By James Albertini*, 3 March 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service
James “Jim” Albertini
We Are All Down Winders!
March 1st is known as “Nuclear-Free & Independent Pacific Day.” It commemorates the tragic 15 megaton U.S. nuclear bomb test, code named Bravo, at Bikini atoll in the Marshall Islands of Micronesia, on March 1, 1954.
Many people died in the Marshall Islands from radiation contamination and fallout downwind of the Bravo blast and the 66 additional U.S. nuclear weapon tests there.
The Bravo test was 1000 times more powerful than the U.S. bomb that destroyed the city of Hiroshima, Japan. (You are cordially invited to attend: The Bravo Test Remembrance Worship Event, Monday, March 2, 2015, 6:30 – 8:30 PM at the Church of the Holy Cross 440 W. Lanikaula St., Hilo, Hawai`i – across from UHH new glass building.)
Today, we are all Down Winders. The mining and milling of uranium for making fuel for nuclear power plants and nuclear bombs, thousands of nuclear bombs tested worldwide, numerous nuclear accidents –Fukushima, Chernobyl, etc. and the widespread use of depleted uranium weapons in training and in war, have now made earth’s entire population DOWN WINDERS.
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World Wildlife Day, marked on 3 March 2015, is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.*
A white tiger in Nandankan Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhubaneshwar, India. UN Photo/John Isaac
Globally wildlife crime is conservatively estimated to be worth around $8 to $10 billion annually.
Wildlife has an intrinsic value and contributes to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic aspects of sustainable development and human well-being.
For these reasons, all member States, the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, non-governmental organizations and individuals, are invited to observe and to get involved in this global celebration of wildlife.
Local communities can play a positive role in helping to curb illegal wildlife trade.
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When leaders and decision makers from across Asia and the Pacific gather next month in Japan to discuss how to reduce disaster risks, their top priority will be to build resilience in a region that saw some 80 million people affected and nearly $60 billion in economic losses incurred by natural disasters last year.
Coping with severe floods in Pakistan. UN Photo/WFP/Amjad Jamal
That’s according to Natural Disasters in Asia and the Pacific: 2014 Year in Review report released on 25 February 2015 by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).*
The report said that more than half of the world’s 226 natural disasters occurred in the Asia and Pacific region last year. And although it was a year without a single large-scale catastrophe caused by an earthquake or tsunami, the region experienced severe storms, cross-border floods and landslides, which accounted for 85 percent of all disasters, it said.
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New York, 23 February 2015 – This year is pivotal for global action on climate change, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in New York, emphasizing that all the major advances of 2014 have set the stage for success in 2015.
“Our challenge now is clear: to finalize a meaningful, universal agreement on climate change,” Ban told Member States at a briefing on relevant progress as momentum builds towards a meeting to be held in Paris this December, when leaders are expected to reach a landmark treaty.
“Addressing climate change is essential for realizing sustainable development. If we fail to adequately address climate change, we will be unable to build a world that supports a life of dignity for all,” the Secretary-General warned.
Joining Ban at the briefing was President of the UN General Assembly, Sam Kutesa, as well as the Permanent Representatives of Peru and France, who organized the gathering.
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23 February 2015
The author analyses the current stage in history, marked by a lack of global governance. There is little hope of achieving this in the short term as we are undergoing a period of transition. This text, that sets out to unravel the world’s chaos, describes some eight gaps to be filled. On this path towards global governance, international relations has emerged as a new and significant reality.
It is unlikely that global governance will be achieved in the short-term. The only viable long term plan is to encourage a discussion to establish common values shared by most of humankind. Ultimately, the author proposes that if we are to achieve real and lasting global governance, the debate will have to revert to core values on which to base our coexistence.
As conflicts proliferate around the world it becomes increasingly evident that we are going through a period in history marked by a lack of global governance.
Calls, meetings, and acronyms multiply due to the many attempts towards achieving a new equilibrium. From the G7 to G8 and G20, the BRICS, G2 and Chindia (China and India) not to mention the many regional Asian, African, Latin American blocks.
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Rome, 19 February 2015 - Sharks may be able to swim more serenely one day thanks to a handy new digital technique developed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that allows for the quick identification of species of the iconic fish.*
A scalloped hammerhead shark, one of the species recognizable by FAO’s new software. | FAO
The new iSharkFin software will help protect endangered shark species and combat illegal trade in shark fins.
It is a tool for custom officers and inspectors at fish markets as well as for fishermen keen on avoiding the capture of protected species, said Monica Barone, who led a team in FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department in the development of the software.
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