New ICTA-UAB map shows success, concerns and challenges of the transition away from fossil fuels and coal industry in Australia

Resistance against massive coal-mining in Australia and a growing movement for a ‘just transition’ from fossil fuels have enjoyed some success but face massive challenges, as shown in a new map developed by researchers from the international ACKnowl-EJ project of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB)  and the Australian Environmental Justice (AEJ) research team at the Centre for Urban Research (RMIT University.

ICTA-UAB researcher Victoria Reyes-García receives an ERC Consolidator Grant

ICREA researcher at ICTA-UAB Victoria Reyes- García has been graced with a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) for the development of a project aimed at bringing insights from local knowledge to climate change research.

Research to study the health effects of forests

The ICTA-UAB, CREAF and the "la Caixa" Bank Foundation recently presented the project "Healthy Forests for a Healthy Society".

Blockadia map by ICTA-UAB reveals global scale of anti-fossil fuel movement

A new interactive map by researchers of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) reveals the worldwide impact of resistance direct actions by people putting their own bodies in the way of fossil fuel projects.

The ICTA-UAB participated in the 100xCiencia.2 meeting in Alicante

The encounter, which was focused on the transfer of knowledge and technology, brought together representatives of 40 centres and research units “Severo Ochoa” and “María de Maeztu”, respectively.

Launch of the Alliance of Severo Ochoa Centres and Maria de Maeztu Units of Excellence

​ The Secretary of State for R&D+i, Carmen Vela, chaired the kickoff meeting of the new Severo Ochoa and Maria Maeztu Alliance of Excellence.

Green gentrification can limit the favourable effects of green areas on health

A scientific research conducted by ICTA-UAB and IMIM suggests that more socially disadvantaged neighbours do not benefit equally from the effects newly created green areas have on health.

Oil contamination in the Amazon modifies chemical composition of rivers

A scientific study by the ICTA-UAB and ISS-EUR quantifies the environmental impact of oil extraction activities and contamination in headwaters of the Amazon.

ICTA-UAB researchers alert that oil palm plantations produce infertility in tropical lands

Oil palm plantations are replacing 40% of tropical forests and 32% of basic grain crops, according to an ICTA-UAB research conducted in Guatemala.

UAB scientists and citizens can identify Barcelona's allergy-causing plants with the new Plant*tes app

The UAB Point of Information on Aerobiology (PIA) presented its new Plant*tes app in Barcelona as part of the BArcelona City Council's project entitled "Ciència Ciutadana als barris".

EJAtlas Includes 2,100 Case Studies on Socio-Environmental Conflicts Around the World

The Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas), created by researchers of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), currently includes 2,100 cases of ecological distribution conflicts identified in different parts of the world.

Unrestricted Improvements in Fishing Technology Threaten the Future of Seafood

A study conducted by ICTA-UAB researcher Eric Galbraith shows that future improvement of fishing technology poses a threat for the global fishery that could be greater than climate change.

Ice age thermostat prevented extreme climate cooling

During the ice ages, an unidentified regulatory mechanism prevented atmospheric CO2 concentrations from falling below a level that could have led to runaway cooling, reports a study conducted by researchers of the ICTA-UAB and published online in Nature Geoscience this week.

The New Theory of Economic “Agrowth” Contributes to the Viability of Climate Policies

 ICTA-UAB researcher Jeroen van den Bergh publishes in Nature Climate Change a study in which he proposes a new economic theory compatible with the fight against climate change.

European Project to Analyse the Effects of Waste Generated by Tourism on Mediterranean Islands

An European study involving the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma e Barcelona will address and propose solutions to the effects of the increase of waste generated by tourism on Mediterranean islands during the summer season.

New ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide'

The new ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide' it is at your disposal now. With this document, we aim to help you discover the basics of the PhD programme, ICTA-UAB’s structure, etc.
News
Coastal Occupation Affects Tropical Reefs in Brazil

Date: 2016-09-08

Researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), the Federal University of Ceará (UFC) and the Federal University of South of Bahia (UFSB) in Brazil warn of the negative environmental impacts of unplanned coastal occupation on tropical reefs and consequently on the conservation of marine biodiversity. Researchers state that this process has already taken place in Western Mediterranean.

The article recently published in Marine Environmental Research reports that human activities may reduce the number of species in the tropical coast of northeastern Brazil. Researchers Sergio Rossi and Marcelo de Oliveira Soares together with other Brazilian scientists compared the tropical reefs (intertidal rocky reefs) in relation to the presence of marine species (algae, corals, etc.) and the impacts of human activities.

Beach kiosks and beachfront restaurants, percentage of urban areas, storm sewers, fish markets and jetties showed a negative relationship with species richness. "In areas with the highest number of human activities, we had lower number of species in these tropical reefs" explains Dr. Marcelo de Oliveira Soares, professor at the UFC, researcher at ICTA-UAB and author of the study. The author added that there is very little knowledge on how human impacts may affect the marine biodiversity of tropical reefs.

The results highlight the need for better infrastructure planning and rigorous monitoring of coastal urban areas, since the large influence of multiple human pressures in these reefs leads to biodiversity losses. "The coast of Brazil is possibly one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the world; however, there is a lack of scientific knowledge about its marine biodiversity. The results indicate the problems of disorderly coastal occupation. Also, they indicate the need for environmental planning to conserve marine biodiversity and the economic activities that depend on it, such as fishing".

"Many of the findings of the study are easily extrapolated to our shores" indicates Sergio Rossi, who adds that "the vulnerability of the coast is a classic that reverts to a worsening of biodiversity and of the health of marine populations”. Sergio Rossi insisted that this process has already taken place in the Western Mediterranean coast, causing major changes in fauna and flora.

This work was funded by CNPq (Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) and CAPES (Brazilian coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel).

About ICTA-UAB
The ICTA-UAB is a multidisciplinary centre that was accredited as a ‘María de Maeztu’ Unit of Excellence 2015 (MDM-2015-0552) by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO), the highest institutional recognition of scientific research in Spain. The ICTA-UAB promotes academic research and postgraduate education in the environmental sciences. It aims to improve our understanding of global environmental change, and the nature and causes of environmental problems. In addition, it studies policies, strategies and technologies to foster a transition to a sustainable economy. The ICTA-UAB undertakes advanced research in 20 specific areas of environmental sciences, covering natural, social and engineering aspects. The center’s aim is to promote a better understanding of environmental dynamics, problems and their causes, as well as of policies and strategies to stimulate a socio-technical transition to a sustainable economy.

Reference
Portugal A.B., Carvalho F.L., Carneiro P.B.M., Rossi S., Soares M.O.  “Increased anthropogenic pressure decreases species richness in tropical intertidal reefs”. Marine Environmental Research, v.120, p.44-54, 2016. DOI:10.1016/j.marenvres.2016.07.005


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