Carlile N.,Office of Environment and Heritage |
Priddel D.,Office of Environment and Heritage |
Madeiros J.,Ministry of the Environment
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2012
Until recently, Bermuda Petrel Pterodroma cahow (IUCN Category: 'Endangered') bred only in sub-optimal habitat on four small islets in north-east Bermuda. Although intensive management of the population since 1962 has led to a substantial increase in population size (now approaching 100 pairs), the nesting habitat on these four islets is being increasingly inundated, eroded and destroyed by high seas associated with hurricanes and storms. To ensure the long-term conservation of the species a decision was made to establish a new colony at a more secure site on nearby Nonsuch Island, where they once bred in large numbers. Between 2004 and 2008, 104 near-fledged nestlings were translocated to artificial burrows on Nonsuch Island, where they were hand-fed meals of fish and squid. All but three translocated birds fledged successfully, with the first returning to Nonsuch Island in February 2008. The first Bermuda Petrel egg on Nonsuch Island in more than 300 years was laid in January 2009, and the resultant fledgling departed in June of the same year. By the end of the 2009/10 breeding season, a total of 18 Bermuda Petrels have been recorded on Nonsuch Island, 17 were translocated as near-fledged nestlings, and one bird came from the existing colonies. A total of five eggs have been produced, resulting in two fledglings. The establishment of this new colony, at a site that is much more secure than the existing nesting sites, greatly enhances the conservation prospects of the species and demonstrates the importance of translocation as a tool for the conservation of threatened seabirds. © Copyright BirdLife International 2012.
Debris is seen in front of Hotel Espadon, which closed after waves made it too difficult to maintain in Saly, Senegal, November 12, 2015. Hotel employees stand in front of sandbags protecting the hotel's beach in Saly, Senegal, November 12, 2015. Its swimming pool has turned a swampy green. The skeletons of old parasols poke out from the sand and the sea gnaws at the foundations of its pretty beachfront rooms. The problem is not high prices or mismanagement but coastal erosion that is blighting the West African country's coast. The Atlantic has washed away beaches, forcing hotels to make a drastic choice: save their property by building sea walls that block the view or let the water rise and risk losing everything. "Every day I receive tourists who come to see if it's true what they say about the Hotel Espadon's current state," said Sonore Khadim Tall, the building's superintendent. "They can't believe their eyes and some of them even cry." As a Paris summit focuses on climate change it is tempting to place the whole blame for Senegal's erosion on rising sea levels but reckless building on beaches compounds the problem, said Papa Goumbo Lo, head of Senegal's national institute for scientific research. The problem arises when builders construct too close to the beach or extract coastal sand for projects, exacerbating erosion and rendering buildings vulnerable to tides. Tourism accounts for 11 percent of Senegal's economy, but over time erosion could affect the country as a whole, given that two thirds of the population live in the coastal region around the capital Dakar. Other countries in the region are affected. Gambia's 15 coastal hotels are at risk due to erosion. Nigeria's environment ministry has launched a program to fight erosion and Ghana, which has 1 million annual visitors, has built a 30-km sea wall. Around 1 million people also visit Senegal every year and in 2014 the government set itself the goal of tripling that number. Saly, where the Espadon is located, is one of the country's biggest tourist hubs but risks missing out. Since 2010, the town 50 km (32 miles) southeast of Dakar has lost 30 meters of beach. Ousmane Diop, head of environment and client relations at the nearby Filaos Hotel, said visitors who return to the hotel these days are drawn by loyalty to the staff rather than the beach. Only a postcard of the beach remains and the water is accessible across a ramp beside a sea wall. "If we hadn't built the wall, the ocean would have been in the restaurant," Diop said, pointing at an open-air dining area with a sea view. Tourism in West Africa has already been hit by perceptions of insecurity in countries like Mali, where Islamist militants attacked a luxury hotel on Nov. 20, and disease, after Ebola killed thousands in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Senegal tried to offset the problem in May by scrapping visa requirements and halving airfare taxes. But numbers from the World Travel and Tourism Council show visits have been flat this year compared to last year and tourism employees in Saly say their numbers are down. Many hotels along the coast closed early last season. Ibou Sakro Thiandoum, president of Saly's natural resource commission, called for greater central government action, saying, "We are orphans here." For his part, Ernest Dione, national coordinator for the Ministry of the Environment, defended government initiatives, pointing to its study on erosion and an emergency action plan. It is possible to recover lost beaches through the use of wave breakers and other tools but it is expensive, Lo said. The work has started in Saly, where boulders line the shore to break waves. Some beaches have already been recovered but the process stands incomplete for lack of funds. These initiatives are inadequate and to solve the problem beach homes responsible for erosion in the town should be torn down, said Ousmane Diouf, an artist at the Filaos hotel. "As long as man destroys nature, he destroys himself," he said.
Teijin Limited has developed two new fabrics in its Twaron and Technora para-aramid fibers range that can protect facilities such as lodges and evacuation shelters from airborne volcanic fragments up to 10 cm. Teijin developed the para-aramid-fiber fabrics in consultation with the Japanese Cabinet Office, the National Defense Academy and the Mount Fuji Research Institute of in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s new regulations for strengthening evacuation facilities located near volcanoes. Protecting evacuation facilities and other structures from large airborne fragments is an important issue in Japan, one of the world's more active volcanic regions. While materials such as reinforced concrete and steel offer required levels of strength and durability, transporting heavy materials and large equipment to highlands can lengthen the construction period and raise construction costs. The deteriorating effect of severe weather on steel is another problem. In simulation tests, the fabrics demonstrated their capacity to withstand fist-sized airborne fragments similar to those produced during the September 2014 eruption of Mount Ontake, located some 200 kilometers west of Tokyo. The country’s Ministry of the Environment is now using the fabrics to refurbish the roof of the Ebino Eco Museum Center in Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan. Teijin says that Twaron offers six times more tensile strength than steel of the same weight, as well as improved heat resistance and elastic modulus. Technora also has increased tensile strength and resistance to impact, fatigue and chemicals. This story uses material from Teijin Limited, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.
« DOE seeking input on operation of integrated biorefineries | Main | GKN Driveline introducing eAxle for mass-market C-segment vehicles » A Japanese partnership comprising the Kanagawa Prefectural Government; the municipal governments of the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki; Toyota; Toshiba; and Iwatani announced the forthcoming start of a four-year project to implement and evaluate an end-to-end low-carbon hydrogen supply chain which will use hydrogen produced from renewable energy to power forklifts. (Earlier post.) The project will be carried out at facilities along Tokyo Bay in Yokohama and Kawasaki, with support from Japan’s Ministry of the Environment. Electricity generated at the Yokohama City Wind Power Plant (Hama Wing) will power the electrolytic production of hydrogen, which will then be compressed, stored, and then transported in a hydrogen fueling truck to four sites: a factory, a vegetable and fruit market, and two warehouses. At these locations, the hydrogen will be used in fuel cells to power forklifts operating in diverse conditions. This low-carbon hydrogen supply chain is expected to reduce CO emissions by at least 80% compared with a supply chain using forklifts powered by gasoline or grid electricity. The project’s aim is to establish a hydrogen supply chain, investigate costs, and estimate potential CO reductions that can be achieved with a full-fledged supply chain in the future. Systems to produce hydrogen by electrolyzing water using wind power. Hydrogen will be produced using renewable energy generated at Hama Wing to operate a Toshiba water electrolysis system with a production capacity of 10 Nm3/hour. The management system will enable flexible, CO -free, hydrogen production that accounts for temporary discrepancies between power output and hydrogen demand. Systems to optimize storage and transportation of hydrogen. Sufficient hydrogen to power fuel cells for two days will be stored onsite. Electricity will also be stored in an environmentally-friendly storage battery system that re-uses batteries from hybrid vehicle batteries, thus ensuring a stable hydrogen supply even when Hama Wing is not operational. The hydrogen will be compressed for use in forklifts, and delivered in hydrogen fueling trucks (the first of their kind to be used in Japan). The consumption of hydrogen by the forklifts will be constantly monitored, so as to ensure optimal transportation and supply to meet user needs. Use of fuel cell forklifts. Twelve forklifts will operate at the four selected locations to demonstrate their viability in a range of operating conditions. Japan’s first fuel cell powered forklifts, which Toyota introduced in February 2016, emit zero CO during operation. Hydrogen supply chain feasibility study. The demonstration project will provide data for assessing future courses of action required to reduce hydrogen costs, including the establishment of a mass production process, and the steps needed to implement deregulation. It will also contribute to discussions on developing a model for promoting the adoption of hydrogen through technological innovation, and the development of full-fledged supply chains, based on projections of needs in 2030. Schedule. Following a preparatory period, trial operations of the project are scheduled to begin this autumn, with the introduction of a single forklift at two facilities, and the initiation of the hydrogen delivery system using hydrogen refueling trucks. Full-scale operations will start in FY2017, when a total of 12 forklifts will be deployed—three each at four facilities. During this time, the entire system will start operating, including production, storage, compression, delivery and use of hydrogen.
News Article | December 9, 2015
The Guardian‘s headlines say it all: “Biggest Polluters Back Tougher Warming Target.” The United States, China, and Canada have now joined the push for a 1.5 degree ceiling at COP21 in Paris. This initiative started with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), a coalition of the 44 small island states most vulnerable to rising sea levels. AOSIS has just released a joint statement describing its three priorities for this final week of COP21: “First, on mitigation, it is critical that the Paris Agreement establish a long-term temperature goal of well below 1.5 degrees, supported by appropriate and ambitious medium- and long-term emissions reduction pathways. “Second, Loss and Damage should be a stand-alone article in the agreement. Parties should agree to a permanent framework to address Loss and Damage that is anchored in the agreement and establish a process or system that is actually capable of doing so. “Third, in terms of finance, tackling climate change and adapting to its impacts will require significantly scaled-up, new, additional, and predictable financial resources, starting from a floor of $100 billion (USD) per year in 2020, with provisions to enhance SIDS access, especially to public, grant-based support for adaptation, given our unique challenges and the existential threat that climate change poses to us. The majority of the delegates at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Bonn supported a ceiling of 1.5 degrees, but were blocked by Saudi Arabia. European nations started expressing support for the lower ceiling, again, last week. On December 1, French President François Hollande announced his support for 1.5 degrees, explaining, “We cannot accept that the poorest countries, those with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions, are the most vulnerable. It is therefore on behalf of climate justice that we must act.” Two days later Jochen Flasbarth, the state secretary of Germany’s Ministry of the Environment, said, “The 2-degree goal is too little. 1.5 degrees must be mentioned in the climate treaty.” On Monday, a member of delegation from the European Parliament said that while he was not authorized to speak for the EU as a whole, “personally, of course I would prefer a 1.5C target. At the end of the day, it will not be as expensive as the 2 C target, so if we can achieve a global agreement on this, let’s grab that chance.” China has supported a 1.5C target, as well as the need for the world’s richest nations to accept responsibility for the damages they have caused the planet’s climate. Two hours after his arrival in Paris Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry agreed that 1.5 degrees is “a legitimate aspiration,” adding one caveat, “… I don’t think we can make it the embraced targetable goal because we lose people when we head that way, and we want to keep this moving in the right direction.” Australia has also said it will support the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. On Sunday, Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna “voiced support for the world trying to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius“ “The science is clear: climate change is the most pressing issue the world faces and collectively we must act now. “By limiting global temperature rise as much as possible, the worst impacts of climate change will be avoided, including potentially devastating impacts on small island nations. “While negotiations on the Paris agreement are still ongoing, Canada is supportive of a long term goal to keep warming as far below 2 degrees Celsius as possible. “Canada is also supportive of striving towards limiting global warming to 1.5C. “Canada is prepared to take real action to tackle climate change. We are committed to working with provinces and territories to develop a pan-Canadian framework. And Canada is ready to rise to the challenge to transform our economy to a cleaner low carbon one.” This is a very different government from that of the previous administration, when the Guardian says Canada was “regarded as a climate villain.” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius acknowledged this Sunday, by inviting McKenna to be one of the 14 Ministers who will help facilitate the final negotiations on a global climate change deal this week. Canada has not received a request like this for at least a decade. Prior to the opening of COP21, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demonstrated his support for the talks by pledging $2.65 billion to help developing countries tackle climate change. This was followed by a series of announcements such as : It is still not certain that a 1.5 degree ceiling will be adopted. The most vocal opponents are oil-rich Saudi Arabia and India. “You have to look at this in the realm of possibility and you have to consider what are the ways in which this lowering from 2 degree to 1.5 can happen. Do we know all the technologies which can enable us to reach that? For all of us to agree to a number of 1.5? It could be 1.4, 1.8 degrees?” said India’s Environment Secretary Ashok Lavasa. The negotiations will continue until COP21 ends on December 11. Photo Credits: Image from AOSIS press release of December 7; President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, President François Hollande of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany & President Michelle Bachelet of Chile by Presidencia de la República Mexicana, licensed under a CC BY 2.0; “Catherine McKenna” by Tholden28, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0; Sunset at Gili Trawangan, an archipelago of three small islands just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia (photo illustrates danger of rising sea levels) by Jorge Láscar, licensed under CC BY SA 2.0. Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. 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