China Watch, Food, Renewable Energy, News, Natural Disasters & Peacemaking, e2 - Eye on Earth
Over 70 percent of China's big cities, more than half of its population of 1.3 billion, and 75 percent of its key industrial and agricultural areas are located in regions prone to weather-related and geological disasters, according to Xinhua News Agency
Since the latest outbreak of avian flu began in southeast Asia in 2003, public health officials, farmers, veterinarians, government officials, and the media have referred to the threat as a “natural” disaster. However, avian flu, mad cow disease, and other emerging diseases that can jump from animals to humans are symptoms of a larger change taking place in agriculture: the spread of factory farming. In the latest release from the Worldwatch Institute, Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry, Research Associate Danielle Nierenberg describes how factory farms are breaking the cycle between small farmers, their animals, and the environment, with collateral damage to human health and local communities. Mitigating the fallout will require a new approach to the way animals are raised, concludes Nierenberg.
On September 25, the Chinese government set new regulations
on Internet news content, strengthening its control over the operations of online news organizations and the country’s rapidly growing Internet population.
In mid-August, China’s aviation administration, CAAC, issued a series of new policies aimed at increasing
private investment in the civil aviation sector, according to a recent report released by the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation
Johannesburg, South Africa—In a plenary speech to the 18th World Petroleum Congress today, Worldwatch Institute President Christopher Flavin declared that, "Global energy markets are at a tipping point, with new energy sources ready to begin replacing oil and other fossil fuels."
Unless rainfall increases by at least 80 percent over last year, the remaining surface water in China’s 100,000 hectare Xianghai State Nature Reserve could dry up completely by the end of 2006. Loss of the massive wetland area would likely take the future of several of the world’s rare and endangered bird species with it.
In late August, legislators in Beijing met to discuss China’s first-ever comprehensive law on animal husbandry, pushing meat safety to the top of the national agenda at a time when avian flu and other livestock-related diseases are ravaging parts of Asia. The bill, initially proposed in 2001, underwent legislative review at the 17th meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), convened August 23-28.
—The Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN 21) today released its report, "Energy for Development: The Potential Role of Renewable Energy in Meeting the Millennium Development Goals," (download the report in PDF format
) in conjunction with the 2005 World Summit at the United Nations. The report, produced and published by the Worldwatch Institute, brings together the expertise of the participants of REN 21, which provides a forum for international leadership on renewable energy and connects the wide variety of stakeholders that came together at the Bonn International Conference for Renewable Energies in 2004.
Washington, D.C. – The overwhelming human and financial impacts of Hurricane Katrina are powerful evidence that political and economic decisions made in the United States and other countries have failed to account for our dependence on a healthy resource base, according to an assessment released today by the Worldwatch Institute.
Washington, D.C.—By taking advantage of the work that healthy watersheds and freshwater ecosystems perform naturally, cities and rural areas can purify drinking water, alleviate hunger, mitigate flood damages, and meet other societal goals at a fraction of the cost of conventional technological alternatives, according to a new Worldwatch study by Sandra Postel, director of the Global Water Policy Project and a Worldwatch Institute senior fellow.