The environment in the news friday, 14 October 2011



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General environment news



China.org: 63 injured in Bali's strong quake
14 October 2011
The number of wounded people after the shallow powerful quake of 6.8 magnitude in Bali tourist resort on Thursday has increased to at least 63, nine of whom seriously suffer broken bones and other serious wound, official said.
"So far the number of injured persons increases to 63, nine of whom are still having medical treatment at the emergency unit at hospitals, they had broken bones, head wound and others serious injury," official at Bali Disaster Management and Mitigation Agency Eka Purwata told Xinhua over phone.
The number of victim was expected to rise as not all reports from affected areas had been received by the agency, he said.
The quake hit the island Thursday morning with epicenter at 143 km southwest Nusadua of Bali and with the depth at 10 km under sea bed, an official of the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency named only Appriallianto told Xinhua.
The intensity of the quake was felt at 4 to 5 MMI (Modified Mercally Intensity) at coastal tourist resort of Kuta of Bali province and Mataram of West Nusa Tenggara province, 3 to 4 MMI in Madura island of East Java province, he said.
The USGS reported on its website that the quake was measured at 6.1 magnitude.
The shakes of the quake could be felt in nearby provinces of East Java and West Nusatenggara,the official said.
A moderate aftershock with magnitude of 5.6 struck off the resort Thursday afternoon with epicenter at 131 km southwest Nusadua and with the depth at 10 km under sea bed, an official of the meteorology agency said.
Indonesia, homed by 129 active volcanoes, is prone to earthquake as it lies on a vulnerable quake-hit zone so called " the Pacific Ring of Fire", where two continental plates stretching from Japan to Western hemisphere meet that frequently cause seismic and volcanic movements.

Southeast Asia Floods


13 October 2011
Situation Overview

Heavy seasonal rains and powerful storms continue to cause rising water levels in the Mekong River. This in turn is impacting other Southeast Asian countries, south of the Mekong Delta. This is also exacerbated by four back to back typhoons that hit the region. More than half a million square kilometers are flooded in the region along the Mekong River. To date, over 650 people have died and more than 8 million people are affected in Thailand, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Laos and the Philippines.




Number of deaths and people affected



No.

Country

No. of People dead

No. People affected

1

Thailand

283

2,400,000

2

Cambodia

207

1,000,000

3

Viet Nam

34

250,000

4

Lao PDR

30

430,000

5

Philippines

98

4,000,000




Total

652

8,080,000

So far, Thailand and Cambodia are the worst affected and the situation is expected to worsen as more rains, high tides and run-off from the north are predicted over the weekend. In Cambodia, efforts to conduct assessments and deliver relief aid continue to be hampered by high water levels and dangerous road conditions.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Banyan struck the Philippines on 12 October, killing eight people and affecting thousands of people in the north whose homes remain submerged weeks after two previous cyclones. Residents of low-lying and mountainous areas are warned to remain alert against possible flash floods and landslides before the storm leaves the Philippines on 15 October.



Almost half a million people are reported to be affected in Lao PDR. Flooding and landslides have affected 96 districts in 12 provinces, causing damages to over 64,000 hectares of farmland, 323 roads and 42 bridges.
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ROLAC MEDIA UPDATE

THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS

Jueves 13 de Octubre 2011





  • UNEP-Entries Open for 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award

  • UNEP- Making the Economic Case for Greening Cities

  • Regional- Crean Instituto Global para la Sostenibilidad

  • Regional- Tenth Caribbean Week of Agriculture -- Spotlight placed on effects of climate change on agriculture

  • Regional – Centroamérica mantiene una huella ecológica negativa

  • República Dominicana - Crean CD ecológico para los pequeños

  • Chile - Agua, energía, dólar y empleo, 4 fantasmas que amenazan la competitividad del agro

  • Chile - Ministra del Medio Ambiente destaca avances en materia de política medioambiental

  • Bolivia- Multitudinario apoyo a Evo Morales en su conflicto con indígenas< /a>

  • México- Reforestan Metztitlán con dos mil cactáceas

  • México- Promueven SEMARNAT Y PNUMA muestra Internacional de Cine Ambiental

  • Global- ALBA y África alcanzan alianza para cumbre climática

  • Global – Tourism vital for achieving global development objectives - tourism ministers and UN

  • Global –Piden a países preparar políticas de gestión de agua ante erosión





Noticias
UNEP-Entries Open for 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award
13 – 10 – 2011
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is pleased to open entries for the 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award.

Following the successful launch of the competition last year, African journalists between 21 and 35 years, who are based on the continent and working for local, regional or international media organizations, are once again encouraged to apply.

Journalists entering the award may submit one radio, television, print or online report (in English or French) on an environmental issue.

The prize is an all-expenses-paid study visit to the USA, where the winner will follow a specially-designed "green itinerary", interacting with leading environmental projects, green economy projects, scientists and public figures.

Last year's UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award winner, radio journalist Patricia Okoed-Bukumunhe from Uganda, is currently in the United States completing her study tour.

Visiting Washington DC, Seattle and Miami, Patricia will be meeting and working with Voice of America, National Public Radio, National Geographic and a host of other media organisations and environmental groups.

You can read about her experiences as the 2010 YEJA winner on her US blog, 'Patricia on the Road', at www.unep.org/yeja

Applications for the 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award can be made online at www.unep.org/yeja until 5pm (Nairobi time) on 16 December 2011.

Written articles must not exceed 3000 words and radio or television reports should be no longer than six minutes. The report must have been published or broadcast between 1 January and 31 December 2011.

Please visit the website for all other terms and conditions.

Over 120 entries from 24 African countries were received for last year's award. The diverse subject matter covered by journalists included the role of traditional 'medicine men' in protecting biodiversity in Kenya, the need for improved sanitation in communities in Nigeria and the impact of climate change on weather patterns in Togo.

Among other criteria, judges for the 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award will assess entries on the strength of their environmental component, newsworthiness, originality, scientific accuracy, and relevance to local or regional communities in Africa.

The award is made possible through funding support from the Government of the United States of America.

For more information, please contact:

Bryan Coll, UNEP Newsdesk, on Tel. +254 20 7623088 or Email bryan.coll@unep.org

http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2656&ArticleID=8896&l=en



UNEP- Making the Economic Case for Greening Cities
13 – 10 – 2011
A number of cities around the world have pioneered ambitious green policies and trajectories to improve environmental performance

Significant Slice of GDP Being Lost Through Poor Urban Planning

Gwangju, -Improved planning and more intelligent management of cities across the developed and developing world could play a key role in growing economies, boosting social improvements and reducing humanity's environmental footprint.

Findings from the Green Economy report of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) indicate that current patterns of urban development could be costing countries over three per cent of GDP as a result of congestion to welfare costs.

The cities chapter of the report, released at the Gwangju Summit of the Urban Environmental Accords in the Republic of Korea, cites Buenos Aires and Dakar as two examples where current patterns of urban development are reducing GDP by 3.4 per cent.

Current models of urban development in a city like Mexico City may be undermining the economy by over two per cent of GDP and in the European Union a lower but still significant 0.75 per cent of GDP.

Achim Steiner, UN Under Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "Without cities, a transition to a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy as a way and as a means for implementing sustainable development, will always remain an aspiration rather than a reality-the overwhelming evidence is that the decoupling of economic growth from the consumption of natural resources will only happen if cities are committed and on board".

"The evidence from around the globe, and the case studies from city delegates in Gwangju, is that this realization and action to re-define the urban environment as a catalyst for transformational change is understood and underway," he said.

"Rio+20 in Brazil next June is an opportunity to scale-up and to accelerate these transformations through innovative policy switches, creative and available technologies and by capitalizing and adopting the legion of lessons and experiences that clearly illuminate a path towards a sustainable future," he added.

According to the report, cities are facing mounting pressures to meet the demands of bourgeoning populations - from unsustainable resource use and energy consumption to insufficient infrastructure and health hazards.

While urbanization has helped to reduce absolute poverty, the number of people classified as urban poor is on the rise. Between 1993 and 2000, there was an additional 50 million poor in urban areas while the number of rural poor declined by 150 million.

The UNEP report finds that the environmental performance of cities can be enhanced through effective urban planning and sound governance.

The physical structures of cities - urban form, size, density and configuration - can be designed and managed to limit resources consumption and per capita carbon emissions.

More compact urban forms, reduced travel distances, higher density green residential and commercial buildings and investment in green public transport models lead to greater energy efficiency and reduced environmental footprints.

According to research, net residential densities of up to 3,000 persons per hectare can be reached without compromising environmental or social conditions.

Many cities around the world have recognized such structural opportunities. Compact urban development models with walkable urban neighbourhoods and green public transport have been created in cities such as Copenhagen, Oslo and Madrid in Europe and Curitiba, Vancouver and Portland in the Americas.

In high density cities such as Hong Kong and New York, housing, commercial retail and leisure facilities are in close proximity, thus limiting the lengths of everyday trips. This is supported by efficient and extensive public transport networks.

In an urban green economy, job creation can come in many forms - from urban agriculture and renewable energy to green construction and better waste management. Upgrading to greener infrastructure will also create more jobs, as will more effective recycling services. For example, in the Republic of Korea, the Ministry of Environment expects the government and private sector to spend 5.63 trillion won to expand the country's waste to energy facilities by 2013. It has projected that this project will create 46,000 new jobs and generate savings of 1.2 trillion won from reduced waste disposal and importation of crude oil, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The most significant cost savings can be derived from shifting away from infrastructure for automobiles to more efficient public transport systems, such as pedestrian and cycling paths. Studies have shown that fuel wasted in traffic jams in well-designed cities such as Curitiba, Brazil, has cost the city about US$ 930,000 compared to $13.4 million in Rio de Janeiro.

A green public transport sector also helps create jobs. In many countries, public transport jobs account for up to one and two per cent of total employment. In New York, almost 80,000 local jobs are connected to the sector and in Mumbai, there are more than 160,000 jobs involved.

Overall, greening cities reduces social inequality and improves the quality of life for its inhabitants. Research shows that creating green spaces has positive impacts on public health, as does providing access to recreational facilities, such as bicycle and walking paths.

Green Cities: Examples From Around the World

A number of cities around the world have pioneered ambitious green policies and trajectories to improve environmental performance.

* Freiburg, a German city of 200,000 inhabitants, has reduced its Co2 emissions per capita by 12 per cent between 1992 and 2003. The city has a long tradition of constructing green buildings and recycling waste.

* The city of Curitiba, Brazil, adopts integrated land-use and sustainable transport systems. It introduced an innovative bus rapid transit system that has been in service since 1970.

* Singapore introduced the world's first road-charging scheme in the 1980s and it is now at theforefront of sustainable policies on waste, water and the greening of the environment.

Notes to Editors

* A city is a social, ecological and economic system within a defined geographic territory that may reflect population size, administrative or historic status.

* Greening cities requires: controlling disease; reducing chemical and physical hazards; developing high-quality urban environments; minimizing the transfer of environmental costs to areas outside the city and the implementation of sustainable production and consumption patterns.

* Indicators measuring the environmental performance of cities include: levels of pollution and carbon emissions, energy and water consumption, water quality, energy mix, waste volumes and recycling rates. Other indicators include: green-space ratios, primary forests and agricultural land loss, motorization rate and modal share of urban transport.

* An important measure of humanity's demand on nature is the Ecological Footprint, which measures how much biologically productive land and water area a human population or activity requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its wastes.
Regional- Crean Instituto Global para la Sostenibilidad
12 – 10 – 2011
El Tecnológico de Monterrey y la Universidad del Estado de Arizona (Arizona State University - ASU) inauguraron la sede de las Américas del Instituto Global para la Sostenibilidad que promoverá la transición de México y América Latina hacia una economía verde, a través de programas de investigación multidisciplinaria y aplicada, planes de estudio innovadores, soluciones de negocios y proyectos que aceleren la adopción de una cultura sostenible. “El Instituto es un proyecto ambicioso y vanguardista que busca cumplir con la Misión 2012 de l Tecnológico de Monterrey”, afirmó Arturo Molina, Rector del Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Ciudad de México, en el evento de inauguración.

“El nuevo Instituto, único en su tipo en América Latina, es un centro de pensamiento global que promoverá soluciones de negocio, tecnologías limpias y modelos de gobernanza para las empresas y los tomadores de decisión de gobierno y cuenta con el apoyo de la Arizona State University, uno de los principales centros de investigación en desarrollo sostenible en el continente”, expresó Isabel Studer, la directora fundadora de esta nueva entidad.

Asimismo, formará a una nueva generación de empresarios que sabrán identificar y crear negocios que combinen el aprovechamiento de los recursos naturales con el cuidado del medio ambiente, de acuerdo al concepto de cultura emprendedora del Tecnológico de Monterrey, la universidad nacional privada más grande de México y América Latina.

El Instituto creará sinergias entre las muchas iniciativas de sostenibilidad que ya existen en el Tecnológico de Monterrey y desarrollará un modelo de colaboración único, pues se apoyará en un gran número de número de organismos ambientalistas, gubernamentales y de empresas comprometidas con el desarrollo sostenible.

El Instituto ofrece programas de formación académica para desarrollar capital humano líder en la transición hacia una economía verde; así como investigación orientada a resolver problemas reales del país, en particular los retos para adoptar un desarrollo sostenible. Ofrece también capacitación para responder a las necesidades inmediatas del sector empresarial y público y la creación de redes y programa de vinculación con amplios sectores de la sociedad en México y en el mundo para encontrar respuestas a la sostenibilidad de manera incluyente y conjunta.

El nuevo instituto promoverá proyectos de “emprendedurismo” orientados a la generación de empresas y empleos verdes y transferencia de tecnologías limpias mediante la vinculación con el Parque Tecnológico del Tec de Monterrey de la Ciudad de México. Además, buscará también preservar el capital natural del país al impulsar políticas públicas de vanguardia e inclusivas así como una participación activa de la sociedad.

Para el evento de inauguración, se realizaron cuatro paneles de discusión con autoridades de gobierno, empresarios, académicos y especialistas en medio ambiente y desarrollo sostenible en el Campus Ciudad de México del Tecnológico de Monterrey, donde se ubicará el nuevo Instituto.

Acerca del Instituto Global para la Sostenibilidad: www.igs.org.mx

Acerca del Tecnológico de Monterrey: www.itesm.edu

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Regional- Tenth Caribbean Week of Agriculture -- Spotlight placed on effects of climate change on agriculture


12 – 10 – 2011
The Tenth Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) got underway Sunday in Roseau, Dominica, with stakeholders identifying the need for urgent action to mitigate the effects of climate change on agriculture, greater collaboration among states and increased investments, among the priorities to move the sector forward.

The priority areas for the agriculture sector were highlighted at the joint Opening Ceremony of the Climate Change and Science and Technology Workshops at Arawak House in Roseau.

Delivering the feature address, the Hon. Ambrose George, Acting Prime Minister of Dominica, pointed out that the agriculture sector was vitally important in the gamut of economic and social interactions of the Region’s people. He called for a closer examination of the interactions of climate change and the key factors of agricultural production, the rural way of life, as well as the threats to coastal communities and infrastructural investments.

CWA is being held in the middle of the hurricane season, and follows the worst flooding in Dominica’s history - a point to which the Acting Prime Minister and other speakers referred in their addresses. The cost associated with recent flooding in Dominica –excluding the tab borne by private individuals and institutions - is estimated at EC$46M.

The Acting Prime Minister said that the Region needed to take stock of the probable negative impacts that climate change would have on agriculture of the future, and pointed out that drought, intense rainfall, flooding and sea level rise would cost the English-speaking Caribbean five per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually.

The Region, he said, had to “focus on the imperatives of transforming agriculture and our way of life, with a view to building resilience in our natural environments and economies to the ever- present negative effects of climate change, if not for us, then certainly for future generations to come.”

He was of the view that the fundamental objectives of deliberations at CWA should include strategies for adaptation, mitigation and building resilience to the harmful effects of climate change.

“Let me say… this year’s Caribbean Week of Agriculture should be judged not by the declarations that we expect will come out of it, but rather it should be judged by the practical, fundable action plans and a schedule of major milestones that are implemented before the next CWA,” he told the gathering that included policymakers, representatives of international organizations, stakeholders in the agriculture sector and representatives of the media.

The urgent response to the threats associated with climate change was also underscored by the Hon. Dr. Kenneth Darroux, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources, Physical Planning and Fisheries.

He drew attention to Dominica’s experience of drought in 2010; this year’s unprecedented flooding; and weather systems that had become more unpredictable, frequent and intense.

“We need to recognize the urgency for immediate action. Climate change is not a future scenario but a current event with almost daily scientific reassessments of the immediacy and severity of the risks presented. Adaptation policies and measures must therefore be viewed as a priority and therefore integrated into decision-making at virtually all levels. And in the Caribbean, we have to be alert to the international political fiasco into which the issue of climate change has evolved. The industrialised countries are the ones who contribute the most to the anthropogenic aspects of climate change, and as such, should be held the most accountable. Thus, our participation at international forums, especially those involving negotiations with these countries, is very critical,” he pointed out.

More than 300 persons are expected in Dominica for the CWA being held from 9-15 October, 2011, under the theme `Caribbean Food and Nutrition Security in a Changing Climate – the Nature Island Experience’. About 20 events will be held at eight locations.

The CWA, conceptualized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), is aimed at placing agriculture and rural life at the forefront of regional integration activities. It is convened under the aegis of the Alliance for Sustainable Development of Agriculture and the Rural Milieu, known as The Alliance. The main collaborating agencies are IICA, the CARICOM Secretariat, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Cooperation on Agriculture and Rural Development (CTA).



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