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Balancing economic growth with the SDGs

An interesting report from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) - the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report - illustrates how a reduction in growth from the various impacts of covid, the Ukraine war etc have damaged gains made towards the SDGs. It’s a dilemma because of course much of the damage that has required the SDGs to even exist has been caused by economic growth. So it’s not just a question of having growth but what the nature of that growth is. this emphasises the dire need to shift systems to truly sustainable economic activity, green economies and so on. It also highlights how the SDGs are designed to incorporate economic, social and environmental measures. A hard balancing act. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

World Wetlands Day

Last week, 2 Feb was a UN Observance for the wetlands of the world. These are often overlooked in the media and by extension the public, perhaps as their destruction is less vivid that for example rainforest destruction. Just as the big cats get lots of attention in the animal world compared to endanger reptiles, so wetlands do not get enough attention. This is dangerous because they provide habitat to an incredible 40% of all species and they store carbon 55% quicker than rainforest. They also provide livelihoods to millions of people and offer important natural barriers to coastal erosion and coastal threats such as storm surges. Yet they are being lost at 3 x the rate of forests. In the few cases where wetlands have been restored the rebound in biodiversity, protection from hazards and improvement in quality of life has been astounding. Hopefully, this can be encouraged to be taken up at even faster rates. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Mitigated disaster (Crooked Timber) Thailand's CP Foods goes coal-free (Nikkei Asia) Indonesia opens its ‘ocean account’ for sustainable marine management (Mongabay) Coral species that withstand ocean warming identified (SciDev) Sorry, GDP. There Are Other Ways to Measure a Nation’s Worth (Wired) Green energy investment tops US$1 trillion, matches fossil fuels (CNA) Activist group accuses Shell of misleading investors on renewables (Reuters) Singapore anti-waste drive raises eyebrows by giving away coffee in disposable cups (Eco-business) Study Suggests Textile Reuse Up to 70x More Sustainable Than Producing New Clothing (green queen) Davos: three ways leaders can use these summits to create a more sustainable world (The Conversation) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Political veganism

An interesting article in The Conversation about making the discussion about veganism political. My main reaction was that I always felt those discussions (as illustrated by the author) were political. And that this has always been one of the sticks with which people have beaten vegans - that they politicise food choice. But surely the argument should be that all food choices in modern industrialised countries are inherently political because of the agro-industrial systems that put the food in the shops in the first place. Unless you truly live self-sufficiently in the industrialised world (so a vanishingly small fraction of a percent of the population), then your food choices are political and have been for at least 50 years. Another massive failure in our education systems that do not give a true understanding of the world. But that is only to be expected as the education system is controlled by the same people who control and benefit from the agro-industrial system. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Marine Protection aiming for 30%

The fifth Marine Protected Area Congress takes place early Feb and William to get agreements in place to protect 30% of the worlds oceans by 2030. Of course this is a hugely important area for work. The oceans are famous for being the last great on planet unknown but what we do know about the unknowns is that they very likely hold keys to biodiversity and climate control that we probably do not want to upset. Today less than 8% of the world’s ocean is covered by MPAs. The problems we need to be aware f though are two fold in my mind: Are the governance and enforcement processes going to be realistic and achievable. an MPA that is ignored is not an MPA. Why 30%? Just so you can say 30 by 30? I am increasingly suspicious of catchy, pithy streamlines like this. This is serious people. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Global seaweed industry could reduce land needed for farming by 110m hectares, study finds (The Guardian) Vertical farming promises a future in which our food is grown in pockets of spaces in our cities and beneath our feet. But how far can it really go? (Future Planet) Which Diet Creates The Least Amount Of Food Waste? (green queen) War and the environment: UN adopts new principles (Eco-business) Portugal agrees to swap Cape Verde’s debt for environmental investment (CHN) Turning abandoned mines into batteries (Science Daily) BSI unveils new standard for establishing corporate 'purpose beyond profit’ (Business Green) EU eyes more help for shrinking bee populations (cna) World’s Renewables Are Set to Grow Enough in 5 Years to Power China (Green Citizen) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

ITSF YAC International Day of Education

Yesterday was the UN observance for the International Day of Education. With an early Chinese New Year in 2023, our Youth Advisory Committee held their event on 14th Jan. In the style of a business networking event, a select group of 4 professionals participated in a fireside chat around the core them of Transforming Education as it relates to how education and educational experiences are relevant to the sustainability needs of jobs and work in the future. We also had three youth social entrepreneurs showcase their start up initiatives, linking sustainability ideas to action to business. It was great to see the attendees get the chance to participate in a boutique event with very personal interaction and in a real business environment – help at The Executive Centre. Very important to have this type of experiential learning on multiple levels – event organising & promotion, networking as well as the actual content. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Pic above by Diego Delso, delso.photo License CC-BY-SA The Circularity Gap Report 2023 The Global Risks Report 2023 Desalination could give the Middle East water without damaging marine life (The Conversation) Single-use plastic bans: research shows three ways to make them effective (The Conversation) Why we need to wake up the snake (Eco-business) Revealed: more than 90% of rainforest carbon offsets by biggest provider are worthless, analysis shows (The Guardian) Sustainability Messaging on Menus Promote Plant-Based Food Choices, Multiple Studies Agree (green queen) Food Footprint: Is Eating Seafood Better for the Climate Than Meat? (green queen) Mexico plans to ban solar geoengineering after rogue experiment (CHN) In Davos, activists warn against climate inaction and greenwashing (CHN) Zambia received 'debt-for-nature' proposal from WWF for restructuring (Reuters) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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