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Analysis of forest fire and climate variability using Geospatial Technology for the State of Telangana, India

Abstract

The dynamic changes in the regimes of forest fires are due to the severity of climate and weather factors. The aim of the study was to examine the trend of forest fires and to evaluate their relationship with climate parameters for the state of Telangana in India. The climate and forest fire data were used and uploaded to the GIS platform in a specified vector grid (spacing: 0.3° x 0.3°). The data were evaluated spatially and statistical methods were applied to examine any relationships. The study revealed that there was a 78% incidence of forest fires in the months of February and March. The overall forest fire hotspot analysis (January to June) of grids revealed that the seven highest forest fire grids retain fire events greater than 600 were found in the north east of Warangal, east of Khammam and south east of Mahbubnagar districts. The forest fire analysis significantly followed the month wise pattern in grid format. Ten grids (in count) showed a fire frequency greater than 240 in the month of March and of these, three grids (in count) were found to be common where the forest fire frequency was highest in the preceding month. Rapid seasonal climate/weather changes were observed which significantly enhanced the forest fire events in the month of February onwards. The solar radiation increased to 159% in the month of March when compared with the preceding month whereas the relative humidity decreased to 47% in the same month. Furthermore, the wind velocity was found to be highest (3.5 meter/sec.) in the month of February and precipitation was found to be lowest (2.9 mm) in the same month. The analysis of Cramer V coefficient (CVC) values for wind velocity, maximum temperature, solar radiation, relative humidity and precipitation with respect to fire incidence were found to be in increasing order and were in the range of 0.280 to 0.715. The CVC value for precipitation was found to be highest and equivalent to 0.715 and showed its strongest association/relationship with fire events. The significant increase in precipitation not only enhances the moisture in the soil but also in the dry fuel load lying on the forest floor which greatly reduces the fuel burning capacity of the forest. The predicted (2050) temperature anomalies data (RCP-6) for the month of February and March also showed a significant increase in temperature over those areas where forest fire events are found to be notably high in the present scenario which will certainly impact adversely on the future forest fire regime. Findings from this study have their own significance because such analyses/relationships have never be examined at the state level, therefore, it can help to fulfill the knowledge gap for the scientific community and the state forest department, and support fire prevention and control activities. There is a need to replicate this study in future by taking more climate variables which will certainly give a better understanding of forest fire events and their relationships with various parameters. The satellite remote sensing data and GIS have a strong potential to analyze various thematic datasets and in the visualization of spatial/temporal paradigms and thus significantly support the policy making framework.

Open access
Consumer willingness to pay a price premium for ecological goods: a case study from Ukraine

Abstract

The aim of this paper was to define and analyze local consumers’ willingness to pay a price premium for ecological goods in the regions of Ukraine (on the example of the residents of Kharkiv and Kyiv). For this purpose, different methods were used in the research: surveys; abstract-logical; induction and deduction; monographic; comparative analysis; graphic. The scientific value was provided by the theoretical development and methodological principles of assessing the willingness of consumers to pay a price premium for ecological goods in the regions of Ukraine. These have become the scientific basis for assessing the future development of this segment of the market, since more than half of consumers are ready to buy ecological products, even more expensive than ordinary ones, but there is a certain limit for the price premium. It was revealed that the potential for market development is the greatest, provided that the price premium for the environmental properties of the goods is not more than 25%. Accordingly, the higher the price premium on ecological goods, the less consumers are willing to buy them. The comparison of consumers’ attitudes from different regions (examples from the residents of Kharkiv and Kyiv) on ecological goods and their willingness to pay a price premium for them showed that one of the key factors is the level of the purchasing power of the population. The obtained results of the research can be used to assess the prospects for the development of the market in ecological goods, to develop a set of measures to increase the level of readiness of domestic consumers to pay a price premium for ecological products and the adoption of managerial and marketing decisions in the relevant segment of the market.

Open access
In pursuit of livelihood sustainability and drought resilience: The human dimension of drought-adaptation in the Maasai pastoralists coupled socio-ecological systems across Kajiado County, Kenya

Abstract

The system of Maasai-pastoralism, practiced in the savanna rangelands of Kenya, epitomizes an ideal learning platform upon which the dynamics of factors and/or processes that shape sustainability and drought resilience in a coupled socio-ecological system can be unravelled. This study engaged an integrated approach to examine the dynamics of drought-adaptation strategies utilized in Maasai-pastoralism, a strongly coupled socio-ecological system. The current empirical evidence reveals the integrative utilization of varied and multipurpose adaptation strategies. Migrate-livestock, diversify-livelihood, and diversify-livestock, in that order, dominate as the most widely utilized drought-adaptations in Maasai-pastoralism. In this system, drought-adaptation strategies that take advantage of drought conditions are rare. In addition, over 50% of the Maasais’ households frequently use an admixture of over half of the existing strategies. The study reveals that drought-adaptation strategies in Maasai-pastoralism are inextricably interconnected systematic endeavours that simultaneously help alleviate deleterious drought-impacts and livelihood-risks, manage resilience, ensure sustainability of the core socioeconomic sector and of critical rangeland resources, and deal with cross-scale social and biophysical happenings and conditions within which this system is entrenched. As drought recurrences intensify, and shifts in social, political, economic, ecological factors and processes persist, the Maasai’s adaptation strategies and livelihood subsistence, as well as pathways of development, will be transformed in ways that we are yet to understand. Therefore, efforts toward enhancing drought-adaptations and the Maasai’s livelihoods should be based on a holistic understanding of the social-biophysical landscapes within which this system is entrenched. In policy terms, such efforts should be participatory and be mainstreamed within policies and/or programs related to, and/or operating in, Maasai-inhabited regions.

Open access
Landscape transformations in the alluvial fan of the River Little Vistula (Mała Wisła) in Poland from the 18th century to the present

Abstract

Development within the River Little Vistula valley undoubtedly started at the very beginnings of the Polish state. At that stage, human activity focused on finding and adapting sites that were suitable for permanent settlement and also on utilising the resources found in the valley and afforded by the river such as fishing and shipping opportunities. The shape of the River Little Vistula alluvial fan also allowed the construction of numerous canals branching from the river channel, on which mills, fulleries and sawmills were established. The characteristics of the landscape changes which have taken place in the study area have been presented on the basis of analyses of large-scale (1:28,800) topographic maps from the mid-18th and 19th centuries, modern topographic maps and also from visits to the study area (General-Mappa des Merzogthums Ober-Schleisien 1763–1764 and Übersicht der Militar Aufmahme von Mähren und Schlesien, 1839-1840). It was found that landscapes of the River Little Vistula alluvial fan are “landscapes of valleys and plains subject to water accumulation and floods”. Such areas are characterised by the presence of groundwater at low depths and are subject to periodic flooding by river waters, which are rich in mineral substances. Their habitats include riparian forests and flood meadows, which have often been transformed into arable fields. Characteristic types of soils in these areas include alluvial soils and peats, and typical elements of the landscape are water bodies, mainly fish ponds.

Open access
Methane emissions and demethanation of coal mines in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin between 1997 and 2016

Abstract

Between 1997 and 2016 we observed important changes in hard coal extraction and methane emission in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin. Hard coal extraction in the near future will be very dangerous because it will be necessary to reach deeper methane-rich coal seams. Permanent monitoring of the volume of emitted and captured methane is necessary to combat the methane hazard. The predictability of gaseous hazards are important in order to keep underground work safe. We gathered and analysed data from three coal companies: Katowice Coal Holding, the Coal Company, Jastrzębie Coal Company and in the whole of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin for the last twenty years and this allowed us to notice changes and CH4 trends in ventilation emission and demethanation. There is a decrease in the extraction of hard coal from year to year. At the same time there is an increase in the total methane emissions which forces actions aimed to effective contracting the methane hazard. Specifically, methane emission has been increasing for years, making hard coal extraction very dangerous. We observed increases in CH4 vent emission and volume of methane coming from underground drainage systems. Much more methane is released during hard coal extraction at deeper mine levels. Throughout the entire research period the methane hazard increased. Therefore, the development of modern technologies for methane capturing should contribute to improvement of hazardous conditions for coal mining in the basin.

Open access
The role of wetland management agencies within the local community in the conservation of wetlands in Uganda

Abstract

Wetlands in Uganda are believed to be socio-economically important for providing water for drinking, irrigation, fisheries, recreation, transport and agriculture among others. Bearing in mind the host of benefits wetlands provide to local communities, if they are harnessed without the mind, they could end up being over utilized and ultimately degraded and not continue to provide a stream of functions, attributes and services. This could be one of the primary reasons why special Departments and Institutions like the National Environment Management Authority and Wetlands Management Department were created to manage the country’s natural resources including wetlands. The study was initiated to explore how wetland management agencies influence members of the local community on matters concerning the conservation of wetlands in Uganda. A cross-sectional research design was used to collect qualitative and quantitative data. A questionnaire survey was conducted amongst four hundred households to collect information concerning the role of wetland management agencies among members of the local community for the conservation of wetlands in Uganda. More information was obtained from senior officials from the National Environment Management Authority, Wetland Management Department, and District Natural Resources Officers from the study area using a non-structured questionnaire. Key informant interviews and direct observations were also used to collect data. The study revealed that gathering materials for building and for making crafts, agricultural activities, unsustainable mining of clay and sand for building contributed to wetland degradation. Some circumstances like high population growth, unclear wetland ownership, unawareness of the indirect functions of wetlands also contributed to wetland degradation. It was found that the wetland management agencies have been ineffective towards the conservation of wetlands mainly due to inadequate funding, political interference, and lack of specific judges for wetland related court cases among others. For wetland management agencies to effectively perform their duties leading to the protection and conservation of wetlands in Uganda, the study recommends that members of the local community should be allowed to practice wetland edge farming, fish farming in ponds constructed in wetlands, and to leave some parts of these vital wetlands that have been reclaimed to regenerate, in addition to addressing the main reported hindrances that are stifling the smooth running of the activities of the agencies.

Open access
Development of indicators for the sustainability of the sugar industry

Abstract

Sustainable development has been highlighted widely in productive sectors such as the sugar industry with new paradigms and trends such restructuring of sugar mills in biorefineries and development of green chemical from byproducts, considering issues such as technology adoption towards sustainability, circular economy, climate change, value chain, sustainability assessment and decision making. Production of cane sugar is one of Mexico’s main agro-industries; it conveys numerous positive socio-economic impacts and presents opportunities for productive diversification and enhanced profitability and competiveness. The sugar industry faces sustainability challenges due to the management of natural resources like soil, water, fossil fuels and agrochemicals, as well as the impacts of its greenhouse gas emissions and socio-economic constraints. However, sustainability of cane and sugar production cannot be assessed due to a lack of methodological frameworks for integrating economic and environmental indicators. We propose an index for Mexico’s sugar agro-industry that facilitates the identification of those system components that impact sustainability. This index is based on a reduced number of indicators aggregated through a multi-criteria evaluation using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). We apply this index to evaluate four sugar production systems in Mexico: producers of raw, refined, muscovado sugar and ethanol. Results show that systems with a high agro-industrial yield present better sustainability performance. This study is relevant because it provides quantitative information for decision makers towards a sustainable sugarcane agro-industry, based on the indicators used to build the sustainability index, to address actions as increase productive diversification by-products based, improve access to credit, irrigation, management practices and raw material quality reducing production costs, eliminate fossil fuel use in factories, make fertilizer application more efficient and reduce the area that is burned for manual harvest.

Open access
Environmental Kuznets Curve for CO2 emissions: An analysis for developing, Middle East, OECD and OPEC countries

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the relevance of the Environmental Kuznets Curve, which shows that there is an inverted-U shaped relationship between environmental pollution and economic growth. We investigated the relationship between per capita income and the carbon dioxide emissions as indicators of environmental pollution in Developing Countries, OECD, Middle East and OPEC countries for the period of 1970-2016. The contribution of our study is the evaluation and comparison of Developing Countries, OECD, Middle East and OPEC countries together in the context of EKC. We employ the fixed effect and GMM techniques in this study and results obtained from cubic models indicate that the N-shaped relationship for Developing, Middle East countries and OECD countries and inverted N-shaped relationship for OPEC countries exist. Considering these conclusions, we draw some serious policy implications for the policy makers in these countries. Governments should closely follow the industries that generate CO2 emissions as after some point environmental degradation increases again as income increases. In addition adopting clean energies including wind and solar systems and making these technologies widespread across countries might reduce CO2 emissions. Another alternative way to reduce CO2 emissions might be a carbon tax which should be implemented for polluters.

Open access
An evaluation of vegetation health and the socioeconomic dimension of the vulnerability of Jharkhand state of India in climate change scenarios and their likely impact: a geospatial approach

Abstract

Geospatial evaluation of various datasets is extremely important because it gives a better comprehension of the past, present and future and can therefore be significantly utilized in effective decision making strategies. This study examined the relationships, using geospatial tools, between various diversified datasets such as land use/land cover (LULC), long term Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) based changes, long term forest fire points, poverty percentage, tribal percentage, forest fire hotspots, climate change vulnerability, agricultural vulnerability and future (2030) climate change anomalies (RCP-6) of Jharkhand state, India, for a better understanding and knowledge of its vegetation health, LULC, poverty, tribal population and future climate change impact. The long term NDVI (1982-2006) evaluation revealed negative change trends in seven northwest districts of Jharkhand state, these were: Hazaribag, Ramgarh, Palamu, Lohardaga, Chatra, Garhwa and Latehar. The forests as well as the agriculture of these districts have lost their greenness during this period. The forest fire frequency events were found to be more pronounced in the land use/land cover of “tropical lowland forests, broadleaved, evergreen, <1000 m” category, and were roughly twice the intensity of the “tropical mixed deciduous and dry deciduous forests” category. In the nine districts of Jharkhand it was found that 40 % of the population was living below the poverty line which is around twice the national average. The highest poverty districts, in percentage, were: Garwah (53.93), Palamu (49.24), Latehar (47.99) and Chatra (46.2). The southwest and south of Jharkhand state shows a tribal population density of more than 40%. The climate change vulnerability was found to be highest in the district of Saraikela followed by Pashchim Singhbhum, whereas agricultural vulnerability was found to be highest in the district of Pashchim Singhbhum followed by Saraikela, Garhwa, Simdega, Latehar, Palamu and Lohardaga. The temperature anomalies prediction for the year 2030 shows an increasing trend in temperature with values of 0.8°C to 1°C in the state of Jharkhand. The highest increases were observed in the districts of Pashchim Singhbhum, Simdega and Saraikela. Based on these evaluations we can conclude that a few of the districts of Jharkhand, such as Pashchim Singhbhum, Garhwa, Palamu and Latehar need to be prioritized for development on an urgent basis. The outcomes of this study would certainly guide the policymakers to prepare more robust plans when keeping in mind the future climate change impacts for the prioritization of various districts of Jharkhand which suffer from extreme poverty, diminished livelihood and insignificant agricultural productivity for the betterment of the people of Jharkhand based on their adaptive capacity.

Open access
Geomorphological conditions of the location historical ironworks. A contribution to the research based on DEM analysis from LIDAR data

Abstract

The aim of this study was to present the use of the natural elements of the relief of river valleys such as changes in the width of the valley bottom, landforms occurring in the bottom of the valley, differences in height of the valley terraces as favourable for the location of the dam partitioning the bottom of the valley and creating a water reservoir for the requirements of historic metallurgical centres. The research was carried out based on DEM analysis from LiDAR data. Features were chosen in river basins with a rich metallurgical legacy. Analysis of the location of the former ironworks was carried out using Surfer 12 software. Five centres were selected due to the fact that only these are the only centres suitable for research which have survived to this day. Using the shaded relief models and contour coloured maps absolute differences in height between valley levels and other forms of relief occurring in the valley were analyzed, as well as the distribution of individual terrain forms in the designated part of the valley and changes in the width of the valley bottom were analysed in the context of the location of former metallurgical centres. On the basis of the contours of the former water reservoir visible in the valley relief, and using a surface area measurement tool (Surfer software), the range of the area that the reservoir could cover was measured. On the basis of the results obtained, it can be seen that convenient geomorphological conditions were used for the placement of selected weirs and metallurgical ponds which facilitated the damming of the valley. Natural narrowing of the valley bottom, or dunes and hills directly adjacent to the valley floor, were utilised during the construction of the dam. The rivers on which the furnace ponds were constructed are relatively small watercourses, so the weirs created by the constructors are not impressive. Their height is generally in the range of about 2 to 3 metres and their length is from about 120 to 300 metres. Nevertheless, they were effective in allowing sufficient water retention and the creation of furnace ponds with a measured area of about 4.5 ha to about 25 ha.

Open access