2011 – International Year of Forests
The promotion of 2011 as a special year will show people's actions to sustainably manage the world’s forests, the UN says. It is also meant to raise awareness of sustainable management, conservation and development of all types of forests. As we have seen in some of our GLOBAL IDEAS reports this year, forests do have a key role in global sustainable development. According to the World Bank, more than 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that every year 130,000 km2 of the world's forests are lost due to deforestation. Have a look at their channel, here's a glimpse:
DateMarch 18, 2011
South Africa’s Green Plan
South Africa is ramping up its green energy production in a big way. The cabinet approved a new 20-year energy plan that would make renewable and nuclear energy the focus going into the future. Right now, South Africa relies on coal for most of its electricity, but the plan would see the renewable and nuclear energy account for two-thirds of the country's energy in 20 years.
But that means South Africa is making a commitment to nuclear power while most countries are moving away from it, especially with the current nuclear crisis in Japan. The plan is still just that–a plan. It has to be approved by parliament and the president has to sign it, too. But what do you think?
Could this drastic energy restructuring plan be a step forward for South Africa? Or is investing in nuclear power for the future the wrong choice?
DateMarch 18, 2011
GLOBAL IDEAS @ SXSW
This year GLOBAL IDEAS visited the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. We had a booth there to explain the contents of our programme and to show who is behind all the 'ideas for a cooler world.' SXSW is a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that take place every spring. The festival started in 1987. At the beginning there were 700 registrants. Today about 12,000 creators, labels, media producers and entrepreneurs are registered.
DateMarch 16, 2011
Scotland’s Marine Atlas
Scotland has put together a marine atlas to chart its biodiversity and help marine planners make development decisions along the country's coast. The Scottish government has made the entire atlas and a variety of information available online, but they also put up this video as a guide.
The atlas helps us understand the state of Scotland's seas. That's important for scientists who want to study marine biodiversity in the region. And the atlas is a kind of manual to help developers understand where they need to be careful of precious sea life–from coral reefs to animals. And last but not least, it helps environmentalists understand the challenges Scotland faces in preserving its biodiversity, too.
Should more countries invest time and research into a marine atlas? How would it benefit the marine life where you life?
DateMarch 15, 2011
Harnessing Vietnam’s Wind Power
Vietnam has incredible potential when it comes to renewable energy. Because of its geography, it's a prime spot for producing hydropower or wind energy. Still, energy consumption in Vietnam remains entrenched largely in fossil fuels.
The German Society for International Cooperation, or GIZ, is helping the Vietnamese government and private investors find the best way to plan a green future for the country. GIZ workers are also helping train people in Vietnam to work in renewable energy fields–especially in harnessing wind power. Check out this Global Ideas report and let us know what you think!
DateMarch 14, 2011