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Ayala Foundation Holds 5th Recyclables Fair

Ayala Foundation Holds 5th Recyclables Fair | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

Last September 9, 2011, the Ayala Foundation held its annual Recyclables Fair at the Glorietta 3 Parkway, Makati Commercial Center, Metro Manila.

The event included exhibits of the participating local government units like Makati, Muntinlupa, Quezon City; and subdivisions in Makati, plus commercial companies involved in the recycling advocacy. Now on it's 5th year, the green advocacy of the foundation has reached a wider sector of the city. Congratulations!

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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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Is this truly a maintenance-free house? ("looking for the design with the least carbon footprint")

Is this truly a maintenance-free house? ("looking for the design with the least carbon footprint") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Part of a fascinating experiment in Denmark, Arkitema Architects have designed a house that is supposed to last 150 years.

The Innovative Maintenance-Free House, by Arkitema Architects, is one of two houses designed with the goal of lasting 150 years, with minimum maintenance for the first fifty. "The house was to be built of new and innovative materials that still have to prove their durability and reliability over time – or at the very least, the construction of the building had to be innovative."

The house was prefabricated off-site to "ensure the necessary precision in the building components," and assembled in two days. So how do you make a wood house maintenance-free? According to Realdania

The whole house is enclosed in sheets of glass, on the sloping roof and on the vertical facades, protecting all degradable building components against rain. The wooden structure also had to be adequately ventilated in order to keep it dry, which is why the house is lifted half a meter [it says 30cm, or 1 foot, elsewhere] off the ground on stilts of concrete and why there is a gap between the plywood structure and the glass skin. The gap creates a natural chimney effect, sucking in air at the bottom and letting it out at the top of the roof. No complicated mechanical ventilation system is needed – natural forces are at work here.

In Archdaily, the architects note that doors and windows are pulled back from the facade to protect them from the elements, which is good established practice. They claim that the recycled glass skin is indestructible. But can this glass skin actually protect the building?

Bert Guevara's insight:

Architecture with the least carbon footprint still in progress.

"The impetus has been to demonstrate five extreme ways to reduce the CO2 footprint in five different houses, as a basis for developing the sixth house; a single-family Mini- CO2 standard house, combining all the lessons learned."

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COP 12 - Convention on Biological Diversity begins in Seoul ("onward in decade of biodiversity")

COP 12 - Convention on Biological Diversity begins in Seoul ("onward in decade of biodiversity") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

Some 20,000 government officials, environmentalists and businesspeople from around the world gathered in the eastern city of Pyeongchang on Monday for a U.N. environmental convention on biodiversity, the environment ministry said.

The 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, dubbed COP 12, kicked off with a ceremony for a 19-day run, with about 20,000 representatives from 194 countries attending, the ministry said.

During the conference themed "Biodiversity for sustainable development," the participants will address agenda items that include a midterm evaluation of a 2011-2020 strategic plan for biodiversity and the application of the biodiversity goals to the post-2015 U.N. sustainable development goals.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), informally known as the Biodiversity Convention, was adopted at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNECD) held in Brazil in 1992 to address environmental problems facing the planet.

The multilateral treaty handling all aspects of biological diversity, including genetic resources, species and ecosystems, is one of the three U.N. conventions aimed at protecting the environment along with the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention to Combat Desertification.

Bert Guevara's insight:

We hope that this conference achieves better results for the survival of the species on this planet, including mankind.

"South Korea will make it an eco-friendly conference and a chance to enhance the value of preserving biological diversity in the world," said Kim Sang-hoon, director general of the Korean Secretariat of the U.N. Biodiversity Conference 2014.

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U.S. joins other nations in deforestation accord at UN summit ("but where is China, India and Brazil?")

U.S. joins other nations in deforestation accord at UN summit ("but where is China, India and Brazil?") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Moving to halt a powerful contributor to climate change, the United States has joined more than 110 corporations, civil society groups and governments to launch a global initiative to reduce deforestation sharply over the next 15 years, with the goal of eliminating the practice by 2030.

The “New York Declaration on Forests,” unveiled at the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, would reduce between 4.5 billion and 8.8 billion tons of greenhouse gases annually, according to the United Nations Development Program. The effort would be equal to “removing from the road every car in the world, or not burning a trillion pounds of coal, or turning off every smokestack and tailpipe” in the U.S., the UNDP said.

Crafted as a marquee initiative at a summit long on rhetoric but short on concrete steps, the new deforestation initiative goes further than previous efforts, in the scope of participation and targets. Besides the U.S., participating states include wealthy nations that could help fund reforestation efforts, such as Canada, European Union members, Norway and the United Kingdom. Countries where deforestation is widespread, such as Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, have also signed on. Corporate participants include Walmart, McDonald's, Danone, L’Oreal, agricultural giant Cargill and Asia Pulp and Paper, which until recently had been responsible for widespread deforestation.

Yet from the outset, problems in the initiative have emerged. China and India, two of the three largest carbon polluters in the world, have not signed on, though other participants can join later. Brazil, where deforestation is on the upswing after years of decline, has also declined to participate.

Bert Guevara's insight:

All that is needed now is political will.

"The effort would be equal to “removing from the road every car in the world, or not burning a trillion pounds of coal, or turning off every smokestack and tailpipe” in the U.S., the UNDP said."

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Philippines sets new tree-planting world record - YouTube (3 million trees in 1 hour vs climate change)

The Philippines grabbed the world record from India according to the number of trees planted in an hour through "tree-volution." This is done in whole Mindanao to prevent climate change.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

3M trees planted in one hour in Mindanao!

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PIA | DENR sets out roadmap to inclusive growth via biodiversity conservation ("more partners needed")

PIA | DENR sets out roadmap to inclusive growth via biodiversity conservation ("more partners needed") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Philippine Information Agency, the development communication arm of the Philippine government, member of the Presidential Communications Group

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said the Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (PBSAP), which was launched recently at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City, is a strategic plan that highlights key initiatives that the department will aim to complete within the next 15 years, with the help of its partners and stakeholders.

The roadmap sets "clear directions on how we can achieve sustained growth but with clear warning signs if we overstep our so-called development activities," Paje said during the launch, which was attended by environmental advocacy partners from both public and private sectors, as well as by Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on environment.

Paje described the PBSAP as a plan that identifies the need for ecosystem approach; recognizes humans as an integral component of many ecosystems; balances the values of conservation, sustainable use, and the fair equitable sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources; and considers all forms of relevant information including scientific and indigenous local knowledge, innovations and practices.

According to the environment chief, the PBSAP is consistent with the "Philippine Development Plan chapter on sustainable and climate-resilient environmental and natural resources, which points to inclusive economic growth that is not at the expense of our natural wealth."

Bert Guevara's insight:

Biodiversity is as important as Climate Change. The survival of the species cannot be set aside in the name of "development."

"He said the roadmap includes four additional themes to address ecosystem concerns. These are agrobiodiversity, urban biodiversity, access and benefit sharing, and invasive alien species (IAS)."

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Climate-proofing rice farming in Vietnam - YouTube ("it's sad that they had to resort to GM rice")

It’s flood season in the lower Mekong Delta. Yet while the 17 million farmers living on the Delta in Vietnam’s southern-most tip - where 60 percent of the co...

Increasing salt water intrusion affects the operation of sluice gates, and infrastructure projects like sluice gates and dykes intended to protect rice crops from rising water levels. It also increases river pressure. By 2030, it is projected that salt water could contaminate 41 percent of the entire Delta. Switching crops is not an option for many farmers who have grown rice for generations. Rice is also a central food security crop and export earner in Vietnam – with 6.7 million tons exported in 2013, fetching around US$2.9 billion in earnings. Using a scientific process known as marker assisted back-crossing, researchers have identified favorable traits, such as high-yielding, well-adapted rice varieties, and combined them with other favorable traits to create more robust, elite rice varieties.

Based on project reports, in total, 36 single and multiple crosses have been made to combine submergence, salinity tolerance, stagnant flood tolerance, and high grain quality into high-yielding genetic backgrounds. Dr Nguyen Thi Lang, professor at the Delta’s Cuu Long Rice Research Institute, another research partner, explains, “We release the improved rice varieties to local breeding and agricultural extension centers which multiply and provide them to farmers in their areas.” 

Bert Guevara's insight:

The Vietnamese are already adapting to predicted Climate Change impacts to their rice industry. They have created a rice variety that can survive the anticipated impacts. (In the Phil., we are still deliberating on the National Zoning Law because landowners want to convert agricultural lands to residential, commercial and industrial.)

"Based on project reports, in total, 36 single and multiple crosses have been made to combine submergence, salinity tolerance, stagnant flood tolerance, and high grain quality into high-yielding genetic backgrounds."

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Ambitious plan to end forest loss announced at UN Climate Summit ("there is also a need to reforest")

Ambitious plan to end forest loss announced at UN Climate Summit ("there is also a need to reforest") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
A massive public-private partnership pledges over $1 billion to cut deforestation and mitigate climate change.

The ambition of this plan matches the importance of protecting forests, which is an important factor in curbing carbon emissions. Forest clearing is responsible estimated for emitting over 4.5 billion tons of carbon every year. Stopping deforestation has emerged as a particularly cost-effective means of reducing emissions.

A coalition of indigenous leaders from Asia, Africa, Central America and the Amazon Basin pledged to protect the over 400 million hectares of tropical forests under their jurisdiction, a carbon sink worth over 70 gigatons. Peru, Chile, Indonesia, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are among the 31 countries endorsing the declaration.

Just as importantly, a significant number of companies also support to the agreement, which means eliminating products associated with deforestation from their supply chains by 2020. Some companies have set their targets even sooner, like Unilever’s promise to be deforestation-free by 2015.

“Business will be increasingly held to a higher level of accountability,” said Unilever CEO Paul Polman yesterday at an event held by the Climate and Land Use Alliance. “I’m encouraged by the number of companies who are signing up.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

"A new partnership between governments, businesses and indigenous leaders aiming to reduce forest loss was announced at today’s UN Climate Summit in New York City. The “New York Declaration on Forests” aims to cut the rate of forest loss in half by 2020 and end deforestation by 2030."

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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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Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow | Google Science Fair 2014 Global Finalists - YouTube

Irish teenagers Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow, all 16, have won the Google Science Fair 2014. Their project, Combating the Global Food Crisis, aims to provide a solution to low crop yields by pairing a nitrogen-fixing bacteria that naturally occurs in the soil with cereal crops it does not normally associate with, such as barley and oats. The results were incredible: the girls found their test crops germinated in half the time and had a drymass yield up to 74 percent greater than usual.

The girls decided to experiment with the effects of rhizobia on non-leguminous plants. After trialing over 10,000 barley and oat seeds, the results were astonishing. Two types of rhizobia in particular showed great potential for agricultural use. In their submission to the Fair the girls stated: “These results have significant potential for increasing yields of food crops and reducing losses due to adverse weather conditions. They also offer opportunities for reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture by reducing fertilizer usage. As demand for cereals increases with population growth, this discovery could act as a partial solution to the impending food poverty crisis. There is potential for future work in this area and we plan to investigate the biochemical mechanism involved and carry out more extensive field trials.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Using only natural elements, they were able to cut germination time in half and yields increased by 75%. Developments like these make organic agriculture more viable in a climate changing world. This can also be applied to urban small-scale agriculture.

"One day Hickey pulled up some pea plants from her garden and brought them in to discuss strange nodules on the roots with the girls’ science teacher. Peas, like other leguminous plants, have a symbiotic relationship with diazatrophic rhizobia bacteria found in soil. This relationship leads to nitrogen fixing in the soil, which can reduce the need for added chemical fertilizers."

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Cargill promises to stop chopping down rainforests. This is huge. ("corp giants make solid pledge?")

Cargill promises to stop chopping down rainforests. This is huge. ("corp giants make solid pledge?") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The agribusiness giant signs a pledge to stop contributing to deforestation worldwide -- if they're successful, the reductions in carbon pollution are on par with taking all the cars in the world o...

The first notice was a press release from the Rainforest Action Network informing me that Cargill, the agribusiness giant, had pledged “to protect forests in all of Cargill’s agricultural supply chains and to endorse the New York Declaration on Forests.” Cargill has a big handprint — they have soy silos in Brazil and palm oil plants in Malaysia. So as of now, if you want to carve a farm out of the jungle, you’re going to get the cold shoulder from a company that is a prime connector to world markets.

And this isn’t limited to hot-button crops like soy and oil palm. Here’s what Cargill’s CEO Dave MacLennan said at the U.N.: “We understand that this sort of commitment cannot be limited to just select commodities or supply chains,” said MacLennan. “That’s why Cargill will take practical measures to protect forests across our agricultural supply chains around the world.”

It’s not just Cargill. Kellogg’s, Unilever, Nestle, Asia Pulp and Paper, General Mills, Danone, Walmart, McDonalds, and many other corporations have committed to the New York Declaration on Forests. But, here’s why Cargill is interesting: It’s making a concrete pledge, while the actual declaration is pretty mushy at this point. The declaration calls for ending forest loss by 2030.

Bert Guevara's insight:

It’s not just Cargill. Kellogg’s, Unilever, Nestle, Asia Pulp and Paper, General Mills, Danone, Walmart, McDonalds, and many other corporations have committed to the New York Declaration on Forests. ...

"Of course, Cargill could say all these nice things and then do nothing. But that would be a lousy PR strategy. If it doesn’t follow through, it goes from being just another business-as-usual foot-dragger in the crowd to a recalcitrant liar that put a spotlight on itself. Activists have been pressuring Cargill for years, and now that it’s made itself news, journalists like me are going to be watching its environmental progress."

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World Tourism Day (WTD) 2014 | Politics | The Earth Times ("theme: tourism & community development")

World Tourism Day (WTD) 2014 | Politics | The Earth Times ("theme: tourism & community development") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Celebrate your holiday to distant parts or plan one based on the ideas of World Tourism Day !

When we celebrate an international day or a UN special day, the usual call is for help or protection. In the case of vacations and tourism, it represents the major industry of many nations with an income of $1.4 trillion in export earnings. Our interest lies in eco-tourism however, which certainly needs more advertising in the more remote and unknown parts of the earth. The key is development, which usually destroys communities and wildlife, but can be harnessed to conserve and protect land ownership or human rights.

The World Tourism Organisation is now a UN entity, involving 156 countries, and therefore bends to different annual themes. This year Tourism and Community Development became the dominant idea, trying to empower people with the skills to change their local environment in the way they wish. That would certainly be something to celebrate today, given the awful alternatives.

Taleb Rifai s the Secretary General of this UN organisation and he puts it this way: “Tourism is a people-based economic activity built on social interaction, and as such can only prosper if it engages the local population by contributing to social values such as participation, education and enhanced local governance. At the same time, there can be no real tourism development if such development damages in any way the values and the culture of host communities or if the socio-economic benefits generated by the tourism sector do not trickle down to the community level“. Last year Cintia Oliva from Chile won a first blogging competition for thee UNWTO, talking about the ancient Bribri culture of Costa Rica and their adaptation to modern life. Nguyen Thi Ba from Vietnam has his contribution here too as- How Tourism Changed My Life.

Bert Guevara's insight:

"This year Tourism and Community Development became the dominant idea, trying to empower people with the skills to change their local environment in the way they wish. That would certainly be something to celebrate today, given the awful alternatives."

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Why Are Christians so Bad on the Environment Issue? Because We Have No Spirituality of Creation

Why Are Christians so Bad on the Environment Issue? Because We Have No Spirituality of Creation | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Wendell Berry says "There are no sacred and unsecured places, there are only sacred places and desecrated places." Christians should be leading the way on the stewardship of the earth's resources. Instead we are leading the charge, exploiting the earth to meet our limitless human desires. The problem is that we have no spirituality of creation.

We have to become students of our societies, and understand what our contemporary industrial world is doing to the planet. This coincides to the call for Israel’s king to remain a student of the law.

Read up on the environment. Watch movies. Read articles and books. And, as you read try not to pivot to your favorite political ideology. Above all, involve the scriptures. Here are four quick issues you could focus on.

Population growth: In 1804 there were 1 billion people on the earth. Today there are 7 billion. Five out of seven billion lack basic things like food, water, shelter, education, healthcare, and peace.Depletion of Natural Resources: Our world runs on fossil fuels. Trace anything you do back up the line and at some point you will find a fire. Fossil fuels will one day run out. There are other natural resources that are being dissipated as we speak. Learn about the forests, the ocean, animal habitats, the atmosphere,Waste disposal: Manufacturing, packaging, consumption, planned obsolescence it all produces waste. We are slowly running out of safe places to put it that are safe. Chemicals from manufacturing, refrigeration, propellants are building up in groundwater. Learn about it.Climate Change: The world is getting hotter… this is the most serious problem of them all. The planet is changing. Dramatically. Rapidly. Some say the problem is man made, some say isn’t. But for the Christian, it shouldn’t matter. Our job is to be faithful whether or not it makes a difference on Global Warming.

These 3 disciplines—Sabbath, simplicity, study—could form the beginning of aSpirituality of creation. These simple spiritual practices can train us to participate in our God given vocation to care for creation.

Bert Guevara's insight:

“There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.” We could use with more sacred places & fewer desecrated places, yeah?

Christians should be leading the way on this, shifting from exploitation to stewardship; not for political reasons, but as a matter of stewardship. Every day is a chance to shift toward stewardship & discipline in terms of the way we care for creation. Our presence in any place, our stewardship of that place becomes an act of worship, making that place the place of a sacred encounter with the creator.

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How Crop Rotation can Surpass GMOs in the Agriculture ("let's go back to basics: crops grow in season")

How Crop Rotation can Surpass GMOs in the Agriculture ("let's go back to basics: crops grow in season") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Genetically modified foods are grown under the mono-cropping agricultural model, but crop rotation is a more viable and effective way of farming.

Mono-cropping causes increased plant disease, the doubling over of pests, and the intensive application of commercial fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides to grow anything. It also relies on heavily mechanized farming methods and requires lots of water -a precious commodity. Our world is now covered with GMO soy, rice, corn, and other ‘staple’ foods grown in a mono-crop environment. but this isn’t the only way. Crop rotation has been used for centuries as a more viable and effective way of farming, and it doesn’t require GMO seed.

Large scale, commercially driven agriculture is poisoning the planet. It has no regard for public health, but feeds the bottom line of several small companies that have monopolized the agricultural landscape.

Crop rotation has been practiced since at least 6000 BC. Our planet has a long history of feeding its people – even with drought, floods, and other weather anomalies – without GMOs. The Roman Empire, was in fact, very successful in feeding its growing population utilizing crop rotation.

There are very simple reasons for practicing crop rotation:

Crop rotation keeps the soil fertile without having to use commercial fertilizers.It improves harvest quantities and the quality of the food harvested.Crop rotation reduces pests naturally. 
Bert Guevara's insight:

Since there is such a thing as crops in season, why do we not rotate the planting of crops and follow the laws of nature.

This will happen if consumers will also respect the seasonal availability of crops. The commercial demand for year round availability of crops puts pressure on suppliers and growers to override the laws of nature.

Aside from commercial-scale plantations, the temptation to alter the genetic make-up of cash crops to satisfy the consumers.

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Liberia in 'trees for cash' deal ("Norway will pay this country $150m to stop deforestation by 2020")

Liberia in 'trees for cash' deal ("Norway will pay this country $150m to stop deforestation by 2020") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Liberia is to become the first nation in Africa to completely stop cutting down its trees in return for development aid.

There have been fears that the Ebola crisis would see increased logging in a country desperate for cash.

Norwegian officials confirmed details of the deal to the BBC at the UN climate summit in New York.

Liberia's forests are not as big as other countries but the country is home to a significant part of West Africa's remaining rainforest, with about 43% of the Upper Guinean forest.

It is also a global diversity hotspot, home to the last remaining viable populations of species including western chimpanzees, forest elephants and leopards.

But since the civil war ended in 2003, illegal logging has become rife.

"The partnership's commitment to respecting and protecting community's rights with respect to forests is laudable."

Experts believe that Liberia has turned to logging as a way of raising cash in difficult times. With the current Ebola outbreak having a significant economic impact on the country, the Norwegian deal is timely.

"Our hope is that the situation there now will be contained and resolved," said Mr Frolich Holte.

"But we also need to give Liberia a long term hope for development and that is what this rainforest money will provide for them, a long term vision for a country with reduced poverty and reduced deforestation."

With widespread corruption and a government struggling to impose its authority, campaigners recognise that stopping all the logging in Liberia will not be easy.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Paying off the illegal logger to stop cutting trees?

"There is the potential for this to go wrong, both Norway and Liberia will have to make sure that this deal does not get affected by corruption, but I am cautiously confident it can be done," said Patrick Alley, the director of campaign group Global Witness.

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