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Only a green world, rich in plants, can sustain us and the millions of other species with which we share this planet. But, in an era of global change, nature is on the retreat. Like the communities they form, many plant species are becoming rarer, threatened even to the point of extinction. The worldwide community of almost three thousand botanic gardens are holders of the most diverse living collections of plants and have the unique potential to conserve plant diversity. Conservation biology is a fast moving and often controversial field, and, as the contributions within these pages from experts in the field demonstrate, plant conservation is multifaceted, mirroring the complexity of the biodiversity it aims to protect, and striving not just to protect threatened plants but to preserve ecosystem services and secure the integrity of the biosphere.
There are few sectors where 'getting things done sustainably' is as important as it is for the water sector. From drinking water and sanitation to water use in agriculture, industry and ecosystems, Rafael Ziegler and his co-authors investigate the contribution of social entrepreneurship to the sustainable use of water. Using detailed case studies from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, the authors assess the role and potential of social entrepreneurship for the sustainable use of water. In addition, they examine the ethics and politics of new ideas for sustainability in the water sector. In so doing, they critically discuss the impact of these new innovations, with the emphasis on ideas changing heads rather than money changing hands. By bringing together questions from ecology, ethics, management and political science, and drawing on research in close collaboration with practitioners across the world, the approach taken is both inter- and trans-disciplinary. The result will be of significant interest to researchers and practitioners in social entrepreneurship and social innovation, as well as in water and sustainability politics.
Most people are familiar with the dodo and the dinosaur, but extinction has occurred throughout the history of life, with the result that nearly all the species that have ever existed are now extinct. Today, species are disappearing at an ever increasing rate, whilst past losses have occurred during several great crises. Issues such as habitat destruction, conservation, climate change, and, during major crises, volacanism and meteorite impact, can all contribute towards the demise of a group. In this Very Short Introduction, Paul B. Wignall looks at the causes and nature of extinctions, past and present, and the factors that can make a species vulnerable. Summarising what we know about all of the major and minor exctinction events, he examines some of the greatest debates in modern science, such as the relative role of climate and humans in the death of the Pleistocene megafauna, including mammoths and giant ground sloths, and the roles that global warming, ocean acidification, and deforestation are playing in present-day extinctions ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The Anthropocene has become central to understanding the intimate connections between human life and the natural environment, but it has fractured our sense of time and possibility. What implications does that fracturing have for how we should think about politics in these new times? In this cutting-edge intervention, Duncan Kelly considers how this new geological era could shape our future by engaging with the recent past of our political thinking. If politics remains a short-term affair governed by electoral cycles, could an Anthropocenic sense of time, value and prosperity be built into it, altering long-established views about abundance, energy and growth? Is the Anthropocene so disruptive that it is no more than a harbinger of ecological doom, or can modern politics adapt by rethinking older debates about states, territories, and populations? Kelly rejects both pessimistic fatalism about humanity's demise, and an optimistic fatalism that makes the Anthropocene into a problem too big for politics, best left to the market or technology to solve. His skilful defence of the potential for democratic politics to negotiate this challenge is an indispensable guide to the ideas that matter most to understanding this epochal transformation.
Food security is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The food price crisis of 2008 exposed the vulnerabilities of the global food system. Governments across Asia acerbated the crisis by imposing export restrictions based on a policy of self-sufficiency. This book assesses whether self-sufficiency is an adequate response to the food security challenges we face. Pricing volatility drives isolationism at a time when climate change and increasingly uncertain weather patterns make it difficult for any single nation to guarantee adequate food production for itself. Through a collection of commissioned studies which draw upon the experience of leading experts and scholars in trade, investment, law, economics, and food policy, this book analyses the impact of this trend on the most essential crop in the Asian region - rice. It suggests that food security policy should be reconceptualised: from the national to the regional and even the global level. It also provides its own proposals as to how this new paradigm of collective food security should be understood and developed. The book calls for a new conversation in the region, acknowledging that the challenges we face are global and the solutions must be found in collective action. This state-of-the-art study will appeal to lawyers, economists and political scientists, as well as trade and food security specialists by providing expert analyses and enlightening solutions for the future.
With the increasing threat of depleted and contaminated water supplies around the world, this book provides a timely and much needed analysis of how cities should manage this precious resource. Integrating the environmental, economic, political and socio-cultural dimensions of water management, the authors outline how future mega-city systems can maintain a high quality of life for its residents. With the rapidly evolving and wealthy Shanghai as the key example, the paradox between the wealth of a city and the quality of its water is uncovered. With a multidisciplinary and multi-scale analysis, the supply of water to cities is discussed in the context of rivers, households, corporations, government and infrastructures. Chapters include the influence of household water use, the political economy of water management, the sources and management of pollution, catchment dynamics, and a Bayesian model for calculating future demand. This comprehensive study shows how essential water management will be to new, developing and expanding cities in the foreseeable future. Water Supply in a Mega-City will be of interest to researchers from across social, natural and engineering sciences interested in the theoretical and practical management of this essential resource in large cities, as well as those interested in the way cities respond to changing environmental conditions.
Rejecting cries of gloom and doom, Hope for a Heated Planet shows how the fight against global warming can be won by the grassroots efforts of individuals. Robert K. Musil, who led the Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization Physicians for Social Responsibility, explains that a growing new climate movement can produce unprecedented change-in the economy, public health, and home-while saving the planet.Musil draws on personal experience and compelling data in this practical and rigorous analysis of the causes and cures for global warming. The book presents all the players in the most pressing challenge facing society today, from the massive fossil fuel lobby to the enlightened corporations that are joining the movement to ""go green."" Musil thoroughly explains the tremendous potential of renewable energy sources-wind, solar, and biofuel-and the startling conclusions of experts who say society can do away entirely with fossil fuels. He tells readers about the engaged politicians, activists, religious groups, and students who are already working together against climate change. But the future depends, Musil insists, on what changes ordinary citizens make. Through personal choices and political engagement, he shows how readers can cut carbon emissions and create green communities where they live. With practical and realistic solutions, Hope for a Heated Planet inspires readers to be accountable and enables them to usher in an age of sustainability for future generations.
Climate variability in different ocean basins can impact one another, for instance the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the Pacific Ocean has remote effects on other tropical oceans around the world, which in turn modulate ENSO. With chapters by eminent researchers, this book provides a comprehensive review on how interactions among the climates in different ocean basins are key contributors to global climate variability. It discusses how interbasin interactions are mediated by oceanic and atmospheric bridges and explains exciting new possibilities for enhancing climate prediction globally. The first part of the book covers essential theory and introduces the basic mechanisms for remote connection and local amplification. The second presents outstanding examples. The latter part discusses applications to cases of societal interest such as impacts on monsoon systems and expectations after climate change. This comprehensive reference is a useful resource for graduate students and researchers in the atmospheric and ocean sciences.
In recent years there has been growing recognition that disaster risk cannot be reduced by focusing solely on physical hazards without considering factors that influence socio-economic impact. Vulnerability: the susceptibility to the damaging impacts of hazards, and resilience: the ability to recover, have become popular concepts in natural hazard and risk management. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the concepts of vulnerability and resilience and their application to natural hazards research. With contributions from both physical and social scientists it provides an interdisciplinary discussion of the different types of vulnerability and resilience, the links between them, and concludes with the remaining challenges and future directions of the field. Examining global case studies from the US coast to Austria, this is a valuable reference for researchers and graduate students working in natural hazard and risk reduction from both the natural and social sciences.
It was 1978, and gray wolves had been extinct in Wisconsin for twenty years. Still, there were rumors from the state's northwestern counties that they had returned. Dick Thiel, then a college student with a passion for wolves, was determined to find out. Keepers of the Wolves is his engrossing account of tracking and protecting the recovery of wolves in Wisconsin. Thiel conveys the wonder, frustrations, humor, and everyday hard work of field biologists, including the political and public relations pitfalls they regularly face. This new edition brings Thiel's story into the twenty-first century, recounting his work monitoring wolves as they spread to central Wisconsin, conflicts of wolves with landowners and recreationalists, changes in state and federal policies, the establishment of a state wolf-hunting season in 2012, and Thiel's forecast for the future of wolves in Wisconsin.
Economic growth is a constant mantra of politicians, economists and the media. Few understand what it is, but they love and follow it blindly. The reality is that since the global financial crisis, growth has vanished in the more industrialised economies and in the so-called developing countries. Politicians may be panicking, but is this really a bad thing? Using real-life examples and innovative research, acclaimed political economist Lorenzo Fioramonti lays bare society's perverse obsession with economic growth by showing its many flaws, paradoxes and inconsistencies. He argues that the pursuit of growth often results in more losses than gains and in damage, inequalities and conflicts. By breaking free from the growth mantra, we can build a better society that puts the wellbeing of all at its centre. A wellbeing economy would have tremendous impact on everything we do, boosting small businesses and empowering citizens as the collective leaders of tomorrow. Wellbeing Economy is a manifesto for radical change in South Africa and beyond.
This book is for those who are not just interested in the ways humans have harmfully altered their environment, but instead wish to learn why the many governmental policies in place to curb such behavior have been unsuccessful. Since humans began to exploit natural resources for their own economic ends, we have ignored a central principle: nature and humans are not separate, but are a unified, interconnected system in which neither is superior to the other. Policy must reflect this reality. We failed to follow this principle in exploiting natural capital without expecting to pay any price, and in hurriedly adopting environmental laws and policies that reflected how we wanted nature to work instead of how it does work. This study relies on more accurate models for how nature works and humans behave. These models suggest that environmental laws should be consistent with the laws of nature.
Graph theory can be applied to ecological questions in many ways, and more insights can be gained by expanding the range of graph theoretical concepts applied to a specific system. But how do you know which methods might be used? And what do you do with the graph once it has been obtained? This book provides a broad introduction to the application of graph theory in different ecological systems, providing practical guidance for researchers in ecology and related fields. Readers are guided through the creation of an appropriate graph for the system being studied, including the application of spatial, spatio-temporal, and more abstract structural process graphs. Simple figures accompany the explanations to add clarity, and a broad range of ecological phenomena from many ecological systems are covered. This is the ideal book for graduate students and researchers looking to apply graph theoretical methods in their work.
Despite recent optimism and global initiatives, the implementation of corporate sustainability programs has been slow at best, with less than a third of global companies having developed a clear business case for their approach to sustainability. Presenting numerous award-winning cases and examples from companies such as Unilever, Patagonia, Tumi, DSM and Umicore alongside original ideas based upon 20 years of consulting experience, this book reveals how to design and implement a stronger sense of focus and move sustainability programs forward. This proven combination of purpose, direction and speed is dubbed "Vectoring". Based upon practitioner cases and data analysis from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Vectoring offers a plain-spoken framework to identify the relative position of companies compared to their peers. The framework and its 4 archetypes deliver insights for practitioners to locate inhibitors and overcome them by providing practical suggestions for process improvements. This includes designing and executing new sustainability programs, embedding the SDGs within company strategy and assessing the impact of sustainability programs on competitiveness and valuation. Offering directions for CFOs to shift companies from integrated reporting to integrated thinking in order to accelerate their sustainability programs, Winning Sustainability Strategies shows how to achieve purpose with profit and how to do well by doing good.
As the world has transformed, so have cities. Today, cities are home to 54 percent of the world's population, and by the middle of this century that figure will likely rise to 66 percent. According to the United Nations (UN) Habitat I (1972), Habitat II (1996) and Habitat III (2016) summits, cities are facing many serious challenges, including growing inequality, security concerns and the worsening impacts of climate change. Uncontrolled urbanization has led to many problems (haphazard growth of areas, emergence of slums, inadequate water and power supply, poor sanitation, shortage of transport and other civic amenities, shrinking green spaces, pollution, crime, and urban disaster risks such as fire, flood, road and industrial accidents, etc.). Worldwide, communities at the international, national and local level are continuously working to improve human habitats. In order to make our planet more sustainable, the UN has moved from the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Among the latter, the aim of SDG 11 is to "...make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable." In light of these challenges, various terms have emerged to help understand urban issues. Visualizing the problem, the United Nations program "Making Cities Resilient" is focused on mitigating the disaster risk in urban areas. This book analyzes terms such as: sustainable, resilient, livable, inclusive, smart and world class city, which have emerged in the process of combating urban challenges in today's world. The book addresses emerging concepts for cities, challenges and potentials, urban environments, health and planning/policies. Covering 14 large cities in India, as well as case studies from Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Poland and Sweden, it provides a regional dimension to and micro-level perspective on urban issues.
This book highlights the multi-faceted nature of corporate social responsibility and the need for greater engagement across academia to help develop the mechanisms needed to encourage socially responsible approaches across the board. The product of a cross-disciplinary collaboration of authors from various academic disciplines, the book reflects the emergent diversity of academics now studying corporate social responsibility (CSR). Accordingly, it includes contributions from economists to social anthropologists, from accountants to philosophers, and from clinical psychologists to social geographers. Together they provide new insights into aspects that challenge, hinder and enable CSR practitioners and corporations with regard to their financial impact and accountability, governance and supply chains. The book is divided into four parts focusing on the practical, sociological, theoretical and environmental aspects of corporate social responsibility.
Corporate social responsibility now touches upon most aspects of the interaction between business and society. The approaches taken to research in this area are as varied as the topics that are researched; yet this is the first book to address the whole range of methods available. This Handbook identifies the existing methods, evaluates their use and discusses the circumstances in which they might be appropriate. The design of a research project is an essential part of undertaking research, as is choosing appropriate methods for investigation and analysis. In addition, business and management research raises theoretical and practical problems that are not encountered in other fields. The chapters address this challenge over distinct parts. Part I on methodology planning is concerned with various aspects of planning the research project, including secondary data and ethics in the research process. Parts II and III outline quantitative and qualitative methods respectively, covering the vast majority of relevant approaches. Part IV provides forward-thinking guidance from experienced academics on the future directions of research in this area. Aimed specifically at researchers, this comprehensive and in-depth Handbook provides an essential resource for anyone working at the forefront of corporate social responsibility research.
Written by a global group of leading scholars, this wide-ranging Research Handbook provides insightful analysis, useful historical perspective, and a point of reference on the controversial nexus of climate change law and policy, intellectual property law and policy, innovation policy, technology transfer, and trade. The contributors provide a unique review of the scientific background, international treaties, and political and institutional contexts of climate change and intellectual property law. They further identify critical conflicts and differences of approach between developed and developing countries. Finally they put forward and analyse the relevant intellectual property law doctrines and policy options for funding, developing, disseminating, and regulating the required technologies and their associated activities and business practices. The book will serve as a resource and reference tool for scholars, policymakers and practitioners looking to understand the issues at the interface of intellectual property and climate change.
Derived from an undergraduate course taught by the author, this accessible book seeks to challenge and provoke readers by posing a series of topical questions concerning climate change and society. Topic summaries provide answers to technical, socio-economic and moral questions surrounding the deployment of climate science. These include how to build and test a climate model, whom and what is most at risk from climate change, and whether we should geoengineer the climate. Practical exercises and case studies provide deeper insights by taking readers through role-play activities and authentic climate change projects. Supporting materials, including notes for instructors and students, graphics, video-clips, games, and online resources, offer scope for further private study and group work. With a focus on applying climate science in practice, this book is ideal for students of geography, natural science, engineering and economics, as well as practitioners involved in the climate service industry.
Conor Mark Jameson has spent most of his life exploring the natural environment and communicating his enthusiasm for it to family, friends and, more recently, readers of a range of newspapers and magazines. Shrewdunnit brings together the best of these dispatches, alongside unpublished essays, in a poetic and evocative journal that inspires and delights. Jameson's prose is fresh and in places irreverent, with a hint of mischief and a dash of wit. From his back door to the peaks of New Zealand and the swamp forests of the Peruvian Amazon, he carries on the biogumentary style he perfected in his earlier books showing - never telling - how to bring nature and conservation home. He may just have invented a genre. Praise for Silent Spring Revisited "A vividly told, beautifully written account of the environmentalist movement of the last fifty years and his own involvement in it ... the author takes his place among the pre-eminent nature writers of our times. His clear, vivid writing skillfully weaves political and cultural history, personal observation and passionate advocacy for the conservation of our diminishing wildlife to create a book that will endure in the annals of natural history." Marie Winn "If Nick Hornby loved nature, he might write a book like this." Martin Harper, RSPB Director of Conservation "A lively read... what makes Jameson's work especially enjoyable is the personal slant..." Matt Merritt, Editor, Birdwatching "A fine writer, who brings together an artist's sensibility with a conservationist's sense of reality... a vital read." John Fanshawe, Birdwatch Praise for Looking for the Goshawk "Conor's cultured writing and enthusiasm for the natural world and the people, like him, who care about it, will carry you along through the chapters." Mark Avery "Equally stirring as his Silent Spring Revisited... a passionate detective story... descriptive, at times poetic prose..." Peter Goodfellow, Devon Birds
What does Japan's 2011 nuclear accident have in common with the 2005 flooding of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina? This thought-provoking book presents a compelling account of recent and historical disasters, both natural and human-caused, drawing out common themes and providing a holistic understanding of hazards, disasters and mitigation, for anyone interested in this important and topical subject. Based on his on-the-ground experience with several major recent disasters, Timothy H. Dixon explores the science, politics and economics behind a variety of disasters and environmental issues, arguing that many of the worst effects are avoidable. He describes examples of planning and safety failures, provides forecasts of future disasters and proposes solutions for hazard mitigation. The book shows how billions of dollars and countless lives could be saved by adopting longer-term thinking for infrastructure planning and building, and argues that better communication is vital in reducing global risks and preventing future catastrophes.
This book reflects on the emerging trends, development, and challenges of policy on sustainability using information technology, and provides valuable insights to both research and practice communities. Sustainability has become an important focus for government, civil society and the corporate community world-wide. Growing interest in addressing environmental deterioration and associated social inequality and economic challenges is shifting focus to this important issue. The lack of fresh water and arable land, extreme weather, rising cost of relying on fossil fuels, and poverty and regional instability, are drawing attention to the need for government intervention and policy instruments that encourage the development of sustainable alternatives. Governments can play a very important role in facilitating sustainable development through better public policies. First of all, public investments can be directed toward establishing incentives for renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, and land and water conservation, or toward leveling the field for sustainable alternatives by phasing out the subsidies directed to unsustainable production and development. Second, regulatory and pricing mechanisms could help with the development of markets for sustainable products. This book engages policy informatics analytical and modeling approaches, stakeholder engagement in policy development, implementation and evaluation, and big data and policy informatics to generate valuable insights in the policy on sustainable energy, and will be on interest to researchers in public administration and sustainability, open data and information technology ecological economics.
The wind power business has grown from a niche sector within the energy industry to a global industry that attracts substantial investment. In Europe wind has become the biggest source of new power generation capacity, while also successfully competing with the gas, coal and nuclear sectors in China and the US. Wind Power looks at the nations, companies and people fighting for control of one of the world's fastest growing new industries and how we can harness one of the planet's most powerful energy resources. The book examines the challenges the sector faces as it competes for influence and investment with the fossil fuel industry across the globe. Over the course of this volume, Backwell analyses the industry climbers, the investment trends and the technological advancements that will define the future of wind energy. This second edition is revised throughout and contains new material on frontier wind markets and industry consolidation, as well as the cost reductions and market gains that led to 2015 being a landmark year for the big wind turbine companies. This is an important resource for professionals working in wind and wider renewable industries, energy finance, conventional energy companies and government as well as researchers, students, journalists and the general public.
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