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  • A policy nexus approach to forests and the SDGs: tradeoffs and synergies
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-07-04
    Joleen Timko, Philippe Le Billon, Hisham Zerriffi, Jordi Honey-Rosés, Ian de la Roche, Chris Gaston, Terry CH Sunderland, Rob A Kozak

    The transformational potential of Agenda 2030 lies in the synergies to be found among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs were designed to be interdependent, requiring enhanced policy coherence for sustainable development, and forests have a prominent role to play in their success. To support SDGs integration and highlight challenges to, and opportunities for, policy coherence among sectors that affect forests, we identify three policy clusters that are each defined by a set of closely related SDGs: ecosystem services and livelihoods; the green economy; and rights, justice, equality and inclusion. We illustrate how enhanced policy coherence within each cluster can support integrated approaches that both benefit from, and provide support for, forests.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Of temporality and plurality: an epistemic and governance agenda for accelerating just transitions for energy access and sustainable development
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-06-18
    Laurence L Delina, Benjamin K Sovacool

    The complementarity of sustainable energy transitions and energy access provision are one of the key characteristics of both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. In this perspective piece, we offer an epistemic and governance agenda to advance the imperative of speed in meeting both ambitions and to acknowledge the plurality of disciplines, actors, and institutions involved. Recognizing that the processes required to achieve these global goals entail navigating tensions, we suggest that shifts in ways knowledge is produced and transitions are governed could be based on a justice framework.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Understanding ourselves and the environment in which we live
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-06-26
    Wei Yongping, Ison Ray, Western Andrew W, Lu Zhixiang

    This paper calls for a new methodological paradigm for understanding the adaptive human–nature relationship to achieve a sustainable global environment. It proposes three future research directions: theoretically framing societal processes in natural resources management; establishing a new methodological paradigm for understanding co-evolving human–nature systems; and developing system-scale experimental research.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Re-orienting technological development for a more sustainable human–environmental relationship
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-06-18
    Yongping Wei, Shuanglei Wu, Zelalem Tesemma

    Humankind’s amazing innovative capacity, through the development of technology, has resulted in a tremendous expansion of civilisation but with little consideration on ecological sustainability. There is very limited understanding on the mechanism of the impacts of technology on both society and ecology. This paper proposes a conceptual framework to explicitly articulate the role of technology as a mediator of the reciprocal relationship between the eco-hydrological system and socio-economic system in catchments. It helps re-orient future technological innovation for more sustainable human–environmental relationships.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Understanding hydro-ecological surprises for riverine ecosystem management
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-06-07
    Rupesh Patil, Yongping Wei, David Pullar, James Shulmeister

    Human interference within riverine systems has substantially altered the regimes of the natural hydrological cycle. This can be characterised by large changes in water discharge and sediment fluxes which have led to degradation of riverine ecosystems and biodiversity across many large river basins of the world, resulting in hydro-ecological surprises. This review summarizes major unknowns including human environment interactions and hydrological alterations and how they lead to degradation of riverine ecosystems through different bio-geochemical processes. It proposes to identify the state of riverine ecosystems using a stress–strain analysis approach and to develop integrated interdisciplinary modelling for supporting conservation, adaptation or transformation strategies for riverine ecosystem management at different states.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Metacoupling supply and demand for soil conservation service
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-06-01
    Wenwu Zhao, Yue Liu, Stefani Daryanto, Bojie Fu, Shuai Wang, Yanxu Liu

    To date most soil conservation service studies heavily focus on measuring soil conservation service supply from the natural system without considering corresponding beneficiaries (i.e. demand), and feedback from the human system. In this paper, we presented an updated soil conservation service assessment framework as a two-way analysis of supply and demand, identifying the impacts of soil conservation on human-wellbeing and the feedback of human activities on soil conservation supply observed at different scales, from local (intracoupling) to regional (telecoupling). Soil conservation services supply can be calculated as the maximum allowable erosion rate minus the current soil erosion rate while soil conservation demand needs consider targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals. Because of the disturbance effect transmutation, ecosystem management may trigger possible unprecedented negative effects on the target processes and/or non-target processes. Tradeoff analysis between soil conservation services and other ecosystems services at multiple scales are therefore necessary for regional sustainable development.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Ecosystem structure, functioning and stability under climate change and grazing in grasslands: current status and future prospects
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-06-05
    Wenhuai Li, Xiang Li, Yujin Zhao, Shuxia Zheng, Yongfei Bai

    Ongoing climate change, as well as long-term overgrazing, is threatening biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in grasslands worldwide. Climate change and grazing could directly alter ecosystem functioning and stability, or indirectly by changing species diversity, composition and plant functional traits. By synthesizing results from publications of the most recent 30-years, we found that effects of climate change and grazing on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning varied from positive to negative, depending on different scenarios. Generally, aboveground net primary production (ANPP), belowground net primary production (BNPP), and species richness showed strong negative responses to 4°C warming, 50% precipitation decrease, and high grazing intensity. Responses of ANPP, BNPP and species richness to precipitation increase were mostly positive, whereas their responses to 2°C warming and low-to-moderate grazing intensity varied from positive to negative. Negative effects of 2°C warming on ANPP were substantially greater in grasslands that had been grazed than those that had not been grazed, and larger in arid and semi-arid grasslands than those in sub-humid and humid grasslands. Under 50% precipitation increase, ANPP responses were larger in grazed than ungrazed grasslands, and bigger in arid and semi-arid than sub-humid and humid grasslands. High levels of grazing intensity had greater effects on productivity and species richness than did warming and precipitation decrease. Currently, although there are increasing number of experiments which have included both climate change and grazing factors, more studies are needed to test the joint effects of climate change (e.g. warming, changes in precipitation patterns) and grazing (grazing intensity and livestock type) on biodiversity and multiple ecosystem functions. Multi-factor experiments would provide a more comprehensive understanding for sustainable grassland management in future.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Governing the human–environment relationship: systemic practice
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-29
    Ray Ison

    In attending to contemporary breakdown in human–environment relations rarely is a co-evolutionary-dynamics framing employed. Framings in terms of (i) praxis, or theory informed practical action, and (ii) systems and cybernetic intellectual traditions that evoke relational thinking and practice are also rare. This review addresses these deficiencies and highlights innovations warranted by current circumstances based on (i) understanding dualities; (ii) purposeful action in relation to practice; (iii) choosing to be reflexive; (iv) engaging in purposeful systemic praxis for governing and (iv) appreciating the interplay between systemic sensibility, systems literacy and systems thinking in practice capability. Two promising systems praxis trajectories for improving human–environment relations are explored. The case for systems thinking in practice capacity and capability development concludes the review.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Optimizing resource use efficiencies in the food–energy–water nexus for sustainable agriculture: from conceptual model to decision support system
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-28
    Hanqin Tian, Chaoqun Lu, Shufen Pan, Jia Yang, Ruiqing Miao, Wen Ren, Qiang Yu, Bojie Fu, Fei-Fei Jin, Yonglong Lu, Jerry Melillo, Zhiyun Ouyang, Cheryl Palm, John Reilly

    Increased natural and anthropogenic stresses have threatened the Earth's ability to meet growing human demands of food, energy and water (FEW) in a sustainable way. Although much progress has been made in the provision of individual component of FEW, it remains unknown whether there is an optimized strategy to balance the FEW nexus as a whole, reduce air and water pollution, and mitigate climate change on national and global scales. Increasing FEW conflicts in the agroecosystems make it an urgent need to improve our understanding and quantification of how to balance resource investment and enhance resource use efficiencies in the FEW nexus. Therefore, we propose an integrated modeling system of the FEW nexus by coupling an ecosystem model, an economic model, and a regional climate model, aiming to mimic the interactions and feedbacks within the ecosystem–human–climate systems. The trade-offs between FEW benefit and economic cost in excess resource usage, environmental degradation, and climate consequences will be quantitatively assessed, which will serve as sustainability indicators for agricultural systems (including crop production, livestock and aquaculture). We anticipate that the development and implementation of such an integrated modeling platform across world's regions could build capabilities in understanding the agriculture-centered FEW nexus and guiding policy and land management decision making for a sustainable future.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Linking water research with the sustainability of the human–natural system
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-26
    Feng Xiaoming, Liu Qinglong, Yin Lichang, Fu Bojie, Chen Yongzhe

    The sustainability of the coupled human–natural system under continuous global warming has been capturing increasing research interest. Water is among the most critical elements, not only for the natural system but also for social–economic development, especially in water-limited regions. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive analytical framework to link water research with the sustainability of the human–natural system. We suggest that special emphasis should be paid to the linkage analysis between social and biophysical water components. We also describe the importance of combined usage of different research methods in the framework. This framework aims to provide a scientific basis of issues of the sustainability of the coupled human–natural system (CHANS), including the potential conflict between supply and demand of water for nature and human beings, the impact of climate change and human activities on the water distribution in CHANS, and the trade-offs of water-related ecosystem services in CHANS.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Research advances in ecosystem services in drylands under global environmental changes
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-20
    Nan Lu, Mengyu Wang, Bolun Ning, Dandan Yu, Bojie Fu

    The ecosystem services (ES) provided by drylands are critical to human wellbeing (HWB). Maintaining ES sustainability and improving people's livelihood in drylands are crucial to global sustainable development as 90% of the dryland population belongs to the developing countries. Global environmental changes have greatly altered ecosystem structure and process of dryland ecosystems and have led to significant changes in ES provision, supply–demand relationship and trade-offs at multiple scales. We reviewed research advances and identified knowledge gaps on dryland studies in line with the ‘structure–function–service–wellbeing’ cascade framework. Focus was put on ES and their contributions to HWB. ES concept and methodology are highly useful in understanding natural-social linkages of drylands and informing decision making. More empirical studies are needed to apply the ES methods and make regional comparisons.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Structure, function, and dynamic mechanisms of coupled human–natural systems
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-26
    Shuai Wang, Bojie Fu, Wenwu Zhao, Yanxu Liu, Fangli Wei

    Many integrated interdisciplinary studies have been conducted to coupling human and natural systems, in which concepts such as human–natural systems, human–environment systems, and socio-ecological systems are prevalent. In recent decades, significant progress has been made toward establishing a framework to communicate knowledge and disciplines, but the theoretical origin, purpose, and conceptualization ways varies significantly. Coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) exhibit many emergent properties. Their unique properties do not belong separately to human or natural systems, but emerge from the interactions between them, and have their own structure, function, and dynamic mechanisms. In this study, we reviewed the progress made in CHANS research and developed a general framework to better understand them. The coupled human–environment system has a nested hierarchy structural characteristics, natural support, economic metabolism, social regulation and complementary relationships among these three subsystems constitute the coupled social–economic–natural complex ecosystem. The dynamic mechanism of the coupled system originates from both natural and social forces. Human–natural fit including boundary fit, structural fit, and dynamic fit. Matching the anthropological and ecological scales can increase the likelihood of sustainable operation of the coupled system.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Landscape change and its drivers: a Southern African perspective
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-16
    Walter Musakwa, Shuai Wang

    Global environmental change is of immense importance as it shows how humans relate with nature. Within the global environmental change debate landscape change analysis is a crucial cog as it expresses how humans relate with the land. Comprehending landscape changes, and its drivers are crucial in forging policies that can mitigate against negative effects of global environmental change. Research on the spatial component of mapping landscape change through land use and land cover maps is well documented in the literature. However, understanding the drivers of landscape change remains poorly understood particularly from developing countries in Africa. The main drivers of landscape change in Southern Africa, are mainly attributed to local causes and global causes. The challenge is how one can adequately comprehend these drivers so as to develop sound land management practices. A framework that is transdisciplinary and that leverages on big data is proposed for the effective modeling and management of landscapes in Southern Africa.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Improving the role of river basin organisations in sustainable river basin governance by linking social institutional capacity and basin biophysical capacity
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-16
    Frederick Bouckaert, Yongping Wei, Karen Hussey, Jamie Pittock, Ray Ison

    The river basin organisation (RBO) model has been advocated as organisational best practice for sustainable river basin management, despite scant evidence of its effectiveness to manage complex river systems. This review provides a framework which combines functional social-institutional capacities with basin biophysical indicators in a diagnostic tool to determine RBO governance performance. Each of these two capacities are represented by four groups of indicators respectively covering social learning capacity and biophysical capacity. The distance and alignment between capacity and measure of performance scores can be used to prioritise program planning and resource allocation for improving river basin governance, and to undertake periodic evaluations as part of a trajectory analysis. The diagnostic functional framework provides tangible indicators of performance around key concepts in river basin governance. It offers a first attempt to strengthen the position and effectiveness of an RBO in dealing with complex adaptive systems.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Spillover systems in a telecoupled Anthropocene: typology, methods, and governance for global sustainability
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-05
    Jianguo Liu, Yue Dou, Mateus Batistella, Edward Challies, Thomas Connor, Cecilie Friis, James DA Millington, Esther Parish, Chelsie L Romulo, Ramon Felipe Bicudo Silva, Heather Triezenberg, Hongbo Yang, Zhiqiang Zhao, Karl S Zimmerer, Falk Huettmann, Michael L Treglia, Zeenatul Basher, Min Gon Chung, Jing Sun

    The world has become increasingly telecoupled through distant flows of information, energy, people, organisms, goods, and matter. Recent advances suggest that telecouplings such as trade and species invasion often generate spillover systems with profound effects. To untangle spillover complexity, we make the first attempt to develop a typology of spillover systems based on six criteria: flows from and to sending and receiving systems, distances from sending and receiving systems, types of spillover effects, sizes of spillover systems, roles of agents in spillover systems, and the origin of spillover systems. Furthermore, we highlight a portfolio of qualitative and quantitative methods for detecting the often-overlooked spillover systems. To effectively govern spillover systems for global sustainability, we propose an overall goal (minimize negative and maximize positive spillover effects) and three general principles (fairness, responsibility, and capability).

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Everything flows…unevenly: social stratification in coupled socio-ecological systems
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-03
    Matthew R Sanderson

    Socio-hydrology has quickly emerged as a potentially transformative interdisciplinary science for understanding barriers and opportunities to enhance sustainability in coupled human-water systems. Unequal, pre-existing social structures are an important feature of human-water system that shape the flow of water. Yet, the socio-hydrology has not yet fully attended to the issues of social stratification, inequality, and power. This paper reviews advances in the field of environmental sociology on the relationship between social inequality and the natural environment. The goal is to open up questions about social inequalities that would further enhance socio-hydrological science.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • A framework for incorporating social processes in hydrological models
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-04-26
    Zhixiang Lu, Yongping Wei, Qi Feng, Andrew W Western, Sha Zhou

    Earth's surface has undergone dramatic changes due to the intensification of human activities. In turn, humans modify their behavior in response to environmental change. Conventional hydrological models do not represent such coupled human–water systems. This paper proposes a socio-hydrological water balance framework for analyzing the behavior of the sociohydrologic system in terms of water allocation between social system and ecological system. This proposed socio-hydrological framework will help develop a quantitative understanding of co-evolutionary processes in river basins from a social and ecological systems perspective.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • A connectivity-based assessment framework for river basin ecosystem service management
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-04-16
    Yan Zhao, Yongping Wei, Bingfang Wu, Zhixiang Lu, Li Fu

    Conflicts between increasing ecosystem services (ESs) demand and limited or even decreased natural capital hinders the sustainable development of river basins worldwide. The main reason for the conflicts is that human interventions have seriously decoupled the original harmonious relationship between humans and nature. In this review, we proposed a network connectivity-based assessment framework for river basin ES management which aims to quantify the connections among ecosystems, ESs, ES beneficiaries, ES management organizations and external drives. Construction of the network is based on how multiple ESs are provided and consumed among multiple beneficiaries, to cope with external drivers and inform management efforts. This framework can be used to identify if management intervention is needed for keeping river basin ESs and to address any changes in the interactive socio-ecological system for more sustainable river basin ES management.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Balancing community livelihoods and biodiversity conservation of protected areas in East Africa
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-04-14
    Fangli Wei, Shuai Wang, Bojie Fu, Linxiu Zhang, Chao Fu, Erustus M Kanga

    Balancing biodiversity conservation and community livelihoods is a major challenge for sustainable management of protected areas (PAs) in East Africa. Considering PAs as typical social-ecological systems (SES), here we construct a generic conceptual framework with three key feedback loops designed to capture the main drivers and feedbacks of the SES. The framework highlights the crucial role of economy (market regulation), government (macro-control), and human value (cultural role) in shaping the complex interplay of SES. New opportunities to reconcile biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods could be derived from changes in conservation philosophies to incorporate benefits to local people, and also need a revolution of human value towards a sustainable planet where people live in harmony with nature.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Response of terrestrial evapotranspiration to Earth's greening
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-03-27
    Zhenzhong Zeng, Liqing Peng, Shilong Piao

    The greening of the Earth has been unequivocally observed in 30 years of satellite measurements from NOAA-AVHRR. Here, we review the recent literature on the response of terrestrial evapotranspiration (ET) to Earth's greening, including the contribution of greening to the global terrestrial ET change over recent decades and its role in the regulation by vegetation of changes in Earth's climate system. Although large uncertainties remain in the observation-based reconstructions of global terrestrial ET, all products established a significant increase in terrestrial ET over the past three decades (P < 0.05). The ensemble of all reconstructions over the period 1982–2011 provided a relatively robust estimate of 0.97 ± 0.16 trillion tonnes per year per decade, or 7.65 ± 1.26 mm per year per decade averaged over the terrestrial area. More than 50% of this global intensification of terrestrial ET was caused by the greening of the Earth, as evidenced by observation-based statistical analysis and observation-driven model simulations. Earth system model simulations further showed that this response is a key determinant of the complex feedback loops of Earth's greening with Earth's water and climate systems. These results highlight the need for much more accurate representation of vegetation dynamics and the sensitivity of ET to vegetation changes in Earth system models, which will ultimately improve the strategies developed for water resource management and climate change mitigation via ecosystem management.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • Global ecological regionalization: from biogeography to ecosystem services
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-16
    Yanxu Liu, Bojie Fu, Shuai Wang, Wenwu Zhao

    Ecological regionalization is not only an abstraction of understanding nature but also a form of management guidance toward achieving environmental sustainability. The existing global ecoregion scheme successfully contributes to the conservation of global and regional biodiversity. As highlighted by the conceptual framework of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an integrated understanding of biodiversity and ecosystem services is required. In this new age, we propose a concept of global ecological functional regionalization, which should be separated from the former idea of biogeographical regionalization. With the consideration of key geographical characteristics and ecosystem services, the views of global environmental change and human activities are included in this new framework. However, key questions still exist about the principles, indicators, methods and applications of a global ecological functional regionalization. In the next studies, global ecological regionalization should focus more on the uncertainties of spatial datasets and mathematical models.

    更新日期:2018-07-12
  • A global systematic review of empirical evidence of ecotourism impacts on forests in biodiversity hotspots
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-06-28
    Jodi S Brandt, Ralf C Buckley

    Ecotourism is growing rapidly in biodiversity hotspots because of its promise to achieve both economic growth and environmental conservation. We reviewed the literature for empirical evidence that ecotourism protects forests. Our conclusions are at once both sobering and encouraging. Ecotourism, as it is typically practiced, leads to deforestation. However, when accompanied by conservation mechanisms (e.g. protected area, Payment for Ecosystem Services, monitoring/enforcement), ecotourism can protect forests. Ecotourism sometimes leads to forest regeneration in agrarian landscapes, but trade-offs, for example old-growth deforestation or water pollution, may occur. From a methodological perspective, we found a dearth (only 17) of articles that empirically analyzed ecotourism impacts on forests, and no studies that used counterfactual impact evaluation approaches. We conclude that there is an insufficient evidence base for inferring effects of ecotourism on forests, and we identify research priorities to build knowledge about how, when, and where to implement ecotourism.

    更新日期:2018-06-30
  • Forest certification: the challenge of measuring impacts ☆
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-06-18
    Hamish van der Ven, Benjamin Cashore

    This article begins by situating forest certification within a broader set of forest governance institutions and innovations. It then examines how certification has been practiced to date, before investigating whether, when, and how it has achieved its intended impacts. Doing so reveals a number of gaps in existing knowledge that stem from narrow conceptualizations of impacts, limitations of available data, and epistemological challenges inherent to particular research designs. As a corrective, we propose a three pronged approach to improving impacts research that involves collecting better data, expanding the indicators under observation, and affording a greater role to concept and theory building that draws on mixed-method research to highlight slow-moving, multi-level, historical processes that result in important, but often under-analyzed, impacts.

    更新日期:2018-06-20
  • Protected areas and the sustainable governance of forest resources
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-06-06
    Daniel C Miller, Katia S Nakamura

    Forest protected areas (FPAs) remain a core strategy in efforts to advance global sustainability goals. Information on the effectiveness of this strategy in delivering environmental and socio-economic benefits is accumulating rapidly. Here, we review recent literature to assess current knowledge on FPA impacts, focusing on studies examining the governance dimensions of FPAs. We find that quantitative impact evaluations increasingly assess FPA networks and seek to link FPA governance to conservation and human well-being outcomes. A largely separate, qualitative literature provides detailed analysis of forest PA governance, but rarely connects it to these outcomes. Our review highlights the need for greater integration of insights and approaches from these two literatures to develop theory and evidence on sustainable governance of forest PAs over the long-term.

    更新日期:2018-06-08
  • Evidence on land deals’ impacts on local livelihoods
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-06-06
    Suhyun Jung

    Transnational land deals are expected to benefit local livelihoods by directly and indirectly contributing to economic development. However, mixed evidence exists on the livelihood impacts of land deals. In this paper, I summarize and reconcile findings from quantitative and qualitative studies to identify the variations in impacts and factors that help explain those variations. I use the findings to demonstrate how and why research on land deals’ livelihood impacts can first, benefit from the use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and second, provide grounds for more rigorous analyses and practical policy implications. Lastly, I discuss future research directions by identifying gaps and opportunities to be explored in the literature on land deals’ impacts on local livelihoods.

    更新日期:2018-06-06
  • The environmental and social impacts of protected areas and conservation concessions in South America
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-02-13
    Judith Schleicher

    While the main conservation strategy has been the establishment of government-controlled protected areas (PAs), approaches have diversified over the last decades, including devolving management rights to non-government actors, such as through conservation concessions (CCs). This review assesses the environmental and social impacts of PAs and CCs in South America. Recent studies show positive environmental impacts overall, especially in terms of avoided deforestation. Meanwhile social impacts are more diverse and contested, yet remain less studied. Whilst CCs address some social shortcomings of PAs, they exhibit their own institutional and political challenges. This review highlights a need to broaden the measures of effectiveness and pay more attention to the diverse impacts of PAs and CCs and the factors influencing them, including governance and political aspects.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Collaborative governance for sustainable forestry in the emerging bio-based economy in Europe
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-02-20
    Johanna Johansson

    In recent years, a common theme in social science research, natural resource policies and practical management has been the increasing emphasis on partnerships and other forms of collaborative efforts as effective means to reach tangible and sustainable outcomes. Another significant trend is the increasing focus on the role of the forestry sector in managing the challenges of climate change, and the push towards a bio-based, low-carbon economy is at the epicenter of the public debate in several EU countries. Drawing on research on collaborative processes as well as research on policy design, this paper reviews the current trend to rely increasingly on collaborative efforts to improve sustainability, using forest governance in northern Europe as an illustrative case. It pays particular attention to efforts to balance concerned stakeholders through National Forest Programmes (NFPs), and considers these efforts in an international context. It concludes by elaborating on future research directions and policy recommendations that are critical to achieve intended outcomes in forest governance systems characterized by state-initiated collaborative processes as well as various forms of voluntary initiatives.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Trends in research on forestry decentralization policies
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-02-27
    Jens Friis Lund, Rebecca Leigh Rutt, Jesse Ribot

    We identify and describe four strands in the literature on forestry decentralization policies: studies that assess impacts of forestry sector decentralization policies on forests and livelihoods; studies that examine whether forestry decentralization empowers public and democratic local institutions; studies focusing on power and the role of elites in forestry decentralization, and; studies that historicize and contextualize forestry decentralization as reflective of broader societal phenomena. We argue that these strands reflect disciplinary differences in values, epistemologies, and methods preferences, and that they individually provide only partial representations of forestry decentralization policies. Accordingly, we conclude that a comprehensive understanding of these policies cannot rest solely on any of these strands, but should be informed by all of them.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Forestry taxation for sustainability: theoretical ideals and empirical realities
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-03-22
    Christian P Hansen, Jens F Lund

    We review the literature linking taxation and sustainable forest management (SFM) in humid tropical forests. This literature broadly falls in two strands. One emphasizes economic theoretical ideals and seeks to define optimal taxation designs with incentives for SFM. The other strand documents political-economic empirical realities that fall far from the theoretical ideals and which may help explaining why taxation reforms for SFM have had mixed outcomes. We conclude that future research could benefit from further integration and interaction between the two strands and argue for dynamic forest taxation policies that can respond to changing market demands, technologies, and context conditions to provide the right incentives and signals for SFM.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Political feasibility of 1.5°C societal transformations: the role of social justice
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2017-12-09
    James J Patterson, Thomas Thaler, Matthew Hoffmann, Sara Hughes, Angela Oels, Eric Chu, Aysem Mert, Dave Huitema, Sarah Burch, Andy Jordan

    Constraining global climate change to 1.5°C is commonly understood to require urgent and deep societal transformations. Yet such transformations are not always viewed as politically feasible; finding ways to enhance the political feasibility of ambitious decarbonization trajectories is needed. This paper reviews the role of social justice as an organizing principle for politically feasible 1.5°C transformations. A social justice lens usefully focuses attention on first, protecting vulnerable people from climate change impacts, second, protecting people from disruptions of transformation, and finally, enhancing the process of envisioning and implementing an equitable post-carbon society. However, justice-focused arguments could also have unintended consequences, such as being deployed against climate action. Hence proactively engaging with social justice is critical in navigating 1.5°C societal transformations.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Africa's urban adaptation transition under a 1.5° climate
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2017-12-09
    Mark Pelling, Hayley Leck, Lorena Pasquini, Idowu Ajibade, Emanuel Osuteye, Susan Parnell, Shuaib Lwasa, Cassidy Johnson, Arabella Fraser, Alejandro Barcena, Soumana Boubacar

    For cities in sub-Saharan Africa a 1.5 °C increase in global temperature will bring forward the urgency of meeting basic needs in sanitation, drinking water and land-tenure, and underlying governance weaknesses. The challenges of climate sensitive management are exacerbated by rapid population growth, deep and persistent poverty, a trend for resolving risk through relocation (often forced), and emerging new risks, often multi-hazard, for example heat stroke made worse by air pollution. Orienting risk management towards a developmental agenda can help. Transition is constrained by fragmented governance, donor priorities and inadequate monitoring of hazards, vulnerability and impacts. Opportunities arise where data and forecasting is present and through multi-level governance where civil society collaborates with city government.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • The politics of rapid urban transformation
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2017-12-15
    Jakob Grandin, Håvard Haarstad, Kristin Kjærås, Stefan Bouzarovski

    This paper addresses the potential for urban change in relation to rapid transitions and the 1.5 °C target. Interventions to achieve rapid urban transformation are typically framed in technical and economic terms. This means that the social and political conditions for rapid urban transformations may be overlooked. We address this gap by highlighting recent insights from sociology, human geography and urban studies that consider how the transformative potential of technical interventions is conditioned by social and political dynamics. The paper highlights three dimensions of such dynamics — the politics of governance, infrastructure and everyday practice — and proposes six areas where the understanding of the politics of rapid urban transformation can be improved.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Local governments as drivers for societal transformation: towards the 1.5 °C ambition
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2017-12-15
    Helene Amundsen, Grete K Hovelsrud, Carlo Aall, Marianne Karlsson, Hege Westskog

    The political ambition of curbing global average temperatures to 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels requires significant and profound changes to societal organisation, energy use and consumption. It will not be sufficient to maintain or incrementally change status quo, rather it will require radical and paradigmatic transformative changes. Local governments have dual roles in social transformation: to transform within their own organisation, and to act as a catalyst for transformation locally. We find that key factors for transformation include pursuing and institutionalising a long-term sustainable development agenda; and building networks established between different parts of the municipal organisation, and between the municipalities and local businesses, civil society groups and other relevant actors.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Community resilience for a 1.5 °C world
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2017-12-16
    I Fazey, E Carmen, FS Chapin, H Ross, J Rao-Williams, C Lyon, ILC Connon, BA Searle, K Knox

    Ten essentials are presented for community resilience initiatives in the context of achieving a 1.5 °C world: enhance adaptability; take account of shocks and stresses; work horizontally across issues; work vertically across social scales; aggressively reduce carbon emissions; build narratives about climate change; engage directly with futures; focus on climate disadvantage; focus on processes and pathways; and encourage transformations for resilience. Together the essentials highlight that resilience initiatives seeking to retain the status quo will be detrimental when they enable societies to cling to unsustainable activities. Instead, climate resilience initiatives need to be viewed more as a process of transformative social change, where learning, power, inequities and relationships matter. Finally, there is an urgent need for researchers to shift focus away from examining the nature of resilience to accelerating learning about fostering resilience in practice.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Narrative matters for sustainability: the transformative role of storytelling in realizing 1.5°C futures
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2017-12-16
    S Veland, M Scoville-Simonds, I Gram-Hanssen, AK Schorre, A El Khoury, MJ Nordbø, AH Lynch, G Hochachka, M Bjørkan

    Narratives structure human comprehension, and shape our ability to imagine and achieve transformed futures within the 1.5 degree threshold. Examining tensions between narrative as a communication technique and as a spatial-temporal cognitive structure, this paper brings these different understandings together in a conversation for transformative global change. We suggest that filling the ‘information deficit’ with improved communication of a single, unifying and global narrative about Earth systems is necessary but insufficient: filling the ‘narrative deficit’ requires engagement with the protagonists, timelines, and places that provide situated agency in identifying and navigating uncertainty and risk. Transformations to sustainability will require recognizing and engaging multiple, diverse experiences of agency, a process that attention to narrative can help facilitate.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Complexity ethics and UNFCCC practices for 1.5 °C climate change
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-01-04
    Christopher Lyon

    Introducing a ‘complexity ethics’ frame would help society mitigate or adapt to climate warming within or exceeding the Paris Agreement 1.5 °C aim. A complexity ethics frame underlines existing facilitative multi-stakeholder methodologies used at subnational scales to build adaptive capacity and may be scaled-up in a transformed UNFCCC. Adopting such approaches at the international political level would permit non-state, non-Party stakeholders to more efficiently integrate their tremendous capacity for climate action into the global climate action process, leading to more substantial climate mitigation and adaptation for and over 1.5 °C warming. In turn, this would help satisfy critiques regarding the democratic legitimacy of polycentric moves to include non-state actors at this level, incorporate other global initiatives and problems like the SDGs and biodiversity loss, and meet high-level calls for more co-operative responses.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Culture and climate change scenarios: the role and potential of the arts and humanities in responding to the ‘1.5 degrees target’
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-01-04
    Renata Tyszczuk, Joe Smith

    This paper critically assesses the role and potential of the arts and humanities in relation to the ‘1.5 degree target’ embedded within the Paris Agreement. Specifically, it considers the purpose of scenarios in inviting thinking about transformed futures. It includes a preliminary assessment of the Culture and Climate Change: Scenarios project, an example of arts and humanities engagement with a ‘1.5 °C future’. The paper argues that integrating more culturally rooted contributions into the creation and deliberation of climate change scenarios would enrich processes of future-thinking beyond climate model outputs. It would also test and extend some established practices of climate research and policy in anticipating and making futures. The paper suggests that the key characteristics of scenarios as a cultural form are that they provide space for collective, improvisational and reflexive modes of acting on and thinking about uncertain futures.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Smart home technologies in everyday life: do they address key energy challenges in households?
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-01-04
    Sergio Tirado Herrero, Larissa Nicholls, Yolande Strengers
    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • ‘Raising the temperature’: the arts on a warming planet
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-01-06
    Diego Galafassi, Sacha Kagan, Manjana Milkoreit, María Heras, Chantal Bilodeau, Sadhbh Juarez Bourke, Andrew Merrie, Leonie Guerrero, Guðrún Pétursdóttir, Joan David Tàbara

    The search for decisive actions to remain below 1.5 °C of global temperature rise will require profound cultural transformations. Yet our knowledge of how to promote and bring about such deep transformative changes in the minds and behaviours of individuals and societies is still limited. As climate change unravels and the planet becomes increasingly connected, societies will need to articulate a shared purpose that is both engaging and respectful of cultural diversity. Thus, there is a growing need to ‘raise the temperature’ of integration between multiple ways of knowing climate change. We have reviewed a range of literatures and synthesized them in order to draw out the perceived role of the arts in fostering climate transformations. Our analysis of climate-related art projects and initiatives shows increased engagement in recent years, particularly with the narrative, visual and performing arts. The arts are moving beyond raising awareness and entering the terrain of interdisciplinarity and knowledge co-creation. We conclude that climate-arts can contribute positively in fostering the imagination and emotional predisposition for the development and implementation of the transformations necessary to address the 1.5 °C challenge.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Towards transformative social learning on the path to 1.5 degrees
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-02-26
    Thomas Macintyre, Heila Lotz-Sisitka, Arjen Wals, Coleen Vogel, Valentina Tassone

    This paper provides insights into learning orientations and approaches that encourage change and transformation on the path to achieving the 1.5 degree C target. This literature review of the climate change and education/learning interface positions relevant literature in a heuristic tool, and reveals different learning approaches to addressing climate change. We highlight that although traditional lines of departure for achieving climate targets are usually technocratic in nature, especially if a zero emissions pathway is aimed for, there is an increasing realisation that climate issues are complex, deeply intertwined with unsustainable development and cultural change, and require collective engagement. Through considering the 1.5 degree C target as a metaphor for the fundamental changes needed in society, we argue that a wide range of learning orientations, including more inclusive and transformative social learning approaches, are needed to address the colossal challenges facing society.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Designing sustainable landuse in a 1.5 °C world: the complexities of projecting multiple ecosystem services from land
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-02-21
    TG Benton, R Bailey, A Froggatt, R King, B Lee, L Wellesley

    Land provides a range of critical services for humanity (including the provision of food, water and energy). It also provides many services that are often socially valuable but may not have a market value. Demand projections for land-based services, accounting for the significant requirement for negative emissions needed to meet a 1.5 °C pathway, may exceed what can be sustainably supplied. It is therefore critical to explore how to optimise land use (and if necessary, limit demand), so societies can continue to benefit from all services into the future. Unlike the energy or the transport sectors, however, there is limited understanding or consensus over what ‘optimal’ land use might look like (from a science perspective), or how to bring it about (from a governance perspective).

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Where is the hope? Blending modern urban lifestyle with cultural practices in India
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-02-20
    Joyashree Roy, Debalina Chakravarty, Shyamasree Dasgupta, Debrupa Chakraborty, Shamik Pal, Duke Ghosh

    Driving economic growth through a low carbon trajectory will be a challenge as well as an opportunity for India in next three decades with a billion plus population. Cities are going to play a major role in this rapidly urbanising India. The scope of this article is to focus on some of the ongoing city-scale actions, which clearly indicate that India can strengthen its response by going beyond its NDCs. A combination of technology penetration, individual behaviour, community actions and policy interventions is driving such experiments. Ongoing investments in infrastructure are targeted towards creation of new facilities as well as modernisation of existing, and traditionally sustainable practices such as public transport, shared mobility, walking, cycling and rickshaw rides. Policies, supplemented by statutory mandates, are trying to command and regulate, nudge and incentivise climate responsive actions. Shifting public preferences towards star-rated household appliances is emerging as a social norm. Increased concern towards local air pollution is also driving changes. Large construction projects are being mandated to comply with building codes. Urban rooftops are facing competing demand from solar panels, organic gardens. Participation in the process of change is thus defining a new urban lifestyle, efficiently and sufficiently, energised by modern energy forms, and is thus paving the way to a new low emission future for India with global mitigation benefits.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Anticipating climate futures in a 1.5 °C era: the link between foresight and governance
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-02-21
    Joost Vervoort, Aarti Gupta

    The Paris Agreement's aspirational 1.5 degree temperature target has given further impetus to efforts to imagine (and seek to govern) transformative and uncertain climate futures. This brings to the fore multiple challenges in the search for anticipatory governance and the role herein for climate foresight. Foresight entails processes to envision challenging futures and question limiting assumptions about what futures are possible, but these processes also impact upon present-day politics. While foresight-related activities are proliferating in sustainability research and planning, critical social science scrutiny of such processes remains minimal. Two key gaps in understanding are: (a) the link between foresight, planning and policy change; and (b) the very prospects of relying on foresight in the present to steer largely unknowable futures. In addressing these gaps, we review the field of climate foresight research here, situating it within a broader interdisciplinary body of literature relating to anticipation and anticipatory governance. In doing so, we identify a conceptual lens through which to analyze the political implications of foresight processes, and apply it to the case of two ongoing foresight initiatives. We conclude with noting the urgent need for further research on the role of foresight within anticipatory climate governance in a post-Paris era.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Small-scale farmers in a 1.5°C future: The importance of local social dynamics as an enabling factor for implementation and scaling of climate-smart agriculture
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-03-03
    Deissy Martinez-Baron, Guillermo Orjuela, Giampiero Renzoni, Ana María Loboguerrero Rodríguez, Steven D Prager

    Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) has the potential to help farmers implement both adaptation and mitigation practices. The mitigation aspect of CSA is often not considered by farmers due to a high discount rate and, as such, adaptation is usually the priority concern. This review article offers perspective on this issue and highlights two key gaps in the literature: (i) understanding of factors related to the uptake of adaptation practices with co-benefits for mitigation and, (ii) the role of social networks to better enable rapid, widespread implementation of CSA, the latter being critical to bringing CSA to scale. The systematic review treated literature on synergies between adaptation, mitigation and social networks in the rural sector, as well as case studies illustrating the importance of social networks in climate change interventions when addressing synergies in adaptation and mitigation. We find that additional research is required that explicitly focuses on how social networks and social capital may be harnessed to hasten the adoption and uptake of highly synergistic CSA practices. This will facilitate both adaptation in the near term and contribute to mitigation at scale, allowing small-scale farmers to both benefit from and contribute to a 1.5°C future.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Positive tipping points in a rapidly warming world
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-03-03
    J David Tàbara, Niki Frantzeskaki, Katharina Hölscher, Simona Pedde, Kasper Kok, Francesco Lamperti, Jens H Christensen, Jill Jäger, Pam Berry

    The challenge of meeting the UNFCCC CoP21 goal of keeping global warming ‘well below 2 °C and to pursue efforts towards 1.5 °C’ (‘the 2–1.5 °C target’) calls for research efforts to better understand the opportunities and constraints for fundamental transformations in global systems dynamics which currently drive the unsustainable and inequitable use of the Earth's resources. To this end, this research reviews and introduces the notion of positive tipping points as emergent properties of systems–including both human capacities and structural conditions — which would allow the fast deployment of evolutionary-like transformative solutions to successfully tackle the present socio-climate quandary. Our research provides a simple procedural synthesis to help identify and coordinate the required agents’ capacities to implement transformative solutions aligned with such climate goal in different contexts. Our research shows how to identify the required capacities, conditions and potential policy interventions which could eventually lead to the emergence of positive tipping points in various social–ecological systems to address the 2–1.5 °C policy target. Our insights are based on the participatory downscaling of global Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs) to Europe, the formulation of pathways of solutions within these scenarios and the results from an agent-based economic modelling.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Silent transformation to 1.5°C — with China's encumbered leading
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-03-13
    Paul Shrivastava, Sybille Persson

    The US has voluntarily ceded global leadership on climate action by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. China now leads the world in carbon emissions producing almost 30% of the world total. Yet it can play a key, albeit encumbered, leadership role in limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. This essay reviews the literature on the traditional Chinese concept of silent transformations articulated by philosopher François Jullien and others. It encourages a deep intercultural dialogue about the role of China, its culture and large population, to aid silent transformations for shaping the course of the world climate. Two kinds of levers are highlighted, firstly using ordinary people's situational potential through ordinary actions, and secondly helping to induce the Chinese dream of natural regulation.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Enabling investment for the transition to a low carbon economy: government policy to finance early stage green innovation
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-03-28
    Robyn Owen, Geraldine Brennan, Fergus Lyon

    Rapid transformation to meet the Paris 1.5°C climate target requires greater attention to be given to the role of innovative low carbon early stage businesses and the public sector's role in addressing finance gaps for longer horizon investment requirements. As entrepreneurs require different forms of finance as their businesses grow and move up the ‘finance escalator’, we explore the role of public sector support for grant, equity, debt and new forms of crowd funding finance in higher and lower income countries. These funds can enable individual sustainability focussed businesses to access finance and encourage finance into new areas through having a demonstration effect. We conclude that a finance ecosystem approach is required that ensures complementary forms of finance for low carbon investment are connected at local, national and international scales, alongside support to build entrepreneurial skills and investment readiness. There is also a need for better evidence of the role of public sector support and where there is greatest impact on climate change.

    更新日期:2018-06-03
  • Environmental
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-26
    Bilal Butt

    In recent decades, the use of environmental indicators has become ubiquitous across the public, policy, and scientific spheres. Indicators provide information to guide decisions about environmental changes and leverage political power. In line with this special issue, I engage with how indicators are information dissemination interventions. I demonstrate that the reliance of indicators as key metrics for environmental governance should be treated with caution given that indicators are derived from a process of commensuration. This paper reviews some of the assumptions made in the development of indicators, and describes their use and efficacy in environmental governance. In doing so, I argue that there needs to be more careful attention to how environmental indicators are derived and deployed in place-based settings.

    更新日期:2018-05-28
  • Forest landscape restoration for livelihoods and well-being
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-26
    James T Erbaugh, Johan A Oldekop

    The scope and current investment for forest landscape restoration (FLR) is great, as are the demands put upon it for improving livelihoods and well-being. International leaders have pledged 350 Mha for FLR as part of international sustainability agendas. FLR is implemented primarily through incentives and institutions, with an emphasis on the role of active planting and land tenure reforms. Despite recent attention and a growing literature that assesses the contributions of FLR and related projects to livelihood and well-being, there is a dearth of evidence linking FLR to social, economic, or political outcomes. We present a simple framework to understand environmental and social effects of FLR interventions and we review the evidence linking FLR to livelihood and well-being outcomes. We suggest that to enhance benefits to local populations from FLR, it is necessary to better integrate socioeconomic and political data into FLR planning and implementation, to increase the role of informational implementation, and to develop monitoring and evaluation protocols to assess direct and indirect environmental and social impacts from FLR projects.

    更新日期:2018-05-27
  • Tenure reforms in indigenous lands: decentralized forest management or illegalism?
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-04
    Maria Fernanda Gebara

    Granting indigenous people legal land titles has emerged as an intervention to implement decentralized governance. Tenure reforms, however, may not avoid land expropriation and degradation without supporting institutions that enforce exclusion rights. Focusing on land expropriation in the Andean-Amazonian region, this review looks at enabling conditions and challenges for aligning tenure reforms with other interventions (i.e. environmental licensing and activism) to enforce indigenous rights and improve land security. Although a pro-rights rhetoric is enshrined in tenure reforms, they may be seen as a ‘tolerated illegalism of rights’ that allow for different kinds of mutually advantageous interplay between governments, transnational corporations and financial organizations. Yet, some contestations by indigenous groups supported by local and global activism have helped to successfully guarantee tenure security.

    更新日期:2018-05-04
  • Everything flows…unevenly: social stratification in coupled socio-ecological systems
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-03
    Matthew R Sanderson

    Socio-hydrology has quickly emerged as a potentially transformative interdisciplinary science for understanding barriers and opportunities to enhance sustainability in coupled human-water systems. Unequal, pre-existing social structures are an important feature of human-water system that shape the flow of water. Yet, the socio-hydrology has not yet fully attended to the issues of social stratification, inequality, and power. This paper reviews advances in the field of environmental sociology on the relationship between social inequality and the natural environment. The goal is to open up questions about social inequalities that would further enhance socio-hydrological science.

    更新日期:2018-05-04
  • Assessments of synergistic outcomes from sustainable intensification of agriculture need to include smallholder livelihoods with food production and ecosystem services
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-05-02
    Chuan Liao, Daniel G Brown

    Humanity faces a grand challenge as we seek to enhance food production, improve livelihoods, and preserve ecosystems. Existing frameworks of sustainable agricultural intensification offer the promise of balancing food production with sparing land for nature, but are too narrowly focused to address all dimensions of the challenge. To this debate, we contribute a synthetic discussion of the broader goals of sustainable intensification, arguing that it is necessary to incorporate improvement of smallholder wellbeing as an explicit goal of sustainable intensification. Many of the rural lands available for increased food production are currently farmed by smallholders whose livelihoods will be affected by changes in production systems. Evidence suggests that expected income benefits to smallholders do not always materialize, come at the cost of other dimensions of livelihoods, or are distributed unevenly. Innovative combinations of different strategies such as revitalization of abandoned farmlands, changes in consumer diet regimes, ecological intensification, enhancement of diversification and agricultural extension services, and strong local institutions under the backdrop of economic globalization can be harnessed to increase land-use efficiency, thus meeting the goals of providing sufficient food while reconciling environmental conservation with improved smallholder wellbeing.

    更新日期:2018-05-04
  • Effective incentives for reforestation: lessons from Australia's carbon farming policies
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-04-30
    Megan C Evans

    Large-scale reforestation will rely at least in part on private landholders who are motivated to increase forest cover on their properties. Well-designed incentives can encourage landholder adoption of reforestation within production landscapes, while delivering social, economic and biodiversity co-benefits. Here, I draw on lessons from extensive research on barriers and enablers to landholder adoption of tree planting, the growing literature highlighting the potential benefits of assisted natural regeneration (ANR) for large-scale reforestation, and experiences from a voluntary land-based carbon abatement (‘carbon farming’) program implemented in Australia since 2012, where tree planting and ANR comprise several approved reforestation methods. Carbon farming projects to date have primarily adopted the ANR methods, yet program outcomes have been undermined by increased deforestation elsewhere in Australia. Policy uncertainty, the provision of co-benefits and the availability of trusted information are key factors influencing landholder adoption. Incentives for reforestation must be underpinned by a coherent and complementary policy mix which facilitates long-term participation and genuine environmental outcomes.

    更新日期:2018-04-30
  • Is the 1.5°C target possible? Exploring the three spheres of transformation
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-04-30
    Karen O’Brien

    Carbon roadmaps and pathways are important for describing, planning and tracking the technical, managerial and behavioral changes that are consistent with the Paris Agreement. Nevertheless, roadmaps and pathways for decarbonization often gloss over a fundamental question: ‘How do deliberate social transformations happen?’ Often the social complexity of transformation processes is downplayed or ignored in favor of technical solutions and behavioral approaches. In this article, I explain why they are incomplete and unlikely to ‘bend the curves’ to reduce emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement. I first discuss the distinction between technical and adaptive challenges and why this is relevant. I then review and describe the dynamics of social change in relation to three related and interacting ‘spheres’ of transformation: the practical, political, and personal spheres. Finally, I explore how these three spheres can be used to identify leverage points for transformations that support the 1.5°C target.

    更新日期:2018-04-30
  • Standards and policies for very high energy efficiency in the urban building sector towards reaching the 1.5°C target
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-04-30
    Jessica Grove-Smith, Vera Aydin, Wolfgang Feist, Jürgen Schnieders, Stefan Thomas

    Reliably reducing the emissions in the building sector plays a crucial role if the 1.5°C climate target from the Paris Agreement is to be met. The observed trends show a significant increase in building energy use, especially in emerging economies. Counteracting these trends is absolutely essential, especially in the light of urbanisation, population growth and changing lifestyles. In terms of mitigating the climate impact of buildings, ensuring high levels of efficiency (i.e. very low energy needs, especially for heating and cooling) has the greatest potential for saving energy and emissions, and is at the same time the prerequisite for effective use of energy from renewable sources. Clearly defined targets and suitable metrics are essential to enable appropriate design decisions. Implemented projects clearly indicate that quality assured design and construction lead to reliable in-use energy performance. Effective policy packages to address opportunities and challenges are important drivers to support the uptake of state-of-the-art efficiency measures in the urban building sector.

    更新日期:2018-04-30
  • A framework for incorporating social processes in hydrological models
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-04-26
    Zhixiang Lu, Yongping Wei, Qi Feng, Andrew W Western, Sha Zhou

    Earth's surface has undergone dramatic changes due to the intensification of human activities. In turn, humans modify their behavior in response to environmental change. Conventional hydrological models do not represent such coupled human–water systems. This paper proposes a socio-hydrological water balance framework for analyzing the behavior of the sociohydrologic system in terms of water allocation between social system and ecological system. This proposed socio-hydrological framework will help develop a quantitative understanding of co-evolutionary processes in river basins from a social and ecological systems perspective.

    更新日期:2018-04-27
  • Emerging frameworks for understanding and mitigating woody plant encroachment in grassy biomes
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-04-25
    Bradford P Wilcox, Andrew Birt, Samuel D Fuhlendorf, Steven R Archer

    Grasslands and open savannas are transitioning to shrub-dominated or tree-dominated landscapes. This phenomenon, often referred to as woody plant encroachment, is occurring globally. The outcomes of interactions among the various drivers of this change differ biogeographically; in semi-arid and subhumid regions they are often related to grazing-induced changes in fire regimes. Two important theoretical and conceptual frameworks are emerging that help us understand the underlying mechanisms of these transformations and inform approaches for maintaining and restoring grasslands and open savannas: alternative stable state theory (ASST) and pyric herbivory. Alternative stable state theory is a way of explaining, understanding, and predicting ecosystem state transitions in dual-life-form systems, and pyric herbivory is built on the notion that reciprocal, spatially distributed interactions between grazing and fire are a key to maintaining grassland and open savanna landscapes. Considered in tandem, ASST provides insights into rates and dynamics of grass–woody vegetation transitions, with pyric herbivory providing a conceptual basis for designing sustainable, site-specific management strategies. Future progress will hinge on experimental evaluations of these linked frameworks and their subsequent refinement over longer time frames in an adaptive management context.

    更新日期:2018-04-27
  • Observations, indicators and scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services change — a framework to support policy and decision-making
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-04-24
    Cornelia B .Krug, Michael E Schaepman, Lynne J Shannon, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, William Cheung, Peter B McIntyre, Jean Paul Metzger, Ülo Niinemets, David O Obura, Bernhard Schmid, Bernardo BN Strassburg, Astrid JA Van Teeffelen, Olaf LF Weyl, Moriaki Yasuhara, Paul W Leadley

    Improving understanding of how biodiversity and ecosystems respond to environmental change is necessary to guide policy and management. To this end, the bioDISCOVERY project of the international programme on global change, Future Earth, initiates and supports international networks of scientists to advance research on monitoring and observations, scenarios and models, and assessments of biodiversity and ecosystems. bioDISCOVERY activities seek collective solutions to key research challenges, and provide support for the international science community by participating in the development of global databases. This global working-group approach is essential for directing cutting-edge science toward supporting international policies, addressing urgent environmental issues, and closing research gaps through transdisciplinary integration and mobilisation of the scientific community.

    更新日期:2018-04-25
  • A connectivity-based assessment framework for river basin ecosystem service management
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-04-16
    Yan Zhao, Yongping Wei, Bingfang Wu, Zhixiang Lu, Li Fu

    Conflicts between increasing ecosystem services (ESs) demand and limited or even decreased natural capital hinders the sustainable development of river basins worldwide. The main reason for the conflicts is that human interventions have seriously decoupled the original harmonious relationship between humans and nature. In this review, we proposed a network connectivity-based assessment framework for river basin ES management which aims to quantify the connections among ecosystems, ESs, ES beneficiaries, ES management organizations and external drives. Construction of the network is based on how multiple ESs are provided and consumed among multiple beneficiaries, to cope with external drivers and inform management efforts. This framework can be used to identify if management intervention is needed for keeping river basin ESs and to address any changes in the interactive socio-ecological system for more sustainable river basin ES management.

    更新日期:2018-04-25
  • Moving toward 1.5°C of warming: implications for climate adaptation strategies
    Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain (IF 4.186) Pub Date : 2018-04-20
    William R Travis, Joel B Smith, Gary W Yohe

    The literature on adaptation to climate change indicates that limiting global warming to 1.5°C or less would reduce damages relative to higher magnitudes of warming, and require less adaptive effort particularly by lessening the risk of extremes and reducing the potential need for transformative adaptation. Smaller climate change nevertheless poses risks of significant impacts, dislocation and adaptation costs in particularly exposed and vulnerable places. Climate change will also vary across space, and smaller, slower average change will likely still result in larger, rapid change for some systems and places (e.g. the Arctic and oceanic islands). Furthermore, non-linearities and power–law relationships among components of the earth's climate system mean that the potential for passing thresholds where parts of the system exhibit extreme behavior cannot be confidently excluded from a 1.5° scenario. The potential for overshoot in a climate that eventually equilibrates at 1.5°C or less above pre-industrial also means that anticipatory adaptation planning efforts should not be relaxed. Yet, taken together, the literature suggests that reactive adaptation has a better chance of keeping pace with the lower range of warming in many places and production systems (although not necessarily all), and could reduce though not eliminate the risk of large damages and adaptation costs in exposed and vulnerable places. Anticipatory adaptation investments, however, can be justified even for low levels of climate change and appear less sensitive to the projected magnitude of change in climate, and driven more by uncertainty in future emission and climate trajectories.

    更新日期:2018-04-25
Some contents have been Reproduced with permission of the American Chemical Society.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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