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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

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Case study: Renewables and Energy Transitions in Small Island States (IISD) Love Island ditches fast fashion: how reality celebrities influence young shoppers’ habits (The Conversation) Mangroves are disappearing – we read 200 scientific papers to find out why (The Conversation) Case study: Cracking down on illegal trafficking and logging: how environmentalists are protecting biodiversity in the Philippines (Eco-business) Southeast Asia chasing 'silver bullet' climate solutions at expense of proven methods (Eco-business) ‘Gold rush’ for gas production threatens to lock in global heating (The Guardian) Slow water: can we tame urban floods by going with the flow? (The Guardian) 10 Reasons Why Cultivated Meat Is The Future Of Protein: The Case For Lab-Grown (green queen) MEPs vote to end sale of petrol and diesel car by 2035 in EU (The Guardian) New global study identifies opportunities for increasing carbon storage on land to mitigate climate change (Ph . . .

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

World Oceans Day 2022

Today is an extremely important UN Day of Observance – World Oceans Day themed "Revitalization: collective action for the ocean". The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, it is home to most of earth’s biodiversity, and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. Not to mention, the ocean is key to our economy with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030. BUT with 90% of big fish populations depleted, and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. We need to work together to create a new balance with the ocean that no longer depletes its bounty but instead restores its vibrancy and brings it new life. The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable . . .

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

Fuel prices having shock effect on environment

A very good article in The Conversation last week, highlights how the rocketing cost of fossil gas due primarily to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, has had a number of knock o effects with social and environmental fallout. In low and middle income countries, and often rural areas of HICs as well, it is very common for households to buy cylinders of LPG for cooking purposes. This is a by product of fossil gas extraction and usually provides a cheap, convenient and relatively cleaner option for households to meet their energy needs. But the price rises for gas have also meant price rises for LPG meaning many can no longer afford it and revert to previous fuels such as wood and charcoal. This has impacts for both the broader environment – GHG emissions – and the local environment – household and local air quality. It can also lead to vegetation stripping and other unregulated damage to soils. Then there are the social and economic costs of foraging for fuel and the kno . . .

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