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Green route to developing Africa

Many assume that multinationals investing in developing countries abandon their environmental principals in the quest for a fast buck. But, on a recent trip to East Africa, Tom Idle was surprised to find cement giant Lafarge is going to extraordinary lengths to apply green principals in this dynamic emerging market

Ireland in hot water over groundwater directive

Ireland, Greece and Italy have all found themselves out of favour with the European courts this month for breaching environmental directives.

Community protest over wind farm over-ruled

An action group has lost its court battle to subject a decision of Highland Council, to grant planning permission for the development of a wind farm on Skye, to judicial review.

Environmental Case Law Summary, January 2008

Once again Edie News and Semple Fraser team up to bring readers the latest on legal cases which impact on environmental industries in the UK and Europe. This month Ireland is rapped for failing to protect birds and habitats, Spain puts agriculture before conservation, Italy is in trouble over rubble and in England the Court of Appeal rules on piggyback landfilling.

Spanish irrigation threatens birdlife

The European courts have slammed Spain for allowing irrigation of land which should have been designated as a conservation area.

Dublin must do more to protect Irish birds

Ireland has fallen foul of the European authorities for failing to thoroughly map out environmentally sensitive areas which need legal protection.

Renewing energy policy

A recent speech highlighted how migrating to a low-carbon economy will involve concerted policy initiatives from across all government departments, says John Hutton MP

Italy rapped for developing leisure and industry in protected areas

Italy has fallen foul of the Eirpoean courts for allowing industrial and leisure development in environmentally sensitive areas protected by law.

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary July 07

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. This month legislation covering Home Information Packs in the UK comes into force along with rules about the import and export of waste and a tightening up of conservation law.

Environmental Case Law Summary, July 2007

Once again Edie News and Semple Fraser team up to bring readers the latest on legal cases which impact on environmental industries in the UK and Europe. Among the cases this month the House of Lords rules on a prickly 'polluter pays' case, the British courts consider definitions of waste and Italy falls foul of the ECJ over incinerator plans.

Spain must do more to protect birds

The Spanish government has been told it needs to provide more, and bigger, special protection areas to conserve its bird life.

Environmental Case Law Summary, May 2007

Once again Edie News and Semple Fraser team up to bring readers the latest on legal cases which impact on environmental industries in the UK and Europe. This Italy is in the dock for failing to protect wildlife and lax enforcement of waste rules while Ireland is told it must make environmental information more accessible for the public.

Spanish irrigation could harm birds

Plans to irrigate steppe land and increase agriculture in parts of Spain have attracted the ire of the European courts.

Italy fails to protect wildlife

A designated area designed to give extra protection to rare birds and wildlife has not been properly protected itself, according to the European courts.

Italian ski resort will harm bird life

Planned development at a ski resort in Italy would have an unacceptable impact on the habitat of wild birds in the region, according to the European courts.

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the developments this month we see more stringent requirements for oil exploration in UK waters enter into force, and revised air quality standards setting new limits on benzene and other pollutants in England. Transport fuel suppliers in England and Wales will have to reduce the amount of sulphur in liquid fuels under the new Sulphur Content of Liquid Fuels Regulations 2007; while in Northern Ireland asbestos rules are tightened with a lower control limit and revised measurement requirements, consistent with 1997 WHO guidelines.

Environmental Case Law Summary, February 2007

Once again Edie News and Semple Fraser team up to bring readers the latest on legal cases which impact on environmental industries in the UK and Europe. This month Austria is told it must protect all its birds, not just popular species, a loophole in planning law is closed in the UK and Ireland is told to get to know its wildlife better.

Unpopular birds species must be protected too, Europe rules

Species seen as pests cannot be left out of legislation designed to protect birds, the European Court of Justice has ruled in a test case where Austrian regions has failed to provide protection for birds such as the starling, crow and house sparrow.

Defending the island

A drainage project on Canvey Island in Essex formed part of the Environment Agency's rolling programme of improving flood protection to housing. The scheme was completed in November last year and is estimated to cost £5.24M.

Best defence

A drainage project on Canvey Island in Essex was part of the Environment Agency's flood protection programme. The scheme is valued at £5.24M. Eric Briggadyke of Atkins Consulting reports

Portugal told to do more to protect habitats

Portugal has been hauled over the coals for failing to adequately protect its flora and fauna when building a motorway through an environmentally sensitive area.

Green to the core

Small health-product manufacturer Bio-Health is reaping the rewards of its comprehensive sustainability policy in ways it had not expected. June Crisp reports

Environmental Case Law Summary, October 06

This month the conservation of bird habitats stole the limelight on the European stage, with Spain and Ireland receiving warnings from the EU over their breach of the Birds Directive. Attempts by the British Aggregates Association to undermine tax exemptions for recycled materials as illegal and unfair were cut short by the European Court of First Instance, while the European Court of Justice found Austria to have failed to incorporate EU rules on the control of explosive materials into its national law.

Irish protection of birds and habitats inadequate, says EC

The failure to provide enough legal protection for wild birds and natural habitats must be addressed in Ireland, according to the European Commission.

Spain not looking after its birds

Madrid has been found not to be providing sufficient protection for either native or migratory birds.

Bridging the brownfield

The Bridge is a £400M scheme that aims to turn a 107 hectare brownfield site into a "culturally vibrant" new community. John Haven describes the ambitious Dartford development

Portugal in a flap over bird law

The European Court of Justice has found in favour of the EC after the commission complained that Portugal was not doing enough to protect steppe-land birds like the griffon vulture and eagle owl.

Keeping flamingos in the pink

With tens of thousands of visitors flocking to see its flamingos and their other water companions, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust must try to keep the ponds clean and odour-free. Is using recycled glass for filtration the answer?

EU to get tough on bird law

The European Commission has announced that it has taken the first steps in raising infringement proceedings against a number of Member States regarding implementation of the Wild Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive.

Business of biodiversity

According to new research, supporting biodiversity can have benefits for business. John Haven reports

WWF has Italian hunters in its sights

The Lombard region of Italy has been warned it must do more to ensure hunters are not taking too many birds following a case brought by WWF Italia.

Portugal puts motorway through bird sanctuary - ECJ unhappy

Portugal has been ordered to carry out a full conservation programme after building a motorway through a protected area, threatening the future of 17 species of wild birds.

Aral Sea Project I reaching completion

Images of fishing boats stranded on the desertified, salt-encrusted bed of what was formerly the Aral Sea, the world's fourth largest inland lake, caused widespread shock when they came to public attention in 1997. Michael Haigh, divisional director in Mott MacDonald's Water and Environmental Management division, reports exclusively for World Water on the first phase of the Aral Sea Basin Project, which is designed to secure the existence of the North Aral Sea, sustain and increase agriculture and fishing, and improve human health.

Edie environmental case law summary April 06

This month Edie News and Semple Fraser team up to bring readers the latest on legal cases which impact on environmental industries in the UK, Europe and further afield. This month Spain was rapped by the EU over its failure to assess environmental impacts of a leisure centre, the Commission stands up for vipers on a Greek island, Austria is told to improve protection for wild birds and producers are challenged over the ingredients of a plant protection product.

Austria told to protect wild birds

Austria was ordered to better protect birds on a nature reserve as it lost a legal wrangle with the Commission

Portugal and Commission dispute bird protection

The EC has taken Portugal to court for its alleged failure to protect wild birds.

The Italian wing of WWF takes on Lombard over bird protection

WWF Italia has begun proceedings against an Italian region over failures to protect wild birds.

Building the dream

Construction of the world's first 'eco-city' is to commence later this year in Shanghai. But it is founded on immense complexity, and faces great challenges. Elius Levin reports from China

Finns under fire for shooting rare wildfowl

Finnish arguments that it is better to hunt waterfowl in the spring than in the autumn have fallen like water off a duck's back at the European Court of Justice.

UK falls foul of EU over bird laws: Case C-131/05, Commission v UK

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its judgement in the case of Commission v UK on 17 November 2005.

Turning the tide

After more than a decade of investigation and negotiation, a determined builder has moved a regulatory mountain to turn a polluted old shipyard into a residential complex and marina

Edie environmental case law summary November 2005

This month Edie News and Semple Fraser team up to bring readers the latest on legal cases which impact on environmental industries in the UK, Europe and further afield. Updates covered include GM crops, waste frameworks, emissions trading, and failure to implement EU laws.

Commission v Austria. Birds and Habitats Directive

Meanwhile, in another European case concerning both the Birds Directive (Directive 79/409/EEC) and the Habitats Directive (Directive 94/43/EC), the Advocate General has delivered her opinion.

Commission v Hellenic Republic. Special Protection

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) gave judgement this month in the case of European Commission v Hellenic Republic (Case C-166/04).

The EnvironmentBusiness Interview

Tom Idle heads to Canary Wharf to talk to Barclays' Andrew Flett about environmental impacts, light detectors, and his garden on the roof

Landowner rapped for moorland destruction

A landowner has been slapped with a hefty fine and ordered to restore damaged habitats after allowing protected moorland to be trashed

The Joint Links group is protesting the EU's 'fitness check' of its Birds and Habitats Directives, which could diminish natural capital protections

Campaigners fight 'biggest threat to European biodiversity in a generation'

One hundred voluntary organisations across the UK have united to protest what they are terming the 'single biggest threat to UK and European nature and biodiversity in a generation'.

The river Teign in Fingle Woods, Dartmoor. The ancient woodland in Devon is one landscape being restored by the National Trust

National Trust aims to 'nurse British countryside back to health'

The British countryside will be "nursed back to health" by the National Trust under a new £1bn, 10-year plan, which takes the charity far beyond its conventional image of country houses and tearooms.

Solar farms typically take up less than 5% of the land they are on leaving huge scope to develop protected habitats to support local wildlife and plant life, BRE claims

BRE launches guidance on how to optimise biodiversity on solar farms

The BRE National Solar Centre (BRE NSC) is unveiling guidance today on how to turn solar farms into biodiversity 'hotspots'.

Phase 1 of the London Array being installed in April 2013

London Array expansion plans scrapped as 'environmental impact uncertain'

The consortium behind the London Array offshore wind farm has today confirmed that plans to expand the project have been abandoned following a review of the sites environmental impact.

The Environmental Audit Committee says the Government's biodiversity offsetting proposals could give developers

Government's biodiversity offsetting proposals 'too simplistic'

Government proposals to introduce a system of 'biodiversity offsetting' must be improved to properly protect Britain's wildlife and woodlands, according to the Environmental Audit Committee.

Marine climate change 'increasing severe weather risk'

Climate change is warming UK coastal waters, affecting the survival of seabirds, and increasing severe storms, flooding and coastal erosion, according to a new report.

Ducks suffer in Russian oil spill

WWF members have accused Russian authorities of being slow to respond to an oil spill in a Moscow river.

Nearly 60,000 gallons of oil leaked from the Cosco Busan

High tides could spread oil spill

High tides in San Francisco Bay this weekend could further spread oil which leaked from a stricken tanker and wash it into previously unaffected areas, state and federal agencies have warned.

Lake Natron is an important breeding ground for flamingos

Decision to save flamingo breeding ground 'a lifeline'

A plan to build a soda ash plant on a lake in northern Tanzania has been thrown out 'for now,' following a meeting of the Tanzanian environment ministry with a number of international bodies.

Southern Railway steams ahead with network-wide biodiversity push

Southern Railway has entered into a partnership with Sussex Wildlife Trust to launch a biodiversity project which it hopes to expand across its entire rail network.

The Great Blue Turaco is one of 300 species of birds native to the Mabira Forest

Forest campaign blocks biofuel development

The Ugandan government has dropped plans to allow part of a forest to be destroyed to make way for biofuel crops.

Biffa slashes vehicle fleet emissions by closing loop on waste oil

Biffa has set up a closed loop process to power an entire municipal waste collection fleet with used cooking oil, resulting in a 78% reduction in CO2 emissions.

THe spoonbill is among the birds that may be attracted to the wetlands. picture courtesy of the RSPB

Essex coast to become bird haven

Farmland in Wallasea Island could be transformed into wetlands in one of the largest projects of its kind in Europe.

Idyllic though they seem, the Norfolk Broads are under threat from pollution

Broads threatened by pollution says RSPB

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are under threat from pollution, rising sea levels and domestic water demands, according to an RSPB report.

Don't neglect biodiversity during land regeneration

Neglected sites can often be rich havens for wildlife, harbouring rare species of birds and mammals - a fact which needs to be considered during their clean-up, says Jane Forshaw

60% emissions cuts by 2050 not enough, says environmental group

The government's draft Climate Change Bill is 'too myopic to be effective,' warned environmental group Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in response to a new review of the Bill by a joint committee last week.

Sir David Attenborough hails Cory's landfill transformation

Sir David Attenborough hails Cory's landfill transformation

Sir David Attenborough has officially opened a nature park on a former landfill site in Essex, hailing it a "new chapter" for the region's landscape.

Mourne Heritage Trust's Jo Whatmough  and NI Water project manager Kieran Grant with one of the new bird boxes which will be installed in the rock armour around Newcastle WwTW

NI Water boosts sustainability credentials with green roof

NI Water has introduced a planting programme to 'green up' the roof of its new £8m extension to its wastewater treatment works at Newcastle harbour.

Scottish Water fined over pollution incident in Renfrewshire

Scottish Water has been fined £20,000 after a sewage spill from the Lochwinnoch Sewage Treatment Works located adjacent to Castle Semple Loch in Renfrewshire.

Biomass cleaner than coal and could benefit forests

Bioenergy has an important role to play in delivering low-carbon, cost-effective, and flexible power and could benefit woodlands, according to a report by the National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC).

Dirty biomass could lead to 'carbon fraud' claim green campaigners

Burning wood in power stations is worse for the climate than burning coal, a recent report from green lobbyists warns.

DECC rolls out wetland biomass funding

Shares in a £2m Government subsidy have been offered to entrepreneurs in the UK aimed to spur on innovation in bioenergy.

French village given chickens to cut food waste

A French village has proposed giving two chickens to each household to cut down on food waste.

Santorini is a popular tourist destination enjoyed for its natural beauty

Oil spill fears as Greek liner sinks

Wildlife and tourism are likely to be affected after a cruise ship carrying hundreds of tons of oil went down off the coast of the Aegean island cluster Santorini.

Poland's motorway through peatlands on hold

Plans to build a motorway across one of Europe's last remaining unspoilt peatlands were put on hold until August, as Polish law forbids construction work within the nature reserve during the bird breeding season which started on March 1st.

Water users urged to use 'wisely' to protect wildlife

Businesses, farmers and households are being urged to reduce their water usage in a bid to protect wildlife from the damaging impact of drought.

Recycling facilities by the turfside

Professional golf club swings zero waste success

One of Scotland's top golf courses has achieved zero waste to landfill as part of its drive to make the sport more sustainable.

Bird Eye aims for zero waste to landfill by 2014

Birds Eye is targeting zero waste to landfill for its manufacturing operations by 2014 under revised plans, a year ahead of its original target.

The orange glow from Las Vegas can be seen over 150km away in the Nevada Desert

Reducing light pollution isn't rocket science

Despite being easy to address we continue to allow light pollution to keep us awake, block out the night skies and confuse wildlife.

Bulmers has a long history of collaboration with local farmers

Bulmers aims to brew a better future

Bulmers is supporting the campaign for the restoration of England's lost hedgerows as part of its sustainability programme

The Tern chicks on board the raft

Recycled rafts to the rescue for bird conservation

A conservation success story for the Common Tern in Leicestershire has been made possible thanks to a novel nesting raft made from recycled plastic.

Indian vultures have been thrown a life-line

Vulture chick inspires conservationists to 'carrion'

Vultures on the Indian sub continent have been decimated in recent years by exposure to a commonly-used veterinary drug which helps livestock but is toxic to the scavengers.

Desalination for London - techno-fix or necessity?

Water shortages in 'rainy' London may sound like a joke to many foreigners, but as the South-East England drought continues the capital's water supplier is finding it increasingly difficult to match shrinking supplies and growing demand. A desalination plant could reverse the trend - but at what cost? Phil Burston of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds considers the balance, and outlines the alternatives.

Wind farms good for sea life - but not birds

Wind farms are good for almost all sea life living around them, according to new research backed by the industry.

Birds Eye has linked up its procurement and supply chain teams

Birds Eye focuses on green future

Birds Eye's Forever Food programme commits it to sustainable sourcing, waste reduction and energy efficiency

Bitterns are among the birds threatened by excessive use of fertiliser on agricultural land

Stop force feeding countryside, says charity

Allowing nutrients used to fertilise farmland to enter the wider environment is equivalent of force feeding the countryside, says the RSPB, and it's time that we allowed Mother Nature to start dieting.

Oil leak disaster threatens penguins

An oil leak in Tristan da Cunha UK overseas territory in the South Atlantic is threatening a colony of penguins.

A forensic approach

Scientists are completing the country's first ever comprehensive study of DNA extracted from water samples in a bid to further improve bathing water quality in the South-west.

Olympian effort flows through

The site for the London Olympics 2012 includes a brand new deep water pumping station - and the UK's biggest municipal water recycling project ever. But, as Claire Smith reports, the capital's impressive engineering history is not being forgotten

Edie TV News launches today launches the first broadcast of its edie TV News bringing users the latest green information in even more accessible formats.

New regulations loom for land remediation

Could the remediation industry be facing another steep learning curve as regulators tackle legislation overload by bringing about a variety of new directives? Industry experts give their views.

Sheep dip presents a serious pollution problem

More must be done to tackle sheep dip pollution

Sheep dip is, by its very nature, extremely effective at killing insects and other invertebrates but since even a tiny amount can cause ecological havoc if it reaches a water course, regulators and farmers have decided more must be done to reduce the risk of pollution.

Conservationists assess impact of Lebanese slick

Endangered turtles, seals and birds have been devastated Mediterranean oil slick caused by the Israeli bombing of a Lebanese power station during the recent hostilities in the region.

Purple wind turbines could save wildlife

Painting wind turbines purple could help to cut the number of birds and bats killed by flying into them, new research has claimed.

Wave of Defra cuts will hit flood defences

Defra has been told it must cut its planned expenditure over the next six months by £200m after being caught short by the spiralling costs of implementing the new farm payment system and keeping bird flu at bay.

The Indian white-backed vulture is among the threatened species

More good news for nature's waste managers

Asian vultures faced with a plummeting population after eating animals treated with a toxic veterinary drug have been thrown a lifeline in Nepal.

Views sought on Irish enviro-crisis

The Irish government has invited discussion and comments on its proposed plans to manage key environmental issues in a report which claims the country is 'catastrophically' close to irreversible damage.

Eagle owl greens pest control at East Midland airports

An eagle owl named Elliot will take off above East Midland airports in an environmentally-friendly bid to keep the skies free of other birds.

The River Severn is a huge untapped source of energy, but also home to thousands of birds

Barrage bad for birds

British bird charity, the RSPB, says a tidal barrage to harness the power of the River Severn would cause environmental devastation and should never have been considered in the Government's Energy Review.

The dead pigeons were thrown into the sea

40 dead pigeons dumped in the sea

The bodies of about 40 dead pigeons have been found dumped in the sea today (August 9) by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Navigating the Complexities of the Consenting Process

Michael Starling, principal consultant at BMT Renewables, a subsidiary of BMT Group, explains Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREIs).

Unusual collaboration to help birds and water quality


Drug ban could save vultures

Vultures in danger of being wiped out by a drug used to treat livestock in India have been given a reprieve after the Government called on companies to phase out the medicine.

RSPB to tackle old landfill sites in bid to provide new wildlife havens

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has outlined plans to tackle climate change but managing landscapes in less traditional areas.

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