Publications and Impact Assessments
Inaudible sound from turbines operating on wind farms does not affect human health, according to a recent review by the Victorian Department of Health. The review found that typical sound pressure for people living less than a kilometre from a wind turbine is actually lower than many other common environmental noises.
The health of the Great Barrier Reef is at risk due to excessive coastal development, according to a new UNESCO report on the World Heritage listed area. “Wetlands along the coast are vital to the survival of the Great Barrier Reef region,” says University of York Researcher, Callum Roberts, who worries the reef will be ruined if port development and dredging proceed without proper caution.
Sydney Morning Herald
The Australian Greens have initiated a senate inquiry into the potential health impacts of air pollution from sources such as coal mining and power stations. A submission from the Australian Medical Association warns that ultrafine particles in the atmosphere pose a serious threat to human health.
Stanford researchers estimate that all the solar panels operating around the world produced enough energy last year to offset the energy it took to manufacture them. The power used to make solar panels is often overlooked in renewable energy efficiency analysis and is still primarily generated by fossil fuels.
WWF and Indonesian environment groups claim that European and Japanese taxpayers are among those unwittingly underwriting the continued destruction of important forest in Sumatra, including habitat for endangered tigers. A new report from Sumatra-based NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest, shows that Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) agreed to protect high conservation value forest under debt restructuring agreements it made with taxpayer-backed financial institutions in nine countries, in 2004. However, Eyes on the Forest believes subsequent forest clearing blatantly breaches that commitment.
Back in 2010, we featured commentary by Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Campaigns Director Shailendra Yashwant on a landmark commitment by Indonesia to protect its remaining forests with $1 billion financial support from Norway. The pact was agreed in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions caused by the destruction of forest and carbon packed peat-land; it promised to be a flagship large-scale example of REDD+ in action. At the time, a moratorium on new logging and plantation concessions was announced on a supposed ‘no reduced deforestation, no money from Norway’ basis.
Now, Jakarta-based NGO Greenomics-Indonesia has revealed that over 1 million acres in Indonesian New Guinea was revised out of the moratorium in November 2011. How will Norway react to this worrying revision of the parameters? Do Indonesia’s actions bode ominously for other REDD+ initiatives? Is it possible to save the ambitious moratorium? We hope the Greenomics report will invite greater scrutiny of how this keystone pact is being implemented.
Indonesian NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest and WWF are drawing attention to the hollowness of claims by Asia Pulp & Paper that it is working to protect Sumatran tiger. The company fails to acknowledge in it’s blatant greenwashing, that it has been responsible for logging more than two million hectares of Indonesia’s tropical forests in recent decades, including elephant, tiger and orang-utan habitat; and, most shockingly, even clear-cutting inside the “Senepis Tiger Sanctuary” that it claims to have helped create in Sumatra. The company had also previously tried to halt a government-proposed national park in the area.
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