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MEDIA REPORTS

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

This page was updated on: 10/27/10

 

2010

 

Sustainable Development Media Reports Archives: 2009; 2008; 2007; 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2002

 

Latest Media Report

ACP Observatory on Migration to Track Migration Flows

 

OCTOBER 2010

 

ACP Observatory on Migration to Track Migration Flows

The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Observatory on Migration, a joint initiative of the European Commission and the ACP countries, was launched officially at a special ceremony in Brussels, Belgium, held on 25 October 2010. The Observatory is intended to provide reliable data on migration flows in ACP countries, with climate change as one of its key research topics. The Observatory will be run by the International Migration Organization (IOM) and and a consortium of 15 partners and four associates, with nearly 8 million Euros funding from the EU and additional financial support from Switzerland and IOM. It will cover all six ACP regions and start with pilot programmes in 12 countries. The Observatory is expected to introduce an innovative approach to enhance research capacities in ACP countries and assist in designing better policies to enhance the contribution of migration to development. [EU press release] [IOM press release]

 

UNITAR Becomes UN-Water Member

4 October 2010: The application for UN-Water membership of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has been accepted. UN-Water is composed of representatives from 26 UN organizations. Other organizations outside the UN are partners in UN-Water. [UNITAR press release]

 

UN Global Forum on Local Development Discusses MDGs

October 2010: The UN Global Forum on Local Development, which convened from 4-6 October 2010, in Kampala, Uganda, focused on a local development approach to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which requires multi-stakeholder engagement in order to succeed. The forum, organized by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ugandan Government, and supported by a wide range of partners, was attended by 600 participants from 81 countries. In the opening statement, UNCDF Executive Secretary David Morrison stressed the influence that local circumstances can have on the progress of achieving MDGs, which aim to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality and environmental degradation. He noted that a strong consensus is emerging that a new policy approach based on local knowledge to tailor public policy to specific circumstances is needed, and that it will allow for more effective provision of public goods that respond to the needs of local communities. [UN News Centre] [UNCDF GFLD 2010]

 

SEPTEMBER 2010

 

UN General Assembly Adopts Resolution on Safe and Clean Drinking Water

28 July 2010: The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution on the human right to water and sanitation. The resolution provides that safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights. It calls on UN member States and international organizations to offer funding, technology and other resources to help poorer countries scale up their efforts to provide clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all. The Assembly resolution received 122 votes in favor and zero votes against, while 41 countries abstained from voting. The text of the resolution expresses deep concern that an estimated 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and a total of more than 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation. Studies also indicate about 1.5 million children under the age of five die each year and 443 million school days are lost because of water- and sanitation-related diseases. [UN press release] [UN General Assembly press release]

 

UNEP Launches Initiative to Link Tourism and Conservation

The UNEP/GRID-Arendal centre has announced the “Linking Tourism and Conservation” initiative, launched in response to continuing breakages from Greenland’s ice sheet. The new initiative will investigate how sustainable tourism can help support the management and development of protected areas. UNEP/GRID-Arendal also plans to produce an interactive map of tourist destinations that are participating in conservation work to encourage investment in tourism projects that support conservation, and allow tourists to view a destination's green credentials before finalizing their trip. [UNEP web site]

 

JUNE 2010

 

UN/ISDR LAUNCHES MAKING CITIES RESILIENT CAMPAIGN

On 30 May 2010, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) launched a world disaster reduction campaign, titled ‘Making cities resilient: my city is getting ready.’ The campaign, a two-year scheme, seeks to bring more than 1000 local government leaders around the world to sign up for and to commit to a checklist of ‘Ten Essentials’ that will make their cities more resilient, with a specific goal to enhance awareness about the benefits of focusing on sustainable urbanization to reduce disaster risks. The ten essentials build on the priorities identified under the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 to build the resilience of nations and communities to disasters, and emphasize actions such as to: put in place organization and coordination to understand and reduce disaster risk, based on civil society participation; assign a budget for disaster risk reduction; prepare risk assessments; maintain critical infrastructure that reduces risks; assess the safety of all schools and health facilities; apply and enforce realistic, risk-compliant building regulations and land use planning principles; ensure education programmes and training on disaster risk reduction; protect ecosystems and natural buffers to mitigate floods, storms and other hazards, and adapt to climate change by building on good risk reduction practices; install early warning systems and emergency management; and ensure the needs of survivors are prioritized during reconstruction. The campaign emphasizes that making cities safer to disasters means sustainable urbanization. When successfully applied, resilient cities help reduce poverty and provide for growth and employment, more social equity, business opportunities, balanced ecosystems, better health and improved education. UN/ISDR is coordinating the initiative, in collaboration with the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

 

Links to further information

UN/ISDR Making Cities Resilient Campaign

Ten essentials

 

UNWTO TO CELEBRATE TOURISM AND BIODIVERSITY

The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced that celebrations for 2010 World Tourism Day will take place under the theme: Tourism and Biodiversity. World Tourism Day will be celebrated on 27 September 2010, and will be officially hosted by Guangdong Province, China. UNWTO is holding a global online photo competition to raise awareness of the World Tourism Day theme, with applications due by 31 August 2010.

 

Link to further information

UNWTO web site

UNWTO World Tourism Day web site

 

MAY 2010

 

UNEP ANNOUNCES SUSTAINABLE TOURISM PARTNERSHIP

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the French Government have announced the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism, which is aimed at making the tourism industry environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. The Partnership is designed to identify and replicate successful and sustainable initiatives. The new entity will focus on policy, projects, tools and networks for all tourism stakeholders at all levels, by addressing and working on: policy frameworks; climate change; environment and biodiversity; poverty alleviation; cultural and natural heritage; private sector sustainable practices; and finance and investment.

 

Link to further information

UNEP press release, 12 May 2010

 

UNEP-WCMC GLOBAL ISLAND DATABASE LAUNCHED

The UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) launched the Global Island Database (GID) during the 18th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in New York, US, on 10 May 2010. The GID aims to boost sustainable management of islands by identifying and bringing together existing sources of data and information relevant to island systems, and presenting new analyses to aid resource managers and decision-making at the island, national, regional and global levels.

 

Link to further information

UNEP press release

Global Islands Database

 

APRIL 2010

 

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL’S ADVISORY GROUP ON ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE LAUNCHES REPORT

The report of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change was launched on 28 April 2010. According to the report, it would be possible to provide universal access to modern energy services by 2030 without significantly increasing greenhouse gas emissions, by scaling up renewable energy and other low-emission technologies. The report indicates that achieving energy efficiency by 2030 would require annual investments of US$30 billion to US$35 billion for low-income countries and US$140 billion to US$170 billion for middle-income countries. The report also calls for a 40 per cent reduction, or 2.5% annually, in global energy intensity by 2030, which is nearly double the historic rate. The Advisory Group was established in 2009 and comprised 20 business leaders, academics and representatives of the UN and civil society.

 

Links to further information

Press conference, 28 April 2010

UN News Centre report, 28 April 2010

 

WORLD BANK OPENS DATABASE WITH MORE THAN 2000 INDICATORS

The World Bank has opened a database with more than 2000 indicators from developing economies, including many indicators that go back 50 years. As part of its open data initiative, the Bank launched, on 22 April 2010, data.worldbank.org, a website that provides free, open and easy access to statistics and indicators about development. Visitors to the site can find, download, manipulate, use and re-use the data compiled by the World Bank, without restrictions. The new open data initiative coincides with the release of the World Development Indicators (WDI) 2010, one of the Bank’s most popular statistical resources.

 

Link to further information

World Bank Open Data web site

 

UNEP RELEASES MARCH 2010 EDITION OF MEA ACPs NEWSLETTER

UNEP has released the March 2010 edition of the Multilateral Environment

Agreements (MEAs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries Programme. The newsletter includes a guest article on activities being undertaken under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management and the Quick Start Programme, as well as updates on activities at the Pacific, African and Caribbean project hubs.

 

Link to further information

MEAs ACPs March 2010 newsletter

 

WEBSITE AND REPORT FOR RIO+20 PREPCOM RELEASED

Preparations are underway for the 17-19 May 2010 Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, which will convene in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, in 2012 (Rio+20). The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development has created a website in preparation for the PrepCom, with links to documents regarding organizational and procedural matters and the Secretary-General’s report on “Progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits in the area of sustainable development and analysis of the themes for the Conference” (A/CONF.216/PC/2). The report provides an assessment of the progress and gaps in implementation of sustainable development decisions since 1992, as well as a review of the two themes of the Conference: green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

 

Link to further information

UN Conference on Sustainable Development website

 

MARCH 2010

 

ARAB WATER DAY CELEBRATED FOR THE FIRST TIME

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) celebrated for the first time Arab Water Day, under the theme “For Joint Arab Water Security.” During a press conference to mark the Day, Chief of Sustainable Development and Productivity Division Anhar Hegazi, speaking on behalf of ESCWA Executive Secretary Bader AlDafa, announced the decision by the Council of Arab Ministers for Water issues to consider 3 March of every year as Arab Water Day. She highlighted that climate change poses a serious threat to Arab water security, and is projected to have a dire effect on the quality and quantity of water resources.

 

Link to further information

ESCWA press release, 3 March 2010

 

UN WARNS OF HARMFUL IMPACT ON POOR FARMERS FROM NARROW USE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY

A conference on agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries held in Guadalajara, Mexico, from 1-4 March 2010, considered the growing challenges of food security faced by developing countries. The meeting also explored opportunities and partnerships to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to choose and use appropriate biotechnologies. UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Assistant Director-General Modibo Traore noted that biotechnologies are not yet making a significant impact in the lives of people in most developing countries, as most countries still lack the appropriate technologies, policies and technical capacities, and necessary infrastructure and evaluation capacities.

 

According to FAO, biotechnological innovations can effectively mitigate the impact of climate change, with examples being the experience of rice hybrids in Africa, which have doubled agricultural production, and artificial insemination techniques to raise dairy cattle milk production in Bangladesh. FAO also stresses the need for greater involvement of farmers, particularly small-holders, institutions and communities to make the adequate decisions to choose the appropriate technologies. 

 

Link to further information

UN News Centre, 1 March 2010

 

WORLD WATER DAY CELEBRATED

The 2010 edition of International World Water Day, held annually on 22 March, was organized around the theme “clean water for a healthy world.” The World Water Day campaign is a year-long operation harnessing the best UN knowledge and disseminating its messages at local and global levels. To celebrate World Water Day, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with UN-Habitat, the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) and the Government of Kenya, hosted a three-day event at UN headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. These days brought together journalists, prominent personalities, scientists as well as policy makers involved in a dialogue to address water quality from many different perspectives. UN-Water launched its statement on water quality, a scientific panel addressed challenges and responses, a high-level panel discussed policy options and actions to improve water quality, and the outcomes of the event were communicated, through a live web-cast, to the UN General Assembly in New York, US, also organizing an event to celebrate World Water Day.

 

Link to further information

World Water Day website

 

WTO SEEKS COMMENTS ON REPORT ON TRADE IN NATURAL RESOURCES

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is providing a discussion forum for stakeholders to present opinions on trade in natural resources, and has invited comments on two online articles on: trade and deforestation; and the relation between international trade and freshwater scarcity. Comments will be taken into account in the World Trade Report, an annual publication that aims to deepen understanding about trends in trade, trade policy issues and the multilateral trading system. The theme of the next edition, to be published in July 2010, is “Trade in Natural Resources: Challenges in Global Governance.”

 

Link to further information

The reports and discussion forum

 

FEBRUARY 2010

 

GEF HIGHLIGHTS CROP BIODIVERSITY PROJECT SUCCESS IN GEORGIA

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) featured the results of a project implemented with farmers in Georgia to reclaim forgotten crop varieties and landraces to diversify their agricultural production. The project has established a seed multiplication system to encourage local farmers to use and sow local landraces and by 2009, 28 land-races and varieties (52% of all known for Georgia) were being used for subsistence production, and seven land races (13% of all landraces) were in commercial use. Among the results of the project are: more than 80% of households are reporting higher pulse diversity on-farm, diversification of the family diet, and higher nutrition levels; the revived landraces and local varieties have demonstrated a much higher resistance to droughts, pests and harsh winters; and sales revenue for the farmers is rising with further financial returns gained through almost zero application of chemical fertilizers.

 

Links to further information

GEF press release, 9 February 2010

 

UN-HABITAT PARTNERS WITH ITALY TO IMPROVE SANITATION IN SCHOOLS

The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) has partnered with the Government of Italy to provide clean water and better sanitation facilities to over 15,000 pupils in Kenya through the construction of rainwater harvesting tanks and latrines. The US$300,000 project, being implemented by the Kenyan NGO Sustainable Aid in Africa, will also support the creation of School Health Clubs to promote best hygiene practices in the selected schools and host communities.

 

Link to further information

UN-HABITAT press release, 2 February 2010

 

WORLD BANK REPORTS ON PROGRESS MADE IN BUILDING HEALTH CLINICS AND WATER PUMPS IN KOSOVO

The World Bank has reported on some 320 projects it has been involved with under the Community Development Fund (CDF) project in Kosovo from 2001-2008. The projects aim to increase the quantity and quality of infrastructure and services in poor and conflict-affected communities, as well as the most vulnerable groups, and to promote local capacity building including participation and empowerment. The CDF financed the rehabilitation of the water system and, according to a review carried out by the CDF in consultation with stakeholders, a direct outcome of the CDF’s water supply projects has been a dramatic reduction of waterborne diseases. In addition, the water supply systems financed by the project have eliminated time and effort in carrying water.

 

Link to further information

World Bank press release, February 2010

 

DSD ORGANIZES e-DISCUSSION ON IMPLEMENTATION

Following the Multistakeholder Dialogue on implementing sustainable development, which the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) organized, on 1 February 2010, to discuss follow-up to the decisions taken at the 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), the DSD has organized an e-discussion focusing on the implementation of CSD-17 decision on agriculture. Five questions have been posted on the DSD LinkedIn Group, and answers will serve as one of the many inputs into this process.

 

Link to further information

DSD web page

 

MERCURY PROGRAMME CONVENES INCEPTION WORKSHOP ON ARTISANAL AND SMALL SCALE GOLD MINING PROJECT

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Mercury Programme is working to 

develop national strategic plans for artisanal and small scale gold mining (ASGM) in South East Asia and South America, with funding from the Quick Start Programme of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) in cooperation with the Global Mercury Partnership. An inception workshop for the Asian region took place from 19-21 January 2010, in Manila, Philippines. In its initial stages, the project is focusing on the development of strategic plans in the Philippines and Cambodia, and will be expanded to other countries towards the end of 2010. Both projects aim to strengthen capacity at the national level to address ASGM and also to help build regional solutions. A similar project is being initiated in Africa through funding from the US Government. Initial results will be presented to the first Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Mercury, scheduled to convene from 7-11 June 2010 (IISD RS sources).

 

VCS AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND OTHER LAND USE METHODOLOGY UNDER REVIEW

An Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use methodology is being assessed under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) double approval process, and has been posted on the VCS website for a 30-day public comment period. This methodology is a “Baseline and monitoring methodology for conservation projects that avoid planned land use conversion in peat swamp forests, Infinite Earth, Ltd.�

 

Links to further information

The methodology
Full list of methodology elements available for public comment

 

JANUARY 2010

 

UNESCO REPORTS ON FINANCIAL CRISIS AND CLIMATE IMPACT ON EDUCATION

On 19 January 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova launched the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2010 at UN Headquarters in New York, US. At the report�s launch, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the fundamental right to education, which he said should not be based on wealth, gender, race, ethnicity or language. The report points out that about 72 million children worldwide are still out of school, as a result of countries� slower economic growth and rising poverty, which increases marginalization in education. The report also points out that girls are often the first to feel the effects. In Pakistan and Uganda, for example, climate-related shocks result in far more girls being taken out of school than boys. The report indicates that cross-country research on past economic crises and climate events shows that the effects of shocks on schooling tend to be more pronounced in low income countries than in middle-income countries. Often, the children of the poorest households are most likely to suffer adverse consequences with regard to education, health and nutrition, and poverty tends to persist across generations.

 

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova noted that there is a financing gap of US$16 billion per year to reach the education goal and urged donor countries and the G20 group of developed and developing countries to scale up aid needed.

 

Links to further information

UNESCO press release

UN News Centre, 19 January 2010

UN Secretary-General speech

 

EC REPORTS ON STUDY OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN SPANISH COASTAL RESORTS

The European Commission (EC) has reported on the results of a study carried out to assess the sustainability of tourism on the coasts of Spain and help guide future planning decisions. The study focused on developing sustainability indicators for established coastal destinations in Spain, using a method that could be applied to resorts in other countries. The researchers calculated an overall global indicator for each destination, composed of the social, economic and environmental indicators. These global indicators suggest that the best destinations combine high sustainability conditions in waste and water management, safe beaches and lower ratios of peak season tourists to local residents because the tourist season is spread throughout the year.

 

Link to further information

EC press release, 7 January 2010

DSD SEMINARS TO EXPLORE CSD-18 THEMES; MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE TO EXAMINE CSD-17 IMPLEMENTATION
The Division for Sustainable Development (DSD), which serves as the Secretariat for the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), is organizing a seminar series on the CSD-18 thematic cluster. The Series will take place at UN Headquarters in New York, in the lead up to CSD-18. It is designed to add value to the CSD process by informing CSD-18 participants about the latest research, data, case studies and challenges that will underpin the discussions during the CSD-18 Review Session. Seminars will examine each of the CSD-18 thematic issues (transport, chemicals, waste management, mining, and the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns) beginning with �Waste Management� on 12 January and concluding with �Transportation� on 13 April. 

Another innovation established by the Secretariat for this cycle will be the convening of the first Multi-stakeholder dialogue. This 1 February event, which will convene at UN Headquarters, will focus on the decisions taken at CSD-17 and their implementation.

Link to further information
Thematic Seminar Series website

Multi-stakeholder Dialogue website

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