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Dynamic root floating technique: An option to reduce electric power consumption in aquaponic systems

Citation: Silva, L., Valdés-Lozano, D., Escalante, E., Gasca-Leyva, E., 2018. Dynamic root floating technique: An option to reduce electric power consumption in aquaponic systems. J. Clean. Prod. 183, 132–142. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.02.086
Silva L., Valdés-Lozano D., Escalante E., Gasca-Leyva E., Journal of Cleaner Production, 2018
Aquaponics is an integrated system in which the water containing fish waste is used as a nutrient source for plant production in a closed recirculation system. In this study, tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and pak choi (Brassica chinensis) culture was tested using two techniques: 1) Root floating (RAFT), and 2) Dynamic root floating (DRFT). Water quality parameters, total ammonia nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen and phosphate were measured. At the end of the experiment, fish and plants were weighed and the required electric power consumption was calculated. There was no significant difference observed between the effect of each treatment group on either tilapia or pak choi production. Tilapia productivity was 1.69 ± 0.22 kg/m3 and 1.71 ± 0.23 kg/m3 and pak choi yield was 7.43 ± 1.23kg/m2 and 7.32 ± 0.76 kg/m2 for the RAFT and DRFT, respectively. Water quality parameters were within the recommended range for the tilapia culture while pH and conductivity were out of range for the pak choi culture; nevertheless, plant production was good. Total ammonia nitrogen and nitrite nitrogen did not reach concentrations that could impede tilapia growth. The DRFT allows the elimination of active aeration in hydroponic systems for tilapia and pak choi production during most of the cycle, reducing the electric power consumption to 10.3% and electricity costs to 11.4% by using a nature-based solution. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Earth Observation to support Nature Based Solutions - The FAST Project Documentary

Earth Observation to support Nature Based Solutions - The FAST Project Documentary

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Foreshore Assessment using Space Technology Project (FAST, 2014 - 2018): (url)

Foreshore Assessment using Space Technology (FAST, 2014 - 2018) is a project funded by the European Union's (EU) Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement number 607131. FAST is developing down-stream services for the European Earth Observation Programme Copernicus to support cost-effective, nature-based shoreline protection against flooding and erosion.

Economic Benefits of Accessible Green Spaces for Physical and Mental Health: Scoping study

Citation: CJC Consulting (2005) Green Spaces for Physical and Mental Health: Scoping Study. Forestry Commission report.
Final report for the Forestry Commission
There is a growing concern in government with the health status of the population and its increasing sedentary lifestyle. 23% of males and 26% of females in the UK are classified as sedentary. The cost of physical inactivity in England is estimated at £8.2bn per year with an additional £2.5bn as the contribution of inactivity to obesity. The Public Health White Paper (Department of Health, 2004a) has, as three of its six overarching priorities, ‘reducing obesity’, ‘increasing exercise’ and ‘improving mental health’. Greenspace can contribute to the delivery of these objectives.

Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Knowledge Gaps in Making an Economic Case for Investing in Nature Based Solutions for Climate Change

Citation: Rizvi, A.R., Baig, S., Verdone, M. (2015). Ecosystems Based Adaptation: Knowledge Gaps in Making an Economic Case for Investing in Nature Based Solutions for Climate Change. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. v + 48 pp.
Changes in global climate are increasingly having adverse impacts on human populations and natural systems. This has resulted in increased efforts to come up with options that can mitigate the impacts, as well as help to adapt to already occurring changes. Ecosystem based adaptation is used by a number of organisations and in many developed and developing countries as a means for climate adaptation, especially at the community level. It is also applied for disaster risk reduction. Still, there is a propensity of policy makers to implement traditional engineering solutions for adaptation rather than investing in EbA. There is, therefore, a need to raise further awareness on the use of nature based solutions. An important approach to promote investment in EbA is to identify its economic costs and benefits. This study therefore reviewed a number of projects in Costa Rica, India, Mexico, Peru, Philippines and Tanzania, to assess existing data and knowledge gaps regarding the economic values of EbA projects. The literature review showed that climate change is likely to change the productivity and benefits from the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors. These sectors are important economic contributors to these countries and provide extensively to the national exchequer. Already, impacts are being observed in terms of lower yields and productivity as well as loss of livelihoods and security. Cost-benefit analyses (CBA) of projects in these countries showed that EbA projects provided many benefits and in general helped to increase resilience and decrease vulnerabilities. However, it was clear that there were extensive knowledge gaps and detailed economic valuation/ CBA studies need to be undertaken to make a stronger case for ecosystems based adaptation. Currently, the studies are context specific, do not include opportunity costs and much of the benefits are in qualitative terms. Detailed assessments will help to establish the importance of EbA, if they are based on robust methodologies that are developed with appropriate guidance; differentiate between different costs and sectors; incorporate biodiversity and species; are based on gender (and other groups) disaggregated data; and account for co-benefits. This can be undertaken at two scales: undertaking CBA before project initiation, to help stakeholders decide on investment options and actions. More importantly however, there is a need to undertake analyses of ongoing and completed projects in the studied countries, to understand and gather the evidence for the effectiveness of EbA projects as compared to other solutions.

Ecosystem services must tackle anthropized ecosystems and ecological engineering

Citation: Barot, S., Yé, L., Abbadie, L., Blouin, M., Frascaria, N., 2017. Ecosystem services must tackle anthropized ecosystems and ecological engineering. Ecol. Eng. 99, 486–495. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2016.11.071
Barot S., Yé L., Abbadie L., Blouin M., Frascaria N., Ecological Engineering, 2017
The notion of ecosystem service is meant to better link human societies to ecological systems and to serve has a tool for decision making. However, the notion has never been applied in a comprehensive and consistent way to anthropized ecosystems while most ecosystems are indeed anthropized. This means that in initiatives of ecosystem service assessment anthropized ecosystems are either neglected or their services assessed in a misleading way. For example, services from cultivated lands are usually valued through the value of the agricultural production, while this production highly depends on inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, non-renewable sources of energy) and human work that cannot be assimilated to ecological factors. Moreover, these practices have negative impacts such as the emission of greenhouse gases, nutrient leaching to other ecosystems or loss of soil fertility. Hence, we present here a general framework that could be used to assess the ecosystem services provided by anthropized ecosystems. This framework is based on the joint assessment of ecological services, disservices, losses of natural capital and impacts on other ecosystems. We show that this framework is required to assess different practices to manipulate an ecosystem, e.g. low- vs high-input agriculture, or different ecosystems with different levels of anthropization, e.g. manage forest vs. cropland. Indeed, ecosystems function in such a complex way that human manipulations and natural ecological processes are tightly intermingled so that services and disservices arising solely from ecological processes cannot be separated from the result of human manipulations. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

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