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Posts Tagged ‘#makesyouthink’

A bleak global reality is painted in this introduction to REDD+ Talks video, which explains the multitude of climate change related issues which we are now facing. They describe themselves as America’s first symposium on Global Warming and the vital role of REDD+. They believe that “it is essential to provide fundamental information on REDD+ as a viable climate change mitigation strategy, and this is the reason for having organized REDD+ Talks.”

They also explain that they hope that “after hearing from corporate leaders and experts on global warming, REDD+ and climate change policy, you will be inspired to accelerate your emissions reduction programs by supporting REDD+ projects that serve to protect the world’s vital forests and biodiversity while uplifting impoverished communities.”

While these may seem like lofty ambitions, which are difficult to achieve; here at Celestial Green Ventures we have the same ambitions with our own REDD+ Forest Conservation and Community Development Projects. You can find out more about our REDD+ projects here.

You can see their introductory video here…..

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Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services are provided to us free by nature and contribute invisible or unaccounted for economic value to our global economy, including such simple things as clean air, clean water and the ability to grow crops.

Inspired by the 2006 Stern Review for Climate Change, the TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) initiative, a G8+5 commissioned project, has taken on the challenge to draw attention to the economic benefits of biodiversity, and highlight the growing cost of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.

TEEB provides guidance to important policy makers, national governments, local governments and regional decision makers, to help them internalise the value of nature in proper policy making frameworks, in order to properly account for these valuable services.

The top 3,000 businesses are estimated to have externalities of almost $2.1 trillion, which is equivalent to 3.5% of global GDP, every year. These significant externalities can be described as third party (or external) effects arising from the production and/or consumption of goods and services, for which no appropriate compensation is paid.

It is believed that accounting for these externalities and our preciously-limited Natural Capital now, will result in significant cost savings in the future. If we continue our current consumption levels of these valuable services, without accounting for them, the cost of replicating them once they have been exhausted, is almost incalculable.

To find out more, see this video where the TEEB Study Leader and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) Special Adviser introduces and explains the project.

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Earth Hour 2013 Poster

Earth Hour 2013 Poster

Over the weekend, the WWF saw the celebration of its 7th Annual Earth Hour on Saturday 23rd March to increase awareness about environmental sustainability and to campaign against blatant or especially unconscious apathy toward these increasingly prevalent global issues, which effect us all.

Andy Ridley, Earth Hour CEO and Co-Founder expalins that “Earth Hour is maturing from its origins as a consciousness raising event in one city, to a global movement that is not just calling for change but is engaging in it.”

This is illustrated by Earth Hour Outcomes 2013, which details the global success of many cities and countries efforts to embrace this new sustainable wave of environmental consciousness and most importantly, meaningful action. There have been achievements right across the globe including Russia, Argentina, India, US and Romania.

This year, the first ever Global Earth Hour Capital in the Earth Hour City Challenge, Vancouver was recognised unanimously by a jury of experts for its innovative actions on climate change and dedication to create a sustainable, pleasant urban environment for current and future residents.

To see evidence of Earth Hour in your home country, use the Global Earth Hour Map.

We also found this video, which is designed to remind us all, what we are protecting, bringing home the message that out of sight should not be out of mind!

 

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Twitter's Birthday Cake

Today is Twitter’s 7th Birthday, and we would like to congratulate @Jack and the other influential members of the #Twitter team for providing a wonderful service which is enjoyed by millions. You can follow us at @Celestial_Green to find out the latest news and updates from our #REDD+ Projects in Brazil.

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With today being International Women’s Day, we decided to feature Vicki Arroyo, a woman who is becoming increasingly influential in the field of environmental law and policy. Her efforts to educate and shape not only our views about climate change mitigation but to be the catalyst for collective action in every level of society is a life-long struggle that she truly believes in.

She campaigns across the world, to convince every level of our global society from the individual to the policy-makers in the US Government and decision-makers on the international stage that we need to avoid the oft used default policy of planning based on Stationarity, which is the notion that we can anticipate the future based on the past, and plan accordingly.

In an excellent thought-provoking TED Talk entitled ‘Let’s prepare for our new climate’, she discusses how “climate change is affecting our homes, our communities, our way of life,” and that “we should be preparing at every scale and at every opportunity,” to account for this unprecedented change.

Arroyo continues by explaining that it is up to us to us to find ways to plan and to prepare for these new challenges, and in doing so, find ways not only survive but to thrive within this ever-changing environment and encourages us to call on our government leaders and require them to do the same.

Vicki Arroyo is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center of Georgetown University Law Center where she is also a Visiting Professor. She oversees the Centre’s work at the nexus of climate and energy policy, supervising staff and student work on climate mitigation and adaptation at the state and federal level, to find viable solutions to climate change’s inevitable disruptions to our current practices.

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A stark visual reminder of how land use change can affect the rainforest

A stark visual reminder of how land use change can affect the rainforest. Photograph: Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace.

Global priorities are constantly being pulled in any number of directions by various interested stakeholder groups. It is well established, that the earth is suffering from an increasing scarcity of resources, leading us collectively facing some very difficult decisions, in order to balance a number of competing objectives.

This can be notably illustrated in the vast Amazon region of Brazil. In the ongoing struggle between Agriculturalists and Conservationists; in this emotionally-charged and polarising global debate, the two sides remain steadfast and ready to defend their interests indefinitely.

One side says – Save the forest and you can fight climate change. While the other says that if you – Clear the forest, you can ease global hunger. How could one argue against either of those crucial global objectives?

Having said that, “there are alarming signs that the Amazon is caught in a vicious cycle and the more this great climate regulator is cleared, the less predictable global weather systems will become. That increases the risk of droughts and floods, ruining crops across the world. This in turn, adds to the pressure to clear the forest.”

Many farmers, fuelled by a blasé commercially-driven mind-set, say that the economic incentives outweigh the legal risks. “The ones who follow the rules like me are considered idiots. The ones who break the rules make the money,” said a landowner, Milton Luiz Molfensteiner. “In reality, it has become a contest between economics and the law.”

The fact that over seven billion of us are all competing for the scarce resources available, should now be addressed, not just by some, but by all of us. It is time for some important decisions to be made, both at a local and a global level, and hopefully we can find an equitable balance between these competing objectives.

While great strides have been made in abating deforestation by IBAMA, the Brazilian government’s environmental protection agency, and others in the region, especially since the dark heights of deforestation rates back in 2004 (10,723 square miles was deforested in a year, equivalent to the size of Albania, Haiti or Belgium); there remains an undercurrent of external industrialist pressure groups and organisations that have a vested interest in what form the final enacted Brazilian Forestry Code takes.

The struggle continues in Brazil, despite the record reductions in deforestation rates. The agriculturalists, who are the main catalysts of mass land use change, are contributing towards the devastating loss of inherent, valuable and irreplaceable Natural Capital and the essential Ecosystem Services which are crucial for both human survival & well-being and form the foundation for all human economic activity.

With the impending introduction of the new Brazilian Forestry Code, which is currently under the global microscope and the object of intense lobbying from each side; ultimately only time will tell, if this new and much needed legislation will appease or even suffice in the constant struggle between the demand for Food & Consumer Products vs. our necessity for Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/14/brazil-amazon-rangers-farmers-burning

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Ciaran Kelly, CEO Celestial Green Ventures

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