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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