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Why do oceans need more protection?

Why do oceans need more protection? | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Oceans no longer need to be only protected from massive garbage dumping as we have managed to significantly expand the list of critical ocean issues by adding the problems of overfishing and ocean acidification.Overfishing is already taking heavy...
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Earth Citizens Perspective
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Farming ferns, protecting the forest ("providing alternative livelihood sources diverts destruction")

Farming ferns, protecting the forest ("providing alternative livelihood sources diverts destruction") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

Today, members of the association have high hopes on farming the lowly fern, locally called pakô, for food and medicine, on top of keeping their jobs as tourist guides and producers of abaca fiber.

Mier speaks of the forest in the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park (BTLNP), an 8,000-hectare park established in 2000 by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 414. 

The forest is inhabited by a large number of wild animals, including flora and fauna, such as endemic Tarictic Hornbills and Visayan Wart Pig. The four mountains surround the Balinsasayao Lake and Danao Lake, two crater lakes formed more than 10,000 years ago.

Like most healthy forest and watershed, the BTLNP’s surrounding forests and the lakes have been threatened by destructive human activities, threatening its rich biodiversity. “Before we were organized, we were the ones hunting animals and cutting trees for firewood and to make charcoal,” he said.  Like most upland dwellers, he said people heavily rely on the forests’ bounty before.

With the help of the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) the group was organized in 2006 to help protect the forests, by enhancing the capacity of the people to find sustainable source of income and livelihood.

FPE provides funding support to local non-governmental organizations and people’s organizations for various projects for the protection of the environment. For Negros Oriental’s famed twin lake, FPE helped establish the fern farm within the park in partnership with Siliman University Angelo King Center for Environmental Management, which is conducting research and development on the pharmaceutical value of ferns grown in the farm.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Forest protection needs alternative livelihood programs for people who are living in the mountains. Here is one such program.


"According to Mier, unlike before, members of their association are now contented in protecting the forest, providing tourism service, planting abaca and helping nurture their small fern farm.

"But the threats and challenge to save the park remains. “The forest is vast and wide. We can’t stop them all unless they have alternative sources of income,” he said. He said farmers who live near the lake work as tourist guides but not all may work in the tourism center in the park because of the cost."

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CBCP pushes community-based stewardship of environment in wake of Laudato Si ("rely on people power")

CBCP pushes community-based stewardship of environment in wake of Laudato Si ("rely on people power") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines on Monday pushed for community-based stewardship of the environment in line with Pope Francis' environmental encyclical Laudato Si'.

"(M)ore direct and immediate action can and should also be taken. Our parishes and Basic Ecclesial Communities can make, as the theme of their collective discernment, situations in the locality that scientists have found to be contributory to deleterious changes in the environment as well as to the disruption of the ecosystem," it said in the statement signed by CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop Socrates Villegas. "Mining, incineration and landfills are among the local concerns that immediately come to mind. Here, advocacy of Church communities in behalf of the common good should influence policy makers and translate itself into community action as well," it added. The CBCP also welcomed the holding of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December. During this gathering, state-parties will endeavor to arrive at legally binding measures addressing the challenge of climate change. "From a broader perspective, the Paris Negotiations will be a welcome attempt to reach a consensus on responsibility for the future of the Earth and for generations yet to come. It is not some futuristic matter with which state representatives and negotiators will be concerned, but with nothing less than social justice," it said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

With the unclear prospect of a Paris agreement on climate action in December, the Church brings its case directly to the people.We cannot underestimate the power of the people when it comes to their survival. 

Calling on all Christian communities! The time for faith and love to be put into action is now.

 

"The CBCP also stressed that the climate change issue is an intergenerational responsibility, with no less than the Supreme Court having characterized concerns of this category as matters of “intergenerational responsibility.”"We are not owners of the Earth. We are its stewards, to keep and cherish and nurture its resources not only for ourselves but for future generations," it said."

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Why equality matters in Southeast Asia's climate change fight ("also an economy booster strategy")

Why equality matters in Southeast Asia's climate change fight ("also an economy booster strategy") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Mary Ann Lucille Sering says leaders in developing Southeast Asia need to recognise that, in addition to developed countries, they too must act on global warming, for the good of their poor and economies

A central goal of developing countries over the past decade has been to spread the gains of our economic growth to reduce inequality. By hurting the poor most, climate change now threatens to unravel those efforts. A report last month for the Asian Development Bank, "To Foster Inclusive Growth, Tackle Inequality and Climate Change", found that the poor were hit first and hardest when natural disasters strike.

However, we must also be climate leaders. Southeast Asia must seize its chance for a strong Paris agreement on climate change, for two reasons. First, as we have seen, our countries lie in harm's way, now from typhoons, and increasingly from crop failures, sea level rise, damage to coral reefs and acidifying oceans. Second, economists, investors and engineers are ever more convinced that a low-carbon economy can also be more prosperous.

Like many Asian economies, the Philippines still depends on fossil fuels. This is changing, however. Last year, we more than doubled our installed wind capacity, and ranked third in all Asia for new wind power projects, behind China and India. An even greater revolution beckons in solar power.

The fight against climate change is a fight for human justice, innovation and, most of all, cooperation. Yes, developed countries bear more responsibility, but this is also our fight, for our people. As President Benigno Aquino said last year in New York: "Together, we must face these challenges and surmount them, or together we will suffer the consequences of inaction."

Bert Guevara's insight:

The strategy of helping climate disaster victims, especially the poor, is a good economy booster. There is a prevailing belief that by investing in nationwide climate action, this will result in economic gains across the economic classes.


"The fight against climate change is a fight for human justice, innovation and, most of all, cooperation. Yes, developed countries bear more responsibility, but this is also our fight, for our people. As President Benigno Aquino said last year in New York: "Together, we must face these challenges and surmount them, or together we will suffer the consequences of inaction.""

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To sustain its forests, Asia needs to invest in local people: experts - Yahoo News - Yahoo News

To sustain its forests, Asia needs to invest in local people: experts - Yahoo News - Yahoo News | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Asia has a unique opportunity to fight climate change and lift many more people out of poverty if it invests more in the communities living in its forests, experts said.

More than 450 million people in the region rely on forests for income and food, but forest dwellers often struggle to make a living as rural poverty, deforestation and climate change threaten their livelihoods.

"If we truly want to sustain Asia's forests, we need to address inequality and poverty by investing in people living in the forests," said Tint Lwin Thaung, executive director of RECOFTC, which promotes community forestry in Asia.

The Asia-Pacific region's forests, which account for almost 20 percent of the world's forested area, play a big role in fighting climate change because of trees' ability to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2).

Studies have shown that strengthening community forest rights can cut CO2 emissions by reducing deforestation, and improve forest health.

Trevor Abrahams, secretary general of the World Forestry Congress, said Asia had a unique opportunity to ensure that its forests were managed in a more sustainable way, as attention focuses on global leaders' adoption of new development goals in September.

"But the question is not just how do we manage forests in a sustainable way, but how do we make sure that the people living in them are at the center of decision making," Abrahams said.

The World Forestry Congress, the largest global gathering of the forestry sector, will take place in Durban, South Africa, in September.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

A new paradigm in the economy of ecology.

 

"If we truly want to sustain Asia's forests, we need to address inequality and poverty by investing in people living in the forests," ...

"Studies have shown that strengthening community forest rights can cut CO2 emissions by reducing deforestation, and improve forest health."

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Adapting Landscape Architecture to the Anthropocene ("should include climate subject in curriculum")

Adapting Landscape Architecture to the Anthropocene ("should include climate subject in curriculum") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
As the effects of humans accelerate the changes occurring on the planet, landscape architects and planners alike will need to take into account ways that civilization can adapt to a lack of stability.

Brent Milligan writes a refreshingly accessible academic exploration of landscape migration—the process by which environments shift and change. Landscape migration is accelerated by the impacts of human civilization (as evidence of theAnthropoceneera) and landscape architects are beginning to "focus their practice on designing for adaption to change," as Milligan describes it.

Milligan opens the essay up by acknowledging that the commonly accepted definition of the word migration is too small—pertaining only to the movement of humans and animals.

The problem with that definition, according to Milligan: "We know that environmental conditions are always changing, but we allow ourselves the fiction of background stability. When we limit our thinking in this way, our political and design responses are circumscribed. (Allot water rights. Designate a wildlife refuge. Build a wall.) Not surprisingly, they often fail."

Bert Guevara's insight:

Landscape Architecture has a new design mission in the light of climate change issues. The profession has become an important player in the climate mitigation and adaptation measures.


"With a new definition of migration in place (i.e., " patterned movement across space and time"), Milligan examines several case studies for the implication of this to landscape architecture practice. Case studies include the Klamath River in Oregon and California and the salmon habitat destroyed by engineering of the river for water supply, the "Sand Engine" in Buckhorn City in the Rotterdam-Hague region of the Netherlands, the migration of the Mississippi River throughout the Mississippi Basin, and shrinking cities such as Detroit."

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1st environment friendly bio-toilet commissioned - Economic Times ("someone's got to do something")

1st environment friendly bio-toilet commissioned - Economic Times ("someone's got to do something") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Tamil Nadu's first environment friendly bio-toilet has been commissioned at Kappalur Panchayat in the district.

The bio-toilet was introduced under a state government scheme to eradicate open defecation. Kappalur was chosen as the first village to have the facility, an official release said. 

Rural Development Agency Director Rohini Ramdoss said the facility, designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, would have six toilets, three for men and three for women. Bacteria is used to convert human waste into vapour and gas, which can be easily disposed. There would be no foul smell and the septic tank would last much longer, she said. 

Bio-gas from the tank could be used for various purposes. Depending on the success of the bio-toilet, the facility would be extended to other areas, she said. 

She said one panchayat in every district would have a bio-toilet, which would cost around Rs 4.5 lakh. The director said integrated sanitary complexes were set up at village level throughout the state. Besides 1.71 lakh individual toilets had been planned, she added.

Bert Guevara's insight:

A very basic requirement such as a toilet is not common in many countries. Humans can't just do IT anywhere.

In Metro Manila, the Pasig River and creeks become large open toilets. We need sanitary solutions like this set up in many parts of the city to save our rivers and waterways.

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Amazon tribe creates 500-page traditional medicine encyclopedia ("wisdom of the ages documented")

Amazon tribe creates 500-page traditional medicine encyclopedia ("wisdom of the ages documented") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
In one of the great tragedies of our age, indigenous traditions, stories, cultures and knowledge are winking out across the world. Whole languages and mythologies are vanishing, and in some cases even entire indigenous groups are falling into extinction. This is what makes the news that a tribe in the Amazon have created a 500-page encyclopedia of their traditional medicine all the more remarkable.

"The [Matsés Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia] marks the first time shamans of an Amazonian tribe have created a full and complete transcription of their medicinal knowledge written in their own language and words," Christopher Herndon, president and co-founder of Acaté, told Mongabay in an interview. 
The Matsés have only printed their encyclopedia in their native language to ensure that the medicinal knowledge is not stolen by corporations or researchers as has happened in the past. Instead, the encyclopedia is meant as a guide for training new, young shamans in the tradition and recording the living shamans' knowledge before they pass. 
"One of the most renowned elder Matsés healers died before his knowledge could be passed on so the time was now. Acaté and the Matsés leadership decided to prioritize the Encyclopedia before more of the elders were lost and their ancestral knowledge taken with them," said Herndon. 
Acaté has also started a program connecting the remaining Matsés shamans with young students. Through this mentorship program, the indigenous people hope to preserve their way of life as they have for centuries past. 
"With the medicinal plant knowledge disappearing fast among most indigenous groups and no one to write it down, the true losers in the end are tragically the indigenous stakeholders themselves," said Herndon. "The methodology developed by the Matsés and Acaté can be a template for other indigenous cultures to safeguard their ancestral knowledge." 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Shouldn't this documentation of ancient tribal medicine be done here in the Philippines too? We are fast losing our indigenous cultures to modernization and it is high time for someone from the academe to attempt this in the Philippines.

With the dying out of native medicine men using natural healing methods, so too are the rain forests that contain the wisdom of the ages.

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Watch – Green Treasure of the Sahel ("switching to indigenous species and organic composting")

Watch – Green Treasure of the Sahel ("switching to indigenous species and organic composting") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
In Burkina Faso, in West Africa, deforestation has reduced income and livelihoods. Simple steps have helped families deal with the loss of trees and brought their farms back to life. Green Treasure of the Sahel travels with one family as they go on a journey of discovery across the country to find out how they too can bring life back to their land.
Bert Guevara's insight:

The changing climate, loss of forests, poor soil quality and scarcity of water all point to a need for smarter agriculture. Watch this video of how other towns have shifted to indigenous planting and organic composting (to bring back the soil quality).

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Germany turning 62 military bases into nature reserves | mb.com.ph | Philippine News

Germany turning 62 military bases into nature reserves | mb.com.ph | Philippine News | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

Germany’s Environment Ministry says 62 former military bases and training areas are being turned into nature reserves, providing some 77,000 new acres of protected land for wildlife.

The ministry said Friday that the land will be considered protected immediately, even though details are still being worked out on who will look after the wildlife areas and also how to ensure munitions and other military materials have all been cleared away.

The tracts vary in size and are scattered across the country. They became available as Germany moves ahead with downsizing its military from a Cold War footing of some 250,000 to a smaller fighting force.

Germany’s military abandoned conscription in 2011 and is undergoing a long-term reform plan toward a professional service of 170,000 and some 15,000 short-term volunteers.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Switching the resources of battle to another battlefront!

From military action to climate action.

If this were the Philippines, probably these military bases will be turned into commercial centers or condos.

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Global warming as seen through the glorious life work of a singular man | Bella Bathurst

Global warming as seen through the glorious life work of a singular man   | Bella Bathurst | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Ron Naveen has spent 30 years charting the decline of penguins of Antarctica and sees only one cause

Over the next few days, I watched Naveen in penguin colonies throughout the Antarctic peninsula. All the time, he talked to camera about the different breeds and the survival issues that they faced. He talked about corners of the Antarctic continent where few people had ever been, the challenges posed by increased tourism and the temperamental life cycle of the penguins’ main food source, krill.

Naveen counts penguins for a living. He and his colleagues spend a significant chunk of each year reaching difficult bits of the Antarctic and walking round with manual clickers, ticking off nests, one by one.

He has spent the last 30 years compiling a definitive record of the geological, botanical and oceanographic features on 40 islands surrounding the peninsula, and without him, this place would most probably have remained a scientific terra incognita.

Unsurprisingly, his profession is not a crowded one. In fact, since penguins can now be counted from space, Naveen and his colleagues pretty much hold the worldwide monopoly on manual nest-clicking. Over a 30-year period, he calculates that he has probably spent more time in the Antarctic than almost anyone else, about five years in total. Partly because of that, he’s become the man who provides the data on which governments rely.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

He counts penguins for a living and lives with them in the Antarctic. The future he sees for these penguins is not good and he knows who is responsible.

 

"Year after year, he is pushed back and back to the Antarctic by a swelling sense of urgency. Partly because he is aware that at some time in the future he will have to stop. Partly because all the data he has collected so far seems to point towards global warming on a catastrophic scale."

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Organic farmers make a lot more money than conventional farmers ("it's time to make the switch")

Organic farmers make a lot more money than conventional farmers ("it's time to make the switch") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
It's good for the world, good for our health, and now it's also good for the bank account. The results of a new study will hopefully encourage more farmers to make the switch to organics.

There are many great reasons to buy organic food, such as reducing one’s exposure to pesticides, mitigating environmental pollution, improving soil quality, aiding pollination, and eating more nutrient-rich produce. It turns out there’s yet another reason to buy organic – it is a bigger money-maker for farmers, meaning your purchase directly helps farmers to make a better living.

The study reporting this newfound economic incentive for organics was just published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Its mission was to analyze the “financial competitiveness of organic farming on a global scale” by looking at 44 studies covering 55 crops grown in 14 countries on five continents – North America, Europe, Asia, Central America, and Australia.

The study concluded that organic farming is 22 to 35 percent more profitable for farmers than conventional agriculture.

This comes at a time when North American farmers are in great financial distress. Civil Eats reports that, in 2012, 56 percent of American farmers reported earning less than $10,000 from their farms alone, while 52 percent said it was necessary to maintain a primary job away from the farm. If organic can provide farmers with significantly more income, there’s more incentive to switch over from conventional practices.

Bert Guevara's insight:

What's in it for the farmer to make the switch to organic?

 

"The study reporting this newfound economic incentive for organics was just published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Its mission was to analyze the “financial competitiveness of organic farming on a global scale” by looking at 44 studies covering 55 crops grown in 14 countries on five continents – North America, Europe, Asia, Central America, and Australia.

"The study concluded that organic farming is 22 to 35 percent more profitable for farmers than conventional agriculture."

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PIA | PH’s first organic trading center opens in Nueva Vizcaya ("long awaited program takes off")

PIA | PH’s first organic trading center opens in Nueva Vizcaya ("long awaited program takes off") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

The Cagayan Valley Regional Organic Trading Center (ROTC) lin Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya opened its doors to farmers, traders and buyers of organic agricultural products with its inauguration on May 21, 2015 led by Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala.

The facility was built at the DA’s 183-hectare Nueva Vizcaya Experiment Station, which also produces organic livestock, cutflower and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)-certified vegetables, the DA said in a statement.

The ₱18-million worth ROTC will provide production assistance, semi processing facilities, marketing promotion and trading facilities for organic agricultural products.

The center has an agribusiness development center, organic native chicken production center, administration building, fruit processing and packaging building, wild pig conservation and production center, and a GAP vegetable production area. The center also has function halls and dormitories to accommodate organic farming practitioners for trainings.

“We cannot discount the role of organic farming in improving the health of the soil, the environment and our people,” Alcala said.

He also acknowledged that there are problems being faced by the organic agriculture industry such as costly third party certification, insufficient supply of organic planting materials and lack of transport and trading equipment but DA has already put up programs to challenge these. Among interventions provided by the DA are organic agriculture training programs, techno demo farms, organic farming facilities and implements, and subsidy for third party certification..

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is what many organic producers are waiting for.

 

"The facility was built at the DA’s 183-hectare Nueva Vizcaya Experiment Station, which also produces organic livestock, cutflower and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)-certified vegetables, the DA said in a statement.

"The ₱18-million worth ROTC will provide production assistance, semi processing facilities, marketing promotion and trading facilities for organic agricultural products."

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PNP, pinarangalan ng UN sa environmental protection | Balita - Tagalog Newspaper Tabloid

PNP, pinarangalan ng UN sa environmental protection | Balita - Tagalog Newspaper Tabloid | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
-*+Ginawaran ng United Nations ng parangal ang Philippine National Police (PNP) dahil sa malaking kontribusyon nito sa pagpapatupad ng mga batas pang-kalikasan sa Asya.

Sinabi ni Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, officer-in-charge ng PNP, na ito ang unang pagkakataon na ginawaran ng UN ang pitong bansa, kabilang ang Pilipinas, ng Asia Environmental Enforcement Award (AEEA) dahil sa pinaigting na kampanya ng PNP Maritime Group sa pagbibigay-proteksiyon sa kalikasan.

“I congratulate the Maritime Group for a job well done as they did not only brought home honors for themselves and the PNP but for the country as well,” pahayag ni Espina.

Sa ilalim ng United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), binigyan ng parangal ang PNP Maritime Group bilang resulta ng 1,500 operasyon nito laban sa mga lumalabag sa fisheries and wildlife law, na umabot sa 3,000 ang naaresto at nakakolekta ang gobyerno ng US$300,000 multa mula sa mga pasaway na mangingisda.

Dalawa sa limang Asyano ang nakatanggap ng award mula sa UN na kinabibilangan nina Senior Supt. Jonathan Albang, deputy director for operations ng Maritime Group.

Sinaluduhan ng UN si Ablang sa pagsusulong niya sa pagtatatag ng mga Marine Protected Area, pangangalap at pagsasanay ng mga residente mula sa 679 na lokal na komunidad bilang Marine Protected Area Guard, at pagbuo sa SMS public hotline na nakatulong nang malaki sa pagsugpo sa ilegal ng pangingisda at iba pang paglabag sa environmental law.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The Maritime Group of the PNP made over 1500 operations, 3000 arrests and $300,000 in fines for illegal fishing in Marine Protected Areas, and received a U.N. Asia Environment Enforcement Award.

Senior Supt. Jonathan Albang was also commended for his efforts in establishing Marine Protected Areas and training of volunteers from 679 communities to become part of the Marine Protected Area Guard.

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BusinessWorld | Resort islands near Iloilo try container gardening own food ("sustainability upstart")

BusinessWorld | Resort islands near Iloilo try container gardening own food ("sustainability upstart") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
ILOILO CITY -- Households in the province’s coastal islands are being assisted by the local government to go into container gardening for food supply, additional livelihood and help in environmental conservation.

The Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) introduced the container gardening project last year to the islands of Gigantes and Tambaliza, both popular beach destinations. 

“Bottles scattered in the area can be used to plant vegetables. 

Through urban gardening, we teach them to plant vegetables for their consumption, and they could also make it as their business and sell them in resorts,” Dr. Ildefonso T. Toledo, PAO chief.

The island resorts source their vegetables mostly from the Iloilo mainland.

Mr. Toledo said the gardening program has also been expanded to involve local and foreign tourists, allowing them to visit the sites and help the communities by making organic fertilizer.

“Gigantes Island is a tourism spot… if not properly managed, its beauty will be destroyed,” he said.

A non-government organization also started last year a rehabilitation project for the areas coral reefs, which were destroyed by super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in December 2013.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Urban container gardening of edible food, for resorts consumption, supported through waste recovery and composting, is a laudable program which should be further developed.

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EU Climate Chief Says “No Plan B” for Paris Climate Talks ("warning signals raised; what are chances?")

EU Climate Chief Says “No Plan B” for Paris Climate Talks ("warning signals raised; what are chances?") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
EU Climate Chief Miguel Cañete urges world leaders to force their ministers to agree a deal.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Miguel Cañete, commissioner for climate action, said he was very concerned about the lack of negotiating time remaining before the conference.

Cañete, who will lead the EU’s 28 member states in the talks, said that if governments did not reach agreement, there was “no plan B – nothing to follow. This is not just ongoing U.N. discussions. Paris is final.”

For it to be a success, he said, heads of government – most of whom are not expected to attend the talks in person – must urgently instruct their negotiating ministers to come forward with plans for a deal that would involve cutting emissions, rich countries providing the poor with financial assistance, and putting in place sweeping new measures to help poor nations adapt to the ravages of global warming.

Cañete said the EU would reject any deal he thought was not ambitious enough in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, a key sticking point in the talks. “For us, it’s very important to have a deal – but not any kind of deal.”

The commissioner’s tough talking marks a new line from the EU, which has previously been seen as dovish, trying to smooth over differences among developing and developed countries. Cañete is embarking on an exhausting round of visits to developing country capitals, from Latin America to Papua New Guinea, to try to garner support for a Paris agreement.

Bert Guevara's insight:

There is no more time for "flavored" discussions. There is a limit to negotiations. If there is no serious agreement reached in Paris, the future may become what we are all avoiding to even consider. The alarmists may have the "last laugh".

 

"Cañete said the EU would reject any deal he thought was not ambitious enough in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, a key sticking point in the talks. “For us, it’s very important to have a deal – but not any kind of deal.”

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Seabirds suffering massive population declines ("70% drop since 1950s; marine ecosystems really bad")

Seabirds suffering massive population declines ("70% drop since 1950s; marine ecosystems really bad") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Global seabird numbers have dropped 70 percent since the 1950s due to overfishing, pollution and climate change, study says

A bird that mates for life and flies over 6,000 miles for food, the albatross has seen profound population declines over the past several decades. It appears now as though a harbinger for its own demise.

Or take the Fiji petrel, a black, tube-nosed bird that spends almost its entire life skimming the oceans. The petrel, the albatross and other birds suffer when the oceans are polluted and overfished and a new study in PLOS One suggests they are paying a heavy price. Since the 1950s, the study concludes that seabird numbers have dropped by nearly 70 percent.

"Seabirds are particularly good indicators of the health of marine ecosystems," said University of British Columbia's Michelle Paleczny, a co-author of the study and a researcher with the Sea Around Us project. "When we see this magnitude of seabird decline, we can see there is something wrong with marine ecosystems. It gives us an idea of the overall impact we're having."

For the study, the researchers compiled information on more than 500 seabird populations from around the world, representing 19 percent of the global seabird population. They found overall populations had declined by 69.6 percent or the equivalent to a loss of about 230 million birds in 60 years.

Bert Guevara's insight:

230 million birds lost in 60 years! What is happening to our marine ecosystems? Isn't this a warning to humans?


"Seabirds are particularly good indicators of the health of marine ecosystems," said University of British Columbia's Michelle Paleczny, a co-author of the study and a researcher with the Sea Around Us project. "When we see this magnitude of seabird decline, we can see there is something wrong with marine ecosystems. It gives us an idea of the overall impact we're having."

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Two Maps Show Greenland’s Sudden Melt Season Onset ("30% of global sea level rise is from GL ice melt")

Two Maps Show Greenland’s Sudden Melt Season Onset ("30% of global sea level rise is from GL ice melt") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Greenland's melt season started slow but is suddenly speeding up due to warm weather and dark ice.

This year’s sudden uptick doesn’t necessarily portend a similar monster melt. But rising temperatures and a corresponding increase in wildfire activity could make 2012-level melt happen yearly by 2100. More dust has also been accumulating on the ice in recent years as spring snow recedes early in the Northern Hemisphere.

With 684,000 cubic miles of ice, the complete disappearance of the ice sheet isn’t going to happen anytime soon. But any speed up in the melting could have major global consequences.

The ice sheet’s fate is intimately tied to sea level rise. Its melt is responsible about 30 percent of observed sea level rise since the 1990s. Over the past two decades, Greenland has seen its contribution to sea level rise increase.

That trend is projected to continue as the planet warms and could put coastal cities at risk and cause trillions of dollars in damage.

In addition to sea level rise, the influx of freshwater could also be slowing the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, a crucial ocean current that transfers heat from the tropics poleward. If that pattern stalls out, it could reduce nutrients in the North Atlantic and alter circulation in other parts of the world’s oceans.

Bert Guevara's insight:

So what?

 

"The ice sheet’s fate is intimately tied to sea level rise. Its melt is responsible about 30 percent of observed sea level rise since the 1990s. Over the past two decades, Greenland has seen its contribution to sea level rise increase."

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Environmentalists Attacked for Protecting One of the Ocean's Most Endangered ... - TakePart

Environmentalists Attacked for Protecting One of the Ocean's Most Endangered ... - TakePart | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Poachers threaten a group guarding sea turtle eggs in Costa Rica.
Bert Guevara's insight:

Who is the worse animal?

The dark side of poaching threatens not only wildlife, but also human lives who protect the wild. This is not an isolated case; it is happening in many places in the world.

 

"Costa Rica touts itself as a leading destination for eco-tourism. So why isn’t the government doing more to protect sea turtles and their eggs—and the people who are trying to save them?"

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NGOs: Boracay threatened by overdevelopment - YouTube ("killing the goose that lays the golden eggs")

Boracay is world-famous for its white-sand beaches but environmentalists warn, the island could lose its appeal due to overdevelopment. - ANC, The World Toni...
Bert Guevara's insight:

The warnings have grown louder, but the profit-motivated officials and businessmen haven't had it so good. But if you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, what will happen in the future? The profiteers will just surely move on and lay to waste a natural treasure.

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Negros Occidental's Sustainable Agriculture Programs 2015 - YouTube ("so much happening in Phil agri")

A compilation of the Province of Negros Occidental, Philippines Agriculture Programs presented during the visit of Department of Agriculture Secretary Procy ...
Bert Guevara's insight:

Negros is now a single province, but it is worth highlighting the agricultural achievements of Negros Occidental.

Watch and learn.

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What makes a city green? | Environment ("the trend begins with an amazing idea that is replicable")

What makes a city green? | Environment ("the trend begins with an amazing idea that is replicable") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
A new European Green Capital has been announced: Essen in Germany. Located in a former coal-mining region, it's reinvented itself as a "green city." But what makes a city green - and why is this worth the effort?

The European Commission has awarded the title of "European Green Capital" for the year 2017 to Essen, in western Germany.

Every year, the award showcases achievements in environmental sustainability, including local efforts to improve the urban environment and promote sustainable growth. Since 2010, the title is granted to one European city with a population of more than 100,000 each year. Winners are announced two years in advance.

In this year's contest to select the 2017 winner, 's-Hertogenbosch and Nijmegen in the Netherlands and Umea in Sweden were also shortlisted from 12 entries across Europe.

Essen, a former coal-mining city in the heart of the Ruhr region, was particularly recognized for overcoming its challenging industrial history to reinvent itself as green, thus becoming a leading example for other cities.

Lykke Leonardsen, head of Copenhagen's climate unit, echoed the sentiment that ingenious thinking must go hand-in-hand with "making it fun."

Copenhagen, Bristol's predecessor as the European Green Capital, has an even more ambitious climate goal: To be carbon-neutral by 2025. And over the past decade, Copenhageners have already reduced their carbon footprint by 40 percent.

This has come through efforts including building up renewable energy - and bicycling infrastructure. Such infrastructure is not necessarily physical.

Leonardsen described Copenhagen's "bike butler" program: When people park their bicycles in inconvenient spots, the butlers remove the bike. But when the cyclists come to pick up their ride, they're not punished with a fine, rather greeted with a friendly face - and their bike has a freshly oiled chain and pumped up tires.

Bert Guevara's insight:

What's the big deal with "green cities"?

 

"The idea is if cities can become a laboratory for change, they can then spread the whole benefit across Europe," Ferguson said.

"One city alone is not going to change the world. But if we share these ideas, and we share our problems, and we share the answers, then we can change the world."

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BusinessWorld | Wild bees are unpaid farmhands worth billions ("$3251/ha. bee share in agri")

BusinessWorld | Wild bees are unpaid farmhands worth billions ("$3251/ha. bee share in agri") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
WILD bees provide crop pollination services worth more than $3,250 (€2,880) per hectare per year, a study reported Tuesday.

Over three years, researchers followed the activities of nearly 74,000 bees from more than 780 species.
The team looked at 90 projects to monitor bee pollination at 1,394 crop fields around the world.
They found that on average, wild bees contribute $3,251 per hectare ($1,315 per acre) to crop production, ahead of managed honey bee colonies, which were worth $2,913 per hectare.
The probe adds to attempts to place a dollar figure on “ecosystem services” -- the natural resources that feed us -- to discourage environmental plundering.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), about 80% of flowering plant species are pollinated by insects, as well as by birds and bats.
At least one third of the world’s agricultural crops depend on these unpaid workers, the UN agency says on its Web site.
Crops which require pollination include coffee, cocoa and many fruit and vegetable types.
The economic value of pollination was estimated in a 2005 study at €153 billion, accounting for 9.5% of farm production for human food.

Bert Guevara's insight:

How much are bees worth to the economy?


"According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), about 80% of flowering plant species are pollinated by insects, as well as by birds and bats.
"At least one third of the world’s agricultural crops depend on these unpaid workers, the UN agency says on its Web site.
"Crops which require pollination include coffee, cocoa and many fruit and vegetable types."

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PH Church opposes coal mining | Tempo - News in a Flash ("cites inconsistent position on climate change")

PH Church opposes coal mining | Tempo - News in a Flash ("cites inconsistent position on climate change") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The Catholic Church in the Philippines has expressed its opposition to coal mining, convinced that this will not only make the country a major contributor to climate change, but also endanger the ecosystem, the health, and lives of the people.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice, and Peace/Caritas Philippines, said those in power should not disregard the health and lives of people who risk being sacrificed because of power plants.

He cited studies that point to carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired plants as the primary source of global warming.

The priest also cited its fatal effects on the environment and the people, especially on pregnant mothers and their babies.

“The catastrophe we experienced from typhoon “Yolanda,” which killed thousands and damaged billions of properties, is proof to this,” Gariguez said in a CBCP News Post.

He said the Church is making her disapproval known, given that the Philippine government is adamant in backing mining operations by asking for emergency powers.

“In the guise of providing more efficient energy source, higher tax revenues and the so-called greater development, the state and the multinational coal companies are opening another door for Philippines to becoming the major contributor to climate change,” Gariguez said.

The CBCP official earlier joined the launching of the “One Million Against Coal Campaign,” which tries to gather as many as a million signatures to promote resistance against the construction of coal-powered plants and coal mines nationwide.

The petition likewise hopes to persuade the Aquino administration to honor its commitment of combating and mitigating climate change effects and preventing natural calamities.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Coal is still a major climate change contributor and the Phil. Church does not want the country to be a collaborator.


“In the guise of providing more efficient energy source, higher tax revenues and the so-called greater development, the state and the multinational coal companies are opening another door for Philippines to becoming the major contributor to climate change,” 

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One Straw Revolution - by Masanobu Fukuoka - YouTube ("natural farming w/ minimum human intervention")

One Straw Revolution - by Masanobu Fukuoka

Masanobu Fukuoka (1913- 2008) was a Japanese farmer and philosopher who had a huge influence on the permaculture movement worldwide. He developed the theory and practice of 'A Natural Way of Farming' that involved minimum intervention from the farmer, and no-till, no-herbicide grain cultivationmethods traditional to many indigenous cultures. He wrote the ever popular seminal book The One Straw Revolution in 1975. It is  a manifesto about farming, food, and a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food. You can download it for free at that link.

From 1979 he travelled the world widely, spreading his philosophy and techniques, and began to apply them to re-greening desert area all over the world. He also re-invented and advanced the use of clay seed balls. His work took him beyond framing and he became an early pioneer of whole foods and a more natural lifestyle. This is a short documentary that introduces Fukuoka and his radical, pioneering ideas that permaculturists are still experimenting with worldwide.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The "One Straw Revolution".


"... For more than sixty years, have been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing their findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest option for people and the planet."

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India Heatwave Kills 800+ and Literally Melts the Roads ("boiling temp kills more than 1100 in India")

India Heatwave Kills 800+ and Literally Melts the Roads ("boiling temp kills more than 1100 in India") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
India is in the midst of a major heatwave, which has killed at least 800 people and melted roads in New Delhi as temperatures neared 122 degrees Fahrenheit

The worst-hit state Andhra Pradesh in southern India has recorded 551 deaths in the last week alone. Every summer, across the country, hundreds of Indians, especially the poorest members of society, die from extreme heat, while tens of thousands deal with power outages from an overstrained electric grid as air conditioning use soars, reports AFP.

But this summer season is particularly bad, the most severe since 2010 when an estimated 250 people died from heat-related causes, which was said to be the worst since record-keeping began in the 1800s. The maximum temperature in the capital hit a two-year high of 45.5 degrees Celsius on Monday, which is five degrees higher than the seasonal average, reports theHindustan Times. And, the death toll from heat mortality could be much higher than estimated because, according to Scroll.in, “the government counts only death by heat stroke and heat exhaustion as heat wave deaths. The narrow definition does not account for the way ‘heat exposure stresses underlying physiological systems,’ a study on heat mortality in Ahmedabad said.”

And heat waves are expected to intensify around the globe in the future, according to areport last month from climate scientists. Over the last century, India has become hotter and hotter and will continue to see a rise in the number of hot days. “The heat waves are projected to be more intense, have longer durations and occur at a higher frequency and earlier in the year,” said the researchers.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Cooking eggs is nothing compared to this! The roads are so hot, the asphalt is literally melting.

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