195 nations seal historic Paris pact to stop global warming..

To rousing cheers and tears of relief, envoys from 195 nations approved Saturday an accord to stop global warming, offering hope that humanity can avert catastrophic climate change and usher in an energy revolution.

In the COP 21(Conference of the Parties)- Paris climate conference held from November 30 to December 11, 2015, “The Paris agreement” to combat climate change and take actions towards a low carbon, sustainable future was agreed by 195 nations. Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement by the COP, it will be opened for one year for signature on 22 April 2016--Mother Earth Day. The agreement will enter into force after 55 countries that account for at least 55% of global emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification. The agreement is the global climate framework for the post-2020 world. It will replace the existing Kyoto Protocol which will continue till that time.

 

 

Key features of Paris agreement are-

  • Agreement calls for holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C
  • An overall assessment of how countries are doing in cutting their emissions compared to their national plans – starting in 2023, every five years. Climate action will also be taken forward in the period before 2020
  • By some point after 2050, man-made emissions should be reduced to a level that forests and oceans can absorb. Thus a carbon-neutral world is aimed at after 2050 but before 2100.
  • Parties to peak greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and achieve a balance between sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century
  • The deal requires countries to monitor, verify and report their greenhouse gas emissions
  • Only developed countries are expected to slash their emissions in absolute terms; developing nations are "encouraged" to do so as their capabilities evolve over time.
  • The deal also calls on developed nations to give $100 billion annually to developing countries by 2020.

 

In order to reach the long-term goal, countries agreed to set national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions every five years. More than 180 countries have already submitted targets for the first cycle beginning in 2020. India has submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Main points of India INDC are -

  • To reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level
  • To achieve about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030, 
  • To create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tones of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030. 

 

IUCN celebrates International Tiger Day 2015

Statement by IUCN Director General, Inger Andersen, on International Tiger Day.    

The tiger – iconic beast of the forest. A symbol of strength, grace and power. The stuff of legend.

It’s inconceivable that this magnificent creature which inspired the awe and wonder of our childhood could be pushed to the brink of extinction. 

But indeed it has. Today we mark International Tiger Day – born at an international summit in 2010 that was held in response to the shocking fact that 97% of tigers disappeared during the 20th century with numbers plummeting from about 100,000 to around 3,000 today.

Remaining populations are now isolated and under increasing pressure from poaching for the Asian medicine trade, habitat loss and fragmentation, and the loss of the tiger’s prey species which people hunt for subsistence. As the communities living in and around important tiger habitats continue to grow, so too does the pressure on shrinking forest resources.

As a top predator, the tiger plays an important role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. The fate of the tiger is intrinsically linked to the fate of the forests and grasslands it inhabits and in turn, the fate of the people who rely on these resources for their food and livelihood. 

Because their food sources are increasingly limited, tigers are forced to prey on livestock, bringing them into conflict with local communities. Attacks on people are on the rise and in many parts of the species’ range, retaliatory tiger killings by enraged communities are becoming more frequent, with the loss of key animals important for breeding and maintaining tiger subpopulations.

Resolving this human-tiger conflict epitomises the challenge of modern-day conservation – how to allow people and wildlife to live side by side, to benefit from each other. 

IUCN, with the support of the German Government and in partnership with the German Development Bank KfW, began the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme in 2014 and the first projects will be launched in the coming days, which will help boost global efforts. These projects will focus on monitoring tiger and prey populations and securing habitat corridors to connect isolated populations, while engaging local communities, in particular indigenous communities, to ensure that the activities are compatible with the sustainable development of these people’s livelihoods. In parallel, we are pleased to see a strong global desire for a continuation of the multi-partner Global Tiger Initiative (GTI). IUCN looks forward to working in close partnership with the GTI and its partners as this moves forward.

We know what is needed to safeguard tiger populations in the long term. It requires conserving and restoring habitats, carefully monitoring populations, and bringing an end to poaching. At the same time, the living conditions of local communities must be improved and they should be given access to alternative sources of livelihood in order to reduce the pressure on forest resources. 

The tiger may well be in the spotlight today, but that spotlight must be widened to show the world that by saving this species, we can achieve so much more. We can make the forests of Asia the wild, beautiful and productive places they once were, and by doing so, improve the lives of millions of people.

 

Ensuring indigenous peoples' health and well-being"

Every year, 9 August is commemorated as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day is celebrated with special events around the world, including at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

This year's theme puts a spotlight on the issue of indigenous peoples' access to health care services, as improving indigenous peoples’ health remains a critical challenge for indigenous peoples, Member States and the United Nations. The “State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Volume II”, which will be launched at the UN Headquarters event in observance of the International Day, provides important background information on the topic.

The observance of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples at UN Headquarters will take place on Monday, 10 August 2015, in the ECOSOC Chamber, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The event will be webcast live on webtv.un.org.

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