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Indonesia Extends its Forest Moratorium: What Comes Next? | WRI Insights

Indonesia Extends its Forest Moratorium: What Comes Next? | WRI Insights | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made a bold and courageous decision this week to extend the country’s forest moratorium. With this decision, which aims to prevent new clearing of primary forests and peat lands for another two years, the government could help protect valuable forests and drive sustainable development.

 

Enacted two years ago, Indonesia’s forest moratorium has already made some progress in improving forest management. However, much more can be done. The extension offers Indonesia a tremendous opportunity: a chance to reduce emissions, curb deforestation, and greatly strengthen forest governance in a country that holds some of the world’s most diverse ecosystems.

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Unilever makes 100% organic claim for Timotei Delights range

Unilever makes 100% organic claim for Timotei Delights range | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Unilever is launching what it claims is the UK’s first mass-market 100% organic haircare range…
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Rainforest plays critical role in hydropower generation.

Rainforest plays critical role in hydropower generation. | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Deforestation in the Amazon region could significantly reduce the amount of electricity produced from hydropower, says a new study.

 

Scientists say the rainforest is critical in generating the streams and rivers that ultimately turn turbines.

 

If trees continue to be felled, the energy produced by one of the world's biggest dams could be cut by a third.

 

The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Devising a dress code of conduct

Devising a dress code of conduct | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Safia Minney, the CEO of fair trade fashion brand People Tree, tells Amy Dawson how an environmentally-friendly approach to clothing can produce garments suitable for the red carpet.

 

I founded People Tree in Tokyo, where I’d moved with my husband in 1991. I’ve always been a green consumer and like to spend every penny on things that can be part of the solution not the problem. Working in marketing, I see a lot of money wasted on generating things that were unhealthy, in terms of body image, which didn’t put people and the environment first. I wanted a company that was dedicated to giving people in the developing world the right working privileges and to relink them with consumers.

 

While there were already fair trade organisations in other fields, particularly food, we were the first for fashion. It was interesting launching in Asia because the Japanese have an eye for quality and design – they won’t buy out of sympathy. So we found that people were buying it not because it was ethical but because it was great quality. It felt as if we could make it there we could make it anywhere.

 

Now we’re based in Britain and collaborate with retail brands such as Asos and John Lewis, as well as design names like Zandra Rhodes and people such as Emma Watson. So we’re working closely with big international players.

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Who needs mega-farms?

Who needs mega-farms? | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Farming in the British Isles is on the verge of a dramatic step towards industrialisation with the establishment of "mega-farms" for salmon, pigs and cows, which opponents claim put the environment and human health at risk. The Government signalled its backing yesterday for large-scale farms ahead of an announcement this week of a timetable for plans for a 25,000-capacity pig farm in Derbyshire. A decision on a planned 1,000-cow dairy unit in Wales is also imminent.

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Decline fear for plants and animals

Decline fear for plants and animals | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

More than half of common plant species and a third of animals could see a serious decline in their habitat range because of climate change.

New research suggests that biodiversity around the globe will be significantly impacted if temperatures rise more than 2C.

But the scientists say that the losses can be reduced if rapid action is taken to curb greenhouse gases.

 

The paper is published in the journal, Nature Climate Change.

An international team of researchers looked at the impacts of rising temperatures on nearly 50,000 common species of plants and animals.

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Indonesia to extend ban on forest clearing

Indonesia to extend ban on forest clearing | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

JAKARTA, May 10 (Reuters) - The president of Indonesia, home to the world's third-largest tropical forests and a powerful palm oil industry, has agreed to extend a ban on forest clearing, a government official said on Friday.

 

Southeast Asia's largest economy is under international pressure to curb deforestation and destruction of carbon-rich peatlands and forests that palm oil and mining companies say they need for expansion.

 

The world's biggest producer of palm oil imposed a two-year moratorium on clearing forest in May 2011 under a $1 billion climate deal with Norway aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation, covering 65 million hectares of forests, but this is due to expire on May 20.

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Featured video: How climate change is messing with the jetstream

Featured video: How climate change is messing with the jetstream | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Weather patterns around the globe are getting weirder and weirder: heat waves and record snow storms in Spring, blasts of Arctic air followed by sudden summer, record deluges and then drought. Climate change due to fossil fuels emissions has risen the global temperature by 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the last century, impacting our climate and therefore our weather.

But recent research has shown how climate change may be having an additional impact on weather patterns, at least in the northern hemisphere. Rapid warming in the Arctic and sea ice melt may be weakening the jetstream, creating a more meandering, slower-moving jetstream. Such a shift brings unseasonable weather patterns (both hot and cold) to the northern hemisphere, and causes these weather patterns to last longer than usual.

A new video describes the mechanics of the shifting jetstream through a presentation by Jennifer Francis with the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University.

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New UN report gives Indonesia low marks in forest governance

New UN report gives Indonesia low marks in forest governance | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

A new UN report exposes serious flaws in Indonesia’s forest governance, serving as a wake up call to policy makers aiming to conserve forests in the country, which boasts the third largest area of tropical forest coverage in the world.

On Monday, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) together with the Government of Indonesia launched a comprehensive forest governance index, which evaluates forest governance at the central, provincial and district levels and offers policy recommendations designed to better equip the country to conserve forests and peatlands.

The report evaluated 117 indicators related to forest governance at the national and local levels in 2012, scoring governance at each level on a scale of 1 to 5. Overall, the country scored just 2.33 out of the maximum 5 points, a figure that prompted the country’s forestry minister to admit that reforming the sector would be no easy task.

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Carbon farming could restore Australia's southern coastal wetlands

Carbon farming could restore Australia's southern coastal wetlands | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Australia’s southern coastal wetlands are more diverse than most people realise. In a recentpaper, Paul Boon suggests they provide valuable ecological services that exceed those of inland wetland ecosystems. But these wetlands face enormous pressures from urban development and climate change. Fifty percent of coastal wetlands have been lost from the east coast of Australia.

 

Despite this staggering loss we don’t know enough about them to manage or restore them effectively because of years of under-valuing, under-researching, under-funding and under-managing them. We now have an opportunity to redress the poor treatment of our southern coastal wetlands.

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G8 under pressure to rethink biofuel mandates

G8 under pressure to rethink biofuel mandates | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
*EXCLUSIVE* / Leaders of the EU and their partners in the G8 nations are
under mounting pressure to reconsider their support for biofuel targets amid
concern that plant oil production competes with food output in poor
countries.
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Global carbon dioxide levels set to pass 400ppm milestone

Global carbon dioxide levels set to pass 400ppm milestone | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 399.72 parts per million (ppm) and is likely to pass the symbolically important 400ppm level for the first time in the next few days.

 

Readings at the US government's Earth Systems Research laboratory in Hawaii, are not expected to reach their 2013 peak until mid May, but were recorded at a daily average of 399.72ppm on 25 April. The weekly average stood at 398.5 on Monday.

 

Hourly readings above 400ppm have been recorded six times in the last week, and on occasion, at observatories in the high Arctic. But the Mauna Loa station, sited at 3,400m and far away from major pollution sources in the Pacific Ocean, has been monitoring levels for more than 50 years and is considered the gold standard.

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2 Big Issues to Watch at this Week’s Bonn Climate Talks | WRI Insights

2 Big Issues to Watch at this Week’s Bonn Climate Talks | WRI Insights | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

It’s been almost four months since the last UNFCCC negotiations in Doha, Qatar (COP 18). Countries decided in Doha to finalize the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, wrap up a series of decisions on the Bali Action Plan, and outline a plan to establish an international climate agreement by 2015. Countries will gather this week in Bonn, Germany, for the first formal conversations since the Doha meeting.

 

This week’s intersessional is a low key, but important session. Negotiators will discuss two critical issues: How to substantially step-up the level of ambition by countries, companies, cities, and civil society; and how to ensure a strong international climate agreement by 2015. Progress on these two issues could bring the world one step closer to strong, international action to curb climate change.

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Not too late to reverse dramatic declines in biodiversity

Not too late to reverse dramatic declines in biodiversity | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Take a look around you. If you have been worrying about pandas, elephants, or other endangered species, it is time to start looking closer to home...because things could look quite different within your lifetime.

 

Just days after the Mauna Loa observatory recorded the first exceedance of 400 ppm carbon dioxide in earth's atmosphere, a report in the journal Nature Climate Change describes what we can expect if climate change continues unmitigated.

 

Dr. Rachel Warren, of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, led a study that assessed 50,000 common species around the globe. The study's models showed more than half (57%±6%) of flora and one third (34%±7%) of fauna "are likely to lose ≥50% of their present climatic range by the 2080s."

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Brazil drought stokes worries over energy shortages

Brazil drought stokes worries over energy shortages | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Brazil's government insists that a severe drought will not lead to power rationing but analysts say the country's energy system is stretched to near capacity, reports BBC Brasil's Luis Barrucho.

 

Twelve years ago Brazilians across much of the country faced a stark choice: cut down on their energy use or be cut off completely.

 

The strict measures were part of the government's response to a severe drought that had led to a big drop in the production of hydroelectricity, Brazil's main source of energy.

 

And that stark choice might be looming again today, posing a big political headache for the government of President Dilma Rousseff.

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Full Planet, Empty Plates: Chapter 2. The Ecology of Population Growth

Full Planet, Empty Plates: Chapter 2. The Ecology of Population Growth | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Throughout most of human existence, population growth has been so slow as to be imperceptible within a single generation. Reaching a global population of 1 billion in 1804 required the entire time since modern humans appeared on the scene. To add the second billion, it took until 1927, just over a century. Thirty-three years later, in 1960, world population reached 3 billion. Then the pace sped up, as we added another billion every 13 years or so until we hit 7 billion in late 2011.

 

One of the consequences of this explosive growth in human numbers is that human demands have outrun the carrying capacity of the economy’s natural support systems—its forests, fisheries, grasslands, aquifers, and soils. Once demand exceeds the sustainable yield of these natural systems, additional demand can only be satisfied by consuming the resource base itself. We call this overcutting, overfishing, overgrazing, overpumping, and overplowing. It is these overages that are undermining our global civilization.

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degrowth economy and ecology's curator insight, May 14, 2013 7:58 AM

I do not completely agree with the #over populated# issue, its more related to trade globalisation, and the resulting iniquity in ecosystems goods/services  sharing

David Rowing's comment, May 14, 2013 11:29 AM
We could in fact feed the present population, especially if there wasn't so much food wasted in the developed world.
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Google's new timelapse project shows 30 years of disappearing rainforest in just seconds

Google's new timelapse project shows 30 years of disappearing rainforest in just seconds | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

It's one thing to talk about deforestation, disappearing habitats, and shrinking glaciers and water resources, and another thing entirely to demonstrate it with actual satellite imagery. And thanks to Landsat images and the Google Earth Engine, we're getting a glimpse at some key locations across the planet as they are changed by the hands of man.

 

A series of interactive timelapse GIFs that use Landsat satellite data to display massive changes to the Earth's surface could be a potent tool for motivating individuals and organizations to take action on key issues.

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Where there's Mucking, there's grass: For 50 years an old quarry was a giant rubbish dump. Now it's a thriving nature reserve

Where there's Mucking, there's grass: For 50 years an old quarry was a giant rubbish dump. Now it's a thriving nature reserve | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

The change from garbage dump to nature reserve began around 20 years ago, when the Essex Wildlife Trust leased the first piece of land from Cory. The site was originally a gravel quarry which, for 50 years, was filled with daily bargefuls of rubbish. This was then capped with inert material and 65cms of sandy, gravelly clay, which became grassland.

 

The transformation of the site stepped up considerably after the landfill closed, and, in surrounding areas, scrapes and pools were formed for wetland species. The nature park now covers 120 acres, and will eventually be expanded to 845 acres.

 

Mammals in the park include harvest and wood mice, field and bank voles, two species of shrew, and hares. Insects include the black-and-yellow striped wasp spider, the shrill carder bee (one of our smallest bumblebees), and butterflies seen so far this season include the orange-tip, holly blue and green-veined white.

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Call for action over CO2 levels

Call for action over CO2 levels | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Scientists are calling on world leaders to take action on climate change after carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere broke through a symbolic threshold.

 

Daily CO2 readings at a US government agency lab on Hawaii have topped 400 parts per million for the first time.

 

Sir Brian Hoskins, the head of climate change at the UK-based Royal Society, said the figure should "jolt governments into action".

 

China and the US have made a commitment to co-operate on clean technology.

 

But BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin said the EU was backing off the issue, and cheap fossil fuels looked attractive to industries.

 

The laboratory, which sits on the Mauna Loa volcano, feeds its numbers into a continuous record of the concentration of the gas stretching back to 1958.

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Plants help slow warming – but there's a trade-off - environment - 28 April 2013 - New Scientist

Plants help slow warming – but there's a trade-off - environment - 28 April 2013 - New Scientist | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Chemicals pumped out by plants promote cloud formation, increasing Earth's ability to reflect sunlight, though the effect is reduced if the world cools ...

 

 Pauli Paasonen at the University of Helsinki in Finland and colleagues set up monitoring stations in 11 forests in Europe, North America, South Africa and Siberia. Over the course of a year, they tracked the local temperature and measured the levels of VOCs emitted.

As they expected, VOC emissions rose with temperatures, which led to more cloud forming than when conditions were cooler. The researchers calculated that these clouds have a limited cooling effect on a global scale, in line with models' predictions. But locally, VOCs could cut temperature rise by as much as 30 per cent.

Forests nearer to the poles probably contribute the most to global cooling, Paasonen says. In tropical climates, the air is already so warm that plants' VOC emissions are probably at or near their peak.

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Brazil's satellite monitoring reduced Amazon deforestation by 60,000 sq km in 5 years

Brazil's satellite monitoring reduced Amazon deforestation by 60,000 sq km in 5 years | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Brazil's advanced satellite monitoring system, coupled with increased law enforcement, was responsible for nearly 60 percent of the 101,000 square kilometer-drop in deforestation observed between 2007 and 2011, argues a new study published an international think tank.

The analysis, conducted by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), assessed the influence of policy changes on the sharp decline in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon since 2004. It used 2007 as the cut-off because that's when the Brazilian government introduced DETER, a satellite-based monitoring system that can detect changes in forest cover on a monthly basis. The technology enables law enforcement officials from Brazil's environmental protection agency, IBAMA, to take quick action against illegal forest clearing.

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China's citizens must act to save their environment

China's citizens must act to save their environment | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Beijing's air pollution is sometimes so bad that citizens walk the streets wearing masks, and new arrivals immediately feel their throats rasping. With record levels of smog enveloping major Chinese cities, air pollution — especially the fine particles with diameters of less than 2.5 micrometres, known as PM2.5, which penetrate deep into the lungs — is replacing food safety and clean drinking water as a key theme for Chinese lawmakers, and the nation has finally laid out a plan to tackle air pollution.

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Satellite to monitor Earth's forests

Satellite to monitor Earth's forests | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

A satellite that can "weigh" the Earth's forests has just been given the go ahead by the European Space Agency.

 

Biomass, as it will be known, is expected to launch in 2020.

 

The spacecraft will carry a novel radar system that is able to sense the trunks and big branches of trees from orbit.

 

Scientists will use Biomass to calculate the amount of carbon stored in the world's forests, and to monitor for any changes over the course of the five-year mission.

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Adapt faster to changing climate, Europe warned

Adapt faster to changing climate, Europe warned | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Cities around Europe may have to erect flood barriers similar to theThames Barrier that protects London from sea surges, as climate change takes hold and leads to the danger of much more destructive storms, floods, heavy rainfall and higher sea levels, Europe's environmental watchdog has warned.

 

The effects of climate change will be so far-reaching across the continent that vineyards may have to plant new grape varieties, farmers may have to cultivate new crops and water suppliers look to technology such as desalination in order to cope with the probable effects of more extreme weather. Buildings and infrastructure such as transport, energy and communication networks will also have to be changed.

 

The warnings come in a report from the European Environment Agency, called Adaptation in Europe. The research found that half of the 32 member countries of the EEA still lack plans to adapt to the effects of global warming, although others have begun to take action.

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Beyond light bulbs: individual responsibility and climate action

Beyond light bulbs: individual responsibility and climate action | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

International negotiations have failed to give us strong global commitments on climate change. Nations are falling short on their commitments for greenhouse gas emission reductions. ...

 

My research with Australian Climate Action Groups suggests that such strategies will continue to fail until we overcome the social and institutional barriers stopping individuals from making more significant changes.

 

I identified three barriers:

disempowermentlack of trust in politicians and political institutionsinability to reflect on the root causes of climate change (in effect, our systems of production and consumption that have ignored nature’s limits).
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