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Archive for the ‘ecosocial impacts’ Category

Olive bioeconomics under climate warming

March 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Inability to determine reliably the direction and magnitude of change in natural and agro-ecosystems due to climate change poses considerable challenge to their management. Olive is an ancient ubiquitous crop having considerable ecological and socioeconomic importance in the Mediterranean Basin. We assess the ecological and economic impact of projected 1.8 °C climate warming on olive and its obligate pest, the olive fly. This level of climate warming will have varying impact on olive yield and fly infestation levels across the Mediterranean Basin, and result in economic winners and losers. The analysis predicts areas of decreased profitability that will increase the risk of abandonment of small farms in marginal areas critical to soil and biodiversity conservation and to fire risk reduction.

Ponti L., Gutierrez A.P., Ruti P.M., Dell’Aquila A., 2014. Fine scale ecological and economic assessment of climate change on olive in the Mediterranean Basin reveals winners and losers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1314437111

European perspective on biofuels

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment

In light of the recently developed European Union (EU) Biofuels Strategy, we reviewed the literature to examine: (1) the coherency of biofuel production with the EU non-industrial vision of agriculture, and (2) given its insufficient landbase, the implications of a proposed bio-energy pact to grow biofuel crops in the developing world to meet EU biofuel demands. The EU acknowledged that the use of food crops for biofuel production was based on wrong assumptions concerning climate change mitigation, and its support has now shifted to second generation nonfood crops. The bio-energy pact entails: (1) biofuel crops production in developing countries, especially Africa that in the absence of environmental and social regulations may lead to ethical trade-offs in land use (food vs. fuel); and (2) the use of transgenic technology that conflicts with the EU’s own vision of sustainable agriculture.

Ponti L., Gutierrez A.P., 2009. Overview on biofuels from a European perspective. Bulletin of Science Technology and Society, 29: 493–504.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0270467609349048