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Environmental values in the petrochemical industry: A Q-method study in South West Iran

Abstract

Achieving sustainable development in different regional and cultural contexts is dependent, in part, upon an understanding of key actors’ underlying environmental, social and economic values. The social research technique called Q-methodology presents an effective means to explore such values as a matter of discourse: revealing the typologies of stakeholder perspectives within a given debate. Q-method involves factor analysis of participant rank-ordered preselected statements on a topic. The resultant factors are then reinterpreted as social discourses. In this study we use Q-methodology to explore the environmental values of Health Safety and Environmental (HSE) managers in petrochemical companies in Khuzestan province in southwest Iran. Khuzestan is a key region of petrochemical product development, with significant associated environmental pollution effects. Understanding HSE managers’ attitudes to environmental protection is of value in predicting broader environmental impacts to the region, given the relative importance of their role in regulating the environmental performance of this industry. Our results reveal four distinct and varied perspectives on environmental protection labelled: ‘Environmental stewardship’, ‘Environmental presentism’, ‘Technological optimism’ and ‘Enlightened anthropocentrism’. We then discuss how these four emergent perspectives correspond to broader environmental discourses as categorized by John Dryzek: i.e. green rationalism, economic rationalism, prometheanism and ecological modernization respectively.

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Ecosytem Services: A Rapid Assessment Method Tested at 35 Sites of the LTER-Europe Network

Abstract

The identification of parameters to monitor the ecosystem services delivered at a site is fundamental to the concept’s adoption as a useful policy instrument at local, national and international scales. In this paper we (i) describe the process of developing a rapid comprehensive ecosystem service assessment methodology and (ii) test the applicability of the protocol at 35 long-term research (LTER) sites across 14 countries in the LTER-Europe network (www.lter-europe.net) including marine, urban, agricultural, forest, desert and conservation sites. An assessment of probability of occurrence with estimated confidence score using 83 ecosystem service parameters was tested. The parameters were either specific services like food production or proxies such as human activities which were considered surrogates for cultural diversity and economic activity. This initial test of the ecosystem service parameter list revealed that the parameters tested were relatively easy to score by site managers with a high level of certainty (92% scored as either occurring or not occurring at the site with certainty of over 90%). Based on this assessment, we concluded that (i) this approach to operationalise the concept of ecosystem services is practical and applicable by many sectors of civil society as a first screen of the ecosystem services present at a site, (ii) this study has direct relevance to land management and policy decision makers as a transparent vehicle to focus testing scenarios and target data gathering, but (iii) further work beyond the scale investigated here is required to ensure global applicability.

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Assessment of the environmental value of the Zichy Castle Park in Voivodeni, Romania – Brief description

Abstract

The Zichy Castle from Vajdaszentiväny (Voievodeni) is located in Mure§ County, central Romania, south-west from the town of Reghin. Its constniction in classical baroque style dates back to the beginning of the X\TH Century. The archaeological findings from the area show that Vajdaszentiväny was already populated in the Copper Age. The findings of gray dishes from the III and IV centuries were considered by Dr. Protase as indigenous Daco-Roman relics. The Roman presence here was demonstrated by residues of the hewn-stone road along the Maros River. After the Roman Age, several other populations (Goths, Slavonic peoples. Darghins and Huns) settled down here. The feudal Hungarian state occupied this area around the XI Century. Several streams, terraces and old cemetery ruins demonstrate tliat the Hungarians used the region for protective purposes. The first mitten records of Vajdaszentiväny date back to 1332, when die Papal documents (Sacerdos de Sancto Johanne) mention the settlement for the first time. In 1366. the name of the village was Märton-Szent-Ivän. and dunng the centuries it belonged to several old and noble families and dynasties as szentiväni Szekely. monoszlai Losonczi. Szakäcsi. the Bänffy and Dezsöfi, the Szentiväni, Butkai, Balog, Kecseti, Kerelöi, Szengyeli, Dengelegi, Fodor, vajdaszentivänyi Földväri, Koka, Piski, Järai or Järai Felsöjärai Abafäja. During the first half of the 19* Century, among former Hungarians noble owners of the village, the following can be mentioned: Count Sämuel Kemeny, Albert Horvath, Budai, Szocs (Käroly es Mihäly) and Duke Löwenthäl. Later on, the village of Vajdaszentiväny became famous because of its castle, later named the “Zichy Castle,” but also because of its citizens as preservers of folk music, folk dance and folk tales.

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Environmental Attitudes in An Intergenerational Perspective

Abstract

Environmentally oriented attitudes and values can be one of the sources of intergenerational tension or consent. Considering that climate change has become one of the major societal themes today, the issue of intergenerational tension or consent in approach to the environment is crucial. This issue could bring about a generational gap. Questions about intergenerational tensions bring us to age influence on environmental values. The influence of age on environmental values has been researched using the European Values Study (EVS) 1991 – 2017 in six countries. The cohort/age period effect is differentiated using cross-country comparison, comparison of age groups and cohorts. The results showed that the differences in environmental values are not affected by the cohort effect; age has only a weak influence. The period effect, the change in societies seems to be the major explaining factor. Great differences among European countries were found and this diversity is much higher than the effect of age.

Open access
Responsible Marketing: Doing Well by Doing Good

Abstract

Business value and social or environmental values can go hand in hand. If companies not only create socio-environmental value by caring for people and our planet, but also drive business value and profit through such initiatives, then CSR or corporate social responsibility can be a source of competitive differentiation and advantage. In such companies, sustainability initiatives are close to the core businesses which leverage the competencies of the company and in line with company values and principles. While some stumbling blacks need to be mastered on the way, many companies have applied this concept successfully. The business value created by CSR initiatives ranges from employee and customer loyalty, positive word of mouth, resilience to negative information about the company and several other coveted business outcomes. To integrate CSR successfully, management should be committed to its causes, integrate all stakeholders in the initiatives and communicate about projects in an open, honest and authentic way. Much like other aspects of marketing strategy, there is a need to monitor and measure sustainability efforts to tune activities and insure overall success.

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China Talks Climate: A Frame Analysis of Discourses on Climate Change and the Environment in the PRC

Abstract

In 2007, China overtook the US to become the largest emitter of CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere. China’s vital role in global efforts to combat climate change creates a pressing challenge to explore the unique characteristics of Chinese environmental values and policy processes, and to identify the frames that are employed to understand climate change and related environmental issues domestically. This paper investigates a) how the political context, as well as differing political agendas and policy goals within which actors operate, affects and sometimes constrains the frames they generally employ; and b) the specific frames used to understand and discuss climate change by interview subjects and in written documents. It finds that different frames are employed by those supporting the current regime and its attendant official discourses on climate change and the environment (mainly government officials) and those challenging or in opposition to such dominant framings (particularly NGOs).

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The application of pedotransfer functions in the estimation of water retention in alluvial soils in Żuławy Wiślane, northern Poland

Abstract

The aim of the studies was the assessment of the usefulness of selected pedotransfer function for calculating the water retention of alluvial soils in Żuławy Wiślane. Żuławy Wiślane are an important area, both as far as agricultural production and environmental values are concerned. The analysis accounted for three models, i.e.: van Genuchten-Wösten, Varellyay and Mieronienko, Hewelke et al. Based on 122 dataset of alluvial soils from the Żuławy area, the statistical relationships between the measured values of total available water and values calculated for individual models were analysed. The studies carried out indicate that the analysed pedotransfer functions are characterized by different compatibilities with results obtained by means of direct measurement. The lowest average errors of fit were obtained for the Hewelke et al. and van Genuchten models.

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Health And Recreation Tourism In The Development Of Mountain Spas And Resorts

Abstract

The positive achievements of the globalization process is the awareness of the imminent protection and preservation of the environment, and the consequent health tourism, as a kind of organized movement of people to meet the needs of living in a “pristine nature” and satisfying the need for clean water, food and air. It is a little-known, easily accessible wilderness areas in the world. Environmental values through such places, such as the specific characteristics of space, good climate, hydrographic resources and other natural features can be a good basis for the development of health and recreational tourism in the future. In this sense, national, and increasingly local communities should be responsible for the selected type and pace of tourism development in terms of directing the long-term quality and complex interaction between the tourist offer, tourist demand and the environment in general. Strategic vision, in this context, involves the application of eco-management, both in the field of tourism policy, as well as in the domain of politics at the level of individual holders of tourist attractions. With that in mind, this paper presents the possibilities of development of health and recreational tourism in spas and mountain resorts, and points to the role in this development, there should be an eco-management, especially if we take into account the fact that in today's terms of increased tourist demand for healthy and intact natural areas.

Open access
Protection of a Landscape Park’s Area in The Spatial Extent of Impact of the Poznan Agglomeration, Midwestern Poland

Abstract

This paper points out possibilities for limiting anthropic pressure in the Puszcza Zielonka Landscape Park in Poland. Based on the identification and evaluation of the most precious fragments of the environment, it determines the attractiveness of the park perceived as a complex multi- -ecosystem. It also identifies the main spatial problems and symptoms of anthropic pressure. The evaluation was conducted through establishing zones with similar environmental value and the determination of hemeroby indicators. The following basic problems were identified: recreational buildings and the development of settlements, cessation of agricultural production, further division of arable land into smaller plots in the buffer zone, combined with a change of land use. The final result of this research is a map of the functional and spatial division of the park, allowing for its protective, biocenotic and scientific functions and possible use for recreation in line with the principles of sustainable development. We ascertained that the strategic objectives and criteria for shaping spatial structures of protected areas should be included in the local spatial policy.

Open access
Self-Evaluation as a Tool in Developing Environmental Responsibility

Self-Evaluation as a Tool in Developing Environmental Responsibility

The purpose of the paper is to share the findings of an action research project aimed at exploring the impact of transformative pedagogies on pre-service teachers following an environmental education programme (EEP), offered by the University of Malta. Assessment and evaluation practices of environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable education (ESD) programmes tend to cater just for knowledge content and skills, usually failing to target the development of attitudes and values that promote sustainable lifestyles. The EEP was specifically designed to target the development of pro-environmental values by actively involving students in their learning mainly and providing opportunities for reflection and self-evaluation. The paper analyses qualitative research data obtained from evaluation questionnaires about every study unit in the programme; reflective questionnaires drawing upon the students' reflective journals; a focus group interview and in depth one-to-one interviews with individual students. The paper provides students' evaluations about the course design and effectiveness that should provide insights for course developers and evaluators seeking to develop EE/ESD programmes that address individual needs through learner centred pedagogies.

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