Search Results for Tag: forests
Madagascar’s New Species
For scientists looking to discover new species, Madagascar is the treasure trove: according to a new World Wildlife Fund study, scientists have found more than 600 new types of plant and animal life in the last decade alone! Why is Madagascar such a breeding ground for diverse creatures? The island is pretty isolated, and it’s stayed that way for centuries. Plus, the landscape is varied: there’s mountains, rainforest, and everything in between.
Researchers have discovered everything from the 10 cm-long Berthe’s mouse lemur to the “Glam Rock” chameleon in the picture above. National Geographic has some great shots of the new species, from tiny and furry to scaly and thorny.
But the report is also a reminder that some of these very special – and unique – creatures are under threat due to climate change and the practice of clearing forests in Madagascar for wood and other natural resources.
The WWF says the only way to protect all those species is for the locals themselves to get involved.
DateJune 7, 2011
Twice a year in Hoima, a town in the northwest of Uganda, they have a parade that goes through the streets and collects plastic garbage from the ground. The town is full of plastic bottles and other things. The problem is: it is totally dry. And when it is raining, the water just flows away and doesn´t reach the roots of the trees. This problem has been well known for years. But because of the extreme dry season the problem is getting bigger and bigger. The government tried to solve the problem. But now the bishop of the Kampala region found a way to make the people more responsible. The religious leaders in the country have a huge impact on the Ugandans. The bishop for example encourages couples to plant a tree before they get married. And guess what – it is working.
DateFebruary 15, 2011
Taking Back the Forest
Are forests back on the rise? The latest study from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows the rate of forest loss is actually slowing down, surprisingly enough. That's mainly thanks to a push to plant–rather than cut down–forests in Asia.
According to the State of the World"s Forests 2011 report, the rate at which the planet's forests are being cut down decreased from 8.3 million hectares a year between 1999-2000 to just 5.2 million over the last decade. And, the UN says the world's forest regions could even start expanding in the near future!
China has focused on a big reforestation project, which includes increasing the country's forested land area from 120 million to 200 million hectares. There's just one small problem, according to the FAO: a lot of that new growth will likely be "junk" forestation because it won't have the same carbon storage value as existing forests. Plus, a lot of valuable forest land is still being razed at a very high rate in South America and Africa.
What about in your region? Is your home country planting or cutting down–and have you noticed any changes?
DateFebruary 2, 2011
TagsAsia, carbon storae, China, cut down, FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization, forests, junk, loss, plant, report, South America, UN
Orchestra of Change – Classical music with a green conscience
Markus Bruggaier is a man on a mission. As a horn player with Berlin's Staatskapelle, one of Europe's great orchestras, he makes a living from catering for the refined tastes of others. In concerts every other night of the week. Like all art, it comes at a price. But particularly in music it's more than just the cost of a ticket. The makers of musical instruments require hard woods, much of which still come from sources that are at best questionable, he says.
"In Madagascar dozens of hectares of rosewood trees are logged every day. Much of it goes to China but also the US and other countries – e.g. to produce guitars. Some 10 million are made every year."
In addition, while the issue of climate change in general has started to inform a lot of the activities of artists in other areas, classical musicians in particular have remained a little too aloof from it, in Bruggaier's view. An unacceptable state of affairs, thought Bruggaier and a handful of colleagues of the Staatskapelle. In autumn of 2009 they decided to put the issue on the agenda of their orchestra and convinced most of their fellow musicians of the need to do something. The result is the Orchester des Wandels – the Orchestra of Change.
Last Sunday they played their first concert in 2011 with all proceeds pledged to go to WWF forest conservation projects in India's Himalayan Northern states of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. All musicians put in their free time to play the concert – including world renowned conductor Zubin Mehta. Hailing from India himself, the maestro said, he was moved to tears, when the orchestra first approached him about playing the concert.
Watch their kick-off concert last year. A truly elevating experience – literally, just watch to the end:
Read more about the Orchester des Wandels here.
DateJanuary 18, 2011
Ready! Set! Go! Win a GLOBAL IDEAS USB flash drive!
You have played our new WebDocumentary about Guyana?
Well, then it's up to you to show us what you have learned!
Go to our website…
…and answer the first of five questions.
Until friday we will ask you one question a day. Answering each question gives you five letters. Put them in the right order and you will get a solution word. Send us the word on friday and you will have pretty high chance to win one of the flash drives.
If you have not played the WebDocumentary yet, here's your chance (again): http://bit.ly/WebDoc_Guyana
The whole GLOBAL IDEAS team wishes you the best of luck. And don't forget, there will be ten winners. Take your chance!
DateDecember 6, 2010
Tagsbiodiversity, conservation, deforestation, emissions, forests, Guyana, rainforests, REDD, trees, webdoc