environment

Recent stories

The Green Economy – a Luxury That Only the Developed World Can Afford?

One of the most common misconceptions about the green economy is that there is an inescapable trade-off between environmental sustainability and economic development. In addition, that environmental concern would be a luxury that only the developed countries can afford. However, throughout the conference so far, we have seen multiple arguments that incorporating sustainability into the development process is a vital key to alleviate poverty and increase economic growth. In a session today organized by the Global Research Forum on Sustainable Consumption and Production, Nobel Prize Winner Mohan Munasinghe argued that there are some third world countries that still believe the increased focus on sustainability and the green economy to be “a trick by the western countries to keep down their development process”. Nevertheless, the gap between the north and south on this issue has been narrowing and the world seem to be reaching a general consensus that sound environmental management is vital in order to achieve economic growth, not only in the long run but also in the short run.

Trade vs. Green?

Suppose you are an environmentally conscious consumer living in, say, Scotland. You walk into the supermarket and feel like buying, say, strawberries. You are offered a choice between strawberries that are locally grown and strawberries imported from Spain. Everything else being equal, which one would you go for? Most “conscious consumers” would arguably go for the local type, thinking that it would be better for the environment.

Environmentally and Economically Sustainable Businesses

How can businesses develop products that are both environmentally and economically sustainable?  Many company executives see green initiatives as a financial burden that are only pursued out of good will.   Some environmental projects require large initial investments or involve changing the structure of an operation.  However, many initiatives that reduce the environmental impacts of products also reduce costs for businesses and improve their bottom line.  At the Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) conference titled “Greening the Supply Chain: Best Business Practices and Future Trends” on Thursday, April 26, many strategies were presented by various companies that have improved both their environmental and economic sustainability. (more…)

High Level Session on Water & Food Security: What are the Challenges and Proposed Solutions?

When else can you find yourself in the same room as the French Minister of Agriculture, the Director of the International Seed Foundation, the President of the Food Security Council, the Assistant Director General for Natural Resources Management and Environment at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, and a host of other international movers and shakers? It’s only at the High Level Session on Water and Food Security at the sixth World Water Forum. Food security is defined by FAO as “when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Target 1.C of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) is to halve, by 2015, the number of people who suffer from hunger.  We were, arguably, making some progress toward reaching that goal until the financial crisis of 2008 led to a spike in hunger in 2009, in both developing and developed countries. The theme for the sixth World Water Forum is “Time for Solutions”, and what better time than now to brainstorm ways to get back on track with the food security MDG.  These high level sessions bring together representatives from the agricultural, governmental, and financial sectors, along with heads of international NGOs, to redefine objectives for worldwide mobilization.

Resources management: A new platform for counting the assets

As promised, I am bringing some information from the dinner with Jacqueline M. McGlade to you:

Actually the last post did not cover at all the various and different research activities of her. Her newest project is just about to be released. It is going to be presented in mid December in Abu Dhabi and it is called Eye on Earth. What is the main goal? To make satellite information accessible to everyone and to connect it with loads of informations from various fields, starting from energy topics to resources and ecosystems.

What are the implications of this project?