Food packaging chemical BPA found in 86% of teenagers

Sky News has raised the issuse of the hazrds of BPA.

“A potentially hazardous chemical used in certain plastic food packaging has been found in the digestive system of 86% of teenagers who took part in a recent study.

The University of Exeter research looked at Bisphenol A (BPA), which makes plastics flexible but strong.

Some studies have suggested that the chemical could be linked to breast cancer and heart disease and there have been calls for it to be banned. However, others believe that stance is misleading.

BPA, which has been used since the 1960s, is often found in the white lining inside tinned foods, drinks cans and bottle tops. Even till receipts, DVDs and processed foods are known to contain it.

Researchers studied 94 teenagers and found it was almost impossible for them to avoid BPA products.”

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Want to Help Reduce Water Pollution? Here’s How…

Good example of Mobox (a private sector company) promoting sustainable issues on their website…

“The fact of the matter is that we can’t live off of beer and energy drinks. H2O is a precious commodity, we simply can’t overlook, period. And, like all commodities – and their value – it might have an expiration date.

Pollution, global warming, overpopulation, collapsing ecosystems, el Niño weather system, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch , and hundreds of other threats taking a crowbar to our water supply’s knees.

The big looming global catastrophe isn’t an errant Asteroid or the rise of Artificial Intelligence. It’s the simple fact that we are running out of clean “drinkable” water. In fact, many impoverished countries already don’t have clean water. It’s a huge, massive problem.

Out off all these foreboding dangers, there is one we can take head one: water pollution.

But how can we reduce it? Here are 11 ways….”

John Hawthorne, Mobox More>>>

Colorado to create high-speed tube system in Denver

“Colorado drivers may be the first to escape traffic thanks to a new partnership between state officials and a Los Angeles-based hyperloop tech company.

Arrivo founder Brogan BamBrogan joined Colorado transportation officials in Denver Tuesday to announce a partnership to create a network of roadside tubes at the congested heart of the city that promises to whisk drivers and their cars to their destinations at speeds of up to 200 mph.

The public-private players include Arrivo, the Colorado Department of Transportation and E-470 Public Highway Authority, which operates a 75-mile, user-financed toll road running along the eastern perimeter of the city. The Arrivo test site will be near E-470 and groundbreaking is slated for early 2018.”

US Today More>>>

Sustainable Development Goals need a radical economic rethink…

“The Sustainable Development Goals are ambitious objectives; business as usual will not deliver them. Speaking on the recent International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres acknowledged the need for new thinking. “The pledge to leave no one behind will require innovative approaches, partnerships, and solutions,” he said. But this new model will only come about if we radically reshape the national, regional, and global economies that lie behind many of the obstacles to achieving the SDGs. We must rethink the way we govern and manage the global financial and economic system.

In part, that means rethinking the current trend to treat private finance as the default option for development. Private finance is being heavily touted by the World Bank, the G20, and others as the solution to the SDG financing gap — for example, through their enthusiastic promotion of public-private partnerships. Yet international private capital has proven volatile and is often short term. In fact, since 2015, international private finance has been net negative for developing countries — more money has been flowing out than in. This volatility has led some developing countries to protect themselves from external shocks by building up massive reserves. This is a sensible strategy given the lack of faith those countries have in the IMF and other global institutions to protect them in times of crises. However, in practice they build reserves by buying safe assets from developed countries. In other words, the poorer countries are lending trillions of dollars to the richest countries, particularly the U.S., at very low rates of interest….”   >>>>more

Author – Jesse Griffiths

Is Vertical Farming the Way Forward?

Farmers growing vertically, in a warehouse, say they can grow 100 times more greens per square foot than traditional farms.

Videos and articles are popping up everywhere about new vertical farms opening. An article from Business Insider features a new farm called Bowery, located in New Jersey. Using LED lighting that mimics natural light and instead of soil, growing hydroponically, they are producing over 80 different varieties of greens. Watering, moving plants, changing lighting, or atmosphere are being automated to save labor and energy costs.

Growing 365 days a year

Other indoor growers include AeroFarms, Edenworks, Freshbox Farms, and Green Sense Farms. They can grow 365 days a year, and each incorporates different types of growing such as aeroponics and aquaponics. And these new farms are allowing fresh vegetables to be brought to the table in a very short span of time.

Time will tell if the farms will continue after the seed money is gone. The best way growers can continue to see a bright future is to continue to cut costs by automating the processes that lack in efficiency. The lowest hanging fruit in the automation curve is the nutrient delivery or fertigation process. This is where the Dosatron Nutrient Delivery System (NDS) comes in to play.

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Superbugs: The world is taking action, but low-income countries must not be left behind

Dr Marc Sprenger
WHO Director, Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat

Commentary
29 May 2017

While the world has woken up to the threat of antimicrobial resistance and is starting to respond, many low-income countries are struggling to find capacity and need greater support. That is the headline finding of a groundbreaking global survey of how well countries think they are doing in fighting antimicrobial resistance, conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Dr Marc Sprenger, WHO Director, Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat

Bacteria are rapidly developing resistance to antibiotics. Viruses, fungi and parasites are doing the same. This is because we have been overusing and misusing medicines for decades. It’s called antimicrobial resistance, and it is a major global threat.

This silent tsunami, in which we are losing our ability to protect against infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and malaria, has been neglected for far too long. For years, microbiologists have been warning—with increasing volume—that indiscriminate use of antibiotics and similar drugs in humans and animals is increasingly rendering them ineffective.

Now, antimicrobial resistance has finally come to the forefront in health and political circles, leading to the development in 2015 of a Global Action Plan, endorsed by Ministers of Health and Agriculture at the governing bodies of WHO, FAO and OIE, and Heads of State at a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly last September. Since then, countries have been developing national action plans to put the globally-agreed policy changes into practice.

Our survey of country progress offers some good news. More than 90% of people in the world (6.5 billion) live in a country that has developed, or is developing, a national action plan on antimicrobial resistance. Some of the key areas in which countries report that they are doing well are: training doctors, nurses, and other health workers on how to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance; improving the prevention and control of infections; and strengthening systems to detect the extent of the problem. These are incredible achievements. National plans are multisectoral—which means that leaders in human health, animal health, and the environment, who often talk about joined-up approaches, are actually putting it into action.

When you drill down into the numbers, a slightly less rosy picture emerges. High-income countries that already have stronger health and agricultural systems are much better prepared to deal with antimicrobial resistance—more than 80% of these countries have a plan in place, or are developing one. By contrast, about 30% of low-income countries either have or are developing a plan. This is not surprising. Many low-income countries lack the expertise or capacity to develop a national plan, or they are overwhelmed by dealing with fragile health systems or outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Yet low-income countries are the ones that need to be the best prepared since they are likely to bear the brunt of resistance: infectious diseases are much more common, and their health systems are much weaker and less able to adapt as first-line antibiotics (which tend to be cheaper) become less effective. The burden of harder-to-treat infectious diseases and the impact of treatment failure in human lives and relative economic cost will be much higher than in richer countries.

The lack of preparedness in low-income countries should concern us all, no matter how rich a country we live in. Antibiotic resistance will not just affect the ability to treat diseases such as malaria or tuberculosis, which many might think occur in the poorest parts of the world. Resistant bacteria will challenge our ability to treat women in childbirth, people undergoing surgery, or those on cancer chemotherapy. And, in a globalized world, microbes don’t respect national borders. They spread with ease.”

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The Economic Development In Africa Report 2017 ‘Tourism for Transformative and Inclusive Growth’

Geneva, 29 June 2016 – Reaching the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro, having a medical procedure in Tunisia, observing Rhino’s at an eco-lodge in Namibia, rafting the Zambezi River, these are all forms of a growing and eclectic tourism industry in Africa. This year, UNCTAD’s ‘Economic Development in Africa Report 2017’ focuses on ‘Tourism for transformative and inclusive growth’ and encourages African countries to harness the dynamism of the tourism sector.

The United Nations designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The tourism sector has been praised for its capacity to stimulate economic growth through the creation of jobs and by attracting investment and fostering entrepreneurship, while also contributing, if properly harnessed, to the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, protection of cultural heritage and promotion of empowerment of local communities.

The UNCTAD report addresses some of the below key questions:

  • How does tourism contribute to structural transformation and more inclusive growth?
  • How can linkages between tourism and other productive sectors be harnessed to create additional economic opportunities and provide sustainable livelihoods?
  • How can the economic potential of intraregional tourism be fostered and better exploited through deeper regional integration?
  • What is the relationship between tourism and peace?

The ‘Economic Development in Africa Report 2017’ will be launched on 5 July 2017. In New York, a press briefing with Ms. Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief, New York Office, UNCTAD, will be held in S-237 at UN Headquarters at 11:00am (EST). Join UNCTAD for Press Conferences, and learn about the latest Economic Development in Africa Report from experts.

 

Global Sustainability Open Access Journal

Global Sustainability is a new Open Access journal dedicated to supporting the rapidly expanding area of global sustainability research. Without profound societal transformations, humanity risks destabilising the Earth system. In the last decade, the research field of global sustainability science has expanded rapidly to explore human social and economic pressure on the whole Earth system. This journal will explore global sustainability, planetary and societal resilience, and solutions for societal transformations. Global Sustainability will publish interdisciplinary original research, reviews and commentaries addressing how human activities interact with Earth system dynamics. It will invite work on sustainable pathways, evolution and resilience in the Anthropocene.

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Coastal Habitats of the Natura 2000 Network

Coastal regions generate 40% of our GDP, but development must be sustainable and must recognise the natural value of our varied coastlines. Only 13% of coastal species are in a ‘favourable’ conservation status, while 73% of coastal habitats are assessed as being ‘bad’ or ‘inadequate’.

It is in the interests of all business sectors, from tourism to shipping and fisheries, to safeguard and improve the health of our coastal ecosystems. Adopting an ecosystem approach to their management fosters, rather than hinders, growth and jobs.

The 96-page brochure, LIFE and coastal habitats, outlines the scope of innovative and best practices measures carried out by LIFE projects to improve the status of Europe’s coastal habitats and management of Natura 2000 network sites – from dune habitat conservation in the Baltic to coastal lagoon protection in the Black Sea. It features sections on all the different types of habitats targeted by the programme and concludes with a focus on the cross-cutting management issues facing coastal regions.

The EU’s integrated policy response covers action on climate change, water pollution, habitat loss and all the other factors impacting on European coastal areas, and LIFE has been instrumental in showing how these policy objectives can best be achieved.

Download: LIFE and coastal habitats