Around The World in Photos The Road to Rio Earth Summit 2012 WORLD ENVIRONMENT MAGAZINE
Green Party of Lebanon Green is a Red Line
No 08 / September 2011
CONTENTS Cover Story 101... Around the World in Photos Diego Fernandez Gabaldon's gathered images of the day-to-day life of Darfurians, West Timorese and Afghans, capturing their beauty, resilience and humanity.
1... Contributors The people who made this issue 4... Foreword Cathy Chami Tyan 6... BookReviews The books we loved to read 8... BookReviews /Focus A special book for you 12... WE Quiz How much do you know? 13... Agenda List of Environmental Events 14... Short News
Lebanon Going Green
18... Green is a Red Line Green Party of Lebanon
50... Renee El Khazen For the love of nature
94... US Navy Working towards increased energy efficiency
26... Lebanese Red Cross Environment program
58... Green Eco-Living Urbanism Formulating a series 122.. Vedic of holistic principles Medicine The ultra-modern 70... Modern healing system Agriculture The role of UAVs 126... Awesome in modern Green Inventions agriculture 134... Eco-Tips 78... Agro-ing Concern 136... URL page Global Warming 82... The Road to Rio Earth Summit 2012 Opportunities and Challenges
Displaced woman pounding wheat for flour - Aboushok IDP camp, North Darfur. Photography Diego Fernandez Gabaldon
Chairman, Andrea Tucci, firstname.lastname@example.org. Editorial Director, Cathy Chami Tyan, email@example.com. Editorial Project Coordinator, Marc Wiliam Lowe, firstname.lastname@example.org. Editing, Hala Habib. Concept & Design, RAIDY | www.raidy.com Sales and Advertisements, email@example.com, 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 archive. 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
CONTRIBUTORS Dr Steffen Lehmann is the Professor of Sustainable Design and Director of the Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour (sd+b) at the University of South Australia. Until July 2010, he held the Chair of Architectural Design in the Architecture School at the University of Newcastle (NSW). He has been a professor holding a Personal Chair in Australia since December 2002. Professor Lehmann has held the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Urban Development for Asia and the Pacific, from 2008 to 2010. He received his doctorate in architecture from the Technical University of Berlin, an AA Dipl. degree from the Architectural Association School in London, and a Masters degree from the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz. Between 1990 and 1993 he worked as an architect with James Stirling in London and with Arata Isozaki in Tokyo, before establishing his own ideas-driven, researchbased practice in Berlin. Since 1992 he has been practising as a registered architect and urban designer in Germany, where he established his own practice, the Space Laboratory for Architectural Research and Design (s_Lab) in 1993 in Berlin, to pursue a more ethically correct practice. He is the General Editor of the Journal of Green Building and a member of the editorial boards of 4 academic journals.
Fabrizio Pirri is Professor of Physics of Matter at the Polytechnic of Turin (Politecnico of Torino). In addition to his role as a professor, Fabrizio is the Director of the Materials and Microsystems Laboratory (ChiLAB) at the Polytechnic. He is also the Coordinator of the International Masters Degree in Micro and nano- technologies for ICT (Master in Micro and Nanotechnologies for Integrated Systems, POLITO, INP Grenoble, EPF Losanne. Since 2005 he has held the role of Director of the National MIUR Excellence Laboratory “LATEMAR” On March 2011 he was nominated Director of the Center for Space Human Robotics of the Italian Institute of Technology He is a reviewer for the main international journals in the field of the Physics of Matter and Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. His research activities have been reported in more than 150 articles published in international journals.
Fouad Berjaoui is a marketing & advertising professional, Fouad is an adventurer/editor whose expeditions span from the Scottish Highlands to the Empty Quarters on the Saudi –UAE borders.
David Banisar is Senior Legal Counsel for Article 19, Global Campaign for Free Expression in London.
Mariejoe Raidy Growing up in a region known for political upheaval and uncertainty, MarieJoe advocates for doing business in Lebanon in a way that is environmentally responsible and ethically driven. As creative director and as a shareholder in Raidy Printing Group s.a.l, she spearheaded an effort to adopt innovative, eco-friendly printing techniques. When she succeeded, she had created the only printing company in the Arab world recognized by the renowned publishing house, Rotovision, UK. MarieJoe is not only focused on environmentally responsible businesses, but also establishing a norm of individual and corporate ethics. 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. In recognition of her demonstrated leadership and trailblazing ways, MarieJoe was also recently asked to serve as head the Communication Committee in the Lebanese League of Women in Business, a Network Hub of the MENA Businesswomen’s Network.
Mark William Lowe Mark is World Environment’s Editorial Project Coordinator and a regular contributor to the magazine. Born in Scotland, on leaving school he studied Forestry Sciences before moving to Italy and starting a career in digital cartography and GIS. During this period Mark worked on a number of international projects ranging from Forest Fire Warning Systems in the United States to demographic surveys in Somalia. Over the years Mark has gathered considerable experience in sectors as diverse as defence and security, media relations, the environment and renewable energy. Before returning to Scotland, Mark held the position of English Language Director of Italy’s leading independent think-tank, Equilibri, and was a foreign media advisor to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s political party. In addition to his role at World Environment, Mark is Editor-in-Chief of the Maritime Security Review, a quarterly magazine that he cofounded in 2010.
Hanady assaf is a simultaneous interpreter with a passion for two things, writing and the environment. She is currently the mobilization officer in the Metn district for the green party of Lebanon and the media coordinator of the "green is a red line" event.
Nour El Khazen Audio visual in Beirut, graphic design in Los Angeles, painting in New York, fashion communication in Milan, photography in Montreal. Nour El Khazen is a very well rounded visual artist. Based on her talent and investing on the synergy of her partners Nour El Khazen photography was created. From capturing reality, or interpreting moments of life, to creating imaginary scenarios, sets, concepts, and scenes, the company provides the highest standards of professionalism and business ethics.
Sherine Boueiz Sherine is a dynamic international professional with a keen interest in Wellbeing and a passion for Nature. A Psychologist by background, 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.
Hala Habib Was born and raised in Nigeria. She studied Communication Media and Business Management at BUC and has since worked in the field of communication. She has established and headed as editor-in-chief several Englishlanguage magazines and contributes and edits magazines from different fields. She worked at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) from 2003 till 2010 as Communication Officer and was in charge of a TV program for youth called SAWTNA.
Carole Excell is a Senior Associate at the World Resources Institute working on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice issues around the world. Previously she was the Coordinator for the Freedom of Information Unit of the Cayman Islands Government in charge of ensuring the development and effective implementation of the Cayman Islands Freedom of Information Law.
Patricia Mouamar is communications manager for World Vision Lebanon.
The Middle East is a young region in the sense that the majority of its population is young. This fact has a major role in the Spring uprising moving from one Arab country to the next. The Arab young population will not only make political change in their specific countries, but they will eventually become the driving force that will bring forward the region to the forefront of the 21st century in the issues of ecology and environment. The role of renewable energy is essential for the region since it will not only create jobs now but will also sustain societies way after the oil runs out. The new generation that is taking hold of the region is a generation that is aware of western efforts to care for themselves and their planet and will be the ones to implements western ideas and practices leading the region into a new eco-friendly era. With the famine in Africa, food has become a major concern for world movers and shakers. If China is unable to feed its people then the world is heading towards a major concern and this concern is the high cost of food. Producing sufficient crops to feed the world population is becoming an increasingly difficult task that governments are facing recently. Unfortunately, the solution is not a clear cut answer which some might expect it to be simply increase production! Well that is not the answer to curbing hungry in many parts of the world â€“ the issue of Africa carries with it the drought implication. Combine efforts of governments, the private sector, NGOs and individuals might create a new infrastructure for the future generation to take the lead in. Governments can move fast by drafting laws and creating incentives for farmers and owners of arable lands. As for the private sector, money could be a great tool increasing awareness to eco-friendly way of life that will gradually help people become better citizens to their environment. As for individuals, I personally believe they can have the greatest impact by adopting an eco-friendly life style and handing this down to generations to come. WE magazine interviewed such a citizen as renowned landscape designer Renee El Khazen who through her work ensures that man respects nature because man is a part of nature and can only strive and survive if nature is healthy and good. Others use their cameras to capture images that portray life in many parts of the world. Our planet is not well but the good news is that a slowly but surely eco-revolution in taking part in the world and we should be part of it. Cathy Chami Tyan, Chief editor
BOOKREVIEWS The Atlas of Climate Change Mapping the World's Greatest Challenge By Kirstin Dow and Thomas E. Downing
Desert Energy A Guide to the Technology, Impacts and Opportunities By Alasdair Cameron
This book examines the key technologies being deployed in an effort to tap the potential presented by world's deserts for sitting largescale solar power applications, and surveys the feasibility of such projects given the remoteness and the hostility of these environments Focusing on large scale photovoltaics and concentrating solar thermal power, it explains how the systems work, projects that are being planned, the required scales, and the technical difficulties they need to overcome to function effectively. It then moves on to examine the economics of such projects (including financing) and the social and environmental effects they may have. The book also considers the future for these systems as well as other, less developed technologies which may have a role to play. 6
â€œClimate change represents one of the greatest environmental and health challenges of our time.â€? Third Edition This new edition features: the outcomes of the negotiations at the UNFCC conference in Copenhagen; the latest developments in climate change research and data on its impacts around the world; new coverage of the role played by the world's oceans; estimates of the economic impact of climate change; and, updated maps and graphics wherever data is available.
From Intelligent to Smart Cities Intelligent Buildings International Edited By Mark Deakin and Husam Al Waer
The concept of smart cities offers a revolutionary vision of urban design for sustainability. Utilizing the intelligent application of new technologies, smart cities also incorporate considerations of social and environmental capital in order to transform the life and work of cities. This special issue brings together papers from leading international experts on the transition to smart cities. Drawing upon the experiences of cities in the USA, Canada and Europe, the authors describe the definitional components, critical insights and institutional means by which we can achieve truly smart cities. The resulting volume will be of interest to all involved in urban planning, architecture and engineering, as well as all interested in urban sustainability.
Authenticity in Nature Making Choices about the Naturalness of Ecosystems By Nigel Dudley
This book examines the concept of naturalness in ecosystems, discusses its values and considers choices about the level of naturalness in conservation efforts. The author argues that all ecosystems have been modified and the idea of places 'untouched by humans' is a myth. But there are large differences in the degree of modification and levels of naturalness which can be identified. Changes are not always irreversible; some apparent wilderness areas are sites of former civilisations. There is no longer any simple distinction possible between 'natural' and 'cultural' systems. In the future, society will to some extent choose the degree of naturalness in land and seascapes. The growth of protected areas is an early sign of this, as are changes in forest management, dam removal and control of invasive species.
Researching Sustainability A Guide to Social Science Methods, Practice and Engagement Edited By Alex Franklin and
environmental interactions; and ethical concerns.
> A host of social science based
This book is for students and researchers across the social sciences who are planning, conducting and disseminating research on sustainability-related issues. Real-world sustainability problems cross many boundaries, and this is the first book to guide students and practitioners through the practical and theoretical challenges of doing interdisciplinary research in this vital and emerging area. Researching Sustainability contains many in-depth, 'hands on' accounts by expert contributors, providing real-life examples and lessons that can be put to use immediately. Coverage includes:
> The general challenges that
research methods and approaches. Each chapter presents a different method; its challenges and suitability for different situations; an in-depth example of the method in action; insights and lessons.
> Dissemination of sustainability research findings, including influencing policy, communicating with school children and working with the media. The book concludes with a critical synthesis of issues and methods examined in the book together with a discussion of future research pathways. This book is an essential tool for students, researchers and practitioners in planning, implementing and evaluating their sustainability research.
sustainability presents to researchers, including frictions between sustainability and scientific tradition; complexity; research paradigms; interdisciplinary; social7
BOOKREVIEWS/FOCUS Afghanistan CameraOscura by Kash Gabriele Torsello Language: Italian
Afghanistan CameraOscura is a detailed account of Kash’s 23 days of imprisonment in Helmand - his brief conversations with kidnappers, his thoughts, his emotions and his liberation – while also acts as a revealing portrait of Afghanistan and its people. The author, after a long period of reflection – and of silence – tells for the first time the entire story of his kidnapping, recounting not only his captivity but also the key moments that preceded his capture and that, according to Torsello, reveal the motives and the people behind his kidnapping. Í
Charting from 2001, when the young journalist regularly visited the Talibanâ€™s head quarters, to 2006 when he was transported for eight hours in the boot of a car, hooded and chained, and finally to his release to a man from the NGO Emergency.
The book contains never before published photos that Gabriele managed to save before his kidnapping. He was the first journalist to visit and photograph the ghost town Musa Qala, images later seized by his kidnappers in the book the town is instead visualized through words. Afghan Traces provides a revealing and fascinating portrait of Afghanistan through a series of travel notes and encounters by an Italian man dressed, but not disguised, as a local. Gabriele travels deep through Afghanistan, identifying the historical and cultural differences, and the similarities, between Western and Middle Eastern culture while discovering much about himself too.
THE WE QUIZ 1. Which of the following is a renewable resource? A. Oil B. Iron C. Trees D. Coal 2. Which of the following household materials is considered hazardous waste? A. Plastic packaging B. Glass C. Batteries D. Spoiled food 3. Following is the most widely discussed impact of climate change: A. Increase in average sea level B. Deforestation C. Soil erosion D. None of the above
4. Soil erosion can be prevented by: A. Increasing bird population B. Afforestation C. Removal of vegetation D. Over grazing
7. What regions on earth are warming fastest? A. Equatorial Regions B. Desert Regions C. Polar Regions D. Temperate Regions
5. Earth day is observed on:
8. Which of the following nations will be more severely affected by increasing sea levels due to global warming. A. Tahiti B. Papua New Guinea C. Sri Lanka D. Bangladesh
A. February 16 B. April 4 C. April 22 D. September 17
6. Total organic matter present in an ecosystem is called: A. Biome B. Biomass C. Biotic community D. Litter
9. Which regions of the planet may benefit as a result of global warming? A. Sub-artic regions of Canada, Alaska and Siberia B. Semi-desert regions such as "sub-saharan" Africa, C. Australia D. The Brazilian equatorial rainforest
THE WE QUIZ ANSWERS 1): 2): 3): 4): 5): 6): 7): 8): 9):
C. Trees (66 percent got this correct.) C. Batteries (67 percent got this correct.) A. Increase in average sea level B. Afforestation C. April 22 B. Biomass C. Polar Regions D. Bangladesh A. Sub-arctic regions of Canada, Alaska and Siberia 12
FUTURE ENVIRONMENTAL EVENTS September
19/22 September 2011
10/12 October 2011
5 /9 December 2011
TIREC 2011 Accelerating Turkeyâ€™s Clean Energy Development greenpowerconferences.co.uk Istanbul, Turkey
European Future Energy Forum/EFEF europeanfutureenergyforum.com Geneva, Switzerland
Global South-South Development Expo 2011 southsouthexpo.org Rome, Italy
28/30 October 2011
15 /18 December 2011
International Conference on Sustainable Development 2011 engii.org/cet2011 Shanghai, China
4th International Congress of Environmental Research icer11.jerad.org Surat, Gujarat, India
28/30 September 2011 Green Energy
greenenergy4cities.com Reykjavik, Island
29/30 September 2011
20 /22 December 2011
Beirut Energy Forum 2nd Edition beirutenergyforum.com Beirut, Lebanon
National Conference on Environment and Biodiversity of India ebi2011.in New Delhi, Delhi, India
November 9/10 November 2011
Energy Summit envirotechinvestorsummit.com London, United Kingdom
14/17 November 2011
The 2011 International Conference on Water, Energy, and the Environment aus.edu/conferences/icwes Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
6/7 December 2011
Wind Power Portugal greenpowerconferences.com Lisbon, Portugal
January 16/19 January 2012
22/24 November 2011
EMT enviro-arab.com/emtme11 Amman, Jordan
World Future Energy Summit/WFES worldfutureenergysummit.com Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 13
$300 HOUSE Shelter is one of humanity's most basic needs. But a house is a luxury beyond the wildest dreams of most people in the developed world leading to dangerous and unsanitary shantytowns, which compound the problems of poverty and disease. The $300 House Project, for which designers were asked to figure out a way to construct a simple house for $300 or less, aimed to solve this problem, by creating cheap and simple way to construct houses that could be built on a massive scale.
ACTION TO SAVE THE CHILEAN PATAGONIA In southern Chile, exploitation by corporations and big government is currently threatening to drown 14,000 acres of irreplaceable forest. The project HidroAysén, an enormous hydroelectric dam, is currently scheduled to industrialize two pristine glacial waterways in Patagonia. Planned by several international corporations, this $3.2 billion project involves the construction of five large dams and would impact 14 national parks and protected reserves. HidroAysén would flood river valleys and destroy the habitat of native plant and animal species found nowhere else on earth. According to Specialists, HidroAysén's economic benefits do not justify the projected environmental damage. Chile has many potential renewable energy sources, including other dams in less sensitive areas.
THE SOLAR IMPULSE EUROPEAN CAMPAIGN CONCLUDES AS THE PLANE TOUCHES DOWN IN PAYERNE Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg's Solar Impulse HB-SIA aircraft returned to Payerne in Switzerland from Paris-Le Bourget on Sunday 3 July bringing its European tour, which included visits to Brussels and Paris, to a close.
to introduce the Solar Impulse aircraft, their vision and their goals to some of the highest ranking aviation officials, politicians and approximately 350,000 visitors to the show, including 3,000 members of the world's press.
The Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype, piloted by André Borschberg, touched down in Payerne after a 12:31 hour flight powered by solar energy alone. The arrival concludes the Solar Impulse team's highly successful European flight campaign, during which Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg met many people, including several high level political and financial personalities.
Solar Impulse HB-SIA, piloted by André Borschberg, completed three international flights during the European campaign: Payerne to Brussels on 13 May (630km), Brussels to Paris-Le Bourget on 14 June (395km) and Paris-Le Bourget to Payerne on 3 July (426 km). With a round the world flight scheduled for 2014, these flights have provided good learning opportunities in terms of slotting the solar aircraft into international air
space and landing at international airports. The growing interest in the solar project and the message the team is conveying is illustrated by the 3,600,000 unique visitors to the Solar Impulse website since the beginning of May. Visitors have watched 3,670,000 videos online. André Borschberg, Solar Impulse cofounder, CEO and pilot for the European campaign said: “This solar plane is an extraordinary example of what we can do with stored energy. The welcome we received in Brussels and Paris was highly motivating for the team as we enter phase two of the project which is building a second plane to fly around the world.”
“The feedback from our European flight campaign is encouraging,” said Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse founder and president. “The welcome we received from political and industrial circles in Brussels and Paris shows that Solar Impulse is pioneering a new way of thinking in terms of renewable energy and energy saving.” As a guest in Brussels under the patronage of the President of the European Parliament, the President of the European Council, and of the European Commission, the Solar Impulse team actively promoted new technologies and renewable energies with the aim of reducing dependency on fossil fuel. From Brussels, the team traveled to Paris where they were honored as special guests of the International Air and Space Show in Le Bourget. This status gave the team the opportunity 15
â€œYou have your Lebanon and its dilemma. I have my Lebanon and its beauty. Your Lebanon is an arena for men from the West and men from the East. My Lebanon is a flock of birds fluttering in the early morning as shepherds lead their sheep into the meadow and rising in the evening as farmers return from their fields and vineyards. You have your Lebanon and its people. I have my Lebanon and its people.â€? - Kahlil Gibran Mirrors of the Soul
LEBANON GOING GREEN WORLDENVIRONMENT.TV
Green is a red line ......................................... 18 Green Party of Lebanon ........................... 20 High electricity bills keep it simple ................................................................ 22 Lebanese Red Cross environment program ................................ 26 Breastfeeding could save one million babies every year ........................................................... 30 Green concerns; story of a facebook democracy ............................. 33 BankMed goes green all the way .................................................................. 34 On art & social responsibility CNAG ................................... 36 Seeing beyond the obvious Smogallery ..................................... 40 On war & artistic memory Running Horse Gallery .............................. 44
GREEN IS A RED LINE When the Greens Go Red… D-Day approaches. The greens buzz around their Downtown headquarters. Office phones are all occupied and whoever is not on the phone… is on a cell phone… Or in one of the meeting rooms where last minute preparations are being finalized. NO! It is not a rebellion that the greens are plotting. At least not an armed, violent one. Their revolution is rather peaceful, at least on the outside. However, despite its pacific nature, it burns with an underlying sense of frustration and rages with five simple yet roaring words that they have chosen to be the title of their campaign "green is a red line".
This year, the greens decided that enough was enough. To celebrate the 3rd anniversary of their Green Party of Lebanon, they went all out in a week of green events that took place in September at the Beirut Hippodrome where all social stakeholders gathered to address one unified plea against the environmental atrocities perpetrated in Lebanon. No need for long speeches, empty threats and void promises. The title of the campaign summed it all "green is a red line" and wherever red lines are crossed, the greens promised to be at the front. About the choice of the venue, Ms Amale Khreich, event director says, "we have chosen the Beirut Hippodrome for its national symbolism as one of the few remaining green spaces in Beirut. We wanted people to meet in Beirut, because it is the capital and because it is where the concrete invasion has unfortunately started and we wanted them to savor at least for one day the beauty of a day at the park." The Hippodrome opened its doors to greet the greens and their guests on September 6th. On that day, contestants exhibited their submissions to the "green minds" competition aimed at promoting green creativity and entrepreneurship within a society in dire need of new fresh ideas to preserve its environment. The exhibition carried on through five whole days. Then, on the 8th, more than 7 NGOs, and 15 catering and entertainment companies joined in for a day of green fun and activities open to the general public. On the 9th, celebrations were finally closed with a "Green carpet dinner" gathering partners, politicians, social figures and friends under the beautiful Lebanese starry sky for a night of green glamour to affirm their commitment to a green Lebanon and allow for an atmosphere to exchange ideas and build our green network. Talking about the event, Mrs. Nada Zaarour, Vice President of the Green Party, said that it is anchored in the party's creed that environmental activism must be founded on a strategic alliance between the civil society on the one hand and the private sector on the other. It is on this particular partnership that the green party of Lebanon seems to be betting for the future and this campaign, according to everyone in the party, is just the first tiny step on a very long road that, as they expect, will be filled with challenge. But tomorrow is… will be, another greener day.
Green Party of Lebanon a Vision, a Mission and a Prospect Current Vice President of the Green Party of Lebanon, and running candidate to its presidency, Nada Zaarour is a woman with a vision. Known for her calmness and poise, she handles party concerns with an elegant patient smile. In an exclusive interview, she explains how she seeks to take the party to a new horizon where all its past efforts will materialize into a direct and firm political action.
Q: What are the founding principles of the Green Party of Lebanon, and what are its added value in a tiny country that has an overabundance of political parties? A: There are four pillars that define all green parties in the world and which constitute the backbone of our party in Lebanon namely economic wisdom through economic sustainability, justice through social responsibility, democracy through appropriate decision making, and peace through non violent action. It is within this non violent, constructive framework that we operate as we firmly believe that there is no respect for the environment without peace and no viable peace without a thriving eco region. As for our presence in Lebanon, we believe that, though crucial, work on the civil society level is no longer sufficient. We want to reach the decision making spheres within the Lebanese institutions so we could influence the decisions being taken in favor of the environment. And I believe that we, as greens, can and will make a major change on the political scene in Lebanon. Q: What can the Green Party do that others cannot? A: First of all, the Green Party of Lebanon is by nature a political party that aims innovation as a means of achieving environmental sustainability which is the guarantee of a better future. Our agenda is not environmental only but also socio economic as well. We 20
believe that greens are the best suited to solve the socio economic crisis by transforming the economy into a green economy. This means new job opportunities for young graduates and subsequently less immigration. We work on reducing pressure on the environment and improving quality of life. Q: What are the urgent files you are currently working on? A: We have more files that anyone can think of because Lebanon has been, for the last years, victim to the worst environmental malpractice and negligence. Our main concerns right now are violations against the coastal areas and the issue of 670 illegal quarries in Lebanon that cost the government around 650 Million USD of losses, as per the latest figures from the Ministry of Environment. These losses are not just environmental i.e. loss of trees which entails that the government must pay for the rehabilitation of the soil. We are also talking about losses in non-payment of license fees and penalties. We must seek more accountability and we must implement the "polluter-pays" principle.
We are also currently working on what we consider are two urgent issues in Lebanon: reforestation and preservation of traditional buildings and national heritage. We are planning to increase the green cover of Lebanon from its current 13% to 20 % since the forests of Lebanon are the only shield against desertification, not only locally but also in neighboring countries such as Jordan and Syria. Q: One last word about the event and campaign "Green is a red line" A: Our campaign "Green is a red line" was launched in an event dubbed the same as you know. The title means to say that no one is allowed to cross, neglect or deny the environment anymore. It is a campaign to protect our green Lebanon from environmental aggressions and is based on our belief that any activism must be founded on a partnership with the civil society and with the private sector. This is why we will always work with environmental NGOs and green companies. We believe in partnership. We believe in positive action and we believe in the Lebanese thriving civil society.
Q: How do you intend to do that? A: The only way to hold people accountable is to have a law and a means of enforcing it. Therefore, we have a major project that we are working on which is the establishment of an environmental prosecution in Lebanon. This new legal body will have at its disposal an environmental brigade or police that will be its law enforcement arm. Through this body we will be able to impose respect of the law and file lawsuits against aggressors. In fact, the whole world is now realizing the importance of a legal binding body. This is why, in the latest Copenhagen summit, there was talk about establishing a new environmental court to try crimes against the environment. As for the party, it is now preparing collective lawsuits against polluters in the first two files we mentioned. 21
By Fouad Berjawi
High Electricity Bills Keep it Simple Back in the eighties, my grand-father used to call TV remote controls “American Laziness”, he used to consider a good leg-stretching sport to get up and change the channel manually. When he passed away, my mother and I were going through the old furniture and I couldn’t help but notice the old (I mean seriously old) fridge. It was from the sixties and my grand-parents used to love it for its roomy interior and my grand-father used to comment : “they don’t make them like they used to, anymore”. I used to love that fridge as it brought back a lot of childhood memories especially with its retro look. Once while grabbing a cold drink of water, I inadvertently misplaced my sneaker shoes inside. In those days, energy saving was never in our daily vocabulary. If you uttered the words “Hotmail”, “Facebook” and “Energy Savings” people would treat you with sympathy as they would a mental patient.
Well….as the Bob Dylan songs goes : Times, they are a-changin’. But not necessarily for the better. The dilemma offered by modern technology is this : on one hand, modern household appliances are much more energy efficient than in the 1970s due to technological advancements, while on the other, we have so much more appliances at hand than before. In the old days, as a kid, our home’s electrical consumption used to depend on our use of the fridge, washing machine, water-heaters, airconditioner, television, VHS recorder/player (remember those?) and the occasional weekly uses of a vacuum machine. Today, we have to add to all that, the dishwasher, microwave, electric sandwich heater, Playstation, Internet Routers, Personal Desktop computer, Laptops, feet-massager, coffee-machine, in addition to zillions of small chargers needed to power the good-to-have but often needless or idle devices such as printers, iPods, digital cameras and other devices that bloggers are referring to as SDA (Senseless Desire to Acquire). So, today’s appliances are more energy efficient, but their increasing number in our daily lives is not making global warming any less warmer. Ok, let’s divide the portrayal of our daily lives into two sections: the home appliances and the tech-stuff. Starting with the tech-stuff, let’s start with the obvious: the Personal Computer. Admit it, Bill Gates came up with the slogan “a PC in every home” back in the late eighties and he succeeded. Today it’s more like a PC in every pocket (hence the term Pocket-PC). And, let’s face it; can any of us do without Internet ? Back in the nineties a PC would typically consume around 140 watts, 60 for the computer itself and 80 for the bulky CRT monitor. Today’s desktop computer has increased in consumption to an average of 300 watts, 270 for the computer box and 30 for the LCD
monitor. Take out 40% of that total consumption if your PC uses an AMD processor rather than an Intel Pentium. If you use a Mac, then you won’t consume more than 100 watts. PCs are bulky, hardly movable and require high operating cost in terms of heat and electricity, but they are cheap to buy, even cheaper than laptops. Bear in mind that PCs generate a lot of heat as well. I actually enjoy the heat my PC generates during winter, while all hell breaks loose in the summer. As for the laptop, it consumes a mere 15 to 45 watts depending on the model, they are lightweight, easy to handle, more mobile, flexible to use and rarely used on laps. Where on earth did the name come from still puzzles me. However, laptops are pricy, more prone to breaking down and repairing them is a pain in the neck, not to mention the high cost of repair. In certain cases, it would be just as equal to buy a new laptop rather than repair an old one. So in terms of electrical consumption, if you are a light user (Word, Excel, Facebook, emails … etc) you’re better off using a laptop. And if you live in Lebanon, the best feature in a laptop is the built-in virtual UPS system (uninterrupted power supply) from the fact that it is battery powered, hence you don’t have to save your work if the power goes out. Conclusion: don’t be fooled by the exciting offers of desktops, go for laptops, unless you’re a graphics designer. Today’s mobile phones have improved so much that you can use them as an all-in-one devices in addition to their communication capabilities. To complement your laptop in terms of picture and video capture and upload them to your Facebook profile, all you need is a 5 megapixel plus phone camera. The only downturn is bulkiness. But don’t worry, newer phones are improving in capabilities while reducing or at least maintaining their sizes. As an example,
the Nokia N97 is much more groovy looking and slimmer than the bulky Nokia N95. The Nokia E72 is the same size as its predecessor E71 but with a 5 Megapixel camera instead of 3 on the latter. Bottom line is: get rid of all your cameras, GPSes, iPods and the hectic management of their respective chargers, all you need is a Nokia E72 or N97 mini (or equivalent from other brands) and a laptop to manage and enjoy your music, photos, videos, Facebook, emails, skyping, contact list, meeting schedule and all you can think of in modern business and leisure activities. But those are not your only options: a new generation of mobile phones are on their way to the market, especially the ones based on Android operating systems. Now let’s move to the electrical consumption in other areas of your household, but before we do, allow me to provide a few pointers even if you don’t upgrade your equipment, at least control your consumption cost.
Standby Energy Your TV, microwave, DVD player, phone chargers, stereo system and others, consume electricity even while switched off. A study shows that average consumption of these appliances on “standby mode” consume around 10% of your total bill. The same study gives a few examples : TV (10 watts), clock radio (4 watts), microwave oven (4 watts), stereo system (10 watts) computer and computer monitor (7 watts) mobile phone charger (1 watt), printer (8 watts), DVD player (6 watts). Electrical wall-plugs in Britain have an on-off switch which comes in pretty handy to help you eliminate standby energy, but French and American wall plugs don’t have that switch, you can buy them at any appliance store and switch off the plug when you are not using your appliances. Í 23
Refrigerators Did you know that a single degree Celsius in your fridge’s temperature setting could mean 5% difference in electrical consumption? Set your fridge’s temperature to an ideal 4 degrees. Make it a habit to clean the door’s rubber seal at least once a month to prevent cold air leakage. Dust off the condenser panel at the back of the fridge (the black metal S bars). Accumulating dust on the condenser panels can reduce the fridge’s efficiency by 5 to 10%. As to fridge locations, many modern kitchen design place the back of the fridge in an area void of air circulation, this could damage your fridge on the long run. When buying a fridge look for the “energy” logo shown in this article. This is a sign that the fridge is energy efficient which means they consume around 70% less electricity than old fridges. This standard was introduced in the US in the early nineties and quickly spread to include Europe. Some Asian manufacturers however still lack compliance to energy efficient technologies.
Cooking Of course we all still value the ease of use of the conventional oven and stove, but it’s high time we took a second look at it. First, the cooking oven should be air tight to prevent heat from escaping. You bought this appliance to cook your food inside, not heat your kitchen or home outside of it. Propane gas is still cheap to use, but in the Arab world, unlike the US and Europe, propane gas is not delivered to your home through a city piping system, but rather by bottles as and when the need arises. And besides, when using a gas stove or and oven, heat will escape at one point or another. Of course this is justified if 24
you are cooking for a large family. But if you are cooking for a small number or simply making a cup of coffee, then consider alternative electrical stoves or oven. For example, an electric frying pan will get the heat element closer to the food, instead of being separated by two layers of metal and an air gap. The disadvantage however is cleaning or washing the electric frying pan. It’s a very delicate piece of equipment and sometimes doesn’t respond well to water and dishwashing detergents. My favorite however is heat induction cookers. These cook-top stoves are very energy efficient and incredibly fast to heat up. If you ever forget them on, you don’t have to worry about your kitchen melting down or catching fire. Heat induction cookers work based on magnetic friction which , don’t worry, does not represent any health hazard. The drawback however, and trust me folks, I was victimized by this: you have to change your entire range of pots and pans. You entire heating cookware has to be “heat induction” ready. Normal cookware won’t work on heat induction cookers, but heat induction cookware will work on normal electric cookers. In conclusion, go for induction cookers, they are quick, no heat leakage as they transfer heat directly to the cooking surface, electricity consumption can be controlled better than other technologies and best of all, they are among the safest cooking appliances.
Lighting There are three basic household lighting bulbs, the good old incandescent (or should we say now, bad old), the CFL or Compact Fluorescent Light bulb and the LED (Light Emitting Diode bulb). There are three parameters to consider here : Cost of the bulb, life span, and of course
consumption. There’s a fourth parameter but it’s not a scientific one: practicality. Starting with practicality, the LED light bulb is at a disadvantage although it’s the best in terms of consumption. The problem with LED is they produce directional lighting, i.e. for flashlight when you need to direct a light to a specific corner LEDs are great, even BMW and other car manufacturers have started using LED on their vehicle’s head lights due to their energy saving benefits. However LED performs poorly if you are trying to illuminate a room where you need the light to spread all around. Still we shouldn’t give up, maybe a little decorative adjustment is needed. I’ve seen building entrances in Europe where they use six or eight LED spotlights along the entrance. The same principle could be used in a room. LED bulb manufacturers are trying to solve this problem in basic two ways. One is to move the lateral diodes more horizontally to give a wider radius of lighting. The other is to cover the bulb with crystallized glass that would deflect part of the directional light more laterally in order to provide a greater radius of illumination. Experiments are still in their early stages and people who purchased them are so far satisfied. Let’s hope for the better. Another issue of practicality is that when switch on the light, an normal light bulb will give you its full luminance capacity immediately as will a LED bulb, a CFL bulb however will take around 5 seconds to really light up, it will switch on slightly dimmed than intensity in a few seconds. If you’ve used normal fluorescent tube lights, you know what we’re talking about. Moving on the three parameters that form the running cost of a light bulb, the LED is the best in terms of life span. While the normal light bulb has a life span between 1,000 and 1,500 hours (depending on quality) and the CFL bulb between 8,000 and 12,000 hours, the LED light
bulb has a whopping 60,000 hours life span, so it’s kind of “install and forget”. In terms of consumption, the equivalent of a 60 watts normal light bulb is 14 watts on a CFL bulb and 6 watts on an LED bulb. For example, if your home uses 20 light bulbs and each one is used for an average of 5 hours per day then your daily consumption would be 6000 watts per day if you’re using normal bulbs, 1400 watts if you’re using CFL and a mere 600 watts per day if you’re using LED. That’s only 90% saving on your lighting bill if you switch from normal bulbs to LED. However, making that switch will cost you a small fortune. At present the cost of a 6 watt (60 watt equivalent) LED bulb costs between 40 and 110 USD, so replacing 20 light bulbs in your home would cost you at least 800 USD, and that’s using the low quality ones. While switching to CFL bulbs, with prices ranging from 1 USD to 2.5 USD would cost you at least 20 USD. I would say that’s acceptable wouldn’t you? In conclusion, while LED are the best in terms of technology, their exorbitant process does not render them commercially viable. The best viable solution in terms of running cost. Very few people are aware of this, but in a few years normal incandescent light bulbs will be outlawed in Europe, hence phased out of the European market altogether. We hope Arab countries will follow suit, instead of seeking nuclear energy to cope with rising demand. A first step would be to instigate green laws, encourage alternative green and energy saving products, outlaw or at least ban heavy consumption and antiquated products before burdening our atmosphere with new electric power plants, no matter what the technology is.
Lebanese Red Cross Environment Program Giving a much-deserved role to young people The Lebanese Red Cross has established the Youth Department, which constitutes a very important part of the bigger organization.
Constituted mainly of young adults (17 â€“ 40 years old), the Youth Department members are leading the way toward creating awareness on the fundamental principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent through practice. Their aim is to generate understanding of the organizations strategic guidance among individuals and groups through the dissemination of values and humanitarian principles. In order to benefit the largest possible part of the population, especially children and young people, around 34 centers with 1400 volunteers have been setup all over the Lebanese territory. The newly created department does not only focus on the youth component but gives much attention to the its programs, which are diversified and flexible in order to be able tackle main topics of interest facing the community at large such as: Promoting humanitarian principles and values, road safety, awareness on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases, environmental and health issues, prisons and rehabilitation centersâ€Ś The combination of both the widespread centers and the rich programs provide maximum benefit both to the volunteers and the communities they belong to.
The Environment Program The environment program has been active for over ten years. It was established to promote awareness on several environmental and livelihood issues such as healthy living, poor water management, water pollutionâ€Ś. The current strategy of the program aims at adapting to climate change through raising awareness and 26
modifying human actions towards a better sustainable living environment. In order to make a positive impact on our environment, several drastic measures are required. These actions range from drafting and adopting government laws and regulations through creating and implementing national policies, international cooperation, as well as providing knowledge and tools for sustainable living to even the smallest urban/rural community. The program will adopt a bottom-up procedure as a first phase of the plan, thus raising communities’ awareness with the first step by adapting “Stop and revert bad adaptation practices and processes”. The below diagram (based on the document “Climate Change Youth guide to action” issued by Taking it Global), summarizes in a very efficient manner our way of action; not only regarding Climate Change but in our overall work.
Program Objectives > To increase the knowledge of the target groups about climate change (the danger of dissertation and the missusage of water…) and how their daily life styles and habits can benefit or Harm the overall environment. > To increase the hygiene awareness of the youth and children as key actors in the communities. > To encourage target groups in having a leading role in the protection of their environment by providing them with the required tools and knowledge as a first step, and by helping them to create small environmental clubs at their schools or entourage which will then be responsible of awareness raising in collaboration with one of the youth departments center at the concerned region.
Implementation Procedure This is a multi–phased, long-term project which will be implemented over two phases. Phase I Carry out regular meetings with representatives from the centers to discuss different topics that will eventually become the core of the training for the youth volunteers, and provide them with some basic information (case studies…), and assess their main interests in specific CC topics; discuss the possibilities to link up with local schools or youth clubs in their specific areas, and selecting one as their Pilot Project with whom they will design specific environmental activities. Organize an environmental committee by district (having a representative from each center), which will be working closely with the environment program in the training of facilitators. These facilitators will be in charge of designing activities within their centers as well as coordinating with other centers. Finally, consult Public Health and Environmental Specialists to train the youth volunteers in specifically selected topics. Phase II The second phase involves transmitting the information acquired to the youth and children of the community, where each of the centers will choose a school with whom he will be working with for a year, during which the members will help the target group in creating their own environmental unit within the school. The members will design activities at the level of local communities covered by the youth centers all over Lebanon. Í 27
Where are we now? After the launch of "hand in hand towards a greener difference " on May 18th, 2011 in cooperation with Tinol, which consisted, in its initial phase, creating the biggest hand print canvas which entered the Guinness book of world records. This initiative was executed by the volunteers of the LRC Youth department and the whole of the Lebanese community in October 2010. Over 5000 thousands clothes shopping bags were made. The objective of this campaign is to increase environmental awareness, in the Lebanese society, by highlighting the potential of every citizen to help reduce the risk of climate change and global warming, even through a small personal initiative such as recycling. The Lebanese Red Cross Youth Club at the Lebanese University conducted a Pilot Project, which consisted of providing an overall idea of the environment in general and introducing the Issue of global climate change and its impact on Lebanon and the region to the Universityâ€™s Club volunteers. Another objective is to develop the proposed environmental projects by the UL club, based on the training information acquired and then transmit it to the bigger community. This includes launching and follow-up on the paper recycling initiative for the Campus, recycled artistic models school children exhibition and environmental workshop about climate change for students. 28
Excerpt from the Solferino 2009 Declaration titled Adapting to Climate change and addressing catastrophes: “We, the youth of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, commit ourselves to: 1. Involve ourselves in disaster preparedness, response and recovery, including innovative solutions such as psychosocial support 2. Live up to our commitments on climate change, and make little moves every day, using youth Peer education to change communities 3. Advocate strongly on climate change adaptation, including the protection of climate migrants 4. “Safe food for safe life”, by advocating on food security 5. Advocate for access to clean and safe water, and contribute to sustainable solutions. We call on our National Societies to: 1. Follow through on existing commitments on climate change. We call on the governments of the world and on the international community to reduce vulnerability to disaster by: 1. Creating active and dynamic partnerships at all levels, to address climate change mitigation and adaptation 2. Preparing for and responding to the emerging humanitarian effects of climate change, such as the protection of climate migrants 3. Renewing your commitment to finding sustainable water security for all.”
By Patricia Mouamar
Breastfeeding Could Save One Million Babies EveryYear An increase in the number of women breastfeeding their babies could prevent more than one million deaths of children under five every year, says World Vision following the World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, 2011. World Vision is a child-focused Christian humanitarian international organization serving all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.
World Vision promotes the well being of Lebanon’s children and their communities through emergency relief, education, healthcare, economic development and advocacy. World Vision works with communities around the world, in both long-term programming and emergency responses, to build families’ ability to provide the best nutrition possible for their children, which includes immediate and exclusive breastfeeding. Babies who are not exclusively breastfed in the first few months are at seven times more risk of dying from diarrhea than infants who are. Yet just over a third of babies around the world are immediately and exclusively breastfed. In Lebanon, fewer than 34% of children were breastfed within the recommended first hour of birth and only three in ten women exclusively breastfeed their infant at four months. World Vision is supporting Mother Action Groups (MAG) across Lebanon to convey accurate information about breastfeeding to pregnant women and mothers so that they can help educate and support their peers. “If all babies were fed only breast milk for the first six months of life we will be able to reduce many chronic diseases and allergies in the future” says health specialist Joelle Najjar. “Breastfeeding provides an unequalled source of ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants, especially in the world’s poorest communities, where access to clean water, nutritious food, and reliable sanitation facilities are often little more than a dream.” Immediate and exclusive breastfeeding, when a baby is breastfed within the first hour after birth and remains on nothing but breast milk for the first six months, is the preferred and promoted practice by health and nutrition specialists all over the world. When other complementary foods are added after six months, continuing breastfeeding up to 24 months of age – the critical window of child growth and development – continues the positive and protective effects of breast milk.
In World Breastfeeding Week, World Vision is calling on Lebanese government to: Focus efforts on increasing the rates of exclusive breastfeeding in Lebanon. Ensure adequate, specific resourcing and commitment for comprehensive nutrition packages that include priority on immediate and exclusive breastfeeding. Pay closer attention to ensuring there are enough people, with the right knowledge and skills, working directly with families and communities, to support improved nutrition.
“We strive to promote breastfeeding even under the most difficult circumstances, such as in the context of emergencies (war, man made disaster ect..) we make sure to strengthen on the point of continuing breastfeeding the babies and to not distribute formula as it is the safest and best practice for protecting children’s survival, growth and development,” says Najjar. Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and protects babies against infectious and chronic diseases. Immediate and exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea or pneumonia, and builds the ability to fight illness when it strikes. The majority of health practices in the rural areas of Lebanon are based on myths passed down from one generation to another. Absence of constant awareness on reproductive health and birth spacing has led to an average of eight children per family in some villages. Sexual health and methods of contraception are taboo subjects. Malnutrition and lack of sanitation are causing infectious diseases and diarrhea. Lack of health knowledge for pregnant women is also a silent topic that has never been addressed seriously. In the Bekaa area of Lebanon and the North, mothers had their eyes opened to the significance of the role they have in their communities thanks to the MAG established by World Vision. World Vision started working with Mother Action Groups to empower women on the above issues. Mothers now know more about how to take care of their own health and that of their children, and how to share their newly gained knowledge and skills with other pregnant women and mothers. Information such as exclusive breastfeeding (no other food or liquids) for six months, and the fact that continued breastfeeding after introducing other foods can reduce mortality, was new to most of the women. Í 31
World Vision believes that the best way to improve children’s lives is through child-focused development. We work with communities and children through a range of programmes that promote change and improve their well-being.
About World Vision’s work in Lebanon Advocacy, Peacebuilding, Dialogue andTrafficking: World Vision works to empower communities to know and to speak up for their rights, and to equip children to actively participate in decisions that affect them. We work with communities to promote child rights and protect children from violence manifested in various forms, such as exploitation, abuse and child trafficking. World Vision promotes positive relationships in communities by addressing the causes of conflict and the grievances of the past, in order to promote long-term stability and justice.
Emergency Response and Disaster Mitigation: World Vision strives to reduce the impact of emergencies on people’s lives by responding to urgent humanitarian needs and by helping communities survive, recover, prevent and prepare for future emergencies.
About World Vision’s history in Lebanon
Development: World Vision believes that the best way to improve children’s lives is through child-focused development. We work with communities and children through a range of programmes that promote change and improve their well-being. World Vision’s development work includes the sectors below.
Economic Development: World Vision believes improving job opportunities for parents enables them better meet the needs of their children. World Vision strives to boost the capacity of small- and mediumsized businesses to provide livable incomes for parents
Education: World Vision works in coordination with the ministry of education, school directors, parents, teachers and children to improve the quality of education so that children and youth have the skills and knowledge they need for the best chance for a bright future.
Environment: World Vision believes children have the right to grow up in a healthy environment. Through projects focused on water management, reforestation, environmental awareness- raising and other issues, World Vision aims to protect and enhance Lebanon’s environment for future generations of children.
Health: World Vision strives to ensure mothers have access to information and expertise related to nutrition, reproductive health and childhood illnesses so they can make choices that protect their health and the health of their children. World Vision also promotes healthy lifestyles for youth and equitable access to healthcare services. 32
World Vision has been active in the Lebanon since 1975, when it provided shelter, food, and medicine for people affected by the civil and regional wars. In the eighties, World Vision started its development work among various communities and denominations in Lebanon, mainly through institutional projects and small grants. The nineties witnessed the start-up of Area Development Programmes (ADPs), with a comprehensive and integrated approach to sustainable community development. Today these programmes are planned, designed, and executed through full ownership and involvement of the communities with which World Vision partners. World Vision’s programmes in Lebanon are funded through child sponsorship, local and international grants and private donors. In addition to financial contributions, World Vision accepts gifts-in-kind, typically in the form of food commodities, medicine, and clothing. Currently. World Vision has projects in Marjeyoun, East Sidon, Beirut, the Bekaa, and Bsharreh. World Vision also assists Palestinian refugees in a number of camps throughout the country.
By Hanadi Assaf
Green Concerns Story of a Facebook Democracy The greens in Lebanon are all about new ideas. To test their closeness to people's demands, they posted a status on Facebook asking their friends and acquaintances to identify one pressing environmental issue that they considered as an emergency to be tackled by the party in its future agenda. These were some of the answers they received. For maximum fidelity to what was written, posts were kept as is, Lebanese words and chat language included. Marilyne Sayah: Air pollution caused by car emissions because it affects our health and our weather. LĂŠa Arida : The sewage being either let loose in the sea or dumped in the ground in what we call "joura sohhiyyeh". In the first case, sewage water should be recycled a number of times: organic matter becomes organic fertilizer and grey, harmless water is either used for agriculture or dumped at several kilometers are large in ways that are harmless. In the other case, these things should be abolished and penalized as they pollute and contaminate underground water. Marianne Bou Chedid : Forest fires without any hesitation... Carlo Julien: Water quantity and quality in Lebanon is the first problem that we have to solve, because water is life. It is the wealth of our country and it is the petroleum of the future. Water quality is the barometer of the environment and water quantity is an assurance for less wars all over the world. Patricia Yared: Well I would say there r 2 equally pressing issues: 1st deforestation of former Lebnen El akhdar & 2nd waste management, mainly solid waste w jabal l nifeyet li sar mnabbat fi khadar aktar men lebnen kello :P w yalle 3am bifid bi 3outouro 3a baladna, that is not 2 mention all air borne diseases. Marwa Hariri: I would say waste management... my dream is to have sorting of waste at the source (at home or factory) then recycling... also landfills for solid waste that have many layers of isolation and prevent leakage into aquifers... Fouad Berjaoui: I agree with Marwa and Patricia, the most pressing issue is waste management, the other pressing issue I see is Quarries (Kassarat). There are certain quarries in Lebanon that have a 25 year exploitation license from the Government, (not to mention the illegal ones) these licenses should be revoked IMMEDIATELY. Lara Ghanimeh: Forest fires and tree cutting. Also, the absence of green areas. Like for example in Bourj Hammoud. The solution to this is turning building roofs green. Maha Alzaben: After u finish with water u have to have more green lands to clean the air, then u can work on other matters. Without water, no one will survive, and the disaster is on the way, so water water water then other issues. This is what Lebanon needs now and urgently. Maya Abou Chedid : water that is affected by the infiltration of decomposed junk buried undergroundâ€Ś Water is everybody's issue.. Let's start with the land aka the earth; > Removing buried junk (chemicals & toxic materials..) or creating isolation walls to prevent their leakage into the soil. > Drawing a scheme to treat daily waste and process it into an organic oneâ€Ś > Limiting the number of cars per house & promoting public transportation > Banning the kessarat or @ least creating a give & take law where you take land but you owe to give something pro-nature in return. > Re-educating the whole governmental system :D & people will follow.. Here people follow the leaders, so things should starts with them! Marcelle Nassif: Littering and landscape disfigurement by cement expansion. As someone who lives abroad, every time I am back for the holidays, I am shocked and appalled by the change I see around my house in Lebanon. We are losing our green, our identity and our uniqueness and building malls and towers. This is outrageous and lacks vision because we are losing what gives us our competitive edge. If people wanted towers, malls they would go to Dubai! Rana Daou: water of course! How ironic would it be if we have to buy water from other countries in say 20 years?! All just because we are polluting our reserves, not managing waste water nor rain! Lebanon's water biological clock is ticking big time! Anita Wakim: For me it is Water pollution starting from sea, rivers and underground water... Elie Farah: Urban Planning Please; Waste management; Water management! We need to start with children so awareness in schools is a must! Zeina Kinj: I agree with Lea, the most pressing issue is sewage (the unseen is usually the most dangerous ;) then solid waste management and storm water management.
Creating A Happier Planet BankMed Goes Green All The Way Always a pioneer in ground breaking initiatives in Lebanon, BankMed has once again demonstrated its leadership by taking the lead to tackle one of the biggest challenges Lebanon is facing; global warming and climate change. Lebanon is blessed with a balanced ecosystem, diverse geography, flourishing unique natural habitat and near-perfect weather. BankMed has taken the initiative to preserve and pass on the wealth of the countries God-given nature to the next generation thus ensuring a green and healthy future with the same enthusiasm given to customer needs.
In 2009, BankMed committed to helping create a Happy Green Planet; Declaring 2009 the year to better the environment by launching the “Happy planet” program. Throughout the year BankMed undertook environmentally friendly initiatives both internally - within their own office walls with the close collaboration of their staff- and externally along with the mass public to contribute towards creating a happier planet. The Bank created public environmental awareness and sensitivity through its extensive press and outdoor ad campaign. Pro-green creative visuals flood the cities, conveying the ecological mission. Helping enlighten and form a civic society that respects and cherishes nature and the environment, is at the heart of BankMed Happy Planet program. Within its earth-friendly green initiatives, BankMed also publishes environmental books to build further awareness about the environmental cause and educate people more about the natural heritage available in Lebanon. TV commercials were filmed with Lebanese celebrities 34
adored by the public for their credibility. BankMed believes that if each one of us contributes in doing even infinitely small gestures, it will result in a butterfly effect, and have a huge positive impact on the fight against climate change and nature conservation. These are everyday gestures that don’t require a big effort, but demonstrate civic awareness such as shutting the light off when leaving a room or unplugging you PC when turned off. BankMed sponsored many ecological projects targeting kids and teenagers, who are tomorrow’s generation. A school Competition was launched and for two consecutive years in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to which more than 8000 students participated with more than 50 winners among students and schools. In collaboration with the American University of Beirut, through the Institute of Business Studies & Research (IBSAR) project, BankMed sponsored a landscaping nursery in the town of Akkar, located in the north of Lebanon. The project attempts to reinvigorate grassroots interest in Lebanon’s native flora through volunteer planting initiatives in some 40 villages throughout Lebanon. As part of the on-the-ground, concrete and affirmative eco friendly actions, BankMed went on supporting Lebanon’s green wealth in the Al Shouf Nature Reserve. It is the largest nature reserve in Lebanon accommodating more than a quarter of the country’s remaining cedar trees. The three large Cedar forests and its habitat are certainly the main attraction of this reserve which is one of the rare forests that shelters medium size mammals such as the wolf and the jungle cat as well as various bird species and mountain plants. With little efforts from all it will be possible to take giant steps towards a better Lebanon.
CNAG, an abbreviation for CYNTHIA NOUHRA ART GALLERY will open its doors to the public in Beirut, Lebanon, on November 11, 2011 with a group show entitled: “ The New Era” featuring unique artists such as: Antoine Mansour, Chawky Frenn, Charles Andraos, MarieJoe Raidy, Alexandre Zerbe, Rita Adaimy, Samir Abi Rached, Rethy Tambourgi, Samir Muller and Cynthia Nouhra. Í
ON ART & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY CNAG
To know where a Nation is Going, Look at its current Art Stream
Title: “RAPHAEL WATERING THE CONCRETE PILLARS” By: Antoine Mansour Medium: Sand & Oil on canvas Size: 111.5 x 234 cm Year: 2004
The Gallery will promote modern and contemporary art from around the globe with an emphasis on the will to transcend the human condition. Art, a universal language, can help transmute ignorance into the knowledge of one’s higher self. It is, then, the artist’s role to channel these forces of existence by maneuvering his/her artistic tools in a composition that would enhance those higher virtues of human kind, such as Justice, ethics, humility, respect, etc. It is CNAG’s concern like many others in different fields to participate in the growth of each individual’s awareness first at a micro, national level to then expand like a domino effect to the macro, global level. “Confusion lies in the consideration that the only reality sustainable is that of our egotistic needs, this attitude towards our environment creates a feeling of alienation, where you are a stranger in your own life and in the world. There is another aspect to reality, an invisible one, yet, omnipresent in the physical. To be able to reach that universal intelligence that coordinates the empirical world, one has to detach himself from his little “I” and apprehend the fact that he belongs to a whole. Then and only then there will be no more masks, no more personas, but the articulation of one’s soul reflecting both realities: the temporal and the universal one,” says Cynthia Nouhra, gallery owner. Raphael Watering the Concrete Pillars, is representative of the concept that universal values such as innocence, purity, virtues are the source of life, thus, the temporal.
Jean Michel Bliard is self-taught eclectic. After having created and, for many years managed, a workshop which restored collector sport cars, Jean-Michel Bliard now tries his hand at creating furniture with shapes and principles which are very often playful. He was the winner of the â€˜newcomer' prize in 2006, a prize awarded by the art workshops in France. He therefore likes to play and combine materials which he knows well aluminium meets precious woods, leather, carbon, Kevlar...
With a creative eye and an artful touch innovative artists transform what you might consider trash into amazing art. Ă?
SEEING BEYOND THE OBVIOUS SMOGALLERY
Located in the Karantina area, near the port of Beirut, Smogallery publishes the works of todayâ€™s promising or established international and Lebanese designers and presents them to the public. Smogallery focuses on unique works and limited series, exploring the movement of boundaries between contemporary art, design and architecture; three disciplines that nurture and shape the new territories of design. Itâ€™s an approach that guides its publishing policy, regardless of the nature of the art piece, from furniture and fixtures to other exceptional pieces. Smogallery also suggests a dialogue between the most current design and other rare items exclusive to the gallery, with the aim of breaking down barriers between periods and between modes of expression. In contemporary design, the gallery presents a selection of rare pieces from the second part of the 20th century. This approach of a space conceived as a universe is complemented by a selection of unique pieces or limited editions exclusively made for the gallery. Throughout each exhibition, the gallery, created and managed by architect Gregory Gatserelia, is transformed into a place of constantly renewed discoveries and dynamics, offering for that matter the experience of multiple exchanges, cross-influences and connections. It becomes a source of amazing and transversal occurrences. 42
Black Clouds by Najla el Zein Description & Materials: Metal structure, Black Wool Dimensions: Different Sizes
Above left: Drawer Cabinet by Jean Michel Bliard Description & Materials: A unique Drawer Cabinet made of lacquered wood, metal handles and a metal sheet around the center. Dimensions: Height 105 cm Width 105 cm Below left: Bobourg Armchair by George Mohasseb Description & Materials: Exposed for the first time in at the FIAD in 1999 the Bobourg armchair is a combination of wood & metal; the wood part is painted MDF board where the color is customized. The metal parts are off the shelves heating tubes used in country houses, which become the coughâ€™s support. The tube can come either in galvanized steel or in stainless steel. Dimensions: Height 88 cm Width 64 cm Depth 65 cm 43
September 11, a date that dramatically resonates in both our visual and political memory, is soon approaching. On this day thousands of American flags will rise, 3000 candles will be lit in ground zero, sorrowful moments of silence will be held throughout the World and the media will repeatedly splatter numerous images of the horrifying events that took place in 2001.
ON WAR & ARTISTIC MEMORY RUNNING HORSE GALLERY
“It has been a decade since 9/11, we will always mourn the lives of the innocent who died on that day… but it is about time that we highlight the political donkey ride on which we have been taken on ever since”, states Alfred Tarazi – artist/activist and instigator of the Feel Collective. “ What happened in 2001 in New York has been manipulated by the American administration in order to implement what has later been defined as The New Middle East. It is crucial for us then to reflect on that, it is crucial to remember that the Iraq invasion was based on a lie, it is crucial to remember that the American administration acted in full violation of basic human rights, with disastrous results”. Í 45
“It has been a decade since 9/11, we will always mourn the lives of the innocent who died on that day… but it is about time that we highlight the political donkey ride on which we have been taken on ever since”, states Alfred Tarazi – artist/activist and instigator of the Feel Collective. “ What happened in 2001 in New York has been manipulated by the American administration in order to implement what has later been defined as The New Middle East. It is crucial for us then to reflect on that, it is crucial to remember that the Iraq invasion was based on a lie, it is crucial to remember that the American administration acted in full violation of basic human rights, with disastrous results”. Tarazi instigated the Feel Collective in 2007 with artist/architect Nadim Karam. Together they have congregated a group of cultural activists specialized in different fields and who all have one common interest: to infuse their social environments with new thinking patterns. Tarazi believes that the event of September 11th and those that swiftly followed ( i.e the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq) have been a most obvious mockery of our modern political World and a discrimination of our basic human rights. Í
In the age of communication, information and technology, it has been almost impossible for governments or secret agencies to successfully withhold information from the public. However, this incredible break through in information has resulted in nothing other than having an extremely well informed public who sully shake their heads in dismay. On the 11th of September 2011, The Feel Collective will hold an exhibition at The Running Horse Contemporary Art Space in Beirut. The exhibition titled DIAL 911 For The New Middle East deals specifically with the tragic events of September the 11th 2001, and its even more tragic repercussions on the Middle East. “This is not a show about conspiracy theories or a case of ‘who dunnit’, this is an alarm, an awakening, a disciplinary slap’ claims Tarazi who has long been interested in curating a show that addresses this topic.
By Sherine Bouez Photography Nour El Khazen
Renee El Khazen For the Love of Nature “Nature doesn’t have a design problem. People do....Instead of using nature as a mere tool for human purposes, we can strive to become tools of nature who serve its agenda too......What would it mean to become, once again, native to this place, the Earth - the home of all our relations? ” said William McDonough and Michael Braungart, in Cradle-to-Cradle. Indeed, thinking about the next generation and looking at our initiatives with green lenses is a growing trend in the industry, and landscape architects and designers are increasingly broadening the way they are conceiving of their plans to meet the needs of a progressively aware client.
Different projects present themselves to landscape designers. From small to big plans, these range from huge gardens, to resorts or urban public places. What they all have in common though is that a landscape designer is both an artist and a technician. A project plan is a dream, an aesthetic vision, but also a practical, user-friendly configuration of space that promotes both human relations and the relation between humankind and Mother Nature. Creating an eco-system is therefore a multidisciplinary task that ensures a sustainable ‘natural’ habitat, enjoyed but also outlived by its creators. Our economic climate has had an impact on the attention people are dedicating to having an eco-friendly outdoor area. People are increasingly looking into making use of regional and local resources, recycling, composting, and carefully making choices that require less resources, investments, and care. The origin of the profession can be traced back to ancient cultures and way of life, such as those of Egypt, Persia, Greece, or Rome. Also, history later witnesses highly elaborate designs in Rome or France, the traces of which can still be experienced in buzzing piazzas or beautiful castle gardens. More than ever, landscape design solutions are being geared towards respecting and celebrating nature’s wonders. This entails a preservation and promotion of local specifications such as micro-climates, geography, or origins of plant life, at the same time as a safeguarding of global factors like resources. Mrs. Renee El Khazen, prominent Landscape designer, talks about her passion for her vocation and her extensive international experience in countries ranging from South America, Europe and the Middle East. Í
Landscape designers are the sculptors of the creation process of a new structure. They sculpt around existing conditions and find comprehensive and artistic solutions
SB: What elements do you take into account in your projects? REK: All considerations are made as a function of Man and that of Nature. To structure a space, one of the first questions asked is about the lifestyle of those who will live in that area. Well-calculated staircases, comfortable door openings, carefully chosen perspectives, and various other practical arrangements make it possible to re-arrange spaces in ways that allow man and nature to co-habitate and make the best of one another. Certain plants work suits better specific uses or activities, and make it easy for their caretakers to maintain them in good shape. SB: What would be a simple step a landscape designer could adopt that would go a long way in our quest to preserve the eco-system? REK: One of the first things that are done at the out start of a project is often to wipe everything off of the construction area. There are many options that can be looked at before taking this drastic measure and erasing beautiful old trees or natural plant life off the face of our planet. This is why it is important for the architect to involve the landscape designer in the project from the start. Collaboration is essential in order to use the different elements of nature and sometimes sheds light on basic pointers that make a big difference, such as the direction of a house. It is like doing architecture within architecture! It gives wondrous results. Landscape designers are the sculptors of the creation process of a new structure. They sculpt around existing conditions and find comprehensive and artistic solutions. Ă? 52
SB: How has this gained in importance? REK: Very few people or cultures still have an intimate knowledge of their soil and how to plant it. With the rise of urban spaces, man has lost his sensitivity to nature. Now a formal process needs to be put in place for projects to assess a terrain, the altitude, the climate, etc. Space has acquired a new meaning with the confinement we face in our crowded areas and way of life. Where there is no space we can create one with a wall, an added planter, as a unique possibility to add plant life within the structure in unexpected places. SB: What is the impact on Health? REK: Spending many hours at the office, a home space or a garden has a considerable effect on manâ€™s wellbeing and productivity. Bringing nature inside, but also bringing our inside space out to gather in and share special moments like an open-air living room has become important. Just as Nature is a mirror of human life, movement is an important element to incorporate within the landscape. Also, man should be able to enjoy the environment while sitting, standing or moving around. An example would be the space I have created at Bank Audi in Beirut, where I have used walls for water features and stairs fitted with trees inside planters. Patrick Blanc a renowned vertical garden landscaper has extensively used the art of making the best out of urban areas in creating the vertical garden. The occupation and vocation of landscape architecture and design is in perpetual movement to answer the needs of our evolving ecology, and those of our global community striving to refine the quality of life and the awareness with which we manage our living space. Landscape architecture and design has acquired a new dimension and is now playing a significant role in modeling our evolution. Ă? 55
Another way of putting order into chaos, is increasing the awareness that a property can drastically increase in value in the market just by adding a green roof or a tree lined street
SB: Knowing that chaotic urbanization has destroyed many spaces, how do we restore an environmentally compromised space? REK: The first step would be to firmly protect every single space is left, whatever its size, no matter if horizontal or vertical. Developing strict rules and regulations for this purpose is a crucial step in this process. It goes without saying that the role of the government is vital in the application. Second, a comprehensive program needs to be put in place, including urban planning and landscaping. Another way of putting order into chaos, is increasing the awareness that a property can drastically increase in value in the market just by adding a green roof or a tree lined street.
SB: How do you visualize the future of Landscaping in Lebanon? REK: Our country is hit by a chaotic building wave. In town, some suburbs and mountain, land has lesser surface and higher cost. This phenomenon leads to higher rate of exploitability thus many developers skip green spaces. However, a small number of conscious ones are willing to provide green areas in their projects. I am proud for being the pioneer who made it possible. 56
By Steffen Lehmann
Green Urbanism: Formulating a Series of Holistic Principles New Urbanism is an urban design movement, which arose in the USA in the early 1980s, promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods and transit-oriented development, seeking to end suburban sprawl and promote community. Characteristics include narrow streets, wide sidewalks and higher densities. Green Urbanism is a conceptual model for zeroemission and zerowaste urban design, which arose in the 1990s, promoting compact energyefficient urban development, seeking to transform and reengineer existing city districts and regenerate the post-industrial city center. It promotes the development of socially and environmentally sustainable city districts.
Formulating the Principles of Green Urbanism Green Urbanism is by definition interdisciplinary; it requires the collaboration of landscape architects, engineers, urban planners, ecologists, transport planners, physicists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and other specialists, in addition to architects and urban designers. Green Urbanism makes every effort to minimize the use of energy, water and materials at each stage of the city's or district's life-cycle, including the embodied energy in the extraction and transportation of materials, their fabrication, their assembly into the buildings and, ultimately, the ease and value of their recycling when an individual building's life is over. Cities can and must become the most environmentallyfriendly model for inhabiting our earth. It is more important than ever to reconceptualize existing cities and their systems of infrastructure, to be compact, mixed-use and polycentric cities. This text introduces the Principles of Green Urbanism as a conceptual model and as a framework for how we might be able to tackle the enormous challenge of transforming existing neighborhoods, districts and communities, and how we can re-think the way we design, build and operate in future our urban settlements. These principles are partly universal, but there is no one single formula that will always work. To achieve more sustainable cities, urban designers must understand and apply the core
principles of Green Urbanism in a systematic and adapted way. These principles can be effective in a wide variety of urban situations, but they almost always need to be adapted to the context and the project's scale, to the site's constraints and opportunities; adapting the principles to the particular climatic conditions, availability of technology, social conditions, project scale, client's brief, diverse stakeholder organizations, and so on. It is an approach to
urban design that requires an optimization process and a solid understanding of the development's wider context and its many dimensions before the designer can produce an effective design outcome. (McHarg, 1969. Brundtland, 1987. Wheeler and Beatley, 2004. Lehmann, 2005) The 15 guiding Principles of Green Urbanism, for local action and a more integrated approach to urban development. It must be noted, though, that in order to enable sustainable urban development and to ensure that ecodistricts are successful on many levels, all urban design components need to work interactively and cannot be looked at separately. Understandably, it requires a holistic approach to put the principles in action, although they need to be adapted to the location, context and scale of the urban development. It may be difficult at first to achieve some of the principles, but they can potentially reach early payback, improve livability and increase opportunities for social interaction of residents. The 15 principles offer practical steps on the path to sustainable cities, harmonizing growth and usage of resources. Ă?
Principle 2 RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR ZERO CO2 EMISSIONS
Principle 1 CLIMATE AND CONTEXT The city based on its climatic conditions, with appropriate responses to location and site context. What are the unique site constraints, climatic conditions and opportunities? Every site or place has its own unique individual conditions in regard to orientation, solar radiation, rain, humidity, prevailing wind direction, topography, shading, lighting, noise, air pollution and so on. Climatic conditions are seen as the fundamental influence for formgeneration in the design of any project: understanding the site and its context, which is essential at the beginning of every design project; optimizing orientation and compactness to help reduce the city's heat gain or loss; achieving a city with minimized environmental footprint by working with the existing landscape, topography and resources particular to the site, and the existing micro-climate of the immediate surroundings. Due to the different characteristics of every location, each city district has to come up with its own methods and tailored strategies to reach sustainability and to capture the spirit of the place. We will need to understand how to take full advantage of each location's potential, and how to fine-tune the design concept, appropriate to its societal setting and contexts.
The city as a self-sufficient on-site energy producer, using decentralized district energy systems. How can energy be generated locally and supplied emission-free and in the most effective way? The various aspects of this principle include : Energy supply systems and services , as well as energy efficient use and operation , promoting increased use of renewable power , and perhaps natural gas as a transition fuel in the energy mix , but moving quickly away from heavy fossil-fuels such as coal and oil ; and the transformation of the city from an energy consumer to an energy producer , with local solutions for renewables and the de-carbonizing of the energy supply . The supply of oil will last shorter than the life-expectancy of most buildings . Energy-efficiency programs are not enough . Too often we find that savings from energy-efficiency programs are absorbed by a rise in energy use . The local availability of a renewable source of energy is the first selection criteria for deciding on energy generation . In general , a wellbalanced combination of energy sources can sensibly secure future supply , with distributed decentralized systems . This will transform city districts into local power stations of renewable energy sources , which includes solar PV , solar thermal , wind , biomass , geothermal , mini-hydro energy and other new technologies . Some of the most promising technologies are in buildingintegrated PV , urban wind turbines , micro CHP and solar cooling . That is to say , there should be on-site electrical generation and energy storage in combination with a smart grid , which integrates local generation , utilizing energy-efficiency in all its forms . Solar hot water systems would be compulsory . Optimizing the energy balance can be achieved by using exchange and cascading ( energy ) principles .
Principle 4 WATER Principle 3 ZERO-WASTE CITY The zero-waste city as a circular, closed-loop ecosystem. How to avoid the creation of waste in the first place â€“ changing behaviour of consumption? Sustainable waste management means to turn waste into a resource. All cities should adopt nature's zero-waste management system. Zero-waste urban planning includes reducing consumption, recycling, reusing and composting waste to produce energy. All material flows need to be examined and fully understood, and special attention needs to be given to industrial waste and ewaste treatment. We need to plan for recycling centers, for zero landfill and eliminating the idea of waste through better understanding of nutrient flows. Ecodistricts are neighborhoods where we reuse and recycle materials and significantly reduce the volume of consumption and toxic chemical releases. All construction materials as well as the production of building components need to be healthy and fullyrecyclable. Waste prevention is always better than the treatment or cleaning-up after waste is formed. The remanufacturing of metals, glass, plastics, paper into new products needs to be a routine (without down-grading the product); an 'extended producer responsibility' clause is needed for all products. Essentially, we need to become (again) a 'recycling society', where it is common that around 70 to 90 per cent of all waste is recycled or composted, and materials and nutrients are recovered.
The city with closed urban water management and a high water quality. What is the situation in regard to the sustainable supply of potable drinking water? The various aspects of this principle include, in general, reducing water consumption, finding more efficient uses for water resources, ensuring good water quality and the protection of aquatic habitats. The city can be used as a water catchment area by educating the population in water efficiency, promoting rainwater collection and using wastewater recycling and storm water harvesting techniques. Storm water and flood management concepts need to be adopted as part of the urban design, and this includes storm water run-offs and improved drainage systems and the treatment of wastewater. This includes such things as algae and biofiltration systems for grey water and improving the quality of our rivers and lakes so that they are fishable and swimmable again. An integrated urban water cycle planning and management system that includes a highperformance infrastructure for sewage recycling (grey and black water recycling; solar-powered desalination plants), storm water retention and harvesting the substantial run-off through storage, must be a routine in all design projects. On a household level we need to collect rain water and use it sparingly, and install dualwater systems and low-flush toilets. On a food production level we need to investigate the development of crops that need less water and are more drought resistant. Ă?
Principle 6 SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT AND GOOD PUBLIC SPACE: COMPACT AND POLYCENTRIC CITIES Principle 5 LANDSCAPE, GARDENS AND URBAN BIODIVERSITY The city that integrates landscapes, urban gardens and green roofs to maximize biodiversity. Which strategies can be applied to protect and maximize biodiversity and to re-introduce landscape and garden ideas back in the city, to ensure urban cooling? A sustainable city takes pride in its many beautiful parks and public gardens. This pride is best formed through a strong focus on local biodiversity, habitat and urban ecology, wildlife rehabilitation, forest conservation and the protecting of regional characteristics. Ready access to these public parks, gardens and public spaces, with opportunities for leisure and recreation, are essential components of a healthy city. The sustainable city also needs to introduce inner-city gardens, urban agriculture and green roofs in all its urban design projects (using the city for food supply). It needs to maximize the resilience of the ecosystem through urban landscapes that mitigate the 'urban heat island' (UHI) effect, using plants for air-purification and urban cooling. Further, the narrowing of roads, which calms traffic and lowers the UHI effect, allows for more (all-important) tree planting. Preserving green space, gardens and farmland, maintaining a green belt around the city, and planting trees to absorb C02. Restoring stream and riverbanks, maximizing species diversity. In all urban planning, we need to maintain and protect the existing ecosystem that stores carbon and plan for the creation of new carbon storage sinks by increasing the amount of tree planting.
The city of eco-mobility, with a good public space network and an efficient low-impact public transport system for post-fossil-fuel mobility. How can we get people out of their cars, to walk, cycle, and use public transport? Good access to basic transport services is crucial, as it helps to reduce automobile dependency, as does reducing the need to travel. We need to see integrated non-motorized transport, such as cycling or walking, and, consequently, bicycle/pedestrian-friendly environments, with safe bicycle ways, free rental bike schemes and pleasant public spaces. It is important to identify the optimal transport mix that offers inter-connections for public transport and the integration of private and public transport systems. Some ideas here include: eco-mobility concepts and smart infrastructure (electric vehicles); an integrated system of bus transit, light railway, bike stations; improved public space networks and connectivity, and a focus on transit-oriented development (green TODs). It is a fact that more and wider roads result in more traffic and C02 emissions, and also allows for sprawling development and suburbs. The transport sector is responsible for causing significant greenhouse-gas emissions (over 20 percent). To combat this effect we need to change our lifestyles by taking public transport, or car-pooling. Alternatively, we can ride a bike or walk, if the city district has been designed for it. Personal arrangements have the potential to reduce commuting and to boost community spirit. Ă?
A sustainable city takes pride in its many beautiful parks and public gardens. This pride is best formed through a strong focus on local biodiversity, habitat and urban ecology, wildlife rehabilitation, forest conservation and the protecting of regional characteristics.
Principle 8 DENSITY AND RETROFITTING OF EXISTING DISTRICTS
Principle 7 LOCAL AND SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS WITH LESS EMBODIED ENERGY City construction using regional, local materials with less embodied energy and applying prefabricated modular systems. What kind of materials are locally available and appear in regional, vernacular architecture? The various aspects of this principle include: advanced materials technologies, using opportunities for shorter supply chains, where all urban designs focus on local materials and technological know-how, such as regional timber in common use. Affordable housing can be achieved through modular prefabrication. Prefabrication has come and gone several times in modern architecture, but this time, with closer collaboration with manufacturers of construction systems and components in the design phase, the focus is on sustainability. We need to be aware of the embodied energy of materials and the flow of energy in closing life-cycles. We need to emphasize green manufacturing and an economy of means, such as process-integrated technologies that lead to waste reduction. It is more environmentally friendly to use lightweight structures, enclosures and local materials with less embodied energy, requiring minimal transport. Success in this area will increase the long-term durability of buildings, reduce waste and minimize material consumption.
The city with retrofitted districts, urban infill, and densification/intensification strategies for existing neighborhoods. What are the opportunities to motivate people to move back to the city, closer to workplaces in the city centre? This principle includes: encouraging the densification of the city center through mixed-use urban infill, center regeneration and green TODs; increasing density and compactness (compact building design means developing buildings vertically rather than horizontally); promoting business opportunities around green transitoriented developments; retrofitting inefficient building stock and systematically reducing the city's carbon footprint. Consideration will need to be given to better land-use planning to reduce the impact of urban areas on agricultural land and landscape; to increasing urban resilience by transforming city districts into more compact communities and designing flexible typologies for innercity living and working. Special strategies for large metropolitan areas and fastgrowing cities are required, such as for Asian cities. Special strategies are also needed for small and medium-sized towns (due to their particular milieu), and for the particular vulnerabilities of Small Island States and coastal cities. Public space upgrading through urban renewal programs will bring people back to the city centre. Strategic thinking about how to reuse brownfield and greyfield developments and the adaptive reuse of existing buildings, remodeling and reenergizing existing city centers. This can be achieved through mixeduse urban infill projects, building the' city above the city' by converting low density districts into higher density communities; and by revitalizing underutilized land for community benefit and affordable housing. In the compact city, every neighborhood is sustainable and self-sufficient; and uses ESCo principles for selffinancing energy efficiency in all retrofitting programs.
Principle 10 LIVABILITY, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES AND MIXED-USE PROGRAMS
Principle 9 GREEN BUILDINGS AND DISTRICTS, USING PASSIVE DESIGN PRINCIPLES The city that applies deep green building design strategies and offers solar access for all new buildings. How can we best apply sustainable design and passive design principles in all their forms and for all buildings? The various aspects of this principle include: low-energy designs, applying best practice for passive design principles, for all buildings and groups of buildings; dramatically reducing energy use, introducing compact solar architecture; and retrofitting the entire building stock. New design typologies need to be developed at low cost, and we need to produce functionally more neutral buildings that last longer. This includes applying facade technology with responsive building skins for bio-climatic architecture, to take advantage of cooling breezes and natural cross-ventilation, maximizing crossventilation, day-lighting and opportunities for night-flush cooling. We will focus on the low consumption of resources and materials, including the reuse of building elements (design for disassembly). Mixed-use concepts for compact housing typologies; adaptive reuse projects that rejuvenate mature estates; solar architecture that optimizes solar gain in winter and sun shading technology for summer, catching the low winter sun and avoiding too much heat gain in summer. It is important to renew the city with energy-efficient green architecture, creating more flexible buildings of long-term value and longevity (flexibility in plan leads to a longer life for buildings).
The city with a special concern for affordable housing, mixed-use programs, and a healthy community. How does urban design recognize the particular need for affordable housing, to ensure a vibrant mix of society and multi-functional mixed-use programs? Land use development patterns are the key to sustainability. A mixed-use (and mixed-income) city delivers more social inclusion, and helps to repopulate the city centre. Demographic changes, such as age, are a major issue for urban design. It is advantageous for any project to maximize the diversity of its users. Different sectors in the city can take on different roles over a 24 hours cycle; for example, the CBD is used for more than just office work. In general we want connected, compact communities, applying mixed-use concepts and strategies for housing affordability, offering different typologies for different housing needs. To this end we need affordable housing together with new flexible typologies for inner-city living. These mixed-use neighborhoods (of housing types, prices and ownership forms) avoid gentrification and provide affordable housing in districts inclusive for the poor and the rich, young and old, and workers of all walks of life, and also provide secure tenure (ensuring 'aging in place'). Housing typologies need to deal with demographical changes. We have to understand migration and diversity as both an opportunity and a challenge. Mixed land uses are particularly important as it helps reduce traffic. Master plans should require all private developments to contain around 40 percent of public (social) housing, integrated with private housing. Higher densities will centre on green TODs, with jobs, retail, housing and a city campus being close by, with IT and tele-working from home significantly helping to reduce travel (motto: 'Don't commute to compute'). Ă?
Principle 11 LOCAL FOOD AND SHORT SUPPLY CHAINS The city for local food supply, with high food security and urban agriculture. Which strategies can be applied to grow food locally in gardens, on roof tops and on small spaces in the city? The various aspects of this principle include: local food production; regional supply; an emphasis on urban farming and agriculture, including 'eat local' and 'slow food' initiatives. The sustainable city makes provision for adequate land for food production in the city, a return to the community and to the allotment gardens, where roof gardens can become an urban market garden. It is essential that we bridge the urban-rural disconnect and move cities towards models that deal in natural ecosystems and healthy food systems. The people of the eco-city will garden and farm locally, sharing food, creating compost with kitchen scraps and garden clippings and growing community vegetables, buying and consuming locally. Such things as re-using paper bags and glass containers, paper recycling and the cost of food processing will need reconsideration. We will need to reduce our consumption of meat and other animal products, especially shipped-in beef, as the meat cycle is very intensive in terms of energy and water consumption and herds create methane. As much as 50 percent of our food will need to be organically produced, without the use of fertilizers or pesticides made from oil, and grown in local allotments.
Principle 12 CULTURAL HERITAGES, IDENTITY AND SENSE OF PLACE The city of public health and cultural identity: a safe and healthy city, which is secure and just. How to maintain and enhance a cityâ€™s or regionâ€™s identity, unique character and valued urban heritage, avoiding interchangeable design that makes all cities look the same? All sustainable cities aim for air quality, and pollution reduction, to foster resilient communities, to have strong public space networks and modern community facilities. This is the nature of sustainable cities. However, each city has its own distinct environment, whether it be by the sea, a river, in a dessert, a mountain; whether its climate is tropical, arid, temperate, etc, each situation is unique. The design of the city will take all these factors better into consideration, including materials, history and population desires. The essence of place is the up-swelling of grassroots strategies, the protection of its built heritage and the maintenance of a distinct cultural identity, e.g. by promoting locally owned businesses, supporting creativity and cultural development. New ideas require affordable and flexible studio space in historic buildings and warehouses. Cities will grow according to the unique qualities of localities, demographic qualities of the populace and the creativity of the authorities and citizens. The aim of a city is to support the health, the activities and the safety of its residents.
Sustainable Development Principle 13 URBAN GOVERNANCE, LEADERSHIP AND BEST PRACTICE The city applying best practice for urban governance and sustainable procurement methods. Which networks and skills can be activated and utilized through engaging the local community and key stakeholders, to ensure sustainable outcomes? Cities are a collective responsibility. Good urban governance is extremely important if we want to transform existing cities into sustainable compact communities. It has to provide efficient public transport, good public space and affordable housing, high standards of urban management, and without political support change will not happen. City councils need strong management and support for their urban visions to be realized. They need a strategic direction in order to manage sustainability through coherent combined management and governance approaches, which include evolutionary and adaptive policies linked to a balanced process of review, and to public authorities overcoming their own unsustainable consumption practices; changing their methods of urban decision-making. A city that leads and designs holistically, that implements change harmoniously, and where decision-making and responsibility is shared with the empowered citizenry, is a city on the road to sustainable practices. In balancing community needs with development, public consultation exercises and grassroots participation are essential to ensuring peoplesensitive urban design and to encouraging community participation. Enabling people to be actively involved in shaping their urban environment is one of the hallmarks of a democracy. As far as bureaucratic urban governance is concerned, authorities will consider the following: updating building codes and regulations; creating a database of best practice and policies for eco-planning; revising contracts for construction projects; raising public awareness; improving planning participation and policymaking; creating sustainable subdivisions, implementing anti-sprawl land-use and growth boundary policies; legislating for controls in density and supporting highquality densification; arriving at a political decision to adopt the Principles of Green Urbanism; measures to finance a low-to-no-carbon pathway; introducing a program of incentives, subsidies and tax exemptions for sustainable projects that foster green jobs; eliminating fossil-fuel subsidies; developing mechanisms for incentives to accelerate renewable energy take-up; promoting sustainability assessment and certification of urban development projects.
Principle 14 EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE The city with education and training for all in sustainable urban development. How to best raise awareness and change behavior? This principle includes: technical training and up-skilling, exchange of experiences, knowledge dissemination through publications about ecological city theory and sustainable design. Primary and secondary teaching programs need to be developed for students in such subjects as waste recycling, water efficiency and sustainable behavior. Research in behavior change is necessary. The city is a hub of institutions, such as galleries, libraries and universities, where knowledge can be shared. We must provide sufficient access to educational opportunities and training for the citizenry, thus increasing their chances of finding green jobs. Universities can act as 'think tanks' for the transformation of their cities. We also need to redefine the education of architects, urban designers, planners and landscape architects. Research centers for sustainable urban development policies and best practice in eco-city planning will be founded, where assessment tools to measure environmental performance are developed and local building capacity is studied. Ă?
The sustainable city also needs to introduce inner-city gardens, urban agriculture and green roofs in all its urban design projects
Principle 15 STRATEGIES FOR CITIES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Particular sustainability strategies for cities in developing countries, harmonizing the impacts of rapid urbanization and globalization. What are the specific strategies and measurements we need to apply for basic low-cost solutions appropriate to cities in the developing world? Developing and emerging countries have their own needs and require particular strategies, appropriate technology transfer and funding mechanisms. Cities in the developing world cannot have the same strategies and debates as cities in the developed world. Similarly, particular strategies for emerging economies and fast-growing cities are required, as is the problem of informal settlements and urban slum upgrading. Low-cost building and mass housing typologies for rapid urbanization are required in cooperation with poverty reduction programs. It is essential that we train local people to empower communities, creating new jobs and diversifying job structures, so as not to focus on only one segment of the economy (e.g. tourism). Achieving more sustainable growth for developing metropolitan cities is necessary to combat climate change, which was mainly caused through the emissions by industrialized nations and which is having its worst effect in poorer countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, is now a priority. The problem of urban design is complex. Designing a city requires holistic, multi-dimensional approaches, and each time the adaptation of strategies to a unique context. Clearly, much of Green Urbanism is common sense urbanism. In future, Green Urbanism has to become the norm for all urban developments. The Principles of Green Urbanism are practical and holistic, offering an integrated framework, encompassing all the key aspects needed to establish sustainable development and encouraging best practice models. The replicability of models is hereby very important. The principles form a sustainability matrix, which will empower the urban designer and to use Richard Buckminster Fuller's words lito be able to do more with less". 68
By Mark William Lowe
Modern Agriculture The role of UAVs in Modern Agriculture Back in March of this year, The Wall Street Journal published an article focused on China’s growing dependence on food imports. Embedded halfway though the article was an alarming statement made by a Chinese Government official; “our ability to meet consumption levels is clearly insufficient….” Í
Finmeccanica’s specially developed Sky-Y undergoing tests
Right: BAE Systems’ experimental Stealthy and Autonomous Robotic Dragonfly (SARD)
Chen Xiwen, Director of the State Council's Executive Office on Rural Policy, went on to specify that “China may not be able to meet sharply rising food demand from its domestic resources.” Although no stranger to food shortages or famine, China is concerned, and so should the rest of the world be. While on the one hand the current situation clearly suggests room for further growth in food imports, which is good news to exporting nations and private commercial interests, on the other the Chinese Government will be making ever greater efforts to assure the ownership and management of arable land and agricultural resources abroad. Beijing’s plight is not new and has been the focus of western media reports on several occasions, indeed as far back as 2004, The Guardian, a leading British daily broadsheet, reported on the significance of China’s soya imports having overtaken domestic production. As Mr. Chen pointed out when interviewed by The Wall Street Journal in March, “China used to be the world's largest soybean producer, now it's the world's largest soybean importer." Current studies indicate that China is far from alone in being unable to meet sharply rising food demand from its domestic resources alone. A number of factors, including the consequences of climate change, rising populations, and, in rapidly developing nations, dietary changes as populations becomes wealthier, are the driving forces behind the risk of food shortages. Inevitably food will become more expensive, peak oil, climate change, alternative uses of arable land such as biomass production, and economic realignment have all contributed to ensuring that prices will continue to rise.
Agriculture and Foreign Policy Beijing is not alone in its worries over food production. Although for decades at the forefront of agricultural innovation and production, the United States, traditionally a major food exporter, has more than its fair share of concerns. A number of meteorologists and agronomists are concerned over the future of the United States’ production capabilities, claiming that more intense and 72
prolonged adverse weather conditions are endangering the future of American crop production. Recently the American Farm Bureau Federation calculated that flooding had affected over 6.6 million acres of farmland and 40% of the rice crop. In the opinion of several experts, the consequences of extreme weather represent not only a threat to food production but to the very livelihood of the nation's farmers. China is possibly an extreme case, it has to feed 20% of the world's overall population with only 7% of the planet's arable land, however, all of the world’s nations need to improve agricultural practices and production in order to ensure internal and geopolitical stability. Projections as to what will happen in a decade’s time are almost invariably wrong, but the tide appears to have turned against China and its efforts to reach autonomy in food production. Beijing will undoubtedly become ever more dependent on imports and this will give rise to a number of complicated problems. As an example, China’s food problem will become a chess piece in the competition between Beijing and Washington. China currently holds at least $2 trillion of U.S. government bonds, as a result America has not had much leverage in offsetting issues and concerns close to its interests. Food exports to China, if they can be increased, may well help Washington address this problem. Any significant increase in agricultural production, and the consequential rise in exports to China, would bring about a situation whereby the monumental playing field between China and America would in part be levelled.
Precision Agriculture Precision Agriculture is a farm management concept based on the use of data gathered via modern technologies to optimise food production while reducing production costs and environmental impact. Crop needs, such as water and fertiliser, can be monitored and the necessary actions taken in real time. In the case of the use of fertiliser, real time monitoring offers the dual advantage of financial savings and a reduction of environmental risks, for example limiting the leaching of nitrogen into the soil. The concept of Precision Agriculture emerged and took root
An Advanced AUV Technology VTOL undergoing tests in Italy
in the United States at the beginning of the 1980’s, other countries were slow to follow with a number of European countries only adopting the by then well established American and Canadian practices a decade later. Despite having become an established practice in Europe, it is estimated that currently only 10% of French agricultural land is managed according to Precision Agriculture techniques and technologies. Precise data for other European nations is hard to establish but it is safe to imagine that France is not an isolated case. Fortunately there appears to be an increased interest in the concepts of Precision Agriculture and its advantages, in particular increased crop yields, reduced production costs and, importantly, benefits to the environment. Any reduction of the environmental footprint of industrial farming is good news. At the time of writing this article the British press is awash with reports of the numerous sightings of Leatherback turtles off the coast of Wales – without doubt something positive for local marine life enthusiasts, but perhaps an issue with a rather sinister side; the overuse of fertilisers. It is the Leatherback turtles' taste for jellyfish which appears to be leading them to the Welsh coast. Of late there has been a boom in the quantity of jellyfish and a number of experts suggest that, amongst other factors, nutrients running into the sea may have contributed to the increase in jellyfish numbers. The nutrients in question come from agricultural fertilizers. Although of apparent benefit to the turtles, this excess of nutrients indicates a non optimized use of fertilizers. That which is not absorbed by crops is washed off the fields by rainwater and enters the sea via streams and rivers. In addition to environmental concerns there is the issue of competitiveness, reduced costs are of interest to producers but in the greater picture they mean lower food prices – something of particular importance worldwide.
The use of UAV platforms in Precision Agriculture Designed and developed in the main part for military and security purposes, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are one of the more interesting technologies making an entry onto the Precision Agriculture scene. Per se UAVs are simply platforms but coupled with a variety of instruments, from sensors to sophisticated camera equipment, they represent a valuable tool in the effort to optimize agricultural production. Cuts in defence spending budgets are forcing a number of UAV manufacturers to consider potential dual use applications for their technologies and Precision Agriculture now figures high on the list. At the forefront of 74
this development is Malcolm Warr, Chairman of the specialized UAV consulting firm Skeo. Warr’s company is advising a number of manufacturers as to possible alternative uses for their technology and has been focused on agricultural uses for some time. According to Warr, a former Royal Navy Officer,“Where there was reticence there is now enthusiasm and we’re definitely seeing the beginnings of a trend towards using predominately military technologies in the field of agriculture.” He added that, “Interest is growing considerably and a number of positive developments are expected in the short-term.” Skeo have teemed with the Italian company, TTLab, in order to complement their existing consulting services to UAV manufacturers wishing to enter the Precision Agriculture market. TTLab have considerable experience in the design and development of sensors and have demonstrated the validity of modern biological/electronic
technologies and Information Technology methodologies. TTLab’s Research Director, Roberto Mo, explained that “The global population is expanding rapidly and thus optimising and increasing food production and supply is critical.” Mo believes that improving current production techniques is only part of the equation, “We must concentrate on the improvement of existing resources but also identify new resources such as cultivable areas in emerging areas”, adding that “all future actions must draw on and benefit from the introduction of biological/electronic technologies and IT methodologies”. Mo and his colleagues firmly believe that UAVs can play a fundamental role in increasing food production, air borne platforms can carry sensors and equipment used to monitor production and ground conditions with the resulting data, integrated with data from other sources, then being analysed by specially developed Decision Support software.
Software and Simulators TTLab have designed and developed systems based on the concepts of the Predictive Approach – the analysis of static indicators such as soil, resistivity, field history, etc. during the crop cycle, and the Control Approach – information from regularly updated static indicators during the crop cycle such as sampling, weighing biomass, measuring leaf chlorophyll content, weighing fruit, etc. Other parameters that contribute to a full understanding of the overall scenario are measurements such as temperature (air and soil), humidity (air/soil/leaf), and wind patterns. While in the past aerial or satellite remote sensing data, for example multispectral imagery, was acquired and processed in order to produce maps of a crops biophysical parameters, Mo believes that UAVs represent an important tool to improving and reducing the
Left: An Advanced AUV Technology VTOL taking off during crop mapping tests Below: Finmeccanica’s Sky-Y, a demonstrator for innovative techniques and technologies
cost of agricultural Decision Support systems. According to Mo, “We are increasing the data collection methods, options and technologies so as to supply ever more precise input to the systems. The results and consequent recommendations improve all the time but in terms of real world decisions it is up to the farmer to decide what the best actions are in terms of business value and environmental impact.” TTLab are keen to further develop Precision Agriculture technologies, in particular Mo would like to demonstrate the validity of simulators. In his opinion the correlation and analysis of a series of basic data elements can lead to highly reliable predictions, “Using simulators we can examine ways of increasing crop yields, appraise means of defending crops from disease while maintaining a full respect for the environment, and evaluate man’s interaction with nature without the risk of environmental damage.” Mo lists the key components of an integrated Precision Agriculture simulator as being the following: > a system for evaluating yield increase and product development; > a system for simulating the risk of crop disease to agricultural products; > a reliable field data collection system; > a well tested and reliable software system capable of correlating data in real time; and > a correctly designed user interface that uses augmented reality technology in order to facilitate the decision making process. As opposed to what is oft imagined, Precision Agriculture does require near-real-time data; crops may grow slowly but when they need water they need it immediately. The correct and optimized irrigation of crops relies on a series of data elements that have to be delivered on a constant basis. On large scale projects this can be a serious problem as data networks are required and where there is a need to cover large areas they can be expensive. They are also notoriously fickle. UAVs can be used to collect data from static sensor 76
positions, rather than transmitting data over large distances the sensors can transmit data the short distance required to be picked up by UAVs and stored or forwarded in real time to a data collection point. While conducting the data collection mission the UAVs would also be used to gather addition data from onboard sensors.
that “While on the one hand we’re very much focused on assisting the larger manufacturers to reach their full dualuse potential, on the other we’re working with some of the smaller companies that are beginning to emerge now that the market is maturing.”
Expanding Recourse to Precision Agriculture
Environmental Considerations Warr explained that gathering data was greatly facilitated by the fact that even the smaller UAV platforms were programmed to use predefined flight plans. After only a minimum of training, non specialists operators can define flight plans via maps displayed on a computer screen. Using predefined flight plans as opposed to controlling UAVs manually also assures far great precision during flights. Operators are trained to take full manual control of the UAVs and are always ready to do so should difficulties arise during a flight. Both Mo and Warr agree that the use of UAVs offers a number of advantages but, as Warr points out, “We need to use electrically propelled vehicles and if we want to fully respect the environment the power required to recharge them should come from renewable sources.” Warr is confident that the same principals can be applied to farms of all sizes, modern sensors and camera equipment do not weigh very much and thus payload – a UAV’s lift capacity – is not a factor of great importance, what influences the choice of UAV is the distance to be travelled or permanence in the air. According to Warr, “We’ve been involved in the testing of a number of platforms and we’re confident that electrically powered UAVs can do the job, a number of the more sophisticated platforms were developed with silence in mind, Taliban and terrorists were not meant to hear them, so this environmental concern is resolved.” Warr also points out that the UAV market has a solution for every task and every pocket, “UAVs come in all sizes and configurations, we have a lot of solutions that are more than adapt for the Precision Agriculture sector”, adding
While the majority of Precision Agriculture projects that involve the use of UAVs are run in the United States of America or Australia, both Mo and Warr are of the opinion that recent technological advances favour the introduction of UAVs to European projects. Warr explained that “In the United States it’s really about the size of the farms and the established presence of UAVs in a number of different sectors. In Europe we make them, we buy and sell them and we operate them but more than anything else in the fields of security and defence. Ironically UAVs are an established presence in the film making, documentary and advertising worlds. Times and realities are changing and I’m confident that in due course we will see UAVs flying over European fields.” Europe represents but the first step, Skeo and TTLab would like to experiment large scale mapping and monitoring projects in developing nations. According to Mo, “While we need to concentrate on yield optimisation and respect for the environment in the more developed areas, we should not forget about the requirement to improve existing farming methods and open up new areas to agriculture in the developing countries”. Given the current predictions as to climate change and population growth, it would appear that any transfer of technology towards agriculture would be more than welcome. It would be particularly satisfying to see technology developed for security and defence purposes harnessed to improve food production. In the words of Malcolm Warr, “Without beating about the bush it is all about security and defence, the security of our food supplies and the defence of our standards of living.” 77
By Fabrizio Pirri
AGRO-ING CONCERN Large-scale innovation is needed if Europe is to retain its place at the apex of the global agro-food industry, urges the Italian Institute of Technology’s Professor Fabrizio Pirri…
The European agro-food industry is the largest manufacturing sector in Europe. The agriculture and food sectors together represent the third largest employer, providing 16 million jobs, and the second largest exporter of foodstuffs globally. France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain are the largest EU food and drink producers; together they account for more than 80% of total EU production. The EU is also the biggest global importer of agricultural products. EU-imported raw materials are then re- exported after adding value processes. Thus, the European agro-food industry is a leading global exporter with a positive trade balance. This ability to add value provides the industry with a significant competitive advantage. In the last few years, however, the future of the agrofood industry in Europe has become increasingly uncertain. There is increased competition from non-EU, low-cost countries. Hence, competing on cost alone will not be sustainable in the long term for the EU. Consequently, the leading position of the EU agro-food industry will be threatened in the medium to long term if effective measures are not taken to improve its innovative power. The agro-food sector requires completely new and
innovative concepts, which cannot be introduced and exploited without substantial and targeted R&D investments, as well as high-level education. However, in general, small-sized companies do not invest greatly in R&D, while large companies tend to focus more on marketing. As a result, there are no effective drivers for R&D investment on a large scale. Effective integration of strategically focused, concerted research and education in the food engineering sciences and food chain management – both locally as well as transnationally – will deliver innovative and improved concepts for the agro-food industry, with a remit of providing better quality, safety and traceability. The management of the food chain requires crossdisciplinary competences and represents a significant challenge for the future agro-food sector. Through the utilisation of new technologies, all aspects concerned with production, transformation, conservation and distribution, as well as marketing, environmental control and global sustainability, can be improved and fully integrated in order to deliver quality, safety and traceability along the food chain. Nanotechnology, bioinformatics and cognitive science are increasingly used in a number of industrial fields including medicine and the environment. Í 79
Through the utilisation of new technologies, all aspects concerned with production, transformation, conservation and distribution, as well as marketing, environmental control and global sustainability, can be improved and fully integrated in order to deliver quality, safety and traceability along the food chain
A convergence of these interdisciplinary activities is also becoming a key aspect in food R&D. The impact of nanotechnology in the food industry has become more effective over the last few years, with the organisation of various conferences dedicated to the topic, initiation of consortia for better and safer food, and increased coverage in the media. Nanotechnologists are optimistic about the potential to change the existing system of food processing and to ensure the safety of food products, creating a healthy food culture. Although some of these goals are further away than others, the food packaging industry already incorporates nanotechnology in certain products. Development of smart packaging to optimise product shelf life is a goal shared by many companies. Other interests include the development of intelligent packaging materials, making it possible to monitor the condition of products during transportation or in display counters. The financial outlook for nanotechnology-enabled packaging looks promising. The current packaging market stands at US$1.1bn and is predicted to increase to US$3.7bn by 2011. Within this, the smart packaging industry is growing faster than predicted and is already showing signs of maturity. In the strategy to ensure food safety, EU researchers are developing nanosensor and nanoelectronic components to detect chemicals, pathogens, and toxins in food and to guarantee traceability. The medium-term goal is integration of the information acquired by sensors at each step of the food chain in a large-scale distributed, heterogeneous and integrated platform for service provision. This requires analytical micro-systems, distributed databases, intelligent systems and interfaces able to support the assessment and information spreading of healthiness and quality of food. 80
By Dave Banisar & Carole Excell
The Road to Rio Earth Summit 2012 Opportunities and Challenges With just under a year to go before the Rio Earth Summit 2012, how far have we come since the last Earth Summit, two decades ago, and what steps should governments take to assure greater transparency and accountability? What role can citizens and the media play in assuring the realization of the Rio Principles?
Despite an increase in countries adopting access to information laws since the first Rio Summit in 1992, secretive and closed door routines continue to remain the norm across the world for decision-making processes that impact the environment. Launched in June 2011, â€œMoving from Principles to Rightsâ€? calls on governments and international bodies to make significant changes in their laws and practices to increase their openness to promote environmental democracy and sustainability, ahead of the Rio Earth Summit 2012. The report examines access to information, public participation and access to justice laws across the world and finds that few laws exist that requires governments to proactively release environmental information. In fact, most governments fail to release relevant environmental information and risk in emergencies at all, as exemplified by the crisis in Burma after 2009 Cyclone Nargis. In other cases, the information provided by governments is only fragmented and often incorrect, such as following the nuclear meltdown in Japan. Denial of access to information largely stems from the absence of adequate right to information legislation and institutional secrecy of numerous state authorities, coupled with legislation in place preventing access to information, including state secret laws, national security laws and anti-terrorism legislation. Ă? 83
National Right to Information Laws, Regulations and Bills 2011 There are significant disparities between regions. While most of the nations of Europe, the Americas and a significant portion of Asia have the laws in place, individuals in most Middle Eastern, African, Pacific and Caribbean countries do not yet have this right incorporated into national law. Furthermore, practice lags behind laws in the majority of these countries. Causes for this gap vary, including lack of detailed administrative rules and operational policies, inadequate public capacity to use the laws, and insufficient official capacity to implement laws. Another positive trend with respect to access to information is the increased adoption of Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs), which require governments to collect information on pollution releases and make that information publicly available through databases. PRTRs have been shown to be one of the most effective means of getting pollutant related information out to the public while simultaneously reducing pollution. There has been a steady increase of countries providing registers and it is estimated that the number of national registers is likely to double over the next 10 years. There are now single registers covering all of North America and Western Europe.
The Access Initiative Is the world’s largest network of civil society organisations working to ensure that people have the right and ability to influence decisions about the natural resources that sustain their communities.
ARTICLE 19 The Global Campaign for Free Expression, is an international human rights organisation focused on protecting and promoting the right to freedom of expression and right to information. ARTICLE 19 is a registered UK charity (No. 32741) with headquarters in London and field offices in Kenya, Senegal, Bangladesh, Mexico and Brazil.
Rio 2012 Earth Summit: What can we expect? On 4th - 6th June 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) will take place in Rio de Janeiro. Also referred to as the Rio+20 or the Earth Summit 2012 due to the initial conference held in Rio in 1992, the objectives of the Summit are: to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development; to assess progress towards internationally agreed goals on sustainable development and to address new and emerging challenges. Two specific themes will be highlighted; a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted that “improved institutions are crucial to favorable social outcomes of green economy policies.” Governments must do more, he says, to “build on progress made to promote transparency and accountability through access to information and stakeholder involvement in decision-making.” Without these basic changes the current economic paradigm will prevail, supported by institutions and interest groups that have benefited from restricting citizen access.
What is Principle 10 and why does it need to be implemented? The rights of access to information, public participation, and access to justice are essential to sustainable development. As the fundamental elements for good environmental governance, vital to sustainable development, the 1992 Rio Declaration provided for these three “access rights” in Principle 10 and Agenda 21 moved them into reality in many countries. All governments must demonstrate their support for protection of these rights.
Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information held by public authorities concerning the environment, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided. Next year’s Earth Summit, provides an opportunity for governments to transform Principle 10 from aspiration goal into actionable right. Governments and civil
Implementation has been difficult. Profound institutional and societal transformations are necessary to achieve a level of openness in which governments and civil society share a commitment to environmental democracy. Even countries that have made progress in adopting and implementing Principle 10 are often limited by internal structural and political fights 85
Global Warming society should use the opportunity to commit together in adopting, implementing, and exercising these rights in support of sustainable development.
The Green Economy & the Role of Citizens There has been extensive debate around determining the definition and scope of a “green economy.” Whilst there is agreement that at the national level, greening the economy will include improving fiscal policy reform, reducing environmentally harmful subsidies, employing new marketbased instruments, and targeting public investments to “green” key sectors, there has been almost no discussion on the role of citizens and on access rights as an important facet of creating this new economic model. The role citizens can play in determining the success or failure of a global green economy can no longer be ignored. Ensuring that policies dressed as “green” meet their intended aims of economic and environmental sustainability and social equity requires broad based public participation and support from empowered civil society actors, well-informed and engaged voters, consumers, stakeholders, and shareholders. Disseminating information about what specifically a green economy entails for society is essential to motivating social actors’ involvement in the decision-making process of policies intended for developing and protecting sustainability. Governments must establish infrastructure for access to this type of information and ensure public participation. Without a fundamental shift in the power of interest groups, greening the economy will remain a game of catch up as innovation and industry move ahead without regard to the social and environmental costs.
Taking Stock of International Progress The 1992 Rio Declaration was signed by 178 States. There has been notable progress both internationally and nationally since its adoption. However, many gaps remain On the global level, the 1992 Rio Declaration has seen mixed success in the area of access rights. Unlike many other areas in the Declaration, no global legal instrument – such as a treaty or convention – on access rights in the environment has been developed. It is only recently, mostly in the context of the Rio 2012 process, that this has even been discussed. UN bodies have also been slow in addressing the issue. In 2010, after nearly 20 years, the UNEP Governing Council finally adopted what are known as “the Bali Guidelines”, on how governments should develop national laws in relation to Principle 10. However, the guidelines are largely unknown and while there are commitments by UNEP and other bodies to provide assistance and training, the efforts Í
Countries with Pollution ReleaseTransfer Registers Outside of these successes, there are many gaps remaining for access to information These include: Populations are still being denied access to essential information about climate change and the environment. Denial of access to information stems largely from the absence of freedom of information legislation and the institutional secrecy of numerous state authorities, coupled with legislation in place preventing access to information, including state secret laws, national security laws, and anti-terrorism legislation. Around the world, few laws exist that require the government to proactively release environmental information, including basic information on air quality and drinking water quality. Meaningful access to environmental information requires governments to proactively gather, analyse, and disseminate this information. Where databases exist at the international level, there are no requirements that this information is disclosed to the public. Many countries performed poorly in providing environmental information during and after emergencies. Most countries fail to release relevant environmental information on emergencies at all. Mandates to produce and disseminate such information are generally weak despite recent international disasters. Most countries produced state of the environment reports of generally good quality, but publicity is particularly weak; few countries make attempts to publicize the results through the mass media or in a usable format.
Countries with Environmental Courts andTribunals Role of the Media Must Not Be Overlooked A free and independent media can play a key role in increasing awareness of environmental protection and sustainable development to those most likely to be effected by these policies. A free and independent media can monitor and strengthen the transparent and accountable delivery of funds for environmental goals on a diverse range of issues including climate change, protected areas, species endangerment, and protection of coastal resources. An effective, free, and independent media translates complex information into a meaningful, understandable, and actionable format for public consumption. Media facilitates discussion and debate between citizens and officials about sustainable development and green policies. The media has the ability to relay back key messages from affected communities to officials. Furthermore, the media plays a key role in an effective advanced warning system, particularly in relation to the dissemination of warnings, developments, and disaster mitigation. Indeed, in many areas affected by natural or other disasters, mass media are the only means by which crucial information is quickly and widely disseminated. In order to be able to undertake this key role, the media must be able to access accurate and timely information from credible sources. Local media outlets, including community radios, newspapers, and even television services, have a central role to play not only in disseminating information from official sources but also in ensuring an effective two-way flow of information underpinning effective public participation.
appear currently to be on a very small scale. Aarhus Convention: More successful has been the efforts of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which has adopted two groundbreaking treaties based on the 1992 Rio Declaration. The first was the 1998 Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in DecisionMaking and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters – commonly known as the Aarhus Convention – which was the first legally binding international treaty on access rights. The Convention also requires that signatories “promote the application of the principles of this Convention in international environmental decision-making processes and within the framework of international organisations in matters relating to the environment.” As of August 2011, the Aarhus Convention has been ratified by 44 countries, from Western Europe to Central Asia, and is incorporated into EU law through a directive. However since its adoption in 1998 no other nation outside the UNECE region has signed it.
Kiev Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers In 2003, a follow-up instrument to the Aarhus Convention, the Kiev Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, was adopted. This Protocol holds corporations accountable for disclosing information on the toxics they release to the environment. It has now been ratified by 26 countries. In addition to the Aarhus Convention, the second treaty which resulted from Principles 17 and 19 of the Rio Declaration was the 1991 UNECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (the Espoo EIA Convention). It creates requirements for state parties to assess the environmental impact of major projects early on and to notify other countries when the project will have a trans-border effect. It has been signed by 45 countries and ratified by thirty. To date, no other regions have moved forward on developing binding legal instruments similar to the Aarhus and Espoo Conventions.
National Progress: How far have nations come since the last Rio Summit? There have also been substantial changes in legal frameworks at the national level since 1992, particularly in areas of access to information and environmental impact assessments. A substantial number of countries have adopted new legal frameworks on access rights, especially relating to access to information. However, the adoption of laws has not been uniform. 88
Few African countries have adopted legal frameworks and significant gaps remain in the Asia Pacific region and in Latin America and the Caribbean. Implementation has been difficult. Profound institutional and societal transformations are necessary to achieve a level of openness in which governments and civil society share a commitment to environmental democracy. Even countries that have made progress in adopting and implementing Principle 10 are often limited by internal structural and political fights. In many countries, efforts have been led by the Ministries of Environment and other agencies dealing with environmental conservation. Simultaneously, in other areas of decision-making that impact the environment, secretive routines continue to remain the norm. For example, access to information and public participation decision-making is minimal in Ministries relating to macroeconomic policies or energy planning. Rio 2012â€™s broader sustainable development framing and its emphasis on the green economy present an opportunity for governments to commit to a synchronization of policymaking with opening up a wider range of processes to public scrutiny.
Access to Information and the Environment Since Rio 1992, there has been a dramatic increase in recognition of the right to access information by nations. Over 90 countries have adopted framework laws or regulations for access to information, including in the past few years China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Chile and Mongolia. Over 100 countries have the right to information enshrined in their constitutions. Many others, including Brazil, have adopted specific environmental information access statutes or provisions in general environmental protection laws. The Rio Declaration and Agenda 21 played an important role in the adoption of these laws.
Progress on Public Participation Progress on public participation is more complex to assess at the policy, planning, and project levels. In many countries, planning processes are now designed to ensure that the public have procedural rights to intervene and to ensure that public bodies have a duty to take this into account when making their decisions. One key aspect of this area is Environmental Impact Ă? 89
Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information held by public authorities concerning the environment, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes
Global Warming Assessments (EIAs), which require the assessing of the environmental and social impact of projects prior to their approval. There has also been a substantial up-take of laws requiring Environmental Impact Assessments in recent years. Over 120 countries have adopted legal provisions on EIAs. However, in practice, there are many gaps remaining in public participation. These include: Public participation has not been fully incorporated at the project level through EIA procedures in many countries. Often there are hurdles to meaningful participation, including insufficient lead time or unavailable project documents even where there are open participatory processes in place. Consultation is often held too late in the project development cycle to make a significant difference in project design or selecting outcomes. Framework public participation laws are still new to many governments despite progress in their adoption in a number of countries e.g. Thailand and Indonesia. Implementation of EIA processes has also been criticised as weak. Often sequencing of EIA and permitting processes excludes participation in the scoping and screening exercise, as well as in the determination of permit conditions. In some countries, copies of EIAs are only provided to citizens at a substantial cost, while restrictions to access based on claims of commercial confidentiality are evident in other countries. Conflicts of interest in the public hearing process, the technical nature of EIAs, access to non-technical summaries in local languages, and claims of lack of independence of systems to develop and review EIAs are also evident. Access to Justice: Environmental Courts & Tribunals The access to justice pillar is arguably one of the most difficult areas in which to see improvement. Increasingly, countries have created or enhanced environmental courts and tribunals with specialized functions. The belief that these institutions enhance access to justice and provide more effective means of resolving environmental disputes has been a primary reason for these interventions. In 2010, there were over 300 environmental courts and tribunals in 41 countries. Recently, India established a Green Tribunal and Malawi created an Environmental Tribunal. However, there remain many gaps in the road to improving access to justice. Issues of timeliness (time taken to obtain a remedy), intimidation, and costs (litigation, loser pays principles, payment into court and costs to hire attorneys)
should be highlighted, including in countries party to the Aarhus Convention. The risk of seeking injunctive relief is also significant. There are improvements in many countries relaxing rules for legal standing; however, there are still concerns about legal standing in sectoral legislative processes such as planning. Meanwhile, public interest cases taken by civil society organisations against corporations and governments for causing environmental harm are almost exclusively supported by donors and foundations.
From Principles to Enforceable Rights Bolder action at the global level, involving the development of new and revised international instruments to promote Principle 10, is needed. There are a number of approaches at the international level that should be considered including the drafting and adoption of a new legally binding global instrument, adoption of legally binding instruments at the regional level, and new sustained efforts to bring additional parties into the Aarhus Convention.
Developing a Regional Convention Approach The best approach is to begin the process of negotiating regional and sub-regional legally binding instruments on Principle 10 using the UNECE Aarhus Convention as a model. This approach is guided by a pragmatic belief that a new global convention would be too slow to develop and is likely to be substantially watered down in the process. The Aarhus Convention has been recognised as a model that should be considered for other regions. However since its adoption in 1998 no other nation outside the UNECE region has signed it. This suggests it is not likely to significantly expand in terms of accession without substantial incentives, which have not yet been forthcoming. There are some risks to this approach â€“ some regions may be unlikely to adopt legally binding instruments at the regional level in the foreseeable future. But there remains the possibility for progress toward agreement on their merits, drafting, and adoption at the sub-regional level. Moreover, the development of regional treaties could further strengthen future efforts to create a global instrument in the future, as has happened in the field of anti-corruption. Key Recommendations experience and research have demonstrated that freedom of expression, access rights, transparency, and civic engagement are fundamental to sustainable development and the achievement of the Rio Principles. While there has been significant progress over the past 20 years, billions of people around the world still do not have these rights. Ă? 91
If Rio 2012 is to be successful and bring the world closer to building a green economy and ensuring sustainable development, these fundamental principles must be at the heart of the Outcome Document and consecutive commitments by governments to advance Principle 10 at the international, regional, and national levels. ARTICLE 19 andThe Access Initiative have the following specific four recommendations:
That all states that have not yet done so, codify Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration in national laws, and for all states to make measurable and time bound commitments to improve laws, institutions, and practices for implementing Principle 10.
The Rio 2012 Outcome Document should call for new international instruments to provide global and regional standards for, and oversight of, the implementation of Principle 10 into national law. This would include a resolution by all member states mandating UN regional bodies in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as UNEP regional offices and other regional bodies, such as SAARC, SACEP, ECOWAS, ASEAN, OAU, and OAS to take steps to negotiate and conclude legally binding regional or sub-regional conventions modelled on the UNEP Principle 10 Guidelines. The Aarhus Convention Secretariat should intensify its efforts to convince governments in other regions of the world to either adopt the Convention or take it as a model for regional or subregional efforts.
The Rio 2012 Outcome Document should include a commitment by all international organisations and agencies working on sustainable development to codify Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration in their rules and procedures, including by proactively disclosing information, providing for the participation of civil society in their decision-making processes, and establishing redress mechanisms for individuals affected by their policies and activities. International financial institutions should adopt comprehensive standards as proposed by the Global Transparency Initiative.
The Rio 2012 Outcome Document should include specific and time measured information regarding the implementation of the Bali Guidelines recently adopted by the UNEP Governing Council. This programme should identify target countries and specify long term funding sources as well as a timetable for UNEP to provide assistance to developing countries to bring their laws, institutions, and practices in line with the Guidelines. The programme should include capacity building programmes, opportunities for mentoring of public officials, and mechanisms for civil society organisations to share experiences on the development of new legal instruments to create and implement access rights.
By Mark William Lowe
US Navy WorkingTowards Increased Energy Efficiency Guantanamo Bay is synonymous with many things but clean energy doesn’t generally figure amongst them. Nevertheless, the United States Navy is doing its best to ensure that electricity generated on the naval base is as green as possible.
Because the United States and Cuba do not maintain diplomatic relations, Guantanamo Bay must produce its own water and electricity. The technology used to supply these basic requirements to the base’s approximately 5,700 residents has not changed in decades, in particular the diesel generators have far exceeded their life expectancy. According to Art Torley, the Director of the Public Works' Production Division, “….the base has been using generators as old as 1957.” In an effort to save fuel and further the Navy’s clean energy targets, the older, less fuel-efficient generators are being shut down and removed. The modern 3.5-megawatt electro-motive division (EMD) generators that are replacing them are expected to save the Navy approximately $2 million per year in diesel fuel costs. Within only 48 hours after installing and turning on the first two EMD generators, the Public Works Department recorded a five percent decrease in fuel consumption. These results sit well with other initiatives such as the four wind turbines installed at the base in 2005. Throughout the Navy and Marine Corps, a number of initiatives are being implemented which will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus' goals of improving energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increasing energy independence, and helping to lead the nation toward a clean energy economy. Secretary Mabus' objectives are part of a bigger picture; the Department of the Navy has partnered with the Departments of Energy and Agriculture to formulate a plan that will assist the Navy to become ever more energy efficient.
The Bigger Picture The plan is part of the goal outlined by President Barak Obama earlier this year. At a speech given at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, President Obama stated that; “Moving towards clean energy is about our security, it’s also about our economy and its also about the future of our planet.” President Obama defines his administration’s stand on energy as being composed of four main strands: increasing domestic production of oil, boosting output of biofuels as a substitute, encouraging the use of natural gas as a transport fuel, and making vehicles more efficient. In addition to this is his concept of a ‘clean energy 94
President Barack Obama delivers a speech at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland
Left: A US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey lifts during a successful biofuel test flight. The tilt-rotor aircraft flew at altitudes of up to 25,000 feet on a 50-50 blend of camelina based biofuel and standard petroleum based JP-5 fuel. Below: The new 30,500 sq. ft. child development center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is 60 percent complete and has already achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
standard’, basically a scheme promoting clean forms of electricity generation. President Obama’s focus on clean energy is nothing new, indeed his clean energy standard was first aired during his state-of-the-union address. Some, including The Economist, have argued that the clean energy standard is nothing other than a rehashed version of a much older proposal to promote renewable energy. What differentiates the current proposal from previous initiatives is that nuclear power and natural gas have been added to broaden its appeal. During his address to the predominately military audience at Joint Base Andrews, President Obama stated that, “What I hope is that the policies we’ve laid out, from hybrid fleets to offshore drilling, from nuclear energy to wind energy, underscores the seriousness with which my administration takes this challenge.” Five months ago, The Economist pointed out that the plan needed congressional approval, warning that “The Republicans who control the House are dead-set against anything that smacks of greenery, not to mention anything that would add to spending at a time when they’re trying to take an axe to it.” These words of warning have proven to be quite precise; after decades of subsidising biofuels, in June this year the Senate voted overwhelmingly to eliminate billions of dollars in support for the ethanol industry, sending a strong message that the era of big taxpayer support for biofuels is ending. However, whatever may be happening in other sectors, and despite a full lack of government support for Obama’s stated goals, the United States Navy has firmly embraced the president’s plan – including an ever greater use of biofuels.
Using Biofuels to Reduce Dependence on Foreign Oil Speaking at Joint Base Andrews earlier this year, President Obama made specific mention of the Pentagon’s plans to increase the use of American produced advanced aviation and marine biofuels. The President pointed out that, “The Pentagon isn’t seeking these alternative fuels just to protect our environment, they’re pursuing these homegrown energy sources to protect our national security.” Regarding the Pentagon’s decisions, President Obama 97
A view of recently installed solar panels. The rooftop photovoltaic installation supports the goal of increasing renewable energy sources to 25 percent of all energy consumed by the year 2025.
stated that, “Our military leaders recognise the security imperative of increasing the use of alternative fuels, decreasing energy use, reducing our reliance on imported oil, making ourselves more energy efficient.” On August 16 this year, administration officials announced that The Department of the Navy would be “providing the market share for the nation's nascent biofuel industry as part of a White House initiative to kick-start the alternative energy sector.” According to a Navy News Service press release, the Navy, in partnership with the departments of Energy and Agriculture, is working with the private sector to create a sustainable US-based alternative energy industry. The initiative is part of President Obama’s plan to reduce American dependence on foreign oil. The partnership sees the Navy, Agriculture and Energy departments sharing a $510 million investment to produce advanced aviation and marine biofuels. These will be used in conjunction with existing fuels to power military and commercial vehicles. In addition to reducing the dependence on foreign fuels, it is hoped that the initiative will boost America's rural economies. According to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, "America's long-term national security depends upon a commercially viable domestic biofuels market that will benefit taxpayers while simultaneously giving sailors and Marines tactical and strategic advantages." Mabus also stated that, "Having energy independence in the United States is one of the most important things we can do from a security standpoint." The Navy estimates that the US imports more than $300 billion in crude oil annually, "price shocks and supply shocks" of the international oil market are "too much for the military to sustain," according to Secretary Mabus who added that “Every dollar per barrel increase in oil adds $30 million annually to the Navy budget.” The initiative is part of the US Navy’s goal to halve its oil usage by 2025 and assure a domestic supply of biofuels. Secretary Mabus estimates biofuel requirements as growing to around 8 million gallons per year and is confident that the initiative will both support national security and, ultimately, bring down the cost of biofuels for everyone.
biofuels and petroleum. Tests are also being conducted on riverine craft and sea hawk helicopters. The biofuels used in these tests come from projects in which producers manufacture fuels from cellulosic feedstalks, for example wood, grasses and the non edible parts of plants. Flying aircraft on biofuels presents more than the obvious problems, for example one limitation is that the use of biofuels must not have a negative impact on US food supply. There is also the issue of attempting to remove some of the risk from the biofuels industry as well as creating economic opportunities in some of the parts of the country hit by recession. In addition to flying on biofuels, the Department of the Navy is exploring ways of transforming waste into energy. The first Navy Waste to Energy (WTE) Forum held in Washington at the end of July, was the initial step in the development of projects that will use solid waste to generate renewable energy for the Department of the Navy. The forum posed the objective of facilitating an exchange of information to aid future proposals for WTE plants both on and off Navy sites. More than 160 government and industry representatives attended the event and 33 companies participated in the "pitch a principle" sessions which provided an opportunity for industry to present their technologies. The forum demonstrated the Navy’s commitment to engaging with industry and embracing the technologies necessary to reaching stated energy and sustainability goals in an affordable and responsible way.
Flying on Biofuels and Transforming Waste into Energy
Secretary Mabus has stated that so far the Navy has flown an F/A-18 on biofuels and an MV-22 Osprey on a mixture of
Since the beginning of August, the Navy has celebrated the installation of a new 76.6 kilowatt photovoltaic system during
a ribbon cutting ceremony at Sasebo in southern Japan and awarded a $500 million contract for the purchase and supply of locally generated solar power to military installation in the state of Hawaii. This follows the awarding in July of an $8.5 million contract for the construction of a solar photovoltaic system at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. According to Jorge Perez, NAVFAC Southwest Desert IPT construction manager, "The project helps to meet the Marine Corps' mandatory renewable energy goals, energy security goals and carbon footprint reduction goals by producing green power on-site on a piece of real estate that otherwise can't be beneficially occupied." The project, which is expected to be completed by August 2012, is based on a solar array comprised of 5,136 solar modules each of which is rated at 280 watts. The estimated annual production is calculated at being approximately 2.1 million kWh, more than enough electricity to supply the requirements of over 300 homes. The expected lifespan of the plant is in excess of 25 years. Amongst the more innovative aspects is a performance monitoring system which is able to pinpoint the location of any defective solar modules or defective strings of solar modules. According to Perez, the innovative project "… provides new opportunities to NAVFAC's expertise and offers engineering innovation by installing the new utilityscale solar photovoltaic systems in an old landfill area, by means of studying the impact of the solar system on the utility power distribution grid, by implementing effective methods to construct these types of facilities, and by utilizing more efficient solar technologies." The Sasebo installation in Japan is a 76,590 watt PV system
comprised of over 300 solar modules each of which rated at approximately 230 watts. The Navy’s power generation expectations are in the range of around 100 megawatt hours of energy production per year. The Navy have already installed two solar systems at Sasebo, running together it is calculated that the three renewable energy systems at the base can reduce carbon emissions into the environment by approximately 270,000 pounds. Further renewable energy projects at the base are planned. At Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, the recent $500 million contract for the supply of locally generated solar power will have a considerable impact on the goal of reducing energy consumption derived from fossil fuels and increasing energy consumption from renewable energy sources. Rear Adm. Dixon R. Smith, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, stated that "The Solar initiative will help meet the energy security goals of our President, Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy." The Commander believes that the Navy can set an example and be seen “As good stewards of the environment.” A further example of the Navy’s commitment to renewables is demonstrated in the design and construction of the new child development centre at the base. The project has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold status for its high standards of environmentally friendly design and energy efficiency levels. It remains to be seen if the Department of the Navy will achieve its goals. However, from the activities currently under way, it would appear that the Navy is well underway to reaching its stated objectives. 99
The following pictures were taken between 2005-2007 in Darfur, Sudan during the height of conflict in the region, and 2010-2011 in the north of Afghanistan where poverty and violence devastated the daily lives of vulnerable people. Many of the images were captured during field visits with the United Nations World Food Programme. Ă?
AROUND THE WORLD IN PHOTOS
Cash and Vouchers beneficiary, project to assist widow, orphan and disabled headed households
Displaced woman pounding wheat for flour- Aboushok IDP camp, North Darfur
Children playing in Balkh Province, Afghanistan 104
Picture taken during an assessment for a watershed project in Northern Afghanistan
Teacher, School Feeding project. Oil distribution only for girls to reduce the gender gap
WFP School Feeding project, distribution of High Energy Biscuits 107
Mother taking child for vaccination in Darfur
Orphaned children in Darfur 110
Children friendly space in Mukjar
Child attending suplementary feeding center in Darfur
Children playing in Aboushok IDP camp, North Darfur
Buzkashi, the Afghan national sport. Practiced only during the winter
Picture taken during an assessment for a watershed project in Northern Afghanistan
Beneficiary of an emergency food distribution due to a flood in the area 118
Picture taken during a Buzkashi game in Mazar e Sharif
Eco-Living Diego Fernandez Gabaldon 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) and Afghanistan (2010 – 2011). While living in communities devastated by tragedy, Diego gathered images of the day-to-day 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 photo exhibits, photo credits and web exposure are as diverse as his work experience: In Khartoum: “The Every Day of Darfur” (exhibit) - 2006; In Tenerife, his home town: “Images in Cooperation” (exhibit) – 2007, “Amnesty International Caring Photography” (exhibit) 2007, and “An open Window” (exhibit) – 2009; In the United States, opening in New Orleans, Louisiana: “The Art of Caring: A Look at Life through Photography”, as part of an rotating exhibit, including photographers Annie Liebovitz and William Wegman - 2009 – 2011; In Rome, Italy : “Frammenti di Dolore” – a theatre piece which utilized his images of Darfurian women – 2008; In the Dominican Republic: “Portraits of Darfur”, an article published by U magazine – 2008; In Spain : his pictures have illustrated numerous articles: “The Janjaweed Control” (El Pais, 2006); “Smiles in Darfur” (El Pais, 2007) “On the Humanitarian Frontline” (El Dia, 2006); “The Next Planet” (El Dia, 2006); Via CNN : “Amid Darfur's Desperation, Little Joys” (article and interview) - 2007; Via international aid organizations in print and via the web, including: UN World Food Programme annual reports 2006 & 2007; Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) - 2008; UN WFP Darfur Operational Handbook – 2009; and UN WFP Ready to Help – 2009. 121
Eco-Living By Sherine Bouez
Vedic Medicine The Ultra-Modern Healing System Growing wellbeing related trends and changing health habits are increasingly reflecting the clear search for a holistic and sustainable health management system. Traced back to more than five thousand years ago, Ayurveda translates as the ‘Science of Life’, and is the knowledge of whole health for both the individual and our global community. Ayurveda is found in Vedic Literature, made up of probably the most ancient texts known to Man, and containing the fundamental Laws of Nature that manage the orderly workings of the Cosmos. Health is thus perceived as a part of a much bigger and comprehensive system, forming a web of interconnections. This is made up of the balance of our eco-system, the protection of our environment, the climatic and seasonal cycles, etc. More specifically, plant life is seen as being precious to our Health.
Vedic Scientific thinking pertains that plants are an essential part in the treatment of illnesses, and their preservation is a growing concern. Some of the biggest organizations are now involved in this mission. Not only is the plant itself the focus of their efforts, but also its natural habitat, the climate, and the whole environment in which it lives, as this all has a significant impact on its medicinal properties and value, and this is often a unique environment that cannot be re-created. In 2009, the Italian Scientific Society of Ayurvedic Medicine (SSIMA) and the Ayurvedic Point School of Ayurveda in Milan organized the first international Ayurvedic congress entitled ‘Ayurveda: The Meaning of Life’. The idea was to bring together our knowledge from both Ayurveda and modern medicine to find solutions to Health, to the improvement of the quality of life, and to the marked changes in Nature. Dr. Guido Sartori, Vice President of the Italian Scientific Society for Ayurvedic Medicine in Italy, talks about the importance of plants for nutrition and medicine in Ayurveda, in “Plants, Biovitality and Ecocompatibility”. The World Health Organization (WHO) is also showing concern over the protection, research, and application of the legacy of both Western and Eastern medical systems. Its definition of Health comes close to that of Ayurveda as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ A few initiatives are underway to this avail, such as the World Bank group’s support for the cultivation of medicinal plants throughout different projects. These include The Kerala Forestry Project, the Ritigala Community Based Development and Environment Management Foundation, The India Capacity Building for Food and Drugs Quality Control Project, amongst others. A special interview with Dr. Elie Karam, Medical Doctor, Clinical Researcher in Chronic diseases in Boston, and Consultant in Vedic Medicine, sheds light on the increasingly valued role of Ayurveda in our challenging times. SB: What is the link between the Human Body and Nature? EK: Just like a tree or plant, the Human Body is part of our eco-system, subject to the same laws of Nature such as the sun, the wind, or the moon. Also, both are exposed to different forms of disease. Just as the sap circulates through the body to nourish it, so does the blood in our Human Í 123
Body. For both the body and for Nature there is only one way to be healthy, and there are many ways to be diseased. In other words, being healthy, or putting order, is unique, whereas there are many illnesses or ways to put disorder. SB: Why Vedic Medicine? EK: Vedic Medicine is preventative in nature. It deters the upsurge of any disease. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, considered by many as being the greatest sage and scientist of our time, believed that ‘with Vedic Medicine we can create a disease-free society’. Vedic Doctors have one main aim, which is to irrigate the body or ‘plant’ through its roots, rather than to spray toxic material on its leaves in order to nourish it or treat it, and bring it back to health. Cultivating and promoting strength is key. A strong plant generates its own health and longevity, and no sickness can prevail in the presence of its vitality. If the latter is weakened, the vulnerable plant is exposed to the many diseases that can be counted in millions. Inversely, a strong plant is immune to disease, which cannot survive in its presence. SB: From where is health generated? EK: Health is perceived to function like light. In the presence of light, darkness cannot exist. For Vedic Doctors, all that needs to be done is to switch the health light ‘on’, and cultivate it to the point that the resulting brightness or vibrancy outshines any illness. Health lies at the depth of the Human Being. If we take the Body and dive deep within, we reach multiple tissues. Each tissue is made out of cells. In turn, if we dive deep again within the cell, we reach the level of molecules. If we continue our journey, we reach the atoms, each of which are made up of protons and electrons. As Physics have shown, at the base of the electron is the field of wavelengths in the form of energy, going beyond the electron. This is the field where Health is generated. This means that the depth of the human body is lying on an ocean of vibration, similar to a ship floating on an ocean of water. If the ocean is still and calm, the boat journeys safely and gracefully. On a tumultuous ocean the boat may sink and be destroyed, an imbalance resembling the beginning of any disease. Vedic Medicine treats from that deep level of the ocean, which we strive to keep calm and serene. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi the foremost scientist of his time says, ‘where there is order, disorder cannot prevail’, so disease cannot flair up. That profundity is the place where we need to keep an eye on. SB: How do we treat that depth? EK: As we witness in Chemistry, only like dissolves like. Similarly, only energy dissolves energy. Therefore since we are treating the level of vibration, only by resorting to vibration will it be possible to treat it. This can be addressed by a 124
series of massage therapies done by qualified technicians, highly trained to harmonize the two hemispheres of the body. It is this harmony that re-creates order at the depth of the body, from the superficial level all the way through the different layers of the body to the deepest level. This is the beauty of Vedic Science, whereby its underpinnings are the basic precepts of all modern Sciences. In its application, a team is put together to treat the patient. In this form of Medicine, the doctor depends on the energy of the group which is created. For instance in the case of an Abhyanga massage therapy, the team is made up of the Doctor and the two other ‘technicians’ or massage therapists. The purity or authenticity with which the knowledge is applied also plays a vital role, just as does the co-operative presence of the patient. All together these elements form a circle of pure energy, which is indispensable to create a huge wave of positive vibration that flows throughout this circle and reaches the patient, enlivening the depth of his being, to calm down the tumultuous ocean that would otherwise jeopardize the condition of his inner health. SB: Can we treat disease? EK: According to Vedic Medicine, the disease process goes on in six stages, progressing through Accumulation, Aggravation, Overflow, Relocation, Manifestation, and Maturation. The best route for optimal health is to diagnose imbalance at the early stages of disease and treat it before it reaches the later stages where the symptoms emerge and the treatment is made more difficult. In the first three stages, the disease process is underway, but is not yet overtly felt by the patient. The person feels totally normal although something is already going wrong, but this ‘something’ is not yet defined. At the fourth stage of the disease, the person feels unwell and has clear signs or symptoms that something is wrong and will usually ask a medical doctor for help. Most likely, he will leave the clinic with a total reassurance from the doctor, because at this stage no City Scan or Echography can really perceive any physical malfunctioning or malformation. This happens because this fourth stage of the disease process has not yet reached the physical level. Medical Equipment detects disease at the fifth stage where the problem becomes truly physical or clear to the eye. In stages one to four where the disease has not yet unfolded, a pulse diagnosis done by a Vedic Doctor can identify an early disharmony in the organism of the patient. This is where the continuum between Vedic and Allopathic medicine can be reinforced. The sixth stage of any disease is the stage where the process of the disease goes deep into the different levels of the body, a point at which it is called chronic. It has become deeply enshrined into the different tissues where it needs much more effort to be healed.
In conclusion, we can say that a Vedic Doctor is capable of diagnosing and treating a surging disorder at its earliest and finest stage. This is addressed at the depth of the body with different forms of massages, consultations, herbal Vedic preparations, and other methods, to find an early cure to the yet unfolded disease. As they say, â€˜an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cureâ€™. Moreover, preserving our Nature is equal to preserving Human Nature.
The best route for optimal health is to diagnose imbalance at the early stages of disease and treat it before it reaches the later stages where the symptoms emerge and the treatment is made more difficult. In the first three stages, the disease process is underway, but is not yet overtly felt by the patient.
AWESOME GREEN INVENTIONS Hotel offers free meal to guests who are willing to generate electricity The Crown Plaza Hotel in Copenhagen , Denmark , is offering a free meal to any guest who is able to produce electricity for the hotel on an exercise bike attached to a generator. Guests will have to produce at least 10 watt hours of electricity - roughly 15 minutes of cycling for someone of average fitness. They will then be given meal vouchers worth $36 (26 euros).
Disco pub gets electricity produced by people dancing at specially modified dance floor All the flashing strobes and pounding speakers at the dance club are massive consumers of electrical power. So Bar Surya, in London, re-outfitted its floor with springs that, when compressed by dancers, could produce electrical current that would be stored in batteries and used to offset some of the club's electrical burden. The club's owner, Andrew Charalambous, said the dance floor can now power 60 percent of the club's energy needs. 127
Company creates a desktop printer that doesn't use ink nor paper Who says printers only use paper to print documents? It's time for you to meet the PrePeat Printer then. Different from conventional printers, PrePeat adopts a thermal head to print on specially-made plastic sheets. These plastic sheets are not merely water-proof, but could be easily erased, just feed the sheets through the printer again, and a different temperature will erase everything or just write over it. Also claimed by the manufacturer, such one sheet could be used up to 1,000 times so that you'll reduce your expenses on paper for sure.
University constructs a green roof as a gathering place Green design is an enormously popular trend in modern architecture, just take a look at this amazing green roof at the School of Art , Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore . This 5-story facility sweeps a wooded corner of the campus with an organic, vegetated form that blends landscape and structure, nature and high-tech and symbolizes the creativity it houses. The roofs serve as informal gathering spaces challenging linear ideas and stirring perception. The roofs create open space, insulate the building, cool the surrounding air and harvest rainwater for landscaping irrigation. Planted grasses mix with native greenery to colonize the building and bond it to the setting.
Designer creates a shower that forces you to leave when you've wasted too much water Designer creates a sink that uses wasted water to grow a plant Made of polished stained concrete, the Zen Garden Sink has a channel that allows the water used while washing your hands to water a plant. Created by young Montreal designer Jean-Michel Gauvreau the sink comes in single or double basin model. The sink is designed in a way you won't get your plants all soapy. There is a main drain at the bottom of the basin for soapy grime. Your little plant friend just gets whatever you choose to dole out.
20% of our total domestic energy usage is from hot water for showering and bathing. That's over 6 times the energy usage of domestic lighting. So designer Tommaso Colia came up with his eco-friendly shower design that will force you to get out when you take too long and waste much water. The eco_drop shower features beautiful concentric circles that will rise to force you to stop showering when you take too long, and accordingly save water.
Environmental company creates a staple-free stapler to avoid staple pollution Staples are supposed to be so bad to the environment that a company decided to create a staple-free stapler. This product promises to make collation eco-friendly. Instead of using those thin metal planet-killers, the staplefree stapler "cuts out tiny strips of paper and uses the strips to stitch up to five pieces of paper together." You can even order them customized with your corporate logo so you can, you know, brag about what your company is doing to stop the staple epidemic.
Designer creates an iPhone charger powered by a hand grip A green idea that gives you a great hand workout as well. Charge your iPhone by a hand grip! This concept is called You can work it out, designed by Mac Funamizu.
Designer creates light-switch that changes colors to teach children how to save energy Teaching the importance of energy conservation is the goal of this design from Tim Holley. He calls it Tio, and it's a ghost-shaped light switch that gives kids a visual reminder of how much energy they've used by leaving lights on. Tio starts out green and smiling. If the light is left on for more than four hours, he turns yellow and looks shocked. And if you dare to leave that light on for more than eight hours, sweet little Tio turns into a raging red hulk, complete with frowny mouth and angry eyes. But he won't just visually remind your kids about their energy habits; information from the light switch is sent to Tio's computer program so the entire family can see how they're doing. In a brilliant piece of visual positive reinforcement, Holley's program lets kids grow a virtual tree which gets bigger and healthier the more energy they save.
ECO-TIPS JUNK MAIL = HABITAT LOSS, SPECIES EXTINCTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE 100 million trees and 28 billion gallons of water were used to produce U.S. mail for just one year. In 2005 over 114 billion pieces of bulk advertizing mail were sent out in the U.S. (a 15% increase from 2000). The average adult spends 70 hours a year dealing with junk mail. The world's temperate forests absorb 2 billion tons of carbon annually to help keep the planet cool and healthy. These forests are needed to reduce climate change. Junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 2.8 million cars. 55% of all paper fibers come from trees (17% of this is from old-growth forests). 23 million acres of forest area was lost worldwide between 1990 and 2000. Habitat loss is one of the main causes of animal and plant extinction. An estimated 25% of the 5 million species on our planet are faced with extinction by 2050. Roughly one every 20 minutes becomes extinct at the current rate (Conservation International). Recycling is great but it won't bring back an extinct species. 50% of all U.S. mail is discarded unopened. Encourage others to reduce junk mail via email or by creating a flyer and distributing it in your community. You may be able to set out copies for the public at your local libraries, booths at fairs or farmers' markets, and health food stores or restaurants. Also, ask at your local post office if you can leave them copies of the flyer for distribution to interested postal customers.
CONSERVE WATER Freshwater degradation is a looming crisis that we must face head on with strong and effective actions. Please do your part to protect this precious resource and call upon your elected representatives to take action today to protect not just future generations but our own future by adopting sustainable water practices. Only 3% of the earth's water is freshwater - we must protect this critical resource. In addition, water-related energy consumes a large amount of energy. In California, for example, water use consumes 19% of the state's electricity, 30% of its natural gas, and 88 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually.
> Set Goals: To reduce your water consumption: Set specific water reduction goals - for example, commit to using 20% less per month. Determine a baseline to start reducing from. Print the energy and water consumption chart and post in a visible spot in your home. Chart the number of gallons of water used in the last 12 months (for comparison to each month this year) if water consumption is listed by CCF (hundred cubic feet), one CCF equals 748 gallons. Make specific changes in products used and family member habits: Buy water saving products where needed. Get your family involved by asking for specific changes in everyone's habits (e.g. place signs near water outlets reminding family members to reduce consumption, take shorter showers, turning the faucet off when not needed, only watering outdoor plants in the morning or evening). Once a month, add new usage information to the charts and make adjustments as needed to reach your goals. If you have children, increase their allowances by the amount saved to encourage them to get involved in finding new ways to conserve.
> Resources: You'll find several water conservation ideas at H2ouse Water Saver Home including a Top 5 Water Savers page and 10 Ways to Save Water.
> Water Consumption: Each time you turn on a water faucet use the lowest pressure necessary. Keep the water turned on only while it is needed. For drinking water, keep a pitcher in your refrigerator so you don't have to let water run to cool.
> Fix Leaks Promptly:
> Drip Irrigation:
It is estimated that 13.7% of household water is wasted by leaks. Check your water meter when no one is using water in the house. If it's moving there's a leak. A running toilet can waste 2 gallons a minute. Check by adding food coloring to the tank without flushing. After 10 minutes, look for leaks indicated by color in the bowl. This is most likely a worn flapper valve that can easily be replaced.
Install a drip irrigation system to water your plants more effectively.
> Low Flow Toilets: One of the best ways to avoid wasting water is to switch to low flow or dual flush toilets. Visit Terry Love's consumer toilets report for a great review on available low flow toilets. Flush your toilet only every other time or when it has solid waste. LeakAlerter notifies you if your toilet is leaking.
> Showers: Replace existing shower heads with the lowest flow product you can find. Shower heads with a mist setting let you reduce water flow even further. Shower instead of taking a bath. Time your showers - try to keep them to 5 minutes. If taking a bath, limit how high you fill the tub.
> Aerators: Install flow restrictor aerators inside all faucets for a savings of 3 to 4 gallons per minute.
> Full Loads: Always run full loads of laundry and dishes. Choose the short cycle at low water levels whenever possible. Set the clothing washer at the lowest possible temperature needed and for single rinse only. If you buy a new appliance, compare the water efficiency of each washing machine and switch to a water-conserving model (e.g. front loading washer).
> Dish Washing: Use your dishwasher and don't rinse dishes beforehand (for an average 20 gallon savings).
> Native Plants: Fill your yard with native plants. This will cut down significantly on watering requirements and, in the process, provide much needed food and shelter to local wildlife.
> Mulching: Mulch your gardens to reduce water evaporation around your plants (this also reduces weeds and builds healthy soil).
> For Your Hoses: Buy a squeeze nozzle for all of your hoses. However, if you're watering plants, use a watering can to reduce water waste. Best Time to Water: Water at night to minimize evaporation.
> Leftover Water: If you have house plants, whenever possible water them with leftover or unused water from drinking, cooking, and showering. Keep a water pitcher near your sink or bathtub and collect unused water running from the tap (waiting for cooler or warmer water).
> Car Wash: Take your car to a car wash that recycles water. If you wash it yourself, use a bucket and sponge and rinse sparingly.
> Greywater System: Find out if creating a greywater/waste water system would work for you.
> Water Pollution: Protect our water supply by following the steps outlined in How to Clean Up Our Water: 12 simple actions to help stem the tide of polluted runoff.
> Tap Water: Make the switch back to environmentally-friendly tap water instead of bottled water.
> Cooking Vegetables: Steam rather than boil your veggies to save a quart or more of water. Better yet, try giving vegetables a quick rinse, placing them in a covered bowl, and microwaving them for a minute or two.
URL ACCESS INITIATIVE www.accessinitiative.org
LEBANESE RED CROSS www.lebaneseredcross.org
MARIEJOE RAIDY www.mariejoeraidy.com
ARTICLE 19 www.article19.org
NOUR EL KHAZEN www.nourelkhazen.com
BANK MED www.happyplanetlebanon.com
RAIDY PRINTING GROUP www.raidy.com
CREATIVE LOUNGES www.creativelounges.com
RUNNING HORSE GALLERY www.runninghorsegallery.com
CYNTHIA NOUHRA ART GALLERY www.cnag.me
DIEGO FERNANDEZ GABALDON www.diegofgphoto.net
EARTHSCAN, LONDON www.earthscan.co.uk
GREEN PARTY OF LEBANON www.greenpartylebanon.org/event
KASH GABRIELE TORSELLO www.kashgt.co.uk www.propugliaphoto.com 136
STEFFEN LEHMANN www.slab.com.au
WORLD ENVIRONMENT TV www.worldenvironment.tv
WORLD VISION www.worldvision.org.lb
WE Magazine is entirely dedicated to cover worldwide environmental issues such as Global Warming, Water, Energy, Global Warming, Waste Manag...
Published on Jun 24, 2013
WE Magazine is entirely dedicated to cover worldwide environmental issues such as Global Warming, Water, Energy, Global Warming, Waste Manag...