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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    Impact and Opportunities of Agroecological Intensification Strategies on Farm Performance : A Case Study of Banana-Based Systems in Central and South-Western Uganda
    Gambart, Clara ; Swennen, Rony ; Blomme, Guy ; Groot, Jeroen C.J. ; Remans, Roseline ; Ocimati, Walter - \ 2020
    Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 4 (2020). - ISSN 2571-581X
    agroecology - farm optimization - farm performance - farm typology - FarmDESIGN - nutritional yield - profitability - sustainability

    Agroecological intensification (AEI) practices relying on on-farm diversity tend to close nutrient cycles and reduce dependency on external inputs in agricultural systems. These practices improve the productivity of banana-based systems in Uganda, but their extent of implementation differs between and within regions. However, the impact of AEI practices on a broader range of objectives including environmental and nutritional objectives, is hardly quantified. Additionally, recommendations to improve the farm performance, given these options, are lacking. We, therefore, analyzed the current farm performance for these broad range of objectives and explored optimal farm reconfigurations in two Ugandan districts, one in Central Uganda and one in Southwestern (SW) Uganda. Given the heterogeneity of smallholder farms, a farm typology based on the applied AEI practices was developed. It classified the subsistence farms in Central Uganda into two extreme groups with an average of 11.0 and 16.4 AEI practices applied per farm. Farms in SW Uganda were moderately intensified (i.e., 13.0 practices). The FarmDESIGN model revealed a higher species diversity, relatively higher profitability (2,039 – 3,270 $/ha/year) and nutritional yield on farms in Central Uganda. However, relatively high soil erosion levels (0.243 – 0.240) and negative nitrogen (N) balances (−72 to −50 kg N/ha/year) were indicative of unsustainable practices. In contrast, farms in SW Uganda were less diverse and more market oriented. Their commercial orientation allowed investments in soil fertility management, resulting in more sustainable [low soil erosion level (0.172) and positive N balance (5 kg/ha/year)], but less profitable (506 $/ha/year) systems. To improve farm performance, bananas and other perennials played a key role. Explorations with Calliandra calothyrsus (Calliandra) hedgerow or Mucuna pruriens (Mucuna) cover crop increased on-farm mulch production, improved sustainability indicators and profitability. We conclude that AEI practices can improve farm performance, and a more intensive use would be beneficial. In addition, the FarmDESIGN model provides a useful tool for redesigning these farms, proposing different redesigns depending on farmers' objectives (profitability, productivity or sustainability), and for evaluating ex ante the impact of new agricultural measures on farm performance.

    Multi-stakeholder participation for sustainable delta management: a challenge of the socio-technical transformation in the management practices in Bangladesh
    Mutahara, M. ; Warner, J.F. ; Khan, M.S.A. - \ 2020
    International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology (2020). - ISSN 1350-4509
    community - delta - multi-stakeholder processes - participation - sustainability - Tidal River Management - transformation - water-logging

    In Bangladesh, participation discourse has officially become part of the objectives of the government and international agencies for water management projects since the mid-1990s. At the same historical timeframe, originating from indigenous knowledges Tidal River Management (TRM) has been formalized as a less structural and more natural management intervention to prevent the severe water-logging in the South-west region in the Bangladesh delta. It theoretically constituted a form of participation in the delta management system involving local community groups with government and management authorities. However, multi-stakeholder participation is still very challenging in practices. Even community management approaches are not sustained in delta management practices in Bangladesh. In this research, a socio-technical transformation is defined through a participatory research in the south-west coastal area having both qualitative and quantitative evaluation of changes in the delta management system brought about by TRM practices. This article also analyses the current problems besetting organized community participation in existing management practices and suggests the ways of developing effective multi-stakeholder processes (MSPs) with respect to sustainable management goal in deltas.

    Are Technological Developments Improving the Environmental Sustainability of Photovoltaic Electricity?
    Blanco, Carlos Felipe ; Cucurachi, Stefano ; Peijnenburg, Willie J.G.M. ; Beames, Alistair ; Vijver, Martina G. - \ 2020
    Energy Technology (2020). - ISSN 2194-4288
    environmental impacts - life-cycle assessments - photovoltaics - solar - sustainability

    Innovation in photovoltaics (PV) is mostly driven by the cost per kilowatt ratio, making it easy to overlook environmental impacts of technological enhancements during early research and development stages. As PV technology developers introduce novel materials and manufacturing methods, the well-studied environmental profile of conventional silicon-based PV may change considerably. Herein, existing trends and hotspots across different types of emerging PV technologies are investigated through a systematic review and meta-analysis of life-cycle assessments (LCAs). To incorporate as many data points as possible, a comprehensive harmonization procedure is applied, producing over 600 impact data points for organic, perovskite (PK), dye-sensitized, tandem, silicon, and other thin-film cells. How the panel and balance of system components affect environmental footprints in comparable installations is also investigated and discussed. Despite the large uncertainties and variabilities in the underlying LCA data and models, the harmonized results show clear positive trends across the sector. Seven potential hotspots are identified for specific PV technologies and impact categories. The analysis offers a high-level guidance for technology developers to avoid introducing undesired environmental trade-offs as they advance to make PV more competitive in the energy markets.

    Scientists warning on climate change and medicinal plants
    Applequist, Wendy L. ; Brinckmann, Josef A. ; Cunningham, Anthony B. ; Hart, Robbie E. ; Heinrich, Michael ; Katerere, David R. ; Andel, Tinde Van - \ 2020
    Planta Medica 86 (2020)1. - ISSN 0032-0943 - p. 10 - 18.
    climate change - ethnobotany - medicinal plants - sustainability - traditional knowledge - traditional medicine

    The recent publication of a World ScientistsÊ Warning to Humanity highlighted the fact that climate change, absent strenuous mitigation or adaptation efforts, will have profound negative effects for humanity and other species, affecting numerous aspects of life. In this paper, we call attention to one of these aspects, the effects of climate change on medicinal plants. These plants provide many benefits for human health, particularly in communities where Western medicine is unavailable. As for other species, their populations may be threatened by changing temperature and precipitation regimes, disruption of commensal relationships, and increases in pests and pathogens, combined with anthropogenic habitat fragmentation that impedes migration. Additionally, medicinal species are often harvested unsustainably, and this combination of pressures may push many populations to extinction. A second issue is that some species may respond to increased environmental stresses not only with declines in biomass production but with changes in chemical content, potentially affecting quality or even safety of medicinal products. We therefore recommend actions including conservation and local cultivation of valued plants, sustainability training for harvesters and certification of commercial material, preservation of traditional knowledge, and programs to monitor raw material quality in addition to, of course, efforts to mitigate climate change.

    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. - \ 2020
    ICES Journal of Marine Science 77 (2020)3. - ISSN 1054-3139 - p. 1109 - 1126.
    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.
    Agrobiodiversity Index Report 2019: risk and resilience
    Remans, Roseline ; Jones, Sarah K. ; Dulloo, Ehsan ; Villani, Chiara ; Estrada-Carmona, Natalia ; Juventia, Stella Dimitri ; Laporte, Marie Angelique - \ 2019
    Rome : Bioversity International - ISBN 9789292551254 - 182 p.
    food safety - agrobiodiversity - sustainability - plant genetic resources - conservation - nutrition - food systems - resilience
    The first Agrobiodiversity Index Report assesses dimensions of agrobiodiversity in ten countries to measure food system sustainability and resilience. Countries receive an overall Agrobiodiversity Index score that indicates their progress in using and safeguarding agrobiodiversity to create sustainable food systems. They receive also individual scores for their progress for healthy diets, sustainable production and genetic resource conservation. The focus of this report is agrobiodiversity, risk and resilience. Eight thought pieces, authored by experts from around the world in diverse fields from nutrition and agricultural sustainability to seed systems and genetic resources, stimulate thinking on aspects of agrobiodiversity and risk and/or resilience.
    Historical Trajectories of Tourism Development Policies and Planning in Ghana, 1957–2017
    Adu-Ampong, Emmanuel Akwasi - \ 2019
    Tourism Planning and Development 16 (2019)2. - ISSN 2156-8316 - p. 124 - 141.
    Ghana - poverty reduction - sustainability - tourism history - tourism planning - tourism policy

    Historical research on tourism development policies and planning is generally limited, with scant attention on destinations in the Global South. This paper traces the historical trajectories of the development of tourism policy and planning in Ghana using the “Development First” and “Tourism First” framework. A qualitative approach allows for a detailed contextual analysis of key national economic development plans and national tourism development policies and plans. Four broad political eras are identified: (i) 1957–1966: post-independence era of Development First; (ii) 1966–1981: political instability era of Tourism First; (iii) 1981–2000: structural adjustment era of mixed Tourism First-Development First and; (iv) 2000–2017: democratic consolidation era of Development First. The analysis highlights how the distinct historical contexts of state involvement shape the present and future characteristics of tourism development. The findings suggest the need for more detailed exploration of the historical processes of tourism development in Global South destinations.

    Entomophagy: Nutritional, ecological, safety and legislation aspects
    Raheem, Dele ; Raposo, António ; Oluwole, Oluwatoyin Bolanle ; Nieuwland, Maaike ; Saraiva, Ariana ; Carrascosa, Conrado - \ 2019
    Food Research International 126 (2019). - ISSN 0963-9969
    ecology - edible insects - food legislation - food safety - food security - nutrition - sustainability

    Globally, there is a need to seek alternative sources of protein in addition to meat. This has led to considerable interest in edible insects. Such insects form part of cultures and diets in many Asian and African countries, and are an excellent source of essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins and proteins. Furthermore, they have been reported to be sustainable. The ecological importance of insects is related to their short life cycles when reared and farmed. This makes them ideal in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, cutting land uses and polluted water, and reducing environmental contamination. However, the use of edible insects as food in Europe is minimal. To ensure safety of insects when eaten as food, considerations should be made on: microbiological contamination; toxicological hazards, e.g. chemical hazards and antinutrients; allergenicity issues that are related to different exposures, including injection, ingestion, inhalation and skin contact. In this review, we summarize the nutritional and sustainable values of edible insects, look at safety and legislative measures and we finally discuss future issues.

    Sectorplan versnelling verduurzaming kalverhouderij
    Peet, G.F.V. van der - \ 2019
    - 26 p.
    animal welfare - animal production - cattle - calves - animal health - animal housing - animal behaviour - sustainability - circular agriculture
    Monitor Duurzaam Voedsel 2018 : Consumentenbestedingen
    Logatcheva, K. - \ 2019
    Wageningen : Wageningen Economic Research (Wageningen Economic Research 2019-090) - 16 p.
    animal welfare - animal production - sustainability - marking
    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 aboutfuture benefits and costs, and the flexibility in decision making generate benefitsand 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.
    Opstaan voor de biodiversiteit: ‘Kleine stapjes zijn niet genoeg, er is systeemverandering nodig
    Turnhout, E. - \ 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, H.H.E. van; Boer, I.J.M. de; Oenema, O. ; Brussaard, L. ; Sukkel, W. ; Verhoeven, Frank ; Poppe, K.J. ; Zanders, R. ; Scholten, M.C.T. - \ 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
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