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An oft forgotten yet irreversible truth is that the prosperity and wellbeing of humanity is built entirely on the foundation of a planet comprising an array of finely balanced and interdependent ecosystems. Without the vital supporting, regulating, provisioning and cultural services provided by the planet's biodiversity and myriad ecosystems, humanity, in all its wonder and diversity, would effectively collapse. Similar to the ‘vital signs' a medical practitioner checks when a patient first arrives at a hospital or medical centre, these ‘vital' ecosystem services must be addressed and stabilized before proceeding to other concerns or improvements.
4 August 2011: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released the findings of its 14-month environmental assessment of Ogoniland, Nigeria. The assessment found serious threats to human health due to soil and groundwater contamination by oil, and it issued recommendations for restoring the environment.
WIPO IGC Expected to Continue Work on Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources, Cultural Expressions [viewed]
28 July 2011: The Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) agreed to recommend that the WIPO General Assembly renew its mandate for the 2012-2013 biennium.
This workshop, hosted by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, in collaboration with the WWF, the Equator Principles and the Business and Biodiversity Offset Programme, aims to raise awareness and build capacity at banks to identify and manage biodiversity and ecosystem services risks in project finance, corporate loans and investments.
The 18th session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission will convene alongside the second African Forestry and Wildlife Week and will consider the theme "The Importance of Governance and Benefit Sharing in the Sustainable Management of African Forests, Trees and Wildlife". It is expected that the session will underscore the importance of good governance in natural resource management as well as emphasize the need to include all stakeholders in decision making, implementation and benefit sharing for sustainable forest and wildlife resource management.
3 August 2011: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have released the Forest Products Annual Market Review 2010-2011, according to which consumption of forest products in the UNECE region rose by 5.6% overall in 2010, following two years of falling production and consumption.
This workshop, convened by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Forest Trends and the International Katoomba Group, with the support of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), is to provide African policy makers, private sector representatives as well as those from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with an increased understanding of the opportunities available from payments for ecosystem services (PES). The workshop will also highlight the of potential PES to create incentives for moving towards a practice of natural resource management that takes the true values of carbon, water and biodiversity environmental services into account.
1 August 2011: The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS), which was concluded under the auspices of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), has announced a project to support conservation efforts for one of Europe's most endangered bat species, the Greater Horseshoe Bat, as part of the Year of the Bat.
29 July 2011: The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has reported that a ban on heavy fuel oil from the Antarctic will enter into force on 1 August 2011, and that a new North American Emission Control Area (ECA) will be created. The ban and ECA aim to reduce pollution in the Antarctic region.