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Resources, Volume 10, Issue 11 (November 2021) – 10 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Extremophilic bacteria are small factories capable of generating molecules with high added value. In line with the concepts of circular economy and biorefinery, waste biomass becomes raw material for new processes, through the support of microbial growth in order to obtain biomolecules with a large biotechnological application. View this paper
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Article
The Demographic Factor Impact on the Economics of the Arctic Region
Resources 2021, 10(11), 117; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10110117 - 16 Nov 2021
Viewed by 325
Abstract
Decline of the international price of some minerals, such as coal, has changed the living standards of the Arctic population leading to its considerable out-migration because of the drop in profitability not only in mining, but also in related industries. Being essential for [...] Read more.
Decline of the international price of some minerals, such as coal, has changed the living standards of the Arctic population leading to its considerable out-migration because of the drop in profitability not only in mining, but also in related industries. Being essential for the sustainable economic development, the highly qualified specialists are currently a crucial issue in the Arctic. This research employs demographic and economic indicators to address the gap in the study of demographic challenges for the Arctic administrative-territorial entities. Special attention is paid to the comparative analysis of the population dynamic in the Russian and global Arctic regions. As part of this study, the impact of the demographic factor on the economic indicators of the region was assessed on the basis of GRP data calculation. Special attention is paid to the analysis of the major trends in the Arctic labour market. Based on the results of the assessment, an increase in GRP was determined with the simultaneous decrease in the Arctic population. The current demographic situation in the Arctic regions in the context of gender factors was reviewed. It should be noted that the article contains exceptions and the causes of the phenomena described. The results of the research may contribute to better understanding of regional variation and trends in socio-economic development of the Arctic as well as the stabilisation of the Arctic population. Full article
Article
The Impact of Using the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Account for a Reusable Wooden Flat Pallet in Its Operational Phase on Respecting the Principles of Sustainable Development
Resources 2021, 10(11), 116; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10110116 - 10 Nov 2021
Viewed by 258
Abstract
Despite the commonly observed trend towards mechanization and automation of operational processes, the potential benefits of wooden pallets as an essential element of the infrastructure of logistic processes are often overlooked in considerations related to sustainable development. Aspects that are mentioned more often [...] Read more.
Despite the commonly observed trend towards mechanization and automation of operational processes, the potential benefits of wooden pallets as an essential element of the infrastructure of logistic processes are often overlooked in considerations related to sustainable development. Aspects that are mentioned more often include the very idea of the economy itself (circular economy), characteristics of logistics (green), features of the supply chain itself (sustainable) or expectations towards transport (ecological). The authors believe that the idea of total cost of ownership (TCO) in relation to wooden pallets can be a key component of holistic thinking in terms of sustainable development. In a situation where in relation to logistics, reasonable expectations for developing sustainable supply chains are made, paying attention to such a common logistic facility, namely a cargo pallet, which is given so little attention in research, is, in the opinion of the authors, absolutely justified. Therefore, the article presents an original approach to the problem of aggregation of all costs that cargo pallets generate in their operational life cycle, using the total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis methodology. The main goal of the article, however, is to show that the total cost of ownership of a pallet (not only owning it) can become an effective tool used to significantly reduce the costs of logistic activity of enterprises (as well as whole supply chains) and support the idea of sustainable development in practice. Using the primary data from questionnaire research, the focus was on considerations that were of identification character (cognitive and explanatory considerations), which are typical for basic research that aims to explain given phenomena. Thus, the presented cognitive process covers two main areas, namely: the general theory of sustainable development and the specificity of wooden pallets as carriers used in goods trading in terms of their total costs of ownership. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Making in Resources Management: Problems, Methods and Tools)
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Article
Biomass Valorization: Sustainable Methods for the Production of Hemicellulolytic Catalysts from Thermoanaerobacterium thermostercoris strain BUFF
Resources 2021, 10(11), 115; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10110115 - 10 Nov 2021
Viewed by 288
Abstract
Processing and selection of fruits and vegetables generate high quantities of wastes that represent an economic and environmental issue for the agroindustry sector. According to the so-called “biorefinery” approach, this biomass can be exploited for the recovery of value-added molecules. In this study, [...] Read more.
Processing and selection of fruits and vegetables generate high quantities of wastes that represent an economic and environmental issue for the agroindustry sector. According to the so-called “biorefinery” approach, this biomass can be exploited for the recovery of value-added molecules. In this study, the residues of industrial processing of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum variety “Hybrid Rome”), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), potato (Solanum tuberosum) and carrot (Daucus carota) were used as sole carbon sources to support cheap and sustainable microbial growth as well as the production of secondary metabolites (hydrogen and ethanol) by Thermoanaerobacterium thermostercoris strain BUFF, a thermophilic anaerobic microorganism isolated from buffalo-dung compost. Moreover, the use of hemicellulolytic enzymes of T. thermostercoris was assayed in the bioconversion reaction of the polymer fraction extracted from the rhizome of giant reed (Arundo donax) and of the leaves and stems of cardoon (Cynara cardunculus), dedicated non-food crops employed in energy supply. Full article
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Article
Toxicity of Antiretrovirals on the Sea Urchin Echinometra lucunter and Its Predicted Environmental Concentration in Seawater from Santos Bay (Brazilian Coastal Zone)
Resources 2021, 10(11), 114; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10110114 - 09 Nov 2021
Viewed by 382
Abstract
Antiretrovirals (ARVs) have been detected in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world; however, studies focused on assessing their ecotoxicological effects on marine aquatic organisms are still rare. In the present study, the predicted environmental concentration (PEC) of 13 ARVs was estimated for [...] Read more.
Antiretrovirals (ARVs) have been detected in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world; however, studies focused on assessing their ecotoxicological effects on marine aquatic organisms are still rare. In the present study, the predicted environmental concentration (PEC) of 13 ARVs was estimated for surface seawater from Santos Bay, Brazil, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) guidelines. The results indicated that all ARVs need to be assessed for their ecological effects, considering that they all exceeded the EMEA guideline limits (PEC > 0.01 µg L−1). In this sense, three ARVs (namely atazanavir, nevirapine and efavirenz) were selected for the acute and chronic tests with sea urchin (Echinometra lucunter). Furthermore, the Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) for these three ARVs was also performed by calculating the risk quotient. The acute and chronic toxicity results showed inhibitory concentrations (IC) for the fertilization (IC50; 1 h; range: 11.46–84.61 mg L−1) and for the embryo–larval development (IC50; 42 h; range: 0.52–0.97 mg L−1) of the sea urchin, respectively. Moreover, the ERA showed that these three ARVs are potentially hazardous for aquatic life in Santos Bay, raising concerns about the continuous introduction of ARVs in aquatic ecosystems. The data presented may contribute to the provision of subsidies for the development of monitoring public policies that aim to reduce the introduction of ARVs into the aquatic environment. Full article
Article
Geoparks in SE Poland as Areas of Tourism Development: Current State and Future Prospects
Resources 2021, 10(11), 113; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10110113 - 03 Nov 2021
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Geoparks currently form the basis for the development of geotourism and, therefore, proposals of new geoparks are developed in many countries, including Poland, where over 20 locations for geoparks have been proposed so far. Two national geoparks have been established thus far, while [...] Read more.
Geoparks currently form the basis for the development of geotourism and, therefore, proposals of new geoparks are developed in many countries, including Poland, where over 20 locations for geoparks have been proposed so far. Two national geoparks have been established thus far, while another two have received the status of UNESCO Global Geoparks None of them are located in the Carpathian Mountains. Simultaneously south-eastern Poland—the Podkarpackie Province—boasts valuable geoheritage, biotic and cultural assets. In the past, having regard for the geological heritage, several research teams proposed the creation of three geoparks encompassing the existing landscape parks in that area. However, these were proposals based solely on scientific values. The objective of the study was to comprehensively assess their tourism potential, with a particular focus on geoheritage assets. The assessment has made it possible to determine to what extent these assets meet the conditions necessary for the functioning of this type of areas, i.e., the occurrence of diverse tourist assets, well-developed infrastructure and appropriate development potential. The assessment method used is based on 25 indices forming six groups. The analyses have been carried out for districts lying within the proposed geoparks. It has been found that the analysed area has a sufficiently high geoheritage potential that can be the basis for the functioning of two geoparks. The tourist infrastructure—particularly accommodation and catering facilities and geotourist trails—needs to be expanded and improved. It is particularly important to encourage local communities to become involved and engage in business activity within the geopark. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
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Erratum
Erratum: Lewicka et al. Sources and Markets of Limestone Flour in Poland. Resources 2020, 9, 118
Resources 2021, 10(11), 112; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10110112 - 03 Nov 2021
Viewed by 149
Abstract
The authors wish to make a change to the published paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
Article
Urban Gardens as Sustainable Attractions for Children in Family Tourism
Resources 2021, 10(11), 111; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10110111 - 01 Nov 2021
Viewed by 333
Abstract
Most of the global population live in urban environments and the majority of tourist flows are concentrated in cities. Urban agriculture has recently emerged as an avenue for the protection of sustainable food production and the promotion of sustainable food consumption. Also, the [...] Read more.
Most of the global population live in urban environments and the majority of tourist flows are concentrated in cities. Urban agriculture has recently emerged as an avenue for the protection of sustainable food production and the promotion of sustainable food consumption. Also, the relationships between horticulture and tourism are attracting growing interest in the context of urban studies. Drawing on a qualitative approach based on ten semi-structured interviews, this research analyzes the relationship between urban gardens and family tourism. The paper innovatively contributes to the understanding of gardens as an urban attraction that improves the sustainable production and consumption of food in the context of family tourism experiences. The results show the relevance of urban gardens for the creation of sustainable experiences that engage families with local food, enhance local supply chains, and inform the future of urban environments. Urban gardens are a visitor attraction that may lead to the development of sustainable people, places and products, and they represent the sustainable integration of horticulture in tourism based on participatory experiences, direct contact with the natural environment and the discovery of the origin of food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resources of Urban Green Spaces and Sustainable Development)
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Article
How to Identify Potentials and Barriers of Raw Materials Recovery from Tailings? Part II: A Practical UNFC-Compliant Approach to Assess Project Sustainability with On-Site Exploration Data
Resources 2021, 10(11), 110; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10110110 - 29 Oct 2021
Viewed by 396
Abstract
A sustainable raw materials (RMs) recovery from waste requires a comprehensive generation and communication of knowledge on project potentials and barriers. However, a standardised procedure to capture sustainability aspects in early project development phases is currently missing. Thus, studies on different RM sources [...] Read more.
A sustainable raw materials (RMs) recovery from waste requires a comprehensive generation and communication of knowledge on project potentials and barriers. However, a standardised procedure to capture sustainability aspects in early project development phases is currently missing. Thus, studies on different RM sources are not directly comparable. In this article, an approach is presented which guides its user through a practical interpretation of on-site exploration data on tailings compliant with the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC). The development status of the overall project and the recovery of individual RMs are differentiated. To make the assessment results quickly comparable across different studies, they are summarised in a heat-map-like categorisation matrix. In Part I of this study, it is demonstrated with the case study tailings storage facility Bollrich (Germany) how a tailings mining project can be assessed by means of remote screening. In Part II, it is shown how to develop a project from first on-site exploration to a decision whether to intensify costly on-site exploration. It is concluded that with a UNFC-compliant assessment and classification approach, local sustainability aspects can be identified, and a commonly acceptable solution for different stakeholder perspectives can be derived. Full article
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Article
Urban Vertical Farming as an Example of Nature-Based Solutions Supporting a Healthy Society Living in the Urban Environment
Resources 2021, 10(11), 109; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10110109 - 25 Oct 2021
Viewed by 534
Abstract
The subject of the article concerns vertical urban farms that play an important role in nature-based solutions and ecosystem services for the city. In the face of a changing climate, progressive environmental degradation, and the related loss of agricultural land, vertical farms can [...] Read more.
The subject of the article concerns vertical urban farms that play an important role in nature-based solutions and ecosystem services for the city. In the face of a changing climate, progressive environmental degradation, and the related loss of agricultural land, vertical farms can be seen as an alternative to traditional agriculture. Woven into the blue-green infrastructure of cities, they may not only constitute a base for food production, but can also create a new valuable ecological, social, and economic hub in contemporary cities, changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of this paper is to show whether it is possible to introduce various functions which support ecosystem and social services, and whether they affect measurable benefits for urban residents in a large-scale system of solutions in the field of vertical urban agriculture. This research shows that urban vertical farms can perform many functions and bring diverse benefits to the inhabitants of cities. In a multi-scale system, they allow for the creation of patchwork connections, which stabilise a specific city biome in the vertical space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-based Solutions for Urban Global Change Adaptation)
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Article
Challenges of Geotourism in South Africa: A Case Study of the Kruger National Park
Resources 2021, 10(11), 108; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10110108 - 21 Oct 2021
Viewed by 358
Abstract
As a new phenomenon, geotourism research is on the rise. Although South Africa has some interesting geoheritage sites, not much has been done to investigate the potential contribution of geotourism to the tourism sector, the protection of natural resources and employment generation, let [...] Read more.
As a new phenomenon, geotourism research is on the rise. Although South Africa has some interesting geoheritage sites, not much has been done to investigate the potential contribution of geotourism to the tourism sector, the protection of natural resources and employment generation, let alone the challenges that may be experienced in promoting geotourism. Therefore, this paper aims to describe the concept of geotourism and to identify the challenges of geotourism. It achieves this by looking at the case of the Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Africa, containing an abundance of geotourism sites. This research adopted a qualitative approach, with data collection involving semi-structured interviews with sixteen key informants to understand the challenges of geotourism. Manual content analysis was employed for analysing the data. A significant finding was that there were seven potential challenges in promoting and developing geotourism in the Kruger National Park: (1) a lack of packaging and marketing; (2) a lack of infrastructure; (3) security and access to geoheritage sites by tourists; (4) access to finance and markets; (5) destruction of geoheritage sites; (6) social challenges and (7) regulatory challenges. The results indicated that these challenges of geotourism can lead to negative perceptions about geotourism and can negatively impact the potential for geotourism development towards effective local social sustainability, especially for communities abutting the KNP. The major contribution of this study is its expansion of the geotourism academic literature through newly generated data on the challenges of geotourism in South Africa. Furthermore, this study theoretically contributes to the body of knowledge on geotourism and its challenges in Africa, particularly regarding the Kruger National Park. Full article
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