Archive for December, 2010

Sustainable Biodiversity: Evaluation Lessons from Past Economic Research

Paulo A.L.D. Nunes
Department of Economics, University of Venice, Italy

Peter Nijkamp*
Department of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract:
Biodiversity has received much attention in environmental research and public policy in recent years. There is a world-wide interest in its relevance for the carrying capacity of rich but fragile ecosystems. Voices suggesting building up proper protection mechanisms for unique and scarce diversity become louder. The question emerges whether – and which combination of – ecological and economic insights can help us to identify meaningful policy options to map out proper roads towards a sustainable future. This paper surveys and highlights the potential and limitations of an ecological-economics perspective on biodiversity. Such a perspective on complex biodiversity issues, if firmly supported by modern ecological insights, can help to clarify the processes, functions and values associated with biodiversity. This study aims to offer a historical review of key ecological and economic concepts that are essential in building bridges between ecology and economics, and discusses ways to integrate them. In addition to such issues as biodiversity indices or ecosystem management principles, particular attention is given to various monetary valuation approaches and methods from the perspective of preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Furthermore, the use of ecological and value indicators in integrated economic-ecological modelling and analysis is addressed as well. Throughout the paper, several illustrative applications are presented to demonstrate the usefulness of the various approaches discussed. Finally, the paper offers principles for public decision-making regarding biodiversity protection. read more

Keywords: biodiversity, biological resources, ecosystems, millennium ecosystem assessment, monetary valuation, species values, integrated model assessment, certification

City Marketing in Greece: The Post-Olympic Use of Hellinikon former airport site

Sotirios Milionis

Abstract:
Despite the appearance of a significant number of publications on the topic of city marketing theory in the last twenty years, there is still a huge gap in the literature with regard to its application in practice. This article aimed to bridge that gap by investigating the role of city marketing in planning the sustainable post Olympic use of Hellinikon former airport site in Athens, Greece. It was found that certain elements of the city marketing theory were attempted to be employed in the design process, however project implementation was seriously hindered as a result of the involvement of various stakeholders with differing and conflicting agendas. read more

Keywords: City Marketing, Hellinikon, Post-Olympic use, planning, real estate

Geopolitics of Energy in the Kastelorizo-Cyprus-Middle East Complex

Professor Ioannis Th. Mazis
Professor of Economic Geography, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Dept of Turkish
and Modern Asian Studies

Dr. Georgios – Alexandros Sgouros
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Laboratory of Marine Geo-environment & Sedimentology, Dept. of Geology and Geo environment

Abstract:
The geophysical and geological submarine features (pockmarks, gas chimneys, salt domes, etc).,identified by multi-beam echosounders and sidescan sonars ,seismic surveys in the region South, South-west and South-east of Cyprus, as well as the corresponding international interest of investors, especially in the marine region of the Levantine Basin, lead to the conclusion that, from a geopolitical standpoint, Greece must be urged to accelerate the consolidation of its sovereign rights and understand anew and in practical terms, that “Cyprus is not far away, not at all actually”. With respect to Kastelorizo and the submarine area of its EEZ, we note that detailed geophysical and bathymetric surveys have confirmed the fact that the region of the submarine Anaximander Mountains presents active mud volcanoes that are linked to the presence of gas hydrates. Samples of gas hydrates were collected by means of indicative samplings in mud volcanoes thoroughly mapped in sub-seabed layers that do not exceed 1.5 m. These “ice-crystal” like features will probably have a significant socioeconomic impact in the near feature as an energy resource. New mud volcanoes were also discovered (“Athens” and “Thessaloniki”). Gas hydrates were found in samplings conducted in the “Thessaloniki” M.V. According to preliminary assessments, the total capacity of the mud volcanoes of the Anaximander mountains complex is estimated between 2.56 – 6.40 c. km. read more

Keywords: Geopolitics of Energy, Cyprus, Israel, Levantine, multi-beam echosounders, side scan sonars, pockmarks, gas chimneys, salt domes, Exclusive Economic Zone/EEZ.