Business and Biodiversity

In 1997, IUCN and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development published “Business and Biodiversity – A Guide for the Private Sector.” IUCN and WBCSD have joined forces with Earthwatch Institute (Europe) to develop a new Handbook for Corporate Action. The Handbook provides information on the business case for biodiversity, an overview of hot issues, and guidance on biodiversity management strategies. Throughout this electronic version, links to extended case studies are provided.
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Adaptation to climate change in forest management

A concise paper “Adaptation to climate change in forest management” by David L. Spittlehouse (B.C. Forest Service) and Robert B. Stewart (Natural Resources Canada) The forestry community needs to evaluate the long-term effects of climate change on forests and determine what can be done now and in the future to respond to this threat. The paper suggests a simple four-step management framework for adaptation in forestry that could apply to other sectors and to multidisciplinary issues in a regional context:

  • Step 1: Identify the climate impact on the resource, however uncertain.
  • Step 2: Assess the vulnerability to climate change of the resource, the resource communities and society.
  • Step 3: Develop adaptation actions that can be taken now.
  • Step 4: Develop adaptation actions that should be incorporated into planning.

The paper reviews a number of forest adaptive actions and list management questions that need to be addressed to facilitate adaptation.
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The gap between CEO and Worker

Growing pay discrepancies in the United States emerge largely from a compensation system skewed in favor of the CEO, most notably the common practice of offering stock options (giving CEOs the right to buy company stock in the future at a price set today). This system has effectively put CEOs at odds with workers, and placed jobs in jeopardy because they have encouraged executives to take excessive risks that inflate stock values and to use accounting methods that overstate company earnings. In Canada, average annual pay of the CEO’s is 29 times those of workers
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Reducing Leaking Electricity to a Trickle

Many electronic devices continue to consume energy even while switched off or not performing their principal service. This phenomenon has acquired several names, including standby power, standby losses, leaking electricity, waiting electricity, free-running power, off-mode power,and phantom loads. The leaking electricity found in televisions, VCRs, garage door openers, cordless phones and many other appliances has a surprisingly large impact on the global environment. Worldwide, phantom loads are responsible of 1% of CO2 emission.
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You Can Prevent Global Warming

This remarkable manual written by Jeffrey Langholz and Kelly Turner provides 51 no-cost or low-cost tips to reduce GHG emission. According to the authors, if you follow the tips contained in this book, you will save US$2,000 and 25,000 pounds of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) per year. The book is extremely well-written and well-documented. Although it addresses things you can do at home and in your day-to-day live, it also a great source of innovative ideas for engineers and architects. For example, did you know that TVs and VCRs that are turned “off” still consume significant amount of electricity – to power LED’s, clocks and internal standby devices? As a result, all TVs and VCRs in the USA that are turned “off” cost Americans nearly one billion U$ a year in electricity?
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Where on Earth are we going?

The biography of Maurice Strong. From his humble beginnings in a small town of Manitoba at the beginning of the great depression to his glory days as the chair of the earth summit in Rio. Nobody has contributed more to the cause of sustainable developement than Maurice Strong. “If the world succeeds in making a transition to truly sustainable development, all of us will owe no small debt of gratitude to Maurice Strong, whose prescience and dynamic presence on the international stage have played a key role in convincing governments and grassroots alike to embrace the principle -if not yet the practice-of adopting a new, long-term, custodial approach to the global environment. But if the world fails to transform its relationship with the planet and its bounty of natural resources-if, alas, the oft-predicted environmental catastrophe does come to pass-no one will be able to say that Maurice Strong was part of the problem, or that he was ever less than fully committed to the goal of reconciling environment and development, ecology and economy, and the needs of the present with the needs of future generations. It would be a mistake to think of Maurice solely as one of the world’s leading environmentalists. His main cause has been people. Whether he was helping to put the environment on the inter- national agenda in the 1970S, orchestrating the landmark “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 or assisting me to reform the United Nations to face the challenges of a new era in world affairs, his wish has been to see men and women in all countries leading peaceful lives of dignity, security, freedom and opportunity, in harmony with nature and themselves.” -Preface by Kofi Annan- Secretary General of the United Nations)
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Renewables in Global Energy Supply

A fact sheet from the International Energy Agency (IAE). The report examines the status of renewable energy versus traditional fossil fuel based energy. Renewables were at the centre of the energy discussion at the World Summit. Differences in definition and lack of adequate data complicated the discussion between participants on this key issue. The International Energy Agency prepared this fact sheet to facilitate the debate on the past, current and future place and role of renewables in total energy supply. This pamphlet presents as objectively as possible the main elements of the current renewables energy situation. The definitions and coverage of national statistics vary between countries and organisations. In this leaflet, renewables include combustible renewables and waste (CRW), hydro, geothermal, solar, wind, tide, wave energy
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