NEW PUBLICATION- Botetzagias & Malesios – COVID single-use facemasks and environmental concern


Botetzagias I. & Malesios C. (2021) Do single-use facemask users care for the effects on the (marine) environment during the COVID-19 pandemic? Preliminary results from Greece. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 167:112320

ABSTRACT

This paper examines which demographic and attitudinal characteristics relate to an individual’s knowledge and perception of the environmental footprint of single-use mask s/he is using in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on a self-selected sample of Greek citizens (N = 462), it is found that demographic characteristics and pro-environmental concern are unrelated to the single-use mask users’ knowledge and concern regarding the environmental impacts of the mask they are using. This unanticipated finding suggests that the circumstances of the COVID pandemic may mute the theoretically taken-for-granted connection between environmental interest/concern and the awareness of environmental impacts, thus any future attempts to introduce more environmentally-friendly single-use mask alternatives and/or to curb the current ones’ environmental impact should start by reenergizing this suppressed nexus.

NEW PUBLICATION – Jones… Dimitrakopoulos et al – COVID-19 & protected areas


Jones N., McGinlay J., Jones A., Malesios C., Holtvoeth J., Dimitrakopoulos P.G., Gkoumas V., Kontoleon A. (2021) COVID-19 and protected areas: impacts, conflicts and possible management solutions. Conservation Letters, e12800; https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12800

ABSTRACT

During the first wave of the COVID‐19 pandemic, management authorities of numerous Protected Areas (PAs) had to discourage visitors from accessing them in order to reduce the virus transmission rate and protect local communities. This resulted in social–ecological impacts and added another layer of complexity to managing PAs. This paper presents the results of a survey in Snowdonia National Park capturing the views of over 700 local residents on the impacts of COVID‐19 restrictions and possible scenarios and tools for managing tourist numbers. Lower visitor numbers were seen in a broadly positive way by a significant number of respondents while benefit sharing issues from tourism also emerged. Most preferred options to manage overcrowding were restricting access to certain paths, the development of mobile applications to alert people to overcrowding and reporting irresponsible behavior. Our findings are useful for PA managers and local communities currently developing post‐COVID‐19 recovery strategies.

NEW PUBLICATION – Tsaligopoulos et al. – Quietness in the Urban Environment


Tsaligopoulos A, Kyvelou S, Votsi N-E, Karapostoli A, Economou C, Matsinos YG. (2021) Revisiting the Concept of Quietness in the Urban Environment—Towards Ecosystems’ Health and Human Well-Being. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 18(6):3151. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063151

ABSTRACT
There is plenty of proof that environmental noise is a major pollutant in the urban environment. Several approaches were successfully applied for its calculation, visualization, prediction and mitigation. The goal of all strategy plans regards its reduction and the creation of quietness. This study aims to revisit the concept of quietness in the urban environment and attempts to portray a new understanding of the specific phenomena. “Quietness” as a term retains an ambiguity, and so far, it can be described as the lack of something, meaning the lack of noise that is portrayed by means of intensity. Several studies describe quietness as the combination of perceptual soundscape elements and contextual factors that can be quantified, combined, weighed and used as indicators of healthy soundscapes. In this research, the focus is on setting aside all indicators, either measuring the intensity or contextual ones and use solely quantifiable metrics regarding the acoustic environment, thus introducing a new composite index called the composite urban quietness index (CUQI). After testing the CUQI, in order to verify the results of previous research regarding the identification of quiet Areas in the city of Mytilene (Lesbos Island, Greece), the study concludes that CUQI is efficiently functioning even in this early stage of development.