Sustainability Reads: November 9- November 15

Peru protects vast ‘Yellowstone of the Amazon’
The government of Peru has established a new 3.3 million-acre national park in the Amazon, larger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined. The national park is called Sierra del Divisor and covers 5,000 square miles of the Amazon. This park links other surrounding preserved areas to create the 67 million-acre Andes-Amazon Conservation Corridor, one of the largest tracts of protected areas in the Amazon, and is being called “the Yellowstone of the Amazon.” The area includes more than 3,000 species of native plants and animals. The park will also aid in carbon storage, helping to capture an estimated 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. By Russell McLendon at Mother Nature Network.

Earth’s climate entering new ‘permanent reality’ as CO2 hits new high
2014 saw a new record of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the atmosphere, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently announced. According to the WMO, concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are up 43% since pre-industrial times. The secretary general of the WMO, Michel Jarraud, also stated that each year new records of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions are being made and that soon we “will soon be living with globally averaged CO2 levels above 400 parts per million as a permanent reality,” as the global annual average is likely to pass the 400ppm milestone in 2016. The 400ppm milestone is significant as it marks the fact that “humans burning fossil fuels have caused global carbon dioxide concentrations to rise more than 120ppm since pre-industrial times,” half of which has occurred since 1980. Jarraud also adds that to keep temperatures within manageable levels, CO2 emissions from factories, cars and power plants needed to be cut now. By Adam Vaughan at The Guardian.

Rapid, Climate-Informed Development Needed to Keep Climate Change from Pushing More than 100 Million People into Poverty by 2030
The World Bank just released a report estimating that 100 million people will be pushed into poverty by 2030 if climate considerations are not integrated into poverty reduction and development work. The Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty report explains that poor people around the world will lose more in natural disasters, will lose their agricultural crops and have to pay more for food, and will be at risk of malaria and diarrhea as temperatures increase. Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia are expected to fare the worst. The report puts forth that scaling up social protection, universal health coverage, early warning systems, and climate resistant crops or “rapid, inclusive climate smart development” along with emissions reduction policies can limit the negative impact of climate change on poverty. See the report for more details.

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