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The Green Desk

95bFM's long-running green issues feature Green Desk, with Mitch Fuller.

The Green Desk: Saying 'no' to Single Use with Takeaway Throwaways' Liam Prince: May 19 2020

The Green Desk: Saying 'no' to Single Use with Takeaway Throwaways' Liam Prince: May 19 2020 The Green Desk: Saying 'no' to Single Use with Takeaway Throwaways' Liam Prince: May 19 2020, 10.45 MB
Tue 19 May 2020

Today on the Green Desk, Bronnie speaks to Liam Prince, co-founder of Takeaway Throwaways, an organisation seeking to ban single use disposable plastic service ware for food and drink and replace them with reusable alternatives. The closure of cafes during Alert Level 4 meant that more than 20 million takeaway coffee cups that would have otherwise gone to the landfill were avoided. However, with businesses reopening under Alert Levels 3 and 2, many have been hesitant to bring in their reusable cups. Takeaway Throwaways have been vocal in dispelling hygiene myths around BYO reusable containers, and that was the topic of today’s interview. 

 

You can Takeaway Throwaways on Facebook, Instagram, or check out their website - www.takeawaythrowaways.nz - and sign their petition to ban the use of single use plastic serviceware. 

 

The Green Desk: An Online School Strike 4 Climate with Coco Lovatt and Oli Morphew: May 12 2020

The Green Desk: An Online School Strike 4 Climate with Coco Lovatt and Oli Morphew: May 12 2020 The Green Desk: An Online School Strike 4 Climate with Coco Lovatt and Oli Morphew: May 12 2020, 14.37 MB
Tue 12 May 2020

Today on the Greendesk Bronnie spoke to representatives from School Strikes for Climate New Zealand about their online strike event this Friday. May 15th will be the fourth time New Zealand youths will strike, inspired by Swedish teengager GretaThunberg’s “Friday’s for Future” movement.  Coco Lovatt from Avondale College and Oli Morphew from Wellington Girls’ College were both involved with the historical strikes last September which saw 170,000 people take to the streets nationwide. 

You can join the online strike this Friday May 15th  by going along to their Facebook event. They are also encouraging people to sign their open letter to the government to adopt a Green Covid Response, and also the Greenpeace petition to the same effect. 

 

 

The Green Desk: Using Autonomous Seacraft to Tackle Overfishing with Philip Solaris, April 28, 2020

The Green Desk: Using Autonomous Seacraft to Tackle Overfishing with Philip Solaris, April 28, 2020 The Green Desk: Using Autonomous Seacraft to Tackle Overfishing with Philip Solaris, April 28, 2020, 20.86 MB
Tue 28 Apr 2020

Today on the Green Desk Bronnie spoke to Philip Solaris, the CEO of Xcraft, a company who develop UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for environmental and humanitarian use in New Zealand and the Pacific. As well as drones, they have more recently begun work on unmanned seacraft, one of which, named Proteus, was the topic of the interview. Along with its many functions for emergency rescue and scientific data collection, it also has the ability to identify and report illegal fishing vessels. Solaris begins by talking about the difficulties posed by fisheries regulation. 

 

The Green Desk: Ministry for the Environment's 'Our Freshwater 2020' Report, 21 April, 2020

The Green Desk: Ministry for the Environments's 'Our Freshwater 2020' Report, 21 April, 2020 The Green Desk: Ministry for the Environments's 'Our Freshwater 2020' Report, 21 April, 2020, 10.26 MB
Tue 21 Apr 2020

Last week the Ministry for the Environment released “Our Freshwater 2020” a report highlighting the declining state of our rivers, lakes, streams and catchments. An update on the 2017 report, this release emphasizes the significance and urgency of the situation. It identifies four common threats to freshwater: habitat changes, pollution, water use and climate change.

Bronwyn picks out some highlights from the report, as well as reactions from Forest & Bird, Fish & Game, Choose Clean Water, Federated Farmers and Ministers Eugenie Sage, James Shaw and David Parker. 

Conceptualising a Response to the Climate Crisis from Covid-19 with Samuel Miller McDonald; 14 April, 2020

Conceptualising a Response to the Climate Crisis from Covid-19 with Samuel Miller McDonald; 14 April, 2020 Conceptualising a Response to the Climate Crisis from Covid-19 with Samuel Miller McDonald; 14 April, 2020, 18.31 MB
Tue 14 Apr 2020

Last week, Oscar Perress was able to talk to Samuel Miller McDonald, a journalist, writer and student currently based in the UK for his studies at Oxford. Though talking for over an hour, their discussion around Covid-19 can be understood as a discussion on a need for systems change.

Miller McDonald’s studies are focussed in Climate and Energy Politics, so a large section of their discussion was around conceptualising a response to the climate crisis from how our world has reacted and responded to Covid-19. Oscar started by asking Miller McDonald for his intial reaction to the global response to Covid-19 and what we need to take from it to start a response to the climate crisis.

They also discussed the effect that national emergencies have on our every day structures and politics’ place in creating our reactions to Covid-19. You can find the rest of this series written by Oscar Perress, online by bCast and on air through out the next 2 weeks. Miller McDonald’s other work is accessible on https://www.samueljmm.com/

 

The Green Desk: A Court of Appeal victory for Taranaki iron sands with Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Kevin Hague: April 7, 2020

The Green Desk: A Court of Appeal victory for Taranaki iron sands with Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Kevin Hague: April 7, 2020 The Green Desk: A Court of Appeal victory for Taranaki iron sands with Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Kevin Hague: April 7, 2020, 19.88 MB
Tue 7 Apr 2020

In August 2017, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) granted Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) a consent to carry out iron ore extraction from the sand beds in the Exclusive Economic Zone off the South Taranaki coast.  Iwi and environmental groups successfully appealed the granting of consent in the High Court, however the matter was appealed to the Court of Appeal.  On Friday the Court released its judgment, coming to the same conclusion as the High Court but on completely different reasoning. 

First, Bronnie speaks to Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, the chief executive of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui who have been part of a long battle of court cases and protests against the mining activity. She began by telling us how she was feeling having reached the end of what has been a very long journey.

The Court of Appeal also heard from many other groups representing environmental and fishing interests. In the latter half of this clip, Bronnie interviews the chief executive of Forest & Bird, Kevin Hague, about why they also opposed the granting of the consent from an environmental perspective.

 

The Green Desk: A Green Covid Response with Greenpeace's Amanda Larsson: March 31, 2020

The Green Desk - a Green Covid19 Response: March 31, 2020 The Green Desk - a Green Covid19 Response: March 31, 2020, 20.48 MB
Tue 31 Mar 2020

With finance minister Grant Robertson announcing billions of dollars to combat the effects of Covid-19 and the subsequent recession, some have seen this as an opportunity to change the way live, work and interact with our planet. Bronwyn spoke to Amanda Larsson from Greenpeace about their proposed Green Covid Response, which urges the government to invest this money into clean transformative industries and uplifting marginalised communities.

No doubt you have seen the stories about the positive impacts on the climate as a result of a world under rāhui. Whether it be pollution levels in New York reduced by nearly 50%, or a 40% drop in coal use by China's six largest power plants, the global pandemic has curbed carbon emissions in ways that climate activists have been trying unsuccessfully to do for decades. However in the long term, the International Energy Agency warns that Covid-19 could cause a slowdown in world’s clean energy transition. Bronwyn began by asking Amanda how we can ensure pollution levels don't just bounce back once the pandemic is over.

There is currently an online petition calling for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to adopt the Green Covid Response, with a goal of 10,000 signatures.

The Green Desk: The eClean Bioreactor for cleaner rivers with Ngārie Scartozzi: March 24, 2020

The Green Desk: The eClean Bioreactor for cleaner rivers with Ngārie Scartozzi, March 24, 2020 The Green Desk: The eClean Bioreactor for cleaner rivers with Ngārie Scartozzi, March 24, 2020, 18.17 MB
Tue 24 Mar 2020

This week Bronwyn spoke to tutor and PhD student at University of Canterbury, Ngārie Scartozzi about her "eClean bioreactor" technology which cleans contaminants from water bodies. She has just received a grant of $150,000 from Astrolab and has 12 weeks to build a prototype of the bioreactor which has been the focus of her research for the past 15 years. A key focus of Scartozzi's work is integrating mātauranga Maori with scientific research.

She began by telling us what started her off on this journey.

The Green Desk: Sustainable Business Network's GulfX project with Phil Jones: March 17, 2020

The Green Desk: Sustainable Business Network's GulfX project with Phil Jones: March 17, 2020 The Green Desk: Sustainable Business Network's GulfX project with Phil Jones: March 17, 2020, 25.74 MB
Tue 17 Mar 2020

Today on the Green Desk, Bronwyn had a kо̄rero with Phil Jones from the Sustainable Business Network about their GulfX project which aims to restore the mauri of the Hauraki Gulf. The recently published State of our Gulf report highlighted the increasingly dire state of the marine park.  Some of the more shocking statistics of the included the occurrence of ten mass mortality events due to fish and shellfish in the gulf in the past ten years, and nine toxic algal blooms. This is due in part to the fact that 3,730 tonnes of nitrogen flow into the Firth of Thames from rivers in Hauraki each year. Crayfish are also functionally extinct in the Gulf, despite once being one of its most abundant species.

While overfishing is undeniable a serious cause of biodiversity loss, the GulfX project chose to focus on some of the lesser-known terrestrial sources of environmental degradation such as sediment, plastic and heavy metals. 

Phil began by telling Bronwyn what we mean when we talk about the Hauraki Gulf:

 

The Green Desk: Whitebait Sustainability and Regulation with Hans Rook: March 10, 2020

The Green Desk: Whitebait Sustainability and Regulation with Hans Rook: March 10, 2020 The Green Desk: Whitebait Sustainability and Regulation with Hans Rook: March 10, 2020, 24.11 MB
Tue 10 Mar 2020

Whitebait fritters are a nationally iconic delicacy. But if we aren't careful, soon there may not be enough of the fish left to fill those fritters. 

'Whitebait' is really just a catch all term for the juveniles of six species of fish. Five of these are migratory galaxiids, specifically inanga, banded kōkopu, giant kōkopu, kōaro and shortjaw kōkopu. The sixth species is common smelt. Recently, three of these species were updated to the threat status of "at risk/declining" and a fourth being labeled as threatened.  It’s not surprising then, that in a 2018 nationwide survey, 90% of respondents said changes were needed to make New Zealand’s whitebait fishery sustainable. 

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage believes the answer is through regulation and has made a number of proposals which are currently open to public submission. These include the creation of whitebait refuges, removing traps from nets, and shortening the whitebait fishing season. 

Bronwyn spoke to dedicated conservationist Hans Rook about his thoughts on the sustainability of whitebait fisheries, as well as the proposed regulations. Rook has worked in conservation for 42 years, and has been involved in the creation and protection of whitebait spawning sites since 1987. His unique approach has seen the Hawke’s Bay become the only place in the country to have an increasing whitebait population. 

He began by telling us about the life cycle of the fish species that we know as whitebait.