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سازمان ملل متحد در ایران
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20 May 2019 - World Bee Day

Background

Bees, butterflies and other pollinators affect all of us. The food that we eat, such as fruits and vegetables, directly relies on pollinators. A world without pollinators would equal a world without food diversity – no blueberries, coffee, chocolate, cucumbers and so much more.

They not only help ensure the abundance of fruits, nuts, and seeds, but also their variety and quality, which is crucial for human nutrition. Beyond food, pollinators also contribute directly to medicines, biofuels, fibers like cotton and linen, and construction materials.  

The vast majority of flowering plant species only produce seeds if animal pollinators move pollen from the anthers to the stigmas of their flowers. Without this service, many interconnected species and processes functioning within the ecosystem would collapse.

Pollination is therefore a keystone process, in both human managed and natural terrestrial ecosystems. It is critical for food production and human livelihoods and directly links wild ecosystems with agricultural production systems.

A need for a diversity of pollinators

Most of the 25,000 to 30,000 species of bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) are effective pollinators, and together with moths, flies, wasps, beetles, and butterflies, they make up the majority of pollinating species. But the diversity of pollinators and pollination systems is striking.

Indeed, there are also vertebrate pollinators, including bats, non-flying mammals (such as several species of monkey, rodents, lemur, tree squirrels, olingo, and kinkajou) and birds (hummingbirds, sunbirds, honeycreepers and some parrot species).

Current understanding of the pollination process shows that, while specific relationships exist between plants and their pollinators, healthy pollination services are best ensured by an abundance and diversity of pollinators.

Adapting to changing climates

A diverse assemblage of pollinators, with different traits and responses to ambient conditions, is also one of the best ways to minimize risks due to climate change.  Their diversity ensures that there are effective pollinators not just for current conditions, but for future conditions as well. As a result of biodiversity, resilience can therefore be built in agroecosystems.

However, pollinators face main challenges today, from intensive agriculture, pesticides, to climate change. 

A pollination crisis 

Recognizing the dimensions of the pollination crisis and its links to biodiversity and human livelihoods, the Convention on Biological Diversity has made the conservation and sustainable use of pollinators a priority. In 2000, the International Pollinator Initiative (IPI) was established (COP decision V/5, section II) at the Fifth Conference of Parties (COP V) as a cross-cutting initiative to promote coordinated action worldwide to:

  • Monitor pollinator decline, its causes and its impact on pollination services;
  • Address the lack of taxonomic information on pollinators;
  • Assess the economic value of pollination and the economic impact of the decline of pollination services; and
  • Promote the conservation and the restoration and sustainable use of pollinator diversity in agriculture and related ecosystems.

Caring for bees and other pollinators is part of the fight against world hunger 

In agroecosystems, pollinators are essential for orchard, horticultural and forage production, as well as the production of seed for many root and fiber crops. Pollinators such as bees, birds, and bats affect 35 percent of the world's crop production, increasing outputs of 87 of the leading food crops worldwide, plus many plant-derived medicines. 

Why this date?

20 May coincides with the birthday of Anton Janša, who in the 18th century pioneered modern beekeeping techniques in his native Slovenia and praised the bees for their ability to work so hard, while needing so little attention.

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11 May 2019 - World Migratory Bird Day highlights deadly risks of plastic pollution

Saturday marks World Migratory Bird Day which, this year, is raising awareness about the serious threats that plastic pollution poses to bird life, with a call for urgent measures to end the problem. 

These include getting caught up in fishing gear and other plastic debris; confusing plastic waste with food and eating it, which fills their stomachs and causes them to starve; and using debris as material for nest-building, which can harm their chicks.  

One-third of global plastic production is non-recyclable and at least eight million tons of plastic flows unabated into our oceans and water bodies each year,” said Joyce Msuya, acting Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). “It is ending up in the stomachs of birds, fish, plankton, and in our soil and water. The world is choking on plastic and so too are our birds, on which so much life on Earth depends." 

Discarded fishing gear is the biggest reason for birds becoming entangled in plastic, particularly seabirds, many of whom are not detected because they die far from land, out of sight of humans. 

Digital technology shows full extent of pollution threat 

Online tools have helped scientists to build up a comprehensive picture of the effect that discarded fishing equipment is having on birds. 

Studies by Peter Ryan, Director of the Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town, have shown that almost all marine and freshwater birds are at risk of entanglement in plastic waste and other synthetic materials. A wide diversity of land birds, from eagles to small finches, are also affected, and these numbers are expected to increase. 

Research shows that about 40 per cent of seabirds have consumed plastic. This can kill them or, more likely, cause severe injuries, and plastic accumulations can block or damage the digestive tract or give the animal a false sense that they are no longer hungry, leading to starvation. 

UN action to reverse the trend 

In an effort to tackle plastic pollution, UNEP launched the Clean Seas campaign in 2017, which asks individuals, governments and business to take concrete steps to reduce their own plastic footprints. 

The Convention on Migratory Species, and the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), which are backed by UNEP, work with countries to prevent plastic items from entering the marine environment. A recent resolution on seabird conservation, adopted by AEWA member countries in December 2018, includes a series of actions that countries can take to reduce the risk caused by plastic waste on migratory birds. 

At the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species in 2017, countries agreed to address the issue of lost fishing gear, by following the strategies set out under the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Efforts to phase out single use plastics and to redesign plastic products to make them easier to recycle are underway in many countries. 

“There are no easy solutions to the plastic problem. However, as this year’s World Migratory Bird Day underlines, everybody on this planet can be part of the solution and take steps to reduce their use of single-use plastic,” said Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of the AEWA. “Tackling this problem globally will not only be beneficial for us, but also benefit our planet’s wildlife, including millions of migratory birds.”

 

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20 July 2018 - Caspian littoral states agree to start neighbourhood watch for the environment

  • Five countries sign Environmental Impact Assessment Protocol
  • The Caspian Sea is one of the world’s largest hydrocarbon reserves

Littoral countries to the Caspian Sea have made a groundbreaking commitment to evaluate the likely impact that development projects will have on the environment in each other’s states.

High-level representatives from Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan today signed the Environment Impact Assessment Protocol under the Tehran Convention.

Under the Protocol, countries must follow a set of harmonized practical procedures for assessing the impact that a project will have on the environment in another state.

Impacts on human health, fauna, water and soil are among factors to be accounted for when installing oil refineries, building major power plants or undertaking major deforestation, for example.

Countries that stand to be affected by a project will have the opportunity to comment on plans underway. They will then be entitled to receive an explanation as to how these comments were taken into account if the development goes ahead.

 “It’s fantastic to see the Caspian Sea’s littoral states come together and commit to the future well-being of this jewel of the region and unique ecosystem. I’m convinced this will be a big win for the region’s environment, economy and long-term security,” said UN Environment Head Erik Solheim. “It also sends a strong message around the world that sustainable development is one issue that we can all get behind together.”

UN Environment hosts the interim Secretariat of the Tehran Convention. The treaty aims to protect and preserve the Caspian Sea and its natural resources and is the only international environmental treaty signed between the Sea’s littoral countries.

The Caspian Sea’s varied levels of salinity between north and south means it hosts a unique ecosystem. Yet this is also highly threatened, with oil and gas production being one of the main factors taking a heavy toll on the environment. The Sea’s fossil fuel reserves are estimated to be one of the planet’s largest – underlining the importance of the Environment Impact Assessment Protocol. The Sea is still the source of the majority of the world’s caviar, but its sturgeon population has steadily declined, while the Caspian seal is listed as endangered.

Today’s signing took place in the margins of an extraordinary Conference of the Parties to the Tehran Convention. The Protocol will enter into force three months after being ratified by the signatory countries’ parliaments.

NOTES TO EDITORS

About the Tehran Convention

The Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea, also known as the Tehran Convention, was signed in 2003. The treaty requires the five littoral countries to prevent and cut pollution, restore the environment, use resources sustainably and cooperate more to protect the environment.

In July 2016, the Convention’s Aktau Protocol entered into force, requiring littoral states to prepare for, react to and collaborate on oil spills. A further Protocol is now being negotiated which would bind states to collecting, releasing and sharing data on the Sea’s marine environment.

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UN Environment published a foresight brief entitled "Lake Urmia: Signs of Recovery"

Source: UN Environment 

Lake Urmia, located in a mountainous region between the provinces of East and West Azerbaijan in northwestern Iran is one of the country’s most important ecosystems. Recent indications are that the lake is recovering.

The focus of this brief is on the extent of this recovery and measures that are being put in place to ensure this is sustained.

Click here to read this report.

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خرداد 96 - هشدار فائو درباره شیوع ویروس مرگبار تهدید کننده ماهی تیلاپیا

سازمان خواربار و کشاورزی ملل متحد (فائو) هشدار داد، ویروس بسیار مسری «دریاچه تیلاپیا» اگرچه خطری برای سلامت انسان‌ها ندارد اما در حال شیوع در میان ماهیان پرورشی و طبیعی تیلاپیا بوده و یکی از مهمترین منابع تغذیه انسانی را تهدید می‌کند.

به گزارش دفتر سازمان خواربار و کشاورزی ملل متحد (فائو) در جمهوری اسلامی ایران، بخش اطلاعات جهانی و سیستم هشدار زودهنگام فائو با انتشار هشداری ویژه تأکید کرده است که شیوع این بیماری را باید نگران‌کننده قلمداد کرده و کشورهای وارد کننده تیلاپیا باید تمهیدات مناسب مدیریت خطر – افزایش آزمون‌های تشخصیص بیماری، ارائه گواهینامه‌های سلامت، اعمال تمهیدات قرنطینه‌ای و تدوین برنامه‌های اضطراری – را بکار گیرند.

هم‌اکنون مشاهده ویروس «دریاچه تیلاپیا» (تیلاپیا لیک) در کلمبیا، اکوادور، مصر، تایلند و اسرائیل تأیید شده است.

این ویروس هیچ گونه خطری برای سلامتی انسان‌ها ندارد اما می‌تواند جمعیت آبزیان آلوده را به شدت کاهش دهد. در سال 2015، مجموع تولید تیلاپیای پرورشی و صید شده در جهان بالغ بر 6.4 میلیون تن به ارزش تقریبی 9.8 میلیارد دلار بود. ارزش تجارت جهانی این محصول 1.8 میلیارد دلار برآورد شده است.

در هشدار فائو اعلام شده که هنوز مشخص نیست این بیماری می‌تواند از طریق محصولات منجمد تیلاپیا نیز سرایت کند یا نه اما «احتمالا سطح توزیع ویروس دریاچه تیلاپیا از آنچه امروز گمان می‌رود گسترده‌تر بوده و تهدید بزرگی علیه پرورش این نوع ماهی در سطح جهانی است.»

این بیماری نرخ بالایی از مرگ‌ومیر داشته و شیوع آن در تایلند منجر به مرگ تقریبا 90 درصد ذخایر ماهی تیلاپیا شد. ماهی‌های آلوده به ویروس اشتهای کمی دارند، حرکات‌شان کند است، دچار ضایعات پوستی، اختلالات در چشم و کدری عدسی هستند. از آنجایی که آزمایش‌های معتبری در زمینه شناسایی ویروس دریاچه تیلاپیا وجود دارند، باید از این آزمایش‌ها برای تشخیص دلیل مرگ‌ومیرهای غیرمنتظره استفاده شود.

تیلاپیا دومین آبزی مهم از نظر حجم تولید غذا، شغل و درآمد داخلی و صادراتی برای میلیون‌ها نفر شامل پرورش‌دهندگان خرد است. قیمت مقرون به صرفه، رژیم غذایی متنوع، تحمل در برابر روش‌های پرورش متراکم و مقاومت بالا در برابر بیماری‌ها این نوع ماهی را تبدیل به یک منبع مهم پروتئین بالاخص برای کشورهای در حال توسعه و مصرف‌کنندگان فقیر کرده است. چین، اندونزی و مصر سه تولید کننده عمده تیلاپیا هستند.

 

 

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28 May 2016 - FAO issues alert over lethal virus affecting popular tilapia fish

Though not a human health risk, Tilapia Lake Virus as a highly contagious disease is spreading among farmed and wild tilapia that threats one of the world's most important fish for human consumption, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned.

According to a press release published by the FAO Representation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, The outbreak should be treated with concern and countries importing tilapias should take appropriate risk-management measures - intensifying diagnostics testing, enforcing health certificates, deploying quarantine measures and developing contingency plans - according to a Special Alert released today by FAO's Global Information and Early Warnings System.

Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) has now been confirmed in Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel and Thailand.

While the pathogen poses no public health concern, it can decimate infected populations. In 2015, world tilapia production, from both aquaculture and capture, amounted to 6.4 million tonnes, with an estimated value of USD 9.8 billion, and worldwide trade was valued at USD1.8 billion.

It is not currently known whether the disease can be transmitted via frozen tilapia products, but "it is likely that TiLV may have a wider distribution than is known today and its threat to tilapia farming at the global level is significant," GIEWS said in its alert.

The disease shows highly variable mortality, with outbreaks in Thailand triggering the deaths of up to 90 percent of stocks. ‌Infected fish often show loss of appetite, slow movements, dermal lesions and ulcers, ocular abnormalities, and opacity of lens. As a reliable diagnostic test for TiLV is available, it should be applied to rule out TiLV as the causal agent of unexplained mortalities.

Tilapias are the second most important aquaculture species in volume terms providing food, jobs and domestic and export earnings for millions of people, including many smallholders.

Their affordable price, omnivorous diet, tolerance to high-density farming methods and usually strong resistance to disease makes them an important protein source, especially in developing countries and for poorer consumers. China, Indonesia and Egypt are the three leading aquaculture producers of tilapia.

 

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