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									                            THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                                 Tuesday, 30 January 2007

     UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

     UN may stage world summit on climate change (The Daily Telegraph (UK):
     UN chief seeks climate change summit (Financial Times)
     Glaciers melting faster as planet warms (Agençe France-Presse)
     Appel à la mobilisation générale face au réchauffement climatique (La )
     Spanish: Noticias breves de sociedad (Agence France Presse)
     Shrinking Glaciers Thawed Faster in 2005 (Environment News Service)
     Melting of glaciers 'speeds up' (BBC)
     Desagradable verano eterno (Diario Granma)
     World watches as scientists finish global warming report (Associated Press)
     She‘s raring to perform at UN event in Nairobi (New Straits Times)

              Other Environment News

     Africa must seek funds to manage climate change (The East African)
     Experts slam upcoming global warming report (CNN)
     Prince appeals to US for leadership in the 'war' against climate change (Scotsman News)
     Davos se met au changement climatique, par Eric Le Boucher et Frédéric Lemaître( Le
     Indonesia to invite finance ministers to U.N. environment talks (Reuters)
     Queensland to drink waste water (BBC)
     Slick grows off southern Spain (Agence France Press)
     Des galettes de fioul sur les plages bretonnes (LEMONDE )
     Rules on wasteful packaging 'are unenforceable' (Independent Online)
     World Scientists Near Consensus on Warming (New York Times)
     UN report sees bleak climate future (Al Jazeera)
     ANTARA News: Indonesia could lose 2.000 islands with rise in sea level
     Earthquake rocks Australian island (Associated Press)
     Concrete Proposal to Cut Carbon Dioxide Emissions (
     Hollywood and pop to help raise value of carbon trading (The Guardian)
     Brazilian Fashion Houses Eye Eco-Friendly Fabrics (Reuters)

              Environmental News from the UNEP Regions

     ROA
     ROAP

              Other UN News

                  Communications and Public Information, P.O. Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya
    Tel: (254-2) 623292/93, Fax: [254-2] 62 3927/623692,,
   UN Daily News of 29 January 2007
   S.G.‘s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of 29 January 2007

The Daily Telegraph (UK): UN may stage world summit on climate change
By Charles Clover, Environment Editor
Last Updated: 2:00am GMT 30/01/2007

Proposals for a crisis meeting of world leaders to tackle climate change will be discussed today
by Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, according to senior officials.
Mr Ban is visiting Nairobi, the headquarters of the UN environment programme (UNEP), to
assess the organisation's response to the latest alarming scientific predictions about climate
change, to be published in Paris on Friday.
The Fourth Assessment report compiled by 2,000 scientists working for the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will say with greater certainty that the warming seen
throughout the world in the past 50 years is caused by pollution from human activities. It will
also say that global temperatures could rise by up to 11.3 F if emissions of greenhouse gases go
on rising.
In Nairobi, Mr Ban will hold talks with Achim Steiner, the German executive director of UNEP,
parent body of the IPCC, about whether it would be possible to co-ordinate a global political
response to its report.
Senior officials believe that only a one-off summit of world leaders which included the United
States, China, India and Brazil could get plans for a post-Kyoto treaty after 2012 back on track.
If it goes ahead, it could be one of the first major events to be attended by Gordon Brown if he
becomes Prime Minister.
The summit would be held some time after the G8 meeting in the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm
in June, at which Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has already said she wants to raise
climate change.
Tony Blair said in a speech in Davos at the weekend that he expects a climate deal to be on the
table by then.
UN officials say that the G8 meeting would not be the right forum to bring together developed
and developing countries in a pact before the meeting of the UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change in Bali at the end of the year.
So officials from UNEP and the convention have proposed to Mr Ban that a summit needs to be
held before the end of the year.
They say that climate change is now a vital issue which cuts across the business of all
governments and which brings risks as great as war. Only a summit would be likely to achieve a

Financial Times: UN chief seeks climate change summit
By Fiona Harvey in London, Caroline Daniel in Washington and John Aglionby in Jakarta

Published: January 29 2007 22:10 | Last updated: January 29 2007 22:10
Plans for an emergency summit of world leaders to break the international impasse on cutting
greenhouse gases are being discussed by Ban Ki-moon, United Nations secretary-general.
At the summit, mooted for September, heads of state would discuss the possibility of a
successor to the Kyoto protocol on climate change, the main provisions of which expire in
Mr Ban will fly to Nairobi on Tuesday to discuss plans for the summit, which are at an early
stage, with officials from the UN Environment Programme, the body charged with tackling
climate change.
It would be among the first important commitments made by Mr Ban since he replaced Kofi
Annan on January 1. He has chosen to stake some political capital on climate change, surprising
US president George W. Bush by raising it at their meeting two weeks ago.
Calling a summit would be a high-risk strategy. Heads of state may refuse the invitation, or fail
to reach agreement, and Mr Ban will want to be sure of a full attendance before committing.
Mr Bush is the leader most likely to decline, but any important agreement would be difficult
without the US, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Mr Bush has shunned mandatory caps on emissions, and officials have dismissed hopes of the
US engaging in discussions about a post-Kyoto accord.
One tactic would be to gather heads of state to focus on national security implications of climate
change. Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, said climate
change risked escalating conflicts because of mass migration and competition for resources .

Agençe France-Presse: Glaciers melting faster as planet warms
[also appears in ABC News, Australia]
Tuesday, 30 January 2007

 Alaska's Bucher Glacier, shown here, is an example of a mountain glacier, the type that
scientists say is melting faster than ever before
The melting of mountain glaciers worldwide is accelerating, a clear sign that climate change is
also picking up, the UN environmental agency and scientists say.
A total of 30 reference glaciers monitored by the Swiss-based World Glacier Monitoring
Service lost about 66 centimetres in thickness on average in 2005, the UN Environment
Programme (UNEP) says.
"The new data confirms the trend in accelerated loss during the past two and a half decades," it
The monitoring service looked at mountain glaciers (also known as alpine or valley glaciers),
those that flow for all or most of there length within the walls of a mountain valley.

Data shows that these glaciers, located around the world, have thinned by about 10.5 metres on
average since 1980.
They melted on average about 1.6 times faster annually this decade compared with the 1990s,
and about six times faster than in the 1980s.
The glacier surface area is also much smaller than in the 1980s, says Dr Michael Zemp, a
glaciologist at the monitoring service.
"The recent increase in the rates of ice loss over reducing glacier surface areas leaves no doubt
about the accelerated change in climatic conditions," Zemp adds.
Climate change in action
UNEP executive director Achim Steiner says, "The findings confirm the science of human-
induced climate change."
Steiner says the data from glaciers provides "confirmation that will be further underlined when
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change unveils its next report on 2 February."
The world's top climate experts began a four-day meeting of the UN panel this week in Paris,
where they are set to launch a long-awaited update about the scientific evidence for global
warming later this week.
The melting of the mountain ice floes is expected to show up in 2006 data because it was one of
the warmest years in many parts of the world, UNEP says.
"These findings should strengthen the resolve of governments to act now to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions and put in place the medium to longer term strategies necessary to avert
dangerous climate change," Steiner says.
Humans need glaciers
The UN's environmental chief underlines the importance of glaciers for human life in many
"Glaciers across the globe are important sources of water for many rivers, rivers upon which
people depend for drinking water, agriculture and industrial purposes," he says.
The preliminary 2005 data was based on readings from 30 of the 80 monitored glaciers, which
have had continuous measurements since the 1980s.
The average annual ice loss since 2000, repeated in 2005, was about 0.6 metres of water
equivalent, a scientific measurement used by glaciologists.
On average, 1 metre water equivalent corresponds to ice about 1.1 metres thick, according to the


La : Appel à la mobilisation générale face au réchauffement climatique

29 janvier 2007

   L'organisation Greepeace a déployé lundi deux énormes banderoles sur la Tour Eiffel pour
mettre en garde contre l'évolution du climat. Les experts du domaine sont réunis pour une
semaine à Paris. Leurs conclusions qui doivent être dévoilées vendredi devraient être alarmantes
pour l'avenir de la planète et de ses habitants.

    Des militants de Greenpeace ont déployé lundi deux banderoles géantes sur la Tour Eiffel
afin d'alerter l'opinion sur le réchauffement climatique. L'une représente un un thermomètre
géant et l'autre (photo) proclame : "it's not too late".
    Comme l'a révélé jeudi, le Groupe intergouvernemental d'experts sur l'évolution
du climat (GIEC) de l'Onu présentera vendredi un rapport de synthèse des dernières recherches
scientifiques au sujet du réchauffement climatique de la planète qui devrait être alarmant. Il
s'appuie sur les travaux d'environ 2.500 chercheurs.
   Ce document, dont l'agence Reuters a obtenu quelques unes des conclusions, devrait
conclure qu'il est "très probable" que les activités humaines, notamment l'utilisation de
combustibles fossiles, sont la principale cause du réchauffement climatique observé au cours du
dernier demi-siècle.
    Les températures augmenteront probablement entre 2 et 4,5 degrés Celsius au-dessus des
niveaux pré-industriels d'ici 2100 si les concentrations de dioxyde de carbone dans l'atmosphère
sont contenues sous 550 ppm, contre environ 380 actuellement. La hausse la plus probable est
d'environ 3 degrés. Le réchauffement ne sera très probablement pas inférieur à 1,5 degré,
souligne le rapport qui évoque six modèles de projections de l'élévation du niveau des mers, qui
vont de 28 à 43 cm avant la fin du XXIe siècle.
    Pour donner une idée, cinq degrés, c'est la différence entre l'ère glaciaire et les températures
actuelles de la planète. Une différence de deux à trois degrés en moyenne signifierait donc déjà
des variations énormes avec des désertifications massives, des assèchements de cours d'eau et
des perturbations pouvant se traduire par la mutiplication d'accidents météorologiques tels que
ouragons et typhons ou encore canicules et pluies torrentielles. La calotte glacière de l'Arctique
pourrait disparaître en été dans la dernière partie du siècle, d'après certains modèles.
   L'estimation attendue devrait être plus fine que la précédente fourchette avancée en 2001,
comprise entre 9 et 88 cm pour l'évolution du niveau des mers. Des îles comme les Maldives
sont directement menacées par l'élevation des océans.
    Créé en 1988 par l'Organisation météorologique mondiale (OMM) et le Programme des
Nations unies pour l'Environnement (PNUE), le rapport du Giec contribue par ses évaluations à
la définition des politiques relatives au changement climatique.Le sujet est plus que jamais
d'actualité. Il a été au centre des discussions au Forum économique mondial de Davos qui vient
de s'achever (voir notre Blog sur le sujet). Et les Etats-Unis, montrés du doigt depuis que
George W. a refusé de signer le protocole de Kyoto, commencent à dire qu'ils vont faire quelque
    Quant aux Indiens et aux Chinois dont la croissance élevée est en partie synonyme de
pollution accrue, ils se disent prêts à prendre en compte la défense de l'environnement mais
demandent aux Occidentaux qui ont pollué la planète depuis deux cent ans de prendre en charge
une partie des dépenses (notamment dans la recherche - développement) liées à ces efforts
Agence France Presse – Spanish: Noticias breves de sociedad

January 29, 2007

    PARIS - La reunión mundial del Grupo Intergubernamental de Expertos sobre el Cambio
Climático (IPCC, según sus siglas en inglés) se inició este lunes en París con el objetivo de
difundir el próximo viernes un informe sobre el calentamiento del planeta en los próximos cinco
    Los 500 delegados, reunidos bajo la égida de las Naciones Unidas, deben redactar un breve
texto destinado a los líderes que sintetice su cuarto informe científico, de unas mil páginas.
   Cada párrafo del texto será negociado por los participantes antes de ser aprobado por
consenso y presentado el 2 de febrero. (AFP)
    PARIS - Unos 20 activistas de la ONG Greenpeace escalaron la Torre Eiffel el lunes para
colgar carteles de protesta y un termómetro gigante que alertan sobre el calentamiento
climático, en momentos en que expertos sobre el tema de todo el mundo se reúnen en París para
redactar un informe clave.
   Los activistas de Greenpeace subieron a la plataforma más alta de la torre de 324 metros y
desplegaron tres enormes carteles, uno de ellos con un termómetro a dos grados centígrados.
    La Unión Europea se ha fijado la meta de limitar el alza de la temperatura global de la
Tierra a dos grados o menos para el final del siglo, en relación a niveles preindustriales. (AFP)
    GINEBRA - Los glaciares en el mundo sufren de un deshielo acelerado, lo que confirma la
tendencia al recalentamiento climático, según un estudio publicado este lunes por el Programa
de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA).
    Treinta glaciares, monitoreados por el Servicio Mundial de Control de Glaciares, con sede
en Zurich (Suiza), han perdido un promedio de 66 centímetros de espesor en 2005, de acuerdo
    El deshielo anual se ha incrementado en un promedio de 1,6 veces durante el último decenio
en comparación a la década de los 90 y en seis veces si se toman los 80 como referencia. (AFP)
   BRUSELAS - Después de casi medio año, la gripe aviaria también está de regreso en
Europa, luego de que la Comisión Europea confirmase el lunes el descubrimiento de un caso del
temible virus H5N1 en un criadero de gansos en el sudeste de Hungría, despertando el alerta en
toda la Unión Europea.
    "El laboratorio de referencia de la Unión Europea en Weybridge (Gran Bretaña) confirmó"
la presencia del H5N1, indicó Philip Tod, portavoz del comisario europeo de Salud, Markos
Kyprianou, al referirse a los estudios efectuados en base a muestras de un animal hallado
muerto. (AFP)
    LIMA - Cinco especies de anfibios, no conocidas por la ciencia, fueron descubiertas en una
reserva amazónica en el departamento Madre de Dios (selva sur del Perú), tras una
investigación de 20 años, informó la Asociación Inkaterra, a cargo de la investigación.

    Las especies 'hyla allenorum', 'hyla koecklini', 'scinax ictericus', 'phyllomedusa atelopoides'
y 'altigius alios' se encuentran en la denominada reserva Cusco Amazónico, indicó José
Koechlin Von Stein, presidente de Inkaterra, citado por la agencia oficial Andina. (AFP)
   LOS ANGELES - El "rey del blues" estadounidense B.B. King, de 81 años, fue dado de alta
de un hospital de Texas (sur) donde había sido ingresado por una gripe la semana pasada y
desde el martes retomará la gira que estaba realizando, informó a la AFP su portavoz.
    King había sido hospitalizado el jueves en Galveston, Texas, a raíz de una fiebre que no
bajaba tras haber sufrido una gripe. (AFP)
    NUEVA YORK - Emma Faust Tillman, una estadounidense que era hija de esclavos y que
ostentaba, desde hace menos de una semana, el título de persona más vieja del mundo, murió a
los 114 años en la residencia para ancianos de Connecticut (noreste) en la que vivía.
     Tras la muerte el 24 de enero del puertorriqueño Emiliano Mercado del Toro, de 115 años,
el libro Guinness de los récords pasó el relevo a Tillman. (AFP)
    LA HAYA - El ministerio público de Amsterdam desestimó la demanda presentada por un
grupo de protestantes holandeses extremistas en contra de la cantante estadounidense Madonna,
acusada de ultraje a la fe por una escena del concierto de su gira mundial en la que aparece
   La demanda, interpuesta tras dos conciertos de la cantante en septiembre pasado en
Amsterdam, emanó del movimiento juvenil del pequeño partido de protestantes extremistas
SGP, en respuesta a una escena en la que Madonna se arrodilla para luego despojarse de una
corona de espinos, mientras una cruz es proyectada a su alrededor. (AFP)
   LOS ANGELES - La veterana actriz británica Helen Mirren y el estadounidense Forest
Whitaker cimentaron su fama de favoritos a los premios Oscar el domingo, tras ganar en la
décimotercera entrega de premios del sindicato de actores de Estados Unidos (Screen Actors
Guild Awards, SAG).
   Mirren fue elegida mejor actriz por su retrato de la reina Isabel II en "The Queen" mientras
que Whitaker fue votado mejor actor por su representación del dictador de Uganda Idi Amin en
"The Last King of Scotland". (AFP)
    NUEVA YORK - Desde el martes, la mayoría de los ordenadores que se vendan en el
mundo estarán equipados con el nuevo sistema operativo Vista, una fuerte apuesta de Microsoft
y un cambio de hábito para cientos de millones de usuarios.
    Vista, considerado por los expertos como más práctico y fiable, aunque no revolucionario,
fue producto de un colosal trabajo: le costó 6.000 millones de dólares en 5 años de desarrollo a
Microsoft, reveló recientemente su fundador Bill Gates.
   Además del innovador aspecto gráfico, incluye gran cantidad de software, para aplicaciones
como edición de video, navegación en internet, administración de e-mails, agenda, etc. (AFP)

   PUEBLA, México - Al popular cantautor mexicano Juan Gabriel le falló la voz y tuvo que
abadonar el escenario en medio de abucheos de cientos de asistentes a un concierto ofrecido la
noche del domingo en la ciudad de Puebla (centro).
    El autor de temas como "Querida" apenas logró cantar dos temas cuando su voz sufrió un
quebranto y aunque intentó disimular exhortando al público a cantar con él, los fanáticos se
dieron cuenta y empezaron a abuchearlo, narraron a la AFP asistentes al concierto. (AFP)
    BOGOTA - Un asno que le arrancó la nariz a un campesino de un mordisco, cuando éste le
impidió aparearse con una burra en una población del norte de Colombia, enfrenta la posibilidad
de que se le decrete la pena de muerte, informó este lunes a medios locales el dueño del animal.
    "Lo tengo en el patio de la finca pero si toca sacrificarlo... pues tocará", dijo el lunes Rafael
Flores, dueño del animal, ante el pedido de familiares de su amigo Carlos Polo, de 48 años,
habitante del municipio de Turbana (norte) que lo pidió prestado para que el animal cargara
agua desde un arroyo cercano.
   Según dijo a medios locales Rosa Polo, el asno mordió a su hermano Carlos cuando éste "le
impidió atender el llamado amoroso de una burra que estaba cerca de allí y, al parecer en calor".


Environment News Service: Shrinking Glaciers Thawed Faster in 2005
ZURICH, Switzerland, January 29, 2007 (ENS) - Mountain glaciers around the world are
melting more and more quickly, according to new data issued today that confirms the trend in
accelerated ice loss over the past 25 years.
Preliminary figures for 2005 show an average thinning of the ice on the majority of the world's
glaciated mountain ranges of two-thirds of a meter (26 inches).
The data on glacier change for 2005 was collected from 80 glaciers by scientists all over the
world and reported to the World Glacier Monitoring Service, WGMS, in Zurich.
Since 1980, scientists have recorded continuous measurements of overall ice thickness change
on 30 of these glaciers in nine mountain ranges, so these are considered to be the reference
The scientists report that since 1980 the average thickness loss of the 30 reference glaciers
amounts to about 10.56 meters (34 feet).
Michael Zemp, a glaciologist and research associate at the World Glacier Monitoring Service
said, "Today, the glacier surface is much smaller than in the 1980s, this means that the climatic
forcing has continued since then."
By altering the global energy balance, changes in the composition of the Earth's atmosphere
force the climate to change, so scientists call them climate forcing mechanisms.

Human activities over the past 250 years have emitted carbon dioxide and other greenhouse
gases into the atmosphere, where they trap solar radiation close to the planet, raising the global
"The recent increase in rates of ice loss over reducing glacier surface areas leaves no doubt
about the accelerated change in climatic conditions," said Zemp.
The long-term monitoring of glacier mass produces one of the most essential variables required
for the regular assessment reports on global climate monitoring.
The average annual ice loss for the reference glaciers since the year 2000 was about two-thirds
of meter each year.
This amount of ice loss is 1.6 times more than the average of the 1990s and three times the loss
rate of the 1980s.
Comprehensive data for the year 2006 are not yet available, but as it was one of the warmest
years in many parts of the world, it is expected that the downward trend in ice mass will
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner called the report "the most authorative, comprehensive
and up-to-date information on glaciers worldwide."
"The findings confirm the science of human-induced climate change, confirmation that will be
further underlined when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change unveil their next
report on February 2," Steiner said.
These findings should strengthen the resolve of governments to act now to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions and put in place the medium to longer term strategies necessary to avert
dangerous climate change," he said.
The new preliminary findings also underlines the importance of this year's June 5 World
Environment Day theme, Melting Ice - A Hot Topic. The main international celebrations, which
coincide with International Polar Year, will be held in Norway.
Worldwide collection of information about ongoing glacier changes was initiated in 1894 with
the foundation of the International Glacier Commission at the 6th International Geological
Congress in Zurich, Switzerland. Then, scientists hoped that long-term glacier observations
would give insight into processes of climatic change such as the formation of ice ages.
Today, the World Glacier Monitoring Service collects standardized observations on changes in
mass, volume, area and length of glaciers with time (glacier fluctuations), as well as statistical
information on the distribution of perennial surface ice in space (glacier inventories).
Such glacier fluctuation and inventory data are high priority key variables in climate system
monitoring. The most information is found for the Alps and Scandinavia, where long and
uninterrupted records are available.

BBC: Melting of glaciers 'speeds up'
Monday, 29 January 2007

By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website

Mountain glaciers are shrinking three times faster than they were in the 1980s, scientists
have announced.
The World Glacier Monitoring Service, which continuously studies a sample of 30 glaciers
around the world, says the acceleration is down to climate change.
Its announcement came as climate scientists convened in Paris to decide the final wording of a
major report.
There is reported to be some disagreement over what forecasts they will make for sea level rise.
But whatever form of words they agree on, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) will declare that human-induced climate change is happening and needs to be tackled.
"[The report] embodies substantial new research, it addresses gaps that existed in our
knowledge earlier, it has reduced existing uncertainties," IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri told
reporters at a news briefing in Paris.
"I hope policies and actions will be formed to address the problem."
The report, due out on Friday, forms the first part of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report, and
will be the latest definitive assessment of climate science.

Melting away
Of all the various features that make up the surface of the Earth, glaciers are perhaps showing
the starkest signs of rising temperatures.
The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), based in Switzerland, continuously studies a
set of 30 mountain glaciers in different parts of the world. It is not quite a representative sample
of all mountain glaciers, but does give a reliable indication of global trends.
The latest survey, just released, shows accelerating decline. During 2005, this sample of 30
glaciers became, on average, 60-70cm thinner.
This figure is 1.6 times more than the average annual loss during the 1990s, and three times
faster than in the 1980s.
With mountain glaciers typically only tens of metres thick, this meant, said WGMS director
Wilfried Haeberli, that many would disappear on a timescale of decades if the trend continued.
"We can say there were times during the warmer periods of the last 10,000 years when glaciers
have been comparable to what they are now," he told the BBC News website.
"But it is not the past that worries us, it is the future. With the scenarios predicted, we will enter
conditions which we have not seen in the past 10,000 years, and perhaps conditions which
mankind has never experienced."
Last year, WGMS scientists forecast that the Alps would lose up to three-quarters of their
glaciers during the coming century.

The WGMS is closely allied to the United Nations Environment Programme, whose executive
director Achim Steiner commented: "Glaciers are important sources of water for many
important rivers upon which people depend for drinking water, agriculture and industrial
"The findings... should strengthen the resolve of governments to act now to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions."

Rough seas
The IPCC report due out on Friday is likely to contain stronger wording than its previous
assessment, in 2001, on the likelihood that human activities are principally responsible for the
climatic changes observed around the world.
The 2001 report forecast that by the end of this century, temperatures would have risen by
between 1.4C and 5.8C.
The new report is likely to reduce the range of uncertainty, though not rule out the possibility
entirely of increases in the order of 5.8C.
But there is reported to be disagreement over the wording on expected sea level rise.
A bigger network of tide gauges and other instruments has enabled researchers to conclude that
the sea level is on average rising by about 2mm per year, or 20cm per century.
This is one of the factors which led to earlier drafts of this report projecting rises by the end of
the century which were a lot less than the maximum figure of 88cm contained in the 2001
But some scientists are arguing that recent observations of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice
sheets suggest a major melt may be commencing. This, they say, should be reflected in the
eventual IPCC projections.
Diario Granma: Desagradable verano eterno

30 January 2007
TORONTO.— El planeta será más caluroso, más húmedo y más tormentoso. El mayor estudio
científico sobre el cambio climático desmentirá cualquier duda sobre el vínculo entre el uso de
combustibles fósiles y el aumento de la temperatura mundial.
Se prevé que la temperatura promedio de la Tierra aumentará entre 2 y 4,5oC en algún momento
entre el 2030 y el 2050, lo cual tendrá un impacto ambiental masivo, según el Panel
Intergubernamental sobre Cambio Climático (IPCC).
Eso dirá el Cuarto Informe del IPCC, organización que reúne a científicos en representación de
gobiernos de todo el mundo. El documento será oficialmente divulgado el 2 de febrero en París,
pero algunos detalles ya se conocen.

"Es lo mismo que el IPCC ha dicho durante 20 años, pero con mucha mayor certidumbre
científica", dijo a IPS el climatólogo Andrew Weaver, de la Escuela de Tierra y Océanos de la
canadiense Universidad de Victoria.
"El aumento de temperatura no será de ninguna manera menor a 2oC", agregó el experto, uno de
los principales autores del informe del IPCC.
Hace casi 30 años, los climatólogos comenzaron a calcular el impacto de la quema de
combustibles fósiles en la temperatura del planeta.
Según sus estimaciones, si la presencia de dióxido de carbono se duplica desde el promedio
anterior a la era industrial, de 280 partes por millón (ppm), la temperatura mundial se elevaría
entre 1,5 y 4,5oC.
Hoy, el nivel de dióxido de carbono se ubica en alrededor de 380 ppm y aumenta 3 ppm al año.
Muchos expertos consideran extremadamente difícil evitar que se alcancen las 560 ppm (el
doble de la era preindustrial) en algún momento entre el 2030 y el 2050.
Luego de seis años de estudio y análisis, los más de 2 500 científicos en más de 130 países
involucrados en el IPCC concluyeron, como indica el próximo informe, que esa duplicación de
la proporción de dióxido de carbono elevará la temperatura planetaria promedio entre 2 y 4,5
Y ese aumento no será parejo: el aumento de la temperatura en las regiones árticas será mayor,
de entre 4 y 8oC.
La hipótesis mínima está virtualmente garantizada, pero la máxima puede ser mucho mayor en
la realidad, lo cual dependerá de mecanismos complejos y poco conocidos.
La disolución del permafrost del Hemisferio Norte o una masiva desaparición de selvas
amazónicas, eventualidades muy posibles según algunas proyecciones, empujaría la temperatura
mundial mucho más allá de lo previsto. "Esta no es una buena noticia", dijo Weaver.
Un aumento de apenas 2oC en el promedio —algo sin precedentes desde los tiempos de los
dinosaurios— tampoco lo sería. "Eso implicaría cambios masivos en los ecosistemas", explicó.
Las olas de calor y las sequías serán más intensas y largas, mientras las inundaciones se
volverán más frecuentes y dañinas. El ritmo de esos cambios será demasiado acelerado como
para que las especies vivas puedan adaptarse, según Weaver.
Las sociedades humanas de los países ricos podrán hacerlo, pero los pobres del mundo no
podrán darse esos lujos. "Los desplazamientos de población serán masivos, lo cual aumentará la
inestabilidad", según este experto.
Si Groenlandia sufre un aumento de su temperatura promedio a 2,7 grados, toda su cubierta de
hielo se disolvería, lo cual elevaría el nivel de los mares de todo el mundo entre seis y siete
metros, aseguró.
La estimación del impacto del cambio climático será divulgada en la segunda parte del Cuarto
Informe, a comienzos de abril. La tercera parte se referirá a mecanismos para mitigar el cambio
climático, y el IPCC lo publicará a comienzos de mayo.

"Las únicas preguntas científicas valederas en materia de cambio climático en los últimos dos
decenios han sido cuán malo y cuán rápido", dijo Naomi Oreskes, profesora de historia y
estudios sociales de la Universidad de California en San Diego.
El IPCC opera en las órbitas de la Organización Meteorológica Mundial (OMM) y del
Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA), y no financia por su
cuenta ninguna investigación.
Su tarea se limita a recoger, evaluar y sintetizar datos científicos. Cualquier país de la
Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) puede integrarse en el IPCC y cuestionar sus
informes. Se requiere consenso para cada palabra del "Sumario para políticos" que incluye cada
estudio periódico.
"Es hora de que los científicos demos un paso al costado y dejemos a los ingenieros del mundo
comenzar a desarrollar las soluciones", sentenció Weaver. Se requieren nuevas tecnologías y
cambios culturales para impedir que la proporción de dióxido de carbono en la atmósfera se
Expertos consideran paradójico que en esta era de rápido desarrollo científico los automóviles
aún contengan motores de ingeniería interna desarrollados hace cien años, y que buena parte de
la electricidad proceda de centrales alimentadas a carbón, una tecnología del siglo XVII.
El Protocolo de Kyoto obliga a 36 países industrializados a reducir sus emisiones de gas
invernadero al menos 5,2% respecto de los niveles de 1990 para el 2012. Después se requerirán
recortes aun mayores, pero casi todas las naciones involucradas ya tienen problemas en alcanzar
esa meta.
Y el gobierno de Estados Unidos considera que la implementación del tratado es demasiado
costosa para su economía, por lo cual retiró su firma apenas George W. Bush asumió la
presidencia en el 2001.
Estados Unidos es el principal emisor de gases invernadero del mundo, pues consume la cuarta
parte de los recursos mundiales de energía. (IPS)

Associated Press: World watches as scientists finish global warming report

[Also appears in Jakarta Post]

PARIS (AP): The planet's temperature is rising, sea levelsthreaten to swallow coastlines and the
world's residents want toknow, more than ever, how worried to be. An authoritative
answercomes this week.

Some 500 scientists and officials convened in Paris on Mondayfor a week of word-by-word
editing of a long-awaited report onhow fast the world is warming, how serious it is - and how
muchis the fault of humans.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,to be released Friday, could
influence what many governments andbusinesses do to fight global warming. It will be watched
closelyin the United States, whose government stands accused by manyaround the world of
underplaying the peril.

Scientists are keeping quiet about the report's contents, butsay it is both more specific and more
sweeping than previousefforts to chart hotter summers, snowless ski seasons andbreakaway ice
sheets and what they mean for the Earth's future.

"At no time in the past has there been a greater globalappetite" for reliable information on
global warming, the panel'schairman, Indian climatologist Rajendra Pachauri, told

The report is expected to give a grim warning of continuedtemperature rises between now and
2100 and reiterate that people-created pollution is partly to blame.

Early drafts of the new document foresee smaller sea levelrises than the last report, in 2001. But
many top scientistsreject the new figures, saying they are not new enough: They donot include
the recent melt-off of big ice sheets in two cruciallocations - Greenland and Antarctica.

Many fear this melt-off will mean the world's coastlines areswamped much earlier than
previously thought. Others believe theice melt is temporary and won't play such a dramatic
role.In the past, the panel did not expect a large melt of ice in west

Antarctica and Greenland this century. Their forecasts werebased only on how much the sea
level would rise because ofmelting glaciers, which are different from ice sheets, and thephysical
expansion of water as it warms.

Indonesia's environment minister warned on Monday thatrising sea levels stand to inundate
some 2,000 of his country'smore than 18,000 islands by 2030.

And new data released Monday by the U.N. Environment Programshowed that 30 reference
glaciers lost about 66 centimeters (2.2feet) in thickness on average in 2005, for a total loss of
10.5 meters (34.6 feet) on average since 1980. (**)

New Straits Times: She’s raring to perform at UN event in Nairobi
30 Jan 2007

KUALA LUMPUR: How many five-year-olds get to attend a United Nations event — and
in Nairobi, Kenya, no less?

For tree-lover Nuha Jes Izman, it is not just wishful thinking.

She is joining 63 children from the Tree Theatre Group who will be performing at the opening
ceremony of the 24th United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Governing Council
Conference in Nairobi next month.

"I‘m going with my family. I‘m really excited and can‘t wait to go. I want to make friends with
the children there," she said when met at the flag-off ceremony for the group at Sekolah
Kebangsaan Bukit Damansara.

Earlier, Nuha, who was dressed in a tree costume, stole the hearts of the audience when she

sang a song about trees.

The bubbly girl and the other members of the Tree Theatre Group had put up a performance for
Natural Resources and Environment Ministry deputy secretary-general Mohd Ibrahim Abu
Bakar and their sponsors — UEM Group and Kualiti Alam Sdn Bhd.

The two firms contributed RM200,000 for the group‘s trip to Nairobi.

The Tree Theatre Group is made up of pupils and ex-pupils of Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit
Damansara. It was formed by former pupils Hana Shazwin Azizan, 15, and Jes Ebrahim Izaidin,
14. Nuha is Jes‘s sister.

"You don‘t see this kind of activities in other schools, which is why we keep coming back to
this school," Hana said.

Hana and Jes had composed the theme song, Tears of Trees, which was played throughout the
Tunza International Children‘s Conference in Putrajaya last year.

The Tree Theatre Group‘s drama and song at the conference drew the attention of the UNEP.
The song, sung by Jes, had also been adopted as the UNEP‘s Billion Tree Campaign song.

UNEP has since invited the group to perform the drama and song at the Nairobi conference
from Feb 5 to Feb 9.

Group member Aliesha Nadira Safirula Azli, 13, said she had helped in efforts to save fireflies,
sharks and sea turtles and was looking forward to the conference in Nairobi.

"I‘m going to miss five of my test papers next month, but I feel that this is a trip I‘m not going
to miss," she said.


                                   Other Environmental News

The East African: Africa must seek funds to manage climate change
By Grace Akumu
Kenya is experiencing one of the impacts of climate change: the EI-Nino flooding — with its
attendant consequences such as loss of lives and livelihoods, damage to infrastructure such as
roads and bridges, loss of property, and an increase in vector and water-borne diseases such as
malaria, Rift Valley Fever, typhoid and cholera.
Just a few months before the recent flooding, Kenya experienced acute drought, particularly in
Northeastern Province. Regrettably, we are likely to continue experiencing these impacts more
During the Climate Change Conference held in Nairobi last November, no agreement was
reached on the institutionalisation and operationalisation of the Climate Change Adaptation
Fund. This was a serious setback to developing countries, particularly African countries as
generally, they are the poorest and, therefore, the ones likely to suffer most from the impact of
climate change.
The next meeting will be held this November in Bali, Indonesia. During the interim period,
African governments must begin to lobby, especially among themselves, so that they maintain
their position on the institutionalisation and operationalisation of the Adaptation Fund.
Second, they must lobby the G77 group of countries and China to support their position. They
must also lobby the G8 countries, who are not only the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases
responsible for climate change and its negative consequences, but also the richest countries on
earth not only in monetary terms but also technologically.
This may be the way to achieve a depoliticised, robust and equitable Fund with allocation
priorities based on vulnerability. Apparently, the G8 and other industrialised countries would
like the Adaptation Fund placed at the Global Environment Facility, which is based at the
World Bank in Washington and which many developing countries have serious apprehension
Industrialised countries have committed themselves in the Climate Change Convention and
Kyoto Protocol to assist developing countries with financial and technological resources in
order to combat climate change, in 1992 and 1997 respectively.
However, these commitments appear unrealistic. Placing funds in an institution where access is
already beset with serious bureaucratic and political obstacles is as good as denying it to those
who urgently need it.
As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states, basic infrastructure for development
transport, housing, and services in developing countries may be inadequate in many instances,
but it nevertheless represents substantial investment by these governments.
The other urgent matter African governments need to attend to ahead of Bali is the economic
assessment of the damages and losses occasioned by these extreme weather events, so that they
can negotiate more meaningfully with their industrialised country partners regarding funding of
adaptation to climate change, preferably on a sectoral basis.

Developing countries, particularly in Africa, have a nascent insurance industry, which is not
able to deal with such issues as compensation to damages occasioned by climate change. Again,
the IPCC states that although the vast majority of weather-related insurance losses occur in
wealthy countries, most of the human suffering occurs in poor countries.
For example, 45 per cent of the natural disaster losses between 1985 and 1999 took place in
wealthy countries — those with per capita income of more than $9,360.
These countries represent 57 per cent of the $984 billion in total economic losses and 92 per
cent of the $178 billion in insured losses (Munich Re 1999). In contrast, 25 per cent of the
economic losses and 65 per cent of the 587,000 deaths took place in the poorest countries —
those with per capita income of below $760.
With these statistics, policy makers in Africa may begin to fathom the enormity and magnitude
of the problems ahead. African governments will not be able to cope with the impacts of climate
Therefore, as they try to do their best within their individual capacities and differentiated
capabilities, it is even more urgent now that they begin to involve the African Union, as well as
the regional economic groupings in the global climate change negotiations.
As climate change is the most serious environmental threat facing humankind in the 21st
century, it is important that experts from different sectors of the economy take keen interest in
the negotiations and provide the critical but missing link to the Kenya Meteorological
Department and the National Environment Management Authority, who rarely get any support
from other sectors of the economy.
Apart from South Africa, this scenario is the same in all other African countries. It is important
that, henceforth, a cross section of expert negotiators participate in the climate change
negotiations and at higher levels, so that we may succeed in having critical issues such as the
Adaptation Fund, Special Climate Change Fund and Equitable Distribution of the Clean
Development Mechanism projects, agreed to in a manner that will be meaningful to developing

CNN: Experts slam upcoming global warming report
(also by Associated Press)
January 29, 2007

Story Highlights• The first of 4 major global warming reports by the IPCC expected Friday
• Critics say climate report omits melt-off of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica
• IPCC report: By 2100 the sea level will rise anywhere between 5 and 23 inches
• Journal Science study: Sea levels will rise 20 to 55 inches by 2100

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Later this week in Paris, climate scientists will issue a dire forecast for
the planet that warns of slowly rising sea levels and higher temperatures.

But that may be the sugarcoated version.
Early and changeable drafts of their upcoming authoritative report on climate change foresee
smaller sea level rises than were projected in 2001 in the last report. Many top U.S. scientists
reject these rosier numbers.
Those calculations don't include the recent, and dramatic, melt-off of big ice sheets in two
crucial locations:
They "don't take into account the gorillas -- Greenland and Antarctica," said Ohio State
University earth sciences professor Lonnie Thompson, a polar ice specialist. "I think there are
unpleasant surprises as we move into the 21st century."
Michael MacCracken, who until 2001 coordinated the official U.S. government reviews of the
international climate report on global warming, has fired off a letter of protest over the
The melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are a fairly recent development that has
taken scientists by surprise. They don't know how to predict its effects in their computer
models. But many fear it will mean the world's coastlines are swamped much earlier than most
Others believe the ice melt is temporary and won't play such a dramatic role.
That debate may be the central one as scientists and bureaucrats from around the world gather in
Paris to finish the first of four major global warming reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change. The panel was created by the United Nations in 1988.
After four days of secret word-by-word editing, the final report will be issued Friday.
The early versions of the report predict that by 2100 the sea level will rise anywhere between 5
and 23 inches. That's far lower than the 20 to 55 inches forecast by 2100 in a study published in
the peer-review journal Science this month. Other climate experts, including NASA's James
Hansen, predict sea level rise that can be measured by feet more than inches.
The report is also expected to include some kind of proviso that says things could be much
worse if ice sheets continue to melt.
The prediction being considered this week by the IPCC is "obviously not the full story because
ice sheet decay is something we cannot model right now, but we know it's happening," said
Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate panel lead author from Germany who made the larger prediction of
up to 55 inches of sea level rise. "A document like that tends to underestimate the risk," he said.
"This will dominate their discussion because there's so much contentiousness about it," said Bob
Corell, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, a multinational research effort. "If
the IPCC comes out with significantly less than one meter (about 39 inches of sea level rise),
there will be people in the science community saying we don't think that's a fair reflection of
what we know."
In the past, the climate change panel didn't figure there would be large melt of ice in west
Antarctica and Greenland this century and didn't factor it into the predictions. Those forecasts

were based only on the sea level rise from melting glaciers (which are different from ice sheets)
and the physical expansion of water as it warms.
But in 2002, Antarctica's 1,255-square-mile Larsen B ice shelf broke off and disappeared in just
35 days. And recent NASA data shows that Greenland is losing 53 cubic miles of ice each year
-- twice the rate it was losing in 1996.
Even so, there are questions about how permanent the melting in Greenland and especially
Antarctica are, said panel lead author Kevin Trenberth, chief of climate analysis at the National
Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado.
While he said the melting ice sheets "raise a warning flag," Trenberth said he wonders if "some
of this might just be temporary."
University of Alabama at Huntsville professor John Christy said Greenland didn't melt much
within the past thousand years when it was warmer than now. Christy, a reviewer of the panel
work, is a prominent so-called skeptic. He acknowledges that global warming is real and man-
made, but he believes it is not as worrisome as advertised.

Those scientists who say sea level will rise even more are battling a consensus-building
structure that routinely issues scientifically cautious global warming reports, scientists say.
The IPCC reports have to be unanimous, approved by 154 governments -- including the United
States and oil-rich countries such as Saudi Arabia -- and already published peer-reviewed
research done before mid-2006.
Rahmstorf, a physics and oceanography professor at Potsdam University in Germany, says, "In
a way, it is one of the strengths of the IPCC to be very conservative and cautious and not
overstate any climate change risk."

Scotsman News: Prince appeals to US for leadership in the 'war' against climate change


THE world should go on to a war footing in order to win the fight against climate change,
Prince Charles said as he accepted the Global Environmental Citizen Award in New York.
In his strongest call for action on the issue to date, he said global warming presented a
"fundamental and critical threat to our survival".
He warned that future generations would "pay dearly for our inaction" and said urgent measures
were needed, appealing to the United States to provide leadership for the rest of the world.
Al Gore, the former US vice-president who won last year's award and has made the need to
address climate change a personal crusade, praised the prince for speaking out despite negative
reactions from some and hailed him as a "thought leader".
Accepting his award from Harvard Medical School's Centre for Health and the Global
Environment, the prince said: "Our successors will pay most dearly for our dilatoriness and

inaction as it is, but we surely owe it to them to take urgent steps now... to halt and reverse that
ever- accelerating graph of global temperature rise.
"Perhaps we should see this as a war we simply have to win. In wartime, it is remarkable how
solutions can be found to challenges that were previously considered insoluble.
"I have been in no doubt for a considerable number of years that climate change represents a
fundamental and critical threat to our survival and to any kind of future for millions of people.
"Every passing year has seen further evidence emerge of the damage we are doing to this poor
old planet, the only one we've got so far... that sustains life in such a miraculous and well-
ordered way."
Last week, the US president, George Bush, who has been criticised by environmentalists for not
doing enough on climate change, pledged to develop alternative sources of energy and called for
a 20 per cent cut in US petrol consumption by 2017.
The prince told his audience that the world was looking to the US to take a lead role.
"I can tell you that the rest of the world, where alarm is growing exponentially as the evidence
mounts, is looking to this country to provide the leadership and commitment that could
transform the situation and bring us that much needed element of hope," he said.
"It is for governments to establish policy frameworks to encourage and enable companies to
take the necessary steps to make major reductions in their emissions of greenhouse gases."
Duncan McLaren, the chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, backed the prince's call
to arms.
He said: "As far as climate change needing a war, I would say that, despite an innate dislike of
such terminology, it is a valid description in several respects."
Sir David Manning, the British ambassador to Washington, said he believed that the prince's
speech would have an impact in the US.
LESS than 50 per cent of Americans think global warming is a major issue and 13 per cent have
never even heard about it, according to an international survey of 25,000 people.
The online survey by ACNielsen found that US citizens were among the least concerned about
climate change, with 42 per cent rating it as a "very serious problem" compared to 75 per cent in
Latin America, which has been hit by El Nino storms, and 80 per cent in France, which was
badly hit by the 2003 European heatwave.
In the UK, 92 per cent had heard of climate change, with 57 per cent rating it as "very serious"
and 36 per cent as "fairly serious", close to the global average.
Patrick Dodd, president of ACNielsen Europe, said: "It has taken extreme and life-threatening
weather patterns to finally drive the message home that global warming is happening and is here
to stay unless a concerted, global effort is made to reverse it."
The Dutch were particularly relaxed about climate change: some 36 per cent rated it as not a
serious or very serious problem and 41 per cent viewed it as "fairly serious".


Le Monde: Davos se met au changement climatique, par Eric Le Boucher et Frédéric
LE MONDE | 29.01.07 | 13h06 • Mis à jour le 29.01.07 | 13h06
Consultez les dossiers, l'analyse approfondie des grands sujets d'actualité.
Le 37e Forum de Davos ne fera pas partie des plus flamboyants. Aucun représentant du
gouvernement américain n'est descendu d'un hélicoptère de l'US Air Force comme Dick Cheney
en 2003, aucune star n'a fait tourner les têtes comme Sharon Stone en 2005 et aucun pays n'a,
comme l'Inde en 2006, brillé de mille feux. Qu'importe, l'optimisme habitait les 2 500
participants. Pas de doute : 2007 sera encore un très bon millésime pour l'économie mondiale.
Davos 2007 aura été l'année du changement climatique.
Les entreprises américaines, dont le lobbying explique en partie la non-ratification du protocole
de Kyoto par les Etats-Unis, ont tourné casaque. Même Exxon, qui a dépensé des millions de
dollars pour nier l'impact de l'activité humaine sur le réchauffement climatique, reconnaît à
demi-mot, un virage. Accusée hier de détruire la croissance, la protection de l'environnement est
devenue un véritable business. "Green is gold", résume un professeur de l'université Yale. Une
thèse validée par le rapport de l'ancien chef du service économique du gouvernement
britannique, Nicholas Stern.
Pourtant, même les libéraux en conviennent : le marché ne sauvera pas, seul, l'environnement.
L'action des Etats est indispensable, notamment pour aller au-delà du protocole de Kyoto. Alors
que celui-ci prévoit une réduction de 5 % des émissions de dioxyde de carbone, les scientifiques
s'accordent à dire que ce taux doit être porté rapidement à 60 % voire 70 %, selon David
Runnals, universitaire canadien. On en viendrait presque à oublier que 1,6 milliard de personnes
n'ont toujours pas accès à l'électricité.
L'avenir de la planète dépend en fait des Etats-Unis, qui sont de loin les principaux
consommateurs d'énergie, et de la Chine et de l'Inde qui le deviennent. "Dans les vingt ans qui
viennent, 600 millions de Chinois vont habiter en ville. Ne faites pas les mêmes erreurs que
nous. Construisez des villes durables. Ne favorisez pas le transport automobile pour satisfaire
les besoins de votre industrie", a enjoint le professeur Steve Chu, de l'université de Berkeley, à
ses interlocuteurs chinois.
Le poids pris par la Chine sur la scène internationale revenait dans toutes les conversations.
Lors du débat sur les perspectives économiques 2007, le représentant de la banque centrale
chinoise occupait symboliquement le fauteuil central, Jean-Claude Trichet (Banque centrale
européenne) et Robert Kimmit (Trésor américain) se contentant des places latérales. Après avoir
été l'usine du monde, la Chine veut favoriser la consommation intérieure et augmenter la qualité
de ses produits. "Après la quantité, la qualité", a résumé l'économiste américain Stephen Roach.
Alors que les diplomates se demandent pourquoi Pékin a envoyé un de ses missiles détruire un
vieux satellite, les Chinois se sont voulus rassurants. "La société harmonieuse que nous voulons
promouvoir ne concerne pas que la Chine mais aussi nos relations internationales", ont-ils
expliqué. "Nous ne sommes pas une superpuissance et nous ne le serons jamais", a affirmé
Cheng Siwei, un vice-président de l'Assemblée du peuple. Commentaire d'un observateur de
Singapour, Kishure Mahbubani : "La Chine craint d'être vue comme une menace si elle essaie
de jouer un rôle plus important dans l'organisation du monde."

Alors que l'excédent commercial chinois fascine et inquiète, trente ministres du commerce ont
multiplié les rencontres pour tenter de relancer le cycle des négociations commerciales de Doha,
en présence de Pascal Lamy, directeur général de l'Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC)
: Doha était à Davos. Les négociations, lancées en 2001, étaient tombées dans l'impasse en
juillet 2006, mais elles ont été relancées cahin-caha depuis. La ville symbole de la
mondialisation voulait fournir l'occasion de franchir un pas vers un accord. Présent à Davos, le
président Lula a lancé aux Etats-Unis et à l'Europe : "Les concessions que vous ferez sur le plan
commercial seront autant de gagné sur vos budgets militaires à venir."
Mais rien n'est sorti de ces rencontres, si ce n'est un communiqué pour dire que le processus doit
continuer vers une conclusion positive. Les discussions techniques n'ont pas assez avancé, il
était trop tôt pour que les ministres s'engagent. Si l'ombre de l'OMC planait sur Davos, c'était
surtout à cause de l'inquiétude d'une menace sur la mondialisation par un retour du
protectionnisme. Un échec de Doha pourrait le justifier, le précipiter. Plusieurs débats sur les
"angoisses" des classes moyennes ont souligné que la mondialisation faisait aussi des perdants,
"y compris dans les pays émergents", a remarqué Carlos Ghosn. La crainte davosienne est que
les politiques ne s'en saisissent et ne trouvent comme réponse que des mesures de fermeture et
de protection. "Un manifeste pour la globalisation" a été énoncé pour enjoindre les politiques à
renoncer à toute attitude "défensive" vis-à-vis de la mondialisation. Le business devrait lui aussi
s'impliquer. "Nous n'en faisons certainement pas assez", a reconnu le patron de Renault et de
Si le commerce inquiète, les technologies rassurent. Parmi les motifs d'optimisme des global
leaders, les avancées technologiques sont à placer au premier rang. Le Forum de Davos a
toujours accordé une large place à Bill Gates et consorts. Après l'explosion de la bulle Internet
de 2000, les débats sur la Toile avaient été moins suivis. Mais ils le sont à nouveau. Le Forum a
lui-même sauté le pas en retransmettant nombre d'échanges sur le Net et en créant un forum sur
le site SecondLife. Les débats sur le monde "virtuel" du Web 2.0 où chaque internaute peut
exposer une vidéo, ouvre l'ère des débats participatifs globalisés. "La technologie rend le
pouvoir aux gens", a expliqué Chad Hurley, fondateur de YouTube. Quelle conséquence cet
individualisme aura-t-il sur les débats politiques ou les liens sociaux ? Entrons-nous dans l'ère
d'un nouveau communautarisme à l'échelle mondiale ? Les réponses restent ouvertes.
Alors que la protection de l'environnement fait craindre que les entreprises ne se détournent
d'une autre grande cause - le développement de l'Afrique - Tony Blair, héraut de l'aide au
continent noir, a lancé un vibrant appel en faveur d'une meilleure gouvernance mondiale. "Ce
qui est en train de se passer, c'est que les nations, même les plus grandes, réalisent qu'elles ne
peuvent plus se préoccuper uniquement de leurs intérêts nationaux sans invoquer des valeurs
globales plus larges", a-t-il affirmé. Si le monde n'est sans doute pas tout à fait plat, le Forum de
Davos a voulu montrer que la globalisation est notre futur commun.
Reuters: Indonesia to invite finance ministers to U.N. environment talks

29 Jan 2007 19:25:46 GMT

OSLO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Indonesia plans to invite 5-10 finance ministers to U.N. environment
ministers' talks in December to discuss ways to widen the fight against global warming, a U.N.
official said on Monday.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati agreed in talks with Yvo de Boer, the head
of the U.N. Climate Secretariat, to invite finance ministers representing rich and poor nations to
the annual talks, to be held in Bali in December.

"The idea is to get about 5-10 finance ministers from around the world to attend," said John
Hay, spokesman for the Secretariat. De Boer is on a tour of the Far East.
About 100 environment ministers are expected to attend the talks, which are likely to launch
formal negotiations about extending the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol, the main U.N. plan for curbing
global warming, after a first period running to 2012.

"We have to widen beyond environment ministers," Hay said.
Environment ministers often lack enough power in cabinets to lead policy shifts that would, for
instance, mean cuts in the use of fossil fuels such as oil and gas that are blamed by scientists for
stoking global warming.

Hay said invitees would also include World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and Nicholas Stern,
head of the British government's economics service and author of a 2006 report arguing that it
would be far cheaper to act to slow climate change than to ignore the threat.
Environment ministers agreed scant new measures at their last talks in Kenya in November even
though many governments say that climate change is one of the most pressing long-term
problems facing the planet.

Kyoto obliges 35 rich nations to cut emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, by 5 percent
below 1990 levels by 2008-12 as a step towards averting what could be disastrous changes such
as floods, droughts and rising seas.

But Kyoto has been weakened by a U.S. pullout in 2001 and participating nations only make up
about a third of global emissions. Many rich nations want developing states such as China and
India to do more to brake their rising emissions.

Hay said that Indonesia was interested in finding ways to help slow deforestation -- a big source
of greenhouse gases because trees release carbon dioxide as they rot.
BBC:Queensland to drink waste water

Monday, 29 January 2007

People in the Australian state of Queensland will soon have to start drinking water
containing recycled sewage, the state premier has warned.
Premier Peter Beattie said he had scrapped a referendum on the issue, because there was no
longer a choice.
He also warned other Australian states might eventually have to do the same because of
mounting water shortages.

Water is already recycled in places like Singapore and the UK, but the idea is still unpopular in
But the country is currently suffering from a severe drought - the worst on record. Last week
Prime Minister John Howard declared water security to be the biggest challenge currently
facing Australia, and he announced a A$10bn ($7.7bn; £3.9bn) package to tackle the problem.
Mr Beattie said that falling water levels had left his state administration with no option but to
introduce recycled water in south-eastern Queensland, starting from next year.
"We're not getting rain; we've got no choice," he told ABC radio.
"These are ugly decisions, but you either drink water or you die. There's no choice. It's liquid
gold, it's a matter of life and death," he said.
Mr Howard supported Mr Beattie's comments, telling a Sydney radio station: "I've advocated
recycling for a long time... I am very strongly in favour of recycling, and Mr Beattie is right."
But Mike Rann, the premier of South Australia, and Morris Iemma, the premier of New South
Wales, rejected the Queensland plan - with Mr Rann ruling out using recycled sewage for
anything but irrigation.
Malcolm Turnbull, the new environment and water resources minister, asked other states to be
more open-minded on the issue.
"Don't rule out desalination because it is expensive, or recycling because it sounds yucky, or
building a dam," Mr Turnbull told Australian media.
"Put everything on the table, assess all the economic, environmental and financial costs and then
make a decision."

River row
Ahead of an election next year, Mr Howard and his federal administration are eager to be seen
to be tackling environmental problems.
Mr Howard announced last week that the federal government wanted to take over the Murray-
Darling river system - the country's most precious water resource, which provides supplies for
most of Australia's irrigated farm land.
The controversial plan would be the biggest reform of water management in the country's
The four state governments which manage it are currently controlled by the opposition Labor
party, which has argued that the new proposals represent an unacceptable power grab by the
prime minister.

Agence France Press: Slick grows off southern Spain
Mon Jan 29, 7:07 PM
ALGECIRAS, Spain (AFP) - An oil slick was spreading off Spain's southern coast as fuel
leaked out of a stricken refrigerator ship a day after it ran aground in high winds.

Volunteers and salvage workers were trying to clean more than a kilometre (mile) at Sierra
Nava beach blackened by fuel seeping from the vessel after two of its four fuel tanks cracked
Salvage workers rescued two crew members from the Panamanian-registered vessel before it
became stuck in around 50 metres (120 feet) of water.
Experts fear the boat may leak some 170 tonnes of fuel but with weather conditions poor they
have been unable to inspect the vessel or place anti-pollution booms around its hull.
Transport Minister Magdalena Alvarez stressed that the incident would not be on the scale of
the environmental disaster four years ago when the Prestige oil tanker went down off the
northwestern region of Galicia.
On that occasion, the worst environmental disaster Spain has known, some 64,000 tonnes of
fuel leaked out and polluted beaches as far away as southwestern France, hundreds of
kilometres away.
"This is not a new Prestige, far from it," Alvarez said at the scene.
But the Spanish branch of Greenpeace said that authorities had not diverted sufficient resources
to the scene to stem any risk of serious pollution, estimating that some four kilometres of
coastline were at risk of contamination.
According to the WWF/Adena environmental association, there is a scant control of maritime
traffic in the Strait of Gibraltar, which the organisation noted "is a bridge between Europe and
Africa" as home to numerous species including whales and dolphins highly sensitive to oil
LEMONDE : Des galettes de fioul sur les plages bretonnes

avec Reuters
Les plages des Côtes d'Armor et du Finistère Nord sont souillées, depuis vendredi 26 janvier,
par des galettes de fioul lourd d'origine encore indéterminée, ce qui a provoqué l'ouverture d'une
enquête officielle. Un avion des douanes qui a survolé le large samedi soir et des navires qui ont
exploré les environs n'ont pas repéré de plaques de matière polluante plus importante. La
préfecture se montre donc plutôt rassurante pour l'instant. "Ce n'est pas quelque chose de
signicatif mais plutôt un phénomène ponctuel", a dit le porte-parole, Sylvain Le Berre.
Les galettes de fioul, qui peuvent atteindre 50 cm de diamètre, sont souvent agglomérées autour
de paquets de biscuits. Elles ont touché les plages entre Trégastel et Locquirec. Des échantillons
ont été confiés pour analyse au Cèdre (Centre de documentation, de recherche et
d'expérimentations sur les pollutions accidentelles des eaux) de Brest, ce qui permettra de
déterminer son origine d'ici lundi.
Deux hypothèses sont à l'étude. Les galettes pourraient provenir du porte-conteneurs MSC
Napoli, passé au large des côtes bretonnes lorsqu'il était en perdition en mer. Mais l'aspect
visqueux et lourd du fioul arrivé sur les plages ne semble pas correspondre aux caractéristiques
du fioul du Napoli. La pollution pourrait aussi provenir d'un "dégazage" sauvage d'un autre
navire qui aurait profité des difficultés du MSC Napoli pour tenter de passer inaperçu.

Certains élus des communes maritimes touchées ont demandé l'aide de l'Etat pour le nettoyage
des plages.
"Vu l'ampleur des dépôts, on a décidé de fermer toutes les plages, on a interdit l'accès des
plages. On a besoin de moyens techniques, j'espère qu'on aura des aides de l'Etat notamment
pour le nettoyage des roches et le ramassage", a déclaré sur France Info Joël Le Roch, maire de
Locquirec (Finistère).

Independent Rules on wasteful packaging 'are unenforceable'

By Andy McSmith

Published: 30 January 2007
Rules banning wasteful packaging in shops have too many loopholes to be effective, officials
have warned.
While the law requires that packaging should be restricted to "the minimum amount to maintain
necessary levels of safety, hygiene and acceptance" for the consumer, trading standards officers
and council leaders have warned the regulations are almost unenforcable.
Based on an EU directive, the regulations are hedged about with ifs and buts, including a clause
allowing extra packaging where it has "consumer acceptance", where it is needed to "provide
identification", or for "stimulating purchase".
The get-out clauses were added after chocolate manufacturers insisted that children expect
Easter eggs to come in large, brightly coloured boxes much bigger than the confectionery inside
- prompting fears that officials could be branded "killjoys".
Paul Bettison, the leader of Bracknell Council in Berkshire, who speaks on environmental
issues for 400 local councils, said the rules have too many loopholes, and that fines are too
small to deter the major operators.
Since the packaging regulations were introduced in 2003, four firms have been successfully
prosecuted. They include a company called Office World, which consistently used large boxes
to dispatch relatively small items. In one case, it used a box 15 times the size of the goods it
contained - not knowing that the customers were Northamptonshire trading standards officers,
who took them to court where they were fined £2,000, plus £550 costs.
Northamptonshire officers have also prosecuted a butcher who sold pre-packed meat on an
upturned polystyrene tray, inside another, larger tray. He was fined £1,000. In Cambridgeshire,
a customer complained after buying some Cadbury's Giant Chocolate Fingers at Tesco, only to
find they were far from giant. They came in a tin nearly seven inches long, but inside were
individually wrapped chocolate fingers less than four-and-a-half inches long. The company
responsible, Burton's Foods of St Albans, was fined a total of £5,000.
And a firm called Nadia Luciani was fined £500 after trading standards officers in Oldham
discovered that the tin in which they were selling dried mushroom powder had a false bottom,
making it three inches longer than necessary.
David Hedger, a Northamptonshire trading standards officer who was involved in two of the
four prosecutions, said: "The onus is on trading standards to prove the offence, but how do you
disprove 'customer acceptance'? We want much tougher regulations."

Mr Bettison, who chairs the Local Government Association's environment board, said: "A law
that is supposed to outlaw excessive packaging is proving woefully unenforcable. Local
authority trading standards services have found their hands tied by regulations which allow
businesses to cite customer preference as a reason for using excess packaging.
"There is no incentive whatsoever for producers to cut down on packaging, because they know
they can get away with it. Loopholes that make it easy for businesses to get off the hook must
be closed. Equally, a £5,000 fine is a drop in the ocean for big companies. Only serious fines
will act as a genuine disincentive to over-packaging."

Waste with your cuppa?
Sarah Gaunt contacted The Independent to complain about the "ridiculous" packaging of Tetley
Fruit and Herbal tea bags. Her 20 tea bags came not in a cardboard box but a sealed tube with
plastic lid, the sort of container used for Pringles crisps.
"Surely there are ways to keep 20 tea bags fresh with less materials that this!" Ms Gaunt wrote.
"I no longer buy this tea." When we brought her complaint to the attention of the company, it
said the packaging had largely proved a hit with customers because it preserved the flavour of
the leaf. It seems likely that a cardboard box or a glass jar at home could do the same job.
But Tetley did admit that its guidelines for recycling the tube may be impractical. It said in a
statement: "We do understand that whilst each part of the container is recyclable, its
construction makes it hard to achieve this in practice. In light of the popularity of this particular
container, and in keeping with our desire to continually improve, we have a team of people
looking to address this issue of recycling."
New York Times: World Scientists Near Consensus on Warming

PARIS, Jan. 29 — Scientists from across the world gathered Monday to hammer out the final
details of an authoritative report on climate change that is expected to project centuries of rising
temperatures and sea levels unless there are curbs in emissions of carbon dioxide and other
gases that trap heat in the atmosphere.
Scientists involved in writing or reviewing the report say it is nearly certain to conclude that
there is at least a 90 percent chance that human-caused emissions are the main factor in
warming since 1950. The report is the fourth since 1990 from the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change, which is overseen by the United Nations.
The report, several of the authors said, will describe a growing body of evidence that warming
is likely to cause a profound transformation of the planet.
Three large sections of the report will be forthcoming during the year. The first will be a
summary for policy makers and information on basic climate science, which is expected to be
issued on Friday.
Among the findings in recent drafts:
¶The Arctic Ocean could largely be devoid of sea ice during summer later in the century.
¶Europe‘s Mediterranean shores could become barely habitable in summers, while the Alps
could shift from snowy winter destinations to summer havens from the heat.

¶Growing seasons in temperate regions will expand, while droughts are likely to ravage further
the semiarid regions of Africa and southern Asia.
―Concerns about climate change and public awareness on the subject are at an all-time high,‖
the chairman of the panel, Rajendra Pachauri, told delegates on Monday.
But scientists involved in the effort warned that squabbling among teams and government
representatives from more than 100 countries — over how to portray the probable amount of
sea-level rise during the 21st century — could distract from the basic finding that a warming
world will be one in which shrinking coastlines are the new normal for centuries to come.
Jerry Mahlman, an emeritus researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in
Boulder, Colo., who was a reviewer of the report‘s single-spaced, 1,644-page summary of
climate science, said most of the leaks to the news media so far were from people eager to find
elements that were the most frightening or the most reassuring.
He added in an interview that such efforts distracted from the basic, undisputed findings, saying
that those point to trends that are very disturbing.
He noted recent disclosures that there is still uncertainty about the pace at which seas will rise
because of warming and the melting of terrestrial ice over the next 100 years. That span, he
said, is just the start of a rise in sea levels that will almost certainly continue for 1,000 years or
Many economists and energy experts long ago abandoned any expectation that it would be
possible to avoid a doubling of preindustrial carbon dioxide concentrations, given the growth of
human populations, use of fossil fuels, particularly coal, and destruction of forests in the tropics.
The report is likely to highlight the hazardous consequences of that shift by finding that
reaching twice the preindustrial concentration of carbon dioxide will probably warm climate
between 3.5 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit and by highlighting that there is a small but significant
risk that such a buildup can produce even more warming.
One major point of debate in early drafts of the report is the projection of a smaller rise in sea
level than the last report as scientists relying on computer models and field observations
struggle to find a consensus. Some scientists say that the figures used in the coming report are
not recent enough because they leave out recent observations of instability in some ice sheets in
Antarctica and Greenland.
Another possible point of contention during the four days of closed sessions in Paris this week
may be assertions in early drafts of the report that the recent warming rate was blunted by
particle pollution and volcanic eruptions.
Some scientists say the final report should reflect the assumption that the rate of warming in
coming years is likely to be more pronounced than that of previous decades.
Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, said the
findings presented Friday should lead decision makers to accelerate efforts to slash carbon
emissions and to help people in vulnerable parts of the world prepare for climate change.
―These findings should strengthen the resolve of governments to act now to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions and put in place the medium- to longer-term strategies necessary to avert
dangerous climate change,‖ Mr. Steiner said.

In a new report issued Monday, his agency said the most recent evidence from mountain
glaciers showed that they were melting faster than before.
In the past year, international concern over what to do about global warming has grown along
with concrete signs of climate change. Even so, political leaders are still groping for ways to
tackle the phenomenon. Europe has adopted a program that caps the amount of emissions from
industrial plants.
But the world‘s largest emitter, the United States, still is debating whether to adopt a similar
policy, while developing countries like China are resisting caps on the ground that the
industrialized countries contributed about 75 percent of the current volume of greenhouse gases
and should make the deepest cuts.
Many experts involved in the intergovernmental panel‘s process said there was hope that with a
prompt start on slowing emissions, the chances of seeing much greater warmth and widespread
disruption of ecosystems and societies could be reduced.
Outside experts agreed.
―We basically have three choices: mitigation, adaptation and suffering,‖ said John Holdren, the
president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an energy and
climate expert at Harvard. ―We‘re going to do some of each. The question is what the mix is
going to be. The more mitigation we do, the less adaptation will be required and the less
suffering there will be.‖

Al Jazeera:UN report sees bleak climate future
30 January 2007.
Rising temperatures may hamper Earth's natural ability to absorb carbon dioxide
A report compiled by climate scientists will paint a bleak picture of global warming and say that
evidence of the negative human impact on the environment is "widespread".
The document, a draft of which has been seen by UK daily The Independent, is to be issued in
Paris on Friday by the UN's Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The report says that temperature increases of between 2 and 4.5C are highly likely this century,
but gains of 6C "or more" cannot be ruled out.
The document, to be published at the end of a four-day meeting, is agreed by consensus by
around 500 scientists and government representatives.
The draft makes a strong link between increases in man-made carbon dioxide emissions and
climate change.
The document says that since the last such report, released in 2001, "confidence in the
assessment of the human contributions to recent climate change has increased considerably.
"Is the climate changing? For the past few years, there is no longer any doubt about it. Is the
climate changing due to human activity? The response is more and more certainly, yes"

"Anthropogenic (man-made) warming of the climate system is widespread and can be detected
in temperature observations taken at the surface, in the free atmosphere and in the oceans.
"It is highly likely that the warming observed during the past half century cannot be explained
without external forcing (human activity)."
In the 2001 report, scientists forecast a global atmospheric temperature increase of between 1.4
and 5.8C by 2100.
The draft also warns of "positive" feedbacks, which could play a role in accelerating
temperature increases.
The report says that as the world warms it causes increased evaporation, leading to higher
concentrations of water vapour, thereby exacerbating the greenhouse effect.
The document notes that water vapour concentrations over oceans have increased by four per
cent since 1970.
The IPCC's climate models also warn that rising temperatures will hamper the planet's natural
ability to absorb carbon dioxide.
Heat waves are likely to be more intense, more frequent and longer-lasting, and tropical storms
and hurricanes will probably be stronger.

ANTARA News: Indonesia could lose 2.000 islands with rise in sea level
Jakarta - Indonesia could lose 2,000 small islands by 2030 due to a rise in sea levels as a result
of climate change, Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said on Monday.
According to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the sea level could rise
between eight and 29 centimetres (three and 12 inches) by 2030, inundating many of Indonesia's
lower-lying islands, he was quoted by AFP as saying.
"Everybody in this world is experiencing directly the effects of climate change, whether it is
floods, droughts or, heaven forbid, sea-level rise, those are phenomena that are impeding
development," he told reporters.
The archipelago comprises more than 17,000 islands.
Witoelar said agriculture had been affected by changes in weather patterns, with rice not planted
on schedule and Indonesia experiencing a significant increase in temperatures.
Indonesia is also expected to see higher rainfall in coming wet seasons.
Floods in the north of Sumatra island in December killed dozens of people and forced hundreds
of thousands to flee.
The Indonesian resort island of Bali will host the 13th UN Climate Change Conference in
December, with between 7,000 and 10,000 participants from more than 100 countries expected
to attend, the minister said.

Associated Press: Earthquake rocks Australian island

30 January 2007

SYDNEY, Australia - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 rocked the coast of
Australia's remote Macquarie Island Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said
The quake struck at 2:54 p.m. local time and was centered six miles below the seabed.
Stuart Koyanagi, a geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at Ewa Beach, Hawaii,
said the quake was unlikely to generate a major Pacific-wide tsunami.
"Normally at this magnitude we don't expect any kind of destructive tsunami," he said.
Clive Collins, a seismologist at Geoscience Australia, said the Macquarie Island earthquake
involved two tectonic plates moving against each other horizontally, rather than vertically, and
was unlikely to displace the large quantity of water needed to generate a tsunami.
"It's most unlikely there would be any tsunami," he said. "It's a fairly large earthquake and it's
fairly shallow, but we don't think there's any risk."
The isolated, sparsely populated island lies about 835 miles south of the island state of
Tasmania, and serves as a base for Australian expeditions to Antarctica.

________________________________________________________________________ Concrete Proposal to Cut Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Charles Q. Choi

Mon Jan 29, 3:25 PM ET
The making of cement accounts for up to 10 percent of the world's total emissions of carbon
dioxide, a key gas involved in global warming. Now scientists and engineers are developing a
cleaner way to manufacture cement.
The announcement comes during a week in which scientists around the planet are awaiting a
global warming report due to be announced Friday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Cement is the oldest artificial construction material, dating back to the Roman Empire. It is the
primary component of the world's most widely used building material—concrete. Cement is
manufactured at the rate of 2.35 billion tons per year, enough for more than 1 cubic yard of
concrete for every person on Earth.
Cement starts out as limestone and clay that pulverized and heated in a kiln to 2,730 degrees
Fahrenheit, nearly hot enough to melt iron. At this heat, the powder stores energy. When the
powder is mixed with water, the energy locked within it is released into chemical bonds to
create the elementary ingredient of cement, known as C-S-H, or calcium-silicate-hydrate. This
compound acts as a glue to bind sand and gravel together to make concrete.
Most of the carbon dioxide emissions in cement manufacturing result from heating the kiln to a
temperature high enough to transfer energy into the powder. Civil engineer Franz-Josef Ulm at

MIT and his colleagues are now developing materials that are hopefully as strong and cheap as
cement while requiring lower temperatures during production.
In the end, the researchers suggest this cool solution can slash carbon dioxide emissions during
cement manufacture by up to 10 percent. This would accomplish a fifth of the goal of the Kyoto
Protocol, the United Nations agreement where industrialized nations cut their greenhouse gas
emissions by 5.2 percent. [The United States has never signed the Kyoto agreement.]
Ulm and his colleagues investigated what makes cement strong by poking and prodding cement
pastes from around the world with needles just nanometers or billionths of a meter in size. They
found the strength of cement paste was based on granules of C-S-H stacking up into dense
structures resembling the pyramid-shaped piles of oranges in grocery stores.
The researchers suggest they could swap out C-S-H with a material that stacks up just as well
but requires less heat to produce, thus cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions. For instance,
Ulm said candidates include compounds resembling C-S-H that replace calcium with
"Magnesium is an earth metal, like calcium, but it is a waste material that people must pay to
dispose of," he explained.
Ulm and his colleagues report their findings in the January issue of the Journal of the Mechanics
and Physics of Solids.

The Guardian : Hollywood and pop to help raise value of carbon trading

Terry Macalister and Jill Treanor
Monday January 29, 2007

Hollywood actors such as Orlando Bloom and bands such as Coldplay and Scissor Sisters are
helping to front an audacious plan to step up the fight against global warming by kick-starting
the market for carbon trading.
The scheme aims to buy and retire "carbon credits" to push up the price of CO2. Reducing
supply by refusing to re-sell carbon credits should increase the price and financially penalise
companies which fail to meet their targets.
It will be launched simultaneously in London and Los Angeles tomorrow by the Global Cool
Foundation, the brainchild of music promoter-turned green campaigner Dan Morrell and former
City trader Julian Knight.
The charity also wants to use the money raised to invest in alternative energy companies and
raise awareness about climate change through a series of concerts specifically aimed at the
youth audience.
Members of the public will be asked to donate £20 each to buy "a tonne of cool" and make a
commitment to reduce their own personal carbon footprint by a further tonne a year with the
aim of taking out at least 1bn tonnes a year of CO2.
From every £20 donated to Global Cool, half will go to buy carbon credits, £4 to alternative
energy firms, £3 to putting on Live 8 style concerts and £2 to green charities. The last £1 will
cover administration.

"The world is currently creating 26.5bn tonnes of carbon a year and this is set to grow by half a
billion tonnes every year, so we want to cut down emissions by 1bn a year," said Mr Morrell.
"Global Cool is about buying time and allowing new energy solutions to swing in."
Although Friends of the Earth said it was delighted that Global Cool was trying to do something
positive it questioned whether it could influence a £90bn market.
But Mr Knight insists it can work. "We are not going out on day one to influence the market but
we do hope that over time we can retire credits and drive up the cost of carbon," he said.
Reuters: Brazilian Fashion Houses Eye Eco-Friendly Fabrics

BRAZIL: January 30, 2007

SAO PAULO - For young Brazilians worrying about the latest fashions, the dangers of
polluting rivers and oceans with billions of plastic bottles and tons of pesticides may seem
a distant concern.

But new technology that makes clothing from the polyester fibers from recycled bottles and
organic cotton grown without pesticides may prove that being environmentally conscious and
staying hip can walk hand-in-hand.
During this month's Sao Paulo Fashion Week, the biggest fashion event in Latin America, a
group of local designers displayed several glamorous gowns made from recycled materials,
known as e-fabrics.
"It's a great idea. It's a way of educating people and making them think more about these
issues," said Ruth Marshall-Johnson, an associate editor with the Worth Global Style Network
research and fashion news service.
The recycled bottles also are used to produce materials that serve as filling for matelasse fabric,
ties and lapels. Collecting the bottles also generates income for thousands of poor Brazilian
Technological fabrics will be responsible for great changes in the business, said Gloria Kalil,
one of Brazil's top fashion consultants.
"From now on, the industry will have to consider the environment. Otherwise, who's going to
buy things that are damaging for the planet?" she said.
Marshall-Johnson agreed. She pointed out that the Internet has become a powerful tool for
consumers to investigate whether what they wear utilizes slave labor or involves fabrics
produced in a manner that is not ecologically friendly.

Commercially, producing certain e-fabrics such as organic cotton can lead to extra cost for the
consumer of up to 20 percent.

"Organic cotton costs more to grow, but people don't realize that regular cotton is the worst crop
for the environment because of the amount of pesticides it requires," said researcher Selma
Fernandes, from the Institute E, a nongovernmental organization sponsoring the fabrics project.
"These pesticides end up killing butterflies and birds and pollute rivers."
This year, designer Raquel Davidowicz, of the fashion house UMA, created her first collection
of clothing for the catwalk made from organic cotton and bamboo fibers.
"We were looking for new fabrics and chose these exactly because they are not harmful for the
environment," Davidowicz said. "We are aware that they are trickier to sell."
Specialists say it might take five years for the trend to catch up and for more people to start to
pay the premium price for clothes made from e-fabrics.
"The designers were interested in taking part in this project. Now we hope to create the desire
among consumers to purchase this type of clothing," Fernandes said.

Story by Carolina Schwartz and Fernanda Ezabella


   30 January 2007
                                  General Environment News
Rwanda: Govt Blamed Over Methane Gas
The New Times (Kigali): Bureaucracy in the government is responsible for the delay of the long
awaited extraction of Methane Gas deposits from Lake Kivu, a company involved in the project
has said. Officials of Kibuye Power 1 (KP1) Project in Gisenyi, Western Province, told a team
of parliamentarians on Friday that the government had failed to honor part of its bargain in the
deal. They attributed the delay to government bureaucracies, causing delays in disbursing its
financial obligation contained in Methane Gas Extraction Shareholders' Agreement. They said
the government had not disbursed funds to kick-start the project. This has thus driven KPI into
seeking Parliament's intervention to push the government to meet its contractual obligations.
The company, on Friday, hosted the Economic Commission from both Chambers of Parliament
in Gisenyi to witness progress so far registered with the pilot plant. The commission is charged
with monitoring government investments. The delegation of about twenty parliamentarians was
led by Hon. Ambassador, Denis Polisi, who is also a vice speaker of Chamber of Deputies and
Prosper Higiro, a Senate vice president. However, part of recent controversies emanating from
the project is the company name.

Uganda: Power Scarcity - Fighting the Battle on Many Fronts
New Vision (Kampala): WITH the current dwindling supply of fuel, the rate at the environment
is being destroyed worldwide to meet the basic needs of the population is alarming, writes John
Kasozi. This makes the need to embrace energy-saving techniques urgent. "We started our
energy-saving project in 1983, following a severe drought that hit Ethiopia at the time. This
experience forced us to come up with an environmental protection body to contain the
situation," says Ruth Kiwanuka, the chief executive officer of Joint Energy and Environment
Project (JEEP). Kevin Ssebina, the JEEP training officer adds that today, it does not make sense
to put in place re-forestation programmes without thinking about other energy-saving measures.
"The battle must be fought on various fronts," she insists. "This is why we began by teaching
people how to mould energy-saving stoves. We have trained over 50,000 children and 100,000
adults, the majority of them women, in energy-saving techniques," Ssebina explains. Since then,
JEEP has introduced many energy-saving devices, among which is the fireless hay cooker,
which saves a lot of energy, money and is portable. "The technology uses locally available
materials such as a basket, sand or silt (Olufufu), dried paspalam grass and old clothes. These
act as insulators," explains Ssebina.

Uganda: KCC Receives Sh3.8 Billion to Collect Waste
New Vision (Kampala): PILES of garbage in the city may soon be a thing of the past. The
Government has given Kampala City Council (KCC) sh3.8b to collect garbage in preparation
for the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. Speaking to the press
recently, the district director for health services, Misaki Mubiru, said the council would
privatize garbage collection in all the divisions to intensify the "Keep the city clean" campaigns.
It is estimated that each person in Kampala generates a kilogramme of refuse per day yet the
council is able to collect only half of the total garbage produced.

Uganda: Water Plant to Be Up-Graded
   New Vision (Kampala): The drop in the water level of Lake Victoria is compelling the National
   Water and Sewerage Corporation to upgrade the Masese water treatment plant. The branch
   manager, Andrew Ssekayizi, said the main pipes supplying water from the lake to the plant
   were exposed because of the water decrease. "The pipes are one meter above the lake's water
   level. This makes the water impure." He said the poor quality water obtained increased costs of
   purifying it. Ssekayizi said they would have to push the pipes 1,000 meters further into the lake.

   Uganda: New City Firm to Recycle Plastics
   New Vision (Kampala): A new company has invested $1m (about sh1.8) to recycle plastic
   bottles in the city. "Companies that earned a bad reputation of littering the environment with
   waste have a way of overcoming it. We have started recycling the bottles and we need their
   waste as raw material," said Alex Byaruhanga, the manager of plastic recycling industries. He
   said companies that were eager to shake off their reputation as the biggest sources of plastic
   bottles that litter the city, had established a working relationship with the recyclers. The bulk of
   the plastic waste is produced by Mukwano Industries, which makes products like soap and
   packs them in plastics. Prior to the introduction of the company, studies were undertaken and
   revealed that about 30 tonnes of plastic waste is generated in Kampala every day. However, the
   company can only deal with half of the plastic waste generated, said Byaruhanga. He said part
   of      the      money        was     a     grant    from      the    Netherlands       government.

Angola: Government to Present State of Environment
   Angola Press Agency (Luanda): A report on the state of the environment in Angola will be
   released Tuesday in Luanda by the Ministry of Urbanization and Environment (MINUA), to
   unveil the main environmental constraints facing the country. According to a MINUA press
   note that reached Angop, the presentation of the document is part of the celebrations of the
   National Environment Day, January 31. The report that was drafted over the last two years with
   support from the African Development Bank (BAD), identifies the challenges associated with
   environmental management in Angola, supplies information for a deeper study and represents
   an essential tool of support to political decision making. The document provides an analysis of
   the environmental situation in the country, based on a series of indicators, with stress to soils,
   water, biodiversity, air, wastes and noise, as well as a description of the social evolution to
   highlight the relation between the economic development and protection of environment. It is
   also part of a BAD investment programme that includes the drafting of various environmental
   projects. The investment programme includes the creation of an environmental indicators data
   bank, building of institutional capacity for the preservation of the environment, drafting of a
   national development plan on the use of land, and communitarian management of natural

   Angola: Benguela - Talks Mark Activities Allusive to Environment Day
   Angola Press Agency (Luanda): Seminars on "Global warming on earth" and "Dumping sites"
   happened this Monday in the districts of Baía-Farta and Benguela, mark the opening of the
   events allusive to the National Environment Day, January 31, in the whole country. According
   to the programme of activities delivered to ANGOP, a partnership agreement between "Causa
   Solidária" organization and the local government will be signed and a tree planting campaign at
   Baía-Farta locality will equally be carried out. At least 300 several trees were Saturday planted

at Arimba locality, Lubango city, southwest province of Huila, as part of activities related with
National Day of Environment, on 31 January. The programme also includes the re-inauguration
of gardens in Lobito city, visits to dumping sites of Benguela and Lobito districts, projects for
the removal of alluvium in the Catumbela and Cavaco Rivers and for the building of the
"Casseque Housing Complex", as well as assessing the coast of Santo António Bay, with
degraded environmental signs.

Ethiopia: Laboratory Results Determine Project Life at Yayu Coal
Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa): Chinese experts, who have been studying the potential of coal
reserves at Yayu, expect laboratory results this week. The results will determine the life of the
project, which sources say is closely followed by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, reports Issayas
Mekuria, Fortune Staff Writer. Results Chinese experts are expected to deliver this week will
have a make or break effect on the Yayu Coal Phosphate Fertilizer Complex Project. If
successful, the country is hoping to produce 300,000tns of urea fertilizer, thereby sparing it
from importing two-thirds of that amount, at an average cost of 60 million dollars. A team of 12
experts from the Chinese state owned enterprise, COMPLANT, arrived in Ethiopia on January
21, 2007, and immediately made their way to Yayu to submit laboratory results to the project
office under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Hired for 12 million Br in March 2006,
COMPLANT experts have taken samples to determine the quality and reserves of coal in the
Yayu area, Illubabur Zone, Oromia Regional State. The remaining 16 experts are expected to
arrive next week. The company, together with the state owned Ethiopian Geological Survey,
have dug 60 holes, each with a 400 meter to 500 meter depth, to acquire samples for laboratory
analysis. Accuracy of estimated potentials, close to 100 million tonnes of reserves, will pave the
way for the erection of a production plant in the area. This was discovered after the Chinese
company conducted a pre-feasibility study in 2003. However, this study was frustrated with the
revelation that manufacturing a tone of urea from Yayu coal would have cost between 250 to
280 dollars, an amount much higher than the international price at the time. Two things have
changed since then, though. The problem is not whether to know if there are coal reserves in
this area, according to a professor of geology at the Addis Abeba University, but rather that,
"This project will certainly have an impact in polluting the environment, thus finding a financier
may become an uphill task," he told Fortune.


                                ROAP MEDIA UPDATE
                           THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                                Tuesday, 30 January, 2007

                                   UN or UNEP in the news

The Seoul Times - South Korea : Melting of mountain glaciers accelerating: UN-backed

30 January 2007 - Mountain glaciers around the world melted from 2000 to 2005 at 1.6 times
the average loss rate of the 1990s and three times that of the 1980s, with much of the

accelerated change attributable to human-induced climate change, according to tentative figures
in a new United Nations-backed report released on Jan. 29,2007

―This is the most authoritative, comprehensive and up-to-date information on glaciers world-
wide and as such underlines the rapid changes occurring on the planet as a result of climate
change,‖ UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said, noting
their importance as sources for many rivers upon which people depend for drinking water,
agriculture and industrial purposes.

―The findings confirm the science of human-induced climate change, confirmation that will be
further underlined when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change unveil their next
report on 2 February. These findings should strengthen the resolve of governments to act now to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put in place the medium to longer term strategies
necessary to avert dangerous climate change,‖ he added.

According to the figures, the 2000-2005 period saw an average thickness loss for a set of
reference glaciers of 0.6 metre water equivalent, confirming the trend in accelerated ice loss
during the past two and a half decades and bringing the average reduction since 1980 of the 30
reference glaciers of nine mountain ranges to about 9.6-metres water equivalent. On average,
one metre water equivalent corresponds to 1.1 metre ice thickness.

The results come from glacier mass balance measurements collected by scientists all over the
world and published by the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) in Zurich, Switzerland.
The WGMS collects standardized glacier data which are considered to be among the best
natural indicators of climate change.

Scientific measurements relate to the so-called ‗net mass balance‘ of glaciers, which can be seen
as their overall ice thickness change. The long-term monitoring of glacier mass balance
produces one of the most essential variables required for the regular assessment reports on
global climate monitoring. As such, the glacier mass balance data are an important contribution
to UNEP‘s Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report.

The preliminary data on glacier change for the year 2005 from 80 glaciers was reported to the
WGMS from the majority of the glaciated mountain ranges of the world. Of these, 30 glaciers
have continuous mass balance measurement series since 1980.

Comprehensive data for the year 2006 are not yet available, but as it was one of the warmest
years in many years in many parts of the world, it is expected that the downward trend will

―Today, the glacier surface is much smaller than in the 1980s, this means that the climatic
forcing has continued since then,‖ Michael Zemp, a glaciologist and research associate at the
WGMS said. ―The recent increase in rates of ice loss over reducing glacier surface areas leaves
no doubt about the accelerated change in climatic conditions.‖

Zee News - Noida,India : Knowledge summit on climate change begins

Paris, Jan 29: With a mountain of data in front of them and demands for action coming from
behind, the world`s top climate experts launched a massive review here on Monday of the
evidence for global warming.

On Friday, the UN intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) will release its first
assessment since 2001, in a document likely to have far-reaching political and economic

"Concerns about climate change and public awareness of the subject are at an all-time high,"
noted Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC`s chairman.

"At no time in the past has there been a greater global appetite for knowledge on any subject
than there is today on the scientific facts underlying the reality of global climate change."

Christian Brodhag, representing the French hosts, said "the fight against climate change" had
become cemented into national and European policy.

Brodhag said that the 2003 heatwave in France, which killed an estimated 15,000 people,
mainly the elderly, had awoken his country to the danger. "This is why our fellow citizens no
longer question climate change."

But one delegate said many representatives at the conference feared the draft report poorly
reflected urgency about climate change, especially about damage to earth`s ice cover and polar

New data released today showed that 30 reference glaciers monitored by the Swiss-based world
glacier monitoring service lost about 66 centimetres in thickness on average in 2005, bringing
the loss about 10.5 metres on average since 1980.

"The new data confirms the trend in accelerated loss during the past two and half decades," the
UN environment programme (UNEP) said.

Climbers for the environment group Greenpeace scaled the Eiffel Tower to hang a protest
banner of a thermometer, representing the threat of global warming.

The report will be the fourth since the IPCC was launched.

The panel is highly regarded for its neutrality and caution, and it wields a big influence over
government policies, corporate strategies and even individual decision-making.

In 2001, the IPCC declared that carbon pollution from burning oil, gas and coal had helped
drive atmospheric levels of co2 to their highest in 420,000 years.

Co2 is the principal "greenhouse gas," a term that applies to half a dozen gases that linger
invisibly in the atmosphere, trapping the Sun`s heat instead of letting solar radiation bounce
back into space.

Over the previous 50 years, temperatures climbed by around 0.1 c per decade and most of the
warming could be blamed on human activity, the 2001 report said.

It predicted that by 2100, the global atmospheric temperature will have risen between 1.4 and
5.8 and sea levels by 0.09 to 0.88 metres (3.5-35 inches) compared to their 1990 level,
depending on how much greenhouse gas is emitted.

Pachauri said climate science had leapt ahead since 2001, and the report would eliminate some
important areas of uncertainty.

The draft report is agreed by consensus among the some 500 scientists and government
representatives in the IPCC`s working group 1.

Two other volumes will be issued in April in what will be the fourth assessment report on
climate change by the IPCC since it was established in 1988. The two others will focus on the
impacts of climate change and on the social-economic costs of reducing greenhouse gases.

The draft report is agreed by consensus among the some 500 scientists and government
representatives in the IPCC`s working group 1.

Two other volumes will be issued in April in what will be the fourth assessment report on
climate change by the IPCC since it was established in 1988. The two others will focus on the
impacts of climate change and on the social-economic costs of reducing greenhouse gases.

The IPCC was set up by the world meteorological organisation (WMO) and UNEP in 1988.

Since then, "a generation has already been born that has seen (climate) changes and extremes as
part of their daily life," observed Jeremiah Lengoasa, the WHO`s assistant secretary general.
Bureau Report

For text, see above

The Australian, Australia: Barrier Reef extinct in 20 years: report

January 30, 2007

THE Great Barrier Reef will become functionally extinct in less than 20 years if global
warming continues at its current pace, a draft international report warns.
A confidential draft of the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
obtained by Melbourne's The Age newspaper, says that global warming will cause billions of
dollars of damage to coastal areas, key ecosystems and the farming sector without massive
greenhouse gas emission cuts.

In a chapter on Australia, the draft IPCC climate impacts report warns that coral bleaching in
the Barrier Reef is likely to occur annually by 2030 because of warmer, more acidic seas.

The reef is one of several iconic areas of Australia identified in the report as key hot spots for
climate vulnerability. Others include the Kakadu National Park's wetlands, the Murray-Darling
Basin and alpine zones in southern Australia.

Australian Conservation Foundation executive director Don Henry said the report was a big
wake-up call.

"They are saying our beloved Barrier Reef is at grave risk," Mr Henry told Sky News.

"We've got a major economic and environmental problem unless we heed the call of these

"I think the science is getting clearer about how just how serious and urgent it is.",20867,21141214-30417,00.html

New Straits Times, Malaysia : She’s raring to perform at UN event in Nairobi

For Text, see above
__________________________________________________________________________ -New Zealand : Melting Of Mountain Glaciers Accelerating – UN

Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 10:49 am

Melting Of Mountain Glaciers Accelerating, According To New UN-Backed Report
New York, Jan 29 2007 12:00PM

Mountain glaciers around the world melted from 2000 to 2005 at 1.6 times the average loss rate
of the 1990s and three times that of the 1980s, with much of the accelerated change attributable
to human-induced climate change,
According to tentative figures in a new United Nations-backed report released today.

―This is the most authoritative, comprehensive and up-to-date information on glaciers world-
wide and as such underlines the rapid changes occurring on the planet as a result of climate
change,‖ UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said, noting
their importance as sources for many rivers upon which people depend for drinking water,
agriculture and industrial purposes.

―The findings confirm the science of human-induced climate change, confirmation that will be
further underlined when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change unveil their next
report on 2 February. These findings should strengthen the resolve of governments to act now to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put in place the medium to longer term strategies
necessary to avert dangerous climate change, he added.

According to the figures, the 2000-2005 period saw an average thickness loss for a set of
reference glaciers of 0.6 metre water equivalent, confirming the trend in accelerated ice loss
during the past two and a half decades and bringing the average reduction since 1980 of the 30
reference glaciers of nine mountain ranges to about 9.6-metres water equivalent. On average,
one metre water equivalent corresponds to 1.1 metre ice thickness.

The results come from glacier mass balance measurements collected by scientists all over the
world and published by the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) in Zurich, Switzerland.

The WGMS collects standardized glacier data which are considered to be among the best
natural indicators of climate change.

Scientific measurements relate to the so-called ‗net mass balance‘ of glaciers, which can be seen
as their overall ice thickness change. The long-term monitoring of glacier mass balance
produces one of the most essential variables required for the regular assessment reports on
global climate monitoring. As such, the glacier mass balance data are an important contribution
to UNEῐ's Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report.

The preliminary data on glacier change for the year 2005 from 80 glaciers was reported to the
WGMS from the majority of the glaciated mountain ranges of the world. Of these, 30 glaciers
have continuous mass balance measurement series since 1980.

Comprehensive data for the year 2006 are not yet available, but as it was one of the warmest
years in many years in many parts of the world, it is expected that the downward trend will

―Today, the glacier surface is much smaller than in the 1980s, this means that the climatic
forcing has continued since then,‖ Michael Zemp, a glaciologist and research associate at the
WGMS said. ―The recent increase in rates of ice loss over reducing glacier surface areas leaves
no doubt about the accelerated change in climatic conditions.
Reuters : Indonesia May Lose 2,000 Islands to Climate Change

For Text, see above

Viet Nam News, Vietnam : Herbal remedy firm vies for UN prize


New York — A Vietnamese project to boost herbal remedies has beaten more than 230 rivals
from 70 countries to go through to the finals of the United Nation‘s 2007 Supporting
Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development (Seed) Awards. Achim Steiner, Executive
Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, announced last week the ten finalists
who are competing for five awards.

The Vietnamese project is designed to bring domestic medicinal plant products to the
international market, and is the only representative from the East Asia region in the running for
an award.

The Seed Awards is designed to encourage local entrepreneurs, communities and companies to
work together on sustainable-development projects.

Reuters : Japan Hopes to Get Mt. Fuji UNESCO Heritage Tag

JAPAN: January 30, 2007 - TOKYO - Japan said on Monday it would try to have its famed
Mount Fuji and four other sites registered on the UN's World Heritage list.

The list, which includes the 3,776-metre (12,388 ft) Mount Fuji and a silk mill, a symbol of
Japan's industrialisation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, would be presented to the UN
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation later this week, government officials said.
The officials said they would expect the candidate sites to be formally included on the
provisional list following approval in June from UNESCO's World Heritage committee.

There are 10 sites in Japan that are registered as World Cultural Heritage sites and three as
World Natural Heritage sites.

Reuters : Indonesia to Invite Finance Ministers to UN Environment Talks

For Text, see above


Perth Now: Humanity causing sick planet

Paul Ken- January 30, 2007
SCIENTISTS have now found the connection between man-made carbon emissions and
global warming, proving once and for all that human activity is changing the world.

And scientists have debunked the myth that global warming is simply a global cycle, saying that
according to its cycle the earth should be in a period of cooling, not warming.

The stunning find is to be released in the final report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) in Paris on Friday, the biggest undertaking yet on the earth's changing climate.

A leaked draft copy has detailed the main thrusts of the findings and leaves no doubt the effect
mankind is having on the planet.

Every inhabited continent on earth is affected, with different parts of the world visibly
responding to human activity, such as melting ice caps.

For the past six years 2000 of the world's leading climate scientists -- climatologists,
glaciologists, meterologists, oceanographers and other specialists, have studied all known
scientific literature on climate change, with the findings to be released on Friday.

"It is highly likely (greater than 95 per cent probability) that the warming observed during the
past half century cannot be explained without external forcing (human activity)," the draft says.

And while the naysayers might dismiss the findings as a conspiratorial hoax, the IPCC is
traditionally regarded as being conservative, with a preference for erring on the side of caution.

Its assessment could not be more damning.

Some of the findings included:

-- 11 of the earth's 12 warmest years since 1850 have occured since 1995.

-- Indications are the earth's temperature will rise 3C by 2100, possibly as much as 6C. This
could be catastrophic, with a similar temperature shift marking the last ice age 12,000 years ago.

-- It is virtually certain (99 per cent probability) that carbon dioxide levels and global warming
is far above the range in the atmosphere over the past 650,000 years.

-- It is virtually certain that human activity has played the dominant role in this.

-- It is likely that human activity is responsible for other observed changes to the earth, such as
ocean warming and melting of the Arctic sea ice.

The IPCC report revealed climate change could be far worse than previously thought.,21598,21140790-948,00.html
Fair Fax Digital: Reef 'facing extinction'

Liz Minchin- January 30, 2007

The Great Barrier Reef will become "functionally extinct" within decades at the current rate of
global warming, while wilder weather is set to affect property values and drive up insurance
bills in many Australian coastal communities.

A confidential draft of a major international report, obtained by The Age, shows that without
massive greenhouse gas emission cuts to slow global warming, damage to coastal areas, key
ecosystems and the farming sector is likely to cost Australia's economy billions of dollars.

On Saturday, The Age reported that the world's authoritative body on global warming, the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was preparing to strengthen its findings in
a scientific assessment being released in Paris this week.

In coming months, the panel will also release two more reports, summarising key research on
global climate impacts and solutions to climate change.

The Age has obtained a draft of the climate impacts report ahead of its release later this year. It
includes a chapter on Australia, which warns that coral bleaching in the Barrier Reef is likely to
become an annual occurrence by as early as 2030 due to warmer, more acidic seas.

It takes at least a decade for coral to start recovering from severe bleaching. But that may not
happen, with average temperatures now expected to increase by about 3 degrees this century,
raising the risk that areas of coral will die outright.

Tourism accounts for 4.2 per cent of Australia's economy, with the Barrier Reef alone worth
about $5.8 billion a year in associated tourist dollars and sustaining the equivalent of 63,000
full-time jobs.

The reef is one of several iconic areas of Australia identified in the report as "key hot spots' for
climate vulnerability. Others include Kakadu National Park's wetlands, the Murray-Darling
Basin and alpine zones in southern Australia.

Based on present trends, climate models indicate that the flow of water along streams in the
Murray-Darling Basin - home to more than two-thirds of the country's irrigated crops and
pastures - will fall by between 10 and 25 per cent by 2050.

Combined with a greater chance of salinity problems, the draft IPCC report estimates the cost to
agriculture in the region at $780 million to $1.17 billion.

Climate change will also affect more suburban beaches. Even a moderate sea-level rise is
expected to mean that topping up Adelaide's beaches with sand will cost an extra $1.2 million
each year over the next 20 years.

As more Australians move closer to the coast, the number of people living in areas exposed to
"climate hazards" such as storms and flooding is expected to double over the next 50 years.

"Climate change is very likely to affect property values and investment through disclosure of
increased hazards, as well as affecting the price and availability of insurance," the draft panel
report states.

The average damage bill from weather-related disasters in Australia already tops $931 million a
year, not including droughts. Such disasters are predicted to become more common and severe
due to climate change.

Yet there are a few notes of optimism buried in the report's 20 chapters. Referring to dozens of
initiatives that have sprung up in cities across the world, the draft report says that government
strategies to cut greenhouse gas emissions with better building standards and energy-saving
programs can have added benefits of improving people's quality of life.

And global warming may boost a few countries and industries in the short term, with parts of
northern and central Europe potentially able to grow more crops in warmer weather.

But on every continent, climate change is expected generally to make life tougher - and not just
for people.

Since the previous IPCC assessment report in 2001, the outlook for many ecosystems has
worsened, with growing evidence that about a quarter of all species could face extinction by the
end of the century.

The draft report includes projections for how warmer temperatures will affect animals and
plants around the world.

Average global temperatures have already risen about 0.7 to 0.8 degrees since 1900. The report
says this has contributed to increased bleaching in coral reefs in the Caribbean and the Indian
Ocean. It may also have affected Antarctic ecosystems, including reductions in penguin

At 1.8 degrees above 1900 levels, there is expected to be extensive loss of wetland habitat in
Kakadu due to rising sea levels. At 2 to 3 degrees higher, it predicts the "complete loss" of
Australia's alpine zones and the possible collapse of the Amazon forest system, causing a "huge
loss of biodiversity".

While wealthy countries such as Australia will be able to cope much better with problems such
as drought and coastal damage, some people will be more at risk than others, including farmers
and some indigenous Australians. The report suggests that some Torres Strait Islanders may
eventually have to relocate to mainland Australia if severe coastal flooding continues.

In the United States, efforts to rebuild New Orleans after hurricane Katrina could be badly
undermined by climate change and subsidence.

Elsewhere, the human and economic costs of climate change are likely to be highest in poor
countries, which have typically contributed least to climate change because of their much lower
greenhouse gas emissions.

Water shortages will further cripple many African nations, while coastal flooding is already
affecting low-lying countries such as Bangladesh and many Pacific islands.

The draft report estimates that by 2080, between 1.1 billion and 3.2 billion people will be
suffering from water scarcity problems, between 200 million and 600 million more will be
going hungry, and up to 7 million more homes will be at risk from coastal flooding.

                                  General Environment News

Reuters : Huge Mudflow "Inevitable" from NZ Volcano's Lake

NEW ZEALAND: January 30, 2007 - WELLINGTON - A crater lake on a New Zealand
volcano used as a backdrop in the "Lord of the Rings" films is on the verge of collapsing and
could send a torrent of muddy water down the mountain in coming weeks, media reported on

Melting snow on Mount Ruapehu has filled the lake to within 1.5 metres (5 feet) of its lip,
according to the New Zealand Herald newspaper.
The 2,797-metre (9,177-feet) volcano is the highest mountain in the North Island and home to
two commercial ski fields.

Scientists say a lahar, or mudflow composed of volcanic material and water, is inevitable as
warm summer weather causes the snow to melt and fill the lake.

"It is still expected the earliest the dam might start collapsing to create a lahar down the
Whangaehu River is February/March," the Herald quoted a Department of Conservation official
as saying.

On Dec. 24, 1953, a lahar rushing down the Whangaehu River destroyed a railway bridge,
causing a packed passenger train to plunge into the river, killing 151 people on board.

Since then, a barrier of boulders and gravel has been built to divert any lahar flowing into the
river. No major towns would be in its path.

Mount Ruapehu, which last erupted in 1995 and 1996, creating the present crater dam, is in
Tongariro National Park, where Peter Jackson filmed some scenes for his "Lord of the Rings".

Reuters: China Fails to Make Progess on Environment - Report

CHINA: January 30, 2007 - BEIJING - China has failed to make any progress in protecting the
environment in the past three years, state media on Monday cited an official report as saying,
despite government pledges to put the issue at the top of its agenda.

China ranked 100 out of 118 countries in terms of environmental protection in the China
Modernisation Report 2007 -- the same level as in 2004, the China Daily newspaper said.
"Compared with its social and economic modernisation, China's ecological modernisation lags
far behind," the paper quoted He Chuanqi, head of the research group that put together the
report, as saying.

It was assembled by experts and academics from the Chinese Academy of Science, Ministry of
Science and Technology and some of the country's top universities, the China Daily said.

Large swathes of China are affected by chronic air pollution from factories, vehicles and coal-
burning power plants. Water and land pollution has poisoned many other parts of the country.

The "ecological modernisation" category measured indicators such as carbon emissions, sewage
treatment and drinking water availability, the newspaper said.

"The government needs to ensure that economic development will not result in further
environmental deterioration in the next 50 years," He said.

But the report said that by 2015, China's social and economic indicators should be on par with
developed countries in the 1960s, by which stage China will have completed its transition from
an agrarian economy to an industrial one.

China had done well at raising life expectancy, adult literacy and access to higher education,
though work remained in other sectors, such as adjusting the proportion of the population living
in the countryside. It did not elaborate.

To better address China's development problems, the report recommended the government set
up three new bodies -- environmental and energy ministries and a regional development agency.

After years of promoting economic growth at almost any cost, Beijing is now struggling to
change official attitudes, despite a raft of new policies including tying civil servants' career
prospects to their energy-saving achievements.
Water Environment Federation: Industry News - Australian State to Recycle Drinking

Rod McGuirk- January 29, 2007

CANBERRA, Australia - An Australian state plans to introduce recycled sewage to its drinking
water as a record drought threatens water supplies around the nation, a state leader said

Queensland state Premier Peter Beattie said falling dam levels have left his government with no
choice but to introduce recycled water next year in the state's southeast - one of Australia's
fastest growing urban areas.

"We're not getting rain; we've got no choice," Beattie, who said his government had scrapped a
referendum planned for March on the issue, told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Australian farms and most cities are in the grip of the nation's worst drought in a century, with
some areas receiving below average rainfall for a decade.

"I think in the end, because of the drought, all of Australia are going to end up drinking
recycled, purified water," he added.

However, Morris Iemma, Premier of New South Wales, the most populous of Australia's six
states, said drinking recycled water was not inevitable for Australia's major cities including his
state capital, Sydney.

South Australia state Premier Mike Rann said his state - Australia's driest - already used
recycled water to irrigate crops but would not introduce it to the drinking water supply.

Victoria, the second most populous state, did not need to recycle drinking water, the state's
acting Water Minister Justin Madden. He said using recycled water for industry was a better
option since that would free up more drinking water.

Prime Minister John Howard, a Sydney resident, congratulated Beattie and predicted recycled
water would be introduced to Sydney in the near future.

"I am very strongly in favor of recycling, and Mr. Beattie is right and I agree with him
completely," Howard told Southern Cross Broadcasting radio in Sydney.



29 January, 2007


Calling the situation in Sudan‘s war-torn Darfur region ―the largest
humanitarian crisis in the world,‖ United Nations Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon today called on Africa‘s leaders to use the same unity of purpose
and partnership with the UN that brought peace to Burundi and Sierra Leone
in tackling the intractable issue.

―Together, we must work to end the violence and scorched-earth policies
adopted by various parties, including militias, as well as the bombings
which are still a terrifying feature of life in Darfur,‖ he told an African
Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, of the conflict between
Sudanese Government forces, allied militias and rebel groups that has
killed at least 200,000 people and displaced more than 2 million others.

―Life-saving humanitarian work must be allowed to resume, and civil society
in Darfur must have a voice in the peace process. And we must persuade
non-signatories to join, while building consensus for the urgent deployment
of a UN-AU force on the ground,‖ he said, referring to rebel groups seeking
greater autonomy who did not join in a peace accord signed last May.

In a 90-minute meeting on the summit sidelines with Sudanese President Omer
Al-Bashir, Mr. Ban urged him and all parties to cease hostilities and grant
humanitarian access. He told reporters afterwards that Mr Al-Bashir agreed
to facilitate such access, and expressed willingness to cooperate with
international efforts toward that end.

He said his Special Envoy on Darfur Jan Eliasson and AU Envoy Salim A.
Salim would go to Khartoum and Darfur in early February to support
peace-making efforts, and the President welcomed the mission. He also
called for an early Government response to plans for a hybrid UN-AU force
in Darfur of 17,000 peacekeepers and 3,000 police.

In his summit address, Mr. Ban also urged the leaders to bring unity of
purpose to other intractable crises ―that bleed like open wounds on the
face of the Continent,‖ such as the conflicts in Somalia and Côte d‘Ivoire.
He noted how the UN-AU partnership helped to resolve the crisis in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where last November‘s elections, the
first in more than 40 years and the largest such support operation in UN
history, were ―a remarkable peacekeeping achievement.‖

―Liberia, too, shines as an example of what can be achieved through our
collective will for peace and security in Africa,‖ he added.

He drew on his own experiences as a child growing up in war-torn Korea in
the 1950s to deliver a message of hope to Africa. ―I have seen the hardship
and hunger, the degradation and disease, that come with prolonged warfare,‖
he said. ―Elderly women scavenging for scraps, toddlers weak from
malnutrition and unsafe drinking water, buildings dilapidated, corn fields
rotting, an infrastructure on its knees.

―This I witnessed as a young boy, and the images haunt me to this day. But
I also witnessed how, through unity of purpose, my country was able to
transform itself from a traumatized nation with a non-existent economy,
into a vibrant, productive society and a regional economic power,‖ he
added. ―Let us bring the same unity of purpose to bear on development in

Turning to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted by the UN
Millennium Summit in 2000 to slash a host of social ills, such as extreme
poverty and hunger, by 2015, Mr. Ban noted that some African countries had
made remarkable progress, but much remained to be done.

He announced that he planned to convene in March a working group on Africa
and the MDGs, ―a coalition of the willing‖ of African stakeholders and
international organizations and donors, to accelerate progress on the
goals, which also seek to reduce maternal and infant mortality and provide
access to health care and education.

He noted that AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria are responsible for nearly 4
million African deaths every year, and he also cited the seventh MDG on
ensuring environmental sustainability as an enormous challenge. ―The time
has come for the rest of the world to assist African countries in adapting
to the effects of a warming planet, while strengthening efforts to mitigate
climate change,‖ he said.

―How Africa fares in reaching the Millennium Development Goals is a matter
of life and death for millions of Africans. It is also a test of the
ability of the United Nations to carry out the mandate our membership has
given us. It will be one of my priorities to ensure that we meet that test
– and I will take steps to strengthen the Organization accordingly.‖



The United Nations today marked the annual International Day of
Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust with an urgent
appeal that the remembrance of the millions of Jews and others murdered by
the Nazis serve to prevent new massacres, a rebuff for those who deny that
the tragedy ever occurred, and moving testimony from survivors.

―The Holocaust was a unique and undeniable tragedy,‖ Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon said in a video message played to a special memorial ceremony in
the General Assembly Hall on the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews, 500,000
Roma and Sinti and other minorities, disabled and homosexuals were killed.

―Decades later, the systematic murder of millions of Jews and others
retains its power to shock. The ability of the Nazis to command a
following, despite their utter depravity, still strikes fear. And above
all, the pain remains: for aging survivors, and for all of us as a human
family that witnessed a descent into barbarism.

He emphasized the importance of remembrance in tribute to those who
perished and in global efforts to stem the tide of human cruelty. ―It keeps
us vigilant for new outbreaks of anti-Semitism and other forms of
intolerance. And it is an essential response to those misguided individuals
who claim that the Holocaust never happened, or has been exaggerated,‖ Mr.
Ban declared.

He said the presence at today‘s ceremony of disabled persons and the Roma
and Sinti community showed that, even now, the act of bearing witness can
offer new perspectives, while the participation of young people highlighted
the value of going beyond remembrance to ensure that new generations know
this history.

Mr. Ban noted that while the General Assembly was marking the event in New
York he himself was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at an African Union (AU)
summit where one of the main items is ending the violence in Sudan‘s
wart-torn Darfur, where over 200,000 people have been killed and more than
2 million displaced by the conflict between the Sudanese Government, allied
militias and rebels.

General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Al Khalifa called for paying
tribute to all victims – the needless deaths of millions of Jews and the
suffering endured by the many minority groups that were also victims, some
of whom were present in the Hall.

―Today‘s commemoration is an important reminder of the universal lessons of
the Holocaust, a unique evil which cannot simply be consigned to the past
and forgotten. The Holocaust was a historical event, which cannot be
denied. Its consequences still reverberate in the present.‖ she told the

―It is a tragedy that the international community has not been able to stop
new horrors in the years since the Holocaust. This makes it all the more
important that we remember the lessons of the past so that we do not make
the same mistakes in the future. We must remain vigilant. The forces of
hatred, bigotry and racism are still at work in the world.‖

Thomas Schindlmayr, who works on disability issues for the UN but was
speaking in his personal capacity, discussed the persecution of people with

disabilities under Nazi Germany. ―They were stripped of any legal
protection and denied control over their own lives and bodies,‖ he said,
recalling the forced sterilization of persons with disabilities and other
abuses. While much had been learned since then, the notion that persons
with disabilities are somehow inferior is still prevalent, he warned.

The keynote speaker, Simone Veil, a member of the Constitutional Council of
France and President of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, said
that by creating this annual observance, the UN had remained faithful to
its founding principles.

―For those of us who were deported, not a day goes by that we do not think
of the Shoah,‖ said Ms. Veil, who was a prisoner in Auschwitz, and was at
Bergen-Belsen when that camp was liberated by the British Army. ―What
obsesses us the most is the memory of those from whom we were brutally
separated when we arrived at the camps, and who we later learned were sent
straight to the gas chambers,‖ she added, recalling how her own father and
brother were taken away, never to be seen again.

―We thought we had no more tears but we still wept, and I still weep today
when I think of‖ those who were marched directly to the gas chambers, she
said. ―And I think of it every day, many times.‖

She said that while those who survived hoped and pledged ―Never again,‖
their warnings were in vain. ―After the massacres in Cambodia, it is Africa
that is paying the highest price in genocidal terms,‖ she said, referring
in particular to the events in Darfur, Sudan, and calling for UN action in

Under Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor, who moderated the event, said it
had two key purposes: ―Of course, we meet to mourn that part of our human
family that is missing – to remember the individuals and tell each other
their stories. But we also meet to unearth the lessons we can draw from
their lives and their fates.‖

He said the first among those lessons ―is that, just as human beings have
an almost infinite power to destroy, they also possess an enormous capacity
to learn, to grow and to create.‖

At a news conference at UN Headquarters in New York, representatives of
Roma and Sinti, who with 12 million members make up Europe‘s largest
minority, said they are subject to discrimination, social disadvantage and
frequently also to open violence.

―Especially in the countries of Eastern Europe, there are millions of
members of our minority who live in ghetto-like housing, often cut off from
any infrastructure,‖ Romani Rose Chairman of the Central Council of German
Sinti and Roma said. ―The infant mortality is extremely high, the degrading
conditions that prevail there call the former apartheid system in South
Africa to mind.

―Excluded from education, marginalized in the labour market, people are
deprived of any opportunity of participating in the development of society
and of leading a self-determined life. Quite frequently Roma and Sinti are
victims of pogroms, racially motivated murder and other of acts of
violence. Often such attacks emanate from the State security forces
themselves. Only rarely can the perpetrators expect consistent

Ceremonies were held in other UN outposts around the world. ―The sheer
dimensions of the organized murder of Jews and others, the very scale of
the systematic attempt at destroying an entire people, make the Holocaust a
unique calamity that cannot – and should not – be forgotten, let alone
denied,‖ the Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva told a ceremony at
the Palais des Nations.

―Sadly, other genocides and atrocities have followed the Holocaust, and the
world has been unable, or unwilling, to prevent or stop them,‖ said Sergei
Ordzhonikidze. ―If we are to spare future generations from similar
tragedies, we must carry forward the lessons of the Holocaust. We must not
allow any of lessons of the Holocaust and of the Second World War to be

On Friday the General Assembly condemned without reservation any denial of
the Holocaust, with only Iran publicly disassociating itself from the
consensus resolution.



Haiti has made solid progress in rebuilding its economy and restoring the
rule of law but serious obstacles remain in the country, the head of the
United Nations peacekeeping operation there said today.

―If you take a picture of Haiti today, you‘ll see it‘s quite a worrisome
picture,‖ Edmond Mulet, the Secretary-General‘s Special Representative and
head of the Mission, known as MINUSTAH, told reporters at UN Headquarters,
referring to problems the country currently faces such as political
polarization, corruption, violence and paucity of institutions.

However, Mr. Mulet pointed to the extremely positive progress which has
been made so far. ―If you take this picture of Haiti today and you compare
it with … the one of two years ago when the Mission arrived, there is no

Violence remains a problem in the country, especially in the notorious
inner-city neighbourhood of Cité Soleil in the capital Port-au-Prince.
MINUSTAH troops maintain a 24-hour presence in the area, and last week,
they launched an operation to gain control of a house controlled by gangs

terrorizing the area.

Other problems include the prison system which is riddled with ―human
rights violations‖ where, as a preventive measure, prisoners can be held
for years without formally being charged with crimes.

Although he acknowledged that building institutions could take several
years, Mr. Mulet cited the success of the three elections last year –
presidential, legislative and municipal – as proof of the dedication of the
Haitian people to consolidating democracy.

He also commended the gains made by the national reconciliation process as
well as President René Préval‘s fulfilment of a campaign promise to promote
political dialogue.

These achievements, Mr. Mulet asserted, reflect Haiti‘s ―commitment of
trying to take advantage of this incredible window of opportunity to bring
some kind of political stability to the country.‖

Mr. Mulet today also addressed the Security Council, which met in closed
consultations on MINUSTAH‘s mandate, which is set to run out on 15
February. He also met with representatives of troop contributing countries;
80 per cent of blue helmets in Haiti are from nine Latin American



United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned in the
strongest possible terms the Palestinian suicide bombing which killed three
people and wounded another at a bakery in the Israeli town of Eilat and
called for swift action by Palestinian security forces to prevent
threatened further attacks.

―Such acts of terrorism are a violation of international humanitarian law
and can never be justified,‖ a statement issued by Mr. Ban‘s spokesperson
Michele Montas said, conveying also the Secretary-General‘s ―deepest
condolences‖ to the families of the victims.

―The Secretary-General is also alarmed at announcements that further
attacks against Israeli civilians are being planned. He calls for swift
action by Palestinian security forces to bring to justice those responsible
and prevent further attacks,‖ the statement added.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Alvaro de Soto
also condemned today‘s attack, saying it ―can have no justification‖ and
noting that it targeted ordinary people going about their daily lives.

Mr. De Soto also issued a statement over the weekend voicing concern at the
escalating factional intra-Palestinian violence in the occupied territory,
particularly Gaza, and at reports that national dialogue is being

He called on all parties to halt clashes, comply with international
humanitarian law by refraining from acts which endanger civilians, and
resume without delay dialogue for an early agreement on a national unity
government with a realistic and positive platform regarding the basic
principles of the peace process.

―Such a step would be in the vital interests of the Palestinian people at a
time when there appears to be a genuine prospect for re-launching a
political process that focuses on defining the contours of a future
independent Palestinian state and how to achieve it,‖ he said.

The UN, together with United States, Russia and the European Union, form
the diplomatic Quartet, which has scheduled a meeting for Friday in
Washington to further advance its Road Map plan aimed at securing a
two-State solution to the Middle East conflict, with Israel and Palestine
living side by side in peace. Mr. Ban, who is currently travelling in
Africa, is slated to attend.



The enhanced United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon, sent to monitor
the end of hostilities after last year‘s conflict between Israel and
Hizbollah, now numbers over 12,000, the mission said today, while reporting
that two of its de-miners were injured trying to rid the country of the
massive number of cluster bombs left over from the fighting.

―The number of UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) peacekeepers rose above
12,000 following today‘s arrival of the main contingent soldiers from
Qatar. The 184 newcomers further bolster the 28-nation strong force in
assisting the Lebanese Army in securing stability in southern Lebanon,‖ the
mission said.

Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 34 days of fighting last
August, strengthened UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops and mandated a
complete Israeli withdrawal, together with Lebanese army deployment in
southern Lebanon.

In addition to their core activities, UNIFIL peacekeepers also carry out
daily humanitarian work, ranging from de-mining to providing educational
programmes and medical aid. Two Belgian de-miners were injured on Monday by
shrapnel in a cluster bomb explosion during a mine-clearance operation in
the vicinity of Kunin, near the town of Bint Jubayl in the south, although
the injuries were not life threatening.

―UNIFIL de-miners destroyed more than 4,000 explosive devices during the
first four weeks of January 2007. These included rockets, grenades, cluster
bombs and anti-tank and anti-personnel mines,‖ the mission said.

―Elsewhere, UNIFIL continued providing other humanitarian assistance to
civilians, with more than 2,000 medical checks and around 350 dental
inspections being carried out each month.‖

UNIFIL also announced on Monday the launch of a Spanish language programme
in the southeast Lebanese town of Marjayoun with around 300 students
already enrolled and the teaching being provided by 35 Spanish officers.



The United Nations refugee agency has expressed concern over Thailand‘s
decision to deport 16 Lao Hmong to the Lao People‘s Democratic Republic
without screening them to see if they needed international protection, and
has repeated its offer to help Thai authorities put in place a screening

The 16, who were deported last Friday, had been in detention in the
north-east Thai town of Nong Khai since 7 November last year, the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a press release, adding the
deportation has ―heightened‖ the agency‘s concern over the fate of a
further 153 Lao Hmong also detained in Nong Khai.

―Any country obviously has the right to deport illegal migrants. However,
this should be done within a framework which ensures that any individuals
among them who may have protection concerns are screened in line with
international standards,‖ said UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for
Protection Erika Feller.

―We have consistently advocated with Thailand to put in place such a system
and are ready to help the Thai authorities in any appropriate way to
support them in managing this situation.‖

UNHCR said it was still hoping for a favourable solution to the fate of the
other 153 Lao Hmong detained in Nong Khai. These have been recognized as
refugees and UNHCR is currently working out resettlement arrangements with
third countries.

There are an estimated 7,000 Hmong in Phetchabun province. UNHCR does not
have access to this mixed group, which has been in Thailand since about
July 2005.

―We cannot keep silent where we witness persons, among whom may be asylum

seekers, being forcibly returned without having their cases formally
assessed. This is not in line with international standards,‖ said Ms.

Friday‘s events highlight again the precarious situation of the Lao Hmong
living in makeshift camps near Huay Nam Khao village in Phetchabun province
near the Lao border. In December, the Thai and Laotian authorities reached
a bilateral agreement to return them to Laos; more recently, the Thai
government announced plans to have the army set up a temporary holding camp
for them.



The top United Nations envoy to Liberia has pledged the Organization‘s
continued support to promoting the rule of law through improved
correctional facilities in the West African country which is rebuilding
after a devastating 14-year civil war that killed almost 150,000 people and
resulted in 850,000 more fleeing across its borders.

During a visit to Zwedru, close to Liberia‘s border with Côte d‘Ivoire,
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon‘s Special Representative Alan Doss on
Saturday underscored the need to heighten security in the area and called
on citizens in border areas to report any unusual activities to the UN
Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and to local authorities.

He also reiterated a previous request that the Liberian people adhere to
the rule of law and remain vigilant in outlawing violence against women and
trial by ordeal.

Mr. Doss toured the newly-renovated Palace of Corrections in Zwedru, in the
northeastern part of the country, and assured Liberians of UN assistance to
have the prison functioning as soon as possible. Built in 1978, the prison
is the first of its kind in the country that incorporates prisoner

―Once the palace is reopened, we will seek resources from elsewhere to make
the vocational areas of the palace functional to enable inmates to become
productive people in society,‖ Mr. Doss told corrections officers in the
facility which has a 300-prisoner capacity.

The prison was renovated with United States Government funding, but has yet
to re-open due to logistical problems and lack of staff. Mr. Doss also
stated that the UNMIL is in discussions with the Liberian Ministry of
Justice to hire and train more corrections officers.



The top United Nations official dealing with children and armed conflict
today welcomed a ruling by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to try
Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo for war crimes involving
recruiting children as soldiers, in what would be the Hague-based court‘s
first trial.

―This case is considered a major milestone in international attempts to
fight against impunity in order to eradicate the practice of using child
soldiers. It will be the first trial of the ICC and, importantly, focuses
exclusively on child soldiers,‖ said a statement from the Office of UN
Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika

―The former militia leader from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is
charged with war crimes for enlisting, recruiting and using children under
fifteen in hostilities. The Office of the Special Representative reiterates
its supports to the ICC and will follow closely the different steps of the
proceedings and due process of the Court,‖ it added.

The Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC confirmed the charges against Mr. Lubanga
Dyilo and referred the case to trial.

Mr. Lubanga Dyilo was formally charged by the ICC Prosecutor‘s office in
August last year and hearings took place in November. He was arrested in
March and is the President of the Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC) and
was the commander-in-chief of its former military wing, the Forces
Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo (FPLC) in 2002-03 in the Ituri
district in the north-eastern DRC.

He is accused of playing ―an overall coordinating role‖ in the policy of
the FPLC to recruit and enlist child soldiers and providing the
―organizational, infrastructural and logistical framework for its

Established by the Rome Statute of 1998, the ICC can try cases involving
individuals charged with war crimes committed since July 2002. The UN
Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party to the court can
initiate any proceedings, and the ICC only acts when countries themselves
are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute.

The Assembly of States Parties to the ICC‘s Rome Statute – the Court‘s
management oversight and legislative body – met today at UN Headquarters in
New York, where its President, Bruno Stagno Ugarte of Costa Rica, announced
that the charges had been confirmed against Mr. Lubanga Dyilo. All
concerned are ―pleased, very pleased that the ICC is moving forward‖ on the
case, he said.



The United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF) today launched its Humanitarian
Action Report 2007, calling on donors to provide $635 million to aid
children and women in 33 emergencies, ranging from Darfur in Sudan, which
accounts for nearly a fifth of the appeal, to Haiti, Eritrea and the
Central African Republic (CAR).

―Emergencies, both natural disasters and new or protracted conflicts,
continue to take a toll on the lives of children and women around the
world,‖ UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said. ―Life-saving
activities are essential for those children in peril.‖

The report provides an annual overview of the agency‘s emergency aid
programmes within the context of UN-wide appeals, setting out its relief
activities and financial requirements for meeting the needs of children and

Of the requested amount $121 million is for Sudan, including programmes in
the war-torn Darfur region, where continued conflict between Sudanese
Government forces, allied militias and rebel groups has disrupted the lives
of some 4 million people, including 1.8 million children. Children account
for half of the more than 2.5 million people forced from their homes.

Children struggle to survive elsewhere, displaced by emergencies that lack
the global attention surrounding Darfur. Some children in Colombia are
forced from their homes by violence or recruited to fight. High HIV/AIDS
rates and chronic poverty and food insecurity mean Zambian children live in
one of the world‘s poorest nations. Many of Chad‘s children have fled
fighting in neighbouring countries, or their own.

―Many of the crises in which UNICEF operates are neglected because they are
no longer considered emergencies by the public,‖ UNICEF Emergency
Programmes Director Dan Toole said. ―The crisis for children does not end
when the media coverage ends, whether a child lives in Darfur or Haiti. As
long as a humanitarian situation exists for children, UNICEF will be

UNICEF‘s emergency funding raised $513 million in 2006, as of 1 November,
covering 53 emergencies. Immediate tragedies continued to garner global
media attention during the past year, but forgotten emergencies,
highlighted in the report, received only 37 per cent of the funding
required. Overall, UNICEF appeals for emergencies were 49 per cent funded.

Among the less topical crises, UNICEF cited South Sudan where 240,000

people have returned since signing of a peace accord in a conflict that is
separate from Darfur; the Horn of Africa beset by cyclical drought then
flooding and finally war in 2006; and Central and Eastern Europe and the
Commonwealth of Independent States, which have been affected by extensive
damage to social and economic infrastructure.

Other emergencies include South Asia, which has the highest number of
children living in absolute poverty, the highest prevalence of underweight
children and the highest child mortality rates in the world; East Asia and
the Pacific, still recovering from the 2004 tsunami and facing new crises
such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons and floods; and the
Middle East and North Africa, beset by the Iraq conflict, the aftermath of
the Israeli-Hizbollah war in Lebanon and violence in the occupied
Palestinian territory.



Two United Nations agencies joined forces today to voice outrage at the needless waste of
children‘s lives after an attack on a Baghdad girls‘ school killed five students and injured at
least 20 others.

―The apparently deliberate targeting of children in this incident is an unforgivable crime,‖ said
Representative for Iraq Roger Wright, of the UN Children‘s Fund (UNICEF), and Country
Director Mohamed Djelid, of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

―This is yet another tragic reminder of the risks facing Iraq‘s schoolchildren every day as they
struggle amidst the insecurity to receive
their right to education,‖ they added in a statement released in Amman.

This latest attack is further evidence of the violence and threat of violence disrupting the
education system across parts of Baghdad, as many parents have stopped sending their children
to school out of fear. Girls‘ schools in particular have suffered, and the majority of children out
of school in Baghdad are now girls.

A joint UNICEF, UNESCO and Iraqi Government study estimates that approximately 600,000
Iraqi children in the primary age group are out of school, and of that number, 74 percent are

UNICEF and UNESCO have called upon all parties in Iraq to guarantee that
schools remain a safe sanctuary for children.

Mr. Wright and Mr. Djelid also called for greater protection of the ―fundamental right‖ of
education for children, stating that ―every school should be an oasis and education a lifeline for
Iraq‘s children during this time of crisis – nurturing their development, stimulating their minds
and giving them hope for the future.‖



The United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF) has appointed Queen Rania
Al-Abdullah of Jordan as the agency‘s first-ever Eminent Advocate for

―Her Majesty Queen Rania has been a tireless champion for children,‖ UNICEF
Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said on Friday at the World Economic
Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where the queen agreed to take on the role.
―This title recognizes her steadfast commitment to creating a better world
for children.‖

In her capacity as Eminent Advocate, Queen Rania will champion children‘s
issues and promote the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs), objectives which by 2015 aim to slash poverty and other global
ills, in addition to improving the health, education and well-being of

―For the millions of children whose voices are not being heard, let us
commit to take a stand, and take a step, and make real strides for child
survival and education,‖ said Queen Rania, who, as a member of the UNICEF
Global Leadership Initiative for Children, has long been an enthusiastic
supporter of the agency‘s activities in the Arab world as well as globally.

―I am convinced that transformational change is just the sum of many small
steps – footprints marking a path ahead where none existed before,‖ she



The head of the United Nations atomic watchdog agency is calling for a
―timeout‖ on the Iranian nuclear issue, with Iran suspending uranium
enrichment and the international community suspending sanctions over aprogramme that
Tehran says is for producing energy but which others
maintain is for making nuclear weapons.

A key to resolving the issue is a direct engagement between Iran and the
United States similar to that with the Democratic People‘s Republic of
Korea (DPRK), UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General
Mohamed ElBaradei stressed in several interviews over the weekend in Davos,
Switzerland, where he attended the World Economic Forum.

―I call on all parties to take a simultaneous timeout. Iran should take a
timeout from its enrichment activity, the international community a timeout
from the application of sanctions, and parties should go immediately to the

negotiating table,‖ he said. ―The right track is dialogue, negotiation.‖

The US led successful efforts in the Security Council last month to impose
sanctions, maintaining that Iran‘s nuclear programme was aimed at weapons
production, a claim Tehran consistently denies.

In recent reports, Mr. ElBaradei has noted that although the IAEA has not
seen any diversion of nuclear material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear
explosive devices, it also cannot conclude that there are no undeclared
nuclear materials or activities in Iran.

The crisis began with the discovery in 2003 that Iran had concealed its
nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

―North Korea is a good example,‖ Dr. ElBaradei said, stressing the need for
US-Iranian talks. ―For years, things were not moving. Only when the US
talked directly with the North Koreans, we had a positive report. If we are
able to talk to the North Koreans, we ought to be able to talk to the
Iranians,‖ he told CNN.

He voiced hope that he would be able to report positively to the IAEA Board
of Governors on the implementation of nuclear safeguards in Iran at its
next meeting beginning 5 March at IAEA headquarters in Vienna.

―I‘d like to report we‘re on the right track,‖ he added. ―The right track
is dialogue, negotiation... The key to the Iranian issue is a direct
engagement between Iran and the US. If I report negatively, and we have
escalation and counter-escalation, we are on the wrong track.‖

On reports that Iran has banned 38 IAEA inspectors, Dr. ElBaradei told CNN
that Tehran was not banning inspectors, but attempting to lower their
number. ―This reduced somewhat the flexibility we have, but I should say we
have over 100 inspectors in Tehran, so we have enough people to do the
job,‖ he said.

―It is in the interest of Iran for us to be able to do our work and to be
able to show that they are transparent and they are proactive.‖



Mountain glaciers around the world melted from 2000 to 2005 at 1.6 times
the average loss rate of the 1990s and three times that of the 1980s, with
much of the accelerated change attributable to human-induced climate
change, according to tentative figures in a new United Nations-backed
report released today.

―This is the most authoritative, comprehensive and up-to-date information
on glaciers world-wide and as such underlines the rapid changes occurring
on the planet as a result of climate change,‖ UN Environment Programme
(UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said, noting their importance as
sources for many rivers upon which people depend for drinking water,
agriculture and industrial purposes.

―The findings confirm the science of human-induced climate change,
confirmation that will be further underlined when the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change unveil their next report on 2 February. These
findings should strengthen the resolve of governments to act now to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and put in place the medium to longer term
strategies necessary to avert dangerous climate change,‖ he added.

According to the figures, the 2000-2005 period saw an average thickness
loss for a set of reference glaciers of 0.6 metre water equivalent,
confirming the trend in accelerated ice loss during the past two and a half
decades and bringing the average reduction since 1980 of the 30 reference
glaciers of nine mountain ranges to about 9.6-metres water equivalent. On
average, one metre water equivalent corresponds to 1.1 metre ice thickness.

The results come from glacier mass balance measurements collected by
scientists all over the world and published by the World Glacier Monitoring
Service (WGMS) in Zurich, Switzerland. The WGMS collects standardized
glacier data which are considered to be among the best natural indicators
of climate change.

Scientific measurements relate to the so-called ‗net mass balance‘ of
glaciers, which can be seen as their overall ice thickness change. The
long-term monitoring of glacier mass balance produces one of the most
essential variables required for the regular assessment reports on global
climate monitoring. As such, the glacier mass balance data are an important
contribution to UNEP‘s Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report.

The preliminary data on glacier change for the year 2005 from 80 glaciers
was reported to the WGMS from the majority of the glaciated mountain ranges
of the world. Of these, 30 glaciers have continuous mass balance
measurement series since 1980.

Comprehensive data for the year 2006 are not yet available, but as it was
one of the warmest years in many years in many parts of the world, it is
expected that the downward trend will continue.

―Today, the glacier surface is much smaller than in the 1980s, this means
that the climatic forcing has continued since then,‖ Michael Zemp, a
glaciologist and research associate at the WGMS said. ―The recent increase
in rates of ice loss over reducing glacier surface areas leaves no doubt
about the accelerated change in climatic conditions.‖



A senior United Nations envoy in Afghanistan today called on authorities to
step up protection for all parliamentarians following the assassination of
the first legislator since the new National Assembly was inaugurated over
two years ago.

The murder of Maulvi Mohammad Islam Mohammadi ―represents an assault on the
democratic will of the people who voted in their millions for peace,
stability and progress during historic elections,‖ Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon‘s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Chris Alexander
said in a statement.

―This attack underlines the risks faced by dedicated parliamentarians as
they work tirelessly to forge a new future for the people of Afghanistan.
We urge Afghan authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice swiftly and
call on them to step up protection for all parliamentarians representing
communities across Afghanistan,‖ he added.

He noted that Maulvi Mohammadi served his country honourably as a mujahid
(fighter against Soviet occupation in the 1980s), a religious scholar and a
parliamentarian. ―This murder is particularly distressing coming as Afghans
mark the holy month of Moharram and on the eve of the anniversary of the
martyrdom of Imam Hussain,‖ he said, referring to the Shiite commemoration
of the grandson of Mohammed who was killed in battle in the 7th century.



29 January 2007

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

       Briefing by Spokesperson

       Good afternoon all.

       **Secretary-General in Addis Ababa

        The Secretary-General today addressed the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa,
urging the leaders gathered there to open a new and different chapter in the story of broken hope
in Darfur.

       He said that the partnership between the African Union and the UN is of central
importance to dealing with the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, asserting that the two
organizations must work together to end the violence and scorched-earth policies adopted by
various parties, including militias, as well as the bombings taking place there. He emphasized
the need to build consensus for the urgent deployment of a UN-AU force on the ground.

        The Secretary-General also stressed the need to move forward in implementing the
Millennium Development Goals, and said that, in the coming months, he will convene a
working group on Africa and the Goals, which will aim to meet by March, to formulate an
action plan.

       He added that the time has come for the rest of the world to assist African countries in
adapting to the effects of a warming planet, while strengthening efforts to mitigate climate
change. Nations must implement the adaptation plan of action adopted at last year‘s United
Nations climate change conference in Nairobi, the Secretary-General said.

        While in Addis, the Secretary-General is holding meetings with a number of visiting
leaders, including the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir.

       **Statement on Sudan

        In a statement that we have upstairs, the Secretary-General describes his meeting today
with President Bashir, saying that they agreed to accelerate joint African Union-United Nations
efforts for the political process and the preparation for a peacekeeping mission, based on the
Abuja and Addis Ababa agreements.

       The Secretary-General stressed the urgency of a re-energized political process in Darfur
and informed President al-Bashir that he had agreed with Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare on a

joint mission of his Special Envoy, Jan Eliasson, and AU Envoy Salim A. Salim to Khartoum
and Darfur in early February to support peacemaking efforts.

       He also recalled his letter of 24 January, presenting the heavy support package for
peacekeeping agreed with the African Union. The Secretary-General looks forward to a prompt
and positive answer to this joint proposal. This will pave the way for the early deployment of a
hybrid mission.

       ** Sudan

       The UN Mission in Sudan reports that banditry continues to prevail in many parts of
Darfur. In one incident last week in North Darfur, the Mission reports, an African Union
contractor vehicle was stolen in El Fasher by two armed men who fled southwards.

        In another incident on Saturday, seven armed men ambushed a commercial truck along a
road to Nyala. The armed men, suspected to be members of a rebel group, looted 400 litres of
diesel and fled; no casualties were reported.

       That was in the field in Sudan.

       **Secretary-General – Bilaterals

       Also in Addis Ababa, the Secretary-General met with President Meles Zenawi of
Ethiopia, Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d‘Ivoire, Idriss Deby Itno of Chad, and President Abdullahi
Yusuf Ahmed of Somalia. He was also scheduled to meet President Kikwete of Tanzania,
Obasanjo of Nigeria, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, as well as President Bozize of the Central
African Republic.

        You have upstairs different statements that he made to the press which you can have on
the third floor.

       **Secretary-General in Democratic Republic of Congo

         The Secretary-General visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo over the weekend,
telling reporters before he arrived in the country that it is important to encourage the Congolese
Government and people as they solidify their democratic process.

       He addressed the 500-member Congolese Parliament on Saturday and pledged to do
everything possible to ensure continuity and support for the DRC in this critical post-electoral
period. And he briefly travelled to Brazzaville, in the Republic of the Congo where he held a
meeting with Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who is the current African Union

        On Sunday morning, the Secretary-General left Kinshasa for a visit to Kisangani, where
he met with President Joseph Kabila. We have the transcripts of his various press encounters,
as I said, upstairs and on the web.

       ** Middle East Statement

        The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest possible terms today‘s suicide
bombing at a bakery in Eilat, Israel, which killed three people and wounded another. Such acts
of terrorism are a violation of international humanitarian law and can never be justified. The
Secretary-General sends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this attack.

         The Secretary-General is also alarmed at announcements that further attacks against
Israeli civilians are being planned. He calls for swift action by Palestinian security forces to
bring to justice those responsible and prevent further attacks.

       ** Middle East

        The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Alvaro de Soto, today
said that the attack in Eilat ―can have no justification‖, noting that it was an attack on ordinary
people who were going about their daily lives.

        De Soto also issued a statement over the weekend expressing his concern at the
escalating factional violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly Gaza, and at
reports that national dialogue is being suspended.

        He called on all parties to cease clashes and comply with international humanitarian law
by refraining from acts which endanger civilians. He encourages the resumption, without delay,
of intra-Palestinian dialogue with a view to the early realization of agreement on a national
unity Government with a realistic and positive platform regarding the basic principles of the
peace process.

       We have his full statement upstairs.

       **Security Council

        This morning the Security Council held a private meeting for troop-contributing
countries for the UN Mission in Haiti. The Council is now holding consultations on Haiti, with
a briefing by the Secretary-General‘s Special Representative for Haiti, Edmond Mulet.

       At 2:30 this afternoon, Mulet will come to this room to brief you on the latest

       ** Iraq

       Over the weekend, Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-General‘s Special Representative for Iraq,
met Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem and Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad to
discuss recent developments in Iraq and their impact on the region.

        He stressed the need for greater regional engagement in support of the efforts by the
Government of Iraq in reducing violence, bringing greater stability and promoting national
reconciliation among all Iraqis. He also praised Syria‘s role and generosity in hosting a large
number of Iraqis and discussed ways in which the United Nations could assist in alleviating
their needs. We have more on Qazi‘s latest travels to Iraq‘s neighbouring countries upstairs.

       ** Lebanon

       The number of peacekeepers serving in the UN Interim Force in Lebanon rose above
12,000, following today‘s arrival of the main contingent of soldiers from Qatar. Also on
Monday, two Belgian de-miners were injured by shrapnel in a cluster bomb explosion during a
mine-clearance operation in the vicinity of Kunin, near the town of Bint Jubayl. Their injuries
were not life-threatening. We have more details in a press release upstairs.


        The second annual observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory
of the victims of the Holocaust was marked with a ceremony this morning in the General
Assembly Hall.

       In a video message to the gathering, the Secretary-General called the Holocaust a
―unique and undeniable tragedy‖, and said that today‘s tribute was an essential response to
those misguided individuals who claimed that the Holocaust never happened.

        Saying that we must apply the lessons of the Holocaust to today‘s world, the Secretary-
General also welcomed the participation in today‘s ceremony by disabled persons and the Roma
and Sinti community, who were also victimized by the Nazis. And on that note, there will be a
press briefing on the Holocaust of the Roma and Sinti and present-day racism in Europe here in
this room at 1:30 p.m.

       **Guest at Noon Briefing Tomorrow

        The Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Stephen Rapp, will be here
tomorrow to brief you on the preparations for the trial of former Liberian President Charles

       I will take your questions first, then I will invite Ashraf Kamal, the Spokesperson for the
President of the General Assembly, to come to the podium.

       **Questions and Answers

        Question: Is there any reaction from the Secretary-General to the proposal of ElBaradei
that the Security Council should suspend the sanctions if Iran agreed to suspend the enrichment
of uranium?

       Spokesperson: No, we don‘t have anything on that yet.

        Question: Noting the Secretary-General‘s statement about his meeting with Bashir in
Addis Ababa, can you tell us anything more about whether, how much substance, if any, there is
behind whatever Bashir has agreed to, in terms of the hybrid force -- did they discuss details of
the size of the force, the command structure, and all the things that really amount to the real nuts
and bolts of the agreement, or is it just a reiteration of a general statement that he‘s made in the
past but really hasn‘t followed through on?

        Spokesperson: I can assure you that there were specifics discussed, particularly
concerning the second phase of the plan of action. We have the full statement of the Secretary-
General when he came out of the meeting, that you have upstairs. It doesn‘t talk about the
specific numbers, but it‘s the same plan we had discussed before. What is new is that they are

pushing the process forward. As you know, Mr. Salim Ahmed Salim and the Secretary-
General‘s Special Representative are going to be at the beginning of February back to push for
more specifics and to accelerate the process.

       Question: Just to follow-up then, they had a specific discussion about phase two. Did
they come to any conclusions or decisions on phase two -- timetable or numbers -- I guess the
numbers are what‘s been previously planned. And also, to what extent did they discuss phase

        Spokesperson: Well, I don‘t know. I don‘t have this information at this point but I can
inquire for you whether anything was discussed about phase three or any specifics.

        [The Spokesperson later noted that the Secretary-General‘s letter to the Sudan had
referred to details on the heavy support package, which would include more than 2,200
uniformed personnel, several hundred police and 75 civilian personnel.]

        Question: Do you have any reaction from the Secretary-General regarding the American
intention to kill Iranians and arrest Iranians, as well as recently they attacked the Iranian
embassy, or consulate, in Irbil and arrested or abducted five diplomats. Do you have any
reaction of these declared intentions of killing Iranians in Iraq?

        Spokesperson: Well, the Secretary-General will not have any comment on any declared

         Question: Two follow-ups to the press conference we had Friday about the North Korea
and UNDP. Warren Sach, there were two points on which he said, he couldn‘t answer, only the
Board of Auditors could answer. And I‘m wondering, whether it‘s possible, at some point to
have them come and answer. One of the questions was why the North Korea internal audits
didn‘t show up in the main audit, but there were other ones. And he did the best that he could,
but it seemed to open the door to trying to get this Board of Auditors to clarify some issues.

       Spokesperson: Okay, you would like the Board of External Auditors.

       Question: Yes, the ones who will actually do this auditing.

       Spokesperson: We will try to see if we can arrange that.

         Question: The UNDP‘s spokesman David Morrison, after the press conference, I asked
him about these 10 North Koreans that travelled in August of 2006 to Lund University in
Sweden. He said the UNDP didn‘t fund it, although they arranged the travel, but that something
called the University for Peace did; which I looked at, it‘s a UN-affiliated, or UN-mandated
institution, with Maurice Strong on the Council. So I guess I want to know a little bit more
about this University for Peace and if it is able to give out laissez-passers and G4 visas, what its
role is in the UN system and in the things that have been announced, whether it would be
audited, let‘s put it that way.

       Spokesperson: Whether the University for Peace would be audited? Okay, I could ask.

       Question: And laissez-passers and G4‘s -- whether they‘ve given them out in
connection with the North Korea project and whether they‘re still outstanding.

       Spokesperson: Okay, will follow up on this.

       Question: Thank you.

       Spokesperson: You mean the headquarters of the University for Peace? Okay, I‘ll
check on this for you.

        Question: I do apologize, actually somebody asked about this, because I came a bit
late. My question is there is a spokesman of Mr. Martti Ahtisaari quoted in Vienna saying that
the process of delivering that official document to the Security Council could be somehow
delayed because of ―technical problems of slowness‖ in translating those documents. He was
then quoted to say that the documents will not be delivered in February, maybe even be delayed
till March.

         Spokesperson: I cannot speak for him. I don‘t have the exact information on how long
it will take to translate those documents, but I can try to put you in touch with the Spokesperson.

        Question: It seems to be that he blamed the Secretariat of that slow-motion process in
translating, so my question was whether you would like to address this…

       Spokesperson: Well, I can inquire for you. I can try to find out, why, in what languages
we‘re talking about.

        Question: He even mentioned all languages. I wonder if they‘re going to be in five or
six languages translated…

       Spokesperson: Yes.

        Question: Is the Secretary-General and Mr. De Soto – are they encouraged by the
invitation of the King of Saudi Arabia to the Palestinian parties to go to Mecca and discuss the
National Unity Government?

       Spokesperson: They haven‘t given an opinion on this, but I‘m sure that since they are
preparing for the Quartet meeting on 2 February, I am sure they are very much interested in
what will happen there.

        Question: On the situation in Lebanon after the injuring of the two UNIFIL soldiers, we
have seen many violations of 1701 from the Israeli side. Gaza is still occupied, of course,
overflights are continuing as you reported and recently we have seen poison gas balloons
landing in Lebanon dropped by Israeli airplanes. Did you get any reports from UNIFIL
regarding that? And when will there be a call for ceasefire in Lebanon, seven months after the
cessation of hostilities there?

       Spokesperson: Well, we don‘t have at this point -- as I said, the other day, the violations
of 1701 are recorded on a regular basis by UNIFIL. They did not mention specifically the
balloons, that you, that really they confirmed, were seen across the border, but I have no
additional reaction from UNIFIL on those balloons.

       Question: But they confirmed that they are inspecting these balloons?

       Spokesperson: Certainly they are.

       Question: Because these were dropped four days ago, and they didn‘t come to any
conclusion what the nature of the gas in these balloons?

       Spokesperson: We don‘t have a readout on that yet.

       Question: Who will go with the Secretary-General to the Quartet meeting?

       Spokesperson: To the Quartet meeting? At this point, the delegation is not set yet, but I
should be able to inform you by tomorrow.

       Question: At the AU meeting, the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, is reportedly
going there. Is Ban Ki-moon going to meet with him?

       Spokesperson: I haven‘t seen his name on the list of people he is scheduled to meet.

        Question: If he does, I guess I would ask whether he‘s going to raise human rights and
other issues.

       Spokesperson: Yeah, but we don‘t know that yet.

        Question: In Nepal, not with Maoist rebels, but in South Nepal, there‘s been violence of
a different sort. And I‘m wondering whether the UN‘s, the now mandated mission there -- is
this mission limited to only dealing between the Government and the Maoists or are they going
to have some involvement in this more recent outcropping of violence in South Nepal?

       Spokesperson: Well, you can check the Security Council resolution on this.

       Question: I don‘t think it mentions it. But I think this violence occurred after it.

       Spokesperson: Yes.

       Question: In his speech to the African Union, the Secretary-General, referring to the
major goals, spoke about partnership in science and technology. Does he imply transfer of
science and technology from developed to developing countries?

       Spokesperson: Definitely. Well, I think I will invite one last question.

      Question: When was the last time Mr. Geir Pedersen met with Walid Jumblatt in

       Spokesperson: I don‘t know. I saw Mr. Geir Pedersen, he met with the Secretary-
General in Lebanon during the conference in Paris. I‘m sorry I didn‘t mention that question you
had asked before. But I know he‘s meeting across the board with all parties.

       Question: And he is meeting Jumblatt?

       Spokesperson: Probably.

        Question: Well, recently, the Lebanese army seized about 70 rockets by an Islamic
group. And now it turned out that this Islamic group is supported by the Government and they
are building militias and they are using weapons and 17 missiles were seized in Russia, close to
south Lebanon, by the army. Now, this same group, which is supported by the Government, is
asking to report their return, to return these missiles. I hope that your representative (inaudible)
in UNIFIL will followed on that, will get more information on this…

       Spokesperson: Well, this is not a question. I think we‘ll wait for…I mean there are
things which pertain to the Government of Lebanon that the UN cannot constantly give opinions
about. Mr. Geir Pedersen has a very specific mandate and needs to meet with all parties, and
his mandate is one of trying to bring about help, to bring about a peaceful solution.

        Question: Mr. [Terje Roed-] Larsen, in his recent report about the implementation of
1701, said, based on hearsay from the Lebanese Government, that weapons are still infiltrating
coming from Syria to Hezbollah group. Now he turned a blind eye to flows of weapons coming
to the pro-Government militias and now we have confirmation, straight open declared
confirmation, from [inaudible], leader of the Islamic group, saying that these missiles are his
and he wants them back. And also, we have seen these militia weapons used against peaceful
demonstrators in Beirut, killing many Lebanese. And I hope Mr. Larsen this time will be less
biased for the Government of Lebanon and he will be realistic, that he reports these things that
is not only…

       Spokesperson: This is not really a question. The last one, really, the last one, because I
think my colleague is waiting.

        Question: This one is really a question. On Tuesday of last week, the Staff Council
passed a vote of no confidence in the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resource
Management, Jan Beagle. So I don‘t know if the Secretary is aware of that -- has any comment
-- does the Secretary have any comment? Would it be possible to understand the issues better to
get ASG Beagle or Ms. Barceña to address the issues raised by the Staff Council?

       Spokesperson: Well, we have no comment at the moment.

         Question: One follow-up. Apparently the major issue on that is the internal system of
justice, which the Staff Union wants a formal internal system of justice and appeal system.
 Does the Secretary-General have any views on that particular issue of internal…

       Spokesperson: Not at the moment.

       Question: So, it will take a while before he forms his opinions?

       Spokesperson: Yes. Yes. May I invite you to come to the podium?

       Briefing by the Spokesperson for General Assembly President

       Good afternoon, everybody.

        The President of General Assembly Sheikha Haya Al Khalifa addressed this morning the
special meeting in the General Assembly Hall in observance of the International Day of

Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. In her remarks the President
stated, ―It is a tragedy that the international community has not been able to stop new horrors in
the years since the Holocaust. This makes it all the more important that we remember the
lessons of the past so that we do not make the same mistakes in the future… For the dignity of
all humanity, we must reaffirm our unfaltering resolve to prevent such atrocities, whenever and
wherever they might occur.‖ Copies of the full text of the President‘s statement are available

       The President has received a letter from the Secretary-General, dated 26 January, in
which he requests the President to take early action on forwarding to Member States his
proposals under agenda items 117 and 132, strengthening UN peace and security operations and
advancing the disarmament agenda. The letter will be issued as an official document tomorrow,
under symbol A/61/717.

      The President has started informal consultations today with Permanent Representatives
on how to proceed with the consideration of the Secretary-General‘s proposals.

       The President of the Assembly will travel this evening to Paris to attend the 2-3
February International Conference on the Environment organized by the French Government.
We will make her statement at the conference available once it is delivered.

        Any questions?

        **Questions and Answers

        Question: I think that this thing, the University of Peace, was founded under a GA
resolution. You seem to know the GA process very well -- are you aware of it? How often
does it report to…(inaudible)?

       Spokesperson: I‘ll have to look into that. The University of Peace is something that I
have not checked. I‘ll check on that. It has to be part of the UN, yes.

        Question: The Secretary-General has been the discussing the issues of restructuring of
the Political and Security departments with Member States -- do you know at what stage these
discussions are?

         Spokesperson: Discussing it with Member States -- that is up to the Spokesman for the
Secretary-General. I am not going to comment on this letter, until tomorrow, until it becomes
an official document. I‘m sure you‘ll have lots of questions by tomorrow and let‘s wait and see
where these consultations that the President is having with Member States will take us and then
I‘ll respond to your questions tomorrow.

        Question: A follow-up, these Member States are members of the General Assembly

        Spokesperson: Of course.

       Question: So the General Assembly has a role to play in this. That‘s why I asked this

        Spokesperson: Absolutely. Let me clarify what I said. I‘m not going to make
comments on how the Secretary-General contacted Member States informally before he made
his proposals -- that‘s Michèle‘s job. But the President has received his letter officially now and
she‘ll be circulating it tomorrow and it will be issued as an official document. And these are the
proposals that the Secretary-General is making to Member States. So, once they‘re out
tomorrow officially, we will have a little more time to discuss what‘s in them, what do we
expect, et cetera.

        Question: The previous President of the General Assembly, Mr. Jan Eliasson, had a
habit of talking with press often, to brief the press in this very room. He met with press on
many occasions. Just regarding this certain situation on that letter becoming an official
document, the President, Ms. Khalifa, would be able or would like to come and brief the press
on that?

        Spokesperson: Well, first of all, as a matter of logistics, I don‘t think she‘d be able to
because she‘s flying to Paris this evening. And second, there is nothing yet. She‘s just having
these preliminary consultations to see how she‘s going to present these proposals to the
Assembly, and then we‘ll take it from there.

       Question: If there is any idea that you‘re talking to the President…?

       Spokesperson: You want me to ask her to come and talk to you?

       Question: To talk to the press, to come…

       Spokesperson: I‘ll ask her. Anything else? Thanks.

                                              * *** *


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