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The UN’s 17-point plan to save the planet is ambitious but will keep humanity on track
It’s important to have goals (I’m sure that’s what life coaches say). But even if you’re laidback about your own prospects there is no reason to lack ambition for the planet and humanity.
On the face of it the 17 Global Goals (also called Sustainable Development Goals) ratified by the UN and adopted by all countries in 2015 are moon-shootingly ambitious. They aim to “end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all” by 2030.Continue reading...
The saiga antelope makes a strange pin-up for the conservation world. With its odd bulbous nose and spindly legs, it is an unlovely looking creature – particularly when compared with wildlife favourites such as the polar bear or panda.
But the survival of Saiga tatarica tatarica is important, for it gives hope to biologists and activists who are trying to protect Earth’s other endangered species from the impact of rising populations, climate change and increasing pollution. Once widespread on the steppe lands of the former Soviet Union, the saiga has suffered two major population crashes in recent years and survived both – thanks to the endeavours of conservationists. It is a story that will be highlighted at a specially arranged wildlife meeting, the Conservation Optimism Summit, to be held at Dulwich College, London, this month and at sister events in cities around the world, including Cambridge, Washington and Hong Kong. The meetings have been organised to highlight recent successes in saving threatened creatures and to use these examples to encourage future efforts to halt extinctions of other species.Continue reading...
Director of CEDIB in Cochabamba says they’re being punished for criticising natural resource exploitation and other government policies
One of Bolivia’s leading social and environmental organisations has been plunged into crisis after being told it must clear out of its current premises storing millions of records and tens of thousands of books and other publications.
The Centro de Documentación e Información Bolivia (CEDIB) runs one of the biggest and most important libraries in the country, but was told recently it had just two days to leave. The order came from the new rector of the state-run University Mayor de San Simon (UMSS), where CEDIB has been based since 1993. Here CEDIB’s director, Marco Gandarillas, in Cochabamba, tells the Guardian, via email, what has been going on:
South Uist The plumage of the few birds present seems to be in harmony with the muted colours of the day
The hail shower begins within seconds of the car coming to a halt. Driven by furious gusts, the ice pellets ping off the roof and rattle against the windscreen, sliding down the glass to obscure the sight of the sand and the sea beyond. Then, departing as swiftly as it arrived, the squall is past, the wind subsiding again to a stiff breeze. Getting out for a walk, which had seemed so unlikely just a few minutes before, now becomes a certainty.
Down on the beach there is a curious quality about the day, for it is both bright and simultaneously without clarity. After yesterday’s gale the pale sea still shows line after line after line of foam-topped waves, which, despite the falling tide, are still surging as far up the sand as their diminishing energy will allow.Continue reading...
The findings in your article (Hundreds of thousands of children being exposed to illegal levels of damaging air pollution from diesel vehicles, 4 April) are scandalous. We are storing up huge unknowns in terms of the future of our children’s lung health. We need urgent action. The government must bring in a fair and ambitious Clean Air Act with targets to ensure pollution levels are monitored around every school and nursery located close to busy roads, arming parents and teachers with the information they need to take action to protect children’s health. Traffic emissions are the main culprit, but we know people bought their old diesel cars in good faith. A targeted scrappage incentive scheme would be a positive step, which could persuade drivers to switch quickly to cleaner vehicles. The Guardian and Greenpeace’s investigation shows our children’s lung health demands action now.
Dr Penny Woods
Chief executive, British Lung Foundation
• Your article highlights diesel fumes in London.In Hampstead, north-west London, pleas to Camden council to take account of the EU air quality directive and limit developments with massive lorry movements have not been heard. The council accepts that if it complied with the directive it will have to stop developments, and it is just not going to do that. Some 12,500 children go to schools in Hampstead every day, many under the age of seven. Development after development is approved by Camden and government planning inspectors right next to schools where children are exposed to lorry diesel fumes. One such development will see 2,000 lorry movements.Continue reading...
The assertion by Professor Dave Goulson (Farmers could slash pesticide use without losses, research reveals, 6 April) cannot go unchallenged. He says that pesticides are massively over-used because farmers are advised by agronomists working on commission to sell products.
The Agricultural Industries Confederation represents the majority of businesses that supply both agronomy advice and crop protection products to UK farmers. Farmers can elect to pay separately for agronomy advice and crop protection products. Farmers also have access to information from agrochemical manufacturers as well as independent agronomy research organisations – much of it free online. In many instances, those delivering advice do not receive commission.Continue reading...
Experts have suggested car makers pay for the air pollution crisis rather than drivers. If you own a diesel car we’d like to hear what you think
In an attempt to combat the amount of toxic pollution produced by diesel cars, the UK’s current plans are focused on making diesel drivers pay to enter cities and a possible taxpayer-funded scrappage scheme.
However experts have suggested that motor companies should pay for the crisis rather than drivers. Both the German and French governments have already required that manufacturers including Volkswagen, Opel, Audi, Mercedes and Renault fix over a million diesel vehicles which were spewing far higher levels of toxic pollution on the road than in official tests.
Snowshoe hare, flying fish and pink flamingos are among this week’s pick of images from the natural worldContinue reading...
Ridhima Pandey, daughter of green activist, urges ministers to reduce emissions to limit impact on younger generations
A nine-year-old girl has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government for failing to take action on climate change, warning that young people will pay the price for the country’s inaction.
In the petition filed with the National Green Tribunal, a special court for environment-related cases, Ridhima Pandey said the government had failed to implement its environment laws.
He said he was looking for parasitic wasps but volunteers at Daneway Banks where the large blue is flourishing suspected Phillip Cullen had ulterior motives
Mark Greaves, a butterfly enthusiast, points out the slope where he first spotted Phillip Cullen. “He and his mate parked in the layby, climbed over that locked gate, and he was down there running around with a little net.”
Greaves asked Cullen what on earth he thought he was doing with a net on one of the most precious butterfly sites in the UK and was doubtful about the explanation.Continue reading...
Phillip Cullen sentenced for illegally capturing and killing specimens of the large blue, Britain’s rarest butterfly
An insect enthusiast who illegally captured and killed specimens of Britain’s rarest butterfly, the large blue, has been given a six-month suspended prison sentence.
The amateur entomologist and former body builder Phillip Cullen, 57, was caught after being spotted by volunteers and wardens acting suspiciously at two nature reserves in the west of England.Continue reading...
New law allows private landowners to cut down any number of trees without applying for permission or even informing authorities
A controversial change to Polish environmental law has unleashed what campaigners describe as a “massacre” of trees across the country.
The new amendment, commonly known as “Szyszko’s law”, after Jan Szyszko, Poland’s environment minister, removes the obligation for private landowners to apply for permission to cut down trees, pay compensation or plant new trees, or even to inform local authorities that trees have been or will be removed.Continue reading...