Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Biodiversity (150)

Fifth of countries at risk of ecosystem collapse, analysis finds

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 12 October 2020

One-fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing because of the destruction of wildlife and their habitats, according to an analysis by the insurance firm Swiss Re.

Natural “services” such as food, clean water and air, and flood protection have already been damaged by human activity.

More than half of global GDP – $42tn (£32tn) – depends on high-functioning biodiversity, according to the report, but the risk of tipping points is growing.

Countries including Australia, Israel and South Africa rank near the top of Swiss Re’s index of risk to biodiversity and ecosystem services, with India, Spain and Belgium also highlighted. Countries with fragile ecosystems and large farming sectors, such as Pakistan and Nigeria, are also flagged up.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Our Planet: Too Big To Fail

WWF / 18 September 2020

How can the finance sector help save the planet? The sector’s leading voices explore the crucial role of finance in turning the tide on climate change and nature loss.

Involve local groups in protecting biodiversity

The Guardian / Severin Carrell / 31 August 2020

The “Edinburgh declaration”, published on Monday, urges leaders to work more closely with sub-national governments, indigenous peoples, national parks, local councils and wider society in meeting 20 biodiversity goals set out in the Aichi accord, signed in Nagoya, Japan, 10 years ago.

Those targets were due to have been met by 2020. None of them were, leaving global biodiversity in a parlous state, the statement says.

“The current approach is bust,” said Prof Des Thompson, principal science adviser at NatureScot, Scotland’s conservation agency, which oversaw the declaration process. “What we need to do is work with local communities, local governments and local communities – that’s how we’re going to meet those targets.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Loss of bees causes shortage of key food crops, study finds

The Guardian / Oliver Milman / 29 July 2020

A lack of bees in agricultural areas is limiting the supply of some food crops, a new US-based study has found, suggesting that declines in the pollinators may have serious ramifications for global food security.

Species of wild bees, such as bumblebees, are suffering from a loss of flowering habitat, the use of toxic pesticides and, increasingly, the climate crisis. Managed honeybees, meanwhile, are tended to by beekeepers, but have still been assailed by disease, leading to concerns that the three-quarters of the world’s food crops dependent upon pollinators could falter due to a lack of bees.

The new research appears to confirm some of these fears.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Collapse: a helpful guide for the perplexed

Small Farm Future / 27 July 2020

I won’t attempt anything but a cursory description of the literature analysing potential collapse, though I’d be interested to hear other people’s suggestions for worthy contributions to it. Inevitably, that literature varies from the learned to the loopy. One of the cornerstones of collapse literature in modern times has been the Limits to Growth report emerging from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and first published in 1972. Despite its academic pedigree, critics have long sought to position the report as more loopy than learned, but with increasing difficulty over the years as actual trends have pretty much tracked the ones modelled by the LTG authors (see this, for example, or this). Meanwhile, various new currents of thinking have emerged around energy, climate and economic futures that take forward the ‘business as usual is not an option’ package of LTG.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Lanark County moves forward with Climate Action Plan

Lanark County / Media Release / 27 July 2020

Since adopting its Climate Action Plan in January 2020, Lanark County has taken some decisive actions towards achieving goals for sustainability.

Protecting and enhancing the natural environment is a core strategy in the county’s 2005 Strategic Plan, and council established “climate and environment” as one of its top five priorities for this term.

“We need a holistic approach with a multitude of strategies in order to reach a level of sustainability in our county,” explains CAO Kurt Greaves. “Climate change and environmental degradation are defining challenges of our time.”

A work plan outline set goals for this year and includes strategies related to grant research and applications, homes, forests and farms, industry, waste diversion, transportation, municipal buildings, and public engagement. A number of actions are already underway.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Resilience is the ability of a system or community to withstand impacts from outside. An indicator is a good way of measuring that. Conventionally, the principal way of measuring a reducing carbon footprint is CO2 emissions. However, we firmly believe that cutting carbon while failing to build resilience is an insufficient response when you’re trying to address multiple shocks such as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis together.

— Transition U.S.
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