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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

United Nations Environmental Program

Some amazing reports, at this site, on the world wide growth in the green economy.  First, here is how they define the green economy:  "A Green Economy is one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental and ecological scarcities."
 
Now, some recent stories: 
 
1. Cuba’s transition to organic agriculture emerged as a necessary response to the food crisis that gripped the nation in the early 1990s. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and a longstanding trade embargo that severely constrained industrialised agricultural practices on the island, Cuban producers turned the declining availability of pesticides, fertilisers and petroleum into an opportunity to shift towards organic production with numerous environmental, social and economic gains
 
2. Barbados’ overreliance on imported fossil fuels has become one of the island’s major environmental concerns. The Barbadian government’s National Strategic Plan of Barbados for 2006-25 is designed to rectify this dependency by increasing the country’s renewable energy supply, with a particular focus on raising the number of household solar water heaters by 50 per cent by 2025. Solar water heaters are now a widely used renewable energy technology in Barbados, with installations in nearly half of the island’s dwelling units.
 
3. Waste management and recycling in the Republic of Korea’s has not reduced waste generation, but has also encouraged reusing waste as an energy resource. Over the past years, targeted policies have significantly increased the recycling rate while creating thousands of jobs in an endeavour to build a Resource Recirculation Society.
 
4. In the Makete District of Tanzania, forest, woodland and grassland resources are essential to the local economies, and are crucial for the protection of vital watersheds for the conservation of the environment for agriculture and livestock production. Using smallholder woodlot management practices as a strategy for climate change adaptation has created a new stream of income for local communities and revenues for the city, while enhancing resilience to climate vulnerability.
 
5. As the protection and management of the environment is one of the pillars of Rwanda’s Vision 2020, the “country of a thousand hills” has undertaken many initiatives to protect ecosystems for income generation and good governance. Several of these projects, including the initiative to preserve the Rwandan mountain gorilla and wetland restoration efforts in the Nyabarongo-Akagera network and Rugezi, are already beginning to reap environmental, economic, and employment benefits.
 
6. China is taking considerable steps to shift to a low-carbon growth strategy based on the development of renewable energy sources. The outline of 11th Five-year Plan (2006-2010) allocated a significant share of investments to green sectors, with an emphasis on renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Plan projects that the per-unit GDP energy consumption by 2010 should have decreased by 20 per cent compared to 2005. In addition, the Chinese government has committed itself to producing 16 per cent of its primary energy from renewable sources by 2020.
 
7. Kenya’s energy profile is characterized by a predominance of traditional biomass energy to meet the energy needs of the rural households and a heavy dependence on imported petroleum for the modern economic sector needs. As a result, the country faces challenges related to unsustainable use of traditional forms of biomass and exposure to high and unstable oil import prices. In March 2008, Kenya’s Ministry of Energy adopted a feed-in tariff.
 
8. Uganda has taken important steps in transforming conventional agricultural production into an organic farming system, with significant benefits for its economy, society and the environment. Organic agriculture (OA) is defined by the Codex Alimentarius Commission as a holistic production management system, which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It prohibits the use of synthetic inputs, such as drugs, fertilizers and pesticides.
 
That is just a sampling.  Very global stories, touching all continents.  These successes span a migration to organic food sources, locally grown and distributed consumer goods, reductions in the use of imported oil, preservation of land, heavy investments in renewable energy and waste management.  All stories, topics, ideas we've been following and reporting details to you on our shows.
 
Please watch, comment and send us your ideas and success stories.  Across the globe, we are in this together. 
 
 
Organic Agriculture in Cuba Cuba’s transition to organic agriculture emerged as a necessary response to the food crisis that gripped the nation in the early 1990s. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and a longstanding trade embargo that severely constrained industrialised agricultural practices on the island, Cuban producers turned the declining availability of pesticides, fertilisers and petroleum into an opportunity to shift towards organic production with numerous environmental, social and economic gains.
Solar Energy in Barbados Barbados’ overreliance on imported fossil fuels has become one of the island’s major environmental concerns. The Barbadian government’s National Strategic Plan of Barbados for 2006-25 is designed to rectify this dependency by increasing the country’s renewable energy supply, with a particular focus on raising the number of household solar water heaters by 50 per cent by 2025. Solar water heaters are now a widely used renewable energy technology in Barbados, with installations in nearly half of the island’s dwelling units.
Waste Management in Republic of Korea Waste management and recycling in the Republic of Korea’s has not reduced waste generation, but has also encouraged reusing waste as an energy resource. Over the past years, targeted policies have significantly increased the recycling rate while creating thousands of jobs in an endeavour to build a Resource Recirculation Society.
Woodlot Management in Tanzania In the Makete District of Tanzania, forest, woodland and grassland resources are essential to the local economies, and are crucial for the protection of vital watersheds for the conservation of the environment for agriculture and livestock production. Using smallholder woodlot management practices as a strategy for climate change adaptation has created a new stream of income for local communities and revenues for the city, while enhancing resilience to climate vulnerability.
Ecosystem Restoration in Rwanda As the protection and management of the environment is one of the pillars of Rwanda’s Vision 2020, the “country of a thousand hills” has undertaken many initiatives to protect ecosystems for income generation and good governance. Several of these projects, including the initiative to preserve the Rwandan mountain gorilla and wetland restoration efforts in the Nyabarongo-Akagera network and Rugezi, are already beginning to reap environmental, economic, and employment benefits.
Renewable Energy in China
China is taking considerable steps to shift to a low-carbon growth strategy based on the development of renewable energy sources. The outline of 11th Five-year Plan (2006-2010) allocated a significant share of investments to green sectors, with an emphasis on renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Plan projects that the per-unit GDP energy consumption by 2010 should have decreased by 20 per cent compared to 2005. In addition, the Chinese government has committed itself to producing 16 per cent of its primary energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Feed-in tariffs in Kenya
Kenya’s energy profile is characterized by a predominance of traditional biomass energy to meet the energy needs of the rural households and a heavy dependence on imported petroleum for the modern economic sector needs. As a result, the country faces challenges related to unsustainable use of traditional forms of biomass and exposure to high and unstable oil import prices. In March 2008, Kenya’s Ministry of Energy adopted a feed-in tariff.
Organic agriculture in Uganda
Uganda has taken important steps in transforming conventional agricultural production into an organic farming system, with significant benefits for its economy, society and the environment. Organic agriculture (OA) is defined by the Codex Alimentarius Commission as a holistic production management system, which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It prohibits the use of synthetic inputs, such as drugs, fertilizers and pesticides.

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