Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Special Issue: Christian Philosophical Perspectives on Sustainable Development
Massink, Henk ; Jochemsen, Henk - \ 2018
Philosophia Reformata 83 (2018)1. - ISSN 0031-8035 - p. 3 - 18.
Christian philosophy - environment - Herman Dooyeweerd - modal aspects - modernization - normative practice - sustainability

In this introductory article, the authors first briefly present the debate on the meaning of sustainability and consider the question of how to connect the concept of sustainability with a Christian-in particular, Reformational-way of doing philosophy. After examining the various uses of Dooyeweerdian philosophy in this regard, this introduction closes with an overview of the contributions to this special issue.

The Shifting Politics of Sustainable Seafood Consumerism
Bush, S.R. ; Roheim, C.A. - \ 2018
In: The Oxford Handbook of Political Consumerism / Boström, Magnus, Micheletti, Michele, Oosterveer, Peter, Oxford University Press (Oxford Handbook Online ) - ISBN 9780190629038 - 22 p.
fisheries - aquaculture - environment - governance - value chains - social movements
Seafood has emerged as a key testing ground for understanding the role of different value chain actors in driving sustainability. The conventional view, developed in the late 1990s, is that sustainable seafood is driven by the choices and practices of consumers in major importing markets, such as the United States and the European Union. This view led to the development of a range of boycott and buycott initiatives in the 2000s. Many of the buycott initiatives have been formalised into consumer-facing tools, such as certification, recommendation lists, and traceability. More recently celebrity chefs have also joined in, shaping sustainable seafood as cuisine. While these initiatives and tools initially assumed a demand-shapes-supply mode of political consumerism, they have all
broadened to include multiple modes of political consumerism. The future of the
sustainable seafood movement is therefore dependent on a clearer articulation of diverse modes of political consumerism.
Identification of a practical and reliable method for the evaluation of litter moisture in turkey production
Vinco, L.J. ; Giacomelli, S. ; Campana, L. ; Chiari, M. ; Vitale, N. ; Lombardi, G. ; Veldkamp, T. ; Hocking, P.M. - \ 2018
British Poultry Science 59 (2018)1. - ISSN 0007-1668 - p. 7 - 12.
Bedding quality - environment - foot pad dermatitis - litter moisture - poultry - welfare
1. An experiment was conducted to compare 5 different methods for the evaluation of litter moisture. 2. For litter collection and assessment, 55 farms were selected, one shed from each farm was inspected and 9 points were identified within each shed. 3. For each device, used for the evaluation of litter moisture, mean and standard deviation of wetness measures per collection point were assessed. 4. The reliability and overall consistency between the 5 instruments used to measure wetness were high (α = 0.72). 5. Measurement of three out of the 9 collection points were sufficient to provide a reliable assessment of litter moisture throughout the shed. 6. Based on the direct correlation between litter moisture and footpad lesions, litter moisture measurement can be used as a resource based on-farm animal welfare indicator. 7. Among the 5 methods analysed, visual scoring is the most simple and practical, and therefore the best candidate to be used on-farm for animal welfare assessment.
The SEEA EEA carbon account for the Netherlands
Lof, Marjolein ; Schenau, Sjoerd ; Jong, Rixt de; Remme, Roy ; Graveland, Cor ; Hein, Lars - \ 2017
The Hague : Statistics Netherlands - 64
carbon dioxide - netherlands - carbon - economics - environment - biofuels - bioenergy - biogas - emission - kooldioxide - nederland - koolstof - economie - milieu - biobrandstoffen - bio-energie - emissie
The carbon account provides a comprehensive overview of all relevant carbon stocks and flows. The carbon account for the Netherlands was developed within the scope of the ‘System of Environmental Economic Accounts – Experimen tal Ecosystem Accounting’ (SEEA EEA) project for the Netherlands (Natuurlijk Kapitaalrekeningen Nederland: NKR_NL), which is currently c arried out jointly by Statistics Netherlands and Wageningen University. Funding and support was provided by the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure and the Environment. Within the NKR_NL project, a number of accounts are currently under devel opment. The carbon account is described in detail in this report.
More food, lower footprint : How circular food production contributes to efficiency in the food system
Scholten, M.C.T. - \ 2017
Wageningen : Wageningen University & Research
biobased economy - biobased chemistry - cycling - environment - sustainability - nutrition - biomass - renewable energy - residual streams - agricultural wastes - organic wastes - crop residues - food production - chemie op basis van biologische grondstoffen - kringlopen - milieu - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - voeding - biomassa - hernieuwbare energie - reststromen - agrarische afvalstoffen - organisch afval - oogstresten - voedselproductie
Martin Scholten on circular food production. Ideas about how circular food production can contribute to the sustainable food security.
Methodology for the case studies
Smits, M.J.W. ; Woltjer, G.B. - \ 2017
EU (Circular impacts ) - 19 p.
economics - cycling - projects - renewable energy - recycling - sustainability - durability - politics - policy - environment - economie - kringlopen - projecten - hernieuwbare energie - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - duurzaamheid (durability) - politiek - beleid - milieu
This document is about the methodology and selection of the case studies. It is meant as a guideline for the case studies, and together with the other reports in this work package can be a source of inform ation for policy officers, interest groups and researchers evaluating or performing impact assessments of circular economy policies or specific circular economy projects. The methodology was developed to ensure that the case studies focus on the overall im pacts of the circular economy. The frame of the methodology is a s tep - by - step approach, which will be described in section s 3 and 4 of this document. In section 2 we describe the selection of the case studies.
New feed ingredients : the insect opportunity
Raamsdonk, L.W.D. van; Fels-Klerx, H.J. van der; Jong, J. de - \ 2017
Food Additives & Contaminants. Pt. A, Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure & Risk Assessment 34 (2017)8. - ISSN 1944-0049 - p. 1384 - 1397.
energy balance - energy conversion - environment - feed safety - fraud - Insect - label control - legislation - monitoring - novel protein source - traceability - WISE
In the framework of sustainability and a circular economy, new ingredients for feed are desired and, to this end, initiatives for implementing such novel ingredients have been started. The initiatives include a range of different sources, of which insects are of particular interest. Within the European Union, generally, a new feed ingredient should comply with legal constraints in terms of ‘yes, provided that’ its safety commits to a range of legal limits for heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticides, contaminants, pathogens etc. In the case of animal proteins, however, a second legal framework applies which is based on the principle ‘no, unless’. This legislation for eradicating transmissible spongiform encephalopathy consists of prohibitions with a set of derogations applying to specific situations. Insects are currently considered animal proteins. The use of insect proteins is a good case to illustrate this difference between a positive, although restricted, modus and a negative modus for allowing animal proteins. This overview presents aspects in the areas of legislation, feed safety, environmental issues, efficiency and detection of the identity of insects. Use of insects as an extra step in the feed production chain costs extra energy and this results in a higher footprint. A measure for energy conversion should be used to facilitate the comparison between production systems based on cold- versus warm-blooded animals. Added value can be found by applying new commodities for rearing, including but not limited to category 2 animal by-products, catering and household waste including meat, and manure. Furthermore, monitoring of a correct use of insects is one possible approach for label control, traceability and prevention of fraud. The link between legislation and enforcement is strong. A principle called WISE (Witful, Indicative, Societal demands, Enforceable) is launched for governing the relationship between the above-mentioned aspects.
The role of environmental shocks in shaping prosocial behavior
Duchoslav, Jan - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte, co-promotor(en): Francesco Cecchi. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431477 - 190
environment - behaviour - economic development - social behaviour - stress conditions - environmental temperature - physical properties - social environment - milieu - gedrag - economische ontwikkeling - sociaal gedrag - stress omstandigheden - omgevingstemperatuur - fysische eigenschappen - sociaal milieu

All economic activity requires some degree of cooperation, and the process of economic development involves many social dilemmas. It is therefore crucial to understand how the preferences which guide our behavior vis-à-vis these situations are shaped. The ability and willingness to work for the benefit of the group rather than just one's own has evolved over many generations, and is – to some extent – innate to any healthy human being. At the same time, individual prosocial preferences are – also to a certain extent – endogenous to the physical and social environment within which we operate. This thesis identifies several ways in which environmental changes affect intrinsic prosocial preferences, and outlines a possible direction for fixing any such negative effects.

In Chapter 1, I introduce the topic of prosocial preferences. I briefly describe how prosociality has been viewed over the course of scientific history, and summarize the current state of knowledge about the formation of social preferences. I further outline how extrinsic incentives can influence prosocial behavior without affecting the preferences which underpin it. Finally, the chapter contains an overview of the methodologies used throughout this thesis.

In Chapter 2, I focus on an early formative factor of prosocial preferences—their fetal origins. I study how temperature shocks faced by pregnant women affect their children's later-life prosocial preferences. I find that exposure to higher than usual ambient temperatures during gestation reduces a child's probability of contribution to the public good, with the negative effect lasting into adulthood.

Chapter 3 continues in the same vein as Chapter 2, looking at the fetal origins of prosocial preferences. In this chapter, I investigate how prenatal stress induced by random violence affects the preferences for cooperation among children born during an armed conflict. To do so, I exploit variations in the ratio of the lengths of the index and ring fingers—a marker of in utero hormone exposure negatively associated with high maternal distress during early fetal development. I show that prenatal stress reduces the probability that children contribute to the public good.

In Chapter 4, I move away from the physical aspects of human environment, focusing instead on the social ones. I study the effects of a sudden introduction of a formal institution on individual cooperative behavior within informal arrangements. In particular, I look at how an NGO intervention which helped create a mutual health insurance affected cooperative behavior in a public goods game. I find that the introduction of formal insurance reduces contributions to the public good. This reduction in cooperation levels is, however, not due to the adopters of the formal insurance who may now have less need for informal reciprocal networks, and who therefore (partially) withdraw from them. It is instead the non-adopters who become less cooperative towards the adopters.

To outline a possible direction for remedying the negative environmental effects on prosocial behavior described in the previous three chapters, I illustrate one of the ways in which prosocial behavior can be incentivized with a relatively simple and easily implementable policy. In Chapter 5, I evaluate the impact of introducing performance-based financial incentives on staff effort and, consequently, on allocative efficiency and output in healthcare provision. I show that in the case under investigation, financial incentives conditioned on output and worth roughly 5% of total expenditures increased staff effort to the extent that output rose by over 25%, without any detectable drop in the quality of the provided services. This not only shows the potential of incentive-compatible financing to improve the performance of underfunded healthcare systems in developing countries, but also that extrinsic motivation can be used to foster behavior which benefits the society rather than just the individual.

Finally, I combine the main findings from the core chapters of the thesis in Chapter 6. I discuss their policy implications, and point out the some of the outstanding questions, outlining the directions for future research.

Understanding relations between pastoralism and its changing natural environment
Tamou, Charles - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Imke de Boer, co-promotor(en): Simon Oosting; Raimon Ripoll Bosch; I. Youssao Aboudou Karim. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431552 - 154
pastoralism - livestock - grazing - crop production - nature conservation - cattle breeds - environment - nature reserves - benin - pastoralisme - vee - begrazing - gewasproductie - natuurbescherming - rundveerassen - milieu - natuurreservaten

The competition for land has become an issue of major concern and cause of conflict, especially between pastoralists and crop farmers, but also between pastoralists and nature conservation institutions. The Biosphere Reserve of W in Benin Republic (WBR) and its surrounding lands are located in the agro-pastoral contact zone in West Africa, enabling competition for land, and affecting the relations between pastoralism and its environment. The general aim of this thesis, therefore, was to understand the relations between pastoralism and its changing natural environment. In terms of land use change, cropland area around WBR expanded, whereas grazing area reduced. Population growth and rising demand for food crops and cash crops were the indirect causes of this loss of grazing lands. Competing claims over land existed between crop farmers and pastoralists, among crop farmers, and among crop farmers, pastoralists, and the WBR authority due to past expropriation, unfair and incomplete implementation of the WBR regulations and the increasing shift of pastoral lifestyle to crop farming. In terms of effects of grazing on plant communities, highly grazed sites had more species diversity than lowly grazed sites. This suggests that the current level of grazing was not damaging plant communities’ diversity. Annual species dominated the surveyed vegetation, suggesting that restoration of grazing lands with perennials requires human intervention. Herding involves taking decisions and moving of livestock in search for feed. Herding decisions are based on traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of soil, forage and livestock. Pastoralists identified five different soils, which they selected for herding at different times of the year. Perennial grasses were perceived of high nutritional quality, whereas annuals were of low nutritional quality. Afzelia africana had high perceived quality for milk production, whereas Khaya senegalensis had the highest perceived quality for meat production, health and strength. In decision making for herding, pastoralists used a holistic approach, combining TEK about soil, vegetation and livestock, in a structured and prioritised reasoning. Changes in the pastoral system can lead to changes in desired livestock traits, which may lead to loss of indigenous breeds. Keteeji was valued for its endurance and tolerance to trypanosomiasis, Bodeeji was highly valued for endurance and Gudali was perceived of high value for meat and milk production, but of low value for endurance. To deal with the changing and unfavourable conditions of their environment, pastoralists preferred cattle breeds performing well on adaptive traits i.e. withstanding hunger, intelligence, and withstanding disease. Our results suggest that pastoralism is under pressure and that its survival depends on policies. In the pessimistic scenario, i.e. without any change, pastoralists will use, likely, the stepping-out strategy in the future. In the optimistic scenario, two possible institutional interventions could help maintaining pastoralism in the region: payments for ecosystem services provided by pastoralism, and association of pastoralism with nature conservation. In practice, however, the implementation of these two interventions is very challenging, which implies an increasing vulnerability of pastoralists and pastoral lifestyle.

Rivierenland leeft! Verbinden door samenwerking : Quickscan naar trends, kansen en opgaven met betrekking tot de leefbaarheid in Regio Rivierenland
Gies, T.J.A. ; Nieuwenhuizen, W. - \ 2017
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2777) - ISBN 9789463430791 - 41
levensomstandigheden - perceptie - omgevingspsychologie - milieu - rivierengebied - living conditions - perception - environmental psychology - environment
Leefbaarheid gaat over prettig wonen, werken en leven en is daarom is een belangrijk thema voor Regio Rivierenland, een samenwerkingsverband van tien gemeenten, te weten Buren, Culemborg, Geldermalsen, Lingewaal, Maasdriel, Neder-Betuwe, Neerrijnen, Tiel, Zaltbommel en West Maas en Waal. In deze quickscan brengen we de belangrijkste ontwikkelingen m.b.t. de leefbaarheid in beeld. We geven inzicht in de kansen en bedreigingen waarin naast de huidige situatie ook de verwachte ontwikkelingen en trends voor Regio Rivierenland geschetst worden. Daarmee concretiseren we de belangrijkste opgaven en uitdagingen voor de komende jaren in regio Rivierenland.
Decoupling : A Key Fantasy of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda
Fletcher, Robert ; Rammelt, Crelis - \ 2017
Globalizations 14 (2017)3. - ISSN 1474-7731 - p. 450 - 467.
capitalism - decoupling - environment - neoliberalism - psychoanalysis
Central to the United Nations’ post-2015 development agenda grounded in the Sustainable Development Goals is the notion of ‘decoupling’: the need to divorce economic growth from its ecological impact. For proponents, decoupling entails increasing the efficiency with which value is derived from natural resources in order to reconcile indefinite economic growth with environmental sustainability. However, even advocates admit that the idea of decoupling remains poorly conceptualized and subject to scant empirical investigation. This persistent commitment to a highly questionable idea suggests the possibility of a deeper psychological dynamic at work here. Drawing on Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, in this article we therefore analyze decoupling as a ‘fantasy’ that functions to obfuscate fundamental tensions among the goals of poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, and profitable enterprise that it is intended to reconcile. In this way, decoupling serves to sustain faith in the possibility of attaining sustainable development within the context of a neoliberal capitalist economy that necessitates continual growth to confront inherent contradictions.
Toxicity of organophosphorus pesticide sumithion on larval stages of stinging catfish Heteropneustes fossilis
Shahjahan, M. ; Kabir, M.F. ; Sumon, Kizar Ahmed ; Bhowmik, Lipi Rani ; Rashid, Harunur - \ 2017
Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology 35 (2017)1. - ISSN 0254-4059 - p. 109 - 114.
environment - fish - organophosphorus pesticide - toxicity

Sumithion is widely used to control brittle in paddy fields and tiger bug in fish larval rearing ponds. The objective of this study was to elucidate the toxic effects of sumithion on larval stages of stinging catfish Heteropneustes fossilis. Larvae were exposed to two concentrations (150 and 250 μg/L) of sumithion with one control in three replicates of each. Larvae samples were collected at 20- and 24-h intervals followed by observation under a digital microscope. Exposures of stinging catfish larvae to sumithion produced deformities including irregular head shape, lordosis, yolk sac edema, body arcuation, tissue ulceration, etc. The mortality rates of larvae were significantly increased in response to increase in sumithion concentrations. Furthermore, around 30% of the total adult stinging catfish reared in sumithiontreated aquaculture ponds were found to be deformed permanently. These findings highlight that exposure of stinging catfish to sumithion at the critical and sensitive stages in their life cycle may significantly reduce the number of returning adults. Therefore, the use of sumithion for crop protection needs to be considered carefully and alternatives to sumithion should to be developed for controlling aquatic insects in aqua-ponds during larval rearing.

The politics of environmental knowledge
Turnhout, E. - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573796 - 20 p.
milieuwetenschappen - milieu - kennis - biodiversiteit - ecosysteemdiensten - natuurbescherming - politiek - environmental sciences - environment - knowledge - biodiversity - ecosystem services - nature conservation - politics
Pionieren : jaarmagazine over het samenspel van groene burgerinitiatieven en overheden
Duinhoven, Geert van; Salverda, Irini ; Kruit, Jeroen ; Kuijper, Florien ; Janmaat, Rob - \ 2016
Wageningen : Alterra, Wageningen-UR - 48
participatie - milieu - participation - environment
Afstand tussen veehouderij en woningen : een onderzoek naar aantallen veehouderijen en woningen op minder dan 250 meter van elkaar
Os, J. van; Smidt, R.A. ; Jeurissen, L.J.J. - \ 2016
Wageningen : Alterra, Wageningen-UR (Alterra-rapport 2658) - 51
veehouderij - landbouwbedrijven - woningen - milieu - milieufactoren - nederland - livestock farming - farms - dwellings - environment - environmental factors - netherlands
Ter voorbereiding op een debat in de Tweede Kamer op 15 september 2014 heeft het ministerie van Economische Zaken aan Alterra gevraagd om te bepalen hoeveel veehouderijen er liggen op een afstand van 250 m of minder van burgerwoningen, niet zijnde agrarische bedrijfswoningen. Achtergrond van deze vraag is de mogelijke negatieve beïnvloeding van de omgevingskwaliteit van woningen door veehouderijen. Naar aanleiding van het debat en het eerste gepubliceerde document heeft het ministerie van Economische Zaken Alterra gevraagd om een actualisatie en nadere detaillering te maken van de eerste resultaten. Met behulp van GIS heeft Alterra daarop zowel voor de jaren 2011 en 2013 bepaald dat ca. 70-90% van de veehouderijen op minder dan 250 m van een woning ligt. Andersom geredeneerd ligt ca. 30-40% van de woningen in het buitengebied op minder dan 250 m van een veehouderij; voor woningen in bevolkingskernen is dat 3%. Binnen Nederland zijn er aanzienlijke verschillen tussen regio’s, vooral veroorzaakt door verschillen in dichtheid van veehouderijen en woningen.
Antibiotic residues and resistance in the environment
Pikkemaat, M.G. ; Yassin, H. ; Fels-Klerkx, H.J. ; Berendsen, B.J.A. - \ 2016
Wageningen : RIKILT Wageningen UR (RIKILT-report 2016.009) - 31
antibiotic residues - antibiotic resistance - antibiotics - environment - antibioticumresiduen - antibioticaresistentie - antibiotica - milieu
Antibiotic usage has benefited the animal industry and helped providing affordable animal proteins to the growing human population. However, since extensive use of antibiotics results in the inhibition of susceptible organisms while selecting for the resistant ones, agricultural use is contributing substantially to the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance in the environment. So far, scientific focus has predominantly been on the emergence and spread of resistant bacteria and genes into the environment as a result of veterinary treatment, in particular through manure but also through food products and direct animal contact. However, environmental contamination with antibiotic residues could also be an important factor in the selection and dissemination of antibiotic resistant bacteria. The persistence of antibiotics in the environment depends on factors like soil type and climate, but also on physical-chemical characteristics of the different types of antibiotics. Monitoring studies showed that substantial concentrations of antibiotic residues can occur in soil and water, in particular at locations close to intensive animal farming. Little is known about the concentrations that will exert selective pressure on environmental microorganisms and promote persistence or even enrichment of the environmental resistance gene pool. Traditionally, it was assumed that resistance is only induced at concentrations above the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). However, recently, evidence is accumulating that selective environments may occur at concentrations down to several hundred-folds below the MIC. However, for most of the antibiotics and environmental conditions, the minimal threshold concentrations that will induce or support propagation of antibiotic resistance in environmental microbes are still undefined. Therefore, more research is needed into the relationship between the concentrations of antibiotic residues in the environment and the prevalence and persistency of environmental antibiotic resistance. First, additional research is needed to determine what antibiotic concentrations still exert pressure on bacteria and can cause persistence or enrichment of resistant bacteria. Furthermore, the fate of antibiotics in the main reservoirs (manure, soil, water) should be studied, including antimicrobially active metabolites and their bioavailability. Finally, transmission of antibiotic compounds between reservoirs should be studied to identify the main reservoirs of interest and define intervening measures.
A new Global Agro-Environmental Stratification (GAES)
Mücher, Sander ; Simone, Lorenzo De; Kramer, Henk ; Wit, Allard de; Roupioz, Laure ; Hazeu, Gerard ; Boogaard, Hendrik ; Schuiling, Rini ; Fritz, Steffen ; Latham, John ; Cormont, Anouk - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2761) - 69
stratification - agriculture - environment - monitoring - agricultural production - sustainable agriculture - observation - stratificatie (zaden) - landbouw - milieu - landbouwproductie - duurzame landbouw - observatie
The GAES database (Version 01a) is a newly developed Global Agro-Environmental Stratification within the EU SIGMA (Stimulating Innovation for Global Monitoring of Agriculture) project. GAES will serve as a new agro-environmental stratification for better global monitoring of the agricultural production on the basis of Earth Observation data and crop growth models. It is anticipated that GAES will be exploited for a wider range of applications, some within SIGMA, towards data gap analysis that identifies agro-environmental strata with limited capacity and monitoring data on agricultural production. GAES was produced by applying segmentation techniques to newly available global agroenvironmental data with a high spatial resolution re-sampled to 1 km spatial resolution. The datasets were able to stratify the agricultural production zones according to the region’s agro-environmental characteristics, including climatic regimes, soil, terrain, elevation conditions, water availability and land cover proprieties. The GAES strata obtained by segmentation at four different spatial levels (with Level 4 as the most detailed) have been further characterised and described in terms of phenology (e.g. start and peak of the growing season), agricultural (water) management practices, field size, biotic constraints, national and sub-national crop production statistics, GDP, transport infrastructure conditions or market accessibility. The GAES database has four hierarchical layers, with 92 attributes. GAES Level 1 has 194 agro-environmental (AE) types (818 strata); GAES Level 2 has 300 AE types (1,688 strata); GAES Level 3 has 374 AE types (2,087 strata); GAES Level 4 has 516 AE types (3,208 strata). GAES typology is a combination of temperature, altitude, parent material and land cover characteristics. GAES Version 01 has become freely available.
Distance makes the mind grow broader: an overview of physiological distance studies in the environmental and health domains
Griffioen, Anouk - \ 2016
APSTRACT: Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce 10 (2016)2-3. - ISSN 1789-221X - p. 33 - 46.
psychological distance - environment - health - Construal Level Theory
Environmental and health issues are two of the most pressing issues society faces today. People often view both environmental and health issues as psychologically distant: they believe that the problems will occur in the future, to other people, in other places and that the exact outcomes are uncertain. This paper provides an overview of studies that have investigated how the different psychological distance dimensions (viz., temporal, spatial, social and hypothetical) influence perceptions, intentions, and decision making in the environmental and health domains. This overview suggests that psychological distance indeed matters in both domains. There are indications that threat perceptions are mostly hightened when communicated or perceived as being psychologically close. However, the studies also show that a mere increase in perceived threat does not necessarily alter intentions or behavior. Moreover, with regard to the effects of psychological dimensions. We discuss possible moderators that may explain the range of findings. Finally, we conclude with discussing the current stance of the literature and discuss specific research topics that are yet to be studied. As environmental and health behavior involve more than just one decision or one behavior, we suggest, for example, that future studies should investigate how psychological distance influences not only the target behavior, but related behavior as well.
An uncertain climate : the value of uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in environmental impact assessment of food
Groen, E.A. - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Imke de Boer, co-promotor(en): Eddy Bokkers; R. Heijungs. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462577558 - 239 p.
environment - environmental impact - climatic change - uncertainty analysis - screening - sensitivity analysis - modeling - greenhouse gases - farms - dairy farms - food production - correlation analysis - milieu - milieueffect - klimaatverandering - onzekerheidsanalyse - screenen - gevoeligheidsanalyse - modelleren - broeikasgassen - landbouwbedrijven - melkveebedrijven - voedselproductie - correlatieanalyse


Production of food contributes to climate change and other forms of environmental impact. Input data used in environmental impact assessment models, such as life cycle assessment (LCA) and nutrient balance (NB) analysis, may vary due to seasonal changes, geographical conditions or socio-economic factors (i.e. natural variability). Moreover, input data may be uncertain, due to measurement errors and observational errors that exist around modelling of emissions and technical parameters (i.e. epistemic uncertainty). Although agricultural activities required for food production are prone to natural variability and epistemic uncertainty, very few case studies in LCA and NB analysis made a thorough examination of the effects of variability and uncertainty. This thesis aimed to enhance understanding the effects of variability and uncertainty on the results, by means of uncertainty and sensitivity analysis. Uncertainty analysis refers to the estimation of the uncertainty attribute of a model output using the uncertainty attributes of the model in- puts. There are three types of sensitivity analyses: (I) a local sensitivity analysis addresses what happens to the output when input parameters are changed, i.e. the intrinsic model behaviour of a parameter; (II) a screening analysis addresses what happens to the output based on the un- certainty range of the different input parameters; and (III) a global sensitivity analysis addresses how much the uncertainty around each input parameter contributes to the output variance. Both the screening analysis and the global sensitivity analysis combine the intrinsic model behaviour with the information of uncertainty around input parameters. Applying uncertainty analysis and sensitivity analysis can help to reduce the efforts for data collection, support the development of mitigation strategies and improve overall reliability, leading to more informed decision making in environmental impact assessment models. Including uncertainty in environmental impact assessment models showed that: (1) the type of uncertainty analysis or sensitivity analysis applied depends on the question to be addressed and the available information; (2) in some cases it is no longer possible to benchmark environmental performance if epistemic uncertainty is included; (3) including correlations between input parameters during uncertainty propagation will either increase or decrease output variance, which can be predicted beforehand; (4) under specific characteristics of the input parameters, ignoring correlation has a minimal effect on the model outcome. Systematically combining a local and global sensitivity analysis in environmental impact assessment models: (1) resulted in more parameters than found previously in similar studies (for the case studies discussed in this thesis); (2) allowed finding mitigation options, either based on innovations (derived from the local sensitivity analysis) or on management strategies (derived from the global sensitivity analysis); (3) showed for which parameters reliability should be improved by increasing data quality; (4) showed that reducing the (epistemic) uncertainty of the most important parameters can affect the comparison of the environmental performance.

Global 1-degree maps of forest area, carbon stocks, and biomass, 1950-2010
Hengeveld, G.M. ; Gunia, K. ; Didion, M. ; Zudin, S. ; Clerkx, A.P.P.M. ; Schelhaas, M. - \ 2015
forestry - global ecological zones - environment - vegetation collections
This data set provides global forest area, forest growing stock, and forest biomass data at 1-degree resolution for the period 1950-2010. The data set is based on a compilation of forest area and growing stock data reported in international assessments performed by FAO, MCPFE (now Forest Europe), and UNECE. Data of different assessments are to the extent possible harmonized to reflect both forest area and other wooded land, to be comparable between countries and assessments.
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