Hi & welcome to NZAEE's (Christchurch Branch) ecoNet Newsletter.
Feel free to pass on news of ecoNet Newsletter and our subscription address: firstname.lastname@example.org to others you think may find it interesting/useful.
To supplement the diary here's a selection of news and articles and bits and pieces of interest from around and about, and here and there, e.g:
Canterbury & South Island:
Christchurch City Libraries' 150th anniversary: Librarians put down pukapuka, take up tukutuku. (20 April, CCC).
Social housing unit rent rises "to assure future of CCC social housing". (23 April, CCC).
Christchurch: Motorway extension gets funding approval. (20 April, ECan).
Historic addition to Canterbury's public land: Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park. (23 April, DOC).
Nelson: Fight steps up to save history. Nelson's dedicated posse of heritage guardians. (20 April, Nelson Mail).
Opuha: Greens, farmers meet to discuss water storage. (23 April, Timaru Herald/Stuff).
Timaru: Free for all - ANZAC Day buses. (22 April, ECan).
Timaru: Bird survey planned for upper Rangitata River. (20 April, Timaru Herald/Stuff).
Happy Valley: Solid Energy puts public exclusion zone in place. Trespassers to face arrest and prosecution. (22 April, National Business Review).
Omakau, Central Otago: Intensive dairy farms encroaching on Crown land & marginal strips. Clutha Fisheries Trust doing its own environmental monitoring of Manuherikia River. (22 April, Otago Daily Times).
Otago Regional Council: Dairy pollution 'disgusting'. 18 farms, 21 Prosecutions. (23 April, Otago Daily Times).
Central Otago/Waitaki: Oteake Conservation Park to be reduced to exclude coal mining area.
Also: Greenpeace angry. (22 April, Otago Daily Times).
Lonely Planet warning: Hordes of tourists to the South Island are affecting the environment. (20 April, Otago Daily Times).
North Island & national:
Power companies ripping off Kiwis?: Electricity suppliers have the ability and incentive to use their market power to make large wealth transfers from consumers to themselves, says expert from Stanford University. (22 April, Dominion Post/Stuff).
Forest & Bird: Protected species kills 'disturbing'. By-catch on fishing boats shows set nets catch more protected species than previously thought. (22 April, NZ Herald).
Treaty policy on conservation land, natural resources reviewed. (22 April, NZ Herald).
The national cycleway: now expected to be a network that could be linked up over time. (20 April, Otago Daily Times).
Masterton: Green light for $25 million sewage plant that will discharge into Masterton's Ruamahanga River. (23 April, Dominion Post/Stuff).
Plastic shopping bags: 'Biodegradable' bags no answer to waste. Shouldn't replace ordinary plastic bags because they don't break down properly in landfills, a waste consultancy company has said. (22 April, NZ Herald).
Scientists' 1660-kilometre squashed-critter rally: Lower Hutt to Northland and back counting road kill. (20 April, Dominion Post/Stuff).
Just two weeks until the duck shooting season but one of the birds listed on the Fish and Game Council's hunting guide has just made it onto DOC's endangered species list. (19 April, TVNZ).
Kids can be water wise - on the web. (23 April, Stuff).
Rimutaka Forest Park: Flight of the kiwis. (20 April, Dominion Post/Stuff).
North West Ruahines: Eastern North Island brown kiwi have bumper breeding season. (22 April, DOC).
Re-linked awards, submissions, consultations etc:
- BOC Where There's Water community environmental grants scheme aims to help communities understand, maintain, protect and improve their water environment. Grants are open to all non-profit community groups and schools. The fund, supplied by BOC, is administered by Water New Zealand. Next round of applications due by Friday, 15 May. More information and project examples at: www.waternz.org.nz
- Heat pump water heaters: New funding pilot programme for efficient water heating - same grant as for solar. (EECA).
- For science students (year 1 - 10) : NZ International Science online project. Ten weeks, 27 April - 3 July. (DOC).
New Canterbury Home Energy Advice Centre open - free, independent, professional advice to help reduce your energy consumption. (17 March, sustainability.govt.nz).
- Enviroschools eco-hut challenge: for school-age students to design and build an ecological habitat on their school grounds that enhances all living things around it. March 2009 - March 2010. (Enviroschools.org).
- ECan's long term plan open for submissions until 28 April. (1 April, ECan).
- Free, research-based advice on sustainably renovating your home. HomeSmart delivers warmer, healthier homes that are more affordable to run and kinder to the environment. Further details: www.beaconpathway.co.nz. (Homesmart Renovations).
- Riccarton area Transition Initiative: Mik Dale, postgraduate student at the University of Canterbury (studying Energy Supply Systems), also has a keen interest in sustainability and Transition issues. Mik wants
to meet like-minded people to help set up a Transition Initiative in the Riccarton area. Contact for Mik is email@example.com.
(What's Transition about? See here: www.transitiontowns.org.nz and/or: www.transitiontowns.org.nz/christchurch).
& from there
- UK: George Monbiot: Everyone in the UK consumes too much. (21 April, The Guardian).
- UK: Last chance for a green budget. "Time is running out and we need bold measures..." 60 organisations sign an open letter to the British Government. (22 April, The Guardian).
- Alaska: 400 strong summit meeting of indigenous peoples from 80 countries: Aborigine, Inuit traditions can fight climate change. (19 April, Reuters).
- China: For the first time China considers setting targets for carbon emissions. (19 April, The Guardian).
- US researchers: World's major rivers 'drying up'. Analysis of water flows in more than 900 rivers over a 50-year period. (21 April, BBC).
- US: Global warming study: Heat could kill drought-stressed trees fast. (15 April, Science Daily).
- UK: Hedgerow trees 'key to UK's biodiversity'. Paying farmers to protect them and to establish more could be crucial. (19 April, Science Daily).
- UK: Prince Charles to publish attack on big business in eco book and film. (21 April, The Guardian).
- Food for everyone: 7 steps to solving the food crisis. (Spring 2009, Yes! Magazine).
- Japan: For young Japanese it's back to the farm - stemming from concern about both the plight of Japan’s young workers and the dismal state of farms. (15 April, New York Times).
- US: The end is near. (Yay!) The NYT considers the Transition Towns movement. 7 pages. (20 April, New York Times).
- US: Failure to yield. Evaluating the performance of GE crops. (14 April, Union of Concerned Scientists).
- Frankfurt: Monsanto sues Germany over GM maize ban. (21 April, Reuters).
- New study: Farmers' reliance on Roundup may be weakening it's ability to control weeds. (16 April, Science Daily).
- Sewage plants could be creating 'super bacteria'.These 'super' bugs remain in wastewater and wind up in the environment. Treatment plants do a fine job of removing most pollutants... but they’re ill-equipped to get rid of so-called 'microconstituents' like pharmaceuticals, pesticides and nanoparticles. (16 April, Environmental Health News).
- US: Microscope shows how some common soil bacteria 'inhale' toxic metals and 'exhale' them in a non-toxic form. (19 March, Science Daily).
- Mongolia: Global downturn hits Mongolia: falling cashmere demand triggers defaults, forced goat sales and a livestock glut. (20 April, Wall Street Journal).
- Californians want to pull plug on energy-guzzling TVs - bigger, flatter and fancier TVs have dramatically increased the amount of energy needed. (14 April, SF Gate).
- US: First 'economical process' for making biofuel from algae. (31 March, Science Daily).
- US: Scientists have combined a discovery from a French garbage dump with breakthroughs in synthetic biology to come up with a new method for turning plant waste into gasoline, without the need of any food sources. (21 April, Reuters).
- France: Paris using ultracapacitors in hybrid buses. (15 April, ecoGeek).
- US: The Peapod, top speed 25 mph (40 kmh), member of a growing class of NEV's (Neighbourhood Electric Vehicles). (21 April, ecoGeek).
- Japan: Flexible, kinetic powered phone. (16 April, ecoGeek).
The natural world:
- Afghanistan: Gets its first national park. (22 April, BBC).
- Antarctica: Bacteria found thriving beneath glacier. (16 April, Google News).
- Canada: Missing link - 'fossil seal' that walked. Shows how seals went from land to sea. (22 April, BBC).
- Kenya: Masai Mara National Reserve. Hoofed mammals in decline. (15 photos). (guardian.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.
How do I contribute?
Use the links below to: