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Climate action and food security: Strategies to reduce GHG emissions from food loss and waste in emerging economies

Autor(es): Ian Vázquez Rowe, Kurt Ziegler Rodríguez, Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo y María Margallo, Rubén Aldaco

Peru struggles to upgrade its waste management, with landfilling only just overtaking open dumpsters as the main disposal method. Despite the benefits of this transition, including reduced environmental impacts to water and soil, previous studies demonstrated that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions may increase if adequate levels of technological sophistication are not implemented. Considering that 58% of municipal solid waste (MSW) is organic, it seems plausible that a relevant portion of emissions can be linked directly to food loss and waste (FLW) management. This study aims to determine the GHG emissions mitigation potential in FLW compared to the current baseline scenario in 24 Peruvian cities, by modelling alternative technologies to treat organic MSW. Life cycle modelling was performed using the waste-LCA software EASETECH. Five treatment scenarios were modelled: i) open dumping; ii) landfilling with no gas treatment; iii) landfilling with landfill gas treatment; iv) landfilling with energy recovery; and, v) anaerobic digestion. GHG emissions of FLW generation proved to be substantially higher than those for FLW treatment. However, if sophisticated technologies are implemented in FLW treatment, an annual reduction of up to 1.56 Mt CO2eq could be attained. Moreover, despite the health and environmental benefits of a transition to optimized diets, in which, for example, meat consumption is reduced and vegetables are boosted, an important increase in FLW and, therefore, an increase in GHG emissions in the treatment phase is shown. However, if certain technologies, such as energy recovery or anaerobic digestion, were implemented, most carbon losses would be avoided.

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Introducing a Degrowth Approach to the Circular Economy Policies of Food Production, and Food Loss and Waste Management: Towards a Circular Bioeconomy

Autor(es): Ian Vázquez Rowe y (English) Daniel Hoehn, Rubén Aldaco, María Margallo, Jara Laso, Israel Ruiz-Salmón, Francisco José Amo-Setién, Rebeca Abajas-Bustillo, Carmen Sarabia, Ainoa Quiñones, Alba Bala, Laura Battle-Bayer, Pere Fullana-i-Palmer

(English) There is a growing debate surrounding the contradiction between an unremitting increase in the use of resources and the search for environmental sustainability. Therefore, the concept of sustainable degrowth is emerging aiming to introduce in our societies new social values and new policies, capable of satisfying human requirements whilst reducing environmental impacts and consumption of resources. In this framework, circular economy strategies for food production and food loss and waste management systems, following the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, are being developed based on a search for circularity, but without setting limits to the continual increase in environmental impacts and resource use. This work presents a methodology for determining the percentage of degrowth needed in any food supply chain, by analyzing four scenarios in a life cycle assessment approach over time between 2020 and 2040. Results for the Spanish case study suggested a degrowth need of 26.8% in 2015 and 58.9% in 2040 in order to achieve compliance with the Paris Agreement targets, highlighting the reduction of meat and fish and seafood consumption as the most useful path.

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Wastewater treatment decentralization: Is this the right direction for megacities in the global south?

Autor(es): Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo, Ian Vázquez Rowe, André Torre García, Eduardo Parodi Gonzales Prada

The centralization-decentralization dichotomy in wastewater treatment management has been a recurrent topic of discussion in the urban context. The escalation of environmental hazards linked to increasing mismanaged wastewater flows in emerging or developing cities has vivified this conundrum. It is argued that there is a wide range of parameters to identify the optimal level of centralization-decentralization that must be implemented. In many cases, this prevents decision-makers from having a clear picture of the most appropriate management choices that must be undertaken. Hence, the main objective of the current discussion consists of an in-depth comparison between centralized wastewater treatment systems and decentralized systems with source separation in urban environments of the Global South. Moreover, a set of actions that should be considered in order to upgrade wastewater treatment systems amidst the existence of numerous economic, social and environmental constraints are analyzed. Considering the constraints of megacentralization as a preferred option, we argue that decision-makers should restrain from entering a centralization-decentralization dichotomy, seeing the process as a gradient between the two concepts. In fact, we advocate combining the benefits of each of the two perspectives to generate an adaptive management, site-specific solution for urban environments. For this, the inclusion of quantitative management tools, such as life-cycle environmental or cost management methodologies, in multi-objective optimization models, constitutes an interesting path forward towards fostering comprehensive policy support.

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Microplastics in fisheries and aquaculture: implications to food sustainability and safety

Autor(es): Ian Vázquez Rowe, Diana Ita Nagy, Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo

Plastic waste has arisen as a worldwide environmental concern, becoming ubiquitous in all marine compartments. Microplastics (MPs) are an important fraction of this accumulation, due to direct emissions from the technosphere or fragmentation of macroplastic waste. Consequently, the aim of this letter is to analyze the effects of microplastics on fishing and aquaculture, identifying the links with food safety and sustainability. Current studies have observed multiple potentially damaging effects of microplastics on marine biota, mainly at lower trophic levels. It is plausible to assume that fishing stocks and aquaculture systems will suffer setbacks due to these damages. However, additional research is needed to understand the potential effects on human health, especially considering that smaller microplastics and nanoplastics, for which data is very scarce, are the particles most likely to be absorbed by human tissues.

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Closing the gap in the municipal solid waste management between metropolitan and regional cities from developing countries: A life cycle assessment approach

Autor(es): Ian Vázquez Rowe, Kurt Ziegler Rodríguez y otros

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Transparency-based protocol for decision-making regarding seismic rehabilitation projects of public buildings

Autor(es): Ian Vázquez Rowe y otros

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Análisis comparativo de métodos de estimación de emisiones vehiculares en ambientes urbanos en Lima

Autor(es): Patrick Flores Velarde

Asesores: Ian Vázquez y Félix Cabrera
Tesis para optar el título de Licenciado en Ingeniería Civil

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Life cycle assessment of fish and seafood processed products – A review of methodologies and new challenges

Autor(es): Ian Vázquez Rowe y (English) otros

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