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Politics for the planet: why nature and wildlife need their own seats at the UN June 30, 2016 3.32pm EDT PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 03 July 2016 10:08

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Street artwork in Sydney reminds us to think about how much we depend on the planet. Stefanie FishelAuthor provided

 

The Conversation

Academic rigor, journalistic flair

 

https://theconversation.com/politics-for-the-planet-why-nature-and-wildlife-need-their-own-seats-at-the-un-59892

Whether we consider wild weather, unprecedented Arctic melting and global temperatures, or the Great Barrier Reef, the global environment is generating alarming news. Predictions of multi-metre sea level rises, the collapse of marine biodiversity and food chains, and global warming far beyond 2℃ are equally concerning. Is our system of global environmental law and governance adequate to this crisis?

 

Our short answer is “no”, but what should be done? We believe new international institutions and laws are needed, with one fundamental purpose: to give a voice to ecosystems and non-human forms of life.

We say this knowing that the current global system is inadequate to respond to many human crises, but with the conviction that environmental justice often overlaps with social justice.

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Update Message from Captain Paul Watson PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 10:31
Last year Sea Shepherd shut down the entire illegally operated six ship fleet of Antarctic toothfish poachers.
 
This year Sea Shepherd shut down a six ship Chinese drift net fleet in the Indian Ocean with the STEVE IRWIN and arrested three Chinese trawlers in the waters of Gabon with the BOB BARKER
 
Last month the SAM SIMON crew arrested numerous poachers in the marine reserves of Sicily and earlier this year the MARTIN SHEEN and the FARLEY MOWAT confiscated over 50 illegal gill nets and longlines in the sea of Cortez and assisted in the arrest of totoaba poachers
 
Our efforts to work in cooperation with various governments and with Interpol is getting incredible results.
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Building Africa’s Energy Grid Can Be Green, Smart and Affordable PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 17 June 2016 08:26

By Friday Phiri

A Congolese man transports charcoal on his bicycle outside Lubumbashi in the DRC. An estimated 138 million poor households spend 10 billion dollars annually on energy-related products such as charcoal, candles, kerosene and firewood. Credit: Miriam Mannak/IPS

A Congolese man transports charcoal on his bicycle outside Lubumbashi in the DRC. An estimated 138 million poor households spend 10 billion dollars annually on energy-related products such as charcoal, candles, kerosene and firewood. Credit: Miriam Mannak/IPS

PEMBA, Zambia, Jun 16 2016 (IPS) - It’s just after two p.m. on a sunny Saturday and 51-year-old Moses Kasoka is seated outside the grass-thatched hut which serves both as his kitchen and bedroom.

Physically challenged since birth, Kasoka has but one option for survival—begging. But he thinks life would have been different had he been connected to electricity. “I know what electricity can do, especially for people in my condition,” he says.

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New Protocol Aims to Cut Trillion-Dollar Food Waste Bill PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 09 June 2016 04:01

By Stella Paul| 

Tsering Dorji works on his farm in western Bhutan’s Satsam village. Due to inadequate transportation and marketing opportunities, he loses half of what he produces every rainy season. Credit: Stella Paul/IPS

Tsering Dorji works on his farm in western Bhutan’s Satsam village. Due to inadequate transportation and marketing opportunities, he loses half of what he produces every rainy season. Credit: Stella Paul/IPS

COPENHAGEN, Jun 8 2016 (IPS) - Four years ago, 27-year-old Tsering Dorji of western Bhutan’s Satsam village took to organic vegetable farming. Since then, thanks to composted manure and organic pesticide, the soil health of his farm has improved, and the yield has increased manifold.

Dorji, once a subsistence farmer, now has about 60 bags of surplus food every two months to sell and earn a profit.  But come the rainy season and he still loses thousands of rupees carrying his produce to markets that are miles away.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 June 2016 04:08
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UN Chief Seeks Fast-Paced Ratifications for Climate Change Treaty PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 06:21

By Thalif Deen 

“Predictions are that the emission reduction pledges under the Agreement would lead to rise in temperatures beyond 3 degrees celsius, which would be catastrophic for the world,” Meena Raman told IPS. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS.

“Predictions are that the emission reduction pledges under the Agreement would lead to rise in temperatures beyond 3 degrees celsius, which would be catastrophic for the world,” Meena Raman told IPS. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS.

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 19 2016 (IPS) - Over 150 countries are expected to sign the Paris climate change agreement on April 22 but the historic treaty will not come into force until it has been ratified by 55 countries.

 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has hailed the agreement as “a landmark of international cooperation on one of the world’s most complex issues”, is hoping for fast-paced ratifications – perhaps before the end of the year so that it will also be considered as one of his lasting political legacies before he steps down in December.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2016 07:24
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Three International Days in a Week, But Is Anybody Listening? PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 06:57

By Monique Barbut

Monique Barbut

Monique Barbut

 

BONN, Germany, Mar 22 2016 (IPS) - For three consecutive days this week, we gave thought to our future. On International Forests Day, Monday, 21 March, we were reminded that forests are vital for our future water needs. On Tuesday, 22 March, World Water Day, we learned that half the world’s workers are involved in the water sector and some 2 billion people, especially women and girls, still need access to improved sanitation. World Meteorological Day, on Wednesday, 23 March, concluded with the warning of a hotter, drier and wetter future. A reality that is already evident and frightening, as productive land turns to sand or dust.

 

 

Is anybody listening?

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OP-ED: Rising Temperature, Rising Food Prices PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 06 March 2016 13:04

By Lester R. Brown

By Lester R. Brown|

Many farmers will be forced to adapt to a changing climate. Geoffrey Ndung’u, from Kanyonga village in semi-arid Eastern Kenya, earns a living growing watermelons on his dry land. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

 

Many farmers will be forced to adapt to a changing climate. Geoffrey Ndung’u, from Kanyonga village in semi-arid Eastern Kenya, earns a living growing watermelons on his dry land. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

WASHINGTON, Aug 21 2013 (IPS) - Agriculture as it exists today developed over 11,000 years of rather remarkable climate stability. It has evolved to maximize production within that climate system. Now, suddenly, the climate is changing. With each passing year, the agricultural system is becoming more out of sync with the climate system.

In generations past, when there was an extreme weather event, such as a monsoon failure in India, a severe drought in Russia, or an intense heat wave in the U.S. Corn Belt, we knew that things would shortly return to normal. But today there is no ‘normal’ to return to. The earth’s climate is now in a constant state of flux, making it both unreliable and unpredictable.

Since 1970, the earth’s average temperature has risen more than one degree Fahrenheit. If we continue with business as usual, burning ever more oil, coal, and natural gas, it is projected to rise some 11 degrees Fahrenheit (six degrees Celsius) by the end of this century. The rise will be uneven. It will be much greater in the higher latitudes than in the equatorial regions, greater over land than over oceans, and greater in continental interiors than in coastal regions.

Related IPS Articles

·         Ecological Cuban Recipes Boost Sustainable Agriculture

·         Biofuels Get a Dubious Boost

·         Small Farmers Buffeted by Climate Change

As the earth’s temperature rises, it affects agriculture in many ways. High temperatures interfere with pollination and reduce photosynthesis of basic food crops. High temperatures can also dehydrate plants. When a corn plant curls its leaves to reduce exposure to the sun, photosynthesis is reduced.

The earth’s rising temperature also affects crop yields indirectly via the melting of mountain glaciers. As the larger glaciers shrink and the smaller ones disappear, the ice melt that sustains rivers, and the irrigation systems dependent on them, will diminish. The continuing loss of mountain glaciers and the resulting reduced meltwater runoff could create unprecedented water shortages and political instability in some of the world’s more densely populated countries.

Scientists also expect higher temperatures to bring more drought – witness the dramatic increase in the land area affected by drought in recent decades. A team of scientists at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in the United States reported that the earth’s land area experiencing very dry conditions expanded from well below 20 percent from the 1950s to the 1970s to closer to 25 percent in recent years.

As the earth’s temperature rises, scientists expect heat waves to be both more frequent and more intense. Stated otherwise, crop-shrinking heat waves will now become part of the agricultural landscape. Among other things, this means that the world should increase its carryover stocks of grain to provide adequate food security.

From “Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity” by Lester R. Brown (New York: W.W. Norton & Co.) Supporting data, video, and slideshows are available for free download at www.earth-policy.org/books/fpep.

 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 March 2016 13:11
 
Farmers, CSOs Rally Behind Environmentalist Jailed for Exposing Land Grabbing in Cameroon PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 15 February 2016 11:50

By Mbom Sixtus 

YOUNDE, Cameroon, Dec 15 2015 (IPS) - Farmers and activists in Cameroon say a jail sentence handed down on an environmentalist who exposed land-grabbing by a multinational agro-industrial company, sends a dangerous signal to communities trying to protect their land and resources.

Nasako Bessingi, Director of Struggle to Economize Future Environment, SEFE, was sentenced on November 3, by a court in Mundemba, a small village in Cameroon’s southwest region. The SG-SOC company, a subsidiary of the New York-based Herakles Farms and two of his former employees sued him for defamation.

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Jamaica’s Drought Tool Could Turn the Table on Climate Change PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 15 February 2016 11:46

By Zadie Neufvillel

Drought-map_

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jan 13 2016 (IPS) - On a very dry November 2013, Jamaica’s Meteorological Service made its first official drought forecast when the newly developed Climate Predictability Tool (CPT) was used to predict a high probability of below average rainfall in the coming three months.

By February, the agency had officially declared a drought in the eastern and central parishes of the island based on the forecasts. July’s predictions indicated that drought conditions would continue until at least September.

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Jamaica’s Climate Change Fight Fuels Investments in Renewables PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 15 February 2016 11:42

By Zadie Neufville

Jamaica's electricity generation systrms and grid will require significant upgrades and expansion. Credit: Zadie Neufville/ IPS

Jamaica's electricity generation systrms and grid will require significant upgrades and expansion. Credit: Zadie Neufville/ IPS

KINGSTON, Jan 18 2016 (IPS) - By year’s end, Jamaica will add 115 mega watts (MW) of renewable capacity to the power grid, in its quest to reduce energy costs and diversify the energy mix in electricity generation to 30 per cent by 2030.

With 90 per cent of its electricity coming from fossil fuels, the government is committed to reducing the country’s carbon emissions by increasing the amount of electricity generated from renewables from 9 per cent now, to 15 per cent by 2020.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 February 2016 11:44
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