Industry 4.0 and the associated idea of society 4.0 pose specific challenges for the concept of sustainable development. These challenges relate, inter alia, to responsibility, in which the changes to date have overall entailed: • a transition from ex post responsibility to ex ante responsibility (H. Jonas); • a transition from individual responsibility to corporate social responsibility. In the context of society 4.0 there is a need for shared responsibility. The problem of justice and therefore the implementation of sustainable development not only becomes an open problem, but also requires constant updating and specifi c optimisation.
This article takes up the matter of contemporary threats to cities and urbanity, setting the problems cities face today against the background of the two categories of the resilient city and the city developing sustainably. The author describes and presents the evolution of the sustainable development concept as such, as well as the generational change in priorities that has taken place where the development of urbanised areas is concerned, given the way the concept has undergone a certain devaluation, in the light of its failure to achieve fulfi lment. The challenges cities face today require multi-faceted activity, in respect of increased inclusivity, robustness and resilience, and flexibility. This leaves today’s idea of the resilient city embracing old elements of the sustainable city, but also augmenting them in various ways.
Though current conservation policy in Poland refl ects world trends and approaches to action, compliance with all of its assumptions would entail the Polish authorities remodelling both the system and the methods by which natural resources are managed. On the one hand this requires a change of approach to the management of natural resources from the traditional, purely nature-related one, to a more modern inter-disciplinary one that takes in social and economic conditioning. On the other hand, a system need to be put in place to allow these ideas to be introduced in practice. The work described here deals with the participation of different stakeholder groups in nature management, with this regarded as a method of increasing the latter’s effi ciency. The many examples (of good practice) presented by the author well illustrate the wisdom of the approach, which often seems to achieve success where it is attempted.
It is contended that, in essence, climate policy is sustainable development policy, given that it postulates the use of renewable resources, and an increase in the effectiveness of use of non-renewable ones. Furthermore, it serves the security of future generations more than present ones; for while unfavourable impacts of climate change are already making their presence felt, truly negative consequences of considerable signifi cance are likely to be more of a matter for the second half of the present century. This is why, in analysing the evolution of the approach to climate policy through the late 20th century and into the 21st, it is also possible to appraise changes in the approach to the sustainable-development concept. This article has therefore sought to offer the author’s analysis of how the approach to sustainable development has evolved, by reference to Poland’s climate policy from 1988 through to 2016. As this is done, an attempt is also made to identify the conditioning that has decided upon and will go on determining the shape of national policy in this domain. Climate policy in Poland has been developing since the early 1990s. At the outset, it was not a source of controversy, with the consequence that the country rather rapidly signed up to and then ratifi ed the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. However, as early as in the late 1990s, reservations began to be expressed, to the effect that actions to protect the climate might pose a threat to Poland’s economy. A key turning point as regards the approach came with the growing dispute over the EU 2020 Climate and Energy Package. It was also at this time that a thesis began to take shape, holding that the goals of climate policy where at best unfavourable and at worst dangerous for Poland. This approach in fact held sway in successive years, leaving this country’s cooperation with the EU over this matter severely hindered. The main reason for this change of approach to climate policy can be considered to lie in the politicisation thereof, and hence the increasing dominance of the short-term interests of the Polish political elite over either the public interest or the security of future generations.
In 1981, Polish canoeists (members of the Bystrze Academic Travel Club) made the first journey along the waters of the River Colca in the section located in Arequipa Province (Peru), along which the waters flow in a deep canyon. Information on this sporting achievement – and a description of the Canyon and its surrounding area filled the Peruvian press and tourist publications around the world, ensuring that the Colca Canyon became one of the most important goals for tourists anywhere in Peru from that time on. However, mass infl uxes of tourists, noisy trips, the development of hotel infrastructure and other items required in tourism have generated permanent change in the character of the Colca Valley, and done much to influence the lives of its inhabitants.
Biodiversity conservation cannot operate in Central Eastern European countries without a well-established monitoring system, that is dependent on the citizen scientists input. Here we analyse, based on a Polish case: (1) The contribution of NGOs to the national nature monitoring scheme and their collaboration with governmental and scientific institutions and (2) the motivation of citizen scientists to volunteer for NGOs’ monitoring activities. The study comprises a focus group interview, 30 in-depth interviews with coordinators, citizen scientists, experts and a 23 days long participant observation of a model NGO. We have assessed the monitoring input of NGOs as being a contributory factor influencing the biodiversity conservation effectiveness. The cooperation between governmental, scientific institutions and NGOs exists, but is dependent on national funding. Although NGOs highlight the lack of coherence in monitoring methodology, they are willing to join the biodiversity monitoring, especially at the European Ecological Network – Natura 2000 sites. On the other hand the trust concerning cooperation with citizen scientists is limited. However, despite this, they still turned out to be trustworthy partners. The most effective way to maintain cooperation with citizen scientists is to create a bond in a group and to provide them with the opportunity to develop their passion for nature. Our findings have shed light on the growing importance of citizen scientists in biodiversity governance, providing recommendations for development of the effective monitoring schemes based on the volunteer work of citizen scientists.
The purpose of this article is to identify and assess environmental risks that may have the greatest impact on the future of humanity. They were divided into two basic groups, i.e. for natural processes and resources. In addition, climate change is described as different group. The authors decided, that a holistic approach to this issue is more desirable than dividing it into two above-mentioned groups. The comparison of various threats was possible due to the application of identical assessment criteria, such as: the harmfulness, rate of spread, scope and moment of occurrence of a given group of threats. Each of the listed criteria has been evaluated on a five-point scale, where 1 has the smallest and 5 the largest impact force. The obtained results show the leading importance of natural processes in maintaining the existing Earth system. In addition, the authors point to a greater risk of problems related to renewable resources than non-renewable one. As a result, it can be assumed that the current degradation of natural processes and excessive use of resources is likely to lead to the risk of global disasters.
The Author discusses the present state of Polish geography against the background of the traditional position, and the rapid development taking place after the Second World War. The introduction of new methods and new directions, as well as new organization are considered to have been reflected in the rising international position of Polish geography. Further topics here include the relationship between physical and human geography, the growing de facto separation of these two branches, and the development of several independent sciences rooted in geography but now existing apart from it (like geomorphology, climatology, hydrology, etc. on the physical geography side, with the element of the environment as a subject of study). On the other hand, social economic geography examines the effects of human activity in the environment, thereby synthesizing spatial management and bridging the gap between the earth sciences, the economy and the social sciences. The degradation of environmental resources, explosion of the human population and climate change have all forced geography (and other sciences) to head in the global direction, as well as towards interdisciplinary cooperation, likewise on the level of the world as a whole. If we are to meet the challenges this all entails, we will need to think about creating interdisciplinary problem teams, as well as activating existing organisational structures in science (notably the geographical sciences), with full benefit taken from research centres that run studies on differing spatial scales, in conjunction with international global programmes like the Future Earth. The geography of the future should not be a closed science, but should draw on the knowledge of scholars of various specialisations, seeking environmental solutions that require intervention on both the global and regional scales. Polish geography should participate in this activity, inter alia as part of Future Earth, as a new venture. It can also be regarded as our task to ensure that society is aware of all the above issues.