Archive for June 2012

Can This Photograph of a Himalayan Glacier Persuade People That Climate Change Is Happening?

Jun 30th, 2012 | By




The Atlantic: The same view, photographed 88 years apart, affords a striking contrast — and a much diminished glacier. Photo: David Breashears/Royal Geographic Society Before the famed English mountaineer George Mallory died on Mount Everest, he was asked why he wanted to climb it, and his response, perhaps apocryphal, would become the three most famous

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Adapting to Climate Change: More Questions Than Answers!

Jun 30th, 2012 | By




The Conversation: With increasing global greenhouse gas emissions, and no clear internationally-agreed path for emission reductions, we are faced with a global climate that will be at least two degrees warmer than today in 70 years’ time. The need to adapt to climate change is being recognised at different levels of government in Australia, with

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Cuba Develops Crops Adapted to Climate Change

Jun 30th, 2012 | By




IPS: Cabbage, broccoli, carrots, onions and other resistant vegetables are being grown by researchers in Cuba, who for decades have been working to design plants adapted to the tropical conditions in the Caribbean region. “We are now focused on trying to develop new varieties, with a view to climate change,” Laura Muñoz, the researcher who

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IPCC Completes Review of Processes and Procedures

Jun 30th, 2012 | By




UNEP: Over the past two years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) undertook a complete review of its processes and procedures – effectively the IPCC’s “constitution”. Decisions on governance and management, conflict of interest, and procedures were taken by a meeting of the Panel, the IPCC’s governing body, at its 35th session in Geneva

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Poorest Countries May Adapt Better To Climate Change

Jun 30th, 2012 | By




University of Nottingham: The poorest societies may be more able to adapt to the threat that climate change poses to food supplies than their slightly richer peers. A new study involving experts in the School of Geography at The University of Nottingham found that the very poor and the relatively wealthy countries are less vulnerable — it was

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Is climate Change Adaptation Feasible?

Jun 30th, 2012 | By




Climate Spectator: With increasing global greenhouse gas emissions, and no clear internationally-agreed path for emission reductions, we are faced with a global climate that will be at least two degrees warmer than today in 70 years’ time. The need to adapt to climate change is being recognised at different levels of government in Australia, with

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Rio+20 Concludes With Big Package Of Commitments For Action

Jun 28th, 2012 | By




UN: More than $500 billion mobilized with over 700 commitments made Rio de Janeiro, 22 June – World leaders finalized an agreement at Rio+20 today that will advance action on sustainable development, as businesses, governments, civil society and multilateral development banks announced  hundreds of voluntary commitments to shape a more sustainable future for the benefit

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Siachen Glacier Time to Change The Climate

Jun 28th, 2012 | By




The News: Could a joint Siachen Science Centre help in shift the paradigm from politics and nationalistic positions towards a scientific resolution of the dispute? Having made substantial headway in the domain of trade and commerce, New Delhi and Islamabad feel that this is the right time to also start discussing vexed issues such as

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India: Guwahati One Of The Most Polluted City In The World

Jun 28th, 2012 | By




The northeastern Indian city Guwahati must have contributed to the Black Carbon (BC) pollutants which is responsible for glacier melting in the Himalayas. Guwahati, the capital city of Assam, adjacent to Bhutan as well as the eastern Himalayas probably accelerated BC concentration to melt glaciers in the region, scientists say. The city is situated on

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Climate Change: Waiting for a Catastrophic Wake-Up Call

Jun 28th, 2012 | By




IPS News: Disasters are the new midwives of history. But in order to play this role, they need to be catastrophic, like the accidents in Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011 that led governments to suspend and even abolish their nuclear energy programs. Awareness of environmental deterioration is awakened by major disasters like the

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WMO to Launch Global Climate Services System

Jun 28th, 2012 | By




Scidevnet: A global climate services system is due to be launched in October, in the hope of providing advance warning of weather changes that influence water, food security, natural disasters and health. Around 70 countries lack adequate infrastructure for coping with challenging weather conditions, and six of these countries — all in climatically vulnerable places

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Environmental Flows: Restoring The Earth’s Arteries

Jun 28th, 2012 | By




International Rivers: Without doubt, rivers are the one of the most important source of freshwater. They are also the refuge to diverse organisms and sub – ecosystems. Out of all the natural endowment used by human beings rivers have been the most used and abused on this planet. According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, freshwater

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Environmentalism Is Not A Religion

Jun 27th, 2012 | By




Guardian: Of all the nonsense climate change deniers throw at the green movement, there one criticism that does real damage, says James Murray. Of all the blithering nonsense climate deniers throw at the environmental movement, there is perhaps one criticism that does real damage – that “green is the new religion”. We can handle the

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Pakistan Satisfied With The Final Document, Said Negotiators

Jun 27th, 2012 | By




The News: RIO DE JANEIRO: Pakistan’s negotiators during preparatory and final round of Rio+20 negotiations showed satisfaction on the final document. World leaders approved the outcome document for Rio+20, entitled “The Future We Want,” adopted by 193 members of the United Nations on June 22. The document calls for a wide range of action such

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Desertification Action Not Possible Until Fair Land Management Addressed

Jun 27th, 2012 | By




CANSA: Land is a critical productive asset and the majority of livelihoods in the drylands of the developing world depend on it. The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is one of the main environmental treaties, borne out of the Rio Earth Summit, and it addresses land; its resources, its productivity and the role of

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Climate Change: UN Expert Suggests Indo-Pak Research Collaboration

Jun 27th, 2012 | By




Tribune: The Pakistani and Indian governments need to collaborate on policy and research on environmental issues as the two countries have shared ecosystems, said a UN expert on climate change in a talk at the Lahore University of Management Sciences on Tuesday. “We have to see beyond the collaboration of think tanks and policy makers

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Economic Climate Has Not Affected Views On Global Warming – Poll

Jun 27th, 2012 | By




Guardian: Guardian/ICM poll reveals public perception of climate change remains consistent despite political shift during financial crisis. A new Guardian/ICM poll reveals the public view of man-made climate change has remained consistent in the last three years, despite a change in Conservative party priorities in the financial climate. Photograph: Antonio Lacerda/EPA Photograph: Graphic The cold

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Winds of Change: Climate Change in Kashmir

Jun 27th, 2012 | By




Kashmirlife: Unfamiliar weather conditions in Kashmir may be a consequence of climate change. Apart from forcing permanent changes in land use, farmers are immediately the worst hit. Athar Parvaiz reports about what all this could mean in the longer run. Every morning Farida Akhtar wakes up, she peeps through the window, before casting a look

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Regional Cooperation In Mountains: From Rio to Rio And Beyond

Jun 26th, 2012 | By




The international community recognized the importance of mountains at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 through adoption of Chapter 13 in Agenda 21, the often referred to so-called “mountain agenda”. Chapter 13 underscored the role of mountains in global sustainable development. So far, the Alpine

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Rio+20 Summit Dubbed A Failure

Jun 26th, 2012 | By




The Hindu: The veil of mist hiding the Macico da Tijuca, the mountains that guard the Brazilian city of Rio, lifted as the Rio+20 summit concluded on Friday with the adoption of the outcome report on sustainable development. The report had been finalised by the heads of states and thousands of delegates after prolonged deliberation

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Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Jun 26th, 2012 | By




The Hindu: There is an urgent need to study the impact of climate change on water and protect water sources A new report on water sector options in the face of changing climate has called for fresh approach to studying alterations in the patterns of rainfall and snowfall, availability of surface and ground water and

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Scientists Criticise Lack Of Urgency In Rio+20 Accord

Jun 26th, 2012 | By




Scidevenet: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) ended last Friday (22 June) with an international agreement on the need for all countries to commit themselves to achieving sustainable development. The agreement immediately came under fire from several quarters for its lack of detail about how this will be done, and the absence of

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Climate Change And The South Asian Summer Monsoon

Jun 26th, 2012 | By




Nature: The vagaries of South Asian summer monsoon rainfall on short and long timescales impact the lives of more than one billion people. Understanding how the monsoon will change in the face of global warming is a challenge for climate science, not least because our state-of-the-art general circulation models still have difficulty simulating the regional

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Climate Change Threatens Botswana’s Main Tourist Attraction

Jun 26th, 2012 | By




SciDevnet: Botswana urgently needs policies to facilitate climate change adaptation to protect the Okavango Delta, the country’s most lucrative tourist attraction, according to a new study.   Recent statistics from the Bank of Botswana show that tourism is the country’s second largest source of income, contributing US$753 million to GDP in 2011. The Delta is

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Climate-Smart Agriculture to Reduce Vulnerability

Jun 25th, 2012 | By




IPS: Agroforestry is gaining ground as a tool for climate change adaptation and mitigation in Central America, a region where global warming could generate losses equivalent to 19 percent of gross domestic product. Agroforestry is our only alternative to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” Alberto Chinchilla, executive director of the Central American Coordinating Association

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UN Panel Rejects Political Claim By ‘New Scientist’

Jun 25th, 2012 | By




THE UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has defended itself against charges by New Scientist that it was “putting politics before science” by imposing geographical and even gender quotas in the selection of its contributing scientists. In a statement, the panel said it “has always sought, among other considerations, to achieve geographical representation, including representation

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Rio+20: An Undesirable U-turn

Jun 25th, 2012 | By




Asian Age: Rio de Janeiro is a city of U-turns. The most frequent road sign in the city is “Retorno” — return. And Rio+20 or the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development followed that pattern. It was a great U-turn in terms of human responsibility towards protecting the life-sustaining processes of the planet. Twenty years

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Green Economy: Aggravates Migration Push-Factors

Jun 25th, 2012 | By




The attempts in Rio+20 by developed countries to downgrade agreements reached in the 1992 Earth Summit are acts that reveal the rapacious corporate agenda behind “Green Economy”. It is aimed at paving the way for further economic plunder by MNCs/TNCs of whatever that remains of the Earth’s natural and human resources, and to prop up

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Rio’s Roadmap Falls Flat, Civil Society Groups Say

Jun 25th, 2012 | By




IPS: RIO DE JANEIRO,  Jun 19 (TerraViva) – “Very disappointing.” That was the term business and non-governmental organisations used to describe the formal intergovernmental negotiations at the Rio+20 Earth Summit Tuesday. With overwhelming scientific evidence showing that the Earth’s ability to support human life is at serious risk, the Rio+20 summit is being held to

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Third Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership at Rio+20

Jun 25th, 2012 | By




Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Over 70 representatives of governments, IGOs and NGOs sat together as equals at the Third Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership held on 19 June 2012, in the spirit of the type 2 initiative that was established 10 years ago in Johannesburg by the United Nations. Participants in the meeting filled

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Disaster In Slow Motion: The Retreating Himalayas

Jun 18th, 2012 | By




The Tribune: Disaster in slow motion: The retreating Himalayas: food security at stake. If the unprecedented rate of glacial retreat in the South Asian region is not checked, countries in the area are likely to turn highly food-insecure. Pakistan’s latest Climate Change Policy clearly indicates that freshwater resources in Pakistan are dependent on snow and

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To Fix The Climate, Take Meat Off The Menu: Rio+20

Jun 18th, 2012 | By




Washington Post: More than 50,000 U.N. officials, scientists, environmental advocates and a few heads of state will gather this coming week in Rio de Janeiro for a conference on sustainable development. They’re assembling 20 years after the first Earth Summit was held in the same city, and the goal now, as it was then, is

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Rio+20 to Asean: Climate Change, Biodiversity In Green Economy

Jun 18th, 2012 | By




A RECORD 30.6 trillion kilograms of carbon dioxide poured into the atmosphere in 2010, while the biggest climate-change negotiations in history failed in Copenhagen 2009. Fifty thousand species are threatened by extinction, leaving the world’s 2010 Biodiversity Target, to significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss, out of reach. Around 2 billion people lack

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Role of Mountains in Sustainable Development Strategies

Jun 18th, 2012 | By




MP Event at Rio: With their wealth of resources, their diverse cultural heritage, and the knowledge their populations have passed down through generations, mountain regions can make a major contribution to sustainable development and to a greener global economy. However, mountain ecosystems are enormously sensitive to global shifts, including those due to climate change. Therefore,

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Contribution of Himalayan Ecosystems to Water and Food Security

Jun 18th, 2012 | By




ICIMOD: Contribution of Himalayan Ecosystems to Water, Energy, and Food Security in South Asia: A nexus approach. In the face of climatic and other socioeconomic changes, most South Asian countries – having large and growing population, limited land resources, and increasing water stress – face a common challenge of how to grow more food with

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Environmental Issues And Youth In The Mountains

Jun 18th, 2012 | By
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Mountain Voice: In a series of our Mountain Voice, the Climate Himalaya team interacted with youth in western Himalayan region of India to understand that how aware and concerned they are about various environment issues and how involved the Youth’s are in various developmental processes. As per our interaction with Youth in western Himalayan region

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China’s Emissions Estimates Don’t Add Up

Jun 15th, 2012 | By




Nature: When Dabo Guan was studying the sources of carbon dioxide that were driving China to become the world’s top emitter of global-warming gases, he came across a puzzling mismatch: adding up the emissions estimates from China’s 30 provinces and municipalities gave a figure much higher than those reported for the nation as a whole1.

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Environment: The Vanishing Forests

Jun 15th, 2012 | By




Dawn: Forests keep the planet alive and play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forests feed rivers and are essential in replenishing the water table; they maintain soil fertility and minimise the often devastating impact of storms, floods and fires. They are the green lungs of the earth. But despite all of

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India: Early Warning System To Alert Citizens About Floods

Jun 15th, 2012 | By




Times of India: Citizens will soon get to know well in advance how much water would gush into their locality or apartments if there is a heavy release from Ukai dam into Tapi during monsoon. The Surat Climate Change Trust and Surat Municipal Corporation are setting up a mechanism to building an identification system to

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UNEP: FAQ On Green Economy

Jun 15th, 2012 | By




We are posting the Frequently Asked Questions on Green Economy, as explained by UNEP, United Nations Environment Programme, that lead to this concept.        What is the “Green Economy”? For the purposes of the Green Economy Initiative, UNEP has developed a working definition of a green economy as one that results in improved human

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Rio+20: Opportunity To Fast Track Transition to Green Economy

Jun 15th, 2012 | By




UNEP: New Report Presents Key Policies and Building Blocks to Unlock Prosperity, Reduce Poverty and Support Environmental Sustainability Rio de Janeiro,  14 June 2012— A transition to a green economy could lift millions of people out of poverty and transform the livelihoods of many of the 1.3 billion people earning just US$1.25 a day around

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Climate Models At Their Limit: Limitless Possibilities

Jun 14th, 2012 | By




Allmodelsarewrong: Mark Maslin and Patrick Austin at University College London have just had a comment published in Nature called “Climate models at their limit?”. This builds on the emerging evidence that the latest, greatest climate predictions, which will be summarised in the next assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5, 2013) are not going to tell us

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Climate Change Threatens Agriculture, But Genomics Comes To Rescue

Jun 14th, 2012 | By




Economic Times: Kulvinder Gill, professor of breeding and genetics at the Washington State University in the US, describes himself as a dreamer and an optimist. One of his dreams is to make sure food production does not decline over the next few decades, when increasing temperatures act on the yields of major crops. Specifically, he

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Greening The Economy With Agriculture

Jun 14th, 2012 | By




FAO: The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), through Resolution 64/236 of 24 December 2009, decided to organize the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3 to 6 June 2012 (UNCSD, also referred to as Rio+20). The two main stated themes decided by the UNGA for UNCSD are: a green economy in the

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Developing World Regions ‘Should Drive Their Own Change’

Jun 14th, 2012 | By




Scidev.net: Researchers from across the developing world are attending a series of meetings to push forward the science and policy issues they have identified for inclusion in next week’s Rio+20 summit. Science and technology communities from five regions (Africa, the Arab States, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America) met during 2011, and some of their

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Barriers To Interaction Can Limit Research Uptake By The Media

Jun 14th, 2012 | By




DFID: Two case studies from Panos London’s Relay Programme show that limited interaction between researchers and journalists are a barrier to increasing the amount and quality of reporting using research findings.  Limited chances to meet and build working relationships reinforced a lack of trust and understanding.  Panos further found that prior to the Relay intervention,

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Hydropower-Developing Community Initiative

Jun 14th, 2012 | By




GVEP: Determined to be the solution to the problem of poor electricity supply a community in Central Kenya opted to start its own mini hydro project. After some false starts, this venture is progressing thanks in part to GVEP’s support in overcoming obstacles and pitfalls. In recent years, steps have been made towards liberalisation of

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Rivers Will Generate A Quarter Of GDP By 2050, Study Shows

Jun 13th, 2012 | By




Guardian: The world’s 10 most populous river basins will be vital for economic growth – but only if water shortage threat is tackled. River is the very stuff of life, yet billions of people do not have access to a clean, reliable source. Changing that takes investment – public and private – so winning the

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Climate Change Rate Could Be Faster Than Thought, Study Suggests

Jun 13th, 2012 | By




Guardian: Data indicate China’s carbon emissions could be 20% higher, prompting fears Earth is warming at a much faster rate. China‘s carbon emissions could be nearly 20% higher than previously thought, a new analysis of official Chinese data showed on Sunday, suggesting the pace of global climate change could be even faster than currently predicted.

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Managing South Asia’s Himalayan Rivers

Jun 13th, 2012 | By




East Asia Forum: The great Himalayan rivers of South Asia, particularly the Ganges and Brahmaputra, have been the subject of five decades of discussion between governments of the region. While the discussions have continued, these rivers have contributed, through flood and drought, to the uncertainty and impoverishment of the lives of the largest concentration of

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Pace Of The Talks Needs To Be Accelerated: Rio+20

Jun 13th, 2012 | By




UNCSD: Negotiators concluded the last round of Rio+20 preparatory talks in New York on Saturday,  making progress that will pave the way for many outcomes and initiatives on major global sustainability issues later this month at Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in Rio de Janeiro from 20 to 22

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Why We Need Rio+20?

Jun 13th, 2012 | By




Rio+20 — the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012 — is a historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all. Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, where

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Sustainable Development Timeline

Jun 13th, 2012 | By




IISD: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published in 1962. Many consider the book’s release a turning point in our understanding of the interconnections among the environment, the economy and social well-being. Since then, many milestones have marked the journey toward sustainable development. This timeline captures some of the key events.   From its inaugural edition

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Human-Induced Global Ocean Warming On Multidecadal Timescales

Jun 12th, 2012 | By
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Nature: Large-scale increases in upper-ocean temperatures are evident in observational records1. Several studies have used well-established detection and attribution methods to demonstrate that the observed basin-scale temperature changes are consistent with model responses to anthropogenic forcing and inconsistent with model-based estimates of natural variability2, 3, 4, 5. These studies relied on a single observational data

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Green Economies To Green Societies

Jun 12th, 2012 | By
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UNESCO: We must not miss the opportunity of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development to set a new agenda for a sustainable 21st century. In Rio, we must see where we stand, cast a cold eye on our successes and failures and draw a new road map for the future. We are not starting

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What Does Green Economy Mean To Nepal And Himalayan countries?

Jun 12th, 2012 | By
Dr. Karki




My Republica: During the upcoming Rio+20 summit in Brazil, the main expectation of developing mountainous countries in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region is stronger political commitment. Nepal, for example, hopes that the Rio+20 outcome document will express concrete global support for greater synergy, balance, and integration of the pillars of sustainable development—environmental, economic, socio-political, and

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New Paradigms And Challenges Push Donors To Align Efforts

Jun 12th, 2012 | By
devex




Devex: During the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting last May, the ADB and Inter-American Development Bank pledged to strengthen Asian and Latin American ties by formally partnering to explore research and capacity-building opportunities in the areas of disaster risk reduction, urbanization, and infrastructure development. “In the area of development and all the impacts from development,

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What Will Happen In Rio?

Jun 12th, 2012 | By
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UNCSD:  About the Rio+20 Conference At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want.

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Who Speaks For The Climate? Media Reporting On Climate Change

Jun 12th, 2012 | By
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Climate Science and Policy: Who speaks for the climate? Trying to make sense of media reporting on climate change: A conversation with Maxwell T. Boykoff At the moment there is no a single spokesperson for the global atmosphere; there are rather multiple competing interpretations of global warming. Mass media constitute the arena in which these

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Rio+20 Deal Difficult But Necessary: UNEP

Jun 11th, 2012 | By




AlertNet: The world has to transition to a green economy for its survival but the current economic downturn will make it hard to strike a deal at this month’s Rio+20 sustainable development summit, a senior U.N. official said on Friday. The June 20-22 meeting in Brazil, which is expected to attract more than 50,000 participants

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