N°15 | SPRING 2015
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Coastal Cities Marine Energy 22 | Overfishing 28 | Nuclear 52
22 â€“ 24 April 2015 Aberdeen (United Kingdom)
Contributors MARCELLO CAPPELLAZZI (Cover: “Coastal Cities”, p. 60) is Researcher at Revolve Media and has contributed to Revolve Magazine since 2013. His features have focused on agriculture and development in Italy, Tunisia, Israel and India. STEVE GILLMAN (“Fishing”, p. 28) is Communications Manager at Revolve Media. His previous article “No Fracking Way! Can The Drill Be Stopped?” featured in Issue #14 (Winter 2014/15) of Revolve Magazine. ANDERS JANSSON is CEO of Minesto, a marine energy company enabling commercial power production from low velocity tidal and ocean currents. LUBOMIR MITEV (“Global Nuclear Energy”, p. 52) is a journalist for NucNet, the world’s nuclear news agency. Previously, he worked as a freelance journalist for numerous publications on issues related to the development of renewable energy and global environmental politics. MICHEL PETILLO (“Gone Fishing”, p. 35) is a Brussels/Paris-based photographer. He works as a freelance photographer for the Guardian and as an active psychologist. He studied documentary photography with the LCC (University of Arts - London) and Magnum Photo. CHRISTIAAN PRINS (“Q&A: Unilever”, p. 20) is Head of Unilever’s European External Affairs Office in Brussels since January 2014 after being a policy advisor in the European Parliament for five years. FLORENCE QUIST (“Run with Revolve”, p.80) is co-founder and president of FGAR that aims to improve education for girls in Togo. STUART REIGELUTH (“Editorial” p. 6) is Founder of Revolve Media. JULIAN WALKER-PALIN (“On Corporate Sustainability”, p. 14) is a sustainability and corporate affairs expert with 20 years experience at senior levels with Tesco and Walmart, through Asda in the UK. He is the Managing Director of ETANTE: www.etante.co.uk
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CONTRIBUTORS Marcello Cappellazzi Chris Drury Steve Gillman Martin Hill Sonja Hinrichsen Anders Jansson Philippa Jones Lubomir Mitev Erik Ohlsson Florence Quist Stuart Reigeluth Diana Lynn Thompson Julian Walker-Palin
– Jeremy Rifkin on 3D printing in The Zero Marginal Cost Society (2014), p. 90
INNOVATION 10 | Erik Ohlsson and Steve Gillman discover four start-ups that are recycling and reusing discarded materials to make exciting new products.
PHOTOGRAPHERS Farhana Asnap Berenger Jean-Pierre Dalbéra Glenn Forbes Pierre Gleizes Mikael Hansen Feri Latief Susanna Loof Muntasir Mamun Samuel Morse Kevin O’Dwyer Michel Petillo Gwenael Piaser Dana Sacchetti Steven Siegel Robin Utrecht Greg Webb Roy Woodward
14 | Julian Walker-Palin talks about multinational companies that are creating cultures of sustainability; plus a Q&A with Christaan Prins from Unilever. FOCUS 35
COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Steve Gillman
35 | A special photo essay on fishing in Norway by Michel Petillo.
Michelle Stockwell Katie Thompson 52
Marcello Cappellazzi REGIONAL MANAGER | INDIA-ASIA Rajnish Ahuja FOUNDER AND CEO
Stuart Reigeluth 60
Revolve Media is a limited liability partnership (LLP) registered in Belgium (BE 0463.843.607) at Rue d’Arlon 63-67, 1040 Brussels.
60 | Marcello Cappellazzi looks at six areas around the world where coastal cities are preparing for and adapting to rising sea levels and flooding. CULTURE
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22 | CEO of Minesto, Anders Jansson, describes Deep Green – the only marine power plant that operates cost efficiently in areas with low velocity currents. VIEWS
CULTURE & GRAPHIC DESIGN
70 | Filipa Rosa curates ‘Ecological Footprints’ – works of art that engage with nature in different ways to raise awareness about the environment.
Cover image: A local Dutch resident stands at his window during th floods in Dordrecht on January 5, 2012. About a quarter of the Netherlands sits below sea level. Source: AFP Photo/ANP/ Robin Utrecht.
N°15 | SPRING 2015
Stuart Reigeluth. Source: Michel Petillo
“To understand our world, we must use a revolving globe and look at the earth from various vantage points.” – Ryszard Kapuscinki, Another Day of Life, 1987, p.137
Stuart Reigeluth, Founder of Revolve
One spring day in 2004, I was smoking a cigarette and drinking freshly-squeezed orange juice on a bridge over the Barada in Damascus when a trash bag flew through the air and landed on the cement river bed. I was a little surprised but probably flicked the butt of the cancer stick into the water too and watched as the weak current tried to carry the trash downstream. This mighty river once flowed from the mountains to give life to the oases along the edge of the desert. All that remains of this diverted and much diminished branch
of the Barada is a sickly stream. Barada – meaning “cold” in Arabic – is also the name of Syria’s national beer that pales in taste compared to its Palestinian counterpart called Taybeh (“Delicious”). Another plastic bag flew through the air and crumpled on the river bed. A woman peeked out of her window to check the trash had reached its destination, and then turned away quickly as she probably does every day. The image of that bag floating from house to river stuck as a symbol of the great divide between what we do and could do in this ecological age. A year later, I covered the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2005 and then worked for a Spanish action-think tank in Madrid on Mediterranean politics and development issues. Revolve emanates from this time with the ambition to challenge the status quo, to advance more constructive ways of seeing the world, and to identify and present the people and projects driving positive change.
Image (right): The Barada River, Damascus, Syria. Image (left): Beer coaster Source: Revolve Media
The financial crisis hit in 2008. Advertising plummeted in 2009. Over 400 magazines closed in the United States. We turned the ‘best of’ from our online
articles into a dummy in Winter 2010/11. It was a valiant effort for our first issue. We went on to make a quarterly international magazine and won ‘best publication of the year’ in 2012 for our special issue on “Water Around the Mediterranean”. The linkages between water and energy became increasingly apparent. Connecting the shores of the Mediterranean became a metaphor for bridging historical, social and economical gaps between different peoples. We began identifying projects and providing more insightful and meaningful coverage of the great geopolitical and environmental challenges that define our world today. We looked closer at what was driving the move towards a cleaner world and decided to highlight the potential of the green economy and to encourage the energy transition
by showing renewable energies, energy efficiency, and sustainable mobility ‘in action’. We called the international exhibition Visualizing Energy and created a New Energy Fair.
environment and economy. In so many ways, the transition is already underway; everyday Revolve highlights a new sustainable initiative from around the world.
We believe in seeing the world from various angles to enlist and empower everyone to become more conscientious of their activities on Earth. We aim to spearhead the energy transition with quality publications and influential communication campaigns. Transitions are by nature works in progress, and in parallel, Revolve is constantly evolving. We welcome your suggestions to improve.
Let us know how you partake in the transition.
We encourage companies and cities to lower their carbon and water footprints by increasing energy efficiency and decreasing water consumption. With proper communication tools, these efforts can foster cultures of sustainability from within that raise awareness and embed habits that are beneficial for the
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“I would be willing to pay more for my electricity if it would be produced in a sustainable way.” – Max, theatre student and street juggler, Brussels
“I prefer to walk, it helps me stay in touch with the environment too.” – Kingsley Ali, Barcelona
“I’m a dancer and I take public transport all the time to jump from one gig to another. A good public transport system can make the city more liveable and solve congestion problems.” – Jorffy, Paris
How are you energy efficient? WHAT SOLUTIONS DO YOU WANT TO SEE?
Melisande “We don't buy industrial produced meat which is a lot more energy intensive.”
Kristina & Zin aida
– Melisande McBurnie Butcher in Brussels
Djouzf Ayan Noraryr
“At home we use ecological light bulbs and we separate our plastic and paper.” – Kristina Iodosijeui, Belgium
“When I leave my house I turn down my heating from 23-18 °C.” – Zinaida, Moldovia
“Nowadays products are not manufactured to last more than three years. There is a clear cause and effect relationship between quality of manufacturing and the pollution of the environment with more and more products thrown away that cannot be recycled.” – Djouzf Ayan Noraryr is an artisan shoe maker in Paris
“I think here in Brussels they are committed to recycling, but there are a lot of countries that don’t.”
“I used to cycle to school, but then my bike was stolen so now I walk.” – Adrian, student, Germany/Italy
– Diana, Mexico
Rafael “I use smart metering in my house for heating and insulated my apartment. I also take public transport.” – Dana Langa, Romania
“I try to recycle my waste and I don’t litter.” – Sandra, Liege
Sandra & Lucia
“I do the simple things that everyone can do – recycle for starters.”
– Lucia, Liege
“I hope the politics in Belgium would focus more on green energy and public transport instead of putting money in oil, cars and roads.”
“I have planted about 600 trees for a small environmental organisation and I try to use only the water I need. I definitely care about the environment, but it is sad to see people in Lebanon who are not that aware or helpful.” – Miriam Mahroum, Lebanon
– Ine, Brussels
Maris “I try to consume less and recycle waste. I don’t have a car. I would like to see people care more about what they are buying and asking themselves if they really need it.” – Maris, Estonia
Yvo de Boer
“[...] and as there is more demand for renewable energy or environmentally sound food that is where private companies will go.” – Yvo de Boer
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BRANDS + SUSTAINABILITY Innovative start-ups from around the world are recyclying and reusing waste to make new products. From turning fishing nets into skateboards and discarded rubber into fashion accessories to eco-friendly bikes and 3D printed shoes, we look at four brands putting sustainability back into the market.
Bureo Skateboards www.bureoskateboards.com Skateboard producer Bureo has an innovative and environmentally conscious approach to their manufacturing process. As an alternative to wood, Bureo’s boards are made from discarded plastic fishing nets harvested from Chile’s Pacific coastline. Underlying this innovation is the will to contribute to a cleaner and less polluted planet. Fishing nets add to the abundance of plastic litter in our oceans. They present a serious threat to marine ecosystems worldwide. Aimed at tackling this problem, Bureo launched ‘Net Positiva’, a recycling program based in Chile, which collects and recycles damaged, scrapped, and castaway fishing nets. When asked about ‘Net Positiva’, Greg Swienton of Bureo Skateboards tell us that “it can be very challenging for the fishermen to manage the disposal of their old nets, which is part of the reason why it makes up a significant proportion of the oceans’
plastic pollution. In response, we pioneered ‘Net Positiva’, Chile’s first-ever derelict fishnet collection and recycling program where we provide the fishing syndicates conveniently placed disposal bins and pay the fishermen a commodity price per kilogram for turning in their old nets. This provides an additional income and the incentive to make sure these nets are not ending up in the marine environment.”
Wishbone Design Studios www.wishbonedesign.com Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Wishbone Design Studio creates multi-functional and sustainable products for children and families across the world. Products are designed for long-life durability and the design flexibility and adaptability to grow with the changing needs of children and their families. They believe in minimal environmental impact and making a difference at personal, local and global levels.
“We are aiming to create best-in-category classics that are transformational, both in their functional design and their effect on the user and their community,” says Richard Latham, coDirector and chief designer for Wishbone. “Wishbone products are both innovative and old-school. We want to encourage independence and activity in children, while aiming to reduce consumption overall. Wishbone Bike and our other products replace multiple other products that would have broken, been abandoned or grown out of long before.” Wishbone Design Studio has been a CarbonZero certified orga-
nization since March 2012. They have been highly commended by CarbonZero for their reduction targets and approach to carbon reporting. To further their goal of reducing consumption overall, they apply a rigorous no-plastic-packaging policy, use post-consumer recycled materials in packaging and production, design products to be 100% repairable with all components available to purchase after-market, encourage trade in secondhand Wishbones by offering to upgrade used bikes listed for sale on auction sites, and their Chinese bike factory undergoes periodic third party social auditing to ensure working conditions meet internationally-recognized standards.
Katcha Bilek www.katcha-bilek.myshopify.com
Katcha Bilek (KB) designs handbags, laptop bags and manbags with super-tough, durable and waterproof construction, along with unique fashion appeal to boot. Her aim is to create items that are useful as well as beautiful, to use waste which would normally be discarded, to create products which last a lifetime, to pay a fair wage and to create a brand which carries a message. â€œI enjoy exploring new ideas in design and adapting my skills accordingly. I love the creative challenge of giving worthless materials a new use, and see no reason for manufacturing any new materials until those that are in existence have all been used,â€? says Katcha. Katcha and her team hunt down only the best looking old tractor inner tubes, car seatbelts and bike tires to make each item tough and unique. KB fashion items are sturdy, waterproof, and built for the long haul. The materials lend their hard-wearing qualities to wallets and bags that are smart enough to pair with business wear, yet have an edgy urban aesthetic. At KB, they develop a hands-on knowledge of their materials, making sure that each item is unique and yet durably constructed.
Lyf Shoes www.lyfshoes.com
Lyf Shoes are a new way of making footwear that enables custom fashion and fit construction, all while being friendly to the earth. They use a process called the â€˜Digital Cobblerâ€™, which is an innovative system of localized manufacturing that combines micro-scale production with retail shops. These shops can be launched anywhere, from the heart of a high-tech urban scene to a rural village in a developing country. Using the latest digital technologies like additive manufacturing and on-demand textile printing, each component of the shoe can be customized for fashion and fit. New fashion prints can be added every day by designers around the world. Each component can change in an endless number of ways to enhance fit requirements and fashion tendencies. Since they only make what they sell, Lyf Shoes eliminates the huge amount of waste typical of the industry. The construction of the shoe is uniquely free of the toxic adhesives used in footwear. Lyf Shoes are also designed for complete disassembly, so each pair of shoes can stay out of the landfill and be re-cycled into a new pair. With detailed wear tracking built in, they can then offer the customer a better fitting pair, closing the loop with the customer and the planet.
Writers: Erik Ohlsson & Steve Gillman
On Corporate Sustainability How does a corporate culture of sustainability come to exist? What are the ways to build one and what can we learn from industry leaders? Writers: Julian Walker-Palin
In the mid-1990s, when sustainability was just emerging into corporate parlance, apart from a few â€˜heroâ€™ companies such as Patagonia, there was no corporate culture of sustainability. Instead, there was a small but passionate band of mostly senior managers or directors often supported by a future thinking CEO. As one of this band myself within Walmart, I know from experience that itâ€™s a tough call being tasked to go around the business and say to people who have been doing their jobs a certain way for years that they are doing it all wrong! Fast forward to 2015 and every University in the UK runs multiple sustain-
ability courses, especially at MSc level, corporations love to include pages and pages in their Corporate Sustainability Responsibility (CSR) reports or websites espousing their activities and progress, and how every worker is now challenged to be sustainable in their day to day jobs. Such an amazing amount of progress in 10 years! Having left Walmart in 2014 to set up my own consultancy, ETANTE, and now working across retail and also major FastMoving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies and government, this picture is true across all these sectors.
Going back to those new graduates with their shiny new sustainability degrees, it is insightful to ask their lecturers what motivated their students to sit through these courses? The answer consistently is that there are two types of students and they stand out clearly into which group they belong during their education. The first group is passionate about impending climate change and wanting to help deliver solutions through business; and the second, you could call then cynics, who believe that the need for sustainability experts will only increase and so itâ€™s a great way to earn a bunch of cash with solid career prospects for the future.
to build a corporate culture of sustainability, itâ€™s crucial to know where the business is heading and to motivate staff to get behind delivery
Spearheading Sustainability 2005 was the year sustainability became mainstream: this was the year that Walmart, one of the largest companies on the globe, publically pronounced their “Sustainability 360” strategy to become a better business through reducing environmental impacts, supporting communities and helping people to lead better lives. In the UK, the supermarkets were swift to respond in turn as well as the now world-renowned Marks & Spencer’s “Plan A (because there is no Plan B)”. For Walmart, 2005 was certainly not the year where they built a corporate culture of sustainability, far from it. The passionate drive of the CEO, Lee Scott, and their first ever Chief Sustainability Officer, Andy Ruben and his team, were the ones who got the strategy off the ground. For Walmart, the drive to embed it into culture was a direct response to the hard core business benefits that Andy’s team demonstrated. They showed to cynics that using the
“lens of sustainability” to question and reevaluate ways of working saves cash as well as helping the environment. They then ensured that this was widely communicated across the business and externally through “Sustainability Milestone” events, and an embryonic corporate culture of sustainability was built. Moving to more recent times: Kingfisher’s strategy, “Net Positive” stands out as revolutionary when it was launched in 2013 with its approach to not only “do less bad” but to actually “make a positive impact” and so overall to be net positive. With 50 targets across the core areas of timber, energy, innovation and communities to be delivered by 2020 it’s certainly stretching. In order to build a corporate culture of sustainability, it’s crucial to know where the business is heading and to motivate staff to get behind delivery. This is enshrined in Kingfisher’s “Net Positive”, in Walmart’s “Sustainabil-
ity 360”, M&S’ “Plan A”, and others such as J Sainsbury’s “20x20” and Heineken in “Brewing a Better World” but they all have in common a simple need to understand purpose behind them and a defined direction of travel. Not all the steps may yet be defined or known but the business knows where and by when it wants to achieve its sustainable purpose.
Image (pp.14-15): Walmart’s Direct Farm Program aims to increase farmer income by 20 percent and reduce food waste by 5 percent. India. Source : Courtesy of Walmart (previous page/top): Patagonia's advertisement appearing on the 2011 'Black' friday's edition of The New York Times. November 25. (previous page/bottom): Indonesian women home workers engaging in informal employment practices without regular or minimum wages. Asahan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Source : ILO/Feri Latief 2012 (previous page/bottom): Rana Plaza survivor Khaleda Begum is now working as a tailor. Skills training is one of the rehabilitation approaches being used for the survivors of the Rana Plaza building collapse. Source : ILO/Muntasir Mamun
Implementing Strategy It’s crucial to embed the strategy into corporate culture and in doing so you usually find three kinds of people you need to influence. The first cohort will care about doing the right thing and instantly align behind a welldefined strategy. The second will be floaters who on a personal level will not be motivated but on a career level see the writing on the wall and for all intents and purposes get behind the strategy. All of these motivations will embed the culture, though how well it is delivered during tough economic times may differ. The third group is those who ‘know’ the best way to do their jobs and will not be swerved off course by the small matter of a sustainability strategy. In the early days of embedding sustainability into corporate culture, this audience is the most disruptive and often the most vocal. It’s important to take the time to engage this group though, as otherwise they could be working behind the scenes to unravel
progress made. The most effective solution is to ensure that the strategy is aligned to corporate core purpose and mission statement and so business growth and success. By doing so, they undermine both the function of the company and their own position by attacking it. I’m sure that for many of you I’m teaching you to suck eggs, while for other readers you will be wondering how a corporate culture of sustainability can truly be created and embedded without offering incentives. Going back to Walmart this was indeed the case for their Buyers, or Merchants. This audience lives and breathes profit, loss, availability and margins and is incentivized to do so and any sustainability strategy that does not take this into account is doomed to fail. After all, if you are focusing on more sustainable commodities or packaging fiber or similar, there is usually an incremental cost until the market catches up and nor-
malizes the sustainable behavior. This cost is likely to be a tough swallow for an audience motivated by the behaviors above, though not impossible. In Walmart’s case, they took the decision in 2013 to embed delivery of the strategy into the bonus structure. The result of which was an increase in attention from this audience.
Image : Garment factory employees at their stations on the production line. Indonesia. Source : ILO/Better Work Indonesia (right): Marks&Spencer's “Plan A (because there is no Plan B)” adverts.
From Patagonia to Unilever This discussion would not be complete without going full circle and looking at Patagonia as a model company for all the arguments above. I have not focused on them, as many would argue the progress made by a non-core ethical company like the ones above represents better case studies than those of an ethical company (making expensive products) but both have their place I believe. If you have not read the book yet then a must-read is Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder. While working inside major corporations, I was often reminded of Yvon’s strategy and philosophy when it was my role to embed sustainability and had the privilege while at Walmart to spend some time with Patagonia’s policy and communications people. Patagonia was founded to make tools for climbers and developed into the company
we know today selling outdoor equipment and clothing for a range of sports but always with an environmental edge. Their mission statement reads “to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis”. Taking the arguments above, a staff member at Patagonia whether in a shop, Home Office in California or worker in one of their production facilities is left in no doubt, especially as they train these workers and anyone responsible for delivery of policy on this, that the culture of the company they work for is to care about these issues. It’s one and the same as their corporate core purpose and mission. If asked whether sustainability is firmly embedded in all the major food and FMCG companies today, then the answer
has to be ‘not yet’ but compared to 2005 its come a long way. Let me give one final example of Unilever. They launched in 2010 their “Sustainable Living Plan” with its aim to decouple business growth from environmental damage. As you would expect it carries specific 2020 goals and they regularly update on progress. The real power behind this strategy, apart from their sheer size and scale, was that the CEO, Paul Polman, integrated CSR into business success. In fact, he stated at its launch that business success would be hampered without delivery of its goals and changed the way they report to allow longer term financial planning and thinking. To Unilever sustainability is integral to their success and therefore has been driven into their culture. It is hard to find a Unilever colleague who is not affected by delivery of the strategy – in fact I have yet to do so.
take the time to understand the effect your business is having on the environment and communities, and how this will accelerate in the future
Answering how a corporate culture of sustainability comes to exist is not by accident. It is by taking the time to understand the effect your business is having on the environment, on communities and how this will accelerate in the future. It is then key to internalize these externalities in order to build resilience and a different way of doing business to ensure the ability to succeed and grow profits in a resource scarce future and one where poverty is increasing not decreasing. Once this has been defined, senior decision-makers must take the time
to review in the light of the core business strategy as it is only by making the two align that real progress and a corporate culture of sustainability can be created. Build it and they will come! And if they don’t, I’ll leave you with thoughts back to an internal session I once sat in with Lee Scott: “Walmart is a train, and it’s a sustainable train! We want you on board but make no mistake that unless you are going in the same direction as this train you will not be given a ticket...!”
100% sustainable sources by 2020 Christiaan Prins, Head of Unilever's European External Affairs Office in Brussels.
Can business pursue growth and still be sustainable?
Unilever’s vision for 2020 is to develop new ways of doing business that will allow us to decouple growth from our environmental footprint and increase our positive social impact. For companies to be successful in the long term in this volatile, complex world with finite resources, there is only one viable way forward – new business models that are both sustainable and generate returns. The business case for sustainability is clear; consumers it, it drives innovaThe most challenging thing is demand tion, it helps us cut costs, that there is no roadmap – we and it reduces our business in this new landscape, are in new territory – it’s a new risk future-proofing our supply business model. chains, so we can continue to serve our consumers’ every day needs for the next 130 years too and beyond. How do you measure progress for sustainable business?
Our commitment to sustainable living is embedded in the business strategy. Using 2008 as a benchmark, we have set very clear targets where we want to be in 2020, and we report every year on the progress we are making against these targets. A member of the Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE) is championing and leading the sustainability and corporate responsibility
work. In addition we have a team of independent experts gathering in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan Council who provide guidance on the development of our strategy and give input on our external reporting. What’s your take on the circular economy? Do you think it’s possible?
The sluggish economic recovery in Europe is the consequence of a business model that is no longer delivering in a context of slow demand growth coupled with higher costs and price volatility for resources, including energy. A circular economic model builds resilience to price increase and volatility, it’s the right thing for the planet and consumers increasingly seek responsible brands. It can be done. Unilever has saved 480 million euro via reducing raw materials and eco-efficiency measures. For example converting Surf detergent product from carton board to flexible pouches, has helped us to save per annum approximately 3,400 tons of packaging. In our factories we have cut water use 29% per ton of production over the past 6 years and we have cut CO2 in our factory sites by a third in absolute terms, despite a 30% growth of overall business. What are the biggest changes consumers can expect in a circular economy?
In a circular economic model, the role of the consumer is as important as the role of the producer. Consumers can create a more resource efficient society through their consumption behavior. Choosing sustain-
ably sourced tea and concentrated laundry detergents is a small act that will have a big difference when extrapolated to the 2 billion consumption occasions of Unilever products every day! In addition, the consumption phase of products is an important element in the overall environmental footprint of the product. Choosing water saving shower heads, and energy efficient water boilers, has a direct impact on the overall environmental impact of our soups and shampoos. Making consumers aware of their role in building a more resource efficient world is absolute key in creating the right pull factor. Who is responsible for supporting sustainable business - customers or governments?
The producer can make it happen at micro level, government regulation can support to scale up to a macro-economic level by setting the right regulatory framework and the consumer can turbocharge it to a mainstream level by choosing a resource efficient consumption pattern. If we want to achieve true transformational change, public and private stakeholders need to team up. What government support does business need to be more sustainable?
Businesses do not need government to introduce circular business models, but government can support in scaling up business activities to a macro level, creating the tipping point where sustainably sourced, re-used and recycled materials become cheaper than their mainstream counterparts. This can be achieved through pricing carbon emissions correctly, abolishing subsidies on water, energy and agriculture, by removing energy taxes, and creating a waste infrastructure that allows for valuable resources to be re-used and recycled. Unilever is aiming to source 100% of its raw materials sustainably by 2020, why was this important to Unilever and how do you plan to do this?
Food security is increasingly under threat and there is an urgent need to source sustainably. Sustainable agriculture means growing food in ways which sustain the soil, minimize water and fertilizer use,
protect biodiversity and enhance farmers’ livelihoods. Depending on the crop, sustainable farming has the potential to increase yields considerably. For the world to feed 9.5 billion people and mitigate the effects of climate change on agriculture, the widespread adoption of sustainable agriculture and elimination of deforestation is crucial. 70% of the world’s food is produced by smallholder farmers and three out of four people in developing countries depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. So if we can help smallholders to adopt sustainable farming practices, it will help us secure future supplies of raw materials in developing and emerging markets from where much of our growth will come, help the world achieve food security and lift hundreds of thousands of smallholder farming families out of poverty.
build the right conditions for a fundamental change on how industry organizes its productions processes.
What are the biggest challenges in developing sustainable business? Where do you see solutions coming from?
The most challenging thing is that there is no roadmap – we are in new territory – it’s a new business model. For solutions we need to create partnerships with other actors in the supply chain, governments and NGOs. We can’t do it alone, we need McKinsey suggests that net savings partnerships to reach scale to from materials could reach $1 trillion drive real transfor- a year if the circular economy goes mational change. That’s why we mainstream. partner for example with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to unlock the value of the circular economy in the hope that it will lead the whole FMCG industry. And we need political will and leadership from politicians. We need to rethink the use of new materials, re-design packaging, use recycled waste etc, but when we get it right, the potential is phenomenal. McKinsey suggests that net savings from materials could reach $1 trillion a year if the circular economy goes mainstream. 2015 will be a crucial year. The upcoming discussions on climate in Paris and the finalization of the debate on the UN Sustainable Development Goals could
Innovation The renewable energy industry was excited late last year when marine energy technology company Minesto announced that it had successfully managed to produce electricity from low velocity currents off Northern Ireland, the first in the marine energy era. The marine power plant Deep Green has now been producing electricity for more than a year, and Minestoâ€™s founder and CEO Anders Jansson shares his experiences from the trials in this article. Writer: Anders Jansson
Minesto Minesto is a marine energy company on the mission to minimize the global footprint of the energy industry by enabling commercial power production from low velocity tidal and ocean currents. Minestoâ€™s award winning and patented product, Deep Green, is the only proven marine power plant that operates cost efficiently in areas with low velocity currents. Deep Green resembles an underwater kite with a wing and a turbine that is attached by a tether to a fixed point on the ocean bed, moving swiftly in an 8-shaped trajectory in the current.Minesto was founded in 2007 and is based in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Northern Ireland, UK. The major shareholders in Minesto are BGA Invest, Midroc New Technology, Saab Group and Chalmers University of Technology. Anders Jansson is the companyâ€™s CEO. Read more about Minesto at www.minesto.com
The lush hills of Strangford Lough are truly a place of magic scenery. Portaferry, a small fishing village, is located one hour’s drive from Belfast in Northern Ireland, and is today perhaps most famous for being close to the location where blockbuster Games of Thrones is filmed. In this idyllic fishing village, struggling with a high unemployment rate and a diminishing population, something new and prosperous is growing. Looking out over the calm waters of Strangford Lough, one could hardly believe that under the ocean surface – that electricity can be produced. In fact, as the sun starts to rise and another spring tide starts to take off, pushing massive amounts of water through the narrows, the ‘underwater kite’ called Deep Green initiates its electricity production. Strangford Lough has, due to its sheltered waters and good tidal conditions, become a popular area for the testing of tidal power plants; Siemens, Schottel, and Queens University of Belfast are all conducting their tests there. Deep Green is a tidal and ocean current power plant, which actually looks like an
underwater kite. It's there that the similarity ends. Deep Green can produce electricity from low velocity currents at a cost lower than fossil fuels and nuclear power. As such, Minesto's Deep Green kite has the potential to change the world. The Deep Green technology was invented by the inquisitive engineer – Magnus Landberg, in 2001. Magnus was project manager for a wind turbine project at Swedish aircraft manufacturer Saab. The outcome was a compact, efficient, tidal power plant able to sweep large areas, much more efficient than rotors on static structures. The design offered a decrease in electricity generating cost. The company Minesto was spun-off from Saab, and has since then pushed Deep Green towards commercialisation with great focus on prototype testing in combination with business development on literally all continents. Today, large public and private investors, including the British Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Swedish Energy Agency and the EU, are all backing the development of Deep Green.
The fall of 2013 was the first time ever a marine power plant designed for low velocity currents were targeted to produce electricity at sea. It was a hectic time for the Minesto team, and also an important and critical step for the Deep Green technology. Even though there were big challenges and valuable insights before Deep Green was installed in the water and started to produce electricity, the ocean trials provided the Minesto team with even greater challenges, and in addition invaluable insights. As expected, deployment of the power plant turned out to be a great challenge. From the desk top, it is almost impossible to foresee how the power plant could be handled in the unpredictable offshore
Image (previous page): Conceptual illustration of Deep Green ocean current array. (top): Minesto's test site in Strangford Lough. The large sea inlet is located in County Down, Northern Ireland. (right): Deep Green deployment in Strangford Lough. Source: Minesto.
environment with winds, waves and tidal currents causing forces and havoc in all directions. Initially, months were spent on constantly changing under-dimensioned mechanical components and searching for electrical insulation faults without gaining any useful test results. The cold, windy and always wet working environment fatigued the Minesto team, and the situation urged for alternative solutions. The team took time out and gathered to develop a plan. This all resulted in a test set-up physically being turned upside down - with the power plant attached to a floating platform instead of to the seabed. The new set-up gave more control, and it was easier to access all subsystems. In addition to that, all mechanical and electrical components were thoroughly examined with great care. When the kite was re-launched and submerged in Strangford Lough, the pulse was high on all 25 Minesto employees watching as it disappeared beneath the surface. As soon as the kite started to make its first figure 8
â€“ steered by a person in the offshore control roomâ€“ they all knew that a successful launch was in hand. The team now knew that they had taken a giant step closer to unlock the low velocity tidal and ocean currents as a source for renewable energy production. In October 2013, just a few weeks after the successful first flight, the initial use of an automatic control system took place. Since then, the quarter scale Deep Green has been operational and has produced electricity. The Minesto Deep Green power plant has now achieved performance comparable to producing electricity at the same cost
as offshore wind. Furthermore, multiple improvements are targeted, without any significant design changes, with the power output expected to be doubled. All of the power plantâ€™s functions have been verified, including the full control in all tidal velocities. An important milestone was reached the first time the power plant was automatically controlled and positioned in the middle of the water column during slack water and the turning of the tide. The quarter scale test platform has many times proven to be a cost efficient development environment. For example, when testing a new turbine design, 3D
take the time to understand the effect your business is having on the environment and communities, and how this will accelerate in the future
printing was used to produce a polymeric prototype at 1/5th of the cost and 1/10th of the time for an aluminium turbine. Now the kite is mostly operated from the seabed foundation, and the possibility to connect it to the floating platform is still used when deploying new upgraded sub-systems. In the end, the challenges Minesto faces surprisingly continue to unlock opportunities. The solution of an upside down anchoring to a platform has doubled the market potential since it has turned out to enable full scale installations at larger depths than originally thought, such as in ocean currents. It is in fact ocean currents, which enable constant renewable electricity production, can be used as base load on the grid. The next step for Deep Green is the installation of the first commercial scale, 0.5MW power plant off the coast of Wales in 2017. The installation in Wales will be successively extended to a 10MW array, which
will have the potential to deliver power to over 8,000 Welsh households. The installation site is located off the Holyhead Island in Anglesey, Wales. For this, Minesto has been awarded an ‘Agreement for Lease’ by the Crown Estate, manager of the UK seabed, for the site and environmental investigations and detailed resource studies are far progressed. This on-going project to commercialise Deep Green in Wales underpins Minesto’s position as the global leadership in renewable energy production from low flow tidal and ocean currents. For Wales, this project will lead to job creation, increased income and a more sustainable and diverse energy supply. Development of new energy technologies require long-term political strategies and capital. However, the payback from a success story is significant for financial investors, and also in terms of societal benefits. If we want to enable our children to live as great lives as we have experienced (or better!), renewable and reliable energy is a must.
Connecting water and energy around the Mediterranean and beyond
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Scepticism has been expressed against marine energy for its long and costly development, but that should be set in relation to other technologies that we today depend on. Offshore wind hadn’t been heard of in the mid 1990’s whereas the growth during the 20th century has been phenomenal. Between 2010 and 2014, the market grew with 600% and is expected to grow with 2,300% until 2020. Today we depend on wind power which supplied electricity to more than 25% of the UK’s households in 2014. The next industry to experience the same breakthrough is tidal and ocean current energy. Thanks to many enabling technologies, like sensors, materials and computer simulations, tidal energy technologies have made great advancements in few years’ time. The tidal energy industry has done its homework to pass the early stages of technology development, and now it’s time for politicians and investors to act to ensure the future European backbone industry to grow.
Under the patronage of H.E. Mr. Ahmed Amer Al Humaidi Minster of Environment - Qatar And with the cooperation of UNEP-ROWA
The 1st Gulf Marine Environment Conference 18 -19 May 2015, Doha-Qatar A two-day Conference and Exhibition Venue: Ritz Carlton Hotel
Cross–cutting dimensions: Financing the marine environment management plan
Marine Food Security
Research and development for the marine environment
Climate Change Impacts on the Marine Environment
Ecological System Habitat: Ecological and Biological
How to increase the stakeholders awareness
The trans-boundary cooperative action
Invasive Species in the Marine Environment Marine Protected Areas (MPAs): What is Achieved and What is Possible Marine Heritage: Traditions and Opportunities Water Desalination: Status and the Future Impact
Analysis Integrated Marine Environment Protection
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For more information on how to attend and other marketing opportunities please visit our website www.alsaqerevents.org/gmec
Overfishing Whatâ€™s left in our oceans? According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), over 80% of fisheries now operate at, or beyond, sustainable limits pushing many marine ecosystems to the point of collapse. Our appetite for fish is growing too, putting increased pressure on our seas and forcing fisheries to introduce new technologies to meet demand. Considering fish are the main source of protein for one billion people around the world, millions more eat them every day. Can we find a commercial and environmental balance to fishing? Or is protecting parts of the oceans the only sustainable answer? Writer: Steve Gillman
Over 80% of fisheries now operate at, or beyond, sustainable limits pushing many marine ecosystems to the point of collapse.
The Global Catch In 2011, the global volume of fish caught by fisheries was 93.7 million tons. It was the second highest catch ever, just under the record of 93.8 million tons in 1996. The European Commission revealed in October 2014 that a positive long-term trend of increasing fish populations is happening. With such a huge amount of fish being captured in recent years and populations supposedly on the increase, surely our oceans are not as empty as we think? “In the UK, we have sophisticated fleets made up of powerful shipping vessels, but
in the 1880s a fleet of sailing boats using wooden beam trawls landed more fish than we do today,” says Professor Callum Roberts, a marine conservation biologist at the University of York. Levels of fishing have remained high because of improved technologies. Longline nets in the 19th century gave way to beam trawls that were then motorized in the 1880s. These were replaced in the early 20th century by otter trawls which could drag much bigger nets. Steam trawlers were soon replaced by diesel trawlers with their upgraded nets and then the boats were equipped with echo sound. New technologies continue to be used today that enable fishermen to locate schools of fish that would have otherwise remained unknown.
“All of these advances have enabled the fishing industry to remain productive even if the abundance of what they’re pursuing is declining and the ecosystems are shifting from complex abundant habitats to less productive ones,” says Professor Roberts. Blue fin tuna, Atlantic halibut, Beluga sturgeon, goliath grouper and the orange roughy – these are five fish that have become endangered in recent years. When sought after species like these become scarce, fishermen move onto other species that will sell. This is something called “fishing down the food web”. According to Ransom A. Myers and Boris Worm from the Biology Department of Dalhousie University in Canada, over the last 50 years, the abundance of large predator fish, such as cod, swordfish and tuna, has dropped 90%. Fishing vessels now increasingly pursue the smaller forage fish, such as herrings, sardines, menhaden and anchovies whose populations have grown because of fewer predators.
Over the last 50 years, the abundance of large predator fish, such as cod, swordfish and tuna, has dropped by 90%.
Image (previous page): Nets and buoys. Source: Peter Riou/Flickr (left): Lorenzo Mitchell Henry 851 pound tuna 1933. Source: Professor Callum Roberts (next page): Afrika SCH 24 Scheveningen, a Dutch super trawler fishing 30 miles off the coast of Mauritania. Greenpeace is campaigning in West Africa for the establishment of a sustainable, low impact fisheries policy that takes into account the needs and interests of small-scale fishermen and the local communities that depend on healthy oceans. Source: Pierre Gleizes/Greenpeace
Enter Trawling Apart from poison, dynamite and drift nets, very few other fishing techniques, including trawling, have been banned completely. The reasoning behind the bans was due to the threat the techniques posed to fish stocks and to consumers. Now, trawling is coming under equal scrutiny for the long-term damages it can cause to fish stocks and to marine habitats. Trawling is a method of fishing that involves pulling a huge net through the water behind one or more boats. This method of fishing has been around since the 19th century and has developed to be a very efficient way to catch many fish at once. There are now different types of trawling, depending on the gear used, depth fished and species targeted. Trawling is a diverse fishing practice with some approaches that a lot more detrimental than others.
“On the west coast of the UK, we use two highly destructive methods. One of them is prawn trawling and the other is scallop dredging,” says Professor Roberts. “Scallop dredgers dig up the sea bed to catch scallops, they eliminate anything living in its path. Prawn trawlers use a very fine mesh net to catch prawn and eliminate any juvenile fish that would normally sustain important fisheries.” Fishing using these two methods there will not create any new fisheries because bycatch and habitat destruction effectively kills any future business. This is the end result of “fishing down the food web”. In 1992, a moratorium (a temporary suspension) was introduced by the Canadian
government in response to the collapse of the Atlantic north-west cod fishery. Now, over twenty years later, there is still no major population growth thanks to prawn trawlers taking over the same fishing grounds. The fine mesh have been catching the juvenile cod and preventing their population to regenerate. Scallop dredging is another destructive method which kills off any hope of a productive fishery. It is a type of bottom trawling which drags its weighted nets across the sea bed, destroying habitats and aggressively illuminating a lot of species. Deep sea habitats are some of the slowest growing habitats in the world and the long-term damage caused by a bottom trawler may prevent ecosystems from every recovering.
long-term damage caused by a bottom trawler may prevent ecosystems from every recovering
Prawn trawling, scallop dredging and super trawlers are the most controversial methods. In Australia, the government has banned super trawlers because of the amount of bycatch they take in. The ban focuses on boats over 130 meters in length, but smaller trawlers can have the same capacity to harvest the similar amounts of fish and may not be covered by this ban. The reality is that there are a variety of trawler ships and equipment used because our oceansâ€™ fishing grounds are very diverse. When a sustainable amount of fish needs to be taken from the oceans, then the trawling debate becomes more nuanced. For example, in certain environments where the ground is sandy it is not clear that trawlers cause significant damage and they could be used modestly to harvest bottom dwelling species. Elsewhere, in the middle of the water column there is an area called the pelagic zone: this is an area occupying 1,370 million cubic kilometers which is the habitat for 11% of known fish species. Here,
there is no sea bed for trawlers to damage while pelagic fish could be harvested within sustainable limits. In Natureâ€™s Fortune, a book about how business and society thrive by investing in ecology, the authors explore a study by the Pacific Fishery Management Council that outlines the effects of trawling on fish
and their habitats. It was determined that trawling changes the physical habitat and biological structure of ecosystems which can have wide-ranging consequences to marine life. The study concludes with recommendations to close some areas to trawling, reduce the number of boats and the days at sea, and use new, less destructive kinds of fishing gear.
Why is it that fisheries always seem to receive bigger quotas than what scientists recommend? Image (below): Before the auction at Tsukijij Fish Market in Tokyo which happens most mornings (except Sundays, holidays and some Wednesdays) at 3:00 a.m. with the arrival of the products by ship, truck and plane from all over the world. Source: Glenn Forbes/Flickr (next page): The Margiris KL749, a Lithuanian super trawler, 30 miles off the coast of Mauritania. Source: Pierre Gleizes/Greenpeace
Managing the Means In 2011, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) published a paper forecasting a collapse of the sardine stock in the north-east Pacific Ocean, but the sardine fishing quota continued to increase: in 2011, the fishery catch was 10.59% of the total biomass and 18.4% in 2012. Between 2012 and 2013, the sardine population dropped about 30% to 333,268 metric tons. This drop is considered the second great sardine crash and has been compared to the first notorious crash of the late 1940s and 1950s. In 2014, the Pacific Fishery Management Council took notice and reduced the quota 33% below from the previous year’s limits. The limits have since increased again. Similarly, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas’
(ICCAT) quota for 2008 was 28,500 tons, followed by 22,000 tons in 2009 and 12,900 in 2011, a year in which the fish became listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In November 2014, fishing nations agreed to a 20% annual increase in quotas over the next three years with countries like France and Japan pushing for higher quotas than what they received. Concerns remain that conservation efforts from previous years will quickly fade and the blue fin tuna will again be pushed to point of collapse. Why is it that fisheries always seem to receive bigger quotas than what scientists recommend? And how come fishing restrictions are not enforced long enough? The simple answer is that there is money to be made when demand is high. The FAO says that fishing is the livelihood for 12% of the world’s population and even though 90% of these jobs are based in small-scale fisheries, there are still millions of people depending on our oceans to pay their wage.
This raises the concern of how fishermen can keep their jobs if there are no fish left to catch. It has become apparent that if you want a diverse fishery that is productive and supports a wild variety of different sectors of the fishing industry you have to manage the sea in a much smarter way. Europe is making some progress in this regard with the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which is essentially “a set of rules for managing European fishing fleets and for conserving fish stocks”. Designed to manage a common resource, CFP gives all European fishing fleets equal access to EU waters and fishing grounds and aims to allow fishermen to compete fairly. Europe may want to treat their Member State fishermen fairly, but what about countries outside their jurisdiction? In October 2014, the European Commission banned fish imports from Sri Lanka for illegal fishing and issued them with a ‘red card’ – a label used to highlight the worst offending countries. The rea-
sons behind the ban were stated as “shortcomings in the implementation of control measures, a lack of deterrent sanctions for the high seas fleet, as well as lacking compliance with international and regional fisheries rules”. It is all well and good to highlight countries that are a threat to sustainable fishing, but Europe could arguably be just as guilty. “Europe should get a red card themselves for a lot of dodgy operations on the West African Coast. One of the problems with overfishing in our own waters is that we have exported a lot of our overfishing to other countries,” says Professor Roberts.
“We cut deals with these countries and we pay them to allow our vessels to fish their stocks. There is very little oversight or good management and there is very strong evidence that we are depleting those fisheries now.” Illegal fishing is a worldwide problem, but fishing access agreements can be just as damaging and should be put under as much scrutiny too. If we hope to achieve a degree of sustainable fishing, a system needs to be in place that sets fair limits and does not exploit other countries. It should also be supported by systems that work with the oceans and not against them.
Fishing is the livelihood for 12% of the world’s population so it is in our interest to make it a more self-sustaining and efficient system.
Protect and Farm By fully protecting some of the sea and eliminating exploitation from marine protected areas, fish stocks can rebuild their numbers and could replenish fisheries through their movement. Combine that with a sensible quota and the makings of a sustainable fishing market begin to take shape. At the World Parks Congress last November, the President of Gabon announced that 23% of their marine waters were to be protected; while an agreement between the United States and the island nation of Kiribati was made to protect an area of the Pacific Ocean covering 490,000 square miles. Reforms to the European Common Fisheries Policy came into force on 1 Janu-
ary 2015. The progressive elimination of wasteful discarding was addressed better, but other aspects that could prove pivotal to implementing sustainable fisheries were left out. “A requirement to establish marine protected areas was not integrated in the fisheries report, but on the other hand there was a clause that said states are encouraged to create fish stock conservation areas which are essentially marine protected areas,” says Professor Roberts. Another approach to make our fisheries more sustainable is aquaculture or fish farming. According to the FAO, global aquaculture production attained another all-time high of 90.4 million tons in 2012 and was worth an estimated $144.4 billion. Fish farms can secure our supply, but they may be more of a burden to our oceans than a benefit. Large quantities of wild fish are being caught to feed aquaculture like salmon. It takes approximately
2.5kg of wild fish to grow one kilo of farmed salmon. On the other end, there is good aquaculture that sustains itself like muscle farms, they filter feed in the water and they do not require supplemental feeding and contribute to good water quality. But there can be bad muscle farming too: in Ireland, they use huge mesh nets to catch wild muscles for farms. Whether it is trawling or aquaculture, the vast and complex world of fishing has pros and cons. The path to sustainable fishing will be one that simultaneously promotes environmental recovery and supports a productive industry. The livelihoods of 12% of the world’s population depend on this sector so it is in our interest to make it a more self-sustaining and efficient system. After all, fishing less does not have to mean catching less – it may just be that we can actually catch more to meet growing demand.
A photo essay by Michel Petillo
Cover page: Going to work - 4h30 AM. It’s a lovely day. Top: Stig and Tom Jørgensen entangling the nets of fish. Bottom: The first fish of the day.
May 19, 2014: the fishing season draws slowly to an end. The once bountiful North Atlantic no longer provides the tens of tons of daily catch for the local Norwegian fishermen of Røstlandet – the most south-western cluster of the Lofoten islands situated about 115 km north of the Artic circle. The hundreds of islands and islets are surrounded by some of the most hostile seas. The fishing season starts around the end of August and peaks from February to the end April when fish supplied via the Gulf Stream from the Barents Sea reach the waters of Røst. By the time the industrial trawlers and all other non-indigenous fishermen have left, the sea gives a few tons of fish on a good day. Only a handful of local fishermen, like Stig Are Jørgensen and his brother Tom Rune, still get up at 4 am and go to sea for a 10-12 hour shift. Their respect for the elements makes them expert judges on where and when to harvest.
Top/left: Tom at work. Top/right: Dried Cod ready for export. Røst has several large galleries where fish is drying. Bottom and next page: Wrestling with cod.
The fisherman’s trade is the first step in a supply chain that powers the local economy. On the island, a couple of merchants provide the Norwegian and international markets with fresh fish, salted or dried cod and stock fish. In the last ten years, the average price per kilo of fish has dropped by 50% and so has the local fleet – only 15 local boats remain in a community that counts 600 inhabitants. Local fishermen and young men of working age in search of higher wages have left the island to join the flourishing Norwegian oil industry. This has led to a general concern that Røst as a community might cease to exist in the near future, as fishing is no longer considered worth the effort.
Previous page/top: Stig with his pet parrot. Previous page/bottom: Tom Runa and Torstein spacing out after a hard days work. Torstein has been a loyal shipmate for over 15 years. Top/left: Feeding time. Top/right: Flight of a seagul taken from shore. Bottom/right: Sea Shags on a rock near VedĂ¸y island on a rainy and very windy day. Bottom/left: Seagulls having a go at the guts of the caught fish.
Røst is renowned for having the largest seabird colonies in Norway and their population trends can be seen as a key indicator for changes in the marine environment. Seabirds depend heavily on specific prey found at sea for their survival and rearing of their young. However, the local sea bird population has dropped. According to the islanders, the main reason is the shortage of small fish due to industrial size trawlers catching fish of all sizes in their massive nets. Vedøy Island provides a graphic display of the impact of overfishing. Twenty years ago, the arena shaped rock face of the mountain rise of Vedøy was a breeding ground for herring gull chicks, and the eerie cries of thousands of birds could be heard as far as Røstlandet. Today, only a tiny fraction of this bird population remains.
Top: Net repairs in Ritaâ€™s workshop. Right: Nets. Bottom: Rita repairing nets.
Michel Petillo is a Brussels/Paris-based photographer. His work is driven personal proximity and social engagement. He has studied documentary photography with the University of Arts London and Magnum Photo. He works as a freelance photographer for the Guardian and is active as a psychologist.
Top: Fishermen boots. Bottom: The Alf-Jens returning to harbour. On a good day the JĂ¸rgensen brothers would catch 10-12 tons of fish. Next page: VedĂ¸y Island.
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The Revival of Global
Nuclear Energy Despite the accident at Japanâ€™s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 and Germanyâ€™s plan to phase-out nuclear by 2022, nuclear energy continues to provide a substantial amount of power to our every-day lives. In some parts of the world, nuclear actually contributes the majority of our power for electricity generation. The debate around what is perhaps the most controversial energy production source arouses many emotions. What follows is an attempt to depict the reality of nuclear energy and what is at stake, for better or worse. Writer: Lubomir Mitev
Today, 31 countries operate 439 nuclear power reactors. 23 of those countries are planning to expand or maintain nuclear in their energy mix, with Russia and SouthEast Asia leading the way in the construction of new power plants. Of the 72 reactors under construction globally, 25 are in China, 9 in Russia and 6 in India. At the same time, 48 reactors remain idle in Japan while they are inspected for compliance with new, stringent safety requirements. The revival of global nuclear energy is a fact. Despite the 2011 accident at Fukushima, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) projects that nuclear power capacity could nearly double by 2030. Why? The world demands low-emissions, constant and uninterrupted power supplies at stable prices. Nuclear energy can provide all three and contribute to energy independence and security as well. Out of Japan’s 48 idle reactors, four have already received permission to restart.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant, says it will have to raise electricity rates unless it can restart two of its reactors at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant. The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry says further electricity price increases will adversely affect small- and medium-sized enterprises in the country. Japan had a positive trade balance (exports exceeded imports) since the 1980s with the exception of a brief period at the end of 2008 when the financial crisis took its toll on the economy. But since the shutdown of
the country’s nuclear reactors in mid-2011, the country has been in the red financially due to the need to import natural gas for power generation. Nuclear power provides electricity at a constant price with little variability. According to a study by the University of Leuven, the price of electricity from nuclear energy can vary by around four euro per megawatt (MW)-hour due to maintenance and fuel costs. In a world where oil prices can fall 50% in six months and supplies of natural gas are used as a bargaining chip in the
France – the country operating 58 nuclear reactors which produce 77% of its electricity – has some of the cheapest power in Europe
battle for geopolitical dominance, this kind of stability is envious. Stable and reliable nuclear reactors in commercial operation in France can supply base-load energy to Germany as it undergoes its transition to renewables, according to a report written in May 2014 by Senator Jean Bizet for the Commission on European Affairs in the French Senate. The report also claims electricity prices in France are on average one-third lower than in other countries in Europe. For example, the average price of electricity in Germany in 2012 was 0.27€ per kilowatt-hour (kWh), while it was 0.14€ per kWh in France. So France – the country operating 58 nuclear reactors which produce 77% of its electricity – has some of the cheapest power in Europe. France’s electricity is cheap and clean. The International Energy Agency’s statistics show that the average carbon dioxide emissions per capita per year were 9.3 tons in Germany compared to 5.5 tons in France, while average annual energy consumption was almost the same at 32 MW per capita in Germany and 29 MW in France. On an average day, France’s nuclear stations generate around 75-80% of the country’s electricity, with another 15% coming from clean hydropower which results in around 95% emissions-free electricity generation.
Domestic Success Attracts Foreign Business Image (left): IAEA fact-finding team leader Mike Weightman examines Reactor Unit 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on 27 May 2011 to assess tsunami damage and study nuclear safety lessons that could be learned from the accident. Source: Greg Webb/IAEA. (right/top): IAEA team leader Juan Carlos Lentijo looks at part of an advanced system that removes radioactive elements from water. Fukushima, Japan, 11 February 2015. Source: Susanna Loof/IAEA. (right/bottom): The IAEA team listens to an interpreted explanation about the function of a purification system that removes almost all radioactive elements from contaminated water during a nine-day review mission of the decommissioning and decontamination works at the Fukushima Daiichi site. Source: Susanna Loof/IAEA.
When nuclear power spread in the 1960s and 1970s, it was mainly developed in North America, Europe and Russia. Now, according to the World Nuclear Association, 16 countries depend on nuclear energy for at least a quarter of their electricity supply, most of them in Europe. However, the sun is setting on the West’s dominance in nuclear power; Asia is rising. The present champion of nuclear energy is China. The Asian mega-country has invested incredible amounts of time and
resources to become a technological leader in nuclear energy. According to the China Nuclear Energy Association, China will surpass South Korea and Russia in terms of installed nuclear capacity in 2016 and will become the world’s fourth largest producer of nuclear electricity. The country already hosts reactors of different types, provided by companies from Canada, the USA, France and Russia. But the most common reactor technology being put into operation in China today is domestic: five CPR-1000 reactor units entered commercial operation
in 2014 and another five are expected to come online in 2015. While concentrating on its domestic market, China keeps looking international. Its development of nuclear technology incorporates elements from the whole supply chain, including manufacturing of nuclear fuel and even a uranium mine in Namibia
being built by China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN). China’s financial (and potentially technological) participation in the UK’s most recent nuclear energy project – Hinkley Point C – as well as its agreements to build reactors in South Africa and Argentina is all proof of the world’s most populous country’s ambitions in nuclear energy.
Nuclear net capacity change in key regions (2013-2040) :
China’s main rival in the global nuclear energy business is Russia. The state nuclear power corporation Rosatom has an iron grip on nuclear fuel supplies to reactors built in Eastern Europe during the time of the Soviet Union. Rosatom is the technology provider for new nuclear plants
in Finland, Belarus, Turkey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh and Vietnam. In 2014, a Russian-built reactor began operation in India and the two countries agreed on the construction of at least 12 more. The government also approved nuclear power project-related loans to Hungary and Armenia. When Russia’s government released plans to build 21 new nuclear reactors domestically by 2030, it was clear that the country would remain committed to atomic energy. 11 of these reactors will replace existing ones which will have to shut down as they come to the end of their lifetime, but 10 are planned for new sites. Russia is also spearheading a program for the development of a new generation of nuclear reactors, called Generation IV, which can reduce nuclear waste generation and which use different materials as a coolant instead of water. In 2014, a 600 MW reactor which uses liquid sodium as a coolant connected to the grid at Beloyarsk.
A Giant’s Demise The future of nuclear energy may still be bright in some countries in Europe but the continent is divided. Germany, Belgium and Switzerland have all decided to abandon nuclear power technology within the next decade. Austria has gone as far as refusing to import nuclear-produced electricity. However, a phase-out of nuclear power does not mean the end of the industry. The decommissioning and dismantling of a nuclear power plant can take years and the operation of a spent fuel repository can continue for as long as 60 years after the shutdown of a reactor. Europe needs to develop robust technical solutions to nuclear waste while keeping the options open for future policy changes, according to a report published in July 2014 by the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) which states that solutions for deep geological disposal of highly-radioactive waste are “essential and
urgent”. In Germany, the government set up a commission of experts to approve a final repository for the waste by 2031 at the latest. The Czech Republic’s Ministry for Environment set a deadline for a repository to enter operation by 2065. ‘Urgency’ seems to have a different meaning in the nuclear industry.
of which are one-of-a-kind and the first to be dismantled. The newcomers like China and India will benefit from the know-how when they reach the same stage after midcentury. By that time we will also know whether the nuclear phase-out has succeeded or not.
The EASAC report (“ManNuclear power provides agement of Spent Nuclear Fuel and its Waste”) also electricity at a constant price says a regular nuclear with little variability reactor’s lifetime spans about 100 years from the beginning of construction to the final disposal of waste in a reposiImage (previous page): Interior view of the control room of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant tory. The first nuclear reactors in the world unit 3. Over 3,000 people continue to work at still in operation came online in the early Chernobyl to monitor nuclear fuel and carry out the decommissioning of the facility. October 2010. 1970s and are reaching the final leg of Source: Dana Sacchetti/IAEA. their lifetime. The USA, the UK and Russia (below): Base of one of the Bugey cooling towers. are in uncharted waters when it comes to (Bugey Nuclear Power Plant, France) decommissioning their old facilities, most Source: Berenger/Sodel.
Conflicting Arguments What makes nuclear power controversial and gives rise to its opposition is the large concentration of toxic material which is specific only to this type of energy source. Radioactivity is a naturally occurring phenomenon but its artificial build-up inside a contained space and its possible release causes fear of a potential accident. In its brief history, the nuclear industry has experienced several accidents, most notably the 1979 partial meltdown at Three Mile Island, the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl and the 2011 Fukushima accidents. There were no deaths at Three Mile Island and the most exposure a single person had was the equivalent of a chest x-ray while around 4,000 people are expected to die as a result of the radiation exposure due to the Chernobyl accident according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report released in 2005. In 2013, the WHO also assessed the risk of elevated cancer as a result of the Fukushima accident, concluding that “the predicted risks are low and no observable increases in cancer rates above baseline rates are anticipated”.
In a recent interview for the International Youth Nuclear Congress news bulletin, Paul Gunter, director of the US-based antinuclear lobby group Beyond Nuclear, said nuclear power is “inherently dangerous” and “exorbitantly expensive” due to the need to put in place multiple safety barriers. Environmental groups such as Greenpeace describe the threat of using spent nuclear fuel for the creation of atomic weapons as one of the biggest problems with nuclear energy. The only way to address these concerns is to trust national regulators and the discretion of the nuclear industry. The IAEA acts as the global UN atomic watch-dog, while groups such as the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and European Nuclear Safety Regulators (ENSREG) have numerous systems of peer-reviews to make sure everyone conforms to the regulations. This has brought experts from numerous countries to visit and inspect nuclear power plants all over the world. The peer-review system was included in the EU’s Nuclear Safety Directive which was amended in 2014.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force in 1970, commits the parties to preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. However, some countries which are developing nuclear energy are not signatories of the Treaty – India, Pakistan and South Africa are all looking to construct numerous nuclear power reactors in their countries without adhering to international non-proliferation standards. Through bilateral agreements with nuclear fuel suppliers, these states have agreed to behave on this issue. For those who do not have the level of faith required to trust the regulators and the industry, the idea of phasing out nuclear energy becomes an ethical imperative. In the aftermath of the Fukushima accident in 2011, the German Ethics Commission on Safe Energy Supply said a total withdrawal from nuclear energy is necessary to rule out risks in principle and that this is possible because less risky alternatives exist. The question now is whether these ‘less risky alternatives’ are sufficient to meet growing energy demand and a reduced supply due to a nuclear phase-out.
Image: IAEA experts depart Unit 4 of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on 17 April 2013 as part of a mission to review Japan's plans to decommission the facility. Source: Greg Webb/IAEA.
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Coastal Cities The migration from rural areas to urban conglomerations has created two mutually-reinforcing trends of increasing concentrations of industries and services around cities while leaving the countryside abandoned and underdeveloped. The industrialization of agriculture has offered a solution to match food production levels with the nutritional needs of ever-increasing urban populations. However, with globalization and climate change, new trends and challenges are emerging. Easy access to commercial and migratory routes has strengthened the growth of coastal cities, both in developed and developing countries. As a result, the share of human population living in coastal areas has increased exponentially and now over 50% of mankind lives in proximity of the seaside or river estuaries. The implications of this trend are important in terms of economic, social and environmental sustainability given the difficulties in managing urban expansion and resource access for millions of people. The intrinsic fragility of these systems exacerbates the vulnerability determined by the territorial location in which the cities are found. Writer: Marcello Cappellazzi
Over the last century, sea levels increased 20 cm and the figure is expected to reach 85 cm by the end of the century.
over 50% of mankind lives in proximity of the seaside or river estuaries 61
Coasts are extremely dynamic and complex geo-morphological systems, exposed to hazardous climatic events. Human activity exerts additional pressure, given its ecological footprint and the urban metabolism that requires energy and materials flow for its survival. The sustainability paradox posed by coastal cities is evident in Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro or Shanghai, where the metropolitan authorities have to face similar challenges related to water resources use, social inequalities and pollution. Vulnerability to climate events and social inequality are strongly intertwined in such systems, since the poorest segments of the population, often living in squatters communities, are located in areas more exposed to hydrogeological risks or in low-lying areas subject to floods and land erosion. For this reason, climate change debate is shifting from a solely scientific measurement of human activitiesâ€™ environmental impact to a more integrated approach addressing social injustice, urban planning and infrastructural investments. The ultimate goal now is to
be prepared for the future challenges that coastal cities will inevitably face. Human and economic catastrophes that have affected metropolitan areas expanding in coastal zones have increased the sense of emergency driving the political initiatives undertaken around the world. Rising sea levels, increased intensity of climatic events and groundwater salinization are common events that are affecting human population living in coastal areas. Public authorities alone lack the capacity to tackle the causes of such phenomena and have no choice but to cope with them and ensure the minimization of economic and human losses. Numerous examples show the importance and the urgency of adopting such measures, both in developed and developing countries. While the implementation of climate change adaptation plans varies considerably, an overarching climate change agenda needs to be implemented. Adaptations of urban infrastructure to maintain citiesâ€™ physical assets need to be integrated in an overall strategy to transform
the concept of urbanization in coastal areas. The following examples are initiatives in the United States, Europe and Asia that depict how coastal communities are preparing for the adverse effects of climate change.
Image (bottom): Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy. Source: Gwenael Piaser/Flickr (right): Along the southern coast of the Netherlands, sediment-laden rivers have created a massive delta of islands and waterways in the gaps between the coastal dunes. After unusually severe spring tides devasted this region in 1953, the Dutch built an elaborate system of dykes, canals, dams, bridges, and locks to hold back the North Sea. This scene was acquired on May 24, 2002, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) aboard NASAâ€™s Terra satellite. This false-color composite was created by combining infrared, near-infrared, and red (ASTER bands 3, 2, and 1) wavelengths. The darker the red shown here, the more densely vegetated the terrain. The light blue-green areas show bare land surface. The North Sea appears black in this scene and trends from dark blue to lighter blue as the seawater carries increasingly more sediment near the surface. Source: USGS EROS Data Center/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Netherlands: Living with Water
The low-lying Netherlands has been fighting back water for more than 1,000 years. The vulnerability of the country is well expressed in its name: the “Low Lands”. Half of its territory is vulnerable to a sea level rise of 1 meter, and large parts of it lie below sea level, making the threat of climate change a pressing issue. Over the last century, sea levels increased 20 cm and the figure is expected to reach 85 cm by the end of the century. The current infrastructure of dykes, dams and dunes is considered inefficient for protecting the fragile coastline and the vast flat lands that were once reclaimed from the sea. The Dutch government is implementing a program for ensuring the effectiveness of water management in case of floods or storms. It has been and will be necessary to create waterways to mitigate the effects
of such disastrous events. One of the key elements identified by this campaign – apart from the €4 billion package approved for infrastructural investments – has been a public awareness campaign to inform and include citizens in the debate. The aim of the campaign is to gain acceptance of the idea that drastic measures are needed and to discuss the consequences. The project is to create a network of waterways to discharge the flux of water in case of flooding and promote the idea that sea defenses cannot prevent the impact that storms may have on the Dutch coastline. The idea of “Living with Water” is a way of accepting the fact that part of the low lands must act as a buffer zone in case of emergency and collect the excess water from the waterways’ network. Flood zones often comprise farmland and the strategy has met the opposition of farmers cultivating in the designated areas. The floods experienced in recent years, resulting from inadequate infrastructure
and dysfunctional emergency operation, have created a favorable environment for public interventions. The success of the campaign promoted by the Dutch government is strongly related to the population’s awareness of the problems and the willingness to prepare for drastic solutions. While farmers give up their lands for the sake of flood management plans, people living in the cities are presented a new concept of urban development. Since upgrading dykes along the major rivers Rhine, Meuse and Ijssel have reached their limits, it is important for cities also to be prepared for overflowing rivers or high tides. Several Dutch companies have experimented with new solutions to face climate change, as well as the limitations to urban expansion imposed in some areas. The idea of creating floating villages in flood areas or directly built on water, promotes the concept of adapting people’s lifestyle as well as construction techniques to live alongside water.
Venice: Acqua Alta
Water is an integral part of Venice’s identity and a key element of its urban landscape. Over the centuries, the city has adapted its lifestyle to cope with high tide, or Acqua Alta, and has accepted the negative economic consequences. Rising sea levels not only flood large parts of the city, but also make it impossible for boats to pass underneath bridges, hindering the delivery of goods and movement of people. Moreover, the exponential growth in the frequency of high tides since the 1900s is putting an increasing stress on the stone foundations of buildings. Maintenance is costly and the saltwater intrusion in the brick above the marble foundations is putting Venice’s architectural treasures at risk. The city’s vulnerability is also exacerbated by the compression of sediments beneath the city and the subsistence brought by groundwater extraction that resulted in ground level lowering more than 10 cm in many areas, especially in the easternmost district. Since 1897, seawater levels increased, making Acqua Alta more frequent and the phenomenon is expected to hit the city
Over the last century, sea levels increased 20 cm and the figure is expected to reach 85 cm by the end of the century. Image (top): Acqua Alta is a phenomenon that occurs mainly between autumn and spring, when the astronomical tides are reinforced by the prevailing seasonal winds which hamper the usual reflux. The main winds involved are the sirocco, which blows northbound along the Adriatic Sea, and the bora, which has a specific local effect due to the shape and location of the Venetian lagoon. Acqua Alta does not last long and often floods San Marco's square. Venice, Italy. Source: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/Flickr (bottom): Acqua Alta. Venice, Italy. Source: Gwenael Piaser / Flickr (right): Boston Harbor, USA. Source: Freaktography / Flickr
more often and with more strength in years to come due to climate change. The city is in the process of realizing a system of underwater barriers to be raised in case of extreme flooding. The MOSE Project is expected to adapt the Venetian Lagoon from flooding and mitigate the damage that could be done from rising water levels. The Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico (Experimental Electromechanical Module) comprises 78 mobile gates which will separate the lagoon from the sea. The proposal dates back to the 1970s, when the Venice Water Authority was entrusted to design and implement the measure to safeguard the city. However, many Venetians are still skeptical of it due to the high costs and the potential environ-
mental risk that its completion may bring. The main problem with the MOSE Project is the amount of money needed to create public infrastructure. The price is estimated at €7 billion and will no doubt increase before the completion of the project in 2016. The concentration of this capital in a public construction project also attracted political corruption. Prosecutors have tracked the transfer of funds to political parties on local, regional and national levels from the contractors of the project. As a result, in June 2014, 35 people, including the Mayor of Venice, have been arrested and assets worth €40 million have been seized during the corruption investigation.
adapting the management of services in case of emergency. However, the City of Boston does not have authority over some critical infrastructures, especially for transport, water management and energy distribution.
Countries and cities are adapting their infrastructure to cope with increasing climate hazards and flooding. Only recently did this topic enter the public debate in cities usually considered safe from such problems. As a coastal city partially built on filled tideland, Boston is vulnerable to storms and climate change due to its exposure to rising sea levels and more intense precipitation. In 2013, the Mayor ordered a Climate Change Preparedness Task Force to be formed with the objective of managing the unavoidable effects of climate change.
The City of Boston decided to rely on the active partnership of residents, businesses and institutions to help prepare the city for climate change. The municipality can derive resources, commitment and authority from this in terms of communication during emergencies, or in the long-term discussion on climate preparedness requirements for individuals and communities. The central theme in this approach is to incorporate long-term considerations of the changing climate into all projects and plans the City undertakes while preparing its citizens for emergency operations.
Climate Change Preparedness
This is a long-term process that will require the cooperation between many of the City’s departments. The Water and Sewer Commission, the Office of Emergency Management, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority are all including the projections of climate change effects in their programs. Actions include maintaining the infrastructure while
Offering preparation resources and informing residents, the strategy reduces the city’s vulnerability to a variety of hazards including power outages, floods, hurricanes and extreme heat. The adaptation of municipal management to climate change also includes initiatives to mitigate its effect.
The Greenovate Boston initiative – with the goal of reducing greenhouse emissions 24% by 2020 – relies on a community driven approach to empower citizens and target the private sector. Alongside the well known risks related to climate change, there exist opportunities, especially for businesses to seize. Apart from the technological opportunities of developing cleaner technologies, there are regulatory and reputational ones that can drive the greening of companies and institutions.
Treating climate change as a purely physical threat to coastal cities will not increase the resilience of their populations.
Mississippi River: Changing Course
Nearly two million people live in Louisiana with the Mississippi River discharging in its delta the hydro-geological catchment and drainage of the central United States. Watershed management – especially in the lower river below New Orleans – is required to meet the navigation and flood control needs of the region. However, structural interventions on the river’s flow have diverted much of the sediment resources for wetland nourishment directly into the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in land losses and salinization of the delta. The degradation of wetlands is threatening both the delta’s ecological and functional characteristics. They have been buffer zones for storms, but now that the delta system is disconnected from the river itself, the area is
left starved for nourishment and its ecosystems are disappearing. The anthropization of the delta is making coastal Louisiana more vulnerable to climate change and sea-level rise. One important initiative currently underway is the “Changing Course” Project, aimed at redesigning the lower river to allow sediment transportation in the delta and at the same time allow navigation and flood management. The climate risks the population is facing add to the impact that wetland losses have on their livelihood, often based on the delta ecosystem. To increase the resilience of the communities to climate change, the social impact of the project will be of crucial importance. There are opportunities for local industrial developments that directly depend on the delta restoration, such as local fishing or tourism. Rebuilding Louisiana’s marshes will bring several new opportunities and will help reduce the region’s vulnerability to hazardous climate events. New Orleans’ exposure to floods directly depends on the water management
schemes implemented to control the Mississippi, but the city’s economic life depends on navigation routes that connect its harbor to the Gulf of Mexico. An operation such as the one envisioned by the “Changing Course” Project initiative will therefore have to take into account the environmental, social and economical impact that climate change adaptation may bring on Southern Louisiana.
Image: Mississippi River Flooding (NASA, International Space Station, 05/12/11). Parts of two states highly impacted by recent flooding of the Mississippi River, are pictured in this International Space Station image featuring an area east of Blytheville, Arkansas, off the right side of the image. Center point coordinates are located at 35.8 degrees north latitude and 89.7 degrees west longitude The areas of Ruckers Place, Tennessee and Tomato, Arkansas are surrounded by water, while Barfield, Arkansas is still dry behind the levee on the right side of the image. North is toward the bottom of the photo. Source: NASA
Integrated Coastal Management As the economic, political and cultural center of Indonesia, Jakarta is the sixth largest metropolitan area in the world with 26 million inhabitants. Being one of the most densely populated areas in South-East Asia, its frequent exposure to flooding and landslides makes the city vulnerable to climate change. Land losses related to rising sea levels constitute a major problem and expose the city’s coast to more severe erosion. An expected rise at a rate of 57 mm per year could submerge more than 150 km2 by 2050. The area facing the Jakarta Bay to the north is home to 1.2 million people living in vulnerable coastal slum communities. In 2013, 90% of the city was flooded, mostly affecting the poorest segment of the population, since residential, upper income communities are protected by a sophisticated drain-
age system. Rather than reducing the city’s vulnerability to climate change, the Jakarta Government opted to create flood channels and connect them to discharge the excess water during emergencies. However, the root problem of floods in the Jakarta municipality cannot be addressed by the local authority alone, since it is related to developments in upstream areas, leaving the capital’s river uncontrolled and degraded. The challenges Jakarta is facing in terms of climate change adaptation and preparedness are not unique. They are developing the concept of “Integrated Coastal Management” to tackle issues related to the Ciliwung River management, created infrastructure to control floods, as well as social programs to relocate people from the slums in the northern district of the city. This objective poses a number of challenges in terms of investment costs and in socio-economic terms. To tackle these problems cities like Jakarta must improve institutional, organizational and
individual capacities for flood management systems. The land limitations that characterize Jakarta, like many other mega-cities worldwide, have an impact on the price of land and unsustainable urbanization. Urban planning and infrastructure need to minimize climate impacts while attempting to increase sustainable development.
Image: The Jakarta Urgent Flood Mitigation Project will involve resettlement of communities and will help ensure that the process adheres to international best practices for the provision of resettlement support. Jakarta, Indonesia. Source: Farhana Asnap / World Bank
New Urbanism Since the 1950s, new towns have been planned and constructed in Japan, leading to the creation of a number of cities in line with the urban model exemplified by its capital Tokyo. This urbanization paradigm has been put under pressure after the catastrophic event of 2011 when a severe earthquake and tsunami hit the north-eastern region of Japan. The response to the destruction anticipated the challenges coastal cities will face in the future. After the 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake, urban planners remain confronted with unprecedented challenges. The dilemma they face is related to the choice between rebuilding or abandoning the cities that have suffered massive devastation. They have adopted a bottom-up approach, based on the cooperation among individuals to support recovery efforts. This has been the case for Sendai, the biggest metropolis in the region,
where a model for disaster prevention is being developed following the lesson learned in 2011. The new “Sendai urbanization model” is based on citizens’ empowerment to define the reconstruction and development strategy for the city. This highlights the importance of rebuilding a community and it supports recovery and sense of belonging for the victims. Relocation of residential areas on higher and safer land is one of the top priorities. In order to reduce the tsunami damage prefectural coastal roads’ heights were raised to act as a breakwater, and disaster prevention forests have been planned. Construction of new houses and the extension of existing ones in areas at high risk of damage are prohibited. The restoration of residential land in the hilly urban district will be financed by the central government and the local Sendai City’s subsidies. Other priorities set by Sendai citizens have been attracting new growth industries in the port area through the implementation of a special reconstruction zone system and the revitalization of agriculture.
The “Sendai model” can inspire coastal city development and adaptation to climate change. The importance of social inclusion and empowerment in the process is crucial to achieve results. The challenges for coastal cities are many and diversified, but a common feature is the unavoidable nature of climate impacts on their population and infrastructure. Treating climate change as a purely physical threat to coastal cities will not increase the resilience of their populations. Avoiding social injustice, raising awareness and acceptance of public intervention is essential in adjusting to the challenges of global warming.
Image: Debris and water covers most of the Sendai Airport, Japan, March 13, 2011, after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the region. Source: U.S. Air Force photo / Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse
Footprints Some artists feel the need and responsibility to raise awareness of environmental and political concerns while others choose to see art and politics as different things altogether preferring not to let activism influence their creative thought process. Common to the seven artists presented here is a particular consciousness of their impact on nature and the environment. As their art often crosses disciplines and is informed by science and specific knowledge we witness a greater awareness of natural phenomena and more acute and surprising observation. Whether we choose to call these works environmental/ land/earth art, social performance, or other, most importantly, behind each of these endeavors are human beings who, in their own ways, pay homage with their practice, to nature. In a world already replete by man-made products some artists are questioning the art object and fighting to give value to the experience. This is art that relies more on the act and intention, and the ephemeral traces it leaves behind, rather than on physical artifacts. Writer: Filipa Rosa
“I like to unfold my work into large immersive experiences, however I prefer that it live on in its documentation only, and – hopefully – in the memories of my audiences.” – Sonja Hinrichsen
"We are the Water" - Snow Drawing Project, 2014. Colorado, USA.
This project was part of a seminar in the Rocky Mountains about water issues in Colorado and the western United States. Approximately 50 volunteers worked with Sonja Hinrichsen to create an artistic rendering of the water drainage system of the Routt County Yampa River segment on a frozen reservoir lake – created by a dam on that same river. Entering the lake from 4 different locations along the shoreline, the snowshoe performers indicated the 4 main tributaries and would then congregate in the center of the lake to “flow” through the former river valley in commemoration of the course of the original river. While flowing as
one body of water, each performer – like an individual drop of water – was asked to take into consideration how water moves, how it can be fast or slow, take a straight course or meander, bump up against rocks, whirl around obstacles, linger in puddles or race down rapids. With her ephemeral snow drawings project, the artist highlights the beauty of nature so often underestimated in our society. She invites people to engage and connect differently with the landscape around them. Rather than being driven by the usual perspective of consumption, they embark in an immersive and contemplative playfull activity.
About the artist: German-born Sonja Hinrichsen examines urban and natural landscapes often addressing subjects that society tends to neglect such as adverse human impacts to the natural environment. Although she wants her work and the issues it raises to last in the audience minds, she does not feel the need to produce material objects and prefers to work with the ephemeral qualities of performance. As she puts it: “our world is over-saturated with man-made products”. www.sonja-hinrichsen.com Images (pp.70-72): “We are the Water”. Snow Drawing Project, 2014. Colorado, USA. Source: Sonja Hinrichsen.
“Carbon Sink” - University of Wyoming campus, Laramie, USA. 2011.
Due to warmer winters, the pine beetle proliferates and causes the death of forests from New Mexico to British Columbia. This piece was made from coal and from logs of pine trees killed by this beetle arranged in a swirl suggesting a sucking motion inwards. Commissioned as part of the University of Wyoming Art Museum sculpture program, this artwork overtly pointed at the link between climate warming, the coal and oil industry and deforestation. One year after its creation, the work was removed due to widespread controversy and the heated debate it caused between the University and energy officials. Rich in both coal and
oil, everyone in the State of Wyoming benefits from the taxes levied on these energy companies, including the University. Some considered the university’s choice of a permanent artwork for its campus lawn, as a “stab in the back” and there were threats of cutting fossil-fuel-derived financing to the university. This led the university to remove the work but a new controversy grew in its place: how effective and powerful can lobbying and the private industry be over political officials and educational bodies? How much can artistic censorship on a university campus be tolerated?
About the artist: Chris Drury makes site-specific nature based sculpture as well as indoor installations, works on paper, digital and video art. Often collaborating with scientists and technicians from a broad spectrum of disciplines, the artist’s work draws attention to the way we abuse our environments. Over the past decade or more, Chris Drury has been working with clinicians to make links between systems in the body and systems on the planet. www.chrisdrury.co.uk Images: “Carbon Sink” - Drawings and work installation at the University of Wyoming campus, Laramie, USA. 2011. Source: Chris Drury.
Steven Siegel “Hill and Valley” - Lincoln, Montana, 2014. 13 tons of paper, 28 lodge poles, nails.
Built by a few dozen volunteers, Hill and Valley is a community project and the largest paper work of its kind. Mimicking a type of natural geological formation, over 13 tons of newspaper are layered and stacked between 28 lodge poles. Similar to a natural cycle, paper, (used to convey daily news) produced from trees harvested from the forest is brought back to the forest and left there to be exposed to the elements. Through a long process of decay, the newspapers will darken, discolor, transform and melt into each other only to very gradually
dissolve back into earth and participate in the birth of new plants and trees. Once important facts and history were printed in these pieces of paper but next to the prevailance of matter the temporal quality of human culture and life assumes a whole different and more modest dimension.
About the artist: New York-based Steven Siegel is mainly known for his environmental art using recycled materials. His work revolves around his interest in geology and the concept of ‘deep time’. The human life scale versus the scale of geological time reveals something in the order of the sublime and is the origin of great inspiration. His work touches on ecological concerns but he likes to stress that his first intent is not to make statements and he prefers to keep art and politics separate. www.stevensiegel.net Images: “Hill and Valley” - installation views. Lincoln, Montana, 2014. Source: Steven Siegel.
“I began trying to somehow act as nature rather than interpret it. Sedimentation in part seemed to be the most accessible thing to emulate.” – Steven Siegel
Brandon Ballengée “Love Motel for Insects: Lough Boora Variation”. Black Ultra-violet lights, wood, fabric, invited insects. Lough Boora, Ireland, 2010.
Part of an ongoing series, this outdoor installation uses ultra-violet lights on large canvases to attract insects and create an opportunity for human interaction with nocturnal arthropods. At each location, the Love Motels become the backdrop for community events, such as picnics, biodiversity festivals, graffiti jams, political rallies, scientific investigations, musical events and even insect film screenings. The first installment of this work in Central America in 2001 attracted numerous species of moths, beetles, caddisflies, ants, lacewings and other arthropods. Female moths released chemical phero-
mones to attract mates and consequently “painted” the impromptu piece. Fascinated and inspired by this initial experience, further Love Motels for Insects have been made in tandem to public nocturnal field trips around the world. To date, versions of the project have featured on boats in Venice (Italy), peat bogs in Lough Boora (Ireland), isolated moors overlooking Loch Ness (Scotland), bustling shopping malls in Delhi (India), outside Aztec ruins (Mexico), inner-city bus stops in New Haven (USA), roof tops in London (England), temperate forest mountain-sides (South Korea), Louisiana Bayous (USA) and others.
About the artist: Brandon Ballengée is an american visual artist, biologist and environmental activist. His practice crisscrosses from the field of art to that of research science. Triggered by an impetus for “ecosystem activism” he instigates participatory biology field investigations and laboratory programs that stress public involvement. He prefers his work to take the form of organic structures that reflect the inherent chaos found within evolutionary processes, biological systems and nature. www.brandonballengee.com Images: “Love Motel for Insects: Lough Boora Variation”. Lough Boora, Ireland, 2010. Source: Kevin O’Dwyer / Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY
Diana Lynn Thompson "To Hold You In My Hands". 2011, The Point Gallery, Denver, USA.
The need to represent nature as faithfully as possible is anchored in the history of art. In this work Diana produces an artifact impressively similar to its natural model and places it in the same context as its real counterpart. With this gesture full of simplicity and modesty, the cultural act seems to be untraceable. It’s value and necessity is in the intimacy of the action. There is (almost) nothing there for us to see. And the beauty lies just there: in the poetics of unusefulness. In a rather ironic ecological gesture, Diana tries to nullify her presence and her footprint wherever she passes. “I've made thousands of stones. Most have been given to beaches or favourite places, or to friends.” About the artist: Diana Lynn Thompson is a Canadian environmental artist working with natural objects and materials. Her interventions are documented through video and photography before they are undone by her or by nature. In the 1980’s, Diana worked as a park naturalist and botanical illustrator. Biology and scientific methodology are a considerable influence in her artwork.
Mikael Hansen "Organic Highway". Tickon, Langeland, Denmark, 1995.
Neighbor to one of the biggest motorway intersections in Denmark and to the forestation project “Vestskoven”, Mikael is deeply aware and influenced by landscape. Arranging 1,200 tree trucks and spreading them in a 60 meter long line across the forest, Hansen playfully juggles with the concept of highway. This is a highway that cuts through the forest; an “Organic Highway”. – What does it mean? Does it change over time? – Maybe some things can not be organic even if we decide to call them as such… About the artist: Danish painter, sculptor and installation artist, Mikael Hansen has made land art and worked in public spaces since 1983. Hansen uses the forest as his private laboratory and one of the main sources of inspiration. His works grow within the forest and sometimes they lead to permanent public sculptures. www.mikael-hansen.dk Image: “Organic Highway”. Tickon, Langeland, Denmark, 1995. Source: Mikael Hansen.
www.dianathompson.net Image (top): “To hold you in my hands” Green Stones. The Point Gallery, Denver, USA. 2011. Source: Diana Lynn Thompson.
Martin Hill and Philippa Jones “Ice Circle”, 600mm height. Lake Wanaka, New Zealand, 2007. “Aoraki Ice Circle”, 900mm height. Mueller Ridge, Mt. Cook National Park, New Zealand, 2006.
Made out of ice, these sculptures could hardly be more ephemeral but before they melt, the artists take a photograph of their singular and fleeting existence creating a lasting and reproducible object and a persistent sense of beauty. This dichotomy is all the more interesting as other elements come to sustain it within the work. For example; the aesthetics of the sphere and circular shapes, as opposed to more dis-
orderly shapes in the natural landscape; the search for a particular point of view that freezes rationality, this particularly human feature that most obviously contrasts with nature. Humanity, its reason, sensibilities and its cultural production are all very well present in the work, but the artist makes a point to do it in such way that almost all of it returns to earth, leaving as few traces as possible.
About the artists: UK born artist Martin Hill has worked, since 1992, in collaboration with Philippa Jones making ‘environmental sculptures in nature that return to nature’. Photographs are all that remain of the sculptures. This is the way the artists want to use to connect with nature and participate in the transition that is underway towards a more sustainable circular economy that emulates the way nature works. www.martin-hill.com Images (top): “Ice Circle”, 2007. Lake Wanaka, New Zealand. (bottom): “Aoraki Ice Circle”, 2006. Mueller Ridge, Mt. Cook National Park, New Zealand. Source: Martin Hill.
“I learned that the most fundamental difference between our industrial system and that of nature is that ours is linear and nature’s is cyclical” – Martin Hill
RUN WITH REVOLVE On 22 March 2015, Revolve will run in the Rome marathon to raise funds for FGAR’s work in Togo. Learn more about what FGAR does in this exclusive Q&A with Florence Quist, co-founder and president of FGAR.
Help Revolve support FGAR! Following our successful fund-raiser this fall that went to Education for Sustainability (E4S)’s work in India, we invite you to participate in helping us make a positive impact in Togo. All donations are tax deductible after 30€ and go entirely to managing the FGAR residence and to sponsoring scholarships for the education of more girls:
G A R race
FGAR BANK NUMBER: FR76 4183 9000 3650 9274 6901 091 BIC/SWIFT: BDAFGPGXXXX REFERENCE: REVOLVE FGAR TOGO
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What does FGAR mean? FGAR stands for the “Foundation Grace Abra Raven”. Grace Abra Raven is my grandmother’s name and this project is directly inspired from her and what she did during her life. My grandmother lived (she passed away in 1999) in a village called Tomebge, which is located in Togo, close to the border of Ghana (south western area). She used to take in students from the nearby college (CEG) and help them in their schooling as well as provide them with a place to stay during the week if they lived far away from the village. You have to know that some students have to walk a great distance to and from school every day. On top of that, they do not have at the college at home good working conditions: they lack books… there is no electricity, not enough food, etc.
When was FGAR created? FGAR was created in 2000, following my trip to Togo for the one year memorial ceremony in honor of my grandmother. The whole family participates in this association and this is our way to pay respect to her memory. At first, our actions were limited to collecting books for the college from different secondary schools around Martinique (where my parents live). As the project gained momentum, we created and registered the foundation officially in France and in Togo.
cially the seniors); 3) put together some learning workshops in order to teach graduating students that cannot pursue their studies technical skills. Of course, all those actions are in line with our will to promote girls education.
What have you achieved, concretely? We have done quite a few things since 14 years. We have sent 2 containers filled with secondary school books from Martinique. In addition to books, we have also provided the college with maps, microscopes, sports equipment and other materials. We have permitted the college to receive electricity, first with a generator and then by hooking the college to the power network. This was a very important step and helped increase a lot the study conditions, as it allowed students to study at night (night falls around 5-6 pm in Togo). It also allowed us to provide professors with a computer and a printer, which helps them in the preparation of their classes.
What are the main objectives?
In addition to this material help, we have reinforced the teaching personnel by paying the salary of an extra professor, as there are not enough teachers. To help senior students and their families, we have provided a 15 euros/year scholarship to all senior students. This scholarship helps them pay their tuition fees and a few school supplies. Ever since these simple actions have gone into effect we have noticed improvements in the success rate at exams.
The main objective of FGAR is education, and in particular, education for girls. Indeed, only 30% of the girls that start secondary school actually finish it. This is due to a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is purely economical and if there is a choice between educating a boy versus educating a girl in a family, the boy will very often be the priority.
In the past years, we had also instituted a scholarship system for the 10 best senior students in order for them to attend to high school and university. Out of all the students we helped, three went on to get a master’s degree, one got into the school for Army officials and one became a teacher, after obtaining his bachelor’s degree.
We have several different actions: 1) increase the teaching capacities of the college; 2) give students the ideal conditions to obtain their secondary degree (espe-
We also finished building a “Foyer de Jeunes Filles” (a girl’s residence). The construction of this home was financed entirely through funds collected from fam-
ily members and the generous donations of our friends. This is an important part of our project. It will provide girls with ideal working and learning conditions as it is equipped with a well-furnished library and study room. It will also give the residing girls an experience with community life. The foyer was inaugurated in 2014 and has been operating since September 2014. Twelve girls have been selected to be the first interns. In addition to providing good study conditions, we will also regularly organize workshops and conferences. The first one was given in November 2014 by two German volunteers in Togo, who talked about where they were from, what they studied and what their ambitions are. These workshops should help broaden the student’s perspectives and give them tools for their future life.
What are your plans for FGAR? This is the first year that our Foyer will be open. Our short-term goals are therefore to get it running properly. Apart from that, we would like to increase our support for the education of girls. We would therefore like to offer all the girls from the college a 15 euros/year scholarship, so that financial reasons do not interfere with their education. Finally, we would like to set up a learning shop inside the Foyer that could provide an apprenticeship to the female students. This would provide girls some technical skills and will help them find a job, even if they do not pursue their studies beyond secondary school.
How can we help? You can help in two main ways: give donations, either books or other school materials or give money that will go in to the funding of the foyer. You can contact us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to give you all the necessary info. All material and funds go directly into the daily management of the residence.
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