The environment in the news friday, 09 July, 2010



Download 279.39 Kb.
Page1/6
Date conversion18.10.2016
Size279.39 Kb.
  1   2   3   4   5   6



THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS

Friday, 09 July, 2010

UNEP and the Executive Director in the News


  • UN News Centre: UN names actor Edward Norton as celebrity advocate for preserving biodiversity

  • China.org (China): Actor Edward Norton named UN goodwill ambassador of biodiversity

  • India Blooms (India): Actor Edward Norton to advocate biodiversity

  • Australia. to (Australia): CITES Regulates Billions Worth Wildlife Trade

  • IDN: Rendezvous with Planet Earth

  • Open PR: Financial collapse stymies progress for Millennium Development Goal

  • IPS: "Latin America Faces an Environmental Emergency"

  • Trading Markets (US): Q&A: "LATIN AMERICA FACES AN ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY"

  • Carbon News (New Zealand): China talks to pave way for Mexico summit

  • Environmental Expert: Shared learning in aftermath of China earthquake



Other Environment News


  • BBC: Russian sub 'could stop oil leak'

  • LA Times (US): Gulf oil spill: Drilling moratorium rejected again

  • AP: La Nina developing, could mean more hurricanes

  • AFP: US, Indonesian scientists journey to bottom of sea

  • Telegraph (UK): Tiger population 'falls to lowest level since records began'

  • Reuters: New batfish species found under U.S. Gulf oil spill

  • Guardian (UK): Germany targets switch to 100% renewables for its electricity by 2050



Environmental News from the UNEP Regions


  • RONA

  • ROWA


Other UN News


  • Environment News from the UN Daily News of July 8th 2010

  • Environment News from the S.G.’s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of July 9th 2010 (None)



UNEP and the Executive Director in the News
UN News Centre: UN names actor Edward Norton as celebrity advocate for preserving biodiversity
8th July 2010
Acclaimed actor and conservation activist Edward Norton took on his latest role today, as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon designated him United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity.

With the issues of community development and conservation close to his heart, Mr. Norton voiced hope that he can channel the attention he receives for his work in Hollywood towards raising awareness of the UN’s ideals and activities. “I think that [Goodwill] Ambassadors in many ways can play a role in highlighting the models of success that the UN is promoting around the world,” he told the UN News Centre.


Mr. Norton’s family has long been involved in sustainable development issues, with his father being a conservation advocate and his maternal grandparents having founded an organization to help provide affordable housing in the United States.
For his part, the new Goodwill Ambassador is very active in garnering support for conservation efforts, serving as a board member of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust and taking part in launching an innovative social networking platform called Crowdrise to boost participation in charitable work.
Last year, he ran in the New York City Marathon, helping to raise more than $1 million for local communities in Kenya. In his new role, Mr. Norton said he will work with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to spotlight the “crisis of biodiversity” and ensure world leaders take appropriate measures to protect the environment.
One of his top priorities as Goodwill Ambassador will be to increase “people’s focus on the fact that human well-being is intertwined fundamentally with biodiversity,” the actor, twice nominated for an Academy Award, said.
It is vital that “people realize that they are not separate from the web of life,” he added. “Our ability to thrive as a species and as a civilization totally depends on that web of life.” At his designation ceremony, Mr. Norton told the Secretary-General that biodiversity is an issue that “transcends national boundaries,” with people “having lost sight” of the need for environmental protection.
Referring to one of Mr. Norton’s most famous movies, Mr. Ban voiced hope that the Goodwill Ambassador will help to move the world from “Fight Club to a peace club.”

Addressing reporters in New York, the new Goodwill Ambassador said environmental issues will “incontestably” be the “defining challenge of this era.”


He added that “when people look back on this era that we’re living in… they will not assess many of the things that we consider political hot buttons of the day. They will assess this era based on how we responded to this particular crisis,” referring to biodiversity loss.
At the same press conference, Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD, pointed out that the rate of extinction of some species is 1,000 times higher than the natural rate. “We are reaching the tipping point where irreversible damage is going to be done and therefore we need an urgent call for action.”
The official said that the Secretary-General could not have chosen “a better advocate, a better ambassador than someone who is [taking action], not only through statements and speeches, but doing it in reality” than Mr. Norton.
Today’s appointment comes as the UN marks 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity, with heads of State set to discuss the issue at a high-level meeting at UN Headquarters in New York at the start of the General Assembly’s 65th annual General Debate in September.
Back to Menu

_________________________________________________________________
China.org (China): Actor Edward Norton named UN goodwill ambassador of biodiversity
9th July 2010
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Thursday announced the designation of U.S. actor Edward Norton as UN goodwill ambassador for biodiversity. Ban recognized the two-time Academy Award wining actor for his long-standing commitment to mobilizing support for conservation efforts, UN associate spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters here.
"Edward Norton has brought global star power to global issues," Ban said in a statement. "His efforts to preserve biodiversity and promote ecosystem integrity in East Africa have been truly impressive."
The newly designated goodwill ambassador expressed his honor and gratitude to the secretary-general at the UN headquarters in New York.
"Environmental conservation, climate change, biodiversity are very much the issues that will define my generation," said Norton, who voiced his hope to use his new role to inspire young people to take up the challenge of environmental protection.
"Whether your an actor, or a politician, doctor or lawyer -- I think people from all walks of life are going to need to engage in these issues, because these are issues that transcend national boundaries, transcend ways of life," he said.
In addition to a successful career as an actor and filmmaker, Norton holds years of experience dedicated to conserving biological diversity. The UN awarded him particular praise for his work in Kenya as board member of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, and for his charitable efforts here in the U.S.
Norton spoke to reporters in a press conference following his reception by the secretary-general. As goodwill ambassador, Norton spoke of the enormous potential given by his role to enhance the public's awareness of the impact of biodiversity loss.

"(People) don't necessarily link themselves as directly to a crisis like biodiversity loss, as much as they will to say a refugee crisis. But I think catastrophic events, such as what is happening in the Gulf with the oil spill, do highlight for people that there is an enormous ramification for human well-being to a loss of biodiversity like a fishery," said Norton.


Norton's appointment marks the UN's 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, which aims to promote the protection of biodiversity and raise awareness of its crucial importance to life on Earth.
Executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Ahmed Djoghlat, lauded Norton for his devotion to biological conservation, but stressed the challenge posed by the unprecedented loss of biodiversity.
"We are reaching the tipping point where irreversible damage is going to be done and therefore we need an urgent call for action," Djoghlat said at the press conference.

The UN General Assembly is set to hold its first high-level session on biodiversity in September, gathering 192 heads of state. Norton said he hopes leaders will present "compelling examples" of solutions to biodiversity loss, in order for them to be translated into concrete government policies.


Back to Menu

_________________________________________________________________
India Blooms (India): Actor Edward Norton to advocate biodiversity
9th July 2010
Acclaimed actor and conservation activist Edward Norton took on his latest role Thursday, as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon designated him United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity.
With the issues of community development and conservation close to his heart, Mr. Norton voiced hope that he can channel the attention he receives for his work in Hollywood towards raising awareness of the UN’s ideals and activities.

“I think that [Goodwill] Ambassadors in many ways can play a role in highlighting the models of success that the UN is promoting around the world,” he told the UN News Centre.

Mr. Norton’s family has long been involved in sustainable development issues, with his father being a conservation advocate and his maternal grandparents having founded an organization to help provide affordable housing in the United States.

For his part, the new Goodwill Ambassador is very active in garnering support for conservation efforts, serving as a board member of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust and taking part in launching an innovative social networking platform called Crowdrise to boost participation in charitable work.

Last year, he ran in the New York City Marathon, helping to raise more than $1 million for local communities in Kenya.

In his new role, Mr. Norton said he will work with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to spotlight the “crisis of biodiversity” and ensure world leaders take appropriate measures to protect the environment.

One of his top priorities as Goodwill Ambassador will be to increase “people’s focus on the fact that human well-being is intertwined fundamentally with biodiversity,” the actor, twice nominated for an Academy Award, said.

It is vital that “people realize that they are not separate from the web of life,” he added. “Our ability to thrive as a species and as a civilization totally depends on that web of life.”

At his designation ceremony, Mr. Norton told the Secretary-General that biodiversity is an issue that “transcends national boundaries,” with people “having lost sight” of the need for environmental protection.

Referring to one of Mr. Norton’s most famous movies, Mr. Ban voiced hope that the Goodwill Ambassador will help to move the world from “Fight Club to a peace club.”

His appointment comes as the UN marks 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity, with heads of State set to discuss the issue at a high-level meeting at UN Headquarters in New York at the start of the General Assembly’s 65th annual General Debate in September.
Back to Menu

_________________________________________________________________


Australia. to (Australia): CITES Regulates Billions Worth Wildlife Trade
8th July 2010
Global wildlife trade has increased significantly since 1975, when the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed. But not a single one of some 34,000 species listed by the Convention has become extinct as a result of boost in trade.

The source of this good news is CITES secretariat in Geneva, which estimates international wildlife trade to be worth billions of dollars. It includes hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens. The trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them, including food products, exotic leather goods, wooden musical instruments, timber, tourist curios and medicines.

CITES Trade Database, which registers legal trade in wildlife, holds over 10 million records of trade, with an average of 850,000 permits to trade in a CITES-listed species issued annually by the Convention's 175 member States.

Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them, together with other factors, such as habitat loss, is capable of heavily depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction.

From medicine to musical instruments and from fashion and beauty products to delicacies, wildlife items in trade must be properly regulated to ensure the continued survival of animals and plants in the wild.

Many wildlife species in trade are not endangered, but the existence of an agreement to ensure the sustainability of the trade is important in order to safeguard these resources for the future.

"Growing pressures on biological resources make regulating global wildlife trade even more relevant today than it was in 1975 when countries brought this unprecedented global treaty into force," said CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon, as the Convention celebrated its 35th anniversary on July 1, 2010.

With the accession of Bahrain announced ´June 30, CITES will have 176 Parties, while it had only 10 Parties 35 years ago, including Switzerland, which hosts the Convention's Secretariat, and the United States where the text of the Convention was adopted.

"By being a pioneer in adopting trade measures to prevent over exploitation and relying on scientific advice for the authorization of wildlife trade, CITES has put the machinery in place to contribute to the improved management of the key natural assets of our planet", said Ambassador Betty E. King, Permanent Representative of the United States mission to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.

"Switzerland is very proud to host a biodiversity-related Convention that is able to deliver concrete conservation results. We hope that the international community will build on its successes for many more years to come to contribute to alleviating poverty and stopping the decline in global biodiversity", added Mr Thomas Jemmi, Deputy Director General of the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office, the CITES Management Authority of Switzerland.

"This treaty was visionary because it was able to put practical trade rules in place for the use of terrestrial and marine species, before the global boom created by the liberalization of trade and the acceleration of transactions via Internet. CITES is thus part of the transition to a resource efficient 21st century Green Economy", said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which administers the CITES Secretariat.

CITES-listed species that are traded in significant volumes include species as diverse as orchids, crocodiles and sea shells. More recently, CITES has been used to address the precarious situation of marine and timber species, such as the great white shark and mahogany.

The Web-based CITES Trade Data Dashboards, unveiled on the occasion of 35th anniversary, use the trade data from the annual reports of the Parties to provide an instant overview of the magnitude of wildlife trade per country and per species group, such as mammals, birds or fish. For instance, the Dashboard provides a way to see general trends, such as "trade volume over time"; "top 10 trading partners", "top 5 items" and "trade by source (for example. wild or captive breeding)".

"The International Year of Biodiversity offers an opportunity to both reflect upon the past successes and mobilize efforts to address current and future challenges. CITES has a proven track record in managing wildlife trade internationally. Its ongoing relevance and ability to adapt to changing circumstances are essential to the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife," concluded Scanlon.

BACKGROUND

CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

Widespread information nowadays about the endangered status of many prominent species, such as the tiger and elephants, might make the need for such a Convention seem obvious. But at the time when the ideas for CITES were first formed, in the 1960s, international discussion of the regulation of wildlife trade for conservation purposes was something relatively new.

With hindsight, the need for CITES is clear. CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN (The World Conservation Union). The text of the Convention was finally agreed at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington on March 3,1973, and on July 1, 1975 the Convention entered in force.


Back to Menu

_________________________________________________________________
IDN: Rendezvous with Planet Earth
9th July 2010
2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity. And we all have a rendezvous with Planet Earth this year. In order that as many of us as possible feel encouraged to make it to the venue at the right point in time, the United Nations has launched some of the most innovative initiatives.

It is gathering facts and figures to underscore what 'Mother Earth' is worth to its inhabitants, particularly us -- the homo sapiens. 'The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)', hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and a myriad of other reports and initiatives are under way to provide a glimpse of the value of the Earth's natural assets and their role in development.

UNEP's new report -- 'Dead planet, living planet: Biodiversity and ecosystem restoration for sustainable development' -- says that ecosystems are estimated to deliver essential services worth between $21 trillion and up to $72 trillion a year, comparable to World Gross National Income in 2008 of $58 trillion.

Wetlands, half of which have been drained over the past century often for agriculture, provide annual services of near $7 trillion.

Forested wetlands treat more wastewater per unit of energy and have up to 22 fold higher cost-benefit ratios than traditional sand filtration in treatment plants.

Coastal wetlands in the United States, which among other services provide storm protection, have been valued at $23 billion annually.

GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY OUTLOOK

Another report, the third Global Biodiversity Outlook, was presented at the UN headquarters in New York in May this year. Explaining the main thrust of the study, a senior UN development official warned that, without swift action and renewed political will, current "alarming" biodiversity declines would continue, and some life-giving ocean and rainforest ecosystems would spiral towards collapse, threatening sustainable development and human well-being.

"The projections are dire," Delfin Ganapin, Global Manager of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme, said on May 10 at a press conference on the results of the GBO-3, which was also launched in a number of other cities around the world, including Alexandria, Bonn, Brasilia, Chamonix, London, Manama, Montreal, Nairobi, Panama and Tokyo.

Ganapin informed that the Outlook, based on more than 110 national reports submitted by governments to the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and compiled in close cooperation with the UN Environment Programme, is advising humankind to halt a "massive" biodiversity loss with consequences that would be much worse than previously thought.

NEW GOODWILL AMBASSADOR FOR BIODIVERSITY

In yet another attempt to lure the inhabitants of Planet Earth to the rendezvous, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on July 8 appointed acclaimed actor and conservation activist Edward Norton as United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity. Norton said the issues of community development and conservation were close to his heart, and he hoped to channel the attention he receives for his work in Hollywood towards raising awareness of the UN's ideals and activities.

"I think that (Goodwill) Ambassadors in many ways can play a role in highlighting the models of success that the UN is promoting around the world," he said.

We have it from the UN that Norton's family has long been involved in sustainable development issues: his father is a conservation advocate and his maternal grandparents founded an organization to help provide affordable housing in the United States.

For his part, the new Goodwill Ambassador is very active in garnering support for conservation efforts, serving as a board member of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust and taking part in launching an innovative social networking platform called Crowdrise to boost participation in charitable work.

Last year, Norton ran in the New York City Marathon, helping to raise more than $1 million for local communities in Kenya. In his new role, Norton has vowed to work with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to put a spotlight on the "crisis of biodiversity" and ensure that world leaders take appropriate measures to protect the environment.

One of his top priorities as Goodwill Ambassador will be to increase "people's focus on the fact that human well-being is intertwined fundamentally with biodiversity". It is vital that "people realize that they are not separate from the web of life", he added. "Our ability to thrive as a species and as a civilization totally depends on that web of life."

Norton's appointment comes as the heads of government and State are set to discuss the issue (of biodiversity) at a high-level meeting at UN Headquarters in New York at the start of the General Assembly’s 65th annual General Debate in September.

UNDER-REPORTED

However, those involved in the daily business of driving home the significance of Planet Earth for the very survival of humankind are rather sceptical that we will be there in time for the rendezvous.

United Nations' top climate change official, Yvo der Boer, sounded far from optimistic in his farewell address in Bonn before leaving his job beginning of this month (July). "One major aspect of the climate change story that is perhaps under-reported is that of the green growth opportunities," he said.

Many, perhaps all, countries fear in one way or another that climate change action will constrain their economic growth. For policy makers in the industrialised world, the prime concern is whether jobs and a stable society will still be there in the future. For policy makers in the developing world, the primary concerns are economic growth and poverty alleviation.

However in 2009, recalled de Boer, the International Energy Agency found that the economic crisis has created a unique window of opportunity to shift the world’s energy sector onto a 450 ppm CO2 equivalent scenario, which gives us a 50 percent chance of keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

Many investments in the energy sector have been postponed as a result of the crisis. In 2008 and 2009, this also hit investments in renewable energies. But to a larger extent, it has affected investments in unsustainable technologies, which would have locked emission intensive technologies into energy sectors for the next 20 or 30 years to come.

He added: "As economic growth picks up again, it is critical to direct new investments into low emissions infrastructure."

This is indeed a chance the world cannot afford to miss. Nations can now seize the opportunity of greening economic growth through an effective UN climate change regime which can help mobilize significant amounts of capital towards green technology.

They can contribute to preserving soil's biodiversity that, as Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of UN Convention to Combat Desertification pointed out recently, is worth trillions of dollars.

  1   2   3   4   5   6


The database is protected by copyright ©ininet.org 2016
send message

    Main page