Monday, February 27, 2012

UN Document Would Give Mother Earth Same Rights As Humans

UNITED NATIONS, April, 2011 -- Bolivia will table a draft United Nations treaty giving "Mother Earth" the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.

The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to "dominate and exploit" — to the point that the "well-being and existence of many beings" is now threatened.

The wording may yet evolve, but the general structure is meant to mirror Bolivia's Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, which Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted in January.

That document speaks of the country's natural resources as "blessings," and grants the Earth a series of specific rights that include rights to life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.

"If you want to have balance, and you think that the only (entities) who have rights are humans or companies, then how can you reach balance?" Pablo Salon, Bolivia's ambassador to the UN, told Postmedia News. "But if you recognize that nature too has rights, and (if you provide) legal forms to protect and preserve those rights, then you can achieve balance."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Something to think about

Resilient people, resilient planet: a future worth choosing
by the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability

What is to be done if we are to make a real difference for the world’s people and the planet? We must grasp the dimensions of the challenge. We must recognize that the drivers of that challenge include unsustainable lifestyles, production and consumption patterns and the impact of population growth.

As the global population grows from 7 billion to almost 9 billion by 2040, and the number of middle-class  consumers increases by 3 billion over the next 20 years, the demand for resources will rise exponentially. 

By 2030, the world will need at least 50 per cent more food, 45 per cent more energy and 30 per cent more water —all at a time when environmental boundaries are throwing up new limits to supply.

This is true not least for climate change, which affects all aspects of human and planetary health.    (pages12 -13)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Struggles and Challenges Facing Not Only Women, But Girls and Young Women

Adolescent girls, many of the verge of adulthood, face many challenges. They are discriminated against as females, and consequently face diminished opportunities and choices. They are often poorly educated, subject to serious health risks, and threatened by violence. Their views and concerns are often unheard.

There are 1.8 billion young people in the world. Approximately half of them – 900
million – are adolescent girls and young women.
• Girls’ primary school completion rates are below 50 per cent in most poor countries.
• Pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications are the number one killers of girls
aged 15 to 19 worldwide.
• One in seven girls in developing countries is married before age 15, and 38 per cent
are married before age 18.
• In sub-Saharan Africa, more women than men are living with HIV, and young women aged 15–24 years are as much as eight times more likely than men to be HIV positive.
• Women and girls make up 80 per cent of the estimated 800,000 people trafficked
across national borders annually, with the majority (79 per cent) trafficked for sexual

This information comes from UN Programme on Youth (UNPY) Empowering Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Girls and Young Women, in the context of the International Year of Youth. Read more at DESA News report of the briefing session and check out some photos.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Today's YOUTH face many challenges

The key Social Development principle is people-centered development.

The UN Conference on Social Development (February 1- 10, 2012) is tackling the issue of Poverty Eradication. Poverty is a web of inter-related conditions, both social and economic. Youth unemployment is one of the issues getting attention. This lack of youth employment has long-lasting consequences and affect the well-being of young people now and in the future.

Fact Sheet: Youth Unemployment

• In 2009, about 81million young people were unemployed, the most ever.

• Youth unemployment rate rose from 11.9 percent to 13.0 percent between 2007 and 2009, an increase of 7.8 million.

• In 2008, an estimated 152 million young workers –or nearly 25 percent of the world’s working poor – were living with their families on less than US$1.25 per person per day.

• Young women have more difficulty than young men in finding work. The female youth unemployment rate in 2009 stood at 13.2 per cent compared to the male rate of 12.9 per cent.