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GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

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Vol 5, No 4 (2012)

GEOGRAPHY

4-16 211
Abstract
The paper discusses connections between zonal boundaries of vegetation and productivity of forest stands and some climatic parameters. It also suggests mathematical-cartographic models of these connections. The models are used to forecast changes in the boundaries of the vegetation sub-zones and of forest stands productivity in the European Part of Russia and on the adjacent areas for 2046–2065 under one of the scenarios of global warming.
17-23 193
Abstract
Many new very important Middle Pleistocene small mammal localities of Europe were discovered during the last decades. These new data permit to divide the Middle Pleistocene geological sequences of Eastern and Western Europe and carried out the correlation between them. However, there are some difficulties connected with the incongruity of mammal appearance in different parts of Europe. In this paper we would like to discuss all these problems using Middle Pleistocene small mammal data and to present the possible biostratigraphical scheme for the whole Europe.
24-32 191
Abstract
This paper describes the transport of bottom water from its source region in the Weddell Sea through the abyssal channels of the Atlantic Ocean. The research brings together the recent observations and historical data. A strong flow of Antarctic Bottom Water through the Vema Channel is analyzed. The mean speed of the flow is 30 cm/s. A temperature increase was found in the deep Vema Channel, which has been observed for 30 years already. The flow of bottom water in the northern part of the Brazil Basin splits. Part of the water flows through the Romanche and Chain fracture zones. The other part flows to the North American Basin. Part of the latter flow propagates through the Vema Fracture Zone into the Northeast Atlantic. The properties of bottom water in the Kane Gap and Discovery Gap are also analyzed.

ENVIRONMENT

33-45 219
Abstract
An extensive land reform programme is underway, which faces many challenges unique to the socio-political context of post-apartheid South Africa. The aim of this paper is to review the extent to which agrarian land reform policy, more particularly in respect to its land distribution element, incorporates environmental sustainability principles into resultant practice and whether or not this may lead to exacerbation of land degradation problems in the country. The paper briefly outlines the key land reform role-players, the policy and implementation process of land reform, and considers these in relation to the problem of land degradation. Ongoing problems of implementation with the land redistribution programme are discussed in relation to a number of significant challenges. The paper illustrates the lack of integration of environmental planning in the land reform process generally and points to the potentially deleterious impact of land reform on land degradation.
46-62 720
Abstract
Urban sprawl is among the most debated topics in the field of urbanism, environmental sciences, ecology, economics, and geography. As urban sprawl involves different subjects of study, this phenomenon is extremely fascinating on the one side, but very complex and difficult to analyze on the other side. For this reason, sprawl has and is attracting the interest of many researchers from all over the world, having the objective to define the nature, dynamics and consequences that the process of low-density urban expansion is having on the biophysical and socioeconomic environment. The aim of this review is to provide a brief picture on the nature of the relationship existing between sprawl and the environment with special attention to Europe. The growing environmental vulnerability of the European urban regions was discussed according to a bibliographic survey based on quali-quantitative studies. Evidence support the idea that environmental policy and regional planning should cope more effectively with the increasing vulnerability of “shrinking” urban regions to natural hazards.

SUSTAINABILITY

63-83 242
Abstract
Today in Russia, much attention is given to research and practical identification of the cultural landscape (CL) stability parameters that define its dependency on the character of the territorial land use. As a rule, these are projects of territorial and landscape planning (LP) aimed at assessment of stability of the CL depending on the conditions of the social and natural environment, on the level of changes of its components, and on the direct relation with the nature and the type of natural resources management. This approach defines most fully conditions and the level of impact on the landscape.
The paper discusses the main types of natural resource management of the CL. Residential areas are the most complex and multifunctional types of natural resource management. They are of the greatest interest to the research as an object of “co-creation of man and nature” [Sochava, 1978]. This is determined by an important role of residential areas with their infrastructure as a landscape reshaping element that influences the functioning and structure of the CL. Cities, suburbs and towns, as human environment, require a special attention in order to achieve an environmentally friendly and sustainable landscape.
In the concept of LP, much attention is given to assessment of the natural components of the CL. As a rule, assessment of soil, climate (atmosphere), water, and landscape sensitivity and significance is conducted [Drozdov, 2006]. The selection of assessment criteria varies depending on the natural resource management type. Obtained results are compared with parameters that are indicative for or specific to naturally occurring landscape. The crisis of environmental components makes LP the vitally necessary management instrument. The goals of landscape planning are broadly formulated—landscape planning should cover the entire territory of the country, should consider both natural and socio-economic factors, and should develop measures to prevent and control impacts on the landscape.
84-95 209
Abstract
South American countries still possess considerable land reserves for agricultural development. Huge areas of virgin lands and natural pastures have been converted to agricultural crops and suffer increasing pressure. Growing demand for food in the world and attractiveness for capital investment drive this colonization further deep into the regions that cannot be converted to commercial agriculture without serious negative environmental consequences. Agricultural development in these areas neither can be considered economically sustainable, as high production costs sometimes surpass revenues from the harvest. Most of the recently colonized regions in South America are those under savanna landscapes, where low nutrient availability in the soil restricts agricultural use. Understanding the problem of sustainability of agricultural development in savannas is impossible without geographical analysis. Spatial approach at different scales enables precise vision of weak points of recently established agricultural systems and helps to draw solutions to diminish their instability. The objective of this paper was to develop, with GIS tools, a geographically based analysis that could identify the spatial variation and magnitude of soil potassium, potassium uptake, potassium fertilization, and potassium balance in order to improve the efficiency of mineral fertilizers use.

NEWS AND REVIEWS

96-102 96
Abstract
DOWN TO EARTH AND ITS CURRENT PROBLEMS
(on the Results of the International Geographical Congress in Cologne, Germany, 25–30 August, 2012)
103-104 99
Abstract

THE THIRD ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC ASSEMBLY OF THE ASSOCIATION OF RUSSIAN SOCIAL GEOGRAPHERS (ARGO)

 



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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)