Thematic Areas

Results: 1 - 10 of 133
  • Strategies for Sustainable Wood fuel Production in Kenya.
    (Energy)
    Author: Githiomi J.K Oduor NWood energy provides 70% of Kenyas national energy needs and it is expected to continue as the countrys main source of energy for the foreseeable future. Wood is the standard cooking fuel for the majority of Kenyan households and also an important energy source for small-scale rural industries. Past studies on supply demand balance of woodfuel have shown a deficit. To address this deficit there is need for a comprehensive wood energy plan with implementation strategies which ensure its sustainable production. This paper outlines some of the strategies that need to be put in place for a sustainable woodfuel production. The strategies are both supply and demand oriented which are aimed at either increasing the supply or reducing the demand. The supply strategies include; enhancing on-farm tree planting, efficient management of rangelands and woodlands, development of fuelwood plantations by Kenya Forest Service. The demand oriented strategies include ; reducing demand through promotion of more efficient cooking stoves and charcoal conversion kilns, use of alternative sources of energy other than wood. Other strategies include formulation of woodfuel policies that enhances decentralized sustainable wood energy planning at all levels. The later can only be achieved if the wood energy institutional framework is strengthened and facilitated to collect wood energy data to be used in national energy planning alongside the conventional fuels that are currently given more emphasis. The decentralized wood energy planning is important as the strategies to be used for sustainable woodfuel production may vary from one region to the other.
  • Sustainability of forest energy in Northern Europe.
    (Energy)
    Author: Kati Koponen | Laura Sokka | Olli Salminen | Risto Sievänen | Kim Pingoud | Hannu Ilvesniemi | Johanna Routa | Tanja Ikonen | Tiina Koljonen | Eija Alakangas | Antti Asikainen | Kai SipiläThis report summarises the research-based results on the use of forest biomass for energy in Northern European conditions. It discusses the trade-offs and win-win situations of growing forests, sequestering carbon and using wood for energy production in an economically viable and ecologically sustainable manner. Several recommendations are given: The current Nordic forest industry activities and use of wood residues for energy production offer environmentally and economically sound solutions, where forests produce a continuous sustainable flow of biomass while maintaining, or even growing the carbon stock at the same time. These systems can be further developed, and research should concentrate on finding optimal situations, where forests can fulfil their several roles. x The role of forests in climate change mitigation is twofold: 1) Forests store carbon and act as carbon sinks. 2) Sustainably managed forests serve as a continuous source of biomaterials and bioenergy to displace use of fossil resources. x Continuous growth of forests needs to be ensured by sufficient investments in forests. To benefit both the bioeconomy and climate change mitigation, forest management needs to be optimised for both sustainable flow of biomass and carbon stock maintenance. x Short-term optimisation of using forests only as carbon sinks can lead to unsustainable forest management in the long run.
  • Possible Futures towards a Wood-Based Bioeconomy.
    (Energy)
    Author: Nina Hagemann , Erik Gawel, Alexandra Purkus, Nadine Pannicke, and Jennifer HauckDriven by the growing awareness of the finite nature of fossil raw materials and the need for sustainable pathways of industrial production, the bio-based economy is expected to expand worldwide. Policy strategies such as the European Union Bioeconomy Strategy and national bioeconomy strategies foster this process. Besides the advantages promised by a transition towards a sustainable bioeconomy, these processes have to cope with significant uncertainties as many influencing factors play a role, such as climate change, technological and economic development, sustainability risks, dynamic consumption patterns and policy and governance issues. Based on a literature review and an expert survey, we identify influence factors for the future development of a wood-based bioeconomy in Germany. Four scenarios are generated based on different assumptions about the development of relevant influence factors. We discuss what developments in politics, industry and society have a central impact on shaping alternative futures. As such, the paper provides a knowledge base and orientation for decision makers and practitioners, and contributes to the scientific discussion on how the bioeconomy could develop. We conclude that the wood-based bioeconomy has a certain potential to develop further, if adequate political framework conditions are implemented and meet voter support, if consumers exhibit an enhanced willingness to pay for bio-based products, and if among companies, a chance-oriented advocacy coalition of bioeconomy supporters dominates over proponents of fossil pathways.
  • Development of Pico-hydropower Plant for Farming Village in Upstream Watershed, Thailand.
    (Energy)
    Author: Sombat ChuenchooklinResearch on the development of Pico-hydropower plant for a farming village in Thailand was carried out. It is one aspect given by the national plan for the renewable technology development with wisely energy utilization from natural resources included wind, water, solar energies, bio-gas, and farm waste according to the Ministry of National Energy reported, respectively. Since, some upstream watersheds in Thailand are potential for the development of the large scale hydropower plants by mean of the dam constructions. However, most of proposed dam sites in the upstream watershed are located within the restricted area as for the forestry and environmental conservation zone according to the national environmental law of conservation. Pico-hydropower plant is more suitable to develop for the economic and farming zones of such watershed. A waterfall site in BanYaeng Village, Nakornthai District in Phitsanulok Province which locates at the upstream of Wangthong Watershed (Sub-basin of Nan River) was selected as the pilot project for the construction of the hydropower plant. The appropriated technology using the centrifugal pumping machine as for the water-turbine connected to a 3-phase motor producing electricity of 380 volts at revolution of 1500 rpm was applied. The system was based on low cost of construction, local materials, and easy construction and maintenance systems. Its performance of the overall systems by mean of the efficiency was found to 52% resulted by the effective head of 8.4 meters, flow rate of 15 liters per second, and electrical power production of 644 watts which can be used for the light, some houseware appliances, and some farming equipments. It can be applied to other small farming villages in any upstream watershed with enough head and flow rate in the stream over the year round in order to save investment cost for farming systems with the clean technology. However, it can be transferred to larger farming villages if higher head and larger flow rate in the natural stream or river were found which depended on the country and topography.
  • Factors Influencing Household Adoption of Renewable Energy Technologies in Rural Kenya
    (Energy)
    Author: National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND) and Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI)The world ratified the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that focuses on environmentalaspects of development in 2016 following the retiring of the Millennium Development goals thathad been adopted in 2000. The SDGs call for critical policy shift in addressing the developmentchallenges as they are known today, in particular the maintenance of sustainable environment inthe face of increasing energy demand. This is in order to ensure sustainable consumption andproduction pattern and take urgent action to combat climate change. To achieve development,Kenya as a country has to address the issue of energy use and mix. The countrys medium term plan2013-2017 recognizes the need for adoption of renewable energy that can save the environmentwhere the current forest cover at 11% is still below globally recommended level of 15%. Thisproject on factors influencing the adoption of renewable energy in rural households was carried outbetween May-August 2016 as a pilot study. This was to establish why the majority of Kenyans donot subscribe to the sustainable energy technologies despite the governments efforts in promotingthe use of these environmental friendly technologies.The study found that the country is still reeling from massive forest destruction as majority (95%) of Kenyan families in rural areas use fuelwood as their primary source of energy. Similarly,the countrys development agenda was found to be under threat since the family size had anaverage of 5-9 household members with a significant population of 2% having more than 10family members from a nuclear family perspective. This is despite existence of almost free familyplanning services which are also devolved to the counties. Such large family sizes are economicallychallenging to any meaningful development for the country since it strains the available resources.Interestingly, the study also found that economic activities, illiteracy and income as well as adoptionof renewable energy had a common denominator as those households with family head who wereilliterate (13 %) had very low disposable income and had no clue on RE technologies. In order forthe country to steady and sustain meaningful development in both social and economic front, thechallenges as found in this study should be addressed from both national and county governmentperspectives in order to develop a common approach to address them. Otherwise, the attainmentof MTP2 objectives and the SDGs 2015 might remain a pipe dream in most sectors.This study needs to be replicated in all the other rural counties in order to establish whethersimilarities with the current findings exist. This report gives the first comprehensive study coveringthe adoption of RE technologies in rural households in Kenya. It will offer a window to thegovernment and development partners where interventions are needed to break the vicious cycleof underdevelopment and energy challenges.
  • Making our cities attractive and sustainable
    (Governance)
    Author: European UnionCities make up only two percent of the earths surface, yet they are home to over half of the worlds population.In Europe, the proportion of urban dwellers is even higher. Today, nearly 75% of Europeans live in cities and urbanareas, and by 2020 this is expected to rise to 80%.People choose to live in urban areas so they can have a better quality of life. They want to be at the heart ofeconomic activity, and to have more job opportunities and other social and economic advantages. However, cityliving brings a range of challenges. While living in close proximity to our daily activities can lead to more resourceefficiency and so contribute to sustainability, other factors such as air pollution can be far more acute in cities.Overcrowding, traffic pollution and noise, and industrial emissions are just a few of the issues that have to beconstantly monitored and addressed to achieve a high quality of life without high environmental costs. But doingthis will also bring benefits beyond city borders.The European Union is committed to making Europes cities healthy, attractive and sustainable, and to improvingcitizens quality of life, now and for the future. Over the last 50 years, European cities have seen dramaticimprovements in terms of mobility, green areas and waste management, and this has contributed to a significantimprovement in living standards. However, Europes cities still face a number of environmental challenges whichinfluence the everyday lives of millions of Europeans and these often highly political issues need to be tackledthrough cooperation between local, national and EU authorities and their stakeholders.In line with the principle of subsidiarity, the EU works closely with Member States and local authorities to addressthese challenges and ensure a high level of protection for citizens who live and work in urban environments. Itpromotes best practices and fosters an ethic of sharing of experiences and information among local governmentsworking to make their cities sustainable.The EU also acts in several other important ways: setting policies, adopting legislation including minimum qualitystandards, encouraging cooperation, and providing financial resources to support initiatives, notably in lessadvantaged areas of Europe. A key feature of many of the EUs laws and policies in areas such as environmentalprotection, regional development and transport, are measures aimed specifically at protecting and managing theurban environment.This brochure reviews the many ways in which the EU supports citizens and local governments in their efforts tomake our cities and towns clean and healthy, green and pleasant, efficient and sustainable, well-managed anddemocratic.The EUs policies and measures in support of a quality urban environment for citizens are continuously evolving.As new issues come to the fore, additional policies and programmes are being developed to keep our urbanenvironments clean, green and healthy
  • Solid Waste Management in the World s Cities
    (Resource Based Waste Management)
    Author: UN-HABITATThis publication, Solid Waste Management in the World Cities, is the third edition in UN-HABITATs State of Water and Sanitation in the World Cities series. It aims to capture the worlds current waste management trends and draw attention to the importance of waste management, especially regarding its role in reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals. The publication acknowledges the escalating challenges in solid waste management across the globe. It seeks to showcase the good work that is being done on solid waste by cities around the world, large and small, rich and poor. It achieves this by looking at what drives change in solid waste management, how cities find local solutions and what seems to work best under different circumstances. The publication endeavours to help decision-makers, practitioners and ordinary citizens understand how a solid waste management system works and to inspire people everywhere to make their own decisions on the next steps in developing a solution appropriate to their own citys particular circumstances and needs. Most readers will never travel to all the 20 cities featured in this report, but through this publication they will have access to real experiences of people working on the ground. We hope it will provide a reference point for managing solid waste in the worlds cities and towns, and that many will follow in the footsteps of our authors, and we can move to an improved set of global reference data.
  • The New Plastics Economy Rethinking the future of plastics
    (Resource Based Waste Management)
    Author: World Economic Forum, 2016Plastics have become the ubiquitous workhorse material of the modern economy combining unrivalled functional properties with low cost. Their use has increased twentyfold in the past half-century and is expected to double again in the next 20 years. Today nearly everyone, everywhere, every day comes into contact with plastics especially plastic packaging, the focus of this report. While delivering many benefits, the current plastics economy has drawbacks that are becoming more apparent by the day. After a short first-use cycle, 95% of plastic packaging material value, or $80120 billion annually, is lost to the economy. A staggering 32% of plastic packaging escapes collection systems, generating significant economic costs by reducing the productivity of vital natural systems such as the ocean and clogging urban infrastructure. The cost of such after-use externalities for plastic packaging, plus the cost associated with greenhouse gas emissions from its production, is conservatively estimated at $40 billion annually exceeding the plastic packaging industrys profit pool. In future, these costs will have to be covered. In overcoming these drawbacks, an opportunity beckons: enhancing system effectiveness to achieve better economic and environmental outcomes while continuing to harness the many benefits of plastic packaging. The New Plastics Economy offers a new vision, aligned with the principles of the circular economy, to capture these opportunities. With an explicitly systemic and collaborative approach, the New Plastics Economy aims to overcome the limitations of todays incremental improvements and fragmented initiatives, to create a shared sense of direction, to spark a wave of innovation and to move the plastics value chain into a positive spiral of value capture, stronger economics, and better environmental outcomes. This report outlines a fundamental rethink for plastic packaging and plastics in general; it offers a new approach with the potential to transform global plastic packaging material flows and thereby usher in the New Plastics Economy
  • GOOD PRACTICES GUIDE ON WASTE PLASTICS RECYCLING
    (Resource Based Waste Management)
    Author: Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling(ACRR)This guide seeks to bring together information from many sources to help L/RAs identify the practical issues associated with collecting and processing waste plastics, while identifying the approaches needed to manage and exploit these wastes in ways which best suit their individual characteristics. The objective of this Guide is to offer L/RAs an insight into the socio-political, environmental, economic and technical aspects of waste plastics management, with reference to practical examples and case studies. This Guide will: explain the environmental, economic and social dimensions of waste plastics collection, sorting and recovery help bring about an improvement in the recycling performance of waste plastics in those L/RAs where schemes already exist encourage the development of a broader commitment by L/RAs to plastics recovery and recycling. This Guide has a three-fold structure. The first element gives a general description of waste plastics management in Europe. The second develops more specific information focusing on specific flows or techniques. The third provides illustrations through descriptions of local experiences.
  • Waste Management Options and Climate Change: Final Report
    (Resource Based Waste Management)
    Author: Alison Smith, Keith Brown, Steve Ogilvie, Kathryn Rushton and Judith BatesThis document is the final report of a study undertaken for the European Commission Environment Directorate General by AEA Technology to assess the climate change impacts of options for municipal solid waste (MSW) management in the EU. The study covers the fifteen member states of the European Union and the time horizon 2000 to 2020. The study is intended to inform developing EU-level waste policy, in terms of climate change impacts only. Climate change impacts are only one of a number of environmental impacts that derive from solid waste management options. Other impacts include health effects attributable to air pollutants such as NOx , SO2 , dioxins and fine particles, emissions of ozone depleting substances, contamination of water bodies, depletion of non-renewable resources, disamenity effects, noise, accidents etc. These environmental impacts are in addition to the socio-economic aspects of alternative ways of managing waste. All of these factors need to be properly considered in the determination of a balanced policy for sustainable waste management, of which the climate change elements are but one aspect. The study is not intended as a tool for municipal or regional waste planning, where local factors, such as the availability of existing waste management facilities and duration of waste management contracts, markets for recyclables, geographic and socio-economic factors, will exert the dominant influence. The study assesses climate change impacts in terms of net fluxes of greenhouse gases from various combinations of options used for the management of MSW. The waste management options considered are: Landfill of untreated waste, Incineration, Mechanical biological treatment (MBT), Composting, Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and Recycling.

 

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