5 Maps Show How Important Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Are to the Environment

By Katie Reytar and Peter Veit – December 20, 2017  Indigenous groups and local communities occupy about half the world’s land, but hold legal rights to only a fraction of it. Photo by Michele Solmi/Flickr Indigenous Peoples and local communities are some of the best environmental stewards. Their livelihoods and cultures depend on forests, clean water and other natural resources, so they have strong incentives …

US land use

The U.S. land area totals just under 2.3 billion acres. Agricultural land use has become less common over time, declining from 63 percent in 1949 to 52 percent in 2012 (the latest data available). Gradual declines have occurred in cropland, while grazed forestland has decreased more rapidly. In 2012, 392 million acres of agricultural land were in cropland (18 percent …

Connecting With Nature Improves Minds and Moods

By Marlene Cimons Nexus Media Nov. 22, 2017 11:02AM EST  Twentieth Century German social psychologist Erich Fromm first advanced the notion that humans hold an inborn connection to nature. Later, it was popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.” In the ensuing years, support for the positive effects of nature has gained considerable …

Reforestation project in the Brazilian Amazon is using a new technique for planting trees that results in more, stronger plants–and hopes to cover 70,000 acres in new forests

Developed in Brazil only a few years ago, the new planting technique is called muvuca. “In Portuguese, it means a lot of people in a very small place,” says Rodrigo Medeiros, Conservation International’s vice president of the Brazil program and the lead on the ground.  The muvuca strategy demands that seeds from more than 200 native forest species are spread over every square meter of burnt and …

Land use change in cities with AVs, new tech and TNCs. The importance of names for small neighborhoods, and more

In Futurism, The Conversation, 16 Oct 2017 by Tan Yigitcantar et al.  Smart City Solutions The convergence of technology and the city is seen as a possible remedy for the challenging issues of urbanisation. Autonomous vehicles are among the most popular of many smart city solutions. Also known as driverless car technology, it could reshape our cities. One recent prediction is that by 2040 these vehicles …

Land Use levers to prevent increased pollution and sprawl with mobility on demand

Excerpt from Giovanni Circella et al., UC-Davis The most important policy levers to mitigate against more sprawl and environmental damage will be pricing. There are several types of effective pricing mechanisms that are recommended: Pricing mobility: Pricing travel by VMT, vehicle size and incentivizing increased vehicle occupancy, while strongly dis-incentivizing zero occupancy trips will send the necessary signals that use of …

Maybe cities are the future of suburbs – apartments going up where there is space

Any place can become urban if enough people move in. By Noah Smith, Bloomberg, 11 Sep 2017 Urban or suburban?  Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images I recently had a discussion with my Bloomberg View colleagues Conor Sen and Justin Fox about whether cities or suburbs are the future in the U.S. This turns out to be a very popular and contentious topic. Richard Florida, the noted …

You knew composting was a good idea, but this was still a huge surprise…

By Marlene Cimons. Originally published on Nexus Media. 16 Sept 2017 How Food Waste Turned A Barren Landscape In Costa Rica Into A Lush Forest Orange isn’t just the new black. It’s also the new green. Twenty years ago, an orange juice producer dumped thousands of tons of orange peels and pulp onto a barren section of a Costa Rican national park, …

Millvale’s success came from demanding equal footing with new stakeholders. Resolving the imbalances embedded into the fossil fuel system is paramount to a genuine transition. There are no easy solutions, neither energy nor home ownership have ever been equitable in this country. But, a neighborhood under transition should educate and encourage neighborhood education, demand communities well as commercial investment, and …

A New Zealand River Has Human Rights. Now Will Modern Law Come to Its Senses?  Humanity is slowly reawakening to the simple logic that Mother Earth’s rights must come before human rights

David Korten posted Jul 07, 2017 It was a stunning breakthrough in a rights issue that could be a crucial step toward ensuring a human future. In March, New Zealand passed theTe Awa Tupua Bill making New Zealand’s Whanganui River the first river in the world to hold the same legal rights, responsibilities, and liabilities as a human person. For the Maori people, it …