olympic games rio 2016 - environmental legacy - olympic news
In partnership with the FSC, MSC and ASC, Rio 2016 engaged and trained suppliers in obtaining timber (chain of custody), fish and sea food certifications. Some 70 tons of certified fish were served, stepping up from London 2012 that served 40 tons of certified fish, while 100% certified wood was used on Games Operations
A new waste treatment centre with capacity to treat 9,000 tons of waste per day was established, while 10 new wastewater treatment stations and 2,100 km of collection system were established in the west of Rio
1,100 tons of waste were recycled during the Games, including by local cooperatives, creating income for the waste pickers. Before the start of the Games, 356.19 tons of recyclable waste was sent to cooperatives/recycling industry
7 major environmental issues already spoiling the rio
As athletes and hundreds of thousands of tourists around the world descend into Rio de Janeiro, here are seven health and environmental controversies that have already made headlines before the Aug. 5 Opening Ceremony
Rio's epic water pollution has been going on for two decades due to a lack of modern sanitation programs. Despite Olympic organizers's promise to clean the city's waterways at their 2009 bid, trash, raw sewage and even body parts have been a presence at water sport venues.
At Guanabara Bay—where rowing and sailing will be held—tons of noxious raw sewage gets pumped into the bay each day. Oceanographer David Zee told CBS News that the Brazilian government planned to install eight treatment plants on Rio's polluted rivers but only built one. Officials promised to treat 80 percent of the sewage flowing into the bay but have gotten to only half. USA Today Sports reported that organizers will use a short-term and (purely cosmetic) water treatment method so the waters will glisten blue for television broadcasts.
In fact, Rio's Olympics will bring none of the environmental improvements that were originally pitched. An official from Brazil's Federal Audit Court, which audits the federal government's spending, told Reuters: "As for now, we have nothing relevant to report about what was done in the environmental area."
In related news, last year, the Associated Press published its results from an eight-month study of Rio's water venues, concluding that none were safe for swimming or boating, with more than 1 billion viruses from human sewage in a single liter of water from the Rodrigo de Freitas Lake. Water samples were 1.7 million times the level of what would be considered hazardous on a Southern California beach
That leads us to this conundrum. As EcoWatch mentioned last month, antibiotic-resistant super bacteria has been found in waters that will host the swimming portion of the triathlon and in the lagoon where rowing and canoe athletes will be competing. Two studies have connected five beaches—Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Botafogo and Flamengo—and the Rodrigo de Freitas to the superbug bacteria. Scientists say the super bacteria can cause hard-to-treat urinary, gastrointestinal, pulmonary and bloodstream infections, which contribute to death in up to half of infected patients. Meningitis has also been linked to exposure to the superbug.
A number of high-profile athletes, especially golfers, have dropped out of the Summer Games due to Zika fears. The mosquito-borne virus, which has spread throughout the South American country, has been declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization. Some scientists have suggested that global warming is exacerbating the problem, which is linked to microcephaly in babies. Infectious diseases, such Zika and dengue, could spread as aedes aegypti mosquitoes expand their habitats in a warmer, wetter world, one study found. Experts, however, have said that there is little risk of Zika spread. The southern hemisphere is also currently in the middle of winter, making the threat of bites even lower. Still, the epidemic has only further impaired Brazil's struggling public health system, and will continue be a problem when the games conclude.
Golf's return to the Olympics should have been celebrated. However, not only are some of the sport's biggest stars skipping Rio due to Zika, instead of using the city's two existing golf courses, organizers decided to build a completely new one from scratch. Biologist and environmental activist Marcello Mello told the Guardian that the new course encroaches on the Marapendi reserve, home to rare butterflies, pines and other species not found anywhere else in the world, calling the construction an "environmental crime."
"They are destroying the Atlantic Forest, which is part of our national heritage," he added. Mello also alleges that the city is using the Olympics to help foster business for development companies. "Without a doubt, the Olympics are a giant real estate scam," he said. This is not to mention that thousands of people living in Rio's favelas have been notoriously pushed out of their homes for Olympic construction.
Last month, a jaguar—the Brazilian Olympic team's mascot—was shot and killed at the Olympic torch passing ceremony. As EcoWatch reported, the female jaguar was shot after the female jaguar escaped from her handlers, sparking outcry from animal activists.
"Wild animals held captive and forced to do things that are frightening, sometimes painful and always unnatural are ticking time bombs—captivity puts animal and human lives at risk," the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote in a blog post.
When Rio organizers made their bid for the summer games seven years ago, they suggested a number of improvements to ease the city's terrible traffic, which causes severe congestion, noise and air pollution from vehicle exhausts. However, the organizers probably did not anticipate that a crippling recession would affect their plans. The city's government declared a state of financial disaster last month, impacting Olympics-related infrastructure projects
Rio's new 10-mile rail line, which cost $1.2 billion more than its initial estimate, may not be completed in time before the opening ceremony. A bike lane collapsed in April, killing two people. And according to the Associated Press, the new light rail system suffered a major power outage on the second day of service and the month-old highway near Barra da Tijuca is already damaged with potholes and large cracks.
Protesting any of the environmental or health issues above might be a danger in itself. Brazil happens to be the nation of the highest death toll of environmental activists. Global Witness revealed 50 confirmed murders of environmental activists last year.
"I know there is a risk to this work. It is dangerous to campaign for the environment in Brazil," Mello told the Guardian about his Occupy Golf Campaign. "But I love nature and somebody has to do this job. If I die for this cause, it will be worth it."
Low-income Texans, especially those of color, disproportionately bore the burdens of the state's power grid failure that left them huddling for warmth, and dying, without heat in poorly insulated homes.
For nearly 100 years, the Empire State Building has stood as a testament to the industriousness and economic power of the United States. Now, it can also be considered a beacon for the future of sustainable energy. Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) signed a deal in early February to convert the Empire State Building, along with all of its other real estate holdings, to 100% renewable energy
the 10 best rio de janeiro beaches (with photos) - tripadvisor
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the top 18 most excellent things to do in rio de janeiro
Sugarloaf Mountain rises 396 m over the Rio Harbour and really contributes to the aesthetic of the city’s spectacular skyline. It is named so because it resembles a Sugarloaf; a hard packed bunch of sugar that looks like a cone
We visited the Santa Marta Favela with Rio’s Urban Adventures and saw where Michael Jackson filmed his music video “They don’t care about us” But more importantly, we saw how the community has changed from crime to community
With a blend of urban sprawl, colourful hillside favelas, jungle, ocean, and beaches, this is one of the most beautiful cities on earth and a helicopter tour lets you truly take in the scope and scale of Rio’s landscape
Another iconic stop for food is the Confeitaria Colombo. Built in the late 1800s, this Parisian style cafe serves pastries and desserts mixed with high tea. Many people stop in and browse the delectable treats downstairs
Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field
It’s such an amazing and unique place. I haven’t been to Rio yet, but half of my family lives in Sao Paolo.
Sao Paolo might not be the prettiest of all the places you can go (it’s a very urban town), but the people are the ones that paint the city with beautiful colours. Everyone is smiling, joking, having a beer and a barbecue. Everything is a reason for a party and after spending 2 months in Brazil to meet everyone from the family, I came back to home with 10 extra kilos!