Thursday, January 31, 2013

Events: Latin American Carbon Forum 2013: The Seventh Latin American and Caribbean Carbon Forum (LACF) organized by IDB, CAF, IETA, OLADE, UNEP and UNFCCC (25-27 Mar 2013)

Latin American Carbon Forum 2013

The Seventh Latin American and Caribbean Carbon Forum (LACF) will discuss prospects for carbon projects in Latin America. The Forum is co-organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Latin American Development Bank (CAF), the World Bank, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Risø Centre and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  
dates:25-27 March 2013  venue:Centro de Convencões Sul America  location:Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro), Brazil  contact:Miriam Hinostroza, UNEP Risø Centre  phone: +45 4677 5180 www:

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Call for Applications: EMBARQ India 2013 Internship Program (31 Mar 2013 Deadline)

Call for Applications: EMBARQ India 2013 Internship Program
EMBARQ India seeks applications for its 2013 Internship Program for project and research work on sustainable transport and urban development. EMBARQ India has been actively promoting the development of sustainable transport in a number of Indian cities. Its project and research work spans various fields, like bus operations; Bus Rapid Transit; road safety audits; transit oriented development; station accessibility; non-motorised transport; and para-transit services. EMBARQ India also works actively in the areas of research and policy for sustainable transport.
About the Program
The internship program will run for a duration of 8 – 12 weeks between April and October 2013 in an Indian city, and will offer a stipend to cover some expenses. Interns will be assigned research or project assignments to work on independently, or collaboratively with the EMBARQ India team, to be completed by the end of the duration of the internship. Topics for these assignments will be related to EMBARQ India’s work in sustainable transport development in Indian cities. Interns will be assigned a mentor, a member of EMBARQ India staff.
Eligible Candidates
Interested applicants must be presently pursuing, or have recently completed a postgraduate degree in any field related to urban studies and/or transport planning. Students currently pursuing postgraduate degree in other fields such as environmental studies or economics, with a sub-specialization in urban transport or urban development, may also apply.
Applications close 31st March, 2013.

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Chinese Updates: Residents Near Chinese E-Waste Site Face Greater Cancer Risk (22 Jan 2013)

Residents Near Chinese E-Waste Site Face Greater Cancer Risk

Jan. 22, 2013 — Residents living near an e-waste recycling site in China face elevated risks of lung cancer, according to a recent study co-authored by Oregon State University researchers.

Electronic trash, such as cell phones, computers and TVs, is often collected in dumps in developing countries and crudely incinerated to recover precious metals, including silver, gold, palladium and copper. The process is often primitive, releasing fumes with a range of toxic substances, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, a group of more than 100 chemicals.
PAHs, many of which are recognized as carcinogenic and linked to lung cancer when inhaled, were the focus of the study. Over the course of a year, researchers collected air samples from two rooftops in two areas in China.
One was in a rural village in the southern province of Guangdong less than a mile from an active e-waste burning site and not surrounded by any industry. The other was Guangzhou, a city heavily polluted by industry, vehicles and power plants but not e-waste.
The scientists concluded that those living in the e-waste village are 1.6 times more likely to develop cancer from inhalation than their urban-dwelling peers.
"In the village, people were recycling waste in their yards and homes, using utensils and pots to melt down circuit boards and reclaim metals," said Staci Simonich, a co-author of the study and a professor of environmental and molecular toxicology at OSU. "There was likely exposure through breathing, skin and food -- including an intimate connection between e-waste and the growing of vegetables, raising of chickens and catching of fish."
The researchers estimated that of each million people in the e-waste area, 15 to 1,200 would develop lung cancer on account of PAHs over their lifetimes, while the likelihood in the city is slightly lower at 9 to 737 per million. These approximations do not include lung cancer caused by smoking.
The study also found that the level of airborne carcinogenic PAHs exceeded China's air quality standards 98 percent of the time in the e-waste area and 93 percent of the time in the city.
The study was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The OSU Superfund Research Program provided assistance for the study. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provided funding for the study. Eight researchers collaborated on the project, including OSU graduate student Leah Gonzales and scientists from China.

Chemist Staci Simonich examines a vial containing air pollutants at her lab at Oregon State University. She co-authored a study that found that residents in an rural Chinese village near an electronic waste dump are 1.6 times more likely to develop lung cancer than their peers in the heavily polluted Chinese city of Guangzhou. (Credit: Photo by Tiffany Woods)


Events: Strengthening Responses to Climate Variability in South Asia organized by The Wilson Center (7 Feb 2013)


Strengthening Responses to Climate Variability in South Asia

February 07, 2013 // 9:00am — 10:30am
Asia Program
Droughts, floods, and varying monsoon rains are not a recent phenomenon in South Asia. For centuries, farmers, fishermen, and others dependent on the weather for their livelihoods have adapted to periods of environmental hardship. However, the current combination of unsustainable resources use, inadequate national policies, and intensifying climate and environmental change threaten to overwhelm existing adaptive capabilities. Recognizing this, International Alert conducted case studies in Nepal, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh to illustrate current levels of risk and resilience to environmental change at the village level. Join us for a discussion of their micro-level findings, emerging trends across South Asia, and implications for policy at the national and local levels.
5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

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Events: Green Innovation in China: Book Launch and Panel Discussion organized by Wilson Center (29 Jan 2013)


Green Innovation in China: Book Launch and Panel Discussion

January 29, 2013 // 9:00am — 11:00am
Coming Soon
There will be a live webcast of this event.
The story of China’s rapid rise in clean energy industries provides valuable insight into the country’s domestic energy strategies and global positioning, and into the evolving nature of technology transfer and diffusion around the world. In this event, Dr. Joanna Lewis (Georgetown University) will present an overview of her recently published book Green Innovation in China: China's Wind Power Industry and the Global Transition to a Low Carbon Economywhich examines how China is beginning to serve as a center for global technological innovation, and green innovation from China could play a crucial role in the global transition to a low-carbon economy. Dr. Casey Delhotal (U.S. Department of Energy) will discuss her reactions and provide an update on Sino-U.S. Cooperation on Clean Energy during the second Obama Administration, with a focus on new efforts to promote collaborative clean energy innovation.
5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
Event Speakers List: 
  • Assistant Professor of Science, Technology and International Affairs Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service Georgetown University
  • Director of East Asian Affairs, US Department of Energy

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Events: Fishing for Families: Reporting on Population, Environment, and Food Security in the Philippines (28 Jan 2013)


Fishing for Families: Reporting on Population, Environment, and Food Security in the Philippines

January 28, 2013 // 12:00pm — 2:00pm
Coming Soon
There will be a live webcast of this event.
Rapid population growth and overfishing in the Philippines have led to rising food insecurity across the country, which now imports more rice than any other nation.
In the PBS NewsHour/Marketplace co-production “Food for Nine Billion: Turning the Population Tide in the Philippines,” reporter Sam Eaton of Homelands Productions visits the Philippines’ Danajon double barrier reef to document efforts to increase food security by protecting marine biodiversity and providing family planning to the communities that depend on fish for their survival. Eco-Business Assistant Editor Imelda Abano, president of the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists and board member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, will discuss the challenges of reporting on the interconnections between environment, health, and food security in her country.
Please RSVP to with your name and affiliation. Media guests, including TV crews, are welcome and should RSVP directly*
Want to attend but can’t? You can join the conversation on Twitter by following@NewSecurityBeat and find related coverage on our blog at
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*Media bringing heavy electronic equipment – such as video cameras – MUST indicate this in their response, so they may be cleared through our building security and allowed entrance. Failure to indicate your intention to bring video cameras 24 hours before the event may result in being denied access to the Wilson Center building, please err toward responding if you would like to attend.

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Publications: Global Risks 2013 - Eighth Edition (Edited by Lee Howell, World Economic) 2013

Global Risks 2013 - Eighth Edition

Global Risks 2013 - Eighth Edition
The Global Risks Report 2013 analyses 50 global risks in terms of impact, likelihood and interconnections, based on a survey of over 1000 experts from industry, government and academia.

This year’s findings show that the world is more at risk as persistent economic weakness saps our ability to tackle environmental challenges. The report highlights wealth gaps (severe income disparity) followed by unsustainable government debt (chronic fiscal imbalances) as the top two most prevalent global risks. Following a year scarred by extreme weather, from Hurricane Sandy to flooding in China, respondents rated rising greenhouse gas emissions as the third most likely global risk overall. The findings of the survey fed into an analysis of three major risk cases: Testing Economic and Environmental Resilience, Digital Wildfires in a Hyperconnected World and The Dangers of Hubris on Human Health. In a special report on national resilience, the groundwork is laid for a new country resilience rating, which would allow leaders to benchmark their progress. The report also highlights “X Factors” – emerging concerns which warrant more research, including the rogue deployment of geoengineering and brain-altering technologies.

To read and watch the Global Risks 2013 report, visit its interactive microsite here

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Chinese Updates: Shanghai Issues 1st Free Plate for New Energy Cars (24 Jan 2013)

Shanghai Issues 1st Free Plate for New Energy Cars

Shanghai resident Qian Jun didn't have to spend a single penny on a license plate for his newly-bought battery electric vehicle (BEV).
The electric car cost him 140,000 yuan ($22,498) in total, including a vehicle purchase tax and car insurance. Normally, a domestic BEV costs buyers 200,000 to 300,000 yuan.
Shanghai is now offering financial subsidies for purchases of BEVs on top of central and local government funding, helping car buyers to save more than 100,000 yuan each.
The municipal government issued regulations to encourage private purchase and use of new energy vehicles at the end of last year. Free car plates for new energy vehicles are one of the incentives.
"The performance of this electric car matches that of a petrol vehicle with a 1.8-liter engine," said Xu Weihan, who is in charge of BEV sales at Tzgev Limited, a company specializing in new energy vehicles.
Qian said his average daily commute is around 20 km, adding that he only has to charge his car's battery once every four or five days. The monthly electricity bill for his car is about 60 yuan, far less than the money one normally pays for gasoline.
"I mainly charge the car at work, since there are charging posts near my company," Qian said.
Shanghai now has over 1,000 charging posts, most of which are located in the city's Jiading district, where Qian lives. The city is planning to build 50 battery switch stations with 5,000 charging posts over the next three to four years.
"Electric vehicle technology has become more mature and people now have to pay much higher prices for license plates. This has led to more people coming to ask us about electric vehicles," Xu said.
The average bid for a plate in Shanghai soared to a record high of 75,332 yuan during a monthly auction that ended on Saturday, an increase of 5,986 yuan compared with last month.
"Environmental protection could be another reason for the popularity of electric vehicles," Xu added.
Dangerous levels of air pollution in some Chinese cities have been blamed on increased vehicle emissions resulting from a greater number of cars hitting the streets in recent years.

Chinese Updates: Tibet to Invest $563m to Protect Environment (25 Jan 2013)

Tibet to Invest $563m to Protect Environment

The government of the Tibet autonomous region plans to invest more than 3.5 billion yuan ($563 million) in 2013, 10.5 percent more than last year, in environmental protection.
According to the draft budget of 2013, which the regional finance department submitted for the legislature's approval on Thursday, the investment will also support the building of an ecological safety screen on the plateau.
More than 3.23 billion yuan will be used for major forestation projects and for compensating and rewarding locals who protect and grow grass and forests and conserve wetlands, lakes and water resources.
More than 50 million yuan will be allocated to support environmental improvement projects and preserve resources, according to the draft budget.
According to the autonomous region's environmental protection department, the plateau's fragile and sensitive environment faces a worsening situation of land desertification, soil erosion and threats to deteriorating biodiversity.
New challenges are emerging from increasing urban pollution related to tourism, traffic and mining.
However, environmental protection has also received "unprecedented" attention over the past five years, the department said.
The State Council, China's cabinet, listed the protection and building of a safety screen of environment in Tibet as a State-level major eco-project in February 2009.
The project aims to pour in 15.5 billion yuan to basically finish building the screen by 2030.
According to a government work report, Tibet has controlled desertification and prevented water loss and soil erosion on a total of 130,000 hectares of land over the past five years.
People planted 260,000 hectares of forests and sealed-off forests on more than 511,000 hectares. Eight wetland conservation zones have been established at regional level in the same five years.
The consul general of Nepal in Lhasa, Hari Prasad Bashyal, said he is impressed not only by the social and economic development in Tibet, but also by the government's environmental protection efforts.
Bashyal said he went to Lhasa, Xigaze and Nyingchi last year and saw how the government was progressing in its promotion of environmental protection and forestation.
"Tibet is environmentally concerned. … People are considering protecting trees before industry."
Tanniya, a legislator from Nyingchi prefecture, said she feels the same way. "People are getting richer now, with higher expectations. They want to enjoy a bluer sky and cleaner water while their income keeps growing."
She said, "I have faith because the central authority has asked that economic, political, cultural and social development be matched by the development of environmental protection."

Publications: Pacific Environment and Climate Change Outlook Report (17 Jan 2013)

Pacific Environment and Climate Change Outlook Report

Published on 17 January 2013

The Pacific Environment and Climate Change Outlook report summarises the current state of the natural
environment within the Pacific Region, analyses and, where possible, quantifies the pressures
placed on the environment, and investigates current responses to environmental challenges.

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(2.74 MB) low res 
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Malaysian Updates: Low Carbon Society Blueprint for Iskander Malaysia 2025 Summary for Policymakers (SPM)

Booth Visit of Malaysian Environment Minister
Makiko SUDA, Junior Research Associate, Yumiko ASAYAMA, Research Associate
Center for Social and Environmental Systems Research
Koichi OKABE, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
December 21, 2012

Visit of the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Government of Malaysia to the NIES Booth at COP18/CMP8

On December 6, 2012, a five member delegation, including the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Sri Douglas Uggah EMBAS and other high ranking officials in the Ministry visited the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) booth at COP18/CMP8. The Minister commented that he was intimately acquainted with the cooperative research activities towards the realization of Low Carbon Society in the Iskander Malaysia being undertaken between Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and NIES for the JICA/JST and SATREPS research project “Development of Low Carbon Society Scenarios for Asian Regions”, being implemented in Iskander, Malaysia.
NIES Research Associate Yumiko ASAYAMA introduced as an example of an initiative on regional and national levels how, in order to achieve the two degree target by 2050, co-benefits could be achieved while reducing CO2 in each country of Asia, as well as Asian Low Carbon Society (LCS) scenario research demonstrating comparisons with BAU scenarios. She also introduced the distinctive features of drafting a roadmap in line with the vision towards the realization of Asian LCS, and indicating what actions should be taken and by when for each countries governments, private sector, citizens and international bodies to work towards the creation of an ideal society. The Minister gave his focused attention to the introductory booklet for Asian LCS and the Thai LCS scenario report.
Yumiko ASAYAMA explains NIES initiatives to the Malaysian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Yumiko ASAYAMA explains NIES initiatives to the Malaysian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
The Minister also visited the UTM booth, counterparts for the research project “Development of Low Carbon Society scenarios for Asian regions” and was given an overview of the project, and details of the LCS blueprint towards 2025 for Iskander, Malaysia by project coordinators CHAU Loon Wai and Koichi OKABE. UTM was the sole Malaysian group to participate in COP18, and the Minister emphasized this point during his appraisals. He also commented that it was wonderful to see tangible results being made public on the occasion of COP18. The Minister was warmly received throughout his visit and he subsequently expressed his wish that support for the relationship with his ministry would be maintained.
Yumiko ASAYAMA explains NIES initiatives to the Malaysian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment hears details of “Low Carbon City 2025: Sustainable Iskander, Malaysia” at the UTM booth
Low Carbon Society Blueprint for Iskander Malaysia 2025, Summary for Policymakers (SPM), presented by Iskander Regional Development Authority, UTM and NIES at COP18 was picked up by many media outlets after its presentation as outcomes of our institute. It is expected that LCS scenarios for every region of Malaysia will be prepared in future, making use of our knowledge of LCS drafting in Iskander, Malaysia.
This was a valuable opportunity for NIES to directly explain the global scale, regional, national, and local authority levels on in which it is engaged against global warming in an integrated manner to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

Low Carbon Society Blueprint for Iskander Malaysia 2025 Summary for Policymakers (SPM)
Authors: Makiko SUDA, Yumiko ASAYAMA, Center for Social and Environmental Systems Research, Koichi OKABE, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia