Friday, October 6, 2017

Our Rivers Are Dying

Ganga, Krishna, Narmada, Kaveri – many of our great rivers are depleting fast. If we do not act now, the legacy we hand over to the next generation will be one of conflict and deprivation. These rivers nurtured and nourished us for thousands of years. It is time we nurture and nourish them back to health.

Saving Our Rivers

The simplest solution to rejuvenate India’s rivers is to maintain a minimum of one kilometer tree cover on riversides.
Forest trees can be planted on government land and tree-based agriculture brought in on farm land. This will ensure our rivers are fed throughout the year by the moist soil. This will also reduce floods, drought and soil loss, and increase farmers’ incomes. Learn More

What you can do…

Your missed call will help in the creation of a positive river policy to revive our rivers. Find out how

Send Us Your Ideas

We welcome all environmental scientists, experts and practitioners to contribute their knowledge and expertise towards creating a roadmap to rejuvenate our depleting rivers and save our country’s lifelines.
We look forward to receiving your suggestions at
content courtesy :

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pope Francis stresses 'right to environment' in UN speech

Pope Francis has urged a large gathering of world leaders at the United Nations in New York to respect humanity's "right to the environment".
He also called on financial agencies not to subject countries to "oppressive lending systems" that worsen poverty.
In an allusion to the Church's teachings on sexual minorities, he called for respect for the "natural difference between man and woman".
He went on to visit the 11 September memorial for a multi-faith service.
After a silent prayer, the pontiff met relatives of some of the victims of the attack in 2001.
Pope Francis later visited a Catholic school in the heavily Hispanic New York neighbourhood of East Harlem.
The crowd in the gym of Our Lady Queen of Angels School included more than 100 immigrants, who greeted Francis with songs.
One eyewitness wrote on Twitter: "He's (Pope) having a blast in Harlem. Big smile. #PopeinNYC".

'Ideological colonisation'

In a wide-ranging speech at the UN, the Pope said the universe was "the fruit of a loving decision by the Creator" and that humanity "is not authorised to abuse it, much less to destroy it."
He said he hoped a forthcoming summit on climate change in Paris would produce a "fundamental and effective agreement".
He addressed topics including girls' education and drug trafficking. He welcomed the deal between Iran and world powers on its nuclear deal, calling it "proof of the potential of political goodwill".
He also condemned "ideological colonisation by the imposition of anomalous models and lifestyles which are alien to people's identity" in what was understood as a reference to Western support for gay and transgender rights in other countries.

At a memorial service at the September 11 Memorial Museum, he prayed for those killed in the attacks and for healing for their relatives.

Catholics in America:

  • 80 million baptised as Catholics
  • Six of the nine Supreme Court justices are Catholic
  • 31% of the US Congress (22% general population)
  • One Catholic president (JFK) and one vice-president (Joe Biden) in the history of the US
  • Six Catholic Republicans running for 2016 presidential nomination, the most ever
Source: New York Times

About 80,000 people are expected to watch the procession as he makes his way to Mass at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.
Nearly 20,000 are set to attend the service at the major sporting and concert arena.
Thousands lined Fifth Avenue on Thursday evening as the Argentine pontiff made his way to St Patrick's Cathedral for evening prayers.
The Pope arrived in New York from Washington, where he delivered the first-ever papal address to the US Congress.
In the speech, he urged a humane response to migrants, an end to the death penalty and better treatment of the poor and disadvantaged.
Next he will go to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he will speak in front of Independence Hall and celebrate Mass at a Catholic families' rally.
content courtesy : BBC

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Canada ranks #2 for most LEED buildings

Though LEED is not the world’s only green building rating system, it is the most widely used and recognized. Thus it is no small thing that, for the second year in a row, Canada is #2 for LEED building in the World.
Most Certified Projects
Canada has the highest gross square meters (GSM) of LEED certified space internationally (ie outside of the United States) and the highest number of certified and registered projects (4,735).
European nations did poorly, with Germany placing #7 and Sweden #11, because the LEED program originates in the United States.
“(This) does not take into consideration other green building standards or rating systems. We cannot comment on which country leads the world in terms of overall emissions reductions,” explained Mark Hutchinson, Director of Green Building Programs for the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).
Canada’s LEED Accomplishments
Canada has been a leader in the green building movement since 2005. Some of its LEED accomplishments include:
  •  Energy Savings of 4,230,206 eMWh which is enough to power 143,533 homes in Canada for a full year.
  • 822,731 CO2e tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions which equates to taking 155,526 cars off the road for a year.
  • Water savings totalling over 8.7 billion litres, the equivalent of 3,505 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Recycling over 1.1 million tones of construction/demolition waste which represents 348,691 garbage truck loads.
  •  Installing 157,309 square metres of green roofs, or an area the size of 104 NHL hock rinks. This reducing the urban heat island effect and mitigates storm water flows in urban areas.
Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia lead the nation in terms of LEED projects, with 962, 439 and 407 respectively.
Five of the more notable projects certified in Canada during 2014 are:
• Vancouver, British Columbia: Van Dusen Botanical Garden, LEED Platinum
• St. John, New Brunswick: The City of St. John Police Headquarters, LEED Gold
• Toronto, Ontario: WaterPark Place, LEED Platinum (first Canadian project to earn LEED Platinum through the CaGBC’s recertification program)
• Calgary, Alberta: Bow Valley Square, LEED Gold
• Quebec City, Quebec: Place TELUS / TELUS House, LEED Gold.”
Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia lead the nation in terms of LEED projects, with 962, 439 and 407 respectively.

Continue reading at enn

content Courtesy : enn

Monday, July 13, 2015

Climate change threat must be taken as seriously as nuclear war – UK minister

The threat of climate change needs to be assessed in the same comprehensive way as nuclear weapons proliferation, according to a UK foreign minister.

Baroness Joyce Anelay, minister of state at the Commonwealth and Foreign Office, said the indirect impacts of global warming, such as deteriorating international security, could be far greater than the direct effects, such as flooding. She issued the warning in a foreword to a new report on the risks of climate change led by the UK’s climate change envoy, Prof Sir David King.

The report, commissioned by the Foreign Office, and written by experts from the UK, US, China and India, is stark in its assessment of the wide-ranging dangers posed by unchecked global warming, including:

  • very large risks to global food security, including a tripling of food prices
  • unprecedented migration overwhelming international assistance
  • increased risk of terrorism as states fail
  • lethal heat even for people resting in shade

The world’s nations are preparing for a crunch UN summit in Paris in December, at which they must agree a deal to combat climate change.

Monday’s report states that existing plans to curb carbon emissions would heighten the chances of the climate passing tipping points “beyond which the inconvenient may become intolerable”. In 2004, King, then the government’s chief scientific adviser, warned that climate change is a more serious threat to the world than terrorism.

“Assessing the risk around [nuclear weapon proliferation] depends on understanding inter-dependent elements, including: what the science tells us is possible; what our political analysis tells us a country may intend; and what the systemic factors are, such as regional power dynamics,” said Anelay. “The risk of climate change demands a similarly holistic assessment.”

The report sets out the direct risks of climate change. “Humans have limited tolerance for heat stress,” it states. “In the current climate, safe climatic conditions for work are already exceeded frequently for short periods in hot countries, and heatwaves already cause fatalities. In future, climatic conditions could exceed potentially lethal limits of heat stress even for individuals resting in the shade.”

It notes that “the number of people exposed to extreme water shortage is projected to double, globally, by mid century due to population growth alone. Climate change could increase the risk in some regions.”

In the worst case, what is today a once-in-30-year flood could happen every three years in the highly populated river basins of the Yellow, Ganges and Indus rivers, the report said. Without dramatic cuts to carbon emissions, extreme drought affecting farmland could double around the world, with impacts in southern Africa, the US and south Asia.

Areas affected by the knock-on or systemic risks of global warming include global security with extreme droughts and competition for farmland causing conflicts. “Migration from some regions may become more a necessity than a choice, and could take place on a historically unprecedented scale,” the report says. “It seems likely that the capacity of the international community for humanitarian assistance would be overwhelmed.”

“The risks of state failure could rise significantly, affecting many countries simultaneously, and even threatening those that are currently considered developed and stable,” says the report. “The expansion of ungoverned territories would in turn increase the risks of terrorism.”

The report also assesses the systemic risk to global food supply, saying that rising extreme weather events could mean shocks to global food prices previously expected once a century could come every 30 years. “A plausible worst-case scenario could produce unprecedented price spikes on the global market, with a trebling of the prices of the worst-affected grains,” the report concludes.

The greatest risks are tipping points, the report finds, where the climate shifts rapidly into a new, dangerous phase state. But the report also states that political leadership, technology and investment patterns can also change abruptly too.

The report concludes: “The risks of climate change may be greater than is commonly realised, but so is our capacity to confront them. An honest assessment of risk is no reason for fatalism.”

content courtesy : theguardian 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

How reusable bags change shopping decisions

Taking reusable bags to the supermarket can help identify the environmentally friendly shopper but a new study has now discovered the products they are more likely to buy.

New research in the Journal of Marketing reveals unsurprisingly that shoppers who take their own bags are more likely to purchase organic food – and more surprisingly, junk food as well.

The study describes: "Grocery store shoppers who bring their own bags are more likely to purchase healthy food. But those same shoppers often feel virtuous, because they are acting in an environmentally responsible way.

“That feeling easily persuades them that, because they are being good to the environment, they should treat themselves to cookies or potato chips or some other product with lots of fat, salt, or sugar."

The study by Uma R. Karmarkar of Harvard University and Bryan Bollinger of Duke University is one of the first to demonstrate that bringing reusable grocery bags causes significant changes in food purchasing behaviour.

The authors collected loyalty cardholder data from a single location of a major grocery chain in California between May 2005 and March 2007. They compared the same shoppers on trips for which they brought their own bags with trips for which they did not.

Participants were also recruited online from a national pool and were randomly assigned one of two situations: bringing their own bags or not bringing their own bags. Depending on the situation, participants were presented with a certain scenario and a floorplan of the grocery store and were asked to list the ten items they were most likely to purchase on the trip.

The researchers found that when shoppers brought their own bags, they were more likely to purchase organic foods. At the same time, bringing one's own bags also increased the likelihood that the shopper would purchase junk food. And both results were slightly less likely when the shopper had young children: parents have to balance their own purchasing preferences with competing motivations arising from their role as parents.

Content Courtecy :enn

If someone were to set up a telephone booth sized box on your street filled with unwanted items — such as books, toys and small knick knacks, perhaps — and then topped it off with a “Free” sign, what do you think would happen?

If Switzerland is any indication, passersby turned salvagers and recyclers would appear out of nowhere, sifting their way through other people’s unwanted discards, thinking up ways to put their newfound discoveries to good (re)use. Some would even add their own unwanted items to the box.

Neighborhood exchange boxes have helped Geneva, Switzerland reuse 32 tons of goods thus far thanks to a program called BOÎTES D’ÉCHANGE ENTRE VOISINS–A box for exchange between neighbors. But can it work in other cities?

Started in 2011, people leave items that they do not want, and take items that they do want. It’s that simple.

Or is it?

The environmental benefits of increasing reuse are obvious, but from the project creator’s perspective, there’s more to the Neighbourhood Exchange Box program than just going green.

It’s also part urban art and part social experiment, providers of unusual opportunities to create social and cultural links between people in a neighborhood.

The program page explains:

Neighbourhood Exchange Box is a project which explores reciprocity between neighbours. It brings a new impulse into the neighbourhood and a sense of belonging and involvement to the local community by prompting opportunities of exchange and contact.

Behind it all is Happy City Lab, founded by Dan Acher, an “artivist” from Geneva focused on creating happy cities.

Most of us know by now that reducing and reusing are part of the answer to what our planet needs more of, so instead the program toils over questions like:

Nowadays, whilst most of our interactions depend on money, is it still possible to establish a completely disinterested form of exchange, without even knowing who the beneficiary is? Is it possible to extend such a project to the scale of a whole town? That of a region? A country? Further?

Content Courtecy :enn

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

World Water Development Report 2015: water in a sustainable world

Earth is facing a 40% shortfall in water supply by 2030, unless we dramatically improve the management of this precious resource warns this latest edition of the UN World Water Development Report.

The 2015 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR 2015), titled Water for a Sustainable World, will be launched at the official celebration of the World Water Day, on March 20. 

The WWDR 2015 demonstrates how water resources and services are essential to achieving global sustainability. Taking account of economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability, the report’s forward-looking narrative describes how major challenges and change factors in the 
modern world will affect – and can be affected by – water resources, services and related benefits. 

The report provides a comprehensive overview of major and emerging trends from around the world, with examples of how some of the trend‐related challenges have been addressed, their implications for policy‐makers, and further actions that can be taken by stakeholders and the international community.

Content Courtecy :indiaenvironmentportal