Burkina Faso: Reforestation


CarbonBrake has been working with the village of Nayakla to re-forest unproductive land. The new forest lies to the south east of Banfora, some six hours from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. The village of Nayakla can only be reached by motorbike (locally known as “moto”) and lies some 15 km from the nearest surfaced road. The head of the village is Monsieur Sory and he has allocated some of the village lands for use by CarbonBrake to establish the new forest. This is also fully supported by the […]

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Welcome to CarbonBrake

CarbonBrake is the blog for the international development advisor and author, Dr Richard Pagett.

In it I comment on matters of international, national and local interest concerning the critical issues facing the planet and society. Drawing on my unique hands-on experience from more than 120 countries and, locally, within my parish, I discuss and provoke on the critical issues of water, food, energy, shelter and trade security within the context of resilience, sustainability and climate change.

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Future Challenges and Direction

This paper tours briefly through the challenges of global water and the inter-related big issues (such as, population, resource depletion and climate change) and then explores water in the UK in relation to those same issues whilst juxtaposed with other big UK issues such as current economics, spatial planning, infrastructure, food and energy.

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A Case Study in Resilience

Purton Parish consists of two villages (Purton and Purton Stoke) in Wiltshire, a county in the UK. Parish issues concerning water, food, energy, waste, heath, education, safety, housing transport, economy, recreation, connectivity, and democracy are evaluated and discussed. With UK population at an all-time high of 60 million and predictions to add a further 10 million during the next 40 years or so, it is inevitable, for good or bad, that the parish will continue to change.

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Urban Policies for Climate Variability and Climate Change Adaptation

Whilst the concept of climate change risk is generally acknowledged within current urban policy-making, there is little apparent distinction made between true (long term) climate change (CC) and the short term imperative of responding to climate variability (CV). Election-based governance systems tend to focus on relatively short-term responses, addressing CV. The risk is that the “quick-fix”, vote-earning, policy responses to CV make future adaptation to CC much harder, less likely, and perhaps even unlikely.

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The Problem with Green ~ the need for a new literacy

Co-authored with Neil Cousins of Five Oceans Environmental Services Limited.

The ubiquitous use of the word “green” as a proxy for sound environmental endeavour, for energy efficiency, for all sustainable ambition has devalued the proposition it was meant to reflect. Being “green” can apply equally, it seems, to a tree hugger (in itself a term of derision or condescension) or a government (recall a certain prime minister aspiring to lead the greenest government ever). Yet, because of its hijacking by all sorts of spurious groups and intentions, the word “green” has become a liability.

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Big Society ~ securing the future

The premise of the “Big Society” programme is to re-distribute “power” from a centralised, Big Government hub (Westminster) to “the people”. The intention is to deliver “government and its services” at a more local level. This paper will explore various dimensions to illustrate the opportunities for sustainable development and the risks if the shift of “power” is superficial. To do this, the paper will look briefly at the really big issues (climate change, ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone, biogeochemical nitrogen and phosphorus cycle, global freshwater use, land system change, biodiversity loss, […]

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Sustainability Indicator Application

Co-authored with Neil Cousins of Five Oceans Environmental Services Limited, the Sustainability Indicator is a software package that can be easily accessed and distributed for common use across sectors and geographical areas. The Indicator is being made available for free on a Windows platform where it can be stored on desktops for everyday use and should be used in conjunction with the guidance document. The use of the Sustainability Indicator allows for a structured and systematic approach to the determination of sustainability.

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