Growing up in Japan in the wake of mass mercury poisoning I learned the hard lesson that there is no distance great enough to put between this heavy metal and us. The tragedy unfolded in my country in 1956 after a chemical plant discharged wastewater containing mercury into the bay facing Minamata City. The resulting mercury poisoning took the lives of thousands of people: thousands more are still living with the consequences.
September 16th is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. 2017 marks a special occasion, since it also celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
“…With the knowledge we are gaining, we will become better land and natural resource managers, because we’re understanding how we need to treat our land, and the plants and animals on it.”
The 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 13) opened today in Ordos, China.
The Meloy Fund, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership has been launched with a first close of US $10 million.
From July 25-27, the GEF Gender Partnership gathered experts from thirty international and civil society organizations to provide ideas on how to mainstream gender into GEF-7 programming. It also provided feedback on the forthcoming policy on Gender Equality which tries to maximize opportunities for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in its programs and projects.
Africa’s population is expected to double from 1.26 billion today to over two and half billion by 2050, little more than 30 years from now. At the same time, land degradation, loss of biodiversity and the effects of climate change pose increasing challenges to the continent’s agriculture sector, particularly smallholder farmers. If left unchecked, these challenges will threaten the food security of millions of people, particularly in the drylands.
“Our land. Our home. Our Future,” is the theme for the World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD), observed every year on June 17 to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat land degradation.
by Nicholas Stern and Naoko Ishii
Our global commons – the land, seas and atmosphere we share, and the ecosystems they host – are under severe threat from human activities.
We are at risk of irreversibly damaging the natural assets of the planet that allow human communities to thrive and prosper.