Archive for October 2014

On First-ever World Cities Day, UN Spotlights Need for Sustainable Urban Planning

Oct 31st, 2014 | By
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As the world’s urban areas inevitably expand, growing both in size and in population, they will also need to transition into better planned and better managed environments or risk exacerbating negative trends, the United Nations warned today. Marking the inaugural edition of World Cities Day, a global event aimed at promoting sustainable urban development in

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Phewa Lake to Get Lost in 39 Years!

Oct 31st, 2014 | By




Phewa Lake will get completely covered in next 39 years if not looked after, experts said. At a programme organised by Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan City (PSMC) and Kaski District Development Committee (DDC), stakeholders have expressed their serious concern over conservation of the one of the most popular tourist destinations of the nation. Speaking at the function,

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A Village Adapts to Climate Change in Myriad Ways

Oct 31st, 2014 | By
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Lapodiya, a village of 200 households in Rajasthan, is a shining example of how environment governance at the grassroots level can save a village from natural disasters. Here, people have adopted innovative water conservation practices and a culture which they have improvised and perfected over three decades. As a result, residents of this village around

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Global Warming: Experts for Immediate Steps to Mitigate Impact

Oct 31st, 2014 | By




Speakers have called for urgent measures to mitigate the impact of global warming that was causing severe environmental disequilibrium and degradation. They were speaking at a pre-congress interactive talk titled “climate change, adaptability and food security”, organised by the Human Resource Development Network (HRDN) at a local hotel on Thursday. Representatives of the United Nations,

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Glacial Retreat Will Continue but Can be Checked: Scientist

Oct 31st, 2014 | By
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The glaciers in the Himalayas will continue to retreat for another 40-50 years and if this phenomenon is not checked, temperature will rise by at least four degrees Celsius by the end of this century. This caution has been issued by Anil Kulkarni, a scientist with the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science, at a conference

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Threat to Rivers as Hydropower Gets Set for Global Boom

Oct 30th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Hydropower, the renewable technology that sets gravity to work and harnesses the energy of rivers, is about to double its output. The growth will be mostly in the developing world − but the construction of new dams on rivers in South America, South-east Asia and Africa comes at a cost. Around a

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Looking Into Chure Ecosystem

Oct 30th, 2014 | By
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Nepal’s economy which is dominated by agriculture is heavily dependent upon the monsoon. Thus, we need to understand the processes of the monsoon and its importance before heading towards big chapters on climate change. But as we always want to catch a big mouse even though that mouse is not valuable still we love to

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12 Ways Communities Will Have to Adapt to Handle Climate Change

Oct 30th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: Climate change is making both droughts and flood more frequent and severe. Whether your area is suffering from too much water or too little, here are things you can do to adapt. Drought In the face of relentless droughts such as the historic one underway in California, we all want to help conserve.

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IPCC Preparing ‘Most Important’ Document on Climate Change

Oct 30th, 2014 | By
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BBC News: The IPCC Synthesis Report will summarise the causes and impacts of – and solutions to – rising temperatures. It will be the bedrock of talks on a new global climate deal. But there are concerns that political battles could neuter the final summary. Over the past 13 months, the IPCC has released three

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India: Forests and Tigers vs Coal Mines

Oct 30th, 2014 | By
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A hundred years ago there were hundreds of thousands of Bengal Tigers in the world, but now there are less than 2,000 left. The Bengal Tiger population has been reduced mainly due to hunting and destruction of their natural habitat. And now India is the Bengal Tiger’s stronghold. According to the International Union Conservation Network’s

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Nilofar Intensifies Into ‘Very Severe’ Cyclone

Oct 29th, 2014 | By
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Cyclone Nilofar in the Arabian Sea has intensified into a ‘very severe’ tropical cyclone, said the Pakistan Meteorological Department. Section 144, which prohibits bathing in the sea, has been imposed in the coastal areas including Karachi and Badin. Speaking to the media, Chief Meteorologist Tauseef Alam said the cyclone is currently 1,100 kilometers away from

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Oct 29th, 2014 | By




The commercial shipping sector is responsible for a billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, a little more than Germany, and its contribution is set to skyrocket, according to a new pressure group report. Bill Hemmings, of pressure group Transport Environment, says that emissions by commercial shipping globally will increase 250 per cent between

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World Has Decided Not to do More to Fight Climate Change Till 2020

Oct 29th, 2014 | By
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Do not expect any country to up its fight against climate change between now and 2020. That is the plain reading of the diplomatic gobbledygook produced at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s recently concluded negotiations. The EU was once a leader on climate change. It is now trying hard to come down to the

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Melting Glaciers, Changing Climate

Oct 29th, 2014 | By
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At dawn, Mohd Soheb begins an arduous trek to the high camp at Chhota Shigri glacier in the Pir Panjal range in Spiti valley, Himachal Pradesh. From the PWD guesthouse at Chota Dara, he walks down to the Chandra river where he travels across in a small iron crate using an ingenious system of pulleys

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Clean India Call Remains Unheard, Himalayas Turning to be Dumping Yard

Oct 29th, 2014 | By




The higher reaches of the Himalayas are virtually turning into an open air garbage dump. And Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for cleanliness seems yet to reach these lofty heights. “It’s surprising to see garbage littered here and there in this fragile ecosystem,” Aditya Gosh, a tourist from Kolkata, remarked. “It seems the tourists here

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Research: Asia Most Vulnerable to Climate Change

Oct 28th, 2014 | By
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Populations living in low-lying, coastal Asian cities are at most risk from the effects of climate change, according to a report titled “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability,” presented last March at the climate talks in Yokohama Japan. The report warns that Asia’s coastline is the region of the globe most vulnerable to future flooding,

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Gangotri Glacier is ‘Rapidly Disintegrating’

Oct 28th, 2014 | By
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The Hindu: The Gangotri glacier is rapidly disintegrating, states the latest observation of a team from the Almora-based G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development. The team of the institute, which has been monitoring the Himalayan glaciers, particularly the Gangotri, since 1999, visited the glacier between June and October, this year. Kireet Kumar, Scientist

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Climate-induced Disasters

Oct 28th, 2014 | By
vignette




The Himalayan Times: Three weeks ago, I visited Madi area of Chitwan. Forty-year-old Ganga Devi Sunwar was among the many people I met—and who have been affected by extreme weather events. Every year Ganga feels that she has seen the worst flood of her life, only to be proven wrong in frequent intervals with more floods

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Gross National Happiness in Bhutan: Is it Working?

Oct 28th, 2014 | By
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Nation Multimedia Group chairman Suthichai Yoon interviewed Bhutan’s Ambassador to Thailand Kesang Wangdi after a trip to the remote Himalayan kingdom famed for its notion of “GNH”. Excerpts: Ambassador Wangdi, I was in Bhutan two weeks ago. It was beautiful. And of course I asked everybody, ‘What is happiness?’, because Bhutan has told the whole

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IPCC Report is “Roadmap” to Paris Climate Deal – Pachauri

Oct 27th, 2014 | By
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Scientists and delegates from more than 100 governments are meeting in Copenhagen this week to thrash out the definitive round-up of climate science. By the end of the week, they will have approved the final building block of the UN climate panel’s fifth assessment report – a 100-page document bringing together five reports released over the

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Climate Change Fact or Fiction

Oct 27th, 2014 | By
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Climate change facts abound, and those who doubt the authenticity of claims from climate change scientists see these statistics as fiction rather than fact. The Climate Change / Global Warming debate has been going on for decades now, with mixed results. Believers on the left, naysayers on the right. Climate change is back in the

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India Wants Focus on Adaptation, CBDR to Tackle Climate Change

Oct 27th, 2014 | By




PTI: Ahead of UN Climate Conference, India on Monday made a strong pitch for focusing on adaptation and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) as part of the new global order on climate change, saying it cannot “only be about mitigation and emission cuts”. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said adaptation to the adverse effects of climate

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Rising Temperatures Threaten Farm Output

Oct 27th, 2014 | By
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Temperatures will go up and the productivity of farmlands will come down in future. This could lead to a food crisis, warned the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment report. With increasing temperatures IPCC has also cautioned that in the rice bowls of South India heat stress on the rice crop is

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Karachi Has a Lot on Its Plate, But it is Still Food Insecure

Oct 27th, 2014 | By
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The World Food Summit defines food security as: “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. At present, in total, around three billion people are malnourished out of a total global population of 7.2 billion people, which implies that around 40 per cent

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Climate Linked to Shrink in Size of Alpine Chamois

Oct 26th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: The Alpine chamois is getting smaller. Researchers have found that climate change and a gradual rise in average temperatures over the last 35 years mean that young chamois now weigh about 25% less than animals of the same age did in the 1980s. The latest find, reported in Frontiers in Zoology, is

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For Bhutan, it Takes a Community to Save the Snow Leopard

Oct 26th, 2014 | By
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First listed as globally endangered in 1972, snow leopards have declined by 20 percent over the past two decades throughout most of the 12 Central Asian countries they inhabit, from Afghanistan in the west to Mongolia in the east. Human activities – primarily habitat destruction, poaching and retaliatory killings to avenge livestock losses – present

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EU Set to Allow Car Emissions Into Carbon Trading Market

Oct 26th, 2014 | By
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(Reuters) – The European Union is set to make it easier to bring road transport emissions into the carbon trading market, a move that critics say could empower carmakers to push back against more effective curbs on greenhouse gases. EU leaders will attempt to agree on energy policy for 2030 when they meet in Brussels

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No Concrete Result Reached in UN Climate Talks in Bonn

Oct 26th, 2014 | By




(Xinhua) — The third round of United Nations’ 2014 climate talks wrapped up in Bonn, Germany, on Saturday, reaching no concrete result and leaving heavy workload to climate conference in Lima, Peru, in December. In the past six days, nearly 1,200 negotiators from 176 countries and organizations gathered in the city which hosts the secretariat

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UN Climate Change Draft Sees Risks of Irreversible Damage

Oct 26th, 2014 | By




(Reuters) – Climate change may have “serious, pervasive and irreversible” impacts on human society and nature, according to a draft U.N. report due for approval this week that says governments still have time to avert the worst. Delegates from more than 100 governments and top scientists meet in Copenhagen on Oct 27-31 to edit the

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Sea Rise May Still Pose a Man-sized Threat

Oct 24th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: For those who think climate change means deep trouble, some comfort: there is a limit to how deep. Danish-led researchers have looked at all the projections and satisfied themselves that, at the very worst, sea levels this century will rise by a maximum 1.8 metres − roughly the height of an average man. They

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Researchers Resolve the Karakoram Glacier Anomaly, a Cold Case of Climate Science

Oct 24th, 2014 | By
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Researchers from Princeton University and other institutions may have hit upon an answer to a climate-change puzzle that has eluded scientists for years, and that could help understand the future availability of water for hundreds of millions of people. In a phenomenon known as the “Karakoram anomaly,” glaciers in the Karakoram mountains, a range within

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As Glaciers Melt, A Lake in Nepal Fills Up

Oct 24th, 2014 | By
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Glaciers on Nepal’s Imja Tse (Island Peak) in the Himalayas have melted at an average rate of almost 10 meters per year over the past several decades, during which time residents of Imja Tse Valley below have literally watched the residual waters create an entirely new lake. The Imja Tsho (Imja Lake) first began collecting

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Geologist Seeks Clues About the Most Rapid and Dramatic Climate Change in Earth’s History

Oct 24th, 2014 | By
theglobetrot




This past summer, not long after collecting her degree from Caltech and thanks to the support of a Watson Fellowship, Hima Hassenruck-Gudipati (BS ’14) found herself walking alone along a creek near the northern Italian town of Feltre, about 50 miles north of Venice. She was not vacationing, but instead was on the hunt for

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EU Reaches Consensus on Climate Change Targets

Oct 24th, 2014 | By




PTI: European Union leaders have reached a deal on a comprehensive package of climate targets, including a binding 40 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the level of 1990 by 2030. They also agreed at a summit in Brussels yesterday to increase the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU to at least

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Rising to “the Greatest Challenge in Human History”

Oct 21st, 2014 | By




Different obstacles to food security need different solutions. Experience shows that a combination of actions is needed to reduce hunger and guarantee food security in the longer run. They include shifting towards more sustainable food systems, facilitating access and strengthening social protection. Within this framework, to sustainably rise to “The Greatest Challenge in Human History,”

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Governments Commit to Significant Funding Increase and Accelerated Action to Achieve Biodiversity Targets and Sustainable Development

Oct 21st, 2014 | By
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UNEP News Center: The Convention on Biological Diversity closed the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties today with Governments committing to step up actions to achieve, by the end of the decade, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets agreed four years ago, and contribute to the sustainable development agenda. A key outcome was the agreement by

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Loss and Damage: a Guide for the Confused

Oct 21st, 2014 | By
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At the nineteenth Conference of Parties (COP19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Warsaw, Poland in December 2013, all parties agreed to set up a new Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) on Loss and Damage with an Executive Committee and three year mandate to report back at COP22 in December

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Prakash Mathema: Poorest Countries Have the Most to Lose at UN Climate Talks

Oct 21st, 2014 | By
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Nepal’s Prakash Mathema is leading the UN climate change negotiations for the group of Least Developed Countries Group (LDC). According to him, an ambitious outcome at the 2015 Paris UN summit can only be reached if vulnerability to climate change impacts of poorest countries are taken into consideration. Prakash Mathema is joint secretary at Nepal’s

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Climate Renews Famine Risk to Africa’s Sahel

Oct 21st, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: The Sahel, the arid belt of land that stretches from the Atlantic to the Red Sea and separates the Sahara desert from the African savanna, is no stranger to drought and famine. Now scientists in Sweden say the Sahel faces another humanitarian crisis even than in the recent past − with the changing

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Europe Emission Targets ‘Will Fail to Protect Climate’

Oct 20th, 2014 | By
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BBC: Prof Jim Skea, a vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says the EU’s plan to cut CO2 emissions 40% by 2030 is too weak. He says it will commit future governments to “extraordinary and unprecedented” emissions cuts. The Commission rejected the claim, saying the 40% target puts Europe on track for long-term

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Access to Electricity in India Has no Impact on Climate Change

Oct 20th, 2014 | By
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Press Trust of India: Improving household electricity access in India over the last 30 years contributed only marginally to the country’s total carbon emissions growth during that time, according to a new study. While increased energy access is widely agreed to be an important goal for development efforts, such as the UN Sustainable Energy for

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Eradicating Poverty Goes ‘Hand in Hand’ With Biodiversity Protection – UN Officials

Oct 19th, 2014 | By
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UN News Center: The protection of biodiversity is directly related to the eradication of poverty and stimulation of economic growth, senior United Nations officials stressed today at a meeting in Republic of Korea, calling on countries to take an integrated approach when it comes to development. “Maintaining biodiversity is related not only to direct conservation

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U.N. Meeting Emphasizes Border Area Biodiversity

Oct 19th, 2014 | By




Environment-related officials from 124 countries agreed to widen the scope of global coordination on preserving biodiversity worldwide during the 12th meeting of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which closed on Friday in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province. Reaching a consensus through senior-level gatherings, participants said they adopted the “Gangwon Declaration” and “Pyeongchang Road Map,” both

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Climate Change May Hit Rice Yields in Asia: IPCC Report

Oct 19th, 2014 | By




The Hindu: Rural poverty in parts of Asia could be exacerbated due to negative impacts from climate change on rice production, and a general increase in food prices and the cost of living, says the report of working group two of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report. Launched on Thursday, the

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Pakistan at War With Climate Change

Oct 19th, 2014 | By




Having faced with problems of war on terror and chronic loadshedding, the incumbent government has to encounter the climate change question mark now. The policy framework, called the National Climate Change Policy, might be seen as reasonable but international cooperation necessary for adjusting to climate change is non-existent. The machinations of the present industrial scenario

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Indian Companies Decouple Growth From Carbon Emissions: CDP Report

Oct 19th, 2014 | By
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The Hindu: Indian companies have already embarked on their journey towards a low carbon economy and a high number have demonstrated that it is possible to decouple business growth from carbon emissions, according to a new report released on Wednesday. The India 200 Climate Change Report 2014 by CDP, an international non profit organisation, says

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Environment Ministers Discuss Ways to Conserve Biodiversity

Oct 15th, 2014 | By
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A global meeting of environment ministers and heads of related international organizations began in the eastern city of Pyeongchang on Wednesday to discuss ways to conserve biodiversity for sustainable development. The high-level meeting was organized as part of the 12th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which is underway in the city, 182 kilometers

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WB Suspends Grant Assistance to Nepal

Oct 15th, 2014 | By




The Himalayan Times: The World Bank Group has suspended its grant assistance to Nepal citing the country falls in the group of nations with low risk of debt distress, but has pledged to provide soft loan of Rs 700 billion. Of the total soft loan of Rs 700 billion, the country has already received commitment

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Coastal Cities Need to be Climate-proof, Says Study

Oct 15th, 2014 | By




The Hindu: mate resilient in terms of extreme events with respect to preparation and infrastructure. Recent studies indicate that there is a long way to go in achieving this. Both the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 and the Environment Ministry had said there would be a high likelihood of increase in the

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Sea Level Rises Unprecedented In Last 6000 Years

Oct 15th, 2014 | By
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A new study of past sea level changes spanning 35,000 years shows that during the period from 6,000 years ago until the mid-19th century there is no evidence of sea level changes over periods of longer than 200 years and no evidence of changes that exceeded 20cm. For comparison, sea levels have risen by around

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UN Launches ‘Game-changer’ Software to Help Developing Countries Monitor Forests

Oct 14th, 2014 | By




“Many countries simply do not have a full picture of what is happening in their forests, and without that knowledge it is hard to develop effective forest policies to combat deforestation and forest degradation or to advance national climate change strategies,” said Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General for FAO Forestry, in a press release. As it

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The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report: What Does it Mean For the Caribbean?

Oct 14th, 2014 | By
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Dr Kenrick Leslie, CBE, Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, reflects on the implications of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report for the region, as he prepares to welcome representatives of the IPCC and Caribbean governments and businesses to a special launch event, co-sponsored by CDKN, in Barbados this evening. The Caribbean’s response to

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Nepal’s Progress on MDGs Exemplary

Oct 14th, 2014 | By




Shoko Noda has witnessed major changes in Nepal during her tenure as UNDP Country Director for Nepal. Noda, who leaves for the Maldives as the island nation’s UN chief, commends Nepal’s progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Manish Gautam caught up with Noda to discuss her reflections on the time she spent in

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Asia’s Mountainous Regions Very in Climate Sensitivity

Oct 14th, 2014 | By
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The high mountains of Asia, including the Karakoram, Himalayas, and Tibetan Plateau, combine to form a region of perplexing hydroclimate changes. Glaciers in the Karakoram region have exhibited mass stability or even expansion, contrasting with glacial mass loss across the nearby Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. This suggests that different regional snowfall or temperature signals might

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Poor Nations Urged to Leapfrog Harmful HFC Refrigerants

Oct 13th, 2014 | By
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SciDev.Net: Efforts to rid the world of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a group of powerful greenhouse gases mainly used as refrigerants, may depend on developing nations being able to leapfrog these chemicals to less harmful alternatives, an environmental group has warned. HFCs were introduced following the 1989 Montreal Protocol as a replacement for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which deplete the ozone

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Solar Dimming Reflects Complexity of Climate Change

Oct 13th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Two separate studies have confirmed the extent of human influence on climate change – and, for once, carbon dioxide is not the usual suspect. One team has just found that air pollution dimmed the skies of northern Europe, reflected sunlight back into space, reduced evaporation, and increased river flow. The second group reports

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Response to Climate Change Impacts

Oct 13th, 2014 | By
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Dawn: Sensitising participants of the UN Climate Summit in New York last month about how Pakistan is suffering multiple natural disasters, adviser on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said his country requires $5bn annually to undertake adaptation measures to fight climate change impacts. At present, Pakistan receives about $3m for a climate adaptation fund

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Uttarakhand Floods Result of Climate Change: Report

Oct 13th, 2014 | By




The 2013 Uttarakhand floods were most probably a consequence of “human-induced” climate change, a new report by the American Meteorological Society has suggested. The extraordinary rainfall in Uttarakhand in June last year has found a place in a list of 16 extreme weather events that the report says were most likely a direct result of

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Himalayan Glaciers In Karakoram Adding Bulk, Not Losing Ice, Says Study

Oct 13th, 2014 | By
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Reuters: Once again there is damning news against the Inter­governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this time from a study of glaciers in the Karakoram region of the Himalayas. It finds that the glaciers here are stable and snowfall is actually increasing adding to their bulk. Even earlier, these glaciers have been a source of

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We Can Meet 2C Climate Target – and Here’s How, Say Energy Experts

Oct 12th, 2014 | By
Scientist, Bob Watson, University of East Anglia, Norwich,




The Guardian: Meeting a target of keeping global temperature from rising above 2C is still possible, according to 30 leading climate and energy experts. The authors, who include former UK government scientific adviser Sir Bob Watson, conclude that staying under 2C needs “immediate, urgent action” at the highest levels of governments. The Tackling the Challenge

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