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Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

July 2019
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Friday, 19 July 2019
In March 2005, UNESCO launched the decade of education for sustainable development. On that occasion, several dozen associations met in the framework of the CNCD-11.11.11 with a view to forming a partnership with the French Community. The aim: to systematize on a multi-annual basis a framework bringing together movements devoted to education for sustainable development.
Numerous such movements exist, but often operate in a fragmented way. The aim behind the idea of bringing together the relevant associations and pooling their services in a common framework is not only to enhance the visibility and consistency of their actions, but also to develop complementary approaches: respect for the environment, international cooperation, citizen participation and health are the different pieces of the same jigsaw puzzle, that of sustainable development. It is therefore indispensable to combine the different concepts within an integrated educational approach.
The concept “Mon assiette, ma planète”, translates the interconnection between the local, everyday aspects and the global aspects of sustainable development
What is “Mon assiette, ma planète” in concrete terms. It is two weeks every year of coordinated events on the theme of sustainable development in the primary and secondary school network in the French Community. In the autumn (from 10 to 18 November 2005), the aim of “Mon assiette” will be to raise awareness among young pupils about the fact that their everyday behaviour has an impact on global realities. In the spring (from 22 to 28 April 2006), the aim of “Ma planète” will be to convey the message that the planetary challenges also affect everyone where they live. These two windows, open two weeks every year, are therefore intended to offer teachers a wide range of educational events. Obviously, the approach will be gradual and must be developed on an ongoing basis over time. It is intended to facilitate contacts between associations and schools and to provide interested teachers with a wide and consistent range of educational aids. The aim is also to develop and build on the learning-rich experiences which already exist in this field, among both teachers and associations.

How does “Mon assiette, ma planète” work?
In very concrete terms, the web site of “Mon assiette, ma planète” will list the various events proposed by the associative sector and aimed at schools. What type of teaching aids or events are available? From which associations are they available? For which age groups are they intended? Are they implemented by the association or by the teachers themselves? How long does the event last? Which criteria are addressed: health, North-South solidarity, environment, citizenship? Which themes are addressed: water, culture, food, mobility, fair trade, others? On the basis of this inventory, teachers will be able to contact directly the association which proposes the educational aids or events that interest them. The aim then is to develop successfully this collaboration and educate together pupils on the concepts of sustainable development. Obviously, more permanent partnerships may emerge over time and the concept will evolve and be shaped by the various actors. It is therefore to some extent a wager: that of a sustainable, extensive partnership between schools and the associative sector, to integrate fully the concept of sustainable development in the education of pupils in the French Community.
Tuesday, 25 October 2005
Open-source software is gaining ground in Europe, with users attracted by lower costs and accessibility, according to a recent study.
The study of 12 European countries conducted by the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in the Netherlands found that nearly 49 per cent of local government authorities are using Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) and those using it would like to increase its use. The survey netted 955 respondents in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
Around 70 per cent of FLOSS users wanted to increase its use, said program leader Rishab Aiyer Ghosh. But the survey also found that some 29 per cent of respondents who said they did not use FLOSS did in fact use open source software such as GNU/Linux, MySQL, or Apache. The average number of computers serviced by an IT administrator was 66, 13 more than administrators who were not using open-source software, Ghosh said. The statistic implies that fewer administrators are needed for open-source software, he said.
An Informal EU Ministerial Meeting on Development Co-operation will take place today and tomorrow (24 and 25 October 2005) in Leeds, United Kingdom.
The Development Informal will bring together EU Development Ministers from the 25 Member States and the candidate countries, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid and the Chair of the Development Committee of the European Parliament to discuss issues related to poverty reduction, the Millennium Development Goals and Africa.
Hilary Benn, the UK Secretary of State for International Development, will chair the meeting. Although the Informal Council will not take any binding decisions, the discussions will help lay the foundations for the formal meeting of Development Ministers as part of the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) on 21/22 November in Brussels.
The agenda for the Development Informal is being finalised and will be available at least a week before the meeting.
- Development Policy Statement
- Putting Trade at the Service of Development
- EU-Africa: A Partnership for Africa
- Is the International Development System equipped to deliver more and better aid?
Monday, 24 October 2005
If approved, the plan will allow ACP countries to maintain EU imports at current levels.
The European Union has asked the World Trade Organisation for authorisation to continue preferential arrangements for banana imports from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to the end of 2007.
The move is intended to ensure that ACP nations can export the same amount of bananas to the EU when, as planned, Brussels introduces a new tariff-only system for Latin American bananas on January 1 2006.
However, the proposed waiver from WTO rules, which comes up for discussion next month, is likely to face opposition from Latin American producers locked in battle with the EU over the tariff rates to be applied.
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The Commission is launching a public consultation on risk assessment methods for nanotechnologies. Nanotechnology involves the controlled production of new materials which have one or more dimensions thousands of times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Industry is increasingly using nanotechnology for a wide variety of sectors, including healthcare, consumer products, information technology and the environment. The online consultation, which will run until 16th December 2005, aims to gather feedback on the appropriateness of current risk assessment methods for nanotechnology products and how they can be improved.
Through the online consultation, stakeholders are invited to comment on the opinion recently adopted by the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). This opinion looks at the limitations of current risk assessment methods in addressing the specific characteristics of the products on nanotechnologies and where improvements could be made. Although the focus is very much on the methods of risk assessment, rather than the actual risks of nanotechnologies, SCENIHR also carefully considered health and environmental factors that would need to be taken into account.
Nanotechnologies are considered to offer benefits which could improve the quality of life of European citizens, and the Commission aims to prevent shortcomings in risk assessment methods which would hamper new developments and innovation in this field. However, the priority for the Commission is to ensure a high level of consumer safety in relation to nanotechnologies, and the opinion therefore underlines the need to have sound and reliable risk assessment methods, suitable for routine use. This in turn would foster greater consumer confidence in the new technologies.
The Commission gave high priority to research and development on nanotechnology in its Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, in recognition of the huge potential of nanotechnology and its contribution to European competitiveness. An even higher profile has been proposed for this technology under the Seventh Framework Programme. On 7th June 2005, the Commission adopted an Action Plan for nanosciences and nanotechnology for Europe 2005-2009. The Action Plan recognises the need for a safe, integrated and responsible approach to the development of nanotechnologies, for which appropriate risk assessment methods are key.