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News from Earthwatch - 2001
Global Environmental Headlines
Conference on Freshwater - was held in Bonn in December
The UN Food
and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a new publication "Aquaculture
in the Third Millennium" in December
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) published "The
State of World Population 2001" - POPULATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL
CHANGE - report in November 2001
Press release - November 2001.
Rising temperatures, linked with emissions of greenhouse gases, can damage
the ability of vital crops such as rice, maize and wheat, to flower and
set seed. New studies indicate that for every one degree C rise in areas
such as the Tropics, yields could tumble by as much as 10 per cent. Average,
global, temperatures in the Tropics could climb by as much as three degrees
C by 2100. Key cash crops such as coffee and tea in some of the major
growing regions will also be vulnerable over the coming decades to global
Greenhouse Gas Emission Graphics - set of graphics produced by GRID-Arendal in co-operation with the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for the 7th Conference of the Parties (COP-7) to the Convention, held in Marrakesh, Morocco 29th October to 9th November 2001.
UNEP.Net Climate Change portal launched in October 2001
Climate Graphics - 2001 - published
IPCC Third Assessment Report now available for download. The IPCCs Third Assessment Report, published in January (Vol. I), February (Vol. II) and March (Vol. III) 2001, was written and reviewed by hundreds of climate change experts on the basis of the most up-to-date, peer-reviewed research available.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued the "State
of the World's Forests 2001" (SOFO), in October
new Report, An
Assessment of the Status of the World's Remaining Closed Forests
in August 2001
UNEP starded new Depleted Uranium Assessment in Serbia and Montenegro in October 2001
Press release - Recognizing the need to eliminate any remaining
weaknesses in the international regime for protecting the earth's ozone
layer, governments met in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 16 to 19 October
2001 in order to strengthen the effectiveness of the
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Ozone Day is an annual event that takes place on September
16. For the year 2001 celebration UNEP
issued a press release, stating that a range of new chemicals,
used in everything from fire extinguishers to cleaning fluids, are appearing
on the market to the concern of scientists studying the ozone layer.
The new substances, with names such as n-propyl bromide and halon-1202,
are not controlled by the Montreal Protocol which lists ozone-depleting
substances that are to be phased out.
According to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD October 2001), there is an urgent need to address the impact of invasive alien species. Eradication, control, mitigation of their impacts combined with legislation and guidelines at national, regional and international levels are some of the ways that the Convention is addressing the issue.
UNEP's Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP) - program launched in May 2001
UNEP-WCMC releases World Atlas of Coral Reefs in September 2001: The most detailed assessment of the status and distribution of the world's coral reefs.
UN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) released annual report:
STATE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE 2001 in September
UNEP has released an environmental assessment report entitled The Mesopotamian Marshlands: Demise of an Ecosystem in August 2001. The report, which was prepared by GRID-Geneva in collaboration with GRID-Sioux Falls and the Regional Office for West Asia, is available on-line.
The seventh meeting of the Earthwatch Working Party was be held at the UNEP offices in Geneva on Monday 10 December and Tuesday 11 December 2001. The Meeting documents are available online.
The United Nations Environment Programme has launched the pilot version of UNEP.NET, its new global environmental information network on the Internet. The new web site at http://www.unep.net/ includes the Explorer search tool, country profiles and the Protected Areas Atlas. Further components will be added as they are developed. The new site aims to provide integrated global information on the state of and trends in the environment provided by many partners. It has been designed by the UNEP Division of Early Warning and Assessment in collaboration with the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) and other partners. The official launching took place on 8 February 2001 during UNEP's Governing Council in Nairobi.
With the transfer of the former Coordinator of Earthwatch, Arthur Dahl, as Director of the new UNEP Coral Reef Unit in the Division of Environmental Conventions, responsibility for Earthwatch Coordination has now devolved on other staff in the Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA) as follows:
Tim Foresman, Director of DEWA, will represent UNEP in plenary sessions of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). Tim Foresman will also be the focal point for liaison with the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) of ICSU, IGBP and other international scientific programmes.
Overall responsibility for UN System-wide Earthwatch now rests with Dave MacDevette, head of the Assessment Branch, supported by the Assessment Branch Partnership Management Unit. An Earthwatch Coordination Officer will be recruited in Geneva through the GRID-Geneva partnership to handle day-to-day activities, organize meetings of the Earthwatch Working Party, arrange UN system inputs to GEO, oversee maintenance of the Earthwatch web-site, etc.
Dave MacDevette takes over responsibility for Environmental Indicators in close collaboration with Ashbindu Singh. Indicators are a prime tool in assessment processes and will form the input reporting framework for the annual UNEP State of the Environment Reports.
Ashbindu Singh will be the UNEP focal point on environmental statistics and represent UNEP on the ACC Subcommittee on Statistical Activities
Global Observing Systems (GCOS, GOOS, and GTOS) and the Sponsors Group for the G3OS will be the responsibility of the Early Warning Branch, with Dan Claasen as the designated focal point for the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) Partnership. Maintenance of the IGOS-P web-site has been transferred to IOC-UNESCO. Arthur Dahl will continue in his new role to take the lead in the development of a coral reef theme under IGOS.
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