Category Archives: Ecology

Wildlife: ‘Return Of The Reds’ – Rewilding Red Squirrels Into Scotland

Red squirrels are receiving a helping hand in reclaiming lost ground. A partnership between Trees For Life and The Woodland Trust is returning red squirrels to Ledmore and Migdale woods in Sutherland.

Ecology: Wildfires Kindle Natural Biodiversity

Raging fires throughout the U.S. and Australia over the past year have put vulnerable species at risk. But not all blazes are devastating—in fact, fire can promote biodiversity. In grasslands, fires prevent trees and roots from taking hold. This allows grazing animals the space and vegetation they need to thrive. As the pattern of wildfires changes, a new review in Science outlines effective ways to let natural fires burn, while preventing out-of-control blazes. Watch to learn how a few of these techniques have been applied around the world.

Read the research: https://scim.ag/3pIRjv7

Wildlife Video: ’24 Hours On Earth’ – In One Image

“Nature reveals itself to us in unique ways, if we stop and look at the world through a window of time,” says photographer Stephen Wilkes. Using a special photographic technique that reveals how a scene changes from day to night in a single image,

Wilkes exposes the Earth’s beautiful complexity and the impacts of climate change — from the disruption of flamingo migrations in Africa to the threat of melting ice — with unprecedented force. This performance was part of the Countdown Global Launch on 10.10.2020.

(Watch the full event here: https://youtu.be/5dVcn8NjbwY.)

Countdown is TED’s global initiative to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. The goal: to build a better future by cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, in the race to a zero-carbon world.

Ecology & Culture Video: ‘Forest Gardens’ Helping To End World Hunger

By planting fast-growing trees that nurture the soil and create a nutrient dense ground, local farmers are transforming exhausted lands into fertile and productive fields.

The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.

Energy Economics: How China Plans To Go Carbon Neutral By 2060 (Video)

In the biggest climate commitment made by any nation, China pledged to go carbon neutral by 2060. While it will be challenging for Beijing to achieve its goal, China’s plan to become a green superpower will have ripple effects around the world.

Illustration: Crystal Tai

Preservation: ‘Tree Of The Year 2020’ In England, Wales & Scotland (Video)

Scotland’s #TreeOfTheYear 2020 – The Survivor Tree, Carrifran Valley.

It was once a lone rowan clinging to a stream bank in Carrifran Valley, but today that survivor tree is lonely no more! It is surrounded by a little forest of its children, and lots of suckers are coming up from its base. This was some of the first natural regeneration the Borders Forest Trust achieved in the Carrifran Valley. In addition to its own children, the rowan tree now has over half a million other native Scottish trees for company. Where once it dominated the view, it will soon be hidden from sight. The rowan tree no longer stands alone and is a symbol of the 20-year journey to revive the wild heart of Southern Scotland.

Wales’ #TreeOfTheYear 2020 – The Chapter House Tree, Margam Park, Port Talbot.

Standing in the shadows of 17th century Margam Orangery and St Mary’s Church, this historic fern-leaved beech envelopes the remains of one of the first Cistercian abbeys in Wales. Its canopy has provided shelter to visitors for many years – from Victorian tea parties taking place under its sweeping boughs to a favourite summer picnic spot for present day visitors. The tree provides an atmospheric back drop and is loved by cinematographers – featuring in TV and Film productions from Dr Who and ‘Songs of Praise’ with Sir Bryn Terfel to the recent Netflix blockbuster series ‘Sex Education’.

England’s #TreeOfTheYear 2020 – The Happy Man Tree, Hackney, London. Currently earmarked for felling, the plight of this 150 year old Plane has awakened something in a community that couldn’t bear to see it go. The dressing of the tree, and the signs behind it, are testament to the strength of feeling among the local campaigning. As an urban tree, it makes an important contribution to combating air pollution and making grey city streets green. But the community sees it as more than just the sum of it’s parts – it’s part of the estate, part of their collective history.

The Future Of Cities: “BiodiverCity” In Malaysia – “Urban Lilypad Islands”

BiodiverCity is conceived as an Urban Mosaic of three diverse islands, and a set of urban design guidelines for mixing programs, addressing pedestrian and mobility networks, building sustainably and harvesting resources. The three islands bring together mixed-use districts, establishing habitat connectivity and supporting edge ecologies in reserves, parks, corridors and urban plazas.

The Channels, BiodiverCity’s first island, is constructed in three complementary phases: in Phase 1, Active Destinations include a wave pool and technology park; in Phase 2, a Civic Heart establishes governance and research institutions in the area; and in Phase 3, a Cultural Coast builds upon the heritage and vibrant creative energy of Penang’s George Town to create a regional and international draw.

As the heart of the district, the Channels’ 500-acre digital park includes spaces for research, development and local business opportunities. The Mangroves, BiodiverCity’s second and central island dedicated to businesses, is organized around a network of sheltered urban wetlands, creating suitable environments for its namesake Mangrove forests—an important natural infrastructure that doubles as effective powerhouses for sequestering more than four times as much carbon as a typical forest.

At the center of the Mangroves, the Bamboo Beacon hosts meetings, conferences and major events—broadcasting the knowledge developed in BiodiverCity out to the world. The buildings in BiodiverCity will be designed to perform efficiently and will to a large extent be constructed by low-carbon materials such as bamboo and Malaysian timber in combination with green concrete, a sustainable alternative comprised of industrial waste and recycled materials. By encouraging green roofs, facades, public and private open spaces, the islands can form a nearly continuous habitat mosaic feeding back into the forests, beaches, riparian zones and estuaries at the island’s edges.

The Laguna, BiodiverCity’s westernmost island, is an oasis for ecological living, organized around a central marina. Eight smaller islands form a miniature archipelago, where floating, stilted and terraced housing takes advantage of the natural setting of Tanjung Gertak Sanggul.

Source by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group.

Nature Books: “The Nature Of Nature” By Enric Sala (National Geographic)

In this inspiring manifesto, an internationally renowned ecologist makes a clear case for why protecting nature is our best health insurance, and why it makes economic sense.

Enric Sala wants to change the world–and in this compelling book, he shows us how. Once we appreciate how nature works, he asserts, we will understand why conservation is economically wise and essential to our survival.

Here Sala, director of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project (which has succeeded in protecting more than 5 million sq km of ocean), tells the story of his scientific awakening and his transition from academia to activism–as he puts it, he was tired of writing the obituary of the ocean. His revelations are surprising, sometimes counterintuitive: More sharks signal a healthier ocean; crop diversity, not intensive monoculture farming, is the key to feeding the planet.

Using fascinating examples from his expeditions and those of other scientists, Sala shows the economic wisdom of making room for nature, even as the population becomes more urbanized. In a sober epilogue, he shows how saving nature can save us all, by reversing conditions that led to the coronavirus pandemic and preventing other global catastrophes. With a foreword from Prince Charles and an introduction from E. O. Wilson, this powerful book will change the way you think about our world–and our future.

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Top Ecological Design: “Roatán Próspera” In Honduras Designed By Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid ArchitectsThe first residential units on Roatán Próspera are a case study in local sustainability and global integration. Combining the most advanced modular construction techniques with sustainably-sourced local materials, the design and planning for the first dwellings in Próspera is a tangible example of the dramatic shift in development methodologies taking place around the world. 

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The people of neighboring settlements will take part in construction and management and part of the purchase of each residence goes toward the construction of a sister residence in the neighboring community.

Roatán Próspera rethinks the whole design and conventional delivery approach to development, starting from understanding the local supply chain, logistics, energy and economical aspects as a basis to engage technologically-curious, ecologically-minded, entrepreneurial building contractors. Local labor and methods are engaged for construction methodologies and logistics of supply, procurement, and assembly in Roatán.

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