Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Love is…Saving the planet

14.02.2007
Ten thousand tonnes of roses sold in the UK over Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are part of the devastation of the ecosystem of Kenya’s renowned Lake Naivasha.

University of Leicester ecologist Dr David Harper, who has been studying the lake for 25 years, says almost half a million people now live around the shores of the lake - drawn there by the flower trade.

But this pressure - from people - is destroying the lake that supports their jobs lives and their livelihoods.

Dr Harper said the shanty towns that have emerged around the lake have no sanitation- water comes from the lake and sewage returns to it.

Dr Harper said: “When flower-growing developed around the shores of Naivasha, it was a booming business, fuelled by insatiable UK demand. Nothing would stop its expansion or the surge of migrants from other parts of Kenya to work in it.

“The lake is being destroyed at an alarming rate by the sheer pressure of people on it. They are poor, uneducated people who are more concerned about their next meal than the health of the environment. So would any one of us be in these circumstances.

“Every few months another newspaper or TV carries a report about the starvation wages or working conditions and workers’ rights in Kenya, compared with the supermarket profits in the UK. They create a negative image for the industry but they all miss the main point. If flower-growing stops nearly a million people lose their livelihoods. There is no social security in Kenya”.

So Dr Harper is now calling for consumers- people in the UK who buy the roses as well as supermarkets- to spare more than a thought for the people who grow and collect the roses.

“We need a new certification so that British consumers, who have huge purchasing power and with knowledge can use it to make positive changes.

“Three flower-growing companies at Naivasha now sell with ‘Fair Trade’ certification. But what good is that when soon the industry will be brought to its knees by the collapse of the ecosystem that sustains it?

We need both “Fair Trade” and “Fair Planet”. I and colleagues in Kenya are seeking a new label with a small premium, so that the money raised can transparently go into restoring the lake.

“This would be a 4-way partnership, consumers paying a premium, supermarkets and horticultural growers each putting in matching funds, and an international NGO managing the restoration funds”.

For 21 of Harper’s 25 years, his research has been funded by the Earthwatch Institute, of Boston and Oxford. He has put detailed proposals for lake restoration to that international environmental NGO as well as to UNESCO, who have also funded him.

Alex Jelley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>