N°9 | FALL 2013
The Value of Nature Business and Biodiversity
Chile’s Red Gold Exploiting Atacama Desert
Heat Pumps Renewable by Nature
The Canary Project Climate Change Art
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N°9 | FALL 2013 Special Guest Editorial Lara Yacob Program Manager Corporate Engagements
Sustainable Financing, Financing Sustainability The global environmental, social and economic challenges faced by societies currently will accelerate over time as the world’s population is set to grow to 9 billion by 2050. Water scarcity and pollution, competing use of natural resources such as land, climate change and variability, demographic changes and globalizing supply chains are all underpinned by social challenges such as increasing poverty and social marginalization. A better understanding of the impacts and dependencies on our natural and human capital is needed along with how it relates to globalization trends. Where does the private sector and specially, the financial sector, fit into this picture? Financial institutions are increasingly called upon to play a role in addressing these sustainability challenges. The idea of having private sector participation is not new; there have been countless initiatives by governments and multilateral organizations key pillar of the promoting this idea, such as Goal 8 of the Millennium Development Goals which calls for a global partnership for development.
The circular economy is a bank’s sustainability strategy.
What has changed is the shift from viewing financial institutions as financiers to legitimate partners for development as witnessed through the forthcoming Responsible Agricultural Investment principles (FAO) and Sustainable Agricultural Principles (UN Global Compact). The financial sector is at the table with companies, governments and civil society to set forth guiding principles for sustainable agricultural practices. There are other important trends in financing sustainability: financial institutions are no longer only providers of capital but facilitators for new ideas and trends in the market. The Dutch food and agricultural bank, Rabobank’s formal partnership with WWF, has enabled the development of sustainable salmon aquaculture industry in Chile through better farming practices and certification at a time when the industry was on the verge of collapse due to unsustainable aquaculture practices. The circular economy is a key pillar of the bank’s sustainability strategy. They are not alone, numerous banks and investment firms now finance sustainable solutions such as renewable energy. According to 2012 report by UNEP on global trends in renewable energy investment, the appetite for these types of investments has grown with over $244 billion in new investment in renewable energy solutions such as carbon capture and storage, energy access to wind, solar and geothermal energy among others. This signals a movement from financing fringe technologies with little uptake to mainstream solutions that are an important part of the global energy mix.
The Caribbean's coral reefs are under pressure from overfishing, pollution, development, and climate change. Now these reefs are facing an additional threat from an uninvited guest - the lionfish - seen on the cover (see our "Invasive Alien Species" feature on page 10). The Caribbean lionfish invasion could become the most disastrous marine invasion in history by drastically decreasing the abundance of coral reef fishes throughout the entire region. Although complete eradication of lionfish from the Caribbean is probably an impossible goal, keeping their numbers low can give other fish populations a chance to persist. Creative solutions to the problem will be essential to prevent lionfish from devastating Caribbean coral reef ecosystems. Photo: Coral Reef, Cozumel, Mexico 2013. Source: Stephanie Ilner / Deep Down Media
Cover image: The Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) is one of two Indo-Pacific lionfish species, seen here in Tasik Ria, Manado, Indonesia. Source: J. Petersen / Wikipedia. Very colorful and beautiful, the lionfish is a highly invasive and threatening species. Voracious eaters, they impact on local ecosystems and they put swimmers, snorkelers, divers, and fishermen at risk from their painful, venomous sting.
Joelle Rizk Lara Yacob Marcello Cappellazzi Michela Pfeifer Ruth Gamano Valentina Pinzuti PHOTOGRAPHERS Andreas Arianna Pagani Brian Gratwicke Daniel Plumer Don DeBold Don Macauley Edward Morris E. Dronkert James Byrum Jans Canon J. Petersen Kitten Wants Marino Carlos Olivier Ervyn Patrick Bingham-Hall Robert Taylor Sarah Stephanie Ilner Susannah Sayler Ted GRAPHIC DESIGN Filipa Rosa ENERGY ASSISTANT Edoardo De Silva ASSISTANT | RESEARCHER Marcello Cappellazzi EDITOR-AT-LARGE Bostjan Videmsek MANAGING CONSULTANT Joelle Rizk REGIONAL MANAGERS Rajnish Ahuja (India | Asia) FOUNDING EDITOR Stuart Reigeluth
REVOLVE Magazine (ISSN 2033-2912) is registered in Belgium, BE 0828.676.740.
Revolve Magazine is printed with vegetable-based ink on chlorine-free paper. www.revolve-magazine.com
ENVIRONMENT 10 | Invasive Alien Species
Introduced intentionally or not, foreign species are altering eco-systems with devastating results for indigenous plants, fish and animals that are pushed out or killed off.
ANALYSIS 18 | Chile’s Red Gold Michela Pfeifer travels to the land of the biggest man-made hole on Earth where the copper industry is blossoming into another natural resource curse.
FOCUS 27 | Heat Pumps Usually eclipsed by wind mills and solar panels, heat pumps use many different sources of renewable energy and are pivotal to more efficient livelihoods and cities.
CITIES 39 | Singapore’s Green Architecture The ultra luxury hotel PARKROYAL on Pickering by WOHA Architects won this year’s Green Mark Platinum, Singapore’s highest environmental certificate.
“few of us stop to consider how just about every facet of our lives is built around our energy consumption. Nearly everything we do is inextricably bound to our use of energy.” Jeff Rubin, Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller (2010).
VIEWS 51 | Ghana’s Waste-Pickers In the town of Koforidua, Belgian photographer, Olivier Ervyn, captures the essence of a business based on scavenging for hard plastic and cans to resell.
51 | Afghanistan’s Extractive Industry Located at the epicenter of trade and travel in Central and Southern Asia, Afghanistan could emerge as a regional hub – if its minerals are managed properly.
76 | Liguria: Preserving the Land Two years after Cinque Terre was hit by flash floods, Revolve visits the north-western region of Italy to see reconstruction and prevention efforts.
BUSINESS 84 | The Value of Nature 67
Sven Stöbener describes why companies should invest more in environmentally-friendly models of doing business: it’s simply more sustainable.
CULTURE 92 | The Canary Project
Juxtaposing art and activism, photographers Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris offer an engaging new dimension to addressing climate change.
Invasive Alien Species
An Alien Species is “an organism which humans have introduced, intentionally or accidentally, outside its previous range”. Those alien species which cause negative impacts on biodiversity, socioeconomy or human health are considered to be Invasive. Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, 2002
Writer: Ruth Gamano is an independent contributor to Revolve.
Climate change, habitat loss, and pollution are environmental challenges defining the 21st century; another less well-known but equally related aspect is the proliferation of invasive alien species. While the migration and ‘invasion’ of species is nothing new, two reports by the European Environment Agency (EEA) turn the spotlight on how alien species are intentionally introduced to new places while many other introductions are unintentional. Ruth Gamano looks at the reasons, the effects and future of species invasions.
Introduced intentionally or accidentally by human activity, invasive alien species are animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms which cause adverse effects on their new habitat or bio-region; for example, by outcompeting or predating native species, which evolved without specific adaptations to cope with them. Once established in their new environment, such species can be extremely difficult or even impossible to eradicate and can lead to the devastation of populations of
native species, causing harm economically, environmentally and ecologically. For these reasons, invasive alien species have been recognized as one of the most serious threats to biodiversity at the global level, second only to habitat loss and destruction (“Status, impacts and trends of alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats and species”, Convention on Biological Diversity, 2001)
Lionfish (Pterois miles and P. volitans) are predatory fish native to the Indo-Pacific. It is believed that they were introduced to the Caribbean in the early 1990s from local aquariums or fish hobbyists in Florida. Once loose in the marine environment their numbers began exploding. Lionfish are known for eating anything they can fit in their mouths and seem to eat nearly constantly leaving native reef fish populations and coral reef community stability at great risk. Photo: Lionfish in Mexico. Source: Stephanie Ilner / Deep Down Media
Historically Speaking Damage caused by invasive species has been chronicled throughout history. In 77 AD, Pliny the Elder, a learned natural philosopher of the early Roman Empire, wrote in his encyclopedia Natural History about the rabbit invasion of the Balearic Islands, describing it as such a drastic problem that the help of the Emperor Augustus and the Roman Army was sought to control them. Even then invasive species were not new; some human-
initiated introductions are known to date back to Neolithic times, especially around the Mediterranean. Such species as the pheasant, originatedly from Asia, have been introduced around the world and became integral parts of their adopted habitats to the extent that they seem native today. The long history of species introductions to Europe may be responsible for the
lower level of awareness about associated problems in comparison to other areas of the globe. The introduction rate of invasive species to Europe is accelerating but insufficient care and concern is shown with regards to this threat. This is gradually changing now and increasing recording and publicity of the associated impacts are raising awareness of the issue, especially in relation to human health, biodiversity and the environment.
While bringing short-term socio-economic profit, some alien species turn out to be invasive, damaging biodiversity and natural resources in the long-term. Kudzu (Pueraria Lobata) has been spreading in the south of the U.S. at the rate of 61,000 hectares annually and has produced devastating environmental consequences, earning it the nickname: "the vine that ate the South." $6 million are spent annually for controlling its spread. Source: Kitten Wants / Flickr
Impacts of Invasive Alien Species The full extent of the threat posed by Invasive Alien Species is becoming better understood thanks to various scientific studies that have been undertaken in recent years. Between 1994 and 2006, the European Commission funded 90 research projects related to, or dealing entirely with the issue, with a total budget of more than €88 million. These projects included ALARM, IMPASSE and DAISIE (Delivering Alien Invasive Species in Europe). DAISIE supports a comprehensive review of the scale of, and ecological and economic impacts caused by, invasive alien species of all types in Europe. Data collected through this project shows that of all alien species in Europe at least 11% are known to have negative ecological impacts and 13% negative economic impacts. Of the 395 European native species listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species, 110 are at risk due to invasive alien species. Many non-native species are introduced to new areas, therefore being ‘alien’, without being invasive. Sometimes, they fail to adapt sufficiently to their new environment to establish self-sustaining populations and eventually die off. This is true of species such as crocodiles and pythons, some of which have been released or escaped in Europe, but have not become problematic in the long-term. In other cases, species are introduced and inhabit new eco-systems without damaging them. They co-exist with native species without competing with them. The Corsican ‘Red’ deer, which is thought to have been introduced to Corsica by humans in ancient times, is even protected by EU legislation as a valued aspect of the island’s environmental and cultural heritage.
The introduction of alien species can bring enormous economic benefits in certain sectors, such as agriculture, animal farming, fishing, wood production, medicine, hunting, and the ornamental plant trade. Alien species can even sometimes offer benefits to the natural environment of their new habitats by being food sources for native species and by replacing previously lost vegetation cover. However, this is misleading since such apparently beneficial effects can still harm the natural balance of eco-systems in the long-term. While bringing short-term socio-economic profit, some alien species turn out to be invasive, damaging biodiversity and natural resources in the long-term. One example is the Red Swamp Crayfish, which brings beneficial fishing opportunities in areas like southern Spain, but also carries the crayfish plague pathogen that can drive native crayfish species populations to extinction.
The ‘Red’ Deer, which is thought to have been introduced to Corsica by humans in ancient times, is as example of an alien species that inhabit new eco-systems without damaging them. They co-exist with native species without competing with them. Source: Don Macauley / Flickr
1890 saw 60 European Starlings introduced to Central Park, New York. Numbers are estimated to have now reached 200 million; they are collectively capable of consuming 20 tons of potatoes a day. Source: Don DeBold / Flickr
The Ring-Necked Parakeet (Psittacula Krameri), native to Africa and Asia, is world’s most widespread wild parrot species. Its first observation in the wild in countries like Belgium and England happened in the end of the 1960's. Source: Jans Canon / Flickr
Prolific and aggressive, the Red Swamp Crayfish originates from north-eastern Mexico and south-central USA. Intentionally introduced for aquaculture, consumption, use as bait and pet trade, it lives today in all continents except Antarctica and Australia. Source: E. Dronkert / Flickr
101 Cane Toads were released in Queensland, Australia, in 1935 as a way to stop Cane Beetles from destroying sugar cane. Due to their poisonous nature, Cane Toads multiplied to 60,000 within six months. Their adaptability and sheer numbers has seen many species suffer from their toxicity and resource consumption. Source: Brian Gratwicke / Flickr
The Africanized Bee resulted from the accidental release of 21 Tanzanian Queen Bees in Brazil, when they bred with native European bees: the Africanized bee was born. They are known to be an especially aggressive species and have lower rates of honey production. Source: Daniel Plumer / Flickr
Asian Carp are voracious eaters that can grow up to six feet and 110 pounds. Flooding in the 1990s saw the species proliferate from Louisianaâ€™s fish farms to most of the Mississippi River watershed and the Missouri River. The bighead carp, along with the other Asian carp, now account for the majority of fish in the Missouri River. Source: Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee / Flickr
The Gray Squirrel native to North America, carry deadly squirrel pox, to which they are immune but native red squirrels are vulnerable. They also eat seven times more food per hectare than their scarlet cousins, crowding out any competitors who manage to survive the squirrel plague. Source: Robert Taylor / Flickr
Invasive alien species can affect biological diversity at gene, species and eco-system levels. Competition, predation, hybridization and disease transmission are common and can endanger native species. In isolated eco-systems this is known to affect all levels of local food webs. 2. Impacts on Eco-system Services Eco-system services are direct and indirect contributions of eco-systems to human well-being, and are classified in four sub-categories: Provisioning services: products obtained from ecosystems such as water, food, genetic resources, wood, fiber and medicines; Regulating services: beneficial regulatory effects of ecosystem processes such as climate stability, natural hazard regulation (flood control), water purification, waste management, pollination, and pest control; Supporting (habitat) services: soil formation and nutrient cycling,
Cultural services: recreational, religious, spiritual and intellectual enrichment, and other non-material benefits gained from eco-systems. 3. Impacts on Human Health Invasive alien species which have negative effects on eco-systems, in turn have negative effects on human well-being through the disruption of these services. Human health can be affected either directly or as vectors of specific diseases. Such problems include skin lesions upon contact with giant hogweed sap, rhino-conjunctivitis and asthma through contact with common ragweed allergenic pollen, and the chikungunya virus spread by the tiger mosquito.
Source : Sarah / Flickr
Source : TIME Magazine
1. Impacts on Biodiversity
providing habitats for migratory species and gene pool viability maintenance;
Top 10 Invasive Species
There are various ways a species can cause harm in its new environment, therefore being invasive rather than simply non-native. The EEA reports identify 14 types of Invasive Alien Species impacts and classify them into 4 groups:
4. Impacts on Economic Activities Invasive alien species can cause damage to infrastructure, landscapes and agriculture. In Australia, Brazil, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States, related losses have been calculated as approximately $300 billion per year (‘Update on the environmental and economic costs associated with alien-invasive species in the United States’, Ecological Economics Pimentel et al., 2005). This is probably an underestimation, as socioeconomic consequences are difficult
• Asian Carp • Rabbits • Cane Toads • Kudzu • Gray Squirrel • Killer Bees • Starlings • Northern Snakehead • Zebra Mussels • Burmese Python
to quantify in financial terms, and economic and environmental impacts are unknown for many alien species (‘How well do we understand the impacts of alien species on ecosystem services? A pan-European cross-taxa assessment’, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vilà et al., 2010).
Addressing the Invasion Debt Global patterns suggest that the numbers of alien species and their impacts will increase (‘Global Biodiversity: Indicators of Recent Declines’, Science, Butchart et al., 2010,). Invasive alien species are likely to cause increased fragmentation, destruction, alteration and replacement of habitats, which will affect even more species and eco-systems. Many past invasions could have been prevented and measures for early detection and rapid responses
must be implemented now to help prevent and control future invasions. Species which have already invaded new habitats must be controlled and, where appropriate and possible, eradicated. Long-term species management should be a last resort. Eradication of invasive alien species is widely viewed as the most effective way to conserve endangered species, with more than 1,000 successful eradications
recorded worldwide. The conservation statuses of 11 bird, five mammal, and one amphibian globally threatened species have improved as direct results of such programmes (“Global indicators of biological invasion: species numbers, biodiversity impact and policy responses”, Diversity and Distributions, McGeoch et al., 2010). This is one of the greatest environmental challenges of modern times, and one
Koi have been accidentally or deliberately released into the wild in every continent, except Antarctica. They quickly revert to the natural coloration of common carp within a few generations. They greatly increase the turbidity of the water because they are constantly stirring up the substrate. This makes waterways unattractive, reduces the abundance of aquatic plants, and can render the water unsuitable for swimming or drinking, even by livestock. (WIKIPEDIA) Source: Marino Carlos / Flickr
Native to drainage basins of the Aral, Black and Caspian Seas, the Zebra Mussel (Dreissena Polymorpha) was introduced to Europe and America in the 19th and 20th centuries. They can filter up to a liter of water per day to eat the plankton. They also form colonies inside pipes clogging them. Zebra mussels cannot be controlled in the wild as the chemicals used to kill the larva would affect fish and native mussels. The spread of zebra mussels can only be prevented by draining all of the water from boats, live wells and bait wells. Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Flickr
The invasive 'Killer' Shrimp were discovered in UK waters for the first time in 2010. They kill a range of native species such as shrimp, young fish and insect larvae, often leaving them uneaten. Source: Lancanshire Invasive Species Project
Burmese Pythons have thrived and multiplied, particularly in the Everglades of the Southern Unites States, posing a potential threat to humans and feeding on native endangered species, such as Key Largo wood rats, round-tailed muskrats and even alligators. Source: Ted / Flickr
which various agencies and authorities are now addressing. In the publication “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020”, the European Commission aims: By 2020, Invasive Alien Species (IAS) and their pathways are identified and prioritised, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and pathways are managed to prevent the introduction and establishment of new IAS. The EEA has contributed extensively to work in this field, including the technical report “Towards an early warning and information system for invasive alien species threatening biodiversity in Europe”, which assesses the options for a European early warning system, identifying key challenges and presenting estimated costs. Due to the multiple shared borders, mountain ranges and water courses in Europe, invasive alien species are easily spread between countries. This makes a harmonized pan-European strategy, necessitating legislative frameworks at both regional and local levels, vital to effectively manage them. Globalization and international trade are also major contributors to the movement of species and are therefore important factors in invasive alien species control. Many species are intentionally moved and traded internationally and other species are transferred accidentally as a consequence of such trade. The EEA reports state that 90% of world trade is carried by sea and by 2018, the world fleet could increase by nearly 25% with volumes nearly doubling compared to 2008. In addition, approximately 650 million people travel internationally every year. Both greatly increase the risk of unintentional species transfers. These conditions need improved coordination between national authorities, including reinforced controls at airports, harbors and other entry points, with resources such as scanners and sniffer dogs, targeted training, and powers of consignment seizure and destruction. In their 2011 paper “Socioeconomic legacy yields an invasion debt”, Essl et al. coined the term “invasion debt”, highlighting that current patterns and impacts of alien species reflect past activities and migrations
rather than current patterns. Many of the most damaging alien species invaded their new habitats many years ago. It will therefore be impossible to judge the effects of current activities until decades in the future. The boom in biofuels correlates invasive alien species and climate change. In the fight against climate change, fossil fuels are increasingly being replaced by biofuels. The 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) endorses a mandatory 10% minimum target for the share of biofuels used in transportation by 2020. Biofuel crops may provide opportunities for alien species to invade new territories, as they are planted on large scales and are usually fast growing and highly competitive species. Apart from deforestation and land change brought about for their production, there is a high risk of such crop species spreading outside their official production areas. This means carrying out risk assessments before selecting biofuel species for specific areas.
Indicators” assesses progress towards halting the loss of biodiversity in Europe by 2010. A response indicator measuring the “Trends in invasive alien species in Europe” was developed as part of this process, and consisted of two elements: 1. Cumulative number of alien species in Europe since 1900 2. Worst invasive alien species threatening biodiversity in Europe This indicator is considered to be effective, but needs further improvement. A lack of consensus about the definition of invasive species, the lack of reliable data about both native and invasive species, and the variety of species involved and the problems they cause all make establishing reliable indicators difficult. Many projects continue to work on this issue and much more work remains to be done.
Climate change is an environmental phenomenon with varied effects, including changing which species are able and
It will therefore be impossible to judge the effects of current activities until decades in the future. unable to thrive in specific areas. Native species which fail to adapt to the new environmental conditions of their native territory are likely to die out and be replaced by better adapted alien species. Climate change is also expected to affect the distribution and impacts of existing invasive alien species. Many are highly adaptable and are likely to cope better than native species, increasing the likelihood of their dominance. Natural disasters such as floods and fires which destroy or displace native species may also allow new species to replace them. One problem in dealing with this issue is the lack of globally accepted, reliable indicators of biological invasions. The EEA project, “Streamlining European 2010 Biodiversity
CHILE’S RED GOLD Exploiting the Atacama Desert Writer / Photographer: Michela Pfeifer is an independent contributor to Revolve. She travelled across Chile between January and April 2013.
Driving north on the Panamericana highway from Santiago to the Atacama Desert, the incredible amount of mining sites attests to the major role the industry plays in Chile. Talking to Chileans, literally everyone seems to have relatives or friends working in one of the mines; if not presently, then from previous generations. While mining in Chile is equated with many positive superlatives as a success story, it does not apply to everyone. Copper and lithium have brought enormous wealth, but Chile’s dependence on mineral exports could now be refered to as the “Chilean Disease”. The effects of mining permeate Chile’s society, economy and politics with grave consequences for the environment. Chile is only 177 kilometers wide on average and has a coastline of 6,435 km. Bordering Bolivia and Peru in the north, and Argentina all along the eastern natural border of the Andes mountain range, 80% of Chile is mountains, counting over 600 volcanos. Only about 3% of the land in Chile is arable. Along this long strip of territory, the Atacama Desert occupies most of the north and does not receive any rain at all, while the south is one of the most rainiest areas of the world.
The 1990s marked the beginning of a boom in Chile’s copper mining industry. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), mining comprised 19% of Chile’s GDP in 2010. The primary mining regions include the northern Atacama Desert and the Andean Cordillera. Copper and sub-products of copper production such as molybdenum – a metal used in arms and tools production – are by far the most important products, but Chile is also mining big quantities of gold, silver and non-metal products such as salpetre (potassium nitrate) and, more recently, lithium (used in batteries). Chile is the biggest copper producer in the world with an output of 16 million tons in
2011, representing over 1/3 of global production. Despite going down from the 75% peak of Chile’s foreign trade in 1990, copper still comprises nearly 60% of Chile’s exports. Around 40% of the world’s known copper reserves are located in Chile. Copper production really started after World War I, when the Chilean salpetre market collapsed. Salpetre was used for fertilizers and explosives. The collapse was due to scientific progress and the artificial production of the mineral. Demand for natural salpetre crashed while demand for copper rose with the emergence of the electric industry. With the price of copper nearly back to record highs after a crash in 2008, Chile’s future looks bright, at first glance...
In northern Chile, the state-owned Chuquicamata – or “Chuqui“ according to Chileans – is the world’s largest open-pit copper mine. “La Escondida”, a privatelyowned mine, is the world’s biggest for current production. And with 2,400 kilometers of underground galeries, “El Teniente” near Santiago, is the biggest sub-terranean copper mine. Chuqui and El Teniente are the oldest mines in operation, since 1910 and 1905 respectively, and are advertised by the largest copper producer, “Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile” (CODELCO), as the “Orgullo de todos” – the pride of the nation. CODELCO is entirely state-owned and the world’s biggest copper mining operation. It has 20,000 employees producing 10% of global copper.
Chile’s Copper Market Chile’s copper market was nationalized in the late 1960s. With the rise and fall of salpetre mining, Chilean leaders realized that they needed to make better use of their natural wealth to benefit national development. Most extracting companies were foreign and the wealth generated from Chilean minerals was leaving the country while foreign companies paid modest royalties. In 1970, Salvador Allende was elected president of Chile. As part of his program of socialist reform, he nationalized the U.S.owned copper mines in the country – without
distributing any compensation. In a speech at the United Nations in 1972, he justified Chile’s action by estimating the profit companies had made during their exploitation – 3 years later he was deposed in a military coup. General Pinochet came to power and instituted free market reform (turning Chile into a laboratory of neo-liberal teachings after the Chicago Boys). Paradoxically, he did not re-privatize the mines. Instead, he merged them into the single state-owned company, later known as CODELCO, and decreed that 10% of the mines’ annual turnover would
be allocated to the country’s armed forces. In 1982, Pinochet re-opened the copper market to foreign investors. Chile’s copper market was divided into public and private sectors until the early 1990s, but CODELCO’s production has been very stagnant since and private output has overtaken and actually doubled. Eager to collect tax revenues, the state-owned company has neglected investments to balance climbing production costs, making it difficult to compete with the private sector. To revive CODELCO, a series of reforms have been proposed, including the expan-
sion of El Teniente and additional underground pit exploitation of Chuqui so far, open ground only, in order to reduce energy costs. Overhead expenses have become an increasing concern to mining companies striving to find cheaper alternative sources of energy to maintain extraction levels for consumption and trade. A potential listing of CODELCO on the stock market suggested by Chile’s president, Sebastián Piñera, would solve many of the company’s current debt problems. However, most analysts estimate that the company which owns an enormous 1⁄3 of Chile’s copper reserves could double its debt burden.
Chile is the biggest copper producer in the world. Image (Pages 18-19): “Keep out!” – Huge empty areas in Chuquicamata are blocked off separately from the fence that surrounds the whole town. Often, toxic waste has come too close. This page (left): “Vamos Chuqui”. Empty single appartments for miners. This page (top): CODELCO advertising for its “Fatalidad Cero” policy, the company’s motto. Safety at work is one of CODELCO’s priorities.
The Biggest Hole on Earth In his famous “Motorcycle Diaries”, Che Guevara recounts the plight of unemployed migrant workers at the Chuqui mine – and one can only wonder what he would think today if he saw this massive hole: over 4 km long, 3 km wide, and up to 850 meters deep. With a surface area of 8 km², it would take over an hour to cross on foot. In 2011, Chuqui produced 700,000 tons of copper, comprising ¼ of the world’s copper and ½ of its molibdenum production, representing 20% of CODELCO’s total income. The first tests for CODELCO’s “Chuquicamata Subterranea” projects are underway. The new mine should be in operation by 2018 and enable the company to reduce by half its energy consumption and still keep the same high levels of production.
Source: James Byrum / Flickr
Dirty Old Town The fate of mining towns is usually the same: they rise and fall with their adjacent mines, and usually have no other employment opportunities or economic prospects. The high income differences between CODELCO workers and those otherwise employed led to social differences. According to CODELCO, an average 70% of the mining staff are subcontractors, who do not enjoy CODELCO privileges salaries. When the mines close, the towns empty. The Atacama Desert is dotted with ghost towns, a legacy of the salpetre rush in Chile. A contemporary example of the fate of such a mining town is Chuqui next to Chuquica-
mata mine. For over 100 years, it was home to the miners and their families. But it has become so polluted that under the new environmental standards it has become unsafe for people to live there. Chuqui is a ghost town, fenced with barbed wire; it will be buried under a giant slag heap and with it a century of history. In 2003, thousands of its inhabitants relocated to Calama, 17 km away, where CODELCO has built houses for its workers, but the numerous subcontractors have been less fortunate. They did not receive any of the generous compensations that CODELCO paid its staff for leaving their homes.
Chile is the biggest copper producer in the world with an output of 16 million tons in 2011, representing over 1â „3 of global production
Cleaning up the Waste? In copper production, only 1% of the rock is actually copper; the other 99% is considered waste. As a result, huge piles of toxic waste accumulate. In Chuquicamata, the amount of such rock waste occupies a surface of 50 km2. About half of this waste is toxic due to chemicals used for the extraction of copper as well as the toxic acids created through oxygen reacting in the piled up rock, polluting the soil and water, despite the depth of ground water in the Atacama Desert. The heavy water usage in mining has devastating consequences on local water resources.
Protecting the Environment The air quality of Chuquicamata has been regulated since 1991, after the installation of a surveillance system a few years earlier. A depollution plan helped decrease by 70% the emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), according to the OECD.
ation of new environmental tribunals. They will be authorized to take away permits previously granted, rather than only fining companies for damages. Initially, implementation was targeted for the end of 2012, but only one of the three tribunals is functional since March 2013.
In 2009, Calama’s air quality was found to be saturated by “material with breathable particles”. According to the newspaper El Mercurio de Calama, 90% of the pollution in Calama is of mining origin. Nonetheless, efforts undertaken by CODELCO are notable. They announced in their 2011 Sustainability Report that they re-entered the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), a “quality certificate” for companies that are leading in sustainability and high standards of production.
Even if financial compensation were obtained for affected communities, the harm to the environment is irreversible. The case of Pascua Lama, a highly controversial gold mining project in the southern Atacama, owned by Barrick Gold Corporation, a Canadian mining giant, highlights the ineptitude of even the most elaborate environmental protection legislation. The project is not yet entirely approved by the state. It passed the environmental impact assessment even with the removal of 20 hectares of ice to gain access to gold deposits. The company further suggested moving three glaciers to another location – after the impact assessment tests were made.
A first wave of anti-pollution measures in Chile was implemented in the early 1990s. Now, Chile is entering a different era with the cre-
Foreign investment projects have to undergo assessment tests, but only very rarely is a mining project refused due to environment concerns. Between 2005 and 2012, only 39 out of over 620 mining projects evaluated by the “Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental” were rejected. Chile provides an entire system of legal recourse for foreign companies, if they can prove a breach in one of the numerous free trade agreements the country has signed. The system is built in a manner that evaluates impacts gradually, making the total impact of the initiatives often not visible. While in the Pascua Lama case, environmentalists were concentrating on saving the glaciers, a series of other projects were approved.
Developing Trade While other countries in South America, notably Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) members Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, are following more protectionist policies to manage their resources, Chile – despite the importance of its state-owned mining industry – is forming part of another alliance that has surged on the continent. Together with Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Brazil, Chile is becoming increasingly dedicated to free trade and economic integration as part of the creation of a “Pacific Alliance” – a strategy following the policies of the World Bank and similar organizations, such as the Inter-American Development Bank, which stated in its Country Strategy Chile 2011-2014 report: “The country’s main challenge consists in boosting overall economic production and diversifying its exports to meet OECD
standards, encouraging the country to facilitate trade and make better use of free trade agreements.” Chile is now part of the OECD, the club of the richest countries, regardless of the fact that it remains below basic development indicators. The World Bank and other international organizations play a crucial role in promoting private sector investment in Chile. In January 2013, Chile’s capital, Santiago, hosted the summit of the “CELAC-EU”, an inter-governmental assembly bringing together the heads of states and governments of EU countries and their Latin American and Carribean counterparts with the outcome of a new cooperation agreement, notably in mining and technology transfer, signed with Germany and Finland, amongst others. Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, hopes to “take the mining
industry in Chile to the next level.” (The Santiago Times, 26 January 2013.) The EU’s strategy on resources is based on the 2008 “EU Raw Materials Initiative” aimed at ensuring the EU’s “access to raw materials on global markets through Raw Materials Diplomacy and strategic partnerships”. Not surprisingly, Chile has been identified as one of the target countries, but the initiative has been heavily criticized in the NGO world. As a rebuttal, the European Commission explains quite clearly its intentions: “as global raw material markets are increasingly distorted by protectionist trade policies, maintaining fair and undistorted access to these materials for EU industry and citizens is increasingly difficult. Within the EU, exploration and extraction have to face increased competition for different land uses and a highly regulated environment.”
Even if financial compensation were obtained for affected communities, the harm to the environment is simply irreversible. Image (Pages 22-23): View on abandonned theater, once a lively place in town. This page: Welcome to Chuquicamata: Road is closed. Next page: At the gateway to the Atacama: The Chilean-Bolivian border. A leftover of former mining activity in the desert.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) FDI has been the key to developing the mining industry, and much of Chile’s success to attract investors is due to the prestige of its mining sector. The largest investments come from Canada, the U.S. and the UK, according to the Chilean Foreign Investment Committee. The Business Monitor states that “Chile's mining laws are perceived to be more investment friendly and globally aligned than most of its Latin American peers”. In a 2010 study by the World Bank, Chile is described as the “most open country on the continent when it comes to foreign investment.” The Chilean government has created an environment that is clearly favorable to attract FDI. Foreign companies are paying royalties on their production and not “real” taxes with affordable production costs. For some, this is an indicator of the confidence the country is enjoying. Others see it as an indicator of a country fostering foreign investment without taking into account the resulting quality of life. The fact that most investment is going into mining should be seen as a warning sign rather than readily accepted.
A Sustainable Future? In Chile, environmental protection is based on a system that regulates air quality instead of emissions. Decontamination plans are employed once air pollution is too high; companies’ environment protection budgets are dedicated essentially to air purification. It would render companies more responsible to introduce uniform emission norms for all state-owned and foreign companies. Due to the particularity of the Chilean copper market, such a system has been omitted so far, as most of the emissions were caused by a small number of state-owned mining companies. While in 1990, 77% of the total Chilean copper production was still provided by state-owned mines, today it is a mere third. Times have changed as has the country’s copper market and pollution has grown with production. A general reform of the copper market structure and the system of royalties would be useful.
While all minerals found in Chilean soil are property of the state, companies can exploit resources by paying licences. A system based on real gains would bring enormous gains to the state given the high copper prices through the last decade. Several attempts to change this system of royalties for a more realistic taxation system were aborted by the Congress; the law remains unchanged since 1983. Rather than financing the army with a 10% CODELCO-tax, the Chilean government should invest in its desolate education system. Chile spends most of its budget on defence and permits universities to make profits, resulting in education for the privileged. Trends in Chile now show that non-mining exports such as wood, seafood, fruit and wine are increasing. As with so many countries, Chile must balance sustain-
able and economic development with their social and environmental needs. Real equality within Chilean society will need to include respect for the Mapuches, Chile’s last indigenous people. If Chile does not want to witness another “eco-cide” of a civilization, then they must consider the viability of their eco-system. In the early first millennium, the “Rapa Nui”, a Polynesian people, colonized the Chilean Easter Island. Their civilization was eclipsed after nearly 900 years due to over-population which destroyed their eco-system through deforestation and over-exploitation of natural resources.
HEAT PUMPS Renewable by Nature, Sustainable for Europe
Heat pumps are usually overlooked as a technology that uses renewable energy because they operate in the dark. Hidden in basements, on roofs or in machine rooms, they do in fact use renewable energy from air, water and ground. This makes the technology an essential element of the energy transition, particularly in cities due to its ability to provide greater efficiency as well as to connect electricity and thermal energy grids.
HOW HEAT PUMPS WORK Early installations of the technology are in operation for more than 75 years providing heating, cooling and hot water for residential commercial and industrial purposes. Despite this history, the technology is still often deemed innovative.
muscular activity - is used to compress the air in the pump before it can be released into the tire. The tip of the air pump actually gets warm, an effect that can be felt by your hand! Compressing air increases its temperature.
Heat pump technology uses the refrigeration cycle. This principle was discovered in the 1850s by Sadi Carnot (and is today called the Carnot Cycles) and was described theoretically shortly after by the famous Lord Kelvin.
These two effects are what make heat pump systems work: similar to the skin example, a source of energy evaporates the refrigerant (by this process, the energy source is cooled down slightly). The result is a gas. In a second step - similar to the bike pump example - the gas is compressed thus increasing its temperature. Using a heat exchanger, the energy is then transferred to the distribution system of the building. Energy is usually distributed via (low temperature) radiators, floor heating system or fan coil units.
Heat pumps use two simple principles: evaporation and compression. While this may sound very technical, these principles are easy to understand and have been known to humans for a long time. Everybody benefits from evaporation on hot summer days. Swiping a damp cloth over one's skin is refreshing. The evaporation of this slim layer of water by body and outside energy dries the skin. The result is a cooling effect. Anyone who has inflated the tire of a bicycle will understand the concept of compression. Mechanical energy - i.e. from human
Heat pumps always provide heating and cooling. HEAT PUMP ( REFRIGERATION CYCLE)
Air, ground, water and waste energy.
If the process is operated in reverse mode, cooling is provided. Energy can come from renewable sources: air, water, or the ground or from processes: exhaust air, waste energy stored in water/ground from buildings or industrial processes. Auxiliary energy â€“ usually electricity or gas â€“ is needed to run the compressor and the pumps. Heat pumps always provide heating and cooling, thus giving the same machine an additional economic advantage in cases where both services are needed. In heating mode, ambient energy is the heat source and the building is the heat sink. In cooling mode, the cycle is reversed: the building is cooled down using the outside as heat sink.
Images (pages 28-29 and this page): Heat-pump pipes of the Porta Nuova Garibaldi development project in Milan, Italy. Source: Climaveneta / EHPA (page 33) Working on the manufacturing line of heat pumps in Sweden. Source: Enertech AB / EHPA
IN CONSEQUENCE: • the heat pump refrigeration cycle can be used to provide heating and cooling services separately or simultaneously. • energy used to run the process is from natural sources, with a small share of auxiliary energy, usually electricity. If green electricity is used, the system runs 100% on renewable sources. • the technology has been implemented in more than 6 million installations.
Operation principle of a heat pump outside (air). Source: EHPA/Alpha Innotec.
Operation principle of a heat pump underground (ground). Source: EHPA/Alpha Innotec.
Operation principle of a heat pump underground (water). Source: EHPA/Alpha Innotec.
Renewable by Nature Heat pumps can use energy from the air, water and ground. The origin of this energy can either be from natural sources or waste energy. In the first case, energy stored in the air or in bodies of water is the result of solar irradiation; energy stored in the ground is a mix of energy from solar irradiation, rainwater and geothermal energy. If air, water or ground are used to discharge energy from cooling or from industrial processes, this energy can be re-used by heat pumps and thus increases the efficiency of any process.
The debate over whether or not heat pumps actually use renewable energy is over; it ended when the European Union passed its legislation encouraging the use of renewable energy sources (RES) in 2009 (2009/28/EC). The RES Directive's article two defines which sources of energy are deemed renewable. It includes aerothermal (energy stored in air), hydrothermal (energy stored in water) and geothermal (energy stored below the earthâ€™s crust). The Directive
explicitly recognizes heat pump technology as necessary to make use of these renewable sources. This recognition is the basis for all other legislation affecting heat pumps and it certainly influences perceptions in the market place, where the benefits and possible contribution of heat pumps to overall energy demand in the heating and cooling sector is still underestimated or often overlooked.
Sustainable for Europe 1
use renewable energy from air, water and the ground
reduce final and primary energy demand
maintain know how
reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
The heat pump industry is local to Europe. Most manufacturers originate and set-up shop in Europe. The manufacturing of parts, components and systems has spread from Spain to Sweden and from France to Poland. Research and development is executed by companies, institutes and universities. Heat pump know-how is European know-how and European manufacturers are market leaders in many segments, even on the world level.
local investment and local labor
balance supply and demand in smart grids
Installing heating and cooling systems is done by local installers. Using heat pumps contributes to energy efficiency. It reduces energy demand, in particular demand for non-renewable, fossil sources and shifts money flows from paying for energy imports to other means. Local purchasing power is increased. Supporting heat pumps means supporting local infrastructure and employment.
With Europe's shift of energy supply to renewable sources in full swing, a specific challenge occurs in integrating surplus electricity in the grid and in balancing supply and demand. Heat pumps provide a tremendous storage potential to this challenge. In Germany for example, the storage potential of heat pump systems surpasses available pumped hydro!
Heat Pumps Technology Potential Heat pump units can individually provide heating alone, or heating and cooling, as well as hot water. Combined units can provide a comination of these three. The heat pump market is usually divided in 6 segments (single family and multi-family residential buildings and industrial applications are further distinguished between new and existing buildings) which have reached different stages of development.
Heat pump technology is easiest to employ in new buildings which are optimal for efficient heat pump operation. The application potential in new buildings is nearly 100% and it is these buildings where the technology has reached the largest market penetration. By now, heat pumps are a standard in new residential buildings and they are increasingly used in industrial applications. Applying heat pumps in renovated buildings
is a bigger challenge: simply replacing gas boilers with a heat pump, for example, will most likely result in a sub-optimal system. The energetic optimization of the building envelope is necessary to overcome this limitation. Technological developments in heat pumps aim to provide output temperatures of 65-90Â°C to enlarge the possible field of efficient applications. In industrial applications, the aim is to reach 200Â°C.
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Efficiency and Demand State-of-the-art electric heat pumps can reach efficiencies 3 - 5. This means, one unit of electricity is transformed into three to five units of heat. This relation is called the Coefficient of performance (COP, if determined on the unit level or the seasonal performance factor (SPF) if determined on a system level for one complete heating season. Depending on the primary energy conversion factor,
this relates into a primary energy efficiency of roughly 1, 2 to 5. State-of-the-art heat pumps using thermal energy can reach efficiencies around 1,25. One unit of primary energy input results in 1,25 units of heat. The efficiency of systems depends on the efficiency of the unit, installation quality, and the building’s energy demand. The higher the
Contribution ranges of heat pumps compared to a gas-condensing boiler: 80%
65-78% RES Contribution
Final Energy Savings
Primary Energy Savings
The total heat pump stock installed has a thermal capacity of nearly 36 MW producing 59.9 TWh of useful energy, 41 TWh of which being renewable. Their use saved 52 TWh of final and 29.5 TWh of primary energy in 2012. Using heat pumps in Europe is responsible for 10.87 Mt of greenhouse gas emission savings.
Heat pumps are emission-free at the point of operation. When using green electricity or thermal energy from renewable sources, heat pump systems provide a 100% renewable solution for heating and cooling of buildings. In systems where auxiliary energy is provided from conventional (fossil) sources, the renewable energy used is the difference between the total final energy demand and the amount of auxiliary energy input. The comparison of heat pump systems using air or ground as energy sources in residential buildings with a gas condensing boiler reveals a possible savings of between 20-49% in primary energy, 67-79% in final energy, and 49-68% in carbon emissions. Heat pumps use between 65-78% of renewable energy to meet their total final energy demand.
EHPA collects data on heat pump sales and market development for 21 countries. In 2012, a total of 755,043 heat pumps were sold. The number of man-years required to manufacture the annual production exceeds 40.000. In total more than 5.45 million heat pump units were put into operation since 2005. Adding data from available statistics for Germany (since 1989), Austria (since 1989) and Sweden (since 1994), the number of units in operation exceeds 6 million. After three years of stagnation, the sales in the European heat pump market shrunk by 7.4% from 2011 to 2012.
system’s efficiency, the lower the emissions. This is also largely influenced by the emission value of the electricity or fuel used. Consequently, electrically-driven heat pumps will profit from future improvements in efficiency of the European power-mix and will reduce the carbon footprint of the heating sector.
According to EHPA, a business-as-usual is not sufficient unleash the potential of heat pumps towards the EU energy and climate targets. Instead, swift and decisive action is necessary on all levels to support the technology. SUM
2005.......... 419,620 ............. – .................. – 2006.......... 536,031 ............. – ............
2007.......... 606,161 ............. – ............. 1 561,811 2008.......... 799,902 ............. – ............. 2 361,713 2009.......... 726,698 ......... 731,803 ...... 3 093,516 2010.......... 714,560 ......... 802,584 ...... 3 896,100 2011.......... 718,134 ......... 814,996 ...... 4 711,096 2012.......... 679,302 ......... 755,043 ...... 5 466,139
EHPA promotes awareness and deployment of heat pump technology in Europe for residential, commercial and industrial use. All activities are aimed at overcoming market barriers and disseminating information to develop high quality heat pump systems for heating, cooling and hot water production. For more information, please contact: tel.: +32 2 400 10 17 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ehpa.org
WHAT MAKES YOUR HEAT PUMP SO EFFICIENT ? The heating market needs a solution which adapts the amount of heat generated to the heat load, yet remains highly efficient. Emerson’s ZHW Copeland Scroll™ Variable Speed compressors adapt speed continuously between 30 and 117 Hz thanks to a highly efficient inverter drive and motor combination. Unique Copeland Enhanced Vapor Injection technology allows production of water up to 68°C. Furthermore our variable speed solution incorporates intelligent controllers which use
sensors, as well as serial communication to manage compressor speed and operating envelopes.
For maximum efficiency, you can choose between a simple compressor and drive, or a full solution which includes compressor, drive and controller. This is what will make your heat pump so efficient.
Emerson Climate Technologies – European Headquarters – Pascalstrasse 65 – 52076 Aachen, Germany Web: www.emersonclimate.eu – Tel. +49 (0) 2408 929 0 The Emerson Climate Technologies logo is a trademark and service mark of Emerson Electric Co. Emerson Climate Technologies Inc. is a subsidiary of Emerson Electric Co. Copeland is a registered trademark and Copeland Scroll is a trademark of Emerson Climate Technologies Inc.
E M E R S O N . C O N S I D E R I T S O L V E D ™.
SINGAPORE GREEN ARCHITECTURE 39
The hotel Parkroyal on Pickering officially opened in January 2013. Designed by WOHA Architects, the project was awarded Singapore’s Green Mark Platinum, the nation’s highest environmental certification. “Designed as a hotel and office in a garden, the project at Upper Pickering Street is a study of how we can not only conserve our greenery in a built-up highrise city centre but multiply it in a manner that is architecturally striking, integrated and sustainable.”
Located in central Singapore, the site is at a junction between the CBD and the colorful districts of Chinatown and Clark Quay, and faces Hong Lim Park. A contoured podium responds to the street scale, drawing inspiration from a combination of landscaped bonsai arrangements that are modelled, chiselled and spliced to mimic natural landscapes and mountain rock formations as well as that of the contoured padi fields of Asia. These contours are precast concrete elements of modular radii, allowing the complex, sculptural podium to be put together from a basic ‘kit of parts’.
Image: Cavernous hotel entrance and drop-off.
All photos by Patrick Bingham-Hall.
On the ground the contours create dramatic outdoor plazas and gardens which flow seamlessly into the interiors. Greenery from the park is drawn up in the form of planted valleys, gullies and waterfalls. The landscaping also conceal openings to the above ground carparking while allowing in air and natural light. The top of the podium is a lush landscaped terrace housing the developmentâ€™s recreational facilities, with infinity edge pools opening up unobstructed views of the city. Birdcage cabanas perched over the waters add interest and delight.
Birdcage cabanas perched over the waters add interest and delight.
Previous page: View of sky terraces from club lounge. This page: View from 5th floor looking up to underside of sculpted sky terraces.
The crisp and streamlined tower blocks harmonize with surrounding high-rise office buildings. They are attenuated into an open-sided courtyard configuration, breaking down the wall of buildings effect and maximizing views and daylighting into the building. Blue and green glass create a patina that recall the waters of Singapore River adjacent. Lofty 4 storey sky gardens which bring lush greenery directly to the rooms and breaks down the scale of the building. Corridors, lobbies and common washrooms are designed as garden spaces with stepping stones, planting and water features which create an
Top: Hotel skygardens overlooking Hong Lim Park. Side/Left: Hotel skygardens mimic natural landscapes and contoured padi fields of Asia. Side/Right: View of sky terrace from deluxe room.
Photovoltaic cell arrays on the roof will power grow lamps and softscape lighting, making these Singaporeâ€™s and perhaps the worldâ€™s first Zero Energy Skygardens!
alluring resort ambiance with natural light and fresh air, instead of being 24-hour energy guzzling air conditioned spaces. Tall overhangs work together with leafy foliage to screen these spaces from the weather and direct sun. A total of 15,000m2 of skygardens, reflecting pools, waterfalls, planter terraces and green walls were designed;
Top: Hotel porte-cochere. Right: Sculpted walls and ceiling details. Next page: Street view from traffic junction.
this is double the site area or equivalent to the footprint of Hong Lim Park! A diverse variety of species ranging from shade trees, tall palms, flowering plants, leafy shrubs and overhanging creepers come together to create a lush tropical setting that is attractive not only to the people but also to insects and birds, extending the green areas from Hong Lim Park and encouraging biodiversity in the city.
These landscapes are designed to be self-sustaining and rely minimally on precious resources. Rainwater collected from upper floors irrigate planters on the lower floors by gravity supplemented by non-potable recycled Newater, which will also be used for all water features. Photovoltaic cell arrays on the roof will power grow lamps and softscape lighting, making these Singaporeâ€™s and perhaps the worldâ€™s first Zero Energy Skygardens!
In 2013 the participating cities were Bologna, Dublin, Kaunas, Lille, London, Padua, Rimini, Tallinn, Tartu, Utrecht and Vila Nova de Famalicão. Cities interested to join the 2014 Challenge should contact: email@example.com
EUROPEAN NETWORKING FOR BETTER TRANSPORT IN CITIES AND REGIONS Transport accounts for about ¼ of all CO2 emissions in the EU, with a total volume of emissions that – unlike in other sectors – has not yet decreased significantly: air quality is suffering. There are still too many areas across Europe where limit values for local pollutants are exceeded mainly due to road traffic. 1 Facing climate goals, pollution, congestion and accidents, European cities and regions must support a paradigm shift towards more sustainable transport systems. One way forward is to support active travel modes such as cycling. A high modal share of cycling reduces CO2 emissions, improves overall air quality, and contributes to people’s personal health and fitness. These health benefits of cycling far outweigh safety risks. Cyclists on average live longer than noncyclists and take fewer days off from work due to illness. 2
The city of Bologna initiated the playful and effective European Cycling Challenge. The challenge invites European cities to form groups of cyclists who track their trips and quantify CO2 savings, thus encouraging citizens to cycle more often. The competition between cities creates game dynamics. “The ‘challenge mechanism’ motivates individuals to join the initiative and be proud of their contribution to making the city more liveable”, says Dora Ramazotti from SRM Bologna. In May 2013, over 3,000 people from 11 cities joined the 2013 Cycling Challenge and cycled more than 310,000 km. At the end, team Tallinn preceded Lille and Bologna and won the challenge with more than 55,000 km cycled by its 480 participants. There is yet another dimension to the Cycling Challenge: the GPS trip tracking allows generating maps which highlight
the most important urban cycle paths used. Such data is often missing, and collecting it opens up new opportunities for more informed transport planning. Beyond the Cycling Challenge, Bologna is also engaged with other European cities in exchanging common transport challenges and identifying solutions that can help to achieve a more liveable city or region with a more sustainable transport system. These cities founded Polis, the European network of cities and regions working towards a more sustainable mobility. The network’s Annual Conference is the place where cities and regions exchange knowledge, shape their messages, and have first-hand access to innovative urban transport solutions. 1 The contribution of transport to air quality, TERM 2012: transport indicators tracking progress towards environmental targets in Europe, EEA report N0 10/2012 2 see European Cyclist Federation: www.ecf.com/presscorner/cycling-facts-and-figures/
POLIS IS THE NETWORK OF EUROPEAN CITIES AND REGIONS WORKING TOGETHER FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY. The 2013 Annual Conference takes place on 4-5 December in Brussels. www.polisnetwork.eu/2013conference
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Emanuel, 18, and his sister have been picking waste with their mother, Georgina, since they were kids. They live in the outskirts of Koforidua and commute every day to work. Both would like to go to school but can't afford it.
Waste-picking in Koforidua Olivier Ervyn 51
“Bwala five five” is the name given by waste pickers to the main dumpsite of Koforidua, a town of 130,000 inhabitants in eastern Ghana. On a regular working day, about 15 women and children work on the site, picking whatever may have some value from the rubbish deposited by municipal garbage trucks. They come equipped with nothing but a piece of bent steel, used as a hook, wear gloves made out of old socks, use electric cables to secure their trousers and usually have to start the day by looking for wearable shoes in the dump.
They collect hard plastic and cans, which they sell once a month to a processing company. Plastic is worth 50 pesewas a kilo (0,20€) while metal only brings 20 pesewas a kilo (0,08€). The work is physically demanding and dangerous, as only those who get very close to the truck as it dumps its load can grab the best and larger pieces of plastic. Trucks come in at all times, zigzagging between people, sheep, cows and vultures, emptying their load of waste and speeding back to town for the next collection round. The whole area
The harvest is stockpiled by the main access road. Once a month, a buyer comes round and purchases the metal and plastic pickers have accumulated.
is heavily polluted, covered in the toxic smoke of slow fires that seem to burn night and day. Finding metal in burnt out sections is of course easier but breathing the fumes day after day is costly. Those who specialize in such work complain of breathing problems and often spend most of the little profit they make on medicines and medical fees. None of the adult waste pickers of Koforidua believe they will ever find a "real" job, away from the dumpsite. None of the children who work there go to school.
Olivier Ervyn (b.1970) is a Belgian documentary photographer. Based in Brussels, he has travelled extensively throughout Africa to document everyday life. The Ghana series is part of a wider project to document people at work and the extent to which some take risks to earn a living. He is currently working on two other projects, one on African churches in Europe and the other on new forms of poverty in developed economies. To learn more, visit: www.revolve-magazine.com
Georgina lives in town. She says her job is slowly killing her and that more people "in other countries" should know how wastepickers live.
Sundays, when fewer pickers come to work, can be a good day for those who do turn up, with potentially rich pickings.
Jacob, 12. Ghana and this fast-moving economy attracts thousands of migrants from all over West Africa. A French-speaking immigrant from Togo, Jacob came to Ghana with his father but, as he said, they have not yet been able to find "un bon travail". They both have been working at the dumpsite since they arrived in Ghana, several years ago. 56
Smoke from burning waste covers large sections of the dumpsite. Methane produced by rotting organic waste and tons of plastic shopping bags compacted throughout the area create an ideal environment for fire. Once set alight, waste can burn for weeks. 58
Work starts at 6am every day and often continues late into the evening.
Georgina is another of the many women who pick waste at Bwala 55.
Awa lives in a small settlement on the edge of the landfill. She says people there drink, cook and wash with contaminated water. Moving is not an option and picking waste is the only job available to them. Ghana's economy is moving forward (+7.9% GDP in 2012) but the country continues to struggle with relatively high inflation and unemployment levels. 63
Georgina, 47, prefers working on her own in the most remote sections of the dumpsite, where fire has cleared up most of the waste. She suffers from breathing problems and is often too tired and unwell to come to work. 64
Felicia has been a wastepicker for 18 years. She acts as the unofficial leader of the Koforidua waste pickers and is very aware of the dangers and health risks she and her co-workers face on a daily basis. 66
Europe’s Renewable Energy Policy Conference 28 November 2013, Brussels, Belgium www.erec2013.org Join Europe’s leading biennial Renewable Energy Policy Conference, EREC2013, that has grown since its first edition in 2004 to become Europe’s major occasion for exchange and interaction between industry, research and policy. EREC2013 will feature: • boosting jobs, growth and innovation by investing in renewable energies • the question of whether Europe is on track to meet its 2020 targets • the ambitious 2030 framework to provide stability for investors
Why join EREC2013? EREC2013 is a unique platform to reach key decision makers in the renewable energy sector. Partners gain exposure in a high level environment and enhance their company’s image as a key actor in the renewable energy market. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Marianne Rygaerts from Downtown Europe: +32 2 732 35 20.
If you want to lower costs, create jobs, replace fossil fuel imports and drive innovation, competitiveness and investment, then a hat-trick of climate and energy goals works best.
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Afghanistanâ€™s Extractive Industry Writer: JoĂŤlle Rizk is Managing Consultant at Revolve. She has worked on regional cooperation and natural resources development in Afghanistan since 2009. For this feature, she visited Afghanistan in May 2013.
Extracting Afghanistan’s minerals is believed by many to be the gateway to economic prosperity in Afghanistan and to economic connectivity in Central Asia. Developing Afghanistan’s mining into a regional Resource Corridor is a major task ahead for the Afghan government. There are many governance, security and political challenges, and the extractive industry is still far from maturing. However, Afghanistan has made remarkable progress, and continues the process of building an enabling environment for Direct Foreign Investment. Is Afghanistan ready to become an international mining nation? Will Afghanistan re-invest mining revenues in its population and sustain its economy?
$1 trillion worth of undeveloped mineral resources: this figure has become a common reference to describing the potential of Afghanistan’s extractive industry. Referring to Soviet maps that were saved and preserved by Afghan geologists, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) team surveyed Afghanistan between 2004 and 2007 to map its mineral potentials. Data collection and site exploration were simultaneously done by both British and Afghan Geological Surveys. It then became clear that Afghani-
stan’s mineral riches are far beyond what the Survey was initially assessing. In 2010, while the world was desperate to hear good news from Afghanistan, the figures were published, which appeared to be an economic bonanza for Afghanistan. Then, in the midst of the hype about the transition process and worries about the economic future of Afghanistan once foreign troops withdraw by 2014 and international aid declines, the mining sector emerged as the solution to ensuring stability and economic growth in the country.
The Good Old News from Afghanistan Mining has been taking place in Afghanistan for thousands of years – whether it was gold, copper, iron or lapis-lazuli, emerald and tourmaline. For centuries, Afghanistan has been known as a mineral rich country with vast exploitable resources. Alexander the Great, the British, the Soviets and the Taliban all tried to tap into Afghan natural resources. Shortly after U.S. officials tagged Afghanistan’s minerals with a $1 trillion value, the Afghan Minister of Mines, Wahidullah Shahrani, tripled that with an estimate of $3 trillion. With the support of the World Bank,
Afghanistan is keen to develop a “Resource Corridor” whereby investment will be multisectorial. This would induce growth of extractive activities and develop infrastructure, services, trade and agriculture, thus boosting Afghanistan’s domestic revenue. While data is not clear as to precise projections, estimates are that net revenue earning potential from extractives could reach $1 billion by 2017 and contribute 2-3% of the GDP. In addition to the digital mapping of Afghanistan’s minerals and to updating some of the existing data, the USGS and the U.S. Army
Task Force for Business Stability Operations (TFBSO) have conducted on-site explorations on major mineral sites across Afghanistan. Significant deposits of Rare Earth Elements (REEs)* and uranium were identified in the Khanneshin carbonatite deposit of the Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, no less than 4.8 million tons (USGS, 2007). This site is estimated to hold as much as 218 million tons of Light Rare Earth Ele-
ments (LREE) grading 2.77% and 15 million tons grading 3.28% (MoM, 2012). It is also believed that Afghanistan has world class reserves of lithium, estimated at 350,000 tons (MoM, 2012), which can possibly bring Afghanistan to the forefront of mining nations.
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Not Another Saudi Arabia The figures estimating the total value of Afghanistan’s mineral and hydrocarbon resources are only theoretical. They are mostly a lip-service that shapes public opinion and promotes political agendas, but are hardly useful to actually attract foreign investment and generate growth policies. The real value of the resources can only be assured after on-site explorations, and they remain subject to global market prices fluctuations, extraction, transportation costs as well as social and environmental feasibility. Afghanistan is indeed rich with mineral resources that are worth trillions of dollars, yet these resources are still underground. The data that is currently available represents gross value of estimated potentials for extraction. The real value of these resources is the net value of production, which for most resources is not available, as they are currently undeveloped. Developing Afghanistan’s extractive industry is starting from scratch; thus, there will be significant challenges involved. Afghanistan is landlocked and has a high risk investment environment. Its internal transport sector and infrastructure are not competent. The required infrastructure for the development of the industry is often missing – roads and railways, power generation and water availability, a secure investment environment, and regional infrastructure. The net value of Afghanistan’s resources will drop significantly, after deducting the gross value, the costs associated with extraction, production, processing, transportation and shipping.
Additionally, the variety of commodities in Afghanistan’s minerals, while perceived as richness, does not actually help reduce production costs. There will be an array of varied requirements among minerals: specialized man-power, extraction methods, processing, storage facilities and transportation, which could multiply the costs. Based on rough calculations of gross value and estimated production rates, some experts conclude that in the case of Afghanistan, where hard and soft mining infrastructure is lacking, the net value of an extractive project might not exceed 4% of the gross value of its undeveloped mineral resources (Lipow & Melese, 2012). It is then important to realize that even an optimistic development of Afghanistan’s extractive industry might only have a moderate economic output: the boom is expected to generate 120,000 jobs at best – the World Bank estimates no more than 20,000 jobs for currently known depos-
its. For a population of over 30 million with an unemployment rate of 35%, this figure, despite being positive, is very modest. However, projected revenues should not only be counted as direct fiscal benefits of corporate tax revenues and royalties, but should also consider indirect revenues due to direct fiscal investment of foreign companies. Foreign aid has mostly found its way out of Afghanistan since 2001 and was largely consecrated for security and reconstruction. In contrast, Foreign Direct Investment presents fixed investments into the economy and generates long-term fiscal and economic growth. These figures are not constant. Afghanistan was mapped to identify its mineral resources, yet much further exploration is needed. Geologists agree that there is serious potential for much larger volumes of existing resources, and more intensive explorations will certainly lead to new discoveries.
Projected net revenue contribution from extractives by 2017: SECTOR
US$ MILLION / YEAR
300 - 350
400 - 600
Hydrocarbons (Amu Darya and Afghan-Tajik)
30 - 40
1,230 - 1,590
In the case of Afghanistan, the net value of an extractive project might not exceed 4% of the gross value of its undeveloped mineral resources.
Looking Beyond the Figures The gross estimated value of Afghanistan’s resources is speculative, given the unstable global commodity prices such as copper and iron and their vulnerability to international political economy and financial stability. Yet, that does not make them any less important. There is an opportunity, again, for Afghanistan that should not be lost. The geopolitical facts in the region are different now than they were in the 1960s-80s when these discovered resources remained untapped. Regional geopolitics is certainly more open and enabling for an economic renaissance in Afghanistan than they used to be. Afghanistan now has the backing of the international community, committed to secure its transi-
tion to a prosperous and stable economy. The facts are just right for Afghanistan to emerge as the regional economic bridge between Central and South Asia, as well as with neighboring resource-hungry China. It is now more feasible to export and transport Afghanistan’s resources than it would have been in the 1970s-80s. Developing Afghanistan’s Resource Corridor will only bring further growth opportunities to the region and will respond to more regional needs. Serious worries persist that Afghanistan may fall victim of its own natural resources. Afghanistan is no stranger to corruption, human rights and environmental abuses. The country remains worn between warlordism
and internal power rivalries at the national level. At the local level, inter-communal clashes persist between ethnic groups, warlords and tribes. Weak public and judicial institutions in such an environment are typical for a “resource curse” scenario. “Roughly twice as many countries have been blessed by resource booms as cursed by them” (Heber & Menaldo, 2010). A realistic scenario for Afghanistan is one where the extraction of its natural resources will directly generate wealth for the economic and political elite as well as for the central state. Due to the development of its soft and its hard infrastructure, doing business in Afghanistan will become more fea-
sible and the service sector will eventually emerge alongside. The purchasing power of a growing middle class will be higher. Economic growth will be made possible in parallel with upstream and downstream extractive investments. While signs of anticorruption measures will be witnessed, these developments will not put an end to corruption nor to warlordism. However, they will contribute to the stabilization of Afghanistan and the legitimization of its government towards its population and its region. Given the important role of warlords and government leaders in accessing power and maintaining stability, a realistic scenario to be expected in Afghanistan is a benefit-sharing model of co-insurance based on economic quotas.
Promoting a resource corridor around the development of its extractive industry is not a panacea; yet, properly developing the extractive industry is necessary with the right factors in place for sustainable development in Afghanistan. While the time does not look
right with many political and security concerns ahead, the time is also exactly right to avoid a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure in Afghanistan and ensure the transition into the Transformation Decade (2014-2024) with sound international support.
“Roughly twice as many countries have been blessed by resource booms as cursed by them” Heber & Menaldo, 2010.
Unlocking Foreign Investment Afghanistan has the potential to attract $10 billion in foreign investment for the next decade (World Bank, 2013) but would not be the first country where geopolitics and local governance put international investors at disadvantage. The discovery of mineral resources is not all that is required to boost the extractive industry and the mining sector, let alone developing it into a resource
corridor. Bolivia, for instance, is referred to as the Saudi Arabia of lithium, and still, due to economic and political reasons, international investors do not develop its mining sector – despite increasing demand for lithium on the global market. This is largely due to local restrictions related to the socialpolitical system and the fact that the extractive industry will be state-owned. In other
words, there is no enabling environment that would attract international investment. International and multinational companies – normally referred to as “western” in the case of Afghanistan – have been hesitant to invest or explore investment opportunities in Afghanistan’s extractive industry. Western governments have also not actively sought the mobi-
Afghanistan is a challenging place to do business. Institutions are just beginning to find firm footing; there are ongoing security challenges which can seem to create an uninviting environment. Mining companies often wait until the industry matures to make meaningful investments. We were willing to deploy capital immediately for minerals exploration and also for service businesses that are supporting general sector development – we believe the sector will evolve very rapidly. The sector’s growth is dependent on a number of different dynamics, however and this point, time is a critical one. To maintain the interest of highly qualified investors that will introduce best-practice approach, that understand through experience how to optimize extraction of natural resources and who will undertake significant risk under appropriate circumstances – there must be a healthy relationship between the private and public sector. Afghanistan is in the process of introducing a well-developed, investor-friendly mineral-law and fiscal regime. This will be crucial for the development of the Afghan economy. No sector offers the same economic multiplier effect or the ability to generate fiscal receipts in the way the mining sector can. Whether Afghanistan capitalizes on its resources will be determined by our ability to bring in large-scale investment and mobilize capital soon enough. Adapted from a communication with Sayed Sadat Mansour Naderi, CEO and Chairman for SMN Investment, Afghanistan.
lization of the multinationals and the global players to invest in Afghanistan. This disinterest is largely due to accumulative perceptions of instability and high risk in Afghanistan: 1) the hype about the risk of collapse of the Afghan economy, potential civil war and a Taliban take over as of 2014 when foreign troops withdraw, military expenditures and aid decline – and all the security risks implied; 2) the absence of infrastructure – roads, rail links, power and water supplies – and the inevitable geographic dependence of Afghanistan on its neighbors for supply routes and export of extracted material; and 3) rampant corruption and weak legal and fiscal regimes that hinder the business environment in Afghanistan. These factors create an environment of severe lack of trust in the Afghan market and the capacity of the Afghan government to lead a productive industry that will transform its economy. The government of Afghanistan and the international community will need to prioritize infrastructure development, legislation, a sound fiscal system and reliable services, particularly financing and insurance.
All images: Mes Aynak copper mining, Afghanistan, May 2013. Source: Afghanistan Geological Survey. Mes Aynak ("little copper well") is a site 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Kabul, Afghanistan, located in a barren region of Logar Province. The site contains the world’s second largest copper deposit, as well as the remains of an ancient settlement with over 400 Buddha statues, stupas and a 100-acre (40 ha) monastery complex. It is also considered a major transit route for insurgents coming from Pakistan. Archaeologists are only beginning to find remnants of an older 5,000-year-old Bronze Age site beneath the Buddhist level including an ancient copper smelter. The Buddhist ruins were scheduled to be destroyed at the end of July 2012, but for several reasons, including political instability, this has been delayed, possibly until the end of 2014. (Wikipedia)
Contract Realism, a Lasting Challenge Only a few years ago, the Afghan government and particularly the Ministry of Mines lacked competence, a strategic policy, and a basic business plan. The ministry was unfamiliar with mining procedures and procurement. In 2006, when the World Bank granted the ministry $30 million to develop regulatory and commercial capacity, the ministry started playing a more active role in economic
development. Since then various steps towards modernization and reform have been taken. The implementation of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative in 2010, and other confidence-building and transparency steps such as the shutdown of the ministry’s independent bank accounts, the publishing of hundreds of contracts as well as the minister’s and the president’s commitment to work towards
full transparency, and reforming the Mining Law. The ministry has also been moderately responsive to civil society watchdog roles, and to lessons learned from previous and ongoing practices. Since 2006, the Ministry of Mines has been rapidly developing its sector. Hundreds of contracts have been issued. Hundreds of small scale gold, coal, salt and construction material operations have been formalized. In 2007, the China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC), owned 44% by the Chinese government, was awarded the largest contract in Afghanistan’s history to develop the Aynak copper deposit for a period of 30 years, renewable. Following Aynak, in 2011, China National Petroleum Corporation was awarded rights to three of the Amu Darya Oil blocks; in 2013 the Hajigag $1.8 billion Iron Ore deposit was awarded 75% to an Indian consortium led by state-owned Steel Authority of India, and 25% to the Canadian Kilo Goldmines.
Other medium scale operations, mainly copper and gold have been awarded to Turkish, Afghan, Arab and European companies. Later in 2013, oil rights of the Afghan-Tajik tender, the largest Afghan oil tender, will be awarded. In the past 6 years, the progress and reforms made by Afghanistan are remarkable. Along with this progress comes a rush to develop the extractive industry. While the Afghan government is determined not to miss out on its opportunity, it has fell in traps of premature tender process development and contracts. Several setbacks have been reported, but the most illustrative is related to the failure of implementing the Mes Aynak copper contract. “The Aynak tender process progressed more quickly than did the Afghan Government and institutional development needed to support the tender” (Yaeger, 2010). As a result, production that was supposed to start this year is delayed until further notice. Reasons for the delays
are attributed to the demining process of the site and archeological excavations of ancient Buddhist sites believed to have been related to copper mining. However, speculations in Kabul are that the delays are related to political events before 2014. Geologists say that the site requires at least 3 years of construction prior to production. However, there are rumors about a contract renegotiation that would entail serious setbacks, including: transportation of copper ore outside Afghanistan and thus backing off on the 400MW power plant; dropping off pending bonus payments; reducing royalties and the size of investments; and delaying the production date by refusing to build the North-East railway. The challenge is that Afghanistan wants to rush into securing domestic revenue generation before 2014. The world is watching Mes Aynak, where developments will have a big influence on the perceived stability of Afghanistan’s mining sector. Inflated scenarios and expectations can seriously hinder the development process.
Converting Revenue into Capital Investment While altered between tales of transformational revelations that the extractive industry can bring to Afghanistan, and stories of a resource curse that can drive Afghanistan back to conflict and warlordism, the reality is much more settled. The extractive industry alone will never bring Afghanistan to self-sufficiency nor transform it into a modern economy. Investments will take over a decade to mature, but the benefits and positive impacts can be collected early in the process. There are experiences where extractive revenues were transformed to improve living standards, build physical infrastructure and sustainable economies. The test is the capitalization on the extrac-
tive revenues. Will Afghanistan re-invest in its population building capacities to sustain its economy? Or will it prioritize military spending? Will the government develop services and alleviate poverty? Afghanistan will probably see large profits from small- and medium-scale mines. Further developments will remain subject to new discoveries and further explorations and data update. The government of Afghanistan will realize the need for a staged approach, developing upstream and downstream industries, and maximizing infrastructure for the benefit of other sectors. Hydrocarbons will generate
revenues in the short-term; and copper, iron and gold on the medium run. The government plans to announce tenders of rare earth and industrial minerals such as lithium and uranium in a medium turn. Yet, with lessons learned from current mining rights, Afghanistan will need to allow its mining sector to mature, and its capacities to develop, particularly in terms of technology transfer and environmental safety. It is equally important to address the thousands of illegal mines by creating incentives to legalize and generate formal revenues; the government will need to be presented as the solution to modernization and profit maximization.
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Preserving the Land Writers: Marcello Cappellazzi and Valentina Pinzuti are independent contributors to Revolve. Photographer: Arianna Pagani
THIS FEATURE IS PART OF REVOLVE WATER www.revolve-water.com
Nestled on the scenic northern Mediterranean coast in the Region of Liguria, the Cinque Terre (Five Lands) – Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore – are renowned as an exquisite tourist destination. In 1997, UNESCO World Heritage listed Cinque Terre as a “living cultural landscape” and in 1999 the cluster of five villages were declared a national park. Of the five medieval fishing villages, Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza were devastated by flash floods in October 2011. Revolve visited the villages in June 2013 to see the reconstruction efforts.
On the Italian north-west coast, in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, little towns with colorful houses cling to steep hills along a narrow, rugged strip of land between the Maritime Alps, the Apennine Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The rich vegetation, scenic vineyards, hiking trails with spectacular views distinctively define these five medieval towns of Cinque Terre. Such morphology, while visually pleasing can have fragile land conditions, thus creating instability especially with heavy rains. Such was the case in late October 2011 when Cinque Terre was hit severely by heavy flooding which redefined the natural chal-
lenges inherent to the Ligurian region. For the inhabitants, it is essential to maintain an alignment with the traditional ways of life while making provisions to alleviate and lessen the amount of destruction should another flood occur. Better prevention measures are key to properly addressing the threat of flash floods in Cinque Terre as in other areas around the Mediterranean and beyond. Geologist, Carlo Malgarotto, says, â€œthis is an extremely dynamic environment where
significant changes arise in a very brief time period and where the unusual morphological and meteorological conditions created by the natural architecture have been exacerbated in the last few years. The biggest challenge is that the area is not affected by the same risks in the same way. The fierce force of the heavy rains tends usually to concentrate only on a narrow portion of land and to barely affect some others. In October 2011, while the two villages of Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza were inundated by flooding, the water scarcely damaged the other three villages. With no homogenous dynamic at play and many geological differences within the
Image page 76-77: View on Monterosso al Mare. Left page (top): The road to Vernazza is still closed. Left page (bottom): Poster showing the consequences of flood of 25th October 2011. Vernazza. This page: Monterosso al Mare.
same territory, under emergency conditions, interventions can only be planned case by case. Only indepth research of the territory will provide the best approach for the containment of damages and risks.â€? One of the most dangerous risks of heavy precipitation is â€œdetritus flowâ€?, where the sheer inclination of the hills causes massive
amounts of water to rush violently down, dislocating and destroying everything in its path. A complication encountered during the flooding was the lack of a sufficient relief valve for the water stream coming from the mountains. With drainage overwhelmed, the cement and asphalt channeled the water that accumulated and gushed destructively through villages, such as Vernazza.
Special Focus: Vernazza In his office, Vincenzo Resasco, the Mayor of Vernazza, shows a video of a severe rainstorm that in October 2011 flooded the Cinque Terre towns of Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare causing uncontrolled landslides. With emergency intervention aided by the local residents and relief workers of Vernazza, he removed rocks, mud and debris
from the town and much of the area was renovated. This crisis provided the opportunity to re-engineer the streets and sewer systems to prevent other potential disasters, and to remold the connection between the community and the broader region. The result is a model for sustainable development based on the intrinsic value of Cinque Terre.
Q&A: Vincenzo Resasco Mayor of Vernazza, Cinque Terre It took only nine months to restore Vernazza's city center after the disaster in October 2011. What emergency measures were taken and what long-term objectives were established? We had to work quickly and rebuild both the townâ€™s security and its economic stability. I stayed in Vernazza with a group of 80 volunteers from 7 November 2011 to the end of March 2012. Everyone else was relocated. That was a tough winter, with many dangers due the hydrogeological conditions and the snowfalls. We received most material to rehabilitate Vernazza by sea, through the small town harbor. Supplies were stored in the church nearby. The question we asked ourselves after this experience was how we must envision our future. It is important to remember mistakes to better prepare for the future. It had to be a shared mission so we created a laboratory for technicians to cooperate with the staff from the region â€“ the project is called Vernazza Futura. Who were the participants? Citizens, public administrators, technicians, entrepreneurs and tourism managers. This shared experience was structured around four main working groups: Quality of Life, Renewable Energy and Environment, Agriculture, and Tourism. After discussing these themes together, the participants set a series of priorities for action to address the needs.
Better prevention measures are key to properly addressing the threat of flash floods in Cinque Terre as in other areas around the Mediterranean and beyond. How else did you address hydro-geological risks and territorial management? There were all kinds of interventions in the wake of the emergency. The underground channels were reconstructed and new banks were built with reinforced concrete as we could not use stones for this purpose. There were interventions that had to be done
immediately as people were still in danger. There are still three or four land areas at risk. We contacted the owners of the dry-stone walls to know who wanted to rebuild them. Some agreed; others not. They were just contained with iron nets. The government cannot intervene on privately owned land. With public money it is not always possible to invest on private land.
Agriculture and Viticulture In Cinque Terre, most people maintain their land by building terraced plots comprising several thousand kilometers of dry-stone walls. The value of this unique landscape relies on the conservation of its fragile region and, for many years, this has been the duty of farmers cultivating the terraced vineyards. However, tourism has become a work alternative as a more lucrative way to make a living, thus leading to a progressive reduction of cultivated areas. Land abandonment has become a plague for the territory that started to deteriorate and in
October 2011 crumbled down on the Vernazza and Monterosso. According to Laura Canale, Head of the European and International Affairs Office of Liguria Region, this has been an occasion to rethink the developmental model for Cinque Terre. Interventions on the publicly-owned lands of the Ente Parco have pointed in this direction by restoring and maintaining the traditional terraces and dry-stone walls in the Corniolo area, as well as by promoting a territory-based tourism.
The challenge is now to expand this model to include privately-owned land. The Mayor of Vernazza clearly recognizes that the tourism economy in Cinque Terre must invest part of its resources in its territory for cultivation and maintenance. Many already work towards this goal: for example, the cooperative Cantina Sociale has been able to maintain a margin of profitability for farmers in Cinque Terre. The cooperative in fact buys grapes from its members at 2.50 â‚Ź/Kg, while in other areas the usual price is 0.2 â‚Ź/Kg. This difference reflects the higher costs a farmer in Cinque Terre faces both in terms of yields and labor to work on the steep hills.
Tourism and Woodlands
and rest stops, while stimulating economic growth with sound management inland.
Over the past decades, the Cinque Terre National Park has made many efforts to encourage responsible and eco-sustainable tourism that would respect the cultural value of the site. However, the flash flooding of 2011 has raised some serious questioning on the future of tourism in Cinque Terre, highlighting the need to stretch this commitment even further. Due to its rugged coast, the lack of long beaches and the numerous hiking trails, Cinque Terre National Park is generally a hiking destination. It has always attracted daily visitors but most tourists tend to confine their visit to the lower areas, to the five villages and
According to Maurizio Cattani, from the La Spezia section of the Italian Alpine Club, many efforts have also been made to clear and manage the upper and lateral hiking paths and in the development of applications for iOs and Android mobile systems to ensure comprehensive information on access, conditions and practicality of all the hiking trails. The long-term goal of this recovery plan has the added value of bringing investments in tourism, and to contribute to a sound management of the inland areas that is fundamental for the prevention of hydro-geological risk.
to the trail that runs close to the coastline. During the high season there is much congestion along the famous coastal trail (the “Via dell’amore” - Love Walk). As Francesco Galleni, President of ATI 5 Terre, the consortium that took over management of the Cinque Terre National Park, explains, “European funding allows us to plan a massive recovery of the park, with the specific purpose of solving this inconvenience by facilitating tourist access to the upper inland areas.” This will create favorable conditions for new economic development activities, such as bed & breakfasts
“Cinque Terre is illustrative of the evolution of human society and settlement over time, under the influences of the physical constraints and/or opportunities presented by their natural environment [...]” – World Heritage Cultural Landscapes. A handbook for Conservation and Management. World Heritage Paper series #26, 1997 Image (Pages 80-81): Dry-stone walls and terraces in Monterosso. This page: The Cinque Terre.
SylvaMED: the importance of forests in the Mediterranean Industries and tourism operators have concentrated their development on the coastline, leaving the inlands marginalized and abandoned. In Liguria Region, 80% of the population lives on 20% of the land; however, the balance of its productive system strongly depends on the rural areas. Daniela Minetti from the Regional Agency for the Environment (ARPAL) explains that “maintaining Liguria’s fragile ecosystems has become a priority not only for preserving its biodiversity and managing hydro-geological risks, but especially to renewing confidence within inland areas.” The SylvaMED Project explores the potential that forestry has for the development of rural areas in Liguria as well as in other regions around the Mediterranean. The recognition of ecosystem services varies significantly from country to country, but the Mediterranean forest is a special case given its economic and cultural importance.
The Payments for Environmental Services (PES) is the economic instrument identified by SylvaMED for enhancing the value of Mediterranean forests. PES are designed to make the users of forest services and consumers of forest products financial contributors to the costs of providing and maintaining the forests, thereby generating cash flows. In Liguria, SylvaMED financed a project in the Polcevera Valley close to Genoa. Laura Muraglia, Head of the project, stresses the importance of appropriate forest management to protect against soil erosion and river flooding. The most important achievement, as demonstrated in Cinque Terre, is delivering the message to address and prevent hydro-geological and geo-morphological risks, while restructuring solid development models for marginalized and fragile regions. For more images on Liguria: www.revolve-water.com
THE VALUE OF NATURE The Risk of Biodiversity Loss for Businesses Writer: Sven StĂśbener is Project Manager of Ă–ko-Recherche GmbH and former spokesperson of the European Business & Biodiversity Campaign (EBBC). He identifies and assesses the business risks and opportunities arising from ecosystem change and writes articles and reports about the sustainable use of biodiversity in order to strengthen private sector commitment for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Biodiversity contributes to the well-being of mankind by providing raw materials, medicines and food. Until now, these natural resources have been accessible free of cost. Businesses have been benefitting from our ecosystemâ€™s free services. This must change in the future since the loss of biodiversity is increasing dramatically. A few companies already invest in the calculation, recognition and accounting of environmental impacts. This is just the beginning. 84
The expression of biodiversity, that is to say biological diversity within species and between species and the diversity of ecosystems, sounds rather awkward and many businesses ask themselves what these concepts of biodiversity have to do with them. It is likely because the natural capital has been cost free for mankind so far. Until now, these services have never appeared in company profit and loss accounts. Pavan Sukhdev is certain, however, that if all environmental costs were integrated into these company financial statements, the figures would be different.
Ever since Sukhdev, leader of the global initiative “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity” (TEEB), first determined the value of nature for the world economy referring to the so-called ecosystem services – in other words the pollination of crops by bees, the supply of wood from forests or fish from the sea and submitted the results in 2010, he has been considered as one of the pioneers of the Green Economy. According to Sukhdev, natural capital can no longer remain free of cost for businesses. Without these natural services, society and the economy would not survive.
Image: Source: Andreas / Flickr
If the corporations had to pay for the consequences of their activities, it would cost them on average approximately one third of their profits.
3,000 Stock Corporations Responsible for $2.2 billion in Environmental Damage Now there is a problem, however: two thirds of all ecosystems worldwide are in danger and every day, up to 1,000 species are becoming extinct. The loss of biological diversity is increasing dramatically according to experts. In the same vein, the numbers of bee colonies in Europe have sunk over the past 50 years by almost 50%. The responsibility lies with monocultures, environmental pollution, plant protection products, as well as pests and diseases. The economic implications are huge.
The yearly use of the bee’s pollination services worldwide amount to $70 billion, according to the German Beekeepers’ Association. In the TEEB study, the overall economic costs of loss of diversity through the destruction of forests worldwide alone totals $4.5 billion per year. Experts in the consulting firm Trucost have calculated that the damages caused by the 3,000 largest stock companies worldwide accounted for $2.2 billion in 2008; that is 3.5% of the gross world product. If the corporations had
to pay for the consequences of their activities, it would cost them on average approximately one third of their profits. The economy therefore profits from nature’s cost free services. Still company activities can cause substantial harm to ecosystems, plants and animals. The relationship between certain sectors, such as the food industry and biological diversity is obvious; other economic sectors have an indirect influence on raw materials and other materials, suppliers or products. However, most businesses know neither the impacts of their activities, nor of their dependency on biological diversity since until now very few businesses have taken biodiversity into consideration and also not in their company profit and loss statements.
The Value of Biodiversity A revolution of economically and environmentally efficient products has started with PUMA’s InCycle collection, writes Sven Stöbener. Last spring, sportswear giant PUMA launched its InCycle collection composed exclusively of biodegradable and recyclable clothes, shoes and accessories. The impact all products from this new line have on the environment will be much smaller than other conventional PUMA products.
uct Environmental Profit and Loss Account (Product EP&L). The Product EP&L looks at the greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, air pollution and land use throughout the production and consumption of the products along the entire value chain. It also includes the production of raw materials such as cotton and leather.
Before developing the InCycle collection, PUMA started calculating its environmental costs according to a Prod-
The PUMA Product EP&L identifies the environmental impacts of conventional products and compares them with more sustainable items and helps people judge whether one shoe or shirt is more environmentally friendly than another. PUMA used this analysis with two of the upcoming biodegradable InCycle products, the basket shoe and the organic cotton t-shirt, and compared them with the classic PUMA suede trainers and a conventional cotton t-shirt. The result was that the InCycle shoes and cotton t-shirt impact the environment is 31% less than the standard products. PUMA's environmental costs amounted to €145 million, which is equivalent to about 72% of the company's profits in 2010. About 30% of the external costs are apportioned to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as water and land consumption. The largest part of the environmental costs comes from the production of raw materials. The numbers also show the consequences of the outsourcing of manufacturing activities: 66% of external environmental costs are incurred in Asia. The most cost-intensive factor in its Product EP&L is land consumption which amounts to a quarter of the total environmental costs. These values per hectare are used to calculate the costs for cultivating natural rubber and cotton and for producing leather. The fundamental problem of insufficient assessment methods has therefore not yet been solved. The lowest environmental costs are caused through waste. PUMA even makes environmental profits with energy recovery and the associated use of less fossil fuels.
Environmental Profit and Loss Account Sukhdev wants to find a remedy for this predatory exploitation of nature. “Environmental Accounting” is the new catch phrase. Sukhdev is leading a working group in which representatives from accounting institutions such as the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) discuss with top managers and chartered accountants like PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) how externalities can in the future be better represented in consolidated balance sheets.
The raw materials that PUMA is using for this new biodegradable and recyclable line are organic fibers without toxic materials and can be broken down by microorganisms into biological nutrients. For instance, the sole of the Basket lifestyle sneaker is composed of the biodegradable plastic APINATbio – a new biodegradable material that can be shredded into its component materials before being composted into natural humus. The raw material follows certain international standards for composting to minimize their environmental impact. The recyclable products which include a backpack and jacket use homogenous materials, such as metals, textiles and plastic that can be reused to make other products. With the aim of becoming the world’s most sustainable sports lifestyle company, PUMA has also unveiled its in-store recycling scheme for customers. The biodegradable components of the "closed-loop" line can be returned under the company's "Bring Me Back" program at the end of their life-cycle. This program facilitates composting or recycling of the products through the use of in-store recycling bins for used shoes, clothing and accessories of any brand.
His ideas inspire well-known supporters such as the former director of PUMA and current chairman of the board of directors, Jochen Zeitz. The sporting goods manufacturer PUMA was the first multi-billion-dollar enterprise to submit an environmental profit and loss account. PUMA looked at its 5 most important environmental indicators: greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, land consumption, air pollution and waste production, as well as the manufacturing of the raw materials cotton and leather. The calculated environmental costs in the year 2010 amounted to approximately €145 million. In comparison, the company’s profits in 2010 amounted to €202 million. If PUMA would, therefore, deduct the costs that it imposed upon nature from its profits, they
PUMA is taking the right steps to become a completely sustainable company. It is not only lessening the impact its products have on the environment, but also engaging its customers to make more sustainable choices for the benefit of our planet. The positive impact that PUMA’s products have on the environment will put pressure on companies to follow their example in making environmentally friendly choices in their production. Read more: www.revolve-magazine.com
would fall by 70%. The main costs arise from the latter three production stages, especially the manufacturing of raw materials. PUMA exercises at these stages, by its own admission, the least impacts since their production was nearly entirely outsourced. 66% of PUMAâ€™s external environmental costs are incurred in Asia. Now the question arises which measures has PUMA taken in order to minimize environmental damage. In an environmental profit and loss account for products that the sporting goods manufacturer presented in October 2012 the company analyzes and assesses the environmental impacts of two Incycle products compared to those of two traditional products. The study showed that the Eco-Basketball shoes and an EcoT-shirt impact the environment around 31% less than comparable traditional PUMA products. The Eco-Collection will be on the market in 2013.
However, from the point of view of environmental organizations, such as the Global Nature Fund, voluntary company declarations of intent are not sufficient, in order to curb the loss of biological diversity. A mandatory environmental profit and loss account will be introduced for essential environmental aspects such as land, water or CO2 consumption, since this would make it possible to introduce further guiding elements such as taxes on the consumption of natural capital. Environmentally damaging commodities would, in this way, become more expensive and the manufacturers would have to compensate for the damages.
Images (p.87 and below): Paper-making factory. Source: Mondi Group.
Monetary Valuation of Ecosystem Services Until now, the positive example set by PUMA has been followed by few businesses. The Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (CEV) of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) serves as a manual for companies on how they can calculate the value of ecosystem services. This guide helps businesses monetize the importance of biological and biophysical unity. In order
to identify the greatest economical use in collaboration with the rehabilitation of extraction sites, the construction companies Lafarge and Holcim, for example, use the guide. The chemicals group AkzoNobel also compares, with the help of monetary valuation, the impacts of different production techniques. By using this monetary valuation of ecosystem services, businesses can reduce environmental impacts
businesses can reduce environmental impacts and lower business costs
and lower business costs, since it can show the overall environmental performance of a business. Each business can, with the aid of the guide, test with concrete numbers how sustainably it is in fact working. The monetary valuation of biodiversity and environmental impacts has both great potential but also some problems: it helps businesses to no longer see ecosystem services as cost-free commodities; while environmental economic assessment tools make only a small snippet of the actual consumption visible. In addition, the monetizing processes must face ethical challenges. If valuation results are considered “Nature’s Value”, one may falsely deduce that any damage may be compensated monetarily. The political sector in particular is asked together with businesses to work out uniform standards for monetary valuation processes and to find ways to include natural capital in company balance sheets.
תם ם סןםת צקק ת ֹצ קמק קס ם ׅ קמצס
ç ĽįĲĲçĿĵĻçĭĵçĆ ôçĐĴĺīĸĴħĺįĵĴħĲçĲīħĸĴįĴĭçīĴļįĸĵĴĳīĴĺ ôçĐĴçĺĮīçĮīħĸĺçĵĬçČĻĸĵĶī ôçěĸħĴĹĬĵĸĳįĴĭçĺĮīĵĸĿçįĴĺĵçĶĸħĩĺįĩī ôçěĽĵçĹĩĮīĪĻĲįĴĭçĳĵĪīĹ
businesses that concern themselves early on with their environmental impacts secure their supply chains, expand their connection with stakeholders, attract socially responsible investors, and improve productivity
Protection of Biodiversity as Active Risk Management Political regulations should, however, not deter businesses from being active. On the contrary, businesses that concern themselves early on with their environmental impacts secure their supply chains, expand their connection with stakeholders, attract socially responsible investors, improve productivity and at the same time anticipate legal requirements. In addition to these opportunities that come along with biodiversity protection, businesses must also
consider the many direct and indirect business risks that result from biodiversity loss. There are different instruments with which companies can systematically check their business processes and supply chains thereby minimizing risks. The European Business & Biodiversity Campaign’s Biodiversity Check is an example of such a tool. The Check reviews, using the environmental management system ISO 14001 or
Most Significant Risks Physical Risks
• Availability of plant and animal raw materials • Availability of resources such as clean water • Decline in the aesthetic value of nature
• Change in the buying behavior through a higher consideration of species protection criteria
Regulatory Risks • Tightening of regulations on the extraction of animal raw materials, for example, fishing quotas • Tightening of regulations on the use of environmental media, for example, stricter emission limits Market-price Risks • Increases in the price of plant and animal raw materials
Legal Risks • Complaints in view of the contribution of sectors, or businesses to species extinction • Liability of environmental damage Reputational Risks • Stigmatization of sectors, or businesses based on negative impacts on biological diversity
Direct and indirect business risks resulting from species extinction and impaired functioning of ecosystems. Source: Oekom Research, 2012.
EMAS, the business units that are particularly in question, outlines fields of action and reveals how the business model can be made sustainable and generate competitive advantages. It is in this way that Daimler, using the check, could systematically review its business processes and supply chain in relation to biodiversity and obtain a good foundation for making decisions on further actions, such as practical assistance in the identification of meaningful indicators. With the results from the biodiversity check, Daimler could tackle target-oriented measures for a sustainable use of resources and the protection of nature in order to reduce negative impacts on species diversity and ecosystems – and even better – prevent them from occurring in the first place. In addition to the Biodiversity Check, there is the “Ecosystem Services Review” (ESR) of the WBCSD which focuses on business independence from biodiversity and ecosystem services and provides a good guide for minimizing risks and optimizing opportunities. The forestry company Mondi could, using the ESR-analysis of its most critical production factor, significantly reduce its consumption of water through the enhanced removal of invasive species from its plantations. A further result of the work with ESR was the possible introduction of an optimized irrigation system or model of cooperation with other water consumers (for example, farmers) in a water catchment area of the plantation. The loss of biodiversity has its price. Only businesses that are aware of their responsibility towards nature, and factor into their business management the risks can work sustainably.
25 - 26 NOVEMBER 2013 MARINA BAY SANDS, SINGAPORE
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THE CANARY PROJECT Writer: An interview by Laura Beltrรกn Villamizar, an independant contributor to Revolve.
The Canary Project serves as a research hub for artists with the goal of deepening public understanding of climate change.
Using contemporary art to raise awareness about pressing environmental issues is not easy, but Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris do just that: they convey the urgent reality of global warming with landscape photography. Sayler and Morris target vulnerable areas, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the dying coral reefs in Belize, the melting icecaps in Antarctica, with more to come such as the Maldives. Revolve talks to the founders of The Canary Project about their work and reveals the thin line between art and activism in an age of looming climate disaster. Where does the name of your project come from? The name refers to a canary in the coal mine. Canaries were used in mines to warn the miners of dangerous levels of toxic gasses. Now the phrase refers to a harbinger of danger. When we started the photographic project, A History of the Future we thought of images as canaries in a coalmine warning of future danger. What was the creative development of your project? Initially, we planned to photograph landscapes to provide visual evidence that would move viewers to understand better what is at stake with climate change. From the beginning, we had a clear and ambitious goal to show the work to as broad and diverse audiences as possible. The first exhibition of the images was on the sides of buses in Denver, through a program at the Denver contemporary art museum called â€œCreative Acts that Matterâ€?. They worked with us to do a series of billboards, and we collaborated with a very talented graphic designer named Dmitri Siegel to design the ads. That was very early on. We had maybe shot four locations at that point. Producing the bus ads was a transformative moment for the project because we understood at that point that we needed to collaborate with other people and foster other projects that were really rooted in these collaborations in order to reach broader audiences. Branching out from there, we were sponsoring other projects and forming The Canary Project. Image: Glacial, Icecap and Permafrost Melting XXXVI: Bellingshause Base, King George Island, Antarctica, 2008. Source: Sayler / Morris.
How do you balance art and activism? One of the reasons for establishing The Canary Project was to have avenues be more and less directly activist in addressing climate change. Much of the work in The Canary Project is on a spectrum of direct activism on one side and art on the other side, which can also have the capacity to work as activism, just in an indirect way. The question of how art and activism relate to each other is a big one. We have been influenced by the writing of Paul Chan, a self-described activist and artist who is often quoted for his firm distinction between his own artistic and activist impulses: “Collective social power needs the language of politics, which means, among other things, that people need to consolidate identities, to provide answers ... to make things happen. Whereas my art is nothing if not the dispersion of power... And so, in a way, the political project and the art project are sometimes in opposition.”
The implication here – fleshed out elsewhere by Chan – is that: Activist: singular, constructive, affirmative, un-nuanced, instrumental, common, contractual and with demands. Art: manifold, deconstructive, interrogative, nuanced, purposeless, unique, free and unending. Chan’s distancing of art and activism is still a broadly shared preference in the art world and comes from a desire not have art be ideological, instrumental, didactic. We totally agree that there should be a place in culture that holds apparently contradictory ideas in balance or speaks to our moral intuitions rather than our reason, that ask questions faster than providing answers. And that place is art. However, we also think that Chan’s definition of activism requiring direct, consolidated efforts to achieve is too limited. I think we can speak more broadly about activism being about change and the way the change is
achieved. And artists are involved in a kind of cultural production that without being directly activist in the way Chan discusses, can help shape what people think is moral, important, normal, intolerable, possible. We can also say it this way: Art makes a space for belief; and belief makes a space for change. Of course, it is much easier to see how an African-American sitting down at a segregated lunch counter in 1960 has an impact. My argument is not that art is better at changing the world than direct action. Rather that art contributes to the necessary work of laying the cultural foundation.
(This page/bottom) Extreme Weather Events XV: Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, 2005. Source: Sayler / Morris. (Next page/top) Posters from the Green Patriot Project. (Next page/bottom) Screenshots from the website www.greenpatriotposters.org.
Art makes a space for belief; and belief makes a space for change.
Tell us more about the Green Patriot Project. Green Patriot Posters is a messaging campaign centered on posters and graphic design that encourage U.S. citizens to take part in building a sustainable economy. Green Patriot Posters display an image of strength, optimism and unity. Some focus on specific actions that anyone can take; some are general. The overriding message is that our individual actions do matter, that we can all be part of the sustainability movement, and that this can become a defining value of 21st century patriotism. We have commissioned posters from design leaders like Shepard Fairey and DJ Spooky, and developed an online community for sharing and voting on original designs submitted by anyone who would like to participate. The favorites are distributed through multiple channels â€“ print, exhibition, web, bus ads, licensing, etc â€“ to reach the widest audience possible. In 2010, we also published a book from the project.
(Top and right) Glacial, Icecap and Permafrost Melting XLVII: Cordillera Blanca, Peru, 2008. Source: Sayler / Morris. (Bottom) Screenshot from the website www.history-of-the-future.com.
What about “A History of the Future”? A History of the Future still consists of a set of photographic images, all landscapes, taken in places around the world where scientists are observing the impacts of climate change, vulnerability to future impacts and/ or attempts to mitigate and adapt. The photographs have been and are still exhibited in
diverse venues, including: science and art museums, the sides of buses, billboards, city halls, school presentations, galleries, magazines, NGO publications, etc. Standard exhibition size is 40×50 inches. Often the photographs are displayed along with archival images, contextual research, installation elements and other media.
To date, we have photographed 14 locations – the most recent being the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York. We are returning to several locations (Peru, The Netherlands, New Orleans, Niger) for more in-depth studies. The meaning of the images depends on their context within a larger discourse about climate
change â€“ a discourse with many registers: scientific, journalistic, activist and artistic. In the aggregate, the photographs form an archive and can be positioned as evidence. Viewed individually, the images form a blank stare. The basic idea was to work in varied latitudes â€“ not just focusing on the extreme
polar or equatorial regions, where much climate change imagery is generated, but also giving extensive treatment to the middle latitudes where populations are more dense. We wanted to look at a variety of types of impacts, including melting glaciers and icecaps, droughts, extreme storms, rising sea levels, and disrupted ecosystems.
Will you photograph another location soon? At this stage, we are adding one location about every two years. For the next location, I am interested in looking at one of the islands in the Pacific, like the Maldives, where the rising sea level is going to force the current generation to relocate.
These are whole nations that will disappear within our lifetime. How have people reacted to your projects? Our mission is to deepen public understanding of climate change with the implicit ultimate goal of affecting culture. Is this happening? The short answer is obviously yes and obviously no. We, as a society, do not appear any closer to taking serious action on climate change than when the project started. There are important transformations going on in the substratum of society that will suddenly erupt. Climate change is not an isolated issue; it is connected with fallacies and shortcomings of Integrated World Capitalism and the relentless pressure for infinite growth on a finite planet. So the Occupy movement, the movement in the U.S. led by Bill McKibben (350.org), are signs of something stirring. How much did The Canary Project have to do with that? Obviously, very, very little, but also not nothing. We do feel we have made a very positive impact on those that have come into contact with our work, who have told us that it inspired them or encouraged them or made them sad or even changed them. We have certainly made a direct and positive impact on kids, students and adults who have been participants in various workshops and classes that we taught or designed. We think we are changing the
culture and it is clear that on some level – no matter how small – that, to quote David Harvey: “our mental conceptions move into an external relation to the material world we seek to reshape.” In other words, an act of culture necessarily alters culture. It changes the dynamic. What do you think of the climate change sceptics in the United States? The amount of power that the sceptic minority has in the U.S. is very frustrating. Like most activists, we think that the climate change impacts scientists have warned of for years are being seen already and that there is likely no turning back the tide, rather only the possibility of lessening the severity of impacts and preparing for the changes already being seen and felt. This has lead to a new project that is focused on resiliency. It was inspired during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy when a huge number of people were without the modern convenience we are so accustomed to like power, connectivity, etc. The new project is called Modern Primitive Exchange: “a forum to sort out what of the Modern and what of the Primitive are useful for living in the End Times.” There is both a satirical and a serious side to the project. We will maintain a blog, collect media and support programming on this theme. The blog content will ultimately be edited into a book. Among the programming we are developing is a series of photography and documentary projects that will have their own life. For more info: www.canary-project.org www.history-of-the-future.com www.greenpatriotposters.org
Poster Simplicity Is The Key To Successful Living. Source: Nick Dewar.
Following the success of the Visualizing Energy photo exhibition launched during the 2013 EU Sustainable Energy Week and seen by over 120,000 people throughout the summer in Brussels, Revolve is proud to present the 2014 sequel: The Rise of Renewables. Expanding coverage to include renewable energy workers and projects from around the world, The Rise of Renewables highlights innovative regional and national initiatives, bringing together the actors, pioneers, and investors that are shaping a more sustainable future. Connecting Europe and the Middle East by showing the human dimension of the energy transition internationally, The Rise of Renewables will be the official media event of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and once again of the EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels! For more information on how to participate: E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +32 2 353 05 84
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WWF’s Seize Your Power campaign calls on investors globally to act on climate change by committing $40 billion to new investments in renewable energy within one year.
Invasive Species | Heat Pumps | Chile's Red Gold | The Value of Nature | The Canary Project and more!