International University for Sustainable Development
Managua, Nicaragua
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Reed M.S.,International University for Sustainable Development | Evely A.C.,University of St. Andrews | Fazey I.,University of St. Andrews | Glass J.,UHI Millenium Institute | And 6 more authors.
Ecology and Society | Year: 2010

Social learning is increasingly becoming a normative goal in natural resource management and policy. However, there remains little consensus over its meaning or theoretical basis. There are still considerable differences in understanding of the concept in the literature, including a number of articles published in Ecology & Society. Social learning is often conflated with other concepts such as participation and proenvironmental behavior, and there is often little distinction made between individual and wider social learning. Many unsubstantiated claims for social learning exist, and there is frequently confusion between the concept itself and its potential outcomes. This lack of conceptual clarity has limited our capacity to assess whether social learning has occurred, and if so, what kind of learning has taken place, to what extent, between whom, when, and how. This response attempts to provide greater clarity on the conceptual basis for social learning. We argue that to be considered social learning, a process must: (1) demonstrate that a change in understanding has taken place in the individuals involved; (2) demonstrate that this change goes beyond the individual and becomes situated within wider social units or communities of practice; and (3) occur through social interactions and processes between actors within a social network. A clearer picture of what we mean by social learning could enhance our ability to critically evaluate outcomes and better understand the processes through which social learning occurs. In this way, it may be possible to better facilitate the desired outcomes of social learning processes. © 1969 by the author(s).

PubMed | International University for Sustainable Development, University of Oxford, Lancaster University, Central European University and University of Edinburgh
Type: | Journal: Journal of environmental management | Year: 2016

Understanding how farmers perceive climate change risks and how this affects their willingness to adopt adaptation practices is critical for developing effective climate change response strategies for the agricultural sector. This study examines (i) the perceptual relationships between farmers awareness of climate change phenomena, beliefs in climate change risks and actual adaptation behaviour, and (ii) how these relationships may be modified by farm-level antecedents related to human, social, financial capitals and farm characteristics. An extensive household survey was designed to investigate the current pattern of adaptation strategies and collect data on these perceptual variables and their potential antecedents from private landowners in Veszprm and Tolna counties, Hungary. Path analysis was used to explore the causal connections between variables. We found that belief in the risk of climate change was heightened by an increased awareness of directly observable climate change phenomena (i.e. water shortages and extreme weather events). The awareness of extreme weather events was a significant driver of adaptation behaviour. Farmers actual adaptation behaviour was primarily driven by financial motives and managerial considerations (i.e. the aim of improving profit and product sales; gaining farm ownership and the amount of land managed; and, the existence of a successor), and stimulated by an innovative personality and the availability of information from socio-agricultural networks. These results enrich the empirical evidence in support of improving understanding of farmer decision-making processes, which is critical in developing well-targeted adaptation policies.

Bunch M.J.,York University | Morrison K.E.,University of Guelph | Parkes M.W.,University of Northern British Columbia | Venema H.D.,International University for Sustainable Development
Ecology and Society | Year: 2011

In coupled social-ecological systems, the same driving forces can result in combined social and environmental health inequities, hazards, and impacts. Policies that decrease social inequities and improve social cohesion, however, also have the potential to improve health outcomes and to minimize and offset the drivers of ecosystem change. Actions that address both biophysical and social environments have the potential to create a "double dividend" that improves human health, while also promoting sustainable development. One promising approach to managing the complex, reciprocal interactions among ecosystems, society, and health is the integration of the ecohealth approach (which holds that human health and well-being are both dependent on ecosystems and are important outcomes of ecosystem management) with watershed-based water resources management. Using key management concepts such as resilience, such approaches can help reduce vulnerability to natural hazards, maintain ecological flows of water and the provision of other ecological services, and promote long-term sustainability of coupled human and natural systems. Priorities for understanding and realizing health benefits of watershed management include (i) addressing poverty and reducing inequities, (ii) promoting resilience (for health) in watersheds, and (iii) applying watersheds as a context for intersectoral management tools and policy integration. Examples of work linking health and watershed management demonstrate that not only is appreciation of complex systems important, but an effective approach is participatory and transdisciplinary and gives attention to equity and historical context. © 2011 by the author(s).

PubMed | International University for Sustainable Development and George Mason University
Type: | Journal: Annual review of psychology | Year: 2016

This review article examines the literature regarding the role played by principles of justice in negotiation. Laboratory experiments and high-stakes negotiations reveal that justice is a complex concept, both in relation to attaining just outcomes and to establishing just processes. We focus on how justice preferences guide the process and outcome of negotiated exchanges. Focusing primarily on the two types of principles that have received the most attention, distributive justice (outcomes of negotiation) and procedural justice (process of negotiation), we introduce the topic by reviewing the most relevant experimental and field or archival research on the roles played by these justice principles in negotiation. A discussion of the methods used in these studies precedes a review organized in terms of a framework that highlights the concept of negotiating stages. We also develop hypotheses based on the existing literature to point the way forward for further research on this topic.

Bergleiter S.,Naturland e.V. | Meisch S.,International University for Sustainable Development
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics | Year: 2015

From a certifier’s perspective (Naturland e.V.), this paper deals with the question of how to bring together the values of producers and consumers in globalized food markets. It is argued that growth and mainstreaming of organic food production cannot be achieved solely by ethically aware consumers signalling their more sustainable purchase decision to the market. In fact, the intrinsic motivation of producers is an indispensable requisite for such a development. It is then the organic movement’s and the certifier’s (such as Naturland e.V.) task to bring together the values of consumers and producers. This challenge is explored in the following by using the example of organic aquaculture. Based on one of the author’s experience in the field of aquaculture certification since the late 1990s, in about twenty countries and with most aquaculture animal species, the paper examines critical value-based aspects that are prominent from the perspective of sustainability. These are: use of problematic substances in aquaculture production, stocking density, origin of feedstuff, certification procedure, and small-scale farming versus large aquaculture companies. On this basis, the paper describes and analyses attempts to formulate respective organic certification standards. In order to bring about organic aquaculture, it is argued that consumers’ choices alone are not sufficient and that successful transformation to sustainable aquaculture also needs to take into account values and preferences of producers. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

De Oliveira Filho H.M.,International University for Sustainable Development | Oliveira D.D.S.,Federal University of Ceará | Praca P.P.,Federal University of Ceará
IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics | Year: 2016

This study presents the steady-state analysis and experimental results on a soft-switching bidirectional isolated threephase dc-dc converter using DPS control with variable duty cycle. The topology uses three single H-bridges in the primary side and a three-phase inverter in the secondary side. High-frequency isolation is ensured by using three single-phase transformers connected in open delta-wye configuration. The variation of both phase-shift angles between the H-bridge legs and/or primary and secondary sides allows controlling the power flow, while reduced reactive power flow is possible. The variable duty cycle is used to ensure a constant voltage bus and/or zero voltage switching operation. A detailed analysis is presented considering amodel based on the fundamental components for the voltages and currents in the transformer. A comparison between the fundamental and the actual models is carried out to validate the proposed model. Experimental results on a 96 V/350-400 V, 3.5 kW prototype are presented and discussed to validate the proposed approach. © 2015 IEEE.

De Oliveira Filho H.M.,International University for Sustainable Development | De S. Oliveira D.,Federal University of Ceará | De Alencar E Silva C.E.,Federal University of Ceará
IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications | Year: 2014

This paper presents the analysis, design, simulation, and experimental results for a three-stage static power converter for battery charging feasible to small wind energy conversion systems. The system employs a boost converter cascaded with a Graetz bridge that allows the implementation of a maximum power point (MPP) tracker and the reduction of the mechanical speed under overvoltage conditions across the batteries. Moreover, a buck converter is connected in series with the boost stage to ensure a constant voltage bus between the aforementioned topologies. Thus, it is possible to extract the maximum power over the entire wind speed range, and battery charging can be realized through conventional techniques. The complete design of the proposed battery charger including power, control, and supervisory circuits is presented and developed, considering a 300-W system, with the possibility of charging battery banks rated at 12 or 24 V. Simulation results are presented to prove the existence of MPPs in the wind generator. Finally, experimental results of the developed prototype required to validate the functionality of the proposed study are presented and discussed. © 2014 IEEE.

Filho H.M.D.O.,International University for Sustainable Development | Oliveira D.D.S.,Federal University of Ceará
2015 IEEE 13th Brazilian Power Electronics Conference and 1st Southern Power Electronics Conference, COBEP/SPEC 2016 | Year: 2015

This paper presents the dynamic analysis, simulation and experimental results on a ZVS (zero voltage switching) bidirectional isolated three-phase dc-dc converter. The topology uses a steady-state model based on fundamental components considering three possible control variables (dual phase-shift and duty cycle). The dynamic model of the converter using phase-shift (PS) control is developed employing the gyrator theory. Simulation results are presented to validate the plant model and test the digital control system. Implementation is performed in an FPGA (field-programmable gate array) device and closed-loop experimental results are discussed. © 2015 IEEE.

PubMed | Wageningen University, International University for Sustainable Development and King's College
Type: | Journal: Ambio | Year: 2015

The application of digital technology in conservation holds much potential for advancing the understanding of, and facilitating interaction with, the natural world. In other sectors, digital technology has long been used to engage communities and share information. Human development-which holds parallels with the nature conservation sector-has seen a proliferation of innovation in technological development. Throughout this Perspective, we consider what nature conservation can learn from the introduction of digital technology in human development. From this, we derive a charter to be used before and throughout project development, in order to help reduce replication and failure of digital innovation in nature conservation projects. We argue that the proposed charter will promote collaboration with the development of digital tools and ensure that nature conservation projects progress appropriately with the development of new digital technologies.

Conliffe A.,International University for Sustainable Development
Global Environmental Politics | Year: 2011

This article examines the role of linkage politics in revitalizing the largely ineffective UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). I argue that the UNCCD Secretariat has taken a leadership role in driving a regime linkage agenda that has focused disproportionately on linkages to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). By comparing the UNCCD Secretariat's attempts to build desertification-mitigation and desertification-adaptation linkages, I propose three criteria for predicting whether regime linkages are likely to benefit source regimes (here the UNCCD): the linkage's contribution to source governance goals; the credibility of knowledge presented by the source regime; and the linkage's political feasibility for the target regime. This analysis shows secretariats to be important actors in linkage politics whose actions can lead to both beneficial and harmful outcomes for the regimes they are intended to serve. Finally, by asking whether desertification issues that overlap with climate change might be better addressed under the UNFCCC, I question when regime overlap indicates regime redundancy and warrants regime death. © 2011 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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