ENVIRONMENT

Extinct 30 years ago – the short-haired bumble bee takes to the skies
Michael Parker, Environment and Energy Editor at The Conversation, discusses how the short-haired bumblebee that was declared extinct in the UK 30 years ago is now making a comeback. The species is being re-introduced in the flower-rich meadows and field margins of Kent, helped along by sympathetic local farmers.
The Ecologist (30 May 2014)
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EcoBricks and education: how plastic bottle rubbish is helping build schools
Founded by Susanna Heisse, who was horrified at the level of plastic waste around Lake Atitlán in Guatemala, the idea of EcoBrick first came about. The bricks made from two-litre plastic drinks bottle, a heap of plastic bags, crisp packets and other non-biodegradable waste and a stick. There are now 38 EcoBrick schools in Guatemala built by an organisation called Hug It Forward, Vida Atitlan (Susanna’s organisation) and others, with many more planned.
The Guardian (29 May 2014)

Farming Today
Farming Today presenter Ruth Sanderson discusses the European Union member states coming to a general agreement in principal that each country should have the right to set their own policies when it comes to GM. Programme starts 08:13mins
BBC Radio 4 (30 May 2014)

Dr Matthew Rimmer: does Australia need laws for ‘biotrespass’ to protect organic farms?
Dr Matthew Rimmer, an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, discusses the ruling in Australia to not prosecute farmer Michael Baxter for contaminating organic farmer Steve Marsh’s crops when GM canola drifted onto his land from Michael Baxter’s property. Dr Rimmer discusses whether biotechnology industry should start taking responsibility.
The Guardian (29 May 2014)

High risks, few rewards for Mexico with Monsanto’s maize
Timothy Wise, Policy Research Director, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University, Medford discusses the ongoing controversy over the proposed introduction of genetically modified (GM) maize into the birthplace of this important global food crop in Mexico and the problems it will cause.
Aljazeera (27 May 2014)

ORGANIC
Atlantic Kitchen: selling seaweed from the seashore
Soil Association licensee Atlantic Kitchen founded in 2012 by Dawn Hourigan and her friend Ruth Dronfield, fulfilled a gap in the market for seaweed that was readily available. The seaweed is picked by a fourth-generation, family-run company in Ireland, that picks the seaweed at low tide; workers cut at the root, which allows for regrowth, making the process sustainable, before it is dried. Atlantic Kitchen then turn the seaweed into delicious spaghetti, dried sea salad and wakame.
The Daily Telegraph (29 May 2014)

FOOD
Amy Leibrock: Can the EU make a dent in food waste by nixing ‘Best by’ labels?
US based writer Amy Leibrock discusses the steps the EU are taking to combat food waste caused by confusion over “use by,” and “best before. This followed a call last week at a meeting of EU farm ministers and officials in Brussels by Sharon Dijksma, the Dutch agriculture minister, for the EU to put its “first focus” on “best before” dates in a campaign to reduce the food waste estimated to cost families across Europe up to £500 a year.
Echo Watch (29 May 2014)

FORESTRY
Devastating human impact on the Amazon rainforest revealed
The human impact on the Amazon rainforest has been grossly underestimated according to an international team of researchers. They found that selective logging and surface wildfires can result in an annual loss of 54 billion tons of carbon from the Brazilian Amazon, increasing greenhouse gas emissions. This is equivalent to 40% of the yearly carbon loss from deforestation – when entire forests are chopped down.
Science Daily (22 May 2014)