Archive for May, 2008

Resource – “Not-So-Tragic “Commons” from the State of the World website

Posted in Uncategorized by fedwards on May 30th, 2008

Please find below a post from the State of the World website by Seamus Murray.

“What do Wikipedia, water temples, conservation trusts, and community gardens have in common? All are examples of modern “commons”—equitable alternatives to public or private property systems. Jonathan Rowe, a fellow at the Tomales Bay Institute, writes in State of the World 2008 that there has never been a better time to look beyond privatization and nationalization in our efforts to sustain scarce resources. Often, social ties between people can lead to more effective management than a top-down approach.

Read: State of the World 2008, Chapter 10: The Parallel Economy of the Commons
Vote: What do you think is the best example of “commons” management today?”


Resource & Model – The Agriburbia™ Concept, http://www.agriburbia.com/

Posted in Movements, Visions by fedwards on May 30th, 2008

Agriburbia™ is an innovative and growing design movement that integrates aspects of agrarianism with land development. Agriburbia™ includes characteristics of New Urbanism, modernism and historic preservation, and other environmentally sustainable principles of real estate development.

Agriburbia™ combines the positive social, cultural, physical and financial characteristics from both the urban and rural lifestyles to create an entirely new landuse concept. Agriburbia&trade integrates food production as an integral element in the community design, social network, and financial viability of the neighborhood.

To find out more about this project visit http://www.agriburbia.com/. Any comments – please add below.

Agriburbia.com


Good news for change! Our actions do work!

Posted in Movements, Visions by fedwards on May 29th, 2008

The information below was sourced from Tara Garnett at the Food Climate Research Network, Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey, www.fcrn.org.uk. This is an excellent resource to receive updates on research and events on an international basis pertaining to sustainable food systems. To join the FCRN mailing list please email Tara at taragarnett @blueyonder.co.uk

Unilever and palm oil
Unilever has announced that it will only be using certified sustainable palm oil in its food and beauty products by 2015. It will start by using certified palm oil as it becomes available in the second half of 2008 and will look to have all the palm oil it uses in Europe fully traceable by 2012.
To read the press release go to:
http://www.unilever.co.uk/ourcompany/newsandmedia/pressreleases/2008/commitment-sustainable-palmoil.asp

You may remember that I recently circulated details of a report (mailing of 22/4/08) by Greenpeace which argued that Unilever’s suppliers are destroying peatland forests and orang-utan habitats to grow palm oil. Greenpeace are obviously very pleased with Unilever’s latest decision – see http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/forests/unilever-agrees-plans-for-palm-oil-moratorium-20080501


Resources – Food supply chain, sustainable land use and food ethics resources all available online

Posted in Visions by fedwards on May 28th, 2008

The information below was sourced from Tara Garnett at the Food Climate Research Network, Centre for Environmental Strategy University of Surrey, www.fcrn.org.uk. This is an excellent resource to receive updates on research and events on an international basis pertaining to sustainable food systems. To join the FCRN mailing list please email Tara at taragarnett @blueyonder.co.uk

Green supply chain conference – Presentations available
The Food and Drink Federation and the London Technology Network recently held an event entitled: Developing a Greener Supply Chain. There are presentations from Tate & Lyle, Cadbury, United Biscuits, University College London, WRAP and others, all of which can be downloaded here: https://www.fdf.org.uk/speeches_greener_supply_chain.aspx

RELU report – Land to mouth: Exploring the links between sustainable land use and the food we eat’
RELU is a £24 million interdisciplinary research programme into the challenges facing rural areas today, funded by the UK research councils, the Scottish Government and Defra. This report draws on the findings of seven food-chain related RELU projects to examine how a fresh look at land-use could facilitate the production of healthier and safer food. Four key questions are addressed; first, can the way we use land make our food healthier and safer? Secondly, can consumers help the environment? Thirdly, is a healthy and environmentally friendly diet compatible with innovation and sustainable business? Finally, how can policy-makers best respond to these links between sustainable land-use and food quality to deliver effective sustainable farming and food goals? You can download the report here (it’s briefing paper 8): http://www.relu.ac.uk/

Food Ethics Council newsletter
The May issue of the FEC’s newsletter is now available. This one looks at the air freighting of food; at food pricing; and also highlights a new ethics ‘toolkit’ that the FEC have produced. See here: http://www.foodethicscouncil.org/news/newsletter

Rural Economy<br /> and Land Use Programme


Models & Resources – Carpooling, Carsharing and Walking School Buses with plenty of international online resources

Posted in Models, Visions by fedwards on May 27th, 2008

The section below is from the Relocalise Newsletter May 2008 available at http://www.relocalize.net/newsletter/may08.

Carpooling, Carsharing and Walking School Buses
Transportation is a major focus for planners in cities and municipalities, and while increasing gas prices are being felt across the board, they are much more evident at the pump. Nationwide spending on gas in the US has increased by 26% to 5.2% on average overall. How can one curb spending on gas and all the related costs of car ownership while still getting around? Shelby Tay offers some examples of community activities that can help us make the transition away from our gas guzzling ways. Read more here.

Online Resources
This time of year also brings the start of awareness campaigns around the world, including Bike-to-Work week and car-free festivals that encourage us to be smarter with our travel. May is national bike month across the United States. Check out 50 ways (large PDF) to celebrate Bike Month and browse bike advocacy groups by state to find one near you, courtesy of the League of American Cyclists.

Here are some more resources to give you some ideas:

To read more about The Relocalisation Networks’ work visit http://www.relocalize.net.


Research – Tree lined streets soothe children’s lungs

Posted in Research, Visions by fedwards on May 26th, 2008

The abstract below was posted on the Planet Ark News list available at http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/48292/story.htm.

“Four- and five-year-olds living along the city’s greenest streets were less likely to have asthma than young children living in sparsely planted neighborhoods, Dr. Gina S. Lovasi and colleagues from Columbia University found.

“We think that trees might have a beneficial effect on air quality — affecting air quality right at the street level,” Lovasi told Reuters Health. While the effects were independent of poverty and pollution, the researcher added, its possible street trees may simply be a stand-in for a healthful environment. “We’re not confident that it’s the trees themselves that are what’s driving this.”

Asthma rates have risen sharply in the US since 1980, and inner cities have been hit particularly hard, Lovasi and her colleagues note in their report. Trees could cut asthma risk by cleaning the air and encouraging kids to play outdoors, they add; but the pollen they release could also contribute to asthma attacks. To investigate, the researchers compared a census of New York City’s half-million street trees from 1995 to statistics on asthma prevalence and hospitalisation rates for 1999.””

To read the full article visit http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/48292/story.htm.

'Tree-lined street' by jilldoughtie


Model – Update on Portland’s plan to become a sustainable city

Posted in Models, Visions by fedwards on May 23rd, 2008

The abstract below was posted on http://www.urbanmamas.com/activistas/2008/05/the-portland-pl.html.

“Pushing the planning envelope and building its visionary urban design legacy, the City of Portland is taking the lead on sustainable, equitable and economically viable long-range planning. Over the next three years, the Bureau of Planning will be updating its 1980 Comprehensive Plan and the 1988 Central City Plan in an effort called the Portland Plan.

The Portland Plan is an inclusive, citywide effort to guide the physical, economic, social, cultural, and environmental development of Portland over the next 30 years. The plan will build on the work the community did through visionPDX, which captured and fleshed out our shared values of sustainability, equity and accessibility, and community connectedness and distinctiveness.”

To read the full article visit http://www.urbanmamas.com/activistas/2008/05/the-portland-pl.html.


Resource – List of organizations doing good work on local/ sustainable food and farming issues

Posted in Uncategorized by fedwards on May 22nd, 2008

The information collated below was discussed on Community Food Security email list and has since been collated and posted on the blog; http://gardenofeatingblog.blogspot.com/2008/05/seeds-of-change-groups-doing-good-work.html.

You can subscribe to the Community Food Security email list at: https://elist.tufts.edu/wws/subscribe/comfood.

The Garden of Eating


The future of food security begins at home: new report

Posted in Uncategorized by kirsten on May 22nd, 2008

Hidden environmental costs make food production more vulnerable than society has estimated and consumers should prepare for continuing rising food prices, a new report has shown.

Lead author Kirsten Larsen, based at the University of Melbourne, says food production will be increasingly challenged by changing climate, dwindling supplies of cheap oil and declining water and soil resources.

“What has become patently clear is that major innovations – well beyond efficiency improvements in existing food production – are needed, and soon, if we are to have good food to feed all Victorians and to meet export demands.”

The report, Secure and Sustainable Food Systems for Victoria, produced by the Victorian Eco-Innovation Laboratory (VEIL), investigated the relationship between food, resources, health and the environment. It suggests that developing more sustainable and resilient food systems will enable longer term food security in the face of rising input costs and environmental risks.

The report can be downloaded from www.ecoinnovationlab.com/pages/library.php.

The media release and key findings


Resource – “Solar Power: Another Sunny Year” from the State of the World website

Posted in Uncategorized by fedwards on May 21st, 2008

Please find below a post from the State of the World website by Scott Robinson.

Solar cell production increased 51% in 2007, to 3,733 megawatts. And since 1996, enough solar photovoltaics have been installed worldwide to meet the annual energy demands of 3 million European homes. But this soaring demand coincides with shortages of polysilicon—a key component of solar cells. Read on for country-by-country solar power statistics and an analysis of future PV pricing and investment.

Read:

'Solar Power Roof Installation' by wisdom2see