Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) are isolated and surrounded by ocean. The generation and use of energy resources are two very important aspects for the development of SIDS. Unfortunately, most of SIDS do not use their potential in respect of energy resources, and they as a result have to depend on the import of fossil fuels in order to meet their energy needs. This increases the overall vulnerability of SIDS as they have to depend on the rising or fluctuating fossil fuels prices. Some SIDS, especially in the geographically dispersed Pacific region, do not have proper access to energy whereas other SIDS struggle more with energy security issue. At the same time, SIDS are most vulnerable to the impacts and effects of climate change, as they are among the ones to be most severely affected in case of natural calamities and sea-level rise.Drawing on experiences from Fiji and Mauritius, this paper explains core elements related to energy access and security in SIDS, contextualizes and discusses barriers and list some of the strategies that may be used to ensure access to and a continuous supply of energy in SIDS. A situational analysis of two SIDS outlines their current energy situation and compares their energy policies to globally accepted criteria for SIDS policies as well as with each other. It is claimed that the diverging energy performances of Fiji and Mauritius cannot be explained by policies differences. The reasons for the varying energy performances may therefore lie in the administrative and institutional mechanisms used by the two countries in implementing their energy policies. Finally, to enable SIDS to reduce their overall vulnerability and become truly sustainable islands, it is recommended to undertake careful assessments of the particular local contexts under which island energy regimes operate.
The Urban Heat Islands (UHI) effect is a microclimatic phenomenon that especially affects urban areas. It is associated with significant temperature increases in the local microclimate, and may amplify heat waves. Due to their intensity, UHI causes not only thermal discomfort, but also reductions in the levels of life quality. This paper reviews the important role of green infrastructure as a means through which the intensity of UHI may be reduced, along with their negative impact on human comfort and wellbeing. Apart from a comprehensive review of the available literature, the paper reports on an analysis of case studies in a set of 14 cities in 13 countries representing various geographical regions and climate zones. The results obtained suggest that whereas UHI is a common phenomenon, green infrastructure in urban areas may under some conditions ameliorate their impacts. In addition, the study revealed that the scope and impacts of UHI are not uniform: depending on peculiarities of urban morphologies, they pose different challenges linked to the microclimate peculiar to each city. The implications of this paper are threefold. Firstly, it reiterates the complex interrelations of UHIs, heat waves and climate change. Secondly, it outlines the fact that keeping and increasing urban green resources leads to additional various benefits that may directly or indirectly reduce the impacts of UHI. Finally, the paper reiterates the need for city planners to pay more attention to possible UHI effects when initiating new building projects or when adjusting current ones.
Tourism-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a central driver of anthropogenic climate change. At the same time, climate change has both direct and indirect impacts on tourism, varying from damages of tourist assets due to extreme weather events, to losses of biodiversity. Small island developing states (SIDS) heavily depend on international tourism as a source of revenue and income. Therefore, much could be gained by assessing the vulnerability of the SIDS tourism sector and by identifying measures that may assist these islands in their sustainable adaptation efforts. Against this background, this interdisciplinary paper provides a review of tourism development and the implications of its emissions on the global climate, linked with observed and projected influences of climate change in the Pacific region, to explain the growing vulnerability of the overall sector, with a particular focus on SIDS tourism. A description of the effects of COVID-19 on international tourism and its consequences for SIDS complement the analysis. Case studies of two Pacific islands present some evidence of current climate impacts, underscoring the multiple risks small island nations and their tourism sectors face. The paper concludes by stating that some measures may be prioritized by decision-makers, so as to increase the resilience of a transforming tourism sector in SIDS.
In this article, methods for user recognition by online handwriting are experimentally analyzed using a combination of demographic data of users in relation to their handwriting habits. Online handwriting as a biometric method is characterized by having high variations of characteristics that influences the reliance and security of this method. These variations have not been researched in detail so far. Especially in cross-cultural application it is urgent to reveal the impact of personal background to security aspects in biometrics. Metadata represent the background of writers, by introducing cultural, biological and conditional (changing) aspects like fist language, country of origin, gender, handedness, experiences the influence handwriting and language skills. The goal is the revelation of intercultural impacts on handwriting in order to achieve higher security in biometrical systems. In our experiments, in order to achieve a relatively high coverage, 48 different handwriting tasks have been accomplished by 47 users from three countries (Germany, India and Italy) have been investigated with respect to the relations of metadata and biometric recognition performance. For this purpose, hypotheses have been formulated and have been evaluated using the measurement of well-known recognition error rates from biometrics. The evaluation addressed both: system reliance and security threads by skilled forgeries. For the later purpose, a novel forgery type is introduced, which applies the personal metadata to security aspects and includes new methods of security tests. Finally in our paper, we formulate recommendations for specific user groups and handwriting samples.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were conceived at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 (Rio + 20), and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. They are part of a larger framework, namely the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Since then, many countries round the world have been engaging in respect of their implementation. The slow progress seen in the implementation of the SDGs, is in contrast with the many negative implications of not implementing them. This paper outlines the relevance of the SDGs, the barriers currently seen in respect of their implementation and outlines what is at stake, if they are not duly implemented. To accomplish this, a thorough literature review of contributions published in the field of SDGs in English between the years 2012–2020 was performed.
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