Indigenous communities are crucial in protecting the Amazon

October 8, 2021 by  
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It is impossible to protect the Amazon rainforest without involving Indigenous communities, according to environmental activists fighting for the forests. To this end, many activists say that to maintain a healthy ecosystem, the Brazilian government must protect the country’s Indigenous people. For years, Indigenous people have been the best guardians of the forest. They co-existed with nature in the forest for hundreds of years before modern exploitation of resources started. Environmentalists now say that these Indigenous communities know better how to protect the forest, and their rights must be respected. Related: Indigenous Amazon communities use tech to protect the forest While speaking at an Impact Conference organized by media group Reuters on Monday, several activists called out Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies that have been unfavorable to Indigenous communities. They argued that the rights of Indigenous people have been undermined and disregarded since the president took office. “What we are seeing is an attack on indigenous people, on their rights, their lives and territories,” said Leila Salazar-Lopez, executive director of Amazon Watch. Ginger Cassady, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network, also lamented Bolsonaro’s policies. Cassady argues that Bolsonaro and his government have continued to increase deforestation by watering down available protection laws. Bolsonaro took office in 2019 and immediately started to promote laws that put the forest at risk. Reports show that deforestation has risen sharply since he took office. Despite a public show of efforts to reduce deforestation, Bolsonaro is known to promote policies that embolden land grabbers, farmers and developers in the forest. Activists have also urged banks and other financial institutions to help protect Indigenous communities. They say that banks and investors could protect these communities by refusing to invest in areas protected under the law, or on Indigenous land. “Indigenous people are the best protectors of the Amazon forest and of biodiversity around our planet … because they have intrinsic spiritual and cultural connections to the land,” Salazar-Lopez said. “They have the most to lose and so they will do anything to protect the land, which is everything to them.” Via Reuters Lead image via Pexels

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Indigenous communities are crucial in protecting the Amazon

Will COP26 be postponed?

September 16, 2021 by  
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Most studies coming out on  climate change  emphasize the need for immediate action. But now, almost 1,600 nonprofits want to postpone the COP26 climate summit until next year. The reason? Unequal access to the COVID-19 vaccine, which could prevent delegates from less developed countries from participating. More than 200 countries are part of the annual U.N. climate talk, officially known as Conference of the Parties. The group’s first meeting was in 1994. COP26 is scheduled to meet in Glasgow this November. If it’s not postponed, this will be its 26th meeting, since  COVID-19  prevented the event last year. Related: Call for climate action issued by Christian leaders Last week, the Climate Action Network announced its worries that lack of vaccines coupled with quarantine restrictions would exclude many delegates, journalists and activists from participating in COP26. “There has always been an inherent power imbalance within the  UN  climate talks, between rich and poor nations, and this is now compounded by the health crisis,” Tasneem Essop, Climate Action Network executive director, said in a statement. Climate Action Network includes 1,500 plus groups from more than 130 countries. “Looking at the current timeline for COP26, it is difficult to imagine there can be fair participation from the Global South under safe conditions and it should therefore be postponed.” Others say we can’t afford to wait. John Kerry, the  U.S.  envoy for climate, called COP26 “pivotal” in addressing climate change and emphasized that time is running out. “After our absence for four years, my friends, we approach this challenge with humility,” he said, as reported by Reuters. “But let me be clear, we approach it with ambition.” In June,  U.K.  officials promised to supply vaccines to all registered COP26 participants who couldn’t otherwise access one. In August, the U.K. created a so-called “red list” of countries whose delegates would be required to quarantine in a hotel room for at least five days once arriving in-country. But as of September, delegates in Kenya, Pakistan, Nicaragua and other countries were still waiting to hear about the promised vaccine. And some people have started to suspect that the U.K. would prefer not to have the poorer countries attend COP26. One of the issues delegates will hash out is a technical provision about setting up financial markets that would trade carbon credits . Some people claim that the richer countries are trying once again to keep their financial advantage. Via Reuters , Yahoo Lead image via John Englart

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Will COP26 be postponed?

The climate is changing. How are central banks responding?

September 10, 2021 by  
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From the Bank of England to the People’s Bank of China, monetary authorities of the world’s largest economies are gauging how climate change could rock the financial system.

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The climate is changing. How are central banks responding?

Morgan Stanley finds ‘record levels’ of ESG investors

August 18, 2017 by  
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A new survey by the financial firm finds that an ‘overwhelming majority’ of active investors are interested in sustainable investing.

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Morgan Stanley finds ‘record levels’ of ESG investors

The three ‘trip factors’ of climate risk

June 1, 2017 by  
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Companies need to spend more time thinking about how climate and environment are going to affect the financial performance of the company, says Lucy Nottingham, director of Marsh & McLennan’s global risk center.

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Nonprofit teaches communities how to build homes out of straw, clay and soil

May 31, 2017 by  
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Emily Niehaus was working as a loan officer when she see realized that there was a need for affordable, sustainable housing options in her community. So she founded Community Rebuilds – a nonprofit that teaches people to build affordable homes out of “dirt cheap” materials like clay , straw and soil . Interns participate in a 5-month program, completing two homes from foundation to finish using sustainable living principles. Community Rebuilds started in Moab, UT as a way to ease the financial strains of people living in the community. Since then, the project has spread to southwestern Colorado and the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. The initiative has constructed 25 homes in four communities with the goal of expanding knowledge about valuable natural building skills across the US. Homes are built out of natural materials like straw, soil and clay using passive design techniques. They are equipped with green tech like solar arrays and sustainable features like adobe floors, earthen plasters and greywater systems. Related: Navajo mum gets new lease on life with this solar-powered home The first home was built in 2010, and since then the internship has evolved to include 16 people over a five-month term. Interns build two homes from the ground up. In exchange for their labor they get housing, food and an invaluable education in sustainable building. + Community Rebuilds  

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Nonprofit teaches communities how to build homes out of straw, clay and soil

3 ways to help your board get wiser about sustainability

May 4, 2017 by  
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Corporate directors are under more pressure than ever to understand the financial and operational risks that climate change poses. Here’s how your company can take action.

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3 ways to help your board get wiser about sustainability

More big investors are taking action on climate risks

May 3, 2017 by  
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In a reversal from a year ago, data shows that the financial industry is far more attuned to carbon footprints, stranded assets and climate impact risks — but the U.S. lags.

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More big investors are taking action on climate risks

Floating bridge transforms a crumbling historic Boston bridge into a moving event space

October 5, 2016 by  
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Originally built in 1908, the Northern Avenue Bridge spans Fort Point Channel, connecting the financial district with a blossoming tech center. The bridge was designed to pivot on a concrete drum to allow boats to pass, an engineering innovation that made the bridge an icon of its era. The bridge is currently closed to the public, due to its poor condition. PLA now proposes transforming the historic structure into a floating bridge that would crisscross the harbor. The proposal envisions tethering the bridge at the pier at Spectacle Island during the summer, and in the fall and spring, the floating bridge could dock in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The floating bridge could also serve as additional event space square footage during festival seasons. Related: Paul Lukez Architecture and team are designing a self-sustaining resilient coastal community near Boston PLA has confirmed with a structural engineer that the existing bridge, although not suitable for use in its current state, could be refurbished as part of the adaptive reuse project. A floating version of the bridge could be towed or motor-propelled, and the proposal includes the installation of solar panels wrapping its upper members to create a canopy while generating renewable energy. As is the case with so many PLA projects, this proposal was produced by an interdisciplinary team of designers, architects, and engineers assembled specifically for this project. In addition to Lukez himself, other contributors include Tania Bronsoiler, Josh McDonald, Matt Uminski, Andrew Luy, Darquin Fortuna, and structural engineer Jennifer McClain of RSE Associates, Inc . Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh, along with the Boston Society of Architects/AIA (BSA), hosted a design competition earlier in the year, calling for ideas to repurpose the existing bridge. The winning design suggests turning the bridge into a permanent botanical garden and greenhouse for pedestrian travel only. Other proposals include transforming the bridge into a hotel, an underground tunnel with a glass roof, and an updated take on the original rotating bridge design. + Paul Lukez Architecture Images via Paul Lukez Architecture except existing bridge photo by Peter Vanderwarker

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Floating bridge transforms a crumbling historic Boston bridge into a moving event space

Rehabilitated Longroiva’s Hotel & Thermal Spa blends into the countryside of northeast Portugal

October 5, 2016 by  
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The thermal baths are located in Mêda, a municipality in northeast Portugal, and go back to Roman times. Built in the late 19th century, the existing Thermal Spa was rehabilitated to accommodate 17 rooms and various common areas where guests can meet and socialize. A walkway connects the existing building to the addition, which comprises five room modules built along the slope, with several gathering spaces in between them. Related: Thermal Pool Wrapped With a Living Wall Service areas and 10 new bungalows are located above the rooms. By combining traditional references and modern architecture, the development establishes a dialogue with its natural surroundings while providing its guests with a contemporary facility. + Rebelo de Andrade Via Archdaily Photos by Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

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Rehabilitated Longroiva’s Hotel & Thermal Spa blends into the countryside of northeast Portugal

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