Good News Agency – Year XI, n° 181
Good News Agency carries positive and constructive news from all over the world relating to voluntary work, the work of the United Nations, non governmental organizations and institutions engaged in improving the quality of life – news that doesn’t “burn out” in the space of a day. It is distributed free of charge through Internet to 10,000 media and editorial journalists in 54 countries and to 3,000 NGOs and 1,600 high schools, colleges and universities. It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, an educational charity associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information. The Association has been recognized by UNESCO as “an actor of the global movement for a culture of peace” and it is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.
22 December 2010 –
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today’s vote by the United States Senate
to support the ratification of the nuclear arms reduction treaty signed earlier
this year by the leaders of
The 2008 Convention comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions, sets strict deadlines for clearance of contaminated land and destruction of stockpiles of the weapon, and includes groundbreaking provisions for assistance to victims and affected communities. A total of 108 countries have signed the treaty, of which 49 have ratified.
The treaty entered into force
as binding international law on 1 August 2010, and its historic First Meeting
of States Parties was held from 9-12 November in Lao PDR – the most heavily
cluster-bombed country in the world. In June 2010,
20 December 2010 - Biocides are substances used in products such as insecticides, disinfectants, repellents, wood preservatives and anti-fouling paint for ships. On 20 December, the environment ministers agreed on new rules to reduce the risks posed by biocidal chemicals. For the first time, the legislation identifies which active substances may not be used in biocidal products. The most hazardous substances will no longer be permitted, in particular those that can cause cancer, mutations or fertility problems.
The rules now also cover articles incorporating pest control chemicals. A wide range of everyday products, for instance sleeping bags or sofas, are treated with biocidal substances. They may no longer be treated with unauthorised chemicals and must be labelled so as to prevent allergic reactions to chemical residues. The rules also apply to all imported articles.
Under the new regulation, an optional procedure for authorising biocidal products at EU level is introduced to reduce the administrative burden on producers.
Security Council steps up fight against sexual violence in conflict
16 December 2010 – The United Nations stepped up its battle against sexual violence in conflicts around the world today with the Security Council calling for perpetrators to be publicly listed and punished with sanctions. “Even as we take this step here, catastrophe is unfolding for communities caught in the chaos of conflicts,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the 15-member body at the meeting where it unanimously adopted the resolution. It had been sponsored by 60 countries, including some where the worst cases of recent abuse have been perpetrated.
The Council resolution – voicing deep concern at the slow progress in combating the scourge and the limited number of perpetrators brought to justice – stresses the need to end impunity and vowed to take “appropriate steps to address widespread or systematic sexual violence in situation of armed conflict” in accordance with procedures of relevant sanctions committees.
Mr. Ban’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallström, said today’s resolution will help ensure that mass rape is never again met with mass impunity.
“Instead of serving as a cheap, silent and effective tactic of war, sexual violence will be a liability for armed groups. It will expose their superiors to increased international scrutiny, seal off the corridors,” Ms. Wallström said. “The resolution the Council adopted today may not bring justice to every victim throughout the history of war – but it will help to ensure that conflict-related sexual violence no longer goes unreported, unaddressed or unpunished.” (...)
EU ratifies UN Convention on disability rights
Brussels, 5 January – Following formal ratification, it is the first time in history the EU has become a party to an international human rights treaty – the United Nation's (UN) Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. The Convention aims to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy their rights on an equal basis with all other citizens. It is the first comprehensive human rights treaty to be ratified by the EU as a whole. It has also been signed by all 27 EU Member States and ratified by 16 of these. The EU becomes the 97th party to this treaty.
The Convention sets out
minimum standards for protecting and safeguarding a full range of civil,
political, social, and economic rights for people with disabilities. It
reflects the EU's broader commitment to building a barrier-free
The EU signed the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities on its opening day for signature on 30 March 2007 (IP/07/446). It has since been signed by all 27 EU countries and a further 120 states worldwide. Following completion of the ratification procedure, the EU as a whole is now the first international organisation which has become a formal party to the Convention (as are 16 EU Member States too).
The Convention commits parties to making sure that people with disabilities fully can enjoy their rights on an equal basis with all other citizens (MEMO/10/198). For the EU, this means ensuring that all legislation, policies and programmes at EU level comply with the Convention's provisions on disability rights, within the limits of EU responsibilities. Ratifying countries, such as the EU Member States, should take action in the following areas: access to education, employment, transport, infrastructures and buildings open to the public, granting the right to vote, improving political participation and ensuring full legal capacity of all people with disabilities.
UN chief lauds global fight against human trafficking
13 December 2010 –
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has lauded the global initiatives against the
trafficking of human beings, saying the measures are helping liberate those who
are exploited and bringing to justice perpetrators of the crime. “This despicable
crime is no longer being ignored,” Mr. Ban said in a video message to delegates
attending the Luxor International Forum against Human Trafficking in
Mr. Ban also drew attention to the General Assembly’s launch this year of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons and to the newly-created UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons.
Stepping up the fight against people trafficking
13 December 2010 - Every year several hundred thousand people are believed to be trafficked into the EU or within the Union itself. To come to terms with this serious crime and gross violation of human rights, members of the Civil Liberties' and Women's Rights committees on 29 November backed an agreement with European governments on new tougher rules. The whole European Parliament will now debate and vote on these rules.
The aim is to create a more hostile environment for the human traffickers, stronger protection for the victims and more rigorous prevention. Many of the victims - mainly women and girls - are exploited for prostitution (an estimated 40%), or for menial labour - about a third.
Ahead of the debate Swedish Social Democrat Anna Hedh who acted as rapporteur for the Civil Liberties Committee says the agreement is "much better than what I ever believed we would get".
She added, "we have managed to strengthen the protection for victims with a clear focus on rights, extra protection for children and added a clear gender perspective."
The new Directive will replace
current rules dating from 2002. EU countries will have two years to transpose
In Health, Abbott and the Abbott Fund unite to combat severe childhood
Innovative partnership to build new production facility for locally sourced nutrition products; Abbott and PIH to combine unique business and non-profit expertise to empower local communities, strengthen long-term economic development
“This ambitious partnership
between PIH, Abbott and the Abbott Fund will help to address severe
malnutrition in Haiti, while also serving as an example of how partnerships can
help to provide economic empowerment for local communities,” said Paul Farmer,
co-founder of PIH. “PIH and Abbott experts are working shoulder to shoulder
with Haitian farmers and community health workers to create local, sustainable
solutions to treat malnutrition in children. By sharing the collective expertise
and resources of business, non-profit organizations and civil society, we can
help the people of
daily deals available from a variety of green companies around
Green America and its partner Q4 Marketing have launched Green Deals (http://www.GreenDeals.org), a website that provides people who care about good deals and going green with daily deals from local and national online green companies. Over 100,000 people are already signed on to Green Deals. All participating companies meet Green America's strict standards for social and environmental responsibility in their policies, practices, and products.
Green Deals also features tips on everyday green living, coupons, and other offers from their Green Approved Businesses. Recent deals have included organic chocolates, green cleaning supplies, and environmentally friendly water bottles.
29.91 million IFAD loan and grant to increase rural financial sector
Rome, 22 December 2010 – A new US$ 29.31 million loan and US$ 0.6 million grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to the Republic of Kenya will provide better access to financial services, increase incomes, and improve production and outputs in the rural smallholder farm and off-farm sectors.
The loan and agreement for the
Programme for Rural Outreach of Financial Innovations and Technologies (PROFIT)
were signed today in
The financial sector in
The PROFIT will implement structural changes required to improve the performance and sustainability of the rural financial sector by investing in new innovations and technologies. It will encourage the development of a range of tailored financial products, most importantly: savings and remittance services, value chain financing, medium-term financing for the agriculture sector and micro venture capital modalities, as well as provide technical support services.
Contact: Jessica Thomas email@example.com
13.5 million IFAD grant to boost cassava, maize and rice development in
The Steering Committee of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) Trust Fund will transfer US$20 million to IFAD for purposes of co-financing the Support to Agricultural Development Projectect (PADAT).
The IFAD and GAFSP financing
agreement for the PADAT was signed today in
The PADAT will help to raise productivity of small-scale growers of three staple food crops: cassava, maize and rice; and enhance value-added/marketing of their outputs. With the support of the Government and other donors, the project will promote pro-poor rural economic growth. The PADAT coverage is nationwide, starting with the areas where farmers, women as well as men, are particularly vulnerable to poverty. The project is expected to directly benefit some 107,500 small farmers. Approximately 75,000 of these direct beneficiaries will be reached through 3,000 producers’ organizations. The total number of indirect beneficiaries will be 368,000.
Approved projects for
The United Nations recognizes the role of culture for development
On 20 December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on culture and development, which emphasizes the important contribution of culture for sustainable development and for the achievement of national and international development objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This represents a major breakthrough at the international level in so far as there is no explicit mention of culture in the MDGs. This new resolution will encourage stakeholders to more fully integrate the cultural dimension into development processes thereby ensuring their sustainability.
This resolution comes in the wake
of the United Nations MDG Summit, which took place in September 2010. The
outcome document adopted by the
Deloitte's new documentary film series showcases the power of skills-based volunteerism to help nonprofits achieve long-term social impact
Four short films help tell the story about how companies can have greater impact with a unique approach to community involvement
New York, January 6 - Deloitte has released a powerful documentary film series, “Making A Difference…Differently,” that dramatically illustrates the impact that can be realized when people and companies contribute business skills to help nonprofit organizations achieve their goals. This documentary series is available for viewing at Deloitte.com.
Told through the personal lens of professionals who have worked pro bono on issues such as urban poverty, college access for low-income students, disaster response and the paralympics movement, Deloitte's film series exemplifies how resource-constrained nonprofits can achieve much more when given the resources to address the operational and capacity challenges they invariably face. Each of the four short films, “Fellowship, Skills, Ready and Empower,” offers a compelling story of volunteers affecting social change through the contribution of business skills and acumen, to help a nonprofit organization deal with tough business issues.
2011 - European Year of Volunteering
6 January – The European Year of Volunteering aims to encourage more people to get involved by: making it easier to volunteer; rewarding volunteers, for example by formally recognising the skills they acquire in the course of their work; improving the quality of volunteering by providing training and matching volunteers to suitable vacancies; raising awareness of the value of volunteering.
Throughout the year, a group of volunteers will be touring the EU to show people the kind of work they are doing. During their 10 days in each country they will also meet policy-makers to discuss what’s important to them. A team of 27 volunteer journalists will take turns in covering each leg of the tour and produce a series of audiovisual and written reports that will be broadcast and published in the media and online. Four high-profile conferences will take place throughout the year to assess key issues related to volunteering.
Work at national level will be
coordinated by the EYV Alliance, a cluster of 33 European volunteering networks
founded in 2007. Potential volunteers can use the
The EU has been working to promote volunteering for many years and in 1996 set up the European Voluntary Service to encourage young people to volunteer abroad in local communities.
The European Year coincides with and complements UN-led activities to mark the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers.
“Twenty years of war have left
Over the past few weeks, the
ICRC and the Somali Red Crescent have distributed two-month rations of rice,
beans and oil to some 240,000 displaced people and needy residents, and
blankets, kitchen sets and plastic roofing to over 300,000 people. Priority has
been given to disabled people, orphans and households headed by women. The aid
reached many different cities in
USA - Multi-family owner, the Bascom Group, creates a national movement to raise funds and awareness for UNICEF
over 90 apartment communities across the country participating, the Bascom
Group raises $19,000 for the
Spreading across over 150 countries, UNICEF is a global humanitarian relief organization providing children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. Every year the organization holds a “Trick or Treat for UNICEF” campaign, allowing children to participate by asking for donations instead of sweets.
In addition to promoting the “Trick or Treat” campaign, the Bascom Group properties also spearheaded resident events of which 100% of proceeds were donated. On-site teams created haunted houses out of model units; bake sales, sporting contests, and raffles were also held, which generated buzz and excitement. Educational kiosks were set up in each leasing office, creating awareness and providing education. Undoubtedly, this project caught on and it developed into a national movement of self and community awareness. (…)
ADRA continues aid to Serbian earthquake survivors
Through this intervention,
ADRA has helped more than 2,000 people through the distribution of emergency
winter aid kits. These lifesaving kits contain pillows, blankets and quilts for
the victims who were forced to evacuate their damaged homes. This assistance is
particularly vital as the temperature is expected to go below freezing and many
of the victims have lost all their belongings and are now living in tents. The
emergency packs were prepared by volunteers in the capital of
N. Hilton Foundation awards $750,000 in emergency relief for
Los Angeles, 8 December 2010 - The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded grants of $750,000 to support the work of four humanitarian organizations conducting relief operations to assist people in Pakistan affected by this summer's severe flooding, placing it among the largest U.S. foundation donors for the disaster.
“While flood waters have
receded significantly, the scale of damage left behind is daunting both in
terms of geographic size and long-term economic impact,” said Steven M. Hilton,
CEO and President of the Foundation. “At least 12 million people in
Grants of $400,000 to Oxfam
A $100,000 grant to BRAC
West African caravan promotes peace from the ground up
By Ryan Hyland
Rotary International News – 6
January - A caravan led by former Rotary Peace Fellow Richelieu Allison
journeyed through four countries in
The peace caravan consisted of
two buses with about 40 Rotarians and representatives of the West African Youth
Network, a group that mobilizes and trains young people to restore peace and
human rights in the region. The caravan traveled to border towns in
The caravan, which included
workshops and peace vigils, began in
“Rotary is fully committed to
promoting peace,” says
After graduating in 2006 from
the inaugural class of the
RI President Ray Klinginsmith notes that 516 Rotary Peace Centers alumni, including 54 Africans, already are making a difference through grassroots efforts and key decision-making positions in governments and organizations around the world. (...)
23 December 2010 – MAG is
working to protect returnees coming back to southern
The scene was one of
excitement, nervousness, anticipation and sheer exhaustion. The last eight days
spent on an excruciatingly hot and packed boat from
Dressed in their best clothes, carrying bags of luggage and resting in whatever shade they could find, the 74 girls, 56 boys, 402 women and 138 men crowded into the dusty compound grounds of the Southern Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission waiting to be officially registered by the local authorities.Mothers breastfed their infants, older children looked after their younger siblings and men stood in tight-nit groups, deep in discussion. Before the registration began, a MAG Community Liaison team greeted the new returnees and invited them to sit under a large tree in preparation for a special Mine Risk Education (MRE) session.
The Community Liaison team showed the returnees large banners with pictures of the various landmines most commonly found in southern Sudan, and explained to the people how best to protect themselves from the mines, which areas to avoid and which warning signs, both local and international, to recognise. Large banners with pictures of commonly found unexploded ordnance (UXO) were then shown. Again the message was clear: stay away and do not touch.
24 December 2010 –
International Trust for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF) received
contribution from the
UN and partners unveil
programme to combat
16 December 2010 – With drug traffickers in West Africa increasingly adjusting their tactics to avoid counter-narcotics efforts, the United Nations and partner organizations today launched a comprehensive, integrated programme to combat drug trafficking and organized crime in the region.
The programme – the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Programme for West Africa 2010-2014 – covers 16 countries and will respond to the needs of West African countries on the principle of shared responsibility, addressing the transcontinental nature of the challenge, in particular, the transatlantic route. It will focus on peace building, security sector reform, and national and regional institution- and capacity-building; as well as strengthening action in the areas of organized crime, trafficking and terrorism, justice and integrity, drug prevention and health, and awareness raising and research.
The launch of the West Africa programme took place at a high-level meeting at UN Headquarters in New York, co-chaired by UNODC, the UN Office for West Africa and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and in cooperation with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the UN Department of Political Affairs and the International Criminal Police Organization, better known as INTERPOL.
The Special Representative of
the Secretary-General for
After nearly two years working
Since January 2009, MAG has assessed 2,132 residential and agricultural sites for the presence of lethal UXO, responded to more than 250 requests for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) support, and safely identified 360 items of UXO and 2,100 small arms ammunition.
During this time MAG also pioneered a technique for the safe disposal of white phosphorous projectiles, destroying all the 95 artillery shells that it located.
MAG began work in Gaza as a response to the emergency generated by Operation Cast Lead, which saw the scale and type of UXO contamination in Gaza significantly expand as a result of the 23-day bombardment by land, air and sea.
MAG has also worked to raise awareness of the scale and type of contamination, and actively sought to change risk-taking behaviours amongst vulnerable groups, such as those communities located in or near the buffer zone along the border, and contractors working on the UNDP Rubble Removal Programme.
Preventive diplomacy, investigative mandates a focus of latest publication of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs
The importance of preventive diplomacy for reducing conflict around the globe and the UN’s growing responsibilities in managing investigative mandates, panels and fact-finding inquiries are among the topics explored in the latest issue of Politically Speaking, the bulletin of the UN Department of Political Affairs. The bi-annual publication profiles the work of UN political missions and envoys in the field, among other responsibilities of the Department of Political Affairs. Additional topics featured in the Fall/Winter 2010-11 edition include:
Current and previous issues of Politically Speaking are available at the website of the Department of Political Affairs: www.un.org/depts/dpa.
7 January – Nearly half of
pregnancies in the
Fortunately, 87 Muslim women in the remote islands of Tawi-Tawi now have greater access to culturally appropriate family planning methods as well as quality health facilities and services. What made the difference? The USAID-funded Sustainable Health Improvement through Empowerment and Local Government (SHIELD) project, which works to increase women’s access to family planning counseling and services.
To help ensure that the family planning initiative met the women’s needs and was culturally appropriate, SHIELD-trained community health action teams first met with the women themselves. The staff organized information sessions in the Tawi-Tawi villages so the women could learn and ask questions about a full range of family planning methods and staff could learn more about their needs and concerns. Tawi-Tawi is located in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. Following the information sessions, the teams connected interested women to rural midwives for more information and counseling.
Of the 87 mothers served in early December, 36 chose the birth control method of bilateral tubal ligation (commonly known as getting one's “tubes tied”) and 51 women chose other family planning methods.
Geneva/Abidjan, 7 January - The ICRC and the Red Cross Society of Côte d'Ivoire have treated almost 80 people injured during recent clashes in Duékoué, in the west of the country, where they are continuing to help 12,000 displaced persons.
Despite difficult security conditions, volunteers from the Ivorian Red Cross have been attending to casualties day and night since violence broke out in the town. “We've been working continuously since Monday. At the same time, I'm also trying to find part of my own family,” said Ivorian Red Cross volunteer and first-aid coordinator Christine Dehe Mahan.
The ICRC has provided medical supplies for the treatment of casualties at the hospital and other medical facilities in the town. Meanwhile, Red Cross first-aiders have delivered to the morgue the bodies of 14 people killed during the clashes
The number of people fleeing the violence has swamped the Catholic mission in Duékoué. “We estimate that some 12,000 people are spending the night at the mission, but the number changes with the situation,” explained ICRC delegate Edmond Corthésy. An assessment of the situation is under way in two other areas of Duékoué, where displaced persons have just arrived.
vaccination campaign, hopes of a substantial reduction in meningitis A
6 January – “It is encouraging, because this is a new vaccine which gives protection for 10 years, and if the coverage rate is really so high, this could prevent the outbreak of meningitis A epidemics, the most common form of this disease in Africa,” confirmed Seco Gerard, field coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières in Dosso.
It is almost midday. The air is dry and rasping. By the side of the road, sheltering under some branches, five women patiently await the arrival of the last people to vaccinate. We are in Tourobon, a village in the Dosso district, and it is the last day of the vaccination campaign against meningitis and meningococcus A. The two vaccinators, the preparer and the pointer (the person who records the number, age and gender of those vaccinated) explain that they have only vaccinated 39 people since this morning. “It's the end! We are sure to have vaccinated all the children and women aged 30 and over in the village and its surroundings."
Initial results from Phase One
of vaccination campaign in the
Phase Two of this major
vaccination campaign – also carried out in neighbouring
the Children intensifies public awareness efforts in
Westport, Conn. , USA, 22 December 2010 - A lack of accurate public information about cholera is further complicating efforts to combat the epidemic in Haiti, where the disease has already claimed more than 2,500 lives, according to Save the Children.
In response, the humanitarian organization has launched a wide-reaching public awareness initiative to increase understanding about the cause and spread of the disease.
“It will be extremely challenging to beat back this cholera epidemic without giving people a better understanding of where the real risks lie and the best ways to avoid them. As it is, fear and misperceptions are driving a lot of counterproductive actions,” said Charles MacCormack, president and CEO of Save the Children.
Save the Children is working to educate communities about the benefits of cholera treatment units, as well as the strict measures taken at them to prevent further contamination as limiting the spread of the disease is a chief priority for all treatment units.
The mission coincides with the
first anniversary of the 7.0 earthquake that devastated
At the clinic in Deschapelles, Hollinshead, Martin and Meenzhuber will work with a team of healthcare professionals, including orthotists and prosthetists, to provide care to patients. While many of the patients lost a limb in the earthquake, others have been waiting for a prosthesis for years.
campaigns move ahead in
By Dan Nixon
Rotary International News, 17
December 2010 - Rotarians in the
Republic of the
At least 179 people have died
in the outbreak, with 476 cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) reported as of
7 December. Most of the cases involve young people between ages 15 and 29 and
have occurred in the city of
Georges Moyen, the nation’s health minister, says the Rotarians’ support was well targeted and timely. “All you have offered, Pointe-Noire has lacked,” he says. “The weakness is a lack of social mobilization.” Rotary International and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative -- the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- are responding strategically to the outbreak. Rotary has provided a total of $500,000 in emergency grants to WHO and UNICEF for immediate polio immunization efforts throughout the country.
The outbreak is due to
imported poliovirus that is related to the virus circulating in
For maternal health, go door to door
By Damakant Jayshi
It hasn’t always been easy for Maharjan and other community health volunteers like her. Indeed, she says, “It was very difficult those days when people suspected (us) of various ill intentions.”
Yet they must have been doing something right all these years. According to Maharjan herself, she has noticed that there has been improved awareness about sanitation, diseases, and health centre services in the last several years. That’s not all, though. Manik Ratna Shakya, head of the Satungal Health Post, says, “Along with the government’s and several donors’ incentives and initiatives, their (the volunteers) contribution – a selfless one at that – is the biggest in meeting the target of reducing maternity and child mortality rates.”
For sure, it’s not an achievement to scoff at, since it means that this impoverished Himalayan country is likely to meet the fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on improving maternal health. In fact, just this September, Nepal was selected by the MDG Awards Committee, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnership, to be among 49 Least Developed Countries that posted significant achievements in relation to the MDGs. Nepal was cited for its outstanding national leadership, commitment, and progress towards improved maternity health.
Nonprofit Technology Conference -
The Nonprofit Technology
Network's signature conference will take place from March 17-19,
The 2011 NTC offers many fun and informative opportunities to connect with peers, exhibitors, and experts who share your commitment – and your challenges. From our member reception and progressive party to one-on-one chats and hands-on trainings, your weekend in the Capital will be chock-full of opportunities to share, bond, and build relationships. You can start right away, on our social networking site, MyNTC.
There's no shortage of educational experiences at the 2011 NTC. Learn alongside passionate nonprofit pros who, like you, want to use technology effectively to advance their missions and bring about change. Breakout sessions, training courses, and consultations offer the valuable learning opportunities you need to keep moving forward.
If you're looking to reach the nonprofit sector, there's no better place to show off your latest and greatest products and services. Exhibit and provide hands-on demos at our popular "Science Fair" – or sponsor the entire conference; we have opportunities available for any size organization. Your message will reach an audience of committed, tech-savvy professionals committed to improving their effectiveness and making the world a better place. (Source: WANGO, December 23, 2010.)
Institutional solar cooking gains momentum in India.
30 December 2010 - A news release from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in India, reporting on important activities in 2010, states: Solar concentrating systems, comprising automatically tracked of parabolic dishes, have been found to be useful for generating steam to cook food for hundreds and thousands of people in community kitchens especially at religious places such as Shirdi, Mount Abu, Tirupati etc. The world’s largest system is functioning at Shirdi for cooking food for 20,000 people/day. These systems have found good applications for air conditioning and laundry also and a few demonstration plants have recently been installed. A total of around 80 concentrating systems of different capacities covering 25,000 sq.m. of dish area are functioning in the country, largely for cooking purpose. During 2010, 15 such systems were sanctioned covering a dish area of around 3000 sq.m. See Scheffler Community Kitchen
December 2010 - U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu recently announced a Notice of Intent (NOI) to fund up to $50 million to test and demonstrate innovative technologies. The funding will support testing at the Nevada National Security Site, which will be used as a proving ground for cutting-edge solar technologies.
Projects at the site will be deployed at a large enough scale to provide data for utility-scale installations, which are typically grid-connected projects of more than 20 megawatts. Technologies to be tested include concentrating solar thermal and concentrating photovoltaics.
The demonstration program is
designed to link DOE's advanced technology development programs and full-scale
commercial efforts to advance utility-scale solar. It complements the
Department of the Interior's 24 Solar Energy Study Areas on public lands in the
Solar Program adds online multimedia resource
December 2010 - The U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Program recently added an online gallery of multimedia resources. The gallery is a centralized location where site users can find current solar photos, video, B-roll, graphics, charts, and animations that highlight and illustrate a range of solar technologies.
These multimedia resources are critical communication tools to educate stakeholders on the benefits of renewable energy and build awareness about solar advancements. The site will provide the media, educators, policymakers, and the general public with easy access to multimedia assets to help tell the story of solar to a wider audience. The new solar multimedia gallery can be accessed at www.eeremultimedia.energy.gov/solar/
Wild Indian rhinos find new ground in Himalayan foothills
The year-long process of procuring tranquilizers, radio-collars and other equipment needed to move the two rhinos – one adult and one juvenile – paid off in late December after a specially trained team released the pair in Manas National Park located on the Himalayan foothills.
The rhinos, which are
currently listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN), were moved to Manas from the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in
specially designed crates. The nearby Pobitora sanctuary has accumulated the
world’s highest density of rhinos, with over
Typical tilapia is currently rated as unsustainable in WWF seafood guides due to issues with harmful environmental effects including chemical use, waste spilling into waterways, risks of disease and escapes and weak regulation of aquaculture in many producing areas.
“The moving towards certification classification was set up to give consumers the ability to identify and support fisheries and fish farms that have signed up to achieve the highest standards of sustainable production,” said Dr Mark Powell, WWF International Global Seafood Leader.
Tilapia is the world’s second
most important farmed fish, and
“The benefits we expect from
certification are international recognition of all the efforts we have made in
developing a socially and environmentally sound aquaculture model,” said
Anne-Laurence Huillery, Sustainability Manager for Regal Springs, the leading
tilapia producer in
FoEME's "Good Water Neighbors" project brought together mayors and municipal representatives from the Tamar Regional Council (Israel) and the South Ghors Governorate (Jordan) twice during the month of December, first in Jordan and then in Israel. The delegations visited local ecotourism initiatives and discussed future cooperation on local sustainable agriculture.
Both sides concluded that they
are interested in follow up meetings. Cooperation to promote the opening of a
new border crossing - at the
UN - World Interfaith Harmony Week, first week in February
The first week of February of
each year has been designated World Interfaith Harmony Week by the United
Nations. First proposed in 2010 by HM King Abdullah II of
We invite you to join URI members around the world in celebrating the launch of this annual observance. Download our Interfaith Harmony Week tool card for a list of ideas for bringing people together across religious barriers and building interfaith trust and understanding in your community. Post your activities to the World Interfaith Harmony Week website and send stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org so your actions are added to the collective whole.
11 January _
The administration will actively
support religious circles in
100-dollar laptops bring in distant kids
By Ranjit Devraj
In 2005 Sethi began her programme and by 2008 the demand for computer training had grown to a point where Sethi could establish Unified Developmental and Academic Activities Network (UDAAN) to run computer education programmes in schools based on courses designed by the National Council of Education Research and Training.
“The state-run schools [some
of which actually had computers allocated to them] showed little interest in
the programme citing the usual reasons - no electricity, no teachers or no
permission from higher authorities to enter into a partnership,” said Sethi. UDAAN, however, moved on. A partnership with
So far, more than one million ‘XO’ laptops - each costing 100 U.S. dollars - have been distributed under the OLPC programme to children in the developing world.
January 7 - The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has designated the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (United Kingdom) and Infocentro Foundation (Venezuela) as the laureates of the 2010 UNESCO King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Prize for the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education. The winners of the prize were selected on the recommendation of an international jury. This year's theme was “Digital Literacy: Preparing Adult Learners for Lifelong Learning and Flexible Employment”,
The National Institute for Adult
Continuing Education (NIACE) is the leading non-governmental organization
promoting the interests of adult learners in
The Infocentro Foundation was selected for its project “Technological Literacy for Older Adults”. The Foundation is supported by the Venezuela Ministry of Popular Power for Science and Technology, providing free access to information technology infrastructure to enable adults and other users in achieving lifelong learning. Through 680 education infocentres established across the country, the foundation aims to enable adult learners to move from basic computer literacy to more advanced ICT skills. Infocentro Foundation has enabled almost one million individuals, including those with disabilities, to develop technology literacy skills.
The Director-General will
present the Prize – a diploma and US$25,000 – to each of the laureates at a
ceremony on 12 January, 2011 at UNESCO Headquarters in
awards EDC $75 million to improve education in
Specifically, EDC aims to
improve children’s learning environments by repairing and equipping schools,
enhance the skills of
D-RASATI will begin with a nationwide assessment of the needs of each public school, which will be incorporated into a comprehensive action plan. The program will also establish a monitoring and evaluation system to ensure high-quality performance.
EDC will lead the effort in
partnership with the
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