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International Day for Biological Diversity 2015: SDGs and compliance with precautionary principle. PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 22 May 2015 10:15

 

By  Joan Russow, Global Compliance Research Project

 

 

 


``This year’s theme of the international day for Biodiversity reflects the importance of efforts made at all levels to establish a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda for the period of 2015-2030 and the relevance of biodiversity for the achievement of sustainable development.`` In 1992, since the negotiation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Rio declaration, there has been  progressive  loss  of biodiversity caused by the failure to invoke the precautionary .principle to ban practices, and substances  which impact on land and  water has led to the loss of biodiversity.

The theme of Rio+20 was" the future we want”. In 2015 the United Nations SDGs theme: 2030 “shaping the world we want.  The question arises; isit possible to have sustainability within a world of predominantly unsustainable substances and practices that defy the precautionary principle.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 May 2015 10:30
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China’s Amazonian railway ‘threatens uncontacted tribes’ and the rainforest PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 12:31

 

Environmentalists sound alarm over plans to construct 5,300km route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to cut transport costs
 
amazon railway china fears
 The 1.8m hectares Madre de Dios reserve is the largest national park in Peru Photograph: Enrique Castro-Mendivil/Reuters

Chinese premier Li Keqiang is to push controversial plans for a railway through the Amazon rainforest during a visit to South America next week, despite concerns about the possible impact on the environment and on indigenous tribes.

Currently just a line on a map, the proposed 5,300km route in Brazil and Peru would reduce the transport costs for oil, iron ore, soya beans and other commodities, but cut through some of the world’s most biodiverse forest.

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NGOs Urge Post-2015 Declaration Include Water, Sanitation as Basic Human Rights PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 15 May 2015 10:24

By Thalif Deen

Water is supplied by the military in Old Dhaka, Bangladesh. Credit: UN Photo/Kibae Park

Water is supplied by the military in Old Dhaka, Bangladesh. Credit: UN Photo/Kibae Park

UNITED NATIONS, May 13 2015 (IPS) - Virtually every major international conference concludes with a “programme of action” (PoA) – described in U.N. jargon as “an outcome document” – preceded by a political declaration where 193 member states religiously pledge to honour their commitments.

But over 620 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), a hefty coalition of mostly international water activists, are complaining that a proposed political declaration for the U.N.’s post-2015 development agenda is set to marginalise water and sanitation.

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HUNGARY TO BECOME FIRST MEMBER STATE TO IMPLEMENT NEW EU REGULATIONS ON GMOS PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 09:03
By Hungary Today 
http://hungarytoday.hu/news/hungary-become-first-member-state-implement-new-eu-regulations-gmo-75561
Agriculture (photo: csabaimerleg.hu)

 

 

“Hungary could be the first to introduce the new European Union regulations allowing countries to ban the cultivation of GMO crops”, a Ministry of Agriculture’s official told Hungarian news agency MTI in Berlin on Friday. In his statement following the “GMO-free Europe” conference, deputy state secretary Dr. András Rácz stressed that in addition to transposing the new regulations into Hungarian law, the Farm Ministry is also working on introducing a new labelling system by the end of the year that would enable foods such as meat, fish, eggs, milk and honey to be labelled as GMO-free if certified as not containing GMOs and livestock receive only GMO-free feed.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 09:07
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Nepal disaster; the need for prevention and adherence to the precautionary principle – a message that must be heeded by the global community. PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 27 April 2015 11:22
 
By Joan Russow, Global Compliance Research Project
 
 
When earthquakes happen, there is always a question of how they could have been prevented.  Nepali journalist Kunda Dixit, emphasized there has been post-disaster relief instead of preventive measures.  In Nepal,  many of the measures did not happen because lack of funds.  http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/04/nepals-predictable-tragedy/391496/ 
 
 
In other parts of the world, however, preventive measures are not taken because of  vested economic interests. 
 
Even when there is almost scientific certainty that fracking has been linked to earthquakes, precaution is ignored.
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Tailings Ponds Pose a Threat to Chilean Communities PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 27 April 2015 07:08

By Marianela Jarroud

The Ojancos tailings dam abandoned by the Sali Hochschild mining company, which spilled toxic waste after the late March thunderstorm that caused flooding in northern Chile. The waste reached the Copiapó river and the water supply on the outskirts of the city of Copiapó. Credit: Courtesy Relaves.org

The Ojancos tailings dam abandoned by the Sali Hochschild mining company, which spilled toxic waste after the late March thunderstorm that caused flooding in northern Chile. The waste reached the Copiapó river and the water supply on the outskirts of the city of Copiapó. Credit: Courtesy Relaves.org

SANTIAGO, Apr 21 2015 (IPS) - Chile lives under the constant threat of spillage from tailings ponds, which became even more marked in late March after heavy rains fell in the desert region of Atacama leaving over two dozen people dead and missing and thousands without a home.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 07:23
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Why is Harper Selling Canada's Fresh Water Supply to French Companies? PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 23 April 2015 09:38

by Maud Barlow, national Chair, Council of Canadians

 
Posted: Updated: 

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/maude-barlow/canada-eu-water-deal_b_4122048.html

Prime Minister Harper has just signed the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and Canadians who care about our freshwater heritage should be deeply concerned for three reasons.

First, the massive increase in beef and pork exports that have been negotiated will put a terrible strain on our water supplies. Beef producers can now export close to 70,000 tonnes of beef to Europe and an undisclosed but higher amount of pork. Meat production is highly water intensive. It takes over 15 million litres of water to produce one tonne of beef, for example.

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New UN report finds almost no industry profitable if environmental costs were included PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 18 April 2015 06:14

 

 by Michael Thomas April 9, 2015

If you haven’t been paying attention, I don’t blame you for at first not believing this. After all, companies go to great lengths to greenwash their image and present themselves as progressive and environmentally responsible, even while they turn you land to deserts and your oceans into dead zones. Unfortunately, as Mark Twain once famously said: “‘It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
pollution2
The truth is that our current system allows pretty much every coroporation to externalize both environmental and social costs. In this article, we won’t even be touching on social costs. If you don’t know what cost externalization is, you can imagine it as making someone else pay part or all of your costs. For example, BP externalized the environmental costs of the Deepwater Horizon disaster by consuming all of the profits but making the government pay for anything beyond the most shoddy and superficial attempts at stopping the crisis.
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Ecojustice sues Ottawa over refusal to review crop pesticide PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 16 April 2015 12:35

Federal government violating own law on pesticides, lawsuit claims

BY Canadian Press Posted: Apr 16, 2015 10:19 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 16, 2015 1:59 PM ET

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/ecojustice-sues-ottawa-over-refusal-to-review-crop-pesticide-1.3035520?cmp=rss&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

A stag stands in a neck-high field of canola north of Cremona, Alta.  The fungicide difenoconazole is increasingly used on cereal, oilseed and vegetable crops in Canada.

A stag stands in a neck-high field of canola north of Cremona, Alta. The fungicide difenoconazole is increasingly used on cereal, oilseed and vegetable crops in Canada. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Environmental groups have revived a lawsuit against the federal government because the Health Department changed its mind about reviewing a pesticide that is banned in Norway but is increasingly common in Canada.

The decision to stop the review of a fungicide used on cereal, oilseed and vegetable crops violates the government's own legislation, said Lara Tessoro, a lawyer for Ecojustice, the firm acting for several groups behind the lawsuit.

"The duty on the government is to assess all the products containing the ingredient."

The lawsuit is over difenoconazole, which is known to be toxic to fish and believed by some scientists to accumulate in increasing amounts in the food chain. The suit was originally filed in 2013 in an attempt to force the government to review 23 different pesticides.

The action was put on hold after Ottawa agreed to the reviews. But the Pest Management Regulatory Agency has now pulled back.

"The special review ... is no longer required," said a letter from the agency to Ecojustice.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 21:19
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The Renewable Revolution Four Reasons Why the Transition From Fossil Fuels to a Green Energy Era Is Gaining Traction PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 16 April 2015 09:34

By Michael T. Klare

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175982/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_is_the_age_of_renewable_energy_already_upon_us

Consider the extremes of our present climate moment by the numbers. Recently, Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman professor of economics at the University of Chicago and the former chief economist of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, did a little calculating. He was curious to find out just how much the planet’s temperature might rise if we managed to burn all the fossil fuel reserves that “can be extracted with today’s technology.” Without beating around the (burning) bush, the answer he came up with was a staggering 16.2 degrees Fahrenheit. To put that in perspective, climate science suggests that unless we keep the temperature rise from the burning of fossil fuels under 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) catastrophic changes are likely to occur, including, as Greenstone points out, the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which will reshape human life on this planet in grim ways. And even that 3.6-degree mark might be too high. Add in another nearly 13 degrees of warming and you could have the definition of an uninhabitable planet (at least by humans). It should give us all the chills -- or more appropriately, leave us with fever dreams of a future in which humanity was incapable of getting itself together, dealing with entrenched fossil fuel interests, and saving a planet that had for so many tens of thousands of years been the rather habitable home of our species.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 21:30
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