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The Sustainable Development Alliance includes 28 Welsh charities, social enterprises and community groups whose work supports people and nature to thrive. We all work on different issues, but we’re speaking with one voice about why we think the Well-being of Future Generations is so important and how it can help futures generation of our families lead healthy, happy and safe lives. In this report we have a look at some of the ways in which we think Wales can get better through a strong Well-being of Future Generations Bill. An effective Bill could help reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, help people out of poverty, create and sustain meaningful employment and use our purchasing power for good – all would have a huge benefit on people and the planet in Wales and across the world. These are just some examples of the sorts of things we think public bodies should be doing together to ensure that future generations can live well in Wales.
If you're an avid sports fan or player, you're all too familiar with the inevitable heartbreak that comes with the love of your team. You can easily get lost in the game. Your team's losses are your losses. Their errors are your errors. Despite these "lows," research suggests that both playing and watching sports ultimately really do make us happier. We love rooting for the underdogs. Not to mention that getting involved with a team as a kid can help with depression risk and low self-esteem. Happify, a website and app dedicated to helping people build skills for happiness through science-based activities and games, broke down all the ways sports can benefit our lives, in this infographic.
Sustainable development has figured prominently on the international agenda for more than a quarter of a century. People talk earnestly of the environmental, social and economic dimensions of development. Yet we continue to build up the economic component, at considerable cost to the environmental one. We risk undermining social and economic gains by failing to appreciate our fundamental dependency on ecological systems. Social and economic sustainability are only possible with a healthy planet. Ecosystems sustain societies that create economies. It does not work any other way round. But although human beings are a product of the natural world, we have become the dominant force that shapes ecological and biophysical systems. In doing so, we are not only threatening our health, prosperity and well-being, but our very future. This tenth edition of the Living Planet Report® reveals the effects of the pressures we are placing on the planet. It explores the implications for society. And it underlines the importance of the choices we make and the steps we take to ensure this living planet can continue to sustain us all, now and for generations to come.
Totnes and District is feeling the effects of the economic downturn, along with the rest of the country. Climate change impacts and rising energy costs are further signs that the assumptions underpinning our current economic system need urgent review. Here we have an unusually independent economy. Rather than sacrifice that by pursuing growth at any cost, here we suggest that protecting and enhancing this economy is where our future lies. But how will this provide the jobs we all need to survive? This report identifies a multi-million pound opportunity to create new jobs, grow new enterprises and help existing businesses to thrive. It’s people-based, community-led, sustainable economic development that provides new livelihoods. At the same time, it helps ensure we can feed ourselves, minimise our fuel bills and carbon emissions,provide safer refuge for our savings and pensions and take care of those most in need. This work brings together a coalition of local stakeholder organisations, anchored here in our community, to develop an economic approach designed specifically for Totnes and District (T&D), and shows that we can unite to deliver real change.
This report provides an overview of this programme. The aim is to explore the intersection of community level initiatives and the development of a sustainable economy. In particular, it was believed that Scotland has developed some of the principles and practices of community based ownership of resources over the recent and distant past, and that this legacy could provide a model for how a more equitable, resilient, low carbon economy could be achieved in the future. Even if such an economy does not emerge, communities need to be strengthened so that they can support the needs of their members, especially if the contribution of governments is diminished. Whilst the Programme explored issues within Scotland in particular, many of the findings are also broadly relevant for other countries, and we drew on international examples as required. The goals of this Programme were to explore and design models for community resourcing, identify barriers for effective action in this area and highlight opportunities for future action. The planned output was the development of practical recommendations for the short, medium and long term, building on the combined knowledge of programme participants. The programme sought these goals through a series of interlinked seminars and also developed relationships between academics, practitioners and policy makers who are involved in various ways in this intellectual and practical space.
The commissioned paper from Alex Evans and Jules Evans of the NYU Center on International Cooperation, New York and Centre for the History of the Emotions, Queen Mary University of London is now available. The paper begins by providing a brief overview of resource scarcity issues in the four areas of food, water, land and energy, in each case focusing primarily on the global level and setting out the basic supply and demand drivers involved.
The American food system rests on an unstable foundation of massive fossil fuel inputs. It must be reinvented in the face of declining fuel stocks. The new food system will use less energy, and the energy it uses will come from renewable sources. We can begin the transition to the new system immediately through a process of planned, graduated, rapid change. The unplanned alternative-reconstruction from scratch after collapse-would be chaotic and tragic. The seeds of the new food system have already been planted. America's farmers have been reducing their energy use for decades. They are using less fertilizer and pesticide. The number of organic farms, farmers' markets, and CSA operations is growing rapidly. More people are thinking about where their food comes from. These are important building blocks, but much remains to be done. Our new food system will require more farmers, smaller and more diversified farms, less processed and packaged food, and less long-distance hauling of food. Governments, communities, businesses, and families each have important parts to play in reinventing a food system that functions with limited renewable energy resources to feed our population for the long term.
Full Planet, empty plates (Free download of Book) PDF With food scarcity driven by falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures, control of arable land and water resources is moving to center stage in the global struggle for food security. “In this era of tightening world food supplies, the ability to grow food is fast becoming a new form of geopolitical leverage. Food is the new oil,” Lester R. Brown writes. What will the geopolitics of food look like in a new era dominated by scarcity and food nationalism? Brown outlines the political implications of land acquisitions by grain-importing countries in Africa and elsewhere as well as the world’s shrinking buffers against poor harvests. With wisdom accumulated over decades of tracking agricultural issues, Brown exposes the increasingly volatile food situation the world is facing. With food scarcity driven by falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures, control of arable land and water resources is moving to center stage in the global struggle for food security. “In this era of tightening world food supplies, the ability to grow food is fast becoming a new form of geopolitical leverage. Food is the new oil,” Lester R. Brown writes. What will the geopolitics of food look like in a new era dominated by scarcity and food nationalism? Brown outlines the political implications of land acquisitions by grain-importing countries in Africa and elsewhere as well as the world’s shrinking buffers against poor harvests. With wisdom accumulated over decades of tracking agricultural issues, Brown exposes the increasingly volatile food situation the world is facing. PRAISE FOR FULL PLANET, EMPTY PLATES Named one of the top 10 books of 2012 by The Globalist. "Full Planet, Empty Plates arrived and I straight away set aside all my other activities in order to enjoy the latest wisdom. He certainly pours out his insights with vigour—and time after time he is bang on target."–Norman Myers "Though heavily packed with statistical information and evidences compiled from the work of hundreds of scientists, this book is an approachable resource for those who are interested in understanding food scarcity, regardless of their educational background."–Maira Niode, Omar Niode Foundation "Each subject is covered in enough detail and with enough supporting evidence to be clear, concise, and convincing. It is the clarity of argument and the brevity that makes this such a valuable book."–John Coulter, Sutainable Population Australia "As with all of Brown’s books, Full Planet, Empty Plates is very well-documented: over 150 data sets accompany the book. Brown fully explains the extent of food challenges in various regions of the globe, and the potential impacts based on environmental and socioeconomic factors in these regions."–Jeff McIntire-Strasburg, Sustainablog "This is a great little book that sums up the global situation, and ties it all together. Best explanation of how everything is interconnected. I wish every American would read this book!!!"–Diane Stewart, environmental activist "Brown presents his compelling arguments in straightforward language, buttressed with numerous facts, statistics and graphs."–Joseph Chamie, former director of the United Nations Population Division One of the top eco-books for the new year according to The Green Insider.
World on the Edge (Free download of Book) PDF We are facing issues of near-overwhelming complexity and unprecedented urgency. Our challenge is to think globally and develop policies to counteract environmental decline and economic collapse. The question is: Can we change direction before we go over the edge? PRAISE FOR WORLD ON THE EDGE "World on the Edge is brilliant. Author Lester Brown is one of humanity's greatest voices for the environment. In this volume, he presents the reader with a clear prescription for restoring sanity to our relationship with the biosphere. Highest recommendation."—Geoffrey Holland, Author, The Hydrogen Age "This is the ultimate survival guide for our species. Lester Brown plots a path around and beyond the looming environmental abyss with courage, compassion and immense wisdom." —Jonathan Watts, Asia Environment Correspondent for The Guardian and author of When A Billion Chinese Jump "No one is better informed than Lester Brown of the multi-faceted crisis facing our planet. And no one has spelt out so clearly how our civilisation could be saved from falling 'over the edge' while there is—hopefully—still just time." —John Rowley, founder/editorwww.peopleandplanet.net "Lester Brown has produced another 'planetary survey' book that tells us how to get off the wrecking train we are on by courtesy of a dozen environmental assaults such as climate change. The better news (and there’s plenty) is that turning problems into opportunities generally puts money into our pockets." —Norman Myers, 21st Century School, University of Oxford "World on Edge details the vice closing around us: a quadruple squeeze of global warming and shortages in food, water and energy. Then it explains the path out—and how little time we have left to take that path. Got anything more important to read than that?" —Peter Goldmark, former head of the Port authority of New York and New Jersey, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, and CEO of the International Herald Tribune "The world is a much more hopeful place because of the work and life of Lester Brown. World on the Edge should be read by everyone who wants to see a better life for their children, which is just about everybody." —Ted Glick, Policy Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network "Brown understands well the precariousness of human civilization ...[and] expresses it in patient and telling detail that addresses the intelligence and humanity of the reader." —Bryan Walker on Celsias.com "[World on the Edge] manages to cover both the grand sweep of global trends and the fine detail of some of the ideas being developed in response.” —Ed Crooks, Financial Times “Reading World on the Edge brings topics ranging from crop failures to state failures together in a way that no series of blog posts could…Brown draws these connections with both scientific rigor and the patience of a committed teacher.” —Jeff McIntire-Strasburg,Sustainablog.org "It is the most interesting book I have ever read and inspires me to do something immediate to save our civilization." —Hanh Lien, translator for the Vietnamese edition ofWorld on the Edge
Resilience is often understood simply as the ability to “bounce back” from a single disaster like a hurricane or earthquake. This survey commissioned by Post Carbon Institute found that leading US municipalities already have a much more sophisticated understanding of resilience involving economic, energy, and social challenges—and they're putting it into action through policies, regulations, and programs.
The proposal for a framework Law of Mother Earth is to begin a transition to a new model based on the principle of living in harmony with nature (“Living Well” – in Spanish “Vivir Bien”). The objective is not to go back to the pre-industrial era. A transition to a new model will not take place immediately but the transition does need to begin. We urgently need alternatives to the capitalist development model that destroys the environment and has caused the financial, energy and food crisis, as well as climate change and deep inequalities within and between societies. This document was drafted by Bolivia’s main social movements in November 2010. The aim of this English translation is to share the proposal and philosophy so others can use the document as they wish in their regional, national and local contexts. The document below is the full version by Bolivia’s social movements. The Bolivian Plurinational Assembly has been due to approve a shorter consensus version of this law since early 2011.
The 2012 edition of the LPR highlights the tremendous pressure that humanity is putting on our planet. We are using 50 per cent more resources than the Earth can provide. By 2030, even two planets will not be enough. Our natural capital is declining and our Ecological Footprint is increasing. Urgent action is needed to ensure that we can live in harmony with nature. 7 billion expectations, one planet: Human population dynamics are a major driving force behind environmental degradation. One aspect of this is the overall size of the global population, which has more than doubled since 1950 - to 7 billion in 2011 and is forecast to reach just over 9.3 billion people by 2050. Rising consumption trends in high-income groups around the world and in BRIICS countries, combined with growing population numbers, provide warning signs of the potential for even larger footprints in the future. We can create more just and equitable societies - providing food, water and energy for all - through the sustainable management of the Earth’s natural capital.
Friends of the Earth wants a healthy planet and a good life for everyone on it. You might wonder what the economy has to do with this. Here’s how it links up. The economy should provide us with the basics for a good life. But we can’t have a good life without a healthy planet and the food, clean air and fresh it gives us. If our economy damages the environment, our quality of life is affected.
Today’s environmental challenges are not new. The priorities of the 6th Environment Action Programme a decade ago – climate change, biodiversity loss, unsustainable use of natural resources and environmental pressures on human health and well-being – remain important concerns today. What has changed is the recognition of the complex links between the many challenges and the need for integrated responses. This year’s report, the Environmental indicator report 2013, extends the analysis to the links between resource use an human well-being, taking basic human needs (for food, energy, water and housing) as the entry points for analysis. By analyzing environmental pressures associated with current resource use patterns and related well-being impacts, the report identifies possible levers for effecting change in an integrated manner.
The Economics of Happiness describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, and unholy alliance of governments and big business continues to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, people all over the world are resisting those policies, and - far from the old institutions of power – they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization. This discussion guide follows the film, chapter by chapter, expanding on the arguments and pointing to a wealth of resources for further learning, reflection and action. Each chapter begins with a short essay elaborating on the film, followed a set of suggested discussion questions and activities, a short list of recommended readings, links to related organizations, and links to other learning resources (films, lectures, tool-kits, slideshows, etc.)