01 April 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

‘Daylight loot’: Kashmir farmers suffer as rivers illegally mined
Al Jazeera, 01 Apr 2021

“It is time to give trees their first shower (of minerals and pesticides) but there’s no water,” laments Mir, pointing to the parched canal. “It will prove costly, because missing even one spray (out of approximately a dozen recommended) can ruin the whole crop.” Agriculture is the backbone of the region’s economy, contributing 8 percent towards its GDP. According to one survey, at least 700,000 Kashmiri families are directly or indirectly connected to the agricultural sector.

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World Bank plans climate shift but no fossil fuel halt: Report
Al Jazeera, 01 Apr 2021

A revised World Bank policy on climate change commits to making financing decisions in line with efforts to limit global warming but stops short of promising to halt the funding of fossil fuels, according to a draft bank presentation seen by the Reuters news agency. The World Bank, the biggest provider of climate finance to developing countries, is finalising a new five-year climate action plan amid growing political momentum in the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries for ending public financing of high-emission fossil fuel projects.

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Climate change top challenge over the next decade, UNESCO global survey finds
UN News, 31 Mar 2021

More than 15,000 people worldwide contributed to the survey, which was held online between May and September 2020, and made available in 25 languages. Respondents were mainly young people, with 57 per cent under age 35, and 35 per cent under 25. Results also were analyzed along regional, gender, age and other demographic lines. “Greater efforts are needed to address people’s specific concerns, and multilateralism is the way to do this. Restoring confidence in multilateralism requires the implementation of concrete and impactful projects, and this is at the heart of our Organization's role”, said Audrey Azoulay, the UNESCO Director-General.

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Destruction of world's forests increased sharply in 2020
The Guardian, 31 Mar 2021

The rate at which the world’s forests are being destroyed increased sharply last year, with at least 42,000 sq km of tree cover lost in key tropical regions. According to data from the University of Maryland and the online monitoring platform Global Forest Watch, the loss was well above the average for the last 20 years, with 2020 the third worst year for forest destruction since 2002 when comparable monitoring began.

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Can the EU's climate change plan work in Southeast Asia?
DW, 31 Mar 2021

The EU has earmarked millions of euros for supporting climate friendly development in Southeast Asia. But the EU's climate diplomacy in the region is up against economic growth fueled by dirty energy.

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Study sounds latest warning of rainforest turning into savanna as climate warms
Mongabay, 31 Mar 2021

As the planet warms, it isn’t just humans who are feeling the heat — trees are too. Rising temperatures are disrupting a primary engine of life on Earth: photosynthesis. A recent study from Brazil adds to fears that climate change is altering the face of the planet. Literally. Tropical forests could look more and more like deciduous forests or savannas in the future, according to the research based in Brazil’s Cerrado biome. This ecoregion abjacent to the Amazon Rainforest is where savanna, grasslands and forests mingle.

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More climate action needed during ‘make-or-break year’ for people and planet
UN News, 31 Mar 2021

With countries across the world having agreed through the Paris Agreement to a goal of limiting temperature increases to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels to mitigate global warming, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed spelled out at the Climate and Development Ministerial Meeting: “We now need to spare no effort to achieve it in this ‘make-or-break year’”.

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Mali needs climate solutions, not more troops
Al Jazeera, 31 Mar 2021

On March 23, 2019, in central Mali, some 160 civilians – mostly semi-nomadic herders of Fulani ethnicity – were killed, allegedly by Dogon communities, who are mostly farmers. The international community looked first to ethnic divisions and radicalisation to explain the attack. But the reality is that diminishing access to water and fertile land have long pitted herders against farmers.

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Plastic pollution disproportionately hitting marginalized groups, UN environment report finds
UN News, 30 Mar 2021

The report, entitled, Neglected: Environmental Justice Impacts of Plastic Pollution, was produced by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) together with the grassroots environmental group, Azul. The findings aim to empower communities affected by plastic waste and advocate for their inclusion in local decision making. 

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