Vol 5, No 1

Table of Contents

Articles

A Case Study and Explorative Analysis of the Development of Nanotechnology in Malaysia PDF
Kasthoory Rajalingam
The theme of this paper – that which prescribes the term nanotechnology is no stranger to the scientific community around the world, even though it remains a mysterious realm of unknown possibilities among the broad-spectrum of scientific faculties and a current oblivion to the common public. It is undoubtedly a subdivision that branches out from various scientific faculties such as physics, biology and chemistry. None of these disciplines can claim its ownership on nanotechnology. However, it has yet to be regarded as a standalone field of technology. It is therefore currently considered as both a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary field of science. The scientific activity that takes place between 1 – 100 nm has brought about prodigious participation from interested governments in various countries who have tumultuously become absorbed with its soon to be seen visionary benefits. One of these countries is Malaysia. The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) was initiated in Malaysia in 2006 and local developments are still at its infancy. Nonetheless, it can be observed that there has been lot of activities that have been conducted by various universities/institutes/CoEs to coxswain the advancement and sustainability of nanotechnology in our country. Efforts have been boosting but the level of progressive outputs has been slow paced, resulting in the sluggish rate of infiltration of nanotechnology prototypes - products into the commercial arena. Even way before the NNI was initiated; many of these universities/institutes/CoEs have been granted hefty amounts of dough to assist in translating lab prototypes into full-fledged products. Even so, there seems to have been a lack of any visible and massive impact coming from these endowments. In comparison and notwithstanding the fact that many countries’ nanotechnology initiatives have suffered major pitfalls in bridging the R&D and commercialization of nanotechnology; yet these countries possess several significant and successful R&D to commercial outputs to their name. This paper provides a case narrative and analysis of the development of nanotechnology in Malaysia via a brief synopsis that identifies the country’s principal propellers of science and technology, particularly in nanotechnology, which have been significantly designated as a major thrust area. A further elaboration on the current setting of university based research institutes and non-university based research institutes with relevance to nanotechnology, current outputs of nanotechnology research in Malaysia, Malaysia Plans (5th until the 10th), past and present grants related to R&D in general and nanotechnology; and insight analysis have been discussed in this paper.

Forest Depletion in Ghana: An Analysis of Determinants PDF
Joseph Kwadwo Tuffour
Forest resources support livelihood of people in jurisdictions in which forest is located. However, the forest size is gradually depleting continuously. The lack of information about the specific agents and forces of forest depletion is worrying. This is due to the inter-generational and intra-generational equity notions that affect mankind. As such, there is the need to maintain such resources on a non-declining value basis so as to maintain human welfare over time. Thus, the objective of this study is to empirically examine the determinants of forest depletion in Ghana over the 1970-2012 period in Ghana. This study employs multiple regression concepts to examine the effects of the determinants on forest depletion. The findings of the study indicate that gold extraction for export, population growth and logging increase the rate of forest depletion for the study period. More significantly, population growth reflected in settlement expansion, agriculture purposes, increased use of fuel wood, etc have greater effect on forest loss in Ghana. This suggests that, protection of the forest is necessary and sufficient condition for economic growth. As a result of these, both government and policy-makers need to safeguard the forest estate, by increasing afforestation schemes and also using part of the returns from gold exports to regenerate the forest.

Material Flow Analysis (MFA) for Waste Management in Olive Oil Industries sector in South Europe PDF
Spyridon Achinas

The olive oil waste management was always one of the biggest problems in agricultural and environmental sector. Besides, everyone can observe that the olive oil industries produce every year more that 10 million tons of waste including wastewaters and solid waste (leaves, dry pomace). It is given attention to the challenges which exist for waste treatment (there are different cases) and of course following the different legal frameworks at European and National level.

Cause of the increase of the amount of olive oil mills waste every year, it’s necessary to increase the awareness of the olive oil mills stakeholders encouraging them in sustainable olive mill waste (OMW) management, always with cooperation of the public services and research centers for positive solutions. The OMW management is becoming a critical issue for the sustainability of olive oil industry, because of the increasing quantities generated, the public environmental awareness and stricter environmental laws. This paper provides a view of perspectives for waste management in olive oil sector for the main oil producing countries, Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal using the material flow analysis (MFA) approach as a tool.

Insecurity and Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria PDF
Olabanji Olukayode Ewetan, Ese Urhie
This paper examines the pertinent issue of insecurity in Nigeria and its implication for socio-economic development. Available data on the level and dimensions of insecurity in Nigeria reveals an increase over time, which constitutes serious threat to lives and properties, hinders business activities and discourages local and foreign investors, all which stifles and retards Nigeria’s socio-economic development. This rising wave of insecurity has not abated but has assumed a dangerous dimension which is threatening the corporate existence of the country as one geographical entity. In the light of the above the paper recommends that government must be proactive in dealing with security issues and threats, through modern methods of intelligence gathering, and sharing among security personnel, training, logistics, motivation, and deploying advanced technology in managing security challenges. The real solution lies in government accelerating the pace of economic development through creating an economy with relevant social, economic and physical infrastructure to support business and industrial growth.

Mining, Environment and Community Conflicts: A Study of Company-Community Conflicts over Gold Mining in the Obuasi Municipality of Ghana PDF
Seth Opoku Mensah, Seth Asare Okyere

The environment, its natural resources and development capacity remains a contentious element in the development process of human society. In Ghana, similarly as Africa and other developing countries, there is a huge dependence of environmental resources for economic growth and development. Mining gold resources is directly engulfed in this environment and natural resource exploitation process. While mining companies capitalize on their contribution to development and provision of social services, local communities refute and demand abrogation of large-scale gold mining on their ‘land’.

Through an informant data collection approach and secondary data collection, the study analyzes cases of company-community disputes over gold mining and the underpinning issues, the dispute resolution strategies, and the weaknesses in the existing framework. Cases of disputes centered on compensation, resettlement packages, unfulfilled promises, mistrust and lack of alternative livelihoods for economically displaced groups. The dispute resolution strategy is also seen as being too bureaucratic, poorly connected to the cultural and social intricacies of local communities and primarily company oriented. The Study proposes the need for a new framework that considered communities as integral but not peripheral in the general national framework as well as sustaining and enhancing local alternative livelihoods and community led co-designed sustainable development plans.

Implementation of Bioenergy from Palm Oil Waste in Indonesia PDF
Rizky Fauzianto
Nowadays, the use of Renewable Energy (RE) has been proposed because the concerns with the price fluctuation of oil due to its high demand and its environmental benefits. In the field of RE, at present there is a continuously increasing interest concerning bioenergy from palm oil. Nevertheless, several studies point out the environmental impacts of bioenergy when compared to conventional energy and therefore question, if bioenergy in general is more environmentally friendly than conventional energy use, is still exist. Though researches have been carried out on different forms of bioenergy from palm oil waste, little is known about which part of palm oil waste and implementation are the most beneficial for the environment. There are few ways for that: pelletization, gasification, liquefaction and the latest been found, torrefaction, a low temperature at 200-300oC under an inert atmosphere which effective for improving the energy density and the shelf life of biomass. In this paper, it is aimed to analyze the implementation A to Z of waste utilization from palm oil cultivation through the torrefaction process towards its environmental impacts. This article uses palm oil real data from Indonesia as a potential country for biomass energy production given its equatorial climate. The result will be of use in modeling commercial production of bio-coal from palm oil waste regarding its impact to environment.



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