We need three (3) Planets !

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Remember the lecture by Mr. Wolfgang Pekny, Footprint-Consult eU, at the meeting of CSD, October 8, 2013? He  warned that the generation of our children has a poorer prospect for the future than their parents: the scarcity of resources, climate change, hunger, financial crises, and refugee crisis are symptoms of the same phenomenon: the planet Earth has become too small for the economies and lifestyles of the “Global Consumer Class”. A good measure (but heavily criticized) is the “ecological footprint”: According to this we currently need three (3) planets! For more information:

German: http://www.footprint.at/index.php?id=6761

English: http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/

Roland Leithenmayr

Listen to current meetings via Skype

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It is now possible to use Skype to listen to UNOV/UNODC, UNIDO and CTBTO conferences held at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) for free from anywhere in the world.

Learn more about it: UNOV United Nations Office at Vienna  – http://www.unvienna.org/unov/en/conferences.html

 

International Anti-Corruption Academy in Vienna/Austria (IACA)

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“Corruption is one of the biggest impediments to the world’s efforts to reach the Millenium Development Goals.Corruption steals elections. It undermines the rule of law. It can jeopardize security. And the vulnerable suffer first and worst. “

A complex issue like corruption linked to organized crime, cannot be adequately addressed with traditional methods alone: IACA  the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Vienna/Austria, – the first of its kind -, aims to overcome current shortcomings of knowledge and practice in the field of anticorruption. The Academy’s goal is to develop a new generation of top-notch specialist and experts to tackle the issues surrounding corruption.

Learn more about http://www.iaca.int/

Omnibus Survey – Fight against Corruption and Transnational Organized Crime.

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UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) has taken an innovative approach to gather information on the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols to it. UNODC developed an Omnibus Survey Software, which is an efficient, interactive and user-friendly tool that would simplify reporting obligations vis-à-vis the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols to it and the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

The software can be downloaded: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CTOC/omnibus-tool.html

2015 International Year of Soils

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Human Rights: Reducing land degradation and desertification:

The Sekem Initiative (Egypt) received for their contribution combating soil erosion and reclamation of desert soils the “Land for Life Award 2015” of the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification).The approach of Sekem is based on biological and dynamic farming methods.

http://www.unccd.int/en/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.un.org/en/events/desertificationday/2015/sgmessage.shtml

http://news.sekem.com/en/sekem-wins-land-for-life-award-2015

Another important contribution to this topic is the scientists and practical afford (Erna Smidt, Johannes Tintner) of the “Platform for the Humus Research” of BOKU (Universität für Bodenkultur Wien). The approach is based on the thematic cycle: humus – humic substances – soil fertility – carbon sequestration – climate. BOKU’s project the “BOKU Mobile” has been was awarded by UNESCO to the UN Decade Award “Education for Sustainable Development”.

https://vimeo.com/122856716,

http://www.boku.ac.at/humusplattform/humusbuch/

http://www.boku.ac.at/humusplattform/boku-mobil/

Jadav Payeng, a Mishing tribe environmental activist and forestry worker from Jorhat, India planted and tended trees, – over the course of several decades -, on a sandbar of the river Brahmapitra covering now more than 50 hectars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuvzoD42-Vw

Summer of Soil, an association of agronomists and ecologists, is concerned about the misuse of soil in agriculture and forestry on all 5 continents. They work closely together with John D. Liu and with Willem Ferwerda of the Commonland Foundation in the Netherlands and created a “centre of excellence” offering research and training attracting people from all over the world both on a practical and scientific level. One of the ambitious projects is in Ayoó de Vidriales, Spain..

http://www.commonland.com/

http://operationco2.com/news/life-news/summer-of-soil-team-visits-ayoo-de-vidriales-341.html

WELTjournal+: Grüne Wüsten – Visionen für die Welttvthek.orf.at

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

Target of Criticism: IMF (International Monetary Fund)

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This is a contribution to the project of CSD (UN Committee on Sustainable Development):

A Healthy Planet for Future Generations, Human Rights, and Sustainable Development

indicates six (6) obstacles to progress positively in the present world economic system:

  1. Massive flows of financial resources that do not contribute to the real economy
  2. Corruption
  3. Illicit flows of finance, money laundering, and tax evasion
  4. Labour-saving instead of resource-saving technical progress
  5. High public debt in many countries (particular in developing countries)
  6. Lack of socially responsible/cooperative entrepreneurship

Because of the debt crisis worldwide, the actions and supposed neoliberal vision of the IMF are criticized: Is this justified?

Christian Felber recommends in his book  “50 Vorschläge für eine gerechte Welt, Gegen Konzernmacht und Kapitalismus”, Wien 2006“, the IMF should be embedded in the UN system under the hegemony of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); furthermore, the IMF shall involve NGOs, trade unions, churches, small business owners and farmers’ associations. Joseph Stiglitz (Die Schatten der Globalisierung, Berlin 2002) proposed that a democratically composed “Borrowers Committee” should check each loan before IMF approves it. Yanis Varoufakis sees the IMF as the gravedigger of indebted countries in his book (Bescheidener Vorschlag zur Lösung der Eurokrise, 2015).

Stiglitz, Varoufakis, and Felber criticize the neoliberal ethos, independence and the lack of democracy of IMF; moreover, they reject IMFs interference in economic policies of the debt countries in a form of stipulated structural adjustment programs. 

 

What are the causes of the poverty reduction worldwide ?

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Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, announced in July 2015 very proud the achievement of MDG 1 (Millennium Development Goal 1): While in the year 1990, 50% of the world’s population earned less than US$ 1.25 a day in 2015 it was only 14%.

What are the actual forces which generated this high reduction of poverty: Was it the free market, the globalization (opening up of markets, reduction of tariffs, privatization, the inflow of foreign capital), or was it the the lifting of the ban on ownership, or all of them. The critics of capitalism are more likely to demonstrate the adverse effects of the forces of capitalism. Even if those above mentioned processes were radical, painful and partly unfair it brought ultimately economic growth and prosperity to ermerging and developing countries.

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

Human Capacity Building and the SDGs

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The Sustainable Development Goals contain 17 goals and 169 targets. Many criticize that the scope is too broad, lacking coherence, priorities and a clear time frame; however, all agree that the six thematic elements are essential: People, Planet, Partnership, Justice, Prosperity and Dignity. Compare to the Triple Bottom Line Approach: People, Planet, Profit (for all).

There are direct and indirect references to Human Capacity Building:

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower women and girls

Goal 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for women and men, including for young people and humans with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value. Compare to the goal “Energy for All”.

Goal 8.6: By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.

(Source: Human capacity building and the SDGs, OFID Quarterly, April 2015)

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FOR ALL (SE4ALL)

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yumkella

 Kandeh K. Yumkella, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Chief Executive  Officer for Sustainable Energy for all.

“2014 has left Sustainable Energy for All very well positioned and prepared for the future”

50 SE4 All High-Impact opportunities identified, six of which are already operationalized:

Clean Energy Mini-Grids, Phase-out of Gas Flaring, Energy and Women’s Health, Universal Adoption of Clean Cooking Solution,Sustainable Bioenergy and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus.

2014  A Year of many breakthroughs accross all work streams of sustainable energy for all.

2015 The year when we show how we act to make sustainable energy for all a realty.

2030 The year when we achieve sustainable energy for all.

http://www.se4all.org/

http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/sustainableenergyforall/home/members/yumkella

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

Energy for the poor: A king’s legacy

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[Universal energy access) is set to be a standalone goal in the new post-2015 agenda – the Sustainable Development Goals. King Abdulla has been instrumental in this achievement. He passed away January 2014 and more than a nation grieved for the man whose legacy of “energy for the poor” continues to light the lives of million around the globe. (Source: OFID Quarterly, April 2o15)  

The SDG 7 goal of universal energy access receives international recognition and has risen to the top of the development agenda led by the  UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. It includes governments, finance institutions and the private sector and civil society.