IFCE Global Environmental Weekly Events [6/30 - 7/6/2018]

Release time:2018-07-09

01 Environmental Project Near Dubois Will Help Fish Passage

Wyoming Game and Fish will begin work on a project in the Upper East Fork area of Dubois that will enhance fish passage and road access in the Alkali Creek area.

The project will improve access to public land, increase road safety and longevity, allow for better stream function, and improve fish passage in spawning habitat for a genetically pure population of Yellowstone cutthroat trout.

“This project will have a huge impact on the area. For the fish alone, once the project is complete, approximately four to six miles of seasonal and spawning habitat will be reconnected,” says Nick Scribner, fish passage coordinator.

Source: Buckrail

02 Trade War Would Harm the Environment, Warns UN Green Chief

Donald Trump’s punitive tariffs and the reaction could undermine global cooperation and slow the transition to a sustainable world, says Erik Solheim, who leads the UN Environment Programme. A global trade war would damage efforts to combat climate change, protect the environment and fight poverty, according to the UN’s environment chief.

In addition to degrading cooperation, Solheim said an economic slowdown brought about by protectionism would be “very bad for the environment because you waste resources rather than using them effectively. It will make the spread of environmental technologies less fast. And of course it will keep more people in poverty for a longer period of time”.

Ultimately, Solheim said, US efforts to break global cooperation on trade and other issues were unlikely to last.

Source: Climate Home News

03 Environment Minister Wants “Plastic-Free” Island

Jersey’s new Environment Minister pledged to support initiatives which could help turn the island “plastic free”, as a month-long campaign to reduce the amount of plastic Islanders use started on Sunday.

The Plastic-Free July initiative is asking Islanders to think about the amount of single-use plastic they use, and is raising awareness of the effect it has on the environment. Environment Minister John Young said: ‘I’m looking forward to participating in discussions and I hope this month of focused activities will reduce Islanders’ reliance on single-use plastic.

The Environment Department said this had led to a ‘big reduction’ in plastic bag usage after Jersey shops started charging for them.

Source: Jersey Evening Post

04 Seattle Plastic Straw Ban Goes Into Effect In Effort to Reduce Marine Pollution

Seattle is believed to be the first major U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service, according to Seattle Public Utilities. The eco-conscious city has been an environmental leader in the U.S., working to aggressively curb the amount of trash that goes into landfills by requiring more options that can be recycled or composted.

Seattle's 5,000 restaurants will now have to use reusable or compostable utensils, straws and cocktail picks, though the city is encouraging businesses to consider not providing straws altogether or switch to paper rather than compostable plastic straws.

Seattle's ban is part of a 2008 ordinance that requires restaurants and other food-service businesses to find recyclable or compostable alternatives to disposable containers, cups, straws, utensils and other products.

Source: NBC News

05 Air Pollution Increases Diabetes Risk at Levels

A major study published Friday in The Lancet Planetary Health finds that particulate matter exposure can increase risk for the disease even at levels currently deemed safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization, CNN Reported.

The study found that air pollution caused 3.2 million new diabetes cases globally in 2016, 14 percent of the year’s total cases, and causes 150,000 new cases in the U.S. every year. Pollution-linked diabetes was also the cause of 8.2 million years of healthy life lost globally in 2016, 14 percent of the total number of healthy years lost due to diabetes that year. In the U.S., 350,000 years of healthy life are lost a year.

The study builds on previous research linking diabetes to air pollution, as well as a growing awareness of the extent of the health risks associated with pollution exposure. Health experts believe pollution triggers diabetes by reducing insulin production and increasing inflammation, making it harder for the body to turn glucose into energy.

Source: EcoWatch

06 In Order to Protect Environment and Wildlife, City is Swapping Fireworks for a Drone Show

As a means of protecting their wildlife and region, the city of Aspen, Colorado has opted to swap out their usual Fourth of July fireworks in favor of a synchronized drone show. So instead of endangering the animals, wilderness, and land surrounding the city, Aspen hosted a colorful light show of 50 drones synced to patriotic music in Wagner park.

The show was organized by Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) and started tonight at 9:15PM local time.

“We had to come up with a highlight for our celebrations so we’re doing a drone show. It should be fun, a bit new age,” said Acra’s spokeswoman Melissa Wisenbaker.

“If we are having these increased fire dangers and risks every year, then we would like to have alternatives so people can end the night on a good note,” she added.

Source: Good News Network

07 Red List Research Finds 26,000 Global Species Under Extinction Threat

More than 26,000 of the world’s species are now threatened, according to the latest red list assessment of the natural world, adding to fears the planet is entering a sixth wave of extinctions. Since last year, six species have been declared extinct, taking the total to 872. Another 1,700 species are listed as critically endangered, possibly extinct.

Nineteen of the species previously on the list have moved to a higher level of concern. Part of the rise is due to the steady expansion of the IUCN red list - which is compile with the collaboration of thousands of experts around the world. It now includes 93,577 species, of which 26,197 are classified as vulnerable, critical or endangered.

The threats are not limited to faraway creatures with exotic names. Scientists have  the loss of biodiversity is more of a threat than climate change because it the earth’s capacity to provide clean air, fresh water, food and a stable weather system.

Source: The Guardian

08 Most of Europe’s Rivers and Lakes Fail Water Quality Tests

The vast majority of Europe’s rivers, lakes and estuaries have failed to meet minimum ecological standards for habitat degradation and pollution, according to a damning new report. Only 40% of surface water bodies surveyed by the European Environmental Agency (EEA) were found to be in a good ecological state, despite EU laws and biodiversity protocols.

England was one of the poorer performers to emerge from the State of Our Waters report, which studied 130,000 waterways. Scotland dramatically outperformed England in the clean water stocktake which covers the 2010-15 period, with water standards similar to much of Scandinavia.

The EEA survey revealed a divide between chemical pollution in ground and surface water sites. Three-quarters of groundwater samples were of good quality; 62% of rivers, estuaries and lakes were not. Mercury contamination was one of the most common problems, with overuse of pesticides, inadequate waste treatment plants and tainted rainfall all contributing to the results.

Source: The Guardian

09 Environmental Sensing and Monitoring Technologies Market is Set to Experience Revolutionary Growth by 2024

The expanding global demand for environmental sensing and monitoring technologies is expected to witness large business opportunity in public, private and government sectors. Continuous development in sensing technology and rising national budgets on environmental management are identified as the significant drivers in the global market for environmental sensing and monitoring technologies.

Environmental sensing technologies are widely used to identify various changes in the environment, such as natural disaster, climate change, water quality, air quality, soil quality, and noise level. Also, environmental monitoring technologies utilized in various critical applications such as greenhouse gas monitoring, landslide detection, fire detection, and air pollution monitoring.

However, lack of awareness, budgetary constraints to adapt new technology and differential standards and regularity models are identified as the restraints for the growth of environmental sensing and monitoring technologies market, amidst the forecast period 2016-2026.

Source: Financial Reporting

10 Plastic Straws Aren’t Just Bad for the Environment --- They Can Be Bad for Your Body

Governments and companies are taking the action to ban straws across the world because of the staggering volume of waste generated by something most people don’t need: An estimated 7.5 percent of plastic in the environment comes from straws and stirrers, according to an analysis by a group of pollution research nonprofits called Better Alternatives Now, which based its results on trash collected by volunteers around the world. A recent report by the World Economic Forum projects that by the year 2050, the plastic in our oceans will outweigh the fish.

Drinking sugary or acidic beverages through a straw can increase the likelihood of cavities. Straws send a concentrated stream of liquid toward a small area of the teeth, which can erode enamel and cause tooth decay.

Most single-use plastic straws are made from polypropylene, a type of plastic commonly made from petroleum. Polypropylene is thought to be food-safe in amounts approved by the Food and Drug Administration. But there is evidence that chemicals from polypropylene can leach into liquids and may release compounds that could affect estrogen levels, especially when exposed to heat, acidic beverages or UV light.

While the anti-straw movement is an impressive step toward reducing waste in our oceans, there is much more work to be done. Whether we like it or not, plastic is a part of us now. Chemicals from plastic manufacturing show up in our urine, blood and cells. So let’s take the conversation beyond straws and move to reduce the use of all single-use plastics in our daily lives to protect our oceans, and ourselves.

Source: The Washington Post

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