Global Village News
UK PUSHES GREEN AGENDA
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
"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.
On the web at www.greeninggovernment.com
(Source: Positive News: www.positivenews.org.uk)
VOLUNTEERS SPUR DIGITAL REVOLUTION IN DEVELOPING WORLD
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
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 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
For more information, see the UNITeS website: http://www.UNITeS.org
(Source: Global Ideas
STUDENT COURTS CURB
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.
information, contact: Kidscape,
82 Brook St, London W1Y 1YG
(tel.020 7 493 9845).
(Source: Global Ideas Bank: http://www.globalideasbank.org/