Archive for ‘Mother Earth’

07/05/2015

Forest Help End Hunger, Improve Food Security

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

A new United Nations-backed report on the link between forests and food production and nutrition says that woodlands could be the key to ending hunger and will be intimately linked to the global fight against climate change.

Upland women weed their rice fields, an integrated method of agro-forestry in Mokpon Village, Laos. UN Photo/Lamphay Inthakoun

Launched on  6 May 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York, where the 11th session of the UN Forum on Forests, the Forests, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition report outlines the potential of forests to improve food security and nutrition, and to ensure the livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people.

07/05/2015

Peace Lessons: How to Reduce Violence

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

If you are interested in learning more about the meaning of, and the relationships among, direct, structural and cultural violence and how one peace studies scholar suggests we use the integrative power of nonviolence to address violence constructively, then I suggest you read the new book by historian, playwright and novelist Professor Timothy Braatz called ‘Peace Lessons’.

**Image: The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of French Protestants, 1572 | Artist: François Dubois (1529–1584) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q369663| Wikimedia Commons

**The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of French Protestants, 1572 | Artist: François Dubois (1529–1584) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q369663| Wikimedia Commons

This book is impressive because it explains important aspects of peace and conflict theory, particularly that developed by Professor Johan Galtung.

It then applies key peace studies concepts to select historical events that are normally perceived as violent – John Brown’s struggle to end slavery in the United States, the battle at Little Bighorn in 1876, ‘World Slaughter II’, as Braatz calls it – as well as some key nonviolent resistance movements of the twentieth century: the toppling of various dictators and the US Civil Rights movement.

05/05/2015

UN Warns of ‘Tsunami’ of Electronic Waste ‘Rolling Out Over the World’

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva – The head of the United Nations body tasked with setting the global environmental agenda on 4 May 2015 stressed the need to limit the use of dangerous chemicals and to find a solution to the masses of electronic waste building up around the world, as a Conference of Parties to three major Conventions on the subject began in Geneva on 4 May 2015.

E-waste. Credit: ITU | Source: UN

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), told journalists that the “tsunami of e-waste rolling out over the world” not only accounted for a large portion of the world’s non-recyclable “waste mountain” but also needed dealing with because many elements found in electronic equipment are potentially hazardous to people and the environment.*

03/05/2015

World Water Week Journalist Grant

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) on 1 May 2015 opened the door to applications for the 2015 World Water Week Journalist Grant. The World Water Week will be held in Stockholm on 23-28 August 2015.

Planet Earth in dew, macro on leaf. Conceptual design. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. | Source: SIWI

Planet Earth in dew, macro on leaf. Conceptual design. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. | Source: SIWI

Are you passionate about water and development? Have you covered these topics in your work but want a chance to see more, learn more and interview major actors in the water community?*

Have you looked for an opportunity to report on a global water meeting, where world leaders, policy makers, and academics meet representatives from the private sector and civil society to discuss some of the world’s most urgent development issues? Apply for the World Water Week Journalist Grant!

SIWI offers three journalists from low or low-middle income nations the opportunity to visit Stockholm and World Water Week which takes place between 23-28 August 2015.

03/05/2015

Ban Nuclear Weapons – Now!

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

Statement of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) to the Treaty of Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, UN Headquarters, New York

How’s your government doing at the NPT RevCon? Follow along with this interactive map from ICAN Austria showing you the best (and worst!) of the NPT Review Conference

How’s your government doing at the NPT RevCon?
Follow along with this interactive map from ICAN Austria showing you the best (and worst!) of the NPT Review Conference

The humanitarian initiative began here five years ago, when the NPT Review Conference expressed its deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.

Since then, a fundamental shift has been under way. Concerns about the impact of nuclear weapons on people and the environment have become central to disarmament discussions.

02/05/2015

A Boy Called Bibi

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

2 May 2015

THERE ARE two different opinions about Binyamin Netanyahu. It is difficult to believe that they concern the same person.

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

One is that Netanyahu is a shallow politician, devoid of ideas and convictions, who is led solely by his obsession to remain in power.

This Netanyahu has a good voice and a talent for making shallow speeches on television, speeches devoid of any intellectual content – and that’s all.

This Netanyahu is highly “pressurable” (a Hebrew word invented almost solely for him), a man who will change his views according to political expediency, disclaiming in the evening what he has said in the morning. None of his words should be trusted. He will lie and cheat anytime to assure his survival.

The other Netanyahu is almost the exact opposite. A principled patriot, a serious thinker, a statesman who sees danger beyond the horizon. This Netanyahu is a gifted orator, able to move the US Congress and the UN plenum, admired by the great mass of Israelis.

So which of these descriptions is true?

Neither.

01/05/2015

Aboard Flight 652: Nepalese Migrants Head Home to Help

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

Kathmandu, 29 April 2015 (IRIN) – The Qatar Airways plane from Doha to Kathmandu was full, carrying aid workers and rescue specialists from around the world. But the bulk of the passengers on Tuesday’s flight were Nepalese migrants, temporarily returning home to do what they could for their families after the devastating 25 April earthquake.
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Most were coming from Gulf states – like Kemras Dasel, who has worked as a storekeeper for a company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the past seven years.

His family abandoned their home in Kathmandu after the walls cracked in the violence of Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake. Two of Dasel’s relatives are dead, one a six-year-old child. They are among more than 5,000 people reported dead so far.

28/04/2015

Majority of World’s Rural Populations Excluded from Healthcare Services

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

The majority of the world’s rural populations continue to live and work without essential healthcare services, in stark contrast to their urban-dwelling counterparts, according to a new report released on 27 April 2015 by the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO).

Mobile health education van in rural Sri Lanka. Photo: World Bank/Dominic Sansoni | Source: UN

The ILO’s findings – published in the Global evidence on inequities in rural health protection report – show that 56 per cent of people living in rural areas worldwide remain bereft of critical healthcare access, with the most acute instances being in Africa where an overwhelming 83 per cent of rural inhabitants are uncovered.*

The most affected countries are also those which face the highest levels of poverty, the report observes.

27/04/2015

Millay's "Epitaph for the Race of Man"

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

The beautiful red-haired American poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950), is known for her lyric poetry, but she also wrote some of the finest sonnets in the English language, combining classic form with modern imagery.

**Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) | Author; Carl Van Vechten (1880–1964) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q312851 | Public Domain | Wikimedia Commons

**Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) | Author; Carl Van Vechten (1880–1964) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q312851 | Public Domain | Wikimedia Commons

Many of these sonnets are based on the emotions that she experienced in her love affairs with both men and women.

However, my own favorite is a serious sequence of eighteen sonnets, “Epitaph for the Race of Man”, published in 1934, just as the catastrophe of World War II was about to engulf our planet.

The basic premise of Millay’s “Epitaph” is that we know from the evolutionary history of life on earth, that no species survives forever.

She speculates on what will be the final cause of the extinction of the human race, and concludes that Man will die by his own hand, since none the innumerable disasters that nature has thrown at us over the millennia has persuaded humankind “to lay aside the lever and the spade, and be as dust among the dusts that blow”.

Here are a few of the sonnets from the sequence:

23/04/2015

In Morocco, It’s the Women Who Carry the Atlas

by Baher Kamal
As men try to find work in the big cities of Morocco, women are traditionally destined to do the hard work.
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22 April 2015, TIZI OUSSEM, Morocco ((Middle East Eye) – Every day after lunch, the women of the village of Tizi Oussem walk down a steep rocky path to the valley. They work the fields, herd the cattle, do the laundry by the river and gather wood for the fire. Even before that all starts they will inevitably have already worked for half a day doing household chores and taking care of the children. 

A woman in Tizi Essoume carrying a heavy load on her back, up the hill to her house (MEE/Rik Goverde)

At the end of the day they gather the wood or crops into bundles which they hoist onto their shoulders and carry back up to the village. Then they start preparing dinner and beginning their chores for the evening.

In this Amazigh region, the women take care of pretty much everything. That includes the carrying of very heavy loads. Whenever you see a bundle of wood or hay being transported by a human here, it’s women’s legs carrying it.

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