Archive for ‘Mother Earth’

22/08/2014

Join the Human Chain to Fight an Environmental Crime in Europe

Human Wrongs Watch

By Meri Pukarinen*, 20 August 2014, Greenpeace — Who wants to dig up entire villages, destroy livelihoods and lock in emissions making climate catastrophe a certainty? Surely some corrupted failed state in the developing world? Think again. This is the aim of the self-proclaimed global climate leader: Europe.

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Photo: Greenpeace

Massive lignite deposits lie at the border of Germany and Poland in the Lusatia region. This brown coal haven is being eyed by Vattenfall – a company owned by the Swedish state, and the Polish Energy Group PGE which has the ear of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. 

Dozens of villages are threatened by bulldozing with some 6000 people losing their homes and livelihoods to make way for these lignite mines. 

22/08/2014

Stop Attacks on Environmental Campaigners!

Human Wrongs Watch

BALI, 20 August 2014 (IRIN)* – Amid increasing documentation of attacks on people engaged in environmental activism, experts are calling for a global protection regime to defend and support campaigners subjected to harassment and abuse.

 

During the first week of August activists, donors and researchers gathered in Bali, Indonesia, for the world’s first international summit on climate and women; a large part of the discussion was centered on attacks on people campaigning to protect the environment.

22/08/2014

Gaza: Over 370,000 Palestinian Children in Need of ‘Psycho-social First Aid’ — UN

Human Wrongs Watch

The top UNICEF field officer in Gaza on 21 August 2014 reported today that at least nine more Palestinian children have been killed there in the last 48 hours, bringing the total to 469 since early July, saying that there is not a single family in the tiny enclave that has not been touched by the current violence.

On 12 August, Mohamed Badran, 8, lies on a cot in an ambulance in Gaza. He lost one eye and lost sight in the other during a blast that reportedly killed his father and eight members of his family. Doctors say that Mohamed continues to ask why they “switched the lights off.” Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1157/El Baba
On 12 August, Mohamed Badran, 8, lies on a cot in an ambulance in Gaza. He lost one eye and lost sight in the other during a blast that reportedly killed his father and eight members of his family. Doctors say that Mohamed continues to ask why they “switched the lights off.” Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1157/El Baba

“The impact is has truly been vast, both at a very physical level, in terms of casualties, injuries, the infrastructure that’s been damaged, but also importantly, emotionally and psychologically in terms of the destabilizing impact that not knowing, not truly feeling like there is anywhere safe place to go in Gaza,” Pernilla Ironside, Chief of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Gaza field office told a press conference today at UN Headquarters.

“Children need to have that sense of security,” she added.

21/08/2014

East and Southeast Asia, World’s Largest Markets for Synthetic Drugs — Major Drag on Development

20 August 2014 – East and Southeast Asia remain the world’s largest markets for synthetic drugs, and the methamphetamine problem is showing signs of accelerating, according to senior policy, law enforcement and justice delegates at a special regional conference organized by UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Global SMART Programme which started today in Yangon, Myanmar.

Image: UNODC

Image: UNODC

Growing demand in East and Southeast Asia for methamphetamine is being met by large-scale production in China, Myanmar and several other countries in the region. Information presented at the conference confirms continued high, and rising, demand and supply of methamphetamine.

“Organized crime groups are well positioned to take advantage of regional integration agreements to expand the trafficking of synthetic drugs and precursor chemicals” said Jeremy Douglas, UNODC Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

“Capacities to ensure the rule of law vary greatly across the region, and this evolving and growing threat diverts increasing amounts of scarce state resources away from efforts to develop and improve governance. It can’t be ignored that the billions generated for organized crime exceed the size of several national economies in the region. Where is the money going?” added Douglas. 

21/08/2014

Food Security Is Still “Touch-and-Go” in Arid, Conflict-torn Somalia

Thanks to a decent harvest and a strong response from the international humanitarian community, the United Nations declared an end to famine in southern Somalia in early 2012. More than two million people are currently food insecure, down by about 17 percent from early 2012 estimates, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports*

franknyakairu/FAO

franknyakairu/FAO

But conditions are still touch-and-go in this arid, conflict-torn country – one of the poorest in the world. If people cannot produce and sell their own food and have the wherewithal to withstand shocks, gains made in improving their food and nutrition security could slip away with the next disaster.

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15/08/2014

The Future of Humanity Will Be African – Four in 10 of World’s People Will Be African by the End of This Century

Human Wrongs Watch

Africa has experienced a marked increase in its population in last few decades. Its current population is five times its size in 1950. And the continent’s rapid population expansion is set to continue, with its inhabitants doubling from 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion between 2015 and 2050, and eventually reaching 4.2 billion by 2100, says UNICEF report Generation 2013/Africa.

Photo from UNICEF

Photo from UNICEF

According the report, which has been launched on 12 August 2014, the future of humanity is increasingly African. More than half the projected 2.2 billion rise in the world population in 2015-2050 is expected to take place in Africa, even though the continent’s population growth rate will slow.

On current trends, within 35 years, 1 in every 4 people will be African, rising to 4 in 10 people by the end of the century.

Back in 1950, only 9 among 100 of the world’s number of inhabitants were African. The following are the key finding of UNICEF’s report.

15/08/2014

Africa Will Be Home To 4 in 10 Children on Planet Earth By 2050

Human Wrongs Watch

Johannesburg – An unprecedented projected increase in Africa’s child population size provides policymakers with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to craft a child-focused investment strategy that enables the continent, and the world, to reap the benefits of Africa’s demographic transition, UNICEF said in a report issued on 12 August 2014.

Photo from UNICEF

Photo from UNICEF

According to the Generation 2030/Africa Report, high fertility rates and rising numbers of women of reproductive age mean that over the next 35 years, almost two billion babies will be born in Africa; the continent’s population will double in size; and its under-18 population will increase by two-thirds to reach almost a billion children.

Among the report’s most important findings is a massive shift in the world’s child population towards Africa. Projections indicate that by 2050, around 40 per cent of all births, and about 40 per cent of all children, will be in Africa, up from about 10 per cent in 1950.

14/08/2014

Impact of Climate Change Could Reverse Decades of Development in Africa

Human Wrongs Watch

Investing in ways to adapt to climate change will promote the livelihood of 65 per cent of Africans, the UN environmental agency on 13 August 2014 reported*, warning also that failing to address the phenomenon could reverse decades of development progress on the continent.

New UN report says investment in climate change adaptation can help promote the ivelihoods of 65 per cent of Africans. Photo: UNEP

New UN report says investment in climate change adaptation can help promote the ivelihoods of 65 per cent of Africans. Photo: UNEP

Africa’s population is set to double to 2 billion by 2050, the majority of whom will continue to depend on agriculture to make a living, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). “With 94 per cent of agriculture dependent on rainfall, the future impacts of climate change – including increased droughts, flooding, and seal-level rise – may reduce crop yields in some parts of Africa by 15 – 20 per cent,” UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said. “Such a scenario, if unaddressed, could have grave implications for Africa’s most vulnerable states,” he added.

14/08/2014

Hiroshima and Nagasaki 69 Years On

Human Wrongs Watch

By Jasmine Pilbrow*, 14 August 2014 — Last week marked the 69th anniversary since the devastating nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On the 6th and 9th of August this year, people around the world took the time to remember the tragic loss of lives, and the disastrous effects the atomic bombs had on Japan and so many of its people.

Photo from: International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

Photo from: International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

On the 6th of August 1945, a 12 year old boy was at school in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped.

69 years later he says that “even now, I carry the scars of war and that atomic bombing on my body and in my heart. Nearly all my classmates were killed instantly. My heart is tortured by guilt when I think how badly they wanted to live and that I was the only one who did.”

Mayor Kazumi Matsui of Hiroshima and Mayor Tomihisa Taue of Nagasaki both took the time last week to write Peace Declarations to mark the significant dates, and to announce their priority to join with people around the world, to ban nuclear weapons.

14/08/2014

Celebrating the Majesty of One of the Most Threatened Animals on World Elephant Day

Human Wrongs Watch

Nairobi, 12 August 2014 -World Elephant Day, now in its third year, should be an opportunity to celebrate the majesty of the planet’s largest land animal. Instead, it is a reminder that if poaching continues at current rates, we face a future in which one of the environment’s keystone species may be driven to extinction by rising demand for illegal ivory in the rapidly growing economies of Asia.*

African Elephants(Loxodanta Africana)in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia. Image: UNEP/GRID Arendal

UNEP and partner research reveals that large-scale seizures of ivory (consignments of over 800 kg) destined for Asia have more than doubled since 2009 and reached an all-time high in 2011.

To meet this insatiable demand for ivory, approximately 20,000 to 25,000 elephants are killed per year, out of a population of between 420,000 and 650,000.

Poached African ivory may represent an end-user street value in Asia of US$165 to US$188 million of raw ivory.

The Asian elephant is now endangered, with less than 40,000 remaining worldwide, and it is estimated that one in every three elephants in Asia lives in captivity.

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