Reported today by 3 News New Zealand that the Otago District Council is banning Oamaru Stone as a building material as it is too bright and reflective. One has to wonder if the local council has heard of sustainable design? To ban a locally sourced product that has reflective and thermal qualities seems absurd, shall architects and builders start using Australian yellow sandstone or Chinese Shanxi Black granite to placate the local council?
read more about the saga at the SOURCE: 3 News > National > Story > Otago bans new homes from using Oamaru stone
To developers, builders and landowners, his call is crucial. If deemed a wetland, the site will require state and federal environmental permits that can take months to obtain. Compensation for lost wetlands must be arranged before construction can begin.
Now, for the first time in two decades, federal guidelines for making wetland decisions have changed……
read the full article at the SOURCE: PilotOnline.com – Changes to wetland rules take a coastal focus
The Ministry of Education suggests 30 million euros from the natural gas available for an initiative of the University of Amsterdam, Leiden University and Wageningen University together with Naturalis a center for biodiversity to form. With the money is a very large, joint collection consisting of 37 million plants, rocks, stuffed animals and fossils, which Dutch Center for Biodiversity (NCB) in the top 5 global state. Moreover, a joint laboratory for DNA barcoding with the Central Bureau Schimmel Cultures, with offices in Leiden and Utrecht.
Het ministerie van OCW stelt 30 miljoen euro uit de aardgasbaten beschikbaar voor een initiatief van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, Universiteit Leiden en Wageningen Universiteit die samen met Naturalis één centrum voor biodiversiteit gaan vormen. Met het geld wordt een zeer omvangrijke, gezamenlijke collectie gevormd van 37 miljoen planten, gesteenten, opgezette dieren en fossielen, waarmee het Nederlands Centrum voor Biodiversiteit (NCB) wereldwijd in de top 5 staat. Bovendien wordt een gezamenlijk laboratorium voor DNA-barcoding opgezet met het Centraal Bureau voor Schimmelcultures, met vestigingen in Leiden en Utrecht.
SOURCE: Wageningen University, 03/08/09 VIA groeneruimte.nl (Netherlands)
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) are holding their annual meeting in Albuquerque Convention Center:
The researchers will present their results in the following sessions at the Albuquerque Convention Center:
Luis Fernando Chaves: Urban Ecosystems Poster Session, Thurs., Aug. 6, 5-7 p.m.
Tessa Francis: Urban Ecosystems Oral Session, Mon., August 3, 1:50 p.m.
Olyssa Starry: Latebreaking Urban Ecosystems Poster Session, Fri., Aug. 7, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
ESA’s 94th Annual Meeting will be held Aug. 2-7 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The meeting will include more than 3,500 scientists, students and educators, and will center around the theme, “Ecological Knowledge and a Global Sustainable Society.”
To register for the meeting, contact Christine Buckley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202 833-8773 ext. 211.
Just read Chris Grygiel of Seattlepi.com blog post about the new tree measure in Seattle that could grant developers exemption for retaining trees if the trees preclude or prohibit the development of the site. This new tree protection measure seems a ham-fisted attempt at protecting trees which are in current developments (houses, offices, etc) not future developments. I can understand the need for exemption, as cities like Seattle try to encourage development in the city to create denser (in-fill) developments on existing sites instead of allowing urban sprawl to continue unabated. However, exemptions should be given only where the tree is inspected and assessed by a qualified arborist that the tree is at the end of its life or of very poor form for it species. Developers should be encouraged wherever possible to retain all existing mature trees (including tree offsets/buffers) to maintain the green canopy of the city. The benefits of trees within a city are indisputable and the length of time it takes for new trees to mature on a development is decades.
Developers may find this stance very anti-development – however new development should occur within cities to provide denser housing, offices, and retail. This is where more flexibility in tree protection measures are needed. Flexibility would come in the form of clauses that grant exemptions if the developer can show that they are going to plant new trees or install a green roof that contributes the equivalent benefit as the tree to be removed. For a developer to provide the information for this type of exemption may increase the cost of developments as the developer will have to engage consultants to assess the green value of the new trees and green roof. However, the increased environmental cost of trees being removed may be far greater in the long term.
By Damian Holmes 3 August 2009