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Scottish Sea’s Potential Conflict Needs to be Avoided Say Groups Calling For Action



Sea by daniel via flickr

Groups have said today that if sea-users and marine industries worked together to manage their competing demands as Scotland’s seas get busier, disputes over finite marine resources could be avoided.

The call by WWF Scotland and the Celtic Seas Partnership follows a report highlighting that as competition for space and resources in Scottish seas grows, so does the likelihood of conflict between stakeholders, with areas including the West of Scotland flagged as a potential future hotspot.

The groups have highlighted two UK examples where industry and local communities have been working together and reaping the benefits.  They include:

The Shetland Islands’ Marine Spatial Plan:  An initiative bringing together fishermen, environmental bodies, heritage groups and planners to develop agreed guidance for the use and management of the seas around Shetland;

Fishing for Data: An initiative to develop a strategy to empower the fishing industry to collect data from commercial fishing vessels to improve the effectiveness of scientific assessments of the marine environment.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said:

“Scotland has always been fairly progressive when it comes to managing the important shared resource that are our seas. However, with studies suggesting that Scotland’s marine resources will come under ever increasing pressure over the coming years, it’s important that we take steps now to address the challenges we might face.

“Thanks to some innovative collaborative approaches already happening here, we strongly believe that it will be possible to avoid a rise in conflict between sea-users even as competition for space and resources in Scottish seas grows.”

Dr Jenny Oates, Celtic Seas Partnership project manager, said:

“Scottish waters are set to face increasing demands for space. With a balanced approach to managing our seas, taking into account the environment and the well-being of our communities, these waters can be a huge asset to the Scottish economy.

“The Scottish Government has gone some way to addressing this by producing the first ever National Marine Plan. This envisaged a whole network of 11 regional marine plans around Scotland.

“However, so far the only operational regional marine planning partnerships are in Shetland and the Clyde. The Shetland Islands Marine Spatial Plan was designated as a pilot area, and the Scottish Government has confirmed it intends to use it to develop regional marine planning partnerships around the rest of Scotland’s coast.”

Shetland fisherman Simon Collins, from the Shetland Fisherman’s Association said:

“While conflicting demands for sea space are probably inevitable, conflict is not. We’ve found in Shetland that sensible outcomes can be reached when there is a clear understanding of the local community’s economic and cultural foundations, sound science and a genuine willingness to talk. Crucially, the Advisory Group overseeing the Plan’s development has always proceeded by consensus – never a vote. The sea is too important to us to be left to ideological or partisan squabbling.”



A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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