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Oh no, another ozone threat

Image by Chil Vera from Pixabay   Image by Chil Vera from Pixabay   A report on a study by MIT researchers in Science Daily relates how smoke particles from wildfires can erode the ozone layer – the name given to higher concentrations of ozone in the stratosphere which help to protect against UVA and UVB radiation from the sun. Studying the huge output of smoke from wildfires in Australia in 2019-20, the team identified a previously unknow chemical reaction which deplete the ozone. Ozone is simply O3 and so any reaction taking that oxygen away stops it being ozone and functioning as a protective shield. This is a hugely disappointing setback given the great success of getting global agreement and cohesion to reduce the use and ultimate release of CFCs in industrial processes, products and waste. That said, monitoring of the layer has shown improvement since protocols were implemented so with identifying this new threat perhaps a straight-forward extra effort t . . .

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

Finally we have an agreement on the oceans

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay The resumed fifth session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC-5.2) convened from 20 February to 4 March 2023 at the UN to pick up where negotiations left off in August 2022, when IGC-5.1 was unable to finalize agreement. Despite the oceans making up 90% of earth habitat and containing a significant percentage of the world’s species, it has taken over 15 years of work and negotiation to get here. Threats from climate change, pollution, overfishing, habitat destruction, ocean acidification, and underwater noise have grown unabated due to the strange status of the oceans as having partly “owned” and partly “shared” spaces yet having these spaces completely and inherently interconnected by nature. But still the text has been agreed only through tenuous compromise and still needs ratification let alone actual implementation of policies to address it and of course enforcement of any new regulations. We still have a long . . .

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

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Image by Borko Manigoda from Pixabay   COP27: Africa took climate action into own hands, Asia must too (Al Jazeera) Explainer: What are e-fuels, and can they help make cars CO2-free? (Reuters) Climate tech startups team up to decarbonize Arizona concrete plant (TechCrunch) Corporations push “insetting” as new offsetting but report claims it is even worse (CHN) 8 Circular Packaging Companies To Watch In The Race To Close The Waste Loop (greenqueen) Revealed: 1,000 super-emitting methane leaks risk triggering climate tipping points (The Guardian) Meat, dairy and rice production will bust 1.5C climate target, shows study (The Guardian) There is no one-size-fits-all solution to decarbonising cities: CapitaLand Investment's CSO (Eco-business) Economic growth is fuelling climate change – a new book proposes ‘degrowth communism’ as the solution (The Conversation) . . .

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

International Women's Day

The United Nations Observance of IWD in 2023 has the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, and is aimed to recognize and celebrate the women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education. In doing do they are fundamental in advancing women’s needs by being both of and for digital advancement. Access to, and the skills to use, both the hardware of modern digital tech and the software and networks in which it works, are crucial to anyone looking to survive and indeed thrive in the modern world and the world of the future. Yet 260 million fewer women than men have access to the internet. In the field of ai, women hold only 22% of the jobs. These gaps will only worsen conditions for all women in the future if not addressed. The world is already overly designed by men for men and these inequalities can only embed continuing disparity for many generations to come. By closing the gender gap on di . . .

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

CITES 50th

Image by Anrita from Pixabay   Fifty years ago, on 3 March the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed to ensure that international trade in both wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of those species. Ten years ago, the UN General Assembly chose the same day to declare World Wildlife Day. The observance of WWD is of course important to keep these issues in hand, but CITES is even more important as one of the world’s most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through that regulation of international trade – currently addressing over 36,000 species. Since 1973, however, the human population has more than doubled from 3.9 billion people to 8 billion, and demand for natural resources as a source of food, fuel, medicine, housing, and clothing has soared as a result. This puts immense pressure on species who find themselves in competition with the world’s most ruthless consumer. The c . . .

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

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Image by come2lee0   The animals and plants that only exist in captivity – and why time is running out to restore them to the wild (The Conversation) Nearly half of global CEOs say their sustainability efforts have been hampered: study (Eco-business) Fossil fuel companies donated $700m to US universities over 10 years (The Guardian) How to Stop the Spread of Climate Disinformation (greenqueen) UAE minister calls for “phase out” of oil and gas (CHN) Is ocean conservation the next climate tech? 7 investors explain why they’re all in (TechCrunch) Keto vs vegan: Study of popular diets finds over fourfold difference in carbon footprints (ScienceDaily) . . .

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

Zero Discrimination Day

UNAIDS is leading the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. It has offices in 70 countries through which it advocates for policy approaches, advises on HIV response, provides up to date data and brings together all stakeholder to ultimately deliver life-saving services for those living with HIV. On Zero Discrimination Day, 1 March, we celebrate the right of everyone to live a full and productive life—and live it with dignity. Zero Discrimination Day highlights how people can become informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and, above all, a movement for change. Zero Discrimination Day is helping to create a global movement of solidarity to end all forms of discrimination. While the focus is on those living with HIV/AIDS, these principles can of course be applied to all those who find them themselves in a minority grouping situation. . . .

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

AI in Supporting Biodiversity Conservation

A report by IISD highlights a webinar held by The International Telecommunication Union (ITU)  to explore how artificial intelligence (AI) could help implement a formal framework and guidelines for the detection and attribution of biodiversity change to support effective policymaking. This was the first of what is hoped will be a series that brings together those working in AI with those working in biodiversity to discover how AI can be applied most usefully as a tool to ramp up our ability to address the various biodiversity crises. AI can really accelerate and expand the abilities of existing GIS so that data can be properly mapped to allow comprehensive decisions on biodiversity policy and action to be taken and delivered effectively at all scales and across all stakeholders. . . .

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