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Climate Change News

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A flooded rice field. Credit: Photo: Nonie Reyes / World Bank

The world population is expected to grow to almost 10 billion by 2050. With 3.4 billion more mouths to feed and the growing desire of the middle class for meat and dairy in developing countries, global demand for food could increase by between 59 and 98 percent. This means that agriculture around the world needs to step up production and increase yields. But scientists say that the impacts of climate change—higher temperatures, extreme weather, drought, increasing levels of carbon dioxide and sea level rise—threaten to decrease the quantity and jeopardize the quality of our food supplies.

Read more: How climate change will alter our food

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Shorter-lived species might have more time to adapt to changes in ocean pH than longer-lived species. NYT PIC

JUST as humans rely on their sense of smell to detect suitable food and habitats, avoid danger, and find potential mates, so do fish — only instead of sniffing scent molecules floating through the air, they use their nostrils to sense chemicals suspended in water.

Read more: Fish to lose sense of smell?

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Entering uncharted waters; ocean conservation is the key to the future. REUTERS PIC

THE ocean contributes US$1.5 trillion (RM6.05 trillion) annually to the global economy and assures the livelihood of 10 to 12 percent of the world’s population. But there’s another reason to protect marine ecosystems — they’re crucial for curbing climate change.

Read more: An ocean of resources to fight climate change

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Malaysia has its share of natural disasters, such as the earthquake at Mount Kinabalu in 2015.

MALAYSIA’s efforts to reduce disaster risk are a step in the right direction as the country can no longer claim to be free from natural disasters.

Read more: Focus on disaster risk reduction

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There must be careful consideration when carrying out tourism activities and development work near mangrove areas, especially those designated as Unesco sites. FILE PIC

Today is the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem.

Read more: Mass tourism hurts mangroves

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Malaysia’s proposed second national car project could be a purely electric-vehicle (EV) initiative, in line with the new government’s emphasis and concerns on the impact of climate change, as well as the environment’s preservation.

Read more: Electric-based national car proposal being developed

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Grocery bags, water bottles, cling wraps, food containers, coffee stirrers and plastic straws — all these have polluted our lives one way or the other. REUTERS

Climate change. Greenhouse gases. Fish farms. Palm oil production. Pesticides. Overpopulation. Overconsumption. Plastic waste.

What do all these global environmental challenges have in common?

Read more: The last straw

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Photo by Angel Ko Ko

This year’s theme for World Environment Day is plastic pollution, a scourge on Myanmar that is more easily seen in its beaches, mountains, and cities than its dearth of reliable statistics.

But over the past year string of hopeful environmental initiatives are pushing back against unnecessary waste. One example is Yangon’s “Straws Suck,” an increasingly popular campaign to drop non-reusable plastic straws in bars and restaurants.

Introduced by Nikki Barltrop, chief operating officer of 57Below Catering, the campaign has attracted some of the city’s biggest establishments; even KFC is now offering straws only on request. Meanwhile, some four-month-old bamboo straw firm Palü is offering a reusable and biodegradable alternative to diners.

Palü joined several other groups in a talk on tackling plastic pollution, hosted by sustainable consultancy and change agencyConyatCreate at Urban Village on June 4.

“There have always been environmental initiatives in Myanmar, it has just sped up over the last six months,” Anastacia Howe, founder ofConyatCreate, told MYANMORE. “We realize there are a lot of great things happening. We see our role as helping all these players shape the conversation, but tying in the way.”

The “why” ranges from toxins in microplastics ingested by marine life and ascending the food chain, to the recent landfill fire in Hlaing Thar Yar township that hospitalized 26 people—a noxious two-week blaze that some say could have been avoided if the waste was properly separated and treated.

Why people should alleviate the damage we deal to the environment is a vast and immediate concern. After all, the innocuous plastic bag can take up to a millennium to decompose, almost twice the lifespan of the Roman Empire. In its wake is a disastrous environmental legacy.

According to a 2012 World Bank report, solid waste generated in Myanmar was 5,616 tons per day—0.44 kilograms per person. By 2025 the report forecast that number to reach 0.85 kilograms, driven by an increase in consumption and urban population growth, and a lack of effective waste treatment.

Read more: Myanmar targets plastic waste in growing green movement

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Indian fisherman sail into the sea of Bay Of Bengal for their evening catch in Chennai on April 3, 2017 AFP

 

A key problem now is that there is little money for mangrove regeneration and conservation, though all experts agree that it is essential since mangroves are the main nurseries of almost all fish and other marine animals.

Read more: Eight countries come together to protect Bay of Bengal

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MANDALAY – Environmental activists in the Hpakant and Lonekin jade mining regions of Kachin State have urged the government to impose strict controls on the dumping of waste soil by mine operators, as the practice exacerbates seasonal flooding.

Read more: Soil Dumping Worsens Impact of Flooding in Mining Areas, Activists Say

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