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Global freshwater resources are being increasingly polluted and depleted, threatening sustainable development and human and ecosystem health. Utilizing case studies from 4 different watersheds in the United States, Japan, Switzerland, and Brazil, this paper identifies the most relevant sustainability deficits and derives general vectors for more sustainable water management. As a consequence of the demographic and economic developments experienced in the last few decades, each watershed has suffered declines in water quality, streamflow and biotic resources. However, the extent and the cultural perception of these water-related problems vary substantially in the different watersheds, leading to specific water-management strategies. In industrialized countries, exemplified by the US, Switzerland, and Japan, these strategies have primarily consisted of finance- and energy-intensive technologies, allowing these countries to meet water requirements while minimizing human health risks. But, from a sustainability point of view, such strategies, relying on limited natural resources, are not long-term solutions. For newly industrialized countries such as Brazil, expensive technologies for water management are often not economically feasible, thus limiting the extent to which newly industrialized and developing countries can utilize the expertise offered by the industrialized world. Sustainable water management has to be achieved by a common learning process involving industrialized, newly industrialized, and developing countries, following general sustainability guidelines as exemplified in this paper.
The NEAT model (Nonenergy-use Emission Accounting Tables) has been developed in order to estimate CO2 emissions caused by so-called nonenergy use of fossil fuels. The model is based on material flow accounting. The model has been applied to a number of countries in order to validate and improve its use. This paper discusses the case study for Japan. The NEAT analysis suggests that emissions in 1996 were 23 Mt higher than previously estimated based on the guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This quantity equals 1.9% of the total Japanese greenhouse gas emission. It is recommended to adjust the Japanese emission accounting practice and to apply more detailed emission estimation methods in future years. Given similar results for other countries it is also recommended to improve the IPCC guidelines.
The goal of this study is to investigate the impact of deforestation on ozone dynamics and deposition in the Brazilian Amazon basin. This goal is accomplished through i) analyses of ozone levels and deposition rates at a deforested site during the rainy season; and ii) comparisons of these data with similar information derived at a forest. At the pasture site maximum ozone mixing ratios reach 20 parts per billion on a volume basis (ppbv) but about 6 ppbv prevail over the forest. Maximum ozone deposition velocities for pastures can reach 0.7 cm s–1, which is about threefold lower than values derived for forests. Combining ozone abundance and deposition velocities, pasture maximum ozone fluxes reach ∼0.2 µg (ozone) m–2 s–1. This flux represents approximately 70% of the deposition rates measured over the forest. Hence, this study suggests that conversion of rainforests to pastures could lead to a net reduction (30%) in the ozone sink in the Amazon.
Over the past three decades, with a combination of new technology, rising female literacy rates, and strengthened family planning programs, the world has seen dramatic increases in the use of contraception, with corresponding declines in fertility and population growth rates. At the International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo in 1994, parties pledged a tripling of funding for reproductive health programs in developing countries. Many demographers believe that making such programs more widely available to women would extend the decline in birth rates and shift the world towards the low scenario of United Nations population projections over the next century and a half. By examining the costs and impacts of such programs, in view of the links between population and carbon emissions, this paper shows that extension of voluntary family planning could make a large and cost-effective contribution to the greenhouse gas limitation goals of the Kyoto Protocol that was negotiated in 1997.
This study addresses the difficulties surrounding effective implementation of the Montreal Protocol in Botswana and provides a general understanding of how best we might advise policy makers when implementing international agreements in the developing world. A questionnaire survey administered to both the formal and informal users of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) revealed that disseminated information on ODSs has little effect on choices that users make about refrigerant gases and this information is skewed in favor of the conventional users of ODSs. As a result, annual statistics of ODS use are probably underestimated. Difficulties exist in changing from old to new technologies in the short term due to high costs associated with the change over. The infrastructure to recover gases and to dispose of unusable hardware is absent or inadequate. Solutions to these difficulties include a comprehensive policy that caters for all users of ODSs and the integration of economic and environmental aspirations.
This study presents 4 scenarios relating to the environmental futures of electricity generation in Mexico up to the year 2025. The first scenario emphasizes the use of oil products, particularly fuel oil, and represents the historic path of Mexico's energy policy. The second scenario prioritizes the use of natural gas, reflecting the energy consumption pattern that arose in the mid-1990s as a result of reforms in the energy sector. In the third scenario, the high participation of renewable sources of energy is considered feasible from a technical and economic point of view. The fourth scenario takes into account the present- and medium-term use of natural-gas technologies that the energy reform has produced, but after 2007 a high and feasible participation of renewable sources of energy is considered. The 4 scenarios are evaluated up to the year 2025 in terms of greenhouse gases (GHG) and acid rain precursor gases (ARPG).
Three years after most corals died on the central Indian Ocean reefs of Chagos, erosion and recovery were studied to 30 m depth. Mortality was near-total to 15 m deep in northern atolls, and to > 35 m in central and southern atolls. Some reef surfaces have ‘dropped’ 1.5 m due to the loss of dense coral thickets. Coral bioerosion is substantial, reducing 3-D reef ‘structure’ and forming unconsolidated rubble. Juvenile corals are abundant, though mostly on eroding or unstable substrates, and are of less robust species. Reef fish abundance and diversity at 15 m depth remains high; species dependent on corals have diminished, while some herbivores and detritivores have increased. A new sea surface temperature (SST) data set shows that mean SST has risen 0.65°C since 1950. The critical SST causing the mortality in Chagos was 29.9°C.
Hunting by local communities is among the most wide-spread threats to Indian wildlife, yet, the understanding of its nature, extent, and impacts on wildlife has been poor. We surveyed 2 protected areas—Kudremukha and Nagara-holé—in southern India to assess the impacts of local hunting on large mammals. Detailed interviews with retired and active hunters were employed to describe hunting patterns. Impacts of hunting were assessed by comparing large-mammal abundance in adjacent sites differing in their vulnerability to hunting. In Kudremukha, at least 26 species of mammals were hunted, mostly with guns, at an estimated intensity of 216 hunter-days per month per village. In Nagaraholé, 6 of the 9 focal species of large mammals occurred at significantly lower densities at the heavily hunted site where enforcement capabilities were poorer. Our data underscore the importance of preservationist programs in the conservation of large mammals in a context of extensive local hunting.