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 Treatment of saline wastewater during algae utilization
14.05.2019 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH

nachricht Plastic gets a do-over: Breakthrough discovery recycles plastic from the inside out
07.05.2019 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cement as a climate killer: Using industrial residues to produce carbon neutral alternatives

20.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

When bees are freezing

20.05.2019 | Life Sciences

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth

20.05.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>