Yearly Archives: 2015

  • 5 Big Ideas to Save Our Global Food System

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    Filed in Agriculture & Food on by Worldwatch Institute

    The key bases of our agricultural systems—the world’s land, water, and climate—ensure that farmers can feed the world. But these resources are being depleted, even as global demand for agricultural products is expected to mushroom in the coming decades. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts that demand will be 60 percent higher in 2050 than in the three-year average for 2005–07. If nothing is done, this growth could overwhelm our food systems.

    To save our global food system, it’s time to focus on conservation and efficiency. Here are five big ideas for doing this:

    1. Combating food waste.
    2. Reducing meat and biofuel production.
    3. Increasing water productivity.
    4. Conserving agricultural land.
    5. Infusing ethics into food trade.

    Food trade will become an indispensable nutritional lifeline,” writes contributing author Gary Gardner in State of the World 2015: Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability. “As such, food trade cannot be treated as just another exchange of goods, and food cannot be treated as just another commodity.” Instead, protecting access to food as a human right will ensure that food cannot be withheld for political reasons. Already, 28 countries have explicitly listed a right to food in their national constitutions since the FAO advanced this concept in 2004.

    Read more from Gaelle Gourmelon, ... Read More

  • 2016 Sustainable Investing Themes: ESG Integration, Climate Change and Inequality

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    Filed in Fair Trade, Finance & The Social Economy on by GreenMoney Journal

    Sustainable investing is gaining momentum and increasingly taking its place at the center of mainstream investment conversations. We believe we are at a critical moment of change where integrating environmental, social and governance considerations into quality investment strategies is not only considered acceptable as a part of sound investment management, but is viewed as core to prudent investing and value creation. Growing interest by individual and institutional investors is driving the financial services industry to create ever more numerous and rigorous investment tools. The focus is on utilizing top-drawer traditional investment techniques combined with ESG considerations to provide improved sustainable investing options for investors to consider. As this virtuous circle continues, we believe strong growth in sustainable investing will continue this coming year and beyond as this increasingly sought-after approach is utilized by mainstream investors.

    • Mainstream financial service firms and investors will increasingly look to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations.
    • Climate change will be a more central focus for investors than ever before. Climate change will crescendo as a topic in the news as nations and corporations make pledges leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.
    • Economic inclusion will become an increasingly important topic for investors – not just ... Read More
  • New map reveals job-creating power of green building sector in B.C.

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    Filed in Construction, Development & Real Estate , Environment & Climate , on by Pembina Institute

    The Pembina Institute’s newest interactive map quantifies the number of jobs in B.C.’s green-building sector and pinpoints where energy-efficient homes and buildings are located in the province.

    Released today to coincide with Buildings Day at the United Nations climate-change conference in Paris, the B.C. Green Buildings Map shows that this growing sector already employs tens of thousands of British Columbians. These jobs are found in both our biggest cities and our most remote communities.

    The innovative companies in the green-building sector are literally the building blocks of the clean economy in the province, turning the climate challenge into an economic opportunity. B.C.’s government has taken steps to support this sector, but must take further and faster action to meet its greenhouse-gas emissions targets and accelerate the growth of the clean economy.

    Homes and buildings use nearly a quarter of the electricity consumed in B.C. They also generate over 10 per cent of our province’s carbon emissions.

    Last week, over 80 companies, organizations and cities threw their support behind the Call for Action on Energy and Climate in the Building Sector. The joint declaration urges the province to take bold measures to reduce emissions from homes and buildings.

    B.C.’s Climate Leadership Team has recommended that the province accelerate ... Read More

  • GreenPages Directory Supports Consumer Choice for Non-GMO Products

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    Filed in Agriculture & Food , Dining & Entertainment , Healthcare & Nutrition , Personal Care & Cosmetics , on by GreenPages Directory

    There is increasing opposition to the use of Genetically Modified Organisms, more commonly known as “GMOs”. GMOs are artificially produced variants of plants or animals in which the genetic makeup of the organism has been altered to contain one or more genes not normally found in the organism’s DNA. Through genetic engineering, genes that control specific desired attributes in the native species are forced into the DNA of the GMO to give the host a similar trait. Because the genes of different, unrelated species are used, this process is called transgenic.  GreenPages Directory supports consumer choice for Non-GMO products and listings that are identified as such can be viewed here:

    The most common use of GMOs is in the farming industry where crops can be made resistant to parasites, frost and even herbicides. However, there are many applications for the modifying of organisms and the same biotechnological processes used to create corn impervious to RoundUp herbicide are used to produce Bovine Growth Hormone (rBST) to increase milk production in dairy cows; just as potatoes are modified to produce the effects of anti­cholera vaccine and spider genes are inserted into goat DNA to produce milk proteins that are stronger than ... Read More

  • Protect Your Skin From Sun Damage This Summer!

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    Filed in Healthcare & Nutrition , Personal Care & Cosmetics , on by Vitalia Health Care, Inc.

    This summer has been one of the hottest recorded in history. While hot temperatures means we can enjoy all that beautiful Vancouver has to offer outdoors, it also means we need to be careful and protect ourselves from the harmful effects of the radiation from the sun.

    UV radiation damages our cells and can lead to wrinkles, brown spots, sun burns and skin cancer. The good news is that there are many great supplements you can take to protect your skin cells from UV damage. These supplements provide the antioxidants your skin needs to protect and heal from the damage of UV radiation. My favorite supplements include Grapeseed extract, Resveratrol, Vitamin E, Green tea and Glutathione. Click here to learn more about how you can protect your skin from sun damage and cancer naturally!

    Yours in health,

    Dr. Tasreen Alibhai, ND


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  • Leaked report says a ban on bee-killing pesticides will have little impact on industry

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    Filed in Ecosystems, Wildlife & Biodiversity , Environment & Climate , on by Sierra Club Canada

    A leaked report from Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) will make banning bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides a lot easier.

    An economic analysis of the use of neonicotinoids on soy and corn crops shows a very tiny benefit to a very few farmers. Corn growers in some parts of Ontario may be seeing an economic benefit of only 3.6% while soy planters see almost no benefit (0.4%). These numbers are orders of magnitude lower than the doomsday predictions of the agro-chemical industry.

    “Banning neonicotinoid pesticides will have almost no impact on corn and soy production, and the vast majority of farmers will actually make more money not using them,” said John Bennett, National Program Director, Sierra Club Canada Foundation.

    Read the full story and news release on the Sierra Club Canada website:

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  • You, Me, And The Sea

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    Filed in Ecosystems, Wildlife & Biodiversity , Environment & Climate , on by Worldwatch Institute

    You’re going snorkeling along a coral reef. This is biodiversity on over-drive: Every square centimeter is covered with hundreds of little creatures. You see millions upon millions of tentacle-rimmed mouths—each feeding a tiny individual coral polyp—guarded savagely by resident crabs, fish, and shrimp. Right next door, a myriad of other coral species, with added choice residents and predators, sway in the waves. Algae—the sugar-producing pals of corals—grow in and around these polyps, exchanging sugars, oxygen, and other nice things.

    Long story short, even if you spent your entire life only looking at coral reefs, you’d see tens of thousands of species.

    But coral reefs are in danger. Many have died completely. Seventy five percent of the remaining coral reefs are threatened. And why does any of this even matter in the first place? Because without coral reefs, we’re in deep, deep trouble.

    The obvious problem is that losing coral reefs means losing sea turtles, mollusks, and one third of fish species. Less obvious is the danger we are causing our own wellbeing: even though coral reefs cover less than 1 percent of the Earth’s surface, they provide goods and services worth USD 375 billion each year!

    In some countries, one out of four fish catches depends on coral reefs, providing food for tens of millions of people. ... Read More

  • People, Planet, Profit: The Rise of Triple-Bottom-Line Businesses

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    Filed in Fair Trade, Finance & The Social Economy on by Worldwatch Institute

    Colleen Cordes’ State of the World 2014 chapter, “The Rise of Triple-Bottom-Line Businesses,” explores the role of ethical capitalism in the quest for sustainable economies.

    Entrepreneurs are beginning to challenge business as usual, infusing ethics into the notoriously ruthless corporate world.

    “Put simply, the conventional economic model—amoral capitalism—and the willingness of so many investors and consumers to tolerate it are two of the most challenging threats to preserving a livable human future,” writes Colleen Cordes, a Worldwatch Institute State of the World 2014 contributing author, public policy consultant and director of outreach and development for The Nature Institute of Ghent, New York.

    In the last few years, however, public restlessness has been growing as the environmental and social abuses of the conventional economic model are brought to light. And while activists and labor groups, investors and consumers, and national and international nonprofit groups are vying for more corporate transparency, corporations themselves are still the critical players in accelerating the urgently needed transition to sustainable economies.

    Read the entire article, originally published on the Worldwatch Institute blog:

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  • Sad (police) state of affairs…

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    Filed in Environment & Climate on by Sierra Club Canada

    You may have seen the Globe and Mail story on RCMP intelligence reports suggesting Sierra (along with Greenpeace and Tides Canada) are contemplating unlawful activity around petroleum infrastructure. As John Bennett, Sierra Club Canada’s Executive Director, states, “I’m pretty sure Tides and Sierra are not, and Greenpeace might be thinking about erecting a banner somewhere.”

    Instead, John Bennett wrote to RCMP Commissioner Paulson and offered to provide workshops on the urgent issue of climate change to him and his officers so they can understand why so many of us are exercising our rights to free speech and assembly.

    Let RCMP Commissioner Paulson know that Sierra Club Canada’s idea to give climate change workshops to the RCMP are a good idea. Read the full story and take a few seconds to send the commissioner a quick note:

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  • Green or Greedy? Corporations’ Role in Global Sustainable Development

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    Filed in Fair Trade, Finance & The Social Economy on by Worldwatch Institute

    As national governments struggle to resolve pressing global challenges, corporations are positioning themselves within the United Nations framework as efficient players and crucial partners in international policy debates. But with their immense economic and political sway, can corporations contribute to development discussions without the “corporate capture” of governance?

    In the Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World 2014: Governing for Sustainability, contributing author Lou Pingeot, policy adviser at the Global Policy Forum, explains the need for accountability and transparency as corporations join these critical discussion.

    Already, business groups—especially large multinational corporations—have become very active in post-2015 UN initiatives. And, not surprisingly, various business reports now present economic growth and a market-based approach, rather than government regulation, as univocal solutions for poverty reduction and economic development.

    “Making the business case for sustainable development may be seen as a pragmatic approach,” writes Pingeot. “This begs the question, however, of what to do when necessary efforts for the public good do not constitute a good investment for the private sector.”

    Read the entire article, originally published on the Worldwatch Institute blog:

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