Illegal ivory trade continues to thrive in Europe

July 11, 2018 by  
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International rights group Avaaz says the illegal ivory trade is still alive and well in Europe after the group purchased 109 ivory products from 10 countries and found that many of these items were illegaly sourced from wildlife after 1989. The findings further support Avaaz’s mission in calling on Europe to completely end its ivory trade and protect elephants . During its four-month investigation, the non-profit was able to successfully purchase ivory items in 10 European nations, including Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom. The ivory products were then shipped to Oxford University , where researchers used carbon dating to determine their authenticity and age. According to Avaaz, approximately 20 percent of the discovered items were harvested in 1990 or later. Under international regulations, it is illegal to sell any ivory taken from animals after 1990, when sanctions on the organic material went into effect. Related: United Kingdom moves to ban most of its ivory trade The good news is that the majority of items found date back as far as 1947 and later, meaning no new animals were killed or threatened for ivory. While this is a major win for animal conservation , pre-1990 ivory trade is only allowed with official documentation — Avaaz was able to purchase the items illegally. “This proves beyond doubt that illegal ivory is being sold across Europe,” Bert Wander, campaign director for Avaaz, said in a media statement. “Every day the sale of these trinkets continues is a day closer to wiping out majestic elephants forever.” The undercover operation is part of a wider awareness campaign by Avaaz to stop all ivory trading across Europe. In a recent update , the activist organization accused the European Union of being open to future trading opportunities. Furthermore, Avaaz claims the EU does not support a proposed five-point plan to protect all elephants from poaching for their tusks. Avaaz is not the only group calling for the outright end of ivory sales. Tusk , a charity championed by Prince William , is demanding the U.K. end all ivory trading, claiming the nation is the third-largest supplier of illegal products to the U.S. + Avaaz Via The Guardian

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Illegal ivory trade continues to thrive in Europe

Elephants may be doomed to extinction with EU opposition to global ivory ban

July 7, 2016 by  
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Once the existing global embargo on ivory sales expires in 2017, elephants may be doomed to extinction, according to a statement by officials from 29 African states. The European Union published a position paper on July 1 that outlines its opposition to a proposed global ban on the ivory trade , preferring instead to allow individual nations to manage their own elephant populations. Because of the complex international network of ivory trafficking, wildlife officials feel strongly that elephant populations will suffer in the absence of a comprehensive ban. The African Elephant Coalition (AEC)–a coalition of 29 African states–predicts a mass extinction within 25 years, in the absence of strong global protection against ivory hunters . They are demanding elephants be given an ‘Annex I’ listing which would make all international ivory trading illegal. By opposing the listing, which will be voted on at the Convention on International Trade in International Species (Cites) conference in Johannesburg this September, the EU is endangering tens of thousands of elephants a year, according to the coalition. Related: China announces one-year ban on ivory imports Despite the embargo currently in place, elephants are still in grave danger on the African continent. An estimated 20,000 elephants were killed by poachers in 2014, and Tanzania and Mozambique lost more than half their elephant populations between 2009 and 2015. Elephants population in east and central Africa are suffering a similar fate. The EU makes up a majority voter block at Cites, with 28 seats, so its position is crucial to the outcome of the proposed global ban. “We need a balanced position,” an unnamed EU member told the Guardian. “We admit that the domestic trade in ivory should be banned in those situations where it can facilitate illegal trade but don’t fully agree with the inclusion of the African elephant in ‘Annex I’ in those four countries. We would encourage the African countries to have a dialogue about this.” That dialogue has been ongoing for years, as wildlife officials across the continent struggle to stamp out poachers and protect elephant populations. However, without international support, the AEC feels that Africa’s elephants don’t stand a chance in the long term. Via The Guardian Images via Shutterstock ( 1 , 2 )

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Elephants may be doomed to extinction with EU opposition to global ivory ban

Around the world in 80 days – with 11 electric cars

July 7, 2016 by  
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An electric vehicle race began in Barcelona on June 16 that is taking 11 international teams around the world in 80 days for a sustainable transportation future that includes long-distance zero emissions cars. The teams participating in the  80edays 2016 ELDURO race are currently sprinting across the United States with the Swiss in the lead somewhere in Nevada as of Thursday morning. The route runs 15,534 miles (25,000 km) across 20 countries and three continents. Most of the racers are driving Tesla EVs — one Roadster and eight Model S sedans — except for the Chinese team, which is racing in a DENZA EV, a German car manufactured in China, and the Hungarian team, which is driving the Innovative Modulo composite electric bus made in Hungary. “It’s a dream of mine to travel the world by car and what better car to do it in than in a Tesla,” Armand Figueras of team Spain told Metro News Canada. “It’s a once in a lifetime adventure for me… They’re just great grand touring cars…Fast, comfortable, silent, environmentally friendly. What else could you want?” Related: VW’s 10-year plan includes 30 new electric vehicles and a self-driving car system The participants will plant trees along the route to help offset any greenhouse gas emissions generated from the race. Of course, the fact that they are driving zero emission electric vehicles will significantly reduce any harmful carbon emissions. But they still have to fly in polluting planes, including to China after they tour California. The 80edays electric vehicle challenge is the second EV race following the first electric around the world race in 2012 that was won by Rafael de Mestre, who is serving as ambassador for the 2016 electric rally. “The hype of the (80edays) rally is justified because a lot of people believe electric cars are and should be the future,” said Mestre. “The 2012 rally proved that people can drive electric cars anywhere in the world and reduce their carbon footprint. This year we hope the industry realizes that there are no wrongs with EVs, only rights!” + 80edays Via Climate Action News Images via 80edays

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Off-grid farmhouse on Australias remote French Island runs on solar energy

July 7, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20VnWR-cfSA With no sealed roads, Australia’s French Island is only accessible by passenger ferry or charter barge service. As a result, off-site prefabrication was the most sensible option for the farmhouse project. Ecoliv delivered the farmhouse in two phases, beginning with site modifications and the installation of waste treatment systems, water collection, photovoltaic power supply, and other important services for comfortable off-grid living. The second stage consisted of off-site prefabrication followed by the installation of the five farmhouse modules that were transported via barge across Victoria’s Westernport Bay. Related: Off-grid home keeps naturally cool in the lush Australian rainforest To provide protection against the site’s harsh winds, the farmhouse is arranged in a courtyard layout to shelter a central outdoor patio closed in with glazing on four sides. The roofs are angled inwards to facilitate water collection , while solar energy is harnessed via photovoltaic panels on the side of the secondary building. The house is elevated off the ground to minimize site disturbance and is clad in steel and Australian hardwood. Large windows overlook a 270-degree view of the sea towards the Bass Strait and the surrounding rolling pastures. + Ecoliv Images via Ecoliv

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Off-grid farmhouse on Australias remote French Island runs on solar energy

Why is Yahoo Japan selling ivory?

February 3, 2016 by  
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Google, Amazon, eBay, and most other tech giants refuse to allow their users to sell ivory on their platforms. But if you use Yahoo’s Japanese site, you’re welcome to sell all the ivory you want — in fact, the Guardian estimates that more than 12 tons of elephant tusks and ivory jewelry were sold on the site between 2012-2014. A petition from Avaaz argues that Yahoo Japan’s policies are giving poachers an online platform and directly fueling the illegal ivory trade. Sign it now and tell Yahoo this is completely unacceptable! Yahoo – stop your deadly ivory trade! > Read the rest of Why is Yahoo Japan selling ivory?

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Aamodt / Plumb Architects’ modern Texas prefab was built in just 12 months

February 3, 2016 by  
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Hoffice: Swedish freelancers transform their homes into vibrant co-working spaces

February 3, 2016 by  
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While working from home can be a great thing, it can be hard if you’re the kind of person who needs human interaction to stay inspired, or if you have trouble staying focused outside of an office. And for some people, the cost of renting a desk in a co-working space is a little too steep. That’s why a Swedish project, Hoffice , is designed to help freelancers and telecommuters transform their homes or apartments into temporary co-working spaces. Read the rest of Hoffice: Swedish freelancers transform their homes into vibrant co-working spaces

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Stealth GPS in fake elephant tusks maps illegal smuggling routes

August 18, 2015 by  
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Using GPS tracking devices, a journalist has mapped the smuggling route of elephant tusks out of Congo’s Garamba National Park. The devices, installed into a pair of fake ivory tusks, helped investigative journalist Bryan Christy track the ivory from Garamba through Sudan. “These tusks… operate really like additional investigators, like members of our team, and almost like a robocop,” Christy told Terry Gross in an interview on NPR . Read the rest of Stealth GPS in fake elephant tusks maps illegal smuggling routes

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China announces one-year ban on ivory imports

February 27, 2015 by  
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In response to growing criticism of Chinese demand for ivory , China’s State Forestry Administration has announced a one-year ban on the import of ivory carvings. The continued demand for ivory, for which China is the world’s largest market, has decimated the African elephant population, with one elephant killed every 15 minutes for its tusks . While some animal rights’ groups have hailed China’s temporary ban as a step in the right direction, it has also been criticized as nothing more than “window dressing” that fails to address the larger problems of ivory demand. Read the rest of China announces one-year ban on ivory imports Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: African elephant , animal rights , carvings , china , chinese , government , import ban , ivory , ivory carving , Ivory Trade , poachers

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Funky LED lamp transforms to illuminate the room and spark conversation

February 27, 2015 by  
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Do you remember the Rubik’s snake? It was a fun, twisty toy made of wedges on spring bolts. You could twist the toy into a thousand configurations, but never separate them. Oikimus Design has come up with a revolutionary lamp based on that old toy, featuring LEDs and a 5×5 design that allows the lamp to take on a nearly endless variety of shapes. Read the rest of Funky LED lamp transforms to illuminate the room and spark conversation Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: LED design , led lamp , led light bulbs , LED wood lamp , light LED , oikimus design , oikimus design lamp , rubik snake lamp , rubik’s snake

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