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New York city tables resolution to recognise June 21st as Yoga Day

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A resolution to recognise June 21st as ‘World Yoga Day’ has been tabled in the New York City in line with the United Nations’ decision to commemorate the day internationally.

Council member for the 19th district, Paul Vallone tabled the resolution on Tuesday, calling on the city to commemorate June 21 as ‘World Yoga Day’.

The resolution, that is yet to be voted upon, notes that the UN had last year declared June 21 to be commemorated each year as the ‘International Day of Yoga’.

A ‘Yogathon’ website focusing on the movement of Yoga in the US has also been launched by Indian Consul General Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay.

Started by the Overseas Volunteers of Better India(OVBI), the website aims to serve as a one-stop portal that will provide information and details about various yoga events planned in over 100 US cities on June 21.

Mulay said that several events will be held across the US in the run-up to June 21, aimed at spreading awareness about yoga and to “celebrate yoga as a world heritage.

According to the Ambassador, yoga should not be seen with a religious perspective.

“We have been celebrating yoga for 5000 years and it has evolved as a holistic life mechanism and not just a lifestyle,” he said.

“It is an ancient Indian practice that provides solutions in current times of anger, stress and disputes.  The City Council resolution is a recognition of yoga as well of India’s heritage”, he further elaborated.

Last year, after the UN General Assembly adopted an India-led resolution co-sponsored by a record 175 countries, June 21st was declared as the ‘International Day of Yoga’

Less than three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea at the UN, the UNGA passed the resolution saying that “yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being.”

“The UN declared June 21 of each year as international yoga day; now therefore, be it resolved that the Council of the City of New York recognises and commemorates June 21 as World Yoga Day in the City of New York,” the City Council resolution reads.

The resolution referred to a number of studies to back-up the recognition of Yoga:

  • A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology that showed that yoga produced significant changes in body weight, diastolic blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate.
  • The recognition of Yoga by the US Centre for Disease and Control as a “great activity for everyone.”
  • A 2012 study which claimed that 20.4 million Americans practice yoga
  • The listing of New York by  Forbes magazine as one of the top 10 cities in the US for yoga.

This year will mark the first commemoration of International Day of Yoga by the UN.

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As Climate Talks Come to a Halt, Africa Suffers From Global Warming

The World Health Organization warns that climate change will exacerbate the impact of some disease and health problems.

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Drought, Climate change, global warming
A farmer stands on cracked earth that three weeks earlier created the bottom of a reservoir on his farm, in Groot Marico, South Africa. VOA

Efforts to boost global action against climate change are stuttering, as several key nations have objected to a key United Nations-backed report on the impacts of rising temperatures at the COP24 talks in Poland.

Many developing nations say they are already suffering from the impact of climate change, especially in south Asia and Africa, where water shortages and intense storms are putting lives and livelihoods in danger.

In Malawi in southern Africa, a bustling fish market stood at Kachulu on the shores of Lake Chilwa just five months ago. Now, hundreds of fishing boats lie marooned across the vast bay as vultures circle over the cracked, sun-baked mud. Water levels here fluctuate annually, but scientists say climate change is making the seasonal dry-out of the lake far more dramatic. Fishermen are being forced to leave and look for work elsewhere, says Sosten Chiotha, of the non-governmental organization ‘LEAD’ – Leadership for Environment and Development.

“Climate change contributes to the current recessions that we are experiencing, because you can see that in 2012 there was a recession where the lake lost about 80 percent of its water. Then it recovered in 2013, but not fully. So since then every year we have been experiencing these recessions,” Chiotha said.

Scientists gathering at the COP24 climate talks say it is developing countries like Malawi that are being hit hardest by the impacts of climate change.

The charity Water Aid has released a report ranking the countries worst-hit by water shortages, with Sudan, Niger and Pakistan making up the top three.

“There are people who are living with the impact of climate change right now. And they’re feeling those impacts not through carbon, but through water. And as we’ve seen over the past few years and will continue to see for many years to come unfortunately, is a huge increase in water stress and absolute water scarcity,” Water Aid’s Jonathan Farr told VOA from the climate talks currently underway in the Polish city of Katowice.

Richer nations have pledged $100 billion a year for poorer nations to deal with the consequences of climate change. Water Aid says they are failing to deliver the money.

Scientists say emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be reduced by 45 percent by 2030 to have any hope of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius – the target agreed in the Paris climate deal.

 

 

Global Warming, Climate Change, Africa
Climate activists attend the March for Climate in a protest against global warming in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 8, 2018, as the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference takes place in the city. VOA

However, the number of coal-fired power stations – the most polluting for

m of energy generation – is growing. The German organization ‘Urgewald’ calculates that $478 billion had been invested into expansion of the coal industry between January 2016 and September 2018.

Also Read: To Help Poor Countries Adapt To Global Warming, World Bank Doubles Its Funding

Meanwhile the World Health Organization warns that climate change will exacerbate the impact of some disease and health problems, including malaria, malnutrition and heat exposure.

Also Read: To Help Poor Countries Adapt To Global Warming, World Bank Doubles Its Funding

There is little optimism at the talks that much concrete progress will be made, as several countries including the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia have already voiced objections to a key scientific report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (VOA)