Disasters & Humanitarian Relief

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Calls for New Deal for Agriculture [viewed]


June 2008: Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food,

reminded participants at the High-Level Conference on World Food Security,

which convened from 3-5 June 2008 in Rome, Italy, that the right to food

imposes obligations on countries vis-à-vis populations outside of their

territory. Noting the need to protect the most vulnerable segments of

populations, he called for an institutional framework to: identify emerging

threats at the earliest possible stage; improve coordination among ministries

and levels of government; and ensure participation, particularly of the most

food insecure segments of population.

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IFAD President Urges Scaling Up Support to Smallholder Farmers to Address Food Crisis [viewed]



June 2008: Lennart Båge, President of the International Fund for Agricultural

Development (IFAD), told the High-Level Conference on World Food Security, at

its 3-5 June 2008 meeting in Rome, Italy, that “complacency” with food

surpluses has led to underinvestment in agriculture, for which the world is now

“literally paying the price.” Drawing attention to the under-utilized capacity

of smallholder farmers, he called for investments in rural agriculture,

including: improved access to essential inputs, such as seeds and fertilizer;

microfinance institutions; rural infrastructure; market linkages and access to

market information; and food processing.

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UN/ISDR: Drought Risk Reduction Networks Discussed at CSD16 [viewed]

7 May 2008: The UN International Strategy on Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) intervened during the discussion of “drought” at the sixteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, which convened in New York, US, from 5-16 May 2008. The UN/ISDR delegation highlighted that regional and sub-regional networks that address drought risk reduction exist or are in the process of being formed, although their establishment has not been as successful as desired due to “overlapping political jurisdictions, differences in the types of participants and policy issues in each region, varying degrees of interest among potential regional participants, and different implementation timelines.”

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World Bank Institute: Online Distance Learning Programme on Natural Disaster Risk Management [viewed]

May 2008: As part of its Global Distance Learning Programme on Natural Disaster Risk Management, the World Bank Institute (WBI) will hold a series of online courses on natural disaster risk management, including on climate change and disaster risk management, from 26 May 2008 to 1 May 2009.

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ISDR: Virtual Disaster Reduction Library II to be Released [viewed]

15 May 2008: On the occasion of the second International Disaster Reduction Conference, to be held in Davos, Switzerland, from 25-29 August 2008, the UN/ISDR Secretariat will release the 2008 Virtual Disaster Reduction Library II.

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G8 to Hold Environmental Ministers Meeting [viewed]

Kobe13 May 2008: Japan will host the G8 Environment Ministers Meeting from 24-26 May 2008, in Kobe, Japan.

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UNESCO Executive Board to Consider UNESCO Strategy for Action on Climate Change [viewed]

Unesco_2The plenary sessions of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Board will convene from 7-9 and 16-17 April 2008.

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WMO Secretary General Emphasizes Need to Strengthen African Countries' Meteorological and Hydrological Services [viewed]

Michel_jarraud_2Discussing the need to protect against the damaging effects of climate change, Michel Jarraud, Secretary General of the World Meterological Organization (WMO), emphasized the importance of “African National Meteorological and Hydrological Services … as actors of development… particularly with regard to evaluating and monitoring the environment, preparing for natural hazards, and… climate change.”

Speaking at the Conference of the African Ministers of Trade and Finance in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, held from 1-3 April 2008, he noted African countries' particular susceptibility to extreme weather events and encouraged investment in observational networks to facilitate early warnings of natural disasters and climate predictions.

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Group Discusses Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions [viewed]

TsunamiThe Third Session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE EWS-III) convened in Panama City, Panama, from 12-14 March 2008.

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WMO Celebrates World Meteorological Day [viewed]

World_meteorological_organizationIn commemoration of the entry into force of the World Meterological Organization (WMO) Convention, which created the WMO on 23 March 1950, the WMO and the meteorological community celebrated World Meteorological Day on 25 March 2008.

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