Bonn, Germany – The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which was created to provide policymakers with reliable, independent and credible information on the status of biodiversity, on 19 January 2015 agreed to initiate a set of regional assessments in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia. These assessments will be a vital contribution for a planned global assessment to be completed by 2019.
Around 700 delegates from over 270 governments, scientific organizations, civil society and the private sector attended the Platform’s third meeting, which was held from 12 to 17 January in Bonn, Germany.
IPBES Member States present at the meeting adopted a conflict of interest policy and a stakeholder engagement strategy that will support the implementation of the Platform’s work programme and approved the guidance on strategic partnerships and other collaborative arrangements.
Agriculture and food security must be treated as essential components of peace building and conflict resolution, the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said during a special meeting of the UN Peacebuilding Commission held at Headquarters on 26 January 2015.
Quinoa – a highly nutritious crop from the Andes has become popular globally. Photo: FAO/Alessia Pierdomenico
“Food security is an important foundation for peace, political stability and sustainable development. In the history of humanity, time and time again we have seen vicious circles linking violence and hunger – and these are conflicts that are not restricted by national borders,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said to participants.
New York — China has launched a UN-supported social protection scheme for 250 of its most vulnerable people, according to the United Nations.
The United Nations main development programme on 26 January 2015 spotlighted its string of successes in 36 countries and territories in the Asia and Pacific region in the areas of poverty reduction, conservation of natural resources, democratic governance, and crisis resilience.*
Nairobi, 23 January 2015 (IRIN)* – The shocking satellite imagery of the destruction in the northeastern Nigerian town of Baga and nearby villages earlier this month provided graphic evidence of the extent of the crimes by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram when they stormed in.
**Photo: Human Rights Watch | Satellite imagery of the destruction of Doro Gowon, 3km from Baga | Source: IRIN
It turned the spotlight back to the fact that something terrible had happened in Baga, and hundreds, if not as many as 2,000 people, may have died.
“It’s the power of the image,” Nigerian human rights lawyer Clement Nwankwo told IRIN.
“The reason people questioned whether 2,000 people were killed was because that level of brutality was unimaginable. But the images validate that claim, the number of fatalities could be in that vicinity.”
January 2015, Pressenza — For some it’s their God, for others Democracy. There are those for whom human rights are inalienable and for several others the most Sacred is found within human beings. That thing that cannot be conceded, or sold, or forgotten, something that gives Meaning to life and projects it beyond one’s own existence has without doubt a very special characteristic.
The Green-crowned Brilliant in Costa Rica Photo: UNEP GRID Arendal/Peter Prokosch | Source UN News Centre
Children are sacred for their mothers, love for those in love, big ideals for militants. There are certain things that you cannot blaspheme against because in them there is such a special communion between what is human and the ineffable thing that transcends it.
22 January, 2015, Greenpeace — “One thing that fascinated and shocked me the most was the fact that even on smoggy days, people still lived their lives as usual,” said Chinese film director Jia Zhangke last week as the air outside in Beijing was a thick, soupy grey.
“When the Air Quality Index hit 200 or 300, and the air turned opaque or grey, I still saw people dancing their square dances, young people still hanging out. Everyone was doing what they would normally be doing.”
The renowned film director is known for his gritty portrayals of contemporary Chinese society, and his latest short film commissioned by Greenpeace East Asia, is no exception.
Geneva, 20 January 2015 (ILO)* – Unemployment will continue to rise in the coming years, as the global economy has entered a new period combining slower growth, widening inequalities and turbulence, warns a new ILO report.*
“More than 61 million jobs have been lost since the start of the global crisis in 2008 and our projections show that unemployment will continue to rise until the end of the decade. This means the jobs crisis is far from over so there is no place for complacency,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said.
The employment situation has improved in the United States and Japan, but remains difficult in a number of advanced economies, particularly in Europe.
Genetic resources have a critical role to play in feeding the world — especially as climate change advances faster than expected — and much more needs to be done to study, preserve and utilize the biological diversity that underpins world food production, according to a new book released by the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 19 January 2015.
A crop of sorghum in Uruguay, funded by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic resources for Food and Agriculture.
“Time is not on our side” warns the book, Coping with climate change: the roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture. “In the coming decades, millions of people whose livelihoods and food security depend on farming, aquaculture, fishing, forestry and livestock keeping are likely to face unprecedented climatic conditions.”*
Crops, livestock, forest trees and aquatic organisms capable of surviving and producing in a changing climate will be needed.
By Oxfam*, 19 January 2015 – The combined wealth of the richest 1 percent will overtake that of the other 99 percent of people next year unless the current trend of rising inequality is checked, Oxfam warned today ahead of the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.
The international agency, whose executive director Winnie Byanyima will co-chair the Davos event, warned that the explosion in inequality is holding back the fight against global poverty at a time when 1 in 9 people do not have enough to eat and more than a billion people still live on less than $1.25-a-day..Byanyima will use herposition at Davos to call for urgent action to stem this rising tide of inequality, starting with a crackdown on tax dodging by corporations, and to push for progress towards a global deal on climate change..Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More, a research paper published today by Oxfam, shows that the richest 1 percent have seen their share of global wealth increase from 44 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2014 and at this rate will be more than 50 percent in 2016. Members of this global elite had an average wealth of $2.7 million per adult in 2014.