THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                               Tuesday, 25 May, 2010

                          UNEP and the E...
Other UN News

   •   Environment News from the UN Daily News of May 24th 2010
   •   Environment News from the S.G.’s Spo...
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that currently three quarters
of all fish stocks are in distress ...
2006, GEF CEO Monique Barbut said.

But the civil society organisations were calling for 10 billion dollars.

The amount p...
there was a 100 percent increase," without counting the funds that each country can
earmark from its national action plan,...
The TEEB report will also recommend that companies are fined and taxed for over-
exploitation of the natural world, with s...
Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA) and is founder of the Center for Sustainable
Development of the Americas (CSDA).

...
In run up to a fresh round of climate change talks at the UNFCCC headquarters in Bonn,
from May 31 to June 11, reports sai...
The second phase of TEEB work is divided into five interconnected strands. These
include the Report on Ecological and Econ...
like agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Yet natural capital also contributes significantly to
manufacturing and the serv...
Back to Menu
_________________________________________________________________

Eco localizer (Blog): Why Biodiversity Mat...
President Kagame has raised the environmental bar across the Continent and indeed the
world by calling for a low carbon, r...
There are now 122 CDM projects in Africa that are either registered or in the pipeline for
validation or registration, it ...
The CDM Designated National Authorities (DNAs) are responsible for, among other
things, laying the policy groundwork for C...
Researchers have pointed to major urban areas such as New York, which evaluated the
value of ecological services provided ...
Del encuentro, uno de los más importantes de los últimos 30 años, participan jerarcas
de gobiernos y representantes de org...
generación alternativa y renovable de energía, así como acciones de conservación de
biodiversidad.
En zafra

El congreso m...
para el año 2010 se integró al séptimo objetivo de los Objetivos de Desarrollo del
Milenio (ODM), sobre la sostenibilidad ...
“La diversidad biológica no sólo es de un valor estético, es el sostén de nuestra vida y
nuestra economía. Es un component...
una hambruna sin precedentes entre los 1.000 millones de seres humanos que dependen
del pescado para alimentarse.

Los cie...
Back to Menu
_________________________________________________________________

Discover.news (China): 联合国发文警告商业性捕渔业 40 年内...
削减补贴或限制船只可能使对问题的解决变得遥遥无期;但是如果(渔业)非法贸易得不
到控制,每年出产 1100 万至 2600 万吨鱼(大约是已报告合法捕鱼量的五分之一)的非法
捕鱼活动也无法控制。针对这一现象,(国际社会)已经采取了相关措施。20...
Other Environment News

AP: UN fish stocks review opens with dire outlook

25th May 2010

Environmentalists and scientists...
She also cited U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that three-quarters of the
world's fish stocks on the high...
24th May 2010
Environmentalists and scientists warned of collapsing fish stocks and tiny Pacific nation
Palau sounded the ...
"We're talking about the very future of food security on our planet, and the very future of
our oceans," she said. "And, i...
Sharks are vulnerable to overfishing because of their low fertility rates and long life spans.
But shark fishing has boome...
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said the Malaysian-registered tanker
MT Bunga Kelana 3 was damaged in a...
In refusing to rely on BP's data on the toxicity of dispersants, Jackson said, "I'd rather have
my own scientists do their...
that's not generally within the … federal government, in terms of competency, capability or
capacity.''

Asked about Salaz...
Beijing will raise power tariff surcharges for some energy intensive firms by 50 to 100
percent from June 1, reducing powe...
organization," the anonymous respondent said. "At a very senior level it is given
importance. However, at lower levels the...
Among Lib Dems – the coalition party explicitly opposed to new nuclear building – as
many as 58% of supporters believe "nu...
And London’s Science Museum recently announced that a permanent exhibit scheduled
to open later this year would be called ...
Two independent reviews later found no evidence that the East Anglia researchers had
actively distorted climate data, but ...
Meanwhile, groups like the wildlife organization WWF have posted articles like “How to
Talk to a Climate Skeptic,” providi...
Based on what is known of polar bear physiology, behaviour and ecology, it predicts
pregnancy rates will fall and fewer be...
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  1. 1. THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS Tuesday, 25 May, 2010 UNEP and the Executive Director in the News • UN Daily News: Conference on saving world’s fish stocks opens at UN Headquarters • Inter Press Service (Italy): More Funds, Less Red Tape, NGOs Tell GEF Assembly • Tehran Times (Iran): UN study backs economic changes to save natural world: report • In Depth News (Germany): Remembering the Three Rio Conventions • Market Watch (US): American Water CEO to Speak at World Environment Day 'Water Matters Global Water Conference' • Eco localizer (Blog): Why Biodiversity Matters and What You Can Do on World Environment Day • Today. Az (Azerbaijan): Baku is one of three European countries to celebrate World Environment Day • New Net Africa (Blog): source of growth for international emissions offset market, says UNFCCC • Vancouver Sun (Canada): Feds to put price on Canada's nature • El Pais (Uruguay): Uruguay aspira a US$ 8 millones de Fondo para Medio Ambiente • El Librepensador (Spain) :La biodiversidad se pierde a un ritmo acelerado • La Tarde (Spain): Desaparece la riqueza natural • Jornal De Santa Catarina (Brazil): Números no ar e no mar • Discover.news (China): 联合国发文警告商业性捕渔业 40 年内崩溃 Other Environment News • AP: UN fish stocks review opens with dire outlook • Business Week (US): UN fish stocks review opens with dire outlook • Journal Star (US): UN fish stocks review opens with dire outlook • Mainichi Daily News (Japan): UN fish stocks review opens with dire outlook • AFP: Oil spill off Singapore after vessels collide • Los Angeles Times (US): BP told to cut back on toxic remedy • Reuters: China wants energy goals reached before Cancun talks • Reuters: 70 percent of firms will spend more on climate change • Guardian (UK): Climate change concern declines in poll • New York Times (US): Climate Fears Turn to Doubts Among Britons • BBC: Polar bears face 'tipping point' due to climate change Environmental News from the UNEP Regions • RONA • ROWA
  2. 2. Other UN News • Environment News from the UN Daily News of May 24th 2010 • Environment News from the S.G.’s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of May 25th 2010 (None) UNEP and the Executive Director in the News UN Daily News: Conference on saving world’s fish stocks opens at UN Headquarters 24th May 2010 A five-day conference on fish conservation opened at United Nations Headquarters in New York today amid warnings that three quarters of the world’s fish stocks are in distress and nearing depletion while marine ecosystems continue to deteriorate. The conference chairman David Balton, United States Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans, cited over-fishing, the effect of fishing on the marine environment and the need for further assistance to developing countries as among the forum’s main issues. The conference is reviewing implementation of the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement that established a legal regime for long-term conservation and sustainable use of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks. It will provide an opportunity for countries to consider new measures to tighten implementation of the legal regime. The agreement, which took effect in 2001 and has 77 States parties, covers highly migratory species that regularly travel long distances, such as tuna, swordfish and oceanic sharks, as well as straddling stocks that occur both within the exclusive economic zone of coastal States – up to 200 nautical miles offshore – and areas beyond and adjacent to that zone, including cod, halibut, pollock, jack mackerel and squid.
  3. 3. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that currently three quarters of all fish stocks are in distress and nearing depletion and that the majority of straddling fish stocks, highly migratory species and other high seas fish stocks are either fully exploited or over-exploited. The conference, a resumption of the last review that was held in 2006, will “take a hard look at what is being done to give effect to the Fish Stocks Agreement,” Mr. Balton said. It will also consider progress made in the implementation of recommendations since 2006, many of which led to concerted action to improve fisheries. The conference is open all countries. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including many that raised concerns about the fate of Atlantic bluefin tuna and two species of sharks at the recent meeting of the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), are also participating. Also kicking off today is a UN gathering of experts to discuss pollution in the Caribbean. The UN Environment Programme’s Caribbean arm, known as UNEP CEP, and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have invited more than 50 pollution control specialists to a five-day meeting in Panama City. Participants will focus on how to bolster the region’s commitment to ratify the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land- Based Sources and Activities, or the LBS Protocol. That pact sets up regional guidelines and standards for reducing pollution’s impact on the coastal and marine environment, as well as on human health. More than 80 per cent of the pollution of the Wider Caribbean’s marine environment is believed to be from land-based sources and activities. So far, only six countries – Panama, Belize, Saint Lucia, France, the United States and Trinidad and Tobago – have ratified the LBS Protocol. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Inter Press Service (Italy): More Funds, Less Red Tape, NGOs Tell GEF Assembly 24th May 2010 Although they expressed appreciation for support received from the global fund, especially through the Small Grants Programme, representatives of the GEF NGO Network -- a partnership with more than 400 GEF-accredited non-governmental organisations worldwide -- participating in the five-day meeting in Punta del Este criticised the excessive bureaucracy bogging down the process of applying for project funds and the lack of cultural sensitivity towards indigenous communities. Delegates from the NGOs also called for a greater voice in the design of national programmes financed by the GEF, which was created in 1991 by the World Bank but was restructured in 1994 and became a permanent, separate institution that currently brings together 181 countries. More than 30 countries pledged 4.25 billion dollars in donations to finance the GEF over the next four years, 52 percent more than the total in the fourth replenishment of funds in
  4. 4. 2006, GEF CEO Monique Barbut said. But the civil society organisations were calling for 10 billion dollars. The amount pledged by donors "will always be insufficient," María Liechner, head of the Fundación Ecos of Uruguay, which was founded in 1994 and forms part of the GEF NGO Network, told IPS. The representatives of the GEF member countries, meeting this week in Punta del Este, on the Atlantic coast 140 km east of the Uruguayan capital, will decide on the environmental financing priorities for the 2010-2014 period. Liechner said the NGOs want "to form part of the projects from the planning stage, and to be taken into account when it comes to decision-making. But this is not the case today." The GEF, the world's largest environmental fund, is a partnership with the private sector, NGOs, and 10 international agencies: the U.N. Development Programme; the U.N. Environment Programme; the World Bank; the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation; the U.N. Industrial Development Organisation; the African Development Bank; the Asian Development Bank; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the Inter- American Development Bank; and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. It provides grants to developing countries and economies in transition for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. "There' s a big issue of cultural understanding," Minnie Degawan, head of the Indigenous Peoples Network for Change (IPNC), told IPS. "The GEF looks at indigenous people as just a small sector and it treats them like it treats all the others. It does not recognise that indigenous people have different ways of doing things. So there's a lot of educating that needs to be done with the GEF." The IPNC emerged to respond to the need for indigenous peoples to effectively participate in international processes that have a direct impact on their daily lives, with particular attention to the GEF and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), signed in 1992. The IPNC involves groups in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Degawan said the GEF "want to just deal with biodiversity and they don't want to deal with climate change; they want to always keep them separate. But indigenous people do not look at it that way; we always see things as interconnected." She also complained about the red tape involved in applying for GEF funds. "After three years of working on this project funded by the GEF, I think I have more white hair. They require so many things and sometimes it's just repeating itself, like you have to fill in this form, and you fill in this form, and it's basically the same." In addition, she said the funds for projects involving indigenous communities are still insufficient. "In the last period, GEF grants (for the Small Grants Programme) totalled 110 million dollars, and this time that amount was increased to 220 million dollars - in other words,
  5. 5. there was a 100 percent increase," without counting the funds that each country can earmark from its national action plan, William Ehlers, GEF Team Leader for External Relations, told IPS. One change projected for this four-year period is the release of funding for new countries interested in joining the global partnership, said Ehlers. Indigenous activist Yolanda Contreras with the Asociación de Artesanas de Arbolso y Huaca de Barro, an NGO from northwestern Peru, told IPS that the funds that reach native communities through the Small Grants Programme are still insignificant. Financing of the Small Grants Programme is less than one percent of the total GEF budget, which has allocated more than nine billion dollars to over 2,600 projects in 165 countries since it was created. Contreras, whose project receives technical assistance from the GEF for growing and weaving native varieties of naturally coloured cotton, acknowledged the importance of that support, pointing out that "the tradition of our ancestors was being lost. We didn't have seeds to plant the cotton." In the meeting with the civil society groups, Small Grants Programme Global Manager Delfin Ganapin recognised that there are many challenges in terms of facilitating access to funding by local communities, increasing the budget, improving training, and overcoming cultural and language barriers. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Tehran Times (Iran): UN study backs economic changes to save natural world: report 24th May 2010 A key UN report on biodiversity will recommend massive economic changes like company fines to help save species and protect the natural world, The Guardian reported here on Saturday. The study, which is due for publication in the summer, will argue that global action on the topic is more powerful than the argument for tackling climate change, according to the newspaper. The report, entitled 'The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity' (TEEB), was launched by Brussels in 2007 with the support of the UN Environment Program, after G8 and major emerging economies called for a global study. If nature is not factored into the global economic system then the environment will become more fragile and exposed to external shocks, placing human lives and the world economy in jeopardy, it will argue.
  6. 6. The TEEB report will also recommend that companies are fined and taxed for over- exploitation of the natural world, with strict limits imposed on what they can take from the environment, according to the paper. Alongside financial results, businesses and governments should also be asked to provide accounts for their use of natural and human resources. And communities should be paid to preserve natural environments rather than deplete them. The Guardian's report, published on the UN's International Day for Biological Diversity, added that the UN will also recommend reforming state subsidies for certain industries, like energy, farming, fishing and transport. The TEEB study will also warn that one-third of the world's natural habitats have been damaged by humans. The total value of “natural goods and services” like pollination, medicines, fertile soil, clean air and water, will be around 10 and 100 times the cost of saving the species and natural habitats which provide them. “We need a sea-change in human thinking and attitudes towards nature,” said Indian economist and report author Pavan Sukhdev, cited by The Guardian. Sukhdev, head of the UN Environment Program's green economy initiative, also appealed for nature to be regarded “not as something to be vanquished, conquered, but rather something to be cherished and lived within”. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ In Depth News (Germany): Remembering the Three Rio Conventions 24th May 2010 The botched UN conference in Copenhagen may prove to be a blessing in disguise by way of correcting the imbalance that has favoured climate change but nearly ignored desertification and biodiversity that are two other centerpieces of the three ‘Rio Conventions’ emerging from the Earth Summit in June 1992. A closer inter-action between the three Conventions may in fact liberate the new Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, from much of the pressure that apparently crushed Yvo de Boer and culminated in his decision to quit the job. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Fugueres, a Costa Rican national, on May 17, 2010, as the successor of de Boer who was the second Dutch to head the UNFCCC secretariat in Bonn. Figueres has been a member of the Costa Rican climate change negotiating team since 1995. She represented Latin America and the Caribbean on the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism in 2007, and was then elected Vice President of the Conference of the Parties 2008-2009. She served as Director of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Planning in Costa Rica, and as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Agriculture. She was also the Director of
  7. 7. Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA) and is founder of the Center for Sustainable Development of the Americas (CSDA). "As I take on my new responsibilities at the helm of the secretariat, I will have two immediate priorities: to work with the Secretary General to strengthen trust in the process, and to support the Danish and Mexican COP Presidencies as well as all other Parties in the preparation of a successful COP16 in Cancun," said Figures, 53, responding to her nomination. 2010 being the UN International Year of Biodiversity, a closer interaction between the UNFCCC and the UN Conventions on Biological Diversity (CBD) and to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) would help put into perspective the significance of the close linkage between the three Rio Conventions. The UNCCD secretary Luc Gnacadja and CBD’s Ahmed Djoghlaf have already developed a joint programme of raising global awareness about this year of biodiversity. They will not only release a joint statement but have also been collaborating on a number of activities throughout the year. “We are working to launch a Land Day at the CBD’s global conference (October 18-29, 2010) in Nagoya in Japan. After all, eight out of 25 global ‘biodiversity hotspots’ are in the drylands. That’s why we have carefully chosen and crafted our theme for awareness raising. Enhancing soils anywhere enhances life everywhere. This is at the core of the work on biodiversity,” Gnacadja said in an interview with IDN. LINKAGES Underlining the link between desertification and climate change, he said: “When there are a lot of voices calling for zero net forest degradation – in the context of climate change – it will be impossible to reach such a target if we don’t aim at having zero net land degradation. Because, where is the pressure on forest coming from? It is coming from land being degraded, and people looking for new land. Then they go for deforestation. So one is closely linked to the other. In other words, if we say that we want to preserve the forest we must make better use of the land under management and we must attach importance to reclaiming or rehabilitating the degraded land.” Pointing to yet another connection, the UNCCD executive secretary said in an IDN interview in February: “Unfortunately – as in Copenhagen – whenever the potential that has now been clearly established by science, potential of the land and the soil not only to address adaptation but also to mitigate climate change, is brought up in the context of the REDD programme (on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) or NAMAs (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions) there are a number of big players who bracket it. And I believe that the challenges in Copenhagen were mainly challenges of lack of trust between the players.” Gnacadja made yet another important point when he said: “The human face of climate change is to be seen in the drylands. People are already dying due to the impact of climate change in drylands, because of prolonged droughts that are followed by sudden rain and flood. Because of severe degradation of land, some people are starving, some of them are dying, and others are migrating.”
  8. 8. In run up to a fresh round of climate change talks at the UNFCCC headquarters in Bonn, from May 31 to June 11, reports said that a United Nations study expected to be published in July at a conference in London, would underline that the case for saving species is 'more powerful than climate change'. The London Guardian newspaper recalled that the global public interest in climate change was triggered by the ‘Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change’, a 700-page report released for the British government on October 30, 2006 by economist Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. The Stern Review claimed that the cost of limiting climate change would be around 1%-2% of annual global wealth, but the longer-term economic benefits would be 5-20 times that figure. “The UN's biodiversity report – dubbed the Stern for Nature – is expected to say that the value of saving ‘natural goods and services’, such as pollination, medicines, fertile soils, clean air and water, will be even higher – between 10 and 100 times the cost of saving the habitats and species which provide them,” reported the newspaper on May 17, 2010. "We need a sea-change in human thinking and attitudes towards nature: not as something to be vanquished, conquered, but rather something to be cherished and lived within," the report's author, the Deutsche Bank economist Pavan Sukhdev, told the Guardian. REPORTS TO COME In fact, Sukhdev provided a glimpse of the new report in November in the ‘TEEB – The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policy Makers – Summary: Responding to the Value of Nature 2009’. Further two TEEB reports on for local policy makers and administrators and business respectively will be published in mid-2010, The final findings of the complete TEEB study will be presented in October 2010 at the CBD COP10 (10th conference of parties to the UN Convention for Biological Diversity), in Nagoya. TEEB was launched in 2007 by Germany and the European Commission in response to a proposal by the G8+5 Environment Ministers (Potsdam, Germany) to develop a global study on the economics of biodiversity loss. This independent study, led by Sukhdev, is hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with financial support from the European Commission, Germany and the UK, more recently joined by Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden. In May 2008, the TEEB Interim Report was released at the Convention on Biological Diversity’s COP9. This paved the way for the series of further TEEB reports. One of the key messages highlighted in that document was the inextricable link between poverty and the loss of ecosystems and biodiversity. It showed how several Millennium Development Goals were at risk due to neglect and deterioration of these aspects of our natural capital.
  9. 9. The second phase of TEEB work is divided into five interconnected strands. These include the Report on Ecological and Economic Foundations (parts of which were published online in September 2009) and four targeted end-user reports that build on this baseline. This group of reports offers tailored insights and advice for national and international policy makers, local and regional administrators, businesses and consumers and citizens. The September 2009 report said: “Losses in the natural world have direct economic repercussions that we systematically underestimate. Making the value of our natural capital visible to economies and society creates an evidence base to pave the way for more targeted and cost-effective solutions. BIODIVERSITY CRISIS “We are facing a biodiversity crisis even though we are major beneficiaries of nature’s multiple and complex values.” Examples are: Forests store carbon, provide timber and other valuable products and shelter species and people. Wetlands purify water and offer protection against floods. Mangroves protect coasts and their populations by reducing the damage caused by storms and tsunamis. Coral reefs provide breeding grounds for fish, leisure and learning for tourists and scientists. The list of benefits provided by nature is vast, added the report. Yet species are still being lost and nearly two thirds of ecosystem services have been degraded in just fifty years (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) 2005). “We have become only too familiar with the gradual loss of nature – this ‘death by a thousand cuts' of the natural world. Our natural capital is being run down without us even knowing its real worth,” the study noted. It pointed out that the cost of these losses is felt on the ground but can go unnoticed at national and international level “because the true value of natural capital is missing from decisions, indicators, accounting systems and prices in the market”. ‘Ecosystem services’ – the benefits we derive from nature – are a useful concept to make these benefits more explicit. They form a key building block of the new approach we urgently need to manage natural resources, the document added. The report makes a strong plea for investing in natural capital arguing that it supports a wide range of economic sectors and maintains and expands options for economic growth and sustainable development. Such investments can be a cost effective response to the climate change crisis, offer value for money, support local economies, create jobs and maintain ecosystem benefits for the long term. “Many more economic sectors than we realize depend on natural capital. We can all appreciate the importance of healthy biodiversity and ecosystems for primary production
  10. 10. like agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Yet natural capital also contributes significantly to manufacturing and the service economy,” says the report. A close look at the September 2009 reveals that the final UN report to be released in October 2010 will provide fresh impulses for treating the three Rio Conventions as complementary and mutually reinforcing – far-removed from competing with each other as the money-spinning FCCC, the poor ‘African’ CCD and the exotic CBD. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Market Watch (US): American Water CEO to Speak at World Environment Day 'Water Matters Global Water Conference' 24th May 2010 VOORHEES, N.J., May 24, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- American Water (AWK 20.05, -0.04, -0.20%) , the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company, today announced its president and chief executive officer Donald L. Correll is speaking as an industry expert during the United Nations' World Environment Day "Water Matters! Global Water Conference". The conference is being held on June 3 in Pittsburgh, Pa. as part of the North America celebration of World Environment Day 2010. Correll will serve on a panel discussion, moderated by Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post, about water as an economic driver. He will discuss the critical need for water and wastewater infrastructure investment in the U.S. and how these projects help create jobs and stimulate the economy. With more than 30 years of leadership experience in the water industry, Correll has served as president and CEO of American Water since 2006. He is the immediate past president of the National Association of Water Companies, and he serves on the boards of a variety of civic, professional and business organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Environmental Financial Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The United Nations Environment Programme appointed Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to be North America's Host for World Environment Day 2010. World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Commemorated each year on June 5, World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. With thousands of events in six global regions, namely, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, West Asia and Europe, World Environment Day is considered one of the largest environmental events of its kind. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 16 million people in 35 states and Ontario and Manitoba, Canada.
  11. 11. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Eco localizer (Blog): Why Biodiversity Matters and What You Can Do on World Environment Day 24th May 2010 Fast is not always good. Species are becoming extinct at the fastest rate known in geological history, and most of these extinctions are tied to human activity. This year is the UN Year of Biodiversity and it seems as if in the blink of an eye, we are already half-way through it. This was a year that many of us had long looked forward to, perhaps with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. This was the year we had set a collective alarm clock as the deadline to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of loss of biodiversity. Now it is ringing rather loudly. All assessments of progress indicate that we are far from reaching the goals we set in 2002. UNEP’s most recent report assessing biodiversity on Earth warns that a massive further loss of biodiversity is increasingly likely, and with it, a severe reduction of many essential services to society as “tipping points” are approached. That could mean terrifying scenarios – such as the dieback of large areas of the Amazon forest with consequences for the global climate, regional rainfall and widespread species extinctions. It may mean multiple collapses of coral reef ecosystems, due to a combination of ocean acidification, warmer waters and overfishing. Rising global populations, a demand for more resources, finite oil supplies, increasing globalisation and massive species extinctions, all define an era that could be described as both a crisis and a wake-up call. Every year the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) uses World Environment Day (WED) as a vehicle to raise worldwide awareness of important environmental issues with the aim of creating awareness and driving political action. This year’s WED will be held under the theme – Many Species. One Planet. One Future. This theme serves as a call to action to stop and reverse biodiversity loss. UNEP is proud and pleased that Rwanda will be the host. Under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, Rwanda has developed a visionary strategy for sustainable development and environmental protection, with a spate of new policies and laws for environmental management. This is an opportunity to showcase the successes reached in Rwanda. I have been to visit Rwanda in the run up to our WED events and am both impressed and awed. Rwanda, known affectionately as the “Land of a Thousand Hills” is located in Central Africa. Rwanda is a beautiful country and one that embodies the spirit of progressive political action to protect the environment. Here, environment is also a very important and sensitive factor in the socio-economic, political and cultural development of the country.
  12. 12. President Kagame has raised the environmental bar across the Continent and indeed the world by calling for a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy. In doing so, he has articulated a new direction for action on poverty alleviation by linking the future of Africa’s economy with investing in environmental sustainability. In the run up to WED 2010, we’re also calling on individuals, groups, communities and organizations to do their bit to conserve the diversity of life on our planet. This is a partnership between us all. Tell us what you are doing to mark WED, no matter how small. For every activity registered on our website, we will donate $10 to Gorilla conservation in Rwanda. That means your efforts count twice! Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Today. Az (Azerbaijan): Baku is one of three European countries to celebrate World Environment Day 24th May 2010 Every year the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) announces main cities to celebrate the World Environment Day in Europe. “This year, Baku has been elected one of the three central cities along with Swiss cities of Geneva and Italian city of Genoa,” the Azerbaijan Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry said. “We assess this as successful result of the work done in environmental protection and also national environment programs as well as international organizations’ attaching great importance to Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus region.” The UN General Assembly declared June 5 World Environment Day at its 27th session at December 16, 1972. On the same day, the General Assembly also founded the UN Environment Program. The World Environment Day is usually marked by street rallies, bicycle racing, essay competition at schools, plating trees, cleaning of polluted areas and utilization of wasters Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ New Net Africa (Blog): source of growth for international emissions offset market, says UNFCCC 24th May 2010 Despite Africa accounting for just under two per cent of the 2,060-plus registered clean development mechanism (CDM) projects worldwide, the continent has seen a strong growth trend in the past few years, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  13. 13. There are now 122 CDM projects in Africa that are either registered or in the pipeline for validation or registration, it said, up from 116 in 2009, 75 in 2008 and 42 in 2007. The offset project landscape is also changing in the continent, said the UNFCCC. It said that whereas raising capacity and awareness about the potential for offset projects in Africa used to be a challenge, it now sees a higher level of understanding and eagerness to participate in the region. ‘It’s obvious the capacity-building is paying off and the message is getting out,’ said John Kilani of the UNFCCC secretariat, on behalf of Nairobi Framework. Five UN organisations and two multilateral development banks make up the Nairobi Framework, an initiative aimed at extending the benefits of the CDM, especially in Africa. Launched in November 2006 by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Nairobi Framework’s partners now include the UN Development Programme, UN Environment Programme, the World Bank, UN Institute for Training and Research, UN Conference on Trade and Development, the African Development Bank and the UNFCCC secretariat. The UNFCCC also said there are a growing number of renewable energy projects in Africa and a growing number of countries hosting projects. ‘Some project developers are even prepared to pay a premium for offset credits originating from Africa, no doubt because they are confident in the long-term growth prospects for CDM on the continent,’ said Mr Kilani, director of the secretariat’s sustainable development mechanism programme. Under the CDM, projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to sustainable development can earn saleable certified emission reduction credits, which can be used for compliance under the Kyoto Protocol. ‘Africa’s slow start in the CDM business seems now to have been more about finding the right ways to structure projects in the sectors that are Africa’s national specialities than about a fundamental incompatibility,’ said Henry Derwent, president and CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association. ‘Investors in compliance and voluntary markets alike are seriously interested in good quality African emissions reduction projects, to balance their portfolios and meet their climate change strategies. Africa Carbon Forum has helped them and project promoters alike,’ he added. One of the new developments under the CDM is the option to establish so-called programmes of CDM activities, which allows for many individual project activities to be put together under a single programme, to reduce transaction costs and increase efficiency of implementation. ‘Programmatic CDM is clearly seen as a very attractive option by African countries and several programmes are under development in a handful of countries; but, it is also clear from the discussions that to make it a success there is a need for targeted capacity- building, both for designated national authorities and project developers,’ said John Christensen from the UN Environment Programme.
  14. 14. The CDM Designated National Authorities (DNAs) are responsible for, among other things, laying the policy groundwork for CDM in their countries and for attesting to the sustainable development benefits of each project prior to registration. There are currently more than 2,060 registered CDM projects in 63 developing countries, and about another 2,200 projects in the project validation and registration pipeline. The projects registered to date are expected to generate more than 1.7 billion certified emission reductions by the time the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012, said the UNFCCC, which are each equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Vancouver Sun (Canada): Feds to put price on Canada's nature 24th May 2010 A unique research project at Environment Canada could soon offer a new perspective for Canadians on conservation and its economic value, says a director in the federal department. Following a fall report released by the United Nations Environment Programme that concluded natural ecosystems around the world were worth trillions of dollars in the global economy, the Harper government is following up with the development of its own framework to evaluate the economic value of nature in Canada. "I think that the public understands intuitively that the environment is of value," said Luis Leigh, a director in the Regulatory Analysis and Instrument Choice Division at Environment Canada. "They enjoy it but they don't have an awareness (that) their actions sometimes can have deleterious impacts on the environment and there's no sense of how much that might be worth." He explained the framework could provide governments and businesses with balanced information in their decision-making process with the true costs of development or conservation. Environment Canada has recently wrapped up a pilot project studying Edehzhie, a remote protected area in the Northwest Territories, and are also doing a similar study in Lake Winnipeg and could use the results to demonstrate net economic benefits from conservation and environmental protection, he said. "We've developed enough knowledge now where we know the kind of questions that we ought to be asking, but we haven't been doing all the measures that we ought to do," Leigh said. "I think governments in general are well-attuned to this and are making efforts to improve." A separate division of Environment Canada is also leading a study on the "Value of Nature to Canadians in 2010" which would complement the work being done in developing the framework, Leigh explained. The department said the "Value-of-Nature" study would collect, analyze and synthesize data on the economic, social and ecological value of nature, in urban, rural and wilderness contexts.
  15. 15. Researchers have pointed to major urban areas such as New York, which evaluated the value of ecological services provided by the Catskill Mountains helped generate billions of dollars in savings that would have been otherwise spent on water filtration systems for drinking water. Celeste Cote, a national water campaigner from the Sierra Club of Canada, said Environment Canada's research can help change harmful business practices. "With climate change or things like the Gulf (of Mexico) oil spill, we're starting to see negative consequences of these typical ways of doing business," said Cote. "What this framework will show is that damage to the environment equals damage to the economy. . . . So I think that this framework has an opportunity to really bring these issues (forward) and stop them from being so polarized in people's minds." Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ El Pais (Uruguay): Uruguay aspira a US$ 8 millones de Fondo para Medio Ambiente 25th May 2010 Uruguay propuso ayer incluir el combate a la pobreza en la agenda ambiental, en la jornada inaugural del Consejo del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial, conocido por sus siglas en inglés GEF, en Punta del Este. En el caso de los países emergentes la adaptación al cambio climático es más importante que el combate a las causas que generan el denominado efecto invernadero, expresó la ministra de Vivienda, Ordenamiento Territorial y Medio Ambiente, Graciela Muslera. "Para los países desarrollados la mitigación del efecto climático es un objetivo estratégico. Es en ellos donde se ha generado el problema en su mayor medida y es allí, por lo tanto, que se debe atacar prioritariamente. (...) Pero, desde nuestra óptica, desde la mirada de los países emergentes, la adaptación a los efectos del cambio climático es una urgencia, es un imperativo, es una obligación", afirmó Muslera. Y agregó: "el circulo vicioso pobreza-contaminación-subdesarrollo no es sólo del ámbito ambiental, claro. Pero tiene una dimensión ambiental enorme, que el concierto de los países no está atendiendo como debería. El GEF debe asumir que sin mirar la pobreza de frente, a la cara, nunca terminaremos de reconciliarnos con nuestro medio ambiente"; enfatizó la ministra que hoy será designada como presidenta de la IV Asamblea del GEF, durante un acto del que también tomará parte el vicepresidente Danilo Astori. Las afirmaciones de Muslera fueron efectuadas durante el acto de bienvenida a las autoridades del GEF que participan de la IV Asamblea del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial que se celebra desde la víspera en el hotel Conrad de Punta del Este.
  16. 16. Del encuentro, uno de los más importantes de los últimos 30 años, participan jerarcas de gobiernos y representantes de organizaciones no gubernamentales de 113 países. Por su parte Monique Barbut, titular del Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial, anunció que una treintena de países resolvió aumentar su apoyo en efectivo en un 52%. El fondo quedará conformado por US$ 4.250 millones de los cuales Uruguay aspira a conseguir alrededor de US$ 8 millones para poder concretar varios proyectos en trámite. Muslera y el canciller Luis Almagro participaron ayer de varias reuniones de trabajo con representantes de los principales programas de las Naciones Unidas, Achim Steiner (del Pnuma, Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente) y Rebeca Grynspan, administradora asociada del Programa de las Naciones Unidades para el Desarrollo (PNUD). "Uruguay es un país piloto en la reforma de las Naciones Unidades, precisamente lo que se llama Unidos en Acción, el único de América Latina", su-brayó Grynspan a El País a la salida de su reunión con los ministros uruguayos. La funcionaria explicó que junto con Muslera y Almagro se analizó la presencia de Uruguay en el encuentro de los países miembros del plan piloto de la ONU, en Hanoi. Durante el encuentro los ministros le propusieron a Grynspan la intención uruguaya de unir la agenda sectorial con la inclusión social. "Cómo unir la agenda del cambio climático con el tema energético, en el tema agropecuario con la inclusión social. La propia ministra de Vivienda destacó la necesidad de atender a los sectores más excluidos que viven en terrenos contaminados. La conversación giró mucho alrededor de las prioridades y de cómo unir la agenda social y la agenda del cambio climático", indicó. En el caso de Uruguay el plan de prioridades y de cooperación asciende a US$ 140 millones para los próximos 5 años. Asamblea definirá trabajo de 4 años El Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial (por su sigla en inglés, GEF) es el mecanismo de financiación de proyectos ambientales creado por los países destinados a la preservación del medio ambiente. Fue creado en el año 1991 como programa experimental dentro del Banco Internacional de Reconstrucción y Fomento dentro del grupo del Banco Mundial. Cada cuatro años la Asamblea se reúne para definir las prioridades para el nuevo período, así como los temas a respaldar y los montos con que apoyará a cada país. El encuentro congrega a más de 1.500 especialistas provenientes de países de todo el mundo. Desde la década de 1990, Uruguay recibió más de US$ 30 millones de apoyo directo no reembolsable que, sumados a las contrapartidas nacionales llegaron a US$ 130 millones de inversión directa en proyectos ambientales. En ese marco, se trabaja el Programa de Conservación de la Biodiversidad y Desarrollo Sustentable en los Humedales del Este (Probides), proyectos de mitigación y adaptación al cambio climático, iniciativas de mejora en la eficiencia energética y
  17. 17. generación alternativa y renovable de energía, así como acciones de conservación de biodiversidad. En zafra El congreso moviliza una gran cantidad de servicios y es rodeado por un gran operativo de seguridad. Los delegados del encuentro son más de 1.300 y se espera que la cantidad aumente con el paso de las horas. El encuentro tiene un efecto multiplicador para la economía del balneario, en baja temporada. Los servicios de micrófonos, equipos de audio, interpretación simultánea y equipamiento audiovisual demandaron un gasto de US$ 214.080 más IVA. La empresa Plus Ultra SA cotizó a US$ 0,02 cada una de las 400.000 fotocopias blanco y negro y 5.000 a color: un máximo de U$S 143.177. A estas contrataciones especiales se suman los servicios de alojamiento, transporte, almuerzos, cenas, desayunos, paseos y compras de souvenirs por parte de los participantes del encuentro. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ El Librepensador (Spain) :La biodiversidad se pierde a un ritmo acelerado 25th May 2010 Desde 1994, el mundo celebra el Día Internacional de la Diversidad Biológica. En el Año Internacional de la Diversidad Biológica, el tema “La Diversidad Biológica para el Desarrollo y el Alivio a la Pobreza”, recuerda la contribución excepcional de la diversidad biológica para el logro de los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio y la mitigación de la pobreza. Con motivo del Día Internacional de la Diversidad Biológica, la Secretaría del Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica de las Naciones Unidas lanza un comunicado de alerta. A pesar de la importancia de la diversidad biológica, no hay buenas noticias. La tercera edición de la Perspectiva Mundial sobre Diversidad Biológica publicada recientemente y basada en 120 informes nacionales recibidos de los gobiernos, demuestra que la diversidad biológica sigue perdiéndose a un ritmo sin precedentes, con proyecciones de que empeore, a pesar de los esfuerzos para alcanzar los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio (ODM). Casi una sexta parte de la población mundial depende de las áreas protegidas para la obtención de un porcentaje importante de sus medios de subsistencia, Más de mil millones de personas en los países en desarrollo dependen del pescado como fuente alimenticia, y el 80% de la pesca mundial está plenamente explotada o sobreexplotada. Por ejemplo, los humedales del Delta de Okavango, generan 32 millones dólares al año para las familias locales de Botswana, principalmente a través del turismo. La producción económica total asciende a 145 millones dólares-el 2.6% del PNB de Botswana. En reconocimiento a la importancia de la diversidad biológica, la meta de Johannesburgo de reducir sustancialmente el ritmo de pérdida de diversidad biológica
  18. 18. para el año 2010 se integró al séptimo objetivo de los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio (ODM), sobre la sostenibilidad del medio ambiente. En este contexto, las comunidades han reflexionado hoy sobre el papel que tiene la variedad de vida en nuestro planeta, ya que es lo que nos provee de riqueza, salud y bienestar para todo el planeta. Las celebraciones están previstas en todo el mundo, incluyendo una gran celebración sin precedentes en la sede en África de las Naciones Unidas, en Nairobi. Por lo tanto, hacer marcha tras a la pérdida de la diversidad biológica es una dimensión clave de la agenda de los ODM contribuyendo a un ambiente sano, y también a todos los ODM, entre ellos el acabar con la pobreza extrema, el hambre, garantizar la salud y la educación para todos, y lograr la cooperación internacional. Haciéndose eco del Día Internacional de la Diversidad Biológica, la Perspectiva también señala que no es posible ver la pérdida continua de diversidad biológica como una cuestión independiente de las preocupaciones fundamentales de la sociedad. El logro de los ODM de mejorar la salud, la riqueza y la seguridad de las generaciones presentes y futuras será más probable si se otorga la prioridad que se merece la diversidad biológica en los planes y programas de desarrollo. Revisión de la situación una década después La celebración de este tema es una contribución a la revisión de los 10 años de los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio, que se celebrará en Nueva York del 20 al 22 septiembre de 2010 con la participación de los jefes de Estado y de Gobierno. Este tema también se ha sugerido para la primera cumbre de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno sobre la diversidad biológica, que tendrá lugar también en Nueva York el 22 de septiembre de 2010 durante el sexagésimo período de sesiones de la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas. La Cumbre de la Diversidad Biológica de Nueva York ofrece una oportunidad única para que los líderes del mundo proporcionen liderazgo y una nueva visión de la diversidad biológica. Esta visión será traducida en un plan de acción estratégico para la próxima década en la Cumbre de Diversidad Biológica de Nagoya, que se celebrará en Japón en octubre. Angela Cropper, Directora Ejecutiva Adjunta de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente, declara: “Es un honor para el PNUMA el acoger la celebración de este importante evento, el tema seleccionado es fundamental para su misión y el centro de todas nuestras actividades. Es una contribución muy importante para la celebración del Año Internacional de la Diversidad Biológica”. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Secretario Ejecutivo del Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica, señala: “El mensaje de la tercera Perspectiva Mundial sobre la Diversidad Biológica es muy clara. Se necesita urgentemente una nueva visión sobre la diversidad biológica. El aceptar lo mismo de siempre es aceptar un futuro con disminución de diversidad biológica y el aumento de la pobreza y del hambre.”
  19. 19. “La diversidad biológica no sólo es de un valor estético, es el sostén de nuestra vida y nuestra economía. Es un componente fundamental del desarrollo sostenible para el futuro de una Economía Verde. Actuar para cambiar las tendencias actuales es el actuar para un futuro más verde y próspero para la humanidad”, añade Djoghlaf. Según el experto, “África tiene mucho que perder, si las cosas siguen como de costumbre, pero tiene mucho que ganar si se actúa con decisión. Esta es la razón por lo que esta celebración mundial se está llevando a cabo en África con la ayuda del Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente en la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas en Nairobi”. Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica El Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica (CDB) Abierto para firma en la Cumbre de la Tierra en Río de Janeiro en 1992, entró en vigor en diciembre de 1993, el Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica es un tratado internacional para la conservación de la diversidad biológica, el uso sostenible de los componentes de la diversidad biológica y la distribución equitativa de los beneficios derivados de la utilización de los recursos genéticos. Con 193 Partes, el Convenio tiene participación casi universal entre los países. El Convenio trata de enfrentar todas las amenazas a la diversidad biológica y a los servicios de los ecosistemas, incluyendo las amenazas del cambio climático, a través de evaluaciones científicas, el desarrollo de instrumentos, incentivos y procesos, la transferencia de tecnologías, buenas prácticas y la participación plena y activa de las partes interesadas pertinentes, incluyendo las comunidades indígenas y locales, los jóvenes, las ONG, las mujeres y la comunidad empresarial. El Protocolo de Cartagena sobr e Seguridad de la Biotecnología, un tratado complementario al Convenio, busca el proteger a la diversidad biológica de los riesgos potenciales que plantean los organismos vivos modificados resultantes de la biotecnología moderna. Hasta la fecha, 156 países y la Unión Europea son parte en el Protocolo. La Secretaría del Convenio y su Protocolo de Cartagena se encuentra en Montreal. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ La Tarde (Spain): Desaparece la riqueza natural 25th May 2010 El panorama de nuestro planeta, presentado por la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) con ocasión del Día Mundial de la Biodiversidad, es desolador. Pavan Sukhdev, el economista indio encargado del programa “Economía Verde” (que hace parte del Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente – PNUMA) dice en un informe publicado en la página de ese organismo, que la desaparición de 13 millones de hectáreas de bosque cada año pone en peligro la subsistencia de 1.600 millones de personas que viven de la madera y los productos forestales y que la reducción dramática de las especies marinas por la pesca descontrolada podría causar
  20. 20. una hambruna sin precedentes entre los 1.000 millones de seres humanos que dependen del pescado para alimentarse. Los científicos han identificado 1,9 millones de especies (animales, vegetales, microorganismos, virus y bacterias), pero se calcula que la tierra tiene en realidad entre 10 y 30 millones de especies. Sin embargo, al ritmo actual de pérdida, que es 100 veces más rápido que el de la extinción natural, en 50 años la mitad de esas especies estaría desaparecida. Su variedad topográfica hace de Colombia un país privilegiado para la biodiversidad. Las tres cordilleras, la diversidad de climas y las múltiples clases de suelos definen grandes regiones naturales de Colombia como el Caribe, el Pacífico, la zona Andina, la Amazonía o la Orinoquia. Esta recia personalidad geográfica que ha producido decenas de miles de especies animales y vegetales, unida a la enorme variedad antropológica, requiere que se pongan en marcha programas urgentes de protección, distintos para cada región, enmarcados en una política integral que tenga en cuenta la diversidad de grupos étnicos, las actividades económicas y su potencialidad en el futuro del planeta. Es imperativo que se ponga en marcha un plan de preservación y de ordenamiento territorial que permita el desarrollo sustentable, sin arrasar con la riqueza natural. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Jornal De Santa Catarina (Brazil): Números no ar e no mar 24th May 2010 Mais dinheiro, menos peixe Mais capacidade pesqueira e menos peixes. A relação parece estranha, mas os dados são uma prévia do relatório Economia Verde feito pelo Programa das Nações Unidas para o Meio Ambiente (Pnuma). O manejo inadequado, a baixa fiscalização e a política de subsídios são alguns dos motivos apontados para 30% dos estoques pesqueiros estarem próximos do colapso. Gasta-se cada vez mais com um número elevado de navios e de produtividade por embarcação, enquanto se reduz o número de peixes capturados. O programa da ONU ainda garante que a pesca gera, de forma direta e indireta, 170 milhões de empregos. Se os níveis de captura forem mantidos, o Pnuma acredita que quase todos os estoques pesqueiros comerciais serão extintos até 2050. Ficou preocupado? O Programa das Nações Unidas propõe investimentos de até US$ 320 bilhões para reformular o processo de pesca e permitir a recuperação dos espaços prejudicados. E garante, é preciso começar logo.
  21. 21. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Discover.news (China): 联合国发文警告商业性捕渔业 40 年内崩溃 25th May 2010 海洋鱼类正在被掏空捞尽。联合国一份即将发布的文件列出一串形势严峻的数字:大约只 有 25%的商业鱼类储量能维持、或相对维持健康水平;约 30%的鱼类储量被认定为萎 缩,90%的大型食肉鱼类(比如,被寿司爱好者奉为珍品的蓝鳍金枪鱼)自 20 世纪中叶 起已不多见;超过 60%的鱼类资源需要重新评估。照目前的趋势持续下去,几乎所有的 商业性捕渔业将在本世纪中期崩溃。 联合国环境规划署执行主任阿奇姆·施泰纳(Achim Steiner)说:“全球渔业正以一种有违 可持续发展的速率,掠夺和剥削现有资源。” 在某些方面,施泰纳的确应该提出停止“掠夺”(海洋资源),因为合法的商业性捕鱼已经 对海洋造成太多破坏,而(渔业)非法贸易则可能给海洋带来灭顶之灾。合法的渔民,即 那些每天以海为生农民,作出了保护海洋资源以及遵守法律的保证。但非法捕鱼者只遵循 自己的规则:他们通常会在缺乏法规约束和捕捞限额宽松可以逃避惩罚的公海,或者缺乏 反击能力的发展中国家沿海水域(从事非法渔业活动)。由皮尤环境集团(Pew Environment Group)的斯特凡·弗洛特曼(Stefan Flothmann)领导的研究小组,5 月 20 日在《科学》杂志上发表的文章告诉我们,要制止非法捕鱼这场灾难是多么艰难。 许多因素推动着全球鱼类产品需求不断上升。全球人口的增长需要稳定的蛋白质来源,而 鱼类这种公认的低脂肪,高营养食物自然成为不二之选。此外,寿司全球流行,世界各地 的食客人数暴增,意味着以前那些不喜欢吃鱼的人,已经准备好来品尝这一美味了。全球 海鲜消费量在过去 40 年间增长了一倍,而寿司热正赶上这股潮流。 但(渔业)也存在一个主要问题就是产能过剩,表现为渔民的人数过多,这得归功于全球 每年对捕鱼业高达 270 亿美元的补贴。在这些补贴的支持下,特别是数十亿对便宜柴油的 补贴,使得在公海上进行工厂化的捕鱼成为可能,并且已经创造出一个超过海洋资源承载 能力的产业。据联合国估计,小到仅能勉强维持生计的小船,大到巨型拖网渔船,全球的 船队总规模超过 2000 万艘。将它们的捕捞能力汇总起来,比海洋可持续承载能力还多 1.8~2.8 倍。税收是支付渔民开发海洋这座宝藏的主要经费来源。
  22. 22. 削减补贴或限制船只可能使对问题的解决变得遥遥无期;但是如果(渔业)非法贸易得不 到控制,每年出产 1100 万至 2600 万吨鱼(大约是已报告合法捕鱼量的五分之一)的非法 捕鱼活动也无法控制。针对这一现象,(国际社会)已经采取了相关措施。2009 年 11 月,联合国粮食和农业组织(FAO)通过了港口国家行动协议(Port State Measurement Agreement,PSMA),要求各国对从事非法违规捕鱼的船只关闭港口。道理很简单:如 果非法渔船不能在贸易港卖出货物和补给燃料,渔业黑市就会歇业。 PSMA 的成效来自于弗洛特曼及其同事在论文中所做的调查,根据 2004 年至 2009 年各 港口船只往来的数据,他们已经列出涉嫌非法捕鱼的可疑船只,并将其作为制裁的对象。 对非法捕鱼船只的发现及制裁,并没有使违法者引以为戒。在六年研究中,对三分之一的 可疑船只的动向的跟踪结果表明,港口记录漏洞百出。这些船只通过频繁改名来逃避监 管,即使它们被抓个现行,受到港口所在国惩罚的比例也只有大约四分之一。当某港口所 在地区有计划地打击违法船只时,这些船只就马上转移到另一地区——成了漏网之鱼。 “这一现象说明如果只有地区性的港口(制裁)措施,非法捕鱼逃避制裁的问题将转向其 他地区。”《科学》杂志的作者(注:应该是指斯特凡·弗洛特曼及其研究小组)写道。 弗洛特曼和他的同事们指出,要想遏制非法捕鱼,需要增加(船只行为的)透明度,也许 可以着手建立覆盖合法船只的更强大的监控体系。例如,现在并不要求渔船获取国际海事 组织(International Maritime Organization)的识别代码——这是船只唯一的全球识别代 号。建立起渔船的全球识别系统,将有助于分辨合法与非法船只,而且这些信息是所有港 口共享的。 正如弗洛特曼所写的:“明确责任需要高透明度为前提。 他说的没错——但是他所做的也说明,为什么即使在最佳条件下,拯救野生鱼类仍将面临 挑战!海洋范围广大,大部分海洋世界超越了单个国家的控制范围,因此海洋问题是关系 全世界所有人的终极问题。我们仍然依赖于海洋的生产力。 “人类的健康和海洋世界的健 康是息息相关的,”蒙特雷湾水族馆执行董事朱莉·派克说, “我们必须致力于拯救海洋及 其资源。”让我们从传播保护海洋的意识开始,兑现保护海洋的承诺吧。 Back to Menu =============================================================
  23. 23. Other Environment News AP: UN fish stocks review opens with dire outlook 25th May 2010 Environmentalists and scientists warned of collapsing fish stocks and tiny Pacific nation Palau sounded the alarm for sharks as diplomats Monday launched a weeklong review of high seas fisheries. The international conference will "take a hard look" at how to put some teeth in a 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, according to conference chairman David Balton, a U.S. deputy assistant secretary for oceans and fisheries. Palau's call for an international moratorium on shark finning came at the outset of a review held once every four years to address the declining numbers of fish stocks under the U.N. agreement, which took effect in 2001. Palau's U.N. Ambassador Stuart Beck said the killing of 73 million sharks a year, just because people like the way their fins taste in soup, shows just how badly wrong things have gotten with ocean mismanagement. "The slaughter of sharks for their fins to make soup is as needless and cruel as the killing of elephants for their tusks to make ornaments," he said. "The island nations are sounding the alarm: only concerted outrage can save the world's sharks from being slaughtered for the delectation of soup lovers." Palau President Johnson Toribiong last year announced his nation was creating the world's first shark sanctuary to protect great hammerheads, leopard sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks and more than 130 other species fighting extinction in the Pacific Ocean. Sharks are vulnerable to overfishing because of their low fertility rates and long life spans. But shark fishing has boomed since the 1980s fueled by demand from China and other nations for shark fin soup, a prized symbol of wealth. The U.N. lists the top 10 nations with the biggest fisheries hauls as China, Peru, the United States, Indonesia, Japan, Chile, India, Russia, Thailand and the Philippines. The U.N.'s legal framework, which extends among 77 parties including the European Union, is used to regulate tuna, swordfish and other migratory species that travel long distances. It also covers halibut, cod and other species that straddle the exclusive economic zones of coastal nations. Susan Lieberman, international policy director for the Pew Environment Group, pointed to two independent, peer-reviewed studies saying governments have been ineffective at improving she called "the deplorable state of fisheries on the high seas." Both were published in journals online, one in Science, the other in Marine Policy, to coincide with this week's U.N. conference.
  24. 24. She also cited U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that three-quarters of the world's fish stocks on the high seas are overfished. "The key is not to focus on the numbers so much as the fact that if we extrapolate these data the estimates are that global fisheries will crash, completely crash, by 2050, in little more than one generation," said Lieberman. "We're talking about the very future of food security on our planet, and the very future of our oceans," she said. "And, in particular, this has tremendous impacts for coastal communities and developing countries." Almost half the planet, or up to 3 billion people, depend on fish as the main source for protein in their diet. A study of 18 regional fisheries management organizations that manage fishing on the high seas on average scored no higher than 57 percent for effectiveness, said University of British Columbia researcher Sarika Cullis-Suzuki, one of the co-authors, along with marine scientist Daniel Pauly, of the Marine Policy paper. "Overwhelmingly, our main conclusion is that RFMOs are doing poorly, both on paper and in practice," she said. "And these management organizations are failing the high seas." Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Business Week (US): UN fish stocks review opens with dire outlook 24th May 2010 Environmentalists are issuing dire warnings about the health of marine life on the high seas as a U.N. review of global fisheries opened Monday. The review, held once every four years, is meant to address the declining numbers of fish stocks under a 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement. The legal framework among 77 nations that have joined is used to regulate tuna, swordfish and other migratory species that travel long distances. It also covers halibut, cod and other species that straddle the exclusive economic zones of coastal nations. A Pew Environmental Group study found that governments have been ineffective at stopping illegal fishing. Pew international policy director Susan Lieberman cited "the deplorable state of fisheries on the high seas" based on U.N. figures showing three- quarters of the world's fish stocks are overfished and said global fisheries could "crash" by mid-century. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Journal Star (US): UN fish stocks review opens with dire outlook
  25. 25. 24th May 2010 Environmentalists and scientists warned of collapsing fish stocks and tiny Pacific nation Palau sounded the alarm for sharks as diplomats Monday launched a weeklong review of high seas fisheries. The international conference will "take a hard look" at how to put some teeth in a 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, according to conference chairman David Balton, a U.S. deputy assistant secretary for oceans and fisheries. Palau's call for an international moratorium on shark finning came at the outset of a review held once every four years to address the declining numbers of fish stocks under the U.N. agreement, which took effect in 2001. Palau's U.N. Ambassador Stuart Beck said the killing of 73 million sharks a year, just because people like the way their fins taste in soup, shows just how badly wrong things have gotten with ocean mismanagement. "The slaughter of sharks for their fins to make soup is as needless and cruel as the killing of elephants for their tusks to make ornaments," he said. "The island nations are sounding the alarm: only concerted outrage can save the world's sharks from being slaughtered for the delectation of soup lovers." Palau President Johnson Toribiong last year announced his nation was creating the world's first shark sanctuary to protect great hammerheads, leopard sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks and more than 130 other species fighting extinction in the Pacific Ocean. Sharks are vulnerable to overfishing because of their low fertility rates and long life spans. But shark fishing has boomed since the 1980s fueled by demand from China and other nations for shark fin soup, a prized symbol of wealth. The U.N. lists the top 10 nations with the biggest fisheries hauls as China, Peru, the United States, Indonesia, Japan, Chile, India, Russia, Thailand and the Philippines. The U.N.'s legal framework, which extends among 77 parties including the European Union, is used to regulate tuna, swordfish and other migratory species that travel long distances. It also covers halibut, cod and other species that straddle the exclusive economic zones of coastal nations. Susan Lieberman, international policy director for the Pew Environment Group, pointed to two independent, peer-reviewed studies saying governments have been ineffective at improving she called "the deplorable state of fisheries on the high seas." Both were published in journals online, one in Science, the other in Marine Policy, to coincide with this week's U.N. conference. She also cited U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that three-quarters of the world's fish stocks on the high seas are overfished. "The key is not to focus on the numbers so much as the fact that if we extrapolate these data the estimates are that global fisheries will crash, completely crash, by 2050, in little more than one generation," said Lieberman.
  26. 26. "We're talking about the very future of food security on our planet, and the very future of our oceans," she said. "And, in particular, this has tremendous impacts for coastal communities and developing countries." Almost half the planet, or up to 3 billion people, depend on fish as the main source for protein in their diet. A study of 18 regional fisheries management organizations that manage fishing on the high seas on average scored no higher than 57 percent for effectiveness, said University of British Columbia researcher Sarika Cullis-Suzuki, one of the co-authors, along with marine scientist Daniel Pauly, of the Marine Policy paper. "Overwhelmingly, our main conclusion is that RFMOs are doing poorly, both on paper and in practice," she said. "And these management organizations are failing the high seas." Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Mainichi Daily News (Japan): UN fish stocks review opens with dire outlook 25th May 2010 Environmentalists and scientists warned of collapsing fish stocks and tiny Pacific nation Palau sounded the alarm for sharks as diplomats Monday launched a weeklong review of high seas fisheries. The international conference will "take a hard look" at how to put some teeth in a 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, according to conference chairman David Balton, a U.S. deputy assistant secretary for oceans and fisheries. Palau's call for an international moratorium on shark finning came at the outset of a review held once every four years to address the declining numbers of fish stocks under the U.N. agreement, which took effect in 2001. Palau's U.N. Ambassador Stuart Beck said the killing of 73 million sharks a year, just because people like the way their fins taste in soup, shows just how badly wrong things have gotten with ocean mismanagement. "The slaughter of sharks for their fins to make soup is as needless and cruel as the killing of elephants for their tusks to make ornaments," he said. "The island nations are sounding the alarm: only concerted outrage can save the world's sharks from being slaughtered for the delectation of soup lovers." Palau President Johnson Toribiong last year announced his nation was creating the world's first shark sanctuary to protect great hammerheads, leopard sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks and more than 130 other species fighting extinction in the Pacific Ocean.
  27. 27. Sharks are vulnerable to overfishing because of their low fertility rates and long life spans. But shark fishing has boomed since the 1980s fueled by demand from China and other nations for shark fin soup, a prized symbol of wealth. The U.N. lists the top 10 nations with the biggest fisheries hauls as China, Peru, the United States, Indonesia, Japan, Chile, India, Russia, Thailand and the Philippines. The U.N.'s legal framework, which extends among 77 parties including the European Union, is used to regulate tuna, swordfish and other migratory species that travel long distances. It also covers halibut, cod and other species that straddle the exclusive economic zones of coastal nations. Susan Lieberman, international policy director for the Pew Environment Group, pointed to two independent, peer-reviewed studies saying governments have been ineffective at improving she called "the deplorable state of fisheries on the high seas." Both were published in journals online, one in Science, the other in Marine Policy, to coincide with this week's U.N. conference. She also cited U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that three-quarters of the world's fish stocks on the high seas are overfished. "The key is not to focus on the numbers so much as the fact that if we extrapolate these data the estimates are that global fisheries will crash, completely crash, by 2050, in little more than one generation," said Lieberman. "We're talking about the very future of food security on our planet, and the very future of our oceans," she said. "And, in particular, this has tremendous impacts for coastal communities and developing countries." Almost half the planet, or up to 3 billion people, depend on fish as the main source for protein in their diet. A study of 18 regional fisheries management organizations that manage fishing on the high seas on average scored no higher than 57 percent for effectiveness, said University of British Columbia researcher Sarika Cullis-Suzuki, one of the co-authors, along with marine scientist Daniel Pauly, of the Marine Policy paper. "Overwhelmingly, our main conclusion is that RFMOs are doing poorly, both on paper and in practice," she said. "And these management organizations are failing the high seas." Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ AFP: Oil spill off Singapore after vessels collide 25th May 2010 Emergency teams were scrambling to contain 2,000 tonnes of crude oil that leaked Tuesday into the Singapore Strait after two vessels collided in the busy waterway, port officials said.
  28. 28. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said the Malaysian-registered tanker MT Bunga Kelana 3 was damaged in a collision with the MV Wally, a bulk carrier registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines. One of the cargo tanks of the Malaysian vessel was damaged. "Work is ongoing to contain and clean up the oil spill," the MPA said in a press release. Four patrol and emergency response vessels and three private craft equipped with oil-spill equipment have been sent to the affected zone. Nobody was injured and ship traffic was not affected by the incident, which took place 13 kilometres (eight miles) off Singapore in the Traffic Separation Scheme at 6:10 am Tuesday (2210 GMT Monday), the release said. The Traffic Separation Scheme is a commercial channel running along the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. Both vessels were anchored off Singapore after the accident, and neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia have been notified, the MPA said. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Los Angeles Times (US): BP told to cut back on toxic remedy 25th May 2010 In a sign of diminished confidence in BP's ability to manage the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, federal officials Monday said they intended to require the company to dramatically scale back its use of oil dispersants and would initiate their own tests on the chemicals' effect on sea life. With an oil spill of epic proportions looming offshore, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson — along with angry chorus of lawmakers — chided BP for its lack of transparency. She said that BP's response to federal directives last week to find a less toxic dispersant was "insufficient." Even though the company's test results show that the dispersant, Corexit, is effective and not a risk to aquatic life, Jackson wants its use cut by 50% to 75%. She said there is no way to know the long-term effects of the unprecedented amount of chemicals. Adding to BP's woes, Jackson said that the company is liable for environmental fines and penalties now that oil has reached land. And the Commerce Department declared a "fisheries disaster" for the waters off Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, making the company responsible for compensating losses to the fishing industry. BP's dressing down came on a day when a bipartisan cast of lawmakers and federal officials voiced unstinting criticism of the company as toxic oil washed up on nearly 75 miles of Louisiana marshland.
  29. 29. In refusing to rely on BP's data on the toxicity of dispersants, Jackson said, "I'd rather have my own scientists do their own analysis." More than 800,000 gallons of dispersant have been used in an attempt to break up the oil and speed its decomposition before the slick reaches shore. That is more than has ever been used in U.S. waters, spurring concern that dispersants' widespread application is magnifying the toxic effect of oil on sea life from the gulf surface to its muddy floor. Last week the EPA told the oil giant to find less toxic alternatives to the two types of dispersant released on the surface and, to a lesser extent in the ocean depths near the damaged wellhead. BP said it is unable to find a more benign dispersant available in the necessary volumes. On Monday, Jackson and Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry used frank language to describe a Sunday night meeting with BP officials. "We are not satisfied that BP has done extensive analysis of other dispersant options," Jackson said. "They were more interested in defending their original decisions than studying other options." A federal lab in Florida will begin testing the dispersant's effectiveness and toxicity. Jackson said the unprecedented release of dispersants at an ocean depth of 5,000 feet have been effective and would continue. But the surface applications, in particular, would be decreased. BP is finishing preparations to stop the flow of the blown-out oil well that that has poured millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico since the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that killed 11 workers. Much is riding on the planned Wednesday morning "top kill" operation, which involves pumping heavy liquids into the wellhead to plug it. If the procedure works, the gush of oil from a broken pipe connected to the wellhead could end by Wednesday night. If it doesn't, BP's badly tarnished reputation will dim further. And the Obama administration will run the risk of seeing the spill narrative shift from BP's failures to a questioning of the administration's competence in handling a growing environmental disaster. "This is a BP mess. This is a horrible mess," declared Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at a Galliano, La. news conference, where he repeated his threat to put a "boot on the neck" of BP. Over the weekend, Salazar said the federal government was prepared to "push them [BP] out of the way appropriately'' if the company proved unable to stem the oil leak spreading across the gulf. But in a Monday news briefing at the White House, Adm. Thad Allen, U.S. Coast Guard commandant, conceded that the federal government is in no position to take over the job of stopping the leak. "I know that, to work down there right now, you need remotely operated vehicles," he said. "You need to do very technical work at 5,000 feet. You need equipment and expertise
  30. 30. that's not generally within the … federal government, in terms of competency, capability or capacity.'' Asked about Salazar's tough stance toward BP, Allen said the Interior secretary was merely using "a metaphor.'' In Port Fourchon, La., BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward repeatedly said he was "devastated" by the destruction in the gulf. The shoreline of Port Fourchon — which bills itself as "The Gulf's Energy Connection" — was dripping with liquid that could have been mistaken for chocolate and cherry syrup, if not for the stomach-churning smell. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Reuters: China wants energy goals reached before Cancun talks 25th May 2010 "We would lose the trust from the international community and be pressured during the global climate talks in Mexico at the end of this year if we could not fulfill the goals," Xie Zhenhua, who is also deputy head of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission, told a recent government meeting. The comments from the May 19 meeting were published on the NDRC website on Monday. Environmental ministers around the world are set to meet for the next U.N. climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, from November 29 to December 10 after the Copenhagen summit in December 2009 fell short of a binding deal. China has vowed to cut energy intensity -- energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product -- by 20 percent by 2010 from the levels in 2005 and cut two key pollution measures, sulphur dioxide and chemical oxygen demand, by 10 percent during the same period. It also pledged ahead of the Copenhagen summit that it would cut the amount of carbon dioxide produced for each unit of national income by 40-45 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels. But energy intensity actually rose by an annual 3.2 percent in the first three months of this year after falling 14.38 percent in the previous four years, because of fast growth in energy intensive sectors including electricity, steel, non-ferrous metals, construction materials and petrochemicals and restarts of some outdated capacity. Beijing was alarmed by the recent energy efficiency losses, and on May 5 Premier Wen Jiabao directed the government to step up efforts to ensure the 2010 goals would be met. As part of the measures, China will shut down another 10 gigawatts of small and less efficient coal-fired power generators by the third quarter of this year after closing 60.06 GW in the past four years, ahead of an earlier plan of shuttering 50 GW's worth in the five years through 2010.
  31. 31. Beijing will raise power tariff surcharges for some energy intensive firms by 50 to 100 percent from June 1, reducing power price discounts to certain industries including aluminum, calcium carbide and ferroalloy and imposing punitive high power rates on inefficient firms, in renewed and hastened efforts to curb expansion in energy-guzzling and polluting industries. China's central government will organize checks beginning in June to stop unauthorized power price discounts and to make sure its power pricing policies are being followed across the country. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Reuters: 70 percent of firms will spend more on climate change 25th May 2010 Nearly half of the 300 corporate executives who responded to a survey conducted for the accounting and consulting giant Ernst & Young said their climate change investments will range from 0.5 percent to more than 5 percent of revenues by 2012. More than four out of five respondents, or 82 percent, said they plan to invest in energy efficiency in the next 12 months, with 92 percent saying energy costs will be an important driver over that period. Corporate executives were committed to taking action even though they said complying with regulations that vary from state to state or country to country would make that a challenge. The fact that 70 percent of executives said they planned to spend more on climate change programs was "one of the more stunning findings" of the survey, according to Melanie Steiner of Ernst & Young. Despite regulatory uncertainty on climate change, "companies are really taking action anyway, because they're seeing that this is a business issue and an opportunity to generate new revenue," Steiner said in a telephone interview. While action to deal with the effects of climate change used to be a matter of public relations, it has now become an opportunity to make money through new services and products, save money through enhanced efficiency and limit risk, she said. One sign of this change is that more than 90 percent of those surveyed said climate change governance rests with top executives or board members, with 36 percent saying that the CEO is the most senior person responsible on this issue. High-level responsibility does not guarantee corporate-wide comprehension of the importance of climate change policies, one survey respondent said. "I believe the main problem is that organizations do not necessarily recognize or understand the link between climate change-related issues and the future fitness of the
  32. 32. organization," the anonymous respondent said. "At a very senior level it is given importance. However, at lower levels there is (a lack of knowledge) of the issue." The survey, conducted by the independent analyst research firm Verdantix, followed an anonymous methodology, so no respondents were quoted by name. Respondents were drawn from 16 countries: Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Japan, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. They included executives across 18 industry sectors from airlines to media to consumer products to real estate. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ Guardian (UK): Climate change concern declines in poll 23rd May 2010 Popular concern about climate change has declined significantly, following this year's harsh winter and rows over statistics on global warming, a survey has found. The numbers of those interested in where Britain's electricity comes from have also slipped back, according to a survey commissioned by the energy company EDF, demonstrating what appears to be growing consumer complacency in an era of electric- powered gadgetry. At the same time resistance to building new nuclear power stations appears to be slackening. The results of the YouGov poll, based on a sample of 4,300 adults questioned during the week after the general election, show that interest in climate change fell from 80% of respondents in 2006, to 71% last year and now stands at only 62%. Only 80% say they are interested in where electrical power is made, down from 82% the previous year. Other recent polls have recorded a similar drop in public alarm about the imminence of climate-triggered disaster. The number of climate change agnostics – those unsure whether human activity is warming the planet – has risen from 25% in 2007 to 33% now. There may be many reasons for the change. Failure to reach agreement on fresh emissions targets at the Copenhagen climate summit, the furore over the leaking of global warming data from the University of East Anglia and the recent cold weather may all have contributed to confusion around the issue. The French-owned firm EDF, which commissioned the latest poll, owns British Energy, which runs eight nuclear power stations in the UK. EDF plans to build a new generation of nuclear plants, with the first in operation by 2017. The survey says the "favourability rating" of nuclear power stations rose from +4 to + 16 between 2007 and this year.
  33. 33. Among Lib Dems – the coalition party explicitly opposed to new nuclear building – as many as 58% of supporters believe "nuclear energy has disadvantages, but the country needs it to be part of the energy balance", according to the survey. Slightly fewer, 47%, are in favour of the construction of new nuclear power stations; 32% are opposed. Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, said the poll "recognises the scale of the energy challenges facing the UK and the need for a low-carbon, eco-friendly economy as outlined by the coalition government. "We are pleased to see strong public support across voters from all three major political parties in favour of new nuclear build. We also note that opposition to new nuclear build has continued to fall. This strong public support is further reflected by the clear backing for planning reform to facilitate investment in low carbon technologies, including nuclear. "We need urgent action if we are to meet the UK's carbon emissions targets and address the looming energy gap. We believe nuclear power is the lowest cost low-carbon solution and can be built in the UK without subsidy. Therefore, it must be part of an affordable, clean and secure generation mix." EDF, he said, "remains resolute in its commitment to a truly sustainable economy". Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ New York Times (US): Climate Fears Turn to Doubts Among Britons 24th May 2010 Last month hundreds of environmental activists crammed into an auditorium here to ponder an anguished question: If the scientific consensus on climate change has not changed, why have so many people turned away from the idea that human activity is warming the planet? Nowhere has this shift in public opinion been more striking than in Britain, where climate change was until this year such a popular priority that in 2008 Parliament enshrined targets for emissions cuts as national law. But since then, the country has evolved into a home base for a thriving group of climate skeptics who have dominated news reports in recent months, apparently convincing many that the threat of warming is vastly exaggerated. A survey in February by the BBC found that only 26 percent of Britons believed that “climate change is happening and is now established as largely manmade,” down from 41 percent in November 2009. A poll conducted for the German magazine Der Spiegel found that 42 percent of Germans feared global warming, down from 62 percent four years earlier.
  34. 34. And London’s Science Museum recently announced that a permanent exhibit scheduled to open later this year would be called the Climate Science Gallery — not the Climate Change Gallery as had previously been planned. “Before, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this climate change problem is just dreadful,’ ” said Jillian Leddra, 50, a musician who was shopping in London on a recent lunch hour. “But now I have my doubts, and I’m wondering if it’s been overhyped.” Perhaps sensing that climate is now a political nonstarter, David Cameron, Britain’s new Conservative prime minister, was “strangely muted” on the issue in a recent pre-election debate, as The Daily Telegraph put it, though it had previously been one of his passions. And a poll in January of the personal priorities of 141 Conservative Party candidates deemed capable of victory in the recent election found that “reducing Britain’s carbon footprint” was the least important of the 19 issues presented to them. Politicians and activists say such attitudes will make it harder to pass legislation like a fuel tax increase and to persuade people to make sacrifices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Legitimacy has shifted to the side of the climate skeptics, and that is a big, big problem,” Ben Stewart, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said at the meeting of environmentalists here. “This is happening in the context of overwhelming scientific agreement that climate change is real and a threat. But the poll figures are going through the floor.” The lack of fervor about climate change is also true of the United States, where action on climate and emissions reduction is still very much a work in progress, and concern about global warming was never as strong as in Europe. A March Gallup poll found that 48 percent of Americans believed that the seriousness of global warming was “generally exaggerated,” up from 41 percent a year ago. Here in Britain, the change has been driven by the news media’s intensive coverage of a series of climate science controversies unearthed and highlighted by skeptics since November. These include the unauthorized release of e-mail messages from prominent British climate scientists at the University of East Anglia that skeptics cited as evidence that researchers were overstating the evidence for global warming and the discovery of errors in a United Nations climate report.
  35. 35. Two independent reviews later found no evidence that the East Anglia researchers had actively distorted climate data, but heavy press coverage had already left an impression that the scientists had schemed to repress data. Then there was the unusually cold winter in Northern Europe and the United States, which may have reinforced a perception that the Earth was not warming. (Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a United States agency, show that globally, this winter was the fifth warmest in history.) Asked about his views on global warming on a recent evening, Brian George, a 30-year- old builder from southeast London, mused, “It was extremely cold in January, wasn’t it?” In a telephone interview, Nicholas Stern, a former chief economist at the World Bank and a climate change expert, said that the shift in opinion “hadn’t helped” efforts to come up with strong policy in a number of countries. But he predicted that it would be overcome, not least because the science was so clear on the warming trend. “I don’t think it will be problematic in the long run,” he said, adding that in Britain, at least, politicians “are ahead of the public anyway.” Indeed, once Mr. Cameron became prime minister, he vowed to run “the greenest government in our history” and proposed projects like a more efficient national electricity grid. Scientists have meanwhile awakened to the public’s misgivings and are increasingly fighting back. An editorial in the prestigious journal Nature said climate deniers were using “every means at their disposal to undermine science and scientists” and urged scientists to counterattack. Scientists in France, the Netherlands and the United States have signed open letters affirming their trust in climate change evidence, including one published on May 7 in the journal Science. In March, Simon L. Lewis, an expert on rain forests at the University of Leeds in Britain, filed a 30-page complaint with the nation’s Press Complaints Commission against The Times of London, accusing it of publishing “inaccurate, misleading or distorted information” about climate change, his own research and remarks he had made to a reporter. “I was most annoyed that there seemed to be a pattern of pushing the idea that there were a number of serious mistakes in the I.P.C.C. report, when most were fairly innocuous, or not mistakes at all,” said Dr. Lewis, referring to the report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  36. 36. Meanwhile, groups like the wildlife organization WWF have posted articles like “How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic,” providing stock answers to doubting friends and relatives, on their Web sites. It is unclear whether such actions are enough to win back a segment of the public that has eagerly consumed a series of revelations that were published prominently in right-leaning newspapers like The Times of London and The Telegraph and then repeated around the world. In January, for example, The Times chastised the United Nations climate panel for an errant and unsupported projection that glaciers in the Himalayas could disappear by 2035. The United Nations ultimately apologized for including the estimate, which was mentioned in passing within a 3,000-page report in 2007. Then came articles contending that the 2007 report was inaccurate on a host of other issues, including African drought, the portion of the Netherlands below sea level, and the economic impact of severe storms. Officials from the climate panel said the articles’ claims either were false or reflected minor errors like faulty citations that in no way diluted the evidence that climate change is real and caused by human activity. Stefan Rahmstorf, a professor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, successfully demanded in February that some German newspapers remove misleading articles from their Web sites. But such reports have become so common that he “wouldn’t bother” to pursue most cases now, he added. The public is left to struggle with the salvos between the two sides. “I’m still concerned about climate change, but it’s become very confusing,” said Sandra Lawson, 32, as she ran errands near Hyde Park. Back to Menu _________________________________________________________________ BBC: Polar bears face 'tipping point' due to climate change 25th May 2010 Climate change will trigger a dramatic and sudden decline in the number of polar bears, a new study has concluded. The research is the first to directly model how changing climate will affect polar bear reproduction and survival.
  37. 37. Based on what is known of polar bear physiology, behaviour and ecology, it predicts pregnancy rates will fall and fewer bears will survive fasting during longer ice-free seasons. These changes will happen suddenly as bears pass a 'tipping point'. Details of the research are published in the journal Biological Conservation. Educated guesses Until now, most studies measuring polar bear survival have relied on a method called "mark and recapture". This involves repeatedly catching polar bears in a population over several years, which is cost and time-intensive. Because of that, the information scientists have gathered on polar bear populations varies greatly: for example, datasets span up to four decades in the best studied populations in Western Hudson Bay and Southern Beaufort Sea, but are almost non-existent for bears in some parts of Russia. Even more difficult is measuring how survival and reproduction might change under future climatic conditions. "Some populations are expected to go extinct with climate warming, while others are expected to persist, albeit at a reduced population size," says Dr Péter Molnár of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. However, these projections are essentially educated guesses, based on experts judging or extrapolating how current population trends might continue as the climate changes. "So we've looked at the underlying mechanisms of polar bear ecology to assist our understanding of what will happen in a warming world," Dr Molnár told the BBC. Fasting and mating Dr Molnár, Professor Andrew Derocher and colleagues from the University of Alberta and York University, Toronto focused on the physiology, behaviour and ecology of polar bears, and how these might change as temperatures increase. "We developed a model for the mating ecology of polar bears. The model estimates how many females in a population will be able to find a mate during the mating season, and thus get impregnated." Male polar bears find females by wandering the ice, sniffing bear tracks they come across. If the tracks have been made by a female in mating condition, the male follows the tracks to her. The researchers modelled how this behaviour would change as warming temperatures fragment sea ice.

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