Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα human activities. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα human activities. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Παρασκευή, Φεβρουαρίου 13, 2015

Climate pact blueprint adopted in Geneva

Negotiators in Geneva adopted a climate blueprint on Friday (Feb 13), a symbolic milestone in the fraught UN process that must culminate in a universal pact in Paris in December.
Assembled over the past six days, the 86-page draft plan for limiting man-made global warming was gavelled through at the close of six days of talks, prompting applause from delegates.

"The task of this session has been achieved," UN climate chief Christiana Figueres told reporters ahead of the closing. "We have a text today ..., the formal negotiating text that will be the basis for negotiations for the next few months until we get to Paris", where the final pact will be adopted.

Ever since the 2009 Copenhagen conference failed to deliver a world agreement, the 195 nations gathered under the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) have been working on a new project for adoption by the end of this year.

Set to be signed at the November 30-December 11 UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris, the pact must enter into force by 2020 to further the UN goal of limiting warming to 2°C (3.6°F) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

Scientists warn that at current greenhouse gas emission trends, Earth is on track for double that, or more - a recipe for catastrophic droughts, storms, floods and rising sea levels.

Negotiators emerged from the last COP in Lima last December, with a hard-fought framework text that remained hotly contested.

The February 8-13 Geneva talks, one of three special sessions added to this year's official UN climate agenda, was tasked with "streamlining" the Lima document. Instead, the meeting's mandate was changed early on to seeking universal endorsement of the text, which more than doubled since Sunday until all countries were satisfied their views were included.

The process was widely hailed for creating a sense of common purpose and goodwill in a text with universal buy-in. But it also yielded a vast document listing a variety of alternative approaches on most issues - often reflecting country positions that diametrically oppose one another.

And that means hard choices will have to be made in the months to come, starting with the next negotiating round in Bonn in June. "We have now agreed on a negotiating text. It provides us with the basis for moving forward," Elina Bardram, head of the EU delegation, told AFP.

But she added: "We would have wished for more advancement. The introduction of missing elements in the text is an achievement, but it does mean that the tough negotiations lie ahead of us and we are running out of time. We need a step change between now and Paris."

OPTIONS FROM A TO Z

"All the crunch issues are still on the table," added to Climate Action Network spokeswoman Alix Mazounie. "We have options going from A to Z".

At the very core of the pact, countries remain deeply divided on the issue of "differentiation" - how to share responsibility for emissions cuts between rich and poor nations. Developing countries also want their developed counterparts to commit to long-term climate financing, and insist on compensation for climate-change induced losses and damage suffered.

"I don't think there's any doubt that the negotiations are going to get more difficult," said veteran observer Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "The first step before you can get to addressing those is to have a common picture of what the agreement is going to look like in terms of what the outline is, what the elements are in it. They have it now."
- AFP/ec

channelnewsasia.com
13/2/15

Παρασκευή, Φεβρουαρίου 06, 2015

Russian expert says no global warming over past fourteen years

There is been no global warming over the past fourteen years but scientists are divided in their assessments of the impact of human activity on the condition of climate, Dr. Robert Nigmatulin, the director of the Institute of Oceanic Studies reporting to the Russian Academy of Sciences said on Thursday...

"Manmade concentration of carbon dioxide is really growing," he said adding that this gas did contribute to the greenhouse effect, although it was increasing the atmospheric temperatures but insignificantly.

However, these slightly heightened concentrations intensified evaporation of water from the surface of the world ocean and the increase of concentration of aqueous vapor, which was producing a strong greenhouse effect.

"In the meantime, there has been no greenhouse effect over the past fourteen years," Dr. Nigmatulin said. "One of the explanations is the rising concentrations of aqueous vapor naturally bring about a thickening of the cloud cover, which in its turn increases reflection of solar light by the atmosphere."

"Quite possibly, a mechanism of this kind is in action now," he said. "I’m scrutinizing it now but I can’t give you more precise information yet."

"On the whole, the research community is split into two camps now, one saying that man is to blame for the global warming and the other insisting that, no, the anthropogenic factor does not play a decisive role in climate warming," Dr. Nigmatulin said.

 http://itar-tass.com/en/non-political/775806
6/2/15
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Σάββατο, Σεπτεμβρίου 06, 2014

Le Groenland a commencé à se réchauffer il y a 19 000 ans

Une nouvelle étude publiée par la revue américaine Science pourrait répondre aux interrogations de nombreux scientifiques. Utilisant des procédés de mesures plus précis que ceux appliqués lors des analyses précédentes, elle affirme que le Groenland a commencé à se réchauffer il y a 19 000 ans.

L'évolution des températures sur cette immense île du nord de l'océan Atlantique provoquait la perplexité des climatologues : plusieurs études dataient le début de son réchauffement à il y a 12 000 ans, mais les diverses données recueillies contredisaient cette estimation.


ÉNERGIE SOLAIRE

Il y a 20 000 ans, durant la période la plus froide du dernier âge glaciaire, de vastes et épaisses couches de glace recouvraient l'Amérique du Nord et le nord de l'Europe. Les températures moyennes étaient environ quatre degrés inférieures à celles de l'ère pré-industriel.

Des changements dans l'orbite de la Terre autour du soleil, il y a 19 000 ans, ont augmenté la quantité d’énergie solaire reçue par le Groenland, entraînant la libération de fortes doses de dioxyde de carbone (CO2) dans l'atmosphère et provoquant un réchauffement global des températures sur la planète.

PÉRIODE HOLOCÈNE

Pour savoir quelle température il faisait sur la Terre à cette époque, les scientifiques peuvent se servir de la calotte glaciaire du Groenland comme d'un véritable livre, grâce aux couches de neige successives tombées chaque hiver.

Dans le cadre de cette recherche trois carottes de glace ont été prélevées et analysées avec un procédé plus précis que par le passé, a noté Christo Buizert de l'Université d'Etat d'Oregon (nord-ouest), le principal auteur de l'étude. Ces analyses ont permis de détecter un net réchauffement en réaction à l'augmentation du CO2 dans l'atmosphère.


Ainsi, selon cette dernière analyse sur la période allant de - 19 000 à - 12 000 ans, le Groenland a « gagné » environ cinq degrés, une variation très proche de celle indiquée par les modèles climatiques.

Cette montée des températures a marqué le commencement de la période holocène, avec un climat plus chaud et plus stable qui a permis l'essor de la civilisation humaine.

Le Monde.fr avec AFP
lemonde.fr
6/9/14 
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Τετάρτη, Αυγούστου 20, 2014

Double threat for Tibet (Climate change and human development are jeopardizing the plateau’s fragile environment.)

The plateau and its surrounding mountains cover 5 million square kilo­metres and hold the largest stock of ice outside the Arctic and Antarctic; the region is thus often referred to as the Third Pole. And like the actual poles, it is increasingly feeling the effects of climate change, but rapid development is putting it doubly at risk, the report says.

Released in Lhasa on 9 August by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the government of Tibet, the assessment aimed to address gaps in knowledge about the extent of the problems the 4,500-metre-high plateau faces. It finds that precipitation has risen by 12% since 1960, and temperatures have soared by 0.4 °C per decade — twice the global average.
In addition, glaciers are shrinking rapidly and one-tenth of the permafrost has thawed in the past decade alone. This means that the number of lakes has grown by 14% since 1970, and more than 80% of them have expanded since, devastating surrounding pastures and communities.
The plateau feeds Asia’s biggest rivers (see ‘Running wild’), so these problems are likely to affect billions of people, the report says. Pollution from human and industrial waste as a result of rapid development is also a serious risk.
But the assessment also suggests ways to combat the problems, calling on the Chinese and Tibetan governments to make conservation and environmental protection top priorities. It will help in the design of “policies for mitigating climate change and striking a balance between development and conservation”, says Meng Deli, Tibet’s vice-chairman.
tibet-map
“The Tibetan plateau is getting warmer and wetter,” says Yao Tandong, director of the CAS Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research in Beijing, who led the assessment. This means that vegetation is expanding to higher elevations and farther north, and growing seasons are getting longer. But some areas, such as the headwater region of Asia’s biggest rivers, have become warmer and drier and are being severely affected by desertification and grassland and wetland degradation.
Human activity, too, is on the rise. The population of the plateau reached 8.8 million in 2012, about three times higher than in 1951. And the number of livestock has more than doubled, putting more strain on grasslands.

Multiple menaces

Growing urbanization is creating more waste than the region can handle. Tibet has the capacity to treat 256,000 tonnes of domestic solid waste a year, less than the amount generated by its two largest cities, Lhasa and Shigatse. “You see a lot of rubbish lying around the plateau, including headwater regions,” says Kang Shichang, a glaciologist at the CAS Institute of Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute in Lanzhou. “It’s an environmental menace.”

A bigger threat comes from mining. According to the assessment, Tibetan mines produced 100 million tonnes of wastewater in 2007 and 18.8 million tonnes of solid waste in 2009. Because most of the mines are open pits and have limited environmental oversight, “air, water and soil pollution is particularly serious”, says the report. Officials release few details about actual pollution levels.

Pollution is coming not just from local sources. Dust, black carbon, heavy metals and other toxic compounds are being blown in from Africa, Europe and southern Asia. The dust and carbon residues are darkening glaciers, making them more susceptible to melting, and the toxic chemicals are poisoning crops, livestock and wildlife.

But the threats from mining and pollution are dwarfed by the potential repercussions of changes in ice and vegetation cover, the assessment says. Different surfaces — snow, grassland, desert — reflect and absorb different amounts of solar radiation, affecting how the air above them is heated. This means that changes in coverage are likely to affect the onset and strength of Asian monsoons. It also has important ramifications for the livelihood of downstream river communities because the glaciers, permafrost and ecosystems act as a giant sponge, helping to control the release of water and prevent floods. “The significance of the assessment goes beyond national borders,” says David Molden, head of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu.

Temperatures in the plateau are projected to rise by between 1.7 °C and 4.6 °C by the end of 2100 compared with the 1996–2005 average, based on the best- and worst-case global-emissions scenarios. So as urbanization and climate change tighten their grip, researchers worry that unbridled development will devastate the plateau’s environment. To protect it, the report says, the central government must evaluate local officials on the basis of their environmental, not just economic, achievements. It must also invest more in ecological compensation, for example by paying herders more to cut their livestock numbers. Moreover, it must be much more open about pollution incidents.

“Tibet will be a test case of how seriously China takes ecological protection,” says Yao. “Safeguarding the plateau environment is crucial not only for sustainable development of the region, but also to social stability and international relations.”
tibet.net
19/8/14
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Παρασκευή, Αυγούστου 15, 2014

Farmer leaves wheat on field to bring wild birds back

A man living in a remote village of Turkey’s Black Sea region has been planting wheat in his fields and does not harvest it, in order to feed wild birds and thus keep them in the area.

Tahir Öztürk, 29, who runs a shop for door and window restorations in the town center of Gümüşhane, decided to plant wheat in his fields in the Boyluca village four years ago in order to “hear the sounds of wild birds once again.”

Öztürk said many villagers had moved out of Boyluca and ceased to plant their fields, meaning that many birds, particularly partridges, stopped returning to the village, as they were unable to find food anymore.


“Four years ago, my uncle Halil and I decided to plant our fields with wheat so we could hear the partridges in our village again and support wildlife here,” said Öztürk.

He and his uncle have been planting wheat in their 2.8 hectares of land ever since.

“We do not harvest the wheat, but leave it for the animals. There were no birds here before. Now we can see many different kinds of birds after planting the wheat. We have spent around 6,000 Turkish Liras, and the Nature Protection and National Parks Department supported us for this year’s planting. We will continue to plant here,” Öztürk added.

He also called on authorities to open a road to their field, saying they had to carry seeds of wheat on foot for around 600 meters because there is no proper road to the field.

“It is difficult during the planting season. We carry seeds on our back for 600 meters. We want a road top come here,” Öztürk said. 

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/farmer-leaves-wheat-on-field-to-bring-wild-birds-back.aspx?pageID=238&nID=70448&NewsCatID=340
14/8/14

Τετάρτη, Αυγούστου 13, 2014

Poor outlook warned for Great Barrier Reef (five-yearly review to address UNESCO)

Australia's Great Barrier Reef remains under threat despite efforts to rein in major sources of damage to the World Heritage-listed icon, the government said on Tuesday.

Canberra released a five-yearly review of the reef and moves to protect it, to address concerns raised by UNESCO and persuade the world body not to put the key tourist attraction on its "in danger" list next year. "Even with the recent management initiatives to reduce threats and improve resilience, the overall outlook for the Great Barrier Reef is poor, has worsened since 2009 and is expected to further deteriorate," the government said in its outlook report.


The reef, which stretches 2,300 kilometers along Australia's east coast, is the centerpiece of a campaign by green groups and marine tourist operators aiming to stop a planned coal port expansion that would require millions of cubic meters of sand to be dredged up and dumped near the reef.

The reef has the world's largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish, 4,000 types of mollusc, and is home to threatened species, the World Heritage list says.

The government said run-off from farms, crown-of-thorns starfish and climate change remain the biggest threats to the reef, but acknowledged that shipping and dredging occur in reef areas already facing pressure from other impacts. "Greater reductions of all threats at all levels, reef-wide, regional and local, are required to prevent the projected declines in the Great Barrier Reef and to improve its capacity to recover," the government said.

The government said it would not allow any port development outside long-established ports in Queensland. Those existing ports include Abbot Point, where India's Adani Group and compatriot GVK plan a huge coal terminal expansion, and Gladstone, where ship traffic is set to increase sharply from 2015 as huge new liquefied natural gas plants start exports.

Green groups said the report did not let off the hook the mining industry, which is digging up coal for export, adding to climate change and expanding ports along the reef. "The greatest risk, again, is climate change," said Wendy Tubman, an official of the North Queensland Conservation Council.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has asked Australia to submit an updated report on the state of conservation of the reef, which sprawls over an area half the size of Texas, by next February 1. 

Sources: Reuters -  globaltimes.cn
13/8/14
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Πέμπτη, Ιουνίου 19, 2014

Australia hails Barrier Reef deferral. Environmentalists call UNESCO decision "final warning"

Australia Thursday called a decision by UNESCO to defer listing the Great Barrier Reef as in danger "a win for logic," but environmentalists said it was a final warning.

The UN cultural agency on Wednesday said the reef could be put on a list of endangered World Heritage Sites if more was not done to protect it.

It voiced alarm at a "serious decline in the condition" of the reef, and said "a business as usual approach to managing the property is not an option."

Australia was given until February 1 next year to submit a report on what it was doing to protect the natural wonder. The Queensland state government saw the deferral as "a tick of approval."


"I welcome this decision by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, which gives Queensland a big tick and it gives the work we are doing a big tick," state Environment Minister Andrew Powell said.

"Our strong plan to protect the Great Barrier Reef is already producing positive results, creating a brighter future that Queenslanders and tourists from around the world can enjoy. This decision is also a win for logic and science rather than rhetoric and scaremongering."

The reef is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, but is under pressure not only from climate change and the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, but agricultural runoff and development linked to mining.

  • UNESCO raised particular concerns about the approval in December of a massive coal port expansion in the region and allowing the dumping of millions of tons of dredge waste within the marine park waters.
Green groups said the government was on its final warning, and had "clearly not lived up to the standards expected by the international community."

"The World Heritage Committee has resisted intense pressure from the Australian and Queensland governments to water down its decision on the reef," said WWF-Australia reef campaigner Richard Leck, who is in Doha for the committee's annual meeting.

"Instead, the committee has put Australia firmly on notice to take stronger action to protect the Great Barrier Reef."

"This is a victory for the millions around the world who say our reef is not a dump."

The World Heritage Committee is also due to consider a request from Australia to de-list 74,000 hectares (183,000 acres) of the Tasmanian Wilderness, one of the last expanses of temperate rainforest in the world.

The move, which could give access to loggers, has been denounced by environmental groups and led to thousands protesting last weekend outside Tasmania's state parliament in Hobart.

Sources: AFP - globaltimes.cn
19/6/14
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Τετάρτη, Ιουνίου 18, 2014

UNESCO to decide if Australia's Great Barrier Reef is in danger

The United Nations world heritage body UNESCO will decide on Wednesday whether to list Australia's Great Barrier Reef as "in danger."

Concerns were raised in May over the decision to allow dredging near the reef, the ABC reported.

UNESCO recommended adding the reef to the World Heritage in Danger list in 2015, unless the Queensland Government took further action to protect it.

The committee is meeting this week in Doha and Queensland Environment Minister Andrew Powell is also there to convince UNESCO the reef is not in danger.


"I'm very confident that there won't be a decision at this session," he said.

"We've delivered nearly everything that UNESCO has asked of us, and by next year we'll have done that."

  • However, Josh Coates from the Cairns and Far North Environment Center said despite the action taken by the government to protect the reef, there were an "unprecedented number" of dredging proposals along the Queensland coast.
  • "Those are actually going to be releasing more sediments and more nutrients into the water column, impacting on the reef and their in-shore environments," he said. 
Sources :Xinhua  - globaltimes.cn
18/6/14
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Τρίτη, Ιουνίου 10, 2014

EU launches new platform to improve human-wildlife coexistence

The European Commission on Tuesday launched a platform to improve the coexistence between humans and large carnivores, an official statement said.

The platform will support constructive dialogue between key stakeholder organizations at the European level, where farmers, conservationists, hunters, landowners and scientists can exchange ideas and best practices on sharing the same land with large carnivores.


Eight stakeholder associations signed the platform agreement, including the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), European Farmers and European Agri-cooperatives and the European Policy Office of World Wide Fund for Nature.

Launching the platform, EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said, "My warm congratulations to the organizations that have worked together to set up this important platform, which represents a major step forward in efforts to address the issue of peaceful coexistence."

The platform will hold one annual meeting and organize additional workshops on selected topics. It will be supported by a web-based resource center that will serve as the main tool to disseminate information on the activities of the platform, identify good practices in the form of documents or a manual, act as a gateway to the portals of the member organizations, and host media resources such as press kits for journalists.

In the EU region, up to 25 percent of species are now at risk of extinction, largely due to the disappearance of their habitats, the statement said. 

Sources:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
10/6/14
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  • Environment: Commission launches new platform to help resolve social conflicts over large carnivores
Europe's brown bear, wolf, wolverine, lynx – at least one of these species can now be found in 21 EU Member States. After a lengthy period of decline their numbers are growing once more, but coexistence with man can be problematic. In an effort to solve the social and economic problems that sometimes result from this new expansion, the European Commission has launched a platform where farmers, conservationists, hunters, landowners and scientists can exchange ideas and best practices on sharing the same land with large carnivores.

The EU Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores will support constructive dialogue between key stakeholder organisations at the European level. Launching the platform, EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "We need to treat our natural neighbours with respect – but we also need to heed the concerns of those whose lives are genuinely affected by their close proximity. My warm congratulations to the organisations that have worked together to set up this important platform, which represents a major step forward in efforts to address the issue of peaceful coexistence." 

The European Union is home to five species of large carnivores. All suffered dramatic declines in numbers and distribution as a consequence of human activity, but increasing protection and public awareness about their vital role in healthy ecosystems have caused many populations to stabilize or increase, and to return to areas from which they had been absent for decades or even centuries. 

While this recovery is seen by some as a great conservation success, it has not been without its opponents. The issue involves a diversity of stakeholders such as hunters, foresters, livestock producers, reindeer herders, landowners, rural communities, conservation organizations and the wider public. These groups are influenced by and perceive large carnivores in different ways, and in some cases these differences can be a source of conflict. The platform will facilitate exchanges of knowledge and promote ways and means to minimize, and wherever possible, find equitable solutions to these conflicts....................http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-648_en.htm?locale=en
10/6/14

Κυριακή, Ιουνίου 08, 2014

"One planet, one ocean – together, we must protect them", urges UN on World Oceans Day

UN,  8 June 2014 – To commemorate World Oceans Day, the United Nations family is encouraging the international community to reflect on the multiple benefits of oceans and commit to keeping them healthy and productive for current and future generations.

“We have to ensure that oceans continue to meet our needs without compromising those of future generations,” stressed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message marking the Day, adding “their depths hold current and future solutions to humanity's energy needs.”


Oceans regulate the planet's climate while providing a significant source of nutrition and essential passage for global trade. World Oceans Day is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of the oceans for life on earth and to stand up for their protection.

Oceans generate most of the oxygen we breathe, absorb a large share of carbon dioxide emissions, and are important economically for countries that rely on tourism, fishing and other marine resources for income, and serve as the backbone of international trade.

Unfortunately, human pressures, including overexploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing, as well as unsustainable aquaculture practices, marine pollution, habitat destruction, alien species, climate change and ocean acidification are taking a significant toll on the world's oceans and seas.

In her message, Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), emphasized that “at a time of rising threats, 'business as usual' is no longer acceptable – we must change how we understand, manage and use ocean resources and coastal areas. For this, we need to know more about the ocean and draw on stronger science to craft sustainable, ecosystem-based policies for the ocean and coasts.”

The UN General Assembly has recognized oceans and seas as an important part of sustainable development – as envisioned by the Millennium Declaration and it landmark anti-poverty Goals (MDGs). Looking now to craft a successor post-2015 sustainable development agenda, Member States have identified protecting oceans as one of the keys to creating a better, cleaner future for the planet.

“Billions of humans, plants and animals depend on our oceans each and every day,” said General Assembly President John W. Ashe in his message. “I call on Member States and other stakeholders to continue to take action to protect our oceans by reducing pollution, and protecting marine life for present and future generations.” he added.

Since 2009, the UN family has come together each year, urging communities to ensure that our oceans remain clean and healthy. This year's theme “Together we have the power to protect the ocean!” underscores the power of collaboration.

This year, the observance coincides with the 20th anniversary of the entry-into-force of the landmark UN Convention on the Law of the Sea – known as “Constitution for the Oceans” – that provides a comprehensive legal regime for all ocean activities. It is also the International Year of Small Island Developing States.

The ocean is essential to our well-being and the future of our planet. World Oceans Day is an occasion for all Governments and societies to join forces in ensuring its protection.

“One planet, one ocean – together, we have the power to protect them both,” exhorted Ms. Bokova.

[un.org]
8/6/14
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Πέμπτη, Μαΐου 01, 2014

UNESCO condemns dredge waste dumping in Barrier Reef waters

UNESCO on Thursday condemned a decision to allow the dumping of dredge waste in Great Barrier Reef waters and recommended the Australian marine park be considered for inclusion on the World Heritage in Danger list.
The decision in January to allow three million cubic metres of dredge waste to be disposed of in park waters followed a decision by the government to give the green light to a major coal port expansion for India's Adani Group on the reef coast in December.
Conservationists warn it could hasten the demise of the reef, which is already considered to be in "poor" health, with dredging smothering corals and seagrasses and exposing them to poisons and elevated levels of nutrients.

In its first comments on the issue, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization "noted with concern" and "regrets" the move, which it said "was approved despite an indication that less-impacting disposal alternatives may exist".
It asked the government to provide a new report to the World Heritage Committee proving that dumping was the least damaging option and would not hurt the reef's value.
More generally, UNESCO expressed concern "regarding serious decline in the condition of the Great Barrier Reef, including in coral recruitment and reef-building across extensive parts of the property".
The body said "a business-as-usual approach to managing the property is not an option".
Given the reef's long-term deterioration, it recommended the World Heritage Commitee consider putting it on its in danger list in 2015 "in the absence of substantial progress on key issues".
WWF Australia spokesman Richard Leck said the government needed to act quickly to prevent the embarrassment of the reef being listed as in danger....................https://sg.news.yahoo.com/unesco-condemns-dredge-waste-dumping-barrier-reef-waters-030016633.html
1/5/14
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Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 21, 2013

Climate finance is essential to addressing climate change, Ban tells ministers in Warsaw.


20 November 2013 – The top United Nations official today called on foreign ministers to prioritize the environment in domestic politics and contribute to climate financing as a way of moving towards a new global climate change agreement by 2015.
“This can do more than anything to unlock the huge investment necessary for climate change adaptation and mitigation,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a ministerial-level meeting on the margins of the UN-led climate change talks under way in the Polish capital, Warsaw.
“We must send the right policy signals,” Mr. Ban said, adding that the development of high-impact opportunities would unlock clean energy investments, close the viability gap between green and fossil fuel-based projects and de-risk renewable energy and low-carbon investments.

He called for public finance, private finance, and support to the Green Climate Fund as three areas for common action.
“Smart public financing can encourage local and international private investments,” the UN chief said, urging investors and companies to join forces with the public sector.
Mr. Ban today was scheduled to meet with chief executives and senior representatives attending the inaugural Caring for Climate Business Forum being held in Warsaw alongside the UN Climate Change Conference.
The Forum was launched by UN Global Compact, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, and UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
“The bulk of institutional investors’ assets are in high0carbon investments,” noted Mr. Ban.
“These investors have the power – and I believe the responsibility – to do their part in transforming the global economy and settling us on a safer path.”
Mr. Ban also called for support to the recently established Green Climate Fund, which functions under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties (COP), and supports projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries.
In addition, the Fund also aims to strengthen national ownership and enable countries to develop the capability and institutions needed to use climate finance effectively.
The UN chief described the current state of the new entity as “an empty shell” and called for it to be brought into full operation “as soon as possible” so support could be provided to developing countries’ adaptation and mitigation efforts.
 un.org
20/11/13
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Τετάρτη, Νοεμβρίου 20, 2013

In Warsaw, Ban urges climate negotiators to ‘rise to the challenge,’ reach global deal.

9 November 2013 – The world need look no further than the catastrophe in the Philippines to comprehend the profound and dangerous consequences of a warming planet, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned today, urging negotiators at a United Nations conference in Warsaw to rise to the challenge “with wisdom and urgency” and pave the way to a binding climate deal by 2015.

“Climate change threatens current and future generations,” Mr. Ban said in his address to the high-level segment of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, taking place in Poland.
Extending his deepest condolences to those affected throughout the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan, he said that all around the world, people now face and fear the wrath of a warming planet. “The science is clear. Human activities are the dominant cause of climate change. We cannot blame nature.”
Indeed, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and the consequences are profound, dangerous and known to all, the Secretary-General said, recalling a visit earlier this year to Iceland where the rate at which the glaciers are melting is among the fastest in the world. “I was told if we do not take urgent action now Iceland may be a land without ice soon.”
Offering another sobering example, Mr. Ban said that earlier this month he visited the Sahel, together with the President of the World Bank, and had witnessed climatic conditions – including extreme drought – undermining the region’s development and security.
“All of us in this room share a momentous responsibility. We must rise to these challenges with wisdom, urgency and resolve to address climate change,” he said, expressing deep concern that the scale of efforts being undertaken by the international community are still insufficient to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.
But the UN chief said that he is also hopeful because there has been progress on multiple fronts towards a low-carbon future. Governments, business, community groups, women, youth and indigenous leaders are building collective capacity. New programmes for sustainable cities and climate-smart agriculture are delivering benefits of people and the planet, and global demand for renewable energy continues to rise very sharply.
“We now know it is possible to close the emissions gap. We must build on this momentum,” he said, stressing that the United Nations, for its part, is engaging on many fronts including “Greening the Blue” by reducing the Organization’s footprint and working towards climate neutrality.
Noting that delegations in Warsaw have agreed to finalize an ambitious global legal agreement on climate change by 2015, Mr. Ban acknowledged that there is “a steep climb ahead” and called for action in four areas: swift ratification by all countries of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol; stepping up on finance, including long-term finance and the Green Climate Fund; agreeing a comprehensive action agenda to meet the climate challenge; and laying firm foundations for the 2015 agreement.
“Success in Paris means bringing substantive progress to Lima. That means [in] Warsaw here we have to build a crucial stepping stone,” he said, looking ahead to the next meetings of States parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).
The Secretary-General drew attention to the climate summit he intends to convene on Tuesday, 23 September 2014, ahead of the opening, next year, of the annual General Assembly debate. That meeting is meant to complement the UNFCCC process and to be a “solutions summit,” not a negotiating session. “This will be a complimentary session to the ongoing UNFCCC negotiation process,” he said.
Inviting to this summit Heads of State and Government along with leaders from finance, business community, local government and civil society, he urged all to bring “bold and new announcements and action. We need your political leadership at this crucially important time.”
“I urge you to think in terms of your legacy,” said Mr. Ban adding: “Let us work together…to make this world better for all. Let us shape this future, our own future for all succeeding generations and environmentally sustainable planet Earth.”
In his remarks to the Conference, General Assembly president John Ashe urged negotiators to be realistic, telling them they cannot afford to ignore the harsh realities that the climate change challenge brings to the overall task of sustainable development for all. “We have now entered the era of super storms, and the human tragedies and ravages such storms and typhoons bring are part of our daily vernacular.”
“However, we in this room must never ever become inured to this. What is the point of focusing on providing jobs, livelihoods, education, and healthcare, if one storm – or maybe future super storms - wipes it all away in a few hours?” he asked, adding: “ We, all of us in this room, who represent the UN family, must reach an agreement by 2015. Period.”
Telling the Conference that “the clock is ticking,” Mr. Ashe said the time has come for Governments to stand up and say, “yes we will. Yes, we will do something. We will act. Not tomorrow, not next week, but right here. Today.”
He noted that recent catastrophic events have made it all the more obvious that action is needed. They require, he said, resolute measures and a vision well beyond the usual political posturing along with a political willingness to look beyond particular narrow interests and focus instead on the common good for all.
 un.org
19/11/13
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