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New UN Report Shows How to Drastically Slash Plastic Pollution

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK, 17 May 2023 (IDN) — A new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report says countries and companies could reduce plastic pollution by 80 percent by 2040 using existing technologies.

According to UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen, “the way we produce, use, and dispose of plastics pollutes ecosystems, poses health risks, and destabilizes the climate.”

Photo: Women planting an olive tree in the Marrakech-Safi region of Morocco (High Atlas Foundation, 2021)

Decentralisation Vital to Achieving the UN’s Global Goals

Viewpoint by Yossef Ben-Meir

The writer is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and president of the High Atlas Foundation.

MARRAKECH (IDN) — The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are aspirationally universal, addressing globally relevant issues with earnest objectives. Despite the profound good that they represent, fundamental problems exist with the Goals. They lack prescriptiveness, even to the extent of not explicitly aligning with what we know is indelible to sustainability: local people’s participation. (P09) ARABIC | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH


A Global Summit Calls for Transition to the Bioeconomy

By Rita Joshi

BERLIN (IDN) – Global environmental threats, the opportunities brought by new sciences, and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic call for the transition to the bioeconomy, says the communiqué emerging from the Global Bioeconomy Summit 2020 organised by the International Advisory Council on Global Bioeconomy (IACGB) composed of about forty high-level policy experts and drivers of the bioeconomy in all hemispheres. The transition is “more critical than ever before”. (P23) FRENCH | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF


Sustainable Tourism and Fisheries Key to Growth in Post-COVID Pacific

Viewpoint by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

The writer, Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

BANGKOK (IDN) – Developing countries of Asia and the Pacific are experiencing unbalanced tolls of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grim milestones in infections and deaths have left countlessly devastated. Yet, we must look at the economic and social impacts in small island developing States (SIDS), where setbacks are likely to undo years of development gains and push many people back into poverty.


New Technique Converts Plastic Waste into High-Quality Plastic

By J W Jackie

RENO, Nevada, USA (IDN) – Every year, around eight million tons of plastic makes its way to our oceans, with the yearly input expected to double by the year 2025. The problem is most visible in developing nations (where garbage collection and recycling systems are inexistent or sub-par) but developed nations also often have low recycling rates, and the ‘throwaway culture’ is endangering the lives of countless marine species.


The Pillaging of Mineral Resources Leaves Behind Poverty Holes for Africans

By Jeffrey Moyo

HARARE (IDN) – More than a decade ago, he lost his home as diamond miners from China razed it to the ground searching for the gems. Still, today, 74-year old Tobias Mukwada lives with his family in shanty thatched huts they erected hoping that perhaps one day the Chinese diamond merchants would remember them and offer them a decent home.

But for the poverty-stricken Mukwada and his family, it may be a wait in vain.

Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe ordered Chinese diamond miners out of the mining fields in the country’s eastern highlands in 2016. (P11) CHINESE | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH | THAI


Generation 2030 in the Nordic Countries Tackles SDGs

By Lowana Veal

REYKJAVIK (IDN) – On September 5, 2017 – two years after the United Nations adopted Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets – the Nordic countries jointly launched the Generation 2030 programme with the aim of speeding up implementation of Agenda 2030 through official Nordic cooperation.

A budget of 1.925 million dollars was allocated for the project, which runs until December 2020. (P07) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH


UN Environment Assembly Spells Out ‘The Future We Want’

By Justus Wanzala

NAIROBI (IDN) – Global gross domestic product has doubled since 1970, enabling immense progress, and lifting of billions of people out of poverty. At the same time, this economic growth has been fueled by a relentless demand for natural resources. At no point in time nor at any level of income, has our demand for natural resources wavered, notes the Global Resources Outlook 2019.

“Our consume and throwaway models of consumption have had devastating impacts on our planet,” says the report presented during the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya, March 11-15.


The Biomass Shore Project – A Leading Model For Next-Generation Innovation

Viewpoint by Midori Kurahashi

The author is Project Associate Professor, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo, Japan.

TOKYO (IDN) – Worldwide forest fires and the abnormal heat experienced last summer are still fresh in our memory. Many people throughout the world had a sense that some kind of unsettling change is happening. Even so, response is slow and measures are not being taken. One reason for this is that the world is driven by people who believe that the cost of stopping global warming is too great for the achieved effect. (P21) GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH






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