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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Real Options and Environmental Policies: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Wesseler, J.H.H. ; Zhao, Jinhua - \ 2019
Annual Review of Resource Economics 11 (2019). - ISSN 1941-1340 - p. 43 - 58.
real options - environmental policy - irreversibility - precautionary principle - sustainability - technological change
The literature on real options shows that irreversibilities, uncertainties about
future benefits and costs, and the flexibility in decision making generate benefits
and costs of delaying immediate action. When applied to government
policy making, real option models can lead to efficient policies that take full
account of these trade-offs, but they can also cause strategic behavior that
tries to delay policies through influencing important elements such as downside
risks. This contribution reviews the latest developments in real option–
based policy research by looking at what we know about the benefits from
waiting (the good), the costs from waiting (the bad), and how strategic behavior
can influence policies (the ugly). Much has been said in the literature
about the good and the bad, but more work is needed to study the ugly aspects
of real option–driven policies.
The ecology of infrastructure decommissioning in the North Sea: what we need to know and how to achieve it
Fowler, A.M. ; Jørgensen, A.M. ; Coolen, J.W.P. ; Jones, D.O.B. ; Svendsen, J.C. ; Brabant, R. ; Rumes, B. ; Degraer, S. - \ 2019
ICES Journal of Marine Science (2019). - ISSN 1054-3139 - 18 p.
artificial reefs - biodiversity - conservation - decommissioning - ecosystem - marine policy - North Sea - offshore infrastructure - platform - sustainability - wind farm
As decommissioning of oil and gas (O&G) installations intensifies in the North Sea, and worldwide, debate rages regarding the fate of these novel habitats and their associated biota—a debate that has important implications for future decommissioning of offshore wind farms (OWFs). Calls to relax complete removal requirements in some circumstances and allow part of an O&G installation to be left in the marine environment are increasing. Yet knowledge regarding the biological communities that develop on these structures and their ecological role in the North Sea is currently insufficient to inform such decommissioning decisions. To focus debate regarding decommissioning policy and guide ecological research, we review environmental policy objectives in the region, summarize existing knowledge regarding ecological aspects of decommissioning for both O&G and OWF installations, and identify approaches to address knowledge gaps through science–industry collaboration. We find that in some cases complete removal will conflict with other policies regarding protection and restoration of reefs, as well as the conservation of species within the region. Key ecological considerations that are rarely considered during decommissioning decisions are: (i) provision of reef habitat, (ii) productivity of offshore ecosystems, (iii) enhancement of biodiversity, (iv) protection of the seabed from trawling, and (v) enhancement of connectivity. Knowledge gaps within these areas will best be addressed using industry infrastructure and vessels for scientific investigations, re-analysis of historical data held by industry, scientific training of industry personnel, joint research funding opportunities, and trial decommissioning projects.
Opstaan voor de biodiversiteit: ‘Kleine stapjes zijn niet genoeg, er is systeemverandering nodig
Turnhout, Esther - \ 2019
biodiversity - extinction - species richness - nature management - sustainability
Long-term sustainability of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta in question : An economic assessment of water management alternatives
Tran, Dung Duc ; Halsema, Gerardo van; Hellegers, Petra J.G.J. ; Hoang, Long Phi ; Ludwig, F. - \ 2019
Agricultural Water Management 223 (2019). - ISSN 0378-3774
flood risk - Mekong - rice production - salinity intrusion - sediment - sustainability

A dense dike system has been built in the upstream floodplains of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta, allowing large scale rice production based on compartmentalized fields and optimized water management. Intensive cultivation has enabled farmers to greatly increase their rice productivity and augment the national food bowl. However, flood-control structures have undermined the water retention capacity, compromising various benefits of floodwaters for delta ecosystems. Effects are both internal and external to farming. Negative internal effects are the large investment requirements and higher farming costs. Negative externalities include increased flood damage, reduced sediment flows, saltwater intrusion and riverbank erosion. In this study, we assessed the effects of three dike–agricultural system scenarios on delta-level sustainability, considering both internal and external effects. Direct and indirect costs were estimated using various methodologies and the literature. Our findings show that extensive development of high dikes on the floodplains is the least economical and most ecologically risky alternative. In this scenario, accelerated high-dike construction exacted a cost 136% greater than the situation represented by the baseline year of 2011. Externalities in this scenario contributed to rising economic losses in both aquaculture and agriculture. The scenario of transforming high-dike into low-dike systems revealed lower water management costs combined with lesser environmental impacts and greater capacity to exploit floodwater benefits. Our findings provide a useful input for decision-makers considering the unintended economic consequences of existing water management strategies. They support a transition to low-dike farming systems for a more sustainable delta.

A harbour on land: De Ceuvel’s topologies of creative reuse
Barba Lata, Iulian ; Duineveld, Martijn - \ 2019
Environment and Planning A 51 (2019)8. - ISSN 0308-518X - p. 1758 - 1774.
archiving - Creative reuse - experimentation - infrastructures of curatorship - sustainability

In this paper we explore creative reuse as a critical and imaginative mode of urban practice. By engaging with the case of De Ceuvel, an experimental community located in Amsterdam Noord, we submit three main affordances of creative reuse. Reuse value is accordingly discussed in relation to (a) abandonment, (b) the co-constitutive character of experimentation, and (c) the circulation of heterogeneous ideas and materials. In moving beyond circumstances of disposal and dissolution, the three affordances are evocative of a salvage value regime, which transcends conventional narratives of the city and a siloed treatment of urban sustainability. Based on the findings, we suggest that creative reuse interventions enact infrastructures of curatorship, capable of unsettling particular ways of dwelling, learning and narrating the city.

Long-term strategies for sustainable biomass imports in European bioenergy markets
Pelkmans, Luc ; Dael, Miet Van; Junginger, Martin ; Fritsche, Uwe R. ; Diaz-Chavez, Rocio ; Nabuurs, Gert Jan ; Campo Colmenar, Ines Del; Gonzalez, David Sanchez ; Rutz, Dominik ; Janssen, Rainer - \ 2019
Biofuels Bioproducts and Biorefining 13 (2019)2. - ISSN 1932-104X - p. 388 - 404.
biomass - energy policy - lignocellulosic biomass - sustainability - trade - wood pellets

Projections show that biomass will remain important for reaching future EU renewable energy targets. In addition to using domestic biomass, European bioenergy markets will also partly rely on imports of biomass, in particular in trade-oriented EU member states like the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark. There has been a lot of debate on the sustainability of (imported) biomass and how policy should deal with this. In this research, therefore, we defined long-term strategies for sustainable biomass imports in European bioenergy markets. We used the input of different stakeholders in our approach through focus-group discussions and a global survey, focusing on the following aspects: key principles of sustainable biomass trade, risks and opportunities of biomass trade, both for import regions (EU countries) and for sourcing regions, and practical barriers for trade. Overall we conclude that policies should be stable and consistent within a long-term vision. An overall sustainability assurance framework of biomass production and use is key, but should ultimately apply to all end uses of biomass. Furthermore, the mobilization of biomass should be supported, as well as commoditization, considering the large diversity of biomass. Side impacts of biomass use should be monitored. Reducing investors’ risk perception is crucial for future developments in the biobased economy, and a clear policy to phase out fossil fuels, e.g. through a carbon tax, needs to be implemented. The results of this research are of interest for policy makers when deciding on long-term strategies concerning sustainable bioenergy markets.

Lesmateriaal over “Duurzame melkveehouderij” voor MBO
Plomp, M. ; Doornewaard, G.J. ; Zijlstra, J. - \ 2018
Wageningen : Wageningen Livestock Research - 19 p.
animal welfare - teaching materials - animal production - intermediate vocational training - sustainability - greenhouse gases - ammonia - biodiversity - minerals - cycling
Deze bundel is gemaakt binnen het project ‘Ondersteuning CIV Melkveehouderij – 2018’ onder verantwoordelijkheid van Wageningen Research. De productie ervan is mede mogelijk gemaakt door de financiering van het project vanuit de WURKS-regeling.
Groene revolutie helpt honger de wereld uit
Rabbinge, R. - \ 2018
Milieu (2018)6. - ISSN 0920-2234 - p. 12 - 14.
biobased economy - biomass - food - sustainability - biobased materials
De wereld produceert voldoende voedsel om alle
monden te voeden en toch wordt er nog heel veel honger
geleden. Hoe kan dat en wat hebben we in de 20e eeuw
wel en niet tot stand gebracht? Welke grote trends
op het gebied van landbouw en voedselvoorziening
hebben zich voorgedaan en welke grote verande-
ringen hebben daarbij in het karakter van landbouw
Circular agriculture has already started
Zanten, Hannah van; Boer, Imke de; Oenema, Oene ; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Sukkel, Wijnand ; Poppe, Krijn ; Scholten, Martin - \ 2018
agriculture - cycling - biobased economy - agricultural wastes - biomass - sustainability
Public and Private Governance in Interaction: Changing Interpretations of Sovereignty in the Field of Sustainable Palm Oil
Schouten, A.M. ; Hospes, O. - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)12. - ISSN 2071-1050 - 15 p.
VSS - public–private interactions - sovereignty - sustainability - palm oil
Since the 1990s, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and businesses have gained prominence as architects of new forms of transnational governance creating Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS). The legitimacy and effectiveness of VSS are dependent on interactions with public authorities and regulation. While studies suggest that the (perceived) gain or loss of sovereignty by a state shapes public–private interactions, we have little understanding on how states use or interpret sovereignty in their interactions with VSS. In this paper, we explore what interpretations of sovereignty are used by states at different ends of global value chains in interactions with VSS. Based on a comparative and longitudinal study of interactions of Indonesian and Dutch state actors with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, we conclude that states strategically use different and changing notions of sovereignty to control the policy and debate regarding sustainable palm oil.When interactions between public and private governance are coordinative in nature, notions of interdependent sovereignty are used. However, when interactions are competitive, domestic and Westphalian notions of sovereignty are used. Our results show conflicting interpretations and usages of sovereignty by different states, which might negatively impact the regulatory capacity within an issue field to address sustainability issues.
Omgevingswet zet energietransitie op achterstand
Kistenkas, F.H. ; Heide, C.M. van der - \ 2018
Tijdschrift Milieu : Vereniging van milieuprofessionals 24 (2018)7. - p. 14 - 15.
biobased economy - climate - renewable energy - sustainability - energy policy
Toward Sustainable Biofuels in the European Union? Lessons from a Decade of Hybrid Biofuel Governance
Stattman, S.L. ; Gupta, A. ; Partzsch, Lena ; Oosterveer, P.J.M. - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)11. - ISSN 2071-1050
biofuels - European Union - Renewable Energy Directive (RED) - hybrid governance - sustainability - certification - multi-stakeholder initiatives
The European Union (EU) stands at a crossroads regarding its biofuel policies. For more than a decade, the EU sought to create a market for and govern sustainable biofuels for the transport sector, even as debates over sustainability escalated. It did so by devising novel hybrid (public and private) governance arrangements. We took stock of the nature and outcomes of this experiment in hybrid biofuel governance. We relied on qualitative methods of analysis, whereby we reviewed and synthesized the evolution of EU biofuel governance arrangements over time, through detailed document analysis of secondary and primary literature, including EU and related policy documents and private certification scheme websites. Our analysis reveals that, instead of yielding an increasingly stringent sustainability framework, the hybrid EU governance arrangements resulted
in a proliferation of relatively lax, industry-driven, sustainability standards, even as the notion of “sustainable biofuels” remained contested in public and political debate. These findings contribute to an ongoing debate about the merits of hybrid (public–private) governance arrangements, and whether a hybrid approach helps strengthen or weaken sustainability objectives. We conclude that a more stringent EU meta-standard on sustainability needs to be developed, to underpin future governance arrangements.
Implementing a palm oil-based biodiesel policy: The case of Thailand
Nupueng, S. ; Oosterveer, P.J.M. ; Mol, A.P.J. - \ 2018
Energy Science & Engineering 6 (2018)6. - ISSN 2050-0505 - p. 643 - 657.
biodiesel - energy policy - palm oil - sustainability - Thailand
Renewable energy promotion is recognized as an important goal in international climate policies in order to reduce CO2-emissions. Biodiesel can potentially be an important contributor in this respect, especially in Thailand with its large biomass production from oil palm cultivation. Palm oil is the main raw feedstock for biodiesel production. However, biodiesel production is also controversial in many respects, in particular considering its sustainability. This paper assesses the collaboration between different actors in the Thai biodiesel and oil palm networks in organizing biodiesel provision. Through qualitative interviews with key political, economic, and societal actors the structure and the dynamic of the biodiesel and oil palm industry, as well as the relevant policy dynamics, were investigated. We found that the implementation of biodiesel policy was dominated by the need to secure the production of palm oil-based
cooking oil leading to frequent adjustments. Sustainable improvement
and environmental considerations hardly played a role in the interactions between the actors involved in the palm oil and biodiesel industries. Government
agencies were dominant and steered the biodiesel and the oil palm industries both directly and indirectly via economic and societal actors. Nevertheless, the promotion of biodiesel continues to be the basis of the national renewable energy master plan with its clear target to balance and stabilize the economic, social and environmental issues. As the renewable energy master plan does not fit with the possible feedstock, the main challenges in achieving these sustainable targets are therefore how to maintain a stable and consistent policy, especially concerning balancing the palm oil used for biodiesel production on the one hand and palm oil-based cooking oil on the other.
Groene Mineralen Centrale : Duurzame productie van mineralen, biogas en schoon water
Schoumans, O.F. ; Regelink, I.C. ; Ehlert, P.A.I. - \ 2018
Wageningen : Wageningen University & Research
SYSTEMIC Newsletter, issue 1
Schoumans, O.F. ; Regelink, I.C. ; Ehlert, P.A.I. - \ 2018
Wageningen : Wageningen University & Research - 3 p.
EU H2020
Review: Make ruminants green again - How can sustainable intensification and agroecology converge for a better future?
Dumont, B. ; Groot, J.C.J. ; Tichit, M. - \ 2018
Animal 12 (2018)s2. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. s210 - s219.
ecosystem services - efficiency - food systems - redesign - sustainability

Livestock farming systems provide multiple benefits to humans: protein-rich diets that contribute to food security, employment and rural economies, capital stock and draught power in many developing countries and cultural landscape all around the world. Despite these positive contributions to society, livestock is also the centre of many controversies as regards to its environmental impacts, animal welfare and health outcomes related to excessive meat consumption. Here, we review the potentials of sustainable intensification (SI) and agroecology (AE) in the design of sustainable ruminant farming systems. We analyse the two frameworks in a historical perspective and show that they are underpinned by different values and worldviews about food consumption patterns, the role of technology and our relationship with nature. Proponents of SI see the increase in animal protein demand as inevitable and therefore aim at increasing production from existing farmland to limit further encroachment into remaining natural ecosystems. Sustainable intensification can thus be seen as an efficiency-oriented framework that benefits from all forms of technological development. Proponents of AE appear more open to dietary shifts towards less animal protein consumption to rebalance the whole food system. Agroecology promotes system redesign, benefits from functional diversity and aims at providing regulating and cultural services. We analyse the main criticisms of the two frameworks: Is SI sustainable? How much can AE contribute to feeding the world? Indeed, in SI, social justice has long lacked attention notably with respect to resource allocation within and between generations. It is only recently that some of its proponents have indicated that there is room to include more diversified systems and food-system transformation perspectives and to build socially fair governance systems. As no space is available for agricultural land expansion in many areas, agroecological approaches that emphasise the importance of local production should also focus more on yield increases from agricultural land. Our view is that new technologies and strict certifications offer opportunities for scaling-up agroecological systems. We stress that the key issue for making digital science part of the agroecological transition is that it remains at a low cost and is thus accessible to smallholder farmers. We conclude that SI and AE could converge for a better future by adopting transformative approaches in the search for ecologically benign, socially fair and economically viable ruminant farming systems.

Three pillars of sustainability in fisheries
Asche, F. ; Garlock, Taryn M. ; Anderson, J.L. ; Bush, S.R. ; Smith, Martin D. ; Anderson, Christopher M. ; Chu, Jingjie ; Garrett, K.A. ; Lem, Audun ; Lorenzen, K. ; Oglend, Atle ; Tveteras, Sigbjorn ; Vannuccini, Stefania - \ 2018
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115 (2018)44. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 11221 - 11225.
seafood - sustainability - social - economic - environmental
Sustainability of global fisheries is a growing concern. The United Nations has identified three pillars of sustainability: economic development, social development, and environmental protection. The fisheries literature suggests that there are two key trade-offs among these pillars of sustainability. First, poor ecological health of a fishery reduces economic profits for fishers, and second, economic profitability of individual fishers undermines the social objectives of fishing communities. Although recent research has shown that management can reconcile ecological and economic objectives, there are lingering concerns about achieving positive social outcomes. We examined trade-offs among the three pillars of sustainability by analyzing the Fishery Performance Indicators, a unique dataset that scores 121 distinct fishery systems worldwide on 68 metrics categorized by social, economic, or ecological outcomes. For each of the 121 fishery systems, we averaged the outcome measures to create overall scores for economic, ecological, and social performance. We analyzed the scores and found that they were positively associated in the full sample. We divided the data into subsamples that correspond to fisheries management systems with three categories of access—open access, access rights, and harvest rights—and performed a similar analysis. Our results show that economic, social, and ecological objectives are at worst independent and are mutually reinforcing in both types of managed fisheries. The implication is that rights-based management systems should not be rejected on the basis of potentially negative social outcomes; instead, social considerations should be addressed in the design of these systems.
Political Consumerism for Sustainable Tourism: A Review
Lamers, M.A.J. ; Nawijn, Jeroen ; Eijgelaar, Eke - \ 2018
In: The Oxford Handbook of Political Consumerism / Boström, Magnus, Micheletti, Michelle, Oosterveer, Peter, Oxford University Press (Oxford Handbook Online ) - ISBN 9780190629038 - 21 p.
tourism - sustainability - political consumerism - carbon - inconsistency - home and away gap - social practices
Over the last decades a substantial and growing societal and academic interest has emerged for the development of sustainable tourism. Scholars have highlighted the contribution of tourism to global environmental change and to local, detrimental social and environmental effects as well as to ways in which tourism contributes to nature conservation. Nevertheless the role of tourist consumers in driving sustainable tourism has remained unconvincing and inconsistent. This chapter reviews the constraints and opportunities of political consumerism for sustainable tourism. The discussion covers stronger pockets and a key weak pocket of political consumerism for sustainable tourism
and also highlights inconsistencies in sustainable tourism consumption by drawing on a range of social theory arguments and possible solutions. The chapter concludes with an agenda for future research on this topic.
Data from: Towards smarter harvesting from natural palm populations by sparing the individuals that contribute most to population growth or productivity
Jansen, M. ; Anten, N.P.R. ; Bongers, F. ; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel ; Zuidema, P.A. - \ 2018
Chamaedorea - forest management - harvest simulations - individual heterogenity - Integral Project Model - leaf harvesting - NFTP - sustainability - Chamaedorea elegans
1. Natural populations deliver a wide range of products that provide income for millions of people and need to be exploited sustainably. Large heterogeneity in individual performance within these exploited populations has the potential to improve population recovery after exploitation and thus help sustaining yields over time. 2. We explored the potential of using individual heterogeneity to design smarter harvest schemes, by sparing individuals that contribute most to future productivity and population growth, using the understorey palm Chamaedorea elegans as a model system. Leaves of this palm are an important non-timber forest product and long-term inter-individual growth variability can be evaluated from internode lengths. 3. We studied a population of 830 individuals, half of which was subjected to a 67 % defoliation treatment for three years. We measured effects of defoliation on vital rates and leaf size – a trait that determines marketability. We constructed integral projection models in which vital rates depended on stem length, past growth rate, and defoliation, and evaluated transient population dynamics to quantify population development and leaf yield. We then simulated scenarios in which we spared individuals that were either most important for population growth or had leaves smaller than marketable size. 4. Individuals varying in size or past growth rate responded similarly to leaf harvesting in terms of growth and reproduction. By contrast, defoliation-induced reduction in survival chance was smaller in large individuals than in small ones. Simulations showed that harvest-induced population decline was much reduced when individuals from size and past growth classes that contributed most to population growth were spared. Under this scenario cumulative leaf harvest over 20 years was somewhat reduced, but long-term leaf production was sustained. A three-fold increase in leaf yield was generated when individuals with small leaves are spared. 5. Synthesis and applications This study demonstrates the potential to create smarter systems of palm leaf harvest by accounting for individual heterogeneity within exploited populations. Sparing individuals that contribute most to population growth ensured sustained leaf production over time. The concepts and methods presented here are generally applicable to exploited plant and animal species which exhibit considerable individual heterogeneity.
Tradeoffs in the quest for climate smart agricultural intensification in Mato Grosso, Brazil
Gil, Juliana D.B. ; Garrett, Rachael D. ; Rotz, Alan ; Daioglou, Vassilis ; Valentim, Judson ; Pires, Gabrielle F. ; Costa, Marcos H. ; Lopes, Luciano ; Reis, Julio C. - \ 2018
Environmental Research Letters 13 (2018)6. - ISSN 1748-9318
climate scenarios - integrated crop-livestock systems - low carbon agriculture - pasture intensification - sustainability

Low productivity cattle ranching, with its linkages to rural poverty, deforestation and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, remains one of the largest sustainability challenges in Brazil and has impacts worldwide. There is a nearly universal call to intensify extensive beef cattle production systems to spare land for crop production and nature and to meet Brazil's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution to reducing global climate change. However, different interventions aimed at the intensification of livestock systems in Brazil may involve substantial social and environmental tradeoffs. Here we examine these tradeoffs using a whole-farm model calibrated for the Brazilian agricultural frontier state of Mato Grosso, one of the largest soybean and beef cattle production regions in the world. Specifically, we compare the costs and benefits of a typical extensive, continuously grazed cattle system relative to a specialized soybean production system and two improved cattle management strategies (rotational grazing and integrated soybean-cattle) under different climate scenarios. We found clear tradeoffs in GHG and nitrogen emissions, climate resilience, and water and energy use across these systems. Relative to continuously grazed or rotationally grazed cattle systems, the integreated soybean-cattle system showed higher food production and lower GHG emissions per unit of human digestible protein, as well as increased resilience under climate change (both in terms of productivity and financial returns). All systems suffered productivity and profitability losses under severe climate change, highlighting the need for climate smart agricultural development strategies in the region. By underscoring the economic feasibility of improving the performance of cattle systems, and by quantifying the tradeoffs of each option, our results are useful for directing agricultural and climate policy.

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