WWF report says that the RSPO failing to meet sustainability objectives for palm oil production
This statement [in PDF], published on the eve of a major meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), says that RSPO certification alone can no longer be considered an adequate measure of environmental sustainability for “progressive” companies. It says companies that aim to minimize the impact of their palm oil production, trade, and/or consumption should now target performance standards that include public reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, eliminating the use of Class 1A and 1B pesticides, and establishing policies that exclude the purchase of oil palm fruit from illegally cleared or occupied lands. Those standards were excluded from the recently updated RSPO principles and criteria, which will go to a vote at the RSPO meeting on April 25 in Kuala Lumpur. The statement from WWF is especially significant given the group’s role in the formation and progress of the RSPO. For years WWF has pushed for producers, traders, and consumers to adopt RSPO certification as the standard for responsible production and use of palm oil. The effort has resulted in a steady increase in RSPO-certified palm oil’s market share, but also complaints from some environmentalists who say the initiative does not go far enough to limit deforestation, conversion of peatlands, or social conflict. Courtesy of Clipping Today.
Fair Drug Treatment Access: A Call for Action in the Developing World
By Eve Pearce (15 March 2013)
Drug abuse and addiction have become horrendous problems in societies across the world. The numbers of drug addiction cases are growing every other day and millions of resourceful people around the world are being reduced to waste. The manner in which the problem has mutated over the years into its current magnitude of complexities is not surprising at all; it has happened in the full glare of families and societies. Yet, people around the world continue to maintain lukewarm attitudes towards this problem as if drug addicts are not entitled to their human rights.
The Scope of Drug Addiction
There is no single country in the world, whether developed or developing, that has been spared the menace. Talk of the U.S. and statistics will show you that about 23.5 million people aged above 12 years were in need of treatment for drug and substance abuse in 2009 alone. Across in Europe, the situation is even worse with alcohol addiction being one of the biggest social problems in countries such as the United Kingdom. In Latin America, many countries have suffered from the proliferation of organized crime gangs that thrive on proceeds of drug trafficking, with Mexico and Colombia being the most affected of them all. The trend worsens when you spread your compass further to poor countries in Africa, the Caribbean and other developing regions of the world.
Interestingly, one of the biggest challenges of drug addiction is that it cuts across the entire demographic structure of the society. It does not matter whether one is rich or poor, young or old, male or female, employed or unemployed; anybody can become a victim. Some of the cases that happened in the recent past where high-profile musicians, sports entertainers and Hollywood celebrities succumbed to addiction-related deaths are the vivid examples of the reality that addiction knows no boundaries. Therefore, the gravity of addiction has reached a point where focus must only be directed towards preventive measure, but also in the care and treatment of addicted persons.
Enhancing Treatment and Care
Whereas it is often said that old habits die hard, this line of thinking should serve as a motivation to emphasize on the significance of care and rehabilitation for drug addicts. It is very true that individuals find it very difficult to quit addictive habits such as drug abuse. However, it is similarly important to understand that drug addiction is reversible, only if addicts are put under proper care and treatment. Rehabilitation can help drug addicts to overcome addiction and address the underlying circumstances that pushed them into addiction. The past successes of some of the treatment methods, such as counselling, medication and behavioural therapies, are sufficient testimonies that addicts can be rehabilitated back into the society and they can be as resourceful as they were prior to falling victims to addictions. To this end, the scope of intervention measures for drug abuse and addiction-related cases must be strengthened and broadened throughout the world, so that victims of addiction can get access to drug treatment regardless of their social or economic statuses.
Need for Greater Facilitation in the Developing World
Whereas developing nations have the requisite skills, knowledge and human resources for enhancing caring and rehabilitating addicts, lack of sufficient financial and capital resources has remained a handicap. Unlike the developed world has made tremendous strides in enhancing fare access to drug treatment, developing nations are lagging way behind. The distribution and ratios of drug treatment facilities in developed nations are sensibly proportional to their estimated numbers of existing and emerging cases of addictions. In the U.S., for example, there were 14,500 establishments that provided specialised services for drug treatment. To the contrast, the disparities between these specialized facilities and the patient populations are just to big in developing countries.
Therefore, developing or poor countries must get their act together seek for ways of setting up the necessary infrastructure for spreading out sufficient numbers of drug treatment and rehabilitation centres. Indeed, drug addicts have a right to life like the rest of humanity and must never be left to perish. Therefore, fair access to drug treatment must not be denied to anyone regardless of race, colour, creed or nationality because it is an inalienable human right. This is where global actors such as the UN must step in and enhance accessibility to fair drug treatment across the world, and particularly in the developing world where the situation is extremely deplorable.
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Chernobyl liquidators after explosion :
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Which legacy will you leave?
We, as patriotic and committed South Africans, claim our right to take our lead and mandate from the ANC's Polokwane Resolutions at the 52nd Congress, and call upon all leaders to engage with us on the matters raised below. We are of the opinion that the current IRP2 electricity plans do NOT follow the resolution below, namely: "To further integrate climate change considerations with sustainable development strategies, the science and technology agenda, integrated energy planning, transport policy and industrial policy. In this context to maximize the integration of a full cost accounted economy in which product life cycle of products is
internalized and the goal of zero waste production is pursued. "
Members of Parliament are presently being asked how we as a nation should address electricity supply challenges through the Integrated Resource Plan 2010 (IRP 2010), a 25 year electricity plan.
The fundamental flaw with IRP2010 is that it has been drafted by those with vested corporate and economic interests, and the decision making panel does not
include representation by Civil Society and Labour. The decisions being made now regarding our energy future will have major consequences, for current and future
generations of South Africans. These decisions must have a firm moral footing, be bound by social and environmental justice and be unafraid to confront the scrutiny of future generations.
This briefing has been produced to give you, as an important decision maker, a deeper understanding of what a possible nuclear future holds for our country. As parliamentarians you need to consciously decide if you wish to assist in the development of a Nuclear State or if you wish to direct this country onto a more sustainable path. (FULL DOCUMENT IN PDF)