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Catholic Climate Covenant

Catholic Climate Covenant | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
“@CatholicClimate: Pope JPII: “The ecological crisis is a moral issue.” http://t.co/l51m5zRI AND http://t.co/rGVnandc #Catholic”...
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Earth Citizens Perspective
Developments affecting the environment worldwide
Curated by Bert Guevara
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Environmentalists Attacked for Protecting One of the Ocean's Most Endangered ... - TakePart

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

Who is the worse animal?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch and learn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

How much are bees worth to the economy?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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


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

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

One Straw Revolution - by Masanobu Fukuoka

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

The "One Straw Revolution".


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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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The Future of Farms ("driven by necessity, farming has to invade the city to sustain its population")

The Future of Farms ("driven by necessity, farming has to invade the city to sustain its population") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Why agriculture may someday take place in towers, not fields

The future of farming is looking up—literally, and in more ways than one: There are grow towers, rooftops, and industry talk of Waterworld-style “plant factories” in futuristic floating cities. And this vertical movement is happening for a variety of reasons. For one, by prioritizing localized operations, it offers a remedy to the mounting economic difficulties that independent farmers face when otherwise so easily underpriced by Big Ag. But more importantly, it’s rising out of environmental concerns—space, soil health, climate change, vital ecosystems decimated by monoculture. According to the professor of environmental health sciences Dickson Despommier in his article “The Vertical Farm: Reducing the Impact of Agriculture on Ecosystem Function and Services,” we should expect over the next 50 years for the human population to reach 8.6 billion, requiring an additional growing area “roughly the size of Brazil.”

In effect, the crops grow upward, maximizing the limited space within the climate-controlled walls of the greenhouse. The crops are fertilized and irrigated by deep-blue tanks of living tilapia, swimming around just out of sight. The fish tanks are rigged into part of a system that uses principles of hydroponics and aquaculture: one, the practice of using mineral-nutrient solutions in water for soil-less growing, and the other, the practice of using aquatic-life byproduct to fertilize. The waste of the tilapia is broken down, absorbed by the plants for food, and then the water is recirculated through the crops. The result? Bright Agrotech uses only 60 gallons of water a day, or about 22,000 a year (which, if you compare to water use in the average American household—400 gallons a day for a family of four—isn’t bad.) Plus a conventionally grown plot of that size would require 20 times that amount annually, according to Storey, and traditional commercial ag loses half of its water to evaporation, run-off, and flood irrigation.

Bert Guevara's insight:

There is a new development in urban agriculture which goes beyond being green. New economic realities make it sustainable.


"Storey says that while vertical aquaponics and hydroponics is no doubt a response to environmental concerns, the approach is also business-driven. “Energy is expensive, so reducing reliance on traditional energy sources is not just more environmentally sound but also economically sound,” he says. “Part of reducing energy inputs is tripling our production per square foot. It means that we can reduce our energy consumption per unit of output by 66 percent.” In other words, the small farmer has fewer overhead costs."

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More CO2 = More Pollen | Climate Central ("bad news for allergy sensitive people")

More CO2 = More Pollen | Climate Central ("bad news for allergy sensitive people") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Climate change has increased pollen counts and the length of the pollen season, trends that are expected to continue through mid-century.

The arrival of spring is kind of a good news/bad news story. The good news is that spring brings warmer weather and blossoms everywhere, as trees and flowers wake up from hibernation. But that’s also the bad news, at least for anyone who suffers from spring allergies. All of that flowering and leaf-opening means pollen will be filling the air and creating a yellow haze on cars — followed by sneezing, dripping, sinus-clogging misery for millions of Americans. Now here’s the worse news: rising carbon dioxide levels, mainly due to human-induced emissions, are increasing pollen production.

When scientists put plants in a growing chamber to test varying levels of CO2 on pollen production, the changes were significant — as the graphic above shows. Pollen production was more than twice as great when the chamber was set to 1999 CO2 levels (around 370 parts per million, or ppm) as it was when it was set to pre-industrial levels (about 280 ppm). And when the scientists cranked it up to 600 ppm, where things could be heading by the year 2060 (assuming we don’t curb CO2 emissions, that is), pollen production nearly doubled again.

Climate change is adding to the allergy season in another way, too. Generally higher temperatures over the past few decades, mainly due to rising levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, have extended the frost-free season and madespring come earlier on average (although not this year in the East) — lengthening the pollen season. One study shows how the pollen season has been extended by as much as 10-21 days from 1995-2013 across northern Arkansas up into the Great Lakes. In fact, that study suggests higher latitude locations have extended their pollen season more than lower latitudes, where central Texas recorded a 1-day decrease in pollen season.

Bert Guevara's insight:

I have recurring allergic rhinitis, which I noticed to be occurring more often as years go by. This explanation of carbon-induced pollination is bad news for me. Can I just sue major carbon-emitters for all the trouble?

 

"... Now here’s the worse news: rising carbon dioxide levels, mainly due to human-induced emissions, are increasing pollen production.

"When scientists put plants in a growing chamber to test varying levels of CO2 on pollen production, the changes were significant — as the graphic above shows. Pollen production was more than twice as great when the chamber was set to 1999 CO2 levels (around 370 parts per million, or ppm) as it was when it was set to pre-industrial levels (about 280 ppm). And when the scientists cranked it up to 600 ppm, where things could be heading by the year 2060 (assuming we don’t curb CO2 emissions, that is), pollen production nearly doubled again."

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Weapons trafficking experts target criminal wildlife trade networks ("anti-poaching goes hi-tech")

Weapons trafficking experts target criminal wildlife trade networks ("anti-poaching goes hi-tech") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
An outfit usually associated with investigating arms dealers and weapons traffickers is applying its advanced network mapping capabilities to go after wildlife trafficking syndicates. This week Washington D.C.-based C4ADS unveiled the Environmental Crimes Fusion Cell, a unit which consists of a team of analysts, network mapping technology provided by software company Palantir, and a network of NGOs and enforcement agencies. The unit analyses wildlife trade data to provide actionable intelligence to pursue and apprehend traffickers.

"We adapt methodologies developed for the security community and combine them with cutting-edge Palantir technology and innovative sources of public and commercial data, to map and expose wildlife criminal networks," C4ADS's Jackson Miller told Mongabay. "We have a dedicated team of analysts who work across multiple languages, and have a network of over 50 organizations and individuals around the world who feed us raw data and insights from the field that we can analyze and structure in a way that can lead to actionable, real-world results." 
The initiative includes a web platform that provides current and historic data on large-scale ivory seizures as well as a tracking portal for ammunition typically used for poaching and background information on illicit ivory, rhino horn, and timber supply chains. C4ADS also published a report detailing how trafficking networks often finance their operations and smuggle contraband. It highlights risks and potential exposure for shipping companies and banks. 

"Central to the 'fusion cell' concept is the concept of collaboration," Jackson told Mongabay. "This cell is designed to be supportive of others' efforts in the field, a resource both conservationists and officials can lean on for objective data and analysis. We hope to become a bridge between the many different stakeholders who must all come together to help solve this very complex issue." 

Bert Guevara's insight:

We hope that this hi-tech collaboration yields immediate results before the elephant population goes extinct.


"We adapt methodologies developed for the security community and combine them with cutting-edge Palantir technology and innovative sources of public and commercial data, to map and expose wildlife criminal networks," C4ADS's Jackson Miller told Mongabay. "We have a dedicated team of analysts who work across multiple languages, and have a network of over 50 organizations and individuals around the world who feed us raw data and insights from the field that we can analyze and structure in a way that can lead to actionable, real-world results." 

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Disaster Recovery and Renewables Deployment in Nepal | The Energy Collective ("solar tech very useful")

Disaster Recovery and Renewables Deployment in Nepal | The Energy Collective ("solar tech very useful") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Avishek Malla is no stranger to bringing solar-powered light to communities in need. As the director of engineering for SunFarmer, a nonprofit that provides solar power and batteries to remote hospitals and schools in developing countries, illuminating spaces to meet basic human needs is in his job description.

Many of the challenges that SunFarmer faces are not unique to Nepal or the current crisis. Clean energy technologies, especially solar-powered generators, seem like a logical choice during disaster relief efforts, as they do not require fuel supplies to be shipped in. Unlike more traditional technologies such as diesel generators, however, they are often not considered by NGOs during the planning process and are not warehoused and ready to go when emergencies happen.

The cleantech sector needs to work more cohesively with large NGOs and local stakeholders before disasters happen, say professionals in the field. In some cases, that would involve rethinking how the organizations use power during a crisis, what standard equipment and interconnections look like, and how clean energy could scale in a disaster.

“This is a big ask of the NGOs, even in non-crisis situations,” said Zach Lyman of Reluminati, a cleantech consulting firm.

For starters, off-grid solar systems or microgrids that are used in "blue-sky" conditions are not even close to what is needed right after a disaster. SunFarmer, supported in part by SunEdison, usually deploys 2-kilowatt systems with battery backups to remote hospitals.

SunFarmer was well positioned to try to coordinate solar assets for the relief effort because it already had staff on the ground that understood local supply chains and stakeholders. “We want to be mindful of not spending money on anything but what’s needed,” Eller said of SunFarmer’s response efforts, even if that was diesel generators. “We’re not above that,” she said of supporting diesel backup, “but that just wasn’t the right technology.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

It is in disaster situations that green technologies can be put to the test. In Nepal, solar technology is proving its worth.

 

“What assets can you put in place that provide economically viable power every day to the community, but are part of resilient microgrid architectures when the earthquake hits?” asked Reluminati's Lyman. “This is the future of cleantech in disasters, and it will be huge -- both internationally and domestically.”

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Biophilia and Design and Architecture | Sustainable Cities Collective ("aim is to link man to nature")

Biophilia and Design and Architecture | Sustainable Cities Collective ("aim is to link man to nature") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Poorly conceived design visibly divided us in urban areas from our wilds and contributed to our recent ability to see nature as something isolated from us. Yet reinvigorating our bond with nature is a challenge architecture and urban design are well placed to address.

The separation that we have crafted over the centuries through our isolating designs hasn’t come without costs.

Obesity, ADHD, autism, a decline in creativity—these are all connected to a lack of environmental connection.

Unfortunately, this estrangement from nature has not only directly impacted our health, it has impacted our ability to respond to crucial modern challenges, such as climate change, because these dire environmental topics feel removed from us.

The environment appears distant because we designed it as such. Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan describe this impact in their seminal book, Ecological Design:

“What do we learn from this kind of ‘nowhere’ environment? When living and working in nowhere places becomes normal, it is no wonder that we literally lose some of our sensitivity toward nature.

Through the daily experience of the designed environment, we learn detachment… As nature has receded from our daily lives, it has receded from our ethics.”

Yet despite putting up physical barriers between nature and us, we still cannot shake our deep tie to and need for other species.

Humans have an ingrained desire to connect. E.O. Wilson describes this impulse in his ‘Biophilia Hypothesis’ in which he explains,

“…When human beings remove themselves from the natural environment, the biophilic learning rules are not replaced by modern versions equally well adapted to artifacts. Instead, they persist from generation to generation. For the indefinite future… urban dwellers will go on dreaming of snakes for reasons they cannot explain.”

We crave connection to the natural world, even if we, individually, have always been seemingly divided from it.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Reconnecting man to nature in an urban environment.

 

"Poorly conceived design divides us in urban areas from our wilds and has contributed to seeing nature as something isolated from us. Yet reinvigorating our bond with nature is a challenge architecture and urban design are well placed to address. 

"Architects and designers have control over our built environment; by changing the way we design cities and buildings to connect to rather than disconnect from nature, we can change our proximity to nature and shift our physical relationship to the environment."

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

Switching the resources of battle to another battlefront!

From military action to climate action.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is what many organic producers are waiting for.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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

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Zambia: Wildlife poachers trade guns for gardens | Al Jazeera America ("winning the war with jobs")

Zambia: Wildlife poachers trade guns for gardens | Al Jazeera America ("winning the war with jobs") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
A project to find alternative livelihoods for former hunters suggests the limits of a purely law-enforcement approach

But today, there are no bullets in their guns. The men, and scores of others in the Luangwa Valley, have given up poaching for farming. They’ve repurposed their weapons by loading them with a nonlethal mix of crushed chili and gunpowder. They use the spicy blasts to drive off animals that come to raid their fields.

As poaching has reached dire levels across the continent, some countries have instituted “shoot to kill” policies to stop poachers, while private anti-poaching militias patrol swaths of land in others. At the same time, governments and international law-enforcement agencies are working to get tough on wildlife crime by coordinating efforts and stiffening penalties. Yet some conservationists argue that the international response has been weighted too heavily toward law enforcement, and is overlooking the role that communities who live closest to wildlife can play in protecting these species. A hard-line approach to poaching can alienate or even harm these would-be allies; a recent crackdown in Tanzania was halted after accusations that anti-poaching troops murdered, raped and tortured innocent people. 

Individual farmers, who organize themselves into producer groups and cooperatives, adopt sustainable techniques — they fertilize with compost, incorporate trees into their farms and minimize tilling. Those who follow the guidelines earn a premium price, typically 10 to 20 percent higher than the market rate. To help them comply, and improve food security, COMACO gives loans of seeds, technical assistance and, in some cases, the materials to build poultry houses, wells and efficient stoves.

Bert Guevara's insight:

If poachers can be transformed into farmers, how about addressing illegal fishermen?


"To shift to an anti-poaching approach that emphasized food security, Lewis sought buy-in from the chiefs who govern in the area. That helped gain the trust of poachers and villagers. Over time, COMACO has grown to involve 100,000 households in the region. Along the way, it has collected almost 80,000 snares and 1,900 guns. A 2013 internal survey of former poachers in 13 chiefdoms found that incomes had improved in all but one. In some places, incomes tripled. COMACO broadens its reach through weekly radio broadcasts that address farming techniques and conservation."

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Historic logging ban extended in Indonesia | Environment ("but what about the exemptions?")

Historic logging ban extended in Indonesia | Environment ("but what about the exemptions?") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has refreshed a two-year moratorium on logging. But some environmental groups say he has ignored demands for more effective protection of the country's forests.

The rule is aimed at protecting the country's virgin forest forests and peatland. But a string of exceptions allow cutting of trees for projects deemed in the national interest. Environmentalists say this can mean everything from oil and gas extraction, to farming in the ostensible interest of food security. And, secondary forests - or areas that have already been logged and then replanted - do not fall under protection.

"More than 70 percent of Indonesia used to be covered by forest," Greenpeace forestry expert Yuyun Indradi told DW. "It's one of our greatest assets, and it is very sad to see deforestation happening at a speed beyond our expectations - and contribute to global [carbon] emissions."

Indradi said that previous to 2011, Indonesia held the word record for the deforestation rate, at 2 million hectares per year. Indonesia still loses an average of around half a million hectares of primary forest each year - mainly to agriculture, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI). Palm oil is the country's biggest agricultural export.

Indonesia's forests are home to endangered species including orangutans, tigers and elephants. According to Greenpeace, the current moratorium leaves 48.5 million hectares of forest at risk.

WRI found that the moratorium was not always upheld, as local officials were often unclear on which areas were protected. The organization has called for Indonesia's rainforests to be given permanent protection, something it says would contribute to the aims of United Nations climate talks in Paris later this year.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Is the Indonesian formula of a logging ban effective in protecting the forests? Or is there a need for improvement?

In the Philippines, how is the "total log ban" doing; and the National Greening Program"?

 

"Indonesian President Joko Widodo has refreshed a two-year moratorium on logging. But some environmental groups say he has ignored demands for more effective protection of the country's forests."

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Pagmimina, bawal na sa Davao City | Balita - Tagalog Newspaper Tabloid ("city decides to ban mining")

Pagmimina, bawal na sa Davao City | Balita - Tagalog Newspaper Tabloid ("city decides to ban mining") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
DAVAO CITY – Tuluyan nang isinara ng lokal na pamahalaan ng Davao City ang siyudad sa pagmimina kasunod ng pag-apruba ng Sangguniang Panglungsod, sa regular session nito, sa ikatlo at final reading sa ordinansang nagbabawal sa pagmimina sa lungsod. Maliban sa quarrying ng mga bato at iba pang mineral resources, nakasaad sa ordinansa na hindi na mag-iisyu ang pamahalaang lungsod ng permit sa anumang uri ng pagmimina sa Davao City. Ayon sa Section 5 ng ordinansa, “no approval shall be granted or issued by the city through its Sangguninang Panlalawigan to any person, natural or juridical, to undertake any and all forms of mining operation in any area within the territorial jurisdiction of Davao City, except rocks and mineral substances classified under the quarry resources.” Ang ordinansa ay sinulat ng mga konsehal na sina Leo Avila III at Danilo Dayanghirang. Ang sinumang mapatutunayang lumabag sa nasabing ordinansa ay makukulong ng hindi hihigit sa isang taon at pagmumultahin ng

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

So the City has decided to say NO to mining! This should set the precedent for other LGUs to stop new mining permits from being issued.

 

Ayon sa Section 5 ng ordinansa, “no approval shall be granted or issued by the city through its Sangguninang Panlalawigan to any person, natural or juridical, to undertake any and all forms of mining operation in any area within the territorial jurisdiction of Davao City, except rocks and mineral substances classified under the quarry resources.”

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10 Green Technologies That Could Help Revolutionize Our Changing Planet ("are you part of movement?")

10 Green Technologies That Could Help Revolutionize Our Changing Planet ("are you part of movement?") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

In an era of drought, climate change and food shortages, environmental pioneers have joined forces to help tackle some of the world's most pressing issues through technological advancement.

Here are 10 burgeoning technologies that have the potential to help revolutionize our planet of consumerism. Some are currently in development and others are trying to gain a greater foothold in society, but all are promising solutions to some very real threats the world is facing.

Vertical Farming

Green Burial

Better Lighting

Widespread Composting

Batteries

Renewable Energy At Home

Offshore Wind Power

Reusable Rockets

Drought-Tolerant Crops

(Cheaper) Green Vehicles

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Check out these green technologies and see if you can support any of these:

Vertical Farming

Green Burial

Better Lighting

Widespread Composting

Batteries

Renewable Energy At Home

Offshore Wind Power

Reusable Rockets

Drought-Tolerant Crops

(Cheaper) Green Vehicles

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