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Ocean protection: Cebu City hosts meeting of international policy-makers and practitioners

Press release – for immediate release

Cebu City/ Hamburg/ Eschborn, 28 May 2014:  Marine ecosystems are of vital importance for Asia and the Pacific: the region’s rich oceans and coasts are home to diverse species and ecosystems that provide an important food source for over 120 million people as well as valuable services for tourism and recreation. Coral reefs and mangroves protect the coastlines from tsunamis and storms. These vital functions of the oceans are threatened by habitat loss, overfishing, pollution and climate change.

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Biodiversity Legislation Study

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Abstract

Biodiversity is essential to the functioning of the ecosystems that provide us all with health, wealth, food, water and other vital services that our lives depend on. However, due to habitat destruction, pollution and climate change, we are facing a severe biodiversity crisis and witnessing the loss of biodiversity at an unprecedented rate. The international community has agreed upon ambitious biodiversity targets (the Aichi Targets) under the Convention on Biological Diversity. National governments are urged to take strong action to safeguard the highest standards for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Comprehensive biodiversity legislation at the national level are indispensable to reaching global biodiversity targets. This study presents and compares comprehensive biodiversity laws from eight countries. It aims to serve as inspiration and guidance for legislators around the globe to advance biodiversity legislation within their own political processes. GLOBE’s international network of legislators is a meaningful tool in sharing this knowledge and information.

International Policies

The proposals presented here have to be supported by progressive international climate policy. The Fourth Assessment Report of Working Group III of the IPCC made it very clear that agriculture is the sector most sensitive to carbon pricing policies. Consequently, an agreement to globally tax GHG, or to establish a global carbon emission trading scheme, would be the best way to support local and organic agriculture solutions. Such a clear price signal would – in conjunction with the policies presented before – transform markets and mean a breakthrough for sustainable agriculture.

An innovative way to price the costs of GHG emissions in the food sector was proposed by Franz-Theo Gottwald and Franz Fischler in their book “Ernährung sichern weltweit – Ökosoziale Gestaltungsprinzipien”: the introduction of trade tariffs for agricultural produce equivalent to the external costs of transport, conversion into farmland and emission of greenhouse gases from food production and distribution. Countries that introduced appropriate national food policies would benefit from reduced trade tariffs. Such a policy would be a significant step towards preventing environmentally unsustainable patterns of food trade. Gottwald and Fischer acknowledge that such an international food trade policy would be difficult to implement in the short term, but that such proposals would be a useful stimulus for national and international policy debates.

Moreover, under the policies of the Kyoto Protocol, developed ‘high emission’ countries agreed to reduce their total GHG emissions but they could also choose to fund climate-friendly projects in developing countries. The ‘Clean Development Mechanism’ enabled developing countries to participate in global agreements and to access funds to help them introduce sustainable technologies into their economic development. The successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol should extend such arrangements to bio-sequestration projects – with the explicit exception of ‘Round Up Ready’ GMO crops – for both local and global benefit.

Legislators highlight urgent need to preserve biodiversity and marine ecosystems in Mesoamerica

Policy makers and experts from 9 countries gathered in San José

San José/ Hamburg/ Eschborn, 20 September 2013: Legislators, policymakers and experts from Central American and Caribbean countries have highlighted successful measures as well as challenges for conserving biodiversity and marine ecosystems during a 3-day Inter-Parliamentary Hearing on exemplary biodiversity and marine policies in San José, Costa Rica.  

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Policy Hearing Ends with Affirmative Action for Forests in Africa: Legislators and Policymakers Agree to Serve as Goodwill Ambassadors

Press Release – for immediate release 

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania/Hamburg, Germany. 12 July 2013: The 2nd Inter-Parliamentary Hearing on ‘Forests for People’ has concluded with affirmative action by legislators and policy-makers in Africa and the adoption of policy recommendations in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Around 35 legislators, policy-makers and experts from Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Germany committed themselves to raising public awareness and awareness among legislators and policy-makers about the significant role of forests and trees for livelihood, the environment and the future of life on Earth in Africa. They agreed to serve as Goodwill Ambassadors for Forests in Africa.

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Hearing in Dar es Salaam spotlights visionary African policies: Tanzania’s Vice President H.E. Dr Mohammed Gharib Billal welcomed international delegates

Press Release – for immediate release 

Dar es Salaam/Hamburg, 10 July 2013: Forests can make an effective contribution to improving rural livelihoods, reducing poverty, and promoting equity in Africa. At an Inter-Parliamentary Hearing on exemplary African forest policies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from 9 to 12 July, legislators from Eastern African countries will question experts and discuss visionary forest policies. H.E. Dr Mohammed Gharib Billal, Vice President of Tanzania, extended a warm welcome to all delegates at the opening ceremony on Tuesday 9 July.

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Forests for People in Rwanda: A Success Story

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Forests for People in Rwanda: A Success Story New book illustrates the East African country’s prized forest policy

Hamburg, 14 November: The successes of Rwanda’s forest policy are explored in a new book “Forests for People – Insights into Rwanda’s Prized Forest Policy” published by the World Future Council, a foundation based in Hamburg, Germany. Rwanda’s National Forest Policy was awarded the 2011 Future Policy Award. The policy has not only resulted in a halting of deforestation, the country’s forested area has increased by a remarkable 37 per cent since 1990. The primary reasons for this success are massive reforestation projects and plantations undertaken in partnership with the local population. The World Future Council’s Future Policy Award aims to draw global attention to exemplary policies such as this and to encourage other countries to introduce comparable measures.

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World Future Council warns against marine phosphate mining

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World Future Council warns against marine phosphate mining International policy research organisation sees “risk for fisheries” in Sandpiper project

Windhoek/Hamburg 31 October – Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council and the Right Livelihood Award, today voiced concerns about the future of Namibian fisheries should the planned Sandpiper marine phosphate mining project be allowed to go ahead: “Mining is a short-term non-renewable activity. Once the phosphate has been extracted, the jobs are gone. In contrast, if fisheries are managed sustainably, as in Namibia, the food and job security they provide can last for many generations to come.”

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Best Oceans Policies Awarded at UN Biodiversity Summit

Press release – for immediate release

Best Oceans Policies Awarded at UN Biodiversity Summit – International organisations celebrate the Republic of Palau, Namibia and the Philippines in Hyderabad, India.

Hyderabad, 17 October 2012: In a well orchestrated ceremony the Future Policy Award 2012 for best policies to protect oceans and coasts was bestowed on the Republic of Palau, the Philippines and Namibia on Tuesday night. In the Hyderabad International Convention Center, Palau was honoured with the Gold Award in recognition of two outstanding marine policies, the Protected Areas Network Act, initiated in 2003, and the Shark Haven Act from 2009. The two Silver Awards were given to the Philippines for its Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act from 2010 and to Namibia for its Marine Resources Act from 2000. The ceremony was convened by the World Future Council, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with support from the Okeanos Foundation.

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Power to the People: the European Energy Transition

Press release – for immediate release

Power to the people: Community-based energy transition surest and most effective strategy for the European energy sector

International strategy meeting of 40 European policy makers and experts calls upon national governments

Hurup Thy/ Hamburg, 10 October 2012 –  High citizen participation and regional value creation from decentralised renewable energy production are the success factors of the German and Danish move towards achieving 100 per cent renewable energy. People, communities and regions are therefore the driving force of the biggest transformational process in Europe since the invention of the steam engine. This was the conclusion of a strategy meeting organised by the World Future Council and the Climate Service Center (CSC) at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, at which 40 policy makers and experts from 15 European countries as well as Canada came together at the Nordic Folkecenter, Denmark in order to confer on political instruments and implementation possibilities for a Europe-wide energy transition.

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