By Valentina Gasbarri | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
NEW YORK (IDN) - The threat that climate change poses to peace, security and sustainable development has led to the general recognition of the significance and the urgency of an integrated multi-dimensional approach to analysing the impact of environmental challenges, to address them creatively and build resilient societies worldwide.
Climate change is a problem requiring new and transformative solutions. In order to achieve the goal of sustainability, the role of public-policy makers, governments and international institutions as well as of the private sector and the academia is essential. Taking a cue from the United Nations, the first International Conference on Global Environment, Carbon Reduction, and Eco-Drive was held on October 17, 2014 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It was co-hosted by the World Association of Former United Nations Internes and Fellows (WAFUNIN), the ASUA Corporation of Japan and the Permanent Mission of Romania to the United Nations.
By Andrew Maddocks and Paul Reig*
WASHINGTON, DC (IDN | WRI) - The world’s 100 most-populated river basins are indispensable resources for billions of people, companies, farms, and ecosystems. But many of these river basins are also increasingly at risk.
As water demand from irrigated agriculture, industrialization, and domestic users explodes, major rivers on several continents are becoming so depleted that they sometimes fail to reach their ocean destinations. Add climate change, nutrient and chemical pollution, and physical alterations like dams and other infrastructure development to the mix and it’s clear that many communities rely on water resources that face an increasingly risky future.
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - The World Resources Institute (WRI) has greeted the European Commission’s announcement of a climate and energy package, which the 28-nation European Union (EU) heads of state would consider at their meeting on March 20-21. But the Institute points out that “the proposal does not yet ensure a clear pathway to a low carbon economy”.
By Antonia Sohns* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
WASHINGTON (IDN) - In October, Christiana Figueres, the head of the United Nations body tasked with producing a global climate treaty gave an impassioned speech during which she stated that future generations are being condemned by the lack of a global agreement. Political action is required to rectify the existing prejudice of development in favor of current generations, with disregard for the future. Intergenerational justice may be improved and sustainable development enhanced, by investing in youth and in using financial incentives to deter unsustainable practices.
By Jutta Wolf | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - Austerity policies in several countries around the world are denying work to millions of people and leaving vast production opportunities unused, says a new study by the German-based World Future Council (WFC), which places the value of lost production at 2.3 trillion U.S. dollars annually. This corresponds to Britain’s gross domestic product. Losses in the 18-nation Eurozone triggered by public austerity alone are estimated at a minimum of 580 billion Euros each year.
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.