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The Action Thread Part Two

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AID AND DEVELOPMENT

What is fragility and why does it matter in the fight against extreme poverty?

April 10 2019 | By: EMILY HUIE

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If you’ve watched the news lately, you might have heard the term “fragile state.” When a crisis hits a fragile state, the effects can be devastating, and often contribute to the cycle of extreme poverty. In order to end extreme poverty [by 2030], the world must do better about reaching the extreme poor who live in fragile states. This is a big challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

There are currently more than 735 million people living in extreme poverty. Almost two-thirds (over 514 million) of these people are concentrated in fragile and conflict-affected states, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, 35 of the world’s current fragile states are in sub-Saharan Africa. Experts predict that by 2030, more than 80% of people living in extreme poverty will be in fragile states.

So what exactly is fragility and how can it affect countries? A country or region is generally classified as fragile when it is vulnerable to shocks – violent conflict, natural disasters or economic crises – and lacks the capacity to cope with them. Citizens of a fragile state have to deal with a lot of instability, and they are exposed to higher risks when the unexpected happens.

Countries can be fragile for a number of different reasons. Some governments do not have the capacity to create a resilient environments . In some cases they lack the resources, in others corrupt leaders are more concerned with consolidating power and wealth for themselves than using state resources to provide basic services. Other factors such as natural disasters, regional instability, ethnic conflicts or violence can also make a country fragile.

Regardless of what causes fragility, when things go wrong, the citizens are hardest hit.

If you keep up with current events, you’re probably familiar with the Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In the DRC, decades of exploitation and ethnic rivalries have led to protracted and violent conflicts over political power and natural resources. Although the civil war officially ended in 2003, violence is still widespread, particularly in the eastern part of the country. These conflicts have been at the expense of citizens’ basic needs.

When an Ebola outbreak began last August in the DRC, medical professionals, aid workers, and government officials were unable to reach communities because of poor infrastructure, weak health systems, and conflict. To make things worse, while medical workers struggled to reach those affected, communities struggled to trust those workers because often their experiences lead them to distrust the government and other officials. The result is an ongoing health crisis that has led to over 900 infections, and over 560 deaths.

People living in fragile states, like the DRC, face even more difficulty escaping extreme poverty.

Displacement, increased likelihood of disease, and food scarcity are just some of the things that can come about from a crisis. That’s why working to end fragility will have immense effects on combating extreme poverty, and prevent bad situations from becoming catastrophic.

 

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YOUTH AMBASSADORS

Our 2019 Youth Ambassadors are fired up and ready to go

15 April 2019 1:51PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

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Every spring we look forward to something exciting: meeting our brand new cohort of ONE Youth Ambassadors! 2019 marks the 7th year we’ve run our YA programme and we’re thrilled to have 300+ enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers working with us to keep fighting extreme poverty this year.

To kick the year off, our volunteers gathered in Paris, Dublin, Rome, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels and London and hit the ground running. They’re already hearing back from their country leaders, speaking with their local media outlets, attending events and meeting with their representatives to fight for foreign aid and equality everywhere.

Keep reading below to find out what the incredible #ONEYouth19 have already accomplished!

D21U4YaX0AAeXlF.jpgITALY

40 Italian YAs met in Rome to join ONE in doing all we can to raise awareness about the injustice of extreme poverty. After a full day of training and team building activities, this fantastic group went out to meet Italian policy makers under the Italian sun and the beauty of the city — yes, the Colosseum still never ceases to amaze us! They had the chance to have a fruitful discussion with the Prime Minister’s diplomatic advisor and G7 Sherpa, Piero Benassi, delivered 300+ postcards on the Multiannual Financial Framework campaign and talked about all they want the government to achieve in 2019. And guess what? The Prime Minister himself responded to our YAs with a very inspiring letter. This will push our YAs to pursue their fight against extreme poverty with even stronger determination, knowing that the Italian government is listening!

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GERMANY

Team Germany welcomed our YAs for three exciting days in Berlin. To start, our 50 change-makers had the honour to receive the State Secretary of the Finance Ministry, Bettina Hagedorn. The following day, we met with the Foreign Minister, Heiko Mass, and discussed the global fight against extreme poverty. All in all, these were three days full of motivation, learning, sharing and mutual support in the fight against poverty. Our YA Nina summarised our mission best: “Convince political leaders: Africa’s challenges are Europe’s challenges.”

IMG_4992-a.jpgBELGIUM

This year we welcomed 57 YAs — representing more than 24 different nationalities — to Brussels for an exciting and engaging launch! We also kicked off our ONE Vote 2019 campaign with stimulating discussions with MEPs Judith Sargentini, Arne Lietz and Linda McAvan on the importance of development aid, the EU’s commitments and future priorities. They also gave our YAs insider tips on how to successfully advocate politicians. Finally, the YAs were successful in their aim to have the MEPs sign our ONE Vote pledge, starting the campaign off on the right foot!

Group-01.jpgFRANCE

Team France welcomed 50 new YAs to Paris and got to meet an amazing, diverse group of people that are determined to make their voices heard. This year, our YAs are high-schoolers, college students, professors and computer scientists, to name a few. Plus they hail from Europe, Africa, and South America! At the launch, they learned all about the upcoming EU elections and our ONE Vote campaign, as well as the G7 Summit and Global Fund replenishment, both happening in France this year. Fully prepared and ready to rock, they had their first advocacy meeting with a MEP candidate from the Green Party who even gave them the opportunity to go to their headquarters where they could gather 10 signatures in total! The YAs in France also met with their 2019 godmother, Deborah François, a Belgian actress who signed our open letter in 2018 and 2019. They had a very open discussion around gender equality issues and how she could support them throughout the year.

NL-LAUNCH-IMG_1688.jpgNETHERLANDS

Our new Dutch YAs kicked off the year by getting the first ONE Vote pledge signer: MEP Kati Piri! They also hit the streets to collect signatures for our Open Letter to World Leaders, and enthusiastically brainstormed about other actions that they will take this year. There were many training sessions and fun team-building exercises which made the launch a wonderful start to the year!

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UNITED KINGDOM

More than 50 Youth Ambassadors from across the UK joined us in London to launch our programme. Day 1 included campaigns training and a ‘how-to’ session from Francis Dearnley that gave our YAs the inside track on how to hold a successful meeting with your MP. The day ended with a meeting with MPs across varying political parties: Bim Afolami, the new DFID PPS, Dame Eleanor Laing, Deputy Speaker of the House, Dr. Paul Williams, a medic who previously worked in Uganda, and Mhairi Black, the youngest person to be elected to UK Parliament. On day 2, our YAs tried out their campaigning skills by gathering petition signatures for our Global Fund petition on the streets of London before rounding off the day with media and Twitter sessions.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 

Amazing 2 days with @ONEinIreland, training & meeting other youth ambassadors. Met some great people. Looking forward to the rest of the year! #ONEyouth19

 
 
 
 

 

IRELAND

Our launch in Ireland — with just over 30 Youth Ambassadors — kicked off with an intense day of campaigns training! On the second day, our YAs were treated to a host of fantastic guest speakers. Craig Dwyer, a social media specialist, spoke about his work on the Yes Equality campaign and Laura Harmon from the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) shared her brilliant insights into how we can all help achieve gender equality. Senator Neale Richmond gave an enlightening look at how YAs can influence EU politics in the upcoming elections. Finally, Minister Katherine Zappone accepted a card filled with messages from ONE members showing their support for Ireland’s early (and 50% increased!) pledge to the Global Fund.

You don’t have to be a Youth Ambassador to get involved! Become a ONE Member by signing up here.

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A short snippet of the wonderful finale performance at #TunedIn 2019 in The Model, Sligo, presented by @Music Generation Sligo in partnership with Sligo County Council Arts Office as part of the 20th Sligo International Chamber Music Festival, co-funded by the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership.

In the words of Conductor and Curator James Cavanagh, these young people are all heroes with a capital H!

 

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3 DE MAYO DE 2019

 

3
 
MEDIO AMBIENTE

Estos voluntarios están limpiando casi 10 toneladas de basura en el Monte Everest

La cima más alta del mundo está repleta de basura.

 

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
La contaminación plástica está causando un daño inmenso a los ecosistemas del planeta, pero los gobiernos de todo el mundo están comenzando a frenar la producción de plástico. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí.

Las personas que intentan escalar el Monte Everest tienen que hacer un depósito de $4,000 antes de su ascenso para que solo regresen con el kilo de basura que generan en la cima.

 

Esto ocurre porque el gobierno nepalí está cansado de que la montaña más alta del mundo sea tratada como un vertedero, de acuerdo con lo publicado por ABC News.

 

El Monte Everest tiene más de 30 tonelada de basura y desechos humanos que han sido dejados por los escaladores a lo largo de los años. Tiendas de campaña, botes, ropa, empaques de alimentos y mucho más se pueden encontrar dispersos por los acantilados, arruinando la gran belleza de la montaña y representando una amenaza para la vida silvestre.

 

Ahora el gobierno nepalí, con el apoyo de voluntarios, ha lanzado una campaña para limpiar la contaminación.

 

Desde el 14 de abril, los equipos de voluntarios han recolectado un estimado de 3 toneladas de basura, y los militares han contribuido a transportar basura no biodegradable a la capital Katmandú para su eliminación. Los equipos pretenden recolectar casi 10 toneladas de basura para el 29 de mayo, el 66 aniversario de la primera ascensión al Everest por parte de Sir Edmund Hillary y Tenzing Norgay.

 

A pesar de los avances tecnológicos, el Monte Everest sigue siendo un desafío formidable para los escaladores experimentados. Solo 5,200 personas llegaron a la cima, y al menos 302 personas murieron tratando de llegar.

 

Unas 775 personas adicionales intentaron el ascenso este año, según informó ABC News, y varios miles más han intentado escalarlo.

 

El hecho de que una cantidad tan pequeña de personas pueda generar una cantidad tan grande de residuos refleja el problema más grande de la gestión de residuos en todo el mundo, especialmente los residuos plásticos.

 

A nivel mundial, el mundo genera más de 300 millones de toneladas de plástico al año y solo una fracción de este se recicla. La mayoría de los plásticos terminan en vertederos o ecosistemas contaminados. Los océanos del mundo, por ejemplo, absorben más de 8 millones de toneladas de plástico al año, lo que es comparable a un camión de basura lleno de plástico que se vierte en un curso de agua cada minuto.

 

Una reciente investigación ha demostrado cómo estos desechos de plástico dañan la vida marina y, en última instancia, terminan en los alimentos que comemos, el agua que bebemos y el aire que respiramos.

 

Aunque los países han comenzado a restringir la producción de plástico, se espera que el mundo cree un 40% más de plástico por año en una década.

 

Además no solo el plástico genera un grave problema de gestión de residuos. Todo, desde desechos electrónicos hasta materia fecal, está contaminando los ambientes marinos y la tierra en formas que son peligrosas para la salud humana.

 

El Monte Everest ha sido durante mucho tiempo un testamento simbólico de la resistencia humana. Si se puede limpiar la montaña más alta del mundo, quizás también se pueda rehabilitar el resto del planeta.

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OCT. 15, 2018

 

22
 
CITIZENSHIP

Meghan & Harry Are Pregnant — and Here Are 7 Global Citizen Baby Names We'd Love Them to Pick

The name maketh the human.

It’s been a rollercoaster year for Meghan and Harry. 

It was only last November that they announced their engagement, then the wedding came in May, and now they’ve announced that they’re pregnant. 

The Duchess of Sussex is due to give birth next spring, according to an announcement on Monday by Kensington Palace. 

 

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.

 
 
 
 

Take Action: Tell Your MP Why You're Proud of UK Aid - and Call on Them to Make it as Effective as Possible

 

 

 

The statement said the couple were “delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public,” meanwhile Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland said she is “very happy about this lovely news” and “looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild.” 

We feel like now is a great time to pitch some ideas to the couple for what to call the baby — taking our inspiration from activists around the world who certainly deserve the tribute.

 

 

via GIPHY

1. Nadia

Nadia Murad is an activist who campaigns for justice for her Yazidi community, which has been terrorised by ISIS.

Murad herself was abducted, along with thousands of others, and held in sexual slavery by ISIS. She escaped, and has been working ever since to call on the international community to deliver justice. 

This month, Murad was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 — for her work against sexual violence and trafficking. Then, she announced that she would be using 100% of the prize money to support Nadia’s Initiative, the organisation she founded to advocate for victims of genocide and human trafficking. 

 

Nadia Murad, awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others. She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.#NobelPrize

 
 
 
 
2. Stephen

World-famous scientist and physicist Stephen Hawking died aged 76 on March 14. But while he lived, he changed how we saw the whole universe — and through sheer force of will and a fierce sense of humour, he taught the world the vital importance of science.

Now more than ever, it might be useful to remind the world what he stood for.

Read More: 11 Inspirational Stephen Hawking Quotes That Will Fill You With Wonder

 

3. Pravin

In India, they call Pravin Nikam the “Period Man”, because he wants to put a full stop (sorry) to the stigma around menstrual hygiene (not sorry).

“Why has something as natural as breathing been relegated to the status of an unmentionable taboo?” Nikam asked at Global Citizen Live in New York.“Maybe it is because 50% of the world’s population remains unaware of the importance of menstrual hygiene.”

Read More: Meghan & Harry’s Wedding Will Help Tackle Period Taboo, Homelessness, and HIV

And when Meghan and Harry said that, instead of wedding gifts, they would rather donations be made in their name to charities, one of the seven they named works to combat period stigma in Mumbai. 

It's a match made in heaven. 

 

4. Leo

If Kensington Palace tweeted that a royal baby was named after Leonardo DiCaprio, the internet would break.

DiCaprio is a UN Messenger for Peace, has donated over £14 million in grantsto environmental projects, made a documentary on climate change, and even helped pay off the debt of Seychelles to create marine reserves and protect the ocean. It turns out the queen wants to stop climate change, too.

Let’s melt hearts before the planet, please.

 

5. Nelson

Nope, not the school bully on "The Simpsons."

Former president of South Africa and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela was one of the greatest activists of all time. There’s already a statue of him in Parliament Square, and he hit us with this corker in London, when he made a speech here 13 years ago:

“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural,” Mandela said. “It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”

 

6. Bill or Melinda

Regal names are rarely imaginative.

Britain has had eight kings called Edward or Henry, and six named George (already taken by Will and Kate’s first baby, sorry). And the next most popular name? William.

Which, conveniently, just so happens to be the name of the humanity’s biggest philanthropist (and most admired man) Bill Gates.

bill melinda gates suzie katz flickr.jpgImage: Suzie Katz/Flickr

Read More: The Queen Just Gave Prince Harry a New Job, and It's Pretty Great

Gates runs the world’s largest private charity with wife Melinda (*scribbles down another name*), and has donated over £30 billion to worthwhile causes. Indeed, another billion was pledged just last week to fight malaria all over the world.

And Bill Gates’ full name? William Henry Gates III. Two words: copy and paste.

7. Amal

Meghan and Harry's friendship with Amal and George Clooney has been well-documented. So is it too much to ask that they'd name their baby after Amal? 

As role models go, she's a pretty amazing one. As a human rights lawyer, she has addressed head-on some of the world’s most disturbing human rights abuses — including supporting Nadia Murad in advocating for the rights of the Yazidi people. 

We'd suggest George too, but it's already taken by the new baby's first cousin, Prince George. And, to be honest, George is —by his own admission — just as famous now for being "Amal Clooney's husband." 

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AUG. 28, 2018

 

21
 
HEALTH

Air Pollution Is Destroying Your Intelligence, Study Finds

It could even lead to Alzheimer’s.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Air pollution leads to millions of premature deaths around the world and impairs the quality of life of many millions more. The United Nations calls on countries to mitigate air pollution to improve health outcomes and environmental integrity. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

Walking through a smog-filled downtown could lead to more than just a nasty cough — it could also harm your cognitive ability, making it harder to verbalize ideas, work through complicated problems, and more, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  

After examining 32,000 people over the age of 10 in China between 2010 and 2014, researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute found that increasing levels of air pollution correlate with lower verbal and math scores.

Take Action: Ensure All Communities Can Withstand Climate Disaster

 
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The effect was especially pronounced among older men, suggesting that long-term exposure to air pollution has a cumulative effect and it could also lead to Alzheimer’s later in life.

These mental consequences are taking a toll on both quality of life and financial stability, according to the authors. When factoring for an entire population, the impact on a country’s economy could be steep.

"The damage air pollution has on aging brains likely imposes substantial health and economic cost, considering that cognitive functioning is critical for the elderly to both running daily errands and making high-stakes economic decisions," study author Xiaobo Zhang of Peking University told CNN.

Beijing air pollution dust stormImage: AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Read More: Environmental Racism Is Real, According to Trump’s EPA

The authors looked at three pollutants in particular: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter.

The implications of the study are widespread — around 95% of the global population breathes polluted air.

Some countries, however, are worse off than others. India, for example, has the world’s 14 most polluted cities, with pollution levels sometimes 20 times higher than recommended limits.

Finland, on the other end of the extreme, has the world’s cleanest air.

Read More: Millions of British Children Are Breathing Toxic Air, Says Unicef

Each year, air pollution causes more than 7 million premature deaths, the vast majority of which occur in poor countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The hazards of air pollution build up over time, exacerbating existing health conditions.

Fine particulate matter from pollutants seep into the lungs and cause “stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia,” according to WHO.

With so much harm being done by air pollution, the need to address it on a global scale has never been more urgent.

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DEC. 20, 2018

 

1
 
WATER & SANITATION

Solar Power Brings Water to South Sudan Neighborhood

The $70,000 project will also lessen sexual attacks on women who often walk for hours to find water.

By Waakhe Simon Wudu

JUBA — At least 5,000 residents in and around the South Sudanese capital now have access to clean drinking water after the opening of a US-funded, solar-powered water distribution system in the area.

Speaking at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday at the plant, US Ambassador to South Sudan Tom Hushek said the $70,000 project not only will supply residents with clean drinking water, but it should lessen the number of sexual attacks on women and girls who often walk several hours a day to find clean water.

Take Action: Share The Story Of How Clean Drinking Water Changed the Lives of 3 Women in Northern Ghana

 

Previously, residents in Juba's Gudele West neighborhood and nearby Luri County had to pay 500 South Sudanese pounds for a 120-liter water container. Now, residents can fill up containers of drinking water for free in their neighborhood.

Agnes Stephen, a 22-year-old Luri County resident, is overjoyed.

"We used to face a lot of challenges accessing water. The water tankers would attempt to reach to our area, but because the roads are bad with a lot of bumps, they would not reach. And the water tankers that managed to reach us, they sell the water expensively," Stephen told VOA's South Sudan in Focus.

The system consists of an 80-meter-deep borehole and an elevated water tower with a tank that can hold up to 30,000 liters of water.

Using solar power, the water is pumped from the borehole to the tank. The water then flows by gravity into three distribution points.Women and other residents ululated Tuesday as Hushek cut the ribbon, officially opening the new water plant to residents.

Read More: These Activists Are Fighting to Put Water and Sanitation Issues at the Front and Centre

Hushek said a big secondary benefit to having easy access to clean drinking water is preventing the spread of disease.

"The project is improving community health and helping prevent diseases such as cholera. But the project does a lot more than that. I am especially proud that this project is sustainable because the community manages it. They have elected a water committee, and it includes 50% women," Hushek said.

The International Organization for Migration constructed the new water distribution plant as part of a $34 million government-funded project providing humanitarian assistance across South Sudan.

According to UN agencies, more than 90% of the population in war-ravaged South Sudan lacks access to clean water.

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OPINIONHEALTH

Polio Immunization Is One of the World's Untold Success Stories

But the job is not yet complete.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
April 24 to April 30 marks World Immunization Week. Work that activists like Ramesh Ferris and advocates in government like Larry Bagnell do in supporting global vaccine efforts is so important when it comes to acheiving Global Goal 3 on good health and well-being for all. Join Global Citizen and take action now.

Ramesh Ferris — Eleven years ago, I had the edge of my hand cycle resting up against the starting line at Mile Zero of the Trans Canada Highway in Victoria, British Columbia. It was here where I — a polio survivor living with the effects of the terrible paralytic disease — was about to commence the biggest journey of my life, handcycling 7,140 kilometres across Canada to the easternmost point in North America, Cape Spear, Newfoundland.

Larry Bagnell — That day in April 2008, myself, Yukon’s Commissioner Geraldine Van Bibber, and so many others were by Ramesh’s side, cheering him on. We proudly joined him in his mission to promote the important message that vaccines work, and to raise awareness and funds for the global effort to eradicate polio.


This World Immunization Week, we are reflecting on the Cycle to Walk campaign as we are witnessing a series of outbreaks of measles, a vaccine-preventable disease, in Canada and the United States, as well as in countries around the world. This signals that there continues to be an urgent need for vaccines globally, as North American travellers often contract the disease abroad. It also points to the need for public awareness that vaccines work and are safe.

Take Action: Where You Live Shouldn’t Decide Whether You Live. Demand World Leaders Invest in Vaccines

 
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El lugar en el que vives no debe decidir si vives. Pídele vacunas a los líderes mundiales.
 
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This is especially true in the case of polio and its global eradication effort through vaccination campaigns. In 1988, there were over 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries. In the years following, the number of cases of polio and countries where polio was found were drastically reduced. Today, the world is on the edge of eradicating the disease once and for all, with only 33 wild polio cases reported in 2018.

Canada is no stranger to this effort. For years, we have provided significant support and leadership to protect vulnerable children against polio in hard-to-reach places. In total, Canada has contributed more than CAD $750 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a global partnership between the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Rotary International, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2002, former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was the first Canadian leader to place polio eradication in the G8 Leaders Declaration, encouraging commitments from member countries. Prime Ministers Paul Martin and Stephen Harper continued Canada’s leadership, including through the Muskoka Initiative. More recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supported statements of commitment to polio eradication at multiple global summits, and in 2017 pledged $100 million CAD to the cause on behalf of Canada.

 
Embedded video
 

It's World Immunization Week!

Vaccine-preventable diseases include:
Cervical cancer
Cholera
Diphtheria
Hep B
Influenza
Japanese encephalitis
Measles
Meningitis
Mumps
Pertussis
Pneumonia
Polio
Rabies
Rotavirus
Rubella
Tetanus
Typhoid
Varicella
Yellow Fever#VaccinesWork!

 
 
 
 

The only way to stop poliovirus for good is through sustained commitment and partnership. The GPEI is a shining example of that, bringing together governments, international agencies, civil society organizations, volunteer advocates, and health workers (especially women) — all working towards strengthening health care systems and achieving a polio-free world. The lessons learned from polio eradication efforts are also successfully being applied to help eliminate measles, tetanus, and rubella, to combat Ebola, and provide concrete examples of what universal health coverage can achieve.

Our fellow Canadians also continue to play a major role in sustaining the polio program. Canadian Rotarians, including the Whitehorse Rotary Club, have raised more than USD $38 million for the cause. Canadian civil society groups and their members, including Global Citizen Canada, RESULTS Canada, and the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children's Health, continue to campaign for a sustained Canadian commitment to polio eradication. Internationally, Global Citizens have taken over 620,000 actions, helping to encourage governments to commit USD $1.9 billion to the GPEI.

But the job is not yet complete, with three polio-endemic countries remaining: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. Polio does not respect borders, so a lapse in commitment risks a resurgence of the disease in other countries.

Related StoriesApril 25, 2019This Global Citizen of Canada Has Tackled Polio From Nigeria to Switzerland

With Canada’s international aid funding for health scheduled to sunset in early 2020, now is the time for us to consider how Canada will extend its global leadership to help deliver the polio vaccine to every last child. This forms an important part of the Thrive Agenda, an ambitious plan developed by Canadian civil society organizations for the future of Canadian investment in women and children's health, nutrition, and rights around the world.

With ongoing concerns around contagious diseases and public trust in vaccines, World Immunization Week serves as an opportunity for Canadians to learn more and talk about the importance of health in our communities and around the world. Even just ensuring our vaccinations are up to date is something we all can do to protect ourselves and others. We must also ensure that Canada and other countries remain committed to protecting the world’s most vulnerable people, especially children, from infectious diseases like polio, and ultimately eradicate it once and for all.

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This Woman Spent Last Mother's Day in Jail. This Year, She's Bailing Moms Out.

Author: Daniele Selby

May 10, 2019

 
 
Alex Kalinin/Unsplash
 

Why Global Citizens Should Care
On May 11 last year, Tiara Moore was in jail. Exactly one year later, she’s the one bailing out black mothers, like herself, who can’t afford to make bail as part of the National Bail Out’s campaign to #FreeBlackMamas in time for Mother’s Day. The cash bail system keeps people who have not yet been convicted of a crime in jail because they cannot afford their freedom. You can take action here to support equality for all and help end the criminalization of poverty.

When Tiara Moore received an email last May asking if she knew of any black mothers in jail who needed to be bailed out, she promptly replied no.

But one week later, with only minutes to spare, she found herself digging through her inbox to find that email, as officers stood by.

The answer was yes. And the mother was her.


On the morning of May 11, Moore had alerted the Las Vegas Police Department that her car had been vandalized. But even after filing a report, no action followed. So when she later saw the man she suspected of vandalism — an acquaintance — she confronted him. The two got into a heated argument, and the man called the police, alleging that Moore had attempted to hit him with her car.

After running her name through the system and seeing that she had a prior conviction, the officer arrested her.

Moore was charged with battery with a deadly weapon — despite the fact that she had not been inside the car at the time she was accused of hitting the man.

At her initial hearing, bail was set at $100,000, a staggering amount of money the single mother of five simply did not have. Bail bondsmen typically charge 10% of the total bail amount — $10,000 in Moore’s case — which was still too much for the 34-year-old physical therapy assistant.

Moore used the five-minute phone call she was given to contact her mother from the Clark County Detention Center and told her to call Leslie Turner, the community organizer who had emailed her about something called the Black Mama’s Bail Out.

For the past three years, National Bail Out, a black-led collective of community organizations, has led the Black Mama’s Bail Out as part of its mission to end mass incarceration. The annual effort to #FreeBlackMamas across the country takes place in early May in the hopes of bailing out as many black mothers and caregivers as possible in time for Mother’s Day.

fbmsharegraphictwitter.pngImage: National Bail Out

This week, National Bail Out’s network of community activists and local organizations began bailing out mothers and caregivers — which it says includes aunties, cousins, trans people, and gender-nonconforming caregivers — and will continue to do so into the next week. Since Black Mama’s Bail Out began in 2017, organizers have helped secure the release of more than 300 mothers from Oakland, California, to Baltimore, Maryland — and dozens of cities inbetween.

And last year, Moore was one of those women — though, not in time for Mother’s Day.

“It was the first time in 16 years of being a mother that I was not with my kids on Mother’s Day. It was a traumatic experience,” Moore told Global Citizen.

She was able to call her children, who were staying with her own mother, on the day. She told them that she was “on vacation.”

Moore spent four days in jail before Turner and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) Fund were able to post her bail — which by then had been lowered to $30,000 after her charges were reduced during a second court hearing.

It was another three days before she was released, and what she returned to was a life in chaos. 

After missing several days of work with no way to contact her employer, Moore had been fired. With no source of income and five children to care for, she was now facing eviction — a situation she wouldn’t have been in, had she been able to afford her bail and return to work while her case was pending.

image1 (2).jpegTiara (center left) with Leslie Turner and her family at home after being bailed out.
Image: Courtesy of Tiara Moore

Every year 2.8 million women like Moore are admitted to jail in the United States. And black women, like Moore, are incarcerated at twice the rate of white women.

The overwhelming majority of women in jail are mothers, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, and many cannot afford to make bail. As a result, they remain in detention for days, weeks, months, or even years — though they haven’t been convicted of a crime — and may plead guilty to a crime they didn’t commit just to get out.

“There's this coercive sort of impact of being in jail where you'll do anything to get out,” Insha Rahman, program director at the Vera Institute of Justice, explained.

“Sometimes it's easier to plead guilty and get out of jail than it is to insist on your innocence and stay in jail longer, and that's a very perverse thing that happens all too often in the criminal justice system,” she adds.

That’s precisely what happened the first time Moore was arrested.

Fifteen years ago, Moore was in an abusive relationship. And one day, when the father of her two young children attempted to hurt her again, she defended herself.

She was charged with aggravated domestic battery. Her bail was set at $750,000.

“At 20 years old, I didn't know much about the criminal justice system,” Moore said. “I was scared.”

Moore was told she could be sentenced to 15 years in prison if she took her case to trial and was convicted. Instead, the district attorney offered her a plea deal: five years probation, a fine, and anger management.

So after 28 days in jail away from her daughter and son — then 2-and-a-half and 11 months old, respectively — Moore pleaded guilty to a charge that continues to follow her to this day. Her former partner, who ultimately refused to make a statement against her, has never been charged for abusing her.

“I felt like I had no other option then. I was tricked into a plea deal for a felony, which cannot be expunged, so it's always there,” Moore said. “It’s always a question that has to be asked in interviews, which still keeps me and my family in poverty, and keeps me from jobs that I really want to do.”

 
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Moore was not going to make the same mistake twice. Having joined criminal justice advocacy groups and worked as a case manager for formerly incarcerated men re-entering their communities, Moore knew a lot more about her rights and the system this time.

And without having to wait for her trial in jail, she was able to see her case through to trial while being with her children. Moore was able to start getting her life back in order with the support of National Bail Out, which helped her cover her rent, purchase food, and make sure she had everything she needed. All she had to focus on was getting to court.

The cash bail system was originally created to incentivize people charged with crimes to attend their court dates. But, Rahman said, the data shows that people largely show up to court whether or not they are out on bail or “released on their own recognizance” — meaning without bail.

Rahman, who previously worked as a public defender, said for those who fail to appear for their court dates, it’s not that they’re fleeing. It’s that they need support.

“It’s not money that brings people back to court, it’s just the gravity of having a criminal case,” Rahman said. And with solutions like court date notifications and transportation support, “this is thoroughly fixable and solvable, and doesn’t require incarceration.”

RELATED STORIESMarch 15, 20196 Myths About Cash Bail Reform, Debunked

Just over a month after she was arrested last May, Moore’s case was dismissed.

Moore said if Turner and National Bail Out hadn’t helped bail her out, it’s likely she would have remained in jail throughout that time.

“The cash bail system is designed, in my opinion, to keep you incarcerated if you don’t have money,” Moore said. “It’s a system that tries to milk you for money that you already don’t have.”

Her experience is not one she would wish on anyone, and ever since she was bailed out, she has done everything she can to make sure no one is ever in the same situation.

Moore was one of 20 women selected for National Bail Out’s Free Black Mamas Fellowship. The eight-week paid fellowship provided her with political education, organizing training, and leadership development to empower those who have been most marginalized and impacted by the criminal justice system to be changemakers.

On Thursday, Moore and the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund helped bail out seven mothers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she now works as a victims advocate with nonprofit Mothers in Charge.

image2.jpegOrganizers of the Black Mamas Bail Out in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Image: Courtesy of Tiara Moore

Almost exactly one year after she was arrested, Moore will be celebrating these mothers’ homecomings and planning more bailouts with her 5-year-old daughter, who she describes as her “little organizer.”

Moore intends to spend Mother’s Day sleeping in and letting someone else take a turn at cooking dinner for the night.


You can donate to the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund’s Black Mama’s Bail Out hereand National Bail Out here.


Next week Global Citizen will be publishing a series of stories focused on the impact of cash bail and the criminal justice system on people affected by poverty. Go to End Bail, Fight Poverty to read these stories.

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MAY 10, 2019

 

 
 
HEALTH

10 Times Celebrity Moms Have Spoken Out About the Importance of Vaccines

These celebrities have used their platforms to dispel myths about vaccines.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Immunization efforts play an essential role in achieving Global Goal 3 on good health and well-being for all. This Mother’s Day, Global Citizen is thankful for all the moms in the world who take their kids for routine vaccinations. Join the movement and take action now.

Moms in the spotlight are often criticized for everything, from the names they choose for their children to how they dress them, the type of rules they set, or even the length of their maternity leave.

Being a mom is hard work, and it comes with many tough decisions — but choosing whether or not to vaccinate your child shouldn’t be one of them.

This Mother’s Day, Global Citizen is honoring famous moms who know best when it comes to the importance of immunization around the world, and are using their platforms to spread the word.

 

 
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1. Salma Hayek Pinault

 

 

Global Citizen champion Salma Hayek Pinault advocates for global immunizations as a UNICEF ambassador. She received UNICEF’s Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award in 2018 for leading on UNICEF’s campaign to end maternal and neonatal tetanus.

“The thought of losing a child to a disease which can be easily prevented seems unbearable, especially when it is within our power to prevent it,” Hayek, who was a spokesperson for the Pampers-UNICEF “One Pack = One Vaccine” campaign, said in a statement, “If you knew how to help save a child’s life, what could stop you?”

2. Serena Williams

 

 

In September 2011, tennis superstar Serena Williams became an official UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She had worked with UNICEF before, visiting Ghana and joining health workers in delivering vaccines to children there.

She wasn’t a mom yet, but even then Williams said it was humbling to see all the kids arriving for their immunizations.

“I have always dreamed of coming ... into a village like this, and just interacting with everyone,” she told Voice of America in 2009. “I just want to make sure that everyone is educated about these vaccines that are so important, and it is awesome that everyone is here.”

3. Kristen Bell

 

 

Actress and momsplainer extraordinaire Kristen Bell contributed a piece to HuffPost in 2015 about vaccines. She admits to initially leaning toward not vaccinating her children — but doing research changed her mind.

“I decided facts were my friends. I couldn't rely on word-of-mouth, friend-of-a-friend information. It was going to require actual research from vetted sources; I wanted the truth,” she wrote. “Before I started my research, I had no idea what smallpox or polio looked like, and I bet you don't either. Most people aren't aware and therefore aren't afraid of diseases they've never seen — or sometimes haven't even heard of. We owe that peace of mind to the scientists who pioneered vaccines.”

4. Jennifer Garner

 

 

Jennifer Garner, a mother of three, is an ambassador for the American Lung Association’s Face of Influenza campaign, and has been outspoken about the importance of vaccines.

“I want to help make sure that all moms across the country understand that influenza is serious and that vaccination should be a family priority,” Garner said in March 2018.

5. Gal Gadot

 

 

Wonder Woman Gal Gadot is also an ambassador for the American Lung Association’s Face of Influenza campaign. She’s a mother of two girls (and was actually pregnant while shooting Justice League). Last November, she joined an Israeli vaccine campaign and posted a photo on Facebook promoting it.

“We’re all posting a photo with our hands on our vaccinated shoulders,” Gadot wrote in Hebrew on her post, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“Because an immunized environment is a protected environment in the eyes of medicine — listen to doctors,” she wrote. “We should only experience health.”

6. Amanda Peet

 

 

 

Amanda Peet uses her platform to champion vaccines and address polio eradication, and had been doing so for years, even before becoming Every Child By Two Ambassador to the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign.

“I think I'm just a concerned mom, and now that I have a newborn who's too young to be vaccinated, it really hit home for me. I think we've just kind of lost our sense of neighborliness. Even if it's not your child, your neighbor could have an infant at home or somebody whose immunity is compromised. Shouldn't we all be in this together?" she told US Weekly in 2015, months after giving birth to her son. “It's really scary. What's it going to take before we all get in this together? Are we going to see infant mortality rates? Because that would be infuriating and so tragic.”

 

7. Julie Bowen

 

 

Modern Family star Julie Bowen looked to doctors for answers when it came time to vaccinate her kids.

“I spoke with my sister, who is an infectious disease doctor — and then also with my own doctor and my pediatrician, who said to me: ‘By not vaccinating your children, you’re putting them at serious risk.’ That was it for me. Once I made that decision, there were a few tears — mostly mine — but now all three boys are on regular vaccination schedules,” she told WebMD.

8. Jennifer Lopez

 

 

Spokeswoman for the Sounds of Pertussis campaign, Jennifer Lopez seeks to raise awareness about the importance of vaccines that protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

“When I learned that many babies who get pertussis catch it from their parents, and how easy it is for adults to get vaccinated, I was shocked,” Lopez said in a statement. “New and expectant parents have so many things to worry about. Getting pertussis themselves, or possibly spreading the disease to their own children, shouldn’t be one of them. I felt it was urgent to let parents know how important it is that they get vaccinated against pertussis to protect themselves and to help keep their babies safe from this dangerous disease.”

9. Keri Russell

 

 

 

After becoming a mom, Keri Russell also became a spokeswoman for Sounds of Pertussis. Just like Lopez, she learned that often parents are the ones who spread pertussis to their infants.

“Like any parent, I would do anything to protect my baby, and that is why I followed my pediatrician’s recommendation to get the pertussis vaccine myself,” she said in a statement.

10. Marissa Jaret Winokur

 

 

When Hairspray star Marissa Jaret Winokur found out about the connection between the human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer, she was immediately on board with the vaccine — having survived cervical cancerherself.

“I learned about a year ago that HPV, a common virus, causes cervical cancer. Now there is an HPV test that might have caught my precancerous cells earlier. There’s a vaccine, which can be given to women before they’re sexually active. It makes sense to take these precautions. I’ll encourage my friends’ teenage daughters to get vaccinated,” she told People in 2007.

Related StoriesApril 24, 2018Why You Should Never Skip Your Vaccines Again

Routine vaccination has led to a decrease in childhood mortality rates globally as more children become protected against diseases like measles, pneumonia, cholera, and diphtheria.

Vaccines save 2 to 3 million lives every single year, and another 1.5 million lives could be saved if coverage increased, according to the World Health Organization.

Dispelling misinformation and reaffirming the importance, efficiency, and safety of vaccines is vital in the fight towards Global Goal 3 on good health and well-being for all.

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HIV/AIDS

Clara: HIV shaped me, but it did not stop me

30 November 2018 5:05PM UTC | By: GUEST BLOGGER

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Sign the pledge: We’ll do whatever it takes to end AIDS

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Written by Clara

I tested positive for HIV in 2004. I was working in a HIV counselling centre and I noticed that I was experiencing some of the same symptoms as my patients. I gathered the courage to sneak home an HIV test and tested myself, and my baby, in private.

When I first discovered my HIV status, aged 25, I was worried that I might die. But I was also filled with anger, and a determination to fight back. I refused to leave my child motherless.

At first, my doctor refused to put me on HIV treatment because I did not outwardly appear sick, but inside I felt I was draining away. I lost stamina to the point that I could not lift up my one-year-old daughter.

I had to travel 400km to get my immune system levels tested. When the test showed how weak my immune system was, I was allowed to begin HIV treatment.

HIV affects all of aspects of your life. It is not just about you, but your loved ones as well.

My husband and my daughter, who are also HIV positive, both suffered from drug-resistant TB. As a wife and mother who was nursing them, I experienced the horror of dealing with this killer disease. And every time I got the flu, I thought I might be next.

Social stigma and gender inequality compound the impact of HIV in Malawi. I have worked with many women whose husbands blame them for bringing HIV into the home and divorce them when they find out they are HIV positive. And even though it is now illegal, some communities still practice ‘sexual cleansing’ where a woman must have sex as a cleansing ritual after becoming a widow.

I’ve faced stigma myself. When my community first found out about my status, my own neighbour would not talk to me. But when she was sick and needed help, I was the one who took her to hospital.

My experience made me want to help others – to stop them from going through the same struggle. Thanks to funding from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, I have been able to access free lifesaving medicine and my life is very different than it could have been.

Thanks to the medicine, I also have a second child – who is HIV negative.

Now I am channelling my energies into helping others.

I am the National Coordinator of International Community of Women Living with HIV, Malawi Chapter. I help others who are in similar situations to the one I was in 14 years ago. My work is about helping women living with HIV address the challenges they face in their own lives and also campaigning on national issues to make sure the Malawian Government deliver on their health commitments.

My story is not just one of ill-health, but one that shows how women are taking charge of their own destinies. Working together we can create change so that my daughter, and all our daughters, will not face the same challenges that I did.

YES: To win the fight against AIDS we’ll need to work together. Add your name to join us today.

ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organisations highlighted.

Sign the pledge: We’ll do whatever it takes to end AIDS

This World AIDS Day, we are turning our outrage into action and putting our leaders on notice: AIDS isn’t done. And neither are we. We’re committed to joining the global fight against AIDS and we’ll do what it takes to end the epidemic for good.

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MAY 10, 2019

 

 
 
ENVIRONMENT

186 Countries Agree to Fight Ocean Plastic in Historic UN Framework

The US conspicuously refrained from joining.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Plastic pollution is causing immense harm to the world’s ecosystems, and governments around the world are beginning to curb plastic production in accordance with the United Nations’ Global Goals. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

The vast majority of the world's countries agreed to actively prevent plastic from entering the world’s oceans and to better manage plastic waste in general, according to the Guardian.

The signatories agreed to amend the Basel Convention, a United Nations treaty designed to fight hazardous waste, to include thousands of types of plastic. Because it’s being done through an already established framework, 186 countries will be legally bound to abide by the new rules.

Several countries, including the United States, did not agree to the measure, the UN announced Friday.

 
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Regardless, the announcement means that nearly all the countries in the world will have to effectively manage plastic waste and prevent it from entering environments where it can cause harm.

“I’m proud that this week in Geneva, parties to the Basel convention have reached agreement on a legally binding, globally — reaching mechanism for managing plastic waste,” Rolph Payet of the United Nations Environment Program, said in a statement. “Pollution from plastic waste, acknowledged as a major environmental problem of global concern, has reached epidemic proportions with an estimated 110 million tons of plastic now found in the oceans, 80 to 90% of which comes from land-based sources.”

The deal will go into effect in 1 year, Payet said, and it marks a landmark achievement for the United Nations, which has long sought global regulations on plastic. He added that the passage of the framework was helped by the global momentum around restricting plastic production.

In recent years, more than 60 countries have taken action to restrict plastic, and the European Union recently announced it would ban various single-use plastics.

Read More: US and Japan Refuse to Sign G7 Pact Against Plastic Pollution

Public awareness of the problem has skyrocketed as well, following documentary series showing the problem of ocean pollution and news coverage of marine animals dying from ingesting plastic.

By classifying thousands of types of plastic as hazardous waste, the UN could create broad shifts toward sustainability in industries as diverse as healthcare and food production.

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6 DE MAYO DE 2019

 

8
 
MEDIO AMBIENTE

Un millón de animales y plantas amenzadas por la actividad humana

"El hecho de contar las especies puede no transmitir suficientemente el riesgo que enfrentamos"

 

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
El último informe de las Naciones Unidas sobre biodiversidad es el análisis más completo que se haya realizado y muestra un futuro sombrío de un planeta en crisis. El informe insta a los países a buscar un futuro más sostenible. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí.

La actividad humana está dañando tan profundamente la salud del planeta y alrededor de 1 millón de especies de plantas y animales, sin mencionar bacterias y hongos, podrían extinguirse en las próximas décadas, según un nuevo informe de la Plataforma Intergubernamental sobre Biodiversidad y Servicios de los Ecosistemas (IPBES).

 

La desaparición de ecosistemas completos, bosques repletos de vida silvestre que se convertirán en tierras de monocultivo o arrecifes de coral vibrantes que darán paso a matas de algas estériles, está creando reacciones en cadena que están destruyendo el equilibrio global de la vida silvestre en formas que amenazan a la sociedad humana. Nunca antes una especie individual causó una aniquilación tan generalizada y, a menos que se tomen medidas rápidas para detener estas tendencias, la pérdida de vidas será irreversible, según los expertos que hablaron con Global Citizen.

 

"Confiamos en la naturaleza para obtener aire limpio, confiamos en ella para obtener agua fresca, confiamos en ella para los alimentos que comemos: las cosas básicas que los humanos necesitamos para sobrevivir. Todo proviene de la naturaleza", dijo a Global Citizen Ellen Ketterson, directora del Instituto de Resiliencia Ambiental de la Universidad de Indiana.

 

"Lo que sabemos es que todo está conectado", agregó Ketterson, quien no participó en el informe. “Si empiezas a sacar especies de los ecosistemas, su estabilidad se desestabilizará y no sabemos cuáles serán los puntos de inflexión exactos. Es mucho mejor estar seguro que lamentarlo".

 
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El informe de la IPBES no se basa en nuevas investigaciones. En su lugar, se trata de una revisión exhaustiva de más de 15,000 artículos científicos y cifras gubernamentales de 150 expertos de 50 países. El informe proporciona información y cohesión a investigaciones científicas dispares y llena los vacíos de conocimiento, sugiere posibles intervenciones y muestra cómo los avances en la tecnología dibujan claramente una imagen de un planeta en crisis.

"La publicación del informe es una intervención de conciencia", dijo Gabe Filippelli, director del Centro de Salud Urbana de la Universidad de Indianápolis. "Nadie tomará ninguna medida si no ve el problema".

 

El informe dice que la humanidad ya ha causado una reducción del 20% en la vida silvestre global. Casi el 40% de las especies de anfibios, el 33% de los mamíferos marinos y el 30% de los arrecifes de coral podrían desaparecer este siglo. Más de la mitad de todos los animales terrestres también podrían perder los hábitats que necesitan para sobrevivir.

 

Estas cifras se unen a una serie ya alarmante de ejemplos de cómo está en marcha la sexta extinción en masa en la historia de la Tierra. Un informe de 2018 encontró que la humanidad causó la muerte del 83% de toda la vida silvestre, en términos de biomasa.

 

Filippelli dijo que algunos de los impulsores de la extinción masiva, como el cambio climático y la acidificación de los océanos, son difíciles de revertir porque las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero que causan estos cambios ambientales ya se han liberado a la atmósfera. Al mismo tiempo, hizo hincapié en deben reducirse futuras emisiones para evitar un mayor daño al planeta.

 

Sin embargo, muchos de los impulsores de la pérdida de biodiversidad pueden abordarse rápidamente, dijo.

 

"Algunas de estas cosas son imparables, por lo que debemos hacer todo lo posible para mitigar los impactos negativos a nivel local, al mismo tiempo que mantenemos nuestros ojos en el nivel global", dijo Filippelli.

 

Por ejemplo, los gobiernos pueden actuar de inmediato para detener la deforestación global, que se debe principalmente a la agricultura, la tala, la extracción de recursos y el desarrollo excesivo. Promover la reforestación sobre la deforestación en sí tendría enormes beneficios ecológicos en todo el mundo.

 

La extracción de recursos, que se ha triplicado en la última década, ha causado el 90% de la pérdida global de biodiversidad.

 

Los países pueden crear reservas de vida silvestre salvaguardadas de la explotación que permitirían la recuperación de las especies. De manera similar, el desarrollo humano y la expansión urbana pueden reconstruirse para priorizar la sostenibilidad. En lugar de verter concreto sobre el suelo y talar bosques, los desarrolladores y planificadores urbanos pueden crear una infraestructura que no interfiera tan dramáticamente con la vida silvestre.

 

Para ilustrar el rápido agotamiento de los recursos de la Tierra: “la biomasa animal está compuesta sobre todo por humanos ahora. Lo que hemos hecho es cortar la naturaleza, fragmentar y aislar a muchas poblaciones y reducir enormemente la abundancia de la mayoría de los animales grandes, y esto no puede continuar mucho más allá", dijo Don Waller, profesor de biología en la Universidad de Wisconsin-Madison.

 

La contaminación es otra amenaza para la vida silvestre que puede mitigarse de manera efectiva simplemente al prohibir las toxinas dañinas. La sobrepesca puede reducirse a través de un mejor manejo global de la pesca. La propagación de especies invasoras, que ha aumentado en un 70% desde la década de 1970, también puede reducirse a través de una mejor regulación global.

 

En las últimas décadas, estas tendencias, y muchas otras, han hecho que los ecosistemas se vacíen. "Hemos visto la transición de ecosistemas diversos a muy simples", dijo Filippelli. "No es que no tengan vida, es que están dominados por uno o dos organismos, en lugar de miles".

 

"En el momento en que pierdes un arrecife de coral diverso por un coral y algas, básicamente pierdes la mayoría de los nichos ecológicos y de alimentos, y literalmente pierdes el nicho espacial. Los arrecifes de coral en sí mismos son estructuras 3D muy complejas y "permiten que muchos organismos diferentes ocupen físicamente ese lugar, mientras que una estera de algas es básicamente un ecosistema plano".

 

Los efectos de esta simplificación en la sociedad humana son difíciles de predecir, pero los primeros signos muestran cómo minimiza los rendimientos de los cultivos mundiales y aumenta la propagación de enfermedades.

 

"El simple hecho de contar las especies puede no transmitir suficientemente el riesgo al que nos enfrentamos y creo que el informe hace un buen trabajo para explicar nuestra interdependencia", dijo Ketterson.

 

"Si seguimos avanzando, estaremos en problemas", agregó.

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MAY 10, 2019

 

 
 
ENVIRONMENT

Mexico City Just Banned Single-Use Plastics

The city faces a massive waste management problem.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
The United Nations’ Global Goals call on countries to create sustainable economies. Cities like Mexico City are showing leadership by banning single-use plastics. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

Mexico City lawmakers approved a measure to ban businesses from selling or giving customers single-use plastics, according to the New York Times.  

The new law goes into effect January 2021, and in the months ahead, lawmakers will further flesh out the details of the statute, including what kinds of penalties will be enacted on companies found to be in violation. They’ll also open up a debate to allow discussions on how businesses can transition to plastic alternatives.

The announcement shows how widespread the global effort against single-use plastics has become over the past few years. More than 60 countries have taken action to restrict plastic production, and major cities as diverse as Paris, Mumbai, and New York have enacted their own restrictions.

 
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The sweeping nature of Mexico City’s ban, which covers plastic bags, cutlery, cups, and more, puts it ahead of other areas that have targeted specific types of plastic such as styrofoam containers.

Mexico City has long grappled with a gargantuan waste management problem, with too much waste produced and too little landfill and recycling capacity to handle it, and has tried to rein in the problem of plastic pollution in the past.

In the years since the city first tried to ban plastic bags in 2009, sustainable alternatives to plastic have become more common, major companies have phased out plastic on their own, and everyday people have championed zero-waste movements.

Read More: Indonesia Launches ‘Clean Indonesian Movement’ to Fight Plastic Waste

Even still, plastic production is expected to increase by 40% over the next decade, which could lead to staggering environmental consequences. Already, more than 8 million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans each year and microplastics contaminate the food, water, and air that humans depend on.

Mexico City taking a stand against this environmental hazard could help to further accelerate momentum toward a more sustainable future.

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MAY 10, 2019

 

 
 
ENVIRONMENT

Ireland Becomes 2nd Country to Declare a Climate Emergency

“Declaring an emergency means absolutely nothing unless there is action to back it up.”

Why Global Citizens Should Care
As two recent reports by the UN make clear, the world is facing an urgent environmental crisis. The UK and Ireland have taken the lead in acknowledging this threat, and now it’s up to other countries to follow suit. You can join us in taking action on related issues here.

Ireland became the second country to declare a climate emergency on Friday in response to intensifying ecological threats around the world, according to RTE.

The nation followed the lead of the United Kingdom, which was pressured to declare a climate emergency by the protest movement “Extinction Rebellion” that seeks to take radical action to halt climate change and the decline of biodiversity. But Irish politicians said that the new measure would be meaningless without concrete actions.

“Declaring an emergency means absolutely nothing unless there is action to back it up,” Eamon Ryan, the leader of the Green Party, told RTE. “That means the government having to do things they don't want to do.”

 
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The declaration was sponsored by Ryan and was accepted by all ruling parties without a vote, suggesting that there will be broad support for climate action in the future.

Although Ireland has made bold climate declarations in the past, including saying that it would phase out fossil fuels, the Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said the country is “way off track” in achieving the targets it set under the Paris climate agreement.  

The Paris climate agreement is a voluntary framework organized by the UN through which countries commit to take action on climate change. Under the arrangement, countries have submitted plans for phasing out greenhouse gas emissions and pursuing sustainable economies.

Read More: Ireland Might Be Small, But It Just Made a Mighty Commitment to the World

Ireland’s plan “does not demonstrate high ambition on energy savings and renewable energy, indicating a lack of focus in their actions for the next decade,” according to CAN.

The country’s new declaration of a climate emergency could prompt leaders to take the actions necessary to get back on track.

Greta Thunberg, the youth climate activist that spurred the EU to announce stronger climate plans and the UN to convene an emergency climate summit, and sparked a global protest movement, commended Ireland on its latest announcement.

Read More: These Are the 10 Best Ways to Combat Climate Change, Experts Say

 

 

In recent months, the UN has released a series of reports documenting the scale of the ecological crisis facing the planet.

At the end of last year, the organization’s environmental arm said that “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,” need to be undertaken to avoid environmental catastrophe.

Read More: 12 Female Climate Activists Who Are Saving the Planet

And on May 6, the UN released a groundbreaking report on biodiversity that said that up to 1 million species could go extinct from human activity.  

The threats documented in these reports are urgent and, as the organizers of the Extinction Rebellion understand, acknowledging the severity of the crisis is the first step toward stopping it.

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MAY 10, 2019

 

 
 
GIRLS & WOMEN

A Nigerian Militia Just Freed Nearly 900 Child Soldiers

Now more than 1,700 children have been released — but there is still more work to be done.


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Childhood should not be marked by violence and assault, which goes against United Nations’ Global Goal 3 of good health and well-being for all. Any movement toward a safer, more secure world for all can help end poverty, and increase educational opportunities. Here’s how you can take action

Nearly 900 children have been freed by a regional militia in Nigeria that was formed to fight against Boko Haram insurgents, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced Friday.

This group of 894 children includes 106 girls, who have been raped and forced to marry at young ages, sometimes becoming pregnant in captivity and forced to deliver their children with no medical care or attention, UNICEF said. 

 
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Some 1,727 children have been freed since 2017, when the United Nations Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting on Grave Child Rights Violations (CTFMR) called for an end to the recruitment of child soldiers. The same group released 833 children in October 2018. 

“Children of northeast Nigeria have borne the brunt of this conflict. They have been used by armed groups in combatant and non-combatant roles and witnessed death, killing and violence,” Mohamed Fall, a UNICEF representative in Nigeria and the co-chair of the CTFMR, said in a statement. “This participation in the conflict has had serious implications for their physical and emotional well-being." 

Read More:  These Nigerian Schoolgirls Are Helping Trafficking Survivors Rebuild Their Lives

But there is still more work to be done. Militias recruited more than 3,500 children to fight against Boko Haram between 2013 and 2017. More have been abducted, maimed, raped, and killed, UNICEF said. Children have been forced to fight in state militias since 2012. 

“We cannot give up the fight for the children, as long as children are still affected by the fighting. We will continue until there is no child left in the ranks of all armed groups in Nigeria,” Fall added.

Islamist militant group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from a boarding school at gunpoint in April 2014, which sparked the #BringBackOurGirls movement. Some escaped, and small groups of the women have been released. Reports say up to a dozen are dead. HBO premiered a haunting documentary about the events called Stolen Daughters in October 2018. Boko Haram has also terrorized numerous civilians, and even burned school boys alive

Read More:  Hidden in Diaries, Untold Stories of Boko Haram Survivors Feature in Film

More than 30,000 people have died — and millions more have become displaced — in Nigeria’s war against jihadist groups Boko Haram and the Islamic State, the Guardian reports. There is no end in sight to fighting. 

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