Putting It In Perspective

Americans-Lying-In-Trash-1

Artists who put waste in perspective in a tactile way can really open our eyes. Trash is an unusual inspiration for art, but the following artists have used it as a medium to express a poignant message. Gregg Segal is a photographer and artist that literally captures our waste output, and it isn’t at all pretty. Taking snapshots of people lying picnic style in their refuse in a truth driven series called 7 Days of Garbage, Segal forces us to look at the reality of our lifestyles. From the artist: “7 Days of Garbage is a series of portraits of… read more

What Influences Kids’ Food Selections

What Influences Kids’ Food Selections

What shoppers purchase and why is always of interest to the retail industry and market researchers. Packaging, placement and other marketing tactics have a major influence on customers, even the youngest of consumers. But choices at the grocery store aren’t always predetermined at the place of purchase. They may actually be internally programmed long before arriving at the market. An article and webcast called Why We Overeat: The Toxic Food Environment and Obesity from Harvard’s School of Public Health discussed the food environment, which includes all aspects related to food in our daily lives. From what we are offered at… read more

Model Laws For All

environmental-laws

In matters of common interest in the international community, there exists a practice wherein model laws are drafted for sovereign states to use as a blueprint for national legislation. Environmental model laws also exist, this article seeks to expose the disadvantages of using such instruments in the developing world. In principle, there is nothing wrong with using a model law as a foundation for drafting national legislation. However in a time when there is mounting pressure on all nations of the world to enact relevant environmental legislation and formulate sound environmental policies, there may be danger in using model law… read more

Forcing Change For The Future

Technology Forcing Change

Generally, technology forcing standards can be defined as the formulation in legislation, of a requirement to achieve a certain standard of operation within a specified time period. This can be achieved by using technologies that have not yet been developed for widespread commercial use, but have been shown to be feasible on an experimental basis. Technology forcing standards are quite important in the field of environmental regulation, they are a necessary nudge in the right direction for the biggest producers of environmentally corrupt substances, and large contributors to human induced climate change. The automotive and petroleum industries, for instance, were transformed… read more

Potential For Collaboration

ngo's Working Together

The non-government and grassroots environmental sector has been growing rapidly over the past thirty years. Not surprisingly, there are now more environmental NGOs and grassroots groups worldwide than ever before. Equally not surprising is the fact that these ‘green-minded’ organisations do not share the same vision, purpose or modus operandi. Consequently, there’s an increasing “silo” effect occurring within the not-for-profit sector. In recent decades, grassroots and NGO environmental groups have played an increasingly influential role in raising global awareness about environmental and sustainability issues – curiously, however, despite the urgency for collective action, there is still resistance from many of the… read more

Corruption Leads To Landfill

Abandoned_vehicles

It is trite to say that corruption is one of the most prevalent social ills that plague numerous governments internationally. This is especially true within African states where blatant corruption goes unpunished, thereby fostering a culture of impunity. Corruption by government officials has many dire consequences, and we will focus on the effect of such corruption on environmental obligations which a country must discharge or at least be seen to be discharging. All countries in the global community are encouraged to take part in saving the natural environment from avoidable harm, laws are passed and policies formulated to realise that end. However,… read more

Financing Change

Financing Change

Financial markets have a reputation for being the playground of the greedy and self-serving. However, this attitude towards financial markets is slowly changing as this sector seeks to become a stakeholder in the fight against global warming. In what may be said to be the development of conscious capitalism. International instruments such as the Kyoto protocol have developed a framework for financial services providers to assume a role in the fight against climate change by facilitating carbon trading, and financing climate adaptation. Furthermore, the financial sector seems to be enthusiastically involved in the fight against global warming. The involvement of… read more

Polluting The Seas

biofouling-on-boat-hull

If you have ever walked by a sea harbour, you may have noticed a few organisms attached to a docked large ship by the waterline. These attachments may be telling of a worse situation that lies beneath the water than the naked eye can sea. These attachments consist of micro-organism, plants, algae, molluscs and other marine organisms, and such attachment is known as biofouling. Biofouling is not a new phenomenon, it can occur on all marine vessels if appropriate anti- fouling measures are not taken. Environmental scientists have long stated that biofouling provides transportation of non-indigenous species of aquatic plant… read more

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied

Environmental law

In most civilised legal systems specialised courts are established for special crimes. Examples include tax courts, labour courts, and white collar crimes courts. The importance of having specialised courts is that crimes and civil suits of a technical nature are dealt with without the delay they would suffer if put to traditional court structures. As the need to protect environmental media continues to escalate in importance, and climate change law continues to develop, environmental courts are going to be needed to deal specifically with criminal and civil matters pertaining to the environment and climate change. What must always be borne… read more

Environment Not For Sale

Environmental law in Africa

Foreign investment can play a critical role in improving the economic conditions in developing countries. As a result, many African countries are keen to have foreign based companies invest and set up shop within their borders. Foreign investment is hardly free, in most cases foreign companies benefit in some or other way from operating in a foreign jurisdiction. They may benefit from a number of advantages including the natural resources such country has to offer, corporate tax rates, and from lax environmental laws. Where environmental laws are concerned, it may be that in the company’s country of origin there are… read more