UN Programme, Agency or Fund

World Migratory Bird Day Focuses on Biodiversity [viewed]

11 May 2008: Celebrated on 10-11 May 2008, World Migratory Bird Day 2008, organized under the auspices of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), sent a “clear signal to world leaders that more needs to be done to halt the loss of biodiversity and to increase national and international efforts to protect the network of sites required by migratory birds.” Although the exact reasons for the global declines are complex and vary from species to species and from flyway to flyway, the overall decline in bird numbers may be linked to the loss of habitats and biodiversity worldwide. The loss and fragmentation of essential habitats is being further compounded by the effects of climate change.

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WMO Establishes Task Team on Food Security [viewed]

7 May 2008 : In response to the current worldwide food emergency, the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) Secretary-General, Michel Jarraud, has established a Task Team on Food Security.

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FAO and World Leaders Gear Up for High-level Conference on World Food Security [viewed]

Fao_229 April 2008: “Soaring food prices in recent months are dramatically worsening the living conditions of the ‘bottom billion' of poor people who live on a dollar a day or less,” said Jaques Diouf, FAO Director General, in a statement announcing preparations for the FAO's “High-level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy,” to be held 3-5 June 2008 at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy.

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UNCTAD XII Adopts Accra Declaration and Accord, Stresses Action on Climate Change [viewed]

Unctad

25 April 2008: The twelfth UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XII), which took place from 20-25 April 2008, in Accra, Ghana, adopted a ministerial Accra Declaration and an Accra Accord, identifying challenges and opportunities of globalization for development and a four-year work plan. The conference, which was attended by approximately 4000 delegates, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, considered sustainable development, poverty reduction and related global policies. The conclusions highlighted the challenges facing many developing countries in relation to global economic integration, and set out an agenda for progress in economic and social development. Outcomes included a pledge by member states to resist protectionism, particularly against goods and services from developing countries. The Accra Declaration notes that climate change currently poses a significant challenge, especially to the poor, who are least equipped to adapt. It urges urgent action to address adaptation and mitigation in accordance with the provisions and principles of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, bearing in mind the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and taking into account social and economic conditions and other relevant factors. It further states that adequate financing and technology will be critical to help developing countries to rise to this challenge and that the trade and development aspects of climate change are important for development prospects of developing countries, and should be adequately taken into account in mitigation and adaptation strategies.

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GEF Council Approves Climate Projects, Requests Further Guidance on Tech Transfer [viewed]

25 April 2008: The Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which convened in Washington DC, US, from 22-25 April 2008, reviewed a progress report on the implementation of the Resources Allocation Framework (RAF), discussed the Strategic Programme to Scale-up the Level of Investment in the Transfer of Environmentally-friendly Technologies, as requested by the UNFCCC, and approved ten climate change projects.

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Biodiversity Loss Affects Human Health - Study [viewed]

24 April 2008: According to a new book, a new generation of medical treatments may be lost unless the current rate of biodiversity loss is reversed. The book, Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity, was supported by UNEP, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Development Programme and IUCN, and was edited and written by Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein, from Harvard Medical School, along with more than 100 contributing scientists.

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ITU Tasked with Climate Change Challenge [viewed]

23 April 2008: The first International Telecommunication Union (ITU) symposium on information and communications technologies (ICTs) and climate change closed on 16 April 2008, with an agreement that the ITU should play a significant role in the global effort to combat climate change. The symposium, co-organized and hosted by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, convened in Kyoto, Japan, from 15-16 April 2008. Participants concluded that the ITU's Standardization Sector (ITU-T) would be tasked with development of an internationally agreed standard methodology to measure the impact of ICTs on climate change.

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Business-Environment Summit Considers Climate Change [viewed]

23 April 2008: The Global Business for the Environment Summit, jointly organized by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Global Compact, discussed business-driven solutions for mitigating and adapting to climate change. During the 22-23 April 2008 event in Singapore, UNEP announced that ten new participants had joined the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net). Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director said CN Net was "a small but growing band of countries, cities and corporations [who] are making the clear and explicit statement that aspiring to low – even zero – emission economies is not some unobtainable pipe-dream but a path to profitability, stability and sanity in an increasingly unstable world.

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FAO Releases Report on Gender and Equity Issues in Liquid Biofuels Production [viewed]

Fao21 April 2008: A new FAO study warns that the rapid expansion of large-scale production of liquid biofuels in developing countries could exacerbate the marginalization of women in rural areas and threaten their livelihoods. The study, entitled "Gender and Equity Issues in Liquid Biofuels Production – Minimizing the Risks to Maximize the Opportunities," discusses the potential gender-differentiated risks of liquid biofuels production and identifies research and policy strategies to better understand and address them.

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World Bank President Proposes “New Deal for a Global Food Policy” [viewed]

Robert_b_zoelliRobert B. Zoellick, World Bank President, called, on 2 April 2008, for a “New Deal for a Global Food Policy” to combat world hunger and malnutrition, in the face of skyrocketing food and oil prices, through a combination of emergency aid and long-term efforts to boost agricultural productivity in developing countries. Zoellick said the new deal is needed to combat the “forgotten” Millennium Development Goal of overcoming malnutrition, a problem that causes 3.5 million deaths a year in children under 5 and has long-lasting impacts on health and achievement. According to Zoellick, this new deal “should focus not only on hunger and nutrition, access to food and its supply, but also the interconnections with energy, yields, climate change, investment, the marginalization of women and others, and economic resiliency and growth.”

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