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Myanmar's mangrove forests will be wiped out by 2015 - Experts - Eleven Myanmar

Myanmar's mangrove forests will be wiped out by 2015 - Experts - Eleven Myanmar | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Myanmar's mangrove forests will be wiped out by 2015 - Experts Eleven Myanmar Myanmar's mangrove forests will be completely wiped out by 2015 if there are no efforts to conserve them, according to experts at a local forum on mangrove conservation...

The forests are located mostly in the Ayeyarwady delta region, coastal parts of Tanintharyi and Rakhine regions in Myanmar.

"Our ministry has plans to create necessary policies, law, official organisations for the preservation of natural resources including mangrove forests. The areas of mangrove forests have dropped as the country's social economy changed fundamentally," said Win Tun, the Minister for Environment, Conservation and Forestry.

The minister pointed out some of the reasons for the loss of mangrove forests, saying the country has no national policy concerning land usage in those areas. He also added that relevant policies are required for long-term survival of the mangroves.

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3 Steps to Using Containers if You Want to Garden W/O Land ("urban containerized agriculture anyone?")

3 Steps to Using Containers if You Want to Garden W/O Land ("urban containerized agriculture anyone?") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Want to plant a garden, but don't have much space? Container gardens can be budget- and space-friendly, while providing a bountiful harvest.

Most of the fruits and vegetables in your grocery store have traveled thousands of miles to reach you. In fact, the average plate full of food on an American table travels 1500 miles on average before being eaten.

In order to survive the journey, they’ve been sprayed and bred to withstand bumps, drops, and extra-long transit times. One of the side effects of this is they taste nothing like they should. The more out of season your fruit or vegetable is for your geographic region, the further it’s had to travel and the more likely it’s faced some sort of treatment to survive the journey.

You can seek out only in-season produce and even buy from stores that support local growers, but nothing quite compares to produce you can grow yourself.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Urban containerized agriculture, anyone? It is worth it especially in a period of agricultural uncertainty in the regions.

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Pope calls exploitation of environment a sin of our time - Chicago Tribune ("we need Pope on our side")

Pope calls exploitation of environment a sin of our time - Chicago Tribune ("we need Pope on our side") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Pope calls exploitation of environment a sin of our time Chicago Tribune Francis, who took his name from Francis of Assisi, the 13th century saint seen as the patron of animals and the environment, is writing an encyclical on man's relationship...

In an address at the university of Molise, an agricultural and industrial region in southern Italy, Francis said the Earth should be allowed to give her fruits without being exploited.

"This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: to convert ourselves to a type of development that knows how to respect creation," he told students, struggling farmers, and laid-off workers in a university hall.

"When I look at America, also my own homeland (South America), so many forests, all cut, that have become land ... that can longer give life. This is our sin, exploiting the Earth and not allowing her to her give us what she has within her," the Argentine pope said in unprepared remarks.

Francis, who took his name from Francis of Assisi, the 13th century saint seen as the patron of animals and the environment, is writing an encyclical on man's relationship with nature.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is the type of modern-day prophecy I've been waiting to hear from the Church.

"Pope Francis called for more respect for nature on Saturday, branding the destruction of South America's rain forests and other forms of environmental exploitation a sin of modern times."

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7 Topics to Tackle This Earth Day – And Every Day » Global Green Blog ("3/7 are food related")

7 Topics to Tackle This Earth Day – And Every Day » Global Green Blog ("3/7 are food related") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it

1. Food Access

The big picture: 

Food Desert: A low-income census tract where a significant number of residents live more than one mile from the nearest supermarket.

23.5 million Americans live in food deserts—areas that are often inundated with liquor stores and fast food restaurants, but offer little or no access to fresh produce.

Urban agriculture presents an opportunity to take food access issues into the hands of residents. From home gardens to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), urban farming can be an effective method of bringing fresh and healthy produce into food deserts.

2. Food Waste

The big picture: 

Food Scrap Emissions: Every year, Americans send 34 million tons of food scraps to the landfill – 95% of all the food scraps produced. According to EPA data, diverting those food scraps from the landfill would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to shutting down seven coal-fired power plants with no loss of energy.

After construction and demolition debris, food scraps are the largest municipal waste stream in the country, typically accounting for 30-50% of a city’s landfilled waste. When food scraps go to the landfill, they release methane, a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more potent than CO2.

Composting not only diverts food scraps from landfills, but also returns nutrients to soil and helps soils, especially sandy soils, retain water.

- See more at: http://globalgreen.org/blogs/global/?p=7916#sthash.jf20ymPu.dpuf

Bert Guevara's insight:

What are the Earth Day issues that we should tackle everyday? Check out these 7 issues.

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Ex-special operations sniper explains why he created the International Anti-Poaching Foundation

Ex-special operations sniper explains why he created the International Anti-Poaching Foundation | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Here's something you don't see everyday!

Damien Mander is a former naval special operations sniper for the Australian Defense Force who, after 12 tours of duty in Iraq, ended up in Africa witnessing the horrors of poaching and decided to using his very special skillset to do something about it. He sold everything he had an started theInternational Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) with the goal of better training the rangers who are the only thing between well-equipped poachers and endangered species.

What does the IAPF do? In its own words, it develops, implements and manages: Anti-poaching ranger training, conservation security plans, anti-poaching operations, wildlife crime information systems, specialist technology and systems for anti-poaching operations, and field equipment procurement and supply.

It's sad that it has come to this, but the reality is that poachers use military technology and tactics, and if the people who try to protect wildlife don't have similar technology and training, they don't stand a chance of catching them.

Since IAPF took over security operations in Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, not one rhino has been poached and the population of critically endangered black rhino has increased by 133% since 2010. IAPF currently covers more than 1 million acres and support 28 other initiatives.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Bullet-for-bullet approach vs poaching.

This is where it will end up to as the enemies of the environment get more violent and deadly. 

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More calamity-fighting trees for planting with P5-B release ("more needed to maintain until maturity")

More calamity-fighting trees for planting with P5-B release ("more needed to maintain until maturity") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
More calamity-fighting trees for planting with P5-B release - an Official Gazette PH Special Section

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P4.99 billion to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the continued implementation of the National Greening Program, which aims to plant 1.5 billion trees across 1.5 million hectares nationwide by 2016.

The program aims to cover approximately 300,000 hectares annually from 2014 until 2016.

The fund release—charged against the FY 2014 General Appropriations Act (GAA)—will support actual seedling and planting activities for the year, as well as site maintenance and the protection of planting areas already established in previous years.

“Our funding support for the National Greening Program is well-timed, given that the season’s regular rainfall will allow seedlings to grow faster. This year, the DENR’s tree-planting efforts will give particular attention to areas with high poverty levels, as well as regions that are susceptible to natural disasters,” Secretary of Budget Florencio “Butch” Abad said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Planting trees is a priority climate change mitigation measure. We just hope the funds are spent properly.

“The Aquino administration is definitely looking at all viable solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change. We’re not just looking at these options and twiddling our thumbs over them. We’re taking active steps to implement our disaster risk management programs,” he emphasized.

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When it comes to housing, small is the new big ("green cities & green design for climate adaptation")

When it comes to housing, small is the new big ("green cities & green design for climate adaptation") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it

There is a whole generation that is going through a massive downsizing; here is what I am doing.

Over at Inhabitat, Peter Grisby writes Why Small Homes Make Better Homes, and makes some very good points about the benefits of smaller homes. They use less energy (if properly built) they reduce your consumption (because you have nowhere to put anything), You will spend more time outdoors (because you have so little room indoors). He is right, but the future of small homes isn't in single family houses. It is in apartments, low rise buildings, back lanes and house conversions.

But in the end, Kelly and I will be occupying a third of the house. We will have an income stream from our tenants that will cover the cost of the renovations. We have a renovated, insulated and stable house that will not need a lot of maintenance over the years to come. We will have a heating system that works.

This is an option that many baby boomer aged home owners could consider as a way of staying in their homes; it is surprising how many house designs can be converted easily, how many basements can be turned into decent housing, how many back yards on back lanes can be occupied with small houses. There are thousands of residential units that can be created all over our cities if people would realize that small really is the new big.


Bert Guevara's insight:

As part of climate change mitigation, the trend towards smaller dwellings is a welcome trend. The digital lifestyle makes the world smaller and the proliferation of good cafes and meeting places makes big offices secondary for budding enterprises.

Check out this article about the advantages of smaller dwellings.

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Farming Cuba: Urban Agriculture from the Ground Up ("no longer a mere hobby but a main source")

Farming Cuba: Urban Agriculture from the Ground Up ("no longer a mere hobby but a main source") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Courtesy of Russel Fernandez/ Princeton Architectural Press The following is an excerpt from Carey Clouse's Farming Cuba: Urban Agriculture from the

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Cuba found itself solely responsible for feeding a nation that had grown dependent on imports and trade subsidies. With fuel, fertilizers, and pesticides disappearing overnight, citizens began growing their own organic produce anywhere they could find space, on rooftops, balconies, vacant lots, and even school playgrounds. By 1998 there were more than 8,000 urban farms in Havana producing nearly half of the country’s vegetables. What began as a grassroots initiative had, in less than a decade, grown into the largest sustainable agriculture initiative ever undertaken, making Cuba the world leader in urban farming. Featuring a wealth of rarely seen material and intimate portraits of the environment, Farming Cuba details the innovative design strategies and explores the social, political, and environmental factors that helped shape this pioneering urban farming program.

Cuba’s food crisis highlighted many of the deeply entrenched and largely invisible structural problems within the country’s food system. Flaws in agricultural infrastructure, community-engagement process, modes of knowledge transfer, production methods, and urban planning were plainly exposed with the dissolution of the Soviet bloc. Architectural theorist Mark Wigley links these larger systems failures to design, suggesting that these “crises always appear as the failure of a spatial system, a failure of architecture.” In this sense, periods of extreme breakdown can also act as agents of physical change: according to Wigley, “crises produce new forms.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Urban agriculture - no longer for hobbyists; but a potential main source of sustainable food supply in the city. Let us learn how the Cuban crisis bore a unique victory in urban farming.

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Brazil Leads World in Reducing Carbon Emissions by Slashing Deforestation ("reprogrammed progress")

Brazil Leads World in Reducing Carbon Emissions by Slashing Deforestation ("reprogrammed progress") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Brazil leads the world in reducing carbon emissions by slowing deforestation in a process that saw continued growth of beef and soy industries.

The country has reduced deforestation by 70 percent and kept 3.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, because forests use carbon as they grow and release it when they are removed, often through burning. That makes Brazil's the biggest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of any country in the world; the cut is more than three times bigger than the effect of taking all the cars in the U.S. off the road for a year.

"For the first time in history, we are stopping the process of forest loss on a frontier before it gets seriously depleted, while continuing to develop economies that still have substantial forest cover," says McGrath.

Globally, deforestation is responsible for about 10 percent of all climate emissions, says a study released Wednesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists. That's down from 17 percent of emissions in the 1990s, thanks to falling rates of deforestation.

In a tough regulatory approach called "critical counties," the Brazilian government also removes incentives for all the agricultural producers in a county if there's a lot of deforestation going on there. There has been rising opposition to this program, but it has been effective, says McGrath. "It increases internal pressure to make everybody fall in line."

The Brazilian government has also created new protected reserves of forest in the Amazon, especially along frontier areas where deforestation had started. Managing these new areas has effectively stopped its tree loss, says McGrath.

 


Bert Guevara's insight:

So it can be done!

Let us learn from the Brazil model of how to arrest deforestation without depriving farmers of the chance to develop their agriculture.

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8 Things You Should Know About The Biggest Thing A President’s Ever Done On Climate Change

8 Things You Should Know About The Biggest Thing A President’s Ever Done On Climate Change | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Currently, there are no national limits on the carbon pollution that power plants emit into the atmosphere. With Monday's proposed rule, that will change.

- This is the most significant move any U.S. president has made to curtail carbon pollution in history.

- There is room for improvement, and time to improve it.

- The EPA is just doing what Congress (and the Supreme Court) told it to do many years ago.

- States will have huge amounts of flexibility to comply.

- Coal was on its way out and this speeds up the transition.

- This is one rule in a long string of carbon-cutting actions since President Obama took office.

- The rule won’t come into effect overnight.

- It’s not just fossil fuel companies and conservative groups that have a voice in this process.

Bert Guevara's insight:

"On Monday morning, the Environmental Protection Agency released its proposed rule to limit the amount of carbon pollution that existing power plants can dump into the atmosphere. This is the most significant move President Obama has made to address thedirect causes of climate change."

What does this mean?

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The food system we choose affects biodiversity: do we want monocultures? ("consumers can mafe a diff")

The food system we choose affects biodiversity: do we want monocultures? ("consumers can mafe a diff") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
On the International Day of Biological Diversity, Greenpeace's Kumi Naidoo exhorts us to move away from our current farming system

But, the whole planet is a small island in the vast sea of space, capable of producing food for all as a consequence of rich biodiversity. That diversity is under threat, our actions can strengthen it or weaken it. Our agriculture systems can help mitigate climate change and feed us, or they can accelerate the change and contribute to hunger.

The food system we choose has a direct impact on which type of world we will have. It's the difference between a field that hums and is robust with life, or one which is dusty, dry and dead. It's the difference between a place where ecological farming has been used or where a cocktail of industrial chemicals has soaked into the soil where the same crop is grown, decade after decade.

Our current food and farming system is creating more and more of these dry, dead ends. It is agriculture characterised by three things: the industrial-sized growing of a single plant, or "monoculture", genetically engineered crops, and repeated toxic chemical infusions of pesticides and the application of synthetic fertilisers. All of these harm people and the farming ecosystems they depend on.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Industrial Agriculture vs Ecological Farming.

Industrial agriculture does not rely on diversification but on the standardisation and homogenisation of biological processes, technologies and products. It promotes off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all solutions to food and farming around the world and in so doing undermines local and natural diversity, which are essential for resilience to climate change.

Ecological farming increases resilience to climate shocks. It is based on the diversity of nature to produce healthy food for all: diversity of seeds and plants; diversity of many different crops grown in the same field; diversity of insects that pollinate (like bees) or eliminate pests; and diversity of farming systems that mix crops with livestock.

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NEDA moves to develop system to account for use of environment and natural resources

NEDA moves to develop system to account for use of environment and natural resources | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
NEDA moves to develop system to account for use of environment and natural resources - an Official Gazette PH Special Section

NEDA Deputy Director-General Emmanuel F. Esguerra said that such a system, called natural capital accounting (NCA), is important because the Philippines has not been able to maximize the benefits of its natural resources, as evidenced by the pervasiveness of poverty in sectors that are dependent on them. Natural capital accounting or NCA refers to how a country recognizes and measures the use of its environment and natural resources to be able to determine how much these resources contribute to the economy and livelihoods.

“Despite the challenges faced in the past, current conditions in the country already make it possible to have natural capital accounting included in the country’s programming and policy formulation process,” said Esguerra in a session during the World Bank’s 4th Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) Partnership Meeting in Washington, D.C. on May 14, 2014. “There is now a methodology in place that is generally acceptable,” said Esguerra.

He added that a greater demand for NCA has been noted as governments, civil society, and the private sector are increasingly being challenged to incorporate environmental and natural resource concerns in development planning and policy.

“The implementation of natural capital accounting could not therefore have come at a more opportune time. The NCA results will serve as bases for analysis and as indicators in preparing national and regional development plans,” said Esguerra.

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Jambi Mines Occupy Nearly 2.5 Million Acres of Protected Forest ("Indonesia's mining greed unchecked")

Jambi Mines Occupy Nearly 2.5 Million Acres of Protected Forest ("Indonesia's mining greed unchecked") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
At least one million hectares of protected forest in Jambi is damaged by mining
operations.

According to Walhi's research, in the last ten years there has been a massive number of mining licenses and recommendations issued. According to Musli, these permits are often issued about a year before or after the regional election. 

"This proves that there is a game between regents and businessmen," he said.

Walhi's findings also suggested that per every IUP issued, the regent allegedly receives a tribute of up to billions of rupiahs.

The Jambi province has issued a total of 398 IUPs, of which 198 are considered problematic as they are located in protected forests and overlap with one another. The Bungo district is reported to have 51 problematic IUPs of the 70 it had issued in total. In the Sarolangun district, 47 out of 83 issued IUPs are considered problematic.

Sarolangun district chief Cek Endra said he is reduced to headaches by this condition. "I might just revoke these problematic IUPs and not renew their licenses," he asserted.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The weakness of environmental laws has left mining unchecked in this province of Indonesia, resulting in 1M+ hectares of forest damaged. This can also happen in the Philippines if we don't remain vigilant. 

"According to Walhi's research, in the last ten years there has been a massive number of mining licenses and recommendations issued. According to Musli, these permits are often issued about a year before or after the regional election. 

"This proves that there is a game between regents and businessmen," he said.

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The Rise of El Niño in 1 Swell Image | Climate Central ("chances getting higher so we have to prepare")

The Rise of El Niño in 1 Swell Image | Climate Central ("chances getting higher so we have to prepare") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
A new satellite view shows ocean heights rising in the Pacific, another telltale sign of El Niño.

On Tuesday, NASA’s Earth Observatory released a map showing ocean heights in the tropical Pacific in early May compared to May 1997, the year an El Niño formed against which all other El Niños are measured. That year’s El Niño helped fuel extreme weather around the globe and contributed to 1998 being one of the warmest years in recorded history.

NASA’s image shows that while El Niño conditions haven’t yet formed, this year is following a trajectory similar to 1997.

El Niño is generally defined by an abnormal tongue of hot water stretching from the coast of South America into the Pacific Ocean. Currently, ocean surface temperatures in that region have been slowly warming, but they aren't close to El Niño levels yet.

The related measure of ocean height provides another way to look at El Niño and the conditions that precede it, and NASA’s satellites have captured a rise of water in the eastern Pacific. The map above shows areas where the ocean is higher than normal in reddish brown and lower than normal in green. The maximum rise is only about an inch off the coast of Central and South America, but that tiny tweak is a hint of bigger things underway.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Latest El Niño probability forecast at 75%.

"Scientists from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society issued a forecast on Thursday that shows the odds of El Niño being in place by this fall at 75 percent. While that’s high, it’s by no means a given."

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Thailand Restores Organic, Sustainable Farming Practices ("my kind of military rule; move Big-Ag")

Thailand Restores Organic, Sustainable Farming Practices ("my kind of military rule; move Big-Ag") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
The new military-led government in Southeast Asia’s Thailand has unveiled plans to support organic agriculture and sustainable agricultural reforms.

Following a May 22nd coup in Southeast Asia’s Thailand, the new military-led government has unveiled plans to support organic agriculture and sustainable agricultural reforms. This is an unprecedented departure from the unsustainable populist subsidies that proceeded it in Thailand, one which can be found in various degrees of malfunction around the globe.

The new military aims to support farmers who were cheated by the ousted regime’s failed subsidy program that left nearly a million rice farmers unpaid for rice they turned into government warehouses. General Prayuth says that he will replace the subsidized programs with a system that replaces Big-Ag, and localizes agriculture – making it more sustainable.

Furthermore, the new regime promises to:

Invest in failing national infrastructure.Build new irrigation channels.Use media outlets to broadcast pertinent information to farmers.Prevent exploitation of labor through ending land renting schemes.Install heavier taxes for wealthy land owners and speculators that leave land unused when it was meant for agricultural use.Help farmers produce healthier products for consumers.Reducing subsidies for unwanted produce that ends up rotting in warehouses instead of allowing farmers to grow what consumers really want.
Bert Guevara's insight:

This agricultural policy shift became possible in a military rule. Move aside Big-Agri. 

"The amended framework is based on the Thai King’s “New Theory” or “self-sufficiency economy,” and mirrors similar efforts found throughout the world attempting to break the back of the oppression and exploitation that results from dependence on a globalized system dominated by multinational corporate monopolies. This includes biotech monopolies over seed, and undue influence in government systems everywhere.

"It’s time we all focus on organic, self-sustaining farms to feed ourselves and the world."

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World Bank: Fighting Climate Change Would Boost Global Economy Up To $2.6 Trillion A Year ("let's go!")

World Bank: Fighting Climate Change Would Boost Global Economy Up To $2.6 Trillion A Year ("let's go!") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
A new World Bank report concludes that just a few key policies would boost the global economy up to $2.6 trillion a year by 2030 while significantly reducing carbon emissions.

The Bank finds that if all six embrace three sets of policies for clean transportation plus energy efficiency in industry in buildings, “the annual benefits of just these policies in 2030 include an estimated GDP growth of between $1.8 trillion and $2.6 trillion.” Furthermore, the report found that “these policies alone would account for 30 percent of the total reduction needed in 2030 to limit global warming to 2°C [3.6°F].”

The overall benefits are staggering, as these policies avoid 94,000 premature pollution-related deaths and 8.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions. They save nearly 16 billion kilowatt-hours of energy — roughly equivalent to taking 2 billion cars off the road.

This finding matches that of the recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report, “Energy Technology Perspectives.” The IEA found that an aggressive effort to deploy renewable energy and energy efficiency (and energy storage) to keep global warming below the dangerous threshold of 2°C would be astoundingly cost-effective, “resulting in net savings of $71 trillion” by 2050.

And both reports are in line with the latest finding by the world’s scientists and governments that stabilizing at 2°C would have a net effect on growth of 0.06 percent per year — essentially no effect at all compared to the staggering amount of climate damagesavoided.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Using the language of banking, it pays to spend on climate change action because it will translate to positive economics.

"Anyone who claims that avoiding catastrophic climate change would entail high net costs or significant economic losses is, well, simply denying what we know about economics and climate solutions."

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10 reasons to go green starting NOW ("our personal choices, though small, have a global impact")

10 reasons to go green starting NOW ("our personal choices, though small, have a global impact") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Have you been looking for a reason to go green? Look no further because we've got ten reasons lined up for you!

1. Real food is fuel for the body -- and the planet.

2. The average woman absorbs more than 4 pounds of cosmetics during her lifetime. Guys, you're not off the hook.

3. Making stuff takes lots (and lots and lots) of energy.

4. Clean, renewable power is already available to everyone.

5. Better transportation means less global warming.

6. Nature Recycles Everything. So Should People.

7. Your clothing choices impact more than just your appearance.

8. Water is not a renewable resource.

9. Greener goods are more humane.

10. There's nothing corny 'bout peace, love, and understanding.


Bert Guevara's insight:

The world is smaller than you can imagine -- there is no 'far away' place that has no impact on us.

"The truth is that everything single thing we do every day has an impact on the planet -- good or bad. The good news is that as an individual you have the power to control most of your choices and, therefore, the impact you create: from where you live to what you buy, eat, and use to light your home to where and how you vacation, to how you shop or vote, you can have global impact."

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Ghana environment pay cost of illegal mining ("small scale illegal mining wreck havoc to waterways")

Huge swathes of land and 75 percent of country's waterways have been polluted by unauthorised gold mining. Ama Boateng reports Subscribe to our channel http://bit.ly/AJSubscribe Follow...
Bert Guevara's insight:

Small-scale illegal mining, with poverty as an excuse, can cause irreparable damage to the environment. This video is a prime example of what is happening in many parts of the world, including the Philippines.

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How the insurance industry sees climate change ("extra premiums mean CC is not a hoax but so real")

How the insurance industry sees climate change ("extra premiums mean CC is not a hoax but so real") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Twenty years ago, I interviewed Frank Nutter, then and now president of the Reinsurance Assn. of America, on the threat climate change posed to the $2-trillion-plus global property and casualty insurance industry.

"It is clear," he said back then, "that global warming could bankrupt the industry."

But in the two decades since, the industry mostly limited itself to talk, sponsoring innumerable reports on the threat. Now a major insurance company has moved to protect itself, and it may be the most important milestone yet in the struggle to contend with global warming.

FOR THE RECORD:
Climate change: A June 17 Op-Ed article accurately reported on nine class-action lawsuits filed by insurance company Illinois Farmers against cities and counties for failing to take steps to prevent losses related to climate change. Farmers has withdrawn the lawsuits, saying it believes that its "policyholders' interests will be protected in the future" and that it hopes to continue "constructive" conversations with the cities and counties. The Op-Ed said Farmers is owned by Zurich Group. It is not; Zurich Group owns Farmers Management Co., which provides administrative oversight to Farmers. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

If insurance companies are charging for risks due to climate change, how can it be a hoax?


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Mangroves of E. Visayas need protection ("scientific approach needed for long-term")

Mangroves of E. Visayas need protection ("scientific approach needed for long-term") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
In the wake of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), the government allocated P347 million, since then increased to P1 billion, to rehabilitate mangroves in devastated areas.

Observations

1. The dominant naturally occurring mangrove species in Eastern Samar are “pagatpat” (Sonneratia alba) facing the open sea, “bakhaw” (Rhizophora apiculata and R. stylosa) behind pagatpat or along the leeward margin of islands; and “saging-saging” (Aegiceras floridum), and in Leyte are pagatpat and “piapi” (Avicennia marina, A. officinalis).

Plantations in both provinces are of bakhaw and nipa (Nypa fruticans) varieties.

2. Most of the mangrove stands in the 14 locations showed only partial to minimal damage, based on the presence of new shoots on defoliated branches and on branchless trunks of trees, to none at all.

3. Fringing mangroves (lining the shore) showed a pattern of greater damage in a) seaward (vs landward) plots; b) western (vs eastern) side; and c) planted (vs natural) stands.

4. Damage caused by factors other than Yolanda are:

* Encroachment of settlements of marginalized coastal dwellers who have no means to purchase land;

* Mangrove conversion to ponds which is illegal (under Republic Act No. 9171), e.g., in Ormoc City;

* Conversion to nipa plantations; and

* Reclamation (filled in with soil) in Carigara.

Bert Guevara's insight:

As in many environmental interventions by man, a scientific assessment is needed to achieve long-term success. This article makes significant recommendations which the government has to consider. We can't afford mistakes at this time.

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UN expecting to feed 6.5 million Ethiopians this year ("this is just one country getting hit by CC")

UN expecting to feed 6.5 million Ethiopians this year ("this is just one country getting hit by CC") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
The country has been hit by locusts, war in neighbouring South Sudan and sparse rainfall

The World Food Programme will help to feed nearly 6.5 million Ethiopians this year, the U.N. agency said on Tuesday, with the country hit by locusts, neighbouring war and sparse rainfall.

"We are concerned because there is the beginning of a locust invasion in the eastern part of the country, and if it's not properly handled it could be of concern for the pastoralist population living there," WFP spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs told a U.N. briefing in Geneva.

"And in the northern part of Ethiopia there has been less rain than average for the third or fourth consecutive year."

Ethiopia is also dealing with growing refugee numbers due to the conflict in neighbouring South Sudan, sapping WFP's budget for feeding new arrivals in the country, which is at risk of a shortfall as soon as next month.

More than 120,000 South Sudanese have crossed over into Ethiopia in the past six months, mostly women and children who are arriving "famished, exhausted and malnourished", WFP said in a statement.

Bert Guevara's insight:

With many countries experiencing vulnerability to Climate Change, the donor fatigue scenario is very real. How much more can the U.N. shoulder? The worse scenario is when the DONOR countries also become victims to Climate Change.

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Ecotourism projects eyed for Tawi-Tawi’s Turtle Islands ("pushing eco-tourism w/o disturbing habitats")

Ecotourism projects eyed for Tawi-Tawi’s Turtle Islands ("pushing eco-tourism w/o disturbing habitats") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Ecotourism projects eyed for Tawi-Tawi’s Turtle Islands - an Official Gazette PH Special Section

Ecotourism projects aimed to protect endangered marine species and help sustain community-based tourism enterprises are being developed on Turtle Islands, one of the world’s major nesting sites of marine turtles and located in the country’s southernmost frontier.

Turtle watching lounges, elevated wooden boardwalks, and several wooden cottages are among the ecotourism facilities that are considered on the islands of Taganak, Bakkungan, and Baguan, three of the six major islands that comprise the municipality of Turtle Islands.

The wooden boardwalks and turtle watching lounges will protect the green sea turtles from tourists who visit the islands to watch the reptiles lay their eggs at night. The facilities will also allow watchers to observe this rare experience without bothering the nesting creatures.

“Through these initiatives, the residents of Turtle Islands can earn sustainable livelihood by promoting this famous attraction, while ensuring the protection of the endangered species and their nesting sites,” said Luwahati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Eco-tourism shouldn't interrupt green turtle habitat.

"In a protected sanctuary on Baguan Island in the Municipality of Turtle Islands, green sea turtle hatchlings struggle their way to the sea. In 2012, protection and conservation efforts in the province of Tawi-Tawi helped produce a total of 1.44 million green turtle eggs from approximately 14,000 nests. Hatchlings face huge risks throughout their lives in the ocean with a survival rate (up to sexual maturity) of only one percent." 

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Let's Stop Searching For A "Messiah" And Build A Movement ("let's learn from the enemy's success")

Let's Stop Searching For A "Messiah" And Build A Movement ("let's learn from the enemy's success") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
The Right put its resources into long-term movement building ... and the Left puts theirs into candidates.

The Koch brothers, other billionaires and corporate groups have been remarkably successful in pushing Congress to pass legislation that helps their interests while hurting the rest of us. How did they do it? ...

The Kochs, other billionaires and the corporations put their money into think tanks, communication outlets, publishers, various media, etc. with a long-term plan to change the way people see things. This “apparatus” has pounded out corporate/conservative propaganda 24/7 for decades.

You can’t get away from it. The conservative movement rewards its friends and punishes, smears, intimidates, bullies, discredits and otherwise “neutralizes” its opponents. That is how they were able to get Congress to lower taxes on the rich and corporations, break unions, defund schools and the rest of the things that have made them so much money and wreaked havoc on the rest of us. The money was not for politicians who run for office today (not all of it, anyway); it was to build organizations to execute long-term strategies to get what they want tomorrow.

Bert Guevara's insight:

There is a school of thought which says that environmentalism can gain more ground if it builds a movement, rather than dwell on politics. Does this make more sense in the Philippines?

Finally, Rev. William Barber II gave a moral vision, talking about a “fusion” movement of black, white and all types of people coming together to fight for the things regular people need. “The movement is about the moral fabric of our society,” he said, and “I don’t want people to go left or right, I want them to go deeper into who we are called to be.”

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Environmental photographer of the year shows climate change issues across the world ("awesome pics")

Environmental photographer of the year shows climate change issues across the world ("awesome pics") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
Yet another photography prize and yet another commentary on the sad state of our earth.

The Environmental Photographer of the Year competition is a relatively new one (since 2007) but its raison d'etre is important. It was created to enable photographers to share images of environmental and social issues. With over 10,000 submissions this year, there is a clearly an interest and engagement with this subject.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Check out these awesome pictures depicting climate change issues.

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BusinessMirror - Managing Philippine islands’ biodiversity ("1 of 17 mega-diverse countries")

BusinessMirror - Managing Philippine islands’ biodiversity ("1 of 17 mega-diverse countries") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it

THE Philippines, an archipelago of 7,107 islands and islet, remains as one of the 17 mega-diverse countries in the world.

Yet, it remains as among the world’s biodiversity hot spots underscoring that protection against the many threats to the country’s unique flora and fauna cannot be overemphasized, Theresa Mundita Lim, director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), says.

Here is why: A total of 148 species are on the list of threatened Philippine fauna, which include mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, found across the country.  Of these, 24 are in the “critically endangered” category, including all species listed in Appendix I and 28 under the “endangered” category. This include all species listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species; 85 are under the “vulnerable” category; and nine more are in the “other threatened species” category.

The Philippines, having been tagged as one of the world’s richest in terms of biodiversity, is fifth in the number of plant species and maintains 5 percent of the world’s flora. It has high species endemism, which covers at least 25 genera of plants and 49 percent of terrestrial wildlife.

The Philippines is also fourth in bird endemism and has about 3,214 fish species, with about 121 endemic and 76 threatened species, according to data released by the DENR-BMB.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Information and education campaigns are still urgent in the drive to protect our biodiversity.

“That is why the DENR continues to engage people in the communities and partner with various local governments and the private sector for the protection of the country’s environment, and promote sustainable use of our natural resources,” she added.

"... But she said that anyone can help protect and conserve the country’s biodiversity through his or her own little way by planting trees; participating in river-rehabilitation efforts; practicing proper solid-waste management; conserving energy, paper and fuel; boycotting wildlife products; or simply turning off the lights and recycling; or better yet stopping the use of plastic bags."

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GreenWizard speeds green building product research ("thank God for hi-tech catalogs of green products")

GreenWizard speeds green building product research ("thank God for hi-tech catalogs of green products") | Earth Day Everyday Everywhere | Scoop.it
The software, covering 140,000 products from around 1,200 companies, is attracting high-profile design firms and commercial contractors.

Figuring out which building products and materials comply with certain environmental certifications and health declarations is a notoriously tedious task. GreenWizard hopes its software will make this research significantly less time consuming.

The tool enables architects, engineers and contractors to seek products that fit certain criteria, such as whether they carry Green Seal, Forest Stewardship Council, Cradle to Cradle or other eco-credentials. The software also tracks how these materials might affect a specific green building project's LEED construction status.

GreenWizard's approach apparently is catching on: The company works with seven of the top 15 U.S. design firms and four of the top 10 commercial contractors. So far, the platform has been used to source and evaluate materials for projects valued at more than $20 billion.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a new software, GreenWizard, which catalogs 140,000 products and helps architects, engineers and builders on deciding the "green" qualities of each one.

What will they think of next?

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