Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Search results for: Gich

2 A Contested Territory in a Sacralized Landscape: The Fight of the Gich Community over Semien Mountains National Park

Authors: Marshet Girmay

Abstract:

Local community involvement is widely considered vital for the sustainability of heritage management. Yet, it is often the case that heritage-related projects lag behind in community involvement. In the Semien Mountains the creation, first, and expansion, later, of the National Park has led to several conflicts with the local communities that for centuries have inhabited the area. Local communities have only been passive actors in the plans to expand the Park set up by UNESCO and by local decision makers. This paper investigates the causes that led the Gich community, one of the communities affected by the Park’s expansion, to refuse the resettlement plan offered by the authorities. Qualitative research methods were employed, including document analysis, community conference and interview of informants. The paper shows that although the local community of Gich was highly attached to the Park’s heritage assets, their level of involvement in the heritage management was very low due to shortcomings in the design and implementation of official policies. Therefore, their attitude towards the Park’s managers has been until the present one of mistrust and opposition. The paper recommends to policy-makers a series of measures more sensitive towards local communities, such as that the development agencies act as true communication facilitators and regional authorities nurture sincere relationships with the locals.

Keywords: Gich, heritage management, local communities, Semen Mountains, sustainability, UNESCO, world heritage site

Procedia PDF Downloads 235
1 Isolation of Bacterial Species with Potential Capacity for Siloxane Removal in Biogas Upgrading

Authors: Ellana Boada, Eric Santos-Clotas, Alba Cabrera-Codony, Maria Martin, Lluis Baneras, Frederic Gich

Abstract:

Volatile methylsiloxanes (VMS) are a group of manmade silicone compounds widely used in household and industrial applications that end up on the biogas produced through the anaerobic digestion of organic matter in landfills and wastewater treatment plants. The presence of VMS during the biogas energy conversion can cause damage on the engines, reducing the efficiency of this renewable energy source. Non regenerative adsorption onto activated carbon is the most widely used technology to remove siloxanes from biogas, while new trends point out that biotechnology offers a low-cost and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional technologies. The first objective of this research was to enrich, isolate and identify bacterial species able to grow using siloxane molecules as a sole carbon source: anoxic wastewater sludge was used as initial inoculum in liquid anoxic enrichments, adding D4 (as representative siloxane compound) previously adsorbed on activated carbon. After several months of acclimatization, liquid enrichments were plated onto solid media containing D4 and thirty-four bacterial isolates were obtained. 16S rRNA gene sequencing allowed the identification of strains belonging to the following species: Ciceribacter lividus, Alicycliphilus denitrificans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas citronellolis which are described to be capable to degrade toxic volatile organic compounds. Kinetic assays with 8 representative strains revealed higher cell growth in the presence of D4 compared to the control. Our second objective was to characterize the community composition and diversity of the microbial community present in the enrichments and to elucidate whether the isolated strains were representative members of the community or not. DNA samples were extracted, the 16S rRNA gene was amplified (515F & 806R primer pair), and the microbiome analyzed from sequences obtained with a MiSeq PE250 platform. Results showed that the retrieved isolates only represented a minor fraction of the microorganisms present in the enrichment samples, which were represented by Alpha, Beta, and Gamma proteobacteria as dominant groups in the category class thus suggesting that other microbial species and/or consortia may be important for D4 biodegradation. These results highlight the need of additional protocols for the isolation of relevant D4 degraders. Currently, we are developing molecular tools targeting key genes involved in siloxane biodegradation to identify and quantify the capacity of the isolates to metabolize D4 in batch cultures supplied with a synthetic gas stream of air containing 60 mg m⁻³ of D4 together with other volatile organic compounds found in the biogas mixture (i.e. toluene, hexane and limonene). The isolates were used as inoculum in a biotrickling filter containing lava rocks and activated carbon to assess their capacity for siloxane removal. Preliminary results of biotrickling filter performance showed 35% of siloxane biodegradation in a contact time of 14 minutes, denoting that biological siloxane removal is a promising technology for biogas upgrading.

Keywords: bacterial cultivation, biogas upgrading, microbiome, siloxanes

Procedia PDF Downloads 162