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Mangroves bring wildlife back to Senegal coast - The Malay Mail Online ("miracle of replanting")

Mangroves bring wildlife back to Senegal coast - The Malay Mail Online ("miracle of replanting") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Mangroves bring wildlife back to Senegal coast
The Malay Mail Online
Senegalese ecologist Haidar El Ali stands with militants asking for the reforestation of the mangrove in Tobor, on September 13, 2013.

“There has been nothing here since the 1960s and 70s. Replanting is bringing back the mangrove,” said Simeon Diatta, the chief of Diakene Diole village near the Guinea-Bissau border, pointing at riverside vegetation.

Since 2006, reforestation has revived 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of mangrove in Senegal — an area larger than the city of Paris — mainly in Casamance but also in the north and centre of the country, according to official figures.

“I am struck by the extraordinary success that this initiative represents,” French Development Minister Pascal Canfin said on a recent visit to Casamance, descriving the programme as “model for Senegal, Africa and the world”.

The swamps provide a nursery area for many marine species, most of which are important for food such as fish, crabs and shrimp.

In the nearby village of Diakene Ouolof, resident Mariama Tine said “everything was dead” before the replanting programme began.

“The mangroves stopped the advance of salt and we were able to recover rice fields. There were no fish here before but we are starting to get a lot of them, along with oysters and ark clams,” she said.

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Robert Redford is The Redwood — Nature Is Speaking ("when humans arrived, all hell broke loose!")

Robert Redford is The Redwood — Nature Is Speaking ("when humans arrived, all hell broke loose!") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

He’s been around longer than humans—will you listen? Robert Redford is The Redwood. www.natureisspeaking.org/redwood #NatureIsSpeaking

Bert Guevara's insight:

Listen to words of wisdom from the trees.

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Biotech Hit With Billion Dollar Lawsuit for 'Ruining Corn Industry' ("China rejects US corn exports")

Biotech Hit With Billion Dollar Lawsuit for 'Ruining Corn Industry' ("China rejects US corn exports") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Biotech giant Syngenta may have ruined the US corn industry with their GMO corn variety, and now they face billion-dollar class action suits.

Syngenta released its variety of GMO corn prior to it being approved for sale in China while making US farmers think it was going to be accepted. 

This billion dollar lawsuit comes on the heels of another. Cargill, the Big Ag giant, filed a lawsuit against Syngenta for $90 million this past September for damages against export trade losses due to China’s refusal of more than 1.4 million metric tons of corn when regulators there found traces of GMO Agrisure Viptera (MIR162), designed to create its own insecticide. 

The full complaint of the most recent lawsuit against Syngenta is as follows:

“(1) Syngenta’s release of Viptera corn into the U.S. corn and corn seed supply, which has destroyed the export of U.S. corn to China and caused depressed prices for all domestic corn; (2) Syngenta’s materially misleading statements relating to the approval status of MIR162 in China and the impact the lack of approval would have on the market; and (3) Syngenta’s widespread contamination of the U.S. corn and corn seed supply with MIR162, which will continue to foreclose the U.S. export market to China in future years and will continue to lead to lower corn prices per bushel in the U.S. market, as a result.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a serious lesson for the Philippine government, which is still entertaining GMO crops: GMO corn exports to China were rejected, bringing the US corn industry to a near collapse.

Let's get serious DA. First it was chemical fertilizers, now its GMO. Who wants to import crops grown from chemical fertilizers and pesticides or GMO?

Go ORGANIC!

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How plywood started the destruction of Indonesia’s forests ("another tale of greed and exploitation")

How plywood started the destruction of Indonesia’s forests ("another tale of greed and exploitation") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
'From 1967 to 1970, logging concessions covering over 53 million hectares were virtually gifted to global logging companies.'

Indonesia was once the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world (after the Amazon), a position it has relinquished to the rainforests of the Congo.

The flora of Borneo has about 15,000 species — richer than the whole continent of Africa, which is 40-times larger.

As many as 315,000 orangutans lolled in the branches of the giant dipterocarp forests in Borneo. Now it is estimated only 27,000 orangutans are left.

A comprehensive study of logging in Indonesia showed that in 3 years from 1967 to 1970, logging concessions covering over 53 million hectares were virtually gifted to global logging companies.

Mirroring practices honed in the Philippines, companies such as US Wyerhauser and Georgia-Pacific, and Japanese Mitsubishi were guaranteed the free repatriation of profits and tax holidays while, between 1969 and 1974, the export price of Indonesian logs rose 600%.

By 1979, Indonesia was the world’s leading producer of tropical logs, with 40% of the global market.

Apkindo flooded the world’s plywood export market. By 1987, Apkindo’s predatory pricing strategies had captured three quarters of the American import market, and 67% of the global market for tropical plywood with immense profits channeled to Hasan and Suharto’s inner circle.

By 1994 Hasan was one of the richest men on earth.

It was only at the turn of this century that someone finally looked at what was happening to Indonesia’s forest estate. The 2002 report "Where have all the forests gone" by Derek Holmes was shocking. It shows graphs of forest cover that slope inexorably toward zero.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This country is following the history of the Philippines in 20th century deforestation.

"Extrapolated downward, the slopes show no lowland rainforest for Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) by 2010, and no forests at all by 2035. In 2014 it’s not quite as bad as Holmes predicted but it’s pretty bad.

"Nearly 60% of Kalimantan’s lowland forest is gone, and any rainforest that remains is being cleared faster than ever to feed consumer demand for paper and oil palm."

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China reveals “magic” land treatment success. | Pollution | The Earth Times ("is harvest edible?")

China reveals “magic” land treatment success. | Pollution | The Earth Times ("is harvest edible?") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Little is known of the most highly-developed bacterial action against some heavy metals. Against organic toxins in oil they have been tried for decades, but extra safety precautions will be essential before crops can be used for human consumption. We have had enough of Minamata disease.

The worst pollution at the moment in China is caused by heavy metals: cadmium, mercury and copper, associated also with arsenic, contaminating 50 million hectares. The microbes are able to fix these poisons so that they are not available to plants, and reside in the soil just like the miniscule amounts in rock. With many farms closed down for this treatment, there must be worries that the treatment will work in the long-term, after flooding or if other bacteria reverse the process. However, the companies involved are in most cases capable of this bioengineering.

Earth Times is having a close look at the secretive technology. The closest we have is the rock-breathing bacterium, that can be used for this kind of function, although it is better known for oil spill clean-ups. It is related to iron bacteria, sulphur bacteria, nitrogen bacteria and other chemosynthesisers.

Farm production will rise by between 15 and 80% if the crops can be safely eaten. Even more land from oil-spill pollution could also be recovered in a similar way. Even there, though, there have been concerns that enough time needs to pass before bioremediation effectively removes enough toxins from the environment. New Zealand vets have reservations about food safety there, following oil contamination. With 12 million tonnes of rice and other staples polluted each year, the highly toxic heavy metals pouring into the Yangzi and other rivers also have to be stopped, of course.

Bert Guevara's insight:

With so much pollution contaminating agricultural land, China is attempting "bioremediation" or cleaning up the mess and replanting on them. But are their harvest safe to eat? (That's why I don't trust their exports.)

"The Chinese vice minister of land and resources, Wang Shiyuan, said that 3.3 million hectares of arable land is contaminated land, in grain-producing areas. We just hope he'’s willing to eat all his rice from there, when it is declared safe for human consumption."

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Giant Tortoises Are Back From Near Extinction ("human intervention can make positive results")

Giant Tortoises Are Back From Near Extinction ("human intervention can make positive results") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
There were only 15 about 50 years ago.

Between 1963 and 1974, conservationists brought the 12 female and three male surviving giant tortoises into captivity. Over 1,500 of their offspring have since been released onto the island, and the species’ survival no longer requires human intervention, scientists said.

“The population is secure. It’s a rare example of how biologists and managers can collaborate to recover a species from the brink of extinction,” said James P. Gibbs, the study’s lead author and a professor of at the State University of New York’s Environmental Science and Forestry, in a press release.

Reintroducing the giant tortoise population not only promotes biodiversity but also restores their position as “ecosystem engineers” who disperse seeds and other organisms, according to the report. While the population is stable, the number of Espanola giant tortoises is not likely to increase substantially until other problems in the environment, such as the overgrowth of woody plants, are resolved.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Good news for biodiversity! Humans can make positive impact on the environment, and this is one of them.

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Surge In Hydroelectricity Could Spell Disaster For Biodiversity - OilPrice com ("siting woes")

Surge In Hydroelectricity Could Spell Disaster For Biodiversity - OilPrice com ("siting woes") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
With around 3,700 hydroelectric dams under construction or in the planning stage worldwide, researchers have warned about the possible effects on biodiversity

Until recently there’s been a flattening trend globally in building hydroelectric dams, but now governments and utilities are building or planning about 3,700 major dams, most in the developing and emerging economies of Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.

Zarlf, of Tubingen University, cautions that the surge of development has a serious downside: The projects could reduce the number of the world’s free-flowing rivers by about 20 percent, threatening freshwater biodiversity, especially in these regions, which include some of the world’s key areas of freshwater biodiversity.

The study found, for example, that the greatest number of dams are planned for in India’s Ganges-Brahmaputra basin, and the Yangtze basin in China, both of which have among the highest rates of biodiversity in the world.

According to Zarlf, “It is vital that hydropower dams do not create a new problem for the biodiversity in the world’s freshwater systems, due to fragmentation and the expected changes in the flow and sediment regime.”

Zarlf said the purpose of the IGB study was not to oppose new hydroelectric dams, but to help evaluate where to build them and how so that they can be operated sustainably.

Klement Tockner, the director of the IGB project, agreed. “When building new dams, it is important to follow a systematic management approach that considers the ecological, social, and economic consequences of multiple dams within a river basin,” he said.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

The merits of hydropower to clean energy may be pulled down by biodiversity consequences. Building megadams is the culprit because its mere size affects the ecosystem of the area in so many ways.

“It is vital that hydropower dams do not create a new problem for the biodiversity in the world’s freshwater systems, due to fragmentation and the expected changes in the flow and sediment regime.”

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Over 3,600 native trees to be planted along SLEX ("healthy ecology, road safety & aesthetic value")

Over 3,600 native trees to be planted along SLEX ("healthy ecology, road safety & aesthetic value") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Motorists will soon enjoy the sight of over 3,600 native trees along the roadside at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). Last Saturday, the Department of En

Motorists will soon enjoy the sight of over 3,600 native trees along the roadside at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

Last Saturday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) provided 3,608 seedlings of Palawan cherry, alibangbang, bilitbitan, banaba, golden shower and narra trees to be planted along the southbound lane from Kimberly Overpass to the Saimsim Road Overpass.

It is part of a private sector-led “greening” initiative with the support of the government.

Rotary Club International spearheaded the tree planting in partnership with the Career Executive Service Board and the South Luzon Tollways Corp. (SLTC).

Since 2010, they have planted a total of 18,423 seedlings with a survival rate of 80 percent.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the annual event was a “valuable contribution” to the National Greening Program (NGP).

The government’s flagship reforestation program seeks to cover 1.5 million hectares with trees by 2016, he added.

Paje said the tree-planting activity promotes road safety, fosters a healthier ecology along the expressway, and enhances the road’s aesthetic value.

“Beyond the visual pleasure these trees give to motorists is the ‘gift’ they provide in terms of road safety given their role as natural windbreakers and for improving the SLEX’s micro-climate,” he said.

Trees provide shade, absorb car engine emissions and increase the amount of oxygen production, he added.

Bert Guevara's insight:

“Beyond the visual pleasure these trees give to motorists is the ‘gift’ they provide in terms of road safety given their role as natural windbreakers and for improving the SLEX’s micro-climate,” Sec. Paje said.

Trees provide shade, absorb car engine emissions and increase the amount of oxygen production, he added.

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The politics of biodiversity loss ("the public and political convincing is harder than factual proof")

The politics of biodiversity loss ("the public and political convincing is harder than factual proof") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
IF we are to mainstream biodiversity concerns into development planning, we must offer a compelling rationale and demonstrate biodiversity’s relevance to wealth generation, job creation and general human wellbeing. Only a persuasive “why” resonating throughout society will successfully get us to urgently needed negotiations of who, what, where, when and how to halt disastrous biodiversity loss.

Experts in a broad span of disciplines — taxonomists, agronomists, social scientists, climate scientists, economists and others — are working together to arm the public and their policymakers with relevant evidence on which to base decisions.

Scientists have authoritatively established links between biodiversity and climate change, food security, water security, energy security and human security.

In 2005, we published the landmark Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, elevating the issues to policymakers and decision-makers as never before. Involving more than 1,000 experts worldwide, it was hailed for its success as a platform to deliver clear, valuable, policy-relevant consensus on the state, trends and outlooks of biodiversity.

A need quickly became apparent for a sustained, ongoing mechanism to bridge the gap between policymaking and the scientific world’s ever-accumulating insights. In response, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was established in 2012.

Bert Guevara's insight:

As scientists are still convincing the world on the reality of climate change, the same challenge faces advocates of biodiversity protection.

"The dollar values of biodiversity and ecosystem services are difficult, but not impossible to quantify. In 1997, experts estimated the global value of ecosystem services at an average of US$33 trillion (RM108.5 trillion) per year. An update this year of that study nearly quadrupled the estimated annual value of those services to US$125 trillion."

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Green roofs are changing architecture: The Science Hills of Komatsu ("wonderful blending with nature")

Green roofs are changing architecture: The Science Hills of Komatsu ("wonderful blending with nature") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Strange things happen when roofs touch the ground.

Roofs used to be those inaccessible areas covered in tar and mechanical equipment; now they are the fifth facade, a major visual element in the building. Renderings that used to be shot from ground level are now all bird's-eye views. You may not be able to find the entrance but it sure looks great from a drone. (I am thinking of Zaha's latest)

However some architects are taking advantage of the green roof to do entirely new building forms, where the roof comes down to meet the ground and become part of the landscape. We have seen it with BIG's school in Denmark and my favorite, 

Now Designboom shows the Undulating Science Hills in Komatsu, by the Urban Architecture Office. It works much like the unbuilt Rimini Seascape, in that you can walk up and over the building.

A public rooftop garden spread across the upper surface both insulates the entirety of the structure and integrates the architecture of the building with the surrounding natural landscape. The flowing topography also serves as an architectural device to control light and direct rainwater for reuse as planting irrigation.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Architects are beginning to rediscover the functionality and aesthetic elements of designing with nature. With the current trend of expanding cities, due to climate change, it is unimaginable to build without blending nature into building designs, otherwise, we will have a concrete and glass jungle.

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Breathing forest: assessing climate change impact on Earth’s lungs (exhaling CO2?")

Breathing forest: assessing climate change impact on Earth’s lungs (exhaling CO2?") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Forests are the green lungs of our planet. During the day, trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we need to breathe. But at night, the process is reversed and the forest produces carbon…

All living organisms, including plants and soil bacteria, produce CO2 as part of their normal metabolism. Under sunlight, plants convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates, but at night photosynthesis stops and CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere.

Carsten Gruening believes the research could yield vital results in global warming research: “What we want to learn from these measurements is how this process is tied to changing climate conditions; if the temperature or water availability changes, how much will it affect the capacity of plants to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.”

Scientists will require years of continuous monitoring to collect the data that might show how forests gradually lose their capacity to store CO2. A better understanding of this process should help governments to take countermeasures.

“Our station is set up for a long-term monitoring of the CO2 flows, so we will be tracking the effects of climate change on the forest ecosystem in the next 10 years,” said Gruening.

“We would have to extend this research at a European and worldwide level to see how forests react to climate change, to global warming, and what their capacity to store CO2 in the future would look like.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

There is such a thing as plant stress where trees and vegetation can reach a point of becoming net emitters of carbon dioxide, instead of producers of oxygen. This will happen when we reach the point of too much carbon and extreme heat.

This is feared as a case of "runaway" global warming.

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Indonesia - Dayaks and Drones- How technology can promote sustainable forests and communities

Even a well-managed, recognised forest faces constant challenges but innovative drone GPS technology, cooperative campaigning, local government support and eco-tourism…

The indigenous Dayaks of Setulang village in Indonesian Borneo manage the surrounding forest conservation area, and they are hoping that drones can help them ward off illegal oil palm operations and protect their land. “Dayaks and Drones,” a video produced by Handcrafted Films, chronicles how the villagers teamed up with an Indonesian nonprofit to learn how to program and operate drones. Equipped with GPS technology, the small drones photograph the forest and monitor the area for illegal activities, especially plantations and mines.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Using technology to work for the environment. This saves in a lot of manpower to cover wide forest areas.

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60 Members Of Congress Urge EPA To Protect Pollinators ("bees now need gov't protection from man")

60 Members Of Congress Urge EPA To Protect Pollinators ("bees now need gov't protection from man") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
"Protecting our pollinators is essential to the health and future of our environment and our species."

On Tuesday, the lawmakers sent a letter to EPA Head Gina McCarthy urging her agency to consider banning or restricting the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on crops, due to scientific evidence that these pesticides have adverse effects on bees, butterflies and birds. The letter notes that the Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that it planned to phase out neonic use in National Wildlife Refuges by 2016, due to to the pesticides’ ability to potentially affect “a broad spectrum” of species in the refuges.

Besides a call to restrict use of neonics on crops, the letter contains multiple policy recommendations for the EPA, including a request that the agency consider impacts on the more than 40 pollinator species listed as threatened or endangered by the federal government before registering new neonic pesticides. The lawmakers also say the EPA should restrict use of neonics in commercial pesticides, which can be applied by anyone, regardless of whether they have a pesticide licence or not.

“Protecting our pollinators is essential to the health and future of our environment and our species,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who was a signatory on the letter, said in astatement. “I’m going to keep hammering away on this issue until we can ensure that the products we are using in our backyards and on our farms are not killing pollinators.”


Bert Guevara's insight:

We can call this government initiative the BEES PROTECTION PROGRAM - to protect bees from man!

"One 2013 study found that three species of bumblebees experienced a “rapid and recent population collapse” from 1872 to 2011, and another study from 2011 found that four bumblebee species in the U.S. have “declined substantially” over the last 20 to 30 years. Butterflies, too, are under pressure: Monarch populations have declined by 90 percent over the last two decades, mostly as a result of deforestation, removal of the milkweed on which the butterflies depend and changing weather patterns."

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World Food Day | WFP | United Nations World Food Programme - Fighting Hunger Worldwide ("October 16")

World Food Day | WFP | United Nations World Food Programme - Fighting Hunger Worldwide ("October 16") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

While chronic hunger keeps people from reaching their full potential, zero hunger changes everything. With it, children can afford to dream, communities can build self-sufficiency and developing countries can make the long-term investments that pay off for generations. This World Food Day,16 October, we’re highlighting how zero hunger is a missing piece to brighter futures around the world.

8 Things Zero Hunger Can Do For The World

1) Zero hunger could save the lives of 3.1 million children a year1

2) Well-nourished mothers have healthier babies with stronger immune systems

3) Ending child undernutrition could increase a developing country's GDP by 16.5 percent

4) A dollar invested in hunger prevention could return between $15 and $139 in benefits

5) Proper nutrition early in life could mean 46 percent more in lifetime earnings

6) Eliminating iron deficiency in a population could boost workplace productivity by 20 percent

7) Ending nutrition-related child mortality could increase a workforce by 9.4 percent

8) Zero hunger can help build a safer, more prosperous world for everyone

Bert Guevara's insight:

This World Food Day, 16 October, we’re highlighting how zero hunger is a missing piece to brighter futures around the world.

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Increased immunity in weeds may threaten U.S. crops - YouTube ("immuned monster weeds? bad for agri")

On Saturday, NewsHour Weekend traveled to Iowa to explore the widespread issue of herbicide-resistant and hard-to-control weeds. Millions of acres of farmlan...

Roundup use exploded in the mid-90’s with the introduction of new genetically modified crops that dominate the market today. The crops were engineered to withstand Roundup. So farmers could just spray an entire field, and the herbicide would kill the weeds, but not the crops.

Owen says it’s no mystery why this happened – it can all be explained by evolution. In Iowa, one of the weeds that’s evolved to be resistant is called “waterhemp.”

This is giant waterhemp, a weed we have down in southwest Iowa that’s become more tolerant. This plant, when it’s mature, will be, can get 5 to 6 feet tall, where it’s very heavy, you can have yields cut in half, 50 percent losses.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Not only is GM corn rejected an export product, they are beginning to develop a problem of herbicide-resistant weeds. I hope our own DA is not suckered into propagating these GM crops in the Philippines.

"The weeds are not just a problem in Iowa. In one survey, almost 50 percent of farmers across the U.S. reported herbicide-resistant weeds in their fields. The problem is worst in the south, where some cotton fields can’t be farmed. But the threat is creeping north into the corn and soybean belts."

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Tar Sands: Canada's First Nation Communities Are Paying the Price - YouTube

Dr. John O’Connor, a family physician in northern Alberta, is fighting to help the local First Nations battle the adverse health impacts of living in the sha...

In May, the United Nations called on the Canadian government to launch a special inquiry into the treatment of its First Nations. The U.N. said that more than half of all native people on government reserves face health risks due to contaminated drinking water. Environmental Defence, a Canadian environmental action group, has estimated that the tar sands tailings ponds are leaking a combined three million gallons of toxic sludge into the Athabasca River—every day.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Although far from the Philippines, this development has a negative global impact on the environment. The real price is too high to pay for cheap oil.

“The native people are dying,” musician Neil Young, an Ontario native, declared at a press conference in Washington, D.C. “All the First Nations people up there are threatened.”

The title of my Outside piece is “The High Cost of Oil.” It’s a price we might all pay, if the tar sands are fully developed and our climate faces the consequences. But for now, the First Nations of northern Alberta are covering the costs for the rest of us. 

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Judit Urquijo's curator insight, November 16, 3:10 PM

Canadá ha pasado en unos años de héroe a villano en temas medioambientales.

Su retirada en 2011 del Protocolo de Kioto alegando que era preferible invertir en el propio país a cumplir las obligaciones impuestas por un marco regulatorio internacional que consideran que no sirve para nada, marcó un antes y un después que certifican ahora con su política de explotación de recursos naturales.


Canadá es una de las principales potencias energéticas del mundo, pero el gran problema que tiene es que el crudo que almacena el subsuelo canadiense está en forma de arenas bituminosas. Gran parte de las explotaciones se concentran en la provincia de Alberta, al NO del país, más concretamente en la cuenca del río Athabasca.


Desde que empezó la extracción industrial de estos recursos energéticos (1967), los casos de cáncer han aumentado de forma exponencial en la zona, ocupada en gran medida por comunidades nativas. Las explotaciones han transformado el área de un atractivo enclave natural a un paisaje desolado más propio de Hiroshima, como denuncia uno de sus habitantes en este extenso artículo (no os perdáis las imágenes que ilustran el mismo).


¿El destino de estas arenas bituminosas? Pues gran parte de las mismas van a alimentar el polémico oleoducto Keystone, que unirá Alberta con Nebraska, de donde será transportado a las refinerías de Texas. 

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Invest now or face 'irreversible' effects of climate change, U.N. panel warns ("the I word's alarming")

Invest now or face 'irreversible' effects of climate change, U.N. panel warns ("the I word's alarming") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Climate change cost will only climb if industrialized nations fail to take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, U.N. panel warns.

The consequences of climate change go far beyond warming temperatures, which scientists say are melting the polar ice caps and raising sea levels. Click through the gallery for a look at 10 other key effects of climate change, some of which may surprise you.

Drought: In the coming decades climate change will unleash megadroughts lasting 10 years or more ...

Wildfires: There's not a direct link between climate change and wildfires, exactly. But many scientists believe the increase in wildfires in the Western United States is partly the result of tinder-dry forests parched by warming temperatures. 

Coral reefs: Scientists say the oceans' temperatures have risen by more than 1 degree Fahrenheit over the last century. It doesn't sound like much, but it's been enough to affect the fragile ecosystems of coral reefs, which have been bleaching and dying off in recent decades.

Food prices: A U.N. panel found in March that climate change -- mostly drought -- is already affecting the global agricultural supply and will likely drive up food prices. 

Pollen allergies: Are you sneezing more often these days? Climate change may be to blame for that, too. 

Deforestation: Climate change has not been kind to the world's forests. 

Mountain glaciers: The snows capping majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, once inspired Ernest Hemingway. Now they're in danger of melting away altogether. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

The word IRREVERSIBLE is coming closer to reality - that is alarming!

"The Synthesis Report finds that mitigation cost estimates vary, but that global economic growth would not be strongly affected," it said.

"Ban said it is a myth that fixing climate change will be expensive. Inaction will have large financial and societal costs, he said.

"He pointed to renewable energy and increased efficiency as two ways to address the issue."

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If we want to make climate action happen we need to hear about the solutions ("proclaim the good news")

If we want to make climate action happen we need to hear about the solutions ("proclaim the good news") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Mal Chadwick: Reports show the biggest threat to progress on climate change is cynicism. That’s why 10:10’s #itshappening project showcases positive action happening around the world now

As the RSA identified in a recent report, the real barrier to action on climate change is not climate scepticism but a sense that we can’t really do much to help. The biggest threat to progress is cynicism – resigning ourselves to climate change because we don’t think we’re up to the task of fixing it.

10:10’s #itshappening project offers a brighter view, showcasing positive practical climate action taken by people and communities around the world, as well as ambitious solutions being rolled out on a grand scale by government and businesses. The goal: to restore a sense of possibility to the climate debate, countering fatalism and isolation with hope and a feeling of shared endeavour.

Alongside concern about the consequences of inaction must come an optimistic sense that taking a low-carbon path is not just possible but often better; and that we are part of a global community walking it together. Polling we commissioned from ComRes showed that two out of three people would be more inclined to support climate action if they heard more about the solutions. And 71% say people are less likely to take action on climate change because they’re unsure of the difference their actions will make.

Bert Guevara's insight:

One major problem with climate action is reporting. As the media bombards us with the bad news, there is little momentum on the other side.

"There are many more stories out there. Nothing would make us happier to see the internet full of people sharing exciting carbon cutting projects we’ve completely missed."

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Salt Poisoning Costs Agriculture $27 Billion Every Year - Nature World News ("downside of irrigation")

Salt Poisoning Costs Agriculture $27 Billion Every Year - Nature World News ("downside of irrigation") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Imagine once healthy farmland rich with the signs of life reduced to a barren wasteland. Even as you walk across it, a strange white crust crunches under your feet, reminding you of the root of the problem: salt.

A team of international experts has now found that salt poisoning costs the world an additional 2,000 hectares of agricultural soil every day, and while some of this is natural, a large part can be blamed on irrigation.

Salt is naturally present in most soil already. However, if left to accumulate with the help of irrigation, increasingly high levels of salt can cut crop yields by 15 to 70 percent, and eventually render entire swaths of farmland unusable.

Now, a new agriculture assessment from the United Nations has found that salt poisoning is affecting more than a fifth of the world's irrigated soil, and is leading to a gradual loss in productive farmland.

The study, described in the journal Economics of Salt-induced Land Degradation and Restoration, was based on data compiled in an international effort by researchers from Canada, Jordan, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Paying special attention to instances of salt poisoning among irrigated cropland, agricultural and economic experts found that salt poisoning is costing the world a whopping $27.3 billion (USD) in lost crop production.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

With 2000 hectares of agricultural land "salted" everyday, this problem will just blow up in our faces one day,

"However, the authors are quick to add that "salt-affected lands are a valuable resource that cannot be neglected nor easily abandoned."

"To feed the world's anticipated nine billion people by 2050, and with little new productive land available, it's a case of all lands needed on deck," principal author Manzoor Qadir said in a statement. "We can't afford not to restore the productivity of salt-affected lands."

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The Fifth Estate | Bio-diversity and greening the cities “next big thing” ("building eco-systems")

The Fifth Estate | Bio-diversity and greening the cities “next big thing” ("building eco-systems") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Environmental sustainability news and discussion forum

A company that manages voluntary carbon offsets for a range of developers, councils and corporates, says “green infrastructure” or greening our cities and understanding the value of natural capital is the “next big thing”.

Wayne Wescott, chief executive of Greenfleet, has challenged developers, particularly those who work on the urban fringe, to come to grips with the need for biodiversity and green infrastructure.

These developers, he says, need to be part of a broader debate on the economic value of biodiversity and green infrastructure, and the role of forests in both carbon emissions abatement and in greening our urban environments.

“The [property] sector needs to meet and drive that. That’s leadership, and it needs to take that to the next level, looking at bigger ecosystem impacts and be part of the solution. I don’t suggest this is easy at all, but that’s what leadership is about.”

The organisation is undertaking work with Blue Carbon on examining the role of mangroves and seagrasses both in carbon mitigation and in terms of the value these types of coastal vegetation have in protecting coastal development for the impacts of natural disaster.

Wescott says the degree to which Phuket in Thailand was protected from the worst impacts of tsunami is a demonstration of the bottom-line value nature can add in terms of buffering areas.

“I’m unusual in that I’m quite optimistic, I’m optimistic that the fundamentals haven’t changed about the importance of biodiversity. I don’t think we translate the language of biodiversity very well, and I still think the struggle for us is to make sure decision-makers understand the value of ecosystem services.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Real estate development is beginning to come to grips with the inevitable role of biodiversity and green infrastructure in sustainable development. We can no longer confine development with steel and concrete.

"These developers, he says, need to be part of a broader debate on the economic value of biodiversity and green infrastructure, and the role of forests in both carbon emissions abatement and in greening our urban environments."

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Nature Is Speaking – Kevin Spacey is The Rainforest | Conservation International (CI) - YouTube

Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey, Edward Norton, Penélope Cruz, and Robert Redford all join forces to give nature a voice. Watch the films and take...
Bert Guevara's insight:

If man is so smart, why is he killing his source of oxygen?

"Nature doesn't need people. People need nature."

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Judit Urquijo's curator insight, October 24, 6:25 AM

Bajo este lema, actores y actrices tales como Harrison Ford o Julia Roberts ponen voz a diferentes ecosistemas o recursos naturales del planeta en un campaña impulsada por la organización Conservation International que pretende crear conciencia en torno al comportamiento del ser humano.


Al fin y al cabo, la naturaleza puede prescindir perfectamente de nosotros. Su evolución no depende de lo que hagamos o dejemos de hacer, Más bien al revés. Porque nosotros sí que necesitamos el aire que nos proporcionan los bosques, el agua que se precipita desde las montañas hasta nuestros mares o el suelo que permite que crezcan nuestras cosechas. Vivimos gracias a ello.


Por cada tuit en el que se emplee el hashtag #NatureIsSpeaking, la empresa Hewlett-Packard donará 1$ destinado a proyectos relacionados con la naturaleza.


El resto de los vídeos podéis verlos desde este enlace: http://natureisspeaking.org/

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A manifesto for solving the global food crisis ("production & distribution are keys to fight hunger")

A manifesto for solving the global food crisis ("production & distribution are keys to fight hunger") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
To celebrate World Food Day, here are key ways of promoting more sustainable food systems from building grain reserves to taxing pollution

United Nations’ data shows that we produce enough food for everyone to have an adequate diet, but poor distribution means that 805 million people are hungry while some 1.4 billion people are overweight or obese. We need to take the food we have and make sure it is distributed to those who need it most.

We propose helping small-scale producers, for example those in rural Africa, access markets. This will involve partnerships between local and international development agencies that can work with farmers to establish the skills and the infrastructure to market farm products. Reducing poverty in this way is a good way of ensuring food reaches those who need it most.

It’s also vital to build strategic grain reserves in famine-prone regions as a source of emergency food. This would require partnerships between non-governmental organisations, national governments and the World Food Programme.

None of these will be possible unless people everywhere demand that food be put on the public policy agenda. Therefore we must also develop educational programmes to increase food literacy skills by teaching gardening, food preserving, and cooking in schools so that consumers learn to enjoy a diet that is less taxing on the planet. And we need to engage younger people on agriculture and food security.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The UN now expects the global population to reach 11 billion by 2100. To meet this demand, we need to develop ways of producing more food while using fewer resources.

Although most experts agree local food systems cannot feed all of us all the time, local food is still extremely important. Local food empowers farmers, links producers and consumers, and provides a line of defence between consumers and international commodity markets.

Therefore, we should invest in mid-sized and regional food processing and distribution facilities such as vegetable processing factories, canneries, and abattoirs. This will provide smaller farmers access to markets as well as helping them add value to the products they produce.


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Welcome to Collectively - YouTube ("this is the best way to build a momentum for green initiatives")

http://collectively.org Collectively is where the power of positivity and collaboration make sustainability the new norm. Watch as we follow several young pe...

So they're teaming up with non-profit Forum for the Future to create their own dialogue in the form of a new site, called Collectively, targeted predominantly at millennials. Its mission: expose the most sustainable options and innovations from the worlds of fashion, food, design, architecture and technology, among other things.

Asked why this can't be accomplished through existing sites focused on green products or environmental coverage, Gardner and one of the site's sponsors pointed to the need to reach a broader audience that has yet to make up their minds but that could become a powerful voice.

"Our intent is not to reinvent the wheel," said Jeff Seabright, chief sustainability officer for Unilever (who held a similar position at Coca-Cola when the initiative got under way). "We just feel this is a real opportunity to create something where the sum is great than the parts."


Bert Guevara's insight:

This is what I meant when I said that a single green act, when multiplied a thousand times over -- DAILY or REGULARLY, is more effective than big programs done a few times. This group is doing it the right way. I will be glad to be part of this.

"Collectively will encourage readers to take action, whether that's by buying a sustainably designed and sourced product, investing in a company that has embedded triple bottom-line principles into its overall strategy, or campaigning via social media for causes they support."

Check their site:

http://collectively.org/en/


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Renewable energy contracts slammed in House of Commons ("not so fast for RE contractors; deal 1-sided")

Renewable energy contracts slammed in House of Commons ("not so fast for RE contractors; deal 1-sided") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Multi-billion-pound business contracts awarded to Drax Power Station and Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm could hike up energy prices, MPs have said.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said...

Committee chairman Margaret Hodge said: "The Department of Energy and Climate Change failed to adequately secure best value for consumers.

"Yet again, the consumer has been left to pick up the bill for poorly conceived and managed contracts.

"The department argued the early contracts were necessary to ensure continued investment. But its own quantified economic case shows no clear net benefit from awarding the contracts early."

The Contracts for Difference scheme was intended to make sure Britain met its 2020 green power targets.

She said: "If the department had used price competition, it should have led to lower energy prices for consumers."

She also believes little was done to make sure developers were offering value for money.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The bottom-line should still be in favor of the consumers, even if we are talking of renewable energy.

In the Philippines, I wonder what manner of valuation is being used by Malacañang to evaluate proposals for emergency power plants, now that the President will be given emergency powers to set up new power plants.

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This Chart Will Tell You Just How Quickly Which Nations Are Depleting Earth's Wildlife the Fastest

This Chart Will Tell You Just How Quickly Which Nations Are Depleting Earth's Wildlife the Fastest | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
A truly terrifying look at how we're destroying our planet.

The numbers are startling, none more so than the disparity between rich and poor countries. Richer countries have a footprint per person five times larger than poorer countries. But the total number of offending countries keeps rising overall, too. The WWF calls a country's demand for land and natural resources its "ecological footprint." This measures the area of land needed to regenerate the resources that humans in that country consume. The vertical green line in the chart below represents the world's average ability to meet human demand; everything to its right is exceeding it. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Mankind is living today as if there was no tomorrow.

"To put that in another context, if everyone in the world lived like Americans do, we'd need four Earths just to sustain their lifestyles. Together, the world needs 1.5 Earths to match the demands we're making of it."

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Earth lost 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF ("greatest massacre of the ages!!!")

Earth lost 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF ("greatest massacre of the ages!!!") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Species across land, rivers and seas decimated as humans kill for food in unsustainable numbers and destroy habitats

The number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis. Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats, the research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found.

“We have lost one half of the animal population and knowing this is driven by human consumption, this is clearly a call to arms and we must act now,” said Mike Barratt, director of science and policy at WWF. He said more of the Earth must be protected from development and deforestation, while food and energy had to be produced sustainably.

The fastest decline among the animal populations were found in freshwater ecosystems, where numbers have plummeted by 75% since 1970. “Rivers are the bottom of the system,” said Dave Tickner, WWF’s chief freshwater adviser. “Whatever happens on the land, it all ends up in the rivers.” For example, he said, tens of billions of tonnes of effluent are dumped in the Ganges in India every year.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Species across land, rivers and seas decimated as humans kill for food in unsustainable numbers and destroy habitats.

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