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Coad L.,Conservation Science Group | Coad L.,Imperial College London | Coad L.,Environmental Change Institute | Abernethy K.,University of Stirling | And 4 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2010

Bushmeat hunting is an activity integral to rural forest communities that provides a high proportion of household incomes and protein requirements. An improved understanding of the relationship between bushmeat hunting and household wealth is vital to assess the potential effects of future policy interventions to regulate an increasingly unsustainable bushmeat trade. We investigated the relationship between hunting offtake and household wealth, gender differences in spending patterns, and the use of hunting incomes in two rural forest communities, Central Gabon, from 2003 to 2005. Households in which members hunted (hunting households) were significantly wealthier than households in which no one hunted (nonhunting households), but within hunting households offtakes were not correlated with household wealth. This suggests there are access barriers to becoming a hunter and that hunting offtakes may not be the main driver of wealth accumulation. Over half of the money spent by men in the village shop was on alcohol and cigarettes, and the amount and proportion of income spent on these items increased substantially with increases in individual hunting offtake. By contrast, the majority of purchases made by women were of food, but their food purchases decreased actually and proportionally with increased household hunting offtake. This suggests that the availability of bushmeat as a food source decreases spending on food, whereas hunting income may be spent in part on items that do not contribute significantly to household food security. Conservation interventions that aim to reduce the commercial bushmeat trade need to account for likely shifts in individual spending that may ensue and the secondary effects on household economies. © 2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

This paper explores the trends driving the growing demand for food imports to the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region through the lens of ‘decoupling’. The analysis deploys a water-specific model of the general idea of resource decoupling to analyse the role and potential of food and virtual water trade in alleviating national and regional water limits. Decoupling theorises the breaking of the link between economic and population growth and need for water demand for domestic food production. A key means of reducing pressure on scarce water resources of a growing population is to increase the proportion of food sourced from abroad. This strategy has been strongly embraced politically in a number of MENA economies facing a combination of water and labour shortage. Food imports provide a politically silent mechanism to achieve national food security, and generate significant markets for food-exporting, water abundant, economies including those in the tropics. This paper combines FAO Food Balance data with Water Footprint data to reveal how virtual water flows interact with food import tonnages to enhance or retard national decoupling based on food trade. The analysis reveals that much MENA water is directed at crops adapted to the MENA climate. However, the analysis reveals significant potential for the import of large quantities of MENA water needs from more water abundant countries through supply of staple crops. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology

Eyre N.,Environmental Change Institute
Energy Policy | Year: 2013

The use of feed-in tariffs (FITs) is now widespread for renewable energy and under discussion for other low carbon electricity generation, but not for energy efficiency. There is a small literature on FITs for electricity demand reduction, but not energy efficiency more generally. This paper considers the general application of FITs on the demand side and sets out the economic arguments in the context of changing energy markets. It then discusses the implications of some practical issues, including the definitional problems arising from the difference between energy efficiency and demand reduction. Using experience from historical energy efficiency programmes, it considers the public benefits, payment methods and policy scope that need to be considered and how these might affect policy design. It makes some provisional estimates of economically justified payments in the context of the proposed UK energy market reform. It concludes that FITs for energy saving might be a powerful tool for incentivising energy efficiency. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Bergman N.,Environmental Change Institute
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy | Year: 2013

The potential role of microgeneration in energy supply, carbon emissions reduction, energy security and even fuel poverty has been a topic of much interest in the past few years. Industry and government focus has been on financial tools and other policies aimed at maximising uptake. However, some recent studies on solar hot water and heat pumps suggest that not all microgeneration installations are delivering the expected energy or emissions savings, and consumers are in turn not reaping the expected financial benefits. The reasons are a mixture of technical problems and poor installations, institutional issues, poor information supply to users, and improper use. Such issues could delay or jeopardise plans for rolling out microgenerators such as heat pumps. This article considers what policies would help maximise the above-listed benefits of microgeneration, including the implications for the Renewable Heat Incentive, and the importance of measuring actual energy savings in homes. Given the mixed nature of the issues, a broader systemic view is used to analyse the institutional, cultural and behavioural reasons for the discrepancies in energy savings. © IMechE 2012.

Gamfeldt L.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Gamfeldt L.,Gothenburg University | Snall T.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Bagchi R.,Durham University | And 15 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2013

Forests are of major importance to human society, contributing several crucial ecosystem services. Biodiversity is suggested to positively influence multiple services but evidence from natural systems at scales relevant to management is scarce. Here, across a scale of 400,000 km2, we report that tree species richness in production forests shows positive to positively hump-shaped relationships with multiple ecosystem services. These include production of tree biomass, soil carbon storage, berry production and game production potential. For example, biomass production was approximately 50% greater with five than with one tree species. In addition, we show positive relationships between tree species richness and proxies for other biodiversity components. Importantly, no single tree species was able to promote all services, and some services were negatively correlated to each other. Management of production forests will therefore benefit from considering multiple tree species to sustain the full range of benefits that the society obtains from forests. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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