About Whale of a Time

Whale of a Time is riding the wave of change, promoting successful stewardship of our planet to create a peaceful, morally just, humane and sustainable culture, while ensuring survival of all species and their natural habitats. Whale of a Time organises creative and fun, inspiring and empowering events on environmental issues to encourage active participation living a sustainable lifestyle inspired by a positive attitude. We engage young and old from all walks of life through the Whale of a Time Community, the Whale of a Time Festival and the Whale of a Time Workshop. Our work has been recognised by many national and community and environmental awards schemes.

Whale of a Time Tweats

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

We can Re-Forest the world

The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second-best time is now. – African Proverb The problem: 39 million sq km of our planet is degraded, due to intensive agriculture, overgrazing and desertification.

Permaculture reforestation involves planting pioneer trees and covering the soil with mulch, and this will bring moisture back into the ground. And only then can a vast diversity of indigenous species be planted, returning biodiversity and fertility to the area.

WeForest plants many types of indigenous trees, including 10% agro-forestry seedlings around its new forests these directly and quickly benefit the local population. The 90% balance consists of true reforestation seedlings designed to restore the natural environment of the region.

Sustainable forestry, which plays a vital role in ensuring the stability of our planet. Trees support ecosystems, maintain the integrity of our soil and habitats, and provide food, employment, and shelter for local people.

Trees make clouds. Clouds cool the earth. Clouds reflect sunshine back into space, thus cooling the earth. Planting 20 million km2 of forests would create enough clouds to halt global warming in its tracks.

WeForest was founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Liao and is a non-profit in both Switzerland and Belgium. It supports projects across the world.
"We don't care who plants the trees as long as they are planted in a sustainable way." www.weforest.org

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Radio Senate debated the risks of dams in Chapada dos

Radio Senate debated the risks of dams in Chapada dos
Senate Radio - The construction of 22 dams threatens the Chapada dos, Goias, classified by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as world natural heritage. The warning was made by researchers from the fauna and flora, which are against the construction of power plants in the belief that many animal and plant species may be destroyed. Moreover, they argue, the main economic activity in the region - ecotourism - is also in danger.
They discussed the matter as a board member of Environmental Defense Alto Paraiso de Goias and the National Environment Council - CONAMA, Alvaro De Angelis, a professor of Forestry at UNB, Reuber Brandão, the coordinator of implementation Centers for Advanced Studies in the Cerrado Chapada dos UnB, Nina Paula Laranjeira, and environmentalist Peter Midkiff. (Photo: Pedro Barbosa)

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Days left to stop mass extinction

Sign the petition!
Dear Friends of the Whale,


Many whales are among the 1/3rd of all life on the planet that is being driven to extinction. World governments are meeting this week to consider a bold plan to protect 20% of the world's oceans and lands by 2020. We have 4 days left, and a global public outcry could tip the balance. Click to sign the petition for the 20/20 plan and forward this email:

There are only 300 northern right whales left, and 99% of blue whales have been wiped out. These majestic giants are endangered species, and their case is being played out across the world, time and again. In fact, one third of all life forms on the planet are on the brink of extinction.


The natural world is being crushed by human activity, waste and exploitation. But there is a plan to save it -- a global agreement to create, fund and enforce protected areas covering 20% of our lands and seas by 2020. And right now, 193 governments are meeting in Japan to address this crisis.


We have just 4 days left in this crucial meeting. Experts say that politicians are hesitant to adopt such an ambitious goal, but that a global public outcry could tip the balance, making leaders feel the eyes of the world upon them. Click to sign the urgent 20/20 petition, and forward this email widely -- the message will be delivered directly to the meeting in Japan:


http://www.avaaz.org/en/the_end_of_whales/?vl


Ironically, 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity. By now, our governments were supposed to have "achieved a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss." They have failed, consistently caving to industry when given a choice between narrow profit and protecting species. Our animals, plants, oceans, forests, soils, and rivers are choking under immense burdens from over-exploitation and other pressures.


Humans are the primary cause of this destruction. But we can turn it around -- we've saved species from extinction before. The causes of biodiversity decline are vast, and stopping them is going to require a move away from empty piecemeal promises with no clarity on who will pay, to a bold plan with strict enforcement and serious funding. The 20/20 plan is precisely that: governments will be forced to execute strict programmes to ensure that 20% of our earth is protected by the 2020 deadline, and massively scale up funding.


It has to be now. All over the world the picture is beginning to look bleaker -- there are only 3,200 tigers left in the wild, our oceans are running out of fish, and we're losing unique food sources to large mono-plantations. Nature is resilient, but we have to give it a safe place to bounce back. That's why this meeting is key -- it's a watershed moment to accelerate action based on clear commitments that protect nature's capital.


If our governments feel overwhelming public pressure right now to be courageous, we can jolt them to commit to the 20/20 plan at this meeting. But it's going to take every one of us to get that message to echo around the convention in Japan. Sign this urgent petition below, then forward it widely:


http://www.avaaz.org/en/the_end_of_whales/?vl


Already this year Avaaz, members have played a critical role in protecting elephants, defending the whale-hunting ban, and securing the world's largest Marine Protected Area in the Chagos Islands. Our community has shown that we can set ambitious goals -- and win. This campaign is the next stage in the essential battle to create the world that most of us everywhere want -- where natural resources and species are valued, and our living planet is protected for future generations.


http://www.avaaz.org/en/the_end_of_whales/?vl


With hope,


Alice, Iain, Emma, Ricken, Paula, Benjamin, Mia, David, Graziela, Ben, and the rest of the Avaaz team


Sources:


The Times: "Third of all animals and plants face extinction"
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7120676.ece


The Guardian: "Public awareness of the biodiversity crisis is virtually non-existent"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/sep/16/public-awareness-biodiversity-crisis


Sydney Morning Herald: "UN calls for immediate action to save life on earth"
http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/un-calls-for-immediate-action-to-save-life-on-earth-20101018-16qnv.html


IUCN: "Why is biodiversity in crisis?"
http://www.iucn.org/iyb/about/biodiversity_crisis/


More on the Convention of Biodiversity meeting
http://www.cbd.int/cop10/

Herbal and mineral supplements to be saved!


The EU has passed a directive that comes into full-force in April 2011: that all herbal and mineral supplements are to be banned,  all teaching of alternative healing methods will be banned, and homeopathic colleges dissolved.....etc. As of this summer it is now forbidden to sell books about using plants and minerals.
Please  help  circulate this email, 35 million signatures are needed!!http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/joininghandsinhealth/

Monday, 25 October 2010

Earthwatch - An environmental mascot for Britain





The Bumblebee came out on top in the run up of the vote on an environmental mascot for Britain.

It was close to the oak, followed by the coral, thrush and bluebell.


Friday, 22 October 2010

ACEA Eco Art Contest

Pure Water Vision


Contemporary Art Contest


To draw attention to the deep connections between water, man, the environment and the important relationship to the sustainable development of the planet.


Photography, digital art, video, painting, sculpture, installations, performance art.


Check it out here

Monday, 18 October 2010

Operation Bee - Please sign petition!!!

For over 130 million years, bees have played an extremely significant role in our lives. But lately, they have been dying at staggering rates. 

Since 2006, nearly one third of the entire Western Honey Bee population (Apis melifera) vanished each year in the United States. It is the worst sudden bee die-off recorded in history, approximately 60% of reported deaths showed symptoms of a condition called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). At most, normal bee losses account for 17% of the total bee population, but these numbers are shocking.

Here in Canada, from the winters of 2005/06 to 2007/08, bee declines jumped from 29% to 35% of the total national number of commercialized honey bees. In addition, these die-offs were reported in thirteen other countries including France, Poland, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Even native wild bees across the world are dying at rapid rates. In effect, bee health is an alarming concern as entire bee species are at risk of extinction. 

If bees continue to disappear at this rate, it is estimated by 2035 that there will be no more honey bees.



The duke Edinburgh once said, "Miners use canaries to warn them of deadly gases. It might not be a bad idea if we took the same warning from the dead birds in our countryside." 

Irene Schleining, Director of Whale of a Time says, It might not be a bad idea if we took the same warning from the dead bees in our countryside."

Act Now! Sign this petition at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/operationbee


Saturday, 16 October 2010

BBC - Earth News - Humpback whale swims a quarter of the world

By Victoria Gill
Science and nature reporter, BBC News
















In a record-breaking journey, a female humpback whale has travelled across a quarter of the globe, a distance of at least 10,000km.
The event, reported in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, is the longest documented movement by a mammal.
Its voyage was also twice the distance that the whales typically migrate each season to new breeding grounds.

Humpback whales typically travel up to 5,000km between breeding grounds
Scientists say the extreme behaviour shows how "flexible" these animals are.
Explore and adapt
The female whale was spotted and photographed twice - once at its regular breeding ground in Brazil, then later off the coast of Madagascar.
Humpback whale fluke
The shortest distance between these two locations is 9,800km.


The whales are identified by their tails or flukes (see image on the right)

The research team, led by Dr Peter Stevick from the College of the Atlantic in Maine, US, thinks the whale may have travelled this far in two distinct journeys.
Humpback whale
"If I had to guess, I'd say this animal did a normal migration to the Antarctic [to feed] and went to Madagascar from there," Dr Stevick told BBC News.
"If I were to draw a track for it, it would be from Brazil to the Southern Ocean and from there into the Indian Ocean."
The scientists were able to identify the animal from photographs that were taken of its tail, or fluke.
Each humpback whale has unique markings on the pale underside of its fluke.
The team is involved in a long-term study, collecting and examining the pictures of the whale flukes in an effort to develop a "big picture" of humpback behaviour and their migration patterns.
Such a long-distance movement between different breeding grounds is very rare.
And the fact that this was a female whale made the event even more unusual, as males are more commonly known to explore in order to find mates.
"Some exploration helps them to remain adaptable," explained Dr Stevick.
"If animals always returned to exactly the same place to breed, if anything happened to change that environment, they might not be able to adapt, so very occasional exploration could be beneficial for them."
The journey would have taken the animal at least several weeks and so far the scientists only have records of these two sightings.
"But we gather these research photographs from all over the globe," said Dr Stevick.
"So we're hopeful we will see this animal again, or see other animals doing related things."

Friday, 1 October 2010

News release: Sinar Mas? paper arm covers up rainforest destruction in flawed audit (Matilda Bradshaw)

Greenpeace exposes Sinar Mas‚ paper arm for covering up rainforest
destruction in flawed audit

Major PR Firm Weber Shandwick walks away from company

Jakarta, 30 September 2010 ˆ Today, in response to the an audit conducted for the Sinar Mas Group‚s paper arm, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), Greenpeace International has revealed basic errors by the auditors, used to distract attention from the fact that APP continues to source timber from rainforest destruction. (1)

















The audit, produced by ITS GLOBAL‚s Alan Oxley, attempted to discredit evidence published by Greenpeace International in July, which showed that APP suppliers are actively clearing rainforest and peatland in Indonesia. (2) Oxley is well known as an industry apologist. (3)

"Sinar Mas is getting increasingly desperate as it tries to cover up its continued role in rainforest destruction. By hiring Oxley as an auditor, it is now really scraping the bottom of the barrel ˆ it seems anyone with any level of credibility is no longer willing to work with the group.

If Sinar Mas was serious about sustainability, it would commit to no further deforestation and not hire industry apologists to cover its tracks," said Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner.

In its response, Greenpeace shows that the ITS GLOBAL audit: Used outdated concession maps that do not contain the latest Sinar Mas concessions;

Failed to use the correct documents which explain the company expansion plans;

Did not point out that the data sources Greenpeace relied upon were also used by the Indonesian Government as part of the basis for its climate change abatement scenario planning.


Nowhere in the 89 page audit did Oxley challenge the validity and accuracy of the photographic evidence of rainforest and peatland destruction which forms the heart of the Greenpeace report, and shows that APP is destroying habitat of the endangered Sumatran tiger.





The environmental group has since released further aerial photographs which show ongoing clearance of deep peat by Sinar Mas in Kerumutan in Riau, Sumatra from August. (4) These destructive practices undermine the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono‚s, commitment to reduce the country‚s greenhouse gas emissions and to protect its rainforests.

As a result of Greenpeace‚s evidence of Sinar Mas‚ illegal and destructive environmental practices in Indonesia, several leading companies have cancelled contracts with the palm oil and paper giant.  Kraft has confirmed that it is phasing out APP paper and packaging, whilst Nestlé, Unilever and retailers such as Tesco and Metro group are implementing new policies that will also rule out supplies from APP, unless the company and its suppliers make substantial changes. It has also been reported this week (5) that New York based PR firm, Weber Shandwick, has walked away from its contract with APP.

Maitar continued: „We are calling on all companies to drop their contracts with Sinar Mas until the group publicly announces and implements a policy to stop further deforestation and peatland destruction. We are also urging the Indonesian Government to protect all peatlands, as well as expand its upcoming moratorium on rainforest destruction in new concessions to cover the vast areas that have already been slated for destruction in existing concessions.

Contacts:
In Jakarta, Indonesia:
Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Team Leader, tel: +62
813 446 66 135
In the EU:
Andy Tait, Senior Campaign Advisor Greenpeace UK tel: +44 (0)20 7865 8215 or
+ 44 (0)7801 212 980

Notes to Editors:
(1) APP‚s audit is available at: http://www.scribd.com/asiapulppaper.
Greenpeace‚s response is available at:
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/reports/Greenpeace-reponse-Sinar-Mas-APPOxley-/
(2) Greenpeace‚s report ŒHow Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet‚ is available
at:
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/forests/asia-pacific/Palm-oil-reports/
.
(3) For further reading on Oxley, his consultancies, publications and other
work, see
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Alan_Oxley
(4) Aerial images of APP suppliers' peatland destruction in Kerumutan (5
August 2010) are available on request.
(5) Asia Pulp & Paper calls in new PR support after Weber Shandwick resigns,
Arun Sudhaman, The Holmes Report, 28 September 2010
http://www.holmesreport.com/story.cfm?edit_id=11896&typeid=1&goto=story

-- 
Matilda Bradshaw

Communications Manager
Greenpeace International

+31 (0) 6 2900 1131 (mobile)
Skype: matildabradshaw

Greenpeace 24h media hotline
+31 (0)20 718 2470
pressdesk@greenpeace.org

Please see also previous posts on rainforest destruction...

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The Black Fish cuts nets to free dolphins in Taiji, Japan


The Black Fish cuts nets to free dolphins in Taiji, Japan

September 28, 201010:43, by The Black Fish Media
Divers from the European conservation organisation The Black Fish have last night cut the nets of six holding pens in Taiji, Japan, that were holding dolphins caught during a dolphin drive hunt a few days earlier. During this hunt a number of dolphins were selected for the international dolphinarium trade and transferred to these holding pens. In rough weather conditions the divers swam out and cut the nets of six of these holding pens, allowing a number of dolphins to swim back out to sea. No arrests were made.
Fishermen transfer selected dolphins caught at the drive hunt to sea pen for the dolfinarium trade

Fishermen transfer selected dolphins caught at the drive hunt to sea pen for the dolfinarium trade by The Black Fish
Every year, between September and April, the sea around the fishing village of Taiji on the east coast of Japan turns red as it becomes the scene of one of the biggest mass slaughters of marine wildlife in the world. The dolphin drive hunt, which recently made global headlines through the Oscar winning documentary 'The Cove', is responsible for capturing and killing over 2,000 dolphins of Japan's annual quota of 20,000. Fishermen drive the dolphins from sea into a cove, where some animals are selected for dolphinariums while the others are killed for their meat.
The Black Fish and other marine conservation and animal welfare organisations run ongoing campaigns to push for the closure of the remaining dolphinariums in Europe, where some of the dolphins caught at Taiji inevitably end up. Dolphinariums are already banned in United Kingdom. The Black Fish believes that it is unacceptable to keep dolphins, orca's and other marine wildlife in captivity, given the vast areas which these animals normally inhabit, the miserable and squalid conditions under which they are often kept and the stress that public performances put on them.
Co-founder of The Black Fish, Wietse van der Werf, explains about their decision to intervene: "The connection between the dolphin entertainment industry and this annual drive hunt can no longer be denied. To be successful in our campaigns in Europe we need to get to the root of this illegal trade, which is right at Taiji."

The Black Fish is aware of the sensitivity surrounding the hunt at Taiji this year. With an international media spotlight on the Japanese dolphin hunts, tensions within the country have heated up and Japanese nationalists have seized the opportunity to defend this 'traditional' activity. While we acknowledge that change also needs to come from within Japanese society, we vow to continue to work for the protection of these defenceless dolphins and push to make dolphinariums and the drive hunts which supply them history.