Today is Sunday, November 29th 2015
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Help Save The Children And UNICEF By Purchasing A Soft Toy From IKEA

Help Save The Children And UNICEF By Purchasing A Soft Toy From IKEA

Furniture retailer IKEA is conducting its annual Soft Toys for Education Campaign until 19th December from which proceeds from the sale of soft toys will go towards helping fund educational projects all over the world run by Save the Children or UNICEF. Thousands of people entered a competition to have the once in a lifetime opportunity to have their doodles recreated as a limited edition toy which will be sold globally. Ten winners were picked one of whom was Olivia Wildman from Essex who drew a fluffy skunk called Stinky. Stinky joins a wide selection of other toys including a scary dinosaur and tiger amongst others.

More than 80 toys to choose from

The campaign IKEA is running is very simple, for every soft toy, and other children’s item such as books, card games or dressing up clothes sold up to 19th December 2015, the company will donate €1 to support educational programmes operated by UNICEF and Save the Children around the world. There are over 80 toys to choose from and prices start from as low as £1 which means it couldn’t be any easier to help out a child this winter.

The money raised does a lot of good

This year the campaign is hoping to raise €700,000 in the UK and Ireland to add to a combined €77 million that has been raised since the campaign began in 2003. The money raised so far has benefited over 11 million children through 99 projects in 46 different countries. €100,000 is enough to enable Save the Children to provide 35 schools in the Philippines for kids with disabilities gain access to quality and accessible education. With the same amount of money, UNICEF would be able to construct four fully equipped pre-schools in Madagascar which have access to clean water and toilet facilities.

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Join Greenpeace In Its March For Strong Climate Change Action

Join Greenpeace In Its March For Strong Climate Change Action

World leaders will be gathering in Paris this December for COP 21 which is a UN sponsored conference to address climate change. As political leaders begin to negotiate how best to deal with climate change, ordinary people will also be gathering around the world to make their voices are heard on this important issue. You can join Greenpeace on Sunday the 29th November in London for a march to express your views.

Show David Cameron we care

The conference will see leaders from nearly 200 countries come together to hopefully produce a significant agreement to tackle climate change. While not everyone can make it to Paris, demonstrations will be taking place all over the world, including in the UK. Greenpeace will be showing its solidarity with other organisations and individuals across the UK to express to Prime Minister David Cameron that we all want strong action on climate change.

Many organisations joining the march

The idea is to ensure that when Mr. Cameron does sit down to negotiate in Paris he has the image of thousands of people marching through London’s streets for the climate. Greenpeace will be participating in the People’s March for Climate Justice and Jobs in London along with a variety of organisations and is inviting your to come along too.

Save the polar bear

Regardless of whether this is your first demonstration or 100th, this is an opportunity to come together with fellow supporters of Greenpeace and take a stand for strong and effective climate change action. Greenpeace will be taking part in the main event with the ‘March of the Polar Bears’ which will include a carnival filled with puppets music and paw prints. The polar bear is the symbol of climate change and a species we would all love to protect.

This year is important

In 2014 hundreds of thousands of people took part in marches across major cities as part of the People’s Climate March. This year there is added significance because the demonstration takes place on the eve of crucial climate change talks so Greenpeace needs as many people as possible to come together and tell political leaders we care.

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Greenpeace Says UK Can Completely Depend On Renewable Energy By 2030

Join Greenpeace In Its March For Strong Climate Change Action

The question often asked is whether the UK has the ability to run on renewable energy and how long it would take to achieve that goal. Greenpeace is often asked those questions and has now gone a long way towards answering them.

No need for nuclear energy

The NGO has just released an new independent report from energy systems analysts Demand Energy Equality which suggests that by the year 2030 the UK will have the ability to mainly use clean renewable power. This means it will be possible to keep the lights on without the need for new nuclear power plants. The research was commissioned by Greenpeace and makes use of 11 years of real weather data for the first time to model electricity demand and supply from renewable energy on an hour by hour basis.

New technology makes the goal achievable

Whilst the plan maybe ambitious, it is achievable. The model proposed is viable on an economic basis if the government decides it will support a major expansion of onshore and offshore wind and solar farms. The plan also envisages the introduction of new technology such as ‘smart fridges’ which will use less energy during peak hours. There will be better technology with regards to storage of electricity, electric cars, tidal power and in general energy efficiency.

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Help Amnesty International Change Repressive Abortion Law In El Salvador

Help Amnesty International Change Repressive Abortion Law In El Salvador

In El Salvador, women can be jailed for miscarriage. This is dreadful because when women miscarry, they should be comforted, instead the state in that country is doing the opposite and charging many with aggravated homicide. Amnesty International is working to stop this horrendous practice by lobbying governments, sending researchers into prisons and supporting local organisations. You can help to stop the injustice by donating today.

Criminal offence to terminate a pregnancy

The Law in El Salvador makes it a criminal offence to terminate a pregnancy regardless of the circumstances. The state assumes that women who suffer miscarriages still births, or other complications which result in the loss of a pregnancy deliberately caused it and are punished for it. When women in desperate pain and distress turn to health workers they are often reported to the authorities by doctors and nurses who are scared they will lose their jobs if they allow the so called crime to go unpunished.

No time to recover from medical procedure

Women are not allowed any time to recover from their medical procedures and some women who awaken from anaesthesia find there are police  waiting at their bedside and are taken straight to prison. This is completely unacceptable and Amnesty International is urging people to donate so that they have the money to fight against this injustice.

Poorest women hit hardest

The situation is worse for those women who lack the money to put on a legal defence and are unlikely to get a fair trial. Often authorities seek to make an example of these women handing down prison sentences for as long as 40 years. These women are obviously not criminals and are actually victims of a law that is repressive. So help Amnesty International in its important work seeking justice for these women and demanding a change to abortion laws in El Salvador.

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Visit Howletts Animal Park This Half Term And Celebrate Halloween

Visit Howletts Animal Park This Half Term And Celebrate Halloween

If you are planning a holiday this October half term, why not visit Howletts near Cantebury Kent which is one of the UK’s most successful animal parks. This holiday, the park will ensure the kids will have lots of fun with plenty of prizes to be won in various competitions, free activities and educational talks that will be given over the whole holiday.

Activities every day

The fun starts on Saturday 24th October and will continue to Sunday 1st November with activities taking place every day. These include the frightening fact trail which will educate visitors on the dangers animals face in the wild as well as plenty of talks that are filled with fun and facts. There is also a touch table that is simply terrifying that will give visitors the opportunity to build a hotel for bugs that serves to protect creepy crawlies.

“‘We’re open every day throughout half term and we’re encouraging all our visitors to get into the spirit of Halloween early with all our frightful fun activities. This year we are also holding a fancy dress competition, on Saturday 31st October, where participating visitors can win some fantastic prizes.’ Neil Spooner, Animal Director said.

Top attraction

There will be a number of activities to celebrate Halloween including a fancy dress competition, plus visitors will be able to participate in a workshop for pumpkin carving. Later on guests will be able to see the animals enjoy the tasty treats. Howletts Wild Animal Park has consistently been rated as a top attraction by reviewers on TripAdvisor and was recently inducted into the site’s hall of fame.

Lots of things to do and see

The park will have its doors open over the entire half term period and visitors will have the opportunity to wander throughout the 90 acres of extremely beautiful natural parkland and spot rare and endangered species. If you are really lucky you may even get to see the latest arrivals to the park, the adorable baby gibbons and many more.

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WWF Helps To Conserve The Amazon Rainforest

WWF Helps To Conserve The Amazon Rainforest

The world’s largest tropical rainforest conservation scheme is the Amazon Regional Protected Areas Programme also known ARPA. The scheme was launched by the Brazilian government back in 2002 in partnership with WFF and other conservation agencies. The goal was to take 60 million hectares of the rainforest in Brazil and turn it into a combination of strictly protected area and sustainable use.

The scheme is well funded

The scheme received some positive news recently when the government of Germany made the commitment to spend approximately US$ 33 million to finance the programme. A new presidential decree for ARPA also came into effect which brings the original 2002 decree up to date and formalises the scheme’s new goal of achieving complete financial sustainability for all the protected areas covered by ARPA in the next 25 years.

An innovative approach to conservation finance

The innovate approach to financing the conservation process was envisioned by WWF and its partner organisations just few years ago. The method involves a “transition fund” from which money will be given to Brazil over a period of time. The amount of financing the government will receive should be enough to cover the total amount it would cost to maintain the ARPA sites.

Many organisations helped

This has made possible because contributions are coming not just from WWF and Germany but a whole range of organisations. This includes the World Bank, The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund, and the Linden Trust For Conservation. Without all these agencies coming together, the programme would never have gotten off the ground, and there is room for hope that one of the earth’s greatest natural resources, the Amazon rainforest will be kept safe for decades to come.

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World Vision Worried About Effects Of Heat Wave On Refugees In Iraq

World Vision Worried About Effects Of Heat Wave On Refugees In Iraq

As temperatures in Iraq continue to rise, World Vision is urging donors to give more money to support families that have been displaced. Temperatures at the start of the month began to exceed 50 degrees and the aid agency is extremely concerned for the families on the ground. Cecil Laguardia of World Vision says the heat wave has made already difficult living conditions that much harder for children. There are almost a million displaced children in Iraq.

Living in steel boxes

Ms. Laguardia adds that many of the shelters or caravans are little more than steel boxes. Whilst there are the fortunate few families that own a cooler, there is still the issue of power cuts which occur throughout the day. Those families who don’t have a cooler have to deal with shelters that get unbearably hot. Going outdoors is simply not an option for these families where temperatures are searing.

7.1 million people affected

The heat wave began in late July and reports keep pouring in about families and their children suffering from heat stroke, dehydration and diarrhoea. The best way to deal with the effects of severe weather is funding Ms. Laguardia explained. In June Iraq’s Humanitarian Response Plan was released by the Kurdish Region of Iraq government and the United Nations. The report warns that as many as 7.1 million people will require water, sanitation and hygiene assistance. If these issues remain unaddressed many in the aid community worry there will be an outbreak of disease which will likely make what is a miserable situation much worse.

“There simply aren’t enough water supplies for all families. The electricity in this camp goes off at least two to three times a day. It’s often the case where there is no power for at least three hours during the day and five hours at night, making it even more difficult for my children to stay hydrated.” 45-year old Anwar who lives in a camp in Erbil with his wife and four children said.

World Vision doing its bit

World Vision is doing its bit and is trying to rehabilitate a water facility which would mean better water supplies for as many as 40,000 people living in the Khanke camp as well as other host communities. Construction for the project is being done in collaboration with the Ministry of Water of Duhok. It is expected that the project will be complete by November 2015.

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WWF Says Companies More Aware Of Sustainable Timber Use

WWF Says Companies More Aware Of Sustainable Timber Use

According to WWF, more than100 business were assessed to see whether they were transparent and provided enough information when it comes to their sustainable use of timber. The authors of the report found four companies which scored the maximum ratings for sustainable timber use. These include Carillion, Travis Perkins, Saint-Gobain and Mace. The three tree rating suggests that these companies have made a very public commitment to sustainable timber use and there is visible evidence which suggests that they have implemented policies to ensure that only a sustainable amount of timber is being used in their products.

Lots of companies improving

Some large UK supermarket chains did very well in the study including Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s, so did book publishers Macmillan as did Marks & Spencer. There were a number of brands that occupied the middle ground when it comes to transforming their supply chains which indicated their progress has been solid. These companies include Penguin Random House, Boots and IKEA. Whilst this is good news, most companies have a long way to go.

Awareness being raised

The rating systems took into account the various policies and practices of the companies in relation to their use of sustainably sourced timber and related products. The scoring process was able to increase the awareness of bad practices by the companies that were being studied as well as the problem of deforestation which produces habitat loss and is one of the causes behind climate change.

Consumers are concerned

According to the latest WWF-UK research, consumers are concerned with the kind of timber being used and whether it is being sourced from. However there is very little information available to consumers to ensure they know that they are buying products made from sustainable timber compared to fair trade chocolate and coffee for example.

Change is possible

The results of the study do suggest that change is in fact possible and many consumer product companies are moving forward when it comes to the use of sustainable timber. Some companies in fact are making lots of progress however it is behind the scenes and these companies should also make the effort to make consumers aware.

“Some of the companies who didn’t fare so well have engaged with WWF-UK since they were given their scores, to look at how they can improve their policy and communication around sustainable timber. As a result, we have decided to update the scores in the autumn to reflect immediate changes made by businesses.” Julia Young of WWF-UK’s forest team said

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World Vision Urges UK Public Not To Forget Child Refugees

child refugee new

World Vision UK is urging the public to lend their support for the child refugee crisis. The latest figures suggest that there are over 29 million children all over the world that have been forced to flee their homes. Data from the UNHCR suggest that conflicts taking place in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Syria have been responsible for the rise. The UN agency reckons that there are now a record breaking 59.5 million people globally that have been displaced, half of those that have been displaced are children.

“Imagine half of the United Kingdom being forced to flee their homes – except they are all children. This is a sobering thought and a wake-up call for world leaders and the international community to step up their efforts to solve political crises and to offer more support to refugee children. Earlier this year, I met refugees in camps near the Syrian border and heard harrowing stories from children who endured experiences that no child ever should. While many have fled to safety, and we can offer some kind of normality, there are millions more who haven’t made it – and who urgently need assistance. We know that children are least to blame in any conflict – yet, tragically, they’re the ones who suffer the most,” Tim Pilkington, World Vision UK Chief Executive, said.

Tolerance is fading

World Vision UK is calling for increased support from the public after reports worryingly revealed that there is less tolerance for Syria and other countries in the Middle East. According to the most recent survey conducted by Islamic Relief, 47 per cent of those that were polled did not belief the UK should offer refuge to people fleeing the fighting in the Middle East.

Refugees have no other options

Johan Eldebo of World Vision says that the world is becoming increasingly more hostile towards refugees. The simple fact of the matter is no one decides they want to be a refugee. They become refugees when there are no other options available and have to flee for their lives. Unfortunately the ongoing crisis has lasted so long the public has become immune to them. Whilst that may be the case, there is no family that feels at home living in refugee camp tents.

Child refugees are on their own

A large proportion of child refugees travel alone, travelling in terrain that is harsh and end up living in giant refugee camps where they have to fight over limited resources with no one to comfort them when they are scared. In advance of World Refugee Day, World Vision is calling on the global community to ensure that child refuges are prioritised. The agency believes such children should have the right to be cared for particularly when they are separated from their families.

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UNESCO Says Australia Must Restore The Health Of The Great Barrier Reef

UNESCO Says Australia Must Restore The Health Of The Great Barrier Reef

Environmental campaigners and those who depend on the Great Barrier Reef have received support from UNESCO. The agency recently declared that Australia must ensure the treasure must be protected from threats ranging from pollution and reckless industrialisation. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee says it will continue pressuring Australia to deliver on its promises to ensure the Great Barrier Reef is restored to health.

“This vote by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee demonstrates that green advocacy works: the Australian government is now effectively on probation over the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. For this amazing place to flourish again, governments and businesses alike have a crucial role to play. We will be watching progress and continue to protect this and other natural World Heritage sites,” said David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of WWF-UK.

Australia commits to improving the reef’s health

Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International says Australia has committed to ensure the health of the reef remains a priority over damaging activities such as dredging and dumping the spoil. He adds that UNESCO will maintain a close watch on the reef and whether its condition improves. The issue is of critical importance to over half a million WWF campaign supporters and the millions of people all over the world who are concerned by the industrial destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

UNESCO expresses concern

The committee’s final decision on the reef expressed concern that wildlife populations and their habitats have experience a general decline and the overall outlook for the reef is poor. The committee highlighted the fact that there remains major long term threats such as climate change and water pollution which must be tackled.

Australia must live up to its promises

In its decision, the committee requested Australia to make sure all its commitments are rigorously implemented so that the reef’s current documented declines are halted. Australia is required to report back to UNESCO by December 2016 on its progress and then make a follow up report three years after that in order to demonstrate effective and sustained protection of the reef.

Major threats remain

WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman says the major threats to the Great Barrier Reef are climate change and water pollution. He adds that the organisation will work non-stop to ensure that the marine ecosystem is restored to health. The decision by the World Heritage committee will maintain the pressure on Australia to live up to its promises and achieve results. It is important to bring back the corals and marine life that depend on the reef.

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