Archive | July 2016

“Food waste: harvesting Spain’s unwanted crops to feed the hungry”

Advocates of gleaning say that the movement could reduce pressure on land use, improve diets, feed the hungry and provide work for the socially excluded.

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Europe wastes some 88m tonnes of food each year – around 173 kg per person – with costs estimated at €143bn (£113bn). Advocates of the new gleaning movements say that its collection could reduce pressure on land use, improve diets, feed the hungry and provide work for the socially excluded.

 

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“Top Peruvian Amazon tourist destination invaded by gold-miners”

Security forces raid an illegal mining camp in the Tambopata National Reserve in April 2016, but environmental activist Victor Zambrano questions such initiatives.

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The World Travel and Tourism Council predicts that travel and tourism’s “total contribution” to Peru’s GDP will exceed 11% by 2026, but how well, in the long-term, is Peru protecting its best tourist assets? Among foreign tourists easily the most popular destination in the country’s lowland Amazon region is the 274,000 hectare Tambopata National Reserve (TNR) – yet it currently stands invaded by gold-miners.

“Recipe For War: Remove Water and Food, Add Ethnic Strife—Then Stir”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-26/recipe-for-war-remove-water-and-food-add-ethnic-strife-then-stir

The question is no longer just whether climate change will kill us, but also whether climate change will make us kill each other.

Almost 25 percent of armed conflicts in ethnically divided countries occur around the same time as climate-related disasters. This is the main take-away of a new study by researchers that adds crucial data to a debate that’s been simmering for several years: Is there evidence (PDF) that ties war and civil unrest to the changing climate? Another finding directly applies to this and humanity’s key climate change choke points: food and water. Over the three decades ending in 2010, 9 percent of wars took place in the wake of heat waves or droughts.

“A Mouth Full of Crickets? Lobbyists Speak Up for Edible Insects”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-25/a-mouth-full-of-crickets-lobbyists-speak-up-for-edible-insects

Connoisseurs of edible insects say more and more people are coming to like such dishes, which represent an untapped source of environmentally sustainable protein. And the industry is getting organized to push for further consumer — and government — acceptance.

At a conference of bug-eaters held in May in Detroit, the North American Edible Insect Coalition was organized. It plans to announce a lobbying campaign in a few months to convince the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to add mealworms, crickets protein powder and other insect products to the agency’s database of Generally Recognized as Safe ingredients, or GRAS.

“WWF buys shark fishing licence on Great Barrier Reef to scrap it”

A whitetip reef shark on the Great Barrier Reef. WWF says the long nets catch almost anything they pass over, including dugongs, dolphins and turtles.

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A conservation group has taken the unusual step of buying a commercial shark fishing licence on the Great Barrier Reef, and will retire it, saving the sharks that it would otherwise be used to catch.

“Cattle Grazing Is Now Causing Massive Deforestation Hotspots In The Peruvian Amazon”

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Deforestation in the Amazon has been a growing problem over the past five decades, with ranchers leading the way in clearing rainforest for cattle and cultivation. But while Brazil, the largest country in South America, seems on track to reduce deforestation, other major Amazonian countries like Peru are increasingly struggling to protect their share of the world’s largest rainforest.

“Soaring Temperatures Will Make It Too Hot to Work, UN Warns”

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-19/soaring-temperatures-will-make-it-too-hot-to-work-un-warns

Searing temperatures caused by climate change may cost global economies more than $2 trillion by 2030, restricting working hours in some of the poorest parts of the world, according to United Nations research. As many as 43 countries, especially those in Asia, including China, Indonesia, and Malaysia, will experience declines in their economies because of heat stress, says Tord Kjellstrom, a director at the Health and Environment International Trust, based in Nelson, New Zealand. As a result, China’s gross domestic product would be reduced 1 percent and Indonesia’s by 6 percent by 2030.

“Biodiversity is below safe levels across more than half of world’s land – study”

Enormous swaths of dry forest in Paraguay’s sparsely populated Chaco Boreal region have been cleared for cattle ranching

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Habitat destruction has reduced the variety of plants and animals to the point that ecological systems could become unable to function properly, with risks for agriculture and human health, say scientists.

“Suburban birds angrier, more agressive than their rural peers”

http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2016/07/15/Suburban-birds-angrier,-more-agressive-than-their-rural-peers/3611468589469/?nll=1

City life demands a more aggressive disposition — for humans and for bids. The same goes for suburban life.

A new study found birds living among suburban environs exhibit higher levels of territorial aggression than their peers from the country. The closer to the city, the angrier the birds.