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Subsections

Future of Global Nutrition


Global corporations

According to Peter Dicken (University of Manchester, UK), most writers on globalization project a highly simplistic conceptualization of the firm that spans the ideological spectrum: from the hyper-globalist of the populist business literature to the anti-globalization movements:

The view of business

One of the center claims of hyper-globalists in business is that international firms are inexorably and inevitably abandoning their ties to their country of origin and converge towards a universal global organizational form[1].

Kenichi Ohmaeś exhortation (1990:94) to business manager is usually invoked as the exemplar of such a position:
"Country of origin does not matter. Location of headquarters does not matter. The products for which you are responsible and the company you serve have become denationalised." Some of these ideas were existent before Ohmae, such as the US Under-Secretary of State, George Ball in 1967 coined the liable " Cosmocorp", describing what he saw as the emerging global corporation. Barned and Muller (1974) gave examples of US corporate executives to transform their forms to placeless global corporations.

Other quite bizarre ideas are that technological and regulatory developments in the world economy have created a "global surface"on which a dominant organizational form will develop and inexorably wipe out less efficient competitors who are no longer protected by national or local barriers. Such an organization is "placeless" and "boundry-less".

This claims that the placeless corporation is becoming the norm amongst international firms received a substantial boost in the 1990s with the persistence of the Japanese financial crisis and the unexpected East Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998.

model of the global corporation. The US-style corporation was projected as being the most effective way of maximizing shareholder value. All other models of business organization were not less efficient but would be vanquished.

The collapse of Enron, WorldCom and other high profile US companies in 2002 seriously threw into doubt both the efficiency and incorruptibility of the US corporate model.

According to global executives and managers, the suggestion that multinationals were "national companies with units abroad" was roundly rejected as old fashioned and not compatible with the demands of the contemporary global economy. Most of them considered their corporations to be in a transitional state between the multinational corporation and the global corporation.

The view of the anti-globalizers

These groups like to compare TNCs (transnational corporations) with nation-states in order to demonstrate that TNCs have become more powerful than states. The Institute for Policy Studies in the US published Anderson and Cavanagh (2000:3) stating:

Of the 100 large economics in the world, 51 are corporations and only 49 are countries (based on a comparison of corporate sales and country GPDs).

General Motors is now bigger than Denmark, DaimlerChrysleri is bigger than Poland. Royal Dutch/Shell is bigger than Pakistan. The 1999 sales of each of the top five corporation (General Motors, Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil, Ford Motor and DaimlerChrysler are bigger than the GDPs of 182 countries).

These figures do not tell us much about the gobalness of corporations or even the extent to which corporations are more or less oriented to domestic or foreign operations.

Analyzing all data Peter Dicken comes to the conclusion that contrary to many sayings, place and geography still matter fundamentally in the way in which firms are produced and in how they behave. The basic point of Dickens is that firms - including TNCs are produced through an intricate process of embedding in which the cognitive, cultural, social, political and economic characteristics of the national home base play a dominant part.

The view of Peter Dickens

Despite the unquestioned geographical transformations of the world economy, driven at least in part by the expansionary activities of transnational corporations, the convergence to a single "placeless" type did not take place yet. This is because, over time, and under specific circumstances, societies have tended to develop distinctive ways of organizing their economies, even within the broad, apparently unitary, ideology of capitalism
Not all capitalisms are the same and come in many different varieties. Forms of economic coordination and governance cannot easily be transferred from one society to another for they are embedded in social systems of production distinctive to their particular society.
Economic performance is shaped by the entire social system of production in which firms are embedded and not simply by specific principles of management styles and work practices.

Dickens says that the differences of firms from different geographical context have enormous implications for economic development policy at national, regional and local levels. He calls for meticulous comparative international analysis of firm-place relationship. Transnational corporations are not placeless; "global" corporations are, indeed, a myth.

Instruments of economic regulation

The three most important instruments of economic power are the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


World Trade Organization ( WTO )

Established in 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO), located in Geneva, Zwitzerland, enforces a dozen separate trade agreements and serves as a forum for ongoing talks to develop new trade agreements. The WTO is the product of the Uruguay Round (1986-1994) of negotiations. Today, the WTO has 146 members.

It includes specific commitments by WTO member governments to improve market access and reduce trade-distorting subsidies in agriculture. These commitments are being implemented over a six year period (10 years for developing countries) that began in 1995. Participants have agreed to initiate negotiations for continuing the reform process one year before the end of the implementation period, i.e. by the end of 1999.

These talks have now been incorporated intothe broader negotiating agenda set at the 2001 Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar Environmentally speaking, the most important new topics under negotiation in the WTO are investment and services. Its Budget for 2003 was 154 million Swiss francs.

Functions of WTO

Agreements and other organizations resulting from WTO

WTO's Agriculture Agreement

The WTO's Agriculture Agreement wants to promote fairer competition, improving market access and reducing trade-distorting subsidies in agriculture. These commitments are being implemented over a six year period (10 years for developing countries) that began in 1995. Participating governments have agreed to initiate negotiations for continuing the reform process one year before the end of the implementation period, i.e. by the end of 1999. These talks have now been incorporated into the broader negotiating agenda set at the 2001.

Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar


The Doha Declaration

The declaration reconfirms the long-term objective to establish a fair and market-oriented trading system through a program of fundamental reform. The program encompasses strengthened rules, and specific commitments on government support and protection for agriculture. The purpose is to correct and prevent restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets.

Without prejudging the outcome, member governments commit themselves to comprehensive negotiations aimed at market access and export subsidies that distort trade. The declaration makes special and differential treatment for developing countries integral throughout the negotiations, and should enable developing countries meet their needs, in particular in food security and rural development.

The non-trade concerns, such as environmental protection, food security and rural development will be considered in the Agriculture Agreement.


The Peace Clause of the Uruguay Round [2]

The Peace Clause was introduced at the eleventh hour during the Uruguay Round as a "take-it-or-leave-it" condition for signing a deal. After protecting illegal subsidies for nine years, that Peace Clause elapsed in 2003. While the details of a new Peace Clause are not known it is almost certain that it would block developingcountries from taking a raft of new cases to the WTO.

The US said last week that it needs the Peace Clause to be renewed to protect itself from litigation while it is in the process of reducing its trade-distorting subsidies. But Charveriat said that members of the WTO should make a stand.

The US and EU currently pay at least $13bn worth of illegal subsidies for agriculture. If the Peace Clause were reintroduced, no poor country would be able to take them to the WTO court for this, for possibly up to 10 years.

Suspension of the Doha negotiations

The General Council, at its meeting on 27-28 July 2006, supported a recommendation by Director-General Pascal Lamy to suspend the Doha negotiations. The Task Force on Aid for Trade submitted its report and recommendations aimed at helping developing countries increase exports of goods and services.

According to FAO, the Doha Round of international trade negotiations collapsed mainly because of a fight for advantage in agricultural markets by large and powerful countries, corporations and lobbies. [3]

The approach adopted in the talks was flawed from the outset, FAO said. It failed to take sufficient account of the interests of developing countries and focussed on "free trade, rather than fair trade."

Transatlantic free trade zone

The emerging financial markets in China and India force western countries to look after counterweights. A free trade zone between Europe, USA and Canada would bring together financial markets with similar social structures. In case of a total failure of the WTO, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel will try to relaunch a 1998 plan for a transatlantic free trade zone when it takes up the rotating EU presidency in January 2007.


Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS)

Sanitary and phytosanitary of WTO wants to ensure that every consumers are being supplied with food that is safe to eat, and at the same time, to ensure that strict health and safety regulations are not being used as an excuse for protecting domestic producers. An agreement on how governments can apply food safety and animal and plant health measures (sanitary and phytosanitary or SPS measures) sets out the basic rules in the WTO.


Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)

The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) is a global program in capacity building and technical assistance to developing countries in trade and standards. The Facility builds upon a Head of Agency communiqué issued by the World Bank, the World Animal Health Organization (OIE), World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at the Doha Ministerial of the WTO in 2001. Funding is initially provided through the World Bank's Development Grant Facility, along with support from the Doha Development Trust Fund of the WTO.

The activities of STDF relate specifically to food safety, plant, and animal health, and to the standards developed by the FAO/WHO Joint Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), the FAO International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), and the OIE.

WTO is important and can turn out to be a good partner of the United Nations as soon initial errors are amended. Learning from errors of the past, global control can be improved using feedback from NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations.)


WTO, The World Trade Organization

The WTO is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nation. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.

It is located in Geneva, Switzerland. It had been preceded by GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) since 1948 and was established on 1 January 1995 by the Uruguay Round negotiations (1986-94). A second WTO ministerial meeting was held in Geneva in May 1998. 146 countries are members of the WTO.

GATT had mainly dealt with trade in goods. WTO and its agreements now cover trade in services, and in traded inventions, creations and designs (intellectual property) TRIPS.


Functions of the WTO

The WTO shall facilitate the implementation, administration and operation, and further the objectives, of
  1. TRIPS
  2. Multilateral Trade Agreements
  3. Plurilateral Trade Agreements
The WTO provides the forum for negotiations among its Members concerning their multilateral trade relations in matters dealt with under the agreements in the Annexes to this Agreement. The WTO administers the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM). The WTO cooperates with the International Monetary Fund and with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Administering WTO trade agreement

The World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the rules of trade between nations at a global or near-global level. These agreements are often called the WTO's trade rules. These rules are actually agreements that governments negotiated. These agreements and annexes deal with the following specific sectors or issues:

For goods (under GATT) For services (the GATS annexes)

Forum for trade negotiations

The WTO agreements are negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world's trading nations. These documents provide the legal ground-rules for international commerce. They are essentially contracts, binding governments to keep their trade policies within agreed limits.


Handling trade disputes

The most harmonious way to settle these differences is through some neutral procedure based on an agreed legal foundation. That is the purpose behind the dispute settlement process written into the WTO agreements.


The Doha Development Agenda

The bulk of the WTO's current work comes from the 1986-94 negotiations called the Uruguay Round and earlier negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO is currently the host to new negotiations, under the "Doha Development Agenda" launched in 2001.

The Ministerial Conference of WTO

The Ministerial Conference is composed of representatives of all the Members. The Ministerial Conference carries out the functions of the WTO and take actions necessary to this effect. The Ministerial Conference has the authority to take decisions on all matters under any of the Multilateral Trade Agreements, if so requested by a Member. It meets every two years. The General Council is composed of representatives of all the Members. It conducts the functions of the Ministerial Conference during the intervals between meetings of the Ministerial Conference.

Decision-Making

The WTO continues decision-making followed the agreements of GATT 1947. At meetings of the Ministerial Conference and the General Council, each Member of the WTO has one vote. The European Community has a number of votes equal to the number of its member States. Decisions of the Ministerial Conference and the General Council are taken by a majority of the votes cast.


WTO related Agreements

List of Annexes of the Agreement establishing the WTO

Multilateral Agreements on Trade in Goods

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994

General Agreement on Trade in Services


International standards

An annex to the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement cites standards which are to be used in connection with trade matters:


Protection of life or health

Article 20 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) allows governments to act on trade in order to protect human, animal or plant life or health, provided they do not discriminate or use this as disguised protectionism. In addition, there are two specific WTO agreements dealing with food safety and animal and plant health and safety, and with product standards.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement (SPS)

The Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement sets out basic rules. It allows countries to set their own standards. But it also says regulations must be based on science. They should be applied only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health. And they should not arbitrarily or unjustifiable discriminate between countries where identical or similar conditions prevail.

Member countries are encouraged to use international standards, guidelines and recommendations where they exist. However, members may use measures which result in higher standards if there is scientific justification. They can also set higher standards based on appropriate assessment of risks so long as the approach is consistent, not arbitrary. And they can to some extent apply the "precautionary principle", a kind of "safety first" approach to deal with scientific uncertainty. Article 5.7 of the SPS Agreement allows temporary "precautionary" measures.

The agreement still allows countries to use different standards and different methods of inspecting products. If an exporting country can demonstrate that the measures it applies to its exports achieve the same level of health protection as in the importing country, then the importing country is expected to accept the exporting country's standards and methods.


Codex Alimentarius Commission

The Codex Alimentarius Commission was created in 1963 by FAO and WHO to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.

The main purposes of this Programme are protecting health of the consumers and ensuring fair trade practices in the food trade, and promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organisations. The Codex Alimentarius Commission published only voluntary standards for the hygienic and nutritional quality of food, food additives, pesticide residues, contaminants, labelling and methods on analysis and sampling. The General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) transformed into a formal organisation the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1994.

The chloramphenicol ban that certain U.S. States placed in the mid 1980s and the current hormone ban negotiations between Europe and the U.S. initiated the creation of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) WTO document which was written by the U.S. Codex delegation in 1987.
Chloramphenicol has been banned in Europe for use on animals since 1994.
Drugs such as chloramphenicol and sulfonamide are sometimes used to protect honey bees from brood diseases. Honey with elements of chloramphenicol and sulphonamide were detected in a UK honey brand which was composed of a blend of imported honey.The honey was recalled in November 2005.
Exposure to chloramphenicol in food in any quantity is undesirable, but the level of risk will depend on how much is consumed and how frequently. Chloramphenicol and sulphonamide in food are illegal. Chloramphenicol can cause cancer and lead to aplastic anaemia in susceptible people.
The importance of the Standards and Guidelines of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the WTO is growing with global trade and exchange of foods enforcing the ban of pesticides and antibiotics in food worldwide.

The Codex Standards are now being recognized as scientific and they are being used as a point of reference in cases of disputes over non-Tariff trade barriers and whether certain trade restrictions have a legitimate scientific basis by the WTO agreement on the SPS and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). International Corporations and global trade organizations are becoming strongly interested in the Codex, as it helps to harmonize regulations on a worldwide level.

Developing Countries and the WTO System

WTO Sanctions on US

The United States came under World Trade Organization penalties failing to eliminate a tax break. It was declared an illegal export subsidy by the WTO. A 5 percent penalty tariff awaits U.S. exports such as jewelry and refrigerators, toys and paper. The dollar's sharp decline in value against the euro, the European Union currency, means American goods are cheaper on European markets. That may protect U.S. Manufacturers.


Export Dumping

The practice of selling products at prices below their cost of production is one of the most damaging of all current distortions in world trade practices.

The U.S. is one of the world's leading sources of dumped agricultural commodities such as wheat, maize, soybean, rice and cotton. Brazil is considering a case against U.S. cotton before the World Trade Organization (WTO). In 2001, Canada briefly imposed both countervailing and anti-dumping duties on U.S. corn imports.

Three steps to address dumping

WTO wants to address dumping in agriculture following three steps
1. The elimination of visible export subsidies as quickly as possible.
2. A commitment from exporting countries to keep products priced below the cost of production out of world markets.
3. The publication of annual fullcost of production estimates for OECD countries.

Developing countries need healthy agricultural sectors to eliminate poverty. To achieve this, agricultural commodities must be priced fairly.


Definitions of Dumping

If a country determines that imports into their country are dumped, and if they can establish that "material injury" to domestic competitors is occurring, then antidumping duties are a WTO-legal response. There are two common definitions of export dumping contained in Article Six of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT):
First definitionThe first definition describes the export of a product at a price below the normal selling price in its domestic market. For example, if a Japanese car is sold in Japan at a higher price as it is sold in an other country, this fact is called dumping.

Second definition

The second definition of dumping contained in Article Six of the GATT applies to situations where the domestic price is too distorted to provide a useful reference. This happens when government regulation crowded out (or even prohibited) the functioning of an open market through regulations, subsidies, price supports and other instruments. This is the case when the export price into another market is less than the cost of production in the country of origin plus a reasonable addition for transportation, handling and profit. Agricultural production is often exported under these conditions.


Oligopolis

Market prices are also distorted by the presence of oligopolies. A few transnational agri-business firms dominate all agricultural commodity production, transportation and processing in the United States. Over 80 per cent of US corn is exported by three firms: Cargill, ADM and Zen Noh. The top four beefpackers in the United States are Tyson (owner of Iowa Beef Packers), ConAgra, Cargill (owner of Excell Corporation), and Farmland National Beef Packing Company. They control 81% of the market.

Three of these four (Smithfield replaces Farmland) are also the top pork packers; two (Tyson and ConAgra) are among the top poultry producers. Cargill ranks among the top three or four companies across the sector, from beef and pork packing, to turkeys, animal feed, grain terminals, corn exports, soybean exports, flour milling, soybean crushing, and ethanol production.

End Dumping

Visible export subsidies should be eliminated as quickly as possible via the WTO or the OECD over the next few years. Countries must make a commitment to keep products priced below the cost of production out of world markets. Since the exporting and importing corporations that profit at present from this dumping are not likely to voluntarily give up this practice, countries will need to take policy measures to gain corporate compliance.
By far the easiest and most WTO-legal approach is for the importing country to impose countervailing duties to bring the dumping prices up to the cost of production levels. The most effective way to end dumping will be to work inside the United States, the European Union, and other major grain exporters to secure legislation that ensures export prices capture the full cost of production, including the cost of marketing and a reasonable profit. The OECD has to publish each year a full-cost of production estimate, including all producer paid costs, government paid input costs, and the cost of marketing with a fair profit, as the GATT proposes in Article 6.

Governments could phase out dumping over five years through eliminating direct export subsidies and using full cost of production prices to ensure fair prices.

Australia

Europe has used the so-called Peace clause that was put in place during the Uruguay Round to protect many of its farm industries with hefty subsidies that adversely affected Australian producers. The Peace clause is believed to be finished at the end of 2003. Australia, together with Brazil use the end of the clause to particularly target subsidies such as sugar.

Sugar world prices are low mainly because of the ten-fold increase in exports from Brazil (to over 10 million tons) in the last 10 years aiming to expand its production even further to 50 per cent of the world sugar market. According to British Sugar Brazil has been able to expand its exports of sugar to the world market only because of repeated massive devaluations of its currency and has been supported by cross subsidy from their heavily government-supported bioethanol industry. Danisco, big in business with sugar from sugar beet in Europe, is also consternated about the matter. Danisco sold later on its sugar business to Nord Zucker.

With the failure of WTO talks in Cancun in September 2003, pressure has intensified on Europe. The three options for change the regime of sugar currently under discussion in Brussels are: leaving the regime as it is; providing a price reduction; or alternatively full liberalization for sugar.

While critics want to see a fairer regime with Europe flinging open the doors to imports from developing countries, European sugar producers are concerned that full liberalization would raze the industry to the ground killing about 75 per cent of the sugar production with massive job losses. The European beet growers' association (CIBE) estimates that 500,000 jobs in the EU depend on the current common market organization (CMO) sugar regime, in place since 1968.

Full liberalization would mean abolishing the current domestic EU price support system, abandoning production quotas and totally removing import tariffs and quantitative restrictions on imports.
Meanwhile the struggle between EU and USA continues. The dispute arose over the so-called Foreign Sales Corporation tax ruled illegal at the end of the 1990s. [4]

The wonder of sugar beet for food and biofuel [5]

India, second in sugar plantation after Brazil, may now increase its output using the new sugar beet plants from Syngenta. The plant needs 30 to 50 per cent less water than sugar cane.

The new sugar beet can grow well in warm climate where it can bring two harvests a year. Its sugar yield is higher as obtained with sugar cane. It sounds good. It grows at saline and poor quality soil that cannot be used for other agricultural purposes, so not more land is needed to increase sugar output. This means that sugar output can be expanded without taking land from other food crops.

After ten years of development the sugar production for food started in Ambad near Jalna, and bioethanol at Kalas, near Pune. The use of tropical sugar beet in other tropical regions with poor soil conditions is being examined.

It is the revival of the Green Revolution, were there not the doubts about gene transfer to soil, bacteria and other plants. Can poor farmer afford to buy Syngenta sugar beet seed and the accompanying agrarian chemicals?

Sugar beet as gum arabic replacement [6]

Climate and political factors in Sudan and Nigeria cause insecurity in the supply of gum arabic Sugar beet pectin was found by Siew and Williams 2008 to be a substitute being, however, more expensive than gum arabic.

Studying the content of protein and ferulic acid of the sugar beet pectin fraction the authors found that one or both of these two functional groups adsorb onto the surface of the oil droplets and stabilize the emulsions.

The authors concluded that compared to those made with gum arabic, the emulsion samples made with sugar beet pectin samples exhibited similar (or even slightly higher) stability.

DuPont increases its power acquiring Danisco [7]

DuPont acquires Danisco, a company which produces enzyme and speciality food ingredients such as enablers, cultures and sweeteners, for $6.3billion in 2011. DuPont becomes leader in industrial biotechnology with science-intensive innovations in food production in biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol, biomaterials, and other emerging technologies. Research will remain in Denmark.

Syngenta moves to China

Swiss biotech Syngenta moves its biotechnology centre to Beijing, China to evaluate genetically-modified and native traits in soy, corn, wheat, sugar beet and sugar cane. It will focus on yield improvement, drought resistance, disease control, and the conversion of biomass for biofuels.
China known to disregard food safety, is an easy market for Syngenta.

The joint paper for Cancun

The joint framework of EU and US had been presented for the WTO negotiations Cancun meetings, focusing on three areas: domestic support, market access and export competition. For domestic support, the paper provides substantial cuts by all members who use trade distorting subsidies. For market access, there is a formula which takes on board both the formulas discussed to date (Uruguay Round and so-called 'Swiss' formula), while fully preserving the elements of flexibility and recognition of the existence of sensitive products.
The framework paper addresses export subsidies refunds and exports credits, provides partial elimination of export subsidization for a common list of products of interest for developing countries and provides a path for parallel reduction of export subsidization for the products that are not eliminated.

Globalization benefits the shift of production from traditional countries to emerging markets, bringing important consequences for the US soybean industry.
Peter Goldsmith at the University of Illinois says that the US share of world soybean production has declined since the early 1990s from about 50 per cent to less than 40 per cent. During that time, Brazil's share increased to more than 25 per cent, and Argentina's share rose to nearly 15 per cent. Similar changes are underway in the processing sector.

The staple food for over 500 million people, cassava is a good commercial cash crop and a major source of food security, but it needs a competitive edge to thrive in the global starch market. Competing in the mainstream commodity starch arena - maize, wheat or potato - is 'extremely difficult', particularly when it is not the commodities themselves that are the competition, 'but rather the functional characteristics of the value-added products'.

Until recently, the starch markets of the world were virtually closed to foreign countries because high import duties created barriers to trade for anything but the most basic of commodities. But in April 1994 the GATT Uruguay Round paved the way for new trade opportunities.

In 2002 Nigeria came in as the largest producer of cassava in the world. But in 2003 despite favorable weather conditions in the country, an outbreak of mosaic disease placed its cassava crop under pressure.
Cassava is cultivated for its starchy, tuberous roots that can be processed into tapioca, ground to produce manioc or cassava meal (Brazilian arrowroot), used as animal fodder or cooked and eaten as a vegetable.

Thailand is the world's leading exporter of aggregate dry cassava products, also known as tapioca, in the form of pellets for the feed industry in USA under a low tariff rate preferential quota.

The three most important instruments of economic power - World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) try to force the worldś acceptance of genetically modified foods and crops. The American administration launched in May 2003 a complaint with the WTO against the European Union for its five-year ban on approving new biotech crops, claiming the European policy to be illegal, harming the American economy. The WTO Agreement on Agriculture is being used to attack the European Union, which will be forced to either alter its policy toward GM crops and foods, or face economic sanctions across a range of sectors.

The US has so far opposed the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety which entered into force in September 2003 and has been signed by over 100 countries being intended to ensure through agreed international rules and regulations that countries have the necessary information to make informed choices about GM foods and crops.

The USA has also avoided to sign the Kyoto Protocol (Biosafety). Since the US has still not ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), it has no need to follow the Cartagena Protocol and therefore will try to force the GM food to be accepted by all other countries.

With the biotech patents coming into force with TRIPs Agreement in 2005, agriculture research in developing countries will not be possible any more.


Kyoto protocol

During the Kyoto summit, participating nations agreed to reduce the CO2 levels to 7% below the levels found in 1990. It is an agreement made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and was negociated in Kyoto in December 1997. It entered into force on February 16, 2005. [8] [9]

Australia and United States have signed but, currently, refuse to ratify it.
The United States produces 20% of total carbon dioxide. To protectig its industry the USA did not sign the protocol, proposing to plant forests in the USA and third world countries.
CO2 is not eliminated by photosynthese. It is released again once organism dies and decays.

Studying forestation it has been found that forests inherently warm the atmosphere by absorbing heat from light due to their non-reflective leaves.

An increase of number of trees means more fires, and this increases global warming. The only option for reducing the amount of carbon dioxide is by reducing the amount of gas released from burning of fossil fuels. 06.03.07: Sustainability

Scrapie infectious prions in biosolids [10]

Milles et al. 2011 studied the prion infectiousness of Class B biosolids under mesophilic (37degree C) and thermophilic (60 degree C). The authors report a 2.43-log(10) reduction in prion infectivity under mesophilic temperatures after 15 days and a 3.41-log(10) reduction after 10 days under thermophilic conditions. The authors stress that there must be additional factors aside of temperature treatment which reduce the number of infectious prions, because reduction was higher in the biosolid samples compared with control in phosphate buffered saline.

Biosolids are nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of sewage sludge. When treated and processed, these residuals can be recycled and applied as fertilizer or compost to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth. Manure is an agricultural waste not generally captured in collection programs, but nonetheless, is generated in high volumes and can offer multiple beneficial uses including nutrients for crop production and organic matter to improve soil properties. [11]

EPA issued regulations in 1993 that limit the pollutants and pathogens in biosolids, entitled "The Standards for the Use or Disposal of Sewage Sludge", (40 CFR part 503) [12]. If biosolids are included as part of the compost or fertilizer, part 503 land application requirements in effect ensure that any biosolids that are land applied, through compost or fertilizers, contain pathogens and metals that are below specified levels to protect the health of humans, animals, and plants. [13]

EPA Class A and B biosolids pathogen control guidelines 2002 [14]

Biosolids are divided into Class A and Class B on this basis of their pathogen content and control. Class A biosolids must undergo more extensive treatment than Class B biosolids to reduce pathogens, including bacteria, enteric viruses, and viable helminth ova, to below detectable amounts.

The Class B pathogen requirements were developed from the 1979 40 CFR 257 regulations for processes to significantly reduce pathogens, reducing pathogenic viruses, Salmonella bacteria, and indicator bacteria (faecal coliform) by at least 1 log (90%) (EPA 1989).

Phytase in feed reduces phosphate demand in feed and reduces environmental burden of farming

The majority of the phosphorus in cereal grains and oilseed meals is organically bound as phytic acid or phytate which is nutritionally unavailable to nonruminant animals like swine and poultry. They lack phytase in their digestive tract, and must be supplemented with inorganic phosphorus. Not used phosporus passes the digestive tract and end in the environment. Biofuel production increases further environmental phosphorus and nitrogen being washed by rainwater into the open waters increasing algal bloom and fish dying.

Adding phytase to the feed of pig and poultry may become a strategy to counter steady increasing feed phosphate prices and may reduce the heavy environmental burden of pig and poultry farming.

Rising demand of phosphate fertilizers for food and ethanol crops to feed developing nations and produce ethanol, reduce the available quantity of feed phosphates.

Recently developed bacterial phytases proved to be more effective in releasing plant-bound phytate phosphorus than traditional fungal phytases, allowing a reduction in dicalcium phosphate in feed up to 30%.

Phytase supplementation or low-phytate barley feed for finishing pigs [15]

Thacker and colleagues 2004 determine the effects of phytase supplementation on nutrient digestibility in low-phytate barleys fed to finishing pigs. They found that both supplementation with phytase and selection for low-phytate genotypes of barley increasing the digestibility of phosphorus for pigs, but no additive effects was noted in this study.

The authors leave it to the decision of the swine producers to choose between low-phytate barley or supplementation with phytase. The authors stress that the yield of low-phytate barley and the additional costs of the phytase supplementation must be kept in mind.

Changes of feed to reduce manure environmental impact [16]

Manure phosphorus in areas of intensive animal production has high environmental implications. Maguire and colleagues 2004 reported that turkey and broiler litters resulting from feed with non-phytate phosphorus closer to requirement decreased orthophosphate in litters by an average of 38%. The study found no increase of the concentration of orthophosphate in litters using feed supplemented with phytase, but a decrease of phytate phosphorus in litters up to 38% resulting from phytate phosphorus hydrolysis.

The authors stress that feeding non-phytate phosphorus closer to requirement and supplementing feed with phytase reduces total phosphorus concentrations in litters leaving the phosphorus solubility in litters and amended soils unaltered.

Australian study on manure impact in soil amendment [17]

Pillai and colleagues 2009 assessed the environmental impact of manure utilization in land applications, comparing the effect of standard Australian commercial diet from layer hens, with the effect of diets modified with phytase supplementation.

The authors report an increase of water soluble phosphorus by 8 to 12% in the manures, independent of the levels of nonphytase phosphorus in the diets. This feed reduced total nitrogen content by 12 to 31% of the manures and nitrate accumulation in the manure-amended soils increased. Net nitrification occurred together with a decrease in soil pH resulting in retention of water soluble phosphorus.

The researchers concluded that phytase supplementation of feed reduces manure total nitrogen content, increases water-soluble phosphorus, and influences total phosphorus and extractable mineral nitrogen is influenced by the nonphytase phosphorus level in the diet.

Inositol hexakisphosphate from poultry manure [18]

Dou 2009 and colleagues 2009 looked at heavily manured soils and their phosphorus loss to water. Inorganic orthophosphate was the primary form of P in manure treated and untreated soils. Also present are pyrophosphate and phosphate monoesters. Phosphate diesters were scarcely found. Polyphosphate was present in manured soils but absent in untreated soils.

Manure soils did not differ from untreated soils in relation to the concentrations of inositol hexakisphosphate, even in soils receiving poultry manure which is very rich in these compounds. The authors suggest that inositol hexakisphosphate does not accumulate in soil and is carried by rain to open waters, harming thus the environment. The potential phosphorus release is 3 to 30 times greater from treated than untreated soils.

P source coefficient (PCSs) under anoxic conditions [19]

Phosphorus source coefficients (PSC) for manures, composts, and other organic phosphorus (P) sources are indicators of P availability for transport in runoff from agricultural soils. They are an important parameter of the P Site Index (PSI) which is used in Mid-Atlantic states as part of comprehensive nutrient management planning. [20]

Shober and colleagues 2009 assess the effects of anoxic conditions on the release of phosphorus from soils amended with manures and biosolids. In this study the concentration of dissolved phosphorus released was significantly lower under reducing conditions than under oxidized conditions.

The authors suggest precipitation of Fe(II)-oxide increasing P sorption capacity of the soils or Fe(II)-phosphate decreases the solubility of P. the researchers conclude that no PSCs changes are needed PSCs when assessing phosphorus solubility of organic sources under reducing conditions under relatively static conditions, which were defined by the authors as seasonable high water table, periodically submerged soils and stagnant drainage ditches.

Effect of cereal grain, phosporus concentration and phytase on manure composition [21]

Leytem and colleagues 2008 assessed the different effects of various cereal grain diets and supplementation with phytase. Phytase supplementation had a 3-fold phytate P hydrolysis compared with unsupplemented diets. Barley diets produced the lowest water soluble phosphorus excreta compared with other cereals. The authors report further that there was a 25% reduction in water soluble phosphorus from the high P to the low P + phytase diets. Changing the diet from high phosphorus to the low phosphorus a 37% reduction of water soluble phosphorus in manure was attained. The authors do not find it likely that intrinsic phytase in grain meliorate the phytate utilization by poultry because there was no difference noted between the effect of the different cereals diets.

Beta-propeller phytases of microbes recycle biotic phosphorus [22]

Lim and colleagues 2004 point out that phytate is the most abundant organic phosphorus compound in soil and runoffs into aquatic systems. Microbial phytases mineralize phytate. From the four known classes of phytase in the microbial world only the beta-propeller phytase family is present in aquatic environments. It is also present in soil and plant bacteria.

According to the authors beta-propeller phytase genes act independently or are closely associated with a TonB-dependent receptor-like gene in operons. The linking of these two genes may be important in cycling of phosphorus and iron. The authors stress that beta-propeller phytases play a major role in phytate-phosphorus cycling in both soil and aquatic microbial communities.

Grain-based ethanol and perennial-grass-based cellulosic ethanol menaces water quality [23]

According to Simpson and colleagues 20087 renewable fuel production, such as grain-ethanol and perennial-grass-based cellulosic ethanolgrain-based ethanol,is expanding rapidly in the USA with enormous water quality implications.

The authors estimate that these crops cause a nitrogen loss to water of 2000-4000 kg ha yr. A greater acreage of corn is estimated to increase N and P loss to water by 37% 117 000 tons and 25% 9 000 tons, respectively. These runoffs are further increased by manure phosporus and nitrogen from animal feed using dried distiller's grains.

Switchgrass and woody materials may replace grain fuel-stocks and provide environmental benefits, however, all alternative fuel production technologies will retain its environmental impacts. The authors stress the need to understand these impacts to avoid environmental consequences of biofuel production.

Impact of Crude Oil on Seafood, the Horizon oil spill [24]

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) crude oil has the potential to taint seafood with flavours and odours imparted by exposure to hydrocarbon chemicals. The U.S. Food and Drug monitors the oil contamination of seafood. The agency says the public should not be concerned about the safety of seafood they are buying at this time.

NOAA conducts a combination of both sensory analysis (of tissue) and chemical analysis (of water, sediment, and tissue) to determine if seafood is safe following an oil spill. The results will be made pubic as soon as possible. This inspection program is based on lessons learned from major oil spills such as the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska; 1996 spill in Rhode Island; 1999 spill in Coos Bay, Oregon; and, several spills in San Francisco including the most recent in 2007.

Meanwhile all commercial fishing is prohibited in waters in front of Lousiana. Oil has reached the islands in front of the mainland. The marshland of the Mississippi delta is endangered. [25]

New fish species in the Gulf of Mexico endangered by BP oil spill [26]

Researchers published in the Journal of Fish Biology the description of the Halieutichthys aculeatus species complex (pancake batfishes). Three species are recognized. Halieutichthys aculeatus was already known and two new species Halieutichthys intermedius and Halieutichthys bispinosus are now described by the authors. Arm-like fins are use to move along the bottom of the sea.

All species live in immediate proximity of the BP oil spill which threatens all marine life of the Gulf and part of the Atlantic ocean. The researchers are also concerned with the microscopic fauna of the region. Phase out of oil economy should be the most urgent aim of US government. Hydrogen economy present a feasible alternative to fossil energy.

Ocean Studies Board (OSB) rises doubts on the use of dispersants to fight the Horizon oil spill [27]

The Ocean Studies Board (OSB) in 2005 cited possible harms to the environment when oil dispersants are used. Fishes corals, shrimps, oysters and other marine life may be poisoned by the chemicals and the toxic components of the dispersed oil. The use of dispersants reduces the threat posed to marine mammals and birds that frequent the air-water interface where oil slicks form. The dispersed oil plume affects other portions of the ecosystem, such as the fish and the fauna in water column and on the seafloor. Dispersants may also affect the water-repellent layer of the feathers of seabirds.

Dispersants are chemical agents such as surfactants, solvents, and other compounds that reduce interfacial tension between oil and water in order to enhance the natural process of dispersion by generating larger numbers of small droplets of oil which spread in all directions. Oil spill dispersants do not reduce the total amount of oil entering the environment.

The oil spill dispersant Corexit 9500 used at the Horizon spill [28]

The Corexit oil spill dispersant is biodegradable, has low toxicity and enhanced penetration of the surfactants and helps to counter the "mousse" forming tendencies of the spilled. Its ingredients are distillates, petroleum, hydrotreated light 30%, Propylene Glycol 5% Organic sulfonic acid salt 30%. Sulfonic acids and their salts (sulfonates) are used extensively in such diverse products like detergents. [29] paragraphHealth risk of the BP oil spill on April 20, 2010 [30]
Crude oil contains a mixture of volatile hydrocarbon compounds-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that typically include the carcinogens benzene, toluene, and xylene. According to the CDC, symptoms of exposure to these compounds include drowsiness, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness.

Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) is a term used to describe a large family of several hundred chemical compounds that originally come from crude oil. It is not practical to measure each one separately, therefore the total amount of TPH are measured and referred to.

Some of the TPH compounds can affect your central nervous system. One compound can cause headaches and dizziness at high levels in the air. Another compound can cause a nerve disorder called "peripheral neuropathy,"consisting of numbness in the feet and legs. Other TPH compounds can cause effects on the blood, immune system, lungs, skin, and eyes.

Animal studies have shown effects on the lungs, central nervous system, liver, and kidney from exposure to TPH compounds. Some TPH compounds have also been shown to affect reproduction and the developing fetus in animals.

Saudi Arabia Aramco crude oil experts make wrong decisions [31]

Saudi Aramco's Chief Executive Khalid Al-Falih denies global acute resource scarcity. He says there is no need to look for alternatives to fossil energy. Al-Falih stressed the rising conventional outputfrom countries like Brazil and Iraq and hails the unconventional oil developments of energy intensive oil sands in the US and Canada, amounting to 2.3 million barrels per day or equal to production of Norway.

According to Al-Fahlih, all this, together with the volatile situation of US economy and debts "... makes spending on aggressive energy programs unlikely," abundant affordable hydrocarbon supplies challenge investment in renewable technologies, says Al-Falih.

TPH and cancer

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that one TPH compound (benzene) is carcinogenic to humans. IARC has determined that other TPH compounds (benzo[a]pyrene and gasoline) are probably and possibly carcinogenic to humans. Most of the other TPH compounds are considered not to be classifiable by IARC.

Regulations and limits

There are no regulations or advisories specific to TPH. The following are recommendations for some of the TPH fractions and compounds:

The EPA requires that spills or accidental releases into the environment of 10 pounds or more of benzene be reported to the EPA.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set an exposure limit of 500 parts of petroleum distillates per million parts of air.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Air Force Office of Safety and Health (AFOSH) have set a permissible exposure level (PEL) of 400 parts of petroleum distillates per million parts of air (400 ppm) for an 8-hour workday, 40-hour workweek.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that average workplace air levels not exceed 350 milligrams of petroleum distillates per cubic meter of air (350 mg/cubic metre) for a 40-hour workweek.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) lists fuel oils as hazardous materials and, therefore, regulates their transportation.

Worshop of the IOM on health risks related to the BP oil spill [32]

The IOM workshop on June 22 and 23, 2010 in New Orleans, discussed the health concerns related to the BP oil spill.

Scott Barnhart stressed that crude oil contains a complex mixture of heavy metals and volatile and nonvolatile polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Exposure by skin contact, inhalational and ingesting oil-contaminated foods may lead to cancer, neurologic, renal, hepatic, dermatologic, and hematologic effects.

Gina Solomon reported that BP data showed levels of benzene and 2-butoxyethanol (the dispersant chemical) above the Recommended Exposure Limit set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Dr. Solomon recommends residents not to fish in any areas that have been declared off-limits or where they see evidence of oil contamination, and fish or shellfish that has an oily odour should be discarded and not eaten. Noting a strong odour of oil or chemicals, and are concerned about health effects, residents should seek refuge in an air conditioned environment, preferably with the air conditioner on recirculation mode to avoid intake of polluted air.

Maureen Lichtveld pointed out that the psychosocial aspect needs to have a much higher priority as it is being focused on. She referred to Exxon Valdez oil spill which caused a significant increases in depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other anxiety disorders, as well as generally poorer scores on mental health assessments. There are not enough data to predict whether there could be future elevations in cancer risks, reproductive issues, or neurological sequelae from this oil spill this must stay under observation.

Organic aerosols intermediate volatility forming secondary organic aerosols [33]

The BP Deepwater Horizon rig explosion on April 20, 2010 caused an enormous oil spill together with a plume of air pollution within hours containing the lightest chemicals. Heavier compounds in the oil took longer to evaporate, spread out much more widely and contributed most to the formation of air pollution particles forming secondary organic aerosol. These particles are a major portion of air pollution but are not sufficiently being studied.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) performed two measures of air pollution particles, including organic aerosol in June 2010 over the spill area. Heavier compounds had been usually not measured because available monitoring equipment were focused on the lighter, more volatile materials.

Organic aerosols come from organic material and are linked to asthma, cardiovascular disease and even premature death. Organic aerosols make up about half the air pollution particles in cities. There was about the same amount of organic aerosol in the plume above the Gulf as there is in U.S. urban air.

Hugh Coe point to the importance of aerosols which are particles smaller than 1 µm. These particles scatter the sunlight and play a role in cloud formation. Anthropogenic activities alter quality and numbers of such particles, exerting a direct effect on climate. Semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and organic compounds of intermediate volatility (IVOCs) found in crude oil are precursors of such aerosols. The airborne measurments of de Gouw et al. provided knowledge on the oxidation of IVOCs and SVOCs in the atmosphere during the formation organic particles. [34]
NOAA is looking for a quantification of the fraction of aerosol particles that can act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) to be used in large-scale models. [35]

Hydrogen economy to phase out carbon fuel [36]

A strategy to decarbonise the fuel economy is most important for a sustainable future. Solar energy and wind turbines, together with hydrogen technology is the solution for the environmental harm which is done by exploiting oil, gas, coal and uranium mines.

Solar power may reduce pollution in Kuwait, says professor Lamia Jawhar [37]

Benefit from the use of alternative energy in Kuwait were elucidated by he professor of vital chemistry at Kuwait University, Lamia Jawhar, and Ahmad Al-Jassar, the Ministry's Undersecretary at a workshop held at the Ministry of Electricity and Water at June 4, 2010
.
Ahmad Al-Jassar stressed that the ministry is interested in alternative energy and solar energy as a promising source of energy in the future to decrease the influence of pollution on human health.

According to Dr Lamia Jawhar the emissions of power plants using oil as fuel contaminate the food, water and air with cancer causing materials. This contamination has increased since the Iraqi Invasion of 1990. She recommends to move towards renewable energy instead of depending solely on oil generated energy. Oil resources are destroying Kuwait's only source of food, the ocean and polluting Kuwait shores.

Oysters, climate change and increasing pollution of costal waters

Marine life is endangered by carbon dioxide and pollution of estuary and low oxygen levels of and pollution of coastal waters. Rising acidification low oxygen content caused by nutrient-rich sewage and a mix to toxic metal salts impair respiratory and physiologic pathway of marine animals. Oysters are an indicator of changes in marine habitat and are important for the food industry. The researcher say that it is imperious to stop CO2 emission and pollution now.

Oysters survival are threatened by rising CO2 levels [38]

According to Sokolova, Ivanina and Kurochkin 2010 juvenile oysters kept under high CO2 grow at a faster rate than the adults and need to use more energy for survival, reduced growth of their shells and their soft bodies. The shells presented increased fragility.

These effects were less pronounced in the adult oysters with slow growth and slower metabolisms compared with juvenile oysters. The authors expect to see huge effects on oyster populations in the future.

The oysters also respond to increasing CO2 levels by increasing the expression of carbonic anhydrase, an enzyme that regulates pH and regulates production of bicarbonate, which is used to make the shell, but the researchers fear that it is not enough. The authors suggest to monitor oysters as an indicator of the reaction of marine life on rising acidification of water.

Low oxygen levels and acidified oceans reduce immunity of marine organisms [39]

Increased levels of carbon dioxide cause the water to become more acidic. Nutrient-rich run-off reduce the oxygen content of coastal waters. Steps to reduce greenhouse emissions and minimize nutrient-rich run-off along coastlines are urgently needed to protect marine life. Pathogenic bacteria and viruses threaten marine animals which need a sound immune system to protect from infection. Louis Burnett and Karen Burnett report a reduced immune response of fish, oysters, crabs and shrimp under low oxygen and high carbon dioxide conditions resulting in decreased ability to fight off infection of Vibrio bacteria.

The authors write that if marine animals are challenged blood cells clump up to attack the pathogen. These blood cells also lodge in the gills. Immune response to an infection reduces, therefore, the gill function. The exchange of oxygen is reduced by about 40 percent making it difficult to live in low oxygen conditions. The situation is aggravated gets with increased carbon dioxide levels.

Te authors report further that marine organisms exposed to bacteria under low oxygen, high carbon dioxide conditions loose the ability to react to the situation, and start a molecular pathways of cell death.

The authors stress that coastal animals are adapted to fluctuating levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide, however cannot survive without responding to theses stresses. Deep-water animals may be much more affected by ocean acidification because they are not trained by exposure to the ebb and flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.

Heavy metal mixtures impact on acid-base balance and respiratory status of oysters [40]

Macey and colleagues 2010 assessed the impact of low-dose mixtures of heavy metals, such as copper, zinc and cadmium, which are common pollutants in coastal estuaries. Eastern oysters, Crassostrea virginica. were exposed to Cd, Zn or Cu, either alone or in combination. Oxidative membrane damage from these pollutants, as found by the authors using linear analysis came along with disturbance of acid-base balance in oysters. Artificial neural network ANN analysis provided further details of metal interactions with acid-base balance which may predict oxidative damage. The authors concluded that ANN may be useful to study subacute effects of contaminants as found in estuary waters.

Effect of cadmium in estuarine and coastal waters on oyster cells eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica [41]

Ivanina, Cherkasov and Sokolova 2008 report that exposure to cadmium resulted in an increase of protein synthesis, associated with the increased expression of metallothioneins and stress proteins (heat shock proteins HSP60, HSP70 and HSP90) in oyster cells. GSH synthesis was inhibited.

The authors stress that cadmium detoxification mechanisms using metallothioneins and GSH cannot fully protect protein in gill cells which call on help of HSPs as a secondary line of cellular defence.

The authors conclude that gill tissues of oysters are very sensitive to cadmium exposure, resulting in reduced oxygen uptake, energy misbalance and impaired respiratory efficiency.

Increased Pacific oyster mortality reported in France, United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland [42]

The European Food Safety Authority EFSA studied the causes of the increased Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) mortality reported in France, United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland 2008-2009, with special focus on Ostreid Herpesvirus-1(OsHV-1) µvar), as well as environmental factors.

The Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) panel found that OSHV-1 infection is a necessary cause but may not be sufficient by itself as other factors appear to be important. The role of other pathogenic agents such as Vibrio spp. has not yet been resolved. Climatic and seasonal factors alone are not likely to be a sufficient cause for the increased Pacific oyster mortality although these events are seasonal in their occurrence. An increase or a sudden change in the temperature of the water around oysters has been shown to be an important risk factor predisposing for the disease. Up to now no outbreaks have been reported when the water temperature is below 16°. Husbandry practices such as introduction of non certified possibly infected spat, movements and mixing of populations and age groups are probably important risk factors.

Events of increased mortality have been only observed in Pacific oyster. In addition to C. gigas, there is evidence of susceptibility to OsHV-1 in Ostrea edulis, Pecten maximus and Ruditapes philippinarum. There was no investigation on susceptibility to OsHV-1 µvar made on other mollusc species other than Crassostrea gigas.

OsHV-1 (reference strain and µvar) was detected by PCR in Pacific oyster older than 18 months associated with increased mortality. Therefore it is concluded that oysters older than 18 months can be a source of virus and it is not safe to transfer oysters older than 18 months from affected areas to areas not affected by increased mortality events.

The Panel calls for a description of the Pacific oyster aquaculture industry in Europe namely regarding number of farms, production figures, and traceability on movements/transfers both on hatchery and grow out sites should be achieved in accordance to the requirements by Council Directive 2006/88/EC. There is also a need to establish the health status of oyster spat at source. An assessment of the health status should include results of regular batch laboratory testing (at least in regards to OsHV-1, ref strain and µvar, Vibrio species, and histopathological examination) and epidemiological assessment. Improved diagnostic methods should be developed to check for the presence of OsHV-1 µvar and other strains.

CSIRO Australian Report- adapting farming to climate change [43]

Since 2002 Australia has experienced the worst drought in recorded history. Extreme drought are expected to occur every year or every two years, from 2010 on. Half of the rain fall lacking since 1950 is blamed to be related to man made emission of greenhouse gases.

Australian agriculture is being severely hit by the climate change. The continent had been the second world exporter of wheat. Exports dropped in 2007 down to 13 million tons. Regions of 5 percent of Australia experiencing extreme temperatures may expand uip to 95 percent of the Australian territory.

These issues have highlighted the reality of global climate change. Australian ecosystems, water resources, agriculture, built infrastructure, regional and remote communities, and health all have vulnerabilities to climate change.

Responses need to embrace nearly all aspects of our economy, society and the environment. The problem of climate change is serious and demands a major response, which requires two platforms:
- Mitigation of impact, through reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions.
- Adaptation to the inevitable climate change that will occur while mitigation gradually takes hold. [44]

Australian may use the desert area for solar power plants and hydrogen production for transportation fuel. This could lead to a new export economy based on hydrogen. [45]

Photosynthetic production of Hydrogen by certain cyanobacteria [46]

Bandyopadhyay and colleagues 2010 describe the potential of photobiological hydrogen production by oxygenic photosynthetic microbes which express nitrogenase and/or bidirectional hydrogenases. These enzimatic pathways are oxygen sensitive, and depend on protective mechanisms presented by the diazotrophic cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142, which generates high levels of hydrogen under aerobic conditions. The wild-type Cyanothece 51142 may even produce up to 465 micromol of hydrogen per mg of chlorophyll per hour per litre of broth in the presence of glycerol.

The Cyanothece 51142 strain was isolated in 1993 from samples of water of the Gulf of Mexico by the authors. As a cyanobacteria it can perform phoptosythesis producing carbohydrates from the CO2 of the atmosphere during daytime. During the night it uses the stored energy to transform nitrogen from atmosphere into ammonia and hydrogen. This rhythm is not altered under continued ilumination, whereas the hydrogen yield even increased under such conditions.

Welsch et al. 2008 sequenced the genome of Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142 which performs oxygenic photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation within the cell Its genome has one large circular chromosome, four small plasmids, and one linear chromosome which contains a cluster of genes for enzymes involved in pyruvate metabolism, important for fermentative processes. [47]

Climate change may require reduction of average water use in the region of the Colorado River [48]

Barnett and Pierce 2009 found that climate change may dry out the Lakes Mead and Powel, reservoirs on the Colorado River The authors say that this will happen in the next 20 years if no effort will be undertaken to preserve a minimum amount of water in the reservoir. Such measures could be delivery cuts. Lake Mead and Powel were build based on data of the 20th century which was very wet, compared with data from tree rings of the region. Therefore an increasing chance of substantial shortages during dry years is predicted by Barnett and Pierce. Water delivery shortage of 60 -90% of the Colorado River region is being expected.

The authors concluded that big shortfalls may be avoided if the river's users reduce their average water use. The sustainability of the system could thus be secured even if the climate changes. Food production of the region will be affected by drought.

Water for the desert from air humidity [49]

The Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart, Germany, develops a system to collect drinking water from air humidity. The Institute says that there is humidity in the atmosphere of deserts and cite the Negev desert in Israel, with an annual average relative air humidity of 64 percent and 11.5 millilitres of water in every cubic meter of air.

Siegfried Egner from the Frauenhofer Institute explains that their system uses hygroscopic salt brine which absorbs moisture from the air. The diluted brine is transferred to a vacuum tank heated by solar energy. There the water evaporates, is cooled and drops in a storage tank. On its way down the droplets create the vacuum for the distillation tank. The reconcentrated brine is reused for new moisture absorption.

The device can be dimensioned as single-person unit or as plants to supply water to entire hotels. This could alleviate the water scarcity in the desert and arid regions.

Desalination of water

Seawater contains about 35 grams of salt per litre and brackish water contains 5 grams per litre and must be desalinated to be suitable as drinking water. Desalination uses high amount of energy.
Desalination systems are:

Multi-stage flash distillation

Vacuum destilation is used. In the distillation process, feedwater is heated and then evaporated to separate out dissolved minerals. The most common methods of distillation include multistage flash (MSF), multiple effect distillation (MED), and vapor compression (VC) Distillation plants produce a high-quality product water that ranges from 1.0 to 50 ppm tds, while RO plants produce a product water that ranges from 10 to 500 ppm tds. (The recommended California drinking water standard for maximum tds is 500 mg/L, which is equivalent to 500 ppm.)

Reverse osmosis process

High pressure forces salty water through membranes retaining the salt.

Electrodialyses

It uses electricity to draw salt ions out of water through a membrane. Both methods require large amounts of energy.

Wastewater Produces Electricity and Desalinates Water [50]

Microbial fuel cells

These cells are being studied because they offer the advantage to clean waste water and deliver electricity which may be used for desalinarion. Logan, Kape and colleagues 2009 suggest the desalination of wastewater using a process which works without electrical energy input or high water pressure by adding a third central chamber between the positive and the negative cells using membranes as walls of a typical microbial fuel cell. The authors explain that a typical microbial fuel cell consists of one chamber filled with wastewater and the other with water, each containing an electrode. Bacteria in the wastewater produce electricity. The researcher added a third central chamber. The water to be desalinated is located in the central chamber. When the bacteria in the cell consume the wastewater protons are released. At the other electrode of the water chamber protons are consumed. Chlorine negative ions move from the salty water into the wastewater chamber and sodium positive ions move to the opposite chamber, desalinating the water in the middle chamber.

Decreased salinity of the central chamber decreases the conductivity, stopping desalination at 3.5 gram/litre in seawater and 0.5 g of salt per litre in brackish water.

Reducing the energy demand for water desalination [51]

Current water desalination techniques are energy intensive and some use membranes operated at high pressures. There are different approaches being developed to reduce the energy and costs. Fossil fuels are their main energy source. New strategies try to reduce energy consumption introducing membrane-based desalination processes. Subramani et al 2011 reviewed recent work regarding the utilization of energy efficient design, high efficiency pumping, energy recovery devices, advanced membrane materials (nanocomposite, nanotube, and biomimetic), innovative technologies (forward osmosis, ion concentration polarization, and capacitive deionization), and renewable energy resources (solar, wind, and geothermal). Utilization of energy efficient design combined with high efficiency pumping and energy recovery devices have proven effective in full-scale applications.

Nanotechnology Filter to desalinate sea water [52]

According to Jason Reese, Professor at the University of Strathclyde, carbon nanotubes could play a role in the desalination of water to cope with an ever growing demand for water. Reverse osmosis systems use high pressure or electricity to desalinate sea water or brackish water. These techniques are inefficient and expensive. Professor Reese reports that carbon nanotubes are expected to have water permeability 20 times that of modern commercial reverse-osmosis membranes. Efficiency at repelling salt ions may be increased by attaching specific chemical groups to the tubes creating a "gatekeeper" function.

Reducing energy necessary for desalination of water [53]

Two million people die from water-borne diseases each year, such as diarrhoea and cholera in disaster-stricken areas, A new technology may desalinate water and eliminate pathogens using small devices.

The dubbed ion concentration polarization (ICP) technique desalinates water using a simple electronic system on a tiny chip. It requires less than 3.5 Wh/l, while reverse osmosis requires 10-15 Wh/l. And electrodialysis, using ion-exchange membranes, requires 5 Wh/l. The water passes 500 micromillimetres wide channels on a chip. An electric potential is applied at a junction of two separate tubes. Where salt ions form a brine at one tube and drinking water at the other channel. The prototype chip converts seawater, with a salinity of 30,000 mg/l, into water with less than 600 mg/l, meeting the standard for drinking water. ICP can also remove potentially harmful larger molecules such as cells, viruses and bacteria if a barrier such as a nanofiltration membrane is introduced in the system.

Microbial fuel cells to clean waste waters [54]

Understanding of microbial fuel cells was recently improved by studies of microorganisms known to function either as electrode-reducing microorganisms at the anode or as electrode-oxidizing microorganisms at the cathode. Electrical power can be generated by microorganisms that can completely oxidize organic compounds with an electrode serving as the sole electron acceptor. Loveley 2008 describes these systems and looks at mechanisms for electron transfer to anodes , such as, direct electron transfer via outer-surface c-type cytochromes, long-range electron transfer via microbial nanowires, electron flow through a conductive biofilm matrix containing cytochromes, and soluble electron shuttles, which are used depending on which microorganism is used and the thickness of the anode biofilm.

Microbial desalination cells for seawater desalination [55]

Cao et al 2009 report that biodegradable organic matter and bacteria may be used to desalinate water. The authors describe a microbial fuel cell with an anion exchange membrane placed at the anode side, and a cation exchange membrane located near the cathode. Both membranes created a middle chamber for the desalinated water. Current produced by bacteria on the anode,move salt ions from the middle chamber to the external electrode chambers, leaving desalinated water in the middle chamber.

Kim and Logan 2011 improved this system by using an electrodialysis stack consisting of 5 pairs of desalting and concentrating cells, desalination was increased to 98% salt removal. [56]

Luo, Jenkins and Ren2011 describe a microbial electrolysis and desalination cell, which is an integrated bioelectrical system to desalinate salt water, produce hydrogen gas, and potentially treat wastewater. The reactor is also divided in three chambers using a pair of ion exchange membranes With an added voltage of 0.8 V, it achieved the highest H2 from the cathode chamber, and 98.8% of NaCl were remoed from the middle chamber. An anode recirculation alleviated pH and high salinity inhibition to improve bacterial activity. [57]

Energy spent in the water sector affects world climate more than predicted [58]

Rothausen and Conway 2011, of the UK University of East Anglia in Norwich, report that the emissions of the energy needed for the water sector will affect the world climate more than predicted affected by foregoing studies. The researchers calculated that US use of water use increases the global emission of greenhouse gases by five per cent. In India about six per cent of global greenhouse gases are being emitted alone by irrigation pumps.

The agriculture uses 70% of the global global demand of 3800 billion cubic metres, Industry and homes exceeds the expectations of other researches. The authors name four reasons of growing energy demand: Pumping ground and surface water, water treatment at waterworks, heating and cooling at home by the industry and sewage treatment.

The global population will increase by 50% until 2030. Water and energy demand will increase accordingly. The authors point to the pressures on the water management which include stricter water-quality standards, increasing demand for water and the need to adapt to climate change, while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

The authors call for the development of intelligent watering systems and energy efficient drinking water production to reduce greenhouse gases emission. Worldwide uniform methods may help to identify the importance of energy demand of the water management in different counties.

Worst drought in 60 years hits the Horn of Africa [59]

The UN says that a severe drought caused pre-famine conditions and high malnutrition in Kenia , Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Uganda, affecting more than 10 million people. Food prices are rising and many households cannot afford primary foods. High mortality rates among children due to malnutrition are reported. The report says further that the situation is deteriorating.

Drought and fighting are driving Somalis from their homeland, with more than 20,000 arriving in Kenya in just the past two weeks. UN humanitarian appeals for Somalia and Kenya, each about $525 million, are barely 50 percent funded, while a $30 million appeal for Djibouti is just 30 percent funded, while Western countries spend billions each month on ammunition to bomb Arab countries.

Drought in USA and India demand action to avoid famine

An historical drought in USA and India may trigger a global food crisis. The bets on food stocks at Wall Street will cause prices of staple food to soar. The price of maize raised by 50 per cent and soy by 30 per cent since June. In 2008 prices increased threefold.

The rapid Response Forum is incapable to handle the situation entangled in interests of their own countries. The members plane to have a telephone conference at the end of August.

Marita Wiggerthale Oxfam demands immediate actions of the G20 states. Any activities in September will be to late. According to the Worldbankone hundred million people were exposed to hunger in 2008, and 44 million in 2010. Oxfam expects a similar situation, especially in Kenia, Somalia and Uganda, which use maize as staple food.

Wheather anomalies starting in the 1990s cause heavy droughts in India and USA [60]

Kumar et al 2006 report that all severe droughts in India are somewhat linked to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events causing periodic declines in food production. It seems that ENSO events coincide with abnormally high sea surfaces temperatures in the Indian Ocean which reach 3°, beginning in the 1990s. The usual high pressure air mass over the southern Indian Ocean is displaced by an ENSO-related oceanic low pressure convergence centre. This low pressure zone pulls dry air from Central Asia, desiccating India in place of monsoon rain. This reversed air flow causes India's droughts.

The prevalence of high pressure systems, winds carrying continental, rather than oceanic air masses are caused by phenomena El Niño and La Niña The North Atlantic Oscillation, Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) are significantly tied to droughts in the United States. PDO and AMO cause 52 per cent of droughts across the United States. If they occur together droughts are heavy. [61]

Industrial nations with the highest per capita emission of CO2, headed by USA, are responsible for the alteration of climate. Humanity must reduce consume, traffic- especially air traffic and ever increasing carbon energy demand. Alternative like solar and wind energy together with hydrogen energy storage technology are available. Their introduction in large scale is only hampered by the lobby of the carbon economy.

Basic causes of drought and famine must be addressed in impoverished Africa to avoid future humanitarian catastrophes [62]

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell called the offers from rich European countries as derisory and urged other nations to contribute more. According to Tony Lake, the head of the UN Children's Fund, the situation will worsen. He called for immediate help to families. A series of events that caused the current crisis in Somalia were drought, rising food and fuel prices, and ongoing conflict.

Addessing primary causes of catastrophes

Humanitarian catastrophes in Africa and Middle East are worsening each year, such as the Sahel famine in 2010. All remediations are, unfortunately directed to the effect of drought or other disasters. They do not try to correct the causes of famine.

Social injustice such as exploring natural resources without participation of the local residents, and the causes of climate change are to be addressed on, otherwise social unrest at these regions will increase.

Somalia [63]

Weather conditions over the Pacific, including an unusually strong La Niña, have interrupted seasonal rains for two consecutive seasons. The rains failed this year in Kenya and Ethiopia, and for the last two years in Somalia. The crisis is compounded by rebel activity around southern Somalia from the Al-Shabaab group.

According to RajivShah of the United States Agency for International Development, climate change has contributed to the severity of the crisis. La Niña started to develop in August 2010. It cools surface waters in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, while allowing warmer water to build in the eastern Pacific. The pool of warm water in the east intensifies rains in Australia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Domino-style, this pattern also increases the intensity of westerly winds over the Indian Ocean, pulling moisture away from East Africa toward Indonesia and Australia. The result? Drought over most of East Africa and floods and lush vegetation in Australia and other parts of Southeast Asia, according to the US government’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

However, two experts, De LeeuwThornton of the International Livestock Research Institute suggested that it is premature to blame climate change for the drought. The researchers argue that La Niña events were common from 1950 till 1976, fewer events during two decades until about 1996, and over the following 15 years La Niña events were more frequent. They stress the need of immediate help for those in desperate need of food and water.

How to help

The primary mission of governments is to create activities to generate income for the general population. The population of the Horn of Africa and the Subsahara region is desperate need of energy to desalinate and prepare drinking water, to transport it to where it is needed. Local authorities, funds of developed countries, the United Nations, and most of all, wealthy Arabian countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait should provide materials and funds to initiate solar energy in the impoverished countries. Massive help to the infrastructure of these regions could prevent further unrest, such as the rebel activity around southern Somalia from the Al-Shabaab group. What happens in Somalia is an example for the whole Moslemic underdeveloped countries, which disregard the enormous wealth of solar energy. Photovoltaic is the technology for local small starts which can be brought to distant villages. Evolving the system to over-regional dimensions the resulting revenue may create a solid base of economic development.

Further activities [64]

When water management and energy infrastructure develops other very good activities, such as the "Self-Help Assistance Program- ASAP Africa" can strengthen local small farming activities.

UN Habitat uses a low cost test for safe water [65]

Diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and dysentery agents of human or animal faecal origin may contaminate drinking water. At highest risk are people which depend on unsafe water of shallow wells, open water sources wells, rivers or lakes which are not being tested for safety.

According to World Health Organization guidelines, if there are 1-10 E. coli cells per milliliter of water, there is a high risk of disease. With more than 10 cells per milliliter, the risk is very high. [66]

The U.N. Habitat, together with the laboratory companies, developed a low cost system to test for Escherichia coli, an indicator of faecal contamination.

The U.N. Habitat funded study in Tanzania tests the system known as mWater used by local health officers to test the quality of water. It includes a battery-operated UV light (for the Colilert tests based on the ONPG reaction which is the enzymatic transformation of o-nitrophenyl in o-nitrophenol, fluorescent under UV-light.)

Other Escherichia coli identification use the LST-MUG assay which is based on the enzymatic activity of -glucuronidase (GUD). It cleaves the substrate 4-methylumbelliferyl -D-glucuronide (MUG), to release 4-methylumbelliferone (MU) which is fluorescent under 365 nm UV light.

Pasteurization of water

Water can be turned safe to drink by heating it to 65°, which can be verified using a Water Pasteurization Indicator (WAPI) which is a reusable device based on wax with a melting point at pasteurization temperature. A solar-powered CooKitwater heater can be used to heat drinking water where there is a lack of wood for cooking.

Fungal bioabsorption of heavy metals in wastewater

[67] Biosorption is being developed to remove heavy metal from wastewater. Binding and concentration of selected heavy metal ions or other molecules such as radionuclides on to certain biological material. However, all organic pollutants being gaseous, soluble or insoluble matters may be targeted with biosorption.

Biosorption involve ion exchange, surface complexation and precipitation. Various biomasses such as plant products (tree bark, peanut skin, sawdust, plant weeds etc.) have been tested for metal biosorption with very encouraging results. Seaweeds like the brown algae Sargassum, Ecklonia can accumulate heavy-metals up to 25% of the algal dry weight. Wastewater purification applications of the biosorption process are a promising field protecting water resources. The cell wall structure of certain algae, fungi and bacteria are involved in bioabsorption which independent of cells being alive or dead, it is a chemicl7physical phenomena, while bioaccumulation takes place only in living cells, it is based on the metabolism of the cells, such as the mould Rhizopus and the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, waste products of large fermentation processes.

Dhankhar and Hooda 2011 points to the importance of heavy metal biosorption of fungal biomass. The author deplore that despite increasing research on biosorption, only little applications are used at industrial level.

According to Fu and Wang 2011, the most studied methods for heavy metal removal from wastewater are ion-exchange, adsorption and membrane filtration. Less popular methods are chemical precipitation, coagulation-flocculation, flotation and electrochemical methods. [68]

A novel inorganic-organic composite material silica gel microspheres encapsulated by imidazole polystyrene (SG-PS-azo-IM) is described by Yin et al.2010. Highest adsorption capacity for Au(III) was 1.700 mmol/g. Au(III) could be desorbed with the eluent solution of 0.5% thiourea in 1 mol/L HCl. The authors concluded that this new compound is useful to remove transition metal ions, especially Au(III). [69]

Another composite adsorbent silica gel microspheres encapsulated with 5-sulfosalicylic acid functionalized polystyrene (SG-PS-azo-SSA) was described by Yin et al. 2009 with maximum adsorption capacity for Cu(II), Ag(I), and Au(III) of 0.472 mmol/g, 0.822 mmol/g and 0.810 mmol/g, respectively. [70]

Afkhami et al. 2010 report high adsorption capacity of 2,4-Dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH) immobilized on sodium dodecyl sulfate coated nano-alumina. This modified nano-alimina is a promising adsorption for Pb(II),Cr(III) and Cd(II) in wastewater. The modified alumina nanoparticles can be reused at least three times, using a mixture of nitric acid and methanol as eluent. [71]

Carbonaceous adsorbents [72]

Lalvani et al describe three different carbonaceous adsorbents consisting of commercially available lignin (L); carbon soot produced by arc evaporation of graphite rods (AC); and commercially available carbon (RC), employed for the removal of hexavalent and trivalent chromium, and the cations of lead and zinc.

Carbon soot (AC ) adsorb only the hexavalent form of chromium but not other anion species of chromium and metal cations. Commercial carbon (RC) adsorbs only the metal cations and does not remove the hexavalent form of chromium. However, lignin is found to adsorb all the metal ions employed in the study.

Hexavalent chromium is present in aqueous solutions mainly as anionic chromate species. That is why AC carbon is capable of removing this form of chromium as it contains positive charge on the surface produced by arc evaporation of graphite rods in the absence of air or oxygen. Therefore this form of carbon is unable to remove cations of chromium, lead and zinc at relatively low pH values. At high pH values the surface charges of AC are neutralized, therefore it is able to adsorb limited amount of metal cations. Commercial carbon RC is activated using steam or air, therefore its surface has mainly oxygen functionalities which serve as negatively charged sites for binding only the metal cations.

Lignin contains mainly oxygen functionalities, therefore it is able to remove metal cations in addition to the anionic chromate species.

Chemically modified plant wastes as adsorbents [73]

Wan Ngah and Hanafiah 2008 stress the low-cost of adsorbents obtained from plant wastes as a replacement for costly conventional methods of removing heavy metal ions from wastewater.

Cellulosic waste materials must, however, be chemically modified to increase adsorption capacities compared to unmodified forms. Mineral and organic acids, bases, oxidizing agent, organic compounds are studied to achieve optimal adsorbent activity of rice husks, spent grain, sawdust, sugarcane bagasse, fruit wastes, weeds and others. Untreated plant waste can cause depletion of oxygen content in water and can threaten the aquatic life. Therefore, plant wastes need to be modified or treated to extract soluble organic compounds and enhance chelating efficiency.


Agricultural residues buckwheat hulls identified as valuable biosorbent of heavy metals in wastewater [74]

Yin et al 2012 report that buckwheat hulls, treated with 1-hydroxylethylidenediphosphonic acid, as 120 mesh, was highly active in removing heavy metals from wastewater. This biosorbent presented 100% selectivity for Au(III) ions in the presence of Zn(II) and Co(II). Reuse of the hulls for several cycles of adsorption-desorption process is possible using an eluent solutions of 0.0–5.0% thiourea in 0.1 mmol/L Hcl.


A novel magnetic adsober removes dyes from wastwaters [75]

A novel magnetic Fe(3)O(4)/ZnCr-layered double hydroxide adsorbent was found to efficiently remove dyes such as methyl orange (MO) from water. Also 99% of heavy metal ions (Fe(2+), Fe(3+), Cr(3+), and Zn(2+)) were removed into precipitates and adsorption process. Adsorbed dyes can be separated by a magnetic field and the adsorber recycled after catalytic regeneration with advanced oxidation technology, report Chen et al. 2012.

Sewage water treatment plants in Kuwait [76]

Drinking water is becoming scarce. Technology of ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis are playing key roles in desert countries to recycle water.

According to Kuwait's Ministry of Public Works, Kuwait is a desert and suffers from severe heat and harsh weather conditions, and water resources are scarce, given the low levels of rainfall and the lack of fresh water, the paper explained. The consumption of water per individual in Kuwait was very high compared to the rest of the world, leading to large volumes of sewage water.

Treated water has become one of the main resources for the irrigation of crops, including the farms in Abdali, as well as green areas in the city. It is also used in concrete mixes, and private enterprises are being encouraged to use it in their daily operations such as cleaning and cooling.

The Sulaibiya Treatment Plant has an output capacity of 425,000 cubic meters per day, and is the largest sewage water treatment plant in the world that used reverse osmosis.

The Rigga Treatment Plant, has an output capacity of 180,000 cubic meters per day, and there are plans to close it down and to build an alternative plant by 2020 that covers the whole southern area of the country. The Jahra Treatment Plant is working at a capacity of 65,000 cubic meters and will be closed down in 2011 after the completion of a new plant in Chabd. The smallest plant is that of Umm Al-Haiman, designed to generate an output of 27,000 cubic meters per day.

A new plant in the southern area of Kuwait with an overall output capacity of 400,000 cubic meters, to replace the plants in Rigga and Umm Al-Haiman by 2020. In 1984 chlorine was included in the treatment process and reverse osmosis was included in 2004.

The waste water treatment plant of Ardiya is being used as pre-treatment stage and is connected to the Sulaibiya treatment plant where it is treated to potable water standards.

Ardiy pre-treatment plant

Wastewater from Kuwait City is forwarded to the Ardiya plant an aerated grit chamber excludes sand and grit down to a particle size of 0.2mm. Two 20,000cbm circular buffer tanks balance the influent variation. Agitators within the buffer tanks maintain a flow velocity greater than 0.3m/s to avoid sedimentation problems.

Sulaibiya treatment plant [77]

The Sulaibiya waste water treatment plant removes organics, minimises nitrate release, reduces phosphate outflow. There are nine aeration tanks with a total volume of 208,900cbm, offering anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic treatment zones.

The Sulaibiya plant comprises three elements-biological nutrient removal, reverse osmosis / ultra-filtration membranes and sludge treatment. The finished effluent is delivered to the nearby brackish water gathering centre prior to use, while the membrane system brine overflow is returned to the sea.

Part of the activated sludge from the anaerobic zone is transferred to the (RAS) denitrification chamber to serve as a carbon source. With no available oxygen present, phosphate re-dissolves to be later re-incorporated at an enhanced rate into biomass in the aerobic zones. Although this means that high phosphate concentrations occur when the mixed liquor enters the anoxic zone, it subsequently leads to the requisite phosphate reduction necessary to protect the reverse osmosis membranes. In addition, nitrified activated sludge is returned into the anoxic zone to keep the nitrate concentration in the aerobic zone low, leading to the lowered levels required in the secondary effluent.

Sludge is treated to provide a material suitable for unrestricted agricultural use, requiring it to be dry, with a low organic content and free of pathogens. The resulting product is subsequently stored for more than six months before consignment for use. The UF/RO removes residual pollutants, dissolved solids and pathogens from secondary effluent, to yield potable quality water.

The ultra-filtration systerm comprises 60µm disc filters. The cross-flow, dead-end membranes will be cleaned by chemical enhanced backwash using a primary acid wash, followed up with chlorine rinse if required.

The reverse osmosis facility comprises 24 first array skids, 20cm x 1m membrane modules per vessel. The facility is fitted with an in situ cleaning system. Air stripping tower de-gassifiers remove CO2 from the permeate and a chlorine dosing facility also forms part of the plant.

Fish oil prices are kept high embedded in a climate of overall increasing prices [78]

Soy beans, fish meal and oil are basics of animal feed. Their price influences global food trade prices.

According to a market report of FAO Globefish The cost of many vegetable oils has doubled in the past year as a result of a confluence of factors, including use of crops for biofuels and insufficient harvests.

Fish oil is actually a by-product of the fish meal industry, with the protein part used largely for animal feed. The price of fish oil is closely related to the fluctuation of the price of vegetable oil. Up to 80% of fish oil is used in aquaculture as feed for farmed fish. As vegetable oils gets expensive, fish farmers have opted for the comparatively cheaper fish oil instead, increasing the demand for fish oil.

Fish oil:

The price of fish oil rose from US$800 per metric tonne in February 2007 to $2200 per metric tonne in February 2008.

Fish meal

Fish meal prices of US$ 1 210/tonne is about US$ 100/tonne 6% below the price level one year ago due to little buying interest in China. Prices for fish meal and fish oil will remain high in a climate of overall increasing vegetable meal prices, creating an environment of higher prices.

Soymeal

The present price level of soymeal is US$ 500/tonne is almost double the price level of one year ago.

How to counter global hunger [79]

Moratorium on biofuels

The UN has called for a five-year moratorium on biofuels. Growing crops for fuel is more profitable than planting food crops.

Rethink the biofuel politics

UK will rethink their biofuel politic. The European Commission, however decided in February to rise the level of biofuel up to 10% by 2020. Germany tries to rise the content of bioalcohol from 5% to 10% in German petrol by 2009. Stop such enormous monocultures of rape see, Soy, castor oil and palmoil in Argentina, Brazil. These plantations use the best soil for cereals and they destroy the rain forests. The corn belt of USA should get back to produce food for humans and not alcohol as fuel.

Cut the set-aside land subvention

Cut the set-aside land subvention of 6,5 Million Hectares being 1,6 Billion EURO/year for farmers to do nothing. Every farmer which produces more than 92 ton cereals/year is forced to set-aside 10% of his land, for which he then gets the set-aside subventions. [80]

Reduction of meat consumption in industrial countries

Meat farming consumes enormous amount of cereals which otherwise could be used as human nutrition. Eating more vegetables and fruits is healthy and helps to reduce food shortage.

Save the climate to secure global food supply, but how to do it? [81]

Strange suggestions like geoengineering are being elaborated with highly Ken Caldeira from the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Stanford:
Bomb the atmosphere with sulphur particles to becloud the sun (Paul Crutzer, costs some billion Dollar);
Position a solar sail between the sun and the earth to shadow the earth (Lowel Wood and Roger Augel, costs 100 Billion Dollar);
Nebulise sea water ot get clouds whiter (John Latham and Stephen Salter);
Add fertiliser to the sea in form of iron sulphate (Alfred Wegener-Institut AWI Bremerhaven Germany);
Sequestrate CO2 from the atmosphere; reforest and burn wood (Elmar Kriegler and Joshuah Stolaroff, Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung PIK, Germany, costs 100 to 170 Billion Dollars).

Biochar from eucalyptus in the Amazon region [82]

Biochar could be made from residues from plantation forestry harvesting. However, there are costs in collecting diffuse residues, and waste streams from processing are already used directly in process heat or have other valued uses.

Winsley recommend in 2007 the short-rotation growing or coppicing of poplar, willow, or eucalypts on low-value land. Cloned eucalyptus in Brazil can produce 40 tonnes of dry biomass per hectare per year.

Steiner and colleagues 2007 suggests to use biomass for the production of biochar. The authors promote slash and char instead of slash and burn in the Amazon region. [83]

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI) [84]

Fine-grained charcoal used in soils, called "biochar", is being promoted as a way of mitigating global warming and making soils more fertile, despite scarce and contradictory evidence. The main lobby group, the International Biochar Initiative (IBI) aims to make biochar eligible for carbon credits, both internationally and in the US. By ramping up financial supports for biochar, a large new demand for biomass will contribute to pressures to convert natural forests to industrial plantations and to harvest from already declining and sensitive ecosystems. The IBI supports the US WECHAR (Water Efficiency via Carbon Harvesting and Restoration) bill setting up federal government guarantees for private loans for biochar research, development and commercialisation. There are several authors which promote slash and char instead of slash and burn of secondary forest in the Amazon region.

Biochar, a new big threat to people, land, and ecosystems [85]

Charcoal itself is wrongly called carbon neutral, cutting down large areas of salt cedars, pinyon pines or other trees creates disturbances that result in emissions from soils and vegetation. When burned, a portion of the C contained in the wood is released. The remaining C, retained in the charcoal is then to be applied to soils, where, in theory it will be sequestered safely away from the atmosphere. However, it is not known how much will remain for how long and there is also evidence that charcoal can cause pre-existing soil carbon to be emitted as carbon dioxide. In a recent preliminary study in Canada, no additional carbon was found in soils less than two years after biochar was applied [86]. Furthermore, there is a significant risk that small biochar particles could become airborne in which case they would absorb heat, contribute to global warming and present a health risk when inhaled. For more information about the WECHAR Bill, see www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/docs/wechar_factsheet.pdf .

Keep "biochar" and soils out of carbon trading [87]

Industrial charcoal is very different from Terra Preta, the biochar of indigenous population of Central Amazonia. Biochar advocates ideas that require the use of 500 million hectares or more of monocultures. Serious ecologic risks may result from spreading genetic modified trees adapted for biochar. Industrial charcoal production at the expense of organic matter needed for making humus may not be beneficial to plant growth. Deleterious results are expected using combinations of charcoal with fossil fuel-based fertilisers made from scrubbing coal power plant flue gases. The pyrolysis using temperaures of 500°C and higher, can result in dangerous soil and air pollution. [86]
An international declaration urging caution on biochar can be found at:
www.regenwald.org/international/englisch/news.php?id=1226 .

Sustainable production of food, feed and fuel in tropics [88]

Preston 2009 advocates the generation of electricity as a by-product of food/feed production by fractionation of biomass into inedible cell wall material that and convert it to a gas used as fuel in combustion engines driving electrical generators. The author claims that his model is highly appropriate for decentralized small scale production of electricity in rural areas and captures carbon as biochar which remains after the gasification.

The biochar would compete which the organic material desperately needed as soil cover and conditioner. Energy from this system is still based on carbon cycle. Tropics are best suited for photovoltaic, wind turbines and hydrogen obtained by electrolysis of water to decarbonise energy and fuel for transportation so as presented by the Desert Energy Project.

Biochar of Eucalyptus as bulking agent of poultry manure [89]

Dias and colleagues 2010 compared the use of Eucalyptus biochar with coffee husk and sawdust as bulking agent for the composting of poultry manure in a proportion of 1:1 (fresh weight). The use of sawdust was found to be the most efficient in preserving the organic matter and nitrogen in the mature compost.

Biochar from wastewater sludge [90]

Biochar from wastewater sludge through pyrolysis at a temperature of 550 degrees improved the production of cherry tomatoes by 64% . The ability of biochar to increase the yield was attributed to the combined effect of increased nutrient availability (P and N) and was best in combination with the fertiliser. In this study Hossain and colleagues stress that the bioavailability of metals present in the biochar was found to be below the maximum permitted concentrations for food.

Anthropogenic influences on the hydrology of a region [91]

Extensive deforestation, followed by herbaceous or scrubby vegetation reduce evaporation and increase runoff. Recolonization by forest increased evapotranspiration and improved infiltration of water in the soil. The findings of Lacombe et al 2010 may be applied in the study of the hydrology of the Amazon region where actual anthropogenic changes equal that of the Mekon Basin.

The authors studied the hydrological changes in two catchments of the lower Mekong Basin that were either heavily bombed in southern Laos or depopulated in northern Laos during1955 to 1975, and political instability up to the end of the 1980s.

Destruction of forest cover to expose the enemy

Between 1965 and 1975 South-East Asia as many bombs were released as during the Second World War, deforesting 8 000 and 40 000 km(2) the vegetation cover of the Ho Chi Minh trail, amounting to 70% of its surface area. Herbaceous or scrubby vegetation took over resulting in a reduction in average annual evapotranspiration and a substantial increase in runoff in that area, estimated over 50% more between 1972 and 1975, then 15% more between 1975 and 2004.

Flight from the war and its political consequences

The northern Laos, experienced an exodus from Laos of 730 000 to one million fled Laos, escaping from war an the following Pathet Laoregime in 1975. The abandoned land was recolonized by forest. The regenerated vegetation resulted in increased evapotranspiration and improved infiltration of water in the soil reversing trend. The authors calculate a 30

War and population exodus explains Mekong hydrology

The authors demonstrated trends towards increase or decrease of the Mekong's discharge that were closely correlation with war and extensive land-use changes the region during the 20th Century. The authors found that hydrological changes were not influenced by the climate as rainfall remained stable. Hydroelectric dams drain only 2% of the catchments and have only a slight influence on the river's discharge. Urban expansion is still a marginal phenomenon in Laos, where the demographic pressure remains low

. The authors stress that new land uses, such as intensive mining and extraction of timber and clearance for agriculture may generate major problems in the short term, such as flooding or conversely water shortages, or pollution. Forest cover changes in tropical areas, such as deforestation is expected to perpetuate at a high rate over the coming decades.

Simple and effective, the Arabian solution

Offshore Wind Energy increase solar energy and cooperate with Arabian states to develop solar electricity and production on hydrogen in the Arabian deserts. Hydrogen from solar energy may provide plenty clean fuel for transportation. [45]

The Arabian solution based on solar electricity and hydrogen for transportation was built on researches from Kosuke Kurokawa [92] and the Buckminster Fuller's Electrical Grid [93]

The Arabian solution is planed to start its production of clean electricity and hydrogen by electrolysis of water in 2009. It is a financial enterprise of Arabian countries to minor the dependence of fossil energy. The emerging Arabian technology will leave behind western dreamt away science and will secure leadership in the hydrogen fuel economy.

Deep sandstone aquifers of Middle East and North Africa with high carcinogenic radionuclides

The Middle East and North Africa are consuming several million cubic metres of water every day. Jordan develops an almost one billion Euro water project in the South of the country. In 2013 about 160 million cubic metres of water are planned to be pumped from the subterranean aquifers to feed the city of Amman. [94]

The water, however, is contaminated with radionuclide. The radioactivity exceeds the guidelines of the WHO and is a health risk. High natural radiation of ancient aquifers is of health risk in almost all Middle East states and all the North of Africa.

Large-scale deep sandstone aquifers are often ancient water reservoirs which are non-renewable. The groundwater often contains elevated concentrations of naturally occurring radionuclides of health concern. Schubert et al.2011 explain that the radiation level of the water depends on the occurrence of the radionuclides in the matrix of the aquifer, their solubility and how it can be removed during water treatment procedures. Radionuclide concentration may also vary due to overexploitation. While some radionuclide species are highly dangerous, others are of poor solubility or have a very short half-life. Schubert and colleagues stress the need to consider only those radionuclides which are important of a radio-ecological point of view. [95]

To improve the assessment and handling of such aquifers, the authors recommend to localize the contamination, use careful mining technology, apply smart treatment and after-treatment system. The groundwater treatment may include ion exchange, reverse osmosis, as well as precipitation with hydroxides, carbonates, sulphides or selective sorbents specifically tailored for radionuclide removal.

Half of water consumed by Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan and Egypt comes from aquifers. Libya maintains the world biggest pump system, the "Great Man-Made River" which will deliver 6.5 million cubic metres of water per day. Schubert et al. 2011 report that water treatment to remove radionuclides are insufficient or not existent. Health risk will increase as radiation increases due to overexploitation of the aquifers.

High content of carcinogenic radionuclides in sandstone aquifer in Jordan [96]

Vengosh et al 2009 found levels of 2000% higher than international drinking water standards of carcinogenic radium isotopes 228Ra and 226Ra and thorium in the groundwater from the Rum Group of the Disi sandstone aquifer in Jordan. The radium isotopes are known to cause cancer in human bones These data are of concerns about the safety of the nonrenewable groundwater reservoirs of the Middle East. Drinking 2 litres of the Disi aquifer causes a dose of 0,99 to 1,53 Millisievert/years, which is 10 to 15 times of a safe dose established by the WHO. According to Vengosh and colleagues the sandstone aquifers of the whole Middle East and the North of Africa have similar problems. The Saq aquifer of Saudi Arabia is connected with the Disi aquifer of Jordan. Jordan plans to dilute high radiating water with water of uncontaminated well and reduce radiation to 0,4 mSv which is still four times of the limit proposed by the WHO guidelines.

AlSuhaibani 2011 reports that occupational exposure to radiation leads to a significant induction of cytogenetic damage in peripheral lymphocytes of workers engaged in underground water well. The authors conclude that these chromosomal aberration in lymphocytes are an accumulative effect of radiation of aquifer water. [97]


Agricultural development of Saudi Arabia [98]

Large areas of desert of Saudi Arabia have been turned into agricultural fields, in one of the driest region of the world. The kingdom exports wheat, dates, dairy products, eggs, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables and flowers to markets around the world. Historically, agriculture in the Arabian Peninsula was limited mostly to date farming and small-scale vegetable production. Oasis produced enough food for the local communities. The agricultural development began in the 1970s, turning Saudi Arabia completely self-sufficient in a number of foodstuffs, including meat, milk and eggs.

To provide water for irrigation, a network of dams were built to trap and utilize seasonal floods and deep wells were drilled to tap the aquifers. Half of the water comes from sea water desalination plants. Urban and industrial runoff is being treated and is used for agricultural irrigation. Land under cultivation, less than 400,000 acres in 1976, reached millions of acres by the 21st century. More than 120,000 head of cattle are raised at Al-Kharj, and 80 percent of the dairy products produced in Saudi Arabia come from the area. Dairies like Al-Marai were established in Al-Kharj, importing Holstein Friesian cattle. All this are based on heavy government subsidies that benefit farmers.

Elhadj alerts that Saudi agriculture is practically entirely dependant on irrigation from ground water reserves. If over-extraction continues it will cause water levels to deepen, pressure to weaken and extractable volume to dwindle. These will increase salinity and the amounts of quality-degrading minerals in the water, which is happening in most parts of the country. Alfalfa requires six times as much water to grow as wheat. Generally, one thousand tons of water (1,000 cubic meters) is needed to produce a ton of wheat. Hydrologists predict the fossil aquifers to run dry in 50 years.

Saudi Arabia became a prime exporter of dairy products in the Middle East. Over-exploiting water resources to export foods will speed depletion of aquifers. A sound strategy is to produced just enough food for the local communities. One important way to green the desert is to plant trees and shrubs to limit small fields. Trees improve climate, whereas vegetables, grass and cereals do not. Solar and wind energy should be used to desalination of water, used for cooking and hydrogen technology should be used as fuel for transportation.


Arab food security disregards sustainability and social peace [99]

Experts fear that food security of the Gulf region will be endangered by factors such as population growth, climate change and natural disasters affecting food-producing countries, primarily in East Asia. Food shortage and high food prices are expected in the next five years.

This is being increased by decline of fishing and easying of open-imports caused by the outcomes of oil export. According to the analyst Omar Al-Juraifani, barley cultivation in the 1980thn was discouraged by the high cost of water. Barley is used as feed for livestock and must be imported because its production requires extensive irrigation.

Al-Juraifani encourages investment in the agriculture sector beyond the Gulf region, such as Egypt, Sudan, Indonesia and others. and re-export the production. Further research on seawater desalination and develop agricultural techniques to save water is necessary. Keeping reserve food stocks of large quantities could help stabilize prices neutralising the bets on food commodities at the stock market. Al-Juraifani suggestions are focused on financial profit. He disregards all social aspects and safety issues.

Insecure investments creates social injustice [100]

The investments in large scale are not secure because they are based on investments on usable crop lands displacing the local small farmers. This creates social injustice and imperils the rain forests. Cargill, for instance, is an example how such investments destroy the ecology and the social stability of these places.

How Saudi Arabia's land-investment projects damage agrarian structure and social stability of their poor neighbours [101]

Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al Amoudi, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, is the son of a Yemeni father and Ethiopian mother. He is the 64th richest man in the world. His fortune is based on oil refineries and the booming construction industry.

His company, the Saudi Star Agricultural Development leases for nearly 25,000 acres in the northeast of Ethiopia to produce rice for the Saudi market. The Horizon Plantations, another Al Amoudi venture, secured licenses for more than 600,000 acres of farmland in western Ethiopia. The Sheikh is now reportedly the largest foreign-based investor in Ethiopian land.

Other Activities of the Gulf States and Lybia [102]

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Qatar has agrarian Joint venture funds in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines. Kuwait Investment Authority approached several countries in South East Asia to discuss potential for long-term investment in agriculture and other sectors. Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAP), Libya accomplished a partnership with the Liberian Foundation for Africa Development Aid, to produce rice in Liberia. Lybia will also develop 100,000 ha in the Office du Niger, the land area with highest agricultural potential in Mali.

Profitable global investments retailing good agrarian lands [100]

Agricultural land is being bought, leased or taken from peasant farmers at an alarming pace for the production of export crops by foreign investors or wealthier, food-insecure nations like China, Libya and South Korea and Saudi Arabia. The developing poor countries are on target. According to a World Bank report, some 111 million acres of farmland were acquired by global investors in 2009, nearly 75 percent of which were in Africa. The lands are being taken for the production of rice, corn , wheat and agrofuels like jatropha and palm oil. In Ghana maize and sorghum ccrops are being displaced by about 2.5 million acres of jatropha plantations under current agreements with foreign companies.

In 2011 devastating floodwaters covered large parts of Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, killing hundreds of people and damaging wide swaths of farmland. Rice crops were seriously damaged. Samarendu Mohanty of the the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines estimates that global rice stocks are at least 20 million tons higher than 2008, however, rice prices quickly doubled, following rumours about a shortage of this commodity at the stock market. Its a problem of the financial system betting of rising prices, and not of food security. [103]

Three-quarters of African countries face food insecurity: report

While rich countries like USA are spending enormous efforts on military activities and leading Arab countries like Saudi Arabia strengthen their military apparatus, the poor are starving. Instead of looking to improve living conditions on earth efforts continue to explore extraterrestrial space to find a new place to live on.

Three-quarters of the African continent are at risk of food crisis [104]

According to the Food Security Risk Index of Maplecroft, three-quarters of African countries are at high or extreme risk of a food crisis. Worldwide 59 countries are most at risk of food insecurity, and 39 are in Africa, eleven of these are in the "extreme risk" category, nine are African countries. Maplecroft lists the sad ranking of extreme risk: Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) with the highest ranking, Haiti (3rd), Burundi (4th), Chad (5th), Ethiopia (6th), Eritrea (7th), Afghanistan (8th), South Sudan (9th), the Comoros (10th) and Sierra Leone (11th).

The 48 countries considered to be at "high" risk for food supplies include Yemen (15th), Syria (16th), Pakistan (27th), Papua New Guinea (33rd), North Korea (35th), Iraq (54th) and Libya (58th).

Maplecroft names some causes of the food insecurity which range from conflict and instability in the Sahel, DR Congo and eastern Africa to rising prices for corn, caused by the worst US drought in 50 years and declining production in former Soviet countries.

Humanity should unite to solve these problems. If the resources spent in military material, astronautics and other inglorious activities would be spent to improve the situation in these countries, humanity could prosper on earth.

Logistics and transportation issues

Concepcion Calpe of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome said that the region is able to plant a second crop once flood waters recede. He sees bottlenecks not based on crop losses, but problems are the logistics to store and transport the supplies. Therefore production should be focused on autarchy of the consumers.

The current industrial agriculture system is accountable for high energy costs for the transportation of foodstuffs. The average conventional produce item travels 1,500 miles (2,400 km). The energy used to transport food is decreased when urban agriculture can provide cities with locally grown food. locally produced foods are increasingly abundant, convenient and rewarding. [105]

The way to improve local food production; Grower's Manual, a template for grower cooperatives [102]

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture presents a most useful manual for local produced foods. It focuses on hygiene and food safety issues, which can be adhered to at local farm. Many of these issues, however cannot be monitored in distant regions which are not under the local law.

Image Urbanfarm Picture: An urban farm in Chicago. By Steven Walling. Wikipedia Urban Farming.

Looking to a sustainable world, Arabian countries should invest in greening their own region by planting trees, desalinate water for agriculture. Separating the household garbage in paper, organic garbage mostly of rejected or date expired food or other green garbage. This can be used to fertilise the soil, it retains humidity. Rain water should be gathered in artificial sees building dams. The Leopold Center describes effective chlorine sanitizing in treating a food and food contact surface with a sanitizing solution. [106]

The Day After 2011

What happens when the people realize that the revolution has brought no change? [107]

Food prices in Africa, Middle East and India are rising quickly repeating the troubles of the US bank crisis of 2008, causing riots in poor countries. Once more the poorest of the poor suffer at most from the climate change which aggravates drought, storms or flood catastrophes in these regions. Now the situation worsens because prices of all kind of food clean water and energy to cook meals are exploding.

The population of the US and other wealthy western nations, which are to be blamed for the climate change, will hardly notice impairments in their daily life. However, according to the World Bank maize, wheat and oil have brought 44 million people to the edge of extreme poverty since June 2010. This forces farmers in Indonesia to defend their fields with machetes.

The causes of food price inflation varying from country to country. Extreme weather events that destroy crops, such as drought in China, floods in Australia, Pakistan and India, droughts in Argentina and Eastern Europe leaded to food scarcity on the international market.

Governments need to take immediate actions to provide sustainability of food, reduce emission of greenhouse gases, and most of all, avoid the disastrous politics which lead to concentration of wealth built at burden of the poor.

USA The country does not show any sign that it moves toward sustainability. It has the highest greenhouse gases emission per capita of the world. Steven Chu is the example of how scientists bow to the power of giant corporations. Speculations on food prices and oil barrel prices at the bourses increase the price hype. [108]

Germany Under the image of sustainability, Germany imports alcohol from Brazil and palmoil from Malaysia, grown on land which had been used for food crops or at the expenses . The political parties are entangled in combating each others and German scientist follow their inactivity mourning the deployed climate conditions but they fail to present feasible immediate global solutions. Germanys' green look is built on the depletion of the ecology of the developing regions: Nigeria increases its sugar cane monoculture which need much water and displaces small farmers. This will destroy local self-sufficient communities disregarding the needs of the local population. [109]
Soy cultivation has already resulted in the deforestation of 21 million hectares of forests in Brazil. Monocultural production of soy in the Amazon Basin has rendered much of the soil infertile. One hundred thousand hectares of depleted former soy-growing lands have been abandoned to cattle-grazing, which leads to further degradation. In Brazil, soybean cultivation displaces eleven agricultural workers for every new worker it employs. [110]

France France is entangled with the use and propagating one of the most dangerous source of energy which leaves nuclear waste for million of years. Germany is having a hard time to handle its nuclear waste. France and USA do not bother about this issue.

Arab countries Concentrate on state projects such as export of oil and gas which are burned by their customers and boost the emission of greenhouse gases of the developed countries. Thari Al-Ajmi of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), commenting data of the Arab environment report, says that the Arab world's carbon dioxide emissions represent only 4.7 percent of global emissions but the region will be heavily affected by any increase of sea level as a result of global warming because 50 percent of the Arab world's population lives at sea level. The Arab population is growing fast from 334 million to 586 by 2050, while agricultural land in the Arab world dropped from 23 percent in the year 1980 to 5.1 percent today. Another challenge is the demand of water, because 66 percent of the region's surface water resources come from outside the Arab world. The Arab citizens' annual share of water dropped from 3,500 cubic meters in the year 1960, to 1,000 cubic meters now. Urgent actions need to be taken to cope with the future demand of water and confront poverty. [111]

Speculations bring enormous profits to speculators like Goldman Sachs and causes hunger in developing countries, says report of World Development Movement [112]

The report on financial speculations released in September 2011 by the World Development Movement (WDM) says that the financial services industry, focused on agricultural commodity markets, operates at the expense of commercial traders and the world's consumers. This levers out the purpose to establish prices on supply and demand, and management of risk is unable to be fulfilled by standard market devices.

The speculation on food prices causes price inflation, price volatility and serious harm to people at risk of hunger and poverty. Wheat prices, a staple food for large populations, drive costs of bread hurting low income groups. Other speculations on cocoa are less harmful than speculation on wheat, because confectioneries are luxury foods which are not essential to life.

Goldman Sachs and Barclay make profits with hunger says WDM

The WDM call for effective regulation of commodity derivatives to prevent excessive speculation which ends in hunger and poverty. The financial services industry capitalised on agricultural commodity markets functions at the expenses of commercial traders. The WDM cites banks like Goldman Sachs making over $1 billion and Barclays making as much as $550 million from speculation on food in one year alone. Such institutions are lobbying with all their power to prevent any regulation.

Such regulation has already been proposed by the WDM in their report in July 2010, blaming bankers for price rises in coffee, chocolate and bread. Banks which caused the financial downturn in 2008 created volatile food prices, pouring money into commodities like wheat and maize after giving up on failed mortgages. [113]

Combating the causes of the insurrection of the people

The actual situation is marked by the dissolution of self-feeding economic units such as tribes and closed communities. Their local believes and friendships kept peace. Their local markets provided food at accessible prices, To restart such autochthonous government should tackle the most pressing problems of the poor people which are local energy, water and food, by distributing photovoltaic arrays with additional equipment such as storage batteries water pumps and desalination systems. These measures must initially meet the poor settlements. It cannot be a measure of broad agricultural activities because this could lead to environmental displacements, as happens in Israel where the excessive use of water from the Jordan river leads to the death of rare ecosystems and formation of dangerous sinkholes, [114]

The price of energy

Electricity is dramatically underpriced for domestic consumers in Abu Dhabi paying less than two US cents per kWh, for the US consumers which pays 10 cents/kWh and for the European consumers which is paying 23 cent/kWh. Western countries have to realise that they have built their wealth at the expenses of the global climate. Now it is time to invest in solar technology instead of spending tens of billion US dollars on armament shown at the armament exhibition in Abu Dhabi in February while revolt of the poor is shaking Arab governments. The six Gulf Cooperation Council countries, which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan are set to spend $68 billion on defence in 2011. Their spending is expected to reach nearly $80 billion in 2015. [115] Morocco: The country projects to invest US$9 billion (Dh33bn) in solar energy plant designed to supply more than one-third of the country's generating capacity by 2020, however political instability will retard any further development of the project and there is doubt if such goals will ever be realised. [116]

Democracy and hunger

India is the best example of a democracy failing to eliminate hunger. Official data say that there are 238 million people living in hunger, while the country bears one of the richest society of the world. It is an alarming fact that malnutrition is worse in India than in many sub-Saharan African countries. Hunger is also growing in major democracies. In the US one in every ten Americans lives in hunger. In Europe, 40 million people are hungry. [117]

Global action

To avoid further ecological destabilisation the climate must be addressed on. For this a global action should be started using great photovoltaic plants to generate electricity and use it for the production on hydrogen as fuel as described by Desert Energy Project.

Local immediate action

Small actions planned to become part of a mix of activities in a far future are only meant to postpone the problems. They are planed to maintain status quo. The actual problems of the poor population of the Mena region, the Middle East and the South of Asia are not being addressed. When the awakening after the revolution comes and the hungry people realised that nothing has changed this second uprising will be more violent and will be uncontrollable. Urgent action is therefore imperative. We are on the eve of a global revolution of the hungry and thirsty population.

Small farms are more efficient in the use of land, produce diversity of crops needed for their immediate neighbours, protect landscapes, and biodiversity. Local grown vegetables fruits and grains are linked to the social cohesion of the communities. Importing food weakens the bonds between ethnic groups. Such communities should be addressed to counter local hunger and the resulting government defiance.

Tribal elder of rural communities should be furnished with photovoltaic and desalination equipment to start local small self-sufficient communities. Investing in the infrastructure of such organic growing settlements within the local family bonds rebuilds the human dignity and the gratitude toward the donor. It incentives the local small farmers to be proud of their work, instead of being jobless in an ugly city. Providing agricultural equipment to the poor is a better investment in the future of the country than distribute money without being connected to specific projects. Such actions are affront to human dignity. Local communities are the foundation of humanity. Interference and change of the rural culture of a people leads to the loss of ancient wisdoms which are best suited to small farms where diversity can achieve a sustainable agriculture.

Call for birth control at Food Security Forum in Abu Dhabito cope with water and food scarcity [118]

According to Sir Bob Geldof, speaking at the Gulf Intelligence Food Security Forum in Abu Dhabi, it is possible to bring the world population growth to a halt giving free contraceptives to 200 million women, stopping 80 million unintended pregnancies.

China allows only one child for each couple and the Indian government encourages birth control. Women education could be the key to a reduction of a global population growth, because educated women have fewer children. In India and the Philippines the fertility rates, or the number of children for each woman, are 2.8 and 3.3 respectively, while in Thailand and Kerala, which each have a 98 per cent literacy rate, it is only 1.7.

There can't be more people on the Earth than we can feed

The world population of 7 billion is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, requiring a 70 per cent rise in agricultural production. To worsen future predictions, drinking water availability in Arabian countries dropped by 75 % since 1950, and will be halved by 2050 interfering in crop yealds, says Geldof. The global consumption is also expected to increase by 1,600 per cent in the next 90 years.

Famine, plague and wars are predicted if the population does not stabilise, and Geldof called on the UAE to accept the harsh reality now and avoid disastrous consequences later. Investing in foreign farmland will only increase scarcity elsewhere. Population is about resources, so although the UAE is interested in good crop lands in Africa it will displace local peasants and generated food will not feed the local market. Irrigation water will be diverted from African owners. It is the power on money which decides who will get enough to eat, generating water pollution, deforestation and poverty in where land is being allocated to foreigers. Geldof calls on a humanitarian attitude facing the desperate hunger crisis and draught in Africa and Asia.

Band Aid Charitable Trust [119]

The Band Aid Charitable Trust was established to help relieve hunger and poverty in Ethiopia and the surrounding countries, such as Tanzania and Zambia.

People and Planet organisation stresses that women tend to have the most children where they lack access to family planning and where girls are not enrolled in school, such as in Yemen, with a fertility rate over 5 children per woman One third of Yemen's girls are not enrolled in primary school, among the lowest enrollment rates in the world. [120]

According to Sir John Sulston since 1950, the global population increased to almost seven billion and is forecast to rise to more than nine billion by 2050, causing climate-warming increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a decline in biodiversity and conflict for resources. With even the most generous of arithmetic it is clear that the planet cannot support ever-increasing numbers at ever higher levels of consumption, says Sir John Sulston [121]

Uncontrolled population growth threatens to undermine efforts to save the planet, warns Paul Chefurka. He says that the growing population and unchecked impact on the natural environment leads to calamities of unthinkable severity. All scientists agree the need to address population. Yet many environmentalists avoid the subject, a few objecting strongly to any focus on our numbers. Those who oppose talking about the world's population are obstructing the further provision of such services and resources. [122]

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak misses crucial points of global population development [118]

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research is unaware of global issues when he rejects the call for people to have fewer children to help ensure there is enough food for future generations. The actual global situation will bring humanity further unrest. Water and food will only be available for rich countries allocating productive fields.

Year Population
  Millio
AD1 200
1000 310
1800 978
1900 1 650
2011 7 000
2050 10 500
2100 14 000

Rich countries allocating arable land of developing regions endanger their survival [123]

The minister of agriculture of Bavaria/Germany Helmut Brunner signed in S$\tilde{a}$o Paulo/Brazil, an agreement related to 800 000 tons/y of GM-free soy as feed for Bavarian cattle in March 7, 2012. This means further deforestation of the rain forest, soil degradation, environmental burden with pesticides and displacement of the local population.

Meanwhile 6000 local peasants which lost their lands, protest against Brazilian expansion of soy plantations at Nacundae/Alto Paraná at the frontier of Paraguay/Brazil under control of Tranquilo Fávero, known as "The King of Soy". Bavarian cows, once fed with hay grown at the slopes of Bavarian mountains are now depending on soy feed to suffice a growing demand of Bavarian food industry. [124]

Land grabbing in Somalia, Ethiopia and Mozambique is focused on eucalyptus, cotton, soy and jatropa. It does not generate food for the local poppulation. It is a modern colonialism of the power of rich countries. We have to avoid further explosion of global population and reduce the exploition of the natural resources. [125]

Salicornia may become important crop for Sinai Bedouin

In Gulf states desalination of seawater or brackish water produces high quantities of brine which is returned to the sea. High evaporation concentrates further the salt content of the Arabia Sea. Ecological problems are being expected by scientists.

Dr Ahmed al Masoum, the deputy director general of the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) in Dubai reported that desalinated water used in local agriculture, is deprived of the natural mineral content of water. Plants irrigated with such water are poor in essential minerals. To avoid a mineral deficiency on the local diet, Dr. Masoum advices to use sea salt instead of common kitchen salt which is poor in micro minerals, compared with up to ninety essential elements found in seasalt. He also recommends to include salicornia as a green to improve taste of salad instead of using kitchen salt.

The ICBA has identified 224 salt-tolerant plants which tolerate brackish water, but most are for animal fodder. Salicornia grows well in saltwater, being therefore rich in minerals. Salicornia europaea and Salicornia virginica are two important species. Salicornia europaea is highly edible, either cooked or raw. Biodiesel The seeds of Salicornia bigelovii contain high levels of unsaturated oil and protein and can be used as animal feedstuff, as biofuel. It grown on coastal land and effluent from marine aquaculture , such as shrimp farms. Experimental fields of Salicornia in Ras al-Zawr (Saudi Arabia), Eritrea (Northeast Africa) and Sonora (Northwest Mexico) study the production of biodiesel. The Global Seawater company says the yield is between 225 and 250 gallons of biodiesel per hectare of salicornia. [126]

Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Airways announced a project of agrofuels for the aviation industry. in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, on high salinity soils. Salicornia crops could allow the Sinai Bedouin to produce oil for cooking or industry fuel and feed for their livestock which comes today from the Nile valley. [127]

Fossil energy interests paralyse America, says new book [128]

The United States miss the transition to 21st century energy sources, says Robert Repetto, author of the book "America's Climate Problem: The Way Forward 2011"

Repetto writes that the Fossil energy interests are spending "hundreds of millions of dollars" lobbying U.S. politicians in Congress and funding groups to confuse the public about the serious risks climate change poses. America is locked in a climate-policy stalemate, while right-wing and libertarian "think tanks" like the Competitive Enterprise Institute create an atmosphere of doubt and uncertainty, just like the tobacco companies did regarding the health effects of smoking.

According to Repetto the Senator James Inhofe received 768,000 dollars in contributions from fossil energy and mining interests to oppose to action on climate change.

Repetto calls for tougher regulations and tighter enforcement to make coal a less attractive energy source than alternative energy options. He says that it is fals that action on climate change will hurt jobs and the economy. The car technology and coal-powered electricity system is over a century old. History shows that energy coming from water mills were replaced 50 years later by steam power which was then followed by electrical power. All fears of transition proved to be unsupportable.

The authors stresses the need to change to renewable energies and increases energy efficiency. He points to the fact that Europe already has built over 800 offshore wind projects, the U.S. has none and is being left behind.

Persist stubbornly on greenhouse gases Aside from loosing leadership in technology, the countries which stubbornly persist on using fossil energy will be seen as ugly countries. The rage of the poor people which suffer the most from climate catastrophes will be directed against such culture.

The American people has a low capacity to understand the radical change which started in the heart of the poor. America must understand that it has to abandon the carbon-based economy and its ailing Bank and exchange system.

The American way of thinking is demonstrated by Thomas L. Friedman. He reduces the whole problem to a a price equation: "We need clean energy that is cheaper than the true cost to society of fossil fuels, when you measure the climate change those fuels cause, the pollution they trigger, and the energy wars they engender." Mr. Friedman did not understand that actual green energies are by many times cheaper than fossil energy, counting the damage and the suffering the western countries already have caused to the poor. He analysis the situation from the comfortable position of a country which exploits energy regardless of the damage it causes to other nations. [129]

Food emergecy preparednes plan for Arabian countries [130]

The Guardian cites poverty, repression, decades of injustice and mass unemployment as the causes of the political instability of the Middles East and the north of Africa. The Blue Peace report [131] describes the situation of Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel. Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East programme at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic Studies, predicts that existing political construct to break down when, food prices and water scarcity increases further.

Several Arab governments, alerted to the security threats try to improve preparedness for emergency situations. The director general of the UAE's National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority submitted a proposal to the Cabinet to build emergency reserves of food, water and medicine.

A 10 days survival program for Arab Countries

The governments should create a preparedness program for food and water for 10 days for their population. Turmoil, natural catastrophes or external interferences may interrupt food supply of the countries which broadly depend from food and water imports.

A food and water preparedness program

The government should use the available infrastructure of the retailing system. For that the government should make a commercial agreement that all retailers maintain a minimum of 10 days turnover of staple food in all outlets. For that an annual fee of 10% of the value of the stored food is paid by the government, covering to extra costs of financing, transporting, storage, handling and selling of the commissioned food..

Foods to be included in the preparedness program

The staple food should include bottled water, canned meat and canned fish, rice, beans, peas, maize flower, wheat flower, noodles, fats and oils, margarine, UHT milk, infant formula, backing soda, salt and spices.

Amount of commissioned food at each outlet

The amount must be determined by each outlet, based on their average daily selling volume calculated for 10 days. It must be of interest of the retailers to cooperate in this program as additional 10% revenues are an additional income and the company is engaged in a public safety program which brings stability to the country and also adds to the security of their business. In case of an emergency the outlets can perform the distribution of the food to their customers. The government must create a commission which controls that amounts of commissioned foods are present in all outlets.

The Right to Food [132]

According to Right to Food the shocking news is that global hunger increased yet again this year. The FAO's latest report, The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2004, reports that hunger has increased to 852 million gravely undernourished children, women and men, compared to 842 million last year, despite already warning in 2003 of a "setback in the war against hunger".

Important recent progress in reducing hunger has been made, but the overall trend is now one of regression, rather than the progressive realization of the right to food. In fact, it appears that hunger has increased every year since the 1996 World Food Summit.

The Voluntary Guidelines [133]

The FAO issued The Voluntary guidelines on the right to food which set out some practical steps on how Governments can implement the right to food.

Solar fuel [45]

Instead of building on environment unfriendly biofuel the European Union should support projects in the desert of northern Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Solar electricity can supply all Energy needed to get Europe moving on without any harm to nature. Hydrogen from water hydrolysis will be the solar fuel for the future.

Development of second generation technology needed to avoid biofuel to compete increasingly with food sources [134]

The increase in food prices hit at most bread, dairy and meat being biofuel blamed for an important reason of food shortfall. To reverse this trend Europabio presented at the World Biofuels Markets in Brussels on 13.03.2008 its future contribution to sustainable energy.

In its press release the association stresses the importance of a measure in order to stimulate the transition towards biofuels with high greenhouse gases savings, and proposes a "stepwise approach"starting with a relatively low greenhouse gases savings threshold and increasing in time, or a system where a moderate threshold could be set as basis, coupled with an "incentivisation system" rewarding additional greenhouse gases savings.

The association claims that in five to seven years biofuel of second generation using waste such as straw as source could help to reduce the negative effects on food supply in Europe and third countries, by reducing biofuel of the first generation which rely on corn and other starch sources. The moratorium on biofuel of the Friends of the Earth targets this period of first generation biofuels. [135]

Food waste

Wheat waste conversion to biomass or biogas

Environmental growing concerns and rising food prices turn the possible uses of waste is of great importance to optimise the conversion of wheat, barley and oat waste into useful materials such as biomass, biogas/biofuel, animal feed and composting. Arvanitoyannis and colleagues recommend the conversion of wheat waste into biomass or biogas in view of the energy problems and the extended pollution of the environment due to release of carbon dioxide compared with other methods such as incineration. [136]

Corn and rice waste treatment

Corn and rice waste are of great volume. Arvanitoyannis and Tzerkzou published a review for most of the waste treatment techniques (composting, pyrolysis, gasification, combustion), to reduce its volume and/or toxicity and to make the waste safer for disposal and uses of treated corn and rice waste such as fertilisers, biomass and biogas/biofuel. [137]

Uses of treated fish waste

Fish waste has great impact on the marine environment and EU regulations include it within the frame of Integrated Coastal Management. Arvanitoyannis and colleagues 2008 summerise the application of fish waste as animal feed, biodiesel/biogas, dietic products (chitosan), natural pigments (after extraction), food-packaging applications (chitosan), cosmetics (collagen), enzyme isolation, Cr immobilisation, soil fertiliser and moisture maintenance in foods (hydrolysates). [138]

Meat waste treatment

According to Arvanitoyannis and colleagues meat waste materials like blood, hair, tail, horns and bones are a high pollution factor of meat production. Methods like aerobic and anaerobic composting like windrows, aerated static piles and bins or aerated chambers are discussed.

According to the authors meat and bone meal are increasingly being used in animal nutrition as a protein source in place of proteinaceous feeds. [138]

Disposal of waste from olive oil

The olive oil industry continues to be one of the most heavily polluting ones among the food industries. Various thermal processes, such as pyrolysis, combustion and gasification, were investigated. Another crucial issue is the fate of treated waste. Arvanitoyannis and colleagues 2007 present a review of various thermal treatment waste methodologies and summarise the uses activated carbon and briquette production. [139]


Waste processing creates jobs and incomes for local residents in Indonesia [140]

Garbage heaps emit large amounts of methane gas, a pollutant far more harmful to the climate than CO2. Indonesia has come up with innovative ways of disposing of trash - benefiting both people and the climate. The Indonesian city of Tangerang installed a waste processing facility. Since 2010, the plant has helped clean up the local roads and streets and provided jobs for many. Everyday 400 kilograms of trash a day are collected, sorted and processed, either to be recycled or composted.

Sorting the trash is being done by hand, separating paper, glass, plastics and organic waste from each other. Anything that can be recycled is sent back to be processed and the recyclable materials are used to produce fashion items, creating wallets out of old plastic bags or juice cartons. Organic waste such as fruit peels or leftover vegetables and grains are composted and sold as sustainable fertilizer. In the end, only a third of the trash collected can be neither recycled nor composted, and that ends up back on the landfill.

The facility dramatically reduces the amount of methane gas normally emitted from landfills, by oxygenating the trash, preventing methane gas from being produced. Methane is considered extremely dangerous for the climate: it is 20 times more harmful than even CO2. Funded by the German government, the BORDA group has been working to help improve living conditions in developing and poor countries around the world for more than 30 years.

On the Indonesian island of Bali residents are taking their trash disposal problems into their own hands. In 2008, a composting facility was set up in the village of Temesi. Some 85 percent of the waste that arrives at the plant is organic and can be composted and processed into natural fertilizer. Five percent can be recycled, and only 10 percent ends up back on the landfill site.

This composting facility too provides a good opportunity to earn money for communities in the region and reduce the need of chemical fertilizers that consume so much energy when they are produced still receive federal funding, says Thomas Finsterwald, a project leader at the Swiss nonprofit "myclimate".

The organization helps fund the composting facility in Bali, where some 350 tons of methane gas are saved every year. Myclimate adds up those savings and, through price-tagging, gives them a monetary value with carbon certificates. Those certificates are sold to a variety of customers such as travel operators who can compensate for CO2 emissions resulting from air travel.

In Tangerang, the locals are taking over responsibility for their waste, too: each family pays about one Euro a month for the composting facility. The average monthly household income there totals the equivalent of about 150 Euro.

BORDA Germany sees great potential in finding sustainable and eco-friendly ways to process garbage. The organization has already invested 120,000 Euros in 15 waste processing facilities in Indonesia. The organisation estimates that the world will produce some 1.8 million tons of trash each day by the year 2025. There is certainly a mountain of garbage waiting to generate revenues for the communities. BORDA (Bremen Overseas Researche and Development Association) also helps to develop wastewater treatment, community sanitation, solid waste treatment, energy supply and water supply. [141]

myclimate is an organisation with Swiss origins. It supports projects that apply renewable energy technology, implement energy efficiency measures or reduce methane emissions. The carbon offset projects lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions while making a significant contribution to sustainable development in the respective regions. [142]

Biomineralization and bacterial hydrogenases

Biosorption to remove and recover metals from aqueous wastes [143]

Biosorption is a low-cost removal and recover of metals from water. Mack and colleagues reviewed in 2007 studies related to the recovery of precious metals such as gold, platinum and palladium by biosorption, especially in wastewaters. According to the authors common biosorbents are based on derivatives of chitosan with high surface positive charged amine functional group content which attract anionic precious metal ions at low pH.

The importance of bacterial hydrogenases [144]

According to Macaskie and colleagues 2005 bacterial hydrogenases may help to remove toxic heavy metals from solution reducing them to insoluble forms. Pd(II) may thus be cell-bound as Pd(0)-nanoparticles acting as a catalyst in the remediation of Cr(VI)-contaminated solutions

Hydrogenases can also be used synthetically in the production of bio-hydrogen from sugary wastes through breakdown of formate produced by fermentation. This hydrogen may be useful to decompose polychlorinated biphenyls in waste waters, or as fuel to power E-cells.

The reduction of U(VI) and Se(IV) were highlighted by the authors which stress the importance of the hydrogenase-3 component of the FHL (formate hydrogenlyase) complex in Escherichia coli to reduce the radionuclide 99Tc(VII) to its insoluble form 99Tc(IV).

Citrobacter sp. accumulates heavy deposits of uranyl phosphate HUO2PO4 and can accumulate several times their own weight of precipitated metal at the cell surface. [145]

Hydrogenases at work [146]

According to Vignais 2008 hydrogenases are metalloenzymes subdivided into two classes that contain iron-sulfur clusters and catalyze the reversible reaction to form hydrogen gas. Nickel and/or iron atoms form their active center of the two classes, the (NiFe)hydrogenases, or the (FeFe)hydrogenases. A third class of hydrogenase, characterized by a specific iron-containing cofactor and by the absence of Fe-S cluster has catalytic properties different from those of (NiFe)- and (FeFe)hydrogenases. The (NiFe)hydrogenases may further be subdivided into four subgroups.

Bioaccumulation of palladium [147]

Mikheenko and colleagues 2008 describe the reducion of palladium Pd(II) to Pd(0) by Wild-type Desulfovibrio fructosivorans and three hydrogenase-negative mutants, resulting in deposition of palladium nanoparticles on the cytoplasmic membrane.

Citrobacter bounding heavy metals [148]

According to Yong and colleagues 1997 immobolized Citrobacter sp. bacteria accumulate heavy metals as cell-bound metal phosphates, utilizing phosphate released by the enzymatic cleavage of a phosphomonoester substrate.

The authors describe the bioreactor activity and the Michaelis-Menten kinetics equation. They stress that nitrate is an inhibitor of the Citrobacter phosphatase and describe the removal of lanthanum from a nitrate-supplemented system.

Biomineralization and recovery of precious metals [149]

Loyd and colleagues 2008 describe bacteria producing precious metal catalysts from waste streams, ferrite spinels for biomedicine and catalysis, metal phosphates for environmental remediation and biomedical applications, and biogenic selenides for a range of optical devices. The authors stress the importance of biomineralization global biogeochemical cycles, but also provide new methods for material synthesis that eliminate toxic organic compounds.

Microbial precipitation of gold [150]

Deplanche and colleagues 2008 report the microbial precipitation of gold from acidic leachate (AuIII) from jewelry waste was achieved using Escherichia coli and Desulfovibrio desulfuricans using hydrogen as the electron donor. Hydrogen alone or with heat-killed cells did not recover gold from leachates. All gold was recovered within 2 hours. Gold nanoparticles of 20-50 nm, depending on pH of the solution, accumulated in the periplasmic space and on the cell surface.

Electronic waste recycling [151]

Waste electric and electronic equipment, or electronic waste and their hazardous material contents were assessed by Cui and Zhang 2008. The authors report that recycling of these waste is driven by economic stimuli of the recovery of precious metals.

In the last decade pyrometallurgical processing was largely displaced by hydrometallurgical process for recovery of metals from electronic waste. The authors discuss these hydrometallurgical processing techniques such as cyanide leaching, halide leaching, thiourea leaching, and thiosulfate leaching of precious metals. Bioleaching is used for recovery of precious metals and copper from ores for many years. However, the authors stress the need of further reseach on the bioleaching of metals from electronic waste.

Chromium [152]

Humphries and colleagues 2006 describe the reduction of Chromium using resting cells of Desulfovibrio vulgaris NCIMB 8303 and Desulfovibrio desulfuricans NCIMB 8307 for the hydrogenase-mediated reduction of Pd(II) to Pd(0), forming a hybrid palladium bionanocatalyst (Bio-Pd(0)) which reduced Cr(VI) to the less environmentally problematic Cr(III) species.

Recovery of uranium from leakages

Macaskie and colleagues 2009 report that E. coli, break down a source of inositol phosphate (also called phytic acid), from plant waste freeing phosphate which binds uranium as uranium phosphate precipitate on the bacterial cells. This procedure turns binding uranium from leakages and spills economically attractive. Commercial pure inositol phosphate is too expensive to be used for uranium recovery. The authors stress the importance to recover uranium from mine run-offs and also from nuclear wastes to ensure energy security and avoid pollution of the environment.

Nuclear contamination of soils such as Asse 2 in Germany and other nuclear spills could make biologic recovery important.

Bio Hydrogen as clean fuel [153]

Macaskie and colleagues 2007 describe Escherichia coli performing anaerobic hydrogen metabolism using two 'uptake' hydrogenase isoenzymes, hydrogenase -1 and -2 (Hyd-1 and -2), and fermentative hydrogen production is catalysed by Hyd-3. This may lead to the production of bio-hydrogen from sugars.

Production of hydrogen from sucrose by Escherichia coli strains [154]

Penfold and Macaskie introduced the pUR400 plasmid, containing genes which allow the sucrose transport into the cell and its metabolism in the Escherichia coli HD701, a hydrogenase-upregulated strain. The new strain could metabolise sucrose from waste materials for the production of hydrogen.

European COM 2008 30 [155]

EuropaBio refers to the European directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (COM 2008 30) where the rules are critical in order to ensure that the environmental benefits of using biofuels outweigh any possible environmental disadvantages. At the same time, the Commission is committed to promoting in all its policies the rapid development of second generation biofuels. It will closely monitor market developments and their effects on food, feed, energy and other industrial uses of biomass, and take appropriate action if needed.

Four pillars of sustainability [156]

EuropaBio says that it is important that the emerging biofuels sector be built on sound sustainability principles do not stand in the way of food production, forest protection, soil degradation prevention and sound water supplky.

EuropaBio's pillars of sustainability include

  1. The development of a credible and robust certification scheme on an EU or global basis to guarantee that biofuels are produced in an environmentally sustainable way.
  2. The development of a credible and robust certification scheme on an EU or global basis to guarantee that biofuels are produced in an environmentally sustainable way.
  3. The development of sustainability criteria for the biomass used for fuel production as well as for all (energy) applications.
  4. The support of a threshold value for greenhouse gas savings, restrictions on land use to avoid major reduction in carbon stocks and biodiversity loss from land use change.

Food prices and biofuel

Some experts and government leaders are blaming the price fluctuation on increased biofuel production, which requires a fair amount of agricultural land. High energy prices and inflation are also seen as culprits.
It is "unacceptable for the export of agro-fuels to pose a threat to the supply situation of the very people already living in poverty," Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said prior to the IMF meeting.

"The targets for fuel blends must be put to the test." [157]
Yet land used for farming agricultural commodities is being converted into producing biofuel. German Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer the corporations which are driving biofuel to concentrate on Indonesia, Brazil and the corn belt of USA targeting the heart of all problems. The do not consider to use the other 27 million square kilometres because it is not profitable to plant there.


The Patzek paper

According to professor Tad W. Patzek new calculations show that the entire surface of the Earth cannot create enough additional biomass to replace more than 10% of current fossil fuel use. [158] Solar power and compressed natural gas offer more-efficient energy technologies than planting, fertilizing, harvesting and refining fields of corn into fuel. [158]

Professor Patzek recommends to decrease all automotive fuel use in Europe by up to 6 percent per year in 8 years, while switching to the increasingly rechargeable hybrid and all-electric cars, progressively driven by photovoltaic cells. [159]

Solar electricity and hydrogen is being suggested to replace fossil fuels for transportation in Europe. The Arabian deserts provide the sunshine and acreage which does not compete with agriculture. [45]

Cargill enters the biodiesel business using 75 percent of its rape oil [160]

Cargill and agri-food giant is known for commercialising soy bean in Brazil, using Santarem in the middle of the Amazon Regions as shipping port. It has now opened a huge new rapeseed plant in Montoir, near Saint Nazaire, France, with a capacity to process 600,000 metric tones of rapeseed per year.

The plant will produce 250,000 metric tones of rapeseed oil per year and 350,000 metric tonnes of protein-rich animal feed. Twenty-five per cent of the oil is be destined for food use, and the vast majority of this will be used for French food production. Diester Atlantique esther plant will process the oil to fuel.

The company argues that there is plenty of rapeseed available in France. No scarcity of oil for food is expected in the French market.

Climate change on food, water safety and nutrition, World Food Day 2008 [161]

The FAO and the EFSA and WHO in a joint seminar in Rome discussed the health effects of climate change on food and water safety and nutrition in Rome in October 2008. on the World Food Day, addressing the challenges of climate change and bioenergy.

According to the organizations, the challenges to nutrition food and water safety are projected to grow with climate change. The WHO estimates that more than 60 million people in the eastern part of the WHO European Region live in absolute poverty which will be hit the most. The global cost of climate change is projected to be up to 5% of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of this century.

Consensus is growing on the necessity to implement effective measures to reduce risks and adopt strong measures to reduce the effects of climate change and help people cope with new threats. Such measures should include:

Scientific advice on emerging food safety risks linked to climate-related changes recent outbreaks, such as the bluetongue disease in Europe, are increasingly important. Changing patterns and practices of crop production could lead to the increased use of agrochemicals presenting new risks. The distribution and spread of plant and animal diseases could also be affected and must be observed.

The WHO says that health systems should strengthen disease control and health protection. Action includes ensuring clean water and sanitation, safe and adequate food, disease surveillance and response, and disaster preparedness; increasing health professionals' awareness of climate-related diseases; delivering accurate and timely information to citizens; and advocating to other sectors reduced emissions that can benefit health.

FAO extended the EMPRES (Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animals and Plant Pests and Diseases) programme to include food safety to enable the FAO an early detection of food safety problems and to develop guidance for managing emerging risks. [162]
The Italian Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Policy expressed his concern about the impact of climate change on health, water safety and nutrition in Italy, resulting from disease vectors entering the country. He cited also that a 14% drop in precipitation in the last five decades increased water scarcity. The rise in sea level will entail risks for Italian coastal areas to floods.

In the European Region, food productivity is projected to decrease in the Mediterranean area, south-eastern Europe and central Asia, where food security is at risk. Crop yields could decrease up to 30% in central Asia by the middle of the 21st century.

Climate change also raises the issue of food safety. Higher temperatures favour the growth of bacteria in food. Infections with Salmonella spp. rise by 5-10% for each one-degree increase in weekly temperature, at ambient temperatures above 5 degree Celsius, and in some areas new diseases may arise.

Water stress is projected to increase over central and southern Europe and central Asia by 2080. Projected reductions in summer water flows of up to 80% will result in the loss of fresh water and increased potential for contamination. The quality of coastal water is endangered, putting bathers and seafood eaters at risk of infection. Only 25% of the rural population in Central Asia have access to safe water, leading to the diarrhoea-related deaths of 13 500 children every year.

Nutrition and Bioenergy [163]

Biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel offer only a very small gain in energy efficiency and their production minimally reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Research is underway to develop cellulosic biofuels from low value non-food crops, such as grasses or wood, but these are more difficult to process than starch or sugar crops and it is not clear that their production will expand significantly in the near future.

Biofuel production can have negative impacts on nutrition through increased greenhouse gas emissions, direct effects on health and sanitation and reduced food availability and associated price effects. Biofuel production can exacerbate climate change because of the burning of forests to clear land for bioenergy, water shortages and contamination. Use of sugarcane as a feedstock is particularly water-intensive.

Increasing prices are leading to the diversion of food and feed crops to biofuel production. This can reduce food availability and may consign food and feed production to less productive land, reducing yields.

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) estimates that rising bioenergy demand accounted for 30 percent of the increase in weighted average grain prices between 2000 and 2007. The impact was 39 percent of the real increase in maize prices. IFPRI projects that in 2020, if biofuel development proceeds at or exceeds its current pace, calorie availability will decline and child malnutrition will increase substantially, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Reducing Emission

The WHO stresses that it is important to advocate to other sectors to reduce emissions to benefit health, environment and food security. However, no feasible alternative for fossil energy is being presented by governments and NGO's.
Solar energy, from the desert may be the solution to desalinate water, provide clean electricity, and deliver hydrogen for CO2-free fuel for transportation. [45]


Climate change makes near-surface fish grow faster

Ronald E. Thresher and colleagues (2007) studying the the biological impacts of the climate change on marine species found that six of eight species show significant changes in growth rates during the last century. In depths<250 m temperatures increases speeding growth rates. Deep-water (>1,000 m) cool down and species register a decline in growth during the last century. The authors conclude that marine life is growing faster nears the surface, but is slowing down in deep water. The researcher used otolith analysis. [164]

Otoliths are calcified structures located in the inner ear just behind the brain that assist fish with balance and hearing. In temperate waters seasonal growth periods appear on otoliths asalternating opaque and translucent bands. This pattern looks much like the annual growth rings present in the trunks of trees. Depending on the number of rings in these structures the age of each fish can be determined. Similar seasonal bands can also be found in other hard parts such as scales, fin rays, spines, and vertebrae. [165].

However, Hans O. Pörtner and Rainer Knust from the Bremerhavener Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar- und Marine Research warn that a mismatch between the demand for oxygen and the capacity of oxygen supply to tissues is the first mechanism to restrict whole-animal tolerance to thermal extremes. The researchers studied the eelpout, Zoarces viviparus, a bioindicator fish species for environmental monitoring from North and Baltic Seas (Helcom). Warm water prevents an eelpout from absorbing enough oxygen to cope with a changing environment. Both scientists found out how changes in temperature directly affect the fish physiology of fish, a link between rising sea temperatures and declining numbers of fish. They concluded that decrements in aerobic performance in warming seas will be the first process to cause extinction or relocation to cooler waters. [166]

Tobias Wang a zoophysiologist at the University of Aarhus in Denmark does not believe that the species will go extinct necessarily, but they will move and a major impact on the distribution of animals will take place. [167]

New study of rising sea-level suggest obsolete solutions [168]

Schaeffer et al 2012, in a new study published in Nature Climate Change, predicts the rise of the sea-level by 1,5 to 4 metres, with 2,7 metres as best prediction, if global temperature will further rise. [1] If temperature rises by three degrees a rise of sea-level of two to five metres are expected, with a best prediction of 3,5 metres. Wide areas will be flooded, such as Bangladesh and island states, with heavy losses of agrarian land. The study presents data up to 2300.

Older studies of the IPCC were based only on the effect of dilatation of the water. The water of melting ice are now also included in the new study. The authors stress that only the large-scale deployment of CO2 removal efforts, such as, large-scale bioenergy systems combined with Carbon Capture and Storage may halt the sea-level rise within a long period. The authors, unfortunately, presents a wrong solution based on carbon-based energy and carbon capture and storage. This is not feasible on global dimensions. Humanity must abandon carbon fuels. New technologies of solar and wind energy, together with hydrogen technology as energy storage are being developed and are successful in Germany at large scale.

Earth warming: Giant squids are becoming a plage for Californian coast [169]

The Humboldt Squid, Dosidicus gigas, the fiercest of all the cephalopods, and for reasons unknown to science, they are appearing in huge numbers along the West Coast, from the Gulf of Mexico to Southeast Alaska, including the Monterey Bay. The squids are more than 2 metres large and weigh up to 50 kilogram.

According to Louis Zeidberg from the University Stanford these giant squids had only be seen at the region of the equator. Zeidberg believes that due to the earth warming the squids now spread northward.

Other scientists , like Zeidberg and Robinson support this theory saying that this sustained range expansion coincides with changes in climate-linked oceanographic conditions and a reduction in competing top predators. [170]

Northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) are threatened by varying algal bloom timing [171]

Koeller and colleagues 2009 report that changing water temperatures and insolation could lead to mismatches between the reproductive cycles of marine organisms and the algal bloom of the North Atlantic. The shrimps had adapted their egg hatching times to the phytoplankton blooms which now varies according to water temperatures. Increasing water temperature causes eggs to hatch too early and be ahead of the spring bloom. Phytoplankton is needed as food for the hatching larvae.

According to the authors northern shrimp, also called pink shrimp, is found in the Gulf of Maine, on the Scotian Shelf and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, off Newfoundland and Labrador, on the Flemish Cap, off western Greenland and Northern Iceland, in the Barents Sea and off Svalbard.

These shrimp populations may decline if temperatures continue to increase unless the shrimp can adapt. Northern shrimp may serve as an early indicator of the impact of climate change.

Krill and the Scotia Sea ecosystem [172]

Murphy and colleagues 2007 stress that the Scotia Sea ecosystem is important for the stability of the circumpolar Southern Ocean system. The Scotia Sea is under the influence of eastward-flowing Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and waters from the Weddell-Scotia Confluence. This results in an advective flow, eddy and mixing.

The Weddell-Scotia Confluence is the zone separating the waters of the Weddell Sea from those of the Scotia Sea. It influences the summer phytoplankton blooms as a result from the mixing of micronutrients into surface waters. Many species including Antarctic krill, live there and are food for large seabird and marine mammal populations.

The authors say that krill population dynamics and dispersal are subjected to varying winter sea ice distribution and surface temperatures, linked to climate processes such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation and regional warming. Another highly interference in the ecology of the region resulted from the fisch industry.

El Nino-Southern Oscillation reflects the monthly or seasonal fluctuations in the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin, Australia. It is is associated with floods, droughts, and other disturbances in a range of locations around the world. These effects, and the irregularity of this phenomenon interferes in the ecology of the region.

The authors expect that major ecological shifts will take place in the Scotia Sea ecosystem over the next two to three decades.

Ocean climate variability influences breeding of seabirds [173]

Wolf and colleagues 2009 examined the influence of ocean climate variability to the reproduction of the seabird Cassin's Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) along 2500 km of the west coast of North America influenced by the California Current System. According to this study the northern region presented seasonally variable but high food for the birds. The south was aseasonal, and low food productivity.

Auklet timing of breeding in the southern population was not significantly related to local conditions. The breeding of northern populations, however, was found to be influenced by oceanographic signals preceding high prey availability.

The authors concluded that Auklets populations in the northern and central regions of this ecosystem are sensitive to changes in timing and variability of ocean climate conditions.

Evolution or surrounding ecosystems may protect some species from the effects of climate change [174]

Harmon and colleagues 2010 assessed how ecological and evolutionary factors drive population shifts in the face of a changing environment. The authors focus on the ecological interactions within a food web and a rapid evolutionary adaptation of the legume-loving pea aphid fare during increasing bouts of hot weather. The authors stress that predictions of the consequences of environmental change on populations must take into account both ecological and evolutionary complexities, and that it is not possible to study a single species in isolation to understand environmental change and their effect on species, the other species around it must also be taken into account as a whole.

The authors cite the effect of increasing temperature which decrease pea aphid reproduction, however, bacteria living symbiotically within the aphids bestow them with a possible evolutionary defence, influencing the heat tolerance of this symbiotic system.

The negative effect of increased temperature depended on which of two different predatory ladybeetle species was present which highlights the importance of the local food web. The authors stress the importance to see the whole ecological and evolutionary aspect when studying the effects of environmental change, and rapid evolution must be considered as an response of a population to environmental change.

Ecological threshold as a "point of no return" [175]

Susan Haseltine and colleagues define ecological threshold as the point at which there is an abrupt change in an ecosystem that produces large, persistent and potentially irreversible changes. Once an ecological threshold is crossed, the ecosystem in question will most likely not return to its previous state, The existence of thresholds should be a key concern of scientists and natural resource managers, say the researchers.

In this report the researchers stress that human actions, such as additional use of water increase the possibility of an ecosystem to cross its ecological thresholds, and effects on aquatic biota will not return to normal. Tools to predict such effects must be developed to cope with different thresholds of each ecosystem.

Acidification of the North sea induced by atmospheric CO2 [176]

Blackford and Gilbert 2007 describe a coupled carbonate system-marine ecosystem-hydrodynamic model. According to the researchers the biological activity in the benthic, the region near the ground, as well as pelagic, the deep water, is an important factor in this variability. The acidification of the region due to increased fluxes of atmospheric CO2 into the marine system is calculated and shown to exceed, on average, 0.1 pH units over the next 50 years and result in a total acidification of 0.5 pH units below pre-industrial levels at atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 1000 ppm.

The potential for measurable changes in biogeochemistry are demonstrated by simulating the observed inhibition of pelagic nitrification with decreasing pH. Scientists believe that further decreased pH of the North Sea water will destroy corals and biological system of the coastal and deeper regions.

No chance for DOHA no chance for climate control no chance to avoid nuclear war

EU leaders (Chancellor Angela Merkel) met with the Bush administration on May 2, 2007 and debated co-operation, trade, climate change, energy security and climate control. Not a word about US signing the Kyoto Protocol was heard.

The Transatlantic Economy Council [177]

Agreements were made which lead to a stronger and more integrated transatlantic economy. Particular focus is on removing barriers to trade, cooperation on regulations, intellectual property, secure trade, financial markets and the automotive industry, and establishment of a transatlantic economic council to monitor implementation of economic agreements. This transatlantic economy council leaves out any cooperation with the third world. The spirit of DOHA is being buried for sure. Doha, food and agriculture The agreements encourage further cooperation in the areas of agriculture, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, and food safety are directed to increase traffic between rich countries which can afford complex safety systems. With the talk of EU-US there can no commitment be seen to bring the Doha trade talks to a positive conclusion. US as the main cause of the collapse of the talks last July does not change its attitude.

The outcome of the EC-US talks were mainly directed to develop the trade between both powers in detriment to environment and directed against the development of the third world.

The Doha trade talks in Geneva unable to reach decisions [178]

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy announced that ministers have failed in their effort to agree on blueprint agreements in agriculture and industrial products at the meeting on Geneva from 21-29 July 2008.

Some say that DOHA talks will only start again after elections in USA and in the European Commission in 2009, for changes in the actual politic.

The DOHA trade talks want to cut agricultural and industrial tariffs and reduce farm subsidies to benefit developing countries.

The safeguard barrier

The talks stalled on the safeguard barrier allowing developing countries to temporarily raise tariffs temporarily in order to deal with import surges and price falls. Some, leaded by the USA wanted a large import surge needed to trigger the tariff increase in order to avoid the safeguard being triggered by normal trade growth, while others, like India and China, however, wanted a lower trigger so that the safeguard could be easier to use and more useful.

Climate change

No firm conclusions on action to combat climate change only a vague and ridiculous statement of Merkel said that progress had been made and that both sides agreed on the urgency of action, but the US continues to refuse to sign up to plan to cut greenhouse gasses by 20 per cent by 2020.

The so-called "open skies" deal to remove restrictions on transatlantic flights was signed demonstrating clearly that there is no commitment to combat climate change. Increasing air traffic increases the most dangerous CO2 producer because it happens in high altitudes were the atmosphere is most vulnerable. On the way to a nuclear catastrophe.

President Bush said he would consider Merkel's advice to include Russia in discussions related to a missile defence systems in Poland and the Czech Republic which brought back the cold war between Russia and the rest of the world.

The four Uranium producers [179]

The uranium business is going through an enormous boom because of high demand for military uses and for power plants.

According to Handelsblatt Urenco has today 23% of world production of enriched Uranium. The company wants to increase it up to 30% in the next 5 years. Incoming orders have doubled since 2006. Urenco works with high speed centrifuges to enrich the uranium as the main cause of their success in the uranium business, compared to less efficient method of gas diffusion used in France and USA which consume four times more energy. The other three producers of uranium are: Areva France, USEC U.S. and Tenex Russia.

The Anti-Urenco conference in Almelo looked at the dangers that the depleted Uranium (DU) and Uranium hehafluorid (UF6) which may be used for military purpose or is being put to 90% into permanent storage in Russia by Urenco. The actual booming uranium business is based on the bad politic of the US which instigates a nuclear armament. [180]

Conclusion

The agreements between the two powers concerning trade are everything but directed to a commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, the Doha trade talks and there are no steps to avoid a nuclear armament.

Global climate change is happening faster than previously believed and its impact is worse than expected. According to Ogunlade Davidson,the co-chairman of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) there are only eight years left for changes [181]. Actual activities of the leaders of the power nations China US and Europe go in the wrong direction. They should reduce traffic, should spend efforts on solar energy (great success in Spain, the Sahara could be used to produce energy as electricity and hydrogen.)

New climate report predicts a worst scenario than given by the IPCC Report [182]

The report of the Global Carbon Project (GCP) concludes that far from slowing down, global carbon dioxide emissions are rising faster than ever. China (with 1,8 Billions tons) superseded the US (1.59 Billion Tons) as greatest emitter of greenhouse CO2 gas. Other developing countries India and Brazil are joining them.

According to the Global Carbon Project the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) rose from 1.8 ppm in 2006 to 2.2 ppm in 2007 and amounts now 383 ppm. The researchers of GCP stress that since 2000 the increase of CO2 emission has quadrupled compared with the foregoing decade. The emission growth rate is still higher than the worst scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC.

The report says that the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere in 2007 increased about 37 per cent compared with 1750, before of the industrial revolution. The CO2 emission in 2007 10 billion tons, whereas 8.5 billion tons came from fossil fuels. Deforestation the situation of the ocean reduced their efficiency to bind CO2 by 5 percent. [183]

IPCC climate change prevision confirmed by European Study [184]

Zorita, Stocker and Storch 2008 using the "Monte-Carlo-Simulation" assessed the climate data of the years between 1880 and 1990, using two statistical null-hypotheses, autoregressive and long-memory. Following the results of their statistical research the scientists concluded that the frequency of warm record years after 1990 could not be an accident influenced by an external driver. They stress that they could not specify individual responsible factors but is in full agreement with the results of the IPCC that the increased emission of greenhouse gases is mainly responsible for the most recent global warming.

Rising costs and impact on varieties of different species, IPCC report calls for action to stop climate change [185]

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the Summary for Policy Makers 2011 report that outlines options for addressing global warming. The report says that the global warming can be stopped for 0.1 percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product per year. Emissions would have to begin to decline before 2015 and 50 to 85 percent of CO2 emissions would have to be cut by the middle of this century. If no action will be taken costs will increase up to 20 times more.

Further increase of temperature endangers marine species [186]

Kelly et al 2011 assessed the effect of change of temperature on the tide pool copepod Tigriopus californicus. These tiny shrimplike animals are found from Alaska to Baja California, but have little ability to evolve heat tolerance. The authors subjected the animals for heat stress and monitored them for 10 generations. Copepods from different locations presented different heat tolerance, but within these populations only about a half-degree Celsius of increased heat could be tolerated. The authors stress that populations of these copepodes are very isolated, due to their tide pool habitat. giving little place for the flow of new genes across the local population. Animals and plants with such a fragmented habitat may be endangered by changing temperatures because natural genetic selection cannot take place. This includes even birds an plants which were separated by human activities. The authors conclude that results of models climatic change may greatly underestimate extinction risk in species with strong local adaptation.

Somero 2010 suggests that studies at the molecular level may predict effects of climate change. He stresses to determine how much change in sequence is needed to adapt proteins to warmer temperatures and determining how the contents of genomes, protein-coding genes and gene regulatory mechanisms, influence capacities for adapting to acute and long-term increases in temperature. The authors stresses that in-migration of "warm-adapted" genes of populations experiencing selection under high temperatures at low tide and high insolation, may improve heat tolerance of species, like Antarctic marine ectotherms, which have lost protein-coding genes and gene regulatory mechanisms needed for coping with rising temperature.[187]

Interaction of rising temperature with animal population are documented in the mid- to high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere because warming is fastest in these regions. Dillon 2010 suggests that tropical ectotherms may be particularly vulnerable to climate warming and are experiencing large increases in metabolic rate changes far greater than those in the Arctic, even though tropical temperature change has been relatively small. The author stresses that the effect of temperature on metabolism is non-linear, therefore, even a slow rise of climate warming will have a greater impact on tropical organisms as thought. [188]

GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services)

The General Agreement on Trade in Services is an agreement of the member states of the WTO opening the world market to an unrestricted competition. The states lose most of the means to regulate the market. The European Union has given its consent to the Agreement in the name of all their member states.

In July 2002, the EU presented its requests for improved market access to WTO members seeking a reduction in restrictions and expansion of market access opportunities for the European services industry. The services sector is the most important economic activity in the EU accounting for over two thirds of GDP and employment such as the telecommunication, financial, business, and environmental services sectors, postal services, distribution, construction and related engineering services, tourism, news agency services and energy services.

The requests do not seek to dismantle public services, nor to privatize state-owned companies. No requests are being made on health services or audiovisual services to any country. EU requests do not touch the access to water resources and in no way undermine or reduce governments' ability to regulate pricing, availability and affordability of water supplies.

The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is an international trade agreement that came into effect in 1995 and operates under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Critiques on GATS

Negative impacts on universal access to basic services such as healthcare, education, water and transport. Fundamental conflict between freeing up trade in services and the right of governments and communities to regulate companies, a one-sided deal, GATS is primarily about expanding opportunities for large multinational companies.

Origin of GATT and other Agreements

Following the end of WWII, the allies decided that prosperous and lasting peace depended not only on the creation of a stable international political order based on principles embedded in the United Nations (UN) Charter, but also on the creation of a stable liberal international economic order. The twin pillars of the international financial system, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), emerged as the institutional alternative to the regionalism characteristic of international financial practices in the post-WWI era.


From ITO to GATT

The International Trade Organization (ITO), was negotiated in Havana, Cuba. Political disagreements ultimately spelled the end of the ITO as a formal organization, yet participants considered trade issues important enough to resurrect portions of the ITO charter and transform them into a less formal, free standing trade agreement known as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. (GATT).

From GATT to WTO

During the first twenty odd years of its existence, members of GATT focused almost entirely on negotiations aimed at reducing tariffs (taxes on imported goods), one of the traditional barriers states enact to protect their markets from import competition. Six rounds of negotiations, through the completion of the Kennedy Round in 1967 introducing an anti-dumping code, accomplished substantial tariff reductions in the manufacturing sector. Finally at 1986-1994(Uruguay Round) the GATT 1994 gave origin to the World Trade Organization.

By the 1970s, with tariffs on most goods substantially reduced, and the world falling into a depression/hyper-inflation cycle due to the twin oil price shocks, states began implementing other non-tariff policies as a way to protect their industries from import competition.


Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights TRIPs

Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time.

There are two main areas of intellectual property rights:


Copyrights

The rights of authors of literary and artistic works (such as books and other writings, musical compositions, paintings, sculpture, computer programs and films) are protected by copyright, for a minimum period of 50years after the death of the author.

Also protected through copyright and related (sometimes referred to as "neighboring") rights are the rights of performers (e.g. actors, singers and musicians), producers of phonograms (sound recordings) and broadcasting organizations. The main social purpose of protection of copyright and related rights is to encourage and reward creative work and computer programs.


Industrial property

These are signs, trademarks, geographical indications, design and the creation of technology ( patents). Ideas and knowledge are an increasingly important part of trade. Most of the value of new medicines and other high technology products lies in the amount of invention, innovation, research, design and testing involved.

Creators can be given the right to prevent others from using their inventions, designs or other creations and to use that right to negotiate payment in return for others using them. These are "intellectual property rights".


TRIPSs and Software

For the last few years the European Patent Office (EPO) has granted more than 30.000 patents on rules of organization and calculation claimed in terms of general-purpose computing equipment, called "programs for computers" in the law of 1973 and "computer-implemented inventions" since 2000.

To legitimate this practice Europe's patent movement is pressing by writing a new law. The basic documentation, starting from the latest news and a short overview are available at http://swpat.ffii.org/index.en.html.

According to US magazine Business Week (2003 December 16th) a group of "left-leaning politicians" upended a directive proposal in such a way that it actually bans software patents, thereby creating an industry-specific exemption which violates the TRIPs treaty and erases billions in intellectual property granted by the EPO.

The author gives Europe a lot of advice, demanding that Europe should set an example by finding a formula that "spurs innovation while safeguarding intellectual property".
The European Patent office has already grated 30 000 patents and problems come up:
Some basic algorithms from software will be patented like:

Good algorithms featuring software

With a click to next "Top"
Save it on disc
Remember me later
Save before Quit

Useful technical algorithms

" Boot directly from CD after insert." Without such an algorithm some users will have trouble in starting the CD depending on the system in use. They are in use in a wide range of software such as:
Catalogues from Warehouses
Information CDs on a companyś products for distribution among its customers.
Training's CDs for employees.

Drop Down menus

Drop Downs are indispensable for an easy surfing of a program with topics such as Format, Tolls, Edit or File.

Hyperlinks

Quick access to URLs or specific location in a text.

Search algorithms

No user can survive in the jungle of informations without these algorithms.

Software-controlled industrial production processes

Such as algorithms useful for robotronics.

The European Commission and the US Trade Representative cites in favor of their software patentability proposal:" Proprietary software directly remunerates those who write programs, and it does this by means of "intellectual property", of which patents are one important kind."

The mission of the United States of America to the European Union in the paper "U.S. Comments on the Draft European Parliament Amendments to the Proposed European Union Directive on the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions" to members of the European Parliament says that the US warns Europe falling afoul of the TRIPs treaty.

The US Mission warns that any failure to endorse patentability of software in the directive might adversely impact certain sectors of the economy, because copyright does not protect the functionality of the software, which is of significant value to the owner, and that lack of clarity would lead to a continued need for negotiations with the US in WIPO.

The US Government promotes international harmonization of substantive patent law in order to "strengthen the rights of American intellectual property holders by making it easier to obtain international protection for their inventions".

The software engineers, however, say that the tools they work with and the basics of their ideas are being patented. The originality of creative work and the freedom of the profession will be destroyed by this regulation. So, I think, we have to say good by to a good trade which had given support and satisfaction to a lot of software engineers which will in future seek their fortune in the offices of the software giants.


NAFTA and FTA

The Trade Act 1979 called for study on the possibility of a free trade area around the Americas. Throughout the 1980s, economic problems, including heavy international debt burdens, precluded trade liberalization policies in Mexico. U.S. trade negotiations turned north, and by 1989 a U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed.

The Bush administration in 1990 signed an agreement with the Mexican government and in 1992 Canada joined the negotiations. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into life, entering into force an 1994.

The Clinton administration proposed expanding NAFTA to whole of Latin America in 1994. The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) aims a comprehensive trading regime, reducing both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade among the thirty four democratic states of North and South America.

Nine areas covered by FTAA
Agriculture, Market Access
Investment
Government Procurement
Services
Dispute Settlement
Intellectual Property
Competition Policy
Subsidies, Anti-dumping
Countervailing Duties

NAFTA dates back as far as 1956. It just confirmed what has been going on for over 35 years. The U.S. government first sponsored and funded the moving of U.S. factories to Mexico and Central America in 1956. In these regions very low pollution standards still exist. It was supposed to be just a temporary program where the U.S. consumer could enjoy cheaper prices while at the same time help saving the Mexican economy.

The Free Trade in the form it is now being practised bears danger not only to developing countries, it also outbalances the home labour market of US as well all other places of well developed economy moving abroad not only jobs, but also whole agrarian and industrial segments such as soybean moving to Brazil and clothing industry moving to Asia.

A conference from 4-5 November 2005 comprising 34 countries was held in Mar del Plata. No agreement could be achieved to create The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Opposition to the FTAA was presented by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. These countries demanded that agarian subsidies of the United States should be stopped.

Alca, an organisation which tries to support the creation of FTAA, pledges to continue the talks on agreemets and proposes to exclude the five counteracting countries from the free trade area.

Trade once was based on trading products and not on moving of production and exporting of decent paid jobs to cheaper labor markets. It is a hard task of WTO to eliminate the unevenness between economic regions looking forward to a fair Free Trade. WTO will play the keys of a humanitarian future world backed by its head office, the UN looking benevolently to NGOS both should behave as partners working on the dissent between human groups.

Environment and trade

OECD

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a multilateral organization composed of members from the industrialized nations looked after the impact on environment caused by the industries on move.

To get pollution under control, the OECD Guiding Principles Concerning the International Economic Aspects of Environmental Policies was issued in 1972. According to this Guiding, containing the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP), all member states should cooperate.

Some other trade agreements include environmental protection, such as The Montreal Protocol and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. It includes trade sanctions in case of non-compliance.

In the 1990s, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) for Tuna/Dolphin dissent. The WTO had ruled the US policy of banning imports of tuna from states that used purse fishing techniques to catch tuna, and subsequently kill dolphins, violating the terms of GATT, followed by the rule against US (1998) to ban on shrimp imports caught without Turtle Excluder Devices.

Environmental treaties can be disrupted if WTO rules of trade are used to nullify those environmental enforcement measures under the assumptions that they violate free trade principles. The WTO has therefore the responsibility to look for a future balance between environmental behalves as being part of good trade principles.

The Declaration of Doha on Trade and Environment 2001

The Declaration of Doha wants to increment the relationship between existing WTO rules and specific trade obligations set out in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).

World Bank

The World Bank Group's mission is to fight poverty and improve the living standards of people in the developing world. It is a development Bank which provides loans, policy advice, technical assistance and knowledge sharing services to low and middle income countries to reduce poverty.

Education

Education is central to development. The Bank has committed in loans and credits for education.

HIV programmes

The World Bank is combating the spread of HIV/AIDS around the world.

Anti-corruption effort

The WB is a leader in the anti-corruption effort. It is committed to ensuring that the projects it finances are free from corruption, setting up stringent guidelines and a hotline for corruption complaints.

Debt reliefs

In 1996, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) launched the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative reducing the external debt of the world's 26 poorest, most indebted countries.

Biodiversity

The World Bank is one of the largest funders of biodiversity projects. The greatest impacts are felt by rural people in developing countries.

Environmental assessment

In addition to environmental assessments and safeguard policies, the Bank's environment strategy focuses on climate change, forests and water resources. For example, to help to reduce the effects of global warming launching the new BioCarbon Fund.

Organization of the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group consists of five closely associated institutions, all owned by member countries that carry ultimate decision-making power. Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. The term "World Bank Group" encompasses all five institutions. The term "World Bank" refers specifically to two of the five, IBRD and IDA.

IBRD

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lends to developing countries with relatively high per capita incomes.

IDA

The International Development Association (IDA) provides assistance on concessional terms to the poorest developing countries, those that cannot afford to borrow from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

IFC

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) promotes growth in developing countries by providing support to the private sector. In collaboration with other investors, the IFC invests in commercial enterprises both through loans and equity financing. IFC's mandate is to further economic development through the private sector.

MIGA

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) helps encourage foreign investment in developing countries by providing guarantees to foreign investors against loss caused by noncommercial risks, such as expropriation, currency inconvertibility and transfer restrictions, and war and civil disturbances.

ICSID

The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is an autonomous international organization. However, it has close links with the World Bank. ICSID provides facilities for the conciliation and arbitration of disputes between member countries and investors who qualify as nationals of other member countries.

IMF International Monetary Fund

The IMF is an organization of the United Nations. It was established to promote international monetary cooperation, exchange stability, and orderly exchange arrangements; to foster economic growth and high levels of employment; and to provide temporary financial assistance to countries to help to ease balance of payments adjustment. The IMF is the central institution of the international monetary system of international payments and exchange rates among national currencies that enables business to take place between countries.

The IMF works for global prosperity by promoting the balanced expansion of world trade, stability of exchange rates, avoidance of competitive devaluations, and orderly correction of balance of payments problems.

The work of the IMF is of three main types. Surveillance involves the monitoring of economic and financial developments, and the provision of policy advice, aimed especially at crisis-prevention. The IMF also lends to countries with balance of payments difficulties.

Surveillance

IMF in its work of surveillance developed internationally recognized standards and codes covering government policy making and operations.

The IMF plays a key role as standard setter in this area. Such as the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), The Code of Good Practices in Fiscal Transparency, the Code of Good Practices in Monetary and Financial Policies, and the Principles and Guidelines for Insolvency and Creditor Rights Regimes.

Loans

A main function of the IMF is to provide loans to countries experiencing balance-of-payments problems so that they can restore conditions for sustainable economic growth.

Technical Assistance

The IMF provides technical assistance in its areas of expertise, which include fiscal policy, monetary policy, and macroeconomic and financial statistics.


OECD Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

The OECD groups 30 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy. With active relationships with some 70 other countries, NGOs and civil society, it has a global reach. Best known for its publications and its statistics, its work covers economic and social issues.

Anti-corruption Instruments and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises The Guidelines seek to promote and facilitate companies' contribution to the fight against corruptionbribery, solicitation of bribes and extortion.

OECD Anti-corruption Activities :The core of the OECD's action against corruption is dedicated to curbing bribery in international transactions.

European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF)

The European Commission, in close co-operation with the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF), Brussels Prosecution Service and French and Dutch police arrested two officials at the Commission's Directorate General for Agriculture on 21th October 2003 alleging corruption and insider trading in the cereal market. They had supplied confidential information with major economic and strategic value for the cereals business Paris and Rotterdam headquarters of two French and Dutch cereals groups. This demonstrates how important the work on anti-corruption and anti-fraud is especially in inter-government and international bodies.

Excessive trade endangers species


The trade in caviar endangers the population of sturgeon [189]

Important sturgeon basins include the Caspian Sea, the Great Lakes of North America, the Azov Sea and the Amour River. The number of sturgeons and their status have been affected by such negative factors as regulation of water flow, decrease in natural spawning sites, poaching and illegal trade in sturgeon caviar and other specimens.

In an attempt to assure sustainability of sturgeon (species in the order Acipenseriformes) the FAO Committee in its Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES Bremen, 3-6 June 1998 presented considerations and recommendations on the "Conservation of Sturgeons"
Important recommendations of the conference of 1998: [189] To avoid depletion of sturgeons the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) publishes export quotas for caviar in an attempt to assure the sustainability of sturgeon.

High levels of poaching and illegal trade in the Caspian Sea accounts for some 90 per cent of world caviar trade. It is believed that for every registered 1,000 tonnes of caviar, there is 12-14,000 tonnes placed on the black market.

The 169 member countries of CITES have set strict conditions for permitting caviar exports. Countries sharing sturgeon stocks must agree amongst themselves on catch and export quotas based on scientific surveys of the stocks.

Importers in the European Union must ensure that all imports are from legal sources, and they must establish registration systems for their domestic processing and repackaging plants. However, many key importing countries have still not put these measures in place.

Further action is needed to regulate trade in caviar, meat and other Sturgeon products and to ensure that fishing levels are sustainable: [190]

Netfishing and overfishing threatens fish species in the Mediterranean [191]

Many commercial fish, several types of sharks, rays and more than 40 species of fish may disappear from the waters of the Mediterranean sea in a near future. Many of the specialities of the Mediterranean cuisine are frozen and flown in from abroad.

According to Kent Carpenter, leading author of a 2011 report of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the population of the blue fin tuna has declined by 50 percent in the last 40 years due to overfishing.

The report says that half of the Mediterranean's 76 species of sharks and rays are considered threatened or endangered. Twelve types of bony fish are likewise in trouble. The use of trawling nets, as well as the illegal use of driftnets, are a major reason for the decline of the marine species of the Mediterranean Sea, which includes dolphins, turtles and birds. Catch quotas set each year are too high to allow fish stocks to maintain health. And there is widespread disregard of those quotas. The group calls for more comprehensive protection programs in the region as well as strict regulations governing the methods of fishing that are allowed.

Re population of European Riverswith Sturgeon

A fish specialist at Berlin's Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Frank Kirschbaum, along with his Polish colleague Jörn Gessner want to repopulate German rivers with the Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhyncus) , which had been threatened with extinction worldwide In 2007 young sturgeons will be set free in the river Oder , a river ending in the Baltic Sea. This fish had been bred in aquariums in the Regional Center for Agriculture and Fishery in the town of Born.

Other rivers such as Elbe and Weser ending in the North Sea, are difficult to repopulate with sturgeon because of weirs blocking the sturgeon off to their spawning ground. There the European variety of sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) had its natural home a century ago. This variety of sturgeon is being bred by Frank Kirschbaum using remnants from a tiny population still living in the Gironde River, near Bordeaux, France.

The sturgeon lives in the sea and migrates upriver only to mate. Pollution from factories and sewage from the cities and weirs caused the population of sturgeons to diminish.

Another variety of sturgeon is Hausen, the German name for the beluga sturgeon ( Huso huso ). It is the largest species of the sturgeons and can weigh up to a ton. It is known because of the Russian caviar. It lives in the Caspian, Black Sea and occasionally in the Adriatic Sea.

Inland water are important for carbon cycling [192]

According to Battin and colleagues 2009 inland waters, such as streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and wetlands play an important role in processing organic carbon and must be integrated in a global climate strategy. The authors point out that twenty percent of the continental sequestration are deposited as sediments in rivers and other open waters, its outgassing contributes carbon to the atmosphere in an amount equivalent to 13% of annual fossil fuel burning.

In their study the authors describes the carbon transfers between the land-freshwater boundary, the freshwater-atmosphere boundary, and regional boundaries within continents. They point to the fact that rivers transport the carbon which escapes sedimentation or outgassing and modifies carbon accounts of distant regions.

Wetlands are important in carbon cycle [193]

Wetlands and marsh areas bind carbon dioxide, protect the cost and provide habitat for a variety of species. Based on the results of the study "The Boundless Carbon Cycle" the importance of the protection of wetlands, mangroves and free waters become eminent.

Needelman and colleagues 2008 stress that tidal marshes are excellent at capturing carbon dioxide, because decomposition is very low. Most of the sequestered carbon remains bound there.

To protect these biotypes sediments of rivers and bays are pumped into washed-out marshes functioning as carbon sink. The group around Needelman control carbon content of these restored marshes analysing yearly soil samples. The authors report that the average carbon content in the restored marsh was 35 kg m-2 while the reference marsh has only 24 kg m-2 due to a greater bulk density. A surface carbon accumulation of 1.8 Mg C ha-1 yr-1, resulting from deposition of new organic material was also found by the authors.

Healthy headwaters [194]

Louis A. Kaplan and a group of scientists stress the importance to protect headwaters tributary streams, intermittent streams, and spring seeps with forested riparian buffer zones to keep stream and river ecosystem healthy.

Healthy, undisturbed headwaters supply organic matter that contributes to the growth and productivity of higher organisms, including insects and fish, keep sediment and pollutants out of the main stream, and protect biodiversity of flora and fauna.

Forested buffer zones protect these headwaters extending the total area of aquatic habitat, protect against pollution, slow erosion, keepsthe water cool for best trout survival.

The authors recommend that smaller watershed be protected, riparian forests be adopted as a best management practice and that these forested buffers be preserved and restored along as many reaches as possible.

The Roadmap to Recovery of Marine Reserves

[195] The high seas lie beyond the 200 nautical mile limits that define the extent of national sovereignty by countries of the world. They cover 64% of the area of the oceans, and nearly half the surface of the planet.

They are a global commons, under the stewardship of the United Nations Law of the Sea for the benefit of all nations. However, the sustainability of this area is endangered.

Cod stocks in the North Sea, Irish Sea and west of Scotland, for example, remain well below minimum recommended levels.

The International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), preparing the Roadmap, calls for a ban of fishing for cod in the North Sea for the fourth year running.
To avoid further depletion Callum M.Roberts and colleagues brought together many different kinds of biological, physical and oceanographic data,enabling to identify hotspots of activity of vulnerable species which include tunas and billfish, albatrosses, turtles, pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) and penguins. The Roadmap includes maps of different biogeographical zones and recommend areas for protection.

In order to reverse the precipitous decline of the life in our oceans and fulfil the targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Roadmap calls on the United Nations to take urgent action to establish and protect a global network of marine reserves on the high seas.

The Roadmap is available at http://oceans.greenpeace.org/raw/content/en/documents-reports/roadmap-to-recovery.pdf

Law of the Sea (LOS) [195] [196]

The high seas are the least regulated and least protected places in the world. Lying beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, they are governed by the United Nations Law of the Sea. This convention only came into force in 1994, and has yet to be signed by some of the most influential nations in the world.

The Law of the Sea enshrines the right of access and use of the high seas for all. It allows for nations to fish, lay submarine cables and pipelines, or create other installations such as rigs and even artificial islands. Fishing operations are insufficiently being monitored, leaving fishing fleets to exploit high seas resources unhindered.

U.S. arguments against the treaty of the Law of the Sea

National sovereignty: The treaty limits US legal authority by granting power to a United Nations-created agency.

War on terror

The treaty limits US military activities especially relevant to anti-terror operations, such as intelligence collection and submerged travel in coastal waters and the boarding of ships for anti-terror purposes and limits the sea to "peaceful purposes," which is said to restrict all military operations (Articles 88 and 301).

Redistribution of wealth

The treaty would force the US to pay taxes to the United Nations, further increasing the UN's power.

Redistribution of technology

The treaty would force US businesses to turn over economically and militarily relevant technology to other countries.

Undesirable precedent

The treaty paves the way for increased power of Non-governmental organizations over the US and other nations.

Indicators of Sustainable Development for Scotland: Progress Report 2004 [197]

Scotland, in its report Progress Report 2004 related to sea fishery analysed 21 species, of which only five stocks were found within safe biological limits in Scottish waters in 2003. These safe stocks were North Sea Norway Pout, North Sea Herring, North Sea Haddock, Saithe (VI, IV & IIIa) and West of Scotland Haddock.

All other stocks were found to be outside safe biological limits. Some of them, such as Cod, Haddock and Plaice for example, are particularly at risk (i.e. close to collapse).

Aquaculture increases for fish meal for feed [198]

According to the Report to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds June 2004 aquaculture has become the fastest growing sector in the world food economy. According to FAO, aquaculture and marinculture will dominate in the next few decades, increasing the demand for fish meal and oil for feed, derived predominantly from wild stocks of pelagic fish harvested by "industrial" fisheries.

Peru, Chile,China and EU are the largest manufacturer of fish meal. Within the EU, Denmark is the most significant producer of fish meal and oil.
Fish meal and fish oils are used internationally as feed for farmed animals and are considered a high quality source of proteins, minerals and vitamins. Carnivorous fish require more protein than herbivorous fish and the meal is produced accordingly. China is the largest consumer of fish meals and takes approximately a quarter of world production.

Many industrial stocks are susceptible to collapse under intensive harvesting regimes, resulting in a wider ecosystem effect of these fisheries and the impacts on commercial fish and wildlife dependent on them. Many species of sea bird are dependent on small fish such as sandeels and anchovies. Intensive fishery will endanger these sea birds and other species feeding on these small fishes.

Alternate Protein and Oils Sources [198]

Alternatives to animal feed produced from fish meal and fish oils are limited Fishmeal provides a better balanced amino acids, vitamin composition, and lower cost compared with other protein sources

EU legislation on additives and GM ingredients constraining high levels of substitution limits the substitutability of fish oils
Fatty acids and aminoacids profile are limiting barriers to substitution of omega-3 fatty acids marine oils with plant oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids will weaken the immune system, making fish more vulnerable to diseases and low oxygen levels. The report says also that higher plant protein diets may increase particulate waste and organic pollution.

Soya is the main competitor product to fish meal. Soya is cheaper than fish meal but nutritionally poorer.

New Fish Feeds Made from Fish Byproducts [199]

Dong-Fang Deng and Peter Bechtel developed new fish feeds made of discarded fish portions, such as head, tail, bone, skin and internal organs. The researchers report that many of the Alaska fish parts, added to plant-protein-based feed, act on shrimps as feeding stimulants. The researchers are currently examining how to best use fish byproducts to develop practical feeds that are nutritionally balanced, cost effective and safe for the environment.

Many of the Alaska fish parts act as feeding stimulants that, as their name implies, stimulate fish to eat their rations. That occurred in studies with Pacific white shrimp that were fed plant-protein-based feeds to which fish-processing leftovers had been added.

The scientists say that from 2 million tons of wild-caught fish 1 million tons are undervalued leftovers which are ground, dried, and then sold as ingredients for products such as aquaculture feeds or pet foods

Valuable fish gelatin [199]

Gelatin from the discarded skins of Alaskan pollock maybe used in medicine. Bor-Sen Chiou 2010 develops films made from fish gelatine and the bioplastic polylactic acid (PLA) which comes from fermented corn sugar.

The fish- and corn-derived films may be used to produce semi-synthetic tissue to speed repair of injured bone or cartilage and nanofibres of this material may act as matrix on which cultured human cells may replicate. This may be used as allergen-free transplants.

Alternative Fish Feeds for Aquaculture [200]

Aquaculture now supplies half of the seafood produced for human consumption, but are running short of fishmeal from small, bony fish species like menhaden, herring and capelin.

To satisfy these demands, Barrows and his colleagues at the ARS Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research Unit in Hagerman, Idaho, are developing alternative fish feeds for trout, salmon, white sea bass and yellow tailmade from concentrated plant proteins. Protein levels in most grain and oilseed sources are low and need to be concentrated to reach the high protein requirements of fish. Combinations of alternative proteins, plus a fishmeal diet are being tested. Ingredients such as corn, gluten meal, and soy proteins are used to develop feeds that contain less fishmeal.

Various plant- and animal-based alternatives are now used or available for industrial aquafeeds, depending on relative prices and consumer acceptance, and the outlook for single-cell organisms to replace fish oil is promising [201].

Smoking and fermenting fish leftovers provides spoilage protection [202]

Alaska salmon oils are rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids used in food and pharmaceutical industries. Bower and Hietala 2010 preserved pink salmon leftovers of the oil extraction using a combination of smoke-processing and acidification with lactic acid bacteria, fermented below pH 4.7, and lactic acid concentrations over 15 g/L. The salmon tissue discarded after oil extraction may be used in the production of high-protein crackers and other fish-based food products with smoke-flavouring and antioxidant factors extending the shelf life of the final product.


US Farmed tilapia and catfish with unhealthy fatty acids characteristics [203]

According to Floyd H. Chilton and colleagues 2008 farm-reared tilapia has very low levels of, beneficial omega-3 fatty acids ranging from almost undetectable to 0,5 g/100g fish, and high levels of long-chain omega-6 fatty acids such as arachidonic acid, related to pro-inflammatory effects, in ratios up to 11:1 of omega-6:omega-3.

Farmed trout and Atlantic salmon contained a healthy high concentrations of omega-3 PUFA at 3 - 4 g/100 g of fish in a ratio of 1:1 with omega-6 content.

The authors stress that changes in the fishing industry have produced fish with unhealthy fatty acid characteristics such as farmed tilapia which is rich in arachidonic acid known to have pro-inflammatory effects.

Recommendations for improving the sustainability of feed fisheries [198]

Ethical trade

Other organisations are looking at the problem of the land workers which are often used as slaves in the soy farms.

Ethical trade - or ethical sourcing - means the assumption of responsibility by a company for the labour and human rights practices within its supply chain.

Ethical sourcing tries to ensure that decent minimum labour standards are met in the production of the whole range of a company's products. By contrast fair-trade is primarily concerned with the trading relationship, especially those involving small producers in the South. Fair-trade ensures that producers are paid a decent price that at least covers the true costs of production, despite often serious fluctuations in world commodity prices.

Many consumers will always be prepared to buy special fair-trade products, while expecting that mainstream products are safely and decently produced. [204]

Cargill will support Conservancy efforts in Brazil's Amazon region to increase awareness and use of agricultural best practices among soya producers and help promote sustainable economic development in a region that is experiencing rapid agricultural development. The Conservancy has been working with farmers, along with governmental and private sector agricultural partners, to encourage better management practices and conservation opportunities for critical habitat located on private lands.

Milk powder online says good by to price stability [205]

Milk powder is a basic food in countries with poor cattle breeding, underdeveloped refrigeration and poor transportation system. Milk powder has a long self-life even under harsh condition and may be stored in homes with no refrigerator. Milk powder is therefore an essential food for poor countries. Aid organisations have also raised concerns about the depletion of government stockpiles of milk powder.

Fronterra, which controls more than one-third of international dairy product trade is based in New Zealand. The company will begin online trading in milk powder in July to take advantage of rapid price movements. The company hopes to add milk to other commodities such as oil, sugar and coal which are already selling online successfully.

Changing from contracts up to one year in advance, to daily settlement of price the company hopes to take full advantage of soaring prices. Price stability is thus further weakened.

Fronterra expands its production capacity of whole, skim and butter milk powders, cheddar cheese for the Japanese, Middle East and Philippines markets. The company will also produce whey cheese, casein, anhydrous milk fat and whey protein concentrate. According to Frnterr the dairy demand will grow at around 3 per cent a year on the back of sales in markets like China, Latin America and the Middle East. [206]

Fermentation products

Alcohol and vinegar are typical products of fermentation. New fermentation of sugars of cereals, corn or wheat by bacteria or fungi produces antibiotics, amino acids such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) threonine, tryptophan, and lysine, an ingredient of feed industry. Organic acids, such as citric acid are another important part of biotechnology. [207]

Enzymes, vitamin C amino acid market of lysine and MSG, opened a production facility of aminoacids in 2005, situated in Limeira, Brazil, where abundant main raw materials are available. Amino acids are marketed for beverages, health foods, supplements and sports nutritional such as glutamine and branch chain amino acids (valine, leucine and isoleucine) used for maintaining and building skeletal muscle.

The global market for alternative sweeteners, currently leading growth in the food additives market, holds considerable potential- growing 8.3 per cent year on year until 2008 according to market analysts Freedonia - as rising health concerns drive consumers towards sugar free products and food makers introduce zero-calorie or low-calorie sugar substitutes into their new product formulations. Alternative sweeteners like aspartame, xylitol and other sweeteners are won by fermentation.

Biotechnology can thus bring new fields of activities to developing countries.

Response surface methodology (RSM) [208]

In statistics, response surface methodology (RSM) explores the relationships between several explanatory variables and one or more response variables. The main idea of RSM is to use a sequence of designed experiments to obtain an optimal response. This model is only an approximation, but it is used because it is easy to estimate and apply, even when little is known about the process. Nonetheless, response surface methodology has an effective track-record of helping researchers improve products and services.

Ebrahimpour and colleagues 2008 report that artificial neural network (ANN) was superior over RSM for both data fitting and estimation capabilities, when used for their study. ANN, however, requires large amounts of training data in comparison with RSM. This disadvantage may be avoided using statistical experimental design to reduce the number of experiments. [209]

Artificial neural network (ANN) [210]

An artificial neural network (ANN), usually called "neural network" (NN), is a mathematical model or computational model that is inspired by the structure and/or functional aspects of biological neural networks. A neural network consists of an interconnected group of artificial neurons, and it processes information using a connectionist approach to computation. In most cases an ANN is an adaptive system that changes its structure based on external or internal information that flows through the network during the learning phase.

Basri and colleagues 2007 write that the classical method of optimization of processes involves varying one parameter at a time that ignores the combined interactions between physicochemical parameters. RSM and ANNs are better suited for modelling biochemical and chemical processes, compared with the classical method. [211]

Takayama and colleagues 2003 say that response surface method (RSM) based on the second-order polynomial equation used for optimization of drug formulations provide poor results. The authors describe the basic concept of the multi-objective simultaneous optimization technique, in which an artificial neural network (ANN) is incorporated. [212]

Renewable fuel in the City of Portland

USA and Biofuel

USA, trying to boost farming started many projects. National Renewable Energy Laboratory claims that the production of ethanol from US corn has already reached the volume of the Brazilian production. [213]

The City of Portland, Oregon issued the Biofuel Requirements act, demanding that in the City of Portland, on and after July 1, 2007 all diesel fuel shall contain 5% biodiesel (B5 fuel) and on and after September 16, 2007, all gasoline shall contain a minimum blend of 10% ethanol (E10 fuel), Biodiesel for this act is produced from used cooking oil and/or feedstock from the Genera Brassica (rape, mustard), Caina, Helianthus (sunflower) or Carthamus (safflower).
Palmoil is excluded from this issue. [214]

The sustainability of corn farming in the US corn belt [215]

Tad Patzek, from the University of California looks at the thermodynamics of the corn-ethanol biofuel cycle in 2004. He concludes that the minimum cumulative exergy consumption in restoring the environment polluted and depleted by the industrial corn-ethanol cycle is over 7 times higher than the maximum shaft work of a car engine burning the cycle's ethanol.

The industrial corn cycle is not renewable, and is unsustainable by a wide margin. The limiting factors, nutrient-rich humus and water that carries the dissolved nutrients to plant roots are augmented by chemicals obtained in the linear, irreversible fossil fuel-based processes. Corn yields demand continuously increases in fertilization rate of corn fields. Patzek writes that the annual corn-ethanol biofuel production is a human assault on geologic processes and the geologic time scale.

Ethanol became the salvation for Midwest corn growers struggling to make ends meet with a saturated market and slumping prices. U.S. ethanol production is rising dramatically, thanks to generous corn subsidies, American soils have been depleted for like 50 years or something. The only reason we can get any good yeilds out of them is through massive fertilization. Fertilizer that we synthesize using gasoline. It's very inefficient to use the new bio-fuels, as they ultimately require more fossil fuels to produce than enrgy they yeilds. [216]

Bio fuel worldwide, Sugar cane

Sugar cane grows in regions with abundant rain all the year round growing season, cheap land and not expensive labour. The product can be sold as sugar or as alcohol according to the demands of the market. [216]

Also there is great potential in "enzimatic hydrolysis" for efficiency improvement of the conversion The biomass wastes contain cellulose, hemi-cellulose and lignin. Acids or enzymes are used to break down the cellulose and hemi-cellulose.into sucrose sugar that is then fermented into ethanol. The lignin is more resistant to these pre-treatment processes and is therefore burned to produce energy for the system. [217]

China stops bio ethanol production from food and starts using Lignin and cellulose as raw material [218]

Biofuels are currently manufactured from food crops including corn, wheat, sugar, cassava, sweet sorghum, and oilseeds.The Chinese government fears shortage of food in these items due to biofuel demand which could increase food prices and issued a moratorium on these sources.

China produces about one million tons of Ethanol annually from three million tons of corn. Non-food crops, such as cassava and drought-tolerant sweet sorghum will now have to be used for the production of bio-ethanol. Due to the great demand, China imports cassava from Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Lignocellulose ethanol plant in China [219]

Cellulosic ethanol can be produced from almost any organic matter, including agricultural waste, grasses, sewage, sludge, switchgrass, plant stalks, trees and straw. Cellulose and lignin cannot be digested by humans, the production of cellulose does not compete with the production of food. Transforming them into ethanol using efficient and cost effective hemi(cellulase) enzymes or other processes might provide as much as 30% of the current fuel consumption in the US and probably similar figures in other oil-importing regions like China or Europe.

There are two ways to produce ethanol from cellulose:
- Cellulolysis processes which consist of hydrolysis on pretreated lignocellulosic materials followed by fermentation and distillation.
- Gasification that transforms the linocellulosic raw material into gaseous carbon monoxide and hydrogen. They are then fed into a special kind of fermenter or to a catalyst bed.
They both include fermentation and distillation as final steps.

Turning corn fiber into ethanol [220]

Hans Van Leeuwen, developed a process that can convert corn fiber, a byproduct of the wet milling process that produces corn syrup, into fuel-grade ethanol. It uses a mould which produces enzymes that break down corn fibre into simple sugars which can be fermented into ethanol. This process may also be applied to distillers dried grains, a byproduct of the dry milling process that is typically used to convert corn kernels into ethanol.

According to the authors ethanol is produced grinding corn kernels and adding water and enzymes. The enzymes break the starches into sugars. The sugars are fermented with yeasts to produce ethanol which is distilled.

The authors say that for every gallon alcohol produced there are six gallons of leftovers called stillage. The solids are removed by centrifugation, which may be dried and sold as cattle feed as distillers dried grains.

Half of the remaining liquid, known as thin stillage is used for next fermentation and the other half is evaporated and blended with distillers dried grains to produce distillers dried grains with solubles. The researchers used a fungus, Rhizopus microsporus, to remove about 80 per cent of organic material and the solids so the whole thin silage may be used in the next fermentation batch. The fungus which grows during the process is rich in protein, certain essential amino acids and other nutrients and may be added to distillers dried grains as feed for hogs and chicken.This process improves alcohol yield and reduces energy needed in the process.

Nanotechnology to enhance cellulosic ethanol biofuel production [221]

Dr.James Palmer, of the Louisiana Tech University, developed a method to enclose enzymes used to convert cellulosic biomass (wood, grass, stalks, etc.) to sugars which may be converted to ethanol biofuel. The enzymes which break down cellulose are very expensive. Enclosing them in nanoconstructs makes them reusable for several times. The price of the process may thus be substantially reduced. According to the authors cellulosic ethanol does not compete with food production and may decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 86 percent, while corn ethanol only reduce greenhouse gases only by 19 percent, compared with fossil fuels.

Wheat, sugar beet and rapeseed as biofuel in UK [222]

ESRU at the University of Strathclyde made a survey of biofuel using setaside land in UK.

The paper stresses limitations.
Bioethanol produced from Sugar beet results in a much greater yield, but should not be used as mono culture. When only one type of crop is grow on the same land for successive years then this crop will become very susceptible to certain pests and diseases as well as causing the depletion of certain minerals in the soil. The net result of these effects is a requirement for increased use of pesticides and fertilizers which due to their production process results in CO2 emissions. Sugar Beet yields are considerably higher than that of wheat and so fertilizer requirements are likely to be higher also, again causing increased emissions.

U.S. corn ethanol neglects the problem of monoculture. Depletion of the region and environmental destruction of the Gulf Region will be the result of U.S. ethanol agrarian politics.

ESRU suggests crop rotation to address this problem, stressing that it is necessary to use at least two different crops for producing bioethanol. If rapeseed, which is the crop used to produce biodiesel, is also added in then this will also help the problem. [223]

ESRU says that total use of the 644.000 hectares of setaside land in UK could supply 9,7% by volume and 5,5% by energy of fuel using sugar beet / wheat 50:50.



  Yields Ethanol energy content
  Tonnes/hectare m³/Tonne  
Wheat 7,74 0,336 Ethanol = 21,1 MJ/L
Sugar Beet 53,30 0,108 Petrol = 31,5 MJ/L
Rape seed 3,00 0,400 Rape oil = 35,6 MJ/L
      Diesel= 37,9 MJ/L
Corn 2,00   [223]

Biofuel leading to food-shortage

According to the United States Department of Agriculture the maize consume 2006 increased by 20 Million Tonnes compared with foregoing year. 14 Million Tonnes were used for the production of ethanol, only 6 Million Tonnes were used as food. Cereals which are used to produce alcohol has tripled in five years from 2001. Filling a tank of 120 liters of a Landrower could feed 26 persons for one year. More than half of the harvest of maize from South Dakota is being transformed in alcohol.

A reduction of US maize export which is two third of world export amount, could seriously hamper the cattle and poultry industry in Japan, Egypt and Mexico. Biofuel from food crops are being produced in Brazil (alcohol from sugar cane), USA ( alcohol from maize) and Europe (biodiesel from rape). Sugar price doubled in Brazil since 2004.

The production of alcohol in China from maize in India from sugar cane, Thailand from cassava is being pushed by the government. Malaysia and Indonesia invest in oilplants for biodiesel. This will lead to a shortage of food and increasing prices.

On account of that it is irresponsible from the leaders of the nations which will meat at the G-8 Summit in Germany try to increase world traffic and global increase of energy consumption.

Biofuels cause worldwide eutrophication of important aquatic systems [224]

Nitrates are widely used as fertilisers at farms. Excess levels of nitrates can damage freshwaters and the marine environment by promoting eutrophication. Excessive growth of algae chokes other life. Eliminating excess nitrates from drinking water is very costly. Keeping aquatic systems unpolluted is a responsibility of mankind.

The European nitrate directive [225]

The Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) requires Member States to monitor their waters and identify those affected by pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources, and designate as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones all known areas of land in their territories which drain into these waters and which contribute to pollution. Member States must observe closed periods when manure and chemical fertilizers cannot be spread, a capacity for storing manure when it cannot be spread, and limitations on fertilizer application.
They must also set up appropriate action programmes for these zones, aiming at preventing and reducing such pollution. The directive 91/676 provides a Code of Good Agricultural Practice in land use, use of fertilisers, specifies the amount of manure per hectare and other actions which are to avoid excessive runoff.

The European Commission is taking France to the EU Court of Justice for failing to comply with the EU Nitrates Directive, and urged Poland to monitor water quality.

Dead Zone [226]

Five Percent of the Mississippi river basin accounts for 40% of the Fertilizer Nitrate Causing the Dead Zone. To Restore Gulf Fisheries, Conservation Money Should Be Targeted to Top Polluting Counties. Corn ethanol production has already reached 13.2 billion gallons per year.

A EWG study says that the annual surge of nitrate fertilizer pollution is responsible for more than 70 percent of the total nitrate pollution entering the Gulf. In contrast, municipal sewage accounts for about 11 percent, animal waste about 12 percent, and atmospheric deposition about 6 percent. No meaningful progress has been made in the past 15 years in reducing this annual rush of agricultural pollution to the Gulf.

Midwestern corn belt puts drinking water at risk [227]

Incentives such as farm subsidies and ethanol mandates have resulted in chemical fertilizers and manure surface runoff.

A report of the Environmental Working Group EWG points out that field runoff water carry nitrogen and phosphorus of chemical fertilizers and manure. These pollutants end up in lakes, rivers and inevitably in the ocean. The Mississippi region drains all this in the Gulf of Mexico already maltreated by the oil industry.

High levels of nitrate in drinking water causes blue baby syndrome, a blood disorder of babies, thyroid disfunction and cancer. Phosphorus triggers algal bloom. Chlorine used as water disinfectant reacts with these impurities and creates a series of cancerigenous compounds, off-taste and bad smell of tap water.

Nutrient overload in surface and groundwater and algal bloom at the Midwestern corn belt (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin) create significant water quality problems.

Renewing the U.S. Farm Bill

EWG stresses that farm businesses are exempt from the pollution control requirements of the federal Clean Water Act, and few states have authority to compel farm businesses to adopt practices that reduce the amount of farm pollution. The farm bill should address the environmental damage caused by polluted runoff from agricultural operations. The EWG calls on the Congress to protect drinking water: Reform Farm Subsidies, renew the Conservation Compact (renew the "conservation compliance" provisions of the 1985 farm bill) and strengthen Conservation Incentive Programs such as restoring buffers and wetlands that filter runoff of farm pollutants.

Pollutants in the Mississipi River [228]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), mandated by Public Laws 89-753 (the Clean Water Restoration Act of 1966) and 92-500 (the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972), has established drinking-water standards for both of these to protect public health (Sceery, 1992; U.S. Environmental Protec-tion Agency, 1991a, 1991b; table 5). The USEPA established criteria for nitrate, nitriteand ammonia, but not for orthophosphate.

Nutrient Maximal mg/litre    
nitrate + nitrite 10    
Nitrate 10    
Nitrite 1    
Ammonia Non    

During the last 80 years, there has been a marked increase in the concentration of nitrate in the Lower Mississippi River that has been attributed to the increasing use of fertilizers (Turner and Rabalais, 1991). Before 1940, nitrate concentrations ranged from 0.2-0.4 milligram of nitrogen per liter (mg N/L); since 1940, they have ranged from 1.0-1.2 mg N/L. In the last 10 to 15 years, however, nitrate concentrations do not appear to have changed.

Concentration Nitrate Nitrite Ammonium Ortophosphate
Minimum 0,30 <0.001 <0.006 <0.001
Maximum 6,27 0,115 0,155 0,178
Mean 2,38 0,023 0,015 0,075

UK Environment Agency report says biofuel rises food prices and threatens food security [229]

The UK government 2008 report on biofuels says that this form of renewable energy is an expensive and ineffective way to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and is likely to cause increasing food prices and insecurity in Europe. This assertion is backed by the United Nations FAO which states that biofuel production rises food prices and threatens food security in developing countries.

The report say that the arable land in the EU is not sufficient to meet the target set by the EU Biofuels Directive. Imports will therefore be needed, increase environmental pressures in developingt countries, such as happening with palm oil is already happening in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The production of biofuels affects water use, water quality, waste management, and soil fertility, overuse of chemicals, preparing new land release CO2 and increase the risk of nitrate leaching.

The French "Nutella Tax" was heavily criticised by Malaysian Palm Oil Council [230]

The French government is about to increase of tax on palm oil and some other vegetable oils by 300% hoping of cutting down on obesity and heart diseases. The so called "Nutella tax" would affect any foods made with oils high in saturated fats.

The upper house of France passed the proposal for a tax of 300 Euro per tonne of palm, coconut and palm kernel oil used in human food on top of existing taxes of around 100 Euro. The tax must still be approved by the Senate. The revenues of this tax is planed to finance the national health care system and motivate manufacturers to move to healthier alternatives. The producer of Nutella, a hazelnut chocolate spread, said the company will not change its recipe.

A statement of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council called the French move irresponsible, badly-informed. It ignores the primary source of saturated fats in the French diet.

Sustainability of palm oil certification

[231] Beside health concerns related to saturated fatty acids content, palm oil is at target of environmentalists because of deforestation and social imbalances. Food producers and supermarket chains try, therefore, to have the origin of palm oil certified as sustainable. One certifier is the Roundtable on Sustainable Palmoil (RSPO), certifying approximately 14% of global palm oil production. About 45.5% of the world's current RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil production capacity comes from Indonesia, followed by 44.7% from Malaysia, and the remaining 9.8% from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Brazil, Colombia and Ivory Coast.

Critics on RSPO [232]

The RSPO is a mighty organisation which is being supported by leading food and biofuel companies to improve the bad environmental image of palm oil which causes the deforestation of the natural tropical forests.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Council chief executive officer Tan Sri Yusof Basiron criticised the RSPO to have failed oil palm growers. According to Yusof there are 4.78 million tonnes of RSPO-certified oil in the market and there is no need to produce more if there is no access to France. Planters are not adequately represented in the RSPO, their resolutions are repeatedly outvoted, year after year.

The Malaysian Estate Owners Association (MEOA) president Boon Weng Siew also criticised that the RSPO deviated from its original intent. Oil palm planters do not agree with any change to the existing eight Principles and 39 Criteria, particularly on land use and labour. Boon added that small- and mid-sized oil palm estates in Malaysia have already changed to sustainable oil palm planting following the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and the Environmental Impact Assessment Order 1987. Oil palm planters also must observe the Employment Act, the Industrial Relations Act and the Minimum Standard of Housing and Amenities Act. He concluded that Malaysia's palm oil production is already sustainable by virtue of compliance with national environmental and labour laws.

According to Boon, the claims of environment activists saying that peatland plantations pollutes the air is not backed by scientific data. Oil palm planters disagree with the inclusion of greenhouse gas and carbon footprints calculator in the RSPO principles and criteria.

Another critic on RSPO is that the Roundtable requires palm oil to be processed at an RSPO-certified mill implying long transport ways increasing the carbon footprints which turns certification of smaller growers impossible.

Deforestation by palm oil plantations [233]

The Union of Concerned Scientists report that tropical forests are home to more than half of the world’s plant and animal species. Hundreds of millions of people live in and depend on tropical forests for their survival. However, this beautiful natural resource is at risk because corporate agriculture and timber companies are clearing the forests.

Indonesia and Malaysia, the nations with the largest tropical forests in Asia, are by far the dominant producers of palm oil on the world market today. Their tropical forests are being cleared to make room for new palm oil plantations. Considerable areas of the rain forests of Indonesia and Malaysia are on tropical peat soils. Peat is mostly carbon, and when the forest over it is cleared, the peat begins to oxidize and decompose. As a result, many more tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere over the succeeding years. Only about 10 percent of palm oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia established up to 2003 were on peat soils, but these were responsible for over a third of the carbon emissions.

Solutions for Deforestation-Free Vegetable Oils [234]

Increasingly, they are being used to fuel cars, trucks, and in the future, even airplanes, 9% of vegetable oil is used as fuel. The cosmetics industry uses approximately 6 to 7 percent of the global supply of palm oil.

The demand for vegetable oil have been largely driven by the expanding populations and economies of developing countries, particularly India and China. Government mandates for biodiesel in the European Union, and alcohol in the United States and elsewhere, are also expanding demand for vegetable oil.

The Union of Concerned Scientists suggest some solutions to reduce the vegetable oil demand:
- Producers of vegetable oils should only expand new production onto non-forest lands and work to increase crop yields through a combination of improved breeds and management practices.
- Businesses that buy vegetable oils should commit to sourcing only deforestation-free vegetable oils. However, businesses will need to ensure that standards in the roundtables are strong enough to ensure the products they buy are deforestation-free. Not all certification schemes have standards that ensure the goods they certify as "sustainable" are deforestation-free.
- Governments can establish biofuel regulations that support forests and aim to reduce carbon emissions.
- Consumers can buy deforestation-free products whenever possible.

South Africa revises biofuel program down to 2% and excludes corn from fuel production [235]

Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica announced that South Africa revised the initial proposal of 4,5% down to 2% biofuels of its total petrol production by 2013. Maize will be excluded from biofuelproduction because it is a staple food and food security concerns demand the move to soya beans, canola, sunflower and sugar cane and sugar beet for ethanol.

South Africa produces liquid fuels by synthesis from coal and natural gas making 36% of fuels demand. Imported crude oil covers 64%.

The Southern African Biofuels Association Paper [236]

The Association, however, presented a paper calling biofuel a unique opportunity for South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa to:
a) attract significant investments into rural areas;
b) promote agricultural development at a scale never before seen;
c) materially provide for import substitution of oil with subsequent savings for the national fiscus in many poor developing countries;
d) providing ethanol exports primarily to the north, and
e) overcoming the trade distorting effects that Africa and the developing world have faced for years because of subsidised agricultural commodities.

Net gain balance between biofuel and conventional fuels [237]

The overriding conclusion of the Blottnitz report [237] and the IFEU report [238] had similar findings and concluded that for energy balances was that the use of bio-ethanol in place of conventional fuels or as an additive leads to a net gain, whereas most of the other parameters , such as Acidification, human toxicity and ecological toxicity impacts, mainly occurring during the harvesting and processing of the biomass are in favour of fossil fuels.

Quantity Potential

Blottnitz says the potential of biofuels production is limited. While the annual produced biomass in the world could theoretically provide our total fuel demand, there are restrictions from other competing land use (food production, natural conservation, sustainable agriculture) and usages (biomass for material uses, source of bioenergy for power and heat production). In this way, competing land use alone reduces the usable potential in Germany to just a few percent of the fuel market. Such limitations do not apply to the usage of biomass from waste material.

Biofuel may increase greenhouse gases as a result of a flaw of the climate accounting [239]

Searchinger and colleagues 2009 stress that the climate accounting treats all bioenergy as carbon neutral. This flaw was also included climate regulations 2003/87 of the EU [240] and the The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 [241]. The authors point to the fact that these regulations count biofuel as 100% reduction, and do not count CO2 emitted from tailpipes and smokestacks when bioenergy is being used, and also does not consider the CO2 emission from land use, burning of wood and energy crops. This flaw favours deforestation

The authors say that counting bioenergy from any biomass as carbon neutral, so as handled by the climate accounting, large-scale land conversion for bioenergy is favoured regardless of the actual net emissions. This will lead to further increase of greenhouse gases. The area covered by fuel crops will be higher that the area used for food crops by the end of this century, say the authors.

Increase of biofuel crop can only take place by deforestation, with the loss of tress which are important carbon sinks. On the other fuel crops may use the area of food crops, increasing the use of fertiliser ammonium nitrate which decomposes in the soil releasing nitrous oxide N2O which is a stronger greenhouse gas as CO2. To avoid such undesirable development, the authors suggest global rules to protect forests and to avoid overfertilisation. Should this not be introduced all over the globe the climate will breakdown, say the authors.

Biofuel will cause food and water scarcety [242]

Biofuel, such as ethanol and biodiesel compete with food crops resulting in rising prices of food staples. Robert Service points to an additional problem of biofuel crops which may pinch water supplies and worsen water pollution. The already serious shortage of water will even be worsened by a wide shift from crude oil to biofuel.


Biofuels rise food prices, do more harm to the climate than good and it may harm engines

European plans to provide 20 per cent of EU energy from renewable sources - which are contained in a leaked draft of the EU renewable energy directive [243]. But, the environmental campaign group warned that plans for a huge increase in agro-fuels seriously undermine the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help the world's poor.

A leak of the draft directive says that 20 per cent of EU energy must come from renewable sources by 2020. And, as part of this strategy, all transport fuels must contain at least 10 per cent agro-fuels by 2020. Friends of the Earth criticises: Friends of the Earth say that the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) - due to come into force should be put on hold. The RTFO will require all petrol sold in the UK to contain a percentage of biofuels in order to meet EU targets to increase the use of alternative fuels for road transport.

A growing number of academics, institutions and non-government organisations are calling for the EU to drop its 10 per cent target for biofuels. There are major concerns that biofuels may do more harm to the climate than good. Recent studies have shown that the carbon savings from biofuels are often negligible and that the expansion of biofuel production is leading to rainforest destruction, rising food prices and human rights violations. [245]

According to Mike Childs from friends of the Earth the EU must listen to the growing warnings about this largely unsustainable fuel-source and scrap its damaging agro-fuels plans. Instead it should focus on forcing motor companies to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles, and strategies to encourage people out of their cars. [246]

In Germany a 10 percent addition of alcohol may damage the engine of cars which are not built for this kind of petrol.

Biodiversity assessment of palmoil urgently needed [247]

According to Edgar Turner and colleagues 2007 the amount of research on by-products from the oil palm, soy and biofuels industry is increasing. However, less than 1% of publications were related to biodiversity and species conservation. The authors stress that more studies are needed on conservation strategies and sustainable management of plantations of oil plants. These plantations are cited as a major threat to tropical biodiversity centred on some of the world's most biodiverse regions.

Palm oil is also being criticised for its saturated fatty acids content increasing the risc of coronary diseases.

The war for water and dwindling natural resources of the earth [248]

Mining increases water scarcity in Ecuador endangering food security of the region in 2012. Rural population from all parts of Ecuador claim that the traditional usage of natural water resources is the basis of their existence. The free access to natural and clean water resources is considered a human right, which was even stipulated in the constitution of Ecuador in 2008.

Big mining corporations exploit local resources on detriment of small farmers

The demonstrators are demanding their natural resources should not be sacrificed for mining such as the "Mirador" mine in the Ecuadorian province Zamora Chinchipe on the border of Peru using two million litres per day which are removed from the surrounding rivers and as a result are not available for farming and rearing of livestock of the local population.


The war for oil and territorial claims [249]

Not only water is targeted by international corporations. Oil discovered in 2010 in waters of the Flankland Islands (Islas Malvinas) reignite the military engagement of Great Britain in the South Atlantic in the proximities of Argentina. Its is this huge oil reservoir and also the claim on great area of the British Antarctic Territory which show the ugly side of British colonialism supported by military power sending its warship the HMS Dauntless to the region.

According to an article of BBC in10 Feb 2012, there is a fair bit of sympathy at the UN headquarters for Argentina's position that the Falklands are a British colonial holdover.

FSA activity to reduce amount of saturated fat in foods [250]

The Agency has announced the first steps of its activity to help people in the UK reduce the amount of saturated fat they eat. Eating a diet high in saturated fat and calories can contribute to developing a range of serious diet-related illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers. In the UK, intakes of saturated fat are around 20% higher than official Government recommendations.

A key part in helping to reduce saturated fat intakes will be in developing and building on positive and collaborative partnerships with industry, along with improving consumer awareness.

This programme outlines future work in the following areas: Industry says that palmoil is at target because of their content of saturated fats and the use of hard fractions of the oil to replace partially hydrogenated oils high in trans-fats.


Polish meat and the EU-Russia Summit - Samara, 18 May 2007

EU and Russian leaders will meet on Friday 18 May in a resort near the city of Samara in central Russia. On the agenda are the new EU-Russia agreement to replace the current Partnership and Cooperation agreement, energy, climate change, Russian WTO accession as well as the entry into force of the new visa facilitation and readmission agreements. [251]

The Commission in intensive collaboration with Poland and Russia tries to lift the Russian ban on on the import of polish meat and cereals. Solving this problem could open the way to the EU-Russia Summit in Samara. [252]

Accoding to ambassador Jan Tombiński, in an interview with Euractiv, said that Poland has vetoed the negotiations due to an ongoing ban on Polish meat imports imposed by Russia in 2005 because of meat with falsified certificates. Inspectors of both Russia and the EU Commission visiting Polish factories found Poland to be in full conformity with EU rules. An EU-wide embargo was avoided. There are no reasons to continue this Russian embargo. According to the ambassador, export is a matter of the EU and Poland decided to make this a common EU issue because it is a trilateral issue, with the European Commission as the third party. [253]

The German role carrying the presidency of the EU, seen by Euobserver, is weak, because it oversees fears of post-Communist' countries that Russia is using trade and energy as political weapons to try and divide the new model union. [254]

Yam bean improvement

The yam bean is an attractive alternative to traditional root/tuber crops. Interspecific hybridization combined with intensive breeding methodes are under way.

The Chuin-Type yam bean (Pachyrhizus tuiberosus) is a legume tuber which is consumed like manioc. Grúneberg and colleagues crossed the Chui-type with Pachyrhizus ahipa varieties, and obtained hybrids with high dry matter The authors conclude that hybridisation is appropriate to improve the tuber dry matter content in the yam bean in the Andean region.

The researchers believe that removing the toxic rotenone from the seeds of the Chuin type of yam bean from Peru the plant could provide a protein source as well as seed providing edible oil.

Séraphin Zanklan, a scientist at Centre Songhai in Porto-Novo (Benin) identified a type with high storage root production with very low reduction in storage root and seed production under drought. It has three to five times more protein than potatoes or yams and the storage roots can be processed into a granular flour similar to the current staple of West Africa "cassava gari". The bean could improve food support in poor regions. [255]

The destructive impact of palm oil [256]

Green Peace says that Unilever, Nestle and Proctor and Gamble are driving the destruction of peat lands and rainforests in Indonesia. These companies account for a significant volume of global palm oil use, mainly sourced from Indonesia and Malaysia.


The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is an international multi-stakeholder organization dedicated to bringing sustainable palm oil to the marketplace, as both a source of good for those in producing regions as well as for those consuming the end product.

RSPO's objective is to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil through cooperation within the supply chain and open dialogue between its stakeholders [257]
In 2001 RSPO was set up to bring the deforestation under control, with members like Unilever as Chair of RSPO and members like Cadbury's, Nestlé and Tesco, Cargill and ADM, the two latest representing 40 per cent of global palm oil trade. The Roundtable established ethical and ecological standards for producing palm oil.

The deforestation, however was not stopped, and bad practices such as large-scale forest clearance and taking land from local people without their consent are still continuing. According to Green Peace the RSPO actually risks creating the illusion of sustainable palm oil, justifying the expansion of the palm oil industry. Palm oil plantations are now the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Malaysia and Indonesia. [258] [259]

Monocultures like soy bean plantations, sugar cane and castor oil plantations displace small farmers, menace biodiversity and destroy the rain forest of Brazil.

Increasing sustainable palm oil market [260]

New Britain Palm Oil (NBPOL), together with Loders Croklaan and Lipidos Santiga dominate the sustainable oil market. NBPOL produces palmoil and palm kernel oil which has been kept apart from not certified oil during the whole supply chain. Refining takes place at the plant in Liverpool, UK. The company increases its plantation area by more than 50 per cent, and has already 25,000 hectares of plantations in Papua New Guinea.

The New Britain Palm Oil is an executive member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, bearing the vice presidency of RSPO. Green Palm Sustainability issues the certificates on the sustainability of RSPO and sells these certificates.


Algae may combat iron deficiency and anemia in underdeveloped countries [261]

García-Casal and colleagues studied iron, vitamin C, and phytic acid composition and also iron bioavailability the marine algae Ulva sp, Sargassum sp, Porphyra sp, and Gracilariopsis sp integrated in rice meals. The researchers found 157 mg iron/100 g in Sargassum and 196 mg iron/100 g in Gracilariopsis, and ascorbic acid concentration were found to be 38 micro g/g dry weight in Ulva and 362 micro g/g dry weight in Sargassum. Phytates were not detected in the algae.

The authors concluded that algae are good sources of ascorbic acid and bioavailable iron, and stressed that promoting algae consumption could help to improve iron nutrition in underdeveloped countries to combat iron deficiency and anemia.

Omega-3 rich krill oil [262]

The population of krill, small marine crustaceans which are the main feed for whales, has reduced in the past 30 years, resulting in some concern over its harvesting for krill oil. The Antarctic Krill Conservation Projectis a growing network of organizations working together to promote krill conservation.

The group is concerned about increasing catches to supply growing demand for krill as aquaculture fishmeal, obtain krill oil for nutritional and medical purposes, bycatch of larvae and juvenile krill, as well as new catch technologies enabling much larger catch totals, could have a combined impact that outpaces efforts to protect krill and dependent species.

Aker BioMarine, a Norwegian company promote its krill oil product as a dietary supplement in the Nordic Countries and the United Stateshas and predicts high growth of this product over the next few years. The company conducted clinical studies on the effects krill on cardiovascular disease, inflammation and joint problems, but results were not released yet. [263]

The company expects for 2009 a total production of krill meal of approximately 20,000 metric tons. New technology for boiling will extract and preserve bioactive components increases the value of the krill meal, the oil containing omega-3 phospholipids and the antioxidant "astaxanthin". [263]

The status of the land and marine mammals [264]

Shipper and colleagues 2008 presented an assessment of the conservation status and distribution of all 5487 species of the world's mammals including marine mammals. According to the authors marine mammals are more threatened than land species because of accidental mortality and pollution, rather than habitat loss. Threads are highest in northern oceans, and lower in Southeast Asia. The authors point out that marine mammals are poorly known. The study presents data which may be helpful for conservation.

Milk Farmer changes German agrarian politics [265] [266]

A third of the country's milk farmers could go under if prices continue to fall. The EU milk production has come to a point where the price paid to the farmers does not cover expenses for feed and energy. Farmers with up to 1.000 cows are on the verge of bankruptcy.

Romuald Schaber, a German milk farmer, facing a dreadful EU and German agrarian politics, founded the Federation of German Dairy Farmers (BDM). All milk farmers immediately joined the BDM leaving a huge void in the mighty German Farmers Association which is failing to look after the needs of small and middle sized farms.

The Bavarian Premier Horst Seehofer has called for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to take measures. Both are very concerned with next elections where the votes of the farmers may play a role.

Romuald Schaber makes pressure on the German and the European politicians to reintroduce the milk quota system to set an upper limit of milk production in order to avoid overproduction and erosion of milk price which is already under production cost.

Another concern of farmers is the infiltration of the market with GM feed such as the Monsnto GM corn Mon 810. Christoph Fischer campaigns against the introduction of GM Food in Europe. His work made the politicians to ban the Monsanto corn Mon 810. Corn is an important feedstuff for milk farming. Farmers were afraid of the bad image of GM feed for their cows.

Christoph Fischer is founder of "Civil Courage Rosenheim". He advocates the Regional Structured Agriculture which is closely related to the work of Vandana Shiva protecting the environment and peasant agriculture in India. These activities try to correct undesirable development of our civilisation caused by mismanagement of politics. [267]

Minhota cow breed produces healthier milk as that of Holstein Friesian cows [268]

Ramalho et al 2012 claim that the milk of the Portuguese breeds of Minhota cows presented healthier fatty acids as Holstein Friesian cows.

The authors found that Holstein milk has higher content of total polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-6, higher content of trans fatty acids and a higher cholesterol content as compared to Minhota milk. Minhota milk had significantly higher monounsaturated fatty acids content, and a higher average amount of conjugated linoleic acid compared to Holstein milk.

Omega-3 and saturated fatty acids contents did not differ significantly among both milk types. Ramalho and colleagues suggest to select the best genetic variant of Minhota cows to improve nutritional quality of intensive milk production.

Eucalyptus industry, an environmental burden for Brazil [269]

Monoculture eucalyptus plantations are advancing over vast areas of Brazil, occupying land inhabited by a rural population living there for generations, displacing them, create poverty belts and menacing ecological diversity.

Pulp industry, such as the Swedish-Finnish company Stora Enso is acquiring land on the west frontier of the State of Rio Grande do Sul. Data from 2005 of the official body FEPAM says that Stora Enso owns 60 thousand hectares and other sources cite 150.000 as real. The Brazilian industrial company Votorantim Celulose e Papel plans to build a new pulp mill near the Laguna Merin. The company will invest USD 1,800 million in the pulp mill, which is projected to produce one million tons per year when finished in 2010.

Eucalyptus plantations take over agricultural land and cause the deforestation of valuable biotypes. A 7 years old eucalyptus tree consumes daily about 700 litres of groundwater. Neighbouring communities dry out. The eucalyptus plantations also make the soil infertile.
Image Eucalyptus Once a small sea is now dried out by eucalyptus culture

Aracruz Celulose S.A., a Brazilian company, world's leading producer of bleached eucalyptus paper pulp has a global market share of 24%. It owns 375,000 hectares of lands in four states The IFC, the International Finance Corporation (A Branch of the World Bank Group) granted heavy loans to Aracruz which made a liaison with Votorantim Celulose e papel founding the Fibria union. Aracruz's land conflicts and not respecting the rights of the Tupinikim, the Guarani and the Quilombola (ex-slaves) indigenous groups have thrown shadows over the reputation of the company. [270]

Charcoal from eucalyptus [271]

Another application of eucalyptus plantations is the production of charcoal. Brazil, Is the largest charcoal producer of the world, with more than 12 million metric tons in year 2002, which is mainly for the metallurgy industry. 16.10.2009

Germany export emission of green house gases and air pollution to Brazil [272]

The German company ThissenKrupp, installed at the periphery of Rio de Janeiro an enormaous steel cookery under the name of "Companhia Siderurgica do Atlantico (CSA)", which is planned to produce 5.5 million tons of steel plates per year, using Colombian coal (4 million tons a year). Once operational, CSA will emit 273,600 tons of pollutants per year, especially carbon monoxide (229,758 tons) and sulphur dioxide (21,540 tons). In addition to the emission of pollutants, the plant will generate 1.3 million tons of blast furnace slag and 382,000 tons of melt shop slag annually. The Environmental Impact Assessment is suspected to have underestimated pollutant concentrations owing to the use of incomplete data on potential down-time.

Monoculture of eucalyptus of Veracel destroys rainforest [273]

The multinational corporation Veracel, member of the Swedish Fibria & Stora Enso is planing to expand its eucalyptus plantations in the South of the state of Bahia/Brazil. According to the local NGO CEPEDES the production volume of 1,2 will be increased up to 2,5 Million Tons of cellulose/year.

Cellulose is produced from eucalyptus wood of monocultures which already cover 120.000 Hectares. Doubling the production means that plantations must double. Monocultures are vulnerable to pests and the use of agrotoxic chemicals, such as Glyphosat und Sulfluramide will endanger local population and the ecology of the region. Eucalyptus plantations need enormous amounts of water. The irrigation system will further undermine sustainability of food plantations of local peasants.

The Brazilian Centro de Estudos Ambientais (Centre of Environmental Studies) says that doubling the production and plantations will not increase employment and will result in heavy environmental and social impact. [274]

Deforestation of the original Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica) continued since 1945 in the southern region of Bahia/Brazil, according to a map showing changes in land cover as the result of deforestation practices. The study of the NGO group Gambá demonstrates the rinks for the local environment regarding Veracel Cellulose activities. The study of September 2009 presents suggestions to reverse the deforestation of the Atlantic Forest. [275]

Rainforests cover less than 6% of Earth's land surface, and host more than half of all the world's plant and animal species live. About 100 to 300 species in one hectare area in South America present a diversity of trees. This will be replaced by monocultures of Palm oil trees in the Pacific Area and Eucalyptus in South America.

Construction of the CSA on area once covered by the Mata Atlantica See Picture page 11 [276]

The construction includes the plant with a capacity of 10 Million Tonnes of steel slabs/y. A coal power plant of 490 mW, consuming 4 Million Tonnes of Columbian hard coal and a port with two terminals, a bridge of 4 kilometres and a pier of 700 metres destabilizing mangroves and sea ground. Chemicals like cadmium, zinc and lead of 20 years of spills caused by Inga Mercantilm which have settled on the ground of these water, were freed again and sludge of deepening of shipping channels were used to raise the terrain of the construction.

ThyssenKrupp says CSA uses filtration systems of its plant in Duisburg, Germany

The production lines at ThyssenKrupp CSA will be equipped with the same monitoring and filtration systems utilized by ThyssenKrupp Steel at its Duisburg site. These systems are among the most advanced in the world and reduce pollution from steel production to an absolute minimum. Gases from the coke plant, blast furnace and melt will be used to generate electricity further reducing the impact on the environment.

Dust emission of CSA causes health impairments after start of production in July 2010 [277]

The costs of the construction of the steel plant at the suburbs of Rio were 5,2 billion euro. After complaints of the population, the Rio de Janeiro state's Environment Institute issued a pollution alert which made CSA to cut production of pig iron from 5.000 tons/d down to a maximum of 3.500 tons/d at its new steel mill. The complaint related the dust emissions from a hot metal casting machine. The mill, however was not fined on this under the promise that pollution will decrease in September, when the pollution causing equipment will be replaced.

More than 60% of the production of CSA will go to Allabama (USA) where ThyssenKrupp has a hot-rolled coil steel rolling mill. CSA is a joint venture with Brazilian miner Vale SA (VALE, VALE5.BR) which owns about 26% of the capital.

Brazilian "Green Steel" is a fairy-tail [278]

Brazilian coal is not cokeable, local coal cannot be used efficiently in steelmaking. Therefore, Brazil's pig iron industry for export or steelworks absorbs almost all coal and coke imports, which are mainly from Australia (34%), the USA (28%) and Canada (13%).

The Brazilian government says that the environment ministry aims to produce "green steel" using charcoal from afforested areas instead of coal. The ministry stresses that one ton of pig iron produced from coal emits 1.9 tons of CO2, while the production of 1 ton of green steel removes 1.1 ton of gas from the atmosphere. This is a fairy-tail discrediting the veracity of all statements of the Brazilian environment ministry. The US-Brazil debt-for-nature swap will be transformed in "green steel".

Brazil, Is the largest charcoal producer of the world, with more than 12 million metric tons in year 2002, which is mainly for the metallurgy industry. [279]

Scandinavian Study finds no increase brain tumour risk related to cell phone use [280]

Isabelle Deltour and colleagues report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, (101, pg 1721-1724, 2009) that the incidence of brain tumour in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden between 1974 and 2003 were stable, decreased, or continued a gradual increase that began before cell phones came on the market. No clear change in incidence trends were noted during 1998 to 2003, a time of 5 to 10 years seen as an induction period to have the disease become evident.

The authors stress that there is no clear biologic mechanism that explains how mobile phones would cause brain tumours, and there is an overall evidence against a risk, however, the etiology of brain tumours is poorly understood and the large majority of the cases remain unexplained.

Dr. Deltour and colleagues write that the findings may be influenced by factors such as that the induction period for brain tumours associated with cell phone use exceeds 5 to 10 years; that the increased risk in this population is too small to be observed; that the increased risk is restricted to subgroups of brain tumours or cell phone users; or that there is no increased risk.

The controversy was intensified in August by the released of the International Electromagnetic Field Collaborative report: Cellphones and Brain Tumours: 15 Reasons for Concern, Science, Spin and the Truth Behind Interphone, [281] which postulated "significant" cell phone risk for brain tumours.

Cellphone and brain cancer [281]

Morgan and Philips 2009 report that regular use of cell phones can result in a "significant" risk for brain tumours. But previous studies have been inconsistent. The report presents useful advices to reduce the cancer risk: Wired headset (not a wireless headset such as a Bluetooth), using speaker-phone mode, or sending text messages; keeping the phone away from the body when not in use; avoiding use in a moving car, train, or bus, or in rural areas at some distance from a cell tower. Keep the cell phone turned off until you need to use it.

The authors also recommend using a corded land-line phone whenever possible, instead of a wireless phone, and to avoid cell phones when inside buildings, particularly with steel structures. Since children face a greater health risk, they should not be allowed to sleep with a cell phone under their pillows or at the bedside. Ideally, those younger than 18 years should not use a cell phone at all, except for emergencies. Most of all, the cell phone industry must react to this report and develop advices which do not pose health risks.

US senate hearing on the health effects of cell phone [282]

Reacting to the International Electromagnetic Field Collaborative Report, the US senate hold a hearing on the health effects of cell phone in September. The final recommendation of the hearing was that more and better research is needed to determine if there is a risk to human health, and while more data are being collected a precautionary approach in the meantime.

Precautionary measures

Israel, France, and Finland, and the United Kingdom issued warnings about the use of cell phones and advise taking precautionary measures, especially for children. France requires cell phones to be sold with earphones, establishes new limits for radiation, all cell phones must be equipped with ear phones and a ban of cell phones advertising for children under 12 years of age and the sale of cell phones designed for children under 6 years was introduced.

High-frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) from cell phones increases brain function of mice [283]

Long-term high-frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure was found by Arendash and colleagues 2009 to provide cognitive-protective and cognitiveenhancing effects. The authors report that in Alzheimer's disease mice, long-term EMF exposure reduced brain amyloid-beta (A beta) deposition through (A beta) anti-aggregation actions, increased neuronal activity, and increased cerebral blood flow, probably due to an increased of brain temperature during exposure. The authors cautiously propose that EMF exposure may represent a non-invasive, non-pharmacologic therapeutic against Alzheimer's disease and an effective memory-enhancing approach.

Researche and education centre, a dream comes true [284]

In three years the dream of King Abdullah came true in 2009 to diversify the Saudi economy, moving it from an oil-based to a knowledge inspired economy. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is now perhaps the most-watched and most important higher education place anywhere in the world. It is believed that USD 20 billion were invested, making the scientific outfit of its laboratories one of the most advanced places.

Some highlights are one of the most powerful super computer in the world. The nanotechnology research is supported by ten advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers and facilities for scanning, transmission, confocal, and Raman microscopy, magnetic and thermal measurements. Oceanographic studies will be performed by the Coastal and Marine Resources Lab. Biosciences and bioengineering include genomic and proteomic labs essential to the study of cellular molecules for DNA sequencing and genetic analysis, as well as the investigation of cellular processes. The genomics facility is equipped with robots and laboratory automation. [285]

Blaming rice to divert from the real causes, the combustion of fossil fuel, bio alcohol and biodiesel [286]

Rice farming is being blame to be a major source of global warming-causing methane coming from the water-logged rice paddies.

According to Reiner Wassmann from the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos/Phillipines, methane is at least 20 times more effective at trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere, compared with carbon dioxide. Methane was responsible for one fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions.

About 10 percent of the methane comes from rice farming, while other sources include the flatulence of cows and decomposing landfill garbage dumps.

The rice farmers in Asia and the rest of the world could improve their agricultural methods, keeping the fiels less watered, and apply reduced amounts of nitrogen fertiliser. Wassman, however, stressed that these fields supply rice as staple food. The carbon footprint of a rice farmer is just a fraction of that of a citizen of the United States or other developed country.

Germany geology in Saudi Arabia [287]

The Helmholtz Centre, responsible for the disaster of the nuclear repository of Asse 2 in Germany where geologic instability caused leakage of groundwater and contamination of the surroundings with Strontium, Polonium and Uranium, is now the advisor of Saudi Arabia.

According to Spiegel Online from March 18, 2010 the geologist Randolf Rausch from the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig explores the reserves of groundwater dated from the post-glacial period in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Increasing agriculture with high demand of water lowers the water table, saltwater infiltrates. To avoid further depletion of their water reserves the Kingdom will concentrate its activities on plantations with low water demand, such as date palms. The wheat culture is going to be completely abandoned. Staple food will be grown in other regions with better precipitation conditions, such as Pakistan which has already given the export guarantee even in case of its own short supply.

Fossil groundwater is the only source of water which dates from the abundant precipitation of the post- glacial period and was trapped in caverns of the sedimentary rock in the East of Saudi Arabia. These water resources threaten to expire. Saudi Arabia consumer 19 billion of cubic metres of water, of which 85 percent are used in agriculture. Most of this water comes from these archaic reservoirs, and only 8 percent are desalted sea water.

German geologist comments ethic, religious believes and living style in the Saudi Arabia Kingdom

The geologist Randolf Rausch relates his impressions on ethics, religious believes and living style in Saudi Arabia in the Spiegel Online article March 18, 2010 as follows:
"At the beginning I had ethic concerns to engage myself for this land of all places" says Raush. "Nowhere the Islam is being interpreted more stringently as here. Women in Saudi Arabia go out veiled in black from head to toe or stay behind walls. Five times a day life comes to a standstill for prayer. Cinemas, theatres and concerts are proscribed. Tourist can enter the country only under stringent restrictions; and those who offend God and the Prophet must reckon to be executed in public. It is a land that did not need to bother about what the rest of the world thought of it."

Does Germany have the right to disapprove another culture?

Is Germany the measure of all things? The unsteady way of Western life is marked by corruption of the bank system, the breakdown of the family, alcoholism, and social abnormalities.

Respecting and maintaining ecological, economic and cultural closed units is a requirement of the communication between different cultures. The Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research is well advised if it behaves non-committal on ethical issues, it is not long ago that the Centre's misconduct with Asse 2 created million Euro costs for taxpayers to clear the mess.

Reintroducing native buffelgrass in Emirate [288]

The Ministry of Environment and Water, and the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (Icarda) are trying to reintroduce buffel grass which uses only a fifth of water needed for Rhodes grass and has similar nutritional content. Six hours a day watering of grass could thus reduced to 20 minutes. Icarda is planning to develop seed facilities in the UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia to check whether seeds are healthy to avoid any disease to spread. [289]

Rhodes grass was imported from Africa and became the leading grass as feed. Rhodes grass needs high amounts of water Most farmers in the UAE plant Rhodes grass and alfalfa as livestock feed.

Buffel Grass [290]

Buffel Grass or African Foxtail Grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) is a species of grass native to most of Africa, southern Asia (east to India), Southern Iran, Middle East, Indonesia and the extreme south of Europe (Sicily). Introduced to Australia and the New World such as the Sonoran Desert Region and southern Arizona. It became invasive. Easy to ignite it became a fire hazzard, regrowing where other plants were ultimately destroyed by fire. In some US regions buffel grass is being controlled by manual pulling and herbicides.

Buffel grass is still valued as livestock forage, however it is not nearly as economically viable as first thought, because of its limited life of pastures, (Ibarra 1999). Buffel grass impoverishes the soil and eventually dies, leaving behind a sterile wasteland.

Rhodes Grass [291]

Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) was imported from Africa and became the leading grass as feed. Rhodes grass needs high amounts of water. The grass is suited to a wide range of soils from light textured sandy loams to heavy textured soils. It has moderate resistance to drought and spreads readily by runners, being useful for erosion control because of strong runner (stolon) growth and a vigorous root system, assuring some degree of drought tolerance, but needs a minimum of 500mm rainfall/y. It is highly salt tolerant

A call for sustainable use of arable land in the region and Arabfood standards [292]

Speakers at the Arab Food Industries and Franchising Forum in Jordan argued that if land in Sudan, Iraq, Libya, Algeria and Morocco were fully used it could support the rest of the region. According to George Nasrawi only a tenth of available arable land is being used for agriculture. Tourism and property offer quick returns, however this management of local resources is not.

According to Arab food experts higher food standards which are valid between all Arab countries are needed. The GCC set of standards are not completely implemented in all countries. Such standards should unify the conditions in which foodstuffs are grown and increased control of amount and type of pesticides being used to insure food safety of the Mena and Gulf region.

Decision to stop wheat cultivation in Saudi Arabia

The government of Saudi Arabia decided to stop wheat cultivation completely by 2016 and import the country’s requirements. Economists asked the government to reconsider this decision. Wheat production might go on have asked the government to reassess its decision to limit the production of wheat and look at water rationing and the use of irrigation systems in order to continue wheat production. [293]

Economists of Saudi Arabia say that wheat is a strategic commodity and too important to be subject to economic considerations. Other countries increase production of basic foods for the sakre of food security. They suggests instead of limiting wheat, the plantation of berseem should be focused, arguing that berseem production consumes five times more water as wheat. Wheat takes only four months to harvest. During the growth rain may fall, reducing the need to irrigate. Saudi Arabia currently imports 1.9 million tons of wheat and produces 1 million ton domestically, with domestic production reducing by 12.5 percent annually. It is being suggested to spare water in car washes, expand the use of treated water in agriculture and industry, reduce crops like berseem, and exploit rainwater collected in dams.

The economists stressed fürther, that in the 70s and 80s Saudi Arabia produced about 4 million tons of wheat annually. No need of imports is seen. Critics also are also uttered that the diary industry has an enormous water demand of 4 to 5 litres of water to produce 1 litre of dairy.

Trees instead of wheat and Berseem

Berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum) is an annual leguminous fodder crop. The first cutting is obtained usually 60 days after sowing and subsequent cutting at the interval of 25 to 30 days. In the mid-hill zone during winter, interval between cutting is about 50 to 60 days. In all, 5 to 6 cuttings may be obtained. On an average, nearly 550 qunitals of green fodder per hectare may be obtained. [294]
One hectare of berseem requires 35,000 cubic meters of water, compared to 7,000 cubic meters for the same amount of wheat. Given the local weather conditions, dairy and cereeal culture is contraindicated. It should be tried to plant argan tree (Argania spinosa L.) which grown endemic in Moroco.The tree is extremely well adapted to drought and other environmentally harsh conditions. The argan trees protect the soil against erosion and the northern advance of the Sahara. The genus Argania once covered North Africa. [295]

Aquifers of Saudi Arabia are limited and unsafe [296]

Carcinogenic radium isotopes 228Ra and 226Ra and thorium in the groundwater were found at high concentrations in the aquifers of Saudi Arabia. Increased radioactive contamination of wheat is expected. Also a limit of these ancients reserves is imposed by the composition of the ground which prevents refilling.


New flowering ornamental trees that can tolerate hot and arid climate [297]

According to the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) flowering ornamental trees such Cassia Fistula and Cassia Nodosa (known as "golden shower tree") may improve the landscape of Kuwait. These trees produce colourful flowers for a long duration and are tolerant to hot arid climates.

Picture: Wikipedia. Flowers of Cassia fistula
Amaltas (Cassia fistula - Indian Laburnum). Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Author= J.M.Garg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassia_fistula
Image Cassia1

The institute studied the germination of seeds and plant growth requirements. Manual scarification was found to be the most effective way of breaking seed dormancy of Cassia sp. Cassia Nodosa seeds recorded a germination percentage of 81.6, and seed germination started thirteen days after sowing and continued up to 29 days. For Cassia Fistula, seed germination started nine days after sowing and continued up to 29 days, and the germination percentage was 85.8, report the authors. The best growth of Cassia Nodosa and Cassia Fistula was attained with a soil mixture of sand/ peat-moss/ humus in 1:1:1 ratio, and a fertilizer concentration of N: P: K at 1g/l.

Picture: Wikipedia. Trees of Cassia fistula
Suniltg http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassia_fistula
Image Cassia2

The authors suggest that Cassia species are suitable for landscape beautification in hot and arid climate such as Kuwait.

Seed Scarification: A hard seed coat that is impervious to water and gases will avoid germination. Breaking, scratching, or mechanically altering the seed coat to make it permeable to water and gases is known as scarification. The hard coat can be modified by sulphuric acid. Vinegar is safer, but less effective treatment. Hot water is also used for some seeds. Mechanical scarification uses a metal file, sandpaper, nicked with a knife, or cracked gently with a hammer to weaken the seed coat.

The bark is rich in tannins, being used for tanning hides. The wood is hard and is used to produce agricultural tools. The pulp of the fruits contain 60 to 70 per cent of sugar, some tannins and colouring agents. The fruits are dried and sold as Manna. The edible part has a fine aroma and is sweet. The pulp is said to be mild laxative. [298]

Seeds are told to be poisonous, however, Jothy et al. 2011 found that oral administration of Cassia fistula methanolic seeds extract did not produce any significant toxic effect in mice, even at a dose of 5000 mg/kg, implying that Cassia fistula in nontoxic. [299]


Nutrients of the edible fruit tissue of Indian laburnum fruit (Cassia fistula L.) [300]

Barthakur, Arnold and Alli found the edible fruit tissue of Indian laburnum fruit (Cassia fistula L.) very rich in potassium, but pulp and seeds were low in sodium. Calcium was 827 mg/100g dry weight. This is the highest calcium content of any fruits and 100 g fulfils the RDA requirement of 800g/day for adults. The fruit is a good source of iron and manganese. Aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and lysine constituted 15.3, 13.0, and 7.8% of the total amino acids respectively in the pulp, and 16.6, 19.5, and 6.6% in seeds. According to the authors the Indian laburnum fruit provides 18 kJ/g and may become a source of important nutrients and energy for humans.

Antibacterial and antifungal potentials of leaves of Cassia fistula Linn [301]

According to Bhalodia and Sukla 2011 the hydroalcohol extracts of leaves of Cassia fistula Linn presented a strong antimicrobial and antifungal activity. Inhibition of the bacterial growth was compared with several antibiotics.

The authors stress that the microbial activity of the Cassia fistula, an ethnomedicinal plant, was due to the presence of various secondary metabolites. The authors suggest that these plants my help in the search for natural bioactive pharmaceutical products.

Panda, Padhi and Mohanty 2011 report that that the alcohol extract of the leaf of Cassia fistula have broad-spectrum activity and suggest its possible use in treatment of infectious diseases. [302]

Antiyeast active compund in seeds of Cassia fistula [303]

Phytochemical screening of seeds of Cassia fistula revealed the presence of anthraquinones, flavonoids, saponins, tannins and terpenoids. One compound was identified is roseanone with anti-Candida albicans activity. The study was performed by Jothy et al 2011.


Tigris and Euphrates basin faces low flow and high pollution [304]

High contamination from pesticides, pollution and excess salinity threatens Irak rivers, worsened by falling flow due to dams and irrigation. Kamal Hussein Latif, deputy minister for technical affairs, fears that because of the low flow of the rivers, marshes at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates might not revive without a moveable barrier system like the anti-flooding project at Venice. A UN project reflooded almost half the 9,000 square km of permanent wetlands by late 2006, but is now down to 34 percent because of drought and reduced water flows.

Dust storms have increased some 20-fold in frequency since the 1970s and drought increases desertification of Irak. Talks with countries upstream on the Tigris and Euphrates-Iran, Turkey and Syria-have gone nowhere. Turkey choked off the Euphrates with hydroelectric and irrigation dams. Flows on the Tigris are now about 280 cubic meters a second and about 220 cubic meters on the Euphrates down from about 500 cubic meters in the 1970s.

In 2011 the driest conditions in 60 years at the Horn of Africa causes unprecedented famine [305]

Farmers of a triangle of hunger comprising the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia say they had no rain for six seasons. Thirsty livestock are dying by the thousands, and food prices have risen beyond what many families can afford. People of southern Somalia undertake 15 days marches to reach a refugee camp in northeast Kenya.

Aid agencies are appealing for tens of millions of dollars in emergency funding. Oxfam hopes to raise $80 million to aid 12 million people affected by hunger in Africa. Over 500 Somalis are known to have died from drought-related diseases, after two successive poor rains. Food prices of sorghum and maize are unaffordably high, says Oxfam. [306]

The European Commission will send $8 million in emergency funding to Dadaab, and has already contributed nearly $100 million to the drought crisis this year. A spokesman for Somalia's most dangerous militant group, Al-Shabab, said that the group will allow aid agencies to return, after a ban in 2009 when Al-Shabab feared these groups could introduce spies or promote an un-Islamic way of life. According to Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage non-Muslims aid aencies must ask for permission by the drought committee of Al-Shabab.

Highest incidence of malnutrition [307]

The UNHCR refugee agency is concerned about the high incidence of malnutrition among Somali refugees flowing into Ethiopia and Kenya. UNHCR and its partners are distributing high energy biscuits for instant calories and micronutrients. These are life-saving interventions. In addition to malnutrition, overcrowding of the camps, which already host more than 382,000 people, is a major concern. The relentless violence, compounded by drought, has forced more than 135,000 Somalis to flee so far this year. In June alone, 54,000 people fled across the two borders.

Commodities [308]

The Berne Declaration, a NGO of Switzerland , unveils Glencore business with commodities and their impact on oil price boom, the food crisis, evictions, security of supply, price speculation. Commodities are trade by Glencore in Switherland, but goods never arrive there. The managers of Glencore roughly tripled their wealth at a stroke by bringing their company to the stock exchange in 2011. The widespread poverty of entire countries and the wealth of some top traders are directly linked. Switzerland is not only a tax haven, but also lacks transparency and regulation - and it attracts commodity trading as a dunghill attracts flies, says Berne Declaration in its book related to Glencore and its commodities trading.

The revenues from this multi-billion business more than trebled in value between 1998 and 2009, driven by rising commodity prices, resulting in burdens for poor countries. In Switzerland the market increased as much as fifteen-fold in the same period. Today the global arenas of this business are located around Lake Geneva and Lake Zug - albeit behind closed doors, says the Report launched by the Berne Declaration. Download sample of the Report at http://www.evb.ch/p25019141.html

Glencore, a global commodities trader increasing its power in grain business [309]

Canada is the world's third largest wheat exporter and a major player in global agriculture. The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), established in 1935, is the only authorised buyer at the Canadian wheat and barley export markets. The Conservative government will put an end to the CWB's monopoly by August. Glencore is eager to enter the Canadian market of the staple foods.


The Canadian Wheat Board [310]

The Canadian Wheat Board was established by the Parliament of Canada on 5 July 1935 as a mandatory producer marketing system for wheat and barley. Although it is often called a monopoly, it is actually instead a monopsony since it is the only buyer of wheat and barley. The Canadian government plans to remove the monopsonies on August 1, 2012 regardless of the plebiscites' results which were in favour of CWB. The agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz claimed the CWB plebiscites were seriously flawed and that the Conservatives' election victory gave them a mandate to remove the monopsonies.

The Swiss commodity trader Glencore will sell stakes of Viterra to fertilizer company Agrium and grain handler Richardson International in order to appease the government assuring that these assets remain in Canadian hands. Glencore gets the Australian grain storage capacity of Australia as a result of the bidding of $6.1 billion for Viterra.

One of the global players of food commodities is Glencore whose business impacts oil price boom, the food crisis, evictions, security of supply and price speculation. Commodities are trade by Glencore in Switzerland, but goods never arrive there, says a report "Commodities. Switzerland's most dangerous business. Berne Declaration" [311]

The Hungermakers, a study of Foodwatch [308]

According to a study of the German organisation "Foodwatch" prices of Food commodities are increasing as a result of speculations of investment banks such as Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, insurance companies, pension insurance companies and foundations. The companies speculate on maize, wheat and other food commodities.

Vulnerability reduction [312]

According to Professor Alexander of the University of Pretoria, poverty is the root cause of internal unrest, cross-border conflicts, land redistribution problems and political instability in many African countries. Natural disasters (principally floods and droughts) are often the triggering mechanism for the downward spiral of impoverishment and eventually to anarchy if not brought under control.

Disasters are not increasing because of the increase in the frequency of hazards, but due to the increasing vulnerability to hazards, says Professor Alexander of the University of Pretoria. He cites the repetitive sequence which increases such vulnerability to disasters as being the growing population, increasing utilisation of natural resources, collapse of natural ecosystems, hunger and malnutrition, migration to the cities, unplanned occupation of high risk peri-urban areas, few employment opportunities, and rising crime rate as a means of survival, breakdown of civil administration, political instability.

According to Alexander it is imperative that authorities make every effort to combat malnutrition, disease, loss of livelihoods, and migration to areas that are perceived to be less vulnerable to disasters. Failure to do so will increase their vulnerability to future climatic extremes.

Professor Alexander predicts a slide from democracy to civil unrest affecting an increasing number of countries on the African continent if the principles of natural disaster reduction and vulnerability reduction methods are not included in local strategies.

The Green Wall [313]

Farmers in the western Sahel have achieved success planting trees amidst their fields. "Farmer-managed natural regeneration," or FMNR was introduced by Chris Reij, a Dutch environmental specialist at VU University Amsterdam in the Sahel mixing trees and crops, also known as agro-forestry. The trees' shade and bulk offer crops relief from the overwhelming heat and gusting winds. FMNR was initially developed and promoted on a small scale in the Niger Republic in 1983. Scale up occurred during the severe famine of 1984.

Desperate need of energy and water

The acute situation of the poor regions of Africa need immediate remediation. Wealthy nations must take action unless their governments will be run down by starving population. Instead of spending billions on military equipment, weapons and ammunition the potentates should install photovoltaic arrays to produce solar energy to desalinate water and to transport water using pipelines to these regions. The strategies explained by Professor Alexander or even the agro-forestry strategy are of great help, but need time which is running out. The strategy of photovoltaic can start immediately, as described at www.Desert Energy Project.net. It may provide an immediate relieve of the dramatic consequences of drought and climate change.

Pesticides and minerals runoff

About 85-90 percent of the water of the rivers is used for crops. When it returns to the Tigris and Euphrates it is laden with pesticides and minerals. The salinity is at about 350 ppm for the Tigris at the Turkish border, and reaches 1,000 ppm when it arrives in Baghdad, down 280 in 1970.

Oil production exerts pressure on water resources

Production of a barrel of oil uses up 1.6 barrels of water and rivers could face further contamination from oil spills and waste.

No immediate concerns for animal or crop production regarding volcano ash [314]

DEFRA states that there continues to be no recorded impact on air quality, water quality or water supply, and no immediate concerns for animal health or crop production following the volcanic eruption in Iceland on Wednesday 14 April.

Any risks affect only people living close to the eruption [315]

According to Fernando Holguin, MD, much of the particulate matter that comes from volcanic eruptions are actually filtered in the upper atmosphere and are not as harmful as the particulate matter that comes from car exhaust. Any health risks would only affect people living relatively close to the eruption because of high concentrations of particles and large amounts of sulfur dioxide.

Much more dangerous are the fine particles emitted by motor vehicles that are smaller than 2.5 microns and are harmful to cardiovascular and respiratory health because they can get into the blood stream.

Health effects [316]

Volcanic ash isharp, has a crystalline structure which causes it to scratch and abrade surfaces when it is removed by wiping or brushing. Rainfall and wind are effective in removing the ash and grass and other plants will eventually bind it to the soil.

Medical services can expect an increase number of patients with respiratory and eye symptoms during and after ash fall. Ash is composed of particles of minerals quartz, cristobalite, or tridymite. These are free crystalline silica known to cause silicosis, a disabling and potential fatal lung disease typically found in miners and quarry workers exposed to high concentrations of siliceous dust over long periods of time. Exposure to respirable-sized free crystalline silica from most ash falls are typically of short duration (days to weeks), and data suggests that the recommended respirable exposure limit of 50 micrograms/m3 of air can be exceeded for short periods of times for the general population.

The Health Protection Agency sees no significant risk to public health because ash cloud is at high altitude [317]

The HPA will continue to monitor the plume's movement although is not expected to touch ground over the UK in the near future. Even if the plume does drop towards the ground the concentrations of particles at ground level are not likely to cause significant effects on health. Rainfall over the UK could cause a small amount of the ash to be deposited over the country but quantities are expected to be too small to cause health effects.

Volcano ash effect on agriculture and food safety [318]

The ash would not only fertilise plants but help the soil hold water and encourage bacteria. However volcanoes can also spew out poisonous ash and government officials are keeping an eye on the situation because of the risk to UK agriculture.

Soluble fluoride on volcanic ash and scoria from the eruption on Eyjafjallajoekull-Fimmvoerduhals [319]

The Institute of Earth Sciences. Nordic Volcanological Center. University Iceland published results of volcanic ash: Soluble fluoride on ash surface: mg F pr. kg ash (ppm).
- Sample from the eruption site - fine glassy scoria: (pH 6.45) Fluoride 92 ppm (Leached in the laboratory. Fluoride and pH of leachate measured in the laboratory).
- Ash sample from snow on the lowland - glassy ash 0.2-1 mm: (pH 5.66) Fluoride 112 ppm (Fluoride and pH measured in meltwaer).

Comment

The leachate is slightly acidic suggesting minor condensate from volcanic gases on grain surfaces. It is pointed out that the samples are coarse ash. Therefore, is has to be assumed that fluoride values will increase away from the volcano where the ash is more fine-grained and its surface are is larger.

It may be inferred that fluoride values on the Mid-southern lowlands might reach 400-500 ppm. These values are similar to the values found during the 1973 Heimaey eruption. Even if these values are only about one third of comparable values for Hekla ash there is reason to be careful and move grazing animals form ash-contaminated fields and melt-water.

Image Ash_Composition
Source: Institute of Earth Sciences. Nordic Volcanological Center. University Iceland.[319]

Volcano ashes and air traffic [320]

According to the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAAA) new upper limit for air traffic is 0.002 g/cubic metre of volcano ash level in air was established . At higher levels of this limit air traffic will be halted. Data of ash levels of past days were below of this limit.

Controversial research of the German "Polarstern" ship, Inuits fear to loose seafood resources [321]

The Nunavut Court of Justice stopped the German "RV Polarstern" of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, a research which is part of the Eastern Canadian Arctic Seismic Experiment (ECASE).

Heinrich Miller from the German Institute says that tests were to provide details about Earth's crust and upper mantle and offer insight into the geological history of the ocean basin between Greenland and Canada.

The German ship planned seismic tests firing off air guns into the water every 10-15 seconds around the clock sailing along the Baffin Bay up to Greenland. The researchers wanted to use 30 submerged seismometers and a 4,500-metre-long hydrophone streamer to record the effects of the impacts on the ocean floor to cover a 800-kilometre-long line along the coast of Baffin Island. This would take 80 hour of intense sound disturbance of marine life.

Scott Highleyman, international director of the US-based Pew Environment Group's Arctic programme says that not science, but oil and gas in the Arctic is being targeted by the tests of "Polarstern". The Department Natural Resources Canada and the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources had joint to study the hydrocarbon potential of the northern Baffin Bay sedimentary basin, including geo-mapping for energy and minerals programme.

The Inuit population fears that the airguns might disturb narwhals, beluga, walrus, seals and polar bears in Lancaster Sound in their migratory route impacting the traditional hunting ground of the native population, furthermore prospects for oil drilling in the region may be risen.

Miller said that areas of immediate interest to oil companies were unlikely to be covered by tests, but that the data could say whether the region has oil and gas potential.

After the disaster of the Horizon oil spill fears of Inuits to loose marine food resources can be understood. Meanwhile drilling for crude oil 200 km from the coast of Greenland is ongoing.

The work of the German Alfred Wegener Institute faced already a controversy in Summer 2009 when the "Polarstern" spread iron salt in the South Pacific to increase the growth of algae to capture CO2 from the atmosphere with negative results. [321]

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