GLOBAL CONDITIONS: GRAIN STORAGE AND CLIMATE

June 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Africa, Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, Science & Technology, Third World | Leave a comment

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NEW TOOLS NEEDED TO COPE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATIONS, UN AGENCY SAYS

New York, Jun 6 2011

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

NEW TOOLS NEEDED TO COPE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATIONS,UN AGENCY SAYS

Climate change will result in increased migrations and displacements of people, the head of the United Nations refugee agency said today, and the world needs to develop new methods to deal with it.

Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),http://www.unhcr.org/4decc5276.html told a conference on climate change and displacement in Norway that it has become increasingly clear that natural disasters and climate change cannot be regarded or addressed in isolation from the other global mega-trends that are conditioning the future of our planet and its people.

Population growth, urbanization, water, food, and energy insecurity will increasingly interact with each other and create the potential for competition and conflict over scarce natural resources, he said. As a result we are also likely to see growing numbers of people being displaced from one community, country and continent to another.

Mr. Guterres called on the countries which bear primary responsibility for climate change to establish a massive programme of support to the most seriously affected countries, thereby reinforcing the resilience of their citizens and their ability to adapt to the process of climate change.

I strongly believe that a viable approach would be to at least develop a global guiding framework for situations of cross-border displacement resulting from climate change and natural disasters, he said. UNHCR stands ready to support states in the development of such a framework, which could take the form of temporary or interim protection arrangements.

We could assist in the identification of scenarios in which such arrangements would be activated. And we could help to develop procedures and standards of treatment for affected populations, he said.

He also urged countries to switch from the usual emergency-mode response to natural disasters.

The billions of dollars spent on relief in recent decades have evidently not led to the sustainable strengthening of national and local capacities, he said.

Mr. Guterres spoke in Oslo at the Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement in the 21st Century, organized by Norway’s environment and foreign affairs ministries to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Fridtjof Nansen, the first High Commissioner for Refugees under the League of Nations.

Jun 6 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

NEW TOOLS NEEDED TO COPE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATIONS, UN AGENCY SAYS

http://www.unhcr.org/4decc5276.html

New York, Jun 6 2011

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

New York, Jun 5 2011

 SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

Sun, 5 Jun 2011

Investing a relatively small amount each year in the forestry sector could halve deforestation, create millions of new jobs and help tackle the devastating effects of climate change, according to a United Nations report released today to mark World Environment Day.

The report, “Forests in a Green Economy: A Synthesis,” finds that an additional $40 billion spent each year in the forestry sector — or just 0.034 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) — could result in substantial environmental improvements.

The rate of deforestation could be halved by 2030, the number of trees planted could rise by 140 per cent by 2050 and as many as 30 million new jobs could be created by that same year.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which issued the report, said forestry is one of the key sectors capable of helping the world transition to a ‘green economy’ model that is resource-efficient and low in its use of carbon.

“There are already many encouraging signals; the annual net forest loss since 1990 has fallen from around eight million to around five million hectares and in some regions such as Asia, the Caribbean and Europe forest area has actually increased over those 20 years,” he said.

The area covered by freshly planted forests has also grown from 3.6 million hectares in 1990 to just below five million hectares last year.

Jan McAlpine, the Director of the Secretariat of the UN Forum on Forests, said the capacity of poorer countries to switch to green economies and protect their stocks of forests needs to be strengthened.

“Encouraging a transition to green economies will require a broad range of financial, regulatory, institutional and technological measures,” she said.

Forests and the benefits they provide represent the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, which is marked every year on 5 June. This year is also
the UN-declared International Year of the Forests.

Celebrations are being held across the globe, including in India, which is this year’s designated host.

On Friday Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described forests as central to economic development, poverty reduction and food security.
“By reducing deforestation and forest degradation we can make significant progress in addressing the combined threats of climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation,” he said in a message to a forestry conservation meeting held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

Jun 5 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

New York, Jun 5 2011

 SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

Sun, 5 Jun 2011

UN CALLS FOR GRAIN STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE AFRICA’S POST-HARVEST LOSSES

New York, May 31 2011

UN CALLS FOR GRAIN STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE AFRICA’S POST-HARVEST LOSSES

Large amounts of food in sub-Saharan Africa goes to waste as a result of inappropriate storage, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a report unveiled today, which calls for investing in post-harvest technologies to reduce to the losses and boost the continent’s food security.

The joint FAO-World Bank report, entitled Missing Food: The Case of Postharvest Grain Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa, estimates the value of grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa at around $4 billion a year.

This lost food could meet the minimum annual food requirements of at least 48 million people, http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79444/icode/ said Maria Helena Semedo, the FAO Assistant Director-General. If we agree that sustainable agricultural systems need to be developed to feed 9 billion people by 2050, addressing waste across the entire food chain must be a critical pillar of future national food strategies, she said.

According to estimates provided by the African Postharvest Losses Information System, physical grain losses prior to processing can range from 10 to 20 per cent of African annual production, which is worth $27 billion.

Losses occur when grain decays or is infested by pests, fungi or microbes, and physical losses, but the waste can also be economic, resulting from low prices and lack of access to markets for poor quality or contaminated grain.

According to the report, food losses contribute to high food prices by removing part of the food supply from the market. They also have a negative environmental impact as land, water and resources such as fertilizer and energy are used to produce, process, handle and transport food that no one consumes.

Reducing food losses is increasingly recognized as part of an integrated approach to realizing agriculture’s full potential, along with making effective use of today’s crops, improving productivity on existing farmland, and sustainably bringing additional acreage into production, said Jamal Saghir, the Director of the Sustainable Development Department of the World Bank’s Africa Region.

A variety of practices and technologies are available for reducing post-harvest losses, including crop protectants and storage containers such as hermetically sealed bags and metallic silos, the report notes.

Those technologies have proved successful in Asia, but more research is needed to identify methods adapted to local environments in Africa. To succeed, interventions must be sensitive to local conditions and practices.

The report recommends that governments create enabling conditions for farmers by reducing market transaction costs through investing in infrastructure such as roads, electricity and water, and strengthening agricultural research and extension services.

May 31 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

UN CALLS FOR GRAIN STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE AFRICA’S POST-HARVEST LOSSES

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79444/icode/

New York, May 31 2011

NEW TOOLS NEEDED TO COPE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATIONS, UN AGENCY SAYS

New York, Jun 6 2011

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

NEW TOOLS NEEDED TO COPE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATIONS,UN AGENCY SAYS

Climate change will result in increased migrations and displacements of people, the head of the United Nations refugee agency said today, and the world needs to develop new methods to deal with it.

Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),http://www.unhcr.org/4decc5276.html told a conference on climate change and displacement in Norway that it has become increasingly clear that natural disasters and climate change cannot be regarded or addressed in isolation from the other global mega-trends that are conditioning the future of our planet and its people.

Population growth, urbanization, water, food, and energy insecurity will increasingly interact with each other and create the potential for competition and conflict over scarce natural resources, he said. As a result we are also likely to see growing numbers of people being displaced from one community, country and continent to another.

Mr. Guterres called on the countries which bear primary responsibility for climate change to establish a massive programme of support to the most seriously affected countries, thereby reinforcing the resilience of their citizens and their ability to adapt to the process of climate change.

I strongly believe that a viable approach would be to at least develop a global guiding framework for situations of cross-border displacement resulting from climate change and natural disasters, he said. UNHCR stands ready to support states in the development of such a framework, which could take the form of temporary or interim protection arrangements.

We could assist in the identification of scenarios in which such arrangements would be activated. And we could help to develop procedures and standards of treatment for affected populations, he said.

He also urged countries to switch from the usual emergency-mode response to natural disasters.

The billions of dollars spent on relief in recent decades have evidently not led to the sustainable strengthening of national and local capacities, he said.

Mr. Guterres spoke in Oslo at the Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement in the 21st Century, organized by Norway’s environment and foreign affairs ministries to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Fridtjof Nansen, the first High Commissioner for Refugees under the League of Nations.

Jun 6 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

NEW TOOLS NEEDED TO COPE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE MIGRATIONS, UN AGENCY SAYS

http://www.unhcr.org/4decc5276.html

New York, Jun 6 2011

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

New York, Jun 5 2011

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

Sun, 5 Jun 2011

Investing a relatively small amount each year in the forestry sector could halve deforestation, create millions of new jobs and help tackle the devastating effects of climate change, according to a United Nations report released today to mark World Environment Day.

The report, “Forests in a Green Economy: A Synthesis,” finds that an additional $40 billion spent each year in the forestry sector — or just 0.034 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) — could result in substantial environmental improvements.

The rate of deforestation could be halved by 2030, the number of trees planted could rise by 140 per cent by 2050 and as many as 30 million new jobs could be created by that same year.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which issued the report, said forestry is one of the key sectors capable of helping the world transition to a ‘green economy’ model that is resource-efficient and low in its use of carbon.

“There are already many encouraging signals; the annual net forest loss since 1990 has fallen from around eight million to around five million hectares and in some regions such as Asia, the Caribbean and Europe forest area has actually increased over those 20 years,” he said.

The area covered by freshly planted forests has also grown from 3.6 million hectares in 1990 to just below five million hectares last year.

Jan McAlpine, the Director of the Secretariat of the UN Forum on Forests, said the capacity of poorer countries to switch to green economies and protect their stocks of forests needs to be strengthened.

“Encouraging a transition to green economies will require a broad range of financial, regulatory, institutional and technological measures,” she said.

Forests and the benefits they provide represent the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, which is marked every year on 5 June. This year is also
the UN-declared International Year of the Forests.

Celebrations are being held across the globe, including in India, which is this year’s designated host.

On Friday Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described forests as central to economic development, poverty reduction and food security.
“By reducing deforestation and forest degradation we can make significant progress in addressing the combined threats of climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation,” he said in a message to a forestry conservation meeting held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

Jun 5 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

New York, Jun 5 2011

SPENDING MORE ON FORESTS COULD REAP ENORMOUS BENEFITS — UN REPORT

Sun, 5 Jun 2011

UN CALLS FOR GRAIN STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE AFRICA’S POST-HARVEST LOSSES

New York, May 31 2011

UN CALLS FOR GRAIN STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE AFRICA’S POST-HARVEST LOSSES

Large amounts of food in sub-Saharan Africa goes to waste as a result of inappropriate storage, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a report unveiled today, which calls for investing in post-harvest technologies to reduce to the losses and boost the continent’s food security.

The joint FAO-World Bank report, entitled Missing Food: The Case of Postharvest Grain Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa, estimates the value of grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa at around $4 billion a year.

This lost food could meet the minimum annual food requirements of at least 48 million people, http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79444/icode/ said Maria Helena Semedo, the FAO Assistant Director-General. If we agree that sustainable agricultural systems need to be developed to feed 9 billion people by 2050, addressing waste across the entire food chain must be a critical pillar of future national food strategies, she said.

According to estimates provided by the African Postharvest Losses Information System, physical grain losses prior to processing can range from 10 to 20 per cent of African annual production, which is worth $27 billion.

Losses occur when grain decays or is infested by pests, fungi or microbes, and physical losses, but the waste can also be economic, resulting from low prices and lack of access to markets for poor quality or contaminated grain.

According to the report, food losses contribute to high food prices by removing part of the food supply from the market. They also have a negative environmental impact as land, water and resources such as fertilizer and energy are used to produce, process, handle and transport food that no one consumes.

Reducing food losses is increasingly recognized as part of an integrated approach to realizing agriculture’s full potential, along with making effective use of today’s crops, improving productivity on existing farmland, and sustainably bringing additional acreage into production, said Jamal Saghir, the Director of the Sustainable Development Department of the World Bank’s Africa Region.

A variety of practices and technologies are available for reducing post-harvest losses, including crop protectants and storage containers such as hermetically sealed bags and metallic silos, the report notes.

Those technologies have proved successful in Asia, but more research is needed to identify methods adapted to local environments in Africa. To succeed, interventions must be sensitive to local conditions and practices.

The report recommends that governments create enabling conditions for farmers by reducing market transaction costs through investing in infrastructure such as roads, electricity and water, and strengthening agricultural research and extension services.

May 31 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

UN CALLS FOR GRAIN STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE AFRICA’S POST-HARVEST LOSSES

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79444/icode/

New York, May 31 2011

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GLOBAL CONDITIONS: CLIMATE CHANGE

June 13, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Posted in Africa, Development, Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, Third World | Leave a comment

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CLIMATE CHANGE-RELATED WATER SCARCITY TO AFFECT GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION – UN

New York, Jun 9 2011

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Thu, 9 Jun 2011

 CLIMATE CHANGE-RELATED WATER SCARCITY TO AFFECT GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION – UN

The world will increasingly experience water scarcity for agriculture as a result of climate change, a phenomenon that will affect the livelihoods of rural communities and the food security of urban dwellers, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a survey released today.

The impact of climate change on the availability of water include reduction in river run-off and aquifer recharges in the Mediterranean and the semi-arid areas of the Americas, Australia and Southern Africa, regions that are already showing signs of water stress, according to the FAO survey entitled “Climate Change, Water, and Food Security.”

In Asia, large areas of irrigated land that rely on snowmelt and mountain glaciers for water will also be affected, while heavily populated river deltas are at risk from a combination of reduced water flows, increased salinity, and rising sea levels.

The findings of the survey also show that an acceleration of the world’s hydrological cycle is anticipated as rising temperatures increase the rate of evaporation from land and sea. Rainfall will increase in the tropics and higher latitudes, but decrease in already dry semi-arid to mid-arid latitudes and in the interior of large continents.

A greater frequency in droughts and floods will need to be planned for, but already water scarce areas of the world are expected to become drier and hotter.

The report points out that even though estimates of groundwater recharge under climate change cannot be made with any certainty, the increasing frequency of droughts is expected to encourage further exploitation of available groundwater to boost production for farmers.

Loss of glaciers, which support around 40 per cent of the world’s irrigation, will eventually have an impact on the amount of surface water available for agriculture in key producing basins.

Rising temperatures will lengthen the growing season in northern temperate zones, but reduce the length almost everywhere else. Increased rates of crop moisture loss will also result in reduced yields.

“Both the livelihoods of rural communities as well as the food security of city populations are at risk,” “http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79964/icode/ said Alexander Mueller, the FAO Assistant Director General for Natural Resources. “But the rural poor, who are the most vulnerable, are likely to be disproportionately affected.”

The FAO report recommends that countries implement effective systems for “water accounting” thorough measurement of water supplies, transfers, and transactions to inform decisions about how water resources can be managed and used under increasing variability.

“Water accounting in most developing countries is very limited, and allocation procedures are non-existent, ad hoc, or poorly developed,” according to the survey. “Helping developing countries acquire good water accounting practices and developing robust and flexible water allocations systems will be a first priority.”

At the farm level, growers can change their cropping patterns to allow earlier or later planting, reducing their water use and optimizing irrigation. Yields and productivity can be improved by shifting to soil moisture conservation practices, including zero- and minimum tillage. Planting deep-rooted crops would allow farmers to better exploit available soil moisture, FAO recommends.

Mixed agro-forestry systems also hold promise. The systems both sequester carbon and also offer additional benefits such as shade that reduces ground temperatures and evaporation, added wind protection, and improved soil conservation and water retention.

Jun 9 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

CLIMATE CHANGE-RELATED WATER SCARCITY TO AFFECT GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION – UN

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/79964/icode/

New York, Jun 9 2011

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Thu, 9 Jun 2011

AFRICAN TRADE DIVERSIFICATION SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED – UN-BACKED REPORT

New York, Jun 6 2011

African countries should develop closer ties with both traditional and emerging partners, to boost sustainable and inclusive growth, according to a United Nations-backed report released today.

The report, African Economic Outlook 2011, said that “Africa is becoming more integrated in the world economy and its partnerships are diversifying, revealing unprecedented economic opportunities.”

The report, co-authored by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), also said that governments’ efforts need to include measures to create jobs, invest in basic social services and promote gender equality.

“New partners bring new opportunities for African countries. Defining national development priorities, trade, aid and investment is key to reaping the benefits of this new configuration,” said Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre.

In 2009, China surpassed the United States and became Africa’s main trading partner, while the share of trade conducted by Africa with emerging partners has grown from approximately 23 per cent to 39 per cent in the last 10 years, the report said.

While traditional partners, as a whole, still account for the largest proportion of Africa’s trade, investment and official development assistance, the report said that emerging economies can provide “additional know-how, technology and development experiences required to raise the standard of living for millions of people on the continent.”

Africa’s economies have weathered the global crisis relatively well and have rebounded in 2010. Recent political events in North Africa and high food and fuel prices are likely to slow the continent’s growth down to 3.7 per cent in 2011. During this year, sub-Saharan Africa will grow faster than North Africa.

“Africa is growing but there are risks. Urgent attention is needed to foster inclusive growth, to improve political accountability, and address the youth bulge,” said Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and Vice-President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

“Putting people first must go hand in hand with efforts to accelerate regional coordination and integration. Trade agreements that benefit the continent as a whole, unleash the full potential of the private sector and develop regional investment opportunities are the way forward,” the report said.
Jun 6 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

AFRICAN TRADE DIVERSIFICATION SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED – UN-BACKED REPORT

New York, Jun 6 2011  
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GLOBAL CONDITIONS: WORLD INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

June 13, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Africa, Asia, Development, Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, India, Third World, World-system | Leave a comment

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WORLD INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION ON THE RISE, UN REPORT FINDS

UNNews UNNews@un.org

New York, Jun 1 2011

World manufacturing output has grown by 6.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) reported today.

“The figure clearly indicates the progress of the recovery of world industrial production from the recent financial crisis,” UNIDO “http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/pressrels/2011/unisous085.html said, in the first edition of its new plan to report industrial statistics quarterly. Formerly the presentations were annual.
The report, based on an analysis of quarterly production data, said developing countries were in the lead with their manufacturing production increasing by 11.5 per cent. The major contribution to this growth was by China, with its output growing by 15 per cent.

Newly industrialized countries also performed well, with Turkey displaying a growth rate of 13.8 per cent, while Mexico’s was estimated at 7.4 per cent and India’s at 5.1 per cent.

The manufacturing output of industrialized countries increased by 4.4 per cent during the named period, with strong growth of 7.1 per cent observed in the United States, the world’s largest manufacturer.

Major European economies, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom, also demonstrated significant growth in manufacturing output. But other European countries, such as Greece, witnessed a 6.9 per cent drop, while Portugal and Spain maintained a marginal growth of less than one per cent.

Japan’s figures fell by 2.4 per cent. The full impact of the March Tsunami disaster was not yet reflected in manufacturing production data for the first quarter.

Negative growth was observed in North Africa, where the manufacturing output of Egypt and Tunisia fell by 8.9 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively.

The UNIDO report also contains the growth estimates for the first quarter by major manufacturing sectors. It suggests that production of general machinery has increased by more than 15 per cent, electrical machinery and apparatus by 12 per cent, and medical and precision equipment by 11 per cent.

While industrialized countries performed well in high-tech sectors, their growth in traditional manufacturing areas such as food and beverages, textile and wearing apparel was quite low. Developing countries maintained higher growth across all sectors.

Jun 1 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

WORLD INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION ON THE RISE, UN REPORT FINDS

UNNews UNNews@un.org

New York, Jun 1 2011

GLOBAL RECOVERY MUST START WITH THE POOR – UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Wed, 1 Jun 2011

New York, Jun 1 2011

GLOBAL RECOVERY MUST START WITH THE POOR – UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT

Unjustified cuts in aid to the poor during a financial crisis could violate human rights standards, and economic recovery must start with the most vulnerable, according to a United Nations human rights expert.

Magdalena Sepúlveda, the UN Independent Expert on human rights and extreme poverty, “http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11095&LangID=E told a Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva that “unjustified reductions in expenditures devoted to implementing public services that are critical to the realization of economic, social and cultural rights will be in violation of human rights standards.

“There is no space in human rights for a trickle-down approach,” she said on Monday. “From a human rights perspective, recovery must start with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.”

“Human rights are not expendable during times of crises and recovery. Even when resources are limited, States are legally bound to respect, protect and fulfil international human rights obligations,” Ms. Sepúlveda said. “The challenge of recovering from the global economic and financial crises is an opportunity to embrace a vision for the future aimed at the full realization of human rights.”

The independent expert said that several recovery measures adopted by States in the aftermath of the crises seriously jeopardize the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by the poorest and most vulnerable groups.

“Austerity measures such as cuts to social protection systems, regressive taxation measures, and elimination of food subsidies are proving detrimental to the poorest of the poor, exacerbating their already precarious situation,” Ms. Sepúlveda said.

Increasing inequalities and food insecurity, the declining availability of natural resources and unpredictable changes to climate patterns are likely to increase the potential for social unrest throughout the world, she said.

“Any recovery plan must anticipate these challenges and assume that there will be many more crises to recover from,” she said. “Only human rights-based change can directly address the long-term structural barriers to equality and set the foundations for a sustainable, socially inclusive society.”

Ms. Sepúlveda urged States to view the challenge of recovery as a unique opportunity to aim towards the full realization of all economic, social and cultural rights for all individuals.

“Through a human rights-based recovery, States have the chance to embrace new and ambitious approaches to reducing inequality, eliminating poverty and creating stable societies that will withstand future shocks.”

The expert’s report outlines a number of innovative measures to which States should lend serious consideration when formulating their economic recovery, including implementing a comprehensive social protection floor, adopting socially responsible taxation policies, and enhancing regulation that protects individuals from abuse.

Ms Sepúlveda, who serves in an unpaid and independent capacity, reports to the Human Rights Council. She has been in the current post since May 2008.
Jun 1 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

GLOBAL RECOVERY MUST START WITH THE POOR – UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11095&LangID=E

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Wed, 1 Jun 2011

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE KEY TO GREEN GROWTH, POVERTY REDUCTION – UN OFFICIALS

New York, Jun 1 2011

United Nations officials today called for boosting support for sustainable agriculture, including smallholder farmers, as a way to drive green growth and reduce poverty.

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the challenge of feeding more than nine billion people by 2050, along with tackling climate change and maintaining productive land and sufficient water resources require a “more intelligent pathway” for managing the world’s agricultural systems.

“Agriculture is at the centre of a transition to a resource-efficient, low-carbon Green Economy,” “http://www.ifad.org/media/press/advisory/2011/6.htm said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. “The challenge is to feed a growing global population without pushing humanity’s footprint beyond planetary boundaries.”

Mr. Steiner called for galvanizing support for smallholder farmers, who are an “untapped resource” in addressing food security and today’s environmental challenges.

Investments through official development assistance (ODA) are one way of stepping up support for this important group, as is scaling-up and accelerating government policies for unleashing investment flows from the private sector, he noted.

“Well-managed, sustainable agriculture can not only overcome hunger and poverty, but can address other challenges from climate change to the loss of biodiversity,” said the UNEP chief.

“Its value and its contribution to multiple economic, environmental and societal goals needs to be recognized in the income and employment prospects for the half a million smallholdings across the globe,” he added.

The world’s rural poor and especially farmers of the 500 million smallholdings in developing countries feed one-third of the global population and account for 60 per cent of global agriculture.

Smallholder farmers also provide up to 80 per cent of the food consumed in Asia and in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Smallholders in developing countries – the majority of them women – manage to feed 2 billion people, despite working on ecologically and climatically precarious land, with difficult or no access to infrastructure and institutional services, and often lacking land tenure rights that farmers in developed countries take for granted,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.

“Right now, we are squandering the potential of rural poor people to contribute to global prosperity. Investing in sustainable smallholder agriculture is a smart way to right this wrong,” he stated.

IFAD also stressed that investments in sustainable smallholder agriculture must go hand-in-hand with policy and institutional reforms, investments in infrastructure and improvements in market access. They must also be informed by the knowledge and needs of the rural poor.

On 5 June, UNEP will celebrate World Environment Day (WED) in India with one of the fastest growing economies in the world and whose 1.2 billion people continue to put pressure on land and forests, especially in densely populated areas where people are cultivating on marginal lands and where overgrazing is contributing to desertification.

This year’s theme – ‘Forests: Nature at Your Service’ – underscores the intrinsic link between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems.

Jun 1 2011

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE KEY TO GREEN GROWTH, POVERTY REDUCTION – UN OFFICIALS

New York, Jun 1 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

http://www.ifad.org/media/press/advisory/2011/6.htm

UNNews UNNews@un.org

New York, Jun 1 2011 

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