Publications

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Last JM. War and the demographic trap. Lancet [Internet]. 1993 :508. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Advice is offered on alleviating environmental damage and the suffering of women and children from the effects of war. It is postured that the demographic trap, which was described by King and Elliott, is responsible for environmental stress and many wars. The surface cause may be identified as ideology, politics, or ethnicity, but as in the case of Bosnia, the "ethnic cleansing" makes farmland available to sustain expanding Serbian or Croatian populations. If the land is environmentally damaged by war, then there is little hope of sustainable development. Conflicts in many countries have driven people to urban areas or periurban slums because of displacement and the failure of subsistence economics. Mortality from wars has reached more than a 100 million since the early 1990s. A comparable number have died indirectly from famine and disease associated with the disruption of agriculture and infrastructure from wars. Since 1945, 66-75% of mortality victims have been civilians, of whom 15 million have been women and children. In 1993, there were at least 30 conflicts ongoing throughout the world. Not all of these conflicts are as "ferocious" as the Bosnian conflict, but these "so called low intensity wars" nonetheless disrupt and kill. The manifestations of the demographic trap can be alleviated through interventions that focus on multisectoral aid and conflict resolution. There must be a cooperative effort on the part of health workers, agricultural scientists, mediators, and development personnel. Unfortunately, the amount of development assistance from Europe and America has been reduced in recent years. The recession has affected the provision of international aid. African nations, in particular, have been affected, yet these countries remain the neediest in the world. It would appear that aid agencies have given up hope that the demographic trap can be closed. Population growth must be limited, as the only hope for relieving environmental stress, ecological collapse, and demographic entrapment. The challenge of reducing population must be recognized, and has been recognized by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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Kasperson RE, Dow K. Vulnerable peoples and places. In: Washington, DC: Island: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Condition and Trends Working Group. Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Current State and Trends. ; 2005. pp. 143-64. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Some of the people and places affected by changes in ecosystems and ecosystem services are highly vulnerable to the effects and are particularly likely to experience much of the damage to well-being and loss of life that such changes will entail. Indeed, many of these people and places are already under severe stress from environmental, health, and socioeconomic pressures, as well as new forces involved in globalization. Further threats arising from changes in ecosystems and ecosystem services will interact with these other on-going stresses to threaten the well-being of these groups while many others throughout the world benefit and prosper from human interactions with ecosystems. The patterns and dynamics of vulnerability in coupled socioenvironmental systems are shaped by drivers operating at scales from the international to the local, all interacting with the specifics of places. The dominant drivers and patterns of vulnerability differ, depending on the threat or perturbation addressed, the scale of analysis selected, and not least the conceptual framework employed. While our existing knowledge of the sources and patterns of vulnerability is still incomplete, substantial progress is being made in this relatively new area of analysis, and vulnerability assessment is proving useful in addressing environmental management and sustainable development. At a global level, various efforts over the past several decades have defined vulnerability indictors and indexes and have mapped relevant global patterns. Because they use different conceptual frameworks and consider vulnerability to different types of threats, these efforts largely identify different national-scale patterns of vulnerability. Examples in the chapter introduce major efforts to address vulnerability to environmental change broadly defined, as a dimension of environmental sustainability, in respect to climate change and natural hazards. Improvements in the state of knowledge and methodology development are needed generally to deepen understanding of these global patterns and their causes, although the topics of natural hazards, desertification, and food security have received more attention than others, due to the level of societal concern on these issues. Trends in natural hazards reveal several patterns that are known with high confidence at the national level. The world is experiencing a worsening trend of human suffering and economic losses from natural disasters over the past several decades. In the last 40 years, the number of ‘‘great’’ disasters has increased by a factor of 4 while economic losses have increased by a factor of 10. The significance of these events to the social vulnerability of exposed human populations is of special concern. Even before the December 2004 tsunami, Asia was disproportionately affected, with more than 43% of all natural disasters and 70% of deaths occurring there over the last decade of the twentieth century. The greatest loss of life continues to be highly concentrated in developing countries as a group. Desertification is another phenomenon that has received extensive attention. Vulnerability to desertification has multiple causes that are highly intermingled; like all vulnerability, it is the product of the interaction between environmental change and social and political systems. The driving forces of environmental change generally have a high patchiness, and effects vary widely with differences in social and geographic scales. Food insecurity is a third primary area of concern in changes in ecosystem services. Multiple domains of vulnerability exist in food security regimes and livelihood systems. Production, economic exchanges, and nutrition are key elements, along with more-structural issues associated with the political economy. At this point in time, the more generalized, major contributions to knowledge are emerging in the realms of better understanding of driving forces, interactions across biophysical scales and social levels, connections between ecosystems services and human well-being, and differential vulnerability at local levels. While many challenges remain in aggregating diverse case study findings, consistency is emerging around a number of themes: • Socioeconomic and institutional differences are major factors shaping differential vulnerability. The linkages among environmental change, development, and livelihoods are receiving increasing attention in efforts to identify sources of resilience and increase adaptive capacity, but knowledge in this area is uneven in its coverage of environmental threats and perturbations as they act in relation to different ecosystems and livelihoods. • Poverty and hazard vulnerability are often closely related, as the poor often lack assets and entitlements that allow them some buffer from environmental degradation and variability. • The interactions of multiple forms of stress—economic, social, political, and physical—with environmental change can amplify and attenuate vulnerability abruptly or gradually, creating dynamic situations for assessment that have still to be fully captured in research methodologies. Major worldwide trends of population growth, urbanization, the spread of HIV/AIDS, economic development, and globalization are acting to shape patterns of vulnerability at national and local scales. The implications of these processes for climate change are still poorly understood. The limitations of existing understanding point to the need for a variety of efforts to improve assessment and identify measures to reduce vulnerability. These include the need for a robust and consensual conceptual framework for vulnerability analysis, improved analysis of the human driving forces of vulnerability as well as stresses, clarification of the overlaps and interactions between poverty and vulnerability, the tracking of sequences of stresses and perturbations that produce cumulative vulnerability, the role of institutions in creating and mitigating vulnerability, the need to fill gaps in the knowledge base of global patterns of vulnerability, improved assessment methods and tools, and the need for interventions aimed at reducing vulnerability.

Ford JD, Berrang-Ford L, King M, Furgal C. Vulnerability of Aboriginal health systems in Canada to climate change. Global Environmental Change [Internet]. 2010;20 (4) :668-680. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Climate change has been identified as potentially the biggest health threat of the 21st century. Canada in general has a well developed public health system and low burden of health which will moderate vulnerability. However, there is significant heterogeneity in health outcomes, and health inequality is particularly pronounced among Aboriginal Canadians. Intervention is needed to prevent, prepare for, and manage climate change effects on Aboriginal health but is constrained by a limited understanding of vulnerability and its determinants. Despite limited research on climate change and Aboriginal health, however, there is a well established literature on Aboriginal health outcomes, determinants, and trends in Canada; characteristics that will determine vulnerability to climate change. In this paper we systematically review this literature, using a vulnerability framework to identify the broad level factors constraining adaptive capacity and increasing sensitivity to climate change. Determinants identified include: poverty, technological capacity constraints, socio-political values and inequality, institutional capacity challenges, and information deficit. The magnitude and nature of these determinants will be distributed unevenly within and between Aboriginal populations necessitating place-based and regional level studies to examine how these broad factors will affect vulnerability at lower levels. The study also supports the need for collaboration across all sectors and levels of government, open and meaningful dialogue between policy makers, scientists, health professionals, and Aboriginal communities, and capacity building at a local level, to plan for climate change. Ultimately, however, efforts to reduce the vulnerability of Aboriginal Canadians to climate change and intervene to prevent, reduce, and manage climate-sensitive health outcomes, will fail unless the broader determinants of socio-economic and health inequality are addressed.

Rice, Amy L, West, Keith PJ, Black, Robert E. Vitamin A deficiency. In: Ezzati M, Lopez AD, Rodgers A, Murray, Christopher JL Comparative quantification of health risks: global and regional burden of disease attribution to selected major risk factors. Vol. 1. Geneva: World Health Organization ; 2004. Publisher's Version
Jrc P. Viral Host Jumps: Moving toward a Predictive Framework. EcoHealth [Internet]. 2008;5 :80-91. Publisher's VersionAbstract

To help predict pathogen emergence in new host species, the author outlines a framework with molecular characteristics that ranks virus families by their expected a priori ability to complete three steps in the emergence process (encounter, infection, and propagation). Expected patterns (based on molecularlevel structural characteristics) compare with empirical observations regarding the ability of specific viral families to infect novel host species. However, other factors e.g. the ecology of host interactions, determinants of cellular susceptibility and permissivity to specific virus groups need to be considered when trying to predict the frequency with which a virus will encounter a novel host species or the probability of propagation within a novel host species, once infection has occurred. This summary is not an official abstract. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract

Simpson DI. Viral haemorrhagic fevers of man. Bull World Health Organ [Internet]. 1978;56 :819-32. Publisher's VersionAbstract

 

This article reviews the current state of knowledge on the viral haemorrhagic fevers that infect man, namely smallpox, chikungunya fever, dengue fever, Rift Valley fever, yellow fever, Crimean haemorrhagic fever, Kyasanur Forest disease, Omsk haemorrhagic fever, Argentinian haemorrhagic fever (Junin virus), Bolivian haemorrhagic fever (Machupo virus), Lassa fever, haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, and Marburg and Ebola virus diseases.

 

Ulrich RS. View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science [Internet]. 1984;224 :420-1. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Investigations of aesthetic and affective responses to outdoor visual environments have shown a strong tendency for American and European groups to prefer natural scenes more than urban views that lack natural elements (1, 2). Views of vegetation, and especially water, appear to sustain interest and attention more effectively than urban views of equivalent information rate (2). Because most natural views apparently elicit positive feelings, reduce fear in stressed subjects, hold interest, and may block or reduce stressful thoughts, they might also foster restoration from anxiety or stress (3).

Zaradic PA, Orw P. Videophilia: Implications for Childhood Development and Conservation. The Journal of Developmental Processes Vol 2 [Internet]. 2007;2. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Direct experience with nature is the most highly-cited influence on environmental attitude and conservation activism in the US. National park visit data suggest a trend away from interactions with nature and a concurrent rise in the use of electronic entertainment media. The latter has been implicated in negative psychological and physical effects including obesity, loneliness, depression, and attentional problems Outdoor play and nature experience on the other hand have proven beneficial for cognitive functioning, increase in selfdiscipline and emotional well being at all developmental stages. This summary is not an official abstract. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract

Salas R, Pacheco ME, Ramos B, Taibo ME, Jaimes E, Vasquez C, Querales J, de Manzione N, Godoy O, Betancourt A, et al. Venezuelan haemorrhagic fever. The Lancet [Internet]. 1991;338 :1033-1036. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Epidemiological and clinical data are presented on 165 cases of Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever (VHF), a newly emerging viral zoonosis caused by Guanarito virus (of the family Arenaviridae). The disease is endemic in a relatively circumscribed area of central Venezuela. Since its first recognition in 1989, the incidence of VHF has peaked each year between November and January, during the period of major agricultural activity in the region of endemicity. The majority of cases have involved male agricultural workers. Principal symptoms among the patients with VHF included fever, malaise, headache, arthralgia, sore throat, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, convulsions, and a variety of hemorrhagic manifestations. The majority of patients also had leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. The overall fatality rate among the 165 cases was 33.3%, despite hospitalization and vigorous supportive care.

Johnston FH, Webby RJ, Pilotto LS, Bailie RS, Parry DL, Halpin SJ. Vegetation fires, particulate air pollution and asthma: A panel study in the Australian monsoon tropics. International Journal of Environmental Health Research [Internet]. 2006;16 :391-404. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We examined the relationship between particulate matter (PM) < 10 and < 2.5 microns in diameter (PM10 and PM2.5) generated by vegetation fires and daily health outcomes in 251 adults and children with asthma over a 7-month period. Data were analysed using generalized estimating equations adjusted for potential environmental confounders, autocorrelation, weekends and holidays. PM10 ranged from 2.6-43.3 mu g m(-3) and was significantly associated with onset of asthma symptoms, commencing oral steroid medication, the mean daily symptom count and the mean daily dose of reliever medication. Similar results were found for PM2.5. No associations were found with the more severe outcomes of asthma attacks, increased health care attendances or missed school/work days. These results help fill a gap in the evidence about the population health impacts of lower levels of pollution characteristic of deliberate landscape burning to control fuel loads versus the better documented risks of more intense and severely polluting wildfires.

Molyneux DH. Vector-borne infections and health related to landscape changes. In: Aguirre AA, Ostfeld RS, Tabor GM, House C, Pearl, Mary C Conservation Medicine: ecological health in practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press ; 2002. pp. 407.
Lemon SM, Sparling FP, Hamburg MA, Relman DA, and Choffnes ER. Vector-Borne Diseases: Understanding the Environmental, Human Health, and Ecological Connections. Washington, DC: Natl. Acad. Press. [Internet]. 2008;350. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Institute of Medicine's Forum on Microbial Threats convened a workshop on June 19-20, 2007, in Ft. Collins, CO entitled Vector-Borne Diseases: Understanding the Environmental, Human Health, and Ecological Connections. The purpose of this public workshop was to examine the global burden of vector-borne diseases of humans, animals, and plants, and to discuss prospects for successful mitigation and response strategies. Workshop participants explored the biological and ecological context of vector-borne diseases; their health and economic impacts; emerging domestic and global diseases; public, animal, and plant health preparedness; prevention, control, and therapeutic measures; scientific and technological advances; and integration strategies to address current and future threats.

Knudsen AB, Slooff R. Vector-borne disease problems in rapid urbanization: new approaches to vector control. Bull World Health Organ [Internet]. 1992;70 :1-6. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Owing to population growth, poor levels of hygiene, and increasing urban poverty, the urban environment in many developing countries is rapidly deteriorating. Densely packed housing in shanty towns or slums and inadequate drinking-water supplies, garbage collection services, and surface-water drainage systems combine to create favourable habitats for the proliferation of vectors and reservoirs of communicable diseases. As a consequence, vector-borne diseases such as malaria, lymphatic filariasis and dengue are becoming major public health problems associated with rapid urbanization in many tropical countries. The problems in controlling these diseases and eliminating vectors and pests can be resolved by decision-makers and urban planners by moving away from the concept of "blanket" applications of pesticides towards integrated approaches. Sound environmental management practices and community education and participation form the mainstay of some of the most outstanding successes in this area. On the basis of these examples, it is argued that the municipal authorities need to apply a flexible methodology, which must be based on the possibilities of mobilizing community resources, with minimal reliance on routine pesticidal spraying. In this way, vector control becomes a by-product of human development in the city environment. This is now a true challenge.

Penuelas J, Matamala R. Variations in the Mineral Composition of Herbarium Plant Species Collected During the Last Three Centuries. J. Exp. Bot. [Internet]. 1993;44 :1523-1525. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Mineral content (dry weight basis) was determined for herbarium specimens of 12 C3 plants (trees, shrubs and herbs) collected during the last 250 years in N.E. Spain. Present values of Al, Ca, Cu, Sr, Fe, P, Mg, Mn, K, Na, S, and Zn were always lower than in any other period of the last three centuries. Only one C4 plant was analysed. It presented a similar pattern to the C3 plants. These results are in accordance with experimental results that have shown that the mineral content of plants grown in elevated CO2 is generally lowered. Increased atmospheric CO2 and other anthropogenic environmental changes are suggested as possible causes of the changes in mineral content.

Ainsworth EA, Rogers A, Blum H, Nosberger J, Long SP. Variation in acclimation of photosynthesis in Trifolium repens after eight years of exposure to Free Air CO 2 Enrichment (FACE). Journal of Experimental Botany [Internet]. 2003;54 :2769-2774. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The initial stimulation of photosynthesis observed on elevation of [CO2] in grasslands has been predicted to be a transient phenomenon constrained by the loss of photosynthetic capacity due to other limitations, notably nutrients and sinks for carbohydrates. Legumes might be expected partially to escape these feedbacks through symbiotic N2 fixation. The Free-Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment (FACE) experiment at Eschikon, Switzerland, has been the longest running investigation of the effects of open-air elevation of [CO2] on vegetation. The prediction of a long-term loss of photosynthetic capacity was tested by analysing photosynthesis in Trifolium repens L. (cv. Milkanova) in the spring and autumn of the eighth, ninth and tenth years of treatment. A high and low N treatment also allowed a test of the significance of exogenous N-supply in maintaining a stimulation of photosynthetic capacity in the long-term. Prior work in this Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment has revealed that elevated [CO2] increased both vegetative and reproductive growth of T. repens independent of N treatment. It is shown here that the photosynthetic response of T. repens was also independent of N fertilization under both current ambient and elevated (600 micro mol mol-1) [CO2]. There was a strong effect of season on photosynthesis, with light-saturated rates (Asat) 37% higher in spring than in autumn. Higher Asat in the spring was supported by higher maximum Rubisco carboxylation rates (Vc,max) and maximum rates of electron transport (Jmax) contributing to RuBP regeneration. Elevated [CO2] increased Asat by 37% when averaged across all measurement periods and both N fertilization levels, and decreased stomatal conductance by 25%. In spring, there was no effect of elevated [CO2] on photosynthetic capacity of leaves, but in autumn both Vc,max and Jmax were reduced by approximately 20% in elevated [CO2]. The results show that acclimation of photosynthetic capacity can occur in a nitrogen-fixing species, in the field where there are no artificial restrictions on sink capacity. However, even with acclimation there was a highly significant increase in photosynthesis at elevated [CO2].

Herrera HM. Variables that Modulate the Spatial Distribution of Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma evansi in the Brazilian Pantanal. Acta Tropica [Internet]. 2007;102 :55-62. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The authors evaluated how landscape and cattle ranching affect transmission cycles and patterns of tripanosomatid infection (two species) in small wild mammals in the Pantanal - a large natural environment with many habitats and a wide variety of biodiversity as well as livestock - comparing one preserved and one cattle ranching area. The role of small mammals in the transmission cycle of both trypanosomes species was distinct according to land use. The study showed that cattle ranching in the study area did not enhance overall prevalence of T. cruzi infection among small wild mammals. Small mammal fauna diversity was the same but relative abundance differed suggesting that ranching activity may not necessarily result in biodiversity loss or risk of Chagas disease. This summary is not an official abstract. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract

Pattanayak SK. Valuing Watershed Services: Concepts and Empirics from Southeast Asia Agriculture. Ecosystems & Environment [Internet]. 2004;104 :171-184. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Few empirical studies have analyzed downstream economic benefits of watershed protection to generate economic values of watershed services. Using household level economic and environmental data, this paper addresses the importance of watershed services to farming communities in SE Asia (Flores, Indonesia). It provides evidence of a substantive, quantified economic benefit of watershed service based on a fixed-effects regression model of water collection costs. This summary is not an official abstract. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract

Dixon JA, Sherman PB. Valuing the Benefits: in Economics of Protected Areas: A New Look at Benefits and Costs. Earthscan; 1990. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The authors describe valuing techniques including those based on market prices in which effects are measured in terms of outputs/costs of items having a market, e.g. change in productivity where the value of net benefits is compared with and without change, and loss of earnings in which valuation is measured as change in earnings arising from change. Techniques based on surrogate market prices determine the value from a price paid for a closely associated good (or service) that has a market., e.g. “hedonic” pricing (property value or wage differential) and travel costing. Survey-based approaches for nonmarket situations involve asking people about their value reactions to specific situations, e.g. contingent valuation (people give their reaction to possible changes in a factor) and compensating variation (“ex-ante” determining the value of compensation needed/payment offered to accept a proposed change). Equivalent variation “expost” values the compensation needed/payment offered to avoid return to the initial state.Cost-based approaches include, i) opportunity cost of lost benefits (valuing the net benefits forgone from not doing something, e.g., alternative use for agriculture), ii) alternative cost (valuing alternative means of supplying net benefits lost or the cost of generating them in a way other than the one in view) and iii) cost effectiveness to find the least-costly means of achieving a specific objective. Expenditure-based approaches include: i) costs of creating benefits/reducing losses in another place/way, ii) preventive expenditure approach or costs incurred to alleviate a problem, iii) mitigation cost approach (cost of mitigating or reversing a loss), iv) replacement cost approach (cost of replacing assets in another place), and v) shadow project (supplementary project to replace losses with equivalent assets). This summary is not an official abstract. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract

for Environment II, Development. Valuing Forests: A Review of Methods and Applications in Developing Countries. Environmental Economics Programme IIED [Internet]. 2003 :159. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Forest economic benefits can be grouped into direct and indirect uses, option and non-use values. Most studies of forest land use options in developing countries concentrate on direct use values. Methods involve market prices but data on quantities and inputs are often difficult to obtain. Methods to estimate their total economic value include marketed and non-marketed benefits e.g. valuation using market prices, surrogate market approaches, production function method, stated preference and cost-based techniques. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and certain ones are better suited to particular forest goods and services. Valuation 54 methods are particularly useful for extending the reach of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to include non-market environmental impacts in assessing alternative forest land uses. CBA is particularly useful for illuminating tradeoffs. This summary is not an official abstract. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract

Barbier EB. Valuing Ecosystem Services as Productive Inputs. Economic Policy [Internet]. 2007;22 :177-229. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Two methods for valuing ecosystems (production function and expected damage) were applied to mangrove ecosystems in Thailand. The former reflects how ecosystem services not directly valued in the market may be inputs into the production of other goods or services that are marketed, such as fisheries. The latter approach is used to value the reduction in expected future storm damage that the ecosystem can provide. The shadow value of the ecosystem consists in its contribution to fish stock maintenance as well as to current output. These two methods yield very different valuations from those derived by methods typically used in cost-benefit analyses. This summary is not an official abstract. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract

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