Environmental and Sustainability Indicators (published by Elsevier) - a companion title to the highly-respected Ecological Indicators, is an open access journal promoting research on indicators as drivers for environmental management, policy formulation, and interdisciplinary research assessing complex environmental interactions for stimulating sustainable development.


The Globethics.net Library has vol. 1(2019) to current

Recent Submissions

  • Assessment of urban river water quality using modified NSF water quality index model at Siliguri city, West Bengal, India

    Samsad Parween; Nigar Alam Siddique; Mir Talas Mahammad Diganta; Agnieszka I. Olbert; Md Galal Uddin (Elsevier, 2022-12-01)
    Rivers are the source of freshwater for any urban community and hence, monitoring of river water is an obligatory yet challenging task. This study was conducted in a subtropical urban river in India with the view of developing a quantitative approach to assess its water quality (WQ) status. For the purposes of this study, water samples were collected from five locations across the Mahananda River main streams encompassing both urbanised and non-urbanised parts of the Siliguri city during April to June of 2021 and collected samples were analysed for fourteen common WQ indicators: pH, Temperature, Conductivity, TDS, Turbidity, Total Hardness (TH), DO, BOD, COD, NO3−, PO43−, Cl−, Fecal Coliform (FC) and E. coli for assessing water quality. In order to obtain WQ status, the present study utilised the modified national sanitation foundation (NSF) water quality index (WQI) model, whereas the crucial WQ indicators were identified using the principal components analysis (PCA) technique. All WQ indicators were considered to compute the NSF-WQI except water pH and TH. Most WQ indicators were breached the guideline values of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Indian Standards (IS) for surface water. The modified NSF-WQI results revealed that the Mahananda River water quality was “good” to “medium” quality and the water is only suitable for limited purposes under certain conditions. The findings of this study provided evidence that the river WQ is heavily influenced by urban pressures because relatively “good” WQ was found at the sampling location of the outer part of the urban area. The results of this research could be effective in improving the Mahananda River's water quality and maintaining its complex ecosystem in order to ensure sustainable urban growth.
  • A geospatial approach in modelling the morphometric characteristics and course of Brahmaputra river using sinuosity index

    Arjun Suresh; Arunima Chanda; Zullyadini A. Rahaman; Abdulla - Al Kafy; Sk Nafiz Rahaman; Md Iquebal Hossain; Muhammad Tauhidur Rahman; Gunjan Yadav (Elsevier, 2022-09-01)
    Shifting of a river channel occurs continuously in the deltas and is a major predicament as it influences the land use and land cover of a region. Hence it is significant to understand the river course variation pattern for management plans as well as to carry out mitigation measures in the region. The current study attempts to understand the river shifting pattern dynamics in the Brahmaputra River with the help of satellite images and geospatial processing. The study has been carried out for three decades using satellite images from 1990 to 2021. To measure the meandering of river, sinuosity has been determined. Erosion and deposition were quantified using ArcGIS. The study interprets the influence of continuous erosion and deposition activities with that of the bank-line migration in the Brahmaputra River for three decades. The river shifted towards the south from 1990 to 2021 with an average sinuosity index of 4.43. Erosion is highest in 2011 along with the lowest deposition, around two times lower than in 2000 and 2021. The study suggests a dynamic change of course for the Brahmaputra river, impacting the land cover and vegetation with a potentiality of natural disasters.
  • Farm-level sustainability assessment in Mediterranean environments: Enhancing decision-making to improve business sustainability

    Dimitrios Iakovidis; Yiorgos Gadanakis; Julian Park (Elsevier, 2022-09-01)
    In typical Mediterranean settings farming systems are key components and have an impact on the community structure and the environment in which they take place hence it is important to develop tools for Sustainability Assessment (SA). To enable positive change it is necessary to effectively allocate resources. Thus, it is important to understand how farmers’ decision-making impacts their farm’s sustainability performance and their awareness and use of Decision Support Tools (DST) for sustainable management.Twenty representative farms were selected from the National Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) for the regional unit of Argolida (Peloponnese, Greece). To investigate sustainability on these farms an indicator-based method, RISE 3.0, was employed to evaluate the current situation and semi-structured phone interviews were used to identify and analyse patterns and attitudes within the data regarding decision-making, sustainability performance and DST with the help of thematic analysis.The results demonstrate that the decision-making process was poorly informed and not always evidence-based while the concept of sustainability was not well understood by most of the farmers. The sustainability assessment illustrated the specific strengths and weaknesses of farm businesses in the area whereas the correlation of the RISE assessment with perceptions of farmers on decision-making and sustainability performance identified the challenges of moving towards more sustainable systems in typical Mediterranean environments.
  • Air quality estimation using remote sensing and GIS-spatial technologies along Al-Shamal train pathway, Al-Qurayyat City in Saudi Arabia

    Seham S. Al-Alola; Ibtesam I. Alkadi; Haya M. Alogayell; Soha A. Mohamed; Ismail Y. Ismail (Elsevier, 2022-09-01)
    Air pollution is the atmospheric state in which specific elements concentrations has adverse impacts on human health as well as the environment including global warming, transportation, acidic rain, and ozone layer depletion. Currently, population around the world lives in urban areas coupled with population size in addition to the increasing levels of vehicles which led to deterioration in air quality. Additionally, the clean air is a critical and vital element for environment and health of any region. Therefore, the foci of this research are to detect the air pollution parameters and investigate the relationship with the meteorological parameters including temperature, and wind speed along Al-Shamal train pathway in Al-Qurayyat City in Saudi Arabia using satellite data. This study involved various field visits to distribute questionnaires to residents to gain information about their health status and get their opinions about air quality. The questionnaires analysis manifested poor air quality conditions and thermal pollution due to the rapid urbanization accompanied with the development of the industrial facilities. The main aim of the study was to shed light on using satellite data to detect the concentration of the primary air pollutants including NO2, SO2, and CO to constitute a pre-defensive step to control and improve the air quality in Saudi Arabia. The present study examined using Sentinel-5 Precursor, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and The Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2) satellite data to investigate and detect the air pollution parameters in the study area rather than using the traditional measurements from ground stations. The analysis of satellite images revealed an increase in the concentration of air pollution parameters compared to the standard limits of the WHO which can cause crucial negative impacts on the environment as well as human health. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to analyze the relation between various air pollutants with temperature and wind speed with values ranging between 0.0004 and 0.6604. The statistical analysis of air pollutants showed strong linear correlation that may by attributed to the same emission origin. CO and NO2 on roads have a strong correlation and are emitted by vehicles(R (Albugami et al., 2018) = 0.66). NO2 and CO do not seem to have strong correlation with either SO2 or AOD and their correlation coefficients are weaker, that indicating different emissions sources. The AOD in the study area originated mainly from the windblown dust, construction work, and suspension of particles and therefore do not emitted from traffic.
  • Water quality assessment and pollution source analysis in Bukavu urban rivers of the Lake Kivu basin (Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo)

    Arthur Mubwebwe Bisimwa; Fabrice Muvundja Amisi; Célestin Maando Bamawa; Bamba Bukengu Muhaya; Alidor Busanga Kankonda (Elsevier, 2022-06-01)
    The assessment of water quality in Bukavu urban rivers (Kahuwa (KW), Wesha (WS), Tshula (TL), Bwindi (BN), and Nyamuhinga (NG)) was conducted twice a month from 2017 to 2019 at low and high frequencies following standard sampling techniques. Results showed that water temperature (WT), dissolved oxygen (DO), and electrical conductivity (EC) were within WHO standards for surface waters, except pH for some stations on KW and NG rivers, where it was highly alkaline. However, PO43−, NH4+, NO2− and NO3− concentrations increased gradually from upstream to downstream and were very high compared to the WHO standards, which means the river waters were heavily polluted. The highest nutrients concentrations were recorded in the dry season for all rivers, except KW and NG rivers at the midstream and downstream stations. The nutrient average fluxes collected at low-frequency (FLF) and high-frequency (FHF) downstream of each river were 95% correlated. Flux variations regarding PO43−, NH4+, NO2− and NO3− were significant for all rivers except PO43− in the NG river. The number of nutrients exported to Lake Kivu was estimated to average 0.6 t km−2 of PO43−, 2.4 t km−2 of NH4+, 1.0 t km−2 of NO2− and 41.0 t km−2 of NO3− per year. Given the current deterioration status of water quality in Bukavu urban rivers, there is an urgent need to improve liquid and solid waste management strategy in the area, to set up efficient wastewater treatment plants and sewage systems in various catchments to mitigate cumulative pollution of the rivers and the lake.
  • A simple measure for workload as a social sustainability indicator for family farms

    Christina Umstätter; Stefan Mann; Jessica Werner (Elsevier, 2022-06-01)
    Most criteria for social sustainability of farms rely on the presence of employed labour, so that the social sustainability of family farms is difficult to capture. We therefore propose to focus on workload as one aspect of social sustainability, with a particular angle on its manifestation in family farms. We compared existing labour resources to working time requirements according to the farm's portfolio. Different levels of detail in acquiring the necessary data are presented. Two case studies on samples of Swiss dairy farms indicate that around a third of all farms suffer from potentially being overworked whereas being underworked does not seem to be an issue. It has been indicated that the problem of overwork is more prevalent among lowland farms than in the mountains. The simple indicator proposed was found to be a potentially useful and easy-to-use tool. However, it became clear that added value could be found by including the degree of mechanisation on the farm and the degree of outsourcing of work processes to contractors in the calculation of the indicator. Further, an outlook is given on how to automate the indicator calculations to provide additional benefit.
  • Estimating the total ecosystem services value of Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspots in response to landscape dynamics

    Wondimagegn Mengist; Teshome SOROMESSA; Gudina Legese Feyisa (Elsevier, 2022-06-01)
    Ecosystem Service value (ESV) is a technique of assigning monetary value to the services and goods of an ecosystem. The rapid change in land-use land cover (LULC) is a major factor for the change in the capacity of Ecosystem Services (ES). Understanding LULC change and its impact on ESV is vital for decision-making processes. We quantify the spatiotemporal variation of ESV of the Kaffa biosphere reserve in association with LULC dynamics, which is part of the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot areas. Eight LULC types were identified following a supervised classification using a maximum likelihood technique in ArcGIS 10.5. The ES coefficients published by Costanza and others in 2014 were used to estimate the monetary value through the benefit transfer method. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to control the effect of coefficients on the estimated ESV. The results showed declining of ESV from US$ 5818 million to US$ 5536.9 million from 1986 to 2019 and are expected to decline to US$ 5222.8 million in 2049. The change in ESV revealed a total loss of 4.8%. The reasons for the decline in ESV of the biosphere reserve were the conversion of forestland, grassland, and wetland to settlement and agricultural areas. From the land-use types, the contribution of wetland, forest, and agriculture was the most dominant land use in ESV. Genetic resources, climate regulation, water regulation, and recreation were the highest contributors to the total ESV. We conclude that the cause for the decline of ESV is a land-use change that caused ecosystem degradation.
  • Comparative energy use in cassava production under different farming technologies in Kwara State of Nigeria

    Timothy Adekanye; Kayode C. Oni (Elsevier, 2022-06-01)
    One of the main components of production expenses in agricultural operations is energy. The effectiveness of its application is frequently impacted in favor of other equally important aspects. The energy utilization in cassava production in three distinct farm sizes and technologies in Kwara State, Nigeria, was investigated using parametric equations. Questionnaires were used to obtain data on output from 175 cassava farmers. Farms were separated into three groups: group 1 (no mechanization), group 2 (partial mechanization), and group 3 (complete mechanization) (full mechanization). There were 92 farms in Group 1 (1–5 ha), 54 farms in Group 2 (6–15 ha), and 29 farms in Group 3 (16–50 ha). Human labor, machinery, diesel fuel, chemicals, seed, and fertilizers as inputs influenced cassava yield. Cassava production used 4904.87 MJ/ha/tonne in small-scale farms, 36352.04 MJ/ha/tonne in medium-scale farms, and 96257.93 MJ/ha/tonne in large-scale farms, according to the study's findings. In the study region, the average energy output of cassava production was 107,632 MJ/ha, 604,800 MJ/ha, and 2,016,000 MJ/ha in the various farms. The energy input-output ratios for the three types of farms were calculated to be 16.13, 16.69, and 20.94 respectively. The Cobb–Douglas function was used to calculate the impacts of inputs on cassava outputs. In medium and large-scale farms, indirect and non-renewable energy contributed significantly more to yield than direct and renewable energy. Human labor, fertilizers, chemicals, and seed were statistically significant contributors to cassava productivity, according to empirical findings.
  • Indicators for sustainability assessment of small-scale wastewater treatment plants in low and lower-middle income countries

    Claudia Cossio; Jenny Norrman; Jennifer McConville; Alvaro Mercado; Sebastien Rauch (Elsevier, 2020-06-01)
    Wastewater treatment in low and lower-middle income countries is often limited by lack of local technical expertise, institutional capacity, and financial resources, making it challenging to reach SDG6-target 6.3, i.e. halving the proportion of untreated wastewater. Several studies suggest sets of sustainability indicators for assessing the planning and/or operation of WWTPs. However, existing standard indicators are typically focused on the context of high and upper-middle income countries, whereas low and lower-middle income countries face other types of issues. The development of a contextualized set of relevant and effective sustainability indicators to support the planning and/or operation of small-scale WWTPs in low and lower-middle income countries is crucial. This study develops a contextualized set of sustainability indicators for small-scale wastewater treatment plants in Bolivia, which is classified as a lower-middle income country. Indicators were identified using a literature review combined with empirical studies using focus groups with managers and operators, as well as, workshops with experts. The aim of the focus groups and workshops was to acquire an understanding of the local context and identify relevant sustainability indicators. The practical investigation took place at five sites in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The results suggest that sustainability assessment of WWTPs in low and lower-middle income countries should emphasize the institutional dimension (e.g. Institutional capacity, Interactions, and Information) and the technical dimension (e.g. Sewage network functionality and Expertise) alongside indicators in the social, economic and environmental dimensions.
  • Sustainability performance of organic and conventional cocoa farming systems in Atwima Mponua District of Ghana

    Joseph Bandanaa; Isaac K. Asante; Irene S. Egyir; Christian Schader; Ted Y. Annang; Johan Blockeel; Irene Kadzere; Anja Heidenreich (Elsevier, 2021-09-01)
    The potential of organic agriculture to contribute to sustainable development in Ghana is unclear. This article assesses the sustainability performance of organic and conventional cocoa farming systems in Ghana. Data was collected from 398 organic and conventional cocoa farmers using the SMART-Farm tool. Compared to conventional cocoa farming systems, we found a higher environmental sustainability performance in organic cocoa farming systems regarding water withdrawal (+29%), species diversity (+26%), land degradation (+24%), genetic diversity (+24%) and greenhouse gases (+22%). The organic farming systems performed better compared to conventional in profitability (+20%) due to market premiums, gender equity (+27%), and verbally committed to sustainability topics (+25%). Agronomic practices had a strong influence on the observed sustainability performance, especially the environmental performance. Typical organic cocoa farming system has small farm sizes, spends more hours weeding manually since chemical weedicides are prohibited and has more diverse crops. Measures to improve performance is paramount for farming systems sustainability.
  • The underway to pragmatic implementations of sustainable and intensive agricultural systems in Tanzania

    Msafiri Yusuph Mkonda (Elsevier, 2021-09-01)
    For the past five decades, Tanzanian has regarded agriculture as a lead sector to economic development. However, more than 70% of the agricultural production has been for subsistence due to weak economic and technological investments. This happens despite the establishment of numerous programs, plans and initiatives to limit the problem. Therefore, there is an increased need to assess some important aspects of agro-ecosystems such as climate, soil and crops as significant factors for determining yields potentials in Tanzania. This approach is particularly important in the fifth term of Tanzanian government (2015–2025) which devotes serious efforts to transform the country to a middle income economy by 2025, whereas, industrial sector will be the key engine to capture this objective. In doing so, crop and climate data were collected from the Ministry of Agriculture and Tanzania Meteorological Agency. Microsoft excel and Theme content were the major methods for data analyses. Although there has been a slight increase in land expansion for crop production, the results exhibit that the overall agricultural trend (tn/ha) has been fluctuating at a declining trend. This yield decline has been significantly caused by rainfall climate change and soil infertility. This scenario is evidenced by the fact that the maximum potential photosynthetic yields in the study area is around 3–5 Mg/ha while that of the developed countries is 160 Mg/ha (10−6 Mg/g). Therefore, stoichiometric of fertilizer, rain water harvest or/and artificial rainfall, exploitation of ground water for irrigation, proper mapping or review of soil characteristics based on agro-ecological zones, proper breeding of various crops, intensive investments of finance and technology in agriculture should be adopted to maximize yields in the country.
  • Thermal sum (degrees-days) rest period as a grazing management tool in natural grasslands: Effects on animal performance and forage production

    Bruno Castro Kuinchtner; Fernando Luiz Ferreira De Quadros; Pedro Trindade Casanova; Luciana Marin; Bernardo B. Seeger; Denise de Moura Steinhorst; Fernando Ongaratto (Elsevier, 2021-06-01)
    This study evaluates the use of thermal sum rest periods on natural grassland as a grazing management tool. We evaluated the impact of this grazing management on vegetation and its effects on the performance of beef heifers in the Pampa biome (southern Brazil) after three years of using this schedule. A complete randomized block design experiment with two treatments and three replications was conducted with Angus heifers as animal replicates. The treatments were two thermal sums calculated at 375 and 750 degrees-days to determine the rest intervals between grazing periods in a rotational grazing system. The experiment was conducted on beef cattle heifer testers with an average age of seven months and a weight of 150.5 ± 5 kg at the start of the experiment. Each heifer received a whole rice bran supplement at a rate of 1.0% of body weight per day during the cool season (April to September) and had free access to mineral supplements. Treatments carried out in different periods had similar herbage mass, feed intake, chemical composition, and animal performance. Thermal sum rest intervals could be a valuable grazing management tool to improve animal production per area, forage quality, and high animal stocking rate.
  • Accessibility of green areas for local residents

    Corine M. Laan; Nanda Piersma (Elsevier, 2021-06-01)
    Green spaces play an important role in urban areas. We study the accessibility of green urban areas by combining open data sets about green with population size data. We develop a mathematical model to define the population density of a green area and calculate the available green space depending on the location. To this end, we do not only consider walking distance to and size of the green area, but also take into account the local population size. Our model quantifies how the available green space depends on the location in the city, such that heavily populated areas have a small amount of green available, even when closely located to a green area.
  • Tree diversity, soil organic carbon lability and ecosystem carbon storage under a fallow age chronosequence in North East India

    Panna Chandra Nath; Arun Jyoti Nath; Demsai Reang; Rattan Lal; Ashesh Kumar Das (Elsevier, 2021-06-01)
    Shifting cultivation, the oldest farming system of the world and is the dominant land use in mountainous regions of South and Southeast Asia. North-East India (NEI) region, one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, covers 17.2 million ha of land under forests, constituting ~25% of India's total forest area. The population-driven abrupt decline of the fallow period's duration has aggravated soil erosion, depletion of nutrients, decreased productivity, reduced biodiversity, and weakening of essential ecosystem services. Therefore, the present research aims to explore whether the duration of the fallow period of up to 20-years can restore diversity of tree species, biomass carbon, and ecosystem carbon stock equivalent to those under natural forests. Based on the accessibility and availability of the fallow stands, three categories were selected for the study (1–2, 5–8, and 15–20 years), and these were replicated eight times for each age group. While the 20-years of fallow increased tree diversity, it was still 22% lower than that of the natural forest. Similarly, a 2.7-fold increase in biomass carbon storage was observed with an increase in the fallow period from 5–8-years (33.4 Mg ha−1) to 15–20-years (92.9 Mg ha−1), yet the latter was 40% lower than that under the natural forests. The very labile and labile carbon stocks decreased with increase in the fallow period. In contrast, the less labile and non-labile carbon stocks increased with increase in the fallow age. Because of the absence of a long fallow management system in the region, and to minimize the risks of ecosystem carbon degradation, adopting an integrated approach is recommended to enhance the ecological integrity of the degraded lands under shifting cultivation while also improving the livelihood of the shifting cultivators.
  • African climate change policy performance index

    Terence Epule Epule; Abdelghani Chehbouni; Driss Dhiba; Mirielle Wase Moto; Changhui Peng (Elsevier, 2021-12-01)
    The African Climate Change Policy Performance Index (ACCPPI) evaluates and assesses countries and regions in Africa in terms of their climate change policy performance. The ranking is based on four key scores which are: the greenhouse emissions score (30%), the renewable energy score (25%), the climate policy score (25%), and the corruption perception score (20%). This index fills a major research gap in the context of climate change policy performance. This index is the first index that provides a comprehensive outlook on the state of climate change policy performance in Africa. The initial results from a country perspective show that Morocco, Cape Verde, Angola, Senegal, Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia are the best performers. Regionally, North and Southern Africa are the best performers. This index provides and outlook of what is happening across Africa and where stakeholders must make more efforts. The ACCPPI will move the climate change policy performance debate in Africa from emotional and rhetorical evaluations to more data and evidence-based actions that facilitates climate change policy performance tracking and accounting. The tool is a first of its kind and will be a standard bearer for comparing and tracking climate change policy performance across Africa. It will be updated every five years to introduce new data and track new developments while influencing climate change policy across Africa.
  • Composite risk index for designing smart climate and energy policies

    Kristiāna Dolge; Dagnija Blumberga (Elsevier, 2021-12-01)
    This study presents an innovative model for a comprehensive, in-depth risk assessment of climate and energy policies. A risk matrix framework combined with a composite index methodology is applied to produce a risk index composed of 24 risk indicators grouped into six main risk categories - political, technical, economic, environmental, social and administrative. The model was applied to assess five different climate policy instruments, using both an ex-post and ex-ante assessment. The results highlight the critical risk factors for each policy instrument and identify existing policy vulnerabilities that require immediate mitigation action. The model could be used for decision-making at all levels of government and serve as a valuable tool for designing sustainable and successful environmental policies.
  • Design optimization criteria for windows providing low energy demand in office buildings in Algeria

    Mounira Badeche; Yasmina Bouchahm (Elsevier, 2020-06-01)
    Much of the world’s energy demand relates to the built environment. In Algeria, residential and tertiary buildings account for more than 41% of the energy consumed. In order to predict the potential of energy savings on heating and cooling by using an appropriate window in; office spaces, the study adopts the orthogonal method of Taguchi that has been rarely applied; on this sort of topics. Thus, to apply this approach, interactions between window parameters; affecting the energy efficiency design of the window in an office room were first isolated by a; building energy simulation program. Their effect was evaluated by the use of extremes, and; then the potential of heating and cooling energy savings which was assessed by using a parametric method. The study defined the most prominent factors in the process of optimization of the window. In semi arid climate, window orientation was found to be the most prominent parameter. In the Mediterranean climate, the parameters relative to glazing were found to be the most important. While shading was the prominent parameter in the cooling dominated climate. For all climates and in all directions, it was found that a lower glazing ratio is the most efficient. Expect for semi arid climate in southern direction, the most efficient glazing ratio is 40–50%. The study established guidelines that, designers and operators can make use of in three major climatic regions of Algeria, and in similar climates.
  • Exploring the Municipal Solid Waste Management via MFA-SAA Approach in Terengganu, Malaysia

    Latifah Abdul Ghani (Elsevier, 2021-12-01)
    This study aims to investigate the outflow and entry of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) from two aspects of the study system, i.e., the rural and urban scale in the state of Terengganu, Malaysia. Modelling was performed on 8 MSW management scenarios, one per district, over a period of 12 months in 2020 throughout the entire state. Detailed residual composition data were collected from available literature on landfill sites and related studies. The results indicated that the urban scale produced an annual waste stream input of 1187 ktons, approximately 18% higher than that of the rural scale (819 ktons) for 2020. However, the sociogram network demonstrated a low (r = 0.15, p < .001) density score in the overall separation, probably due to the exclusion of NGOs, research institutes, communities, and private sectors from the decision-making process in the management of solid wastes. Therefore, the Material Flow Analysis-Social Agent Analysis (MFA-SAA) decision was proposed as a preliminary measure to be considered in the decision-making of waste management policy. It can be concluded that the solid wastes released from the components and subsystems revealed short-term and long-term capabilities in enhancing the effectiveness of the environmental management of the study area.
  • Assessment of the ecological footprint associated with consumer goods and waste management activities of south mediterranean cities: Case of Algiers and Tipaza

    Sonia Akrour; Jennie Moore; Samir Grimes (Elsevier, 2021-12-01)
    Despite the management strategies implemented, urban waste management in Algeria is a massive concern, especially entities in charge focus primarily on eliminating waste, neglecting material and energy use which might have a substantial environmental impact. This study uses combined urban metabolism analysis and EF assessment model to estimate the surface required to absorb greenhouse gas (GHG) generated, intending to demonstrate the reliability of Ecological Footprint (EF) as an environmental indicator in managing activities related to product manufacturing and waste management. Therefore, the research considers two neighboring coastal cities Algiers and Tipaza, contrasting demographically and economically. The results obtained from urban metabolism demonstrate that material produced from raw inputs is associated with higher GHG emissions. Similarly, emissions generated from waste management activities are dominated by transportation at more than 40% in both cities. Thus, proportional to the amount of GHGs emitted, EF in terms of energy is higher in the disposed material representing 90% consumer goods' EF compared to the Diverted material. These emissions require a total amount of 578 190.05 gha and 92 950.7gha in Algiers and Tipaza respectively. As for waste management, transportation requires the most significant EF values exceeding 5 thousand gha to sequester carbon in Algiers. Eventually, the investigations reveal disparities in data collection and structure in both cities and shortcomings in waste management. Thus, this empirical study highlights EF's reliability for understanding the tangible impact of economic growth on the environment that supports the development of cities.
  • Assessing sustainability with multi-criteria methods: A methodologically focused literature review

    Axel Lindfors (Elsevier, 2021-12-01)
    In this literature review, the use of multi-criteria assessment methods to perform sustainability assessments was studied. It focused on key methodological choices and the theoretical underpinnings of these choices. The review was divided into seven themes: (1) reasons for applying multi-criteria assessments, (2) how assessment alternatives were selected, (3) how criteria and indicators were selected and defined, (4) what interpretation methods were applied, (5) how weights were generated, (6) how studies applied uncertainty management, and (7) how studies dealt with incommensurability, compensability and incomparability of criteria. The review shows a need for increased methodological transparency, such as giving insight into how alternatives, criteria, and indicators have been selected and why certain methods are chosen over others. In addition, stakeholder participation should be viewed as an end in itself and not simply be used instrumentally. Furthermore, it is recommended that multi-criteria assessments apply interpretation methods that imply incommensurability or weak commensurability of criteria when performing sustainability assessment to respect the value-plurality of sustainability and follow the notion of strong sustainability. Finally, future research is needed about how multi-criteria assessments are used in decision-making processes to foster sustainable development and how they may be used as pedagogical tools for social learning.

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