Published on February 4, 2014
Roundtable Discussion Uzbekistan Fulbright Alumni Association 11/28/2008 Tashkent, Uzbekistan Global Environmental Issues Robert McCutcheon Bakhtiyor Mukhammadiev US Embassy
Presentation outline Global climate change Desertification Biodiversity Water U.S.-Uzbekistan cooperation on environmental issues
Definitions Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation. Climate change is any long-term significant change in the “average weather” that a given region experiences. Average weather may include average temperature, precipitation and wind patterns. These changes can be caused by dynamic processes on Earth, external forces including variations in sunlight intensity, and more recently by human activities.
Global Warming According to the recent IPCC report, the mean global surface temperature has increased by 0.74OC over the last 100 years (1906-2005) 11 of the 12 warmest years have been recorded in the past 12 years Source: United Nations Environment Program
Causes of Climate Change Human Activities (IPCC, 2004) Energy supply, 26% Industry, 19% Forestry, 17% Agriculture, 14% Transport, 13% Buildings, 8% Waste, 3% Volcanoes Forest fires Oceans
Impacts of Global Climate Change Rising sea level – Melting Polar Ice – Loss of Mountain Glaciers and Snow Pack – Expansion of the Oceans Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Changing weather patterns – – – – Stronger Hurricanes More Droughts and Flooding Effects on Human Health Effects on Ecosystems The Aral Sea Polar Bears
Impact of global climate change “…Central Asia is another region severely affected by climate change. An increasing shortage of water, which is both a key resource for agriculture and a strategic resource for electricity generation, is already noticeable. The glaciers in Tajikistan lost a third of their area in the second half of the 20th century alone, while Kyrgyzstan has lost over a 1000 glaciers in the last four decades. There is thus considerable additional potential for conflict in a region whose strategic, political and economic developments as well as increasing trans-regional challenges impact directly or indirectly on EU interests…” Council of European Union Report 7249/08, “Climate change and International security” - ‘Solana Report’ (March 3, 2008)
Examples of U.S. Initiatives DOMESTIC: – – – – – – – – – – – – GHG Intensity Goal Climate VISION Climate Leaders SmartWay Transport Partnership ENERGY STAR® Targeted Incentives for GHG Sequestration Fuel Economy Increase for Light Trucks Tax Incentives to Reduce GHG Emissions Climate Change Science Program Climate Change Technology Program Clean Energy Initiative Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership INTERNATIONAL: – Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate – Methane to Markets Partnership – International Partnership for Hydrogen Economy – Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum – Generation IV International Forum – ITER – Bilateral and Regional Partnerships – Group on Earth Observations – Tropical Forest Conservation Act – President’s Initiative Against Illegal Logging – Global Environmental Facility
U.S. Climate Change Policy Summary U.S. takes the issue of climate change very seriously and remains committed to the UNFCCC and to the mutual goals of sustainable development and economic growth. Addressing global climate change will require: sustained effort involving all nations over many generations; an approach that will harness the power of markets, the creativity of entrepreneurs, and draw upon the best scientific research; and development and deployment of new transformational technologies during this century. U.S. has an ambitious near-term goal to reduce the growth of its GHG emissions, and is taking many actions to help meet that goal. U.S. is investing billions of dollars to address climate change—both in the near-term and long-term. U.S. is fully engaged internationally, is leading major bilateral and multilateral climate change science and technology initiatives, and will continue to cooperate with all nations.
Obama-Biden New Energy for America Plan Invest $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future Within 10 years save more oil than the U.S. currently imports from the Middle East and Venezuela combined 1 million Hybrid cars on the road by 2015 Ensure 10 percent of US electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025 Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050
The Causes of Desertification Overcultivation Overgrazing Desertification is the degradation of drylands Deforestation Poor irrigation practices
Consequences of Desertification Desertification reduces land’s resilience to natural climate variability Soil becomes less productive Vegetation becomes damaged Food production is undermined Desertification contributes to famine Enormous social costs Huge drain on economic resources Afghanistan (UNEP, 2001)
The U.S. Commitment to Combating Desertification In addition to USAID technical assistance to countries affected by desertification, the USG contributes substantially to multilateral funds and international organizations to address the root causes of desertification worldwide: United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
Biodiversity: Definition Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms from all sources Terrestrial Ecoregions Marine Ecoregions Freshwater Ecoregions
Threats to Biodiversity Habitat Destruction Invasive Species Pollution Overpopulation Overharvesting Climate Change
Biodiversity Protection: Examples of U.S. Initiatives and Partnerships To end the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products through reduction of consumer demand, awareness raising and strengthening of wildlife law enforcement across continents To assist developing countries to combat illegal logging, the sale and export of illegally harvested timber and corruption in the forest sector through good governance, community-based actions, technology transfer and harnessing market forces To develop global awareness and international consensus on strategies to reduce the threat to human health, the environment, and economic prosperity posed by invasive alien species. CONGO BASIN FOREST PARTNERSHIP To reduce the rate of forest degradation and loss of biodiversity through increased local, national, and regional natural resource management capacity, application of sustainable management practices, the institutionalization of natural resources monitoring, and the strengthening of natural resources governance
Lack of Access to Safe Water Over 1.49 billion of people lack access to safe water
Population With Access to Adequate Sanitation N/A 20-40% 60-80% 0-20% 40-60% 80-100% 2.6 billion of people lack access to basic sanitation
Water-Related Deaths “More than 5 million people die each year from diseases caused by unsafe drinking water, lack of sanitation, and insufficient water for hygiene. In fact, over 2 million deaths occur each year from water-related diarrhea alone. At any given time, almost half of the people in developing countries suffer from water-related diseases.” Children of Kabul, Afghanistan (AP) Johannesburg Summit 2002 “…one child every 8 seconds dies from water-related disease…” World Health Organization, 2005 “…76 Million Could Perish From Water-Related Disease by 2020…” Pacific Institute, 2002
Transboundary Waters 263 international river basins 50% of world’s land surface 60% of global freshwater flow 40% of world’s population 145 countries, eq.: Danube River – 17 Basin States Nile River – 10 Basin States Congo, Niger, Rhine and Zambezi – 9 States The Aral Sea Basin: two rivers and 6 basin states Transboundary aquifers Afghanistan Pakistan Indus River India
World Water Crisis: U.S. Response The Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005
U.S. Department of State Creating a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community. • Increase access to, and effective use of, safe water and sanitation; • Improve water resources management; • Increase the productivity of water resources; and • Improve water security. www.state.gov/g/oes/water U.S. Strategy - Objectives
U.S.-Uzbekistan environmental cooperation
Examples of US Government Technical Assistance USAID Environmental Policy and Technology Project (19941998) USAID Environmental Polices and Institutions for Central Asia (1998-2000) USAID Natural Resources Management Program for Central Asia (2000-2005) USAID Water Users Association Support Program (2004-2009) US Embassy Environmental Small Grants Program US Embassy PAS Exchange Programs: – – – – International Visitor Leadership Program Volunteer Visitor Program Fulbright Program Speaker Program
US Department of State Central Asia ESTH Hub Based in Astana, Kazakhstan Covers six Central Asian countries: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan Hub Officer: Bruce Hudspeth
Hub Responsibilities Coordinates U.S. Department of State ESTH activities to the region Works together with donor agencies to promote cooperation and coordination Conveys U.S. Government positions to regional and national ESTH organizations Represents U.S. Government at international meetings on Central Asian ESTH issues Serves as a bridge between U.S. & Central Asia ESTH institutions
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