Pollution and Health
Businesses and governments are accelerating investment in the green sectors of the economy, a United Nations report unveiled today shows, stressing that the trend will facilitate the transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive global economic model.
Investing just two per cent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) in 10 key sectors would kick-start a shift from the current environment-polluting and inefficient economy to a green one, according to the report, entitled Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication and prepared by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Growing up in Brooklyn, Joshua Carrera says he didn’t know much about the environment -- or UVM. He certainly didn’t anticipate that after traveling the world studying management and human ecology in Ecuador and Brazil he’d appear on the June 2011 cover of Nature Conservancy Magazine.
To fight the cancer stalking their village, some late-stage patients in Xinglong, southwest China, eat bugs every day, in hope of a folk cure. Farmer Cui Xiaoliang hopes for another, more substantial remedy.
"I wish all the polluting factories would move away, but I worry, even if they move, it will be impossible to clean up all their waste in a short time," says Cui, 40, who blames nearby chemical firms for the deaths by cancer of his father and an aunt.
Amid the immense human toll of the Rwandan genocide, a silent victim of the 1994 conflict is frequently overlooked: the environment.
Months of fighting, which took the form of a scorched-earth policy, devastated the economic prospects of survivors, many of them subsistence farmers who lived off the land. But after a slow start, the Rwandan government has in recent years begun seeking to repair the damage with a number of environmental initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable development.
The Ganga finds its name in the list of the five most polluted rivers of the world. The most disastrous effects of this are felt by freshwater species including the Gangetic dolphin. Now, there is hope that the river will be revived, thanks to the efforts of a UK charity that will clean the river and teach villagers along its coast to save freshwater wildlife and keep sewage away from the water.
The growing worldwide demand for resources is threatening the world’s environmental health to an unprecedented extent. Unless new policies are set in place, this situation could have devastating implications for human development.
In this context, women and children can be very active participants in the defence of the environment and stop, or even reverse, the degradation of our natural resources.
With the support of the World Bank, Colombia introduced a number of reforms that reduced air pollution levels in large cities and introduced new instruments for improved environmental management, potentially benefitting both the health of its people and also its economy. The Government increased public participation in environmental decision-making, and prepared critical policies and laws related to sustainable development, air quality, water quality, solid waste management, and environmental licensing.
Global development that reduces poverty but preserves the environment for future generations will be the top priority during Ban Ki-moon's second five-year term as U.N. secretary-general, he said Tuesday. Ban, whose second term at the helm of the United Nations starts Jan. 1, laid out his overarching theme for his next administration during a speech to the World Trade Organization.