African health and environment ministers met in Libreville, Gabon, August 26-29 to confront growing environmental threats to human health and well-being. The Inter-Ministerial Conference on Health and Environment in Africa was organized by the World Health Organization, the W-H-O, and the United Nations Environment Programme, or UNEP. The government of Gabon hosted the four-day meeting. The participants included health ministers, environment ministers, high-level experts, academics, policymakers and representatives from non-governmental organizations.
In Can Money Grow on Trees?, Panorama reporter Ben Anderson travels to Brazil and Guyana to examine a new plan to save the rainforest by making it worth more standing than chopped down.
The idea is to take the principles of the market and apply them to the standing trees; calculating an exact value for the services which the rainforest provides.
These ecosystem services, as they are known, influence weather systems on a vast scale, produce rainfall and capture CO2 from the atmosphere, reducing global warming.
The attainment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals would be derailed due to changes in weather patterns around the world, experts warned. Scientific research and medical journals say it will affect food production and economic growth in many countries especially developing ones.
Experts say those factors and others will make it harder to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, which seek to respond to the world’s main development challenges. The MDGs, include efforts to improve health, cut child mortality and reduce poverty and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The remote island countries of Kiribati and Tonga in the Pacific rely mainly on fragile groundwater aquifers for fresh water. But groundwater sources just below the surface are highly vulnerable to pollution and salt water intrusion, as populations grow and concentrate in urban areas. Community organizers are working to change peoples' behavior to safeguard water supplies and the environment.
This report contains a recap of the South Asia Regional Workshop on Indoor Air Pollution, Health and Household Energy, held on 27-28 February 2006 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The goal of the workshop was to exchange information on successful technologies, models and challenges in reducing indoor smoke and associated health burden in South Asia. It was organized jointly by Practical Action Nepal and Indoor Air Pollution and Health Forum Nepal. During the workshop the existing policy provisions and best practices in South Asian countries were shared and discussed.