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The Action Thread Part Two

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MEDIO AMBIENTE

11 mil toneladas de plástico retirados de playas, en una limpieza sin precedentes

"Estamos viendo una oleada orgánica de preocupación global, conciencia e indignación".

 

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
Las Naciones Unidas instan a los países a limitar la producción de plástico y mejorar los sistemas de gestión de residuos. Las limpiezas de playas ayudan a evitar que millones de toneladas de plástico entren al océano. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre temas relacionados aquí.

Aspiradoras, dentaduras postizas, conos de tráfico, árboles de Navidad y hasta espadas de plástico fueron algunos de los artículos más extraños que un grupo de voluntarios recogieron en las playas durante el día internacional de limpieza costera el año pasado.

 

Más de 1 millón de personas participaron en la campaña mundial en 120 países el 15 de septiembre de 2018, según un nuevo informe publicado por Ocean Conservancy, la organización sin fines de lucro que fue pionera en el esfuerzo.

 

Los voluntarios recogieron casi 100 millones de artículos de plástico que pesaban la asombrosa cantidad de 23 millones de libras (11 mil toneladas) durante la campaña de un solo día. El resultado muestra la naturaleza global de la crisis de contaminación plástica y cómo los esfuerzos de limpieza solo arañan la superficie del problema.


"El tema de la contaminación plástica oceánica continúa creciendo en importancia mundial", le dijo a Global Citizen Nick Mallos, director del Programa de Mares Libres de Basura en Ocean Conservancy. “El año pasado fue la primera vez en la historia donde más de 1 millón de voluntarios participaron y ese impulso continúa creciendo”.

 

"No solo las personas son cada vez más conscientes a nivel mundial, sino que estamos viendo que esto se traduce en acciones individuales", dijo. "La gente va a playas y cursos de agua cercanos, y participa en estas limpiezas. Y eso es una gran cosa para nuestro océano y nuestro planeta".

 

Se estima que entre 8 y 12 millones de toneladas de plástico ingresan a los océanos del mundo anualmente, y se producen más de 350 millones de toneladas de plástico cada año. Para 2050, los científicos estiman que el plástico marino superará a los peces, y ya hay más de 5,25 mil millones de microplásticos flotando en los mares del mundo. Esta contaminación es una monstruosidad, ya que degrada los ambientes prístinos, pero también está causando un daño inmenso a la vida marina.

 

Más de 800 especies marinas, desde corales hasta ballenas, han sido dañadas por la contaminación plástica, y se ha infiltrado incluso en las cadenas alimentarias, según señala el informe de la CPI.

 

Las playas son a menudo el signo más visible de la crisis de contaminación plástica debido a su proximidad a las zonas pobladas. Como resultado, los esfuerzos de limpieza han comenzado a movilizarse tanto para luchar como para llamar la atención sobre el problema.

 

El ICC anual es el pico de este activismo ambiental y su creciente participación coincide con las acciones tomadas por los gobiernos y las principales empresas para limitar la producción de plástico.

 

En otras palabras, a medida que más personas se apasionan por abordar este problema, más líderes mundiales están haciendo algo al respecto. Más de 60 países ya han promulgado alguna forma de legislación para limitar la contaminación plástica y muchas empresas están invirtiendo en alternativas sostenibles.

"Estamos viendo esta oleada orgánica de preocupación mundial, conciencia e indignación en torno al tema de la contaminación plástica oceánica", dijo Mallos. "Estamos viendo personas en sus comunidades locales pidiendo cosas como prohibiciones de bolsas, espuma de polietireno y otros tipos de acciones legislativas. Cada vez son más y más las personas que salen a los cursos de agua y los limpian".

 
Firma ahora:
¡Previene la polución plástica en nuestros océanos!
PASA A LA ACCIÓN

Durante el ICC del año pasado, Filipinas, que recientemente se embarcó en un gran esfuerzo para revisar su sistema de gestión de residuos y limpieza de cuerpos de agua, tuvo la mayor participación. Estados Unidos, Hong Kong, Ecuador, Tanzania y Sudáfrica fueron los que siguieron en la lista con mayor participación. En 2018, Global Citizen ayudó a coordinar un esfuerzo de limpieza de plásticos en Sudáfrica.

 

Los artículos más comunes encontrados durante las limpiezas de la CPI fueron colillas de cigarrillos, envoltorios de alimentos, sorbetes, cubiertos de plástico y botellas de bebidas de plástico. Los voluntarios recogieron más de 5,7 millones de colillas de cigarrillos y 3,7 millones de envoltorios de alimentos.

 

"Las colillas de cigarrillos han sido el artículo número 1 encontrado desde 1986", dijo Mallos. "Estos mismos artículos que usamos en nuestra vida diaria son los mismos que estamos viendo en el océano y las playas".

 

Los 10 artículos más comunes encontrados fueron de la variedad de un solo uso, lo que significa que las personas los compran por conveniencia, los usan una vez y luego los tiran. Mallos señaló que los cubiertos de plástico solo recientemente llegaron al top 10. En respuesta, Ocean Conservancy lanzó una campaña llamada "Quit the Cutlery" para alentar a las personas a evitar el uso de cuchillos, cucharas y tenedores de plástico al llevar comida para comer afuera.

(C) Ocean Conservancy + Francisco Urrutia 5_Chile.JPG

A pesar de que tienen una vida útil corta, los artículos de un solo uso tardarán cientos de años en descomponerse completamente y abandonar el medio ambiente. Mientras tanto, se fragmentarán en microplásticos cada vez más pequeños que impregnan el aire que respiramos, el agua que bebemos y los alimentos que comemos.

 

"Esa botella de plástico puede haberse convertido en miles de pequeños pedazos de plástico, y esa bolsa de plástico podría ser 10,000 pequeñas fibras que luego son absorbidas por los organismos a través de la cadena alimentaria", dijo Mallos.

 

Ocean Conservancy clasificó los artículos de menos de 2.5 centímetros de tamaño como un plástico pequeño y casi la mitad de la basura recolectada cayó en esta categoría. Los microplásticos son considerablemente más pequeños, no más grandes que un grano de arena, pero los plásticos pequeños están en camino de llegar a este punto.

 

Mallos dijo que Ocean Conservancy aborda la contaminación plástica de manera holística y realiza campañas para lograr que los gobiernos y las empresas trabajen para encontrar soluciones. Dijo que la producción de plástico y los sistemas de gestión de residuos deben estandarizarse para garantizar que todos los materiales producidos puedan ser recolectados, reciclados y reutilizados. Esto se conoce como un modelo económico circular, un sistema que probablemente llevará décadas lograr.

 

En un mundo perfecto, las limpiezas de playas no tendrían que suceder. Pero dado que los océanos ya están llenos de desechos plásticos peligrosos, cada elemento que se retira de una playa es un elemento menos que puede dañar la vida marina.

 

"En las últimas tres décadas, desde que comenzó el primer ICC, hemos visto más de 15 millones de voluntarios que ayudaron a eliminar 315 millones de libras de plástico de las playas de todo el mundo", dijo Mallos.

 

"Necesitamos enfocarnos en las causas profundas de la contaminación plástica aguas arriba", agregó. "En primer lugar, debemos eliminar las amenazas de estos elementos de los ambientes marinos existentes".

 

El próximo ICC se llevará a cabo el 21 de septiembre en playas de todo el mundo. Puedes averiguar cómo unirte a un esfuerzo de limpieza o comenzar el tuyo aquí.

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JAN. 22, 2019

 

34
 
CITIZENSHIP

26 Billionaires Hold the Same Amount of Wealth as Half the World's Population

Global wealth inequality is increasing, according to nonprofit Oxfam's new report.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Oxfam’s latest report shows that global wealth inequality isn’t just bad, it’s getting worse. A small number of extremely rich individuals hold the same amount of wealth as the world’s 3.8 billion poorest — to end poverty, change is desperately needed. Take action here to call on world leaders to help tackle inequality and extreme poverty.

The rich became richer and the poor became poorer in 2018, according to a new report from nonprofit Oxfam International, released on Monday.

The annual report, which aims to take stock of the deepening global wealth divide, found that the 26 richest people on the planet held the same amount of wealth as the 3.8 billion poorest — about 50% of the world’s total population.

“Our economy is broken, with hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty while huge rewards go to those at the very top,” the report says.

Take Action: Be the Generation to End Extreme Poverty

Brought to you by: Move Humanity
 
Sign Petition:
This Inequality Cannot Go On. Ask the World’s Richest People to Help End Extreme Poverty
PASA A LA ACCIÓN
Más información

 

 
 
 

The report, called Public Good or Private Wealth?, was released ahead of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Davos, an annual summit attended by world leaders and some of the world’s richest and most powerful individuals.

While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos saw his wealth rise to $150 billion last year — making him not only the richest man in the world today, but in the last three decades — the bottom 50% of income earners globally grew approximately 11% poorer than the year before.

Jeff-Bezos-Amazon.jpgAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos watches a video presentation during an event in Seattle.
Image: Ted S. Warren/AP

The report calls attention to wealth inequality but also offers tangible economic and policy solutions that would help address global poverty.

“The size of your bank account should not dictate how many years your children spend in school, or how long you live,” Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, said in a press release

“While corporations and the super-rich enjoy low tax bills, millions of girls are denied a decent education and women are dying for lack of maternity care,” she said.

Read More: The World Is Dragging Its Feet in Achieving the Global Goals, Says Former UNDP Chief

The organization recommends increasing taxes on the world’s wealthiest 1% and highlights how a tiny increase — just 0.5% — would raise more than enough money to educate the 262 million children currently out of school or provide life-saving health care to 3.3 million people in need.

The report calls on governments and makes specific recommendations that would help deliver universal free health care for all, tackle gender inequality and increase women’s economic empowerment, and reduce poverty.

Oxfam bases its calculations on Forbes’ annual Billionaire List and Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report, the latter of which has been criticized for its methodology, Quartz reported.

But the point that Oxfam is making is well-established: Global wealth inequality is rising. And unless policy makers and world leaders come together to address poverty and inequality at its root causes, the global wealth disparity can only be expected to get worse.

Homeless-NYC-SocialShare.jpgA homeless person sleeps under blankets on a sidewalk, Jan. 5, 2017 in midtown New York.
Image: Mark Lennihan/AP

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We'd like to say a HUGE 'Thank You' to Emma and Rachel and all the students and teachers from Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny who took part in a bake sale yesterday to help fundraise for our Chernobyl Kilkenny Outreach Group.

We love to see the youth of today vesting their time and interest in humanitarian projects like this one as they will be the leaders of tomorrow. It is necessary for us to impart our knowledge of the past to them so that they can make the positive changes necessary to bring to life their vision for the future.

Well done to little Pippa as well for doing a great job as taste tester!

#IWillNotForgetYou #Chernobyl #Chernobyl2019

Foto de Chernobyl Kilkenny Outreach Group.

Foto de Chernobyl Kilkenny Outreach Group.

Foto de Chernobyl Kilkenny Outreach Group.

 

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0
EDUCATION

We need to do better to get children reading

6 September 2019 12:44PM UTC | By: NATASHA SOMJI

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Are you able to read this? It seems like a simple question, but there are 750 million illiterate adults around the world who cannot. Reading skills start in school, yet 617 million children globally cannot read, even though two-thirds of them are attending school.

It is clear that we have a global learning crisis on our hands. On September 8th, International Literacy Day, it is more urgent than ever that we step up our efforts to address this crisis.

How bad is the problem?

In sub-Saharan Africa, almost nine out of ten children are unable to read this sentence. The other 10% of children are much more likely to be from wealthier families. Even for these children, the vast majority have only basic reading skills and much lower fluency than children in wealthier countries.

What does it feel like to read the absolute basics? Turns out, it has a massive impact on someone’s day-to-day life with each sentence they read.

This could be an everyday reality for entire generations if nothing changes.

Why does the global learning crisis matter?

Literacy is not only a right, it is also a direct pathway to better livelihoods. Literacy has a strong impact on crucial things like health, gender equality, and economic growth.

Here are some shocking facts that show the seriousness of this crisis:

  • The economic and social cost of adult illiteracy in developing countries is estimated at more than $5 billion every year.
  • More than 20% of illiterate girls in sub-Saharan Africa are married by the age of 15, compared to only 4% of literate girls.
  • In Nigeria — the most populous country in Africa — 73% of literate young women knew where to get an HIV test, compared to 36% of illiterate women.

Ultimately, literacy is key to poverty reduction. Achieving universal primary and secondary education would help lift more than 420 million people out of poverty.

How can we do better?

We cannot fix what we can’t measure, so it is critical we are able to measure learning as it’s happening in the classroom. This will allow policymakers to target resources where they are most needed. Despite tremendous progress in ensuring more comparable and consistent data in measuring literacy, there are still issues with getting this data. As a result, education influencers and world leaders are considering no longer assessing basic levels of literacy in the classroom. ONE, alongside other CSOs, is advocating for better funding of education data and for learning in the classroom to continue to be measured. Achieving both of these things will be a tremendous victory that could lead to getting more kids learning.

We must also focus on the early years—the most critical years in a child’s development to get them on track with literacy. In grade 3, children should be switching from learning to read to reading to learn. Doing so sets them up for the rest of their lives, but many children cannot even read by this age.

Finally, we must ensure that financing leads to the outcomes we want. We must be able to better track how financing can get kids reading.

This #LiteracyDay is a reminder that we are far off track from achieving global literacy. We must do better to step up our efforts and help every child learn the skills they need to succeed.

 

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10 books you need to read that will change your world view
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CULTURE

10 books you need to read that will change your world view

7 September 2018 4:50PM UTC | By: ONE

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There’s no denying the value of a good book. From informational to entertaining, eye-opening to jaw-dropping, and everything in between, books have the power to change our perspective.

If you’re looking for the perfect read, here are some suggestions from ONE’s Global Policy Team. These suggestions cover a wide range of reading needs, from non-fiction that addresses tough global development challenges, to fiction that transports you through exceptional stories.

Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change by Adam Branch and Zachariah Cherian Mampilly

Africa Uprising offers an interesting and clearly written historical account of protest in Africa. The book situates current African protests within their broader historical context and argues that African protests are distinct from protests elsewhere.

Recommended by Joe Kraus, Policy Director, Transparency & Accountability

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund

It may seem difficult at times to see things in a positive light. Luckily, Factfulness is here to help! This book addresses 10 human “instincts” that push us to have a pessimistic view of the world, which may distort our reality.The authors challenge readers to try and see the world through a different lens.

Recommended by Serah Makka-Ugbabe, Nigeria Director

Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

NOI (as she’s often referred to), Nigeria’s first female finance minister, knows the dangers of fighting corruption. In 2012, her 83-year-old mother was kidnapped by people who objected to some of her policies. Her book draws on her experiences to provide lessons learned on transparency, accountability and good governance.

Recommended by Blessing Omakwu, Policy & Advocacy Manager, Nigeria

Natives – Exploring Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala

Natives speaks directly to British denial and squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race and class that are at the heart of the history of Britain’s racialised empire. The book covers the police, education, identity, politics, the far right, and much more from Britain’s history.

Recommended by Lorriann Robinson, Policy & Advocacy Manager, UK

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

This book details everything you never knew about the origin and evolution of our species, in clear and relatively brief (considering it covers over 2 million years worth of history) terms. It gives a newfound appreciation and understanding of basic human behaviors.

Recommended by Sara Harcourt, Senior Director, Poilcy

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing offers an unflinching view of the transatlantic slave trade, through interconnected stories of descendents of two West African women. Well-researched and complex, this book is a must-read.

Recommended by Fiona Robertson, Policy Officer, Development Finance

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

What would you say if your friend asked you how to raise a feminist? Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was asked that very question, and wrote this letter – which is now published as a short book. Some of these suggestions may be easier to implement than others, but this quick read is thought-provoking and important nonetheless.

Recommended by Allison Wong, Project Manager, Global Policy

A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk

A Strangeness tells the story of a street cart vendor in Istanbul, his family, and his community. Their experiences shine light on the broader history of modernizing Turkey and the social and political upheavals that accompany the process. This book is beautifully written and approaches development from a unique perspective.

Recommended by Megan O’Donnell, Senior Policy Manager

Manuscripts found in Accra by Paulo Coehlo

Written by the author of The Alchemist, Manuscripts found in Accra is a book that teaches a series of life lessons. The book, set in Jerusalem during the Crusades, provides philosophies that all people can learn from. It’s exactly the type of book you might want to read during a low-key weekend.

Recommended by Jenny Ottenhoff, Policy Director, Global Health & Education & Anita Okemini, Policy Director, Agriculture and Inclusive Growth

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Before fleeing the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nafisi formed a secret book club with seven of her female students. They analyzed western classics that were forbidden and controversial in Iran, while also discussing their daily lives. The books opens up deep philosophical questions about freedom, imagination, and the role of fiction, while also focusing on women’s empowerment and Iran’s history.

Recommended by Suzanne Seiller, Policy & Advocacy Assistant, France

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  1. HEALTH 
  2. INFECTIOUS DISEASE
  3. IT'S 'AMBITIOUS' — BUT POSSIBLE — TO ERADICATE MALARIA BY 2050, ACCORDING TO A LANDMARK REPORT 

It's 'Ambitious' — But Possible — to Eradicate Malaria by 2050, According to a Landmark Report

 
BY JAMIE DUCHARME  
SEPTEMBER 8, 2019

It may be possible to eradicate malaria—one of history’s deadliest diseases—from the planet by 2050, according to a coalition of 41 leading scientists, economists and health-policy experts writing in the Lancet.

“Malaria is one of the oldest and deadliest diseases of humankind,” says Sir Richard Feachem, one of the report’s authors and co-chair of the Lancet commission on malaria eradication. “If we, humankind, were to take on this challenge and eradicate malaria by 2050, it would be an achievement of historic proportions. There would be nothing quite like it.”

Malaria, a mosquito-borne illness caused by a parasite, results in flu-like symptoms that can be effectively treated (and prevented) with drugs. But the disease can be fatal if left untreated or if complications occur. Worldwide incidence has declined by 36% since 2000, and malaria is now all-but non-existent in more than half of countries worldwide. Only 1,700 cases are reported in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Nonetheless, malaria remains a devastating and deadly problem in many countries, namely Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Fifty-five countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America have actually seen a rise in malaria cases in recent years, according to the report. Eradicating the disease——defined as permanently reducing to zero the number of people infected by a certain disease agent—could prevent 219 million people from getting sick, and 435,000 people from dying, each year, according to CDC estimates.

Reaching that target won’t be easy. Feachem calls it “ambitious” and “a stretch goal, undoubtedly, but achievable.” To reach eradication status, the global health community will have to come together in four key areas, Feachem says: software, hardware, finance and leadership.

More specifically, Feachem says the task will require better management and use of data in malaria control programs; more effort from the private sector; new tools and technologies for slowing the transmission and improving the treatment of malaria, such as widely available vaccines, insecticides and rapid diagnostic tests; an additional $2 billion in financing per year, bringing the annual total up to $6.3 billion worldwide; and more leadership and accountability nationally, regionally and globally.

 
Michigan Just Became the First State to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes in an Effort to Keep Kids 'Safe'
Michigan this week became the first U.S. state to ban the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products, which critics say are largely to blame for an epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.
 
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That’s a lofty combination of efforts under the best of circumstances, and Feachem says progress could be derailed by everything from natural disasters and climate change to civil wars and mass migration. The initiative will also require buy-in from wealthy nations, namely the U.S., that have mostly eliminated malaria within their own borders.

“It direct us away from national self interest, and directs us toward the common good of humankind,” Feachem says of the effort.

History proves that eradicating diseases is challenging, but not impossible. Smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, and polio is very nearly there. Many countries have also successfully eliminated diseases at the national level. In the U.S., that list includes polio and measles—though a widespread measles outbreak this year has put that status in danger.

Feachem hopes the campaign to eradicate malaria will also inspire other aggressive goals in the health world. “It raises our ambition and our sense of empowerment to radically improve human health across a wide range of diseases,” he says.

Write to Jamie Ducharme at jamie.ducharme@time.com.

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Foto de (RED).

Nearly 800,000 children 🧒🏽 still need access to life-saving HIV medication 💊.

This medication 💊 costs only 2️⃣0️⃣ cents a day.

Let's #endAIDS. Comment if you're with us. 👊

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IS THERE A CURE FOR HIV/AIDS?

 

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you’ve likely seen a few headlines about the AIDS fight—but unlike 30 years ago, it’s been mostly good news. Thanks to developments from doctors, scientists, and researchers, the world is inching closer and closer to finding a cure to HIV/AIDS. However, despite the incredible progress, the fight to end AIDS is still in jeopardy.

So, is there a cure? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. Here’s what you need to know about the “cure” to HIV/AIDS:

THE REAL STATUS ON THE “CURE”

Let’s be clear on what the latest cases of reported “cures” mean. Scientists are careful to describe the current “cure” as a case of “long term viral remission,” meaning that the HIV virus is suppressed, but still present in the body. The patients currently reported as “cured” are off treatment and not experiencing any symptoms.

THE BERLIN PATIENT

Original Image Courtesy of USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism https://www.centerforhealthjournalism.org/resources/lessons/putting-face-search-aids-cure

 

Talk of the first known, sustained cure started with Timothy Brown, known as “the Berlin Patient.”

Brown was diagnosed with HIV in 1995 and in 2007, his HIV went into remission after undergoing a bone marrow stem cell transplant.

Prior to his transplant, Brown had been diagnosed with leukemia. His body wasn’t responding to aggressive chemotherapy, so his doctor came up with the novel idea to swap his vulnerable tissue with healthy stem cells from a donor carrying a rare CCR5 mutation called CCR5-delta 32. CCR5 is a protein receptor that HIV uses as an entry point to the immune system. If someone carries the CCR5-delta 32 mutation, this entry point is blocked off, making it essentially impossible for the carrier to be infected with HIV. Only a very small population of the world has this mutation.

After finding the right donor with this mutation, Brown received the transplant and then stopped taking his ARVs. Brown was observed to see if his HIV would resurge, and after a year, his doctor deemed him HIV-free. In February 2009, the final results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Today, Brown is still off HIV treatment and continues to show no signs of the virus.

THE LONDON PATIENT

Over the next decade, similar attempts to replicate Brown’s results failed—that was until “the London Patient” earlier this year.

While he has chosen to keep his identity anonymous, we know the London patient was diagnosed with HIV in 2003, and then with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012. Like Brown, his body resisted chemotherapy, and as a result, his doctors recommended a stem cell transplant from a donor with the CCR5 mutation, which was conducted in 2016.

After observing him for 18 months, scientists declared the London Patient to be HIV-free. In March 2019, the final results were published in the science journal Nature and made front page news with headlines like “HIV is Reported Cured in a Second Patient.”

Original Image Courtesy of AP News  https://www.apnews.com/9e62d8e565dc41d1bdd09d8b4e9a25f1

 

 

THE FIRST LIVING HIV+ ORGAN DONOR

A few weeks after word was out on the London Patient, the world received more hopeful news.

Nina Martinez became the world’s first living HIV-positive person to donate an organ to an HIV-positive recipient, giving the anonymous patient one of her kidneys. Until recently, the medical world considered it unsafe for someone with HIV to live with only one kidney, but thanks to antiretroviral treatment, those with HIV can be organ donors without the past fear of complications.

THE CRISPR METHOD 

Flash forward a few months to July 2019, when researchers announced another major breakthrough. Scientists from Temple University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center were able to successfully eliminate HIV in living mice for the first time.

Using a super form of antiretroviral therapy, called LASER, and a gene-editing technology known as CRISPR, these scientists were able to eliminate HIV from the DNA of 9 mice. After treating the mice with LASER, researchers used CRISPR to erase any remaining HIV DNA from their bodies.

These results are the first to prove that removing HIV in living animals is in fact possible. Next up, researchers are looking to replicate this success in primates.

WHAT IT ALL MEANS

All of these results are incredibly hopeful. They show that new approaches to HIV treatment are becoming increasingly effective and that researchers are slowly getting closer to finding a true cure.

That being said, it’s important to remember that the successes of the Berlin patient and the London patient occurred under very special circumstances. The procedures were intended to treat cancer, and they came with a large price tag and an even larger risk. After the Berlin Patient, many of the attempts to replicate his treatment ended with the virus coming back, or with HIV+ patients dying from their cancer. Brown himself almost died because of the toll the procedure took on his immune system. 

In terms of the major developments using the CRISPR method, it’s important to remember that gene editing is still a very new technology. While eliminating HIV in mice was certainly a major feat, we’re still a while away from being able to safely test the CRISPR method on humans.

These discoveries also do not change the current situation for most of the 38 million people currently living with HIV, nearly two-thirds of whom are in sub-Saharan Africa. Given nearly half of all people living with HIV still need access to HIV medication, a rare, dangerous and costly procedure isn’t a realistic solution to the AIDS fight.

This is why the Global Fund, the organization that receives 100% of (RED) dollars, is so important. While the medical community continues to work on finding a safe, cost-effective cure for HIV/AIDS, Global Fund programs in over 100 countries are focused on scaling up access to antiretroviral treatment—the current, closest thing to a cure for people living with HIV. These programs also provide prevention services, care, treatment and education to the people most affected by HIV, which are crucial to limiting the spread of the virus.

We should applaud these discoveries, but we’re not at the finish line yet. AIDS is still a crisis but it doesn’t have to be. When you shop (RED) products on Amazon.com/RED, you’re helping to change this.

 
 
July 16, 2019
 
 

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EDUCATION

3,758 Backpacks Were Placed in Front of the UN to Call for the Protection of Children in Conflict

UNICEF strategically placed the installation at the UN ahead of the General Assembly.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Children living in conflict-affected countries are some of the world’s most vulnerable. They lack access to the tools and resources they need to overcome poverty. UNICEF is putting pressure on world leaders to stand up for the next generation. You can join us in taking action on this issue here

Thousands of children will not return to school this September because they died in conflict zones. A new installation at the United Nations' headquarters in New York is making sure they aren't forgotten. 

UNICEF unveiled 3,758 backpacks across the UN’s garden on Sunday that will stay up through Sept. 10 and then be delivered to children in need. It's a message ahead of the UN General Assembly beginning Sept. 18, when world leaders will meet to discuss a range of international issues. 

 
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“UNICEF developed this installation to show the sheer scale of child deaths in conflict, and in doing so, call for greater protection for children living in conflict zones around the world,” UNICEF Deputy Director of Communication Christopher de Bono said in a statement released to Global Citizen.

The installation only represents around a third of the 12,000 children who were reportedly killed or injured in 2018 in conflict — the highest since the UN started keeping track.

This year’s General Assembly marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a press release. UNCRC is a human rights treaty that sets out the rights of children, and governments that signed the treaty are required to report on their progress. Fores hopes the installation helps to hold them accountable.

Read More: More Children Are Being Killed or Maimed in Conflicts Than Ever Before: UN

When schools are ambushed, children run the risk of death or injury, infrastructure is destroyed, and education systems are weakened long term. Without education, children lack the skills they need to cope with the crisis and help rebuild their communities.

UN0342048.jpg© UNICEF / Chris Farber

Fore remains optimistic and says the progress made over the past 30 years is a testament to what else can be achieved in the future. 

“UNICEF backpacks have always been a symbol of hope and childhood possibility,” she said of the installation. 

 

3,758 school backpacks.
3,758 young lives lost to conflict.

As children in many parts of the world return to school, we’re calling on world leaders at #UNGA to protect #ChildrenUnderAttack. #ENDviolence

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The organization accepts donations to fill backpacks with the basics that children need to succeed in school, from notebooks to vaccines. 

But ensuring all children have access to quality education will require governments to commit to their safety, according to de Bono.

“We know that when the world leaders unite, progress can be achieved, provided we keep children at the center of decisions taken at the UN, and muster the political will necessary to end conflicts and keep children safe,” he said. 

“World leaders must make the world a better place for children caught in conflict situations.” 

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APRIL 26, 2019

 

 

28
 
FINANCE & INNOVATION

These Scottish Entrepreneurs Want to Replace Palm Oil With Used Coffee Grounds

Right now, 90% of the UK's used coffee grounds are incinerated or go to landfill.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Global Goal 11 for sustainable cities and communities, and Goal 12 for responsible consumption and production address the urgent need for each of us to consider how our actions are impacting the world around us — and to look for solutions. Join the movement by taking action here to help protect the environment. 

When Scott Kennedy and Fergus Moore were working in coffee shops to pay their way through university, they couldn’t believe the huge amount of food waste they witnessed — particularly when it came to coffee grounds. 

Coffee is the world’s second-most traded commodity, according to the pair, with annual sales of over £9 billion in the UK alone. 

The UK coffee industry produces an estimated 500,000 tonnes of used coffee grounds every year. And of these, 90% end up in landfills or are incinerated, costing the industry almost £80 million annually. 

Take action: Shout Out Smarter Cities to Help the Environment

 

 
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Motivated by the need to limit this waste, the Scottish entrepreneurs launched Glasgow-based startup Revive Eco

The company collects used coffee grounds from cafes, restaurants, and offices, then processes the used grounds at their recycling plant in Scotland, where they extract “high-value biochemicals” to create a range of products. 

“We set up Revive with the vision of diverting all coffee grounds in Scotland from going to waste,” said Moore. “Circular business practices are our true north. It makes good business sense as well as being beneficial for the planet.”

Related StoriesApril 9, 2019This Scottish Organisation Is Helping Thousands of Girls in Malawi Learn Computer Skills

Kennedy and Moore first launched their idea while studying business at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Then, after graduating, they decided to “take the leap” and found Revive Eco.

The startup has already been generating international recognition. They’re representing Scotland and Northern Ireland in the Chivas Venture competition, where they are competing with 19 other global companies for a share of a £776,000 funding pot. 

The winners will be announced in Amsterdam in May, following an online public vote. 

The startup has already been supported with a £235,000 funding grant from the Zero Waste Scotland agency. This funding has enabled Revive Eco to run a year-long project, allowing them to finalise their process for producing high-value biochemicals from used coffee grounds — and diverting thousands of tonnes of coffee waste from going to landfills. 

Related StoriesAug. 24, 20176 Ways Scotland Is Inspiring the World to Be Better

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, announcing the funding in November, said it was great to see projects like Revive Eco, alongside the other funding winners, “embracing our circular economy and getting maximum value from resources.” 

She said the funding would help “these businesses re-use and repurpose products which will benefit communities by creating jobs and reducing emissions.” 

But mostly excitingly, the pair believe the oils they extract from the used coffee grounds could potentially replace palm oil — the production of which is driving widespread deforestation. According to Moore, the oils in coffee could have a wide range of uses across lots of different industries — including cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, food and drink, and household products, among others. 

“We’re developing a process to extract and purify these oils,” he told BBC Radio’sGood Morning Scotland programme. “The most exciting part for us is that they have all the same components as palm.” 

That would be a very significant step that would be celebrated by environmental activists around the word. 

Related StoriesNov. 14, 2018After Banned Palm Oil Ad, Iceland Has Let an 'Orangutan' Loose in London

Palm oil is a key ingredient in loads of items that we consider to be everyday essentials, including food products like bread, ice cream, crisps, and in most hygiene products, like soap and shampoo. 

Yet, according to Greenpeace UK, palm oil is driving huge levels of deforestation. The environmental ground says that, in Indonesia’s rainforest, an area the size of a football pitch is torn down every 25 seconds in order to keep up with the global demand for palm oil. 

“These rainforests are hotspots for biodiversity, and vital for regulating the Earth’s climate,” said Greenpeace UK’s Fiona Nicholls. 

This deforestation is also having a devastating impact on the animals that live in the rainforests. According to Greenpeace, 25 orangutans are killed every day — and the number of Bornean orangutans was more than halved between 1999 and 2015. 

Moore said: “It’s really exciting for us that we could potentially provide a local and more sustainable alternative to all the industries that are currently using palm oil.” 

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MARCH 13, 2018

 

 

11
 
WATER & SANITATION

Your Water Probably Has Plastic In It. Here’s What You Can Do About It

The amount of plastic created by humans since 1950 weighs as much as 1 billion elephants.

Plastic takes a long time to degrade and, as it does, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces known as microplastics.

These microplastics are pervading the world’s water sources, invisible to the naked eye, but fully present in more than 83% of cups of drinking water around the world, according to a study conducted by Orb Media that surveyed dozens of countries.

That means that most people in the world are ingesting microplastics when they drink water, a pretty disgusting prospect, especially since plastic becomes a magnet for toxins once in the water, according to John Hourston of the Blue Planet Society who spoke with Global Citizen.

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How Did This Happen?

Scenes of floating plastic mounds clogging ocean and river currents have gained prominence in recent years, but this is hardly a new phenomenon.

Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic since 1950, a weight equivalent to 1 billion elephants.

More than 75% of this plastic has been thrown away, left to disintegrate throughout the global environment. Each year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans, which is like emptying a garbage truck of plastic into an ocean every minute.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch.jpgImage: Ray Boland, NOAA

As plastic breaks down into microplastics, it tends to blanket the sea floors, where it can disrupt bottom-feeding ecosystems.

Read More: Why You Should Probably Never Use a Plastic Straw Again

It also ends up in drinking water supplies, where it has largely unknown effects on the human body, according to the team at Orb Media.

“We don’t know what the [health] impact is and for that reason we should follow the precautionary principle and put enough effort into it now, immediately, so we can find out what the real risks are,” Dr. Anne Marie Mahon at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, who conducted the research, told the Guardian.

“Once they are in the nanometre range they can really penetrate a cell and that means they can penetrate organs, and that would be worrying,” she added.  

What Can Be Done About It?

The best way to rid water of microplastics is to use an effective filtration device for your tap water, according to the experts who worked with Orb Media.

There are lots of different kinds of filters on the market, and some are considerably more expensive than others, sometimes running into the hundreds of dollars.

The best filters involve reverse osmosis technology, according to a scientific review in New York, but many filters in the $20 to $50 range are still effective and have less costly components.

For instance, Soma filters strive to reduce plastic by using more sustainable materials and ZeroWater offers a stainless steel filter that uses no plastic.

Fully avoiding microplastics may be impossible because of how small some fibers can get, according to the Guardian.

Bottled water might seem to be a way out of this problem, but the team at Orb Media found that bottled water brands are also contaminated with microplastics.

Plus, buying bottled water just adds to plastic pollution around the world, including the prevalence of microplastics.

Read More: 7 Ways to Cut Junk Plastic From Your Life

Every minute of every day, a million bottles of water are consumed around the world and this number is rising exponentially, potentially reaching half a trillion annually by 2021.

Buying another disposable water bottle is not the way to avoid microplastics.

The best way to avoid them, in fact, is to stop buying plastic water bottles and reduce plastic from your life in other ways so that plastic stops accumulating in environments, the scientists at Orb Media found.

Read More: Shocking Photos Show Extent of Plastic Pollution in Caribbean

The team wrote that some easy ways to reduce your plastic footprint are to use public transit instead of a personal car because fibers from tires are a primary source of microplastics; avoid using latex and acrylic paints; and buy sustainable, biodegradable materials like a bamboo toothbrush.

Global Citizen campaigns to reduce plastic production and consumption and you can take action on this issue here.

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Joe McCarthyErica Sanchez

By Joe McCarthy  and  Erica Sanchez

JAN. 22, 2019

 

 

16
 
ENVIRONMENT

Greenland's Rapidly Melting Ice Threatens People Living in Poverty the Most

“It has the power to destroy everything it runs through.”

Why Global Citizens Should Care
As melting ice sheets cause sea levels to rise, the world’s poor at the most vulnerable to displacement and other harms. Countries still have time to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the harms of climate change. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

Scientists say Greenland’s ice sheets may have reached a “tipping point,” a stage of irrevocable melting, which would have dire consequences for people living on coastlines and beyond around the world, according to the New York Times.

The latest research, published in the science journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, adds to a growing consensus that Greenland’s melting will only accelerate over time. As ice turns to water, it becomes darker and absorbs more sunlight. This, in turn, raises the surrounding temperature and causes more ice to melt.

Take Action: Ensure All Communities Can Withstand Climate Disaster

 
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If all of Greenland’s ice sheets melted, global sea levels would rise by 23 feet, enough to displace billions of people around the world.

Such steep sea level rise would harm or destroy coastal agricultural systems, contaminate bodies of potable water, intensify tropical storms, and more. For example, countless rice farmers throughout coastal Vietnam have had to abandon their land in recent years because of saltwater intrusion from rising sea levels.

The world’s poor are most likely to be impacted by rising sea levels because of a lack of resources to relocate as coastal conditions deteriorate. Countries around the world are grappling with the concept of “climate change refugees,” and are trying to draft protocols for dealing with climate-caused relocation.

Read More: Rapidly Warming Oceans Could Deprive Billions of Food

The United Nations’ Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, adopted in 2018, creates a legal framework for people displaced by natural disasters, both gradual and abrupt — an important milestone. It’s largely understood that people whose homes are destroyed by hurricanes need disaster relief, but little provisions have been made until now for people whose homes are gradually submerged by rising sea levels.

New Zealand in particular has emerged as a pioneer in this space, pledging to become the first country to relocate climate change refugees from other countries.

In 2013 and 2014, Greenland’s mile-thick ice sheets entered a reprieve from melting — a variable weather pattern known as the North Atlantic Oscillation switched to a cooling phase — and it seemed like the region may have stabilized. But the pattern soon oscillated again and the melting resumed, to the tune of 400 billion tons of ice per year — quadruple the melt rate in 2003.

Read More: How a Tiny Alaska Town Is Leading the Way on Climate Change

“To build an ice sheet is a very long, elaborate process. But it could take really a very short time to melt it all,” said Marco Tedesco, a glaciologist at Columbia University. “This water flowing here, it has a long memory — it probably froze before Rome was born. What boggles me is the power we humans have to squeeze changes into such a small amount of time. This blanket of ice, it’s like an elephant’s skin. It’s a very powerful dormant animal. But when we wake it up, it has the power to destroy everything it runs through.”

Greenland-Poverty-Melting-Ice-Full-Frame.jpgA glacier calves icebergs into a fjord off the Greenland ice sheet in southeastern Greenland, Aug. 3, 2017.
Image: David Goldman/AP

The absolute melt of Greenland is unlikely to happen within this century, but current rates of greenhouse gas emissions indicate that it’s likely to happen at some point.

As a result, many scientists emphasize that using the frame of a “tipping point” is dangerous because it suggests that interventions are no longer possible.

On the contrary, if countries aggressively cut their greenhouse gas emissions and transitioned to renewable sources of energy, Greenland’s ice sheets could be saved from melting, according to scientists who spoke with the Times.

Read More: Arctic Ice Once Thought to Be Impenetrable Is Now Melting Away

“We may be able to control how rapidly the ice sheet changes in the future,” Luke D. Trusel, a glaciologist at Rowan University and an author of another report on Greenland, told the New York Times. “By limiting greenhouse gas emissions we limit warming, and thus also limit how rapidly and intensely Greenland affects our livelihoods through sea-level rise. That, it seems, is our call to make.”

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We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your generous and thoughtful birthday fundraiser for Chernobyl Children International in lieu of birthday gifts. Hailing from the Chernobyl region, you are an authentic voice for countless children who continue to live in the aftermath of the nuclear fallout. You are a joy to have as an advocate for Chernobyl Children International, Julie!

Your singular act of kindness has raised enough funding for two life-altering cardiac surgeries that will alleviate the suffering of two children suffering from ‘Chernobyl Heart’.

Through your generosity and kindness, you have bought a miraculous gift for children in institutional care, for children whose families struggle to care for their seriously ill children in their own homes or for those whose lives have now been saved through life-saving heart surgeries.

Through your intervention, you have contributed to a miracle, the miracle of making a difference! The children we help will grow up knowing that someone cared – and that someone is you!

Foto de Julie Shynkarenka.

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10/09/2019

Opportunity: Musicians / Music Tutors (Music Generation Kilkenny)

Opportunity: Musicians / Music Tutors (Music Generation Kilkenny)

Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board wishes to recruit and place on a panel suitably qualified and experienced part-time musicians/music tutors to deliver the following Music Generation Kilkenny programmes:

A Small group tuition in vocal (including choral) or instrumental learning (any music genre)
B Large-group tuition (vocal and/or instrumental) in early years and primary school settings
C Ensemble (instrumental/vocal), band facilitation, mentoring in any genre of music, including, where applicable, song-writing/creative composition, music technology etc.

Musicians/music tutors will work with children and young people in group/classroom contexts and may work on one or more programmes at any given time. A willingness to deliver programmes in
more than one location in County Kilkenny would be desirable.

The closing date for receipt of applications is: 12 noon, Friday 27th September 2019

Late applications will not be considered.

Provisional interview date: Week commencing 7th October 2019

Further details and application forms available from www.kcetb.ie

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09/09/2019

Music Generation appoints a new Head of Quality, Support and Development

Music Generation appoints a new Head of Quality, Support and Development

Music Generation is delighted to announce that Paula Phelan has been appointed as Head of Quality, Support and Development (QSD) within the National Development Office. In this new senior role, Paula will drive the implementation of a new national Music Generation Quality Framework,  support the planned growth of the national network of Local Music Education Partnerships (LMEPs), and lead on professional development and learning programmes and initiatives for Music Generation over the coming years. 

Paula brings a breadth of experience to the role, spanning the worlds of arts and corporate management, music education leadership and practice. Most recently she held the position of LMEP Support Manager at the Music Generation National Development Office. From 2013-2018 she was Programme Director for Music Generation Carlow. In addition to her extensive work with Music Generation, she was previously General Manager of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, a Post-Primary Teacher, Freelance Musician Educator and General Manager of Belvedere Youth Service.

A native of Kildare, Paula completed her undergraduate BAmus degree in NUI Maynooth. She holds an MA Baroque Performance Practice from Queens University Belfast, an MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from University College Dublin, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from NUI Maynooth and a Postgraduate Diploma in Early Childhood Music from Birmingham City University.

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. ‘Phase 1’ of Music Generation established the programme in 11 areas of Ireland (Carlow, Clare, Cork City, Laois, Limerick City, Louth, Mayo, Offaly/Westmeath, Sligo, South Dublin and Wicklow) and in September 2017 a further nine areas were selected for participation as part of ‘Phase 2’ (Cavan/Monaghan, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Galway City, Galway County, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Roscommon, Waterford and Wexford). In December 2017 Government announced its commitment to support expansion of the programme nationwide by 2022. This next phase was launched with the announcement of five additional areas in May 2019 (Kerry, Kildare, Longford, Meath, Tipperary). Currently Music Generation creates some 42,500 opportunities each year for children and young people to engage in high-quality, subsidised performance music education with more than 350 skilled musician educators, across a hugely diverse range of musical genres, styles and contexts.

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Joe McCarthyErica Sanchez

By Joe McCarthy  and  Erica Sanchez

AUG. 8, 2019

 

 

10
 
ENVIRONMENT

Global Climate Strike Aims to Spur Transformative Change

“We, as a global society, are at a crossroads.”

Why Global Citizens Should Care
The United Nations urges countries to pursue bold climate action policies to achieve the goals of the Paris climate agreement. Youth protest movements are holding leaders accountable and creating the impetus for action. You can join us in taking related actions here

The world’s youth have infused a new urgency into the global fight against climate change. 

Through movements like Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion, millions of young people have gathered in public squares and busy streets, senate chambers and assembly rooms, to call on government leaders to curb greenhouse gas emissions and enact meaningful environmental policies.

Now they’re planning to come together for a grand climate strike on Sept. 20. The “Strike With Us” march aims to get as many people into the streets as possible to underline the fact that climate change affects everyone and demands a global solution.

 
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“We, as a global society, are at a crossroads,” the organizers wrote on the strike’s website. “We have a decision to make. Are we going to choose money or power or are we going to choose the future? The September 20 strike is an invitation to everyone to choose us. Choose the kids, choose humanity, choose the future.”

The intergenerational day of striking will take place in cities and towns worldwide but it will revolve around the march in New York, where organizers hope to inspire world leaders gathering for the UN’s climate summit on Sept. 23. 

Climate activist Greta Thunberg will be speaking at the New York strike as part of a broader effort to galvanize climate action. 

The climate summit is part of the annual United Nations General Assembly week, during which member states give speeches and negotiate on global issues. The climate summit is meant to be a platform for countries to update climate commitments made under the Paris climate agreement, which seeks to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to set a bold agenda for environmental policy through 2030. 

Read More: 17 Photos You Have to See From London's Extinction Rebellion Climate Protests

“September 20th isn’t a goal, it’s a catalyst for future action,” the Fridays For Future NYC chapter wrote in a press release. “It’s a catalyst for the engagement of humanity in the protection of Earth. It’s a catalyst for realizing the intersectionality that the climate crisis has with every other issue. It’s a catalyst for the culmination of hundreds of climate activists who won’t stop fighting until the climate emergency is over.”

The power of youth activism has been made abundantly clear in recent months. In response to growing protest movements, hundreds of governments have declared climate emergencies, companies have committed to the Paris climate agreement, and awareness of climate change has skyrocketed

For young people, climate change isn’t a theoretical problem to be debated on talk shows and in opinion sections. Instead, it’s a rapidly escalating crisis that threatens to undermine their future. 

Already, people around the world are dealing with the consequences of climate change. 

 

Read More: Youth Leaders Tell Us Why They're Skipping School for Climate Action

“In Lerma, the rainfall of 2015 flooded my town, new factories contaminated the air, and buildings were sinking into wetlands,” Xiye Bastida, a climate justice activist from Mexico, said in a press release. “Economic instability and air pollution were the things that pushed my family out of my home.

“This crisis is our present, but we cannot let it be our future,” he said. “That's why youth across the globe are uniting against corporate power, against climate racism, and against the deterioration of Mother Earth.”

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11 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 2019

 

 

21
 
ADVOCACYMEDIO AMBIENTE

La Gran Muralla Verde es un proyecto utópico que podría salvar el planeta

Mientras que otros muros dividen a las personas, esta iniciativa está uniéndolas.

 

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
La Gran Muralla Verde es un ambicioso proyecto multinacional que busca restaurar paisajes en toda la región del Sahel en África, al tiempo que crea empleos, seguridad alimentaria, y trae paz. Como resultado, cubre casi todos los Objetivos Globales de las Naciones Unidas. Puedes apoyar a la Gran Muralla Verde aquí.

A medida que las selvas tropicales arden y la desertificación se extiende, un proyecto masivo y utópico tiene lugar en una de las áreas más degradadas en cuanto a medio ambiente del mundo. Un proyecto que podría servir como modelo para salvar al planeta.

 

Se trata de The Great Green Wall o Gran Muralla Verde, una iniciativa cuyo nombre aparentemente fue extraído de un libro para niños. Su objetivo es plantar árboles y restaurar paisajes en una de las secciones más amplias de África, un área conocida como el Sahel que se extiende 8,000 kilómetros creando un "muro" de ecosistemas verdes en el proceso.

 

La Gran Muralla Verde significa mucho más que restaurar tierras degradadas. Se trata de revitalizar comunidades y fomentar economías sostenibles, con el entendimiento de que un medio ambiente sostenible es la base de cualquier sociedad saludable.

 

La región del Sahel de África, que abarca 10 países con una población combinada de más de 300 millones, representa grandes desafíos. Decenas de millones de personas viven con hambre crónica. El conflicto entre y dentro de los países se desata regularmente. La falta general de oportunidades hace que los jóvenes migren a otras partes del mundo, lo que a menudo contribuye aún más a las tensiones geopolíticas.

great-green-wall.jpg

Además, causando e intensificando otros problemas, se encuentra la degradación del medio natural. Pocos lugares en el mundo se han visto tan afectados por las consecuencias del cambio climático como la región del Sahel.

 

Sequías severas, inundaciones y olas de calor en las últimas décadas han devastado los sistemas agrícolas. Los pequeños agricultores que alguna vez pudieron confiar en patrones climáticos predecibles han visto cómo sus cultivos se marchitaban y se destruían con mayor frecuencia. A medida que los sistemas agrícolas han fallado, la pobreza extrema, el hambre y los conflictos han aumentado.

En Etiopía, la sequía severa ha llevado a millones de personas a la inseguridad alimentaria. En Sudán del Sur, el colapso de la agricultura ha ayudado a alimentar un conflicto generalizado. Mientras tanto, Nigeria se convirtió recientemente en el país con el mayor número de personas que viven en la pobreza extrema. Más del 80% de los empleos en la región están en la agricultura, lo que lleva a mayores repercusiones de las tensiones del cambio climático cada año.

Historias relacionadas30 de Julio de 2019Cómo obtener entradas para el Festival Global Citizen 2019 en Nueva York


La Gran Muralla Verde se estableció por primera vez como un proyecto en 2007 para combatir todos estos desafíos como parte de su enfoque holístico de desarrollo. El proyecto, que cuenta con el apoyo de 20 países en África, también recibe respaldo financiero del Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo, el Banco Mundial y el Foro Forestal Africano. Recibió $4 mil millones de dólares en 2015 en la Conferencia Climática de la ONU en París, con compromisos adicionales de países como Francia.

 

La Gran Muralla Verde tiene como objetivo mejorar la calidad del suelo para los agricultores, lo que permitiría a los cultivos resistir mejor las condiciones hostiles; crear corredores de vida silvestre que revitalicen los ecosistemas y se conviertan en centros de turismo; restaurar las fuentes de agua para combatir la sequía; generar millones de empleos en economía verde;

establecer un sumidero de carbono para combatir el cambio climático; romper los ciclos viciosos de la migración que están drenando las sociedades jóvenes; impulsar las economías; y aliviar las condiciones que conducen a la violencia.


Y ya está dando sus frutos.

 

 

En Senegal, se han plantado más de 12 millones de árboles resistentes a la sequía. Se han restaurado más de 15 millones de hectáreas de tierra en Etiopía, 5 millones de hectáreas en Nigeria y 5 millones en Níger. En Burkina Faso, las comunidades locales han utilizado prácticas tradicionales para restaurar 3 millones de hectáreas de tierra.

 

"Para 2030, el Muro tiene como objetivo restaurar 100 millones de hectáreas de tierras actualmente degradadas, secuestrar 250 millones de toneladas de carbono y crear 10 millones de empleos en las zonas rurales", explica el sitio web del proyecto.

 

Llegar a este objetivo no será fácil. Aproximadamente el 15% de la Gran Muralla Verde se ha completado desde que comenzó el trabajo hace más de una década. Alcanzar la meta 2030 requiere un importante apoyo financiero de países de todo el mundo y socios del sector privado. Además, los países del Sahel deben dedicar más recursos al proyecto y fomentar la creación de empleo mediante el desarrollo de cadenas de suministro y mercados para las personas que se benefician de los paisajes rejuvenecidos.

 

El retorno de la inversión del muro parece evidente: luchar contra el cambio climático, promover el desarrollo económico sostenible y poner fin al conflicto. Mientras que los muros se utilizan cada vez más como barreras entre países, los arquitectos de la Gran Muralla Verde imaginan una banda transnacional de vida próspera que unifica en lugar de dividir.


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El Festival Global Citizen 2019 en Nueva York estará presentado por Citi y Cisco, y se realizará en asociación de Live Nation, nuestro Productor Asociado.  MSNBC, Comcast NBCUniversal, e iHeart trabajarán como Presentadores de Medios Asociados y transmitirán el Festival en simultáneo en MSNBC y en las Estaciones de Radio iHeart. El Festival también será transmitido en vivo en YouTube y Twitter, presentado por Johnson & Johnson.

Entre los productores orgullosos que acompañan siempre en el Festival Global Citizen se encuentran el socio mundial de salud Johnson & Johnson, y los asociados mayores P&G, Verizon, y NYC Parks.

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AUG. 29, 2019

 

 

5
 
WATER & SANITATION

This South African Taxi Driver Hands Out Sanitary Pads to His Passengers

An estimated 3.7 million girls and young women in South Africa can’t afford sanitary products.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Period poverty and poor menstrual health management are serious obstacles to girls being able to access education. Too many girls are still forced to miss school — falling behind their male peers — when they’re menstruating. Join the movement by taking action here to support the UN’s Global Goal 6 for clean water and sanitation for everyone, including access to menstrual health management.

Taxi drivers might not be your main port of call when it comes to tackling period poverty.

However, for many passengers lucky enough to get into Kamogelo Mampatla Betha’s taxi, the South African is a hero — particularly if they’re in need of a spare sanitary pad.

Betha, from Lebowakgomo in Limpopo, reportedly buys sanitary towels out of his own pocket and then keeps them in his taxi to hand out to passengers when they’re caught short without period products.

 
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The 31-year-old told Drum magazine that he started the initiative in May 2018 as a way to help his passengers have a less stressful time when they’re on their period.

”The idea to stock up on pads came about after I noticed that some of the school kids I transport to school every day would stain the seats of the car in the morning,” he said.

“Sometimes I would even find toilet paper they had used for their menstruation and that affected me because I realised that some people cannot afford pads,” he continued. “It’s really sad, people are very poor and cannot afford such cheap items.”

According to Menstrual Hygiene Day, a global organisation that brings together governments, business, civil society, and the media to keep the spotlight on menstrual health challenges and management, an estimated 3.7 million girls and young women in South Africa alone can’t afford sanitary products.

This is despite the government announcing last year that there will no longer be a 15% value-added tax (VAT) charged for sanitary products

The decision — and others supporting menstrual health management (MHM), such as providing free pads at schools — follows massive campaigning by activists and organisations that include Global Citizen.

Related StoriesMay 28, 2019How Global Citizens & Activists Spurred a Country to Improve Menstrual Health in Over 5,000 Schools

Not having access to sanitary pads forces people to adopt unhygienic and unsafe practices like using tissue paper, socks, newspaper, and other products instead.

It can also have a detrimental effect on students going to school — instead staying home because of pain, stigma, or embarrassment.

This, the Human Rights Commission of South Africa states on their website, “inflicts indignity upon millions of women and girls.”

“There is no dignity without basic necessities such as sanitary napkins,” the website adds. “This perpetuates a culture of silence that forces many to cope in isolation.”

Related StoriesOct. 25, 2018Here's What's Next After South Africa Abolishes the Tampon Tax

The problems of the students taking his taxi really woke Betha up to the global issue of period poverty and menstrual hygiene management — and so he started doing what he could to alleviate his passengers’ suffering.

“I was so touched and realised that most women see their menstruation cycle unaware and unprepared for that,” Betha told Daily Sun.

He added: “As a driver of a taxi, I knew that it's time for me to always have pads in my taxi so that in times of such situations I can assist.”

He is not just handing out sanitary pads, either. He also wants his passengers to feel comfortable and open, and actively encourages them to ask for help without feeling any shame.

Related StoriesFeb. 5, 2019Period Poverty: Everything You Need to Know

"I always tell them that they must speak out. Some [female passengers] send their friends to me and ask on their behalf and that is not right,” he told Daily Sun.

“I'm aware that they are afraid because people still believe that taxi drivers are violent people with a bad attitude all the time but it's not all of us,” he added.

He’s also encouraging other taxi drivers to be more empathetic to their passengers and what their needs might be — and encouraging men to care more about menstruation too.

"It's time that we teach men that menstruation circle is a natural thing that our sisters, girlfriends, and wives must go through on a monthly basis and respect them,” he said.

He added: “I so wish that taxi drivers can stop shouting at women when they leave blood on the taxi seats because it's a natural thing that is beyond her control.”

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