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Poverty

Rooster calls no more

Issue Date: May 15, 1998
in front of a poultry firm in district Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh ( mp ), a board catches the eye. With a furious looking photograph of a black chicken, it declares: "Kadaknath, pride of Madhya Pradesh." It is, literally. Even the flesh, bone and skin of the species known as Kadaknath is black. Local people call it kala mans (black meat). This variety is unique to Jhabua.

NEPAL

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1998
The Nepal government and the United Nations Development Project (UNDP) have recently concluded an agreement for providing US $2,5 million for the implementation of the ambitious Micro Enterprises Development Programme (MEDEP). MEDEP is being implemented by the ministry of industry with support from several partner organisations and other government ministries. Its purpose is to contribute to the government's overall aim of poverty alleviation by fostering the establishment of micro industries by low-income families.

UNITED NATIONS

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1998
More than 35 senior officials from various leading insurance firms recently came together in Zurich, Switzerland, to found, in association with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the Insurance Industry Initiative. The lead comes from the realisation within the insurance industry that protecting human life and property, preventing catastrophic events and making a positive contribution to the quality of life of future generations are essential to their business.

PROJECTS FOR PAKISTAN

Issue Date: Nov 15, 1997
A US $12.5 million project that focuses on poverty alleviation, environmental protection and improving the quality of education has been launched in Pakistan. The project, instituted by the United Nations Development Programme, will create teacher training and resource centres to improve the quality of teaching and of primary and secondary education. Another programme, the Programme for Improving livelihoods and Urban Settlements will promote activities that create income-earning opportunities and improve the urban environment.

New battlegrounds

Issue Date: Oct 15, 1997
> this book is one of the eight books in the Worldwatch Insti-tute's Environment Alert series and raises some contem-porary issues concerning global security.

United chaos

•A review of the five years since Rio, Earth Summit II showed collective irresponsibility by nation states for the earth's future •The special session of the UN General Assembly was marred by nations wrangling to settle for the minimum possible

Words worth

Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Britain: "The biggest responsibility falls on the countries with the biggest emmissions" Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, "Global environment protection and sustainable development need a clearly audible voice at the UN... this could lead to a creation of a global umbrella organisation." Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark: "We must ensure that poor countries do not become markets for outdated technology or recipients of hazardous waste."

Scapegoat: Third World

The G-7, after the Denver meet (weekend before UNGASS), issued a statement that made it clear that they were not willing to accept their responsibilities, but would blame the developing world for inaction on global warming. 'Action by developed countries alone is not sufficient to meet this goal. Developing countries must also take measurable steps, recognising that their obligations will increase as their economies grow,' it said.

On shaky ground

The Indian delegation had gone unprepared to UNGASS and found themselves at sea over India's position on the forest convention. As negotiations entered into the final phase, The Netherlands co-chair on the forest session had put forward a partisan proposal which effectively included the forest convention into the text. The proposal said "identify... international arrangements and mechanisms, including, legally binding instrument" on forests. The Indian delegation found itself taken off guard with the cleverly manipulated text.

Welcome opposition

The Indian delegation was led by the minister of environment and forests (MEF) Saifuddin Soz. That the Indians had decided to keep a low profile was apparent as the negotiations progressed. The Indian delegation decided to keep silent at the time of important discussions. For most of the times, it sided with the G-77, barring the tricky issue of the forest convention, where the G-77 itself was divided. Indian delegates were rarely seen getting closely involved in most of the ongoing negotiations and chose to remain silent during the heated debate around climate and energy issues.
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