Water Cycle for Kids

Water cycle is one of the most interesting environmental cycles to learn about. One can always experiment with simple projects on water cycle and observe this cycle practically. This article will provide you with an explanation of the water cycle for kids with the different stages of the water cycle and some interesting projects to perform and observe the water cycle.

Composition of Air

Atmospheric air comprises certain elements in a specific ratio. According to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), 99.998 percent of the Earth's atmosphere is made up of four compounds. These major components are nitrogen, oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide. Another major component of the Earth's atmosphere is water vapor, which is not included in studying the dry composition of air. In short, air composition without water vapor is called dry air. The percentage of water vapor may range from 1-5 percent. Substances present in the air, other than these five main components are referred to as trace elements. Read more on planet earth facts.

Composition of Air

The composition of air in the atmosphere remains nearly unchanged till an altitude of 10 meter. Dust particles also make up the atmospheric air to some extent. Any major alteration in the percentage composition of air is associated with changes in the global climate. The following table represents the components of atmospheric air with their symbol, molecular weight and percentage ratio by volume:

Table for Composition of Air

Component Element Symbol Molecular Weight Percent by Volume
Nitrogen N2 28.01 78.084%
Oxygen O2 32.00 20.947%
Argon Ar 39.95 0.934%
Carbon Dioxide CO2 44.01 0.033%
Neon Ne 20.18 0.001818%
Helium He 4.00 0.000524%
Krypton Kr 83.80 0.000114%
Methane CH4 16.04246 0.0002%
Hydrogen H2 2.02 0.00005%
Nitrous Oxide N2O 44.01288 0.00003%
Xenon Xe 131.30 0.0000087%
Ozone O3 47.9982 0.000007%
Nitrogen dioxide NO2 46.005 0.000002%
Iodine I2 253.8 0.000001%
Carbon monoxide CO 28.0101 Trace
Ammonia NH3 17.03 Trace

For easy understanding of air composition at the first glance, you can also refer to a pie chart for the composition of air which you will find plentiful on-line. The major role played by each of these components is different. For example, nitrogen is the most important plant nutrient, while oxygen is responsible for respiration and combustion. Nitrogen is also important for diluting the oxygen concentration and stabilizing the atmosphere.

Air Components: Quick Facts

Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the air is important for studying the global climatic change. The raising level of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere is the major cause for global warming. It is because of the increasing greenhouse gases that raises the concern of melting of glaciers and elevation in the global temperature.

The level of aerosols (smoke, smog, pollutants, etc.) suspended in the air is a determining factor for the Earth's energy budget. Atmospheric aerosols change the heat retention by the Earth's surface and also, cloud formation. Overall, aerosols are another factor for changing the energy budget of the Earth. Studies are going on to determine the effects of aerosols in regional and global climatic changes.

The water vapor holding capacity of air varies with temperature. The higher the temperature of air, the lesser is the content of water vapor. This is the reason why, water vapor concentration differs from one place to another. Air in areas near to the sea contain higher concentration of water vapor, while air in desert environments contain low levels of moisture.

While studying respiration, generally we come across statements like breathing in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. It is not exactly the case; the air that we breathe out (exhaled air) is not entirely carbon dioxide. A maximum percentage of it makes up moisture, 4.4 percent carbon dioxide, 14 percent oxygen and other elements.

With the rising issues of environmental issues or most precisely, air pollution, studying the composition of air has become a topic of common interest. Scientific studies opine that concentration of oxygen less than 19.5 percent in the atmosphere can result in various physiological changes in all the life forms. And an atmospheric condition with oxygen amount below 16 percent is life threatening.

Conserving Water

Choose water-efficient products and test your WaterSense - A family of four uses 400 gallons of water every day. EPA's WaterSense program helps conserve water for future generations by providing information on products and programs that save water without sacrificing performance.

More steps you can take:

  • Don't let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth.
  • Take short showers instead of tub baths.
  • Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
  • Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher; wash only full loads.
  • Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine.
  • Buy high-efficient plumbing fixtures & appliances.
  • Repair all leaks (a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons a day).
  • Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best).
  • Water plants differently according to what they need. Check with your local extension service or nurseries for advice.
  • Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only - not the street or sidewalk.
  • Use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation systems for trees and shrubs.
  • Keep your yard healthy - dethatch, use mulch, etc.
  • Sweep outside instead of using a hose.
  • Landscape using "rain garden" techniques to save water and reduce stormwater runoff.

Reducing Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Addressing air pollution in your home - The choices you make at home affect the amount of pollution outside your home as well as inside. Learn what you can do to pollute less and all the while save some money.

Climate change: what you can do at home and in the garden - Making a few small changes in your home and yard can lead to big reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and save money.

At Home and in the Garden

Saving Energy

Find Energy Star products for your home - Choosing energy-efficient products can save families about 30% ($400 a year) while reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases. Whether you are looking to replace old appliances, remodel, or buy a new house, you can help. ENERGY STAR is the government's backed symbol for energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR label makes it easy to know which products to buy without sacrificing features, style or comfort that today's consumers expect.

More steps you can take:

  • Turn off appliances and lights when you leave the room.
  • Use the microwave to cook small meals. (It uses less power than an oven.)
  • Purchase "green power" for your home's electricity. (Contact your power supplier to see where and if it is available.)
  • Have leaky air conditioning and refrigeration systems repaired.
  • Cut back on air conditioning and heating use if you can.
  • Insulate your home, water heater and pipes.

How can I prevent marine engine pollution?

If you’re one of 12 million boat owners in the United States, you can find ways to reduce hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxides emissions from your engine.

How can I get resources to improve my local environment?

The Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program offers grants to fund collaborative partnerships of local residents, governments and businesses that reduce toxic pollutants in their local environments and minimize people's exposure to those pollutants.

Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE)

How can I protect my drinking water?

There are lots of ways that you can help keep your local water supply safe. You can help to protect the watershed that surrounds it.
For more information:

  • How you can protect your drinking water
  • Cómo puedo ayudar a proteger el agua potable

Is the air outside healthy?

EPA's Air Quality Index (AQI) provides daily air quality reports. The AQI tells you how clean or polluted your outdoor air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.
For more information:

  • Learn more about your air quality at the AIRNow Web site.
  • Hoja de datos sobre el índice de calidad aéreo

How can I help to prevent pollution?

Now you can prevent pollution in lots of environmentally and economically beneficial ways. Extracting and using raw materials creates pollution and uses energy. By changing the way you use products and resources you can prevent pollution and save money. Preventing pollution provides cleaner air and water, less waste in landfills, conservation of natural resources, reduced soil erosion, lower electricity and water bills, and increased property values.
For more information:

  • Reduce your "environmental footprint" at home and in your community through these pollution prevention activities

How do I learn about environmental conditions in my community?

MyEnvironment is a mapping tool that features a wide range of information about environmental conditions in an area of your choice. Enter your zip code, address, or a nearby water body, and MyEnvironment will show you sites nearby that report to EPA the storage, handling or emission of pollutants into land, air or water. It offers refined searching by industry (such as manufacturing), media (emissions to land, air or water), pollutant, or geographic location.
For more information:

Winner of 2010 Rangeland Stewardship Award

The Bureau of Land Management today announced the winner of the agency's Rangeland Stewardship Award for 2010. The award was presented to a Nevada ranch that has improved rangeland conditions in the Carson City area. BLM Deputy Director Marcilynn Burke presented the award in Pendleton, Oregon, at a meeting of the rancher-based Public Lands Council.

The BLM’s award recognizes the rangeland management of the Smith Creek Ranch near Austin, Nevada. The ranch owner, Ray Hendrix, holds a BLM grazing permit in connection with his livestock operation in the BLM’s Carson City District. With Mr. Hendrix's backing, ranch manager Duane Coombs has implemented innovative livestock management practices to enhance sagebrush, aspen, and riparian habitat. The Smith Creek Ranch has been particularly effective in improving sage-grouse habitat on the public lands that they use for grazing.

On March 5, 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that listing of the greater sage-grouse as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was warranted, but precluded by the need to complete other listing actions of higher priority. Proactive management in sage-grouse habitat is a high priority to prevent this species from becoming fully listed under the ESA. Having such grazing permit holders as the Smith Creek Ranch vested in this endeavor is imperative to providing healthy rangelands for future generations.

“The BLM is delighted to present the Rangeland Stewardship Award to Ray Hendrix and Duane Coombs of the Smith Creek Ranch for their efforts to manage and improve public rangelands in Nevada,” said Deputy Director Burke. “The work of Mr. Hendrix and his staff, which includes monitoring conditions and intensive herding to improve grazing management, has been truly outstanding.”

The Rangeland Stewardship Award has been presented every year since 2006. Previous winners include Jim Baker, Charles Thompson, Rob Rogerson, Chris Black, and Brian and Kathleen Bean of the Lava Lake Land and Livestock (all of whom are from Idaho). Jack Haworth of Colorado was presented the award in 2007. In addition, the BLM has previously presented two collaboration awards, the first to certain grazing permittees, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the interested public, other groups, and government agencies collectively associated with the Cody Field Office in Wyoming, and a second one to participants in the Skyline Cooperative Weed Management Area in Price, Utah.

How to Grow an Olive Tree: Olive Trees in Container or Ground Read more at Suite101: How to Grow an Olive Tree: Olive Trees in Container or Ground ht

There is something deeply exotic about the olive plant, with its beautiful pale green leaves and versatile fruit. Grown in the Mediterranean for thousands of years, it is strongly associated with warm sun, gentle breezes, as well as ancient cultures rich in history and myth.

Yet the olive tree can be grown successfully in Britain, if given the right conditions and care and has, over the years, become increasingly popular. It is a small tree with attractive flowers and fruit, making it ideal for those with limited space.

Basic Conditions for Growing Olive Trees

An olive tree grown in the south of Britain will be able to survive most winters outside. However, it would be wise to ensure it is placed in a sunny spot, sheltered from the cold, winter winds. A patio, safe from the elements, or a south or south-west facing wall are the ideal situations.

Further north conditions can be much harsher in the winter. Because of these northern extremes, an olive tree is best grown in a container because this means it can be moved into a covered area for protection. Keep an eye on young olive trees which tend to be more vulnerable than older, more well-established trees.

Olive trees can be bought at varying heights, and the larger ones can be quite pricey. If economy is a factor, start out with a small tree in a plant pot as pictured above, and watch it grow (instructions below).

Tips On How to Grow a Tree from Seed

When planting a tree you can either buy a tree that has already started growing or you can plant it from seed. Planting from a seed is usually harder and will require more maintenance to get it to grow. However, most people would agree it is a lot more rewarding in the end.

The first thing to remember is that you won't want to plant your tree directly in the ground outside. This is one of the biggest mistakes when planting new plants. By planting directly outside the seed would be subject to the weather, predators (such as birds and squirrels), and bad soil. The best thing to do is to plant your seed in a small pot and repot it as the plant gets bigger. Some of the supplies you will need for planting are:
Seed. You will of course need the seed to plant. Make sure you find a tree that will thrive in your area.
Pots. As the seed grows you will need bigger and bigger pots to transplant it in. If your pot doesn't have any holes on the bottom it's a good idea to drill some so water will be able to drain out of the pot.
Water. You will need to remember to water your tree as it grows and matures.
Sunlight. Find a spot where you can give your tree some daily sunlight without putting it in any harm.

When watering your seed remember to keep it moist but not overly wet. If you keep too much water in the pot you have a chance of "drowning" your seed. Good ways to keep the container moist include a mister system or for a cheaper alternative you can put a piece of plastic over the pot. Remember, if you use plastic you need to put some holes in it for air to get through to the seed.

What Causes Thunder

Thunder is the sound caused due to lightning. The flash of lightning and the accompanying thunder occur around the same time. However, lightning is seen first, followed by the sound of thunder after few seconds. This is due to the fact that light wave travels much faster than sound waves.

In order to understand thunder, one needs to know about lightning. Well! Lightning is electricity discharged during a thunderstorm. It is caused due to the build-up and discharge of electrical energy in the thunderstorm clouds, which are about 15,000 to 25,000 feet above sea level. Lightning usually occurs within clouds, between the cloud and air or between the ground and cloud. Based on the nature of lightning, there are various types such as in-cloud lightning, cloud-to-ground lightning, cloud-to-cloud lightning, sheet lightning, bead lightning, ribbon lightning, ball lightning and bolt from the blue.

What Causes Thunder

The cause of thunder has been a subject of discussion for a long time. In the third century BC, it was believed that thunder is caused due to collision of clouds. However, the most accepted theory was developed in the 20th century. According to this theory, the bolts of lightning are very hot, much hotter than the surface of the sun. It is estimated that the bolt has a temperature of 30,000 to 50,000 degrees F (28,000 degrees C). When this high temperature bolt hits the surrounding air, there is an instant expansion of the air, sending out a shock wave or vibration, which we hear as a sound of explosion. Thus, in short, thunder is caused due to rapid heating and cooling of the air, near the stroke of lightning.

The sound intensity of thunder varies, depending upon the nature of lightning and the distance of the hearer from the origin of the sound. You can estimate the distance (miles) from the strike; first count the interval between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder in seconds and then divide the interval by five. In case, you are near to the flash of lightning, you will hear thunder as a sharp crack; whereas, if you are far from the lightning stroke, then the sound will seem a low rumble. The rumbling sound is because of the echo, occurring due to the reflection of sound waves from the buildings, trees and hillsides.

Thunder can be dangerous, depending on how close we are from the stroke of lightning. If the sound is very loud, it can hurt our ears. However, it is to be noted that it is lightning, which is more dangerous. On an average, about one hundred people die every year in the United States and several people suffer from lifelong disability due to lightning. Most of the lightning casualties occur, when people are caught outdoors during rainy weather. In case, you are outside during a thunderstorm, it is advisable to avoid open fields, beaches and lakes and also stay away from tall trees. The safest way is to get inside your home or stay in the car. In the latter situation, you should not touch metal, as it is a good conductor of electricity.

Green Technology, the Environmentally Friendly Solution

By Lana Christian

Today’s conveniences and technology are often touted as ways to simplify our lives or make former luxuries available to more people. The ugly flip side is that the products or technologies for making them harm our environment.

Industries and regulatory bodies are taking steps in the right direction. But don’t wait for them to come up with all the answers. You can help the environmental healing process. How? By using green technology.

Green technology is a broad term for more environmentally friendly solutions—whether it’s manufacturing carpeting that produces zero landfill, developing a planned community, turning radioactive cesium into glass, or creating less packaging for frozen foods. You don’t need to be a chemist to understand or use green technology. You can seek out and demand products that support it. And you can use its principles yourself.

Let’s see how this works. You go grocery shopping. Instead of using the store’s paper or plastic bags, buy your own reusable bags. Strong, durable, washable bags made of cotton, hemp, or nylon can handle the weight of groceries and can "stand up" just like paper bags. As you stroll down the aisles, pick organic produce, eggs, and other items.

When you think about your kids’ lunches, skip the prepackaged single-serve items. Sure, they look convenient. But they contribute a lot of waste that could end up in a landfill. Instead, make your own sandwiches and pack them in your child’s lunchbox. An important side benefit is that a home-packed lunch will be much healthier because of fewer preservatives and artificial ingredients, and will probably save money as well. That doesn’t mean you have to make everything from scratch, you can still buy ingredients (like a box of cookies) and pack what a kid-sized meal needs.

The proliferation of cleaning products available today is dizzying. You really need just a couple of all-purpose products to keep your house sparkling. Vinegar and baking soda are inexpensive, effective cleaning products that don’t harm the environment. Most commercially popular laundry detergents are made using a petrochemical process (similar to that used in making gasoline). But if you buy one 50-ounce jug of laundry detergent made by using vegetable oils instead of petrochemicals, you can save the world 130,000 barrels of oil consumption—enough to heat and cool 7,500 homes for a year. Now that’s energy efficiency!

All synthetic fragrances are made using petrochemicals. That includes fragrances in your shampoo, soap, shaving cream, hairspray, so-called "air fresheners," carpet cleaner, and anything else that simply lists "fragrance" as an ingredient. Make more eco-friendly choices that include no fragrance or only a natural fragrance, such as an essential oil. You’ll save on oil consumption every time you do.

If you’re thinking about remodeling, incorporate green technology into your plans. Many construction materials release dangerous chemical gases that deplete the environment. Pick materials that are made from sustainable products and "green chemistry." Green chemistry (a subset of green technology) purposely develops products and processes to reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.

Say that you want built-in cabinets for the family room. Many ready-made cabinets are a thin wood veneer, covering a construction of wood shavings pressed together with a lot of glue—a concoction that can silently give off formaldehyde gases for years. Instead, consider cabinets made from solid wood, such as a hard pine cut from sustainable forests. Choose stains and finishes that contain no VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Ditto for wall paint.

When selecting carpeting, choose from "green minded" companies. Such companies consciously use green technology in the manufacturing, shipping, and installation of their products. Products are made with minimal wastage and materials that preserve indoor air quality (as opposed to offgasing harmful chemicals). Furniture companies that use organic fibers and shun synthetic glues, dyes, or finishing sprays during production are also worth serious consideration. The cost be a little more, but the resulting benefit to the environment, including the environment in your own home, is worth it.

Walk outdoors. Does a lawn service spray your yard? If you are on a yearly maintenance plan and you own an acre of land, you are putting 5 to 7 pounds of pesticides on your lawn every year. That’s as much (often more) than farmers put on their crops. Switch to a service that uses all-natural lawn care. Within a year, your lawn could be greener and healthier than your neighbors’ lawns. And you won’t have to worry about what you track into the house when you walk across your yard.

Everything we do impacts the environment. What matters is how big a footprint we leave on it. We need to look through "green lenses" to minimize that footprint. It starts with you.

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Forest product

A forest product is any material derived from a forest for commercial use, such as lumber, paper, or forage for livestock. Wood, by far the dominant commercial forest product, is used for many industrial purposes, such as the finished structural materials used for the construction of buildings, or as a raw material, in the form of wood pulp, that is used in the production of paper. All other non-wood products derived from forest resources, comprising a broad variety of other forest products, are collectively described as non-timber forest products.

5MW wind turbines on this wind farm

The natural resource of wind powers these 5MW wind turbines on this wind farm 28 km off the coast of Belgium.


The Upsala Glacier in the Santa Cruz Province of Argentina is an example of a natural resource.

Icelandic volcanic ash alert grounds UK flights

Raw Video: Icelandic Volcano Erupts for 2nd Time

Volcanic ash disrupts N European flights

Airline passengers are facing massive disruption across the UK after an ash cloud from a volcanic eruption in Iceland grounded planes.

The Air Traffic Control Service (Nats) said no flights would be allowed in or out of UK airspace until 1800BST amid fears of engine damage.

The restrictions were imposed after the Met Office warned the ash was sufficient to clog engines.

Passengers were also affected in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

Passengers were advised to contact their carriers prior to travel.

Experts have warned that the tiny particles of rock, glass and sand contained in the ash cloud would be sufficient to jam aircraft engines.

These are some of the main knock-on effects:

  • Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports shut
  • Disruptions to and from Liverpool's John Lennon, Manchester and Newcastle airports
  • Severe delays at Birmingham airport with problems reported at East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Cardiff International and Bristol airports
  • London's Gatwick, Heathrow and City airports hit
  • British Airways cancels all domestic flights on Thursday and offers refunds or an option to rebook
  • Flights suspended at Belfast International Airport and George Best Belfast City Airport
  • RAF Sea King helicopter flies a critically ill patient from Scotland to London
  • Ash threat forces Great North Air Ambulance to be grounded

One passenger at Glasgow told the BBC: "I'm meant to be going to Lanzarote. We've travelled from Oban, leaving at 3am. Now we've decided we might as well just go home and do a bit of gardening."

Others switched form plane to train, with the East Coast line extending its 1830BST London to Newcastle service through to Edinburgh.

Budget airline Ryanair said no flights were operating to or from the UK on Thursday and it expected cancellations and delays on Friday.

A Nats spokesman said: "The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre has issued a forecast that the ash cloud from the volcanic eruption in Iceland will track over Europe tonight.

"Nats is working with Eurocontrol and our colleagues in Europe's other air navigation service providers to take the appropriate action to ensure safety in accordance with international aviation policy."

The European air safety body, Eurocontrol, said the cloud of ash had reached 55,000ft and was expected to move through northern UK and Scotland.

Brian Flynn, assistant head of operations of its central flow management unit, told the BBC: "As it moves toward the Netherlands and Belgium it will dissipate and lose intensity, like any weather phenomenon. But we don't know what the extent of it will be."

Met Office forecaster Philip Avery said the ash could take several days to clear.

He said: "It is showing up on imagery at the moment, extending down as far as the Faroes but it looks as though the wind will drag it a good deal further south.

"Nats has good cause to be very cautious about this because in about 1982 a British Airways jumbo had the unnerving experience of having all four engines shut down as it flew through a plume of volcanic ash."

There was a nearly identical incident on 15 December 1989 when KLM Flight 867, a B747-400 from Amsterdam to Anchorage, Alaska, flew into the plume of the erupting Mount Redoubt, causing all four engines to fail.

Once the flight cleared the ash cloud, the crew was able to restart each engine and then make a safe landing at Anchorage, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

A BAA spokesman said: "Passengers intending to fly today are asked to contact their airline for further information."

The eruption under a glacier in the Eyjafjallajoekull area of Iceland is the second in the country in less than a month.

World Rainforest Movement

Peru: Government intent on privatizing the Amazon for implementing tree plantations

Alan Garcia’s government is promoting a bill (draft law 840) also known as the “Forest Law.” It is a law concerning the promotion of private investment in reforestation and agro-forestry, whereby land with no forest cover in the Peruvian Amazon – erroneously classed as deforested wastelands, meaning there are no acquired rights over them – could be allocated, not as concessions, but as private property. This would open the door to major capital to establish large-scale tree plantations, under the guise of “reforestation.”

The argument used is that in order to promote reforestation, private investment needs to be attracted and security must be given to the investors. For this purpose, it is not enough to give them a 40-year, renewable concession as established in the present Forestry Law, but allocate them land as “owners” that is to say, for ever. Furthermore, when the State allocates land under ownership it can no longer control or make demands in the same way as if it were under concession.

There is strong resistance to the bill, among other things because it is contrary to article 66 of the Constitution, which establishes the public nature of renewable and non-renewable natural resources. It has also been denounced that no preliminary land survey has been made to delimit the extension of deforested lands that could be invested in, or their location. This fact would enable the new law to become a perverse incentive to encourage deforestation and lay waste the Amazon.

Furthermore, in Loreto (as in Ucayali or in Madre de Dios) there are no large areas of free deforested wasteland areas according to an article published by Servindi (1). The article points out that “the traditional slash and burn agricultural model used by the peasants implies leaving fallow for 10 to 20 years land that is “tired”, to enable a process of secondary forest regeneration and to recover soil nutrients. Most of the secondary forests in regeneration in Loreto have owners, although these may not have deeds.” Another factor is that “out of the almost 2,500 indigenous and peasant communities existing in Loreto, less than 500 have deeds and the rest has no documentation whatsoever certifying their ownership rights over farms and forests they use and have used for hundreds of years for their subsistence.”

The First Amazon Summit meeting was held on 17 February in Pichanaki, Junín, where, among other things, the rights of native communities over lands in the Central Forest and in the Amazon were proclaimed and the “intention of Alan Garcia’s Government to auction off our Amazon in favour of large foreign capitals” was rejected (2).

The Second Amazon Summit was held in Pucallpa, Ucayali region on 12 and 13 March. On this occasion the “Platform of the originating Amazon peoples before the Peruvian State and the international community against a single centred world” was re-launched (3). Among the items on their action plan is the demand to “definitively shelve the Legislative package that contains the Draft Forest Law,” because “with this Bill the intention is to dispossess us of our territories and the natural resources of the Amazon. We therefore demand that our own initiative of community development as a people is taken into account, and not to discriminate against us in favour of big capital.”

Many demonstrations and strikes took place in the central forest zone, in rejection of law 840. In March this year, in the web page of “Con nuestro Perú” (with our Peru) it was reported that “several thousand indigenous people from the Shipibo, Konibo, Ashaninka, Yine and Cocama peoples marched through the main streets of the city of Pucallpa to ask the Peruvian State to shelve the 840 Bill and the 2133 Bill or Forestry Law. This peaceful march, that was considered to be one of the largest indigenous demonstrations that had taken place in the region, was joined by students, professional people and indigenous mayors.”(4).

Servindi reports that (5), the Romero group is behind the government’s initiative and has ten million dollars to purchase 2 million hectares of land in the Amazon as soon as the Bill is adopted. Part of the two million hectares would be dedicated to carbon sink plantations with the aim of trading carbon on the New York stock-market under the Kyoto Protocol Mechanism. Some of the beneficiaries would be pension fund administrators, specific power groups and high officials of the present government.

As stated at the First Amazon Summit, “We declare the Amazon to be in a state of emergency because of the danger hanging over our peoples and we call on each one of the Amazon Regions to prevent the consummation of the violation of our human and constitutional rights, the right to life and to the environment, to the biodiversity of our water and energy resources.”

Article based on information provided by Alain A. Salas Dávila, ONG INCODES, e-mail: ongincodes@malko.com, www.malko.com./ongincodes; (1) “Ley de la Selva y Desarrollo Regional” (Forest Law and Regional Development), José Álvarez Alonso, Servindi, http://www.servindi.org/archivo/2008/3346; (2) First Amazon Summit, 16 and 17 February 2008. http://www.wrm.org.uy/paises/Amazonia/Cumbre.pdf; (3) Platform of the originating Amazon peoples before the Peruvian State and the international community against a single centred world. http://www.wrm.org.uy/paises/Peru/Pueblos_Originarios_Amazonia.pdf; (4) Ucayali Indigenous peoples march against the Forest Law, 20 March 2008. http://www.connuestroperu.com/index.php?option=
; (5) Peru: ¿Por qué es criticado el Proyecto 840, “Ley de la Selva”?(Why is Bill 840 “Forest Law” criticised?) , January 2008, Servindi, http://www.servindi.org/archivo/2008/3332


B.Sc. Natural Resources Conservation

Proud Winner of the Alfred Scow Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Student Experience and Learning Environment at the University of British Columbia

If you want to play an active role in protecting and managing our natural environment, then the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Natural Resources Conservation program may be for you.

Our society depends on the maintenance and protection of ecosystems. Yet resources in many ecosystems are often over-exploited or managed in non-sustainable ways. Urban development, agricultural, mineral/oil extraction, fisheries and forestry practices, can threaten the very existence of some ecosystems and alter or eliminate important habitats, biodiversity, and people’s way of life. Global climate change presents the largest uncertainty and threat to the sustainablilty of our present natural resources and ecosystems. To maintain healthy ecosystems we have to strive to achieve a balance between society’s ever-increasing need for goods and services and protection of natural environments, and do so in an era of changing climate. The Natural Resources Conservation Program provides students with skills and knowledge to meet such challenges. Natural resources conservation is an important issue throughout BC, Canada and the world. As a society, we choose which natural resources to use, and in what manner these uses will take place. Conservation science is concerned with the maintenance of habitats, the persistence of diverse natural resources, an understanding of human behaviours, and recognizes that a balance is needed among environmental, social, economic, cultural, and aesthetic values. Conservation scientists help society make the best possible environmental choices for achieving resource sustainability.

This unique degree offers two majors:

The Science and Management Major focuses on the conservation and management of renewable natural resources, and landscape and local level planning for both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more…

The Global Perspectives Major focuses on the conservation and management of renewable and non-renewable resources, policy formation and planning within a global context. Learn more…

Selecting a Major: all students are by default in the Science and Management Major of the NRC program. Students apply at end of year 2 to enter the Global Perspective Major. Because space is limted in the Global Perspectives Major, the best 27 credits from the year of application will be used to assess academic standing and to rank applicants.

Rainforest Fatu Hiva

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