Thanks to a former NBA star, a coalition of Chinese business leaders, celebrities and students, and some unlikely investigative journalism, eating shark fin soup is no longer fashionable here. But what really tipped the balance was a government campaign against extravagance that has seen the soup banned from official banquets.
“People said it was impossible to change China, but the evidence we are now getting says consumption of shark fin soup in China is down by 50 to 70 percent in the last two years,” said Peter Knights, executive director of WildAid, a San Francisco-based group that has promoted awareness about the shark trade. The drop is also reflected in government and industry statistics.
“It is a myth that people in Asia don’t care about wildlife,” Knights said. “Consumption is based on ignorance rather than malice. ”
The dramatic expansion in China’s middle and upper classes has transformed the country into a major driver of global wildlife trafficking. The Obama administration is so concerned about Chinese demand for endangered wildlife that it made the subject an important part of its bilateral dialogue this year.
More than 70 million sharks were killed last year, largely to satisfy rapacious demand from China’s newly rich for shark fin soup.
Lavish spending by China’s wealthy has also sent demand for ivory skyrocketing, fueling a massive expansion in elephant poaching in Africa.
The consequences of the traffic go beyond a crisis for wildlife. The illegal ivory trade has financed global crime networks and local insurgents, including Somalia’s al-Shabab — responsible for last month’s attack on a Nairobi shopping mall.
“Conservation is more about China now than it is about Africa,” said Knights. “China can be the savior of wildlife or it can be the demise of it.”
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Four of the National Missions under India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change focus on climate change adaptation in the areas of agriculture, water resources, forests and the Himalayan eco-system. Successful adaptation to climate change, however, requires recognition of poor women as critical partners in both driving and delivering solutions because women often constitute a majority of the work force in these sectors.
This pilot research documented some of the gender-differentiated climate change impacts and adaptation interventions. It also examined scientific evidence and women’s perceptions on how key climate parameters like rainfall, temperature and wind patterns are changing and how this is affecting their agriculture-related livelihoods. The research suggests specific gender-responsive policy and practice recommendations for the implementation of the four adaptation-focused National Missions.
Climate sceptics feature more prominently in newspapers in the US and UK than other countries, and their views are more likely to go unchallenged in right-leaning papers, an academic study has shown.
Newspapers in UK and US give climate sceptics most column inches via The Guardian.
Friday’s report, which was published in the Environmental Research Letters journal, delved deeper into data that was first published last year. For the study, 2,064 newspaper articles from the US, UK, France, China, Brazil and India over two three-month periods in 2007 and 2009-10 were scrutinised for the quantity and type of climate sceptic voices featured on both news and opinion pages.
The authors examined in particular the political leanings of each newspaper and concluded that there was “little evidence” that this influenced coverage of climate sceptics in Brazil, India and China. However, in the US and UK, and to some extent France, the political leaning of the newspaper did affect coverage of climate sceptics.
Social farming via Internet voting. Loony.
Inspired by the popular game, MyFarm will allow up to 10,000 members to vote on all the major matters at the Wimpole Estate farm
A large working farm will be taken over for the first time by web users across the world on Wednesday, who will vote on every key decision taken on its cattle, pigs, sheep and crops.