On World Animal Day South American authorities will be encouraged to to enforce the national and international laws protecting the endangered Spectacled or ‘Andean’ bear following a campaign by Animal Defenders International (ADI)
This campaign comes after wildlife officials found a severed bear claw at a Colombian National Park headquarters, alongside an anonymous note threatening further bear killings.
The small bear, immortalised in Michael Bond’s much-loved Paddington Bear books, is the only species of bear in South America, is a CITES Appendix I listed species, the highest level of protection. However, local wildlife campaigners are calling for stricter enforcement following a series of recent bear attacks, and blame dwindling numbers of bear populations on human expansion, with Colombian farmers attacking the bears in an attempt to protect their livestock.
ADI President Jan Creamer said:
“If nothing is done to protect the Spectacled bear, it is likely that populations will decline by more than 30% within a 30 year window. It would be tragic if we become the generation who allow South America’s only species of bear die out. Head to the ADI website to see a new video of Spectacled bear Cholita, rescued by ADI, in her new home.”
It would be tragic if we become the generation who allow South America’s only species of bear die out.
Habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and the lack of knowledge about the distribution and status of the Spectacled bear are the principal threats to this species. Much of the range of the Spectacled bear has been jeopardised by humans, largely resulting from the expansion of farming.
ADI proposes to create a pact between authorities and social sectors to ensure the implementation of existing rules to protect Spectacled bear populations. This initiative was born in Colombia with the intention to expand into other South American countries with the presence of this species of bear.
Robinson Tarazona Galindo, Director of the National Park Chingaza said:
“It is important to achieve national coordination to implement regional work plans and that this benefit populations to mitigate the impact of conflicts between people and wildlife “. The position of this environmental official in Colombia shows that the problem is not the lack of laws, but their enforcement. In this sense the proposed pact by ADI is essential that is signed by the environmental authorities, armed forces, local community, among others.
Actress and presenter, Margarita Ortega said:
“We are invading the habitats of wildlife, this leads to the extinction of various species. As humans we must find a way to live peacefully with the other residents of this country, it is urgent to end the unjustified persecution to the spectacled bear.”
Earlier this year, ADI’s ‘Operation Spirit of Freedom’ campaign rescued over 100 animals from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade in Peru and Colombia, including lions, bears, tigers, monkeys, and others. ADI and the governments of Peru and Colombia collaborated for the unprecedented operation. Rescued animals were rehabilitated and rehomed to natural habitats.
Among the 100 rescued animals was Cholita, a 25 year old Spectacled bear, who was torn from the wild as a baby and mutilated and abused in a circus. She lost almost all of her hair due to stress. ADI rehabilitated her at their rescue centre and thanks to a very successful campaign, Cholita now lives in a large habitat funded by ADI supporters at Taricaya Reserva Ecologica, in the Amazon Cloud Forrest. Cholita was then joined by two other Spectacled bears, Lucho and Sabina, and ADI hopes another can join them.
ADI is now appealing for funds for the rescue and lifetime care of another Spectacled bear, 11 year old female Dominga, who, like Cholita, has lost her fur due to stress. Dominga currently resides in a small zoo in the Andean mountains. The zoo are prepared to give Dominga over but ADI cannot rescue her until they raise transport funds estimated at £10,000.
Please donate now : http://www.ad-international.org/animal_rescues/go.php?id=4242&ssi=24
Build, Buy, Or Retrofit? 3 Green Housing Considerations
Green housing is in high demand, but it’s not yet widely available, posing a serious problem: if you want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, do you invest in building something new and optimize it for sustainability, or do you retrofit a preexisting building?
The big problem when it comes to choosing between these two options is that building a new home creates more waste than retrofitting specific features of an existing home, but it may be more efficient in the long-run. For those concerned with waste and their environmental footprint, the short term and long term impacts of housing are in close competition with each other.
New Construction Options
One reason that new construction is so desired among green living enthusiasts is that it can be built to reflect our highest priorities. Worried about the environmental costs of heating your home? New construction can be built using passive solar design, a strategy that uses natural light and shade to heat or cool the home. Builders can add optimal insulation, build with all sustainable materials, and build exactly to the scale you need.
In fact, scale is a serious concern for new home buyers and builders alike. Individuals interested in green housing will actively avoid building more home than they need – scaling to the square foot matter because that’s more space you need to heat or cool – and this is harder to do when buying. You’re stuck with someone else’s design. In this vein, Missouri S&T’s Nest Home design, which uses recycled shipping containers, combines the tiny home trend with reuse and sustainability.
The Simple Retrofit
From an environmental perspective, there’s an obvious problem with building a new home: it’s an activity of mass consumption. There are already 120 million single-family homes and duplexes in the United States; do we really need more?
Extensive development alone is a good enough reason to intelligently retrofit an existing home rather than building new green structures, but the key is to do so with as little waste as possible. One option for retrofitting older homes is to install new smart home technology that can automate home regulation to reduce energy use.
Real estate agent Roxanne DeBerry sees clients struggle with issues of efficiency on a regular basis. That’s why she recommends tools like the Nest Thermostat, which develops a responsive heating and cooling schedule for the home and can be remotely adjusted via smartphone. Other smart tools for home efficiency include choosing Energy Star appliances and installing water-saving faucets and low-pressure toilets. These small changes add up.
Ultimately, the most effective approach to green housing is likely to be aggressive retrofitting of everything from period homes to more recent construction. This will reduce material use where possible and prevent further aggressive land use. And finally, designers, activists, and engineers are coming together to develop such structures.
In the UK, for example, designers are interested in finding ways to adapt period houses for greater sustainability without compromising their aesthetics. Many have added solar panels, increased their insulation levels, and recently they even developed imitation sash triple glazed windows. As some have pointed out, the high cost of heating these homes without such changes will push these homes out of relevance without these changes. This is a way of saving existing structures.
Harvard is also working on retrofitting homes for sustainability. Their HouseZero project is designed for near-zero energy use and zero carbon emissions using geothermal heating and temperature radiant surfaces. The buildings bridge the gap between starting over and putting up with unmanageable heating and cooling bills.
It will take a long time to transition the majority of individuals to energy efficient, green housing but we’re headed in the right direction. What will your next home be like? As long as the answer is sustainable, you’re part of the solution to our chronic overuse – of land, energy, water, and more.
How the Auto Industry is Lowering Emissions
Currently, the automotive industry is undergoing an enormous change in a bid to lower carbon emissions. This has been pushed by the Government and their clean air plans, where they have outlined a plan to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
Public Health Crisis
It is said that the levels of air pollution lead to 40,000 early deaths in the UK, with London being somewhere that is particularly bad. This has led to the new T-Charge, where heavy polluting cars will pay a new charge on top of the existing congestion charge. Other cities have taken action too, with Oxford recently announcing that they will be banning petrol and diesel cars from the city centre by 2020.
It is clear that the Government is taking action, but what about the auto industry? With the sale of petrol and diesel plummeting and a sharp rise in alternatively fuelled vehicles, it is clear that the industry is taking note and switching focus to green cars. There are now all kinds of fantastic eco-friendly cars available and a type to suit every motorist whether it is a small city car or an SUV.
Of course, it is the cars that are currently on the road that are causing the problem. The used car market is enormous and filled with polluting automobiles, but there are steps that you can take to avoid dangerous automobiles. It is now more important than ever to get vehicle checks carried out through HPI, as these can reveal important information about the automobile’s past and they find that 1 in 3 cars has a hidden secret of some kind. Additionally, they can now perform recall checks to see if the manufacturer has recalled that particular automobile. This allows people to shop confidently and find vehicles that are not doing as much damage to the environment as others.
With the rise in sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles, it is now becoming increasingly more common to see them on UK roads. Public perception has changed drastically in the last few years and this is because of the air pollution crisis, as well as the fact that there are now so many different reasons to switch to electric cars, such as Government grants and no road tax. A similar change in public opinion has happened in the United States, with electric car sales up by 47% in 2017.
The US is leading the way for lowering emissions as they have declined by 758 million metric tons since 2005, which is the largest amount by far with the UK in second with a decline of 170 million metric tons. Whilst it is clear that these two nations are doing a good job, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to improve the air quality and stop so many premature deaths as a result of pollution.
With the Government’s plans, incentives to make the change and a change in public perception, it seems that the electric car revolution is fully underway.