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22 March 2024

Community Sport, Australian Sport Policy and Advocacy: A Qualitative Study of Stakeholder Perspectives

This article explored aspects of the community sport policy process in rural New South Wales, Australia, focusing on the views of community sport club (CSC) officials relating to policy matters. Community sport represents a complicated policy arena, and rural communities face a level of disparity compared with better-resourced urban CSCs, particularly concerning policy implementation and advocacy issues. Officials at CSCs from ten different sports (n = 10) in a rural setting participated in semi-structured interviews to pinpoint themes common in the community sport policy process. Further, the research identified aspects of the connections that impact CSCs, including those with government and National Sporting Organisations (NSOs). To highlight the beliefs and attitudes of the CSC officials, the interviews had two key thematic foci—implementation and advocacy—and the findings highlighted sub-themes relating to the fundamental interests of CSCs. Overall, the research accentuated the hierarchical nature—a power imbalance—of sport policy processes, the potential for CSCs to have a bottom-up role in policy creation, and the consideration of a policy analysis and evaluation structure such as the Advocacy Coalition Framework. Finally, the outcome points to enthusiasm for strengthening community sport by giving CSCs a voice through localized advocacy.

Keywords: Advocacy; Community sport; Clubs; Policy; Power; Sustainability


29 January 2024

The “Global Change Data Base” GCDB Facilitates a Transition to Clean Energy and Sustainability

This article presents the opportunities for constructing a global data base picturing underlying trends that drive global climate change. Energy-related CO2 emissions currently represent the key impact on climate change and thus become here the object of deep, long-term and historiographic analysis. In order to embrace all involved domains of technology, energy economy, fuel shares, economic efficacity, economic structure and population, a “Global Change Data Base” (GCDB) is suggested, based on earlier worldwide accepted data repositories. Such a GCDB works through regressions and statistical analysis of time series of data (on extensive magnitudes such as energy demand, population or Gross Domestic Product, GDP) as well as generation of derived data such as quotients of the former, yielding intensive magnitudes that describe systems and their structural properties. Moreover, the GCDB sets out to compute the first and second time derivatives of said magnitudes (and their percentual shares) which indicate new long-term developments already at very early phases. The invitation to participate in this foresight endeavour is extended to all readers. First preliminary GCDB results quantitatively portray the evolutionary structural global dynamics of economic growth, sectoral economic shifts, the shifts within energy carriers in various economic sectors, the ongoing improvements of energy intensity and energy efficiency in many economic sectors, and the structural changes within agricultural production and consumption systems.

Keywords: Forward looking; Future research; Techno-socio-economic evolution; Global development; Global scenarios; National scenarios; Foresight; Forecast; Technology assessment; Energy; Economy; Agriculture; Global Change Data Base (GCDB); Global change; Global studies; Climate change; Energy; Sustainability


09 January 2024

Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Grape Cultivation in Yamanashi Prefecture of Japan

Climate change impacts agricultural production, especially fruits. Amongst fruits, the grape is economically valuable and highly affected by climate change. Therefore, climate adaptation strategies are essential in overcoming the detrimental effects of climate change on grape cultivation. The study summarises adaptation strategies for grape cultivation in general and focuses on climate change. The Yamanashi prefecture in Japan is taken for the case study. Our findings indicate a decline in grape production in Japan and Yamanashi prefecture. This is attributed to the effects of climate change. Following this, various support measures (adaptative, mitigation, others) provided by the Yamanashi government towards grape cultivation are summarised and analyzed. The study concludes by offering recommendations by drawing lessons from the literature review on adaptation strategies for grape cultivation, focusing on overcoming climate change impact in the context of Yamanashi prefecture.

Keywords: Sustainability; Local Production; Innovation; SMEs; Food Tech; Japan


15 November 2023

Local Production, Consumption, and Innovation: Enhancing Sustainability through SMEs in Japan

The study focuses on the process of business development with the use of food tech and open innovation by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Japan to create a sustainable ecosystem in the regional economy. Production of alternative food materials is introduced in the new business of SMEs with the hope to reduce carbon footprint. SMEs need to create an SME ecosystem that integrates consumers as vital partners in the process of introducing new alternative food items to the market as agents of change. Innovative ways of inventing new food products involve the processes of sourcing ingredients, creating new recipes for alternative food products, and incorporating local food culture and methods of food preparation. Therefore, it is crucial for SMEs to involve local producers as well as consumers as stakeholders in innovation. Some case examples of SMEs producing plant-based alternative meats in Japan are reviewed in this study to highlight key factors impacting the outcome of innovation in the products and processes of SMEs seeking sustainable solutions. The significance of the study lies in acknowledging catalytic roles of SMEs in regional settings and interactive roles of consumers as product buyers as well as active players who consciously opt for certain products and modes of consumption driven by their inclination to support sustainability. Based on the findings of the study, some policy suggestions are also made for enhancing sustainability and revitalizing the local economy through SMEs. 

Keywords: Sustainability; Local Production; Innovation; SMEs; Food Tech; Japan


15 August 2023

Green Composites Using Naturally Occurring Fibers: A Comprehensive Review

Depletion of non-renewable resources and health hazards of petroleum-based polymers and plastics has enforced the development of eco-friendly materials. The use of conventional plastics has to be minimized and can be replaced with environmentally friendly and sustainable bio-based polymers or biopolymers due to extensive environmental impact. A major share of petroleum-based polymers is used for polymeric composites with research focus on green composites and biocomposites containing renewable/bioderived matrix polymer and fillers from naturally occurring fibers. Biocomposites hold great promise to replace petroleum-based polymer composites owing to their lower cost, non-toxicity, abundance of raw material, renewability, and high specific strength. All these merits of biocomposites have led to an increment in the development of new biocomposites with enhanced properties, wide applicability and ever demanding criteria. The recently published review studies detailed the raw materials used, fabrication techniques, characterization, and applications including biodegradation and rheological studies performed in recent years. This review covers all the important properties of biocomposites along with detailed description of synthesis, properties, characterizations and applicability of these green composites in several areas. The review also focuses on their raw materials, types, recent biocomposites, processing techniques, characterizations, applications, and current challenges with future aspects.

Keywords: Biopolymers; Natural fibers; Biocomposites; Biodegradation; Sustainability


22 May 2023

Private Property and Public Commons: Narrowing the gap

Private property and public commons each represent strongly felt concepts of society but in very different ways. While the protection of private property is at the heart of the capitalist system and deeply embedded in our laws, the protection of the public commons is a mere subset of government policies and often lacks firm regulations. Critically, natural commons such as air, water, biodiversity, and a habitable earth, are hardly protected at all. Environmental laws regulate use and protection of natural “resources” in a strict instrumental fashion, ignoring the intrinsic value of Nature and take Earth’s ecological systems for granted. This article traces the “hidden logic” of environmental law and explores some of the history of property and the commons in the European context. It then shows the fundamental importance of ecological integrity for all efforts towards sustainable societies. The overall thesis is that property and commons must be based on ecological sustainability as a fundamental norm of law.

Keywords: Property; Commons; Environmental law; Ecological sustainability; Grundnorm


15 June 2022