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.
GPR method is perfectly suited for recognizing of sedimentary facies diversity in shallowly occurring sediments if there is a contrast of electrical properties between and/or within each layer. The article deals with the issue of the correlation between GPR surveys results and sedimentological analyses. As a result of this correlation a conceptual model of depositional systems of studied areas was developed. Studies were performed in two areas located in central Poland, where glacial deposits formed in the Middle Polish (Saalian) Glaciation are present. The study was based on 49 sediment samples and 21 GPR profiles. Analyses of lithofacies as well as granulometric and mineralogical composition of deposits of collected samples were carried out, showing the diversity of glacial deposits in both study sites. During GPR measurements shielded antenna with a frequency of 500 MHz was used which allowed high-resolution mapping of the internal structure of deposits and to identify four characteristic radar facies. Correlation of GPR profiles with point, one-dimensional sedimentological studies allowed the unambiguous interpretation of the GPR image and draw conclusions about the formation environment of individual units. Geophysical and sedimentological data obtained during study provide a new and detailed insight into selected glacial deposits in central Poland.
The main scientific goal of this work is the presentation of the role of selected geophysical methods (Ground-Penetrating Radar GPR and Electrical Resistivity Tomography ERT) to identify water escape zones from retention reservoirs. The paper proposes a methodology of geophysical investigations for the identification of water escape zones from a retention fresh water lake (low mineralised water). The study was performed in a lake reservoir in Upper Silesia. Since a number of years the administrators of the lake have observed a decreasing water level, a phenomenon that is not related to the exploitation of the object. The analysed retention lake has a maximal depth between 6 and 10 m, depending on the season. It is located on Triassic carbonate rocks of the Muschelkalk facies. Geophysical surveys included measurements on the water surface using ground penetration radar (GPR) and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) methods. The measurements were performed from watercrafts made of non-metal materials. The prospection reached a depth of about 1 to 5 m below the reservoir bottom. Due to large difficulties of conducting investigations in the lake, a fragment with an area of about 5,300 m 2, where service activities and sealing works were already commenced, was selected for the geophysical survey. The scope of this work was: (1) field geophysical research (Ground-Penetrating Radar GPR and Electrical Resistivity Tomography ERT with geodesic service), (2) processing of the obtained geophysical research results, (3) modelling of GPR and ERT anomalies on a fractured water reservoir bottom, and (4) interpretation of the obtained results based on the modelled geophysical anomalies. The geophysical surveys allowed for distinguishing a zone with anomalous physical parameters in the area of the analysed part of the retention lake. ERT surveys have shown that the water escape zone from the reservoir was characterised by significantly decreased electrical resistivities. Diffraction hyperboles and a zone of wave attenuation were observed on the GPR images in the lake bottom within the water escape zone indicating cracks in the bottom of the water reservoir. The proposed methodology of geophysical surveys seems effective in solving untypical issues such as measurements on the water surface.
Lacustrine deposits from Ortel Królewski II (Eastern Poland) represent the Holsteinian Interglacial (MIS 11c). They are characterized by an extremely rich occurrence of ostracod and mollusc fauna. Collected samples represent pre-optimal part of the Holsteinian Interglacial corresponding to Picea–Alnus, Taxus and Pinus–Larix zones. Based on ostracod assemblage analysis a depth of the paleolake, the energy of the environment and the average January and July air temperature were reconstructed. Ostracods from Ortel Królewski II indicate a lake with possible periodic overflow sur- rounded by periodically flooded grasslands, which existed in the study area during the pre-optimal part of Holsteinian Interglacial.
A sediment core, 350 cm long recovered from Młynek Lake, northern of Poland (Warmia and Masuria Region) was analyzed with respect to their content of diatoms and chrysophyte cysts. The aim was to reconstruct the lake water level and climatic changes during the past 2500 years. The recognized diatom assemblages displayed marked floristic changes along the sediment core samples. The main change in diatom composition consists of a shift from an assemblage dominated by benthic Fragilaria sensu lato species through marked intervals to a planktonic one in distinct zones. A high proportion of benthic to plankton taxa has been reported as indicative for a lowering of the lake level with long ice cover in a cold dry climate and a shift from benthic to planktonic diatom taxa reflects arising water level with longest growing season and reduced ice cover on the lake during a warm wet climate. Multivariate statistical analysis included hierarchical ascending clustering distinguished four diatom ecological groups. The analyzed core section was divided into 11 diatom zones according to a distribution of ecological groups and variation in abundance of dominant species supported by 14C data. The results displayed a developmental history of the Młynek Lake that can be divided into 6 main phases of alternating warm wet and cold dry shifts. A distinct dominance of planktonic eutrophic indicator diatoms accompanied by a low abundance of chrysophyte cysts indicates increased lake trophicity and a general trend for the increasing anthropogenic impact.
The aim of this paper is to analyse whether the medical rehabilitation segment is an important part of the entire Polish healthcare system, and if the medical rehabilitation services are provided with adequate levels of financing and management. The study reviews published literature and legal acts, and undertakes an analysis of data acquired from international and national health data repositories. In Poland there exists no coordination between medical, vocational and social rehabilitation or between the rehabilitation delivered by the health resort facilities. There is an observed lack of coordination among public fund payers. The described lack of coordination influences not only patient treatments (it is difficult to measure outputs and outcomes), but also makes summarizing the total expenditures on curative rehabilitation more difficult. Even though numerous countries spend a smaller or comparable amount of money on rehabilitation (per patient), funds allocated to rehabilitation in Poland (expressed in PPS) are over seven times lower than in France, about five times lower than in Austria and Belgium, and three times lower than in the Netherlands.
The approach of a unilateral impact of the financial sector on economic growth was invalidated by the last financial crisis which very quickly changed into a global economic crisis. The aim of the study is the analysis of the impact of the financial sector on economic growth in the context of the growing phenomenon of financialization, which was one of the significant reasons of the financial crisis. The study was focused on presenting the growing scale of this phenomenon and analysing the impact of money supply in USD and EUR on world GDP and the GDP of the USA and the Eurozone. The following hypothesis was postulated: the growing process of financialization causes the growth of the USD and EUR supply, influencing changes in the world GDP, the GDP of the USA and the Eurozone. The study confirmed the hypothesis of the relation of the money supply with changes in economic growth. However, influencing economic growth with the money supply causes the purchasing power of business entities to decrease and causes growing debt. Furthermore, it does not contribute to the strength of the real economy. A repair of the current “system“ should not be sought for in constantly increasing macroprudential regulations, but in a return to a country’s interventionism, leading to a change in the priorities of the actions of financial institutions; mainly banks, and the supply of money based on fixed parities (gold, energy).
All local government units in Poland have been analysed regarding their consolidated debt. The consolidated debt was compared with the budget debt which is subject to monitoring and statutory restrictions. The scale of extra-budgetary debt has been revealed as recorded in the balance sheet of a local government unit, a parent entity. In practice, the consolidated balance sheet and debt presented in it are not subject to debates and analyses. Local governments refrain from auditing and publicising of the consolidated balance sheet. The article describes the risks related to unlimited local government debt.