Reuters World moves into the eco by fjhuangjun

VIEWS: 195 PAGES: 86

									                     THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                          Monday, 8 October 2007


                       UNEP and the Executive Director in the News


   Toxic waste dump killing children in Kenya: UN (AFP – story also covered by AP, Reuters
    and various newspapers)
   Indian academician pushes UN for upgradation of environment programme (The Times of
    India)
   FACTBOX: Five facts about desertification (Reuters)
   Uganda: UN Experts for Virunga (Allafrica)
   Do your bid for environment; show your good work on the net (Daily News & Analysis -
    India)


                              Other Environment News

   Climate change disaster is upon us, warns UN (The Guardian)
   World moves into the ecological red (Reuters)
   Cutting through China's smoke (Los Angeles Times)
   Desert expansion threatening China's most prestigious grottoes (Xinhua)
   Dozens killed in worst Vietnam floods in decades (Reuters)
   Chill out. Stop fighting over global warming -- here's the smart way to attack it.
    (Washington Post)
   CLIMATE CHANGE: Forests Join the Carbon Market (IPS)
   Pumping iron into ocean gets chilly reception (Miami Herald)
   Global solutions to climate change need Asian support but development goals
    cannot be jeopardized (BangokPost)
   Agency schedules flood meetings (BBC)


                   Environmental News from the UNEP Regions

   ROAP
   ROA
   ROWA
   RONA

                                   Other UN News

   UN Daily News of 5 October 2007
   S.G.‘s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of 5 October 2007
                       UNEP and the Executive Director in the News


AFP: Toxic waste dump killing children in Kenya: UN report

5 Oct 2007


NAIROBI (AFP) — One of Africa's largest dumping sites is threatening the lives of
thousands of children in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, a new United Nations report warned
Friday.

The 30-acre (12 hectares) Dandora Municipal Dumping Site, located at the centre of three
slum settlements home to about a million people, receives around 2,000 tonnes of waste
generated by the capital's 4.5 million people everyday.

Hundreds of impoverished slum dwellers and homeless families searching for recyclables
work daily amidst the heaps of rubbish, also populated by vultures and other scavengers.
The report, commissioned by the Nairobi-based UN Environment Programme (UNEP),
found that half of 328 children examined had concentrations of lead in their blood
exceeding internationally accepted levels.

Some 42 percent of soil samples recorded lead levels almost 10 times higher than what is
considered unpolluted soil, with 400 parts per million (ppm) compared to the 50 ppm
threshold, it added.

"Children have been exposed to pollutants such as heavy metals and toxic substances
through soil, water and air with implications for respiratory, gastrointestinal and
dermatological or skin diseases," said a UNEP statement.
"Almost half of the children tested were suffering from respiratory diseases, including
chronic bronchitis and asthma," it added.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said the findings were worrying and pledged to
assist authorities in developing an improved waste management system.
"The site here is killing children and people.... it is a human tragedy and an ecological
disaster. Dumping sites are poisonous if they are not handled properly," Steiner said.
"The Dandora site may pose some special challenges for the city of Nairobi and Kenya as a
nation. But it is also a mirror to the condition of rubbish sites across many parts of Africa
and other urban centres of the developing world," he added.
The Nairobi City Council, ranked by many watchdogs as one of the most corrupt
institutions in the country, has already been singled out for its failure to manage waste in
East Africa's largest city.

(This story was also covered by Reuters and AP (picked up by the International Herald
Tribune, Washington Post and USA Today among others), as well as Al Jazeera, Trouw,
Allafrica, the Standard, KBC, the Nation and Nairobi radio stations Easy FM and
Capital FM.)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKL0567664820071005
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gCX-shaTeW7NAsUijxfFe6kOYuFAD8S387002




                                                                                            2
http://allafrica.com/stories/200710051200.html
http://www.eastandard.net/hm_news/news.php?articleid=1143975556 (Standard – Kenya)
http://www.kbc.co.ke/story.asp?ID=45512
Trouw (NL):
http://www.trouw.nl/laatstenieuws/laatstenieuws/article813543.ece/Vuilnisbelt_Nairobi_ve
rgiftigt_kinderen

_____________________________________________________________________

The Times of India: Indian academician pushes UN for upgradation of environment
programme

7 Oct 2007, 1014 hrs IST,PTI

SMS NEWS to 58888 for latest updates

NEW DELHI: A Delhi-based professor has submitted a proposal to the United Nations for
upgrading its Environment Programme into a full fledged organisation to deal with related
matters.

Bharat Desai, who holds the Jawaharlal Nehru chair in International Environmental Law
Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, has also suggested making the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP) into a more authoritative organisation with a secure
mandate and proper funding.

"The existing UNEP is merely a subsidiary organ of United Nations General Assembly, it
lacks the legal authority of an 'organisation' like other UN bodies," he said.

Desai said India should play a leading role in the UN in energising UNEP to function
effectively as the global environment conscience. The proposal has been forwarded to the
UN General Assembly for consideration.

The existing structure dwarfs the role of UNEP, it should be upgraded to United Nations
Environment Protection Organisation (UNEPO), he said.

Desai has been invited to an informal consultative process on International Environment
Governance launched by UNGA, for "in-depth" discussion about his proposal titled
"UNEP: A Global Environment Authority?"

If Desai's proposal finds its way, it will give the UNEP the organisational capacity to
address wide ranging environmental threats.

Like other UN organisations, the new agency, can have separate councils for Science and
Technology, Environmental Policy and Law, and Environmental Relief Council which will
mark a new chapter in the current international environment governance scene.
_____________________________________________________________________

Reuters: FACTBOX: Five facts about desertification

Mon Oct 8, 2007 7:20a.m. BST




                                                                                            3
(Reuters) - About 1.2 billion people are at risk from desertification as deserts expand and
degraded dry lands cover close to a third of the world's land surface area, the United
Nations estimates. Here are five facts about the phenomenon of encroaching desert lands.

* Desertification is not new. The Sumerian and Babylonian empires are among several
ancient civilizations thought to have declined more rapidly after their agricultural output
fell because of prolonged desiccation and water scarcity.

* Deserts expand naturally, but "desertification" is a different process where land in arid,
semi-dry areas becomes degraded, soil loses its productivity and vegetation thins because of
human activities and/or prolonged droughts/floods.

* The destruction wrought by spreading deserts grabbed global attention in 1968, nine years
before the United Nations held its first conference on the issue. Some 250,000 people and
millions of domestic animals died over a six-year period of severe drought in west Africa's
sub-Saharan Sahel region, that hit Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and
Chad.

* Globally, the rate of desertification is speeding up, the UN Environment Program (UNEP)
says. Africa is the worst affected continent; with two-thirds of its land either desert or
drylands. Almost a third of land in the U.S. is affected by desertification; and one quarter of
Latin America and the Caribbean, and one fifth of Spain.

* Desertification is mainly a problem of sustainable development. Its causes include over-
cropping, over-grazing, improper irrigation practices, and deforestation. Poor land
management practices such as these often stem from the socioeconomic conditions in which
the farmers live, and can be prevented.

Sources: Reuters, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (www.unccd.int)
________________________________________________________________________

Allafrica: Uganda: UN Experts for Virunga

Posted to the web 8 October 2007

Reuben Olita
Kampala

THE United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has said it would dispatch a
technical team to assist the Congolese authorities to stabilise the situation in Virunga
National Park.

The move follows a meeting between, Achim Steiner, UNEP's executive director and
Didace Pembe Bokiaga, Congo's minister of environment and nature conservation, in
Nairobi, Kenya, recently.

The two officials reviewed the situation in Virunga, which recently resulted into the death
of a park ranger and injuries to others and the death of several mountain gorillas.




                                                                                              4
"The instability surrounding Virunga is an illustration of the unfolding human and
environmental tragedy. It is the duty of the international community to assist the DRC
authorities,' Steiner said.

He said any lasting approach must involve the local communities and pledged to support
the Government in identifying the courses of action.
_____________________________________________________________________


Daily News & Analysis – India: Do your bid for environment; show your good work
on the net
PTI
Sunday, October 07, 2007 12:14 IST


NEW DELHI: Cleanup your backyard and let people know about it through Google!

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and internet search giant Google
have joined hands to launch a "Think globally act locally" campaign wherein people across
the planet cleaning up their area will share the result with millions of people on the internet.

During the International Cleanup weekend on October 13-14, jointly launched by the
UNEP and Google, community groups and individuals on every continent will be heading
out in small groups with friends and family to clean up their local parks, beaches, streets
and neighbourhood.

Under this initiative, their activities and results will make history by being posted as photos
and videos on Google map, giving a global platform to local initiative, Achim Steiner,
Under Secretary General and UNEP's executive director said in a statement here.

"The idea is to match the power of local community action with the power of the world
wide web. This should make a formidable partnership, uniting and empowering groups
from Bangalore to Bermuda and Berlin to Beijing in common cause," he added.

The partnership with one of the largest search engines would help make the world become
more "clean" and "green," Ashbindu Singh, regional coordinator of UNEP for North
America, said here.

The volunteers across the world have already started posting their "cleanup areas" on the
Website's map.

Last year, Google Earth featured "UNEP: Atlas of our changing environment", offering
satellite images of 100 environmental hotspots from around the world and showing the
dangers looming over them.




                                                                                               5
                                  Other Environment News

________________________________________________________________________

The Guardian: Climate change disaster is upon us, warns UN

Friday October 5 2007

Two girls rescue a dog in floods in Trinidad, Bolivia. Photograph: Aizar Raldes/AFP
A record number of floods, droughts and storms around the world this year amount to a
climate change "mega disaster", the United Nation's emergency relief coordinator, Sir John
Holmes, has warned.

Sir John, a British diplomat who is also known as the UN's under-secretary-general for
humanitarian affairs, said dire predictions about the impact of global warming on humanity
were already coming true.

"We are seeing the effects of climate change. Any year can be a freak but the pattern looks
pretty clear to be honest. That's why we're trying ... to say, of course you've got to deal with
mitigation of emissions, but this is here and now, this is with us already," he said.
As a measure of the worsening situation, Ocha, the UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs - part of the UN secretariat that employs Sir John - has issued 13
emergency "flash" appeals so far this year. The number is three more than in 2005, which
held the previous record.

Two years ago only half the international disasters dealt with by Ocha had anything to do
with the climate; this year all but one of the 13 emergency appeals is climate-related. "And
2007 is not finished. We will certainly have more by the end of the year, I fear," added Sir
John, who is in charge of channelling international relief efforts to disaster areas.
More appeals were likely in the coming weeks, as floods hit west Africa. "All these events
on their own didn't have massive death tolls, but if you add all these little disasters together
you get a mega disaster," he said.

The only one of this year's emergency appeals not connected to the climate was an
earthquake in Peru, in August. The others arose after an unprecedented string of
catastrophic floods across much of Africa, south Asia and North Korea, and followed
severe drought in southern Africa, Nicaragua's category-five hurricane, and extreme climate
conditions in Bolivia, which brought both drought and floods.

The Ocha appeals represent the tip of an iceberg since they are launched only with the
agreement of the affected country. India was badly affected by floods that hit the rest of the
Asian region in July. But unlike its neighbour, Pakistan, India did not call on the UN for
help.

Ocha believes that 66 million people were made homeless or were otherwise affected
across south Asia. The lives of several million more people were turned upside down across
Africa. Sudan, Mozambique, Madagascar, Zambia and Uganda experienced disastrous
floods, and Swaziland and Lesotho declared emergencies because of severe drought that
reduced harvests by half.




                                                                                               6
The latest appeal from Ocha was launched yesterday, to try to raise emergency relief funds
for Ghana, where more than 400,000 people are reported to be homeless as a result of
flooding. Appeals may also be started for Togo and Burkina Faso.
"The flooding in Africa just now is the worst anyone can remember," Sir John said,
expressing frustration at how little media attention in the west was being devoted to what he
terms creeping climatic catastrophe.

Flooding is likely to be common for a warming planet, and climate change has a double
effect - causing an increase in the frequency of storms, while higher atmospheric levels of
carbon dioxide curb the ability of plants to draw groundwater.
A climate-change summit is to be held in Bali in December, with the aim of agreeing the
principles of a new international treaty to replace Kyoto, the accord that expires in 2012.
But the talks face determined US opposition to mandatory emissions targets, and most
climate negotiators doubt a real breakthrough can be achieved before the Bush government
leaves office in 2009.

Sir John argues that whatever is done on greenhouse gas emissions, money has to be spent
now on mitigating the impact that climate change is already having. "You can't actually
stop disasters happening but you can do a lot to reduce their impact and reduce people's
vulnerability to them by making sure people don't live on the coast or river plains, and that
roads are raised and dams are in reasonable shape."

According to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is leading
research on the issue, global warming will disrupt and potentially devastate the lives of
billions of people.

And, just as global warming starts to make itself felt, there are signs that "donor fatigue"
has set in. Of about $338m (£166m) requested for Ocha's 13 flash appeals this year, only
$114m has so far come from donors.
______________________________________________________________________

Reuters: World moves into the ecological red

Sat Oct 6, 2007 4:40pm EDT
By Jeremy Lovell
LONDON (Reuters) - The world moved into "ecological overdraft" on Saturday, the point
at which human consumption exceeds the ability of the earth to sustain it in any year and
goes into the red, the New Economics Foundation think-tank said.


Ecological Debt Day this year is three days earlier than in 2006 which itself was three days
earlier than in 2005. NEF said the date had moved steadily backwards every year since
humanity began living beyond its environmental means in the 1980s.


"As the world creeps closer to irreversible global warming and goes deeper into ecological
debt, why on earth, say, would the UK export 20 tonnes of mineral water to Australia and
then re-import 21 tonnes," said NEF director Andrew Simms.




                                                                                                7
"And why would that wasteful trade be more the rule than the exception," he added.
Not only was there a massive gulf between rich and poor but there were deep variations in
environmental profligacy between the rich countries, NEF said.
If everyone in the world had the same consumption rates as in the United States it would
take 5.3 planet earths to support them, NEF said, noting that the figure was 3.1 for France
and Britain, 3.0 for Spain, 2.5 for Germany and 2.4 for Japan.


But if everyone emulated China, which is building a coal-fired power station every five
days to feed its booming economy, it would take only 0.9 of a planet.


The NEF report comes as diplomatic momentum builds for UN environment ministers
meeting in December on the Indonesian island of Bali to agree to start talks on a
replacement for the Kyoto Protocol on curbing climate change that expires in 2012.
Governments have started to sit up and take heed as global public opinion begins calling for
urgent action to tackle what has been described as the biggest threat facing humanity.
But there is still no meeting of minds between the world's biggest carbon polluter, the
United States, and booming emitters like China and India; both sides insisting that the other
make the first move.


But the NEF report "Chinadependence" noted that Britain among others was understating
its carbon emissions because it in effect exported its smokestack industries to China in the
1990s and was now importing products it would have been making itself.


"As China is increasingly attacked because of its rising pollution levels, people overlook
two important issues," said Simms. "First, per person, China's greenhouse gas emissions are
a fraction of those in Europe and the United States."


"Second, a closer look at trade flows reveals that a large share of China's rising emissions is
due to the dependence of the rest of the world on exports from China.
"Because of the way that data on carbon emissions gets collected at the international level,
this has the effect of 'carbon laundering' economies like those of Britain and the U.S.," he
added.
_______________________________________________________________________
Los Angeles Times: Cutting through China's smoke


Beijing will order cutbacks in industry and auto emissions for the Olympic Games, and the
effects may be measurable worldwide.
By Laurie Garrett and Jane C.S. Long
October 7, 2007


By now, most of us are keenly aware that emissions resulting from the burning of fossil
fuels are causing our planet to heat up, altering our climate and putting the survival of




                                                                                               8
plants, animals and even humans in peril. But what we don't really know is whether it is
still possible to stop those emissions and reverse the problem.


Now, it turns out, a great experiment is about to be performed, at enormous financial cost,
providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for science. Several weeks before the 2008
Summer Olympics, in an effort to make Beijing more palatable to foreign visitors, the
government of China will begin shutting down industries that emit vast quantities of soot
and carbon into the atmosphere surrounding the city.


Though the government has yet to release a list of the industries and factories it will close,
various news accounts and official statements indicate that virtually every factory in the
greater Beijing area will greatly reduce operations or be completely shuttered for a period
of several weeks, and that coal mining operations in nearby Shanxi province may be shut
down as well, or at least slowed, before and throughout the Olympics. In addition, auto
traffic will be severely curtailed within Beijing, and clouds may be seeded to the north of
the city in order to minimize the hideous Mongolian dust storms that commonly plague
China's capital.


The effect could be enormous. As much as 25% of the air pollution in Los Angeles comes
from China; at certain sites in California, as much as 40% of the air pollution comes from
Asia. When the Chinese undertake this enormous, if short-term, change in their emissions,
it will send a signal across the ocean to the U.S. that the control of air pollution in one part
of the world can in fact affect the atmosphere on the other side of the globe. If we can
detect a change in China's emissions as far away as the United States, the great experiment
will dramatically illustrate that our choices about emissions can transform the health of the
planet.


The last time a highly polluted city offered the world such a dramatic opportunity to
witness the daily effect of its industrial and auto emissions was in 1984, on the occasion of
the Los Angeles Olympics, during which similarly radical measures were taken to offset
Southern California's smog. One of us (Garrett) was a reporter for National Public Radio in
those days, covering the Olympics, and well recalls the moment when a clear view of the
entire Los Angeles Basin, San Gabriel Mountain range and even hints of the deserts beyond
miraculously appeared through a Venice Beach window.


For Angelenos, the radical measures taken to reduce auto traffic and industrial smog during
the 1984 Olympics provided dramatic evidence that pollution could, in fact, be curbed
through force of will. To a striking degree, the clean air experienced during the Olympics
pushed political leaders throughout California to acknowledge the dangerous trajectory of
the state's continued reliance on carbon-emitting automobiles -- and to take steps to reverse
it.


Beijing -- the modern city that viewers will, to their amazement, see on TV during the
Olympics -- is largely modeled on Los Angeles. It is a city of freeways, auto-dependency
and gated suburbs, some of which are named after communities in the San Fernando
Valley. And though this transformation from bicycle-commuting city to car-dependent




                                                                                                   9
metropolis has occurred in a single generation, Beijing already suffers traffic congestion so
severe that cars sometimes idle on the new freeways for hours, emitting tons of carbon-
based pollutants and producing classic smog. Surrounding Beijing are industrial parks that
combine the high-tech, trichloroethylene-emitting factories of Silicon Valley with the heavy
manufacturing, soot-saturated steel foundries of early 20th century Pittsburgh.


For a few precious weeks in July and August, this will all be shut down or severely
reduced. Because China hopes to impress the more than 2 billion television viewers gazing,
awe-struck, at the New China, other major cities in the country will be encouraged to lower
their pollution output as well.


It would be impossible to overstate the significance the Chinese leadership has placed on
the Olympics, and it is clear that the Communist Party simply will not allow carbon
monoxide, soot or smog to mar what it views as the most historic event of recent decades.


The scientific community should plan immediately to take advantage of this monumental
experiment, mobilizing to measure the effect by studying pollution levels before, during
and after the great shutdown. Congress and the European Union should allot emergency
funding to support NASA, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and European
Union satellite observations and air sampling from aircraft, documenting the effects not
only on China but on places as far away as Hawaii and Los Angeles.


Ground-level and high-elevation measurements of pollutants, including aerosolized soot,
should be taken all summer throughout Asia, particularly downwind from Beijing. Ozone,
carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide should be measured daily, perhaps even hourly, in the
U.S. and other locations deeply affected by Chinese pollution, such as Hong Kong, the
Maldives, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.


Public health experts should set up emergency-room monitoring inside Beijing and
regionally throughout the summer, watching for any declines in admissions for respiratory
ailments. Anthropologists and sociologists should set up cohorts of Beijing residents,
representing a broad social spectrum, analyzing their reactions to the shutdown. The data
should be archived and made public so researchers around the world can draw every
possible inference. The Google Foundation, Sir Richard Branson and other donors who
have made climate change a priority should step up to the plate, helping provide the
millions of dollars it will require to document this event.


It is probable that the Beijing shutdown will prove even more dramatic than the 1984 anti-
smog effort in L.A. Certainly the air pollution in Beijing is far worse than it was in Los
Angeles. But the effect of the shutdown on the political and economic policies of world
leaders cannot be measured without data.


If, as many scientists believe will be the case, the shutdown markedly reduces air pollution
levels across Asia and the Pacific, demonstrably reduces aerosol emissions that imperil the
survival of the Himalayan glaciers (and are breathed by billions of people across the globe)




                                                                                           10
and decreases hospital admissions for acute asthma in China and its neighbors, it may also
prove a turning point in world history.


This opportunity will go undocumented, however, unless the world community mobilizes
its scientific and funding resources immediately.


Laurie Garrett, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for her reporting on the Ebola virus, is a
senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Jane C.S. Long is associate director of
the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.



Xinhua: Desert expansion threatening China's most prestigious grottoes

Kumtag, China's sixth largest desert, is expanding by one to four meters eastward annually.
The expansion poses a threat to the Mogao Grottoes, also known as the Caves of 1,000
Buddhas, in northwestern Gansu Province.

The nearest floating desert dune is only five km away from Dunhuang City, where the
grottoes are located, said Gao Hua, head of the city tourism administration.

A scientific research group has just concluded China's first comprehensive environmental
survey of the stark desert. They found it to be expanding in all directions, posing direct
threats to the local grassland, oasis, nature reserves and the caves, which are a UNESCO-
listed world heritage site.

Fifteen Chinese scientists trekked across the desert for 14 days to collect first-hand
geological data, and to research hydrology, soil conditions, vegetation and environment in
the desert.

Wang Jihe, head of the Gansu Desertification Prevention Bureau and also a member of the
research group, told Xinhua that the desert is spreading its stretches of 2,500 square km
between Lop Nur of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Dunhuang
City.

Kumtag's means "sand hill" in Uygur. As its name suggests, it overhangs the small oasis in
Dunhuang, which has nurtured an ancient culture dating back to 336 AD in the arid region.

Monitoring by the Gansu Provincial Forestry Bureau shows that the desert has devoured 6.7
square km of arable land per year in Nanhu County, Dunhuang's fringe to confront the
desert invasion.

Dunhuang is a city of 31,200 square km, of which 90 percent has surrendered to
desertification.

The central and local governments for the reforestation and desert control have appropriated
funds to guard the ancient heritage sit. The effort, though, is weak, compared with the




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austere ecological degradation. The full-scale scientific research has been seen as an
important part of the integrated efforts to curb the desertification.

UNESCO listed the Mogao Grottoes, one of China's most popular tourist destinations, as a
world heritage site in 1987. Altogether 735 caves have been found and frescos on the inside
walls cover an area of 45,000 square meters. The caves also hold 2,400 colored Buddha
statues.

(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2007)


___________________________________________________________________
Reuters: Dozens killed in worst Vietnam floods in decades

Sun Oct 7, 2007 5:52am EDT
THANH HOA, Vietnam (Reuters) - More than 50 people were killed or missing after a
typhoon, floods and landslides cut power and closed roads in what officials in two Vietnam
provinces on Sunday described as some of the worst flooding in decades.


The government storm prevention committee said 37 people were killed and 15 missing.
State-run Vietnam Television reported 55 dead and missing in the aftermath of typhoon
Lekima, which slammed into several provinces on Wednesday night.


Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces in north-central Vietnam were hit hardest by torrential
rains and strong winds.


"This may be the worst flooding since 1945," said Phan Dang Khoa, a Communist Party
official in Thach Thanh district of Thanh Hoa where a dyke broke on the Buoi river,
causing extensive flooding.


Most of the houses in the area were submerged in water. Many people sat on rooftops with
their meagre belongings.


Helicopters have dropped dry food supplies such as instant noodles to stranded villagers.
The underdeveloped Southeast Asian country of 85 million faces up to 10 storms a year that
cause millions of dollars in damage and kill hundreds of people.


Lekima was the fifth of 2007, but flooding and landslides in the aftermath have been even
more devastating. The storm and floods destroyed about 100,000 homes mainly in central
provinces and 15,000 ha of rice crops.


The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Hanoi said some
people who were evacuated last week before the typhoon and returned home, had again
been evacuated.




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"The situation is worse than first estimated," said Irja Sandberg, country representative for
IFRC.
In Nghe An, large swathes of land were also inundated.


"We have not seen flooding like this in 20 years," Nghe An provincial official Nguyen
Xuan Hanh said by mobile phone. "It was so fast and so out of the blue."
A storm and subsequent floods in August killed nearly 80 people in several central
provinces, including Nghe An. At the time, officials said hundreds of thousands faced food
shortages.
___________________________________________________________________

WASHINGTON POST: Chill out. Stop fighting over global warming -- here's the
smart way to attack it.

By Bjorn Lomborg

Sunday, October 7, 2007; B01



All eyes are on Greenland's melting glaciers as alarm about global warming spreads. This
year, delegations of U.S. and European politicians have made pilgrimages to the fastest-
moving glacier at Ilulissat, where they declare that they see climate change unfolding
before their eyes.

Curiously, something that's rarely mentioned is that temperatures in Greenland were higher
in 1941 than they are today. Or that melt rates around Ilulissat were faster in the early part
of the past century, according to a new study. And while the delegations first fly into
Kangerlussuaq, about 100 miles to the south, they all change planes to go straight to
Ilulissat -- perhaps because the Kangerlussuaq glacier is inconveniently growing.

I point this out not to challenge the reality of global warming or the fact that it's caused in
large part by humans, but because the discussion about climate change has turned into a
nasty dustup, with one side arguing that we're headed for catastrophe and the other
maintaining that it's all a hoax. I say that neither is right. It's wrong to deny the obvious:
The Earth is warming, and we're causing it. But that's not the whole story, and predictions
of impending disaster just don't stack up.

We have to rediscover the middle ground, where we can have a sensible conversation. We
shouldn't ignore climate change or the policies that could attack it. But we should be honest
about the shortcomings and costs of those policies, as well as the benefits.

Environmental groups say that the only way to deal with the effects of global warming is to
make drastic cuts in carbon emissions -- a project that will cost the world trillions (the
Kyoto Protocol alone would cost $180 billion annually). The research I've done over the
last decade, beginning with my first book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist," has convinced
me that this approach is unsound; it means spending an awful lot to achieve very little.




                                                                                              13
Instead, we should be thinking creatively and pragmatically about how we could combat the
much larger challenges facing our planet.

Nobody knows for certain how climate change will play out. But we should deal with the
most widely accepted estimates. According to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC), ocean levels will rise between half a foot and two feet, with the
best expectation being about one foot, in this century, mainly because of water expanding
as it warms. That's similar to what the world experienced in the past 150 years.

Some individuals and environmental organizations scoff that the IPCC has severely
underestimated the melting of glaciers, especially in Greenland. In fact, the IPCC has
factored in the likely melt-off from Greenland (contributing a bit over an inch to sea levels
in this century) and Antarctica (which, because global warming also generally produces
more precipitation, will actually accumulate ice rather than shedding it, making sea levels
two inches lower by 2100). At the moment, people are alarmed by a dramatic increase in
Greenland's melting. This high level seems transitory, but if sustained it would add three
inches, instead of one, to the sea level rise by the end of the century.

A one-foot rise in sea level isn't a catastrophe, though it will pose a problem, particularly
for small island nations. But let's remember that very little land was lost when sea levels
rose last century. It costs relatively little to protect the land from rising tides: We can drain
wetlands, build levees and divert waterways. As nations become richer and land becomes a
scarcer commodity, this process makes ever more sense: Like our parents and grandparents,
our generation will ensure that the water doesn't claim valuable land.

The IPCC tells us two things: If we focus on economic development and ignore global
warming, we're likely to see a 13-inch rise in sea levels by 2100. If we focus instead on
environmental concerns and, for instance, adopt the hefty cuts in carbon emissions many
environmental groups promote, this could reduce the rise by about five inches. But cutting
emissions comes at a cost: Everybody would be poorer in 2100. With less money around to
protect land from the sea, cutting carbon emissions would mean that more dry land would
be lost, especially in vulnerable regions such as Micronesia, Tuvalu, Vietnam, Bangladesh
and the Maldives.

As sea levels rise, so will temperatures. It seems logical to expect more heat waves and
therefore more deaths. But though this fact gets much less billing, rising temperatures will
also reduce the number of cold spells. This is important because research shows that the
cold is a much bigger killer than the heat. According to the first complete peer-reviewed
survey of climate change's health effects, global warming will actually save lives. It's
estimated that by 2050, global warming will cause almost 400,000 more heat-related deaths
each year. But at the same time, 1.8 million fewer people will die from cold.

The Kyoto Protocol, with its drastic emissions cuts, is not a sensible way to stop people
from dying in future heat waves. At a much lower cost, urban designers and politicians
could lower temperatures more effectively by planting trees, adding water features and
reducing the amount of asphalt in at-risk cities. Estimates show that this could reduce the
peak temperatures in cities by more than 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Global warming will claim lives in another way: by increasing the number of people at risk
of catching malaria by about 3 percent over this century. According to scientific models,




                                                                                              14
implementing the Kyoto Protocol for the rest of this century would reduce the malaria risk
by just 0.2 percent.

On the other hand, we could spend $3 billion annually -- 2 percent of the protocol's cost --
on mosquito nets and medication and cut malaria incidence almost in half within a decade.
Malaria death rates are rising in sub-Saharan Africa, but this has nothing to do with climate
change and everything to do with poverty: Poor and corrupt governments find it hard to
implement and fund the spraying and the provision of mosquito nets that would help
eradicate the disease. Yet for every dollar we spend saving one person through policies like
the Kyoto Protocol, we could save 36,000 through direct intervention.

Of course, it's not just humans we care about. Environmentalists point out that magnificent
creatures such as polar bears will be decimated by global warming as their icy habitat melts.
Kyoto would save just one bear a year. Yet every year, hunters kill 300 to 500 polar bears,
according to the World Conservation Union. Outlawing this slaughter would be cheap and
easy -- and much more effective than a worldwide pact on carbon emissions.

Wherever you look, the inescapable conclusion is the same: Reducing carbon emissions is
not the best way to help the world. I don't point this out merely to be contrarian. We do
need to fix global warming in the long run. But I'm frustrated at our blinkered focus on
policies that won't achieve it.

In 1992, wealthy nations promised to cut emissions to 1990 levels by 2000. Instead,
emissions grew by 12 percent. In 1997, they promised to cut emissions to about 5 percent
below 1990 levels by 2010. Yet levels will likely be 25 percent higher than hoped for.

The Kyoto Protocol is set to expire in 2012. U.N. members will be negotiating its
replacement in Copenhagen by the end of 2009. Politicians insist that the "next Kyoto"
should be even tougher. But after two spectacular failures, we have to ask whether "let's try
again, and this time let's aim for much higher reductions" is the right approach.

Even if the policymakers' earlier promises had been met, they would have done virtually no
good, but would have cost us a small fortune. The climate models show that Kyoto would
have postponed the effects of global warming by seven days by the end of the century.
Even if the United States and Australia had signed on and everyone stuck to Kyoto for this
entire century, we would postpone the effects of global warming by only five years.

Proponents of pacts such as Kyoto want us to spend enormous sums of money doing very
little good for the planet a hundred years from now. We need to find a smarter way. The
first step is to start focusing our resources on making carbon emissions cuts much easier.

The typical cost of cutting a ton of CO2is currently about $20. Yet, according to a wealth of
scientific literature, the damage from a ton of carbon in the atmosphere is about $2.
Spending $20 to do $2 worth of good is not smart policy. It may make you feel good, but
it's not going to stop global warming.

We need to reduce the cost of cutting emissions from $20 a ton to, say, $2. That would
mean that really helping the environment wouldn't just be the preserve of the rich but could
be opened up to everyone else -- including China and India, which are expected to be the
main emitters of the 21st century but have many more pressing issues to deal with first.




                                                                                             15
The way to achieve this is to dramatically increase spending on research and development
of low-carbon energy. Ideally, every nation should commit to spending 0.05 percent of its
gross domestic product exploring non-carbon-emitting energy technologies, be they wind,
wave or solar power, or capturing CO2emissions from power plants. This spending could
add up to about $25 billion per year but would still be seven times cheaper than the Kyoto
Protocol and would increase global R&D tenfold. All nations would be involved, yet the
richer ones would pay the larger share.

We must accept that climate change is real and that we've helped cause it. There is no hoax.
But neither is there a looming apocalypse.

To some people, cutting carbon emissions has become the answer, regardless of the
question. Cutting emissions is said to be our "generational mission." But don't we want to
implement the most efficient policies first?

Combating the real climate challenges facing the planet -- malaria, more heat deaths,
declining polar bear populations -- often requires simpler, less glamorous policies than
carbon cuts. We also need to remember that the 21st century will hold many other
challenges, for which we need low-cost, durable solutions.

I formed the Copenhagen Consensus in 2004 so that some of the world's top economists
could come together to ask not only where we can do good, but at what cost, and to rank the
best things for the world to do first. The top priorities they've come up with are dealing with
infectious diseases, malnutrition, agricultural research and first-world access to third-world
agriculture. For less than a fifth of Kyoto's price tag, we could tackle all these issues.

Obviously we should also work on a long-term solution to climate change. Solving it will
take the better part of a century and will require a political will spanning political parties,
continents and generations. If we invest in research and development, we'll do some real
good in the long run, rather than just making ourselves feel good today.

But embracing the best response to global warming is difficult in the midst of bitter fighting
that shuts out sensible dialogue. So first, we really need to cool our debate.

Bjorn Lomborg, an adjunct professor

at the Copenhagen Business School,

is the author, most recently, of "Cool It:

The Skeptical Environmentalist's

Guide to Global Warming."

_________________________________________________________________________

IPS: CLIMATE CHANGE: Forests Join the Carbon Market

Zilia Castrillón* - IPS/IFEJ
BOSTON, Oct 6 (IPS) - With deforestation as the second leading source of climate-
changing greenhouse gas emissions, experts are focusing the discussion on the viability of
compensating countries for protecting their forests.




                                                                                                  16
The proposal "Reduced Emissions from Deforestation" (RED) was not included in the
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. But
now is being evaluated by scientists, companies and agencies in poor countries that have
extensive forested areas.

The CDM allows governments and corporations of industrialised countries (required under
the Protocol to cut greenhouse gas emissions) to meet part of their obligations by investing
in "clean" projects in developing countries, by which they obtain certificates of emissions
reductions -- at much lower cost than curbing emissions at home.

"Slowing emissions from deforestation would not stop climate change, but it could be an
important part of a many-part strategy," Christopher Field, head of the global ecology
department at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, said in an interview for this report.

RED emerged in 2005 at the 11th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention
on Climate Change, led by Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica, with support from the
Coalition for Rainforest Nations. Its aim is to include "avoided deforestation" in the global
market of carbon credits -- carbon dioxide being the principal greenhouse gas.

Implementation is expected to be finalized at the 13 Conference of Parties, to take place in
December on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Brazil, for its part, proposes a fund with voluntary contributions of public money to
compensate the effort made by developing countries to reduce deforestation, and that they
would be remunerated based on prevented emissions.

In the article "Tropical Forests and Climate Policy", published May 10 in "Science
Express" online magazine, Field and other researchers propose to slow the current pace of
deforestation 50 percent by the year 2050.

That would be the equivalent of 50 billion tonnes of carbon prevented from being released
into the atmosphere, or equal to six years of emissions of gases from fossil fuel combustion,
the experts say.

But that figure is meaningless, says to Almuth Ernsting, of the Britain-based Biofuelwatch
campaign. Because RED does not intend to stop industrial-scale logging, "there is growing
evidence that many rainforests, including the Amazon forest, will collapse well before the
destruction of a further 50 percent."

The Amazon is the forest ecosystem with the most carbon: 305 tonnes per hectare, of which
28 percent is in the soil, according to a 1998 study.

Its destruction would release 120 billion tonnes of carbon by 2050, which would be
catastrophic to the global climate, says Ernsting.

The transformation of natural ecosystems into farmland entails a loss of 75 percent of the
carbon in tropical soils. That implies between 18 and 20 percent of the total emissions from
deforestation, according to experts.




                                                                                              17
There is about twice as much carbon stored in forests and soils as exists in the atmosphere,
said William Moomaw, director of the Centre for International Environment and Resource
Policy, at Tufts University in the United States.

If one area is preserved, and another is deforested, how is this to be counted, asks Moomaw
by way of example. Planting trees in other areas to compensate for logging does not work
because it often is done in areas not apt for forests, he explained.

This problem has come up with tree plantations intended to absorb carbon, and could be
repeated in a scheme for reducing emissions from deforestation, say critics.

The carbon market helped finance monoculture plantations, and had negative results for the
soil, local communities, water resources and, ironically, carbon emissions, says
Biofuelwatch's Ernsting.

There is also concern about the difficulties in controlling changes in the carbon stores of
forests once the system is applied.

"Monitoring entails some costs, but existing satellite technologies make the challenge
relatively straightforward," says Field, of the Carnegie Institution.

National measurement systems can function, according to Moomaw. In the international
arena, the European Union, United States and Brazil would need to form a coordinated
satellite monitoring team, available for countries with few resources but rich in forests.

Compensation for avoided deforestation should reduce net emissions, encouraging a change
in international frameworks and adopting an emissions tariff for countries with little or no
historic deforestation, according to the study "No Forest Left Behind", published by
Conservation International in the Aug. 14 issue of the online journal Public Library of
Science - Biology. Countries with much forest and relatively little deforestation are: Belize,
Bhutan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, French Guiana, Gabon, Guyana,
Panama, Peru, Suriname and Zambia. Inhabited mostly by indigenous peoples, they would
enter the carbon market through "preventive credits" or compensation that they would
forfeit if there is an increase in loss of forest.

In order for the system to function equitably, it is important that local communities
participate, according to experts.

"The principle of avoided deforestation is not a bad principle, however the means through
which it could be realised are complex and fraught with unequal power relations," says
Helen Leake, of the non-governmental Forest Peoples Programme. "The devil is in the
details."
________________________________________________________________________

Miami Herald: Pumping iron into ocean gets chilly reception

Posted on Sun, Oct. 07, 2007
BY CURTIS MORGAN




                                                                                              18
The sturdy steel trawler spent the summer on Fort Lauderdale's New River, but the
sheltered waters haven't kept the company that owns it from an international storm of
controversy over whether its owners' real aim is to help save the planet or just turn a profit.

Planktos, a small California company, intends to spread as much as 100 tons of pulverized
iron over the Pacific Ocean off the Galapagos Islands, hoping it will fertilize a rich crop of
carbon dioxide-gobbling plankton.

Chief executive Russ George touts the experimental technique, called iron-seeding, as a
tonic for the environmental epidemics of collapsing fisheries, ocean acidification and, most
critically, global warming. If the sea blooms as expected, Planktos aims to cash in by
selling ''carbon-offset'' credits to industrial polluters.
''Our company motto is: Save the world, make a little money along the way,'' said George,
during a tour of Weatherbird II, a 135-foot working vessel largely inconspicuous among
yachts docked nearby.

Ship and crew have been quietly holed up in Fort Lauderdale marinas for months awaiting
new research gear, and could embark ''any day now,'' George said. But its maiden voyage
has been repeatedly postponed amid a wave of questions from environmentalists, scientists
and government regulators from Washington to Ecuador.
Lisa Speer, who directs ocean programs for the Natural Resources Defense Council,
summed up the concerns about the voyage as too many questions and too little oversight.

WHO'S IN CHARGE?

''This whole area is just totally unregulated. The history of the world is replete with
unintended consequences of activities and experiments,'' said Speer, who attended a
conference last week at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, which
was sparked by the company's plan.

Others fear the push for profit could trump scientific prudence.
''I question whether or not this is even an actual scientific solution in any way or just a
money-making scheme,'' said George Kimbrell, an attorney for the International Center for
Technology Assessment, a Washington group that monitors emerging technology.
On its website, Planktos bills its ''voyage of recovery'' as a win-win endeavor that would
slow global warming, restore depleted plankton and revive sick seas -- all while allowing
savvy investors to tap into ``the planet's hottest topic.''

Some have greeted those claims with considerable skepticism, including the managers of
Galapagos National Park, who branded the plan ''scientifically dubious, environmentally
dangerous and capable of altering marine food chains.'' One environmental group, Sea
Shepherd, is threatening to intercept the Weatherbird II at sea if it approaches the sensitive
archipelago.

Ocean-seeding isn't new.
There is no dispute that iron, typically distributed in dust storms, is a key nutrient for
phytoplankton, the microscopic plants at the base of ocean food chains. Over the past 20
years, researchers have conducted a dozen seeding experiments, mostly in the iron-poor
Pacific, where plankton has sharply declined.




                                                                                             19
But George's bloom could be 10 times larger than anything done before and the first
triggered for commercial gain. And the company is not alone in aiming to capitalize on
global climate concerns.

Several other companies are trolling similar ''geo-engineering'' plans in Planktos' wake,
lured by an emerging market in carbon credits. Under international climate treaties,
industries don't necessarily have to reduce existing emissions of carbon dioxide, a prime
global warming gas. They can meet stiffening standards by buying ''offset'' credits from
other businesses that have reduced or can capture the pollutant.
While the carbon-trading market is tiny in the United States, which currently isn't a party to
the treaties, it's already worth hundreds of millions in Europe. Capturing carbon dioxide
now fetches around $5 a ton, a figure George predicts will multiply.
The company also hopes to profit from planting forests in Europe in addition to what
George calls ''ocean reforestation'' -- a strategy reflected in the slogan across the back of his
companyissued T-shirt: ``I restore trees and seas.''

''It's the classic biotech startup. Our project is following exactly in the footsteps of the
scientific community's recommendations,'' George said. 'We're gardening in the ocean.' ''
His view is not shared by many environmental groups, which warn of unforeseen ripple
effects -- from radically altered mixes of plankton to uncontrolled blooms sucking oxygen
out of the seas and killing marine life.
Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at Woods Hole who organized the conference, said there's
no doubt Planktos can turn the ocean green, but there are questions about side-effects, good
and bad.

''If you add too much iron, you actually kill phytoplankton. If there is not enough, they don't
grow,'' he said. ``It's a delicate balance.''
There's also dispute, he said, both about the capacity of blooms to absorb carbon and the
capabilities to measure how much carbon is ''sequestered,'' or stays put, as the dying algae
sinks in ocean depths -- a key to selling carbon credits. Some research suggests seeding
could worsen things by producing a plethora of tiny critters that emit even more
troublesome gases like methane.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calls iron-seeding a
''speculative'' strategy. At the same time, many scientists and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency endorse continued, but closely monitored, research.
Further clouding the water is the fact that no one knows for sure what, if any, regulatory
body can monitor Planktos or other companies operating on the high seas.
Speer of the NRDC said laws must be quickly clarified to control expanding commercial
experimentation. ``This is just a harbinger of things to come. Nobody has any authority to
control what this guy is doing out there.''
Earlier this year, the Center for Technology Assessment wrote the EPA urging that Planktos
be forced to apply for a permit under federal ocean dumping laws.

EPA SHARES CONCERNS

EPA spokeswoman Enesta Jones replied to questions with an agency statement that the
United States shares international concerns that large-scale seeding be carefully evaluated.
But the EPA has no jurisdiction over Planktos, the statement said, because it won't be using
a U.S.-flagged vessel to dump the iron.




                                                                                               20
The Weatherbird II would carry the company's team of scientists, George said, but not iron
ore. The ship would do its work some 350 miles from the Galapagos, George said, with
monitoring of the effects meeting strict scientific standards mandated by the European
financial markets.

George dismisses what he calls scare tactics from ''environmentalist extremists'' and
academics protecting research grants.
He accused his critics of dithering while oceans die before their eyes from rising acid levels
and plummeting populations of fish and plankton -- conditions he contends Planktos could
help reverse.

''If the very bottom of the food chain is destroyed in this century, what does that mean in the
ocean? It means all the fish disappear,'' he said. ``That's a level of crisis far beyond the level
of global warming.''
________________________________________________________________________

BangokPost : Global solutions to climate change need Asian support but development
goals cannot be jeopardised

In the second of a two-part series of articles on the ongoing debate about climate change,
and what developing countries such as India and China should do to meet demands by
developed economies for cuts in greenhouse gases, Alan Oxley discusses ways that could
be used to find the middle ground for both parties.Asia has a key role to play in the search
for a replacement to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. This search has just been
initiated by Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

No global solution is possible without Asia's support. Nor is a solution achievable unless
Asian governments can continue to pursue pro-growth and development policies.

The climate change debate is very political. The widespread concern about global warming
has been exploited to push for dramatic action. Former US Vice President Al Gore is now
urging global greenhouse gas emissions to be cut by 90% by 2050. This would bring the
global economy to its knees.

No new climate change strategy can be assembled unless the politics are cut through. This
requires three realities to be accepted. First, emissions of greenhouse gases will have to
increase for some time yet. Second, there is no magic wand that can be waved to create an
energy resource to replace coal and oil. And, third, there is time to get this right.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has estimated world consumption of energy will
increase by 60% by 2030. This means a significant increase in greenhouse gases. China
predicts it will be the world's biggest emitter by then.

The growth in demand for energy will be driven by increased growth in Asia, particularly
from China and India. More than one billion people in those economies live on less than
one dollar day. Continued economic growth is the only means of lifting them out of
poverty.




                                                                                               21
A report by China's National Reform and Development Commission in June acknowledged
no country has ever raised living standards while at the same time having low rates of
energy consumption.

If industrialised economies cut emissions by 20% by 2020 as proposed by the European
Union, it would be swamped by the greater increase in emissions from the faster growing
economies of China and India. If the industrialised countries cut deeper, they would reduce
world growth. This would hurt the developing world because it depends on trade with
industrialised economies.

The only way a global strategy can be built is on acceptance of the idea that global
emissions will have to increase in the short term.


Groups such as Greenpeace say that we have to switch from fossil fuels, to solar and wind
power, but don't be fooled; neither can produce the power needed at a comparable price to
raise global living standards. This is to argue that the only way to reduce greenhouses gases
is to raise the cost of energy; the effect of which would be to cut economic growth.

We can take practical steps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, but there is no way we
can replace fossil fuel as the leading source of energy in the foreseeable future.

Yet the calls by Greenpeace and Al Gore for early and dramatic change are headed by
others. Sir Nicholas Stern, the British economist, in a report commissioned by the British
government, asserted that if urgent action were not taken, the cost to developing countries
would be much greater in the future when the full impact of climate change was felt.

The economics underpinning Sir Nicholas's argument has largely been discredited by
leading economists such as the former chief economist at the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The mainstream economic view supports those such as Prof William Nordhaus of Yale
University, one of the United States' leading economists on climate change. He argues that
slow, gradual measures to cut emissions are all that is required in early years. Measures that
reduce growth today will harm developing countries more than waiting until they can afford
more costly measures.

There is a clear economic cost, the brunt of which would be felt by developing countries, by
taking dramatic action now. The Kyoto Protocol failed because in order to succeed in the
future, it required all countries to raise energy costs, which would have impeded growth.
There are other ways to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

So what can be done? The Asia Pacific Partnership (Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea
and the United States) is developing options to cut emissions in ways that do not impede
growth. Their strategies eschew the top-down bureaucratic approach favored by Kyoto.
Instead, solutions are sought from the ground up and embrace cutting-edge technologies.
For example, research by the International Council for Capital Formation, based in
Brussels, shows that China could reduce emissions by half if it adopted the power-
generating equipment used by Japan.




                                                                                           22
A global consensus to address climate change can be constructed if it provides countries
with flexible arrangements to tackle emissions, not one way like Kyoto. A report published
by World Growth suggests a multi-track approach is a better way, under which
governments can build national strategies to foster energy efficiency, cut energy intensity
and promote introduction of improved technology. If Europe wants to, it can continue to set
mandated targets for itself.

Europe's global initiative on climate change was the Kyoto strategy but it failed because it
was anti-growth. Now pro-growth economies are jumping into the driver's seat. If Europe is
willing to work with the US, China and other Asian economies, an effective long-term
strategy will win global support.

Alan Oxley is the chairman of World Growth, a non-governmental organisation that
released the report 'Building a Global Pro-Development Strategy on Climate Change' at the
Apec Summit in Australia. He is a former chairman of the GATT, the predecessor of the
WTO.


BBC: Agency schedules flood meetings

Drop-in sessions are being held in Gloucestershire so victims of the summer floods can
voice their concerns.

The Environment Agency has organised the meetings on Monday at Bishops Cleeve
Primary School near Cheltenham.

An inquiry into the flooding - which left 350,000 without clean water - is being held by the
county council.

Staff will answer questions about the clean-up operations and flood prevention plans.
Officials also want to see photographs of the floods.

_________________________________________________________________________




                                                                                          23
.
                                   ROAP Media Update
                                     5 October 2007




                                 UNEP or UN in the news

   UNEP-Scoops : Kenya Waste Dump Poses Health Hazard To Kids
   UNEP-Scoops : UN Honours Awarded To Disaster Prevention Experts
   UNEP-DNA : Do your bid for environment, show your good work on the net
   UNEP- Deccan Herald : Indian academician pushes UN for creation of UNEPO
   UNEP/Google-Media for Freedom : UN-backed 'Clean Up the World Weekend' moves
    into cyberspace
   UNEP-Press TV: World moves into ecological overdraft
   UN-Habitat- Ceylon Daily News : World Habitat Day : ‗A Safe City is a Just City‘



General Environment News

   BANGLADESH-The Daily Star : Farmers in hills benefit at cost of ecology
   CHINA-China IIC : Bid for better environment means chances
   CHINA- China IIC : Environmental evaluations to be imposed on coastal projects
   CHINA- China IIC : 3,000 people taming forest fires in northeast China
   CHINA-China IIC : Combating climate change: China goes on offensive
   CHINA- China IIC : Cities gear up treatment of wastewater for "green" life
   CHINA- China IIC : 1 million evacuated for tropical storm Krosa
   INDIA-Times of India : Two of planet's most polluted spots in India
   INDONESIA-Radio NZ : Indonesian villagers prepare for possible eruption
   JAPAN- The Yomiuri Shimbun : Utilities to up emissions credit buys
   MALAYSIA-The Star : Sarawak on alert for possibility of haze


                                 UNEP or UN in the news


UNEP-Scoops : Kenya Waste Dump Poses Health Hazard To Kids
Monday, 8 October 2007, Press Release: United Nations

Kenya: waste dump poses health hazard to children, UN agency warns
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today warned that a large waste
dump located in Kenya is posing a serious threat to children living nearby and pledged its
assistance to help reduce the hazard.




                                                                                             24
Citing the results of a study it commissioned of 328 children up to the age of 18 around the
Dandora Municipal Dumping Site, the agency said half had concentrations of lead in their
blood exceeding internationally accepted levels, while 42 per cent of soil samples recorded
lead levels almost 10 times higher than what is considered unpolluted soil. Almost half of
the children tested were suffering from respiratory diseases, including chronic bronchitis
and asthma.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said the results were worse than expected. "We
had anticipated some tough and worrisome findings, but the actual results are even more
shocking than we had imagined at the outset," he said.

He also drew broader conclusions about problems of waste management in poor countries.
"The Dandora site may pose some special challenges for the city of Nairobi and Kenya as a
nation. But it is also a mirror to the condition of rubbish sites across many parts of Africa
and other urban centres of the developing world."

Mr. Steiner said UNEP stands ready to assist the local and national authorities in the search
for improved waste management systems and strategies including ones that generate
sustainable and healthier jobs in the waste-handling and recycling sectors.

The 30-acre large Dandora dumping site receives 2,000 tonnes of rubbish every day,
including plastics, rubber and lead paint treated wood, generated by some 4.5 million
people living in the Kenyan capital. The study also found evidence of the presence of
hazardous waste, such as chemical and hospital waste, on the dumpsite.

Every day, scores of people, including children, from the nearby slums and low-income
residential areas use the dump to find food, recyclables and other valuables they can sell as
a source of income, at the same time inhaling the noxious fumes from routine waste burning
and methane fires, UNEP said.

"We have been witnessing an alarming situation regarding Dandora children's health:
asthma, anaemia and skin infections are by now endemic. These abnormalities are linked to
the environment around the dumping site, and are exacerbated by poverty, illiteracy and
malnutrition. Since waste dumping is unrestricted and unmanaged, people are also at risk
from contracting blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS," said Njoroge
Kimani, principal investigator and author of the report.

According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), a quarter of all diseases affecting
humankind are attributable to environmental risks with children more vulnerable than
adults. Among children under age five, environmentally-related illnesses are responsible for
more than 4.7 million deaths annually. Twenty-five per cent of deaths in developing
countries are related to environmental factors, compared with 17 per cent of deaths in the
developed world.

"The children of Dandora, Kenya, Africa and the world deserve better than this. We can no
longer afford rubbish solutions to the waste management crisis faced in far too many cities,
especially in the developing world," said Mr. Steiner.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0710/S00185.htm
……………………………………….




                                                                                           25
UNEP-Scoops : UN Honours Awarded To Disaster Prevention Experts
Monday, 8 October 2007, Press Release: United Nations

Prestigious UN honours awarded to disaster prevention experts
A Japanese professor who educates both the Government and the public on practical skills
for disaster risk reduction and an engineer from Grenada and Barbados focusing on
building safety are recipients of this year's prestigious United Nations Sasakawa Award for
Disaster Reduction.

"The award recognizes the efforts of these individuals - both trained as engineers - to
communicate effectively on hazard and risk-related issues with a wide range of
stakeholders including social scientists, engineers, architects and decision-makers as well as
the general public," said Salvano Briceño, director of the Geneva-based secretariat of the
UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).

"Their ability to bridge the gaps between science and practice has brought disaster risk
reduction closer to people's daily's lives."

Kyoto University Professor Yoshiaki Kawata, who specializes in disaster risk reduction,
has been selected for the honor for his promotion of research and knowledge about past
disasters.

According to the ISDR, he has highlighted the lessons learned from the Great Hanshin
Awaji, or Kobe, Earthquake which took over 6,400 lives and is one of the most devastating
earthquakes in Japanese history.

Mr. Kawata has dedicated much of the past three decades raising public awareness of
disasters; in 2002, he founded the Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
and established the Kobe Disaster Reduction Museum to educate both the public and local
governments in practical knowledge and skills.

A pioneer in advancing safe architectural and designs to resist natural hazards, Tony Gibbs
works as an advisor for the UN and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
Disaster Mitigation Advisory Group on hospital safety.

He has made significant contribution to hazard awareness and disaster risk reduction n the
Caribbean and throughout the Americas, according to ISDR. He has also focused on
designing structures to protect hospitals against wind and earthquakes, influencing
standards and advances in building design worldwide.

Aside from these achievements, Mr. Gibbs is also being awarded the prize for his advocacy
and leadership role in sharing knowledge with engineers, architects, builders and the public.

A Sasakawa Certificate of Distinction was also awarded to ActionAid International, a South
African non-governmental organization (NGO) for its role in incorporating disaster risk
reduction and the Hyogo Framework - which offers a number of concrete steps to make
communities and nations more resilient to any type of disaster - into is sustainable
development activities.




                                                                                           26
The Social Action Centre in the Philippines, La Red Habitat en Riesgo in Argentina and the
South African Disaster Mitigation for Sustainable Livelihoods Programme are being
recognized for their efforts with Sasakawa Certificates of Merit.

The UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction, along with the UN World Health
Organization (WHO) Sasakawa Health Prize and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
Sasakawa Environment Prize, was established in 1986 by the Nippon Foundation in Japan.
Laureates are selected by the UN Sasakawa jury, comprising representatives from the five
continents.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0710/S00188.htm

………………………………………..

UNEP-DNA : Do your bid for environment, show your good work on the net
PTI, Sunday, October 07, 2007

NEW DELHI: Cleanup your backyard and let people know about it through Google!

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and internet search giant Google
have joined hands to launch a "Think globally act locally" campaign wherein people across
the planet cleaning up their area will share the result with millions of people on the internet.

During the International Cleanup weekend on October 13-14, jointly launched by the
UNEP and Google, community groups and individuals on every continent will be heading
out in small groups with friends and family to clean up their local parks, beaches, streets
and neighbourhood.

Under this initiative, their activities and results will make history by being posted as photos
and videos on Google map, giving a global platform to local initiative, Achim Steiner,
Under Secretary General and UNEP's executive director said in a statement here.

"The idea is to match the power of local community action with the power of the world
wide web. This should make a formidable partnership, uniting and empowering groups
from Bangalore to Bermuda and Berlin to Beijing in common cause," he added.

The partnership with one of the largest search engines would help make the world become
more "clean" and "green," Ashbindu Singh, regional coordinator of UNEP for North
America, said here.
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1126043
……………………………

UNEP- Deccan Herald : Indian academician pushes UN for creation of UNEPO

New Delhi, PTI: Desai said India should play a leading role in the UN in energising UNEP
to function effectively as the global environment conscience. The proposal has been
forwarded to the UN General Assembly for consideration. The existing structure dwarfs the
role of UNEP, it should be upgraded...

A Delhi-based professor has submitted a proposal to the United Nations for upgrading its
Environment Programme into a full fledged organisation to deal with related matters.




                                                                                             27
Bharat Desai, who holds the Jawaharlal Nehru chair in International Environmental Law
Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, has also suggested making the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP) into a more authoritative organisation with a secure
mandate and proper funding.

"The existing UNEP is merely a subsidiary organ of United Nations General Assembly, it
lacks the legal authority of an 'organisation' like other UN bodies," he said.

Desai said India should play a leading role in the UN in energising UNEP to function
effectively as the global environment conscience. The proposal has been forwarded to the
UN General Assembly for consideration.

The existing structure dwarfs the role of UNEP, it should be upgraded to United Nations
Environment Protection Organisation (UNEPO), he said.

Desai has been invited to an informal consultative process on International Environment
Governance launched by UNGA, for "in-depth" discussion about his proposal titled
"UNEP: A Global Environment Authority?"

If Desai's proposal finds its way, it will give the UNEP the organisational capacity to
address wide ranging environmental threats.

Like other UN organisations, the new agency, can have separate councils for Science and
Technology, Environmental Policy and Law, and Environmental Relief Council which will
mark a new chapter in the current international environment governance scene. PTI VU
SKU LMS ZH 10070957 DEL
http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Oct72007/national2007100729249.asp?section=upd
atenews
………………………………………

UNEP/Google-Media for Freedom : UN-backed 'Clean Up the World Weekend' moves
into cyberspace

When 35 million volunteers around the planet take part in the annual United Nations-
backed "Clean Up the World Weekend" next weekend, their activities will for the first time
also break into cyberspace with photos and videos posted onto Google Map under a new
agreement announced today, giving a global platform to every local initiative.

"The power of local community action is being matched by the power of the World Wide
Web," said UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner,
whose agency has been organizing the event since 1993 with volunteers picking up trash on
beaches, in villages and other sites, from Australia's Sydney Harbour to Rio de Janeiro's
Copacabana Beach.

"This should make a formidable partnership uniting and empowering groups from
Bangalore to Bermuda and Berlin to Beijing in common cause," he added of the initiative
with the giant Internet search engine.




                                                                                           28
"Let us hope this global Google community's effort may go further and persist beyond the
International Cleanup Weekend. It may evolve into a new forum and network for ideas
sharing on a wide range of challenges from local cleanups to community-based solutions to
such pressing issues as climate change."

The "Clean Up the World Weekend," held this year on 13 and 14 October, is led by
Sydney-based Ian Kiernan, who set out to clean up Sydney Harbour after a yacht race left
him appalled by the amount of rubbish choking the world's oceans.

Joint action on the International Cleanup Weekend is part of a series of projects between
UNEP and Google Inc. Last year, Google Earth featured "UNEP: Atlas of our Changing
Environment," offering satellite images of 100 environmental hotspots from around the
world and showing the dangers facing them.

UNEP and Google encourage everyone to plan their own cleanup close to home, wherever
they think there is the biggest need for it.
http://www.mediaforfreedom.com/ReadArticle.asp?ArticleID=4860
…………………………………

UNEP-Press TV: World moves into ecological overdraft

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 - The New Economics Foundation think-tank has said the world is moving
into 'ecological overdraft', 3 days earlier than the last year.

Since humanity began to live beyond its environmental means in the 1980s, the Ecological
Debt Day had moved steadily backwards each year.

―If everyone in the world had the same consumption rates as in the United States it would
take 5.3 planet earths to support them,‖ NEF announced noting that the figure was 3.1 for
France and Britain, 3.0 for Spain, 2.5 for Germany and 2.4 for Japan.

'Ecological overdraft' is the point at which human consumption exceeds the ability of the
earth to sustain it in any year and goes into the red, Reuters reported.

The NEF report will be a diplomatic momentum for UN environment ministers meeting in
December to agree on a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol on curbing climate change
expiring in 2012.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=26055&sectionid=3510208
……………………………….

UN-Habitat- Ceylon Daily News : World Habitat Day : ‘A Safe City is a Just City’

BASIC RIGHTS: The United Nations celebrates ‗World Habitat Day‘ since 1985 on the
first Monday in October of each year to focus the state of human settlements and the basic
rights to adequate shelter for all. This occasion has been celebrated on several themes by
the UN-Habitat. This year it has been decided to celebrate the ―World Habitat Day‖ on the
theme of ‗A Safe City is a Just City‘.

The safety of city has been threatened due to the following facts.




                                                                                            29
* Insecurity due to crime and violence

* Forced eviction and insecurity of tenure

* Natural and man-made disasters including climatic changes.

The combination of these threats to urban settlements poses a great challenge to both
national and city governments.

Urbanisation is a positive development factor. If properly managed it can help reduce
poverty by providing adequate shelter through a gender sensitive and participatory
approach. It can give communities access to services, infrastructure, governance, security
and employment opportunities.

But in both urban and rural areas of developing countries, properly managed urbanisation
requires tremendous improvements and much needs to be done to reach minimum standards
on services, infrastructure and housing as well as in local governance, gender development
and security of tenure.

According to UN-HABITAT slum population in urban areas of the developing regions of
the world estimated at more than 870 million in 2001. This figure is expected to increase by
over 560 million by the year 2020, representing an average of 29 million . of new slum
dwellers per year.

Currently 78.2 percent of the urban population in the world‘s least developed countries live
in slums. 71.9 per cent in Sub Sahara Africa and 43 per cent in developing regions.

Figures published by the UNDP Human Development Report 2004, shows that in the least
developed countries, 38 per cent of the population requires sustainable access to improved
sanitation, while 38 per cent still require sustainable access to an improved water source.

Efforts to improve the living conditions of those and the needy are focused on urban slums.
But these efforts have been failed to deliver improvements at the rate slums are expanding.
In addition, the urbanization needs of rural populations have been neglected, leading to
increased rural urban migration and poor living conditions in urban centres.

In terms of process, urban plans were designed by bureaucrats and experts, generally
ignoring political and social dynamics of the city. City planning is a top-down technocratic
exercise, not too different from economics plannings.

* In terms of product, urban plans were essentially spatial zoning and land use maps, not
associated with investment planning and resource mobilisation.

* In terms of implementation, urban planning was generally blind on institutional issues
such as the relationship between sectoral ministries, and between central and local
governments.

It does not associate with long-term goals with daily city management constrains and short
term priorities.




                                                                                             30
* In terms of strategy, urban planning tried to go around the need for policy and legal
reforms, and often unquestioningly accepted existing situations. Consequently, it failed to
address the root courses of many urban problems.

As a result of these limitations, most master plans were simply not implemented.

The international debt crisis of the early 1980s dealt a fatal blow to traditional urban
planning as Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) were implemented in many
developing countries.

Under SAPs governments had to slash social spending, including the basic services in order
to repay their debt. As there were no other plan Urban Planning became relevant planning
came back through the environmental window in conjunction with the earth.

Urban planning and subsequently introduced participatory planning and management as an
elements of good urban governance. This new planning was expected to meet the following
criteria.

* In terms of process of urban plans should be prepared in democratic way, involving civil
society organisations and all concerned stake-holders. Experts should mainly play a
facilitating role.

* In terms of product strategic plans or city development strategies should replace master
plans. The forces should be on a shared vision for the city (linking social development,
economic productivity and environmental protection) and on multi partner action plans to
translate this vision in to reality by addressing priority issues.

* In terms of implementation, local authorities should be in the driving seat as the level of
government closest to the citizens.

Powers and resources should be decentralized and local capacities strengthened. Planning
and urban management should be closely integrated.

* In terms of strategy planning, it should be considered as a tool, its effectiveness
dependent directly on the quality of the urban governance system. Good governance and
appropriate urban policy should almost automatically lead to good planning.

The urban management program and the sustainable cities program, have demonstrated that
this new type of city planning is feasible provided it is focused locally-owned and
politically supported. However, it seems too early to claim that a urban planning is back on
the global development scene.

The new planning approach promoted by international organisations and already adapted by
several developed countries is complex process requiring a lot of discussions, commitment
and continuity it leadership and adequate capacities at different levels. This process is
hardly affordable by least developed countries (LDCs) which lack institutional capacities,
financial resources and often clear policies.

The challenge therefore is to identify and promote a minimalist approach to urban planning.
It is an approach that would generally respect the above mentioned criteria.




                                                                                              31
While simultaneously focusing on very few top priorities considered as essential for
guiding urban development. This concept could be called ―Affordable Participatory
Planning‖ by definition the mineralized planning approach should not be comprehensive
but selective.

* The process should mobilised civil society and political organisations in the definition on
the vision (―The City We Want‖) and priority areas (Hot Spots) through popular
consultations.

* In terms of product, priorities should be given for infrastructural development
emphasising (specially in LDCs) on primary road and water networks and on pricing and
municipal finance.

* Implementation should include a strong component on institutional strengthening,
particularly at the local level.

* The strategy should preferably be associated with a review/reform of urban governance
legislation, rules and practices.

Of course minimal planning requires maximum political commitment to ensure impact and
sustainability with such commitment, urban planning can certainly become affordable and
useful. But planners should also accept to play a more modest and more targeted role in the
management of urban affairs.

The writer is the Senior Manager Housing Development, Housing Development Division
National Housing Development Authority
http://www.dailynews.lk/2007/10/06/fea01.asp



                                General Environment News


BANGLADESH-The Daily Star : Farmers in hills benefit at cost of ecology
Cultivation of vegetables and spices on Khagrachhari hill slopes causes massive soil
erosion, destroys bio-diversity

Jashim Majumder, Khagrachhari

Vegetable growers in the district are happy with high prices of their produce. They benefit,
but at the cost of ecology.

They choose hill slopes for growing summer vegetable in rainy season. They clear forests
and shrubs and till the lands, which causes massive soil erosion, thereby destroying the
natural conditions of hills.

Besides change in the ecology, destruction of forests and soil erosion may cause catastrophe
like massive landslides, officials of Agriculture Extension Department (AED) said.




                                                                                           32
Landslides triggered by heavy rains killed so many people in Chittagong during the current
rainy season, they said.

AED officials in Manikchhari said vegetable cultivation on hill slopes is increasing in the
upazila as farmers are earning good profit from it. Vegetables produced in Manikchhari
upazila are also sent to other district and exported, they said.

They said vegetables and spices brought hefty gains for both Bangalee and indigenous
farmers this year because of high prices of the items. This will expand their cultivation in
the hill slopes, the officials said.

This correspondent visited at 10 villages in Manikchhari and Dudukchhari upazilas and
talked to farmers. They said this year, vegetable prices were more than double the prices of
previous years.

According to Manikchhari AED officials, at least 15,000 farmers are involved in vegetable
cultivation in the upazila, which benefit around 30,000 people directly or indirectly.

Vegetable cultivation on hill slopes in the upazila covered at least 2451 hectares in
Manikchhari upazila alone, the officials said.

Farmer Abdul Karim in Gachchhabil village said, he got very good prices for vegetables
this year due to flood. But last year, most of the vegetables he produced perished due to
transportation problem and lack of storage facilities, he said.

Hasan Mia of remote Hathimura village said good prices this year have become a boost for
many in his village, who are planning to expand vegetable cultivation.

This correspondent asked the farmers whether they are aware of the problem that may be
caused by the massive soil erosion in hills. They said they are not aware of the it.

Jum cultivation in eight upazilas in Khagrachhari, mainly by indigenous people by clearing
forests, also damages bio-diversity and destroys sanctuaries of birds and animals.

AED sources said, due to favorable weather, indigenous farmers brought 5411.77 acres of
lands on hill slopes in the district under jum cultivation in the current season, according to
Babatosh Chakrabarti, Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer (SAAO) of District AED.

Of the total lands, 753.35 acres were brought under jum cultivation in Khagrachhari, 839.8
in Panchhari, 864.5 in Dighinala, 1111.5 in Mohalchhari, 494 in Matiranga upazila, 271.7
in Ramghor, 172.9 in Manikchhari and 889.2 acres in Laxmichhari upazila, he said.

Jum farnmers produced 2839 tonnes of rice and vegetables in the current season.

Another SAAO, Pranab Barua, said jum cultivation washes away the micronutrients of soil
which caused massive soil erosion. He claimed that the unprecedented floods in Chittagong
Hill Tracts (CHT) this year was caused mainly due to soil erosion.




                                                                                               33
Pradip Chowdhury, Programme Supervisor of Center for Sustainable Development
(CFSD), said Jumm cultivation is profitable for farmers but it is responsible for extinction
of wildlife.

The government should take note of the situation and find out alternatives to avoid natural
disaster, he said.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Shah-E-Alam said most of the unclassified forests were
wiped out due to jum cultivation.

Such damage to bio-diversity may bring natural disaster in the region some day, he said.

Manikchhari Upazila Agriculture Officer Mohammad Zahedul Islam said besides soil
erosion, vegetable and spices cultivation need chemical fertilizer and insecticide, which
also damage the environment.

He said they are trying to make farmers aware of the problem. Among all crops, cultivation
of aram in hill slopes is very much destructive though it benefits farmers, he said.

Deputy Director (DD) of Khagrachhari DAE T M Monjurul Islam said farmers are getting
bumper yields and good prices due to soil fertility and favorable weather condition. But this
may bring a disaster in the long run, he added.

Farmers should cultivate lands in a way that there is least soil erosion. Vegetable cultivation
can not be stopped. He said the AED will launch an awareness campaign to make farmers
cautious about the problem.

Policy makers at higher level should take note of the problem and take up long term
programmes to evolve alternatives, he said.
http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=7083
……………………………………….

CHINA-China IIC : Bid for better environment means chances

China's current drive for an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly society will bring
business opportunities worth up to US$300 billion in the coming five years, said a senior
Chinese trade official.

Wei Jianguo, deputy minister of commerce, said the figure indicated that 30 percent of
worldwide orders for energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly technologies and
equipments would come from China.

In its 2006-2010 action plan for energy efficiency and pollution reduction made public last
April, China vowed to cut its per-unit energy consumption by around 20 percent during the
five year period, and discharge of pollutants by 10 percent.

China also plans to lower its per-unit water consumption by 30 percent and recycle at least
60 percent of its solid waste by 2010.




                                                                                            34
Nationwide efforts have been launched to phase out outdated power generator and steel and
iron plants as they are inefficient in energy use.

China has pulled down 253 outdated small and coal-fired power generator units across the
country during the first nine months of this year, which have a combined generating
capacity of 9.03 million kilowatts.

By replacing them with larger and efficient power generators, the moves would save China
13.5 million tons of coal each year, while reducing emission of 27 million tons of carbon
dioxide.

Meanwhile, officials with China's National Development and Reform Commission
(NDRC), which is responsible for the national energy conservation program, said China
will import a considerable amount of technologies and equipments to realize its five-year
energy efficiency and environmental protection targets.

They said China hoped to expand its cooperation in that regard with other countries,
including Japan, which is renowned for its resource-efficient technology and equipment.

Addressing the Second China-Japan Forum on Energy Conservation and Environmental
Protection last week, Ma Kai, minister of the NDRC, said the Chinese government is ready
to formulate policies, promote projects and build a technology transfer system between the
two countries' private enterprises.

Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Amari Akira said at the two-day forum
that Japan is ready to share its experience with China in the field.

More than 500 officials, experts and entrepreneurs from Japan participated in the forum,
and ten agreements have been signed between enterprises and local governments of the two
countries.

During the forum, the NDRC released guidelines defining the key cooperation subjects,
including 23 technologies in energy efficiency, nine for water saving, 18 in resource
utilization and 13 in environmental protection.

This forum was co-hosted by China's NDRC and Ministry of Commerce, and Japan's
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Japan-China Association on Economy and
Trade.

The first forum took place in Tokyo in May last year.
http://www.china.org.cn/english/environment/227097.htm
…………………………………………..

CHINA-China IIC : Environmental evaluations to be imposed on coastal projects

China's environment watchdogs have amended a marine environmental protection
regulation to require environmental impact assessments for coastal construction projects.




                                                                                            35
The amendment, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2008, requires reports on the impact on
the marine environment of all projects, including building, rebuilding and expansions, near
the coast before they are approved by environmental protection departments.

"The report should include environmental assessments of the project's location and the sea
area, the impact on the marine environment during and after construction, and measures
that will be taken for environmental protection and their feasibility," it says.

Environmental protection departments should consult maritime affairs departments, fishery
authorities, and military environmental protection departments before approving coastal
construction projects, it says.

Project managers will face prosecution under the Marine Environmental Protection Law if
they refuse or prevent spot inspections by environmental protection departments, fail to
obtain approved environmental evaluation reports, or put the projects into use without
environmental protection facilities, according to the regulation.

The original regulation was promulgated on Aug. 1, 1990.

Twenty-five percent of China's inshore waters and almost 50 percent of its territorial waters
have been polluted.
http://www.china.org.cn/english/news/226874.htm
…………………………………

CHINA- China IIC : 3,000 people taming forest fires in northeast China

More than 3,000 firefighters are trying to tame the fires that are ravaging forests in
northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, sources with local fire squad headquarters said on
Friday.

The fires were spotted at 10:00 am Friday in the forest areas between Heihe City and
Yichun City, bordering the Lesser Hinggan Mountains in Heilongjiang Province, said a
provincial meteorological bureau spokesman.

The two largest fires in Xunke County of Heihe City, were estimated to cover 5.5 and 6.6
square km respectively, according to earlier report.

Six helicopters have been dispatched to carry firefighters and scout for fire condition, while
provincial meteorological bureau is working to induce artificial rains.

The fires, fanned by high winds of 29 to 50 kilometers per hour, are spreading quickly. "It
is hard to make out the size of forests devoured by the blaze on satellite pictures due to
clouds," an official with the meteorological bureau told Xinhua in an interview.

Severe drought hit the province this summer and the average temperature this autumn was
higher than usual, posing a high fire risk to forest areas as well as the Lesser Hinggan
Mountains and the Greater Hinggan Mountains, the country's largest forest zone, the bureau
said.




                                                                                            36
Chinese vice premier Hui Liangyu urged local government on Friday to check the fires as
soon as possible and other areas in China liable to forest fires, and enforce prevention and
monitoring work during the National Day Holiday.

Lei Jiafu, deputy head of the State Forestry Administration, rushed to the fire site Friday
afternoon to oversee the firefighting work.
http://www.china.org.cn/english/news/226987.htm
…………………………………..

CHINA-China IIC : Combating climate change: China goes on offensive

Chinese President Hu Jintao and a group of other state leaders were pictured wearing open-
necked shirts with short sleeves, rather than their normal jackets and ties when attending a
high-profile conference at the Party School of the Communist Party of China Central
Committee on June 25 of this year.

The less formal attire wasn't just for their own comfort. China's leaders are trying to set an
example for all the office workers to dress in light, casual clothing in summer in order to
reduce the use of air conditioners. The State Council, or cabinet, ordered in June that air-
conditioning units in most office buildings be set no cooler than 26 degrees Celsius.

"As a developing country, China tries to shoulder more responsibilities in addressing the
issue of climate change and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions," says Lu Xuedu,
deputy director of the Global Environmental Affairs Office of the Ministry of Science and
Technology.

In China's National Climate Change Program issued on June 4, the government pledged to
restructure the economy, promote clean energy technologies and improve energy efficiency.

With the new program, the nation has opted not to hide behind the fact that the Kyoto
Protocol frees developing countries from the obligation to reduce GHG emissions, said Ma
Kai, minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission.

An Imminent Threat

"Climate change has begun to take its toll in China in recent years, and we shouldn't wait
till it is too late to take action," says Lu Xuedu.

Since the mid-1980s, China has experienced 19 warm winters. In 2006, the average
temperature for winter hit 9.92 degrees Celsius, the highest since 1951, according to
statistics from the National Meteorological Center.

Lu points out that if climate change remains unchecked, the output of China's major crops
including wheat, rice and corn will drop by up to 37 percent in the second half of this
century. Global warming will also reduce the river levels, and lead to more droughts and
floods. And water supply in western China will fall short of demand by up to 20 billion
cubic meters from 2010 to 2030.




                                                                                              37
Climate change also presents a major threat to ecologically vulnerable areas such as the
Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, says Qin Dahe, an expert in glaciers, who is also an academician of
the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

"The glaciers on the plateau have been melting faster in recent decades," he said.

If the speed of the temperature rise fails to slow down, he warns, the total area of glaciers
on the plateau will shrink to 100,000 square kilometers in 2030 from 500,000 square
kilometers in 1995.

Since many major rivers in Asia come from the plateau, this shrinkage might result in water
shortages for more than one billion people in Asia.

Liu Jingshi, a researcher with the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Research Institute of the CAS,
adds the plateau has also softened as global warming melts the permafrost.

Liu says that the melting permafrost has already flooded some of the Tibetan herdsmen's
families, and will become even more dangerous to them if the temperature continues to rise.

International Collaborations

The per-capita emissions of greenhouse gas in China stand at 3.66 tons, less than one third
the level of developed nations such as the Netherlands, said Foreign Ministry spokesman
Qin Gang at a press conference in late June.

As a developing country, China is not obliged to meet targets set by the Kyoto Protocol,
under which most industrialized countries are required to reduce gas emissions by an
average of 5.2 percent below the 1990 levels from 2008 to 2012.

Despite low per-capita emissions, Qin says, the Chinese government has placed great
emphasis on climate change and has employed effective measures to cut emissions and
their negative impacts.

The spokesman called on the international community to strengthen cooperation and help
more countries embark on the road of clean development that both protects the environment
and eco-systems and ensures the fulfillment of their development goals.

"China is still in the process of industrialization, and has the potential to become one of the
world's leaders in reducing GHG if proper technologies can be adopted before the industrial
facilities are built," said Dr Jason Blackstock, a researcher at Harvard University.

He says that developed nations should also take the responsibility to help China and other
developing countries by providing the advanced technologies needed for reducing GHG
through international collaborations.

Finding Alternatives

To actively address the issue of climate change, China released the National Climate
Change Program.




                                                                                                38
It is estimated if all the objectives prescribed in the program are achieved -- on hydro and
nuclear power generation, upgrading of thermal power generation, facilitation of coal-bed-
gas development, the use of renewable energy resources such as wind power, solar power
and terrestrial heat, forestation and energy-saving -- the world's most populous country will
emit 1.5 billion tons less carbon dioxide by 2010 while still continuing to grow rapidly.

China also issued the General Work Plan for Energy Conservation and Pollutant Discharge
Reduction, under which the government pledged to adhere to its plan for energy efficiency
and to reduce major pollutant discharges by 10 percent by the year 2010.

The work plan criticized some government departments for their poor awareness of the
importance of energy efficiency and pollutant reduction. The central government will
reform the mechanism of evaluating local governments and their leaders by including the
implementations of energy-efficiency and emission-reduction tasks into their performances,
according to the work plan.

It also contains instructions to government departments to work out detailed measures for
this reform.

Units, branches and bodies of the central government are asked to take the lead in procuring
energy-efficient, water-efficient and environment-friendly products, such as air
conditioners, computers, printers and displays.

The state will encourage and direct financial institutions to enhance credit support for
environment-protection and pollution-reduction projects. Preferential tax policies will be
offered for such projects.

The government will also reform pricing mechanisms for resource products, such as refined
oil, natural gas and electricity, and restrict exports of high-energy consuming and heavy-
polluting products.

Energy use in high-energy consuming industries, such as steel, non-ferrous metals,
petrochemicals and cement production, will be optimized to realize energy-saving targets of
50 million tons of standard coal in 2007 and 240 million tons by 2010.

The government has also taken action to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Non-fossil fuels will
account for 30 percent of China's energy consumption in 2050, compared with the current
10 percent, says Yan Luguang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Even though China's per capita greenhouse gas emissions are lower than countries like the
United States or Australia, its heavy reliance on coal makes it a major polluter and a major
contributor to emissions that cause climate change.

By 2050, the burning of coal will account for a much smaller proportion in China's energy
consumption compared with 70 percent now, says Yan.

Oil consumption would contribute around 20 percent of the total and reach 800 million tons
in 2050, 75 percent of which would be imported from foreign countries.




                                                                                             39
As China's energy demands continue to grow, a sufficient oil supply is critical to the
country's energy security.

The demand for natural gas, hydropower and nuclear power will grow and by 2050 solar
energy, wind energy and biomass energy will account for 15 percent of the nation's total
energy consumption.

Scientific Support

Aiming for a green and hi-tech 2008 Olympics, China has designed the Olympic venues to
be as environment friendly as possible, with "green" materials, and energy saving and water
recycling systems.

The Olympic stadiums have also introduced solar and wind energy and other new energies,
which are vital in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Ministry of Science and Technology and 14 other government departments in June
jointly issued a special action plan for science and technology for China to deal with
climate change, providing scientific support to the National Climate Change Program.


China invested 2.5 billion yuan (US$330 million) in the research and development for
climate change control during its 10th Five-Year Plan period (2001-2005).

In the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010), says Minister of Science and Technology
Wan Gang, the government will invest more in this field, with 4.6 billion yuan (US$610
million) already put into a number of projects.

The nation must consider developing a "low-carbon economy" and a "carbon-absorbing
economy", says Wan. A low-carbon economy is a low energy-consuming and low
pollution-based economy.

Other methods, such as optimizing energy structure, improving energy efficiency and
developing clean and renewable energy, should also be taken to deal with the climate
change, he says.
http://www.china.org.cn/english/environment/226767.htm
………………………………..

CHINA- China IIC : Cities gear up treatment of wastewater for "green" life

Chinese cities treated 57 percent of the wastewater they discharged last year, a rise of 17
percentage points from five years ago when the country had been stepping up
environmental protection efforts.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, as much as 60 percent of the urban
wastewater was discharged without treatment in 2002.

To clean up the polluted rivers and lakes in the country, the government has built more
sewage treatment facilities, which resulted in the operation of 261,000 km of sewage
pipelines at the end of last year, 110 percent longer than in 2002, the bureau said.




                                                                                              40
Among the 559 cities nationwide monitored by the State Environmental Protection
Administration in 2006, 24 enjoyed excellent air quality, or level one on the air quality
index, and 325 reported fine air quality, or level two.

In Beijing, where the Summer Olympic Games will be held in August next year, the
environment watchdog reported improvement in air quality, saying they monitored 241
days of level-one or level-two air quality last year.

City environmental protection bureau spokesman Du Shaozhong said earlier they would
continue to make improvement and were sure to reach the target of 245 days of excellent or
fine air quality this year.

But much work has to be done in cleaning up the air as 210 cities are still suffering from
light or worse air pollution that ranged from level three to level five.
http://www.china.org.cn/english/MATERIAL/227062.htm
………………………………..

CHINA- China IIC : 1 million evacuated for tropical storm Krosa

China has evacuated more than 1.41 million people from the eastern provinces of Fujian
and Zhejiang with no casualties reported after powerful Typhoon Krosa landed on the
eastern coastal area Sunday afternoon.

Around 75,000 vessels were recalled to harbor to avoid Typhoon Krosa‘s onslaught, the
16th this year. Krosa landed at 3:30 PM on Sunday near the borders of Zhejiang's Cangnan
County and Fujian's Fuding City. By 5 PM Krosa had weakened into a tropical storm.

Fujian County has allocated relief funds of 3.5 million yuan and prepared 22,000 tents,
20,000 quilts, 150 tons of rice and 50,000 cases of bottled water, according to the provincial
civil affairs department.

At 8 PM Krosa was located at Fuding City in Fujian Province, packing winds of about 100
km per hour at its eye, the Zhejiang Provincial Flood Prevention and Drought Relief
Headquarters reported.

Krosa was moving northward at a speed of 20 km per hour through Zhejiang Province. It is
expected to reach the East China Sea, headquarters said, adding that 1.12 million people
had been evacuated by 9 PM on Sunday.

Krosa unleashed gale force winds and torrential rains along its path, swelling rivers, pulling
down houses, cutting off power supplies, halting highway traffic and air services.

Schools, airports, expressways and shipping services in some areas have been shut down.

Tourism authorities in Zhejiang have closed almost all scenic spots along the coast and
evacuated more than 500,000 tourists who had flocked to seaside resorts for the week-long
National Day holiday that ended on Sunday.




                                                                                             41
Also on Sunday, rescuers were battling against strong winds and ocean swells to tow a
Hong Kong-registered cargo ship into harbor. The vessel suffered mechanical failures after
having been hit by Krosa off the coast of Zhejiang's Wenzhou City.

Twenty-seven crewmembers were aboard the ship, ALADDIN DREAM, including sailors
from Russia, India and the Philippines, rescuers said.

Residents in tropical storm-hit areas have remained calm. Countermeasures taken by local
governments have so far been proved to be effective.

Shacheng Town of Fujian Province was the worst affected place of the Super Typhoon
Saomai. Last August Saomai claimed 483 lives in Chinese mainland but hotel owner Mr.
Yang said that he was not so scared this time.

"We received warnings from the government about the typhoon five days ago and were
ordered to stay at home," said Yang. "Officials came to see if we were prepared almost
twice daily."

Yang also seemed unworried about his nearby fishery, which he has invested more than
600,000 yuan to build up.

"The typhoon is not as strong as Saomai," he said. "What's more, I had the dam reinforced
before Krosa came."

However, the governments of Fujian and Zhejiang have been warned of more strong
rainstorms and landslides in upcoming days.

The two provinces have been hit with torrential rains since Saturday. Forecasts predict that
the rain will last to Monday.

Fujian and Zhejiang have strengthened monitoring around landslide-prone areas and
reservoir dams. Some reservoirs began to discharge water on Sunday morning.

Krosa has left four dead, two missing and 52 injured in Taiwan, in addition to cutting off
power supplies and halting highway and air traffic, according to Taiwan media reports.
(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2007)
http://www.china.org.cn/english/environment/227084.htm
...................................................

INDIA-Times of India : Two of planet's most polluted spots in India
8 Oct 2007, Atul Thakur,TNN

NEW DELHI: Two of the 10-most-polluted spots on earth are in India, according to a
report by the US-based Blacksmith Institute.

The institute's advisory board which includes environmental and public health experts from
institutions like Harvard, MIT, IIT-Delhi and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of
Public Health has picked Sukinda valley in Orissa and Vapi in Gujarat as 4th and 5th in the
list of the top 10 worldwide.




                                                                                             42
The top 10 have been picked from what the institute calls the "Dirty Thirty", a larger list of
the 30 worst polluted areas in different parts of the world.

Not surprisingly, the list is dominated by fast-growing economies. Four Indian cities and
six cities each from Russia and China are among them. The bad news for India is that
neither Sukinda nor Vapi, or indeed, any other place in India was in the top 10 in the 2006
report by the same institute. Sukinda has the largest chromite ore deposits in India and also
has the largest opencast chromite mine in the world.

Approximately 70% of the surface water and 60% of the drinking water contain hexavalent
chromium, caused by the dumping of waste products. The air and soil are also heavily
polluted.

The report quotes Orissa Voluntary Health Association figures, according to which, almost
9 out of 10 deaths occurring in the mining area and nearby industrial villages are chromite-
related. Also, nearly one-fourth of the people in neighbouring villagers are suffering from
pollution-induced diseases, which include gastrointestinal bleeding, tuberculosis, asthma,
infertility, birth defects and stillbirths.

Vapi houses more than 50 industrial estates and over 1,000 independent industries. The
industries are mainly chemical and tanning related. Vapi is equally affected by all kinds of
pollution. The air is polluted because of discharges of hazardous oxides. The groundwater
contains 96 times higher mercury than the safety norm and the soil is contaminated by
heavy metals.

Respiratory diseases, chemical dermatitis, carcinoma, skin, lung and throat cancers are
frequently reported by the residents. Women in the area report exceedingly high incidences
of spontaneous abortions, bleeding during pregnancy and abnormal fetuses, says the
Blacksmith report.

Sumgayit in Azerbaijan, which tops the list, was a major Soviet industrial centre for
manufacturing industrial and agricultural chemicals. It is followed by Linfen and Tianying,
which are the highest coal and lead producing areas of China. Mahad Industrial Estate in
Maharashtra and Ranipet in Tamil Nadu are the other Indian areas listed in the "Dirty
Thirty".

According to a survey conducted by a Supreme Court monitoring committee,
approximately 1,800 tonnes of hazardous sludge has accumulated at the Mahad Industrial
Estate CETP. The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board estimates that about 15,00,000
tonnes of solid waste has accumulated in this town, known for its tanning industry.

An obvious pattern is that most of the places are located in the developing world. Again,
mining, metallurgy and tanning industries are responsible for the pollution at almost half of
these places.

A World Bank special study on trade and environment showed that industrialised countries'
share of global manufacturing exports has declined from 91% to 81%. Most of this decline
was recorded in labour-intensive sectors such as textiles, apparel, footwear and other light
manufacturing. Although labour cost may have been the main factor in the shift, most of
these are also polluting industries.




                                                                                            43
D Raghunandan, secretary of Delhi Science Forum, says that with most developing
economies being less strict about pollution norms, polluting industries have tended to
concentrate in these countries.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Two_of_planets_most_polluted_spots_in_India/articlesh
ow/2437835.cms
………………………………….

INDONESIA-Radio NZ : Indonesian villagers prepare for possible eruption

Villagers living near a volcano in Indonesia are taking protective measures amid fears that
an eruption is imminent.

The alert status for Mount Kelud in East Java is at its second highest level because volcanic
tremors have increased and toxic fumes have been detected.

Five thousand people were killed when an eruption sent boiling water down the volcano's
slopes in 1919.

Rivers in the area have dams designed to hamper the flow of lahars, and officials say they
are well prepared to meet the danger.
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/latest/200710080647/indonesian_villagers_prepare_for_pos
sible_eruption
……………………………………

JAPAN- The Yomiuri Shimbun : Utilities to up emissions credit buys

Ten electricity power companies, including Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Kansai Electric
Power Co., have decided to increase by four-fold the amount of emission credits they
initially planned to buy for global warming gases equivalent to about 120 million tons of
carbon dioxide between 2008 and 2012, industrial sources said Sunday.

The decision was made because, with malfunctions preventing nuclear power plants from
going into full-scale operation, the electricity industry is concerned it may not be able to
meet the reduction goal set by the Kyoto Protocol, the sources said.

The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, comprising the 10 firms, will report
on its plan to acquire more emission credits at a joint council meeting of the Environment
and Economy, Trade and Industry ministries on Thursday, the sources said.

The new purchase plan will be greater than the 100 million tons planned by the government
for the period between 2008 and 2012.

With emission credits for one ton of carbon dioxide being traded at about 2,000 yen on the
European Union market, the 10 companies are likely to pay a total of 200 billion yen for the
purchase.

The Kyoto Protocol requires Japan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions between 2008
and 2012 by an average of 6 percent from the 1990 levels.




                                                                                               44
As such, each industry has mapped out an action plan to cut emissions.

The federation initially planned to increase the operational ratio of nuclear power plants,
which emit relatively less greenhouse gases, to increase the impact of reduced emissions.

The federation set a goal of reducing by 20 percent the volume of CO2 emissions per
electricity unit over the five-year period between 2008 and 2012, using the conventional
assumption that more than 80 percent of nuclear power plants would be in operation.

However, beginning last year, malfunctions and irregularities involving nuclear power
plants have come to light.

A malfunction was found at an emergency power generator at Hokkaido Electric Power
Co.'s Tomari nuclear power plant.

Hokuriku Electric Power Co. was found to have covered up a critical accident at its Shika
nuclear power plant, while the turbine at Chubu Electric Power Co.'s Hamaoka nuclear
power plant broke down.

The Niigata Prefecture Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake in Niigata Prefecture in July has
halted the operation of Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power
plant for the foreseeable future.

As a result, the operating ratio of nuclear power plants dropped to the 60-percent level and
in the near term is expected to increase only to about 70 percent.

On the other hand, electricity consumption is expected to increase in accordance with the
nation's economic rebound.

As such, the federation determined that to achieve the reduction plan, it has to significantly
increase emission credits purchased from overseas from the original 30 million ton figure.
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/business/20071008TDY01303.htm
…………………………………..

MALAYSIA-The Star : Sarawak on alert for possibility of haze
October 4, 2007, By STEPHEN THEN

MIRI: Sarawak has been placed on the alert for the possibility of transboundary haze
following the detection of 130 major fires raging in Kalimantan Borneo, across the border
from Sarawak.

The State Disaster Relief Committee is being extra vigilant because shifting cultivators in
rural Sarawak have also started open-burning of farmlands and hill slopes to prepare for the
planting season.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam, who is also the committee
chairman, Thursday said the fires in Kalimantan are large enough to be detected from
satellites.




                                                                                              45
"There are about 130 hotspots already in Kalimantan. Inside Sarawak, we have detected
some 71 cases of domestic burning in the central regions of the state.

"These local fires are not big. They are scattered fires caused by open burning carried out
by interior farmers and shifting cultivators," he said when interviewed Thursday.

Dr Chan was asked to comment on the persistently hazy-looking skyline over various parts
of the state over the past week or so.

He said the hazy skyline was caused by transboundary smog being blown into the state
from the more than 500 major fires that are raging in Kalimantan and Sumatra.

Dr Chan, when asked if there is a need to impose a ban on domestic open-burning as a
precaution, said there is no immediate need for such a ban as yet.

"For those in the state who need to burn their agriculture wastes, we have asked them to
carry out only staggered burning.

"We don't want them to conduct open-burning all at once. There is no danger of a localised
haze if we can control our fires," he stressed.

The Department of Environment in Miri, when contacted, confirmed that the Air Pollutant
Index for Miri was still within healthy levels despite the dull-looking skies.

Department chief for Miri Norina Frederick said the latest department reports of air quality
readings showed that there is actually no haze in the Miri region.

"The abnormal looking skyline is not caused by any localised source of haze. There are
some small open burning cases detected in several rural areas but these are minor fires.
They are not big enough to cause any haze.

"The visibility is not very clear, especially in the morning. However, at the ground level,
there are no major air pollution threats," she said.

A check with the Miri Fire Department also revealed no major fires as of 3pm on Thursday.
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/10/4/nation/20071004155508&sec=
nation




                                                                                              46
_________________________________________________________________________


                                       ROA News Update
                                       8 October 2007

                                   UN - UNEP In The News

Kenya: Study Says Dandora Dumpsite a Mountain of Death

East African Standard (Nairobi): Hundreds of residents of Dandora, Nairobi, risk
contracting killer diseases due to toxic substances from the dumpsite. The research,
commissioned by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warns that the dumpsite, one
of the largest in Africa, is a threat, especially to children living nearby and the city's
environment generally. Almost half of the children tested were suffering from respiratory
diseases, including chronic bronchitis and asthma, according to the report, Environmental
Pollution and Impacts on Public Health; Implications of the Dandora Municipal Dumping
Site in Nairobi, Kenya. Half of the children tested had concentrations of lead in their blood
exceeding internationally accepted levels. About 42 per cent of soil samples in the area had
10 times higher levels of lead. Researchers say there has been an alarming rise in cases of
asthma, anaemia and skin infections among children. "These abnormalities are linked to the
environment around the dumping site, and are exacerbated by poverty, illiteracy and
malnutrition," said Mr Njoroge Kimani, principal investigator and author of the report.
"Since waste dumping is unrestricted and unmanaged, people are also at risk from
contracting blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/Aids." Speaking at the launch
of the report, Mr Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, said: "We had anticipated some
tough and worrisome findings, but the actual results are even more shocking than we had
imagined at the outset." The study shows dangerously high levels of heavy metals,
especially lead, mercury and cadmium, at the dumpsite, in the surrounding environment and
in local residents. http://allafrica.com/stories/200710051200.html

Kenya: Children at Risk from Dumpsite

The Nation (Nairobi): High levels of harmful chemicals at the Dandora dumpsite are
ruining the health of people who earn a living off it, says a report released by UNEP
yesterday. After measuring soil samples and examining 328 children whose families live
near the dumpsite, UNEP researchers found that half the children suffered from respiratory
disease and nearly all showed symptoms of heavy metal poisoning. All had reduced
haemoglobin counts and iron deficiency. Haemoglobin is the blood component that
transports oxygen to all parts of the body. "To some people, waste is a problem to get rid of,
but to the people of Dandora it is a livelihood," said Mr Achim Steiner, the UN agency's
executive director. "The tragedy is that it is a livelihood which is killing these people and
their children." Set up in 1973, the dumpsite has become a vital source of income to some
locals who collect plastic bags and other materials for recycling. A kilo of waste plastic is
usually sold for about Sh20. But those who collect them must first wash off the dirt and
they do that in the Nairobi River, which runs next to the dumpsite. "We are seeing our
people dying of cancer, respiratory diseases and other illnesses associated with this
dumpsite," said Fr Danielle Moschetti of Korogocho's St. John's Catholic Church.
http://allafrica.com/stories/200710051250.html




                                                                                           47
Kenya: UN Study Reveals Shocking State of Nairobi's Killer Dumpsite

Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi): The United Nations environment agency
has confirmed what residents, experts, churches and other organisations have repeatedly
told the Kenya government - that Nairobi's main dumpsite is a killer. A study released today
by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that Dandora Municipal Dumping Site,
one of Africa's largest, is a serious threat to children living nearby and the city's
environment generally. The study commissioned by UNEP examined 328 children aged 2-
18 living around the site and its health implications. It also examined soil samples from the
site. Half of the children tested had concentrations of lead in their blood exceeding
internationally accepted levels, while 42 percent of soil samples recorded lead levels almost
10 times higher than what is considered unpolluted soil (over 400 parts per million (ppm)
compared to 50 ppm). Children have been exposed to pollutants such as heavy metals and
toxic substances through soil, water and air (smoke from waste burning) with implications
for respiratory, gastrointestinal and skin diseases. Almost half of the children tested were
suffering from respiratory diseases, including chronic bronchitis and asthma.
http://allafrica.com/stories/200710051068.html


Kenya: Waste Dump Poses Health Hazard to Children, UN Agency Warns

UN News Service (New York): The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
today warned that a large waste dump located in Kenya is posing a serious threat to children
living nearby and pledged its assistance to help reduce the hazard. Citing the results of a
study it commissioned of 328 children up to the age of 18 around the Dandora Municipal
Dumping Site, the agency said half had concentrations of lead in their blood exceeding
internationally accepted levels, while 42 per cent of soil samples recorded lead levels
almost 10 times higher than what is considered unpolluted soil. Almost half of the children
tested were suffering from respiratory diseases, including chronic bronchitis and asthma.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said the results were worse than expected. "We
had anticipated some tough and worrisome findings, but the actual results are even more
shocking than we had imagined at the outset," he said. He also drew broader conclusions
about problems of waste management in poor countries. "The Dandora site may pose some
special challenges for the city of Nairobi and Kenya as a nation. But it is also a mirror to the
condition of rubbish sites across many parts of Africa and other urban centres of the
developing world." Mr. Steiner said UNEP stands ready to assist the local and national
authorities in the search for improved waste management systems and strategies including
ones that generate sustainable and healthier jobs in the waste-handling and recycling
sectors.
http://allafrica.com/stories/200710050752.html

                                General Environment News

South Africa: Pollution Hazards Alleged At Highveld

Business Day (Johannesburg): An inspection by the Green Scorpions on Highveld Steel's
vanadium plant Vanchem has exposed transgressions of environmental legislation,
including the contamination of groundwater, a criminal offence in terms of the Water Act.
The Green Scorpions -- the industrial investigative branch of the environmental affairs and




                                                                                             48
tourism department -- inspected the plant over two days at the end of August as part of
Operation Ferro. It found, among other things, excessive emissions (between 40 and 60 tons
a day) of sulphur dioxide from the plant's processes and significant contamination of
groundwater, linked to unlined and illicit dumping of hazardous waste on site as well as the
lack of separation of storm and process water on site. It also found that the emissions of
ammonia exceeded permitted levels by 15 times and dust by as much as 27 times.
Highveld, which was recently acquired by Russian steel maker Evraz, is disposing of some
of its vanadium assets, including the Vanchem plant, in fulfilment of conditions set by
competition authorities on the merger. However, the Green Scorpions' director of
enforcements in the national industrial branch, Melissa Fourie, said Highveld would remain
liable for prosecution or a fine even if the plant was sold, as the offences happened under its
management. http://allafrica.com/stories/200710050464.html

Namibia: Actions Speak Louder Than Words on Namibia's Enviro Commitments

The Namibian (Windhoek): Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly this week,
Marco Hausiku, Namibia's Foreign Affairs Minister, spoke strongly on the need for the
world to respond to one of the most urgent challenges facing the globe in the form of
climate change. He emphasised that "climate change is a global issue with serious
implications for economic growth, sustainable development and the achievement of the
Millennium Development Goals". It was also affecting the lives of many people adversely,
and he therefore called on the international community to "live up to its commitment to
provide resources to developing countries to adapt to the effect of climate change". He said
it was vital for compulsory targets to be set for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,
and pointed out that Namibia was "not happy with the rate at which investments are made
in the development of renewable and clean energy sources". He urged the private sector to
join hands with governments to develop and apply technologies that could mitigate climate
change, and assured the UN of Namibia's "commitment to act in concert with other member
states to solve this problem through the establishment of concrete and ambitious goals to be
implemented over an agreed period". http://allafrica.com/stories/200710050604.html

Nigeria: Regulatory Body Assures On Environmental Management

Leadership (Abuja): The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement
Agency (NESREA) has pledged to amongst others, create public awareness and provide
environmental education on sustainable environmental management, promote private sector
compliance with environmental regulations other than in the oil and gas sector, and publish
general scientific or other data resulting from the performance of these functions. The
pioneer director-general of the agency, Dr. Ngeri Benebo, gave this assurance in a chat with
media executives at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja, yesterday. According to the DG,
the importance of environmental compliance, monitoring and enforcement in all sectors of
the economy can hardly be over-emphasised. "An effective environmental compliance and
monitoring programme helps to achieve the goals of protecting public health and
environmental quality, build and strengthen environmental integrity so as to ensure fairness
and reduce cost and liabilities," she stated. http://allafrica.com/stories/200710050658.html



Cameroon: Forest Control - Govt in Partnership with EU




                                                                                            49
Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé): A negotiation process has been opened towards a voluntary
agreement to promote forest governance and legal logging. A partnership accord between
Cameroon and the European Union on the legal exploitation of the forest is in the pipeline.
Meeting recently at the Yaounde Mont Febe hotel, representatives of countries of the
European Union and Cameroonian experts worked out a road map with the support of the
German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) defining actions to be taken during the preparatory
phase of the negotiations. To kick-start the process, the Head of the European Commission
to Cameroon, Javier Puyol and the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Elvis Ngolle Ngolle,
signed a joint declaration in the presence of the German Ambassador to Cameroon, Volker
Seitz. The declaration states inter alia the wish of the two partners to launch a negotiation
process on a voluntary partnership within the framework of the Forest Law Enforcement
Governance and Trade (FLEGT) which sets out to ensure the respect for legality in forest
exploitation       especially   wood       destined     for    the     European     markets.
http://allafrica.com/stories/200710050893.html




                                   ROWA Media Update
                                     8 October 2007

Jordan

2007 contest to focus on conservation of water resources
AMMAN - The Kingdom‘s water deficit is expected to rise to 350 million cubic metres by
the year 2020, according to official figures, and the already scarce water resources are
bound to dry up unless the public starts reacting and seriously rationing water use.
To this end, the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development on Sunday launched
its annual Queen Alia Social Work Competition for 2007, seeking to encourage the
conservation of water resources and protect them from becoming polluted.
Noting that Jordan is among the 10 most water-starved countries in the world, the head of
the competition‘s higher committee, Muzahem Muhaisin, said this year‘s contest is
designed to inform people about means of dealing with the shortage of water.
―Familiarising the public with the country‘s critical water situation will help develop more
responsibility towards water issues and introduce them to the consequences of not
balancing our water demand and supply,‖ Muhaisin told reporters at a press conference
yesterday to announce the launch of the competition.
He said growth in the industrial, agricultural, tourist, economic and construction sectors, in
addition to the increase in population and individual income, had contributed to the increase
in water demand.
Muhaisin added that several governmental and nongovernmental agencies are working to
encourage rationing water use, but their efforts have not been as fruitful as they hoped, as
many people are still wasting water and polluting its scarce sources.
Taking the form of a questionnaire with 10 questions, some 650,000 copies of the
competition form will be distributed to 53 committees across the country, along with




                                                                                               50
500,000 leaflets introducing people to the country‘s water situation and suggesting means
to help save water.
Such suggestions include washing cars with bowls of water instead of using hoses,
collecting rainwater during the winter for use during the summer and installing special
devices on taps and showers to ration water consumption. Such devices can reduce the use
of water by 35 per cent.
HRH Princess Basma launched the Queen Alia Social Work Competition in 1995 in an
effort to change perceptions and attitudes about important social, health and environmental
issues.
The annual contest focuses on raising general awareness by disseminating information on
various social issues every year, such as visual and hearing impairments, traffic accidents,
smoking, cancer and, last year, the Amman Message.
This national endeavour also seeks to achieve social solidarity by donating the
competition‘s proceeds to certain projects and centres concerned with the well-being of
people with special needs.
Since some 80 per cent of the country‘s water comes from underground water sources, the
competition will also distribute 430,000 brochures on means to protect them from depletion
and pollution.
The questionnaires will be distributed across the country on October 17, and the deadline
for submission is December 18.
The winners will be announced in local newspapers on January 6 next year, and the awards
ceremony will be held in April.
http://www.jordantimes.com/?news=2709




Saudi Arabia
How Israel Damages Palestinian Environment

Of all the issues often raised with regard to the Israeli occupation‘s injustices and the
attitude of Israeli authorities and settlers to the Palestinians in the West Bank,
environmental issues are at the margins of the sociopolitical agenda, even in the rare cases
where environmental issues in Israel itself are brought up for debate.

However, during more than 40 years of Israel‘s destructive occupation, the West Bank has
become, either consciously or unconsciously, a garbage dump for Israelis, particularly that
of the settlements and illegal settlement outposts in the area.

Toxic sewage from Israeli settlements and its industrial zones pouring into Palestinian
agricultural and pasture areas is a daily routine. Israeli authorities abandon and neglect the
handling of their pollutants as long as the result surfaces a few kilometers away, outside
their municipal area. On the other end, Palestinian residents are left to deal with the
pollution and filth of their ―occupying neighbors.‖




                                                                                             51
The essence of the environmental problem in the Palestinian territories starts, like
everything that stinks, from the top. The responsible party — the Israeli military
commander through the Israeli Civil Administration which coordinates nonmilitary
activities of the Israeli government in the Palestinian territories — is not fulfilling his legal
duties, which oblige him to actively safeguard West Bank residents‘ fabric of life and life
itself.

In certain cases, the Israeli military commander goes further by mounting obstacles when it
comes to the establishment of garbage dumps for Palestinian residents, thus making it
difficult to remove the waste to sites located outside their communities. In other cases,
Palestinian garbage trucks are confiscated and their drivers either imprisoned or fined.

The Israeli Ministry of the Environment does not display the required determination and
involvement, unlike what goes on inside Israel. We should add the regrettable fact that
Palestinian accessibility to ―Green Police‖ stations is very limited, not to say nonexistent
due to Israeli measures.

The result of this Israeli criminal neglect is catastrophic: Palestinian residents find
themselves surrounded by mountains of waste, sewage and garbage; both because their
villages and farming land have been turned into illegal waste sites for Israelis and because
of Israel‘s strict waste removal policies.

The sewage and waste cause irreversible destruction and damage to the natural springs in
these areas and to ground water in aquifers. Olive trees which are the main agricultural
source for Palestinians and crops belonging to residents in the territories are damaged
forever; nature reserves or areas that were supposed to be declared as such are damaged and
neglected, along with the direct damage to flora and fauna, and to the entire delicate
ecological system that exists in the Palestinian territories.

As for Israelis, they are already accustomed to seeing Palestinian territories as the Jewish
states‘ backyard. Israelis are only concerned of human rights violations in ―democratic
Israel‖ not in Palestinian territories. The environmental issue constitutes yet another link in
this patronizing Israeli attitude and reflects reality as it is.

However, Israelis would do well to take a broader look and think a few steps ahead: The
environmental hazards will not disappear even by the snake-shape Separation Wall or by
defining the Palestinian territories as ―enemy territory‖. The area, in and of itself, is
homogenous, despite the two peoples living there.

The long-awaited two-state solution for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not
prevent the destruction of ecological systems, aquifers, and nature reserves that cross
political boundaries, and ultimately may lead to immense and irreversible destruction in the
entire region, both on Israeli side and on Palestinian one.

http://www.amin.org/look/amin/press.htm

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                                                                                               52
                                 RONA MEDIA UPDATE
                                  Friday 5 October 2007


UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

General Environmental News

      Washington Post – Seeing Green
      PC World - Telecommuting saves carbon emissions
      Reuters - Climate activists tipped for peace prize
      The Associated Press - Wildlife turst to consider 38 applications
      The Associated Press - Appeals court tosses out EPA permit for new copper
       mine in Ariz.
      The Associated Press - State agrees to restrict trapping to protect threatened lynx
      Global Insight - Eventual Federal Regulation of U.S. Carbon Emissions Likely,
       Says DOE
      News and Observer - Climate presentations put progress, goals in focus; Chapel
       Hill joins national event
      PR Newswire - Carbon Disclosure Project: SUEZ Honored for its Disclosure on
       Climate Change
      USA Today - Green groups go after Toyota; Stance on mileage bill draws protest
      Canada Newswire - Novelis Recycling Education Project Receives Top UK
       Industry Award
      PR Newswire - Former Iowa Gov. Thomas Vilsack Co-Chairs Task Force on
       Climate Change
      Toronto Star - Upheaval in the Arctic a cause for alarm

Other UN News



               UNEP and the Executive Director in the News


                          General Environmental News

Seeing Green
Other UN News
Washington Post
Friday, October 5, 2007

Learn to live in harmony with the environment at the fourth annual Green Festival this
weekend at the Washington Convention Center. More than 350 vendors will offer their
products and services, and Helen Caldicott, Ralph Nader and more than 125 other
authorities will speak about green shopping, responsible investing, eco-tourism and other
issues. There will also be panel discussions, films and workshops. Admission is $15,
seniors and students $10, kids 11 and younger free.




                                                                                             53
GREEN FESTIVAL Saturday from 10 to 8 and Sunday from 11 to 6 at the Washington
Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Pl. NW (Metro: Mount Vernon Square-Convention
Center). 800-584-7336 or 202-249-3400, or visithttp://www.greenfestivals.com.

Telecommuting saves carbon emissions
Telecommuting increases home-based carbon emissions, but significantly reduces overall
energy consumption.

Chris Mellor
PC World
October 5, 2007

Telecommuting leads to a significant reduction in carbon emissions even when increased
home-based carbon emissions are taken into account.

That's according to a survey commissioned by the US Consumer Electronics Association
(CEA). The survey, The Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Impact of Telecommuting,
found that telecommuting in the U.S. caused increased emissions of carbon from home-
based offices. This is due to extra lighting, heating and power for electronic devices.
However this was more than compensated for by the savings in petrol consumption.

Telecommuting reduces energy consumption associated with transportation to and from the
office and, in some cases, a portion of the energy associated with commercial office space.

The report states that there are 3.9 million people in the U.S. who work from home at least
one day a week. By avoiding an average 22-mile commute to the place of work, and taking
into account the increased power use in the home, this practice saves about 840 million
(U.S.) gallons of petrol, equivalent to taking two million cars off the road for a year.

The study focused on workers who spend one or more days working from home each week
and considered the energy consumed by their telecommuting compared with traditional
work at the office or plant.

Gary Shapiro, the CEA's CEO and president, said: "With power companies looking to
reduce electric demand, and our nation seeking to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, I
believe there is terrific potential for the consumer electronics industry to drive emissions
reductions and energy savings, if more workers telecommuted."

Naturally he is at pains to counter suggestions that use of consumer electronics devices is
automatically bad for the environment because of the electricity they need: "This report
demonstrates that consumer electronics are part of a climate change solution, as the use of
electronics is preventing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing fossil fuel consumption.
Statistics have been available to detail how much energy electronics use, but less was
known about the environmental benefits of consumer products developed by our industry
when used to communicate and conduct business."

The report suggests that an estimated 53 million workers could take up telecommuting in
the U.S., representing a pro-rata reduction in carbon emissions equivalent to taking more
than 27 million vehicles off U.S. roads annually.




                                                                                         54
According to Work Wise UK/RAC Foundation there are currently 3.4 million people in the
U.K. that are home-based or regularly work from home. They save 3,153,055 tons of CO2
emissions annually. For every additional million workers that do not commute by road, it
would save 927,369 tons of CO2 each year!

With one average car emitting 4.3 tons of CO2 per year U.K. home working can be seen as
removing 733,269 cars from U.K. roads each year.

All the Work Wise UK figures are based on averages: the average commute is 28km/day;
average emissions per passenger km is 138g; the average occupancy of a car is 1.6 people;
and so forth.
Work Wise UK promotes the benefits of smarter working, which includes home working,
across the U.K. The RAC Foundation is one of the Work Wise UK partners (others include
CBI, TUC, BT, Transport for London, Association of Commuter Transport, British
Chambers of Commerce and SCOPE).

Climate activists tipped for peace prize

By John Acher
Reuters
October 5, 2007

Former Vice President Al Gore and other campaigners against climate change lead experts'
choices for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, an award once reserved for statesmen,
peacemakers and human rights activists.

If a campaigner against global warming carries off the high world accolade later this month,
it will accentuate a shift to reward work outside traditional peacekeeping and reinforce the
link between peace and the environment.

The winner, who will take $1.5 million in prize money, will be announced in the
Norwegian capital on October 12 from a field of 181 nominees.

Gore, who has raised awareness with his book and Oscar-winning documentary "An
Inconvenient Truth," and Canadian Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier, who has shed light
on how global warming affects Arctic peoples, were nominated to share the prize by two
Norwegian parliamentarians.

"I think they are likely winners this year," said Stein Toennesson, director of Oslo's
International Peace Research Institute (PRIO) and a long-time Nobel Peace Prize watcher.

"It will certainly be tempting to the (Nobel) committee to have two North Americans -- one
the activist that personifies the struggle against climate change, raising awareness, and the
other who represents some of the victims of climate change."

Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, agreed the award
committee could establish the link between peace and the environment.

"I think the whole issue of climate change and the environment will come at some point and
reflect in the prize," Egeland told reporters last week.




                                                                                          55
"There are already climate wars unfolding ... And the worst area for that is the Sahel belt in
Africa."
There has been a shift to reward work away from the realm of conventional peacemaking
and human rights work.

In 2004, Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai won for her campaign to get women to
plant trees across Africa. Last year's prize went to Bangladeshi economist Muhammad
Yunus and his Grameen Bank for their efforts to lift millions out of poverty through a
system of tiny loans.

IN WITH A CHANCE

Toennesson said others with a chance included former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, a
perennial nominee for decades of peace mediation work, and dissident Vietnamese monk
Thich Quang Do for his pro-democracy efforts.

His shortlist also includes Russian human rights lawyer Lidia Yusupova, who has fought
for victims of war in Chechnya, and Rebiya Kadeer, an advocate for China's Uighur
minority.

The secretive five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee does not disclose the names of
nominees, though some who make nominations go public with their candidates.

Toennesson said by giving the award to those fighting climate change, the committee would
thrust itself into the public debate ahead of a key U.N. climate conference in Bali,
Indonesia, in December.
If Gore is seen as too political, the committee could opt instead for the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- the scientists who advise the United Nations and
produce key reports on the climate problem, Toennesson said.

To give it a face, the prize could be shared by the IPCC's Indian chairman Rajendra
Pachauri, experts said, though Pachauri told Reuters in London he did not think he stood a
chance.
"I have a feeling it will go to Al Gore, and I think he deserves it. He certainly has done a
remarkable job of creating awareness on the subject and has become a crusader," he said.

Watt-Cloutier told Reuters she was flattered to be mentioned as a possible winner but did
not expect to win.

Toennesson said Ahtisaari deserves the prize most for helping to bring peace to the Aceh
region of Indonesia in 2005.
(Additional reporting by Alister Doyle)

Wildlife trust to consider 38 applications

The Associated Press
October 5, 2007




                                                                                           56
The Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust will consider 38 grant applications that
seek a total of more than $17 million. Trust board chair Delaine Roberts says this is the
largest funding request in the history of the young program. The board has about $3 million
available to hand out. Roberts said most of the money being requested is in the form of
conservation easements.

Conservation easements restrict commercial development and housing on tracts of land that
provide wildlife and agricultural values. The Board will meet for the initial project review
on Oct. 15 in Powell.

Appeals court tosses out EPA permit for new copper mine in Ariz.

The Associated Press
October 5, 2007

The Environmental Protection Agency cannot issue a permit allowing more pollution into a
waterway that already fails water quality standards unless there's a cleanup first, a federal
appeals court ruled Thursday.

In an unanimous ruling, a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel said the EPA improperly
issued a permit under the federal Clean Water Act to Carlota Copper Co. to allow
discharges of copper into Pinto Creek.

It invalidated the permit and ordered the case back to the EPA.

Carlota is building an open-pit copper mine located partly within Pinto Creek about six
miles west of Miami, Ariz., and about 60 miles east of Phoenix, with operations expected to
begin sometime next year.

The creek and its surroundings are a riparian habitat for numerous fish, birds and other
wildlife species, but it has been included on Arizona's list of impaired waters under the
Clean Water Act because of excessive contamination from historic copper mining in the
area.

The ruling says cleaning discharge from one defunct mine won't be enough to offset that
from other old mines in the area without cleaning up that pollution too.

A lawyer who successfully challenged the permit says it's the first major federal court
decision of its type under the Clean Water Act.

Roger Flynn, director and managing attorney for the Western Mining Action Project, a
public interest law firm, said the case resolved a major issue.

"It's the first time the court took on this issue head-on: Can the federal government allow
more copper to be discharged into a stream that already has too much copper?" said Flynn,
who represented Friends of Pinto Creek; the Sierra Club, Maricopa Audubon Society and
Citizens for the Preservation of Powers Gulch and Pinto Creek.




                                                                                          57
In San Francisco, Ann Nutt, senior attorney for water in EPA's regional office, said staff
lawyers were still reviewing the ruling and that it was too soon to say whether the agency
will appeal.

"We're obviously disappointed at its content," said Sophie Taylor, a spokeswoman for
Vancouver-based Quadra Mining Ltd., which owns Carlota. She added that company
officials were reviewing the ruling and will "have to get together with the EPA to analyze
our options."

Flynn believes the ruling will make it difficult for Carlota to obtain a new permit. "Since
they need to discharge this water, there's a serious question as to whether they can get this
permit," he said. "They can't discharge water from the site into any other streams. As of
today they can't."

The EPA issued a pollution discharge elimination permit for Carlota's planned Pinto Creek
mine twice under the Clean Water Act in 2000 and again in 2002, after plaintiffs sought a
review through an EPA appeals process. The EPA determined that Carlota could receive the
permit if the company cleaned up pollution discharge coming from the defunct Gibson
copper mine about five miles upstream.

That would offset pollution to come from the new mine, the company and the EPA
contended. Plaintiffs said that cleaning up the Gibson mine's pollution would not be enough
to allow the creek to meet water quality standards, and that six or seven other mining claims
in the area also would need to be cleaned up.

After the Environmental Appeals Board denied a review of the second permit in 2004, the
environmental groups filed an appeal directly to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

The appeal contended that Carlota, as a new discharger of dissolved copper into a waterway
already impaired by excessive copper pollution, violated the Clean Air Act's intent and
purposes.

"The court said you have to have a plan to clean up all the (pollution) sources," Flynn said.
"This has been a huge issue that people have been waiting for around the country."

State agrees to restrict trapping to protect threatened lynx

The Associated Press
October 5, 2007

A federal lawsuit aimed at protecting threatened Canada lynx has ended in a settlement in
which state game officials agreed to restrict trapping in northern Maine. The agreement was
formalized Thursday in a consent decree in U.S. District Court in Bangor that bans or
restricts certain types of traps and requires the state to monitor and report cases of trapped
lynx and rehabilitate injured lynx.
    The settlement follows a hearing last week in which Judge John Woodcock indicated
that the lawsuit brought by the Animal Protection Institute had a good chance of success.




                                                                                           58
"I don't think anyone here is accusing anybody of deliberately trapping lynx, but if trappers
are going out ... and they accidentally or inadvertently take lynx, then that is a violation of
the Endangered Species Act," Woodcock said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said trappers have caught 34 lynx in the past eight
years, and two of those animals died. Maine's lynx population is estimated at between 200
and 500.

The lawsuit against Maine's Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife claimed that the
agency is liable for lynx that are accidentally injured or killed by traps set for other animals.
Lynx are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The consent decree bans foothold or leghold traps with jaws that open more than 5 3/8
inches and requires killer-type traps to be mounted on poles above ground or snow level.

The Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife plans an emergency rule to make the
changes effective for the trapping season that starts this month, Deputy Commissioner Paul
Jacques said.

"The consent decree will allow trapping to occur. It just will make it harder for a lynx to get
caught in a trap," he said.

Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

Eventual Federal Regulation of U.S. Carbon Emissions Likely, Says DOE

By Lawrence Poole
Global Insight
October 5, 2007

Speaking at a biofuel conference yesterday, the director of the National Renewable Energy
Laboratory, a Department of Energy (DOE) entity, said that it is quite probable that carbon
emissions in the United States will eventually come under the purview of federal oversight.
Although the director, Dan Arvizu, was not speaking on behalf of the administration of
President George W. Bush, he pointed out that the president was not as inflexible on the
issue as he once was. Up until now, it has been the federal government's non-policy of
favouring voluntary reductions in carbon emissions--something which a number of states
have been keen to adopt.

Significance:The main problem with voluntary adoption of emission reduction rules is that
there is no unified standard. With states each going their own way, and with many
neglecting to take a stand at all, the business environment for many energy firms has
become quite uncertain. It is this uncertainty that is prompting many of them to lobby the
federal government for a nationwide standard. Although the Bush administration has been
slow to move in on the issue, this now seems to be changing. Given that a new presidential
election is looming in late 2008, however, the change of heart, if that is indeed what it is,
seems to be a case of too little, too late. It is quite likely that the next president of the
United States will have a clearer position on greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate presentations put progress, goals in focus; Chapel Hill joins national event




                                                                                              59
By Jesse James DeConto, Staff Writer
The News & Observer
October 5, 2007 Friday

Town leaders joined people in dozens of cities nationwide Thursday night to celebrate
small steps on climate change -- and call for bigger ones. Chapel Hill was the only Triangle
community to participate in the National Conversation on Climate Action, a one-day event
encouraging communities to combat global warming. More than 70 U.S. communities
joined the conversation Thursday, including Asheville, Charlotte and Winston-Salem --
making North Carolina one of the most active states in the nation. Only California,
Connecticut, Florida and New Jersey had more municipalities participating. "We're not a
California, and it's going to be a long time before we get to be a California, but we're
definitely headed in the right direction," said Tom Jensen, a Chapel Hill resident who works
for the N.C. Sierra Club helping cities and towns reduce their carbon emissions. Speaking
at Thursday's event at the Chapel Hill Public Library, state Rep. Verla Insko ticked off a list
of energy-related bills that the General Assembly passed this year. Senate Bill 3 made
North Carolina the first state in the Southeast to require power companies to produce at
least 7.5 percent of their energy through renewable sources such as wind and solar. "We
really are ahead of other states in the Southeast, and we are behind the more progressive
states," she said. "We have a lot of people moving into the state, and they tend to come
from a lot of the more progressive states." Jensen said the will to fight global warming has
spread all over North Carolina. In January, just a few liberal communities, including Chapel
Hill, Carrboro and Asheville, had joined the Sierra Club's Cool Cities program. Nine
months later, there are 25, including Gastonia, which Jensen said supported President Bush
with 70 percent of the votes in 2004. "It's not a liberal thing," Jensen said. "The debate
about whether global warming is real is over, and it has moved on to what to do about it."
Anne Waple, a climate scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, gave a 15-minute presentation to support that point. "The scientific
community is absolutely certain that it is warming and virtually certain that it is induced by
human activity," she said. About 100 people attended Thursday's event, and some of them
gasped as Waple showed the extreme increase in atmospheric carbon and average
temperatures in recent years. She warned of melting Arctic ice, flooding coastal plains,
fiercer hurricanes and longer droughts. "If you think of the hottest, nastiest day you can
imagine in Chapel Hill, that will be much closer to average," she said. "The trends are not
going to be very pleasant for Chapel Hill."

Carbon Disclosure Project: SUEZ Honored for its Disclosure on Climate Change

PR Newswire
October 5, 2007

SUEZ has been recognized among the top companies worldwide for its approach to climate
change disclosure by the Carbon Disclosure Project. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)
gathers more than 315 global institutional investors with a combined $41 trillion of assets
under management. The CDP report is based on a survey of the responses of Financial
Times 500 corporations on the issue of climate change. SUEZ was included in the Climate
Disclosure Leadership index, a prestigious honor roll for global corporations addressing the
challenges of climate change. The CDLI is produced by report writers Innovest. It
comprises 68 FT500 companies that show distinction in their responses to the CDP survey.




                                                                                            60
"We are convinced that climate change is a major challenge for humanity in the coming
decades," said Gerard Mestrallet, CEO of SUEZ. "The Group's strategy is based on
diversifying power production to include nuclear, coal, gas, hydraulic, wind turbine,
biomass, etc., and promoting the rational use of energy. Thus, it is entirely possible to
address climate change issues without jeopardizing our profitability."

According to CDP Chief Executive Paul Dickinson, "SUEZ has set itself apart from its
peers by disclosing the information required by investors to judge its readiness for the
challenges and opportunities posed by climate change."

The Carbon Disclosure Project is a special project of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
in New York. The group of investors is not a legal entity and the Carbon Disclosure Project
has no authority to make any other statement on behalf of the participants. Full details on
CDP, the CDP reports and the responses from corporations can be found at
http://www.cdproject.net/ . The dCDP5 report was written by Innovest Strategic Value
Advisors http://www.innovestgroup.com/

An international industrial and services Group, SUEZ designs sustainable and innovative
solutions for the management of public utility services as a partner of public authorities,
businesses and individuals. The Group aims to meet essential needs in electricity, natural
gas, energy services, water and waste management. SUEZ is listed on the Brussels,
Luxembourg, Paris, and Zurich stock exchanges and is represented in the major
international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ STOXX 50, DJ EURO STOXX 50, Euronext
100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe and ASPI Eurozone. The Group employs 140,000
people worldwide and recorded revenues of EUR 44.3 billion in 2006, 89% of which was
generated in Europe and North America.

Green groups go after Toyota; Stance on mileage bill draws protest

By James R. Healey
USA TODAY
October 5, 2007 Friday

Toyota, which has sold more than 1 million fuel-saving hybrid vehicles worldwide and
accounts for 78% of hybrid sales in the USA, is under attack from environmental groups
and at least one member of Congress for opposing tough fuel-economy legislation.

Toyota isn't used to this kind of attention. It's usually basking in favorable publicity for its
vehicles' strong sales, their good reliability scores and the top fuel-economy rankings of its
Prius hybrid.

The automaker points out that it supported a bill to boost mileage, just not as much as
environmentalists want.

The fight is erupting now because Congress hopes to pass an energy bill before a recess it
wants to take next month. Activists are backing a letter and e-mail campaign they hope will
pressure Toyota into supporting the toughest standards.




                                                                                             61
"Our engineers tell us they don't know how" to meet the strictest proposed standards, says
Martha Voss, the automaker's Washington, D.C., representative.

Toyota's U.S. headquarters has been hit with more than 8,000 e-mails, mainly from Natural
Resources Defense Council members. The Union of Concerned Scientists and other
organizations also have begun urging members to deluge Toyota and Congress.

Because the messages are nearly identical, Toyota pays less attention than it would to
individual notes from customers, but nevertheless, "We understand the message,"
spokesman Mike Michels says.

He says many have arrived via fax, "wasting paper; not very environmentally sound."

Toyota is in the bull's-eye despite its fuel-saving hybrids because it sided with Detroit
automakers in favor of a House bill requiring the auto industry to average 32 miles per
gallon by 2022. "Too little, too late," says David Friedman at the Union of Concerned
Scientists. "Contrast that with Nissan, which actively supported the 35 mpg (by 2020) in the
Senate legislation."

That would cut U.S. petroleum use equivalent to all the oil imported from the Persian Gulf,
says Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., sponsor of a bill to require 35 mpg by 2017.

"Toyota meets higher fuel-economy standards in Japan than they say we want them to meet
here in 13 years. It's almost as if they're not going to make any improvements in 13 years,"
Markey says.

  Toyota says its best seller in Japan is the Corolla, good for about 40 mpg there. But that's
also among the biggest it sells in Japan.
"Camrys are almost unheard of (in Japan). And there is an entire class of 'kei' cars, minicars
that make Smart cars look big," says Michels. Kei cars have motorcycle-size engines. "At
first glance it's, 'You can do this in other markets, why can't you do it here?' But paint a
picture of what you'd be driving," he says.

Novelis Recycling Education Project Receives Top UK Industry Award

Canada NewsWire
October 5, 2007

An innovative consumer education project developed by Novelis Recycling has won a top
recycling industry award. "What a Waste," an interactive film and educational programme
explaining the aluminium can recycling process, has been judged the UK's best example of
investment to facilitate the removal of packaging from the waste stream. The award was
presented by Valpak Ltd, the UK's leading not-for-profit provider of compliance and
recycling solutions.

The annual Valpak Awards recognise organisations that have implemented the best or most
innovative packaging recycling and waste minimisation programmes.

The Novelis project, developed in conjunction with the science discovery centre Catalyst in
Widnes, Cheshire, provides insight into the science of recycling and takes visitors on a




                                                                                           62
virtual tour of Novelis' used beverage can recycling plant in Warrington. The plant is
Europe's only dedicated facility for aluminium beverage can recycling.

"This award represents important recognition for the work Novelis is doing to educate,
inform and engage the general public about aluminium recycling in the UK," said Andy
Doran, Novelis Recycling National Manager. "Working with schools and other groups to
build an understanding of the strong environmental and economic benefits of aluminium
recycling is a key priority as we target continued growth in recycling rates."

In the UK, a system of packaging waste recovery notes (PRN) provides the evidence that
used packaging has been recycled. The system in turn generates a revenue stream for
accredited material reprocessors to enable further development of the recycling
infrastructure. As the UK's leading reprocessor of aluminium packaging, Novelis
Recycling invests its PRN revenue into a range of projects, such as the "What a Waste"
programme, to support aluminium collection and encourage wider participation in recycling
activities.

For more information about Novelis' can recycling activities in the UK, visit
www.thinkcans.com.

Former Iowa Gov. Thomas Vilsack Co-Chairs Task Force on Climate Change

PR Newswire
October 5, 2007

Dorsey & Whitney attorney and former Iowa Governor Thomas J. Vilsack will co-chair a
Council on Foreign Relations independent task force formed to make U.S. policy
recommendations for international engagement on climate change. Vilsack and former New
York Governor George E. Pataki lead a group of scholars, scientists, university leaders and
business executives who will examine the economics, science and politics of climate
change.

In a report scheduled for the spring of 2008, the task force will propose a comprehensive
strategy to address the challenges and seize the possibilities that climate change creates,
with special emphasis on dimensions that explicitly involve foreign policy.

"The challenge for the task force and for the country," Vilsack noted, "is to develop an
approach that can be effective internationally, while improving America's diplomatic
standing and gaining the support of government, industry, labor and environmental
interests."

Dorsey & Whitney senior counsel and former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale said:
"Like Governor Pataki, Governor Vilsack brings significant, highly relevant experience and
expertise to a project charged with developing a focused U.S. strategy for confronting a
serious challenge and exploiting a potential opportunity."

Vilsack joined the Des Moines office of Dorsey & Whitney in May 2007. His practice
focuses on strategic counseling and planning, advising clients in the fields of energy
production, renewable fuels and agribusiness development.




                                                                                        63
In addition to a distinguished public service career as Iowa governor (1996-2006), Iowa
state senator and the mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Vilsack is a highly regarded litigator
with more than 25 years of trial experience handling complex litigation and class actions
with state-wide and national implications.

Upheaval in the Arctic a cause for alarm
Arctic area 'torn to pieces' as heat triggers landslides

By Nik Goyert
The Toronto Star
October 5, 2007

It is disheartening to continuously read about the occurrences that global warming is
responsible for on our planet. Even subtle manipulation of Arctic geography could cost us
to lose species that have not been studied, losing out on scientific benefits. There should
also be cause for concern when we begin to see such upheaval in a region of the world long
predicted to be the first affected by climate change. However, this concern still seems to be
ignored or simply exploited by politicians in an effort to seem "greener." Even if a person
believes that climate change is not human caused, action must still be taken.


=================================================================




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                         UNITED NATIONS NEWS SERVICE
                                 DAILY NEWS
5 October 2007

In the headlines:
•       Myanmar should take ‗bold actions‘ towards democracy, says Ban Ki-moon
•       Ban Ki-moon disappointed by delay to Nepalese elections
•       Security Council deplores attack against Polish Ambassador in Iraq
•       DR Congo: UN agency concerned at military buildup in North Kivu
•       Côte d‘Ivoire: UN mission‘s military chief meets Government, rebel leaders
•       UN refugee agency appeals for ‗humanitarian‘ visas for Iraqis fleeing to Syria
•       UNDP chief kicks off Africa visit to spur action on global development goals
•       Somalia: UN envoy hails Transitional Government moves on political inclusion
•       Kenya: waste dump poses health hazard to children, UN agency warns
•       Registrar at UN war crimes tribunal sounds alarm over health of genocide suspect
•       Shortage of qualified teachers main obstacle to achieving education for all – UN
•       Guinea: UN Fund‘s $10 million grant to help poor rural families


Myanmar should take ‘bold actions’ towards democracy, says Ban Ki-moon
5 October - Myanmar needs to take major steps towards democratizing, protecting human
rights and accelerating its national reconciliation process, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
said today, calling authorities‘ recent use of force against peaceful demonstrators in the
Asian country ―abhorrent and unacceptable.‖
Addressing a Security Council meeting, which also heard a briefing from his Special
Adviser Ibrahim Gambari on his visit to Myanmar earlier this week, Mr. Ban said it was
time for a serious and comprehensive dialogue between the Government and the political
opposition.
―Now, more than ever before, the Government of Myanmar should take bold actions
towards democratization and respect for human rights,‖ he said. ―The national
reconciliation process must be accelerated and be made as broad-based, inclusive and
transparent as possible.‖
Both Mr. Ban and Mr. Gambari welcomed news that Senior General Than Shwe has is
prepared to meet the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi,
albeit with certain conditions.
―This is a potentially welcome development which calls for maximum flexibility on all
sides,‖ Mr. Gambari said, adding that it was vital the meeting take as soon as possible.
The Secretary-General and his Special Adviser told the Council they were deeply
concerned by recent events, amid reports of continued human rights violations by
authorities in the wake of the protests.
Mr. Gambari said both security forces and non-uniformed elements are reported to have
carried out abuses, especially during the nightly curfews, including arbitrary arrests,
disappearances, beatings, raids of private homes, the blockading of monasteries and the
mass relocation of monks outside Yangon, the country‘s biggest city.
The Government told Mr. Gambari that 2,095 people arrested because of the protests have
been released, including 728 monks, and that more releases will follow. The curfew in the
cities of Yangon and Mandalay has been relaxed as well.
Although some restrictions have been eased and some military forces have been withdrawn,
Mr. Ban stressed that ―the overall situation still remains of serious concern, especially with




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regard to the unknown predicament of the large number of individuals who were arrested
without due process.‖
He called for the immediate release of all those in detention because of the protests.
Mr. Ban and Mr. Gambari also emphasized the need for sustained support from the region
and the wider international community, including the United Nations, to help in advancing
the cause of democratization and economic development.
Mr. Gambari told Council members that senior Government officials informed him that the
demonstrations had been instigated by minority elements opposed to the Government and
largely limited to Yangon and Mandalay. They also said the authorities had acted with ―the
utmost restraint‖ and that those detained would soon be released after investigations had
been completed.

―It is clear, however, that the demonstrations over the past few weeks are for the most part
the expression of deep and widespread discontent about socio-economic conditions in the
country,‖ the Special Adviser said.
He noted that poverty is accelerating across Myanmar and the country‘s social service
structures are increasingly unable to meet the basic needs of the population. The average
household now has to spend as much as 69 per cent of its budget on food consumption
because of the rising prices of basic items.

Mr. Gambari added that while the protests followed a sudden spike in fuel prices in mid-
August, they also contained an important political dynamic.

―What is clear is that since 1988, the democratic aspirations of the people of Myanmar have
been systematically denied by the Government in the name of stability and security.‖
He warned that unless the Government opens up its process of national reconciliation, ―the
demands for greater inclusiveness, participation and transparency, and for an acceleration
of the transition to democracy and civilian rule, are likely to continue.‖

Mr. Ban said it was too early to say whether Mr. Gambari‘s mission had been a success or
not, but it appeared ―that a window of opportunity has opened, and it is vital that the
Government of Myanmar responds positively.‖
The Security Council then held closed consultations with Mr. Gambari after the initial open
meeting on his visit.

Earlier, Mr. Gambari also briefed General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim, who voiced
―grave concern‖ at the situation and condemned the use of force to resolve the situation.
Mr. Kerim also called on the Government to ensure that all representatives of political
groups and ethnic minorities can participate fully in the national reconciliation and political
transition processes, including the drafting of the constitution, according to a statement
released by his spokesman.

Ban Ki-moon disappointed by delay to Nepalese elections

5 October - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced disappointment at the decision of
Nepal‘s interim Government to postpone Constituent Assembly elections scheduled for
next month, stressing that the people of the Himalayan country deserve their opportunity to
express their political aspirations.




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In a statement released by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban strongly urged the Seven-Party
Alliance which comprises the interim coalition Government ―to redouble efforts so that
outstanding issues can be expeditiously resolved and the election held very soon.‖
On Monday, Nepal‘s Foreign Minister Sahana Pradhan had told the General Assembly‘s
annual high-level debate that the Government had been engaged in dialogue with the
Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) to ensure that the polls would be held on
schedule on 22 November.

But media reports today say the elections were delayed because of ongoing disputes
between the Seven-Party Alliance and the Maoists.
The elections had already been postponed from June because of technical problems and
then the onset of the monsoon season.

Once elected, the Constituent Assembly will draft a new constitution for Nepal, where an
estimated 13,000 people were killed during the decade-long civil conflict that came to a
formal end when the Government and the Maoists signed a peace accord late last year.
Mr. Ban‘s statement noted that ―the people of Nepal have demonstrated their desire for
peace and the stakes are too high to allow manageable differences to deny their
aspirations.‖

He added that the UN remained committed to assisting to establish a durable peace in
Nepal. A UN mission (known as UNMIN) is in place to help shepherd the country through
the post-conflict transition process.

Security Council deplores attack against Polish Ambassador in Iraq

5 October - Condemning yesterday‘s attack in Baghdad on the Polish Ambassador to Iraq,
the Security Council today called on the international community to support the Iraqi
Government in protecting the diplomatic community, United Nations staff and other foreign
civilian personnel.

The Ambassador sustained injuries in the attack, while at least two people were killed –
including a member of his personal security detachment team and an Iraqi civilian. Two
other people sustained injuries.

In a presidential statement read out by Ghanaian Ambassador Leslie Kojo Christian, who
holds the Council‘s rotating presidency this month, the 15-member body expressed its
deepest sympathy and sent condolences to the victims‘ families and to the Polish
Government.

―The Security Council underlines the need to bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers
and sponsors of this act to justice,‖ Mr. Christian said, calling on all States to cooperate
with the Polish and Iraqi Governments.
The Council also reiterated that ―any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable,
regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.‖

DR Congo: UN agency concerned at military buildup in North Kivu

5 October - As civilians in the troubled North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of
the Congo (DRC) continue to flee their homes, the United Nations refugee agency today




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warned that the humanitarian disaster there could worsen if a military build-up the volatile
area leads to more intensified fighting.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that some 5,000 internally
displaced people sought refuge at nearby sites over the past week, taking advantage of a lull
in the fighting between government forces, renegade troops and rebels. ―Some had walked
for days to reach the sites,‖ agency spokesman Ron Redmond told a press briefing in
Geneva.

The estimated total of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Mugunga area has now
surpassed 80,000. UN agencies and non-governmental organizations say over 370,000 IDPs
are though to have been displaced in North Kivu since December 2006.

―The numbers of displaced are rising with the new arrivals at the camp sites, but also as aid
workers in the field discover more groups of displaced people,‖ Mr. Redmond explained.
He said the agency is ―increasingly concerned over the build-up of forces and military
supplies in North Kivu,‖ especially the reported recruitment of child soldiers by armed
groups across North Kivu. ―We fear new clashes would lead to thousands of people being
displaced, plunging the province into an even worse humanitarian disaster.‖

Following a visit to the area to improve conditions in overstretched IDP camps, a seven-
member UNHCR emergency team is now preparing a new site with the capacity to host
10,000 people.

―The new site will help decongest makeshift sites at Lac Vert and Ndosho,‖ said Mr.
Redmond. ―Conditions at the makeshift sites in the Mugunga area are dire and are
deteriorating as more fleeing Congolese arrive. Tensions are mounting among the displaced
and two days ago our team could not visit these sites due to safety concerns for the staff.‖
The agency is working with its non-governmental partners to register displaced in the area
in a bid to establish more precise numbers to better plan for aid distributions.
Côte d‘Ivoire: UN mission‘s military chief meets Government, rebel leaders

5 October - The military head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte

d‘Ivoire (UNOCI) met this week with Government and former rebel army leaders to discuss
aspects of the implementation of the Ouagadougou political accord between rival political
groups in the divided West African nation.

Held at UNOCI headquarters in Abidjan, participants at the meeting, including UNOCI
Force Commander General Fernand Marcel Amoussou, discussed the structure and work of
the Integrated Command Centre, created under the Ouagadougou pact to unify the Ivorian
military parties.

Participants also conferred on how the Centre can continue to support the ongoing pre-
election identification scheme.

The Ouagadougou agreement, reached in March this year, sets out a series of measures to
deal with the political divide between the Government, which controls the south of the
country, and Forces Nouvelles, which has held the north since 2002.




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UNOCI was set up in 2004 with a mandate to monitor the cessation of hostilities between
the warring parties and, among other goals, to contribute ―to the security of the operations
of identification of the population and registration of voters‖ and support ―the organization
of open, free, fair and transparent elections.‖

As of the end of August, the mission had a strength of nearly 9,200 uniformed personnel,
including almost 8,000 troops and over 1,130 police.

UN refugee agency appeals for ‘humanitarian’ visas for Iraqis fleeing to Syria

5 October - Responding to Syria‘s strict adherence to new visa restrictions for Iraqis
wishing to enter the country, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) today urged the creation of a ―humanitarian‖ visa for Iraqis fleeing violence in
their homeland.

Since visa restrictions were imposed on Monday, only Iraqis with visas for commercial,
transport, scientific and education purposes have been successful in crossing the border to
Syria, UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond told reporters in Geneva.
To apply for these visas, Iraqis must apply at the Syrian Embassy in the Al Mansour district
of Baghdad. ―Refugees have highlighted their concern that Al Mansour district is the scene
of frequent violence, and not an area that large groups of people should gather,‖ Mr.
Redmond said.

In many instances, a Syrian sponsoring organization, such as the Syrian Chamber of
Commerce, is necessary to procure a visa to enter the country.
Syria has stated that the visa restrictions are a result of the massive pressure placed on the
country as it hosts over 1.4 million Iraqi refugees. ―UNHCR continues to appeal for
increased bilateral support to Syria so it can continue to support the Iraqi refugees living in
the country – and hopefully offer refuge for those Iraqis that need to flee Iraq in the future,‖
Mr. Redmond said.

Since the new restrictions took effect, the number of phone calls to UNHCR in Damascus
has doubled, with the agency having counselled either in person or over the phone hundreds
of Iraqi refugees living in Syria regarding concerns over their residency status.

―From discussions with Government officials, UNHCR understands that Iraqi refugees
currently living in Syria will not be forcibly returned to Iraq,‖ Mr. Redmond noted.
But Iraqi refugees are worried about their status after their visas expire. In the past, the
documents could be renewed at the Syrian border for three months, and UNHCR said it
hopes that Syria can establish such offices within the country for refugees to renew their
visas.

In a related development, UNHCR said the second group of Palestinians – who were forced
to flee their homes in Iraq – from Ruwayshed camp in Jordan let yesterday for resettlement
in Brazil. Almost 40 Palestinians, who have been living in harsh conditions for more than
four years, left behind 37 others who will join them in South America later this month.
All 108 Palestinian inhabitants of Ruwayshed camp will move to Sao Paulo and Rio Grande
do Sul regions, where they will receive accommodation, furniture, material and
employment assistance, as well as Portuguese language classes.




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―UNHCR is very appreciative of Brazil‘s offer for humanitarian resettlement,‖ Mr.
Redmond said.

Meanwhile, UNHCR continues to appeal for urgent solutions for over 1,750 Palestinians
are still stranded in Al Waleed and Al Tanf border camps and are living in dire conditions.



UNDP chief kicks off Africa visit to spur action on global development goals

5 October - The head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today
started a 10-day trip to Africa to jump-start renewed efforts to assist countries that are not
on track to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight targets to slash
poverty and other ills by 2015.

UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis noted that although the leadership necessary to achieve
the MDGs must come from within the continent, African countries need the support of
international organizations and development partners.

During his trip, Mr. Dervis will stop in Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania, three of the
four African ―One UN‖ pilot countries.

The ―One UN‖ programme, launched earlier this year, is designed to better coordinate UN
operations and accelerate progress towards the MDGs through grouping various UN
agencies, funds and programmes operating in each country together under one leader,
programme and budget to maximize efficiency and opportunities.

Somalia: UN envoy hails Transitional Government moves on political inclusion
5 October - The senior United Nations envoy to Somalia today hailed a decision by the
country‘s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to endorse the recommendations of the
recently concluded National Reconciliation Congress on political inclusion.
UN Special Representative for Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah issued a statement in
Nairobi saying the move ―should pave the way for greater inclusion of Somalis from a
larger political spectrum.‖

Mr. Ould-Abdallah commended this decision as a first step towards national reconciliation
and urged the TFG to go further by extending the mandate of the National Governance and
Reconciliation Committee as soon as possible.
The statement voiced hope that by allowing the Committee to continue the national
reconciliation process, the TFG will prepare the ground for serious talks between Somalis
inside and outside the country.

The international community, the envoy said, should ―support this helpful move.‖
Held in Mogadishu during July and August, the National Reconciliation Congress aimed to
foster internal coherence in Somalia, which has had no functioning government since
Muhammad Siad Barre‘s regime was toppled in 1991.




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Kenya: waste dump poses health hazard to children, UN agency warns

5 October - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today warned that a
large waste dump located in Kenya is posing a serious threat to children living nearby and
pledged its assistance to help reduce the hazard.

Citing the results of a study it commissioned of 328 children up to the age of 18 around the
Dandora Municipal Dumping Site, the agency said half had concentrations of lead in their
blood exceeding internationally accepted levels, while 42 per cent of soil samples recorded
lead levels almost 10 times higher than what is considered unpolluted soil. Almost half of
the children tested were suffering from respiratory diseases, including chronic bronchitis
and asthma.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said the results were worse than expected. ―We
had anticipated some tough and worrisome findings, but the actual results are even more
shocking than we had imagined at the outset,‖ he said.
He also drew broader conclusions about problems of waste management in poor countries.
―The Dandora site may pose some special challenges for the city of Nairobi and Kenya as a
nation. But it is also a mirror to the condition of rubbish sites across many parts of Africa
and other urban centres of the developing world.‖

Mr. Steiner said UNEP stands ready to assist the local and national authorities in the search
for improved waste management systems and strategies including ones that generate
sustainable and healthier jobs in the waste-handling and recycling sectors.

The 30-acre large Dandora dumping site receives 2,000 tonnes of rubbish every day,
including plastics, rubber and lead paint treated wood, generated by some 4.5 million
people living in the Kenyan capital. The study also found evidence of the presence of
hazardous waste, such as chemical and hospital waste, on the dumpsite.

Every day, scores of people, including children, from the nearby slums and low-income
residential areas use the dump to find food, recyclables and other valuables they can sell as
a source of income, at the same time inhaling the noxious fumes from routine waste burning
and methane fires, UNEP said.

―We have been witnessing an alarming situation regarding Dandora children's health:
asthma, anaemia and skin infections are by now endemic. These abnormalities are linked to
the environment around the dumping site, and are exacerbated by poverty, illiteracy and
malnutrition. Since waste dumping is unrestricted and unmanaged, people are also at risk
from contracting blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS,‖ said Njoroge
Kimani, principal investigator and author of the report.

According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), a quarter of all diseases affecting
humankind are attributable to environmental risks with children more vulnerable than
adults. Among children under age five, environmentally-related illnesses are responsible for
more than 4.7 million deaths annually. Twenty-five per cent of deaths in developing
countries are related to environmental factors, compared with 17 per cent of deaths in the
developed world.




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―The children of Dandora, Kenya, Africa and the world deserve better than this. We can no
longer afford rubbish solutions to the waste management crisis faced in far too many cities,
especially in the developing world,‖ said Mr. Steiner.

Registrar at UN war crimes tribunal sounds alarm over health of genocide suspect

5 October - A Bosnian Serb former army officer who is facing genocide and other war
crimes charges over his role in the 1995 massacre of more than 7,000 Muslims at
Srebrenica is refusing medical treatment, putting his life in danger, the Registrar of the
United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) warned
today.

Hans Holthuis filed a submission to the Tribunal‘s trial chamber calling on judges ―to take
all appropriate measures‖ to assess the health of Zdravko Tolimir, 58, and determine
whether he is still capable of representing himself.

Mr. Tolimir, who served as Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Security of the Main
Staff of the Bosnian Serb army and reported directly to the notorious chief Ratko Mladic,
who remains at large, has been indicted on charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit
genocide, extermination, murder, persecutions, forcible transfer and deportation.
Prosecutors allege that Mr. Tolimir has responsibility for the murder of thousands of
Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in July 1995, when the town was supposed to be a UN-
protected area. The indictment also accuses him of making life unbearable for the civilian
residents of Srebrenica and Žepa and forcing them to leave the protected areas.
Mr. Tolimir was involved in the murder of Bosnian Muslim prisoners being held in
temporary locations around eastern Bosnia in 1995, the indictment states, including the
summary execution of more than 1,700 men and boys by an army detachment at the
Branjevo Military Farm and the Pilica Cultural Centre.

Mr. Holthuis said today that the ICTY registry had assessed Mr. Tolimir‘s health to be
―grave, fragile and highly alarming,‖ exacerbated by his refusal to cooperate with
physicians, accept medical treatment or take prescribed medicines since being transferred to
the Tribunal‘s custody in June.

Mr. Tolimir had been on the run for two years before he was detained by authorities in
Bosnia and Herzegovina on 31 May.

He has a ―significant aneurism in his brain,‖ Mr. Holthuis said in the submission,
describing it as ―an inoperable, high-risk condition which can be controlled to some extent
by appropriate medications aimed at keeping the Accused‘s blood pressure low.‖
Mr. Tolimir also suffers from a serious heart condition, has indications of long-term high
blood pressure, previously experienced heart attacks and arteriosclerosis, and ―may have
suffered from a small number of minor strokes.‖

―There is a very real and serious risk of the Accused experiencing a life-threatening episode
at any time and without warning,‖ Mr. Holthuis said, adding that the situation has been
complicated by Mr. Tolimir‘s stated plan to represent himself during the trial.
―The stresses involved in running a trial are certain to have a detrimental impact on the
Accused‘s medical situation,‖ Mr. Holthuis said.




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He noted that Mr. Tolimir has given various reasons for his refusal of medical care, ranging
from religious belief to an assertion that he is in good health.

Shortage of qualified teachers main obstacle to achieving education for all – UN

5 October - It will not be possible to meet the goal of providing quality education for all
children by 2015 without an additional 18 million new teachers worldwide – 4 million in
Africa alone – the United Nations said today on the occasion of World Teacher‘s Day.
The growing shortage of qualified teachers is the main challenge to the realization of
international education targets, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the
head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in a
message issued to mark the Day.

―But the challenge is more than one of just numbers,‖ Director-General Koichiro Matsuura
added. ―The quality of teachers and teaching is also essential to good learning outcomes.
In the message, which is co-signed by the heads of the International Labour Organization
(ILO), the UN Children‘s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and
the organization Education International, Mr. Matsuura noted that in many countries not all
children are able to go to school or learn basic skills since there are simply not enough
teachers.
―This has negative outcomes not only for the future of individual children, but also for the
development of whole societies,‖ he added.

To address the shortage of qualified teachers in Afghanistan, UNICEF is supporting the
Ministry of Education in training personnel, developing curriculum and establishing
teachers training colleges.

―These colleges are designed to help redress years of underinvestment in teachers training
which has led to a marked decline in number of teachers and teaching standards,‖ the
agency said in a press release.

UNICEF‘s efforts in the war-torn nation include strategies for increasing the number of
female teachers, who were barred during the Taliban‘s rule from practicing their profession.
―The drive to improve the numbers of female teachers and improve standards of teaching is
important step in ensuring that girls continue to return to the classroom, and to reduce risk
of drop-out amongst pupils already enrolled,‖ said Catherine Mbengue, UNICEF
Representative in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, to mark World Teacher‘s Day, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine
refugees (UNRWA) has released a new study which finds that violence, occupation,
closures and poverty are having a dire effect on the schooling of Palestinian refugee
children.

The agency‘s education programme serves over half a million students in three countries
and the occupied Palestinian territory. The study shows that in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan,
the performance of children in UNRWA schools compares favourably with that of their
peers in Government-run schools, in spite of limited resources.

In the Gaza Strip, the study reveals a ―worrying‖ rate of failure in Mathematics and Arabic
in UNRWA schools, according to an agency press release. In response to the study,




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UNRWA is pursuing efforts to improve educational standards in Gaza, including hiring
more than 1,500 new classroom assistants and building a new teacher training college.
―The cumulative impact of years of violence and closures, of disrupted schooling and
endemic poverty is clear from the stark exam results of Gaza‘s schoolchildren,‖ John Ging,
Director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, stated.

―In spite of the challenging environment, we are determined to ensure that our reforms and
our drive for excellence in UNRWA schools will be successful,‖ he added.

Guinea: UN Fund’s $10 million grant to help poor rural families

5 October - A development project in Guinea has received a $10 million grant from the UN
International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) as part of efforts to provide poor
rural families in the West African nation with better access to schools, healthcare and
drinking water.
The initiative, known as the Village Communities Support Project – Phase II, will also
bolster rural producers‘ access to markets and increase local governments‘ abilities to allow
communities to plan and manage their own services in Guinea, which is classified as a
highly vulnerable and indebted country.

In addition to the $10 million provided by IFAD, the Guinean Government and other
organizations will contribute towards the programme, which has a $56 million price tag.
―The project‘s long-term goal is for communities and their local governments to be able to
identify, plan, prioritize, build and manage their own infrastructure and service needs,‖ said
Luyaku Nsimpasi, IFAD‘s country programme manager for Guinea.

―With better access to school and health facilities and the increased capacity of local
government leaders, Guinea‘s rural people will be able to increase their incomes and to
support development in their communities.‖

To date, IFAD loans and grants totaling $141 million have gone towards financing one
dozen programmes and projects in Guinea.

UN-backed meeting calls for more strategic approach to mountain development

5 October - A United Nations-backed meeting on mountains has forged a consensus among
over 60 representatives from governments, civil society and international organizations on
the need for a more coherent approach to sustainable agriculture and rural development in
the world's highland areas.

This call came in a statement issued at the close of the third meeting of the Adelboden
Group for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions held 1-3
October at the Rome headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Physically isolated and socially and politically marginalized, mountain populations are
among the most vulnerable in the world, FAO said in a news release, noting that 840
million chronically undernourished people live in highland areas and about 270 million
mountain people lack food security, with 135 million suffering chronic hunger.
―Higher priority should be given to mountain issues in national, regional and global
policymaking either through incorporating mountain specific requirements into general




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policies or through specific mountain policies,‖ the Group said in a statement read at the
end of its meeting.

Governments with mountain regions were urged to better integrate mountain areas into
national economies and foster economic diversification in highland regions by helping
farmers, craftsmen and foresters add value to their products.
The group also stressed the need to provide policy support to indigenous mountain
communities, whose traditional local knowledge and know-how often help conserve the
mountain environment and biodiversity and represent a sustainable approach to highland
agriculture.

Established in June 2002 in Adelboden, Switzerland, the group serves as a forum for
discussion of policies, exchanges of experience, and coordinated planning. It also acts as an
advisory board for FAO's project on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in
Mountain Regions.

Public-private partnerships key to advances in Asia-Pacific region – Ban Ki-moon

5 October - Partnerships between governments and the private sector are key to fostering
development in the Asia-Pacific region, which is home to more than half the world's people
and accounts for a quarter of international trade, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said
today.

―Beyond the accountability of Governments to their electorate, and the responsibility of
companies to their shareholders, we have a joint mission to give citizens of this region the
tools to create their own prosperity,‖ Mr. Ban said in a message to the Ministerial
Conference on Public-Private Partnerships for Infrastructure Development, being held in
Seoul with support from the Republic of Korea Government and the Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

He also emphasized the importance of global antipoverty targets known as the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) by ―developing adequate infrastructure for transport, energy,
water and health services.‖

That, in turn, ―requires investments, goods and expertise that cannot be provided by the
public sector alone,‖ he pointed out.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the financial requirements for infrastructure development are
estimated at $200 billion per year over the next five years. ―Today, we see can see public-
private partnerships enabling businesses around the world to actively and productively
contribute to critical infrastructure projects,‖ the Secretary-General said.

He emphasized the importance of transparency and trust in this process, and noted that
through the UN Global Compact – ―the world's largest corporate citizenship initiative‖ –
the world body is working with business, governments and civil society to ―advance notions
of corporate responsibility, thereby establishing an atmosphere of accountability and trust
that allows for more collaborative solution-finding.‖

Planning guide for palliative care for cancer patients released by UN agency




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5 October - The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today unveiled its first
guide explaining the range of palliative care services available for the millions of people
across the world living with advanced stages of cancer.
Aimed at public health planners, particularly in developing countries, the guide provides
information on how to devise the most effective methods of providing palliative care,
including details of low-cost public health models.

WHO‘s Director for Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion, Benedetto Saraceno, said
simple and low-cost models can be adopted in ways that reach the majority of the
population, even in poor countries where most cases are not diagnosed until the late stages
of cancer.
―These models consider the integration of palliative care services in the existing health
system, with a special emphasis on community- and home-based care,‖ he said.
Palliative care focuses on providing pain relief and management of often distressing or
debilitating symptoms to patients facing life-threatening illnesses, improving their quality
of life.

WHO reports that preliminary estimates indicate that every year as many 4.8 million people
who suffer moderate to severe pain as a result of cancer do not receive any treatment.
―Everyone has a right to be treated, and die, with dignity,‖ said Catherine Le Galès-Camus,
WHO‘s Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health.
―The relief of pain – physical, emotional, spiritual and social – is a human right.‖
Dr. Le Galès-Camus said this was particularly important in poor countries, where diagnoses
are often made so late that treatment is no longer effective and palliative care is the only
option.

More than 70 per cent of all deaths from cancer occur in developing countries, which have
limited resources for prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Worldwide, some 7.6 million
people died from cancer in 2005.

WHO projects that the number of deaths from cancer will keep rising, up to an estimated 9
million in 2015 and 11.4 million by 2030.

UN initiative brings Iraqis and Jordanians together during Ramadan

5 October - Since the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the United Nations
refugee agency has distributed free meals every evening to more than 800 Iraqi refugees
and needy locals in Jordan.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partners are trying to assist in
various areas, including nutrition, health and education. The Ramadan soup kitchens are
one way to ensure that people are getting a daily meal and honouring traditional Islamic
practice.

―The Ramadan tents and meal distribution show the increase in the level of vulnerability
among Iraqis, but also among Jordanians who are being affected by the large presence of
Iraqis,‖ said Imran Riza, UNHCR's representative in Jordan. He said the locals needed to be
helped too.




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Some among the estimated 750,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan have financial resources and
are self-sufficient, but even greater numbers are running out of money and valuables to
trade, according to UNHCR, which warned in a news release that they are finding it hard to
make ends meet and to feed themselves.

The needs of these vulnerable Iraqi refugees have put an enormous strain on already
overstretched public services in Jordan. The situation is the same in neighbouring Syria,
where some 1.4 million Iraqis have fled, and in other host countries, which need
international help to cope with the unexpected pressure, the agency said.
The Iraqi refugees who spoke to UNHCR were all grateful to Jordan, but many said their
lives here were becoming increasingly difficult. Saib, who fled Baghdad last year after he
was threatened, thanked Jordan for offering a safe haven.

―However, my daughter is always ill here, I have no job and my other daughter refuses to
study or attend school anymore,‖ he said. ―Life is becoming too difficult here and I can no
longer face my family. Sometimes I don't have money to feed them anymore and I feel
lost,‖ he added.

Saib is among more than 4 million people who have been uprooted from their homes in
Iraq. The UN refugee agency estimates that more than 2.2 million have taken refuge
overseas, including the hundreds of thousands in Jordan.
UNHCR has started a monthly food distribution for more than 1,500 Iraqi families in
Amman and will soon extend this to Zarqa and Irbid. Meanwhile, UNHCR and sister
agencies last month issued an appeal for $84.8 million to help host countries meet the
health and nutrition needs of Iraqi refugees.

Prestigious UN honours awarded to disaster prevention experts
5 October - A Japanese professor who educates both the Government and the public on
practical skills for disaster risk reduction and an engineer from Grenada and Barbados
focusing on building safety are recipients of this year‘s prestigious United Nations
Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction.

―The award recognizes the efforts of these individuals – both trained as engineers – to
communicate effectively on hazard and risk-related issues with a wide range of
stakeholders including social scientists, engineers, architects and decision-makers as well as
the general public,‖ said Salvano Briceño, director of the Geneva-based secretariat of the
UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).

―Their ability to bridge the gaps between science and practice has brought disaster risk
reduction closer to people‘s daily‘s lives.‖

Kyoto University Professor Yoshiaki Kawata, who specializes in disaster risk reduction,
has been selected for the honor for his promotion of research and knowledge about past
disasters.
According to the ISDR, he has highlighted the lessons learned from the Great Hanshin
Awaji, or Kobe, Earthquake which took over 6,400 lives and is one of the most devastating
earthquakes in Japanese history.

Mr. Kawata has dedicated much of the past three decades raising public awareness of
disasters; in 2002, he founded the Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution




                                                                                             77
and established the Kobe Disaster Reduction Museum to educate both the public and local
governments in practical knowledge and skills.

A pioneer in advancing safe architectural and designs to resist natural hazards, Tony Gibbs
works as an advisor for the UN and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
Disaster Mitigation Advisory Group on hospital safety.

He has made significant contribution to hazard awareness and disaster risk reduction n the
Caribbean and throughout the Americas, according to ISDR. He has also focused on
designing structures to protect hospitals against wind and earthquakes, influencing
standards and advances in building design worldwide.

Aside from these achievements, Mr. Gibbs is also being awarded the prize for his advocacy
and leadership role in sharing knowledge with engineers, architects, builders and the public.
A Sasakawa Certificate of Distinction was also awarded to ActionAid International, a South
African non-governmental organization (NGO) for its role in incorporating disaster risk
reduction and the Hyogo Framework – which offers a number of concrete steps to make
communities and nations more resilient to any type of disaster – into is sustainable
development activities.

The Social Action Centre in the Philippines, La Red Habitat en Riesgo in Argentina and the
South African Disaster Mitigation for Sustainable Livelihoods Programme are being
recognized for their efforts with Sasakawa Certificates of Merit.

The UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction, along with the UN World Health
Organization (WHO) Sasakawa Health Prize and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
Sasakawa Environment Prize, was established in 1986 by the Nippon Foundation in Japan.
Laureates are selected by the UN Sasakawa jury, comprising representatives from the five
continents.

Surging wheat prices push staple products out of reach of poor – UN agency

5 October - International wheat prices have hit record highs during the past three months,
pushing the domestic price of bread and other basic foods in poor countries beyond the
reach of many locals, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
announced today.

The latest issue of the FAO Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, released at the
agency‘s headquarters in Rome, found that wheat prices have risen sharply since June
because of tightening global supplies, historically low levels of stocks and sustained
demand.




                                                                                             78
Maize prices have also jumped, despite this year‘s bumper crop in North, Central and South
America, because of continuing strong demand from the biofuels industry.
Paul Racionzer of the FAO‘s Global Information and Early Warning System warned that
cereal stocks, especially of wheat, are likely to remain at historically low levels for the
foreseeable future. Wheat stocks are close to their lowest levels in 25 years.

―On current indications, this year‘s cereal harvest would only just meet expected utilization
levels in the coming year, which means that stocks will not be replenished,‖ he said.
The higher export prices for wheat – and other cereal crops – and surging freight rates have
forced the price of bread and other products beyond the means of many people in the States
classified as low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs), leading to social unrest in some
areas.

The total cereal import bill for LIFDCs is forecast to hit an all-time high of $28 billion in
2007-08, a rise of 14 per cent on last year‘s figures. In total, developing countries are likely
to spend $52 billion on cereal imports.

UN refugee agency concerned by surge of arrivals by sea into Greece

5 October - The number of asylum-seekers and migrants arriving by boat in Greece has
spiked dramatically this year, leading to overcrowding and serious hygiene concerns in the
country‘s detention centres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) said today.

UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond told reporters in Geneva that the average number of
people arrested, intercepted or rescued by Greek coastguard officials has been about 3,000
each year since 2002, but already this year there have been nearly 4,500 cases.

He noted that Greek police are reporting even higher arrest figures from just three islands:
Samos, Chios and Lesvos, which are all close to the coast of neighbouring Turkey.
The surge in arrivals has led to overcrowding in the detention centres in Samos, Chios and
Lesvos, Mr. Redmond said, after that a holding centre in Samos sparked particular concern
because of lowered hygiene standards. UNHCR has called for that centre‘s immediate
closure.
―We welcome the announcement by the Interior Ministry of Greece that all persons
currently in the old centre will be transferred to a newly-built centre in Samos which will
open at the end of this month,‖ he said.

Many of the arrivals are Iraqis, Afghans and Somalis, as well as migrants from other
countries in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and South Asia. Some 3,500 Iraqis applied
for asylum in Greece in the first six months of the year, the second highest number of any
industrialized nation after Sweden, although this figure includes arrivals by land and air as
well as by sea.

Mr. Redmond added that the surge in arrivals in Greece coincides with a sharp drop in the
number of irregular arrivals by sea into Italy and Spain. In the case of the Canary Islands,
which are part of Spain, the numbers have slumped by as much as 60 per cent this year.

================================================================




                                                                                              79
  DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICES OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR
                    THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
5 October 2007
=================================================================


                And the spokesperson for the General Assembly president

       The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today‘s noon briefing by Michèle
Montas, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, and Janos Tisovszky, Spokesperson for
the General Assembly President.

       Briefing by the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

       ** Myanmar

        Good afternoon, all. I realize we have a pretty empty room today – everyone
waiting for the Security Council, of course. We‘ll announce when Mr. Gambari will go to
the stakeout. The Secretary-General and his Special Adviser, Ibrahim Gambari, this
morning opened a Security Council meeting on Myanmar, calling for sustained regional
and international engagement to deal with developments there amid reports of continued
human rights violations.

       The Secretary-General stressed that the use of force against peaceful demonstrators
is abhorrent and unacceptable, and he expressed his hope that those detained will be
released without further delay.

       Gambari briefed the Council on his recent visit to Myanmar, and he expressed his
concern at the continuing and disturbing reports of abuses being committed by security and
non-uniformed elements, particularly at night during curfew, including raids on private
homes, beatings, arbitrary arrests and disappearances.

        He noted that, following his trip, the Myanmar authorities have already announced a
relaxation of the curfew in Yangon and Mandalay, and reports indicate that visible military
presence in the streets has been reduced.

        The Government also told Gambari that, as of today, a total of 2,095 persons
arrested in the course of demonstrations have been released, including 728 monks, and that
more releases will follow. Gambari said that further steps will be needed, over the next few
days and weeks, not only to overcome the current crisis but also to address the underlying
factors to the recent unrest.

        He added that he was cautiously encouraged by the Government‘s announcement
yesterday that Senior General Than Shwe is prepared to meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,
although with certain conditions. This is a potentially welcome development which calls
for maximum flexibility on all sides. The Secretary-General, in his statement, urged both
parties to meet as soon as possible.




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        The Secretary-General concluded that it is too early to measure the impact of
Gambari‘s visit, and to label it a success or a failure. It appears, however, that a window of
opportunity has opened, and it is vital that the Government of Myanmar responds
positively.

       Following the open meeting on Myanmar, Council members continued their
discussions with Gambari in closed consultations. He will then speak to you at the stakeout
afterwards.

       **Statement on Nepal

       We have a statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on
Nepal. The Secretary-General is disappointed by the decision of the Interim Government of
Nepal to postpone the Constituent Assembly Election, which had been scheduled for
22 November. He strongly urges the Seven-Party Alliance to redouble efforts so that
outstanding issues can be expeditiously resolved and the election held very soon. The
people of Nepal have demonstrated their desire for peace and the stakes are too high to
allow manageable differences to deny their aspirations.

       The United Nations remains committed to assisting efforts to establish a durable
peace in Nepal.

       ** Democratic Republic of the Congo

       On the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Refugee Agency says over the
past week some 5,000 people fled fighting between Government forces, renegade troops
and rebels in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Most
have found refuge at the camp near the town of Goma.

        The Agency says that some among the displaced persons travelled on foot for
several days to safety. This new influx has brought the total of IDP‘s at the camp to over
80,000. The United Nations now estimates that over 370,000 civilians have been displaced
in North Kivu since December 2006. The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo, meanwhile, says that fighting continued intermittently in Karuba, near Goma.

       And yesterday, the Mission, in a press release, strongly condemned the arrest by the
Congolese Army of three local officials of the Military Tribunal of Kisangani. The three
were arrested sometime last week. Then they were cuffed, undressed and severely beaten,
says a MONUC team who visited them at a Kisangani hospital.

       Of course, all these press releases can be found in the Spokesperson‘s Office.

       ** Cote d‘Ivoire

        On Cote d‘Ivoire, the Force Commander of the UN Operation in Cote d‘Ivoire,
General Fernand Marcel Amoussou, met this week with the leaders of the Government and
former rebel armies at the Mission‘s headquarters in Abidjan. They discussed the structure
and work of the Integrated Command Centre, which was created to unify the Ivorian
military parties, and how it can support the ongoing pre-election identification scheme.




                                                                                            81
They also talked about other aspects of the implementation of the Ouagadougou Peace
Agreement.

       **UNHCR

        The UN Refugee Agency says new visa restrictions for Iraqis trying to enter Syria
have been strictly enforced since they went into effect on Monday. Only those with visas
issued for commercial, transport, scientific and educational purposes have been able to
cross the border.

        UNHCR is calling for a ―humanitarian visa‖ for Iraqis fleeing persecution. It also
continues to appeal for increased support for Syria, which is currently hosting 1.4 million
Iraqi refugees.

       There is more information in the UNHCR briefing note upstairs.

       **UNDP

        The Administrator for the United Nations Development Programme, Kemal Dervis,
began a 10-day trip to Africa today to encourage renewed efforts in many countries that are
not on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He stated that while
the leadership to achieve the MDGs must come from within Africa, African countries
cannot achieve this alone and must be supported by international organizations and
development partners.

     He is also visiting three of the four African One UN pilot countries: Mozambique,
Rwanda and Tanzania.

       For more information, please contact the communications office at UNDP.

       **UNEP

       The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is warning about the environmental
dangers, especially for children, posed by one of Africa‘s largest waste dumps.

        The 30-acre Dandora Municipal Dumping site in Nairobi receives 2000 tons of
rubbish every day. A UNEP study found that almost half the children living nearby had
high levels of lead in their blood or suffered from respiratory diseases.

        UNEP is calling for urgent action to address the problem, and says it is ready to help
the local authorities improve their waste management strategies.

       We have more information on this upstairs.

       **World Teachers‘ Day

       Today is World Teachers‘ Day, and UNESCO estimates that the world will need 18
million new teachers by 2015 – 4 million in Africa alone – to meet the global target of
providing quality primary education to all children. To address the shortage of qualified




                                                                                              82
teachers in Afghanistan, UNICEF is helping with teacher training in that country, including
the training of 16,000 female teachers.

        In related news, the UN Relief and Works Agency, better known as UNRWA, says
that violence, occupation, closures and poverty are having a dire effect on the schooling of
Palestinian refugee children in Gaza. Unlike their counterparts in UNRWA schools in
Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, children in Gaza are failing their math and Arabic classes in
worrying numbers.

        In response, UNRWA is working to hire more than 1,500 new classroom assistants,
limit class sizes in boys‘ schools to 30, add extra classes in Arabic and math, and build a
new teacher training college.

       **Secretary-General Appointment

       The Secretary-General has appointed Mr. Mike Smith of Australia as Executive
Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, replacing Mr. Javier Ruperez of
Spain who stepped down at the end of June this year. He is expected to take up his
functions shortly.

       Mr. Smith currently serves as Australia‘s Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. He
has held a number of senior postings in the Australian diplomatic service, including that of
Permanent Representative of Australia to the UN in Geneva.

       **Press Conference Today

       At 2.30 p.m., there will be a press conference in this room, Room 226 by
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference,
on the Organization‘s reform, its relationship with the UN, the sixty-second session of the
General Assembly and issues concerning the Middle East.

       **Press Conference on Monday

        Our guests at the noon briefing on Monday will be Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-
Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations; and Jane Holl Lute, Acting Head of the
Department of Field Support, who will brief you on the situation in the Sudan. And we also
have upstairs for you ―The Week Ahead at the United Nations‖. On Tuesday, I will
underline that the Special Representative of the Secretary General in Kosovo, Joachim
Rucker, is scheduled to brief the Security Council during consultations on the UN Mission
in Kosovo. And that day, on Tuesday, the guests of the day will be Under-Secretary-
General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes and Markku Niskala, Secretary-General of
the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), who will
brief on IFRC‘s new initiative, the Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction. This is all
I have for you today. Thank you very much. Any questions? Yes, Matthew?

       **Questions and Answers

        Question: On Kosovo, the U.S. envoy to the Troika, Frank Wisner, has said there
will not be time for any resolution of status before the end of the year. I‘m wondering, does
the UN – the Secretariat is very involved in that process – does the UN agree with that




                                                                                           83
statement? Do they still think there‘s a chance that if a report is turned in December 10 that
something can happen by the end of the year?

     Spokesperson: That‘s a process we‘re following up. I don‘t have any specific
comment on this statement today.

       Question: The thing from yesterday, I was just wondering about Sri Lanka and the
(inaudible) audit of the Department of Management. Is there any update?

       Spokesperson: No, as far as I know, no. No one seems to know about this - no one
we asked. Yes, Masood?

        Question: Michèle is there any update from the UN Representative, SRSG, in Iraq
about the renewed violence that is now occurring over there?

        Spokesperson: No, we didn‘t get any today.

        Question: Would you be making a statement sometime again?

        Spokesperson: At this point, we don‘t have anything new to add to what we‘ve had
recently.

        Briefing by the Spokesperson for the General Assembly President

       Thank you, Michèle. Good afternoon, good to see you again. I‘ll try to be brief, so
that whenever that call comes from Michèle, you‘ll be ready to go.

        ** Myanmar

       Very briefly, the President met this morning with the Secretary-General‘s special
envoy on Myanmar, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, prior to Mr. Gambari briefing the Security
Council. We have a statement attributable to the Spokesman of the President of the General
Assembly in this regard. It reads as follows:

        The President of the General Assembly is following developments in Myanmar very
closely. He expressed his grave concern over the situation while meeting this morning with
the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, Ibrahim Gambari, and receiving from him a
first-hand account of his recent mission to the country.

        The President stressed the continued interest of the General Assembly in resolving
the human rights situation of Myanmar, as expressed by a number of resolutions by the
Assembly. In the spirit of those resolutions, he strongly condemns violence and the use of
force in resolving the situation and calls for the release of all political detainees, the leaders
of the National League for Democracy, including Aung San Suu Kyi.

        Reiterating the General Assembly‘s most recent resolution on the human rights
situation in Myanmar, resolution 61/232, the President calls on the Government of
Myanmar to permit all political representatives and representatives of ethnic nationalities to
participate fully in the political transition process without restrictions, and resume without




                                                                                                84
further delay, dialogue with all political actors to complete the drafting of the constitution
and set a clear timetable for the transition to democracy.

        The President expresses his full support for continuing the good offices efforts of
the Secretary-General and urges the authorities in Myanmar to grant full access to his
special envoy.

       And we have copies of that statement upstairs for you.

       **Interreligious and Intercultural High-Level Dialogue

        On the Interreligious and Intercultural High-level Dialogue, the General Assembly
is continuing its two-day High-level Dialogue, and the meeting is in two plenary sessions
today and will wrap up this afternoon with closing comments from the President. In his
concluding remarks, the President, in reacting to views expressed by the speakers, is
expected to highlight that many speakers emphasized the timely nature of having such a
High-level Dialogue through the General Assembly. The President is to take note of the
fact that numerous speakers described their societies as multicultural and multireligious,
which indicated the urgent need to take forward the issue of intercultural and interfaith
cooperation. The President is also expected to stress that a meaningful dialogue must
involve a whole range of stakeholders -- including Governments, civil society, religious
leaders, private sector, media and international organizations. As regards to this latter
stakeholder, the President is expected to note that during the two-day event Governments as
well as participating civil society actors all welcomed the role of the United Nations and its
agencies in taking forward this issue.

       **Next Week

       Now a few things on upcoming events in the next week. The plenary of the
Assembly will meet on Monday and Wednesday mornings next week. The items on the
agenda for Monday are the Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the
Organization, and appointment of members of the Joint Inspection Unit. On Wednesday
morning, the plenary will take up the Report of the Peacebuilding Commission and the
Report of the Secretary-General on the Peacebuilding Fund.

        And the Main Committees will be meeting. In fact, the Fifth Committee is already
holding its first meeting this morning; it‘s already gone over its organization of work. In
the afternoon, it will have an informal briefing and that is a closed meeting. This one will
be on the reform and management of the UN, and Ms. Alicia Barcena, Under-Secretary-
General for Management will brief the members. The Committee, meaning the Fifth
Committee, will have further informal briefings on Monday and Tuesday. At the same
time, as I mentioned, the other Main Committees will start their meetings on Monday and
the First, Second and Third Committees will start with their respective general debates.

      That‘s all I have to flag for you. And I‘m open to any questions you may have.
Masood?

       **Questions and Answers




                                                                                                 85
        Question: In reference to this plenary meeting on this Interreligious, Interfaith,
religious Dialogue, Pakistan and other Muslim nations have been raising this issue that
there‘s this element of Islamophobia, which exists and have warned against, and have
called for harmony and peace and everything. What is the reaction of the President of the
General Assembly? Has he been aware?

        Spokesperson: The President of the Assembly, in general, welcomes the whole
process of having the Member States agreeing on the fact through a resolution this year to
hold such a high-level dialogue in the framework of the General Assembly because he
accepts and supports the idea that there is a need for such a high-level dialogue, and
hopefully what will happen out of this dialogue is to see what Member States want to do
with this issue. Because, as you know, there is the Secretary-General‘s initiative on
Alliance for Civilizations and this is an initiative that comes -- I‘ve mentioned to you in
previous briefings -- from the 2005 Summit Outcome Document, and in a more formalized
way from last year with the General Assembly having a resolution on Intercultural and
Interreligious Dialogue and already they‘re talking about the need to have a high-level
meeting, which is supposed to express the interest of the countries, to discuss this issue
within the framework of the General Assembly, within the framework of the United
Nations, keep it there on the agenda. That is also why this time it was decided to have it
now with the general debate basically cut short by two days in order to have such a
dialogue on a high level.

        At the same time, what is important, I think, in this regard is exactly to have not
only a high-level participation, but also somehow in an interactive way, involve civil
society partners. This is what this event tried to do in order to have an opportunity on the
highest level to voice the concerns of the various different Member States, how they look
upon this issue of interreligious, intercultural dialogue and how to take it forward. The
event has the full support of the President and he feels the General assembly is, in fact, the
place where such a dialogue should take place and should be taken forward.

       Question: Following up on the same question, is a formal declaration planned?
What comes out of this dialogue? How does it end? Will there be a statement or
declaration?

        Spokesperson: I don‘t know of any formal outcome as far as this dialogue is
concerned. I would say this is the beginning, or let‘s put it this way, an important
beginning, of a process that was basically started by the Outcome Document. It is supposed
to give impetus as to how to take this issue forward, and at the same time it is also
important as a proof of a high-level declaration on the importance that this issue carries
with Member States. That‘s the essence of it; that‘s essentially why it‘s called high-level
dialogue. It is to have that dialogue -- to begin a momentum on this issue. Matthew?

        Question: The meeting of the Host Country Committee. Because of this, I wasn‘t
able to attend it. I‘m wondering if you have any readout of the meeting.

       Spokesperson: No, I don‘t.

       Okay, then if no questions then have a great weekend and see you on Monday.

                                            * *** *




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