Bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, are increasingly under threat from human activities.
Pollination is, however, a fundamental process for the survival of our ecosystems. Nearly 90% of the world’s wild flowering plant species depend, entirely, or at least in part, on animal pollination, along with more than 75% of the world’s food crops and 35% of global agricultural land. Not only do pollinators contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversity.
To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day.
The goal is to strengthen measures aimed at protecting bees and other pollinators, which would significantly contribute to solving problems related to the global food supply and eliminate hunger in developing countries.
We all depend on pollinators and it is, therefore, crucial to monitor their decline and halt the loss of biodiversity.
Bee engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems
Most of the big shippers’ fleets are less than 20 years old, but even the newer builds don’t necessarily have the most advanced technology. It takes roughly a year and a half to come out with a new build of a ship, and it will still be based on technology from a few years ago. So, most of the engines still run on fossil fuel oil.
Sand is the foundation of human construction and a fundamental ingredient in concrete, asphalt, glass and other building materials.
But sand, like other natural resources, is limited and its ungoverned extraction is driving erosion, flooding, the salination of aquifers and the collapse of coastal defences.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has partnered with Kenyan spoken word poet Beatrice Kariuki to shed light on the problems associated with sand mining, part of a wider push towards a zero waste world.
“We must redouble our efforts to build a circular economy, and take rubble to build structures anew,” Kariuki says in a new video. “Because without new thinking, the sands of time will run out.”
Sand is the second-most used resource on Earth, after water. It is often dredged from rivers, dug up along coastlines and mined. The 50 billion tonnes of sand thought to be extracted for construction every year is enough to build a nine-storey wall around the planet.
A 2022 report from UNEP, titled Sand and Sustainability: 10 Strategic Recommendations to Avert a Crisis, found that sand extraction is rising about 6 per cent annually, a rate it called unsustainable. The study outlined the scale of the problem and the lack of governance, calling for sand to be “recognized as a strategic resource” and for “its extraction and use… to be rethought.”
The report builds on UNEP research from 2019 that found increasing demand for sand, which saw a three-fold growth over 20 years, had caused river pollution and flooding, while also shrinking aquifers and deepening droughts.
UNEP has identified solutions to the problems linked to sand mining, including the creation of legal frameworks for sand extraction. There is also a need to develop a circular economy for sand and other building materials, accurately map and monitor sand resources, and restore ecosystems damaged by sand mining.
Recycling construction material from demolition sites and developing the potential of ore-sand are two simple ways to reduce the consumption of new sand, while contributing to global circular economy ambitions, the Sand and Sustainability report found. Ore-sand is a by-product of mineral processing designed for construction and industrial application that reduces the production of mine tailings and potentially provide an alternative source of sand.
To fight the pervasive impact of pollution on society, UNEP launched #BeatPollution, a strategy for rapid, large-scale and coordinated action against air, land and water pollution. The strategy highlights the impact of pollution on climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and human health. Through science-based messaging, the campaign showcases how transitioning to a pollution-free planet is vital for future generations.
Khi thấy cô người mẫu Tây mặc váy dệt bằng sợi tơ dứa của mình trình diễn tại Thụy Sĩ, Nguyễn Văn Hạnh, Vũ Thị Liễu – đồng sáng lập Ecosoi mừng muốn phát khóc.
Một bộ váy 5 – 6 triệu
Không mừng sao được khi các công ty may đang loay hoay tìm vùng nguyên liệu xanh và bền vững để đáp ứng nhu cầu xuất khẩu đi các thị trường khó tính như châu Âu, Nhật, trong khi đó Công ty CP Nghiên cứu sản xuất và Phát triển sợi (Ecosoi) mới thành lập đã tiên phong khai thác sợi từ lá dứa, biến rác phế phẩm nông nghiệp thành tài nguyên.
When we rise in the morning and listen to the radio or read the newspaper, we are confronted with the same sad news: violence, crime, wars, and disasters. I cannot recall a single day without a report of something terrible happening somewhere. Even in these modern times it is clear that one’s precious life is not safe. No former generation has had to experience so much bad news as we face today; this constant awareness of fear and tension should make any sensitive and compassionate person question seriously the progress of our modern world.
It is ironic that the more serious problems emanate from the more industrially advanced societies. Science and technology have worked wonders in many fields, but the basic human problems remain. There is unprecedented literacy, yet this universal education does not seem to have fostered goodness, but only mental restlessness and discontent instead. There is no doubt about the increase in our material progress and technology, but somehow this is not sufficient as we have not yet succeeded in bringing about peace and happiness or in overcoming suffering.
We can only conclude that there must be something seriously wrong with our progress and development, and if we do not check it in time there could be disastrous consequences for the future of humanity. I am not at all against science and technology – they have contributed immensely to the overall experience of humankind; to our material comfort and well-being and to our greater understanding of the world we live in. But if we give too much emphasis to science and technology we are in danger of losing touch with those aspects of human knowledge and understanding that aspire towards honesty and altruism.
Science and technology, though capable of creating immeasurable material comfort, cannot replace the age-old spiritual and humanitarian values that have largely shaped world civilization, in all its national forms, as we know it today. No one can deny the unprecedented material benefit of science and technology, but our basic human problems remain; we are still faced with the same, if not more, suffering, fear, and tension. Thus it is only logical to try to strike a balance between material developments on the one hand and the development of spiritual, human values on the other. In order to bring about this great adjustment, we need to revive our humanitarian values.
I am sure that many people share my concern about the present worldwide moral crisis and will join in my appeal to all humanitarians and religious practitioners who also share this concern to help make our societies more compassionate, just, and equitable. I do not speak as a Buddhist or even as a Tibetan. Nor do I speak as an expert on international politics (though I unavoidably comment on these matters). Rather, I speak simply as a human being, as an upholder of the humanitarian values that are the bedrock not only of Mahayana Buddhism but of all the great world religions. From this perspective I share with you my personal outlook – that:
Kinh tế Sài Gòn Online – Việt Nam hiện đứng thứ hai trong khu vực châu Á – Thái Bình Dương về nạn lãng phí thực phẩm, với hơn 8 triệu tấn thực phẩm bị thất thoát hay vất bỏ mỗi năm khi vẫn còn ăn được hoặc tận dụng được, gây tổn hại khoảng 3,9 tỉ đô la Mỹ mỗi năm, gần 2% GDP hiện nay. Tỷ lệ lãng phí thực phẩm của Việt Nam hiện cao gấp hai lần các nền kinh tế tiên tiến và giàu có trên thế giới.
Chống lãng phí thực phẩm đòi hỏi sự tham gia trên nhiều lĩnh vực của người dân, doanh nghiệp và nhà nước. Và đây cũng là một mục tiêu phát triển bền vững mà Liên hiệp quốc đề ra.
Anh lái xe nghêu ngao hát: “Dù có đi bốn phương trời, mà vẫn ngỡ đang ở Nhổn…” lúc chúng tôi chạy tránh thị trấn Sapa để vượt đèo Ô Quy Hồ sang Bình Lư đi Sìn Hồ (Lai Châu). Không chỉ chúng tôi, những người từng yêu Sapa nay đều hầu như không còn ai muốn chui vào “đống bê tông lổn nhổn” ấy nữa, dù nó ngay trước mặt.
Nếu lấy mốc 1897 chính quyền Pháp mở cuộc điều tra dân số đầu tiên về các tộc người vùng núi cao, từ đó Sapa được phát hiện, tính đến nay tròn 120 năm. Tôi lên đó đầu những năm 90 thế kỷ trước, rồi còn vài lần nữa, nhưng không sao nhớ nổi chuyện mỗi lần, hơn 30 năm rồi còn gì.
Sapa có ba giá trị lớn: khí hậu, cảnh quan và cuộc sống người thiểu số. Ảnh: Thanh Vy
ILO – Lao động giúp việc gia đình đóng góp quan trọng cho xã hội, cung cấp dịch vụ chăm sóc thiết yếu cho gia đình và hộ gia đình, nhưng họ vẫn chưa được đánh giá đúng mức.
Ngày 16 tháng 6 năm 2022
GENEVA ‒ Theo một báo cáo mới của Tổ chức Lao động Quốc tế (ILO), chỉ có 6% lao động giúp việc gia đình trên toàn thế giới được tiếp cận an sinh xã hội toàn diện.
Điều này đồng nghĩa với việc hơn 94% trong số họ không được tiếp cận đầy đủ các cơ chế bảo vệ, bao gồm chế độ liên quan đến chăm sóc y tế, ốm đau, thất nghiệp, tuổi già, tai nạn nghề nghiệp, gia đình, thai sản, thương tật và tử tuất.
International efforts, such as the Paris Agreement, aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But experts say countries aren’t doing enough to limit dangerous global warming.
Countries have debated how to combat climate change since the early 1990s. These negotiations have produced several important accords, including the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.
Governments generally agree on the science behind climate change but have diverged on who is most responsible and how to set emissions-reduction goals.
Experts say the Paris Agreement is not enough to prevent the global average temperature from rising 1.5°C. When that happens, the world will suffer devastating consequences, such as heat waves and floods.
Over the last several decades, governments have collectively pledged to slow global warming. But despite intensified diplomacy, the world could soon face devastating consequences of climate change.
Through the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere keeps rising, heating the Earth at an alarming rate. Scientists warn that if this warming continues unabated, it could bring environmental catastrophe to much of the world, including staggering sea-level rise, record-breaking droughts and floods, and widespread species loss.
Dozens of countries made new commitments during a UN climate conference known as COP26 in November 2021. Still, experts, activists, and citizens remain concerned that these pledges are not ambitious enough.
What are the most important international agreements on climate change?
On August 14 1912, a small New Zealand newspaper published a short article announcing global coal usage was affecting our planet’s temperature.
This piece from 110 years ago is now famous, shared across the internet this time every year as one of the first pieces of climate science in the media (even though it was actually a reprint of a piece published in a New South Wales mining journal a month earlier).
So how did it come about? And why has it taken so long for the warnings in the article to be heard – and acted on?
The fundamental science has been understood for a long time
American scientist and women’s rights campaigner Eunice Foote is now widely credited as being the first person to demonstrate the greenhouse effect back in 1856, several years before United Kingdom researcher John Tyndall published similar results.
Her rudimentary experiments showed carbon dioxide and water vapour can absorb heat, which, scaled up, can affect the temperature of the earth. We’ve therefore known about the relationship between greenhouse gases and Earth’s temperature for at least 150 years.
The Earth is approximately 1.1℃ warmer than it was at the start of the industrial revolution. That warming has not been uniform, with some regions warming at a far greater pace. One such region is the Arctic.
A new study shows that the Arctic has warmed nearly four times faster than the rest of the world over the past 43 years. This means the Arctic is on average around 3℃ warmer than it was in 1980.
This is alarming, because the Arctic contains sensitive and delicately balanced climate components that, if pushed too hard, will respond with global consequences.
Why is the Arctic warming so much faster?
A large part of the explanation relates to sea ice. This is a thin layer (typically one metre to five metres thick) of sea water that freezes in winter and partially melts in the summer.
The sea ice is covered in a bright layer of snow which reflects around 85% of incoming solar radiation back out to space. The opposite occurs in the open ocean. As the darkest natural surface on the planet, the ocean absorbs 90% of solar radiation.
When covered with sea ice, the Arctic Ocean acts like a large reflective blanket, reducing the absorption of solar radiation. As the sea ice melts, absorption rates increase, resulting in a positive feedback loop where the rapid pace of ocean warming further amplifies sea ice melt, contributing to even faster ocean warming.
One of my favorite quotes is from Sherlock Holmes: “Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however implausible, must be the truth.” This motto implicitly guides the ambitious plan to decarbonize all energy envisioned by most renewable energy enthusiasts. The only problem is that, not only is the alternative they dismiss not impossible, it could be much less implausible than the one they advocate.
The renewables army. A huge number of extremely earnest and bright people are working on trying to make the renewable energy future come true. They work at, or have passed through, the most elite institutions of our time, the top universities, the top financial firms, the most innovative corporations and startups. At the center of much of their effort is the Rocky Mountain Institute, the nonprofit research think-tank whose board I chaired more than 20 years ago. (They call it a “think-and-do” tank, which is more fitting.) RMI coordinates meetings (recently mostly Zoom meetings) with very smart participants from some of the foremost companies working on decarbonizing their businesses, companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft. It’s a pleasure to watch them think, discuss, and work out problems. It was an enormous pleasure to be on RMI’s board, especially to interact intellectually with the most brilliant individual I have ever met, RMI’s co-founder Amory Lovins.
Panelists at the launch of the 2022 Poverty and Equity Assessment by World Bank in Việt Nam. — VNS Photo Nhật Hồng
HÀ NỘI — The poverty and equity agenda is no longer only about raising minimum living standards and tackling chronic poverty – it is also about creating new, sustainable economic pathways for a more aspirational population.
The statement was introduced by Judy Yang, World Bank senior economist and co-author of the institution’s latest Poverty and Equity Assessment in Việt Nam.
The newest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints a troubling picture: Climate change is already impacting every corner of the world, and much more severe impacts are in store if we fail to halve greenhouse gas emissions this decade and immediately scale up adaptation.
Following on the first installment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group II’s contribution, released on February 28, 2022, draws from 34,000 studies and involved 270 authors from 67 countries. It provides one of the most comprehensive examinations of the intensifying impacts of climate change and future risks, particularly for resource-poor countries and marginalized communities. The 2022 IPCC report also details which climate adaptation approaches are most effective and feasible, as well as which groups of people and ecosystems are most vulnerable.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the report “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.
Here are six takeaways from the report:
1. Climate impacts are already more widespread and severe than expected.
Climate change is already causing widespread disruption in every region in the world with just 1.1 degrees C (2 degrees F) of warming.
Bằng là bạn học cấp hai của tôi. Hết lớp 9, Bằng thôi học dù thành tích đứng thứ nhì toàn trường.
Chú Sáu, ba của Bằng, lúc đó nói, nhà ruộng đất nhiều, cần gì học, ở nhà làm ruộng cũng sống khỏe re. Ở tuổi 16, Bằng không nghĩ được gì nhiều, người lớn nói sao nghe vậy. Vài năm sau, Bằng trở thành lao động trụ cột trong nhà. Một mình cậu quán xuyến hai mẫu ruộng, mỗi năm canh tác ba vụ, của ăn không thiếu. Rồi Bằng lấy vợ, sanh con, xây dựng một gia đình như bao gia đình khác ở quê tôi.