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Good News Agency

In spite of everything, a culture of peace is emerging in all fields of human endeavour

monthly, year 20th, no. 286 – 10th January 2020


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 media and editorial journalists, NGOs, service associations and high schools and colleges around the world.

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 It is a supporter of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace. In the final report of the Decade for a Culture of Peace project (2001-2010) provided to the UN Secretary-General for presentation to the UN General Assembly, Good News Agency is included among the three NGOs that have been playing an active role in the field of Information through Internet.* 




International legislationHuman rightsEconomy and developmentSolidarity

Peace and securityHealthEnergy and SafetyEnvironment and wildlife

Religion and spiritualityCulture and education


International legislation


Belize's new fisheries bill: A ‘model for how to manage marine resources’

(by Kori Tuitt)

9 January 2020 - Belize's latest commitment to ocean conservation is its new Fisheries Resources Bill, for which the country partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), an international non-governmental organisation. The bill, which focuses on effective management solutions for overfishing, passed its first assessment by the country's House of Representatives in December 2019. Among other things, the legislation will establish a new fisheries council to deal with stakeholder concerns and advise the government in fisheries management practices, including the establishment of “fishing priority areas,” where new ideas can be trialed and long-term fisheries production can be prioritised. It will also facilitate broader regional cooperation with neighbouring Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras in marine resource governance.


News related with SDGs number 14- Life below Water


Iceland ratified the European Landscape Convention

11 December 2019 - The Convention aims to encourage public authorities to adopt policies and measures at local, regional, national and international level for protecting, managing and planning landscapes throughout Europe. It covers all landscapes, both outstanding and ordinary, that determine the quality of people’s living environment. The text provides for a flexible approach to landscapes whose specific features call for various types of action, ranging from strict conservation through protection, management and improvement to actual creation. (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


United Nations – Seventy–fourth session – Agenda item 126 – Global health and foreign policy: an inclusive approach to strengthening health systems - Draft Resolution

4 December2019- The General Assembly (…),

3. Calls upon Member States to accelerate efforts towards the achievement of universal health coverage by 2030 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all throughout the life course, and in this regard re-emphasizes the resolve:

(a) To progressively cover 1 billion additional people by 2023 with quality essential health services and quality, safe, effective, affordable and essential medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and health technologies, with a view to covering all people by 2030;

(b) To stop the rise and reverse the trend of catastrophic out-of-pocket health expenditure by providing measures to ensure financial risk protection and eliminate impoverishment due to health-related expenses by 2030, with special emphasis on the poor as well as those who are vulnerable or in vulnerable situations; (…)


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy–fourth session –Agenda item 15 – Culture of peace – Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace – Draft Resolution

4 December 2019 – The General Assembly (…),

6. Encourages Member States and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to continue to consider carrying out activities in support of the Action Plan for the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013–2022), adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which provides a framework for enhancing interreligious and intercultural dialogue and promoting tolerance and mutual understanding, while placing emphasis on the involvement of women and youth in such dialogue; (…)

18. Invites Member States to further promote reconciliation to help to ensure durable peace and sustained development, including by working with faith leaders and communities and through reconciliatory measures and acts of service and by encouraging forgiveness and compassion among individuals; (…)


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions



Human rights


Rotary establishes peace center at Makerere University

9 January 2020, Kampala, Uganda  — From human rights violations to the impacts of climate change, Rotary and Makerere University are offering a postgraduate certificate program to peace and development leaders who are from or who have worked in Africa to address the underlying challenges to peace in the region. The year-long program in Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation and Development will emphasize issues and solutions that are of particular relevance throughout the African continent and beyond. Hands-on experience will complement coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies will focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts. The program will incorporate the Positive Peace framework pioneered by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) as well as apply concepts grounded in mediation and negotiation, African philosophy, and indigenous mechanisms for conflict resolution. The program is designed to accommodate working professionals with at least five years of proven experience in the areas of peace and development. Every year, Rotary awards up to 130 fully funded scholarships for dedicated peace and development leaders from around the world to study at any of its seven peace centers programs. In just over 15 years, Rotary Peace Centers have trained over 1,300 individuals for careers in peacebuilding in more than 115 countries, and program alumni serve as leaders in both governmental and nongovernmental agencies, international organizations, and more.


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Syrian and Jordanian female workers: together towards women's empowerment

9 January 2020 - In Southern Jordan, AVSI is implementing a Cash for Work initiative that involves Syrian and Jordanian women. Besides promoting social cohesion, this project acted as a catalyst for women's empowerment. The path towards women’s empowerment is long and steep; but this does not mean it is a path one should not undertake. In Southern Jordan, AVSI is implementing a Cash for Work initiative that involves vulnerable Syrians and Jordanians. Besides promoting social cohesion, this project acts as a catalyst for women's empowerment (50% of beneficiaries). When the project started in 2018, female workers were in a situation of psychological and financial distress. They felt dependent members within their household and unproductive members within their community. By working together Syrian and Jordanian women gradually became more aware of their own value. Having their own income helped women not only in increasing their financial independence, but also in becoming protagonists of their own personal development.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


Cameroon: Children's Right - Commission Members evaluate road covered

6 January 2020 - An exchange session between key actors in the promotion and protection of children's rights in Cameroon took place recently in Yaounde. Cameroon, thirty years ago, adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This was to protect the right of all children, everywhere in the country, to be free from discrimination, violence and neglect. As such, the government has taken measures to ensure that children are treated with dignity and respect; cared for, develop and be part of their communities; have a right to education, to express their own opinions and to participate in decisions that concern them; and that they have the right to be protected against all violence and discrimination, wherever they live, regardless of their ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status. After thirty years, key actors in child protection in the country have begun examining what has been done and what needs to be done to better protect children in all the nooks and crannies of the country.



“No Hate No Fear” Solidarity March for Jewish Communities in NYC

5 January 2020 - “No Hate, No Fear” march against anti-Semitism in New York City on January 5th 2020. An estimated 25,000 people gathered in Foley Square in lower Manhattan and then walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. People from Montreal and Toronto Canada, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Cleveland, New Jersey, Connecticut and Washington DC traveled and stand in solidarity with the Jewish communities following recent hate attacks.


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


AEG joins CEO action for Diversity & Inclusion™

3 January 2020 - Los Angeles /CSRwire/ - Furthering its commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace, AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, today announced that Dan Beckerman, President and CEO, has signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge. AEG joins more than 800 CEOs from the world’s leading companies and business organizations, who are leveraging their individual and collective voices to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  The pledge outlines a specific set of actions that participating organizations will take to cultivate diversity, including:


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


Protecting children in Syria: an innovative video linking international humanitarian norms to Quranic verses to raise awareness among armed non-State actors

18December 2019 – The crisis in Syria is now into its 8th year and the situation is alarming: use of children in hostilities by all sides of the conflict is regularly reported, many children have been killed, and almost all armed non-State actors (ANSAs) involved in the conflict have recruited children from both local and refugee/internally displaced communities.  As part of a video series promoting international humanitarian norms by linking them to Quranic verses, Geneva Call’s partner on its Syria project Afaq Academy produced this poignant video addressing the issue of child protection, specifically child recruitment, which is still common practice among many ANSAs. The videos will soon be released on social media in Syria and used in awareness-raising campaigns. They will also be used as examples in trainings for ANSAs across Syria.




Economy and development


IRELAND - CES 2020: Trane® Residential working with Samsung Electronics to deliver holistic comfort within the Smart Home Ecosystem

9 January 2020   - Trane® Residential, a leading global provider of sustainable home comfort systems and services, announces its work with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., to enhance indoor air quality and elevate whole home comfort across smart devices and appliances. The strategic collaboration for this joint innovation between Trane and Samsung Electronics brings simplicity and convenience into the user’s connected experience – connecting technologies for better communication and operation. Through the integration, Samsung’s SmartThings platform can now manage Trane’s connected thermostats. The Trane XL1050 Connected Control with Samsung SmartThings connectivity will be on display at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the Samsung CES Booth (#15006 Central Hall – LVCC). The Trane connected solutions, including the 1050, 824 and 850 thermostats – contain a built-in Nexia bridge, bringing smart home comfort to the homeowner’s fingertips and allowing them to remotely control their home and energy use. Paired with Samsung’s SmartThings and the Trane Clean Effects Indoor Air Cleaner, homeowners can now monitor and control indoor air quality by leveraging Samsung’s sensors to detect inconsistencies and set the air cleaner into action manually or through automations created in the Trane connected thermostat app.


News related with SDGs number 9-Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure


LAUSANNE - SWITZERLAND - IOC’s Plastic Game Plan for Sport to help Sports Organisations tackle plastic pollution

8 January 2020   - The guide, entitled Plastic Game Plan for Sport, was published in collaboration with UN Environment and includes contributions from World Sailing. Referencing successful examples from across the sports world, it provides guidance to event organisers on creating an effective plan to reduce plastic waste. This includes key steps such as eliminating single-use plastic items, reducing the amount of plastic used, reusing plastic items and recycling. The guide’s recommendations include introducing reusable or compostable cups and tableware at events, providing water refill points, recycling bins and reducing the use of ‘hidden plastic’ such as merchandise, signage, branding and ticketing. In addition, the guide encourages event organisers to leverage their reach to raise awareness of plastic pollution. It also offers tips for athletes and fans on how to cut down their own plastic waste and inspire others to do the same. In line with Olympic Agenda 2020 – the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement – the IOC has committed to driving sustainable practices across the International Sports Federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs), and the wider sports community. The IOC itself is reducing waste at its headquarters and is working with suppliers to ensure materials used at its events are sourced responsibly.


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


100% Solar Powered 5/3 Bank Announces $6.2 Million in 2019 Grants

(by Johnna Crider)

8 January 2020 – The Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank, a bank that is 100% powered by renewable solar energy and generating more clean power than the bank uses in a year (which is why we started using it in 2019), recently made an announcement of almost $6.2 million in grants from 2019. These grants come through 8 major foundations that the banks serve as a trustee or agent. These grants have been given to organizations that focus on education, arts, and culture as well as civic and community programs, health, and human services. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


Funds from Sweden to help farmers adapt to climate change

7 January 2020, Rome – The Government of Sweden has contributed approximately US$12 million to help rural farmers adapt to a changing climate and to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced today. This includes improving the resilience of 24 million people to climate shocks, as well as helping client countries implement the nationally determined contribution targets set under the Paris Agreement. This contribution comes at a time when Southern Africa is facing its worst drought in 35 years, with more than 11 million people in nine countries facing emergency levels of food insecurity. Extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, put pressure on the ecosystems small-scale farmers depend on, leaving them particularly vulnerable to increased hunger and poverty, and often forcing them to leave their villages. It is estimated that each degree-Celsius increase in global mean temperature would, on average, reduce global yields of wheat by 6%, rice by 3.2% , maize by 7.4% , and soybean by 3.1%.


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty and number 2-Zero Hunger


FAO and the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences strengthen efforts to build sustainability in fisheries and aquaculture

16 December 2019, Rome - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and theChinese Academy of Fishery Sciences (CAFS) today agreed to strengthen cooperation and build the capacity and sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture in developing countries. The partnership will advance the transfer of technology and capacity development through the South-South Cooperation and promote joint efforts to advance global sustainable fisheries and aquaculture management, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Under the accord, FAO and CAFS will facilitate joint seminars and workshops, information exchange and technology transfers. The partners will support initiatives to promote climate impact mitigation and adaption and help build the resilience of fishers and others working in the sector, while strengthening efforts to increase the regulation and safety of fish products for regional and global trade. South-South - together with Triangular Cooperation which involves third countries and other partners - breaks the traditional dichotomy between donors and recipients and has been effective in creating jobs, building infrastructure and promoting trade. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme (SSC), which has benefited more than 70 000 people directly in 12 developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.


News related with SDGs number 14- Life below Water





Italy contributes €500,000 (US$ 610,000) to help relieve drought-affected people from hunger

8 January 2020 - LUSAKA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a €500,000 (US$ 610,000) contribution from the Italian Government to provide food to people affected by the drought in Zambia. Drought and prolonged dry spells have left 2.3 million people severely food insecure and in need of humanitarian food assistance. In the context of the current crisis, the Italian emergency contribution confirmed in December 2019 is crucial to WFP. The funds will enable WFP to procure around 340 MT of pulses to cover the food needs of about 99,000 people for an entire month, helping WFP ensure that the people residing in the areas most affected by the drought can receive the immediate assistance they need.


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty and number 2-Zero Hunger


New Programs of Scale grants for new year

(by Victor Barnes)

3 January 2020 - In 2013, Rotary set out on its new grant model under the Future Vision Plan, in the hopes that the approach would enhance the scope, impact, and sustainability of humanitarian projects. More than six years later, and with over $460 million invested in almost 7,000 projects across the globe, Rotary is ready to augment these critical investments with a new grant type. Beginning January 2020, Rotary International is introducing a highly selective, competitive grant model that empowers Rotarians to implement large-scale, high impact projects with experienced partners.



WFP provides cash assistance in Zimbabwe’s poorest urban area and plans to expand in 2020

24 December 2019, Harare – Last week, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Zimbabwe completed its last cash distribution of 2019, which supported some 19,000 vulnerable residents in Harare’s sub-urban district of Epworth. Those deemed most food insecure have been receiving monthly cash transfers from WFP since June, as part of an urban pilot project funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the EU’s branch of European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). This year was the first time WFP provided assistance to an urban area in Zimbabwe. Next year, WFP will expand its urban assistance programme across eight districts, nationwide. It will continue providing cash-based transfers on a monthly basis, to those who need it most. As a result of this year’s severe drought, economic downturn and Cyclone Idai, around 8 million people were pushed into severe hunger. Of this total, 2.2 million people live in urban areas. WFP’s revised emergency response plan hopes to provide mobile cash transfers to 200,000 of them. Currently, funding for 100,000 has been secured. WFP is seeking funds to assist an additional 100,000 people.


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty and number 2-Zero Hunger


Water for 20,000 Palestinians in Jabalia Refugee Camp, Gaza

23 December 2019 – Living close to a working water well is a lifeline in Gaza. Unfortunately, this was not the case for the residents of Jabalia refugee camp. The well was outdated and in very poor condition, making it difficult to pump water. Given the Gaza power crisis and the intermittent supply of electricity, residents needed a water well that could be pumped 24-7. In 2019 Jabalia’s water situation improved when Anera, with funding from Islamic Relief USA, carried out a major rehabilitation project to improve the performance and capacity of Jabalia’s well. Now the well produces a higher and cleaner volume of water and serves over 20,000 residents.

[To watch the video] https://www.anera.org/blog/water-well-jabalia-refugee-gaza/


European Union and WFP provide vital support to Malian refugees in Mauritania

13 December 2019, Nouakchott – In 2019, the European Union contributed €1.5 million to the United Nations World Food Programme to support 55,000 Malian refugees in Mauritania with cash assistance at a time when growing insecurity in Mali makes it harder for people to return home. In 2018, inter-ethnic conflict flared up in central Mali, resulting in increased internal and cross-border displacements. Many Malians affected by violence sought refuge in Mauritania, bringing the population of the Mbera refugee camp in the south-east of the country to 57,000 people. This year alone, more than 4,000 new refugees were registered there, putting an additional strain on the already stretched capacity of the camp. Malian refugees remain heavily reliant on international assistance. Thanks to donors like the EU, WFP has been providing families with monthly cash transfers which allow them to purchase foods of their choice from local markets. Most Malian refugees in Mauritania live in the Mbera camp in the Hodh ech CharguI region where high levels of poverty and food insecurity are exacerbated by successive years of drought, poor infrastructure and limited access. Nearly 40% of the local population in this region is affected by food insecurity. 


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty and number 2-Zero Hunger


Peace and security


An eye for an eye you go blind!!! The World March calls for an immediate stop to the military escalation in the Middle East

9 January 2020 - - Rome, Italy - Marcia Mondiale per la Pace e la Nonviolenza.

The Italian Promoting Committee of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence expresses concern and outrage at the military escalation that is inflaming the Middle East and calls on the parties to immediately stop all military action. It is not with weapons that the many problems of the region and the world are solved; we strongly call on international bodies to act firmly to bring all parties within the international rules prohibiting attacks on third territories, indiscriminate killings and reprisals. We also call on the Italian Government to take decisive and independent action to put an end to hostilities and to ensure in all forms that Italy is not directly or indirectly involved in military operations.


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


AFRICA/IVORY COAST - A caravan of peace, reconciliation and development in preparation for the October 2020 presidential election

9 January 2020 - Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - Since 2011, peace has been the main concern in the minds of Ivorians. Indeed, after more than a decade of political-military crisis in the Ivory Coast (2002-2011), the Ivorians in general and the government in particular have realized that peace is the necessary condition for cohesion and social development and economic situation in the Country. The crises and the current tensions experienced by the Ivorians only 9 months before the next presidential election have made the situation alarming, to the point that peace is now considered a vital emergency for the stability and development of the Country. In order to indicate this path of peaceful coexistence, the PLCRD (Plateforme des Leaders Croyants pour la Paix, La Réconciliation, la Cohésion sociale et le Développement), organized "the caravan of peace, reconciliation and development" with the aim of mobilizing the collective awareness of Ivorians on these issues.


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Ahimsa 2.0: Subcontinent is witnessing revival of Non-Violent Movements, to protect constitutional values

(by Christophe Jaffrelot)

28 December 2019 – If India did not invent non-violent civil disobedience (also mistakenly called passive resistance), it is surely the first country to practise it on a large scale, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi – who referred it to the Hindu/Jain notion of ahimsa. Exactly hundred years ago, the Non-Cooperation Movement that followed the Jallianwala Bagh massacre set the tone for the satyagrahas that were to mark the freedom movement. Subsequently, this modus of protest was used to mobilise Indian masses when they had to fight oppression. The JP Movement, which precipitated the declaration of Emergency in 1975, is a case in point. Today, the Indian subcontinent is returning to this peaceful mode of popular protest.


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions





The Ibadan National Poliovirus Laboratory – A symbolic icon in Nigeria’s war against polio

9 January 2020 - Standing at two stories tall and strategically tucked away in a silent corner of the University College Hospital, Ibadan The National Poliovirus laboratory can be described as a symbolic icon in Nigeria’s fight against polio. Established in 1993 but officially launched in 1996, the laboratory has passed series of accreditation by the World Health Organization (WHO) and has the capacity to detect, identify, and promptly report wild polioviruses (WPV), vaccine derived polioviruses (VDPV), Sabin viruses and other enteroviruses that may be present in clinical and environmental specimens.


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


The Political Economy of Universal Health Coverage. 22 January 2020 Chatham House London

7 January 2020 - At the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019, all governments re-committed their countries to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) whereby ‘all people obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them’. To achieve UHC, governments will need to oversee health systems that are predominantly publicly financed although countries may use both private and public health providers of health services.


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


2020 marks the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

3 January 2020 - Nurses and midwives account for the largest proportion of the health workforce–50% of the total, but a further 9 million are needed globally to achieve the goal of universal health by 2030. In order to recognize the work of nurses and midwives around the world and advocate for increased investment in this workforce, and improvements in working conditions, education and professional development, this year has been designated the international year of nurses and midwives by the World Health Assembly.


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


Count down Polio eradication –ARCC concludes verification of documentation in Southern Nigeria

27 December 2019 - In the final lap of certifying Nigeria, a polio-free country, the African Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) for the eradication of poliomyelitis gave a vote of confidence that Southern Nigeria is on the right path to being polio free.  From 9 to 20 December 2019, the ARCC team visited Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and six Southern states (Abia, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Lagos and Oyo) to conduct a critical analysis and verification of the certification documents prepared by the Nigerian Government. In each of the states visited, routine immunization, cold chain, surveillance activities and documentation were assessed, including those at the LGA levels. All three levels of health facilities; primary, secondary and tertiary were assessed for accuracy of their documents and the polio eradication processes carried out at those levels. The second phase of this review will be taking place in northern states from 02 to 13 March 2020.


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


Drop in cholera cases worldwide

(by Robin Gomes)

21 December 2019 - In a new report, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that a 60% decrease in global cholera cases in 2018, is the result of increased engagement of cholera-hotspot countries and mass vaccination campaigns.  The number of cholera cases decreased globally by 60% in 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a report this week. The UN’s health agency regards this as an “encouraging trend” in cholera prevention and control in the world’s major hotspots of the infectious disease, including Haiti, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


Young children affected by HIV and AIDS

Improving the growth and development outcomes for young children affected by HIV and AIDS in East and Southern Africa.

20December 2019 – The landscape for early childhood development (ECD) for vulnerable children affected by HIV and AIDS has dramatically changed over the last few years. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include early childhood development (target 4.2) and the World Bank has called for prioritization of ECD to enable countries to compete in the new global economy. There is also unprecedented support for moving from child survival to ensuring children survive and thrive. Investments in ECD for all children will not only boost future economic prosperity, but may also improve prospects for longer-term peace and security. The Foundation is making integrated investments in five countries in East and Southern Africa in three focus areas:

1) Advancing proven and promising approaches to improve caregiving and early learning;

2) Strengthening systems through integration and collaboration; and

3) Building and disseminating credible evidence to improve practice and policy.


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being



Energy and safety



Battery Recycling will be the new new thing

(by Steve Hanley)

5 January 2020 – What tends to be overlooked as the EV revolution gains momentum is how to recycle the billions of battery cells that will be powering all those cars and trucks. Nearly 11 million tons of lithium-ion batteries are expected to reach the end of their useful life by 2030. The elements inside them — nickel, lithium, and cobalt, among others — don’t disappear when that happens. They can be recovered and used to make new battery cells, reducing the need to extract, transport, and refine new supplies of them. Separating those component parts isn’t easy. However, several companies are working at perfecting the systems needed. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


Zero Waste Scotland promoting insect farming as biodiesel feedstock source

(by Meghan Sapp)

2 January 2020 – In the UK, the Scotsman newspaper reports that Zero Waste Scotland is promoting the development of an insect farming sector to diversify its circular economy, biofuels are seen as one of the opportunities for insects. With grubs fed on food waste, they can then be raised to be used for protein that goes into animal feed and biodiesel from the byproducts. Bioplastics are also mentioned as a possible byproduct. Protein supply remains a key challenge in Europe with imported soy often the main stopgap for demand.


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


The emerging global clean hydrogen market

(by Noe Van Hulst)

31 December 2019 – The recent launch of the first liquefied hydrogen carrier vessel in Japan is a historic event that captured headlines in the media.  Just like the first LNG tanker more than half a century ago, it marks the beginning of a new era. And, it is again Japan that leads the way in establishing the first international trade routes for shipping clean hydrogen from Australia and Brunei to Japan.  Many will be watching these pilot trades closely, eager to benefit from the lessons learned. As an eventful hydrogen year 2019 draws to a close, it is becoming clear that there is a growing interest and action for a global clean hydrogen market.  In an increasing number of countries with ample low-cost energy resources, governments and companies are seriously reviewing the possibilities of developing a clean hydrogen export industry. (…)


News related with SDGs number 9-Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure


INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY – New Report shows potential of Renewables as a Reliable Power Source in Refugee Settlements

December 20, 2019 – On-site renewable energy solutions can cost-effectively supply refugee communities with low-cost, reliable electricity, according to the findings of a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in cooperation with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. There are currently almost 26 million refugees in the world today. Unreliable energy exposes them to additional and associated risks which renewables can serve to overcome. Renewables for refugee settlements: Sustainable energy access in humanitarian situations, released at the Global Refugee Forum currently taking place in Geneva, examines the energy needs at refugee camps and identifies renewables-based solutions for four sites in Iraq and Ethiopia. Solar mini grids in particular, are highlighted as being able to boost the efficiency of humanitarian operations, avoid costly diesel consumption, and support recently arrived refugees with immediate, reliable electricity access. (…)




Environment and wildlife


Solar installations to grow by additional 142 GW in 2020

(by Robin Whitlock)

8 January 2020 – Global solar installations will continue double-digit growth rates into the new decade, according to the new 2020 Global Photovoltaic (PV) Demand Forecast by critical information, analytics and solutions provider IHS Markit. New annual installations in 2020 will reach 142 gigawatts (GW), a 14 percent rise over the previous year, according to the forecast. The expected 142 gigawatts are seven times that of the entire capacity that had been installed by the start of the prior decade (20 GW in 2010). The growth has been substantial in terms of geographic reach as well. There were 7 countries with more than 1 GW of installed capacity in 2010, most of them confined to Europe. IHS Markit expects more than 43 countries to meet that threshold by the end of 2020. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


WINDEUROPE – Latest auctions prove onshore wind will be crucial for the energy transition, the National Energy & Climate Plans must reflect this.

7 January 2020 – EU countries have less than two weeks left to submit the final version of their 2030 National Energy & Climate Plans to the European Commission. These plans will explain how Member States envisage to manage their energy transition in the next decade in order to contribute to the EU 2030 Climate & Energy objectives. And will spell out the volumes of renewables that will be deployed at national level alongside the laws and policy measures to unlock untapped potential. Onshore wind energy will make a key contribution to fulfilling the 2030 targets cost-effectively. This month's latest onshore wind auction results from across Europe proved again that onshore wind remains the cheapest form of new power generation. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


GEF Council approves ambitious work program for green cities, nature, and climate change

20 December 2019 – Government representatives have approved more than $600 million for two new work programs that include innovative ventures to expand marine protected areas and engage indigenous peoples for biodiversity protection, and for climate change resilience-building efforts in least developed countries. Representatives of the Global Environment Facility’s 183 country members, meeting in Washington DC, approved the set of five programs and 48 projects, including four multi-trust fund projects, to be implemented in 87 developing and least developed countries. The $588.5 million in GEF Trust Fund financing approved by the GEF Council is expected to mobilize $5.6 billion in co-financing from other sources. Additionally, the joint Council of the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) approved a $64.8 million work program for climate change adaptation in the world’s poorest countries, comprising of nine projects, four of which are also supported by the GEF Trust Fund. The work program approved by the 57th GEF Council spans support for action on climate change, biodiversity, land degradation, chemicals and waste, and international waters, primarily with grant support, and was complemented by $35 million in non-grant instruments. The governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden also reconfirmed the pledges they announced for the LDCF in September.


News related with SDGs number 14- Life below Water and number 15-Life on Land



Religion and spirituality


AMERICA - Message from CELAM: "Let us walk and pray together for peace in the world"

10 January 2020 - Bogota (Agenzia Fides) - "We join together in prayer with the Pope, we reject all forms of violence and social division, and we ask the great nations of the world, in particular their rulers, for mutual respect, harmony and good understanding, and not to spare every effort to avoid a scenario of greater tension". With these words, the Presidency of CELAM, the Latin American Episcopal Council, addresses the people of God and the Episcopal Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean, with a message entitled "Let us walk together for peace in the world".


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Year of fraternity in the Archdiocese of Popayan: personal, social and ecological conversion

3 January 2020 - The year of fraternity is an opportunity to heal wounds, grow in mutual trust, celebrate unity, starting at home, fraternize in neighborhoods and on the streets. It is a year to promote the culture of encounter, to be a people of brothers in school classrooms and in the media. Ecological conversion engages us in the care of the common home, asks us to change our predatory habits, asks us to be missionaries of human and environmental life.



Thich Nhat Hanh Program for Engaged Buddhism awarded $500,000 grant

(by Sam Littlefair)

2 January 2020 - The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to the Thich Nhat Hanh Program for Engaged Buddhism at Union Theological Seminary (UTS). The grant “supports the development of new models of teaching and learning, research and publication, leadership development, and educational program design.” The Henry Luce Foundation, which was founded by American magazine magnate Henry R. Luce, invests in public knowledge. Including the grant to UTS, the Henry Luce Foundation awarded a total of $8,955,000 in grants to 28 organizations in this announcement.



Carving the Divine: Filmmaker Yujiro Seki documents the Buddhist sculptors of Japan

(By Andrea Miller)

31 December 2019 - The new documentary film Carving the Divine offers a rare and intimate look at the lives and artistic process of traditional Japanese wood carvers. Andrea Miller talks to the film’s director Yujiro Seki. Artworks depicting buddhas and bodhisattvas are wordless teachings. In their facial expressions and gestures, we can see what we’re aiming for in our lives and practice—be it compassion, equanimity, meditative focus, or even wise anger. But who are the people who create these contemplative artworks? In Carving the Divine, a new, award-winning documentary, we meet some of these artists. Specifically, we’re offered a rare and intimate look at the lives and artistic process of traditional Japanese wood carvers. In this interview with director Yujiro Seki, he reveals what compelled him to make this film and what he learned in the process.



ASIA/PAKISTAN - Interreligious meeting in view of Christmas

23 December 2019 - Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - Advent and Christian Christmas holidays are a fruitful occasion for interreligious dialogue and exchange in Pakistan: as Agenzia Fides learns, the National Commission on Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism, within the Pakistani Bishops' Conference, in recent days, organized an interreligious meeting in Lahore ahead of Christmas. Religious leaders and civil authorities were present.



Torah on Tyne: how Orthodox Jews carved out their very own Oxbridge

(by Harriet Sherwood)

22 December 2019 - The finest religious education, affordable housing and a dynamic rabbi have given Gateshead a shot in the arm.  On a residential street in Gateshead, an unexpected sound drifts from open windows. It is the murmurings of hundreds of young men as they read aloud from the Torah or explore the meaning of the religious texts. Not so long ago, the soundtrack of this city on the River Tyne was the noise of heavy industry: shipbuilding, engineering, coalmining. It was all gone by the 1980s and 90s and, like so many other places, Gateshead struggled with unemployment, deprivation and loss of identity. Now it is home to the fastest-growing strictly Orthodox Jewish community in the UK, fuelled by the reputation of its educational establishments and cheap housing.




Culture and education


PERU’ - Peru: Electoral peace promoted in 4 native languages

10 January 2020 - The National Election Jury (JNE) has initiated the “Choose a culture of peace” campaign as part of its actions to reinforce the prevention of electoral conflicts that could occur in the context of the Extraordinary Congressional Elections of January 26, 2020. To this end, the Central of Operations of the Electoral Process (COPE) of the JNE will disseminate graphic and audiovisual material at a national level with contents on the approach to the culture of peace during the ongoing elections. The messages will be disseminated, in addition to Spanish, in six native languages, thus benefiting members of the Aymara, Asháninka, Awajún, Quechua, Shipibo and Wampis communities. With these actions, the JNE seeks to reinforce its work of prevention and management of situations of electoral conflict, through a sensitization crusade with an inclusive approach to the different cultures existing in the country.

This work seeks to guarantee not only respect for life, fundamental rights and freedoms, but also the exercise of popular will in a peaceful environment that allows the strengthening of democratic values ​​and respect for the rule of law.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education and number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Education unions join international efforts to ensure refugees’ rights in and through education

9 January 2020 - Education international has seized the opportunity of the first ever Global Refugee Forum to reaffirm the crucial role education can play in the context of forced displacement, and to urge governments, UN agencies and all stakeholders to ensure displaced teachers and students’ rights in and through education. The Global Refugee Forum, held from 17-18 December in Geneva, Switzerland, was the first of its kind and comes at the end of a chaotic decade marked by conflict and natural disasters that have contributed to the rise in the number of refugees to over 25 million people worldwide. Education was among the six main themes discussed during the Forum and including arrangements for burden and responsibility-sharing; jobs and livelihoods; energy and infrastructure; solutions; and protection capacity.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Student Feature – UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention

(by Michael Dylan Foster)

7 January 2020 - The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is only fourteen pages long. But since its adoption in Paris on October 17, 2003, the words of this brief document have directly and indirectly touched the lives of millions of people around the world, many of them living in small communities very far from Paris. The Convention is an instrument of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, commonly referred to as UNESCO; it was adopted at the 32nd session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2003 and came into force in 2006 after ratification by thirty states. As of November 2019, some 178 states had signed on.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


A partnership engages schoolchildren to design their own healthy meals

(by Sarah Miller)

7 January 2020 - Through their Reimagining School Cafeterias initiative, nonprofit FoodCorps and the for-profit company Sweetgreen have teamed up to reinvent the cafeteria experience with direct input from school children. This nonprofit-corporate partnership hopes to engage children in healthy eating by inviting them to help redesign their own meals.This isn’t the first program to try to encourage lifelong healthy eating habits rather than simply providing nutritious food. In 2014, NPQ’s Eileen Cunniffe wrote about the Free Library of Philadelphia’s culinary literacy program. The program gathered community partners to promote healthier cooking and eating habits.


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being and number 4-Quality Education


ON Semiconductor employees adopt local school for the holidays

31 December  /CSRwire/ - For the past 10 years, ON Semiconductor and its compassionate employees have sponsored the Academia del Pueblo Elementary School in Phoenix during the holiday season by providing a gift to each student and teachers. Academia del Pueblo is funded and operated by Friendly House, a local education and human services nonprofit organization, which like most, relies heavily on charitable donations. Employees sponsored Pre-K to fifth grade students by purchasing gifts, valued at $25 each (and some even dressed up as Santa to deliver the presents to their classrooms!). Students in grades 6-8 celebrated the holiday season with a morning full of fun and bowling, courtesy of ON Semiconductor, and employees sponsored these students with purchasing gift cards (valued at $25 each). In total, over 420 children benefitted from this local community outreach program and we had more than 35 employee volunteers assist with both activities on December 13th


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Xalapa, Mexico: International Film Festival for a Culture of Peace. EDUCATION FOR PEACE

28 December 2019 - To help reverse the situation of violence that affects the community, the International Film Festival for a Culture of Peace (Ficcpaz) will be held from December 19 to 22, through which more than 140 films will be shown from 32 countries. The film director and coordinator of the event, Ricardo Braojos, explained that the official selection includes fiction and documentary short films that will serve to promote a dialogue about the similarities and opportunities of different societies, including the history of the city of Xalapa. He added that works from Mexico, Spain, Iran, India and Brazil will be shown. Six feature films will also be screened and there will be four keynote lectures on production, production, cinematography and distribution.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Jordanian change-maker encourages peace through youth cultural engagement

23 December 2019 - Jumana Yousef, 21, recently stumbled upon her passion for art and cultural heritage almost by accident. “Sometimes, we can’t see something that might be right in front of us. It takes a spark to ignite it. For me, the spark happened when I started working under the guidance of UNESCO and Leaders of Tomorrow, pioneering my initiative to build an appreciation amongst youth for local heritage and culture”.

Jumana’s initiative came to life when she applied on an opportunity she saw advertised on social media, seeking expressions of interest from youth interested in ‘solving societal problems’. As a part of the joint UNESCO-UNOCT “Youth Peacebuilding” project, co-funded by Canada, UNESCO Amman office has been working in collaboration with ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’, a youth-led NGO, training youth in an effort to enhance their cultural civic engagement, participation and sense of belonging. The training was designed to empower youth and advance young’s people skills in leadership, critical thinking and initiative management, developing creative and sustainable cultural initiatives that prevent violent extremism by promoting a sense of identity and citizenship.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education



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Next issue: 14th February 2020.


Good News Agency is published monthly (except August) in English, Italian and Portuguese. Past issues are available at www.goodnewsagency.org . Rome Law-court registration no. 265 dated 20 June 2000. Managing Editor: Fabio Gatti (fabio.gatti@goodnewsagency.org). Editorial research by Fabio Gatti, Isabella Strippoli, Elisa Minelli, Salvatore Caruso Motta, Chiara Damilano, Francesco Viglienghi, Carlo Toraldo, Andrea Landriscina, Nazzarena Franco. Webmaster, media and NGO coverage: Simone Frassanito (simone.frassanito@goodnewsagency.org


Good News Agency is distributed free of charge through Internet to media and editorial journalists of the daily newspapers and periodical magazines and of the radio and television stations, NGOs, service associations, high schools and colleges as well as over 26,000 Rotarians around the world.


It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, a registered, not-for-profit 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 Piazzale degli Eroi 8, 00136 Rome, Italy. The Association is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.


* http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/2010_civil_society_report.pdf - In section A - International Organizations, page 12, the Report says: ”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.”

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