Archive for ‘Others-USA-Europe-etc.’

23/07/2016

Germany’s Energy Transition: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Human Wrongs Watch

COLOGNE, Germany, 19 July 2016 (IPS) – Immerath, 90 km away from the German city of Cologne, has become a ghost town. The local church bells no longer ring and no children are seen in the streets riding their bicycles. Its former residents have even carried off their dead from its cemetery.
In Germany, wind and solar energy coexist with energy generated by burning fossil fuels. A wind farm next to one of the electric power plants fired by lignite in the Western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Credit: Emilio Godoy/IPS

In Germany, wind and solar energy coexist with energy generated by burning fossil fuels. A wind farm next to one of the electric power plants fired by lignite in the Western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Credit: Emilio Godoy/IPS

 

Expansion of Garzweiler, an open-pit lignite mine, has led to the town’s remaining residents being relocated to New Immerath, several kilometres away from the original town site, in North Rhine-Westphalia, whose biggest city is Cologne.

23/07/2016

Over 26,000 People Flee South Sudan; Influx Sets Single-Day Record

Human Wrongs Watch

Some 26,500 South Sudanese, mostly women and children, have crossed into Uganda since fighting between rival forces erupted in and around the capital, Juba, on 7 July, the United Nations refugee agency on 22 July 2016 reported.

Refugees from South Sudan are transported from Elego town to the Numanzi Transit Center where meals and temporary accommodation are provided by UNHCR in Adjumani, northern Uganda. Photo: UNHCR/Will Swanson

Yesterday alone [21 July], an estimated 8,337 refugees crossed into Uganda, setting a single-day record since the influx began in 2016.

“Thousands of people continue to flee uncertainty and fighting in South Sudan,” a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Andreas Needham, told reporters in Geneva, adding that more than 90 per cent of those are women and children.

23/07/2016

El Niño: 6.5 Million People Affected by Severe Drought in Malawi

Human Wrongs Watch

20 July 2016 – The United Nations food relief agency has launched what is set to become the largest ever emergency food relief operation in Malawi, where an unprecedented El Niño-related drought has left nearly 40 per cent of the population in need of emergency assistance.

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A mother carries her daughter as they evacuate from Typhoon Koppu-hit town of Laur, Philippines, on 19 October 2015. The ongoing El Niño pattern is likely to be one of the strongest since 1998 and will continue into early 2016. Photo: UNICEF/Jeoffrey Maitem

“I’ve talked with women in rural areas who told me they have enough food for just a few more weeks, after which they will have nothing,” said Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), who today concluded a three-day visit to the country.

23/07/2016

S. Africa/El Niño: ‘People Are Carting Water from Muddy Puddles on Dirt Road’

Human Wrongs Watch

Wrapping up a visit to southern Africa, the United Nations deputy humanitarian chief on 22 July 2016 called for urgent action to assist millions of people across the region where local coping capacities have been impacted by the worst El Niño-induced drought in 35 years.

Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang visits the Grand Sud region of Madagascar and takes a taste of the riz and maiz cooked for those in need. Photo: OCHA/ Laila Bourhil

“In Anjampaly, Southern Madagascar, people are carting water from muddy puddles on the dirt road, a water source shared with animals,” said Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang. “This is an alarming health issue: clean water is essential to combat the high rates of malnutrition,” she stressed.

20/07/2016

Forests: To Farm or Not to Farm? That’s the Question!

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, 19 July 2016 (IPS) – The dilemma is critical: on the one hand, there is an absolute need to produce more food for the world’s steadily growing population; on the other, there is pressing urgency to halt -and further revert- the increasing trend to deplete the forests, which are as necessary for human survival as it is for ensuring their dietary needs.

Credit: FAO

Credit: FAO

So what is at stake ?

Forests play a major role in sustainable agricultural development through a host of channels, including: water cycle, soil conservation, carbon sequestration, natural pest control, influencing local climates and providing habitat protection for pollinators and other species.

But agriculture accounts for the lion’s share of the conversion of forests.

20/07/2016

‘What Will Become of Us’ – Voices from around the World on Drought and El Niño

Human Wrongs Watch

By OXFAM International*

About 60 million people across Southern Africa and the Horn, Central America, and the Pacific face worsening hunger and poverty due to droughts and crop failures in 2014/5 that have been exacerbated by the El Niño weather system in 2015/6. This number is likely to rise, OXFAM International reports.

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Lule Abrahn (50 years) with her 6 year-old son. Harisso Internally displaced person (IDP) camp. Siti Zone. Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Oxfam

An OXFAM International short report** –authored Debbie Hillier — gives a voice to some of the people that Oxfam is working with in Ethiopia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, El Salvador and Papua New Guinea.

20/07/2016

El Niño Response Must Be Ramped Up Amid Preparedness for La Niña – UN

Human Wrongs Watch

Failure to prepare for and adapt to the ‘new normal’ of increasing climate-linked emergencies such as El Niño could put global development targets at risk and deepen widespread human suffering in areas already hard hit by floods and droughts, top UN officials on 6 July 2016 said in Rome.

Farmers in Ethiopia. The Horn of Africa is one of the areas hardest hit by El Niño. Photo: FAO/Tamiru Legesse

Calling for governments and the international community to ramp up efforts to strengthen resilience and safeguard livelihoods in the wake of El Niño’s devastating effects, the heads of the three Rome-based UN agencies, along with the newly-appointed UN Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate, warned that more than 60 million people worldwide, about 40 million in East and Southern Africa alone, are projected to be food insecure due to the impact of the El Niño climate event.

20/07/2016

Lives of Over 60 Million People, Turned Upside Down by El Niño 

Human Wrongs Watch

The lives and livelihoods of more than 60 millions people around the world have been turned upside down by the extreme weather events linked to the El Niño phenomenon, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 19 July 2016 said, calling for a scaled-up, unprecedented response that goes beyond humanitarian action.

Chad: Safety and shelter for Chadians fleeing CAR. Photo: OCHA CERF

“Extreme weather events reverse development gains. People and communities cannot escape poverty or banish hunger if their resources are wiped out by floods, storms or droughts every few years,” the Secretary-General said at a high-level event at the UN Headquarters in New York on Responding to the Impacts of and Mitigating Recurring Climate Risks, organized by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

18/07/2016

‘Monster’ El Niño Subsides, ‘Monster’ La Niña Hitting Soon

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, 18 July, 2016 (IPS) – As if human-made armed conflicts, wickedness, rights abuse, gender violence, cruel inequality and climate catastrophes were not enough, now the saying “God Always Forgives, Men Sometimes, Nature Never” appear to be more true than ever. See what happens.

West Hararghe region, Ethiopia, December 2015. Some 10.2 million people are food insecure amidst one of the worst droughts to hit Ethiopia in decades. Photo credit: WFP/Stephanie Savariaud

West Hararghe region, Ethiopia, December 2015. Some 10.2 million people are food insecure amidst one of the worst droughts to hit Ethiopia in decades. Photo credit: WFP/Stephanie Savariaud

Now that the 2015-2016 El Niño –one of the strongest on record– has subsided, La Niña – El Niño’s ‘counterpart’– could strike soon, further exacerbating a severe humanitarian crisis that is affecting millions of people in the most vulnerable communities in tens of countries worldwide, especially in Africa and Asia Pacific.

17/07/2016

Biodiversity, GMOs, Gene Drives and the Militarised Mind

Human Wrongs Watch

By Dr Vandana Shiva*

11 July 2016 – TRANSCEND Media Service – A recent report from the National Academy of Science of The United States, titled Gene Drives on the Horizon : Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values”, warns:

VANDANA shiva

“One possible goal of release of a gene-drive modified organism is to cause the extinction of the target species or a drastic reduction in its abundance.”

Gene Drives have been called “mutagenic chain reactions”, and are to the biological world what chain reactions are to the nuclear world. The Guardian describes Gene Drives as the “gene bomb”.

Kevin Esvelt of MIT exclaims “a release anywhere is likely to be a release everywhere”, and asks “Do you really have the right to run an experiment where if you screw up, it affects the whole world?”

The NAS report cites the case of wiping out amaranth as an example of “potential benefit”. Yet, the “magical technology” of Gene Drives remains a Ghost, or the Department of Defence of the United States Government’s secret “weapon” to continue its War on Amaranthus Culturis.

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