Environment

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Green energy: demand drives innovation

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The growing demand for power generated from renewable energy sources also drives innovation in the sector, according to research on the German renewables industry. An increase in the number of patents granted for green technologies in Germany was linked to both increased demand – driven by renewable energy policies – and increased public spending on the sector.

SETIS is the European Commission's Information System for the SET-Plan led by the Joint Research CentreUnder the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC), the EU has set mandatory national targets for the share of total energy to be generated from renewable sources by 2020.1 Germany is an example of a country with more ambitious goals for renewable energy. While the EU as a whole is committed to achieving a 20% share, Germany has set its 2020 target at 35%. The new study provides insights into how developing energy policy in the country has shaped the market for, and driven innovation in, renewable energy over the last two decades. 

Two key pieces of national legislation on renewable energies have influenced the adoption of green technologies in Germany. The Electricity Feed Law or Stromeinspeisungsgesetz (SEG) came into effect in 1991, requiring utilities providers to connect those generating renewable energy to the grid and to buy their electricity at 65-90% of the cost charged to consumers of that electricity. In 2000, the Renewable Energy Sources Act or Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz (EEG) extended the range of renewable energy technologies covered and set different tariffs for different types of energy. Between 2007 and 2010, Germany more than doubled the proportion of its energy mix made up by renewables – from 7% to 17%.2 The renewables industry in Germany currently produces 20% of total electricity generated, with around 382,000 jobs linked to the industry.3

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12 Innovations to Combat Drought, Improve Food Security, and Stabilize Food Prices

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Soaring temperatures and low precipitation could not occur at a worse time for many farmers in the United States. Intensifying drought conditions are affecting corn and soybean crops throughout the Midwest, raising grain prices as well as concerns about future food prices. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 88 percent of this year’s corn crop and 77 percent of the soybean crop are now affected by the most severe drought since 1988. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing drought assistance to 1,584 counties across 32 states and warns of increased food prices in 2013 as a result of corn and soybean yield losses.

droughtCorn is currently selling at around $9 a bushel, a 50 percent increase from June, while soybeans are selling at a record high of $17 a bushel as a result of drought-related losses in crop yields. The increased prices may benefit farmers in the short run, but consumers will experience the aftermath of price increases in the form of more money spent on poultry, beef, pork, and dairy products.

Nearly half of all domestic corn production is used as livestock feed, a trend that is now encouraging larger livestock producers to import corn from Brazil while smaller farmers must reduce herd sizes by sending more animals to the market. Most immediately, poultry prices are expected to rise 3.5 to 4.5 percent due to the animals’ more rapid growth and therefore more sudden response to higher feed prices. The price of beef is projected to rise the highest—4 to 5 percent by November—but at a slower rate, reflecting the longer growth period and higher feed requirements of beef cattle.

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Water Security and Emergency Preparedness Conference & Exposition (WSEPC) 2012

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Water Security and Emergency Preparedness Conference & Exposition (WSEPC) 2012 

WSEPC 2012
Adancing Security and Emergency Preparedness in the Water Sector
 

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ECOFEST ISTANBUL 2012

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ECOFEST ISTANBULECOFEST ISTANBUL

8 - 10 June 2012

ECOFEST ISTANBUL is a culture, arts and social responsibility project aimed at developing a broader environmental public awareness concerning nature friendly and sustainable living culture in many fields of life from manufacture to design, energy to nutrition, through inspiring and innovative artistic events that will take place from 8 to 10 June.

Bringing together environmentally sensitive disciplines and sectors, ECOFEST ISTANBUL events and fair booths will be based primarily at KüçükÇiftlik Park, but will also spread to the streets of Nisantasi. These include thematic concerts, open kitchen and taste activities, ecological fashion shows, workshops for kids, recycled art works, installations, street events and many other festivities.

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World Environment Day 2012: “Green Economy: Does it include you?”

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World Environment Day 2012: “Green Economy: Does it include you?”

World Environment Day 2012: “Green Economy: Does it include you?”

The 2012 theme for World Environment Day is Green Economy: Does it include you? Evidently, there are two parts to this theme and the first tackles the subject of the Green Economy. This is where some people shut off their minds because they find the concept of the Green Economy a little too complex to understand. On the contrary, the Green Economy is really something that is applicable all around you and it is easy to imagine how one can fit in it.

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From Turkey: A social ecology challenge to environmentalism

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From social ecologist Cagrideniz Eryilmaz in Turkey:

Social Ecology Challenges Environmentalism: HES Opposition Cases in Turkey

HES TurkeyI have completed a sociology dissertation aiming to analyze environmental grassroots movements in Turkey within a frame of social ecology. Hundreds of local movements rose against the construction of thousands of HES[1] (hydroelectric power plants) in the last few years. HES opposition shows new and unique aspects challenging traditional ‘environmentalism’ in Turkey. Except for the Bergama movement (against a gold mining company, 1990-2005), this was the first time local people developed such numerous grassroots movements throughout the country. Local people, who had not joined any protests in their lives, became pioneers of protest, voicing new slogans like “we will resist for our right to live until the end.” Not only did they join the environmental movement but they also used concepts of ‘rights of nature’ and ‘living space’ for the first time. The unique difference between traditional urban environmentalism and these local grassroots activities pushed me to write this thesis after years of professional Environmental NGO (ENGO) experience in several areas of Turkey.

Social ecology is necessary in order to analyze this movement, especially through environment/nature and environmentalism/ecology dualities. Only the critique of liberal environmentalism and the radical proposals of Libertarian Municipalism (LM) can uncover dominant urban environmentalism and analyze the significance of the rising environmental grassroots in Turkey. Beyond the scope of social movement literature, social ecological analysis provides insights for the environmental grassroots in terms of ideology, economics, politics, activities, and forms of organization that challenge domination.

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Asia Geospatial Forum 2012

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Asia Geospatial Forum

Introduction

Asia Geospatial Forum has matured as a conference and is now widely recognised as one of the largest and most important geospatial industry event in Asia Pacific. Being a media company born out of the sheer need for reliable information, resource material and latest developments in the realm of geospatial technology, Geospatial Media & Communications endeavours to create awareness about geospatial technology; connect various stakeholders of geospatial community; advocate in creating the right policy environment; and provide an ideal platform for business development activities. For these exact reasons, developing countries with emerging geospatial drive are chosen to host Asia Geospatial Forum, with main objective of fostering the industry’s growth within the country and region.

Vietnam has been putting itself on the path of economic growth and development post the War. The country is adopting modern technologies to be on par with other South East Asian countries and is capitalising on the second mover advantage to evolve its geospatial footprint. With its first remote sensing satellite on the way, and Spatial Data Infrastructure Program initiated, Vietnam is on the right track towards full utilisation of geospatial information. Although the major usage is still in the natural resource management such as land and forestry, geospatial elements has also tapped into the fast-rising sectors such as transportation, utilities, public safety and urban planning.

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Rio 2012 is an opportunity to move towards a green economy

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Apr 30, 2012

In less than two months, world leaders will gather in Rio de Janeiro for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. It is 20 years since the last Rio conference, and Rio 2012 is an opportunity to assess the progress made toward sustainable development since 1992 and begin building a Green Economy.
  
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Speaking in Copenhagen at a conference organised by the ethical investment research group EIRIS, Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, today addressed the subject of ‘Investing sustainably: Rio+20 and beyond’.

A lot has happened in the past 20 years. The telecommunications and internet revolutions, the financial crisis, and the rise of the developing world have radically altered the foundations of policymaking that existed in 1992. Is the idea of sustainable development still relevant in a world where western countries lack money to invest? Is it relevant in a world where billions of people seek to enjoy the comfort of middle class lifestyles, which so often involve unsustainable consumption?

The answer is yes. Sustainable development is more relevant now than ever.

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Esri Forestry GIS Conference

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Solutions and Resources for Today's Forest Management Challenges

Join forestry professionals from around the world and explore how they use GIS to

  • Calculate land values
  • Evaluate resource assets
  • Automate data storage and management
  • Increase forest revenue and economic value
  • Support and track regulatory activities

This conference is a unique opportunity to learn about projects from forestry users, talk to onsite GIS specialists, participate in discussions and workshops, and explore the advantages of GIS in a setting just for foresters.

Hosted by the
Esri Forestry Group

May 1–3, 2012
Esri Headquarters
Redlands, CA

http://www.esri.com/events/forestry/agenda/index.html

 

The Seventh National GIS Symposium in Saudi Arabia

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The Seventh National GIS Symposium in Saudi Arabia

7th National GIS Symposium

29 April 2012 - 01 May 2012

Dammam - Saudi Arabia

Under the Patronage of His Royal Highness Amir Muhammad ibn Fahd ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz; Governor of the Eastern Province, The High Committee of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Eastern Province will host “The Seventh National GIS Symposium in Saudi Arabia”.  Featuring a state-of-the-art exhibit, plenary, keynote, and technical sessions, it would bring all stakeholders in the geospatial domain - academia, researchers, students, and the industry - onto one platform for interaction, sharing and discussion on various topics such as collaboration on technologies and experiences gained. The symposium is intended to encourage the exchange of knowledge and experience in geospatial sciences among researchers, practitioners, and professionals within the country and abroad.

http://www.saudigis.org/

 

Geospatial World Forum 2012

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As you read this, Geospatial World Forum 2012 will be well underway in Amsterdam. After three editions in India, this is the first time that the event has crossed Indian shores. Centred on the theme 'Geospatial Industry and World Economy', it will cover the dimensions of the industry in the fast changing world. Our two top stories are perhaps indicative of the importance of the topic. Geospatial technology is now crucial enough to spawn technical espionage. The second story also shows that regimes of denial are in the end counter-productive as far as the industry is concerned. In a way, these are the symptoms of an industry that is grappling with the real world which it has entered.

Prof Arup Dasgupta
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Poor Spring Rain Projected in Africa

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U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)Spring rains in the eastern Horn of Africa are projected to begin late this year and be substantially lower than normal.

From March - May, the rains are expected to total only 60 to 85 percentage of the average rainfall in this region. This is a significant deterioration compared to earlier forecasts.

Lower rain amounts would have significant impacts on crop production, rangeland regeneration for livestock, and replenishment of water resources.

This would put greater stress on the region, particularly Somalia which is still recovering from a famine declared last year, as well as Kenya and Ethiopia which also experienced a severe food crisis. An increase in food insecurity and in the size of the food insecure population is likely.

The State Department released a statement on this forecast and their intent to provide additional funding to aid refuges and drought-affected communities.

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Unsustainable consumption – the mother of all environmental issues?

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Consumption of products and services impacts the environment in many different ways. For example, the things we buy contribute, directly or indirectly through the product lifecycle, to climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss and resource depletion in Europe and other regions of the world.

ConsumptionAnother kind of consumption is possible, however. This is the subject of Sustainable consumption in a time of crisis,  a meeting hosted on 15 March by the European Environment Agency (EEA); and organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Danish Consumer Council. The event marks International Consumer Day.

“Continuing with current consumption patterns in Europe is not an option,” EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade said. “As both population and purchasing power swell worldwide,  resources will be ever more overused and constrained. Europe must take the lead in exploring a new model of consumption which does not compromise the needs of others or of future generations, nor damage the environment.”

The meeting will look at ways the economy can be adjusted to drive sustainable forms of consumption. It will consider how the recession in Europe creates opportunities and constraints for policy makers hoping to boost the ‘green economy’. The meeting is particularly timely, as green economy is one of the priority discussion points of the landmark sustainable development summit in Rio de Janeiro in June this year.

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