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March 21st is World Forestry Day or International Day of Forests. The Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of forests, and not only forests, but all types of forests. This year, the theme is Forests and Biodiversity.

“Forests are home to about 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.”

“More than a billion people depend directly on forests for food, shelter, energy and income.”

“Forests also act as important carbon sinks, absorbing about 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.”

There are three main types of forests: tropical, temperate and boreal. There are also plantations and seasonal or moonsoon forests.

Tropical forests have the highest species diversity in the world (millions of different species). They grow around the equator. Broadleaf trees, mosses, ferns, palms, and orchids are common in the tropical forests. Common animals are monkeys, snakes, frogs, lizards, and small mammals.

Temperate forests occur in North America, northeastern Asia and Europe. Common tree species are oak, beech, maple, elm, birch, willow, and hickory trees. Common animals are squirrels, rabbits, birds, deer, wolves, foxes, and bears.

Boreal forests, also called taiga, are found in areas of Siberia, Scandinavia, Alaska, and Canada. Pine, fir, and spruce trees live here. Common animals are moose, bears, lynx, wolf, deer, wolverines, caribou, bats, small mammals, and birds.

World Forestry Day encourages all countries to organize tree planting campaigns and activities.

Let’s celebrate World Forestry Day!

Photo by Sierra Walsh
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February 12th is International Darwin Day. It is celebrated to ‘inspire people throughout the globe to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, scientific thinking, and hunger for truth as embodied in Charles Darwin’. (Charles Robert Darwin was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist. He is best known for his contributions to science of evolution.)

International Darwin Day started with three Darwin enthusiasts: Dr. Robert Stephens, Prof. Massimo Pigliucci and Amanda Chesworth. Formerly called Darwin Day Program, it was reincorporated in 2002 as the Darwin Day Celebration, a ‘nonprofit educational corporation promoting public education about science—and encouraging the celebration of science and humanity throughout the global community’.

Darwin Day is observed by the United Nations.

Let’s celebrate International Darwin Day!

Nature First - How to be a good Nature Photographer (main image)

Nature First: How To Be A Good Nature Photographer

Being a good photographer is one thing. Being a good nature photographer is another thing. The first is much simpler; the latter requires more creativity, energy, caution and most of all, good practices.

When you ask the question: ‘How do I become a good nature photographer?’, you also ask the question: ‘How do I become good to the environment?’. This is true. Besides having the proper equipment, you’ll need your best behaviour and discipline to capture your best nature photos.

Nature Is First And Photography Second

1. Having the proper equipment, but minimizing – means bring only what you need so that you do not pollute and harm the wildlife and environment.

2. Stay focused with good practices – means if you plan to stay out for a long period of time, plan to use environmental-friendly stuff like wearing environmental-friendly clothes, using reusable water bottle instead of plastic bottles and using compostable materials.

3. Bring your best behaviour – means being mindful and cautious about the wildlife and environment when walking, hiking, climbing, exploring, etc.

Being a good nature photographer is not easy. Every shot you take with your camera is crucial. It requires discipline and good practices. And always remember that your best moments and best photos come when you’re not harming the wildlife and environment.

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BlueGreenEarth awards Elif Koyutürk as the Winner of BlueGreenEarth 2019 Spring-Summer-Fall Nature Photo Contest for her “Landscape” Photo.

“Our greatest story is inside us, it blooms when we look inward – the greatest eye to your story is your heart that manifests, I create from that manifestation.“

Elif Koyutürk, born in Istanbul 1993, is a dedicated photographer, director. After graduating from TED College Istanbul, she continued her education at Istanbul Bilgi University and UEM Madrid. There, she studied Television Reporting & Programming and Marketing, Multimedia & Cinema.

In 2014, she participated in the program “Youth on the Move” initiated by Amsterdam University for Applied Sciences, University of Oslo and Akershus, Stuttgart Media University and Bilgi University Istanbul. Even though she is very young, she worked with global brands such as Red Bull Media House, Sony, KISKA GmbH, KTM, MINI.

In 2015 she received the title “Commended Photographer” by World Sony Photography Awards and was featured in Travel and Leisure’s “100 Stunning Photos of the World”.

In 2017 her short movie “Details in Nature” selected as “Semi- Finalist” in Miami Epic Film Festival and her short movie “Good Morning Luise” selected as the “Film of the Week” by Awardeo Company. Austrian Consulate of Istanbul hosted her first solo film and photo exhibition in 2016 “Eternity of Nature and Soul”. The exhibition became a focus cultural point for Austrian-Turkish artists. Istanbul Museum of Photography hosted her second solo exhibition for a year at the museum. This exhibition was a mix of her works, including her series from “Thunder Birds” “Syrian Benjamin Button” and “Eternity of Nature and Soul”.

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August 12th is the inaugural World Elephant Day. It is launched to bring attention the threats to both African and Asian elephants: ‘escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity’.

The African and Asian elephants need extensive land to survive.

World Elephant Day is about experiencing elephants in non-exploitive and sustainable environments, where there is no illegal poaching and trade of ivory, better treatment and conserving elephant habitats so that the elephants can thrive under care and protection.

Support World Elephant Day!

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Why Is Energy Conservation Important?

It is important because we need to reduce its demand and to protect and replenish supplies. We also need to develop and use alternative energy sources (i.e solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, etc.) and clean up prior energy damages.

Ways of Energy Conservation

There are a lot of ways to conserve energy:

  1. Turning the lights off and using daylight.
  2. Using CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs – they last 12 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs.
  3. Walk more when travelling.
  4. Switching off lights and appliances when they are not in use.
  5. Using energy efficient appliances.
  6. Lowering room temperature.
  7. Fixing air leaks.
  8. Installing energy efficient windows.

Impact Of Energy Conservation

We can save ten times more energy by using energy efficiently and renewable resources. We can also increase productivity especially by being less harmful to our environment.

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There are numerous plants you can grow in your garden to attract pollinators. Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, wasps, ants, flies and midges are very important part of nature. They move pollen from one flower to another which helps to bring about fertilization.

Bergamot (Bee Balm)
It’s a beautiful and attractive daisy-like flower with petals in red, pink, purple and white colors. It welcomes Hummingbirds, butterflies, and honey bees.

Lantana
It’s a colourful plant that has a lot of small flowers and also called Red Sage, Wild Sage, Yellow Sage, and Shrub Verbena. It welcomes butterflies.

Butterfly Bush
It’s a beautiful and fast-growing shrub with colourful flowers usually lavender-pink, white and dark purple colors . It welcomes butterflies and bees.

Black-eyed Susan
It is a daisy-like flower and perennial climbing plant that grows up to 8 feet in length. Its beautiful flowering vines welcome bees and butterflies.

Milkweed
It’s a beautiful flower that attracts Monarch butterflies. Monarchs are the only butterflies that can feed on the sap of milkweeds.

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The chief tributary of the St. Lawrence River, Ottawa River runs a total course of 790 miles (1,270 km). It flows swiftly westward from the Laurentian Plateau of western Quebec to Lake Timiskaming and then southeastward with its course forming the Quebec–Ontario provincial border, and then joins the St. Lawrence west of Montreal.

The river’s diverse ecosystems are home to rich plants such as speckled alder, silky dogwood and sweet gale, and animals including muskellunge, sturgeon, longnose gar, largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, walleye, northern pike and American shad.

Environmental Concerns

Contamination of the river with untreated sewage from the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau and water pollution from industrial and urban sources have been major concerns.

Environmental Conservation and Organizations

People have made significant efforts to protect the river. A significant progress has been made on the issues from the city of Ottawa. As part of the Ottawa River Action Plan, the intallation of real-time monitoring and remote-control systems ‘achieved an 80 per cent reduction in combined sewer overflows into the Ottawa’.

Ottawa Riverkeeper, a member organization of the international Waterkeeper Alliance, is working ‘to protect aquatic life and water quality, while ensuring the river remains accessible to the public. It also campaigns on environmental issues and responds to citizen complaints’.

‘The Nature Conservancy of Canada is a federal-provincial-territorial partnership that works to protect rivers of natural, cultural and recreational importance.’ Following the CHRS management plan, in collaboration with other organizations, ‘a section of the Ottawa River is regularly monitored by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources’.

Algonquin First Nations is working ‘to protect their traditional lands and wildlife in the region, especially to help restore populations of the American eel to the Ottawa River. (The American eel — or Kichisippi Pimisi — is listed as threatened in Canada and is sacred to the Algonquin.)’

Celebrating Canadian Rivers Day

(Texts from Ottawa River https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/ottawa-river)

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World Oceans Day was declared an International Day in 2008 to educate and address the world on issues of concern about our oceans and also to celebrate and reinforce our achievements as humans. In June 2017, during the UN Ocean Conference, a special event was held on June 8th to mark its celebration. The Ocean Conference was convened ‘to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.’ 1

The focus for 2019 is Gender and the Ocean. The goal is ‘to build greater ocean and gender literacy, and to discover possible ways to promote gender equality in ocean-related activities such as marine scientific research, fisheries, labour at sea, migration by sea and human trafficking, as well as policy-making and management. The importance of gender equality — in particular for the effective conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources.’ 2

What It Means For The Rest Of The World

Besides gender equality and the ocean, we must strive to save our oceans:

(1) Beat plastic pollution – this means that we must take responsibility for our actions by using reusable bottles instead of plastic bottles, straws and bags and avoid polluting our oceans. Plastics are very harmful for our oceans.

(2) Beat other pollution such as oil, dirt, farms, septic tanks, etc… – this means to be responsible and avoid polluting our oceans with land based sources pollution and contamination.

(3) Overfishing and Ghostfishing – this means we must try not to overfish and to stop hunting marine animals.

(4) Beat air pollution which causes acidification – this means we must avoid polluting our atmosphere and stop burning fossil fuels.

(5) Keeping coral reefs healthy and protecting them. This is very important for the marine life.

Let’s celebrate World Oceans Day!

1 Oceans and the Sustainable Development Goals https://www.un.org/en/events/oceansday/
2 Focus for 2019: Gender and the Ocean https://www.un.org/en/events/oceansday/

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Happy World Environment Day!

What it means:

Spending Time With The Environment

Being with nature, exploring nature, learning more about nature, being together with nature and feeling togetherness, harmony and peace with nature and knowing its value and importance

Protecting The Environment

Recycling, composting, clearing garbages and wastes off our environment and not harming it

Beating Air Pollution

Planting flowers and plants in your gardens and trees in the forests and conserving nature for breathable air

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