CARBON REDUCTION: INDONESIA

September 29, 2011 on 2:29 pm | In Development, Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, Third World | Comments Off

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INDONESIA’S FINANCES, WATER SUPPLIES AND APES SET

TO BENEFIT FROM UN GREEN PLAN

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New York, Sep 28 2011

INDONESIA’S FINANCES, WATER SUPPLIES AND APES SET TO BENEFIT FROM UN GREEN PLAN

Wed, 28 Sep 2011

Conserving key forests in Indonesia could generate billions of dollars in revenue, up to three times more than felling them for palm oil plantations, under a United Nations carbon reduction plan that would also secure water supplies and protect critically endangered orangutan apes, according to a “http://www.orangutanreport.un-grasp.org/ report issued today.

Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), governments are negotiating a mechanism to provide payments for reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and other activities (REDD+), creating incentives for developing countries to cut global warming gasses from forested lands by putting a financial value for the carbon stored in forests.

Overall forest degradation through agricultural expansion, conversion to pastureland, infrastructure development, destructive logging and fires currently account for nearly 18 per cent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire global transport sector and second only to the energy sector.

Many coastal peat-rich forests in Sumatra, where dense populations of the last 6,600 Sumatran orangutans survive, may be worth up to $22,000 a hectare at current carbon prices, compared with less than $7,400 a hectare when cleared for palm oil plantations, according to the report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) under its Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), which Indonesia requested.

“Prioritizing investments in sustainable forestry including REDD+ projects can, as this report demonstrates, deliver multiple Green Economy benefits and not just in respect to climate, orangutan conservation and employment in natural resource management,” UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner “http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2653&ArticleID=8877&l=en said.

He noted that here had been a reported 50 per cent decline in water discharges in as many as 80 per cent of rivers due to deforestation in the Aceh and North Sumatra regions, with serious implications for agriculture and food security including rice production and human health.

The report recommends designating new forested areas for REDD+, taking into account the multiple benefits for carbon storage, orangutan habitat conservation and the protection of ecosystem services, while expanding palm oil plantations on land with low current use value and avoiding agricultural and timber concessions where conservation value is high.

The forested peatlands of Sumatra are among the most efficient carbon stores of any terrestrial ecosystem. In the last two decades, 380,000 hectares of Sumatran forests were lost to illegal logging each year, with an annual loss in carbon value estimated at more than $1 billion.

Nearly half of Sumatra’s forests disappeared between 1985 and 2007 and in the last decade, close to 80 per cent of the deforestation in the peatlands was driven by the expansion of oil palm plantations, while over 20 per cent was due to other uses, such as candlenut or coffee production.

Fewer than 6,600 Sumatran orangutans exist in the wild today, down from an estimated 85,000 in 1900, a 92 per cent drop. If this rate were to continue, the Sumatran orangutan could become the first of the great apes living today to go extinct in the wild, with local populations in parts of Sumatra disappearing as early as 2015.

Sep 28 2011

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FUTURE GLOBALIZATION

September 29, 2011 on 1:42 pm | In China, Development, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, Third World, World-System | Comments Off

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GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS MUST BE TACKLED THROUGH COOPERATION,

PORTUGAL TELLS UN

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Mon, 26 Sep 2011

New York, Sep 26 2011

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS MUST BE TACKLED THROUGH COOPERATION,PORTUGAL TELLS UN

Portugal has called at the United Nations for concerted efforts to tackle global financial instability and create conditions for economic growth and jobs, stressing the need to correct inequalities and strengthen international monetary security.

“The economic and financial crisis, which started in the last decade, underscores that interdependence is a reality at the global level,” “http://gadebate.un.org/66/portugal said Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho when he addressed the annual general debate of the General Assembly on Saturday.

“Overcoming this crisis in a sustainable and structured way is a challenge that we must meet collectively.”

He urged governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society to cooperate to restore public and corporate confidence in the financial and economic systems.

Portugal had, during the drafting of the Secretary-General’s Report on Global Economic Government, suggested greater coordination between the United Nations, the Group of 20 (G20) economies and relevant regional blocs, he noted.

“We did so because we consider that it is indispensable to promote the involvement of emerging economies, the private sector and civil society, enhancing their respective role in global economic governance.”

Mr. Coelho also had a “http://www.un.org/apps/sg/offthecuff.asp?nid=2008 tête-à-tête with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the General Assembly debate on Saturday, during which they exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. Mr. Ban expressed his appreciation of Portugal’s continued efforts towards Guinea-Bissau’s stabilization process, and Lisbon’s contribution to UN peacekeeping in Timor-Leste.

Spain, for its part, pointed out that the financial crisis should not be an excuse for States to shirk their international financial obligations, including commitments in official development aid (ODA).

“Spain believed in supporting the development of innovative financing instruments,” the country’s Foreign Minister, Trinidad Jiménez, “http://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/66/ES_en.pdf told the General Assembly.

“That is to say, the development of those mechanisms through which we should be able to mobilize mid- and long-term additional financial resources, in a stable and predictable manner, as well as complementary to official development aid, which should be maintained in any case.”

At a separate “http://www.un.org/apps/sg/offthecuff.asp?nid=1994 meeting with Mr. Ban on Friday, Ms. Jiménez and the UN chief exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, including Western Sahara. The Secretary-General expressed his appreciation for Spain’s assistance in training of Afghanistan’s security forces, and for its support to the Alliance of Civilizations, an initiative launched in 2005 by Spain and Turkey under UN auspices to promote better cross-cultural relations worldwide.

Luxembourg “http://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/66/LU_en.pdf stated that sustainable development informs its development cooperation policy, and pledged to do its best to ensure the success of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) scheduled to take place in Brazil next year.

“It is my pleasure to be able to say that Luxembourg has managed to maintain, and even increase its effort in terms of official development assistance, which in 2010 reached 1.09 per cent of our gross national income,” said Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

Sep 26 2011

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G-20 SHOULD PLAY BIGGER ROLE IN GLOBAL ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE,

CHINA TELLS UN DEBATE

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Mon, 26 Sep 2011

New York, Sep 26 2011

G-20 SHOULD PLAY BIGGER ROLE IN GLOBAL ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE,CHINA TELLS UN DEBATE

The Group of 20, the recently established bloc of major industrialized and developed economies, should have a greater role in global economic affairs, China’s Foreign Minister “http://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/66/CN_en.pdf said today as he called on United Nations Member States to work more closely together to pursue development.

Yang Jiechi told the General Assembly’s annual general debate that China supported the transition of the so-called G-20 “from a short-term crisis response mechanism to a long-term mechanism of economic governance.”

Mr. Yang said the G-20 should play a bigger role in not only global economic governance, but in promoting current efforts to revive and expand the world economy.

“The underlying impact of the international financial crisis has yet to dissipate, and economic recovery is still fragile and uneven,” he warned. “We should intensify consultation and coordination and send a strong message of solidarity and win-win cooperation so as to strengthen international confidence in global recovery and growth.”

Given the scale of the current economic challenges, “we should work as a team” to pursue common development, he added, citing the need to build “sound momentum” for economic recovery, lay the political foundations for cooperative development, promote a security environment conducive to stability and development, and foster balanced development between rich and poor countries.

Mr. Yang also called on countries to use the world’s diversity as a positive factor to learn from each other, and not “as an excuse for the big to bully the small or the rich to ride roughshod over the poor in international relations.

“We should respect the right of each country to pursue the development path of its choice and respect diversity of civilizations. And we should seek common progress by drawing on each other’s strength with an open and inclusive mind and in a spirit of seeking common ground while reserving differences.”

The biggest imbalance in the global economy, he noted, is the uneven development between the so-called South and North.

“Unless underdeveloped countries shake off poverty and grow their economy, there can be no common prosperity of the world.”

Mr. Yang called on affluent nations to honour commitments on official development assistance (ODA), liberalize markets and reduce or cancel debts.

“Developing countries, on their part, should explore growth models conducive to development and poverty alleviation in order to achieve development at a higher level.”

Sep 26 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

GLOBAL FINANCIAL REFORM URGENTLY NEEDED, ARGENTINA SAYS AT

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

New York, Sep 21 2011

In the face of the world financial crisis, Argentina called from the podium of the United Nations today for true economic reform to regulate run-away speculation and other factors undermining market stability, global development and well-being.

“Speculation apparently has no brakes and can move from one place to another and from one country or region to another, affecting currencies, economies and also the daily life of citizens, destroying jobs, depriving them of a worth education and of health care,” Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner “http://gadebate.un.org/66/argentina told the General Assembly on the opening day of its annual general debate.

“It is crucial that this be understood, because today it might be speculation on food, yesterday it was on oil, and tomorrow it could be on mints if that proves profitable and provides a better market position to those capital flows that are transferred from one end of the world to the other without any type of control or regulation,” she said.

“Regrettably we continue in the same position because beyond what I would call totally cosmetic changes no serious steps have been taken towards the regulation that is required.”

At the same time Ms. Kirchner called for fundamental Security Council reform, expanding its current 15-State membership, but not by increasing the number of permanent members. That category should be eliminated, she said, along with the right to veto now held by the five permanent members – the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia and the United States.

The veto was necessary at the UN’s foundation during the Cold War when there was a bipolar world aligned either with the US or the former Soviet Union, but now it no longer defends security and stability and is used for those members’ national interests, she said.

She urged the admission of Palestine as a full UN Member State and called on the UK to negotiate with Argentina, as demanded by UN resolutions, on the future of the UK-ruled Falklands Islands (Malvinas), saying that fishing and offshore oil resources were being illegally appropriated.

Returning to a theme that her country has raised every year since 2003, Ms. Kirchner called on Iran to hand over Iranians implicated by Argentine judicial authorities in the blowing up of the Israeli embassy and a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994 respectively.

She noted that the Iranian foreign ministry in July voiced its intention to “cooperate and begin a constructive dialogue,” an offer she said Argentina would take up. But, she added, “although this may show a change of attitude on the part of the (Iranian) Government, it does not by itself constitute satisfaction of our demands which, as I have said with all clarity, are those of justice.”

Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo Mendez echoed Ms. Kirchner’s calls for financial reforms and urged the UN to establish measures that allow States to implement policies enabling them to reduce inequalities in their own countries, as well between rich and poor countries.

He stressed that inequality is growth-stifling and called on the Assembly to design and construct a new financial model that can adequately respond to cyclical economic crises.

“Solidarity is not only a moral imperative, it is a necessary reality to achieve progress and to avoid and combat the dark consequences if we ignore it: violence and delinquency,” Mr. Lugo said, emphasizing that inequality would not be reduced without cooperation from all states

He also voiced opposition to the United States’ 50-year economic embargo against Cuba.

Sep 21 2011

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DEVELOPING COUNTRIES CAN LEAD WORLD IN TACKLING GLOBAL

CHALLENGES, GUYANA TELLS UN

New York, Sep 22 2011

Developing countries, with United Nations help, can lead the world in forging the changes needed to tackle the four major challenges facing the globe – on food, energy, resources and climate – with an integrated approach to all four, Guyana has told the General Assembly.

“The United Nations can provide the platform for making the changes that are needed,” Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo “http://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/66/GY_en.pdf said yesterday, stressing that the world has enough land and ingenuity to feed itself, enough energy to power future prosperity, and sufficient resources for economic growth as well as the knowledge of what needs to be done to avert climate change.

Optimizing the response to these inter-linked challenges is not some abstraction but “an essential, specific call to action that has the potential to be the key global breakthrough of our time,” changing the “global paradigm of development,” he added.

“The food we need, the energy we generate, the minerals and other commodities that catalyze economic growth, and the forests and other land that can be drivers of climate solutions, these are largely in the developing world, and with the right international action, the developing world can lead the world in the creation of the transformational shift we need to see for people across our planet to be truly healthy and secure.”

He called for moving beyond the “global insanity” of the current response to potentially catastrophic climate change, and said the “anaemic delivery” on financial pledges for mitigating climate change “is leading to a disastrous breakdown in trust between the developed and developing world.

On other matters Mr. Jagdeo supported the right of the Palestinians to full statehood, and called for speedy Security Council reform with the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership and enhanced representation for developing countries, noting that neither Africa with 54 Member States, nor Latin America and the Caribbean region with 33, currently have a permanent seat.

Sep 22 2011

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JAPAN BILATERAL OFFSET CREDIT MECHANISMS: CLIMATE CHANGE

June 23, 2011 on 6:42 am | In Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, Japan | Comments Off

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New Mechanisms Information Platform E-mail Newsletter

-Promoting New Market Mechanisms for Climate Change Mitigation-

E-mail Newsletter service started regarding Japan’s new initiative on Bilateral Offset Credit Mechanisms (BOCM)‏

Shiho Segawa (segawa@oecc.or.jp)

Thu 6/23/11

New Mechanisms Information Platform is an outreach programme newly launched in March 2011, by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan (MOEJ), which provides official information on Japan’s new initiatives on Bilateral Offset Credit Mechanisms(BOCM) to promote climate change mitigation actions and sustainable development under the partnership between developing countries and Japan, through development and transfer of low carbon technologies.

We are pleased to inform you that New Mechanisms Information Platform started issuing “New Mechanisms Information Platform E-mail Newsletter”(distributed approximately once a month). If you wish to receive the newsletter, please fill in the form below.

http://mmechanisms.org/e/mailmagazine.html

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

With best regards,

Shiho Segawa (Ms.)

New Mechanisms Information Platform/

Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center, Japan (OECC)

Shibakoen Annex 7th floor,

3-1-8 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan

Phone: +81-3-5472-0144 Fax: +81-3-5472-0145

Email: info@mmechanisms.org/ segawa@oecc.or.jp

URL: http://mmechanisms.org/e/index.html

New Mechanisms Information Platform E-mail Newsletter

-Promoting New Market Mechanisms for Climate Change Mitigation-

E-mail Newsletter service started regarding Japan’s new initiative on Bilateral Offset Credit Mechanisms (BOCM)‏

Shiho Segawa (segawa@oecc.or.jp)

Thu 6/23/11

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GREEN GROWTH

June 22, 2011 on 5:09 pm | In Development, Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History | Comments Off

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GREEN GROWTH CRITICAL TO ASIA-PACIFIC FOOD AND ENERGY SECURITY, UN SAYS

unnews@un.org

New York, Jun 20 2011

GREEN GROWTH CRITICAL TO ASIA-PACIFIC FOOD AND ENERGY SECURITY, UN SAYS

Mon, 20 Jun 2011

Asia-Pacific countries can cushion themselves against food and fuel price shocks and natural disasters by more efficient use of resources and energy, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said today. The current “energy, resource and carbon-intensive” development pattern must give way to green growth to reduce wasteful use of resources and energy, Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, “http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2011/jun/g23.asp told 800 people from 25 countries attending the Global Green Growth Summit in Seoul, organized by the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Dr. Heyzer said green growth was particularly important at a time when the Asia-Pacific region faces triple threats from recurring climate-related natural disasters and soaring food and fuel prices. “Green growth remains an essential and urgent task for enhancing the energy and food security of each country (in the Asia-Pacific region),” she said.

Latest estimates indicate that rising food and oil prices can keep an additional 42 million people in the region in poverty in 2011, according to ESCAP. The region is also the world’s most vulnerable to natural disasters, with its people four times more likely to be affected by nature’s wrath than those in Africa and 25 times more likely than those in Europe or North America, ESCAP said. “Green growth, as one of the strategies to achieve sustainable development by improving the efficiency of the way we use our energy, resources, and in particular carbon, is no longer only an ecological conditionality but also an imperative to improve resilience of our economy against energy, food and resource price volatility,” Dr. Heyzer said.

“For Asia and the Pacific, a region whose efficiency in using energy and resources still remains low, improving the efficiency of our production and consumption will provide us with a new engine of growth,” the ESCAP chief said. Representatives of some 52 countries endorsed an initiative on environmentally sustainable economic growth in Seoul in 2005.

Jun 20 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

CITIES ARE KEY TO GLOBAL ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHALLENGES, BAN TELLS US MAYORS

New York, Jun 20 2011

CITIES ARE KEY TO GLOBAL ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHALLENGES, BAN TELLS US MAYORS

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on United States mayors to help in the worldwide fight against climate change and other energy challenges. http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=5359 Speaking to a meeting of the US Conference of Mayors in Baltimore yesterday, Mr. Ban said: “The world needs the mayors of the United States to do their part to address our energy and climate change challenges.” Mr. Ban told the representatives of some 1,200 American cities with a population exceeding 30,000: “Your efforts can have an outsize impact.”

“You know the potential catastrophe that lies in store if present trends continue: extreme weather, market disruptions, inundated coastlines,” he said. “You also know the role of cities in climate change – for good and ill alike.” Cities consume more than two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for roughly the same percentage of global carbon dioxide emissions, he said.

Lauding American cities for “already making great advances towards energy efficiency in transit, infrastructure and street lights” and producing, clean, renewable energy, he said: “The smart money is on smart cities – resilient, energy efficient, poised to profit from new, clean, green innovations that will redefine the urban landscape of 21st century.” “You have taken this challenge to heart, and you are finding it good for job creation and good for the health and happiness of your citizens,” he said. “The upgrades and efforts you are making save money and create well-paying local jobs. And they revitalize the economies of the cities where they are implemented.” These initiatives forge new industries and claim market share,” he said. “I am sure that your cities have what it takes to join this movement, and stay out front instead of having to play catch-up.”

“For me the message is clear: the road to future peace and progress runs through the world’s cities and towns,” he said.

Jun 20 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

INVESTING IN FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY BRINGS RESULTS, GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEARS

New York, Jun 14 2011

Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro today stressed the need to protect development gains achieved so far despite the fiscal austerity measures undertaken in the wake of the global financial crisis, saying great social benefits arise from investing in poverty eradication programmes.

“In such a climate, we need to scale up those interventions that have the best chance to generate progress across the “http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/bkgd.shtml MDGs [Millennium Development Goals],” said Ms. Migiro in an “http://www.un.org/apps/dsg/dsgstats.asp?nid=280 address to the General Assembly’s Development Dialogue, taking place at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

“We must look for multiplier effects wherever we can. And none is more dramatic, none is more proven, than investments in the health of women and children,” she said. The eight MDGs – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and leading development institutions. They have galvanized global efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest people. Underlining the importance of reducing the levels of maternal, newborn and child mortality, Ms. Migiro noted said that healthy women delivered and brought up healthy children who then attended school and became part of a healthy workforce that created prosperous societies.

“We can take heart from gains on the health MDGs. Last year, countries and a broad range of partners pledged more than $40 billion for the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. At its essence, the strategy is about taking what we know works for women and children, and bringing those efforts to scale,” she added. She said the strategy has a special focus on information that requires that solid statistics be provided on health-related topics such as births, deaths and causes of death to make it possible to analyse policy across the MDGs. Not enough resources have, however, been invested on the information aspect of the Strategy, Ms. Migiro added.

Stronger accountability is another key feature of the strategy, she said. “We have a framework that will tell us where the money is coming from, where it is going, and how effectively it is being spent. This ability to track resources and results is critical for ensuring that all partners deliver on their commitments, and that we are achieving tangible progress in achieving our goals,” said Ms. Migiro. With the MDGs’ 2015 deadline approaching, Ms. Migiro stressed the need to consider what lay beyond. “Even a decade ago, we knew that achieving the MDGs would, in a sense, be only half the job. We knew that there would still be a vast backlog of deprivation.

“The time has come to look at those numbers – at those people – at all the men, women and children who will be barely touched by what we do by 2015, and who will therefore need our attention come 2016 and beyond,’ she said. In his opening remarks, General Assembly President Joseph Deiss noted that the international community’s commitment to the achievement of the MDGs had gathered pace in recent months.

He highlighted the creation of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, which he said has significantly increased the mobilization of financial resources for that cause. He also noted the agreement in May on a new 10-year agenda for the so-called Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which focuses on improving the productive capacities of those States.

“The ultimate goal is to transform economies and societies of these countries so that the category of ‘Least Developed Countries’ no longer exists,” said Mr. Deiss.

He also singled out last week’s high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS as another major achievement because the international community had collectively pledged to intensify efforts to combat the pandemic. “The partners committed to implement a holistic approach, ensuring justice and social inclusion, and where the fight against AIDS is fully integrated into development programmes,” said Mr. Deiss.

He, however, stressed that despite the extremely positive developments in the global fight against diseases and poverty, it must not be forgotten that in many countries and in several sectors, the MDGs may not be achieved by their target date. “Suffice it here to remind you that hunger still prevails far too often and that millions of children lack access to medicines and appropriate care and still die from diseases that can be avoided. “This reality confronts us with the fundamental challenge of turning commitments into action and action into results. In making a tangible difference on the ground in the lives of the poor, we demonstrate that the UN is a reliable, credible and accountable.”

Jun 14 2011

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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

June 18, 2011 on 3:10 pm | In Development, Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research | Comments Off

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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT VITAL FOR POPULATIONS IN ARID LANDS, BAN SAYS

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Fri, 17 Jun 2011

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT VITAL FOR POPULATIONS IN ARID LANDS, BAN SAYS

New York, Jun 17 2011

People living in the world’s arid lands are among those most vulnerable to hunger and first to be affected by climate change, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned today, calling for sustainable development to ensure those areas are productive enough to support their populations.

“The management, conservation and sustainable development of dry forests are central to combating desertification,” Mr. Ban said in a message marking World Day to Combat Desertification, which is celebrated on 17 June.

He emphasized that degraded land can be made productive through sustainable practices.

The UN General Assembly designated 2011 as the International Year of Forests to bring attention to the value of forests and the social, economic and environmental costs of their loss. The theme of this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification is “Forests keep drylands working.”

In his message, Mr. Ban advocated for investment in drylands for the betterment of local communities.

“Too often, investing in drylands has been seen as unproductive or risky, instead of a necessary avenue for improving the well-being of local communities and national economies,” he said.

Through the upcoming events of the General Assembly’s high-level meeting on desertification, land degradation and drought in September and the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, the Secretary-General urged governments and their partners to “bring greater focus to the quest for solutions to this urgent challenge of sustainable development.”

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNCCD) is recognizing this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification with an environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) in Spain through a ceremony to designate the soccer star Carlos Marchena as Drylands Ambassador of the UNCCD.

In recognition of the day, Lesotho is celebrating a successful tree-planting effort and revival of previously degraded land in Leribe district. In Senegal, activities include a tree planting ceremony, while events are also being staged in Egypt, Argentina, the Republic of Korea, Iran and Benin.

The Day, first observed in 1995, is designed to serve as a reminder that desertification is a problem that can be addressed through community participation and cooperation.

Jun 17 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT VITAL FOR POPULATIONS IN ARID LANDS, BAN SAYS

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Fri, 17 Jun 2011

AGRICULTURE COMMODITY PRICES NOT LIKELY TO DECLINE FOR SOME TIME, SAYS UN REPORT

New York, Jun 17 2011

AGRICULTURE COMMODITY PRICES NOT LIKELY TO DECLINE FOR SOME TIME, SAYS UN REPORT

The international community will be facing higher food prices and volatility in commodity markets for some time, according to a new report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that calls for greater investment in agriculture.

The “http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/newsroom/docs/Outlookflyer.pdf OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2011-2020 says that a good harvest in the coming months should push commodity prices down from the extreme levels seen earlier this year.

Over the coming decade, however, real prices for cereals could average as much as 20 per cent higher and those for meats as much as 30 per cent higher, compared to 2001-10, FAO states in a news release, adding that these projections are well below the peak price levels experienced in 2007-08 and again this year.

“In the current market context, price volatility could remain a feature of agricultural markets, and coherent policies are required to both reduce volatility and limit its negative impacts,” said FAO Director General Jacques Diouf.

“The key solution to the problem will be boosting investment in agriculture and reinforcing rural development in developing countries, where 98 per cent of the hungry people live today and where population is expected to increase by 47 per cent over the next decades.”

He added that efforts should focus in particular on smallholders in low-income food-deficit countries.

The latest publication follows the release of FAO’s biannual Food Outlook earlier this month which said that global food prices are likely to remain high for the rest of this year and into 2012 due to dwindling stocks and only small production increases for the majority of crops.

The OECD-FAO report sees global agricultural production growing more slowly over the next decade than in the past 10 years, with farm output expected to rise by 1.7 per cent annually, compared to the 2.6 per cent growth rate of the past decade.

In addition, it states that per capita food consumption will expand most rapidly in Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America, with demand increasing the highest for meat, dairy products, vegetable oils and sugar.

Global production in the fisheries sector, which is covered by the report for the first time, is projected to increase by 1.3 per cent annually to 2020.

Jun 17 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

AGRICULTURE COMMODITY PRICES NOT LIKELY TO DECLINE FOR SOME TIME, SAYS UN REPORT

New York, Jun 17 2011

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GLOBAL CONDITIONS: GRAIN STORAGE AND CLIMATE

June 13, 2011 on 10:28 pm | In Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, Technology | Comments Off

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NEW TOOLS NEEDED TO COPE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATIONS, UN AGENCY SAYS

New York, Jun 6 2011

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

NEW TOOLS NEEDED TO COPE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATIONS,UN AGENCY SAYS

Climate change will result in increased migrations and displacements of people, the head of the United Nations refugee agency said today, and the world needs to develop new methods to deal with it.

Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),http://www.unhcr.org/4decc5276.html told a conference on climate change and displacement in Norway that it has become increasingly clear that natural disasters and climate change cannot be regarded or addressed in isolation from the other global mega-trends that are conditioning the future of our planet and its people.

Population growth, urbanization, water, food, and energy insecurity will increasingly interact with each other and create the potential for competition and conflict over scarce natural resources, he said. As a result we are also likely to see growing numbers of people being displaced from one community, country and continent to another.

Mr. Guterres called on the countries which bear primary responsibility for climate change to establish a massive programme of support to the most seriously affected countries, thereby reinforcing the resilience of their citizens and their ability to adapt to the process of climate change.

I strongly believe that a viable approach would be to at least develop a global guiding framework for situations of cross-border displacement resulting from climate change and natural disasters, he said. UNHCR stands ready to support states in the development of such a framework, which could take the form of temporary or interim protection arrangements.

We could assist in the identification of scenarios in which such arrangements would be activated. And we could help to develop procedures and standards of treatment for affected populations, he said.

He also urged countries to switch from the usual emergency-mode response to natural disasters.

The billions of dollars spent on relief in recent decades have evidently not led to the sustainable strengthening of national and local capacities, he said.

Mr. Guterres spoke in Oslo at the Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement in the 21st Century, organized by Norway’s environment and foreign affairs ministries to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Fridtjof Nansen, the first High Commissioner for Refugees under the League of Nations.

Jun 6 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

NEW TOOLS NEEDED TO COPE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATIONS, UN AGENCY SAYS

http://www.unhcr.org/4decc5276.html

New York, Jun 6 2011

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

New York, Jun 5 2011

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

Sun, 5 Jun 2011

Investing a relatively small amount each year in the forestry sector could halve deforestation, create millions of new jobs and help tackle the devastating effects of climate change, according to a United Nations report released today to mark World Environment Day.

The report, “Forests in a Green Economy: A Synthesis,” finds that an additional $40 billion spent each year in the forestry sector — or just 0.034 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) — could result in substantial environmental improvements.

The rate of deforestation could be halved by 2030, the number of trees planted could rise by 140 per cent by 2050 and as many as 30 million new jobs could be created by that same year.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which issued the report, said forestry is one of the key sectors capable of helping the world transition to a ‘green economy’ model that is resource-efficient and low in its use of carbon.

“There are already many encouraging signals; the annual net forest loss since 1990 has fallen from around eight million to around five million hectares and in some regions such as Asia, the Caribbean and Europe forest area has actually increased over those 20 years,” he said.

The area covered by freshly planted forests has also grown from 3.6 million hectares in 1990 to just below five million hectares last year.

Jan McAlpine, the Director of the Secretariat of the UN Forum on Forests, said the capacity of poorer countries to switch to green economies and protect their stocks of forests needs to be strengthened.

“Encouraging a transition to green economies will require a broad range of financial, regulatory, institutional and technological measures,” she said.

Forests and the benefits they provide represent the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, which is marked every year on 5 June. This year is also
the UN-declared International Year of the Forests.

Celebrations are being held across the globe, including in India, which is this year’s designated host.

On Friday Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described forests as central to economic development, poverty reduction and food security.
“By reducing deforestation and forest degradation we can make significant progress in addressing the combined threats of climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation,” he said in a message to a forestry conservation meeting held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

Jun 5 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

New York, Jun 5 2011

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

Sun, 5 Jun 2011

UN CALLS FOR GRAIN STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE AFRICA’S POST-HARVEST LOSSES

New York, May 31 2011

UN CALLS FOR GRAIN STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE AFRICA’S POST-HARVEST LOSSES

Large amounts of food in sub-Saharan Africa goes to waste as a result of inappropriate storage, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a report unveiled today, which calls for investing in post-harvest technologies to reduce to the losses and boost the continent’s food security.

The joint FAO-World Bank report, entitled Missing Food: The Case of Postharvest Grain Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa, estimates the value of grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa at around $4 billion a year.

This lost food could meet the minimum annual food requirements of at least 48 million people, http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79444/icode/ said Maria Helena Semedo, the FAO Assistant Director-General. If we agree that sustainable agricultural systems need to be developed to feed 9 billion people by 2050, addressing waste across the entire food chain must be a critical pillar of future national food strategies, she said.

According to estimates provided by the African Postharvest Losses Information System, physical grain losses prior to processing can range from 10 to 20 per cent of African annual production, which is worth $27 billion.

Losses occur when grain decays or is infested by pests, fungi or microbes, and physical losses, but the waste can also be economic, resulting from low prices and lack of access to markets for poor quality or contaminated grain.

According to the report, food losses contribute to high food prices by removing part of the food supply from the market. They also have a negative environmental impact as land, water and resources such as fertilizer and energy are used to produce, process, handle and transport food that no one consumes.

Reducing food losses is increasingly recognized as part of an integrated approach to realizing agriculture’s full potential, along with making effective use of today’s crops, improving productivity on existing farmland, and sustainably bringing additional acreage into production, said Jamal Saghir, the Director of the Sustainable Development Department of the World Bank’s Africa Region.

A variety of practices and technologies are available for reducing post-harvest losses, including crop protectants and storage containers such as hermetically sealed bags and metallic silos, the report notes.

Those technologies have proved successful in Asia, but more research is needed to identify methods adapted to local environments in Africa. To succeed, interventions must be sensitive to local conditions and practices.

The report recommends that governments create enabling conditions for farmers by reducing market transaction costs through investing in infrastructure such as roads, electricity and water, and strengthening agricultural research and extension services.

May 31 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

UN CALLS FOR GRAIN STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE AFRICA’S POST-HARVEST LOSSES

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79444/icode/

New York, May 31 2011

NEW TOOLS NEEDED TO COPE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATIONS, UN AGENCY SAYS

New York, Jun 6 2011

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

NEW TOOLS NEEDED TO COPE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATIONS,UN AGENCY SAYS

Climate change will result in increased migrations and displacements of people, the head of the United Nations refugee agency said today, and the world needs to develop new methods to deal with it.

Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),http://www.unhcr.org/4decc5276.html told a conference on climate change and displacement in Norway that it has become increasingly clear that natural disasters and climate change cannot be regarded or addressed in isolation from the other global mega-trends that are conditioning the future of our planet and its people.

Population growth, urbanization, water, food, and energy insecurity will increasingly interact with each other and create the potential for competition and conflict over scarce natural resources, he said. As a result we are also likely to see growing numbers of people being displaced from one community, country and continent to another.

Mr. Guterres called on the countries which bear primary responsibility for climate change to establish a massive programme of support to the most seriously affected countries, thereby reinforcing the resilience of their citizens and their ability to adapt to the process of climate change.

I strongly believe that a viable approach would be to at least develop a global guiding framework for situations of cross-border displacement resulting from climate change and natural disasters, he said. UNHCR stands ready to support states in the development of such a framework, which could take the form of temporary or interim protection arrangements.

We could assist in the identification of scenarios in which such arrangements would be activated. And we could help to develop procedures and standards of treatment for affected populations, he said.

He also urged countries to switch from the usual emergency-mode response to natural disasters.

The billions of dollars spent on relief in recent decades have evidently not led to the sustainable strengthening of national and local capacities, he said.

Mr. Guterres spoke in Oslo at the Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement in the 21st Century, organized by Norway’s environment and foreign affairs ministries to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Fridtjof Nansen, the first High Commissioner for Refugees under the League of Nations.

Jun 6 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

NEW TOOLS NEEDED TO COPE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATIONS, UN AGENCY SAYS

http://www.unhcr.org/4decc5276.html

New York, Jun 6 2011

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

New York, Jun 5 2011

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

Sun, 5 Jun 2011

Investing a relatively small amount each year in the forestry sector could halve deforestation, create millions of new jobs and help tackle the devastating effects of climate change, according to a United Nations report released today to mark World Environment Day.

The report, “Forests in a Green Economy: A Synthesis,” finds that an additional $40 billion spent each year in the forestry sector — or just 0.034 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) — could result in substantial environmental improvements.

The rate of deforestation could be halved by 2030, the number of trees planted could rise by 140 per cent by 2050 and as many as 30 million new jobs could be created by that same year.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which issued the report, said forestry is one of the key sectors capable of helping the world transition to a ‘green economy’ model that is resource-efficient and low in its use of carbon.

“There are already many encouraging signals; the annual net forest loss since 1990 has fallen from around eight million to around five million hectares and in some regions such as Asia, the Caribbean and Europe forest area has actually increased over those 20 years,” he said.

The area covered by freshly planted forests has also grown from 3.6 million hectares in 1990 to just below five million hectares last year.

Jan McAlpine, the Director of the Secretariat of the UN Forum on Forests, said the capacity of poorer countries to switch to green economies and protect their stocks of forests needs to be strengthened.

“Encouraging a transition to green economies will require a broad range of financial, regulatory, institutional and technological measures,” she said.

Forests and the benefits they provide represent the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, which is marked every year on 5 June. This year is also
the UN-declared International Year of the Forests.

Celebrations are being held across the globe, including in India, which is this year’s designated host.

On Friday Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described forests as central to economic development, poverty reduction and food security.
“By reducing deforestation and forest degradation we can make significant progress in addressing the combined threats of climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation,” he said in a message to a forestry conservation meeting held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

Jun 5 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

New York, Jun 5 2011

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

Sun, 5 Jun 2011

UN CALLS FOR GRAIN STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE AFRICA’S POST-HARVEST LOSSES

New York, May 31 2011

UN CALLS FOR GRAIN STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE AFRICA’S POST-HARVEST LOSSES

Large amounts of food in sub-Saharan Africa goes to waste as a result of inappropriate storage, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a report unveiled today, which calls for investing in post-harvest technologies to reduce to the losses and boost the continent’s food security.

The joint FAO-World Bank report, entitled Missing Food: The Case of Postharvest Grain Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa, estimates the value of grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa at around $4 billion a year.

This lost food could meet the minimum annual food requirements of at least 48 million people, http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79444/icode/ said Maria Helena Semedo, the FAO Assistant Director-General. If we agree that sustainable agricultural systems need to be developed to feed 9 billion people by 2050, addressing waste across the entire food chain must be a critical pillar of future national food strategies, she said.

According to estimates provided by the African Postharvest Losses Information System, physical grain losses prior to processing can range from 10 to 20 per cent of African annual production, which is worth $27 billion.

Losses occur when grain decays or is infested by pests, fungi or microbes, and physical losses, but the waste can also be economic, resulting from low prices and lack of access to markets for poor quality or contaminated grain.

According to the report, food losses contribute to high food prices by removing part of the food supply from the market. They also have a negative environmental impact as land, water and resources such as fertilizer and energy are used to produce, process, handle and transport food that no one consumes.

Reducing food losses is increasingly recognized as part of an integrated approach to realizing agriculture’s full potential, along with making effective use of today’s crops, improving productivity on existing farmland, and sustainably bringing additional acreage into production, said Jamal Saghir, the Director of the Sustainable Development Department of the World Bank’s Africa Region.

A variety of practices and technologies are available for reducing post-harvest losses, including crop protectants and storage containers such as hermetically sealed bags and metallic silos, the report notes.

Those technologies have proved successful in Asia, but more research is needed to identify methods adapted to local environments in Africa. To succeed, interventions must be sensitive to local conditions and practices.

The report recommends that governments create enabling conditions for farmers by reducing market transaction costs through investing in infrastructure such as roads, electricity and water, and strengthening agricultural research and extension services.

May 31 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

UN CALLS FOR GRAIN STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE AFRICA’S POST-HARVEST LOSSES

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79444/icode/

New York, May 31 2011

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GLOBAL CONDITIONS: CLIMATE CHANGE

June 13, 2011 on 5:42 pm | In Africa, Development, Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, Research, World-System | Comments Off

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CLIMATE CHANGE-RELATED WATER SCARCITY TO AFFECT GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION – UN

New York, Jun 9 2011

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Thu, 9 Jun 2011

CLIMATE CHANGE-RELATED WATER SCARCITY TO AFFECT GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION – UN

The world will increasingly experience water scarcity for agriculture as a result of climate change, a phenomenon that will affect the livelihoods of rural communities and the food security of urban dwellers, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a survey released today.

The impact of climate change on the availability of water include reduction in river run-off and aquifer recharges in the Mediterranean and the semi-arid areas of the Americas, Australia and Southern Africa, regions that are already showing signs of water stress, according to the FAO survey entitled “Climate Change, Water, and Food Security.”

In Asia, large areas of irrigated land that rely on snowmelt and mountain glaciers for water will also be affected, while heavily populated river deltas are at risk from a combination of reduced water flows, increased salinity, and rising sea levels.

The findings of the survey also show that an acceleration of the world’s hydrological cycle is anticipated as rising temperatures increase the rate of evaporation from land and sea. Rainfall will increase in the tropics and higher latitudes, but decrease in already dry semi-arid to mid-arid latitudes and in the interior of large continents.

A greater frequency in droughts and floods will need to be planned for, but already water scarce areas of the world are expected to become drier and hotter.

The report points out that even though estimates of groundwater recharge under climate change cannot be made with any certainty, the increasing frequency of droughts is expected to encourage further exploitation of available groundwater to boost production for farmers.

Loss of glaciers, which support around 40 per cent of the world’s irrigation, will eventually have an impact on the amount of surface water available for agriculture in key producing basins.

Rising temperatures will lengthen the growing season in northern temperate zones, but reduce the length almost everywhere else. Increased rates of crop moisture loss will also result in reduced yields.

“Both the livelihoods of rural communities as well as the food security of city populations are at risk,” “http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79964/icode/ said Alexander Mueller, the FAO Assistant Director General for Natural Resources. “But the rural poor, who are the most vulnerable, are likely to be disproportionately affected.”

The FAO report recommends that countries implement effective systems for “water accounting” thorough measurement of water supplies, transfers, and transactions to inform decisions about how water resources can be managed and used under increasing variability.

“Water accounting in most developing countries is very limited, and allocation procedures are non-existent, ad hoc, or poorly developed,” according to the survey. “Helping developing countries acquire good water accounting practices and developing robust and flexible water allocations systems will be a first priority.”

At the farm level, growers can change their cropping patterns to allow earlier or later planting, reducing their water use and optimizing irrigation. Yields and productivity can be improved by shifting to soil moisture conservation practices, including zero- and minimum tillage. Planting deep-rooted crops would allow farmers to better exploit available soil moisture, FAO recommends.

Mixed agro-forestry systems also hold promise. The systems both sequester carbon and also offer additional benefits such as shade that reduces ground temperatures and evaporation, added wind protection, and improved soil conservation and water retention.

Jun 9 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

CLIMATE CHANGE-RELATED WATER SCARCITY TO AFFECT GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION – UN

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79964/icode/

New York, Jun 9 2011

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Thu, 9 Jun 2011

AFRICAN TRADE DIVERSIFICATION SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED – UN-BACKED REPORT

New York, Jun 6 2011

African countries should develop closer ties with both traditional and emerging partners, to boost sustainable and inclusive growth, according to a United Nations-backed report released today.

The report, African Economic Outlook 2011, said that “Africa is becoming more integrated in the world economy and its partnerships are diversifying, revealing unprecedented economic opportunities.”

The report, co-authored by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), also said that governments’ efforts need to include measures to create jobs, invest in basic social services and promote gender equality.

“New partners bring new opportunities for African countries. Defining national development priorities, trade, aid and investment is key to reaping the benefits of this new configuration,” said Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre.

In 2009, China surpassed the United States and became Africa’s main trading partner, while the share of trade conducted by Africa with emerging partners has grown from approximately 23 per cent to 39 per cent in the last 10 years, the report said.

While traditional partners, as a whole, still account for the largest proportion of Africa’s trade, investment and official development assistance, the report said that emerging economies can provide “additional know-how, technology and development experiences required to raise the standard of living for millions of people on the continent.”

Africa’s economies have weathered the global crisis relatively well and have rebounded in 2010. Recent political events in North Africa and high food and fuel prices are likely to slow the continent’s growth down to 3.7 per cent in 2011. During this year, sub-Saharan Africa will grow faster than North Africa.

“Africa is growing but there are risks. Urgent attention is needed to foster inclusive growth, to improve political accountability, and address the youth bulge,” said Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and Vice-President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

“Putting people first must go hand in hand with efforts to accelerate regional coordination and integration. Trade agreements that benefit the continent as a whole, unleash the full potential of the private sector and develop regional investment opportunities are the way forward,” the report said.
Jun 6 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

AFRICAN TRADE DIVERSIFICATION SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED – UN-BACKED REPORT

New York, Jun 6 2011
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GLOBAL CONDITIONS: WORLD INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

June 13, 2011 on 5:06 pm | In Africa, Asia, Development, Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, Third World, World-System | Comments Off

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WORLD INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION ON THE RISE, UN REPORT FINDS

UNNews UNNews@un.org

New York, Jun 1 2011

World manufacturing output has grown by 6.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) reported today.

“The figure clearly indicates the progress of the recovery of world industrial production from the recent financial crisis,” UNIDO “http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/pressrels/2011/unisous085.html said, in the first edition of its new plan to report industrial statistics quarterly. Formerly the presentations were annual.
The report, based on an analysis of quarterly production data, said developing countries were in the lead with their manufacturing production increasing by 11.5 per cent. The major contribution to this growth was by China, with its output growing by 15 per cent.

Newly industrialized countries also performed well, with Turkey displaying a growth rate of 13.8 per cent, while Mexico’s was estimated at 7.4 per cent and India’s at 5.1 per cent.

The manufacturing output of industrialized countries increased by 4.4 per cent during the named period, with strong growth of 7.1 per cent observed in the United States, the world’s largest manufacturer.

Major European economies, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom, also demonstrated significant growth in manufacturing output. But other European countries, such as Greece, witnessed a 6.9 per cent drop, while Portugal and Spain maintained a marginal growth of less than one per cent.

Japan’s figures fell by 2.4 per cent. The full impact of the March Tsunami disaster was not yet reflected in manufacturing production data for the first quarter.

Negative growth was observed in North Africa, where the manufacturing output of Egypt and Tunisia fell by 8.9 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively.

The UNIDO report also contains the growth estimates for the first quarter by major manufacturing sectors. It suggests that production of general machinery has increased by more than 15 per cent, electrical machinery and apparatus by 12 per cent, and medical and precision equipment by 11 per cent.

While industrialized countries performed well in high-tech sectors, their growth in traditional manufacturing areas such as food and beverages, textile and wearing apparel was quite low. Developing countries maintained higher growth across all sectors.

Jun 1 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

WORLD INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION ON THE RISE, UN REPORT FINDS

UNNews UNNews@un.org

New York, Jun 1 2011

GLOBAL RECOVERY MUST START WITH THE POOR – UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Wed, 1 Jun 2011

New York, Jun 1 2011

GLOBAL RECOVERY MUST START WITH THE POOR – UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT

Unjustified cuts in aid to the poor during a financial crisis could violate human rights standards, and economic recovery must start with the most vulnerable, according to a United Nations human rights expert.

Magdalena Sepúlveda, the UN Independent Expert on human rights and extreme poverty, “http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11095&LangID=E told a Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva that “unjustified reductions in expenditures devoted to implementing public services that are critical to the realization of economic, social and cultural rights will be in violation of human rights standards.

“There is no space in human rights for a trickle-down approach,” she said on Monday. “From a human rights perspective, recovery must start with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.”

“Human rights are not expendable during times of crises and recovery. Even when resources are limited, States are legally bound to respect, protect and fulfil international human rights obligations,” Ms. Sepúlveda said. “The challenge of recovering from the global economic and financial crises is an opportunity to embrace a vision for the future aimed at the full realization of human rights.”

The independent expert said that several recovery measures adopted by States in the aftermath of the crises seriously jeopardize the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by the poorest and most vulnerable groups.

“Austerity measures such as cuts to social protection systems, regressive taxation measures, and elimination of food subsidies are proving detrimental to the poorest of the poor, exacerbating their already precarious situation,” Ms. Sepúlveda said.

Increasing inequalities and food insecurity, the declining availability of natural resources and unpredictable changes to climate patterns are likely to increase the potential for social unrest throughout the world, she said.

“Any recovery plan must anticipate these challenges and assume that there will be many more crises to recover from,” she said. “Only human rights-based change can directly address the long-term structural barriers to equality and set the foundations for a sustainable, socially inclusive society.”

Ms. Sepúlveda urged States to view the challenge of recovery as a unique opportunity to aim towards the full realization of all economic, social and cultural rights for all individuals.

“Through a human rights-based recovery, States have the chance to embrace new and ambitious approaches to reducing inequality, eliminating poverty and creating stable societies that will withstand future shocks.”

The expert’s report outlines a number of innovative measures to which States should lend serious consideration when formulating their economic recovery, including implementing a comprehensive social protection floor, adopting socially responsible taxation policies, and enhancing regulation that protects individuals from abuse.

Ms Sepúlveda, who serves in an unpaid and independent capacity, reports to the Human Rights Council. She has been in the current post since May 2008.
Jun 1 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

GLOBAL RECOVERY MUST START WITH THE POOR – UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11095&LangID=E

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Wed, 1 Jun 2011

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE KEY TO GREEN GROWTH, POVERTY REDUCTION – UN OFFICIALS

New York, Jun 1 2011

United Nations officials today called for boosting support for sustainable agriculture, including smallholder farmers, as a way to drive green growth and reduce poverty.

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the challenge of feeding more than nine billion people by 2050, along with tackling climate change and maintaining productive land and sufficient water resources require a “more intelligent pathway” for managing the world’s agricultural systems.

“Agriculture is at the centre of a transition to a resource-efficient, low-carbon Green Economy,” “http://www.ifad.org/media/press/advisory/2011/6.htm said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. “The challenge is to feed a growing global population without pushing humanity’s footprint beyond planetary boundaries.”

Mr. Steiner called for galvanizing support for smallholder farmers, who are an “untapped resource” in addressing food security and today’s environmental challenges.

Investments through official development assistance (ODA) are one way of stepping up support for this important group, as is scaling-up and accelerating government policies for unleashing investment flows from the private sector, he noted.

“Well-managed, sustainable agriculture can not only overcome hunger and poverty, but can address other challenges from climate change to the loss of biodiversity,” said the UNEP chief.

“Its value and its contribution to multiple economic, environmental and societal goals needs to be recognized in the income and employment prospects for the half a million smallholdings across the globe,” he added.

The world’s rural poor and especially farmers of the 500 million smallholdings in developing countries feed one-third of the global population and account for 60 per cent of global agriculture.

Smallholder farmers also provide up to 80 per cent of the food consumed in Asia and in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Smallholders in developing countries – the majority of them women – manage to feed 2 billion people, despite working on ecologically and climatically precarious land, with difficult or no access to infrastructure and institutional services, and often lacking land tenure rights that farmers in developed countries take for granted,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.

“Right now, we are squandering the potential of rural poor people to contribute to global prosperity. Investing in sustainable smallholder agriculture is a smart way to right this wrong,” he stated.

IFAD also stressed that investments in sustainable smallholder agriculture must go hand-in-hand with policy and institutional reforms, investments in infrastructure and improvements in market access. They must also be informed by the knowledge and needs of the rural poor.

On 5 June, UNEP will celebrate World Environment Day (WED) in India with one of the fastest growing economies in the world and whose 1.2 billion people continue to put pressure on land and forests, especially in densely populated areas where people are cultivating on marginal lands and where overgrazing is contributing to desertification.

This year’s theme – ‘Forests: Nature at Your Service’ – underscores the intrinsic link between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems.

Jun 1 2011

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE KEY TO GREEN GROWTH, POVERTY REDUCTION – UN OFFICIALS

New York, Jun 1 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

http://www.ifad.org/media/press/advisory/2011/6.htm

UNNews UNNews@un.org

New York, Jun 1 2011

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“FORESTS AND SEA POWER”: ROBERT ALBION BOOK

April 25, 2011 on 9:36 pm | In Books, Ecology, Economics, History, United Kingdom | Comments Off

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Forests and Sea Power:

The Timber Problem of the Royal Navy, 1652-1862

(Classics of Naval Literature)

Robert Greenhalgh Albion (Author)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

First published in 1926 as part of the Harvard Economic Studies series, this work was awarded the David A. Wells Prize and has been considered the standard reference on the subject ever since. It established for the first time the indivisible relationship between timber supply and sea power, and how this union influenced naval architecture and international law, as well as foreign, colonial, commercial, and forest policies. The result of an exhaustive, international research effort, the book also has been acknowledged by naval historians to be one of the very early attempts to broaden naval history into a serious study of logistics and supply and of technology and operations.

In a delightfully absorbing prose rare for such studies, Robert Albion relates these pivotal issues throughout the two-hundred-year period that saw most of the greatest naval wars of the Age of Sail, from the First Dutch War of 1652 to the introduction of the ironclad early in the American Civil War. The author explores how the timber supply problem affected other European maritime powers and their far-flung colonies, explains how it was driven by the conservatism and corruption of official bureaus and rapacious landowners conducting the business, and offers a fascinating portrait of the contemporary logging and timber transport industries.

An introductory essay has been written for this new Classics edition by Timothy Bean, a lecturer at the department of war studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and a specialist in early eighteenth-century naval history. His essay examines Albion’s unique contributions to the understanding of the relationship between the military and commerce and applies Navy timber supply issues to twentieth-century problems with oil supplies.

Product Details:

  • Hardcover: 485 pages
  • Publisher: US Naval Institute Press; Revised edition
  • May 2000
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557500215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557500212

Considered the most outstanding single work on the economics of wooden navies in the sailing era.

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SOLAR PANELS CHINA: SUNTECH

April 21, 2011 on 9:05 pm | In China, Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Research, Science & Technology | Comments Off

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Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (Chinese: pinyin: Shàngdé) (NYSE: STP) is the world’s largest producer of solar panels, with 1,800MW of annual production capacity by the end of 2010. With offices or production facilities in every major market, Suntech has delivered more than 13,000,000 solar panels to thousands of companies in more than 80 countries around the world [3]. As the center for the company’s global operations, Suntech Headquarters, in Wuxi, China, features the world’s largest building integrated solar facade[4].

Installations

Suntech Power has supplied or installed solar modules for numerous solar power plants and systems around the world. Notable installations include:

The company’s Suntech Energy Solutions division completed Google‘s 1.6 MW solar installation in June 2007.[5]

Suntech Power joined with Israeli company Solarit Doral to build Israel’s largest solar power station, a 50 kW rooftop project in the Israeli settlement of Katzrin in the Golan Heights, which was connected to the electricity grid in December 2008.[6][7]

Global Operations

Suntech Power has representative offices in China, Australia, the United States, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, and Dubai, as well as production facilities in Wuxi, Luoyang, Qinghai, Shanghai, Germany, Japan, and Goodyear, Arizona.

Suntech America is based in San Francisco, California, and the company has plans to start a production facility in Phoenix, Arizona in 2010.[8] Suntech also has executives of their US operations in top posts in American solar panel industry groups.[9]

Awards

Suntech Power was recognized as the 2008 Frost & Sullivan Solar Energy Development Company of the Year. Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Mary John commented on the recognition, “The company’s pioneering success in developing energy-efficient, cost-effective and customizable building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems and crystalline PV cells, and modules for solar energy conversion into electricity are highly commendable. It has gone beyond just meeting global energy needs to anticipating them as well and highly satisfied customers testify that the BIPV systems and other energy-efficient products are customized precisely to their needs.”[10]

The Andalay AC Solar PV Panel was awarded one on MSN’s most brilliant products of 2009 because of innovations that advanced their ease of installation and use.[11] Suntech Power is one of the main manufacturers of components for the Andalay Solar Panel sold by Akeena Solar (AKNS).[12]

Founder

Dr Shi Zhengrong (born c. 1963[13]) is the founder [14], chairman and chief executive officer of Suntech Power.

He is a graduate of the University of NSW‘s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering.[15][16] At UNSW, Dr. Shi studied under Professor Martin Green and met Stuart Wenham, now Suntech’s Chief Technology Officer.

Dr. Zhengrong Shi was honored in January 2010 as a finalist for the Zayed Future Energy Prize. In 2007, Dr. Shi was named one of Time Magazine’s Heros of the Environment.He is often referred to as the world’s first ‘green billionaire’.[17]

Investors

Before going public on the NYSE in 2005, Suntech was funded by a consortium of private equity firms, including Actis Capital and Goldman Sachs. The consolidated private equity investment into Suntech is generally considered to be one of China’s most profitable private equity investments ever, as each firm is thought to have made gains well over 10x on their original investments.

See also

References

  1. 1. a b c Suntech’s annual income statement via Wikinvest
  2. 2. a b Suntech’s annual balance sheet via Wikinvest
  3. 3. http://ir.suntech-power.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=192654&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1533389&hilight=
  4. 4. http://www.green-energy-news.com/nwslnks/clips109/jan09010.html
  5. 5. Google Solar Panel Project
  6. 6. Israel opens largest solar plant with Chinese help, December 10, 2008.
  7. 7. Chinese PV pioneer helps build Israel’s biggest solar power station, Xinhua, December 9, 2008.
  8. 8. http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=192654&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1355511&highlight=
  9. 9. Retrieved November 12, 2009, from Solar Energy Industries Association: About: SEIA Board website: http://www.seia.org/cs/seia_board
  10. 10. http://www.redorbit.com/news/business/1342480/frost__sullivan_recognizes_suntech_power_for_its_technical_expertise/index.html
  11. 11. MSN Tech and Gadgets. 10 Most Brilliant Products of 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2009, from MSN website: http://tech.msn.com/products/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=22104619&imageindex=6
  12. 12. Google Finance. Akeena Solar, Inc. (Public, NASDAQ:AKNS). Retrieved November 12, 2009, from Akeena Solar Inc. company profile website: http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:AKNS
  13. 13. The alternative rich list. September 22, 2006. Accessed May 7, 2007.
  14. 14. [1]
  15. 15. School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering
  16. 16. Dr. Zhengrong Shi
  17. 17. http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1663317_1663322_1669932,00.html

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. Type Public (NYSE: STP)

Industry Photovoltaics

Founded September 2001

Founder(s) Shi Zhengrong

Headquarters Wuxi, Jiangsu province, People’s Republic of China Number of locations United States, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Italy, Spain

Revenue US$1.92 Billion (FY 2008)[1] Operating income US$215 Million (FY 2008)[1] Net income US$87.9 Million (FY 2008)[1] Total assets US$3.22 Billion (FY 2008) [2] Total equity US$1.07 Billion (FY 2008)[2] Website www.suntech-power.com/

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