New UNbacked report warns of costs of inaction on climate change

22 August 2008Government leaders must take urgent action to ensure that weather-related hazards, which are becoming more intense and frequent due to climate change, do not lead to a corresponding rise in disasters, a new United Nations-backed report released today said. The new study identified India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia as being among global warming’s “hotspots,” or countries particularly vulnerable to increases in extreme drought, flooding and cyclones anticipated in coming decades.Commissioned by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the non-governmental organization (NGO) CARE International, it examined the possible consequences of global warming in the next 20 to 30 years.The so-called hotspot nations are already facing considerable political, social, demographic, economic and security obstacles, the report said.“Climate change will greatly complicate and could undermine efforts to manage these challenges,” said Charles Ehrhart, one of its authors, who serves as Climate Change Coordinator for CARE International.The impact of a natural disaster is determined by several factors, such as access to proper equipment and information, as well as the ability to exert political influence, he noted. “The striking lack of these explains why poor people – especially those in marginalized social groups like pastoralists in Africa, women and children – constitute the vast majority of disaster victims.”The report cited the most effective means to curb human vulnerability to disasters are: boosting the ability of local and government institutions to respond to crises; empowering local people to have a stronger say in disaster preparedness, response, recovery and rehabilitation; and providing services and social protection for the most vulnerable populations.The authors expressed hope that point out hotspots around the world will spur leaders to take action and encourage aid workers to modify their strategies to take into account the realities of new risks posed by climate change.The new study’s launch coincided with the gathering of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that kicked off yesterday in Accra, Ghana.The seven-day event is the latest round of UN-sponsored global climate change negotiations, bringing together more than 1,600 participants to discuss future greenhouse gas emission reduction targets ahead of a major summit set for 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. read more

TESO calls for referendum in the north and East

Besides, leaders of DMK and its allies — Dravida Kazhakam (DK) and Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) — the seminar was attended by senior Congress leader and Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and representatives of National Conference and NCP. “Tamils require resettlement and rehabilitation very urgently. The world community should think of creating a credible, independent, international inquiry into all the events in Sri Lanka. A lasting solution lies in a referendum,” DMK leader M K Stalin said. The seminar asked the Indian government to support a resolution to be moved by the US at the UNHRC meet against the island nation for its human rights “violations”. Tamil Nadu political parties today pushed for referendum in the north and east of Sri Lanka to find out the sort of political solution war-hit Sri Lankan Tamils want, the Press Trust of India reportedA seminar organised by DMK Chief M Karunanidhi-founded Tamil Eazham Supporters’ Organisation (TESO) also pressed for urgent rehabilitation and resettlement of Sri Lankan Tamils displaced by war in the island nation. read more

Campus Store hosting Red Friday sale

There’s no need to leave campus to find Black Friday deals.Brock Campus Store will launch its Red Friday Sale Friday, Nov. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.Shoppers can purchase one regularly priced apparel item, including clothing, hats, socks and outerwear, and get a second apparel item of equal or lesser value for free. Door crasher markdowns, identified with yellow price tags, will offer even deeper discounts. Door crashers do not qualify for the buy one get one free promotion.All sales are final. Promotions are in-story only, while supplies last. Additional discounts (e.g. alumni, employee) will not be honoured on promotional items. read more