Ivory Queen sentenced to 15 years for illegal ivory smuggling

February 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

The Ivory Queen of China was just hit with a 15-year prison term for smuggling illegal ivory in Asia. A court in Tanzania found Yang Feng Glan, who earned the nickname “Ivory Queen” for her unlawful business activities, guilty of illegally trading close to 2 tons of ivory tusks, which represents more than 350 elephants . This is not the first time Glan has been charged with ivory smuggling. Back in the fall of 2015, she was busted for shipping 860 ivory pieces through Asia from 2000 to 2004. The illegal goods were estimated to be worth around $5.6 million. Glan and her accomplices, two men from Tanzania, denied the allegations. Related: Illegal ivory trade continues to thrive in Europe As a businesswoman with connections in the Tanzanian government, Glan positioned herself to take advantage of the illegal ivory trade. According to Reuters , Glan has resided in Tanzania for the past 40 years and was appointed to the country’s China-Africa Business Council as the secretary general. She is also fluent in Swahili and operates an eatery in Dar es Salaam. The magistrate who presided over the case, Huruma Shaidi, handed down a sentence of 15 years for Glan and her two partners in crime: Manase Philemon and Salivius Matembo. The magistrate also ruled that all three criminals have to pay twice the value of the illegal ivory. If they fail to pay the penalty, two years will be added to their sentence. “[Glan] intentionally did organize, manage and finance a criminal racket by collecting, transporting or exporting and selling government trophies,” court records stated. Authorities in China fully supported the ruling from the Tanzanian court. Conservationists around the world also applauded the conviction, though some groups thought the punishment was too light, especially considering how Glan oversaw the killing of thousands of elephants in Tanzania. The elephant population in Tanzania has shrunk dramatically over the past decade. In 2009, there were as many as 110,000 elephants in the country. That number was reduced to only 43,000 in 2014. Environmentalists and conservation groups believe that the illegal ivory trade is the main reason behind the significant drop in numbers. Via Reuters Image via Shutterstock

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Ivory Queen sentenced to 15 years for illegal ivory smuggling

Polar bears invade small island in northern Russia, causing an emergency warning

February 12, 2019 by  
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Islands in northern Russia faced a crisis last weekend after a group of polar bears invaded the region. Officials in Novaya Zemlya issued an emergency warning for the small town of Belushya Guba, leaving residents scared to venture outside of their homes. Photos of polar bears invading garbage heaps surfaced over the weekend, while school officials say they have spotted the animals near buildings and homes in the area. Authorities claim they have seen polar bears enter the town in the past but have never experienced anything of this scale. Related: Polar bears could go extinct sooner than scientists previously thought “I have been in Novaya Zemlya since 1983, but there has never been so many polar bears in the vicinity,” Zhigansha Musin, an administrative leader in the town, explained. According to EcoWatch , Russia has placed polar bears on the endangered species list, which means killing them is not an option. Officials are currently using non-lethal methods to try to remove the bears, but if they are unsuccessful, then culling them will be explored. Unfortunately, the bears have not responded to any attempts to scare them off the island. The polar bear invasion started back in December. Since then, officials have counted more than 52 bears in the region. Local officials also say that the bears are becoming more aggressive toward residents, and a few have entered homes and businesses. Locals are scared to venture outside of their homes out of fear of an attack. It is sad to hear that residents are fearful of their own safety. It is also unfortunate that these polar bears could be killed if the situation continues to escalate. But the underlying issue at hand is the growing problem of climate change and the affects global warming is having on the polar ice cap. As temperatures continue to rise all around the globe, the Arctic is experiencing double the rate of melting than any other location on Earth. The melting of permafrost and the polar cap is driving polar bears out of the region, forcing them to invade human settlements out of a basic need for survival. Via EcoWatch Image via Unsplash

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Polar bears invade small island in northern Russia, causing an emergency warning

The perfect match: businesses and the SDGs

February 12, 2019 by  
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How sustainability and inclusivity are driving the business models of the future.

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The perfect match: businesses and the SDGs

Bring your reef-safe sunscreens when visiting Key West

February 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Key West is taking steps toward promoting reef-safe sunscreens . Officials on the Key West City Commission just approved a ban on sunscreens that have ingredients that are harmful to coral reefs. The new law, which passed almost unanimously, is scheduled to be put in place by 2021. The motion outlaws sunscreens that feature octinoxate and oxybenzone in the city limits of Key West . These two chemicals are thought to be connected to coral reef bleaching. There is some research that suggests these chemicals damage the cellular structures in coral reefs, though several companies in the sunscreen industry have challenged those studies. Related: Maya Bay closes following extensive environmental damage from tourists Even if there is not a strong link between the chemicals and coral bleaching , the Key West City Commission believes banning these sunscreens is worth the price. After all, there is only one coral reef in North America. Keeping it safe is top priority, even if it means turning away business. “We have one reef, and we have to do one small thing to protect that,” Key West Mayor Teri Johnston explained. “It’s our obligation.” Unfortunately, there are few reef-safe sunscreens on the market. According to NPR , most sunscreen products in the U.S. contain octinoxate or oxybenzone. Companies like Aveeno, Johnson & Johnson, Coppertone and Neutrogena all have sunblocks that contain the banned chemicals . These corporations are also spearheading efforts to fight bans on octinoxate and oxybenzone, chemicals that they argue do not cause coral reef bleaching. Instead, they claim that a combination of climate change , ocean acidity and overfishing are the root causes of coral reef problems, including bleaching. Several companies even sent representatives to Key West in an attempt to fight the new ban. Key West is not the first municipality to enact a sunscreen ban, and it will probably not be the last. In 2018, Hawaii introduced a law that bans sunscreens that contain the chemicals in question. Officials hope the new law will protect coral reefs against bleaching, and they are urging companies to develop more reef-safe sunscreens that are better for the environment. Via NPR Image via Shutterstock

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Bring your reef-safe sunscreens when visiting Key West

Global warming will melt over 1/3 of the Himalayan ice cap by 2100

February 11, 2019 by  
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Asia’s Himalayan mountain range is about to undergo some major changes. New research predicts that global warming will melt at least one-third or up two two-thirds of the glaciers in the region by the year 2100, significantly affecting the 2 billion people who call the mountainous area home. The alarming prediction will come to pass if global carbon emissions continue at their current rates. Even more disturbing is that one-third of the glaciers in the Himalaya and Hindu Kush range will still disappear, even if governments far exceed expectations and dramatically cut emissions. Related: NASA finds cavity the size of Manhattan underneath Antarctic glacier According to The Guardian , the threatened glaciers are a life source for the millions of people in the region. They also provide water for around 1.65 billion people who live in China , Pakistan and India. Once these glaciers start melting, communities along the Indus river and waterways in central Asia will experience heavy flooding. “This is the climate crisis you haven’t heard of,” Philippus Wester, who works for the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development, explained in the report. “In the best of possible worlds, if we get really ambitious [in tackling climate change ], even then we will lose one-third of the glaciers and be in trouble.” The new report predicts that the majority of flooding will occur between 2050 and 2060. After that point, the excess water will run out, and the rivers in the region will experience a decrease in water flow. This will have severe impacts on the hydrodams in the area, which use water to generate electricity for millions of residents. The melting glaciers also affect the monsoon season, which makes it hard to predict rainfall and water supplies. Farmers are already facing issues as water levels are starting to fall during the time they traditionally plant crops. Monsoons are also becoming more frequent, and the resulting flooding is threatening crop growth. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop the glaciers from melting over the next 80 years. Even if carbon emissions are significantly cut over the next 50 years, a large portion of the ice cap will still disappear, leaving billions of people dealing with what could be a global climate crisis. That said, curbing carbon emissions could help preserve over half of the glaciers, which is still a goal worth pursuing. Via The Guardian Image via Pixabay

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Global warming will melt over 1/3 of the Himalayan ice cap by 2100

Loop Promises A Recycling Revolution

February 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Recycle

TerraCycle has launched a revolutionary idea that promises to recycle … The post Loop Promises A Recycling Revolution appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Loop Promises A Recycling Revolution

6 themes for scaling corporate action on the SDGs

February 6, 2019 by  
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This year will be pivotal for businesses to make progress on the UN’s blueprint for peace and prosperity.

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6 themes for scaling corporate action on the SDGs

Time-saving supersonic airplanes could be a disaster for the environment

February 4, 2019 by  
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Supersonic airplanes might be making a major comeback, but environmental scientists warn these time-saving transports will add even more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than ever before. A group of regulators from around the world are scheduled to meet in Canada next week to discuss the impacts of supersonic travel on the environment. Ahead of the meeting, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) published an article about how supersonic planes impact the environment . According to USA Today, the ICCT discovered that supersonic airplanes consume significantly more fuel than a standard commercial aircraft. In fact, these jets will use around five times the amount of fuel as a normal jet flying the same route. Supersonic jets consume more fuel because they are faster and carry fewer travelers. Companies in the aviation business previously agreed to cut down on carbon emissions by the year 2050, but with the threat of supersonic jets returning to the skies, ICCT director Dan Rutherford believes those goals will not be met in time. Related: Greenhouse gas emissions rose during 2018 after three year decline “Adding these planes, which could be five to seven times as carbon intensive as comparable subsonic jets, on top of that just to save a few hours flying over the Atlantic seems problematic to me,” Rutherford explained. The appeal of these jets is that they fly at a much faster rate than typical airliners and can cruise at higher altitudes. For example, a supersonic airplane could make it from New York to Paris in under four hours while a normal jet takes about eight hours to complete the same trip. This effectively cuts air travel time in half. There are three corporations from the United States that are seeking to build a new generation of supersonic airplanes for commercial use. This includes Boom Supersonic, which plans on building around 2,000 aircrafts, Aerion Supersonic and Spike Aerospace. The latter two companies are only planning on offering supersonic jets for business travel. This, of course, is not the first time supersonic jets have graced the skies. Air France and British Airways had a line of supersonic jets between the years 1976 and 2003. The companies stopped offering the service after an accident in 2000 took the lives of 113 passengers. They also had trouble selling tickets because the price of a flight was much higher than a conventional jet. Via USA Today Image via Jacek Dylag

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Time-saving supersonic airplanes could be a disaster for the environment

What Larry Fink’s 2019 letter means for the future of business

January 31, 2019 by  
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As calls for socially responsible businesses grow louder, questions of how — and hoaxes — crop up.

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What Larry Fink’s 2019 letter means for the future of business

Shell to buy Greenlots, as EV charging business heats up

January 30, 2019 by  
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The oil giant is building global assets in the growing business of electric mobility.

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Shell to buy Greenlots, as EV charging business heats up

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