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The United Nations, tech giants and the finance, policy and and science fraternities on Saturday teamed up to push the use of cutting-edge technology to create cleaner, greener and more efficient solutions to sustainable development.

Around 2,000 people, including representatives from IBM, Google and Barclays, attended the 2nd global session of the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum here in the run-up to the fourth UN Environment Assembly, beginning on March 11.


The forum launched initiatives on using big data, machine learning and green technology startups to solve major environmental, economic and social problems, said UN Environment, the leading global environmental authority.

The forum also launched works on sustainable cities, food systems and private sector leadership on climate change.

“There is no doubt that rapid technological advancement played a major part in the troubles we face,” said an official statement quoting UN Environment acting Executive Director Joyce Msuya.

“But it is that technology — through humanity’s ability to invent and innovate — which can help to save us. The 4th Industrial Revolution offers a real opportunity to create cleaner, greener and more efficient solutions to sustainable development,” the statement said.

The working group aims to build an open-source platform for big data on environment and explore new spaces in artificial intelligence and machine learning.


UN logo. Wikimedia Commons

It unites tech giants, earth observation institutions, science and policy communities, green tech startups, citizen scientists and the worlds of finance and industry.

“We can’t ensure implementation of the 2030 agenda without concrete data, which allows us to identify opportunities, ensure evidence-based decision making, direct investment and track progress,” said Siim Kiisler, President of the UN Environment Assembly and Minister of Environment in Estonia.

“I am confident that we will make immense progress,” Kiisler said.

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Meanwhile, the Green Technology Startup Hub will act as an accelerator and incubator of startup innovation for environment, as it examines the enabling policies and actions required to use such innovation to transform the world into greener and more sustainable living.

Startups are not only transforming markets and economic growth, some are also helping to save the planet. Venture capital investment in startups has surged to its highest level ever — $148 billion in the last year alone. More than 40 venture capital-backed companies have achieved billion-dollar valuations.

Other new work areas under the forum will cover sustainable cities and food systems and private sector leadership on climate change. (IANS)


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Tokyo Olympics 2020 Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar enter semi finals.

Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)