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UN DESA Releases Journal Highlighting Work on Islands, Biofuels and Transport

February 2011: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) has released the latest edition of its journal titled “Natural Resources Forum: A United Nations Sustainable Development Journal” (Volume 35, Issue 1), with articles on water governance, atoll livelihoods, Brazilian ethanol policy, sustainable transport and corruption in Africa, highway emissions projections for India, and opinions on the usefulness of the concept of a green economy.

In “Putting the cart before the horse: Water governance and IWRM,” Lautze et al. discuss shifting meanings and confusion over the term “water governance” over time and space. In “Marine gold and atoll livelihoods: The rise and fall of the bêche-de-mer trade on Ontong Java, Solomon Islands,” Andreas Egelund Christensen illustrates how remote island communities are influenced by drivers of change on the national and international scales through the example of the rise and fall of the bêche-de-mer trade in Solomon Islands.

Peter Wells and Thaisa Faro question the feasibility of exporting sustainable sugarcane ethanol production from Brazil in their article “Eco-efficiency, self-sufficiency and sustainability in transport: The limits for Brazilian sugarcane ethanol policy,” concluding that this strategy may bring unanticipated negative consequences and that more precise understandings of how sustainable transport is defined and bound need to be developed.

In “Sustainability under siege: Transport costs and corruption on West Africa's trade corridors,” Daniel Bromley and Jeremy Foltz use recent data on transport costs in West Africa, including the added burden of bribes and enforced delays, to show how such costs represent a deterrent to investment in, and the sustainability of, agricultural assets. Arora et al, in “Projections of highway vehicle population, energy demand, and carbon dioxide emissions in India to 2040,” find that by 2040, the number of highway vehicles in India will be 206-309 million, with emissions of 1.2-2.2 billion metric tons of carbon emissions.

In the viewpoints section, over 30 authors give their opinions on the question: “Is the concept of a green economy a useful way of framing policy discussions and policy making to promote sustainable development?" "Natural Resources Forum" is a quarterly journal issued by UN DESA's Division for Sustainable Development. [Publication: Natural Resources Forum: A United Nations Sustainable Development Journal (Vol 35, Issue 1)]