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Unit 3 – Case Studies Biodiversity Under Threat
Madagascar Key Characteristics-> Threats-> • Total of 8 plant, 4 bird and 5 primate families that are all endemic to the island. • Humans, only 17% of the original vegetation remains due to deforestation. • Home to 50 lemur species • Hunting has also led to the extinction of 15 lemur species. Why is it so bio-diverse? -> Conservation-> • Being islands the isolation has led to the evolution of a unique group of animals • 2. 7% of land is officially protected. • There is a large diversity of habitats. • The plan is to triple this within 5 years. • Some species have been bred in captivity to ensure they carry on.
Mediterranean Basin Key Characteristics-> Threats-> • The area has 22, 500 endemic vascular plant species • Populations are threatened by urbanisation and development fragmenting their habitats Why so Bio-diverse? -> • It is located at the inter-section of two major landmasses. • Population of 300 million • Water shortages and desertification Conservation-> • Includes many mountains, peninsulas and archipelagos. • 4. 3% of the area is protected, with views to expand this in the future. • Cool winters and hot summers. • The European Unions Habitat Directive is important in protecting ‘special’ areas.
Atlantic Forest, Brazil Key Characteristics-> Threats-> • 20, 000 plant species. 40% are endemic • Logging and road construction is reducing habitat size • The hotspot is 99, 944 km 2 but only 50, 370 km 2 are protected. • Less than 10% of the forest remains. • UNESCO World Heritage Site • <2 dozen critically endangered species. Why so Bio-diverse? -> Conservation-> • Located close to the equator • • High levels of rain and little seasonal change. • Large and not overly disturbed area. Enforcing laws to prevent logging, however, this doesn’t always have the desired effect and stop.
Fynbos, South Africa Key Characteristics-> Threats-> • Fynbos is the major vegetation type of the Cape floral region of South Africa. • Alien plant species • The smallest and richest kingdom with 1, 300 species per 10, 00 km 2 • Commercial forestry • Frequent bush fires • Construction and Agriculture Why so Bio-diverse? -> Conservation-> • Unusual geology and soils, topography and a distinctive fire regime have led to the creation of the hotspot. • Conservation of the Cape floral area has become a national priority • 12 nature reserves & 4 designated areas. • No development may take place without special approval.
Galapagos Tortoise Why are they Endemic? Specific Characteristics? They are endemic 9 islands of the Galapagos islands archipelago. They islands are very isolated (973 km from mainland) causing the species to adapt to their environment. • Can reach 5 feet in length, this is thought to be because of high rainfall and lots of vegetation. • They can live for up to 100 years and sleep for 16 hours a day. How many survive? • Today around 15, 000 -20, 000 survive. These are of 11 sub-species. Are they Threatened? • Alien species such as Cats & Dogs prey on the young tortoises. • They have to compete with cattle for grazing vegetation. • They are listed as vulnerable by the WWF.
Coral Reefs The value of Coral Reefs: • Biodiversity – home to 1 m+ • Shoreline Protection- natural barrier and flood defence • • Food- 25% of fish Medicine- possible treatments Aquarium Trade Decorative Objects Building Materials Education & Research Tourist magnets. A study into Coral reefs suggests that they provide economic goods and ecosystem services worth around $375 billion each year. The Great barrier reef in Australia is the largest coral reefs there is. However in the last 27 years 50. % of it has died this is split into different causes; • 24%-tropical cyclones • 21%- crown of thorn starfish outbreak • 5%- coral bleaching
Sundarbans • • The Sundarbans is a low-lying island in the Bay of Bengal famous for its unique mangrove. This active delta region is home to many rare and globally threatened wildlife species E. G Royal Bengal Tiger, Water Monitor Lizard & Gangetic Dolphin. Mangroves are vital nurseries for fish and crustaceans and so support a whole food chain of wildlife. Mangrove roots help trap silt and create new land, as well as protecting low-lying land. When the 2004 Tsunami hit Bangladesh villages with mangrove cover has much higher survival rates. Threats to the Sundarbans: • Local population pressure • Local economic activities • Local poaching and illegal timber cutting • Commercial activities • Cyclones • Climate Change • Competition for river water by difference countries.
The Arctic As Global Warming increases there are going to be large impacts on the biodiversity of the Arctic; • Localised shifting of ecosystems • The Tundra (&its rare species) will shrink with rising sea levels • Forest fires and insects are expected to ravage coniferous forests. • Improved food supplies in warmer water will mean bigger fish stocks. • Fragile food webs could be damaged with the loss of tundra mosses.
The Masai Mara Game Reserve • • The reserve experienced a breakdown in management which led to a decline in the state of the ecosystem and widespread hunting. The money paid by tourists was not being used properly; as a result the rangers lacked necessary equipment. In June 2008 the Mara conservation took over the park and they repaired many roads and paid the rangers. The park now runs not-for-profit and 50% of revenue goes to upkeep and 50% to Masai people. • The support of the Masai people is necessary for the upkeep as they do not realise that tourism is better than (highly profitable) cattle ranching.
Soufriere Marine Management Area (SMMA) The people of Soufriere work in agriculture, fishing and tourism however the tension between the latter has led to the creation of the SMMA in 1995. The SMMA was divided into 5 zone; Environmental Problems; 1. Marine reserves • Degradation of coastal water quality 2. Priority Fishing areas • Depletion of near shore fish resources 3. Yacht Mooring Areas • Loss of economic, scientific & recreational potential of coral reefs. 4. Recreation Areas • Pollution from rubbish disposal into the sea. • Yacht anchor damage to reefs. 5 Main Stakeholder Conflicts 1. Between commercial divers and fishermen 2. Between yachts and fishermen 3. Local community & hoteliers 4. Location of a jetty in a fishing area 5. Between fishermen and hoteliers. 5. Multiple-use areas. Achievements of the SMMA; • Reduction in conflict between users • Increase in fish biomass & Biodiversity • A self-financing management area
Udzungwa Mountains Nation Park • • The Udzungwa Mountains National Park have a remarkable biodiversity; 276 trees, 50 endemic and 55 recorded species of mammal. It provides local villages with watershed protection, medicines and food. They are allowed limited access for worship, however hunting and collecting firewood has been prohibited. • • The Tanzanian authorities understood at an early stage that involving the locals was necessary for success. Tree nurseries were set up and fuel efficient stoves were developed for the people. Non-farm projects have included establishing micro-business, ecotourism and improving health & education. The project shows that the way to succeed with conservation projects is to include locals so they see the long-term benefits.
Sustainable Yields In The Southern Ocean • • • The Southern Ocean accounts for 10% of the worlds ocean. Since the Antarctic Treaty system was put in place the fisheries are now sustainably managed. Prior to this the fishing grounds were overharvested by Soviet trawlers. This led to the extinction of several species. The model used to calculate fishing yield uses three things; 1. The single species approach sets limits for harvesting individual species that are indefinitely sustainable. 2. The ecosystem approach involves considering harvest species both on their own and in relation to dependent species and the whole environment. 3. The precautionary principle aims to model the consequences of any planned expansion of catches before its permitted.
CAMPFIRE, Zimbabwe • • • The Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources project was a pioneering scheme aimed at the long-term development, management and sustainable use of natural resources in each communal area. This was achieved by placing responsibility with locals and allowing communities to benefit for exploitation of available resources such as wildlife. CAMPFIRE schemes vary locally. • • • Many schemes made money from big-game hunting at sustainable yield levels. The money was fed back into the community. It was controversial as environmentalists did not believe hunting at all was sustainable. The economic collapse of Zimbabwe undermined the scheme.
Gene & Seed Banks Gene Banks are a biological store that contains genetic material intended to be preserved. An example of a gene bank is a seed bank, such exists at Kew Gardens. Using a seed bank to store thousands of seed for plant species is a valuable method of conservation. Being easy to store, small space initiatives that have low labour demands allows them to be economically viable. Seed storage allows for conservation of genetic diversity in a managed environment. Cool conditions will allow them to lay dormant possibly indefinitely.
Branton Conservation Area • • • Rare species; Kingfisher, Lapwing, Comma Butterfly 1. 66 m tonnes of sand gravel were extracted The site was restored progressively creating lakes, planting trees, shrubs and grass over 10 years. 55 bird species, 21 Butterfly and moth species have been spotted. It’s used by the local community for walking and education It diverts flooding away from a nearby village. It is estimated to have halved the frequency for flooding. • • • CEMEX UK have agreed to continued conservation work for another 20 years. There is a plant to set up a Conservation Advisory group of members of the local community to help manage the site. With help from the RSPB goals have been created to maintain 1, 000 hectares of land by 2020.
Wildlife Corridors Reuniting Panda Populations • The WWF are connecting 2 isolated Panda populations. • A bamboo forest will be restored to create a green corridor. • Separated 23 years ago by building of a National Highway • 87 hectares of bamboo are being planted above the new tunnel • The Qinling Mountains where Giant Pandas are not disturbed by roads. Australian National Wildlife Corridors. • Connections that link up areas of habitat. For example; levegeted area along a creek • Incentives are paid by the government to help pay for and fund these areas.
The Great Fen Project • • Restoration of over 3, 700 hectares of fenland from Arable land between Huntingdon & Peterborough Connecting; Wood Walton Fen and Holme Fen National Nature Reserves both are unsustainable. Over £ 6. 7 bn already raised but £ 11 m more is needed over the next 5 years. If artificial drainage is discontinued and replaced with wetland managing it can reduce flood risk. Educational areas have been added such as; ‘Heights Countryside Classroom’. The GFP will increase local, national and international tourism therefore increasing income for businesses. By creating a large range of habitats; Grass Fields, Hay Meadows, Wet Meadows high levels of biodiversity will be possible.
CITES • • • CITES aim is to ensure that international trade of plants and animals does not threaten their survival as a species. Protections include 35, 000 species of flora and fauna covering the trade of; dried herbs, live animals or animal skins. It has 181 members CITES is a widely acknowledged as the most successful international environmental treaty in the world. This is because CITIES is not just a conservation treaty, it is also a trade instrument that attempts to strike a balance between these often competing values. In 1989, CITES banned international trade in ivory to combat a massive illegal trade in ivory which caused dramatic declines in elephant population throughout most of Africa in the 70’s & 80’s. More than 30, 000 species of animals and plants have been listed.
Ramsar • • • Ramsar is the international treaty that provides the framework surrounding the conservation of wetlands and the use of their resources. It was adopted by 90% of UN member nations. There are 2, 208 Ramsar sites worldwide, of which Rutland water is one. It is internationally recognised as an important breeding site for many species of bird, including ducks and geese. The convention has adopted a comprehensive framework for wetland governance. All nine criteria necessary for a site to become a Ramsar site contribute to the maintenance of biological diversity through appropriate management. However, many urban wetland sites are not included and therefore are still threatened.
World Heritage Convention • • • Aims to designate and protect outstanding cultural and natural sites through the use of the strategic objectives; Credibility, conservation, Capacity Building , Communication Communities. 180+ countries have agreed to the convention and pledge to conserve the World heritage sites. Thingvellir National Park, Iceland is a UNESCO world heritage site due to cultural reasons. The success of the convention include that the area will be closely monitored and if its deemed to be threatened the problem will be resolved appropriately. International Safeguarding Campaigns are also often launched to protect areas designated as World Heritage Sites. Since the 1960’s 26 campaigns have been organised. However, the funding of the project is now insecure as the USA have removed their funding.
The Convention on the Law of the Sea. (UNCLOS) • • • States a comprehensive set of laws and orders for the world’s oceans and seas; rules cover the use of the oceans and their resources. Its signed by more than 150 countries and has 320 articles. The agreement is based on the principles for the conservation and management of fish stocks and establishes that management must be based upon the precautionary approach. Marine scientific research provisions have not been well developed, this hampers the global communities ability to identify and investigate on the marine environment. Attempts to regulate the migratory species has led to conflicts A law has been established that allows for quotas and regulation of the amount of resources taken and used from the seas and oceans.
Unit 3 – Case Studies Water Conflicts
Beijing – Tianjin Region • • Beijing draws 60% of it’s water from Aquifers. These are overexploited. In the 1970’s & 80’s a series of droughts led to an increase in water demand for irrigation, this resulted in the water table dropping around 40 m. Much of Beijing has subsided by 0. 5 m to 1 m due to all the extraction. Tianjin relies on groundwater for 30% of supplies, however they have experienced salt water incursion. • • • An aqueduct 2, 500 km long has been built to divert water from the three gores dam to the region. Demand for water has increased by tenfold for domestic users in the last 50 years to around 240 litres person per day. Of the 4. 9 billion m 3 a year used in the region agriculture accounts for 65% of it.
• • • The Aral Sea used to be the fourth largest inland sea, and has been steadily shrinking since the 60’s. In the 1950’s the Soviet Government diverted the water from the tributary's for irrigation of agriculture. The Aral Sea is just 10% of its size and split. The level has fallen by 40 m. The Aral Sea The crisis has involved several stakeholders: • The former Soviet government- develop the fruit and cotton industry • The fishing community- unemployment and economic hardship have prevailed. • Local Residents-Health problems caused by wind-blown salt. • Uzbekistan government-hopes to discover oil deposits underneath • Scientists-Climate & Biodiversity changed. • Kazakhstan Farmers-Salty & Polluted Water • International Economists- Up to 10 m may be forced to migrate and become environmental refugees.
Restoring the Aral Sea • • • In 2007 the Kazakhstan government secured a $126 million loan form the World Bank to help save the Northern Part of the Aral Sea. They have earlier used a $68 million loan to build a dam that splits the sea into two. It is claimed that the Northern Sea is already filling up as the water from the Syr Darya is flowing in. The new loan is going to be used to build a second dam and bring the water back to Aralsk. They are already seeing positive impacts fishermen are in there boats, and the rain has returned. However, the Southern part in Uzbekistan is still shrinking. The water from the Amu Darua are needed for growing cotton (the economy is dependent on it) The headwaters of both rivers are controlled in other countries. In an area of the worl where water developments can cause conflict.
Middle East Water Conflicts • • • In the Western area; Israelis , Syrians, Jordanians, Lebanese and Palestinians are in dispute over shrinking water supplies. Water comes from; the River Jordan and 3 aquifers. The divisions of resources is an ongoing challenge. Turkey plans to build dams to store water, however this is opposed by Syria & Iraq where reduced water supplies threaten to hold back economic development and food production.
India Vs. Bangladesh • • • Some rivers(e. g. Ganges & Brahmaputra) go through India and Bangladesh however, a series of dams divert water into irrigation systems and many of India’s largest cities use the river to carry wastewater from domestic and industrial sources. Bangladesh is a double loser, its deprived of water and the water that does reach them is often polluted. Although, the 2 countries signed an agreement shared the Ganges. India is in charge of the situation. Bangladesh grievances include; • Reduced food production and irrigation • Fish stocks are declining • Navigation and trade are declining • Lower river flows are experiencing salinisation • The delta is eroding because less silt is being deposited • Seawater incursion is increasing as the delta dries out.
The Colorado River • • The most heavily used source of irrigation water in the USA. A series of treaties have been signed between 7 US states and between USA and Mexico over rights to access. Initial agreements allocated the largest amount of water California because of its large population and considerable political power. As demand increased and less water is available there are growing challenges for the states and the players involved. Players include: • Farmers • City Dwellers • Environmentalists & Recreationalists • Indigenous Groups • Mexican People • US Federal government
The Snowy Mountains Scheme • • Consists of 16 major dams, 7 power stations and a network of tunnels, pipelines and aqueducts. The scheme collects and diverts water to power stations to create electricity and then flows to irrigate farms and provide water for Southern Australia. However, a number of storage lakes has destroyed valuable wildlife habitats. In some places the snowy rivers scheme has fallen to 1% of the original flow. • • • Groundwater overdraft has caused salinisation in some areas Water Scarcity has set farmers against city dwellers as they compete for supplies. Record droughts in Australia triggered by the Snowy Mountains Scheme have used up a lot of the water allocations of the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
Water Transfers- Turkey to Israel have warned that the country’s water reserves are being severely stretched as aquifers become salinised and water levels fall. • • December 01’ – Plan an undersea water pipeline via Northern Cyprus August 02’- Israel begins talks with Turkey to import 50 million m 3 of treated water every year July 04’-Syria objects to Turkish plans because of the location of reservoirs. May 05’- Israel and Turkey again discuss the pipeline April 06’- pipeline scrapped due to fear of terrorism and costs of desalinisation falls. June 07’- Turkey proposes a ‘peace bridge’ overland pipeline. July 08’-Figures suggest Turkey is experiencing increasing drought and water shortages, the outcome of global warming and poor management.
Insecure Water Future for India The future of Water supply in India is insecure because; • It has considerable water supplies provided by 3 of the world’s major rivers but the monsoon climate creates droughts and extreme flooding • Rapid population growth and urbanisation, the existence of a large rural population and recent urbanisation are creating an unsustainable demand for water. • The political division of some of its major drainage basins does not help water management, and disputes with neighbouring countries over water are ongoing.
The Ebro River in Spain In 2001, a plan was created to divert water from the Ebro valley to supply cities, farmers and tourists in the parched South East of the country. This plan was scrapped by the new government and replaced with localised scheme including desalinisation plants. For Diversion Vast tourist development between Alicante and Almeria cost billions of Euros were sited in areas t be supplied with Ebro water, People in Murcia and Almeria saw the Ebro scheme as the beginning of a new future allowing the development of holiday homes, golf resorts and Europe's biggest tourism complex. It was claimed that desalinisation was unproven and expensive. Against Diversion Environmentalists in the North protested that the diversion scheme was a misuse of a scare resource. The Environment minister claimed that the desalinisation plants would provide the same amount of water sooner and more cheaply. They also promised to improve water recycling and make irrigation more efficient. The claimed that the Ebro basin was already drying out due to over-abstraction.
The Three Gorges Dam China’s three gorges dam along the Yangtze river is the world’s largest hydroelectric scheme. Benefits Costs • • 18, 000 MW of electricity generated (saving up to 50 million tonnes of coal each year) It acts as flood protection Navigational improvements along the river help to open up interior regions of China to development. • • The dammed water will leave 100, 000 hectares of arable land, 13 cities and 1, 500 factories underwater 1. 9 million will be displaced. Large impact on fish and biodiversity (loss of the Yangtze River Dolphin) Increased as abandoned mines flooded. Heritage sites will be lost The river has the world 5 th largest sediment load. Which could damage turbines. Large ecological footprint due to building materials. Cost $50 billion in construction alone
South-North Transfer Scheme • • In order to redistribute the water in China a water diversion project began in 2003. It will take 50 years and $62 billion to complete. Involves building 3 canals which run 1, 300 km across the eastern, middle and western parts of China linking the 4 major rivers; Yangtze, Yellow, Haui and Han. It will transfer 44. 8 billion m 3 per year. Water Conservation, improved irrigation, pollution treatment and environmental protection are included in the plans. • • • However, there is a likelihood that significant ecological and environmental impacts will be had along the waterways. As well as, resettlement issues and worsening water quality. The Yangtze, Haui and Yellow River’s water is all heavily polluted and in some cases actually undrinkable. It was hoped that the water would supply big cities E. G Beijing and Tianjin.
Unit 3 – Case Studies Energy Security
Energy Poverty • • • Worldwide, 2 billion people do not have access to a modern energy supply Around 1. 6 billion live without electricity, either due to cost or location Having no access to energy is one aspect of extreme poverty. Alleviating ‘energy poverty’ is a key factor in achieving most of the UN’s Millennium Goals. India UK • Although fast becoming one of the world’s largest energy consumers only a small percentage of the population have access to clean, efficient energy. Especially in rural areas where about 70% of the population live. • Close of 5 million rural households are not connected to the mains gas network. Most of these people rely on LPG for heating and cooking. However, this is more expensive than gas. In rural areas most burn solid fuels for cooking. This can cause health problems. • The winter heating allowance given by the government recognises that energy poverty exists, although only within the elderly.
UK Energy Security • • • In the 1980’s-90’s gas and oil from the North Sea meant that the UK was virtually self -sufficient with energy. However, since 2004 the UK is a net importer of gas and by 2020 gas imports may account for 80 -90% of total demand. 15% of the UK’s energy supply comes from coal, this is mostly imported but does not raise security concerns because coal is widely available. Furthermore, the UK still has coal reserves if that was necessary. Although this would raise carbon emissions. The UK needs to minimise risks such as disrupted supplies and escalating prices; but each major source of energy has its own risks. Fuel Share of supply Risks Oil 35% Volatile prices, increasing demand from China &India and the rise of new national oil companies. Gas 38% The UK is dependent on importing gas through potential vulnerable pipelines. Russia supplies 30% of EU gas. Political uncertainty can affect energy security.
EU Vs. Russia • • The Nabucco pipeline, planned in 2004 would transport gas 3, 000 km from the Caspian region to Austria via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania & Hungary. Costing E 8 billion. The pipeline would be supplied with gas from Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Egypt and Syria. It would diversify EU gas supplies away from just Russia. • • • This is important because Russia’s reliability has been in doubt after it shut off gas supply to Ukraine in 2006. However, there are further problems due to the unstable political state of Syria and Iran. The project was cancelled
Unconventional Energy • • Oil-sands are composed of same, water and bitumen. Whereas Oilshale is a sedimentary rock containing oil. Now oil prices and technological advances have made working the resources feasible. Oil-sands can be refined into petroleum but is only viable as long as the price per barrel stays above $50. It is estimated oil-sands in Alberta contain up to 2. 5 trillion barrels of oil. ( More than Saudi Arabia) • • • A few hundred billion are thought to be feasible by current technology. Another 2 billion barrels worth is thought to be in Western USA. However, an immense amount of heat is required to separate the oil out, this is created by burning natural gas. Giving it a very large carbon footprint. It also uses up to four barrels of water per barrel that becomes polluted. This is returned damaging ecosystems and ground -water supplies. There also concerns over disposing of shale once oil is gone
OPEC • The Organisation of Petroleum exporting countries (OPEC) has 12 members; Iran, Iraq , Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE , Libya , Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Venezuela and Ecuador • The main aims of OPEC are; 1. To protect the interests of member countries, collectively& individually 2. To stabilise oil prices and eliminate harmful and unnecessary price fluctuations 3. To ensure an efficient, economic and regular supply of oil to consuming nations. • • • It has been accused of holding back production to increase prices. The influence of OPEC has decreased because some significant oil producers have decided not to join e. g. Russia & Usa OPEC holds 2/3 of the world’s oil reserves and in 2008 accounted for 36% of oil production.
Nuclear Power • • Attitudes towards nuclear power are changing due to climate change India and China have newly built power stations to met increasing demand in a low carbon way. By 2008, 439 reactors in 31 countries were supplying 15% of the worlds power. (370 g. W per year) It is thought that uranium will last for 150 Years. It is also costeffective to transport • • • However, there are still problems associated like the accident in Chernobyl in 1986 or at Fukishima in 2011. The waste materials are also toxic and unsafe. This is difficult to manage, politically and technically. They are expensive and cost several millions to build and design.
Wind power. • • Currently, only 1% of the world’s power is generated by the wind. Wind power is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed and clean it can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by replacing fossil fuels. Locally, wind farms met with NIMBY opposition. As some believe they are unsightly, make a large noise and pose a danger to birds. However, it is claimed that much of the UK would need to be covered in wind turbines to completely replace fossil fuels.
India Vs. China • • India’s need for energy has increased in the last 20 years due to economic growth, reliance on industry, lack of energy efficiency. Widespread cases of power being stolen are common. Power shortages and blackouts have been a problem in India’s major cities. Oil imports account for 2/3 of India’s consumption but only 1/3 of Chinas whilst China has reserves of 18 bn barrels compared to just 5 bn in India. • • Between 2000 -05’ an Indian oil company invested $3. 5 bn in overseas oil exploration whilst china invested $40 bn In the short to medium term India will have to rely on imported oil and gas. As a result they are stepping up energy diplomacy with many countries. India’s quest for energy security is impeded by tense relations with energy suppliers.
Brazil – Rooftop solar panels • • Currently, solar only accounts for 0. 02% of the countries energy generation However, in the 10 -year energy plan it was released that 7 GW of solar project would be installed by 2024. =3. 3% of Brazil’s energy mix. New regulations came into effect in March that allowed people to set up cooperative to install grid-connected solar systems and be financially rewarded. If Solar panels were installed on the rooftops of every house in Brazil solar energy could supply more than double the Brazilian residential demand.
Belo Monte Dam • • The World’s fourth largest hydropower plant, on the Xingu river. It is expected that when the dam is fully operational (by 2019) it will flood vast areas of the Amazon rainforest. (478 km of the most biodiverse area) Indigenous tribes could be totally threaten by the flooding. The dam will only work at 40% capacity to decrease the flooding and its impacts. 20, 000 people will be relocated One major impact is the influx of construction workers who all need housing, food and water. The nearest city has grown from 100, 000 to 150, 000 Deforestation is happening here faster than at anywhere else in the country. Endangered species are under pressure and indigenous groups are losing land traditions. There are several species of fish that are unique to the Volta Grande that will be killed.
DRC- The world’s largest dam • • • The £ 9. 5 bn project will span one channel of the river Congo at Inga Falls. It involves a dam and a 4, 800 MW hydro-electric plant. Subsequent phases is expected to have a capacity of 40, 000 MW Some claim it could provide about 40% of Africa’s electricity. In the 1 st phase 35, 000 people may have to be rehomed. Fish supplies from the river are likely to be greatly affected.
Portugal • • • Between 6: 45 am Saturday 7 th May 2016 until 5: 45 pm the following Wednesday Electricity consumption in Portugal was entirely covered by solar, wind and hydropower. Last year wind provided 22% of electricity and all renewables provided 48%. In 2015, Wind alone powered 42% of electricity demand in Denmark, 20% in Spain, 13% in Germany and 11% in the UK.
UK – Nothing from Coal • • • On the week beginning 9 th of May coal fired electricity fell to 0% of electricity generation 4 x times within the week On Thursday there was no electricity from coal for more than 12 ½ hours It is thought that this is the first time the UK has been without electricity from coal since the first coal – fired generator opened in 1882 It happens when summer time begins and less energy in general is demanded by customers. The government has declared they want to see coal phased out by 2025. The amount of energy generated by solar is also outstripping that of coal during the day, reaching 6. 8 GW compared to a high of 3 GW output from coal.