6 October 2008: Top UN officials marked World Habitat Day by
drawing attention to the need to raise awareness of the problems of rapid
urbanization, its impact on the environment and the challenges of rising urban
poverty. The UN has designated the first Monday in October each year as World
Habitat Day, to reflect on the state of towns and cities and the basic right to
adequate shelter for all. This year, Luanda, Angola, led the observance of the
celebration, which focused on the theme “Harmonious Cities.”
3 October 2008: This UN Conference on Trade and Development publication reviews biofuel certification schemes that are already in place or are being developed, including: benefits and drawbacks of such schemes; implications for developing countries; and possible ramifications of certification in the context of the World Trade Organization.
3 October 2008: The Marine Environment Protection Committee
of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is meeting in London, UK, for
its 58th session, from 6-10 October 2008. During the meeting, the Committee
will continue its work on developing a mandatory regime to control greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping.
October 2008: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFRPI) has published three essays addressing critical questions regarding policy responses to the current food crisis. The essays by Joachim von Braun, IFPRI Director General, Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), and Namanga Ngongi, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), point to the dangers and pitfalls of misguided policies, but also to the potential opportunities for responding in a way that prevents future crises and ensures food security in the long term. In addition to the most pressing questions of delivering immediate relief to populations affected by hunger and the strategic issues of the long-term stabilization of food production and food markets, the essays also address impacts of current biofuel policies and climate change on agriculture.
3 October 2008: During a meeting with UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, at UNEP's headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, German Federal Minister for the Environment Sigmar Gabriel announced that his country will increase its funding for the organization's work on clean energy and climate proofing vulnerable economies.
1 October 2008: The UN-backed Equator Initiative has
announced the 25 winners of the Equator Prize 2008, which recognizes
exceptional leadership in slashing poverty through conservation and sustainable
October 2008: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), with the
Global Sports Alliance of Japan and Volvo, hosted the 2008 Global Forum for
Sport and Environment in Alicante, Spain, from 4-6 October 2008.
October 2008: The Third Global Congress of Women in Politics
and Governance will convene in Manila, Philippines, from 19-22 October 2008,
with a focus on gender in climate change and disaster risk reduction.
1 October 2008: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the
UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have released an
updated version of the YouthXchange Training Kit, which seeks to promote
sustainable consumption among youth worldwide. The joint initiative aims to
change purchasing patterns by reducing waste from discarded products such as
mobile phones and outdated fashion, while engaging youth in the fight against
1 October 2008: In an editorial column published on 30
September 2008 in the Washington Times, John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General
for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, stressed the urgent
need for a Green Revolution in Africa to deal, inter alia, with the challenges
of climate change and the food and oil crises.