THE GREEN PLANET BLOG - Our World and Environment...

All about conservation, ecology, the environment, climate change, global warming, earth- watch, and new technologies etc.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The shaky isles maybe, but better monitoring of earthquake risks in future...

The shaky isles maybe, but better monitoring of earthquake risks in the future...

Being part of the Pacific ring of fire New Zealand is both a volcanic and earthquake risk, although most of New Zealand's volcanoes have been dormant for many years. However earthquake fautlines have been mapped out in New Zealand. Australians love to have a crack about the country being the 'shaky isles'. Better a few shakes than bushfires I reckon.

NIWA says if a large earthquake occurs it will probably be contained to one NZ island; fault lines through Cook Strait have been mapped out.

Scientists hope research into the country's most active seismic risk area will help to better predict earthquakes in the future.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research has mapped out fault lines through Cook Strait for the first time. It has found no connections between the major faults running through the North and South Islands, meaning a large earthquake would probably be contained to one island.

Ocean Geology Scientist Dr Philip Barnes says the new fault maps will prove very helpful and give scientists a better idea of the potential locations of future earthquakes and when they might occur. Dr Barnes says the information can be used to predict how an earthquake on one fault might affect another fault.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

The Hutt River clean up kicks off New Zealand's campaign to clean up its waterways...

The Hutt River clean up in the Hutt Valley district of Wellington kicks off New Zealand's campaign...

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman, plans to raft and kayak down some of NZ's most polluted rivers to raise water quality issues

A New Zealand national campaign to clean up the country's waterways gets underway at the Hutt River this morning.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman is planning to raft and kayak down some of the country's most polluted lowland rivers to raise awareness of water quality issues.

He says the Hutt River is a special part of the landscape but it is badly polluted by stormwater, agricultural and urban run off.

"Our rivers are those wild places held in common for everybody in the lowlands. Everyone can get access to the Hutt River. You just need to make sure it's clean enough so that everyone can use it."

Mr Norman says the Hutt River is a classic example of the problems waterways are facing as it starts out as one of the cleanest rivers in the country but ends up ranked in the bottom ten for water quality.

Acknowledgements: © 2010 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Development and climate change responsibilities to the green planet...

There has to be a consensus of opinion among the bigger developed and the so-called developing countries like China and India who are responsible for much of the pollution as well. There is a price to pay for development, don't leave it for coming generations.

The larger developing nations want to have their cake and eat it too; they say we want wealth and resources just like the developed countries - but they have to learn to be responsible as well.

We as a planet have the opportunity to discuss climate change again and then come up with a real "plan" at the next international climate change meeting later in the year, I believe. Don't accuse small nations such as New Zealand of producing greenhouse gases through the efffluence of dairy cows. That is an exaggeration.

We have to start at home and become responsible to our own local communities and regions. Water is precious and should not be contaminated and wasted by developing and developed industries and nations. We have to start with our own waterways - streams, rivers and lakes. Something that New Zealand has commenced.

If we talk the talk we must be prepared to walk the walk. The Green Planet is at risk!

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

The human face of climate change..

The Human Face of Climate Change...

A family of cattle herders in Mali shares their story.

ACF Nutrition Program in Mali, courtesy: ACF-Spain
"Where is the rain?"

After inquiring about the health of family members and livestock, the Tamasheq, a nomadic tribe in Mali, greet each other by asking about the weather.

But this isn’t just idle chit-chat. For them, the rains mean everything.

Like many nomads in the semi-arid Sahel, an area south of the Sahara desert that spans the African continent, the Tamasheq depend on fertile grasslands to raise their cattle. But over the last several years, they have watched with dismay as the once-dependable rains arrive later and later in the season. The Sahel is experiencing the "worst effects of climate change in the world," according to the United Nations.

For Arahmat, who goes by her first name, the sporadic rains have devastated her family’s livestock—and their life-line.

"Without rain, there is no pasture for our herds, and our animals die," Arahmat says. "When the rains do arrive, the cattle are so weak that they all become sick and die. We are tired of moving to look for green pastures and water. We have no food."

"Without rain, there is no pasture for our herds, and our animals die."
Eastern MaliChildren throughout the nomadic and pastoralist villages of Mali rely on the rich, nutritional value of cattle’s milk for sustenance. When Arahmat’s cattle died, her seven-month-old daughter couldn’t get the nutrients she needed to survive. Severely malnourished, she was admitted to Action Against Hunger’s therapeutic Stabilization Center, where she receives life-saving treatment and 24-hour care.

In Arahmat’s area, the price of livestock has also plummeted, to devastating effect.

"In the past, we counted on selling our animals to buy sorghum and millet to eat when things went wrong," explains Arahmat. "But this year the price of the animals has hit the bottom. We can no longer sell them, or we sell them for almost nothing. We sold five goats for a bag of millet, when it would usually cost only one goat."

Entirely reliant on cattle for milk and income, and with the region experiencing rapid desertification, many families in Mali live a precarious existence.

Action Against Hunger has launched a rapid response centered in Gao, eastern Mali, to treat children on the brink of starvation and provide support for more than 16,000 people at risk of malnutrition. Recent nutrition surveys conducted there revealed that 16 percent of children in Gao suffer from acute malnutrition, which is above the World Health Organization emergency level.

Vulnerable families with young children like Arahmet’s receive 30 kilograms of millet and three liters of oil, as well as therapeutic nutritional products specially designed for children’s metabolisms. To prevent future outbreaks of malnutrition, Action Against Hunger provides families with seeds and training to help them build up food reserves they can revert to during difficult times. The organization is also establishing drip-feed irrigation systems in the area to boost crop production.

And to help ensure that world leaders assembled at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen don’t forget the human face of climate change, Action Against Hunger is telling Arahmat’s story.

Action Against Hunger. Please visit site and vote.

Please visit the site

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Sweden is to cull its resurgent grey wolf population...

Sweden is to cull its resurgent grey wolf population...

Grey wolves have made a comeback since hunting was banned
Sweden is to launch its first wolf cull in 45 years, following a decision by parliament to control the species' numbers.

Some 10,000 hunters are reported to be planning to take part - hoping to get a rare opportunity to bag a wolf.

But it is thought there are only about 180-220 wolves in Sweden, and the Environmental Protection Agency has said only 27 can be shot.

Hunters insist there are measures to prevent them shooting too many.

"There's a lot of regulation, hunters have to check the quota every hour," Gunnar Gloersson, of the Swedish Hunters Association, told Radio Sweden.

Nevertheless, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation is critical of the decision, claiming it is against EU legislation as the Swedish wolf population has not reached a healthy level.

A formal complaint will be issued to the EU Commission, Radio Sweden says.

The hunt will start on 2 January and end before the mating season begins in mid-February.

Culling wolf population in Sweden

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