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Amazon Climate Change -Thomas Stelzer

Thomas Stelzer, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs. Photo: A Critica

“Globally speaking, if the Amazon region lost its ability to capture carbon, it would be more difficult to control climate change, which is the world’s biggest challenge today”, said the United Nations (UN) Official Thomas Stelzer to A Critica, a local newspaper in Brazil.

According to him, this subject affects the environmental arrangements throughout the world, as the Amazon rainforest plays an important role in the global weather regulation for the large amount of carbon it can absorb from the atmosphere. From that, the need to protect the Amazon is essential.

Stelzer visited Manaus, city located in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, to participate in the celebrations of the 2013 Environment Week. He visited research institutions and debated actions designed to promote sustainability and development in the Amazonas State of Brazil.

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As we all know, Brazil is hosting the 2014 World Cup. Recently, they have revealed their latest Stadium ready for the matches, called National Mané Garrincha Stadium, located in Brasilia, Brazil’s capital. Mané Garrincha could be the first stadium in the world to be awarded the Platinum LEED seal, which is the top sustainability related certificate, awarded by the Green Building Council (GBC).

Also known as Eco-arena, because of its sustainable achievements, the stadium construction included the reuse of material from the demolition of the old building and the use of recyclable products. Besides, the current infrastructure is designed to save water and energy. Rainwater will be collected and treated to be reused, and nearly 2,000 solar panels on the roof will produce up to 2.2 Megawatts. This will be redirected to power more than 2,000 houses, when the stadium is not in use.

The stadium stands at 46 metres high and is divided into four sectors with eight storeys, 19 gates and 158 turnstiles at the entrance points. The new 72,800-seater stadium also has 74 boxes, 276 toilets, 40 bars, 2 restaurants and 14 snack bars. Football matches won’t be the only use for Mané Garrincha Eco-arena, as it has also been designed to host events, concerts, conferences and meetings.

National Mané Garrincha Stadium

National Mané Garrincha Stadium. Photo: Bleacher Report

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As I’m sure you would know it’s not the easiest to grow your own food in some climates due to lack of rain or not enough sunlight but that wasn’t the situation for the McClung family

In 2007, the McClungs decided they wanted to change how they lived. “Our goal sounded simple,” McClung wrote on his blog, “to live as self-sufficient as possible by January 2012.” They achieved that and then some. They began to build what they soon would call “The Garden Pool.”

By doing this they save money on food every week and it’s more environmental friendly. It took them only two days to set up and cost around $1,5000 and the Garden Pool has an an aquaponic farming system using a tilapia pond, which uses 80 percent less water than traditional farming and the resulting vegetables and herbs get grown in reusable clay pellets, which require no tilling.

This idea has spread very quickly around the world with thousands of families looking to cut their costs on food every week and become more self-sufficient. In 2012, The Garden Pool became an official nonprofit, tasked with teaching people the ways of sustainable backyard agriculture.

“The Garden Pool has evolved from an empty swimming pool into a movement,” McClure says. Their main objective will continue to be about feeding the family self-sufficiently, but what started off as a simple idea has now grown well beyond its original scope. This is an inspiring story of choosing to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

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Ireland's Countryside. Source: IDB.ie

Ireland’s Countryside. Source: IDB.ie

Ireland is a country that is often thought of as “Green” to the core, owing to its lush green rolling countryside and its affectionate unofficial name abroad, the Emerald Isle. It seems as if Ireland is now determined to not only look green, but actually be green, in a concerted effort to improve their environmental consciousness and sustainability credentials.

Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board confirm this green status, noting that…

“Ireland is a country supremely well suited to sustainability. Our climate is temperate; our lush, green countryside is perfect for farming; ours seas are teeming with fish.

Our dairy industry shares the lowest carbon footprint in the EU with Austria. Our beef industry, the largest net exporter in the northern hemisphere, is also among the lowest. And with our rainfall, in a world facing water shortages, and agriculture requiring 70% of freshwater supplies for irrigation, our water stress index, unsurprisingly is one of the lowest in the world.”

They continue on, explaining that “it is the proper management of these resources now that matters, and which will further enhance and demonstrate our green reputation, around the world.”

This growing reputation and expertise, is also acknowledged in a recent article from The Guardian, which notes that Bord Bia have “developed tools to assess beef farm emissions and also the carbon emissions generated (in the process), to help identify carbon hotspots where potential improvements may be possible.” These tools have been developed during the organisation’s unique sustainability development programme, called Origin Green.

Changing Ireland’s sustainability colours will not be easy, but a determined, collective effort is a necessity in the ongoing global fight against detrimental climate change.

Bord Bia's Origin Green Campaign Logo. Source: Bordbia.ie

Bord Bia’s ‘Origin Green’ Campaign Logo. Source: Bordbia.ie

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