Environmental Dimension Successes: Limited Waste and Transport

Due to the nature of agricultural occupations and the fundamental role of the environment for productivity, income and sustaining livelihoods, environmental performance merits significant importance (Turner et al. 2003). This is supported by a host of reports and plans - the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 20152030 (UNISDR 2015) and the National Middle-Term Development Plan (BAPPENAS 2010) - that highlight the important contribution of ecosystem management in disaster risk reduction. The project in Salam village demonstrated two key successes and no notable challenges in this area, highlighting its alignment with these policy documents that recognize the importance of environmental management. Dependency on cassava as the central component of the project has limited waste as unused parts of the final product (such as the leaves) can be used for compost or integrated into home-made recipes for cakes, soups and alcohol. Furthermore, any cassava plants categorized as poor quality are utilized for compost or fed to livestock which further supports the limited waste output. This diversion of organic waste can, through the reduction of waste quantities, assist in extending landfill life and reducing associated air and water emissions (e.g. Seng et al. 2013). Using waste for natural compost products as an alternative to chemical fertilizers also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and enhances soil quality by avoiding drastic changes in soil composition (e.g. Bedada et al. 2014). This maintenance of surrounding environmental health also contributes to productivity, thereby supporting the financial wellbeing of farmers (e.g. Schwarze and Zeller 2005). The collective’s financial outcome is furthered by the benefits associated with avoiding disposal costs and the need to purchase fertilizers, feed as well as ingredients for home-made recipes (Hoornweg et al. 2000).

An additional environmental success is manifested in transportation as walking is key to maintaining this business. Transport between key infrastructures is predominantly undertaken by foot as a result of the aforementioned clustered infrastructure arrangement which thereby minimizes greenhouse gas contribution. Concomitant financial advantages through decreased transportation costs and health benefits through physical activity and limited air pollution also ensue (e.g. Woodcock et al. 2009). This aspect of the project can be considered a success due to its minimal carbon footprint and contribution to a healthier lifestyle.

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