Category Archives: Inform

India Creates a National Green Tribunal to Try Environmental Cases

Photo source: ©© Nevil Zaveri


Polluters beware: India has created a tribunal to punish those who sully the forests, rivers, or waterways or otherwise break its environmental laws, in the hopes of clearing a backlog of some 5,000 such cases languishing in a sluggish court system.

This is not the first time India tried to set up an environmental tribunal. An effort started 14 years ago went nowhere because of a lack of political will and undefined mandate.

This time, however, parliament has passed laws clearing the Green Tribunal as the sole authority in civil cases within its jurisdiction, though its rulings may be appealed…

Read Full Article, AP

PBS Kids to Launch New Web-Based Series About Sustainability

Garbage Loop Scoops

By Jenn Savedge, Author of Green Parenting Books

Did you catch Annie Leonard’s The Story of Stuff video? That video, as well as its sequels, The Story of Bottled Water, The Story of Cap and Trade, and The Story of Cosmetics have set the Web ablaze over the past few years, thanks in part to Leonard’s incredible knack for breaking down complex subjects into witty, easy-to-understand information. And the quirky animation is fun to watch, too.

Now The Story of Stuff’ founder is bringing her message of sustainability to kids. She has teamed up with PBS Kids and WGBH to create eight short, animated videos to show kids how to think more deeply and creatively about the world they live in, and how to make choices based on what they discover. The goal is that as kids look at objects and activities in their daily life, they will begin asking: Where does it come from? What is it made of? What happens to it when it’s thrown away?

It sounds a little heavy for kids, but Leonard and PBS do a good job of introducing these concepts without burying kids under a mountain of worry. The eight videos look at the “stuff” in a kid’s life such as electronic gadgets, juice boxes and magazines. One video focuses on how much happiness these kinds of things bring to our lives anyway.

PBS Loop Scoops Video on Garbage

The Story of Stuff

Original article

Underwater Robot to Explore Antarctic Ice Shelf


By University of British Columbia

Scientists predict that the sea ice area around Antarctica will be reduced by more than 33 per cent by 2100, accelerating the collapse of ice shelves. Up to hundreds of metres thick, ice shelves are floating platforms of ice that cover almost half of Antarctica’s coastline.

The mission will study the effect of ice shelves on the mixing of sea water, and will provide critical data for the Antarctica 2010 Glacier Tongues and Ocean Mixing Research Project led by investigator Craig Stevens at the New Zealand National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research. The field site is located in New Zealand’s Ross Dependency in Antarctica and the team includes scientists from New Zealand, Canada, the United States and France.

Until recently, scientists have had limited ability to access ice-covered waters, but the research team’s use of a high-tech robot aims to change that.

“Few labs in the world are able to investigate the spatial variability of ocean properties under ice,” explains Assoc. Prof. Bernard Laval, head of the UBC Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and Fluid Mechanics research group.

“Findings from this study will be unique as there have only been a few under-ice AUV deployments globally, even fewer in the vicinity of ice shelves,” says Laval, who teaches civil engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science.

The AUV, named UBC-Gavia, measures 2.5 metres long by half a metre wide and is equipped with temperature and salinity sensors, current meters, mapping sonar, a digital camera and water quality optical sensors. It will navigate the deep cold waters adjacent to, and possibly under, the floating 100-metre thick Erebus Glacier Tongue in McMurdo Sound, at a latitude of 77° south.

Traveling to Antarctica to operate the AUV are Andrew Hamilton and Alexander Forrest, UBC Civil Engineering PhD candidates in Laval’s lab.

Hamilton and Forrest will pre-plan the AUV missions, setting the flight path and depth for the robot to follow and selecting what sensors to activate. These instructions are uploaded to the AUV, which then dives under the ice collecting data on its own, returning to the ice-hole at the end of the mission.

“The deployments are expected to return important data from a largely uncharted ocean environment,” says Hamilton, who specializes in environmental fluid mechanics.

“Under‐ice datasets will allow us to better understand ice-ocean interactions and provide valuable information for climate modelers.”

Ice Shelf Melting

New Zealand’s Stevens, who worked as a postdoctoral researcher at UBC in the early 1990s, says, “The key is to try and locate the mixing hotspots in time and space. These hotspots appear to be perhaps 1,000 times more energetic than background conditions. The AUV is a key component of our suite of instruments and provides the vital spatial element.”

Original article

Protection of Coastal Marine Ecosystems in Sub-Saharan Africa

Seaweed farmers, Tanzania. Photo source: ©©


The year 2010 has been a marker for reflecting upon the reduction of biodiversity loss around the world, as participating countries to the World Summit, held in 2005 in New York, have committed themselves to reduce this loss by 2010. Today, the increasing threat of biodiversity and devastating destructions on the environment are especially eminent in tropical coastal marine ecosystems, where, inter alia, mangrove forests, coral reefs and numerous fish species support not only local livelihoods, but also a growing economic niche for tourism development and marine species trade. This is particularly prevalent in developing African countries with a high biodiversity of marine ecosystems, such as Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique…

Read Full Article, consultancyafrica

Ten Things Kids Want Us to Know About Trash on Beaches and Oceans

Photo source: ©© Muha

Excerpt from Ocean Conservancy, International Coastal Clean-Up 2010

Fourth-graders in New York City conducted cleanups at a local beach and tallied every item they found on Ocean Conservancy’s data card, an experience shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the world every year during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.

They shared their findings with us, and we’d like to share them with you. Here are just a few of their observations, presented just as they’ve written them:

1. I was heartbroken. Pollution is ruining the beauty of beaches around the world. -Jocelyn

2. Waves lap at the shore and horseshoe crabs swarm like bees on land and sea. The only thing that distracts you from this beautiful scene is the garbage. Toys, food wrappers, clothing, you name it! -Clara…

Read Full Article, Ocean Conservancy

The data are not in yet but Cleanups and data collection continue through October: Ocean Conservancy about the 25th International Coastal Clean-up Day, held worldwide on September 25th, 2010; Ocean Conservancy

Call to Heal World’s Reefs

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


The future of Australia’s and the world’s coral reefs was the focus of a major scientific symposium in Canberra on October 7 and 8, at the Australian Academy of Science’s Shine Dome. A public forum was held at the National Museum of Australia on October 7…

Read Full Article, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University

Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, ARC

New Beach Sand Mining Restriction in The Turks and Caicos

Grace Bay beach, Turks and caicos. Photo courtesy of: © Aneta DVOŘÁKOVÁ


Measures are being put in place to regulate sand mining in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

A new offshore sand mining policy will go into effect November 1st 2010, with the first likely target being the channel entrance between Sandy Point and Parrot Cay, the government has announced…

Read Full Article, Green Antilles

Solar Power in the Maldives

Maldives, erosion. Photo source: ©© Natty


President Mohamed Nasheed climbed on to the roof of his official residence, Muleeaage, on Thursday morning to complete the installation of a solar power system.

President Mohamed Nasheed of Maldives, a nation of 1,200 low islands south of India, helped install 48 donated solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of his official residence in the crowded capital, Male.

The Maldives has announced plans to green its energy sector and pledged under the Copenhagen Accord to become carbon neutral by 2020…

Read Full Article,Republic of Maldives, the President Office, 10-07-2010 Press Release

Maldives President Nasheed Knocks Ignorance of Climate Deniers, Huffington Post
Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, who once famously held a cabinet meeting underwater to draw attention to climate change, is installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on his official residence…

350 Global Work Party, the Invitation 10/10/10

Global Party Against Global Warming, 10/10/10

Sea level rise in Norway in the 21st century

Flam fjord, Norway. Photo source: ©© EGuideTravel
The Norwegian coastline is 25,148 km (continental, includes mainland 2,650 km, as well as long fjords, numerous small islands, and minor indentations) and, 83,281km (including island coastlines).


The report “Havnivåstigning i norske kystkommuner” (Sea Level Rise in Norwegian coastal municipalities, revised edition) presents estimates for future sea level rises for all coastal municipalities in Norway. The tables show estimated values for sea level rise, land rise and flooding for the years 2050 and 2100…

Read Full Article, The Norwegian Ministry of the Environment