Category: Agriculture & Farming

Farming and animal husbandry are typical activities in rural communities and the motor of economy especially in the developing countries, e.g. Asia, South America and Africa. Supporting these basic activities is imperative for achieving sustainable socio-economic developments in many developing countries. Successful urbanization strategies around the world are very much related to supporting rural communities and integrating them with the rest of society through effective management of farming and animal husbandry sectors.

📢 Announcement: Virtual Symposium on “Creativity and Innovation for Sustainability. 21 April, 10 pm Cairo.

In the memory of the International Day for Creativity and Innovation, the “Arab Federation for Creativity and Innovation” rowadalaamal.com holds a Virtual Symposium on “Creativity and Innovation for Sustainability”. This Virtual Symposium is being held under the care of “Arab Federation for Sustainable Development and the Environment” www.ausde.org.

You are invited to join this Virtual Symposium by using the link given below. It will take place at 10pm Cairo time and 11pm Mecca time.

✅ برعاية الإتحاد العربي للتنمية المستدامة والبيئة
⭕ يعقدالمجلس العربي للإبداع والابتكار بمناسبةاليوم العالمي للإبداع والابتكارالمؤتمر الافتراضي
🤚بعنوان:الإبداع والابتكارمن أجل التنمية
🔹الخميس 21 / 4 /2022
⏳الساعة11مساءمكةالمكرمةو10القاهرة
📌الرابط:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84163868686

The Dream of All Dreams – A Love Song in a Strange Land.

The dream of all dreams, is just a dream. Merely a dream, a dream of all dreams. Day and night, year after year, generation after generation; we all have dreams. Peaceful dreams, dreams we all dream but always end with dreams for safe and prosper life. Dreams for peace, peace with cries and tears that turn fear and hopes to series of dreams. The dream of all dreams, is just a dream.

The dream of all dreams, is just a dream. Thoughts of trust, yes trust and not mistrust. Dreams to bring us together with respect and care, to get us away from division. Division of all of us; taking side, with or against. It is about us, us? but who is us? We and they become you and me; you against me and me against you, who are you? The dream of all dreams, is just a dream.

The dream of all dreams, is just a dream. Dreams for peace, become dreams for war. The dream of understanding you becomes a dream of understanding me. Who are you? The dream of information becomes a dream of misinformation and what to do? The dream of helping becomes a dream of fighting, to get more and more, from you and me. The dream of all dreams, is just a dream.

The dream of all dreams, is just a dream. Energy, is a dream for security, a dream of economy. The dream for security becomes a dream of hate, dreams of guns and bullets. The dream of economy at homes; it is heat, light and food, is also a dream of energy. Volatile and insecure dreams as oil and gas triggering wars, oil wars, economic wars, insecurity wars. Energy wars with guns and bullets from time to time, here and there, endless wars, ugly wars. Barbaric wars fuelled by slaves of wars and arms. The dream of all dreams, is just a dream.

The dream of all dreams, is just a dream. With whom to talk and walk the walk, together, all together. World in blocks and Unions, east and west; and something else. Blocks in fate, which fate? Volatile blocks, volatile fates, breaking down now and then, here and there calling for wars. As in traffic, blocks and fates are just communication roads fuelled by oil; right or left with red zones, forbidden zones, insecure zones but always crossed. The dream of all dreams, is just a dream.

The dream of all dreams, is just a dream. West and East, North and South; opposite blocks with own goals or no goals. As in chemistry: ‘acids’ and ’alkalines’; or in physics: ‘positive’ and negative’ charges. In peace, they follow laws of chemistry and physics to trade; win-win with no loss. In conflict, as ‘particles’ and ‘anti-particles’ in physics; west-east and north-south, fight together to anni-hilate each other. But unlike in physics, no conservation to follow, always lose, just lose and great losses. The dream of all dreams, is just a dream.

The dream of all dreams, is just a dream. Renewable dreams not fossil dreams. Energy isn’t for free, produced and used, but never wisely and clean. Energy needs minerals, fossil minerals; mined and processed, yielding waste, waste and more waste. Conservation of materials; life-cycles for renewables, recycling for circular and clean economy. A dream, easy to say year after year, decade after decade, it is still a dream, an unachievable dream, a dream, a dream that we all dream. The dream of all dreams, is just a dream.

The dream of all dreams, is just a dream. Security in peace; energy for prosperity. Prosperity, Security and Peace aren’t for free. With and without gas, oil and coal, we still have dreams. Renewable dreams. Dream of all dreams; clean air, water and food, clean life; prosperity for all with security and peace. It is said: the renewables are the solution; do we have all the solutions? Solutions to live in prosperity, security and peace? The dream of all dreams, is just a dream.

The dream of all dreams, is just a dream. Energy, Economy and Prosperity in Security and Peace, for all; why West and East, North and South? Why they and we; you and me? Would the invisible walls, separating us from achieving prosperity goals, the UN-SDGs, go away and become ruins of the past as the Berlin wall? Are we still preparing for a grand war, a nuclear, a Third World War. Let it be Actions for the UN-SDGs and not for another World War. The dream of all dreams, is just a dream.

Falling in love to break away from industries and blocks for wars, carrying away all of us from peace, in a global captivity of irresponsible consumption of minerals; natural and fossil. The dream of all dreams, a dream of love that is requiring from us a love song, but how shall we sing a peace song in a strange land of wars? Let our thoughts of circular economy and the meditation of our hearts and souls for prosperity, take us away from the disease of wars for growth economy.

Ever, forever …. Secrets of Life

Ever, forever and ever, life forever. I have always life in me, ME ‘Mother Earth’. My star, my Sun, we share a secret together. It is the secret of life in you and me. My life, all forms of life, without you it wouldn’t be any life in ME, you and me. My star, my Sun, your gravity is holding me, is moving me around you, forever. My star, I am the only planet in a cosmic family that has life, an eternal life. Ever, forever and ever, life forever.

Ever, forever and ever, life forever. My star, burning star, reactor, fusion reactor. My star, my sun. The life in you isn’t like the life in me. I am a planet not a star. Your heat and energy are enormous. I have spheres protecting, safe-guarding me. My star, my sun. Materials and magnets screening the lethal radiation and particles from you. Ever, forever and ever, life forever.

Ever, forever and ever, life forever. Fulfilling my dreams, the dreams of life in me. The one, only one shining life on me. Giving life, life everywhere in and on ME. Life on land, life in soils, life in forests. Life in waters, lakes, rivers and oceans. Ever, forever and ever, life forever.

Ever, forever and ever, life forever. Energy in your light, shining on me, fuelling me. Photons falling on me, carrying energy, energy in motion, propagating in me. The invisible photons, colourful quanta and phonons, giving life to cells in my water and on my land. Flow of energy; atoms and molecules fuse together, generating life and energy. Ever, forever and ever, life forever.

Ever, forever and ever, life forever. Cascade of life, biodiversity expanding in me. Chains and chains forming life, webs of life, feeding on each other, feeding on me. Day, after day, year after year, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions of years. Ever, forever and ever, life forever.

Ever, forever and ever, life forever. Life, lasting life, always young and fresh forever. Healthy and wealthy life; happily evolving ever and forever, here and there. Nature without schooling, ME myself a science-engineering university, all in all. Ever, forever and ever, life forever.

Ever, forever and ever, life forever. ME is a cyclopaedia and work in progress. The planet ‘Mother Earth’ and its star ‘The Sun’ have always secrets, yet are always generous. The nature and the power in ME, are legacies of life, forever. Did we understand and learn from them? Did Homo Sapiens sustain the renewable gift of life that is given to them for free? Yes or No. If yes how and if no why?

The secrets my friend, as we know them by today, seem to be blown, blown away, even gone gone with the wind, may be gone forever.

They Asked Me – Mother Earth.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, the mother of all mothers. The mother of all species, the Homo Sapiens, you and me, the children of a mighty mother, mother Earth. They asked me about you, I said: I can’t live without you.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let me, let me dance with my partners. Let me dance with the music, the music of gravity waves of my galaxy. The milky way, the sun and its planets, the planetary system in our universe. Let me dance with my star, a twinkling star, a living star, a shining star. Shining on me, warming me for free and nourishing me with vitamin D.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let me feel the gentle moist in the air, gently touching my skin. Moist that evaporates up to the sky, forming clouds in the sky. Clouds turning to tears and sometimes to rain. Rain that fall and flow on my skin, nourishing me. Showers of a crying sky, cleaning me and the air, the air around me, fresh air that we breathe, you and me.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let the water flow through my skin, the soil on the land, let the water flow in rivers, the arteries of life. Let the water flow, stay here and there, in lakes, large and small. Let the water flow, flow and slowly seep through my skin, years after years, thousand or million of years, deep and deeper to rest after a long, a long journey. Rest and sleep deep in me, to be fossil, in my ground, groundwater in aquifers. Let it flow, flow here and there, to a large space, huge, an endless space, the sea. There, it gets warm and evaporate again and again to moist, the moist that is longing to come back to nourish me.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let me be happy, happy for the free gift from the sky, pristine water, clean water, water that we drink, you and me. Nourishing my skin with minerals and nutrients once were eroded from my skin, a long the way, long way, everywhere. An eternal journey of water on, or in, my body, driven in motion by the heat of a star, a burning star. Keeping me a life, a life in cycles here and there refreshing my skin, thanks to its organic fabrics, catching the moist from air the and holding it in my skin, so it doesn’t get dry and die. A renewable life, a sustainable life, a legacy of the generous nature.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let me, let me feed you and all other species, the animals and plants living on my skin. Species that I created in thousands or even in millions of years. It is the cry of the sky, the heat and shine of the sun nourishing me. Thanks for a free and renewable energy from a twinkling star, shining on me. It is the skin covering my body, a primordial and dynamic bio-geo-chemical reactor full of life on land and under the water. Turning the photons of the light, the molecules of the water, the substances of life in my body, and the trace-gases in, and from, the air ‘carbon dioxide’ to green forests, and a food-chain of vegetables and fruits on land, and fish and shellfish from rivers, lakes and seas. We also lucky to get fresh oxygen, for all species on land and under the water, to breathe.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let me be warm, but not so warm in the thin cover on my skin, the cover above me, around me. Air masses and moist that is always in constant flow. It is a global flow from my waist at the equator. A flow here and there, up and higher up in spheres around me. All, or some of them, fall down, and down again to the poles, to be at rest and be in peace. The vapour in my clouds get squeezed to snow and buried in ice, polar ice and glaciers along the way. The magic of the heat from the sun forces the cover of my skin to change phase: moist on leaves and vapour in turbulent motion, silent waters and falling water, the waterfalls, falling snow, freezing to ice and in sheets of ice.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let me feel, feel the energy in my body, the hydro-power in a flowing water, an energy in motion from upstream to down stream, from the land of the high mountains to the deltas of the low land at the sea. Let me, feel the energy hidden in air, the pressure gradients above me, the air masses blowing with the moving wind here and there, on the land and above the sea. Let me feel the energy within me, geothermal energy deep in my hot body, the hot vapour bursting out of the dark space deep in my body to see the light of the day at the surface of my skin.

They Asked Me – Mother Earth.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, the mother of all mothers. The mother of all species, the Homo Sapiens, you and me, the children of a mighty mother, mother Earth. They asked me about you, I said: I can’t live without you.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let me, let me dance with my partners. Let me dance with the music, the music of gravity waves of my galaxy. The milky way, the sun and its planets, the planetary system in our universe. Let me dance with my star, a twinkling star, a living star, a shining star. Shining on me, warming me for free and nourishing me with vitamin D.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let me feel the gentle moist in the air, gently touching my skin. Moist that evaporates up to the sky, forming clouds in the sky. Clouds turning to tears and sometimes to rain. Rain that fall and flow on my skin, nourishing me. Showers of a crying sky, cleaning me and the air, the air around me, fresh air we breathe, you and me.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let the water flow through my skin, the soil on the land, let the water flow in rivers, the arteries of life. Let the water flow, stay here and there, in lakes, large and small. Let the water flow, flow and slowly seep through my skin, years after years, thousand or million of years, deep and deeper to rest after a long, a long journey. Rest and sleep deep in me, to be fossil, in my ground, groundwater in aquifers. Let it flow, flow here and there, to a large space, huge, an endless space, the sea. There, it gets warm and evaporate again and again to moist, the moist that is longing to come back to nourish me.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let me be happy, happy for the free gift from the sky, pristine water, clean water, water that we drink, you and me. Nourishing my skin with minerals and nutrients once were eroded from my skin, a long the way, long way, everywhere. An eternal journey of water on, or in, my body, driven in motion by the heat of a star, a burning star. Keeping me a life, a life in cycles here and there refreshing my skin, thanks to its organic fabrics, catching the moist from air the and holding it in my skin, so it doesn’t get dry and die. A renewable life, a sustainable life, a legacy of the generous nature.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let me, let me feed you and all other species, the animals and plants living on my skin. Species that I created in thousands or even in millions of years. It is the cry of the sky, the heat and shine of the sun nourishing me. Thanks for a free and renewable energy from a twinkling star, shining on me. It is the skin covering my body, a primordial and dynamic bio-geo-chemical reactor full of life on land and under the water. Turning the photons of the light, the molecules of the water, the substances of life in my body, and the trace-gases in, and from, the air ‘carbon dioxide’ to green forests, an enormous food-chain of vegetables and fruits on land, and fish and shellfish from rivers, lakes and seas. We also lucky to get fresh oxygen, for all species on land and under the water to breathe.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let me be warm, but not so warm in the thin cover on my skin, the cover above me, around me. Air masses and moist that is always in constant flow. It is a global flow from my waist at the equator. A flow here and there, up and higher up in spheres around me. The all, or some of them, fall down, and down again to the poles, to be at rest and be in peace. The vapour in my clouds get squeezed to snow and buried in ice, polar ice and glaciers along the way. The magic of the heat from the sun forces the cover of my skin to change phase: moist on leaves and vapour in turbulent motion, silent waters and falling water, the waterfalls, falling snow, freezing to ice and in sheets of ice.

They asked me, they asked me about you, my mother, you said: let me feel, feel the energy in my body, the hydro-power in a flowing water, an energy in motion from upstream to down stream, from the land of the high mountains to the deltas of the low land at the sea. Let me, feel the energy hidden in air, the pressure gradients above me, the air masses blowing with the moving wind here and there, on the land and above the sea. Let me feel the energy within me, geothermal energy deep in my hot body, the hot vapour bursting out of the dark space deep in my body to see the light of the day at the surface of my skin.

A Poem For Humanity – Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, there were people, the same people. People of the same roots but here and there. They lived on land and moved on land, in valleys and mountains, crossed the seas and the rivers, but still the same people.
 
Once upon a time, there were people, the same people. They weren’t plenty and life was simple but yet tough. With all the ups and downs, they could live on whatever they hunted, gathered or planted on their land.
 
Once upon a time, there were people, the same people. They lived on nature, clean nature, and shared what they had. They lived the life, as it was, full of risks, natural risks. But no worries, it was green and they were together, laugh and cry, all in all. 
 
Once upon a time, there were people, the same people. They were humble and full of trust, trust of fate, whatever fate. They were poor but not greedy.  They were sad, even very sad but still happy. They were helpless but could help and even hopeless but full of hopes.
 
Once upon a time, there were people, the same people. They shared the land, the water and the sun, the same sun that nourished their life, their stocks, the lifestocks. Life was tough with ups and downs, they could settle now and then. But it came times where they walked the walk, the same walk, all together. 
 
Once upon a time, there were people, the same people. They lived on what they got and what they got was with hands or simple tools. All from the water, the forest, the land, the soils, and what they farmed.
 
Once upon a time, there were people, the same people. Now they learned to think, master tools and machinery and use their brains for more knowledge. Now they can fly or sail here and there and be anywhere on four wheels, not anymore by horses and camels.
 
Once upon a time, there were people, the same people. Now they can sit and even relax, and watch themselves in solid frames, to see the magic of their hands, their memories and the thoughts in their brains.
 
Once upon a time, there were people, the same people. Now work can be done less and much less by hands, fast and even much faster than ever by fabricated memories, RAM and storage memories, even in invisible memories of a complex landscape of clouds.  
 
Once upon a time, it came a time where the compassion of people went away and their wisdom faded to nowhere. The care for one another became buried in sand, as they got rich and richer and with their money they can buy, trade and get even more and more.
 
Once upon a time, it came a time where they revolted upon themselves, upon each other and upon their land and home, the mother Earth. The same people became new people, different people, more and more people.
 
 Once upon a time, it came a time where people were led by knowledge, plenty of knowledge, knowledge that can fly. Now they can talk but not in person as knowledge can travel in the air and move free. More and more, fast and faster with no limits.
 
Once upon a time, it came a time where money and things can move free in space from place to place and fast as the light of the sun. Information and communication can connect not only people to people, but also people to things and things to things.  
 
Once upon a time, it came a time where it became difficult to know what is what and information can be misinformation here and there. People drifted away from each other by frictions and illusions that with knowledge anything is possible, even to control nature and the planet, any planet.
 
Once upon a time, it came a time of a war after war, escalation of wars, silent and cold wars. Wall after wall fell and the Berlin wall became ruins of the past.
 
Once upon a time, the remains of old wars didn’t heal. The pain of the deep wounds of the past was still there. The threats of the invisible walls, the armed and nuclear wars were still there.
 
Once upon a time, it came a time, the time of economic wars. Yet, there were no worries as with the power of money people can do more and get more. More and more from people, from nature and from the planet, yes any planet. No worries we can have more and get more. It is the time of ‘I, me and mine’.
 
Then it came a time, a time where peace and liable talks became far, still very far in the distant past of the old times of wars. Honorable life on Earth is now merely a mirage that became more and more etched deep, deeper than ever, in our genes.
 
Once upon a time, it came a time. It is the time of all times, the time of either people on the planet, the whole planet, either love each other and love their planet, or die all together.

The Emerging Technologies of Vertical Cities.

With increasing global population and the growing sizes of horizontal cities which require much areal expansion on land that otherwise can be used for parks and green areas, vertical cities may very well be an alternative for housing. Though horizontal cities have many advantages, brought comfort to their citizens, contributed in organization of daily life and facilitated employment and effectively coupled businesses to the socio-economic conditions in societies, Yet, the fast urbanization and the huge expansion of horizontal cities come with several forms of negative impacts such urban-heat waves, increasing pollution and waste, land degradation and associated effects on water, energy, natural resources, biodiversity and life-quality. These environmental changes along with climate change will still trigger further wicked and multi-layered threats.

Vertical cities can be can be constructed in different 3D-architectural structures with interlinked flours that have environment and self-sustainable towers extending high in the sky. These 3D architectural buildings can save energy, water and preserve horizontal land for forest, agriculture and food production as well as promotion of recreation and biodiversity. These are of importance for supporting the UN-SDGs and promoting life-quality and prosperity. With modern technology and AI ‘Artificial Intelligence’ maintenance and running costs of vertical cities can be more economic and effective than traditional horizontal ones (https://youtu.be/d0gqonPNBgU).

There are growing sources of information and data on vertical cities, the involved technologies and other issues of relevance. The vertical city organization (https://verticalcity.org/index.html), for example, has the mission to inspire the ongoing conversation for the creation of new systems of living and was established by Ken King in 2012, Its aim is to ignite global debates about vertical cities as a more sustainable future with large and urgent solutions to the existing problems. It has team members in Portland Oregon, New York City, and Shanghai. It is supported by dozens of architecture, urban planning, energy, and sustainability experts that contributed with insights into the vertical city concept.

There are also books that give wide-range of the state-of-art on vertical cities. The Vertical City book ‘A Solution For Sustainable Living is a massive, is a multicolor, seminal and beautifully printed book. In this groundbreaking work, the authors Kenneth King and Kellogg Wong interviewed more than 30 of the world’s top architects, urban designers, engineers, microbiologists, transportation and sustainability experts before developing their proposal for vertical cities (https://verticalcity.org/index.html). The book itself envisions a sustainable future as based on emerging technologies of Vertical Cities. A Solution to Sustainable Living is the first and only book of its kind but this Kickstarter campaign is about way more than the book. The author Kenneth King was born in Shanghai in 1933 and currently living in New York City. He is an ecologically-driven and experienced architect with more than 40 years of professional work, known for the Montazah project in Alexandria, Egypt and Mokkattam project in Cairo that become a model for waste management in developing countries (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rayking/vertical-city-a-solution-for-sustainable-living).

Among other books is ‘Vertical Cities: 12 Towers Take Urban Density to the Skies’ in which it describe the advantage of the virtually endless vertical space within urban centers, entire cities-within-cities that could spring up into the skies, packing in thousands of new housing units as well as parks, recreational space, offices, shops and everything else you’d expect to find in traditional cities. These 12 residential skyscraper designs build up instead of out, often using staggered or stepped arrangements of stacked modules to maintain air circulation, access to daylight, views and other features as well (https://weburbanist.com/2015/06/17/vertical-cities-12-towers-take-urban-density-to-the-skies/). An alternative other than creating closed class-based communities, most make their communal spaces open to the public, and reserve the ground level for greenery. Examples on vertical cities (or semi-vertical cities) include: high-rise high-density tropical living in Singapore; stacked modules in Vancouver; vertical village in Singapore by OMA; vertical city in Jakarta; Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The Water-Climate Nexus: Greening Deserts and Cities

Greening the deserts and cities are crucial for people’s wellbeing, alleviation of poverty and mitigation of climate change. Large-scale and long-term greening of the landscape whether in deserts or urban areas is a major challenge in many parts of the world. Though the ongoing threats of climate change there are successful examples of scaling-up and scaling-out the greening of deserts and cities.

This might seem as a paradox, difficult and even impossible mission, how is it possible to green the landscape under an ongoing crisis of climate where the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere is projected to increase more than 1.5 degrees Celsius in the near future. But it isn’t at all a paradox as such a scenario depends on the first hand on how to get the water to remain in the top surface layer of soils at the earth’s surface, i.e. to let the water to residence there for relatively longer time being bound in soil matrices and vegetations. It is a matter of getting the right balance between saving the water in soils and loosing it to the atmosphere by evaporation or the underlying soils by percolation. This is indeed the core essence of both mitigating the climate change and at the same time greening the landscape of the earth’s surface. However, this will still be possible and feasible as long as we don’t surpass the tipping points of the global water cycle that allows this equilibrium to take place on large and long-time scales. This is imperative and mandatory to mitigate the climate change in many parts of the world.

China has realized the importance to promote its ecological progress as being of vital importance to the people’s wellbeing and China’s future. Nearly 30 years ago, or more, the Kubuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia, i.e. the seventh largest desert in China, was a barren land with no water, electricity, or future. However, Elion Resources Group (ELION) has successfully afforested an area of over 6,000 square kilometers by means of technological innovation, leading to a 95 percent decrease in sand-dust weather and an increase by six times in precipitation in Kubuqi. This has also been a major step for alleviation of poverty in the region. During the process of ecosystem restoration it has been an industrial development simultaneously driven by desertification control and promotion of several government support to integrate diverse corporate commercial investments with combined market-oriented participation by farmers and herdsmen.

Sustainable developments is indeed a development with an emphasis on environmental and ecological improvements which resulted in transforming the vast areas of the Kubuqi Desert from being a “Sea of Death” to a “Green Economy Oasis” as we have it today. It is also a major shift towards a circular economy driven by sustainable and resilient circular agriculture technology for better environment and ecology with financial benefits and wellbeing to local communities and residents. The right strategies, persistent and resilient efforts allowed to successfully turn the vast expanse of dry and loose sand into wealth and prosper landscape for millions of people along with greener and healthy living environments.

After more than three decades of efforts and innovation, the process of desertification has been reversed and water returned back to land after centuries of ‘mismanaged’ animal grazing that had denuded the area of almost all vegetation and water where the local population existed in isolated poverty. Such large-scale and long-term transformation of barren sand-dunes into green oases can offer lasting solutions to desertification worldwide. Indeed, China is one of the most severely afflicted deserts in the world. By the end of the 20th century, China’s deserts were expanding at a combined annual rate of 10,400 sq km but now they are shrinking at a rate of 2,424 sq km per year. This is while the deserts and desertified landscape worldwide continue to expand by 70,000 sq km annually.

“Deserts should not be seen as a problem, but as an opportunity for change. Taking care of the desert and making it greener can lift people out of poverty, provide prosperity and help to develop areas,” says Wang Yujie, deputy director of the China National Sand Control and Desert Industry Society (http://www.china.org.cn/china/2016-10/11/content_39464603; http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2018-08/10/content_36739870.htm). The transformation of the Kubuqi desert to green land, changed also the life of the farmers and herdsmen from being plagued by violent sandstorms causing serious shortages of water and electricity, also resulting in poor basic living infrastructure including the lack of roads for transportation. As in many other deserts in the world the local people could hardly survive in sandy-dunes with miserable and poor living conditions where animals and cattle are forced to die from starvation and from being so thirsty in the cruel nature of the desert.

Singapore has also successfully turned their cities to green-living conditions though the complete lack of fresh-water resources as is the case in desert lands. The entire land of Singapore is transformed to sustainable, resilient and smart living environments relying primarily and totally on renewables from solar-energy and the continuous recycling of renewable water resources. China and Singapore, and to lesser extent the GCC countries, demonstrated that modern technology can turn uninhabitable landscapes to friendly and lovely living environments (https://youtu.be/P45r3vtU9lM).

Bhutan: First To Be Carbon Neutral But How and Why?

Kingdom of Bhutan – is the only single country in the world that isn’t only carbon-neutral but carbon-negative. It has replaced the generally and globally accepted concept of Gross Domestic Product ‘GDP’ by its own home-made concept Growth National Happiness ‘GNH’.

Bhutan (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhutan) has moved quickly from being one of the most closed states on the planet to an open, more or less, ‘modern’ country. It has its own local traditions that are intertwined with their social and economic spheres as well as religion. It has proved to be on the correct path towards full sustainability as it has to large extent eradicated corruption. It has tightly and gradually linked their traditions and religion to achieve environmental safety, economic growth, social developments including maintaining its own cultural heritage.

There are several reasons that allowed Bhutan to move fast towards reaching the status of being, the first country on the planet, Carbon Negative nation. It has very small population, one million, living on limited piece of land with well preserved nature (https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/bhutan-landscape.html) and biodiversity. It has implemented rules to regulate the protection of its land and to use eco-tourism to support its public services specially education and health. Modern technology arrived to Bhutan very late, by the end of the 20th century, yet it is moving slowly in the process of urbanisation with focus on own self-sufficiency of food and respect for nature. This is though being located between two major economies, i.e. China and India, with much growing technological changes. It has banned export of its natural resources and it is using hydroelectric power as main source of electricity. It has already banned the fossil-fuel to be used by its industries. Its economy is based on agriculture yet with environmentally friendly processes. It is also moving towards the use of electric vehicles. In 2030 the country will start to absorb much more (several times) carbon than it emits and it will also be free from the air-pollution.

Yes We Can – The African Great Green Wall.

Young people in Africa, with support of the African Union, and in cooperation with youth from around the world (including university students and practitioners that participated on their own initiatives) are determined to build prosperous and rewarding future. Also, to take actions to stop the climate crisis, to promote and implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. While the challenges are huge and demanding, they are enormously motivated to work together. With simple but yet very effective approaches, starting with small plants, they aim to stop desertification that have been going on for millennium in the Great Sahara Desert of North Africa (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahara). This part of the world is one of the most arid, hot and uninhibited regions of the world. It has the world’s highest officially recorded average daily high temperature of 47 °C or 116.6 °F in a remote desert town of Algeria called Bou Bernous at an elevation of 378 metres (1,240 ft) above sea level, and only Death Valley of California rivals it.

A report from the UN reveals that drylands, including vast areas of desert, cover 41.3% of Earth’s total land area. What if large amounts of this land could be converted into fertile ground capable of producing crops? Also using their hidden natural vast resources sustainably. This is a particularly important question for many counties in the world which is now receiving serious and huge attention because of the increasing population, declining resources and also the diverse existential threats facing Earth. As we know the Arabian Peninsula including Kuwait 🇰🇼, Oman 🇴🇲 , Qatar 🇶🇦 , Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 , the United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪 (UAE) has turned their desert to living and prosperous landscape. So, this can be also done for some of the great desert land of the Sahara that is separating Africa in two very distinctive and separated regions. China🇨🇳also turned, and is still turning, large areas of desert to green landscape (https://lnkd.in/epYPMChX). Technology isn’t only about urbanization and smart cities. Indeed, much can be done in rural, desert, mountain and coastal marine areas as modern technologies have unlimited possible solutions. Also, the Information Communication Technology ‘ICT’ and Internet of Things ‘IoT’ can facilitate and solve much of the previous difficulties. We need to think Out-of-the-Box and tune modern technology to meet needs other than cities and heavily urbanized areas. Science and Technology need to expand their horizons to wider global applications.

For ten years young Africans have been going to the desert to plant trees in their holidays. The communities of the Sahel-Sahara States are turning many acres of the desert to new green landscape just in several days. As is called ‘The Great Green Wall’ is an African-led movement (https://youtu.be/cphSne_HiPA) with ambition to grow an 8,000km natural wonder of the world across the entire width of Africa. A decade in and roughly 15% underway, the initiative is already bringing life back to Africa’s degraded landscapes at an unprecedented scale, providing food security, jobs and a reason to stay for the millions who live along its path. This will also help coping with the climate-crisis. Indeed, North Africa has enormous resources for producing renewable solar energies, and other solar-based technologies yet to be developed, as the world is turning its back to fossil energy resources for coping with the climate crisis and other associated threats.

Indeed, the movement of The Great Green Wall ‘GGW’ has diverse benefits not only for the most poorest Africans but also for Africa, the MENA region and the rest of the world in general (https://www.greatgreenwall.org/about-great-green-wall). It will:

(1) Improving millions of lives; (2) A global symbol for humanity overcoming biggest threat of rapidly degrading environment; (3) A vital contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals ‘SDGs’; (4) Growing a new world wonder across the entire width of Africa; (5) Growing fertile land, one of humanity’s most precious natural assets; (6) Growing a wall of hope against abject poverty; (7) Growing food security, for the millions that go hungry every day; (8) Growing health and wellbeing for the world’s poorest communities; (9) Growing improved water security, so women and girls don’t have to spend hours everyday fetching water; (10) Growing gender equity, empowering women with new opportunities; (12) Growing sustainable energy, powering communities towards a brighter future; (13) Growing green jobs, giving real incomes to families across the Sahel; (14) Growing economic opportunities to boost small business and commercial enterprise; (15) Growing a reason to stay to help break the cycle of migration; (16) Growing sustainable consumption pattern, to protect the natural capital of the Sahel; (17) Growing resilience to climate change in a region where temperatures are rising faster than anywhere else on Earth; (18) Growing a symbol of peace in countries where conflict continues to displace communities; (19) Growing strategic partnerships to accelerate rural development across Africa; (20) Growing a symbol of interfaith harmony across Africa. These are enormous incentives for the world to support the ongoing work of the GGW, it is now we can do it as we are running out of time.

Throughout history, humans have continuously moved and expanded all over planet Earth and turned vast unhibited areas to new prosperous landscape. Yet much of the natural resources on planet earth are kept unused or abused for some reason or another. What we don’t use properly we loose definitely and this was the case of the Great Desert of North Africa, the Sahara. It is now time to invest in Africa as Africa in the past supported Europe 🇪🇺and the USA 🇺🇸 , i.e. in the era of colonialism and slavery. With the birth of the UN after WWII, Paris agreement and the ratification of the UN-SDGs by the global community we are in a grand revolution to shape the world towards a new resilient and sustainable future.

From https://www.nationalgeographic.org/article/great-green-wall/

🛑 Fridays for Future – Global Climate Demonstrations.

Employees at Uppsala University UU, and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU, joining the Global Climate Demonstration today Friday 24 September at Forumtorget in Uppsala around 15.30.

This is to show the leadership of UU and SLU their concern about the climate crisis, and to demand immediate action against the climate change. Universities need to show in practical terms and measures that they takes science seriously NOW, and they need to lead not only by examples but by actions as well.

https://stayhappening.com/e/global-klimatstrejk-uprootthesystem-E2ISTVWDWE0

COVID-19: Crisis and Challenges in Higher Education. The New Imperatives and Opportunities.

COVID-19 has changed the reality of life for many of us and will continue to do so for sometime. The first sectors that suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic were health services, the tourism and hospitality sectors along with other labor, trade and industry sectors.

Higher education, and education in general, has also been impacted by COVID-19 in various ways and are facing a global crisis that may take relatively longer time to recover depending of level of preparedness, availability of resources, existing infrastructures and degree of resilience. However, the crisis in education and higher education didn’t come as a surprise as it has been an ever growing cracking in higher education and global education systems in general, since the birth of ICT and IOT, and even before that. Indeed, many education systems around the world are either inherited or imported which have caused ever increasing gaps between what students get from their education and what is really needed in the market specially in the developing countries. Another short coming in higher education is the strong rooted tradition in out-dated disciplinary-based education systems where graduates have serious difficulties to meet today’s complexity in the labor market. The ongoing crisis is of global dimension and has introduced remarkable effects in R&D and also the associated educational infra-structures.

COVID-19 has changed our world dramatically and as we have in business and trade if you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer, an online store is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s essentially a must-have (https://www.bigcommerce.com/articles/offline-to-online/brick-and-mortar-retailers/). It is an inductive process that will be propagated very fast in all other sectors with far many new imperatives. All people simply need to be able to find you and communicate with you online. The COVID-19 has put new imperatives on sharp display when many brick-and-mortar stores were forced to temporarily shut their doors. Having an online store was the only way forward and it is likely that our world will change, at least partially in this direction as was the case with the old postage-system, to online banking, on-line booking of hotels, food, travels and all other ICT-services. Indeed, education will follow the same trend in a way or another. Though, the brick and mortar framework will still be the mainstay of our education system, for sometime, because of its undeniable advantages to learning in a shared physical space, online education is progressively and continuously gaining popularity. Still there are obstacles that need to be solved and will be solved. It is not a matter any longer of IF but rather WHEN and when was already yesterday. The autonomy and flexibility of e-learning make them extremely popular with working professionals and students as the entire e-learning industry is changing rapidly. This is an essential part of the ongoing Information Revolution.

Though there can be challenges to successfully tune and transform higher education systems, and the whole education landscape in general, from Brick & Mortar to Click & Mortar (https://digitallearning.eletsonline.com/2019/12/education-landscape-from-brick-mortar-to-click-mortar/) there are major long-term benefits and opportunities for generations to come. However, as we have learned from history higher education, and education systems, by being part of our social landscape are very much dependent on our lifestyle. Our life as we have it today and as it would be in the future is very much impacted by moving away from Brick & Mortar to Click and Mortar as the digital technologies are definitely here to stay and we have to adapt to this imperative reality. Sustain-earth.com will expand on many issues related to future threats, challenges and opportunities what regards higher education and and education in general.

Sustainable Developments and Role of Water-Energy Systems in the Anthropocene

Our water-energy systems around the world have complex and comprehensive interactions within and between each other. Yet, the complexity is accelerating more and more as global water-energy resources are also dependent on in the ongoing changes in the climate and environment. More importantly, the growth in world population along the increasing needs for water, energy, food and natural resources as well as eco-system services add new dimensions to how and when we can achieve the goals of the UN-SDGs.

The WEBINAR https://youtu.be/G3D0X96IuqY conducted at Boston University throws some light on what, why and how we can advance our knowledge on water-energy-food-climate nexus.

Part II of the ‘Sustainability in Science and Technology’ – The Human Performance.

The performance of humans is driven by diverse needs for food and security to overcome the challenges for decent live on Earth. 

This is an introduction to Part Two of the WEBINARS on “Sustainability in Science and Technology” – The Performance of humans’, hosted by sustain-earth.com.

Africa is the origin of homo sapiens and the renewables helped their evolution during millions of years and their migration out of Africa 70 000 years ago.

During the hunting gatherer era humans started to master artefacts and simple tools, also to build small communities and settlements. They domesticated animals, plants and learned to cultivate land and build shelters for their living.

The agricultural era that started 10 000 years ago culminated in an outstanding ancient Egyptian civilisation that lasted 3000 years. During this era people used water to promote agriculture, farming and to produce food. These achievements were made possible by taking advantages of renewable resources only, the sun (heat and light), water from the Nile and limited use of natural resources.

The mechanisation of agriculture in the 18th century during the first industrial revolution triggered increasing use of artificial pesticides and fertilisers. However, the limited water resources on Earth caused new needs for diversification of water production and management in order to have clean, affordable and accessible water for the growing population and the increasing urbanisation. The first industrial revolution involved various manufacturing processes supported by water and steam power.

The second industrial revolution in Britain was based on increasing electrification and use of combustion engines, rapid standardisation and industrialisation of many sectors in the 19th and 20th centuries. The widespread developments of the first and second industrial revolutions created huge pollution and waste in the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and the biosphere that continued and continued until now. New but limited renewable technologies, however, with zero net emission of green house gases started to appear by the end of the 20th century. This was due to the fear that fossil fuels are limited and have negative impacts on life. These developments were possible by more affordable access to renewable energies and the expanding use of alternating and direct current motors. Indeed, there are still several environmental challenges for scaling-up and scaling-out the renewables. Among these are the storage of renewables and integrating them in well-established grids. However, renewables and batteries require needs for new materials and further expansion of mining and processing that are dependent on heavy consumption of water and energy.

The third industrial revolution of digitalisation started by the end of the 20th century and opened new possibilities for increasing efficiencies and volumes of communication not only between humans but also between humans and machines, and between machines and machines as well.

The Information-Communication-Technologies and the Internet of Things will allow extensive and intensive expansion of Science and Technology with new gates for innovation worldwide on all levels and in many sectors. We have now many examples around the world which demonstrate that the boundaries between science fiction and technological realities are vanishing very very fast. We are, now, in urgent needs to proceed with the 4th industrial revolution and to continue with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning but with careful attention to the demands of renewables, preservation and protection of life.

Pre-announcement for Forthcoming WEBINARS 2021: Sustainability in Science and Technology.

The WEBINARS on Sustainability in Science and Technology will be hosted by sustain-earth.com. and will appear in 2021. They are coordinated by Professor em Farid El-Daoushy (Uppsala University, Sweden) and will be given by many professionals and professors from around the world. It is based on trans-disciplinary and trans-sectoral approaches to explain and detail several patio-temporal yet complex, wicked and interactive problems that piled-up over very long periods of time and caused the evolution of a new geologic era, i.e. the so-called anthropocene.

In part one, the natural drivers of life on planet earth, in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere, will be explained to give the necessary bases for understanding the boundary conditions of the natural climate and environment systems of the Earth. In part two the life-styles of humans ‘homo sapiens’ on planet since their evolution on Earth, and migration out of Africa 70 000 years ago, i.e. during different transitions and changes from the hanter gatherer era until now will be followed. Part three will give the impacts of the combined spatio-temporal interactions between human life and the planets’ own drivers on the global economic systems. Further part three will involve issues related to growth economy versus circular economy. In part four analysis of the performance of sustainability with reference to the first three parts will be done. In this context, resilience in human knowledge versus science, technology and innovation will be examined. These four parts together will give background information on ‘what, why and how’ what regards sustainability can be put together in a resilient framework to scale-up and scale-out science, technology and innovation to meet the UN-SDGs in order to achieve prosperity on planet Earth.

In summary the forthcoming WEBINARS can be described as follows:

Part One: The performance of planet Earth.

Part Two: The performance of humans ‘Homo Sapiens’.

Part Three: The performance of world economic systems with consideration to growth economy versus circular economy.

Part Four: The performance of sustainability. Resilience in knowledge versus science and technology.

Highly Recommended – All Our Food Is Nature Made. However ‘AI’ and ‘ML’ can Improve Food Industries.

Photosynthesis is the main reaction behind all life forms on planet Earth, it triggers life processes in global eco-systems on land and in aquatic systems (ocean, lakes and rivers). For photosynthesis to do its job and produce all forms of healthy and nutritious food that makes up global biodiversity, including us humans the ‘Homo Sapiens’ (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human) water is needed. Indeed, even if we say water is the origin of life, it isn’t totally 💯 correct as we still need carbon dioxide in trace amounts. An important question is high trace is trace? Even though we have water and carbon dioxide at the right concentration, we aren’t done yet, as we also need solar energy ‘light photons’ to initiate this magic reaction and the very secret of nature that evolved four billions of years ago, the ‘photosynthesis’.

There are many other imperatives that are needed for the natural photosynthesis to do its job properly and to keep it in tact with all the functioning and metabolism processes of life forms on earth apart from the reactants, i.e. water, carbon dioxide and the photon from the sun. We need healthy atmosphere and healthy hydrosphere, these underlying spheres of life are currently undergoing continuous degradation by us humans. This indeed imposes great threat for the proper functioning and metabolism of the very basic mechanism that fuels the life on Earth, i.e. the photosynthesis.

The atmosphere is important for agricultural sectors and farming, apart from supporting the forest eco-systems. Naturally healthy and fertile soils, are also needed, that have the right mixture of nutrients and free from toxic chemical remains and heavy metals. Also, soils need to have good water holding capacity which is regulated by the organic content. For the atmosphere to be healthy environment for the photosynthesis to take place on land, we must have suitable atmospheric composition, e.g. carbon dioxide concentration that allows having appropriate temperature, in addition to being a necessary component for photosynthesis. Also, not to have toxic compounds in the atmosphere such as nitrogen oxides that through photo-reactions can produce boundary-layer ozone that has negative impacts on growth of vegetation, in particular forests.

What regards aquatic systems we still need suitable temperature (which is dependent also on the heat-balance in the atmosphere) in water bodies, suitable pH as acidification from acidic nitrogen- and sulphur-oxides destroys the living-habitats of fish such the corals in the ocean, also it destroys the food-web and kills fish as in fresh-water lakes and rivers; suitable amount and levels of oxygen for breathing is also imperative in aquatic systems. Naturally, we need also other trace nutrients in particular phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium (applies also for healthy vegetation on land and agricultural production). However, excess amount of nutrients cause eutrophication as the water bodies become overly enriched with minerals and nutrients which induce excessive growth of algae. This results in oxygen depletion in the water body after the bacterial degradation of the algae. As an example is the so-called ‘algal bloom’ or great increase of phytoplankton levels. Eutrophication is often induced by the discharge of nitrate or phosphate-compounds, fertilisers or sewage into aquatic systems.

We humans so far failed to imitate nature, i.e. to do what is known as ‘Artificial photosynthesis’ which still science fiction. Would we ever have Artificial Intelligence ‘AI’ to cultivate our earth, produce our food and create an Artificial Biodiversity? ‘AI’ can create robots and machines that imitate us humans in many ways through collecting the patterns of our behaviour. Robots can’t run the life on our planet itself but they can be better version of humans through Machine Learning ‘ML’ and thereby replace humans to do many many jobs in food industries, and also many other industries.

The implementation of AI and ML in food manufacturing and restaurant businesses is already moving our industry to a new level of performance, enabling fewer human errors, less waste of abundant products, less infections. They also allow lowering costs for storage, delivery and transportation. They can create happier customers through timely and quicker service. Even they can allow voice searching, more personalised and effective orders. Robotics for big factories and restaurant businesses will occupy its niche very soon and will bringing more benefits in the long run. Both AI and ML benefit from the enormous flora of sensors, actuators in addition to digital coding and programming.

For more details on these issues see: https://www.google.se/amp/s/spd.group/machine-learning/machine-learning-and-ai-in-food-industry/amp/.

Being able to read all the article we invite you to follow us and subscribe to sustain-earth.com. Meanwhile enjoy these drinks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT53K9d0vUU

Introduction – Part One: The Three Main Drivers of Life on Planet Earth “Energy, Water and Natural Resources”.

Introduction to the forthcoming WEBINARS, hosted by sustain-earth.com, on “Sustainability in Science, Technology and Innovation ’SISTI’ of Water, Energy and Natural Resources”. Part One of the introduction – The three main drivers of life on Earth: “Energy, Water and Natural Resources WENR”. These drivers, by being dependent on the main underlying and interactive sphere of the Earth System (atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere) are decisive for the performance and quality of both the life on planet Earth and the life of humans.

These three drivers ‘WENR’ have, so far, sustained all life forms on planet earth. Energy from the sun triggers photosynthesis where water in the HYDROSPHERE together with carbon dioxide in ATMOSPHERE have been the bases of all life in the BIOSPHERE both on land and in aquatic systems. Minor amounts of earth’s mineral resources in the upper LITHOSPHERE are also used as nutrients in the evolution of biodiversity and associated eco-services we benefit from as well as the production of our food. Homo Sapiens are not only part of the global biodiversity but they are becoming the main actor shaping it. Homo Sapiens extended the production. use and consumption of energy, water and the natural resources in the atmosphere (where oxygen is also crucial for life), hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere (including fossil minerals) for their living. The extensive and accelerating use of these drivers has surpassed the natural capacities and boundaries of planet earth to sustain all its life forms.

These drivers are imperative to achieve sustainable prosperity through integrated and resilient economic, environmental and social synergies. They involve trans-disciplinary and trans-sectorial (nexus) interactions in the socio-environment-economic fabrics that are shaping the future our planet including all societies around the world. Incorporating Environment-Social-Governace ‘ESG’ is fundamental for healthy and wealthy economies around the world.

To join, follow and get all the updates about our WEBINARS, directly to your e-mail, subscribe @sustain-earth.com. We have also created YouTube channel to support our activities, subscribe and join us.

2020 – 24 Hours of Daily Reality Taking Place on Earth and Countdown to Uncertain Future

Interesting and scary reading that describes the daily reality around the world as experienced during 2020. What is going on planet Earth and the impacts of our irresponsible use of the global natural resources, in particular energy resources (by industry, transport, building and others), is based on scientific data and statistics specially what regards the atmospheric pollution. Among such impacts is the accelerating increase in the earth’s surface temperature (1880-2019).

What is happening in the atmosphere is triggering a global ‘Domino Effect’ with severe impacts on all other key spheres on Planet Earth. In particular the hydrosphere, the biosphere and ecosphere with tectonic threats on our living landscape (both rural and urban) and on daily basis. Global warming is also a medical emergency in times where COVID-19 pandemic makes the life more severe for many of us. The can be. connections between global warming and the COVID-19 pandemic. What is more serious is the scientific and technological advances, for many reasons, would not protect us against the consequences of global warming and will not bring back the decline in natural resources including loss of biodiversity. What is done is done and can’t be redone. As an example the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissor is unlikely to solve diseases caused by air and water pollution, also the mitigate the loss in biodiversity and tackle degradation in life-quality of atmosphere, bio and eco-sphere.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Gus8YH7ROjn-twSwt7K_Yxk6MuCNquII/view?usp=drivesdk

Sir David Attenborough and BBC for the Nobel Prize in Peace

The Nobel Prize for Peace (https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/lists/all-nobel-peace-prizes/) has been awarded 100 times to 134 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2019, 107 individuals and 27 organizations. Among the International organizaions: Red Cross that got the Prize three times (in 1917, 1944 and 1963), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees got it two times (in 1954 and 1981), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. (2007), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Mohamed ElBatadei (2005). These are some examples, in the same manner, we can argue that BBC and Sir David Attenborough would also be excellent candidates that deserve the Nobel Prize for Peace.

The world was just waiting for this incredible event of Sir David Attenborough to join the Instagram. It is just to use Instagram as amplifier for lifting-up biodiversity as an important part of ‘Life on Our Planet’. In just few days his Intagram Account went viral (https://instagram.com/davidattenborough?igshid=11ay0osmkukkp) with millions of followers and more to come. It is as he has an important message to us. The power of social media can hardly be ignored anymore even by highly educated professionals and politicians. What is more important is the content of social media channels that keep improving as more and more are becoming dependent on them and critical voices continue to add new dimensions as ‘survival of the fit’ is becoming an evolution and the norm for progress on the Internet. With the rise of the Internet (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet) and the boom 🤯 of social media (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media) it is crucial to underline that quality of the content is being recognised more and more by the users. For a great portion of us, that can’t afford regular schooling and/or the expensive higher education, the social media channels are becoming an important source, if not the only source, of knowledge. Classical, conventional and international broadcasting channels (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_broadcasting) aren’t the only standard source of information and knowledge for many of us as they used to be. Though these trends, the global education systems, including higher education, are still closed systems as they don’t necessarily serve, i.e. the needs, the majority of the world population but rather an elite minority, as in football and other sports. Education, knowledge and knowledge transfer are imperative also as tools for public awareness, to share the responsibility, and not necessarily as a passport to the labor market that still support growth/linear economy. Universities and higher education institutes still lack efficient tools to reach out to the normal citizens, mediate knowledge and come near the society through tight engagement and active interactions. This is also the case for public education funded by taxes. Though the extreme importance of education institutes, in particular higher education, they still use ‘business-as-usual’ strategies without enough outreach policies to mediate and advocate knowledge to the public for protection and preservation of our common natural resources. This is the third duty of the universities and not only to perform pure ‘Research and Education’ that still can’t cope to solve existential problems as climate and environment changes, and the collapse in biodiversity, also to offer the necessary services to the citizens in major health disasters and pandemics as COVID-19. This is partly because universities and higher education continue to fail in creating partnership for goals neither with the citizens nor with the politicians as these are also part of their responsibilities, i.e. not to be isolated from the society and live on their own.

Sir David Attenborough and BBC achieved what the world universities failed to do, i.e. communicate science and technology in pedagogic and simple way, to inspire and motivate people, specially the young ones. To raise biodiversity as equally important, as climate change what regards our survival on planet Earth, is without hesitation an outcome of the work of Sir David Attenborough and through the systematic and continuous support of BBC (https://www.google.se/search?q=david+attenborough+nobel+prize&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=sv-se&client=safari). This is why they are very well placed to be nominated for the Nobel Prize.

Recent Addition: Professor Torbjörn Ebenhard on the Editorial Board, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala.

We are greatly honoured to have Professor Torbjörn Ebenhard on the Editorial Board of sustain-earth.com. Professor Torbjörn Ebenhard is the Deputy director of the Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Professor Ebenhard is a biologist with a B. Sc. degree from Uppsala University and a Ph. D. degree in zoological ecology from the same university. His early research was focused on island biogeography and conservation biology. Presently he is employed by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and based at its Swedish Biodiversity Centre (CBM). It is a special unit for research and communication on conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity as a crucial issue for society, especially as related to Sweden’s implementation of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Its mission is to initiate, conduct and coordinate policy-relevant research on the complex interactions between biodiversity and social development, and contribute to society’s capacity to manage these interactions in a sustainable way.

Apart from administrative tasks of Professor Ebenhard at CBM, he works on a number of assignments from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, supporting their activities on biological diversity in Sweden, and in international negotiations. Professor Ebenhard is mainly involved in the negotiations of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), as a member of the Swedish national delegations. He is also member of the Scientific Council on Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services at the SEPA, and serves on the board of WWF Sweden.

As explained by Professor Ebenhard “The recent Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services produced by IPBES shows that the present and projected global loss of biodiversity jeopardizes our possibilities to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Humanity is ultimately dependent on biodiversity for its wellbeing and survival. The food we eat, the clean water we drink, the clean air we breathe, fibres for clothing, wood for building homes, and bioenergy to replace fossil fuels – all is provided by biological diversity. But more is at stake. As we deplete the resources that could support us, we also annihilate living organisms and degrade natural ecosystems. According to the IPBES report at least 1 million species of animals and plants are now threatened with extinction. However, the IPBES report also gives hope, as it states that we can bend the curve of biodiversity loss, if we are determined to do so. What it takes is nothing less than a transformative change of the entire human society.”

Professor Ebenhard also reminds us that “Ten years ago the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to which almost all countries are party, decided on a strategy and a set of global goals to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity, the so-called Aichi targets. They represent a high level of ambition, a much needed component of the transformative change IPBES envisages. CBD’s report Global Biodiversity Outlook 5, issued in September 2020, shows that none of the 20 Aichi targets will be met in full. This disappointing result, at a time when all targets should have been met, is due to a widespread inability by governments to implement the CBD strategy at the national level. Goals and targets at the national level have generally been set at a too low level of ambition, and national measures to reach these goals and targets have been insufficient. We do know, however, that when governments, as well as companies and individuals, have taken appropriate action, it does work, as shown by many successful cases of conservation and sustainable use around the world. But they are too few to bend the negative curve at global level.”

According to Professor Ebenhard “We now suffer the ravages of the covid-19 pandemic to our health and economy, while the growing climate crisis promises to make things much worse, but the looming biodiversity crisis will be of a completely different magnitude. The challenge now is to find integrated solutions, where the entire human society is involved in handling pandemics (there will be more than the present one), climate change and biodiversity loss. For this to happen we need people and decision makers to be aware of the nature of these crises, involve all stakeholders, set new ambitious strategies and goals for biodiversity and ecosystem services, strengthen national implementation and global cooperation, and work in a truly integrated way to address biodiversity loss, climate change and human wellbeing.”

Links: 

Swedish Biodiversity Centre: https://www.slu.se/en/Collaborative-Centres-and-Projects/swedish-biodiversity-centre1/

Convention on Biological Diversity: https://www.cbd.int/, and its report Global Biodiversity Outlook: https://www.cbd.int/gbo5

IPBES: https://ipbes.net/, and its Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: https://ipbes.net/global-assessment

Read more about the global biodiversity in the 2020 report (in English by the World Wildlife Fund ’WWF’, leading organization in wildlife conservation and endangered species (https://f.hubspotusercontent20.net/hubfs/4783129/LPR/PDFs/ENGLISH-FULL.pdf). Alternatively, hear the views of Swedish experts (in Swedish) on the state of biodiversity by 2020 where Professor Torbjörn Ebenhard is also contributing in (https://youtu.be/kf-bvla6GrU).

Torbjörn Ebenhard