17 JUNE 2009 | WASHINGTON DC -This year marks the 15th anniversary since the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was adopted in Paris on 17 June 1994.To date, 193 countries have signed and ratified the Convention, demonstrating a universal commitment to address land degradation as a global challenge affecting 1.2 billion people.
June 21-24, 2009
22 JUNE 2009 | WASHINGTON DC - The GEF Council meeting is held from Monday, June 22 to Wednesday, June 24, 2009. The meetings will take place at the World Bank, Eugene R. Black Auditorium (H Auditorium), 600 19th Street N.W., Washington D.C. (Please use entrance to the auditorium on G Street).
The GEF invites you to attend at the next event of the GEF Brown Bag Lunch Series
Speaker: Chris Williams, UN HABITAT
Moderator: Osamu Mizuno, Sr. Environmental Specialist, GEF Climate Change and Chemicals
Thursday, July 9
12:00 - 1:30 PM
GEF Secretariat Main Conference Room (6-151)
1776 G Street NW, Washington DC
Food and Drinks will be served
Termites are essential to soil health, but problems arise when they come in contact with agricultural, forest, or urban areas. The annual economic cost of structural damage to buildings from termites in urban areas is about US$15–20 billion worldwide. More than 450 species of termites are found in China’s populated areas, infesting wooden structures and tree plantations, and threatening critical infrastructure, including housing, non-residential buildings, communications facilities, and dams used for watershed management.
The GEF has been working to help countries worldwide locate and safely destroy PCBs while promoting effective management through training, public awareness and institutional development. Some early projects have successfully addressed PCB pollution. In many former Soviet republics, for example, governments have the responsibility to dispose of large volumes of abandoned electrical equipment.
The Africa Stockpiles Programme (ASP) was launched in September 2005 with the goal to clear all obsolete pesticide stocks from Africa and establish measures to help prevent their recurrence. Projects under the program are also designed to train and strengthen institutions on important chemicals-related issues, create opportunities to address broader hazardous waste management issues, and evaluate new cleaner disposal technologies.
Even small projects targeting local communities can make a difference. At the Isleta Sur community in Cuba, a nearby waste dump was receiving an average of 150 tons of solid waste daily, which was burned without any safeguards. Open burning of organic waste is an important source of dioxins and furans formation and release in developing countries. According to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, this burning accounted for 6 percent of the dioxins and furans emissions into the atmosphere, which can greatly impact the health of local communities throughout the province.