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GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

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Scientific and applied peer-reviewed journal

Aim of the journal “GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY” published in English is to illuminate related interdisciplinary scientific fields, many new approaches and methods along with a wide range of their practical applications. This goal covers a broad spectrum of scientific research areas and also considers contemporary and widely used research methods, such as geoinformatics, cartography, remote sensing (including from space), geophysics, geochemistry, etc.

In the areas of “GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, and SUSTAINABILITY” a new challenge to structure accumulated knowledge, to describe inner relations, and to form spheres of influence between different disciplines has emerged. The scope of the GES is to publish original and innovative papers that will substantially improve, in a theoretical, conceptual or empirical way the quality of research, learning, teaching and applying geography, as well as in promoting the significance of geography as a discipline.

The main sections of the journal are the theory of geography and ecology, the theory of sustainable development, use of natural resources, natural resources assessment, global and regional changes of environment and climate, social-economical geography, ecological regional planning, sustainable regional development, applied aspects of geography and ecology, geoinformatics and ecological cartography, ecological problems of oil and gas sector, nature conservations, health and environment, and education for sustainable development.

Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse. The printed version contains color figures . Color reproduction in print is free of charge of all accepted articles. Journal publishes 4 issues per year, each issue 120–150 pages long. Manuscripts are  submitted and peer-reviewed in an on-line mode.

 

Current issue

Vol 15, No 2 (2022)
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RESEARCH PAPER 

5-12 147
Abstract

Generally considered a sustainable economic activity, tourism can generate environmental deterioration due to a lack of planning. In this case, the edge effect is utilized to assess the degree of human interference in the environment. Although the Atlantic Forest is known as a hotspot because of its high species richness and endemism, it is also a threatened biome. In this context of anthropogenic pressure, our work assesses the edge-interior gradient in the regenerating forest based on the physical characteristics of vegetation and floristic composition, in addition to providing overall guidelines to effectively assist in its management. For this study, 30 plots of 25 m² (10 m x 2.5 m) equally distributed among the edges of trails and locations 20 and 40 m away from them were established, with the greatest length measured parallel to the edge of the tracks. Overall, 443 individuals of 122 species were investigated. More than 60 of them were endemic to Brazil, 13.3% were threatened and 9.1% were widely distributed species. Some species were present at all distances from the trails, others co-occurred, but the majority were exclusive to a single plot category. Differences in species diversity were also observed with an increasing trend in dominance at the edges of trails along with a decreased richness at the same distance.

13-22 126
Abstract

Human life has never been separated from the interaction with the surrounding physical environment, especially landscape conditions. In this paper, the role of landscape evolution in influencing the distribution of settlements in the Borobudur Basin, is investigated. The data were collected through observations, remote sensing, documentations, and literature studies. The data were analysed using analytical-descriptive analysis and spatial analysis supported by geographic information system (GIS) analysis. GIS analysis employing average nearest neighbour and buffer analysis. The results of this study indicate that the landscape evolution affects the distribution of settlements as a form of community adaptation to physical environmental conditions in the Borobudur Basin. The distribution of settlements can be traced from the time of Hindu-Buddhism based on the existence of past relics in the form of temples. At present time, the settlements are scattered as hamlets which are grouped in several villages in the Borobudur Basin. Based on the existence of 20 temples located next to the ancient river valleys, the distribution of past settlements mainly follows the pattern of river valleys. The pattern of past settlements is random, correlates with the paleochannel distribution pattern which is also random. This is possibly due to the reason of obtaining resources and a factor of belief (faith or reliance). The pattern of the current settlement distribution is spreading and is more evenly distributed in the Borobudur Basin. The settlements develop to a wider area outside the paleochannel, not only limited to the paleochannel. Instead of far more numerous population, this distribution pattern is also caused by landscape changes that enable them to build settlements more widely. In summary, this study provides new insight into evidence of the influence of landscape evolution due to geomorphic processes on the distribution of settlements. Traditional intelligence encourages humans to choose the best location for settlement.

23-30 172
Abstract

Urbanization is a major issue that threatens natural habitats. However, carefully planned anthropogenic activities give the opportunity to transform urban natural habitats to offer new services to cities. In this study, we assessed the impact of land-use conversions on the spatial status of Bellanwila - Attidiya wetland sanctuary in the Colombo district, Sri Lanka.  The Bellanwila - Attidiya wetland provides many ecosystem services but is highly vulnerable to the rapid land use and land cover changes that comes with urbanization. Multi-temporal remote sensing images were analyzed for the years 2005, 2009, and 2015 to study the changes in land use/land cover features of the wetland. The social perception of the ecosystem services was assessed by conducting semi-structured interviews with the residents. During the study period, parts of the wetland had been transformed into residential areas (10.1%) and open water systems (8.6%). Urban expansion and the construction of a storm water management system were found to be the main causes for these changes. The community perception revealed that the wetland has deteriorated, and that the ecosystem services had been altered due to the land use/land cover changes. The anthropogenic transformation of  part of the wetland into a flood retention area and the addition of infrastructure for recreational purposes have added value to the wetland complex and therefore opportunities for new ecosystem services have emerged. Our findings shed light on the need for inclusive urban planning mainstreaming community perceptions. It also highlights the benefits of transforming urban spaces into anthropogenic landscapes that blends with nature to offer ecosystem services and enhance community resilience. 

31-37 119
Abstract

Most methods in the field of wildfire prevention are based on expert assessment of fire danger factors. However, their weights are usually assumed constant for the entire application area despite the geographical and seasonal changes of factors. This study aimed to develop a wildfire prevention method based on partial and general fire danger ratings taking into account their spatio-temporal variability. The study was conducted for Krasnoyarsk territory, Orenburg region and the Meschera lowland as the most forest, steppe and peat fire dangerous regions of Russia respectively. Surface temperature, moisture, vegetation structure, anthropogenic load, topography and their variation over subzones and in time were used as fire danger factors. They were evaluated by measuring parameters such as radiobrightness temperature, Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), distance to settlements and roads, elevation, slope and aspect. Materials from the Terra/Aqua, Sentinel-3, Landsat-8, Sentinel-2 satellites, ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model and Open Street Maps vector layers were used in the study. Correlation between these parameters and the actual fires in 2016-2018 was analyzed. Linear relationships were established, and correlation coefficients, equations of partial ratings and prevention 90%-threshold values were identified. On their basis, the parameter weights were computed to integrate them into the general fire danger rating. The developed method was validated using data over 2019. The results showed 67% confidence and 61% reliability of fire prevention along with the spatio-temporal patterns of fire danger factors. The method is recommended for preventing wildfires within the study areas and can be extend to similar regions.

38-57 130
Abstract

Suspended sediment (SS) is an essential indicator for assessing watershed health. However, the temporal variation of SS, called sediment graph (SG) using readily available data, is not always considered, particularly in un-gauged watersheds, which are many in developing countries. Since field measurements of SS are time-consuming and costly, the synthetic SG seems to be a promising alternative. Therefore, it is essential to have reliable SS data for watershed management. This study aimed at simulating SGs through conceptual analysis of soil erosion and sediment yield at the watershed scale. To that end, soil erosion, sediment yield, and sediment routing were modeled using 38 storm events collected during 2011 and 2019 at the Galazchai Watershed in West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. Initially, the Time-Area Method (TAM) was applied, and then two strategies were considered to improve the TAM performance, including RUSLE and sediment delivery ratio (SDR) using gradient ratio and WaTEM/SEDEM methods. Comparing simulated SGs with recorded ones showed that the SDR-based method had the lowest relative error in time to peak and base time, but the peak value had the highest relative error. Results also showed that TAM developed using the spatially distributed travel time method had a better performance than the channel longitudinal profile method. Overall, TAM could not simulate the temporal variation of sediment and needs further research.

58-70 205
Abstract

The peat hydrological unit of the Air Sugihan River – Air Saleh River, South Sumatra, Indonesia, experienced extreme fires during the 2015 El Niño event. Restoration of 2.0 Mha degraded peatlands has been conducted since 2016. This study aims to analyze spatiotemporal variations of soil moisture content and groundwater level in this site from 2015 to 2018. The soil moisture was estimated using a multiple regression analysis method based on the Sentinel-1A and the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast dataset. The groundwater level model was calculated by using linear regression between the estimated soil moisture and water level observed from field measurements. A minimum moisture content of ~0.78 m3m-3 and a minimum groundwater depth of ~0.50 m below the peat surface were estimated to cause smoldering combustion. A sharp decline in the water table depth (around 1.53 m) led to a decrease in moisture content in October 2015. This month, peat fires severely burned both cultivation and protected areas having dense drainage canals and near rivers. Although there was an increasing trend in the groundwater level and moisture content in 2016, between 2017 to 2018 the water table declined to a depth of ~0.7 m with a corresponding moisture content of ~0.25 m3m-3. Such decline may have led to a few peat fires which occurred in the dry season of both 2017 and 2018. We recommended that law enforcement efforts should be conducted to raise the mean annual water table to shallower depths than 0.40 m

71-83 220
Abstract

Intensive socio-economic interactions are a prerequisite for the innovative development of the economy, but at the same time, they may lead to increased epidemiological risks. Persistent migration patterns, the socio-demographic composition of the population, income level, and employment structure by type of economic activity determine the intensity of socio-economic interactions and, therefore, the spread of COVID-19.

We used the excess mortality (mortality from April 2020 to February 2021 compared to the five-year mean) as an indicator of deaths caused directly and indirectly by COVID-19. Similar to some other countries, due to irregularities and discrepancies in the reported infection rates, excess mortality is currently the only available and reliable indicator of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Russia.

We used the regional level data and fit regression models to identify the socio-economic factors that determined the impact of the pandemic. We used ordinary least squares as a baseline model and a selection of spatial models to account for spatial autocorrelation of dependent and independent variables as well as the error terms.

Based on the comparison of AICc (corrected Akaike information criterion) and standard error values, it was found that SEM (spatial error model) is the best option with reliably significant coefficients. Our results show that the most critical factors that increase the excess mortality are the share of the elderly population and the employment structure represented by the share of employees in manufacturing (C economic activity according to European Skills, Competences, and Occupations (ESCO) v1 classification). High humidity as a proxy for temperature and a high number of retail locations per capita reduce the excess mortality. Except for the share of the elderly, most identified factors influence the opportunities and necessities of human interaction and the associated excess mortality.

84-90 114
Abstract

Bandwidth plays a crucial role in the Geographically Weighted Regression modelas it affects the model’s ability to describe spatial dependencies. If the bandwidth is too large, the model will be similar to a normal regression model. Conversely, if it is too small, the model will be too rough. Bandwidth can be selected in several ways, e.g. manually determined by experts or using Akaike Information Criteria, Cross-Validation, and Lagrange Multiplier methods. This study offers an alternative approach to choosing bandwidth based on the covariance function representing a linear combination between the Bessel and Gaussian-Type functions. We applied this function to analyze the land price in Manado with four infrastructure accessibility variables, such as accessibility to government offices, education facilities, shopping centers, and healthcare facilities. Therefore, the proposed method is different from the index methods (AIC and CV) which have been used by other researchers. The results showed that the non-parametric covariance function provides a smaller bandwidth than conventional methods, specifically Akaike Information Criteria and Cross-Validation. In addition, the value of R2(adjusted) given by the covariance function is greater than the one given by the proportional method. This means that the optimal bandwidth obtained using the covariance function is more suitable to explain the land price in the city of Manado.

91-102 118
Abstract

This article investigates the possible permanent vegetation cover (VC) change over an extended time for five municipal regions in South Africa by applying satellite-acquired remote sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values within a geographic information system (GIS), spatial (West Coast District) and time (1981 to 2019 and 2000 to 2020) context. The NDVI index measures surface reflectance and give a quantitative estimation of vegetation growth and biomass. The study found relevance in its application since VC change detection has taken prominence over the past number of years in terms of sustainable development. Methods of analysis include image mapping, temporal image differencing, Moran I statistic, and the Mann-Kendall trend test. In the main areas that recorded significant changes in their NDVI values (plus or minus 0.4 difference on their original NDVI value) over time, in general, have experienced substantial and permanent VC change. These areas are also spatially clustered and concentrated within specific areas within the wider district. However, these areas constitute only a minority of areas (less than 20%), whereas most of the areas within the district did not experience such significant and permanent change in VC.  Instead, the changes that did occur in these majority of areas were related to seasonal variation, i.e., temporal changes.

103-110 256
Abstract

The inappropriate use of water resources by human actions compromises the balance between natural and anthropogenic factors. In this study, exploratory and field research were conducted with a scope of quantifying, based on satellite imaging, the use and occupation of land on the banks of the Itajaí-Açu River, the largest watercourse in the Itajaí River Basin, located in the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Five sampling points were allocated along the river at different times of the year to analyze water quality using chemical and biological indicators. The characterization of land use and occupation was carried out with Sentinel-2B satellite images at 10m resolution and QGIS software. Version 3.6.3 of the R Software was used to consolidate the data. The land use was categorized into several classes, the most representative of which was vegetation, which presented coverage of 34.42%, followed by the pastures and open fields class, with 27.83%, agriculture, with 18.18%, and urban areas, with 16.59% coverage. Our study showed that 62.6% of the river’s base was affected by anthropogenic influence, characterizing an environment severely altered from its normal state. The results obtained in the statistical analysis revealed a directional correlation between land use and water quality, thus indicating that cities on the banks of watercourses are major sources of potential contaminants. Among the classes of land use, the presence of vegetation along the riverside territory attenuated part of the load of pollutants launched into the Itajaí-Açu River. This finding highlights the importance of conserving the vegetation alongside the river to maintain water quality and, consequently, preserve the ecosystem’s biota. 

111-115 113
Abstract

Information on seagrass in the Russian section of the Baltic Sea – Sambia Peninsula, Curonian Spit, and Gulf of Finland (water area of Kaliningrad and Leningrad regions) is generalized based on a recent survey, literature search, and study of herbarium samples. Seagrasses are found in the emissions of most of the coast of the Kaliningrad region, but they are extremely few. All discovered seagrasses belong to one species – Zostera marina L. In the absence of an opportunity to distinguish the emissions of Zostera marina brought in by currents from other regions of the Baltic Sea from local emissions, the possibility of the presence of a small number of single individuals of this species in the seawater area of the Sambia Peninsula and the Curonian Spit remains. Specimens of Zostera marina brought in by storms from the western part of the Baltic Sea, as well as an individual found during diving studies in 2009, can take root and form small meadows in the future, provided they are protected from surf waves and a stable substrate, settling with the help of vegetative shoots. Poorly rooted seagrasses can also be washed ashore. The mobile sandy ground found in most of the study area may be the reason why seagrass plants do not form stable communities. In the Russian section of the Gulf of Finland, seagrass had not been recorded. Probably, they occur in small numbers in its northern part.

116-123 101
Abstract

This study was conducted to determine the shoreline change that occurred in the coastal of Pariaman city due to accretion and erosion. The present study of the shoreline changes along Pariaman City was done using DSAS 5.0 vector analysis. Landsat 5 TM 1989, Landsat 7 ETM+1999 and 2011, and Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS 2020 images were interpreted first. The results indicate that during 1989 – 1999 there was abrasion with an average distance of change of 281,60 m. The period from 1999 to 2011 was characterized by accretion with an average distance of change of 15,98 m. The latter period 2011 – 2020 was dominated by accretion with an average distance of change of 53,68 m. The indicated fundamental output of the study is to provide useful scientific information and data for development planning and coastal areas, especially those managing the environment and their ecosystems, as well as for the government and related stakeholders and academics and scientists for the use of resources and space in coastal areas. Stakeholders include the city government office in Padang Pariaman, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Regional Disaster Management Agency and Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing of Republic of Indonesia.

News

2022-06-26

SCOPUS METRICS 2021 UPDATED

GES journal metrics in Scopus have been updated for 2021. The journal now included in Q2 in the category of Geography, Planning and Development.

2021-09-24

GES JOURNAL KEEPS THE 1st PLACE IN ELIBRARY SCIENCE INDEX 2020!

The Geography Environment, Sustainability journal keeps the 1st place in Elibrary SCIENCE INDEX for 2020 for the second year in a row. Our journal is a leader in both thematic topics: Geography and Environmental protection, human ecology.

We would like to acknowledge all your great contributions to the journal as our editors, reviewers, authors, and readers. We are looking forward to working with you in the upcoming future.

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