Summer Lakeshore Festival 2013!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Finally the summer has arrived! And with that, Gamiing Nature Centre hosted its annual Summer Lakeshore Festival 2013 last week in the Kawartha Lakes region. The event was a success and participants could enjoy the many activities prepared by Gamiing while learning valuable environment related information.

Birds of Prey

Families could touch and interact with birds of prey such as a baby Great Horned Owl, an adult Great Horned Owl, a Ferruginous Hawk and a Falcon from the Centre for the Conservation of Specialized Species in Havelock.

Gamiing also set up a frog identification station, allowing kids to catch and identify the frogs. There was also some water testing done at this station and information was provided on native frogs.

Frog Station

 

Great food was also served! A lunch of wild edibles was prepared and served for everyone to try along with hot dogs and marshmellows. We should invite Andrew Zimmern from the Travel Channel for the next event!

The festival had many other attractions and activities such as willow jewellery atelier, trails, bugs & bees display, and a butterfly garden. It was definitely a blast!

 

For more information regarding future events from Gamiing Nature Centre please check the following link: http://gamiing.org/Our_Events.php

News of the Week!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Monday is always a hard day. The weekend is over and we are just in the start of the Newsweek… At the same time it is the best day to be informed of the main happenings that took place I the week that passed. And we had a busy last week, with many news that are relevant to blog readers regarding the environment and related to Gamiing’s actions and projects. Take a look on the news that made headline last week!

New Study Links Air Pollution With Autism: http://www.abc4.com/content/news/state/story/New-study-links-air-pollution-with-autism/-n0upl4Ng0q1Z1u7hkponw.cspx

Targeting Four Pollutants Could Reduce Sea Level Rise: http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/7690/20130621/targeting-four-pollutants-reduce-sea-level-rise.htm

Top scientists say children should have a muddy good time: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/science/scientists+children+should+have+muddy+good+time/8561939/story.html

US, Canada to poison blood-sucking sea lamprey: http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130623/NEWS90/130629918/-1/NEWS01

Would love to hear your opinion on the headlines! Share your comments and thoughts!

Lakeshore Restoration: Beyond the Environment Driver

By Marcelo Kawanami

Shorelands are naturally full of a rich diversity of life: plants, animals, and microorganisms, including humans. As we understand more about the structure and function of shoreland, we also become aware of the importance of our role in keeping these systems healthy.

Lakescaping and shoreland restoration can return many desirable features to shorelines such as:

  • Provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife
  • Filter out pollutants and runoff that degrade water quality
  • Prevent shoreline erosion by absorbing wave action
  • Enjoy abundant nature: flowers, trees, aquatic plants, fish, birds
  • More leisure time to relax and enjoy the nature at the lakeshore

Restoring the balance of nature enhances the aesthetic quality and recreational opportunities we appreciate. Additionally, it can bring financial benefits to cities and communities, by leveraging touristic centers and attracting investments.

A good example is the transformation made on Milwaukee’s downtown lakefront on Lake Michigan which was capable of combining environment, community, touristic, and business initiatives into a well structure lakeshore restoration.

New Presentation: Mega Trends Regarding Global Urbanization

By Marcelo Kawanami

Hello everyone. Today I would like to share with you a great presentation developed by Frost & Sullivan regarding global urbanization and the impacts on Africa. This presentation is not only focused on the African continent. It brings amazing data regarding urban developments and a perspective for 2025.Cities of Tomorrow - global mega trends

Additionally, the document is very visual, with many charts and graphs. If you would like to use any of the data from this document into other presentations and reports, please just cite the source.

You can download the full presentation in the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ogq3botysbuooc/F%26S%20-%20Urbanizations%20%26%20the%20Implications%20for%20Africa%20-%202013.pdf

Plastics Labeled as “Hazardous” Might Reduce Ocean Pollution

By Marcelo Kawanami

Recently, National Geographic published an article based on a recent comment piece made by Chelsea Rochman at UC Davis and Mark Anthony Browne at UC Santa Barbara, suggesting that some plastics should be labeled and classified as hazardous. This action would address the increasing problem our planet suffers regarding plastic waste.

“We believe that if countries classified the most harmful plastics as hazardous, their environmental agencies would have the power to restore affected habitats and prevent more dangerous debris from accumulating,” said the authors in a press release.

Adding some facts to the discussion, check below some data regarding plastic bag:

Infographic - Ocean Pollution

– The US uses 380 billion plastic bags each year
– China uses 3 billion plastic bags every day, using 37 billion barrels of oil to produce plastic bags each year

– Less than 1% of plastic bags are recycled per year

The article generated discussions and not everyone agrees with the scientists’ suggestions, calling the action as extreme and unreasonable. What is your opinion?

Click here to check the full article: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/03/12/should-plastics-be-labeled-hazardous-to-reduce-ocean-pollution
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Fishing also requires strategy!

By Marcelo Kawanami

The top global management consulting firm, McKinsey, has recently published an interesting article regarding fishing economy and its impact on the environment. The article brings important data and information regarding strategic actions on fishery management in order to boost sustainability without compromising the economic landscape of fishing communities.

Fishing Boat by Adrian Oakes

Key highlights:

– Fisheries employ 180 million people worldwide. Additionally, fish and fishery products are among the most widely traded agricultural commodities, with exports worth more than $109 billion in 2010

– There are about 700 million recreational fishers worldwide, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

– Traditional management practice of placing an overall limit on how much fish could be harvested and allowing fishers to compete for the largest possible share is driving the “race to fish”

– Intense competition led to overharvesting, and individual fishers had no incentives to practice good stewardship

– Private fishers respond to different incentives compared to charter and head boat operators, suggesting that the two groups might best be managed separately

To read the full article, please click in the following link: http://www.mckinsey.com/client_service/sustainability/latest_thinking/a_sustainable_fish_story

Freshwater for Latin America!

By Marcelo Kawanami

I’m very excited with the opportunity to write on Gamiing’s blog. As my first post, I would like to address a topic which is close to Gamiing organization and also to me, as I’m currently living in Latin America.

With 500 million inhabitants or 8% of the world population distributed in 20 countries, Latin American region possesses 31% of the freshwater resource in the world. In comparison, Asia, where 60% of the world population lives, only 28% of the freshwater resource is available.

Latin America Water Scarcity Map

 

The growth in demand for water, due to the economic growth and the increasing urbanization process in Latin America, exposes the weakness of countries in the region of managing their water resources. By the end of this year, Latin American countries are set to invest billions not only to increase and improve drinking water supply from rivers and lakes but also from oceans.

 

In some countries the immediate need to increase supply of water leaves no other option to political and industrial leaders but to invest in seawater desalination treatment plants. Most traditional water sources in the region, such as rivers, lakes, and groundwater are polluted as a result of decades of state, public and industrial mismanagement. Their revitalization will be done during the next decades and will need billions of dollars in investments.

Brazil for example, under a Program of Accelerated Growth (PAC), allocated $25 billion to guarantee that everyone in Brazil will have access to safe drinking water and access to basic wastewater sanitation by 2015. Other countries have the similar objectives. Finance from the United Nations, the Banco Interamericano de Desarollo and other institutions are available to help reach the MDG.

Latin America may well be water rich but economic and urban growth from the last two decades has polluted the traditional freshwater resources of many countries. The priority for governments in the region is to meet the MDG (Millennium Development Goals) target and increase the access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The goal for most governments in the region is to meet the basic requirements for water and wastewater treatment.

However, countries like Peru and Chile are investing in desalination to guarantee an immediate increase in water supply and support economic and urban growth. Latin America is thirsty for more water. Some industries and urban areas simply cannot afford to just sit back and wait for improvements in water management to take place. As with the examples in Chile and Peru, investment in desalination to quench the region’s thirst is a solution that cannot be delayed.