Records 1 - 20 / 1054
Pantropical variability in tree crown allometry
Loubota Panzou, Grace Jopaul ; Fayolle, Adeline ; Jucker, Tommaso ; Phillips, Oliver L. ; Bohlman, Stephanie ; Banin, Lindsay F. ; Lewis, Simon L. ; Affum-Baffoe, Kofi ; Alves, Luciana F. ; Antin, Cécile ; Arets, Eric ; Arroyo, Luzmila ; Baker, Timothy R. ; Barbier, Nicolas ; Beeckman, Hans ; Berger, Uta ; Bocko, Yannick Enock ; Bongers, Frans ; Bowers, Sam ; Brade, Thom ; Brondizio, Eduardo S. ; Chantrain, Arthur ; Chave, Jerome ; Compaore, Halidou ; Coomes, David ; Diallo, Adama ; Dias, Arildo S. ; Dimobe, Kangbéni ; Djagbletey, Gloria Djaney ; Domingues, Tomas ; Doucet, Jean Louis ; Drouet, Thomas ; Forni, Eric ; Godlee, John L. ; Goodman, Rosa C. ; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie ; Hien, Fidele ; Iida, Yoshiko ; Ilondea, Bhely Angoboy ; Ilunga Muledi, Jonathan ; Jacques, Pierre ; Kuyah, Shem ; López-Portillo, Jorge ; Loumeto, Jean Joël ; Marimon-Junior, Ben Hur ; Marimon, Beatriz Schwantes ; Mensah, Sylvanus ; Mitchard, Edward T.A. ; Moncrieff, Glenn R. ; Narayanan, Ayyappan ; O’Brien, Sean T. ; Ouedraogo, Korotimi ; Palace, Michael W. ; Pelissier, Raphael ; Ploton, Pierre ; Poorter, Lourens ; Ryan, Casey M. ; Saiz, Gustavo ; Santos, Karin dos; Schlund, Michael ; Sellan, Giacomo ; Sonke, Bonaventure ; Sterck, Frank ; Thibaut, Quentin ; Hoef, Yorick Van; Veenendaal, Elmar ; Vovides, Alejandra G. ; Xu, Yaozhan ; Yao, Tze Leong ; Feldpausch, Ted R. - \ 2020
Global Ecology and Biogeography (2020). - ISSN 1466-822X
crown allometry - environment - forest - precipitation - savanna - soil - stand-level variable - tropical biomes
Aim: Tree crowns determine light interception, carbon and water exchange. Thus, understanding the factors causing tree crown allometry to vary at the tree and stand level matters greatly for the development of future vegetation modelling and for the calibration of remote sensing products. Nevertheless, we know little about large-scale variation and determinants in tropical tree crown allometry. In this study, we explored the continental variation in scaling exponents of site-specific crown allometry and assessed their relationships with environmental and stand-level variables in the tropics. Location: Global tropics. Time period: Early 21st century. Major taxa studied: Woody plants. Methods: Using a dataset of 87,737 trees distributed among 245 forest and savanna sites across the tropics, we fitted site-specific allometric relationships between crown dimensions (crown depth, diameter and volume) and stem diameter using power-law models. Stand-level and environmental drivers of crown allometric relationships were assessed at pantropical and continental scales. Results: The scaling exponents of allometric relationships between stem diameter and crown dimensions were higher in savannas than in forests. We identified that continental crown models were better than pantropical crown models and that continental differences in crown allometric relationships were driven by both stand-level (wood density) and environmental (precipitation, cation exchange capacity and soil texture) variables for both tropical biomes. For a given diameter, forest trees from Asia and savanna trees from Australia had smaller crown dimensions than trees in Africa and America, with crown volumes for some Asian forest trees being smaller than those of trees in African forests. Main conclusions: Our results provide new insight into geographical variability, with large continental differences in tropical tree crown allometry that were driven by stand-level and environmental variables. They have implications for the assessment of ecosystem function and for the monitoring of woody biomass by remote sensing techniques in the global tropics.
Visualization in environmental policy and planning: a systematic review and research agenda
Metze, Tamara - \ 2020
Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 22 (2020)5. - ISSN 1523-908X - p. 745 - 760.
data-visualization - environment - planning - public - Visualization
Visualizations are increasingly important for environmental policy and planning. They have great impact on how we perceive environmental problems, their solutions, and if we consider policies legitimate. The systematic review in this paper brings together 20 years of studies in visualization in environmental policy and planning. This review shows that over the last two decades, more and more studies have demonstrated that visualization plays a role in data-communication, influences decision making, public perception, public participation, and knowledge cocreation. Based on the systematic review, three research lines are developed that aim to better take into account the challenges of a global and active public that through internet and social media is formed around environmental and planning issues. We can do this by (1) moving beyond a knowledge deficit model (2) pay more attention to the material dimensions of visualizations and their role in opening up spaces for cocreation, and (3) include the study of found images as these contain information on public sentiment, and are a form of public accountability.
Symposium review : Future of housing for dairy cattle
Galama, P.J. ; Ouweltjes, W. ; Endres, M.I. ; Sprecher, J.R. ; Leso, L. ; Kuipers, A. ; Klopčič, M. - \ 2020
Journal of Dairy Science 103 (2020)6. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 5759 - 5772.
dairy cattle - environment - housing - innovation - welfare
The objective of this review was to describe recent changes and expected developments in housing systems for dairy cows. These new developments should create an appropriate production environment for modern high-producing dairy cows and stimulate dairy farming-related developments in management, agro-technology, and equipment. Increased labor efficiency has been an important driver of the change from tie-stall barns to cubicle barns (also known as freestall barns). In future housing systems, the natural behavior of cows, climate control, emissions of ammonia and greenhouse gases, reuse of waste, manure quality, the aesthetics of buildings in the landscape, and capital efficiency are becoming increasingly important elements. To address future requirements, new concepts beyond cubicle barns must be developed. Freewalk housing systems; that is, loose housing systems without cubicles, would meet some of these future demands. These systems operate with composting bedding material or artificial permeable floors as lying and walking areas. However, these barns are still in development. Combinations of cubicle and freewalk housing systems, together with other techniques being developed, might become a major future housing system. Other techniques and systems that are being explored according to sustainability criteria include the multi-climate shed, the CowToilet (Hanskamp AgroTech, Doetinchem, the Netherlands) to separate feces and urine, and multifunctional buildings. These buildings and techniques can be part of land-based or, less commonly, city-based farming systems, such as floating farms.
Integrative policy development for healthier people and ecosystems : A European case analysis
White, Piran C.L. ; Guégan, Jean François ; Keune, Hans ; Bell, Sian De; Geijzendorffer, Ilse R. ; Hermans, Tia ; Prieur-Richard, Anne Hélène ; Iroegbu, Chinny ; Stone, Dave ; Vanwambeke, Sophie ; Vries, Sjerp de; Ford, Adriana ; Graham, Hilary - \ 2020
Area 52 (2020)3. - ISSN 0004-0894 - p. 495 - 504.
biodiversity - cross-sectoral policy - ecosystem services - environment - evidence - public health
There is growing evidence of the inter-relationships between ecosystems and public health. This creates opportunities for the development of cross-sectoral policies and interventions that provide dual benefits to public health and to the natural environment. These benefits are increasingly articulated in strategy documents at national and regional level, yet implementation of integrative policies on the ground remains limited and fragmented. Here, we use a workshop approach to identify some features of this evidence–implementation gap based on policy and practice within a number of western European countries. The driving forces behind some recent moves towards more integrative policy development and implementation show important differences between countries, reflecting the non-linear and complex nature of the policy-making process. We use these case studies to illustrate some of the key barriers to greater integrative policy development identified in the policy analysis literature. Specific barriers we identify include: institutional barriers; differing time perspectives in public health and ecosystem management; contrasting historical development of public health and natural environment disciplinary policy agendas; an incomplete evidence base relating investment in the natural environment to benefits for public health; a lack of appropriate outcome measures including benefit–cost trade-offs; and finally a lack of integrative policy frameworks across the health and natural environment sectors. We also identify opportunities for greater policy integration and examples of good practice from different countries. However, we note there is no single mechanism that will deliver integrative policy for healthier people and ecosystems in all countries and situations. National governments, national public agencies, local governments, research institutions, and professional bodies all share a responsibility to identify and seize opportunities for influencing policy change, whether incremental or abrupt, to ensure that ecosystems and the health of society are managed so that the interests of future generations, as well as present generations, can be protected.
Limited presence of Waddlia chondrophila in drinking water systems in the Netherlands
Dooremalen, W.T.M. van; Learbuch, K.L.G. ; Morré, S.A. ; Wielen, P.W.J.J. van der; Ammerdorffer, A. - \ 2020
New Microbes and New Infections 34 (2020). - ISSN 2052-2975
Amoebae - Chlamydiales - drinking water - environment - one health - Waddlia chondrophila
Waddlia chondrophila is an emerging pathogen belonging to the order of Chlamydiales. This obligate intracellular bacterium was initially isolated from an aborted bovine fetus and is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes in women. The ability of W. chondrophila to reside and replicate within a range of free-living amoebae implies a possible widespread environmental presence. Potential hosts of W. chondrophila are present in Dutch drinking water. This study therefore investigated the presence of W. chondrophila DNA in drinking water by analysing 59 samples from ten drinking water systems throughout the Netherlands. Samples were taken at three distances from the treatment plant, during both summer and winter. Twelve of the samples were positive, originating from two of the treatment plants, of which three samples were quantifiable.
SHARP Indicators Database: Towards a public database for environmental sustainability
Mertens, E. ; Kaptijn, Gerdine ; Kuijsten, A. ; Zanten, H.H.E. van; Geleijnse, J.M. ; Veer, P. van 't - \ 2019
environment - greenhouse gas emission (GHGE) - land use (LU) - life cycle analyses (LCA) - Europe - food - diet
In the SHARP-ID, environmental impact assessment was based on attributional life cycle analyses using environmental indicators greenhouse gas emission (GHGE) and land use (LU). Life cycle inventory data of 182 primary products were combined with data on production, trade and transport, and adjusted for consumption amount using conversions factors for production, edible portion, cooking losses and gains, and for food losses and waste in order to derive estimates of GHGE and LU for the foods as eaten.
Invited review: Nitrogen in ruminant nutrition: A review of measurement techniques
Hristov, A.N. ; Bannink, A. ; Crompton, L.A. ; Huhtanen, P. ; Kreuzer, M. ; McGee, M. ; Nozière, P. ; Reynolds, C.K. ; Bayat, A.R. ; Yáñez-Ruiz, D.R. ; Dijkstra, J. ; Kebreab, E. ; Schwarm, A. ; Shingfield, K.J. ; Yu, Z. - \ 2019
Journal of Dairy Science 102 (2019)7. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 5811 - 5852.
environment - manure - metabolism - nitrogen - ruminant animal - technique
Nitrogen is a component of essential nutrients critical for the productivity of ruminants. If excreted in excess, N is also an important environmental pollutant contributing to acid deposition, eutrophication, human respiratory problems, and climate change. The complex microbial metabolic activity in the rumen and the effect on subsequent processes in the intestines and body tissues make the study of N metabolism in ruminants challenging compared with nonruminants. Therefore, using accurate and precise measurement techniques is imperative for obtaining reliable experimental results on N utilization by ruminants and evaluating the environmental impacts of N emission mitigation techniques. Changeover design experiments are as suitable as continuous ones for studying protein metabolism in ruminant animals, except when changes in body weight or carryover effects due to treatment are expected. Adaptation following a dietary change should be allowed for at least 2 (preferably 3) wk, and extended adaptation periods may be required if body pools can temporarily supply the nutrients studied. Dietary protein degradability in the rumen and intestines are feed characteristics determining the primary AA available to the host animal. They can be estimated using in situ, in vitro, or in vivo techniques with each having inherent advantages and disadvantages. Accurate, precise, and inexpensive laboratory assays for feed protein availability are still needed. Techniques used for direct determination of rumen microbial protein synthesis are laborious and expensive, and data variability can be unacceptably large; indirect approaches have not shown the level of accuracy required for widespread adoption. Techniques for studying postruminal digestion and absorption of nitrogenous compounds, urea recycling, and mammary AA metabolism are also laborious, expensive (especially the methods that use isotopes), and results can be variable, especially the methods based on measurements of digesta or blood flow. Volatile loss of N from feces and particularly urine can be substantial during collection, processing, and analysis of excreta, compromising the accuracy of measurements of total-tract N digestion and body N balance. In studying ruminant N metabolism, nutritionists should consider the longer term fate of manure N as well. Various techniques used to determine the effects of animal nutrition on total N, ammonia- or nitrous oxide-emitting potentials, as well as plant fertilizer value, of manure are available. Overall, methods to study ruminant N metabolism have been developed over 150 yr of animal nutrition research, but many of them are laborious and impractical for application on a large number of animals. The increasing environmental concerns associated with livestock production systems necessitate more accurate and reliable methods to determine manure N emissions in the context of feed composition and ruminant N metabolism.
Methodologies for Assessing Disease Tolerance in Pigs
Nakov, Dimitar ; Hristov, Slavcha ; Stankovic, Branislav ; Pol, Françoise ; Ivan Dimitrov, Ivan ; Dixhoorn, I.D.E. van - \ 2019
- p. 12 - 12.
behavior - disease tolerance - environment - performance - stress
Features of intensive farming can seriously threaten pig homeostasis, well-being and productivity. Disease tolerance of an organism is the adaptive ability in preserving homeostasis and at the same time limiting the detrimental impact that infection can inflict on its health and performance without affecting pathogen burden per se. While disease resistance (DRs) can be assessed measuring appropriately the pathogen burden within the host, the tolerance cannot be quantified easily. Indeed, it requires the assessment of the changes in performance as well as the changes in pathogen burden. In this paper, special attention is given to criteria required to standardize methodologies for assessing disease tolerance (DT) in respect of infectious diseases in pigs. The concept is applied to different areas of expertise and specific examples are given. The basic physiological mechanisms of DT are reviewed. Disease tolerance pathways, genetics of the tolerance-related traits, stress and disease tolerance, and role of metabolic stress in DT are described. In addition, methodologies based on monitoring of growth and reproductive performance, welfare, emotional affective states, sickness behavior for assessment of disease tolerance, and methodologies based on the relationship between environmental challenges and disease tolerance are considered. Automated Precision Livestock Farming technologies available for monitoring performance, health and welfare-related measures in pig farms, and their limitations regarding DT in pigs are also presented. Since defining standardized methodologies for assessing DT is a serious challenge for biologists, animal scientists and veterinarians, this work should contribute to improvement of health, welfare and production in pigs.
Dooren, H.J.C. van; Mosquera Losada, J. ; Bokma, S. ; Groenestein, C.M. - \ 2018
Wageningen : Wageningen Livestock Research - 5 p.
animal welfare - animal production - dairy cattle - animal housing - environment - emission - teaching materials - intermediate vocational training
Door onderzoekers van Wageningen Livestock Research is het belang aangegeven om de emissie van ammoniak terug te dringen en zijn oplossingsrichtingen aangegeven. De volgende thema’s worden toegelicht: 1.Ammoniakproblematiek 2.Meten ammoniakemissie in stal 3.Oplossingsrichtingen verminderen emissie
Groen in de stad : Klimaat en temperatuur
Hiemstra, J.A. - \ 2018
Wageningen University & Research - 6 p.
climate - plantations - greening - trees - temperature - air quality - environment - water harvesting - biodiversity - management of urban green areas - public green areas - towns - urban areas - climate adaptation
Groen in de stad : Luchtkwaliteit
Hiemstra, J.A. - \ 2018
Wageningen University & Research - 6 p.
greening - plantations - air quality - water harvesting - health - environment - climate
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 - biogas - 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 - biobased economy - 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
economics - cycling - projects - renewable energy - recycling - sustainability - durability - politics - policy - environment - economie - kringlopen - projecten - hernieuwbare energie - recycling - 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
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): E.H. Bulte, co-promotor(en): F. 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
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): I.J.M. Boer, co-promotor(en): S.J. Oosting; R. 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 - benin
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.