CSR in BILBAO WATER COMMITTEE

FIRST CSR REPORT 2011

Bilbao Water Committee is a company stablished in Bilbao in 1997, including the 43 municipalities of Bizkaia in the Basque Country (Spain). This company provides water to this region including the whole process and the cleaning activities that it needed in order to supply this area with a high quality water. In addition, they manage the sanitation of water, the spill of industrial waste and the different relationship with the municipalities and companies involved in the process.

Taking into account the activities of this company, they are cautiously aware of the environmental damage and they tools to protect the environment as a way of making business. However, now in a proactive way they are trying to move to a social responsibility model. For that, in 2011 the company showed the first CSR Report. As a first model, they shared with the community the most important figures in order to achieve the transparency with the society. But, the mainly goal that they wanted to achieve is the efficiency and the correct use of water, looking for ways to reduce the waste water.

The CSR activity of Bilbao Water Committee is based on different activities for the community sharing good environmental practices, activities to reduce the bad use of water and different types of visits to the cleaning plants of the company. For achieve this goals, they project a strategy plan with some targets with indicators in order to measure the results of these activities.

Furthermore, they organized some conferences about water management to share the good skills that they have learned during these years, with other companies and government coming from other regions and countries. Bilbao Water Committee won a prize of good practices of engineering and sustainability in 2013.

Finally, I would like to comment that this company is an example of proactivity in a field that is close related with the environment but is aware of the other parts of sustainable development: society and business.

 


Why do we need Social Innovation?

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Nowadays we are living in a world that chances rapidly. All of us are aware about how things has chance in terms of economy, environmental issues and sustainability. Specially since the financial crisis, people is trying to focus in another ways of thinking because the system has failed.

Within the financial crisis, a lot of important issues has come out due to the wrong behavior of companies, banks and governments. In my opinion, is a mistake of those of us who have made the actions and of those of us who have let another ones did those actions. In one way or another of all us are responsible of these situation and now is the time to act. Every crisis is also a big chance for those who are prepare to evolve. And here is where Social Innovation comes out…

When writing in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other one represents opportunity.

John F. Kennedy

According Social Innovator Exchange, Social Innovation is just the development and implementation of new ideas to meet social needs. As I said before, we are facing a world where injustice is present everyday and unfair situations are appearing everywhere. But now, we are more conscious than ever and have more tools than ever, so battle this issues must be our next goal. In addition, we could make profits while we are helping each other. This is the new way of thinking.

The are some aspects that explain why this Social Revolution is more necessary than ever. These major opportunities are:

That old paradigm of government aid is inadequate. What we need instead are creative and innovative solutions for fostering sustainable growth, securing jobs, and increasing competitive abilities.

Kevin Chika Urama & Ernest Nti Acheampong (2013)

To sump up, many of the social challenges that the world is facing nowadays require radical innovation applying current technologies in the correct way, using networking to build human and social capital and creative fields. Critical thinking is growing step by step and people is using their own methods to create great solutions. That´s why we need to work together to use this powerful tool and react NOW.

The ability to innovate is only as good as how one can accept changes and take risks.

Franco Paolo Liu Eisma

References



DISCOVERING HOLY LAND

Shanghai Study Trip 2014

After almost 12 days spent in China, there are so many different ideas to share and some of them are really difficult to transmit in the correct way. This huge country is still keeping my breath away and while I´m writing these lines I also trying to order my ideas and the awesome experiences that I have lived there.

If I had to describe China in one word it would be really easy for my: enormous. That is the main idea that I´m sure all of us are coming back with. However, another key matter in my opinion, is the profitability of making business China. I think that is a very big effort move to China and the culture shock is also a disappointing stuff that is gonna be there. Despite of that, I´m sure that the holy land in terms of business is China. I would try to explain myself deeper lately, but let me now make another difference that I think is crucial: Shanghai is not China. From my point of view, the China that is inside Shanghai is totally opposite of Beijing ones, for instance.

Thanks to the classes that we have had, there are some clues and steps that we have clear now if we want to sept up a business in the Asian Giant. Some of them were very obvious from the beginning, nevertheless there are others that I’m sure we will never forget. As the days pass, there were some main ideas that appearing continuously. For instance, the best way to start a new company in China is through Hong Kong, Manaus or Taiwan. In those places, is cheaper to invest in a company and the government restrictions are lower. From these areas, then it would be really coherent to move to China. Apart from that, the best opportunities in terms of business in this amazing country, nowadays are allocated in the centre or the west regions. Here the population is more rural and there is a luck of many relevant services that could provide with to a growing population. Also, the market competition is much lower than in the big cities of the east area.

Another important topic that we front during the lessons, is the culture fact. Sincerely, this is one of the most important weakness when you think about living in China. The culture in China is totally different from Western Countries and before thinking about establish there, you need to learn the most important skills that you will use to deal with Chinese people. For example, “Guangxi” is one of the most important words that you can learn in Chinese. Is a kind of corruption for foreign people, and it is use daily in their life. You must take under control the meaning of “Guangxi” if you want to become successful in your business in China.

The Communist Party is very awkward as well. Is also a concern that you must be aware about. The relationship between your business and the Party will be correct unless you miss that you have to care about it. Once you do it, your business will over. So be really careful with this point will make your company profitable.

Finally the visits of companies that we had, merit special attention. There were some of them that the information was totally inexistent but we learn some different points of big companies in China. On the other hand, there were very interesting ones and useful for our goals. Anyway, all of the help from the personal of the companies was grateful and the effort that they make with us was awesome, especially in Mann-Hummel, Mondragon-Corporation, Intuuchina and of course the huge effort of Antonio Torres from Linkes Company, with his collaboration the experience in China was unforgettable.

I would like to add a mention about Intuuchina people that helped us to have a version of how to set up a new idea in this difficult market. Of course it is impossible to do it without the knowledge and the professional behavior that is essential for being profitable, especially in this region. In the case of this company they showed us both of them, that´s why I strongly recommend to anyone that needs help to start businesses or any kind of studies in China, to contact them. I´m sure that they will help you as much as they can with excellent results. I let you here the website: http://intuuchina.com

To sump up, in my opinion China is the country of the future. A region where the future companies will be born and the important ones will increase their benefits. Is the best chance for a new beginning. From my point of view, China is the Holy Land of our days. However, for me the entrance barriers are so big and the cultural chance is too significative. That´s why I don’t thinking to move to China for now. We will see in the future…


Shanghai: Welcome to a New World

In two days right now I will be traveling to one of the biggest cities in the world. Obviously I´m quite nervous. I don’t know exactly with what kind of things I will have to deal there, but I´m sure that is gonna be an adventure. I don´t have had enough time to think about the situations that I will find in this country. I´m talking about Shanghai. Is my first time in Asia, and that is expected to be a very impressive fact, because it is going to be a new culture, with different tastes, sounds, food, colors, smells et cetera. To sump up, is an unknown world that I´m really excited to discover.

The purpose of this trip is understand how to make business in China and how to set up in Chinese Market. Well, as environmental scientist, I don´t know so much about how to make business in my country, for instance. Anyway, I find really interest this chance for introduce in a new country using a different point of view. All of us are aware that China is a huge country and is expected to grow rapidly in the following years, so I believe that this small trip is a really perfect opportunity to learn how to deal with this extravagant culture.

By the way, I think that EOI affords us a really relevant occasion to improve our knowledge and afterwords our curriculum. Thus, this travel for me is more than a tourism experience. I would like to come back from China having at least some of key points of how Chinese people work and how are they managing this amount of growth.

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Also, in a very particular way, I would like to see what is the opinion of Chinese people about sustainable development, how a country that is going to lead the world in the future is fighting with poor, hunger and inequality for instance, and how renewables energies are allocated in the Chinese Market. In my  humble opinion, a country that is predicted to consume this amount of resources and become leaders from a economical point view, should be care about sustainable development, corporate responsibility and should be aware about environmental topics that they could affect with the economical model that they are using.

Finally, I hope to enjoy meeting new people from China or other countries and share with them ideas about relevant issues such as economy, society, environment and I really want to see how runs the world in the other side of the planet. I want to discover some traditions of this fabulous and millenary nation as well, and see how can different people make arrangement between them to the common good, afterwords, I think that this is one of the most important reasons of the travel. SEE YOU THERE…


GMOs: Solution or Problem

What is a GMO?

A GMO or Genetically Modified Organism is an organism (plant, bacteria, animal or virus) whose genetic makeup has been modified for a particular purpose (PUB). This modification is not spontaneous, so with this kind of genetic alterations we can get, for example, that a plant protect itself against insect pests modifying to carry an additional gene found in another living thing (such as a bacteria).

The term GMOs is most commonly used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques. Is a really controversial topic nowadays, because of the huge demand of food that we have, the strict standards of quality that consumers have in terms of food and the lack of knowledge in long term of this modified organisms (Prakash, 2005).

The GMOs were supposed to be the solution for huge problems around the world, for instance, the poverty, hunger and the unfair distribution of food. However, afterwords they have converted in another way to give more profits to some companies and continue with the unsustainable system. Furthermore, GMOs have been inserted very fast in the markets without enough research about future consequences of them consumption. We are not sure about the damages in our health and in our environment that modified organism could make.

Advantages of GMOs

GMOs increase crop yields and promote efficient land use. Food production uses a significant quantity of land natural resources, but according to biotechnology companies with GMOs will improve the livelihood of farmer around the world (Cummins, 2o1o).

Use of transgenic plants increases yields and decreases the need for pesticide use, preventing the ecological damage.

With this biotechnological model food could be improved and search for the best quality standards and tastes to put into the products.

Disadvantages of GMOs

Biotechnology is not an issue of poor countries. The research and investigations that are behind GMOs are just focus on develop countries of the world, with the needs of developed countries in mind (GMF). They could be focus on support the climate changes in Africa, for instance, contributing to improve the food security in one of the most hunger regions of the world. This might be done in the future, but it has not been done yet.

Unknown health consequences are a common objection to transgenic organisms. Although numerous studies found that GM crops have passed existing safety reviews and they concluded that GMOs are not harmful to human health (Academic review, AFNZA), further studies are needer to support this claim (Randerson, 2008).

Another problem is allergic reactions. Genetical modifications often mixes or adds proteins that weren’t indigenous to the original plant, causing new allergic reactions to the human body, according to Brown University (Kantor, 2010).

Cross pollination with the wild type of GM species may lead to genetic contamination of the wild type, which could affect local ecosystems (Cherry, 2010).

5 Myths about GMOs (Antoniou et all, 2012)

1) Myth: Genetic engineering is just an extension of natural breeding.

Truth: Genetic engineering is different from natural breeding and poses special risk.


2) Myth: GM is just another form of mutation breeding and is nothing to worry about.

Truth: Mutation breeding its own problems and should be strictly regulated.


3) Myth: GM foods are strictly regulated for safety.

Truth: GM food regulation in most countries varies from non-existent to weak.


4) Myth: GM foods are safe to eat.

Truth: Studies show that GM foods can be toxic or allergenic.


5) Myth: GM foods have been proven safe for human consumption.

Truth: The few studies that have been conducted on humans show problems.

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GMOs and Nigeria

So much controversy has been generated over the adoption of genetically modified foods in Nigeria. The United States has been giving genetically modified foods to developing countries like Nigeria to help alleviate the problem of hunger and poverty in this countries. However, the issue of long term effects of GMOs on human populace and the ecosystem in general also needs to be adressed and properly researched to reveal and prevent any posible risk that may be associated with the consumption of GMOs (Subulade et all, 2007).

Since GMO has found its way into Nigeria, there is need for caution. According to a report by the Centre for Food Safety, Nigeria still accepts GMOs as food aids, an the only condition for the importation is that the genetically modified food aid be milled. Nowadays there is no law governing the production of food products by companies using genetically modified ingredients. There are many challenges ahead for the government, especially in the areas of safety testing, regulation and internal polices.

Conclusions

With this post, I would like to transmit an objective idea about GMO. There is to much research to make, before we eat them. As a consumers, we have all the rights to know how kind of damages could produce in our organism these products and in our environment as well.

GMOs could be a definitive tool to mitigate hunger and poverty in the world, or just another way to destroy and corrupt it. We have research lots of useful arms to fight against inequality and to develop a sustainable world, but the last step is to use these arms correctly and it is in our hands do it well or not.

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”

Mahatma Gandhi

 

REFERENCES


BEE AWARE

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Since the late 1990s, beekeepers around the world have observed the mysterious and sudden disappearance of bees, and report unusually high rates of decline in honeybee colonies. Bees make more than honey (they are key to food production because they pollinate crops. A third of the door that we eat depends on pollinating insects. In Europe, for instance, the growth of over 4,000 vegetables depends on the essential work of pollinators (Greenpeace).

Responsible for pollinating three quarters of the world’ s leading food crops, honeybees provide an essential service to modern agriculture. Yet with colonies collapsing in North America, Western Europe, Brazil, India and China, globally bees are in crisis. Elliott Cannell, Coordinator of PAN Europe, reviews ‘A World Without Bees’ – a new book by journalist and beekeeper Alison Benjamin and co-author Brian McCallum.

Bees and other pollinating insects play an essential role in ecosystems. A world without pollinators would be devastating for food production. Who would pollinate all the crops? Hand-pollination is extremely labour-intensive, slow and expensive. The economic value of bees´pollination work has been estimated around 265 billion € annually, worldwide (Benjamin, 2008).

Bee decline

Many causes and extremely diverse reasons are stated as the cause for bee decline. There are almost as many opinions and speculations as bee colonies themselves. There are also a lot of different points of view in Scientific Community. Without a doubt, each contains an element of truth (Science in Water).

First of all, the worldwide bee decline is an ecological problem. There is a general weakening of bee health, which gives all kind of pathogens an opportunity to take hold.

Bee decline became a major item on the agenda when professional beekeepers in the USA were suddenly confronted with exceptionally high mortality, ranging from 30% to 100%. This formed an immediate threat to their existence because of the economic damage. Currently, in 2013, there is an absolute shortage of bee colonies for pollinating almonds inCalifornia, which may cause even greater economic loss. In the space of about 8 years, prices for pollination services have risen from approximately USD 60 per bee colony to USD 150 (Science in Water).

JOE DERISI: I think there’s been tremendous progress. One of the frustrating things with CCD is it doesn’t look like there’s any one single agent or culprit that you can point the finger to that’s causing all of these problems. It looks to be a confluence of things – that is, several different pathogens or situations or environmental conditions that are coming together to cause losses that are more than would be expected. And that’s what’s frustrating people.

What has occurred because of the interest in honeybees and because of the large losses caused by CCD is people like myself and other researchers around the country are applying new techniques and tools to honeybees which they normally would not have done. And so we’ve learned an incredible amount about the ecosystem in the bee and around the bee. And what we now know is that there’s a whole host of pathogens no one knew anything about and that certain combinations of these appear to be associated with higher losses than would otherwise be expected during the season (Michels, 2011).


Solutions Exist

Common sense actions could restore and protect the world’s bees. Experienced bee keepers, apiculturists, farmers, the European Commission, and according to the Greenpeace Report, these solutions have outlined. In summary:

  1. Ban the seven most dangerous pesticides.
  2. Protect pollinator health by preserving wild habitat, and
  3. Restore ecological agriculture.

Ecological Farming is the over-arching new policy trend that will stabilise human food production, preserve wild habitats, and protect the bees. The nation of Bhutan has led the world in adopting a 100% organic farming policy. Mexico has banned genetically modified (GM) corn to protect its native corn varieties. In January, eight European countries banned GM crops, and Hungary has burned over a 1,000 acres of corn contaminated with GM varieties. In India, scientist Vandana Shiva and a network of small farmers have built an organic farming resistance to industrial agriculture over two decades (Weyler, 2013).

Ecological, organic farming is, of course, nothing new. It is the way most farming has been done throughout human history. Ecological farming resists insect damage by avoiding large monocrops and preserving ecosystem diversity. Ecological farming restores soil nutrients with natural composting systems, avoids soil loss from wind and water erosion, and avoids pesticides and chemical fertilizers (Greenpeace Report for Bee´s Protection, 2011).

Organic Farming impacts in Biodiversity. Source: Ocak, 2012.

“Just four years… That’s how long Albert Einstein reportedly said the
 human race would last in a world without bees. For the master of
relativity, the equation was relatively simple: no more bees = no more
 people.”

Valentine Warner

 

References

 


TERRESTRIAL ALIENS

What is Invasive Specie?

According to the Department of the Environment of Australian Government, invasive specie is a species occurring, as a result of human activities, beyond its accepted normal distribution and which threatens valued environmental, agricultural or other social resources by the damage it causes.

In a more easily way, I would say that Invasive Species are animals, plants, parasites or disease-causing organism that establish outside their natural range and became pests. Native species can also become invasive if transferred outside their natural range (GEIB).

Many of the most damaging invasive animal species were originally introduced either for sport, as pets, or as livestock and pack animal. Some were introduced to control other pests and became pests themselves. Others arrived to other countries accidentally (Vila, M. et all, 2006).

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Invasive plants, on the other hand, were introduced in a variety of ways, for instance as crops, pasture and garden plants and to prevent erosion. Some established so well that they have spread to the bush, where they have thrived (Department of Environment and Heritage, Govern of Australia).

But another important point is that Invasive Species also include disease-causing organisms such as fungi and viruses. In fact, it is recognized that Invasive Species are the second reason of Biodiversity loss after the fragmentation of the habitats and it is estimated that Invasive Species are responsible of 40% of the last five centuries extinctions (Department of Agriculture, Cattle Raising and Environment, Aragón Government).

Invasion Curve. Source: Government of Ireland.

What kind of damages can they produce?

ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE

Invasive Species could produce the extinction of other autochthon similar species because of depredation, competence or because they could transmit diseases (the case of American Red Crayfish in Spain). Furthermore, some Invasive Species can change a whole ecosystem or a habitat; it is the case of Mussel Zebra (NOAA).

ECONOMY AND HUMAN ACTIVITY DAMAGES

American Red Crayfish. Spanish Invasive Specie.
Mussel Zebra
Mussel Zebra.

A lot of this kind of species cause huge harm in human activities and thus in the economy of the region. Those Invasive Species could cause damages in forests, in fishing activities, they can affect water quality, in industrial process… Also it is important to mention that it is necessary to use chemical methods to eliminate those pests and it could be harmful for the environmental of the area. It is the case again of the Mussel Zebra that cause huge damages in pipes of water and is the reason of enormous inversion of the government that tries to solve the problem (NISIC).

HUMAN AND ENVIRONMENT HEALTH

Finally, some Exotic Invasive Species can transmit diseases that could affect to human, pets or wild species. It is relevant in mammals.

Who is responsable for managing Invasive Species?

Local governments have responsibility for nature conservation through land-use planning, development and of course the control of invasive species. In my opinion is cooperation between land managers, local communities, landholders, local government and international agencies that have to control the animal’s transportation and the entrance vectors that those species use.

State and territory governments have specific legislation relating to conservation of biodiversity and have responsibility for managing Invasive Species at local, regional and state levels.

Managing Invasore Species. Source: Invasive Species International.

Invasive Species in Spain. Source: Spanish Government.

References

 



CHANGING PERCEPTIONS: “A development Journey”

In August of 2006 I had the chance of visit one of the most amazing places in the world. It was so impressive that it made me feel the most insignificant person in the world but, at the same time, I did not want to leave. I am talking about Tanzania. I am talking about one of the wildest countries in the world. I am speaking about deepest Africa, the country of Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park, and the land of the Masais. I am talking about where humanity comes from and where there is a sense of incredible freedom.

At the beginning, this journey was supposed to be just a climbing expedition. But at the end it had become a really important experience that would change my perspective on the world we live in. During those weeks in Tanzania I felt a great connection with Africa. Everything there was new and amazing and those sensations still take my breath away now. Noises, smells, flavors and the things that we saw made me felt different: sometimes I found things disgusting, other times wonderful, but everything there transmitted a powerful energy that it is very difficult to describe.

The strongest experience was what I felt when I arrived in Africa. I was a child, I thought as a child and I had the point of view of a child. After the weeks I spent there, I became a kind of man, with a more mature mentality and an ability to see things with different eyes. This trip for me was similar to being born again. It is difficult to describe those feelings

Let me start from the beginning. The travel itself is not much fun – it takes more than 7 hours by air if you are coming from Spain. After the long trip we arrived in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi. Then, we had to wait more than 6 hours in the airport until we took a plane to Kilimanjaro airport, Tanzania. This moment was one of the most memorable episodes of the excursion because I saw Mount Kilimanjaro for the first time. The roof of Africa rises from the savannah fields and irrigates all the lands of Tanzania, providing the country with an awesome environment that is rich in wild life. On the first day of the climb, we crossed this magical landscape. But after a few nice hours, the mountain showed its real face: a huge volcano. For me the most wonderful thing about Kilimanjaro is the biodiversity and the enormous contrast between jungle and volcanic ecosystems.

As the days passed, I began realising that the climb was more difficult than I had imagined. After the barrier of 4,000 metres, I suffered altitude sickness. I finally got to to Lava Tower at 4,400 metres but then I had to give up the climb and start the descent to the town of Moshi. I felt really upset and disappointed. I was angry with myself and I did not know how to overcome this. But there was a big surprise waiting for me in Moshi.

While all of my sad feelings kept spinning around in my mind, I decided to make a journey to Arusha and Ngorongoro. This trip was amazing. I will never forget the emotions that I experienced inside the crazy markets of Moshi and Arusha. In those towns you can really see and smell the true essence of Africa and in that moment I realised that I wanted future to focus on sustainable development. Looking at everything around me I understood that I could not continue living my life in the way that I had lived and saying to myself that everything in the world was fair.

This idea was deepened when I visited the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Here I discovered the most wonderful natural park that I could imagine. This Park was created by natural processes within the crater of an inactive volcano. Inside you are allowed to see different animals coexisting in a very rich habitat. In this ecological niche I decided to study environmental sciences so that I could work to protect natural resources and to try to guarantee for future generations the possibility of seeing this unique ecosystem.

As you can see, this trip started as a climbing journey with one only goal. But after more than a week in Tanzania I took one of the most important decisions of my life and changed all my ideas about how things work. And now, more than 7 years later, I still remember and dream about all the people that I met there and all the places I went to. I am also trying to achieve the two promises that I had made after I came back to Spain: the first one, “I will never forget the things that I saw, and I have to remember them in difficult situation of my life”. And the second: “I will come back and make sure that I reach the top of Africa”.

 

 


BILBAO: OLYMPIC CITY 2024

SUSTAINABLE URBAN PLANNING AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT


Bilbao is an important city situated in the north of Spain. It is the financial capital of the Basque Country. During a few decades, this city has been the economic motor of the north of Spain and it still is. In the last years, Bilbao has being transforming from an industrial city to a cultural one, always maintaining a very relevant financial area.

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Nowadays, Bilbao has become a metropolis where technology blends with culture, where the past values are still helping to the growth of a powerful capital. For all of this, I want to present Bilbao all over the world with a candidature to Olympic Games 2024. First of all, I am going to give some important reasons and achieves that supported this candidature and then I will include some challenges and goals that Bilbao need to improve for became the Olympic City of 2024.

REASONS FOR THE CANDIDATURE

The first important issue are infrastructures. In the last 10 years Bilbao has improved his own communication (subway, tram and buses) and also the communication with other areas of the region (train and highways). Beside this, the new entrance of Bilbao has been built and inaugurated this year. It has made for improve the communication inside the city and inside the metropolitan areas.

Furthermore, Bilbao has a good communication with his Airport. “La Paloma” airport is connected with cities around Spain and Europe (London, Milan and Paris for instance). The Port of Bilbao complete the connexion of the city, providing it with different resources and benefits that I think are crucial for guarantee a total transport system by earth, air and sea.

A second important issue, that is really relevant for this event, are Sports Equipment. Thus, it has been built in Bilbao during the last years the new football stadium: “San Mames Barria”. It is the new field for Bilbao´s football team called “Athletic de Bilbao”. This team is very important for citizens and has a huge implication in the society. The collaboration of the team in this event is crucial to ensure Bilbao´s candidature.

Another relevant item are cultural interests. In Bilbao we have some amazing tourist resources such as “Guggenheim Museum”, “Alhondiga Building”, “Euskalduna Palace”, “Bellas Artes Museum”, “Arriaga Theatre”… Those are only a few examples that give an idea of how is improving Bilbao´s image. In the last decades Bilbao is trying to be known around the world. And the last step is to be Olympic City of 2024.

Also I think that is important to be aware about the services that Bilbao can offer. Talking about this kind of tourism, health and wellness is necessary to mention “Domine Hotel” and “Melia Hotel” and the urban solutions such as the bridges around the city, for instance “Calatrava Bridge”. Those are only a few examples that enforce Bilbao as a good European capital.

Finally in my opinion, is important to talk about future investments that could probably be done if Bilbao becomes Olympic City of 2024. I am referring to the project of “Zorrozaurre” neighbourhood. This project consist in reform an industrial area of Bilbao and became a neutral area, providing it with effective communications and green areas in a sustainable way. The idea is to transform a waste zone in a potential area for the future and development. It would be the last important reform in the whole city.

GOALS TO ACHIEVE

After analysed all the strengths of Bilbao, now it is the time to focus on weaknesses. I identify two important debilities that could ruin the candidature of Bilbao.The first one is the lack of space. As I said before, there is no more space to build new infrastructures or equipment so it is imperative to use the tools that are already built.

The second problem, and probably the most transcendental one, is the transport inefficiency.Although there are good communication infrastructures, most people use their one car for going to work everyday. That provokes the collapsed of the highways and roads in the rush hours. The entrances and exits of the city are block when citizens more need them. Thus, I think that this problem is related with environmental education. For an environmental protection and to be become a city more sustainable is necessary to change the population behavior and the only way to do it is with meetings and acts for promote using of tools that protect environment and permit sustainable development in our cities. However, there are some important skills that government of Bilbao can support and follow.

The first one is to promote the CARPOOLING. Carpooling is a very useful transport method that consists in share the car with other people that have the same destiny. Due that in Bilbao most traffic is cause by people who come from closer towns to work, this system could decrease considerably the number of vehicles that enter to Bilbao and go out everyday. In fact, since 2012, there is one company that facilities carpooling services in Bilbao, called IBILKARI. As I said before, most of the tools that are needed to become an efficient city are already built. Nevertheless, the challenge now, is use them. The way to act is try to convince population to use this kind of systems to move and improve together our environment.

On the other hand, I have to mention that the use of bicycles is improving. There is design a bike path around the city that tourist and citizens can use easily. Anybody can take a bicycle in one part of Bilbao and leave in the other part, because the cycle´s stop are distributed almost all the city.

CONCLUSION

As a conclusion, I would like to add that Bilbao is an amazing opportunity for people that want a place where the past and the future live together and become stronger and efficient. This is a city that has learned from the past, has corrected the mistake and has turned in a model for others.

In this city, everybody follows the same team, under the same flag, speaks a different language and wants to improve as citizen. This is the city of Athletic Lions, this is my city, and this is the city where 2024 Olympic Games will take place. WELCOME TO BILBAO!


REFERENCES




CAP AND TRADE or BAIT AND SWITCH?

Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997 by 160 different countries around the world. In 2005, it was ratified by 175 countries. At the same time, UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) was founded in 1992 in order to decrease the industrial greenhouse gases emissions (GHG).

Greenhouse gases are uniformly mixed pollutants, i.e. one ton of greenhouse gas emitted anywhere on earth has the same effect as one ton emitted somewhere else on earth. In abatement strategies, this wants to mean that does not matter where reductions in GHG emissions take place. What matters is whether we are able to reduce the emissions effectively on a global scale (Zhang, 1998).

Source: Greenretreat.org

 

Thus, according to UNFCCC, emissions trading as set out in Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol, allows countries that have emissions units to spare to sell this excess capacity to countries that are over their targets.

In this point, we are talking about Cap and Trade System. Cap and Trade or Emissions Trading System (ETS) is a powerful policy instrument for managing industrial greenhouse gas emissions. This system is a market mechanism established by the European Emissions Trading Directive to encourage CO2 emission reduction at the lowest cost in certain production sectors (electricity generation, steel mills, cement industry, tile industry, etc.).

The operation of the “cap-and-trade” scheme is based on two key concepts: (a) setting a cap on emissions without penalty to each Member State of the European Union, and (b) the transfer of allowances between agents.

Source: own elaboration and "Energía y Sociedad" (2013)

 

Some companies will find it easy to reduce their pollution to match their number of permits; others may find it more difficult. However, trading lets companies buy and sell allowances, leading to more cost-effective pollution cuts, and incentive to invest in cleaner technology. Furthermore, companies could turn pollution cuts into revenue; this provides a powerful incentive for creativity, energy conservation and investment (EDF, 2013). Also, the option to buy allowances gives companies flexibility and while companies may exchange allowances with each other, the same amount of pollution cuts are achieved.

On the other hand, there are some criticism points of view for cape and trade. First of all, Annie Leonard provided a critical view on carbon emissions trading in 2009, in a documentary called The Story of Cap and Trade (Story of Stuff, 2006).

 

Imagen de previsualización de YouTube

 

She emphasized three mainly factors: unfair financial advantages to major polluters resulting from free permits, an ineffectiveness of the system caused by cheating in connection with carbon offsets and a distraction form the search for other solutions. Also, recent criticism comes from the American Trucking Association (ATA), which told a Congressional Committee that a “cap and trade program” could result in significantly higher costs in the trucking industry for American consumers.

As a conclusion, I think that we should take care about the situation with a long-term mentality. Therefore, the emissions markets should mature and grow, to evolve and provide wide GHG coverage all the sectors and areas around the world. Besides we need to create a good regulation to support this market and to ensure the transparency of each transaction. Finally, in my opinion, “cap and trade system” is a powerful environmental protection tool and if we use it with another ones that we have, and in a correct way, we could achieve some important goals to allow future generations enjoy our world.

Source: www.ieta.org/emissions-trading

 

 

“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.”

John James Audubon (1800).

 

 

 

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