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Reed M.G.,Environment Canada | Scott A.,17 Science Place | Natcher D.,Business and Economics | Johnston M.,Saskatchewan Research Council
Canadian Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2014

Analyses of climate change and the forest sector have identified the importance of individual actors, institutions, and organizations within communities for effective adaption and climate mitigation. Yet, there remains little recognition of how the internal dynamics of these institutions and organizations are influenced by gender and other social considerations such as age and culture. Research from developing countries and cognate resource sectors suggests that these considerations are critical for enhancing local adaptive capacity. Despite extensive review of forestry research across North America and western Europe, we found almost no research that addresses how differential social capabilities within forest-based communities affect adaptation to climate change. In this paper, we document the potential that gender sensitivity might provide to conceptions and practical applications of adaptive capacity and identify four types of research opportunities to address this gap: (i) developing disaggregated capitals frameworks; (ii) creating inclusive models; (iii) informing social planning; and (iv) understanding gender mainstreaming. Research focused on these opportunities, among others, will provide more robust theoretical understanding of adaptive capacity and strategic interventions necessary for effective adaptation. Source

The study uncovers the strategies being used by Australian publishers by analysing findings from interviews with 25 senior Australian publishers of various sizes, across trade, education, scholarly and literary sectors. Dr Jan Zwar, researcher at Macquarie University's Faculty of Business and Economics, said, "As a mid-size industry, Australian publishers have been forced to work harder in order to compete globally and deal with major changes that have been occurring across the industry." "We saw publishers develop defensive strategies to entrants such as Google, Apple and Amazon, for example the development of direct to consumer print and ebook sales. In some cases, such as Harlequin, the sale of ebooks is an extension of its postal mail order services to readers." "While other publishers employed opportunistic strategies that leveraged digital technology, such as open access publishing and the use of metadata, apps and social media for promotion." "For instance, Momentum was set up in Australia by Pan Macmillian to experiment with epublishing, ebook pricing and digital sales channels. Kylie Scott, who is now a New York Times best-selling author, was discovered through Momentum's open submission process." "Other strategies aimed to open up new, different markets and to create new business models, for instance new types of royalty agreements between publishers and authors and moves to subscription models," added Dr Zwar. The report also looks at the structural changes within the industry and the impact this is having on book sales. For instance, Big W is now believed to be the single biggest book retailer in Australia. The online retailer Booktopia, purchased Bookworld in 2015 and is now the dominant Australian-based online retailer, with an estimated market share of six to seven per cent. On education book publishing, Dr Zwar commented, "Education publishing is arguably undergoing more radical transformation than trade publishing because it is also affected by disruption in the education sector. In additional to technology, education publishing is affected by government policies to improve education and employment outcomes as well as financial constraints."

Smyth S.J.,Business and Economics | McDonald J.,Business and Economics | Falck-Zepeda J.,International Food Policy Research Institute
GM crops & food | Year: 2014

As with any technological innovation, time refines the technology, improving upon the original version of the innovative product. The initial GM crops had single traits for either herbicide tolerance or insect resistance. Current varieties have both of these traits stacked together and in many cases other abiotic and biotic traits have also been stacked. This innovation requires investment. While this is relatively straight forward, certain conditions need to exist such that investments can be facilitated. The principle requirement for investment is that regulatory frameworks render consistent and timely decisions. If the certainty of regulatory outcomes weakens, the potential for changes in investment patterns increases.   This article provides a summary background to the leading plant breeding technologies that are either currently being used to develop new crop varieties or are in the pipeline to be applied to plant breeding within the next few years. Challenges for existing regulatory systems are highlighted. Utilizing an option value approach from investment literature, an assessment of uncertainty regarding the regulatory approval for these varying techniques is undertaken. This research highlights which technology development options have the greatest degree of uncertainty and hence, which ones might be expected to see an investment decline. Source

Smyth S.J.,Business and Economics | Phillips P.W.,Business and Economics
GM crops & food | Year: 2014

The global regulation of products of biotechnology is increasingly divided. Regulatory decisions for genetically modified (GM) crops in North America are predictable and efficient, with numerous countries in Latin and South America, Australia and Asia following this lead. While it might have been possible to argue that Europe's regulations were at one time based on real concerns about minimizing risks and ensuring health and safety, it is increasingly apparent that the entire European Union (EU) regulatory system for GM crops and foods is now driven by political agendas. Countries within the EU are at odds with each other as some have commercial production of GM crops, while others refuse to even develop regulations that could provide for the commercial release of GM crops. This divide in regulatory decision-making is affecting international grain trade, creating challenges for feeding an increasing global population. Source

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