Biofuels threaten food security and environment

Biofuels threaten food security and environment

Less than two years ago few people knew about biofuels. Today, Indonesians are struggling to cope with the escalating costs of daily essentials, like rice, as the amount of agricultural land being used to produce this new source of energy increases.

A combination of skyrocketing oil prices and the need to find alternatives to climate changing fossil fuels is driving this new biofuel obsession.

Environmentalists are becoming increasingly worried about the adverse impacts this will have on the country’s rapidly diminishing rainforests.

SOURCE: The Jakarta Post – The Journal of Indonesia Today.

Guest column: Don’t expect simple solutions to complexities of flooding – DesMoinesRegister.com | The Des Moines Register

DOUGLAS M. JOHNSTON is chair of the Department of Community and Regional Planning and of the Department of Landscape Architecture at ISU wrote a great article about the Iowa floods*

During and after any catastrophe, many will review the events and ask: Why did it happen and what can be done to prevent it? The ongoing flooding in Iowa is no exception.

…….we often fail to remember is that water flows downhill. It comes from somewhere, and it goes somewhere. Anything we do that affects the flow of water will have an impact further downstream. Prairie and forest are good at capturing rainfall. Tile-drained farm fields, roofs, roads, and parking lots are less so. With fewer wetlands, prairies and forest to slow runoff or prevent it, the same rain event will send more water downstream faster.

Read more @ the SOURCE: DesMoinesRegister.com – Guest column: Don’t expect simple solutions to complexities of flooding – The Des Moines Register.

EU Commission discusses soil degradation and climate change – Jerusalem Post

The European Commission last week hosted a high-level conference on the relationship between soil and climate change, and the role of soil management in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Organic matter plays a fundamental role supporting soil fertility, retaining water, sustaining biodiversity and regulating the global carbon cycle. But organic matter is in decline, and the conference heard how large amounts of carbon have been lost to the atmosphere in recent years. The Commission states it is convinced of the need to act at EU level to protect soil

SOURCE: Jerusalem Post EU Commission discusses soil degradation and climate change .

Nine Global Winners Chosen for 2008 Urban Land Institute Financial Times Sustainable Cities Awards

Nine outstanding programs from organizations around the world representing both the public and private sectors have been selected as winners in the first annual Sustainable Cities Awards program, sponsored jointly by the Financial Times and the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The award winners were announced today in conjunction with a Financial Times ULI Sustainable Cities conference being held in London.

The Sustainable Cities Awards honor global examples of ongoing programs that exhibit new ideas and perspectives for best practices in sustainable land use. Each of the winners is incorporating initiatives that are making a significant contribution in highlighting the concept of sustainability in real estate. The nine were selected from 18 finalists chosen from a field of 86 entries submitted from 15 countries.

The 2008 Sustainable Cities Award winners are:

– The Cascade Land Conservancy for “The Cascade Agenda” — The Cascade
Agenda is a 100-year visioning exercise to preserve more than 1.3 million
acres (526,000 hectares) of forest and farmland

– The City of Chicago — The city of Chicago leads all cities in
incorporating preservation and sustainability practices into its own
operations.

– The City of Greensburg, Kansas — Ninety percent of the building stock
of Greensburg, Kansas, a farming town with a population 1,389, was
destroyed by a tornado in 2007. Instead of rebuilding the past, the
citizens of Greenburg voted to rebuild for a sustainable future.

– Enterprise Community Partners for “Green Communities” — Since 2004,
the Enterprise Green Communities program has invested more than $570
million to create more than 11,000 green affordable units across one-
hundred U.S. cities.

– Jones Lang LaSalle for “Portfolio Sustainability Management Program” –
Jones Lang LaSalle, with more than 1.2 billion square feet (111 square
kilometers) under management is setting influential standards for its
own portfolio and those of its clients.

– Kennedy Associates for “Responsible Property Investing” — Kennedy
Associates believes that buildings developed and managed according to
sustainability principles possess a competitive advantage over traditional
structures.

– New Songdo City Master Plan, master planned by Kohn Pedersen Fox and
developed by Gale International with POSCO E&C — The master plan for this
new city in South Korea is complete, and construction is underway. This
private-enterprise plan is a pilot project in LEED’s Neighborhood
Development program.

– PNC for “Greening PNC” — PNC has led all U.S. companies in LEED
certifications since 2000, when its corporate headquarters was the first
financial building to be LEED certified.

– Vulcan for “Creating a New Model for Sustainable, Mixed-Use Urban
Communities” — Vulcan’s strategic approach to the redevelopment of 60
acres (24 hectares) it owns in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

 More information about the awards program is at www.uli.org/sustainablecitiesaward.

Source: Marketwire.com – Nine Global Winners Chosen for 2008 Urban Land Institute Financial Times Sustainable Cities Awards.

Housing societies have no environment plans: EPD official – Daily Times

LAHORE: Housing societies of the city do not have an environment plan approved by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and the agency has not made a law to induce these housing societies to quantify trees on their land to protect the city’s environment, an Environment Protection Department (EPD) official told Daily Times on Sunday.

He said the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Model Town Society and many other societies did not have any scientific “Land Use Planning” (LUP) under an approved environment plan to ensure a specific number of trees on their land.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan – Housing societies have no environment plans: EPD official.

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