Dear Corporate Affairs, by IwjKD2Q


									                  THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                      Wednesday, 24 October 2007

                UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

   Air quality for Beijing Olympics sure to top agenda with IOC inspectors in town
   Beijing scores triumph ahead of final sprint: IOC (AFP)
   UNEP to assess environment (The Times of India)
   Mediterranean Countries Celebrate "Coast Day" on October 24, 2007 (Israel
    Ministry of the Environment)
   Climate Change - Daggash Calls for Donors' Support NewsMakers:
   Nova Scotia’s daily business briefs (All Africa News)
   Kenyan wins UN Man of the Year Award Published on October 24, 2007
    (East African Standard)

                          Other Environment News

   International Al Gore praises German Chancellor Merkel for her work in fighting
    global warming (AP)
   Minister confirms retreat from 20% renewable energy target (The Guardian)
   Gore pour une réunion d'urgence à l'ONU sur le changement climatique début 2008
    (Le Monde)
   Gore says 2007 pivotal year in climate change fight (Reuters)
   Steinmeier: climate change growing threat to peace (Reuters)
   Warming said to have potential to wipe out most species (Reuters)
   Economy versus the Environment (Sydney Morning Herald)
   Ohakim Charges Committee to Promote Clean Environment (All Africa News)
   CNN reports on environment (AP)
   Savage's priority is to create environment so kids stay in Iowa (Muscatine Journal)
   Telegram: Environment is focus of conference. Governor joins meet by satellite to
    talk about the wildfires. (Long Beach Press)
   British minister to advise PM to water down EU renewables target: report (AFP)
   Nuclear inspectors shortage threatens plan for new reactors (Guardian)
                    Environmental News from the UNEP Regions

   ROA
   ROAP

                                Other UN News

   Environment News from the UN Daily News of 23 October 2007 (none)
   Environment News from the S.G.’s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of 23 October
       UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

AP: Air quality for Beijing Olympics sure to top agenda with IOC inspectors in town
(Also appears in International Herald Tribune)

October 23, 2007

BEIJING: The question of Beijing's choking air pollution is on the agenda with the
International Olympic Committee in town this week to check progress on the 2008 Beijing

Air quality in the smog-plagued Chinese capital has been under intense scrutiny, and IOC
President Jacques Rogge has said twice publicly in the last 2 1/2 months that unsafe levels of
pollutants in the city might force some outdoor endurance events to be postponed.

After several clear days, a heavy layer of smog covered the city Tuesday as talks began
between the IOC's coordination commission and Beijing Olympic organizers.

The Chinese capital is routinely blanketed by a sooty haze that contains ozone, nitrogen
oxide and some fine particulate matter. Sulfate and carbon also float in the air, with pollution
levels regularly reaching five times higher than the World Health Organization's
recommended safety level.

The visit is the second-to-the-last by IOC inspectors before the games open Aug. 8. The final
official visit is set for late January, although IOC commission chief Hein Verbruggen and
others come more frequently.

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 With 36 of the 37 competition venues set to be completed by the end of the year and the last
one — the 91,000-seat stadium known as the Bird's Nest — to be done by March, the IOC is
turning its attention to the environment and other details.

"It is like a long-distance runner," Verbruggen said in opening Tuesday's meetings. "Our
final sprint could be the difference between a gold medal and silver medal when it comes to
the organization of the games."
Verbruggen and China Sports Minister Liu Peng said test events this year had been largely
successful. Verbruggen also lauded the Olympic equestrian venue in Hong Kong, which IOC
inspectors visited on Monday.

"We are seeing top-quality venues being built for the games and, with a strong equestrian
tradition in Hong Kong, we are convinced we will see some great equestrian performances in
2008," he said.

Yet if infrastructure isn't a concern, the environment has emerged as a nettlesome problem
for Beijing and the IOC.

The United Nations Environment Program plans to release a report Thursday on Beijing's
efforts to host what the city calls a "green Olympics." Rogge is to address a two-day
symposium on sports and the environment.

In a statement on its Web site, the IOC said it is concerned about the impact the environment
has on athletes. It said it is also looking at the effect sports like the Olympics have on the

It is unclear whether Rogge and Verbruggen will press Beijing Communist Party Secretary
Liu Qi — also president of the organizing committee — on the issue. But Rogge and
Verbruggen have voiced alarm about Beijing's dirty air and its plans to clean it up for the 17-
day games.

Visiting Beijing 2 1/2 months ago, Rogge said some outdoor distance events might be
postponed because of the filthy air. Earlier this month he repeated the warning.

"If we must move competitions, we will do so," he told the French newspaper Le Monde.

When the last IOC inspection team visited six months ago, Verbruggen asked Beijing for
contingency plans "to guarantee that the quality of the air will allow the athletic
performances that we expect to happen here."

Several conflicting reports have surfaced about measures to deal with the pollution during the
games. Chinese news media have regularly reported that factories will be forced to close, but
in a recent interview Liu said that was not the case.

Though the capital and surrounding areas have improved pollution controls, the booming
economy and rampant vehicle growth has moved faster. The city of 17 million is adding
1,000 vehicles a day to its jammed roads. Simultaneously, a US$40 billion (€28 billion)
makeover to prepare the city for the Olympics is generating thick clouds of ground-level
dust, soot and noise pollution.

A four-day test this summer to remove more than 1 million vehicles daily from the streets
met with moderate success. Skies remained gray, with high humidity and low-wind speeds
failing to clear the August air.
Cars with even-numbered license plates were ordered off roads for two days, and vehicles
with odd-numbered plates for the other two days. Emergency vehicles, taxis, buses and other
public-service vehicles were exempt, and there were fines for noncompliance.

A similar plan is likely to be adopted during the Olympics. More subway lines are being built
for the games. One new subway line opened this month for a trial run and several others —
including an Olympic line — will start operations just before the games open.

AFP: Beijing scores triumph ahead of final sprint: IOC
(Also appears in Daily Times, Pakistan)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
BEIJING: Beijing has scored a “triumph” with its Olympic test events, eliminating doubt
about its ability to stage a successful Games next year, a top Olympic official said here

Hein Verbruggen, the head of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Coordination
Commission, said that 19 test events held so far this year had been handled with remarkable
success by the Beijing Olympic Organising Committee (BOCOG).

“The triumph thus far of these events and the positive feedback that we have received from
many of the participants and the international federations gives us great optimism for the
Games next August,” Verbruggen said. Several more months of preparations would allow
enough time to work out the issues that did crop up during the test events, he added. The
commission, the IOC body that works closely with the host city, is meeting with BOCOG
officials over the next three days to iron out details concerning the August 8-24 event.

During previous visits to Beijing, the commission, as well as IOC president Jacques Rogge,
has stressed the importance of staging test events and learning from them. Beijing plans to
stage a total of 42 before the Games open. Verbruggen gave no details on the closed-door
sessions in his opening address to the meeting. But he said the work of the commission and
BOCOG over the next few days and months would make all the difference to the quality of
the Games. “In some 11 months’ time, we will be coming to the close of the Beijing
Olympics and Paralympic Games. The world will have made up its mind about the success of
these Games,” he said. “And that success, and I am sure there will be success, will be in no
small part based on the work that we accomplish this week in our meetings and in the work
that you (BOCOG) and your team undertake between now and Games time.”

“It is like a long distance runner. Our final sprint could be the difference between a gold
medal and silver medal when it comes to the organisation of the Games.” Verbruggen said
that on Monday members of his commission were in Hong Kong to inspect facilities for the
Olympic equestrian events which will be staged there. “We are seeing top quality venues
being built for the Games and with a strong equestrian tradition in Hong Kong we are
convinced we will see some great equestrian performances in 2008,” he said On the Chinese
side, Sports Minister Liu Peng, executive vice president of BOCOG, reported “smooth
progress” in preparations for the Olympics. “Since the last visit of (Verbruggen’s
commission in April) we have made smooth progress in key areas involving the Olympic
Games,” he said. He said that 19 of 26 test events scheduled for this year had been held
successfully and tests on the environment and transportation had also been conducted

“The results are very good,” he said. Liu said all venues would be ready by the end of the
year apart from the main National Stadium, known as the “Bird’s Nest,” which because of
work on the opening ceremony preparations would not be completed until the end of March.
Meanwhile IOC president Rogge will be in Beijing on Friday for an unrelated event – a
conference on sport and the environment. Afp

The Times of India: UNEP to assess environment
23 Oct 2007, 0742 hrs IST,TNN

SMS NEWS to 58888 for latest updates
PUNE: The 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) to be held in the city will be a
“Green Games” event, with all developmental projects in the city to be taken up on an
environmentally-sustainable model.

The Delhi Games in 2010 will be used for focusing on a comprehensive greening programme
that will include waste, energy, water, transport, green procurement, green tourism, ozone-
friendly initiatives and carbon mitigation. The United Nations Environmental Programme
(UNEP) will provide technical advice and information for implementation of the projects and
also carry out regular environmental assessments in the run-up to and following the Games.

Speaking on the occasion, city MP Suresh Kalmadi announced a series of measures to be
taken during the coming months. “Besides bringing the compressed natural gas (CNG)
pipeline to Pune by May next year, which will improve access to green fuel, we will also
undertake a major anti-liquor campaign,” he said.

Among other measures, he announced a major green action plan covering water
management, rain-water harvesting, pollution control, cleaning of rivers and drains in the city
and improving the public transport system. This will be besides setting up parks across Pune.
“The Games are a big opportunity for us to act on this front and show the urgency we feel
due to environmental protection and sustainable development,” Kalmadi said.

Israel Ministry of the Environment: Mediterranean Countries Celebrate "Coast Day"
on October 24, 2007
Updated: 10/23/2007

Kiryat Haim Beach, Haifa. Photo: Ilan Malester
For the first time ever, countries around the Mediterranean are organizing a series of events
to celebrate "Coast Day," an awareness raising campaign organized by UNEP/MAP in co-
operation with EU and the World Bank. "Coast Day" aims to raise awareness of the value of
the coast, as well as of the threats to it, and to call for a stronger and more efficient
commitment of the governments to coastal management.

The campaign is launched by the Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre
(PAP/RAC) of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), part of the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with partners from different
Mediterranean countries. According to the organizers, political will for a stronger
commitment to integrated coastal zone management and behavioural changes on the part of
all stakeholders in the coastal areas are the essential prerequisites for sustainable coastal
development. A special website has been created to mark the day -

Countries and NGOs around the Mediterranean are celebrating "Coast Day" through
conferences, workshops, clean-ups and educational events and more. Israel is marking the
occasion through a series of clean-up and information campaigns, both along the
Mediterranean's open coasts and underwater, with the participation of youngsters and adults
representing every sector of the population.

During the week of October 22 - 26, 2007, numerous coastal and underwater cleanups are
taking place in Israel, with the participation of schoolchildren, soldiers, members of youth
groups, NGOs, divers and volunteers from the general public. Events in Israel are organized
in conjunction with Clean Up the World Day which was celebrated in Israel on October 22,
2007 and within the framework of the Clean Coast Project of the Ministry of Environmental
Protection and the Nature and Parks Authority.

More on the Clean Coast Project

Israel's coastline spans some 185 km along the Mediterranean and 14 km along the Gulf of
Eilat. Of these, some 150 km are undeclared coasts (without lifeguard facilities), rich in flora
and fauna, and constituting a cultural, economic and environmental resource. Most of these
open, undeclared beaches are plagued by neglect and by the accumulation of litter, which are
associated with aesthetic, health and safety nuisances both to the public and to marine and
coastal fauna. Some of the litter is left behind by irresponsible members of the public while
some originates in the sea in neighboring countries.

The Clean Coast Project calls on local authorities to take responsibility for the coasts within
their jurisdiction and invites the general public to fulfill its moral duty and to take part in
cleaning up these coasts and contributing to their maintenance and the preservation of their
ecosystems and species.

The three-year Clean Coast Project was launched in June 2005, and the results are measured
every two weeks by means of a Clean Coast Index. Results have shown major improvement
in coastal cleanliness throughout the country.

All Africa News: Climate Change - Daggash Calls for Donors' Support

Daily Trust (Abuja)

23 October 2007

The Minister of National Planning, Sen. Sanusi Daggash, has called on multilateral
organisations and donor countries to support Africa's efforts to deal with climate change.

Daggash made the call at the weekend in Washington DC in a paper entitled: "Global
Climate Change: Developing World Perspective", which he delivered at the G-24 ministers'

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was part of the 2007 World
Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meetings.

"Nigeria wants international donors to support Africa's effort to mitigate and adapt to climate
change through well-targeted assistance," Daggash said.

He said no single countries or region could claim to have the ability and what it takes to
resolve climate change related issues alone.

Daggash noted that Africa and other developing countries were more at risk and do not have
the ability to cope with its impact, even though they contributed the least to the problem.

The minister therefore urged the development partners to give assistance to the developing
countries to help them prevent, control and manage climate related issues.

Daggash also appealed to them to support the developing countries' efforts to change their
infrastructure, tackle drought and floods, as well as famine and hunger.

He also called on the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is the private sector
arm of the World Bank, to seek private sector investments toward mitigating the effect of
climate change.

The minister called on oil producing countries in Africa to reduce gas flaring and other
practices that aggravate climate change.

"They (IFC) should do so by investing in the construction of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
projects, power plants and domestic gas network for industries and homes," he said.

The minister, however, disclosed that Nigeria has adopted and embarked on policies toward
reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as part of its mitigation measures.
He said the federal government was working with both local and international bodies to
eliminate the use of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) by the year 2015.

"We have also put in place a national policy on environment, which has been recognised by
the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), as the best in Sub-Saharan Africa," he concluded.

The Nigerian delegation to the World Bank/IMF annual meeting was led by the Minister of
Finance, Dr Shamsudeen Usman, with CBN Governor Chukwuma Soludo on the entourage.

Also in the delegation is Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi, the chairman of the Senate Committee on
Finance, and other senior government officials.(NAN)

NewsMakers: Nova Scotia’s daily business briefs

A print and poster campaign developed by the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of
Nova Scotia and Extreme Group for the WCB’s website has been included in
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Creative Gallery on Sustainability

Having launched in June 2006, the gallery has already been viewed by over 300,000 people.
Targeted at youth, the campaign’s objective was to bring home the fact that workplace
injuries are a reality, regardless of the type of industry someone may work in. The poster and
print executions highlighted this issue and urged the market to visit for more
information on workplace safety. – Scott Higgins
East African Standard: Kenyan wins UN Man of the Year Award

Published on October 24, 2007

By Phionah Mwadilo

Abas Gullet of the Kenya Red Cross Society has been awarded the 2007 UN Person of the
Year Award.

The secretary general, through his organisation, has achieved the United Nations millennium
development goals.

The UN Resident Co-ordinator, Ms Elizabeth Lwanga, in a special ceremony, will honour
Gullet on Wednesday during the UN Day at the United Nations Complex, Gigiri.

The Kenya relief worker will be the sixth person honoured as an individual in the UN
organisation in Kenya.

The award of United Nations Persons of the year is based on a personal commitment towards
achieving the United Nations millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The MDGs are a set of achievable development targets which all member states of the United
Nations pledged to meet by 2015

In a statement released on Tuesday, Lwanga said Gullet was recognised for his key
contributions in making the relief organisation the best one.
                                  Other Environment News

AP: International Al Gore praises German Chancellor Merkel for her work in fighting
global warming

October 23, 2007

BERLIN: Former U.S. Vice President and Noble Peace laureate Al Gore praised Chancellor
Angela Merkel on Tuesday for her commitment to fighting global warming and working to
find a successor to the Kyoto treaty.

Speaking before a short meeting with Merkel, Gore applauded the way the German leader
has made fighting climate change a key theme not only of her government, but of Germany's
European Union presidency earlier this year, as well as its current presidency of the Group of
Eight industrialized nations.

"Chancellor Merkel is a strong voice of reason calling upon nations around the world to face
up to the dangers and seize the opportunity" to find a solution, Gore said. "I, myself, am
optimistic that we will see a big change in the way the world confronts this crisis and if it
does change, it will be in no small part due to the leadership of Chancellor Merkel."

Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month along with the United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for their work in calling attention to global

Merkel congratulated Gore on his work, saying that climate change is "one of the biggest
global challenges" facing people today.

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 The former vice president met with Merkel ahead of giving his "An Inconvenient Truth"
lecture to a climate conference hosted by German power company Energie Baden-
Wuerttemberg AG. The film version of the presentation won an Academy Award for Gore
earlier this year.

Merkel has been pushing for an international system of global emissions-trading to be part of
an agreement to fight climate change after the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012.

Her suggestion includes making per-capita emissions of greenhouse gases the basis for future
negotiations — a proposal specifically designed to help bring on board developing countries
such as China and India — both among the world's heaviest producers of carbon dioxide and
other polluting gases.

New negotiations toward a successor agreement to Kyoto are slated to begin in December in
Bali, Indonesia, and be completed by 2009.

In remarks before his lecture, Gore said he would like all of the heads of state to gather at the
U.N. in an emergency session in early 2008 to finalize the successor treaty, but
acknowledged that such a meeting was unlikely.

He also suggested the successor treaty go into effect in 2010, instead of 2012. "Our children
and grandchildren depend on this sense of urgency," Gore said, pointing to recent research
indicating the northern ice cap could be completely gone in less than 23 years.

China signed the Kyoto Protocol but is exempt from emissions reductions because it is
considered a developing country — a situation often cited by the U.S. for its own refusal to
ratify the treaty, which it says gives emerging industrial powers an unfair advantage.

Merkel has said using per-capita figures as a basis for talks would give poorer countries the
room they need to grow their economies and lift more people out of poverty.

Still, her proposal of limiting carbon dioxide output to about 2 tons per person would mean
serious cuts in most places around the world.

Germany currently emits 11 tons per person per year, and the United States about 20 tons,
according to German government figures. China, by comparison, emits 3.5 tons of
greenhouse gases per capita, despite fewer environmental controls, because of the country's
large population. The worldwide figure is 4.2 tons per person.
The Guardian: Minister confirms retreat from 20% renewable energy target
Wednesday October 24 2007
The government signalled last night that it is pulling back from its aspiration to source 20%
of Britain's energy supply from renewables by 2020.
Malcolm Wicks, the energy minister, said Britain would source up to 15% of its power from
renewables by 2020, but that did not mean it was backing away from the EU-wide target of
20% by the same date.
The targets were announced after the Guardian reported yesterday that ministers were
planning to water down climate change pledges and were seeking lower renewables targets
before binding commitments are framed in December.
Mr Wicks said yesterday that the Brussels deal did not specify that all EU members had to
meet the 20% level, as long as it was achieved across Europe as a whole.
"We're negotiating with the European commission, but it's got to be a considerable figure,"
he told BBC's Newsnight. "It's got to be somewhere between 10% and 15%."
He also said Britain was contributing to the fight against climate change in other areas. "At
the end of the day, renewables is a means to an end. The end is bringing down carbon
emissions," he said. Leaked briefing documents prepared for Gordon Brown by John Hutton,
the secretary of state for business, and obtained by the Guardian, revealed that the target
Tony Blair had signed up to earlier this year (for 20% of all European energy to come from
renewable sources by 2020) was expensive and came encumbered with "severe practical
The documents also said Mr Hutton would tell Mr Brown that Britain should work with
governments that were sceptical about climate change to persuade them to set lower
renewable targets.
Mr Blair not only signed Britain up to the EU deal, but also made it an "aspiration" that
Britain should achieve a mix of renewable energy sources equivalent to 20% of Britain's
energy needs by 2020.
Yet wind power in the UK lags well behind Europe's frontrunners, while marine energy is
still in its infancy.
The leaked report estimated that increasing wind, wave and solar energy from the current UK
level of 2% to just 9% by 2020 would cost around £4bn.
Environmental campaigners have said they are concerned that the potential shift in
government policy will mean Mr Brown will surrender any claim to international leadership
on climate change.
Le Monde:Gore pour une réunion d'urgence à l'ONU sur le changement climatique
début 2008
24.10.07 | 00h03
 Les dirigeants de la planète devraient organiser une réunion d'urgence aux Nations unies au
début de l'année prochaine pour faire avancer les discussions sur le changement climatique, a
suggéré l'ancien vice-président américain et prix Nobel de la paix Al Gore mardi à Berlin.
"Les chefs d'Etat devraient se réunir en session d'urgence aux Nations unies au début de 2008
afin de faire le point sur les progrès réalisés au sommet de décembre de Bali" sur la question
du changement climatique, a déclaré M. Gore.
La conférence internationale de Bali, pilotée par l'ONU et qui se déroulera du 3 au 14
décembre, doit tracer la feuille de route vers le protocole devant succéder après 2012 à celui
de Kyoto.
Le protocole de Kyoto, conclu en 1997, a établi des limites contraignantes aux émissions de
gaz à effet de serre, responsables en grande partie, selon la majorité des scientifiques, du
réchauffement de la planète.
M. Gore, qui donnait une conférence sur le changement climatique sponsorisée par une
compagnie d'énergie allemande, a estimé que l'accord de remplacement de Kyoto devrait être
trouvé dès 2010 pour renforcer la lutte contre le réchauffement climatique.
"Il ne s'agit pas d'une question politique mais d'une question morale", a-t-il souligné.
Al Gore vient de recevoir le prix de Nobel de la paix pour sa contribution à la prise de
conscience des dangers que fait peser sur la planète le changement climatique.

Reuters: Gore says 2007 pivotal year in climate change fight

Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:07pm EDT

By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN (Reuters) - Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore said on Tuesday he was optimistic
future generations would look back at 2007 as the pivotal year when the world finally found
the courage to fight together against climate change.

In one of his first public speeches since winning a share of the award on October 12, Gore
also said world leaders should meet in January under the auspices of the United Nations to
act on the results of U.N. climate change talks in Bali in December.

The former Vice President also renewed a call to speed up the timetable for a post-Kyoto
agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions by two years to 2010. The Kyoto Protocol that
runs to 2012 requires 36 nations to cut emissions.

"I believe our children and grandchildren will look back at the year 2007 and ask one of two
questions," said Gore, who shared the prize with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change for raising awareness of global warming.

"Either they will ask about us -- What were they doing? What were they thinking about and
how could they let that catastrophe happen? Didn't they listen to the scientists? Didn't they
see the glaciers and polar caps melting? Didn't they see the fires?

"Or will they ask another question. I want them to look back at 2007 and ask: 'How did they
find the moral courage to rise up and solve the problem everyone said was impossible to

Speaking at a conference on climate change, Gore renewed a proposal for world leaders to
hold crisis meetings every three months to work quickly to find solutions to slow global

Leaders from the Group of Eight leading industrial nations pledged in June to find a follow-
up deal for Kyoto in 2009. Reaching a new agreement will not be easy.

The United States, which did not ratify Kyoto, has resisted binding targets while Europe
insists mandatory limits are the only way to effectively fight climate change. Developing
nations are divided over the size of their emission restraints.
"The treaty that will be negotiated in Bali must be completed ahead of schedule in 2010
instead of waiting until 2012," said Gore.

"Because the two biggest polluters, my country and China, are not in Kyoto. Both will be
more likely to join Bali. And after that world leaders should meet every three months until
the treaty is completed. Our children and grand children are depending on us to meet this


Reuters: Steinmeier: climate change growing threat to peace

Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:21pm BST

By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN (Reuters) - Climate change is a growing threat to world peace and has led to rival
territorial claims in the Arctic that could turn into a Cold War, German Foreign Minister
Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Tuesday.

Political solutions are needed now to problems posed by climate change that threaten peace
in areas ranging from Africa to the Middle East and even the Arctic, Steinmeier told a
conference on climate change.

"There's a 'Cold War' at the North Pole that we have to prevent," he said. "Climate change is
a threat to worldwide peace and security.

"Policies to fight climate change can, and will, become an important part of peace policies.
We have to be aware of it and look for solutions..." he added.

"Climate change is not a far-away problem," Steinmeier said. "It's dramatic and our window
to act is even smaller than we thought just a few years ago. We need more courage and more
creativity, not just in technology but also politically."


He noted with concern that a Russian submarine had planted a Russian flag on the seabed at
the North Pole in August, staking a claim to the potentially energy-rich area. Denmark also
claims part of the Arctic through its Greenland province.

"Not only Russia but other neighboring nations have also staked claims for fossil fuels in this
region," Steinmeier said. "The eternal ice is melting before our eyes. Climate change has
made exploitation possible where it was thought not possible."
Global warming has been melting the polar icecaps and governments now believe it is only a
matter of time before they will be able to start exploiting the previously inaccessible seabed
below the Arctic ice.

International law states that the five nations which control a coastline in the Arctic -- Canada,
Russia, the United States, Norway and Denmark via Greenland -- have a 320 km (200 mile)
economic zone north of their shore.

But Russia, which has grown rich in the last decade from oil and gas revenues, claims a far
larger slice because it says the Arctic and Siberia are linked via the Lomonosov Ridge.

"We have to make sure that Arctic treaties are respected and upheld, according to
international law," said Steinmeier, who visited the Arctic region in August.

The U.N. University's Institute for Environment and Human Security in Bonn has warned
that droughts, floods and rising seas linked to global warming could spur future conflicts.

It said the poor in tropical regions of Africa and Asia are likely to suffer most, perhaps
creating tension with rich nations in the temperate north which are likely to escape the worst
effects of warming, widely blamed on use of fossil fuels.

Desertification and land degradation could force hundreds of millions from their homes.
Rising seas caused by melting ice and glaciers could swamp large tracts of land, forcing
migration and raising the chance of conflict over shrinking land.


Reuters: Warming said to have potential to wipe out most species

Tue Oct 23, 2007

LONDON (Reuters) - Rising temperatures could wipe out more than half of the earth's
species in the next few centuries, according to researchers who published a study on
Wednesday linking climate change to past mass extinctions.

Researchers at the University of York said their study was the first to examine the
relationship between climate, extinction rates and biodiversity over a long period.

The findings, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, suggest climate change was
the cause of large-scale extinctions, said Peter Mayhew, an ecologist who worked on the

The study analyzed fossil records and temperature changes over 500 million years, and found
that three of the four biggest extinctions -- defined as when more than 50 percent of species
disappeared -- occurred during periods of high temperatures.
"The relationship is true for the whole period in general," Mayhew said in a telephone
interview. "If temperatures went up, then extinctions went up and biodiversity tended to be

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that average global
temperatures are likely to rise by between 1.8 and 4 degrees Celsius (3.2 and 7.2 Fahrenheit)
by the end of the century, partly as a result of greenhouse gas emissions.

The upper end of the forecast rise would heat the earth close to the temperatures of 250
million years ago, when 95 percent of all animal and plant species became extinct, Mayhew

Some of the past mass extinctions happened over a brief few hundred years, providing
evidence that present day rapid temperature rises could have the same impact, Mayhew said.

"It does give us an idea of what to expect in the near future," he said. "There is nothing that
says it couldn't happen in a short timescale."


Sydney Morning Herald: Economy versus the Environment

John Howard revealed in the election debate a new Coalition policy on climate change.

He is promising to set up a fund to pay for the development of clean energy technology, as
well as compensate low income households for higher power costs.

He says it shows the Coalition can be better trusted to ensure that cuts to greenhouse gas
emissions do not harm economic prosperity.

But the Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd, says the Government's failure to sign the Kyoto
Protocol shows it has no serious plan for tackling global warming.

How do you think the two parties are trading off the environment and the economy in
their policies?

Does John Howard not take the environment seriously enough? Or does Kevin Rudd
not take the economy seriously enough?

Posted by SMH Online

All Africa News: Ohakim Charges Committee to Promote Clean Environment

Daily Trust (Abuja)
23 October 2007
Posted to the web 23 October 2007

Gov. Ikedi Ohakim of Imo state last Friday urged the state's Environmental Transformation
Committee (ENTRACO) to adopt innovative strategies to make the state clean and investor-

The governor gave the charge while inaugurating the reconstituted board of the committee in

He urged the committee's board to adopt strategies appropriate to its terms of reference and
work concertedly to actualise its mandate.

Ohakim also appealed to the people to cooperate with the new board to make the state clean,
healthy, orderly, crime-free and investor-friendly.

The new ENTRACO board is headed by Dr Aloy Aguwa, commissioner for petroleum and

The governor also inaugurated some of his special advisers and executive assistants, urging
them to aid fulfilment of all the government objectives.

"You must be proactive, imaginative, honest, reliable and committed to the government's
goals," he said.

He reiterated the government's determination to tackling all problems militating against the
state's development.

On the disbanded local government transition committees, Ohakim said they would soon be
reconstituted with men and women who were not interested in partisan politics.

"We believe that it will not be fair to have partisan politicians as members of the transition
committees, partly because we just came out of an election that was bitterly contested," he

The governor also debunked rumours that the government had banned the activities of
commercial motorcycle operators in the state.

"Whatever we are planning is in consultation with the leaders of the motorcyclists, with
whom we are constantly discussing," he said.

AP : CNN reports on environment
Tuesday, October 23, 2007


It's a tough world, all right.

Too bad it's not tougher. Right now Earth is looking pretty fragile as it suffers from
increasing human punishment.

This isn't really news, of course. But CNN has packed the two-night, four-hour "Planet in
Peril" with information and images that give a familiar story new urgency. Here is an eye-
opening, often heart-wrenching exploration.

Airing Tuesday and Wednesday, "Planet in Peril" dispatched correspondents Anderson
Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, as well as Animal Planet wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin, to
report on far-flung instances of "environmental change." This term encompasses four key
areas: climate change, vanishing natural habitats, disappearing species and human

By taking on so much, the series risks becoming a catchall bin of environmental woes.

"At first glance, it may seem unfocused," said executive producer Charlie Moore. "But those
are the four pillars. Almost everything falls under them, and they're all interconnected. For
instance, you can't talk about endangered species without dealing with overconsumption of
the world's natural resources and overpopulation."


9 tonight and Wednesday, CNN

'One big swipe'

Just a few days before his airdate, Moore was racing to put the final touches on a project that
began, he said, about a year ago, during a conversation with David Doss, his producing
colleague on "Anderson Cooper 360," who served as senior EP for "Planet in Peril."

"We wanted to take a look at all of the world's environmental problems in one big swipe,"
said Moore, "and we wanted to avoid the clinical, classroom approach by going to the front
lines of the stories."

CNN's first high-def production, "Planet in Peril" was shot -- beautifully -- all over the world,
beginning last February in Brazil, where Cooper and Corwin explore connections between
the rapid deforestation of the Amazon River Basin and changes in the world's climate.

Other points of interest include Cambodia, Alaska, Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park,
Greenland and the African nation of Chad.
One segment finds Cooper and Corwin in Bangkok. They accompany undercover police
attempting, with little success, to raid shops that illegally traffic in wildlife from all over the
world. Among dozens of other threatened creatures for sale, rare tortoises are glimpsed by
CNN's hidden camera. They were imported all the way from Madagascar.

So off goes Corwin to Madagascar -- a large island off the southeast coast of Africa -- for the
next segment. With 90 percent of its wildlife found nowhere else, Madagascar is a powerful
draw for poachers. Meanwhile, deforestation and other environmental assault has left only 10
percent of its original habitat to support all that life, Corwin reports.

In a segment from China, Gupta reports that, partly thanks to economic boom and a surging
population, China can claim 16 of the world's 20 most air-polluted cities.

More than half of that vast country's rivers are severely polluted, he adds. He interviews the
young widow of a farmer who died of colon cancer at age 30, just one of many cases in a
community dubbed a "cancer village." No wonder. The local river used for drinking and
irrigation is polluted with carcinogens from nearby iron-ore mining operations that have gone
on for decades.

Chemicals in blood

For the average viewer, this is a troubling story. But then, a bit later, the scene shifts to New
York, where Cooper submits to a "body burden assessment" -- a complex, comprehensive
blood test measuring the presence of 246 synthetic chemicals. Weeks pass while Cooper's
blood is analyzed. Then he learns, not happily, that he tested positive for more than 100 of
those chemicals, including the long-banned carcinogens DDT and PCBs.

No worries, says the president of the American Chemistry Council in an interview: "Just
because we find chemicals in the body doesn't mean that it causes disease."

Maybe not. But, as Cooper notes, no one knows for sure what the health implications might
be. Questions far outstrip any research to answer them. This is how tonight's installment

"I wanted each night's episode to end up at home," Moore explained. "The fact that bad
things are happening in faraway places doesn't make them any less important. But I wanted
to make sure that the issues don't feel too removed from the viewer's everyday life."

No doubt about it: "Planet in Peril" has an up-close-and-personal global reach. Its immediacy
can be measured in the blood flowing through the veins of one of its reporters.

Muscatine Journal: Savage's priority is to create environment so kids stay in Iowa
By Jennifer Meyer of the Muscatine Journal
MUSCATINE, Iowa — A local business owner wants to take her “Downtown Dispatches”
from Muscatine to the statehouse in Des Moines.

Sharon Savage, who, until last Saturday, wrote a weekly column for the Muscatine Journal
called “Downtown Dispatches,” announced at the Muscatine County Democrats’ fundraiser
Saturday that she will run against incumbent Sen. Jim Hahn, R-Muscatine, in District 40.
Savage’s column has been suspended during her campaign in order to provide equal
exposure to both candidates.

Savage, co-owner of Muscatine Books and More with her husband, Tom, spoke to residents
through her column about various happenings downtown, but said one of her strengths is
listening to what others say.

“Part of my slogan is ‘I’m interested in what people have to say,’ and I’m someone who does
my homework,” she said.

Savage, 61, said she chose to run for Senate after numerous people inquired about her
interest during the past month, and felt she was at a stage in life where she could contribute
toward making a difference.

Savage, who has two sons and one granddaughter, said her top priority is to create an
environment where “our kids and grandkids can stay in Iowa.”

She said legislators have a “moral responsibility” to ensure children have access to
healthcare, invest in making college education affordable and create skilled-labor jobs, all
while being fiscally responsible.

Savage said she would bring a “good breadth of life experience” to the Senate seat.

Savage, a native of the Chicago suburbs, chose to make Muscatine her home 30 years ago,
having moved to Iowa 10 years earlier after living in several other locations.

“I just love it here. I just love Iowa,” she said.

Savage is an adjunct professor at Muscatine Community College, teaching both sociology
and marriage and family courses.

She stepped down earlier this year as president of the Greater Downtown Muscatine
Association to write a book with her husband, Tom, about Muscatine history, but remains a
member of the organization. Savage is also a member of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, Symphony Board, Foster Grandparents Review Board, League of
Women Voters, Writers on the Avenue, Muscatine Dulcimers and More, P.E.O. and the
YMCA. She is co-president of the Muscatine County Arts Council.
She partially owns an Iowa Century Farm in Salem that has been in the Savage family since
the 1870s.

Savage also co-hosted the “Coffee Club” talk show on Muscatine’s KWPC radio. Her status
on that program has also been suspended during the campaign.

Long Beach Press-Telegram: Environment is focus of conference. Governor joins meet
by satellite to talk about the wildfires.

By Don Jergler, Staff writer
Article Launched: 10/23/2007 09:23:44 PM PDT

LONG BEACH - It took one of the worst fire seasons in California history to keep former
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger from meeting in Long
Beach as planned to discuss the environment Tuesday.

Blair, who was in Long Beach to discuss leadership and the environment at the California
Governor and First Lady's Conference on Women, was joined on stage briefly via satellite by

Schwarzenegger appeared on a large video screen to give an update on the plague of
wildfires in Southern California.

But the favorite topic of both men echoed throughout the conference in
the form of speeches, a compostable lunch served en masse to more than 12,000 people, a
grass-covered couch, and thousands of energy-efficient light bulbs handed out to attendees.

Actor Ed Begley Jr.'s entrance on an environmentally friendly hybrid electric bicycle, and a
heart-to-heart discussion between conference host Maria Shriver and the spouses of five of
the presidential candidates were other conference highlights.

This year's conference theme was "Remarkable Lives. Remarkable Legacies. What's Yours?"
The non-partisan conference was started 20 years ago as a government initiative, and
supports several nonprofit programs.

Other conference participants included Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, singer Katharine
McPhee, actress Jamie Lee Curtis, boxer Laila Ali and a pair of Nobel laureates.

Schwarzenegger apologized to the crowd for not coming to Long Beach for the annual
conference hosted by his wife Maria Shriver.

"I think it would be better than I'm here with the firefighters," Schwarzenegger said, drawing
applause from the audience at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center.
Tying in his role in the fires with the two main themes of the conference, leadership and the
environment, Schwarzenegger described the role he and his staff are playing.

"I think the most important thing is to jump into action as quickly as possible," he said.

Schwarzenegger also thanked President Bush for declaring a state of emergency in

Schwarzenegger was scheduled to be on stage with Blair for a discussion on leadership and
the environment moderated by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

Following Schwarzenegger's update, Friedman asked Blair to recall crises he faced while in
office and how he handled them.

"You just have to focus on it, handle it, be there on the spot," Blair said.

Blair added that Schwarzenegger did well by passing up this year's Women's Conference, in
which he has appeared every year while he's been in office, to be at the scene of the fires.

"I think that was the right decision," Blair said.

Global warming

Friedman then turned to questions and commentary about the environment and global

"I've got this feeling I'm going to end my career in journalism almost glued to the Weather
Channel," Friedman said.

Blair said that even if we are wrong about global warming, if the world takes action then we
will have reduced pollution and found better ways to live.

"On the other hand," Blair added, "if we don't act, then we are betraying the following
generation that we should be looking after - we don't have the right to do that."

Blair complimented Schwarzenegger and California for taking the lead on fighting global

"It's sent a big signal around the world," Blair said.

One of the funniest moments of the conference came when Blair and Friedman discussed
leadership and problems in the Middle East.

"Leadership is better after a bit of listening," Blair said. "One of the most important things in
life is to learn how to shut up."
Blair then stopped talking, as did Friedman.

The crowd erupted in laughter and applause.

Blair also expressed his admiration for Queen Elizabeth II.

When he first met her she told him, "My first Prime Minister was Winston Churchill and that
was before you were born."

He added, "She is pretty much universally loved by the British people and I have great
respect for her."

Quitting NBC

Shriver came on following the discussion and immediately complimented her husband for his

"He's at the right place at the right time doing the right thing," she said.

Shriver also discussed her decision not to go back to broadcast journalism, which she said
she made after the media circus that followed the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

"It was then that I knew that the TV news business had changed and so had I," Shriver said,
adding, "I called NBC News and told them I'm not coming back."

During a brief on-stage interview with actress Jamie Lee Curtis, Begley, a longtime
environmental activist with a flair for the dramatic, urged attendees to adopt a few green
strategies to their everyday lives.

Begley asked people to replace their incandescent light bulbs, carpool to work, walk to
dinner and adjust the home thermostat a few degrees higher during summer.

"We're going for the low-hanging fruit," Begley said later. "These simple things are going to
help us clean up the environment, reduce our energy use, reduce our dependence on Mid-East
oil and save some money."

Another speaker was Al-Abdullah, who has used her royal position to promote peace and
women's rights around the world.

"The voice of the heart needs no translation," Al-Abdullah said. "The way we feel is exactly
the same. Whatever we look like, wherever we live, however we pray, we respond to human
suffering as human beings."

Lots of energy
While the conference was overshadowed by the wildfires, energy and enthusiasm still ran

California National Guard Brig. Gen. Mary Kight was at the conference because she was told
Shriver asked that military personnel attend.

Kight, who noted that more than 1,500 National Guard personnel were involved with
firefighting efforts, said she was also at the conference to talk about the benefits of military

"The conference gives the women a greater exposure to the military," she said.

Nell Pittman, with Habitat for Humanity, and friend Erika Valencia, who represents Lowe's
efforts with Habitat for Humanity, cruised the conference hall together taking in the scene.

"It's wonderful. It's a lot of energy here," Pittman said.

Valencia agreed, "I had lots of fun."

Both women agreed the highlight of the conference was Begley on his bike.

"He's green and we love that," Pittman said.

Other speakers were local mountain climber Samantha Larson, author Linda Ellerbee, former
vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, actress Susan Saint James, mountain climber
Aron Ralston, 20/20 correspondent Deborah Roberts and Nobel Peace prize winners Dr.
Muhammad Yunus and Jody Williams.

AFP: British minister to advise PM to water down EU renewables target: report

LONDON (AFP) — Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be advised to try and water down an
EU target for all the bloc's countries to procure a fifth of their energy from renewable
sources, The Guardian reported in an early edition of its Tuesday paper.

According to the paper, which cited a draft copy of business minister John Hutton's
presentation to Brown that it had seen, the prime minister will be told that the target is
expensive and faces "severe practical difficulties."

Britain should work with Poland and other governments sceptical of climate change to "help
persuade" German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who championed the proposals, and her allies
to set lower targets before they are made binding commitments in December.

Hutton's department estimates that it could cost Britain four billion pounds (5.7 billion euros,
8.1 billion dollars) to achieve just a nine percent share of renewables by 2020 -- the target is
20 percent -- from its current level of two percent, The Guardian reported.
Germany, by comparison, has increased its share of renewables to nine percent in the past six

The leaked presentation admitted that if Brown were seen to be trying to water down such
proposals, Britain could suffer "a potentially significant cost in terms of reduced climate
change leadership" and noted that lowering the targets would be "very hard to negotiate ...
and will be very controversial."

"The (European) Commission, some member states, and the European parliament will not
want the target to be diluted, though others may be allies for a change," the presentation said.

Among the difficulties for Britain in meeting the target will be convincing the defence
ministry and the shipping industry to accept additional off-shore wind power, and higher
costs for increased research and development into marine and tidal power, Hutton will
reportedly tell Brown.

A spokesman for Hutton's department told the newspaper: "We don't comment on ministerial
meetings with the PM."

Guardian: Nuclear inspectors shortage threatens plan for new reactors

The government is so short of nuclear inspectors that the programme of new reactors being
planned may have to be put on hold, leaked papers show. The business secretary, John
Hutton, yesterday warned Gordon Brown that the government has only five inspectors
working on the design assessments of the three types of reactors being considered for Britain.

The papers show an additional 35 inspectors are needed to be in place within 16 months. But
despite offering 15% more money, the government is finding it hard to recruit more because
the Treasury refuses to offer a better pay package.

"We understand that the Health and Safety Executive and Nuclear Installations Inspectorate
[are] unable to recruit new inspectors and are vulnerable to losing staff through retirement, as
around 50% of their inspectors are over 57," say the papers which are understood to have
formed the basis of Mr Hutton's presentation to the prime minister.

Opposition parties, the renewables industry and environment groups yesterday reacted
angrily to the revelation in the Guardian that the government was considering a change of
policy which "effectively abolishes" the renewables target that Tony Blair signed Britain up
to in March.

Confidential papers stated that Britain was considering working with Poland and other
countries to try to undermine EU commitments on renewable targets in favour of an
emissions trading scheme. Mr Brown's spokesman said yesterday: "Of course, there's a
discussion taking place within Europe about the implication of that target. Meeting the target
will be challenging and we want to make sure the system is well-designed, cost-effective and
practical. But it's not the case that ministers are planning a U-turn."

But Peter Ainsworth, shadow environment secretary, said the papers showed that the
government had lost credibility on the environment. "This blows a massive hole in the
government's previous rhetoric on climate change and it is further evidence of what most of
us suspected all along; that Gordon Brown neither understands nor cares about the need to
tackle climate change."

The Liberal Democrat environment spokesman, Chris Huhne, said the government "must not
go back on the ambitious targets recently set by European leaders ... only serious targets will
concentrate minds enough to ensure rapid progress."
                               ROA MEDIA UPDATE
                         THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                             Wednesday, 24 October 2007

                                General Environment News

Angola: Over 30,000 Trees Planted in Tômbwa Locality

Angola Press Agency (Luanda): Some 32,285 trees of assorted types were planted from 2001
to 2007 in the forest perimeter of Tômbwa locality, Angola's southwestern Namibe province,
in an effort to curb desertification in the region. Speaking to the caravan of journalists'
"Andar o País" (Touring the Country) great reporting, the official in charge of the perimeter,
Artur Lucas Neto, explained that the plants cover an extension of 8.5 kilometres perimeter.
According to Artur Neto, there are some 8, 862 tress waiting to be planted in the perimeter.

Nigeria: Country Needs Roadmap on Environmental Protection - VP

This Day (Lagos): Vice President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday advocated for the
establishment of a national roadmap to drive robust public-private partnership in the
promotion of initiatives to encourage environmental responsibility in the development and
diffusion of an eco-efficient technology. The Vice President who spoke while declaring open
a stakeholders forum on New Mechanism for Environmental Protection and Sustainable
Development in Nigeria held in Abuja, said proper management of the environment is very
vital to the efforts at meeting the 2015 millennium goal target. "World attention is on
environmental protection issues which are vital to the attainment of the MDG’s. By the same
token we are conscious of the imperatives of ensuring that economic regeneration efforts are
environmentally sustainable", he said.

Nigeria: FG Plans Flood Early Warning System

Daily Trust (Abuja): Hajiya Halima Alao, minister of Environment, Housing and Urban
Development, has said that arrangements have been concluded to establish Flood Early
Warning Systems in flood-prone cities across the country. She gave this indication last week
in Abuja. She said that this move was necessitated by incidents of erosion and flood recorded
in many parts of the country with attendant destruction of lives and property. Answering
questions from newsmen, Alao said the ministry had also finalised arrangements for the
establishment of an automated and community-based flood systems in all major rivers and
watersheds in the country. She said the systems were designed to alert on the likelihood of
flood. The minister said that the ministry was aware of the recent floods which wreaked
havoc in many states. She said the occurrence and magnitude of erosion and flood hazards
were a function of climate change and intensity of human activities.
Nigeria: Environmental Regulation Agency Zonal Offices to Be Established

Daily Trust (Abuja): The federal government has concluded plans to establish National
Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) offices in all
states of the federation, Minister of Environment, Housing and Urban Development said
yesterday. Mrs Halima Tayo Alao also said the offices would be established to find a new
approach to environmental regulations and enforcement. The minister, who stated this in
Abuja at the national stakeholders' forum on the new mechanism for environmental
protection and sustainable development in Nigeria, added that the forum would identify
problems and challenges that affect the implementation of environmental guidelines. She
said: "We have specifically invited the governors of all six states from each geo-political
zone that would host the NESREA zonal headquarters offices and we will find ways of
encouraging         and       promoting     voluntary     environmental      compliance."

Kenya: Enact Laws On Habitat, Urges Igad

The Nation (Nairobi): Lack of institutional and legal frameworks is threatening environment
and natural resources in Intergovernmental Authority on Development member countries, it
has emerged. Igad representative, Dr Kennedy Ondimu, said on Tuesday that the
organisation has not managed to get solutions to environmental degradation because of
population growth and exposure to world markets. He made the remarks in Kilifi, during an
Igad and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) directors of conservation and planning
meeting. He noted that there was pressure to exploit and market the natural resources
including valuable bio-diversity, minerals, forest products, wildlife, water and forage for
livestock production.


                             ROAP MEDIA UPDATE
                        THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                           Wednesday, 24 October, 2007

                                 UNEP or UN in the news

   UNEP-People’s Daily Online : BOCOG ahead of schedule on Olympic pledge
   UNEP/IPCC-The Times of India : LEADER ARTICLE: The Time To Act Is Now

General Environment News

   AUSTRALIA-Brisbane Times : Addiction to banned fumigant hard to kick
   CHINA-CIIC : Chengdu to compete for The LivCom Awards
   CHINA-People’s Daily Online : ADB to provide cash for water project
   JAPAN-Sydney Morning Herald : Japanese accused of hiding tuna worth more than $8b
   JAPAN- The Yomiuri Shimbun : 21 industrial groups plan to up CO2 cuts
   JAPAN-The Yomiuri Shimbun : Trucking firms eye 3-fold CO2 cut for FY10

                                UNEP or UN in the news

UNEP-People’s Daily Online : BOCOG ahead of schedule on Olympic pledge

October 24, 2007 - Comprehensive environmental plans outlined during the bidding period
of the Beijing Olympic Games have largely been fulfilled, an official from the Beijing
Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) has said.

The recently released Beijing 2008 Environmental Protection, Innovation and Improvement
Report (2001-06) details how this has been done, Deputy-Director of the BOCOG
Construction and Environment Department Yu Xiaoxuan said.

"Beijing has accelerated construction of urban infrastructure suitable for sustainable
development in order to guarantee the health of the Olympic athletes and its citizens," Yu

Beijing spent about 120 billion yuan ($16 billion) on environmental protection projects from
1998 to 2006, more than the scheduled 100 billion yuan committed while bidding for the
Games," he said.

Yu detailed the projects that had been completed:

Last year, the natural gas supply was 3.8 billion cu m, up from 1 million cu m in 2000. This
year, 4.6 billion cu m is targeted and this will increased to between 4 and 5 billion cu m in

Since December 2005, Beijing has applied Euro III emission standards for vehicles, two
years earlier than scheduled.

At the end of last year forest cover in Beijing was 51 percent. This exceeded the target of 50
percent coverage by 2008. By the end of this year, the percentage is expected to be 51.6.

The treatment rate of wastewater in suburban areas was 90 percent by the end of last year,
reaching the goal set for 2008.

The safe and clean treatment of garbage was 96.5 percent in 2006, near the goal of 98 percent
set for 2008.
In order to ensure clear skies for the Olympics, Beijing is considering implementing
contingency plans, involving surrounding cities and provinces.

"These might include regulations preventing polluting vehicles entering Beijing and
temporarily shutting down polluting companies during the Games. A scientific plan is under
way," Yu said.

Beijing tested these contingency plans in August, banning more than 1 million cars a day
from the roads.

Air quality was judged to be "fairly good" during the four days that the plan was effective.

"Implementing temporary plans during the Olympic Games is normal practice, but they are
only temporary. What's more important is the continued efforts we make to improve the
environment for people," Yu said.

From tomorrow, the Seventh World Conference on Sport and the Environment will begin in

The International Olympic Committee and the BOCOG jointly organized the three-day event,
in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program.

Its motto is: "From Plan to Action"

UNEP/IPCC-The Times of India : LEADER ARTICLE: The Time To Act Is
23 Oct 2007, R K PACHAURI

By awarding the 2007 Peace Prize to former vice-president of the US, Al Gore, and the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Nobel Prize Committee has clearly
signalled the importance of stabilising the earth’s climate for ensuring peace and stability in
the world.

As a scientific body involving thousands of the most qualified experts from all over the
world, the IPCC has focused its activities on assessment of all aspects of climate change over
the past 19 years of its existence, and has naturally not drawn any linkage between the impact
of climate change and the issue of peace among human societies across the globe.

However, the Fourth Assessment Report, of which three volumes have been released, with
the fourth, the Synthesis Report to be completed in November 2007, has clearly brought out
several dimensions of present and future climate change, which could affect stability and
peace in several locations. For instance, it has been found that while the average global
temperature during the 19th century increased by 0.740 degrees C, this was accompanied by
changes in precipitation, which are likely to continue.
Hence, in the higher latitudes precipitation, including rainfall and snow, has increased
whereas in the lower latitudes and the Mediterranean region it has decreased. There has also
been an increase in extreme precipitation events, possibly such as the ones that resulted in the
major cloudburst that took place in Mumbai during the monsoon season this year and the
more severe one that occurred two years ago.

There are major equity issues associated with climate change, essentially arising out of the
fact that the high concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that are causing
climate change has been created cumulatively by the developed countries. However, some of
the worst sufferers from the impacts of climate change are the poorest societies largely in
Africa and parts of Asia. Poor communities even in the developed world are vulnerable to the
impacts of climate change as was revealed with Hurricane Katrina which devastated New
Orleans in the US. In that case it was the poorest sections of society who suffered the most.

In the Sahelian region of Africa, the reduced length of the growing season as a result of
climate change is causing detrimental effects on agriculture. In some African countries,
yields could be reduced up to 50 per cent by 2020 and crop net revenues could fall by as
much as 90 per cent by 2100. Similarly, in Central and South Asia, yields could decrease up
to 50 per cent by 2050. Overall surplus of foodgrains at the global level could as a result
reach critical levels, which would make it impossible for the poorest countries in the world to
import adequate quantities of foodgrain for their population at higher prices.

Perhaps the most significant impact of climate change is expected in respect to availability of
water. There are several regions that are already afflicted by water stress. But the situation
could worsen substantially due to changes in precipitation patterns, increasing salinity of
groundwater due to increase in sea level and melting of glaciers which would result in
decreased river flow.

The IPCC estimates that in South Asia alone perhaps 500 million people would be affected
by reduced river flows in the northern part of the subcontinent and about 250 million in
China. Water scarcity is already a source of tension between several states of India and
certainly between India and Bangladesh. Climate change could add to these tensions. It is
estimated that the range of people exposed to increased water stress by 2020 would include
120 million to 1.2 billion in Asia, 75 to 250 million in Africa and 12 to 81 million in Latin

A major impact of climate change resulting from sea level rise would be the threat of coastal
flooding. In this respect, the megadeltas of Asia have been assessed as particularly
vulnerable. These include cities like Dhaka, Kolkata and Shanghai, where the density of
population is extremely high and the threat of coastal flooding particularly serious. The
danger of environmental refugees on account of climate change such as due to coastal
flooding, acute water scarcity and extreme precipitation events and heatwaves could disrupt
peace and security in several regions of the world. Also, droughts and floods which are
increasing in several parts of the world in frequency and intensity could displace large
numbers of people with consequences for the stability of society.
In general, social scientists have not devoted adequate attention to the consequences of
climate change, but projections of the future clearly indicate that the severity of the problem
justifies considerable research and investigation into associated prospects for peace and
security. Such research is essential for the world to understand the requirements for adequate
mitigation measures, which need to be taken in hand urgently to minimise and eliminate
harmful impacts in the future.

The best estimates of average temperature increase by the end of the century are 1.80 degrees
C at the lower end and 40 degrees C at the upper end. Combined with the 0.740 degrees C
increase in the 20th century, these projections and the various discontinuities they would
produce throughout the world are adequate cause for deep concern. It is for this reason that
several world leaders are now highlighting climate change as the most serious threat facing
humanity. The Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 adds a much more profound dimension to this
subject, which the global community must consider seriously.
(The writer is chairman, IPCC, and director-general, TERI.)

                               General Environment News

AUSTRALIA-Brisbane Times : Addiction to banned fumigant hard to kick
Debra Jopson | October 24, 2007

IT IS the most powerful ozone- depleting substance in Australia, declared by the United
Nations environment body to be 60 times more damaging than chlorine, the base of all CFCs.

But methyl bromide, a colourless, odourless gas officially banned as a soil fumigator
worldwide under an international treaty two years ago, is still being used by some Australian
flower and strawberry runner growers to kill bugs, as the nation fails to kick its 72-year
addiction to the chemical.

The national pesticides regulator has backed away from its own plan to cancel registration for
methyl bromide products used solely for soil fumigation earlier this year because that would
cause "significant disruption" to $300 million worth of horticulture, a Herald investigation
has found.

Producers have continued to be granted exemptions from the international ban on using the
chemical as a soil fumigant. Meanwhile, fumigating imports and exports is still legal and is
rising, the investigation found.

This means that five years after a report, Pesticide Use in Australia, described it as a "global
public bad" because it damages the ozone layer and 19 years after Australia signed the
Montreal Protocol to reduce ozone-depleting substances, the gas is still being released into
our atmosphere.
"It doesn't only destroy the ozone molecules, but it also lays down a layer of methane, which
is a greenhouse gas. It's a nasty one," said Ken Brash, an entomologist who has invented a
commercial method of recapturing methyl bromide, neutralising its effect.

In its review report published earlier this year, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary
Medicines Authority acknowledged that it is "a powerful ozone-depleting substance" and that
it is also "quite toxic to humans".

New Zealand has held a parliamentary inquiry into claims that it has caused workers' illness
and deaths. Last month a $500,000 export shipment of logs was stranded there because a port
authority refused to fumigate it with methyl bromide.

During a review of almost two years, the Australian authority foreshadowed in a draft report
that it might cancel registration of several methyl bromide products.

But in findings published in May it said no suitable alternatives had been found for farmers
who relied on the chemical.

It left 16 products containing methyl bromide on the market, but tightened restrictions listed
on their labels after finding that many labels breached our national obligations under the
Montreal Protocol.

This year 32 growers have been granted exemptions from the ban. This is possible because,
despite an international agreement to phase out methyl bromide for agricultural use by 2005,
Australia and 10 other developed countries have persuaded the UN to allow "critical use
exemptions" when no "technical or economically feasible alternative" can be found.

Victorian cut flower growers, and Victorian and Queensland strawberry runner producers
have been officially allowed to override the ban this year.

The flower growers are weaning themselves off the chemical, but Australia is likely to have
to ask the UN to give strawberry runner growers further exemptions from the Montreal
Protocol because a search for alternatives has so far failed, the federal environment
department has warned on its website.

"Methyl bromide is not mandated as a fumigant, but it is the only fumigant that is currently
proven to provide an adequate level of protection," the department says.

A spokeswoman for the National Toxic Network, Mariann Lloyd-Smith, said she was
shocked that Australia continued to apply for exemptions for soil fumigation.

"What is Australia doing allowing the continued use of methyl bromide? I knew about the
review and thought it would say, 'No way'."
The nation has made some progress in reducing the use of methyl bromide as a soil steriliser
before planting on farms. That use dropped from more than 400 metric tonnes in 1997 to 55
metric tonnes this year, the federal environment department said.

However, the chemical's use to treat imports and exports rose from 259 metric tonnes in 1997
to 410 tonnes last year. This is still allowed under the Montreal Protocol, although the UN
was steadily moving towards a ban, Mr Brash said.

At dozens of depots across the country the gas is pumped into containers to fumigate
imported products, including fruit, vegetables and wood. It is let loose in silos to protect
stored grains such as wheat and rice. Export produce, including grapes and cherries, are also

There are concerns that the health of import warehouse staff may have been affected by
exposure to this chemical, the pesticides authority has reported.

One workplace study has shown that methyl bromide does not dissipate rapidly to the upper
atmosphere, but can spread and stay at low levels, particularly during cold and still weather.

"This has potential ramifications for worker and bystander occupational health and safety,"
the authority's latest report on the chemical said.

Mr Brash said many containers held residual gas in pockets between pallets and in packaging
which was hazardous to workers.

Mr Brash wants the Federal Government to follow the lead of Belgium, where methyl
bromine recapture has been compulsory since July. The amount of methyl bromide being
treated in Australia was very small, he said.

"It is an extra cost. Some people have bitten the bullet and said: 'We're going to do the right
thing and pay the money, but they are very few and far between."

CHINA-CIIC : Chengdu to compete for The LivCom Awards

The Wenjiang District in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, has been
selected as a candidate to compete for the International Awards For Livable Communities
(The LivCom Awards), November 22-26 in London with six cities from Japan, France, the
United States, Canada, Sweden and New Zealand.

Launched in 1997 and endorsed by the United Nations Environment Program, the LivCom
Awards are the world's only awards competition focusing on best practice management of the
local environment, assessing a city's development in landscape construction, culture heritage
management and environmental protection.

Green projects
Chengdu is investing billions of yuan in developing an environmentally-friendly pesticide
and a tree-planting scheme that will cover more than a third of the urban area.

The projects are part of a 37-billion yuan (US$4.93 billion) plan for environmental
improvements up to 2010. The 240 projects, featuring water, air and noise pollution control
as well as the environmentally-friendly disposal of waste in urban and rural areas, are aimed
at improving air and water quality.

CHINA-People’s Daily Online : ADB to provide cash for water project

October 20, 2007 - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide funding for a project
to improve China's water management system, sources from the bank said on Thursday.

Wang Jianguo, a senior project officer with the ADB, said the project, named Policy Study
on Market-Based Instruments for Water Pollution Control, will help the country achieve its
water pollution control target more effectively and efficiently.

Wang Xin, an official with the State Environmental Protection Administration of China,
which will be responsible for the project, said it will be launched by the end of the year.

The scheme will play two roles in water pollution management.

The first is to force major polluters to internalize the environmental costs they have
previously imposed on the public.

The second is to reduce overall pollution control costs through market-based allocation of
resources, Wang said.

The ADB will provide a $500,000 grant for the project, which is estimated to cost $650,000.
The government will fund the rest.

JAPAN-Sydney Morning Herald : Japanese accused of hiding tuna worth
more than $8b
Andrew Darby, October 24, 2007

A SCANDAL involving billions of dollars worth of southern bluefin tuna illegally caught by
the Japanese is worsening as closer Australian Government scrutiny uncovers the full extent
of the fraud.

An investigation has already found that over a 20-year period, Japanese fishers hid an $8
billion overcatch of the highly-prized sashimi fish that migrates around southern Australia.
Now an international meeting has been told the amount was underestimated, Japan's figures
still do not add up, and Tokyo is stonewalling against attempts to regulate fishing of the
critically-endangered species.

An international investigation into what Australian officials called an unprecedented,
outrageous fraud, found that Japanese fishers probably used a series of disguises to hide the

The fishers described the tuna as a different species and evaded any inspection on shore,
under-reported the amount that they caught, and imported it as different tuna, either trans-
shipped at sea from foreign vessels or in containers.

In a review that the Japanese Government has vetoed from public release, the investigators
found the fraud extended into consumer markets.

The Independent Review of Japanese Southern Bluefin Market Data Anomalies estimated the
overcatch at 178,198 tonnes - a total that the Australian delegation leader, Glenn Hurry, said
last year was worth up to $8 billion.

But diplomats meeting in Canberra last week heard that a follow-up study on the Japanese
market now estimated the total overcatch at 10 per cent more.

JAPAN- The Yomiuri Shimbun : 21 industrial groups plan to up CO2 cuts

24 Oct, 2007 - Twenty-one industries are planning to voluntarily increase their carbon
dioxide emission cuts, which should see CO2 emissions reduced by about 20 million tons,
the minimum cut needed to achieve Japan's CO2 reduction goal agreed to under the Kyoto

The new plan was reported at a joint council meeting of the Environment, Economy, and
Trade and Industry ministries held Tuesday.

As the industries intend to further reduce their CO2 emissions, the government's focus is
shifting to the efforts required by small and midsize companies and households, whose
emissions are rising.

Prior to a joint meeting held last week, 17 industries had decided to reduce their emissions by
an additional 15.5 million tons.

At Tuesday's meeting, four industries, including the trucking and housing sectors, also
announced a plan to further cut their emissions, without specifying the tonages they would
cut them by. However, as the trucking and housing industries are expected to reduce their
CO2 emissions by millions of tons, the total additional reduction looks set to exceed 20
million tons.
At the meeting, 14 industries, including private schools, hospitals and the pachinko sector,
also promised to map out anew voluntary plans to reduce CO2 emissions.

Another 14 industries, including the Life Insurance Association of Japan and the General
Insurance Association of Japan, which currently have voluntary action plans but do not have
numerical targets, reported on their plans to set numerical targets.

The Kyoto Protocol requires Japan to reduce CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases by 6
percent from 1990 levels. To reach this goal, the government has to keep average emissions
from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2012 at 1.186 billion tons. Experts say the additional 20 million
tons was needed to meet the goal, however others put the amount needed at 34 million tons.

JAPAN-The Yomiuri Shimbun : Trucking firms eye 3-fold CO2 cut for FY10

24 Oct, 2007 - The Japan Trucking Association has decided to triple its target for carbon
dioxide emission cuts in fiscal 2010 to contribute to national efforts to reach greenhouse-gas
reduction targets stipulated by the Kyoto Protocol to the U.N. Framework Convention on
Climate Change.

The Tokyo-based industrial association of truck transport companies will increase its 2010
reduction target for CO2 emissions per designated transportation volume to 30 percent from
the fiscal 1996 level, as opposed to its previous goal of 10 percent.

As measures to realize the new goal, the association plans to:

-- Instruct drivers to turn off engines while at rest to avoid unnecessary idling.

-- Introduce more low-emission vehicles.

-- Boost transportation efficiency by using larger vehicles and working jointly with other
transportation companies.

As overall transportation volume in the trucking industry largely fluctuates depending on
economic conditions, the association employs a method using figures per designated
transportation volume.

If the industry tried to cut CO2 emissions alone, it might result in fewer jobs, despite the
economic upturn. As a result, the association uses the method that indicates transportation

The association estimated the industry's CO2 emissions for fiscal 2010, factoring in an
certain increase in demand.

The result showed that if the industry does not make any energy-saving efforts, there would
be an estimated rise of 7.4 percent from the 1996 level, to 49.27 million tons.
If the quantity of emissions per designated transportation volume is cut 30 percent, the 2010
figure is expected to fall 2.2 percent, or 4.39 million tons, to 44.88 million tons.

About 60,000 trucking service companies belong to the association. Member firms own
about 1.4 million trucks and other vehicles. In fiscal 2005, the vehicles were estimated to
have emitted 43.73 million tons of CO2.

This accounts for about one-third of a total of about 137 million tons discharged by vehicles
belonging to 17 companies and industrial associations in the transportation sector, which
have drafted voluntary plans to cut CO2 emissions.
                         ENVIRONMENT NEWS FROM THE

23 October 2007

We are arranging for Jan Eliasson, the UN Special Envoy for Darfur to brief you by video
tomorrow as the noon briefing guest. We’ll let you know, we’ll give you more details

Tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., there will be a press conference by Sergio Pinheiro, Special
Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar.

On Thursday at 11 a.m., Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment
Programme, and Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, will
hold a press conference to launch the UN Environment Programme’s Global Environment
Outlook Report for 2007.

Later that day, following the Secretary-General’s briefing to the Fifth Committee on the
budget, shortly after 1 p.m., there will be a press conference by Warren Sach, UN Controller,
and Alicia Bárcena, Under-Secretary General for Management.

And our guest at the noon briefing this Friday will be Michael Adlerstein, Executive Director
of the capital master plan. And at 2 p.m. [Thursday], there will be press conference by Philip
Alston, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.

This is all I have for you, thank you. Yes?

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