Protecting Community Forests Can Be Major Tool in Climate Fight, Study Says

Yale Environment 360 - 7 hours 55 min ago
Expanding and strengthening the community forest rights of indigenous groups and rural residents can make a major contribution to sequestering carbon and

The Brazilian Amazon reducing CO2 emissions from deforestation, according to a new report. The World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Rights and Resources Initiative said that indigenous people and rural inhabitants in Latin America, Africa, and Asia have government-recognized rights to forests containing nearly 38 billion tons of carbon, equal to 29 times the annual emissions of all the world’s passenger vehicles. By enforcing community rights to those forests, the study said, governments can play a major role in tackling climate change. In the Brazilian Amazon, for example, deforestation rates are 11 times lower in community forests than in forests outside those areas. In areas where community forest rights are ignored, deforestation rates often soar. The report made five major recommendations, from better enforcement of community forest zones to compensating communities for the benefits their forests provide.
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Categories: Environment, Health

Radar Station on Tiny Indian Island Could Harm Rare Hornbill Population

The EnvironmentaList - 9 hours 15 min ago
Conservationists fear India’s new government is ignoring environmental concerns in rush to clear projects
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

When our 2.3 million girl bosses speak—we listen.

Girl Scouts of America - July 23, 2014
As the world’s largest girl-led organization, Girl Scouts of the USA reports to 2.3 million girl bosses—and we go where girls lead us!
And girls lead us to some amazing collaborations with a host of organizations, like Dove, whose Free Being Me campaign empowers girls to challenge beauty stereotypes, andDell, who we partnered with to close the technology gap and inspire more girls to explore STEM-related fields.
Another relationship we’ve forged is with Mattel. As the experts on girls and girl leadership development, we know young girls cannot be what they cannot see, which is why this relationship emphasizes career exploration. At Girl Scouts, we encourage girls to be whatever they want to be—from CEO of the world’s largest company to CEO of their families.
Three Barbie dolls are sold in the U.S. every second, so the Girl Scout-inspired doll is an invaluable communication tool that will allow our organization to reach millions of girls—members and non-members alike—with the message that they can be anything and do everything. We know that girls love to play with dolls—particularly Barbie dolls. In fact, Girl Scout members—forever having fun—are 20 percent more likely to be avid doll owners than non-member girls, with a full 77 percent of girls playing with dolls at least weekly.
And research shows that the Girl Scout-inspired doll—one aspect of our collaboration with Mattel—is a win with both girls and moms.
Girls associate the doll with hiking and the outdoors, selling cookies, and helping others, all of which are fun experiences firmly rooted in the Girl Scout mission. For over 100 years, Girl Scout programming has inspired over 59 million girls to explore new opportunities in a fun way, which is exactly what the Girl Scout-inspired doll is designed to do.
In fact, 83 percent of moms believe the Girl Scout-inspired doll will encourage their daughters to explore new opportunities, and 77 percent of moms believe the doll will help their daughters feel good about themselves.
We are Girl Scouts. We report to 2.3 million girl bosses. And when our bosses speak, we listen.
Categories: Environment

French Grocer Sees Major Success in Marketing "Inglorious" Fruits and Vegetables

Yale Environment 360 - July 23, 2014
A major French grocery chain, Intermarche, has launched a novel campaign to curb food waste and

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"Grotesque Apple" poster market visually flawed produce. The "Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables" campaign aims to revamp the image of imperfect and non-conforming produce, much of which is thrown away by growers because it doesn't meet grocery retailers' standards. Intermarche began welcoming the "Grotesque Apple," "Ridiculous Potato," "Hideous Orange," and other infamous items to its shelves, created posters to explain that the produce is as nutritious and flavorful as the more attractive versions, and reduced prices by 30 percent. The campaign was an "immediate success," Intermarche says: Stores nationwide sold 1.2 million tons of "inglorious" fruits and vegetables in the first two days, and overall store traffic increased by 24 percent.
Categories: Environment, Health

Earth Observation Satellites Help Scientists Better Understand Global Change

Yale Environment 360 - July 23, 2014

Global warming is affecting more than just atmospheric temperatures — it is also changing water cycles, soil conditions, and animal migrations. Earth observation satellites aid scientists in measuring and monitoring these changes so societies can better adapt. Although there are well over 1,000 active orbiting satellites, less than 15 percent are used to monitor Earth’s environment. Yale Environment 360 presents a gallery of satellites that scientists are using to better understand how the planet is changing.
View the gallery.
Categories: Environment, Health

The Comeback Cat

The EnvironmentaList - July 23, 2014
Jaguars have critical habitat set aside for them in the Southwest. But is it enough for the predator to recover?
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Costs of Urban Light Pollution Highlighted in Citizen Science Effort

Yale Environment 360 - July 22, 2014
A recently launched citizen science project aims to highlight the environmental, social, and financial impacts of excessive nighttime lighting in cities around

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Shanghai, China, at night the world. The project, called Cities at Night, enlists people to help identify the cities pictured in thousands of blindingly lit photos taken by astronauts orbiting the earth. Organizers hope that when residents and officials see the bright photos of their cities at night, they will be prompted to cut nighttime light use and energy consumption. Widespread artificial lighting has made light pollution a growing problem in urban areas by disrupting behavioral patterns of people and wildlife, wasting millions of dollars in energy costs, and adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Some solutions are relatively inexpensive and straightforward, the organizers say, such as using shields to direct light down to street-level, which can allow a city to use lower-wattage streetlights.
Categories: Environment, Health

A Pledge that Promises to Keep Seeds Free For All to Use

The EnvironmentaList - July 22, 2014
In battle against seed patents, plant breeders and advocates find inspiration in open source software
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

At Age 104, One Girl Scout Continues to Live by the Girl Scout Law!

Girl Scouts of America - July 21, 2014

Meet Milly: One of the Oldest Living Girl Scouts in the Nationby Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee
Born in 1909, Mildred (Milly) Lawson Ellis has been alive longer than Girl Scouts has been around.
As a child in Maryville, Missouri, Milly remembers first hearing about Girl Scouts and Juliette Gordon Low through an article in her local paper.   
In 1923, Milly’s parents drove her in their Ford Model T (one of the first in the town) from their home in Missouri to Georgia so that she could meet Juliette and learn more about Girl Scouts. They asked around Savannah until they found themselves speaking with Juliette herself. She happily entertained Milly and her family and spoke to them about Girl Scouts and Savannah and even gave tips on the best places to sightsee in town.
Upon returning home, Milly sent a letter to Girl Scout Headquarters and applied for a Lone Troop packet. Without knowing her age, headquarters sent Milly back a kit and at age 14 Milly became a troop leader to five younger girls from her neighborhood.
That first year, Milly taught the girls what she knew, as she didn’t have any training.
“I don’t know that I was the best leader, but I wanted to teach those little girls the things I had learned. They just loved it – we had the best time!”
She kept her troop going until she went to college, but still participated on breaks and holiday.
After college and marriage, Milly returned to Girl Scouts as an active volunteer, helping with troops and serving on committees in Memphis, Mobile, and Atlanta. Her 1949 move to Tullahoma, TN with her husband and son proved pivotal: while attending a Girl Scout meeting in Shelbyville, TN Milly was elected Regional Chair and placed on the Girl Scout National Board of Directors, where she served from 1956 to 1969. In this position, she visited locations around the country on Girl Scout business working with high-level volunteers and staff on the “Green Umbrella” project, where she helped consolidate smaller councils to better serve the girls.
In Middle Tennessee, she was involved with establishing Camp Sycamore Hills in Ashland City, TN and the former Camp Tannassie near Tullahoma, TN.
Though awarded the Thanks Badge for her outstanding efforts, Milly says she never thought of what she did as work.

At the age of 104, Milly continues to live by the Girl Scout Law. She is active in the Girl Scout community in her hometown of Tullahoma, TN and you can often find her talking about her Girl Scout experiences. 
Categories: Environment

India Doubles Coal Tax to Fund Ambitious Clean Energy Initiatives

Yale Environment 360 - July 21, 2014
India's finance minister has doubled the tax on coal imported to or mined in the country, raising the tariff from $0.83 to $1.67 per metric ton, with plans to use the revenue to fund a host of renewable energy projects over the next decade, Clean Technica reports. The revenue will be added to the National Clean Energy Fund, which was established to provide low-cost financing for renewable energy projects. The fund's scope will be expanded to include environmental projects as well as clean energy research and development, including a national wind energy program, four major solar power projects, and an initiative that aims to establish transmission corridors for distributing electricity from renewable energy sources. The revenue will also be used to fund a new, separate ministry focused on cleaning the heavily polluted Ganges River. The tax could raise as much as $1.2 billion in the first year, according to estimates.
Categories: Environment, Health

Primate Rights vs Research: Battle in Colombian Rainforest

Yale Environment 360 - July 21, 2014
A Colombian conservationist has been locked in a contentious legal fight against a leading researcher who uses wild monkeys in his search for a malaria vaccine. A recent court decision that banned the practice is seen as a victory in efforts to restrict the use of monkeys in medical research. BY CHRIS KRAUL
Categories: Environment, Health

EPA Restricts Mine Waste Disposal in Bristol Bay Watershed

The EnvironmentaList - July 21, 2014
A crucial step towards protecting the world’s most prolific salmon fishery
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

In Review: Snowpiercer

The EnvironmentaList - July 19, 2014
No, it’s not another climate change dystopia flick. It’s the first geoengineering dystopia flick
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Germany Tops Energy-Efficiency Ranking and U.S. Scores Near Bottom

Yale Environment 360 - July 18, 2014
Germany tops a new energy efficiency ranking of the world’s major economies, followed by Italy, China, France, and Japan, according to the American Council

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Energy-efficiency rankings for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The United States ranked 13th out of 16 nations, behind countries such as India, China, and Canada, although new carbon pollution standards proposed this June for existing power plants would be a major stride in the right direction, the ACEEE said. The group also admonished Australia, which ranked 10th, for demonstrating "a clear backward trend" in adopting energy efficiency measures. Germany took the top spot largely due to regulations it has imposed on commercial and residential buildings. And China, despite lax enforcement of building codes, uses less energy per square foot than any other country, the analysis found.
Categories: Environment, Health

Court Bars Paved Serengeti Highway, But Concerns Remain

The EnvironmentaList - July 18, 2014
Tanzania still plans to upgrade existing dirt track to gravel, which could lead to increased traffic through the park
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

BANNER: Typhoon Haiyan 2

Operation USA - July 17, 2014
Categories: Environment

BLOG: On the Road to Recovery in The Philippines

Operation USA - July 17, 2014

When Typhoon Haiyan, the largest storm ever to make landfall, struck the Philippines in November 2013, it wreaked havoc on the island nation and devastated communities along the country’s expansive coastline.

Destruction is widespread in the areas surrounding Tacloban, November 2013

Operation USA, having worked in the country since 1986, immediately sprang to action to aid relief efforts, providing water purification tablets for distribution in Tacloban within days of the storm. In the wake of a disaster like a typhoon, ensuring access to clean drinking water is an urgent priority, and OpUSA was fortunate to have purification supplies pre-staged in Manila for quick distribution to affected areas.

In the weeks following the massive typhoon, OpUSA called on the public for donations to relief efforts, and worked with long standing partners to secure funding for long-term recovery and redevelopment projects. With an impressive outpouring of support from individuals, corporations and partners (both old and new), donations of funds to aid in recovery quickly added up, totaling over $530,000. Many in-kind donations were also taken in.

In November 2013, OpUSA President and CEO, Richard Walden, traveled to the Philippines to survey the damage firsthand. Following that initial assessment, OpUSA program staff visited the area to meet with impacted communities and start the process of identifying top priority recovery projects. As an outgrowth of those meetings, it was decided that the small coastal municipality of Guiuan, where the monster storm first made landfall, would become the focus of Operation USA’s relief efforts.

OpUSA intern Kira and local community members pack up donated supplies for distribution to mother and child groups

To date, we have sent sea shipments of much needed relief and recovery supplies to the area. Now, as the emergency phase is waning, OpUSA, in grateful partnership with the Honeywell corporation, is embarking on a multi-phase rebuilding project that will include a public school and a playground.

Additional partners have also joined the effort to outfit the school, including We-Care.com, donating over $10,000 from shoppers who utilized the platform in February 2014, and Filipino-American dancer Stella Abrera, coordinating her own fundraising effort on the crowd-funding platform Crowdrise.

Alongside these efforts, OpUSA continues to seek funding for playground equipment, computers, sports equipment and other school supplies for the estimated 250 children who will attend the school.

The site of the damaged Ngolos school, which OpUSA will help to rebuild

This month, OpUSA staff members will return to Guiuan to assess ongoing efforts and reiterate Operation USA’s commitment to the community. Stay tuned for further updates!

Click HERE to donate in support of typhoon recovery now.

Categories: Environment

Google Street View Maps Show Extent of Methane Leaks in Cities

Yale Environment 360 - July 17, 2014
New maps from Google reveal the locations of natural gas leaks in U.S. cities and highlight the extent of

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Boston's natural gas leaks "fugitive" methane emissions associated with the nation's aging infrastructure. The Environmental Defense Fund partnered with Google Street View to map leaks in the nation's natural gas system, using cars equipped with air-quality sensors that collected millions of readings across Boston, Indianapolis, and Staten Island. The analysis found thousands of methane leaks in highly-populated areas — particularly in Boston, where half of the pipes are more than 50 years old and leaks were detected every few blocks. Although the leaks did not appear to pose explosion hazards, their prevalence highlights the potential for fugitive methane — a greenhouse gas with an impact 20 times that of carbon dioxide — to contribute to global warming.
Categories: Environment, Health

Scientists Look for Causes of Baffling Die-Off of Sea Stars

Yale Environment 360 - July 17, 2014
Sea stars on both coasts of North America are dying en masse from a disease that kills them in a matter of days. Researchers are looking at various pathogens that may be behind what is known as sea star wasting syndrome, but they suspect that a key contributing factor is warming ocean waters. BY ERIC WAGNER
Categories: Environment, Health

Denton Council Washes Hands of Fracking Ban Proposal, Now Voters Will Decide in November

The EnvironmentaList - July 17, 2014
Texas city’s marathon public hearing reveals citizens’ outrage, exposes oil & gas industry’s bullying and fear-mongering
Categories: Environment, News Feeds
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