Archive for December 2010

Ethics of ecology

Dec 31st, 2010 | By




Soham Baba has a message he wants to get across at whatever cost. swaati chaudhury reports SPURRED on by the urge to conserve and restore nature and tackle environmental challenges, a spiritual guru-turned-social reformer. Soham Baba, living in the high Himalayas, has embarked upon a mission, the Global Green Movement in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. The

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India: I am not a Minister of moratorium and crematorium, says Jairam Ramesh

Dec 31st, 2010 | By




In the face of a barrage of criticisms against the way the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has gone about rejecting big projects on grounds congruent to its basic remit of ensuring decarbonised and ecologically sustainable development, the Environment Minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh, argues with gusto the need for “protecting forests, rivers, mountains and

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Nepal: PM lauds progress of Climate Change Council

Dec 31st, 2010 | By




KATHMANDU: The sixth meeting of the Climate Change Council under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal endorsed a document on Climate Change National Policy 2067 on Tuesday. The meeting concentrated on the implementation of the decision of its fifth meeting, Cancun convention on the climate change declaration, implementation of National Adaptation Program of

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In my mind’s eye: Gross National Happiness

Dec 31st, 2010 | By




I saw a sign outside a bar, “Unhappy Hour, 5-9 p.m.” I went in. It was only 4:30. I had another 30 minutes of happiness to kill. Billy Joel’s song “Piano Man” was playing on the jukebox: “It’s 9 o’clock on a Saturday. The regular crowd shuffles in. There’s an old man sitting next to

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China’s climate secrecy at Cancun came as blow to strategic arms control advocates

Dec 31st, 2010 | By




If China’s position on international climate change is an indication, future arms control talks with Beijing will be stymied by the communist government’s refusal to permit on-site inspectors needed for verifiable arms agreements. In Copenhagen and Cancun, site of the two last international meetings on how to address climate change, China’s government opposed all efforts

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Is the world really getting warmer?

Dec 31st, 2010 | By




Rising sea levels, retreating snow cover and glaciers, longer growing seasons and shifting wildlife are indications of a warming world Yes. There is agreement among the scientific community that the earth has warmed in the last century. Here’s how the world’s most prestigious scientific bodies put it in a joint statement signed by the heads

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Time to prepare for climate change

Dec 30th, 2010 | By




WASHINGTON– Though the massive glaciers of the greater Himalayan region are retreating slowly, development agencies can take steps now to help the region’s communities prepare for the many ways glacier melt is expected to impact their lives, according to a new report. Programs that integrate health, education, the environment and social organizations are needed to

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Climate Patterns to Help Predict the Next Big Flood?

Dec 30th, 2010 | By




This article is part of a special National Geographic News series about the global water crisis. Large flooding events, like the deadly Pakistan flood last summer, will be predictable with the next generation of climate-forecasting models, according to scientists. Flood risk can be predicted by studying climate patterns, Columbia University hydroclimatologist Upmanu Lall said this

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Cancun climate change meet Sans concrete initiative‚ talks move

Dec 30th, 2010 | By




More than fifteen thousand people gathered on the beach at Cancun of Mexico for the first two weeks of November‚ discussing about the changing climate on the earth‚ which doesn’t have any option till date. Poor countries were busy trying to prove themselves most vulnerable due to climate change‚ and many richer ones were not

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A crucial connection

Dec 30th, 2010 | By




With India’s soaring growth and rising glo-bal clout hogging media headlines, it is easy to forget the nation is beset by security challenges. Naxalite insurgency rages across more than two-thirds of India’s states, while long-simmering tensions in J&K exploded once again this summer. Meanwhile, two years post-Mumbai, Pakistan remains unwilling or unable to dismantle the

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India: Climate change leaves Assam tea growers in hot water

Dec 30th, 2010 | By




Rising temperatures reducing yields and altering distinctive flavour of India’s most popular drink Climate change is affecting the cultivation of Assam tea, with rising temperatures reducing yields and altering the distinctive flavour of India‘s most popular drink, researchers say. High hills and abundant rainfall make the north-eastern state of Assam an ideal place to grow

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IPCC looking for communications manager to tackle crisis situation

Dec 30th, 2010 | By




WASHINGTON: Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is reportedly looking for its first Communications and Media Relations Programme Manager to help it avoid a mismanaged situation like last year, when it was stated that “most Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.” The IPCC, which was honoured with the 2007 Nobel peace prize for its work,

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Cancun was a Success: Agriculture minister-Bhutan

Dec 29th, 2010 | By




Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho says Bhutan must take proactive measures on climate change and cannot wait for any globally binding agreement. He says the glaciers are melting, snowfall and rainfall patterns are changing and they are not waiting for a global agreement. While the recent 16th world climate change conference (COP16) held in Cancun, Mexico, has

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Develop New Crop varieties to Face Climate Change

Dec 29th, 2010 | By




Climate and agriculture experts stressed the need for improving water-use efficiency in irrigation and inventing new varieties of crops to cope with the global climate change and ensure food security. At a workshop, they also suggested enhancing the capacity of the government machinery for developing and implementing agricultural projects to encourage donors for quick disbursement

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Are world leaders really serious about climate change?

Dec 29th, 2010 | By




The greatest challenge facing mankind today is how to combat climate change. Scientists have warned that the rate at which world temperatures were rising could, in just two decades, reach a threshold likely to trigger catastrophic disruptions to the earth’s climate. They have informed us that temperatures have already gone up by 0.8 degrees Celsius

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Build capacity to utilise climate funds- Speakers call at roundtable

Dec 29th, 2010 | By




Bangladesh should concentrate on building capacity to utilise the climate-change fund as it will start to receive the money soon, said speakers at a roundtable yesterday. The speakers also said the money would start flowing in as soon as the necessary process to receive the fund is completed. The roundtable was organised by the United

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Cancun summit, a Bangladeshi Mumtaz and what should we do?

Dec 29th, 2010 | By




AS the latest UN climate change summit comes to an end in Cancun, Mexico, there is a feeling of optimism towards an agreement of a new fair climate fund to help poorer countries deal with a changing climate. However progress is still desperately needed to ensure that crucial decisions are made on how to raise

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Efficiently utilizing adaptation fund-Performance should be verifiable as well as measurable

Dec 29th, 2010 | By




Bangladesh’s extreme vulnerability to climate change has been well recognized by the developed nations and especially by the relevant international forums. So, it is only expected that Bangladesh is a strong candidate to draw the Green Climate Fund pledged by the rich countries at the recently held Cancun Climate Summit. But once the country begins

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More consensuses on climate change-Bhutan

Dec 29th, 2010 | By




The recent Cancun summit restored flailing confidence on the need to counter climate change following the recent conference of the parties (COP15). The summit held in Cancun, Mexico, the agriculture minister-led Bhutanese delegation felt, had a more positive outcome and was of high relevance for Bhutan. In a press conference, agriculture minister (Dr) Pema Gyamtsho

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China: Govt plans for output losses due to climate change

Dec 29th, 2010 | By




BEIJING – China has been working to reduce the risk of decreasing grain harvests caused by global warming in coming decades. Estimates placed the losses suffered by 2030 at between 5 percent and 10 percent if climate change continues, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences Deputy Dean Tang Huajun said. The threats climate change generates include

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What progress did COP16 make on a global climate deal?

Dec 25th, 2010 | By




December 2010 – Stephen Spratt: Pretty much everyone expected the climate change negotiations in Cancún to achieve nothing, or worse. At the last minute, however, a number of rabbits were plucked from hats, enabling bleary-eyed Ministers to talk of ‘turning points’ reached and real progress made. We can divide these into two categories. First, there

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Non-existent check post: India

Dec 25th, 2010 | By




National Green Tribunal fails to start, project clearances continue Illustration: DivyaTwo months ago, residents of Thervoy Kandigai in Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu were set to take forward the fight to save their land. Despite their opposition, the environment ministry in August this year had given clearance to an industrial park near the village. The

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Guidance on Water Supply and Sanitation In Extreme Weather Events

Dec 25th, 2010 | By




Water and sanitation are key components of any adaptation strategy aimed at preserving human health in a changing world. Extreme weather events such as floods and droughts are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity in the pan-European region. They affect the capacity and operations of existing water and sanitation infrastructures and services, and thereby threaten

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Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction institutional and policy landscape in Asia and Pacific

Dec 25th, 2010 | By




This paper is a regional policy and institutional mapping of the practical integration of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) in Asia and Pacific region. It presents: (i) an overview of past, ongoing, and planned interventions by various regional organizations, inter governmental organizations, United Nations (UN) organizations, and the institutional landscape on

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Jairam defends nuancing India’s position at Cancun

Dec 25th, 2010 | By




In a letter to MPs last week, Union Minister of State for Environment Jairam Ramesh has clarified that his effort at the United Nations climate change conference at Cancun was “to walk the thin line between safeguarding our position while showing a level of sensitivity to the view shared by the majority of countries at

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The toughest job in the world

Dec 25th, 2010 | By




The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change seeks its first communications chief. In the highly politicized world of climate science, public relations can win or lose battles that shape the Earth’s future. The past year has made that abundantly clear to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body charged with assessing the

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Education Shouldn’t Be A Casualty in Emergencies

Dec 24th, 2010 | By




KATHMANDU, Dec 23 , 2010 (IPS) – Nepal may be doing well in providing complete primary education to boys and girls, but has quite a bit of catching up to do when it comes to ensuring that their schooling does not become a casualty during disasters and emergencies. This comes at a time when the

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Climate Change in the Hindu Kush Himalayas and Disaster Preparedness by Authorities in India

Dec 22nd, 2010 | By




The vision of India’s National Disaster Management Authority-NDMA http://ndma.gov.in/ndma/index.htm is ‘to build a safer and disaster resilient India by developing a holistic, pro-active, multi-disaster and technology-driven strategy for disaster management through collective efforts of all Government Agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations’. Sometime one wonders on the disaster preparedness of our national level authority and its actions

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India: Follow Gujarat’s lead in fighting climate change

Dec 22nd, 2010 | By




The former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and the chairman of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), R.K. Pachauri, on Tuesday recommended that climate change should become the centre of all developmental policies and actions, and advised other States to follow the lead given by Gujarat in this direction. Speaking at a function for the

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UN gives final approval to Biodiversity Science panel

Dec 22nd, 2010 | By




The UN has given final approval for the establishment of an expert panel to advise governments on science and policy issues relating to biodiversity. Endorsement came at the UN General Assembly in New York. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will assess evidence on the causes and effects of nature degradation,

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Global warming cause of glacial melting and glacial floods

Dec 21st, 2010 | By




People in the Himalayas and other mountain areas must prepare for a tough and unpredictable future due to the rapid melting of glaciers caused by climate change, according to a new UN report. Glaciers in Patagonia and in Alaska have been losing mass faster and for longer than glaciers in other parts of the world,

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British PM hails Cancun agreement to tackle climate change

Dec 21st, 2010 | By




LONDON (UK): British Prime Minister David Cameron has hailed the agreement at the UN Climate Change talks in Cancun, Mexico, as a “very significant step forward” to tackling climate change through multilateral action. Cameron said he was clear that Britain would meet its international obligations and stressed he would continue to make the case for

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UN climate chief urges quick follow up of Cancun agreements

Dec 21st, 2010 | By




The agreement achieved at the climate summit in Cancun was a “big step” that exceeded expectations, a top UN official on climate change has said, asking nations to get to the task of quickly implementing the measures with credible accountability systems. All nations, particularly the industrialised ones, must follow up the successful UN Climate Change

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The four myths that hold back progress in fighting climate change

Dec 21st, 2010 | By




THE UN Secretary-General has presented options for raising $100b a year to promote development, while fighting climate change. This is timely, but for such funds to make a difference, we must get past a set of myths that prevent the efficient use of resources. The myths are: Energy efficiency cannot meet energy needs. Energy efficiency

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Damming North East India: Juggernaut of hydropower projects threatens social and environmental security of region

Dec 20th, 2010 | By




With the Northeast identified as India’s ‘future powerhouse’ and at least 168 large hydroelectric projects2 set to majorly alter the riverscape, large dams are emerging as a major issue of conflict in the region. Although the current scale of dam-related developments far outstrips anything which took place in the past, the region has been no

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Climate-change migration around the world

Dec 18th, 2010 | By




PAKISTAN: The torrential rains that began in July of this year, during monsoon season, caused massive flooding, submerging one-fifth of the country’s land mass and forcing large-scale population movement. According to the United Nations, the flooding caused the greatest humanitarian crisis in recent history, affecting more people than the 2004 Asian tsunami and the recent

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Global warming causes flash floods in Pakistan

Dec 18th, 2010 | By




The latest research showed that global warming caused by emission of greenhouse gases in industrial countries was to blame for flash floods which killed over 2,000 people in Pakistan in July and August 2010, environment analysts told Xinhua on Friday. Th worst flood in Pakistan’s 63-year history made 20 million people homeless and devastated one-fifth

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Cancun fails to unite the world to combat climate change

Dec 18th, 2010 | By




Most of the developing countries have described the recent world summit on climate change called, COP16, at Cancun, Mexico, a failure while developed countries say some results were achieved. One positive result was that the countries have agreed to keep the negotiation process on track with the parties to the convention agreeing to a general

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India: Narendra Modi, (Gujrat’s Chief Minister ) Pens book on climate change

Dec 18th, 2010 | By




New Delhi:  As a state head, every Chief Minister ought to take steps to fight climate change. But Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi seems to have taken his responsibility a bit too seriously. Going the Al-Gore way, Modi has written a book called ‘Convenient Action: Gujarat’s Response to Challenges of Climate Change’. To be released

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India: 35 Million Rupees for new scheme on climate resilient agriculture

Dec 18th, 2010 | By




The Centre has allocated Rs.350 crore for implementation of a new planned scheme — National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture — to address the impact of climate change on agriculture and allied sectors. About one lakh farmers from 100 districts in various States will benefit from the on-farm demonstration of climate resilient technologies that will

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WikiLeaks cables: the Dalai Lama is right to put climate change first

Dec 18th, 2010 | By




For Tibet, climate change is a far more urgent issue than independence – its very survival is at stake. The Dalai Lama, according to the latest release of WikiLeaks cables, told US diplomats that, for Tibet, climate change is a more urgent issue than a political settlement. This will certainly dismay some of the more

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The role of Ecosystems in Developing a Sustainable Green Economy

Dec 17th, 2010 | By




The second issue of the UNEP Policy Series on Ecosystem Management titled ‘The role of ecosystems in developing a sustainable ‘Green Economy’ discusses how investing in ecosystems can bring about benefits at local as well as at global level e.g. in helping communities adapt to climate change (ecosystem based adaptation), while at the same time

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Water Insecurity In Himalayas: Emerging Tensions And Lessons For ASEAN

Dec 17th, 2010 | By




Climate Change is triggering water insecurity in the Greater Himalayan region, raising  new sources of tension that may embroil India and China in future conflict. These emerging tensions need to be managed. There are also lessons for ASEAN. GLOBAL WARMING is melting glaciers in the Himalayan mountains — the “Water Tower of Asia”. The region

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Bangladesh: Climate Change-DFID’s Work

Dec 17th, 2010 | By




Anne Main (St Albans, Conservative) Question: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has spent on climate change adaptation for smallholder farmers in Bangladesh in each of the last five years; and what proportion of his Department’s expenditure on (a) climate change measures overseas, (b) climate change adaptation overseas,

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India, China sign MoU on green tech

Dec 17th, 2010 | By




In keeping with their close camaraderie on the issue of climate change, India and China on Thursday signed an MoU on green technology that will enable them to jointly explore low-carbon technology solutions to drive their fast-growing economies. The MoU was one of the six agreements signed by the two countries after talks between Prime

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Is the flood over in Pakistan?

Dec 17th, 2010 | By




Is the flood over in Pakistan? No. Most certainly not! Notwithstanding the Herculean massive relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction operations carried out by the government and people of Pakistan, floodgates of devastation in the wake of worst ever natural disaster in recent times continue to claim lives in scores due to outbreak of epidemics, lack of

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Climate change: What is it really?

Dec 17th, 2010 | By




KATHMANDU: Climate change, global warming, green house gas effects, cutting out on carbon emissions are some of the challenges facing the current century. It is a serious issue but what if the scourge of climate change didn´t exist at all? On this edition of chitchat, Republica caught up with five young and energetic youth working

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Nepal: Climate change education and awareness program on wheels

Dec 17th, 2010 | By




The first-ever Climate Change Mobile Library in Nepal begins its three-week journey from Kathmandu today, 16 December 2010. It aims to educate and raise awareness of climate change issues on wheels. Taking library materials and other resources, climate lectures and interaction programs to the grassroots, it will reach community-based community organizations, students, and local officials

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Sea level rise to continue for centuries: RK Pachauri

Dec 16th, 2010 | By




Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chief Dr RK Pachauri has asked the coastal states to fix their infrastructure and programmes to meet the sea level rise, a phenomenon that he says is likely to continue for centuries. Pachauri said the sea level rise cannot be controlled now with the measures like reduction in emission

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South-east Asia will be hardest hit by climate change, ONA predicts

Dec 16th, 2010 | By




AUSTRALIA’S top intelligence agency believes south-east Asia will be the region worst affected by climate change by 2030, with decreased water flows from the Himalayan glaciers triggering a ”cascade of economic, social and political consequences”. The dire outlook was provided by the deputy director of the Office of National Assessments, Heather Smith, in a confidential

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Can We Call the Cancun Agreements a Success?

Dec 16th, 2010 | By




As I left the negotiations at the final day of COP16 at around 8pm I was reasonably certain that, due to the constraints of time pressure, the various parties would fall short of reaching a final outcome from which to build on in South Africa in 2011. Despite being very encouraged by the content of

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India: Is the environment ministry over-reacting?

Dec 16th, 2010 | By




A completely incorrect impression is being created, largely by vested interests, that the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests under Jairam Ramesh’s leadership is over-reacting to environmental issues. On the contrary, the ministry needs to take up some tough systemic actions soon if there is any hope for India’s environment and forests. The fact of

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Ganges Getting Going

Dec 16th, 2010 | By




The CPWF has begun the process of commissioning research projects to help tackle the Ganges Basin Development Challenge (BDC) to increase the resilience of agricultural and aguaculture systems in the coastal areas of the Ganges Delta. The program-of-work will increase availability of dry season water and improve practices for managing-salt affected lands for polder farmers,

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Decision Making in a Changing Climate

Dec 15th, 2010 | By




What are countries doing to prepare for climate change? A World Resources Report side event in Cancun highlights pioneering case studies from the developing world Adapting to climate change presents a monumental task for national governments, especially those in the developing world. Last week at the UNFCCC climate meeting in Cancun, our side event highlighted

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UAS to lead Global Project on Food Grains

Dec 15th, 2010 | By




DHARWAD: The University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS, Dharwad) will lead the Rs 4-crore, two-year research project funded by International Development Research Centre and Canadian International Development Agency under Canadian International Food Security Research Fund ( CIFSRF) in India. The project titled `Strengthening of rural families through empowerment by introducing food security through production, processing and

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Effective Resourcing to Address Climate Change-Experiences from Himalaya

Dec 14th, 2010 | By




In the recent Regional Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platform (http://bit.ly/9rCs7C ) 21-22 October 2010 in Bangkok, a civil society representative from Bangladesh highlighted that, “the NGOs in Bangladesh are flooded with Climate Adaptation Funds”.  This statement is an indication that availability and access to adaptation funds is less of an issue for this country and

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UN Climate Talks End

Dec 14th, 2010 | By




World leaders at a climate-change conference in Cancun, Mexico, made clear that addressing the issue will be all about money, agreeing that rich countries would spend potentially trillions of dollars to help poor countries develop on a greener path. But the diplomats postponed hashing out which rich countries would pay how much, and exactly what

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Climate change: human numbers don’t add up

Dec 14th, 2010 | By




Save the planet? Somehow it seems so last year. Cancún – a climate change summit of modest achievement – rates 81 sparse lines of coverage in the Sunday Times, while Chris Huhne’s apparent decision not to move in with his mistress rates 118. The BBC, having overspent on Chile’s miners, duly hacked back on coverage of

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Stuck in a room in Cancun

Dec 14th, 2010 | By




CANCUN, Mexico — How did the U.N. climate talks go from an impasse to a breakthrough? It helped that Mexico’s special representative on climate change kept key negotiators talking in a hotel suite for 12 hours, with only occasional breaks. Representatives from Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia Egypt, the European Union, India, Japan, Marshall Islands, Russia,

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Mountainfolk make climate plea as UN talks approach climax

Dec 13th, 2010 | By




GENEVA — Mountain communities and the UN on Thursday joined hands to warn of the “devastating” impact of global warming in mountain areas, as climate change talks draw to a close in Cancun. In an appeal to mark world mountain day on Saturday, the UN Environment Programme, experts and people from Switzerland, Bhutan and Canada

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