Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Can Crisis Secure the Right to Water?

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

What comes to mind when you think about water?

Perhaps a swim in the pool on a hot day, ice cubes in your favorite drink or the relaxation of a long, hot shower after a tough day at work.

Well what if you could have none of those things? What if water – and the necessity of its use – translated into stomach cramps …diarrhea …malnutrition …death?

For 884 million people a source of safe drinking water is unavailable, according to UNICEF, and for 2.5 billion people there is no access to clean sanitation.

Over 3 million people a year die as a result of water-borne diseases. In the time it took me to type that sentence, a child died from lack of clean water.

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Consensus emerges at World Water Week

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Discussions at the Stockholm World Water Week continue to reveal broad consensus on many water-related issues and the immediate need to address them. This guest post from attendee Alex McIntosh, provides valuable insights in the the thinking of thought leaders on water ….

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Reporting real time on Day 4 of World Water Week:  Stockholm, Sweden (9/9/10)

 (posted by Alex McIntosh, founder, Ecomundi Ventures)

By Day Four of the 2,500-attendee conference, a few overarching themes have begun to emerge.  First, in the majority of the watersheds across the globe, we know too little about the amount of water available, the amount extracted in aggregate for human use, or the quality of the watershed.  For this reason, in the seminar On the Road the Corporate Water Reporting, panelists from Nature Conservancy, CERES, Quantis, PepsiCo, CH2M HILL, Unilever, Borealis and other organizations all agreed that the trend towards greater water reporting transparency would continue, primarily driven by businesses’ need to obtain and manage their supply chain water resources, and in response to consumer/customer/investor stakeholder pressure. 

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Turning on the Tap …

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

This week – for the first time since the United Nations adopted a resolution affirming the fundamental human right to water and sanitation in July – representatives of governments, the private sector, NGOs and academia are gathered at a major international water event, the Stockholm World Water Week.

Ensuring access to clean water for everyone is one of the most critical challenges facing our global community. It is a complex goal, but one that must remain a core focus if we are to avoid severe shortages, social unrest and needless deaths in the decades to come.

(I know … you know what’s coming don’t you?)

All week long I’ll be featuring water-related content from myself and guest bloggers looking at topics such as the right to water and pollution in China, as well as a running blog-commentary from Alex McIntosh who is in Stockholm attending the event! (For more on Mr. McIntosh’s experience, click here.)

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Crafty Cranes and Tykes for Turtles

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Alfred Hitchcock had it right.

After two months of Gulf Coast oil spill-inspired volunteering at the seabird sanctuary and hospital, I have come to the conclusion that Hitchcock’s The Birds (story by Daphne Du Maurier) is no fiction. More probably, it is an unauthorized biography of some poor fool who thought helping birds at his or her local sanctuary was a relaxing feel-good way to fulfill civic responsibility.

No, the truth is, the birds are out to get us! Or, at least me ….

Now why would this animal loving, 2 cats in the family, avid campaigner against animal abuse and careless environmental degradation say such a thing?!?

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Tweeps exercise their rights! (and I learn a lesson)

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

 

I thought it was an easy question ….

And after ummmmm….like …(I’m 29 … I tell ya, 29!) 30 plus some odd years on this earth you would think that I’d know better.

Every day for going on 15 years I have spent hours focused on a constantly (r)evolving variety of human and environmental rights issues as part of my “day job.” This tends to put me in regular contact with academics, government officials, activists, specialists and others equally (and often more) focused on the issue at hand.

Most often the issues I am writing about are near and dear to my heart on a personal level as well (hence, my propensity to suddenly ejaculate massive amounts of passionate information on subjects that have little to do with the actual conversation I am having at the time). Many of my live and virtual friends find this endlessly interesting and a bit odd. As a result, I tend to attract a lot of questions and requests for explanation on issues.

That started me thinking (yes, yes, I know … that’s always a dangerous undertaking):

What does the average person know about human and environmental rights? What are the issues they think about? And then, finally, what are the issues that your average person passionately believes everyone else should also be aware of?

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Tasmanian Devil Cancer Cause Identified

Thursday, December 31st, 2009
A piece of positive news for the animal kingdom to close out 2009 and welcome 2010

Australian and American researchers believe they have uncovered the cause of a cancer that has decimated the world’s Tasmanian devils populations, pushing the marsupial towards extinction at a frighteningly quick rate. Scientists hope to use the information to formulate a cure in time to save the species.

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