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    Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) consists of 75 legal indicators developed under 23 of the UNEP Bali Guidelines that are concerned with the development and implementation of legislation. In addition to the legal indicators, EDI includes 24 supplemental indicators that assess whether there is evidence that environmental democracy is being implemented in practice. The EDI legal indicators assess laws, constitutions, regulations and other legally binding, enforceable rules at the national level.

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    Household surveys were conducted in 251 households to ascertain the local knowledge and practices of indigenous Tagbanua non-honey hunter gatherers. Majority of the 251 households we interviewed use honey as food, medicine, and material. In addition, NDVI values of the household and nesting areas were analyzed in relation to the natural resource management practices of the community.

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    Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) consists of 75 legal indicators developed under 23 of the UNEP Bali Guidelines that are concerned with the development and implementation of legislation. In addition to the legal indicators, EDI includes 24 supplemental indicators that assess whether there is evidence that environmental democracy is being implemented in practice. The EDI legal indicators assess laws, constitutions, regulations and other legally binding, enforceable rules at the national level. Participation Index rank contains following guidelines:- Guideline 8: "Early Public Participation" ? Guideline 9: "Proactive Public Consultation" ? Guideline 10: "Informed Participation" ? Guideline 11: "Due Account of Public Comments" ? Guideline 12: "Public Participation in Review" ? Guideline 13: "Integrating Public Input for Rule-making" ? Guideline 14: "Capacity Building for public participation (There are no indicators for this guideline)"

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    Integrating the ecosystem services (ES) approach into the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of spatial plans is seen as a suitable option for considering the value of nature in decision making and policy processes. However, there is an increasing concern about the institutional context and a lack of a common understanding of SEA and ecosystem services for adopting them as an integrated framework. This paper addresses this concern by analysing the current understanding and network relations in a multi-actor arrangement as a first step for moving towards a successful integration of ES in SEA and spatial planning. We based our analysis on a case study in Chile, where we applied a questionnaire survey aimed at the principal actors behind the planning process. The questionnaire focused on issues such as network relations among actors and on conceptual understanding, perceptions and challenges for integrating ES in SEA and spatial planning, knowledge on methodological approaches, and the connections and gaps in science-policy. The main findings suggest that a common understanding of SEA and especially of ES is still in an initial stage in Chile when we consider the context of multiple actors. Additionally, the lack of institutional guidelines and methodological support is considered the main challenge for integration. We conclude that preconditions exist in Chile for integrating ES in SEA and the spatial planning practice, but they strongly depend on an appropriate governance scheme which encourages a close interaction science-policy as well as collaborative work and learning.

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    Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) consists of 75 legal indicators developed under 23 of the UNEP Bali Guidelines that are concerned with the development and implementation of legislation. In addition to the legal indicators, EDI includes 24 supplemental indicators that assess whether there is evidence that environmental democracy is being implemented in practice. The EDI legal indicators assess laws, constitutions, regulations and other legally binding, enforceable rules at the national level scores. TRANSPARENCY Pillar contains following Guidelines:- Guideline 1: "Accessibility of Environmental Information Requests" ? Guideline 2: "Environmental Information in Public Domain" ? Guideline 3: "Grounds for Refusal" ? Guideline 4: "Environmental Information Collection and Management" ? Guideline 5: "State of the Environment Report" ? Guideline 6: "Early Warning Information" ? Guideline 7: "Capacity-building for access to information (There are no indicators for this guideline)"

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    Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) consists of 75 legal indicators developed under 23 of the UNEP Bali Guidelines that are concerned with the development and implementation of legislation. In addition to the legal indicators, EDI includes 24 supplemental indicators that assess whether there is evidence that environmental democracy is being implemented in practice. The EDI legal indicators assess laws, constitutions, regulations and other legally binding, enforceable rules at the national level. Justice Pillar contains following Guidelines:- Guideline 15: "Information Request Appeals" ? Guideline 16: "Public Participation Appeals" ? Guideline 17: "Right of Public to Challenge State or Private Actors" ? Guideline 18: "Broad Standing" ? Guideline 19: "Fair, Timely & Independent Review" ? Guideline 20: "Affordable Access to Relief & Remedy" ? Guideline 21: "Prompt Effective Remedies" ? Guideline 22: "Effective Enforcement" ? Guideline 23: "Awareness and Education about Remedies & Relief" ? Guideline 24: "Public Access to Judicial and Administrative Decisions" ? Guideline 25: "Capacity Building for Access to Justice (There are no indicators for this Guideline)" ? Guideline 26: "Alternative Dispute Resolution for Environmental Issues" ?

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    In a bid to understand the spatial distribution of giant honey bees in a community forest in Palawan, participatory mapping was conducted with indigenous Tagbanua honey hunters and gatherers. Through the use of global positioning system devices, digital cameras, and a solar home system as electricity source, local collaborators mapped a total of 31 bee nests from April to June 2015. This study provides a replicable long-term participatory methodology and promotes participatory learning and mutual knowledge creation. By combining applied sustainability research with local stakeholder participation, we suggest that novel knowledge and solutions can aid sustainable rural development.

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    Alluvial gold mining generates a vast amount of extractive waste that completely covers the natural soil, destroys riparian ecosystems, and negatively impacts river beds and valleys. Since 2002, a gold mining company has striven to create agroforestry plots in the waste deposits as a post-mining management approach, where agricultural crops and livestock are combined to complement reforestation in the area. This research aims at supporting reclamation of waste deposits by providing a comprehensive understanding of processes to manage the transition of nutrient-poor and acidic deposition sites towards productive agroforestry-based systems. Major components of this research comprise (i) an analysis of environmental and social challenges of the gold mining sector in Colombia, and its potential opportunities to add value to affected communities, (ii) an assessment of management practices and decision-making processes of the farmers working on reclamation areas, (iii) an analysis of the sources of variability of waste deposits from the perspective of soil development and vegetation succession, (iv) an analysis of spatial variability of the physicochemical properties of waste deposits with a spatially explicit management scheme, and (v) an assessment of vegetation recovery in terms of biomass and plant community composition. Farmers who are currently working on areas undergoing reclamation rely mostly on their own local knowledge to respond to the challenges that the heavily disturbed conditions of the area pose to crop establishment. Therefore, increasing their awareness of the inherent heterogeneity of their fields, as well as the interdependencies between management practices and improvement of soil fertility, may increase the productivity of their farms. The analysis of sources of variability of the waste deposits generated by alluvial gold mining revealed that these deposits are primarily influenced by the parent material of the alluvial gold deposits and by the technology used for gold mining (bucket or suction dredges), which define the type of deposit formed (gravel or sand). Waste deposits can provide essential functions for rural areas such as woody biomass production and crop establishment if deposits are managed according to a specific purpose, and crop selection for each deposit is done based on physicochemical and structural soil properties. This finding is echoed by the spatial assessment of vegetation reestablishment through the combination of remote sensing with machine-learning techniques that show a high spatial variability of textural properties and nutrient contents of the deposits. A management approach is proposed with the use of delineated management zones, which can lead to an overall increased productivity by developing strategies suitable to the characteristics of each field and its potential uses.

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    Commercialization of non-timber forest products has been one of the strategies worldwide for integrated rural poverty alleviation and forest conservation. Through a social-ecological systems approach, this dissertation aims to assess the contribution of a community forestry enterprise to sustainable rural development in an indigenous forest community in an ecological frontier. Specifically, this research work seeks to define the current relationship of indigenous Tagbanuas on Palawan island in the Philippines with giant honey bees (Apis dorsata Fab.) and analyze the impacts of a wild honey enterprise on rural livelihood, forest preservation, and traditional culture. By employing the multi-step knowledge development process of transdisciplinary research, this dissertation establishes system knowledge and target knowledge, which are both important in shaping transformative knowledge. This has the potential to influence local, regional, and global decision making processes on indigenous livelihood, forest and honey bee conservation. In chapter two, a global review was conducted on the role of wild bees in social-ecological systems. The review shows that wild bees occupy a central role in social contexts and mostly provide services and benefits related to food, medicine, and pollination. Chapter three shows that on a local level, indigenous Tagbanuas mostly use honey for food, medicine, and material. The majority (94%) of 251 non-honey hunter Tagbanuas surveyed consume honey; however, most of them (86%) only use less than a liter of honey annually. Nowadays, honey hunters rarely perform hunting rituals and also sell beeswax, which had long been considered important in Tagbanua rituals. Despite wild honey hunting being a major livelihood activity, only 24% of those surveyed could correctly identify the giant honey bee. Inferential statistics show that lower level of education correlates with a higher probability to correctly identify the giant honey bee. Chapter four details how giant honey bee nesting areas were voluntarily mapped by honey hunters who trained in using global positioning system equipment. In chapter five, spatial analysis was conducted on nesting tree areas. Results show that vegetation cover dropped from 0.61 in the year 1988 to 0.41 in 2015. Pollen analysis showed the presence of at least 11 plant families in honey samples. This includes the mangrove family Rhizophoraceae, which hints that the giant honey bees forage in both terrestrial and coastal areas. A minority of community members responded that they use chemical fertilizers (4%) and pesticides (20%), which are known to be harmful to bees. However, the laboratory-analyzed honey samples contain no pesticide residues, showing the potential of Tagbanuas honey to be classified as organic. In chapter six, results of a gross margin and integrated value chain analysis show that downstream actors capture most of the economic value of wild honey. Commercial wild honey hunting may help avoid poverty aggravation, but it seems insufficient in alleviating poverty or guaranteeing conservation. In chapter seven, we discuss how integrated conservation and development projects have much potential in promoting sustainable development in indigenous forest communities but challenges need to be overcome to fulfill this potential. Institutions must not only focus on provisioning ecosystem services of giant honey bees, but also consider cultural and regulating services. In pursuing sustainability and systems thinking, this dissertation compels readers to pay attention to two marginalized entities: indigenous groups and honey bees other than the well-known European honey bee (A. mellifera L.). In doing so, this research hopes to influence conservation and development efforts to become more inclusive and sensitive to entities left behind.

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    As people change their livelihood preferences, they change the way they relate to the natural resources around them. Anticipating and managing these changes, where possible, is a major challenge for sustainable land-use planning and natural resource management. This is most evident in the Amazon, a region of immense biological and cultural diversity but also a region of rapid change and transformation, quickly integrating through transportation infrastructure (roads, harbors, airports, etc.) with other South American regions and the rest of the world. This project analyzes social and ecological change taking place in indigenous settlements of the Amazon region, as they transform their subsistence economies to fit into a western model of living. It uses social ecological systems as a framework to identify and explore the linkages between changes in these two domains, and aims at understanding natural resource management from the perspective of the user and the utilized resource. This, we argue, requires an understanding of collective decision making (governance) of the variations in land and resource use in a community governed in a specific way, and of the response of forests to small-scale human intervention. The way decisions are taken and the way a group of people structure their governance system will affect the ecological system in different ways. We observed fast transformation and diversification of formerly indigenous communities and fast-track integration into western systems of organization resulting in hybrid governance systems with different combinations of traditional and western ways of social organization and resource management. Palms are an ideal study group because their use and ecology is well documented throughout the region and have more recently become an important source of income for many Amazonian populations. Changes in the management of three utilized palm species served as indicators of change in the social ecological system. We investigated palm abundance and management in the three land-use categories: cultivation areas, moderately disturbed forest, and low disturbance forest. Palms are not sown from seed or transplanted into cultivation areas rather they are passively cultivated (protected from fire, weeds, pests, falling branches, etc.). Although palm species are appreciated either for commercial or domestic purposes, seldom did we observe or document active cultivation taking place. In forested areas the most abundant of the three, Socratea exorrhiza, recognized as a generalist or oligarchic species, showed a positive response to moderate levels of human intervention. The second most abundant species, Astrocaryum chambira, is a near generalist, with more restrictions for its dispersion and establishment than S. exorrhiza, and therefore a less favorable response to moderate levels of intervention. Abundance of Phytelephas macrocarpa was the lowest; as a soil specialist its distribution is uneven and its overall response to intervention most difficult to assess. Changes in palm management betrayed a general shift from a view of cultivation areas as the community’s pantry to a view of cultivation areas as the sum of individually owned plots where only commercially valued species are harvested. The distinction between the three zones was blurred in the community with greater access to the west, there was a pressure towards privatization, to erase the traditional zoning regulations, since both palms and land are seen as a commodity. Indiscriminate extraction is taking place in forested areas and in cultivation areas pressure and conflicts are increasing and leading to formalization of property rights and new forms of representation, thus pushing integration further. Transportation infrastructure will continue its expansion, the pressure for oil and mineral extraction will increase in the Amazon and it will be necessary to accept and understand these paths of change in order to minimize the negative consequences that they might have for the social ecological system as a whole.