In the final report of the Decade for a Culture of Peace project presented to the UN General Assembly, Good News Agency is included among the three NGOs that have been playing a major role in the field of Information via the Internet.*


Good News Agency – Year XII, n° 194



Weekly – Year XII, number 194 – 11th November 2011

Managing Editor: Sergio Tripi, Ph. D.

Rome Law-court registration no. 265 dated 20 June 2000.           

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 is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.




International legislationHuman rightsEconomy and developmentSolidarity

Peace and securityHealthEnergy and SafetyEnvironment and wildlife

Religion and spiritualityCulture and education



International legislation



 UN agencies join forces to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling

31 October - The United Nations agencies that deal with helping refugees and with fighting crime signed a joint agreement today to work together more closely to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling. The memorandum of understanding, signed by the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres, aims to combine the work of both entities in overlapping issues to more effectively target criminals involved in human trafficking and to better protect their victims. The agreement will focus on four defined regions based on the agencies’ work: Latin America, the Gulf of Aden, Afghanistan and its bordering countries, and North Africa.


UNESCO grants full membership to Palestine

New York, October 31 - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today voted to admit Palestine as a full member of the Paris-based agency.  UNESCO’s General Conference, the agency’s highest ruling body, took the decision by a vote of 107 in favour to 14 against, with 52 abstentions, according to a news release. The move brings the total number of UNESCO member States to 195. For its membership to take effect, Palestine must sign and ratify UNESCO’s constitution, which is open for signature in the archives of the Government of the United Kingdom in London.

Admission to UNESCO for States that are not members of the UN requires a recommendation by the agency’s Executive Board and a two-thirds majority vote in favour by the General Conference.

 UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.


Senegal: UN launches task force to help stem drug trafficking through airport

27 October – The head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a task force to boost the capacity of the international airport in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, to intercept narcotics smuggled through the facility, a major air traffic hub in West Africa.

The task force, launched yesterday by Yury Fedotov, the UNODC Executive Director, is expected to improve the effectiveness of the Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP), which is designed to strengthen airport intelligence and information-sharing.

AIRCOP aims to establish secure, effective real-time communication and exchange of information among source, transit and destination countries of cocaine trafficking. Under the project, joint airport interdiction task forces made up of officers from various law enforcement agencies will operate around the clock at 20 international airports.


UN panel approves over $1 billion for victims of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait

27 October – Over $1 billion was disbursed today to eight successful claimants by the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), which settles the damage claims of those who suffered losses because of Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. This latest round of payments – a total of $1,038,375,281 – brings the overall amount of compensation made available to date by the Commission to nearly $34.3 billion for over 100 governments and international organizations for distribution to 1.5 million successful claimants.

Established in 1991 as a subsidiary organ of the Security Council, the Commission has received  nearly 3 million claims, including from close to 100 governments for themselves, their nationals or their corporations.


EU should take lead in global fight against illegal fishing - EP Committee

12 October - Illegal fishing distorts trade, hurts efforts to rebuild depleted stocks and conserve species and will have a long-term impact on the environment and food security, the Fisheries Committee warned Tuesday. An estimated 11-26 million tonnes of fish a year, representing 15% of global catches, comes from illegal fishing. The committee calls on the EU to promote global action, including more inspections at sea and closing markets to illegal fisheries products.

The own-initiative report by Swedish Green Isabella Lövin says international cooperation is the only way to tackle the problem because of the mobility of fish stocks and fishing fleets and because around two thirds of the world's oceans are outside national jurisdictions. It also says that as a major fishing power and the biggest importer of fisheries products, the EU should play a key role. The committee voted unanimously in favour of the report, which will be go to the November plenary session in Strasbourg.



Human rights



Universal Children's Day - November 20

One of the outstanding keynotes of our present time is the focus that is being put on children: the rights of children; the needs of children; the importance of considering children in every area of life. At a global level this is reflected in The Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international human rights treaty that is transforming the lives of children and their families around the world. Under the Convention all but two of the world's countries (USA and Somalia) have agreed to meet universal standards, guaranteeing children the rights to survival, health, education, a caring family environment, play and culture ….

Universal Children's Day is observed on different days in different countries. It is a Day to celebrate children and to empower the vision of an interdependent world of families, communities and nations in which the rights and needs of children are accorded the highest priority. 20 November marks the day in which the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.


19 Days of activism for prevention of abuse and violence against children & youth

November 1 - 19

An international coalition of organizations and movements is launching this global campaign leading up to World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse. By focusing during 19 days on the prevention of diverse types of abuse and violence against children and youth, the campaign aims to continue to bring to light the alarming problem, its multifaceted aspects, and the need to generate sufficient grass-roots interest and government and public support for better prevention measures.

World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse - November 19

Held each year the day before Universal Children's Day, this is a day to focus on the creation of a culture of prevention of child abuse — particularly sexual abuse of children. A coalition of organizations from around the world organizes a range of activities on the Day to raise awareness of the problem and to promote various prevention programmes.



Economy and development



UN and Brazil launch initiative to combat hunger among school children

7 November   The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Brazilian Government today launched a new initiative to help countries run their own national school meal programmes to advance the nutrition and education of children. The Centre of Excellence Against Hunger, located in the capital, Brasilia, will assist governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America by drawing on the expertise of WFP and Brazil in the fight against hunger, while promoting sustainable school feeding models and other food and nutrition safety nets.

The South American nation has been recognized for its Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) strategy for reducing poverty and food insecurity and its school meals programme, which reaches about 45 million children per year. Funded entirely through voluntary donations, WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger. Each day in 60 countries around the world, WFP provides school meals to around 22 million children.


Enablon launches Wizness -- the world's first online network for sustainability performance

Chicago, San Francisco and Paris, November 4 - Enablon, one of the world's leading Sustainability Management software providers, today announced the launch of Wizness, the 'Wise Business' online platform that allows people and organizations to work together to solve sustainability business challenges. In development for two years,

Wizness already comprises more than 250 member companies, news and content from the world's best sustainability sources, discussion groups on topics ranging from supply chain management, energy, carbon and water usage to ethical business data, global rankings and much more. 

Enablon is the world's leading software provider of Sustainability Management solutions. More than 300 global companies and 200,000 users worldwide use Enablon solutions to improve the reporting and management of their environmental and social performance, control their risks and reduce costs. Through its partnership network, Enablon operates in more than 130 countries.


Sudan: more than one million animals vaccinated

Khartoum/Geneva (ICRC)3 November – Between January and October, in a campaign carried out jointly by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries (MARF), one million animals in Darfur and almost a hundred thousand in South Kordofan were immunized against the five major diseases affecting animals in Sudan.

Among the five major diseases that could affect the animals is anthrax, a bacterial infection that is in most forms mortal and can also spread to humans. The animals vaccinated are cows, goats, sheep, camels, horses and donkeys.

The ICRC provided vaccines and refresher training for members of remote pastoralist communities who monitor animal health and provide basic treatment. Since 2005, more than 270 community animal health workers have been trained thanks to the partnership between the ICRC and MARF in Darfur. They have also been provided with drugs and other items needed for the treatment of sick animals.


New Project Won: Vietnam—sustainable cocoa for farmers

October 27 – ACDI/VOCA has won a $1.6 million cooperative agreement from USAID to implement the Sustainable Cocoa for Farmers project in Vietnam. This 30-month Farmer-to-Farmer associate award, which will build on the achievements of ACDI/VOCA’s SUCCESS Alliance project in Vietnam, will improve the economic well-being of Vietnamese smallholder farmers by developing a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable cocoa industry.

Vietnam has made significant strides in reducing poverty from 37.4 percent in 1998 to 14.5 percent in 2008 (World Bank). However, more work remains to be done, especially in rural areas and with marginalized groups. Cocoa in particular represents an opportunity for farmers in rural areas to increase incomes.

Through the new project, ACDI/VOCA and the Vietnam Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (DARD) will work with local cocoa farmers, nursery owners and fermentary operators in eight districts in Dak Lak and Lam Dong provinces. The project will work with actors in all levels of the cocoa value chain.


Improving agriculture seeds

Norwegian peoples Aid (NPA) is working in collaboration with the University of Upper Nile state to improve the quality of local seeds. The project is part of the government’s food crisis response.

By: Tamama Norbert Mansfield

27 October – “In 2009/2010 the project bought improved seeds from companies in the Republic of Sudan. We now want to improve the quality of available local seeds to create easy access to seeds by farmers and reduce on importation costs,” said John Maruti, coordinator for the Emergency Food Crisis Response Project. The Emergency Food Crisis Response Project is funded by the World Bank and forms part of the Government of South Sudan strategic food crisis response and effort to strengthen livelihood and food security programming.

“One of the key components of the project is to support agriculture production through provision of improved seeds and tools to vulnerable farmers and also focus on measures to address the short term implication of the global food crisis in South Sudan,” John said. (...)


Promoting dissemination of orange-fleshed sweetpotato

October 10 – During the 10th African Crop Science Society Conference, Helen Keller International (HKI) and the International Potato Center (CIP) launched a new project: Reaching Agents of Change - Promoting Dissemination of Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotato.

The goal of the Reaching Agents of Change project is to provide direct access to vitamin A-rich orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes for 600,000 households, with an indirect benefit to 1,200,000 households.

The project will build the capacity of already committed Mozambican advocates to convince key decision-makers and donors to invest in the wide-spread adoption and utilization of OFSP. The project will also enable the public and private sectors to design, implement, monitor and evaluate pro-grams that are either OFSP-focused or that add OFSP into existing efforts.


Palestine - Greening of Ein El Helweh

October 2011 - Walking through the narrow winding alleyways of Ein El Helweh Palestinian refugee camp, the first impression is of a concrete jungle. But, nowadays the bleak concrete landscape is interrupted by small niches of green dangling from rooftops, window sills and balconies. It’s an urban agriculture of vegetables and herbs, from lavender, basil, thyme to peppers, eggplants and tomatoes, thanks to a pilot urban agriculture project by ANERA and the American University of Beirut (AUB).

In partnership with Ein El Helweh Women’s Program Center (WPC), the project aims at ameliorating living conditions of the camp’s residents through a capacity building program on urban agriculture. The initiative includes the use of rooftop rain-water collection systems and drip irrigation. The project is transforming the WPC into a greenhouse as a prototype of the “green vision.” Vertical plantings that will cover cement facades should also help improve air quality and offer a visual respite from the stuffy grayness of crowded camp living.

ANERA has implemented similar food security projects in Gaza and the West Bank.






$150-million gift will help Stanford train entrepreneurs in poor countries

by Caroline Bermudez

November 4 – Stanford University’s business school has received a $150-million gift to establish an institute that will help entrepreneurs in developing countries build their businesses. The money came from Robert King, a partner at the investment firm Peninsula Capital, in Menlo Park, Calif., and his wife, Dorothy, who hope the donation will help curb poverty in the world’s hardest-hit regions.

The gift will start the Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, which will conduct research on entrepreneurship and then teach people how to apply the findings. As part of the agreement, the university must raise $50-million more from other sources.

Mr. King is an alumnus of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


Central America battered by tropical depression, ADRA provides humanitarian aid

November 1, Silver Spring, Md., USA - Tropical depression "12-E" that began in the Pacific Coast has initiated heavy rains, and a series of floods and landslides throughout Central America. The deadly storm inflicted widespread damage to cropland and infrastructure including bridges, schools and homes. As a result, thousands of families have been forced to evacuate to temporary shelters to escape rising floodwaters. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) initiated an emergency response, assisting families displaced by floodwaters and landslides in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

In coordination with the Permanent Commission of Contingencies (COPECO), ADRA Honduras is distributing 1500 hygiene kits to families selected from an ADRA-conducted needs assessment, 600 of those kits were donated to ADRA Honduras by the UN Population Fund. With the help of local volunteers, the kits were issued throughout a range of communities identified by COPECO as in greatest need.  In addition to meeting victim's immediate needs, the Agency is developing programs to help in the long-term efforts to rebuild lives.


Somalia: ICRC resumes food distribution in Jilib after air strike

Geneva/Nairobi, 1 November – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has resumed its distribution of food to over 6,000 displaced people in a camp in Jilib district. The distribution, which is being carried out in cooperation with the Somali Red Crescent Society, was temporarily suspended following an air raid on 30 October that left a number of people in the camp killed or wounded. In the aftermath of the raid, Somali Red Crescent volunteers administered first aid to the wounded and helped transfer them to medical facilities outside the camp. The ICRC provided the facilities with medicines and other supplies needed to treat the wounded.

The food distribution in Jilib is part of a large emergency operation currently being carried out by the ICRC with the aim of assisting some 1.1 million drought- and war-affected people across the hardest-hit areas of southern and central Somalia.



Peace and security



World Science Day for Peace and Development - November 10

This Annual UNESCO Day seeks to renew the national as well as the international commitment to science for peace and development and to stress the responsible use of science for the benefit of society. The Day is part of an International Week of Science and Peace.


Ban welcomes agreement on outstanding issues of Nepal’s peace process

2 November – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the agreement reached among Nepal’s political parties on resolving the outstanding issues related to the integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants and the drafting of a new constitution.

The leaders of the country’s four main parties reportedly agreed late Tuesday to integrate one-third of around 19,000 former Maoist rebels into the army and the remainder will receive monetary compensation. The South Asian nation has been trying to work out the remaining aspects of the peace process that in 2007 ended the decade-long civil war between Government forces and Maoists that claimed 13,000 lives.


Deal between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders is attainable – Ban

1 November – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today he is confident that a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue can be reached, following progress made during two days of talks with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in New York. The leaders met with Mr. Ban outside New York City on 30 and 31 October, the fourth such meeting with the UN chief as part of the ongoing talks aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island. At their previous meeting with the Secretary-General in July, it was agreed that the two sides would intensify the talks to reach convergences on outstanding core issues in the negotiations, which include governance and power-sharing, economy, European Union matters, property, territory and security.

The UN-backed talks began in 2008 with the aim of setting up a federal government with a single international personality in a bi-zonal, bi-communal country, with Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot constituent states of equal status.


Security Council welcomes planned regional anti-piracy strategy in Gulf of Guinea

31 October – The Security Council today condemned all acts of maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea and welcomed the intention by States in the region to convene a summit to consider a comprehensive response to the menace. In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Council encouraged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) to develop a strategy against maritime piracy.

The strategy will entail the drafting of domestic laws and regulations – where they do not exist – which will criminalize piracy and armed robbery at sea and develop a regional framework to counter piracy and armed robbery, including information-sharing and operational coordination mechanisms in the region. The regional anti-piracy effort will also include the development and strengthening of domestic laws and regulations to implement relevant international agreements on the safety and security of navigation, in accordance with international law.


East Africa Cup won sports "peace price"

East Africa Cup won the prestigeous “Best sports event for peace of the year” award in Monaco

by Torunn Aaslund

28 October – "It is fantastic to receive this acknowledgement. In East Africa Cup we connect people through sports and creates a foundation for communication", says Vegard Holm in Christian Sports Contact (KRIK).

 "(...) To work with young people you have to meet them at their own arenas, and that is what East Africa Cup is doing. The Cup is not only about sports. No teams can participate in the cup unless they can show other activities such as work on awareness and mobilization in addition to sports. It is one week in Moshi and a whole year in the local community", says Liv Tørres, secretary general of Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).

The East Africa Cup is funded by Norwegian People’s Aid, KRIK, Norway, Mathare Youth Sports Association and CHRISC. This summer nearly 2000 youths from eight countries participated in the cup. They also participate in AIDS awareness, conflict management, sports technic competence, coach development and first aid. – We are also cooperating with BBC to develop media skills in East Africa by using modern web based tools, continues Liv Tørres.

According to Tørres and Holm, this is the most prestigious award when it comes to sports and development, supported by UN, IOC and UNESCO.

A documentary about East Africa made by BBC had its premiere in connection to the award show. Watch the short version here:






A prescription for better health in Guatemala

by Dan Nixon 

4 November, Rotary International News - A global grant project that provided neonatal medical equipment to a Guatemalan hospital is helping to safeguard the lives of newborns and educating community residents about preventive health.  The US$54,322 project -- sponsored by the Rotary clubs of Guatemala Norte and Sunnyvale, California, USA -- provided Hospitalito Atitlán in Santiago Atitlán an oxygen generator, infant incubator, and diagnostic devices, along with training to hospital staff in how to use and maintain the equipment.  

As part of the effort, the Guatemala Norte club arranged for production of an educational DVD in Tz’utujil, the language spoken by the local Mayan community. Shown in the hospital’s waiting room, the DVD covers nutrition, common illnesses, maternal and child health, hygiene, and issues such as alcoholism and domestic violence. That component of the project was inspired by the success of a previous Matching Grant effort involving the two clubs, which had distributed an educational DVD on health-related topics to a different Mayan community.

DVD's impact - Funded under the Future Vision pilot, the effort supports Rotary’s disease prevention and treatment area of focus. Its impact, sponsors say, will reduce the number of people requiring medical care for routine, preventable conditions and enable the hospital’s doctors to focus on treating patients with more serious health problems. (...)


With the power of water, ADRA transforms communities in Zimbabwe

November 1, Silver Spring, Md., USA - In Zimbabwe, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is transforming communities through improving levels of hygiene and health through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) initiatives. Through interactive training and increasing availability of water sources, ADRA is improving the condition of life for scores of Zimbabweans.

The local ADRA Zimbabwe office has a two-fold approach to their WASH projects; one focusing on hygienic behavior change, and the other focusing on bringing safe, drinkable water into communities. ADRA Zimbabwe has worked with local schools to incorporate a six-month curriculum on hygiene education. Once taught, students are then given the opportunity to share what they learned with their pupils, and families, through fun and interactive methods.


Rotary celebrates, takes action on World Polio Day

by Dan Nixon

Rotary International News, 2 November - (...) Throughout the week, Rotarians took up the call to end polio in variety of ways. In Australia, Rotarians and the Global Poverty Project carried out a petition drive to persuade world leaders to fully fund the critical work of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Almost 25,000 supporters signed the petition, resulting in a $20,000 contribution to Rotary's challenge by the Rotary Club of Crawley, Western Australia, which had offered to donate A$1 (about US$1) for each signature.

In Perth, the Global Poverty Project's End of Polio Concert on 28 October raised additional funds. The concert coincided with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth; Rotarians had teamed up with the group to encourage government leaders to put polio eradication on the agenda. Following the meeting, the governments of Australia, Canada, and Nigeria, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, announced a combined pledge of more than US$100 million to support polio eradication efforts. “I also want to acknowledge the efforts of Rotary in what has been a long-standing global initiative for change, and I'd like to remind everyone that change is possible,” said Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. (...)

The week that began with World Polio Day ended on another high note as well: more than 80 million children in Africa and Asia were immunized against polio, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Horn of Africa: ADRA launches phase II for clinic in drought-stricken Kenya

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 – Silver Spring, Md. - Having experienced successive seasons of low rainfall, Kenya remains in a heightened state of drought, leaving an estimated 4 million people in need of food aid, and hundreds of thousands of children and pregnant mothers in need of therapeutic feeding. In response to this great need, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is rolling out a second phase of their emergency project in El Wak, Kenya. Through this expanded intervention, the Agency is increasing access to health services offered, in addition to providing nutritional and water needs to some of the most vulnerable communities.


UN and South Sudan in joint effort to reduce maternal mortality

31 October – A joint initiative of the United Nations and South Sudan is aiming to reduce maternal mortality by deploying midwives throughout the country, providing locals with the necessary skills to safely deliver babies, and improving the health facilities available to the wider population. One out of seven pregnant women dies due to pregnancy-related causes in South Sudan. With less than 100 midwives for the entire country, there is an urgent need for an increase in health workers to attend to the population’s needs. To tackle this issue, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and South Sudan’s health ministry organized a workshop last week to review their joint midwives project, seeking to provide immediate solutions and discuss ways to address the problem in the long-term.


Guatemala and Honduras: MSF distributing relief items and deploying mobile clinic after floods

28 October - Following the tropical depression which caused flooding and damage in several departments of Guatemala’s Pacific coast in mid-October, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is distributing relief items to affected populations in 13 communities of the Nueva Concepción municipality. This area, located in the southern department of Escuintla, is the most affected, where some 5,000 people have not yet been assisted.

In Honduras, where torrential rains have affected thousands of people, MSF has deployed a mobile clinic and offered more than 140 medical consultations to the Marcovia communities in the southern department of Choluteca. An assessment of the health and medical needs has shown that the health system has quickly responded and that patients have free access to primary health care.

MSF is thus focusing on the epidemiological surveillance of infectious diseases, such as dengue, malaria and leptospirosis, and on the disinfection of 20 contaminated wells identified in the area.

MSF will also conduct a mass distribution of doxycycline to support health centres in the prevention of leptospirosis, which is endemic in the region.


China's all-out fight against polio

Immunizing over 9 million

October 28, Beijing - China vaccinated more than 9 million children and young adults last September in Xinjiang in a fight against polio after the disease paralyzed 18 people and killed one of them. Over 4 million children received a second dose of polio vaccine in early October. Polio had broken out in China in late August, 2011 for the first time since 1999. Genetic sequencing of the isolated viruses indicates that they are related to wild polioviruses circulating in Pakistan.

China is undertaking an aggressive outbreak response: Within 15 days of confirmation that wild poliovirus had been detected, a 'level two' public health emergency had been declared, both the Minister and Vice-Minister of Health had travelled to the affected region, almost 150 health professionals from around China had been deployed, five million doses of oral polio vaccine had been airlifted to the province and more than 200,000 hospital records had been reviewed for potential polio cases.



Energy and safety



Indonesia works to secure lead in "ring of fire" geothermal market

by Ivan Castano, Contributor

Jakarta, November 2 - Indonesia is aggressively moving to build up its geothermal industry with plans add as much as 9,000 MW of installed capacity by 2025. However, industry observers say the Southeast Asian country's government must do more to attract foreign investment if it wants to achieve that target. (...)

Industry observers say Indonesia, with the world's highest number of active volcanoes, has the greatest geothermal potential in the so-called Ring of Fire volcanic region straddling the country as well as New Zealand, Philippines, Japan and the Eastern part of Russia. Of all those countries, Indonesia, Philippines and Japan have the strongest development potential, observers say.

However, Indonesia has more volcanic "hot spots" (some 265) and a more aggressive development scheme than the other countries. Developers are using these hot spots to drill holes that can produce steam from volcanic energy. So far, Chevron is the leading foreign developer in the sector but others including Indian industrial conglomerate Tata, Shell, Canada's Raser Technologies and Australia's Origin Energy are also looking to set up geothermal plants. (…)


USA - Solar jobs report shows 6.8% growth over 2010

by Jennifer Runyon, Managing Editor

26 October, Dallas  – The 2010 prediction was for 26% growth in solar jobs to occur from August 2010 to August 2011 but the number came back at only 6.8%. That's ten times more jobs than the overall economy.  The Solar Foundation released its National Jobs Census last week at Solar Power International (SPI) in Dallas, Texas. The good news is that the solar power industry added almost ten times more jobs over the past year than the overall U.S. economy, which added jobs at a rate of a mere 0.7%. The bad news is that the percentage of job growth since last year is a much-smaller-than-predicted 6.8%.

Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation, the organization that authored the report, shed some light on the data on Tuesday during a sit-down video interview at the Event Broadcast booth. Overall, Luecke said she is happy with the results, despite the fact that they are so much lower than expected. (...)

Employers were asked in the survey about what hindered them from adding the number of jobs that they had predicted and more than 30% of solar employers cited general economic conditions. (...) According to the report, industry execs also put the lack of state incentives, the lack of consumer awareness and the lack of consumer access to loans or credit as other obstacles that impacted their ability to add jobs within their companies. (…)


Carbon for Water is solving problems in Kenya

by Steve McLean,

October 16 – Carbon for Water is the name of both a life-changing program in Kenya and a 21-minute film about the project that was shown at Toronto’s Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival on Sunday afternoon.

Kenya’s Western Province has been undergoing a human and environmental crisis due to deadly but preventable diseases originating from water in local rivers that’s used for a variety of purposes and has become unsafe to drink. (...) American filmmakers Evan and Carmen Abramson made their first documentary, When The Water Ends, last year. (...) The film looks at a five-week campaign launched in April that involved 4,000 health workers and 4,000 drivers distributing 900,000 filters to enable 4.5 million people to drink clean water without having to boil it. Carmen (also credited as Carmen Elsa Lopez, her maiden name) says they noticed a reduction in typhoid in just a few days after people started using the filters.

The filters, which cost about $20 each to produce, are paid for by trading carbon credits in the international market. Each filter delivers at least 18,000 litres of quality drinking water, which is enough to supply a family of five for at least three years. (...) Several thousand Kenyans have been employed during start-up, and several hundred will continue to work on annual monitoring, education and maintenance activities.

Carbon for Water is the largest water treatment program in the developing world paid for by carbon credits and is projected to cut CO2 emissions by two million tons per year for a decade. (…)



Environment and wildlife



Exxon Mobil creates green U.S. recycling jobs

 Decides not to dump its old tanker on Asian beaches

Seattle, Washington, November 8 - Instead of sending their defunct tanker to the infamous ship-scrapping beaches of South Asia, Exxon Mobil and wholly owned subsidiary SeaRiver Maritime, recently completed the sale of the S/R Wilmington, a 1984 built tanker, to a U.S. ship recycling facility, where it will be dismantled by a skilled workforce, using advanced technologies to manage the vessel’s hazardous waste stream. Exxon’s move to recycle the Wilmington in the U.S. is seen by the toxic trade watchdog organization, Basel Action Network (BAN), as a move to lead by example, opting for the safe and environmentally preferable ship recycling methods of U.S. ship recyclers, while creating green U.S. jobs in a tough economy.

Basel Action Network:


Black rhinos moved to new home

November 3 – A group of 19 critically endangered black rhinos have been moved from South Africa's Eastern Cape to a new range in the Limpopo province to encourage increased breeding and population growth.  The location is the seventh new habitat established by the WWF's Black Rhino Range Expansion Project.

“This was possible because of the far-sightedness of the Eastern Cape Provincial government who were prepared to become partners in the project for the sake of black rhino conservation in South Africa,” said WWF’s project leader Dr Jacques Flamand.

A relatively new capture technique was used to airlift some of the rhinos out of difficult or inaccessible areas by helicopter. This entails suspending the sleeping rhino by the ankles for a short trip through the air to awaiting vehicles. “Previously rhinos were either transported by lorry over very difficult tracks, or airlifted in a net. This new procedure is gentler on the darted rhino because it shortens the time it has to be kept asleep with drugs, the respiration is not as compromised as it can be in a net and it avoids the need for travel in a crate over terrible tracks,” explains Dr Flamand.


United Nations World Youth Report 2010: Youth and Climate Change

The World Youth Report focus on youth and climate change, and is intended to highlight the important role young people play in addressing climate change, and to offer suggestions on how young people might be more effectively integrated as individuals and collective agents of change within the realm of climate change adaptation and mitigation. The Report is designated to assist youth and youth organizations in educating themselves and to become more actively involved in combating the threat of climate change. It is also meant to affirm the status of young people as key stakeholders in the fight against climate change. The publication comes at a time when efforts to address climate change are receiving unparalleled attention on the international arena, offering youth a unique opportunity for their voice to be heard in the debate.



Religion and spirituality



World Day of Prayer and Action for Children - November 20

2011 Theme: Stop Violence Against Children

Observed annually since 2008 on Universal Children's Day, the World Day for Prayer and Action for Children was initiated by the Arigatou Foundation, a Japanese based interfaith organisation. The Day brings people of all faiths together to pray and take action for the well-being of children. In 2010, more than 33,000 people in 47 countries participated in 69 events on the Day.


Peace Revolution Fellowship for Young People

Global Peace on the Move VII & VIII - February/June 2012 - Thailand

Pathumthani,Thailand, 9 November - Peace Revolution is creating a new “paradigm shift” intent on refocusing all of our personal priorities from an outward search to an inward quest designed to cultivate a lasting peace and self-sustaining happiness.  From there, peace can emanate to others, our family, friends, colleagues, teachers and community at large. Peace Revolution is now accepting applications for the Fellowships in Thailand. The Fellowships are open to all young peace activists who believe that inner peace + outer peace = sustainable world peace. 

Our limited Peace Revolution fellowship for youth and young adults age 18-30 gives an opportunity to learn more about how to deepen your own Inner Peace and integrate it into your professional life and to meet with young Peace Rebels around the world.learn advanced inner peace techniques through meditation from experienced Buddhist monks learn practical applications of inner peace in daily life and share dialogue and interact with peace rebels from across the globe who share same interests in inner peace and peace-building.

Peace Rebels who have completed the online self-development program and are interested in cultivating deeper inner peace and committed to peace-building in their family, community and country are invited to join the fellowship to attend one of the meditation retreats, training camps and peace conferences in Thailand. Learn more and apply here:


Catholics, Jews urged to work together to promote religious freedom

By Beth Griffin – Catholic News Service

New York, November 3 - Catholics and Jews can most effectively capitalize on five decades of progress in their relations by joining forces to promote religious freedom, defend immigrants, face a common threat from fanatics and advocate for civility in politics and society, said New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan. He addressed more than 250 Jewish leaders assembled in New York Nov. 3 for the annual meeting of the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that fights anti-Semitism.

Reflecting on the current state and future of Catholic-Jewish relations, Archbishop Dolan said both groups must "continue to rejoice in how far we've come," but not take the progress for granted. He dated the beginning of positive change to "Nostra Aetate," the Second Vatican Council's declaration on relations with non-Christian religions.

He said "Nostra Aetate" was "one of the most enlightened documents" of the council and it "set the bar high." It also opened the door to unprecedented visits to synagogues and Israel by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. "To have the man we call the vicar of Christ go to a synagogue is of earthquake proportions," Archbishop Dolan said.

Archbishop Dolan said Pope Benedict's Oct. 27 meeting in Assisi, Italy, with leaders of other faiths could not have happened 50 years ago.



Culture and education



ICYE General Assembly 2011

The XXVII General Assembly of the ICYE Federation will be held from 7 thru 12 November 2011 in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. 70 participants, representing 38 different member and partner countries, will discuss and deliberate on policies and programme development strategies relating to quality and impact assessment, training, documentation and research,bi-country and Over 30s programmes, as well as theme focused activities.

International Cultural Youth Exchange - ICYE  is: •a leader in international youth exchange programmes with more than 60 years of experience promoting young people’s active and global citizenship; •an international voluntary service programme with significant presence across all continents; •an experience based programme to enhance young people’s intercultural understanding and commitment to peace and justice; •an international network of local organisations providing volunteers with the necessary orientation, training and support; •long and short-term exchange programmes for 4.000 participants annually.


UN and L’Oreal announce winners of Women in Science Award

New York, November 8 - The United Nations and the cosmetics giant L’Oreal announced today the five women scientists who will receive their joint award for their advances in scientific research.

The award, which is given out each year by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and L’Oreal, honours five women from different regions of the world who are selected by an independent jury made up of eminent members of the global scientific community.

This year’s winners are: Jill Farrant from South Africa, Ingrid Scheffer from Australia, Frances Ashcroft from the United Kingdom, Susana López from Mexico, and Bonnie Bassler from the United States. The awards ceremony will take place on 22 March at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, where each laureate will receive $100,000 in recognition for their contribution to the advancement of science. According to a news release issued by UNESCO, an international network of nearly 1,000 scientists nominates the candidates for each year’s awards, and the winners are chosen based on their work’s potential to have a major impact on society.

Since 1998, the L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Award in Life Sciences has recognized exceptional women who have helped to “move science forward” with the aim of encouraging women throughout their careers.

For more details go to UN News Centre at


Art knows no limits - "My Space My Inspiration" exhibition in Palestine

October - The children could not believe their eyes when they first stepped into Al-Hoash gallery and saw the amount of art displayed neatly at the "My Space My Inspiration" exhibition. “I was very surprised when I walked in,” exclaimed 11-year-old Jibreel Yousef. “It’s bigger than I expected and packed with kids! I’m very proud of this exhibition.”

Visitors young and old were overwhelmed by the beautiful, colorful paintings and art work by kids of various ages from Jerusalem and nearby suburbs. The exhibit was the product of five workshops conducted at eight different places over the past two years by Al-Hoash gallery, in collaboration with various artists and in partnership with local cultural and youth organizations. 

ANERA funded three of the workshops, serving 71 kids, mostly disadvantaged children from impoverished areas and communities isolated by the wall.

Al Hoash workshops are organized as part of an annual educational program, which aims at developing and enhancing art production and its appreciation in the local community, especially among children and youth.  The program emphasizes the role of art and culture in maintaining Palestinian cultural identity and using art as tool for free expression and a non-violent means for releasing anger and frustration.


Arts project for values education based on the Earth Charter

A new project from Spain called Educarte para Valorarte (Educating you to Value yourself) provides values education towards personal development through art, using the Earth Charter as the basis.  The program starts with a visit to an art exhibition with works from well-known artists, committed to the care of the planet and sustainable development.  After this visit, the children's workshop begins with a reflection period and leads to them creating their own artwork. The idea is to turn the museum into a setting that shows the Earth and life as a work of art.

This project has been carried out by Innovar en Valores (Innovate in Values), a nonprofit association affiliated to the Earth Charter Initiative, which comprises a diverse group of people committed to values from a personal development perspective. Its aim is to promote the education, research, and study of values as a means to influence personal development.



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Next issue: 2 December 2011.


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Good News Agency is published in English on one Friday and in Italian the next. Past issues are available at . Rome Law-court registration no. 265 dated 20 June 2000.

Managing Editor: Sergio Tripi, Ph.D. Editorial research by Fabio Gatti, Arianna Cavallo, Azzurra Cianchetta. Webmaster: Fabio Gatti. Media and NGOs coverage: Maurizio Palazzoni.  


Good News Agency is distributed free of charge through Internet to 10,000 media and editorial journalists of the daily newspapers and periodical magazines and of the radio and television stations in 54 countries: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bermuda, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Caribbean Islands, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Oceania, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, USA. It is also distributed free of charge to 3,000 NGOs, 1,600 high schools, colleges and universities, as well as 22,000 Rotarians in the world.


It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, a registered educational charity chartered in Italy in 1979 The Association operates for the development of consciousness and promotes a culture of peace in the ‘global village’ perspective based on unity in diversity and on sharing. It is based in Via Antagora 10, 00124 Rome, Italy.

The Association is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.


*In the final report of the Decade for a Culture of Peace project (2001-2010) presented to the UN General Assembly (, Good News Agency is included among the three NGOs that have been playing a major role in the field of Information.  In section A - International Organizations, the Report says:

"Participatory Communication and Free Flow of Information and Knowledge has been advanced largely through use of the Internet by civil society corresponding to para 6 in the 1999 Programme of Action calling for the promotion of a culture of peace through sharing of information among actors in the global movement for a culture of peace (p.7). Diffusion and exchange of culture of peace information via the Internet has become the major instrument for several international organizations, notably the Culture of Peace News Network, the Good News Agency and the Education for Peace Globalnet (p.12).