The world has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, well in advance of the MDG 2015 deadline, according to a report issued on March 6, 2012 by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). Between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells.
The World Food Program’s (WPG’s) video game Food Force invites children, and people of all ages, to complete six virtual missions that reflect real-life obstacles faced by WFP in its emergency responses both to the tsunami and other hunger crises around the world.
Denmark is a leader in implementing well-designed policies for renewable energy, energy efficiency and global climate change, according to a review of Danish energy policies published on 21 February 2012 by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Lower energy consumption for the first nine months of 2011 was reported on 16 February 2012 by the Danish Energy Agency.
In London on October 5, 2011, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter addressed an audience of international journalists and partners to announce that the Carter Center-led global campaign to eradicate Guinea worm disease has entered its final stage to end this gruesome waterborne parasitic infection. “The poorest, most isolated, most neglected, quite often, the most hopeless people, on earth…now have new hope that their future will be free of this dreaded disease,” said President Carter.
Historic ‘mercury and air toxics standards’ meet 20-year old requirement to cut dangerous smokestack emissions: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, the first national standards to protect American families from power plant emissions of mercury and toxic air pollution like arsenic, acid gas, nickel, sele nium, and cyanide. The standards will slash emissions of these dangerous pollutants by relying on widely available, proven pollution controls that are already in use at more than half of the nation’s coal-fired power plants.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on 7 December 2011 announced it will provide up to $1.8 million for projects across the country to protect Americans’ health and help restore urban waters by improving water quality and supporting community revitalization. The funding is part of EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Urban waters are canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades to better integrate health protections into energy efficiency programs.
The drought and famine once again blighting the Horn of Africa brings with it an unwelcome reminder that for all of mankind’s achievements we are yet to eradicate the scourge of poverty or to provide clean water, sanitation or basic health care for the world’s most desperate people.