Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 221

Posts Tagged ‘Millennium Development Goals’

Temples to Toilets: First Global Interfaith Initiative to Promote Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Launched at UNICEF House

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 26 settembre 2013


India (Photo credit: Spicygreenginger)

NEW YORK, The first global interfaith initiative to promote safe water, sanitation and hygiene was launched today. The partnership will bring together faith-based organizations committed to tackling pressing social problems that impede the health and rights of children around the world.The Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, or GIWA, envisions a water-secure world in which safe and sustainable drinking water and improved sanitation will be accessible to all by the year 2020. An estimated 5 billion people across the world are members of religious communities, underscoring the critical role religious leaders can play in addressing seemingly intractable problems – such as access to safe water and sanitation.Lack of adequate sanitation is a global crisis directly impacting health, education, productivity and economic status. Every day diarrhoea – the second largest killer of children under five in the developing world – claims over 1600 young lives. “Our world has lost millions of beautiful children due to poor water, hygiene and sanitation,” said Pujya Swamiji, GIWA co-founder and President & Spiritual Head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram. “Today, leaders of the world’s faiths are saying, enough.”“Clean water and sanitation should not be a distant dream for children and communities,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. “They should be a reality. And this alliance can help bring their dreams much closer.”Religious communities are already an indispensable partner for UNICEF in advancing children’s rights and enhancing their well-being. In terms of promoting water and sanitation efforts, partners of GIWA can point to significant achievements, among them:
· Ganga Action Parivar (GAP), bringing together the faiths of India to protect and restore the Ganga River, which is polluted by some 2 billion litres of sewage and 1 billion litres of toxic chemicals daily. GAP provides and promotes sanitation, potable water, tree plantations, public awareness programmes and more.
· The “Islam and Water” education programme supported by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation which is creating water awareness among Muslim communities in several countries.
·Imam Ilyasi, Chief Imam of India and President of the All India Imam Organization announced the development of a WASH training involving over 500,000 imams in India. The Ecumenical Water Network of the World Council of Churches, which is working with 349 churches and Christian organizations worldwide to facilitate an exchange of information on the world’s water crisis.
Expanding access to sanitation and eliminating open defecation can save lives and reduce cases of diarrhoea in children under five by over a third. Yet two years shy of the Millennium Development Goals deadline, only 64 per cent of the global population has improved sanitation, far short of the 75 per cent MDG target. And while the international community has reached its MDG water target, more than 768 million people still lack access to improved drinking water sources.Safe drinking water and improved sanitation not only reduce diarrhoea and stunting, but they are often the catalyst that can propel a family out of poverty. They are basic human rights as well as foundations upon which healthy and productive societies may thrive. Without them, children cannot survive and communities cannot grow and prosper. Investing in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, therefore is an investment in the health and livelihoods of future generations.“We are called to sanctify time and dedicate the next 7 years, every hour, every second to the provision of clean water and improved sanitation,” said Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, GIWA co-founder and President and Founder of the Institute for Human Values. “Living water will be in reach of the whole community of life and thus hope will propel us to action.”The seed for the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance was planted earlier this year at “Wings for Water,” a multi-stakeholder dialogue held in The Hague in advance of the World Water Day celebrations. Included among GIWA’s founding partners are: Institute for Human Values (The Netherlands), Ganga (Ganges) Action Parivar, (India), Elijah Interfaith Institute (Israel), the All India Organization of Imams of Mosques, the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, the Ecumenical One World Initiative (Germany), and Inner Sense (The Netherlands).In order to achieve its goal to fulfill the MDGs and achieve a water secure world by 2020, GIWA will bring together faith-based organizations, aid agencies and religious communities working on WASH; mainstream good practices of faith-based WASH initiatives; engage the world’s religions in advocacy work to ensure that governments take seriously their responsibilities to guarantee the human right to water and sanitation; and spearhead concrete actions to enhance public health by promoting Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). GIWA’s aim is to empower religious and spiritual communities to take action on WASH and bring a spirit of collaboration and compassion into existing networks and planned international events on WASH

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Local and Regional Governments from all corners of the globe celebrate International Day of Democracy with view to Rabat

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 19 settembre 2013

Barcelona. United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) will celebrate, along with the international community, the International day of Democracy taking place just two weeks before the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders. As representative body of self-governing and democratic local and regional governments, UCLG seeks to increase the role of these institutions situated closest to citizens in the construction of Democracy. In the framework of today’s celebration to “Reinforce the voices of Democracy”, UCLG is inviting the international community and its members and partners to “Imagine Society, Build Democracy” during the Second World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders and 4th UCLG Congress that will address this topic in Rabat, Morocco, from the 1st to the 4th of October.After one hundred years of the International Municipal Movement, this Summit will be a turning point in re-affirming the agenda of cities in the 21st century, building and reinforcing Democracy with the involvement of local and regional authorities in the work that has been initiated on the future of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) post 2015 and on the definition of the new global urban agenda in the framework of Habitat III, in 2016. Local Democracy is vital for democratic development. In the words of Roger B. Myerson, winner of the Nobel prize for Economy: “It is not enough to concentrate exclusively on national leaders; local leadership is essential. The economic Investments depend on local security and other public services depend on local government agents.” Myerson will participate in the Summit, together with other renowned speakers and over 3,000 local, regional, national and international political figures from over 100 countries as well as the international organizations, civil society partners and the public and private sectors.The Summit will feature debates on how to foster wellbeing, managing diversity, new governance and the dynamics of change and solidarity among territories. The conclusions from the debates and plenaries in Rabat will be decisive in defining the shared position of local and regional level governments before their citizens and the rest of the international community.

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World’s First Carbon-Financed Sustainable Water Programme Helps Millions in Africa

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 10 marzo 2012

London, (PRNewswire) Swiss disease control technology company Vestergaard Frandsen earns Gold Standard carbon credits with innovative business model that tackles global health, water and climate challenges Vestergaard Frandsen’s LifeStraw® Carbon For Water programme has become the world’s first safe water project to generate Gold Standard Voluntary Emissions Reduction (VER) credits, and has earned 1.4 million carbon credits. LifeStraw® Carbon For Water is a cutting-edge demonstration of how carbon finance can enable, at scale, some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities to treat their water through the provision of zero-carbon purification technology. Proceeds from the sale of the credits, which Vestergaard Frandsen expects will be issued on a semi-annual basis, will help to sustain the programme over the course of a decade. LifeStraw® Carbon For Water, launched last year in western Kenya, is the largest water treatment project ever undertaken in a developing country without government or public sector funding, and Vestergaard Frandsen plans to replicate the model elsewhere in the world. In doing so, it will help millions more people in developing countries to improve their health and reduce carbon emissions. The LifeStraw® Carbon For Water programme has distributed 877,505 LifeStraw® Family water filters in Kenya’s Western Province. As a result, more than 90 percent of the province’s population now enjoys the ability to consume safe drinking water at no cost to themselves or their government. One of the ways to treat potentially contaminated water in Kenya is by boiling over an open fire that produces carbon emissions through burning mostly non-renewable wood, which also contributes to a serious deforestation problem in the region. LifeStraw® Family meets World Health Organization standards for “highly protective” means of household removal from water of the bacteria, viruses, and parasites responsible for common diarrheal diseases-without the need to burn and boil. This produces significant carbon savings, and each filter will purify at least 18,000 litres of water-enough to supply a family of five for three years. Safe drinking water is of critical importance to development in places where waterborne illness is the cause of many missed educational and economic opportunities, and, in too many cases, death. The sustainable programme will repair and replace the water filters as needed, at no cost to users, at service centers throughout the province. Vestergaard Frandsen has employed thousands of local residents to assist with the ten-year programme.
LifeStraw® Carbon For Water is designed around the unique Gold Standard climate finance platform, which has been critical to the programme’s success. The new Gold Standard methodology developed for the project includes a calculation of suppressed demand – an area in which The Gold Standard has led the carbon markets. The Gold Standard is used by the NGO community and many governments as a policy tool for demonstrating best practice in carbon finance, giving further assurance and credibility to such innovative approaches and methodologies. The Gold Standard is working with the German government to explore ways of applying suppressed demand to expand access to carbon finance in Africa and other poor regions that have historically been excluded from its benefits.
ClimateCare, one of the world’s leading climate and development specialists, was lead author of the new Gold Standard methodology and will commercialise the credits. CEO Edward Hanrahan added: “ClimateCare are delighted to have been able to support this truly groundbreaking project. Traditionally carbon finance has been used to reduce emissions from large single point sources, the difference here is that you have hundreds of thousands of small interventions, working together to achieve a highly significant reduction, all adding up to what is one of the largest carbon reduction projects in the world. This project is achieving what ClimateCare believes that climate and development finance is all about – and provides a fantastic model for developing dual and triple impact projects in the future.”
Vestergaard Frandsen is a European company that operates under a unique humanitarian entrepreneurship business model, and is dedicated to creating and deploying technologies that improve the health of people in developing countries. This approach has turned corporate social responsibility into Vestergaard Frandsen’s core business, and includes strong support of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Gold Standard is an award winning certification standard for carbon mitigation projects and is recognised internationally as the benchmark for quality and rigour in both the compliance and voluntary carbon markets. We certify renewable energy and energy efficiency carbon offset projects to ensure that they all demonstrate real and permanent greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and sustainable development benefits in local communities that are measured, reported and verified. The Gold Standard is the only certification standard trusted and endorsed by more than 80 NGOs worldwide, including Care International, World Vision Australia, Forum for the Future and Mercy Corps. It is also the standard of choice for multiple governments and multinationals.
ClimateCare is an independent, “profit for purpose” organisation committed to creating intelligent streams of finance to fund large scale emission reduction and development projects. By financing ground-breaking projects spanning renewable energy, water purification and clean cookstove technology, ClimateCare’s climate and development model paves the way for substantial emissions reductions while delivering significant health, economic and social benefits in the world’s least developed countries. ClimateCare offers corporate organisations the opportunity to adopt a smart approach to addressing their environmental impacts by offsetting their carbon emissions and supporting sustainable development. ClimateCare applies its expertise gained from 15 years’ developing emission reduction projects to lead pioneering methodologies that act as blueprints for some of today’s most innovative and advanced sustainable development projects. Its Gold Standard methodology for efficient cookstoves has facilitated the distribution of millions of cookstoves around the world.

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Football legend Zinédine Zidane ends Mali visit with anti-poverty call

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 26 ottobre 2011

Football superstar and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill

Zinedine Zidane

Ambassador Zinédine Zidane ended a visit to Mali last Friday highlighting new anti-poverty tools put into action across the West African nation.Zidane visited a group of women who manage a multi-purpose engine that provides the village of Koursalé, 60 kilometres southwest of the capital, Bamako, with an affordable power supply for milling grain, processing rice, and recharging batteries.The programme has so far reached about 1.5 million people in Mali and approximately three million in West Africa now have better energy access through the engines, some of which now run on biofuels such as the Jatropha vegetable oil.It focuses on women with low income and minimal access to energy. Only registered women’s associations, with support of village members, can apply for a unit. Once trained, they save an average of between two and six hours daily using the technology.Improving access to energy for some of the world’s poorest populations is one plank of UNDP’s poverty reduction strategy, which involves supporting governments in drawing up and putting into action policies that break poverty cycles and create opportunities for women.In Bamako, Zidane also participated in a sports event with 3,000 youth as part of advocacy efforts for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – eight internationally-agreed goals that seek to end extreme poverty by 2015.Acting UNDP Resident Representative Maurice Dewulf hailed Zidane as a “valuable Ambassador who has teamed up with 13 million Malians with a view to achieving the MDGs.”Prior to his departure, Zidane met with Mali’s President Amadou Toumani Touré, who acknowledged the football star’s commitment to advocating against poverty.

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