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Ludivine Eloy, Isabel Belloni Schmidt, Silvia Laine Borges, Maxmiller Cardoso Ferreira, Teomenilton A Dos Santos
The use of fire by cattle ranchers is a major source of conflict between conservationists and local communities in tropical savannas. We evaluate the role of traditional pastoral management in wildfire prevention in two protected areas within the Brazilian savanna. Fine-grain field data from transect walks and interviews were combined with geospatial data at landscape scale to compare fire regimes in community-managed areas with those in government-managed areas. Local pastoral management creates seasonal mosaic patterns of burnings performed for productive activities and for deliberate landscape management, i...
November 14, 2018: Ambio
Sverker C Jagers, Simon Matti, Anne-Sophie Crépin, David Langlet, Jonathan N Havenhand, Max Troell, Helena L Filipsson, Victor R Galaz, Leif G Anderson
Major climate and ecological changes affect the world's oceans leading to a number of responses including increasing water temperatures, changing weather patterns, shrinking ice-sheets, temperature-driven shifts in marine species ranges, biodiversity loss and bleaching of coral reefs. In addition, ocean pH is falling, a process known as ocean acidification (OA). The root cause of OA lies in human policies and behaviours driving society's dependence on fossil fuels, resulting in elevated CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere...
November 14, 2018: Ambio
Marc Wolfram
Urban regeneration forms a key approach for coping with persistent sustainability problems in cities. In practice, however, it is often driven by motives other than sustainability transformation. This paper explores the preconditions that allow urban regeneration approaches to become transformative, and suggests a methodology to support this shift in practice. It does so by assessing the capacity available to prepare for, initiate, and steer a path-deviant sustainability transformation of urban areas in three South Korean cities, jointly with stakeholders...
November 8, 2018: Ambio
Vikram Aditya, Thyagarajan Ganesh
Global conservation efforts have traditionally focused on biodiversity hotspots and other priority landscapes. However, large areas outside priority sites have high conservation value and are referred to as neglected landscapes. The Eastern Ghats of India is an unexplored forest landscape of high conservation value with several endemic and threatened species reported, and is also home to many indigenous forest-dwelling communities. However, it remains a neglected area for conservation and only 3.53% of this landscape is protected...
November 8, 2018: Ambio
Viktor Ulicsni, Dániel Babai, Csaba Vadász, Vera Vadász-Besnyői, András Báldi, Zsolt Molnár
Many people call for strengthening knowledge co-production between academic science and indigenous and local knowledge systems. A major barrier to cooperation seems to be a lack of experience regarding where and how traditional knowledge can be found and obtained. Our key question was whether the expert judgment of academic zoologists or a feature-based linear model is better at predicting the observed level of local familiarity with wild animal species. Neither the zoologists nor the model proved sufficiently accurate (70 and 60%, respectively), with the inaccuracy probably resulting from inadequate knowledge of the local ecological and cultural specificities of the species...
November 3, 2018: Ambio
Erik Glaas, Mattias Hjerpe, Sofie Storbjörk, Tina-Simone Neset, Anna Bohman, Prithiviraj Muthumanickam, Jimmy Johansson
Transforming cities into low-carbon, resilient, and sustainable places will require action encompassing most segments of society. However, local governments struggle to overview and assess all ongoing climate activities in a city, constraining well-informed decision-making and transformative capacity. This paper proposes and tests an assessment framework developed to visualize the implementation of urban climate transition (UCT). Integrating key transition activities and process progression, the framework was applied to three Swedish cities...
November 3, 2018: Ambio
Colin K C Wen, Kao-Sung Chen, Wei-Chen Tung, Anyo Chao, Ching-Wei Wang, Shao-Lun Liu, Ming-Jay Ho
Distribution of non-natural food (provisioning) to attract fish, though popular in coral reef tourism, has often been discouraged due to its assumed adverse effects on fish health and behavior. However, the effects of provisioning on community structure, anti-predator, and foraging behavior of teleost fishes, as well as their potential to indirectly affect benthic organisms, are not yet clear. Here, we compared fish composition, wariness, foraging behavior of herbivorous fishes, and the benthic cover between provisioned and control sites...
November 3, 2018: Ambio
Arjan Ruijs, Michael Vardon, Steve Bass, Sofia Ahlroth
A growing number of countries is setting up natural capital accounts (NCA) based on the system of environmental-economic accounting (SEEA); however, actually using them for better policy making turns out to be complex. This paper synthesises lessons on the institutional mainstreaming of the SEEA and its use in improving policy decisions affecting natural capital. It draws on discussions held at two Policy Forums organised by the World Bank Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services program and the United Nations Statistical Division...
November 2, 2018: Ambio
Silva Larson, Natalie Stoeckl, Diane Jarvis, Jane Addison, Sharon Prior, Michelle Esparon
The article "Using measures of wellbeing for impact evaluation: Proof of concept developed with an Indigenous community undertaking land management programs in northern Australia" written by "Silva Larson, Natalie Stoeckl, Diane Jarvis, Jane Addison, Sharon Prior and Michelle Esparon", was originally published electronically on the publisher's internet portal (currently SpringerLink) on 05 May 2018 without open access.
November 2, 2018: Ambio
Michael Vardon, Heather Keith, Carl Obst, David Lindenmayer
Economics has long taken precedence over the environment in both governmental and business decision making, with the System of National Accounts and the indicator GDP coming to represent much that is wrong with the current environmental conditions. Increasing recognition of the environmental damage human activity causes and that human well-being depends on biodiversity and ecosystems means that new systems to measure and sustainably manage the world are needed. Integrating the environment into national accounts has been suggested as a way to improve information but so far impact on decision making is limited...
October 31, 2018: Ambio
Xiaodong Chen, Qi Zhang, M Nils Peterson, Conghe Song
Payments for ecosystem services (PES) may alter dynamics in coupled human and natural systems, producing reciprocal feedback effects on socioeconomic and environmental outcomes. As forests recover following China's two nation-wide PES programs, wildlife-related crop raiding has been increasingly affecting rural people's livelihoods. We evaluate the feedback effect of crop raiding on people's intention to convert their cropland plots into forests under different PES program scenarios in the Tianma National Nature Reserve...
October 15, 2018: Ambio
Juliana Dias Bernardes Gil, Pytrik Reidsma, Ken Giller, Lindsay Todman, Andrew Whitmore, Martin van Ittersum
The pursuit of global food security and agricultural sustainability, the dual aim of the second sustainable development goal (SDG-2), requires urgent and concerted action from developing and developed countries. This, in turn, depends on clear and universally applicable targets and indicators which are partially lacking. The novel and complex nature of the SDGs poses further challenges to their implementation on the ground, especially in the face of interlinkages across SDG objectives and scales. Here we review the existing SDG-2 indicators, propose improvements to facilitate their operationalization, and illustrate their practical implementation in Nigeria, Brazil and the Netherlands...
September 28, 2018: Ambio
Anna Lena Bercht, Nanda Wijermans
Social-ecological systems (SES) research underlines the tremendous impact of human behaviour on planet Earth. To enable a sustainable course of humanity, the integration of human cognition in SES research is crucial for better understanding the processes leading to and involved in human behaviour. However, this integration is proving a challenge, not only in terms of diverging ontological and epistemological perspectives, but also-and this has received little attention in SES research-in terms of (lacking) precision of communication regarding cognition...
September 22, 2018: Ambio
Marina García-Alfonso, Zebensui Morales-Reyes, Laura Gangoso, Willem Bouten, José A Sánchez-Zapata, David Serrano, José A Donázar
Society's perception of ecosystem services is a key issue in conservation, particularly for endangered species providing services linked to human activities. Misperceptions may lead to wildlife-human conflicts with the risk of disappearance of the species involved. We contrasted farmers' perceptions with highly accurate quantitative data of an endangered vulture species, which provide ecosystem services. We combined surveys of 59 farmers with data from 48 GPS-tagged Canarian Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus majorensis endemic to the Spanish Canary Islands) to disentangle factors influencing consistency between farmers' awareness of vulture occurrence on their properties and vulture behavior...
September 22, 2018: Ambio
John-Oliver Engler, David J Abson, Henrik von Wehrden
We provide a conceptual review of the available knowledge on the role of human cognition biases for sustainability and sustainable behavior. Human cognition biases are defined as any deviation in decision making from the standard framework of rational choice. We distinguish between biases in individual decision making and biases in group decision making, and highlight the relevance of each for sustainable behavior. We find that while both categories may contribute to unsustainable behavior, human cognition biases in group settings might be central to understanding many of the current sustainability issues...
September 14, 2018: Ambio
Udayan Singh, Lisa M Colosi
Management of coalbed methane (CBM)-produced water is a crucial part of the water-energy nexus, especially as CBM is projected to play a key role as a bridge fuel in major economies. In this paper, we consider one management technique, i.e., desalination of CBM-produced water to generate potable water. We discuss a confluence of geographic, sociotechnical, regulatory, and other circumstances that could make this concept viable for select coal-bearing regions. Having said that, for maximizing benefits, it is prudent to take a synergistic view targeting multiple objectives (water access, health, environmental impacts, and ease of waste management)...
September 14, 2018: Ambio
Claudiu-Eduard Nedelciu, Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir, Ingrid Stjernquist
Recycling Phosphorus (P) from urban wastewater can secure part of domestic agricultural P supply and contribute to a circular P supply chain. In this paper, we use literature review, stakeholder interviews and analysis, and systems dynamics for the capital cities of Stockholm and Budapest as case studies. We find that political support is a prerequisite for developing the P recycling sector, and policy makers are the most influential stakeholders. P criticality is the main driver for political support. P externalities from mining to sludge disposal should be considered when evaluating P criticality and recycling profitability...
September 14, 2018: Ambio
Oleg Anisimov, Robert Orttung
This article fills a major hole in the Western literature on climate change perceptions by reporting detailed data from Russia. While Northern Russia demonstrates high rates of climate change, regional adaptation policies are yet to be established. Complicating the problem, how the Russian public perceives climate change remains poorly known. This study synthesizes data from observations, modeling, and sociological surveys, and gives insight into the public perceptions of current and projected future changes in climate...
September 11, 2018: Ambio
Vanesa Castán Broto, Gregory Trencher, Ewa Iwaszuk, Linda Westman
There is a consensus about the strategic importance of cities and urban areas for achieving a global transformation towards sustainability. While there is mounting interest in the types of qualities that increase the capacity of urban systems to attain deep transformations, empirical evidence about the extent to which existing institutional and material systems exhibit transformative capacity is lacking. This paper thereby seeks to determine the extent to which sustainability initiatives led by local governments and their partners reflect the various components that the literature claims can influence the emergence of transformative capacity as a systemic property of urban settings...
September 11, 2018: Ambio
Ronald C Estoque, Takuya Togawa, Makoto Ooba, Kei Gomi, Shogo Nakamura, Yasuaki Hijioka, Yasuko Kameyama
Quality of life (QOL), although a complex and amorphous concept, is a term that warrants attention, especially in discussions on issues that touch on the impacts of climate change and variability. Based on the principles of RepOrting standards for Systematic Evidence Synthesis, we present a systematic review aimed at gaining insights into the conceptualization and methodological construct of previous studies regarding QOL and QOL-related indexes. We find that (i) QOL assessments vary in terms of conceptual foundations, dimensions, indicators, and units of analysis, (ii) social indicators are consistently used across assessments, (iii) most assessments consider indicators that pertain to the livability of the environment, and (iv) QOL can be based on objective indicators and/or subjective well-being, and on a composite index or unaggregated dimensions and indicators...
September 11, 2018: Ambio
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