Thursday, 29 September 2016

Soil Carbon Sequestration

Soil is the biggest reservoir of carbon on the planet after the oceans and holds four times more carbon than all the plants and trees in the world. However, deforestation and industrial farming has degraded this capacity in 40% of all agricultural soils.

New research published in Science suggests that regenerative farming methods including woodland regeneration, no-till farming, cover crops, nutrient management, manuring and sludge application, improved grazing, water conservation and harvesting, efficient irrigation, agroforestry practices, and growing energy crops on spare lands can help restore soils. This not only improves food security but also has the potential to sequestrate 5-15% of global fossil fuel emissions.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Informal Trade

Surveys of Pretoria CBD indicate that the locations of informal trade and the types of goods and products sold, change over the period of day and can be complex.

It is important that support and infrastructure being developed for informal trade understand this. This complexity is being addressed in structured processes to develop integrative infrastructure for informal trade based on the following five steps:

• Surveys and locations
• Diversity and development paths
• Operating agreements and tenure
• Infrastructure and services
• Storage and logistics

Tax Incentives to Create Employment and Encourage Repairs

While emissions from energy consumption in Sweden are decreasing, their emissions from consumption of goods are increasing.

To address this, the government would like to make sustainable consumption more affordable by providing tax breaks for repairs to equipment.

This is reflected in Budget for 2017 which will cut the VAT rate charged on minor repairs to things like bicycles, shoes and clothes.

Tax refunds will also be offered to people to get their white goods, such as washing machines and dishwashers repair, rather than throwing these away.

Swedish taxpayers can already claim 50% of the labour cost of paid house work, such as employing a cleaner, from their income tax bills.

More detail can be accessed here

Track the 2016 Solar Challenge

The Sasol Solar Challenge is a competition for teams to design, manage, build and drive solar-powered vehicles across South Africa.

Local and international solar-powered cars travel as far as they can on various roads and loops between Pretoria and Cape Town, with some teams travelling distances of over 4000km. 

The 2016 event from 24 September to 1 October 2016 traverses some of the world’s most beautiful and diverse landscapes, from desert and savannah to mountains and coastal forest.

Track the competitors live on a map here.