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Rice crops and farm animals make India the world's second-largest producer of methane.
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Tony Juniper: An absence of positive political debate about the natural world is even more troubling than the decline in UK species revealed by State of Nature report
Tony Juniper is right to focus on the complete lack of insight, understanding or awareness of the importance of nature to a thriving economy and healthy society shown by politicians in the current cabinet.
|| George Osborne's claim that laws to protect rare species are a 'ridiculous burden on business', Owen Paterson's championing the cause of Bayer and Syngenta in opposing the moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides and Michael Gove's attempts to downgrade education about our relationship with the natural environment are recent cases in point. With this in mind we can confidently guess that the government's on-going review of EU environmental laws is not intended to strengthen the protection of nature in these islands.||
The badger cull fiasco pales in comparison to these even more serious tendencies; symptoms of an environmental illness that leads to a pernicious degradation of the very living systems on which we are utterly dependent.
I have worked in nature conservation since 1979. It is bitterly disappointing to read such a catalogue of failure and local extinctions.
The State of Nature Report pulls no punches- we are getting the place into a real mess.
We still take nature for granted; we can not afford to. This is much more than the aesthetics of special places filled with the wonder of nature. It is about a healthy planet.
If the UK can not be bothered to make an effort to conserve the very systems that keep us healthy and alive how can we expect less wealthy countries to do better?
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT: Delilah the terrier had burnt skin peeling off her face, vicious bite marks and hypothermia after badger baiting in Gloucester.
Badger baiting - the dark side of human nature:-
"Delilah's brutal wounds are thought to be from badger baiting. In the illegal sport fires are started at all but one of the exit holes of the badger sett and dogs are sent down to chase them out"
There has never been a better time for senior decision makers to exercise leadership for the benefit of business and the planet
Valuing Nature is the key to adressing sustainable development. Until the environment is fully accepted by politicians, public servants and the business community as the KEY asset there will be no meaningful progress towards sustainability.
We have one planet yet conform to an economic model that has already reached levels of consumption that require 3, 4, 5 of more Earths to sustain.
Natural Capital is the tool that will address that disconnection. Whilst ecological purists may cringe at the attachment of monetary values to the services that the natural world provides, it is that deeper understanding of the impact of nature on the bottom line that will persuade the business community to thing again.
To think again, to not take nature for granted and to integrate thinking naturally into routine business planning.
Priceless nature - worth nothing? because it is seen as a ‘nice to have’ - an optional extra which can be afforded during good times but not so much when economic growth is weak,
Tony Juniper shares his thoughts on the value of nature for people and why we need to take more care of our natural heritage when making critical decisions that have long term implications for people and business.
Stephanie Hilborne, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, talks about the great work that is being carried out by the partnership across the UK. Living Landscapes programmes are putting environmental theory into local economic practice.
John Everitt, CEO of Nottinghamshire Widlife Trust, gives a powerful local prespective and shares his analysis of why nature counts in the local economy.
Living Landscapes are the areas where The Wildlife Trusts are targeting landscape-scale conservation efforts to halt the decline of wildlife and restore the natural environment.
Wildife Trusts doing what they do best; practical, imaginative nature conservation for people, wildlife and local businesses.
A CLASS of insecticide linked to a devastating collapse in bee colonies should not be restricted until there is hard evidence it poses a threat, said Scottish ministers.
Richard Lochhead MSP will receive a favourable response from Owen Paterson MP.
The DEFRA Secretary of State made it clear, at a meeting that I attended on Friday April 27th, that he wanted Europe-wide scientific field trials to provide more evidence that Neonicotinoids are the cause of the catastrophic decline in bees and other insect pollinators before action is taken.
Both ministers appear to view the 'precautionary principle' to be that it is most sensible for them to take every precaution not to upset the companies who make Neonicotinoids or the farming unions.
A proposed ban of pesticides called neonicotinoids is gathering scientific support as some experts are calling for more field studies. The goal is to reverse massive honeybee hive die-offs, which also afflict U.S.
Certainty is not a characteristic of scientific research which is more about levels of confidence and available data. But dIthering about the future of a group of insects which are key to growing a significant proportion of the food on our dinner plates is a very risky business indeed.
Action is needed on neonicotinoids before we encounter a pollination catastrophe.
"However, David Goulson, a bee researcher at the University of Sussex, UK, thinks that most of the major studies have used realistic doses. “I couldn’t say I am certain these impacts really occur in the field, but it seems to me very likely that they do,” he says."
A GROUND breaking agreement has been reached protecting Port St Mary’s Bay Ny Carrickey from excessive pot fishing, making it one of just two such protected areas in the British Isles.
The fishing industry will benefit long-term if far sighted commercial leaders influence policy for the good of fish and shellfish stocks
'The same has happened in Lyme Bay, Devon, which was protected from scallop dredging in 2008, resulting in over pot fishing. Last July, fishermen and conservationists there agreed to limit the number of pots in the Lyme Bay area.'
Following suit, concerned pot fishermen in Port St Mary formed Bay Ny Carrickey Crustacean Fishery Management Association a few months ago and approached the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) about imposing pot fishing limits in the area.'
Waitrose is banning suppliers from using three neonicotinoid pesticides over concerns of their effect on bees, butterflies and other crop pollinators.
Three cheers for Waitrose showing leadership whilst Defra calls for more evidence that the collapse in the number of bees and other pollinators is related to the use of neonicotinoids
The Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) has been granted a Royal Charter. The new Charter was enacted on 1st April 2013, from which date we became the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM – pronounced ‘sy-eem’). Our members now belong to a professional body recognised for its work by HM Queen Elizabeth II and which operates under the scrutiny of the Privy Council, ensuring the very highest of professional standards. We have a new logo but our vision and mission remain unchanged.
The Institute has come a long way from the first meeting held at the Royal Geographical Society.
I am proud to be a MCIEEM Our profession matters and it about time that it received appropriate recognition.
Plant-covered walls could slash air pollution in some city streets, recent research suggests.
Photograph by Sandra Raccanello, Grand Tour/Corbis
In Madrid, plants turn a wall in the Paseo del Prada bright green.
Green walls are particularly useful in reducing pollution in street canyons, which are "a particular kind of oddity in that they tend to trap air within them, while over the city as a whole the air circulates freely,"
An illegal logger in Cambodia has dropped an address book during a bust, leaving behind details of corrupt government officials and spying rangers.
If this was the plot line of a novel I would not have believed it!
|| "We were able to confiscate the wood, and we stumbled upon this treasure trove of names and pay off amounts of all the people he had been dealing with, including some government officials," she said.
Ms Eisenstaedt says some government officials identified have already been dismissed while others remain working for the Forestry Administration.||
Natural England licensed cull of tens of thousands of lesser black-backed gulls on one of England's largest shooting estates
It is clear the Natural England is not leading for nature; the NGOs are.
Badgergate - a new voice of common sense in the bTB debate
This new site is well worth adding to your regular reading list.
Plant and animal species could see dramatic losses as habitats become unsuitable and ecosystems collapse
|| An estimated 57% of plants and 34% of animals were likely to lose half or more of their habitat range. ||
The loss of animal species is not simply a sign that the world will be a less interesting place to live. It raises the spectre that a world that looses such a diversity of animal and plant life will continue to be supportive of over seven billion people - and rising.
|| But the damage would be greatly reduced if emissions were scaled down in time, the study shows. Losses are reduced by 60% if global warming is cut to 2% above preindustrial levels, with emissions peaking in 2016 and then being reduced by 5% a year. If emissions peak in 2030, losses are reduced by 40%. ||
Will politicians listen to the warnings that are coming loud and very clear? Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide has now exceeded the 'tipping point' of 400ppm. Action is urgently needed and it may not be too late, but our comfort margin is being hammered hard.
||"It's important because the erosion of species richness among widespread and common species means that the functions ecosystems provide for humans across the whole global land surface will be very significantly reduced," said Warren. "These are important services such as air and water purification, soil stabilisation and nutrient recycling that we take for granted."||
Georgia natural resources leaders, including Senator Bill Heath, announced Wednesday the addition of more than 1,050 acres, known as the Howell Tract, to the Sheffield Wildlife Management Area in Paulding County.
Economic integration of local ecological resources requires political and community foresight:-
DNR will manage the new WMA for hunting in conjunction with the management of the natural habitat. The Howell Tract is heavily forested in a natural stand of timber, including globally rare montane longleaf pine, and a mature hardwood forest. These forests contribute to the high quality water found at Raccoon Creek, located on the property. This creek is one of the most important tributaries within the Etowah basin as it supports viable populations of the basin’s diverse fish. The entire Etowah River system is a high priority area in Georgia’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.
A female osprey, thought to be the UK's oldest, has surprises staff at a Perthshire nature reserve by laying a fourth egg.
Nature is full of surprises:-
|| Scottish Wildlife Trust Ranger Emma Rawling said the egg was spotted on a web cam by staff monitoring the ospreys' nest. "As far as I know there has only been one recorded incidence in Scotland of an osprey pair successfully rearing four chicks to fledging”
She said: "We were not even remotely expecting a fourth egg so didn't zoom in close on the eggs.
"This is not the first time this female has done this - she laid four eggs in 2005, and of course in the years before close up nest cams, when we had to wait until we could see the chicks heads above the nest rim, there may have been other incidents of this.
"However, it is considered rare in ospreys, and is a remarkable achievement." ||
EU member states vote ushers in continent-wide suspension of neonicotinoid pesticides
Owen Paterson MP and Julie Girling MEP made it clear at the South West Agriculture Conference on Friday April 26th that they did not support immediate action against the use of neonicotinoids. Both politicians wanted further field trials to generate evidence that the use of these chemicals was causal to the decline in bees and other insect pollinators in Europe and elsewhere. Richard Lchead MEP has pressed a similar view from the Scottish Parlaiment.
I am glad that the European Commission has voted tor a Europe-wide ban. This is leadership that is much needed.
GLOBALLY important marine life in Scotland’s seas could be lost unless a network of key conservation areas is established as a matter of “urgency”, environmentalists warn today.
The Scottish government is prepared for a public consultation on MPAs. The English government uses repeat public consultation on MCZs to defer decisions that have financial implications. Our marine natural heritage deserves being truly valued, not being treated on the cheap.
The Scottish government has not been quite as ham-fisted over its preparedness to conserve our living marine heritage but it is still not moving as fast as the Marine Conservation Society feels necessary:-
'Calum Duncan, MCS programme manager, is today due to present the minister with a near-4,000 signature petition from supporters at the Scottish Parliament to halt “decades of damage” which has ruined habitats and put species under threat. He said: “We urgently need a network of new marine protected areas to help our seas recover.'
Leading scientists have written to the Prime Minister demanding he fully commits to a "world-class" network of marine reserves off the Westcountry coast.The move comes after the Government...
The UK government (OK English government) hasd shown how poor it is in protecting marine resources.
'In a letter to David Cameron, 86 scientists have warned that even if all 31 marine conservation zones currently under consideration were established, it would not deliver the required protection for ocean wildlife.'
The Commission recalls that the maximum number of birds that may be allowed to be hunted during any particular spring hunting season according to the national legislation currently in force, represents the ‘small numbers’ required under the Birds Directive,” the spokesman said when asked whether discussions have started on the possibility of increasing national bag limits.
“These figures are the upper limits that may not be exceeded in the future if Malta intended to lawfully apply a spring hunting derogation,” the Commission’s spokesman insisted.
The Commission has always been consistent in this issue and had resisted attempts by the Government to increase the 11,000 limit currently in place.
Who's wildife is it? Maltese shooters kill huge numbers of migratory raptors and song birds during spring and autumn migrations. In my view there can be no justification of 'customs' or 'tradition' for such a meaningless slaughter to continue.
Spring Watch, BirdLife Malta’s annual spring conservation camp, starts tomorrow, with 40 international volunteers joining local conservationists to help monitor spring bird migration and deter and report illegal hunting during Malta’s spring hunting derogation period. The camp starts on the 4th day of the season and participants will operate in teams at locations around Malta and Gozo until the end of the season on the 30th April.
WWF-South Africa (WWF-SA) is elated over Minister Edna Molewa’s recent formal announcement of the declaration of the Prince Edward Islands as a marine protected area (MPA) – Africa`s first offshore MPA.
It is great to read the word 'inspiring' in praise from an NGO to government action:-
WWF International’s Director General, Jim Leape, says, “It is inspiring to see such environmental leadership in South Africa, and I applaud Minister Molewa for her vision. Still too little of the world’s precious oceans are protected from exploitation, and this is a landmark victory for marine conservation – and hopefully a sign of more to come.”
I wait to be inspired by England / UK government action on Marine Conservation Zones.
On the day that the UK Parliament's Environment Select Committee reported the urgent need for Marine Conservation Zones to be established it is both exciting and galling to see what other nations are achieving.
The British Isles rank First Class for marine biodiversity whilst England's policy makers are being relegated to the third division for inactivity.
A Wyoming wildlife official says wolf populations are approaching natural limits around Yellowstone Park and aren't likely to rise elsewhere.
"Relatively poor habitat and higher rates of development make most of Wyoming a place where wolves have had—and will continue to experience—trouble establishing thriving packs", said Mark Bruscino, supervisor of the large carnivore section of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
'Outside the park, Wyoming’s northwestern region probably has a carrying capacity of between 200-250 wolves, Bruscino said, and a long-term average of about 200 wolves is likely to emerge across the region outside Yellowstone.
Regardless of where the numbers end up over the long term, it is likely to be too many for those who don’t want wolves in Wyoming at all, and too few for those who would like to see wolves restored to their historic range across North America.'
A peer-reviewed analysis finds the killing method used on dolphins in a Japanese town is far from humane.
“A Veterinary and Behavioral Analysis of Dolphin Killing Methods Currently Used in the ‘Drive Hunt’ in Taiji, Japan”
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, Volume 16, Issue 2, 2013 (DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2013.768925)
'This killing method does not conform to the recognized requirement for “immediate insensibility” and would not be tolerated or permitted in any regulated slaughterhouse process in the developed world.'