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Food - security and sustainability

When it comes to food supply, security has always, indeed must always, take precedence. However, we are also now very much more aware that poor agricultural practice is unsustainable and probably feeds into longer-term concerns over food security. It would be the perfect example of the Brundtland report statement if the agricultural practices of today met the needs of the present but compromised the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The WTO and FAO are currently facing a perfect short-term storm with covid and Ukraine, but climate change is already here and adding to these woes with the more worrying characteristic of being long-term as well. What to do? Well there is much wrangling, but this excellent article in IISD give a great picture.   . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

United Nations Summer Academy 2022

The UNSA 22 starts today and runs all week. Just 115 people have been selected from thousands of applicants to attend this 5 day course of intensive work building sustainable development partnerships and networks. The 2022 Programme will explore sustainable development from a multi-sectoral perspective, focusing on critical themes such as health and well-being, social protection, economic transformation, and climate action. Participants will look at how transformative thought frameworks of systems thinking, futures thinking, and design thinking can address these issues in a complex and volatile context. Alongside these core themes and conceptual approaches, the Programme will also feature trending sustainable development topics such as innovation for sustainable development and frontier technologies. Experts will highlight the latest developments in these areas and their potential contribution to sustainable development efforts. ITS Foundation founder Danny Harrington is one of the . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

High fossil fuel prices are good for the planet – here’s how to keep them high while avoiding riots or hurting the poor (The Conversation) Greenwashing: how ads get you to think brands are greener than they are – and how to avoid falling for it (The Conversation) Another Indonesian province moves to reclaim forests from palm plantations (Eco-business) Mangroves face overwhelmingly negative impacts from climate change in a 2°C warmer world: study (Eco-business) The case for colocation data centres: green, flexible, convenient (Eco-business) Scientists unveil bionic robo-fish to remove microplastics from seas (The Guardian) Nearly 20% of Food-Related Emissions Come From Transport (green queen) It’s time to put Indigenous Peoples first at the UN biodiversity talks (Climatechangenews) Data exclusive: The ‘junk’ carbon offsets revived by the Glasgow Pact (climatechangenews) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Food waste v packaging waste

One of the great challenges posed by addressing sustainability issues is that so many of these problems are “complex” or what are sometimes called “wicked problems”. It is very difficult to know whether an action that seems beneficial at first sight is actually going to be beneficial in the long run. For example, how many of us actually know the net benefit of us using a cloth bag instead of plastic throwaway bags at the supermarket? How was the cloth bag made? How much energy did it use? How many plastic bags will it replace? Etc etc. Another area now under consideration is food packaging. The gut reaction is that we should not have so much, if any packaging. But what about the shelf life of food as a result? What is the net impact of having more food waste against less packaging waste? Read a really good entry article on this in Eco-business. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

World Refugee Day

Every year the UN marks 20th June as World Refugee Day and highlights the commitments under the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol which are the only global legal instruments to try and protect people who have been forced from their homes by “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”. The commitment extends across all types of refugee such as asylum seekers and so on. In 2022, with refugees from a number of conflicts around the world and newer push factors such as fleeing climate change, we need more help and simple compassion for refugees than ever. Unfortunately, many governments are acting in the opposite direction. Under the 1951 Convention refugees have: The right not to be expelled, except under certain, strictly defined conditions; The right not to be punished for illegal entry into the territory of a contracting State; The right to work; The rig . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

World’s protected natural areas too small and isolated to benefit wildlife – new study (The Conversation) Sustainable investment: want a green place to start putting your money away? Here’s what you need to know (The Conversation) The right way to fight global hunger (Eco-business) Mobilising communities trumps penalties in protecting seascapes: study (Eco-business) New data reveals extraordinary global heating in the Arctic (The Guardian) Air pollution got worse during lockdown in many countries, study finds (The Guardian) Case study: Western Australia to shut state-owned coal plants by 2030 (The Guardian) They’ve Got Beef: Beyond Meat Vs. Impossible Foods Burger Showdown: What’s The Difference? (green queen) Corporate Sustainability Plans Are On the Rise, Action, Not So Much, Report Finds (green queen) Activists hail Biden’s use of security powers to boost clean energy (The Guardian) Nature restoration and carbon removal are not the sam . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

7th annual Sustainable Development Report

ITS is a youth organization member of the SDSN and keenly aware of the work that it does. The 2022 report warns that for “the second year in a row, the world is no longer making progress on the SDGs.” Last year’s report was the first to reveal a reverse in SDG progress since they began in 2015. The key reasons are that the covid pandemic has, for at least 2 years now, had a major impact on economic conditions and taken up government resources of all kinds. Thus there has been a direct impact on work being done towards SDGs 1 and 8 and poor performance registered particularly on SDGs 11 to 15. With the Ukraine conflict now over 100 days old and some places, notably China, still under the impact of the pandemic, the report notes other strategic priorities drawing attention and financing away from SDG specific programmes and goals. It is yet another example of poor and blinkered thinking that governments and powerful corporations continue to relegate sustainability wh . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

ITS Foundation Youth Advisory Committee launched

On Tuesday 7th June, the inaugural meeting of the ITSF YAC took place at the ITS offices. In attendance (and pictured, left to right) were Jane Poon, Josephine Jaume, Mira Chan, Michelle Wang, Kadence Wong (elected president), Danny Harrington (Foundation member), Anna Wei (elected Secretary), Chantal Sun, David Won and Aiden Howe. Their respective schools are: HKIS, FIS, CDNIS, ISF, STC, VSA, AISHK, GSIS, and CIS. Justin Cheng of DBS is also a member. The committee will meet formally 4 times per year – 3 term meetings and an AGM – to advise the Board on current thought trends among sustainability-minded youth provide both feedback on ideas, and suggest new ideas, for programmes that the Foundation can and should pursue provide both feedback on ideas, and suggest new ideas, for youth peer-to-peer collaborations that the Foundation can and should pursue advise on, and facilitate, events to lead and participate in This is a great step for the Foundation to implem . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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