Deforestation Restrictions: Observations from Acre, Brazil

by Lazaros M. K. Chalkias

In light of climate change and species conservation efforts, “Reductions in Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation” (REDD) is becoming an increasingly important mechanism in conservation policy. Deforestation may affect water quality, forest services and local economies; its impact, as Pfaff et al. (2014) explore, depends on governance and location of protected forest areas. The researchers’ work focuses on the forests of Acre, Brazil, which includes over 1 million hectares of protected areas. They evaluated deforestation in the periods of 2000–2004 and 2004–2008, and separated the protected forest areas in question in three categories (sustainable use, indigenous and integral). They used “remotely sensed pixel data” from the INPE (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais) to examine covered and cleared forestland and understand the potential effects of policy in a region. Continue reading

Comprehensive and Sustainable Water Management in the Netherlands

by Lazaros M. K. Chalkias

The Netherlands has been harvesting the benefits of major European rivers (Rhine, Meuse), of accessibility to the sea and high precipitation at the cost of a constant struggle for safety and survival from the elements themselves. These conditions have bestowed great responsibility to the government to plan and prepare for disasters of drought and flood. Following the 1976 drought, the idea of an integrated water management tool was conceived for use in research and policy making. De Lange et al. (2014) review the outcomes of this integrated water system analysis, as accounted for in the most recent updated of the Netherlands Hydrological Instrument (NHI). According to the outcomes of the research, surface water is managed based on surpluses or shortage, its salt content, and its temperature in an attempt to maximize efficiency for agriculture and consumer uses, preservation of natural resources, and other uses. Continue reading

Just Released! “Energy, Biology, Climate Change”

FrontCover6x9 white border 72dpi EBCC2015

Our newest book, published on May 6, 2015 and available at Amazon.com for $19.95.

The focus of this book is the interactions between energy, ecology, and climate change, as well as a few of the responses of humanity to these interactions. It is not a textbook, but a series of chapters discussing subtopics in which the authors were interested and wished to write about. The basic material is cutting-edge science; technical journal articles published within the last year, selected for their relevance and interest. Each author selected eight or so technical papers representing his or her view of the most interesting current research in the field, and wrote summaries of them in a journalistic style that is free of scientific jargon and understandable by lay readers. This is the sort of science writing that you might encounter in the New York Times, but concentrated in a way intended to give as broad an overview of the chapter topics as possible. None of this research will appear in textbooks for a few years, so there are not many ways that readers without access to a university library can get access to this information.

This book is intended be browsed—choose a chapter topic you like and read the individual sections in any order; each is intended to be largely stand-alone. Reading all of them will give you considerable insight into what climate scientists concerned with energy, ecology, and human effects are up to, and the challenges they face in understanding one of the most disruptive—if not very rapid—event in human history; anthropogenic climate change. The Table of Contents follows: Continue reading

Cross-border Resource Management Organizations Between the US, Canada, and Mexico

by Lazaros M. K. Chalkias

International organizations and national or transboundary networks largely coordinate natural resource governance, scientific research management and policy. In the absence of coherent policy for cases like the U.S., Canada and Mexico, governments promote cross-border agreements with organizations for more successful collaboration of the actors involved. Stoett and Temby (2015) examine the role of intergovernmental institutions and transnational policy networks in the three states and propose a broad theoretical background and a functional description based on the nature of their activities and their internal governance. Continue reading