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Society, Environment
Rooting sustainability starts on school benches
Rooting sustainability starts on school benches
Do young people know what a smart city is? Do they care about saving energy and preserving the Earth’s resources? “Rooting sustainability starts on the benches of schools,” affirmed UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova at the recent UN Climate Change Conference ( COP22 ) in Marrakech, Morocco.
Levelling food price volatility, while supporting the poor
Levelling food price volatility, while supporting the poor
The worst food crisis in 30 years looms for 50 million people across southern Africa from Mozambique to Angola. Two years without rain has destroyed harvests. Food prices have skyrocketed.
Robots in distress in the Venetian Lagoon
Robots in distress in the Venetian Lagoon
Can mathematics be expressed poetically through computational technologies? Visual artists Vicky Isley and Paul Smith believe it can be and are collaborating with the Artificial Life Lab of the University of Graz, in Austria, on the Subcultron project (Submarine Cultures Perform Long-Term Exploration of Unconventional Environmental Niches).
Professor Kostas Iatrou – Combatting malaria using natural mosquito repellents
Professor Kostas Iatrou – Combatting malaria using natural mosquito repellents
A major challenge in combatting malaria is to develop effective yet sustainable mosquito repellents.  Now, the ENAROMaTIC project, a European effort to reduce the spread of malaria completed in 2012, may have done just that.
Juggling with multiple risks
Juggling with multiple risks
Multiple disasters can have a cumulative impact leading to great human and financial loss. The awareness of all possible risks is of fundamental importance.
Acoustic waves warn of tsunami
Acoustic waves warn of tsunami
When a coastal area is about to be hit by the waves of a tsunami, time is everything. The earlier we know where and when it is going to hit the coast, the more chances there are to evacuate the area.
Sheltering rising population from storm water
Sheltering rising population from storm water
Storm water is a critical consideration in managing urban water , as it influences the risks of flooding. Unfortunately, a global rise in urban population means that water management in urban areas is now under strain.
Strong resistance to making people think green
Strong resistance to making people think green
How can policymakers change the way people think? This is what the InContext project, funded by the EU, hopes to answer. Leading European research institutions in the fields of transition, behaviour and sustainable development are trying to create a manual for change.
Local input key in multi-risk planning decisions
Local input key in multi-risk planning decisions
Landslides and floods are increasingly occurring natural events . They continue to damage infrastructures and farmland across the EU. Meanwhile, they are also putting people’s life at risk.
Geoffrey Gooch: culturally correct sustainable initiatives
Geoffrey Gooch: culturally correct sustainable initiatives
We are used to the idea of vulnerable environments and species. We are also familiar with cultural vulnerability. For example when traditional peoples meet seductive modern ways of life.
Indian drought risk, as Himalayan glaciers retreat
Indian drought risk, as Himalayan glaciers retreat
But by the time it began in May 2009, the original extreme urgency of the HighNoon project had ‘melted’ so to speak.
Eruption risk perception disconnected from detected threat
Eruption risk perception disconnected from detected threat
Just like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions are extremely difficult to accurately predict. Yet, the eruption of the Santa Ana Volcano in El Salvador was predicted a few days before it happened on 1 st October 2005.
Rescuing Swiss Heritage
Rescuing Swiss Heritage
Scientists, monument preservationists and craftsmen aim at ensuring conservation of the region’s architectural heritage also by optimising energy efficiency.
Niklaus Ledergerber: "Reviving Strickbau wood log houses"
Niklaus Ledergerber: "Reviving Strickbau wood log houses"
Niklaus Ledergerber, president of the cultural heritage preservation commission of the Swiss canton of Appenzell, is an expert in local building history. He tells youris.
Whipping Swiss cottages into green shipshape
Whipping Swiss cottages into green shipshape
Scientists aim to create a sustainable future for the Strickbau building technique , typical of the Swiss Appenzell region. The challenge is to use modern features respecting historic architecture to bring them back from the verge of extinction.
Bill Wei: Theft insurance through art fingerprints
Bill Wei: Theft insurance through art fingerprints
Bill Wei is a senior conservation scientist at the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage, in Amsterdam.
Art gets its digital passport
Art gets its digital passport
Imagine that a hundred years ago it was possible to take the ‘digital fingerprint’ of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and store it in an international database.
Rust never sleeps: fighting corrosion with high-tech sensors
Rust never sleeps: fighting corrosion with high-tech sensors
Temperature and humidity—two factors that influence corrosion— are routinely monitored in museums to protect the artifacts from the ravages of time.
Ecology for Kids
Ecology for Kids
In the attempt to reduce pollution, the representatives of the most industrialised countries in Europe have agreed upon the Kyoto Protocol, which establishes quotas on gas release and supports the plantation as well as the preservation of forests.