Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How Fair is Your Love?

15.02.2008
A University of Leicester biologist supports the Government's position to support Kenyan workers by buying Kenyan roses.

But he warned that flowers bought for Valentine Day and Mother's Day could, quite literally, be costing the earth.

Ecologist Dr David Harper said 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. Dr 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.

But now there is the beginning of hope for its restoration.

Dr Harper said:

“When flower-growing developed around the shores of Naivasha, it was a booming business, fuelled by insatiable UK demand. Nothing stops 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. This is a stark fact of life in a capitalist, developing country seeking to improve its economic condition.

“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”.

Dr Harper has been working in Kenya with NGOs to introduce a scheme called "Payment for Ecosystem Services" (PES) where flower growers put a small premium back into restoring the environment that their water came from.

"This is very good news. The companies that are the most conscious and involved in PES are those that sell directly to UK supermarkets"

“Now these companies need support; a new certification so that British consumers, who have huge purchasing power and with knowledge can use it to help make positive changes."

“These flower-growing companies at Naivasha 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”.

“What we now need is the supermarkets to come on board, to create a 4-way partnership - consumers paying a premium and knowing where the money is going, supermarkets supporting with horticultural growers, each putting in matching funds, and an international NGO managing the restoration funds”.

Harper has put detailed proposals for lake restoration to that international environmental NGO as well as to UNESCO, who have also funded him.

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Surface clean-up technology won't solve ocean plastic problem
04.08.2020 | University of Exeter

nachricht Improving the monitoring of ship emissions
03.08.2020 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

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: ScanCut project completed: laser cutting enables more intricate plug connector designs

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...

Im Focus: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rare Earth Elements in Norwegian Fjords?

06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences

Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life

06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

06.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>