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					                         THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                               Monday 23 July, 2007


                       UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

   Ancient Darfur lake 'is dried up' (BBC)
   No development, no peace (Sunday Times Online)
   World body keen to make powerboating greener (Gulf News UAE)
   Simple strategies could save Malaysia sea turtles (Reuters)


                                  Other Environment News

   Ancient lake could help ease Darfur tensions (The Guardian)
   A Godsend for Darfur, or a Curse? (New York Times)
   Glaciers and Ice Caps Quickly Melting Into the Seas (ENS)
   Tibet's warming trend gaining pace, study says (AFP)
   Huge dust storm threatens NASA rovers on Mars (Reuters)
   Tibet Warming Up Faster Than Anywhere in the World (Reuters)
   Russian Environmentalists Attacked, One Killed (Reuters)
   MPs support carbon offset schemes (BBC)
   MPs attack British Airways for 'risible' attitude to carbon offsetting (The Independent)
   Meat production 'beefs up emissions' (The Guardian)
   Meat production 'beefs up emissions' (The Guardian)
   INDIA/US: Nuke Deal - Breakthrough or Bad Bargain? (Inter Press Service)
   Nigeria Oil Companies to Pay Heavily for Spills - President Yar'Adua (Nigeria First)


                                       Other UN News


   UN Daily News of 20 July 2007
   S.G.‘s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of 20 July 2007




               Communications and Public Information, P.O. Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (254-2) 623292/93, Fax: [254-2] 62 3927/623692, Email:unepmedia@unep.org, http://www.unep.org
BBC: Ancient Darfur lake 'is dried up'

A vast underground lake that scientists hoped could help to end violence in Sudan's Darfur
region probably dried up thousands of years ago, an expert says.
Alain Gachet, who used satellite images and radar in his research, said the area received too
little rain and had the wrong rock types for water storage.
But the French geologist said there was enough water elsewhere in Darfur to end the fighting
and rebuild the economy.
Analysts say competition for resources such as water is behind the unrest.
More than 200,000 Darfuris have died and two million fled their homes since 2003.

UN backing
On Wednesday, Boston University's Farouk El-Baz said he had received the backing of Sudan's
government to begin drilling for water in the newly-discovered lake, in North Darfur.
He said radar studies had revealed a depression the size of Lake Erie in North America - the
10th largest lake in the world.
But Mr Gachet, who has worked on mineral and water exploration in Africa for 20 years, said
the depression identified by the Boston researchers was probably full of water 5,000 to 25,000
years ago.
"This lake was at the bottom of a broad watershed feeding the Nile above Khartoum," he said.
"This watershed is completely dry today on the southern border of Egypt, Libya and north-
western border of Sudan - one of the worst areas in the world."
He accepted that the Boston researchers had a slim chance of being right, but he said he was not
optimistic.
'Root cause'
Further south, in the rebel-controlled Jebel Mara area of Darfur, Mr Gachet said he was helping
a UN-backed project to drill for water.
"There is enough water within these aquifers to bring peace in Darfur... and even more - enough
to reconstruct the economy of Darfur."
Earlier in the week Hafiz Muhamad, from the lobby group Justice Africa, told the BBC the
"root cause" of the conflict was lack of resources.
He said "drought and desertification" in North Darfur had led the Arab nomads to move south,
where they came into conflict with black African farmers.
Last month, the UN Environmental Programme (Unep) said there was little prospect of peace in
Darfur unless the issues of environmental destruction were addressed.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Times Online: No development, no peace




                                                                                                 2
By Jeffrey D. Sachs

Anyone interested in peacemaking, poverty reduction, and Africa's future should read the new
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report Sudan: Post-Conflict Environmental
Assessment. This may sound like a technical report on Sudan's environment, but it is much
more. It is a vivid study of how the natural environment, poverty, and population growth can
interact to provoke terrible human-made disasters like the violence in Darfur.
When a war erupts, as in Darfur, most policymakers look for a political explanation and a
political solution. This is understandable, but it misses a basic point. By understanding the role
of geography, climate, and population growth in the conflict, we can find more realistic
solutions than if we stick with politics alone.
Extreme poverty is a major cause, and predictor, of violence. The world's poorest places, like
Darfur, are much more likely to go to war than richer places. This is not only common sense,
but has been verified by studies and statistical analyses. In the UNEP's words, "There is a very
strong link between land degradation, desertification, and conflict in Darfur."
Extreme poverty has several effects on conflict. First, it leads to desperation among parts of the
population. Competing groups struggle to stay alive in the face of a shortage of food, water,
pasture land, and other basic needs. Second, the government loses legitimacy and the support of
its citizens. Third, the government may be captured by one faction or another, and then use
violent means to suppress rivals.
Darfur, the poorest part of a very poor country, fits that dire pattern. Livelihoods are supported
by semi-nomadic livestock-rearing in the north and subsistence farming in the south. It is far
from ports and international trade, lacks basic infrastructure such as roads and electricity, and is
extremely arid. It has become even drier in recent decades because of a decline in rainfall,
which is probably the result, at least in part, of man-made climate change, caused mostly by
energy use in rich countries.
Declining rainfall contributed directly or indirectly to crop failures, the encroachment of the
desert into pasturelands, the decline of water and grassland for livestock, and massive
deforestation. Rapid population growth - from around one million in 1920 to around seven
million today - made all of this far more deadly by slashing living standards.
The result has been increasing conflict between pastoralists and farmers, and the migration of
populations from the north to the south. After years of simmering conflicts, clashes broke out in
2003 between rival ethnic and political groups, and between Darfur rebels and the national
government, which in turn has supported brutal militias in "scorched earth" policies, leading to
massive death and displacement.
While international diplomacy focused on peacekeeping and on humanitarian efforts to save the
lives of displaced and desperate people, peace in Darfur can be neither achieved nor sustained
until the underlying crises of poverty, environmental degradation, declining access to water, and
chronic hunger are addressed. Stationing soldiers will not pacify hungry, impoverished, and
desperate people.
Only with improved access to food, water, health care, schools, and income-generating
livelihoods can peace be achieved. The people of Darfur, Sudan's government, and international
development institutions should urgently search for common ground to find a path out of
desperate violence through Darfur's economic development, helped and supported by the
outside world.
The UNEP report and experiences elsewhere in Africa suggest how to promote economic
development in Darfur. Both people and livestock need assured water supplies. In some areas,
this can be obtained through boreholes that tap underground aquifers. In other areas, rivers or
seasonal surface runoff can be used for irrigation. In still other areas, longer-distance water




                                                                                                   3
pipelines might be needed. In all cases, the world community will have to help pay the tab,
since Sudan is too poor to bear the burden on its own.
With outside help, Darfur could increase the productivity of its livestock through improved
breeds, veterinary care, collection of fodder, and other strategies. A meat industry could be
developed in which Darfur's pastoralists would multiply their incomes by selling whole animals,
meat products, processed goods (such as leather), dairy products, and more. The Middle East is
a potentially lucrative nearby market. To build this export market, Darfur will need help with
transport and storage, cell phone coverage, power, veterinary care, and technical advice.
Social services, including health care and disease control, education, and adult literacy programs
should also be promoted. Living standards could be improved significantly and rapidly through
low-cost targeted investments in malaria control, school feeding programs, rainwater harvesting
for drinking water, mobile health clinics, and boreholes for livestock and irrigation in
appropriate locations. Cell phone coverage could revolutionize communications for sparse
populations in Darfur's vast territory, with major benefits for livelihoods, physical survival, and
the maintenance of family ties.
The only way to sustainable peace is through sustainable development. If we are to reduce the
risk of war, we must help impoverished people everywhere, not only in Darfur, to meet their
basic needs, protect their natural environments, and get onto the ladder of economic
development.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Gulf News UAE:World body keen to make powerboating greener
By Alaric Gomes, Staff Reporter
Published: July 21, 2007, 23:16
Arendal, Norway: With just two races gone into the 2007 season, the newly-formed World
Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA) based in Dubai has shown a keenness to usher in a
new era by trying to make Class One racing more environment-friendly.
The local organisers of the Norwegian Grand Prix tied up with Arendal Municipality to organise
a seminar on how sport can help in conserving the environment along the sidelines of the
second round of the WPPA Class One World Powerboat Championship here.
The speakers at the seminar ranged from a top official from the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP), a Class One world champion and an environmental expert for sustainable
and alternate energy along with the Norwegian media, environmental activists and local
organisers.

Friendly race
With several boats competing, Norway traditionally hosts at least two rounds of the Class One
World Championship.
As such there has been a clamour from various quarters, including the media and activists
calling for an environmentally friendly race.
"The aim is to have an absolutely environmentally friendly city by integrating the two elements
of environment and sports," stated Svein Tveitdal, special advisor to the managing director at
UNEP/GRID in Arendal.
Tveitdal has been with UNEP having worked in Nairobi, Kenya for more than a decade.
Arendal has been declared the UN city for Norway with a full-time office in Arendal.




                                                                                                  4
"We want to evolve a possible strategy towards an environmental friendly Class One race here
and in Oslo.
"We have already had discussions with the organisers and we are looking forward to a
presentation of results next season," added Tveitdal.
Sigmund Haugsja, a former Norwegian sportsman who is now involved with environmental
conservation through sports noted that Class One racing could act as a precursor for
watersports.
"Maybe Arendal and Oslo can make a huge difference to how we can best preserve nature while
organising a popular event like a Class One race.
"We need to look at how we can make sports less harmful to nature," Haugsja stated.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Reuters: Simple strategies could save Malaysia sea turtles

Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:36AM EDT


KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Leatherback turtles that survived the age of the dinosaurs face
extinction across the Western Pacific today, although rescue strategies could be as simple as
moving eggs out of the reach of predators.
Conservationists and wildlife experts are meeting in Malaysia this week to find ways to raise
funding for rescue programmes that will need to run for as many as 20 or 30 years before turtle
numbers can fully recover, biologist Peter Dutton said.
"There's been a lot of concern about the catastrophic decline of leatherbacks around the Pacific,
and a lot of effort put in to find out what is going on and what we can do to prevent their
extinction," Dutton told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Leatherbacks, named for their leathery shells, are the largest sea turtles. They can grow up to a
length of 6- feet , weigh nearly a tonne and survive until age 80, living in the ocean with the
females only returning to land to lay eggs.
The U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) warned last year that their numbers had plummeted
because of egg harvesting and turtle hunting, while global climate change threatened breeding
habits.
"People sell eggs, they eat eggs, then there are the pigs and dogs that come in and dig up nests,"
said Kitty Simonds, of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.
"Then there's development -- hotels -- and anything that comes close to the shore, like lights, is
bad for turtles."
The number of nesting leatherback turtles in the Pacific has fallen to just 5,000, from about
91,000 in 1980.
Efforts to protect the turtles' nesting sites now focus on the Indonesian island of Papua, the
Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, besides Malaysia, said Dutton, who heads




                                                                                                     5
the marine turtle research program at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA).
====================================================================




                                                                                  6
                          Other environment in the News
_____________________________________________________________________________

The Guardian: Ancient lake could help ease Darfur tensions

Rodrique Ngowi


Scientists have discovered the underground remnants of an ancient lake in Sudan's arid Darfur
region, offering hope of easing the water scarcity that lies at the root of much of the unrest in
the region.
Decades of scarce water and other resources have stoked low-intensity local conflicts that
eventually blew up into a devastating civil war. The four-year conflict has killed more than
200,000 people, displaced more than 2.5 million others and sparked a regional humanitarian
crisis after feeding instability in neighbouring Chad and the Central African Republic.

"Much of the unrest in Darfur and the misery is due to water shortages," said geologist Farouk
El-Baz, director of the Boston University Centre for Remote Sensing, which led the effort that
discovered the lake using radar data from space.
"There have been two long episodes of drought during the past 20 years, each lasting for about
seven years," he said, adding that the drought aggravated tensions between Darfur's ethnic
African tribesmen and nomadic Arabs.
The water reservoir lies underneath a former highland lake whose features are covered by wind-
blown sand, researchers said. The ancient lake occupied an area of 11,873 square miles. The
government of Egypt has pledged to drill the first 20 wells, and the UN mission in Sudan also
plans to drill several more for use by its peacekeeping forces.
The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when African tribesmen took up arms, complaining of
decades of neglect and discrimination by the Arab-led Khartoum government. The government
is accused of arming militias blamed for the widespread rape and killing of Darfur civilians.
_____________________________________________________________________________
New York Times: A Godsend for Darfur, or a Curse?

Michael Kamber for The New York Times
By LYDIA POLGREEN
Published: July 22, 2007
DAKAR, Senegal
THE announcement by researchers at Boston University last week that a vast underground lake
the size of Lake Erie had been discovered beneath the barren soil of northern Darfur, a blood-
soaked but otherwise parched land racked by war for the past four years, was greeted by
rapturous hopes. Could this, at last, bring deliverance from a cataclysmic conflict that has killed
at least 200,000 people and pushed more than 2.5 million from their homes?
That hope is built upon an argument, advanced by a United Nations report released last month
and an opinion article in The Washington Post by Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary
general, that environmental degradation and the symptoms of a warming planet are at the root of
the Darfur crisis.



                                                                                                    7
―There is a very strong link between land degradation, desertification and conflict in Darfur,‖
said the United Nations Environmental Program report, which noted that rainfall in northern
Darfur has decreased by a third over the last 80 years. ―Exponential population growth and
related environmental stress have created the conditions for conflicts to be triggered and
sustained by political, tribal or ethnic differences,‖ the report said, adding that Darfur ―can be
considered a tragic example of the social breakdown that can result from ecological collapse.‖
The idea that more water — unearthed through a thousand wells sunk into the underground lake
— could neatly defuse the crisis is seductive. Messy African conflicts, from Congo to Liberia,
from northern Uganda to Angola, have a way of defying all efforts to solve them. Instead, they
seem to become hopelessly more complex as they drag on, year after agonizing year. A
scientific explanation for the problem (environmental degradation) along with a tidy
technological solution (irrigation) gratifies the modern humanitarian impulse.
But the history of Sudan, a grim chronicle of civil war, famine, coups and despotism, gives
ample reason to be skeptical.
―Like all resources water can be used for good or ill,‖ said Alex de Waal, a scholar who has
studied the impact of climate variation in Sudan and who witnessed the 1984-85 famine that is
often cited as the beginning of the ecological crisis gripping Darfur. ―It can be a blessing or also
a curse. If the government acts true to form and tries to create some sort of oasis in the desert
and control who settles there, that would simply be an extension of the crisis, not a solution.‖
The droughts that gripped Sudan in the 1980s, and the migrations and other social changes they
forced, have doubtless played a role in the conflict by increasing competition for water and land
between farmers, who tend to be non-Arab, and herders, many of whom are Arabs. But an
environmental catastrophe cannot become a violent cataclysm without a powerful human hand
to guide it in that direction.
―These wider environmental factors don‘t have impact in and of themselves‖ in terms of
fomenting conflict, Mr. de Waal said. ―The question is how they are managed.‖
In fact, while different regions and social groups suffer severely, Sudan as a whole has riches to
spare, in oil, fertile soil, and even water. Indeed, history suggests that this newly discovered lake
is just as likely to become a source of conflict as a solution to the bloodshed.
Successive Sudanese governments and their colonial precursors have adopted agricultural
policies that have almost inevitably led to conflict. They have favored large mechanized farms
and complex irrigation schemes, controlled by the government and its allies, over the small,
rain-fed farms that are the backbone of the rural economy in much of Sudan.
In eastern Sudan, where a rebellion has been brewing for years, the Beja people have nursed
grievances since Britain and Egypt ruled Sudan jointly during the first half of the 20th century.
Under their rule, irrigation programs for commercial farming deprived the Beja of their prime
grazing land.
Post-colonial governments, which in the early years had the blessing of the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund, took vast tracts of land in the name of agricultural development,
turning farmers who worked their own land into wage laborers for the state and its allies.
Some Sudanese have even been pushed off their land entirely. In the early 1990s the Nuba
people were forced into ―peace villages,‖ where they provided a steady supply of cheap, captive
labor to mechanized farms. In other areas, including parts of Darfur, intensive mechanized



                                                                                                     8
farming by the government and investors who were heedless to the need to protect the fertility
of the land left large tracts barren.
A vast new agricultural scheme in a largely uninhabited swath of northern Darfur is more likely
to fit into this destructive pattern than not, said John Prendergast, a founder of the Enough
Project, an initiative of the Center for American Progress and the International Crisis Group to
abolish genocide and mass atrocities.
―Climate change and the lack of rain are much less important than the land-use patterns
promoted by the government of Sudan and the development policies of World Bank and I.M.F.,
which were focused on intensive agricultural expansion that really mined the soils and left a lot
of land unusable,‖ said Mr. Prendergast, who has been studying Sudan for 20 years. ―That was
probably the principal impetus for a lot of intra-Darfur migration in the decades leading up to
the conflict in Darfur.‖
During those years, the government exploited tensions over water and land to achieve its own
aims, putting down a rebellion among the non-Arab tribes, who rose up because they wanted a
greater share of Sudan‘s wealth and power. It armed tribal militias to fight the rebels, and these
militias unleashed a tide of violence that ultimately would become, according to the Bush
administration and many others, the 21st century‘s first genocide.
A report released last year by the Coalition for International Justice on the role that oil and
mechanized farming have played in human rights abuses in Sudan concluded: ―The
predominant root of conflict in Sudan is the instability that results from the systemic abuse of
the rural (and recently urbanized) poor at the hands of the economic and political elites of
central Sudan.‖
In this analysis, the heart of the Darfur conflict, as in all conflicts in Sudan, is the battle for
control of resources and riches, but not between farmers and herders, northerners and
southerners, Christians and Muslims, or Arabs and non-Arabs.
It is a conflict between those at the center of the country, the elites who have controlled Sudan
and its wealth for the past century and a half, and the desperately poor people who beg for
scraps from the periphery.
Until that equation changes, many analysts argue, nothing else will.
_____________________________________________________________________________

ENS: Glaciers and Ice Caps Quickly Melting Into the Seas
BOULDER, Colorado, July 20, 2007 (ENS) - Sea level rise this century may be greater than
previously thought, posing risks to hundreds of millions of people who live close to the world's
oceans, concludes a new study of ice loss from glaciers and ice caps. The researchers say that in
the near future, the giant Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will contribute less to sea level rise
than glaciers and ice caps.
Scientists with the University of Colorado-Boulder's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research,
INSTAAR, and the Russian Academy of Sciences conclude that glaciers and ice caps now
contribute about 60 percent of the ice melting into the oceans and the rate has been accelerating
over the past decade.




                                                                                                      9
"One reason for this study is the widely held view that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets
will be the principal causes of sea-level rise," says lead author Emeritus Professor Mark Meier,
former INSTAAR director and CU-Boulder professor in geological sciences.
"But we show that it is the glaciers and ice caps, not the two large ice sheets, that will be the big
players in sea rise for at least the next few generations, he says.
Alaska's Columbia Glacier, now discharging about two cubic miles of ice into Prince William
Sound every year, is a good example says study co-author Robert Anderson, a CU-Boulder
geology professor and INSTAAR researcher.
The Columbia Glacier has thinned up to 1,300 feet in places. It has shrunk by about nine miles
since 1980 and is expected to shrink by another nine miles in the next two decades.
The team estimates the accelerating melt of glaciers and ice caps could add from four inches to
9.5 inches of additional sea level rise globally by 2100.
This does not include the expansion of warming ocean water, which could potentially double
those numbers.
A one foot rise in sea level rise typically causes a shoreline retreat of 100 feet or more, and
about 100 million people now live within about three feet of the world's shorelines.
Anderson says that although the volume of ice locked up in Greenland is equal to roughly 23
feet in sea level rise, only a small fraction of that amount is likely to be "pulled out" during the
next century, most of it through outlet glaciers.
The glaciers and ice caps are presently contributing about 100 cubic miles of ice annually to sea
level rise - a volume nearly equal to the water in Lake Erie. This volume is rising by about three
cubic miles per year, the study shows.
By contrast, the CU-Boulder team estimated Greenland is now contributing about 28 percent of
the total global sea rise from ice loss and Antarctica is contributing about 12 percent.
Greenland is not expected to contribute as much to sea level rise as glaciers and ice caps until
the end of the century.
The accelerating contribution of glaciers and ice caps is due in part to rapid changes in the flow
of tidewater glaciers that discharge icebergs directly into the ocean, says Anderson.
Many tidewater glaciers are undergoing rapid thinning, stretching and retreat, which causes
them to speed up and deliver increased amounts of ice into the world's oceans, he says.
Water controls how rapidly glaciers slide along their beds, he explains. When a glacier with its
"toe in the water" thins, a larger fraction of its weight is supported by water and it slides faster
and calves more ice into the ocean at the glacier terminus.
"While this is a dynamic, complex process and does not seem to be a direct result of climate
warming, it is likely that climate acts as a trigger to set off this dramatic response," he says.
The team summarized satellite, aircraft and ground-based data from glaciers, ice caps, the
Greenland ice sheet, the West Antarctic ice sheet and the East Antarctic ice sheet to calculate
present and future rates of ice loss for the study.
Meier estimated there are several hundred thousand small glaciers and small, pancake-shaped
ice caps in polar and temperate regions. They range from modest, high mountain glaciers to




                                                                                                    10
huge glaciers like the Bering Glacier in Alaska, which measures about 5,000 square miles in
area and is nearly half a mile thick in places.
The researchers used a mathematical "scaling" process to estimate more remote glacier
volumes, thicknesses and trends by factoring in data like altitude, climate and geography. They
used data gathered from around the world, including cold regions in Russia, Europe, China,
Central Asia, Canada and South America.
While warming temperatures will likely cause many small high mountain glaciers in North
America and Europe to disappear by the end of the century, large ice fields and ice caps will
continue to produce large amounts of melt water, Meier says.
The scientists also believe many "cold" polar glaciers and ice caps will soon warm up enough to
begin melting and contributing to sea rise.
The retreat of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets also is giving birth to new, smaller glaciers
that are prime candidates for study by scientists.
"It is incorrect to assume that the small glaciers will simply go away next century," says
Anderson. "They will continue to play a key role in the sea level story."
Many smaller "benchmark" glaciers around the world that have been under study for decades
are expected to disappear by the end of the century, said Anderson.
He says scientists need to start gathering benchmark information on some of the larger glaciers
that are unlikely to disappear, for a long-term record of their behavior.
"Since the world is becoming increasingly aware that sea-level rise is a very real problem," he
said, "we need to acknowledge the role of all of the ice masses and understand the physical
mechanisms by which they deliver water to the sea."
Co-authors include CU-Boulder INSTAAR researchers Mark Dyurgerov, Ursula Rick, Shad
O'Neel, Tad Pfeffer, Robert Anderson and Suzanne Anderson, as well as Russian Academy of
Sciences scientist Andrey Glazovsky.
Funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation, the research appears in the July 19
issue of "Science Express," the online edition of the journal "Science."
"At the very least," wrote the researchers in "Science Express," "our projections indicate that
future sea level rise may be larger than anticipated, and that the component due to glaciers and
ice caps will continue to be substantial."
_____________________________________________________________________________
AFP: Tibet's warming trend gaining pace, study says
Sun Jul 22, 8:22 AM ET
BEIJING (AFP) - Tibet, the mountainous region whose snows and glaciers give birth to several
of Asia's major rivers, is warming at an alarming rate, China's state media reported Sunday,
citing a new survey.




                                                                                                   11
Average annual temperatures in Tibet are rising at a rate of 0.3 degrees Celsius (0.54 degrees
Fahrenheit) every ten years due to global warming, Xinhua news agency said, citing a report by
the Tibet Meteorological Bureau.
The report, called "Tibet's Climate Under the Global Warming Trend," said the rate is far faster
than in the rest of China and the world generally.
By comparison, China's average temperatures are rising by 0.4 degrees Celsius every 100 years,
while a report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said average global
surface temperatures have risen 0.74 degrees over the past 100 years.
"The Tibet climate shows a warming trend under global warming," Zhang Hezhen, a senior
engineer with the bureau, was quoted as saying.
Tibet's sensitive alpine environment is seen as a key barometer of the world's climate.
Average temperatures in various parts of Tibet last winter ranged from 0.5 to 2.8 degrees
Celsius higher than normal, while the region as a whole was 1.6 degrees Celsius warmer than
usual.
Four of Tibet's five warmest winters of the past 35 years have occurred since 2000, the survey
said.
In the capital, Lhasa, average temperatures have risen from 7.7 degrees Celsius in the 1970s to
8.4 degrees in the 1990s and 8.9 degrees over the past six years.
The report is the latest sobering indication of climate change on the plateau, which scientists say
could have a severe impact on the sustainability of water supplies in the region due to
accelerated warming of glaciers and decreasing snow cover.
Another official study in January said the region's glaciers have been melting at an average rate
of 131.4 square kilometres (50 square miles) per year over the past 30 years, and could be
reduced by half by 2090.
Among the many rivers that start from the Tibet plateau are the Yangtze, Ganges, Mekong,
Brahmaputra, and Indus.


_____________________________________________________________________________

Reuters: Huge dust storm threatens NASA rovers on Mars
By Will Dunham Fri Jul 20, 5:44 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A dust storm raging on Mars presents the worst threat to date to the
continued operation of NASA's two rovers, threatening to starve the solar-powered robots by
blocking out sunlight, NASA said on Friday. The little, six-wheeled rovers, Opportunity and
Spirit, are operating at two distant sites just south of the Martian equator. The large regional
dust storm that has lasted almost a month has been worse at Opportunity's locale, NASA said.
In an effort to protect the rovers from power loss that has the potential to leave one or both
permanently disabled, the U.S. space agency has been scaling back their functions to the bare
minimum, leaving them in near-dormant states.




                                                                                                 12
"What we have the rovers do is wake up in the morning briefly, configure some necessary
parameters for the day and then go back to sleep," John Callas, rover project manager at
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a telephone interview.
"And that's all they're doing. We do have them communicating (with Earth) about every three
days," he added.
The rovers are not being buffeted by winds, but high-altitude fine particle dust has blocked 99
percent of direct sunlight needed to energize the rovers, officials said.
"The threat to the rover is that it doesn't have the energy to stay warm and that its sensitive
electronics would become too cold. Things would get so cold that something would break inside
the electronics," Callas said.
The rovers have electric heaters to prevent vital core electronics from getting too cold. One
concern is that absence of sunlight could make the rovers drain their batteries.
That worst-case scenario is still weeks off at a minimum, Callas added. He said that because it
was now Martian summer for the rovers, there was a chance temperatures would not fall low
enough to ruin the electronics even if the rovers were starved of power.
'WE'RE ROOTING'
The dust storm is the biggest threat to the resilient rovers since they arrived on Mars in January
2004 for what was supposed to be a three-month mission, Callas said. It is the worst dust storm
since their arrival, he added.
"We're rooting for our rovers to survive these storms, but they were never designed for
conditions this intense," said Alan Stern, associate administrator of NASA's science office.
The rovers have gathered data about the geology of Mars, including evidence it once was a far
wetter place that some scientists suspect may have been habitable by microbes.
Opportunity is about 130 feet from an entry point into Victoria Crater, which is about half a
mile (800 meters) wide and was formed by a long-ago impact by a space rock on Martian
surface.
The storm prompted NASA to put on hold plans to send the rover into the crater to examine
rocks in its exposed walls.
"Not until the skies clear sufficiently and we have generous power margins would we consider
driving the rover again and then entering the crater," Callas said.
________________________________________________________________________

Reuters: Tibet Warming Up Faster Than Anywhere in the World

CHINA: July 23, 2007

BEIJING - Tibet is warming up faster than anywhere else in the world, Xinhua news agency
said on Sunday.

The average annual temperature in Tibet, the roof of the world, was rising at a speed of 0.3
degrees Celsius every 10 years, Xinhua said.




                                                                                                  13
Chinese scientists have long warned that rising temperatures on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau will
melt glaciers, dry up major Chinese rivers and trigger more droughts, sandstorms and
desertification.
The Tibet Meteorological Bureau said the temperature rise was most obvious in the west of the
region. Tibet, with its glaciers and high altitude, has been regarded as sensitive to the effects of
global warming.
Currently, China's average temperature is rising at 0.4 degree Celsius every 100 years, while a
report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed the average surface
temperature of the globe had risen 0.74 degree Celsius in the past 100 years, Xinhua said.
China is rapidly overtaking the United States to become the world's top emitter of greenhouse
gases. It is under rising international pressure to accept mandatory caps on carbon dioxide
emissions from its factories and vehicles.
China has refused to comply, but the government has shown greater efforts in addressing energy
and environment issues.
________________________________________________________________________

Reuters: Russian Environmentalists Attacked, One Killed

RUSSIA: July 23, 2007

MOSCOW - A Russian environmentalist was beaten to death and seven others wounded on
Saturday when a group armed with iron bars and baseball bats attacked their camp near a
nuclear waste processing plant in Siberia.

Russian media reported up to 15 people shouting fascist slogans attacked the environmentalists,
who were living in the camp to protest against nuclear processing in the city of Angarsk near
Lake Baikal, 5,000 km (3,125 miles) east of Moscow.
"One of the injured died in intensive care as a result of the attack," Ekho Moskvy radio station
quoted one of the environmental activists, Olga Kozlova, as saying.
Another resident of the camp, Marina Popova, said the attackers shouted slogans against anti-
fascists.
"From that we can conclude they were Nazis or skinheads", she told the Vesti-24 television
channel, blood seeping through a bandage wrapped around her head.
Environmentalists have not previously been the target of violent attacks in Russia, where
skinhead gangs have assaulted and killed people from ethnic and religious minority groups in
the past.
Itar-Tass news agency said the man killed on Saturday was a 20-year-old from the far eastern
port city of Nakhodka.
Thirteen attackers had been identified and four had already been arrested, said Interior Ministry
spokesman Valery Gribakin.
"Those arrested denied any involvement with any extremist youth group," Gribakin was quoted
by Ekho Moskvy as saying.




                                                                                                   14
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
________________________________________________________________________

BBC: MPs support carbon offset schemes

People should be encouraged and offered help to use schemes that offset their carbon emissions,
MPs have said.
The environmental audit committee acknowledged that some schemes were "less than robust",
but the benefits of cutting emissions were worth pursuing.
Recently, critics said some projects were failing to deliver on promises.
The MPs did, however, express disappointment at the "unsatisfactory" efforts made by airlines
to help passengers offset emissions.
The Commons committee's chairman, Conservative MP Tim Yeo, said suspicion over the
effectiveness of offsetting schemes threatened to undermine any potential environmental gains.
"A lack of regulation and transparency in the market is allowing some schemes to be promoted
which do not achieve acceptable outcomes," he observed.
"This is a pity in view of the contribution offsetting can make to tackling climate change."

Carbon concerns
Growing awareness of the impact of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2) from
human activity, has lead to a proliferation in the number of projects offering to offset emissions.
The idea behind the scheme is that for each tonne of CO2 emitted, an equivalent tonne is
theoretically removed elsewhere, for example by using energy efficient light bulbs.
Planting trees was one of the earliest forms of offsetting, but has been criticised for its short
term benefits. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is released both when trees die and when they are planted,
which critics say is often not taken into account.
The MPs' report, The Voluntary Carbon Offset Market, highlighted a forestry-based scheme
sponsored by the music group Coldplay and its fans.
It said 40% of the plantation died because of a lack of water, reducing the scheme's capacity to
sequester CO2.

'Matter of priority'
Recognising the growing concerns about whether the amount of CO2 actually being sequestered
matched the claims being made by operators, the UK government recently said it was going to
introduce a code of practice by the end of the year.
Announcing the details of the code, Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock said: "People need
to be sure that when they buy an offsetting product the emissions reductions are actually taking
place.




                                                                                                 15
"An overwhelming majority of respondents to the consultation are in favour of a voluntary code
for offsetting products to deal with the risk that without recognised standards consumer
confidence could be damaged and the potential impact of offsetting reduced."
The minister added that schemes meeting the code's requirements would be allowed to display a
quality mark.
Commercial airlines have recently been targeted by environmental groups because the number
of flights, and CO2 emissions, are set to increase sharply over the next decade.
The MPs' report said the aviation industry had a "diverse and generally unsatisfactory attitude
towards offsetting".
It went on to say that the reason why airlines, as a group, did not have a consistent view about
offsetting and did not take part in the government's consultation was because it would draw
attention to the "malign effects of air travel on the environment".
"The industry must engage with the government and accept that it needs to do more now to
mitigate emissions from its planes and to encourage uptake of offsets amongst its customers as a
matter of priority," the report urged.
________________________________________________________________________

The Independent: MPs attack British Airways for 'risible' attitude to carbon offsetting

By Peter Woodman, PA Transport Correspondent
Published: 23 July 2007
The airline industry has "a diverse and generally unsatisfactory attitude" to carbon offsetting, a
report from MPs says today.
British Airways' offsetting efforts had been "risible", the report from the House of Commons
Environmental Audit Committee added.
Airlines should make it easier for passengers to buy offsets as the scheme can play a part in
mitigating carbon dioxide emissions, the report said.
The committee took evidence from BA, Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic and from
transatlantic all-business class carrier Silverjet.
The report said: "The three airlines were still not disposed to consider whole-hearted co-
operation with the Government over offsetting on account of the unexpected increase (by the
Government) of APD (the airport departure Air Passenger Duty tax)."
The committee added that since BA's offsetting scheme was launched in 2005, BA had
encouraged the purchase of only 1,600 tonnes of offsets on average each year - approximately
the emissions from "four return flights to New York on a (Boeing) 777".
The report went on: "This is risible. The company clearly recognises this, and during our
evidence session announced its intention to improve the prominence and accessibility of
offsetting on its website from the beginning of May. At the time of our agreeing this report, this
simple change had not been made."
The MPs said Virgin Atlantic currently offered no offsets of its own to its customers, nor did it
point them towards an offset provider or allow them to calculate the emissions for their flight.



                                                                                                   16
The committee congratulated Silverjet for its stance towards its own emissions, but needed to
do as much as it could to improve its carbon efficiency.
The report said:
* Carbon offsets have a role to play in cutting carbon emissions and raising awareness of
climate change;
* Encouraging offsets must not inhibit increased efforts to cut emissions;
* Research is needed to find out if buying offsets makes people more or less determined to cut
their own carbon footprint;
* Airlines must make it easier for passengers to buy offsets;
* The Government should compel the most carbon-intensive businesses to offer offset services;
* Individuals should be given a compulsory-choice option for offsetting when procuring carbon
intensive goods and services;
* Government and business must agree the definition of "carbon neutral" when applied to
business and develop appropriate audit standards;
* Greater transparency is needed in the offset market and using robust offset schemes to
preserve existing forests should be encouraged.
The Environmental Audit Committee chairman Tim Yeo MP said: "We are concerned that
prospects for growth in carbon offsetting, and the accompanying benefits in terms of lower
global emissions, are being held back by suspicions that a lack of regulation and transparency in
the market is allowing some schemes to be promoted which do not achieve acceptable
outcomes.
"This is a pity in view of the contribution offsetting can make to tackling climate change."
He went on: "The UK has the opportunity to lead the world in developing robust and helpful
guidance. An effective Government code of practice which endorses meaningful offsets could
assist people in choosing the best way to offset their emissions.
"The UK's financial and carbon markets have much to gain from a rapid growth in what is
increasingly seen as a vital component of commercial activity and corporate responsibility."
Climate change consultancy group CarbonSense said it welcomed the report but views it as "a
missed opportunity to reappraise the benefits and drawbacks of offsetting".
_____________________________________________________________________________

The Guardian: Meat production 'beefs up emissions'


Thursday July 19, 2007




                                                                                                 17
Producing 1kg of beef results in more CO2 emissions than going for a three-hour drive while
leaving all the lights on at home, scientists said today.
A team led by Akifumi Ogino at the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in
Tsukuba, Japan, trawled through data on aspects of beef production including calf raising,
animal management and the effects of producing and transporting feed.
They are calling for an overhaul of the beef industry, after their audit revealed producing the
meat caused substantial amounts of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

Most of the greenhouse gas emissions are emitted in the form of methane from belching cattle,
but the meat production process also releases fertilising compounds that can wreak havoc in
river and lake ecosystems.
Warming potential
The study, which is published in today's New Scientist magazine, shows that the production of
1kg of beef releases greenhouse gases with a warming potential equivalent to 36.4kg of carbon
dioxide.
The production process also led to fertilising compounds equivalent to 340g of sulphur dioxide
and 59g of phosphate, and consumed 169 megajoules of energy.
Over two-thirds of the energy is spent on producing and moving cattle feed.
The emissions are equivalent to the amount of CO2 released by an average car every 160 miles,
and the energy consumption is equal to a 100W bulb being left on for 20 days, says New
Scientist.
But the total environmental impact will be higher than the study suggests because the
calculations do not include emissions from managing farm equipment and transporting the
meat.
The scientists behind the study are calling for a range of measures to reduce the carbon footprint
of the industry.
These include better waste management and reducing the interval between calving by a month,
which the authors say could reduce the environmental impact by nearly 6%.
A Swedish study conducted in 2003 claimed that raising organic beef on grass rather than feed,
reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and consumed 85% less energy.
________________________________________________________________________

Inter Press Service: INDIA/US: Nuke Deal - Breakthrough or Bad Bargain?

By Praful Bidwai

NEW DELHI, Jul 23 (IPS) - After tortuous negotiations spread over four days in Washington,
the United States and India have reported "substantial progress" on a bilateral agreement on
civilian nuclear cooperation, but said they would now "refer the issue to our governments for
final review."

However, the deal, also known as the ‗123 agreement‘ because it will amend Section 123 of the
U.S. Atomic Energy Act, is unlikely to find broad consensual acceptance either in India or the



                                                                                                  18
U.S.

So wary are the two governments about announcing a breakthrough that they have given no
details of the agreement's contents, and in particular about its acceptance of India's right to
reprocess fuel burned in imported reactors and continuity of fuel supplies from the U.S. in case
India conducts a nuclear test.

The agreement is soon to be placed before India's Cabinet Committee on Security. It is due to be
put up before the U.S. Congress for an ‗up-and-down‘ or yes-or-no vote without amendments.
Under Indian law, it need not be ratified by Parliament.

The deal became possible only with intervention by U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney and talks
between the National Security Advisers of the two countries, as well as high-powered
delegations of diplomats and technical experts.

Looming large over the talks was the presence of India's Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)
chairman Anil Kakodkar. Although Kakodkar did not participate in the negotiations, he was
continually consulted to ensure that his concerns about the deal are met. Kakodkar is known to
be less than happy with the deal, and has orchestrated opposition to it through his former
colleagues.

According to media reports, the 30 page-long agreement, reached after 300 working hours of
talks, only ‗partly‘ concedes India's right to reprocess spent fuel to be used in its fast breeder
reactor programme. India has all along insisted on such a full-fledged ‗right‘ -- strongly
contested by non-proliferation advocates in the U.S.

Indian negotiators are believed to have offered to build a dedicated reprocessing facility for
imported fuel and to place it under safeguards (inspections) of the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA).

This proposal is proving controversial in India, but the U.S seems to have accepted it. It is not
known if this carries any conditions.

On the second contentious issue, that of guarantees of U.S. nuclear supplies if India conducts a
nuclear explosion, it has been agreed that the U.S. can demand a return of equipment and
material exported to India.

But this has reportedly been hedged in with clauses that call for a Presidential review of the
circumstances in which India conducts a test, as well as technical conditions calculated to
prevent a sudden and complete suspension of nuclear cooperation.

Both the U.S. Atomic Energy Act and a special legislation passed last December by the U.S.
Congress, called the Henry J. Hyde U.S.-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act 2006,
mandate a cessation of nuclear cooperation in case India conducts a test. Under the new
agreement, such cessation will not be sudden.

"The Indian side obviously did some tough bargaining," says Achin Vanaik, a political scientist
and independent nuclear analyst. "The critical question now is how the two main lobbies
opposed to the deal react. There is, first, the nuclear scientists' lobby which is allergic to any
external inspections. There is also the hawkish political right, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party




                                                                                                     19
(BJP), which wrongly holds that the deal will cap India's nuclear weapons capability."

Some nuclear scientists, such as A.N. Prasad, former director of the Bhabha Atomic Research
Centre, and A. Gopalakrishnan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, have
attacked the proposal to create a dedicated reprocessing facility on the ground that its operations
will be controlled by foreign agencies and that it will raise the processing costs. Yet others,
including two former AEC chairmen, have demanded amendments to the Hyde Act.

However, the U.S. insists that the 123 agreement cannot substantially differ from the Hyde Act.

"It is not clear if the nuclear scientists' lobby can be brought around to supporting the agreement
in its present form," argues M.V. Ramana, a researcher with the Centre for Interdisciplinary
Studies in Environment and Development, Bangalore. "If a majority of its constituents remain
hostile to the agreement, political opposition to it will grow."

Adds Ramana: "Many of the arguments of this lobby are self-serving and reflect xenophobia
and a reluctance to accept any kind of scrutiny, including IAEA inspections. However, there is
some validity in the argument that a dedicated reprocessing facility will raise costs. But that is
something India can live with. The trouble is that this lobby wants to have its cake and eat it
too: it wants India to be treated on a par with the nuclear weapons-states recognised by the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970, although India is not a party to it."

BJP leaders have already declared that they oppose the Hyde Act and the 123 agreement in its
present form. Observers close to India's Left parties believe that they are unlikely to support the
agreement, and will want to hold down Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to various
commitments he made in Parliament. As for the U.S., non-proliferation experts and political
leaders, especially from the Democratic Party, oppose any deal that exempts India from U.S.
laws and effectively legitimises its nuclear arsenal while diluting the global norm against the
spread of nuclear weapons.

Says Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, if the U.S. agrees
to allow India to reprocess imported spent fuel, "it would still be next to impossible to ensure
that U.S. technology and material would not be used directly or indirectly to support or facilitate
India's unsafeguarded weapons-related plutonium reprocessing activities ...(A reprocessing
facility) would further free up India's limited fuel supplies for weapons purposes."

Kimball argues that this would be the fourth major departure from the U.S. laws and policies.
The first happened in July 2005 when the Bush administration agreed to drop its longstanding
policy of restricting nuclear cooperation with states that have nuclear weapons, or have tested
them, and refuse to allow full-scope IAEA safeguards.

The second departure took place when the Bush administration gave up its demand that India
suspend production of fissile material for weapons purposes. The third happened in March 2006
when the U.S. urged India to include in its list of ‗civil‘ nuclear facilities slated to be put under
safeguards reactors falling in its fast breeder programme; "but again, India refused and the U.S.
side went along".

Unless the 123 agreement is rejected by the Indian cabinet, or fails to win Congressional
ratification, which seems highly unlikely, the arms controllers would have to take their battle to




                                                                                                   20
other fora which must approve the deal before it gets come into effect: the 45-member Nuclear
Suppliers' Group and the IAEA.
________________________________________________________________________
Nigeria First: Nigeria Oil Companies to Pay Heavily for Spills - President Yar'Adua
19 July 2007


Abuja
President Umaru Musa Yar'adua has said that oil companies operating in Nigeria must be made
to pay heavy fines for spills caused by them.
He was responding to a presentation by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency
(NOSDRA) at the State House, Abuja on July 18.
In his comments, President Yar'adua pointed out that in view of the widespread negative impact
of oil spills on the environment, the regulatory authorities must ensure that stiff penalties were
imposed on companies that defaulted in cleaning up the spills.
He directed NOSDRA to liaise with other government and non-governmental agencies in order
to effectively discharge its roles as a policing body of oil spills and get service providers to
clean up the environment.
In the course of making the presentation, NOSDRA Director-General, Dr. Bamidele Ajakaiye,
highlighted some effects of oil pollution on the environment as including contamination of
ground and surface water sources, disruption of balance in the ecosystem, reduction in the
economic potentiality of the affected communities, and the high cost of remediation of
contaminated sites
NOSDRA, a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban
Development, was established in 2006 by an Act of the National Assembly. Its purpose is to
"create, nurture and sustain a zero-tolerance oil spill incident in the Nigerian environment." Its
functions include "surveillance and ensuring compliance with all existing legislation and the
detection of oil spills in the petroleum sector," and coordinating responses to such incidents
throughout the country.

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




                                                                                                     21
                      REGIONAL OFFICE FOR AFRICA - NEWS UPDATE

                                                                                   23 July 2007
                                 General Environment News

Nigeria: Mosop Asks Shell to Shut Trans Niger Pipeline in Ogoni

Vanguard (Lagos): An appeal has gone to the Anglo Dutch oil giant, Shell to shut down its
Trans Niger pipeline in Ogoni area in Rivers State. In a statement the Movement for the
Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) said the action would rescue communities hosting the
facility in Gokana local government from environmental hazards and pollution that often arises
from damage on the facility. According to the statement since Shell said the facility no longer
contributes to its oil production then it should be shut down for the safety of the area.
Meanwhile, MOSOP has also dismissed as untrue reported allegations by the oil firm that
Ogoni youths were barring its staff from putting out the inferno on theTrans Niger Pipeline.
Vanguard gathered the fire had been on for about two weeks." The umbrella body of the Ogoni
people, MOSOP, has been outraged at media reports credited to Shell, wherein its
spokesperson, Precious Okolobo, accused local Ogoni communities of denying SPDC (Shell
Petroleum Development Company Limited) access to the sections of the Trans Niger Pipeline
that has been in flames over two weeks now." "We submit that there is no iota of truth in Shell's
claims. Information available to MOSOP indicates that the affected communities particularly
Kegbara Dere has had considerable number of meetings with Shell over the matter. We were
further and impeccably told that instead of SPDC responding to the immediate need of putting
out the fires; it regrettably demanded its being allowed entry into Ogoni to affect some
operational activities including pigging, killing of oil wells and fencing of the manifold station
in Kegbara Dere as precondition for extinguishing the fires. All other efforts by the
communities particularly Kegbara Dere to make SPDC see reason has yielded no result to date."
The statement signed by the Information officer of the Ogoni structure, Mr Bariaria Kpalap also
lamented the danger posed by the inferno. "The environmental and health implications of the
fire incidents including destruction of crops and farmlands, contamination of sources of
drinking water, increasing cases of dysentery and diarrhea, skin rashes and respiratory problems
are such that affected communities cannot afford to resist genuine steps directed at resolving the
problem." "We are therefore reaffirming our earlier stance on the closure of the Trans Niger
Pipeline operated by SPDC on safety grounds and since Shell has shown gross incapacity to
operate the trunk line." http://allafrica.com/stories/200707200642.html

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




                                                                                               22
                                ROAP MEDIA UPDATE
                           THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                                 Monday, 23 July, 2007


                                    UNEP or UN in the news


    Reuters : INTERVIEW - Simple strategies could save Malaysia sea turtles
    Sunday Times : No development, no peace
    The Hindu : Chennai yet to wake up to climate change challenges



General Environment News

    The Brunei Times : Flood fury wrecks havoc in China, death toll rising
    People‘s Daily Online : Quake in NW China brings down houses, 8,250 people
     evacuated
    The Daily Star : Downpour deluges Dhaka
    Geelong Advertiser : Climate change forum
    The Nation : Climate change now a hot topic
    The Nation : Wildlife Fund Thailand shuts down
    The Nation : Marine agency all set to help turtles lay eggs
    The Nation : Scientists alarmed at rusty reefs
    Bangkok Post : Island's waste problem mounting
    Courier Mail : Keys to climate

                                    UNEP or UN in the news


Reuters, India : INTERVIEW - Simple strategies could save Malaysia sea turtles
Fri Jul 20, 2007, By Clarence Fernandez

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Leatherback turtles that survived the age of the dinosaurs face
extinction across the Western Pacific today, even though rescue strategies could be as simple as
saving their eggs from fishing nets.

Conservationists and wildlife experts are meeting in Malaysia this week to find ways to raise
funding for rescue programmes that will need to run for as many as 20 or 30 years before turtle
numbers can fully recover, biologist Peter Dutton said.

"There's been a lot of concern about the catastrophic decline of leatherbacks around the Pacific,
and a lot of effort put in to find out what is going on and what we can do to prevent their
extinction," Dutton told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Leatherbacks, named for their leathery shells, are the largest sea turtles. They can grow up to a
length of 6-½ feet, weigh nearly a tonne and survive until age 80, living in the ocean with the
females only returning to land to lay eggs.




                                                                                                23
The U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) warned last year that their numbers had plummeted
because of egg harvesting and turtle hunting, while global climate change threatened breeding
habits.

The number of nesting leatherback turtles in the Pacific has fallen to just 5,000, from about
91,000 in 1980.

Efforts to protect the turtles' nesting sites now focus on the Indonesian island of Papua, the
Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, besides Malaysia, said Dutton, who heads
the marine turtle research programme at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA).

Leatherbacks used to be a star attraction for visitors to Malaysia's northern state of Terengganu,
with tens of thousands of female turtles nesting on beaches there each year until the population
collapsed in the late 80s, Dutton added.

Egg harvesting, turtle entanglement in fishing nets and deforestation led to the decline, despite
strict laws, safeguards at nest sites and efforts to build hatcheries, he said.

The number of Malaysian leatherback rookeries has fallen to fewer than 10 nests each year this
decade, from about 5,000 per year in the 1960s, the UNEP estimates.

Yet they have not vanished entirely, Dutton said.

"Now there's probably anywhere from 2 to 30 nests that get laid each year, so we still do have
leatherbacks that come into Malaysian waters and are attempting to nest."

Scientists at the Terengganu meeting aim to chalk out a fund-raising plan over the next six
months that includes a long-term financing mechanism, such as an endowment fund, besides
studying ways of getting companies to contribute, Dutton added.

Fishermen working off the northern Malaysian coast were keen to help save the turtles, a
Malaysian researcher said.

"They are willing to pay the cost, either of fuel or machinery, to make sure the turtles don't die
in their nets," said Bee Hong Yeo, quoting a recent survey of the fishermen.
http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-28573520070720?sp=true
……………………………………………
Sunday Times.lk - Columbo, Sri Lanka : No development, no peace
By Jeffrey D. Sachs

Anyone interested in peacemaking, poverty reduction, and Africa's future should read the new
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report Sudan: Post-Conflict Environmental
Assessment. This may sound like a technical report on Sudan's environment, but it is much
more. It is a vivid study of how the natural environment, poverty, and population growth can
interact to provoke terrible human-made disasters like the violence in Darfur.

When a war erupts, as in Darfur, most policymakers look for a political explanation and a
political solution. This is understandable, but it misses a basic point. By understanding the role




                                                                                                     24
of geography, climate, and population growth in the conflict, we can find more realistic
solutions than if we stick with politics alone.

Extreme poverty is a major cause, and predictor, of violence. The world's poorest places, like
Darfur, are much more likely to go to war than richer places. This is not only common sense,
but has been verified by studies and statistical analyses. In the UNEP's words, "There is a very
strong link between land degradation, desertification, and conflict in Darfur."

Extreme poverty has several effects on conflict. First, it leads to desperation among parts of the
population. Competing groups struggle to stay alive in the face of a shortage of food, water,
pasture land, and other basic needs. Second, the government loses legitimacy and the support of
its citizens. Third, the government may be captured by one faction or another, and then use
violent means to suppress rivals.

A girl looks through the barbed wire fencing of the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS)
base in southern Darfur as she is ushered away by a peackeeping soldier on guard outside the
camp. AFP
Darfur, the poorest part of a very poor country, fits that dire pattern. Livelihoods are supported
by semi-nomadic livestock-rearing in the north and subsistence farming in the south. It is far
from ports and international trade, lacks basic infrastructure such as roads and electricity, and is
extremely arid. It has become even drier in recent decades because of a decline in rainfall,
which is probably the result, at least in part, of man-made climate change, caused mostly by
energy use in rich countries.

Declining rainfall contributed directly or indirectly to crop failures, the encroachment of the
desert into pasturelands, the decline of water and grassland for livestock, and massive
deforestation. Rapid population growth - from around one million in 1920 to around seven
million today - made all of this far more deadly by slashing living standards.

The result has been increasing conflict between pastoralists and farmers, and the migration of
populations from the north to the south. After years of simmering conflicts, clashes broke out in
2003 between rival ethnic and political groups, and between Darfur rebels and the national
government, which in turn has supported brutal militias in "scorched earth" policies, leading to
massive death and displacement.

While international diplomacy focused on peacekeeping and on humanitarian efforts to save the
lives of displaced and desperate people, peace in Darfur can be neither achieved nor sustained
until the underlying crises of poverty, environmental degradation, declining access to water, and
chronic hunger are addressed. Stationing soldiers will not pacify hungry, impoverished, and
desperate people.

Only with improved access to food, water, health care, schools, and income-generating
livelihoods can peace be achieved. The people of Darfur, Sudan's government, and international
development institutions should urgently search for common ground to find a path out of
desperate violence through Darfur's economic development, helped and supported by the
outside world.

The UNEP report and experiences elsewhere in Africa suggest how to promote economic
development in Darfur. Both people and livestock need assured water supplies. In some areas,
this can be obtained through boreholes that tap underground aquifers. In other areas, rivers or




                                                                                                  25
seasonal surface runoff can be used for irrigation. In still other areas, longer-distance water
pipelines might be needed. In all cases, the world community will have to help pay the tab,
since Sudan is too poor to bear the burden on its own.

With outside help, Darfur could increase the productivity of its livestock through improved
breeds, veterinary care, collection of fodder, and other strategies. A meat industry could be
developed in which Darfur's pastoralists would multiply their incomes by selling whole animals,
meat products, processed goods (such as leather), dairy products, and more. The Middle East is
a potentially lucrative nearby market. To build this export market, Darfur will need help with
transport and storage, cell phone coverage, power, veterinary care, and technical advice.

Social services, including health care and disease control, education, and adult literacy programs
should also be promoted. Living standards could be improved significantly and rapidly through
low-cost targeted investments in malaria control, school feeding programs, rainwater harvesting
for drinking water, mobile health clinics, and boreholes for livestock and irrigation in
appropriate locations. Cell phone coverage could revolutionize communications for sparse
populations in Darfur's vast territory, with major benefits for livelihoods, physical survival, and
the maintenance of family ties.

The only way to sustainable peace is through sustainable development. If we are to reduce the
risk of war, we must help impoverished people everywhere, not only in Darfur, to meet their
basic needs, protect their natural environments, and get onto the ladder of economic
development.

(Jeffrey Sachs is Professor of Economics and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia
University.) Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2007. Exclusive to The Sunday Times.
http://www.sundaytimes.lk/070722/International/i508.html
………………………………………..
The Hindu : Chennai yet to wake up to climate change challenges
Vani Doraisamy

CHENNAI: Chennai, it appears, is yet to warm up to the climate change discourse that the rest
of the world is critically engaged in.

If the proceedings of a public online chat with experts on global warming conducted by the
Directorate of Environment on Wednesday are anything to go by, levels of awareness are still
very low.

So much so that both the Regional Meteorological Centre and the Tamil Nadu State Council for
Science and Technology are now thinking in terms of a comprehensive awareness drive, starting
with schoolchildren.

The most common doubts were over the sea level rise, coastal vulnerability and deforestation.

―Most of those who came online were inclined to blame the government rather than own up
individual responsibility. Not that there is a need to press the panic button, but we need to be on
guard as we too would be vulnerable if Bangladesh is affected. Sea levels along the Tamil Nadu
coastline are likely to rise by 0.8 metres over a period of time, leading to the possible
submersion of a few islands around Chennai,‖ says S.R. Ramanan, Director, Cyclone Warning
Centre, who responded to questions on the chat.




                                                                                                  26
Though the fourth annual report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
convened by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological
Organisation, indicates that India would be one of the countries likely to be worst affected by
climate change, not much attention has been focussed on peninsular India, leading to a sense of
complacency, environmental analysts say. The draft national policy on climate change, which is
being put together by the National Council for Climate Change, needs to factor in more of the
southern landmass as the fragile and porous coastline is imminently vulnerable to erosion and
inundation, they aver.

Imagine this: the rising sea level claiming a substantial landmass around Adyar river, an
increased high tide line, the Marina coastline getting submerged by about one metre to three
metres, causing the seawater to enter land, while elsewhere large tracts of lands become deserts.

―One of the characteristics of climate change is that it will hasten evaporation and
evapotranspiration of surface water (thus drying out water-scarce areas) and increase water
levels in areas where there is more water (thus leading to submerging and inundation of land) If
the Marina coastline sinks by even one km, it could be potential disaster,‖ says M. Karmegam,
former director, Centre for Water Resources, Anna University.

Action critical

Awareness and affirmative action are critical.

―We will soon be reaching out to Corporation schoolchildren,‖ says Mr. Ramanan while the
TNSCST will submit a proposal to the Department of Science and Technology to launch a
sustained campaign to identify partner institutions.

―We will also motivate researchers to monitor meteorological parameters (for global warming)
in Tamil Nadu,‖ says S. Vincent, member-secretary.
http://www.hindu.com/2007/07/22/stories/2007072259240300.htm
                                  General Environment News

The Brunei Times : Flood fury wrecks havoc in China, death toll rising
BEIJING, 22-Jul-07

THE death toll from fierce rain storms and flooding in China continued to rise yesterday as the
government scrambled to step up relief and prevention efforts, state press reported.

In eastern Shandong province, the toll rose to 40 dead and nine missing as of Friday night,
following a week of record rains that deluged the provincial capital of Jinan and surrounding
areas, Xinhua news agency said.

A record 180 millimetres of rain pummelled the city on Wednesday, snarling traffic and cutting
off electricity and water supplies in the fiercest storms to hit the capital since 1916,
meteorologists said.

The latest toll was up from 32 dead as of early Friday.




                                                                                                27
By yesterday more than 559,000 people had been affected by flooding in Shandong and 112,600
evacuated as water-levels on the nearby Yellow River and in surrounding reservoirs remained
above warning lines, the report said.

The state flood headquarters issued warnings to shore up dykes and levies on major rivers and
reservoirs and dispatch relief and medical supplies to hard hit regions in both east and southwest
China.

Meanwhile, the death toll in Chongqing municipal in China's southwest rose to 42 people and
12 missing from torrential downpours that have affected up to 6.8 million people since Monday.

More than 292,000 people have been evacuated in the mountainous region along the Yangtze
river, with over 100,000 homes damaged and crops on about 175,000 hectares of farmland
destroyed, Xinhua said in a separate report.

In neighbouring Yunnan province, south of Chongqing, rescuers yesterday continued to search
for two migrant workers that went missing when a giant landslide engulfed their work camp on
Thursday killing 27 other labourers, other press reports said. China's death toll from natural
disasters this year reached 715 by July 16 with about half of the fatalities coming this month
and 129 people still missing, Xinhua said on Friday, citing the civil affairs ministry.AFP
http://www.bruneitimes.com.bn/details.php?shape_ID=37339b
…………………………………
People’s Daily Online : Quake in NW China brings down houses, 8,250 people evacuated

July 22, 2007 - More than 2,100 houses have collapsed and 8,250 people have been evacuated
after a 5.7-magnitude earthquake jolted a county in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur
Autonomous Region, local officials said on Sunday.

An official with the Tekes county, Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture in northern Xinjiang,
confirmed that the quake caused no human casualties but leveled or damaged 2,120 homes.

The quake hit Tekes county at 6:06 p.m. on Friday (Beijing Time), with its epicenter at a
mountainous region 60 kilometers from the county seat and 430 kilometers from Urumqi,
capital of Xinjiang.

Rescuers have displaced 8,250 residents as their houses, most of which are mud-brick ones,
either collapsed or became dangerous, said the official.

Some of the quake-affected residents were arranged to live in the houses of their relatives or
their own tents. The local government has also sent 130 tents to them.

The quake also damaged four bridges in the county, including an 88-meter-long one on the
Tekes River.

Tekes county has a population of 143,000 with an area of 8,352 square kilometers.

Working teams from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the China Seismological Administration and
the regional government are still in the quake-hit areas directing disaster relief operations.
http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/6221386.html
.............................................




                                                                                                 28
The Daily Star, Bangladesh : Downpour deluges Dhaka
City life, transport system, flight schedule collapse in rain
Staff Correspondent

Torrential rain pounded the capital intermittently throughout the day yesterday as many parts of
the city went under knee- to waist-deep water, throwing life and trade in a terrible mess.

Thousands of commuters were stuck in traffic jams for hours on the waterlogged streets. To
make situation worse, a large number of vehicles broke down in rainwater that swamped almost
every road including the one in front of the Chief Adviser's Office in Tejgaon.

The Met Office recorded 134 millimetres of rain in Dhaka between 6:00am and 3:00pm, which
was the highest in the country. The weather will remain unchanged for another day, said an
official in Dhaka.

The rain pouring down in torrents hampered both domestic and international flight operations.

A Biman flight from London was forced to land at the Shah Amanat International Airport in
Chittagong instead of the Zia International Airport (ZIA) in Dhaka, said an airport official. On
domestic routes, a flight bound for Cox's Bazar was delayed for several hours.

Another flight of the national flag carrier, which was scheduled to leave for Kuala Lumpur
yesterday, has been cancelled for technical glitches as well as rough weather, added the official.

Heavy rain left things quite chaotic in the morning hours as people frantically looked for
transport to get to work, and the condition aggravated in the afternoon when they were leaving
workplaces.

Many had to wade knee-deep through water to reach their offices after the public transport
system went out of gear. The CNG-run auto rickshaws, taxis and rickshaws that were on the
roads braving the rain charged outrageously high fares.

Attendance at schools and colleges were low, and many educational institutions were closed
earlier than usual. Bazaars and shopping malls emptied much before the sundown as the
shopkeepers pulled down the shutters.

The worst affected were Mirpur, Kalyanpur, Basabo, Goran, Azimpur, Dhanmondi, Minto
Road, Press Club, Motijheel, Fakirapool, Secretariat area, Maghbazar, Shantinagar, Kakrail,
Mowchak, Bangladesh Rifles headquarters at Pilkhana, DND area, and the old parts of the city.

Vehicles slowed to a crawl and sometimes stood still on the major thoroughfares like Kazi
Nazrul Islam Avenue, Mirpur Road and Tongi Diversion Road.

An office goer told The Daily Star that it took him more than three hours to travel from Mirpur
to Motijheel, a commute that usually takes 45-50 minutes.

Sarwar Hossain, a resident of Mohammadpur area, said, "It happens every time after a heavy
downpour. It's all because of a very poor drainage system."




                                                                                                   29
Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) sources said the drains can deal with only 10 millimetres
(mm) of rain an hour, and waterlogging is inevitable in case of higher rainfall. The city has 150
square kilometres of storm drains, whereas it needs at least 260 sq kms to collect runoff from
heavy shower.

Nearly 10 lakh people inside Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra (DND) embankment find themselves
faced with floods during the monsoon every year. This year, they became marooned in their
houses even before the rains set in.

Meanwhile, sufferings of the city dwellers were compounded by yet another round of price hike
brought on by hard rain in the last couple of days. Visiting a number of kitchen markets
yesterday this correspondent found that a number of vegetables and other essentials were selling
at higher prices. At Karwan Bazar, the price of green chilli that was Tk 40-50 a kg in the
morning shot up to Tk 70-80 per kg in the evening.

"Incessant rain in the last three days affected the vegetable prices as supply in markets remained
poor," said Abdul Latif Mia, president of wholesalers association at Karwan Bazar. If it
continues the prices of vegetables and other essentials will rise further.
http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/07/23/d7072301011.htm
.................................................
Geelong Advertiser, Australia : Climate change forum
Michaela Farrington

23Jul07 - A CSIRO climate change expert will reveal the growing threat of severe weather
events for local coastal communities at a public forum this week.

The expert, Dr Kathleen McInnes, will present recent findings on the likely impacts of global
warming for the region's coastlines, including rising sea levels, storm surges and more frequent
severe weather.

Dr McInnes predicts rising sea levels will leave many coastal areas at risk of flooding and
erosion from severe events.

The Insurance Council of Australia's Karl Sullivan will also speak at the forum in Geelong
about how the insurance industry is responding to the threat of global warming.

Forum organiser, Graeme Stockton from Surfers Appreciating Natural Environment, said
climate change was already costing local councils and the insurance industry money.

``People tend to think of climate change as something that will happen in the future,'' Mr
Stockton said yesterday.

``But it's an issue that is with us now.''

He said severe weather was already having an impact on the coast and could one day mean
people living in some seaside areas could be uninsurable.

The forum, Global Warming Impacts on the Victorian Coast: Local Perspectives, will be hosted
by several local community groups, including Jan Juc Coast Action, Surfers Appreciating
Natural Environment, Friends of the Bluff and the Marine and Coastal Community Network.




                                                                                                30
The City of Greater Geelong is supporting the event, which will be held at GPAC on Saturday
afternoon from 2pm until 5pm.

Entry will be by gold coin donation, with all money raised going to local community groups for
ongoing coastal restoration work.
http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2007/07/23/5597_news.html
...............................................
The Nation, Thailand : Climate change now a hot topic
Most people are concerned about effects of global warming: survey
Published on July 23, 2007

The majority of residents in Bangkok and nearby provinces are convinced climate change
affects the country and are worried about it, according to a new poll.

Just 2.3 per cent of 1,281 people aged 18 and older surveyed were ignorant of global warming,
according to Abac Poll Research Centre findings.

The rest had heard of climate change and had a basic understanding of it, centre director Dr
Noppadon Kannika said.

Last week's survey found 30 per cent of people surveyed believed global warming was about
rising earth temperatures, 19 per cent said the phenomenon brought seasonal variations and
extreme climate events while the rest were aware of issues like greenhouse gases and energy
consumption.

A small percentage were aware of polar melting.

"The government should take this opportunity of high public interest in the issues for new
policies to deal

with the impact of global warming in Thailand," Noppadon said.

Eighty-six per cent worried about extreme climate events such as floods, drought, storms and
land subsidence. They said the government should give priority to preparedness.

Most of this group are concerned about the possible impact on the agricultural sector and the
economy, too. Others worry about the drowning of infrastructure, such as roads and drainage.

Nearly 70 per cent pointed the finger at the industrial sector as the major culprit while just 10
per cent blamed farming for greenhouse-gas emissions. Nearly a quarter said both sectors
should share the blame.

When it comes to solving the problem, 70 per cent looked towards the Natural Resources and
Environment Ministry but many others said the Energy Ministry. Others thought conservation
and environment organisations had a role to play.

Interestingly, 68 per cent said "everyone of us" should do something.




                                                                                                    31
And how? Respondents said energy saving, tree planting, pollution-reduction legislation and
refuse recycling could be effective.

"There should be a major campaign now for people to reduce their ecological footprint,"
Noppadon said. "Urban lifestyles cause a lot of waste because of the way we use resources - be
they big cars, air conditioning and other electric appliances."
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2007/07/23/national/national_30041957.php
.............................................
The Nation, Thailand : Wildlife Fund Thailand shuts down

The Wildlife Fund Thailand under the Royal Patronage of HM the Queen had announced its
closure because the reserved fund to administrate the organisation had dried up.

Wildlife Fund Thailand acting secretary-general Sirajit Waramontri on Thursday informed the
40 nationwide officials that the Wildlife Fund Thailand board on July 9 had agreed to terminate
the fund's operations and the officials' employment from July 27 on.
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/breakingnews/read.php?newsid=30041752
……………………………….
The Nation, Thailand : Marine agency all set to help turtles lay eggs

The Marine and Coastal Resources Department is now preparing to kick off the Turtle Egg
Laying Ground Conser-vation Scheme to save native sea turtles.Published on July 21, 2007

"The marine turtle population has been distinctly declining for the last 10 years due to fishing,
stealing of eggs by locals to sell to tourists, encroachment into egg-laying grounds and coastal
erosion," according to director-general Nisakorn Kositratna.

Leatherback, logger-headed, hawksbill, green and olive turtles used to be found in local waters,
but only about 1,000 of them are left. The department has decided to cooperate with the
National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, Navy, Fisheries Department and
private-sector organisations to develop the scheme to preserve the remaining 10 egg-laying
grounds in six provinces. For example, the Navy will amend the fisheries law by fixing the
fishing zone at five kilometres instead of 3km from the coastline and defining the fishing
season.

Tourism organisations will come up with plans to run tourism businesses without disturbing
laying turtles.

The department signed the Indian Ocean Sea Turtle memorandum of understanding two years
ago and built a hatchery at its research centre in Phuket last year to protect turtles from local
people and animals.

The breeding grounds are Tha Le Nok-Praphat beaches in Ranong, Ra-Phra Thong and Kho
Khao islands, and Mu Ko Surin, Mu Ko Similan, Khao Lam Pee-Had Thai Muang Marine
National Parks in Phang Nga, Sirinat Marine National Park in Phuket, Koy Lek island in Satun,
the Khram, E-Ra, Chan islands and other nearby islands in Sattahip Bay in Chon Buri, and Kra
island in Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Wannapa Phetdee
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2007/07/21/national/national_30041810.php
..............................................




                                                                                                    32
The Nation, Thailand : Scientists alarmed at rusty reefs
Sinking Bangkok garbage trucks in Gulf 'could harm ecosystem'

Marine scientists are worried about a Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and Fisheries
Department plan to ditch old refuse-collection vehicles into the Gulf of Thailand to form
artificial reefs.

Kasetsart University expert Thorn Thamrongnasawadi said marine ecosystems in the South
could be damaged by the dumping.

"We have to consider what and how much we are dumping into the sea before we start," he said.

Thorn is afraid iron in the lorries will pollute the sea when it rusts and harm ecosystems.
Nevertheless, he is not 100 per cent against the idea of "man-made reefs".

But he demands they be well designed and built by marine experts.

Fisheries Department director-general Jaranthada Karnasuta insisted officials and Prince of
Songkhla University scientists would closely monitor the project.

"Don't be afraid about rust - it is iron oxide; a natural mineral," said Jaranthada.

He added it would not be the first time man-made objects had been dumped into the sea to
create artificial reefs. Each year the department constructs concrete reefs in the gulf. Five years
ago, several hundred train carriages were dumped off the Narathiwat coast. All potential toxic
substances were removed before they were sunk, he said.

Some 200 decommissioned Bangkok city refuse-collection and water vehicles were recently
loaded aboard vessels bound for Pattani.

Jaranthada said they would be sunk off the Pattani coast tomorrow.

The reefs they create will become a habitat for fish and other marine life and sustain small-scale
fishing, he added.
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2007/07/11/national/national_30040303.php
...........................................
Bangkok Post : Island's waste problem mounting
APINYA WIPATAYOTIN

Phuket _ The rubbish problem on this tourist island could soon get out of hand because the
Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has rejected a proposal to build a second waste
incinerator, the Phuket Municipal Authority (PMA) has warned. Prachoom Suriya, director of
the PMA's health and environment department, said the municipality had to deal with more than
500 tonnes of waste each day.

The existing incinerator could handle only 250 tonnes. The rest was being sent to a 129-rai
dump which would be filled by the end of the year.
The landfill had been in use since 1993 and had the capacity to take about one million tonnes of
garbage.




                                                                                                  33
''One incinerator is not enough to handle Phuket's waste. We need one more to deal with the
rapidly increasing amount of rubbish,'' Mr Prachoom said.

The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, under the ministry,
recently rejected a proposal to build a second incinerator capable of handling about 250 tonnes
of garbage a day.

The agency said there was no guarantee a second incinerator, which would cost about 1.3
billion baht, would help the resort island cope with the increasing mountains of garbage.

Phuket has been declared a ''pollution control zone,'' which requires local authorities, with the
help of the ONEPP, to come up with a plan on environmental protection and pollution control.

Pollution Control head Supat Wangwongwatana said during an inspection of garbage facilities
in Phuket over the weekend that there was no need to build a costly incinerator to deal with the
problem.

''Phuket's garbage problem can be sorted out simply by effective waste management, including
garbage reduction, separation and recycling,'' he said. To support the city's garbage
management, the department had included an action plan on garbage reduction in the five-year
environmental protection plan for Phuket, starting this year, Mr Supat said.

Under the plan, Phuket's garbage will be reduced by 15% by 2009.

The PMA, however, disagreed with the plan.

''Phuket's garbage problem has reached a point of crisis. It cannot be solved by a recycling or
waste reduction campaign.

''We need an emergency solution, not the long-term ones,'' he said.

The amount of rubbish had rapidly increased, mostly from residents in the municipality area, he
said. Phuket residents and tourists are expected to generate over 1,000 tonnes of garbage and
other waste a day in the next 10 years.
http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/23Jul2007_news06.php
…………………………………
Courier Mail, Australia : Keys to climate
Dan Eady, July 21, 2007

'THE Australian Government is aware that its principal favoured technology for reducing gas
emissions, coal power with carbon capture and sequestration, will not be available for many
years. Therefore, to set a greenhouse target and to introduce carbon pricing to achieve it, would
benefit renewable energy technologies such as solar hot water, wind power and bio energy from
agricultural and plantation forestry residues.

"These are not favoured technologies, since unlike coal and uranium mining, the renewable
energy industry is still small and so cannot in the short term generate large profits and hence
large contributions to national revenue via company tax.




                                                                                                  34
"Furthermore, the small- and medium-sized companies comprising the renewable energy and
efficient use industries cannot afford to make large political donations."

These are the words of author Mark Diesendorf. They may also explain why he is a former
principal CSIRO research scientist.

So, with the muzzle off, Diesendorf is free to roam and rant. None of it is crazed or delusional
either. Rather, it makes perfect and logical sense.

Diesendorf believes that "a large reduction in greenhouse gases could be achieved from existing
technologies with small improvements".

However, he remains bewildered that "macroeconomic models of national economies are much
less realistic than climate models, yet politicians and some big businesses have high confidence
in the former".

This is backed up with some bluntness: "Humans are still completely dependent upon natural
processes for air, water and food, but live as if they were independent of them".

Yes, like David Strahan, acclaimed overseas author of The Last Oil Shock, Diesendorf is no fan
of neo-liberal economics either. He also reckons a major calamity lies within current
macroeconomic models as they "attempt to describe inherently non-linear phenomena by means
of a systems of linear equations". However, Diesendorf is not content with his own
observations. He also quotes The Stern Review, the research paper responsible for turning the
United Kingdom into a world frontrunner on curtailing the global crisis: "Climate change
presents a unique challenge for economics; it is the greatest and widest ranging market failure
ever seen".

With an Australian-centric focus on the climate crisis, Diesendorf's "how-to" manual takes place
in three parts.

Part A could be considered an introduction or review of the "human-induced greenhouse effect"
and the projected impacts of this on our economy, society, health and of course our
environment.

He describes the environment as a chair falling backwards. All life on Earth is currently sitting
in the chair.

At the moment the chair is slowly rocking backwards. As most children realise, this recline
cannot go on forever, there is a finite point of travel, a threshold, or a "tipping point".

At some time the chair will go past its balance point, out of control, things will accelerate. And
so, all life on Earth will be dumped from the chair.

Scientists believe that the inevitable impact may cause total annihilation of both the
environment and all the life it supports. It is here, through his own conservative study, A Clean
Energy Future for Australia, that Diesendorf takes aim at a solution.

He reckons that with slight modifications of current technologies, our country could halve its
carbon dioxide emissions from all forms of stationary energy by 2040. Although his focus is not




                                                                                                   35
on emissions resulting from transport and despite it being in line with leading European
countries, he admits that this plan will fall short. It will not be able to provide a stable and safe
environment for future generations.

However, it easily allows enough time for all current coal-powered stations to be phased out and
replaced with cleaner alternative forms of power generation.

Part B is by far the most expansive. It is an in-depth exploration into all the available
sustainable technologies.

With notable devotion, Diesendorf explodes the myth that wind power generation is
incompatible with mainstream electricity generation. Part C is a listing of international,
national, state and local government policies regarding climate change. From this there is a
conclusion that no one policy will provide the solution but that it must come from a mixture of
strategies, policies and actions.

Although it is no surprise that Diesendorf has little faith in the corridors of power, it is
refreshing that he provides a chapter "about facilitating social change to achieve a better society
and environment in the face of reluctance and even outright opposition by governments".

  It is a tome a little heavy in academic tone, terminology and acronyms.

Yet, for the organic learners among us, the coherent format, and sprinkling of creative analogies
enables robust levers towards understanding.

It should be compulsory reading for every voting Australian in 2007.
http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,22098721-5003424,00.html




                                                                                                        36
                                       UN DAILY NEWS

20 July 2007
_____________________________________________________________________________

Secretary-General calls for action to resolve crisis in eastern DR Congo

20 July - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for action to resolve the
crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo‘s (DRC) volatile eastern region, where some
700,000 people have been internally displaced.
―The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the deteriorating security situation in the South
and
North Kivu provinces in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo,‖ his spokesperson said
in a statement, pointing to the ―dire humanitarian consequences‖ there.
The statement called on all key players to use political measures to resolve the crisis, including
by carrying out a comprehensive strategy aimed at ensuring the extension of State authority and
the promotion of reconciliation, recovery and development in North and South Kivu.

―The Secretary-General urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and all
concerned to pursue an inclusive dialogue in the Kivus,‖ spokesperson Michele Montas said.
Mr. Ban also called on regional and international partners to support efforts to ease tensions in
the area, and encouraged the Governments of Burundi, the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda to fully
cooperate in addressing the root causes of instability.

Migiro sees progress in Iraq Compact but urges more international support

20 July - United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro today said a five-year
peace and development plan for Iraq has achieved progress but urged more global action in
support of its goals.
Ms. Migiro made her remarks in New York at a meeting on the International Compact with Iraq
convened to review its first progress report.
The report ―provides a good record of achievements over the past 12 months,‖ Ms. Migiro said,
adding that it contains a ―very useful account of the situation in Iraq, showing both progress and
constraints.‖
She acknowledged that the security situation remains the key factor. ―Given the context of
relentless violence in Iraq, the progress achieved thus far under the Compact initiative is
remarkable,‖ said Ms. Migiro.
The Deputy Secretary-General pointed to a number of achievements, including progress
towards establishing security forces dedicated to serving the country as a whole, legislative
actions and the UN-supported constitutional review process.

―While much has been achieved, much more needs to be done to bring Iraq closer to the vision
underpinning the Compact,‖
Ms. Migiro cautioned.
―The Compact partnership stems from the commitment of the Government of Iraq to carry out a
comprehensive programme of reforms and investments over the next five years. To do so, the
Government and people of Iraq require the sustained support of the international community in
every way possible,‖ she said.
In a foreword to the report, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki urges the donor community to
make good on announced commitments of financial and technical support and debt forgiveness.




                                                                                                37
―Forgiving Iraqi debt will have an immense impact on the lives of Iraqi citizens,‖ he writes. ―It
will also strengthen the economy and contribute to the establishment of stability in the country
and region.‖

Côte d’Ivoire: UN suspends contingent suspected of sexual exploitation

20 July - Acting on the findings of an internal investigation conducted by the United Nations
Mission in Côte d‘Ivoire (UNOCI) which revealed serious allegations of widespread sexual
exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers there, the world body has suspended the contingent
concerned, a spokesperson announced today.
The UN‘s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) is currently conducting a full
investigation, but the UN has decided to suspend the contingent‘s activities and has cantoned
the unit within its base, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.
―The United Nations reiterates its zero tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and abuse
and stresses its determination to work with our troop and police contributing countries to ensure
that all UN personnel are held accountable to the highest standards of behaviour,‖ she said.

Top UN rights official warns of deteriorating situation in West Darfur

20 July - The top United Nations human rights official today called on the Government of
Sudan to take immediate action to protect civilians residing in the west Darfur village of Bir
Dagig, where residents have faced human rights abuses and livestock theft.
The problem in the village started when a neighbouring Arab community accused villages of
stealing their livestock, a charge Bir Dagig villagers have denied, according to a spokesperson
for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Since the beginning of this month, a number of human rights abuses – mostly perpetrated by
armed men in military uniform
– were said to have been committed in the village, but the population of Bir Dagig has
complained of ill-treatment, especially against women and girls, since this January.
Although the Government had sent extra police to the area, they were withdrawn in April.
OHCHR spokesperson José-Luis
Diaz said in Geneva today that the Government pledged to the UN that it would investigate both
the livestock theft and human rights abuses, as well as redeploying police to Bir Dagig.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour urged the Sudanese Government to
re-establish a police presence
in the village and to meet its responsibility and commitment to complete investigations and
bring the guilty to justice.
In a related development, the UN and the African Union (AU) will hold consultations from 30
July to 2 August in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon‘s spokesperson, the two organizations will
finalize joint deployment plans, accountability structures and personnel generation for the
hybrid operation.
Two UNHCR Representatives – for Chad and for Sudan – today highlighted the massive
humanitarian challenges faced by both internally and externally displaced refugees.
Chris Ache, UNHCR Representative in Sudan, stressed that the Darfur region is only one of
five in the East African country, and each as ―special populations.‖




                                                                                                  38
For example, there are 2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing in the Khartoum
region, while in the west there is an additional 2 million – and UNHCR can reach only half a
million of them.

The Darfur conflict has spilled over into neighbouring Chad, which is facing its own refugee
problem. Since 2003, over
200,000 Darfurian refugees have crossed the border into Chad.
―The solution in Darfur is the solution that is needed in order for these people to be able to go
back home,‖ Serge Malé, Representative in Chad for UNHCR, told reporters at UN
Headquarters.

Another situation related to the Darfur crisis is a relatively new phenomenon – 170,000
Chadians have been internally displaced since early last year and both their numbers and needs
are increasing.
In the face of increased violence against humanitarian workers – some have been held hostage
while others have been carjacked – Mr. Malé stressed that 1,000 of these IDPs have been
violently killed, with over 100 villages having been wiped out.

Ban Ki-moon calls for efforts to break Ethiopia-Eritrea peace process stalemate

20 July - Pledging the support of the United Nations in efforts to resolve the stalemate between
Ethiopia and Eritrea, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the two countries to uphold
their commitment signed agreements.
They must ―respect the ceasefire and the integrity of the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ), and
refrain from any action that could undermine it or lead to an escalation of tensions between the
two countries,‖ Mr. Ban wrote in a new report to the Security Council made public today. He
voiced deep concern regarding the ―continuing serious violations‖ of the TSZ along the border
between the Ethiopia and Eritrea.

While calling on Eritrea to withdraw its troops and heavily military equipment from the TSZ, he
urged Ethiopia to deescalate the situation by withdrawing forces it has recently stationed near
the border.
Reiterating appeals from previous reports, the Secretary-General asked Eritrea to lift restrictions
it has imposed on the UN peacekeeping mission deployed – known as UNMEE – deployed in
the TSZ.
Mr. Ban also voiced concern for the continued impasse in the boundary demarcation process
between the two countries. The
Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission handed down a final and binding decision in 2002.

―I strongly urge both countries to take advantage of the Commission‘s advice and assistance
before it takes action to conclude its work at the end of November,‖ he noted.
Pledging his intention to ―do everything possible‖ for the implementation of the Algiers
Agreements – which ended the bloody war between the two countries – the Secretary-General
pointed out that Ethiopia and Eritrea ―bear the primary responsibility for a successful resolution
of their border dispute and the establishment of lasting peace between themselves.‖

In the report, Mr. Ban recommended that UNMEE‘s mandate, set to expire at the end of this
month, to be extended for six months until next January.

Fresh fighting forces thousands more to flee homes in Somalia




                                                                                                    39
20 July - The United Nations refugee agency today reported that renewed violence has forced
10,000 people to flee Mogadishu over the last week, reversing a trend where those displaced
from the conflict-torn Somali capital had been returning.
In the months of June and July, 20,000 people have returned to Mogadishu, but nearly 21,000
people have fled the daily violence during that period and the pace is rising, the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a news release.
There are now more people fleeing the capital daily than people arriving – 10,000 have left in
the last week, the agency estimated.

Only 125,000 of the approximately 400,000 civilians who fled the heavy fighting that raged in
Mogadishu between February and May have returned to the capital, according to figures
compiled by UNHCR and its partners.
The opening of the National Reconciliation Congress on 14 July has been followed by a series
of deadly attacks targeting locations where the conference, which was suspended for several
days, is taking place. The attacks have wounded and killed innocent bystanders, including
children, and prompted scores of others to flee.

―People are leaving the parts of the city where violence intensified in recent days, such as Suqa
Hoolaha, Mogadishu Stadium and Ali Kamin, as well as around the industrial street,‖ a
UNHCR staff member reported from Mogadishu.
While some families have come back to Mogadishu over the past weeks, hoping the violence
would diminish, many are considering leaving once more, the agency reported, pointing out that
attacks launched by anti-Government elements wound and kill civilians daily, while the
counter-attacks made by forces of the Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government
(TFG) often result in civilian deaths.
Some families cannot even afford to flee Mogadishu as they are too poor to pay for
transportation. Such is the case for many of the 3,000 internally displaced persons who have
been evicted by the authorities from public buildings where they used to live, sometimes for as
long as 16 years.
The United Nations has asked the TFG to halt the evictions and to help provide basic services
and find alternative solutions for these displaced people.
Last month, UNHCR airlifted relief items from its stockpile in Dubai to Mogadishu. This
assistance, which includes blankets, plastic sheets, jerry cans, and kitchen sets, will be delivered
to the most vulnerable people in the city.

Haiti: ECOSOC team urges investment in key sectors, boosting public institutions

20 July - Aiming to strengthen the economy in Haiti and promote stability there, a team from
the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is calling for investment in
tourism, agriculture and the textile and assembly industry.
In a report presented to ECOSOC today, the Ad Hoc Advisory Group dispatched by the Council
to Haiti in April also called for strengthening public institutions in order to enable Haiti to
optimize the major contributions announced by donor countries in recent months.

The report provides recommendations to the Government and the international community on
how to bolster development efforts in Haiti. The Group, headed by the Permanent
Representative of Canada to the UN, also includes the Permanent Representatives of Benin,
Brazil, Chile, Haiti, Spain and Trinidad and Tobago.




                                                                                                  40
―It is imperative that Haiti remains on the international agenda,‖ the report says, urging
continued international support to foster stability.

Poverty is endemic in Haiti, with 54 per cent of the population liv ing in extreme poverty. The
country also has the highest child and maternal mortality in the Western Hemisphere. Life
expectancy is 52 years and women are in general more vulnerable than men.
Evidence in the report makes clear that Haiti will not reach any of the Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs), a set of antipoverty targets to be achieved by 2015.

At the same time, the Group cited progress since its last visit to Haiti two years ago, noting
greater political stability and improved security. For example, the Group was able to visit the
notoriously dangerous Cité Soleil neighbourhood in Portau- Prince, which would have been too
dangerous in the past.
On the economic front, following a difficult period of negative growth and high inflation,
reforms instituted by the Government have led to an expected growth rate of 2.5 per cent for
fiscal year 2006 and a decrease in inflation from 38 per cent in 2003 to 8.6 per cent in February
2007.

These figures ―testify to the capacity of political authorities and the civil service to set up and
follow a sound economic policy,‖ according to the report.
While urging investment in key sectors of the economy, the report acknowledges that economic
growth alone is not enough, and calls for strengthening Haiti‘s State institutions. It also
recommends that the adoption of a national poverty reduction strategy and calls for coordination
mechanisms between donors and the Haitian Government as well as a system to track the
disbursement of pledge funds.

Nepal: second stage of monitoring of Maoist army personnel to resume – UN

20 July - The senior United Nations envoy to Nepal and the leader of the Maoists today agreed
on the resumption of the second phase of registration and verification of Maoist army personnel
– to ensure that no minors are serving – as soon as possible.
Both Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon‘s Special Representative Ian Martin, who also heads the
UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), and Maoist Chairman Prachanda were accompanied by
political and military colleagues at their meeting in the Himalayan country.

Military representatives will commence meetings to confer on lessons learned from the
verification at the Ilam cantonment site and will also talk about possibility reviewing disputed
cases, UNMIN said in a press statement.
The mission stressed that the review of a handful of cases could be based solely on criteria in
the Agreement on Monitoring the Management of Arms and Armies.
The mission said it expects the discharge of those found to be ineligible, and anticipated that the
Special Committee established by the Interim Government will give the process priority.

UNMIN teams completed the first phase of registering weapons and personnel in mid-February,
when more than 30,850 Maoist personnel were registered and 2,855 weapons were stored under
24-hour UN monitoring. An equivalent number of weapons of the Nepal Army was also stored
under UN-monitoring as part of this process.
In a related development, the first-ever report of the UN Electoral Expert Monitoring Team
(EEMT), which cited the security situation as posing the largest threat to the Constituent




                                                                                                 41
Assembly elections slated to take place later this year, was submitted this week to the Nepalese
Government.

The report of the EEMT – which operates independently of UNMIN – recommended that
political leaders reach agreement, including signing codes of conduct which will be distributed
widely among party activists, on security long before the elections take place.
EEMT was established by a Security Council resolution and comprises five members appointed
by the Secretary-General.

It is tasked with regularly assessing the electoral process to determine whether it will lead to a
result accurately reflecting the Nepalese people‘s will. The team visited the country from 11 to
23 June.
Its report sets benchmarks, based on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR), to assess the election‘s preparations. They include periodic elections, universal and
equal suffrage, the right to stand for public office and the right to vote.
EEMT noted that the upcoming election‘s representation formula meets democratic standards
and ensures both universal suffrage and the right to contest elections.
At the same time, the report expressed concern that the control of the political elites could be
bolstered and the free choice

Special Representative voters thwarted by Article 7 of the Constituency Assembly Members
Election Act, which stipulates that once results are ssues, the central party committee will
allocate winning seats from the proportional representation ballot to individual andidates.

UN body urges end to use of child soldiers in Uganda and Somalia

20 July - The Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict today adopted
recommendations regarding children in armed conflict in Uganda and Somalia, as well as
examining recent reports by the Secretary-General on the tuation in Chad and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The Working Group called on the Lord‘s Resistance Army in Uganda to unconditionally release
children used in their ranks.
―The LRA has ignored the repeated calls from the international community for too long and we
hope that they will now immediately undertake actions for the sake of these children,‖ said
Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

On Somalia, the Working Group appealed to the Government to ensure improved child
protection, and called on all parties to stop recruiting children and demobilize those serving as
soldiers.
Mr. Ban‘s report on children in the DRC observed that while significant progress has been made
by the Government to tackle the violation of children‘s rights, impunity for crimes committed
against children are cause for great concern.
―Children continue to be recruited and subjected to sexual violence,‖ Ms. Coomaraswamy
noted. ―Those who commit grave violations against the civilian population in open defiance of
the national and international authorities must be held accountable.‖

Regarding Chad, the Secretary-General‘s report emphasizes the grave violations against
children – who are recruited by all actions, killed and maimed by landmines and unexploded
ordnances and subject to sexual vio lence – at the centre of humanitarian disasters.




                                                                                                 42
Timorese president lauds UN Volunteers for election support

20 July - The President of Timor-Leste has congratulated the more than 250 United Nations
Volunteers (UNVs) from 70 countries who supported the country‘s elections this year.
José Ramos-Horta told a ceremony on 18 July that the commitment of the UNVs, who helped
the electoral process as it unfolded in recent months, ―is a true testament of the ideas and ideals
of the United Nations.‖
The UNVs working with the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) served as
elections advisers supporting logistics, voter registration, voter education and training. On
Election Day, the volunteers were on the ground throughout the country to help facilitate the
process.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon‘s Special Representative for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, said the
UNVs ―were the backbone of this operation.‖
UNMIT was tasked by the Security Council with supporting Timor-Leste in all aspects of the
2007 presidential and parliamentary electoral process.


Education for Iraqi children key to their country’s future, UN official says

20 July - A senior United Nations official traveling in Damascus has called for Iraqi refugee
parents to send their children to public schools in Syria, pointing out that these young people
hold the key to Iraq‘s future.
Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees L. Craig Johnstone made his comments on Thursday
as he continued his first visit to the Middle East for UNHCR.
―The Syrian government allows your children to register in public schools. Make the most of
this opportunity; send your children to school,‖ Mr. Johnstone told a gathering of more than 400
Iraqi refugees at the UNHCR Registration Centre in Damascus.

"The education of your children will secure the future of Iraq and the future of your families.
Spread the word – we want all
Iraqi families in Syria to know that they have the right to send their children to school," added
Mr. Johnstone, who arrived from Jordan on the second leg of his first visit to the region since
joining UNHCR in June.

His visit to main host countries Syria and Jordan coincides with the launch of a joint campaign
by the UN refugee agency and the UN Children‘s Fund (UNICEF) to increase the number of
Iraqi children in schools in Syria from the current 33,000 to 100,000 by the end of the 2007-08
school year.
An appeal last week for extra funds for UNHCR‘s Iraq-linked programmes noted that most Iraqi
children were not attending school. Outside Iraq, the agency plans to focus on education, health,
food, social and legal counseling and shelter for the refugees. A recent survey in Damascus
indicated that a significant number of children were not yet enrolled in school.

Mr. Johnstone voiced UNHCR‘s gratitude to the Damascus Government for offering refuge to
the estimated 1.4 million Iraqi refugees liv ing in Syria.
The UN refugee agency has been appealing for increased international support for the
Governments of both Syria and Jordan as they struggle to cope with the influx of refugees. In
last week‘s appeal, UNHCR issued a revised budget of $123 million for its programmes, up
from US$60 million in January.




                                                                                                    43
―UNHCR has already registered more than 150,000 Iraqis in the region and many of them have
special needs, including help in getting their children in school and serious medical problems.
The needs are enormous and these governments should not have to cope alone,‖ said Mr.
Johnstone.
Meanwhile, the displacement of Iraqis in the face of extreme violence continues unabated, with
a significant impact on the surrounding region. To date, over 4 million Iraqis have been
uprooted, according to UNHCR. The more than 2 million efugees in surrounding countries
include some who fled their country during the pre-2003 regime of Saddam Hussein. The
outflow has escalated in the past eighteen months.
The displacement continues at a rate of about 100,000 a month, the UN estimates.

IAEA welcomes European contribution for African nuclear security

20 July - Africa‘s nuclear and radiological safety will be reinforced thanks to a €7 million
contribution form the European Union (EU) to the United Nations International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA), the Viennabased body said today.
The donation is the largest ever made to the IAEA‘s Nuclear Security Fund, established to
bolster nuclear security globally in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the
United States.
―Nuclear science and technology offers great benefits but must be guarded against misuse,‖
IAEA Director General
Mohamed ElBaradei said, thanking the EU for its contribution which ―allows the Agency to
continue to work with its African Member States to improve nuclear security in the region and
beyond.‖

The recently received funding will support nuclear activities in 35 countries, including 27 in
Africa, helping to upgrade the physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities, secure
vulnerable radioactive sources and combat illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive
materials.
The IAEA will work with Ghana, South Africa, Morocco and Nigeria, among other countries, to
secure nuclear and radioactive materials and sites at risk of sabotage. South Africa, Sudan,
Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia and others will receive IAEA assistance in boosting their
capabilities to detect and respond to illicit trafficking. Azerbaijan, Cape Verde,

Comoros, Croatia, Swaziland, and the Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia are among
the countries to which the agency will provide support to strengthen national legislation and
regulatory infrastructures related to nuclear and radioactive material.
The latest contribution brings the total received to $53 million, but Mr. ElBaradei noted that
―the IAEA‘s nuclear security programme remained 90 per cent funded through unpredictable
and heavily conditioned voluntary contributions.‖

UN Goodwill Ambassador Julia Ormond spotlights problem of human trafficking

20 July - United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and renowned actress Julia Ormond has called
for global efforts to combat human trafficking, highlighting the need to address the root causes
that drive the problem.
A Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ms.
Ormond told a press briefing on Thursday that the problem is not widely understood.




                                                                                                 44
Although trafficking is chronic in South East Asia, much of Africa and the Indo-European
areas, human trafficking is ―something that is in all countries and in most trades [and] is the
largest growing global crime,‖ said
Ms. Ormond.

―The problem is bigger, is more widely spread and is more violent than commonly thought,‖
echoed Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of UNODC.
In response, legislation needs to be carried out not only by developing countries from where
victims originate, but also by developed countries from where a majority of demand stems, he
said.
Ms. Ormond urged UN Member States to devote more resources to addressing the scourge,
which she said is linked to the problem of terrorism.
Because ―it‘s enormously profitable... terrorists are using trafficking as a financial
resource…the same people who do trafficking in drugs and weapons do trafficking in people,‖
she said.

Pointing out that human trafficking ―undermines States and transcends national situations,‖
British Ambassador Emyr Jones
Parry said countries have a ―moral imperative‖ to fight it.
All three participants at the briefing called for measures improving education, fighting poverty,
and striving to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to deal with the root causes
of trafficking.

The UN Daily News is prepared at UN Headquarters in New York by the News Services
Section of the News and Media Division, Department of Public Information (DPI)
There must be solidarity and avoidance of shaming particular countries, Ms. Ormond
emphasized. ―None of us have done enough.‖
Although more and more governments are acknowledging the reality of the situation in their
own countries, Dr. Costa added that ―we can all do more.‖

New Harry Potter book to set postal record, UN agency says

20 July - The United Nations Universal Postal Union (UPU) announced today that tomorrow‘s
release of the last book in the
Harry Potter series will result in the largest-ever delivery of identical books on the same day
worldwide.
Over 2.4 million copies of the latest Harry Potter book will be distributed tomorrow in the
United States, Canada and Great
Britain, with additional copies of the German version to be delivered when released in Germany
and Switzerland in October.
The agency based this estimate on surveys conducted in its Member States, emphasizing that
postmen and women are the ones who deliver copies of the final novel in the Harry Potter
series, entitled ―Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,‖ which oes on sale on 21 July.
In the US, 1.8 million Harry Potter books will be delivered, 80,000 by Canada Post in Canada,
while in the UK, the Royal Mail will distribute 600,000 copies, with approximately one in 43
households receiving the book.

E-commerce and the postal sector have partnered up, as most books ordered online will be
shipped by post, the UPU said in a news release.




                                                                                                  45
Since the release of the first of the seven-book series in 1997, e-commerce has blossomed, with
the postal sector becoming increasingly prominent in the distribution chain. Globally, the
number of ordinary packages sent surged 11 per cent, representing a total of 6 billion parcels, or
16 million package delivers per day.
To fulfil all deliveries, postal operators have adopted innovative solutions. The German and
Swiss postal services began distributing books shortly after midnight in 2003 and 2005, and
plan to do the same this year. Employees of the Swiss Post observed that many people who had
forgotten that they had ordered the book were extremely surprised to see the postman making a
delivery in the middle of the night.

In addition to setting a record in deliveries around the world, the fictional wizard has been
immortalized in postage stamps in France, Australia and the UK.
The UPU, based in Berne, Switzerland, is the world‘s second-oldest international organization,
created in 1874. The agency acts as the primary forum for cooperation between postal systems
worldwide.

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




                                                                                                46
  DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE
                           SECRETARY-GENERAL
20 July 2007
_____________________________________________________________________________

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

       Good afternoon, all.

       **Guests at Noon

        Our guests at noon are Serge Male, UNHCR Representative in Chad, and Chris Ache,
UNHCR Representative in the Sudan, who will brief you today on the situation of refugees in
eastern Chad and Darfur, as well as provide updates on humanitarian development and
challenges in that region.

       ** Iraq Compact

        Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro this morning opened the meeting taking
place in Conference Room 4 to review the progress by the Iraqi Government regarding its
commitments under the International Compact with Iraq.

        She said that the report on Iraq‘s progress demonstrates the commitment of the
Government of Iraq to the agenda of the Compact and provides a good record of achievements
over the past 12 months. The security situation remains the most significant determining factor
in the implementation of the Compact, she said, adding that, given the context of relentless
violence in Iraq, the progress achieved thus far is remarkable. We have her remarks upstairs.

        Special Representative for Iraq Ashraf Qazi noted that the Government had initiated the
great majority of its actions that are obligated under the Compact, although it will take time for
them to have their full impact and for this to be visible. We have more details on today‘s event
upstairs.

        Ibrahim Gambari, the Secretary-General‘s Special Adviser on the International Compact
with Iraq and Other Political Issues, will talk to you when the meeting wraps up around 1 p.m.,
along with the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Sinan Al-Shibibi.

       **Secretary-General‘s Statement on Democratic Republic of Congo

      We have a statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-
General on the situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

        The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the deteriorating security situation in the
South and North Kivu provinces in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is
particularly troubled by the dire humanitarian consequences, which include internal
displacement of some 700,000 persons in the region.

        The Secretary-General calls on all key actors to undertake political measures to resolve
the crisis, including through the implementation of a comprehensive strategy aimed at ensuring




                                                                                                   47
the extension of State authority and the promotion of reconciliation, recovery and development
in North and South Kivu. The Secretary-General urges the Government of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo and all concerned to pursue an inclusive dialogue in the Kivus.

        The Secretary-General calls on regional and international partners to support efforts to
ease tensions in the area. He encourages the Governments of Burundi, the Democratic Republic
of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda to fully cooperate in addressing the root causes of instability
in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the broader region.

       We have the statement upstairs in French and English.

       **ONUCI

       Another statement attributable to the Spokesperson on suspensions of UNOCI
contingent.

         An internal investigation by the United Nations Operation in Côte d‘Ivoire (UNOCI) has
revealed serious allegations of wide-spread sexual exploitation and abuse by a UN military
contingent serving in Bouake, Côte d‘Ivoire. A full investigation by OIOS is under way, but
due to the serious nature of the allegations, the United Nations has taken the decision to suspend
all activities of the contingent and has cantoned the unit within its base. The United Nations
reiterates its zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and abuse, and stresses its
determination to work with our troop- and police-contributing countries to ensure that all UN
personnel are held accountable to the highest standards of behaviour.

       [This was later issued as a press release from DPKO, not as a Secretary-General
statement.]

       **Security Council

       The Security Council has met this morning and begun consultations to discuss the
revised draft resolution concerning Kosovo.

       **Quartet

        On the Quartet, the Secretary-General, yesterday evening in Lisbon, met with the other
principal members of the Quartet for the Middle East and with newly appointed Quartet
representative Tony Blair and, in a press conference afterward, he read out a joint statement on
their behalf. In that statement, the Quartet welcomed President Bush‘s 16 July statement
renewing US commitment to a negotiated two-State solution, and supported his call for an
international meeting in the fall. The Quartet looks forward to consultations as the meeting is
prepared.

      The joint statement also said that the Quartet expressed its deep concern over the
humanitarian conditions in Gaza and agreed on the importance of continued emergency and
humanitarian assistance. We have the full statement upstairs.

       The Secretary-General is on his way back to New York.

       ** Sudan




                                                                                                48
        The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said it had received
reports from human rights officers in the Sudan of a marked deterioration in the situation in a
village called Bir Dagig in West Darfur. A number of human rights abuses were said to have
been committed in the village, mostly by armed men in military uniform, since 1 July, including
abuses, particularly against women and girls. The Government had initially deployed extra
police to the village, only to withdraw them completely in April 2007.

        The High Commissioner‘s Office said there was concern that this was symptomatic of the
inability or unwillingness of the Sudanese Government to protect civilians. In two visits to the
village since 1 July, UN human rights officers had documented forced abductions, beatings and
acts of gender-based violence. Just Wednesday, UN personnel had been on the ground in Bir
Dagig, but had had to withdraw due to insecurity in the village. The High Commissioner urged the
Government of Sudan to act immediately on pledges it had made to re-establish a permanent police
presence in Bir Dagig and to provide effective protection to the civilians. She also urged the
Government to fulfill its responsibility and its stated commitment to investigate complaints of
livestock theft and human rights abuses and to bring to justice in fair trials perpetrators of human
rights abuses in Bir Dagig.

       On the peacekeeping front, in following up on a meeting the Secretary-General had last
Friday with African Union Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konaré, the UN and AU will
be holding consultations in Addis Ababa next week (30 July-2 August) to finalize joint
deployment plans, accountability structures and personnel generation for the hybrid operation.

        The Secretary-General, meanwhile, has officially welcomed the constructive outcome of
the broadly attended meeting in Tripoli aimed at paving the way for comprehensive political
negotiations. The Secretary-General said he was determined to move forward expeditiously
with the implementation of the road map for the political process in Darfur, and strongly called
on all parties to engage in good faith in forthcoming political negotiations in order to achieve
lasting peace and bring this terrible tragedy to an end.

       **Ethiopia-Eritrea

         The Secretary-General‘s latest report on Ethiopia and Eritrea is out on the racks today. In
it, he says that the military situation in the Temporary Security Zone between the two countries
remains tense and potentially unstable, with Eritrea maintaining some 400 troops in the Zone and
expanding restrictions on the movement of UN peacekeepers within it. Ethiopia, for its part, has
deployed troops along the border, and conducted military training exercises in an area including
the surroundings of the disputed village of Badme. The Secretary-General also notes, with
regrets, that no progress has been made in the implementation of the decision of the Boundary
Commission.

         In conclusion, he appeals to both countries to live up to the various agreements signed
between them to end the armed conflict and to implement the decision of the Boundary
Commission. He urges Eritrea to withdraw its troops from the Temporary Security Zone and
lift restrictions on UN peacekeepers. The Secretary-General also recommends an extension of
the mandate of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea for an additional 6 months, until January
2008.

       ** Somalia




                                                                                                 49
        Turning to Somalia, the UN refugee agency reports that, this week, for the first time
since June, more people left Mogadishu than returned back to the city. Over 10,000 people fled
the city due to ongoing insecurity and sporadic violence.

         The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also says the
restrictions on daily activities for most of the Mogadishu population had severe impact on the
livelihoods of the vulnerable population. OCHA also says that, with the start of the National
Reconciliation Conference, the security situation deteriorated.

       **Economic and Social Council

         The Economic and Social Council this morning in Geneva began consideration of its
agenda item on coordination, programme and other questions, under which it reviewed reports
of its coordination bodies and reports of the Ad Hoc Advisory Groups on Haiti and Guinea-
Bissau. On Haiti, delegates said there were emergencies in Haiti -- administration, drinking
water, unemployment, the lack of infrastructure, among others -- and remedying these would
bring Haiti into the situation of other countries in the region where it could benefit from the
tourism potential. The gains that Haiti had made within the past years were modest, but
heartening, and it was crucial that impetus towards greater achievement was not slowed.
Haiti‘s partners would, in the future, have to make additional efforts to remedy the situation --
there was an urgent need for intervention by the international community.

        On Guinea-Bissau, delegates said that the Government continued to face many daunting
socio-economic problems, which were summarized in the report. The challenges experienced
by Guinea-Bissau in consolidating the gains made in its post-conflict transition required the full
engagement of both the regional and international communities. The report noted that the
challenges faced by Guinea-Bissau should be addressed on an urgent basis to avoid violent
conflict.

       ** Burundi

        We also have a humanitarian update on Burundi. In the last week, 840 Burundian
refugees have returned from Tanzania, marking the first repatriation since the United Nations
refugee agency (UNHCR) announced a cash grant programme to promote these returns. In light
of these returns, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says additional
homes must be built. OCHA, along with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),
is currently working with Government and non-governmental agencies to form a commission on
the repatriation and reintegration of Burundian returnees.

       ** Nepal

         The Secretary-General‘s Special Representative for Nepal, Ian Martin, met today with
the Maoist Chairman, Prachanda, and they reached agreement to prepare to resume the second
stage of registration and verification of Maoist army personnel as soon as possible. Military
representatives will now meet to exchange views on lessons learned from the verification at the
first cantonment site in Ilam, and to consider the basis for a possible review of disputed cases.

      Also, the Secretary-General has submitted the first report of the UN Electoral Expert
Monitoring Team (EEMT), which operates independently from the UN Mission in Nepal. The




                                                                                                    50
team is of the view that the security situation remains the most serious threat to the electoral
process. It recommends that political leaders be encouraged to come to an agreement on
security long before the elections, including the signing of appropriate codes of conduct to be
widely distributed among party activists. We have two press releases available upstairs.

       **Children and Armed Conflict

        The Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radikha Coomaraswamy,
welcomes the recommendations adopted yesterday by the Security Council working group on the
situation of children affected by conflict in Somalia and Uganda. Concerning Uganda, the
Special Representative says the recommendations send a strong message to the Lord‘s Resistance
Army for the unconditional release of the children used in their ranks. On Somalia, the working
group urged all parties to stop recruiting children and to take measures to demobilize those who
have been recruited. We have a press release also on that upstairs.

       **Harry Potter

        And on a lighter note, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) is also joining Potter-mania, as
millions of copies of the seventh and final Harry Potter novel will go on sale 21 July. UPU --
the primary forum of cooperation between Posts -- says that never before in the history of the
postal service will postmen and women the world over have delivered so many identical books
on the same day. And we have a press release upstairs, which explains how postal services in
different countries have prepared for this.

       **Week Ahead

        We also have for you the Week Ahead. I will just flag that on Monday, you have the
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women marking its twenty-fifth
anniversary. On Tuesday, our gues at the noon briefing will be John Holmes, Under-Secretary-
General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. He will brief you on
humanitarian crises in southern Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere. And
then, the General Assembly will hold a plenary meeting to elect the 21 Vice-Presidents of its sixty-
second session and to appoint members of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU). And then on Thursday,
the Secretary-General will be travelling to San Francisco from 26-27 July for the sixty-second
anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, and he will be meeting with the Governor of
California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to discuss climate change issues.

       This is all I have for you.

       **Questions and Answers

       Question: On Iraq; today, the American Ambassador made the case that the United
Nations should get involved more than ever before and that a new envoy has to be appointed.
 Do you have any idea who will be the new envoy and how much of United Nations
involvement does the Secretary-General see?

        Spokesperson: On who the next appointee will be, I don‘t know. We don‘t have that
information yet. As you know, Mr. Qazi‘s mandate expires on 7 August. As the Secretary-
General himself has said when he was in Washington, the United Nations wants to do what it
can to help Iraq. What he has said at the same time, however, is that any broader role would




                                                                                                   51
have to be in accordance with the wishes of the Iraqi Government and people, and also very
carefully weighted against the security implications for UN staff. This is what he said
repeatedly. The Security Council will be looking at the renewal of UNAMI‘s mandate next
month, and we expect this kind of issue to be discussed thoroughly at that time by the Security
Council. I think I should underline also that the United Nations already plays an important role
and, if you have been following the meeting still going on of the Compact with Iraq, then you
realize that there are things being done by the UN on the ground.

        Question: I am very interested to know the comments of Mr. Ban Ki-moon on the move
of holding parliamentary and presidential elections in the Palestinian Territory. How far does
he believe such a step could aggravate or resolve the internal Palestinian crisis?

       Spokesperson: We don‘t have a specific reaction to that at this point. However, you
know what the position of the Secretary-General has been: He talked about the fact that there
should not be two separate territories, Gaza and the West Bank. He has been saying that there
should be joint discussions for one Palestinian State. The elections are part of the whole
governance issue, and I am sure that the Secretary-General would support the elections.

        Question: Does he support drawing the Hamas also in the negotiations process to hold
the elections?

       Spokesperson: Well, we don‘t have any reaction at this point on those specific issues.

        Question: There is some talk about the readiness of the Israeli forces to invade the Gaza
Strip to kick out Hamas. What is the comment of Mr. Ban Ki-moon?

     Spokesperson: Those are reports he is not commenting on at this point. We are not
commenting on reports from the press.

       Correspondent: This could happen in a week or two.

        Spokesperson: Well, this is what you are saying – -- might know more than we do at
this point.

        Question: On Kosovo, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, after meeting with Ban Ki-
moon, was quoted saying he hopes the Secretary-General will assist in resolving it under
international law and the parties‘ consensus. So I guess, they discussed it. Is there any response
by Ban Ki-moon? Is he just as strong in a sense that the Ahtisaari plan should be followed,
even if there is no consensus?

        Spokesperson: Well, right now the whole process is in the Security Council. The
Secretary-General will not intervene in this right now. This is a matter for the Security Council
to resolve. The Secretary-General has already expressed his views, he has already submitted a
report, his Special Representative, Mr. Ahtisaari, has spoken at the Council, so now the process
is unfolding in the Security Council.

        Question: It seems that the sponsors of the resolution have said that the process is no
longer in the Security Council, that they are going to try it through the Contact Group. So I just
wonder if that is going to change anything in terms of Secretary-General maybe becoming more
involved in trying to…




                                                                                                52
        Spokesperson: I cannot speak on it at this time -- what the Secretary-General will do on
this issue. I can say, though, that he is concerned about it. He has been talking about Kosovo
over and over again in the last few weeks, and he is very aware of what is happening and he has
expressed his views on it.

       Question: There was this letter by the Democratic People‘s Republic of Korea to Ban
Ki-moon about something in Japan, where they claim that the general association of Korean
residents of Japan had some problem in Japan. They say that they wrote to Ban Ki-moon and
asked for his assistance. Has he gotten the letter, has he responded to it?

       Spokesperson: I am not aware of it.

       [The Spokesperson later confirmed receipt of the letter.]

       Then we‘ll have our guests today, Mr. Serge Male, Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative in Chad, and Chris Ache, UNHCR
Representative in the Sudan, and they will brief you on the situation of refugees in eastern Chad
and Darfur.

                                             * *** *




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