Becoming Sustainable Montréal through action and leadership

Becoming Sustainable Montréal through action and leadership

The Ville de Montréal is making sustainability a reality. From electrifying transport to promoting urban agriculture, Montréal is enacting policies and initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help create a safe, resilient, inclusive and sustainable city. As host of the ICLEI World Congress 2018, Montréal’s initiative on climate and sustainability will be on display when local and regional leaders from around the world come together to show how they are advancing sustainable urban development worldwide. Through its Sustainable Montréal 2016-2020 plan, the city is taking on four key priorities: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuel Strengthen biodiversity, increase green space, protect and ensure the efficient use of natural resources Plan on the human scale, ensuring access to healthy, sustainable neighborhoods Transition to a green, circular and responsible economy.
Read the full article at: talkofthecities.iclei.org

Here’s How C&A Made the “World’s Most Sustainable Jeans” –

Here’s How C&A Made the “World’s Most Sustainable Jeans” –

What goes with C&A’s “world’s most sustainable T-shirt”? The Belgium-based retailer’s “world’s most sustainable jeans,” of course. Like their upper-body counterpart, the jeans are the first retail offering to be certified on a Gold level by California’s non-profit Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII). The accomplishment was no small feat: To qualify for a C2C certification, products must undergo a slew of tests for human and environmental health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, carbon management, water stewardship and social justice. Ratings are based on five levels: Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Though G-Star Raw partnered with Saitex and DyStar to concoct, from 100 percent organic cotton, the first-ever C2C Certified Gold denim, C&A opted for something with a bit more stretch. It worked with Arvind Limited to employ biocompatible elastane from Roica by Asahi Kasei and approved dyes from DyStar, but some components, such as the fabric lining of the waistband, required a complete overhaul. While polyester knit or non-woven interlinings are popularly employed for their versatility and affordability, they also often contain antimony, a chemical that is verboten under C2C guidelines. (Blends, for the same reason, are also a non-option.) An exclusively cotton interlining, one that proved durable enough for denim, had to be fabricated instead.

Lebanon: EU helps implementing circular economy in wineries

Lebanon: EU helps implementing circular economy in wineries

In late November 2018, together with its local partners in Lebanon, SCP/RAC, The Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production, has participated to The final capitalisation Seminar of the Pilot Project entitled “Wine Innovation for Sustainable Economies” in order to discuss its outcomes. The seminar has been preceded by a visit to the beneficiary of the project in the Beqaa valley namely Château Kefraya, to have more insights about the in situ composting process piloted on its premises. The seminar has witnessed the participation of many actors and has been an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas on the circular economy in Lebanon, beyond the winery sector.

Unilever and Veolia partner on sustainable packaging

Unilever and Veolia partner on sustainable packaging

Unilever is working toward a self-imposed goal to be, by 2025, using plastic packaging only if it is designed to be fully reusable, recyclable, or compostable. And since recyclables are only ever actually recycled if there’s a lucrative market for the resulting material, the multinational has also pledged to use 25% recycled material in its packaging by that same deadline. According to the media release, “Veolia will work with Unilever to implement used packaging collection solutions, add recycling capacity and develop new processes and business models through this partnership in various countries.” ​The partnership will begin with material collection projects in India and Indonesia. From there, presumably, the companies will build on their learnings and expand collection and recycling efforts accordingly. “The scale of the plastic waste issue is getting worse, not better, with the production of plastics expected to double over the next two decades,” ​acknowledges Marc Engel, Unilever’s chief supply chain officer. “We all have a lot more to do to address this critical issue and we hope that by partnering with Veolia, a world leader in waste management, we can take meaningful strides towards a circular economy.”
Read the full article at: www.cosmeticsdesign.com

Circular Economy? Member States want it ‘despacito’

Circular Economy? Member States want it ‘despacito’

After an 18-hour-long last negotiating meeting between the Council and the European Parliament an agreement to review the Waste Framework Directive, the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and the Landfill Directive has been found. Zero Waste Europe welcomes the new agreement which should deliver the promised benefits in jobs, economic savings and reduced environmental impact. However ZWE is concerned that the pace of ambition is too slow to address the challenges that Europe is facing today. The agreement keeps Europe in the right path but it mitigates the ambition brought by the European Parliament in March, and almost every single meaningful objective proposed by the Commission or the Parliament has been axed or delayed by the Council. New EU Waste law aims at recycling 65% of total municipal waste by 2035, later and lower than 70% by 2030 that the Parliament had proposed. The push for repair and reuse through a specific target of preparation for reuse proposed by the Parliament has disappeared along with the marine litter reduction target. ‘National governments have lost the chance of securing a quick and ambitious transition towards a circular economy’, Zero Waste Europe’s Policy Officer on Waste, Ferran Rosa said. Despite the low ambition in terms of objectives, the new directives have the potential to deliver substantial change and contain the relevant elements to move towards a zero waste circular economy, such as the separate collection of bio-waste and textiles that becomes compulsory by 2023 and 2025, respectively, and the call on the Commission to propose targets on waste prevention and food waste reduction. Additionally, the new text aims at mainstreaming economic incentives in an attempt to transform waste management policies and the design of products under producer responsibility schemes. According to Mr Rosa, ‘the text is a long list of good intentions, objectives and obligations, but only implementation will deliver substantial change’.
Read the full article at: zerowasteeurope.eu

Synthetic biology toolbox offers “unprecedented” functionality, to assist with bio- and circular economy challenges | Envirotec

Synthetic biology toolbox offers “unprecedented” functionality, to assist with bio- and circular economy challenges | Envirotec

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed what it describes as “an efficient synthetic biology toolbox for industry and research organisations.” The toolbox enables, in an unprecedented way, engineering of a diverse range of yeasts and fungi, says the group. VTT says it comprises DNA parts which can be easily combined to create new biological systems. 
The SES (Synthetic Expression System) toolbox seemingly enables expression of genes in yeasts and fungi considerably more efficiently and with better control than has been possible with previous methods. The toolbox is based on DNA components with well-defined functions and the components can be combined “as if they were Lego bricks.” In this way, molecular machines can be built, for example, for improved control of yeast cell performance in industrial bioprocesses for production of polymer precursors, fuels and medical compounds. Because the components of the SES toolbox operate the same way in different species, they can be used to engineer species that have attractive properties, but which have due to lack of engineering tools not been studied or used in biotechnology applications in the past. The SES toolbox is expected to enable development of numerous novel microbial production processes for valorization of various waste materials to higher value compounds. In doing so, the SES toolbox provides important solutions for bio- and circular economy challenges. VTT has written an article about the opportunities opened up by the toolbox, which you can read here. You can also read an article recently published in Nucleic Acids Research here.
Read the full article at: envirotecmagazine.com

Policy Brief On Circular Economy and Climate – Circle Economy

Policy Brief On Circular Economy and Climate – Circle Economy

The major emissions reductions needed to achieve this heavy lift have been recognized. However, these emissions reductions often target the source of emissions. While this is a reasonable approach, additional mitigation opportunities exist beyond the point where emissions are created.Transformational ideas add new climate action possibilities to the table and increase the likelihood of staying under 1.5° C. One set of policy options, in particular, is the circular economy, offering promise for cutting the current emissions gap significantly. Circular economy policies go beyond the source of emissions to socioeconomic practices that create the demand for emissions in the first place. The strategy involves moving beyond the current linear economic models, which extract materials, produce goods, sell them for consumption, and then discard them. Undertaking circular economy strategies can be accomplished while improving livelihoods and economies, and are often attractive from a business perspective. Circular economy models have been embraced by some subnational actors, especially cities; however, they have not been examined in much detail by the international climate community.

Sustainable Fashion: Reduce, Reuse, Exchange

Sustainable Fashion: Reduce, Reuse, Exchange

Finally, I wanted to close by featuring a fashion show recently held at MIT, to transform trash into fashion, as The Tech reported in One designer’s trash is another’s treasure: With the fashion industry leaving one of the largest global footprints in the world, UA Sustainability seeks to raise awareness for environmental issues in its student body. And what better way than a fashion show? Last Friday, the seventh annual Trashion Show took place in Walker Memorial. It was organized and hosted by UA Sustainability to promote waste reduction and sustainability on the runway. The show featured the creative styles of 17 designers, and 19 models strutted down Morss Hall wearing trash and various plastics, metals, paper, and recyclable materials not usually associated with high couture. Sam Magee, Jessica Rosencrantz ’05, and Professor John Fernandez were judging to decide the top three designs and the “Next Top Model.” Rosencrantz ’05 was an  undergraduate at MIT, majoring in biology and architecture, co-founded Nervous System, and is now working as a designer and artist. Sam Magee is manager of the student arts programs including the Arts Scholars, the Creative Arts Competition, the MIT START Studio, and the Grad Arts Forum. “It’s always a blast to judge this,” Magee said during the show. Finally, Fernandez is a professor in the Department of Architecture and Director of the Environmental Solutions Initiative. He discussed plans to highlight some of the Trashion Show designs during Earth Day Week. The elegant black mermaid dress (“Curtain Call”) was stunning, resembling a well-fitting dress despite being made from a reused trash bag, curtain, zipper, and snaps. I wasn’t alone in my opinion; the design won the Audience Choice Award that night. Takes me back to my undergrad years – peak Punk period – when women wore black trash bags, but not for ‘sustainable’ reasons.

A 20-second tweak for smarter, simpler Android security

A 20-second tweak for smarter, simpler Android security

Security is important. That much is obvious, right? And despite all the over-the-top, hilariously sensational headlines suggesting the contrary, the most realistic security threats on Android aren’t from the big, bad malware monster lurking in the shadows and waiting to steal your darkest secrets whilst drinking all of your cocoa. Nope — the biggest risk to your security on Android is (drumroll, please…) you. The likelihood that you’ll at some point provide personal information to an ill-intending person or fail to properly secure an account in some way is without a doubt the most realistic threat to your virtual wellbeing. Malware? Meh. That’s rarely scary in anything more than a theoretical sense. [ Keep up on the latest thought leadership, insights, how-to, and analysis on IT through Computerworld’s newsletters. ] And guess what? The best way to protect yourself, aside from that always-advisable juicy dollop of common sense, is to secure every account possible with both a strong, unique password and the extra layer of protection that’s two-factor authentication. That’s especially important for your Google account, but the same steps are advisable for any account where two-factor auth is an option. The one problem with two-factor authentication, or 2FA for short, is that it can be a bit of a pain in the patootie (to use the technical term) in practice. The whole point of 2FA is that it requires a second step to sign into any account where it’s active. In many cases, that step is a single-use code that’s generated by a special app and then entered into the sign-in screen. And that typically means you have to stop what you’re doing, go back to your home screen, open your app drawer, and then open your 2FA code-generating app to get the necessary code and copy it over into whatever form you’re facing. [Want even more advanced Android knowledge? Check out my free Android Shortcut Supercourse to learn tons of time-saving tricks for your phone.] That’s a hassle, to say the least. But hang on, my efficiency-adoring amigo, for there is a better way.
Read the full article at: www.computerworld.com

Sustainability | Free Full-Text | A Review of Waste Management Decision Support Tools and Their Ability to Assess Circular Biowaste Management Systems

Sustainability | Free Full-Text | A Review of Waste Management Decision Support Tools and Their Ability to Assess Circular Biowaste Management Systems

Circular economy has gained attention as a key solution for mitigating the increasing generation of solid waste and resource scarcity. As opposed to the linear economy, the concept describes how to develop closed-loop technical and biological cycles by either recycling materials indefinitely with no degradation of their properties (the technical cycle) or returning materials to the natural ecosystem with no harm to the environment (the biological cycle) [1]. Although circular economy practices (such as material recycling) are widely embraced as a sustainability strategy, it is important to consistently assess their net environmental benefits and possible drawbacks [2] and develop methods and indicators that are suitable for assessing circular economy concepts [3]. The term “circular economy” is frequently applied to suggest increased sustainability. However, it tends to focus on an increased quantity of reused and recycled resources and overlook the quality of resource flows re-entering to the product cycle [4]. This can pose a risk of augmenting unwanted recirculation of micro-pollutants [5,6,7,8], if disregarding the material quality, particularly in the transition period from linear to circular systems. In 2015, 241 million tonnes of municipal solid waste were generated in the EU [9]. Of this waste, 40–60% was organic waste [10], representing a great challenge in terms of its management. However, at the same time, organic waste also constitutes a valuable resource as a component in the circular bioeconomy [11,12]. Biowaste-based biorefineries, producing high value products such as enzymes, bioplastic and biofertilizer from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste, is an emerging technology field whose environmental performance should be addressed to ensure a beneficial implementation [12]. This study refers to such circular economy systems related to management of municipal biowaste as circular biowaste management systems (CBWMS). Several decision support tools (DSTs) based on life cycle assessment (LCA) are currently available to assess the sustainability of waste management systems (WMS). These WMS-DSTs are specifically developed to analyse the performance of integrated WMSs from collection, treatment and final disposal. Winkler and Bilitewski [13] and Jain et al. [14] showed large discrepancies in the results obtained when modelling specific scenarios across different WMS-DSTs. Gentil et al. [15] analysed the technical assumptions that caused the difference in the results obtained with various WMS-DST; e.g., time horizon for landfill emissions and calculation of long-term carbon balance when applying biowaste derived compost on soil [15].
Read the full article at: www.mdpi.com

A Redditor Asked, ‘What Do You Do That You Earn 6 Figures?’ The Answers Might Surprise You.

A Redditor Asked, ‘What Do You Do That You Earn 6 Figures?’ The Answers Might Surprise You.

“What do you do that you earn six figures? It seems like a lot of people make a lot of money and it seems like I’m missing out on something. So those of you that do, whats your occupation that pays so well?” Reddit user fidgit86 posed this question to r/financialindependence, a subreddit devoted to “people who are or want to become financially independent.” It’s a question that many of our Entrepreneur readers have, as well, because while the goal is typically to be able to quit your 9 to 5 job and focus full-time on your side hustle or entrepreneurial activities, starting a business rarely comes cheap. Heck, just living and paying bills is difficult enough. A high-paying job can lower your financial burden and potentially free your mind a little to start focusing on your future endeavors. Many of the responses were predictable: doctor, lawyer, salesperson, engineer. The eight professions below, however, might surprise you. If you feel underpaid or have decided to look for a new career while you flesh out that next big business idea, these Reddit responses may inspire you to consider an industry you never thought about before.

Stadium 974 receives five-star sustainability rating

Stadium 974 receives five-star sustainability rating

Stadium 974 – the first fully demountable tournament venue in FIFA World Cup™ history – has achieved a five-star rating under the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), which is administered by the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD).  The 40,000-capacity venue is a landmark in sustainable stadium design and construction, having been built with prefabricated and modular steel elements such as standard certi­fied shipping containers. This reduced the waste generated during the production of stadium components and the waste created on site during construction. The use of modular elements also reduced the venue’s construction duration. Water efficiency methods ensured that 974 reduced water use by 40% compared to a conventional stadium development.  As a result, 974 achieved a five-star rating for GSAS Design & Build and a Class A* rating for GSAS Construction Management. Executives from the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy received the certificates during a special event on Wednesday. The SC delegation included Eng. Ghanim Al Kuwari, Deputy Director General, Technical Services; Eng. Bodour Al Meer, Sustainability Executive Director; Mohamed Al Atwaan, Facilities Management Director, Stadium 974; and Jassim Al Jaidah, Sustainability Communications Manager.  As the f­irst-ever FIFA complaint stadium that can be fully dismantled and re-purposed post-event, 974 sets new standards in the building and usage of sustainable venues. This includes f­lexibility in the design to rebuild the stadium with the same capacity in a different location or build multiple smaller venues using the same materials. A study into the environmental impact of Stadium 974 was published earlier this year.  Located in Doha – close to Hamad International Airport and opposite the stunning West Bay skyline – Stadium 974 hosted its first match on 30 November 2021 during the FIFA Arab Cup™.  Eight stadiums will host matches during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, which will take place from 20 November to 18 December. Each venue has achieved a minimum four-star rating under GSAS, which was adopted as a sustainability rating system by FIFA and will ensure all tournament-related infrastructure meets stringent environmental standards.  Stadium 974 will host seven matches up to the round of 16 stages during Qatar 2022, starting with Mexico versus Poland on 22 November.

Festive December in Slovenia and sustainability

Festive December in Slovenia and sustainability

If you were asked what makes Advent the most magical time of the year, we would probably get pretty similar answers. Festive lights and decorations, lively festive fairs, gift shopping, exquisite culinary delights and socialising with friends would probably be at the top of the list. But also the euphoria and crowds of December, which can sometimes be quite exhausting, can’t they? Why not make this a time to pause for a moment, think about the true meaning of the holidays and discover the magic of Advent in a different way? Also, by thinking ahead and embracing the joys of Advent in a more sustainable way. Here are some of the things we are trying to do in Slovenia to bring some “green” consciousness to the Advent fairy tale.  In the glow of festive lights – Slovenian cities and towns shine with thousands of festive lights in December. Despite the lavish lighting, energy-saving strings of lights are mostly used and in some places additional energy-saving measures are being taken. In Celje, more attention will be paid to the daytime decoration of the city and its bars and lighting elements will be replaced by non-illuminated features that are less energy-consuming. Murska Sobota, Maribor, Kranj and Slovenj Gradec have also decided to switch off their New Year lighting at night, and the light decorations in Koper will be partially switched off at night, while Jesenice will keep its lights on for a shorter period than usual. Additional or non-essential lighting was also given up in many towns.  Festive decorations for homes and towns.  In addition to the lights, decorated Christmas trees and other types of decorations, mostly made from natural or recycled materials, decorate the towns. Instead of cut down Christmas trees, you will find so-called living trees, which are planted in special pots. In Ljubljana, 10 spruce trees and 79 evergreen trees will be placed on four streets in the city centre and returned to nature after the holidays. Children from local schools and kindergartens often take part in decorating the trees. For example, the children will decorate the forests around Ljubljana and they have invited the city’s residents to contribute their own decorations. In Maribor, you can also join the citizens in decorating the urban woods.

How the life sciences sector uses marine residuals to create sustainable products – The Explorer

How the life sciences sector uses marine residuals to create sustainable products – The Explorer

Norwegian life sciences companies are finding new ways to extract useful compounds from marine residual materials, leading to innovations in health, medicine and food production while building a blue circular economy.  In terms of mass, 35 per cent of the harvest from fisheries and fish farms is residual materials. These are biological “leftovers” after the primary product has been extracted – for example, skin, guts, heads and bones from fish and shells from shellfish.  “Both aquaculture and pelagic fisheries create a high volume of residual material,” explains Hanne Mette Dyrlie Kristensen, CEO of The Life Science Cluster.  “For example, only about two thirds of a salmon’s weight can be sold as fillets. The question is: What do we do with the rest? Do we throw it back into the ocean, sell it as pet food, or can we find new, higher value use for it?”   The Life Science Cluster is a network for companies and organisations in industries for which the life sciences are key. The cluster promotes the development of new technology and higher value products in health, medicine, and the marine, agriculture and forestry sectors. This includes the use of marine residuals, which contain proteins, oils and other compounds that can be extracted and made into valuable products.  Norwegian companies are already adept at not letting marine residuals go to waste. Approximately 82 per cent of the harvest from Norwegian fisheries and fish farms is utilised in one way or another. Nevertheless, Kristensen would like to see an even higher percentage.  “We want to increase the use of marine residuals because it is a way of ensuring sustainable and circular resource use. Making sure to use every ounce we harvest is also a way of showing respect for marine life.”   Norway is a world leader in “blue” life science.  There are many products that can be made from marine residuals. Kristensen explains that Norwegian companies are continuously discovering untapped potential, based on synergies between industries.  “A good example is Arctic Bioscience, a company that uses herring roe to extract useful compounds for pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements. Herring roe is a new resource in this respect; previously it has been discarded completely during the processing of herring.”

Employers Rethink Need for College Degrees in Tight Labor Market

Employers Rethink Need for College Degrees in Tight Labor Market

The tight labor market is prompting more employers to eliminate one of the biggest requirements for many higher-paying jobs: the need for a college degree.  Companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Delta Air Lines Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. have reduced educational requirements for certain positions and shifted hiring to focus more on skills and experience. Maryland this year cut college-degree requirements for many state jobs—leading to a surge in hiring—and incoming Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro campaigned on a similar initiative.  U.S. job postings requiring at least a bachelor’s degree were 41% in November, down from 46% at the start of 2019 ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an analysis by the Burning Glass Institute, a think tank that studies the future of work. Degree requirements dropped even more early in the pandemic. They have grown since then but remain below prepandemic levels.  The shift comes as demand for workers remains high and unemployment is low. Job postings far outpace the number of unemployed people looking for work—10.7 million openings in September compared with 5.8 million unemployed—creating unusually stiff competition for workers.  The persistently tight labor market has accelerated the trend that builds on a debate about the benefits and drawbacks of encouraging more people to attend four-year colleges and as organizations try to address racial disparities in the workplace.  Some occupations have universal degree requirements, such as doctors and engineers, while others typically have no higher education requirements, such as retail workers. There is a middle ground, such as tech positions, that have varying degree requirements depending on the industry, company and strength of the labor market and economy.  Lucy Mathis won a scholarship to attend a women in computer science conference. There, she learned about an IT internship at Google and eventually dropped out of her computer science undergraduate program to work at the company full time. The 28-year-old now makes a six-figure sum as a systems specialist.  “I found out I had a knack for IT,” she said. “I’m not good at academics. It’s not for me.” 

Navigator Company packaging brand to host sustainability webinar

Navigator Company packaging brand to host sustainability webinar

The main purpose of this webinar is to discuss the importance of Eucalyptus globulus as a differential element for innovation and the creation of a disruptive product that opens the way for a new packaging paradigm.  Industry experts Angela Graham-Brown (WBCSD), Fabienne Sinclair (PEFC), and Jonathan Tame (Two-Sides) will discuss forests, biodiversity, sustainability, the importance of PEFC, the growth of the circular bioeconomy with forest products, the myths, and facts about paper packaging and the role of virgin fibre.  gKRAFT aims to be the solution that guarantees the reduction of the use of fossil materials, as is the case with most plastics, in favour of renewable and biodegradable forest-based materials to help build a sustainable future.  The Navigator Company’s packaging solution includes three sub-brands targeting specific market needs: FLEX was designed to develop flexible packaging for the food industry, catering, and pharmaceutical trade; BAG is intended for retail product packaging already used by major international brands; finally, BOX (focused on paper for corrugated cardboard boxes) is intended for more resistant industrial and retail packaging, namely food retail, where there is a growing need for shelf-ready packaging, particularly in refrigerated environments, with high-quality printing to attract consumers and differentiate brands from the competition.

Adopt A Cherry Tree | Trust for the National Mall

Adopt A Cherry Tree | Trust for the National Mall

The cherry trees on the Tidal Basin need care and tending year round.  For more than a century, the cherry trees on the National Mall have been a beloved cultural symbol and popular tourist destination that draws visitors from around the world to our nation’s capital. Living symbols of friendship and diplomacy, the trees have adorned the National Mall waterfront since 1912, when the Mayor of Tokyo gifted cherry trees to the United States.  The iconic trees on the Tidal Basin, a beautiful but fragile wetland ecosystem, require year-round care and tending to bloom. The changing climate and rising sea-level of the Tidal Basin, coupled with damage from weather and ever-increasing foot traffic pose a growing threat to health of the trees. The Trust for the National Mall is proud to partner with the National Park Service and friends like you to steward the trees.  The cost to maintain the Cherry Trees exceeds the federal funds available to provide for their care.  But with your help, the Trust for the National Mall and the National Park Service can provide care for the trees and ensure they will endure and flourish for years to come.  The Trust for the National Mall has partnered with the National Cherry Blossom Festival to launch our Adopt a Cherry Tree Campaign with a goal to raise over $3.7 million to care for the 3,700 cherry trees and create a maintenance fund to care for the trees all year long.  We seek ambassadors like you who share our commitment to environmental sustainability and are willing to join our mission to preserve this cultural landscape and living symbol of friendship and diplomacy.  The future of this annual spring tradition is becoming increasingly uncertain as the trees face damage foot traffic from the millions of visitors, the growing impacts of the changing climate and daily flooding caused by the rising sea level that damages their root systems. Now more than ever, the Cherry Trees need support to ensure they will continue to bloom and thrive for generations to come.

Elena Bennett: Exploring the complexity of ecosystems

Elena Bennett: Exploring the complexity of ecosystems

You can hear it in her voice, during a breakfast-time conversation about her attention-getting research on the unseen and unacknowledged relationships between humans and nature. An ecosystem ecologist jointly appointed to the Bieler School of Environment and the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, she’s up early and deep into a description of the data-gathering she’s doing for Canada’s Census of Environment, the first-ever national register of the country’s ecosystems and the services they provide.
Bennett is the principle investigator for NSERC ResNet, an interdisciplinary network of Canadian researchers and other specialists who examine the many different facets of our country’s ecosystems (she also chairs ResNet’s scientific committee). Along with her ResNet colleagues, she is busy developing new ways of understanding and assessing the present state and future possibilities of the country’s highly complex landscapes. She hopes to make useful contributions as Statistics Canada prepares the census (she was asked to join the external advisory committee for the census).
But as she homes in on a specific local problem of what should be done with Nova Scotia’s costly, vulnerable dikelands, which have long separated encroaching sea water from developed agricultural areas, she realizes she’s hit on an issue that both bothers her and excites her about the limitations of big-budget scientific research on the national scale.
“In helping to nudge Canada’s Census of Environment towards being as useful as possible to as many decision-makers as possible, one thing we’ve been thinking about is finding ways to engage actors at a very local level and assist their decisions even as we are also collecting national-scale data. How do we provide data that’s useful to federal and provincial decision-makers, but also useful in a very particular way to these local decision-makers?
“Scientifically I don’t think we know how to do that yet,” she adds, and now the measured, pensive delivery of McGill’s Canada Research Chair in Sustainability Science suddenly takes a passionate and intellectually impulsive turn. “And anywhere that I hear ‘We don’t know how to do that,’ I think, Oooh, that’s a neat idea.”
“Neat idea” may not be an official term…

Tibetan delegation at COP 27 raises concern over environmental degradation due to Chinese projects

Tibetan delegation at COP 27 raises concern over environmental degradation due to Chinese projects

The Tibet delegation pointed out that the Chinese government is responsible for the worsening climate situation in the region which is already affected by global warming.  The all-women Tibetan representative at the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (Cop 27) raised the climate crisis that is threatening Tibet and the degradation of the environment due to Chinese projects, Tibet press reported. They demanded that world leaders acknowledge Tibet’s ecological significance and adopt a rights-based strategy that gives frontline communities power.  According to the Tibet press, China imprisons and sentence the Tibetans who defend and protect their environment be it against the constant damming projects – adhering towards it so called Hydro-Hegemony, mining extensively without any recovery time, needless development of grasslands and Greenwashing – which sees large number of Tibetans relocated from the ancestral lands in the name of development and for its realization, Beijing has directed a large sum of governmental finances (taxpayers money) which instead could have been utilized consciously in preserving the environment. The Tibet delegation pointed out that the Chinese government is responsible for the worsening climate situation in the region which is already affected by global warming.  This is further accelerated by the policies implemented in Tibet by Beijing that pushes for development but neglects sustainability. Tibetan environmentalists have been sentenced without any legal justification by China. Environmental activists Nya Sengdra and Karma Samdrup are in prison to preserve and protect Tibet’s fragile and unique ecology and also that both have been sent to prison without formal legal procedures.  In 2010 Human Rights Watch submitted a report to the Chinese government requesting to rescind the accusations against the philanthropist and environmentalist Karma Samdrup and his brothers. It states “these people embody the characteristics the government says it wants in modern Tibetans – economically successful, lending support to only approved cultural and environmental pursuits, and apolitical – yet they, too, are being treated as criminals.” This illustrates what the Chinese think of Tibetans who are not only apolitical but are trying to bring upward mobility to not only Tibetans but also the Chinese residing in Tibet especially in terms of the quality of life which is intertwined with the state of the environment. Lobsang Yangsto , the programme and environment coordinator at the International Tibet Network (ITN) along with 4 other Tibetan women at the CoP27, highlighted the desecration and destruction of Tibet’s fragile and vital ecosystem under the illegal Chinese occupation.

Workshops on urban infra and transport organised by Central Nodal Department

Workshops on urban infra and transport organised by Central Nodal Department

The Madhya Pradesh government and Central Nodal Department on Saturday organised workshops on Urban infra, urban transport, roads and logistics, informed a Finance Ministry press release. “The in-person workshop on Track 1 – Urban Infra, Urban Transport, Roads & Logistics, Power, and Industrial Infrastructure of Sub-Theme 2 – Infrastructure & Investments under Pillar 1 – Growth and Job Creation, in the run-up to the 2nd Conference of Chief Secretaries, was organised by the track-lead State of Madhya Pradesh and the Central Nodal Department i.e., the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, Government of India,” the Ministry of Finance said in the release.  As per the release, the workshops witnessed participation from 16 State Governments and Union Territories. The workshop saw participation from over 60 senior officials from the State Governments and Union Territories and also representatives from industry and academia. The workshop was inaugurated by the Chief Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Iqbal Singh Bains, and Secretary, DEA, MoF, GoI, Ajay Seth.  They suggested utilising this opportunity to enable a centre-state and inter-state discussion on ideas, potential solutions and exchange of learnings and best practices. They also emphasised the need to bring forth practical recommendations that are of utmost relevance to the State/UTs and aligned to the theme for this year’s conference – ‘Viksit Bharat – Reaching the Last Mile’, the release added. In his context-setting address, Principal Secretary, of the Urban Development and Housing Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Neeraj Mandloi, apprised of the background and steps leading to today’s in-person workshop, such as preparation of concept notes, background paper and video conference meeting held earlier this month.  As per the release, the session also witnessed the launch of the scheme guidelines for the financial support for Project Development Expenses of PPP Projects – India Infrastructure Project Development Fund (IIPDF) Scheme (The Scheme was notified on 3rd November 2022). During the workshop, presentations were made by representatives from industry and academia, State Governments and Union Territories followed by an open house discussion on major implementation models, ideas and experiences across projects, schemes and the way forward, the Ministry further stated. (ANI)