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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 13, No 3 (2020)
6-12 176
A forecast of the corrosion activity within different landscapes of the cryolithozone is poorly studied previously. This study represent a close correlation between the proportion of corroded sections of the gas pipeline route of the gas field Medvezhye (the North of Western Siberia, Russia) and the deviation of the redox potential of soils (ΔEh) depending on the specific landscape types (tract groups). Our study revealed that the maximum value of the standard deviation of the redox potential (ΔEh) predetermines the maximum currents of the differential pairs aeration of soils that activate electrochemical corrosion processes in pipelines. The value of ΔEh is proposed to use as the main indicator of the activity of corrosion of the landscape types in the permafrost region.
13-21 256
Regardless of the existing governmental and public preventive actions for surveillance and controlling the air quality in several regions of the Chennai city in India, the air quality does not meet the desired standard. In this regard, this study employs an ARMA/ARIMA modelling approach for forecasting Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentration for three most polluted sites in Chennai city. A total of nine univariate linear stochastic models have been developed, three for each of the stations which includes one for each of the specific pollutants in order to forecasts the concentration of each pollutant. The evaluation of the model statistics R2 values and index of agreement values evince that a significant level of real-time forecasting of the pollutants can be achieved by employing the developed ARMA/ARIMA models. Moreover, the comparisons of actual air pollutant concentration have been carried out with the permissible limit as prescribed by the National ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) of India for assessing the level of pollution of all three locations.
22-31 241

Significant amounts of heavy metals in the directly discharged wastewater released from the newly built tannery industrial site in Dhaka, Bangladesh are reported. Despite their detrimental impacts on public health and natural ecosystem, no environmental impact study is yet conducted. Therefore, information on safe discharge rates are not available. In this study, the extent of pollution around the industrial site is investigated for four representative trace metals. Temporal and spatial distributions of chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) have been predicted using a numerical model with the aim to estimate safe discharge of these metal contaminants. From multiple simulation runs it has been estimated that a discharge of0.026 m3 of wastewater per day can lead to high levels of Cr and Pb accumulation, exceeding the regulatory standard limits, in the study area. Whilst As and Cd concentrations remain below the advised limits in most cases at this rate. However, an order of magnitude reduction in the total discharge rate, i.e.,0.0026 m3 per day, results into the metal accumulation below the recommended guidelines in all cases. Elevated concentration of Pb is found to be limited to the top 0.5 m of the soil as compared to Cr, As and Cd, which exhibit larger spread along the depth of the soil. The relative dominance of the metal contamination follows the sequence: Pb>Cr>As>Cd as sorbed concentration in soil aggregates and Cr>Pb>As>Cd as aqueous concentration in soil porewater. Further investigations that are essential for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment have been highlighted.

32-38 367
Mangrove forest plays a crucial role in climate change mitigation by storing carbon in its above-belowground pools. However, this forest remains under considerable high exploitation from the expansion of settlement and aquaculture pond that likely results in much CO2 release to the atmosphere. The objective of this research is to estimate biomass carbon stocks of mangrove rehabilitated areas in Sinjai District, South Sulawesi. We used a line transects method for mangrove vegetation survey and determined above-belowground biomass and carbon stock using published allometric equations and a conversion factor, respectively. The results showed that the mean values of carbon stocks in above-belowground biomass were 125.48±93.48 Mg C ha-1 and 60.23±44.87 Mg C ha-1. The aboveground biomass stored more carbon than the belowground pool. However, low planting distance in mangrove rehabilitation and conversion of mangrove area into settlements and aquaculture ponds in the last three decades have affected forest structure and biomass carbon magnitudes. Therefore, preservation of intact mangrove and restoration of disturbed forests with pay attention to planting distance should consider. Besides, halting the expansion of settlements and aquaculture ponds are worthwhile options to maintain and possibly increase biomass carbon stocks.
39-48 250
In Iran, due to the multiplicity, diversity and cultural-natural potential of rural areas, developing ecotourism is accepted as a key solution to sustainable rural development. The government putting strong emphasis on analysing the capacities and obstacles of promoting rural tourism in order to making effective strategies. Kiskan Rural District (KRD) in Kerman Province has great potential for ecotourism development to diversify rural economy, employment and income generation. So the purpose of this study is to investigate the rural ecotourism situation of KRD through SWOT analysis. It is an applied research that uses documentary and field methods including observation, unstructured interview and a questionnaire to data gathering. A group of local managers, counting Village Council Members and Rural Mayors, were selected by snowball sampling method. To this end, the status of rural ecotourism in KRD is determined and the weight of each of the four SWOT factors is measured. Results show that KRD ecotourism development strategy is «SO» (aggressive), which should exploit the strengths to take advantage of the available opportunities.
49-56 169
The large community ice cellar designs in eastern Chukotka are unique within the Arctic due to the mixed influences from the indigenous Chukchi people and western industry. Community ice cellars here were designed and constructed in the 1950s-60s to accommodate both food stores for local indigenous residents and feed stores for Arctic fox fur farms. Like much of the Arctic, this region is undergoing unprecedented climate change. Air temperatures within the study area have been increasing at an average rate of 0.7°C per decade since the 1950s. Exacerbating the adverse effects of the warming climate is the lack of ice cellar maintenance in communities where the fur industry did not survive the transition to a market economy. Today, all but two community ice cellars in eastern Chukotka have flooded or collapsed. Presented in this work are thermal records from two cellars in the region that allow for both climatic and anthropogenic influences on the cellars’ structural integrity to be evaluated. Particularly effective ice cellar maintenance practices utilized in the community of Lorino were 1) wintertime ventilation, and 2) placing large blocks of river ice in the cellar in spring to mitigate spring and summer warming.
57-67 64

A study of geomorphological changes in the continental dune massifs of the Curonian Spit is presented. Analysis of sand dynamics was carried out using satellite images. A relative decrease in the area of open dunes as a result of vegetation of the western slope was revealed. It was determined that the dune belt displacement of the southern part of the Curonian Spit occurs  eastward  at a speed  of 2-5 mper year. Good correlation of the directions of the slopes of large dunes in the villages Morskoe and Rybachy with the direction of the resulting wind vector at the nearest weather station was noted. The relationship between  the formation of relief microforms on the surface of the dunes and the resulting wind vector is revealed. In addition, meteorological parameters affecting aeolian processes in the southeast of the Baltic Region were investigated. The prevailing importance for the formation of aeolian relief forms of the Curonian Spit are the speed and direction of the wind in conjunction  with precipitation. For the period 2006–2018 the average annual number  of favorable days for the formation of the dunes of the Curonian Spit was 36±17.

68-75 263
As the world’s largest coordinated network of protected areas, the Natura 2000 network (N2k) encompasses the most valuable and threatened species and habitats in Europe. However, N2k sites have been often criticized due to their rigid management system that focuses only on conservation practice without a strategic vision for linking with the regional plans. This study aims to develop a novel approach for sustainable management of N2k sites in Italy by identifying existing gaps and developing conservation policies. For this purpose, a panorama of the current challenges in the European sites was provided at the first step. Then, the management status of the natural protected sites in Italy was studied by selecting the Umbria Region as the case study. Finally, we develop a strategic approach for boosting the conservation policies and sustainable management of the N2k sites in Italy. The findings highlight that the sustainability of N2k sites requires an inclusive effort in the social, economic, and policymaking fields to meet its conservation objectives. Such an effort encompasses a sophisticated management approach that consists of a network of tools for monitoring the state of conservation, land uses, and socio-economic activities at the regional scale. Furthermore, the integration of environmental policies with regional plans is essential for the sustainable management of the N2k sites.
76-83 86

The Protected Areas (PA) system serves to support healthy ecosystems and threatened species, biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as providing multiple benefits to people. The ecological doctrine ofRussiaconsiders the development of a system of specially protected natural areas (SPNA) to be one of the key directions of state policy. In the history of this country, the creation of SPNA is a traditional and effective step, but currently, state environmental policy is very different from that of the policy of the past, as dictated by theUSSR. Today’s global events, such as the economic collapse resulting from the COVID-19 epidemic, have changed social life dramatically. However, for bothRussiaandChina, there is a clear interest in not repeating Western national park commercialization, as seen in theUSand European countries. The authors consider the idea of adding a new wilderness protected area category, because in reality, it is a very effective form of environmental conservation, especially in «Eastern»Russia. It is discussed that the terrestrial protected area system is not ecologically representative at present, although most countries have reported considerable success in this field.Chinahas declared and is promoting the construction of a community with a «shared future for humanity». The focus of this paper is onChina’s Belt and Road Initiative, as it aims for the functional creation of a new model of international economic cooperation that must include a new and close look at nature conservation.

84-89 79

In Mediterranean climate areas, wildfires are one of the most critical problems bringing about several negative impacts (loss of human life, infrastructure damages, landscape transformation, natural environment deterioration, etc.). Fires pose great dangers not only for rural areas, but also for suburban or even urban areas. The aim of the research is to detect areas vulnerable to wildfire in Attica Region and then to examine the critical factors affecting the risk degree in macro and microscale. In the first step we examine the wider study area, which is close to vulnerable areas in a zone at least 1km wide. This examination includes the factor of vegetation along with other factors such as road network, aspect, slope etc, aiming to detect the exact area vulnerable to fire. The second step focuses on a vulnerable study area individually, for identifying and measuring the factors that affect the risk degree in microscale. The most notable factors are: a) population density, b) connectivity of the road network, c) geometric features of the streets, c) location of fire stations and police departments, d) existence of open spaces, e) parking conditions and f ) existence of vulnerable facilities. The wider study area (macroscale) is the Regional Unit of Eastern Attica and the main study area (microscale) is the settlement of Saronida. The findings indicate that several rural and peri-urban areas inEastern Atticaare vulnerable to wildfire. Particularly, crucial issues regarding microscale are the low roadway width values and the inadequate connectivity of the network structure.

90-101 195

The  large scale development  projects like dams have been  justified for a greater economic  benefit of the nation. However, the development projects have become synonymous with land acquisition leading to dispossession and forced migration of a large number of people and their involuntary resettlement. Unfortunately, too much focus on the economic benefits of such large scale projects has omitted many relevant tangible and intangible socio-cultural aspects and ignored the impacts of development policies that shape forced migrations. The present paper asserts to move beyond the ‘limited’ economic analysis of large projects and includes the critical social and cultural implications of forced migration and displacement. The  paper presents views of respondents  displaced from the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and were resettled inGujarat. Perhaps, it is the most unique aspect of this paper to understand the socio-cultural adjustment in context of the spatial origin. The resettlement caused by the Sardar Sarovar Project has led to a change in dress patterns and marriage customs, loss of tribal folk art, destroyed the existing social networks and hindered access to new ones. Increased violence against women, problem of drunkenness and bootlegging at the resettlement sites are also highlighted. The insights in the work are based upon the fieldwork in select resettlement sites inGujarat. The author adopted participant observation, focus group discussions and key informant interviews as a means for data collection and better comprehension of the study area.

102-109 88

Community  adaptation to the negative impacts of climate change benefits from an analysis of both the trends in climate variables and people’s perception of climate change. This paper contends that members of the local community have observed changes in temperature  and rainfall patterns and that these perceptions can be positively correlated with meteorological records. This is particularly useful for remote regions like Lamu whereby access to weather data is spatially and temporally challenged. Linear trend analysis is employed to describe the change in temperature and rainfall in Lamu using monthly data obtained from the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) for the period 1974–2014. To determine local perceptions and understanding of the trends, results from a household survey are presented. Significant warming trends have been observed in the study area over the period 1974–2014. This warming is attributed to a rise in maximum temperatures. In contrast to temperature, a clear picture of the rainfall trend has not emerged. Perceptions of the local community closely match the findings on temperature, with majority of the community identifying a rise in temperature over the same period. The  findings suggest that the process of validating community perceptions of trends with historical meteorological data analysis can promote adaptation planning that is inclusive and responsive to local experiences.

110-116 88

A nonparametric clustering method, the Bagging Voronoi K-Medoid Alignment algorithm, which simultaneously clusters and aligns spatially/temporally dependent  curves,  is applied to study various data series from the Elbrus  region (Central Caucasus). We used the algorithm to cluster annual curves obtained by smoothing of the following synchronous data series: titanium concentrations in varved (annually laminated) bottom sediments of proglacial  Lake Donguz-Orun;  an oxygen-18 isotope record in an ice core from Mt. Elbrus; temperature and precipitation observations with a monthly resolution from Teberda and Terskol meteorological stations. The data of different types were clustered independently. Due to restrictions concerned with the availability of meteorological data, we have fulfilled the clustering procedure separately for two periods: 1926–2010 and 1951–2010. The study is aimed to determine whether the instrumental period could be reasonably divided (clustered)  into several sub-periods using different climate and proxy time series; to examine the interpretability of the resulting borders of the clusters (resulting time periods); to study typical patterns of intra-annual variations of the data series. The results of clustering suggest that the precipitation and to a lesser degree titanium decadal-scale data may be reasonably grouped, while the temperature and oxygen-18 series are too short to form meaningful clusters; the intercluster boundaries show a notable degree of coherence between temperature and oxygen-18 data, and less between titanium and oxygen-18 as well as for precipitation series; the annual curves for titanium and partially precipitation data reveal much more pronounced intercluster  variability than the annual patterns of temperature and oxygen-18 data.

117-128 81

The  Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatarexperiences some of the world’s  worst air pollution during the winter months, most of it being caused by small coal- and wood-fired stoves which are used for heating and cooking purposes in peri-urban parts of the city. A recent pilot study in Songinokhairkhan  District of Ulaanbaatar City evaluated the feasibility of electrostatic dust precipitators (ESP) for reducing particulate matter (PM) emissions from small stoves. This paper focuses on the pollution reduction potentials that would result from a large-scale implementation of ESPs. Using a locally developed low- cost ESP system (which is currently in the process of further improvement), reduction rates ranging between 10 to 50% of the PM emissions  (depending on the fuel and combustion conditions) could be achieved. Fitting all or at least a major fraction of the small stoves with such ESPs could reduce PM emissions by an order of several thousand tons per heating season for the whole city. The avoided particle emissions would simultaneously prevent atmospheric pollution by various trace metals and metalloids including As, Cd, Pb and Zn, which are known to be major soil and water pollutants locally, and several other toxic substances. However, this also means that safe disposal strategies must be developed for the fly ash precipitated during ESP operation.

129-138 83

The  Caspian Seaseasonal ice cover develops  each  winter despite  of it being  in mid-latitudes.  Increasing development of oil and gas fields challenges researchers to ensure operational safety. TheCaspian Seahas seen significant water level fluctuations in its recent history. And in the same time, it is vulnerable to effects of climate change. Extensive studies on ice conditions conducted  in the region don’t provide insights on influence of these factors in combination to describe ice cover behavior and ice features distribution.  We classify winter seasons of theNorthern Caspianby their severity calculating the cumulative freezing-degree days (CFDD). Ice charts based on aerial reconnaissance with support of the OSI-450 reanalysis provided data on the ice coverage, the timing of ice formation and destruction, the duration of the ice seasons from 1979 to 2015. We analyzed the stamukhi distribution on theNorthern Caspianfrom aerial reconnaissance for 1973–1980 and satellite imagery deciphering for 2013–2019  periods along with sea level dynamics. We found out that the amount of severe and moderate winters reduces while mild winters number increases. This leads to a decrease in the mean ice area and ice duration at theNorthern Caspian. Comparison of two periods with different sea levels and ice coverage showed that both factors affect the distribution of stamukhi by depth and distance to coast in theNorthern Caspian. Comparison of stamukhi locations in moderate winter seasons showed that their distribution is determined by the area of ice cover. In case of similar ice conditions, the stamukhi distribution is determined by sea level. The zone of their highest concentration shifts along with the coastline offset.

139-146 71

. The transformation of decayed semi-peripheral riverside areas and its Tangible Culture Heritage is presented today as a contributing factor in urban regeneration by several public preservation bodies and agendas, as well as privately led investment. These practices demand the economic and symbolic valorization of abandoned Tangible Cultural Heritage, where the social coexistence of residents, workers and visitors is seen as a smoother urban integration of these deprived territories and their communities into the surrounding contemporary cities.

We’ll focus our approach on socio-spatial changes occurring in Marvila and Beato, presented today as new urban areas in which to financially invest after the 2011 economic crisis occurred in Portugal, discussing public and private re- appropriation of Old Palaces, Convents and Farms and Reconverted Warehouses (industrial and commercial); towards the creation of a new urban centrality in Lisbon. In this case, public ground-field intervention established a culture led regeneration process, with the creation of a municipal library, a crucial point in the cultural use of this space, community participation and gathering. Dealing with private investors, despite the positive effects, such as a reduction in unemployment, economic diversification and re-use of urban voids, there is always the possibility of undesired consequences. This paper argues, and the research experiments in many European cities show us that the ambition to improve the image of these deprived areas, despite somGonzalex encouraging ground level achievements, has unwanted or unexpected outcomes, starting as urban regeneration practices, often sliding towards gentrification, where local public powers have a determinant role.




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