Forests and climate change, famine in Madagascar, journalists killed … Tuesday’s news
“By destroying forests, we are harming biodiversity and our lives … Forests provide fresh water, clean the air we breathe, inspire spiritual value and provide us with food … Our challenge now must be to stop restoration and begin to recover forests. It’s a huge company, and each country will need its own tabletop approach. “
The unmistakable voice of naturalist David Attenborough resounded in the COP26 Conference room in Glasgow. His call to protect the forests was heard.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took the podium to announce that at least 110 countries, which are home to 85% of the world’s forests, have signed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use , pledging to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.
Johnson stressed that China, Russia and Brazil have also joined the statement. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, among other absent COP leaders, appeared in a pre-recorded message supporting the pledge.
“Signing the declaration is the easy part. It is essential that it is implemented now for the people and the planet,” said the General secretary, António Guterres, on his Twitter account.
© PMA/Tsiory Andriantsoarana
Madagascar suffers the first famine caused by climate change, says the World Food Program which warns that the situation will get worse in the coming months.
The country lives the most intense drought in the last 40 years which, together with sandstorms, locust plagues and the pandemic have plunged the south of the island into a serious crisis.
At least 1.3 million people were severely food insecure by mid-year, of them 30,000 were starving, and the situation gets worse. What is “extremely worrying” is that the numbers of malnourished children are double those of 2020. Around half a million children under the age of five are malnourished and 110,000 could die unless they received immediate support.
“There are areas in conditions of famine. It is the only, perhaps the first, famine caused by climate change on the planet ”, said deputy director of the UN agency in Madagascar, Aduino Mangoni.
The Program needs $ 69 million to deliver food during the dry season.
UNHCR begins flying aid for displaced people in Afghanistan
UNICEF / Sayed Bidel
The UN Refugee Agency today began to fly humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to assist the thousands of Afghans displaced by the conflict as winter sets on.
This Tuesday a plane that took off from Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, with 33 tons of humanitarian aid landed in Kabul. Two other flights will arrive in the Afghan capital on November 4 and 7.
Needs are increasing rapidly in Afghanistan with the onset of winter, when temperatures can drop as low as -25⁰C.
“Many displaced families lack adequate shelter, while some of those who have recently returned to their places of origin have seen that their houses were not prepared for the winter season, ”explained spokesperson Shabia Mantoo.
Winterizing packages include floor covering, partitions and other items to improve the insulation of tents from the cold.
Conflict and insecurity have displaced 3.5 million Afghans within the country, 700,000 this year alone. UNHCR is rushing to provide winter assistance to some 500,000 Afghans.
Almost 90% of journalist murders go unpunished, according to UNESCO statistics.
The Organization has registered 400 murders of journalists worldwide in the last five years and an impunity rate of 87%.
More than 60% of the murders in 2020 occurred in countries that are not experiencing an armed conflict. “In other words, journalists are not only dying in the crossfire of war, they are also being targeted for denouncing wrongdoing and confronting power with the truth,” said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director General.
Additionally, journalists continue to face countless threats, ranging from kidnapping, torture and other physical assaults, to harassment, especially online. Women journalists are particularly affected. 73% of journalists surveyed by UNESCO claimed to have suffered some type of violence online and 20% said they had been attacked or mistreated.
Latin America is one of the most dangerous regions in the world for journalists. So far this year, at least 12 have been killed in the region, out of a total of 45 worldwide. In 2020, of the 62 murdered, 24 worked in Latin America.