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Environment Update

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Every few months my website will carry news items concerned with the environment and climate change compiled by my staff. I hope you find the items useful and interesting.

UN Climate Change Summit

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society, to Climate Summit 2014 in New York in a bid to galvanize and catalyse climate action. Whilst the summit didn’t forge a new global strategy to stave off the most alarming effects of climate change, such as dramatic sea-level rise and extreme weather, there were three important things that can be taken away from the summit.

        A movement to fight climate change has real people power.

Perhaps the most surprising development of the summit didn’t unfold at the UN but instead it happened two days before with a march organized through Manhattan that attracted thousands of people. Hundreds of smaller demonstrations were staged around the world. The turnout, especially for the New York march, was far greater than anyone, even organizers, expected.

        More companies are recognizing that halting deforestation is good PR.

The biggest result of the summit was a commitment by nearly 40 companies, including many big multinational corporations, to do their part to slow and eventually stop the loss of forests. The companies include Asia Pulp and Paper, Kellogg’s, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart, and Procter & Gamble.

        There’s growing pressure to help the world’s most vulnerable countries.

One of the reasons Ban Ki-moon convened the summit was to try to generate a competition among world leaders. He wants them to offer increasingly ambitious commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to helping poor countries adopt clean energy.

For further information visit http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/

Reducing deforestation

Liberia has struck a landmark deal with Norway, agreeing to stop deforestation in return for development aid.

The agreement will see Liberia receive $150 million from Norway if it stops cutting down the rainforest by the end of the decade. Liberia’s rainforest is home to several endangered species, including western chimpanzees, forest elephants and leopards. Norwegian officials confirmed details of the deal at the UN climate change summit in New York.

Liberia has agreed to place almost a third of its forests under protected area status by 2020 and will refrain from issuing any new logging licenses until existing ones have been independently reviewed. The agreement will also see direct payments to communities for protecting the forest.

It is hoped Liberia will be able to cut emissions and reduce poverty at the same time. Norway has funded efforts in Indonesia and Brazil, but this is the first time they have entered a deal on a country level.

For further information visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29321143

Green Flag Awards

Green spaces are the heart of every community and are treasured by young and old alike. The Green Flag Award recognises and rewards the best green places. Through this award, a consortium of Keep Britain Tidy, the National Housing Federation and the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens strive to ensure that everyone has access to a safe, clean and pleasant space where they can relax, meet, play or exercise.

Green spaces are assessed every year and in 2012, a record number of awards were made. Now 1,424 green places across the UK are flying the Green Flag, a benchmark of a quality park or green space. Not only does a Green Flag flying overhead guarantee a public space is welcoming, clean, well-maintained, safe and secure, it also ensures it is managed sustainably and pays attention to the conservation of the natural and built environment. Involving the community is also key to a park or green space being award a flag as it must meet their needs and demands and be a great place for people to spend time.

In the 2014/15 Green Flag Awards Meersbrook Park was awarded the Green Flag award one of only 58 awarded across the Yorkshire and Humber, with Heeley City Farm, Meersbrook Park Users Trust and Sheffield City Council receiving the Green Flag Community Award.

For More information visit http://www.greenflagaward.org.uk/Default.aspx

Lowedges Community Food Growing

When Meg Munn MP visited the food growing session at the community allotment at Lowedges Fire Station she was impressed with the work undertaken. The community food growing sessions are a great way to learn how to grow your own fruit and vegetables with gardening tools provided.

Meg was shown around the community allotment by Craig from Heeley City Farm who was also tending to the raised beds, the poly tunnel and a bottle greenhouse made by Meadowhead School.

For further information visit:

http://southsheffield.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/lowedges-community-food-growing-project/


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