2009年から2年間、大学院で環境関連学を専攻するため、イギリスにやって来た私達の話 This blog is about us(U&I) coming to UK in 2009 for Environmental Study at master level for 2 years
by uk-env
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春のエッセー Lovely Spring Essays

It has been ages to update my blog as I have just been up to the elbow in the following three essay works despite the spring vacation…

1. 生態系の経済評価 (Economic valuation on ecosystem)

This essay was a term paper of Environmental Valuation module and the theme was “to what extent has the valuations on the world ecosystem been conducted? How should we move forward?”. Among many ecosystem categories, I was designated to tackle “temperate grasslands, savannas and shrublands”. The value of the nature has been estimated since Costanza and his colleagues firstly estimated the global value in 1997, and last year new study on economics of biodiversity by world researchers was released at the global conference for biodiversity conservation in Nagoya (COP10).


However, this research field is under development and my ecosystem category has hardly been monetised so far – estimation has been done mainly by using the old data. I feel this is because (1) grasslands are so vast with a handful of population, (2) there are few direct use materials such as timber, fuels, and food, and (3) the effect of carbon storage and the recreation value are modest compared to other ecosystems. As a result, the value of temperate grasslands, savannas and shrublands per hectare is extremely lower than that of marine ecosystems and tropical forests.

Several implications may be thus needed in consideration of its priority among all the ecosystems: 1) to conduct practical valuation studies on recreation values of safari tours for international tourists, enabling to adopt this result into the tour fees; 2) to continue natural scientific research on the biological and physical functions of grasslands for monetary values (e.g. cattle productivity per ha; carbon storage by grass species) in order to transfer those results to the other areas for economic-efficient valuations over the world; and 3) to raise pubic awareness on conservation for this ecosystem through showing its monetary value. (See my submitted paper from here

2.海洋保全のプリンシプル (Principles on marine conservation)

This term essay is for Environmental Law and Policy module, arguing what principles are considered in legislative approaches for marine protection with examples of different governances and implications, highlighting challenges to achieve those principles. My paper discussed to what extent the two different mechanisms, 1) top-down based MPA (Marine Protected Area) and 2) co-management based ITQ (Individual Transferable Quota), could meet the six principles for marine conservation (1.sustainability; 2.Polluter Pays; 3.Precaution; 4.Equity; 5.Human rights; 6.Particpation).


In conclusion, regardless of adopting either approach, several implications are needed to assure those principles: (1) evidence-based decision making on the boundary of the protected area or the amount of harvestable fishes, based on scientific knowledge and its uncertainty; (2) acceleration of economic valuations on marine ecosystem to deploy socially equitable polluter pay principle; (3) raising public awareness on marine conservation and pushing them to join decision making boards in order to prevent the control by only special interest groups and encourage trust among stakeholders; (4) consideration of policy-mix as no perfect single instrument existing. (See my submitted paper from here

3. 英国カーボンフットプリント (Carbon foot print in the UK)

This report was written for Climate Change and Management module with a discussion about simulation of reducing carbon footprint by changing food habits in UK and to what extent this would contribute to UK 2020 CO2 mitigation target. I used a free software “REAP” to simulate the future food scenario with the data regarding UK carbon footprint per capita in 2006 by region. This report assumes the change of food habits would occur in the three dimensions: (1) reduction in food waste; (2) improvement to healthier diet proportion; and (3) choosing more domestic food.



As a result of my simulation, if UK residents achieved those three habitat changes in ideal ways, the amount of expected CO2 emissions reductions would account for 10%, 20%, 10% of the total required reductions from households by 2020 respectively, and if combining those three scenarios with substantial deployment of renewable energy sources, the total reduced CO2 emissions would be still just less than 50% of required emissions reductions level. This tells us that how demanding UK 2020 mitigation target for households is! Moreover, the foregoing food habitat changes are far from straightforward: (1) just only a few percentage of ideally avoidable waste have been reduced; (2) Food balance has not changed so drastically for the last decades; (3) UK food self-sufficient rate is far below 100% so that drastic increase in production from UK agriculture is needed by 2020.

Therefore, to achieve those goals, we need an effective advertisement about how those changes are beneficial for UK people in respect of cost saving, health, and local economy. Besides, global cooperated carbon tax is also recommended to incentivise CO2 reduction. On the other hand, carbon footprint simulation itself should be elaborated more to distinguish domestic and overseas emissions because the national mitigation target only captures the former. (See my submitted paper from here

That’s all. As many exams take place in this May and June plus dissertation should be tackled before my return to Japan in the end of July, I will keep to do my best…
by uk-env | 2011-05-09 19:46 | 大学(York Uni)
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