For years before Hurricane Sandy charged ashore on Monday, researchers from the Earth Institute knew what was coming. As the region struggles to recover from this “superstorm,” we asked some of them to consider the lessons we can learn as we move forward.
We traveled by boat to the south part of the Sundarbans near the Indian Ocean to install a GPS at Hiron Point, this isolated facility also hosts a tide gauge recording long-term water level changes due to rising sea level and land subsidence. Our GPS will help distinguish how much of each there is in the midst of the world’s largest mangrove forest.
Polder 32 is one of the many inland islands in Bangladesh that was enclosed by an embankment to protect it from flooding. When that embankment failed during Cyclone Aila in 2009, the island was flooded for almost 2 years. Subsidence of the ground inside the embankment with no sedimentation to compensate made it worse. We are installing a GPS at a school there to monitor the subsidence.
Leaving Dhaka, we spend an entire day getting to Khepupara in southern Bangladesh. Then we spent a long morning installing a GPS to monitor subsidence of the delta before heading back on the road again.
Dr. Daniel Hillel was recently honored with the World Food Prize for his pioneering work in sustainable agriculture.
Our highly interconnected and interdependent world has given rise to an extraordinary collaborative effort to design a future that is sustainable, prosperous and empowering. The recently concluded Clinton Global Initiative 2012 annual meeting’s theme, “Designing for Impact,” focused on designing our lives, environments and the global systems that can create more opportunity and equality.
Can mushrooms help clean up oil spills? Can oysters filter sewage pollution? Industrial waste is being injected into the planet’s soil and water as a result of human activity. Pioneers in the field of conservation and sustainability are employing nature’s own biological task force to help clean up.
If public-private partnerships are essential to successfully carrying out the Olympics and using it to catalyze positive change for the host city, then Rio could have an important advantage for hosting the games in 2016.
Within two weeks of graduating from the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development in May 2012, Patrick Blute found himself launched into a management trainee program with the non-profit Rustic Pathways and on his way to Southeast Asia.