Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Agroecology versus Industrial Agriculture: Infographic

Posted in Models by Jessica Bird on September 27th, 2012

Source: Nourishing The Planet

Infographic by The Christiansen Fund

From the Infographic ‘Soil to Sky: of agroecology versus industrial agriculture’ by The Christiansen Fund

In order to feed our world without destroying it, an holistic type of agriculture is needed, and we have a choice. Here we compare the current high-input industrial system with a renewed vision for agriculture: the agroecolocial system. […]

Agroecological strategies can better feed the world, fight climate change and poverty, and protect soil and water while maintaining healthy, liveable communities and local economies. Industrial agriculture contributes to climate change, malnutrition and ecosystem degradation around the planet. It has not delivered on its promise to feed the world.


Enviro Trivia Contest

Posted in Events by EcoCentre on June 18th, 2012

1 July , 2012
2:00 pmto4:00 pm

we'll give you something to puzzle over

Sunday 1 July, 2pm-4pm

Get your green thinking caps on for a cozy afternoon of environmental trivia at Port Phillip Eco Centre.

Reckon you could tell a tawny frogmouth apart from a barn owl? Do you know when the first earth day was held? or how many tonnes of pollution hazelwood power station produces annually? A tip: you’ll be needing all your senses for this quiz (and if you can recognise a few animal calls, that’ll help!)

Answer quiz questions covering natural history, geography, science and current affairs; win points in a round of charades (Could you act out ‘An Inconvenient Truth’??); plus have a go at other fun challenges to get your team over the line.

Round up your friends or come alone and join an impromptu team. The first team of five to RSVP will receive a special door prize.

There’ll be prizes/give aways for every round.  Hot drinks (inc. our house made chai) and appetizers available.

Entry: Gold coin donation.

RSVP to Paula: gardeners@ecocentre.com/9525 3102/0417 501 383.

Port Phillip EcoCentre
Cnr Blessington & Herbert St., St Kilda (adjacent St Kilda Botanical Gardens)
Enquiries: paula – 0417 501 383 / gardeners@ecocentre.com


Earthwatch Annual Appeal 2012

Posted in Seeking by earthwatch on June 8th, 2012

Earthwatch Annual Appeal 2012

Earthwatch Institute is an international not-for-profit environmental organisation which brings science and people together to promote understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.
In partnership with scientists, business, government and philanthropic organisations Earthwatch engages a broad range of people in environmental scientific research expeditions in over 50 countries.
According to the CSIRO, Australia has just experienced the hottest decade on record. The climate change science is compelling, but the impact on Australia’s unique flora and fauna remains largely unknown. Earthwatch has developed two new climate change research projects, aimed at building their knowledge and tackling this unparalleled challenge.

The challenge

The rainforests of Northern Queensland’s World Heritage Listed Wet Tropics are home to endangered species such as the northern bettong, mahogany glider, spotted tail quoll and southern cassowary. The cassowary is the only animal that can distribute the seeds of more than 70 species of trees, whose fruit is too large for any other forest dwelling animal to eat and relocate. If land temperatures increase as predicted, only 11% of their habitat will remain, leaving them exposed to further environmental threats. Prof. Stephen Williams and Earthwatch volunteers, require funding to expand this research on the vulnerability of rainforest species and their potential for adapting to climate change.

Coastal mangrove forests are among the richest, most diverse and most vulnerable landscapes on Earth. Mangroves shield coastlines from storms and cyclones, help prevent shoreline erosion, filter pollutants and are nurseries for manta rays, sharks and turtles. They support over 50% of the world’s fisheries and store vast amounts of greenhouse gases. Yet, mangroves are being destroyed at four times the rate of land forests. Working in the Daintree, Dr Norm Duke and volunteers want to set a baseline for assessing the health of unprotected mangroves around the world. Their work will make the case for mangroves to be included in United Nations initiatives to price the carbon stored in different ecosystems and thereby facilitate their protection.

Make a donation today, make a difference

Financial support is vital for Earthwatch to continue funding scientists to carry out critical, conservation research, assisted by our extraordinary volunteers. Your generosity and commitment to helping scientists provide the evidence needed to conserve these remarkable ecosystems is greatly appreciated. Please take the time to donate by visiting earthwatch.org.au/donate or phoning Earthwatch on 03 9682 6828

Every dollar really does count.


Collective Action for Sustainable Development: Rio+20 Seminar

Posted in Events by UNAAVictoria on May 7th, 2012

17 May , 2012
2:30 pmto5:00 pm
UNAA Australia at Rio+20 Seminar
Collective Action for Sustainable Development: Rio+20 and the transition to a green economy.

In June 2012, world leaders will convene at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to build global consensus on the green economy as a means to achieve sustainable development. The upcoming UNAA (Vic) Australia at Rio+20 Seminar, be held in Melbourne on Thursday 17 May, brings together key players from business, government and civil society to discuss Australia’s role and contribution at the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

Recognising that business is a key agent for achieving the Rio+20 goals, this seminar explores the role that Australian business can play in advancing sustainable development and the green economy through responsible business practices and collective action with government and civil society.

Melbourne, 2.30pm – 5pm, Thursday 17 May

DOWNLOAD AUSTRALIA AT RIO+20 FLYER

Come and be part of the conversation with an expert panel to discuss:

  • The Australian Government’s position at Rio+20;
  • Australian business involvement in the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum and Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD2012);
  • Calls for a global sustainability reporting framework from the international community;
  • Opportunities for cross-sector collaboration to advance Rio+20 goals; and
  • Expected outcomes and impacts of Rio+20 for the Australian business community and beyond.

Facilitator:

Rosemary Sainty (Former Head, Secretariat UN Global Compact Network Australia and Adviser, Corporate Engagement, Transparency Australia)

Guest speakers:

  • Donna Petrachenko (First Assistant Secretary Australian Government Rio+20 Taskforce)
  • Caroline Bayliss (Australian Director, Climate Change Group)
  • Charles Berger (Director of Strategic Ideas, Australian Conservation Foundation)
  • Nathan Fabian (Chief Executive, Investor Group on Climate Change)
  • Melanie Stutsel (Director, Health, Safety, Environment & Community Policy, Minerals Council of Australia)
  • Matthew Tukaki (Australian Network Representative, UN Global Compact)
  • Victoria Whitaker (Network Manager, Global Reporting Initiative, Focal Point Australia).

REGISTER ONLINE NOW

RSVP Essential. Please note places are limited; please register early to avoid disappointment.

http://www.unaavictoria.or.au


Australia’s transition to a post carbon future: Post Carbon Pathways report

Posted in Movements, Research by Jessica Bird on April 11th, 2012


Image source: AAP 

From What Australia can learn from the world’s best de-carbonisation policies by John Wiseman and Taegen Edwards

Around the world an increasing number of detailed policy road maps are demonstrating the possibility, necessity and urgency of a rapid transition to a just and sustainable post carbon future. The key barriers to this transition are social and political, not technological and financial.

The Post Carbon Pathways report, published by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne and the Centre for Policy Development has reviewed 18 of the most comprehensive and rigorous post carbon economy transition strategies. As Australia enters the next phase of the climate change policy debate, this report will provide vital information on how other jurisdictions are designing and implementing large-scale plans to remove carbon from their economies. The review focuses on transition road maps produced by governments with the strongest emissions reduction targets, such as Germany, Denmark and the UK. It also looks at the most comprehensive and influential non-government authored strategies such as Zero Carbon Britain, Zero Carbon Australia and World in Transition (German Advisory Council on Global Change). Our analysis of these diverse ways of reaching a post-carbon future highlights several key lessons.

The window is closing fast
A wide range of detailed national and global level strategies demonstrate the technological and economic feasibility of rapidly moving to a post carbon economy. This goal can still be achieved at the scale and speed required to significantly reduce the risk of runaway climate change. But the gateway for effective action is rapidly closing. Decisive action in the next five to ten years will be critical. There is a crucial difference between transition strategies that advocate a pragmatic and evolutionary approach and those that advocate more rapid and transformational change. […]

Technology is not the most significant barrier
Analysis of these strategies shows that technological barriers are not the most significant obstacles to a fair and swift transition to a post carbon economy. The integrated suite of technological and systemic changes needed to reach a just and sustainable post carbon future will clearly need to include:

  • rapid reductions in energy consumption and improvements in energy efficiency
  • rapid replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy
  • significant investment in forests and sustainable agriculture to draw down and sequester carbon into sustainable carbon sinks.

We already have the technologies to achieve emission reductions at the required speed and scale. Soaring investment in technological innovation, particularly in the United States, China and Germany, is driving down the price of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at a remarkable speed.

Financial and economic barriers: significant but not insurmountable
The economic and social costs of failing to take action to reduce emissions are becoming increasingly clear – as are the multiple employment, health and environmental co-benefits of a swift transition to a post carbon economy. Most strategies advocate a mix of market based and regulatory mechanisms, underpinned by clear long-term emissions reduction targets. Some authors however remain cautious of relying too much on carbon pricing. They recommend additional, more direct interventions such as:

  • binding renewable energy targets
  • feed-in tariffs
  • eliminating fossil fuel subsidies
  • allocating the funds to close fossil fuel power stations.

Strategies with emissions reduction targets that are more strongly informed by climate science also commonly advocate a significant shift towards economic priorities which focus on improving social and ecological wellbeing rather than unconstrained growth in material consumption.  […]

There is no solution to climate change without climate justice
Intergenerational justice – the need to respect and protect the livelihoods and opportunities of future generations – remains the most powerful ethical justification for taking prudent and decisive climate change action now. There is also widespread recognition that political support for a rapid transition to a post carbon economy depends on implementing policies to overcome key social equity challenges – within and beyond national borders.

The key barriers are social and political
The biggest barriers preventing a rapid transition to a post carbon future are social and political – not technological and financial. The difficulty of securing and sustaining broad social and political support is widely recognised as the greatest barrier to a swift transition to a post carbon economy. The most significant gap in post carbon economy transition strategies is a lack of detailed game plans for mobilising political leadership and public support. Worryingly, even the most optimistic of the social change theories underpinning these strategies, tend to rely on a variety of ‘Pearl Harbor’ scenarios in which one or more catastrophic ecological events would provide the necessary wake up call. […] The development and communication of inspiring stories and compelling images of a just and sustainable post carbon future will be particularly crucial.

Australia’s post carbon pathway leadership challenge
The Australian Government’s 2020 emissions reduction target (a 5% decrease on 2000 levels) is clearly still far from the level required for Australia to make a responsible and fair contribution to global emissions reductions. Australia’s 2050 target (an 80% decrease on 2000 levels) is more robust. But there is no detail as yet as to how this target will be achieved. Evidence from the most promising transition strategies elsewhere suggests we need a more informed and thoughtful debate about the kind of economic growth and industry mix that Australia should aim for. We need to talk about the fairest approaches to mobilising the required levels of financial, human and social capital. Most importantly, a far more visionary level of political leadership will be required in order to drive an Australian climate change debate informed primarily by climate science rather than short-term calculations of political and economic feasibility. […]

Read the article in full on The Conversation.
Read the Post Carbon Pathways briefing paper, summary report or full report.


Speed Date a Sustainable Designer

Posted in Events by sashashtargot on January 30th, 2012

19 February , 2012
1:00 pmto3:00 pm

Are you renovating or building? Do you have plans and ideas you’d like to discuss with green architects or building designers?  The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) would like to invite you to Speed Date a Sustainable Designer.

When: Sunday 19th February

Time: 1-3pm

Where: The Atrium, Federation Square, Melbourne

Speed Date a Sustainable Designer brings together Australia’s leading sustainable architects and building designers so that you can discuss your plans in a relaxed ‘no obligations’ environment.

What to Bring

Bring your sketches, plans and photographs on your tablet, laptop or good old hard copies! The designers will offer solutions, ideas and alternative viewpoints.

You can watch the short YouTube video from the last event here: http://bit.ly/gi1vnt

Supported by bankmecu

A free event. Limited spots available!  Bookings are essential. Go to sdsd.ata.org.au


Walking Maps for the Holidays

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on December 23rd, 2011

From the Victoria Walks December Newsletter:

How about letting your own two feet take you on a few adventures these holidays? There’s no better way to get the wind in your hair while taking a sticky beak at what’s going on around you.

If you’re heading out of town:

Or, if you’re wandering closer to Melbourne:

Better still, show off your own walks to by creating a walk on www.walkingmaps.com.au!

Check out the Victoria Walks site.


Bag It: Appetite for Insight film screening

Posted in Events by TransitionTownPortPhillip on December 5th, 2011

12 December , 2011
8:00 pmto9:30 pm

The final Appetite for Insight screening for 2011 & a special event not to be missed!

Watch the trailer.

Special guest speakers:

Tim SilverwoodCo-founder of Take 3 will introduce the film and talk about his trip to the Great Pacific Rubbish Dump, the global perspective and his Clean Beach Initiative.

Neil Blake,“Baykeeper” & Port Phillip EcoCentre Director will share his knowledge on local impacts and how you can take action, such as joining a Coast Walk or Butt Safari.

http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=16918

Join us for a nourishing evening out and share some festive cheer!

 


Cultivating Green Art: Ideas & Solutions For Environmental Sustainability

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on November 18th, 2011

24 November , 2011
5:20 pmto7:30 pm

City of Melbourne, TippingPoint Australia and the Danish Arts Agency have combined to bring you some of Melbourne and Copenhagen’s most exciting cultural innovators as they discuss how they see the artists in their cities respond to the challenge of environmental sustainability. Contribute to the Café Conversations style evening and have interactive creative conversations on the issues they raise.

Speakers

  • Karen Blincoe – Graphic Designer, Environmentalist and Director International Centre for Creativity Innovation and Sustainability, Denmark
  • Miyuki Jokiranta – Journalist and Managing Director, Seven Thousand Oaks, Melbourne
  • Martin Mulligan – Director RMIT Globalism Research Centre, Melbourne
  • Katrine Vejby – Journalist and Radio Producer, Founding Festival Director of co2penhagen, Denmark

Facilitator: Angharad Wynne-Jones – Director of TippingPoint Australia, Melbourne

Date: Thursday 24 November 2011

Time: 5.00pm for 5.20 start to 7.30pm. ­ NOTE EARLY TIME

Venue: Melbourne Town Hall, Supper Room, Swanston Street, Melbourne

FREE ENTRY ­ BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTAIL. Call 0421 642012 and leave a message or visit http://www.trybooking.com/ZNO to register.

A joint presentation by TippingPoint Australia and Melbourne Conversations. Supported by the Danish Arts Agency and ³State of Green. Join the Future. Think Denmark, Sydney and Melbourne 20-24 November 2011.


“Don’t Frack The Earth” film and discussion evening

Posted in Events by TransitionTownPortPhillip on September 23rd, 2011

27 September , 2011
7:00 pmto8:30 pm

The Port Phillip EcoCentre, in collaboration with Transition Town Port Phillip & L.I.V.E (Locals Into Victoria’s Environment), is hosting a film & discussion evening, about the risks of coal seam gas mining, currently proposed for Victoria.

The technique, hydraulic fracturing – otherwise known as “fracking” – seriously risks permanent contamination of the water table, land surface, plant & animal health as well as human health.

Join us for the screening of the ABC doco and part of “Gasland”, get informed, enjoy some hearty discussion & a bite to eat.

Tuesday 27 September, 7-8.30pm

Port Phillip EcoCentre
55a Blessington St, St Kilda
Free event, bookings & more info please call 9534 0670