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All posts tagged Biodiversity

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Every time food is wasted, all the money, packaging, manpower, and water are wasted too. The loss of natural resources such as land, water, and biodiversity, as well as the negative impacts of climate change represent huge costs to society. To minimise our impact on the environment, every single one of us needs to ensure that we work to reduce and ultimately prevent food waste in our very own kitchens on a daily basis. Luckily, we have some EGG -citing tips for you to take back to your kitchen and implement right away:

Feast your eyes on this short video clip that provides tips on how to reduce food waste posted on the UN FAO Instagram account. We know it is corny, but food is simply a-MAIZE-ing, so LETTUCE celebrate, make responsible choices and prevent food waste from going to landfill.

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Useless plastics provide a few minutes of convenience, little utility, and are disposed of in large quantities. / © WWF-Singapore

A supermarket plastic bag serves its real purpose for 30 minutes, the duration of a short commute. In a drink, a straw is utilised for just 5 minutes. The use of a plastic stirrer is even more short-lived: all of 10 seconds.

These items have fleeting lifespans, but they outlive us by a long shot — 400 years, to be exact.

Left in our environment, plastics affect ocean health and biodiversity. The problem does not simply end there.

Read the full article on ‘useless plastic’ and more here.

By Kim Stengert for Medium.

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Lights out, it’s “Earth Hour”- time

Categories: Green Tips
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Every year, Earth Hour inspires millions across seven continents to participate in critical climate and conservation projects. Together, they show their support for projects led by WWF that drive climate policy, raise awareness and encourage to take action among individuals, businesses and governments.

What started as symbolic “lights-out-event” in Sydney over a decade ago, in 2007 to be precise, has grown into the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment with millions supporting and acting for our planet and nature. A moment has turned into a movement.

This year, on March 24, we want to invite you to join us and the millions of others to celebrate the diversity of life on our precious earth. Start a conversation with your friends and family about what YOU can do to protect our planet from the accelerating climate change and staggering biodiversity loss that threaten our earth. Remember that every action, no matter how small or big, matters. Consider going beyond the one hour this year and commit to create positive impact every month, week, or even better every single day.

Be inspired and get some ideas for driving positive change in your everyday life. For example, start by

You can change the story to be told about our planet in the future – and let’s be honest, we all rather listen to something beautiful that we can continue to think and dream of when the lights are out.

If you are looking for creative and fun ways to celebrate Earth Hour, check out our tips we shared with you for Earth Hour 2017.

You can also watch the official Earth Hour video 2018 or head over to the official Earth Hour website for more ideas on how to get ready for Earth Hour this Saturday, March 24, 8:30pm.

TOGETHER, LET’S CONNECT TO EARTH

#Connect2Earth

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Credit: Shutterstock

As the sun rises and the flooded forests of Cambodia’s Stung Seng wildlife sanctuary come alive with the chattering and whooping of endangered monkeys with their elegant silvery-grey fur, fishermen from the Phat Sanday commune make their way towards the lake to set their nets for the day.

Located in the Tonle Sap biosphere reserve, the unique wetlands ecosystem of Stung Seng provides food and shelter for a number of species and acts as an important fish nursery. Surrounding floating village communities are also dependent on the wetland’s lakes and trees for clean water, fish, wood, fruits and nuts for their survival.

Unfortunately, in recent years, illegal fishing, overfishing, hunting and forest exploitation have been threatening the health of this vibrant forest. With more than 90% of the commune population relying on fishing, the catch in the lake has been declining.

To combat this, sustainable tourism – where neither the natural environment nor the socio-cultural fabric of the host communities should be impaired by the arrival of tourists – has been introduced to the commune. By providing an alternative source of income, a responsible tourism plan in Phat Sanday is a means of conserving the environment and enhancing the livelihoods of local people.

“Some villagers, especially the youth, move to the city and neighbouring countries to find jobs because there aren’t many available here,” says Mr Leng Sok, a commune council member of Phat Sanday. “Sustainable tourism can help generate income for people who are providing boat, food and accommodation services to tourists. To attract more tourists, our natural resources will need to be protected and sustainably managed.”

Funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and implemented by Wild Cambodia Organisation, the project that Mr Leng is part of emphasises the importance of using participatory approaches to involve villagers in the development and implementation of a ‘responsible tourism master plan.’ The involvement of villagers in the plans not only allows them to contribute their traditional knowledge on their surrounding environments, but also empowers them to take ownership of environmental conservation and their own livelihood enhancement.

Photo: Consultation meeting with local tourism working group © Wild Cambodia Organisation

“When tourism is fully developed, many tourists will come to visit our community and people in our commune will be able to earn more money. To provide good services, we need to train local people in hospitality, especially in activities such as cooking, operating boats, guiding tours etc. This requires a sustainable funding stream. As agreed in our workshops, we plan to use the profit generated from tourism to support conservation activities and commune development. This includes education, health and infrastructure,” said Mr Khoeung, leader of the Phat Sanday Community Protected Area.

This year’s theme for International Day for Biological Diversity is “Biodiversity and Tourism”.

As reflected in the Cambodian project above, attractive landscapes and rich biodiversity are of great importance to tourism economies. The protected areas of South and Southeast Asia are particularly important for tourism and are drawing an increasingly large number of domestic and international visitors. The total contribution of tourism to the gross domestic product in the Asia-Pacific region was approximately US $2,270 billion in 2016, and approximately 159 million people in the Asia-Pacific region are working in jobs related to the tourism sector.

Tourism also relates to many of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Some focus on reducing damage to biodiversity from tourism, while others focus on pursuing positive contributions of tourism through community engagement and raising awareness for biodiversity, protected areas and habitat restoration.

Recognising the importance of tourism in biodiversity conservation, many programmes and organisations are already working with local communities to ensure that tourism not only benefits the economy but also the environment.

CEPF, for example, has supported a number of sustainable tourism projects in the Indo-Burma region since 2008. Some of the projects train local tour guides in ecotourism while others provide support in the development of policies for sustainable tourism.

Another grant-making mechanism, Mangroves for the Future (MFF), a partnership-based coastal programme co-chaired by IUCN and UNDP, has been supporting over 30 projects that focus on sustainable tourism development, since 2007. In India, the Grande & Bat Island ecosystem project assessed and analysed tourism-related threats to the island’s marine ecosystem. The project also trained 40 tour-boat operators on implementing sustainable practices for dolphin watching.

While tourism benefits local communities – both economically and socially- the natural environment cannot be sacrificed in the process. Tourism must be practised responsibly and sustainably, so as to ensure that the biodiversity and species that are critical for maintaining balance in ecosystems are safeguarded.

As a step in achieving this, local and national governments, tourism industries, businesses and local communities need to work together, as part of an inclusive and participatory process, to design the vision and way forward for a sustainable future.

 

Access the article here.

By the IUCN

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World Wetlands Day: IUCN launches regional project to enhance resilience of wetlands in Lower Mekong countries

Categories: Asia, Climate, Featured Post, Planet
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On the occasion of World Wetlands Day on February 2, IUCN is announcing the launch of a regional project to enhance the resilience of wetlands in Lower Mekong countries. Funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), and to be implemented until 2020, the Mekong WET: Building Resilience of Wetlands in the Lower Mekong Region” project aims to build climate resilience by harnessing the benefits of wetlands in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam.


wetlands in Lower Mekong

Photo: © Pheakdey Sorn/IUCN

Mekong WET will help the four countries to address their commitments to the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, and to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. With wetlands featured as a key ecosystem, the project also supports governments in implementing their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) under the Convention on Biological Diversity and pursuing their commitments on climate change adaptation and mitigation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. By International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Read more.

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UNEP CBD - Tourism Supporting Biodiversity

A healthy natural environment is one of the world’s most important tourism attractions, and that visiting nature serves to heighten awareness of its intrinsic value for us all, a new manual launched by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) presents guidelines on sustainable tourism and management.

Geared towards being both practical and accessible, Tourism Supporting Biodiversity: A Manual on applying the CBD Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development, highlights the important role tourism plays for biodiversity and aims to improve knowledge and materials to better integrate biodiversity into sustainable tourism development.

“The manual is a reference tool for planners, developers, managers and decision makers involved with tourism development and resource management in areas of sensitive biodiversity,” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, CBD Executive Secretary. “The purpose is to help them to mainstream biodiversity concerns and ecosystem services within sustainable tourism development.”

With its emphasis on management and governance, the manual, prepared as a result of experiences compiled by the Secretariat and decisions taken by countries at the eleventh and twelfth meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, reflects a wider perspective on approaches and experiences in sustainable tourism development and management. It serves to complement the more technical User’s Manual on the CBD Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development, published in 2007.

The manual is the result of a collaboration between the CBD Secretariat, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and some 140 experts from around the world to identify current trends and upcoming issues and opportunities on the links between sustainable tourism development and the CBD agenda, and is meant to be used as a transformative tool for sustainable consumption.

 

 

Download PDF here

 

Bahias de Huatulco – or Huatulco Bays – is Mexico’s southernmost beachside destination. It is also the first sustainable community in the Americas, and the third worldwide to be recognised by EarthCheck.    This commitment to leadership is clearly articulated in Huatulco’s Sustainability Policy and practically demonstrated by the establishment of their Green Team.

by EarthCheck

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America’s First Sustainable Community: Bahias de Huatulco

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This is the central document for the wildlife tourism status assessment project. Part II synthesises information from a series of individual status assessment reports on different aspects of Australian wildlife tourism and presents findings of stakeholder consultation processes.

by Karen Higginbottom, Kelley Rann, Gianna Moscardo, Derrin Davis and Sue Muloin

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Status Assessment of Wildlife Tourism in Australia: An Overview Part II

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Status Assessment of Wildlife Tourism in Australia: An Overview Part I

Categories: Fauna, Oceania, Pacific, Planet, Report
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This is the central document for the wildlife tourism status assessment project. Part I provides a descriptive overview of wildlife tourism in Australia, placing it in the context of international tourism and wildlife tourism.

by Karen Higginbottom, Kelley Rann, Gianna Moscardo, Derrin Davis and Sue Muloin

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Status Assessment of Wildlife Tourism in Australia: An Overview Part I

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Impacts of Recreation & Tourism on Plants in Protected Areas in Australia

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This report reviews research into impacts of recreation and tourism on vegetation in Australian protected areas and identifies key areas for future research. A comprehensive literature review of Australian and overseas research on tourism and recreation impacts  on vegetation in protected areas was conducted. Discussions were held with industry including staff from park agencies, as well as researchers in recreational  ecology.

by Catherine Pickering and Wendy Hill

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Pickering_Impacts-Plants

 

 

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