Archive for ‘International’

January 10, 2013

Three years later, Haiti no better off | BBC News

The ensuing devastation left an already poor and struggling nation with an incapacitated infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of people dead.

Three years later, …Haiti is no better off.

As many as 400,000 people still live in tent cities. It’s likely that UN peacekeepers inadvertently caused the country’s worst cholera epidemic in recent history. And more than half of funds pledged for reconstruction efforts remains undelivered.

via BBC News – Why is Haiti no better off despite quake relief effort?.

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January 10, 2013

Amid Federal Land Grab in Brazil, Whole Towns Evicted at Gunpoint

Federal Brazilian police and military personnel, some wearing United Nations insignia, are forcibly relocating whole communities in Brazil at gunpoint under the guise of returning huge tracts of land to a small group of Indians whose ancestors were allegedly there at some point. Thousands of local residents who have lived in the area for decades or were even born there, however, are fighting back, with critics saying the government’s actions smack of Stalinism and may constitute crimes against humanity.

About 3,000 people lived in Posto da Mata, including 700 school children who will now be homeless if the government gets its way. “Where are we going to stay? Where are we going to live? What are we going to live off of? What are we going to eat going forward?” wondered a tearful girl outside one of the town’s two schools in a TV interview. “I’ve lived here all my 17 years and I’m not leaving.”

Where is UNESCO in all of this.

 

via Amid Federal Land Grab in Brazil, Whole Towns Evicted at Gunpoint.

November 4, 2012

Haiti: 1.8 Million People Impacted By Sandy, According to UN

Around 1.8 million Haitians have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, according to data collected by the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The number comes after an earlier report saying 1.2 million Haitians faced food insecurity as a result of the storm, which killed 60 people in Haiti.

Up to 2 million people are at risk of malnutrition in Haiti, according to Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the OCHA.

The OCHA, which has expressed continued concern for the nearly 350,000 Haitians still living in tent camps for displaced persons from the 2010 earthquake, said that while most tent residents that had been evacuated before the storm returned home, around 1,500 people remain in 15 hurricane shelters in Haiti.

Late last week, a spokesperson for the UN World Health Organization said there was limited access to health services and restocking supplies due to impassable rivers and damaged and obstructed roads.

The WHO also warned that poor sanitary conditions could increase the risk of cholera transmission, which has reportedly already seen a rise since Sandy.

via Haiti: 1.8 Million People Impacted By Sandy, According to UN.

June 20, 2011

Ecuador’s constitution grants rights to environment

It is gratifying to read on this 11th day of September that Ecuador is proposing a new constitution that grants inalienable rights to the environment.

A 130-member Ecuador Constitutional Assembly, charged with re-writing the Constitution, has proposed five articles aimed at protecting the environment and granting individuals standing in court to defend these environmental rights, if the government were to fail to do so.

Chapter: Rights for Nature

Art. 1. Nature or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.

Every person, people, community or nationality, will be able to demand the recognitions of rights for nature before the public organisms. The application and interpretation of these rights will follow the related principles established in the Constitution.

Art. 2. Nature has the right to an integral restoration. This integral restoration is independent of the obligation on natural and juridical persons or the State to indemnify the people and the collectives that depend on the natural systems.

In the cases of severe or permanent environmental impact, including the ones caused by the exploitation on non renewable natural resources, the State will establish the most efficient mechanisms for the restoration, and will adopt the adequate measures to eliminate or mitigate the harmful environmental consequences.

Art. 3. The State will motivate natural and juridical persons as well as collectives to protect nature; it will promote respect towards all the elements that form an ecosystem.

Art. 4. The State will apply precaution and restriction measures in all the activities that can lead to the extinction of species, the destruction of the ecosystems or the permanent alteration of the natural cycles.

The introduction of organisms and organic and inorganic material that can alter in a definitive way the national genetic patrimony is prohibited.

Art. 5. The persons, people, communities and nationalities will have the right to benefit from the environment and form natural wealth that will allow wellbeing.

The environmental services are cannot be appropriated; its production, provision, use and exploitation, will be regulated by the State.

56 per cent of Ecuadorans are said to support the proposal which will go to a vote on Sept. 28. The world is watching.

Sources: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2008/09/04-7

http://www.greenchange.org/article.php?id=3104

First published September 11, 2008

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