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Research shows both local and global impacts

It may have taken a couple of decades to break through but it is probably safe to say that significant numbers of people now understand the link between atmospheric carbon, especially carbon dioxide and methane, and global temperature. Hopefully, this allows the majority to realize that the transfer of carbon to the atmosphere is now mostly caused by human activity. Those with a slightly deeper understanding will know that deforestation plays a part by reducing the natural mechanism that remove carbon from the atmosphere and therefore contributes to global heating. But research now confirms that deforestation also has a clear local climate impact as well by leading to more frequent storms at the local scale and these in turn have an amplified impact as the removal of trees means there is a greater likelihood of those storms leading to flooding. See more here . . .

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

The massive impact of period poverty

Amazingly there are still millions of women and girls in the world who menstruate but struggle to afford proper, modern, hygienic products that would make their period easier to deal with. It doesn’t take much thought to realize that this period poverty reflects failure across six SDGs. It is a function of both poverty [SDG1] and gender inequality [5]. Addressing it would also help improve health [3], reduce water issues [6] and represent greater equality [10]. Achieving it would also means improved education [4]. These are the obvious ones but I reckon you can also draw links to others as well. So, why not do something about it? . . .

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

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

UNGA to Hold Five-Part Consultation on Our Common Agenda (IISD) Global, Regional Workshops Supporting 2022 VNR Countries (IISD) Trillion Trees debuts guide for investing in forest restoration (BusinessGreen) More trees means healthier bees, new study on air pollution reveals (Eco-Business) England’s farmers to be paid to rewild land (The Guardian) Filipinos count cost of climate crisis as typhoons get ever more destructive (The Guardian) . . .

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

Bottom-up initiatives not a panacea

A report by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has found that there has been no aggregate deforestation reductions from rollout of community land titles in Indonesia yet. You can see the details in full in the report but it goes to show that we cannot assume that community-led projects will and must always be successful at achieving sustainability aims. To my mind it helps illustrate the importance of what the UN calls FUR – follow-up and reporting - so that impacts can be measured and assessed and then programmes can be changed if they are not working as intended. . . .

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

The intersection of demographic change, economic change and the environment

A recent article in Eco-Business highlights very well an issue that we have taught in Geography and Development Studies for a while now. One of the biggest sustainability issues is the potential disaster of the emerging economies developing in the same way as the HICs did, or at least trying to. This could play out in all kinds of immediately obvious bad ways such as too much waste, over-consumption, pollution of all kinds and so on. When it comes to food, most countries demonstrate a shift to high meat consumption as they develop and with population increase this means more people eating more meat more frequently and all the land use impacts e.g. deforestation, water disruption and water and air pollution that come with it. . . .

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

Sustainability listicles for the New Year

11 sustainability buzzwords of 2021 (Eco-Business) Destroy and deny: climate villains that made the headlines in 2021 (Eco-Business) 7 trends that will shape sustainability in 2022 (Eco-Business) 2021: Data, Climate, and Solutions (IISD) 10 Sustainability Trends to Watch in 2021 and 2022 (energywatch) Sustainable Business Went Mainstream in 2021 (Harvard Business Review) 5 Sustainability Themes to Expect in 2022 (Morningstar) . . .

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

Earth as Safe Operating Space

An independently funded report by the International Science Council has laid out a road map for how funding can and should be allocated into the five areas currently posing the greatest risk to human life. Unleashing Science: Delivering Missions for Sustainability advocates for science to be better funded and organized to truly deliver inter-disciplinary, systems-focused solutions which are collaborative, inclusive and accessible. They demand immediate changes for science aimed at: Food: eating adequate, healthy diets without consuming nature’s bounty; Water: replenishing nature’s reservoirs to provide enough clean water for all; Health and Wellbeing: being whole and well in body, mind and nature; Urban areas: thriving in places while stewarding the natural environment; and Climate and energy: shifting to clean energy while restoring a safe climate. . . .

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

Youth mental well-being and eco-anxiety

Eco-anxiety, a condition defined as “a chronic fear of environmental doom” by psychological experts, is not yet officially considered a mental health disorder, but surveys have shown that young people are increasingly distressed about environmental change. Some reportedly are choosing not to have children because they fear that doing so will amplify global warming. In one of the largest scientific studies yet on climate anxiety in young people conducted across 10 countries, almost 40 per cent of respondents said that they are hesitant about having children and would delay the process. There might be no clear answers on what is the right thing to do, but governments and leaders need to see the signs and try to give youths greater confidence that their children will see a less devastating world. (This is adapted from an article in Eco-Business - 11 sustainability buzzwords of 2021)   . . .

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