Survey to probe Arctic ice melt
Explorers will make regular stops to take readings from the water below the floating iceScientists and explorers will shortly set off on an expedition aiming to discover how Arctic sea ice melts. This year's Catlin Arctic Survey will focus on thethin layer of water immediately under the floating ice. Arctic ice is melting faster in summer than many computer models predict. Survey data could improve forecasts of the region's future, and also show how likely it is that the flow of warm water in the North Atlantic, known as the Gulf Stream, will switch off. This would bring colder weather to the UK and other parts of western Europe. The Arctic is one of best barometers of climate change, where we see big changes taking place today, said Simon Boxall from the National Oceanography Centre at the UK's University of Southampton. This is not just about polar bears - it's about our lives in the UK and in North America. In early March, four explorers will set off on foot from the geographic North Pole, trekking across the ice and ending up 10 weeks later in Greenland. They will make regular stops to drill holes through the floating ice and lower a package of instruments into the water on the end of a piece of rope - instruments that measure the water's temperature, salinity and flow. This data will allow scientists to calculate the rate at which the water is sinking.
Bird watching
Charity RSPB launches ‘big garden birdwatch’ survey One of the world's largest wildlife surveys, the big garden birdwatch is being launched by the UK's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The charity hopes that around half a million people will record the abundance of different bird species visiting their gardens and open spaces. By asking members of the public to spend one hour this weekend spotting birds, the charity can identify those species in most need of help. The survey is now in its 32nd year. This year it starts on Saturday 29 January. The results will be particularly useful in helping conservationists understand how the coldest December since records began has affected garden bird numbers. Over the past 30 years, the survey has helped reveal insights into the nation's changing bird populations. For example, the survey helped reveal that house sparrow numbers in gardens have fallen by 62% between 1979 and 2010. Similarly, starling populations have plummeted by 79% since 1979. However, blue and great tits have endured, making regular appearances each year in the top 15 most abundant species. Last year, more than half a million participants helped record over 8.5 million birds covering 73 species across nearly 280,000 gardens.
Dogs’ training program
Training program for dogs by the HellenicDog Training CentreThe Association “Stray-Life.gr”, which owns Pitbull-Rescue.gr, launches a training program for the animals that have been adopted from it by individuals, in co-operation with the Hellenic Dog Training Centre. According to the program, all the animals that have been adopted from “Stray-Life” will have the chance to attend 5 group and 1 optional courses, every Saturday morning. Practice at home is necessary condition for dogs’ training. In order to take part in the program, dogs should pass a character test, while dogs of all ages can take part in. The participants will receive basic obedience principles (orders) and socialization. Dogs’ owners must submit their adoptions contract, in order to take part in the program. The program costs 300€ (60€ per course), or 250€ in cash. More information at: www.amazingdogs.gr (http://www.amazingdogs.gr/), 210-984.4772, 210-983.0601
Power in unity
The ministry of Labour and Social Security along with the Hellenic Network for CSR have signed a Co-operation AgreementThe minister of Labour and Social Security Louka Katseli along with the President of the Hellenic Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Nikolaos Analitis, announced the signment of a Co-operation Agreement, during at a joint Press Conference, on Thursday, January 27. Aim of the Agreement is to boost actions that establish the meaning of Corporate Social Responsibility and coincide with the society’s needs, as well as actions through which public andprivate sector could operate in parallel and complementarily. Purpose of the Agreement is the best possible development of the available sources - economic or human - in order to leadto actions that boost sustainable development and social cohesion. The two associates focus on two basic priorities to support this cooperation: a) to combat children’s poverty, b) to prepare, support and help young people, up to 35 years old, to be effectively integrated into job market.
Green volunteers in South Kynouria municipality
Green volunteers’ offer will be made known in the society receiving admirationThe municipality of South Kynouria inco-operation with the Vice Mayor of Environment – Life Quality and Green and with the “Green Volunteer” action aims to sensitize and mobilize the public on green issues and natural environment management, through volunteerism. “Green Volunteer is a sensitized citizen who cares for the quality of life in our city, and offers his voluntary services towards its improvement”, says mayor Giannis Marnieris. “The implementation of the action plan gives citizen the right to feel an active member of the society, to battle and worry about the daily problems. The offer of “Green Volunteer” is a non profit action aimed to make citizens feel proud of their city and give them the chance to contribute to its better appearance through creative gardening, which is also a form of mild physical exercise. The main activities of “Green Volunteer” are mild works of maintenance such as planting, watering, grubbing and hoeing, removal of plant waste and branches and beautification of the areas. Volunteers also participate in central events organized by the Vice Mayor of the Environment – Life Quality and Green, such as flower exhibitions, tree plantings, the World Forestry Day, World Environment Day, but also the protection of natural material and urban equipment in the parks (like bins, benches, lights, waterfalls, etc.) from any form of destruction, vandalisms, acts of trespassing or arbitrarinesses.
AUTH - International Centre for Environmental Studies
The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki supports the International Centre of Environmental StudiesThe Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has positively responded to the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki’s suggestion for the searching and technical support of the International Centre for Environmental Studies, which will be established by the Patriarchate in Istanbul. According to Athens News Agency, university authorities have recently had a meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch at the Phanar (Fener), suggesting to undertake scientific supervision of the International Centre for Environmental Studies, since Istanbul’s Church is very sensitive in environmental matters. The Centre will focus on environmental research and education, aiming to boost public discussionon the environment, through a range of activities, organized by AUTH. Actions will regard matters such as biodiversity, climate change, natural destructions, the conservation of the natural environment and world’s environmental goods, social ecology, environmental history and morality, environmental education and information. This model Centre will be able to host eminent international ornew scientists, through scholarships, while, apart from the researches, it will boost the organization of international conferences, lectures, seminars and educational programs. AUT aims at the creation of a network of universities and research centers that will enhance the actions of the Foundation, while it will also offer financial support, through EU programs and international corporations.
EU vision on smart use of natural resources
As well as conserving basic resources, EU wants to promote the reuse and recycling of minerals and metals, essential for a modern economyA plan for more efficient use of the Earth's natural resources will feed into the EU's common goals on climate change, energy, transport, raw materials, agriculture, fisheries, biodiversity and regional development. The plan is part of Europe 2020, the bloc’s strategy for sustainable growth and jobs. As well as conserving basic resources like clean air, water, land, forests and food, the EU wants to promote the reuse and recycling of minerals and metals, essential for a modern economy. This will help boost efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. Companies that efficiently use raw materials, water and other manufacturing inputs for their products are able to cut costs, helping them to become more competitive. Some industries are already innovating and reaping the rewards. For example, cement manufacturers are starting to use alternative fuels, raw materials and recycled waste to reduce CO2 emissions, energy costs and waste. In Hungary,56 companies have introduced environmentally friendly innovations that have saved them €59m. In Netherlands, a chemical company that was consuming 9.9m litres of freshwater a day switched to household wastewater, allowing it to use 65% less energy and 500 tonnes fewer chemicals a year. It has also cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 5,000 tonnes. Encouraging resource efficiency will be a guiding principle behind measures the EU is planning on a low-carbon economy, energy efficiency, transport, agriculture, fisheries and biodiversity. These efforts will in turn encourage innovation and reduce the EU's dependence on imports. The EU will also propose action on commodity markets and aims to ensure a secure supply of raw materials. These measures are essential to the EU's economic well-being as China, India and other countries develop their economies, increasing global competition for scarce resources and driving up prices. The EU’s construction, chemicals, automotive, aerospace, machinery and equipment sectors, which employ 30m people, all depend on access to raw materials.
Save plane trees
The fast-spreading disease has already caused the death of tens plane treesImmediate measures must be taken to eliminate the destructive disease of plane trees, according to a decision of a meeting held under the deputy minister for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change mr. Thanos Moraitis. The meeting was held because of the rapid spread of canker stain, caused by the fungus Ceratocystis platani that has become a major threat to healthy trees. “The plane tree is a native tree that can bee found all over Greece, and is linked with the natural and human environment of the country. For this reason, all efforts will be made to stop the disease spreading, stressed the deputy minister.
Illegal landfills pollute Pinios river
Agricultural runoff and illegal landfills arecontaminating surface and ground water of Pinios riverThere are tens of uncontrolled landfills along the Pinios river in Ileia province, local organizations representatives say in a protest resolution. Domestic waste or even dangerous industrial litter end at these landfills, according to a SKAI report. Pollution along the Pinios river has caused the pollution of the aquifer horizon and the plain of Ileia. According to past research on water resources in Greece, Pinios river basin has been already heavily polluted, as some samples have shown increased collection of nitric acid both on both the surface and the underground water, due to farming activities.
Seminars on nature protection
Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature's activities are directed towards any action, project or programme that aims at the protection of the natural environmentThe Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature will hold a series of seminars to inform volunteers in 2011. The launching seminar will take place on January 31 at the organization’s headquarters. The main goal of the seminars is to raise volunteer’s awareness on environmental protection issues. Participants will get detailed advice about how to handle special circumstances, they will learn howto contribute in relevant programmes and co-operate with people of different backgrounds in groups. Basic skills will be taught such as: self-coordination, detection, positive thinking, the art of listening, cooperation and trust, sportiness – initiative – watching and information about actions with emphasis on the creation and exploitation of environmental data in an effective way. The seminar will be held in co-operation with the “Speira” society. Seminars will take place on January 31, February 14 & 28, March 28 and April 11. For more information at: www.eepf.gr (http://www.eepf.gr)
New Year’s Cake Cutting for ALMA
Panhellenic Association of Adjusted Activities ALMA completed, this year, 15 years of activitiesΤhe Sarogleion Mansion, the Armed Forces Officers’ Club hosted on Wednesday, January 19, a new year's cake cutting event of the Panhellenic Association of Adjusted Activities ALMA. The event, addressed by ALMA’s President ms. Katerina Yiannacopoulou, marked the 15th anniversary of the Association, as this year, ALMA completed 15 years of activities for physically disabled people, while the sports club “Protoporoi” completed 10 years of adjusted sport activities for people with physical disabilities. The Association’s Creative Employment Group and the DayCare Centre presented two theatrical performances to raise public awareness. The Association expresses its gratitude to all the 300 people that attended the event – staff members, parents, children and officials who made a team sharing the strong idea that a better tomorrow is every moment we live today!
Back to school!
Civil servants of all levels take part and serve as EU ambassadors for a dayEuropean civil servants go back to school to talk to young people about what the EU does. The Back to School programme sends EU civil servants back to school for a day – if possible to a school where they were once a student. The initiative was launched in 2007 by the German government to mark the start of their EU presidency term and was also supported by the Commission. Successive presidencies of the Council of the EU have continued it. This year, it is Hungary and Poland’s turn. Due to the success of the initiative, other EU countries are participating and will welcome EU civil servants back to their old schools. Schools not counting EU civil servants among their alumni are welcome to participate too. EU Back to school puts a face on Europe for young people and brings the EU institutions closer to them. The project gives students a unique chance to ask their questions on the EU and learn something from the experiences of people who are actually helping make European integration a reality. It helps them better understand how the EU works, learn about European policies and discover educational programmes they themselves can participate insuch as Leonardo Da Vinci and Erasmus. In spring 2010, humanitarian aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva visited a secondary school in Elena, Bulgaria. The students asked many questions, in particular how she saw Europe .
I Live For Me
‘I Live For Me’ was created to help and support individuals suffering from cancer and chronic diseasesThe non-profit organisation “I Live For Me”, for people with cancer and chronic diseases has announced its establishment and operation in a special ceremony held at the Athens Concert Hall on January 25. The event was attended by outstanding personalities of greek business and social life. “I Live For Me” is a non-profit organisation that aims to support people with cancer and other chronic illnesses by focusing in an important aspect of their daily lives: their outward appearance. As the strenuous treatments advance, the patients see their image change, in many cases to the extend they become unrecognizable to themselves and others. Hence, not only do they have to battle against the disease, but are also faced with the practical issues of adjustment to this illness and the accompanying erosion of self confidence it initiates. “I LiveFor Me” aims to bring chronic patients close to a group of scientists, doctors, psychologists, as well as nutrition specialists from the beauty industrywho may assist them and their families with simple, day-to-day practical advice, seminars and events, to manage the daily consequences of their illness and regain their vanishing self esteem. Moreover though a series of educational actions, “I Live For Me” aims to sensitize the public towards the vital issue of prevention of cancer and other chronic illnesses. For more information www.iliveforme.org (http://www.iliveforme.org )
Environmental Awareness Awards
The institution of OIKOPOLIS was established by the voluntary organization ECOCITY, aiming at awarding good practices, as well as raising public awareness on the protection of the environment in our countryThe voluntary organization ECOCITY is preparing the seventh annual Environmental Awareness Awards OIKOPOLIS 2011, for activities and projects that took place during last year, towards the environmental protection. This year’s Awards ceremony is scheduled to take place in June, during the week of World Environment Day. Aim of OIKOPOLIS 2011 is to award actions on the protection of the environment, as well as to boost conditions for good competition and sensitivity, to all those who take action in the field of environmental protection and development. Six types of awards are being offered: - OIKOPOLIS Award 2010 for Businesses- OIKOPOLIS Award 2010 for Scientific Breakthroughs - OIKOPOLIS Award 2010 for Graduate Papers- OIKOPOLIS Award 2010 for State Agencies- OIKOPOLIS Award 2010 for Local Self-government- OIKOPOLIS Award 2010 for MediaEach category includes 3-6 subcategories and distinctions. Participations should be submitted until the end of February and the Nominee File with the Report until the end of March. Candidates have the right to submit more than one report for different projects, in different categories per section. Participants should submit a full file with a description of projects regarding activities, studies, programs or communication actions, developed or/and completed during 2010 (from January 1st to December 31st, 2010). This year, it is estimated that 26 OIKOPOLIS Awards will be presented, while the final decision for the awards will be made after the final choice of the Evaluation Committees, during next May. The development of the competition still attracts the interest of the Scientific Community, Local Self-government, Business field, Mass Media, as well as the State and the competent corporations.
Unicef’s yellow fever vaccination campaign
More than 830,000 targeted to preventdeadly outbreaksA vaccination campaign against yellow fever is underway in Côte d’Ivoire, this West African nation, targeting morethan 830,000 adults and children in four districts aged nine months and older. The campaign is targeting the districts of Katiola and Beoumi – where since last November there have been 66 recorded cases of yellow fever with 25 deaths recorded (a fatality rate of 35 per cent). Seguela and Mankono districts are also where vaccination teams will work. The severity of yellow fever, a potentially lethal infection transmitted by mosquitoes, is such that a single confirmed case in a country constitutes an epidemic. There is no known cure, but one dose of the vaccine provides immunity for ten years. ‘’We are extremely grateful to GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, for providing the yellow fever vaccines and for our partners the WHO for working with UNICEF to make this critically important campaign possible,’’ said Sylvie Dossou, UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire Officer-in-Charge. ‘
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Doing more with scarce resources E-mail
Encouraging Earth's natural resource efficiency will be a guiding principle behind measures the EU is planning on a low-carbon economy, energy efficiency, transport, agriculture, fisheries and biodiversity
Encouraging Earth's natural resource efficiency will be a guiding principle behind measures
the EU is planning on a low-carbon economy, energy efficiency, transport, agriculture,
fisheries and biodiversity

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