Browsing Gund Institute for Ecological Economics by Title

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Browsing Gund Institute for Ecological Economics by Title

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  • Roman, J. (Univ of California Press, Washington, DC., 2009
  • Roman, J.; Estes, J. A.; Morissette, L.; Smith, C.; Costa, D.; McCarthy, J.; Nation, J. B.; Nicol, S.; Pershing, A.; Smetacek, V. (Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2014
      Baleen and sperm whales, known collectively as the great whales, include the largest animals in the history of life on Earth. With high metabolic demands and large populations, whales probably had a strong influence on marine ecosystems before the advent of industrial whaling: as consumers of fish and invertebrates; as prey to other large-bodied predators; as reservoirs of and vertical and horizontal vectors for nutrients; and as detrital sources of energy and habitat in the deep sea. The decline in great whale numbers, estimated to be at least 66% and perhaps as high as 90%, has likely altered the structure and function of the oceans, but recovery is possible and in many cases is already underway. Future changes in the structure and function of the world's oceans can be expected with the restoration of great whale populations.
  • Roman, J.; Palumbi, S. R. (Science, 2003
      It is well known that hunting dramatically reduced all baleen whale populations, yet reliable estimates of former whale abundances are elusive. Based on coalescent models for mitochondrial DNA sequence variation, the genetic diversity of North Atlantic whales suggests population sizes of approximately 240,000 humpback, 360,000 fin, and 265,000 minke whales. Estimates for fin and humpback whales are far greater than those previously calculated for prewhaling populations and 6 to 20 times higher than present-day population estimates. Such discrepancies suggest the need for a quantitative reevaluation of historical whale populations and a fundamental revision in our conception of the natural state of the oceans.
  • Campbell, B.; Hagmann, J.; Sayer, J.; Stroud, A.; Thomas, R.; Wollenberg, E. (2006
      This paper presents a set of principles and operational guide lines for research and development (R&D) to better address natural resource management problems distilled in a series of workshops with more than 150 experts and practitioners. The principles and guidelines, a number of which relate to scaling issues, are illustrated with case studies from Zimbabwe and Indonesia. The former included research on watershed management for improved small-scale irrigation, while the latter focused on work with communities that had confronted logging companies, partly because of the negative impact of logging on water quality. The principles are grouped as follows: (a) learning approaches; (b) systems approaches, and (c) organisational models. Eleven operational guidelines for implementing the approach are suggested, arranged in three clusters: (a) working together; (b) establishing the institutional and organisational framework; and (c) improving the approaches to suit the task. The elements and strategies for two of these cornerstones (collaborative partnerships and scaling-up and scaling-out) are illustrated to indicate the quality needed to achieve appropriate implementation of the R&D approach.
  • Wunder, Sven; Campbell, Bruce; Frost, Peter GH; Sayer, Jeffrey A; Iwan, Ramses; Wollenberg, Lini (Ecology and Society, 2008
      There is consensus that payments for biodiversity services are a promising conservation tool, yet the implementation of applied schemes has been lagging behind. This paper explores some reasons why potential biodiversity buyers may hesitate. It describes the case of an unsuccessful attempt to establish a community conservation concession in the village of Setulang (East Kalimantan, Indonesia) to safeguard a biologically valuable area from predatory logging. Potential biodiversity donors did not engage in this payments-for-environmental-services scheme mainly because of their limited time horizon and uneasiness about the conditionality principle. Other complicating factors included overlapping land claims, and the diagnosis of the externality at hand. We conclude that new investment modalities and attitudes are needed if potential biodiversity buyers are to exploit the advantages of this innovative tool. We also provide some tangible recommendations on factors to consider when designing a compensation scheme for conservation at the community level.
  • Fischlein, M.; Feldpausch-Parker, A. M.; Peterson, T. R.; Stephens, J. C.; Wilson, E. J. (Environmental Policy and Governance, 2014
      Wind power is an important low-carbon technology and the most rapidly growing renewable energy technology in the US, but there is significant state-by-state variation in wind power distribution. This variation cannot be explained solely by wind resource patterns or US state policy and points to the importance of both local and central governance. We outline the national context for wind deployment in the US and then explore the sub-national, state-level factors shaping wind deployment patterns. We probe the socio-political context across four US states by integrating multiple research methods. Through comparative state-level analysis of the energy system, energy policy, public discourse as represented in the media and state-level, energy policy stakeholders' perceptions we examine variation in the context for wind deployment in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana and Texas. Our results demonstrate that different patterns of wind deployment and different debates about wind power have emerged in each locale. Participants across the different states appear to frame the risks and benefits of wind power in significantly different ways. We discuss the impact of risks and benefit frames on energy policy outcomes. The comparative assessment highlights the complex interplay between central and local governance and explores the significant socio-political variation between states. The study contributes to the understanding of energy technology deployment processes, decision-making and energy policy outcomes. Copyright (c) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
  • Boyle, Mary-Ellen; Ross, Laurie; Stephens, Jennie C. (2011, 2011
      As universities attempt to expand their relevance by engaging with local and regional societal challenges, various kinds of partnerships are emerging. A broad range of stakeholders, from both the university and the community, are typically engaged in and influence the development, implementation and perpetuation of these partnerships. This paper juxtaposes analysis of three community-university partnerships in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, paying particular attention to the partnerships’ stakeholders, and to their relative importance. This research builds upon current understandings of critical factors in partnership sustainability, as these three partnerships have different goals, involve different university and community stakeholders, and are at different points in their organisational history. The fact that they share the same context – the same city – offers a unique opportunity for comparative case study analysis. The theory of stakeholder salience is used to explain findings about partnership sustainability and to make suggestions for strengthening existing partnerships. Specifically, we argue that stakeholder power and legitimacy, along with stakeholder urgency, are key factors in sustaining community-university partnerships. Keywords Community-university partnerships; economic development; community development; stakeholder salience
  • Seguino, Stephanie (Social and Economic Studies, 2003
  • Crow, S.; Danks, C. (Small-Scale Forestry, 2010
      Despite documented challenges, many community-based forestry (CBF) initiatives pursue forest certification. This study asked community-based forestry practitioners in Vermont what influenced their decisions to seek or not seek certification and what outcomes were realized from certification. Relationships, public image, value alignment and feedback on management practices were most commonly cited as both motivations for and results of certification. Expectations for economic benefits were low and price premiums for products were only occasionally realized. Informants complained of the increasing cost, complexity and time commitment required of certification. Overall, however, certified CBF informants felt certification was worth the expense. Group certificates and external funding significantly reduced certification costs to grassroots CBF initiatives. This study highlights the importance of facilitating organizations that can provide outreach, secure funding, understand the rules, handle documentation and develop markets for certified products.
  • Tata, R.; Hart, S. L.; Sharma, A.; Sarkar, C. (Mit Sloan Management ReviewMIT Sloan Manage. Rev., 2013
  • Garibaldi, L. A.; Steffan-Dewenter, I.; Winfree, R.; Aizen, M. A.; Bommarco, R.; Cunningham, S. A.; Kremen, C.; Carvalheiro, L. G.; Harder, L. D.; Afik, O.; Bartomeus, I.; Benjamin, F.; Boreux, V.; Cariveau, D.; Chacoff, N. P.; Dudenhoffer, J. H.; Freitas, B. M.; Ghazoul, J.; Greenleaf, S.; Hipolito, J.; Holzschuh, A.; Howlett, B.; Isaacs, R.; Javorek, S. K.; Kennedy, C. M.; Krewenka, K. M.; Krishnan, S.; Mandelik, Y.; Mayfield, M. M.; Motzke, I.; Munyuli, T.; Nault, B. A.; Otieno, M.; Petersen, J.; Pisanty, G.; Potts, S. G.; Rader, R.; Ricketts, T. H.; Rundlof, M.; Seymour, C. L.; Schuepp, C.; Szentgyorgyi, H.; Taki, H.; Tscharntke, T.; Vergara, C. H.; Viana, B. F.; Wanger, T. C.; Westphal, C.; Williams, N.; Klein, A. M. (Science, 2013
      The diversity and abundance of wild insect pollinators have declined in many agricultural landscapes. Whether such declines reduce crop yields, or are mitigated by managed pollinators such as honey bees, is unclear. We found universally positive associations of fruit set with flower visitation by wild insects in 41 crop systems worldwide. In contrast, fruit set increased significantly with flower visitation by honey bees in only 14% of the systems surveyed. Overall, wild insects pollinated crops more effectively; an increase in wild insect visitation enhanced fruit set by twice as much as an equivalent increase in honey bee visitation. Visitation by wild insects and honey bees promoted fruit set independently, so pollination by managed honey bees supplemented, rather than substituted for, pollination by wild insects. Our results suggest that new practices for integrated management of both honey bees and diverse wild insect assemblages will enhance global crop yields.
  • Kusters, K.; Ruiz Perez, M.; de Foresta, H.; Dietz, T.; Ros-Tonen, M.; Belcher, B.; Manalu, P.; Nawir, A.; Wollenberg, E. (2008
      Resin producing agroforestry in the Krui area of Sumatra in Indonesia is presented as an environmentally friendly, income generating land-use system which contributes to both development and conservation objectives. We studied the change in household income portfolios in three communities in the Krui area. The studies revealed that in the period 1995-2004 agroforestry remained the main source of income. We predict, however, that due to declining resin productivity per hectare, and rising price and demand for timber, an increasing number of farmers will cut their mature agroforests in the near future. At the same time our data suggests that farmers will continue tree planting activities. In result old agroforests may vanish while new ones will be established.
  • Galford, G. L.; Soares-Filho, B. S.; Sonter, L. J.; Laporte, N. (PloS One, 2015
      Central Africa's tropical forests are among the world's largest carbon reserves. Historically, they have experienced low rates of deforestation. Pressures to clear land are increasing due to development of infrastructure and livelihoods, foreign investment in agriculture, and shifting land use management, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC contains the greatest area of intact African forests. These store approximately 22 billion tons of carbon in aboveground live biomass, yet only 10% are protected. Can the status quo of passive protection-forest management that is low or nonexistent-ensure the preservation of this forest and its carbon? We have developed the SimCongo model to simulate changes in land cover and land use based on theorized policy scenarios from 2010 to 2050. Three scenarios were examined: the first (Historical Trends) assumes passive forest protection; the next (Conservation) posits active protection of forests and activation of the national REDD+ action plan, and the last (Agricultural Development) assumes increased agricultural activities in forested land with concomitant increased deforestation. SimCongo is a cellular automata model based on Bayesian statistical methods tailored for the DRC, built with the Dinamica-EGO platform. The model is parameterized and validated with deforestation observations from the past and runs the scenarios from 2010 through 2050 with a yearly time step. We estimate the Historical Trends trajectory will result in average emissions of 139 million t CO2 year(-1) by the 2040s, a 15% increase over current emissions. The Conservation scenario would result in 58% less clearing than Historical Trends and would conserve carbon-dense forest and woodland savanna areas. The Agricultural Development scenario leads to emissions of 212 million t CO2 year(-1) by the 2040s. These scenarios are heuristic examples of policy's influence on forest conservation and carbon storage. Our results suggest that 1) passive protection of the DRC's forest and woodland savanna is insufficient to reduce deforestation; and 2): enactment of a REDD+ plan or similar conservation measure is needed to actively protect Congo forests, their unique ecology, and their important role in the global carbon cycle.
  • Wilson, Elizabeth J.; Stephens, Jennie C. (Environmental Science & Technology, 2009
      A transformation in the way the United States produces and uses energy is needed to achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets for climate change mitigation. Wind power is an important low-carbon technology and the most rapidly growing renewable energy technology in the U.S. Despite recent advances in wind deployment, significant state-by-state variation in wind power distribution cannot be explained solely by wind resource patterns nor by state policy. Other factors embedded within the state-level socio-political context also contribute to wind deployment patterns. We explore this sociopolitical context in four U.S. states by integrating multiple research methods. Through comparative state-level analysis of the energy system, energy policy, and public discourse as represented in the media, we examine variation in the context for wind deployment in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, and Texas. Our results demonstrate that these states have different patterns of wind deployment, are engaged in different debates about wind power, and appear to frame the risks and benefits of wind power in different ways. This comparative assessment highlights the complex variation of the state-level socio-political context and contributes depth to our understanding of energy technology deployment processes, decision-making, and outcomes.
  • Stephens, Jennie C.; Rand, Gabriel M.; Melnick, Leah L. (Environmental Communication-a Journal of Nature and Culture, 2009
      Wind power is a critically important climate change mitigation technology, and the most rapidly growing renewable energy technology in the USA. Wind energy can provide carbon-free electricity generation, so within societal discourse on how society should minimize the risks of climate change it is widely recognized and acknowledged as a valuable technology. Despite recent increases in wind turbine installation in the USA, the high-level of variation in deployment patterns of wind technology in different states cannot be explained simply by wind resource patterns. Other factors, including differences in the state-level, socio-political context, seem to be influencing wind development. This research compares these contextual differences by using media analysis to assess state-level public discourse about wind technology. Through comparative content and frame analysis of newspaper coverage of wind power in Texas, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, we explore state-level variations in the salience of wind in public discourse, the focus on wind power as a climate change mitigating technology, and the framing of wind power's risks and benefits. In addition to identifying distinct state-level variation in wind energy discourse, the results demonstrate that wind's climate change mitigation potential has been a limited but growing part of media coverage on wind power.
  • Mondal, P.; Jain, M.; Robertson, A. W.; Galford, G. L.; Small, C.; DeFries, R. S. (Climatic Change, 2014
      India is predicted to be one of the most vulnerable agricultural regions to future climate changes. Here, we examined the sensitivity of winter cropping systems to inter-annual climate variability in a local market and subsistence-based agricultural system in central India, a data-rich validation site, in order to identify the climate parameters to which winter crops - mainly wheat and pulses in this region - might be sensitive in the future. We used satellite time-series data to quantify inter-annual variability in multiple climate parameters and in winter crop cover, agricultural census data to quantify irrigation, and field observations to identify locations for specific crop types. We developed three mixed-effect models (250 m to 1 km scale) to identify correlations between crop cover (wheat and pulses) and twenty-two climate and environmental parameters for 2001-2013. We find that winter daytime mean temperature (November-January) is the most significant factor affecting winter crops, irrespective of crop type, and is negatively associated with winter crop cover. With pronounced winter warming projected in the coming decades, effective adaptation by smallholder farmers in similar landscapes would require additional strategies, such as access to fine-scale temperature forecasts and heat-tolerant winter crop varieties.
  • Herendeen, R. A. (Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2003
  • Conner, D.; King, B.; Kolodinsky, J.; Roche, E.; Koliba, C.; Trubek, A. (Agriculture and Human Values, 2012
      Farm to School (FTS) programs are increasingly popular as methods to teach students about food, nutrition, and agriculture by connecting students with the sources of the food that they eat. They may also provide opportunity for farmers seeking to diversify market channels. Food service buyers in FTS programs often choose to procure food for school meals directly from farmers. The distribution practices required for such direct procurement often bring significant transaction costs for both school food service professionals and farmers. Analysis of data from a survey of Vermont farmers who sell directly to school food services explores farmers' motivations and distribution practices in these partnerships. A two-step cluster analysis procedure characterizes farmers' motivations along a continuum between market-based and socially embedded values. Further bivariate analysis shows that farmers who are motivated most by market-based values are significantly associated with distribution practices that facilitate sales to school food services. Implications for technical assistance to facilitate these sales are discussed.

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