FAO lauds Nelson Mandela as champion of right to food
Published Dec 6, 2013 - 8:49:02 AM
"We have lost one of the world's passionate defenders of the right to food," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, on learning of the death of Nelson Mandela, former South Africa president.
Winners of the United Nations Human Rights Prize for 2013 announced
Published Dec 6, 2013 - 8:45:53 AM
The winners of the prestigious United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights for 2013 have been announced by the Selection Committee.
They are: Mr. Biram Dah Abeid, Ms. Hiljmnijeta Apuk, Ms. Liisa Kauppinen, Ms. Khadija Ryadi, the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico and Ms. Malala Yousafzai. The committee consisting of the President of the General Assembly, the President of the Economic and Social Council, President of the Human Rights Council, Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women and Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council, has been tasked by the General Assembly with selecting the winners.
Nelson Mandela, Champion of Sustainable Development, Dies at 95
Published Dec 6, 2013 - 8:18:46 AM
On his 89th birthday, Mandela brought together a group of renowned statesmen, human rights advocates and others to form an organization known as "The Elders", which have since tackled, among other issues, environmental degradation and climate change.
Message from The Nelson Mandela Foundation, The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 2:24:18 PM
It is with the deepest regret that we have learned of the passing of our founder, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba. The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa will shortly make further official announcements.
Polar Bear Hunting on Rise Despite Species' Decline
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 12:21:45 PM
As the biennial meeting of the international Polar Bear Agreement begins in Moscow, Russia, new data points to an unsustainable rise in hunting that threatens the species. Despite the grim outlook for polar bears due to the growing threat of climate change, Canadian polar bear kills have risen at alarming rate, in excess of 10 percent over previous years.
Tibetan father of two sets fire to himself in Ngaba
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 8:39:40 AM
According to information received from Tibetans in exile, Kunchok Tseten died soon after his self-immolation. His body has not been returned to his family. According to new information from the same sources, Kunchok Tseten had participated in a protest in Lhasa during the wave of unrest across Tibet in 2008, and was sent back to his home area of Machu by the authorities at that time.
Climate projections of unparalleled accuracy for the whole of Europe
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 8:31:13 AM
An international team including CNRS, Météo-France, CEA, UVSQ and INERIS has carried out and analyzed an ensemble of climate projections for the whole of Europe at an unprecedented resolution of 12 km, by downscaling the global simulations carrried out for the 5th IPCC report. These simulations for the 21st century now provide a much more detailed representation of local phenomena and extreme events. Initial analyses confirm that there will be a significant increase in the frequency of extreme events, such as heavy rainfall, heatwaves and droughts. Data from the EURO-CORDEX project have just been published and made available to scientists. This should lead to more precise studies of the impact of climate change in Europe on air quality, hydrology and extreme events, which are all areas that concern key sectors such as energy, health and agriculture.
Study Rebuts IPCC, Calls For More Severe Emissions Cuts
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 8:52:47 AM
The globally agreed upon political goal of limiting global warming to 3.6°F (2°C) above preindustrial levels would bring "potentially disastrous impacts," and a far more ambitious plan to slash emissions of global warming gases is needed, according to a new study by an interdisciplinary group of scientists and economists.
Arab-Israeli citizen: 'I refuse to take an assault rifle and point it at another human being'
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 8:45:22 AM
Since he was a child, Arab-Israeli Omar Sa'ad knew turning 18 wasn't going to be easy.
A few days after his birthday on 17 November, the Israeli army called his father and told him Omar was due to start his induction for military service on 4 December.
The politics of preventing genocide
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 8:07:05 AM
The crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) has been deteriorating for the best part of this year. In the words of UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, the international community has "watched from a distance" as the country descended into "virtual melt-down." He called the decision to act "a profoundly important test of international solidarity and of our responsibility to prevent atrocities."
Poland knew about CIA torture prison on its soil, secret court session hears
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 10:10:20 AM
A court has heard "overwhelming and uncontested evidence" of the existence on European soil of a CIA "black site," used to torture prisoners – with the knowledge of host-government Poland.
Record High for Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 9:03:29 AM
The disappointing climate conference in Warsaw, Poland-which was intended to lay the groundwork for a global climate agreement in 2015-stands in sharp contrast to the continued growth in emissions of greenhouse gases. Negotiators and activists alike confront not only the fact that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reached the highest annual total to date, but also a shifting geographic distribution of emissions. The international community must take swift action, concludes a new Vital Signs Online trend released by the Worldwatch Institute (www.worldwatch.org).
New Report Offers Menu of Solutions to Close the Global Food Gap
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 8:25:35 AM
New research presents solutions to meet the world's growing food needs, while advancing economic development and environmental sustainability. The analysis finds that the world will need 70 percent more food, as measured by calories, in order to feed a global population of 9.6 billion people in 2050. It is possible to close the food gap, while creating a more productive and healthy environment through improvements in the way people produce and consume food.
Corruption Perceptions Index: Corruption around the world in 2013
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 8:22:52 AM
Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 offers a warning that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world.
WFP Forced To Reduce Its Food Assistance In Democratic Republic Of Congo
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 7:51:04 AM
Due to serious resource constraints, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will have to reduce or interrupt some of its activities as from this month in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), leaving thousands of people with no food assistance.
Urgent deal reached for African Elephants
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 7:40:21 AM
Key states along the illegal ivory value chain have committed to urgent measures to halt the illegal trade and secure elephant populations across Africa. The agreement was reached at the African Elephant Summit convened by the government of Botswana and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
Israel/OPT: Gaza power crisis has compounded blockade's assault on human dignity
Published Dec 2, 2013 - 7:47:30 AM
Israel must immediately lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip, including by allowing the delivery of fuel and other essential supplies into the territory without restrictions, said Amnesty International today.
Almost two-thirds of women journalists have experienced abuse and harassment
Published Dec 2, 2013 - 7:45:33 AM
Almost two-thirds of women journalists have experienced intimidation, threats or abuse in relation to their work, according to the findings of the first global survey into violence and threats against women working in the news media.
Water financialization exposed in new report on eve of WTO meeting
Published Dec 2, 2013 - 7:43:36 AM
On the eve of a key World Trade Organization meeting in Bali , Friends of the Earth International launched a new report exposing how trade and investment strategies, including WTO negotiations, act as economic drivers of water financialization.
Iraq: Wave of Journalist Killings
Published Dec 2, 2013 - 5:07:27 AM
Four journalists have been assassinated in Mosul, the capital of Iraq's Ninewa Province, since early October 2013. Iraqi security officials have said they were investigating the killings, the most recent on November 24, but have not arrested or charged anyone in connection with the attacks.
Gold price plunges as confident investors pile out of safe havens
Full story: The Guardian UK
Golddiggers thwarted by Ancient Rome: Romania shelves plans to allow the exploitation of a heritage mining site
Full story: The Independent UK
New UN report details widespread psychological distress of Syria's refugee children
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 9:08:53 AM
Syrian refugee children in Lebanon and Jordan suffer from widespread psychological distress, with many of them living alone or separated from their parents, and most receiving no education and involved in illegal labour, according to a new report by the United Nations refugee agency.
Fury as new auction of Hopi sacred objects announced in Paris
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 9:03:53 AM
A French auction house has announced that it is putting up for sale a large number of katsinam – objects sacred to the Hopi tribe of Arizona – just months after a similar auction caused an international furore.
Protests Grow as Ecuador's Amazon Oil Auction Closes
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 8:52:36 AM
Some 75 protesters gathered outside the Oil and Energy Conference at the Marriott Hotel in Quito yesterday where meetings took place in a final push by the Ecuadorian government to auction off 13 oil blocks that are part of the 11th Round of oil-licensing covering over six million acres of rainforest in the Amazonian provinces of Pastaza and Morona Santiago near the border with Peru. The region is Ecuador's last remaining tract of virgin rainforest and is home to seven indigenous nationalities. Attempts to lease it have been plagued by a transnational oil spill, global protests, wary investors, deadline extensions and other setbacks. The Ecuadorian government has said that it will close the oil round with a final bidding deadline of November 28th.
NATO probes Afghan airstrike that killed two-year-old boy
Full story: France 24
Australian Arctic 30 activist Colin Russell bailed after 71 days detention
Published Nov 28, 2013 - 10:03:17 AM
Australian activist Colin Russell has been granted bail today by a St. Petersburg court, the last of the Arctic 30 detainees to be ordered released on bail after a peaceful Arctic oil drilling protest. He has spent 71 days in detention.
FAO warns of the risk of a double tragedy in the Philippines
Published Nov 27, 2013 - 11:29:24 AM
Immediate assistance from the international community for Philippine farmers is critical to avoid a double tragedy befalling rural survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, FAO announced today.
Report: Improved Weather and Climate Forecasting Saves Lives, Builds Climate Resilience
Published Nov 27, 2013 - 10:01:45 AM
Countries need to invest in well-equipped and fully staffed meteorological and hydrological agencies in order to better prepare for natural hazards, which could save an average of 23,000 lives a year and provide up to $30 billion a year in economic benefits, according to a new World Bank Group report.
Greenpeace and the Oakland Institute: Cameroon, Herakles Land Lease Signature is an Alarming Development
Published Nov 27, 2013 - 9:09:56 AM
Greenpeace Africa and the Oakland Institute are alarmed by the decision of the Cameroonian government to award US agribusiness company Herakles Farms a three-year provisional land lease to develop a palm oil plantation in the Southwest region of the country. The move disproves Herakles Farms' claim that it had all the necessary permits from the start, and confirms that the company has in fact been operating illegally for more than three years.