Notes from a rare planet: And the gold goes to…Rwanda!

Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda

Rwanda has become the newest winner of the prestigious future policy award 2011 (IPS)

  • “‘Rwanda has sought not only to make its forests a national priority, but has also used them as a platform to revolutionise its stances on women’s rights and creating a healthy environment,’ said Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movement.”
  • “Rwanda’s forest policy has brought a range of benefits, including a better water supply, reduction in erosion, improved livelihoods and better quality of life overall. The goal is to cover 30 percent of the country in forest by 2020.”

Groundwater depletion, a possible new worry for rising sea levels (New Scientist)

  • Adding to the expected list of factors adding to rising sea levels, “another source of water adding to the rise [is] humanity’s habit of pumping water from underground aquifers to the surface. Most of this water ends up in the sea.”
  • “1.26 cm may not seem like much, but groundwater depletion has accelerated massively since 1950, particularly in the past decade. Over 1300 cubic kilometres of the groundwater was extracted between 2000 and 2008, producing 0.36 cm of the total 2.79-cm rise in that time.”

Google puts up $75 million for residential solar installations (EcoGeek)

  • This large sum will “pay for about 3,000 residential solar installations in California, Colorado, and Arizona.”
  • “This fund is the second for Google, who also created a $280 million residential solar fund that California-based SolarCity will administer.  That fund will be overseeing installations, lease agreements and power purchase agreements in 11 states and Washington, D.C.”

A proud day for Conservation International: Marine sites among best protected in the Philippines (Conservation International)

  • “ Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape team’s two marine protected areas in the Verde Island Passage project site — Twin Rocks Marine Sanctuary and Agsalin Fish Sanctuary — were recently recognized as among the best managed MPAs in the Philippines.”
  • “Starting at just over 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) in 2005, the MPA network now covers more than 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) of critical habitats.”
  • “Plans for future work include improving the management effectiveness of existing MPAs, developing local climate change adaptation plans, promoting mangrove reforestation and establishing more mangrove conservation areas, and improving law enforcement.”

A soldier dies or is injured for every 50 fuel convoys (The Energy Collective)

  • “On alternative fuels, we feel a bit alone out there,” Hicks shared. “But the reality is the ships and planes we have today are going to be the ships and planes we have 10-20 years from now. We need to focus on finding alternatives now to use in that fleet.”