Canterbury & South Island news:
ECan & Tasman DC : Toxic properties list won't be made public. The location of more than 4000 potentially contaminated properties in the Canterbury and Tasman districts will not be revealed in a public register, despite a ruling by the Office of the Ombudsmen to do so. (13 October, Stuff/The Press).
ECan says it may release list of region's contaminated sites, but only after more research. (14 October, Timaru Herald/Stuff).
Scientist: Farming to blame for taint in Christchurch drinking water. (13 October, Stuff/The Press).
Hurunui irrigation scheme on hold for up to a year. (15 October, Stuff/The Press).
CPW scales back its irrigation project. (13 October, Stuff /The Press).
CPW scheme would degrade Lake Ellesmere & lowland streams, say experts. (14 October, Stuff/The Press).
Avon River: Report identifies sources of contaminants. (13 October, ECan).
Many worried about where to find next meal. (15 October, Stuff/The Press).
Exhibition at Our City/Otautahi: Never be afraid - a NZ soldier writes to his niece from a prisoner of war camp. One of the Council's projects in 2009 Beca Heritage Week: Discover Christchurch in peace and conflict. 16 - 22 October.
Nelson: Australian mining giant gains permit on land bordering national parks. (14 October, Stuff/The Nelson Mail).
Nelson: Soiled reserves spark freedom camping call. (14 October, Stuff/The Nelson Mail).
Ashburton Lakes: Desirable waterfront property development: Tourist operator builds floating grebe nests. (12 October, DOC).
Otago: New approach to dealing with run-off pollution. Some farmers might have to put significant parts of their land into wetlands or invest in a treatment system. (14 October, Otago Daily Times).
Clutha River: Small island on the river could again prove a thorn in the side of Contact Energy. (15 October, Otago Daily Times).
Queenstown: Biosecurity conference: Emergence of new weeds as South Island freshwater threats. Lagarosiphon and didymo the "big nasties" but parrot feather, hornwort, egeria, senegal tea, alligator weed ... (15 October, Otago Daily Times).
Lower South Island: Didymo controls back in force 5 years on. On 15 October 2004 NIWA scientist Cathy Kilroy first noticed a “weird, brown, fungusy stuff” in the Lower Waiau River in Southland. (15 October, DOC).
Southland: Wilding pines eradication scheme could be in jeopardy from ETS. (15 October, Southland Times/Stuff).
North Island & national:
Mike Moore decries buying up third world for food security. Rich nations are practising a modern form of colonialism by acquiring farmland in poorer countries. (1 October, NBR).
University of Waikato research grant: Sustainability at a crossroads. NZ’s 100% Pure image – crucial for tourism, food and beverage exports -- could be under threat if we can’t demonstrate a genuine commitment to sustainability. Yet with the economic downturn...different interest groups debate whether economic growth should take priority over environmental and social well-being. (12 October, Scoop).
ETS changes benefit farmers. $1.6 billion better off. (14 October, Stuff/The Press).
Forests proposal for high country. (15 October, NZ Herald).
Wellington: Thumbs up for Long Gully wind farm. Christchurch-based Windflow Technology Ltd a step closer to a second buyer for its two-bladed turbines. (12 October, Dominion Post/Stuff).
Wind farm approval sparks vow to fight the 30 metre high, 25 turbine project. (13 October, Dominion Post/Stuff).
Wairarapa: Sites eyed for more wind farms. (15 October, Dominion Post/Stuff).
Manawatu wind farms: Timing of the hearings on Turitea and an extension of Te Rere Hau means neither farm is required to consider the other. (14 October, Stuff/Manawatu Standard).
Also: Te Rere Hau: more than 100 noise complaints. (13 October, Manawatu Standard/Stuff).
Central North Island: rail trail cycleway through Pureora Forest Park for development. Open by December, 2010.
Ngunguru, Northland: Keen interest in release of 7 kiwi. (14 October, Northern Advocate).
NZ's favourite bird revealed. (15 October, The Press/Stuff).
Historic knowledge wiped out. About 500 years ago NZ was hit by the mother of all tsunamis. Opinion, Bob Brockie. (12 October, Dominion Post/Stuff).
Meet The Locals: education resources available free to NZ classrooms - teaching tools for some of our natural heritage.
Set of DVDs and PDFs in 16 episodes across 4 subjects to suit the curriculum for Years 7 - 9, but appropriate for younger levels too. Many episodes feature NZ children doing their bit to protect native wildlife. John Key introduces the series.
Teachers register their details at http://tvnz.co.nz/meetthelocals by clicking on the 'Meet The Locals Education Resource' tile.
Registrations close 5.00 pm Friday, 30 October, DVDs to be sent out mid-November. The accompanying PDF resources will be available for download from the TVNZ6 site from mid November. Topics included are NZ Biology - Reptiles and Insects; NZ Biology - Birds; NZ History; and NZ Geography. Each episode is under 5 minutes in length, so can easily slot into any lesson plan. Series host, Nic Vallance, and Department of Conservation. Funded by TVNZ6.
Re-linked awards, submissions, consultations etc:
- Urgent: The Greens' Customs and Excise (Sustainable Timber) Amendment Bill: Concerned about palm oil? Deforestation? The costs to indigenous people who depend on it? Loss of habitat for orangutan and other species? Climate change?
Write to John Key asking him to ban the import of unsustainable timber.
Address (free post) to:
Hon John Key,
Or send an e-card: John Key: Support the Sustainable Timber Bill. (Time is of the essence - it is likely to come before the House on 21 October).
If successful the Bill will require all wood coming into New Zealand to be certified legal and sustainable. To succeed in Parliament it is important the Government is made aware of the views of as many New Zealanders as possible. More information: www.greens.org.nz/rainforests.
- LEARNZ Field trips:
Project Crimson (pohutakawa and southern rata restoration) 21 - 23 October.
Wetland Treasures (Ashburton Lakes) 4 - 6 November.
Cool Wind Farm (Antarctica) 12 - 20 November.
Blue Duck (Karamea) 18 - 20 November.
Background info &
more here: www.learnz.org.nz. Supported by Ministry of Education.
Metro service improvements: From Monday, 2 November. Greater frequency, route extensions, more direct routes, and new services. Lots of routes are changing. Check them out - you may be affected. (Source: Metro, www.metro.co.nz).
- Big Game hunting discussion document. Open for submissions till 23 November. (25 September, DOC).
- Exhibition (multi-media): "Greater Christchurch - there is a plan, we're on our way". Showcases the Urban Development Strategy, adopted in 2007, which aims to protect water, enhance open spaces, improve transport links, create more liveable centres and manage population growth in a sustainable way.
Our City O-Tautahi, corner Worcester St and Oxford Tce.
When: 10.00 - 4.00 pm, Mon-Sat, 22 September - 24 October. Free admission. (The UDS is a partnership of CCC, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council, ECan & the New Zealand Transport Agency).
- Submissions wanted: The Northern Pegasus Bay Management Plan: Waimakariri & Hurunui District Councils are releasing draft bylaws to control the use of vehicles and horses and the use of land for camping on the foreshore, beaches and adjacent areas of Northern Pegasus Bay from north of the mouth of the Waimakariri river to the Rocks area of Amberley Beach. Hurunui proposals open for submissions until October 30 and Waimakariri submissions open from September 26 to October 27.
- Entries for 2010 Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Awards close 23 October. Entry forms/more info: www.bfea.org.nz or contact: Nicola Hunt, Canterbury Regional Co-ordinator, Ballance Farm Environment Awards, (03) 353 9711, email email@example.com.
- Feel the Heat Petition. Take action on Climate Change. (www.oxfam.org.nz).
Sign on. There's no planet B. Sign On (More than 110,000 NZers so far). (www.signon.org.nz).
- Have your say: current CCC consultations.
- Love it or lose it: save our heritage places. No government has the right to deprive our children of our most treasured places and native species. Download the petition, send a message to PM. (The Green Party's anti-mining webpage).
- Nominations for the 2009 Roger Award for the worst transnational corporation operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand close 31 October. More info/entry forms: here. (CAFCA).
& from there
- Thailand: Climate talks end with diplomats looking to Obama for leadership (9 October, The Guardian).
- UK: "4 Degrees and Beyond, International Climate Science Conference", University of Oxford. Four degrees of devastation. Eighteen months ago, no one dared imagine humanity pushing the climate beyond an additional two degrees C of heating, but rising carbon emissions and inability to agree on cuts has meant science must now consider the previously unthinkable. Two degrees is already gone as a target. (Stephen Leahy, 9 October, IPSnews.net)
- UK: Examining the pledges made by the European Union, Japan, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Belarus, Ukraine and Canada: Developed country emissions pledges fall short, WRI analysis shows. (9 October, The Guardian).
- UK: Fairtrade's Cafedirect: Climate change already wreaking havoc on livelihoods of small-scale tea and coffee farmers in some of the world's poorest countries. (10 October, The Guardian).
- Amazon: And then there were five. Last surviving members of an ancient tribe a tragic testament to greed and genocide. (13 October, The Independent).
- Colorado, US: Richard Heinberg address to ASPO International conference:
We have entered the century of transition, decline, contraction—choose your favorite word. It is the century of limits. And we must learn quickly to get by with less—ultimately, much less—of just about everything—in order to live within those limits.
It is a tough message. But it’s the truth...
(13 October, Post Carbon Institute). (ASPO: Assn for the study of Peak Oil).
- US: The other inconvenient truth: the crisis in global land use - could undermine the health, security, and sustainability of our civilization. Although I’m a climate scientist by training, I worry about this collective fixation on global warming as the mother of all environmental problems.
(5 October, environment 360).
- US: Elinor Ostrom - first woman to win Nobel prize for economics. Friends say she lives the life she preaches, dedicating her life to environmental issues. (13 October, Times Online).
- Canada: David Suzuki awarded 'Alternative Nobel' prize - says he's proud to receive the prize... but humiliated that Canada has become an international pariah when it comes to climate change. (13 October, Yahoo).
Also: Alyn Ware of New Zealand lauded as "one of the world's most effective peace workers": Environment, disarmament health activists share Swedish prize. (13 October, Yahoo).
- UK: 10:10. Top ten tips for a greener, happier life. (10 October, The Guardian).
(Background to 10:10 - What's it all about? (1 September, The Guardian)).
- UK: Opinion: Ecotowns are a blind alley. For green living, head for Mumbai or New York. Simon Jenkins. (8 October, The Guardian).
- US: California to ban power sucking big screen TVs. (14 October, Treehugger).
- US: From abstraction to consumption: Oil. Edward Burtinsky's New York exhibition. 15 picture slideshow. (The Guardian).
- Australia: Get Up! (Action for Australia): See their latest advt seeking help to oppose the coal mining lobby. (52 sec video clip).
- Jordan: Intends to refill shrinking Dead Sea with salt water. Presently falling by four feet a year. (10 October, Telegraph.co.uk).
- UK: Prize for electricity free fridge. 22-year-old Leeds student named one of the Women of the Year after inventing a "sustainable" fridge. (13 October, BBC).
- Israel: Colourful solar panels that don't need direct sunlight. (17 September, Cleantechnica).
- US: Seawater plants yield green aviation fuel in new research. (6 October, UPI).
- US: Floating house could ride New Orleans' floods. Can withstand up to 12 feet of water. Built for actor Brad Pitts' Make It Right Foundation. (9 October, Christian Science Monitor).
- US: Dow Chemical's first solar rooftop shingles next year. (5 October, Reuters).
- US: The most compact urban folding bike ever. (7 October, Treehugger).
Bike trailers. (5 October, Treehugger).
- Environmental clean up: German-built robots to be sent into earth's orbit to repair 'dead satellites' or push them into outer space. (11 October, the Guardian).
- Australia: New research : Conservation biologists setting minimum population targets too low. "Populations smaller than about 5,000 had unacceptably high extinction rates. This suggests many targets for conservation recovery are simply too small to do much good in the long run." (13 October, Environmental News Network).
- UK: Banana marks seed bank milestone. Kew Gardens' Millennium Seed Bank has reached its target of collecting 10% of the world's wild plants.
- off Africa: The great sardine run: dolphins, sharks, whales and birds compete underwater for fish. 17 Photos. (telegraph.co.uk).
Is easy. Just send in to the editor information about an event, activity or submission you want to share and it will go in ecoNet....as long as it's appropriate of course.
ecoNet is put out (Fridays) by Christchurch Branch of NZAEE (NZ Association for Environmental Education), a non-profit, national organisation of people working to promote and support environmental education, lifelong learning and sustainable behaviour throughout New Zealand/Aotearoa.
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