By Mario
Published: Thursday 15 July 1999

The United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) will launch the first-ever planet-wide climate research programme involving nearly 70 countries. Under the programme CLIVAR (Climate Variability and Predictability) existing global data will be collected to study the complex interactions among the atmosphere, oceans and land and come up with forecasting models, said UNESCO sources. "Various studies have been made in weather forecasting over the past 20 years and the CLIVAR programme will help take things further," said an UNESCO spokesperson. CLIVAR was initiated after a meeting of scientists from nearly 70 countries at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in December 1998. The programme will extend the study of El Nio, which caused havoc in weather patterns all over the world.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has warned that huge stocks of dangerous and unused pesticides in Africa would be a "time bomb", threatening humans and the environment, if funding for their disposal remained at the current low level. In a statement from Rome, the FAO called upon the governments and industries to increase their efforts and financial support to solve this environmental problem. "There is hardly any developing country that is not affected by the hazards of obsolete pesticides," said FAO expert Alemayehu Wodageneh.

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