WFP: LEEDing the Way in Sustainable Construction

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“Humanitarian response, sustainable development, and sustaining peace are three sides of the same triangle” – UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) aims to mainstream environmental management across its operations and ‘tread lightly’ on the earth. One way it has embraced environmental sustainability is in the ‘green’ methods used during recent construction and renovations in Rome headquarters, a building of 31,613 m2

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International Day of Forests: 21 March 2017

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Tue 21/03/17

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The theme for 2017 is Forests and Energy.

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World Day for Safety and Health at Work: 28 April 2017

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Fri 28/04/17

The annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on the magnitude of the problem and on how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.

Each of us is responsible for stopping deaths and injuries on the job. As governments we are responsible for providing the infrastructure — laws and services — necessary to ensure that workers remain employable and that enterprises flourish; this includes the development of a national policy and programme and a system of inspection to enforce compliance with occupational safety and health legislation and policy. As employers we are responsible for ensuring that the working environment is safe and healthy. As workers we are responsible to work safely and to protect ourselves and not to endanger others, to know our rights and to participate in the implementation of preventive measures.

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World Science Day for Peace and Development: 10 November 2017

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Fri 10/11/17

The rationale of celebrating a World Science Day for Peace and Development has its roots in the importance of the role of science and scientists for sustainable societies and in the need to inform and involve citizens in science. The World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to raise public awareness of the importance of science and to bridge the gap between science and societies. In this sense, a World Science Day for Peace and Development would offer an opportunity to show the general public the relevance of science in their lives and to engage them in discussions. Such a venture would also bring a unique perspective to the global search for peace and development.

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World Development Information Day: 24 October 2017

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Tue 24/10/17

In 1972, the General Assembly instituted World Development Information Day to draw the attention of world public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them. The Assembly decided that the date for the Day should coincide in principle with United Nations Day, 24 October, which was also the date of the adoption, in 1970, of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade.

The Assembly felt that improving the dissemination of information and the mobilization of public opinion, particularly among young people, would lead to greater awareness of the problems of development, thus, promoting efforts in the sphere of international cooperation for development.

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UNOPS achieves climate neutrality for 2015

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Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on the UN to tackle climate change by measuring and reducing emissions, and offsetting any emissions that cannot be reduced.

UNOPS has made a firm commitment to excel in this effort.

In 2015, UNOPS operations emitted just under 16,753 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, the common unit for describing greenhouse gas emissions. The organization has been publicly reporting on its global emissions since 2010.

To help reduce emissions, UNOPS is using its ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System to promote the progressive reduction of CO2 emissions from its activities. Pilots in a number of UNOPS offices have successfully demonstrated the potential emission reductions that can be delivered.

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UNOPS announces climate neutrality for 2015 operations

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Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on the UN to tackle climate change by measuring and reducing emissions, and offsetting any emissions that cannot be reduced.

UNOPS has made a firm commitment to excel in this effort.

In 2015, UNOPS operations emitted just under 16,753 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, the common unit for describing greenhouse gas emissions. The organization has been publicly reporting on its global emissions since 2010.

To help reduce emissions, UNOPS is using its ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System to promote the progressive reduction of CO2 emissions from its activities. Pilots in a number of UNOPS offices have successfully demonstrated the potential emission reductions that can be delivered.

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CYPRUS: India trade minister to visit, $9 bln in FDIs since 2000

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Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, will be paying an official visit to Cyprus on Monday, February 13, heading a trade delegation that will also interact with local businesspeople.

 This is the first visit by an Indian official since PM Narendra Modi’s government took office in May 2014 and follows Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis’ visit to New Delhi in December last year heading a Cyprus trade team at the Petrotech 2016 and India-Europe 29 Business Forum.With bilateral trade at a low level of EUR 76 mln in 2016, an official statement from the Indian High Commission in Nicosia suggested that “there is scope for improvement and both sides have been making efforts in this regard.”The announcement added that “the main objective of the visit is to review the present state of India-Cyprus relations in all fields and rejuvenate by further deepening and expanding the historic friendly relations between the two countries. The visit will provide an excellent opportunity to exchange views on matters of mutual interest and concerns and on regional and international developments.”Imports from India to Cyprus include organic chemicals, oil seed, oleagi fruits, fish and other aquatic invertebrate, vehicles and accessories, and iron and steel, while Cyprus exports and re-exports to India include aluminium products, wood pulp, iron and steel, machinery, boilers, engines, and plastic items.However, trade ties are much better when it comes to foreign direct investments (FDI) in India, estimated to have reached $8.93 bln from April 2000 to September 2016.Furthermore, the revised India-Cyprus double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) was signed on November 18 in Nicosia and as a result of this positive development, Cyprus was removed from the “Notified Jurisdiction Area” list.On the political front, the High Commission noted that “relations between India and Cyprus have been traditionally very close and friendly. India has consistently and unwaveringly supported the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Cyprus and a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem. India and Cyprus also cooperate closely at the UN, international organisations, the Commonwealth and ASEM.”The Minister will be meeting Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, Minister for Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, and Harris Georgiades, Minister of Finance.During her visit, Minister Sitharaman will also address the executive board of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE) and meet with the President of the Cyprus-India Business Association (CIBA).India and Cyprus signed an Agreement on Economic, Trade, Scientific and Industrial Co-operation in April 1989, following which the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) was established. The last session of the JEC was held through a video conference on June 8, 2016.On Monday morning, Minister Sitharaman will inaugurate the “Konark Wheel” sculpture gifted by India to Cyprus and installed at the Open Air Museum of the Foreign Ministry, where symbolic works of art and sculpture from other nations have also been placed.“This gesture of the government of India is to enhance India-Cyprus relations in the area of culture, and to promote appreciation of cultural heritage and understanding which is so vital in a region suffering from instability and destruction due to radicalisation and terrorism,” the High Commission statement concluded.
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The Surprising Green Lining at 2017 NAIAS

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naias2017

For an EcoGeek, there were many surprises at the 2017 edition of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). We’ve been watching the emphasis on green cars decline for a number of years. Some of that is in the mainstreaming of more efficient vehicles, with increased fuel efficiency standards, greater numbers of hybrid vehicles, and alternative fuels. But nothing brought home how far things have come quite so much as this year’s show.

Last year, we thought, “the days of green cars being featured at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) seem to be over.” Where the “green” cars were once a niche item that were typically highlighted with special displays. This year, green is so mainstream that the 2017 Green Car of the Year is also the North American Car of the Year for 2017. Those awards, along with Motor Trend Car of the Year, all went to the Chevrolet Bolt.

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