Environment and Ecology

environment - ecology - nature - habitat - gaia - permaculture - systems - sustainability ...

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

An experimental framework for ecosystem capital accounting in Europe

E-mail Print PDF

New technical report: "An experimental framework for ecosystem capital accounting in Europe"

Ecosystems such as forests, wetlands and rivers as well as pastures or cropland supply basic goods and services. These include food, fibre, energy, clean water, temperature control and flood regulation, which are critical for people's wellbeing. However, the value of ecosystems is only accounted for in the economy when they provide monetary profits.  Other ecosystem services of common value are simply ignored, thus fostering their depletion and environmental degradation.

Responding to an increasing demand to assess the whole interaction between ecosystems and the economy, the European Environment Agency (EEA)  has created 'An experimental framework for ecosystem capital accounting in Europe'. The initiative is part of a process which aims to supplement the UN System of National Accounts with information on the environment and natural capital.

European Environment Agency (EEA)


Idealized Design

E-mail Print PDF

Idealized Design

Idealized Design, a segment of Interactive Planning, is an organizational development process developed by Russell L. Ackoff in the 1950's which enables an organization to get beyond the problem solving mode and unleash their innovative potential.


“An idealized design of a system is the design its stakeholders would have right now if they could have any system they wanted. The design is subject to only two constraints: it must be technologically feasible (no science fiction), and it must be operationally viable (capable of surviving in the current environment if it came into existence, with or without modification). The design has one requirement: it must be capable of rapid and effective learning and adaptation, and therefore be able to change. It is called idealized because it is the best ideal-seeking systems its designers could imagine at the time, recognizing that they and others may be able to imagine a better one in the future.” (WHCA, 1996)

Read A Brief Guide to Interactive Planning and Idealized Design, which is the most succinct overview of Interactive Planning and Idealized Design to date.


Climate and Democracy

E-mail Print PDF
Peter Burnell

Climate and democracyThe science of climate change and human responsibility, the economics of addressing the problem, the justice dimension and, even, implications for North-South relations have all received substantial exposure in public debate and specialized technical, policy, and academic literatures. We also hear about the imperative to “climate-proof” society, the poor, and even the state. Occasionally we are told the “right political framework” is needed, usually meaning an improvement on the Kyoto Protocol and national legislation for regulating energy use.

A surprising omission is a balanced inquiry into what climate change and its effects mean for democratization, and what democratization could mean for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and climate adaptation. Democratization here means movement toward something like actually existing liberal democracy, present in many countries, not theoretical models of deliberative democracy, radical participatory democracy, or “eco-democracy”. Just as global warming has become headline news, so another but more celebrated phenomenon of recent times has been a wave of democratization, starting in southern Europe in the 1970s, subsequently embracing Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and sizeable parts of Africa and Asia, too. Hardly less eye-catching, however, is the wave’s recent slowing to a halt and, by some accounts, partial retreat.


Drinking water quality changes made in Florida

E-mail Print PDF

Drink waterChanges to the way drinking water quality is maintained are set to be made across one county in Florida, it has been revealed.

Pinellas County commissioners have decided that the local authority will remove fluoride from supplies of public water, as concerns grow over its effects on human beings.

Action groups have been campaigning for the removal of the chemical, after highlighting the potentially damaging impact it can have on children in particular.

However, other groups such as the American Dental Association have slammed the decision, suggesting that the addition of fluoride to drinking water helps reduce tooth cavities.


Air Monitoring

E-mail Print PDF

BP Olympics scheme aims to boost air qualityBP Olympics scheme aims to boost air quality

BP has launched a new venture to help reduce the impact that the 2012 London Olympics will have on the UK's air quality.

With waves of visitors expected to attend the high profile event, the oil giant has set up a scheme to counterbalance the extra carbon emissions that will be released into the atmosphere.

The Target Neutral initiative will see participants sign up to have the pollution created by their journeys to and from London offset by BP at no cost.

Bosses at the firm are hoping to set a new world record in the field and are also attempting to raise awareness of the impact travel has on the environment.

"We need every spectator to sign up, so London 2012 becomes the world's largest offset as measured by number of participants," commented BP's head of country Peter Mather.

Meanwhile, chairman of BP Target Neutral Advisory Jonathon Porritt believes the project could have a wider impact on people's attitudes towards carbon emissions.


Approaching the 2011 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum

E-mail Print PDF

Approaching the 2011 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum

September 22, 2011 

download large image (225 KB, JPEG) acquiered September 9, 2011. http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/52000/52230/ArcticIce_amsre_2011252_lrg.jpg

download animation (19 MB, QuickTime) acquiered March 7 - September 9, 2011. http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/52000/52230/sea_ice_near_min_2011_youtube_hq.mov

Approaching the 2011 Arctic Sea Ice MinimumEvery year, the frozen Arctic Ocean emerges from winter and thaws under the 24-hour light of the summer sun. Each year is different: sometimes ice retreats from the shores in dramatic fashion and other years have a more gradual melt. 2011 proved to be a year of extreme melt. By early September, the area covered by sea ice in the Arctic Ocean was approaching a record low.

This animation shows the melt during the summer of 2011. (Click the link below the image to download.) The animation was made with measurements taken by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer–EOS (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aquasatellite between March 7 and September 9. The final image in the series, shown above, shows the sea ice at it lowest point so far this season. Most notably, the Northwest Passage, the sea route that threads through the islands of northern Canada to link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is entirely ice free. Twice-daily images provide glimpses of the open water in the Northwest Passage throughout September.


Muhammad al-Idrisi

E-mail Print PDF

  Muhammad al-Idrisi

Tabula Rogeriana

The Tabula Rogeriana, drawn by al-Idrisi for Roger II of Sicily in 1154,
one of the most advanced ancient world maps.
Modern consolidation, created from the 70 double-page spreads of the original atlas.
(Note that the north is at the bottom, and so the map appears "upside down")

Abu Abd Allah Muhammad al-Idrisi al-Qurtubi al-Hasani al-Sabti
or simply Al Idrisi (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد الإدريسي‎; Latin: Dreses) (1099–1165 or 1166) was a Muslim geographer, cartographer, Egyptologist and traveller who lived in Sicily, at the court of King Roger II. Muhammed al-Idrisi was born in Ceuta then belonging to the Almoravid Empire and died in Sicily. Al Idrisi was a descendent of the Idrisids, who in turn were descendants of Hasan bin Ali, the son of Ali and the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[1]Al-Idrisi, world map


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Tabula Rogeriana
  • 3 Nuzhatul Mushtaq
    • 3.1 Publication and translation
    • 3.2 Andalusian-American contact
  • 4 In popular culture
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 References
  • 8 Further reading
  • 9 External links

Early life

Al-Idrisi traced his descent through long line of Princes, Caliphs and Sufi leaders, to The Prophet Muhammad. His immediate forebears, the Hammudids (1016–1058), were an offshoot of the Idrisids (789-985).

Al-Idrisi's was born in Ceuta, where his great-grandfather had fled after the fall of Málaga in Al-Andalus (1057). He spent much of his early life travelling through North Africa, and Spain and seems to have acquired a detail information on both regions. He visited Anatolia when he was barely 16. He is known to have studied in Córdoba, and later taught in Constantine, Algeria.

Apparently his travels took him to many parts of Europe including Portugal, the Pyrenees, the French Atlantic coast, Hungary, and Jórvík also known as York, in England.


XIth World Congress of the OWHC - Sintra 2011: World Heritage Cities and Climate Change

E-mail Print PDF

XIth World Congress of the OWHC - Sintra 2011: World Heritage Cities and Climate Change

The World Congress of the OWHC is a unique forum - held every two years, it brings together politicians and professionals who are committed to the preservation of historic cities, particularly those inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Since the first meeting in 1991, this event has enabled participants to discuss topics of common interest, to share experiences, and to learn about new strategies for meeting the challenges associated with the conservation and management of World Heritage Cities. 

The theme of the XIth World Congress is World Heritage Cities and Climate Change.

World Heritage Cities are vibrant living environments with cultural heritage of outstanding universal value. In the face of climate change, however, World Heritage Cities are among the most vulnerable places on Earth to experience rapidly occurring changes.The site-specific nature of climate change impacts make World Heritage Cities ideal laboratories for monitoring changes and testing adaptation and mitigation measures to enhance their socio-economic well-being while ensuring the conservation of their heritage. 

SintraCity governments are at the heart of the action. Having conserved their rich heritage over time, World Heritage Cities hold the keys to understanding long-term evolution of a place from the past and on to the future.As guardians of the world’s heritage, World Heritage Cities face an additional challenge - any action taken at these iconic places can attract considerable attention and influence the adoption of good management practices elsewhere. This XIthWorld Congress aims to create a platform for dialogue and exchange of state-of-the-art knowledge on the issue of World Heritage Cities and Climate Change and its transfer into policy and action.



E-mail Print PDF

Desertec Foundation


Sufficient clean power can be generated in the world's sunny deserts to supply mankind with enough electricity on a sustainable basis. DESERTEC is an integrated concept which includes energy security and climate protection as well as drinking water production, socio-economic development, security policy and international cooperation. 

The DESERTEC Concept "Clean Power from Deserts" was originally developed by a network of politicians, academics and economists around the Mediterranean, from which the DESERTEC Foundation has evolved. The non-profit DESERTEC Foundation promotes the fast implementation of its concept in all suitable regions of the world. In 2009 the DESERTEC Concept gained a lot of attention when the DESERTEC Foundation founded the industrial initiative Dii GmbH together with partners from the industrial and finance sectors. The mission of Dii is to accelerate the implementation of the DESERTEC Concept in the Mediterranean region.


The Only School Having Ecology Courses in Türkiye

E-mail Print PDF

Doga College - Türkiye

The Only School Having Ecology Courses in Türkiye

Ecology Courses that are applied in Doğa Schools also enhance the awareness of nature. Ecological production not only requires receiving the crop while working on the soil but also the richness of the soil takes us to other agricultural productions. On one hand students could be watering the fields and on the other hand they would be picking up the products to make a tomato paste, fruit jam or cut some noodles. Our students also learn to make yoghurt, buttermilk with the milk that they have milked from the cows and sheep which live in our barns. Doğa students can eat and also take home their own made products while we usually consume already produced products from supermarkets in school.
Doga College - Türkiye

History of Doğa Schools

Founded by Fethi Şimşek, Doğa Schools started its educational journey in 2002 with Beykoz Campus, Doğa Schools currently have 12 campuses from kindergarten to high school and 6 exclusive kindergartens in Istanbul and 12 campuses located throughout Turkey; namely Bursa, Ankara, Denizli, Sakarya, Diyarbakır, Batman, Aydın, Antalya, Sanlıurfa, Malatya, Çorlu and Mersin. The number of students has increased to 15000 since 2002 with 1500 staf.


Centre for Ecology Development and Research (CEDAR)

E-mail Print PDF

Centre for Ecology Development and Research

Centre for Ecology Development and Research     "Sustaining livelihoods through ecosystems management"

Centre for Ecology Development and Research (CEDAR) is a non-profit organization registered under the Societies Act 1860. CEDAR comprises of a group of academics and development professionals, brought together by shared interest in the Himalayas and issues concerning its ecology and sustainable development.

CEDAR aims to bridge the gap between policy makers and development practitioners by bringing rigor of applied research to the wealth of grassroots understanding of development, environment, livelihoods, and rural communities. CEDAR has a registered office in Delhi and the head office is located in Dehradun.


An Ecology of Mind

E-mail Print PDF

An Ecology of Mind 

Gregory Bateson

September 12, 2011

Kaufmann Theater, first floor

Ticket Info

$12; $6 students (with ID)

An Ecology of Mind is an intimate and personal portrait of Gregory Bateson, celebrated anthropologist, philosopher, author, naturalist, and filmmaker. Directed by his daughter Nora Bateson, who will lead a discussion after the screening, this film includes footage from Bateson’s own films shot in the 1930s in Bali with Margaret Mead and in New Guinea along with photographs, filmed lectures, and interviews. Through contemporary interviews, and his words, Bateson reveals her father's practical approaches to the enormous challenges confronting the human race and the natural world.



Gaia Education Design for Sustainability

E-mail Print PDF

Gaia Education Design for Sustainability - Training of Trainers - Incorporating Transition Towns Training

Click on date below to book
  • Sat 1 October 2011 (35 days)
  • solarbluepresented by the Findhorn Foundation in partnership with Global Ecovillage Network and Gaia Education

    Based on the Ecovillage Design Curriculum - an official contribution to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

    Facilitated by:
    Pracha Hutanuwatr - Director, Wongsanit Ashram, Thailand
    May East - Director, Gaia Education
    Michael Shaw - Director, Ecovillage International
    Iain Davidson - Lecturer, Findhorn Foundation
    and Findhorn Ecovillage experts

    You are invited to join this five-week comprehensive training of trainers based on the four core pillars of the Ecovillage Design Curriculum: the social, worldview, ecological and economic dimensions of sustainability.

    Page 10 of 20

    Choose Language