Climate Change Antarctica Not Just Ice and Ocean WORLD ENVIRONMENT MAGAZINE
Brazil Water Woes, Climate Change and Security
White No 13 / FALL/WINTER 2014/2015
CONTENTS Climate Change
4... Contributors The People who Made this Issue
14... The Deeper Shades of White
6... Foreword Cathy Chami Tyan
54...How we Passively Observe and Actively Support the Fastest LargeScale Destruction of all Times
76... Bullet Proof Art From War to Love, a Visual Recycling of the Ugly into the Beautiful
126... A Journey through Paradise Unspoiled Beaches of the World
Around the World in Photos
8... About our Cover Artist Thierry Mangin
Water Woes, Climate Change and Security
40... Apiculture in Lebanon
10... BookReviews The Books we Love to Read 12... BookReviews Focus
Global Warming, Unbridled Development and Hazardous Agricultural Practices Affecting Bees and Beekeepers
48... DustDuino on the Move
60...Into the Deep Why 21st Century Governance is Needed on the High Seas 68...Colossal Find in Antarctica Mythical High Seas Squid Found Frozen in Antarctica 72...Antarctica Not Just Ice and Ocean
81... Myanmar Green Economy 106... Uniting Private Investments Conservation Projects
164...Beirut Bikeathon 2014 A Great Success 166...Agenda 168...URL page
120... Sustainable Architectural Solutions Boosting a Country's Economy
Photography Thierry Mangin
Chairperson, Andrea Tucci, email@example.com. Editorial Director, Cathy Chami Tyan, firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Project Coordinator, Mona Samari, email@example.com Editing, Nathalie Rosa Bucher Concept & Design, RAIDY | www.raidy.com Photography, Afif Abi Chedid, Bkerzay Project, BLOOM, Bob Zuur, Diego Fernandez Gabaldon, Jihad Chanehsaz, John Weller, KZ Architects, Sebastian Copeland, SOILS Permaculture Association Lebanon, World Environment Magazine, Sales and Advertisements, Vanessa AbdelAhad, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Informations, firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions, Subscription@worldenvironment.tv, P.O.Box 1396 Beit Mery, Lebanon Printing, RAIDY | www.raidy.com Publisher, World Environment Group Copyright, The articles become part of the magazine’s archives. Further publishings on other issues must be authorized by the editor following the author’s consent ISSN 17379229
WORLD ENVIRONMENT MAGAZINE’s policy is to use papers that are wood free, renewable, recyclable and from sustainable sources. In addition, all waste is sent for recycling. WORLD ENVIRONMENT MAGAZINE is available online at www.worldenvironment.tv 2
CONTRIBUTORS Sebastian Copeland Sebastian Copeland is an award-winning photographer, explorer, author, and environmental activist. Sebastian has led expeditions across the Arctic Sea, Greenland and Antarctica, covering over 8,000 kilometers on skis over the ice and earning four world records in the process. An international speaker on the climate crisis for more than a decade, Sebastian has addressed audiences at the UN, at universities and museums worldwide, and many Fortune 500 companies, warning of the systemic transformations taking place in the polar regions due to anthropogenic activities, and their geopolitical consequences. Sebastian has been noted as a photographer “who has produced works that are of outstanding artistic merit and communicates messages of urgent global significance." Sebastian sits on the board of directors of President Gorbachev’s Global Green USA.
William Shubert is the Senior Project Coordinator for Internews' Earth Journalism Network. As a coordinator of a global network of environmental journalists, William helps make tools that enable people to connect with each other, find material support, and amplify their local stories to global audiences. In his previous position at National Geographic Magazine, he coordinated translations for the magazine's 32 local language partners. He holds a degree in geography from Humboldt State University with concentrations in cartography, environmental economics, and Chinese studies. Outside of work, he devotes his time to the development of a free school dedicated to community building through education and to collaborative mapping and audio projects.
Nathalie Rosa Bucher is a features writer with a passion for the seventh art, a keen interest in culture and mobility, as well as social and environmental subjects. Half French, half German by origin possibly explains why she is drawn to divided countries and diverse societies: she called Cape Town in South Africa home for over a decade before coming to Beirut. 4
Mona Samari Originally Tunisian, and born in London, Mona comes from a human rights and environment protection background, with over ten years' experience as a campaigns and communications professional. Over the years, Mona has worked on a number of human rights campaigns with a special focus on access to information, freedom of expression and whistleblower protection. As part of the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan, Mona worked on the release of imprisoned Azeri journalist Eynulla Fattulayev, who was awarded the 2012 UNESCO Press Freedom Prize. More recently, Mona established the Middle East Office of ARTICLE 19 in Tunisia and organized workshops for journalists in rural areas of Tunisia on how to guarantee freedom of expression in the new constitution. In addition to human rights work, Mona has been working on major marine conservation campaigns since 2007, with a special focus on commercial endangered species conservation in European waters and more recently, Antarctic ocean conservation campaigns. Mona was further more involved in the launch of the Arab Youth Climate Movement in 2012. In her spare time, she curates art exhibitions in London.
Steve Campbell is the Campaign Director for the Antarctic Ocean Alliance. He has nearly 20 years’ experience in environmental and social change campaigning. Steve has worked for Greenpeace in Australia, Papua New Guinea, China, Indonesia, Europe and the Pacific, as well as working for numerous grass roots organizations in Australia. Steve holds an honors degree in law from Macquarie University, Sydney.
John Weller is a critically acclaimed photographer, writer and filmmaker whose work ranges from shark protection in Micronesia to Ross Sea (Antarctica) conservation. Weller has been a SeaWeb Fellow since 2005 and was named a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation in 2009. His library of Ross Sea photographs has been used by conservation organizations all over the world, published in dozens of magazines and publications, including National Geographic; and showcased at the 2009 and 2011 Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings. Weller also produced a short film, which was a finalist in the 2010 Blue Ocean Festival.
Bob Zuur is a marine biologist and a Marine Advocate for WWF-NZ (Worldwide Fund for Nature). In 1977 he spent three months in a tent on the ice near White Island, south of Scott Base, studying the growth of fish living under the ice. Ever since, he’s wanted to champion and protect this magical and precious place. He’s worked with the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation, Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Fisheries. This included work on the effects of fishing on marine mammals and seabirds, Antarctic policy, and heady stuff such as climate change and oceans governance. His current work with WWF focuses on fisheries, offshore oil exploration and seabed mining, and on increasing protected areas in our marine environment. Bob is a skilled nature and event photographer and is a passionate windsurfer and motorcyclist.
Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, United States Navy (Retired) Oliver-Leighton Barrett is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Climate and Security, where he focuses on the impacts of environmental degradation and climate change on the stability and security of states and populations, with an emphasis on Latin America. He is also the founder of Janus Advisory Inc., a company that provides advisory services to federal agencies. Most recently, he led a multiauthor effort to draft the Pentagon’s Environmental and Energy Issues for Militaries report – a collaborative multinational assessment of the impacts of climate change on Latin American and Caribbean militaries’ operations and installations. A retired naval officer, Oliver began his military career as an enlisted U.S. Marine deploying to Somalia in support of humanitarian assistance operations, and later, flew reconnaissance missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He worked as an advisor to U.S. Southern Command for six years managing partner nation public-private cooperation outreach efforts, technology programs as well as environmental and energy security initiatives. Oliver is also a Contributing Writer for Foreign Policy Association, with published articles on fragile states, environmental security and emerging diplomacy and defense issues. He resides in Miami, Florida.
Diego Fernandez Gabaldon is a humanitarian worker with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. He has served in Darfur, Sudan (2004 - 2007), West Timor, Indonesia (2008), Afghanistan (2010 – 2011) and Kenya (2011). While living in communities devastated by tragedy, Diego gathered images of the day-today life of Darfurians, West Timorese and Afghans, capturing their beauty, resilience and humanity. Born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, Diego is an economist by profession, and worked with the Spanish Embassies in Iraq and Thailand, before joining WFP. Diego’s pictures can be found at: www.diegofgphoto.net
Sherine Boueiz is a dynamic international professional with a keen interest in wellbeing and a passion for nature. A psychologist by profession, she has worked for multinationals in the United Kingdom and in the Middle East on various corporate communications projects, such as Corporate Social Responsibility and development. She is also devoted to activities involving health and relaxation therapies, like TaijiQuan or natural treatments, all with the aim of improving the quality of life.
Mariejoe J. Raidy Growing up in a region known for political upheaval and uncertainty, Mariejoe advocates doing business in the MENA region in a way that is environmentally responsible and ethically driven. As partner in Raidy Printing Group, she spearheaded an effort to adopt innovative, ecofriendly printing techniques while maintaining their leading position in High Quality Security Printing, Publications Printing, Packaging and Commercial Printing. Mariejoe has also partnered with Creative Lounges, a branding and new media agency operating from Europe around the world, and has also helped them become a green company while growing their portfolio in the MENA region. Working with the American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce, she helped create the “Better Business Group” in Beirut, which encourages Lebanese individuals and corporations to adhere to a code of business ethics. Mariejoe is also the Head of the Communication Committee of the Lebanese League of Women in Business – a network hub of the MENA Businesswomen’s Network, and Child of Lebanon, an NGO for the protection of Children in Lebanon. 5
Melting icebergs, animals losing their natural habitats, a depleting ozone layer, and global warming are but some of the problems associated with the degradation of the environment. Once again, World Environment (WE) Magazine brings you a series of articles about Antarctica to mark the fourth year in which the marine protected areas are up for discussion at the annual Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting in Hobart, Australia. WE Magazine hopes that the members of the commission will finally be able to reach consensus and grant protection to the Ross Sea and East Antarctica. When WE first started publishing, management of the high seas was still a topic only discussed within the closed circles of negotiation rooms – today, the issue of management of the high seas is finally receiving the attention it deserves, with an upcoming United Nations (UN) meeting. Mona Samari’s article and Claire Nouvian’s organization BLOOM give us an in depth analysis on the harm caused to the high seas by overfishing and climate change. In this edition we share with you snapshots of works produced by two critically acclaimed photographers, writers, and filmmakers: John Weller and Sebastian Copeland. World renowned polar explorer and activist, Sebastian Copeland provided us with an exclusive story on his experience in Antarctica, and the effects of climate change on this remote, but fragile part of the world. Sebastian's feature contains a unique selection of some of the incredible photographic art works he has produced and which have contributed to bringing this remote icy continent to the forefront of international attention. Furthermore, our section dedicated to Green Economy highlights the business leaders of conservation leaving their mark on our geographical map. It portrays noteworthy examples of successful sustainable development and ecological solutions to the loss of cultural heritage, ecosystems and biodiversity. Finally, through the eyes of an amazing photographer, Diego Fernandez Gabaldon, we take you on a colorful photographic journey of Myanmar and to the most beautiful preserved beaches of the world. All the articles you will find are examples of growing excellence in ecology, slowly but surely shaping our environment. - Cathy Chami Tyan, Chief editor 6
ABOUT OUR COVER ARTIST
Thierry Mangin was born in Noumea in 1975 and is still living in New Caledonia. Mangin became a visual artist in 1992 and first exhibited in 1993 at the Cadr'in gallery in Noumea, subsequently taking part in numerous group exhibitions. Porcelain painting, drawing, watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting were the first techniques he used to express his art through, depicting futuristic and cosmic Caledonian landscapes, inviting the spectator to dream. He exhibited a series of oil paintings, futuristic visions of New Caledonia, entitled "Sauver le Passé pour le Futur” (Saving the Past for the Future) in 1997. He adapts his art to a more contemporary form around 2007. In 2010 he participates in the event "Tomber Les Murs” (Bringing Down The Walls), a group exhibition in Noumea, paying tribute to the fall of the Berlin Wall. He subsequently participates in group exhibitions with photographic work as well as calls for proposals at the Noumea Art Centre "Art et Subversion” (Art and Subversion) and Ko Neva at the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre for "l’Art est un Sport de Combat” (Art is a Form of Martial Arts) and "la Culture en Harmonie avec la Nature” (Culture in Harmony with Nature). The artist has a deep interest in the natural environment that surrounds us. Committed citizen and artist that he is, his creativity is intimately intertwined with the urban and the natural environment, to the individual in contemporary society and to spirituality he loves through his work pushing the limits of freedom of expression.
Mangin won the first prize for the New Caledonia Congress greeting card award in late 2010, shortly after the Melanesian Arts Festival exhibition "Quai des Arts". The techniques used in his works include acrylic, oil on canvas, painting on translucent sheet, linocuts, installations, painting photographs, clay sculptures, murals and photographs and he has become well-known by the Caledonian Institutions through the subjects and the themes covered in the many group and solo exhibitions in which he participates. GET STUPID, his latest solo exhibition was held in 2012 and a great success with the Caledonian Institutions and
the public. The Southern Province acquires works for its collection, the Mayor of Noumea does the same and the Congress of the New Caledonia Territory acquired the centerpiece of the exhibition: a large format canvas depicting primeval forest. In 2013, Mangin was selected for a project called "Festival des Arts Pays” (Arts Country Festival) initiated by the government of New Caledonia. He exhibited four works presenting four culinary identities of four ethnic groups in the Territory of New Caledonia. This first edition of the “Festival des Arts Pays” had "Culture and Citizenship, Living Identities,
Shifting Identities" as a theme and its objective was to rally the people of the whole country around a unifying cultural project. The idea was, as part of the festival, to discuss the concepts of citizenship and identity in order to explore the concept of a common destiny. He also participated in several group exhibitions including two related to violence against women, the respect for nature and the rehabilitation of former mining sites where Nickel used to be mined. In 2014, the artist emphasized youth and promising young artists in several communities of New Caledonia in a project called "Je Suis Une Ame
d’Expression Massive”(I Am A Soul Of Massive Expression); a traveling exhibition that highlights the messages of the youth and their vision of contemporary Caledonian society. He furthermore participated in the group exhibition "Noumea 2174" organized by the City of Noumea on the occasion of its 160th anniversary, exhibiting two large photographs that are presented in this issue of World Environment magazine: Thierry is also an artistic and cultural youth caseworker . Passing on his artistic know how is part of the approach taken by this committed artist. 9
BOOKREVIEWS New Media in New Europe-Asia Edited by Jeremy Morris, Natalya Rulyova, Vlad Strukov
Urban Sustainability in Theory and Practice Circles of sustainability
This volume offers an in-depth investigation of the role of new media in the political, social and cultural life in the region of Europe-Asia. By focusing on new media, which is understood primarily as internetenabled networked social practice, the book puts forward a political and cultural redefinition of the region which is determined by the recognition of the diversity of new media uses in the countries included in the study.
The Environmental Design Pocketbook 2nd Edition By Sofie Pelsmakers
By Paul James
Urban Sustainability in Theory and Practice responds to the crises of sustainability in the world today by going back to basics. It makes four major contributions to thinking about and acting upon cities. It provides a means of reflexivity learning about urban sustainability in the process of working practically for positive social development and projected change.
The Environmental Design Pocketbook second edition places the information you need for sustainable, low energy building design at your fingertips.
Nationalism, Ethnicity and Boundaries
Conceptualising and understanding identity through boundary approaches
Edited by Henrik Bodker, Irene Neverla
Environmental journalism is an increasingly significant area for study within the broader field of journalism studies. It connects the concerns of politics, science, business, culture, society and the natural world whilst also exploring the boundaries between the local, regional and global.
Edited by Jennifer Jackson, Lina Molokotos-Liederman
This book analyses geographical and physical borders as well as symbolic, political and socio-economic boundaries, and how they impact upon nationalism and ethnic identity.
Arab Spring and Arab Women Challenges and opportunities Edited by Muhamad S. Olimat
The main thesis of the book is that while Arab women were an integral part of the revolutionary efforts within the Arab Spring paradigm, they did not benefit from their sacrifices. Although they continue to be part of the process of change, their gains, rights and scope for participation are still limited. Arab women are an indispensable pillar in the process of reform, development, peace and stability in the Middle East.
BOOKREVIEWS/FOCUS NATIVE TREES OF LEBANON AND NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES A Guidebook for Professionals & Amateurs by Elsa Sattout & Hala Zahreddine
The book provides a comprehensive study of the 68 tree species found in Lebanon and the Eastern Mediterranean region. It is an important resource for biodiversity academics and enthusiasts alike. Along with rich color photographs, the book introduces forests and people in the Eastern Mediterranean context. It compiles detailed information for each species including a botanical description, information on ecology and conservation status, and propagation methods along with the flowering and fruiting season for each tree. It also features a foreword by Vernon H. Heywood, Professor Emeritus, University of Reading and President of the International Association of Botanic Gardens. The book encourages the protection and growth of native tree species, promoting their use in home gardens, parks, public gardens, streetscapes along with reforestation projects.
"The good news is, we have everything we need now to respond to the challenge of global warming. We have all the technologies we need, more are being developed.... But we should not wait, we cannot wait, we must not wait." - Al Gore
CLIMATE CHANGE Magazine The Deeper Shades of White ....................................................14 By Sebastian Copeland
Brazil ...........................................................34 By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett
Apiculture in Lebanon ................40 By Nathalie Rosa Bucher
DustDuino on the Move .........................................48 By William Shubert, Sara Peterson & Becky Schroeder
Text & Photos By Sebastian Copeland
Photo by Keith Heger
Sebastian stands at 90N degrees, the Geographical North Pole 16
Climate Change Eventually it would seem, everyone who travels there is forced to ponder the same questions: Who am I, and why am I here?
have spent a significant part of my life traveling the largest bodies of ice in the world on foot. With 8,000 kilometers under my skis, I have fallen through the sea ice into the Arctic sea, I have been beaten by gales, blinded by total white outs—and everything in between. On Antarctica alone, I spent 82 days on skis and kites, crossing 4,000 km of its frigid plateau with no outside help. The temperatures rarely warmed beyond 35C below outside of wind chill. In the winter, these will regularly drop below minus 80C. Aside from its location at the Earth’s southernmost latitudes, what makes Antarctica so cold is its elevation. Ascending the glacier on the way to the plateau, the dry cold air hits you in the face like a fist of needles. Amidst the crevasse fields, the vertical mountain peaks that pierce through the ice on their way to the sky make for a dramatic and spectacular backdrop. But it won’t last. Those peaks are gasping for air: they are fighting a losing battle with the mammoth ice sheet that soon buries them the higher you climb. And after that there is nothing, just endless white space. Away from the coasts, Antarctica is but a flat desert. There are no food sources, and there is no life. No smells, no significant features, no contrails overhead, and no sounds but for those left by the wind on the
ice and the sky. When the white clouds overtake the terrain and the winds shut off entirely, all that is left is a frigid void. No detail on the ground, no horizon to level your eyes and separate dimensions, and a silence that will pierce your eardrum while booming your heart. A whiteout on Antarctica feels like being lost inside an eggshell. With nothing but sky and frozen matter for months, at an average elevation of 12,000 feet, the ice, to the casual observer, may look like a tedious sheet of white. The visual monotony can seem underwhelming. But I can honestly say that no two days ever look alike. An ice sheet is a powerful entity, alive and dynamic. The Antarctic ice is up to 3 million years old, its mass constantly and unperceptively moving, finally calving to the sea. Deep in the heart of the continent, the only features are the variations in cloud cover, and those left by the wind on the ice, they provide Antarctica its unique visual identity. The sun’s low angle combined with a stripped down color spectrum creates monochromatic displays of hard cold light and shadows. High on the plateau, the ice will occasionally take on systematic patterns aligned with the dominant katabatic winds. The carved shapes, called sastrugi, can reach two meters high on Antarctica, sculpted one particle at a time by the violent winds. For the most part, the interior is an endlessly
mangled field of hard ice. Short of riding a rocket to outer space, Antarctica is the closest you’ll get to visit another world. In 1909, Sir Ernest Shackleton had reached what was then the farthest south. By 1911 and 1912 respectively, Amundsen and Scott famously attained 90 degrees latitude south. Since then, countless explorers have been drawn to this land of superlatives attempting to leave their mark. All have experienced to varying degrees the very same feeling that overwhelmed these polar heroes when they set foot on the polar plateau: no other place makes you feel smaller and more alone than Antarctica. Surprisingly, considering today’s technology, the continent retains many of the mysteries it held one hundred years ago. In the age of global positioning systems and scientific breakthroughs, Antarctica remains the least explored landmass in the world. In 2012, giant subterranean lakes where first explored two miles below its surface, revealing up to 15 million year old secrets. While ice cores are now telling stories of the Earth’s atmosphere during the last 1.5 million years. Given its isolation from environmental disturbance (sound, pollution) scientists at the South Pole Station can make fair measurements of carbon concentration in the atmosphere. They also have the ❮ 17
Sastrugi are shapes sculpted by the powerful Antarctic winds
Sastrugi will take on shapes aligned with the dominant winds
cleanest natural terrestrial lab for neutrino studies. I visited the program there and I felt that I had walked into a Star Trek episode. But Antarctica remains a polarizing and confusing natural phenomenon giving fodder to opinion makers and season tickets to climate deniers. Changes taking place there reflect
the complex non-linear patterns of the Earth and its natural variabilities, commensurate with a landmass one and a half time greater than the US. What happens in East Antarctica does not reflect its western half anymore than climate events in Florida relate to those in Washington State. Some areas of Antarctica have
Sastrugi head, sculpted one particle at a time, can reach two meters in Antarctica
80 miles per hour winds on the ice sheet
Pulling 400 lbs up the glacier in East Antarctica is like pulling a house uphill!
In minus 60C windchill, the ice is hard as wood on the Antarctica plateau
consistently shown a cooling trend while others see some of the fastest warming anywhere on the globe. Those contradictions have occasionally stumped the science
community, but were enough to vindicate skeptics in disproving climate change. More often than not, the conclusions are disconnected from the issue. Take the sea ice
extent: an increase has been notedâ€”minute but persistentâ€”for the last few years. This phenomenon, which bears little consequence on the general state of Antarctica, is â?Ž 23
Stormy weather in West Antarctica
Climate Change The experiences I bring back tell the story of a changing environment which, the more I think of it, looks a lot like us: defiant, fragile and fleeting.
Dead clam on the Antarctic Peninsula, an area warming five times faster than global average
confusing the media and leaves the science community slightly perplexed. It is generally thought that a shift in wind and ocean current behavior is likely to be the cause. It should be said that Antarctica doubles in size every winter and, per usual, just about 100% of its sea ice melts entirely in the summer cycle. This qualifies the relatively negligible impact of this increase on the continent (or the globe) from a climate perspective. The seasonal Antarctica sea ice bears little resemblance to its northern perennial counterpart: the former has no role in reflecting sunlight since its extent develops in the Austral winter’s dark months, when sun is non existent. In the north, the year round sea ice, which has lost over 35% of its extent in the last 15 years—not to speak of its loss in thickness—is responsible for reflecting incident light and heat radiation from the sun with its surface in the summer months. This helps regulate the global average temperature at around 14C degrees (57.2F) and rising. The slight increase in sea ice in the south does in no way balance the deficit in the north. More confusing still is the increased accumulation in some areas high on the Antarctica plateau, and even cooling in some sectors. While scientists suggest that this may result from warming trends in the coastal regions leading to added evaporation and further precipitation (following a
traditional hydrological cycle), some are quick to seize on the opportunity with a “gotcha” strategy to stir up a debate. In reality, there is no debate anymore than you fight science with opinions. Additionally, beside the peninsula’s record warming trend (1F degree per decade over the last 50 years), 2014 saw the most alarming study released by NASA focusing on West Antarctica and its impact on global ocean rise. Long term monitoring of the Pine and Thwaites glaciers have revealed glacial loss to the sea from below the surface given the melting at the glaciers’ grounding line from deep warm ocean currents. The accelerated incidence of calving events is believed to result from the warming of ocean temperatures reaching West Antarctica. NASA has unprecedentedly qualified these events as “unstoppable” given the downward geological slopping under these glaciers. The resulting melt is expected to raise global sea levels by four feet within the next one to two centuries. This new finding adds to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s projection of one to three feet by 2100. These numbers do not factor the exponential feedback on the East Antarctica and Greenland glaciers in. But they are enough to flood the South East Asian delta, responsible for 50% percent of global rice production. The melt of the West Antarctic glaciers gives a first ❮ 27
Climate Change The time I spent in the extreme latitudes gave me a deeper perspective of the subtle variations taking place at the hands of climate change, and the future we face as a species. If you want to know what will happen to the world in 30 to 50 years, you need look no further than the poles.
The crew of the Lady Patagonia on an iceberg in the Gerlach Strait (2006) — in association with John Quigley
glimpse of what scientists have cautioned could lead to runaway global warning, and the food shortages that this will entail. In other words, we’re in for a wild ride. And there is no plan B. I have often been asked what appeal lies in spending months in isolation in this harsh desert. While there is no simple response, the best I can come up with is to seek a clearer and more profound understanding of the self. When traveling in a place so antagonistic to human life, you’d be surprised by the answers that come from questions you had not sought to ask. Eventually it would seem, everyone there is forced to ponder the same questions: Who am I, and why am I here? In the white stark vastness of the great South, answers come easier because there aren’t as many places to hide. The time I spent in the extreme latitudes gave me a deeper perspective of the subtle variations taking place at the hands of climate change, and the future we face as a species. If you want to know what will happen to the world in 30 to 50 years, you need look no further than the poles. The experiences I bring back tell the story of a changing environment which, the more I think of it, looks a lot like us: defiant, ❮ 29
Ice pancakes announce the oncoming of the winter freeze on the peninsula
Sebastian and Eric McNair-Landry stand at the Antarctica Pole of Inaccessibility Dec 27, 2011, the farthest point from any coast
Short of riding a rocket to outer space, Antarctica is the closest you’ll get to visit another world. 32
fragile and fleeting. The breakdown of the West Antarctic glaciers serves to remind us that powerful and gigantic though the ice is, it remains as vulnerable and ephemeral as we are. High on the plateau however, Antarctica is quick to point out that we
are no more enduring than the 30 million species inhabiting this Earth: the ice was there long before all of us, and will remain long after we’re gone. Isn’t it time our attitudes should reflect that reality before it is cold-heartedly taken away from us?
By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett
Water Woes, Climate Change and Security In restaurants across South America’s largest and most populous city, São Paolo, customers are being served drinks and meals on plastic cups and plates. The reason? A severe shortage of clean water, exacerbated by drought, means there’s no water for washing dishes. A burgeoning urban population and the effects of climate change are likely to exacerbate Brazil’s water woes. And given Brazil’s evolving role on the international stage, as an agricultural giant and a standard-bearer for a group of emerging economies, this will have both domestic and international security implications.
Amazon river, birds eye view 35
Houses in the favelas, São Paulo, Brazil
Poor mud house in Brazil
Water Shortages in São Paulo In July 2014, Brazil’s Public Ministry, a federal regulatory agency, recommended that São Paulo state begin rationing water immediately. According to the Los Angeles Times, the government rang the alarm in late 36
July when its study of the crisis indicated that “the Sistema Cantareira could go totally dry in less than 100 days.” The Cantareira System is the primary source of water for almost nine million people, approximately half of the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo (MRSP).
The Brazilian government has invested heavily in waste water treatment in recent years, and has implemented innovative programs, such as one that directs funds collected from water consumers to pay farmers that protect riparian forests. But the combined impacts of
reservoir pollution, water line leakage, flooding, and inefficient water use practices, exacerbated by a persistent dry spell, has the MRSP — the seventh most populous urban area in the world – on edge.
Water Woes Throughout the Country But São Paulo is not alone. The 2011 Urban Water Supply Atlas estimates that the regions that supply 73% of the country’s water needs could face shortages over the next decade. Already over 140 Brazilian cities have implemented water rationing during the worst drought in over twenty years, with some neighbourhoods only receiving water once every three days. The affected cities represent approximately six million people, the majority of whom are employed in the agriculture industry. In addition to potential crop failures, the disruption to the work life and health of agricultural workers could significantly impact the country’s food supply. Further, Brazil is the world’s leading exporter of soybeans, coffee, orange juice, sugar and beef, so these water stresses can also have a marked impact on the global food market.
Climate Change and Urbanization Climate change and urbanization multiply the threat to Brazil’s water supply. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its most recent assessment of the South American region projects that under varying emissions scenarios, substantial warming in temperature extremes can be expected by the end of the 21st century. The panel’s ❮ 37
research further forecasts the likelihood that the length, frequency and/or intensity of heat waves will experience a “large increase” over most of South America. The cause of the increasing episodes of heat waves in the region is principally decreased rainfall and/or increased evapotranspiration in Amazonia and North East Brazil. The IPCC also cites the urbanization process in the MRSP as having affected the local climate, and that the intensification of the heat island effect (i.e. built up areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas), may be responsible for the 2°C warming detected in the city during the last 50 years. By 2100, climate projections based on data from 1933-2010 show an expected warming between 2-3°C in São Paulo alone. Lamentably, this regional warming trend appears likely to only be exasperated by a magnified heat island effect as Brazilian megacities’ populations increase markedly. When one considers that São Paulo’s urban area is projected to increase by 38% by 2030, the potential water security and food security challenges become increasingly acute.
Government Responses It is difficult to predict if Brazil’s federal and state responses to this vexing crisis will be sufficient to arrest an emerging human security freefall. Thus far, this protracted instance of water stress seems to have deepened distrust in the government’s ability to provide essential security. After all, access to a clean and reliable water supply is a foundational block of human security, and it is hard to see Brazilians not blaming government corruption and ineptitude as causal factors for the crisis (particularly in the context of recent unrest precipitated 38
by concerns over government fraud, waste and abuse surrounding the country’s hosting of the World Cup). To date, there have been no large “water protests.” However, just last year and only a few hundred miles south, a neighbouring capital city was gripped by street protests due
to similar conditions. Residents of Buenos Aires, Argentina took to the streets en masse to express their anger at the government for the rolling black outs and water shortages across the capital, due to a tenacious and protracted heat wave.
Not Just a Regional Issue When a country the size of Brazil, the most populous and economically consequential nation in South America, faces protracted water stress, with implications for both water and food security, it will
have ripple effects across the globe. In this context, elevating water stress and climate change on the international agenda (including the security agenda) should be a key priority for both Brazil, and the broader international community.
S達o Paolo city, Brazil
By Nathalie Rosa Bucher
Apiculture in Lebanon Global Warming, Unbridled Development and Hazardous Agricultural Practices Affecting Bees and Beekeepers Beekeeping has a longstanding tradition in Lebanon and albeit being faced with a number of challenges, beekeepers remain committed to and passionate about their craft. Apicultures are coastal, mid-altitude and mountain-based. Some beekeepers have been keeping bees for generations, for some it is a transformative experience.
Bassam Khawand leading a beekeeping workshop in Saydoun
Amateurs, with between one and 50 hives, selling honey mostly to friends and family, are in the majority, compared to professional beekeepers with thousands of hives, selling their produce locally and internationally. “To be a beekeeper one needs to love the environment, the beekeeper is a friend of the environment,” Afif Abi Chedid, a professional beekeeper put forward. “One also needs to learn many things about bees and from the bees. Bees are highly organized, one needs to adapt to bees.” According to Saydoun-based beekeeper Bassam Khawand (Caza Jezzine), there are around 6000 beekeepers in Lebanon and little academic research focuses on them. Only few keep records of their stocks, their yields – the total yields in Lebanon amount to between 18,000 and 20,000 tons of honey a year – or environmental conditions and climate patterns.
The Effects of Global Warming Khawand who switched from electronic science to beekeeping in 2010 sees himself as a caretaker, taking care of nature and of his bees. Asked how his bees were at the end of a dry summer, Khawand explained that he had 130 hives earlier this year but had lost 30, conceding that losses were normal but this year’s exceeded the norm. “The cycle of the flowers has not been the same, many shifts and shocks occurred for the bees this year. The wild flowers and orange trees blossomed for much shorter,” Khawand put forward. “This year the rain levels have been too low and the plants have been affected too much by this,” he added. As a result there have been
many problems with diseases and a lack of pollen, essential to feed baby bees and the primary source of protein for the hive, and nectar. A queen usually lays 2000 eggs a day. With no nectar and the shortage of water they feel compelled to stop producing eggs, which lead to a reduction in size of the hive, effectively putting it at risk. “It has been a very bad year,” Jack Kaddoum concurred. The inhalation therapist for patients undergoing open-heart operations, and owner of a medical devices company spends his weekends with his bees in Kafar (Caza Jbeil). “This year became so hard – during summer we went to our hives to put water to save our bees, to keep them in the hives as the nearest water source was 5km away and they might get lost or stray if they fly more than 5km.” “I usually get between 10-15kg per hive, this year I got 6-7kg,” Kaddoum who owns 100 hives, said. Bees usually have shorter life spans due to an intense workload at this time of the year – each worker bee flies on average an astounding 2000 sorties daily during summer. “I checked to make sure there were no bacteria or it was not due to emigration – this is global warming and it caused a problem with reproduction and a loss of 20-30 per cent of my bees.” Kaddoum reported. “Little rain and snow meant that the flowers dried out by August – one month and a half earlier than usual – leaving the bees weak without pollen,” Abi Chedid explained. “To prevent the bees from dying without pollen, I fed them protein.” “Beekeepers should keep a record, and look into ways to find solutions instead of buying new hives to ensure high yields. It would be important to take a scientific approach instead as
beekeeping becomes more difficult,” Kaddoum observed. Kaddoum, who only keeps local bees and does not move his hives, is critical of some widespread beekeeping practices. “In order to avoid bees from dying, they get moved. But this results in a honey mix as nectar from orange blossoms, oak and other sources get mixed. The flavors differ and the orange honey tends to crystallize in winter.” Kaddoum prefers harvesting pure honey and while counting his losses in terms of bees that will die by staying at mid-altitude, those he retains are resilient. Abi Chedid whose company is based in nearby Jeddayel (Caza Jbeil) is one of the country’s biggest beekeepers with an annual output of 40,00050,000kg, extracting on average 33kg per hive over the past decade. His hives are all over Lebanon, some between 2000 and 2300 meters high to harvest mountain honey. “I moved them from the mountain to the south now, the winter is very cold up on the mountain, which is not good for the bees. Even though the cold in Lebanon is different from Europe’s. Humidity is very bad for bees, which is why beekeepers transport their hives to the sea, where there is little rain, the temperatures are mild and bees can harvest.” Due to the wide range of elevation and the westerly winds, Lebanon has an extraordinarily varied climate and is rich in flora, with over 3,000 species. This region holds unique and rare bio-geographic zones characterized by a high level of biodiversity and endemism. According to Lebanon Flora, a local preservation project, Lebanon’s flora is a result of the congruence of many floristic-geographic elements that live today in many diversified landscapes. ❮ 43
Moving their hives to the coast, and also to higher altitudes, beekeepers obtain a variety of honeys namely orange, oak and mountain honey, which is very dark and contains thistle and pine tree. Khawand and Abi Chedid’s honeybees are exposed to different flora down by the coast where there is, besides the orange blossom, the sea squill flower. Between 700 and 2200 meters thyme, sage, wild flowers and thistles render very good honey.
Hazardous Agricultural Practices and Unbridled Development “Over the past two years, orange trees have been cut and banana trees are planted instead, though they need six times more water than orange trees,” Khawand has noticed. “The entire coast was previously full of orange trees but coastal development and the war in Syria has effectively reduced the orange groves. The war has cut the orange farmers off their markets, resulting in production exceeding local demand and the shift to bananas,” he continued. “We have a big problem with pesticides. Unlike in Europe, our bees feed on wild flowers so there are no issues with GMOs. But we do have a problem with pesticides, you move your hives when the farmers spray, especially in the orange groves,” Abi Chedid added. The impact of (bad) agricultural practices goes beyond the coastal areas, according to Abi Chedid: “It is not uncommon for farmers to use chemicals and to double or even triple the recommended dosage. Or they use chemical cocktails to spray on their plants. Various products are banned in Europe and the US but are 44
exported to and used here in Lebanon.” The beekeeper has also observed that wherever trees are cut down, ground covers and flowers rapidly disappear too, accelerating environmental degradation and depriving bees of food sources. In some instances though, beekeepers themselves adopt dangerous practices. Tetracycline for instance is an antibiotic that is applied to honeybee colonies to prevent a bacterial disease called foulbrood. “It stays in the hive and goes into the honey,” Kaddoum explained. The Ministry of Health forbids its usage but there is no monitoring system in place.” In their article Antibiotic, Pesticide, and Microbial Contaminants of Honey: Human Health Hazards published in the Scientific World Journal, Noori al-Waili, Khelod Salom, Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, and Mohammad Javed-Ansari highlight that pesticide residues cause genetic mutations and cellular degradation and presence of antibiotics might increase resistant human or animal's pathogens. “Many cases of infant botulisms have been attributed to contaminated honey. Honey may be very toxic when produced from certain plants. Ingestion of honey without knowing its source and safety might be problematic. Honey should be labeled to explore its origin, composition, and clear statement that it is free from contaminants.” In France, tetracycline residues were detected in honey after a treatment in hives, indicating their persistence and diffusion into the apiary. These results showed that tetracycline must be used with precaution in honey production. Kaddoum points to a traditional method where wooden
beehives are preserved in a cold area in summer given that bacteria proliferate in the heat and with sugar. “I put them in a cold chamber below 18 degrees.”
Diversity Just like Lebanon’s climate and flora, its honey is highly diverse from one region to another and the scales of apicultures significantly vary too. Kaddoum applies some of the artisanal methods learnt from his parents and grandparents and backs these up by specialised and academic literature. Abi Chedid keeps a mix of bees (apis mellifera ligustica known as Italian bee) and the local bee (apis mellifera syriaca) and conducts artificial insemination and queen rearing, the only one to do so in Lebanon. Unlike Khawand and Kaddoum, he changes his queens annually. ❮
Afif Abi Chedid busy inseminating bees. The images reflect the panoply of beekeeping practices in Lebanon
Abi Chedid gives demonstrations at schools and heads a program for USAID, for which he runs training courses with beekeepers in Jezzine, Azour, Beirut and Byblos every month, explaining how to protect the hives, the process of winterization, preparing the hives to render honey, what to do at what time of the year, and provides guidelines for good beekeeping practices.
How to buy honey • Color: when it is dark it contains enzymes and nectar. • It should not be too runny. • It should not be sold in a jar mixed with nuts or fruits. • You should open the honey and smell it and it should be odourless. (If you can’t open the jar, buy a small jar first in the supermarket to check it). • When you taste it and swallow it you should taste something tasty not sugary in your throat and that taste should linger for two minutes.
Bees are not only essential for our survival, but hold a great potential for rural development in Lebanon. Khawand is part of SOILS Permaculture Association Lebanon, a non-governmental organization he co-founded with Rita Khawand, Alexis Baghdadi and Jihad Chanehsaz that offers activities that consist in teaching, training and sharing skills and resources related to sustainable and environment-friendly practices. Khawand regularly runs beekeeping workshops in Saydoun. Together with Rita Khawand and Baghdadi, he was recently awarded the first prize at the Lebanese Sustainable Development competition organized by Leba Association for its project AFEER (Beehive), an educational facility to be established in Saydoun offering different activities and products related to bees and nature.
Abi Chedid furthermore is vice president of Apis Lebanon and attends the Apimondia (International Federation of Beekeepers' Associations) congresses. Given that the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture is not a member, Abi Chedid attends as an individual. He welcomes the impending establishment of a Lebanese Beekeepers’ Union. “It will be very good to work as a group; I’ve always been on my own,” he stated. Kaddoum hopes that the structure will be representing beekeepers and put in place guidelines. “There is a lack of knowledge, much education and awareness raising needs to be done for beekeepers and the public,” Kaddoum said. The significance of apiculture and the potential a unified, representative body holds for beekeepers will however only really be of consequence if the relevant government departments will come on board to ensure that legal frameworks and guidelines are not only issued but implemented and monitored and support is provided to deal with overarching issues affecting other departments such as agriculture tourism, trade and industry, health, urban planning and rural development.
By William Shubert, Sara Peterson, & Becky Schroeder Earth Journalism Network
DustDuino on the Move
Have you ever wondered if holding your breath when a cloud of black smoke billows out a truck’s tailpipe is a healthy idea?
It’s probably not a bad idea, but you might be doing less than you think: the most harmful pollutant to human health is not one that can be seen by the naked eye. Though fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, is invisible, its effects are evident across the world. PM2.5 is one of the greatest risk factors for premature death—it accounts for over 3.2 million deaths annually—and it, along with tobacco smoke and asbestos, is classified as a Group 1 pollutant by the World Health Organization, meaning that it is known to cause cancer. Recognizing the health burden posed by these kinds of air pollutants and the importance of identifying those areas that pose greater risks, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network has worked with scientists and hardware developers to develop DustDuino, an air quality monitor that uses low-cost, open source 50
technologies to measure concentrations of particulate matter in the air. It then uses WiFi and Xively to transmit and store the data in a user-friendly format to a computer or smartphone. A study of the low-cost DustDuino found that the device yields results that are comparable to those produced by more expensive monitors when analyzing data at hourly intervals, indicating that the device could greatly contribute to data collection. While the device was designed for use at home or in the office, Clara Rondonuwu (the project manager of the Indonesian GeoJournalism site Ekuatorial.com) recently made some modifications to the prototype to equip the device for mobile use. Clara’s concept for the mobile DustDuino was inspired by the work presented by researcher Josh Apte at a sensor journalism training carried
The Public Lab post by DustDuino designer Matt Schroyer has suggestions for mobile power sources as well as a more detailed explanation of each step. The mobile sensor's utility and potential applications are greatly increased without having to worry about staying within range of a WiFi connection and power source. Clara experimented with mobile data collection while driving around in a car through Jakarta’s notoriously bad traffic but these modifications also make it easier to use DustDuino in places away from a power outlet like parks, the countryside, or near industrial operations anywhere with a 3G cellular network and a potential air quality issue. If you plan on experimenting in a similar way, maps of 3G coverage can be found on the MobileWorldLive website.
out by EJN in May 2014. Most traditional evaluations of air quality use a few high-quality sensors to model exposure over large areas. While these methods accurately measure the overall air quality of a city, or ambient air, Apte felt that these measures didn’t give the full story – missing out on what types and levels of pollutants people actually breathe as they go about their daily activities in various parts of the city. This UC Berkeley Lab post describes how Apte took to the streets of New Delhi to study the spatial patterns of air quality throughout the city and identify areas that are disproportionately affected by air pollutants. After attaching a video camera and a GPS to an autorickshaw, along with sensors that measured the levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon and ultrafine particles—three pollutants that are among the most dangerous to human health—Apte drove the vehicle through the streets and highways of Delhi for four 52
consecutive months during the morning and evening rush hours. Apte’s results highlighted an issue that most commuters had a feeling was true. The concentrations of all three pollutants were significantly higher on the roads than in the ambient air, indicating that air quality is disproportionately poor in these areas. Apte summarized his research by stating that “one’s exposure during a daily commute by auto-rickshaw in Delhi is as least as large as full-day exposures experienced by urban residents of many high income countries.” Mobile DustDuino monitors—when combined with other tools like video and GPS—may be used to identify micro-environments in which pollutant levels are disproportionately high. While one sensor alone doesn’t necessarily create a large enough dataset to give actionable results, once potential hotspots are identified, a greater number of static sensors can be used to monitor the air quality in the targeted area.
From Office Desktop to Car Dashboard: Configuring a mobile DustDuino Clara’s conversion of the low-cost DustDuino from a static to a mobile monitor required three steps and allows DustDuino to broadcast data wherever a cellular mobile network is available. The first step was to create a mobile hotspot, by using a smart phone or tablet which has this capability or purchasing mobile WiFi. Second, the WiFi module within DustDuino must be configured to connect to this mobile wireless network. Finally, a portable power source must be found for the sensor. That's all it takes to get this dust sensor on the road.
"I am the Ocean. I am water. I am most of this planet. I shaped it, every stream, every cloud and every rain drop, It all comes back to me. One way or another every living thing needs me. I am the source…But, humans they take more than their share. They poison me then they expect me to feed them…If nature isn’t kept healthy humans won’t survive.” -Nature is Speaking, Harrison Ford is the Ocean Conservation International
BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT OF THE HIGH SEAS
Magazine How we Passively Observe and Actively Support the Fastest Large-Scale Destruction of all Times ...................................................54 By BLOOM
Into the Deep ......................................60 By Mona Samari
Colossal Find in Antarctica .........................................68 By Mona Samari
Antarctica: Not Just Ice and Ocean..............................................72 By Steve Campbell
How we Passively Observe and Actively Support the Fastest Large-Scale Destruction of all Times Deep in the ocean, in a dark, cold and food-deprived environment, life is thriving. More than one thousand meters under the surface, a diversity of animals is endowed with adaptations to their environment that stand beyond anything our brain can handle. In this harsh environment, deepwater coral reefs thousands of years old and sponge beds coexist, along with a "freak show" of fascinating creatures such as jewel squids (Histioteuthis Heteropsis), dumbo octopuses (Stauroteuthis Syrtensis), predatory copepods (Paraeuchaeta Barbata) or common fangtooths (Anoplogaster Cornuta).
Once in a while though, in this ecosystem we still have so much to learn about, comes a gigantic net wiping off almost everything. Imagine if you were to obliterate Yellowstone National Park with bulldozers in the interest of retrieving a few choice morsels to sell. Yes, such blatant breach of life on Earth does occur. It is called deep-sea bottom trawling. The precious target is not the little “freak show” above-mentioned, nor deep-sea corals, nor the sponges. All of these are actually of little commercial interest, yet end up in the net with the targeted deep-sea fauna: armourhead, oreo, alfonsino, blue ling, black scabbardfish, orange roughy and grenadier, to name but a few of these bottom-dwellers. These fleshy creatures are prime candidates for the boneless white fish fillets that consumers demand, and all sold to rich industrialized countries. While this might already seem surreal to you, we want to emphasize that 54
there is a scientific consensus on how utterly unsustainable and destructive deep-sea bottom trawling is. Interactions between trawlers and deep-sea habitats are not incidental or rare. We are not against fishing. But we strongly oppose the shortsighted exploitation of non-renewable resources. “The Deep” is considered the largest reservoir of biodiversity on Earth. All deep-sea fish have a long lifespan – they can live commonly 60 years of age – and their reproduction rates are extremely low, which make them extremely vulnerable to overfishing. No one knows how often deep-sea fish breed or how successful they are at it, all we know is that they reach sexual maturity extremely late and produce far fewer eggs than their shallow-water counterparts. Their habitat is highly fragile, too. First, wherever there is hard substrate, there are corals.
Radiocarbon techniques have recently re-calculated the age of some deepwater corals at more than 4,000 years, making them the planet’s oldest living animals. Uprooting corals with trawlnets and dumping them off the side of the ship as ocean waste is akin to exhuming Egyptian mummies and disposing of them as trash. It is a crime. Wherever trawlers pass, they remove 98 to 100 percent of what is on the seafloor: sponges and corals, of course, but also all sorts of animals: octopuses, brittle stars, crustaceans, sea lilies, sea pens and worms, along with all the tubes, burrows, dens and other structures these animals may have built for themselves. University of Hawaii Professor Les Watling reminds us that attention must also be paid to sediments and not just to coral reefs and sponge beds, as 90 percent of marine biodiversity is located in the sediment. “Think of the seafloor as a DNA bank,” he says, “or
Biodiversity Management of the High Seas
as the library of Alexandria. Are you sure you want to burn two books out of three, randomly?” The passage of a trawler transforms this truly complex, three-dimensional habitat into a muddy soup in which animals are no longer able to lay the foundation for life. Sediments follow a complex infrastructure, just like a city but only on a different, much smaller scale. Lacking vital shelter and supplies, survivors of deep-sea trawling don’t stand any chance of survival. It is also worth noting that this oceanocide is occurring during the sixth mass extinction, the most severe life crisis our planet has gone through in the past 500 million years. The rate at which animals are going extinct, due to the actions of man, is 100 to 1000 times faster than any similar background event. Why do we perpetrate such a massive destruction? Fishing fleets first hunted close-to-shore populations. Drastically. Once the resource was gone, they moved to deeper waters and diversified their targets to maintain high production rates. What are the arguments to justify this ocean genocide? The creation of thousands of jobs, seafood exports to countries with staggering poverty? Reality-check: The deep-sea trawling fleet comprises only 285 boats in the world and deep-sea catches account for no more than 0.3 percent of all fish caught on the high seas (waters beyond national jurisdiction). Catches that are sold entirely to industrialized countries... Furthermore, this fleet benefits from oil subsidies and makes a few private corporations (fewer than 50 around the world) profitable. Tax money that goes to plunder the resources of our ocean in the most insane manner is
estimated at US$126 million worldwide. And without public aid, most of those ships would be operating at a loss. The silent slaughter goes on for the increased profit of a few. That diverted use of public money without the explicit consent of taxpayers constitutes an environmental “odious debt” that will eternally shame governments that failed to put a halt to deep-sea bottom fishing once the scientific evidence had been made available. Why don’t these fishing nations (ten countries in the world are accountable for 80 percent of all activity) disengage from such a small industry? We will all suffer equally from the mass destruction of our oceans. If the ten main bottom-trawling nations continue to act contrary to scientific evidence and common sense, can’t the other 180 or so nations at the UN just impose a ban on deep-sea bottom trawling? In 2012, European Maritime Affairs Commissioner Maria Damanaki released a proposal to ban deepsea bottom trawling in the NorthEast Atlantic. As they had no valid arguments to oppose, industrial fishing representatives panicked and used the dirtiest tactics to fight back. Lies, threats, infiltration, conspiracy theory, defamation of NGOs were part of their intense lobbying. In December 2013, the European Members of Parliament voted and eventually rejected the ban of deepsea bottom trawling. In October 2014, the European Commission just proposed an overall cut in quotas for deep-sea fishing in the North-East Atlantic for the next two years, while environmental groups claim that some catch limits should be reduced to zero to allow stocks to recover. ❮ 57
Nations are currently fighting tooth and nail at the UN about the governance of biodiversity in the High Seas. But at the current exploitation rate of deep-sea living resources, by the time they find an agreement (the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea took 15 years to negotiate and another 12 to be ratified), there will be no biodiversity left to fight over. How much more will have to be lost before societies starts suing companies for environmental crimes? What we must urgently do as consumers and citizens is to remove all types of deep-sea fish, once and for all, from our menus. We must put forward a global citizens’ petition before the United Nations General Assembly calling for the entirety of the High Seas to be set aside as a Marine Protected Area. Any fishing operation seeking to tap the free-for-all resources in the High Seas would be obligated to produce a scientifically sound management plan demonstrating that its activities would not jeopardize the future of the planet, nor infringe upon other nations’ interests. At minimum, every government implicated in this dirty business should seek public approval for their use of public money by means of a referendum. We started this struggle to protect the most vulnerable marine species and habitats from the most destructive and unsustainable fishing methods, but we found out that for some individuals there is no depth that they would not sink in to defend an exploitation model that citizens refuse and that economics and science blame. It changed the profound nature of our commitment: today we fight against lies. Finally what we want to blow to pieces is the toxic trilogy occurring between governments, private industries and the State science as they despise citizens and devastate our faith in democracy. 58
About Bloom Founded by Claire Nouvian in 2005, BLOOM is a non-profit organization which works to protect the oceans through a process of raising awareness and explaining environmental problems using scientific mediation, by producing relevant and independent scientific studies, as well as by participating in public consultations and institutional processes. Our actions target both political and economic decision-makers, as well as the general public. BLOOM’s vision is to raise a voice against the current degradation of the oceans by proving that dedicated action can reverse the course of environmental and human tragedy. BLOOM gives a voice to the voiceless and aims to ensure that humanity has a future, where children have food and fishermen have jobs, by restoring ocean ecosystems to their full biological capacity. BLOOM has made the strategic choice to remain small and to focus its energy and expertise on a few urgently-needed actions: Preserving the last intact marine environment: the deep sea, Safeguarding endangered species, by fighting the indifference towards the extinction of the oldest fish on our planet: sharks, Ensuring the survival of fishermen, particularly through work on the issue of public subsidies to the fishing sector. We do not believe in a “single magical action” that would allow us to solve the problems described above. This is why our objectives are channeled into four areas of strategic action; each area interacts with each other to enhance their chances of success, visibility and effectiveness.
Biodiversity Management of the High Seas
By Mona Samari
Into the Deep Why 21st Century Governance is Needed on the High Seas Countdown Starts for Crucial Year of the Ocean Two thirds of the world’s oceans are high seas – areas beyond the 200 mile Economic Exclusion Zones (EEZs) of individual states. Covering nearly half the planet, the high seas is considered as the last great global commons on Earth, yet it is neither as pristine nor as immune to human threats as was once believed. Our future and that of the oceans is intertwined. Respecting and protecting the high seas continues to be one of the most pressing challenges of our time, but will governments decide on adapting the Law of the Seas to match 21st century reality?
Whale in the Ross Sea Photo by John Weller
It is fair to say that we know more about the dark side of the moon than we do about our oceans and indeed, more people have journeyed to outer space than have ventured into the deep sea – but today’s technology is enabling us to uncover more about its inky depths. In recent decades, marine scientists have revealed previously unimaginable biodiversity ❮ 61
“The UN Law of the Sea was a great achievement, but we urgently need a governance framework that delivers its aims and objectives for today’s global ocean.” -David Miliband, co-chair of the Global Ocean Commission
in our oceans, and scores of new millions more species are yet to be discovered. We now know that the vast majority of oceanic creatures live in close proximity to the seabed, that there are more species of deep cold water corals than their glamorous tropical counterparts, and that there are tens of thousands of seamount ranges hosting an extraordinary variety of life – from whales and turtles to exotic sponges and alienlike organisms. The vast open ocean has long been the inspiration from which myths and legends are born and perpetrated through the ages and civilisations. Wondrous sea creatures were drawn by cartographers to mark the unknown waters of the world and it remains a vast and largely unexplored area of our planet to this day. Every scientific expedition into the depths of the high seas uncovers new and often endemic species. Nautilus Live recently discovered a previously unknown siphonophore, a creature of stunning appearance, which is actually a colony of zooids travelling as one being across the seabed of the deep ocean. These vast open ocean and deepsea environments are the leastexplored areas left on Earth, but we know that they are among the most ecologically vital, critically threatened 62
and least protected. Only 0.0001% of the deep-seafloor has so far been the subject of biological investigation. Incredibly, a paltry 0.79% of the high seas is currently granted protection, compared with 12% of land areas, and it is yet to benefit from the existence of an international organization or agreement to govern its use or conservation. Humankind’s eternal quest for mastery of the high seas as exemplified in the second choral ode of Sophocles’ Antigone (lines 332-338), humankind’s quest for governance of the open ocean has long been considered totemic of human skill and achievement: “Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man. This power spans the sea, even when it surges white before the gales of the south-wind, and makes a path under swells that threaten to engulf him.” The conservation and sustainable management of the high seas lags far behind that of coastal waters and although this has long been an issue, it was only the Rio+20 Conference in 2012 which finally addressed the issue and committed the international community to agree to negotiate a high seas protection agreement under the Law of the Sea ❮
Orca mother and calf, Northern Ross Sea Photo by Bob Zuur
Diver with Seal Photo by John Weller
Biodiversity Management of the High Seas
The cold, dark inky depths of the ocean are home to biodiversity richer than a tropical rainforest, the extent and potential of which we are barely beginning to grasp.
Convention (UNCLOS). The 69th session opened in September 2014, thus beginning an important 12 months for high seas protection, which will see the United Nations discussing the future of the high seas and how they should be effectively governed. The Law of the Sea was conceived in 1982 – long before we fully understood how rapidly technology would change and continue to change our world. It enshrined the freedom of the seas before we understood exactly how to ensure the reciprocal responsibilities to protect, conserve, cooperate and control national vessels. As such, it is a product of its time and according to the High Seas Alliance (HSA), no longer fit for purpose in the 21st century. The HSA is a coalition of environmental organizations concerned about the vulnerability of the high seas to over exploitation and although it argues that UNCLOS is failing the high seas, the Alliance does believe that it offers the basis for an appropriate solution. According to Peggy Kalas of the HSA, “as a negotiated and widely ratified agreement, it provides a framework for modernization and a platform for states to work upon. It makes change achievable because we don’t need to start from the beginning or reinvent the wheel in order to bring about modern protection for the high seas.”
tons of carbon per year by storing one-and-a half billion tons of carbon dioxide away from the atmosphere. Commissioned by the Global Ocean Commission and conducted by Professor Alex Rogers of Somerville College, Oxford and Professor Rashid Sumaila of the University of British Columbia, the study identified 15 high seas ecosystem services of direct value to humans, ranging from ‘provisioning’ services such as genetic resources and raw materials, ‘regulating’ such as air purification and biological control, to ‘habitat’ services such as life cycle maintenance and gene pool protection. Describing the major ways in which the ocean stores and fixes carbon away from the atmosphere, the study calculated an economic value for the role of high seas carbon sequestration as between US$74 and US$222 billion annually. It also found that the 11 million tons of fish caught annually on the high seas, generate more than US$16 billion once landed. Professor Rogers told World Environment Magazine: “It is important to view and manage the global ocean as a whole Earth system to protect the vital services which it supplies to humankind. At the moment, the high seas are the weakest link because of their poor management and lack of governance relative to Economic Exclusion Zones.”
Climate Change and the Ocean
Adoption of an Implementing Agreement
Just how vital that protection is, was highlighted earlier in 2014, when a new scientific study revealed the extent to which life in the high seas is mitigating climate change by taking up a staggering 500 million
According to the High Seas Alliance and the Global Ocean Commission, an Implementing Agreement under UNCLOS would provide an opportunity for the creation of new ❮ 65
“It is important to view and manage the global ocean as a whole Earth system to protect the vital services which it supplies to humankind. At the moment, the high seas are the weakest link because of their poor management and lack of governance.” -Professor Alex Rogers of Somerville College, Oxford
laws fit for the modern age and for our increasing understanding of the role of the high seas to all life on Earth, and for the creation of institutions to apply and enforce that law on the ocean. In doing so it could change the operating reality from one of over-exploitation to protection and precaution, from management for the benefit of a minority able to exploit the resources to management for the common good. Advocates argue that above all, the Implementing Agreement will enable us to address the root need for protection of global resilience and biodiversity. This is critical for the modern age, as new and emerging uses constantly challenge the creaking UNCLOS to adapt. Deep Sea Mining: Increased Demand One example of the convention’s inability to adapt to current high seas issues, is deep seabed mining, which is set to expand rapidly in the coming years as companies seek rare earth minerals from seamounts, hydrothermal vents and the seabed. The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, which is already fighting to curb the use of highly destructive bottom fishing gear, describes this latest onslaught of the deep ocean as alarming and is campaigning against the issuing of licenses without adequate protection measures in place. Demand for rare earth elements leapt from 30,000 tons in the 1980s to 120,000 tons in 2010, higher than the world's current annual (terrestrial) production of 112,000 tons, providing a major motivation for making deepsea mining a viable industry as soon as possible and illustrating one of the main reasons why a new
Implementing Agreement under UNCLOS is needed. Time to Turn the Tide The High Seas Alliance believes this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to turn around the fate of the ocean and to bring law to the last ungoverned global commons, a view supported by the Global Ocean Commission, which made bringing about such protection one of its key recommendations. Writing about the campaign, David Miliband, co-chair of the Global Ocean Commission, commented, “The UN Law of the Sea was a great achievement, but we urgently need a governance framework that delivers its aims and objectives for today’s global ocean. The ocean provides food for billions of people, as well as generating substantial economic wealth, employment and trade; getting the governance right will lead to both economic and ecological gains.” Ranging from the deepest trenches to the highest mountains, the wonders of the high seas lie hidden beneath rolling and dramatic seascapes that few of us will ever see. The cold, dark inky depths of the ocean are home to biodiversity richer than a tropical rainforest, the extent and potential of which we are barely beginning to grasp despite all of our technological advances. But out of sight does not mean out of mind. Governments are currently deciding their final positions on an Implementing Agreement, with the final negotiations scheduled to take place at the UN in January 2015 – you can make your voice heard by signing the Global Ocean Commission petition by visiting www.change.org
Biodiversity Management of the High Seas
Adapted by Mona Samari for WE Magazine based on an extract from the Antarctic Ocean Alliance report, “33 Antarctic Species We Love and Must Protect”
Colossal Find in Antarctica Mythical High Seas Squid Found Frozen in Antarctica Despite its enormous size, the colossal squid remains the most elusive animal of the Southern Ocean and indeed the high seas, living in depths of more than 2000 meters. With a mantle length of up to 4 meters and a record weight of 500 kg, it is the world’s largest invertebrate. It has huge eyes, a large beak and hooks on the clubs at the end of its tentacles. With these characteristics, it sounds like a real-life sea monster. However, as a rather slow-moving species that ambushes its prey, its behaviour is not very monster-like. The colossal squid is an apex predator, feeding on large fish such as Antarctic tooth fish, but, especially as a juvenile, it is also important prey for tooth fish, sleeper sharks and sperm whales. 69
Most of what we know about these mysterious creatures comes from accidental encounters. Colossal squid occasionally are hauled in by longliners fishing for toothfish. When the squid try to pluck a free dinner off the lines, they sometimes refuse to let go even when the line is hauled back onto the fishing vessel, resulting in the retrieval of all or part of the animal. Other information about them has been gleaned from examining the stomach contents of tooth fish and sperm whales. One specimen obtained from a New Zealand fishing vessel in 2007 was pulled in on a fishing line intact, and is now on display at the Te Papa Museum in Wellington. More recently, in Antarctica’s Ross Sea, the very same crew, headed by toothfish boat captain John Bennett and his crew, pulled a frozen female squid thought to extend beyond 4 meters (13 feet) from tip to tentacle and weighing 350kg. The dissection of the squid 70
transmitted through live stream on YouTube was watched by over 142,000 people from 180 countries, demonstrating people’s ongoing fascination with this high seas creature, which has been immortalized by cartographers and through ancient mariners tales and depictions in the Norse legend of the
Kraken, a tentacled sea monster. In 1802, the French malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort recognized the existence of two kinds of giant octopus in Histoire Naturelle Générale et Particulière des Mollusques, an encyclopedic description of mollusks. De Montfort claimed that the first type, the kraken
octopus, had been described by Norwegian sailors and American whalers, as well as ancient writers such as Pliny the Elder. The much larger second type, the colossal octopus, was reported to have attacked a sailing vessel from SaintMalo, off the coast of Angola. Dr Kat Bolstad of Auckland University
of Technology described the most recently caught specimen in the Southern Ocean as "very big and very beautiful. This is essentially an intact specimen, which is almost an unparalleled opportunity for us to examine.â€? The specimen caught in 2007 boasted an astonishing eye
measurement of 27 cm across, which is the largest known animal eye. However, its beak is smaller than some of those that have been found in sperm whale stomachs, indicating that perhaps this squid had not reached its maximum size. We clearly still have a lot to learn about these giants of the high seas. 71
Biodiversity Management of the High Seas
By Steve Campbell Photos by Bob Zuur Antarctic Ocean Alliance Campaign Director
Antarctica Not Just Ice and Ocean
Whiteheaded petrel with fish, Northern Ross Sea
Antarctica is known for its iconic penguins, seals, and whales, but its other species are just as interesting. From coral that can pick itself up and move across the ocean floor in search of food to squid that has the largest eye of any known animal, Antarcticaâ€™s ecosystems have a richness and complexity that we are only just beginning to fully appreciate. 73
King penguins and elephant seals, Antarctica
The images from the AOA report: 33 Antarctic Species We Love and Must Protect (launched September 2014), underpins the urgency for these nations who are part of this commission to live up to their commitments and demonstrate their global leadership by designating the proposed MPAs at the upcoming meeting â€“ in 2015, and beyond. Doing so would show the world that it is possible for nations to come together, put aside their individual issues and do the right thing for the ocean and all the people who depend on it for survival.
Giant petrel white form, Macq Island 74
Biodiversity Management of the High Seas Some areas of the Southern Ocean, like the Ross Sea and the Weddell Sea, have been found to have some of the lowest levels of disturbance of any marine ecosystems. These areas serve as natural laboratories where we can learn how healthy ecosystems function, and how species within them interact, without human interference something that is sadly no longer possible in most of the world. This is one of the best areas for us to continue to learn the nature of nature. While we know little about many Antarctic animals, we do know that they have often evolved to be slowgrowing, with adaptations that suit them for extreme cold conditions. Many may not be able to tolerate warmer temperatures and increased human impacts. If we don’t want to lose these creatures before we even have the chance to study them, we must take action now. It often surprises people to hear that Antarctica is home to some of the largest marine mammal and seabird populations left on the planet. Some of these species are at serious risk from climate change, as warming temperatures reduce the availability of food and change their habitat. Others may have trouble surviving as ocean acidification, which will affect the polar regions first, takes hold in large areas. Climate change is likely to be the main threat to Antarctic species over the next century, but as other human activities such as tourism, shipping, bioprospecting, and fishing increase, additional strain will be placed on these ecosystems. Fishing lines, trash and plastic can inadvertently damage delicate seafloor creatures. Invasive species may take advantage of warmer temperatures and crowd out native species unable to adapt quickly. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and
no-take marine reserves cannot stop climate change, but they can help limit the number of stressors in a given area. In addition to protecting unique areas that may not be found anywhere else in the world and increasing their resilience to a changing climate. The organization that has authority over the Southern Ocean, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has taken a bold step in ocean conservation by declaring its intent to create the world’s first highseas MPA system around Antarctica. Most of the ocean is beyond national borders, and if the nations that make up CCAMLR succeed in designating a full system of MPAs, they will have accomplished something extraordinary and leave a lasting legacy for our grandchildren and beyond. Years ago when CCAMLR was created, its members declared that it would manage fisheries with a precautionary, ecosystem-based approach. The MPA network is entirely consistent with this approach and the next logical step in protecting Antarctica’s diverse and irreplaceable ecosystems for future generations. CCAMLR has been debating proposals for MPAs in the Ross Sea and East Antarctica for several years now. The images from the Arctic Ocean Acidification (AOA) report: 33 Antarctic Species We Love and Must Protect (launched September 2014) underpins the urgency for the nations who are part of this commission, to live up to their commitments and demonstrate their global leadership by designating the proposed MPAs at the upcoming meeting in 2015, and beyond. Doing so would show the world that it is possible for nations to come together, put aside their individual issues and do the right thing for the ocean and all the people who depend on it for survival.
When we think of Antarctica, we may often think of beautiful but barren landscapes dominated by ice. I hope that after reading the report, you will also think of Antarctica as a place with vibrant seafloor communities packed with ancient sponges and hitchhiking anemones, with clearblooded fish and deepdiving seabirds and seals, with massive whales and colossal squid.
Royal penguin, Antarctica
By Mariejoe J. Raidy
Bullet Proof Art
From War to Love, a Visual Recycling of the Ugly into the Beautiful David S. Palmer, a contemporary artist, born in Knox, Indiana, in the year 1953, studied fine art at Ball State University. In 1976 Palmer moved to Laguna Beach California, where his friends would say he lived the life of a true underground artist. His creations are a testimony to the fact that he is a talented and seasoned artist with a cutting edge perspective. The pieces created in this series consist of mixed media, contemporary in appearance. They are a hybrid three-dimensional form between sculpture and painting. His present work embraces a topic that is as old as the dawning of man. It is a message of hope that seems to be telling the world: “Sit back, put your guns down, turn your bullets into beautiful artwork, and let us learn to live together in peace and harmony”.
Mariejoe J. Raidy: David, why did you use the bullets as raw material and was the inspiration a random choice or was there a deeper meaning and reason for the bullets as your raw material? David S. Palmer: The origin of this work was my desire to do a tribute piece honoring John Lennon for the 30th anniversary of his senseless slaying. I felt the irony of using what people could consider a blatant tool of violence and recreating his image would be something he would appreciate. I am an avid fan, not only of his music but his ideals, dedication and courage. In Lennon’s efforts to promote peace 76
he was harassed by the press and the US government. There was a four year attempt to have him deported and he was put under constant surveillance yet he never waivered from his outspoken message “give peace a chance.” MJR: The final portraits are really impressive. Is there any material used to embellish the pieces? Is it spray paint, oil or what is the technique and how did you decide to venture into it? DSP: I have tried many ways to create contrast on the casings from burning them with gunpowder, acid and using a torch to scorch the ❮
metal. The image will actually start out more like a drawing where I use the natural patina of the brass and polish out the highlights with steel wool. On the final image I will use transparent paint for color and 78
contrast. These are not techniques that were taught in school but from experimentation. The process is always evolving. Up until this work I was not very
interested in doing portraits or â€œrepurposing art.â€? If someone had told me I would be doing portraits on shell casings I would never have believed it. I guess we never know where creative process will take us.
Waste & Art
MJR: Do you only choose to create portraits of people who were killed by bullets or do you also experiment with other mediums? DSP: After doing the Lennon piece
I had not considered doing any other images but after seeing how people responded to the medium I decided to use shell casings to honor other great men who were taken from us prematurely. The
“Fallen Heroes” series includes: Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Gandhi and I am presently working on a piece of Martin Luther King. I have done other images out of this series such as the Statue of Liberty. ❮ 79
Artist David Palmer creates portraits of icons using a most unusual medium – bullet shells. He creates a metal canvas out of them, and using a small hand torch, he darkens the ends of the bullet casings, piecing together striking portraits. Using a seemingly harsh artistic medium like bullets to depict their victims, Palmer hopes viewers will “see the miracles that can arise from choosing to create rather than destroy.”
John F. Kennedy
It consists of 6300 40 caliber shells casings. This was done to highlight the significance of arms in America. This work is less of a political statement and more of a dialogue. “The Face of Liberty” celebrates our right to bear arms, yet, mourns the consequences of daily abuse. I personally am not for “gun control,” I’m for “self control.” This is the only medium I am currently working with. MJR: If you had one message to give the world, and one to give upcoming artists, what would it be? DSP: The use of shell casings is also a reminder of how powerfully 80
destructive the emotion of hate is and yet even a bullet that can take a life cannot dismantle the energy of hope, enlightenment and empowerment that exuded through these men and moved others to embrace the power of unity. In their effort to unite they all paid the ultimate price. I think when we are lucky enough to have great leaders like the “Fallen Heroes” they need to be cherished and remembered, not destroyed and forgotten. My advice to rising artists is to create from your heart and not what you anticipate others will find significant.
AROUND THE WORLD IN PHOTOS Myanmar Photos by Diego Fernandez Gabaldon
MYANMAR Myanmar, a republic in South-East Asia, bounded on the north by Tibet Autonomous Region of China; on the east by China, Laos, and Thailand; on the south by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal; and on the west by the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh, and India. It is officially known as the Union of Myanmar. The coastal region is known as Lower Myanmar, while the interior region is known as Upper Myanmar. The total area of the country is 676,552 square km (261,218 square miles).
A horseshoe-shaped mountain complex and the valley of the Ayarwaddy (Irrawaddy) River system are the dominant topographical features of Myanmar. The mountains of the northern margin rise to 5881 meters (19,296 ft) atop Hkakabo Razi, the highest peak in Southeast Asia. The two other mountain systems have northern to southern axes. The Arakan Yoma range, with peaks reaching more than 2740 meters (about 9000 ft), forms a barrier between Myanmar and the subcontinent of India. The Bilauktaung range, the southern extension of the Shan Plateau, lies along the boundary between southwestern Thailand and southeastern Lower Myanmar. The Shan Plateau, originating in China, has an average elevation of about 910 meters (about 3000 ft). Generally narrow and elongated in the interior, the central lowlands attain a width of about 320km (about 200 miles) across the Ayarwaddy-Sittaung delta. The delta plains, extremely fertile and economically the most important section of the country, cover an area of about 46,620 sq. km (18,000 sq. ml.). Both the Arakan (in the northwest) and the Tenasserim (in the southwest) coasts of Myanmar are rocky and fringed with islands. The country has a number of excellent natural harbors. Climate Myanmar is an all year round destination. Hilly regions in the north and northeast enjoy cool temperate weather. Rainfall is also very low in central regions even during the rainy season. â?Ž 84
Around the World in Photos Myanmar
Population The Republic of the Union of Myanmar has a population of over 60 million. The major racial groups are Bamar, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. The people are called Myanmar. Religion Over 80 percent of Myanmar embraces Theravada Buddhism. There are Christians, Muslims, Hindus and some Animists. Language Predominantly Myanmar (Bamar) and ethnic minorities speaking Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Shan and other 135 hill-tribe dialects and also Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindustani and Urdu are spoken by Chinese and Indian immigrants. Having once been a British colony English is also widely spoken. Culture Myanmar lies on the crossroad of two of the world’s great civilizations — China and India — but its culture is neither that of India nor that of China exclusively, but a blend of both interspersed with Myanmar native traits and characteristics. Buddhism has great influence on the daily life of the Myanmar. The people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for the elders, reverence for Buddhism and simple native dress. Myanmars are contented and cheerful even in the face of adversities and known for their simple hospitality and friendliness. ❮ 91
The iconic sight of Inle Lake in Myanmar is the leg rowing fishermen preparing their baskets. Most lake traffic consists of long, flat-bottomed boats. They stand at the stern and wrap one leg round an oar whilst gripping the hull of the boat with the other foot. The deceptively simple looking basket net has a spear sticking through the top of the frame. The spear is used to stir the weed below, exposing the fish. The fishermen can feel the fish bumping against the frame and releases the net to capture the fish.
Historical Background Myanmar has a long history and its greatness dates back to the early 11th century when King Anawrahta unified the country and founded the First Myanmar Empire in Bagan â€” more than 20 years before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The Bagan Empire encompassed the areas of present day Myanmar and the entire Menam Valley in Thailand and lasted two centuries. The Second Myanmar Empire was founded in the 16th century by King Bayinnaung styled 96
Branginoco by the Portuguese. King Alaungpaya founded the last Myanmar Dynasty in 1752 and it was during the zenith of this empire that the British moved into Myanmar and won the First AngloBurmese War in 1826. During The Second World War, Myanmar was occupied by the Japanese from 1942 till the return of the Allied Forces in 1945. Independence from Britain in 1948 was followed by isolationism and socialism. Military governments have ruled Myanmar since 1962 and have been accused of â?Ž
Around the World in Photos Myanmar
corruption, heroin trafficking, and human rights violations including forcible relocation of civilians and use of forced labor. In 1988 military forces killed more than a thousand pro-democracy demonstrators. In 1990 national elections were held for parliament, but the military refused to recognize the results. Myanmar underwent significant political reforms in 2011. Its current president is Thein Sein, who was elected the first noninterim civilian president of Myanmar in 49 years. Aung San Suu Kyi, who won an abortive democratic presidential election in December of 1990 and then was kept under house arrest for most of the following two decades, is now a member of the Pyithu Hluttaw House of Representatives representing Kawhmu. 104
â€œRio+20 has set the stage for a fundamental shift in the way our economies produce and consume, and identified the Green Economy as an important pathway towards achieving a sustainable century.â€? - UN Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner
Magazine Uniting Private Investments ......................................106 By Sherine Bouez
Sustainable Architectural Solutions ..............................................120 By Sherine Bouez
By Sherine Bouez
Uniting Private Investments Conservation Projects
One of the world's most diverse floral landscapes can be found in Lebanon. Flowers, shrubs, trees and wild herbs have been used by artisanal agriculturists for activities ranging from beekeeping, or herbal remedies, to condiment production, all of which have accounted for regular sources of income for centuries.
Lebanon’s rich biodiversity and the artisans who have relied on it, have been under the threat of disappearance for years. Several private initiatives and individual investors have stepped in to protect Lebanon’s biodiversity, prevent loss, defend farmers' rights and promote organic farming. Most small farms in rural Lebanon are family run operations suffering from a lack of financial resources, very little training and no means to become profitable. “If turning a fast profit is the new order of business then the old art of rural farming, craft making, or artisanal production take time and commitment, and this is not about to change,” says Ramzi Salman, C.E.O. of A.R. Hourie Contracting Firm and the visionary behind Bkerzay, a conservation project near his native village of Baakline.“There is money to be made in rural farming and it is our job to show the new generation of farmers the financial value of investing time in their villages and family craft that has been handed down for centuries. It is necessary for preservation, it is unfortunately no longer a choice”. Salman’s personal investment in Bkerzay has been a success story, one he hopes will be replicated. Marianne Geadah, Bkerzay Project Manager, explains that "we are firstly concerned with people preservation: agriculturists, artisans and villagers.” By creating a micro-economy to sustain the area in harvesting natural produce, reviving dying crafts and fostering an untainted space for creativity to bloom, the project has so far hit its initial target and more ambitious plans are now in the pipeline.
Sherine Bouez: How would you describe Bkerzay? Ramzi Selman: I like to call it a conservation project. The project gets the name 'Bkerzay' from an ❮ 108
indigenous tree typical of the area. Our underlying vision is to maintain 85% of the domain untouched and our main motivation is to create an active platform for local farmers and craftsmen to become major drivers of the areaâ€™s economy. We have managed to create a place (a stone throw away from Beirut) to welcome visitors, tourists or nature enthusiasts, showcasing local products, crafts and artisanal creations and sharing a much simpler and healthier way of life. Bkerzay is an immersive experience that includes discovering good quality local produce such as soaps, oils, herbs, honey, and aromatic essences. Visitors can spend a beautiful morning savoring a hearty mountain breakfast or hiking the many trails in an idyllic setting. We worked with Horsh Baakline forest ranger and regional fauna and flora expert Marwan Khodr to develop trails offering various degrees of difficulty, vistas and experiences. A big hit with visitors interested to learn more about Bkerzayâ€™s natural and wild life habitat is our set of guided tours. A ceramics-making space and pottery school are also part of the premises. In addition to our resident potter Ahmed Deif, we have since the school's inception two years ago, welcomed a number of master ceramics artists, and amateurs interested in learning the ancient art of clay-making. Ahmed moved permanently to Bkerzay from the Fayoum Valley in Egypt, an area with a world class reputation for its beautiful artisanal clay production. Working closely with local potters and other ceramists like Maha Nasrallah, they combine creative thinking and expertise to perfect old techniques, experiment with new ones, and spin the most exquisite clay, glazing and design creations. Besides her work with the potters, Maha has been an instrumental â?Ž 110
driver of the project from day one. A very old friend and a fellow architect, Maha and I, along with a close-knit group of architects and conservationists, have been working together to develop a master plan that would ensure the project’s goals can be honored for generations to come. S.B.: How did you go about pooling resources? R.S.: A reactive response, this is how it all started. I could no longer sit idly watching the environmental deterioration, the disappearance of our forests, and the pesticide infested foods we are feeding our children, not to mention a culture of polluted soils, waterways and air that we have allowed to fester among us, preferring not to give it the attention it deserves. From that point on the idea grew organically. The Chouf lends itself to such a project; the area is still relatively pristine, its people extremely receptive and supportive. There is a lot to be done, we have just started and we are still learning, gathering knowledge and enlisting support. The project is in its infancy and many plans and ideas are on the table, all within the same basic objective to stay true to our original vision. S.B.: How will you be able to achieve sustainability? R.S.: We just broke ground for the construction of twenty independent guest houses on the 35% area earmarked for development. The units, inspired by the vernacular architecture, are designed to be in complete harmony with the landscape and fully integrated within the context of Bkerzay. They are being built by local masons who have reintroduced me to the novel incorporation of the ‘old’ ways of construction that is more economical, natural and beautiful. The quality of their craftsmanship is outstanding. ❮ 114
Nature is of course a big part of the concept and an insurmountable element for the experimental quality of the project and the functionality of the space. The beauty of the traditional Lebanese house lies in its simplicity. It blends into its surroundings through the use of natural materials, its acknowledgment of nature, and its enduring quality. We are building houses that offer all the modern amenities with the resilience of traditional Lebanese houses. We are building houses for the next 500 years, it is a project that is intended to be a permanent destination.
We are producing premium extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, cultivating and producing thyme, dried figs, sage, rosemary, and all kinds of herbs, so we are possibly looking at exporting prime quality produce.
The guesthouses would host invited artists and allow guests to enjoy extended stays, be inspired, immerse themselves into an authentic rural Lebanese lifestyle, and discover the surrounding villages. S.B.: What is the architectural concept behind the guesthousesâ€™ design? R.S.: The concept is organized around crafts, arts and nature. To revive old crafts you need creativity. This is why I have been working on pulling together traditional knowhow with the innovative ideas of brilliant artists. The result has been remarkable state-of-the art modern designs with traditional authenticity.
S.B.: Can you tell us about Bkerzayâ€™s natural ecosystem? R.S.: We are enlisting the help of environmentalists to document and catalog the fauna and flora. Some typical trees include wild pines, oaks, figs, and olive trees growing typically around the Mediterranean basin and bearing fruits with very little human intervention. Our objective is not to develop an agriculture of scale but to optimize what is already there by improving on quality and variety. We are producing premium extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, cultivating and producing thyme, dried figs, sage, rosemary, and all kinds of herbs, so we are possibly looking at exporting prime quality produce. We are also in the process of developing our eco-farm of fresh organic vegetables, including a fruit orchard. Our star product however remains the organic honey we make in several varieties from bees kept in Bkerzay according to time honored traditions of raising bees and extracting honey. S.B.: How do you envision the future of conservation? R.S.: Project leaders should network together because there are many â?Ž
initiatives like this one happening all around the country. Large affordable parcels of land are available for ecotourism and organic agriculture. Projects and entrepreneurs investing in such projects should be encouraged, their work facilitated at a municipal, regional and national levels. The result will surely be to reinvigorate remote and less advantaged areas, energize the economy by introducing new markets to sell local produce and crafts, and conserve the surrounding biodiversity. The Barouk Nature Reserve in the Chouf is a great example of how a clear vision has evolved into multiple incomegenerating projects that are respectful of nature and revive 118
healthy and balanced lifestyles. I am always thrilled when others get inspired by the work achieved in Bkerzay. We are setting new benchmarks, raising the bar higher and achieving measurable results. It is a source of pride to me and many others who have poured their heart and soul into this project when we see our idea getting replicated elsewhere. It can be done. Any true Lebanese with business acumen and a love for their country can do this. Bkerzay is not only a project to give back to the community it is also a life changing commitment. Individual initiatives do get the exposure, recognition and support they deserve when they are done correctly and with the right intention. I truly believe that.
By Sherine Bouez
Sustainable Architectural Solutions Boosting a Country's Economy
Karl Zouein, Head of KZ Architects and Mayor of Yahchouch, Lebanon, works as a Consultant Architect on projects including residences, corporate facilities, tourism, or resorts. After the success story of 'Byblos Sud', Zouein undertakes a second project in the same area, 'Byblos Beach'. Blending the natural and the built, the interior and the surrounding, Zouein proposes environmentally sensitive solutions based on an in depth analysis of Byblos' environmental specificities.
This group of highly qualified architects and engineers came together with a common mission: the integration of technological and ecological progress in their work as a
basis for the sound economic development of every country. Their comprehensive approach encompasses planning, engineering, art, sustainable urban and landscape design. â?Ž 121
Sherine Bouez: What is the added value of this project to the coastline? Karl Zouein: The concept is focused on quality spaces located right on the sea shore. Most high end private residences have so far been secluded, with lodges and pools built in hundreds on the sea without broader plans or ecological considerations. Byblos Beach is a closed community project with secure access that will include only twenty residential units of villas, with Byblos beach village, a gym for residents, and other amenities, all forming a small ecosystem as an extension of the natural surroundings. The location is exceptional and this particular coastline is protected by UNESCO. It is on the south coast of Byblos, a million years old, only 700 meters away from the famous citadel on a beautiful sandy beach. We had to approach the project in a rigorous way and take special care of the area as we devised the architectural concept. Byblos Beach is inspired by Mediterranean architecture and combines the traditional Lebanese style with modern needs and functionality. Of course our commitment to executing ecofriendly building solutions is at the heart of this undertaking. For instance, the modernized vernacular architecture is naturally configured in a way that helps with internal insulation. S.B.: What natural materials are you using? K.Z.: Ceramics, only wood, natural stones, 'ramleh' (sandy stone) are used for all external facades, boundaries, fences, retaining walls, in different cuts and shapes (a rough version or cut on the outside, and a smooth finish on the inside). The leftovers of the stones are used as decorative items for wall coverings and landscape designs. 122
We are applying pure natural and local material for the external facades that are completely covered with 'ramleh', that were used by our ancestors in Byblos. It is 5 cm thick so in addition to providing a concrete double wall it ensures better heat insulation, with a total width of 30 cm, significantly saving energy. All external windows will be designed with natural teak wood. For an accentuated natural effect we are going beyond our usual local market specifications: for example with the big bow windows, with wooden double glazing, lift and slide windows, including all the material for phonic and thermal insulation. We went above the standard dimensions in wood to use natural products to the fullest and blend this effect into nature in seamless continuity. The project will exclude the likes of aluminum or stainless steel. The flooring will also be made out of natural stones. We have beautiful stones in Lebanon and we need to make best use of them. They are of excellent quality, hard and resistant. They can be found in different colors and textures. We get creative and incorporate them in numerous ways and sizes, rather than using manufactured material. For instance, the Basalt stone is a locally extracted black stone that gave beautiful results. S.B.: How are you taking water considerations into account? K.Z.: Rainwater is collected from all the rooftops and from landscape areas in a big water storage to be reused for irrigation. Rain water collection is significant since it is a big project of 20,000 square meters. We also reallocate it for secondary use. Our sewage treatment plants treat black water and channel it towards the irrigation of the landscape, with a capacity of 40m3 per day. We are developing our sewage treatment plan with the latest technology. â?Ž
S.B.: What are other examples of green solutions? K.Z.: For heating we are using gas boilers that are far less polluting in the emission of CO2-no fuel, no smoke in all the villas! Gas meters are essential additions to every apartment to reduce gas consumption and limit unnecessary losses. Since we are making use of all the terraces they will be included in the landscape with wooden decks, pergolas, jacuzzis, or solar panels, for domestic hot water as well as a maximum reduction of electricity and gas use. We need a secondary source of electricity in Lebanon, namely electric generators, and we are ensuring a special new filter for the first time in the country that eliminates all pollution emissions. Along with the catalytic converter this reduces 95% of the odors and fumes like CO2. Led lighting has been used everywhere, in the landscape and all the interiors, as it is obviously a much more economical solution in electrical consumption. A further link between the interior and the exterior is the use of typically Lebanese vegetation on the rocks, binding the whole project with the natural flora of the land. In juxtaposing architectural planes, materials, textures for design excellence and sustainability lays the foundation for a countryâ€™s prosperity. 124
â€œWe need the tonic of wildness... At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.â€? -Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
Magazine A Journey through Paradise ...............................................126 by Gabriella Porelli Photos by Diego Fernandez Gabaldon
by Gabriella Porelli Photos by Diego Fernandez Gabaldon
A Journey through
Paradise Unspoiled Beaches of the World
What is Ecotourism? The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as ‘Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the wellbeing of local people.’ The society outlines six principles of ecotourism: Minimize impact; build environmental and cultural awareness and respect; provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts; provide direct financial benefits for conservation; provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people; raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climate. Other organizations and individuals have attempted to define ecotourism. Author Martha Honey provides seven principles of ecotourism in her book ‘Ecotourism and Sustainable Development’: 1) Ecotourism involves travel to natural destinations. These destinations are often remote areas, and are usually under some kind of environmental protection. 2) Ecotourism strives to minimize the adverse affects of hotels, trails, and other infrastructure on the environment, while also restricting the numbers and behavior of tourists. 3) Ecotourism builds ❮ 129
“It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist: the threat is rather to life itself.” -Rachel Carson
environmental awareness, and includes a prominent educational element, for both tourists and residents of nearby communities. 4) Ecotourism provides direct financial benefits for conservation through a variety of mechanisms, including park entrance fees and tourism industry taxes. 5) Ecotourism provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people and is a tool for rural development. It must also help shift economic and political control to the local community, village, cooperative, or entrepreneur. 6) Ecotourism respects local culture and is less culturally intrusive and exploitative than conventional tourism. 7) Ecotourism supports human rights and democratic movements, and is sensitive to the host country’s political environment and social climate. Beaches of the World The Urge to Maintain their Natural Beauty According to Save the Sea it is a monumental task to save the sea. It can be done by starting a worldwide movement to renew our respect for the earth, our seas, animal life and mankind itself. It takes a global, conscious effort to raise awareness, fix what is broken, and make something happen sooner rather than later. All efforts and intentions to save the sea must be focused on doing what is right, what needs to be done, and having the maximum impact so it can all be accomplished in the most effective way possible. It should improve the health, longevity and living conditions of those who live in and around the oceans. All these activities should develop specific programs and events to inspire a renewed appreciation of our seas
and increase support for those currently working to preserve its natural habitats. Some of these programs must consist in creating original audio and visual content aimed at raising awareness, as well as consciousness, to respect the sea and all the wondrous creatures that inhabit it. It is crucial to help further the cause of many who sincerely share this vision by committing themselves, their time, energy and efforts to it. By bringing attention to the real issues and concerns facing our oceans today, and by helping raise awareness, and create even more support for those who dedicate their lives to saving the sea. In this way, we can have a greater impact saving our sea and help them be even more successful at what they do best. Education is the key to success. There are so many problems facing the health of our oceans all over the world. One of the most severe is the strip mining of our seas (using huge nets, sometimes miles long to catch fish). Everyday, all over the world, marine mammals and other forms of sea life are caught in these nets by the tons and die as a result of bycatch (unwanted or unintentional catch). Thousands of fish, whales, turtles, dolphins, and other forms of marine life are drowned, crushed, and suffocated, then tossed out, dead or dying, because they're not the kind the fishermen wanted to catch. This situation is severe and extremely difficult to control in international waters let alone a few miles off our coastline. Our seas and their invaluable resources are being depleted at an alarming rate. Until the world is unified in its purpose and gets together as one to resolve these serious problems, they will perpetually escalate, and ❮
Cyprus: Nature at its Best The spectacular sandy beaches together with the outstandingly beautiful coastal regions constitute one of the island's most valuable assets and are ideal places where visitors can enjoy nature at its best.
â€œThe sea will grant each man new hope, and sleep will bring dreams of home.â€? -Christopher Columbus 133
eventually the damage will be completely irreversible. There are many other problems that need attention too, some on a smaller scale but just as important, especially to those dedicating their lives to it. Consider the time, patience and energy it takes to rescue, care for and treat just one injured leatherback sea turtle or to carefully unwind each strand of fishing line endlessly tangled and wrapped tightly around the fins, tail and mouth of a California gray whale. Some of these whales and turtles have been suffering for years before someone has even been able to get close enough to try and free them from this torture caused by humans. Other problems occur right on our own beaches. Think about how long it takes to clean a stretch of coastline littered for miles with cans, bottles, broken glass, tires and all kinds of discarded debris. It takes hours upon hours, for days and weeks, month after month, all year round. Unfortunately, this situation and almost every other dilemma facing our oceans' environment today is a direct result of man's negligence, shortsightedness and disregard for the sea around us. The sea represents so much to so many and has for so long. Appreciating its beauty, power and depth is appreciating our humanity, who we are, and why we are here. Like the ocean, we are all extremely connected and interdependent, yet individually every one of us is of crucial significance. Remember, each of us can and does make a difference in his or her own way. No matter how small or inconsequential what we do may seem to us, the world will be a much better place because of our decisions to do the right thing and create change. 134
The Dominican Republic: An Incredible Island Paradise In the heart of the Caribbean occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south. As part of the Tropic of Cancer, the Dominican Republic has a breathtaking topography. Mountains, valleys and beaches make up the diverse photogenic land. Three large mountain ranges run through the island, including the nearly two-mile high peak of Antilles. In fact, nearly half of the island is taken up by the large mountain ranges that run through it. 136
â€œMy soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.â€? -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Kenya’s Soft White Beaches Kenya has 500 kilometers of soft white sand beaches, with palm trees, the bluest water, ever shining sun. While the beach area draws a lot of tourists, it’s still much less developed than the big European or North American beach spots – in the positive sense of the word.
“There comes a time in a man's life when he hears the call of the sea. If the man has a brain in his head, he will hang up the phone immediately.” -Dave Barry
Mozambique: Amazing Beaches With a 2,500 km coastline of white sandy beaches and clear blue reef waters and two sundrenched archipelagos, Mozambique is famous for its amazing beaches. These beaches are concentrated into two areas: the Bazaruto Archipelago in the south of Mozambique and the Quirimbas Archipelago in the north â€“ both of which have a series of lovely tropical islands which make stunning venues for beach holidays in East Africa. 143
“I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.” -John F. Kennedy
The Philippines: Asia's Beach Capital With 7,107 islands, and a coastline twice the length of that of the United States, the Philippines can claim to be Asia's Beach Capital. Enjoy the warm crystal blue waters of both the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Mention the Philippines and images of long, white sand beaches and bodies of water blessed with a variety of marine life come to mind. 144
Seychelles’ Idyllic Beaches Every island in the Seychelles is ringed with beaches. And what beaches they are! Spectacular ribbons of the finest white sand, lapped by cerulean waters and backed by lush hills and big glacis boulders and nary a crowd in sight.
“Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part.” -Hermann Broch
Sri Lanka’s Palm Fringed Coastline With nearly 1600 km of palm fringed coastline baked to perfection surrounding the country, Sri Lanka is the ideal destination for beach bums worldwide. May it be windsurfing, kayaking, yachting, water skiing, scuba diving or just lazing around for the perfect tan, Sri Lanka offers it all.
“Life is life's greatest gift. Guard the life of another creature as you would your own because it is your own. On life's scale of values, the smallest is no less precious to the creature who owns it than the largest.” -Lloyd Biggle Jr.
“There was a magic about the sea. People were drawn to it. People wanted to love by it, swim in it, play in it, look at it. It was a living thing that was as unpredictable as a great stage actor: it could be calm and welcoming, opening its arms to embrace it's audience one moment, but then could explode with its stormy tempers, flinging people around, wanting them out, attacking coastlines, breaking down islands. It had a playful side too, as it enjoyed the crowd, tossed the children about, knocked lilos over, tipped over windsurfers, occasionally gave sailors helping hands; all done with a secret little chuckle.” -Cecelia Ahern, The Gift
Tenerife: A Haven for Sun Worshippers Tenerife’s beaches have lashings and lashings of golden sand, some are unspoiled and off the beaten track, many offer water sport facilities and all are a haven for sun worshippers. 155
Thailand’s Astonishing Coast and Islands With coasts on the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand and an astonishing array of islands, great beaches, great food, a tropical climate, a fascinating culture and majestic mountains, Thailand is a magnet for travellers from all over the world. Thailand is a kingdom of wonder, filled with spectacular natural, cultural, and historical attractions. Which Thai attractions are you looking forward to discovering on your Thailand holiday?
“The tradition of freedom of the high seas has its roots in an era when there were too few people to seriously violate the oceans – but in hindsight that era ended some 150 years ago.” -James Carlton 157
East Timor: An Unsung Tourism Destination Diving, whale-watching, trekking, biking, great scenery, stunning mountain driving and beautiful white-sand beaches. East Timor is one of the world's unsung tourism destinations. 160
â€œThe more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.â€? -Rachel Carson
Venezuela’s Caribbean Coast Venezuela has more Caribbean coast than all the Caribbean islands put together, and plenty of sun and good weather. It has almost every kind of beach to choose from: small palm-fringed bays, long sweeps of soft sand, and the Caribbean’s only coral archipelago-Los Roques.
“The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.” -Blaise Pascal 163
Beirut Bikeathon 2014 A Great Success
Beirut Bikeathon 2014 marked a major success on Sunday October 5, 2014, a success that resounded not only in Beirut but in all of Lebanon.
The Beirut Bikeathon is a national initiative launched by Green Mind NGO for the 5th time in Lebanon and for the 2nd time in Beirut and organized for the first time in partnership with Bike Lebanon, an NGO, encouraging thousands of sport lovers, companies, organizations, families, and eco-supporters to join a public ride, to bike for a cause, and support the conversion to a more eco-friendly form of transportation: cycling. And the theme of this year’s event was “Bike for the creation of safe cycling lanes in the city”. The Bikeathon starting point was the Beirut Waterfront where more than 2,800 bikers joined in with their free, previously booked bikes or their own bikes, to participate in this long awaited event. The Beirut Bikeathon, a ride and not a race, consisted of two main tracks: one of 11.1 KM and one of 17.4 KM that covered most of Beirut. The Bikeathon event was an “open ride” which means that no roads were closed in the city! Fortunately, and with the support of 400 security and organizing agents distributed over the two tracks, the bikers passed by smoothly, proving that bicycles and cars can indeed co-exist. “Our objective for the big environmental and sporting event was to make a call for the request of cycling lanes in the city, starting with the city of Beirut” said Mrs. Nada Zaarour, President of Green Mind NGO. “More than 2,800 bikers from all over Lebanon joined us with a great passion and enthusiasm to bike, which showed us that indeed, when provided with the opportunity, Lebanese people love to hit the roads with their bikes!” The event was covered and broadcast Live on LBCI TV channel for 90 minutes, and also included the “Nharkom Sa’eed” program that took place Live on the Beirut Bikeathon stage, with the Minister of Tourism H.E Mr. Michel Faraon and Mayor of Beirut Dr. Bilal Hamad present. Many national figures attended the event as well, namely Mrs. Lama Salam, spouse of Prime Minister of Lebanon H.E. Mr. Tammam Salam, and groups of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces.
â€œMore than 2,800 bikers from all over Lebanon joined us with a great passion and enthusiasm to bike, which showed us that indeed, when provided with the opportunity, Lebanese love to hit the roads with their bikes!â€?
FUTURE ENVIRONMENTAL EVENTS October
28/30 October 2014 Power Nigeria Conference www.power-nigeria.com
10/11 January 2015 International Conference on Environment and Bio-Engineering www.icebe.org
14/15 April 2015 WEPower www.wepower-sa.com
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3/5 November 2014 10th Annual HSE Forum in Energy www.hse.fleminggulf.com
14/15 February 2015 6th International Conference on Environmental Science and Development www.icesd.org
10 /12 May 2015 Safety and Security www.edd-forum.com
26 /28 October 2015 World Mass Gathering Congress (WMG) www.worldmassgathering.com
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Doha, Qatar 10/11 November 2014 6th Annual Middle East District Cooling Summit www.energy.fleminggulf.com
Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Amsterdam, Netherlands 23/24 February 2015 Eco Solutions www.ecosolutionsexpo.com
Damman, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
1/12 December 2014 UNFCCC COP 20/CMP 10 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change www.unfccc.int
16/17 March 2015 RETROFITTECH www.retrofittechdubai.com
13 /16 June 2015 The Fifth Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment www.iafor.org
Lima, Peru 10/11 December 2014 AcousticsTech Qatar www.acousticstechqatar.com
Doha, Qatar 166
Dubai, United Arab Emirates 16 /17 March 2015 Economic Development & Diversification Forum www.edd-forum.com
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
URL APIMONDIA www.apimondia.com BKERZAY www.facebook.com/Bkerzay BLOOM ASSOCIATION www.bloomassociation.org CREATIVE LOUNGES www.creativelounges.com DAVID PALMER www.bulletproof2011.com DIEGO FERNANDEZ GABALDON PHOTOGRAPHY www.diegofgphoto.net EARTHJOURNALISM NETWORK www.earthjournalism.net GREEN MIND www.greemind.org JOHN WELLER www.johnbweller.com PERMACULTURE LEBANON www.soils-permaculture-lebanon.com THE HIGH SEAS ALLIANCE www.highseasalliance.org SEBASTIAN COPELAND www.sebastiancopelandphotography.com WWF www.worldwildlife.org