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Researchers: Sanitation, a Valuable Facet of Global Ecosystems

UI researchers identified six key resource recovery and sanitation topics covered in the published studies

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Sanitaion, Global, Ecosystems
The researchers found that between 2000 and 2018, there were over 56,000 published studies that discussed sanitation and resource recovery and approximately 36,000 on ecosystem services. Pixabay

Researchers at the University of Illinois (UI) see sanitation as a valuable facet of global ecosystems and an overlooked source of nutrients, organic material and water, according to a study posted on UI’s website on Monday.

The researchers found that between 2000 and 2018, there were over 56,000 published studies that discussed sanitation and resource recovery and approximately 36,000 on ecosystem services; of these, 155 discussed the linkages between the two fields, the Xinhua news agency reported.

UI researchers identified six key resource recovery and sanitation topics covered in the published studies: wastewater treatment, wastewater reuse, natural or constructed wetlands, nutrient and carbon recovery, storm water reuse and regulation, and energy recovery.

“We next identified the pathways in which the recovered resources and ecosystem services may lead to something of direct societal value,” said lead author John Trimmer, a civil and environmental engineering graduate student. “For example, nutrients recovered from a wastewater facility can be applied to farmland to increase food production.”

Sanitaion, Global, Ecosystems
Researchers at the University of Illinois (UI) see sanitation as a valuable facet of global ecosystems and an overlooked source of nutrients. Pixabay

The study describes 17 potential ecosystem services made available from the nutrients, water and organic material recovered from sanitation systems serving human populations. These include water purification, nutrient cycling, food provisioning and climate regulation.

“Environmental issues like biodiversity loss and climate change are increasingly prominent in the public eye and people now want to know what we, as a society, are going to do about them,” said Daniel Miller, a natural resources and environmental sciences professor and study co-author.

“Our research points to the unexplored aspect of sanitation and how it might contribute to addressing such problems. We typically think of sanitation as degrading the environment, but we find ways it could actually help improve it while bringing benefits for people.”

Human beings derive benefits from the ecosystems around them — services that often go undervalued in traditional economic systems, the researchers said. These ecosystem benefits include things like forests providing wood as a building material and natural hydrological processes that improve water quality.

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The research has been published in the journal Nature Sustainability. (IANS)

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London, Paris, Bangkok- Top 3 Travel Destinations in the Past Decade

Bangkok, London, Paris top 3 travel destinations of decade says a new report

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Paris
Paris is one among the most travelled cities in the world. Pixabay

While there has been significant movement in visitors to smaller cities, the top 10 have remained largely consistent over the past decade, with London, Paris and Bangkok grabbing the top three spots, according to a new report.

The top three overseas destinations for Indian travellers are Dubai, Singapore and Mecca, revealed the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2019 which ranks 200 cities based on proprietary analysis of publicly available visitor volume and spend data.

Since 2009, the number of international overnight visitors grew an astounding 76 per cent, according to the report.

In 2019, Bangkok became the No. 1 destination for the fourth consecutive year, with more than 22 million international overnight visitors.

Paris and London, in flipped positions this year, hold the No. 2 and 3 spots respectively, both hovering over 19 million.

When looking at the cities by dollars spent, Dubai tops the list with travellers spending $553 on an average per day. Mecca, new to the top 10 last year, remains at No. 2 for the second consecutive year, with Bangkok rounding out the top three.

Paris London
Paris and London, in flipped positions this year, hold the No. 2 and 3 spots respectively, both hovering over 19 million. Pixabay

Between all of the destinations within the Index, arrivals have grown on average 6.5 per cent year-over-year since 2009, with expenditure growing on average 7.4 per cent, said the report.

Cities in the Asia-Pacific region have seen the largest increase in international travellers since 2009, growing 9.4 per cent.

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In comparison, Europe, which saw the second highest growth, was up 5.5 per cent.

This is spurred by the growth in Chinese travellers. Since 2009, China has jumped up six places to be the No. 2 origin country for travellers to the 200 included destinations – behind only the US, said the report. (IANS)