I will be attending and taking part in this event in Hong Kong in March.
I will be attending and taking part in this event in Hong Kong in March.
FRIENDS: Iverson, Taihya, Shriya, and Axel have the run of Holy Family Catholic School. Picture: DEAN MARTIN Source: News Limited
IVERSON, Taihya, Shriya and Axel ruled the school on the first day of reception on Tuesday.
As part of a new initiative at the Holy Family Catholic School to coincide with the State Government’s new one-intake policy, the students were given free rein of the school before their older peers return to classrooms from Wednesday.
Principal Kerry White said just the school’s 250 Reception and Year 1 students attended yesterday, allowing them to ease into their new surroundings without fear.
“On their first day, the children tend to stay near the classroom area and as they are here longer they tend to venture further,” he said.
“We wanted them to have free rein over the school, so we’ve taken the other 650 students out of the equation so it’s not so daunting for them.”
He said the school chose the staggered start – the other students from Years 2 to 7 will return to school on Wednesday – because the new one-intake policy meant, for the first time, children were starting school before they turned five.
“Some children are starting before their fifth birthday, which is the first time this has happened … it also means next year students will be coming to school later than they ever have,” he said.
While public schools and some private schools have followed the State Government’s new one-intake policy, some private schools, including St Peters Girls, are still allowing students to begin school as they turn five later in the year.
Iverson’s mum, Vanna Pen, said while she was teary in the car on the way to school, her son was keen to begin his first day in the classroom. “He got up with a big smile on his face and he was just ready for it,” she said.
Axel’s mum, Clara Nguyen, said she was emotional when her son put on his uniform.
“It think it’s good for them to get to know the place without the bigger kids around,” Ms Nguyen.
“It will be a bit easier and better for him to adjust to everything.”
Both boys are aged just four and starting school ahead of the May 1 cut-off under the new single-intake policy.
“I think it will be good for him, it’s new stage and maybe a bit of an advantage for him,” Ms Pen said.
In SA, 169,000 students began attending public schools on Tuesday including 13,200 reception students.
NAIROBI, January 21, 2014 – Smallholder farmers in western Kenya are now benefiting from carbon credits generated by improving farming techniques. These are the first credits worldwide issued under the sustainable agricultural land management (SALM) carbon accounting methodology.
The Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project (KACP) involves 60,000 farmers on 45,000 hectares to support farming that is more productive, sustainable and climate-friendly. After years of land degradation, many farmers struggled to grow enough food for their families. They are now using a wide range of methods to increase the organic matter in soils. In the long term, this should improve the soil’s water absorption, nutrient supply and biodiversity, and help prevent erosion. Better soils raise farm yields, improving food security and making agriculture more resilient to climate change.
On January 16, the project issued its first carbon credits under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) for sequestering carbon in soil, thanks to these changed agricultural land management practices. The credits represent a reduction of 24,788 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to emissions from 5,164 vehicles in a year.
“This is an inspiring example of how agricultural practices that improve the productivity and livelihoods of smallholder, subsistence farmers can also be climate-smart”, says Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director for Kenya. “This project demonstrates synergies between climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in agriculture. Carbon credits are creating a revenue stream that enhances the extension services provided to farmers, which are critical to the adoption of these practices and also adds to farmers’ income beyond their increased crop yields. This also improves their food security, which is now more important than ever given the vulnerability to climate change.”
Experience from 1,505 farmer groups over three years illustrates how carbon finance can promote the adoption of SALM practices and open up the carbon market to smallholder farmers. Results so far show that SALM can help increase farmers’ yields by up to 15-20%. These productivity gains from greater soil fertility help counteract the effects of increasingly extreme weather conditions. By sequestering more carbon in the soil, SALM also helps mitigate climate change.
KACP forms an important part of the World Bank’s efforts to extend climate finance to incentivize better land management. The Swedish NGO Vi Agroforestry is responsible for implementation in Kenya, supported by the World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund and its participants – the French Development Agency and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. The Fund will purchase a part of the carbon credits generated by the project by 2017, estimated at $600,000.
“As an organization, Vi Agroforestry focuses on the benefits of improved living conditions for small-scale farmers thanks to increased yields arising from improved cultivation techniques. The SALM methodology proves to be very successful in achieving this”, said Arne Andersson, Regional Director, Vi Agroforestry.
The BioCarbon Fund’s pioneering SALM methodology received VCS approval in December 2011. The methodology spells out how carbon sequestration in soils are measured and engages farmers themselves in the monitoring process; for the first time they are measuring the impact of their agricultural practices on crop yields.
“This proves, yet again, that good environmental practices make good business practices, and in this case they are making for good farming practices which have tremendous ancillary benefits”, said David Antonioli, VCS Chief Executive Officer. “The exciting results in Kenya show how strategic investment by development organizations like the World Bank can truly benefit farmers in the developing world by helping them harness the power of the international carbon market.”
The World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund responded to the need to support poor farming communities by developing the first approved methodology for sustainable agricultural land management (SALM) practices that also sequester carbon in soils. The World Bank has developed 38 approved methodologies to date, all of which are freely available to project designers. SALM is simple and cost-effective, yet robust. It enables developers to design projects that enhance agricultural productivity and create incentives for carbon storage in soils worldwide.
The earthquakes you may have heard about — the 30 tremblors that have struck north central Texas since November 1 and have damaged many homes. The quakes are most likely being caused by underground disposal wells used to get rid of wastewater generated during fracking operations. “Frackquakes,” some are calling them.
Photo by Dennis DimickA massive oil field in Texas. The state has always been the heart of the US oil industry, embracing oil and gas development from its earliest years, and pioneering fracking in the Barnett Shale.
The quakes you probably haven’t heard about are political. They’re caused in part by the frackquakes, and in part by other environmental, social, and public health impacts of fracking-enabled oil and gas development. And they seem to be changing Texans’ opinions about fracking.
The oil and gas boom sweeping through the US is occurring because horizontal hydraulic fracturingmakes it possible to extract previously inaccessible oil and gas locked up inside the pores of shale rock thousands of feet underground.
Well, by drilling a well down to the shale deposit; taking a right turn to horizontally extend the well for thousands more feet through the shale layer.,and then injecting millions of gallons (two to eight millions gallons, depending upon the area) of water laced with tens of thousands of gallons of toxics at such high pressure that the shale rock breaks (fractures). The water and toxics (called flowback fluid) are then withdrawn back up the well, and the released oil or gas follows.
The oil and gas is cleaned and piped and sold. But what of the toxics-laced flowback fluid and other (briny, and sometimes radioactive) water produced by the well?
Because of the chemicals in fracking wastewater, it cannot be treated at an ordinary sewage wastewater treatment plant. Instead, it is injected in another well deep underground. It has long been known that this type of wastewater injection deep underground can lead to earthquakes when it occurs near a fault .
So it is no surprise that as fracking has become near universal — more than 90 percent of all new …more
BY SHARON WILSON – JANUARY 27, 2014