2) must be 0.3322, and the Aeration (mL/min) must be 75.1933. Full article
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22 pages, 1746 KiB  
Article
Perceptions, Problems and Prospects of Contract Farming: Insights from Rice Production in Vietnam
by Mai Chiem Tuyen, Prapinwadee Sirisupluxana, Isriya Bunyasiri and Pham Xuan Hung
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12472; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912472 - 30 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5606
Abstract
Contract farming (CF) is considered a relevant measure to tackle the challenges to sustainable development from the serious effects of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the positive effects of CF, low participation and frequent breaching of contracts remain challenges. Several studies [...] Read more.
Contract farming (CF) is considered a relevant measure to tackle the challenges to sustainable development from the serious effects of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the positive effects of CF, low participation and frequent breaching of contracts remain challenges. Several studies have mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of CF but little is known about their rankings and perceptions of CF from the involved stakeholders. To address these evidence gaps, this study surveys stakeholders, ranks the perceived advantages and disadvantages of CF, and investigates the problems and prospects of CF. The study utilizes data triangulation from three stakeholders: farmers, contractors, and government policymakers. Data include twenty-seven key informant interviews (KIIs), seven focus group discussions (FGDs), and two participant observations (POs). Data are analyzed by a mixed method approach with methods of constant comparison, content analysis, and Rank Based Quotient (RBQ). The results indicate that while the main perceived advantage of CF relates to the outputs, the top three disadvantages of CF relate to issues likely to cause a breach of contract. The results also reveal that there seems to be a difference in the perception of CF’s advantages and disadvantages among the stakeholders. Despite the problems such as breaching several contract terms, mistrust, or market manipulation from the local collectors, CF in Vietnam is overall promising. Full article
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14 pages, 731 KiB  
Article
An Action Research Teacher’s Journey while Integrating Green Chemistry into the High School Chemistry Curriculum
by Michael Linkwitz and Ingo Eilks
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10621; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710621 - 25 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2884
Abstract
In recent years, a growing number of publications have emerged discussing how to integrate education for sustainable development (ESD) and systems thinking into science education in general, and chemistry education in particular. However, when it comes to more specific fields of chemistry education, [...] Read more.
In recent years, a growing number of publications have emerged discussing how to integrate education for sustainable development (ESD) and systems thinking into science education in general, and chemistry education in particular. However, when it comes to more specific fields of chemistry education, most studies focus almost exclusively on higher education. Examples of ESD units in secondary chemistry teaching are mostly limited to single topics. They often do not explicitly deal with the theoretical concepts behind green or sustainable chemistry. This paper reports on a long-term initiative to develop secondary chemistry education. This effort attempts to thoroughly integrate ESD based on the concept of green chemistry into high school programs. The project is based on teacher-centered action research, a cyclical development and research approach within authentic classroom practice. The process was supported by an academic chemistry education research group and a network of experienced action research teachers. The current paper describes the development of a teaching sequence for first-year upper secondary chemistry education. Elements of the development and selected findings from the accompanying feedback processes are reported. Full article
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20 pages, 2146 KiB  
Article
Citizen Participation and Climate Change within an Urban Community Context: Insights for Policy Development for Bottom-Up Climate Action Engagement
by Mufaro Chitsa, Subarna Sivapalan, Balbir Singh Mahinder Singh and Khai Ern Lee
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3701; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063701 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4530
Abstract
Citizen-led mitigation and adaptation are key to climate policy advancement and acceleration, particularly within an urban development context. The top-down approach requires the development of clear action plans for the involvement and engagement of citizens to accelerate bottom-up climate mitigation and adaptation efforts [...] Read more.
Citizen-led mitigation and adaptation are key to climate policy advancement and acceleration, particularly within an urban development context. The top-down approach requires the development of clear action plans for the involvement and engagement of citizens to accelerate bottom-up climate mitigation and adaptation efforts within the urban context. In Malaysia, there are national policy strategies such as the 12th Malaysia Plan, the National Urban Wellbeing Blueprint, the National Climate Change Policy, and the Malaysian New Urban Agenda. However, a successful implementation of climate policies can only be achieved when citizens are adequately socialized to policy impacts. This paper explores citizen perceptions and attitudes toward participation in mitigation and adaptation efforts for climate action within an urban context. Underpinned by the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Transtheoretical Theory, this study explored the approach of citizen participation as a possible tool for assessing climate policy effectiveness for bottom-up climate mitigation and adaptation efforts within an urban context. The study was set within the Malaysian urban context, given the limited empirical evidence in the area. The findings of the study suggest that a bottom-up approach to citizen participation through education, awareness, and inclusive climate policy formulation procedures will result in positive attitudes toward citizen participation. Full article
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15 pages, 1858 KiB  
Article
Evaluation Model for Sustainable Development of Settlement System
by Alena Harbiankova and Elena Scherbina
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11778; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111778 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2569
Abstract
Sustainability of settlement systems is of greatest relevance in political and socio-economic stability all over the world. The development effectiveness of a rural settlement system involves the solution of a number of matters in sustainable development, namely social welfare and environmental balance, economy [...] Read more.
Sustainability of settlement systems is of greatest relevance in political and socio-economic stability all over the world. The development effectiveness of a rural settlement system involves the solution of a number of matters in sustainable development, namely social welfare and environmental balance, economy and industry development, improving the pipeline and utility infrastructure, and improving the efficiency of the decision-making process. Currently, the sustainability of a rural settlement system is one of the key objectives in regional planning in post-Soviet countries. The introduction of new tools for assessing and managing the settlement system development is particularly true for Belarus, as a country with a strong focus on agricultural industry. The research aim was to develop and approve a model for evaluating the settlement system development. The research methods were based on the complex and interdisciplinary approaches, namely the system-element approach, the comparative analysis, spatial and mathematical modelling, factor analysis, and the cartographic analysis. The model was approved by practical consideration for evaluating the development of the analogue object at the local planning level. The practical relevance of the research is associated with the potential for using the model as a significant tool in land use planning. The model employs both quantitative and qualitative evaluation to obtain alternative solutions towards sustainable development of rural areas. Another advantage of the model is its multifunctionality, which enables: (1) sustainability evaluation of a settlement system, (2) establishment of regional planning priority areas, and (3) development of specific measures for ensuring the sustainability of a regional settlement system and its elements. Full article
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Review

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11 pages, 275 KiB  
Review
Sustainable Health Care Provision Worldwide: Is There a Necessary Trade-Off between Cost and Quality?
by Chhabi Lal Ranabhat and Mihajlo Jakovljevic
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1372; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021372 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3239
Abstract
Quality health care is an essential human right, on the agenda of sustainable development and presents a challenge in the twenty-first century. There are different perspectives regarding the price and quality of health care, and it is necessary to review the quality health [...] Read more.
Quality health care is an essential human right, on the agenda of sustainable development and presents a challenge in the twenty-first century. There are different perspectives regarding the price and quality of health care, and it is necessary to review the quality health care issue and how it influenced by price. The aim of this study is to explore the different dimensions of health care quality, examine the association with technology, health care market characteristics, additional and optional services of health care, sustainability, and some exceptional situations. We performed the narrative review searching by key words by main search engine Google and followed by their mother publication and or any first web database. We found that health care is a service industry, needs basic standards and specialized human resources to perform the procedure, and quality health care is not associated with an extra price. The quality of health care assures sustainability. Likewise, there are some additional choices during certain procedures, and those may have different price options and would be linked with quality. So, those optional health care and basic health need to define separately. Full article
10 pages, 1711 KiB  
Review
Systematic Mapping of the Production Chain of “Bacuri” (Platonia insignis Mart.) in Brazil
by Simone Kelly Rodrigues Lima, Eder Johnson de Area Leão Pereira, Gabriela de Oliveira Machado, Robson Alves da Silva, Massimo Lucarini, Alessandra Durazzo, Luisa Maria Diele-Viegas and Daniel Dias Rufino Arcanjo
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 15051; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142215051 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2057
Abstract
The Amazon contains the most significant number of known species on the planet, where fruits with peculiar characteristics can be found. The bacuri (Platonia insignis) is a native fruit of this region and has gained prominence over the years. A data [...] Read more.
The Amazon contains the most significant number of known species on the planet, where fruits with peculiar characteristics can be found. The bacuri (Platonia insignis) is a native fruit of this region and has gained prominence over the years. A data survey was conducted to understand the bacuri production chain system and its economic potential. The results show that the popularity of the fruit has led to an increase in consumer demand and its price over the years. In addition, the mapping shows that this production chain needs a well-defined structure. Its current organization consists of the activities of associations and cooperatives that, over time, have assumed the integration between producers, industry, and the consumer market. This study also identified a gap in the official censuses and a need for studies to quantify production within the scope of small producers, aiming for more effective monitoring that allows the development and direction of policies that can support producers to strengthen this important production chain. Full article
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