World sacred forests mapped out

A team of scientists from the University of Oxford are working on a world map which shows all the land owned or revered by various world religions. This "holy map" will display all the sacred sites from Jerusalem's Western Wall, to Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, to St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

Just as interesting, the map will also show the great forests held sacred by various religions. Within these protected lands dwell a wide variety of life and high numbers of threatened species.The sacred land mapped out by the Oxford researchers is not necessarily owned by a certain religious community, but rather contains sacred connotations.

They estimate that about fifteen percent of all land on Earth is "sacred land", and eight percent of all land is owned by a religious community. Much of the land held sacred is forest.... Read more »

Thoughts on the 700 jobs cut at Environment Canada

Media Release, August 4, 2011

Don't be fooled - this is NOT about the deficit. This is about a blatant disregard for the environment and the health and safety of Canadians.

We should NOT be surprised Environment Canada is the first department to face the axe. We have all seen the vindictiveness of the Harper government and no department has presented more of problem, nor stripped away more of the contrived moderate veneer of Stephen Harper’s government, than Environment Canada. So no one should be surprised he would gut it at the first opportunity.

An eleven percent cut to one of the smallest federal departments will NOT rid us of the deficit.
“What it will do is give polluters exactly what they want - a toothless, understaffed Environment Canada with weakened scientific capacity and no enforcement capability,” said Sierra Club Canada’s Executive Director John Bennett.
... Read more »

Canada to slash environment ministry jobs

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's environment ministry will cut or reassign around 10 percent of its workers, unions said on Thursday, prompting fears that services like weather forecasting and environmental protection will suffer.

Officials said the move was designed to help eliminate the budget deficit. Critics said it underscored what they portray as the right-leaning Conservative government's contempt for the environment.
 ... Read more »

700 Environment Canada jobs on the chopping block

Meteorologists, scientists, chemists and engineers are among more than 700 Environment Canada employees on the chopping block as the department launches sweeping cuts to cope with federal belt-tightening.

The shakeup could be a taste of further cuts in other departments to come as the Conservative government reins in spending to eliminate a $32 billion deficit.

The cuts represent 11 per cent of the workforce at Environment Canada, calling into question the department’s ability to carry on its mandate, said Bill Pynn, national president of the Union of Environment Workers, which represents 476 of the affected workers.

“It’s massive,” Pynn said, saying he can’t recall cuts of a similar scale in Ottawa in the last two decades.
... Read more »

Feds silence scientist over salmon study

Top bureaucrats in Ottawa have muzzled a leading fisheries scientist whose discovery could help explain why salmon stocks have been crashing off Canada's West Coast, according to documents obtained by Postmedia News.

The documents show the Privy Council Office, which supports the Prime Minister's Office, stopped Kristi Miller from talking about one of the most significant discoveries to come out of a federal fisheries lab in years.

Science, one of the world's top research journals, published Miller's findings in January. The journal considered the work so significant it notified "over 7,400" journalists worldwide about Miller's "Suffering Salmon" study.
... Read more »


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