Note: Items in this page are updated as information is received and as time permits. If the reader knows about new pubs/tools that should be announced in this page, please write to the Editor.
1. Suggestions for Prayer, Study, and Action
SUGGESTION FOR PRAYER
The Ravensbruck Prayer
remember not only the men and women of good will
but also those of evil will.
And in remembering the suffering
they inflicted upon us,
honor the fruits we have borne
thanks to this suffering
— our comradeship, our humility,
our compassion, our courage,
our generosity, the greatness of heart
that has grown out of all this;
and when they come to the judgment,
let all the fruits that we have borne,
be their forgiveness.
For more on global citizenship, see The Global Citizen by Donella Meadows
An excellent way to get started would be to provide your input (ideas, suggestions, concerns) to the MDG Review Summit via the
UNDP Comments Form
Marking the start of a new century—and a new chapter in human history—United Nations
Member States agreed in 2000 on eight Millennium Development Goals. The vision propelling
the initiative, set out in the Millennium Declaration, is a world with less poverty, hunger and disease
and greater access to health care and education; a world in which women and men have equal
opportunities and natural resources are conserved for future generations. The MDGs also call for a
global partnership for development involving the private sector and civil society that includes sharing
the benefits of new technologies with countries worldwide.
At two thirds of the way, how much progress so far?
Progress towards the MDGs is monitored through a set of 21 measurable and time-bound targets and
60 indicators. Most of the targets are to be achieved by 2015 and start from a 1990 baseline. This
chart presents an assessment of progress so far for selected indicators and regions, on the basis of
information available as of June 2010. While some indicators reflect data as recent as 2010, others rely
on older statistics, dating as far back as 2005.
The Millennium Declaration in 2000 was a milestone
in international cooperation, inspiring development
efforts that have improved the lives of hundreds of
millions of people around the world. Ten years later,
world leaders will gather again at the United Nations
in New York to review progress, assess obstacles
and gaps, and agree on concrete strategies and
actions to meet the eight Millennium Development
Goals by 2015.
The Goals represent human needs and basic rights
that every individual around the world should be
able to enjoy—freedom from extreme poverty and
hunger; quality education, productive and decent
employment, good health and shelter; the right of
women to give birth without risking their lives; and a
world where environmental sustainability is a priority,
and women and men live in equality. Leaders also
pledged to forge a wide-ranging global partnership
for development to achieve these universal
This report shows how much progress has been
made. Perhaps most important, it shows that
the Goals are achievable when nationally owned
development strategies, policies and programmes
are supported by international development partners.
At the same time, it is clear that improvements in
the lives of the poor have been unacceptably slow,
and some hard-won gains are being eroded by the
climate, food and economic crises.
The world possesses the resources and knowledge
to ensure that even the poorest countries, and others
held back by disease, geographic isolation or civil
strife, can be empowered to achieve the MDGs.
Meeting the goals is everyone’s business. Falling
short would multiply the dangers of our world – from
instability to epidemic diseases to environmental
degradation. But achieving the goals will put us on
a fast track to a world that is more stable, more just,
and more secure. Billions of people are looking to the international
community to realize the great vision embodied in the
Millennium Declaration. Let us keep that promise.
Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia
Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth's climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth and future generations into a range of impacts, some of which could become very severe. Emissions reductions decisions made today matter in determining impacts experienced not just over the next few decades, but in the coming centuries and millennia.
According to Climate Stabilization Targets; Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts Over Decades to Millennia, important policy decisions can be informed by recent advances in climate science that quantify the relationships between increases in carbon dioxide and global warming, related climate changes, and resulting impacts, such as changes in stream flow, wildfires, crop productivity, extreme hot summers, and sea level rise. One way to inform these choices is to consider the projected climate changes and impacts that would occur if greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were stabilized at a particular concentration level. The book quantifies the outcomes of different stabilization targets for greenhouse gas concentrations using analyses and information drawn from the scientific literature. Although it does not recommend or justify any particular stabilization target, it does provide important scientific insights about the relationships among emissions, greenhouse gas concentrations, temperatures, and impacts.
Climate Stabilization Targets emphasizes the importance of 21st century choices regarding long-term climate stabilization.
"Poor people of all colors are getting poorer and our communities are getting more toxic. There is a misconception that to grow our economy we will have to do business as usual, because cleaning up the environment, mitigating climate change is just too costly. Well, I say the business of poverty is just too expensive a bill for humanity to pay any longer." Majora Carter
The World Survey on the Role of Women in Development is the flagship publication of the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women. The theme for the World Survey in 2009 is "Women’s control over economic resources and access to financial resources, including microfinance."
Point of contact: UN Division for the Advancement of Women, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Human Development Report 2010
"Rethinking Human Development"
From the UNDP HDR 2010 web page:
"Human development is about putting people at the centre of development. It is about people realizing their potential, increasing their choices and enjoying the freedom to lead lives they value. Since 1990, annual Human Development Reports have explored challenges including poverty, gender, democracy, human rights, cultural liberty, globalization, water scarcity, climate change, and mobility.
"The 2010 report will seek to articulate an agenda for change to underpin a New Human Development Deal that can significantly advance development thinking and policies. It will incorporate thinking from academia and the policy world as well as new research to be commissioned or undertaken by the Human Development Report Office. It will place significant emphasis on the knowledge that comes from developing countries and regions, in particular that garnered through the national and regional human development reports. This emphasis reflects the belief that placing people at the center of development also implies putting people at the center of the generation of knowledge about development, and that this is best achieved by understanding how communities and local actors understand the practice of development."
The PERN eLibrary is an important and unique reference tool for classic population-environment literature; journal articles; conference and working papers; relevant data sets; and educational resources. The eLibrary database is annotated and includes bibliographic citation information, Internet links to the materials, and keywords.
The Great Transition Initiative, by the Tellus Institute, may offer the most comprehensive/integrated scenarios of the sustainable development process at the regional and global levels. The reader is invited to explore these links:
Colors: Though not in order, these rainbow colors blend naturally without any conflict with humans. The five figures symbolize the human race. Single eyes symbolize the need for the human race to refocus on the need for each other.
Hands: Two hands are better than one; fingers work together without conflicting.
The seed and plant: The human race has one origin and source.
The lines from the plant: The entire human race has the same red blood.
Feet with the ball: This symbolizes the world cup.
The road and horizon: This achieves unity in purpose and is a journey to the horizon that will not be achieved in a day, but will be a gradual process.
The Millennium Village Simulation (MV Sim), developed by the Columbia University's Center for New Media Teaching & Learning (CCNMTL) and the Columbia Earth Institute, is very appealing because it supports learning about pursuing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) under conditions of extreme poverty in Africa.
According to the MV Sim web site, "the MV Sim (short for Millennium Village Simulation) was created as a teaching tool to help students appreciate the complexity of meeting the MDGs in a rural African setting, and to experience the interdisciplinary nature of sustainable development. The MV Sim does not strive to be a perfect replica of a real village; indeed, many of Africa's challenges (such as HIV/AIDS) are not present in the simulation. Instead, the MV Sim purposefully incorporates only a select set of issues to make it a manageable educational tool that models challenges cutting across the disciplines of agronomy, public health, environmental science, and economics."
The tool is freely accessible on the web, and an excellent tutorial is available and embedded below. Just click on the arrow to get started. While taking the tutorial, clicking on the four outgoing arrows (next to last in the bottom tool bar) switches to full screen mode.
Click here to register and give it a try. The simulation entails making periodic decisions about work and consumption of basic necessities by a poor family. After the family succeeds in sustainable living, the simulation allows for participation in sustainability decisions for the entire village. During a given simulation run, the user is given periodic reports on sustainability status for the family and village based on previous decisions, including graphs of the decisions made over time. Help text is available at each step. In addition, links are provided to access maps and other online sources of sustainable development information.
7. Visualizations of the Sustainable Development Process
An interactive world atlas with country statistics related to sustainable development. Globalis aims to create an understanding for similarities and differences in human societies, as well as how we influence life on the planet. Click on the map to visit the Globalis interactive map: