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World, Volume 1, Issue 3 (December 2020) – 9 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Early Lessons of COVID-19 for Governance of the North American Great Lakes and the Baltic Sea
World 2020, 1(3), 318-329; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/world1030022 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 443
Abstract
The commitment to advance the protection of the North American Great Lakes and the Baltic Sea continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resilience of the research community was displayed as policy decisions were made for the first virtual conferences this year to share [...] Read more.
The commitment to advance the protection of the North American Great Lakes and the Baltic Sea continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resilience of the research community was displayed as policy decisions were made for the first virtual conferences this year to share scientific findings and expertise in both regions. As this pandemic continues to challenge the world, countries have responded to the threat and continue to deal with the uncertainties of this wicked transboundary problem in many different ways. This article discusses key governance and policy issues that have been revealed thus far that can inform the governance of the transboundary North American Great Lakes and the Baltic Sea. Key lessons from the pandemic include waiting for total scientific certainty to act can lead to fatal consequences and our symbiotic connection with nature. Further insights from the pandemic include the importance of context, science-based leadership, institutional accountability, and acknowledging that nature knows no borders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainability and Metabolic Revolution in the Works of Henri Lefebvre
World 2020, 1(3), 300-317; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/world1030021 - 10 Dec 2020
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Humanity’s present social–ecological metabolic configuration is not sustainable, and the need for a radical transformation of society to address its metabolic rifts with the rest of nature is increasingly apparent. The work of French Marxist Henri Lefebvre, one of the few thinkers to [...] Read more.
Humanity’s present social–ecological metabolic configuration is not sustainable, and the need for a radical transformation of society to address its metabolic rifts with the rest of nature is increasingly apparent. The work of French Marxist Henri Lefebvre, one of the few thinkers to recognize the significance of Karl Marx’s theory of metabolic rift prior to its rediscovery at the end of the twentieth century, offers valuable insight into contemporary issues of sustainability. His concepts of the urban revolution, autogestion, the critique of everyday life, and total (or metabolic) revolution all relate directly to the key concerns of sustainability. Lefebvre’s work embodies a vision of radical social–ecological transformation aimed at sustainable human development, in which the human metabolic interchange with the rest of nature is to be placed under substantively rational and cooperative control by all its members, enriching everyday life. Other critical aspects of Lefebvre’s work, such as his famous concept of the production of space, his temporal rhythmanalysis, and his notion of the right to the city, all point to the existence of an open-ended research program directed at the core issues of sustainability in the twenty-first century. Full article
Open AccessReview
Potential Economic Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on South Asian Economies: A Review
World 2020, 1(3), 283-299; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/world1030020 - 03 Dec 2020
Viewed by 648
Abstract
The present research analyzes the potential economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on South Asian economies using a systematic review approach. The cause-effect relationship framework showed that the outbreak of COVID-19 slowed down the gross domestic product (GDP) along with major economic sectors [...] Read more.
The present research analyzes the potential economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on South Asian economies using a systematic review approach. The cause-effect relationship framework showed that the outbreak of COVID-19 slowed down the gross domestic product (GDP) along with major economic sectors and indicators in the South Asian economies. The short and long-run predicted scenario showed that, compared to the agriculture sector, the service and manufacturing sectors will be affected more seriously in all South Asian countries. It was found that governments in the region are trying their best to adopt and implement expansionary fiscal strategies to combat this situation. Many countries have included farmers and allied workers in the government’s support system to utilize resources. In order to maintain the balance of international trade, the import and export of essential items must be given special support. To cope with this situation, governments can invest money from different autonomous institutions to expand Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME). The findings of this research will be helpful for policy planners to formulate appropriate programs for short and long-run demands, along with economic and fiscal policies to sustain and revive the economic activity in South Asia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Planning for the Energy Transition and How to Overcome the Misfits of the Current Paradigm
World 2020, 1(3), 264-282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/world1030019 - 25 Nov 2020
Viewed by 455
Abstract
The current paradigm for planning an energy transition is often embedded in practices within the existing political and societal regime. Within this paradigm, a genuine transformation to a fully fossil-free future is often not achieved. Thus, the problem is that in order to [...] Read more.
The current paradigm for planning an energy transition is often embedded in practices within the existing political and societal regime. Within this paradigm, a genuine transformation to a fully fossil-free future is often not achieved. Thus, the problem is that in order to arrive at such a newly conceived future, the concepts and solutions created need to be fundamentally different from practices in recent past and present. At the same time, the community is not prepared for big changes, and the unknown future is experienced as uncertain and undesirable. These two mechanisms perpetuate current practices and prevent a new future from emerging. In this article, we will demonstrate how these two movements can be connected to disrupt incremental and path-dependent development, allowing people to become visionary and co-design a transformative future with innovative concepts. The Dutch Groningen region is used as an illustrative example for realising fundamental shifts supported by a bottom-up engagement process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Institutional Pressure and Adaptive Capacity Framework for Green Bonds: Insights from India’s Emerging Green Bond Market
World 2020, 1(3), 239-263; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/world1030018 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 1015
Abstract
Although climate finance tools like green bonds have been gaining popularity in academia, the research has been limited to examining the financial viability and performance of this market. We explore a different research avenue related to institutional dynamics that are driving this market [...] Read more.
Although climate finance tools like green bonds have been gaining popularity in academia, the research has been limited to examining the financial viability and performance of this market. We explore a different research avenue related to institutional dynamics that are driving this market at the country level and shaping its adaptive capacity to climate change. Our paper introduces a new conceptual framework by linking institutional isomorphism with adaptive capacity dimensions in the green bond market. Using a mixed methods exploratory approach, we apply our institutional pressure-adaptive capacity framework to India’s green bond market. Our results show that different social actors, ranging from formal institutions like regulators and investors to informal ones like advocacy groups, can play a key role in shaping the legitimacy of this market. By highlighting ‘invisible’ social norms such as awareness about climate finance, changing regulatory priorities and the institutional strength of social actors, we contribute to the literature on this topic. We also introduce the concept of a high priority social actor and conclude that varying degrees of institutional pressure from such actors will ultimately decide the growth and legitimacy of this integral climate finance market at the country level as well as influence its adaptive capacity response to climate change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of the Coastal Environment as a Baseline for Alternative Tourism Segments Development in Salinópolis, Pará
World 2020, 1(3), 227-238; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/world1030017 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 492
Abstract
Salinópolis in Pará State, Brazil, is a coastal city with a highly seasonal tourism industry. Despite the potentiality of the region, tourism is mainly focused on beach use for recreation. The purpose of this study was to analyze environmental conditions to provide a [...] Read more.
Salinópolis in Pará State, Brazil, is a coastal city with a highly seasonal tourism industry. Despite the potentiality of the region, tourism is mainly focused on beach use for recreation. The purpose of this study was to analyze environmental conditions to provide a baseline for development strategies of additional tourism activities, decreasing unwanted impacts, and improving the local economy. We combined wind and pluviosity data, remote sensing, and wave model results for the environmental characterization. Wave climate analysis shows higher waves in the first part of the year, favoring sports like water-surfing. Winds are more intense and parallel to the coast in the second part of the year when rain is low, defining ideal conditions for wind sports, like kitesurfing. Apart from sport activities, appropriately designed beach accesses through mangrove forest would allow a more even distribution of tourists on the beaches. Sustainable walkways projects could include multipurpose structures for beach access and development of ecotourism activities such as environmental education or bird watching. Gastronomic and cultural tourism could also reduce seasonality effects, attracting tourists also during the rainy season. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The All-You-Can-Eat Economy: How Never-Ending Economic Growth Affects Our Happiness and Our Chances for a Sustainable Future
World 2020, 1(3), 216-226; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/world1030016 - 02 Nov 2020
Viewed by 642
Abstract
This paper explores the relationship between energy consumption, economic growth, and life satisfaction and makes the case that economic growth as usual is no longer a desirable or sustainable policy goal. Historically, economic and social development go along with energy sector transformation and [...] Read more.
This paper explores the relationship between energy consumption, economic growth, and life satisfaction and makes the case that economic growth as usual is no longer a desirable or sustainable policy goal. Historically, economic and social development go along with energy sector transformation and total energy use. As a country develops, its use of energy increases, resource consumption increases, population booms, life expectancy rises, and overall socio-economic outcomes are improved. One might deduce then, that life satisfaction is also tightly correlated to economic development and energy consumption, but is this the case? To answer this question, current academic literature and data on the relationship between energy consumption, GDP, and quality of life were explored. The review showed a weak relationship between GDP and quality of life, a saturation relationship between energy use and social returns (social returns increase with increasing energy use to a point), and a strong relationship between GDP and energy use. There have been high hopes that improvements in energy-efficient technology will reduce global aggregate resource consumption, however, there is a growing body of research to suggest the opposite is likely to occur due to ”rebound effects”. The major environmental issues of our time have been seen predominantly as issues to be solved through advancements in technology; however, it is the argument of this paper that they cannot be addressed from a purely technological standpoint. Of course, improving energy efficiency is an important factor, but we must not forget the equally important subject of human behavior and our addiction to continual economic growth. We must first address the human desire to consume resources in the pursuit of happiness and socio-economic status, and shift towards a mentality of sufficiency. Future research must demonstrate concrete examples of sustainable development and consumption, advance the discourse on how the individual can be part of the solution, and empower the implementation of sustainable government policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy Economics Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
History, Colonialism, and Archival Methods in Socio-Hydrological Scholarship: A Case Study of the Boerasirie Conservancy in British Guiana
World 2020, 1(3), 205-215; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/world1030015 - 13 Oct 2020
Viewed by 558
Abstract
In this article, I review a cross-section of research in socio-hydrology from across disciplines in order to better understand the current role of historical-archival analysis in the development of socio-hydrological scholarship. I argue that despite its widespread use in environmental history, science and [...] Read more.
In this article, I review a cross-section of research in socio-hydrology from across disciplines in order to better understand the current role of historical-archival analysis in the development of socio-hydrological scholarship. I argue that despite its widespread use in environmental history, science and technology studies, anthropology, and human geography, archival methods are currently underutilized in socio-hydrological scholarship more broadly, particularly in the development of socio-hydrological models. Drawing on archival research conducted in relation to the socio-hydrology of coastal Guyana, I demonstrate the ways in which such scholarship can be readily incorporated into model development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
New Approaches for Ecological and Social Sustainability in a Post-Pandemic World
World 2020, 1(3), 191-204; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/world1030014 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 860
Abstract
Two vital challenges facing the world are global inequality and global climate change. Solutions to both these problems are urgently needed, but, given current policies, they can potentially conflict with each other. The United Nations has set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to [...] Read more.
Two vital challenges facing the world are global inequality and global climate change. Solutions to both these problems are urgently needed, but, given current policies, they can potentially conflict with each other. The United Nations has set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be met by 2030. Even in 2019, the world was not on track for many SDGs, but the 2020 coronavirus pandemic has made their timely attainment even less likely. Similarly, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have continued to rise, even in the first half of 2020. Clearly, present approaches to solving both problems are not working. This paper suggests several non-mainstream approaches that have the potential to address both challenges. A prerequisite is deep reductions in fossil fuel energy. Possible policies to achieve this include major cuts in air and car travel, shifts to a vegetarian diet, a global carbon tax and transitioning to some form of universal basic income. Full article
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