Sustainability Indicators

Author: Tomás Hák
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781597266284
Size: 37.58 MB
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While the concept of sustainability has been widely embraced, it has been only vaguely defined and is exceedingly difficult to measure. Sustainability indicators are critical to making the broad concept of sustainability operational by providing specific measures by which decision makers and the public can judge progress. Sustainability Indicators defines the present state of the art in indicator development. It presents a comprehensive assessment of the science behind various indicators, while placing special emphasis on their use as communications tools. The contributors draw on their experience as academics and practitioners to describe the conceptual challenges to measuring something as complex as sustainability at local, regional, national, and global scales. The book also reviews existing indicators to assess how they could be better employed, considering which indicators are overused and which have been underutilized. Sustainability Indicators will help planners and policy makers find indicators that are ready for application and relevant to their needs, and will help researchers identify the unresolved issues where progress is most urgently needed. All readers will find advice as to the most effective ways to use indicators to support decision making.

Sustainability Assessment Tools In Higher Education Institutions

Author: Sandra Caeiro
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3319023756
Size: 12.33 MB
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This book contributes to debates on current sustainability practices, with a focus on assessment tools as applied in higher education institutions. These institutions are challenged to carry out management, research, and teaching, and to create settings that allow developing new competencies to address the complex global environmental, social, cultural, and economic pressures with which current and future generations are confronted. The first chapters discuss issues of sustainability in higher education, namely the role of universities in promoting sustainability and the emergent fields of sustainability science and education for sustainable development and how to integrate and motivate sustainability into the university. Subsequent chapters present examples of sustainability assessment tools specifically developed for higher education institutions, such as the AISHE – Auditing Instrument for Sustainability in Higher Education, the GASU – Graphical Assessment of Sustainability in Universities too, the STAUNCH – Sustainability tool for Auditing Universities Curricula in Higher Education. The use of other integrated tools are also presented. The papers have adopted a pragmatic approach, characterized by conceptual descriptions, including sustainability assessment and reorienting the curricula, on the one hand, and practical experiences on the other, with good practices from different edges of the world. Sustainability Assessment Tools in Higher Education Institutions will be of interest to graduate student, lecturers, researchers, and those setting university policy.

Socio Economic Impacts Of Bioenergy Production

Author: Dominik Rutz
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 331903829X
Size: 51.53 MB
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Around the world, many countries are increasing efforts to promote biomass production for industrial uses including biofuels and bio-products such as chemicals and bio-plastic. Against a backdrop of lively public debate on sustainability, bioenergy wields both positive and negative impacts upon a variety of environmental and socio-economic issues. These include property rights, labor conditions, social welfare, economic wealth, poverty reduction and more. This book discusses the issues and impacts of bioenergy, taking into account the local and regional framework under which bioenergy is produced, touching upon educational level, cultural aspects, the history and economies of the producing countries and an array of policies including environmental and social targets. The book surveys and analyzes global bioenergy production from a number of perspectives. The authors illustrate the complexity of interrelated topics in the bioenergy value chain, ranging from agriculture to conversion processes, as well as from social implications to environmental effects. It goes on to offer insight on future challenges associated with the expected boom of a global bio-based economy, which contributes to the paradigm shift from a fossil-based to a biomass and renewable energy-based economy. The expert contributors include researchers, investors, policy makers, representatives from NGOs and other stakeholders, from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Their contributions build upon the results of the Global-Bio-Pact project on “Global Assessment of Biomass and Bio-product Impacts on Socio-economics and Sustainability,” which was supported by the European Commission in its 7th Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, conducted from February 2010 to January 2013. The book benefits policy makers, scientists and NGO staffers working in the fields of agriculture, forestry, biotechnology and energy.

Introduction To Environmental Sciences

Author: R S Khoiyangbam
Publisher: The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
ISBN: 8179934551
Size: 32.57 MB
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Environmental sciences is a vast and multidisciplinary science that involves the study of natural resources of land, water, and air. Introduction to Environmental Sciences comprehensively covers numerous aspects of this vast subject. While some chapters focus the causes of environmental problems, others discuss methods and ways of mitigating these causes.

Communicating Global Change Science To Society

Author: Holm Tiessen
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1597261777
Size: 20.30 MB
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Examines the growing number of instances in which governments and scientists have engaged in research projects in which the goal is to inform policy decisions.

Sustainability And The U S Epa

Author: National Research Council
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309212553
Size: 41.80 MB
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Sustainability is based on a simple and long-recognized factual premise: Everything that humans require for their survival and well-being depends, directly or indirectly, on the natural environment. The environment provides the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Recognizing the importance of sustainability to its work, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working to create programs and applications in a variety of areas to better incorporate sustainability into decision-making at the agency. To further strengthen the scientific basis for sustainability as it applies to human health and environmental protection, the EPA asked the National Research Council (NRC) to provide a framework for incorporating sustainability into the EPA's principles and decision-making. This framework, Sustainability and the U.S. EPA, provides recommendations for a sustainability approach that both incorporates and goes beyond an approach based on assessing and managing the risks posed by pollutants that has largely shaped environmental policy since the 1980s. Although risk-based methods have led to many successes and remain important tools, the report concludes that they are not adequate to address many of the complex problems that put current and future generations at risk, such as depletion of natural resources, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. Moreover, sophisticated tools are increasingly available to address cross-cutting, complex, and challenging issues that go beyond risk management. The report recommends that EPA formally adopt as its sustainability paradigm the widely used "three pillars" approach, which means considering the environmental, social, and economic impacts of an action or decision. Health should be expressly included in the "social" pillar. EPA should also articulate its vision for sustainability and develop a set of sustainability principles that would underlie all agency policies and programs.

Biodiversity Change And Human Health

Author: Osvaldo E. Sala
Publisher: Island Pr
ISBN: 9781597264976
Size: 23.81 MB
Format: PDF
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Biodiversity Change and Human Health brings together leading experts from the natural science and social science realms as well as the medical community to explore the explicit linkages between human-driven alterations of biodiversity and documented impacts of those changes on human health. The book utilizes multidisciplinary approaches to explore and address the complex interplay between natural biodiversity and human health and well-being. The five parts examine health trade-offs between competing uses of biodiversity (highlighting synergistic situations in which conservation of natural biodiversity actually promotes human health and well-being); relationships between biodiversity and quality of life that have developed over ecological and evolutionary time; the effects of changing biodiversity on provisioning of ecosystem services, and how they have affected human health; the role of biodiversity in the spread of infectious disease; native biodiversity as a resource for traditional and modern medicine. Biodiversity Change and Human Health synthesizes our current understanding and identifies major gaps in knowledge as it places all aspects of biodiversity and health interactions within a common framework. Contributors explore potential points of crossover among disciplines (both in ways of thinking and of specific methodologies) that could ultimately expand opportunities for humans to both live sustainably and enjoy a desirable quality of life.

An Assessment Of Assessments

Author:
Publisher: United Nations Publications
ISBN:
Size: 47.71 MB
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Despite the central role oceans play in the economic, environmental and social affairs of the planet's 6.7 billion inhabitants, significant gaps exist in our understanding and management of the complex processes at work from the global climate system, to the water cycle and circulation of nutrients, to changes affecting marine habitats. In addition, the vastness of the world's oceans have for far too long been perceived as impervious and indestructible to human impact. To deal with this situation, improved monitoring and observation practices, regular assessments to provide a deeper understanding of the status and trends of environmental changes, and the know-how and ability to prevent, mitigate and adapt to these changes are urgently required. The UN General Assembly in 2005 -- recommended that a regular process for the global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including its socio-economic aspects (Regular Process), be initiated. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) were asked to serve as the lead agencies in the start-up phase that came to be known as the "Assessment of Assessments" (AoA). Under the AoA, an Expert Group have developed options and a framework for such a Regular Process, which can serve as the mechanism to keep the world's oceans and seas under continuing review.

Interactions Of The Major Biogeochemical Cycles

Author: Jerry M. Melillo
Publisher: Island Pr
ISBN: 9781559630658
Size: 48.61 MB
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The circulation and interactions of major elements such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, oxygen, and hydrogen are critical for the maintenance of the earth's ecosystems. Human activities including agriculture, industry, and urbanization alter element interactions and contribute to major environmental problems ranging from climate change and depletion of the ozone layer to acidification of soils to the destruction of coral reefs. Interactions of the Major Biogeochemical Cycles is a new scientific assessment of element interactions in the biosphere. It provides an up-to-date review of biogeochemistry and its effects on earth's systems, with leading experts in biogeochemical cycling in atmospheric, land, freshwater, and marine environments offering chapters that summarize and synthesize information in each discipline. The book opens with chapters on cross-cutting issues that have significance in understanding global change effects and their potential management. These chapters address:* trends in element interactions in response to global change the effects of natural disturbances new approaches and methods for advancing our understanding of element interactions the potential for managing element interactions to address major environmental issues