"The flourishing of human and non-human life on earth has inherent value." (The first of the eight points of Arne Naess's deep ecology.)
"Joy is related to the environment and to nature. Should the world's misery and the approaching eco-catastrophe make one sad? The remedy against sadness caused by the world's misery is to do something about it." Arne Naess, The Ecology of Wisdom.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Henry David Thoreau.
Environmental science has a strong focus on policy informed by scientific findings. It encompasses issues such as climate change (and responses to it), conservation, biodiversity, water quality, groundwater contamination, soil contamination, use of natural resources, waste management, sustainable development, disaster reduction, air pollution, and noise pollution.
Expect a boom in different approaches to environmentally sound development. Look at the way creative commons is extended into environment business models in order to pool talent and create synergy.
Planetary boundaries http://www.stockholmresilience.org/planetary-boundaries ; http://www.stockholmresilience.org/download/18.8615c78125078c8d3380002197/ES-2009-3180.pdf ; http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2009/09/planetary_boundaries.html
- (CO2 concentration in the atmosphere <350 ppm and/or a maximum change of +1 W m-2 in radiative forcing);
- ocean acidification (mean surface seawater saturation state with respect to aragonite ≥ 80% of pre-industrial levels);
- stratospheric ozone (<5% reduction in O3 concentration from pre-industrial level of 290 Dobson
- biogeochemical nitrogen (N) cycle (limit industrial and agricultural fixation of N2 to 35 Tg N yr-1) and phosphorus (P) cycle (annual P inflow to oceans not to exceed 10 times the natural background
weathering of P);
- global freshwater use (<4000 km3 yr-1 of consumptive use of runoff resources);
- land system change (<15% of the ice-free land surface under cropland);
- rate at which biological diversity is lost (annual rate of <10 extinctions per million species).
- chemical pollution
- atmospheric aerosol loading.
Water management, Sustainable Development
Global Environmental Change
- World Changing http://www.worldchanging.com/ green slant but American perspective ;
- Envirolink http://www.envirolink.org/index.html Great resource with news since 1991,
- Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/ ;
- Ecogeek http://www.ecogeek.org/ News ;
- The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/climate-change ;
- Planetark http://www.planetark.com/ ;
- http://pubs.acs.org/journal/esthag Environmental Science and Technology Journal, excellent ;
Blogs & Forums
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/ ; http://climateprogress.org/ ; http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/ Scrappy, meaty service on the transition from the carbon-oil economy and its costs.. ; http://switchboard.nrdc.org/ ; http://www.mongabay.com/ ; http://climateethics.org/ Ethics ; http://www.realclimate.org/ Forum where climate scientists can post their views about climate sciences. The political and economic implications of climate science are excluded ; http://www.worldchanging.com/ The WorldChanging discussion forum’s main focus is connecting the various resources — tools, models, and ideas — with which a more sustainable environmental future can be built ; http://www.env-econ.net/ Environmental Economics is a discussion forum which posts economists’ views on environment and resource issues ; http://www.treehugger.com/ offers good news update ; http://globalwarming.change.org/ Advocacy network ; http://priceofoil.org/ Excellent in bashing the oil sector ; http://ecorev.org/ ; http://www.solaripedia.com/ ;
- http://www.chinadialogue.net/ China and the environmental challenge ;
- Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP) http://www.cleanair-coolplanet.org/ Giving solutions through research to global warming ;
- The Climate Group http://www.theclimategroup.org/index.php?pid=355 International nonprofit organization which focuses on improving business and government leadership on climate change ;
- The David Suzuki Foundation http://www.davidsuzuki.org/ several core program areas: oceans and sustainable fishing, clean energy, and sustainability ;
- The Environmental Working group http://www.ewg.org/ mission is to expose risks to the environment and to peoples’ health, and to provide solutions to these problems ;
- The Goddard Institute for Space Studies http://www.giss.nasa.gov/ concerned with studying the changes in our planet’s environment that affect our ability to live on Earth ;
- ICIMOD http://www.icimod.org/ Central Asian Mountains ;
- LSE Grantham Institute http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/granthamInstitute/ ;
- McKinsey Global Institute http://www.mckinsey.com/mgi/publications/Carbon_Productivity/index.asp
- MIT http://mitsloan.mit.edu/sustainability/
- Pacific Institute http://www.pacinst.org/ , focusing on environmental sustainability, water issues ;
- PEW Climate http://www.pewclimate.org/ ;
- Pollution probe http://www.pollutionprobe.org/ Canadian environmental organization that promotes advocacy and education about environmental issues, and attempts to design practical solutions through advocacy ;
- Research Resources for the Future http://www.rff.org/ improves environmental and natural resource policymaking worldwide through objective social science research of the highest caliber ;
- Science Commons http://sciencecommons.org/projects/greenxchange/ Opens up the idea of commons to innovation in environmentally sound technologies ;
- the Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/ On March 4, 1969, the Union of Concerned Scientists was born when a group of scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology organized to protest the militarization of scientific research and promote science in the public interest ;
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change http://unfccc.int/ ; http://www.ipcc.ch/ ;
- The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration http://www.noaa.gov/ with four key themes: ecosystems, climate, weather and water, and commerce and transportation ;
- The US Global Change Research Information Office http://www.gcrio.org/ information on climate change research, technologies with which to mitigate or adapt to climate change ;
- UNEP Champions of the Earth awards http://www.unep.org/champions/
- IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature http://www.iucn.org/about/
- World Wildlife Fund
- Benfield Hazard Research Centre http://www.abuhrc.org
- IISD, international Institute for Sustainable Development http://www.iisd.org/
- http://www.globalboiling.com/ Shows changing weather patterns ;
Treaties http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12179&page=41 ; http://www.oildepletionprotocol.org/files/REPORT%20-%20website.pdf Environmental treaties ; http://ecowatch.org/
Economic, social and environmental aspects of development, habitat agenda, forests, energy, water and sanitation. Changing theoretical paradigms and policy approaches to natural resource management. Intergenerational focus.
En 1987, le rapport de la Commission mondiale sur l'environnement et le développement définit le développement durable comme "un développement qui répond aux besoins du présent sans compromettre la capacité des générations futures de répondre aux leurs" (WCED, 1987, 43). En d'autres termes, le développement durable "veut questionner, dans une perspective intergénérationnelle, les dimensions économiques, sociales et environnementales du développement et dépasser les clivages Nord/Sud en mettant en avant la dimension planétaire de l'environnement" (Hugon 2006, 29).
- UNEP http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=43
- 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (also known as the Stockholm Conference)
- Agenda 21 http://habitat.igc.org/agenda21/ From the Rio Earth summit 1992, comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment. Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992. The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, to monitor and report on implementation of the agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. It was agreed that a five year review of Earth Summit progress would be made in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in special session. The full implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Commitments to the Rio principles, were strongly reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002.
- Rio Declaration on Environment and Development http://habitat.igc.org/agenda21/rio-dec.htm "Peace, development and environmental protection are interdependent and indivisible. "
- Commission on Sustainable Development
- 2002 The World Summit on Sustainable Development, WSSD or Earth Summit 2002 took place in Johannesburg, South Africa,
- UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/rio20/index.shtml
- Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) http://www.bcas.net/ - practical orientation on SD - environment-development integration, good governance & people's participation, sustainable livelihoods, economic growth & public-private partnerships.
- UN Conference on Sustainable Development http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/rio20/index.shtml Rio 20.
- Global Village Energy Partnership http://www.gvepinternational.org/ to reduce poverty through accelerated access to modern energy services ;
- http://www.solarenergyuganda.com/ Venture capital and project development company ;
- Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development http://www.prometheus.org/ a US-based non-profit focusing on collecting and disseminating information on all types of technology and processes used in promoting global economic, industrial, and societal sustainable development ;
- International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development http://ictsd.net/ ;
- http://www.gshakti.org/ Filiale de Grameen Banquem fait du développement durable sa priortié, d'abord à Bangladesh.
- Rainforest alliance http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/ Sustainable livelihoods ;
- http://www.seedinit.org/ The Supporting Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development (SEED) Award recognizes promising new locally-driven enterprises that work to improve livelihoods, tackle poverty and manage the sustainable development of natural resources in developing countries. The five Gold Winners of the 2009 SEED Award include an association of small-scale women farmers in Zimbabwe striving to reverse severe land degradation through organic farming; a Bangladeshi non-governmental organization (NGO) developing a low-cost solar lantern made from recycled parts of kerosene lanterns; a group in Colombia setting environmental standards for local miners; civil society organizations in Southern Africa and India developing bio-cultural procedures to help indigenous communities share the benefit of local resources; and institutions in Niger establishing sustainable solid waste management systems to keep cities clean.
Architecture and Shelter
- World Development Report "When people have open access to forests, pastureland, or fishing grounds they tend to overuse them. Providing land titles in Thailand has helped reduce damage to forests. The assignment of property titles to slum-dwellers in Bandung and security of tenure to hill farmers in Kenya has reduced soil erosion. Formalizing community rights to land in Burkina Faso is sharply improving land management. And allocating transferable fishery resources has checked the tendency to overfish in New Zealand." Another example of how insecure property rights can be very damaging to the environment is land reform. Because land reform makes possession of agricultural land insecure, the incentive of landowners is either to convert their agricultural land to residential or industrial land (and therefore exempt from land reform) or not plant at all. Large swaths of idle agricultural land may be traced to the unintended consequence of unsecure property rights caused by land reform.
- Tearfund http://www.tearfund.org/webdocs/website/Campaigning/policy%20and%20research/Adapting%20to%20climate%20change%20discussion%20paper.pdf
- http://www.pih.org/inforesources/news/Hait_environmental_projects_2009.html For new innovative thinking in environmental solutions for the poor.
- Fucking for Forests http://www.fuckforforest.com/side-meny.html
- Redd (Reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation) 37 mainly tropical countries have requested more than $14bn in grants from rich countries by 2015 in return for cutting their carbon emissions from logging and other forestry activities. This is expected to lead to an income of more than $10bn a year by 2020 when a global carbon offset scheme is running. The carbon money flowing from rich to poor countries will then theoretically dwarf international aid and could reduce global emissions by 17-20% – more than that emitted by all the world's transport. The best way to stop logging and save the planet from climate change, according to wealthy countries and conservationists. But Human rights and environment groups yesterday called for a radical rethink of the United Nations scheme after it emerged that many countries were trying to cheat the system - many intend to abuse the system in order to collect the money while carrying on logging as usual.
- http://www.penhanetwork.org Pastoralism in the horn of Africa ; http://www.iucn.org/wisp/ World Initiative for Sustainable Pastoralism (WISP) ;
Linking to Poverty reduction
- 2010 "WFP has given 800 poor families in Tajikistan thousands of seedlings to plant not only to provide fruit, but to offset the carbon footprint of vehicles used in the agency’s food aid work. Some 63,000 fruit, nut and pine trees are currently taking root in the Central Asian country thanks to $100,000 provided by WFP's vehicle-leasing department in Dubai, as part of what the agency calls “unique climate-change project.”The families will also get WFP food while they receive training in looking after the trees. In three years, when the trees become productive, the families will have ample supplies of fruit for the first time in their lives with enough left over to sell at the market. At the same time the trees will help to absorb the equivalent amount of carbon emissions from WFP vehicles. In the eastern Rasht Valley, WFP is partnering with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 50 secondary schools in a learning and environmental awareness programme. Some 10,000 secondary students have been given one tree each – apricot, apple or poplar – which is marked with a plaque bearing their name. They are responsible for making the tree grow, and in doing so, learn about the role of trees in preventing soil erosion. Tajikistan’s Forestry Agency is collaborating in the project, designating staff to train the beneficiaries, providing technical assistance from maps and reports going back 50 years, assigning a forest ranger to patrol the pistachio seedlings on horseback, and signing a 20-year land lease with the new tree-owners for just $1 a year."
Pollution and environmental damage Policies
Hysteresis In lakes, how “drip feed” with fertiliser does not cause much visible change until, suddenly, the whole system crashes and a new stable state, dominated by lake algae, emerges. To “uncrash” things it is not enough to push the lake’s chemistry back to where it was just before the flip. You have to go quite a long way past that point to bring back the clear-water ecosystem.
Biological Diversity Policies
- Convention on biological diversity http://www.cbd.int/
Environmental Crime Policies
- http://www.eia-international.org/ investigating and exposing environmental crime ;
- http://www.homerdixon.com/download/energy_ingenuity.pdf Homer-Dixon on four obstacles to green energy in Canada, two economic, and two political ;
Environment & Conflict
Research have identified significant, simple and direct connections leading from environmental degradation to violent conflict. However, this been strongly challenged (Gleditsch 1998, Lipschutz 1997) (Homer-Dixon 1999). The contention now is that there are some armed conflicts, such as those in Haiti and the Philippines, whose causes cannot be understood without reference to environmental degradation.
Degradation of renewable resources (specifically soil erosion, deforestation and water scarcity) can also contribute significantly to the likelihood of violent conflict, but are in general not triggers to the same extent as are political and economic determinants.
- Thomas Homer-Dixon claims that we are "on the threshold" of an era in which armed conflicts will arise with increasing frequency as a result of environmental change.
- kaplan_1994_The_Coming_Anarchy claims the same thing.
http://wiki.aahren.com/index.php?title=Conflict_Causes&action=edit§ion=5 Explores also the varying (sometimes catastrophically low) capacity of states and societies to adapt to changing environmental conditions without resorting to violence (Homer-Dixon 1994).
- http://www.bicc.de/index.php/resources-and-conflict with http://www.bicc.de/rcm/index.php Resource monitor ;
- http://link.library.utoronto.ca/pcs/search.cfm Environmental security database. Key documents including case studies on Gaza, Chiapas, South Africa ; Data base not updated after 2001.
Water and conflict
2010 - "Within Thailand, where the drought has affected at least 14,000 villages, one official has described “water wars” between farmers hoping to keep their crops alive." "In recent weeks, as water shortages became acute and navigation at some points of the Mekong became impossible, China released water from its dams, raising the water level, according to Jeremy Bird, the chief executive officer of the Mekong River Commission, an advisory body set up in 1995 by the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. China and Myanmar are not members but have some agreements to share information."
- International Rivers http://www.internationalrivers.org/
- Pacific Institute http://worldwater.org/ From the Pacific Institute, looks at water and conflict, good chronology ;
- Book, eds. Joachim Blatter and helen ingram http://books.google.com/books?id=tqJUeELS_r0C&pg=PP1&ots=_d2G40sTpR&dq=reflections+on+water&sig=ArDa3_nqgd2OZbT1T3NrUIzmVTg#PPA216,M1 Reflections on Water New approaches to transboundary conflicts and cooperation Chapter on the epistemic community of engineers that uphold cooperation in the hydroelectric complexes on the border Abkhazia and Georgia. ;
- Hydropolitics http://books.google.com/books?id=24uhAAAACAAJ&dq=hydropolitics Hydropolitics. Conflicts over water as a development constraint ;
- Water Warshttp://books.google.com/books?id=gz4aAAAACAAJ&dq=water+wars Water Wars ;
- Ecoviolence http://books.google.com/books?id=-MAHAAAACAAJ&dq=ecoviolence
Sahel and environmental degradation
- 2004 UN "University for Peace" conference on Environmental Degradation and the Conflict in Darfur. Drought farming, and hearding practices, and the need for woodfuel have all led to a derease in land productivity and stress on local livelihoods ; 1997 film on desertification, ‘The Tale of Arnatort’, land use has always been at the heart of local disputes and a major source of conflicts in Darfur ;
Environment and Security threats
- IISD environmental security page. http://www.iisd.org/natres/security/envsec/ Assessment of environmental and security issues and 'hot spots' in the Ferghana Valley
- Environment and Security Initiative, ENVSEC http://www.envsec.org joint undertaking of the United Nations Development Programme, the UNEP, the OSCE and NATO ;
- Ronnie Lipschutz, "Environmental Conflict and Environmental Determinism: The Relative Importance of Social and Natural Factors," in Conflict and the Environment, Nils Petter Gleditsch, ed. (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluer, 1997), pp. 35-50. -- stresses the importance of natural factors. [no copy]
- lipschutz_2002_peace_sustainable_develop Ronnie D. Lipschutz (2003), Sustainable development: implications for world peace: peace and sustainable development why? When? How? For whom? -- Lipschutz gives a forceful argument for the importance of environmental sustainability in order to avoid conflicts.
- goldstone_2002_demography_and_violent_conflict -- a critique of the enviromental-scarcity-breeds-violent-conflict-thesis
- Paul Diehl has remarked, the "many publications from the [Toronto] project have produced largely abstract conceptions of the environment-conflict nexus, with actual cases presented only as anecdotal evidence or as illustrative examples."
- Wenche Hauge and Tanja Ellingsen, in the most comprehensive global test of the environmental-scarcity-leads-to-violence hypothesis with recent data (1980-92), found that while deforestation, land degradation and low freshwater availability were positively correlated with the incidence of civil war and armed conflict, the magnitude of their effects was tiny.
- weber_1999_gandhi_deep_ecology_peace_res_buddhist_econ -- on Arne Naess and deep ecology, and galtung
- Thomas Homer-Dixon and Valerie Percival, "Environmental Scarcity and Violent Conflict: The Case of Rwanda," Journal of Environment and Development 5 (3) (1996), pp. 270-91.
- Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) and studies such as The Limits to Growth (Meadows et al., 1972),
- Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 35, No. 3, Special Issue on Environmental Conflict, May, 1998
diehl_1998_environmental_conflict_an_intro -- "many publications from the [Toronto] project have produced largely abstract conceptions of the environment-conflict nexus, with actual cases presented only as anecdotal evidence or as illustrative examples."
- hauge_ellingsen_1998_beyond_environmental_scarcity_conflict Wenche Hauge and Tanja Ellingsen, "Beyond Environmental Scarcity: The Casual Pathways to Conflict," Journal of Peace Research 35 (3) (1998), pp. 299-317.
- gleditsch_1998_armed_conflict_and_the_environment -very good overview
- Fire wood and conflict The nobel peace prize winner 2004; Kenyan woman Wangari Maathai studied for a masters in Biological science, and then doctorate degree in veterinary medicine at the University of Nairobi, leader of The Green Belt Movement (National Council of Women in Kenya), planting more than 30 million trees in Kenya. Philosophy: linking democracy, peace and environment. Before women forced to walk miles for fire wood, fresh water disappeared. (cf. western Ethiopia, where tension between the different groups because of fire wood scarcity.) The critique was against the Moi regime's exploitation of the nature. Maathai viewed as a threat.
- Kaplan 1994 The Coming Anarchy Our Cold War foreign policy truly began with George F. Kennan's famous article, signed "X," published in Foreign Affairs in July of 1947, in which Kennan argued for a "firm and vigilant containment" of a Soviet Union that was imperially, rather than ideologically, motivated. It may be that our post-Cold War foreign policy will one day be seen to have had its beginnings in an even bolder and more detailed piece of written analysis: one that appeared in the journal International Security. The article, published in the fall of 1991 by Thomas Fraser Homer-Dixon, who is the head of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at the University of Toronto, was titled "On the Threshold: Environmental Changes as Causes of Acute Conflict." Homer-Dixon has, more successfully than other analysts, integrated two hitherto separate fields--military-conflict studies and the study of the physical environment.
- In Homer-Dixon's view, future wars and civil violence will often arise from scarcities of resources such as water, cropland, forests, and fish. Just as there will be environmentally driven wars and refugee flows, there will be environmentally induced praetorian regimes--or, as he puts it, "hard regimes." Countries with the highest probability of acquiring hard regimes, according to Homer-Dixon, are those that are threatened by a declining resource base yet also have "a history of state [read 'military'] strength." Candidates include Indonesia, Brazil, and, of course, Nigeria. Quoting Daniel Deudney, another pioneering expert on the security aspects of the environment, Homer-Dixon says that "for too long we've been prisoners of 'social-social' theory, which assumes there are only social causes for social and political changes, rather than natural causes, too. This social-social mentality emerged with the Industrial Revolution, which separated us from nature. But nature is coming back with a vengeance, tied to population growth. It will have incredible security implications.
Environment & Humanitarian Action
Small, fragmented, ad-hoc decision-making within humanitarian operations is not conducive to take environmental concerns into account.
Challenge : to mainstream environmental concerns into humanitarian action. To address environmental dynamics that increase conflict risks, and to minimise the impact of response itself on the environment.
IFRC Code of Conduct ; Oneresponse.info.
- UNEP From Conflict to Peacebuilding – the Role of Natural Resources and the Environment http://www.unep.org/publications/search/pub_details_s.asp?ID=3998
- UNEP Environment and disasters http://www.unep.org/tools/default.asp?ct=er with # Guidance Note on Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction. http://www.unep.org/conflictsanddisasters/ .
- Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit
- UNEP Post-conflict and disaster Management Branch. Publication : 'From Conflict to Peacebuilding, the Role of Natural Resources and the Environment'.
- UNEP From Conflict to Peacebuilding - The Role of natural resources and the Environment http://www.unep.org/pdf/pcdmb_policy_01.pdf
- UNEP 2007 Sudan post-conflict environmental assessment.
- Environment and Security Initiative http://www.envsec.org/ ;
- GDRC http://www.gdrc.org/uem/disasters/disenvi/ed-tools.html Excellent on sustainable development and here tools on environmental management and disaster risk reduction including #
- "Guidelines for Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment in Disasters" [PDF] - Charles Kelly
- Mainstreaming Environment into Humanitarian Action [DOC] - Tom Delrue and Renard Sexton
- ERM: Mainstreaming the Environment into Humanitarian Response - An Exploration of Opportunities and Issues
- Groupe u.r.d. Taking into Account the Environment : Resistance, Benefits, and Institutional Integration. http://www.urd.org/spip.php?page=mot&id_mot=5&lang=fr
- CARE http://www.careinternational.org/ work on community-based environmental assessments.
- APELL Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies on a Local Level Programme works with communities to help prepare for or mitigate environmental risks.
Environmental needs assessment. - needs to be done in
- shelter and housing (materials used, sourced, obtained by whom)
- water (supply affected, location of camp affecting the water quality)
- waste disposal (posing threat to people or environment? protective equipment livelihood, income generation for waste disposal activities. environmental impacts of facilities.
- energy (disaster impact on sources of energy, assessment on availability or needs of fuelwood.
- biodiversity (sites of ecological importance nearby?)
- Agriculture, livestock & fisheries (impact, animal disease outbreaks?, needs assessment among farmers e.g. restocking? Impact with demographic changes?