"In The News"
Global Village News and Resources

UK - London - While the US president, George Bush is making a determined effort to undercut environmental measures on all fronts and ignore global efforts of cooperation, Europe is moving rapidly into the 21st Century.

Britain's new program to tackle climate change could cut greenhouse gas emissions to 23% less than 1990 levels by 2010 - almost double the legally binding target agreed at Kyoto.

Launching the new plans, Environmental Minister,  Michael Meacher, acknowledges that cuts of up to 60 to 70 percent globally may be necessary.

"The recent floods have shown how vulnerable we can be to extreme weather," he said.  He announced a new program to tackle climate change, which included a new target of 10% for renewable energy production by 2010.

All UK government departments now have Green Ministers who meet regularly to compare progress and exchange information on the "greening of government." The headquarters of the Pension Services and nine other departments have already switched to green electricity and others are to follow suit.

Contact Green Government Magazine.
Email: info@greeninggovernment.com
On the web at www.greeninggovernment.com
(Source:  Positive News: www.positivenews.org.uk)



United Nations - In an effort to close the technological gap between the informational have & have-nots, the United Nations Information Technology Services is sending experts to developing countries from Benin to Tanzania.

One volunteer, Sean Osner, recently set up a community center in a Bedouin village with 15 new computers. While some may wonder why people with a tradition as nomadic shepherds would need the internet, Osner is quick to point out that - among other things - it is an especially effective way for isolated people to get a better education and medical care. And not only this, he continues, but "One of the things we designed the community center for was to help the local women find markets in other parts of the world for their products. Finding this will help keep those traditions
alive in their community."

The goal of the program is three-fold: to put computer systems in place, to teach people how to use them, and to help businesses in developing countries to utilize the international people-to-people marketing opportunities afforded by the internet.
The program is also addressing the acute shortage of Information Technology people in developing countries, a problem that has been a major block to digital

There is no question that the demand is present. In a recent visit to Zagazig in Egypt, Osner was faced with 4000 people, all waiting for a chance to use one of four computer terminals. Those who did get the chance learned how to do word processing, to e-mail, to search the internet, and to set up their own e-commerce sites. But, as Osner says, "There is an overwhelming demand that we can't possibly fill."

As of October 2000, 23 volunteers had gone on assignments in countries including Burundi, Ecuador and India. More are planned, and funding from computer companies eager to exploit an untapped market will help the scheme to widen its reach.

For more information, see the UNITeS website: http://www.UNITeS.org

(Source: Global Ideas Bank: http://www.globalideasbank.org/


UK - Too often, adults are unaware of the terror that some children face in the public school system.  Aside from educational pressures related to homework, exams, etc., there are often peer group challenges that make school a fear filled experience for children.  School bullies are an example.

In 1984, educational psychologist and teacher, Michele Elliott, founded an organization called Kidscape.  In a survey of 4,000 children she found that more than two thirds had been bullied at school and that a whopping 38% were being bullied on a regular basis.

In response to this data, Elliott worked with the school system to devised a "bully court" composed of students themselves.  The court serves as a forum in which bullies are tried and sentenced by their peers.

Classmates elect two of the court's four members and the other two are appointed by teachers. A teacher sits as chairperson to ensure fair play. Punishments have included exclusion from school trips, reduced playground time and tasks such as tidying classrooms.

Kidscape also works at educating students by suggesting ways to break up bully gangs both in and outside of school.  In the latter case, they advise taking photographs, having found that gang members tend to run away when they see a camera.
Working on similar principles, a project in Birmingham, England, trains nine and ten years olds and fifteen & sixteen years olds children in mediation techniques. Sheila Hendley, project manager, has found that it easier for children and youth to talk to each other than to teachers. The project has significantly reduced bullying and increased school attendance.

 For More information, contact: Kidscape,
82 Brook St, London W1Y 1YG
(tel.020 7 493 9845).
(Source:  Global Ideas Bank: http://www.globalideasbank.org/ )