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  • Blecker, Robert A; Seguino, Stephanie (Review of Development Economics, 2002
  • Seguino, S. (Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 2012
      Policies designed to pursue an equity-led macroeconomic growth strategy must take into account feedback effects, with distribution itself influencing macroeconomic outcomes. Under the right conditions, a more equitable distribution of income and opportunities in the form of human development can be a stimulus to growth, funding further investments in human development. Developing the policies to create those conditions is the central challenge for any human development-centered macroeconomic framework. I review here some macro-level policies that achieve this goal, identifying a key role for fiscal policy to raise productivity and for monetary policy to expand employment, a central goal of any macro-inclusive strategy.
  • Zia, A.; Wagner, C. H. (International Journal of Disaster Risk ScienceInt. J. Disaster Risk Sci., 2015
      The third UN World Congress on Disaster Risk Reduction, held in Sendai, Japan in March 2015, agreed on a new framework to guide disaster risk reduction policy and practice for the next 15 years. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFDRR) leaves important implementation issues unspecified and potentially creates both problems and opportunities for complex, multilevel governance systems in coping with hazards and disastrous events. Early warning systems (EWS), if built into the mainstream of planning for development and disaster relief and recovery, could present a significant opportunity to realize many SFDRR goals. We explore the complexities of using hydrometeorological EWS to prepare for drought and flood disasters in the densely populated communities of Pakistan's Indus River Basin in contrast to the African Sahel's less densely settled grasslands. Multilevel governance systems are often dominated by a top-down, technocentric, centralized management bias and have great difficulty responding to the needs of peripheral and vulnerable populations. People-centered, bottom-up approaches that incorporate disaggregated communities with local knowledge into a balanced, multilevel disaster risk management and governance structure have a dramatically better chance of realizing the SFDRR goals for disaster risk reduction.
  • Daily, G. C.; Kareiva, P.; Polasky, S.; Ricketts, T.; Tallis, H. (Oxford University Press, New York.New York, 2011
  • Keeton, W. S. (Forest Ecology and Management, 2006
      In the northern hardwood region of North America managing for late-successional forest habitats and functions is an important element of ecosystem management. This study tests the hypothesis that uneven-aged practices can be modified to accelerate rates of late-successional forest development. An approach, termed "structural complexity enhancement" (SCE), is compared against conventional uneven-aged systems modified to increase post-harvest structural retention. Experimental treatments, including controls, were applied to 2 ha units and replicated at two multi-aged northern hardwood forests in Vermont, USA. Structural objectives include vertically differentiated canopies, elevated large snag and downed log densities, variable horizontal density (including small gaps), and re-allocation of basal area to larger diameter classes. The latter objective is achieved, in part, by cutting to a rotated sigmoid diameter distribution. This is generated from a basal area (34 m(2) ha(-1)) and tree size (90 cm dbh) indicative of old-growth structure. Forest structure data have been collected over 2 years pre-treatment and 3 years post-treatment. Fifty-year simulations of stand development were run in NE-TWIGS and FVS comparing treatment and no treatment scenarios. Simulations also tested the sensitivity of large tree development to prescription parameters. Leaf area index retention was spatially variable but significantly (P < 0.001) greater under SCE (91%) compared to conventional treatments (75%). Post-harvest aboveground biomass (P = 0.041), total basal area (P = 0.010), and stem density (P = 0.025) were significantly different among treatments, with SCE generally retaining more structure than conventional treatments. SCE increased coarse woody debris volumes by 140%; there was a 30% increase under conventional treatments. SCE successfully achieved the rotated sigmoid diameter distributions, and sustained these 50 years into the future, resulting in reallocated basal area. Cumulative basal area increments are projected to increase by 3.7 and 5.0 m(2) ha(-1) compared to no treatment scenarios for SCE and conventional treatments, respectively. Basal areas will be significantly (P = 0.025) greater after 50 years in SCE units due to higher residual basal areas. Conventional treatments are projected to produce 10 fewer large trees per hectare (> 50 cm dbh) than would have developed without treatment, whereas SCE is likely to recruit five more large trees per hectare than the no treatment scenario. Large tree recruitment rates were related primarily to the form of residual diameter distributions (P = 0.006) and, possibly, to maximum diameter limits. Late-successional characteristics in northem-hardwood systems can be promoted through a variety of modified uneven-aged silvicultural approaches based on the results. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Griffin, Pamela J; Ali, Saleem H (Journal of Environmental Studies and SciencesJ Environ Stud SciSpringer US, Cheltenham, U.K.., 2014
  • Jain, M.; Mondal, P.; DeFries, R. S.; Small, C.; Galford, G. L. (Remote Sensing of Environment, 2013
      The food security of smallholder farmers is vulnerable to climate change and climate variability. Cropping intensity, the number of crops planted annually, can be used as a measure of food security for smallholder farmers given that it can greatly affect net production. Current techniques for quantifying cropping intensity may not accurately map smallholder farms where the size of one field is typically smaller than the spatial resolution of readily available satellite data. We evaluated four methods that use multi-scalar datasets and are commonly used in the literature to assess cropping intensity of smallholder farms: 1) the Landsat threshold method, which identifies if a Landsat pixel is cropped or uncropped during each growing season, 2) the MODIS peak method, which determines if there is a phenological peak in the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index time series during each growing season, 3) the MODIS temporal mixture analysis, which quantifies the sub-pixel heterogeneity of cropping intensity using phenological MODIS data, and 4) the MODIS hierarchical training method, which quantifies the sub-pixel heterogeneity of cropping intensity using hierarchical training techniques. Each method was assessed using four criteria: 1) data availability, 2) accuracy across different spatial scales (at aggregate scales 250 x 250 m, 1 x 1 km, 5 x 5 km, and 10 x 10 km), 3) ease of implementation, and 4) ability to use the method over large spatial and temporal scales. We applied our methods to two regions in India (Gujarat and southeastern Madhya Pradesh) that represented diversity in crop type, soils, climatology, irrigation access, cropping intensity, and field size. We found that the Landsat threshold method is the most accurate (R-2 >= 0.71 and RMSE <= 0.14), particularly at smaller scales of analysis. Yet given the limited availability of Landsat data, we find that the MODIS hierarchical training method meets multiple criteria for mapping cropping intensity over large spatial and temporal scales. Furthermore, the adjusted R-2 between predicted and validation data generally increased and the RMSE decreased with spatial aggregation >= 5 x 5 km (R-2 up to 0.97 and RMSE as low as 0.00). Our model accuracy varied based on the region and season of analysis and was lowest during the summer season in Gujarat when there was high sub-pixel heterogeneity due to sparsely cropped agricultural land-cover. While our results specifically apply to our study regions in India, they most likely also apply to smallholder agriculture in other locations across the globe where the same types of satellite data are readily available. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Conner, D. S.; King, B.; Koliba, C.; Kolodinsky, J.; Trubek, A. (Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 2011
      In this article, the contemporary Farm-to-School movement is described as a system comprised of discrete actors operating at varying levels of geographic scale, social sector, and network function. Drawing on a literature review and case study research, the authors present and analyze a Farm-to-School network in Vermont as a series of relationships between network actors predicated on the flow of financial resources, whole and processed foods, information, and regulatory authority. Furthermore, the utility for using this map to critically examine the leverage points that may drive positive change within and across the system is discussed.
  • Swetnam, R. D.; Fisher, B.; Mbilinyi, B. P.; Munishi, P. K. T.; Willcock, S.; Ricketts, T.; Mwakalila, S.; Balmford, A.; Burgess, N. D.; Marshall, A. R.; Lewis, S. L. (Journal of Environmental Management, 2011
      We present a GIS method to interpret qualitatively expressed socio-economic scenarios in quantitative map-based terms. (i) We built scenarios using local stakeholders and experts to define how major land cover classes may change under different sets of drivers; (ii) we formalised these as spatially explicit rules, for example agriculture can only occur on certain soil types; (iii) we created a future land cover map which can then be used to model ecosystem services. We illustrate this for carbon storage in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania using two scenarios: the first based on sustainable development, the second based on 'business as usual' with continued forest woodland degradation and poor protection of existing forest reserves. Between 2000 and 2025 4% of carbon stocks were lost under the first scenario compared to a loss of 41% of carbon stocks under the second scenario. Quantifying the impacts of differing future scenarios using the method we document here will be important if payments for ecosystem services are to be used to change policy in order to maintain critical ecosystem services. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Naidoo, R.; Ricketts, T. H. (Plos Biology, 2006
      Resources for biodiversity conservation are severely limited, requiring strategic investment. Understanding both the economic benefits and costs of conserving ecosystems will help to allocate scarce dollars most efficiently. However, although cost-benefit analyses are common in many areas of policy, they are not typically used in conservation planning. We conducted a spatial evaluation of the costs and benefits of conservation for a landscape in the Atlantic forests of Paraguay. We considered five ecosystem services ( i.e., sustainable bushmeat harvest, sustainable timber harvest, bioprospecting for pharmaceutical products, existence value, and carbon storage in aboveground biomass) and compared them to estimates of the opportunity costs of conservation. We found a high degree of spatial variability in both costs and benefits over this relatively small (similar to 3,000 km(2)) landscape. Benefits exceeded costs in some areas, with carbon storage dominating the ecosystem service values and swamping opportunity costs. Other benefits associated with conservation were more modest and exceeded costs only in protected areas and indigenous reserves. We used this cost-benefit information to show that one potential corridor between two large forest patches had net benefits that were three times greater than two otherwise similar alternatives. Spatial cost-benefit analysis can powerfully inform conservation planning, even though the availability of relevant data may be limited, as was the case in our study area. It can help us understand the synergies between biodiversity conservation and economic development when the two are indeed aligned and to clearly understand the trade-offs when they are not.
  • Ricketts, T. H.; Lonsdorf, E. (Ecological Applications, 2013
      Natural ecosystems benefit human communities by providing ecosystem services such as water purification and crop pollination. Mapping ecosystem service values has become popular, but most are static snapshots of average value. Estimating instead the economic impacts of specific ecosystem changes can better inform typical resource decisions. Here we develop an approach to mapping marginal values, those resulting from the next unit of ecosystem change, across landscapes. We demonstrate the approach with a recent model of crop pollination services in Costa Rica, simulating deforestation events to predict resulting marginal changes in pollination services to coffee farms. We find that marginal losses from deforestation vary from zero to US$700/ha across the landscape. Financial risks for farmers from these losses and marginal benefits of forest restoration show similar spatial variation. Marginal values are concentrated in relatively few forest parcels not identified using average value. These parcels lack substitutes: nearby forest parcels that can supply services in the event of loss. Indeed, the marginal value of forest parcels declines exponentially with the density of surrounding forest cover. The approach we develop is applicable to any ecosystem service. Combined with information on costs, it can help target conservation or restoration efforts to optimize benefits to people and biodiversity.
  • Roman, J.; Altman, I.; Dunphy-Daly, M. M.; Campbell, C.; Jasny, M.; Read, A. J. (Year in Ecology and Conservation Biology, 2013
      Passed in 1972, the Marine Mammal Protection Act has two fundamental objectives: to maintain U.S. marine mammal stocks at their optimum sustainable populations and to uphold their ecological role in the ocean. The current status of many marine mammal populations is considerably better than in 1972. Take reduction plans have been largely successful in reducing direct fisheries bycatch, although they have not been prepared for all at-risk stocks, and fisheries continue to place marine mammals as risk. Information on population trends is unknown for most (71%) stocks; more stocks with known trends are improving than declining: 19% increasing, 5% stable, and 5% decreasing. Challenges remain, however, and the act has generally been ineffective in treating indirect impacts, such as noise, disease, and prey depletion. Existing conservation measures have not protected large whales from fisheries interactions or ship strikes in the northwestern Atlantic. Despite these limitations, marine mammals within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone appear to be faring better than those outside, with fewer species in at-risk categories and more of least concern.
  • Trevisan, A. C. D.; Fantini, A. C.; Schmitt, A. L.; Farley, J. (Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 2015
      Palm heart from jucara palm (Euterpe edulis) has been one of the most important non-timber forest products (NTFPs) from the Brazilian Atlantic forest since 1960s, but overharvesting, among other factors, drove the species near to extinction. However, the recent conversion from extraction of hearts of palm to berries harvesting for pulp production, a nondestructive use, had a remarkable effect on species conservation and its potential for cash provision and forest landscape restoration. Pulp production from E. edulis in the Atlantic Forest is strongly benefiting from the traditional and expanding market of acai pulp produced from Euterpe oleraceae in the Amazon Basin. In this article, we assess the current status of this new NTFP from E. edulis in the State of Santa Catarina, tracing a parallel with the acai production chain in the Amazon. In addition to a literature review, we surveyed the production chain and interviewed key stakeholders. Production of jucara pulp soared from 5 tons in 2010 to 97.76 tons in 2011, but production is clearly far from fulfilling the fast growing demand. With 115 fruit collectors, management in backyard agroforestry represents 80% of production, with the secondary forests providing the remainder. Two types of producers in Santa Catarinaindustrial and family farmersare distinguished by their form of processing, production scale and sales. Familiarity of farmers with jucara palm as well as the better infrastructure of the region compared to the Amazon gives jucara pulp good condition for the development of the production chain. Nonetheless, it is clearly important to define strategies under public and private policies for research, development, and dissemination of sustainable production models, based on the ecology of the species, landscape structure, and sociocultural values.
  • Keeton, W. S.; Kraft, C. E.; Warren, D. R. (Ecological Applications, 2007
      Riparian forests regulate linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, yet relationships among riparian forest development, stand structure, and stream habitats are poorly understood in many temperate deciduous forest systems. Our research has (1) described structural attributes associated with old-growth riparian forests and (2) assessed linkages between these characteristics and in-stream habitat structure. The 19 study sites were located along predominantly first-and second-order streams in northern hardwood-conifer forests in the Adirondack Mountains of New York (USA). Sites were classified as mature forest (6 sites), mature with remnant old-growth trees (3 sites), and old-growth (10 sites). Forest-structure attributes were measured over stream channels and at varying distances from each bank. In-stream habitat features such as large woody debris (LWD), pools, and boulders were measured in each stream reach. Forest structure was examined in relation to stand age using multivariate techniques, ANOVA, and linear regression. We investigated linkages between forest structure and stream characteristics using similar methods, preceded by information-theoretic modeling (AIC). Old-growth riparian forest structure is more complex than that found in mature forests and exhibits significantly greater accumulations of aboveground tree biomass, both living and dead. In-stream LWD volumes were significantly (alpha = 0.05) greater at old-growth sites (200 m(3)/ha) compared to mature sites (34 m(3)/ha) and were strongly related to the basal area of adjacent forests. In-stream large-log densities correlated strongly with debris-dam densities. AIC models that included large-log density, debris-dam density, boulder density, and bankfull width had the most support for predicting pool density. There were higher proportions of LWD-formed pools relative to boulder-formed pools at old-growth sites as compared to mature sites. Old-growth riparian forests provide in-stream habitat features that have not been widely recognized in eastern North America, representing a potential benefit from late-successional riparian forest management and conservation. Riparian management practices (including buffer delineation and restorative silvicultural approaches) that emphasize development and maintenance of late-successional characteristics are recommended where the associated in-stream effects are desired.
  • Hamed, A. A.; Ayer, A. A.; Clark, E. M.; Irons, E. A.; Taylor, G. T.; Zia, A. (International Journal of Web Information SystemsInt. J. Web Inf. Syst., 2015
      Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to test the hypothesis of whether more complex and emergent hashtags can be sufficient pointers to climate change events. Human-induced climate change is one of this century's greatest unbalancing forces to have affected our planet. Capturing the public awareness of climate change on Twitter has proven to be significant. In a previous research, it was demonstrated by the authors that public awareness is prominently expressed in the form of hashtags that uses more than one bigram (i.e. a climate change term). The research finding showed that this awareness is expressed by more complex terms (e.g. "climate change"). It was learned that the awareness was dominantly expressed using the hashtag: #ClimateChange. Design/methodology/approach - The methods demonstrated here use objective computational approaches [i.e. Google's ranking algorithm and Information Retrieval measures (e.g. TFIDF)] to detect and rank the emerging events. Findings - The results shows a clear significant evidence for the events signaled using emergent hashtags and how globally influential they are. The research detected the Earth Day, 2015, which was signaled using the hashtag #EarthDay. Clearly, this is a day that is globally observed by the worldwide population. Originality/value - It was proven that these computational methods eliminate the subjectivity errors associated with humans and provide inexpensive solution for event detection on Twitter. Indeed, the approach used here can also be applicable to other types of event detections, beyond climate change, and surely applicable to other social media platforms that support the use of hashtags (e.g. Facebook). The paper explains, in great detail, the methods and all the numerous events detected.
  • Fisher, B.; Turner, R. K.; Burgess, N. D.; Swetnam, R. D.; Green, J.; Green, R. E.; Kajembe, G.; Kulindwa, K.; Lewis, S. L.; Marchant, R.; Marshall, A. R.; Madoffe, S.; Munishi, P. K. T.; Morse-Jones, S.; Mwakalila, S.; Paavola, J.; Naidoo, R.; Ricketts, T.; Rouget, M.; Willcock, S.; White, S.; Balmford, A. (2011
      In light of the significance that ecosystem service research is likely to play in linking conservation activities and human welfare, systematic approaches to measuring, modeling and mapping ecosystem services ( and their value to society) are sorely needed. In this paper we outline one such approach, which we developed in order to understand the links between the functioning of the ecosystems of Tanzania's Eastern Arc Mountains and their impact on human welfare at local, regional and global scales. The essence of our approach is the creation of a series of maps created using field-based or remotely sourced data, data-driven models, and socio-economic scenarios coupled with rule-based assumptions. Here we describe the construction of this spatial information and how it can help to shed light on the complex relationships between ecological and social systems. There are obvious difficulties in operationalizing this approach, but by highlighting those which we have encountered in our own case-study work, we have also been able to suggest some routes to overcoming these impediments.
  • Bomblies, A.; Duchemin, J. B.; Eltahir, E. A. B. (Malaria JournalMalar. J., 2009
      Background: Malaria transmission models commonly incorporate spatial environmental and climate variability for making regional predictions of disease risk. However, a mismatch of these models' typical spatial resolutions and the characteristic scale of malaria vector population dynamics may confound disease risk predictions in areas of high spatial hydrological variability such as the Sahel region of Africa. Methods: Field observations spanning two years from two Niger villages are compared. The two villages are separated by only 30 km but exhibit a ten-fold difference in anopheles mosquito density. These two villages would be covered by a single grid cell in many malaria models, yet their entomological activity differs greatly. Environmental conditions and associated entomological activity are simulated at high spatial- and temporal resolution using a mechanistic approach that couples a distributed hydrology scheme and an entomological model. Model results are compared to regular field observations of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato mosquito populations and local hydrology. The model resolves the formation and persistence of individual pools that facilitate mosquito breeding and predicts spatio-temporal mosquito population variability at high resolution using an agent-based modeling approach. Results: Observations of soil moisture, pool size, and pool persistence are reproduced by the model. The resulting breeding of mosquitoes in the simulated pools yields time-integrated seasonal mosquito population dynamics that closely follow observations from captured mosquito abundance. Interannual difference in mosquito abundance is simulated, and the inter-village difference in mosquito population is reproduced for two years of observations. These modeling results emulate the known focal nature of malaria in Niger Sahel villages. Conclusion: Hydrological variability must be represented at high spatial and temporal resolution to achieve accurate predictive ability of malaria risk at the village scale, which can then be integrated appropriately to regional spatial scales and seasonal temporal scales. These results have important implications for models seeking to link the impacts of climate change and climate variability to malaria transmission. The highly focal nature of malaria in the Sahel makes detailed representation necessary to evaluate village-level risks associated with hydrology-related vector population variability.
  • Allnutt, T. F.; Ferrier, S.; Manion, G.; Powell, G. V. N.; Ricketts, T. H.; Fisher, B. L.; Harper, G. J.; Irwin, M. E.; Kremen, C.; Labat, J. N.; Lees, D. C.; Pearce, T. A.; Rakotondrainibe, F. (Conservation Letters, 2008
      Madagascar is a top global conservation priority for high rates of deforestation and endemism. Deforestation has been extensive, but impacts of forest loss on biodiversity have not been well quantified, especially for nonvertebrates. We use generalized dissimilarity modeling (GDM) as a basis for estimating forest biodiversity remaining at different points in time. We predict that 9.1% of species in Madagascar have been committed to extinction from deforestation between 1950 and 2000. This quantity is higher than losses expected from random deforestation of the same total area, indicating that deforestation has been biased towards environmentally and biologically distinct areas. In contrast to traditional area-based methods, these techniques allow one to estimate biodiversity loss based on the location of deforestation and thus can inform land-use policies that aim to minimize biodiversity impacts of deforestation or development.
  • Villa, Ferdinando; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Voigt, Brian; Johnson, Gary W.; Portela, Rosimeiry; Honzak, Miroslav; Batker, David (PloS One, 2014
      Ecosystem Services (ES) are an established conceptual framework for attributing value to the benefits that nature provides to humans. As the promise of robust ES-driven management is put to the test, shortcomings in our ability to accurately measure, map, and value ES have surfaced. On the research side, mainstream methods for ES assessment still fall short of addressing the complex, multi-scale biophysical and socioeconomic dynamics inherent in ES provision, flow, and use. On the practitioner side, application of methods remains onerous due to data and model parameterization requirements. Further, it is increasingly clear that the dominant "one model fits all" paradigm is often ill-suited to address the diversity of real-world management situations that exist across the broad spectrum of coupled human-natural systems. This article introduces an integrated ES modeling methodology, named ARIES (ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services), which aims to introduce improvements on these fronts. To improve conceptual detail and representation of ES dynamics, it adopts a uniform conceptualization of ES that gives equal emphasis to their production, flow and use by society, while keeping model complexity low enough to enable rapid and inexpensive assessment in many contexts and for multiple services. To improve fit to diverse application contexts, the methodology is assisted by model integration technologies that allow assembly of customized models from a growing model base. By using computer learning and reasoning, model structure may be specialized for each application context without requiring costly expertise. In this article we discuss the founding principles of ARIES - both its innovative aspects for ES science and as an example of a new strategy to support more accurate decision making in diverse application contexts.

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