Thursday, 02 June 2011 14:05

Sir John Houghton

Sir John Houghton

Dr. John Houghton is well known internationally for his outstanding research in remote sensing of the atmosphere from space.

In cooperation with Professor Desmond Smith, Dr. Houghton developed the selective Chopper Radiometer for the Nimbus 4 and 5 satellites in the early 1970s - an instrument, which sensed remotely the atmospheric temperature structure up to about 50km in altitude. Further developments by the group at Oxford led by Dr. Houghton, namely the Pressure Modulator Radiometer flown on Nimbus 6 in 1975 and the Stratospheric and Mesospheric Sounder flown on Nimbus 7 in 1978, enabled the temperature structure and the distribution of some minor constitutents up to about 90km in altitude to be observed. These instruments, for the first time, provided global information on the structure of the stratosphere and mesosphere and have played a large part in enabling more detailed studies of the radiation, dynamics and chemistry of the whole atmosphere to be pursued. Dr. Houghton also cooperated with scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in developing an instrument for the Pioneer Venus Orbiter.

He is the recipient of a number of awards including the Darton Prize (1954), the Buchan Prize (1966), the Symons Gold Medal (1991), the Charles Cree Medal of the Institute of Physics (1979) and the Glazebrook Medal (1990). In 1988, he was appointed as Chairman of the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change.

Wednesday, 01 June 2011 20:05

Brenda and Robert Vale

Brenda and Robert Vale

Brenda and Robert Vale, both architects and lecturers, have shown an outstanding commitment to a sustainable lifestyle. They are at the leading edge of developing houses and buildings, which have minimal impact on the environment.

They have developed and moved into the "Autonomous House", which collects and purifies rainwater for drinking and washing; uses a composting toilet for waste treatments; needs no central heating because of the very high insulation standards; and generates its annual demand for electricity by using solar energy. This house is practical evidence of the Vales' commitment and in 1992, they were awarded the first "Green Building of the Year Award".

Wednesday, 01 June 2011 00:00

Bernadette Vallely


Ms. Bernadette Vallely


Ms. Bernadette Vallely, founder and former Director of the Women's Environmental Network (WEN) has been instrumental in linking environmental problems with practical women's action in the fields of consumer information and health. She set up the organization with her own money and worked without a salary for three years. WEN has over 200 affiliated organizations, representing a network of over five million women, local activist groups and over 3,000 individual supporters. Past campaigns have included chlorine-free paper, chocolate and pesticides, minimum packaging, eco-labelling, dioxins and chlorine, tampon safety and boreal and temperate forest protection. WEN's first campaign successfully persuaded companies to stop using chlorine bleached paper in a number of consumer products including sanitary protection, disposable nappies, office paper, coffee filters, magazines and art papers. Awards received by Bernadette Vallely include the British Environment Media Award: Campaign of the Year (1993); Ethical Consumer Award for Best Consumer Campaign (1993); Cosmopolitan Award for Young Women Achievers (1991); UNIFEM/Women and Environment, Partners in Life Success Story (1991) and the Prima Green Award for best environmental organization (1990). She has also written and contributed to many books on the environment available in many languages including 1001 Ways to Save the Planet and the Young Persons Guide to Saving the Planet.

Bernadette also was responsible for creating and managing the award-winning Save the World Club (2000-2011), a children’s eco-arts charity whose main projects created urban art to combat graffiti involving more than 15,000 members of the public and covering hundreds of metres of ugly walls and underpasses in London. The club won the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service amongst its many awards for its exciting approach to urban environmentalism and the engagement of young people in their local community.

Bernadette Vallely is currently managing a national choir Shakti Sings dedicated to “honouring the earth through song “ and promotes women’s sacred activities to protect the earth. This includes managing a team Gaia’s Guardians, whose main interest is adopting and protecting rivers and raising consciousness about the sacred nature of rivers and the earth. She is a radio broadcaster, writer and painter. Earth Goddesses of the World is to be published June 2013 and charts more than 60 Earth Goddesses of many faiths throughout history.

Monday, 23 May 2011 17:31

George Monbiot

George Monbiot

George Monbiot is an investigative journalist who has been researching, naming and exposing the perpetrators of environmental destruction and abuses of indigenous peoples' rights.

From 1985, he produced Britain's first investigative environmental programmes for the BBC Natural History Unit. His broadcasts (in particular those exposing the shipping agents who deliberately scuppered a bulk carrier off the Irish Coast, causing a local environmental catastrophe and reports tracing a chimpanzee smuggling network back to the head of customs in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire) precipitated major news stories. George Monbiot uncovered a tiger skin smuggling network operating between Indonesia and Singapore. He wrote "Poisoned Arrows", in which he thoroughly investigated the destruction of rainforest and wetland habitats and the dispossession of indigenous people in Irian Jaya (which with Papua once formed the island of New Guinea).

His erudite description of the various tribes and their beliefs was acclaimed by critics. He worked in the Brazilian Amazon and exposed the landlords expelling peasants. He also denounced the illegal trade in mahogany between Brazil and Britain tracing timber cut in indigenous reserves to the furniture restoration department of Buckingham Palace. As a consequence the Royal Family pledged in 1994 that it would only use tropical wood from sustainable sources.

With his book Amazon Watershed, which won the Sir Peter Kent Award for conservation writing, his report "Mahogany is Murder" and the documentary film "Your Furniture, Their Lives", he launched an international campaign against the illegal mahogany trade, now adopted by over 120 environmental groups, leading to a 55 per cent reduction of mahogany sales in Britain.

He also founded the Forest Network to coordinate the advocacy campaign. His commitment to the protection of the environment went as far as taking personal risks. More than once, George Monbiot was captured by gunmen and beaten up by security guards, left with facial injuries and broken bones. Monbiot is also the author of a book on East Africa's environment entitled No Man's Land.

George Monbiot

Sunday, 22 May 2011 23:25

Television Trust for the Environment

Television Trust for the Environment

Set up in 1984, Television Trust for the Environment (TVE) works to raise public awareness through audiovisual media, placing particular emphasis on promoting issues relevant to developing countries and on building up programme-making capacities in these countries.

In 1987, TVE launched the "Moving Pictures" service to provide a wide range of high quality films and videos to TV stations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other educational agencies in low and middle income countries. Since its launch, "Moving Pictures" has enabled over 128 countries to broadcast over 5000 films one or more times and sent out over 16,000 videos to NGOs.

For ten years, TVE has supplied environmental programmes for Worldwide Television News (WTN). TVE and WTN just formalized their association by joining forces to co-produce a new television series "Agenda 21". The series provides TVE with a new means to help producers and film crews based in developing countries and countries in transition. TVE co-productions have won over 120 international awards, including Emmys, Prix Italias and BAFTAs.

Sunday, 22 May 2011 22:19

Earth Love Fund

Earth Love Fund

Earth Love Fund is a non-profit organization founded by three individuals from the music business who put aside their commercial ventures to raise money for conservation projects in rainforest regions. The Fund's first album was the official album for the Earth Summit and raised half a million pounds which have supported more than 40 projects around the globe - particularly in developing countries. To compile this record, the Fund persuaded some of the world's leading musicians, including Paul McCartney, U2, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Dire Straits to donate tracks on a non-profit basis. In 1995, Earth Rise II was released and received major media coverage in Europe. The link with popular music gives the Fund an opportunity to promote the environmental message to a wide audience which is one of its primary objectives. Activities supported include: extraction of samples of essential oils in the Alto Jura region of Brazil to seek sustainable economic activity for rainforest areas; purchase of seedlings for the Green Belt Movement in Kenya; education in a local community of Cameroon on management of resources in a sustainable manner; establishment of a rainforest medicine project in Peru; creation of an eco-forestry training support programme in Papua New Guinea; development of a project to protect the Dong Nah Tom Forest in Thailand; preservation of traditional crop varieties in Nepal; establishment of an indigenous peoples' environmental resource centre in Irian Jaya; and research into Amerindian agriculture in Guyana.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011 18:00

BBC World Service Education Department

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service is the world's leading international broadcaster. Surveys indicate that it is regarded, by its listeners and viewers around the globe, as the most trusted broadcaster compared to its local, national and international rivals. Both World Service Radio and World Service Television have been at the forefront of broadcasting on sustainable development and environment issues. A good example of this is the BBC World Service Radio Education Department's major initiative Green World. This programme involved the creation and transmission of 25 series of radio programmes, produced in 22 languages, which examined the hopes and fears for the environment together with possible solutions - numbering some 249 individual programmes, covering 40 countries. The Green World initiative was on air for four months between September and December 1996. As a result, vital information was conveyed to millions of listeners who otherwise have little or no chance of accessing such information from any other source. Green World has received support from international organizations and individuals such as Jonathon Porritt and David Attenborough - both Global 500 winners. More than 50,000 special leaflets were mailed to environmental agencies and NGOs and the project was also promoted through the Internet. Feedback from listeners already suggests a very positive response to the various series, and many NGOs are now using copies of the programmes for their own educational and awareness training.BBC World Service Education Department

Tuesday, 03 May 2011 18:44

Leave It To Us Junior Board

Leave It To Us Junior Board

The idea of holding an International Children's Conference on the Environment in Eastbourne, England in October 1995, came from the Junior Management Board of a local zoo park. This idea was supported by Eastbourne Borough and the East Sussex County Councils, which won the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and eventually secured a major sponsorship from British Airways, whose contributed included the provision of free flights for delegates around the world. Some 800 children from 90 countries attended the Conference. They presented and discussed environmental projects they developed, devised and debated "challenges" to the United Nations and national governments, and participated in study tours and workshops on environmental themes. It was accompanied by an extensive exhibition/display area open to delegates and the general public, and a week long festival organized by the Borough Council and local business for local children and visitors. During the planning of the conference a Junior Board was established to work closely with the conference sponsors and organizers. This Board comprised members from local schools, foreign nations and played a vital role in developing the Conference programme, selecting facilitators, devising workshops and study tours. They also introduced and chaired sessions, organized and presented the environmental "challenges" and attracted media interest. Today, the Conference is being considered as a regular event on the global environmental scene.

Monday, 02 May 2011 19:00

Mr. Kenneth L. Chamberlain

Mr. Kenneth L. Chamberlain

During and after his career with the Pacific/Asia Travel Association (PATA), Kenneth Chamberlain demonstrated his commitment to the environment and played a leading role in putting the tourism industry on the path to sustainability. He joined PATA in 1974 as Director of Development, and he was one of the first professionals to view tourism as a potentially damaging activity for the environment. He worked towards better integration of environment and development and took steps to implement more sustainable tourism long before the concept became popular. He helped raise environmental awareness within the tourism industry by organizing, with Europa Nostra, a series of Tourism and Heritage Conferences in Asia and the Pacific. Appointed CEO of PATA in 1979, he played a leading role in the creation of the PATA Foundation, which promotes and financially supports sustainable tourism projects in Asia and the Pacific. In 1990, he became Executive Director of the PATA Foundation concentrating on capacity building and demonstrating how to make conservation an integral part of development. He has cooperated with organizations such as UNESCO, the World Tourism Organization and UNEP on a purely voluntary basis as an expert resource in workshops, seminars, writing articles and by providing advice. He is currently an advisor to UNEP, a member of the World Tourism Organization Advisory Council, a Trustee of the PATA Foundation and advisor to the Himalaya Environmental Foundation.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), based in the UK, was established in 1984 to investigate and campaign against the illegal trade in wildlife and the destruction of the natural environment. Working undercover to expose international crime, EIA has brought about changes in international laws and government policies, thus saving the lives of millions of endangered animals and putting a stop to the devastating effects wrought by environmental criminals.

Their track record of undercover work, scientific documentation and representation at international conventions has earned EIA a worldwide reputation for highly effective and successful campaigning. Within four weeks of the launch of a major campaign in the UK media, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States announced an immediate ban on African elephant ivory - a success, which was followed by the international community in 1989. In a series of innovative investigations, EIA proved the existence of a thriving black market in Chlorofluorocarbons and halons and named the culprits. As a result, strong measures are being adopted by governments to stop the illegal trade in these substances.

EIA uses global investigations, research and campaigns to back up lobbying of governments, organizations and individuals to end the international trade in bear and tiger parts and their derivatives. EIA is currently campaigning for the continuation of the International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling and an immediate suspension of commercial whaling in Japan and Norway.

EIA also documents and exposes illegal activities by timber and plantation companies, and aims to ensure that international investments and demands for timber, paper and other products do not harm forests in any part of the world.

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