Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Monday, 16 August 2010
The application for Darwin’s home in Downe, Kent, to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site has been has been put on the backburner by the World Heritage Committee.
Responsible Travel News reported in July that, following nomination by the UK government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Downe House was being considered, alongside 32 other applicants, for UNESCO World Heritage Status, at the 34th committee meeting, held in Brasilia (read 'UK Submits Downe House for UNESCO World Heritage Site Status' here)
However, it was announced at the meeting in Brasilia, that greater investigation and more in-depth analysis of the site was needed before offering World Heritage Status. Not to be deterred, the bid partnership are taking a positive outlook; pleased at the recognition given to the site, they hope to re-nominate Darwin’s home and workplace in the future and are now looking at ways in which to strengthen their application.
Photograph taken from International Academy of Pathology
The Wildlife Institute and Wildife Trust of India have recommended three sites as the best places to re-introduce 18 cheetah into India.Scientist Dr Y V Jhala of the Wildlife Institute of India, reports that, mainly due to overhunting, the cheetah is India’s only large carnivore to have been eradicated from the country and have not been seen since 1967. Experts have decided to redress the balance for both ecological as well as ethical reasons; it is thought that the cheetahs will play a large role in restoring India’s grasslands and creating an ecological balance.
Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forests compared this function to that of other large cats: ’the way tigers restore forest ecosystems, snow leopards restore mountain ecosystem, the cheetah will restore grasslands’
Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh and Shahgarh Landscape in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan have been recommended as sites for reintroduction, sites that have been selected following detailed reports on their abundance of prey, forest resources and local community’s attitudes towards wildlife
It is also expected that the reintroduction program is likely to boost tourism in these areas, benefitting local communities.
Read the full article at Wildlife Extra News
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Plans to develop Britain’s greenest service station by 2013 are set to go ahead in the Cotswolds, on Junctions 11 and 12 on the M5. Pinpointed as a ‘priority area’ by the highways agency, the site lies in a 50 mile gap between services at Ross-on-Wye and the South Gloucestershire border. Aiming to keep carbon emissions at an absolute minimum, the goal is to use five times less energy than a conventional service station and to take at least 10% of their energy from on-site renewable technologies.
The plans of the £35m project include a grass roof, vegetable patch, onsite recycling and composting facilities and a bus service for workers. Charging points for electric cars and bio-fuel pumps are to be featured and the fast food restaurants which are commonplace in most service stations will be banned, favouring local produce and farmhouse roasts, with 70% of meat, dairy, eggs and bakery products sourced from the local area. The ‘Gloucester Gateway’ project will echo its rural surroundings, using timber from the Forest of Dean and aims to blend in with the Cotswold countryside, so as not to create a blot on the landscape.
In addition to its environmental commitment, the company, Westmorland, who have already experienced great success with their service station in Tebay on the M6 in Cumbria, promises to donate around £500,000 a year to local charities over the next two decades.
Those in favour of the project say that the services will bring in around 300 jobs when completed, plus 200 temporary jobs in the construction phase. Local farms should also see a boost in trade, as the aim is to source much of its produce from a 30 mile radius.
However, following meetings with Stroud district council, environmental groups are fiercely opposing the ‘eco-service-station’, claiming that the development will scar the surrounding landscape on the site at Onger's Farm, Brookthorpe (a designated area of outstanding natural beauty), and fear that by improving facilities for motorists and, it will in-fact encourage more people to drive and potentially even attract them to visit the new attraction. In addition, the carbon emissions and noise pollution produced during construction will disrupt wildlife habitats and further damage the environment.
A disapproving Gloucestershire Green Party Councillor, John Marjoram, expressed that, despite an ‘eco-friendly design’, it was, nonetheless, still a motorway service station, designed to make car travel more convenient, a view shared by the site's editor, Mark Goodge, who described the controversial idea of an environmentally friendly service station as an oxymoron.
Lucy's article was also featured on www.responsibletravelnews.com
Image taken from thetraveldepartment.co.uk