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Right to Health and Environment

Latin American, Caribbean nations sign landmark environmental agreement

14 Caribbean and Latin American countries recently signed the landmark Escazú Agreement that, according to an announcement from UN Environment, gives “environmental rights the same status as human rights”. The Agreement, which is officially called the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters, is the first environmental treaty for…

Climate change funding to developing nations falls short of Paris Agreement goals

According to an Oxfam report, funding for poor nations to assist them in cutting greenhouse emissions and tackle climate change is falling short of pledges made by wealthier nations, the Guardian reported. The Paris climate agreement of 2015 reiterated the goal to supply $100 billion every year to developing countries by 2020 to tackle the issue.…

14 Indian cities among the world’s most polluted cities: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a list of the world’s 20 most polluted cities, of which 14 are in India, NDTV reported. These included Varanasi, New Delhi, Kanpur, and Gwalior. Varanasi is the most polluted city in terms of levels of PM2.5, which includes pollutants like black carbon, nitrates and sulfates that pose the highest risk to…

CO2 emitted by ships at sea to be controlled for first time following deal

Carbon dioxide emissions from ships at sea will be controlled for the first time after a deal that was agreed upon following two weeks of discussion in London, the Guardian reported last week. The agreement was orchestrated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO); under it, shipping firms will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. The…

Colorado communities mount latest legal case against oil companies over climate change

The city of Boulder in Colorado, as well as the counties of Boulder and San Miguel have filed a lawsuit against oil firms Exxon Mobil and Suncor to obtain damages to cover what they say are the expenses of adapting for climate change, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. They have alleged that the companies created a…

Thousands of children need urgent psychological support in Papua New Guinea

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 25,000 children in Papua New Guinea urgently require psychological support after the country suffered multiple crippling earthquakes, the Guardian reported. A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the country on February 26; nearly 200 aftershocks have occurred in the last 40 days, some of which were 6.5 magnitude. Papua New…

Colombia supreme court directs government to protect Amazon rainforest in historic case

Colombia’s apex court has informed the country’s government that it must take immediate steps to protect the Amazon rainforest and check increasing deforestation, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. In January, 25 young plaintiffs aged seven to 26 sued Colombia’s government, saying that its inaction in protecting the Amazon imperilled their future and infringed on their constitutional…

170 young people contract HIV daily in Central and West Africa

86% of the world’s HIV-positive children and adolescents live in sub-Saharan Africa, the Los Angeles Times reported. In Central and West Africa, 80% of the children who have HIV do not get antiretroviral therapy, which makes it the region with the lowest rate of access to the treatment in the world. According to the latest research…

Eliminating poverty could lead to significant decrease in tuberculosis cases: Study

According to a study published in Lancet Global Health, eliminating extreme poverty would result in an 84% decrease in tuberculosis cases by the year 2035, the Guardian reported. Nine policymakers and scientists conducted research regarding the prevalence of tuberculosis in 192 countries. They considered connections between those living on less than $1.90 per day and the extent to…

World carbon emissions reached record high in 2017: IEA

Preliminary estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that the world’s energy demand increased by 2.1% in 2017, more than double the rate of increase in 2016, Reuters reported. In 2016, energy demand increased by 0.9%. On average, it also rose by 0.9% in the previous five years. According to the IEA, strong economic growth fueled…

Abortion rates significantly decline, in wealthy nations

The Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organisation on reproductive health, released a report that says abortion rates have fallen considerably around the world, but the decrease has been mainly in developed nations, the Guardian reported. Worldwide, abortion rates decreased from 46 per every 1,000 women of reproductive age to 27, between 1990 to 1994 and…

The world’s major forests could lose half their wildlife due to global warming: Study

According to a new study, the world’s greatest forests are at risk of losing more than half of their plant species unless more efforts are not made to combat climate change, the Guardian reported. The study, conducted by the WWF, the University of East Anglia, and the James Cook University, also found that animal species like…

Green Climate Fund authorises $1 billion for new initiatives

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) recently authorised little over $1 billion to be put towards 23 initiatives to aid developing nations in cutting emissions and adapt to climate change, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. The GCF is a global climate fund that has been established by the United Nations, and this is the most its…

Teen pregnancy rate in Latin America is “unacceptably high”: UN agencies

The Thomson Reuters Foundation reported that three United Nations agencies–the Pan American Health Organization, the UN children’s agency (UNICEF), and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA)–have said that there has not been enough progress in bringing down teenage pregnancy rates in Latin America and the Caribbean. The region has the second-highest rate worldwide. The report said there 66.5…

UN rights experts criticise Iran’s detention of environmentalists

After members of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF) were detained for alleged spying, United Nations human rights experts have said that they are “concerned that Iranian authorities now seem to be arresting and investigating peaceful scientific activists for their invaluable conservationist work.” They added, “It is hard to fathom how working to preserve the Iranian flora…

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