Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The Arctic Ocean has melted even faster this year. The ice cover has reduced to a record low this year. The area covered with ice has now been reduced to 4.10 million square kilometers. The annual melting season will last for another three weeks and the ice cover may continue to shrink even further.
SE&V Division Oversees Successful Testing of New Fire Suppression System 6/29/2012 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Within the next six years, hush houses throughout the Air Force will be retrofitted with new fire suppression systems that will have a significant impact on the way we handle business. The Support Equipment & Vehicles Division, Aerospace Sustainment Directorate, at Robins oversaw successful testing of the new system last May at the Alabama Air National Guard's Dannelly Field in Montgomery. Hush houses, about 180 of them worldwide, are enclosed noise-suppressing facilities where fighter jet engines are tested. Should a fire occur inside, current Halon-based tanks, eight of them, are triggered to release the chemical to put out fires that must be immediately contained. Robins engineers and program managers have finalized efforts to implement a new agent known as Novec 1230 to replace Halon. The main contract was awarded to Vital Link Inc., and Hiller Systems Inc., who performed engineering, installation and testing, in collaboration with Siemens and 3M. The move will not only have a considerable impact toward personnel safety and the environment, but will be more cost-effective, save time and open the doors for future opportunities in the Department of Defense. "We need to save money in the Air Force. That has to be a priority," said Col. Michael Holl, SE&V division chief. "However, we had to do some convincing to spend $800,000 to make this change. Having this more reliable, stable alternative helps make you more effective at producing air power in a location." Novec 1230 has several advantages over its obsolete predecessor. In terms of safety, it is a colorless, odorless liquid that when vaporized to control a fire, is harmless to humans. For the average team of five operators inside a hush house, this is especially noteworthy. It is not harmful to the touch or lethal if breathed in. Even if the liquid is poured on a paper document, for example, Novec 1230 will dry within seconds, and ink will not smear. Novec 1230, commercially available worldwide, also leaves zero residue and does not damage expensive electronic equipment once dispersed. This was clearly the answer," said Mick Randel, Hush House engineer. "There is nothing else on the market that has these properties." Halon also posed a problem with its ozone-depletion concerns. With Novec 1230, once released into the atmosphere, there is zero-ozone depletion potential. It has an "atmospheric lifetime of five days, compared to 65 years for Halon," according to 3M. Novec 1230 also has an intangible benefit to its customers. Current Halon bottles inside hush houses must be routinely serviced. Every bottle whose contents are dispersed in the event of a fire, Air Force-wide, must be shipped to the hydrostatic shop here at Robins, where they are refurbished, filled and leak-checked. "They reclaim the halon - a time-consuming and expensive process - which can take two months for a single bottle," said 1st Lt. David Butzin, Hush House engineer. "Novec will allow us to use similar bottles that are maintained at the field level." This means local units in possession of Novec-filled bottles will no longer have to ship them back here. Instead they will be filled by local FSS service providers. This process will shave months off processing time. In fact, a hush house can be up and running again, with newly-filled bottles, in a matter of weeks. "This system actually represents significant savings over alternatives we considered previously," added Butzin. Small-scale testing was conducted at 3M facilities this past February in Decatur, Ala. The demonstration included a mock-up of an engine on fire. Full-scale testing this past May at a T-10 hush house in Montgomery measured and validated the required Novec concentration required to put out a fire in a hush house. Mechanical rooms on either side of the facility were retrofitted with 10 new Novec bottles, each containing about 820 pounds of the new agent.
Hush house systems act similar to a sprinkler system. Once a lever is pulled to activate it, the chemical is released through a piping system, through ceiling nozzles, and dispersed throughout the sealed building. It took 9.9 seconds to discharge all the Novec 1230 into the hush house. After that, it can take another 20 seconds to put out a fire, based on the small-scale test fire in Decatur. "In our case, it lowered the temperature of the test bay by 40 degrees," said Juan Font, Hush House mechanical engineer. "The chemical reaction is pretty powerful." "We can claim success," said Clay Mims, Engineering Division chief. The test site's new system will remain in place for future use. As contracts are renewed after the next year, other bases worldwide will begin using Novec 1230. It is ideal for bases in hot as well as very cold temperatures, as Novec's operational range can work from minus 40 degrees up to 120 degrees. Additional Robins team members who worked with these efforts included Holly Green, Human Performance and Protective Systems and Propulsion branch chief, and Capt. Marc Hernandez, deputy director; and Ben Heaton, program manager. "This produces national security in the end," said Holl. "I am really proud of our team for getting this change, making sure it worked, aligning budgets and requirements, and cooperating with fire departments, maintainers and operators. I am very pleased. It is a big step forward." SOURCE : 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs, By Jenny Gordon, http://bit.ly/NfZ6e4
See also >> ―ENVIRONMENT: State may scrap use of toxic flame retardants in furniture‖, 30 June 2012 By: Deborah Sullivan Brennan, http://bit.ly/Lp3XG1
Climate Change Minister Greg Combet Australia plans align the carbon prices with the emissions trading system of Europe.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Tropical Storm Isaac is likely to hit Florida today. It is likely to gain strength as a hurricane and is likely to disrupt key services
Tropical Storm Isaac is likely to hit Florida today. It is likely to gain strength as a hurricane and is likely to disrupt key services. Governor of Rick Scott has declared a statewide emergency. Hurricane warnings are in place for the Keys, the coastline between Bonita Beach on the Gulf coast to Golden Beach in the east and Florida Bay.
Neil Armstrong who was the first person to set his steps on the moon as a part of the Apollo 11 mission has died at the age of 82
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Aemetis Inc. plans to make jet fuel and diesel using technology which has been developed by Chevron Lummus Global LLC which is a joint venture of Chevron Corp. and Chicago Bridge & Iron Co.
Jose Manuel Soria who is the Minister of Industry in Spain is planning to reduce subsidies for renewable energy producers.
Tropical Storm Isaac has weakened according to the National Hurricane Center. It is now located 255 miles (410 kilometers) south- southeast of San Juan in Puerto Rico
Brazil is one of the biggest ethanol producer after U.S. The country is planning to increase the amount of ethanol that is mixed with gasoline this year.
First Solar is the only profitable solar panel maker among the top 10 biggest panel manufacturers in the world
Mitt Romney is planning to give the states the control over oil and energy production on the federal lands that lie within the states boundaries
Deutsche Welle shows how grey water recycling pilot project at a hotel can lead us towards a viable solution in Jordan
The booming tourism industry in Jordan is stretching the ground water resources. The video from Deutsche Welle shows how grey water recycling pilot project at a hotel can lead us towards a viable solution.
Vestas Wind systems is trying to bring in more revenues from maintenance as the renevues from other streams like manufacturing is drying up
$200K in Freon Stolen from Orlando Warehouse
ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando police said they are looking for the person who stole $200,000 worth of Freon from a warehouse. Detectives said whoever stole the Freon knocked a hole through a wall of the warehouse on Shader Road near Silver Star Road Monday.
Police said the thieves got away more than 300 containers of R-22, also known as Freon, which is the coolant used in most air-conditioning units."Does it surprise you that thieves would target Freon?" WFTV reporter Bianca Castro asked.
"No it wouldn't," said A/C repairman Glenn Wilde.
Wilde, who works with Atlantic Air of Orlando, told WFTV that the value of Freon has skyrocketed, and he's heard of other Freon heists.
Last year, a pound of Freon cost about $30.
Currently, it can cost from $70 to $100.
It's not uncommon for thieves to sell it on Craigslist in hopes of some quick cash.
"On the black market, it is going to be a lot cheaper," said Wilde.
What is the reason for the increase?
The Environmental Protection Agency began phasing out production of Freon after scientists discovered it can damage the ozone layer.
Yet, some experts estimate that 90 percent of homes still use it, so demand is still high.
A Freon call to an A/C repairman last year cost about $200, but currently, a customer's bill would be about $350.
Police said the market value of the Freon stolen during Monday's incident is about $200,000.
WFTV tried to ask whether surveillance cameras captured the crime, but the owner of the warehouse didn't return any phone calls.
Experts said it is likely Freon thefts will continue.
The EPA said it plans to stop all Freon manufacturing by the year 2020.
The agency said regular maintenance checks can help reduce an A/C unit's need for Freon.
St. Petersburg, 1July 2012, A 1600 km of mountain-range called ‘Western Ghats’, India’s hottest-hotspots of the biodiversity was the focus of intense debate today at the 36th Session of the World Heritage Committee consisting of 21 member states of UNESCO .
At the end of the debate the Committee of the World Heritage Convention administered by UNESCO agreed to inscribe the serial nomination by India of 39 sites along the Western Ghats as World Natural Heritage of outstanding universal value.
The meeting of the ministers and the government representatives of 189 member states of UNESCO gave a loud applause after the decision of the Committee for the excellent work done by the Indian delegation who put forward the convincing argument for the inscription, in face of the unfavorable recommendation from International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN) , an advisory body of UNESCO. It is the first time that India has succeeded in getting serial nomination for World Heritage Site in cultural or natural or mixed category.
The debate centered, among others, around lack of the dialogue with the local communities as well as absence of overarching plan of action. TERRE Policy Centre, informed the Committee of the community dialogue that was held in Satara, in association with Ranwata, an NGO, involving village heads and experts from UNESCO , IUCN, Forest Department of Maharashtra, scientists and civil society about the Kaas Plateau of the wild flowers –one of the 39 serial sites.
“ As a civil society member from the village at the very base of Western Ghats, I would like to bring before the Committee the crucial ground-reality and urgent need of protecting the Kaas Plateau for the sustainable development of the local community and improving their livelihood,” informed Rajendra Shende, Chairman of TERRE Policy Centre and former Director of UNEP while speaking before the Committee. “Inscribing such sites as World Heritage will boost the pride and dignity of the local communities, enhance the eco-tourism , provide green jobs and accelerate the actions towards protection of biodiversity, mitigation of climate change and poverty reduction” , added Mr. Shende.
Contact : Vinita Apte, email@example.com
Note to the Editors:
International Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage is administered by UNESCO since 1972. 189 State Parties have ratified the Convention so far and 936 properties have been inscribed in the World Heritage site so far, 725 cultural, 183 natural, and 28 mixed properties, in 153 States Parties.
Western Ghats (India): Older than the Himalaya mountains, the mountain chain of the Western Ghats represents geomorphic features of immense importance with unique biophysical and ecological processes. The site’s forest ecosystems influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern. Moderating the tropical climate of the region, it presents one of the best examples of the monsoon system in the planet. The site also has an exceptionally high level of biological diversity and endemism. It is recognized as one of the world’s eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity. The forests of the site include some of the best representatives of non-equatorial tropical evergreen forests anywhere and are home to at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species.
For details see: http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/902
Contributed by : Rajendra Shende
Category: Renewable Energy
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Despite abundant natural resources and an encouraging regulatory framework, large-scale renewable energy deployment in Southeast Asia has been limited, largely due to the continuing high cost relative to fossil-fuel sources and high initial capital costs. Although there are still challenges, recent market and policy shifts, particularly in Thailand and Malaysia, are expected to drive significant investment in the solar industry. Read More…
Category: Renewable Energy
An interview with Jami Hossain who is the Chief Mentor & Co-founder Windforce. He is Currently on the National Council of Indian Wind Power Association , Governing Council of Indian Wind Energy Association and Treasurer of World Wind Energy Association . Read More…
Category: Energy Efficiency
When the French market of Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heat pump is showing sharp rise in use of HFCs, even amidst the economic recession, the young university students in France have designed the use of Natural Refrigerants as alternative to HCFC--‐22 for the use in existing skating rink by retrofitting. What more, they have also incorporated the heat removed from the skating rink for use to heat the swimming pool! Read More…
Category: Renewable Energy
Fueled by rapid economic growth, a growing population with greater access to goods and services and higher electrification rates, Indian energy demand is projected to rise at over 5% a year over the next 25 years, based upon expectations of 8-10% growth in GDP#. Read More…
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Making a Sustainable Impact…
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting French President Francois Hollande today to discuss how to avoid the immediate debt crisis hitting Europe
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Tokyo Electric Power Co. ( Tepco ) has done a testing of the fish in the coastal waters around the damaged nuclear power plant of Fukushima. It has found high levels of radioactivity.
47% of the Japanese people want zero nuclear power according to a report by Yasunori Sone, a professor of political science at Keio University
The U.S. has long used more energy for air conditioning than all other nations combined. But as demand increases in the world’s warmer regions, global energy consumption for air conditioning is expected to continue to rise dramatically and could have a major impact on climate change. The world is warming, incomes are rising, and smaller families are living in larger houses in hotter places. One result is a booming market for air conditioning — world sales in 2011 were up 13 percent over 2010, and that growth is expected to accelerate in coming decades. By my very rough estimate, residential, commercial, and industrial air conditioning worldwide consumes at least one trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. Vehicle air conditioners in the United States alone use 7 to 10 billion gallons of gasoline annually. And thanks largely to demand in warmer regions, it is possible that world consumption of energy for cooling could explode tenfold by 2050, giving climate change an unwelcome dose of extra momentum. The United States has long consumed more energy each year for air conditioning than the rest of the world combined. In fact, we use more electricity for cooling than the entire continent of Africa, home to a billion people, consumes for all purposes. Between 1993 and 2005, with summers growing hotter and homes
larger, energy consumed by residential air conditioning in the U.S. doubled, and it leaped another 20 percent by 2010. The climate impact of air conditioning our buildings and vehicles is now that of almost half a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Yet with other nations following our lead, America‘s century-long reign as the world cooling champion is coming to an end. And if global consumption for cooling grows as projected to 10 trillion kilowatt-hours per year — equal to half of the world‘s entire electricity supply today — the climate forecast will be grim indeed. Because it is so deeply dependent on high-energy cooling, the United States is not very well positioned to call on other countries to exercise restraint for the sake of our common atmosphere. But we can warn the world of what it stands to lose if it follows our path, and that would mean making clear what we ourselves have lost during the age of air conditioning. For example, with less exposure to heat, our bodies can fail to acclimatize physiologically to summer conditions, while we develop a mental dependence on cooling. Community cohesion also has been ruptured, as neighborhoods that on warm summer evenings were once filled with people mingling are now silent — save for the whirring of air-conditioning units. A half-century of construction on the model of refrigerated cooling has left us with homes and offices in which natural ventilation often is either impossible or ineffective. The result is that the same cooling technology that can save lives during brief, intense heat waves is helping undermine our health at most other times. The time window for debating the benefits and costs of air conditioning on a global scale is narrowing — once a country goes down the air-conditioned path, it is very hard to change course. China is already sprinting forward and is expected to surpass the United States as the world‘s biggest user of electricity for air conditioning by 2020. Consider this: The number of U.S. homes equipped with air conditioning rose from 64 to 100 million between 1993 and 2009, whereas 50 million air-conditioning units were sold in China in 2010 alone. And it is projected that the number of air-conditioned vehicles in China will reach 100 million in 2015, having more than doubled in just five years. As urban China, Japan, and South Korea approach the air-conditioning saturation point, the greatest demand growth in the post-2020 world is expected to occur elsewhere, most prominently in South and Southeast Asia. India will predominate — already, about 40 percent of all electricity consumption in the city of Mumbai goes for air conditioning. The Middle East is already heavily climate-controlled, but growth is expected to continue there as well. Within 15 years, Saudi Arabia could actually be consuming more oil than it exports, due largely to air conditioning. And with summers warming, the United States and Mexico will continue increasing their heavy consumption of cool. Countries are already struggling to keep up with peak power demand in hot weather. This summer, India is seeing a shortfall of 17 gigawatts, with residential electricity shut off for 16 hours per day in some areas. China is falling short by 30 to 40 gigawatts, resulting in energy rationing and factory closings. In most countries, the bulk of electricity that runs air conditioners in homes and businesses is generated from fossil fuels, most prominently coal. In contrast, a large share of space heating in cooler climates is done by directly burning fuels — usually natural gas, other gases, or oil, all of which have somewhat smaller carbon emissions than coal. That, together with the energy losses involved in generation and transmission of electric power, means that on average, an air conditioner causes more greenhouse emissions when pushing heat out of a house than does a furnace when putting the same quantity of heat into a house. Based on projected increases in population, income, and temperatures around the world, Morna Isaac and Detlef van Vuuren of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency predict that in a warming world, the increase in emissions from air conditioning will be faster than the decline in emissions from heating; as a result, the combined greenhouse impact of heating and cooling will begin rising soon after 2020 and then shoot up fast through the end of the century. Refrigerants — fluids that absorb and release heat efficiently at the right temperatures — are the key to air conditioning and refrigeration, but they can also be serious troublemakers when released into the atmosphere. Refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that harm the stratospheric ozone layer are being phased out under the 1989 Montreal Protocol; however, most ozone-friendlier substitutes are, like CFCs, powerful greenhouse gases. Most prominent worldwide in the new generation of refrigerants are compounds known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). They have a smaller climate-warming potential than do the ozone-depleting compounds they are replacing, but they still have hundreds to thousands of times the greenhouse potency of carbon dioxide (on a pound-for-pound basis, that is; carbon dioxide is released in vastly larger quantities and has a larger total impact.) Rapid growth in air conditioning threatens to swamp out the marginal climate benefits of replacing current refrigerants with HFCs. According to a recent forecast by Guus Velders of the Netherlands‘ National Institute for Public Health and
the Environment and his colleagues, refrigerants that accumulate in the atmosphere between now and 2050 (increasingly HFCs, mostly from refrigeration and air conditioning) will add another 14 to 27 percent to the increased warming caused by all human-generated carbon dioxide emissions. Recent years, therefore, have seen a research stampede to find refrigerants with lighter greenhouse potential. Several promising candidates have been discarded on the basis of flammability, toxicity, ozone depletion, or other problems. None of the remaining prospects is ideal in all respects. One important consideration is efficiency. A refrigerant that has smaller direct greenhouse potential than those currently in use but that exchanges heat less efficiently — causing an air conditioner to consume more energy for the same amount of cooling — could have a larger total climate impact. Isaac and Van Vuuren predict that even if demand for air conditioning is satisfied with successively more efficient generations of equipment, global electricity consumption for home cooling will still rise eightfold by 2050, which is not much better than the tenfold increase that would occur without efficiency improvements. A similar dominance of growth over efficiency has prevailed in the United States. From 1993 to 2005, energy efficiency of air-conditioning equipment improved by almost 30 percent, but household energy consumption for air conditioning doubled. There is hope that renewable energy could satisfy a growing share of air-conditioning demand, but there is little inspiration to be drawn from the U.S. experience. Here, renewable electricity production from wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal sources could expand to five times its current production (an increase that the Environmental Protection Agency does not expect to be achieved until 2030) and still not cover the nation‘s air-conditioning demand, let alone other needs. Today, worldwide renewable production is estimated at about 750 billion kilowatt hours, which, I estimate, covers about three-fourths of current global air-conditioning demand. The International Energy Agency predicts that renewable generation will expand to six times its current output by 2050. But even if that is achieved, renewable sources will still be satisfying only three-fourths of air-conditioning demand. Each supply-side option has its own problems. Attempts to catch up with cooling demand by expanding hydroelectric power generation have caused serious ecological disruption and displacement of many millions of rural people in India, China, Brazil, and other countries. And we see hints that proliferation of air conditioning will provide an incentive to revive and expand nuclear power. Last month, in the face of strong opposition from the public, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced that his government was ending the moratorium on nuclear energy generation that had been in place since the tsunami disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011. Noda acknowledged that the timing of the restart of two reactors in western Japan was no accident; the additional power will be needed to satisfy the summer surge in air conditioner use. In thinking about global demand for cooling, two key questions emerge. Is it fair to expect people in Mumbai to go without air conditioning when so many in Miami use it freely? And if not, can the world find ways to adapt to warmer temperatures that are fair to all and do not depend on the unsupportable growth of air conditioning? Currently, efforts to develop low-energy methods for warm climates are in progress on every continent. Passive cooling projects in China, India, Egypt, Iran, Namibia, and other countries combine traditional technologies — like wind towers and water evaporation — with newly designed, ventilation-friendly architectural features. Solar adsorption air conditioning performs a magician‘s trick, using only the heat of the sun to cool the indoor air, but so far it is not very affordable or adaptable to home use. Meanwhile in India and elsewhere, cooling is being achieved solely with air pumped from underground tunnels. But non-refrigerated climate control, especially in hot climates, cannot consistently achieve comfort that satisfies the industrial definition; in other words, it doesn‘t produce the kind of cool, still, dry air that prompts many Americans to wear sweaters at work in July. A shift toward natural cooling will mean relying on humans‘ well-proven capacity to adapt to variable conditions. Studies in the tropics have found, for example, that office workers are well satisfied with natural ventilation and warmer temperatures, if they have not already been conditioned by air conditioning. Whatever course the world follows in adapting to a hotter planet — universal high-efficiency air conditioning; tighter construction; all-out pursuit of renewable, hydroelectric, or nuclear energy; or rebuilding and retrofitting entire societies for non-refrigerated cooling — the cost in both money and physical resources will be staggering. Deciding on the best strategy, and soon, will be crucial.
SOURCE: e360°Yale, By Stan Cox
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Tracking REDD+ Finance:
Separating The Payers From The Posers
Separating The Payers From The Posers
Developed countries have vowed to help the developing world get up to speed on REDD, and many say they’re putting up billions towards the effort. Few, however, have actually followed through on their promises, and those who say they have aren’t doing a good job of proving it. The REDD+ Expenditures Tracking Project aims to change that.
First in a continuing series accompanying the REDD+ Expenditures Tracking ProjectDeveloped nations have pledged more than $7.3 billion to help developing countries get up to speed on REDD+, and $4.3 billion of that is slated to be delivered by the end of this year. With four months to go, however, it’s not at all clear how much of that money has been delivered or how it’s being used.
In an attempt to answer those questions through more efficient tracking of REDD+ finance, Forest Trends is implementing a project that will follow the REDD+ funding commitments made to 13 countries.
Launched in December, 2011, with funding from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety’s International Climate Initiative, the Skoll Foundation and the Rights and Resources Initiative, the REDD+ Expenditures Tracking Project aims to achieve greater transparency in REDD+ financial flows that will better inform governments and aid organizations as to where their donations are going.
You Paid for What?The project launched more than a year ago but initially stalled because every respondent seemed to have his own definition of what constituted REDD+ – and, consequently, REDD+ financing.
“The difficulty for this project is trying to track REDD+ financial flows in multiple countries all using different definitions of REDD+,” says Marigold Norman, an Associate in Forest Trends Forest and Trade Finance program. “This is not just an issue of consistency, but it also widely impacts our understanding of the levels of funding going towards REDD+.”
This issue persists at the highest level, with the UN Voluntary REDD+ Database set up to track the levels of funding donors have reported spending and the amount of funding recipient countries report receiving. To date, reports on what donor governments have pledged and what the recipient countries have received rarely match up. This ‘financial gap’ may in part result from the lack of a clear definition of REDD+ finance.
The Two-Tier DefinitionForest Trends responded by proposing a two-tier definition of REDD+.
The first tier explains international REDD+ finance as any financial transfers earmarked for REDD mechanisms and initiatives under the UNFCCC.
The second tier offers a description of national REDD+ finance as monies earmarked for REDD activities under a country’s REDD Readiness Preparation Proposal. This remains broad but attempts to reflect the wider international broad definition as well to ensure consistency with other REDD tracking initiatives such as the UN REDD+ Partnership’s VRD.
Reaching OutFollowing initial discussions around the definition of REDD+ and the type of information it would be useful to collect, Forest Trends began signing up local organizations. Four pilot countries-Ecuador, Brazil, Ghana and Vietnam were chosen because of good existing working relationships between Forest Trends and local organizations.
“You need to access people and collect data that isn’t public,” says Mariana Pavan, the Public Policies Coordinator at Instituto de Conservação e Desenvolvimento Sustentavel do Amazonas (The Institute for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of Amazonas – “Idesam”), a Brazilian NGO spearheading the effort locally. “Having a good network and a trusting relationship with the people and institutions is a very good advantage.”
The Role of Local NGO PartnersPavan plays an important role in the project. One responsibility she has is to identify the major sources of international funding for REDD+ in Brazil and track their commitments to REDD+ activities. Engaging with funders, she found out how much was pledged, where the pledged money went and who received it. Having been a part of the REDD scene in Brazil for some time, Pavan was already familiar with who the donors are.
“In many cases, the people you need to talk to, local organizations already know,” she says. “If you hire me to work on a project in Liberia, I would have no idea who the funders are.”
But in Brazil, Pavan has experience and many connections to the government. Her work on numerous projects with the REDD Focal Point was a huge benefit to the Forest Trends project. To ensure support and trust from the government, which is crucial to the project’s success, it usually requires a contact inside the government.
In Ecuador, Forest Trends partnered with EcoDecision, a Quito based organization working throughout Latin America to develop new ways to finance conservation. A former government employee working with EcoDecision gave Forest Trends a sizable advantage. Her personal connections to key people in Ecuador’s government ensured the project was fully supported and promoted a very positive working relationship with the government.
Partnering With Government"As we start to implement the project in other countries, one potential issue will be the role of local organizations and their relationship with the government," says Norman. In certain countries, projects having too close a relationship with the government may actually lead to additional concerns about the transparency and accuracy of the data.
In some countries, Focal Points who have lower levels of government funding for REDD+ may look directly to this project to cover staff salaries. As this project is part aimed at developing local civil society capacity, such a financial relationship with the government could become potentially problematic. Another issue Forest Trends has struggled with, especially as they expand the project into more countries outside of the original four, is locating any local organization that is best suited for a partnership and data collection.
Building Local Capacity“We’re using any network of people that we know that can work or recommend an organization that has a good relationship with government,” Norman says. “We are also noticing regional networks starting to develop. Our partner organizations in Ecuador and Brazil have suggested other organizations in Latin America.”
Having already been through the data collection process, Forest Trends and EcoDecision are now considering ways in which they might be able to train any of the new regional partners to work on the project.
This is also taking place in West Africa, whereby the local partner NCRC in Ghana is now starting to train a local organization in Liberia to start implementing the project.
And Forest Trends must continue their outreach in order to incorporate 13 nations into the project by the end of next year. Bearing in mind what they have learned about local NGOs and that the structure of every country is unique, the project continues to grow. Colombia has recently been added bringing the list of countries in the project to five. Forest Trends is likely to bring on board organizations in Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Peru over the next couple of months.
The data from those countries is collected through a survey. The survey for 2012 has been revised to reflect findings from last year and also because of difficulties in gathering extremely detailed REDD+ finance information.
“The idea of the project was always to try and understand how much is being committed, how much is being disbursed, and the time it takes between international pledges and the money being spent on REDD projects on the ground,” Norman says. The project also focuses on what types of REDD+ activities are being implemented.
The Revised SurveyThe revised survey draws heavily from two key points that came out of early data from Ghana and ongoing discussions with all of the pilot project teams. It focuses on the amount of time between commitments and disbursement, the types of organizations pledging funds and the extent to which funds have been disbursed. “One very early result that we are beginning to see is the amount of REDD+ finance that is being channeled to international consultancies outside of the recipient country. This is something that we will continue to look at as we get more countries reporting their data” says Norman.
For example, some of the REDD+ commitments are spent financing NGOs’ research in the developed world. This very project implemented by Forest Trends- the REDD+ Expenditure Tracking Project- is funded by the German International Climate Initiative and the Skoll Foundation, money earmarked for REDD+. This is an important way in which nations like Ghana can highlight that not all international financial commitments are making it to the recipient country, and that more funding should be invested directly into REDD+ activities on the ground inside the countries.
As the project progresses and more research is done, Forest Trends is developing an online database and website where users can search for information regarding the REDD+ financial flows of countries involved.
Kelli Barrett is a free-lance writer and editorial assistant at Ecosystem Marketplace.
China plans to spend about 2.37 trillion yuan or about $373 billion on energy conservation and emission reduction projects
Unison Industries had excess inventory piled up in both its production and engineering division and uses Six Sigma
Unison Industries is a global provider of electrical and mechanical aviation components and systems. The company has a turnover of $500 million. The company had excess inventory piled up in both its production and engineering division. It embarked on a Six Sigma journey in 2009 to resolve its problem of excess inventory. The organization managed to reduce by 99% its excess engineering inventory growth and a 25% decrease in total excess engineering inventory.
Airtel ( Bharti ) embarked on a Six Sigma journey around the year 2004 and within six months it achieved timely complaint resolution
Bharti Broadband Networks ( BBNL ) is one of the leaders in broadband, Internet and VSAT markets. The company caters to the corporate customers with customized and integrated offerings. The company embarked on a Six Sigma journey around the year 2004 and within six months it achieved timely complaint resolution which was 66% from the baseline, timely order implementation improved by 70% from the baseline figures, the timely invoice submission also improved to 51% from the baseline numbers and NOC complaint resolution improved by 49% from the baseline. These improvements resulted in a savings of INR 10 crore in the first year of operations.
Wipro Technologies is one of the largest IT service provider based out of India. The company has client across the globe. The company has a turnover of about $6 billion and more than 1, 00,000 employees. It is also the first software services company in the world to receive first CMMi Level 5 certification. It has also the first company to receive the IEEE Software Process Award outside USA. The company has effectively used Six Sigma to ensure that 91% of the projects are completed on Schedule, which is much above the industry average of 55%.
The Dow Chemical Company is one of the largest companies globally which produces specialty chemicals, plastics and agricultural products. In the year 2011 the company had a turnover of $59.9 billion. It has presence in about 170 countries and its products find application in transportation, health care, building and construction etc. 1998 Dow effectively used Six Sigma within the organization to improve on its quality and productivity. The company’s 1999 annual report mentioned the that by the end of 2003, the organization expected its Six Sigma implementation to help them achieve revenue growth, cost reductions, and asset utilization which would add up to about $1.5 billion in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT).
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
As Germany moves towards phasing out nuclear power it is now moving towards power plant which are fired by coal
IHI Corporation is based out of Japan and makes heavy machinery. The company has acquired 50% stakes in about five power plant. They are acquired the stake in California from Exelon Corporation.
The drought in U.S. and other parts of the globe has affected the crops of Corn. This has led to ethanol futures rising in Chicago.
Japanese firm Electric Power Development Co. will build a wind power station in Oma in Aomori prefecture
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given permission to Ocean Power Technologies for commercial wave-power plant off the coast of Reedsport, Oregon.
Mike Jackson is the Chief Executive Officer in AutoNation Inc., which is the largest auto retailer in U.S. He says Model S which is a electric car and a luxury sedan from Tesla motors Inc. will have limited demand as the price is a limiting factor even though it is a first-rate car.
Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. is the biggest irrigation equipment manufacturer in Asia. The company has started financing arm to help the farmer who do not have easy access to cash.
2012 Ozone Africa Media Award
“Recognizing outstanding contributions by the Media”
Background and Context :
The build-up of ozone depleting substances and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is largely the consequence of industrialization over the last centuries. However, the way the International community has responded to the challenge posed by the Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) has yielded tangible results and can, undeniably be presented as one of the success stories in the protection of the environment. Nonetheless, other challenges still need renewed attention and efforts.
In 2007, the Montreal Protocol (MP) Parties have stepped up their commitment to phasing out ODS and to an anticipated schedule for Hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) total phase-out from 2040 to 2030. In the view of the challenges laid ahead for phasing out HCFC within the agreed stepwise schedule i.e. 2013 freeze consumption followed by 2015 ten per cent reduction at the HCFC baseline of average 2009-10, UNEP seeks to assist countries to meet compliance in a three-track approach including:
- Enabling compliance with 2010 control measures for total chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) phase out; - Preparing to ensure sustainability beyond 2010; - Implementing new responsibilities related to the HCFC phase-out adjustment.
How have Africa and the world at large measured up to this threat? What can be done to arrest this trend, even while permitting developing countries to industrialize? These issues have never been higher on the media‘s agenda, yet problems persist in the way it is reported.
There are many criticisms of how the media has covered these issues to date, but many signs of improvement too. For journalists, the main issue is to grasp the complex nature of the issue as it continues to gather new dimensions and significant progress in the reduction of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). There is a clear challenge here for the media to examine how Africa faces the challenge of protecting the ozone layer.
It is against this backdrop that the UNEP Ozone Compliance Assistance Programme in Africa is launching the Ozone Africa Media Awards, which will encourage highest standards of excellence in Environmental/scientific reporting, focusing on Ozone issues and honour individuals for their outstanding achievements. Learn more > http://bit.ly/NlZmay