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Global satellite to be named after Dr. Kalam

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Bengaluru: A global satellite for earth observation and disaster risk reduction — GlobalSat for DRR — proposed under the UN framework is to be dedicated to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as a tribute to the vision of the celebrated rocket scientist and former Indian president who died July 27.

This has been stated by Milind Pimprikar, Chairman of CANEUS (CANada-EUrope-US-ASia) Organization on Space Technologies for Societal Applications headquartered in Montreal, Canada.

Founded in 1999, CANEUS serves to develop a common platform for space technology solutions for natural and man-made disaster management. The “GlobalSat for DRR” is a UN-driven global initiative on sharing space technology for disaster risk reduction, Pimprikar told IANS.

Launch of this satellite was mooted at the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held at Sendai in Japan this March.

The concept was initiated by CANEUS in cooperation with UN agencies including the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank.

The GlobalSat was proposed in response to the need for a globally interconnected disaster and environmental management system since no single country can afford to develop a complete set of sensors and satellite systems needed for forecasting, monitoring and mitigating disasters like floods, drought, typhoons, earthquakes, wild fires, windstorms, or tidal events, Pimprikar said.

The UN-led GlobalSat will provide a common platform that will allow sharing of space and data segments, with an ability to serve individual nation’s disaster management and development needs.

Pimprikar said the goals of UN GlobatSat are the same as those of Kalam. In his “World Space Vision-2050” Kalam had envisaged space faring nations joining hands to find solutions to mankind’s major problems such as natural disasters, energy and water scarcity, health-care education issues and weather prediction.

“Therefore we now plan to dedicate the UN GlobalSat initiative as a tribute to Late Dr. Abdul Kalam by renaming it “UN Kalam GlobalSat”, Pimprikar said.

Pimprikar hoped the renaming will inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and space explorers to foster innovation and entrepreneurship and pooling of resources to find low-cost solutions to major problems facing mankind.

Pimprikar said the recommendations made at the Sendai conference including the proposed GlobalSat will be formally adopted by more than 150 world leaders at the UN Session in New York in September that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also going to attend.

Noting that Modi has already proposed an Indian initiative for a dedicated satellite for the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries. Pimprikar said India, “as a leading space nation in the world, has the unique opportunity to champion and lead the proposed “UN GlobalSat” initiative at the UN Session.

“Respecting India’s leadership, other nations from across the globe will support it wholeheartedly to seek formal UN endorsement of “UN Kalam GlobalSat”, he said.

After the formal approval, the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs will work out the details that can be addressed and finalised for implementation at the proposed UN-India Workshop in early 2016, he said.

The eventual goal of this satellite, he said, “is to establish a public/private partnership that would create a low-cost, internationally shared data collection and distribution backbone in space with no barriers to entry for participating nations.”

(IANS)

 

 

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UN: World Showing Lack of Ambition in Reducing Inequality, Countering Climate Change

The natural environment is deteriorating at an alarming rate: sea levels are rising; ocean acidification is accelerating

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climate change, reducing inequality
UN document stresses that 75 per cent of children who suffer from stunted growth and physical development live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Pixabay

The world’s governments are showing a lack of ambition in pursuing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in terms of reducing inequality and countering climate change, the United Nations said in a report published Tuesday.

The findings were presented at the opening of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which brings together some 2,000 participants from around the world to evaluate progress toward meeting the 17 SDGs that the world body’s 193 member-states set in 2015, the Efe news reported.

Time is running short to take effective action on climate change, the head of UN Economic and Social Affairs, Liu Zhenmin, said. “The challenges highlighted in this report are global problems that require global solutions. Just as problems are interrelated, the solutions to poverty, inequality, climate change and other global challenges are also interlinked,” he said.

climate change, reducing inequality
The natural environment is deteriorating at an alarming rate: sea levels are rising; ocean acidification is accelerating. Pixabay

While the report notes some progress, including lower levels of extreme poverty, expanded immunization, improved access to electricity and a 49 per cent reduction in mortality among children 5 and under, the emphasis is on the need for greater urgency.

“It is abundantly clear that a much deeper, faster and more ambitious response is needed to unleash the social and economic transformation needed to achieve our 2030 goals,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

“The natural environment is deteriorating at an alarming rate: sea levels are rising; ocean acidification is accelerating; the last four years have been the warmest on record; one million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction; and land degradation continues unchecked,” Guterres said.

climate change, reducing inequality
Climate change it says is worsening the ability of people to get enough to eat. Pixabay

Liu said that climate change remains the greatest obstacle to “our shared prosperity,” as extreme weather affects agriculture and, by extension, efforts to reduce hunger.

ALSO READ: Sanders and Ocasio- Cortez Teaming Up on Plan to Designate Climate Change as Emergency

The UN document stresses that 75 per cent of children who suffer from stunted growth and physical development live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, while people residing in at-risk states are twice as likely to lack basic sanitation and four times more likely to be without reliable access to potable water.

Looking forward, the report said that steps to combat climate change can also help in reducing poverty and inequality. In that regard, Liu said that moving toward renewable, non-polluting sources of energy will in turn begin to reverse deforestation, just as sustainable agriculture can ease both hunger and want, as nearly 80 per cent of people living in extreme poverty are residents of rural areas. (IANS)