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

monthly, year 21st, no. 302 – 22nd June 2021


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


United Nations – General Assembly – Thirty-second special session – Item 8 of the provisional agenda – Adoption of the political declaration “Our common commitment to effectively addressing challenges and implementing measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation”

28 May 2021 – The General Assembly,

Adopts the political declaration entitled “Our common commitment to effectively addressing challenges and implementing measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation” annexed to the present resolution. (…)


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



of 29 April 2021 establishing the Digital Europe Programme and repealing Decision (EU) 2015/2240 (Text with EEA relevance)

11 May 2021 – The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (…) have adopted this Regulation:

Article 3- Programme objectives

1.   The general objectives of the Programme shall be to support and accelerate the digital transformation of the European economy, industry and society, to bring its benefits to citizens, public administrations and businesses across the Union, and to improve the competitiveness of Europe in the global digital economy while contributing to bridging the digital divide across the Union and reinforcing the Union’s strategic autonomy, through holistic, cross-sectoral and cross-border support and a stronger Union contribution. (…)


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy–fifth session – Agenda item 19 – Sustainable development -

Resolution: Declaring the Aral Sea region a zone of ecological innovations and technologies

10 May 2021 The General Assembly, (…)

1. Supports the initiative to transform the Aral Sea region from a zone of ecological crisis into a zone of ecological innovations and technologies;

6. Emphasizes the importance of strengthening regional cooperation in the implementation of joint actions to overcome the consequences of the Aral Sea crisis and stabilize the ecological situation in the Aral Sea region, prevent further desertification and (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land



of 28 April 2021 establishing the Justice Programme and repealing Regulation (EU) No 1382/2013

5 May 2021 –– The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (…) have adopted this Regulation:

 Article 3- Programme objectives

1.   The Programme has the general objective of contributing to the further development of a European area of justice based on the rule of law including the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, on mutual recognition and mutual trust, and on judicial cooperation thereby also strengthening democracy, the rule of law and the protection of fundamental rights. (…)


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



of 28 April 2021 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF) and repealing Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013

3 May 2021 – The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (…) have adopted this Regulation:

Article 1- Subject Matter and Scope

1.   This Regulation establishes the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF) for the period of the MFF 2021 to 2027.

It lays down the objectives of the EGF, the forms of Union funding and the rules for providing such funding, including applications by the Member States for financial contributions from the EGF for measures targeting the beneficiaries referred to in Article 6.

2.   In accordance with Article 4, the EGF shall offer support to displaced workers and self-employed persons whose activity has ceased in the course of major restructuring events. (…)




Human rights


WFP and UNFPA to support gender-based violence survivors in Palestine

10 June 2021, Jerusalem – The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) will support more than 5,300 vulnerable women in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, using the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) electronic voucher platform. UNFPA will use WFP’s existing cash-transfer platform to provide every woman with US$100 loaded onto an electronic card. They can use the card to buy diverse food, personal hygiene and household hygiene products from WFP’s 300 shops across Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In Gaza, 4,000 women will benefit from this intervention in addition to 1,300 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The assistance will target the most vulnerable women and girls, including many who are at risk of gender-based violence, contributing to ensuring greater protection and enhancing their livelihoods and dignity. This intervention was made possible by the generous contributions of the Government of Canada, the Government of Spain, the United Nations Central Emergency Fund (CERF).  


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


Save the Children’s 100 days of Reading Campaign to keep kids reading, learning all summer long

1 June 2021 Fairfield, Connecticut– Today, Save the Children is launching its annual summer reading campaign in the United States, 100 Days of Reading, to give children fun ways to keep reading and learning this summer, while also helping provide support and resources to rural America’s most vulnerable kids during this critical time. Starting today until September 8, International Literacy Day, Save the Children will be sharing tips and activities on its Instagram (@savethechildren) and at SavetheChildren.org/READ to help ensure kids continue engaging in reading and stay active all summer long. In addition to offering activities, 100 Days of Reading will help feed the minds and bellies of children growing up across rural America. Every link that is clicked or tapped by participants will help unlock donations of books, educational materials and healthy food for 750,000 kids living in some of America’s most impoverished, rural communities – where Save the Children is working every day to ensure children are getting the early learning and educational support they need to be successful in school and life. (…)



Nepal: Over 650 people benefit from disability screening camps in remote areas

31 May 2021, Kathmandu– The Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) recently organized disability screening camps in the remote areas of two districts in mid-western Nepal – Lamjung and Tanahun. The camps ran over five days and were organized by the NRCS under "Empowered Person with Disability in an Inclusive Community (EPIC)" Programme funded by the Danish Red Cross and the Hong Kong Red Cross. In Lamjung, the camp was organized from 25 to 27 March in Dordi Rural Municipality, covering all nine wards (smaller administrative units within the rural municipality). Due to the hilly terrain and poor road connectivity, the NRCS Lamjung district chapter identified three different spots for the camp on three separate days. While the first day was targeted at the residents of wards 1 and 2, people from wards 3, 4 and 5 visited the camp on the second day. The third day was for people living in wards 6 to 9. The district chapter confirmed that 347 people (178 female, 169 male) were screened over the three days. (…)


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


United Nations – Economic and Social Council – United Nations Children’s Fund – Annual session 2021 –Item 4 of the provisional agenda – UNICEF Strategic Plan 2022–2025, draft for review – Summary

4 May 2021 – The UNICEF Strategic Plan, 2022–2025, will chart a course towards inclusive recovery from the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the realization of a society in which every child is included and has agency, opportunity and their rights fulfilled.  This draft Strategic Plan sets out measurable results for children, especially the most excluded, including in humanitarian crises and fragile situations, and defines the change strategies and enablers that support their achievement.




Economy and development


NEW YORK - Americares, Xylem Partnership delivers clean water and sanitation to 3.5 million people in 10 countries in 2020, aiding COVID-19 response

08 June 2021: Xylem Watermark, the corporate social responsibility program of global water technology company Xylem Inc. (NYSE:XYL), and health-focused relief and development organization, Americares, aim to reach 1 million people in 2021, through their collaboration to improve access to clean water and sanitation. The program builds on the first year of the partnership, which delivered clean water and sanitation services to over 3.5 million people, helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.  In 2021, the partners will provide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure repairs and education to frontline healthcare workers and communities across six countries including India and Bangladesh, currently experiencing COVID-19 spikes. In Mumbai, where informal, urban settlement communities are particularly impacted by the second wave of the pandemic, interventions will include rehabilitating WASH facilities at healthcare facilities, serving 70,000 people from the city’s most low-income areas. The partners will also provide WASH assistance to disaster-prone coastal communities in Bangladesh, including those still recovering from Cyclone Amphan. In 2020, the partnership’s COVID-19 WASH interventions trained 1,600 health professionals across 60 countries in the delivery of WASH education, and constructed or restored 175 WASH facilities. These interventions delivered access to clean, safe water and sanitation for 3.5 million people.


News related with SDGs number 6-Clean Water and Sanitation


MINNEAPOLIS - Are you Down to recycle? Nature valley and down to earth with Zac Efron Partner for recycling awareness

3 June 2021: On the heels of announcing the first plastic snack bar wrapper to be approved by How2Recycle as store drop-off recyclable for its iconic Crunchy granola bar, Nature Valley is teaming up with eco-friendly actor and activist Zac Efron and Down to Earth to raise awareness about store drop-off recycling. Together, the trio will encourage consumers to adopt the habit of bringing eligible plastic film recyclables to participating stores by highlighting how a small act can have a big impact on the planet. The partnership kicked off today with a video from Efron, whiAccording to the Hartman Group’s 2019 Sustainability Report, 70% of the U.S. population want to decrease plastic waste but don’t know how, yet over 90% of Americans are within 10 miles of a store Drop-Off recycling location. That is a potential 295 million people who could participate in Store Drop-Off recycling and Nature Valley is dedicated to converting as many consumers as possible to adopt this way of recycling. Nature Valley launched the first plastic film wrapper designated as Store Drop-Off recyclable by How2Recycle with the brand’s iconic Crunchy granola bar in February 2021. The newly packaged bars are on shelves now, bringing Nature Valley closer to achieving its commitment to 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. By purposefully not patenting this wrapper, Nature Valley is welcoming other food brands to continue to work with suppliers toward making their product packaging recyclable.ch got consumers excited about how this collaboration will come to life over the coming months.  https://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/723626-are-you-down-recycle-nature-valley-and-down-earth-zac-efron-partner-recycling


President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi of Mozambique launches IFAD-supported project to boost aquaculture

2 June 2021, Rome – On 28 May 2021, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique, launched a new project to reduce poverty and increase production and incomes through aquaculture for more than 88,000 rural small-scale fish farmers. Supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the PRODAPE project will play a crucial role in the socio-economic development of the country and improve nutrition and food security. Mozambique is home to a wide variety of fish. However, aquaculture development in the country has been challenging due to the lack of access to inputs such as fish feed, seeds and financial services.The project will promote a range of sustainable fish production technologies such as earthen ponds, use of solar and wind-generated energy along the cold chain, fishponds integrated with livestock and crops, and cage culture in large inland water and modern aquaponics systems. It will establish and consolidate local commercial input supply networks for fish feed and fingerlings at competitive and affordable prices. PRODAPE will help integrate small-scale fish farmers into the aquaculture value chain, linking them to markets and business partners.


News related with SDGs number 8-Decent Work and Economic Growth


South Sudan small-scale producers receive support from IFAD to safeguard their livelihoods in the face of the COVID-19 crisis

17 May 2021, Rome - The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide much needed funding to assist 23,900 vulnerable rural people in the Republic of South Sudan. The IFAD grant will help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their farming activities and safeguard their livelihoods. South Sudan is the youngest African nation and the third most fragile nation in the world. Through its Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF), IFAD will provide US$706,000 to support the Resilient Livelihood and Food System project, which will help small-scale producers in Bor and Torit counties improve their agricultural productivity by ensuring timely access to inputs and post-harvest technologies. The project will distribute a combined total of 52 metric tons of seeds for maize, sorghum, groundnuts and select vegetables at the beginning of the planting season. In addition, fisherfolk will receive kits consisting of hooks, nets and spools of twine. Farmers will also receive training on production technologies that will enable them not only to resume their usual activities but also take up new opportunities made available through the project. The project will make available post-harvest equipment such as threshers, silos, hermatic bags, refrigeration and coolers. At least 50% of the beneficiaries will be women and 50% young people.


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


Tanzania and IFAD partner to boost productivity, improve food security and build resilience of small-scale farmers in the face of the climate change 

12 May 2021, RomeA US$77.4 million project signed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania will bring much needed help to 260,000 rural households facing the impacts of climate change. The Agriculture and Fisheries Development Programme (AFDP) will provide the means for rural people to boost productivity, improve food security and nutrition, and increase their resilience. At a time when the COVID-19 crisis could push another 500,000 Tanzanians into poverty, AFDP will target small-scale farmers, small and medium seed producers, artisanal fishers, processors, aquafarmers, seaweed farmers and others in 41 districts in Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. Half the beneficiaries will be women and 30% will be youth. Through the project, 13,000 metric tons of quality certified seeds - maize, sunflower and pulses – will be distributed to farmers. Local extension services will help create awareness on improved seeds and facilitate market linkages. To increase protein intake and promote healthy diets in the participating rural households, AFDP will help increase the capacity of aquaculture development centers to produce 25 million tilapia fingerlings and 10 million catfish. The project will also develop kitchen gardens for vegetables and provide training for households on nutrition.


News related with SDGs number 8-Decent Work and Economic Growth





WFP welcomes €8.5 million from the republic of Germany for emergency food assistance in Ethiopia

8 June 2021, Addis Ababa – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomes a generous contribution of €8.5 million for 2021-2023 from the people of Germany to provide emergency assistance to save lives and the livelihoods of communities affected by conflict and climate change in Ethiopia. It is part of Germany’s flexible funding for the Eastern Africa region.  Germany’s donation will contribute to WFP’s Tigray emergency response that aims to reach up to 2.1 million people with urgently needed food and nutrition assistance. A total of 5.2 million people, or 91% of Tigray’s entire population need emergency food assistance due to conflict. The donation will also support WFP’s refugee response in the country and help to deliver life-saving and life-changing emergency food assistance to communities in Ethiopia’s Somali region who are affected by extreme climate shocks.


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


African Development Bank funds emergency food effort for thousands starving in southern Madagascar.

20 May 2021 - The African Development Bank has made a grant of $686,000 to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) which will provide much needed food relief to thousands of people on the brink of starvation in southern Madagascar. The support of more than 800 tons of critical food supplies comes at a critical time for Madagascar, which is suffering its worst drought in 40 years. Severe hunger has hit southern Madagascar as communities witness an almost total disappearance of food sources, creating a full-blown nutrition emergency. People have had to resort to desperate survival measures such as eating locusts, raw red cactus fruits or wild leaves. For the first time ever, pockets of IPC phase 5 or Catastrophe have been recorded signaling deepening hunger.  At least 1.14 million people in the Grand Sud need emergency food and nutrition assistance and have been suffering from hunger since the start of the lean season last September This contribution from the African Development Bank will allow WFP to provide around 72,000 people in the south of Madagascar with life-saving food assistance for three months from May to July.


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


WFP provides cash assistance to displaced people in Armenia

18 May 2021, Yerevan – In partnership with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the UN World Food Programme (WFP), is launching a cash assistance programme for displaced people from Nagorno-Karabakh to meet their food needs across Armenia till the end of June.  WFP’s support to food insecure people is provided thanks to the financial support of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Government of France, and Government of Flanders.  WFP will provide monthly cash transfers from April to June to the displaced population who has already registered on the Government platform and is in Armenia. The cash assistance will help displaced people buy a wide range of diverse food items to balance their diet.



New contribution from Japan helps WFP fight hunger in Myanmar's impoverished urban townships

14 May 2021, Yangon, Myanmar – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a US$4 million contribution from the Government of Japan to support families struggling to meet their basic food needs. The contribution will help WFP provide assistance to some 600,000 people in Yangon Region. Food rations will be delivered directly into the hands of vulnerable families as part of WFP’s new operation for 2 million people in the poorest townships of Myanmar’s urban areas. WFP estimates that up to 3.4 million more people, particularly those in urban areas, will face hunger within the next six months due to the triple impact of pre-existing poverty, COVID-19 and the ongoing political crisis.


News related with SDGs number 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities


Caritas in the USA ramping up response to help migrants on the US-MEXICO border

6 May 2021– Catholic Charities USA (our member in the United States of America) is ramping up its response to help migrants on the US-Mexico border following a massive influx in new arrivals. CCUSA is deploying 200 sisters from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious to the border to help Catholic Charities agencies support the migrants. Extra medical teams are also being sent to help CCUSA agencies along the border take care of migrants who are ill due to COVID-19. The agency is working closely with the US government and Sr Donna Markham, president of Catholic Charities USA, recently met with Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss how CCUSA can better help COVID positive migrants along the border. (…)




Peace and security


World Food Programme and Crisis Group partner to strengthen conflict prevention and support pathways to peace

24 May 2021 – The UN’s World Food Programme has signed a Strategic Partnership with global conflict resolution organisation, the International Crisis Group, in order to boost its conflict sensitivity and prevention capacity as it continues to deliver life-saving food to the world’s most vulnerable people. The partnership comes after a year marked by increased conflict, the impact of the pandemic, spiralling food prices, and a downturn in donor support. Hunger and famine-like conditions are spiking in countries like Yemen, South Sudan, and Afghanistan, which continue to be shaken by conflict, with conditions set to worsen through 2021. The new partnership will cover a number of crises across Africa, Asia the Middle East and Latin America and aims to identify and reduce the risks involved in delivering food assistance in conflict contexts. This includes, for instance, efforts to ensure food assistance does not accidentally fuel grievances; deliberate measures to ensure assistance does not exacerbate tensions by inadvertently entrenching unfair control of, or access to, natural resources; and suggesting action to prevent the reinforcement of harmful existing inequalities. 


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


No-one is safe until everyone is safe – why we need a global response to COVID-19

24 May 2021 – Equitable vaccine distribution is a humanitarian imperative. There is a choice. The world of the next 10 years can be one of greater justice, abundance and dignity. Or it can be one of conflict, insecurity and poverty. We are at a turning point. COVID-19 has been a truly global crisis in which we all have shouldered a burden. In many cases this has caused us to reflect on those longer injustices that have perpetuated in parts of the world where the pandemic is yet another layer of misery, instability and unrest. These inequalities have been exposed and exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic, both between and within countries. The effects will be felt on a global scale for years to come. The impact of a catastrophe like the COVID-19 pandemic is measured in the tragedy of individual loss and death, as well as the national and global disruption to almost every part of life. No country in the world has been untouched. Variants of the virus, potentially more infectious and resistant to vaccines, will continue to threaten us if they are not controlled now. Those of us who have signed this declaration represent organizations with roots in communities across the world. We work closely with those affected by conflict, disaster and famine, and know the immense challenges they face – but also of their resilience even in the worst of situations. (…)


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being and SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities





Biden administration to buy 500 million Pfizer vaccine doses to donate to the world

(by Tyler Pager and Emily Rauhala)

10 June 2021 - The Biden administration is buying 500 million doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine to donate to the world as the United States dramatically increases its efforts to help vaccinate more of the global population, three people familiar with the plans said Wednesday.The first 200 million doses will be distributed this year, with the subsequent 300 million shared in the first half of next year. The doses will be distributed by Covax, the World Health Organization-backed initiative to share doses around the globe, and they will be targeted at low- and middle-income countries. Pfizer is selling the doses to the United States at a “not-for-profit” price, according to the people familiar with the deal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details that were not yet public.


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


WFP helps transport COVID-19 vaccine donated by China to Timor-Leste

5 June 2021, Dili– A United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) chartered flight carrying Sinovac vaccines from Beijing arrived today in Dili. The vaccinations were donated by the Chinese Government in support of the COVID-19 response in Timor-Leste.  The 100,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines were handed over by Chinese Ambassador Dr. Xiao Jianguo to the Minister of Health, the lead Government body overseeing the vaccination drive. “No single country can address the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic alone. At this critical time, China stands in solidarity with Timor-Leste,” said Chinese Ambassador Dr. Xiao Jianguo.


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


Sustainable menstrual hygiene products offer a critical solution for the sexual and reproductive health needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon

1June 2021– Imagine being a 13-year-old who is told that your period is a “dirty” phenomenon, that this natural monthly recurrence is not something to embrace, but rather something to fear and be ashamed of. Now imagine also that you live in conditions that do not meet minimum standards for well-being and dignity, with limited access to clean water and hygiene products. This situation is a reality for hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugee girls and women in Lebanon. On top of all that, most of these girls only learn about sexual and reproductive health when they are about to get married, and only informally, through the women of their families. This critical gap in education leads to an array of health and psychosocial issues. To address these problems, Anera is promoting menstrual hygiene and health through our programs. Americares’ most recent medical aid shipment to Lebanon perfectly complements Anera’s focus on reproductive health, allowing us to provide refugee women and girls with menstrual hygiene products to help them manage their periods in a safe and affordable manner. (…)


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


New international expert panel to address the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases

20 May 2021, Geneva/Paris/Rome - International organizations have come together to launch a new One Health High-Level Expert Panel to improve understanding of how diseases with the potential to trigger pandemics, emerge and spread. The panel will advise four international organizations - the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - on the development of a long-term global plan of action to avert outbreaks of diseases. Three quarters of all emerging infectious diseases originate in animals. It will operate under the One Health Approach, which recognizes the links between the health of people, animals, and the environment and highlights the need for specialists in multiple sectors to address any health threats and prevent disruption to agri-food systems.

Key first steps will include systematic analyses of scientific knowledge about the factors that lead to

France and Germany also supported the launch of the One Health High-Level Expert Panel.


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



Energy and safety



Paris Climate Accord & Net Zero By 2050 Goals in Jeopardy — Nations to issue new urgent Call to Action

(Article courtesy of Drive to Zero)

31 May 2021 – Recognizing that efforts to reach Paris Climate Accord goals are in jeopardy in part due to the recent boom in e-commerce and resulting transport sector growth, multiple nations will issue a collective urgent call to action at the 12th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM12) in Chile. The government of the Netherlands and CALSTART’s Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero program and campaign (Drive to ZeroTM) will announce details of this new international effort to cut climate emissions, improve air quality, drive clean technology investment and support good paying jobs (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


Upscaling Europe's port infrastructure critical for offshore wind development

28 May 2021 – Ports are key to offshore wind development. To deliver the offshore wind expansion set out in the EU's Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy, Europe's ports must expand and add new infrastructure. In a new report, WindEurope estimates that 6.5bn of investment in port infrastructure will be needed by 2030. The European Commission should develop a Ports Strategy and recognise the societal and ecological value of ports. (…)


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


EU to boost clean energy targets

27 May 2021 – EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson has said that renewable deployment targets will be increased as part of the Fit for 55 package due to be presented to the Commission in July. In a speech at the European Parliament Simson announced that Fit for 55 would revise the Renewable Energy Directive which sets targets on how much of Europe’s energy comes from renewable sources. (…)


News related with SDGs number 7-Affordable and Clean Energy


AUSTRALIAN RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY – ARENA welcomes expanded mandate to support the next generation of clean energy technologies

24 May 2021 – The Australian Government has today (May 19) implemented changes to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's (ARENA) legislation that will enable the Agency to support the next generation of energy technologies. ARENA will continue to support Australian innovation and R&D in renewable energy, as well as low, zero and negative emissions technologies. The broadened remit will allow ARENA to support technologies contained in the Low Emissions Technology Statement (LETS) such as hydrogen, energy storage to back up renewable energy, low emissions aluminium and steel production, carbon capture and soil carbon. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


The International Energy Agency (IEA) wants to ban sales of new gas boilers from 2025 onwards — Smart Thinking!

(by Johnna Crider)

22 May 2021 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) said that no new fossil fuel boilers should be sold anymore starting in 2025 if the world really wants to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the BBC has reported. The agency published a special report and noted that this is just one of 400 steps on the road to net-zero emissions that the traditionally fossil-friendly agency recommends. Another step would be the sales of new gas and diesel cars ending by 2035. The IEA pointed out that from now on, there is no place for new coal, oil, or gas exploration or supplies. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY – How Cities Can Take Action to Drive the Energy Transition

18 May 2021 – The dominance of fossil fuels in the urban energy supply puts cities on the frontline of climate change. Cities account for about 75% of global primary energy use and are responsible for 70 per cent of energy related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, making them key actors in both national and global efforts to transition to a net-zero future. Cities can catalyse the shift to a low-carbon future (…)


News related with SDGs number 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities


IRENA members commit to advance the global hydropower fleet

(By Renewable Energy World)

6 May 2021 – Members of the International Renewable Energy Agency and private sector representatives are joining forces to modernize and refurbish the existing hydropower fleet around the globe. This is one of the results of the third meeting of the Collaborative Framework on Hydropower organized by IRENA, which aims to expand collaboration and action between the agency’s global membership on the continued deployment of hydropower technologies. Over 100 participants from 50 countries attended the gathering virtually. (…)


News related with SDGs number 7-Affordable and Clean Energy



Environment and wildlife


The custodians of nature crucial to any and every effort to protect our planet

(by Lilian Gikandi)

8 June 2021 – 2021 is the super year for our planet. Global leaders will convene in a series of meetings to determine solutions to the planet’s climate, nature and sustainable development challenges and it is critical they support nature’s original custodians - the world’s Indigenous peoples and local communities. Any global conservation efforts including calls to protect and conserve at least 30% of the world’s land, freshwater and oceans by 2030 hinge on strong IPLC participation and leadership and will be unattainable without them. A new, first of its kind collaborative study compiled by conservation organizations and experts, with guidance from and peer reviewed by Indigenous Peoples experts and organizations highlights the importance of recognizing and respecting the rights, governance, and conservation efforts of Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLC) as custodians of their lands.  The study finds that Indigenous peoples and local communities' lands and territories cover at least 32% of the planet’s terrestrial surface and the majority (91%) are considered to be in good or fair ecological condition today. This is mostly because IPLCs have lived sustainably for generations in their ‘territories of life’ and safeguard many of the world’s remaining natural landscapes. Many of these areas support unique cultural and spiritual values and practices, and are critical in combating nature loss and climate breakdown. IPLC knowledge and practices have helped preserve their lands for generations. And yet, more than a quarter of IPLC lands could face high development pressures in the future, underlining the need to secure the rights, governance and practices of those who are best-placed to safeguard many of the natural systems on which we all depend. (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


Ambitious $104 million program targets land degradation in Africa and Central Asian countries

8 June 2021, Rome - The global launch of a $104 million initiative signals an ambitious effort by a range of partners to safeguard drylands in the context of climate change, fragile ecosystems, biodiversity loss, and deforestation in 11 African and Central Asian countries. Funded by the Global Environment Facility and led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Sustainable Forest Management Impact Program on Dryland Sustainable Landscapes helps pave the way for initiatives linked to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The Program will be implemented in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the World Bank, and the World Wildlife Fund. The Program will involve work across three critical dryland biomes - the Miombo and Mopane ecosystems of Southern Africa, the savannas of East and West Africa, and temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands of Central Asia - to avoid, reduce, and reverse land degradation through sustainable land and forest management. The program will bring 12 million hectares of drylands under sustainable land management. The program will also reach more than 1 million direct beneficiaries, improve the management effectiveness in 1.6 million hectares of protected areas, restore nearly 1 million hectares of degraded land in the drylands, and reduce 34.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


EU contribution of €8 million will strengthen gains in Desert Locust fight

13 May 2021, Brussels/Rome - The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, has welcomed an €8 million contribution from the European Union (EU) that will enable countries in the Horn of Africa to maintain a state of readiness in the face of a possible resurgence of Desert Locusts. While the upsurge continues to decline in the Horn of Africa thanks to control operations, recent rainfall has enabled swarms in eastern Ethiopia and northern Somalia to mature and lay eggs. The new funding will be used to bridge time-sensitive, critical gaps in procurement, survey, and control operations in the remaining two most-at-risk countries, Ethiopia and Somalia. It will also enable a quick response if the situation changes and needs arise in Kenya and the Sudan. This is designed to ensure the continuity of activities carried out by FAO in support of national governments. ECHO's latest contribution will also support the procurement of additional biopesticides.  With support from the European Union and a number of other donors, FAO and governments have scored major successes in containing the worst recorded locust upsurge in Ethiopia and Somalia for 25 years and the worst infestation that Kenya has experienced in 70 years. FAO has also been helping farmers, who suffered locust damage with agricultural support packages, providing veterinary care for vegetation-starved livestock, and making cash transfers to families who have lost their crops so that they can purchase food.



IEA calls for greater critical minerals supplies – Shortages could hold up offshore wind rollout and climate goals

5 May 2021 – Supplies of critical minerals essential for key clean energy technologies like wind turbines  and electric vehicles need to pick up sharply over the coming decades to meet the world’s climate goals. A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) said governments must act now to address potential energy security hazards. The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions is a global study on the central importance of minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements in a secure and rapid transformation of the global energy sector. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action



Religion and spirituality


ASIA/LEBANON - Patriarchs and Bishops discuss topics for the upcoming summit in the Vatican

9 June 2021: The Patriarchs and Bishops of the Churches present in Lebanon met in the early afternoon of yesterday, Tuesday, June 8th, in Bkerké, at the seat of the Maronite Patriarchate, to discuss the issues and problems to be placed at the center of the meeting convened in Rome on July 1st by Pope Francis in order to reflect together with the main leaders of the Lebanese Christian communities on the worrying situation in the country. The short inter-ecclesial summit, which took place at the invitation of Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, was attended, among others, by Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignace Youssif III Younan, the Catholicos of Cilicia of the Apostolic Armenians Aram I, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Youssef Absi and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch Yohanna X Yazigi. As emerges from the summary reports published by the Maronite Patriarchate on social media, the participants in the deliberations reaffirmed the urgent need to form a new government and overcome the institutional paralysis in order to deal with the devastating effects of the economic and social crisis and unable to cope with the daily life of a large part of the population. At the end of the meeting, those present prayed for peace in Lebanon and the Middle East and for the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting convened by Pope Francis in the Vatican with the high representatives of the Lebanese Christian communities also attracted the attention of analysts and commentators in Lebanon who comment on the upcoming summit in the Lebanese media. (…)



AFRICA/EGYPT - Christians and Muslims on pilgrimage to the Monastery of Jabal al Tayr to celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary

5 June 2021: While respecting the provisions in force to combat Covid-19, this year a large number of Egyptians, both Coptic Christians and Muslims, have been able to arrive at the Marian monastery of Jabal al Tayr, in the Coptic Orthodox diocese of Samalut, Minya province, to participate. in the week of festivities and celebrations in memory of the birth of the Virgin Mary. The anti-covid measures, which limit the presence around the Market Sanctuary with street stalls and food sales, have made participation in this gesture of popular devotion more sober and spiritually intense this year.The Church of the Virgin Mary in Jabal al-Tayr ("Hill of the birds") was founded around 328 AD by the will of Queen Elena, mother of Emperor Constantine, and is one of the most loved and popular shrines by Coptic Christians. The original place of worship, carved into the rock, hosts liturgical celebrations only three times a year, on the occasion of three solemnities of the Coptic liturgical calendar. The Marian Shrine also represents one of the most significant stages of the "Way of the Holy Family", the itinerary that unites places crossed, according to millenary traditions, by Mary, Joseph and the Child Jesus during their stay in the land of Egypt, where they were due emigrate, leaving Palestine, to escape Herod's evil designs.According to local traditions, after arriving in the city of Samalut, the Holy Family crossed the Nile to the east, right where the Monastery now stands, and settled in the cave that is incorporated into the ancient church. The "hill of the birds" where the monastery is located, is also known as "Monte del Palmo" because, according to a local tradition, while the baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph were near the hill, a large fragment of rock detached itself, which risked killing them. Then the Lord Jesus stretched out his hand to stop the rock from rolling, and the palm of his hand remained imprinted on that rock. The celebrations held each year at the shrine in honor of the birth of the Virgin Mary begin at the end of May and last for a week.



AMERICA/PARAGUAY - Agrarian law reform: the Church and peasant organizations call for "an open and broad process, consulting everyone"

5 June 2021: The Church of Paraguay, through the Social Pastoral Care Commission of the Episcopal Conference (CEP), rejects the reform of the agrarian law without consultation. In the statement sent to Fides, the Paraguayan Bishops warn that an approval without consultation of the Agrarian Statute could have "serious social consequences" and they ask for a careful analysis of the situation, taking into account the statements of the social leaders concerned. The problem of land ownership has become a very critical issue in Latin America, particularly in the Atlantic countries and in the Amazon rainforest. While on June 3 the Senate of Paraguay deliberated on the proposal presented by the Chamber of Deputies, peasant organizations mobilized to reject a reform to the Agrarian Statute which, in their opinion, benefits large producers and not Paraguayan farmers. After the session, which rejected the bill, the text was sent back to the Chamber of Deputies. In recent days, several organizations, including a delegation led by Mgr. Mario Melanio Medina, Bishop Emeritus of Misiones, had delivered a note to the senators asking them to reject this proposal, since the reform of the agrarian statute aims to legalize a large part of state land illegally occupied by people who are not precisely peasants, direct beneficiaries of the Agrarian Reform. In Paraguay it is estimated that about 700,000 hectares of land are illegally occupied by people who do not qualify to be beneficiaries of the Agrarian Reform.


News related with SDGs number 8-Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions



Culture and education


“Argentina: Teachers lead national strategy for Comprehensive Environmental Education.”

(By Graciela Mandolini)

3June 2021 – We live in a historical time in which all kinds of emergencies are constantly being played out: environmental, climate, energy, health, economic ... All of these converge in what many authors define as the crisis of civilization. The environmental agenda has been setting the pace and environmental conflicts have burst into school settings, appearing with unprecedented speed and persistence.

If we understand education as a process that is permanently under construction, we could say that teachers in Argentina are carrying out some important actions in terms of comprehensive environmental education. These include interventions in curricular designs, as well as in projects and programs aimed at incorporating the environmental dimension for sustainable development as part of teaching-learning proposals. (…)



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* 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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