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November 2010

Will Year of Extremes End with a Whimper?

30 November 2010

CANCÚN, Mexico, Nov 29, 2010 (IPS/TerraViva) - This year will likely be the warmest ever recorded, with soaring ocean temperatures resulting in a near record die-off of tropical corals, extreme heat and drought in Russia and massive flooding in Pakistan - all signs that climate change has taken hold.

But despite the ever more compelling science regarding the urgency and risks of climate change and growing public support for action, representatives from nearly 200 countries meeting here in Cancún for the next two weeks are unlikely to produce a new binding agreement.

At best, matters such as

Housing and Urban Development South-South Transfer Award

30 November 2010
Development Workshop France received “Housing and Urban Development South-South Transfer Award – Special mention” on the 25th November at the ILO headquarters in Geneva.

The UN-HABITAT, the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF) and the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation announced the winners of the Housing and Urban Development South-South Transfer Award, a special joint initiative which seeks to recognise housing and urban development practices that have been successfully transferred to other countries in the global South.
The awards have being presented on 25th November

Natural catastrophes and man-made disasters caused economic losses of USD 222 billion in 2010

30 November 2010
Preliminary estimates for 2010 from Swiss Re sigma show that natural catastrophes and man-made disasters caused economic losses of USD 222 billion and cost insurers USD 36 billion

According to initial estimates from Swiss Re’s sigma team, worldwide economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were USD 222 billion in 2010, more than triple the 2009 figure of USD 63 billion. The cost to the global insurance industry was USD 36 billion, an increase of 34% over the previous year. Approximately 260 000 people died in these events, the highest number since 1976.

In 2010,

Bangladesh: Community involvement key to disaster preparedness

18 November 2010
DHAKA, 18 November 2010 (IRIN) - Working in one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, Bangladeshi aid groups have learned that well-intentioned disaster relief programmes without community participation do little to protect those communities in the long run.

“Communities have been living with disasters for much longer than we have been talking about disaster risk reduction,” said Dilruba Haider, a director of NGO Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre (BDPC). [ ]

“Unless you involve communities and give them the feeling that this is their project, as

Factbox - Findings, errors by UN panel of climate scientists

17 November 2010

Nov 16 (Reuters) - Following is an overview of findings, and errors, by the U.N. panel of climate scientists whose reports are the main guide for governments meeting in Mexico later this month to seek ways to slow global warming.

Almost 200 nations will meet in Cancun, Mexico, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10 for annual talks, hoping to agree a package of measures including a green fund to help manage aid to poor nations.

Findings by the U.N.‘s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its latest report from 2007:

* OBSERVED CHANGES - “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal”.


Thailand: Mixed results for local disaster preparedness

16 November 2010

MUANG BANG, 16 November 2010 (IRIN) - Heavy rain flooded most of Thailand this past month, affected nine million people in 51 of the country’s 75 provinces, and underscored the country’s need for better community disaster preparedness, government officials say.

The high number of deaths by drowning and electrocution - 206 as of mid-November - surprised the authorities, said Montri Chanachaiviboonwat, director of the national Bureau of Disaster Management Department. During 32 days of storms, 146 people died, while 11 days of heavy rain and mudslides in the south killed another 60.

“We worry

EU says fulfils climate aid pledge, but is it new?

16 November 2010
* EU report says on track to meet climate finance promise
* Critics suspect money may be recycled aid pledges

BRUSSELS, Nov 15 (Reuters) - European governments have fulfilled a promise to deliver 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) to help poor countries tackle climate change, EU reports show, but critics say the money might have come from rebranding existing aid pledges.

At last year’s Copenhagen climate summit, rich countries pledged $30 billion of “fast start finance” to help poorer countries adapt to climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions during 2010-2012.

The move was

Survey puts climate change atop nation’s most pressing concerns

11 November 2010
VietNamNet Bridge – Viet Nam is one of only two countries or territories globally where climate change is the people’s top concern, according to a survey by HSBC.

The results of HSBC’s fourth annual Climate Confidence Monitor revealed that climate change, economic stability and terrorism ranked together as the top three concerns globally. In Hong Kong and Viet Nam, people surveyed said climate change was their number one concern.

This is the first time that Viet Nam took part in the survey.

World Bank-UN Report Charts Path to Prevent Death and Destruction from Natural Hazards

11 November 2010
* Losses may triple to $185 billion a year-study
* U.N., World Bank urge focus on preventing disasters

OSLO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Global losses from natural disasters could triple to $185 billion a year by 2100, excluding the impact of climate change, according to a report, which calls for a shift in focus from relief work to preventative measures.

The joint report by the United Nations and the World Bank, published on Thursday, said the number of people at risk of storms or earthquakes in large cities could double to 1.5 billion by 2050. Simple preventative measures could curb losses from