Natural Resource Use, Institutions, and Green Ergonomics

  • Ashutosh Sarker
  • Wai-Ching Poon
  • Gamini Herath
Chapter

Abstract

Human interactions with natural resource systems, although essential to produce food, fibre, and other material requirements, generate water pollutants, such as heavy metals, that affect river water quality, fishery resources, and public health. This study investigates water pollution in Malaysia from the emerging green ergonomics perspective. We demonstrate that water pollution is linked to natural resource use and public health issues in Malaysia and an integrated polycentric model, based on complex interconnections between stakeholders at local, regional, and national levels, institutions, and policies, can address the river water pollution problem and its green ergonomic impacts. We suggest that stakeholders with interlinked activities share responsibilities and accountabilities to resolve the green ergonomic problems and enhance the sustainable relationship between human well-being and natural resource systems.

Keywords

Water pollution Fishing practices Public health Green ergonomics Technological innovation Tragedy of the commons Polycentric governance approach Governance policy 

References

  1. Abdullah, A. R. (1995). Environmental pollution in Malaysia: Trends and prospects. Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 14, 191–198.Google Scholar
  2. Adnan, N. H., Zakaria, M. P., Juahir, H., & Ali, M. M. (2012). Faecal sterols as sewage markers in the Langat River, Malaysia: Integration of biomarker and multivariate statistical approaches. Journal of Environmental Sciences, 24, 1600–1608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahamed, M. I. N. (2014). A review on quality of drinking water and associated health risks. Octa Journal of Environmental Research, 2, 255–261.Google Scholar
  4. Ahmad, A. K., Mushrifah, I., & Shuhaimi-Othman, M. (2009). Water quality and heavy metal concentrations in sediment of Sungai Kelantan, Kelantan, Malaysia: A baseline study. Sains Malaysiana, 38, 435–442.Google Scholar
  5. Amundsen, P. A., Staldvik, F. J., Lukin, A. A., Kashulin, N. A., Popova, O. A., & Reshetnikov, Y. S. (1997). Heavy metal contamination in freshwater fish from the border region between Norway and Russia. Science of the Total Environment, 201, 211–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Andersson, K. P., & Ostrom, E. (2008). Analyzing decentralized resource regimes from a polycentric perspective. Policy Sciences, 41, 71–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Apec Water. (n.d.). Water health: Lower back pain & water contamination. Available from http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/water_health/lower-back-pain-drinking-water-pollution.htm
  8. Arrow, K. J., Keohane, R. O., & Levin, S. A. (2012). Elinor Ostrom: An uncommon woman for the commons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109, 13135–13136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Balamurugan, G. (1991). The mining and sediment supply in Malaysia with special reference to the Kelang River Basin. The Environmentalist, 11, 281–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ballet, J., Koffi, J. M., & Pelenc, J. (2013). Environment, justice and the capability approach. Ecological Economics, 85, 28–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bandarage, A. (2013, October–December). Political economy of epidemic kidney disease in Sri Lanka. Sage Open, 1–13.Google Scholar
  12. Bartelmus, P. (2010). Use and usefulness of sustainability economics. Ecological Economics, 69, 2053–2055.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Baumgärtner, S., & Quaas, M. (2010a). Sustainability economics—General versus specific, and conceptual versus practical. Ecological Economics, 69(11), 2056–2059.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Baumgärtner, S., & Quaas, M. (2010b). What is sustainability economics? Ecological Economics, 69, 445–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bazin, D., Ballet, J., & Touahri, D. (2004). Environmental responsibility versus taxation. Ecological Economics, 49, 129–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Binder, M., & Witt, U. (2012). A critical note on the role of the capability approach for sustainability economics. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 41(5), 721–725.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Birkin, F., & Polesie, T. (2013). The relevance of epistemic analysis to sustainability economics and the capability approach. Ecological Economics, 89, 144–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Bish, R. L. (2014). Vincent Ostrom’s contributions to political economy. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 44, 227–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Bithas, K. (2011). Sustainability and externalities: Is the internalization of externalities a sufficient condition for sustainability? Ecological Economics, 70(10), 1703–1706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Coase, R. (1960). The problem of social cost. Journal of Law and Economics, 3, 1–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Couttenier, M. (2008). Relationship between Natural Resources and Institutions. Documents.Google Scholar
  22. Daily Mail Online. (2014, December 3). Water polluted with heavy metal causes Chinese villagers to develop horrific, painful swellings. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2859324/Water-polluted-heavy-metal-causes-Chinese-villagers-develop-horrific-painful-swellings.html
  23. Davidson, J., Myers, D., & Chakraborty, M. (1992). No time to waste: Poverty and the global environment (p. 4). Oxford, UK: Oxfam.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Department of Environment. (2010). Ministry of natural resources and environment Malaysia. Malaysia quality environmental report 2010. http://www.malaysia.ahk.de/fileadmin/ahk_malaysia/Market_reports_2012/Market_Watch_2012_-_Environmental.pdf. Accessed 20 Feb 2013.
  25. Economic Planning Unit, Malaysia. (2002). Malaysian quality of life 2002. Kuala Lumpur.Google Scholar
  26. Fathallah, F. A. (2010). Musculoskeletal disorders in labour-intensive agriculture. Applied Ergonomics, 41(6), 738–743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. García-Acosta, G., Pinilla, M. H. S., Larrahondo, P. A. R., & Morales, K. L. (2014). Ergoecology: Fundamentals of a new multidisciplinary field. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 15(2), 111–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gardner, R., Ostrom, E., & Walker, J. M. (1990). The nature of common-pool resource problems. Rationality and Society, 2, 335–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ghosh, N., Mukhopadhyay, P., Shah, A., & Panda, M. (2015). Nature, economy and society. New Delhi, India: Springer.Google Scholar
  30. Hanson, M. A. (2010). Green ergonomics: Embracing the challenges of climate change. The Ergonomist, 480, 12–13.Google Scholar
  31. Hanson, M. A. (2013). Green ergonomics: Challenges and opportunities. Ergonomics, 56, 399–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162(3859), 1243–1248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Herath, G. (2012). Institutional aspects of water resources management. New York: Nova Publishers.Google Scholar
  34. International Ergonomics Association (IEA). (2015). Definitions and domain ergonomics. http://www.iea.cc/whats/
  35. Kapp, K. W. (2012). In S. Berger & R. Steppacher (Eds.), The foundations of institutional economics. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Khan, S., Cao, Q., Zheng, Y. M., Huang, Y. Z., & Zhu, Y. G. (2008). Health risks of heavy metals in contaminated soils and food crops irrigated with wastewater in Beijing, China. Environmental Pollution, 152, 686–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kiser, L. L., & Ostrom, E. (1982). The three worlds of action. In E. Ostrom (Ed.), Strategies of political inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  38. Lejano, R. P., & Stokols, D. (2013). Social ecology, sustainability, and economics. Ecological Economics, 89, 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Li, M. S., Luo, Y. P., & Su, Z. Y. (2007). Heavy metal concentrations in soils and plant accumulation in a restored manganese mineland in Guangxi, South China. Environmental Pollution, 147(1), 168–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mandal, B. K., & Suzuki, K. T. (2002). Arsenic round the world: A review. Talanta, 58(1), 201–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Massa, I. (2015). Technological change in developing countries: Trade-offs between economic, social and environmental sustainability (No. 051). United Nations University-Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).Google Scholar
  42. Mazumder, D. N. G. (2008). Chronic arsenic toxicity & human health. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 128, 436–447.Google Scholar
  43. McGinnis, M. D., & Ostrom, E. (2012). Reflections on Vincent Ostrom, public administration, and polycentricity. Public Administration Review, 72(1), 15–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. MEA (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment). (2005). Ecosystems and human well-being. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  45. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. (2011, August). Review of the national water resources study (2000–2050) and formulation of national water resources policy. Final report, Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia.Google Scholar
  46. Mokhtar, M. B., Toriman, M. E. H., Hossain, M., Abraham, A., & Tan, K. W. (2011). Institutional challenges for integrated river basin management in Langat River Basin, Malaysia. Water and Environment Journal, 25(4), 495–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. New Straits Times Online. (2017, March 4). Sg Semenyih pollution crisis: Tests reveal presence of poison. http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/10/183918/sg-semenyih-pollution-crisis-tests-reveal-presence-poison
  48. North, D. C. (1990). Institutions, institutional change and economic performance. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ostrom, E. (1990). Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ostrom, E. (1992). Crafting institutions for self-governing irrigation systems. Office of Water Conservation, Panoche Water and Drainage District, Calif. (USA), Water Management Research Laboratory (USA), California, USA.Google Scholar
  51. Ostrom, E. (2005). Understanding institutional diversity. Princeton University Press. http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s8085.pdf
  52. Ostrom, E. (2007). A diagnostic approach for going beyond panaceas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104, 15181–15187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Ostrom, E. (2010). Beyond markets and states: Polycentric governance of complex economic systems. American Economic Review, 100, 641–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Ostrom, E. (2014). A polycentric approach for coping with climate change. Annals of Economics and Finance, 15, 97–134.Google Scholar
  55. Ostrom, E., Gardner, R., & Walker, J. (1994). Rules, games and common-pool resources. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Ostrom, V., & Ostrom, E. (1977). Public goods and public choices. In E. S. Savas (Ed.), Alternatives for delivering public services: Towards improved performances (pp. 7–49). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  57. Ostrom, V., Tiebout, C. M., & Warren, R. (1961). The organisation of government in metropolitan areas: A theoretical inquiry. American Political Science Review, 55, 831–842.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Othman, J. (2008, February 23). Agricultural development, food security and sustainability issues in Malaysia. Proceedings of the symposium on the emerging ecological risks and food security in Asia. Japan, Yokohama National University.Google Scholar
  59. Poon, W. C., & Herath, G. (2012). Institutional issues in the provision of water and sanitation services in Malaysia. In G. Herath (Ed.), Institutional aspects of water management: Evaluating the experience (pp. 193–214). New York: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  60. Poon, W. C., Herath, G., Sarker, A., Masuda, T., & Kada, R. (2016). River and fish pollution in Malaysia: An ergonomics perspective. Applied Ergonomics, 57, 80–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Population Reference Bureau. (2017). World population data sheet: With a special focus on youth. http://www.prb.org/pdf17/2017_World_Population.pdf
  62. Radjiyev, A., Qiu, H., Xiong, S., & Nam, K. (2015). Ergonomics and sustainable development in the past two decades (1992–2011): Research trends and how ergonomics can contribute to sustainable development. Applied Ergonomics, 46, 67–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Romiszowski, A. J. (2016). Designing instructional systems: Decision making in course planning and curriculum design. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  64. Sany, S. B. T., Salleh, A., Rezayi, M., Saadati, N., Narimany, L., & Tehrani, G. M. (2013). Distribution and contamination of heavy metal in the coastal sediments of Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 224, 1–18.Google Scholar
  65. Sany, S. B. T., Salleh, A., Sulaiman, A. H., Sasekumar, A., Rezayi, M., & Tehrani, G. M. (2013). Heavy metal contamination in water and sediment of the Port Klang coastal area, Selangor, Malaysia. Environmental Earth Sciences, 69, 2013–2025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sarker, A., Ross, H., & Shrestha, K. K. (2008). A common-pool resource approach for water quality management: An Australian case study. Ecological Economics, 68(1), 461–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Seckler, D. (1996). The new era of water resources management: From dry to wet water savings. International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Research report no. 1, International Irrigation Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/6405320.pdf
  68. Smith, A. H., Lingas, E. O., & Rahman, M. (2000). Contamination of drinking-water by arsenic in Bangladesh: A public health emergency. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, 78(9), 1093–1103.Google Scholar
  69. Söderbaum, P. (2011). Sustainability economics as a contested concept. Ecological Economics, 70, 1019–1020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Tapiola, T., & Paloviita, A. (2015). Building resilient food supply chains for the future. Climate change adaptation and food supply chain management. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  71. Thatcher, A. (2013). Green ergonomics: Definition and scope. Ergonomics, 56(3), 389–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Thatcher, A., Garcia-Acosta, G., & Lange-Morales, K. (2013). Design principles for green ergonomics. In M. Anderson (Ed.), Contemporary ergonomics and human factors (pp. 319–326). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  73. The Free Malaysia Today Online. (2016, May 25). 43 rivers in Malaysia polluted, says Minister. http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/05/25/43-rivers-in-malaysia-polluted-says-minister/
  74. The Malay Mail Online. (2016, October 27). Contamination of water from NS into Selangor remains “critical”, exco says. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/selangor-water-contamination-still-critical-says-exco-by-ram-anand
  75. The Rakyat Post. (2015, September 24). Problem of water pollution in Malaysia becoming serious, says WWF. http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2015/09/24/problem-of-water-pollution-in-malaysia-becoming-serious-says-wwf/
  76. The Star Online. (2013, August 31). A million in Klang Valley to go without water – Maybe for days. http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2013/08/31/code-red-after-diesel-spill-a-million-in-klang-valley-to-go-without-water-maybe-for-days/
  77. The Star Online. (2016a, October 5). Contamination forces Semenyih plant to be closed again. http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/10/05/another-water-disruption-contamination-forces-semenyih-plant-to-be-closed-again/
  78. The Straits Times Online. (2016, July 26). Loads of rubbish clogging up Malaysian rivers. http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/loads-of-rubbish-polluting-choking-malaysian-rivers
  79. The Water Environment Partnership in Asia, WEPA. State of water environmental issues- Indonesia. http://www.wepa-db.net/policies/state/indonesia/indonesia.htm
  80. Toonen, T. (2010). Resilience in public administration: The work of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom from a public administration perspective. Public Administration Review, 70(2), 193–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Twomlow, S., O’Neill, D., Sims, B., Ellis-Jones, J., & Jafry, T. (2002). An engineering perspective on sustainable smallholder farming in developing countries. Biosystems Engineering, 81(3), 355–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). (2015). International initiative on water quality. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002436/243651e.pdf
  83. Van den Bergh, J. C. (2010). Externality or sustainability economics? Ecological Economics, 69(11), 2047–2052.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Volety, A. K. (2008). Effects of salinity, heavy metals and pesticides on health and physiology of oysters in the Caloosahatchee Estuary, Florida. Ecotoxicology, 17, 579–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. White, M. A. (2013). Sustainability: I know it when I see it. Ecological Economics, 86, 213–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Widianarko, B., Verweij, R. A., Van Gestel, C. A. M., & Van Straalen, N. M. (2000). Spatial distribution of trace metals in sediments from urban streams of Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 46, 95–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Wong, S. C., Li, X. D., Zhang, G., Qi, S. H., & Min, Y. S. (2002). Heavy metals in agricultural soils of the Pearl River Delta, South China. Environmental Pollution, 119(1), 33–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Zhang, J., Mauzerall, D. L., Zhu, T., Liang, S., Ezzati, M., & Remais, J. V. (2010). Environmental health in China: Progress towards clean air and safe water. The Lancet, 375(9720), 1110–1119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Zheng, N., Wang, Q., Zhang, X., Zheng, D., Zhang, Z., & Zhang, S. (2007). Population health risk due to dietary intake of heavy metals in the industrial area of Huludao city, China. Science of the Total Environment, 387, 96–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Zink, K. J. (2014). Designing sustainable work systems: The need for a systems approach. Applied Ergonomics, 45, 126–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashutosh Sarker
    • 1
  • Wai-Ching Poon
    • 1
  • Gamini Herath
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsMonash University MalaysiaBandar SunwayMalaysia

Personalised recommendations