International Journal of Sustainable Development (11 papers in press)
Progress in implementation of sustainable development in V4 countries
by Anna Cepelova, Milan Dousa
Abstract: Agenda 2030, 'Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development', is a development program for the next 15 years (2015-2030). The objective of the 2030 Agenda is to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development in all countries in the world by 2030. The objective of this contribution is to identify, on the basis of content analysis in empirical research, the results of fulfilling Goal 11 'Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable' of the 2030 Agenda in V4 countries in terms of their global responsibility for their fulfillment. Then a relational comparison of V4 countries in terms of their performance in its implementation will be carried out on the basis of data obtained using the SDG index. This paper is part of the solution of Project VEGA . 1/0302/18 'Smart cities as a possibility to implementation the concept of sustainable urban development in the Slovak Republic'.
Keywords: sustainable development; 2030 Agenda Goal 11; V4 countries; SDG index; sustainable urban development; sustainable indicators.
Agroecological and conventional agricultural systems:
comparative analysis of coffee farms in Brazil for sustainable development
by Mario Coccia
Abstract: A main problem in emerging countries is reducing poverty in rural areas with sustainable agricultural systems. Agroecology is a pattern of sustainable economic development with ecological processes directed to reduce production costs and support natural resource management. This study analyses differences between agroecology and conventional agricultural systems by using data of 15 small coffee farms in the East Region of Minas Gerais state (Brazil) that is characterised by high levels of rural poverty and of environmental fragility. The analysis is based on a field research activity performed directly with small farmers by using a participatory approach. Information collected through direct interviews have been synthesised in various socioeconomic and environmental indices in order to assess the differences in performance of farms. Results suggest that agroecological systems can support local small farmers to stabilise and diversify incomes and improve environment management. In addition, results here also suggest that agroecological practices have eliminated the use of pesticides, reduced the use of fertilizers and supported higher areas of forest conservation than conventional agricultural systems. Overall, then, this study shows that agroecology is a more cost-effective and sustainable agricultural system for smallholder farmers than conventional agricultural systems to support economic growth and wellbeing of rural areas.
Keywords: agroecology; smallholder agriculture; farm analysis; coffee market; Brazil; sustainable agriculture; agricultural systems.
A fuzzy approach to measure the responsibility level for tourist companies
by Jose Galindo, Pilar Alarcon
Abstract: Recently, many organisations have taken interest in sustainable tourism. On the other hand, the responsibility level is more general than the sustainability level, because it measures other interesting aspects, such as cultural, economic or social issues. The problem is how to measure this general responsibility level, because there are many influential factors, and many of them are not easy to measure. Besides, it is not easy to know which factors are more important than others. Here, we propose a fuzzy approach to measure it, proposing a fuzzy measurement of tourist responsibility, including environmental, economic, social and cultural factors. A responsible tourism is a sustainable tourism.
Keywords: fuzzy measurements; responsible tourism; responsibility level; sustainability level; fuzzy databases; fuzzy ethics level.
Spontaneous environmental action practice case based on the Fushan fishery resource conservation area
by Wen-Ching Wang, Min-Hau Tsai
Abstract: In this study, a qualitative method was used to explore the implementation process, functions, and impacts of 63 action plans carried out for the Fushan Fisheries Conservation Area in Taitung County, Taiwan. The following four empirical models were developed based on the analysis results: (1) fostering of the capabilities of local fishermen; (2) establishment of a cooperation mechanism; (3) empowerment of local conservation activists; and (4) planning of the use and transformation into fishing villages for ecotourism. The environmental actions adopted for the area are currently still effectively implemented. It has been determined through empirical interviews that the main reason for success of the area lies in the fact that no economic incentives are provided to mobilise the villagers, which in turn guarantees that the willingness to engage in environmental actions is not affected by economic changes. These empirical models may therefore serve for relevant actions in other resource conservation areas.
Keywords: resource conservation area; citizen participation; empowerment; blue economy.
Towards a better measurement of the social sustainability of Irish agriculture
by Mary Brennan, Thia Hennessy, Emma Dillon
Abstract: There exists a need to analyse and develop the social aspects of agricultural sustainability. Distinct gaps between agricultural policy priorities and the data infrastructure needed to develop metrics for policy evaluation at the farm level exist, particularly regarding the social dimension of sustainability. This paper aims to examine the current social sustainability frameworks in operation across Europe and beyond, with a view towards expansion using Irish Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) data from the Teagasc National Farm Survey. A stakeholder consultation process, featuring policymakers, farm data recorders, academic researchers amongst others, highlighted pertinent concerns regarding the social sustainability of agriculture. Issues such as farmer stress, work/life balance, generational renewal and the viability of rural areas featured as priority concerns. Issues such as these have been identified as key areas of concern within the new Common Agricultural Policy, which supports the continued development of specific indicators of social sustainability.
Keywords: agricultural sustainability; sustainability indicators; stakeholder consultation; farmer wellbeing; rural viability; generational renewal; rural isolation.
Achieving sustainable partnership in the United Nations in the framework of the sustainable development goals
by Tobias Joachim Schnitzler, Marcel Seifert, Carolina Tataje Gonzáles
Abstract: Since 2015, the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) introduced a way to conduct international affairs on achieving global peace and prosperity. Despite the high interrelation of the SDGs, which links mandates and activities of different United Nations (UN) agencies, making a strong case for enhanced inter-agency cooperation, only a few studies provide input on this issue. The research at hand closes this gap by studying literature on cooperation, collaboration and partnerships. Moreover, it considers recent UN policy and reform documents. Empirically, a thematic analysis of guided interviews (N = 12) and an online survey (N = 17) were conducted. The results indicated that the impact of the SDGs on cooperation was low, although representing a great visual tool. As success factors of inter-agency cooperation, communications, partners and resources were identified, restricted by lack of funding, personnel and clear strategies. By doing so, the research project seeks to contribute to a broader scientific discussion in achieving sustainable partnerships in the UN.
Keywords: cooperation; collaboration; partnership; working together; United Nations; inter-agency cooperation; sustainable development goals.
Financing for Sub-Saharan African sustainable development: from billions to trillions to action
by Samuel Orekoya, Peter Oluleke
Abstract: This study examines the various financial opportunities available to drive sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. It investigates the impacts of private, public and multilateral financial opportunities on GDP per capita, life expectancy, human capital development and fertility rate. Using the Autoregressive Distributive Lag (ARDL) model on data from 1971 to 2018, the result reveals the existence of significant impact of financing from private, public and multilateral sector on sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Also, the study empirically shows that no single source of funding is sufficient to finance sustainable development of SSA nations. The study therefore recommends that governments should play an active but non-distortionary role in financial development. Policies should aim at creating a conducive environment for financial sector development by promoting sound and stable macroeconomic policies. Multilateral development banks and bilateral donors should also strengthen access to private sources of finance by promoting improvement in the business and investment climate.
Keywords: financial development; sustainable development; GDP per capita; life expectancy; fertility rate; human capital development; official development assistance; domestic debt; remittances.
Analysing poverty-growth-inequality linkages in lower and lower-middle income countries in Africa
by Richardson Kojo Edeme, Evelyn Nwamaka Ogbeide-Osaretin, Chigozie Nelson Nkalu
Abstract: The main purpose of this research was to examine poverty-growth-inequality linkages to ascertain the existence and direction of causality using data from lower and lower-middle-income countries in Africa. The result shows that, while inequality is positively related to poverty, the effect of growth is negative. The result of the short-run analysis also shows that growth had an insignificant negative relationship with poverty while inequality had a significant positive relationship. The result also shows a long-run causality in growth and inequality given the significance of the error term while there is no long-run causality in poverty. The result shows that, while growth is widening inequality, the inequality gaps created are also helping to increase growth. The findings imply that policies towards reducing inequality in lower and lower-income countries are imperative for poverty reduction.
Keywords: poverty; growth; inequality; lower-income countries; lower-middle-income countries.
Government behaviours in sustainable development of tea industry: empirical evidence from Fujian, China
by Yihui Chen, Minjie Li
Abstract: Tea contributes significantly to the agricultural economy of the main producing areas in Fujian. However, there are many factors hindering the sustainable development of the tea industry in Fujian. In this study, we employed the geographical and temporal weighted regression (GTWR) model to analyse the spatiotemporal distribution and determinants of sustainable tea production in 67 counties in Fujian from 2008 to 2017. Hence, this paper takes into account the dependent variable, namely the sustainable development index, and the independent variables, namely the environmental regulation intension (ERI), the government financial support (FIS), the development level of S&T and education (STE), regional development level (RDL), government concerns (GCO) and infrastructure construction (INC). Then, this paper applies the GTWR model to analyse the spatiotemporal distributions on sustainable development. The empirical results show that the influences of factors on sustainable development have obvious spatiotemporal heterogeneity. On the whole, ERI, FIS, GCO and INC show positive influences on sustainable development, while STE and RDL show negative influences. Ultimately, some practical policy recommendations are put forward.
Keywords: government behaviours; sustainable development; environmental regulation intension; government financial support; regional development level; geographical and temporal weighted regression; government concerns; Fujian; spatiotemporal distributions; tea industry.
Special Issue on: Integrity and Quality in Science
Contextualizing harm in the framework of research misconduct: findings from discourse analysis of scientific publications
by Vasiliki Petousi, Irini Sifaki
Abstract: This article reports on research that deals with dimensions of harm resulting from research misconduct, in articles published in scientific journals. An appropriate sample of publications retrieved from Pubmed, Scopus and WOS was selected across various disciplines and topics. Implementing discourse analysis, articles were classified according to the narratives of individual impurity, institutional failure and structural crisis. Most of the articles analysed fall within the narrative of structural crisis. The main argument advanced is that research misconduct harms the scientific enterprise as a whole. Harm is narrated in the context of institutional characteristics, policies, procedures, guidelines, and work environment. Mainly, however, harm is narrated in the context of structural characteristics of contemporary scientific practices which result in normative dissonance for scientists and loss of trust in science in the relation between science and society and within the scientific enterprise itself. We conclude that new grounds for building trust and confidence in science are needed.
Keywords: research misconduct; research integrity; discourse analysis; harm.
The societal costs of research misconduct: some method considerations from the DEFORM project
by Caroline Gans Combe, Sylvie Faucheux, Catherine Kuszla
Abstract: This paper reports findings from the European DEFORM Project addressing the incidence and the social costs of research misconduct. We distinguish between (1) research misconduct (RM) such as fraud committed by persons and organisations directly engaged in the practice of scientific research; and (2) the broader concept of non-responsible innovation (NRI), meaning activities of discovery and innovation not respectful of wider societal values. RM and NRI engage distinct considerations of integrity and responsibility in society, but we can link them with a broad vision of values for science in society. The core of the paper presents a novel econometric approach, developed in the DEFORM Project, for the estimation of the incidence and direct social costs of Research Misconduct (RM) by analysing RM as a broad category of occupational fraud. This approach is applied to the field of publicly funded research in European countries, to obtain empirical estimates of the order of magnitude of financial losses to research investors due to projects tainted by RM . We then turn to the societal context of research misconduct, notably the incitation to fraud afforded by commercial and institutional performance pressures. This is illustrated with the example of direct and indirect social costs of RM in the ongoing Dieselgate scandal. In this way, we situate the question of social costs of RM as one facet of the wider challenge of quality assurance and governance of research activity and of the uses of science in society.
Keywords: DEFORM; dieselgate; integrity; KQA; occupational fraud; research misconduct; social costs.