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Ecocycles, Volume 7, pp 52-72; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v7i1.191
Cities around the world are at risk of pluvial and fluvial flooding, due to more frequent extreme weather events and uncontrolled urbanisation. Coastal cities are additionally at risk from tidal flooding and sea level rise. Hard surface infrastructure leads to rapid storm-water run off overwhelming conventional drainage systems at peak times. This article examines what constitutes infrastructure in the 21st century and what should its new priorities be? A case study is made of Jakarta, a low lying delta city, where the consequences of unregulated economic development are starting to be addressed. The lack of a city based water supply has led to excessive ground water extraction and the sinking of the city further exacerbating flood risk. City wide flooding has occurred three times in the last 15 years. Water needs to be considered as a primary element in infrastructure strategy and space found for natural systems and active travel. In Jakarta the role of the kampungs (informal settlements) provides an opportunity to address social and environmental difficulties at the same time. This interdisciplinary overview analyses recent infrastructure initiatives and developments and asks what more can be done and what new planning policies and concepts may be required.
Ecocycles, Volume 7, pp 47-51; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v7i1.190
This is the obituary of Professor Zoltan Kiraly (1925-2021).
Ecocycles, Volume 7, pp 38-46; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v7i1.189
This paper presents an operational methodology to map and analyze the floristic richness of “target species” in Natura 2000 sites, making use of G.I.S. tools and procedures. A Floristic diversity map (scale 1:50,000), covering an area of 612 km2, was produced by a team of experts as part of the management plans of “Madonie Mountains” Sites of Community Importance (SCIs), located in Sicily (Italy). The primary grid map represents the richness of “target species”, which include species of Community interests, taxa on the National Red List, endemic and threatened, species protected under International Conventions, taxa of phytogeographic importance. Secondary data frames include a three-dimensional map representing the number of species present in each cell, a coarser species richness distribution (scale 1:400,000) and a reference map of endemism rate in the Mediterranean area. Such a cartographic document has proven to be an effective tool in biodiversity conservation planning. Furthermore, the knowledge of floristic richness and distribution is not only important for the management of protected areas, but it is also important for the sustainable management of cultural landscapes.
Ecocycles, Volume 7, pp 34-37; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v7i1.188
This paper summarizes the views of the author on the new book ’The Chemical Age. How Chemists Fought Famine and Disease, Killed Millions, and Changed Our Relationship with the Earth’ by Frank A. von Hippel.
Ecocycles, Volume 7, pp 19-23; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v7i1.186
The precipitation deficit, heat waves and subsequent drought significantly affected the forests in the Czech Republic. Primarily, forests were affected by physiological insufficiency and later by biotic and abiotic factors. On the initiative of the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic, a study of the condition and damage of forest functions in the model area was formulated. The study was aimed at the model locality of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, especially the forest management unit of the Da?ice municipality (South Bohemian Region). The study uses certified national methodologies for evaluating forest function damage (Vyskot et al. 2003; Vyskot et al. 2014). This paper specifies the state and damage of the bio-production function depending on the represented forest management groups, stand types of woody plants and age phases of stands, in terms of value (in %) and finance in Czech koruna (CZK, the currency of the Czech Republic). In particular, spruce stands and their dominant mixtures of non-matured and fully matured trees were affected by major damage of a destructive nature. Due to the changed ecosystem conditions, a modified concept of forest management was proposed.
Ecocycles, Volume 7, pp 1-13; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v7i1.185
This article explores how Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) could be used as a guidance framework for the capacity development of those engaged in the process of identifying, protecting, conserving, presenting and transmitting cultural landscapes. It draws insights from the Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) curriculum intended to serve the purpose of educating for the transition to a comprehensive sustainable culture. The framework follows the pattern of the EDE curriculum organised in four dimensions of sustainability and the three dimensions of learning - cognitive, socio-emotional and behavioural. Each of these four dimensions, in turn, contains five modules– thus twenty subject areas in total, all of which need to be considered by sustainable cultural landscape educational programmes. The paper concludes that in order to create a whole-systems guidance framework addressing cultural landscape complexities, a wide variety of viewpoints needs to be considered including community, nature rights and traditional ways of knowing and other participatory epistemologies.
Ecocycles, Volume 7, pp 14-18; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v7i1.184
The current study's topic is the summary of the roles of art colonies in the local example. The theoretical basis of the study was given by the international scientific literature of art colonies and the role of culture in the life of settlements. The matter of research is relevant as an investigation based on a case study has not been made yet on this topic; moreover, it consists of important results for the professionals. On this basis, it can be determined that which factors affect positively the human and natural environment through an art colony. A further advantage of the study can conclude to the possible development ways of culture in the life of villages. The current research, regarding the future, is an ideal starting point to know the role of art in local (and regional) development. The main results of the case study are the tangible effects of the colony on the (natural and human) environment.
Ecocycles, Volume 7, pp 24-33; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v7i1.187
With growing demand for sustainable tourism, ecotourism is a fast-growing branch of the tourism industry, where the design and management of destinations must take into consideration the quality, originality, ecological compatibility, aesthetical properties, educational value, and the evaluation of the carrying capacity of destinations. In this study, we propose a new type of artificial tourist attractions within educative ecotourism, the green hostels constructed entirely of natural materials in harmony with the environment. The here presented model may be adapted to any type of natural environments. Our model of green hostels is based on biologically renewable construction materials and natural economic media network, may constitute a new tourist product in ecotourism. Apart from the presentation of the concept, the study sought answers to the following specific issues: (1) Identify the target group of the planned tourist offer and its needs and estimate the potential number of direct recipients of the project and (2) Demand analysis, based on needs research in terms of developing the tourist offer in a given area, based on which it is possible to indicate the demand for a specific type of tourist product.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 46-48; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i2.137
The knowledge and skills required in wine evaluation, information and serving vary depending on the nature of profession where work with wine is involved. Although the waiter, the cook and the chef, the bartender and the sommelier have different approaches to wine due to their duties, there are a number of overlapping areas of knowledge and practical skills, which must be included in training programmes. We suggest that in Hungary the Portuguese model should be followed as an education technique in the HORECA industry. Thus, the theoretical and practical training should take place in regional centers, with student dormitories, and public restaurants. The vocational may be part-time, partly paid, and partly with state support.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 73-90; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i2.180
Climate change increases the risk of damage caused by storms, insects and fungi in agriculture and forestry. Multifunctional sustainable land use, including a more diversified agriculture and forestry sector in terms of biodiversity, is one way to create resilience and meet these climate risks. For example, a forest with trees of different ages and of several species is more resistant to these risks. Multifunctional refers to how the same land can provide food and wood products, but also job creation, recreation and be a provider of ecosystem services such as pollination, erosion protection and biodiversity. Research shows that there is a large acceptance for a more varied forest sector and diversified agriculture. In recent years, urban farming has received widespread understanding on its many advantages, including a sense of belonging and meaning, other than food production. In this article the authors try to assess a scenario when these initiatives become commercial and when the urban farming trend meets traditional forms of agriculture and forestry. Furthermore, the large potential of developing public-private partnerships for multifunctional sustainable land use in peri-urban areas in the Swedish City of Gothenburg and its surrounding area is analysed, based on experiences from ongoing initiatives. Developed within the framework of Climate KIC Accelerator Project, a business model is presented allowing for a long-term sustainability of initiatives.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 57-72; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i2.181
Alcoholic fermentation and the production of wine has accompanied humanity for more than 10000 years. However, it has been only in the last 50 years when the winemakers have had the tools to manage and control the process. The methodology to analyze and monitor the succession of the microorganisms that participate in the process along with the effective use of antimicrobial compounds (for instance sulfur dioxide), the control of the temperature and, above all, the use of cellar-friendly fermentation starters (mostly as Active Dry Wine Yeast) have provided the appropriate conditions for that control. However, the use of a limited number of commercial presentations of the starters has generated an unwanted uniformity of the wines produced. Furthermore, new tendencies in wine making with limited or no human intervention have considered these tolls as a negative aspect in the wine quality, although most of these concerns are only philosophical, without clear scientific evidence. We present a revision of the present state of the art in these methodologies where our research group has been working for the last 25 years.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 49-53; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i2.159
The paradigm under which our society and economy have operated until now has become obsolete in the 21st century. Some Nobel Prize-winner economists made it clear that we have to forget the paradigm currently dominating the global economy: "Let’s privatize the benefits and socialize (distribute) its costs as much as possible!" The results of it are extremely and rapidly increasing inequalities, followed by unmanageable socio-economic - environmental tensions. It seems we could get out of this situation only with radical social and economic transformations, both globally and at the lower levels (countries, regions, localities). There isn’t another solution just the social and economic paradigm exchange parallel with each other. Interconnected and not separated them. But many big challenges are coming up from the natural and the technological environment too and they are rooted in the human-made systems. So altogether we are facing the quickly changing complexity and an unknown situation in the history of humanity. We don't have appropriate methods and experiences how to deal with these new types of challenges but there isn't any other choice just to manage them. Despite this fact, there are very few studies about the causes and consequences of this rapidly growing problem in the era of growing sustainability risks. Similarly, there is very little practical information that provides actionable advice on how to manage these problems at different (global-, macro-, and micro-) levels of social and economic organizations. We define complexity as the number of components in a system plus the variety of relationships among these components plus the speed of changes of both the components and the relationships. Larger systems (like social - economic - ecological systems) are often very complex – but they may be more complicated if their behavior is unpredictable. Based on the global databases and reports we investigated the trials of countries how prepared they are for managing the growing complexity in the field of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. We have found that in most of the countries (and globally too) experts are choosing the simplest way - they deal with the goals separately from each other and don't take into account the very complicated system of their interconnections and the feedback loops. We have tried to summarize some conclusions for the future about what would be the better approach to deal with the complexity.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 54-56; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i2.182
This paper summarizes the views of the author on the new book titled ’Cold-blooded Vertebrates in Nicaragua and its Regional Development’ by Ivo Pavlík and Miguel Ángel Garmendia Zapata.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 19-24; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i2.173
We propose a method based on multilayered mapping for investigating the current problems of people who live in drylands and we urge decision-makers to support such studies to establish the foundations for future decisive and preventive actions. This paper contains an expandable compilation of the environmental indicators (mostly mappable) that may influence the human geography of a certain region. We believe that this geospatial approach may help to resolve convoluted physical, chemical, and social relationships and, at the same time, generate a valuable database for further research. The application of the concept, if successful, will give directions to tackle certain contemporary problems in drylands and predict future ones caused by global climate change.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 32-37; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i2.172
The natural, social, and economic issues and problems of today and the near future pose new challenges for researchers and educators in every disciplines. In this complex situation, human ecology, which synthesizes the knowledge of individual disciplines and focuses on connections and interactions, has a special role to meet this challenge. In the service of practical sustainability, it helps to reveal the complexity of the agricultural sector and to prepare public policy decisions, taking the special features and capabilities of the particular environments into account. In the complex understanding of the operation of highly complex living systems, in mitigating the effects of climate change, in conserving biodiversity, in assessing the effects of biogeochemical processes and in solving many other problems at local and global level, the holistic system-approach is needed for putting them in contexts. In this study, we highlight the reasonableness and the vital role of human ecology in organic farming as well as outline its future challenges and possibilities.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i2.179
The intention of this article is to discuss the challenges in organising higher education in heritage practices and craft skills. The development of the Department of Conservation, University of Gothenburg, its establishment of a Craft laboratory, and the certification of craft skills in an Albanian context, is used as a case. Based on the activities of the Craft Laboratory in Sweden, the paper investigates the possibilities for a similar development in Albania. The background for the specific subject rests in a long-standing cooperation between the Department of Conservation and Cultural heritage without Borders Albania (CHwBA), in terms of skills development for improving restoration practices. Through the paper it is clear that the same kind of context are not in place in Albania, and that the needs are different. It is also obvious that CHwBA is functioning as a de facto Craft Laboratory in Albania and the need for an outfit like that are more focused on improving competences, standards and qualities in the architectural restoration area, leading to economic development, employability, establishment of small craft companies, and formal branch networks. The article discusses the challenges facing the higher education systems in developing education as well as vocational training in the subject areas of heritage practices and craft skills.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 38-45; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i2.176
There is a number of photosynthetically produced small molecules that have previously been validated through SARS-CoV spike protein interaction assays for selectivity and effectivity in our database. Our specialty database, the AVIRA-DB, has been built from scientific papers that published results regarding selective & effective CoV-2 spike protein binding inhibitors that prevent virus binding to the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme type 2 (ACE2). These data have been accumulated since 2003, the time of the first well documented coronavirus pandemic. To develop our anti-viral nutraceutical capsule we favoured small molecules (Mw
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 25-31; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i2.175
Doxycycline, an antibiotic, is largely used in human and veterinary medicine. The conventional treatment with activated sludge is not very efficient. Laccase appeared to be the main enzyme secreted essentially by white rot fungi as Trametes versicolor and Phlebia fascicularia on the degradation of xenobiotic compounds from the pharmaceutical industry. The main purpose of this study was to enhance the biodegradation of doxycycline through activated sludge combined with addition of glucose as a carbon co-substrate to improve the growth of the microbial population present in the activated sludge, phenol as a laccase mediator, copper as a cofactor and inductor for laccase production. The enhancement of the biodegradation of doxycycline was 50, 90, 68 and 83% greater respectively with the addition of glucose, copper, phenol and with a mixture of the compounds after 14 days of treatment at 25°C. Compared with the biotic control (activated sludge alone), a 30% increase for the test with the addition of phenol was observed.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 13-18; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i2.169
Since its inception, the Common Agricultural Policy has been the largest among all common European policies. The main objective of the Common agricultural policy is food sovereignty in the European Union, stabilization of farmers' incomes and, at present, support for non-production functions of agriculture and environmental protection. Given the rising input prices and the time mismatch between supply and demand for agricultural products, the first pillar of the CAP has become a key tool for sustaining the desired competitiveness of agricultural products in the EU Member States. Direct payments have become an important tool for Slovak farmers, and therefore their effective implementation is essential for their continued existence or development. The aim of the paper was to point out the weak enforceability of direct payments to eligible users of agricultural land if there is a conflicting legal entitlement to provide a direct payment in accordance with §28 and §29 of Act no. 280/2017 Coll. and the resulting problems for eligible applicants.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 39-51; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i1.162
Being a highly competitive tourism destination means contributing to the better standard of living for the local community while having sustainability in focus. This paper aims to discuss the most important factors which make Georgia a competitive wine tourism destination. Georgia is often referred to as the birthplace of wine and has its culture and traditions deeply connected to it. The country has authentic food and wine heritage which is a central point for its renowned hospitality. Ancient wine culture attracts present-day curious visitors. The study overviews the academic literature on the key concepts and analyses the wine tourism industry in Georgia. The research summarizes that the country as a wine tourism destination has great opportunities to be competitive. Its history, traditions, hospitality, nature, and other qualities are inherited resources that can attract high-spending visitors and hence contribute to the well-being of the local community. On the other hand, there are some issues and threats that must be tackled for long-term success. The paper suggests that learning the topic with empirical methods is necessary.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 18-22; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i1.160
Mankind’s most-used materials, construction materials pose major environmental challenges, mainly related to the increasing scarcity of certain primary resources. Using secondary resources, i.e. materials extracted from buildings and networks, is one response to these challenges. However, powerful constraints confront this kind of use. Paris region is studied as an example of an urban area in which secondary resources for construction offer strong potential. Possible courses of action to meet these challenges are outlined in the conclusion.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 10-17; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i1.157
One of the constraints in fish disease management in aquaponic systems is related to undesired effects of chemicals on fish, plants and beneficial bacteria. Plant-derived compounds with nontoxic features to fish, plants, and microflora provide an alternative treatment strategy against the harmful pathogens in the aquaponic system. The present study assessed the antiparasitic activity of garlic (Allium sativum) and onion (A. cepa) extracts against Gyrodactylus elegans (Monogenea) in vivo and in vitro, and physiological stress responses in carp, Cyprinus carpio, treated with these extracts in an aquaponics system. Garlic and onion extracts exhibited in vitro antiparasitic activity against G. elegans. The mean survival time of G. elegans in vitro ranged from 30 sec to 6 min depending on the concentration and exposure time both for garlic and onion extracts. For garlic extract EC50 (median effective concentration) was 8.37±4.75 mg/mL in 3 min exposure and for onion extract 4.72±7.10 mg/mL. These concentrations were in vivo tested in carp heavily infected with G. elegans as a single application for 3 min. In vivo treatment of carp with garlic and onion extracts reduced G. elegans found on the skin by 14.4% and 19.8%, respectively. In both treatment groups, the physiological stress response of carp was mild based on the alterations in the secondary stress indicators (hematocrit, plasma glucose, and lactate). The stress indicators of carp returned to normal levels after an hour recovery in freshwater. The antiparasitic potential of onion and garlic extracts may be considered as an alternative treatment to reduce Monogenean infections in aquaponic systems.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 23-27; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i1.164
Synanthropic primary hosts carrying viruses may burden new dangers for humanity. The SARS-CoV-2 virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic presently infected near 2 million humans. Virus characteristics resulted in a successful outbreak due to various reasons: (i) patient are infectious before experiencing symptoms; (ii) carrying hosts might be symptomless, disease outcome in ill patients depends on underlying conditions, age and sex; (iii) intermediate hosts, acting as reservoirs living close contact with humans (e.g., livestock, pets); (iv) possible virus mutations from animal/person to person/person transmission; (v) the virus can spread through the air; (vi) the half-life of the virus is long, reaching some days, thus feces and street dust increase the hazard, and contact spread is also turned into critical.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 28-38; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i1.163
The environmental pollution and human health damages in China reached the point, when the country's policy has to change direction by developing new strategies to substantially increase the share of renewable energy sources in their energy mix and reduce environmental pollution. This research will try to identify the potential variables of the antagonistic conflict regarding the constantly growing energy consumption vs. human health damages and environmental pollution in China. The identification of variables will be carried out through the lens of Sustainable Development Theory. This paper tries to weight the interactions among variables, find the most reactive and influential ones in order to give suggestions to changes in the policy. The interaction among variables will be measured by using the Multi-Attribute Utility Theory and Cross-impact Matrix. Finally, the social vulnerability of the society will be discussed, where serious public health problems occur in case of world health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which is particularly dangerous for those groups, which suffer from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and immuno-deficiency problems.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 1-9; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i1.158
In the complex undercurrents of evolving new great power politics, the scheme of Arctic affairs make for a low key affair. India in Arctic is a theme which is so inconsequential that it fails to even grab a mention. The performance of observer states in the Arctic affairs has varied substantially during these years but Indian attempts have remained short of the promise. There is immense possibility for India to build on her non hegemonic, non intrusive foreign policy approach to obtain a greater role in the in this strategically vital and economically lucrative region.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 52-87; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i1.166
The Balaton Ecomuseum, which is being continuously developed since 2017, will have a holistic approach, where the objectives of the ecomuseum embrace the whole cultural landscape of Lake Balaton as one unit with several thematic routes in one system and shall not be restricted to one particular subject area or a part of local heritage. One of these thematic routes is the recently developing Herbs and Spices Network, led by Zánka Herb Valley Visitor and Training Centre based on the collection, cultivation and processing of medicinal plants, herbs and spices. The place of herbs and spices in the diet needs to be considered in reviewing health benefits, including definitions of the food category and the way in which benefits might be viewed, and therefore researched. Here we describe the already established system of the Zánka Herb Valley Visitor and Training Centre, the potential of the Balaton Region in the development of herbal medicine illustrated by the scientific presentation of the 30 most collected herbs in the region and examples of other herbal centres, which are intended to become a part of the network. Herbal medicine, as an important part of the intangible cultural heritage, with hundreds of years old recipes for herbal concoctions has been known since ancient times before science related to modern medicine developed and continues to be used for generations until now. Furthermore, the medical effects of many agricultural crops should be better understood, such as the grapevine, which is being investigated for its medical compounds or the medicinal properties of other fruits and vegetables not sufficiently known to the general public. In this study we present a new system of the culture and interactive education of the collection, cultivation and use of medicinal plants, herbs and spices applying a learning by doing approach and a network embracing the whole area of the Balaton Ecomuseum.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 146-148; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i1.178
In this paper, we wish to comment on a recent essay on virus research that was published in The Economist (August 20, 2020). The essay is so well-written and informative that it serves as an excellent example of popularizing science to make it accessible to all segments of an inquiring society. Still, we would like to point out that the paper failed to cover one important area of virus research: the fundamental discoveries achieved by studies of the viruses of higher plants.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 98-105; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i1.170
Agricultural land is a natural heritage of each country; therefore the land protection is required. The agricultural land protection is a complex role where the interests of agriculture, industry, housing, transport and the environment should be taken into account. Moreover, it is necessary to consider also the EU legislation because the national laws have to be in harmony with the EU legal acts. Therefore, it is a very hard role to meet all entitled interests together with the requirements of the EU law. Therefore, the adoption of a legal measure should be accompanied by the complex analysis of how the measure would affect the land protection. The Slovak lawmaker has adopted some legislative acts with special measures for the land protection, but they are a focus of regular and frequent amendments.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 88-97; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i1.165
Situated in the western part of Hungary, Lake Balaton is the second largest shallow lake in the European Union after Lake Peipus and the largest one laying entirely within the borders of the EU. Despite of its large surface area of some 600 km2, its average depth is only 352 cm. Lake Balaton is an exorheic lake on multiannual basis, but dry spells in the last 2 decades resulted in a 64-month period without outflow. Studies by the authors and others proved that human impacts of global and local nature resulted in the significant decrease of the natural water balance (NWB) in the last 3-4 decades. Climate change is already manifested in the reduction of the discharge of most of the tributaries including the largest one, Zala river. The statistically significant decrease in the last 3 decades of the discharge of Zala river and Kiskomáromi-canal corresponds to a deficit of 67 lake mm/year. The impact of further human interventions including reconstruction of Balaton Minor, a vast wetland and mining resulted in a further deficit of 119 to 154 lake mm/year. The average of the annual NWB of the last 30 years is only 63% of the long-term average. In addition to the decrease in the average discharges and NWB, variability of these values increased considerably. Some of these phenomena can be attributed to climate change. Future impacts of climate change are evaluated and it is concluded that the Lake Balaton watershed may turn into an endorheic basin in the second half of the 21st century. Lake Balaton, human impact, climate change, water balance, future trends
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 106-109; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i1.168
There is an international consensus that our generation is facing a convergence of multiple crises and that the same mindset that has created this convergence is incapable of solving it. Paradigms evolve and shift when the prevailing frameworks are unable to explain and address new anomalies in development processes. For some, the sustainability concept fails to offer guidance on how to arbitrate between the conflicting drivers of economic growth, planetary boundaries and social justice. The concept of nine Planetary Boundaries (PB) involving Earth system processes which humanity should aim to operate safely, include global biogeochemical cycles (nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon and water), the major physical circulation systems of the planet (the climate, stratosphere and ocean systems), marine and terrestrial biodiversity and anthropogenic forcing (aerosol loading and chemical pollution). According to recent research, four of the nine planetary boundaries had been crossed due to the adverse impacts of human activities. The solution is the regenerative concept manifested in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which implies locally adaptable, resource conserving policies, activities and products, carefully tailored to the biocultural uniqueness of each location. Regenerative design is grounded in a deep understanding of the integral and interdependent nature of living systems, providing viable management solutions for economies in order to not exceed the environmental, social and economic carrying capacity of ecosystems.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 134-145; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i1.167
The effects of soil bacteria treatments on barley and wheat (1. treatment: stubble decomposers + soil inoculators; 2. stubble decomposers + soil regenerators; 3. control) were studied at the Agricultural Research Institute in Kompolt on spectral vegetation indices which are closely related to photochemical processes and photosynthetic pigments in barley and wheat leaves. We applied in vivo field measurements: SPAD 502 relative chlorophyll meter and ASD Field Spec Pro 3 spectroradiometer. This work presents the results of the experiments in 2019, moreover, we compared them with our previously published investigations on several other crops (maize, sunflower, rape, barley) carried out in 2017 and 2018. In 2019 despite the significant level of the standard deviation of data in field conditions, treated (mainly with stubble decomposers + soil inoculators) wheat leaves could be characterized by significantly higher chlorophyll and water content, higher photochemical efficiency, and lower carotenoid content. In the case of barley due to the large standard deviation of data, we couldn’t reveal the beneficial effects of treatments by these methods. Due to the very rainy spring in 2019 some experimental plots - like K9 with barley – wre covered by inland water, which negatively influenced living conditions of soil bacteria. Despite this unfavourable conditions, the first treatment resulted in an 18.9% higher yield of barley and 27.8% higher yield of wheat, while the second treatment increased barley yield with 28.9% and wheat yield with 27.7%. In the case of wheat, spectral vegetation indices could indicate beneficial effects of soil bacteria treatments at the beginning of flowering, similarly to our results in 2017 and 2018 in case of maize, sunflower, rape, and barley.
Ecocycles, Volume 6, pp 110-133; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v6i2.161
Today's expansion and densification of cities, where more space is being impermeably surfaced by grey infrastructure, means an increased risk of flooding. An urban space with reduced green areas is less resilient to increased temperatures. In dealing with this, research has pointed to the complementarity of Nature-based Solutions (NBS) in contributing to more resilient and cost-efficient flood management. NBS do not only serve to reduce risk for flooding and drought, they also provide additional sustainability values, such as strengthening ecosystem services through increased biodiversity and recreation opportunities. In many circumstances, combining this NBS with traditional grey infrastructure can provide next generation solutions that enhance system performance and better protect communities. The study has focussed on subjects argued as central to provide a business value for upstream landowners to perform NBS measures. Results of the Workshop on Nature Based Solutions for flood and drought prevention organized in May 2019 in Gothenburg substantially contributed this study. The main objective of the study is to propose developments that can lead to business models and financial instruments that support the adoption of upstream water retention through Nature-based Solutions based primarily on research from the Västra Götaland region of Sweden.
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 97-105; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i2.150
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 80-96; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i2.155
Energy has become one of the most important fields of international policy since many countries are now aware that traditional (fossil) energy sources are finite. The European Union and China among the others try to ensure their sustainable energy supply and energy security. Both of them are net importers, their growing economy based on external energy sources. The Middle – East Africa and Eurasia have been the energy supplier regions in the world, but today the taut situation in those regions and the fierce competition between the EU and China force them to find new energy fields. The Arctic region is rich in hydrocarbon and other energy sources that have not been exploited yet. That is why the EU and China pay more attention to this region. This article attempts to reveal the different energy policies of the EU and China towards the substantial fossil energy resources of the Arctic taking into consideration the increasing need for renewable energy sources and the growing demand to phase out fossil fuels, particularly coal. First, a brief overview of the energy sources and institutions of the Arctic region illuminates the major role of the Arctic Council, then the European Union’s and China’s energy policy and their current energy situation are analyzed. The next paragraphs reveal the recent steps, future targets, and achievements of the European and Chinese energy policy towards the Arctic. These paragraphs describe the Neo-Liberal energy policy of the European Community and the Realist or Neo-Liberal ways of Chinese energy strategy, unfortunately, based mainly on fossil fuels. However, due to increasing political pressure because of climate change and environmental pollution, the development of renewable energy sources is imperative, often integrated into one “more sustainable” system with the traditional fossil energy sources. The central question is: Whose policy will win the battle for the Arctic region’s energy sources? It means whose policy will be more effective to obtain energy sources, both fossil and renewable ones. Finally, it sums up and compares the differences between the two international actors’ energy policy regarding their strategies for explorations of fossil fuels and renewables and highlights the different ways and tools of their energy diplomacy.
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 67-97; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i1.156
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 62-66; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i1.152
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 56-61; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i1.142
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (ragweed) is an invasive weed with rapid spread during the last decades in many European countries, representing an important problem for environment and for public health, due to its highly allergenic pollen. Data from the European Aeroallergen Network (EAN) confirm the continuous increase of infested areas and of the amospheric ragweed pollen load. Ambrosia is responsible for significant health and economic impact in the most infested areas from Central Europe, mainly Hungary and neighbouring countries, including Romania. Despite generally occurring in dry and abandoned fields, along railways and roadsides, Ambrosia is now recognized as part of urban vegetation in some big cities, contributing to increase risk of air pollution and of respiratory diseases. The aim of our paper is to review the data regarding spread and problematic of Ambrosia in some big cities of Romania, mainly the capital and the actual public activities undertaken to reduce its consequences. Our data showed that Ambrosia is a real and increasing danger for human health in Romania, mainly due to its rapid spread in urban environment and increasing number of affected persons. There is an urgent need for more coordinated efforts and sustainable management of this problem, to reduce impact of Ambrosia in urban environment, to establish a national aerobiology network and to continue collaboration with European institutions and specialists in this field.
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 12-18; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i2.140
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 74-79; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i2.147
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 24-32; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i2.148
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 19-25; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i1.134
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 44-55; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i1.141
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 19-23; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i2.139
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 1-6; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i1.127
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 39-43; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i2.151
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 44-73; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i2.149
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 1-5; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i2.144
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 42-43; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i1.143
Ecocycles, Volume 5, pp 33-38; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v5i2.154
The presented article is dedicated to the analysis of selected theoretical aspects regarding the riverside space. The very concept of space is presented interdisciplinary as the subject of research in numerous fields of science. Most attention was paid to analyses riverside space in the context of human-river relations, and the mainstream consideration is the social role of the phenomenon, its social perception, and the resulting actions. The concept of space is connected here with the concept of local community, which supplements the issue, and their interdependence mainly results from the attributes and the process of creating that community. So in the article, a lot of space is devoted to theoretical considerations of these interrelationships and dependencies. Selected contemporary examples of revitalization and re-use of the riverside space and the social impact of these processes in urban areas are also presented.