Educational institutions create certain environmental impacts in their operation – these impacts can be grouped into the sectors of waste, water, energy, transport and others. There is a need for educational institutions to adopt effective environmental management systems in order to reduce these impacts, as well as those of the whole municipality. The Eco-Schools programme is one of the most comprehensive and popular models of environmental education and management in the world. In recent years, the Eco-Schools programme has proved its effectiveness in numerous evaluations in several countries. The programme aims to raise awareness about environmental issues. Therefore, this programme encourages environmentally responsible behaviour involving not only members of specific schools but also reaching out to the local community. The aim of the present study was to evaluate an environmental management model of the Eco-Schools programme in Latvia. Moreover, the author assessed the country’s potential to develop environmental management systems in schools, improve environmental education and create pro-environmental attitudes and values. For research, qualitative and quantitative research methods were used: analysis of documents and a survey. The conducted survey helped to evaluate the experience of the Eco-Schools programme and prepare recommendations for policy proposals about the Eco-Schools programme as an environmental management instrument in Latvia. Also, the role of the Eco-Schools programme in promoting sustainable development was assessed. As a result, the benefits and drawbacks of the programme were identified to plan further development and, therefore, to promote efficient environmental management in educational institutions and local communities.
The research focuses on evaluation of the Blue Flag programme implementation in Latvia since the year 1998, when the programme’s operations started. It includes analysis and an overview of both the national and local level impacts and the results of the programme implementation. With regard to national level, approach and experience, the overview focuses on effectiveness and the role of the Blue Flag programme as a supporting instrument for successful implementation of environmental legislation. This programme is also analysed as a communication instrument in promoting environmental policies within 500 km long of coastline areas, which in Latvia are announced the national interest territories aiming at both particular protection and also development, especially, as tourism destinations. On the municipal level, our approach and overview present analysis of the Blue Flag criteria and their implementation experience in different municipalities. Moreover, we study the overall impact of the programme on environmental performance of the municipal sector regarding coastal protection issues. The Blue Flag survey also reviews selected municipal case studies: Liepaja, Ventspils, and Saulkrasti. After reviewing the overall programme’s performance in Latvia, the study concludes with an elaborated set of multi-level suggestions on potential improvements that would strengthen the programme’s further implementation and facilitate better and wider use of its potential not only for particular designated and size limited coastal destinations as the Blue Flag beaches and marinas. The programme’s potential could also be used for voluntary and facilitated coastal governance and coastal communication within the whole municipality and eventually further afield, turning from spreading of coastal information and almost established education towards coastal participation and the whole scale pro-environmental behaviour.
This paper contains a pilot study on coastal values and potential means of determining and characterising them in the terms of coastal planning and management. The research case study took place in the coastal region of North East Latvia – in the municipality of Salacgriva. The municipality coast is very diverse: coastal access, landscape and the whole biogeography is changing very much along the whole 54 km, being also rich in various natural and cultural heritage assets. Such great coastal variety in the limits of one administrative territory does require very selective governance approaches and dynamic management to be realized by local administration, which has very limited necessary capacities of all type, alike other rural coastal municipalities in Latvia. Also, there is very limited coastal information as well as assessment/interpretation capacities. All this requires mandatory development of municipal coastal monitoring and information/science-policy interface, to be based on general System Analysis Framework (SAF) application, first, on social-ecological system approach, and, second, including necessary developments of stakeholder participation and bottom-up governance approaches and, at the first, developing of the public monitoring (citizen science approach, e.g., Eco schools alike public representatives, etc.) capacities and methodologies. There has been developed an initial proposal for a new and multi-thematic coastal core area monitoring and governance tool. Coastal resources were assessed using a coastal value-based prioritisation tool, which generates knowledge of the mutual connection among various social-ecological resources/assets along the shore. During the study, data was collected along the municipal coastline taking into account the elements characterising the beach and shoreline landscape, as well as the distribution of invasive plant species, algae and plants washed up by the sea, as well as waste created by people along the coast. This data was subsequently collated, described, and combined with separate conclusions made based on beach visitors’ interviews that were conducted along the entire Latvian coast as well as interviews of the Salacgriva municipality’s main stakeholder groups. Information was also obtained from the analysis of documents seeking to facilitate development of a multi-thematic coastal value prioritisation tool and to distinguish coastal management priorities that can be set as proposals to coastal governments for developing a sustainable and more integrated coastal management background.
Importance of sustainable coastal governance also in the Baltic sea region has been widely recognised and since such governance has to have integrative nature that requires horizontal cross-sectorial integration as well as involvement of all governance levels and subsequently organisation of vertical integration among the levels. Besides some succesfull local cases around Europe, mainly special outside projects based, there is to be recognized that the municipal integrated sustainable coastal governance has not been yet neither well and widely locally developed in practice nor sufficiently researched field in order to permit necessary design of adequate policy innovations. Practical development and local realisation of the municipal integrated coastal governance often encounters obstacles of the basic nature, e.g. because there are not sufficiently understood and applied cross- and trans-disciplinary approaches – studies and governance of the coastal territories as the complex social-ecological systems (SES). For understanding the process and structure of coastal governance, application of system thinking and system dynamics methods are to be emphasized as well. The paper demonstrates adaptation of coastal nature studies based System Analysis Framework (SAF) methodology for its application to coastal governance studies and general municipal governance system adjusting and upgrading towards coastal issues, what could be seen as the new step for SAF further planned developments. As the part of the EU BONUS programme BaltCoast project, the authors performed, including main stakeholders participation elements, the issue identification step, system definition and also a conceptual model building steps of the SAF methodology application in the particular, local governance innovations rich, case study territory – Salacgriva municipality in Latvia. Coastal governance problems in Latvia are especially relevant for rural coastal municipalities with limited administrative capacities and long and low populated coastline territories. The next SAF application steps will include development of coastal governance system scenarios using a systems modelling tool and the design and testing of complementary set of governance instruments as science-policy interface, that shall support sustainable use of coastal resources in the interests of coastal nature and culture protection, and local socio-economic development.
This paper evaluates the impact of corruption on deforestation in Indonesia. The world’s nature environment and global warming questions are one of the main factors of international concerns. Massive deforestation threatens Indonesian biodiversity. This research paper analyses issues of whether deforestation in Indonesia is caused by corruption and supported by crude palm oil production. This issue was questioned earlier by using Engel Granger cointegration test, three time series of data, specifically corruption perception index (CPI), rate of deforestation and price of crude palm oil that was inspected for a long-run relationship. Yet long-run relationship was not found. The author of this article shows that while answering this question, CPI values are not as important as the very nature of corruption in Indonesia. However, CPI is still extremely high in Indonesia as the nature of corruption is convenient for illegal logging. Thus, international response is needed so that to decrease the level of deforestation in Indonesia. With the new European Union Law that requires legal sourcing of wood products, Indonesia commits to enforce new rules in the Asia’s largest rainforest. For example, FLEGT licensing became operational on November 15, 2016. The European Union is strictly enforcing these rules what is a good step against deforestation in hand with illegal logging in Indonesia. In this way to analyse in detail the FLEGT programme and the EU activities, is beyond the scope of this paper. There stays questioned the Indonesian Presidents’ ban on new palm oil plantations and mining licence, because such approach can potentially increase corruption and unofficial economy at local levels. The author of this paper wants to fulfil the gap in understanding about the link between deforestation in Indonesia and corruption. The level of corruption in Indonesia is not the main issue, but the nature of corruption is the main problem.
The article discusses economic growth influence to sustainable development. According to the collected theoretical material, it analyzes the impact of economic growth to social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The analysis of statistical data using integrated index of sustainable development allowed evaluating the impact of economic growth to sustainable development in in Lithuania on 2000−2011. Studies carried out in foreign universities confirmed a hypothesis that further extensive studies are necessary in order to understand the essence and evaluation of the concept of sustainable development. The basic idea behind the scientific problem studied in the paper can be described as the following: what are the regularities of the concept of sustainable development and its evaluation, that allow assess the economic growth influence to dimensions of sustainability and to sustainable development of the country. The main problem of the paper is stated as follows: how to achieve economic growth considering economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainable development? Research object – the impact of economic growth to dimensions of sustainable development. Research aim is to analyze and assess dynamics of sustainable development dimensions in Lithuania. Research tasks: theoretically to analyze the influence of economic growth to social and environmental dimensions; after methodological calculations of indicators of sustainable development in Lithuania, to evaluate the tendencies of changes of sustainable development dimensions and to forecast perpectives. Research methods contributing to this paper are: systematic scientific literature analysis, statistical data and comparative analysis, regression analysis, use of SPSS 17 (Statistical Package for Social Science) and Package Microsoft Excel. Theoretical analysis done in the paper quit well show, that systems of assessment of influence of economic growth to sustainable development must take in account three closely related dimensions: economic, social and environmental. Integrated sustainable development index and trend were used and evaluated that the biggest increasing of index was noticed by given stable inflation rate. Analysis done in the paper quit well show, that for problems solving can be used fiscal instrument – taxes.
Climate change adaptation being one of today’s main challenges on global agenda do affect people worldwide, but even though most decisions regarding climate change governance are made at the international or national level, the implementation of these decisions in most cases takes place at the local level. Municipal climate change adaptation research project in Latvia was carried out with special emphases on main stakeholder understanding, preparedness and communication factors using several complementary research methods – case study research in Salacgriva coastal municipality, sociological surveys with both Salacgriva town households / inhabitants (home visits / questionnaires) and also nation-wide municipal planners/ specialists survey (web based) in Latvia, as well as complementary interviews with various national agencies governance level experts. The comprehention and level of understanding of all sectors and necessary elements of complex municipal climate change governance development in Latvia is not sufficiently high neither for municipal planners/specialists nor for municipal (flood endangered) households, according to the needs of both those groups. There is in Latvia diverse and wide list of separately developed and already available instrument groups for municipal climate change governance (MCCG), especially, complementary communication instruments, as well as suffient enough number of insturments are in possession of the any particular municipality, but usage of them is quite limited by their type and range, and not complementary. Necessary is to change municipal project type thinking-working towards comprehensive planning / programming municipal development / support and pro-active communication and collaboration.