Right to Water

Without water, life is impossible. Such a basic fact should imply that all human beings have, if they have any rights at all, a fundamental right to water.

And yet, it was not until 2010 that the international community fully and explicitly recognized the right to water.

That year, the UN General Assembly declared that “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights,” and called upon states and international organizations to work together to “provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all.” Such belated attention highlights the growing awareness of a “global water crisis” that threatens the lives and dignity of billions of people around the world. Although the natural sufficiency of water is a real problem for some parts of the world, the scarcity that drives this crisis is, as the 2006 UN Human Development Report notes, “rooted in power, poverty and inequality, not in physical availability.” As such, addressing the crisis will require the mobilization not only of economic resources and scientific expertise, but of public participation and political courage at all levels of society.

http://unescochair.uconn.edu/2015/10/12/right-to-water-conference/

 

Study: Climate Change Limits Agricultural Productivity

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Climate Change Issues are hurting agricultural productivity in Barbados and other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

That’s the conclusion of a new study conducted by three researchers and just released by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Michee Arnold Lachaud (University of Connecticut), Boris E. Bravo-Ureta (University of Connecticut and University of Talca, Chile), and the IDB’s Carlos E. Ludena investigated the impact climatic conditions had on productivity and output in agriculture.

They said the study’s main finding “is that climatic variability has negative impacts on production and productivity”.

“These adverse impacts are significant and vary across countries, sub-regions and regions.

On the basis of information from the fifth assessment report from the [Inter-Governmental Panel On Climate Change], climatic variability will reduce productivity across [Latin America, and the Caribbean] in the scenarios considered.

“Specifically, our forecast revealed that between 2013 and 2040 climatic effects can be expected to decrease productivity …

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Grenada joins regional call at UN for action on climate change

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Foreign Minister Clarice Modeste-Curwen of Grenada addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventieth session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

A framework for climate change “cannot wait,” Grenada’s Foreign Minister said recently, joining other leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean calling for urgent action in the United Nations General Assembly.

“The impacts of climate change are already being felt the world over,” said Clarice Modeste-Curwen, warning that without a successful legally binding agreement in Paris, “we will see climate change continue unabated.”

She went on to note that the Assembly has already recognized the “unique vulnerabilities” of small island developing States (SIDS) regarding climate change, and urged the Security Council to “continue to give greater consideration to [their] special circumstances…in relation to both traditional and non-traditional security concerns.”

Addressing the need for a climate change framework, she calleed for an “immediate consensus” on the issue, particularly with regard to financing.

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Gallery

Effects Of Climate Change Seen Across Jamaica

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As a child, Joan Buchanan always anticipated the summer holidays, when she would accompany her parents to the farm to reap a range of crops which would be flourishing after the May/June rains.

She still recalls the joy of going from tree to tree, sampling and reaping seasonal fruits and ground provisions such as mango, Otaheite apple, plantain, cassava, and callaloo, among others.

Now 59 years old, Joan has picked up where her parents left off and now uses the trade to provide for her family. However, the trees have become frugal in their offerings and the bountiful summer harvest she could anticipate is a thing of the past. This year was no normal summer. In fact, the season hasn’t been normal for the past two years.

In an interview with The Gleaner, the resident of Seaforth, St Thomas, lamented the devastating effects a prolonged drought has been having…

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Sustainable Development and Caribbean States – A CaPRI Perspective

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Chris Tufton

Recently, at the University of the West Indies, the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) launched its latest research piece critiquing the performance of Caribbean states on reaching targets set by the United Nations’ (UN) sponsored Millennium Development Goals (MDG) initiative launched back in the year 2000, aimed at ending poverty and improving the health and welfare of the poorest people over a 15-year period.

This global initiative was intended to encourage developing countries around the world, under eight general headings to; eradicate extreme poverty; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and engage in a global partnership for development. This UN initiative was considered the facilitator of developmental progress aimed at developing countries.

UN goals ignored

Fifteen years on, and now at the end of the MDG programme, CaPRI’s assessment of this…

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Climate change causing biggest coral destruction in the Caribbean

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Keppelbleaching-310x206

The Caribbean is currently experiencing the biggest mass coral destruction ever recorded. This according to the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which confirmed that the bleaching of reefs in the Caribbean, Atlantic and Pacific may affect over 38 percent of the world’s reefs, and kill over 12,000 square kilometer of them.

Reefs are the breeding ground for tropical fisheries and this reality endangers the livelihoods of 500 million people who rely on the seas and oceans, which also provide shelter from the waves for tropical islands and bring tourist revenues.

Scientists warn that coral reefs that are already under threat from human activities are unlikely to survive increase in temperatures by the end of this century.

The current worldwide bleaching is predicted to be the worst on record as the warming Pacific current, known as El Nino, increases in strength. Water temperatures are being further increased by…

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