8 October 2008: On the occasion of the International Day for
Disaster Reduction, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted the greater
incidence of disasters in 2008 and called for increased action to “turn
commitments on paper into deeds” and implement the 2005 Hyogo Framework for
7 October 2008: The 2008 edition of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) State of the World's Food and Agriculture Report focuses on the prospects, risks and opportunities for biofuels. The report addresses key questions relating to the benefits and impacts of biofuel production and use, including impacts on food security, land and water resources, as well as contributions to greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and agricultural development.
7 October 2008: Addressing the Gambia Climate Change Forum,
taking place in Kololi, the Gambia, from 6-7 October 2008, the
Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Michel
Jarraud, stated that the potential impacts of climate variability and change on
water resources demand special attention, particularly in Africa.
6 October 2008: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in
cooperation with governments, is drawing up some projects to demonstrate that
re-investing in damaged ecosystems can generate significant economic,
environmental and social returns.
6 October 2008: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
António Guterres told the opening session of his agency's governing Executive
Committee, which met in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2-6 October 2006, that
climate change, extreme poverty and conflict are increasingly inter-related,
leading to a surge in forced displacement rising and demands on the UNHCR.
6 October 2008: In her remarks to the Second Committee of
the General Assembly, taking place in New York, US, UN Deputy Secretary-General
Asha-Rose Migiro underlined that Africa is the region that faces the greatest
challenges, in particular in the context of climate change and the food and oil
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.