Agropolis: The Future of Urban Agriculture?

Last week at the Nordic Exceptional Trendshop 2010, held in Denmark, one presentation took urban agriculture to the next level. A collaboration with NASA, you might even say it launched urban agriculture out of this world, and into the future.The idea is called Agropolis, a combination grocery store, restaurant, and farm all in one building, employing the most advanced technologies in hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic farming.

Turtles in trouble

More than a third of the world's 280 freshwater turtle species are threatened with extinction, according to a new analysis by Conservation International (CI). CI's latest assessment, undertaken as part of World Water Week, explains that the catastrophic decline of the world's freshwater turtles is primarily being caused by the unsustainable harvesting of turtles and their eggs for food, and for the lucrative pet trade.

Ecuador’s tallest waterfall to be destroyed by Chinese dam

San Rafael Falls, Ecuador's tallest waterfall, is threatened by a Chinese-funded hydroelectric project, reports Save America's Forests, an environmental group. The 1,500 megawatt Coca-Codo Sinclair Hydroelectric Project will divert water flow away from the 480-foot San Rafael Falls, leaving it "high and dry." Worse, the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2016, will put pressure on the Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, an area renowned for its biodiversity...

Tanzania’s Serengeti Highway plan could destroy major carbon sink

Environmentalists are dismayed at plans by the Tanzanian government to build a major commercial highway through Serengeti National Park The Tanzanian President has vowed to go ahead with controversial plans to construct a major road through the Serengeti, despite fierce opposition from environmentalists and the tourism industry. The 480-kilometre road will link the Lake Victoria area with eastern Tanzania and, according to the Tanzanian government, bring essential economic development to the region - linking remote communities to the major road network, allowing transport of people and goods and connecting farmers with markets.

Trees a ‘low-cost’ solution to air pollution and biodiversity loss in cities

Native woods and trees in urban areas, including gardens, provide haven for wildlife, reduce air pollution, surface run-off and flooding Reversing the declining numbers of native trees and woods in cities would provide numerous benefits at 'relatively little cost', says a report from the Woodland Trust. As well as access to green space, the report, 'Greening the Concrete Jungle', says trees provide a wide range of free ecosystem services including reducing the risk of surface water flooding and improving air quality that could save millions in flood defence and healthcare costs.

Magazine launches 2010 Essay Competition for Students: “Is China’s Growth Sustainable?”

The Diplomat, an international current affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region, has announced the launch of its 2010 Essay Competition. The contest invites university students to write a short piece exploring sustainable development in the region, with the chance of winning a trip to Tokyo to report on the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit. Entrants are asked, "is it realistic to believe that APEC’s largest member, China, can grow rapidly and sustainably?" Open to students aged between 18 and 25 from APEC member countries, the competition gives the author of the winning entry a rare opportunity to join The Diplomat in covering the APEC summit, being held November in Yokohama, which will culminate in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting - the largest of its kind in the region, bringing together world leaders from across the Pacific Rim. The winner will meet delegates, conduct interviews and attend press conferences. In addition, they'll receive round-trip tickets to Tokyo, hotel accommodation and a daily stipend for the length of the summit. . The winning essay will also be published on The Diplomat's website. First runner-up will win a $1500 gift card for Apple, and second runner-up a $500 gift card at online store Amazon.

Indian court convicts seven in Bhopal chemical plant disaster

A twenty-five year wait for first convictions relating to the gas leak at Bhopal chemical plant in India ends, but the contamination of the local environment and population continues An Indian court has convicted seven people for their part in one of the world's worst industrial disasters - the gas leak at the US-owned Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, Central India in 1984.

Emissions-based climate deal ‘not possible’

Current climate policy of emissions targets and trading will not suceed and should be replaced by a 'politically attractive' one based on providing cheap, non-carbon energy, says new paper An international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions is doomed to failure and must be replaced by a drive towards low-cost green energy, says a group of academics and lobbyists.