By Jutta Wolf | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BONN (IDN) – A huge amount of some 5.7 trillion US dollar – 5,700,000,000,000 – is required yearly to build a green infrastructure by 2020 in order to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees C, a new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates.
Developing countries in particular are in pressing need of adequate funds to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) plays an important role in providing the necessary funding. Continued warming from the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere is projected to have substantial adverse impacts on the environment, human health and the economy.
By Ramesh Jaura | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - When representatives of 194 States and the European Union, which are parties to one of the landmark global conventions, meet in the Namibian capital Windhoek from September 16 to 27, they will focus on intensifying efforts for ushering in a world free of poverty generating DLLD – desertification, land degradation and drought.
The significance of this herculean task lies in the fact that unlike flood disasters and tsunamis, whose catastrophic impact is easily brought into drawing rooms around the world, land degradation befalls soil like creeping cancer and its appalling dimensions often elude the eye of a camera.
By Jutta Wolf | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY (IDN) - A special meeting of the 25 Members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) concluded in Bremerhaven, Germany, on July 16, 2013 without achieving any agreement.
The reason, according to the Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA), was the Russian delegation’s blocking of proposals for the two largest ocean sanctuaries in the world in pristine Antarctic waters. Subsequently, "an extraordinary opportunity to protect the global marine environment for future generations” had been lost, AOA's Steve Campbell said.
By IDN Global Desk
BERLIN (IDN) - Land and soil, which are finite resources and the essential bases of all food production, should be treated on par with energy, food and water as essential elements of sustainable development, says Tarja Halonen, co-chair of the UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, and a former President of Finland.
Though the debate on land and soil has been moving forward, "it is still lagging behind the climate and biodiversity processes, so we have to give it an extra push for the run-up to the discussions on the post-2015 agenda," she told UNCCD News, a bi-monthly update on the work of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
As India reels under the havoc caused by devastating floods in the country’s northern Himalayan region, the call by eminent environmental activist Vandana Shiva  for a new economic model that respects the planet and all species of life in a keynote address at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn on June 19, assumes an added significance. IDN is reproducing extracts of the speech transcribed by its partner Pressenza international press agency.
By Vandana Shiva* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
My home is in my heart and in my mind because I come from the Himalaya. 40 years ago ordinary peasant women came out and told the world something the world had forgotten; that somehow forests were connected to water because the market value of timber – and it was a German forester, who set up the system for the British in India on how to exploit forests – forests were just that much square foot of timber.
By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - While scientists and environmentalists watch the Arctic as a bellwether of global climate change, and nations and corporations seek to exploit its oil, gas and mineral reserves as well as new shipping routes, rapid and even abrupt changes occurring on multiple fronts across the polar region are threatening to cause irreversible impact on ecosystems and societies, according to experts.
By Jutta Wolf | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - The growing intensity, frequency and duration of droughts worldwide is a source of acute anxiety to secretariat of UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which was agreed in the aftermath of the severe drought in the Sahel in the 1970s and 1980s and continues to be key to global efforts to combat desertification.
Together with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UNCCD therefore organised a High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy in Geneva, Switzerland, to impress on stakeholders that they urgently need to take action.
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
BERLIN (IDN) - Some 600 scientists, government officials and representatives of civil society organizations are gathered in Bonn to carry out the first ever comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of desertification, land degradation and drought. During the meetings, concluding April 19, governments will for the first time also provide concrete data on the status of poverty and of land cover in the areas affected by desertification in their countries.
By Luc Gnacadja* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
There is widespread agreement that sustainable forest management on a global scale is not achievable without halting land degradation. But this view is not shared by the rationale and focus of the tools and mechanisms designed during the past decade to promote and incentivize sustainable forest management.
As if to prove the point, the global coalition of the willing has been putting its money and effort into saying “Yes we can achieve sustainable forest management on a global scale without halting land degradation.”
“What if we change this state of affairs?” asks UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja. “Can the economy and the business community benefit from such a change?” he adds and elaborates "on the nexus of land degradation and sustainable forest management" and highlights the specific case of drylands.
By Will Hickey* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
DAEJEON (IDN) - One reason behind greater pollution leading to global warming has been artificially lowered gas prices brought by subsidies. Governments have carried on this shortsighted policy to foster growth and satisfy consumers. But as world fuel prices begin rising again, the costs of subsidy – both budgetary and environmental – will come to the fore. While the much-talked-about carbon tax remains unpopular with consumers, curbing producer subsidies that encourage fossil fuel consumption could be a more effective way to fight environmental challenges.
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN (IDN) - Climate negotiators from around the world are wading through a jungle of multifarious vested interests to pave the way for substantive and forward-looking agreements at the next United Nations climate change conference from November 26 to December 7, 2012 in Doha, the capital of meanwhile ubiquitous soft power Qatar.