New report calls for urgent action to tackle climate change

industry
Photo credit: Hans via Pixabay

The world’s leading climate scientists have issued their most extensive warning yet on the risks associated with increasing global temperatures.  The authors of the new report, published yesterday in Incheon, South Korea, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), say that urgent, far-reaching and unprecedented actions are needed across society, in order to limit warming to a maximum of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.  Exceeding this target by even half a degree significantly increases the risk of flooding, droughts, extreme heat and poverty for millions of people around the world.  However, the authors believe the changes needed are achievable, but only if we act now.

Continue reading

This World Environment Day it’s time to beat plastic pollution

Plastic_waste
Discarded plastic waste. Image credit: Ben_Kerckx via Pixabay

World Environment Day, held annually on 5th June, is considered to be the UN’s most important day for promoting global awareness and action to protect the environment.  This year’s theme is one that shines a spotlight on what has become a particularly hot topic over the last year – plastic pollution.   Coincidentally, it was also the theme of this year’s Earth Day and will be the focus of World Oceans Day on June 8 and all for good reason.

Continue reading

Emerging contaminants – a growing concern?

Polluted_water

[Image credit: minthu]

Over the last 200 years, the global population has been growing at an exponential rate and according to the UN, is predicted to reach 8.5 billion by 2030. The population increase to date, has been supported by the development of agricultural, industrial and health care resources, which has led to the rise in the production and use of a variety of different chemicals.  In recent years, many of the substances, either used in or created by these industries have been named as “emerging contaminants” (EC’s).  Until very recently, the main focus of the impacts that chemicals cause in the environment was mainly attributed to heavy metals, active ingredients traditionally used in pesticides and persistent organic pollutants.  However, concern has been growing over the environmental and health risks of EC’s. Many EC’s are considered to be water pollutants, yet they remain largely unregulated by current water-quality standards.  So what are these chemicals and why are they a problem?

Continue reading

World Soil Day 2017 – “Caring for the Planet from the Ground”

WorldSoilDay2017                                                                                                                [Image credit: FAO]

“Caring for the Planet from the Ground” is the theme of this year’s World Soil Day (#worldsoilday).  World Soil Day (WSD) is an annual campaign aimed at raising awareness of the critical importance of healthy soils and advocating for the sustainable management of global soil resources.  In June 2013, the FAO Conference endorsed WSD and requested for it to be officially adopted at the 68th UN General Assembly.  As a result, 5 December 2014 was designated as the first official WSD.  So why is soil so important and why should we care about the health of it?

Continue reading

Unmanned aerial vehicles – Agriculture’s “game of drones”

Drone_field
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s), more commonly referred to as drones, are not new technology.  They have been used commercially since the early 1980’s, but in recent year’s practical application of this technology has grown rapidly across a number of industries, with agriculture playing a key role in this expansion. With the global population expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, it is anticipated that agricultural productivity will need to increase by approximately 70% over the same time period, in order to meet demand.  With this in mind, agricultural producers are looking at ways to produce food and increase productivity in a sustainable manner.  Drones are increasingly being considered part of the solution.  So how can UAV’s be beneficial for the agricultural industry and how do they differ from existing methods?

Continue reading

World Environment Day 2017 – “Connecting People to Nature”

Plant_hand_soil-112640

First held in 1974, World Environment Day (WED) is considered to be the largest global event for positive environmental action, with participation from over 143 countries.  It takes place on 5th June each year and is a flagship campaign for driving change and raising awareness on emerging environmental issues, from climate change and wildlife crime, to resource consumption and marine pollution.  This year's host country is Canada and the chosen theme is 'Connecting People to Nature – in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator' which encourages us to consider our role within nature and how closely we depend on it. 

Continue reading

World Water Day 2017 – Why Waste Water?

Wastewater
World Water Day is an annual event that takes place on 22nd March.  It is a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater, as well as emphasising the need for sustainable management of global water resources.  Each year, World Water Day highlights a different aspect of freshwater, and the theme chosen for 2017, is “wastewater”, in support of Sustainable Development Goal 6.3, to improve water quality and reduce, treat and reuse wastewater.  This article, written by CABI’s Global Health and Environmental Science Editors, Wendie Norris and Stephanie Cole, examines the importance of wastewater treatment in terms of resource recovery and environmental preservation, as well as its role in protecting human health.

Continue reading