INES INFORMATION SERVICE, What's New In INES (WNII), Issue 4, April 2008


The International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES) is an independent non-profit-organization concerned about the impact of science and technology on society. INES was founded in 1991. INES' efforts focus on disarmament and international peace, ethics, justice and sustainable development. INES is affiliated with the United Nations and with UNESCO as a NON-Governmental Organization (NGO). INES has become a network of nearly 100 organisations and individual members.


The "What's New In INES" (WNII) is one of the main communication instrument of INES. It shall give the member organisations the possibility to publish their articles, and serve at the same time as a general overview of related international news.


Editor: Kristin Kropidlowski, ines.news@gmx.de

INES Official Site, http://inesglobal.com

INES International Office, ines.office@web.de

INES Chair: David Krieger, dkrieger@napf.org


PLEASE REMEMBER: To meet the WNII-criteria (main communication instrument, general news overview) it is necessarily required that the members of INES use it as a communication tool. Please DO NOT HESITATE of just forwarding important news including conference and activity informations, outstanding documentations as well as announcements.


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Contents and Hotlinks, INES, WNII, Issue 4, April 2008


1. INES ACTIVITIES AND PUBLICATIONS


• INES Newsletter Special Edition for the NPT PrepCom

http://www.inesglobal.com/Publications/inesBooks/NewsletterGeneva.pdf


• Resource Letter PSNAC-1: Physics and society: Nuclear arms control by Zian Mian and Alexander Glaser

http://www.princeton.edu/~aglaser/ajp.pdf


• Russian and Chinese Responses to U.S. Military Plans in Space by Pavel Podvig and Hui Zhang

http://www.amacad.org/publications/militarySpace.aspx


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2. WAR AND PEACE - ARMSRACE AND DISARMAMENT


- NUCLEAR-FREE WORLD


• Invest in People not Weapons by Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger

http://www.thestar.com/News/GlobalVoices/article/350039


• Possibilities for a Nuclear-Free World by Lawrence S. Wittner and Jayantha Dhanapala

http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2008/03/24_wittner_dhanapala_possibilities.php


• The Non-Proliferation Treaty and Human Survival by David Krieger

http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2008/04/04_krieger_npt_survival.php


• Back from the Margins: The Centrality of Nuclear Disarmament

http://www.gsinstitute.org/mpi/pubs/A6F_Dublin_brief.pdf


• The United Nations Disarmament Yearbook

http://disarmament.un.org/e-yearbook.html


• Literary Guide to Nuclear Arms Control

http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2008/04/03_glaser_mian_control.pdf


• Arab League Seeks Leverage in Creating a Nuclear-Free Middle East


• Nuclear ground realities by M.R.Srinivasan

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/289768.html


- RUSSIA AND THE USA


• US Talks with Russia: New Compromises or Just a New Tone?


• Russian Wants its Officers Stationed at US Missile Defense Sites

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/04/08/news/Russia-US-Missile-Defense.php


• Bush and Putin Remain Apart on U.S. Missile Defense Plan

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Bush.html?ex=1364875200&en=f4d725458e1a4883&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss


- IRAQ WAR


• Martin Luther King's Legacy of Peace by David Krieger


• Determining the Local Cost of the Iraq War

http://www.nationalpriorities.org/cms/publications/local_cost_of_the_iraq_war_through_fy2007


• Over 70,000 deaths, and over 1 million disabilities among American soldiers attributed to Iraq Wars says U.S. government data by Peter Tremblay and Libertyforlife.com researchers

http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Frontpage/2008/03/21/02286.html


• Dozens Dead as Iraq Cities Bombed

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7348089.stm


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3. NUCLEAR AND RENEWABLE ENERGIES


• Nuclear Power: A Dangerous and Expensive Distraction to Real Climate Solutions, FoE Press Release

http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/nuclear_power_a_dangerous_26032008.html


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4. SUSTAINABILITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE


- CLIMATE CHANGE


• Rich Countries Not Leading on Climate Change: IPCC Chief

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iGFwmfm_h8P3laeaxslwUva_QcFA


• Financing crucial to next climate change pact: U.N. by Louise Egan

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iPP-FCFraeWwaSbZCqGRRP91FtHA


- URBANIZATION AND ECO-TOWNS


• Eco-towns Are a Drop in the Ocean, FoE Press Release

http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/ecotowns_briefing.pdf


• UN Forum Examines Positive Impact of Urbanization on Development

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=26251&Cr=population&Cr1=


- GM FOOD


• GM Crops Can Remain in √ânvironment for Ten Years - New Report, FoE Press Release

http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/gm_crops_can_remain_in_env_02042008.html


- FOOD CRISES


• Soaring Food Prices Now Top Threat, IMF Says by Kevin Carmichael

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080414.wfood14/BNStory/International/home


• French Mminister Urges Global Action on Food Prices

http://www.guardian.co.uk/feedarticle?id=7460350


• EU Defends Biofuel Goals Amid Food Crises

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gp1nkJeC-IhlYkVtsvPfp3u7mOWQ


• Food or Fuel?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Food_Or_Fuel/articleshow/2949530.cms


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6. CONFERENCES


• District Energy - Fuelling Sustainable Development Across Canada

http://www.sbc.nrcan.gc.ca or http://www.cdea.ca


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7. DOCUMENTATION


• Berghof Transitions Series: New case studies on the CPN-M (Nepal) and the LTTE (Sri Lanka)

http://www.berghof-center.org/uploads/download/transitions_cpnm.pdf (Nepal)

http://www.berghof-center.org/uploads/download/transitions_ltte.pdf (Sri Lanka)


• Think Outside the Bomb - Today on C-SPAN 1

http://www.thinkoutsidethebomb.org


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1. INES ACTIVITIES AND PUBLICATIONS



• INES Newsletter Special Edition for the NPT PrepCom


INES and INESAP will participate in the "Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)"


The NPT PrepCom will hold its second session from 28 April to 9 May 2008 in the Assembly Hall of the Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland. his meeting is the second of three sessions that will be held prior to the 2010 Review Conference.


The PrepCom, open to all States parties to the Treaty, will address substantive and procedural issues related to the Treaty and the upcoming Review Conference in 2010. The Chairman of the second session is Ambassador Volodymyr Yel'chenko of the Ukraine.


The purpose of the PrepCom is to prepare for the Review Conference in terms of assessing the implementation of each article of the NPT and facilitating discussion among States with a view to making recommendations to the Review Conference.


The NPT, which entered into force in 1970 and was extended indefinitely in 1995, requires that review conferences be held every five years. The Treaty is regarded as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. It was designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to further the goal of nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament, and to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.



INES Newsletter Special Edition you can download here (pdf-file): http://www.inesglobal.com/Publications/inesBooks/NewsletterGeneva.pdf



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Resource Letter PSNAC-1: Physics and society: Nuclear arms control by Zian Mian and Alexander Glaser


Zia Mian and Alexander Glaser recently published in The American Journal of Physics. It is intended as a guide to literature in the field of nuclear arms control and covers nuclear weapons, fissile material, nonproliferation, missiles and missile defences, verification, disarmament, and the role of scientists in arms control. It is available at (pdf-file): http://www.princeton.edu/~aglaser/ajp.pdf




Russian and Chinese Responses to U.S. Military Plans in Space by Pavel Podvig and Hui Zhang


In recent years, Russia and China have urged the negotiation of an international treaty to prevent an arms race in outer space. The United States has responded by insisting that existing treaties and rules governing the use of space are sufficient. The standoff has produced a six-year deadlock in Geneva at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, but the parties have not been inactive. Russia and China have much to lose if the United States were to pursue the space weapons programs laid out in its military planning documents. This makes probable the eventual formulation of responses that are adverse to a broad range of U.S. interests in space. The Chinese anti-satellite test in January 2007 was prelude to an unfolding drama in which the main act is still subject to revision. If the United States continues to pursue the weaponization of space, how will China and Russia respond, and what will the broader implications for international security be?


The American Academy called upon Pavel Podvig (Stanford University) and Hui Zhang (Harvard University), both INESAP participants to elucidate answers to these questions and to discuss the consequences of U.S. military plans for space.


The paper is online available at http://www.amacad.org/publications/militarySpace.aspx


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2. WAR AND PEACE - ARMSRACE AND DISARMAMENT



- NUCLEAR-FREE WORLD

Source: Sunflower eNewsletter, April 2008


• Invest in People not Weapons by Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger


Mar 24, 2008 - With this month's new round of sanctions against Iran and its nuclear enrichment program, nations have been forced to once again consider the political and military implications of one day having yet another nuclear-armed state.


Read more, http://www.thestar.com/News/GlobalVoices/article/350039




Possibilities for a Nuclear-Free World by Lawrence S. Wittner and Jayantha Dhanapala


In the following opinion piece, which appeared in the March 20, 2008 issue of the Asahi Shimbun, Jayantha Dhanapala-the distinguished former Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs at the United Nations-not only makes the case for a nuclear-free world, but argues that it is a viable possibility.


In Dhanapala's view, the campaign to abolish nuclear weapons has acquired significant momentum thanks to the initiative of four former senior US government officials: George Shultz (Ronald Reagan's Secretary of State), Henry Kissinger (Richard Nixon's Secretary of State), William Perry (Bill Clinton's Secretary of Defense), and Sam Nunn (former Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee). In January 2007 and, again, in January 2008, they published powerful opinion pieces in the Wall Street Journal that outlined the need for a nuclear-free world, as well as steps in that direction. Since that time, Dhanapala notes, there has been important follow-up to this initiative by other former national security officials and nuclear experts.


To read more, visit: http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2008/03/24_wittner_dhanapala_possibilities.php




• The Non-Proliferation Treaty and Human Survival by David Krieger


In the vastness of the universe there is only one place we know of where life exists. That place, of course, is our planet, our Earth. Our planet has been hospitable to the evolution of life, resulting in the development of complex life forms, including homo sapiens, the "knowing" ones. We are "knowing" because we have the capacity to perceive and reflect upon our surroundings, our vision reaching to the far ends of the universe itself.


We humans are nature's mirror. We were created by the conditions of the universe, but in a sense it is also true that, by our perceptions and reflections, we create the universe. A well-known philosophical riddle asks whether a tree falling in the forest would make a sound if there were no one there to hear it. In the same way, but on a larger scale, we might ask if the universe itself would exist if there were no creatures like ourselves capable of perceiving and reflecting upon it.


All of this is to say that human beings are special. In the long span of universe time, the appearance of humans is just a few short ticks on the cosmic clock. Yet, in that short span of time we have achieved remarkable intellectual, spiritual and artistic heights. We have also created tools capable of destroying much of life, including ourselves. By our cleverness in creating nuclear weapons, we have placed our own future on the planet in danger.


To read more, visit: http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2008/04/04_krieger_npt_survival.php




Back from the Margins: The Centrality of Nuclear Disarmament


The Middle Powers Initiative has released "Back from the Margins: The Centrality of Nuclear Disarmament," a briefing paper for the 5th meeting of the Article VI Forum, which was held in Dublin, Ireland, March 26-28, 2008.


The paper examines and identifies seven priority measures verified reduction of nuclear forces; standing down of nuclear forces (de-alerting); negotiation of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty; bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty into force; strengthened negative security assurances; regulation of nuclear fuel production and supply; and improved nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty governance.


To read the full paper (pdf-file), visit: http://www.gsinstitute.org/mpi/pubs/A6F_Dublin_brief.pdf




• The United Nations Disarmament Yearbook


The United Nations Disarmament Yearbook is now available online at http://disarmament.un.org/e-yearbook.html. The 2007 Yearbook has been produced in two parts. Part I contains all the resolutions and decisions of the previous General Assembly. Part II is comprised of main issues of multilateral consideration during the year, along with developments and trends. A print version will be available soon.




• Literary Guide to Nuclear Arms Control


The American Journal of Physics recently published a resource guide to literature on nuclear arms control. Compiled by Zia Mian and Alexander Glaser, the guide covers nuclear weapons, fissile material, nonproliferation, missiles and missile defense, verification, disarmament, and the role of scientists in arms control.


To read the full guide (pdf-file), visit: http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2008/04/03_glaser_mian_control.pdf




• Arab League Seeks Leverage in Creating a Nuclear-Free Middle East


At a recent meeting of Arab League nations in Cairo, the countries announced they would walk away from their nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations if Israel ever officially announces its possession of nuclear weapons.


While Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of its nuclear arsenal, it is generally believed across the globe that it is the only nation in the Middle East to possess nuclear weapons. This stems from a series of declassified CIA documents that date US knowledge of Israel's arsenal back to 1968, and a revealing interview Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, held with a German television network last year in which he eluded to Israel possessing nuclear weapons. While Olmert claimed that his words had been misinterpreted, very few people doubt that Israel possesses nuclear arms.


The Arab League nations, all of which are signatories to the NPT, announced that if Israel admitted to the existence of their arsenal, they would urge the UN Security Council to mandate immediate disarmament and the opening of the Israeli nuclear program for international inspection. If the UN did not comply with the Arab League's request, the countries would then walk away from their commitment to the NPT.


None of the countries in the Arab League are openly pursuing nuclear weapons, but several have expressed interest in beginning civilian nuclear programs with the help of other nations.


"Arab League Vows to Drop Out of NPT if Israel Admits It Has Nuclear Weapons," Associated Press, March 5, 2008.




• Nuclear ground realities by M.R.Srinivasan


Mar 29, 2008 - Given the uranium crunch, the Indo-US nuclear deal is crucial to India's ambitious programme. The opposition stems from a mental block, writes M.R. Srinivasan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission


Read: http://www.indianexpress.com/story/289768.html


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- RUSSIA AND THE USA


• US Talks with Russia: New Compromises or Just a New Tone?


US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with their Russian counterparts in Moscow recently to continue talks on missile defense and arms reduction. The talks followed an upbeat meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the man soon to take his place, Dmitri Medvedev.


The talks, which addressed renewal of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that expires at the end of 2009 and the US' controversial plans to deploy new missile defense bases in two Eastern European countries, were sparked by a letter from President Bush to Putin. The Russian President called the letter a "very serious document," but its contents have yet to be revealed publicly.


Secretary Rice explained that the meeting with President Putin had a very "positive spirit," and that she looked forward to working more with Russian diplomats in an effort to "strengthen our partnership and overcome some of our differences." While the meeting was promoted in both countries as a positive turning point for Russian-US nuclear relations, some question if anything beyond the level of cordiality has changed.


President Putin explained that "in some of these issues we can probably dot the i's and reach final agreement." The issues on which the nations made progress include nuclear nonproliferation, trade, and counterterrorism. The positive rhetoric surrounding these talks will certainly lead to more opportunities for negotiation, but no agreement was reached on the controversial issue of US missile defense bases in former communist countries.


Thom Shanker, "Bush Sends Putin Missile Defense Offer," New York Times, March 18, 2008.


Source: Sunflower eNewsletter, April 2008




• Russian Wants its Officers Stationed at US Missile Defense Sites


Apr 8, 2008 - Moscow wants Russian military officers permanently stationed at planned U.S. missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic to make sure the facilities are not targeting Russia, the foreign minister said Tuesday.


More, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/04/08/news/Russia-US-Missile-Defense.php




• Bush and Putin Remain Apart on U.S. Missile Defense Plan


Apr 6, 2008 - President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin failed to overcome sharp differences over a U.S. missile defense system, closing their seven-year relationship Sunday still far apart on an issue that has separated them from the beginning.


More: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Bush.html?ex=1364875200&en=f4d725458e1a4883&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss


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- IRAQ WAR


• Martin Luther King's Legacy of Peace by David Krieger


Forty years ago, on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. King was 39 years old, and was already a towering figure on the American and global landscape. He was best known as a civil rights leader, but he was also an activist for the alleviation of poverty and a strong critic of the US war in Vietnam. King, following in the footsteps of Gandhi, stood firmly for nonviolence and peace, and against the advice of many of his supporters spoke out powerfully against the war.


In the forty years that have passed since King's assassination, his commitment to peace and strong statements against the US war in Vietnam have often been omitted in recalling his legacy. But today, as the US fights another illegal and immoral war in a distant land, again killing young Americans and hundreds of thousands of civilians, his fierce opposition to the Vietnam War should be remembered for the lessons he left us.


Just three weeks after the assassination, his widow, Coretta Scott King, gave a speech in New York City that Dr. King had been scheduled to give. In that speech, she read from some notes that Dr. King had scribbled in preparation for the speech, "Ten Commandments on Vietnam." With small changes, these could be called, "Ten Commandments on Iraq." They go to the very roots of our culture of militarism.


These are Dr. King's "Ten Commandments of Vietnam," written shortly before his untimely death:


1. Thou shalt not believe in a military victory.

2. Thou shalt not believe in a political victory.

3. Thou shalt not believe that the Vietnamese people love us.

4. Thou shalt not believe that the Saigon government has the support of the people.

5. Thou shalt not believe that the majority of the South Vietnamese look upon the Viet Cong as terrorists.

6. Thou shalt not believe the figures of killed enemies or killed Americans.

7. Thou shalt not believe that the generals know best.

8. Thou shalt not believe that the enemies' victory means communism.

9. Thou shalt not believe that the world supports the United States.

10. Thou shalt not kill.


Dr. King knew how to speak truth to power, and in his courage and commitment lay his own power. Had he lived, he would have been an imposing force for peace in America and the world. His commandments confront the comfortable lies our leaders tell about war, which are so widely accepted without questioning.


In Iraq, there will be no military victory, nor political victory. Victory is a dangerous illusion, and we have already lost the war. The Iraqi people do not love us. We have destroyed their lives and their country. The Iraqi government does not have the support of the Iraqi people and is only held up by our military power. We don't know how the Iraqi people view the Iraqi fighters, but we do know that they want the US to leave their country.


In the Iraq War, the US does not even bother to count the numbers of Iraqis that have been killed, and it hides the body bags of Americans killed in the war from the American people. The generals do not know best. They know only how to wage war and even at that they are failing. The enemies' victory no longer means communism, but neither does it mean victory for terrorism. The world does not support the United States in this war. It never has. The war was never sanctioned by the United Nations and, like the war in Vietnam, is an illegal and immoral war.


And finally, Dr. King, a Baptist minister, reminds us, of this age-old wisdom: "Thou shalt not kill." He challenges us to rise above our leaders, our culture and our history. He challenges us to be something we have never been, a nation that is peaceful and just.




• Determining the Local Cost of the Iraq War


The ongoing occupation of Iraq is costing a high number of lives on all sides. It is also costing US taxpayers billions of dollars every month.


The National Priorities Project has a feature on its website that will show how much the invasion and occupation has cost your town through the end of 2007, and what it is projected to cost in 2008.


For example, taxpayers in Santa Barbara, CA, where the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is headquartered, have already paid over $157 million for the conflict.


To find out how much your town has paid, visit the National Priorities Project website at: http://www.nationalpriorities.org/cms/publications/local_cost_of_the_iraq_war_through_fy2007


Source: Sunflower eNewsletter, April 2008.




• Over 70,000 deaths, and over 1 million disabilities among American soldiers attributed to Iraq Wars says U.S. government data by Peter Tremblay and Libertyforlife.com researchers


According to U.S. media reports, there are well below 5,000 U.S. soldiers who have been killed in Iraq. However, this data appears to be very misleading. Why? Because many tens of thousands of American soldiers have apparently been killed to-date, as a result of being exposed to radiation poisoning from the indiscriminate killing machines of U.S. military weaponry. Ironically, the only Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) that Americans soldiers have found in Iraq are "Made in America".


For the whole article, click here: http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Frontpage/2008/03/21/02286.html




• Dozens Dead as Iraq Cities Bombed


Apr 15, 2008 - More than 70 people have been killed in blasts at three cities in Iraq, in one of the deadliest days there for weeks.


Read the article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7348089.stm


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3. NUCLEAR AND RENEWABLE ENERGIES



• Nuclear Power: A Dangerous and Expensive Distraction to Real Climate Solutions, FoE Press Release


Mar 26, 2008 - Business Secretary John Hutton's claim that Britain must "significantly expand" its nuclear power production for the sake of national security and to combat climate change is misleading and dangerous, Friends of the Earth said today. The environmental campaign group said that if the government put this level of commitment into genuine green solutions - expansion of renewables, energy efficiency, combined heat and power and cleaner carbon technology - we could lead the world, create thousands of jobs and meet our energy needs.


More: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/nuclear_power_a_dangerous_26032008.html

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4. SUSTAINABILITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE



- CLIMATE CHANGE


• Rich Countries Not Leading on Climate Change: IPCC Chief


Apr 14, 2008 – The head of the United Nations's scientific panel on climate change said in an interview published Monday that developing countries were unwilling to sign up to a global deal on cutting carbon emissions because rich countries were not leading the way.


Read more: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iGFwmfm_h8P3laeaxslwUva_QcFA




• Financing crucial to next climate change pact: U.N. by Louise Egan


Apr 12, 2008 - The global fight against climate change after the Kyoto pact expires will fail unless rich countries can come up with creative ways to finance clean development by poorer nations, a U.N. official said on Saturday.


"We are not going to see that major developing country engagement unless significant financial resources and technology flows begin to be mobilized," Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said in a media briefing.


More: http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSN1228263320080412




• Philippines to Make Climate Change Part of School Curriculum


Apr 10, 2008 - he Philippine government will make climate change part of the national school curriculum, officials said Wednesday.


The department of education, other state agencies and the private sector will prepare lesson guides on global environmental issues for public school teachers in elementary and secondary schools.


To read more, click here: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iPP-FCFraeWwaSbZCqGRRP91FtHA


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- URBANIZATION AND ECO-TOWNS


• Eco-towns Are a Drop in the Ocean, FoE Press Release


Apr 4, 2008 - Commenting on the shortlist for a number of Eco Towns that the Government is planning to build across England, Paul de Zylva of Friends of the Earth England said:


"With proper involvement of local communities and stringent standards, the Government's new eco-towns could provide an inspiring blueprint for low-carbon living - but they will be a drop in the ocean of the Government's wider house building programme. All new homes must be built to the highest green standards."


"And the question remains over how Ministers will reduce emissions from existing homes - which currently account for over a quarter of all the UK's carbon impact. The Government must prioritise this area and make it cheaper and easier for people to green their homes, and invest in energy saving and clean renewable technologies such as solar panels."


Friends of the Earth briefing on ecotowns: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/ecotowns_briefing.pdf




• UN Forum Examines Positive Impact of Urbanization on Development


Apr 8, 2008 – Urbanization can have a positive impact on development issues such as poverty, inequality and environmental degradation, so long as the appropriate policies are in place to manage the problems and challenges, experts attending the current session of the United Nations population body said today.


More: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=26251&Cr=population&Cr1=


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- GM FOOD


• GM Crops Can Remain in √ânvironment for Ten Years - New Report, FoE Press Release


Apr 2, 2008 - New research from Sweden published today [1] has found that GM crops can persist in the soil for ten years.


The research, which investigated the persistence of oilseed rape following a GM trial in 1995, found that despite intense efforts to eradicate the GM plants in following years, `volunteer' plants, growing from seeds in following years, were still detected ten years later.


Read: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/gm_crops_can_remain_in_env_02042008.html


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- FOOD CRISES


• Soaring Food Prices Now Top Threat, IMF Says by Kevin Carmichael


Apr 14, 2008 - The global food crisis has pushed aside fears of a recession and mounting banking woes as top priority for the world's economic leaders.


Ministers representing 185 countries agreed on the weekend that soaring food prices threaten global calamity and pledged to co-operate on a solution to save the world's poorest people from starvation.


To read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080414.wfood14/BNStory/International/home




• French Mminister Urges Global Action on Food Prices


Apr 14, 2008 - Governments must take action to regulate surging food prices and stop them being driven by speculative forces, French Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier said on Monday.

"We cannot, and we must not leave food for people ... to the mercy of the rule of the market alone and to international speculation," he told BFM radio. "I think we Europeans must ask this question within all international organisations," he said, adding there was insufficient global governance on the issue.


Read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/feedarticle?id=7460350




• EU Defends Biofuel Goals Amid Food Crises


Apr 14, 2008 - The EU Commission on Monday rejected claims that producing biofuels is a "crime against humanity" that threatens food supplies, and vowed to stick to its goals as part of a climate change package.


More: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gp1nkJeC-IhlYkVtsvPfp3u7mOWQ




• Food or Fuel?


Apr 14, 2008 - The plan is to have renewable energy sources like biofuels to meet up to 10 per cent of India's transport needs by 2017. In order to achieve that goal a Group of Ministers headed by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar is finalising a national policy which could see some 12 million hectares of land harnessed to grow crops to produce eco-friendly fuels. But in order to minimise the environmental impact such sequestering of scarce land which critics feel should be used solely for the purpose of growing crops or animal feed, the GoM's proposals are going to be laced with a couple of crucial caveats.


Interested? http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Food_Or_Fuel/articleshow/2949530.cms


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6. CONFERENCES



• District Energy - Fuelling Sustainable Development Across Canada


The Canadian District Energy Association's 13th annual Conference & Exhibition


May 7-9, 2008

Hyatt Regency Calgary, Calgary, AB Canada


Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to attend the 13th Annual CANADIAN DISTRICT ENERGY ASSOCIATION Conference to be held on 7 to 9th May 2008, in Calgary Alberta, Canada. This year's theme is Fuelling Sustainable Development Across Canada; a subject that will appeal to all communities that wish to move away from fossil fuel and into a more sustainable mode of energy supply. The conference is organised by the Canadian District Energy Association and a a wide number of supporting organisation. This year's conference will address the role of alternative energy sources within the community and the ways that these supplies can replace the more conventional fossil fuel supplies. With the increasing cost of oil in North America I urge you to consider attending the conference.


Details about this conference are available on : http://www.cdea.ca

Thanks and best regards.


Ken Church

Manager, Community Energy Planning

Sustainable Buildings & Communities

CETC-Ottawa

Natural Resources Canada / Ressources naturelles Canada

580 Booth Street 13-D-4

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E4

T (613) 947 8952, F (613) 996 9909

email kchurch@nrcan.gc.ca

Websites: http://www.sbc.nrcan.gc.ca, http://www.cdea.ca


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7. DOCUMENTATION



• Berghof Transitions Series: New case studies on the CPN-M (Nepal) and the LTTE (Sri Lanka)


Below you will find two reports in Berghof's new publication series on resistance/liberation movements in transition from arms to politics.


Kiyoko Ogura (March 2008): Seeking State Power - The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Berghof Transitions No. 3, http://www.berghof-center.org/uploads/download/transitions_cpnm.pdf


Suthaharan Nadarajah, Luxshi Vimalarajah (April 2008): The Politics of Transformation: The LTTE and the 2002-2006 Peace Process in Sri Lanka, Berghof Transitions No. 4, http://www.berghof-center.org/uploads/download/transitions_ltte.pdf


For more information on the project and further reports, please check out our website at: http://www.berghof-center.org/std_page.php?LANG=e&id=183&parent=10


To order hardcopies (Euro 6.00 + postage), please send an email to: order@berghof-center.org




• Think Outside the Bomb - Today on C-SPAN 1


Last Saturday, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Washington DC office held a Think Outside the Bomb conference in conjunction with American University's Nuclear Studies Institute and Americans for Informed Democracy.


The conference's proceedings were covered by C-SPAN, and will be aired today, April 14, on C-SPAN 1 from 3:36 p.m. Eastern, 12:36 p.m. Pacific.


You can also stream C-SPAN live on the Internet. Click here to watch using Windows Media Player. Click here to watch using Real Media Player.


Speakers at Saturday's conference included:


- Martin Sherwin, Professor of History, George Mason University and Pulitzer Prize winner for American Prometheus The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer;

- Zia Mian, Physicist, Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security; Director, Project on Peace and Security in South Asia;

- Hugh Gusterson, Professor of Sociology, George Mason University and author of People of the Bomb: Portraits of America's Nuclear Complex;

- Jill Parillo, Deputy Director for Security Programs, Physicians for Social Responsibility;

- Moderated by Eli Lewine, Researcher, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.


For more information about Think Outside the Bomb, visit http://www.thinkoutsidethebomb.org