Differential impacts of policies or changes in environmental conditions on people is a growing area of interest to decision-makers, yet remains an often neglected area of study for the environmental valuation literature. Using data from a large national survey of over 24,000 people conducted in Canada, this paper implements a latent class Kuhn-Tucker recreation demand model to assess differences in preferences and values for nature-based activities. Preferences are disaggregated by self-reported Indigeneity, immigration status, and gender. We find that Indigenous people receive 63% greater benefits from participating in nature-based activities compared to non-Indigenous people living in Canada. Immigrants have the lowest participation in, and benefits associated with, nature-based activities. Similarly, women receive 21% lesser benefits associated with nature-based activities when compared to men. These results demonstrate that Indigenous peoples may be more vulnerable to adverse impacts on nature-based activities such as land-use changes, climate change, and government policies. The study also highlights the importance of disaggregated data and incorporating aspects of identity in the ecosystem service literature towards more equitable decision-making and reconciliation.
Synergies Between COVID-19 and Climate Change Impacts and Responses
Rachel Bezner Kerr,
Martina Angela Caretta,
Mark J. Costello,
Kristie L. Ebi,
Elena López Gunn,
Corinne J. Schuster‐Wallace,
María Cristina Tirado,
Maarten van Aalst,
Journal of Extreme Events, Volume 08, Issue 03
The COVID-19 pandemic and anthropogenic climate change are global crises. We show how strongly these crises are connected, including the underlying societal inequities and problems of poverty, substandard housing, and infrastructure including clean water supplies. The origins of all these crises are related to modern consumptive industrialisation, including burning of fossil fuels, increasing human population density, and replacement of natural with human dominated ecosystems. Because business as usual is unsustainable on all three fronts, transformative responses are needed. We review the literature on risk management interventions, implications for COVID-19, for climate change risk and for equity associated with biodiversity, water and WaSH, health systems, food systems, urbanization and governance. This paper details the considerable evidence base of observed synergies between actions to reduce pandemic and climate change risks while enhancing social justice and biodiversity conservation. It also highlights constraints imposed by governance that can impede deployment of synergistic solutions. In contrast to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governance systems have procrastinated on addressing climate change and biodiversity loss as these are interconnected chronic crises. It is now time to address all three to avoid a multiplication of future crises across health, food, water, nature, and climate systems.
Glaciers and ice sheets are masses of ice and snow that persist over many years formed by the accumulation and compaction of snow. They cover a significant amount of the Earth’s land surface and store most of the world’s fresh water. Glaciers flow under their own weight, carving out landscapes and transporting sediment and rocks as they move, and they advance and retreat in response to changes in the mass balance, or difference between annual accumulation and ablation. Glaciers and glacierized river basins have unique hydrological characteristics. They serve as an important store of freshwater and influence the characteristics of annual and seasonal runoff downstream. Glaciers and ice sheets also represent an important biome with a rich diversity of life, from microbial communities to microscopic organisms and macroinvertebrates, and they influence ecosystem functioning well beyond their margins and termini. In recent decades, most glaciers worldwide have been losing mass and retreating in response to climatic variations, now primarily driven by human activity. The Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets have also begun to lose significant amount of mass and have exhibited an accelerating pattern of loss. This is expected to continue for many decades or more under current and expected future climate conditions, with the loss of much of the world’s mountain glaciers, and significant changes in polar ice caps and ice sheets. The loss of glaciers and ice sheets poses many problems and challenges, including sea level rise implications, regional changes in water availability, impacts on glacial and downstream ecosystems, release of legacy contaminants stored on and within glaciers, glacier-related hazards, feedback effects on regional and global climate, and many others that affect the wellbeing of people and communities. There is a need for more observations, better understanding and prediction of glacier dynamics, coordinated adaptation and mitigation strategies across multiple levels from local to international, and a coupled systems approach that integrates physical dimensions of changing ice environments with the human systems that engage with or depend upon them.