A win for the whales

despite huge corruption at whaling commission

by Rod Marining

humback and calf

A psychic message had gone out to all eco-warriors who had ever fought for whales: “Get your body over to Agadir, Morocco, now!” As we say on the Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace ships, “All hands on deck!”

So there I was at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (June 21-25), walking through loads of security into a room where the fate of the great whales would be decided for one more year. There were 88 representatives from various countries – people who would make the ultimate decisions – and more than 240 non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Everyone was very nervous and there was no clear indication of the fate of the whales, one way or the other. There were powerful forces at play, both good and evil.

Sex was one of the forces working against the whales. Flights, Girls and Cash Buy Japan Whaling Votes read a Sunday Times headline on June 13. A stack of Xeroxed copies of the article sat on the NGO media table and I picked one up. The jokey comments included, “Hookers for harpoons? ‘What do you mean?’ asks the diplomat. ‘You give me harpoons to kill the whales with your vote and I give you hookers, really “good girls” for you. What do you say? We have a deal?’”

It is common knowledge among enviros that a huge block of small nations –surrogates as they are called – have been bought off by the Japanese foreign affairs department and the Sunday Times article provided definitive proof of the corruption. Journalists with hidden cameras and micro-phones had set up a sting operation, posing as anti-whaling lobbyists with very deep pockets, wanting to buy votes.

The Times piece accused Japan of systematically bribing nations with sex, aid, cash and flights in return for their vote to overturn the 1982 ban on commercial whaling and end the hard won Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary – two huge environmental milestones in the battle to save the last of the whales. The journalists spoke extensively to officials from St. Kitts, Nevis Island, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Grenada, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Guinea, offering multi-million pound aid packages if they stopped supporting Japan at the IWC.

For example, within the last two years, Japan had given Tanzania the sum of $88 million pounds (about $160 million Canadian) in fisheries aid. Five Tanzanian government officials at the IWC were given $22,000 pounds for tuition fees and living expenses while they studied in Japan – that’s more than $40,000 Canadian per year times five officials – to get their fisheries degree at a Japanese university.

A Tanzanian official revealed that Japan “secretively” paid for the tickets and hotels for the IWC delegates from different countries. They were also taken on all-expenses-paid visits to Japan where “good girls” would be available.

The Sunday Times reporter asked the Tanzanian official, “So you think the other countries’ representatives are set up with prostitutes from Japan?” The official answered, “Yes, you know, yeah… it starts by… ‘You want massaging? It’s going to be free massaging. Are you lonely? You don’t want any comfort?’”

Both the Associated Press and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation have previously aired stories in which Japanese officials have stated there is nothing wrong with using overseas development aid to buy votes. However, this is the first time prostitution and cash payments have been added to the list of bribes.

I learned the present Chair of the IWC has also received money from the Japanese. The Chair actually confirmed his flights and hotel were paid for by them, yet the NGOs would not call for his resignation. I noted to the NGO that this Chair was obviously in a compromised position and that he controlled the entire conference. When I asked why they would not ask for his resignation, the answer was, “It is better to know the devil you know than to get a new devil that you don’t know.”

After only two hours on Monday morning, the Chair stated, “We are now breaking into secret sessions to discuss the consensus proposal and we will be adjourning to Wednesday morning.”

The consensus proposal called for the approval of commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and other places at a fixed limit of about 1,300 whales per year for 10 years – a harvest of 13,000 whales. A whaling phase-down would follow, (not a phase-out). In other words, kill whales now for 10 years, in the hope that after 10 years we would start saving whales. Kill whales to save whales, sort of like fighting for peace. All this was happening behind closed doors with media and NGOs waiting for the verdict.

On Wednesday morning, it was clear the “deal” was dead. Chairman Livingstone, in his opening remarks, which reviewed the 10 intercessional meetings held since the Commission met in Alaska three years ago, as well as the work completed over the last two days, quickly revealed that many differences between parties remained unsettled, trade and “scientific” whaling among them. The process had been useful in that exchanges had been cordial and frank, but no consensus had been reached. Japan led off the commentary, saying it was willing to compromise to some extent, but unwilling to commit to zero after 10 years of legal whaling in the Antarctic.

On the edge of the Sahara Desert, the great whales were given one more year of reprieve. Japan is again in the position of violating the ban on commercial whaling and killing whales within the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The Japanese state they are killing whales for scientific purposes, yet not one peer review scientific paper has been published. Furthermore, they have never answered the question why it is necessary for them to kill whales for research when the world’s scientific community has been employing non-lethal DNA research for more than 20 years.

Despite an international moratorium on commercial whaling established in 1982 and a huge whale sanctuary surrounding Antarctica, roughly 2,000 whales are killed each year, including endangered and vulnerable species. More than 35,000 whales have been killed since the moratorium began.

Australia is preparing its court case against Japan in the International World Court in The Hague, for whaling within a sanctuary and selling their whale meat. If it wins, it will have the moral right to slap tariffs on Japan. Japan may have a bigger navy than Australia, but Japan’s economy is on the ropes; the prime minister likens Japan’s economy to Greece. A trade war would definitely increase the cost to defend Japanese whaling to a $2 billion+ enterprise. Economics will play a significant role in abolishing whaling industry.

I hope the United Nations creates a navy to enforce the many laws in place for the protection of the great oceans. There is also a need to enforce governance issues, such as buying votes. Diplomats should fear jail sentences in cases of bribery. The IWC, in order to maintain credibility with the world, must investigate and take action to stop such blatant usurpation of the Commission’s integrity.

As for the age-old question of whether or not mankind is an instrument for good or evil, a real battle ensued at the IWC and the profoundest changes took place within a short time frame. Yes, we beat back what amounted to a ridiculous proposal to legalize commercial whaling. Meanwhile, more than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises and 2,000 large whales are slaughtered every year. Many other eco-battles lie ahead and I hope that all good people step forward and take an active role in saving our natural world from greed.

Let’s make mankind an instrument for good. There was a real battle here, where profound changes took place within a reduced time frame. Whales are a symbol of life on this planet. If we save the whales we save the humans. Fortunately the good side has won for now. Lets keep it that way. Get involved.

Take action at:
www.dallsporpoise.org
eii.org/immp/
www.avaaz.org
www.seashepherd.org
www.iwcoffice.org
www.savejapandolphins.org
www.thecovemovie/takepart
www.opsociety.org

Rod Marining is a co-founder of Greenpeace International. He has sailed into nuclear test zones and has disrupted Antarctic whaling on the Sea Shepherd.
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The Second Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium, over five days on Phuket.

Delegates on Phuket hear all about the state of the region's coral  reefs

Delegates on Phuket hear all about the state of the region’s coral reefs

Photo by phuuketwan.com

Phuket’s Reefs Gain from Gathering of Experts

Sunday, June 20, 2010

PHUKET’S coral reefs will gain invaluable help this week from 450 experts taking part in the Second Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium, over five days on Phuket.

On Tuesday, many of them will dive off the reefs themselves, before returning to talk more about the problems that are assailing coral reefs throughout the region.

Phuket Vice Governor Treerayut Eamtakul said today that with so many difficulties to be surmounted to protect the Andaman’s coral reefs for the future, it was timely and useful to have experts from 35 countries offering up their ideas.

The symposium is being held at Royal Phuket City Hotel until Thursday, with the dive trips and mini-symposiums occupying the experts’ time. ”Phuket will be delighted to hear what these experts can tell us,” the vice governor said.

It’s only the second symposium of its kind – the first was held four years ago in Hong Kong. Associated Professor Put O. Ang jr of the Marine Science Laboratory at the Chinese University of Hong Kong told Phuketwan today that the South China Sea and surrounding area was the richest in the world for coral reefs, marine creatures and plants.

But it was a struggle to ward off destructive fishing methods, sedimentation and deforestation, which were responsible for a general deterioration of the marine environment.

”Eventually this affects the livelihood of people who depend on the reefs,” he said. Bleaching caused by the extra heat of global climate change is the latest challenge. ”If the corals die, the whole system will collapse,” he said.

Dr Thamasak Yeemin, chair of the symposium organising committee and a Professor at Ramkhamhaeng University, said some 40 to 50 percent of Thailand’s coral reefs had been affected by bleaching.

”We can’t control the temperature of the water but we can control the number of divers,” he said. ”Other effects from run-off and fishing can also be managed,” he said.

Quality of the coral reefs was the key, he said. ”The reefs are vital for the tourism industry, on Phuket and around the world,” he added.

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Expedition launch: Arctic Under Pressure

Greenpeace heads to Arctic to investigate urgent ocean threats

We are returning to the Arctic Ocean with our ship the Esperanza this month to reinforce the urgent need to protect one of the most pristine and fragile environments on Earth.

 

Our ship departs soon from Germany zoom

Our ship departs soon from Germany The Esperanza will arrive in the Arctic waters of Svalbard later this month.

The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet. As the sea ice vanishes, the fragile marine ecosystem is becoming disrupted and fishing fleets are racing northwards to exploit previously unreachable stocks. At the same time, increasing carbon dioxide levels from fossil fuels and forest destruction are changing the chemistry of our oceans and creating a severe threat to marine life.

The acid test

Our ship, Esperanza, and its crew are joining leading scientists to investigate the change in marine chemistry – called ‘ocean acidification’ as part of our ‘Arctic Under Pressure Expedition’. Although this is a lesser known impact of carbon dioxide (CO2), it has the potential to disrupt our oceans just as much as climate change. The effects of ocean acidification are expected to hit first and hardest in the Arctic, but pose a serious threat to all ocean life, which is already struggling with climate change, over-fishing and pollution.

Each year, our oceans absorb around 8 billion tonnes of the CO2 produced by the use of fossil fuels. The change in ocean chemistry is already evident and causing problems for shell-building sea creatures. But, as the situation worsens, it could cause the breakdown of marine ecosystems and affect the overall ocean health. The survival of corals, plankton and other critical sea life is severely threatened. If CO2 emissions continue to rise at projected rates, there could be a 120 percent increase in ocean acidity by 2060. Ocean chemistry probably hasn’t changed this much, or this quickly, for 21 million years.

In the first experiment of its kind, we are supporting the German marine research institute IFM-GEOMAR (Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences) to study the effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems. The ‘Esperanza’ is taking scientists and over 30 tonnes of scientific equipment, including nine giant marine monitoring systems called ‘mesocosms’, to the Svalbard islands in the Arctic. Scientists from nine countries will be taking part in this research, which is the most comprehensive study on ocean acidification to date. It will highlight yet another scientific reason why we must make deep and urgent cuts in global CO2 emissions.

Under pressure

 

Thinning ice zoom

Thinning ice Prof. Peter Wadhams and his team study Arctic ice thickness in 2009 – with the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise.

Throughout the northern hemisphere summer, our ‘Arctic Under Pressure Expedition’ will also expose and document the other serious threats to the Arctic Ocean. The melting of sea ice and the expansion of fishing industries into this region are endangering the pristine Arctic environment and unique wildlife. In attempting to secure ‘rights’ to Arctic fisheries, new transport routes, oil, gas and mineral resources, countries gain a vested interest in the continued melting of the Arctic. But, the more coal, oil and gas we burn, the faster the Arctic melts and the closer our planet comes to catastrophic climate change.
Professor Peter Wadhams, head of Cambridge University’s Polar Ocean Physics Group, will join the ‘Esperanza’ in August to investigate the thickness of the ice and its melting rate, following on from his 2009 Arctic work with Greenpeace.

Polar protection

The Arctic Ocean deserves full protection as a marine reserve and we are calling for a moratorium on all industrial activities there – including fishing. In 1991, after a long Greenpeace campaign, the 39 Antarctic Treaty signatories agreed to a 50-year minimum prohibition of all mineral exploitation, in effect preserving the continent for peaceful, scientific purposes. This serves as an example of how Arctic territorial issues should be handled.

The Antarctic is a landmass surrounded by oceans, the Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land, but the polar regions still have a lot in common. Both are incredibly fragile and susceptible to human activities. Both are part of the global commons and should be protected in perpetuity. Both are relatively untouched and should stay that way.

Don’t let it melt away

 

Quit coal zoom

Quit coal Carbon emissions from coal are destroying polar bear habitat.

We’re also calling on governments to quit coal and spark an energy [r]evolution in order to reduce our carbon dioxide emmissions so that we can avoid the worst effects of climate change and save the Arctic together with all of its amazing wildlife, including polar bears and ringed seals. Governments need to realise the impacts of each new coal fired power plant they approve, and we’ll be in the Arctic for the next three months to show them.

Take Action: Help protect the polar bears — join the call for a global network of marine reserves that includes a fully protected Arctic Ocean
Sign up to our newsletter to stay updated on this exciting expedition and find out how you can get involved
Read more about Arctic threats
Check out the webcam on the Esperanza
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Accord reached on ban of shark fins in Hawaii

Leopard sharkState House and Senate negotiators agreed yesterday to prohibit the possession, sale and distribution of shark fins, a victory for Native Hawaiians, who see the shark as a cultural deity, and for animal rights activists who believe shark finning is a cruel practice that threatens the ocean’s ecosystem.

Restaurants that make shark fin soup would have until July 2011 to use shark fins in their inventory as of this July.

Under the agreement, which now goes before the full House and Senate for final approval, the administrative fine for the first offense would be $5,000 to $15,000; the fine for a second offense would be $15,000 to $35,000 and commercial marine licenses and fishing vessels would be subject to seizure and forfeiture; and the fine for a third offense would be $35,000 to $50,000 and up to a year in jail along with possible seizure and forfeiture of commercial marine licenses and fishing vessels.

The draft also includes an exemption that would allow shark fins to be used for state-permitted research and educational purposes.

Many Native Hawaiians consider sharks ‘aumakua — a protective spirit that can take animal form — and object to the nature of shark finning, which involves cutting the fins from captured sharks and then releasing them back into the water to suffer and die.

Shark finning is illegal in Hawai’i. Animal rights advocates contend that sharks are being harvested around the world for their fins because of the popularity of shark fin soup in Chinese restaurants.

“This is a bill that sets Hawai’i apart,” said state Sen. Clayton Hee, D-23rd (Kāne’ohe, Kahuku), a Senate negotiator, adding that the international community has been watching the bill.

“It is a cultural issue for Native Hawaiians. It is a small acknowledgement of that aspect of the culture,” he said. “It’s something, like other cultural issues, that Hawaiians have been silent about. But they have never, in my opinion, relented on the belief in the ‘aumakua, and the shark is but one of many.”

State Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu, D-41st (Waipahu, Village Park, Waikele), a House negotiator, said negotiators were looking for a compromise and ended up siding more with environmentalists.

“They can still serve shark fin soup for one more year, basically,” he said of local restaurants.

Inga Gibson, the Hawai’i state director of The Humane Society of the United States, said the bill sets a precedent. She described it as a “wonderful day for Hawai’i’s sharks.”

“Hawai’i has the opportunity to really be the leader in the nation, if not the world, in shark and ocean protection,” she said.

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Haischutz adé? (22.03.2010) China, Japan sowie Russland verweigerten sich dem Haischutzantrag

Es ist wie eine Achterbahnfahrt: kaum hat mein einen Berg erklommen, geht es wieder mit rasanter Fahrt hinab in die Abgründe. Genauso stellen sich derzeit die Bemühungen dar, eine Katastrophe in den Weltmeeren abzuwenden und endlich, buchstäblich in letzter Minute, den Haibestand zu schützen. Als am 9. März die Malediven sich zum 1. Juli als Haischutzzone erklärten, war ein wichtiges Etappenziel im Haischutz erreicht.

Bis zum 25. März findet in Doha / Katar die 15. Vertragstaatenkonferenz zum Washingtoner Artenschutzübereinkommen (CITES) statt. Und hier gab es gestern eine Schlappe für den internationalen Hai- und Artenschutzschutz, die so nicht eingeplant und erwartet worden war. Sie wird dazu führen, dass die Bemühungen der internationalen Haischutzorganisationen und hunderttausender engagierten Sporttaucher um Jahre zurück geworfen werden! Überraschend verpasste die von der EU und den Vereinigten Staaten unterstützte Initiative nach mehr Transparenz beim Fang und Handel von Haien und Haiprodukten, sowie die Agenda zum Schutz der Blauflossen Thunas die notwendige Zweidrittelmehrheit. China, Japan sowie Russland verweigerten sich dem Haischutzantrag und auch Staaten wie Libyen und Marokko zogen nicht mit, weil sie Probleme für die einheimische Fischindustrie befürchten.

Die internationale Konferenz, an der insgesamt 175 Staaten teilnehmen läuft noch bis zum 25. März. Und auch für den Schutz der drastisch zurückgegangenen Blauflossen-Thunfische hat sich keine Mehrheit gefunden. Japan hat auch in diesem Punkt seine harte Ablehnung signalisiert und hat, u.a. mit der Unterstützung durch China, auch diesen wichtigen Punkt der Agenda zum Flop für den Artenschutz werden lassen.

Mit der Haischutz-Erklärung der Malediven, die bewusst wenige Tage vor Beginn der Konferenz auch ein Zeichen setzen sollte, war zunächst ein leichtes Aufatmen durch die Reihen den engagierten Haischützer und durch die Reihen der Sporttaucher gegangen.

Ibrahim Didi, Fischerei- und Landwirtschaftsminister der Malediven hatte verkündet, dass die Malediven sich nach Palau als zweiter Staat entschlossen haben, ab 1. Juli sein Staatsgebiet zur Haischutzzone zu erklären und jede Form von Haifischerei und -Finning zu untersagen. Neben Palau haben also inzwischen auch die Malediven erkannt, dass mit dem Zusammenbruch der Haibestände nicht nur das gesamte ökologische System in Gefahr gerät, sondern dass die Haie gerade auch für die Attraktivität der Tauchgebiete für Sporttaucher von großer Bedeutung sind. Und für beide Destinationen, Palau und Malediven, sind Sporttaucher eine wichtige Zielgruppe im Tourismusgeschäft.

Leider war die Erkenntnis und das Bekenntnis zum Haischutz auch erst nach jahrelangen, teils massiven Protesten von Haischutzorganisationen mit der Unterstützung hunderttausender Sporttaucher „gereift“. Behilflich war bei diesem Erkenntnisprozess sicherlich auch das Ergebnis der Studie eines Forscherteams der australischen James Cook Universität in Townsville/Queensland, die nicht nur das Great Barrier Reef vor der Haustür hat, sondern auch feststellte, dass rein ökonomisch betrachtet ein grauer Riffhai für die Tourismusindustrie einen Wert von rund 2500 € pro Jahr hat, während ein Fischer für einen zur Strecke gebrachten Hai nur einmalig wenig mehr als 23 € bekommt. Also auch in diesem Fall scheinen ökonomische Kalkulationen und nicht allein menschliche Vernunft das Kernargument für die vernünftige Lösung gewesen zu sein. Doch was nützen zarte Fortschritte wie in Palau und auf den Malediven, wenn sich anderenorts Nationen, wie nun in Katar geschehen, mit Brachialgewalt und unter Missachtung aller Warnungen und wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnisse über ökologische und ethische Erkenntnisse hinwegsetzen und sich als Lobbyisten wirtschaftlicher Interessen bloßstellen. Bleibt zum Abschluss dieser Meldung nur noch ein Zitat von Bertold Brecht anzuhängen:

Sie sägten ab die Äste, auf denen sie saßen
und schrien sich zu ihre Erfahrungen,
wie man schneller sägen könnte, und fuhren
mit Krachen in die Tiefe. Und die ihnen zusahen,
schüttelten die Köpfe beim Sägen und
sägten weiter.

 

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Aquatic ‘dead zones’ contributing to climate change

As oxygen-deprived waters increase, they emit more greenhouse gasses into atmosphere

Dead Zones

Cambridge, Md. (March 11, 2010) – The increased frequency and intensity of oxygen-deprived “dead zones” along the world’s coasts can negatively impact environmental conditions in far more than just local waters. In the March 12 edition of the journal Science, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science oceanographer Dr. Lou Codispoti explains that the increased amount of nitrous oxide (N2O) produced in low-oxygen (hypoxic) waters can elevate concentrations in the atmosphere, further exacerbating the impacts of global warming and contributing to ozone “holes” that cause an increase in our exposure to harmful UV radiation.

“As the volume of hypoxic waters move towards the sea surface and expands along our coasts, their ability to produce the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide increases,” explains Dr. Codispoti of the UMCES Horn Point Laboratory. “With low-oxygen waters currently producing about half of the ocean’s net nitrous oxide, we could see an additional significant atmospheric increase if these ‘dead zones’ continue to expand.”

Although present in minute concentrations in Earth’s atmosphere, nitrous oxide is a highly potent greenhouse gas and is becoming a key factor in stratospheric ozone destruction. For the past 400,000 years, changes in atmospheric N2O appear to have roughly paralleled changes in carbon dioxide CO2 and have had modest impacts on climate, but this may change. Just as human activities may be causing an unprecedented rise in the terrestrial N2O sources, marine N2O production may also rise substantially as a result of nutrient pollution, warming waters and ocean acidification. Because the marine environment is a net producer of N2O, much of this production will be lost to the atmosphere, thus further intensifying its climatic impact.

Increased N2O production occurs as dissolved oxygen levels decline. Under well-oxygenated conditions, microbes produce N2O at low rates. But at oxygen concentrations decrease to hypoxic levels, these waters can increase their production of N2O.

N2O production rates are particularly high in shallow suboxic and hypoxic waters because respiration and biological turnover rates are higher near the sunlit waters where phytoplankton produce the fuel for respiration.

When suboxic waters (oxygen essentially absent) occur at depths of less than 300 feet, the combination of high respiration rates, and the peculiarities of a process called denitrification can cause N2O production rates to be 10,000 times higher than the average for the open ocean. The future of marine N2O production depends critically on what will happen to the roughly ten percent of the ocean volume that is hypoxic and suboxic.

“Nitrous oxide data from many coastal zones that contain low oxygen waters are sparse, including Chesapeake Bay,” said Dr. Codispoti. “We should intensify our observations of the relationship between low oxygen concentrations and nitrous oxide in coastal waters.”

###

The article “Interesting Times for Nitrous Oxide” appears in the March 12, 2010 edition of the journal Science.

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science is the University System of Maryland’s environmental research institution. UMCES researchers are helping improve our scientific understanding of Maryland, the region and the world through its three laboratories – Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg, and Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge – and the Maryland Sea Grant College.
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Wunder-Knete soll Korallen kitten

05.02.10  Von: Jochen Nützel

Expedition Der Coburger Peter Faltermeier forstet vor der ägyptischen Küste ein Stück Riff wieder auf. Dank eines neuartigen Klebers können sogar abgestorbene Korallen wieder wachsen. Das Pilotprojekt unterstützt unter anderem die LMU München.

Fünf Quadratkilometer – das klingt nach viel. Doch die Fläche ist ein Hauch von nichts, wenn man alle Korallenriffe der Erde zusammenzählt, die durch menschliche Eingriffe in Mitleidenschaft gezogen wurden. Und diese fünf Quadratkilometer sind erst der Anfang.Das Areal, um das es geht, liegt im Roten Meer, direkt vor der ägyptischen Küste auf Höhe von Marsa Alam (siehe Grafik), ein bekanntes Refugium für Taucher. Dort versuchen sich der Coburger Peter Faltermeier, zoologischer Direktor im „Sea Star“, und die Mitarbeiter des Aquariums an einer Mammutaufgabe, quasi einer Wiederaufforstung unter Wasser: Er und ein Team aus Tauchern und Biologen werden, so unglaublich es klingt, abgebrochene und abgestorbene Korallenäste nicht nur wieder befestigen, sondern zu neuem und verstärktem Wachstum anregen.

Wie das geht? Das Wundermittel sieht aus wie Knetmasse für Kinder, doch in dem blauen und orangefarbenen Kit steckt eine Revolution: „Es gibt bereits Korallenkleber, aber nur fürs Aquarium. Unserer ist fürs Salzwasser und das offene Meer geeignet, er wird nach kurzer Zeit knochenhart und trotzt auch starker Strömung“, erklärt Faltermeier und dreht den Kautschuk zwischen den Fingern. Dann drückt er ihn auf ein Trägermedium, etwa einen Kalkstein, und steckt ein Stück Koralle hinein. Das Besondere: Die Masse, ein Ein-Komponenten-Kleber, ist angereichert mit Spurenelementen. Sobald der Kit geknetet wird, geben in seinem Inneren winzige Kapseln einen Dünger-Cocktail frei. Der ist nicht nur zu 100 Prozent biologisch abbaubar und somit harmlos für Tiere und Pflanzen, er regt das Wachstum der Gewebehaut der Korallen ungemein stark an. Faltermeier und die Entwicklerin des Klebers, die Coburger Ingenieurin Elfi Kummer, haben in Aquarien-Versuchen festgestellt, dass eine damit behandelte Koralle pro Jahr 20 Zentimeter zulegt – in freier Natur wächst sie in diesem Zeitraum gerade mal einen Zentimeter.

Anfang März wird sich Faltermeier auf den Weg nach Ägypten machen – mit 500 Kilogramm des Klebers im Wert von rund 10000 Euro. Eine Abordnung der Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität (LMU) München soll das Projekt begleiten und dabei das Stück Riff vermessen sowie den Grad der Schädigung erfassen. „Die Korallen dort sind noch relativ intakt – und das soll so bleiben. Deswegen gehen wir runter und bessern da aus, wo es schon Löcher und Risse gibt.“ Auch die größte ägyptische Umweltschutzorganisation Hepta hat ihre Unterstützung angekündigt und will das Gebiet während der „Bauarbeiten“ abriegeln.

Das Vorhaben des Coburgers ist so noch nie praktiziert worden. „Ich verspreche mir viel davon“, sagt der 47-Jährige. Wenn der Pilotversuch klappt, dann ließe sich das Aufforstungsprogramm beispielsweise auch vor Sri Lanka anwenden, wo 2006 der verheerende Tsunami auch einen Großteil der Riffe verwüstete. Der Wiederaufbau der Unterwasser-Landschaft wäre eine Sensation – vielleicht gelingt sie mit einem besonderen Klebstoff made in Coburg …

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Sharkwater

Please watch this important Documentary about Sharks! The medias just DO NOT tell the truth about them!

Here is the Trailer of Sharkwater!!!
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Bislang 65 Staats- und Regierungschefs für Klimagipfel angemeldet

Kopenhagen (AP) Zum Weltklimagipfel in Kopenhagen haben sich bislang 65 Staats- und Regierungschefs angemeldet. Aus dänischen Regierungskreisen verlautete am Sonntag, mit weiteren Zusagen werde gerechnet. Dänemark hatte als Gastgeber der Konferenz in der vergangenen Woche Einladungen an 191 Staaten verschickt. Auch Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel hat angekündigt nach Kopenhagen zu reisen. Dort wollen die Delegierten vom 7. bis 18. Dezember versuchen, ein Nachfolgeabkommen für das Kyoto-Protokoll zu vereinbaren.

Kampf gegen Klimawandel G20 treten auf der Stelle

Quelle: n-tv

Den Kopf jetzt bloß nicht in den Sand stecken: Protest in St. Andrews.
(Foto: REUTERS)

Samstag, 07. November 2009

Kampf gegen Klimawandel

G20 treten auf der Stelle

Die Finanzierung des Klimaschutzpaketes bleibt weiter offen. Die G20-Finanzminister verständigen sich bei einem Treffen in Schottland lediglich darauf, weitere Möglichkeiten auszuloten. Finanzminister Schäuble ist enttäuscht: “Das kann sich die Welt nicht leisten.”

Enttäuschung beim Klimaschutz und drohender Streit in der Finanzmarktpolitik. Die wichtigsten Industrie- und Schwellenländer (G20) sind uneins darüber, wie die Kosten für ein Klimaschutzpaket gestemmt und die Steuerzahler vor risikofreudigen Bankern geschützt werden können. Einen Monat vor dem Welt-Klimagipfel in Kopenhagen konnten sich die Finanzminister und Notenbankchefs der G20 trotz intensiver Verhandlungen im schottischen St. Andrews nicht auf einen Kompromiss über bindende Finanzzusagen beim Klimaschutz verständigen. Zudem bahnt sich ein Streit um die Einführung einer globalen Finanzmarktsteuer an, die Großbritanniens Premierminister Gordon Brown der G20-Ministerrunde überraschend vorgeschlagen hatte.

Gastgeber Darling konnte seine Minister-Kollegen nicht wachrütteln.
(Foto: REUTERS)

Washington reagierte auf den Vorstoß Browns betont zurückhaltend. “Das ist nichts, zu dessen Unterstützung wir bereit wären”, sagte US- Finanzminister Timothy Geithner. Die Bundesregierung hatte bisher für eine solche Steuer plädiert. Bundesfinanzminister Wolfgang Schäuble sprach nach seinem ersten internationalen Auftritt im neuen Amt von “beachtlichen Fortschritten”. Schon Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel und sein Vorgänger Peer Steinbrück hätten sich dafür eingesetzt.

Diskussion über Banken-Beteiligung

Brown sprach sich bei seiner Rede vor den Ressortchefs dafür aus, Banken bei der Bewältigung der Krisenlasten stärker in die Pflicht zu nehmen. Der Premier mahnte einen neuen “Wirtschafts- und Sozialvertrag” zwischen Banken und der Öffentlichkeit an. Nach den Milliardenhilfen für die taumelnde Finanzwelt aus Steuermitteln müsse künftig eine gerechte Verteilung zwischen Risiken und Gegenleistungen sichergestellt sein. Steuerzahler dürften nicht mehr für die Fehler der Banker zur Kasse gebeten werden. “Es ist nicht hinnehmbar, dass der Erfolg in diesem Sektor von wenigen eingeheimst wird, die Kosten für Versagen aber uns allen aufgebürdet werden”, sagte Brown.

Als Bausteine nannte Brown neben der weltweiten Steuer auf Finanztransaktionen auch Versicherungsgebühren für Banken und neue Regeln für deren Grundkapital. Solche Regeln müssten für alle Finanzzentren der Welt gelten. Einen Alleingang schloss Brown aus. “Großbritannien wird sich nicht bewegen, solange die anderen nicht mitmachen”, stellte er klar. Auch Merkel hatte erklärt, eine Finanzmarktsteuer könne nur international durchgesetzt werden. Die FDP hatte eine solche Steuer bisher als falsches Signal abgelehnt.

Enttäuschung bei Schäuble

Schäuble hat noch ein Fünkchen Hoffnung für Kopenhagen.
(Foto: AP)

Vom Ausgang der Klimadebatte – erheblicher Widerstand soll vor allem aus China gekommen sein – zeigte sich Schäuble (CDU) enttäuscht. “Wir sind nicht zu einer gemeinsamen Lösung gekommen.” Es bestehe aber Einigkeit, dass Kopenhagen nicht scheitern dürfe. Er habe die Hoffnung, dass dies allen Beteiligten klar sei. “Kopenhagen darf (…) nicht scheitern. Das kann sich die Welt nicht leisten.”

Auf dem Welt-Klimagipfel in Kopenhagen soll eine Nachfolge- Vereinbarung für das 2012 auslaufende Kyoto-Protokoll zur Verminderung von Treibhausgasen getroffen werden. Kernproblem ist laut Schäuble, dass ein Teil der Schwellenländer keine eigenen Mittel für den Klimaschutz investieren wolle. Es sei völlig klar, dass die entwickelten Länder einen größeren Beitrag leisten. Aber ohne Eigenbeiträge gehe es nicht. “Alles hängt mit Allem zusammen.”