Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

SUSTAINABILITY DIAGNOSIS OF AN AGROFORESTRY SYSTEM

Alexandra Marta-Costa

Associate Professor; Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies (CETRAD); Department of Economy, Sociology and Management (DESG); University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro; Quinta de Prados, 5000-911 Vila Real, Portugal, Tel: (+351) 259302201; Fax: (+351) 259302249; amarta@utad.pt.

Filipa Torres-Manso

Mountain Research Centre (CIMO); Department of Forest Science and Landscape Architecture; University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro; Quinta de Prados, 5000-911 Vila Real, Portugal, ftorres@utad.pt.

Luís Tibério

Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies (CETRAD); Department of Economy, Sociology and Management (DESG); University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro; Quinta de Prados, 5000-911 Vila Real, Portugal, mtiberio@utad.pt.

Abstract

Serra de Montemuro Site is a Natura 2000 classified area in northern Portugal, especially for its role in preserving both the landscape, environmental and cultural heritage. Based on the main features of the territory in question, as well as on the agroforestry activities developed therein, this article aims at depicting the main aspects which characterize the (un)sustainability of the afore mentioned activities, namely some of the challenges that a sustainable agroforestry development must be able to meet. The methodological procedures included several complementary processes of information gathering such as: bibliographical research, field research, interviews, participatory meetings and sectoral meetings. Two implications arise from this sustainability diagnosis: 1) the revenue isn’t sufficient to maintain the agroforestry systems; 2) the conservation of this territory is imperative and the agroforestry systems are essential for this purpose.

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AGRI-FOOD TRADITIONAL PRODUCTS: FROM CERTIFICATION TO THE MARKET – PORTUGUESE RECENT EVOLUTION

Luís TIBÉRIO

PhD researchers at CETRAD and Lectures at Department of Economics, Sociology and Management/University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Av. Almeida Lucena, 1. 5000-660 Vila Real – Portugal.

and

Diniz Francisco

PhD researchers at CETRAD and Lectures at Department of Economics, Sociology and Management/University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Av. Almeida Lucena, 1. 5000-660 Vila Real – Portugal.

Correspondent Author, fdiniz@utad.pt,  Tel.: +351 2593092200, Fax: +351 2593092249

Abstract

(EC) Regulations 2081/92 and 2082/92, replaced by Council Regulations (EC) 510/2006 and 509/2006, respectively, are an important contribution to establishing the foundations of European Policy on agri-food quality. They include the protection of agricultural as well as food product designations at European level, particularly those which bear a close relationship with their production area and which, due to their geographical origin and/or specific modes of production, present distinctive characteristics.  Under those regulations a thousand designations are estimated to be protected within the European Union, of which about eight hundred are regularly present in the markets, accounting for a 14.2 billion Euro turnover. Portugal alone has 120 protected designations (15% of all European designations) which originate a seventy million Euro turnover (0.5% of the turnover generated by the PDO/PGI at European level). Fifteen years after the first PDO/PGI products have appeared on the national market, we believe it is important to look into the state of the art of these products in Portugal. The main goal of the present paper is to provide an overall view on the main trends of the PDO/PGI products sector at national level. The methodology used consists of a descriptive analysis of a set of specific indicators regarding three main variables: Production; Prices and Commercialization. Globally, this type of products is not very commercially widespread, despite the positive sustained evolution registered by some. As a rule these products have a poor productive dimension, which in a way may explain the lack of internationalization of the sector.

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THE ICT IMPACT ON THE ARAB REVOLUTION UNDER THE PRISM OF THE GLOBAL POLITICAL ECONOMY AND THE US-CHINA

Pantelis Sklias

Associate Professor, Dept. of Political Science & International Relations, University of Peloponnese, Corinth, Greece

E-mail: psklias@hotmail.com

Tel.: +30271040040, fax: +30271040050

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to propose an enriched framework of analysis to assess and analyze complex social, political and economic phenomena, such as the developments that took place in the Arab countries. I call this framework of analysis Elaborated Realism and I present its main epistemological elements hereby. In this framework, individual variables such as the role and the impact of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are considered as being only a part of an overall set of variables, a Feedback Mechanism in which the state national interest is the main catalyst for the formation of state behavior. Such a Feedback Mechanism constitutes the framework out of which the main elements of the global political economy, meaning the network of global political and economic relations are formed. In my opinion, although ICT as well as other social, political and economic variables should be assessed, developments in the Arab countries should be considered under the prism of the global political economy, and more precisely the USA-China economic contest which is the core axis of this frame. ICT can be considered as an accelerating factor but not as the root neither the cause of the events that took place. I claim that such an enriched framework of analysis and approach can also be applied in other similar cases in which national interest is very much influenced by a hierarchical structure of power as it is captured by global political economy structure.

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