|WIT's World Ecology Report - Vol. 12, No. 4 - Critical Issues in Health and the Environment (WIT, 2001, 16 p.)|
World Information Transfer (WIT) will hold the 10th International Conference, Health and Environment Global Partners for Global Solutions on the theme, Economics of Health and Environment. The Conference will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York from April 25 to 27, 2001. Co-sponsored by the Governments of Greece and Ukraine, the conference will coincide with the 15th anniversary of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster on April 26, 2001 which will be devoted to Chernobyl and its aftermath, the consequences of the disaster and the need for preventive measures in the future. The April 25 afternoon session will cover a range of topics on health and globalization. The Friday morning session, April 27, will, as previously, focus on youth and media. The conference is co-chaired by the Children of Chernobyl Relief Fund. Further information will be posted on the Internet at WIT's web site: www.worldinfo.org
A new report titled In Harm's Way links toxic exposures during early childhood to lifelong disabilities including attention disorders, reduced IQ and poorly-controlled aggression. The report was written by physicians Ted Schettler, Jill Stein, et al, and was published by Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility in partnership with the Clean Water Fund. In Harm's Way reviews scientific and medical information on a range of toxins to which most or all American children are exposed, and draws links to the rising number of children diagnosed each year with abnormal brain development or function. The number of children taking the drug Ritalin to combat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has approximately doubled every four to seven years since 1971.
See Rachel's Environment & Health Weekly #712, - November 23, 2000, for a full review. In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats To Child Development, Ted Schettler, Jill Stein, Fay Reich, Maria Valenti, and David Wallinga, (Cambridge, Mass.: Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility [GBPSR], May 2000). Available on the web at www.igc.org/psr/ or as a paper copy from GBPSR in Cambridge, Mass, by telephone 617-497-7440.
The UNESCO Training Centre is the organizer of the Distance Course for the Training of UNESCO Leaders (CDFAUN). An individual in this distance system can enroll in the CDFAUN any time of year and receive the subjects of Course by post at home or by internet in the web page of UNESCO Leaders. The Course promotes the creation of UNESCO Associations, Centers and Clubs, the participation in UNESCO programs as well as the World Association of UNESCO Professional Leaders (AMUPRAUN). For more information contact UNESCO Training Center, P.O. Box 1705, E-20080 San Sebastian, Spain, Tel.: +34-945 42 70 03; Fax: +34-945 42 70 05, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web Site: http://personal5.iddeo.es/unescoeskola/
The West Africa Newsletter is a new source for reporting on human rights, democracy and development. It is produced weekly and distributed free of charge by the International Center, in Washington, DC, and the Liberia Institute of Journalism, in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa. Its goal is to be a source of information for people that work in human rights, democracy and development in West Africa, and to those who work on West African issues around the globe. To subscribe to the newsletter, please follow the direction at the bottom of the page. Further information may be obtained from the International Center in Washington, DC, and Liberia Institute of Journalism, Corner of Broad and Johnson Streets, P.O. Box 2314, Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa. Telephone: 011-231-227-327; e-mail or contact the editor: Vinnie Hodges at: LIJ72@hotmail.com
According to a new report commissioned by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change (www.pewclimate.org/) global climate change may exacerbate health risks for the elderly, the infirm, and the poor-although there is substantial capacity to reduce these risks. In the United States, climate change raises the possibility that elevated temperatures, air contaminants, and changes in precipitation patterns could pose increased health risks. This new study, written by public health experts Dr. John Balbus of George Washington University and Dr. Mark Wilson of the University of Michigan, sifts through the evidence of climate-related health concludes that government officials the world over need to maintain and strengthen public health systems, including increased surveillance and improved hygiene. A complete copy of this report and other Pew Center reports can be accessed from the Pew Center's web site, www.pewclimate.org
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi and an international team of water experts in Kalmar, Sweden, launched a web site devoted to global water assessment and information on aquatic ecosystems for both freshwater and oceans. The project, known as the Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA), represents the cooperative efforts of UNEP, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the University of Kalmar, the Swedish Government and more than 100 water quality centres around the world. The GIWA web site will support informative maps that allow citizens to access data and information about the Earth's major water systems. Web site: www.giwa.net. For more information, please contact: Mr. Goran Rudbock, Liaison Officer, Global International Waters Assessment, Kalmar, Sweden, tel: (46-480) 44-7352, fax: 44-7355, e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Beth Ingraham, Information Officer, UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya; tel: (254-2) 62-4299, fax: 62-4269, e-mail email@example.com, Visit the web site at www.giwa.net
Last November the African Center for Technology Studies (ACTS) organized a discussion panel in which the World Resources Institute (WRI) presented a report on the conditions of the world's ecosystems including those from the African continent. The report, undertaken by the United Nations' Development and Environmental Program, the World Bank and the Word Resources Institute (WRI), explains the critical conditions and the accelerated degradation process of lakes, forests, meadows, tropical forests, among others, located mainly in Africa. This report emphasized the relation between human beings and ecosystems and it is the first time that this type of results are published on the African continent. It analyzes the production capacity of these ecosystems to produce the necessary goods and services for the world including food production, sufficient drinking water provision, bio-diversity maintenance, atmospheric carbon storage, and the provision and recreation of tourist opportunities. Further information is available at www.wri.org
Twenty-four new articles on water were transferred this week into the KeyWATER matrix, the information for WATER, with six themes (Education/Training/Mobility/Calls for Proposals, Vacancies/RTD and Dissemination/Cluster) and six tools (Centre/Kiosk/Forum/Library/Showcase/Glossary). Presently the matrix contains 696 articles, retrievable by title, by date, by country, and by keyword. Web site: http://keywater.vub.ac.be/chessboard.aspsx
Disasters in the Making: How human actions amplify nature's
Destruction of Wetlands:
Wetlands destruction is undermining the ability of rivers to cope with flooding because these sponge-like ecosystems help control floods by absorbing water.
Rising sea levels and a warming atmosphere-connected to the release of greenhouse gases-may be exacerbating storms by accelerating atmospheric weather patterns and allowing storms to reach further inland.
Deforestation curbs the soil's ability to absorb rainfall, causing erosion and leaving thinned and fragmented forests vulnerable to flooding, droughts, and fires.
Decisions to build in disaster-prone areas (flood plains, sensitive coasts, earthquake faults, etc.), whether on purpose or due to a lack of alternatives, can amplify disasters by placing more people in harm's way.
SOURCE: World Watch, July/August 1999
World Information Transfer is a Non-Profit, Non-Governmental Organization in Consultative Status with the United Nations, Promoting Health and Environmental Literacy.
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World Information Transfer
We have not inherited the world from our forefathers...we have borrowed it from our children. - Kashmiri Proverb
World Information Transfer, Inc. (WIT) is a not-for-profit (501c3) non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations, promoting environmental health and literacy.
In 1987, inspired by the Chernobyl nuclear tragedy, WIT was formed in recognition of the pressing need to provide accurate actionable information about our deteriorating global environment and its effect on human health to opinion leaders and concerned citizens around the world.
WIT exercises its mandate through:
1. The publication of the World Ecology Report, a quarterly digest of critical issues in health and environment, published in five languages and distributed to opinion leaders around the world, and for free in developing countries.
2. Our annual conference on Health and the Environment: Global Partners For Global Solutions held at United Nations headquarters in New York since 1992. The world's leading authorities in the field of environmental medicine share their latest findings and discuss possible solutions with leaders in governments, business, organizations and the media.
3. Since 1995, WIT has been providing and promoting humanitarian relief to areas devastated by environmental degradation. Supplies and equipment have been sent to schools, hospitals and orphanages and assistance programs developed in areas contaminated by the Chernobyl fallout. These programs have been rapidly expanding since their inception.
4. Centers for Health & Environment providing centralized scientific data pertaining to health and sustainability issues. The objective of the Centers is to provide continuous monitoring, ongoing research, education and implementation of corrective programs. The first center was opened in Kiev in 1992 and moved to Lviv in 1996. The second center opened in Beirut, Lebanon in 1997.
WIT currently operates from headquarters in New York City with regional representative offices in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Holland, Honduras, India, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine.
WIT is on the Executive Board of CONGO (Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations).
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