13/08/2021

How Indigenous Knowledge Can Help Prevent Environmental Crises

11 August 2021 (UNEP)* — Nemonte Nenquimo has spent years fending off miners, loggers and oil companies intent on developing the Amazon rainforest.

Nemonte_Nenquimo_2020_UNEP_Champions_of_the_Earth_laureate_credit_UNEP020

Photo: UNEP / 09 Aug 2021

The leader of Ecuador’s indigenous Waorani people, she famously fronted a 2019 lawsuit that banned resource extraction on 500,000 acres of her ancestral lands — a court win that gave hope to indigenous communities around the world.

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13/08/2021

Canada Is Waging an All-Front Legal War against Indigenous People

By Justin Podur | Globetrotter – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Canada is developing a new image: one of burning churches, toppling statues, and mass graves. There are thousands more unmarked graves, thousands more Indigenous children killed at residential schools, remaining to be unearthed. There can be no denying that this is Canada, and it has to change.

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The Canadian Encyclopedia

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13/08/2021

Predicting the Future

By John Scales Avery – TRANSCEND Media Service*

H.G. Wells

The enormously prolific English writer, Herbert George Wells (1866-1946), who also wrote novels. short stories, history books, biology textbooks, utopias, and so on, has been called “The Shakespeare of Science Fiction”.

John-Scales-Avery

John Scales Avery

During his writing career, he made a number of predictions about the future, many of which were astonishingly accurate.

He foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web.

George Orwell and Aldous Huxley

George Orwell’s famous dystopian book, Nineteen Eighty-Four, warned the world of the dangers of totalitarianism. In Orwell’s book, people are terrorized into submission. Orwell had Stalinist Russia in mind when he wrote the book, but sadly, it seems to describe the situation in a large number of countries today. Continue reading

13/08/2021

Spyware: Human Rights Experts Push for Moratorium on the Sale of Surveillance Technology

(UN News)* — A group of UN-appointed experts on 12 August 2021 called for a moratorium on the sale of surveillance technology, warning against the danger of allowing the sector to operate as “a human rights-free zone.” 

World Bank/Simone D. McCourtie | A person browsing through social media on their laptop computer (content blurred to protect privacy).
 
Their recommendation comes in the wake of the Pegasus spyware scandal targeting hundreds of journalists, activists and politicians.

 

13/08/2021

Youth Must Be Included in Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

(UN News)* — With 40 per cent of the global population under 25, the international community has a special responsibility to ensure young people can share their perspectives and concerns about existential threats to current and future generations, UN disarmament chief Izumi Nakamitsu on 12 August 2021 said.

UN Office for Disarmament Affairs | File photo of UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu (centre) meeting young people in Japan at an event focused on the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and the establishment of the UN
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Her comments came in a video message to a special session of the UN Conference on Disarmament, held in Geneva, to mark International Youth Day
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12/08/2021

‘Climate Change Widespread, Rapid, and Intensifying’

(WMO)* — Scientists are observing changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, released on 9 August 2021.

Many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some of the changes already set in motion – such as continued sea level rise – are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years.

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12/08/2021

5 Ways Indigenous Peoples are helping Us Achieve a World Without Hunger

Indigenous Peoples and their food systems can provide answers to food insecurity and climate change

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Indigenous Peoples are stewards of natural resources, biodiversity and nutritious native foods. They are key partners in finding solutions to climate change and reshaping our food systems. @FAO/Francesco Farnè

10 August 2021 (FAO)* — Constituting only 6 percent of the world population, Indigenous Peoples are nevertheless vital stewards of the environment. 

28 percent of the world’s land surface, including some of the most ecologically intact and biodiverse forest areas, are primarily managed by Indigenous Peoples, families, smallholders and local communities.

These forests are crucial for curbing gas emissions and maintaining biodiversity.

Indigenous foods are also particularly nutritious, and their associated food systems are remarkably climate-resilient and well-adapted to the environment. 

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12/08/2021

TikTok Challenge: Cooking Without Ingredients… A Novel Way to Spread the Word about Hunger

By Mert Er*

#Invisiblemeal is putting hunger around the world in focus
 
two children are eating their meals
Bangladesh: Sadek and Ibrahim are two boys whose family lost their home in Kutupalong, the world’s biggest refugee camp, to the fire in March. Photo: WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud

(World Food Programme)* — Grab your cooking pot to start cooking a delicious meal. You need:

0lb spaghetti 
0 cloves garlic
No cup of olive oil, 
No teaspoon red pepper flakes
0 pinch of salt 
No chopped fresh parsley.

But wait – where are the ingredients themselves, you ask. Well, this is an #InvisibleMeal

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12/08/2021

‘Young people are on the frontlines of the struggle to build a better future for all’

group of young people carrying signs

Young people are on the frontlines of the struggle to build a better future for all.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dire need for the kind of transformational change they seek – and young people must be full partners in that effort.

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12/08/2021

Transforming Food Systems – Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health

Young women making flower bouquets while sitting on a field of flowers

Two young women from West Bengal learned to create bouquets using Jhuphsi, a kind of flower growing in the wild. PHOTO:© UNESCO-UNEVOC/Amitava Chandra

(United Nations)* — With the world’s population expected to increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years, it has become recognized by numerous stakeholders that simply producing a larger volume of healthier food more sustainably will not ensure human and planetary wellbeing.

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12/08/2021

Punishment of ‘Innocent Civilians’ Through Government Sanctions Must End: UN Human Rights Experts 

(UN News)* — Unilateral coercive measures by some governments are denying many people around the world the right to personal development, as well as holding back sustainable national development, four independent UN human rights experts on 11 August 2021 said.

OCHA/Gema Cortes | People in sanction-targeted countries like Venezuela sink into poverty because they cannot get the essential services they need.
12/08/2021

UN Refugee Agency Alarmed over US ‘Expulsion Flights’ to Southern Mexico 

(UN News)* — The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) raised concern on 11 August 2021 over a new policy by the United States, using public health orders linked to COVID-19, to expel some asylum-seekers and migrants by flying them to southern Mexico.

UNICEF/César Amador | Asylum seekers, including children, at the Matamoros camp awaiting their US immigration hearings in Mexico.

Calling on the Biden Administration to end the practice, UNHCR said the Government was putting families and individuals who may have urgent protection needs, at risk, by returning them to their country of origin, before needs have been assessed or addressed.

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12/08/2021

Arrests of Palestinian Rights Defenders Part of ‘Wider Crackdown’

(UN News)* — Israel must safeguard human rights activists in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and within its borders, a UN-appointed expert said on Wednesday [11 August 2021]

UN News | The Palestinian Flag in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, expressed concern over arrests, harassment, criminalization and threats targeting these individuals.

“Arrests and raids on the homes of Palestinian human right defenders form part of a wider crackdown against those defending the human rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” she said.

10/08/2021

New Climate Report Is a ‘Clarion Call’ for Urgent Action – World Meteorological Organization

IPCC report shows that climate change is rapid, widespread and intensifying

 
 
 
(WMO)* — A landmark new report by hundreds of the world’s top climate scientists is a clarion call for immediate action to slash greenhouse gases in the face of unprecedented and accelerating climate change, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on 9 August 2021 said.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis, provides the clearest and most comprehensive assessment to date of warming of the atmosphere, oceans and land.

The scale of recent changes is unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years. Many changes due to past and future greenhouse gas emissions are irreversible for centuries to millennia, especially changes in the ocean, ice sheets and global sea level, says the report.

It says that human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and the proportion of intense tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since the last IPCC Assessment Report in 2014.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described it as “a code red for humanity.”

“The internationally agreed threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius is perilously close,” said Mr. Guterres.

IPCC Working Group I report

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“The harsh reality of climate change is playing out in real time before our very eyes,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas. “It is a foretaste of what faces future generations. Some of the negative changes are already locked into the climate system but others still can be addressed if we make strong, rapid and sustained reductions in emissions now. However, greenhouse gas concentrations, especially carbon dioxide, remain at record levels,” said Prof. Taalas.

“As co-founder of the IPCC, WMO pays tribute to the remarkable achievement of the scientists involved for their dedication and tireless work. We are united in our science. Science has spoken. Now it’s time to act,” said Prof. Taalas.

WMO and the UN Environment Programme established the IPCC in 1988.

More Extreme Weather

The IPCC report projects that in the coming decades climate changes will increase in all regions. For 1.5°C of global warming, there will be increasing heat waves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold seasons as well as changes in precipitation patterns affecting flooding and drought occurrences. At 2°C of global warming, heat extremes would more often reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health, the report shows.

“The extreme heat we have witnessed in 2021 bears all the hallmarks of human-induced climate change. British Columbia in Canada recorded an incredible temperature of 49.6°C – breaking all previous records – as part of an intense and extensive heatwave in North America.

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IPCC Working Group I report

“Fires in North America stoked by heat and drought have sent plumes of smoke across the Atlantic. In recent days, we have seen devastating fires in Turkey and Greece amid an intense and long-lasting heatwave in the Mediterranean. Siberia – a region traditionally associated with permafrost – has once again seen huge wildfires after exceptional heatwaves, fires and low Arctic sea ice in 2020,” said Prof. Taalas.

The Arctic is heating more than twice as fast as the global average. Further warming will amplify permafrost thawing, and the loss of seasonal snow cover, melting of glaciers and ice sheets, and loss of summer Arctic sea ice, according to the report.

The IPCC report shows how climate change is intensifying the water cycle. This brings more intense rainfall and associated flooding, as well as more intense drought in many regions.

“Many countries this year are bearing witness to this. For example, in the month of July alone, up to two months worth of rainfall fell in two days  in Germany, whilst parts of the central Chinese province of Henan received more accumulated rainfall in the space of four days than the annual average. This resulted in hundreds of casualties and many millions of dollars in economic losses,” said Prof. Taalas.

1.5°C warming level

The report shows that the observed average rate of heating accelerated during the period 2006-2018 compared to the period 1971–2006.

IPCC Working Group I report

It provides new estimates of the chances of crossing the global warming level of 1.5°C in the next decades, and finds that unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach.

The report shows that emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are responsible for approximately 1.1°C during the last ten years of warming since 1850-1900. In 2020 the annual mean temperature was 1.2 C above the normal.

The averaged temperature estimate over the next 20 years is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming. The Paris Agreement commits to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to this level.

WMO State of the Global Climate 2020 report said the past six years were the warmest on record. And a Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update issued by WMO in May said that there is about a 40% chance of the annual average global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level in at least one of the next five years – and these odds are increasing with time.

WMO issues annual global and regional updates on the state of the climate and on climate change indicators to political leaders and decision makers. The IPCC provides more comprehensive and detailed periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies.

This IPCC report draws on major advancements in recent science – a better understanding of past warming, additional data from recent very warm years, and a more sophisticated approach to assessing the rate of future warming.

Regional emphasis

“A major advance of this report, of recent climate science, is the new information on regional climate change, both what we are seeing now and what we will see in the future with additional warming,” said Prof. Taalas.

This helps us understand how the effects of global warming play out on a regional scale, helping policymakers make more regionally informed decisions about climate, said Prof. Taalas.

The report finds that many drivers of climate impacts are projected to change in all regions of the world. Region-specific changes include intensification of tropical cyclones and extratropical storms, increases in river flooding, reductions in mean precipitation, increases in aridity and increases in fire weather.

IPCC Working Group I report

 

Even at 1.5 °C of warming, heavy precipitation and associated flooding are projected to intensify and become more frequent in most regions in Africa and Asia with a high level of confidence. More frequent and severe droughts are projected in a few regions in all continents except Asia. These changes increase at 2 °C of warming.

More detailed regional climate impact information has been published in a new AR6 WG1 Interactive Atlas (https://interactive-atlas.ipcc.ch)

“These regional details focus the minds of governments and societies globally, on what is at stake, and why we must limit warming, to minimise these impacts, and meet the Paris Agreement goals,” said Prof. Taalas.

“Besides climate mitigation it is essential to invest in climate adaptation, since the negative trend in climate will continue for the coming decades independent of our success in mitigation. One powerful way to adapt is to invest in early warning and weather observation systems. Only half of the 193 Members of WMO have state of the art weather, climate and hydrological service capabilities. We have also major gaps in observing networks in Africa, some parts of Latin America and Pacific and Caribbean Island states, which has a major negative impact on the quality of early warning services in those areas, but also globally.”

WMO is therefore working to close data gaps and to establish a Global Basic Observing Network which is sustainably funded through a Systematic Observations Financing Facility.

Notes:

A transcript of Prof. Taalas remarks is available here

The Working Group I report Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis is the first instalment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be completed in 2022.

The Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) as well as additional materials and information are available at https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/

The report was based on input from 234 authors from 66 countries (31 coordinating authors, 167 lead authors, 36 review editors plus 517 contributing authors).

*SOURCE: WMO. Go to ORIGINAL.

10/08/2021

IPCC Report: ‘Code Red’ for Human Driven Global Heating

(UN News)* — Climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying, and some trends are now irreversible, at least during the present time frame, according to the latest much-anticipated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change .(IPCC) report, released on Monday [9 August 2021].

Unsplash/Marcus Kauffman | A wildfire burns in a national park in Oregon, USA.

Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Scientists are also observing changes across the whole of Earth’s climate system; in the atmosphere, in the oceans, ice floes, and on land.

Many of these changes are unprecedented, and some of the shifts are in motion now, while some – such as continued sea level rise – are already ‘irreversible’ for centuries to millennia, ahead, the report warns.

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07/08/2021

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples – Watch, Listen, Read

Photo collage of different indigenous people
07/08/2021

Indigenous Peoples around the World Continue to Face Overwhelming Marginalization, Discrimination and Exclusion

Photo collage of different indigenous peoples

Indigenous peoples around the world continue to face overwhelming marginalization, discrimination and exclusion.

Rooted in colonialism and patriarchy, these profound disparities are sustained by a deeply held resistance to recognizing and respecting the rights, dignity, and freedoms of indigenous peoples.

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07/08/2021

Indigenous Peoples and the Call for a New Social Contract

Photo collage with indigenous people

A centuries-old marginalization and a set of different vulnerabilities expose indigenous peoples to the serious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO:UN Composition with photographs by PAHO (left), Martine Perret (center) and UNICEF Ecuador-Arcos (right)

(United Nations)* — There are over 476 million indigenous peoples living in 90 countries across the world, accounting for 6.2 per cent of the global population.

Indigenous peoples are the holders of a vast diversity of unique cultures, traditions, languages and knowledge systems.

They have a special relationship with their lands and hold diverse concepts of development based on their own worldviews and priorities.

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07/08/2021

The Disturbing Rise of the Corporate Mercenaries

Human Wrongs Watch

By Felip Daza, and Nora Miralles*

It’s not too late to rein in these unaccountable armed giants, but we need to act fast
A Tier 1 Group instructor at one of the company’s training sites in Arkansas, US | The Commercial Appeal/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alamy

6 August 2021 (openDemocracy)* — When the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated by agents of the Saudi government in 2018, it caused an international scandal. Now, it turns out that his killers were trained in the US.

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07/08/2021

Afghanistan at ‘Dangerous Turning Point’

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — With the war in Afghanistan now in “a new, deadlier, and more destructive phase”, the top UN official in the country appealed on Friday [6 August 2021] for the Security Council to act to avert a catastrophe.

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IOM/Muse Mohammed | People displaced by insecurity in Afghanistan shelter at a Camp in western Herat province.

Special Representative Deborah Lyons, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said the advance of the Taliban in recent months, now targeting major cities, is reminiscent of the Syrian and Balkan wars.

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07/08/2021

Displaced Afghans Face ‘Continued Deterioration’ in Country

IOM/Muse Mohammed | A young boy walks along the Spin Boldak-Chaman border of Afghanistan and Pakistan in February 2021.
The IOM estimates that more than 300,000 Afghans have been internally displaced by the recent intensification of the conflict and in June some 40,000 people a week fled to neighbouring Iran.

 

06/08/2021

Democracy: Enemy of the Powerful

By Robert C. Koehler | Common Wonders – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Perhaps the best possible thing we could acknowledge being is a “divided nation.” Failing to do so justifies — or at least avoids noticing — all manner of violent cruelty and repression in the name of so-called democracy, from the jailing of whistleblowers who reveal U.S. war crimes and global criminality, to the lynching of men and women of color . . . to the waging of endless war.

Oh, and so much more!

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06/08/2021

How Women Migrants in Thailand Are Stopping Trafficking and Gender-Based Violence in Their Communities

Human Wrongs Watch

Migration can be a life-changing experience, but migrant workers are especially vulnerable to human trafficking and gender-based violence. San May Khine, a social worker in Thailand who was once a migrant worker herself, is supporting her fellow women migrant workers to move past experiences of violence and build a stable and bright future in a COVID-19 world.

•	San May Khine  presents resources for coping with COVID-19 and personal protection equipment to women migrant workers  All Photos Courtesy San May Khine

San May Khine organizes a session on violence against women migrant workers, trafficking in persons and the rights of women migrant workers in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo courtesy of San May Khine

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06/08/2021

Olympian Turned Volunteer Keeps Traffic Running in Busy Lagos

Human Wrongs Watch

LAGOS, NIGERIA , Aug 5 2021 (IPS)* – Bassey Etim Ironbar is a rare example of an Olympian that transformed from an athlete to a volunteer who does menial jobs like sweeping the streets and clearing debris from open sewers.

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Nigerian Olympian, Bassey Etim Ironbar, is now working to keep Lagos streets clear of potholes. Credit: Sam Olukoya / IPS

Ironbar, a Nigerian weightlifter, was competing in the men’s Super Heavyweight event at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles when a leg injury ended his career.

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06/08/2021

Somalia: Urgent Action Needed Following ‘Alarming’ 80% Rise in Sexual Violence

Human Wrongs Watch

5 August 2021 (UN News)*An “alarming” 80 per cent increase in sexual violence in Somalia, as documented in two recent reports by the Secretary-General, has been described as “appalling” by two UN Special Representatives.

© UNICEF/Kate Holt | The UN says there has been an alarming increase in the scale and severity of sexual violence in Somalia.
 
“We urge all parties to the conflict in Somalia to immediately cease these violations”, the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, and the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten said in a statement. 
06/08/2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Equality, ‘Most Pressing Issue of Our Times’

Human Wrongs Watch

© UNICEF/Jake Verzosa | The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines can help stem the pandemic, but only if everyone, everywhere is inoculated as quickly as possible.
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Addressing the gathering in China via video messageSecretary-General António Guterres pushed for a Global Vaccine Plan to combat the global pandemic that has claimed more than four million lives. 
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05/08/2021

Defining Refugees in the Era of Climate Displacement

Human Wrongs Watch

By Dewi Zarni | BIMI at UC Berkeley – TRANSCEND Media Service*

In Bangladesh’s refugee camps, evacuation due to flooding is increasingly common. Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

July 28th marks the 70th anniversary of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. This historic document, signed by 149 nation-states, defines refugees as those with a well-founded fear of persecution if returned to their country of origin on the basis of their “race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”¹ Continue reading

05/08/2021

Protecting the Paradise of Praslin Island, Seychelles

Human Wrongs Watch

5 August 2021 (UNEP)* — For many locals and tourists, Praslin Island in Seychelles is synonymous with paradise. From the white sands of Anse Lazio, frequently voted as one of the top beaches in the world, to the endemic species of the jungle, to the colorful coral reefs in Curieuse Marine Park, Praslin is filled with both beauty and biodiversity.

praslin_turtle

Photo by Shutterstock / 04 Aug 2021

But, as events at one site on the northwest side of the island demonstrate, this paradise is precarious.

The Plaine Hollandaise-Pasquière wetlands, which cover a combined 7 hectares, have been steadily degrading due to human activities.

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05/08/2021

No Time or Forest to Lose

Illegal deforestation in the Gran Chaco forest region continues. A Greenpeace Argentina team conducted an overflight last week and discovered unlawful deforestation in the Chaco province of Argentina. .

Flyover deforested land in Chaco region of Argentina. © Alejandro Espeche / Greenpeace
Flyover deforested land in Chaco region of Argentina. © Alejandro Espeche / Greenpeace

The deforestation of 10,329 hectares was detected by comparing satellite images from November 2020 to July 2021. Greenpeace aerial images from July also show bulldozers in operation, with forest destruction recorded in at least 10 places in the province.

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05/08/2021

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference – Kylian’s Story

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05/08/2021

China Struggles with Socio-Environmental Standards in Latin America

Human Wrongs Watch

MEXICO CITY, Aug 4 2021 (IPS)* – In southeast Mexico, work on the Yucatan Solar Park, owned by the Chinese company Jinko Solar, has been halted since 2020 for lack of proper consultation with indigenous communities, after affected local residents filed an injunction against the project.
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For the construction of the suspended Yucatán Solar Park on the Yucatán peninsula in southeastern Mexico, the site was only partially cleared. Like most infrastructure projects involving Chinese companies and banks in Latin America, the plant lacks socio-environmental standards. CREDIT: Courtesy of Asamblea Múuch’ Xíinbal

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05/08/2021

Ethiopia: ‘Heartbreaking’ Devastation in Tigray

Human Wrongs Watch

4 August 2021 (UN News)*The new UN Emergency Relief Coordinator ended a six-day mission to Ethiopia with a fresh push to get badly needed food and other supplies into the embattled Tigray region.

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UNOCHA/Saviano Abreu | The UN humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths (left) meets a couple whose house was destroyed in Hawzen, Tigray.

“We need to change the circumstances that have led to the slow movement of aid – we need the conflict to stop”, Martin Griffiths, who also heads the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said on 3 August 2021 evening.

More than 5.2 million people across Tigray, amounting to more than 90 per cent of the region’s population, now require life-saving assistance, according to OCHA.

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05/08/2021

Heavy Rains and Flooding Push Yemenis to the Brink

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Heavy rains and flooding in Yemen have affected at least 28,000 people, according to initial estimates released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Wednesday [4 August 2021].

©WFP/Annabel Symington | A seven-year-old girl watches as her mother make bread in Mokha, Yemen.

In its daily noon briefing, OCHA said that humanitarian partners on the ground are conducting assessments and providing assistance, which included food, shelter and healthcare.

Meanwhile, more than half of Yemenis are facing crisis levels of food insecurity, and five million people are just one step away from famine.

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04/08/2021

New Permanent Forum to Improve the Lives of Afro-Descendants, Who Have for Centuries Suffered the Ills of Racism, Racial Discrimination and the Legacy of Enslavement

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Capping years of deliberations, the UN General Assembly on 2 August 2021 established a new platform to improve the lives of Afro-descendants, who have for centuries suffered the ills of racism, racial discrimination and the legacy of enslavement around the globe.

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UN Photo/Logan Abassi | Children living in a displaced persons camp in Haiti. (file)
04/08/2021

The Gatekeepers of Mozambique’s Community Seed Banks

Human Wrongs Watch

These food heroes are guardians of their villages’ food security

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With FAO’s technical support in identifying and storing seeds, communities in Mozambique set up seed banks to serve as a lifeline for farmers needing access to quality seeds for the next planting season or in times of emergencies. ©FAO/Telcínia Nhantumbo

(FAO)* — “Sometimes we are faced with droughts and other times we have floods,” says Anita António Candeeiro, leader of a women’s group of smallholder farmers in Chemba, Mozambique.

Aside from losing food and income sources, these disasters also often wipe out fields, making it necessary for farmers to start from scratch, requiring fresh seeds to begin anew. This basic necessity, and arguably the most important part of farming, isn’t as automatic or readily available as might be assumed.

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03/08/2021

Afghanistan’s Future Path to Be Determined by a Corridor of Power

Human Wrongs Watch

By Paul Rogers*

The expanding Taliban’s new bond with China across a narrow border is set to greatly impact the region, and further diminish human rights

Wakhan Corridor lies between China and Taliban-controlled land | Theodore Kaye / Alamy Stock Photo. All rights reserved

1 August 2021 (openDemocracy)* — Two apparently separate developments in the past few days could go a long way to determining the future of Afghanistan.

One is a meeting in the Chinese city of Tianjin between the Taliban’s political chief, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and the Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, at China’s invitation. The other is the Taliban taking control of Badakhshan Province in Afghanistan.

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03/08/2021

West Asia: Around 34% of the Food Served is Wasted

Human Wrongs Watch

UNEP West Asia launches the State of Food Waste Report

market-3860952_960_720

Manama, 02 August 2021 (UNEP)* – Improved awareness, appropriate policies and a strong regulatory framework are needed to reduce food waste in West Asia, according to a new report, The State of Food Waste in West Asia, released by the UN Environment Programme’s Regional Office for West Asia.

The report, conducted in 12 countries in the region, sets out a comprehensive view of the current situation across the region, in which around 34% of the food served is wasted, with an estimation ranging from 100 to 150kg/cap of food waste occurring at the household stage, similar to levels in Western Europe and North America.

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03/08/2021

UN Food Systems Summit – Where Multinationals Continue to Design Our Food Systems and Control Our Diets

Human Wrongs Watch

By Navdanya International | Vandana Shiva – TRANSCEND Media Service*

The Pre-Summit of the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) taking place in Rome, as a preparative stage to the New York September Summit, is, as expected, going in the wrong direction.

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As many civil society members, as well as past and current Rapporteurs on the Right to Food, have denounced, this summit is yet another instrument to reinforce corporate control over food and agriculture, while attempting to restrain civil society’s role in global food governance. Continue reading

03/08/2021

After Vilifying the UN, US Returns to the World Body

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 2 2021 (IPS)* – Ed Koch, a sharp-tongued Mayor of New York city (1978-89), once stopped short of using a four-letter word to denounce the United Nations.

After-Vilifying_

Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Instead, he opted for a five-letter word dismissing the UN as a “sewer” relegating it to the lower depths of degradation.

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03/08/2021

UN: Two Empires Crumbling – and Then What?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Washington:  There is History in the UN 29 Nov 2012 vote: 138 YES to giving Palestine the UN status as “nonmember observer state”, only 9 NO, and 41 abstentions.

Johan Galtung.

Johan Galtung

Beyond Middle East politics the vote also mirrors the limits to the US global, and the Israeli regional empires: 138 defy their grip and favor change, 41+9=50 NOT–for various reasons. A crucial vote on a crucial issue is a crucial test.  Who want what?

First: the OIC, Muslim, Arab: none yielding to USA-Israel in spite of the efforts against the Arab awakening. Israel is alone in the region: Greece-Turkey-Cyprus were all YES.

Next: Saraoui (Sahrawi or Saharawi), Western Sahara building on Spain-Morocco YES, and Kashmir on India-Pakistan YES.

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03/08/2021

“Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet” – World Breastfeeding Week

Human Wrongs Watch

(WHO)* — The theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”. In line with this theme, WHO and UNICEF are calling on governments to protect and promote women’s access to skilled breastfeeding counselling, a critical component of breastfeeding support.

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Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life. It delivers health, nutritional and emotional benefits to both children and mothers. And it forms part of a sustainable food system.

But while breastfeeding is a natural process, it is not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding.

Skilled counselling services can ensure that mothers and families receive this support, along with the information, the advice, and the reassurance they need to nourish their babies optimally.

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03/08/2021

Breastfeeding Central to Eliminating Child Malnutrition

Human Wrongs Watch

2 August 2021 (UN News)*Two senior UN officials are urging Governments to make breastfeeding-friendly environments a priority, in line with commitments made earlier this year to accelerate global progress on malnutrition.

© UNICEF/Vinay Panjwani | A woman breastfeeds her baby in a labour room in India shortly after giving birth.
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), issued the reminder in a joint statement for World Breastfeeding Week, which runs through 7 August.

01/08/2021

“Now, my daughter is guaranteed at least a meal a day”

Human Wrongs Watch

 By Alexis Masciarelli*

The World Food Programme launched its school meals programme in Venezuela, carrying out the first distributions of take-home rations in the state of Falcon.

Kim eats lunch at home in La Vela de Coro, Venezuela
Kim wants to become a ballet dancer. Photo: WFP/Alexis Masciarelli

Sitting in the kitchen, Kim watches attentively as her mother empties the large blue bag they just went to collect at her school. “One, two, three, four. That’s lentils. One, two, three, four, five, six… That’s rice!”, counts the 5-year-old girl pointing at the food piling up on the table.

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01/08/2021

Coral Reefs Are Dying. Why?

By Paris John Mavrokefalos*

Coral reefs require a clean water environment to survive
Coral reefs are vulnerable to environmental changes
Coral reefs are vulnerable to environmental changes | Image from Wall Street International.

Coral reefs are one of the most striking maritime populations. Large underwater forums or structures consisting in principle of skeletal structures of colonial marine invertebrates.

But certain types of corals are flexible organisms that create some of the world’s most diversified ecosystems.

Intelligently resemble or mimic plants and trees and include species such as sea fans and the sea, but are vulnerable to environmental changes.

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01/08/2021

HUFUD Peace & Human Rights Award – Essay Competition

Human Wrongs Watch

By Alberto Portugheis | HUFUD – TRANSCEND Media Service*

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Submissions Deadline: 30 September 2021

The recipient of the £1000 HUFUD Peace Award will be announced on 30 November 2021.

True to its name, HUFUD-Humanity United for Universal Demilitarisation’s message remains constant. We must achieve what we propose: to live in a NON-MILITARISED planet.

We are looking for bright and imaginative Peace Seekers to come up with innovative plans for the planet to be free of Armed Forces – that is, free of wars, politically concocted as well as those of a private initiative.

The plans would advise all governments how to end the Arms Industry, meaning the end of NATO, of the United Nations Security Council, and of all armies in the world.

The proposals should explain why the end of Militarism is the only possible way to prevent governments from abusing the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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01/08/2021

David Cameron Met Vaccines Minister Before Firm He Advises Won Health Contracts

Human Wrongs Watch

By Martin Williams*

Exclusive: Ex-PM met the vaccines minister to discuss genome sequencing – two months before the genome firm he advises won contracts worth £870,000

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David Cameron announces his resignation as Prime Minister in the wake of the UK vote on EU membership. | Tom Evans  |  OGL 3

30 July 2021 (openDemocracy)* — David Cameron met with the UK’s vaccine minister less than two months before a private health firm, which pays him for his advice, won £870,000-worth of public contracts.

The UK arm of Illumina Inc. was awarded two contracts relating to genome sequencing by Public Health England in late April.

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01/08/2021

Famine Relief Blocked by Bullets, Red tape and Lack of Funding – Acute Food Insecurity Reaches New Highs

Conflict, COVID-19, climate crisis likely to drive higher levels of acute food insecurity in 23 hunger hotspots – new report
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WFP/Tsiory Andriantsoarana

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ROME (WFP)* – Efforts to fight a global surge in acute food insecurity are being stymied in several countries by fighting and blockades that cut off life-saving aid to families on the brink of famine, warn the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) in a new report issued on .

Bureaucratic obstacles as well as a lack of funding also hamper the two UN agencies’ efforts to provide emergency food assistance and enable farmers to plant at scale and at the right time.

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31/07/2021

Unchecked Spyware Industry Enables Abuses

Human Wrongs Watch

By Human Rights Watch*

Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

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31/07/2021

Floods Bring New Misery for Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh Camps

Human Wrongs Watch

By Hannah Macdonald and Ehsanul Hoque in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh*

Thousands of people have been made homeless by flooding after monsoon rains inundated refugee sites in southern Bangladesh.   |  Español   |  Français

Bangladesh. Deadly floods and landslides hit Rohingya camps

Refugee volunteers are working day and night in heavy rain to rescue refugees stranded due to severe flooding in the camps. © UNHCR/BDRCS

30 July 2021  (UNHCR)* — Heavy monsoon rains had been falling incessantly for days when Meher Khatun, 60, noticed water starting to come into the bamboo and tarpaulin shelter she shares with her son, daughter-in-law and grandchild in a refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar District.

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31/07/2021

When Branded as a Born Criminal: The Plight of India’s De-Notified Tribes

Human Wrongs Watch

NEW DELHI, India, Jul 30 2021 (IPS)* – Branded as being born ‘criminal’ 150 years ago under British colonial rule, De-Notified Tribes (DNTs) continue to bear the brunt of the various laws that stigmatised them since 1871.

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A girl from the Nat community performing – Credit: Department for Social Justice

Dakxin Chhara, the award-winning filmmaker and DNT activist, shared how the DNT community in India continues living an abysmal existence because of a centuries-old criminality stigma.

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