Τετάρτη, 31 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Υγεία και κλιματικές αλλαγές - μεγάλος ο κίνδυνος!

Ανακοίνωση του Παγκόσμιου Οργανισμού Υγείας - 29/10/2012:

Atlas of health and climate launches new collaboration between public health and meteorological communities

Atlas provides maps, tables and graphs showing links between health and climate

News release
As the world’s climate continues to change, hazards to human health are increasing. The Atlas of health and climate, published today jointly by WHO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), illustrates some of the most pressing current and emerging challenges.
Droughts, floods and cyclones affect the health of millions of people each year. Climate variability and extreme conditions such as floods can also trigger epidemics of diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria, dengue and meningitis, which cause death and suffering for many millions more. The Atlas gives practical examples of how the use of weather and climate information can protect public health.

Climate risk management

“Prevention and preparedness are the heart of public health. Risk management is our daily bread and butter. Information on climate variability and climate change is a powerful scientific tool that assists us in these tasks,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO. “Climate has a profound impact on the lives, and survival, of people. Climate services can have a profound impact on improving these lives, also through better health outcomes.”
Until now, climate services have been an underutilized resource for public health.
“Stronger cooperation between the meteorological and health communities is essential to ensure that up-to-date, accurate and relevant information on weather and climate is integrated into public health management at international, national and local levels. This Atlas is an innovative and practical example of how we can work together to serve society,” said WMO Secretary-General Mr Michel Jarraud.

Links between health and climate

Numerous maps, tables and graphs assembled in the Atlas make the links between health and climate more explicit:
  • In some locations the incidence of infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue, meningitis and cholera can vary by factors of more than 100 between seasons, and significantly between years, depending on weather and climate conditions. Stronger climate services in endemic countries can help predict the onset, intensity and duration of epidemics.
  • Case studies illustrate how collaboration between meteorological, emergency and health services is already saving lives. For example, the death toll from cyclones of similar intensity in Bangladesh reduced from around 500 000 in 1970, to 140 000 in 1991, to 3 000 in 2007 – largely thanks to improved early warning systems and preparedness.
  • Heat extremes that would currently be expected to occur only once in 20 years, may occur on average every 2-5 years by the middle of this century. At the same time, the number of older people living in cities (one of the most vulnerable groups to heat stress), will almost quadruple globally, from 380 million in 2010, to 1.4 billion in 2050. Cooperation between health and climate services can trigger measures to better protect people during periods of extreme weather.
  • Shifting to clean household energy sources would both reduce climate change, and save the lives of approximately 680 000 children a year from reduced air pollution. The Atlas also shows how meteorological and health services can collaborate to monitor air pollution and its health impacts.
  • In addition, the unique tool shows how the relationship between health and climate is shaped by other vulnerabilities, such as those created by poverty, environmental degradation, and poor infrastructure, especially for water and sanitation.

Global Framework for Climate Services

The Atlas is being released at an Extraordinary Session of the World Meteorological Congress, being held in Geneva, Switzerland from 29-31 October. The Congress will discuss the structure and implementation of the draft Global Framework for Climate Services.
The framework is a United Nations-wide initiative spearheaded by WMO to strengthen the provision of climate services to the benefit of society, especially the most vulnerable. The health sector is one of the top four priorities, alongside food security, water management and disaster risk reduction.
Climate information can be used to protect health through risk reduction, preparedness and response in all countries with major benefits for health outcomes and development.

More on the roles of WMO and WHO

The WMO is the United Nations system's authoritative voice on weather, climate and water.
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

For more information please contact:

Nada Osseiran
WHO Communications Officer (Public Health and Environment)
Telephone: +41 22 791 4475
Mobile: +41 79 445 1624
E-mail: osseirann@who.int



Τετάρτη, 24 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Περιβαλλοντικές εκδηλώσεις Οκτώβρη - Νιόβρη


28 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012
22 Οκτωβρίου 2012
24 Οκτωβρίου 2012
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28 Οκτωβρίου 2012
31 Οκτωβρίου 2012
04 Νοεμβρίου 2012
05 Νοεμβρίου 2012
09 Νοεμβρίου 2012
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19 Νοεμβρίου 2012
23 Νοεμβρίου 2012
26 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Τετάρτη, 17 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Και πάλι ο πιο ζεστός μήνας ο Σεπτέμβρης

State of the Climate Global Analysis September 2012

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Climatic Data Center

 

Contents of this Section:


Global Highlights

  • The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September 2012 tied with 2005 as the warmest September on record, at 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F). Records began in 1880.

  • The globally-averaged land surface temperature for September 2012 was the third warmest September on record, at 1.02°C (1.84°F) above average. The globally-averaged ocean surface temperature tied with 1997 as the second warmest September on record, at 0.54°C (0.97°F) above average.

  • The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for January–September 2012 was the eighth warmest such period on record, at 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average.

 

Δευτέρα, 8 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Μέτρα οικονομικής ανάπτυξης μηδενικού κόστους


 - για νέες θέσεις εργασίας -
 


Πολλά κράτη μέλη της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης έχουν υιοθετήσει μέτρα τα οποία προάγουν την οικονομική ανάπτυξη με ιδιαίτερη έμφαση σε μέτρα που δεν περιέχουν ουσιαστικά έξοδα από το κράτος και τα οποία έχουν συνήθως και περιβαλλοντικά οφέλη.



Πολλές τέτοιες πολιτικές βασίζονται κυρίως σε ένα τρόπο αποπληρωμής ο οποίος διευκολύνει την εκτέλεση του έργου χωρίς να χρειάζεται να ξοδευτούν λεφτά άμεσα.
Ένα από τα πιο πετυχημένα ίσως παραδείγματα είναι αυτό του Βερολίνου, όπου έκαναν ενεργειακή αναβάθμιση σε όλα τα δημόσια κτήρια του Βερολίνου χωρίς να ξοδευτούν επιπλέον λεφτά με την αποπληρωμή να γίνεται με βάση την εξοικονόμηση ενέργειας που επιτεύχθηκε.
Ένα τέτοιο πρόγραμμα υπάρχει κάπου στα σχέδια να γίνει και στην Κύπρο αλλά η οικονομική κατάσταση επιβάλλει αυτό το μέτρο να εφαρμοστεί όσο πιο γρήγορα γίνεται. Σε μια τέτοια ενεργειακή αναβάθμιση θα εργαστούν άτομα με χαμηλά εισοδήματα και επιχειρήσεις που έχουν πληγεί πιο πολύ από την κρίση χωρίς να χρειαστεί το κράτος να πληρώσει επιπλέον λεφτά.

Το σκεπτικό της εύκολης αποπληρωμής εξόδων για εκτέλεση έργων και ταυτόχρονη προώθηση των περιβαλλοντικών θεμάτων και τη δημιουργία θέσεων εργασίας εφαρμόζεται για παράδειγμα στη Βρετανία μέσω εταιρικής φοροαπαλλαγής για αγορά ποδηλάτων για το προσωπικό τους.
Επίσης μέσω του πολυδιαφημιζόμενου σχεδίου της "πράσινης συμφωνίας" προσφέρουν την ευκαιρία σε πολίτες να ξοφλήσουν σταδιακά τα έξοδα ενεργειακής αναβάθμισης του σπιτιού τους μέσω των λογαριασμών του ηλεκτρισμού και του γκαζιού τους.

Υπάρχουν τομείς που και εμείς στην Κύπρο μπορούμε να πάρουμε μέτρα εύκολα, χωρίς κόστος και με άμεση απόδοση:
  1. Έκδοση διατάγματος που θα καθορίζει τα προσόντα ατόμων που θα δικαιούνται να εκπονούν περιβαλλοντικές μελέτες.
  2. Υποχρεωτική απαίτηση επαγγελματικών προσόντων για διάφορα τεχνικά θέματα με στόχο όπως γίνεται και σε άλλες χώρες να περιοριστεί το ξένο προσωπικό σε όσο πιο ανειδίκευτες θέσεις είναι δυνατό.
  3. Συνεργασία με ιδιώτες επενδυτές στην κατασκευή σταθμών εξυπηρέτησης, ξεκούραση, διευκολύνσεων και εστιατορίων σε στρατηγικά σημεία στους αυτοκινητόδρομους.
  4. Προσφορά φοροαπαλλαγής εταιρικού φόρου για εταιρείες που βοηθούν το προσωπικό τους να αγοράσει με δόσεις ορισμένα προϊόντα όπως π.χ. ποδήλατα, αντικατάσταση παλιού καυστήρα κεντρικής θέρμανσης με πιο αποδοτικό, θερμομονώσεις, φωτοβολταικά, σύστημα επεξεργασίας λυμάτων σε κατοικίες κλπ.
  5. Εισαγωγή του θεσμού του Ύπνου και Προγεύματος (Bed and Breakfast) για πιο δίκαια κατανομή των εισοδημάτων του τουρισμού και στην κυπριακή ύπαιθρο.
  6. Ενεργειακή αναβάθμιση δημοσίων κτηρίων με τα έξοδα να αποπληρώνονται μέσω της εξοικονόμησης όπως γίνεται σε πολλές ευρωπαϊκές χώρες.
  7. Ανάθεση με το "κομμάτι" σε ειδικά εκπαιδευμένα άτομα να κάνουν επιθεωρήσεις περιβαλλοντικών αδειών, κτηρίων υπό κατασκευή για την ενεργειακή απόδοση αλλά και την πολεοδομική άδεια, καταστημάτων πώλησης κατοικίδιων κλπ.
  8. Άμεση εισαγωγή του θεσμού του Net Metering για προώθηση των ΑΠΕ και μείωση του λογαριασμού του ηλεκτρισμού.
  9. Ετοιμασία της μελέτης που απαιτείται από την Οδηγία 2009/72/ΕΚ και ανάλογα με τα πορίσματα να προχωρήσει η άμεση εφαρμογή των έξυπνων μετρητών ηλεκτρισμού.
  10. Υποχρεωτική ανακύκλωση σε όλες τις δημόσιες αρχές και τις τοπικές αρχές που εξυπηρετούνται από σύστημα ανακύκλωσης.
  11. Χωριστή συλλογή οργανικών αποβλήτων για μείωση των αποβλήτων και παραγωγή κομπόστας ή/και ηλεκτρισμού με βιοαέριο.
  12. Ενημέρωση και προώθηση κατασκευής στην Κύπρο ηλιακών συστημάτων θέρμανσης γνωστά σαν ηλιακά αερόθερμα.
Τα πιο πάνω είναι απλά και δοκιμασμένα στο εξωτερικό, απλά χρειάζεται ανοικτό μυαλό και νέες ιδέες αν είναι να λύσουμε οικονομικά και περιβαλλοντικά προβλήματα προσφέροντας έτσι και δουλειές σε νέους ανάμεσα στους οποίους η ανεργία είναι σε ψηλά επίπεδα.

Παρασκευή, 5 Οκτωβρίου 2012

EFSA publishes initial review on GM maize and herbicide study

Μετά από τη γαλλική μελέτη για τα ΓΤΟ με τις φωτογραφίες των ποντικών με όγκους (πιο κάτω), ο οργανισμός υπεύθυνος για την ασφάλεια τροφίμων της ΕΕ έχει εκδώσει την πιο κάτω ανακοίνωση:

Press Release
4 October 2012

The European Food Safety Authority has concluded that a recent paper raising concerns about the potential toxicity of genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 and of a herbicide containing glyphosate is of insufficient scientific quality to be considered as valid for risk assessment.
EFSA’s initial review found that the design, reporting and analysis of the study, as outlined in the paper, are inadequate. To enable the fullest understanding of the study the Authority has invited authors Séralini et al to share key additional information.
Such shortcomings mean that EFSA is presently unable to regard the authors’ conclusions as scientifically sound. The numerous issues relating to the design and methodology of the study as described in the paper mean that no conclusions can be made about the occurrence of tumours in the rats tested.
Therefore, based on the information published by the authors, EFSA does not see a need to re-examine its previous safety evaluation of maize NK603 nor to consider these findings in the ongoing assessment of glyphosate.
EFSA assessed the paper against recognised good scientific practices, such as internationally agreed study and reporting guidelines.
Per Bergman, who led EFSA’s work, said: “Some may be surprised that EFSA’s statement focuses on the methodology of this study rather than its outcomes; however, this goes to the very heart of the matter. When conducting a study it is crucial to ensure a proper framework is in place. Having clear objectives and the correct design and methodology create a solid base from which accurate data and valid conclusions can follow. Without these elements a study is unlikely to be reliable and valid.”
The Director of Scientific Evaluation of Regulated Products added that the consideration of possible long-term effects of GMOs has been, and will continue to be, a key focus of EFSA’s work to protect animals, humans and the environment.
EFSA’s preliminary review issued today is the first step in a two-stage process. A second analysis will be delivered by the end of October 2012.  This will take into account any additional information from the study authors, who will be given an opportunity to supply study documentation and procedures to the Authority to ensure the broadest possible understanding of their work. It will also include an overview of Member State assessments of the paper and an analysis from the German authorities responsible for the assessment of glyphosate.
Main findings of Initial Review
The task force, whose members were drawn from the Authority’s GMO, pesticide and scientific assessment units, has outlined a list of issues about the paper that would need to be resolved before it could be viewed as well-conducted and properly-reported study.
  • The strain of rat used in the two-year study is prone to developing tumours during their life expectancy of approximately two years. This means the observed frequency of tumours is influenced by the natural incidence of tumours typical of this strain, regardless of any treatment. This is neither taken into account nor discussed by the authors.
  • The authors split the rats into 10 treatment sets but established only one control group. This meant there was no appropriate control for four sets – some 40% of the animals - all of whom were fed GM maize treated or not treated with a herbicide containing glyphosate.
  • The paper has not complied with internationally-recognised standard methods – known as protocols - for setting up and carrying out experiments. Many of these procedures are developed by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development).
  • For a study of this type, the relevant OECD guideline specifies the need for a minimum of 50 rats per treatment group. Séralini et al used only 10 rodents per treatment set. The low number of animals used is insufficient to distinguish between the incidence of tumours due to chance rather than specific treatment effects.
  • The authors have not stated any objectives, which are the questions a study is designed to answer. Research objectives define crucial factors such as the study design, correct sample size, and the statistical methods used to analyse data - all of which have a direct impact on the reliability of findings.
  • No information is given about the composition of the food given to the rats, how it was stored or details of harmful substances – such as mycotoxins – that it might have contained.
  • It is not possible to properly evaluate the exposure of the rats to the herbicide as intake is not clearly reported. The authors report only the application rate of the herbicide used to spray the plants and the concentration added to the rats’ drinking water but report no details about the volume of the feed or water consumed.
  • The paper does not employ a commonly-used statistical analysis method nor does it state if the method was specified prior to starting the study. The validity of the method used is queried and there are questions over the reporting of tumour incidence. Important data, such as a summary of drop outs and an estimation of unbiased treatment effects have not been included in the paper.
  • Many endpoints – what is measured in the study – have not been reported in the paper. This includes relevant information on lesions, other than tumours, that were observed. EFSA has called on the authors to report all endpoints in the name of openness and transparency.

Notes to editors:
EFSA set up a multi-disciplinary task force in response to an urgent request from the European Commission to evaluate a paper by Séralini et al to assess whether its findings could lead the Authority to reconsider its previous opinion on maize NK603. The two-year study, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology on 19 September 2012, has suggested that consumption of the GM maize and a herbicide containing glyphosate at levels below officially-safe limits are linked to a reported increase in incidence of tumours in rats.
For media enquiries please contact:
EFSA Media Relations Office
Tel. +39 0521 036 149
E-mail: Press@efsa.europa.eu
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