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WWF Says IPCC Report Shows Climate Change Impacting Humans And Animals

by
Sharat
on
Apr 14 2014
WWF Says IPCC Report Shows Climate Change Impacting Humans And Animals

The latest IPCC report says climate change will most certainly impact communities and wildlife however there is still time to act.

The report which was recently released details the most comprehensive evidence that the planet is in desperate need of our help. It confirms the fact that climate change is occurring and it is affecting the things that matter the most.

The report combines the impact of climate change on both humans and nature and highlights our vulnerability to a warmer world.

According to the evidence, climate change is having an effect on some of the world’s most endangered species. Droughts throughout South East Asia are being predicted which will lead to a fragmentation of tiger habitat and impact the ability of the tiger to both breed and hunt. The panda is also at risk of losing its essential food source bamboo and the future of the snow leopard is also in doubt with the prediction that their Himalayan forest habitat will decline.

The research also shows that there will be increasingly intense extreme weather such as the floods experienced by the UK last year. The report also predicts that economic well being around the world is likely to be negatively impact without any rapid reduction in emissions that are the product of our use of fossil fuels.

The good news however is it’s not too late according to Samantha Smith, leader of the WWF Global Climate & Energy:

”The [IPCC] report makes it clear that we still have time to act. We can limit climate instability and adapt to some of the changes we see now. This report tells us that we have two clear choices: cut emissions now and invest in adaption or do nothing and face a world of devastating and unmanageable risks and impacts.”

Whilst the distance between what governments are doing and what the science is predicting is huge with the support of ordinary people like yourself we can lobby our elected representatives to do something and start building a more stable future for all of us.

Image courtesy of WWF

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The Aspinall Foundation Pleased To Announce The Arrival Of A Gelada Baboon

by
Sharat
on
Mar 25 2014
The Aspinall Foundation Pleased To Announce The Arrival Of A Gelada Baboon

The mission at Howletts Wild Animal Park is to preserve animals. Therefore it goes without saying the park is thrilled to announce the birth of a new Gelada Baboon.

It is still far too early to be able to tell the sex of the two week old infant however keepers are very happy with how well Sereba the mother of the new addition is caring for her new born. The Gelada Baboon is a unique species of primate in that it is the only type that feeds primarily on grass. The species is sociable and lives in large hierarchical groups.

Adam May a Primate Keeper at the park says he is extremely pleased that Sereba is taking care of her new born so well. Mr. May says the new addition should be a good playmate for its brother Leena who was born back in 2010.

Howletts Wild Animal Park likes to distinguish itself from regular zoos because of its dedication to animal conservation. The Park is well known for its extreme commitment to animal welfare. Howletts provides large enclosures that allows animals the freedom to enjoy foliage and privacy as they choose. The Park as a result has become one of the top breeding sanctuary’s for some of the most en

Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury in Kent, distinguishes itself from conventional zoos through its devotion to animal conservation and is well known for the high standards of its animal welfare. The park offers fantastic large enclosures that allow the animals to enjoy natural foliage and privacy as they choose. As a result, the park has successfully become a breeding sanctuary for some of the world’s most endangered animals.

Neil Spooner, Animal Director commented: “We are committed to providing the highest standards of animal conservation and hope to lead by example to other zoos. It has been great to celebrate so many animal births recently, and we are very proud of our latest gelada baboon infant.”

Port Lympne and Howletts Wild Animal Parks both work very closely with The Aspinall Foundation which is a leading animal conservation charity. In 2013 the charity was responsible for the successful return of a family of Western lowland gorillas from Kent to the African wild.

Image Courtesy of The Aspinall Foundation

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WWF Thrilled Nepal Has Year Of Zero Poaching

by
Sharat
on
Mar 14 2014
WWF Thrilled Nepal Has Year Of Zero Poaching

The WWF says it is pleased to announce that Nepal was able to achieve a zero poaching incidence rate for the year ending February 2014.

The WWF has been working very hard to increase awareness around the illegal trade in wildlife all over the world so the news from Nepal is fantastic particularly when you consider rhinos, elephants and tigers are being rampantly poached in other parts of the world. This is the second year Nepal was able to celebrate a zero poaching success rate after having a fantastic year in 2011.

“The success of achieving zero poaching throughout the year is a huge achievement and a result of prioritizing a national need to curb wildlife crimes in the country. A national level commitment is key to encouraging complementing efforts, right down to the grassroots level, in order to address this biggest threat to wildlife not just in Nepal but across the world.” said Megh Bahadur Pandey, Director General of Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.

Zero poaching in Nepal was achieved by increased enforcement efforts and strengthened protection efforts which were led by the Nepalese government. The announcement was made to coincide with World Wildlife Day on the 3rd of March 2014.

Anil Manandhar the WWF representative in Nepal said it was something to be very proud of to be able to mark World Wildlife Day with the announcement that there had been zero poaching in Nepal for a year. He added that the WWF remains committed to working with the government and other conservation partners to ensure that efforts are maintained to sustain the success.

The WWF will also honour nine other organisations that played an important role in achieving the success of zero poaching in Nepal. This includes the Nepal Police, Nepal Army, Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park, as well as the National Trust for Nature Conservation.

Image Courtesy of WWF

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Smoking Rate In England Drops To 80 Year Low

by
Sharat
on
Feb 21 2014
news preventions moking

According to a new study by scientists from University College London shows the number of people who smoke cigarettes in England has dropped to its lowest level in nearly 80 years.

The data comes from a national study that has been surveying the smoking habits of people in England going back to 2006.

According to the study’s results in 2013 less than 20 per cent of adults were smokers. It’s very encouraging to see this snapshot of the number of smokers in England. Reassuringly, the figures are going down but it’s vital to remember the many millions of people who remain addicted to a lethal product. Half of all long-term users will die from smoking.” Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s head of tobacco policy, said.

Last year over 22,000 people over the age of 16 were polled and the percentage of smokers found was less than 20 per cent.

In the 20th century, there was a rapid increase in smoking rates which peaked just before the publication of a report which linked smoking and lung cancer in 1962. At that point nearly 70 per cent of males and 40 per cent of females were smokers.

The new data was published during the same week that legislation was passed in the UK to allow the introduction of plain standardized packaging.

“Reducing the numbers who smoke and the number of young people who start smoking must remain a focus. Plain, standardised packaging is key to protecting children from tobacco marketing. This week’s votes in parliament showed unprecedented support for tobacco control measures that will protect children from tobacco marketing and from second hand smoke. We urge the government to take the next steps to make standard packaging a reality as soon as possible.” Ms. Cox added

Smoking tobacco causes an estimated 60,000 cases of cancer in the UK each year and is responsible for approximately one in four cancer deaths in the UK.

Image courtesy of Cancer Research UK

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World Vision Joins Forces With HarvestPlus To Combat Hidden Hunger

by
Sharat
on
Feb 7 2014
hunger plus

Last month during the World Economic Forum in Davos, World Vision signed an agreement with HarvestPlus that committed both organisations to work together as they seek to improve nutrition for hundreds of millions of people that suffer from what is known as hidden hunger.

Hidden hunger is the absence in diets of crucial minerals and vitamins that puts both adults and children at risk of a variety of diseases and afflictions such as stunting, anemia, and even death. It is estimated that approximately one in three people suffer from hidden hunger with women and children at the greatest risk.

The new agreement sees both organisations combining to improve access to nutritious staple foods both for consumption at home and for sale at local markets.

Howarth Bouis Director for HarvestPlus says staple crops that are very nutritious are more readily available. There are over half a million cultivating such crops which provide higher levels of minerals and vitamins.

Mr. Bouis stressed that his organisation has limited reach and will have to work with partners who have experience in scaling up crop production. He added that World Vision has both the depth and reach needed to scale production in rural communities around the world. Both organisations are committed to exploring how best to do this together and gain a wider reach quickly with the most nutritious food.

The biofortication process is used to breed nutritious food crops. These varieties offer both higher yields and have greater resistance to pests and disease with some varieties even adapted to drought.

“World Vision is committed to improving nutrition for the world’s hungriest children, their families and communities. We can only do so much on our own. We believe more can be achieved by linking our comparative strengths with organizations like HarvestPlus, UN agencies like the World Food Programme, and companies like DSM.” said World Vision International President, Kevin Jenkins.

HarvestPlus and World Vision will begin their partnership by focusing on African countries such as Sierra Leone, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and Burundi.

Image Courtesy of World Vision

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UNICEF Providing Assistance In South Sudan

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Sharat
on
Jan 25 2014
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UNICEF says it is growing more concerned about the safety of South Sudanese women and children as violence continues in the country and children are at high risk.

According to said Iyorlumun Uhaa of UNICEF South Sudan, roughly 194,000 civilians have been forced to flee their homes and most of those people are women and children. Mr. Uhaa says that because the situation is so fluid the real number of people who have fled is probably much higher.

He added that the most vulnerable in any conflict are always the children many of whom lack shelter from the intense heat of the sun and are forced to sleep out in the open during the cold nights.

There are two UN compounds in South Sudan with the compound in Juba sheltering an estimated 25,000 people and despite intense fighting posing difficulties in reaching civilians seeking in Bor, humanitarian aid is reaching the Juba compound

UNICEF and other agencies are delivering sanitation food and water supplies into various towns around the country. The agencies are building toilets as they seek to bring hygiene and reduce the risk of disease. Emergency health care is being provided at the compounds and UNICEF is providing high energy biscuits for children aged between six months to five years that give the children much need nutrients.

UNICEF and its partners are delivering clean water supplies to camps and setting up tents. The agencies are registering families who have fled and helping reunite parents who have become separated from their children.

“UNICEF and the United Nations are committed to protecting civilians in South Sudan, regardless of their ethnic group, but it is really the leaders of this, the world’s youngest nation, who have the responsibility to protect their citizens and particularly their children. We urge all of the country’s leaders to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict and avoid further escalation.” Mr. Uhaa said.

Image Courtesy of UNICEF

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World Vision Joins “No Lost Generation” Initiative For Syria

by
Sharat
on
Jan 8 2014
Syrian Refugee Families Vulnerable As Winter Storm Hits Lebanon

A number of aid agencies which includes World Vision have combined to lend their voice to a call for governments, NGO’s and the general public to champion Syrian children by backing the “No Lost Generation” initiative.

The agencies are so worried about the crisis facing millions of children in Syria that they have all united behind the call for public support and donations to fund vital protection and education programmes designed to alleviate the problems of mental and emotional distress for Syrian children.

Conny Lennenberg World Vision’s Regional Leader for the Middle East and Eastern Europe says millions of children in Syria are in serious need, no longer in school and living in extreme vulnerability so it is important to try to support them.

Ms. Lennenberg added that all actors around the world should to do more to avoid the loss of a generation of children. The strategy is being called the “No Lost Generation” and will be formally rolled out to the public just ahead of a major conference in Kuwait that is designed to raise money.

You can find out more information about the plight of children in Syria on social media with the hashtag #childernofsyria. Alternatively there is a website www.championthechildrenofsyria.org where you can find information and learn about how children are being affected by the conflict.

World Vision Brussels and EU Representation Director of Advocacy and Justice for Children, Deirdre deBurca says World Vision is very pleased that the European Commission’s Humanitarian Office has chosen to support the website.

Ms. deBurca says that the EU is the single largest donor to the region and this means they must continue to support these efforts without which the children of Syria may well never end up recovering.

To get a sense of the unfolding crisis, nearly one million Syrian refugees are children with approximately half that number aged under five and there are three million displaced children in Syria itself who face an even more dire situation.

The “No Lost Generation” strategy has roped in a number of aid agencies and nongovernmental organisations that operate throughout the region. The strategy will funnel as much as $1 billion into prragammes that will provide protection from exploitation and deliver safe education. The programmes will also seek to prevent abuse and violence as well as offer psychological care and support.

Image Courtesy of World Vision

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Violence Against Women and Girls A Big Problem

by
Sharat
on
Dec 20 2013
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World Vision says a one major problem that remains prevalent around the world is violence against women and girls, which is a particular problem either during an emergency or immediately in its aftermath.

“As the aid response to the Philippines disaster intensifies, and horrors continue to emerge from the war in Syria, the prevention of violence against women and children must be at the front of everyone’s minds. We know from experience working in emergencies for more than 60 years, that sadly, in emergencies children are at their most vulnerable. Studies show violence increases and it is often women and girls who suffer the most. And yet, protecting them is the most consistently under-funded aspect of emergency responses, receiving on average less than a third of what is needed.” said David Thomson, head of policy and programmes for child-focused aid agency World Vision.

Whilst governments and UN agencies debate how to prevent violence against women and girls during emergencies World Vision says efforts should focus on prevention and improving what it calls “survivor led accountability”

Mr. Thompson said the agency will know it is doing a good job when victims say so. Violence often worsens in response to lack of shelter, cramped conditions and a general lack of privacy. In many cases victims are simply too afraid to report violence or they do not know how. For this reason raising awareness and focusing on prevention is key.

As the world has been reminded with the impact of the typhoon in the Philippines and the continuing violence in Syria focusing on root causes will help prevent child abuse.

Image Courtesy of World Vision

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Eight Out Of Ten Kids Now Survive Cancer

by
Sharat
on
Dec 7 2013
cancer_250x250_scaled_cropp

Some good news from Cancer Research UK, apparently the number of kids with cancer who survive has increased to over 8 out of 10 compared with just 3 out of 10 in the 1960’s/

In the last ten years the number of kids with cancer who survive five years or more has risen to 82 per cent from 79 per cent, which is a clear improvement.

The reason for the success is improved treatment which now combines a number of different chemotherapy drugs. The role of Cancer Research has been critical in providing clinical trials that has proven the fact that combined treatments can be successful.

The data suggests that children with all types of cancer have increased life expectancy those with bone and liver cancer have made particularly good progress of late. Over the last ten years survival rates for child patients with liver tumours leapt from 67 per cent to 82 per cent whilst patients with bone cancer saw a survival rate increase from 61 per cent to 68 per cent.

Still A Long Way To Go

Whilst more children are surviving for longer as a result of the research there is still a long way to go and it is important to discover kinder and better treatments for this terrible disease.

For many kinds the simple fact of surviving does not mean they are free of the disease. Even after three decades of diagnosis as many as 40 per cent of patients were at risk of sever or life threatening conditions or had died. There is still a need to find better treatments that comes with fewer side effects.

For many children, surviving does not mean that they are completely free of illness. Even 30 years after their diagnosis, 40 per cent of survivors were affected by severe or life-threatening conditions, or had died due to a chronic health condition3. There is still an urgent need to discover better treatments with fewer side effects.

“Cancer Research UK has been at the forefront of research into new treatments for childhood cancers. Although more than eight in 10 children with cancer now survive their disease for more than five years more work is needed to discover better treatments. As more and more children survive cancer, it is especially important that we concentrate on improving the quality of life after cancer.” Professor Pam Kearns, director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trial’s Unit in Birmingham, said

Image Courtesy of Cancer Research UK

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World Vision Responds to Typhoon Haiyan In Vietnam and Laos

by
Sharat
on
Nov 27 2013
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World Vision is making preparations to provide emergency assistance to Vietnam which also bore some of the brunt from Typhoon Haiyan.

After killing over 4000 people and causing mass destruction in the Philippines the Typhoon headed on to Vietnam causing the Vietnamese government to evacuate nearly 100,000 people from Danag and Quang Nai provinces in the centre of the country.

World Vision stands ready to provide emergency assistance with Super Typhoon Haiyan expected to make landfall in Vietnam on Sunday morning.

Both Vietnam and Laos are still recovering from a series of tropical storms which hit both countries in recent months and Haiyan has worsened the situation particularly since both countries are in the middle of the annual rice harvest.

Vietnam and Laos are already reeling from a series of tropical storms in recent months, and Typhoon Haiyan may worsen the situation, especially as both countries are in the midst of their annual rice harvest.

“We are working closely with government counterparts and communities to prepare for the storm, including the reinforcement of homes and to stockpile food and water supplies,” says Mr. Le Van Duong, World Vision Vietnam’s National Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs Coordinator

Laos has also borne the brunt of a number of storms during the rainy season which has resulted in landslides and floods across the country.

As recently as September, World Vision had to respond to a mass flood which occurred in the south of the country affecting nearly 66,000 people destroying hundreds of hectares of rice. World Vision sought to provide food and clean drinking water as well as emergency medical kits immediately following the flood and continues to support communities that were affected with livelihood recovery projects.

World Vision works throughout Vietnam and supports 71,500 Vietnamese children through a sponsorship program. The organisation is also heavily involved in Laos where it supports over 40,000 kids.

“In all tropical storms and typhoons, it’s the poor and marginalised who are the worst affected. We will continue to focus on helping children and their families from vulnerable communities get through this storm and strengthen their resilience for future disasters,” says Ian Dawes, World Vision Lao PDR Operations Director.

Image Courtesy of World Vision

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