Search Results for Tag: South Africa
Bizarre but valuable: Top 10-list of new species 2011 draws attention to biodiversity
Short time ago the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University anounced their picks for the top 10 new species described in 2011. It’s the fifth time in a row that attention-grabbing species have been nominated to open the world’s eyes for “the biodiversity crisis and the unsung species explorers and museums who continue a 250-year tradition of discovering and describing the millions of kinds of plants, animals and microbes with whom we share this planet,” as Quentin Wheeler, an entomologist who directs the International Institute for Species Exploration at ASU, said.
When you have a look at the gallery below you will have to admit that this year’s list is quite exquisit. It’s members come from Brazil, Myanmar, the Dutch Caribbean, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, Spain, Borneo, Nepal, China and Tanzania. You will find a sneezing monkey there, a beautiful but venomous jellyfish, an underworld worm and a fungus named for a popular TV cartoon character.
The nominations had to be “species that capture our attention because they are unusual or because they have traits that are bizarre,” said Mary Liz Jameson, an associate professor at Wichita State University who chaired the international selection committee. At the institute’s website you will also find a Google world map that pinpoints the location for each of the top 10 new species.
DateMay 31, 2012
Tagsanimals, arizona state university, asu, biodiversity, borneo, Brazil, China, dutch caribbean, explorer, jellyfish, monkey, museum, myanmar, nepal, papua new guinea, plants, South Africa, spain, species, spongebob, Tanzania, top 10
At mid-point in Durban
The COP17 climate conference in Durban is at mid-point and the prospects for success are not looking very bright. Since this weekend the political leaders have started to arrive to confront some of the problematic issues. There will probably be some compromises being worked out but fears remain that this won’t be enough to tackle the worsening climate situation.
The hottest topic of course is the future of the Kyoto Protocol. Though the developing countries have been fighting for the protocol’s survival it seems that some of the rich nations want, to say the least, some adjustments. Critics say, that they want to get rid of it. In last week’s talks, the European Union came up with some ideas to keep Kyoto alive, through a decision or a declaration. But for this, the EU wants to extract a huge concession, that all “major economies” agree to start negotiating for a new legally binding treaty that will take in effect in 2020. Problem is, that there is no definition of what a “major economy” is. Among developing countries one might think of those with a large population. But on a per-capita basis, they a still developing countries. And that’s the way the developing countries are looking at it. So it is not surprising that developing countries like China, Brazil or India are not interested in taking up talks about this issue. How this story of the Kyoto Protocol is going to end is hard to say. A quick death is unlikely. Especially given the protest this might arouse and the bad name this will give to those who bury it.
The Durban conference is also debating on how to put a new Green Climate Fund into operations. Disputes remain on the fund’s governance. If the is an agreement, it may be Durban biggest but also only visible success. But the are still a couple of more days to go.
DateDecember 5, 2011
Youth and the Future
It was Young and Future Generations Day at COP17 in Durban on Thursday, and among the many events, talks and side events that took place on that day alone, one message came across very clear and loud: it is time to act, the time for political inactions has run out. If the world doesn’t act now it might be too late.
Young people and their future are actually at the center of these talks, because it is their future that’s being talked about. They are the primary stakeholders in the outcome of this conference. So they have the right to demand more of the negotiators, and of the targets they are setting. In a session called “An Intergenerational Inquiry” UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres warned youth not to pick up the bad habits of negotiators and stay ambitious. In response, 16-year old Mokgadi Seemola silenced the room in stating, “Because of some of the wrong decisions some negotiators have made, my dream is shattered.” Drought has devastated her South African community and now she faces the harsh realities of climate change. She had hopes to share the world she grew up in with her children, and that’s now impossible.
One would hope that negotiators at this conference had heard the message: that there is no time to wait any longer on coming to a binding agreement on how to stop climate change. There is not much time left. So, what action will they take?
(Report based on Eco, the NGO newsletter by CAN at the UNFCCC meeting in Durban)
DateDecember 2, 2011
Tags2011, cop17, Durban, event, future generations day, global ideas, interview, South Africa, youtube
Brazil’s new forest law
As the world tries to find ways the reduce global emission in Durban, Eco, a publication of Climate Action Network CAN at COP17, is reporting on Brazils plans of igniting a real carbon bomb. A bill to change the country’s Forest Law is supposedly about to be approved, resulting in the increase of deforestation. The proposed bill, they say, will be sent to President Dilma Roussef for final cinsideration in coming weeks. One of the foreseeable consequences is that an area almost the size of France and Great Britain combined will loose legal protection, according to estimates presented by the Brazilian government itself. Since Brazil will be hosting the Rio+20 con fence next year, the situation is even more delicate.
In the corridors at Durban, these developments are causing considerable consternation. It is expected that Brazil President Dilma Roussef will send a clear message to the world that the country will meet all commitments announced previously in fighting climate change and protecting the Brazil forest.
DateNovember 30, 2011
TagsBrazil, CAN, carbon, climate, climate action network, cop17, Durban, forest, forum, South Africa, world climate conference
Fossil of the Day Award
It’s been a bad day for Canada at the COP17 yesterday – since it’s been awarded the first Fossil of the Day Award in Durban. The Climate Action Network, a worldwide network of roughly 500 Non-Governmental Organizations, said there were credible reports saying that before the end of the year, Canada is going to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. Canada even won second place following statements by their environment minister, who said, that Canada came to Durban “to play hardball” with the developing countries. The 3rd place fossil of the day had been awarded to the UK, following revelations “that UK ministers have done a deal with the Canadian government to support the entry of tar sand into the European fuel supply chain”.
The Fossil of the Day award were first presented at the climate talks in 1999 in Berlin, initiated by the German NGO Forum.
DateNovember 29, 2011