Living in a connected world - FFT Ecology News

Living in a connected world

«The absolute weight of the combination of the ideals and lifestyles of 500 million Europeans is huge. Not to mention that the legitimate desires of billions of other people on the planet are related to the desire to share these lifestyles (…). We will have to change the behavior of European consumers in order to raise awareness and influence their habits». Janez Potočnik, European Environment Commissioner (March 2010).

Five years ago, Bussy was still a jungle. It is located in the Willikale region in eastern Congo and has now become a small town due to the discovery of cassiterite (a derivative of tin that is a key component of the circuits of many modern devices). We find it in mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and gaming devices.

Cassiterite is in great demand and very valuable. Indeed, our demand for consumer electronics has caused the price of raw tin to rise. According to the British “Financial Times” report, the price of the London Stock Exchange rose from around US$5,000 per ton in 2003 to more than US$26,000 per ton at the end of 2010.

At present, there is a high demand for a series of natural resources that exist in Congo’s forests and jungles, but even though the country is still very poor. Over the past 15 years, more than 5 million people have been killed in eastern Congo due to wars between various armed groups. It is estimated that at least 300,000 women were raped this time.

This is already happening in Congo, a country colonized by King Leopold II of Belgium more than 100 years ago. The country has become one of the richest people in the world by selling Congolese rubber. During the industrialization period, the strong development of the automobile industry relied on rubber.

Just as the stock of certain resources reaches extremely low levels, our continued demand for natural resources for food, clothing, shelter, transportation and entertainment is also increasing.

Natural systems are also subject to new requirements, such as plant-based chemicals or biomass to replace fossil fuels. In general, the growing demand for shrinking resources has seriously threatened the development of Europe.

“As global citizens, we are all involved in the violence in the Congo. The mining of minerals that exacerbated this conflict affects us all.”

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sexual Crime in Conflict Situations, Margot Wallström.

National development

“The 2000 Millennium Declaration was a milestone in international cooperation and inspired development efforts, which have improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world. The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide an opportunity for the entire international community to work together to achieve common goals. frame.

The goal is achievable, but the improvement in the lives of the poor is unacceptable, while the hard-earned gains have been hit by the climate, food and economic crises.

The world has the resources and knowledge to ensure that even the poorest countries and other countries struggling to develop due to disease, geographic remoteness or civil strife can liberate themselves to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Achieving goals is a common interest. Failure to achieve these goals will bring greater risks to our world, ranging from instability to epidemics and environmental degradation. However, their achievements will bring us closer to a more stable, just and safe world.

Billions of people expect the international community to realize the grand vision envisaged in the Millennium Declaration. We strive to keep our promise ».

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the “2010 Millennium Development Goals Report” (United Nations, 2010)

Europe and the new balance of power

As the 21st century progresses, we find that the number of basic global dynamics that are not under European influence and control is increasing. This aspect has consequences in terms of access to resources.

On a global scale, the supply and access of major natural resources (including food, water and fuel) are highly uncertain. In the next few years, Europe’s demand for resources may be on par with the needs of China, India, Brazil and other countries and will put more pressure on the environment.

In fact, some developing countries are rapidly reaching the same level of economic activity as Europe: the population, consumption level and production capacity of these countries can overshadow our population and our consumption level. And our production capacity. Their legitimate needs for economic and social development will lead to wider use of global commodity inventories. Especially China is good at securing raw materials from multiple countries and regions.

Population is growing, technology is improving, and the power of private non-governmental actors (such as multinational corporations) is expanding. In the context of fragile international governance mechanisms, these forces threaten the global “game of massacre” to ensure access to natural resources.

Globalization: The Framework of Human Development

The true nature of globalization also provides opportunities and structures for achieving different results. There are all the prerequisites for effective and fair global governance of issues that are vital to all of us.

The United Nations “Millennium Goals” are just one example of a global political process aimed at achieving fair and sustainable human development.

In the past year, international climate negotiations have made progress. The Cancun Agreement, signed in December 2010, recognized for the first time in a UN document that global warming must be kept below 2°C compared with pre-industrial temperatures.

The agreement confirms that by 2020, industrialized countries (whose industrial activities and their footprints have triggered man-made climate change) will raise 100 billion U.S. dollars in climate funding for countries each year. development of. The agreement also established a “Green Climate Fund”, which will be used to allocate most of the funds.

Some innovations, such as the so-called “REDD+” mechanism (reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation-reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation), can reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. Without a global governance structure and a spirit of collaboration, these activities will not be possible.

The European Union (EU) seeks to promote a collaborative response to common challenges and goals. The EU’s 2020 Vision sets a growth strategy based on a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy.

Increasing importance for non-state actors

Of course, the global political process plays an important role in ensuring that economic growth does not disrupt basic natural systems. However, another key feature of globalization is the increasing importance of non-governmental actors.

Multinational companies, including mobile and IT companies, can also play a vital role in promoting sustainable development. The first company to prove that there are no “conflict minerals” in its products will have a positive impact on many lives and have huge commercial potential.

We need to learn from the innovative R&D examples of leading companies and apply them to the challenges we face. We need to mobilize all the problem-solving capabilities we have in order to achieve sustained and sustainable development.

As citizens, we are also mobilizing through individuals and non-governmental organizations. Some of us took to the streets to protest. Others spend time and energy to rediscover food or participate in community activities. Many countries are adjusting consumption choices to minimize the impact on the environment and to ensure that producers in developing countries receive a fair return. The point is that globalization is affecting everyone, and we are realizing that we are not powerless because we can make things happen.

Development, creation, work and education

We must continue to develop, create, work and educate ourselves, and become smarter in the way we use natural resources. For example, the “Millennium Development Goals” are mainly aimed at protecting the natural environment, where the poorest of the poor depend on survival.

This means managing natural resources in such a way that communities can survive first, then profit and progress. As we will read in the next chapter about India’s forest resources and population, this constitutes one of the biggest challenges we face on a global scale.

This is a challenge that Europeans play an important role. Managing global resources in a sustainable manner is essential to achieving fair economic prosperity, greater social cohesion, and a healthier environment.

  • You can read the latest report “The Road to Green Economy” prepared by the United Nations, which has been published on the Internet at: www.unep.org/greeneconomy

handInnovation: Minerals

Imprint At the Federal Institute of Natural Resources and Geological Sciences in Hannover, Germany, Dr. Frank Melcher (Frank Melcher) leads a team dedicated to developing a method to verify the minerals used in electronic products based on the existing diamonds. All problematic minerals have a specific “brand” associated with their place of origin.

Dr. Melcher explained: “In order to obtain fingerprints of minerals such as coltanite and cassiterite, we will drill in a small area under consideration. ”

“We first check the sample for about two or three hours, and then analyze the volume of its components. This is a footprint, which is very distinctive for the Bisie mine.

Through the analysis of each grain conducted here, we can derive the formation period of the mineral, that is, the geological age, and determine that a certain material comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo or Mozambique, because we know the year of analyzing the old particles.

Therefore, technically speaking, traces of raw materials can be traced, but it must be done before the raw materials are melted into metal.

Dr. Melcher’s work is carried out within the framework of the cooperation agreement between the German and Congolese governments on the project “Enhancing Transparency and Control of the Natural Resources Sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo”. The project was launched in 2009 and helped the Ministry of Mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) implement a mineral certification system for tin, tungsten, tantalite and gold.

«The absolute weight of the combination of the ideals and lifestyles of 500 million Europeans is huge. Not to mention that the legitimate desires of billions of other people on the planet are related to the desire to share these lifestyles (…). We will have to change the behavior of European consumers in order to raise awareness and influence their habits». Janez Potočnik, European Environment Commissioner (March 2010).

Five years ago, Bussy was still a jungle. It is located in the Willikale region in eastern Congo and has now become a small town due to the discovery of cassiterite (a derivative of tin that is a key component of the circuits of many modern devices). We find it in mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and gaming devices.

Cassiterite is in great demand and very valuable. Indeed, our demand for consumer electronics has caused the price of raw tin to rise. According to the British “Financial Times” report, the price of the London Stock Exchange rose from around US$5,000 per ton in 2003 to more than US$26,000 per ton at the end of 2010.

At present, there is a high demand for a series of natural resources that exist in Congo’s forests and jungles, but even though the country is still very poor. Over the past 15 years, more than 5 million people have been killed in eastern Congo due to wars between various armed groups. It is estimated that at least 300,000 women were raped this time.

This is already happening in Congo, a country colonized by King Leopold II of Belgium more than 100 years ago. The country has become one of the richest people in the world by selling Congolese rubber. During the industrialization period, the strong development of the automobile industry relied on rubber.

Just as the stock of certain resources reaches extremely low levels, our continued demand for natural resources for food, clothing, shelter, transportation and entertainment is also increasing.

Natural systems are also subject to new requirements, such as plant-based chemicals or biomass to replace fossil fuels. In general, the growing demand for shrinking resources has seriously threatened the development of Europe.

“As global citizens, we are all involved in the violence in the Congo. The mining of minerals that exacerbated this conflict affects us all.”

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sexual Crime in Conflict Situations, Margot Wallström.

National development

“The 2000 Millennium Declaration was a milestone in international cooperation and inspired development efforts, which have improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world. The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide an opportunity for the entire international community to work together to achieve common goals. frame.

The goal is achievable, but the improvement in the lives of the poor is unacceptable, while the hard-earned gains have been hit by the climate, food and economic crises.

The world has the resources and knowledge to ensure that even the poorest countries and other countries struggling to develop due to disease, geographic remoteness or civil strife can liberate themselves to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Achieving goals is a common interest. Failure to achieve these goals will bring greater risks to our world, ranging from instability to epidemics and environmental degradation. However, their achievements will bring us closer to a more stable, just and safe world.

Billions of people expect the international community to realize the grand vision envisaged in the Millennium Declaration. We strive to keep our promise ».

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the “2010 Millennium Development Goals Report” (United Nations, 2010)

Europe and the new balance of power

As the 21st century progresses, we find that the number of basic global dynamics that are not under European influence and control is increasing. This aspect has consequences in terms of access to resources.

On a global scale, the supply and access of major natural resources (including food, water and fuel) are highly uncertain. In the next few years, Europe’s demand for resources may be on par with the needs of China, India, Brazil and other countries and will put more pressure on the environment.

In fact, some developing countries are rapidly reaching the same level of economic activity as Europe: the population, consumption level and production capacity of these countries can overshadow our population and our consumption level. And our production capacity. Their legitimate needs for economic and social development will lead to wider use of global commodity inventories. Especially China is good at securing raw materials from multiple countries and regions.

Population is growing, technology is improving, and the power of private non-governmental actors (such as multinational corporations) is expanding. In the context of fragile international governance mechanisms, these forces threaten the global “game of massacre” to ensure access to natural resources.

Globalization: The Framework of Human Development

The true nature of globalization also provides opportunities and structures for achieving different results. There are all the prerequisites for effective and fair global governance of issues that are vital to all of us.

The United Nations “Millennium Goals” are just one example of a global political process aimed at achieving fair and sustainable human development.

In the past year, international climate negotiations have made progress. The Cancun Agreement, signed in December 2010, recognized for the first time in a UN document that global warming must be kept below 2°C compared with pre-industrial temperatures.

The agreement confirms that by 2020, industrialized countries (whose industrial activities and their footprints have triggered man-made climate change) will raise 100 billion U.S. dollars in climate funding for countries each year. development of. The agreement also established a “Green Climate Fund”, which will be used to allocate most of the funds.

Some innovations, such as the so-called “REDD+” mechanism (reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation-reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation), can reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. Without a global governance structure and a spirit of collaboration, these activities will not be possible.

The European Union (EU) seeks to promote a collaborative response to common challenges and goals. The EU’s 2020 Vision sets a growth strategy based on a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy.

Increasing importance for non-state actors

Of course, the global political process plays an important role in ensuring that economic growth does not disrupt basic natural systems. However, another key feature of globalization is the increasing importance of non-governmental actors.

Multinational companies, including mobile and IT companies, can also play a vital role in promoting sustainable development. The first company to prove that there are no “conflict minerals” in its products will have a positive impact on many lives and have huge commercial potential.

We need to learn from the innovative R&D examples of leading companies and apply them to the challenges we face. We need to mobilize all the problem-solving capabilities we have in order to achieve sustained and sustainable development.

As citizens, we are also mobilizing through individuals and non-governmental organizations. Some of us took to the streets to protest. Others spend time and energy to rediscover food or participate in community activities. Many countries are adjusting consumption choices to minimize the impact on the environment and to ensure that producers in developing countries receive a fair return. The point is that globalization is affecting everyone, and we are realizing that we are not powerless because we can make things happen.

Development, creation, work and education

We must continue to develop, create, work and educate ourselves, and become smarter in the way we use natural resources. For example, the “Millennium Development Goals” are mainly aimed at protecting the natural environment, where the poorest of the poor depend on survival.

This means managing natural resources in such a way that communities can survive first, then profit and progress. As we will read in the next chapter about India’s forest resources and population, this constitutes one of the biggest challenges we face on a global scale.

This is a challenge that Europeans play an important role. Managing global resources in a sustainable manner is essential to achieving fair economic prosperity, greater social cohesion, and a healthier environment.

  • You can read the latest report “The Road to Green Economy” prepared by the United Nations, which has been published on the Internet at: www.unep.org/greeneconomy

handInnovation: Minerals

Imprint At the Federal Institute of Natural Resources and Geological Sciences in Hannover, Germany, Dr. Frank Melcher (Frank Melcher) leads a team dedicated to developing a method to verify the minerals used in electronic products based on the existing diamonds. All problematic minerals have a specific “brand” associated with their place of origin.

Dr. Melcher explained: “In order to obtain fingerprints of minerals such as coltanite and cassiterite, we will drill in a small area under consideration. ”

“We first check the sample for about two or three hours, and then analyze the volume of its components. This is a footprint, which is very distinctive for the Bisie mine.

Through the analysis of each grain conducted here, we can derive the formation period of the mineral, that is, the geological age, and determine that a certain material comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo or Mozambique, because we know the year of analyzing the old particles.

Therefore, technically speaking, traces of raw materials can be traced, but it must be done before the raw materials are melted into metal.

Dr. Melcher’s work is carried out within the framework of the cooperation agreement between the German and Congolese governments on the project “Enhancing Transparency and Control of the Natural Resources Sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo”. The project was launched in 2009 and helped the Ministry of Mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) implement a mineral certification system for tin, tungsten, tantalite and gold.