Success Celebrated on Anniversary of Renewables 2004 Conference

REN21 logoOn the second anniversary of the International Conference for Renewable Energies (Renewables 2004), German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul declared that “excellent progress” has been made in developing a renewables-based energy system.

Child Malnutrition in Earthquake Areas Persists as a Major Problem

UNICEF, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization, and Pakistan’s Ministry of Health undertook a joint survey to assess whether the situation is improving or deteriorating and to establish a baseline to monitor future progress.

Dispute Over New Orleans Low-Income Housing Intensifies

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there are growing disputes over housing for lower-income residents and the future makeup of New Orleans. Displaced residents of public housing projects fear that local and federal officials, along with real estate developers, are using the storm damage as an excuse to get rid of much public housing and to bring in wealthier residents instead.

Louisiana Flood Risk Maps Badly Outdated

The flood risk maps that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) relied on when it released its long-awaited guidelines for rebuilding homes and businesses in New Orleans in mid-April are badly outdated—in some cases two decades old—and thus grossly underestimate the hazards of rebuilding.

Louisiana Counties Hit Hardest by Hurricane Katrina Suffer Massive Population Loss

A June U.S. Census Bureau report found that, as of January 2006, Louisiana’s hardest hit counties had lost 385,000 people, about 39 percent of its total population. Orleans Parish lost a whopping 64 percent, while the smaller St. Bernard Parish was almost totally depopulated, losing 95 percent.

New Worldwatch Article on Peacemaking after Disasters

When disaster strikes a country already reeling from conflict, international aid and development agencies must be mindful of those who will profit from continuing conflict, write Worldwatch researchers Michael Renner and Zoë Chafe in a new article published in the Natural Hazards Observer journal.

Report: In the Wake of the Storm: Environment, Disaster, and Race After Katrina

This interdisciplinary report, written by professors from around the country, illuminates the environmental justice implications of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The researchers focus on race disparities and linkages to environmental quality in the US, and the ways in which these disparities influence the preparation and relief efforts: before, during, and after a disaster.

MAP Indonesia Helps With Earthquake Relief Via Bamboo Construction

For reconstruction, turn to bamboo to save tropical forests, writes the Mangrove Action Project’s Indonesia team. By using bamboo to construct buildings and furniture, the demand for sensitive hardwoods decreases. Though it is considered an invasive species in many environments, bamboo is a renewable resource that grows rapidly and can be reharvested in quick succession.

Kyoto: Impossible Goal or Economic Opportunity?

smokestackMany wealthy countries that signed on to the Kyoto Protocol to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008–12 are now wavering in their commitments.

Rights Groups Condemn Slow Response to Death Threats Against Brazilian Environmental Champion

VilmarReporters Without Borders (RSF), an international press freedom organization, and the Environmental Communications Network of Latin America and the Caribbean (RedCalc), a group of environmental journalists and communicators from more than 15 countries, have formally condemned the slow response of local police to death threats against renowned Brazilian environmental journalist Vilmar Berna.
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