Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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global action > features

2006 ; the global tipping point?
by Christopher Flavin

If the world succeeds in avoiding ecological collapse, historians may one day look back on 2006 as the �tipping-point� moment, says Christopher Flavin, President of the Washington=based Worldwatch Institute, in this end of year message. ... more

Summit challenge for world leaders

by Hilary French

In a meeting that is billed as the largest gathering of world leaders in history, more than 170 Heads of State and Government will gather at United Nations headquarters in New York this week for the 2005 World Summit a special gathering of the UN General Assembly to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. But already some are warning that the meeting could end in chaos. Here, Hilary French outlines the opportunity they have to tackle the root social and environmental problems of the planet. ... more

Globalisation: fears and hopes
by David Held

In an article in www.openDemocracy.net Professor David Held unveiled a plan for global security that went far beyond the present 'Washington consensus'. He warns that �globalisation� in its present form included �a catastrophic combination of negative factors� and argues that it is still possible to reform our international institutions based on the universal principles of equality of all human beings. On the 18 June 2004 it was presented to Kofi Annan's High Panel currently reassessing the role of the United Nations. As a contribution to our coverage of people, poverty and trade, we publish a shortened version. ... more

Signs of hope despite Summit failures says Worldwatch report
Despite little action on many critical issues at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, the New Year reveals fresh evidence of humanity�s capacity to respond rapidly to unprecedented environmental and social threats, says the Worldwatch Institute�s annual report State of the World 2003. ... more

World Summit won a limp victory
by John Rowley

The 10-day World Summit on Sustainable Development ended a year ago this month,with agreement on a plan of action, but with bitter disappointment from many pressure groups over its shortcomings. ... more

Assessing the Summit
by Hilary French

Compared to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, last summer's World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg was bound to be somewhat disappointing. The negotiations leading up to Johannesburg had not provided any reason to expect dramatic break-throughs, and there were none. ... more

'Time to act on water, energy and gender'
by Angela Castellanos

Throughout the 1990s, major United Nations conferences, including the Earth Summit in Rio, stressed the importance of including women in sustainable development. Now at the end of the latest World Summit it seems that many of the commitments remain only on paper. Women continue to face many of the same obstacles they did 10 years ago. ... more

Renewable energy for the 21st century
by Christopher Flavin

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's selection of energy as one of five key themes to be addressed at the World Summit is an important indicator of progress over the past decade. ... more

Mining less in a sustainable world
by Payal Sampat

Johannesburg, South Africa, developed as a �gold rush� city after home builders quarrying for stones accidentally struck the yellow metal in 1886, but for delegates to the World Summit it was a striking example of the environmental and human price that has been paid in the name of mining. ... more

Sanitation milestone welcomed
Two of Britain's leading charities, WaterAid and Tearfund, have welcomed the Johannesburg Summit pledge to halve the numbers without access to sanitation, as well as clean water, by 2015. ... more

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