Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 275

Posts Tagged ‘protect’

Smurfing our blue planet: European Union and Smurfs team up to protect the ocean

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 30 aprile 2019

“We have no ocean B, just as we don’t have a planet B”, says João Aguiar Machado, Director-General for maritime affairs and fisheries at the European Commission, as he signs the cooperation agreement with Smurfs. “Marine pollution is one of the most pressing environmental problems, in Europe but certainly also in the rest of the world. With the Smurfs, we have found a partner that can help us reach out globally, while sharing our values and priorities”.“The Smurfs have always been the bearer of noble values”, says Véronique Culliford daughter of Smurf-creator Peyo and president of IMPS, the company behind the Smurfs. “Thanks to this partnership with the European Union, we will be able to share common ideals. The Smurfs might be small in size, but they can make a great difference in working towards our world remaining an enjoyable place to live in. So let’s smurf together for a brighter future!”
Concretely, the EU will spur its embassies across the world and its representations in EU Member States to organise beach clean events together with local organisations, schools etc. In 2018, over 70 actions and nearly 3,000 people participated to this EU Beach Clean-up campaign. The ambition for this year goes even further, says Christian Leffler, Deputy Secretary General at the European External Action Service (EEAS), “through EU Delegations, we will encourage children, young people and adults of all countries to follow the example of the Smurfs and take care of our blue planet”.Cleaning up beaches has an instant positive result. Last year, EU delegations in Mozambique and Senegal removed 10 tons of litter from the shores in just one day. But the EU and Smurfs hope their campaign will achieve a longer lasting impact. “By organising these activities, we want to increase global awareness about the state of our ocean, and our individual responsibility to take care of it”, adds Mr Machado. “People will find very familiar things on the beach: plastic bottles, cigarette butts, candy wraps… Cleaning it up, can help us to mind our own daily behaviour and habits.”Of course, goodwill only gets you so far. Countries need to have proper waste management schemes in place, and this is often lacking in developing countries. The EU is also helping with that. Just last year, the EU has committed EUR 9 million to reduce plastic waste and marine litter in South East Asia and EUR 19 million to support a waste management programme for the Pacific region.Within its own territory, the EU is adopting new legislation that will curb single use plastics, especially those items that are most commonly found on the beach. In addition, the legislation focuses on lost fishing gear, which accounts to some 27% of all beach litter. Member States will have two years to turn this legislation into national laws.

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Is Europe doing enough to protect fundamental rights?

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 30 giugno 2017

corte di giustizia europeaChallenges to human rights are multiplying in the European Union, despite the strength of the legal framework we have built since the Second World War. To discuss the magnitude and nature of the challenges and develop solutions, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is hosting a high-level symposium in cooperation with the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU. “Human rights are under threat across the EU,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “But the goodwill and support for the vulnerable in so many places around Europe should give us hope. We need to harness this positivity to ensure that human rights remain the bedrock of our societies. And we must do much more to show that human rights are not just for a select few, but for everyone.”“Let us make now the time, when we end the scourge of poverty, within our European Union and beyond, as part of our commitment to secure the rights and freedoms of all,” said Maltese President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca. “Let us affirm the fundamental dignity of all human beings, by acting upon our duty to strive for the best interests all individuals and communities, and especially, the most vulnerable members of our society.”The EU is facing persisting high poverty levels and rates of youth unemployment demoralising to those entering the labour market for the first time. We are also witnessing political groupings that seek to capitalise on fears within the population for their own short-term electoral gains by championing nationalist and sometimes racist agendas. All of this increases the importance and difficulty of communicating human rights, whether as an expert in the field, a politician, or a journalist.‘Is Europe doing enough to protect fundamental rights?’ will take stock of human rights developments in the EU over the last 10 years. The symposium will address the three most burning issues on the EU’s policy agenda by focusing on migration and asylum, insecurity and fear, and poverty and social exclusion. Particular attention will be paid to the children’s perspective, and children themselves will take part in the event as speakers and commentators.FRA’s annual flagship Fundamental Rights Report and Opinions, now available in all EU languages, will be presented at the symposium, and together the Agency’s new report on the detention of child migrants will form the backdrop to the discussions.

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Former Great Barrier Reef head calls for ban on new coal mines to protect the Reef

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 22 novembre 2016

Sydney, perla australiana. Australia’s former leading authority on the Great Barrier Reef has called for a stop on the construction of any new coal mines in Australia, sounding the alarm on coral bleaching, rising sea temperatures, and further damage on the Reef. The call comes just days after nations met in Morocco for COP22 to hammer out plans to implement the Paris Agreement.“Australia cannot have a healthy Great Barrier Reef and a continuing coal industry,” Kelleher said. “This year was a wake-up call for everyone that Australia has to step up when it comes to protecting the Reef and a ban on new coal mines would be a necessary first step.”Graeme Kelleher was the first Chairperson and Chief Executive of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), a government organisation dedicated to the care and development of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Kelleher held the position for 16 years.The call for a ban on new coal mines comes ahead of the deadline (1 December) for the Australian government to report back to the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, over its handling of the health of the Great Barrier Reef.“The Great Barrier Reef is the “canary in the coal mine”, and right now it’s telling us the climate is sick,” said Shani Tager, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Reef campaigner.“In a world where climate extremes and droughts are becoming more common, governments across the world need to halt all new fossil fuel projects, and urgently shift investment to water efficient wind and solar power.”Recent economic modelling by the Australia Institute found a ban on new coal mines would almost have no impact on the Australian economy, not to mention the benefits of transitioning to 100% renewable power. The coal industry – the biggest single source of emissions – is heading for a terminal decline worldwide. Renewable growth will continue to disrupt the fossil fuel industry: China is growing its economy while reducing its coal consumption, and solar in India has already become cheaper than coal.
In September, the Australian government claimed it had made “good progress” in protecting the Great Barrier Reef during the previous 12 months, despite 22% of the Reef’s coral being killed in the worst coral bleaching event in history.The Australian government has promised to ensure protection of the Reef, but it has also made a number of controversial decisions in defiance of the Paris climate agreement that endanger the Reef. In October 2015 it granted approval to a huge expansion of coal mining in Australia, including the world’s largest new coal mine Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.“It’s not right for this government to pat itself on the back and claim it’s protecting the Reef when nearly a quarter of its coral was killed this year,” said Kelleher.Kelleher is an international specialist in marine parks, has authored several major books and reports on marine environments and was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia honour. He will endorse a new petition with Greenpeace Australia Pacific, calling for a ban on new coal mines.

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European Parliament debates Safe Harbour ruling at 19.30: How to protect EU citizens’ data in transatlantic transfers?

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 ottobre 2015

MEPs debate the impact of the recent european court justice (ECJ) ruling that the Safe Harbour agreement on data transfers to the US is not safe. They are likely to ask Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová to clarify the legal situation following the ruling and demand immediate action to ensure effective data protection for EU citizens. The debate in plenary, with the Commission and Council, starts at 19.30, after the votes.Following a complaint against Facebook by an Austrian citizen, Max Schrems, the European Court of Justice ruled on 6 October that the Commission’s “adequacy decision” was invalid since the Safe Harbour scheme does not offer a level of data protection equivalent to the level of protection in place in the EU. In particular, the Court found that the access enjoyed by the US intelligence services to the transferred data interferes with ‘the right to respect for private life and the right to protection of personal data’.After the ruling, the chair of the civil liberties committee, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), called on the European Commission to act immediately to provide clarity and proper data protection standards for data transfers to the US. Debate on rise of anti-semitism, islamophobia and hate speech in Europe.

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Greenpeace response to India’s INDC

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 3 ottobre 2015

New-Delhi. India today announced its climate targets as part of the UN negotiations on climate change. Indians government committed to reducing its carbon intensity by 33-35 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. The Indian government aims to do this by increasing the share of installed electric capacity from non-fossil sources to 40 percent by 2030 as well as promising to protect/increase its forest cover so an additional 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon would be sequestered.Responding to the announcement, Pujarini Sen, Climate and Energy Campaigner from Greenpeace India said:“The Indian target to reach 40 percent of electricity from non-fossil sources by 2030 is certainly a step in the right direction. The bulk of energy must be solar and wind, given the potential for renewable energy as well as economic benefits available for India.” “Decentralised renewable energy systems must account for a significant proportion of this target, as this is the opportunity for the 300 million plus Indians who still lack access to electricity. Grid reforms are also essential to reach this target. This commitment is in line with India’s articulation of climate justice, as these are the people most vulnerable to climate change”.The commitment to renewable energy will change the energy matrix in India as renewables currently account for less than 12 percent of energy supply. However, India’s continued commitment to expand coal power capacity is baffling. Further expansion of coal power will hamper India’s development prospects, by worsening the problems of air quality and water scarcity as well as contributing to the destruction of forests and the displacement of communities. Financial analysts have predicted that electricity from renewable energy, especially solar, will be cheaper than coal within a few years.

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Seminario: “The Role of Cyber Defence to Protect and Sustain EU Economy”

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 29 ottobre 2014

cecchignolaIl 30 ottobre a Roma, nella Città Militare della Cecchignola, si terrà il seminario sulla difesa informatica “The Role of Cyber Defence to Protect and Sustain EU” organizzato nell’ambito delle attività del Ministero in occasione della Presidenza di turno italiana del Consiglio dell’ Unione Europea.
Il convegno, attraverso interventi e dibattiti, offrirà una possibilità per discutere sulle sfide e le prospettive future nel settore dello sviluppo industriale sulla sicurezza informatica a protezione e sostegno dell’ economia europea. Il consesso, aperto dal Ministro della Difesa, Roberta Pinotti, vedrà la partecipazione del Ministro della Difesa dell’Estonia, Sven Mikser, del Sottosegretario alla Difesa lettone, Janis Sarts, e del Capo di Stato Maggiore della Difesa, Ammiraglio Luigi Binelli Mantelli. All’evento interverranno, inoltre, il Director Capability, Armament and Technology dell’Agenzia di Difesa Europea (EDA) Air Commodore Peter Round, alte cariche istituzionali e rappresentanti del mondo industriale impegnati nel campo della sicurezza informatica. (Magg. Andrea M. GRADANTE)

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MEPs tighten up rules to protect personal data in the digital era

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 13 marzo 2014

DysonMEPs inserted stronger safeguards for EU citizens’ personal data that gets transferred to non-EU countries in a major overhaul of the EU’s data protection laws voted on Wednesday. The new rules aim both to give people more control over their personal data and to make it easier for firms to work across borders, by ensuring that the same rules apply in all EU member states. MEPs also increased the fines to be imposed on firms that break the rules, to up to €100 million or 5% of global turnover.The EU’s 19-year-old EU data protection laws urgently need updating to keep pace with the progress of information technologies, globalisation and the growing use of personal data for law enforcement purposes.”I have a clear message to the Council: any further postponement would be irresponsible. The citizens of Europe expect us to deliver a strong EU wide data protection regulation. If there are some member states which do not want to deliver after two years of negotiations, the majority should go ahead without them”, explained rapporteur for the general data protection regulation, Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens/EFA, DE).”Allow me to express my dissatisfaction and frustration about the fact that it is the Council, or at least some member states, which are preventing us from achieving the goal that we had set, namely to have the data protection reform package passed by the end of this Parliament’s mandate”, said rapporteur for the directive on the protection of personal data processed for law enforcement purposes, Dimitrios Droutsas (S&D, EL).

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Transparency: better access to documents and protection of whistleblowers needed in the EU

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 23 febbraio 2014

The widest possible public access to documents is needed to effectively allow citizens to comment on all aspects of EU activity, says a report adopted by the Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday. MEPs call on the Council to finally move forward with the revision of the regulation on access to documents and for a Transparency officer in each EU institution. They also urge for better protection of whistleblowers.
The Lisbon Treaty lays down the fundamental right of access to documents, MEPs stress, recalling that “any decision denying access to documents must be based on clearly and strictly defined legal exceptions, accompanied by reasoned and specific justification, allowing the citizen to understand the denial of access and to make effective use of the legal remedies available”.Citizens have a right to know how the decision-making process works, how their representatives act, hold them accountable and to know how public money is allocated and spent, stresses the report.The EU legislation on access to documents is still not being properly applied by the EU’s administration, says the committee, noting that the “exceptions of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 [on public access to documents] are being applied routinely rather than of exceptionally”. It calls on the institutions, bodies and agencies to strictly apply this regulation, taking full account of the body of case-law on this matter. MEPs express their disappointment with the fact that since December 2011, when Parliament adopted its first reading position on the revision of the regulation, “no progress has been made, since the Council and the Commission did not seem ready to embark on substantive negotiations”. They call on the Council to finally move forward with the revision and on both institutions to agree on a new instrument that provides significantly more transparency.The Civil Liberties Committee calls on all the institutions to evaluate and, where necessary, review their internal arrangements for reporting wrongdoing, and calls for the protection of whistleblowers. “In a healthy democracy citizens should not have to rely on whistleblowers in order to ensure transparency of their governments’ competences and activities”, it adds.
The Commission should table a proposal to protect whistleblowers “not only morally, but also financially in order to properly protect and support whistleblowers as part of the democratic system”, says the text.
MEPs recommend that each EU institution or body appoint from within its management structures a Transparency Officer, to be responsible for compliance and for improving practices. EU institutions should also put in place “public document registers” with clear and accessible structures and good search functionality, they add.
International agreements, such as the envisaged Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US, have binding effects and impact on EU laws. Documents related to them should therefore be public in principle, says the committee.

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To protect the German economy

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 21 maggio 2010

As Angela Merkel hosts a key finance summit today – more regulation is firmly on the agenda to protect the euro zone economies.  With fears growing in Germany as one of Europe’s biggest economies that German taxpayers are paying for the brunt of the rescue package for the Greek debt crisis, and with the euro continuing to suffer on the world markets, the cost to the German economy is continuing to rise.  German taxpayers are angry that they are bearing the brunt for rescuing debt-laden Greece.  Germany has been helping to stabilise the European single currency, the euro, which has fallen to a four-year low against the dollar this week, and taxpayers no longer seem prepared to pay for the mistakes of their EU partners. Experts warn that the regulation approach proposed by Angela Merkel is seriously flawed and doomed to fail. Christopher Wasserman President of the Zermatt Foundation warns that; The Zermatt Summit, whose inaugural summit is taking place between the 3-5th of June in Zermatt, Switzerland, has been created to allow innovative business leaders, CEOs, senior policy makers and NGOs to discuss how ethics and not the sole pursuit of pure profit can drive business practices forward in the forthcoming years. The main objective of the Zermatt Summit is to formulate a roadmap and focus on three areas: to revisit the corporate raison d’être of the firm, to integrate leadership and ethics, to make corporate statesmanship a reality The Summit will provide a unique forum for participants to ask searching questions on how key decision makers can be influenced to instigate change in company behaviours, cultures and at policy level.  This will result in a series of practical recommendations, which will be widely published to ensure their implementation by business, political and civic leaders.

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To protect people’s health from night noise pollution

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 10 ottobre 2009

Today, the WHO Regional Office for Europe launches its Night noise guidelines for Europe.[1] The book provides ground-breaking evidence on how exposure to night noise can damage people’s health, and recommends guideline levels to protect health. The new limit is an annual average night exposure not exceeding 40 decibels (dB). Sleepers that are exposed to higher levels over the year, corresponding to the sound from a quiet street in a residential area, can suffer mild health effects, such as sleep disturbance and insomnia. Long-term average exposure to levels above 55 dB, similar to the noise from a busy street, can trigger elevated blood pressure and heart attacks. One in five Europeans is regularly exposed to such noise levels. “Noise has emerged as the leading environmental nuisance in Europe, and excessive noise is an increasingly common public complaint. The new guidelines will help countries to recognize and address the issues surrounding noise and health,” says Dr Srdan Matic, Unit Head, Noncommunicable Diseases and Environment at the WHO Regional Office for Europe. “Based on a six-year expert evaluation of scientific evidence in Europe, now governments have stronger justifications for regulating exposure to night noise, and clear guidance on what these limits should be.” Thirty-five scientists from medical and acoustical disciplines, and key partners such as the European Commission, were involved in developing the guidelines. Recent research clearly links exposure to night noise with harm to health. Noise can aggravate serious health problems, beyond damage to hearing, particularly through its effects on sleep and the relations between sleep and health. When people are asleep, their ears, brains and bodies continue to react to sounds. Sleep disturbance and annoyance are the first effects of night noise and can lead to mental disorders.  The effects of noise can even trigger premature illness and death. Night noise from aircraft can increase blood pressure, even if it does not wake people. Noise is likely to be more harmful when people are trying to fall asleep and awaken. Recent studies show that aircraft noise in the early morning is the most harmful in increasing the heart rate.

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