Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Free Farm

"They grow tons of food right in the city and then give it away for free at the Free Farm money involved whatsoever. A really amazing way to help feed people who need it most."
Love their vision ♥:

Their intentions:
-to cultivate the earth by growing fresh organic vegetables
-to cultivate ourselves by tending to the well-being of body and mind, soul, and spirit
-to cultivate society by creating a microcosm of mutuality, simplicity, generosity, and love

What they do:
-grow and give away food, seedlings, and garden supplies to those who are in need
-offer garden, environmental, wellness education
-facilitate diverse spiritual practices
-advocate for environmental, climate, and food justice
-practice hospitality and host community events

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Why Urban Farming is the Most Important Movement of our Time

The simple act of planting a garden can shape issues like economics, health, and politics at the same time because food is an essential focal point of human activity. As the urban farming movement grows, here are five ways that it will transform our world.
1. Renewed local economies. Local neighbor-to-neighbor commerce generally doesn’t happen in our communities. Residential areas almost never include common spaces where community exchanges might happen. Likewise, because selling homemade bread to your neighbors is illegal in most areas, the law discourages community commerce, and instead encourages you to purchase from the supermarket chain.
In my own community, the urban farming movement has reinvigorated local commerce. Instead of buying oranges, I now trade pumpkin for oranges from my neighbor’s tree. If urban farming continued to grow, it would cause a massive and positive economic disruption by introducing local food production that would compete with the corporate mainstream on price, quality, convenience, and level of service.
2. Environmental stewardship. Industrial agriculture is a major source of fossil fuel pollution. Petrochemicals are used to fertilize, spray, and preserve food. Plastics made from oil are used to package the food, and gasoline is used to transport food worldwide. Urban farming unplugs us from oil by minimizing the transport footprint and using organic cultivation methods.
While industrial agriculture often maneuvers to avoid paying for environmental externalities, urban farmers directly bear the ecological costs of their actions. This makes urban farmers better stewards of their land because they draw their nutrition from it. Rather than using chemicals that destroy soil biology, urban farming culture stresses sustainable organic techniques that enrich the topsoil.
3. A focus on local politics. Urban farming makes it clearer and easier for people to be involved in local politics by bringing issues that directly affect neighborhoods to the fore. Local regulations become far more relevant to the day-to-day life of a person attempting to cultivate their own food than most issues normally discussed on CNN. The growth of urban farming has already resulted in large-scale legal pushes like the California Cottage Food Act, which will allow people to legally sell certain homemade goods like jams and breads. Other neighborhood issues such as the raising of chickens, beekeeping for the production of honey, or the chlorination of water are already in the sights of urban farmers and environmentalists alike.
4. A revolution of health and nutrition. Increased awareness about the negative health effects of food from the industrial food chain is itself a big reason why urban farmers grow their own food. When you feed your produce to your family, you’re less likely to douse it in poisons. Local food has more freshness, flavor, and nutrient retention because it goes through less transportation and processing. As the urban farming movement grows, it will mean more accessibility to nutritious local food and more time spent doing the healthy physical work of gardening. This could result in less obesity, less chronic disease, and decreased healthcare spending.
5. A flowering of community interaction. Urban farming is a lifestyle inherently centered on community. Growing food is, after all, a cooperative effort. In my own community, I see that the knowledge of how and what to grow is exchanged, seeds are swapped, labor is shared, and the harvest is traded. As urban farming grows, a stronger interdependence within communities is likely to result as local food systems bring more community interaction into people’s daily lives.
The most important movement of our time. Although there are many other notable initiatives today, the influence of urban farming is uniquely widespread because more people live in cities than rural areas and food is a central necessity that affects everything at once. The seeds of change are already being planted in homes like mine across the world. For these seeds to grow and blossom, we need to demand more local food so that the market for urban-grown produce expands. We also need to put pressure on our legal system to allow easier local trade and more local food production.
Imagine if we grew food instead of grass. Every community is a local food economy waiting to come to life. The answer to climate change, the health crisis, and the recession economy is right outside your door. I’ll meet you at the garden fence. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ecological Principles

Creating communities that are compatible with nature's processes for sustaining life requires basic ecological knowledge. 

We need, says Center for Ecoliteracy cofounder Fritjof Capra, to teach our children — and our political and corporate leaders — fundamental facts of life:
  • Matter cycles continually through the web of life.
  • Most of the energy driving the ecological cycles flows from the sun.
  • Diversity assures resilience.
  • One species' waste is another species' food.
  • Life did not take over the planet by combat but by networking.
Understanding these facts arises from understanding the patterns and processes by which nature sustains life. In its work with teachers and schools, the Center for Ecoliteracy has identified several of the most important of these. It has helped teachers identify places in the curriculum where students can learn about them.
They include networks, nested systems, cycles, flows, development, and dynamic balance.

All living things in an ecosystem are interconnected through networks of relationship. They depend on this web of life to survive. For example: In a garden, a network of pollinators promotes genetic diversity; plants, in turn, provide nectar and pollen to the pollinators.

Nested SystemsNested Systems
Nature is made up of systems that are nested within systems. Each individual system is an integrated whole and—at the same time — part of larger systems. Changes within a system can affect the sustainability of the systems that are nested within it as well as the larger systems in which it exists. For example: Cells are nested within organs within organisms within ecosystems.

Members of an ecological community depend on the exchange of resources in continual cycles. Cycles within an ecosystem intersect with larger regional and global cycles. For example: Water cycles through a garden and is also part of the global water cycle.

Each organism needs a continual flow of energy to stay alive. The constant flow of energy from the sun to Earth sustains life and drives most ecological cycles. For example: Energy flows through a food web when a plant converts the sun's energy through photosynthesis, a mouse eats the plant, a snake eats the mouse, and a hawk eats the snake. In each transfer, some energy is lost as heat, requiring an ongoing energy flow into the system.

All life — from individual organisms to species to ecosystems — changes over time. Individuals develop and learn, species adapt and evolve, and organisms in ecosystems coevolve. For example: Hummingbirds and honeysuckle flowers have developed in ways that benefit each other; the hummingbird's color vision and slender bill coincide with the colors and shapes of the flowers.

Dynamic BalanceDynamic Balance
Ecological communities act as feedback loops, so that the community maintains a relatively steady state that also has continual fluctuations. This dynamic balance provides resiliency in the face of ecosystem change. For example: Ladybugs in a garden eat aphids. When the aphid population falls, some ladybugs die off, which permits the aphid population to rise again, which supports more ladybugs. The populations of the individual species rise and fall, but balance within the system allows them to thrive together.   

Putting Smart by Nature Principles into Practices

The four guiding principles of the Center for Ecoliteracy's Smart by Nature™ framework, described in our book Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability, have many implications for educators, as seen in this excerpt.

To envision sustainable human communities, we look for lessons derived from 3.8 billion years of natural research and development. We can model human societies and institutions, including schools, after the patterns and processes found in sustainable ecosystems, and learn from the practices of traditional societies that have sustained themselves for centuries. (Inviting nature to be our teacher does not mean turning sentimental or softheaded about the beneficence of kindly Mother Nature; this mother practices tough love, and teaches limits as well as possibilities.)

Some consequences of accepting nature as our teacher:

Ecological literacy is at the center. Understanding how nature sustains ecosystems requires basic ecological knowledge. We need, says Fritjof Capra, to teach our children (and our political and corporate leaders) fundamental facts of life. For example:

• Matter cycles continually through the web of life
• The energy driving the ecological cycles flows from the sun
• Diversity assures resilience
• One species' waste is another species' food
• Life did not take over the planet by combat but by networking

Integrating the curriculum. Focusing on ecological principles integrates teaching across disciplines and between grades — an antidote to the fragmentation and narrowing that often result from standardized testing and state mandates.  Some teachers fear that teaching sustainability will just add another responsibility onto overfull workloads. In fact, tying subjects together in ways that make sense to students can make teaching more rewarding.

Systems thinking. John Muir famously wrote, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." In education we often try to unhitch everything in order to study the separate parts. In fact, individual "things" (plants, people, schools, watersheds, economies) can't be fully understood apart from their larger systems, which means thinking in terms of relationships, connectedness, and context.

In systems thinking, emphases shift: from the parts to the whole, from objects to relationships, from structures to process, from contents to patterns. For instance, a nutrition lesson that tracks meals from farm to cafeteria can map the relationships between food choices, the health of local agriculture, the environmental costs of shipping food over thousands of miles, and impacts on the livelihoods of farmers halfway around the world.

Solving for pattern. Author/farmer/philosopher Wendell Berry contrasts bad solutions — which solve for single purposes and act destructively on the patterns in which they are contained — with good solutions, which are in harmony with their larger patterns and result in ramifying sets of solutions.  Farm-to-school programs, for example, beget other solutions: they improve health, teach about nutrition, support small-scale farmers, and keep money within the local economy. School districts planning new buildings save resources, energy, and money through integrated design processes in which educators, architects, engineers, and contractors collaborate to create facilities whose parts work together as systems.

Healthy by nature. It shouldn't be surprising that nature teaches solutions that fit human bodies, which evolved for million years before industrialization. Natural daylighting improves health and performance. Children surrounded by more nature — even if just a view out a window — experience less anxiety and depression and fewer behavioral conduct disorders.  Fresh, seasonal, unprocessed foods are better choices for school meals. Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and other problems improve rapidly when artificial coloring and preservatives are removed from their diets.  


Many ecological principles are variations on a single fundamental pattern: nature sustains life by creating and nurturing communities. Animals, plants, and microorganisms live in webs of mutual dependence. People require each other for emotional as well as physical succor. Qualities that keep natural ecosystems vibrant and resilient, such as diversity and interdependence, shape healthier schools and other human communities as well.

The community is a teacher. A healthy network of relationships that includes all its members makes a community more sustainable. When teachers, students, parents, trustees, and other community members decide and act collaboratively, students practice skills of leadership and community decision-making that they will need in order to be effective agents of change.

Systems change. Understanding change in living systems informs efforts to reform schools, districts, and other social systems. Large-scale changes that have great impact begin as small, local actions, says systems change theorist Margaret Wheatley. "While they remain separate and apart, they have no influence beyond their locale. However, if they become connected, exchanging information and learning, their separate efforts can suddenly emerge as very powerful changes, able to influence a large system."

Nested systems. Schools nest within local communities, economies, and ecosystems. David W. Orr proposes a standard for designers that could apply to any nested system: Think upstream to the wells, mines, forests, farms, and manufacturers from which materials are drawn. Look downstream to the effects on the climate and health of people and ecosystems. If there is ugliness at either end, you cannot claim success, regardless of the artfulness of what you make.

The "hidden curriculum." The "curriculum" encompasses everywhere at the school that children learn. Schools teach — whether consciously or not — by how they treat their neighbors, invest their money, or provision themselves with food, energy, materials, and transportation. Their actions demonstrate their understanding of their relationship with the rest of the world, their regard for students and their health, and what they really believe about sustainability.


Whether restoring a species' habitat, tending a school garden, or designing a neighborhood recycling program, students learn more when their actions have meaning and matter to someone else. In schooling for sustainability, students connect with the natural world and human communities through project-based learning, which inspires them to learn in order to accomplish something they care about. They also learn that they can make a difference.

Seeing nature firsthand.
Children experience, explore, and understand nature's basic patterns — the web of life, the cycles of matter, the flow of energy — through immersion in the natural world. They encounter nature in the rich, messy ways in which it exists, and understand nature's rhythms and the time scales at which natural events occur, when they plant and harvest in the garden or watch a creekside they have restored come back to life. Students who learn nature's principles in gardens score better in science, reading and writing, and independent thinking.

Buildings as teachers. Designed and operated with imagination, a campus can act as both the classroom and the lesson, as a laboratory for exploring solutions to environmental problems, a model of sustainable practice, and an inspiration to the surrounding community and other institutions.

School-community partnerships. Students learn what their communities value by partnering with people who were living there before they arrived and who will be there long after they graduate. By working closely with community members, students learn about community resources and how to use them.


When people acquire a deep knowledge of a particular place, they care about what happens to the landscape, creatures, and people in it. When they understand its ecology and diversity, the web of relationships it supports, and the rhythm of its cycles, they develop appreciation and a sense of kinship with their surroundings. Place-based education is fundamental to schooling for sustainability. Places known deeply are deeply loved, and well-loved places have the best chance to be protected and preserved for future generations.

The world reveals itself in its fullness. "A great deal of what passes for knowledge" in contemporary education, says David Orr, "is little more than abstraction piled on abstraction, disconnected from tangible experience, real problems, and the places where we live and play." These actual places, he continues, "are laboratories of diversity and complexity, mixing social functions and natural processes."  Even "common" settings — a schoolyard, a residential neighborhood — can yield rich experiences.

Bridging disciplines and for looking at the world as people experience it. A "Golden Gate" course at Marin Academy in California combines natural and human history and literature, geology, history, and ecology, and helps students discover what it means to be members of a biotic community. Ninth-graders at Lawrenceville School in New Jersey read letters written by Aldo Leopold when he was a student there, and then trace the trails he followed.

Local answers to environmental problems. Whether through buying locally, removing invasive species, or creating decentralized energy systems, relocalization is becoming a powerful strategy for sustainability. "What has served our species well in the past could serve us well in the future if we only relinquish the modern tendency to impose universal solutions upon the infinite variability of both people and the planet. Local diversity lies at the heart of humanity's biological and cultural success," write educators David Gruenewald and Gregory Smith.  Students practice this strategy when finding solutions to issues on campus and in local communities.

Getting from here to there. "I'm anxiously awaiting a good explanation why it's important for second graders to know the order of the planets from Mercury to Pluto," writes Antioch New England professor and place-based education researcher David Sobel. "Wouldn't it be more useful to develop a solid understanding of the geography of the town the second grader lives in?"  A movement from close and familiar to far and strange, he notes, mirrors the development of children's minds.

— Adapted from Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability, by Michael K. Stone/Center for Ecoliteracy (Watershed Media, 2009)

The Five Ecoliteracy Practices

With a goal of nurturing students to become ecoliterate, the Center for Ecoliteracy has identified five vital practices that integrate emotional, social, and ecological intelligence. They are described at greater length in our book, Ecoliterate: How Educators Are Cultivating Emotional, Social, and Ecological Intelligence (Jossey-Bass, 2012), from which the excerpt below is taken.
We work to inspire teachers to use a variety of learning opportunities that help students consider and apply these practices in a diverse range of contexts. These practices allow students to strengthen and extend their capacity to live sustainably.
1. Developing Empathy for All Forms of Life encourages students to expand their sense of compassion to other forms of life. By shifting from our society's dominant mindset (which considers humans to be separate from and superior to the rest of life on Earth) to a view that recognizes humans as being members of the web of life, students broaden their care and concern to include a more inclusive network of relationships.
2. Embracing Sustainability as a Community Practice emerges from knowing that organisms do not exist in isolation. The quality of the web of relationships within any living community determines its collective ability to survive and thrive. By learning about the wondrous ways that plants, animals, and other living things are interdependent, students are inspired to consider the role of interconnectedness within their communities and see the value in strengthening those relationships by thinking and acting cooperatively.
3. Making the Invisible Visible assists students in recognizing the myriad effects of human behavior on other people and the environment. The impacts of human behavior have expanded exponentially in time, space, and magnitude, making the results difficult if not impossible to understand fully. Using tools to help make the invisible visible reveals the far-reaching implications of human behavior and enables us to act in more life-affirming ways.
4. Anticipating Unintended Consequences is a twofold challenge of predicting the potential implications of our behaviors as best we can, while at the same time accepting that we cannot foresee all possible cause-and-effect associations. Assuming that the ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life, students can adopt systems thinking and the “precautionary principle” as guidelines for cultivating a way of living that defends rather than destroys the web of life. Second, we build resiliency by supporting the capacity of natural and social communities to rebound from unintended consequences.
5. Understanding How Nature Sustains Life is imperative for students to cultivate a society that takes into account future generations and other forms of life. Nature has successfully supported life on Earth for billions of years. Therefore, by examining the Earth's processes, we learn strategies that are applicable to designing human endeavors.
Excerpted with permission of the publisher, Jossey-Bass, a Wiley imprint. From Ecoliterate: How Educators Are Cultivating Emotional, Social and Ecological Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman, Lisa Bennett, and Zenobia Barlow. Copyright © 2012 by Center for Ecoliteracy.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

10 Principles for Liveable High Density Cities: Lessons from Singapore

New Publication Shows How Urban Density Can Be Managed with Innovative Planning, Development and Governance
SINGAPORE (January 24, 2013) – Innovative planning, design and development practices that emphasize a “people-first” focus can help ensure that rapid urbanization does not compromise liveability and sustainability, according to a new publication by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Singapore’s Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC).

10 Principles for Liveable High Density Cities: Lessons from Singapore draws upon Singapore’s successful urbanization experience – despite its population density, the city-state has consistently ranked favorably in various surveys measuring the liveability and sustainability of cities around the globe.

The ten principles in the publication were developed during two workshops hosted in 2012 by the CLC and ULI Asia Pacific, bringing together 62 thought leaders, experts and practitioners from different disciplines related to urban planning and development. Discussions at the first workshop centred around the four case study districts in Singapore that both organizations consider to be both densely populated and highly liveable: the mixed-use downtown district of Marina Bay; the commercial corridor of Orchard Road, and two new public housing developments in Toa Payoh and Tampines. The ideas and principles so generated were further developed, corroborated, and condensed into ten principles.

Read the report.
In the foreword to the publication, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore’s Minister for National Development, points to the lasting benefits of building cities for people. “The inexorable trend of urban population growth in modern times is not likely to stop. Even for countries with no shortage of land, the growth of their urban populations has confronted their cities with constant challenges to the quality of their living environment…For Singapore, these challenges have been compounded by the limitations of its size as a small island,” he said. “Maintaining a good quality, liveable high-density urban landscape in which all Singaporeans can find and make a home is crucial to the survival of the Singapore nation.”

“Expansive, rapid urbanization is adding challenges to the business of building cities that are prosperous, liveable, and able to withstand time and change,” notes ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “Through our work with the CLC, we are aiming to demonstrate how well-planned design and development is the foundation for a physical environment that is conducive to a competitive economy, sustainable environment and a high quality of life. Ultimately, cities are about what’s best for people, not buildings or cars. The places that are built to reflect this reality will have a competitive edge in our globalized economy.”

“Singapore is seen as a high density, high liveability development model. We saw some relevance of Singapore’s experience to others, particularly emerging cities, many of whom are high density and want to raise the quality of life for their people. We hope this joint publication will contribute in some way towards people having a more optimistic view of living in high density cities,” said Khoo Teng Chye, Executive Director, CLC.

Each of the 10 principles in the publication reflects Singapore’s integrated model of planning and development, which weaves together the physical, economic, social and environmental aspects of urban living. The ten principles are:
  • Plan for long-term growth and renewal –A highly dense city usually does not have much choice but to make efficient use of every square inch of its scarce land. Yet city planners need to do this in a way that does not make the city feel cramped and unliveable. A combination of long-term planning, responsive land policies, development control and good design has enabled Singapore to have dense developments that do not feel overly crowded, and, in fact, are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

  • Embrace diversity, foster inclusiveness – There is a need to ensure that diversity is not divisive, particularly in densely populated cities where people live in close proximity to one another. Density and diversity work in Singapore because there has always been a concurrent focus on creating a sense of inclusiveness through encouraging greater interaction.

  • Draw nature closer to people – Blending nature into the city helps soften the hard edges of a highly built up cityscape and provides the city dwellers pockets of respite from the bustle of urban life. By adopting a strategy of pervasive greenery and by transforming its parks and water bodies into lifestyle spaces for community activities, Singapore integrated nature with its dense developments. Nearly half of Singapore is now under green cover, which is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also improves the air quality and mitigates heat from the tropical sun.

  • Develop affordable, mixed-use neighbourhoods – The ease of living in a compact neighbourhood that is relatively self-contained can add to the pleasure of city living. With density, it becomes more cost effective to provide common amenities. Neighbourhoods in Singapore’s new towns have a mix of public and private developments which are served with a full range of facilities that are easy to access and generally affordable.

  • Make public spaces work harder – Often, parcels of land that adjoin or surround the city’s infrastructure are dormant, empty spaces. Singapore has sought to maximize the potential of these spaces by unlocking them for commercial and leisure activities, The idea is to make all space, including infrastructural spaces, serve multiple uses and users.

  • Prioritise green transport and building options – An overall reduction in energy consumption and dependence adds to city sustainability. Singapore has adopted a resource-conscious growth strategy that relies on planning, design and the use of low-energy environmental systems for its buildings. It has also developed an efficient public transport system and well-connected walkways to give city dwellers transport alternatives to driving.

  • Relieve density with variety and add green boundaries – A high-density city need not be all about closely packed high-rise buildings. Singapore intersperses high-rise with low-rise buildings, creating a skyline with more character and reducing the sense of being in a crowded space.

  • Activate spaces for greater safety – Having a sense of safety and security is an important quality-of-life factor. As Singapore became denser, designs of high-rise public housing estates were modified to improve the “visual access” to spaces so the community can collectively be the “eyes on the street,” helping to keep neighbourhoods safe.

  • Promote innovative and non-conventional solutions – As a city gets more populated and built up, it starts facing constraints on land and resources, and has to often look at non-traditional solutions to get around the challenges. To ensure sufficient water, Singapore developed reclaimed water under the brand name NEWater-to drinking and industrial standards.

  • Forge “3P” (people, public, private) partnerships – With land parcels in close proximity to one another, the effects of development in one area are likely to be felt quickly and acutely in neighbouring sites. The city government and all stakeholders need to work together to ensure they are not taking actions that would reduce the quality of life for others. URA launched the Singapore River ONE partnership to get the various stakeholders to feel a stronger ownership of Singapore River so that social and economic activity in the precinct would be developed in a coordinated and sustainable manner.
“For new cities that are forming and older cities that are redeveloping…the ten principles can be a starting point for city planners, developers and dwellers to trigger ideas about how they want their city to evolve and be shaped,” states the publication. “Creating a highly dense yet liveable city, while not always easy, is very possible.”

NOTE TO EDITORS AND REPORTERS: The 10 Principles for Liveable High Density Cities: Lessons from Singapore report is now available for download.

Living Green Values

Living Green Values
Activities for Children and Young Adults
A Special Rio+20 Edition

This resource is dedicated to the Earth in honor of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012. Rio+20 is a reference to the 20 years that have passed since the first UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992.

LVE leaders around the world are concerned about our Earth and her ocean. We would like to offer educators, parents and youth facilitators around the world these Living Green Values materials with the hope that the stories and activities will be useful to you in educating children and young adults, families and communities to internalize the importance of living sustainable lives and caring for our planet. May we all learn to live in harmony with nature and with respect and care for all.

Living Green Values Activities
for Children and Young Adults
Download this book
Download this cover
These Living Green Values activities are intended to help young people be more aware of the importance of taking care of the Earth and her resources. Part of that process is awakening love for nature and her creatures and learning about specific ways that they can help be a friend to the Earth.
The Activities for Children 3 – 7 include stories, a visualization and activities. The “Rosa, David and a Tern” stories are included as well as “A Tap that Cried”.
In the Activities for Children 8 – 14 and Activities for Young Adults, specific scientific information is included about the harmful affects of human actions on the ocean, rivers, animals, air and ground — and on human beings themselves. This information is first presented through a series of stories called the “Green Values Club”. The nine stories weave in the values of love and respect, camaraderie and helping others, and the understanding that each one of us can make a difference. Cognitive understanding of the effects of one action is amplified through an explanation of systems thinking and students charting effects with flow charts and mind maps. Educators can help empower students to take positive action and do service-learning projects through the activity ideas presented. Please add your own ideas and help them do what is most needed in the local community. A relaxation/focusing exercise is included at the end of many lessons to help the students feel safe and peaceful. Further activities and relaxation/focusing exercises can be found in the Living Values Activities books.
Enjoy doing the activities with the students!  If you wish, we will be happy to post your activities and news of your outcome in our newsletter or the international website.
Thank you for helping take care of our Earth.
Living Green Values

Rosa, David and the Tern
A storybook for three- to seven-year olds

For parents and their children
Download this book
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“Rosa, David and the Tern” contains three chapters about two young children who help free a little Tern. Their happiness at helping turns to amazement, discovery, action and joy as the Tern and a Blue Heron speak to them on behalf of the Earth. A delightful tale which helps children explore how they can help care for and respect the Earth, her ocean and its creatures.
Living Green Values

The Green Values Club
A book for young people eight to eighteen!
Download this book
Download this cover
The “Green Values Club” contains nine chapters. The story begins as Katie and George worry about their father not returning the night before. As they head out in a dinghy with their mother, they find him and his partner trying to free a whale caught in a net. Their adventure unfolds at the beach, school and city council as they learn with their friends more about the Earth, her ocean and how humans have affected the planet. The values of love and respect, camaraderie and helping others are evident in the story as is the message and reality that each one of us can make a difference.

Curriculum & Resources: The Debate on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Source: YES Magazine

GMO Infographics

GMO Infographic 1
"The Truth About Biotechnology"
Download the entire "Truth about Biotechnology" infographic here

GMO Infographic 2
"What Do You Know About GMOs?"
DOWNLOAD the entire "What Do You Know About GMOs?" infographic here

GMO Infographic 3
"What on Earth are GMOs?"
DOWNLOAD the entire "What on Earth are GMOs ?" infographic here.

Your students, no doubt, are familiar with OMG! But what about GMO?

GMOs are genetically modified organisms in which the genetic material or DNA has been altered in a way that doesn’t occur naturally. GMOs seem to be a hotly debated topic around the world. Some people claim GM seeds yield higher agricultural productivity and ensure food security.  Others maintain these seeds are unsafe to eat and destroy other seeds and crops. On the November 2012 ballot, a grassroots coalition of California citizens proposed an initiative to require the labeling of foods made from genetically modified organisms. The initiative failed, but proponents are looking to other states to take up their cause.

What do your students know about GMOs? Do they think they’re good or bad? Why do we have them at all?

We found three infographics that represent different points of view on GMOs.

With your students, study the three infographics. For each one, ask:
  • Look at the colors used and how the facts are displayed. What is the feeling or tone of the infographics? What else do you notice?
  • What is the theme and purpose of the infographic?
  • What is the position and perspective on GMOs?
  • Who created the infographic? What do you know about this organization? Does knowing this influence how you interpret or view the chart? TIP: Look at the fine print at the bottom of the infographic.

After your students have analyzed this set of infographics, poll them on which infographic they found most influential (or not). Did their views on GMOs change?

YES! Archive

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

UNU-IAS Reports and Policy Briefs

Governing the Forests: An Institutional Analysis of REDD+ and Community Forest Management in Asia
By Jose Puppim de Oliveira, Tim Cadman, Hwan Ok Ma, Tek Maraseni, Anar Koli, Yogesh D. Jadhav and Dede Prabowo

REDD+ has become an important component in the discussions on climate change and forest governance, but there is further need to understand the linkages with local governance and the challenges for its implementation. This joint report will serve as a useful reference for policymakers, professionals and practitioners as they work to promote REDD+ in ways that tackle climate change and biodiversity loss but also respect concerns and listen to the voice of local stakeholders.

IBN 978-92-808-4542-6
February 2013, 53 pages
Download report as a .pdf file (1.94 MB)

Innovation in Local and Global Learning Systems for Sustainability: Traditional Knowledge and Biodiversity – Learning Contributions of the Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development
Edited by Unnikrishnan Payyappallimana and Zinaida Fadeeva

Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) were developed as sites for participatory learning and action within the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), opening up more collaborative and inclusive learning spaces towards more just and sustainable ways of life now and in the future. Some of the contours of these emergent education processes of collaborative learning-to-change as they relate to traditional knowledge (TK) and biodiversity are developing in many RCE contexts today. The Education for Sustainable Development Programme at UNU-IAS has worked with RCEs worldwide to create a new publication showcasing a series of case studies in this regard.

ISBN 978-92-808-4540-2
2013, 124 pages
Download report as a .pdf file (4.59 MB)    


Towards More Sustainable Consumption and Production Systems and Sustainable Livelihoods
By Zinaida Fadeeva, Unnikrishnan Payyappallimana and Roger Petry

To build a socially just economy and a more sustainable society, our consumption and production systems must become more sustainable — not only in terms of market growth and resilience, but also in terms of productive non-market relations, ecosystem health, quality of life and the well-being of all involved. The Education for Sustainable Development programme at UNU-IAS has published a report of case studies, showcasing groundbreaking education for sustainable development (ESD) initiatives that address some of the greatest challenges we face in moving to more sustainable consumption and production systems. They stem from the work of the Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE).

ISBN 978-92-808-4538-9
2012, 130 pages
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Biofuels in Africa: Impacts on Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity and Human Well-being
By Alexandros Gasparatos, Lisa Y. Lee, Graham P. von Maltitz, Manu V. Mathai, Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira and Katherine J. Willis

Biofuel production and use in Africa have been linked to numerous environmental and socio-economic impacts. Whether these impacts are positive or negative depends on a multitude of factors such as the feedstock, the environmental/socio-economic context of biofuel production, and the policy instruments in place during biofuel production, use and trade. This report discusses a wide array of these impacts, as they relate to jatropha biodiesel and sugarcane ethanol in Africa. A major challenge for obtaining a comprehensive picture of biofuel tradeoffs is the fact that the biofuel literature is multidisciplinary and rapidly expanding. This report employs the ecosystem services framework developed during the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), as a means of synthesizing the available evidence about biofuel impacts and identifying the main trade-offs associated with biofuels in Africa.

ISBN 978-92-808-4536-5
October 2012, 111 pages
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Biodiversity, Traditional Knowledge and Community Health: Strengthening Linkages
Unnikrishnan P.M. and M.S. Suneetha

Healthy ecosystems and biodiversity are sources of various services that nurture life and enhance human well-being. While the relevance of biodiversity to mainstream health is clear, as seen in commercial use of biological resources by pharmaceuticals, their relevance to the health care of people in insufficiently connected and economically disadvantaged regions of the world can be considered to be much more profound. These regions are rich in resources, but they lack in sufficient public helth care infrastructure and personnel. While there are several inititatives at the local level that exemplify good practice in achieving both sustainable use of natural resources for traditional medical purposes, as well as accessibility for marginal and local communities. However, such good practices are still restricted to pockets of project activity.

ISBN 978-92-808-4528-0
October 2012, 82 pages
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Biodiversity and Community Health: connecting and linking nature, knowledge and practices on the ground
The interlinkages between biodiversity and health are well recognized. However, the need and potential of strengthening traditional understanding and practices related to health at the community level is an area that has not been sufficiently addressed in planning processes. Unlike mainstream health interventions, this involves a comprehensive assessment of various contributing factors to health, including biological resources, knowledge and human resources, socio-cultural resources and related policy processes. It involves attention to medicinal plants and faunal products, dietary and nutritional aspects, access to these resources, ecosystem integrity, landscape values, rights to practitioners to practice, opportunities for livelihood enhancement among others.

2012, 8 pages
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Weathering Uncertainty: Traditional Knowledge for Climate Change Assessment and Adaptation
By Douglas J. Nakashima, Kirsty Galloway Mclean, Hans Thulstrup, Ameyali Ramos Castillo and Jennifer Rubis

When considering climate change, indigenous peoples and marginalized populations warrant particular attention. Impacts on their territories and communities are anticipated to be both early and severe due to their location in vulnerable environments. There is therefore a need to understand the specific vulnerabilities, adaptation capacities and longer-term aspirations of indigenous peoples and marginalized communities the world over. This publication draws the attention of Authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report and climate policymakers to the rapidly growing scientific literature on the contributions of indigenous and traditional knowledge to understanding climate change vulnerability, resilience and adaptation.

ISBN 978-92-3-001068-3 (UNESCO)
ISBN 978-0-9807084-8-6 (UNU)
2012, 120 pages
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Monitoring Progress: Time for a Revaluation
Over the last decade, researchers at UNU have continued to focus on and identify practical ways of measuring well-being, both at macro-planning scales and at the community level, with particular focus on the Capability Approach, given its paradigmatic status. UNU has also continued to actively support the creation of development assessment methods that provide a more comprehensive recognition of on-the-ground realities, and it is keen to strengthen its engagement in this regard. This position paper revists discourses on well-being and refocuses on what really matters to well-being.

2012, A4, 2 pages
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Socio-ecological Production Landscapes: Relevance to the Green Economy Agenda
Hongyan Gu and Suneetha M. Subramanian

Socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs), if managed effectively, can provide a wide range of ecosystem services that help contribute to the livelihoods and well-being of local communities, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and relevant national development policies. Drawing insights from a variety of case studies, this report examines the historical and political contexts in which SEPLs have evolved as well as the challenges and opportunities in promoting SEPLs for the green economy.

ISBN 978-92-808-4534-1
2012, B5, 66 pages
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Governance Challenges for Greening the Urban Economy: Understanding and Assessing the Links between Governance and Green Economy in Cities
Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira, Osman Balaban, Aki Suwa, Christopher N.H. Doll, Ping Jiang, Magali Dreyfus, Raquel Moreno-Peñaranda, Puspita Dirgahayani and Erin Kennedy

The challenges for creating a greener economy and the institutional framework for sustainable development pass necessarily, or mostly, through cities, as they concentrate a large and growing part of the world’s economy and population, as well as decision-making power. With the processes of urbanization and rural-urban transformation, the economy in cities, especially in cities of developing countries, has been shifting from traditional artisanal crafts and markets to more modern industry and service sectors. The concentration of people, resources, knowledge, political power and economic activities in urban areas, if properly managed, can provide economies of scale and efficiency gains that lower the use of resources and energy, and thereby promote doing more with less, while offering fair outcomes to the most vulnerable people and the environment. In this sense, transitioning from the traditional “brown” economy to a greener economy could be achieved by reducing resource and energy consumption in cities through improving the key components of the urban economic process.

ISBN 978-92-808-4530-3
2012, B5, 64 pages
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Biodiversity in Kanazawa: Through the Four Seasons
Cities benefit in a myriad of ways from the biodiversity within and outside their boundaries. Enjoying a variety of tasty foods in our meals or obtaining spiritual comfort form contemplating a landscape are just some examples of the benefits urban residents obtain from ecosystems. However, urbanization is contributing to biodiversity loss worldwide, and many city dwellers lack access to its benefits. In a world becoming rapidly urban, cities must address the biodiversity challenge for the well-being of their residents and the sustainability of the planet.

ISBN 978-92-808-4529-7
2011, B5, 72 pages  
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Transboundary Conservation and Peace-building: Lessons from forest biodiversity conservation projects

Saleem H. Ali

This policy document, jointly published by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), sets out the specific actions that policymakers, forest managers and other stakeholders should take to improve biodiversity conservation in forests used for the production of forest goods and services. On the ground, ITTO has funded the establishment and/or management of a number of transboundary conservation reserves in its member countries. What lessons can be learned from those projects on transboundary conservation? In order to answer this question, ITTO and UNU-IAS started a partnership to analyze and present lessons from these projects.

UNU-IAS/2011/No. 4 (UNU-IAS and ITTO joint publication)
ISBN 978-92-808-4527-3
April 2011, B5, 39 pages
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Bio-enterprises, Endogenous Development and Well-being

Suneetha M. Subramanian, Wim Hiemstra and Bas Verschuuren

While enhancing human well-being is a policy objective, defining various components that lead to human well-being vary at the macro level and at the level of local communities. This dichotomy in perspectives, due to differences in cultural norms and worldviews between the two levels, leads to poor implementation of policy activities. This policy brief examines these challenges in the context of establishment of bio-enterprises to meet development priorities.

2010, A4, 4 pages
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Report Summary for Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment
Satoyama-Satoumi Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Socio-ecological Production Landscapes of Japan (Summary for Decision Makers)

Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment (JSSA)

This report presents a synthesis and integration of the findings from the Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment (JSSA) as a summary for decision makers. The JSSA is a study of the interaction between humans and terrestrial-aquatic ecosystems ( satoyama ) and marine-coastal ecosystems ( satoumi ) in Japan. The study analyses changes which have occurred in these ecosystems over the last 50 years and identifies plausible alternative futures of those landscapes in the year 2050 taking into account various drivers such as governmental and economic policy, climate change, technology, and socio-behavioural responses. Recommendations for decision makers based on the study’s findings are also included in the report.

UNU ISBN 978-92-808-4513-6
October 2010, A4, 44 pages (English version)
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ISBN 978-92-808-4524-2
October 2010, 44 pages (Japanese version)

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UNU-IAS Policy Report Cities, Biodiversity and Governance: Perspectives and Challenges of the Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the City Level

Jose Antonio Puppim de Oliveira, Osman Balaban, Christopher Doll, Raquel Moreno-Penaranda, Alexandros Gasparatos, Deljana Iossifova, and Aki Suwa

Understanding how cities can create better governance mechanisms to effectively help in the preservation of the biodiversity within and beyond the city boundaries is the key to implement the directives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This report argues the need to study the conceptual underpinnings of the relationships among city, governance, and biodiversity to create the basis for policies at the global, national, and local level, as well as provide some practical insights on the way to move the biodiversity agenda in cities forward.

UNU-IAS/2010/No. 3
ISBN 978-92-808-4517-4
October 2010, B5, 62 pages
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UNU-IAS Policy Report Climate and Human-Related Drivers of Biodiversity Decline in Southeast Asia

Ademola K. Braimoh, Suneetha M. Subramanian, Wendy S. Elliott, and Alexandros Gasparatos

Southeast Asia hosts diverse biological resources and cultural milieus that are under different degrees of stress from various factors. This report highlights the key underlying economic, political, and natural factors that contribute to biodiversity decline in the region, and provides specific policy directions that could help address the decline.

UNU-IAS/2010/No. 2
ISBN 978-92-808-4521-1
October 2010, 50 pages
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UNU-IAS Policy Report
Impacts of Liquid Biofuels on Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity

Per M. Stromberg, Alexandros Gasparatos, Janice S.H. Lee, John Garcia-Ulloa, Lian Pin Koh, and Kazuhiko Takeuchi

Ecosystem services are benefits people obtain from ecosystems. In this report, the ecosystem services concept is used to rationalise the existing evidence about biofuels' impact on ecosystems. It is shown that biofuels can provide a number of ecosystem services (e.g. fuel, climate regulation) while compromising others (e.g. food, freshwater services). At the same time, it is also shown why biofuel expansion is currently being considered as one of the main emerging threats to biodiversity, particularly in highly biodiverse areas such as in Indonesia and Brazil. A combination of response options such as designer landscapes, Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), and biofuel certification will have to be put in place to minimise the negative impacts of biofuel expansion on ecosystem services and biodiversity.

UNU-IAS/2010/No. 1
ISBN 978-92-808-4519-8
October 2010, 54 pages
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Traditional Marine Management Areas of the Pacific in the Context of National and International Law and Policy
Marjo Vierros, Alifereti Tawake, Francis Hickey, Ana Tiraa, and Rahera Noa

This report explores the role of traditional marine resources management in meeting both the goals of communities and those of national and international conservation strategies. Specifically, it looks at how traditional practices are applied in various Pacific Island countries, how concepts such as the ecosystem approach and adaptive management are incorporated, whether traditional marine managed areas (MMAs) are recognised by national law, and how and whether they are seen to contribute to national and international protected areas and conservation targets. The report also reflects on the issue of marine genetic resources, and access to and benefit sharing of these resources.
ISBN 978-0-9807084-7-9
September 2010, A5, 93 pages
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Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment: Experiences and Lessons from Clusters

Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment (JSSA)
The six reports in Japanese as a series of “Experiences and Lessons from Clusters” present the findings of each cluster and sub-cluster assessment of the Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment (JSSA). The JSSA, a study of the interaction between humans and terrestrial-aquatic ecosystems ( satoyama ) and marine-coastal ecosystems ( satoumi ) in Japan, was undertaken between 2007-2010 in five major “clusters” throughout Japan, with the goal of encompassing different geographical, climatic, and political characteristics. These clusters include: Hokkaido Cluster, Tohoku Cluster, Hokushinetsu Cluster, Kanto-chubu Cluster, and Western Japan Cluster. The Western Japan Cluster involves a sub-cluster that focuses on Seto Inland Sea as satoumi in addition to the general assessment of the satoyama in the whole region.  


Benefit Sharing in ABS: Options and Elaborations
By MS Suneetha and Balakrishna Pisupati

The third objective of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources...” has taken centre stage now with negotiations in full swing to develop an international regime on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) by the year 2010. While some progress has been achieved on negotiations related to access regulations, discussions are still evolving as countries are found to be cautious to implement measures related to benefit sharing.

UNU-IAS,  April 2009, 36 pages
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Innovation in Responding to Climate Change: Nanotechnology, Ocean Energy and Forestry
By Miguel Esteban, Christian Webersik, David Leary and Dexter Thompson-Pomeroy

This report offers three innovative solutions in responding to climate change, namely nanotechnology, ocean energy and forestry. It goes beyond the technological, biological and procedural aspects of these solutions by critically assessing the opportunities and challenges that each type of innovation presents. This report addresses the question why these innovations - despite their large potential to reduce emissions, ocean energy alone could cover the world's electricity needs - have not yet reached the stage of mass commercialization.
UNU-IAS, November 2008, 46 pages Download report as a .pdf file (2.6 MB)

Looking Beyond the International Polar Year
Emerging and Re-emerging Issues in International Law and Policy in the Polar Regions

Written and edited by David Leary and draws upon edited material by symposium Rapporteurs Antje Neumann, Alena Ingvarsdóttir, Kári á Rógvi MP and Elisa Burchert

Recommendations contained in this report address the following key issues: climate change; human rights challenges; challenges of new commercial activities in the Polar Regions; challenges posed by shipping and newly opening sea lanes; threats to specific species and assemblages of species; environmental governance in the Polar Regions; and the inadequate implementation of existing international law and domestic laws. The report also contains a series of recommendations on studies that should be undertaken in the immediate and near term future to better equip governments and policy makers to respond to these emerging issues.

UNU-IAS, October 2008, 68 pages
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MDG on Reducing Biodiversity Loss and the CBD’s 2010 Target

By Balakrishna Pisupati and Renata Rubian

The Report highlights the links between the CBD 2010 targets and the MDG target on reducing biodiversity loss; it also identifies the challenges being faced by countries in responding to these targets from different perspectives and provides some policy options for consideration by MDG practitioners.

UNU-IAS, September 2008, 36 pages
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   Emissions Trading, Carbon Financing and Indigenous People
By Ingrid Barnsley
This is a short guide for Indigenous land managers and those who work with Indigenous communities to the phenomenon of climate change, and to ‘market ’ and financial mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, often referred to as the ‘carbon market’, ‘emissions trading’ and/or ‘carbon financing ’. This guide is intended as a first edition - it is hoped that future editions will include even more case studies of Indigenous involvement with the carbon market and will focus on particular geographical regions. As such, comments, case studies and more information would be most welcome - please contact .
UNU-IAS, May 2008, 20 pages
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Access to Genetic Resources in Africa: Analyzing Development of ABS Policies in Four African Countries
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) with the support of the Government of Ireland have carried out case studies on access to genetic resources and benefit‑sharing (ABS) arrangements in four African countries namely Botswana, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia. These studies exemplify the implementation of existing ABS arrangements and mechanisms in the context of the Bonn Guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its sixth meeting, in April 2002.

Government of Ireland, UNEP, UNU-IAS, May 2008, 148 pages
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Environment for African Development: A Sustainable Future through Science and Technology
Written by Christian Webersik and Clarice Wilson
Currently, one of the most critical issues for Africa is food security. At the same time, environmental sustainability is being lost. In addition, human-induced climate change threatens agricultural productivity. This report provides an overview of some of the environmental issues facing Africa and examines the role of science and technology cooperation in meeting these challenges. An environmental performance country analysis is used to identify areas of best practice, as well as areas of action.
Yokohama, UNU-IAS, May 2008, 25 pages
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Certificates of Clarity or Confusion: The search for a practical, feasible and cost effective system for certifying compliance with PIC and MAT
Written by Brendan Tobin, Geoff Burton, and Jose Carlos Fernandez-Ugalde
Proposals have been made for a variety of certification systems to act as the basis for an international system of documentation to provide evidence of PIC and MAT relating to access and use of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. This study provides a comparative analysis of all four existing proposals and examines the challenges for development of a practical, feasible and cost effective certificate system.

Yokohama, UNU-IAS, April 2008, 70 pages,
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Queensland Biodiscovery Collaboration: The Griffith University AstraZeneca Partnership for Natural Product Discovery - An Access & Benefit Sharing Case Study
Written by Sarah Laird, Catherine Monagle, and Sam Johnston
This study examines the Natural Product Discovery partnership between Griffith University, an Australian University based in the State of Queensland, and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Yokohama, UNU-IAS, April 2008, 58 pages
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Bioprospecting in the Arctic
By David Leary

The UNU-IAS Report Bioprospecting in the Arctic examines the extent and nature of bioprospecting in the Arctic. It argues that there is significant interest in the biotechnology potential of Arctic biodiversity. In many cases this potential has moved beyond the research of the academic community to commercialisation by industry. In fact given the number of companies involved in research on or the actual exploitation of biotechnology based on Arctic genetic resources (fourty three companies in total) one clear conclusion is that this industry, in various forms, is well established. This conclusion is supported by the existence of more than thirty-one patents or patent applications based on Arctic genetic resources.

Yokohama, UNU-IAS, April 2008, 45 pages 
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Internationally Funded Training in Biosafety and Biotechnology - Is it Bridging the Biotech Divide?
By Sam Johnston, Catherine Monagle, Jessica Green with Ruth Mackenzie

The purpose of this Assessment, undertaken by UNU-IAS from 2004 - 2007, was to provide a neutral, independent and objective assessment of the various internationally funded training programmes for biosafety and biotechnology, especially to the extent that it is necessary for biosafety, in the developing world. This Assessment does not advocate the use, or avoidance, of modern biotechnology. Rather it seeks to examine whether capacity building activities are delivering to developing countries the capacity to make and implement choices about biosafety and biotechnology.  

Yokohama, UNU-IAS, April 2008, 233 pages
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Effective Implementation of NBSAPs: Using a Decentralized Approach
This report was prepared by Dr. Balakrishna Pisupati

A comprehensive (global review) of NBSAPs' implementation is now timely given that it has been 15 years since the CBD's obligations came into force.  However, until such a global review is undertaken, regional reviews and national experiences provide some lessons which can guide further action.  This publication advocates the development of sub-national biodiversity action plans (BSAPs) as a planning solution to the weaknesses of a large national planning and implementation process.

Yokohama, UNU-IAS, December 2007, 41 pages
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Is Human Reproductive Cloning Inevitable: Future Options for UN Governance
This report was prepared by: Chamundeeswari Kuppuswamy, Darryl Macer, Mihaela Serbulea and Brendan Tobin

Human Cloning has been one of the most emotive and divisive issue to face UN negotiators and the international community in recent years. This report examines how, that despite a widespread consensus amongs nations that it is desireable to ban reproductive cloning, efforts to negotiate an international convention ground to a halt due to fundamental divisions regarding so-called research or therapeutic cloning.  Firm positions on both sides of the debate led to the compromise position of a non-binding UN Declaration on Cloning.

Yokohama, UNU-IAS, October 2007, 29 pages
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Renewable Energy
Renewable Energy Technologies in Developing Countries - Lessons from Mauritius, China and Brazil

This report reviews three renewable energy developments that have taken place in developing countries without significant foreign investment. It shows that renewable energy planning should be approached strategically by developing countries, with specific technological strategies grounded in national industrial capacity and energy resources.
Yokohama, UNU-IAS, 2006, 24 pages
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Ecosystem Approach and the Deep Sea
Implementing the Ecosystem Approach in Open Ocean and Deep Sea Environments: An Analysis of Stakeholders, their Interests and Existing Approaches
This report provides a first step towards a comprehensive survey and dialogue on mapping stakeholders’ interests in open-ocean and deep sea environments for improved conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of the benefits derived from ocean spaces and their resources.
Yokohama, UNU-IAS, 2006, 44 pages
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The Precautionary Principle and the WTO
Trading Precaution: The Precautionary Principle and the WTO
This report examines the debate on the evolution of the precautionary principle in the context of the WTO. It clarifies proposals to enhance the incorporation of this principle in the rules of the multilateral trading system and addresses the tensions between the WTO and multi-lateral environmental agreements (MEAs). The report analyses how the WTO is responding to the challenges posed by its Member States in raising the precautionary principle before dispute panels.
Yokohama, UNU-IAS, 2005, 24 pages
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Women in Science and Technology
Revisiting Women's Participation in Science and Technology: Emerging Challenges and Agenda for Reform
Women’s involvement in science and technology encounters bias in regard to disciplines and academic or professional level of responsibility. This report explores how women’s role in advancing and using science and technology for society could be improved, and how science and technology impact women.
Yokohama, UNU-IAS, 2005, 19 pages
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Urban development in the Asia Pacific
Time-Space Telescoping and Urban Transitions in the Asia Pacific
This report shows the distinction between environmental conditions among developing cities in the Asia Pacific and those of industrialized countries, using the theory of "time space telescoping". This hypothesis suggests that due to shifts in the driving forces of change, environmental challenges in developing cities are occurring sooner, rising faster, and emerging more simulatneously than in developed cities.
Yokohama, UNU-IAS, 2005, 39 pages
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Water and Sanitation in an Urban Poor Settlement: A Case Study of Bauniabad, Bangladesh
This report was prepared based on the results of the case study conducted by the UNU-IAS and the Environment and Population Research Centre (EPRC) in Bangladesh between 2002 and 2004.
Yokohama, UNU-IAS, 2005, 75 pages
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Food and Nutrition Biotechnology
Albert Sasson
Food and Nutrition Biotechnology: Current Achievements, Prospects and Perceptions
This report on biotechnology, food and nutrition is a consolidation of knowledge in potentials, opportunities and developmental processes in applying biotechnology for improvements in human nutrition.
Yokohama, UNU-IAS, 2005, 36 pages
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Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology
Albert Sasson
Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology: Current Achievements, Prospects and Perceptions
This report discusses the so-called 'white' biotechnology, or industrial and environmental biotechnology, a broad and expanding field that includes making enzymes with a variety of industrial uses that include the manufacture of bioplastics and biofuels and using micro-organisms and plants for the treatment of wastes and abatement of pollution.
Yokohama, UNU-IAS, 2005, 28 pages
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Mobilizing for Education for Sustainable Development
Mobilising for Education for Sustainable Development: Towards a global learning space base on regional centres of expertise
This report compiles concept papers, case studies, conference papers and speeches to convey the challenges of education for sustainable development (ESD) and ambitions of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. It highlights the roles of institutions and higher education in implementing ESD and presents case studies on the concept of Regional Centres of Expertise on ESD (RCE).
Yokohama, UNU-IAS, 2005, 102 pages
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Deep Sea Bioprospecting
Bioprospecting of Genetic Resources in the Deep Seabed
This report provides a comprehensive review of the scientific, legal and policy issues involved in deep seabed bioprospecting. It examines the current scientific and commercial explorations occurring in the deep seabed, and offers an in-depth analysis of the relevant legal instruments, including the gaps in these laws.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2005, 76 pages
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Enfranchisement for Sustainable Development
Promoting Enfranchisement: Toward inclusion and influence in sustainable development governance
Jessica Green
This report synthesizes research about disenfranchisement conducted over the past year and a half by the UNU-IAS, together with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). It analyzes the obstacles facing both state and non-state actors from developing nations in their efforts to participate in the policy-making process, and proposes concrete measures to address this problem.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2005, 36 pages
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Bioprospecting in Antarctica
Sam Johnston and Dagmar Lohan
This report reviews bioprospecting activities in Antarctica in relation to the relevant legal provisions of the Antarctic Treaty System and other international policies.
Tokyo, UNU-IAS, 2005, 31 pages
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Engaging the Disenfranchised
Developing Countries and Civil Society in International Governance for Sustainable Development: An Agenda for Research
This report outlines the research agenda for the Engaging the Disenfranchised Project . It examines the assumption that improving the participation of these actors from civil society and developing nations is essential to promoting the goals of sustainable development, and also considers how individual capacities, rules and norms affect the engagement of these disenfranchised actors.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2004, 26 pages
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Agriculture for Peace
Promoting Agricultural Development in Support of Peace
This report, emerging from the Agriculture for Peace project at UNU/IAS, attempts to examine linkages of important socio-economic concepts of peace and answer the broader question of whether dynamic agricultural development can have an impact on strengthening peace in conflict-prone countries.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2004, 23 pages
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The Central Asia and Mongolia Bioresources and Biosecurity Network
Capacity Development on Access to Genetic Resources, Benefit-Sharing, and Biosafety in Central Asia and Mongolia
An updated version of a previous report presenting regional and national overviews on the state of biodiversity, access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing legislation, and the protection of traditional knowledge in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2004, 44 pages
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The Role of Registers and Databases in the Protection of Traditional Knowledge
A Comparative Analysis
This report provides an analysis of a number of case studies of existing databases and registers that have been developed to document traditional knowledge, identifying their effectiveness, possibilities and limitations for securing the protection of traditional knowledge.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2004, 46 pages
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User Measures
Options for Developing Measures in User Countries to Implement the Access and Benefit-Sharing Provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2nd edition)
The second edition of a previously published report, which contains an entirely new chapter on disclosure or origin requirements in patent applications procedures. It also examines voluntary codes of conduct and certification schemes, import and transport regulation, access to justice, and the case for establishment of international standardised system of documentation for tracing gene flows.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2003, 42 pages with Preface and Executive Summary in Spanish
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Biodiversity Access and Benefit-Sharing Policies for Protected Areas
An Introduction
In the last fifteen years, the legal and policy framework for biodiversity research and prospecting and the way genetic resources are viewed, exchanged and used has been transformed while protected area managers are confronted with access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing issues on top of a multitude of other challenges they are facing. This report aims to assist protected area managers and policy makers in addressing this rapidly evolving area.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2003, 37 pages
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The International Regime for Bioprospecting
Existing Policies and Emerging Issues for Antarctica
This report answers the need for more information on the relation of biological prospecting in Antarctica to various international treaties responsible for governing bioprospecting activities; especially the Antarctic Treaty.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2003, 24 pages
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In Search of Biosecurity
Capacity Development on Access to Genetic Resources, Benefit-Sharing, and Biosafety in Central Asia and Mongolia
A report presenting regional and national overviews of the state of biodiversity, access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing legislation, and the protection of traditional knowledge in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2003, 36 pages
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Defining an Ecosystem Approach to Urban Management and Policy Development
This report outlines an ecosystems vision of city management and policy development and provides the groundwork for future urban ecosystem studies and assessments.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2003, 22 pages
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Urban Ecosystems Analysis
Identifying Tools and Methods
This report examines urban ecosystems analysis, highlighting its merits and suggesting tools and methods in which it can be applied to provide useful information to decision makers.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2003, 16 pages
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The Sustainable Future of the Global System
Endeavours from Rio to Johannesburg Summarises the findings of the UNU/IAS project on the Sustainable Global Future , and addresses the challenges faced by the world in the goal to achieve global sustainability on every level.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2002, 48 pages.
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International Sustainable Development Governance
The Question of Reform: Key Issues and Proposals Final Report
UNU/IAS Report submitted to the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in August 2002.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2002, 48 pages
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UNU Report | Improving the Management of Sustainable Development
Towards a New Framework for Large Developing Countries: China, India, and Indonesia UNU Report submitted to the Fourth Global PrepCom to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Bali in May 2002.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2002, 36 pages.
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UNU Report | International Environmental Governance
The Question of Reform: Key Issues and Proposals Preliminary Findings
UNU Report submitted to the Third Global PrepCom to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in New York in March 2002.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2002, 40 pages
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UNU Report to the Second Preparatory Session for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development
28 January – 8 February 2002, New York, USA Effective Pathways to Sustainable Development
UNU Report submitted to the Second Preparatory Committee Meeting in New York in the lead up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), outlining UNU's activities in implementing Agenda 21 as well as recommendations for consideration in WSSD.
Tokyo, UNU and UNU/IAS, 2002, 34 pages
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UNU Report to the World Summit on Sustainable Development Regional PrepCom for Asia and the Pacific
High Level Meeting, 27–29 November 2001, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Breaking Down Barriers to Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific
UNU Report delivered as input into the Regional Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) Meeting for Asia and the Pacific from 27–29 November 2001 as part of the ongoing activities leading up to the Johannesburg Summit .
Tokyo, UNU and UNU/IAS, 2001, 20 pages
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Green GDP Estimates in China, Indonesia, and Japan: An Application of the UN Environmental and Economic Accounting System
Takahiro Akita and Yoichi Nakamura (eds)
Within a framework illustrating interactions betwen the economy and the environment, this report presents estimates for a System for Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) and environmentally adjusted domestic product (Green GDP) for China, Indonesia and Japan.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 2000, 109 pages
Inter-Linkages: Synergies and Coordination between Multilateral Environmental Agreements
Based on the conference of the same title, 14-16 July 1999
This report was produced from over thirty academic papers, the deliberations of the first international conference on Inter–linkages, and from analysis done by a core group of contributors from UNU/IAS and UNU faculty folllowing the conference. It focuses on exploring the potential for a more integrated approach to environmental treaty making and environmental management.
Tokyo, UNU, UNU/IAS, GEIC, 1999, 31 pages.

Associated Files
( Interlinkages.pdf )

Global Climate Governance: Inter-Linkages between the Kyoto Protocol and other Multilateral Regimes
Final Report
Consolidates the research presented in two previous reports on Global Climate Governance which identified issues related to potential synergies and incompatibilities between the Kyoto Protocol and other multilateral regimes, and explored the practical implications of the key issues.
Tokyo, UNU, GEIC, UNU/IAS, 1999, 76 pages.
Global Climate Governance: Scenarios and Options on the Inter-Linkages between the Kyoto Protocol and other Multilateral Regimes
Report Part 2 Builds on the Global Climate Governance Report Part 1 by creating fictitious scenarios that highlight some of the difficulties that may be encountered once the Kyoto Protocol flexibility mechanisms become operational, and to explore possible solutions to the problems in implementation.
Tokyo, UNU, GEIC and UNU/IAS, 1999, 42 pages.
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China’s Sustainable Development Framework: Summary Report
Fu-chen Lo and Yu-qing Xing (eds)
A preliminary report on a sustainable development framework for China. Tokyo, UNU/IAS, 1999, 174 pages.
Global Climate Governance: A Report on the Inter-linkages between the Kyoto Protocol and other Multilateral Regimes
Report Part 1
Based on nine commissioned papers by academics and experts in the field of Global Climate Governance, this report takes into account the linkages between the Kyoto Protocol and other international regimes.
Tokyo, UNU, GEIC and UNU/IAS, 1998, 48 pages.
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Global Climate Governance: Inter-linkages between the Kyoto Protocol and other Multilateral Regimes
Commissioned Essays & Disscussion Papers
Report presented during a Special Session at COP4 in Buenos Aires; discusses inter-linkages between the climate change regime and other relevant multilateral regimes in the context of international law and policy.
Tokyo, UNU, GEIC and UNU/IAS, 1998, 139 pages.
Primer on Scientific Knowledge and Politics in the Evolving Global Climate Regime: COP3 and the Kyoto Protocol
Brendan F D Barrett and W Bradnee Chambers (eds)

Consultation Draft
Examines the background of the negotiations leading up to COP3 and identifies the main actors, coalitions and issues, as well as providing a detailed analysis of the course of the Kyoto negotiations.
Tokyo, UNU/IAS, June 1998, 138 pages.