The environment in the news

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Wednesday, 18 June 2008

UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

  • (India): Big B wants 6.6 billion trees

  • Daily Nation (Kenya): Maize in reserves to last two months

  • Everest north side: When will the Chinese peaks open for climbing?

  • : La Poste et le PNUE lancent des timbres en faveur de la planète

Other Environment News

  • Guardian: Biggest ever forest protection fund targets Congo basin

  • Associated Press: McCain ad puts distance with Bush on environment
  • Associated Press: Bush begins effort to track state of environment

  • Times of India: GREEN GROSSER: Environment Inc

  • AFP: Japan PM says no mid-term climate target at G8 summit

  • Reuters: Major economies must take lead in climate battle: U.S.

  • Reuters: Brazil throws weight behind Amazon soy ban

  • Reuters: Australia food bowl areas "beyond repair in months"

  • Reuters: WWF urges Portugal to expand cork forests
  • AFP: Nigeria pledges 50 million dlrs to fight desertification

  • AFP: Rare polar bear sighting on Iceland

  • Guardian: Conflicts fuelled by climate change causing new refugee crisis, warns UN

Environmental News from the UNEP Regions

  • ROA

  • ROAP

  • RONA


  • ROWA

Other UN News

  • Environment News from the UN Daily News of 17 June 2008

  • Environment News from the S.G.’s Spokesman Daily Press Briefing of 17 June 2008

UNEP and the Executive Director in the News (India): Big B wants 6.6 billion trees

Speaking at the launch of his Unforgettable Tour that will see the likes of Preity Zinta, Ritiesh Deshmukh, Shilpa Shetty, Akshay Kumar, Madhuri Dixit and of course the Bachchan bachchas Abhishek and Aishwarya take centre stage, Amitabh Bachchan said that he is all set to rock with his fans all over the world.

“Sounding a little immodest I will say that I am the culprit behind this whole idea. I thing I initiated this way back in 1981 when I first went out with Kalyanji Anandji bhai. Then this trend continued for many years and we went on a major concert tour in 1983. And then I remember swearing that I would never do another concert again because of its strenuous nature. But then the call of the people…and the audiences and their warmth and love is so inviting that I ventured out again in 1990 and this time we even took along some of my colleagues. And the response was even better. This trend has now grown into a yearly trend within the industry where senior actors and those who are younger than me have all gone out and been received so successfully that now here we are. I hope that we are able to put up a show of respectable magnitude. We are very grateful to all those stars that have joined us and especially the guest stars like Akshay Kumar who flew in just for a day from South Africa,” sad the senior actor.

Bachchan adds that it’s not just about the singing and dancing. He looks at his Unforgettable Tour as yet another opportunity to showcase his India to the world. “I always felt very honoured whenever we have been able to take anything out of India to foreign shores,” said the patriotic star.

Reminiscing about his previously sold out tour Jumma Chumma, the Big B hopes that the Unforgettable Tour is bigger, better and brighter than his all his previous sold out tours.

“One of the most memorable tours that I was associated with was the Jumma Chumma tour and we utilized the services of some great creativity and technology of the Western world. And I do believe that our Indian stars and actors and films have the content to match up with anything that is best in the world as long as we get the support of the public. We only need your affection, your support and your blessings!” he said modestly.

Bachchan added that like in all spheres of his life, he hopes that through his Unforgettable Tour along with Ash and Abhsishek, the three Bachchans will be promoting the UNEP’s Going Green campaign.

“During the business forum that was held here at IIFA we met Dr. Pachauria who has won the Nobel Prize. During his discourse he was able to tell us about his campaign that there are 6.6 million people in this universe and 1.6 billion are still without any electricity. And do not have the use of an electric bulb…. He feels that all of us should work together so that we all can have electricity. I had volunteered my name and now await his instructions. I have also added Abhishek and Aishwarya’s name to the project.”

“Similarly I have given my support to the UNEP’s Plant one Billion Trees in the universe project. And I am very happy to tell you that the initiative is doing so well that the UNEP has now modified it to 2 and 3 billion trees. And what I am trying to say is that if all of us (pointing to Ash, Abhishek and Akshay Kumar) and you all as well plant just one tree then I think all these hopes of the UNEP and Dr. Pachauria won’t be that difficult. We can have 6.6 billion trees very easily!”

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Daily Nation (Kenya): Maize in reserves to last two months


Publication Date: 6/18/2008

The maize in the country’s strategic reserves will last the next two months.

However, the deficit that will be experienced between July and August will be supplemented by the importation of about two to three million bags of the cereal.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) meeting at the Unep headquarters in Gigiri, Agriculture PS Dr Romano Kiome said that the Government was currently holding about eight million bags of maize for consumption.

The bags being held by the Government-owned National Cereals and Produce Board, comprise commercial stocks sold to millers, maize held in strategic reserves and grain set aside for famine relief.

The strategic reserves are currently holding three million bags — a deficit of one million. In a normal year, four million bags are put in storage.


Dr Kiome said that studies by the Ministry’s officials had shown that the country would register good harvests for maize planted at the onset of the long rains.

As a result, the agriculture PS said that the Government will not be importing large quantities as initially feared.

“The Government will be releasing maize from its strategic reserves to ensure that it is available to the public and at an affordable price,” said the PS.

In his Budget speech, Finance minister Amos Kimunya had indicated that the Government was planning to raise the strategic reserves from four million to six million bags in the next financial year and to a further eight million in the subsequent two years.

Mr Kimunya also said that NCPB will play a vital role in sourcing fertiliser at competitive prices to help stabilise its cost in the domestic market. He announced that Kenya had began talks with Uganda on the establishment of a regional fertiliser factory to ensure long-term supply.

Fertiliser prices have risen by more than 400 per cent recently, leading to fears of reduced and low quality crop yields as farmers abandoned the product.

The director-general of the International Livestock Research Institute, Dr Carlos Sere, said African Governments should start focusing on the livestock sector as an alternative to combat famine.

Dr Sere warned that the prices of livestock products will skyrocket if the prevailing conditions do not change.

Participants expressed concern with the rising fertiliser prices, urging petroleum exporting countries to consider reducing fuel prices.

The delegates also urged developed countries to increase development aid to poor countries in Africa to help them strengthen the agricultural sector.

President Mwai Kibaki will officially open the conference on Thursday.

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________________________________________________________________________ Everest north side: When will the Chinese peaks open for climbing?

12:10 pm CDT Jun 17, 2008

( At first no restrictions would apply. Then only Everest would be affected, and just through the torch event. Now, with Lhasa and Tibet entirely locked down, there's no word on when climbs such as Everest north side, Shisha Pangma and Cho Oyu will re-open.

Between the Olympics this summer and next year's 50 year anniversary of Dalai Lama's forced exile from Tibet - there's a real risk that climbing in Tibet Himalaya will remain closed, in spite of Chinese (repeatedly broken) promises. "We are still optimistic that expeditions and tours will be permitted in Tibet this Autumn," writes Ang Tshering Sherpa (Asian Trekking) from Nepal. "We have revised prices for Tibet for your information in case the area opens." Tune in on Asian trekking's website for the prices and news regarding this issue.

Ang Tshering further reports that Nepal's Government has declared permits for all peaks opened in mid and far western Nepal to be free in the next five years.

This year, Dawa Steven (Ang Tshering's son) summited both Lhotse (May 21) and Everest (May 26). The Eco Everest Expedition, in partnership with ICIMOD (International Center for Integrated Mountain Development) and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), created awareness about global warming and glacier melt in Himalaya. One of the members, Apa Sherpa, broke his own record by ascending Mt. Everest for the 18th time.

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________________________________________________________________________ : La Poste et le PNUE lancent des timbres en faveur de la planète

DEV. DURABLE - - 17/06/2008

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La Poste et le Programme de Nations Unies pour l'Environnement (PNUE) s'associent pour éditer un carnet de dix timbres destiné à promouvoir la sauvegarde de l'environnement et le développement durable.
Selon un communiqué de La Poste, les particuliers pourront le découvrir dans tous les bureaux de poste à partir du 30 juin ou se le procurer sur le site Internet de La Poste*. Il est par ailleurs vendu en avant-première sur le Salon Planète Timbre qui se tient jusqu'au 22 juin au Parc Floral de Paris.
Les dix timbres sont illustrés sous forme de pictogrammes accompagnés d'un slogan. Ils symbolisent dix nouvelles façons de voir et d'agir pour la planète, a souligné La Poste.
Rappelons que le PNUE et l'Union postale universelle (UPU) ont annoncé le 5 mai 2008 leur collaboration afin de réduire les émissions de CO2 causées par les membres du secteur postal.

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