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ReliefWeb - Updates
    0 0

    Source: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
    Country: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Russian Federation, United States of America, Uzbekistan

    Vienna, 29 June 2011 – A call has been made for all European and Central Asian States to join the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention. The appeal was made today at the headquarters of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) by H.E. Gazmend Turdiu, the senior Albanian diplomat currently presiding over the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.

    “I call upon the 10 OSCE Member States that have not yet joined our humanitarian movement to do so as soon as possible,” said Mr. Turdiu, who addressed the 650th plenary meeting of the OSCE’s Forum for Security and Cooperation. While 46 OSCE Member States are parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, the following 10 are not: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, the Russian Federation, the United States of America and Uzbekistan.

    “In keeping with the commitments made by States Parties at the landmark 2009 Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World, I would like to seize this opportunity to promote ratification of and accession to the Convention,” said Mr. Turdiu.

    Eliminating anti-personnel landmines makes borders more secure, not less

    Since 2003, the OSCE has been part of global efforts to assist States in fulfilling their Convention obligations through its mine action programme in Tajikistan. Beyond Tajikistan the OSCE, in partnership with the Slovenian-based International Trust Fund, has facilitated cooperation to address landmine challenges through Central Asia.

    “I would also like to acknowledge the instrumental role of the OSCE in seeking to enhance border security through the OSCE Border Management Staff College,” said Mr. Turdiu. “As parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, we have accepted that borders become actually more secure as opposed to less secure, through the elimination of anti-personnel mines.”

    “In many regions, the top perceived barrier to accession appears to be related to border security,” added Mr. Turdiu. “However, 156 States of the world have accepted that they will ensure State sovereignty and the security of borders without anti-personnel mines. I encourage OSCE Member States that are not yet parties to the Convention to consult with those states that have already joined, so that they can learn from our experiences”.

    The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention

    The AP Mine Ban Convention was adopted in Oslo in 1997 and was opened for signature in Ottawa the same year; it entered into force in 1999.

    To date 156 States are parties to the Convention, 152 of them now no longer hold stocks; almost 44 million mines have been destroyed by the States Parties. The vast majority of these mines – more than 37 million – have been destroyed by 33 OSCE Member States.

    34 of 50 States that at one time manufactured anti-personnel mines are now bound by the Convention’s ban on production. Most other parties have put in place moratoria on production and / or transfers of landmines.

    Demining has resulted in millions of square metres of once dangerous land being released for normal human activity.


    0 0

    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, occupied Palestinian territory, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uzbekistan, Yemen

    Natural disasters, including drought, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires, as well as ongoing complex emergencies and limited government capacity in the region, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (EMCA). Between FY 2004 and FY 2013, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided assistance in response to a range of disasters, including floods, wildfires, winter emergencies, and complex crises.


    0 0

    Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
    Country: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, World

    Overview

    With 53 National Societies, from the Atlantic Ocean to the borders of China, the Europe Zone is very diverse, and there are huge differences when it comes to the level of development and self-reliance. Some National Societies are still very much dependent on external funding, and the sustainability of their programmes and their overall organisation can often be questioned. In the given context, after a long-lasting economic crisis, we have more and more National Societies who are undergoing a major crisis that is triggered by the crisis itself, but the root causes are traced back to the past when the necessary organisational changes had not been undertaken. The traditional way of thinking that only National Societies in transition countries are underperforming is not true any more. The situation is more complex than that. Some of the National Societies in our region are in the middle of the implementation of their planned change processes (Italy and Ireland, for instance) and some others are embarking on a painful journey just now (Greece). Tailored support and individual approach have been the working philosophy of the Secretariat of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and it will continue to be like this.

    There is still an interest in the Organizational Capacity Assessment and Certification Initiative (OCAC) as a self-assessment tool with the possibility to plan more focused Organizational Development interventions and development plans within the NSs in the Europe Zone. To date, 17 NSs have undergone the self-assessment process in Europe and the majority have either developed or are in the process of developing a plan of action linked to the OCAC outcomes.

    The National Societies of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Hungary are in the process of discussions with their own governments about the adoption of Red Cross/Red Crescent Laws. A number of National Societies have completed the revision of their Statutes (Russia, Iceland) and some others have started this process (Kazakhstan, Greece). The IFRC Europe Zone Office will continue to accompany the NSs along this process and will interact closely with the Governance department at the Federation`s Geneva-based Secretariat.


    0 0

    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chile, China, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Niue (New Zealand), Norway, Oman, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Viet Nam, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Genetic diversity of livestock can help feed a hotter, harsher world

    Despite growing interest in safeguarding biodiversity of livestock and poultry,genetic erosion continues

    27 January 2016, Rome - Livestock keepers and policy makers worldwide are increasingly interested in harnessing animal biodiversity to improve production and food security on a warmer, more crowded planet, according to a new FAO report issued today. The agency nonetheless warns that many valuable animal breeds continue to be at risk and calls for stronger efforts to use the pool of genetic resources sustainably.

    According to The Second Report on the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, some 17 percent (1,458) of the world's farm animal breeds are currently at risk of extinction, while the risk status of many others (58 percent) is simply unknown due to a lack of data on the size and structure of their populations. Nearly 100 livestock breeds have gone extinct between 2000 and 2014.

    Country data shows that indiscriminate cross-breeding is considered as the main cause of genetic erosion. Other common threats to animal genetic diversity are the increasing use of non-native breeds, weak policies and institutions regulating the livestock sector, the decline of traditional livestock production systems, and the neglect of breeds considered not competitive enough.

    Europe and the Caucasus, and North America are the two areas in the world with the highest proportion of at-risk breeds. In absolute terms, the highest number of at-risk breeds can be found in Europe and the Caucasus.

    Both areas are characterized by highly specialized livestock industries that tend to use only a small number of breeds for production.

    Why biodiversity matters

    Genetic diversity provides the raw material for farmers and pastoralists to improve their breeds and adapt livestock populations to changing environments and changing demands.

    "For thousands of years, domesticated animals, like sheep, chickens and camels, have contributed directly to the livelihoods and food security of millions of people," said FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva, "That includes some 70 percent of the world's rural poor today."

    "Genetic diversity is a prerequisite for adaptation in the face of future challenges", according to the Director-General, who added that the report will "underpin renewed efforts to ensure that animal genetic resources are used and developed to promote global food security, and remain available for future generations."

    Among the future challenges are climate change, emerging diseases, pressure on land and water, and shifting market demands, which make it more important than ever to ensure animal genetic resources are conserved and used sustainably.

    Currently, some 38 species and 8,774 separate breeds of domesticated birds and mammals are used in agriculture and food production.

    Rise in national gene banks and improved management

    A total of 129 countries participated in the new global assessment, which follows nearly a decade after the release of the first global assessment of animal genetic resources in 2007.

    "The data we've collected suggests there's been improvement in the number of at-risk breeds since the first assessment," says Beate Scherf, Animal Production Officer at FAO and co-author of the report. "And governments overall have definitely stepped up efforts to halt genetic erosion and more sustainably manage their national livestock breeds."

    The study finds that governments are increasingly recognizing the importance of sustainably using and developing the genetic resources embodied in livestock.

    When FAO published the first global assessment in 2007, fewer than 10 countries reported having established a gene bank. That number has now risen to 64 countries, and an additional 41 countries are planning to establish such a gene bank, according to the new report.

    And these efforts are bearing fruit, experts say: "Over the last decade, countries across Europe have invested heavily in building shared information systems and gene banks as security measures," according to Scherf.

    Regional collaborations like the new European Gene Bank Network (EUGENA) are key to managing and improving breeds in the future, she says, and should be supported by in situ conservation of live animals in their natural habitat.

    In situ conservation also recognizes the cultural and environmental value of keeping live populations of diverse animal breeds.

    Some 177 countries additionally have appointed National Coordinators and 78 have set up multi-stakeholder advisory groups to aid national efforts to better manage animal genetic resources.

    Increasing global trade in animal genetic resources

    This comes at a time of expansion in the global trade in breeding animals and livestock semen, often for cross-breeding purposes, with many developing countries emerging as significant importers and some also as exporters of genetic material.

    Increasingly, farmers and policy makers in developing countries have embraced imports of genetic material as a way to enhance the productivity of their livestock populations - growing their milk output, for example, or decreasing the time needed for an animal to reach maturity.

    But if not well planned, cross-breeding can fail to significantly improve productivity and lead to the loss of valuable characteristics such as the special ability to cope with extremes of temperature, limited water supplies, poor-quality feed, rough terrain, high altitudes and other challenging aspects of the production environment.

    Challenges to management of genetic resources

    In order to better manage livestock diversity going forward, animal breeds and their production environment need to be better described, according to the report, which shows genetic resources are frequently lost when limited knowledge leads to certain breeds going underused.

    More also needs to be done to monitor population trends and emerging threats to diversity, according to the report.

    Trendspotting will be critical

    Among the major changes to the sector over the last decades has been the rapid expansion of large-scale high-input livestock production systems in parts of the developing world, accompanied by growing pressures on natural resources.

    South Asia and Africa -two very resource-constrained regions that are home to many small-scale livestock keepers and a diverse range of animal genetic resources - are projected to become the main centres of growth in meat and milk consumption.

    Trends like these are grounds for concern because similar rises in demand in other regions have come with a shift away from small-scale production that supports local genetic diversity to large-scale production that is more likely to use a limited number of breeds and can create major challenges for the sustainable use of animal genetic resources.

    Changes in food systems are among trends that should be carefully tracked to predict their impact on demand for particular species and breeds, according to the report, along technology, climate changes and government policies.

    Need for greater international collaboration

    At the same time, the report stresses that international cooperation remains an area requiring improvement in order to support future livestock biodiversity.

    Since 2007, countries have been implementing the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources, the first internationally agreed framework of its kind.

    But international collaboration remains relatively underdeveloped among countries implementing the Plan, the report cautions. Cooperation should be stepped up to move beyond the limited number of bilateral and regional research programs that are currently in place.


    0 0

    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, occupied Palestinian territory, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uzbekistan, World, Yemen

    Protracted complex emergencies and natural disasters, including drought, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (EMCA). Between FY 2007 and FY 2016, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided assistance in response to a range of disasters, including floods, wildfires, winter emergencies, and complex crises. Examples include complex emergencies in Georgia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen; earthquakes in Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkey; floods in Moldova, Montenegro, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia; and wildfires in Albania, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, and Portugal.

    Between FY 2007 and FY 2016, USAID provided nearly $5 billion for emergency response programs in the EMCA region. USAID/FFP assistance included nearly $2.8 billion for food assistance in the form of U.S. purchased food, locally and/or regionally purchased food, cash transfers for food, food vouchers, and related activities such as nutrition messaging, community asset building, and support for UN World Food Program special operations. USAID/OFDA assistance included more than $2.2 billion for agriculture and food security, health, livelihoods, nutrition, protection, shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions, as well as support for humanitarian coordination and logistics and the provision of relief commodities.

    In the last decade, USAID responded to 88 disasters in EMCA. USAID also frequently deployed humanitarian teams to the region, including five Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs). DARTs deployed to Georgia in FY 2008 and Libya in FY 2011 in response to complex emergencies. During FY 2011, a DART deployed to Israel in response to wildfires. Escalated conflict in Syria prompted USAID to stand up a DART in FY 2013, and a DART deployed to Iraq in the wake of deteriorating security that prompted significant population movement in FY 2014; both DARTs remained active throughout FY 2016. During the past ten years, USAID also activated multiple Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Teams to better facilitate DART coordination and response efforts.


    0 0

    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Micronesia (Federated States of), Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, World

    The map below shows asylum applications by under age 18 year olds and gender. Darker colours mean more people have applied in a certain country. Use the slider to select a year or the drop down menus below to display data for different age groups or different home countries.


    0 0

    Source: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
    Country: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Russian Federation, United States of America, Uzbekistan

    Vienna, 29 June 2011 – A call has been made for all European and Central Asian States to join the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention. The appeal was made today at the headquarters of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) by H.E. Gazmend Turdiu, the senior Albanian diplomat currently presiding over the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.

    “I call upon the 10 OSCE Member States that have not yet joined our humanitarian movement to do so as soon as possible,” said Mr. Turdiu, who addressed the 650th plenary meeting of the OSCE’s Forum for Security and Cooperation. While 46 OSCE Member States are parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, the following 10 are not: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, the Russian Federation, the United States of America and Uzbekistan.

    “In keeping with the commitments made by States Parties at the landmark 2009 Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World, I would like to seize this opportunity to promote ratification of and accession to the Convention,” said Mr. Turdiu.

    Eliminating anti-personnel landmines makes borders more secure, not less

    Since 2003, the OSCE has been part of global efforts to assist States in fulfilling their Convention obligations through its mine action programme in Tajikistan. Beyond Tajikistan the OSCE, in partnership with the Slovenian-based International Trust Fund, has facilitated cooperation to address landmine challenges through Central Asia.

    “I would also like to acknowledge the instrumental role of the OSCE in seeking to enhance border security through the OSCE Border Management Staff College,” said Mr. Turdiu. “As parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, we have accepted that borders become actually more secure as opposed to less secure, through the elimination of anti-personnel mines.”

    “In many regions, the top perceived barrier to accession appears to be related to border security,” added Mr. Turdiu. “However, 156 States of the world have accepted that they will ensure State sovereignty and the security of borders without anti-personnel mines. I encourage OSCE Member States that are not yet parties to the Convention to consult with those states that have already joined, so that they can learn from our experiences”.

    The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention

    The AP Mine Ban Convention was adopted in Oslo in 1997 and was opened for signature in Ottawa the same year; it entered into force in 1999.

    To date 156 States are parties to the Convention, 152 of them now no longer hold stocks; almost 44 million mines have been destroyed by the States Parties. The vast majority of these mines – more than 37 million – have been destroyed by 33 OSCE Member States.

    34 of 50 States that at one time manufactured anti-personnel mines are now bound by the Convention’s ban on production. Most other parties have put in place moratoria on production and / or transfers of landmines.

    Demining has resulted in millions of square metres of once dangerous land being released for normal human activity.


    0 0

    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, occupied Palestinian territory, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uzbekistan, Yemen

    Natural disasters, including drought, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires, as well as ongoing complex emergencies and limited government capacity in the region, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (EMCA). Between FY 2004 and FY 2013, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided assistance in response to a range of disasters, including floods, wildfires, winter emergencies, and complex crises.


    0 0

    Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
    Country: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, World

    Overview

    With 53 National Societies, from the Atlantic Ocean to the borders of China, the Europe Zone is very diverse, and there are huge differences when it comes to the level of development and self-reliance. Some National Societies are still very much dependent on external funding, and the sustainability of their programmes and their overall organisation can often be questioned. In the given context, after a long-lasting economic crisis, we have more and more National Societies who are undergoing a major crisis that is triggered by the crisis itself, but the root causes are traced back to the past when the necessary organisational changes had not been undertaken. The traditional way of thinking that only National Societies in transition countries are underperforming is not true any more. The situation is more complex than that. Some of the National Societies in our region are in the middle of the implementation of their planned change processes (Italy and Ireland, for instance) and some others are embarking on a painful journey just now (Greece). Tailored support and individual approach have been the working philosophy of the Secretariat of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and it will continue to be like this.

    There is still an interest in the Organizational Capacity Assessment and Certification Initiative (OCAC) as a self-assessment tool with the possibility to plan more focused Organizational Development interventions and development plans within the NSs in the Europe Zone. To date, 17 NSs have undergone the self-assessment process in Europe and the majority have either developed or are in the process of developing a plan of action linked to the OCAC outcomes.

    The National Societies of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Hungary are in the process of discussions with their own governments about the adoption of Red Cross/Red Crescent Laws. A number of National Societies have completed the revision of their Statutes (Russia, Iceland) and some others have started this process (Kazakhstan, Greece). The IFRC Europe Zone Office will continue to accompany the NSs along this process and will interact closely with the Governance department at the Federation`s Geneva-based Secretariat.


    0 0

    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Country: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chile, China, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Niue (New Zealand), Norway, Oman, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Viet Nam, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Genetic diversity of livestock can help feed a hotter, harsher world

    Despite growing interest in safeguarding biodiversity of livestock and poultry,genetic erosion continues

    27 January 2016, Rome - Livestock keepers and policy makers worldwide are increasingly interested in harnessing animal biodiversity to improve production and food security on a warmer, more crowded planet, according to a new FAO report issued today. The agency nonetheless warns that many valuable animal breeds continue to be at risk and calls for stronger efforts to use the pool of genetic resources sustainably.

    According to The Second Report on the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, some 17 percent (1,458) of the world's farm animal breeds are currently at risk of extinction, while the risk status of many others (58 percent) is simply unknown due to a lack of data on the size and structure of their populations. Nearly 100 livestock breeds have gone extinct between 2000 and 2014.

    Country data shows that indiscriminate cross-breeding is considered as the main cause of genetic erosion. Other common threats to animal genetic diversity are the increasing use of non-native breeds, weak policies and institutions regulating the livestock sector, the decline of traditional livestock production systems, and the neglect of breeds considered not competitive enough.

    Europe and the Caucasus, and North America are the two areas in the world with the highest proportion of at-risk breeds. In absolute terms, the highest number of at-risk breeds can be found in Europe and the Caucasus.

    Both areas are characterized by highly specialized livestock industries that tend to use only a small number of breeds for production.

    Why biodiversity matters

    Genetic diversity provides the raw material for farmers and pastoralists to improve their breeds and adapt livestock populations to changing environments and changing demands.

    "For thousands of years, domesticated animals, like sheep, chickens and camels, have contributed directly to the livelihoods and food security of millions of people," said FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva, "That includes some 70 percent of the world's rural poor today."

    "Genetic diversity is a prerequisite for adaptation in the face of future challenges", according to the Director-General, who added that the report will "underpin renewed efforts to ensure that animal genetic resources are used and developed to promote global food security, and remain available for future generations."

    Among the future challenges are climate change, emerging diseases, pressure on land and water, and shifting market demands, which make it more important than ever to ensure animal genetic resources are conserved and used sustainably.

    Currently, some 38 species and 8,774 separate breeds of domesticated birds and mammals are used in agriculture and food production.

    Rise in national gene banks and improved management

    A total of 129 countries participated in the new global assessment, which follows nearly a decade after the release of the first global assessment of animal genetic resources in 2007.

    "The data we've collected suggests there's been improvement in the number of at-risk breeds since the first assessment," says Beate Scherf, Animal Production Officer at FAO and co-author of the report. "And governments overall have definitely stepped up efforts to halt genetic erosion and more sustainably manage their national livestock breeds."

    The study finds that governments are increasingly recognizing the importance of sustainably using and developing the genetic resources embodied in livestock.

    When FAO published the first global assessment in 2007, fewer than 10 countries reported having established a gene bank. That number has now risen to 64 countries, and an additional 41 countries are planning to establish such a gene bank, according to the new report.

    And these efforts are bearing fruit, experts say: "Over the last decade, countries across Europe have invested heavily in building shared information systems and gene banks as security measures," according to Scherf.

    Regional collaborations like the new European Gene Bank Network (EUGENA) are key to managing and improving breeds in the future, she says, and should be supported by in situ conservation of live animals in their natural habitat.

    In situ conservation also recognizes the cultural and environmental value of keeping live populations of diverse animal breeds.

    Some 177 countries additionally have appointed National Coordinators and 78 have set up multi-stakeholder advisory groups to aid national efforts to better manage animal genetic resources.

    Increasing global trade in animal genetic resources

    This comes at a time of expansion in the global trade in breeding animals and livestock semen, often for cross-breeding purposes, with many developing countries emerging as significant importers and some also as exporters of genetic material.

    Increasingly, farmers and policy makers in developing countries have embraced imports of genetic material as a way to enhance the productivity of their livestock populations - growing their milk output, for example, or decreasing the time needed for an animal to reach maturity.

    But if not well planned, cross-breeding can fail to significantly improve productivity and lead to the loss of valuable characteristics such as the special ability to cope with extremes of temperature, limited water supplies, poor-quality feed, rough terrain, high altitudes and other challenging aspects of the production environment.

    Challenges to management of genetic resources

    In order to better manage livestock diversity going forward, animal breeds and their production environment need to be better described, according to the report, which shows genetic resources are frequently lost when limited knowledge leads to certain breeds going underused.

    More also needs to be done to monitor population trends and emerging threats to diversity, according to the report.

    Trendspotting will be critical

    Among the major changes to the sector over the last decades has been the rapid expansion of large-scale high-input livestock production systems in parts of the developing world, accompanied by growing pressures on natural resources.

    South Asia and Africa -two very resource-constrained regions that are home to many small-scale livestock keepers and a diverse range of animal genetic resources - are projected to become the main centres of growth in meat and milk consumption.

    Trends like these are grounds for concern because similar rises in demand in other regions have come with a shift away from small-scale production that supports local genetic diversity to large-scale production that is more likely to use a limited number of breeds and can create major challenges for the sustainable use of animal genetic resources.

    Changes in food systems are among trends that should be carefully tracked to predict their impact on demand for particular species and breeds, according to the report, along technology, climate changes and government policies.

    Need for greater international collaboration

    At the same time, the report stresses that international cooperation remains an area requiring improvement in order to support future livestock biodiversity.

    Since 2007, countries have been implementing the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources, the first internationally agreed framework of its kind.

    But international collaboration remains relatively underdeveloped among countries implementing the Plan, the report cautions. Cooperation should be stepped up to move beyond the limited number of bilateral and regional research programs that are currently in place.


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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, occupied Palestinian territory, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uzbekistan, World, Yemen

    Protracted complex emergencies and natural disasters, including drought, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (EMCA). Between FY 2007 and FY 2016, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided assistance in response to a range of disasters, including floods, wildfires, winter emergencies, and complex crises. Examples include complex emergencies in Georgia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen; earthquakes in Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkey; floods in Moldova, Montenegro, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia; and wildfires in Albania, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, and Portugal.

    Between FY 2007 and FY 2016, USAID provided nearly $5 billion for emergency response programs in the EMCA region. USAID/FFP assistance included nearly $2.8 billion for food assistance in the form of U.S. purchased food, locally and/or regionally purchased food, cash transfers for food, food vouchers, and related activities such as nutrition messaging, community asset building, and support for UN World Food Program special operations. USAID/OFDA assistance included more than $2.2 billion for agriculture and food security, health, livelihoods, nutrition, protection, shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions, as well as support for humanitarian coordination and logistics and the provision of relief commodities.

    In the last decade, USAID responded to 88 disasters in EMCA. USAID also frequently deployed humanitarian teams to the region, including five Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs). DARTs deployed to Georgia in FY 2008 and Libya in FY 2011 in response to complex emergencies. During FY 2011, a DART deployed to Israel in response to wildfires. Escalated conflict in Syria prompted USAID to stand up a DART in FY 2013, and a DART deployed to Iraq in the wake of deteriorating security that prompted significant population movement in FY 2014; both DARTs remained active throughout FY 2016. During the past ten years, USAID also activated multiple Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Teams to better facilitate DART coordination and response efforts.


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Micronesia (Federated States of), Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, World

    The map below shows asylum applications by under age 18 year olds and gender. Darker colours mean more people have applied in a certain country. Use the slider to select a year or the drop down menus below to display data for different age groups or different home countries.