Environment and Ecology

environment - ecology - nature - habitat - gaia - permaculture - systems - sustainability ...

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Download press-release 10.10.11 (.doc)

Download press-release 11.11.11 (.doc)

The International Environmental Forum “Ecology of Big City” is targeted at the representatives of the environmental authorities of the Russian regions and cities (municipal entities), producers/suppliers of equipment and providers of services used for fulfillment of environmental tasks in urban areas.

The Forum is organized under the support and with participation of the Government of St. Petersburg, the Government of the Leningrad Region, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Regional Development of the Russian Federation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, professional associations, specialized and business mass-media.



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Gül Indicates Robust Bilateral Relations between Turkey and the UAE 

Exploring, as part of his schedule in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Zayed University and Masdar City erected as the world’s first ecological city, President Gül shared his happiness with being the first Turkish President to pay an official visit to the UAE in years.

Welcomed by the Higher Education and Scientific Researches Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan upon his arrival at Zayed University, President Gül, after chatting with the Rector, Deans and a group of students, was informed about the university and its activities by the Rector. He also conducted a teleconference talk with students of Turkey’s Bilkent University. 


Multinational Knowledge Brokerage Event on Sustainable Housing

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Multinational Knowledge Brokerage Event
on Sustainable Housing 28-30 March 2012

Venue: ETSAV (Superior Technical School of Architecture of the Vallès) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona

Sustainable Housing



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Introduction (Coordinators: Esra Başak, Begüm Özkaynak, Zeynep Kadirbeyoğlu)

Neither East nor West... This stereotypical assessment of where Turkey stands geographically and geopolitically plays an important role in both its ecological composition, and concerns related to its environment and ecology. As a land of transition between three continents, Turkey is a country that has critical natural and biological reserves at the global level (see the below map for its biodiversity hotspots) and diverse species and agro-environmental landscapes.

Biodiversity Hotspot
(Map: Conservation International)

According to Conservation International, there are thirty-four global high diversity “hotspots”, three of which are located in Turkey: the Mediterranean, the Caucasus and the Irano-Anatolian. Altogether, Turkey hosts a large array of fragile natural assets and is witness to a unique merging of diversity on the entire Eurasian continent.


Frontiers in Ecological Economic Theory and Application

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Frontiers in Ecological Economic Theory and ApplicationFrontiers in Ecological Economic Theory and Application (Advances in Ecological Economics)

Jon D. Erickson (Editor), John M. Gowdy (Editor)

  • Hardcover: 365 pages
  • Publisher: Edward Elgar Pub; 1 edition (June 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843768887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843768883
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,697,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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    An experimental framework for ecosystem capital accounting in Europe

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    New technical report: "An experimental framework for ecosystem capital accounting in Europe"

    Ecosystems such as forests, wetlands and rivers as well as pastures or cropland supply basic goods and services. These include food, fibre, energy, clean water, temperature control and flood regulation, which are critical for people's wellbeing. However, the value of ecosystems is only accounted for in the economy when they provide monetary profits.  Other ecosystem services of common value are simply ignored, thus fostering their depletion and environmental degradation.

    Responding to an increasing demand to assess the whole interaction between ecosystems and the economy, the European Environment Agency (EEA)  has created 'An experimental framework for ecosystem capital accounting in Europe'. The initiative is part of a process which aims to supplement the UN System of National Accounts with information on the environment and natural capital.

    European Environment Agency (EEA)


    Idealized Design

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    Idealized Design

    Idealized Design, a segment of Interactive Planning, is an organizational development process developed by Russell L. Ackoff in the 1950's which enables an organization to get beyond the problem solving mode and unleash their innovative potential.


    “An idealized design of a system is the design its stakeholders would have right now if they could have any system they wanted. The design is subject to only two constraints: it must be technologically feasible (no science fiction), and it must be operationally viable (capable of surviving in the current environment if it came into existence, with or without modification). The design has one requirement: it must be capable of rapid and effective learning and adaptation, and therefore be able to change. It is called idealized because it is the best ideal-seeking systems its designers could imagine at the time, recognizing that they and others may be able to imagine a better one in the future.” (WHCA, 1996)

    Read A Brief Guide to Interactive Planning and Idealized Design, which is the most succinct overview of Interactive Planning and Idealized Design to date.


    Climate and Democracy

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    Peter Burnell

    Climate and democracyThe science of climate change and human responsibility, the economics of addressing the problem, the justice dimension and, even, implications for North-South relations have all received substantial exposure in public debate and specialized technical, policy, and academic literatures. We also hear about the imperative to “climate-proof” society, the poor, and even the state. Occasionally we are told the “right political framework” is needed, usually meaning an improvement on the Kyoto Protocol and national legislation for regulating energy use.

    A surprising omission is a balanced inquiry into what climate change and its effects mean for democratization, and what democratization could mean for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and climate adaptation. Democratization here means movement toward something like actually existing liberal democracy, present in many countries, not theoretical models of deliberative democracy, radical participatory democracy, or “eco-democracy”. Just as global warming has become headline news, so another but more celebrated phenomenon of recent times has been a wave of democratization, starting in southern Europe in the 1970s, subsequently embracing Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and sizeable parts of Africa and Asia, too. Hardly less eye-catching, however, is the wave’s recent slowing to a halt and, by some accounts, partial retreat.


    Drinking water quality changes made in Florida

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    Drink waterChanges to the way drinking water quality is maintained are set to be made across one county in Florida, it has been revealed.

    Pinellas County commissioners have decided that the local authority will remove fluoride from supplies of public water, as concerns grow over its effects on human beings.

    Action groups have been campaigning for the removal of the chemical, after highlighting the potentially damaging impact it can have on children in particular.

    However, other groups such as the American Dental Association have slammed the decision, suggesting that the addition of fluoride to drinking water helps reduce tooth cavities.


    Air Monitoring

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    BP Olympics scheme aims to boost air qualityBP Olympics scheme aims to boost air quality

    BP has launched a new venture to help reduce the impact that the 2012 London Olympics will have on the UK's air quality.

    With waves of visitors expected to attend the high profile event, the oil giant has set up a scheme to counterbalance the extra carbon emissions that will be released into the atmosphere.

    The Target Neutral initiative will see participants sign up to have the pollution created by their journeys to and from London offset by BP at no cost.

    Bosses at the firm are hoping to set a new world record in the field and are also attempting to raise awareness of the impact travel has on the environment.

    "We need every spectator to sign up, so London 2012 becomes the world's largest offset as measured by number of participants," commented BP's head of country Peter Mather.

    Meanwhile, chairman of BP Target Neutral Advisory Jonathon Porritt believes the project could have a wider impact on people's attitudes towards carbon emissions.


    Approaching the 2011 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum

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    Approaching the 2011 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum

    September 22, 2011 

    download large image (225 KB, JPEG) acquiered September 9, 2011. http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/52000/52230/ArcticIce_amsre_2011252_lrg.jpg

    download animation (19 MB, QuickTime) acquiered March 7 - September 9, 2011. http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/52000/52230/sea_ice_near_min_2011_youtube_hq.mov

    Approaching the 2011 Arctic Sea Ice MinimumEvery year, the frozen Arctic Ocean emerges from winter and thaws under the 24-hour light of the summer sun. Each year is different: sometimes ice retreats from the shores in dramatic fashion and other years have a more gradual melt. 2011 proved to be a year of extreme melt. By early September, the area covered by sea ice in the Arctic Ocean was approaching a record low.

    This animation shows the melt during the summer of 2011. (Click the link below the image to download.) The animation was made with measurements taken by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer–EOS (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aquasatellite between March 7 and September 9. The final image in the series, shown above, shows the sea ice at it lowest point so far this season. Most notably, the Northwest Passage, the sea route that threads through the islands of northern Canada to link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is entirely ice free. Twice-daily images provide glimpses of the open water in the Northwest Passage throughout September.


    Muhammad al-Idrisi

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      Muhammad al-Idrisi

    Tabula Rogeriana

    The Tabula Rogeriana, drawn by al-Idrisi for Roger II of Sicily in 1154,
    one of the most advanced ancient world maps.
    Modern consolidation, created from the 70 double-page spreads of the original atlas.
    (Note that the north is at the bottom, and so the map appears "upside down")

    Abu Abd Allah Muhammad al-Idrisi al-Qurtubi al-Hasani al-Sabti
    or simply Al Idrisi (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد الإدريسي‎; Latin: Dreses) (1099–1165 or 1166) was a Muslim geographer, cartographer, Egyptologist and traveller who lived in Sicily, at the court of King Roger II. Muhammed al-Idrisi was born in Ceuta then belonging to the Almoravid Empire and died in Sicily. Al Idrisi was a descendent of the Idrisids, who in turn were descendants of Hasan bin Ali, the son of Ali and the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[1]Al-Idrisi, world map


    • 1 Early life
    • 2 Tabula Rogeriana
    • 3 Nuzhatul Mushtaq
      • 3.1 Publication and translation
      • 3.2 Andalusian-American contact
    • 4 In popular culture
    • 5 See also
    • 6 Notes
    • 7 References
    • 8 Further reading
    • 9 External links

    Early life

    Al-Idrisi traced his descent through long line of Princes, Caliphs and Sufi leaders, to The Prophet Muhammad. His immediate forebears, the Hammudids (1016–1058), were an offshoot of the Idrisids (789-985).

    Al-Idrisi's was born in Ceuta, where his great-grandfather had fled after the fall of Málaga in Al-Andalus (1057). He spent much of his early life travelling through North Africa, and Spain and seems to have acquired a detail information on both regions. He visited Anatolia when he was barely 16. He is known to have studied in Córdoba, and later taught in Constantine, Algeria.

    Apparently his travels took him to many parts of Europe including Portugal, the Pyrenees, the French Atlantic coast, Hungary, and Jórvík also known as York, in England.


    XIth World Congress of the OWHC - Sintra 2011: World Heritage Cities and Climate Change

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    XIth World Congress of the OWHC - Sintra 2011: World Heritage Cities and Climate Change

    The World Congress of the OWHC is a unique forum - held every two years, it brings together politicians and professionals who are committed to the preservation of historic cities, particularly those inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Since the first meeting in 1991, this event has enabled participants to discuss topics of common interest, to share experiences, and to learn about new strategies for meeting the challenges associated with the conservation and management of World Heritage Cities. 

    The theme of the XIth World Congress is World Heritage Cities and Climate Change.

    World Heritage Cities are vibrant living environments with cultural heritage of outstanding universal value. In the face of climate change, however, World Heritage Cities are among the most vulnerable places on Earth to experience rapidly occurring changes.The site-specific nature of climate change impacts make World Heritage Cities ideal laboratories for monitoring changes and testing adaptation and mitigation measures to enhance their socio-economic well-being while ensuring the conservation of their heritage. 

    SintraCity governments are at the heart of the action. Having conserved their rich heritage over time, World Heritage Cities hold the keys to understanding long-term evolution of a place from the past and on to the future.As guardians of the world’s heritage, World Heritage Cities face an additional challenge - any action taken at these iconic places can attract considerable attention and influence the adoption of good management practices elsewhere. This XIthWorld Congress aims to create a platform for dialogue and exchange of state-of-the-art knowledge on the issue of World Heritage Cities and Climate Change and its transfer into policy and action.


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