7 October 2008: In a press conference at the UN Headquarters
in New York, US, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon characterized climate change
as the “defining challenge of our era,” and warned that the fight against this
challenge risks being “obscured by shorter-term problems, and in particular the
deepening financial crisis.” He expressed the hope that the climate
negotiations scheduled to take place in December 2008 in Poznan, Poland, will
result in increased cooperation and agreement on a timeframe of work, as well
as “a strong willingness” by developed and developing countries to lead on this
6 October 2008: Roberto Kobeh González, President of the
Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), emphasized
issues such as safety, security, airspace management, airport congestion, and
climate change in his address to the 61st Annual Meeting and Convention of the
National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) on 6 October 2008, in Orlando,
8 October 2008: In a statement to mark the International Day
of Disaster Reduction, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja highlighted that action on climate change
mitigation and adaptation must consider managing risks to drought in a global
coordinated approach, and said the Hyogo Framework for action is a platform to
achieve these considerations.
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.
6 October 2008: A bi-regional EU-Latin America and the Caribbean (EU-LAC) forum convened in Paris, France, on 6 October 2008, to address the challenges of globalization and its effect on the economy, social cohesion and the environment. Pamela Cox, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, addressed the forum, highlighting that some countries in Latin America and its citizens “and particularly the extreme poor, are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.”
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.