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MEDIA REPORTS

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

This page was updated on: 01/13/10

 

2005

 

Sustainable Development Media Reports Archives: 2010; 2009; 2008; 2007; 2006; 2004; 2003; 2002

 

DECEMBER 2005

 

ANNAN AWARDED PRIZE FOR GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was the unanimous choice of the Zayed Prize International Jury for the 2005 Prize for Global Leadership for the Environment. The International Jury highlighted reports requested by Annan in the run up to the 2005 World Summit in New York including “In Larger Freedom,” and his efforts to catalyze political and public opinion to an understanding that the environment is a fundamental pillar of sustainable development. The 1360 experts of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, which catalogued the condition of the globe’s ecosystems and their life-giving services, were awarded the Second Category Award, for Scientific and or Technological Achievement in Environment. Angela Cropper, co-President of the Cropper Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago and Board member with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), as well as Emil Salim, the former Indonesian State Minister for Population and the Environment and chair of numerous Indonesian environmental organizations, will share the Third Category Award, for Environmental Action Leading to Positive Change in Society. The Zayed International Prize for the Environment is worth US$1 million.

 

Link to further information
Official Zayed Prize news release, 19 December 2005

 

UN CONSIDERS BUDGET FOR 2005 WORLD SUMMIT REFORMS

The cost to the UN budget of implementing the 2005 World Summit reforms would amount to over US$73 million, according to a new reporting from the Secretary-General. The issue was taken up during a fifth committee meeting on 14 December 2005.

 

Link to further information
UN statement, 14 December 2005

 

SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION DAY HIGHLIGHTS DIVERSITY, CREATIVITY

The 2005 UN Day for South-South Cooperation, held on 19 December, has focused on theme of “Celebrating the Global South: Diversity and Creativity.”

 

Links to further information
Special Unit for South-South Cooperation web site

United Nations  - News and Media Division - 15 December 2005

 

NOVEMBER 2005

 

INTERNET DIVIDE HARMING DEVELOPING WORLD

Limited access to the Internet in many developing countries is placing businesses at a disadvantage compared with competitors in Europe and North America, according to a new UN report. The Information Economy Report 2005, published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, shows that the digital divide between North and South remains wide, in spite of some progress. For instance, almost nine out of ten businesses in the EU are connected to the Internet, compared with less than one it ten in Thailand.

 

Link to further information
The report

 

FAO AGRICULTURAL CENSUS TO ACCOUNT FOR MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) 2010 round of agricultural censuses, covering the period 2006-2015, will gather socio-economic data at the community level as well as conventional structural data at the farm level. More that 100 countries are set to participate in the agricultural census programme, which will help countries to monitor progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In addition to community-level data, the census will also add data on items such as soil degradation, irrigation by crop type, method and sources of irrigation, agricultural practices and services, demographic and social characteristics, household food security, type of aquaculture site and agro-forestry.

 

Link to further information

FAO news release, 8 November 2005

 

OLYMPICS CHAMPION ENVIRONMENTAL GOALS

The Torino Olympic Organising Committee (TOROC) unveiled its Sustainability Report on 9 November 2005 at the Sixth World Conference on Sport and Environment, pledging to take measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, minimize water use in snow-making and promote eco-friendly hotels, among others, with the objective of making the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy the greenest ever. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) also announced that it will sign on 18 November 2005 an agreement with the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Summer Games to help Beijing achieve its proposals in areas ranging from air, water and noise pollution to transport, landscaping and the disposal of solid wastes.

 

Link to further information

UNEP news release, 11 November 2005

 

ANNAN MARKS DAY FOR PREVENTING ENVIRONMENTAL EXPLOITATION IN WAR

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has marked the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflicts, 6 November, by highlighting the growing focus of UN activities to address the environmental damage caused by war. He noted in particular UN activities in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and the Mesopotamian marshlands, and called on “all concerned to redouble efforts aimed at preventing the exploitation and degradation of the environment during times of war.”

 

Link to further information

UN news release, 7 November 2005

 

OCTOBER 2005

 

RIO CONVENTIONS HEADS CALL FOR SUBSTANTIAL GEF REPLENISHMENT

The fourth replenishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), currently under negotiation, will be critical to ensure progress in the key areas of climate change, biodiversity, land degradation, ozone depletion and chemicals management, according to the heads of the Rio Conventions. In consideration of its significant impact, the Executive Heads of the Conventions on Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Desertification have voiced their support for a strong GEF replenishment.

 

Link to further information

Joint press release, 26 October 2005

 

ECOSOC SELECTS THEME FOR 2006 HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

The Economic and Social Council has selected the theme for the high-level segment of its 2006 substantive session: “Creating an environment at the national and international levels conducive to generating full and productive employment and decent work for all, and its impact on sustainable development.”

 

Link to further information

ECOSOC news release, 21 October 2005

 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS WILL DISPLACE 50 MILLION BY 2010 – STUDY

As many as 50 million people will be displaced in the next five years due to climate change and other environmental factors, according to a new study. The UN University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security, based in Bonn, released the study on 12 October 2005, the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

 

Link to further information

UN University press release, 12 October 2005

 

UN OBSERVES DAYS FOR DISASTER REDUCTION, FOOD AND POVERTY ERADICATION

The UN has marked the International Day for Disaster Reduction, World Food Day and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, commemorated on 12, 16 and 17 October, respectively.

 

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message on the International Day for Disaster Reduction was that this year “has reminded people everywhere that no place in the world is immune from natural disaster….The lesson we must draw is encapsulated in the theme of this year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction: “Invest to prevent disaster”. Annan stressed the links between this objective and those of the current International Year of Microcredit, which can “empower those with little or no access to traditional financial institutions, thereby reducing disaster risk and improving disaster management.”

 

On the occasion of World Food Day, which also marked the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, General Assembly President Jan Eliasson appealed “to all the peoples of the United Nations to support the Millennium Development Goal to reduce extreme poverty and hunger by half so that more than 850 million people can lead a life free from the daily torment of hunger and malnutrition.” The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty took as its theme “Achieving the MDGs: Empowering the poorest of the poor.”  

 

Links to further information

UN News Releases, October 2005:

http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/sgsm10136.doc.htm

http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/gasm361.doc.htm http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/gasm362.doc.htm http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/note5971.doc.htm

 

EC CALLS FOR HIGH LEVEL GROUP ON COMPETITIVENESS, ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

The European Commission’s new industrial policy, launched on 5 October 2005, has called for a “High Level Group on competitiveness, energy and the environment” to be established by the end of 2005. This group is one of seven cross-sectoral policy initiatives included in the new industrial policy, which seeks to “create better framework conditions for manufacturing industries in the coming years.” The Commission also pledged to seek a greater consensus over policy by involving key stakeholders, social partners and Member States at an early stage in policy making.

 

Link to further information

EC press release

 

SEPTEMBER 2005

 

NEW FORUM TO COMBAT ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME IN ASIA

A regional forum has been formed as the first step to a more rigorous monitoring of environmental crime in Asia and the Pacific. Facilitated by UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the forum is expected to help curb the trade of hazardous chemicals, as well as natural resources and endangered species in the region. The forum will foster regional cooperation in combating environmental crime, encourage intelligence and information exchange, explore synergies in respective training programmes, and coordinate activities in combating illegal trade.

 

Link to further information

World-wire news report, 15 September 2005

 

IUCN LAUNCHES INITIATIVE FOR POVERTY REDUCTION

The Conservation for Poverty Reduction Initiative, a worldwide programme of action to secure and improve livelihoods through improved ecosystem management in Africa, Asia and Latin America, was launched by IUCN during the 2005 World Summit. The Initiative, which makes poverty reduction and livelihood security a key objective of conservation action, aims for a total investment of US$300 million worldwide. 

 

Link to further information

IUCN news release, 14 September 2005

 

BIODIVERSITY’S CONTRIBUTION TO MDGS STRESSED

A joint statement on the contribution of biodiversity to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been issued by the Liaison Group of the Biodiversity-Related Conventions. The statement, released during the 2005 World Summit, calls on leaders to recognize that “to make the MDGs a reality in a highly populated planet, biological diversity needs to be used sustainably and its benefits more equitably shared.” The statement was signed by the Heads of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the World Heritage Centre. 

 

Link to further information

The statement

 

CONSERVATION GROUPS IN POVERTY, ECOLOGY COMMITMENT

A number of conservation organizations have announced a commitment to address poverty and the environment jointly. The announcement, made during the 2005 World Summit, included Conservation International, Fauna and Flora International, The Nature Conservancy, BirdLife International and Wildlife Conservation Society. The organizations committed themselves to “demonstrating that biodiversity conservation contributes to human well-being, and that to be truly sustainable, our efforts must improve human well-being, empower communities, and create new opportunities to increase incomes while strengthening the natural resource base.” They also renewed their commitment to working with indigenous and local communities and invited the development community to similarly acknowledge the link between poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability.

 

Links to further information

Joint Statement

 

TALKS CONTINUE ON EVE OF SUMMIT; NGOS FEAR FOR OUTCOME

Negotiations were continuing on the eve of the World Summit starting in New York on 14 September, with delegates still working on the draft outcome document as of Monday, 12 September 2005. Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned on 9 September that “more give and take” was needed among negotiators. Meanwhile, non-governmental organizations meeting in New York have urged delegates not to “squander this most important opportunity” and to agree on a strong outcome document on poverty, development, and other related issues. The announcement was agreed at the end of the 58th Annual UN Department of Public Information (DPI)/NGO Conference, held from 7-9 September.

 

Links to further information

Annan ‘very concerned’ accord may not be reached on World Summit document, 10 September 2005

UN ambassadors launch crisis talks on reform plans, Reuters news, 30 August 2005

DPI/NGO 2005 conference website

 

INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR SCIENCE OPENS AFRICAN OFFICE

The International Council for Science (ICSU) opened a Regional Office for Africa in Pretoria, South Africa, on 1 September 2005. ICSU Executive Director Thomas Rosswall noted on the occasion of the office’s opening that the Paris-headquartered organization’s mission of strengthening international science for the benefit of society “will be accomplished only by engaging scientists throughout the world.” Offices similar to the African Regional Office are expected to be established in the Arab Region, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

Link to further information

ICSU news release

 

2006 WORLD CUP ORGANIZERS, HOSTS AND UNEP SIGN “GREEN GOAL” INITIATIVE

The UN Environment Programme, the organizers of the 2006 World Cup and the Federal Government of Germany, which will host the games, have signed an agreement aimed at making the World Cup a low pollution, eco-friendly competition. “The Green Goal initiative is one of the most comprehensive programmes seeking to reduce the environmental impact of sport, and I would like to congratulate the 2006 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee for this pioneering initiative, and for its commitment to the environment,” said UNEP’s Executive Director on 6 September at the signing ceremony.

 

Under the agreement, UNEP will provide technical and communications support to the organizing committee, including for the development of Public Service Announcements to be broadcast on local, national and international television stations to stimulate environmental action and provide information on the project.

 

Link to further information

Football World Cup Scores Green Goal

 

UN DECADE OF EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COMMENCES ON INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY

International Literacy Day, observed 8 September 2005, marked the start of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). On the occasion of the 8 September event, which was appropriately themed for the role of literacy in sustainable development, UN Secretary-General Annan stressed that “Literacy is a key lever of change and a practical tool of empowerment on each of the three main pillars of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection.”

 

Link to further information

UN press release

 

AUGUST 2005

 

SEPTEMBER SUMMIT LOSING DEVELOPMENT FOCUS, WARN NGOS

Development and poverty goals are in danger of being sidelined by other issues at the upcoming Millennium Summit review in September, according to non-governmental organizations. The Third World Network has warned that a preoccupation with UN reform, security and human rights is pushing development and poverty issues to the sidelines. Many non-governmental organizations are calling for a strong focus on attaining the Millennium Development Goals. Meanwhile, other recent reports in mid- to late August suggested that discussions on a draft Summit outcome document remained deadlocked on most of the key issues, raising concerns that the final text would not be as strong as many were hoping for.

 

Links to further information

IPS news reports, August 2005: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=29754 and http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=29981

 

JULY 2005

 

U.N. GLOBAL COMPACT PARTICIPANTS REPORT PROGRESS

The United Nations Global Compact Office has announced the results of the first phase of a policy requiring corporate participants to disclose progress in implementing the Global Compact’s ten principles. The Compact’s “Communication on Progress” policy requires that participants develop an annual disclosure to their stakeholders on implementation actions within two years of joining the Global Compact initiative. Among the results for the 977 companies that have been Global Compact participants for two years are the findings that 98% of the 73 “Financial Times Global 500” companies produced Communications on Progress for their stakeholders, via annual “sustainability,” financial reports or other key communications, while 38% companies overall developed Communications on Progress for their stakeholders.

 

Link to further information

Global Compact news release (15 July 2005).

 

WIND, SOLAR NO SOLUTION TO ENERGY NEEDS, SAYS EXXON

Wind and solar power will not provide an answer to the growth in energy demand expected over the next few decades, according to Exxon Mobil Corporation Chairman Lee Raymond. In an interview published in a company newsletter, Raymond argued that, because they are starting from a low base, wind and solar will not have a significant impact, commanding only a one percent share by 2030. Instead, he suggestd that “the key issue in energy will be how to find and produce enough conventional energy to support global economic activity and prosperity.”

 

He also described the goal of energy independence as a “flawed notion,” and said the US has an