jueves, 12 de agosto de 2010

Climate change: Pakistan, Russia, China, Greenland “ The extreme phenomenons will be more frequent”

Le réchauffement de la planète est-il devenu une réalité ? Des phénomènes climatiques exceptionnels bousculent des pays entiers. En Russie, une canicule inédite a favorisé des incendies majeurs, le Pakistan est dévasté par des pluies diluviennes et au Groënland, c'est un gigantesque morceau de banquise qui a pris le large. Pour Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice-président du Groupe d'experts intergouvernemental sur le climat (GIEC) et chercheur à l'Université catholique de Louvain, ces phénomènes climatiques extrêmes sont en accord avec les prévisions du GIEC sans toutefois pouvoir être reliés avec certitude au réchauffement de la planète.

martes, 10 de agosto de 2010

Arab World´s concerns about climate change

The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) disclosed a memorandum on the preparations for the climate change negotiations at the Cancun Summit in December. AFED also presented the main results of its report on "Impact of Climate Change on Arab Countries." AFED Secretary General Najib Saab presented the memorandum that AFED had addressed to Arab governments on the upcoming Cancun climate change summit, saying that: "The role that Arab countries should play towards achieving practical results and effective agreements is not merely an obligation, but a real necessity for the Arab region, which has an undisputable interest in an international binding agreement to mitigate climate change as well as to adapt to its serious impacts, especially that the Arab region is among the most affected by it. In order for Arab countries to benefit from the international support which they need to adapt to the effects of climate change, they need to play a constructive role in achieving an effective international treaty when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012." AFED concluded by affirming that "Challenges facing the Arab world due to climate change are immense, but we believe that it is possible to succeed if Arab countries undertake fast and efficient steps, primarily in their own interest and for their benefit, especially in the fields of water and energy". AFED also hoped that the Cancun conference "Will be a chance to affirm a constructive and effective Arab presence, so that Arabs, as major stakeholders, can be full partners in arriving at the needed decisions." Further information on EMWIS website.

lunes, 9 de agosto de 2010

UN declares the right to clean drinking water as a fundamental human right

Euro-Mediterranean Information System on the know-how in the Water Sector
( ENWIS), a program of the Union for the Mediterranean, informs in July-August 2010 that “The 3rd Commission of the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations made history last 28th July by overwhelmingly adopting the draft resolution proclaiming the Human Right to Safe drinking Water and Sanitation. Presented by Bolivia and 34 other States, the resolution received 122 voted in favour with no votes against and 41 abstentions. The resolution that was adopted "declares the Right to Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right" It also "calls upon States and international organisations to provide Financial resources, capacity building and technology transfer, through international assistance and co-operation, in particular to developing countries, in order to scale up efforts to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all." Whereas another UN resolution on the 'right to development' set a precedent by acknowledging the Right to food and to clean water 10 years ago, this marks the first time a resolution entirely dedicated to the Right to water and sanitation is adopted and by such an important number of countries, including industrialized. It also goes further than the previous resolution by proclaiming sanitation a human right and by clarifying the Right to water. A resolution has no binding mechanisms attached to it like a Convention or a protocol would. However, it carries tremendous political weight, enough to provoke harsh negotiations between States, to help advance key issues on the international agenda and to trigger national endorsements”.
About 1.5m children under five die each year from water and sanitation-related diseases. The text of the resolution said that 884m people have no access to safe drinking water and more than 2.6bn lack access to basic sanitation.
Abstaining countries said the resolution could undermine a process in the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva to build a consensus on water rights.
Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and Botswana were among the countries which abstained from voting.
China, Russia, Germany, France, Spain and Brazil were among those supporting the resolution.

The UN declaration that right to safe and clean drinking water is a fundamental human right can be considered as a brilliant victory for all the humanity.