Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation
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Safe water and basic sanitation would slash maternal deaths, report says

Safe water and basic sanitation would slash maternal deaths, report says | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
Health groups press for emphasis on hygiene in next development goals with 289,000 women dying from childbirth complications each year

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A Comprehensive Approach to Bringing Improved Sanitation to 2 Billion People

A Comprehensive Approach to Bringing Improved Sanitation to 2 Billion People | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
Toilets may not be a topic that get as much attention as others, but over 1 billion people around the world must defecate out in the open and over 2 billion people do not have access to clean and private toilets.
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Global gold rush is killing the world's rainforests

Global gold rush is killing the world's rainforests | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it

Photo Credit: Randy Olson

Mining can have huge impacts in certain areas.  Alvarez-Berríos and Aide found that mining was especially severe in four general regions of South America: the Guianas, the Southwest Amazon, the Tapajós–Xingú area of the western Amazon, and the Magdalena Valley in the Colombian Andes.  This shocking video shows just how badly miners are decimating the Southwest Amazon in Peru following construction of the Inter-oceanic Highway there.

 

Around 17O,OOO hectares of forest was destroyed outright in these four regions, but even worse was the broader-scale impacts on aquatic ecosystems and water quality. 

Gold miners cause enormous siltation of streams and rivers as well as water pollution by toxic mercury, which they use to separate gold from river sediments. 

 

Gold miners also often have conflicts with local indigenous groups and poach wildlife.  For instance, armed miners in French Guiana murdered two park guards there, who were attempting to defend the park.

 

The scourge of illegal gold mining is by no means limited to Latin America.  It is escalating rapidly across vast expanses of Africa, Asia, and many other regions of the tropics. 

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Smart farming technique to boost yields, cut fertilizer pollution

Smart farming technique to boost yields, cut fertilizer pollution | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
Researchers are using X-rays to help farmers increase yields and cut water pollution following an unexpected discovery in a pea and bean crop. Scientists hope to combine two new technologies to provide a rapid "same day" measurement of soil phosphorus availability, enabling farmers and growers to make more informed decisions about fertilizer application.

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EUROPEAN UNION: EU fishing fleet increasingly profitable and fuel efficient

EUROPEAN UNION: EU fishing fleet increasingly profitable and fuel efficient | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it

The European Commission's Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) has published its 2014 Annual Economic Report on the EU fishing fleet.

 

The report is showing progress in economic performance. The EU fishing fleet was generally profitable in 2012, generating €6.9 billion in revenue. Roughly half of the total revenue was transformed into salaries and profits for the fishing communities. Most national fleets show a positive trend over the period 2002-2012. However, despite signs of a recovery, the impact of the fuel crisis that peaked in 2003 and 2008 demonstrates the vulnerability of the EU fleet to external shocks.

 

Another finding concerns significant progress in fuel efficiency. Fuel consumption and fuel use intensity decreased by 10% from 2008 to 2012. This improvement is the result of EU-backed fuel-efficient fishing gear, fleet reduction, changes in fishing behaviour and fleet dynamics. Employment on board EU fishing vessels was 151 383 in 2012, declining on average 2% per year from 2008 to 2012. In contrast, the average salary per employee increased over the same period.

 

About the report


The Annual Economic Report (AER) of EU fleets is the most comprehensive source of economic analysis and data about the EU fishing fleet. It focuses on drivers and trends, and includes specific sections on the EU long distant water fleets, small-scale coastal fleets and main fishing regions. Since 2007, the AER has provided a comprehensive overview of the latest information available on the structure and economic performance of fishing fleets in EU countries.

 

The AER is increasingly used by fisheries managers as well as international organisations such the OECD and FAO. This exercise is coordinated by the European Commission and produced by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) and the Joint Research Centre. The relevant data are collected by EU countries under the Data Collection Framework.

 

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2014 Annual Economic Report on the EU fishing fleet: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-research-reports/2014-annual-economic-report-eu-fishing-fleet-stecf-14-16-scientific-technical-and-economic

 

Infographics: http://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/documentation/publications/2014-1-eu-fishing-fleet-facts-figures_en.pdf

 

 

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With New Temp Record - Climate Change Becoming Conventional Wisdom. Deniers Freak Out, Backpedal

With New Temp Record - Climate Change Becoming Conventional Wisdom. Deniers Freak Out, Backpedal | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
All weekend I've been watching the media coverage of NASA and NOAA's announcement, Friday, that 2014 set a new record for global temperatures. What we're seeing is the mainstream media, in the US, ...

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Warming climate likely will change the composition of northern forests, study shows

Warming climate likely will change the composition of northern forests, study shows | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
Visitors to northern forests in coming decades probably will see a very different set of trees as the climate warms, a new University of Minnesota study shows.

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DRY Project's curator insight, January 23, 2015 10:29 AM

The DRY project will be exploring the effects of drought on trees in the UK with citizen scientists in three river catchments.

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Everyday climate change – in pictures - The Guardian

Everyday climate change – in pictures - The Guardian | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
Inspired by the co-founder of Everydayafrica, photographer James Whitlow Delano launched Everydayclimatechange, an Instagram feed where photographers from five continents share their images as evidence that climate change is real and to raise awareness...

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International Women's Day observed - Bangladesh

International Women's Day observed - Bangladesh | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it

NGWF holds women workers' flag rally demanding removal of discrimination against women in workplace and removal of discrimination between women of private sector and public sector. National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) today (March 8,2013) organized a women workers' flag rally and procession in Dhaka city as part of its program to observe the International Womens' Day. Several hundred women garment workers along with some male workers, holding Bangladesh national flags high, took part in the rally, which was followed by a procession that paraded important city streets. Held in front of the National Press Club in the city at 11:00 am with NGWF President Amirul Haque Amin in the chair, the rally was addressed by NGWF general secretary Ms Safia Parvin and central leaders Ms Sultana Akhter, Ms Nurunnahar, Ms Jasmine Akter, Ms Nasima Aktar, Ms Shirin Akter, Ms Shahanaz Akter and Ms Shirin Akter among others. The rally was followed by procession that paraded the High Court, Topkhana Road, Paltan Crossing areas, and concluded in front of the NGWF's central office at Topkhana Road. Speakers said women are considered as 'second class citizens' in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, the government has created new discrimination between the working women of public and private sector. They complained that the government has given 6-month maternity leave to women workers and professionals working in the public sector. But the provision for maternity leave to women workers working in the private sector, including the readymade garment factories, remained 4-month. NGWF President Amirul Haque Amin said, "The Bangladeshi women are naturally treated as second class citizens, hence the situation for female garment workers far more bad. The Government, in the meantime, created new discrimination between women workers and professionals." He added, the workers, who are involved in production in the private sector particularly in the garment sector are mostly women. The number of women workers in the (RMG) sector is more than 3 million. In addition that many more than this number of women engaged in other non-government and privately owned institutions and organizations. However, there are a very few working women in the government sector. The NGWF President said the government implemented 6-month maternity leave for public sector while for the women workers & professionals working in the private sector remain 4-month ---- This is a serious discrimination. This discrimination is not acceptable. There should not be two different laws in same case in the country. NGWF demanded of the government to announce immediately 6-month paid maternity leave for the private sector's women workers, including those working in the RMG sector. The speakers strongly demanded of the government to implement 6-month paid maternity leave for the women working in the private sector, including garment workers, set up childcare centers in all RMG factories, set up safe & free delivery facilities for the woman workers specially those in the RMG sector. The speakers demanded to establish equal rights to the women on the properties, in the society, family, workplace and state. They further demanded equal wage and equal promotion to women workers like that of their male counterpart. They urged the factory owners and BGMEA to refrain from giving heavy workload to pregnant workers. The speaker demanded of the government, BGMEA and BKMEA to ensure Safe Workplace and living Wage in the RMG sector that is the biggest industrial sector of the country on which 3.6 million workers including 85 % woman are working. Press secretary National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF)


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Demand for freshwater fish increasing in state - Times of India

Demand for freshwater fish increasing in state - Times of India | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
Demand for freshwater fish increasing in state
Times of India
Monteiro disclosed plans for setting up two more rearing tanks at the only freshwater fish hatchery and farm in the state located at Keri in Sattari.

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China's Largest Freshwater Lake Dries Up -- Is the Massive Three Gorges Dam to Blame?

China's Largest Freshwater Lake Dries Up -- Is the Massive Three Gorges Dam to Blame? | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
Environmental researchers say the dramatic drying up of Poyang lake -- from 3,500 square kilometers to just 200 -- is due in part to the colossal, controversial reservoir.

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Anthony morales's curator insight, November 4, 2014 1:34 PM

People are starting to wonder  if the 3 gorges dam is doing more harm then good this lake has lost over 3,500 kiloliters of water due to the dam

Tjc ChinaStudies's curator insight, July 6, 2015 10:16 AM

The impact of the Three Gorges Dam on navigation

- Contrary to the objectives and justifications for the construction of the dam which included improvements to navigation, the dam has instead left freshwater lakes bereft

- While drought and a drop in precipitation were partly to blame, there is mounting evidence that the precipitous drop in water levels in lakes like Poyang are caused by the Three Gorges Dam further upstream

- Since 2006 when the Three Gorges reservoir was deepened, there has been a significant decrease in water levels in freshwater lakes downstream

 

Ng Ning 25/14

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as local urban farm movement matures, so too do strategies for year-round ... - freshwatercleveland

as local urban farm movement matures, so too do strategies for year-round ... - freshwatercleveland | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
freshwaterclevelandas local urban farm movement matures, so too do strategies for year-round ...freshwaterclevelandOn a pair of empty city lots that once grew pop bottles, weeds and trash, Elle Adams of City Rising Farm in Hough recently broke...

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Dinosaur-Killing Comet Didn't Wipe Out Freshwater Species

Dinosaur-Killing Comet Didn't Wipe Out Freshwater Species | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it

New research shows freshwater organisms fared better than others after the most recent extinction event.

 

The mass extinction event the scientists studied (also the most recent and most familiar) is known as the K-T event or, more recently, the K-Pg event. The disaster, which killed off at least 75 percent of all species on Earth, including all dinosaurs except for birds, was apparently triggered by a cosmic impact that occurred in what is now Mexico about 65 million years ago.

 

Past research suggested that while marine life was devastated by this mass extinction, freshwater organisms underwent relatively low extinction rates. Now investigators suggest the secret of their survival may have been all the variability experienced by freshwater life.

 

Water would have helped shelter life in rivers and lakes, as well as the seas and oceans, from the initial blast of heat from the cosmic impact. However, the giant extraterrestrial collision set fire to Earth's surface, darkening the sky with dust and ash that cooled the planet. The resulting "impact winter" and its lack of sunlight would have crippled both freshwater and marine food chains by killing off microscopic photosynthetic organisms known as phytoplankton that are at the base of the marine and freshwater food chains.

 

Intriguingly, while marine communities were devastated by the mass extinction, losing 50 percent of their species, geophysicist Douglas Robertson at the University of Colorado at Boulder and his colleagues looked at a database of western North America fossils and discovered freshwater ones there survived relatively unscathed, losing only about 10 percent of their species.

 

The researchers note that freshwater organisms, unlike marine life, are used to annual freezes that ice over inland waters, severely limiting their oxygen supplies. As such, freshwater communities might have better endured the low oxygen levels in the wake of the death of photosynthetic life following an impact winter. 


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Workshop: For some, safe water and sanitation remain a dream – The Express Tribune

The common thread at a one-day awareness workshop titled “Safer water, better health” was the dysfunctional sanitation system in the villages of Swat after the 2010 floods. Around 40% of people dying from waterb­orne diseas­es worldwide are Pakist­ani.


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Finding the Words to Support Sanitation

Finding the Words to Support Sanitation | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it

Last week, the UN called for renewed action to reach the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people who live without access to basic sanitation by 2015.

| War against poor sanitary conditions! War for the health of the disadvantaged!


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ExxonMobil slammed with $2.3 million fine for fracking-related water pollution | Lindsay Abrams | Salon.com

ExxonMobil slammed with $2.3 million fine for fracking-related water pollution | Lindsay Abrams | Salon.com | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it

The EPA just hit XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil and the nation’s largest natural gas company, with a cool $2.3 million fine for Clean Water Act violations related to its fracking activities in West Virginia.

This is big: you rarely hear about frackers being held federally accountable for polluting water supplies, thanks to Bush-era legislation commonly known as the “Halliburton Loophole.” Basically, it ensures that fracking is exempted from the portions of the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act that would typically make it accountable to federal oversight; as such, the EPA is mostly prevented from regulating both the process and the chemicals it injects into the ground.

The EPA’s approach is a clever workaround of those restrictions. As CleanTechnica’s Tina Casey explains, the pollution targeted by the EPA wasn’t caused by fracking itself, but instead by other, ordinary violations committed by XTO: the company, it charges, dumped sand, dirt, rocks and other dirty fill materials into streams and wetlands without a permit, in violation of the Clean Water Act.

In total, the company damaged 5,300 linear feet of streams and 3.38 acres of wetland — making the $2.3 million fine comparatively large, particularly when you consider the extra $3 million it agreed to pay in restoration costs.

 

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Dundee, Scotland: Septic tank risk 'needs public awareness campaign' | University of Abertay | PHYS.org

Dundee, Scotland: Septic tank risk 'needs public awareness campaign' | University of Abertay | PHYS.org | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it

Members of the public should be urged to take better care of their septic tank systems in order to reduce the risk of bacteria and viruses being released to the environment, scientists will say at an event in Dundee on Wednesday (January 21).

 

Environmental stakeholders – including Scottish Water, Scottish Natural Heritage, local authority officials and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency – will gather at Abertay University to hear the key findings and recommendations of research into septic tank pollution carried out by experts from the University's Urban Water Technology Centre (UWTC), led by Professor Joe Akunna.

More than 160,000 people in Scotland are not connected to the main sewerage system, including many in rural areas.

 

This means they rely on septic tanks to process their domestic wastewater.

 

However, many are not aware that their own tanks can be causing environmental pollution.


Raising public awareness among homeowners on how to inspect and maintain their septic systems has therefore been identified as one of the key ways in which water regulators could reduce the risks posed by septic tank pollution.

 

Juliette O'Keeffe, Research Officer at UWTC, said: "The pollution from septic tanks can pose a serious environmental and public health risk, as – if they aren't properly maintained – they release microbes into the environment such as E. coli and norovirus.

 

"These make their way into the sea where people swim and enjoy spending time, so it's vital that we do what we can to prevent that from happening.


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Fishing Industry Hit Hard by Climate Change

Fishing Industry Hit Hard by Climate Change | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
The fishing industry might suffer up to 40 billion dollars in losses this year, thanks to climate change and ocean acidification.

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Engaging with oil companies on climate change is futile, admits leading UK environmentalist

Engaging with oil companies on climate change is futile, admits leading UK environmentalist | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
After years working on sustainability projects with BP and Shell, Jonathon Porritt says he came to the conclusion it was ‘impossible’ for today’s oil and gas companies to adapt to the need to exit fossil fuels

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Willy De Backer's curator insight, January 15, 2015 12:19 PM

Of course, they have too much to lose. all talk about responsible capitalism and the like is naive.

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Climate change does not bode well for picky eaters

Climate change does not bode well for picky eaters | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
In a part of the world that is experiencing the most dramatic increase in temperature and climate change, two very similar species of animals are responding very differently.

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Dangerously in denial on climate change - Washington Post

Dangerously in denial on climate change - Washington Post | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
Republicans’ climate-change denial poses an intellectual threat, not just an environmental one.

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Does The Western World Have a Conscience? l Egyptian Women

Does The Western World Have a Conscience?  l Egyptian Women | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it

While the Western World is very quick to support protesters in the Middle East, it also likes to sell their rulers weapons. + Womens Rights in Egypt. - http://www.petercliffordonline.com/conscience/


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Agriculture Consumes 92% of Freshwater Used Globally - US Leads Per Capita Consumption

Agriculture Consumes 92% of Freshwater Used Globally - US Leads Per Capita Consumption | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
Where does all that water go? A new study from the Netherlands checks the flow.

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Rising Sea Levels Threaten Everglades Freshwater Plants

Rising Sea Levels Threaten Everglades Freshwater Plants | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
Coral Gables FL (SPX) Oct 16, 2013 -
Just inland from the familiar salt-loving mangroves that line the Southern tip of the Florida Peninsula lie plant communities that depend on freshwater flowing south from Lake Okeechobee.

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Human Prejudices Threaten Freshwater Biodiversity

Human Prejudices Threaten Freshwater Biodiversity | Population and Progress: Human Development and Innovation | Scoop.it
New species found in disappearing arctic freshwaters highlight the threat to these underprotected ecosystems...

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