Loading...

Follow Earth Day Network on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

Awardees at the May 14 event in Washington, DC, include 13-Year-Old Climate Activist Alexandria Villaseñor, Salesforce Chief Impact Officer and EVP of Corporate Relations Suzanne DiBianca, and Actor and Director Ashley Bell

May 7, 2019 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earth Day Network will host the 2019 Climate Leadership Gala at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, on Tuesday evening, May 14. The 2019 Gala will bring together over 300 leaders of industry, government, and the NGO community to celebrate achievements and lead the path to a post-carbon future.

At the Gala, Al Roker, TODAY Weatherman and co-host of the 3rd Hour of TODAY, will speak and be honored with the Climate Visionary Award in recognition of his exceptional leadership on climate change.

“For many people, broadcast meteorologists are the only scientists we see on a regular basis. They’re a trusted source of news and information, building a relationship of confidence with us through our daily interaction. With their trusted position in our lives, meteorologists can be the key to driving the climate message around the world. Al Roker has taken up this mantle with ingenuity, consideration, and passion to mainstream the challenges of our climate crisis and emphasize the enormous opportunities of meeting climate change head-on,” said Kathleen Rogers, Earth Day Network President.

“Al’s dedication to communicating on climate change makes him a powerful advocate for our planet. Quite simply, he’s changed the world of reporting on climate. For this reason, we are thrilled to present him with our Climate Visionary Award on May 14.”

Also being recognized at the Gala will be Alexandria Villaseñor, a 13-year-old climate activist who, since December 2018 has been striking weekly in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York City to urge climate action. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the newly-launched Earth Uprising nonprofit, and will be the recipient of the Earth Day Network’s 2019 Youth Climate Leadership Award.

Ashley Bell, Actor and Director of Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story, will be honored at the Gala with the Women and the Green Economy WAGE® Leadership Award for turning a lens on the plight of the Asian elephant – one of the world’s endangered species.

Chief Impact Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations at Salesforce, Suzanne DiBianca, will receive the Business Climate Leadership Award in recognition of her leadership in driving ambitious private sector climate action.

James Cameron, Environmentalist, Explorer and Filmmaker, will be joining the Gala from New Zealand as the Special Guest Speaker to issue a call to action on climate change ahead of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020.

Additionally, Charity Morgan, The Plant Life Chef and chef to 20 NFL players, will use the occasion of the Gala to announce a new Earth Day Network campaign focused on food and its connection to protecting the planet.

“We are at a pivotal moment in the battle to address the climate crisis, made more urgent by the extraordinary impacts that climate change is already starting to have on national security, the economy and public health. In celebrating 49 years of Earth Day, the Gala also provides a forum to harness and advance the energies of the world’s most brilliant and passionate thought leaders in confronting humanity’s greatest challenge,” adds Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers. “This year’s recipients have shown a level of transformative leadership in an era of even greater challenge and we applaud their inspirational words and actions.”

Washington DC Councilmember Mary Cheh will Emcee the evening.

The evening includes a Cocktail Reception at 6 PM followed by dinner and award ceremony in the Grand Ballroom at 7 PM.

2019 Climate Leadership Gala sponsors include Toyota, Dos Gardenias, FullCycle, Foundation for Climate Restoration, Out Of Home Advertising Association of America, and positiveNRG.

Purchase tickets for the 2019 Climate Leadership Gala

For sponsorship inquiries, please contact sponsorships@earthday.net


About Earth Day Network

Earth Day Network’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 75,000 partners in nearly 200 countries to build environmental democracy. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

Media Contact: communications@earthday.org, 202-355-8875

The post Al Roker of NBC’s TODAY among Climate Leaders of Private Sector, Civil Society, and the Arts to be Celebrated at Earth Day Network’s Annual Climate Leadership Gala appeared first on Earth Day Network.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

By David Robinson, Endangered Species Day Director, Endangered Species Coalition

On Monday, the world woke up to a devastating report from the United Nations that brought scientific confirmation to some of our biggest fears: human civilization is pushing the planet into a massive extinction. The report shows that as many as one million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction. The report – a nearly three-year effort with contributions from almost 150 scientists from 50 nations – projects that biodiversity loss will likely increase through 2050 unless widescale changes are made.

Climate change, overfishing, habitat loss, pollution, and the spread of invasive species were highlighted in the report as some of the major ways humanity is reducing biodiversity.

Now, more than ever before in our lives, we need to come together to act to save imperiled species and protect our shared home. That urgent need is a driving force behind the 2019 Endangered Species Day.

Endangered Species Day is a global day of action to save species and celebrate conservation successes. The Endangered Species Coalition proposed the day to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and obtained a unanimous resolution proclaiming Endangered Species Day to be recognized every year on the third Friday in May.

Over the last fourteen years, Endangered Species Day has grown to include events across the United States and as far as New Zealand. It is a day (or week) to both reflect on the positive actions we have taken to save species, and to get our hands dirty working to continue and build upon those successes.

While the news this week is dire, we know that from experience that with concerted, collaborative effort, we can save species from extinction. A report published last month demonstrated that the Endangered Species Act is 99 percent effective at saving listed species from extinction.

We need only look back a few years to see an example of recent and substantial recovery made possible by the Endangered Species Act. Three subspecies of island fox found on California’s Channel Islands were delisted in 2016 after having come back thanks to the Act. The comeback marked the fastest recovery of an Endangered Species Act listed mammal in the law’s history.

The bald eagle, humpback whale, whooping crane, and Robbins’ cinquefoil are more of the many species that are here today thanks to the Endangered Species Act.

Join us on May 17th or the days surrounding Endangered Species Day in celebrating what we have worked so hard to achieve and in taking actions at home to build on that success. See some of the many events planned here.

How are you taking part in Endangered Species Day? Share on social media with the #EndangeredSpeciesDay tag or @ us @endangered on Twitter or @EndangeredSpeciesCoalition on Instagram.

Find ways to take action to help save species at www.endangeredspeciesday.org

The post Endangered Species Day is May 17th – How Can You Take Action to Save Species? appeared first on Earth Day Network.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

By Sebastian Rosemont and Cam Wejnert-Depue

Executive Mayor Dan Plato

Earth Day Network interviewed Cape Town, South Africa Executive Mayor Daniel Plato to talk about the city’s initiatives and the increasingly important role of biodiversity in the city. Cape Town officials Julia Wood, Biodiversity Management Branch Manager; Cliff Dorse, Conservation Services Unit Coordinator; and Dr. Charmaine Oxtoby, Biophysical Specialist; also contributed their insight into the city’s initiatives.

Cape Town uses the Biodiversity Network (BioNet), a continually updated conservation plan that is fully integrated into the city’s development planning. The BioNet protects over 85,000 ha of land, equating to approximately 35% of Cape Town’s land and the city boasts one of the most biodiversity-rich urban areas in the world. Both within the city and in nearby conservation areas, there are many opportunities for inhabitants and tourists alike to learn about and engage with the natural environment.

Biodiversity Projects and Initiatives

What is a biodiversity project that you are particularly proud of?

In the past decade, over 15,000 ha of City of Cape Town land has been formally proclaimed under the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (Act 57 of 2003).

In the CCT Biodiversity Report 2018 there is a summary of the top 10 achievements of the past 10 years for the Biodiversity Management Branch. Also see Chapter 4 Biodiversity management actions, especially protected area expansion mechanisms.

Does your city have a citywide biodiversity plan? 

Yes. The Biodiversity Network (BioNet) is the fine-scale conservation plan for the City of Cape Town that has been incorporated into the City’s five-year Integrated Development Plan, and Municipal Spatial Development Framework. The BioNet has been in use for over 15 years and is updated every two to three years. The BioNet covers 85,000 ha (approximately 35% of the land that falls within the City’s municipal area) and includes a map identifying remnants of vegetation and corridors required to conserve samples of our biodiversity in striving towards meeting national and international biodiversity targets. The BioNet forms the basis for implementation of the City’s Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (LBSAP).

The BioNet was the first systematic biodiversity plan to be published for any municipal area in South Africa. The BioNet was adopted as a City policy in 2015 and incorporated into the 2017 Western Cape Spatial Biodiversity Plan.

64.8% of the BioNet is conserved compared to 34.1% a decade ago.

What are some of its key features?

This systematic biodiversity plan indicates Critical Biodiversity Areas and Ecological Support Areas that are needed towards meeting biodiversity targets for terrestrial and wetland ecosystems and to ensure optimal ecosystem functioning. Incorporating climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies into the analysis resulted in a 1% increase in the area required towards meeting targets. This small change resulted from the high levels of biodiversity in the city and the large extent of transformation that has caused limited choice in selecting different sites.

What role do green spaces play in your city for species and humans alike? How is the city working to expand them?

Ecological goods and services accruing to humankind via the conservation of natural and semi-natural areas (i.e. green spaces) are many and include: clean water provision; flood attenuation; filtering of runoff and air pollution; replenishment of groundwater; coastal protection; atmospheric carbon sink; oxygen production; tourism; recreational, educational, cultural and spiritual space; and existence and future-use values of plants and animals. Thus, conserving biodiversity offers many benefits to humankind, including an improved quality of life and health, although difficult to quantify in purely financial terms. In addition, restoration of natural areas contributes to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Well-managed conservation and public open space areas are associated with enhanced property values, improved urban community relationships, and reduced levels of violent crime in adjacent areas. Yet, some communities view natural remnants as crime havens and a threat to their safety, largely because many sites are invariably covered in alien Acacia thickets and receive no management. The challenge is to find the necessary resources to effectively manage these irreplaceable remnants, and to change public perceptions.

Natural ecosystem goods and services are so basic that they are often overlooked, and less often recognised for their importance. Natural assets represent the ‘stocks’ of environmental resources, while ecosystem goods and services are the ‘flows’ of benefits derived from these assets. Natural resource-based tourism is one of the highest income generators and includes angling, whale watching, birding, hiking, and a host of other outdoor pursuits.

Table Mountain National Park continues to be one of the top attractions for visitors, be it Capetonians or tourists. For example, Cape Point and the Table Mountain cableway recorded 280,000 visitors in December 2017 alone! Other paid entry points such as Silvermine and the Boulders Beach Penguin Colony remain popular destinations. The City’s nature reserves receive around 400,000 visitors annually, recorded mostly through manned access points. This figure is an underestimate, because the majority of the City’s nature reserves are open access areas. These open access areas attract large numbers of visitors on a daily basis for sport and leisure activities.

The BioNet is the City-wide map that identifies areas of biodiversity value and priority for protected area expansion. We have currently secured 64.8% of the BioNet (areas identified in 2009) under formal conservation management (including proclamation and perpetuity stewardship agreements), with the biodiversity target of 65.5% by December 2022.

18 Conservation Stewardship agreements have been signed with private landowners, with more agreements under negotiation.

Earth Day 2019 and Community Engagement

What options are available for citizens to get engaged with protecting species locally or for supporting the city’s initiatives? How is the city partnering with local organizations or movements?

Citizens can join the Botanical Society, Cape Bird Club, Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) or one of many Friends groups (e.g. Friends of Helderberg Nature Reserve).

Citizens can also register as observers on iNaturalist and contribute to citizen science data collection. We are currently widely promoting the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge taking place from 26 to 29 April 2019. This is the first year that Cape Town is entering the global competition. For more info, please see City Nature Challenge Media Release.

Not all conservation land within the municipality is owned and/or managed by the City of Cape Town. We partner with the provincial conservation agency (CapeNature) and national conservation authority, South African National Parks (SANParks). We work with the Western Cape (provincial) Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, National Department of Environmental Affairs, other departments (e.g. Water and Sanitation) and Eskom (the country’s State-Owned electricity supplier). We also work with many private landowners through the Biodiversity Stewardship programme. We collaborate with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), various local universities, expanded public works programmes (e.g. Working for Water), and NGOs (e.g. The Nature Conservancy, WWF-SA, BirdLife South Africa).

Wildlife and Endangered Species in the City

What types of species are present in your city? 

Cape Town is among the most species diverse cities on earth because it lies at the heart of the Fynbos region, in one of 35 global biodiversity hotspots. The Core Cape Floristic Subregion is considered the ‘hottest hotspot’, because it is home to the greatest concentration of higher plants in the world, outside of the tropics. Although comprising only 4% of South Africa’s land surface, the Core Cape Floristic Subregion contains nearly half of the country’s 21,000 flowering plant species. Of these 9,300 species, 68% are endemic (i.e. confined) to the region. Cape Town is a centre of endemism within the Cape Floristic Region owing to the high concentration of local range-restricted species found here.

In Cape Town, 18 national terrestrial and three azonal vegetation types are represented (of the 440 national vegetation types). In relation to conservation status, 11 of the terrestrial vegetation types in Cape Town are Critically Endangered, three are Endangered and two are Vulnerable, with only two Least Threatened. Six of these vegetation types are endemic to Cape Town.

Indigenous species recorded in Cape Town include: 3,050 plant, 83 mammal, 404 bird, 60 reptile, 27 amphibian and five freshwater fish species. Of these at least 190 plant and five Amphibian species are endemic to Cape Town.

"#CapeTown wears #biodiversity crown." – Prof Thomas Elmqvist (@sthlmresilience) @CityofCT – Read more @TimesLIVE: https://t.co/F3TO9XaC6B pic.twitter.com/B2fnjvlwGC

— ICLEI CBC (@ICLEICBC) July 5, 2017

Do you have a favorite animal or plant in the city?

Favourite animal or plant in the City? No, as our mandate is biodiversity conservation and it is the incredible wealth of biodiversity that makes our City so unique.

Are there any endangered or threatened species living in the city? How does the city protect and support them?

Red Data taxa [a list of threatened and endangered species produced by the government of South Africa] lists: 660 plants (of which 181 Vulnerable, 149 Endangered and 75 Critically Endangered), in addition to 12 mammal, 28 bird, eight reptile, 10 amphibian and three freshwater fish.

14 plants unique to Cape Town are listed in the IUCN Red List as ‘Globally Extinct’. Seven others are listed as Critically Endangered, possibly extinct.

The City of Cape Town, with partners, is making every effort to protect threatened species, especially those Critically Endangered plant species. Efforts include protected area expansion, invasive woody alien species control, improved management, active habitat and species restoration through a dedicated restoration facility and in collaboration with SANBI at Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden, and through improved environmental education and public awareness.

Has the city done a recent survey of urban biodiversity? What were the results and were there any surprises?

Watch this space for a city-wide biodiversity ‘survey’ during the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge 26-29 April 2019!

More about the Green Cities Spotlight Series: By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Increasing urbanization without responsible stewardship is a threat to local flora and fauna. With cities growing at a rapid pace, they play a critical role in protecting biodiversity and educating the public about the importance of species and biodiversity in regard to community health and well-being. Earth Day Network’s new city series highlights the important work cities around the world are doing to support biodiversity through a variety of innovative initiatives.

More about Executive Mayor Daniel Plato: Alderman Daniel Plato is a South African politician who is the Mayor of Cape Town, after having taken office on 6 November 2018, a position he previously held from May 2009 until June 2011. He previously served as Member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament and Western Cape Provincial Minister of Community Safety. Born in Cape Town, Plato was involved in political activities during his high school career. He was a community organiser and played a crucial role in mobilising residents against the Apartheid government. He was elected a ward councillor in 1996. He has also served in various positions and internal Democratic Alliance caucus positions during his tenure as a Cape Town city councillor.

This interview is part of Earth Day Network’s Green Cities interview series with local officials. The series in 2019 will highlight success stories and innovative biodiversity initiatives in cities around the world for the Protect Our Species campaign. If you have any comments or if you are a city official interested in participating in the interview series and sharing your city’s initiatives, please contact Sebastian Rosemont, Green Cities Coordinator, at cities@earthday.org

Photo Credit: Hilton1949

The post Green City Spotlight: Cape Town Executive Mayor Daniel Plato appeared first on Earth Day Network.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Earth Day Network by Earth Day Network - 2w ago
@ Studio Roosegaarde Waterlicht

EDN’s Artists for the Earth Spotlight:  Daan Roosegaarde

Dutch artist and design innovator, Daan Roosegaarde believes some of his inventiveness comes from having lived in the Netherlands where as a child he could not go outside to play until he had earned his swimming diploma.  In his view, Dutch ingenuity has to do with the awareness of living below sea level that engenders both a fear of and a need to think creatively about nature.

Inspired by water and the threat of rising sea levels with global warming, Roosegaarde developed his project Waterlicht – a virtual flood in a dream landscape that flows over public spaces at night utilizing a combination of LEDs, lenses, and laser technology and influenced by wind and rain.  The ever-changing waves of light flow to a level as high as the water will rise without any intervention.

His project Gates of Light is a permanent installation on The Netherland’s iconic Afsluitdijka, a 35 kilometer dyke protecting the country from flooding.  Roosengaarde augmented the large flood towers by outlining them with a retro-reflective layer in a design matching the classical looking structures.  In the dark, the architecture is illuminated by the headlamps of passing cars which activate the designs and in turn flood the roadway with light.

Roosegaarde’s Van Gogh Bicycle Path uses thousands of embedded light emitting stones that charge during the day and glow at night.  The twinkling stones swirl along the path in a pattern inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”.

Some projects are not only beautiful, but serve as practical solutions.  Roosengaarde’s aesthetic is contained in the word “schoonheid” which has a dual meaning, “clear” or “beautiful”.  In keeping with that, he developed his Smog Free Tower that uses positive ionization technology to produce smog free air in public spaces. The portable 7 meter tall Towers have been put to work in Beijing, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Krakow.  His Smog Free Bicycle developed with the Chinese government uses similar technology.

Roosegaarde hopes his art and design innovations will “always be combined with the push toward government to make investments in clean energy.”  And reflecting his schoonheid ideal he has said, “True beauty is not a Louis Vuitton bag or a Ferrari, but clean air and clean energy.”

The post DUTCH INGENUITY and SCHOONHEID appeared first on Earth Day Network.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Earth Day Network 2019 Green Cities Interview Series with Cape Town Executive Mayor Daniel Plato, with contributions from Biodiversity Management Branch Manager Julia Wood, Conservation Services Unit Coordinator Cliff Dorse, and Biophysical Specialist Dr. Charmaine Oxtoby

With contributions from Julia Wood, Biodiversity Management Branch Manager; Cliff Dorse, Conservation Services Unit Coordinator; and Dr. Charmaine Oxtoby, Biophysical Specialist.

Earth Day Network interviewed Cape Town, South Africa Executive Mayor Daniel Plato to talk about the city’s initiatives and the increasingly important role of biodiversity in the city. Cape Town officials Julia Wood, Biodiversity Management Branch Manager; Cliff Dorse, Conservation Services Unit Coordinator; and Dr. Charmaine Oxtoby, Biophysical Specialist; also contributed their insight into the city’s initiatives.

Cape Town uses the Biodiversity Network (BioNet), a continually updated conservation plan that is fully integrated into the city’s development planning. The BioNet protects over 85,000 ha of land, equating to approximately 35% of Cape Town’s land and the city boasts one of the most biodiversity-rich urban areas in the world. Both within the city and in nearby conservation areas, there are many opportunities for inhabitants and tourists alike to learn about and engage with the natural environment.

Earth Day 2019 interview

Contribution from Julia Wood (Biodiversity Management Branch Manager), Cliff Dorse (Conservation Services Unit Coordinator) and Dr Charmaine Oxtoby (Biophysical Specialist)

Biodiversity Management Branch, Environmental Management Department, Spatial Planning and Environment Directorate, City of Cape Town, South Africa

Biodiversity Projects and Initiatives

What is a biodiversity project that you are particularly proud of?

In the past decade, over 15,000 ha of City of Cape Town land has been formally proclaimed under the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (Act 57 of 2003).

In the CCT Biodiversity Report 2018 there is a summary of the top 10 achievements of the past 10 years for the Biodiversity Management Branch. Also see Chapter 4 Biodiversity management actions, especially protected area expansion mechanisms.

Does your city have a citywide biodiversity plan? What are some of its key features?

Yes. The Biodiversity Network (BioNet) is the fine-scale conservation plan for the City of Cape Town that has been incorporated into the City’s five-year Integrated Development Plan, and Municipal Spatial Development Framework. The BioNet has been in use for over 15 years and is updated every two to three years. The BioNet covers 85,000 ha (approximately 35% of the land that falls within the City’s municipal area) and includes a map identifying remnants of vegetation and corridors required to conserve samples of our biodiversity in striving towards meeting national and international biodiversity targets. The BioNet forms the basis for implementation of the City’s Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (LBSAP).

The BioNet was the first systematic biodiversity plan to be published for any municipal area in South Africa. The BioNet was adopted as a City policy in 2015 and incorporated into the 2017 Western Cape Spatial Biodiversity Plan.

64.8% of the BioNet is conserved compared to 34.1% a decade ago.

Key features: This systematic biodiversity plan indicates Critical Biodiversity Areas and Ecological Support Areas that are needed towards meeting biodiversity targets for terrestrial and wetland ecosystems and to ensure optimal ecosystem functioning. Incorporating climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies into the analysis resulted in a 1% increase in the area required towards meeting targets. This small change resulted from the high levels of biodiversity in the city and the large extent of transformation that has caused limited choice in selecting different sites.

What role do green spaces play in your city for species and humans alike? How is the city working to expand them?

Ecological goods and services accruing to humankind via the conservation of natural and semi-natural areas (i.e. green spaces) are many and include: clean water provision; flood attenuation; filtering of runoff and air pollution; replenishment of groundwater; coastal protection; atmospheric carbon sink; oxygen production; tourism; recreational, educational, cultural and spiritual space; and existence and future-use values of plants and animals. Thus, conserving biodiversity offers many benefits to humankind, including an improved quality of life and health, although difficult to quantify in purely financial terms. In addition, restoration of natural areas contributes to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Well-managed conservation and public open space areas are associated with enhanced property values, improved urban community relationships, and reduced levels of violent crime in adjacent areas. Yet, some communities view natural remnants as crime havens and a threat to their safety, largely because many sites are invariably covered in alien Acacia thickets and receive no management. The challenge is to find the necessary resources to effectively manage these irreplaceable remnants, and to change public perceptions.

Natural ecosystem goods and services are so basic that they are often overlooked, and less often recognised for their importance. Natural assets represent the ‘stocks’ of environmental resources, while ecosystem goods and services are the ‘flows’ of benefits derived from these assets. Natural resource-based tourism is one of the highest income generators and includes angling, whale watching, birding, hiking, and a host of other outdoor pursuits.

Table Mountain National Park continues to be one of the top attractions for visitors, be it Capetonians or tourists. For example, Cape Point and the Table Mountain cableway recorded 280,000 visitors in December 2017 alone! Other paid entry points such as Silvermine and the Boulders Beach Penguin Colony remain popular destinations. The City’s nature reserves receive around 400,000 visitors annually, recorded mostly through manned access points. This figure is an underestimate, because the majority of the City’s nature reserves are open access areas. These open access areas attract large numbers of visitors on a daily basis for sport and leisure activities.

The BioNet is the City-wide map that identifies areas of biodiversity value and priority for protected area expansion. We have currently secured 64.8% of the BioNet (areas identified in 2009) under formal conservation management (including proclamation and perpetuity stewardship agreements), with the biodiversity target of 65.5% by December 2022.

18 Conservation Stewardship agreements have been signed with private landowners, with more agreements under negotiation.

Earth Day 2019 and Community Engagement

What options are available for citizens to get engaged with protecting species locally or for supporting the city’s initiatives? How is the city partnering with local organizations or movements?

Citizens can join the Botanical Society, Cape Bird Club, Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) or one of many Friends groups (e.g. Friends of Helderberg Nature Reserve).

Citizens can also register as observers on iNaturalist and contribute to citizen science data collection. We are currently widely promoting the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge taking place from 26 to 29 April 2019. This is the first year that Cape Town is entering the global competition. For more info, please see City Nature Challenge Media Release.

Not all conservation land within the municipality is owned and/or managed by the City of Cape Town. We partner with the provincial conservation agency (CapeNature) and national conservation authority, South African National Parks (SANParks). We work with the Western Cape (provincial) Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, National Department of Environmental Affairs, other departments (e.g. Water and Sanitation) and Eskom (the country’s State-Owned electricity supplier). We also work with many private landowners through the Biodiversity Stewardship programme. We collaborate with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), various local universities, expanded public works programmes (e.g. Working for Water), and NGOs (e.g. The Nature Conservancy, WWF-SA, BirdLife South Africa).

Wildlife and Endangered Species in the City

What types of species are present in your city? Do you have a favorite animal or plant in the city?

Cape Town is among the most species diverse cities on earth because it lies at the heart of the Fynbos region, in one of 35 global biodiversity hotspots. The Core Cape Floristic Subregion is considered the ‘hottest hotspot’, because it is home to the greatest concentration of higher plants in the world, outside of the tropics. Although comprising only 4% of South Africa’s land surface, the Core Cape Floristic Subregion contains nearly half of the country’s 21,000 flowering plant species. Of these 9,300 species, 68% are endemic (i.e. confined) to the region. Cape Town is a centre of endemism within the Cape Floristic Region owing to the high concentration of local range-restricted species found here.

In Cape Town, 18 national terrestrial and three azonal vegetation types are represented (of the 440 national vegetation types). In relation to conservation status, 11 of the terrestrial vegetation types in Cape Town are Critically Endangered, three are Endangered and two are Vulnerable, with only two Least Threatened. Six of these vegetation types are endemic to Cape Town.

Indigenous species recorded in Cape Town include: 3,050 plant, 83 mammal, 404 bird, 60 reptile, 27 amphibian and five freshwater fish species. Of these at least 190 plant and five Amphibian species are endemic to Cape Town.

Favourite animal or plant in the City? No, as our mandate is biodiversity conservation and it is the incredible wealth of biodiversity that makes our City so unique.

Are there any endangered or threatened species living in the city? How does the city protect and support them?

Red Data taxa: 660 plants (of which 181 Vulnerable, 149 Endangered and 75 Critically Endangered), in addition to 12 mammal, 28 bird, eight reptile, 10 amphibian and three freshwater fish Red Data taxa.

14 plants unique to Cape Town are listed in the IUCN Red List as ‘Globally Extinct’. Seven others are listed as Critically Endangered, possibly extinct.

The City of Cape Town, with partners, is making every effort to protect threatened species, especially those Critically Endangered plant species. Efforts include protected area expansion, invasive woody alien species control, improved management, active habitat and species restoration through a dedicated restoration facility and in collaboration with SANBI at Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden, and through improved environmental education and public awareness.

Has the city done a recent survey of urban biodiversity? What were the results and were there any surprises?

Watch this space for a city-wide biodiversity ‘survey’ during the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge 26-29 April 2019!

More about the Green Cities Spotlight Series: By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Increasing urbanization without responsible stewardship is a threat to local flora and fauna. With cities growing at a rapid pace, they play a critical role in protecting biodiversity and educating the public about the importance of species and biodiversity in regard to community health and well-being. Earth Day Network’s new city series highlights the important work cities around the world are doing to support biodiversity through a variety of innovative initiatives.

More about Executive Mayor Daniel Plato: Alderman Daniel Plato is a South African politician who is the Mayor of Cape Town, after having taken office on 6 November 2018, a position he previously held from May 2009 until June 2011. He previously served as Member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament and Western Cape Provincial Minister of Community Safety. Born in Cape Town, Plato was involved in political activities during his high school career. He was a community organiser and played a crucial role in mobilising residents against the Apartheid government. He was elected a ward councillor in 1996. He has also served in various positions and internal Democratic Alliance caucus positions during his tenure as a Cape Town city councillor.

This interview is part of Earth Day Network’s Green Cities interview series with local officials. The series in 2019 will highlight success stories and innovative biodiversity initiatives in cities around the world for the Protect Our Species campaign. If you have any comments or if you are a city official interested in participating in the interview series and sharing your city’s initiatives, please contact Sebastian Rosemont, Green Cities Coordinator, at cities@earthday.org

The post Green City Spotlight: Cape Town Executive Mayor Daniel Plato appeared first on Earth Day Network.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

April 25, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – Earth Day Network’s 2019 volunteer cleanup is bringing together partners across all 50 US states, five U.S. territories and Canada to build cleaner communities.  Earth Day Network, National CleanUp Day, Keep America Beautiful and hundreds of local nonprofit and community groups are working together to achieve tangible impact on waste in our environment. Over 500,000 volunteers are participating.

Cleanups are taking place throughout the months of April and May in diverse locations, from rural to urban landscapes, waterways, forests and beaches. Groups range from as few as five participants to community-wide cleanups with over 20,000 volunteers. Volunteers can still find opportunities and sign up to make a difference here.

The unified campaign includes a mobile registration, digital mapping and data collection on cleanup results.

At the same time, a landmark citizen-led cleanup of the iconic River Ganges in India was launched by Earth Day Network on April 13— on Vaisakh, the Hindu New Year for many in India —high in the Himalayan mountains at Devaprayag where two glacier-fed streams meet to form India’s most famous and sacred river. This first phase will evolve over the next 15 months to encompass 100 cities and towns close to the Ganges as it meanders to the famous Sunderbans Delta.

The goal of Earth Day Cleanups is to inspire action and achieve tangible impacts on waste in our environment. Improved health, strong investments and positive growth can be achieved once people gain the expectation that their community will be clean. Every person has the right to live in a clean community.

Building on best practices and verifiable metrics, 2019 events will then be scaled-up for the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2020 as The Great Global Clean Up with more than 100,000 events in the US, another 100,000 events globally and one billion pieces of trash collected, creating the largest volunteer cleanup in history. Signature clean-ups will take place in 50 low income communities in the US and 50 low income communities globally.

“Environmentally conscious citizens have made this campaign a success and are leading the way to the Great Global Cleanup next year,” Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers said. “This global movement needs everyone, at every level, to take bold action to safeguard our planet.”

Earth Day 2019 Cleanup U.S. sponsors include Toyota, Kiehl’s Since 1851, Dos Gardenias, Burton Snowboards, Fetzer and The Sak.

About Us

Earth Day Network’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day (1970), Earth Day Network works with more than 50,000 partners in 190 countries to build environmental democracy. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Learn more at earthday.org

National CleanUp Day is a call to action. National CleanUp Day is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, dedicated to keeping our nation’s urban, rural, and outdoor public spaces free of litter and trash. For more information, please visit nationalcleanupday.org

Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. Learn more at kab.org.

For more information contact:

communications@earthday.org • 202.355.8875

National CleanUp Day • Mike DeCarlo

mike@scrimshawpr.com • 908.902.8413

The post 500,000 VOLUNTEERS TAKE PART IN EARTH DAY 2019 CLEANUP appeared first on Earth Day Network.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

By Sebastian Rosemont and Cam Wejnert-Depue

Earth Day Network spoke with Lima, Peru, Mayor Jorge Muñoz Wells to discuss the city’s work to support biodiversity and the important role the Pantanos de Villa wildlife refuge plays in that effort. Restoration and conservation initiatives have also led to many great advances in the city, including a 47,000 square meter Botanical Garden, which provides essential environmental services, and an effort to create and support new conservation areas in the city’s ecologically vital coastal hills.

Biodiversity Projects and Initiatives

What’s the biggest success story in your city about increasing biodiversity?

Pantanos de Villa is the only wildlife refuge in Lima. In 1997, they were declared wetlands of international importance (Ramsar site) due to its landscape, biological and cultural values and its great diversity of birds. In 1998, the Municipality of Lima created the Municipal Authority of the Pantanos de Villa (PROHVILLA) to protect and manage the aquifer system. The Pantanos was established as a Protected Natural Area in 2006. In this protected area, people can find tourist attractions that include, within the five natural water mirrors, about 210 species of birds, 13 of fish, 5 of amphibians and reptiles, among others.

Parque de las Leyendas is not only one of the most important zoos in Peru because of its extensive zoological and botanical collection, it is also an important historical site for the 54 archaeological sites it houses, some dating back as far as 2000 years. In 2001, Parque de las Leyendas inaugurated a 47,000 square meter Botanical Garden. This space provides essential environmental services, such as a bank of vegetative material for conservation purposes and also as a refuge for local fauna. Workshops, courses, and exhibitions are offered in this place to educate visitors about the importance and preservation of local and international nature.

Likewise, through propagation programs of native plants and cactuses, it has been possible to propagate plant species that are in the conservation category. This group of plants is a first step for the creation of a reserve to restore natural habitats.

What role do green spaces play in your city for species and humans alike? How is the city working to expand them?

In Metropolitan Lima, green areas such as bushes, flowers, and trees play an indispensable role in the survival and diversity of different animal species. Thanks to the flowers and certain shrubs, bees proliferate as pollinating agents, the same happens with hummingbirds. Similarly, green areas have become spaces to qualify the adverse effects of human intervention and regulate the urban microclimate and noise.

To date, the Service of Parks of Lima (Serpar) is working in the generation of urban forests, turning sandy areas into green spaces in the case of our Ecological Forest of the North, where 34 hectares of sand were reforested; and the Ecological Forest of the South, where we have recovered four hectares of abandoned landfill.

On the other hand, through our tree planting program “Árboles para Lima” by 2022 our goal is to plant two million trees of different species. This quantity will be delivered through agreements with municipal districts that request them.

The role of the Pantanos de Villa in our city is to house about 210 species of birds, of which on average there are 90 resident species, 40 migrant species, and the rest occasional. It also fulfills the function of capturing and storing nearly 80 thousand tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), contributing to the mitigation of climate change.

Earth Day 2019 and Community Engagement

What did your city plan for Earth Day?

For Earth Day 2019, in the Pantanos de Villa, the First Bird Watching Camp was held. Among the planned activities were five sessions of sighting and registration of birds guided by specialists; as well as round tables to talk about various issues related to ecosystems, and the biological diversity of Peru.

On Monday, April 22, from the Municipality of Lima, we inaugurated the first Organic Waste Recovery Plant in partnership with the I.E. School. No. 103 “Luis Armando Cabello Hurtado.” So far this year, this space has achieved the production of 1 ton of compost and 1.5 of humus, destined for three school gardens, and 81 families of the Cercado de Lima that develop compost composters in their homes within the framework of the program Recycle Lima.

Similarly, the Park Service of the Municipality of Lima (Serpar), in the company of schoolchildren, planted more than three hundred trees in the Ecological Forest of the South. The Park Service also provided eco-environmental workshops and developed a sample of recycled works with an environmental focus.

Wildlife and Endangered Species in the City

What types of species are present in your city?

Pantanos de Villa harbor around 85 native species of birds, and three native species of rodents.

Parque de las Leyendas houses more than 200 different species of fauna, divided into four zones: Coast, Sierra [mountain], Selva [rainforest], and International. [The park includes some of] the most representative and typical species [of the zones]. Likewise, endemic species such as the “Gecko de las huacas,” a species threatened at present and of global importance, are kept within the Park. Also, the Park hosts species of flora typical of the coastal ecosystem such as succulents and Lomas plants, among which are endemic species such as the Flor de Amancaes (Ismene amancaes), a species whose habitats are continuously threatened by the pollution generated by the disposal of waste and the land invasions.

What kinds of natural habitats are present in your community? How do these habitats add to character of the city and how are you working to protect them?

The National Forestry and Wildlife Service – SERFOR has cataloged 19 coastal hills located throughout Metropolitan Lima. These fragile ecosystems are the wild corridors of the coast, which in winter turn naturally green due to the amount of humidity concentrated in the environment. These ecosystems are temporary shelters of different species which, among their ecological functions, purify the air of the city.

Currently, the Municipality of Lima and other Metropolitan Institutions are working on the creation of the Regional Conservation Area on five hills in which conservation, reforestation, cultural and eco-tourism projects are being carried out. Likewise, the Metropolitan Environmental Commission has a Metropolitan Technical Group for the Management and Conservation of Ecosystems, where work tables are being held to coordinate actions in defense and conservation of the hills. Unfortunately, the free sale of land and invasions threatens these ecosystems.

On the other hand, Metropolitan Lima hosts wetlands such as the Pantanos de Villa, considered as one of the lungs of the city and home to more than 200 species of local and migratory birds, as well as marine ecosystems that go along our entire coastline.

More about the Green Cities Spotlight Series: By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Increasing urbanization without responsible stewardship is a threat to local flora and fauna. With cities growing at a rapid pace, they play a critical role in protecting biodiversity and educating the public about the importance of species and biodiversity in regard to community health and well-being. Earth Day Network’s new city series highlights the important work cities around the world are doing to support biodiversity through a variety of innovative initiatives.

More about Jorge Muñoz Wells: The Peruvian lawyer and politician has been the Mayor of Lima  since January 2019. He is an executive, with more than 20 years of experience in municipal management. Before being elected as Mayor of Lima he was mayor of the Municipality District of Miraflores (2011 – 2018). As mayor of Lima, his Government Plan is focused on three crucial areas; citizen security, sustainable transport, and public waste. He has the desire to transform the city of Lima, into a sustainable city where will be pleasant to live.

This interview is part of Earth Day Network’s Green Cities interview series with local officials. The series in 2019 will highlight success stories and innovative biodiversity initiatives in cities around the world for the Protect Our Species campaign. If you have any comments or if you are a city official interested in participating in the interview series and sharing your city’s initiatives, please contact Sebastian Rosemont, Green Cities Coordinator, at cities@earthday.org

Photo Credit: Avodrocc

The post Green City Spotlight: Lima Mayor Jorge Muñoz Wells appeared first on Earth Day Network.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Earth Day Network by Earth Day Network - 3w ago

A HIVE OF CREATIVITY MOVES TO THE STREET

EDN’s Artists for the Earth Spotlight: Matthew Willey and Louis Masai

In an effort to raise awareness about the plight of endangered animals, two artists focus on the amazing honey bee as a metaphor not only for the threat of species extinction, but for a way of life.

Matthew Willey at the Smithsonian Zoo

Mural painter Matthew Willey founded the Good of the Hive, a project inspired by a bee that flew in his window one day, to paint 50,000 bees (the approximate number necessary for a healthy bee hive) in murals around the world – and keeping careful note of the number. According to Willey“Honey bees within the hive ‘think’ collectively. They are hard-wired to understand that their immune system is collective. Their health is based on the health of the hive, not the individual bee.” His work looks at the perfect balance that a bee has with its hive and our own balance as humans with everything around us. The essence of his work is to connect us all in the realization that, in this way, we are just like bees. He paints bees so that people will not only learn of their startling decline or their incredible importance, but also to celebrate the power in human connection. Willey’s latest project is a custom designed series of installations entitled “The Swarm.”

Louis Masai Red Panda Shanghai, China

London artist Louis Masai is on a mission to raise awareness of endangered species through his Save the Bees project. His work on large outdoor wall murals began shortly after he returned from painting endangered animals in South Africa when he learned about bees and the implications of colony collapse disorder. His travel project, “The Art of Beeing”, was a 12 city tour across the United States where he painted murals of local species under threat of extinction. The animals were painted like patchwork toys each with a bee seen stitching them up because, as he sees it, they are keeping the planet stitched together. “If we don’t act now to stop extinction,” he says, “only toys will remain in the place of animals. Patchworks are relevant because those were traditionally passed down in families by women.” He leaves his animals as memories for the children of tomorrow, but the true “Art of Beeing” is his hope that humans will re-evaluate nature by putting species protection at the heart of society, and come together to restore the planet.

Earth Day Network has launched its Earth Day 2019 campaign Protect Our Species, which identifies 2019 as a crucial year to advance and protect laws, policies, regulations, and international cooperation agreements for species protection from threatened rollbacks. Learn more about the campaign here.

The post WHAT’S THE BUZZ? appeared first on Earth Day Network.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

April 15, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – Earth Day Network is implementing a nationally coordinated environmental volunteer cleanup to mark Earth Day 2019, in collaboration with partners across the U.S., including National CleanUp Day and Keep America Beautiful. All over the country people are encouraged to get up, get out, and help clean their communities to celebrate Earth Day.

People have a right to expect a clean environment and can exercise that right by helping to clean their own communities with over 3,000 cleanups of green spaces, urban landscapes and waterways with grassroots organizations leading up to Earth Day on April 22 and taking place throughout the remainder of the month of April.

Volunteers across the U.S. are coming together with grassroots organizations for Earth Day 2019 to clean up over 3,000 green spaces, urban landscapes, and waterways. Plastic pollution and waste challenge every community, every day, and these cleanups offer a chance to make a real difference.

Cleanups are planned in over 80 cities and town, including Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Richmond, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. More cities and sites are being added every day.

Volunteer registration is open right now. Volunteers are invited to sign up at here.

The Earth Day 2019 Cleanup aims to inspire volunteerism and achieve tangible impact on waste in our environment. The unified campaign includes mobile registration, digital mapping, social media, photo sharing, corporate volunteer engagement, and data collection on cleanup results.

Building on best practices and verifiable metrics from 2019, this event will then be scaled up for the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2020, which will be known as the Great Global Cleanup, featuring more than 100,000 events globally with goal of 1 billion pieces of trash collected.

“The Great Global Cleanup will bring together millions of people around the globe to create the largest coordinated volunteer event in history,” Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers said. “We are excited to kick off in cities across the U.S. in 2019, and to expand globally in 2020 in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.” For more information, go to earthday.org/greatglobalcleanup.

Earth Day 2019 Cleanup sponsors include Toyota, Kiehl’s Since 1851, Dos Gardenias, Burton Snowboards and Fetzer.

About Us

Earth Day Network’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day (1970), Earth Day Network works with more than 50,000 partners in 190 countries to build environmental democracy. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Learn more at earthday.org

National CleanUp Day is a call to action. National CleanUp Day is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, dedicated to keeping our nation’s urban, rural, and outdoor public spaces free of litter and trash. For more information, please visit nationalcleanupday.org

Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. Learn more at kab.org.

For more information contact:

communications@earthday.org • 202.355.8875

National CleanUp Day • Mike DeCarlo

mike@scrimshawpr.com • 908.902.8413

The post EARTH DAY NETWORK’S 2019 CLEANUP SPANS THOUSANDS OF LOCATIONS DURING APRIL appeared first on Earth Day Network.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview