Archive for June 24th, 2014

24/06/2014

Plastic Waste Causes $13 Billion in Annual Damage to Marine Ecosystems — UN

Human Wrongs Watch

23 June 2014 – Concern is growing over widespread plastic waste that is threatening marine life – with conservative yearly estimates of $13 billion in financial damage to marine ecosystems, according to two reports issued at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly.*

Plastic bottles and garbage waste from a village in Timor-Leste wash on the shores of a river and then spill into the sea. UN Photo/Martine Perret

Plastic bottles and garbage waste from a village in Timor-Leste wash on the shores of a river and then spill into the sea. UN Photo/Martine Perret

“Plastic contamination threatens marine life, tourism, fisheries and businesses,” underscores the eleventh edition of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Year Book, which updates 10 issues previously highlighted over the past decade and provides mitigation steps for each.

“Plastics undoubtedly play a crucial role in modern life, but the environmental impacts of the way we use them cannot be ignored,” added Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director.

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24/06/2014

Millions of Widows Face Abuse, Poverty, Homelessness, Rape, Cleansing, Burning…

Human Wrongs Watch

No woman should lose her status, livelihood or property when her husband dies, yet millions of widows in our world face persistent abuse, discrimination, disinheritance and destitution stressed United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 23 June 2014 in his message for this year’s International Widows’ Day.*

Ivorian widows run a small restaurant in Yopougon with the help of the non-governmental organization, Les Compagnes de Ruth. UN Photo/Ky Chung

Ivorian widows run a small restaurant in Yopougon with the help of the non-governmental organization, Les Compagnes de Ruth. UN Photo/Ky Chung

In his message, the Secretary-General expressed his concerns about the number of widows subjected to harmful practices, including “widow cleansing”, often involving the rape, and the increase in the widow’s risk of HIV infection, as well as “widow burning”.

Ban underscored that such violent acts could also negatively affect the lives of their children. He has stressed the need for “stronger action to empower women, promote gender equality and end all forms of violence against women.”

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24/06/2014

Forests Provide Jobs, Energy, Nutritious Foods and Ecosystem Services – Do Not Kill Them!

Human Wrongs Watch

23 June 2014 – Across the world, forests provide employment, energy, nutritious foods and a wide range of other goods and ecosystem services with tremendous potential to contribute to sustainable development and a greener economy, according to the United Nations agency report The State of the World’s Forests (SOFO).*

Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark

Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark

“This 2014 edition of SOFO focuses on the socioeconomic benefits derived from forests. It is impressive to see how forests contribute to basic needs and rural livelihoods. They are also a carbon sink, and preserve biodiversity,” said José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

However, the report finds that these socioeconomic benefits are rarely fully recognized in national policies – despite their enormous potential to contribute to their vital role in providing local communities with food, energy and shelter.

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