Interdisciplinary Environmental Review (7 papers in press)
Economic Valuation Methods for Environmental Resources - A Review
by Showkat Shah
Abstract: In the last decades, valuation of environmental resources become an emerging task for environmentalists, decision makers and technocrats as they often being undervalued due to their non-marketable nature. Various studies demonstrated that most of the economies paced with continuous huge unobserved monetary loss in terms of deteriorations of environmental assets. This would be unhygienic for economic development in long run. This paper highlighted the range of possibilities of economic valuation methods, as an economic assessment tool and how they are associated with the concerned problems. The study also documented the various pros and cons of each method and seeks to explain how valuation should be conducted to counter the policy related questions.
Keywords: Environmental resources; Values; Economic valuation methods; Willingness to Pay.
Contrasting Political and Techno-economic Perspectives on Energy Policies in Bangladesh
by Palash Kamruzzaman, Samuel J G Cooper
Abstract: This paper assesses whether selected power sector policies in Bangladesh may have been subject to excessive political interference in contrast to rational and open decision-making approach. This is done by comparing techno-economic assessments with populist narratives on the merits and demerits of three specific policies. While the populist narrative is critical of all three policies, techno-economic assessments are less conclusive and some aspects are explained by the context in which the policy planning has occurred. The paper reflects on the differences between populist narrative and techno-economic assessment and suggests how an awareness of their differences may inform future planning.
Keywords: Power sector policies; Populist narrative; Techno-economic; Quick Rental Power Plants; Policy-making; Rampal Power Plant; Bangladesh.
Linking the Public Acceptance of Wind Power to Technology Deployment
by Kalle Nuortimo, Janne Härkönen, Erkki Karvonen
Abstract: Public acceptance and positive media image are the key features of any technology market deployment. This paper analyses the media image of wind power and the link between the media image of a technology, public acceptance and thus, successful market deployment. Indeed, the increase in wind power plants has been influenced by increased off-shore technology developments as well as subsidies and greater acceptance of the technology. This paper focuses on the latter by undertaking opinion mining approach with machine learning -based media analysis.
For the paper, media sentiment analysis of both editorial and social media was conducted using an M-Adaptive tool for media monitoring. The results indicate that the sentiment toward wind power is primarily positive in both editorial publications and social media (SoMe), and also at the project level of offshore projects. The role of SoMe seems to be increasing for public acceptance issues. When considering the effect of global climate negotiations, namely, Paris COP21, the United Nations conference on climate change, the effect on wind power was mostly negative in terms of the communication quantity and overall media sentiment.
Keywords: public acceptance; wind power; learning machine based media analysis.
The use of RPAS for the development of land surface models for natural resources management: A review
by Zuriel D. Mora-Félix, Jesús G. Rangel-Peraza, Antonio J. Sanhouse-García, Gerardo R. Flores-Colunga, Abraham E. Rodríguez-Mata, Yaneth A. Bustos-Terrones
Abstract: The use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) as an aerial platform for obtaining data has become very popular among the scientific community, due to its simple operation, its low cost and its rapid implementation for the collection of data in inaccessible areas with limited financial resources. The aerial photographs obtained through these devices are ideal for the production of cartographic material such as Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). These models represent surface terrain information in high resolution, through the generation of millimeter contour lines, useful for the urban modeling, simulation of natural disasters, environmental studies, among other purposes. In this sense, this study proposes a review regarding the potential use of RPAS in photogrammetric processes and the advantages provided by these devices in the management of natural resources. Basic concepts of photogrammetry are described and different studies on natural resources management are presented. The discussion of these investigations focuses on supporting the importance of this material in the areas of hydrology, geomorphology, as well as in other areas where a spatial component is required. Finally, the protocols and methodologies used in the photogrammetric processes are given.
Keywords: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS); Photogrammetry; DEM Remote sensing; land surface models; Environment management; Open-source tools; RPAS.
Rethinking Language Within the Larger Biosemiosic Web of Communication in Michel Serress Late Philosophy
by Keith Moser
Abstract: This essay explores Michel Serress rethinking of human language in his late philosophy. Adopting a biosemiotic, interdisciplinary approach, this investigation of Serress radical reworking of language highlights the profound linguistic and philosophical implications of his recent texts such as Le Mal propre (2008), Biog
Keywords: Michel Serres;biosemiotics;semiosis;other-than-human communication; Anthropocene;sign systems;anthropocentrism;human exceptionalism;literature and science;interdisciplinary studies.
Mapping Urban Growth and its Impact on Agricultural Lands in Abeokuta, Nigeria: 1966-2016
by Adewale Olayiwola, Michael Lawal
Abstract: This study assessed the impacts of expansion of Abeokuta into some of the neighbouring rural farmlands; identified the trend of expansion of the study area between 1966 and 2016; examined the changes in the land cover types in the study area; and assessed the implications of urban expansion on the farmlands in the affected communities. Data for the study were sourced from topographical map and satellite imageries (Landsat TM, 1986; Landsat ETM+, 2006 and 2016. Results show that the expansion rate of Abeokuta within a period of 50 years was 0.9km
Keywords: urban growth; unabated expansion; urban land use; rural farmlands; food supply; Abeokuta.
Is Access to Reliable Improved Water a Determinant of Urban Rental Values?
by Anthony Amoah
Abstract: This study uses primary data and applies the hedonic price method (HPM)to provide evidence of consumers willingness-to-pay (WTP) for improved domestic water. We compute the mean marginal WTP for access to domestic water supply in residences for both localised and non-localised ordinary least squares (OLS) models after investigating possible endogeneity issues. The study finds that access to water elasticity is 0.21 (without localisation) and 0.18 (with localisation). Again, the study finds a positive attitude towards reliable improved water supply. Interestingly, the study finds that basic utilities such as toilet facilities and access to electricity in urban residences are rather major determinants of rental values, followed by access to improved water supply. Lastly, households are prepared to spend 4%-10% of their income to improve their quality of life.
Keywords: Africa; Urban; Water; Hedonic Pricing Method; Willingness-to-Pay.