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:: Food price volatility a major threat to food security

Experts from more than 75 FAO Member States agreed today that while there were no grounds for complacency, there was no indication of an impending world food crisis. They proposed exploring new measures to check food price volatility and manage associated risks.

:: New World Bank Report Sees Growing Global Demand for Farmland

A new World Bank report says volatility in food prices has been a key factor behind a rising tide of large scale farmland purchases in the developing world, which can pose social and environment risks, if not well managed. The report, Rising Global Interest in Farmland, calls on developing countries to recognize and respect resource rights of their people, warning that countries with poor records of formally recognized land tenure attract strong investor interest – which raises real concerns about the ability to protect vulnerable people from losing their land.

:: Where on earth is biodiversity?

New biodiversity tool to encourage conservation-driven decision making. Mount Kenya, the second-highest peak in Africa, is renowned for its rich tableau of animal and plant life. But according to a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) database, animal and plant species living on the 5,199 meter peak are globally threatened.

:: UN launches decade-long efforts to tackle desertification

The United Nations is launching the Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification (2010-2020), an 11-year long effort to raise awareness and action to improve the protection and management of the world's drylands, home to a third of the world's population and which face serious economic and environmental threats.

:: Dirty water and poor sanitation kills over 5000 children every day

Diarrhoeal diseases claim the lives of around two million children each year- 5,000 per day, and cause countless more to fall ill.

:: Two new reports on the Lower Jordan River released

Two new reports released identify the amount of water needed to rehabilitate the Jordan River and where the water must come from if we are to bring back to life one of the most famous rivers on earth. EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) calls on the Israeli and Jordanian governments and the Palestinian Authority to work together to return fresh water to the near dry Jordan River.

:: European Commission strengthens its commitment to equality between women and men

The European Commission plans to use a series of measures aimed at significantly reducing the pay gap between men and women over the next five years.

:: New book rises to the global sustainability challenge

In the wake of the Copenhagen climate conference, which ended without a clear mandate for global climate protection, the new book Global Sustainability - A Nobel Cause, published by Cambridge University Press, addresses the main lines of conflicts and offers new solutions. The contributing authors - Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry, medicine, economics and peace, top-level political leaders, representatives of major NGOs and renowned experts on sustainability - point out strategies for the stabilisation of the climate and global sustainable development. The open access publication is now available for download.

:: Putting a stop to the Arctic Meltdown

Should the oil companies be allowed to take advantage of melting ice to drill for more oil in the warming Arctic? Should industrial fishing fleets be allowed to chase the last remnants of fished-out stocks into the areas where ice has previously stopped their ships? We say no: as should anyone who believes you don't put out a fire with gasoline.

:: How Will Japan's Environmental and Climate Policies Change?

In early October 2009, the government unveiled its plan to finalize the overall plan and detailed regulatory design to achieve the medium-term goal of a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The details, including consideration of impacts on citizens'lifestyles and concrete approaches for emission reduction, are to be finalized by the spring of 2010. Written by Junko Edahiro

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