Posts Tagged ‘Thailand’

Österreich: Let’s ban the bombs!

Donnerstag, Dezember 11th, 2014

“Austria pledges to work for a ban on nuclear weapons

Austria pledges to work for a ban on nuclear weapons
Humanitarian initiative on nuclear weapons must initiate treaty process in 2015

December 9, 2014

After 44 states called for a prohibition on nuclear weapons at a conference in Vienna on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons, Austria delivered the “Austrian pledge” in which it committed to work to “fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons” and pledged “to cooperate with all stakeholders to achieve this goal”.

“All states committed to nuclear disarmament must join the Austrian pledge to work towards a treaty to ban nuclear weapons”, said Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

“Next year is the 70 year anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and that will be a fitting time for negotiations to start on a treaty banning nuclear weapons”, Fihn added.

States that expressed support for a ban treaty at the Vienna Conference include: Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burundi, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Holy See, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Senegal, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Timor Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

These announcements were given at a two-day international conference convened in Vienna to examine the consequences of nuclear weapon use, whether intentional or accidental.

Survivors of the nuclear bombings in Japan and of nuclear testing in Australia, Kazakhstan, the Marshall Islands, and the United States, gave powerful testimonies of the horrific effects of nuclear weapons. Their evidence complemented other presentations presenting data and research.

“The consequences of any nuclear weapon use would be devastating, long-lasting, and unacceptable. Governments simply cannot listen to this evidence and hear these human stories without acting”, said Akira Kawasaki, from Japanese NGO Peaceboat. “The only solution is to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons and we need to start now,” Kawasaki added.

For decades, discussions on nuclear weapons have been dominated by the few nuclear-armed states – states that continue to stockpile and maintain over 16,000 warheads. The humanitarian initiative on nuclear weapons has prompted a fundamental change in this conversation, with non-nuclear armed states leading the way in a discussion on the actual effects of the weapons.

Unlike the other weapons of mass destruction – chemical and biological – nuclear weapons are not yet prohibited by an international legal treaty. Discussions in Vienna illustrated that the international community is determined to address this. In a statement to the conference, Pope Francis called for nuclear weapons to be “banned once and for all”.

The host of the previous conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, Mexico, called for the commencement of a diplomatic process, and South Africa said it was considering its role in future meetings.

“Anyone in Vienna can tell that something new is happening on nuclear weapons. We have had three conferences examining their humanitarian impact, and now with the Austrian pledge we have everything we need for a diplomatic process to start”, said Thomas Nash of UK NGO Article 36.”

 

(Quelle: ICAN.)

Global: Die wunderbare Welt des CO2 (Teil 2)

Dienstag, Dezember 4th, 2012

Share of global emissions (% world total 2010)

 

Klima_2.1

(Tabelle aus: United Nations Environment Programme: The Emissions Gap Report 2012, S. 17, 18
Download des o. g. Reports hier.)

 

(Quelle: United Nations Environment Programme: The Emissions Gap Report 2012)

Asien: No Nukes!

Dienstag, August 21st, 2012

“Hintergrund: Die Anti Atom Bewegung in Asien

Von Dieter Kaufmann, August 2012

Rasantes Wirtschaftswachstum und steigende Ölpreise sind für die Länder Asiens Grund genug, für ihre Energieversorgung auf Atomkraft zu setzen. Die nukleare Begeisterung ist auch nach der Katastrophe im japanischen Atomkraftwerk Fukushima ungebrochen. Während in China und Indien bereits Atommeiler am Netz sind, ist die Atomkraft für andere Länder eine “Option für die nächsten 15 bis 20 Jahre”. Selbst der Stadtstaat Singapur, kleiner als Berlin, will Atomkraftwerke bauen. In fast allen asiatischen Ländern wird der Strompreis stark subventioniert, damit die die Industrie und Haushalte keine zu hohe Kosten haben. Stromeinsparung Fehlanzeige!

In vielen Ländern von Asien gibt es eine Anti Atom Bewegung. Sie sind genauso zählebig wie in Deutschland auch. In Südkorea, Taiwan und Japan gibt es sehr aktive Anti AKW Gruppen. Über das 1993 gegründete Anti Atom Netzwerk „No Nukes Asia“ arbeiten viele Anti Atom Gruppen in Südostasien zusammen. Das jährliche Anti Atom Treffen Forum verbindet immer Bildung und Austausch mit direkten Aktionen und Pressearbeit. Im Forum arbeiten Menschen aus der Republik Korea, Taiwan, Philippinen, Indonesien, Malaysia, Thailand, Indien und Japan mit. In einer Abschlusserklärung in Südkorea auf einem internationalen Treffen vom 18.03. bis 24.03.2012 in der Stadt Samchuk heißt es auszugsweise sinngemäß: „Wir fordern die Regierungen von Indonesien, Thailand und den Philippinen auf, ihre Atomprogramme aufzugeben. Wir fordern alle Menschen auf, die tödliche Atomenergie abzulehnen. Wir müssen alle zusammenarbeiten, um die Ära des Atomausstiegs zu starten und entschlossen den Umstieg für auf Menschen basierende, erneuerbare, nachhaltige saubere Energien durchzusetzen.“ (23. März 2012, No Nukes Forum Asia)

Südkorea

Von 1961 bis 1987 gab es in Südkorea eine Militärregierungen. Die Demokratiebewegung konnte sich erst 1987 durchsetzen. Diese Militärregierungen zogen das Atomprogramm durch. 1977 wurde in Südkorea das erste AKW kritisch. In Südkorea von heute, 2012, sind fünf AKW Standorte mit 22 AKW Reaktoren installiert. Bis zum Jahre 2024 will Südkorea 14 neue AKW bauen. So sollen 40 Prozent 2030 von der Atomenergie gedeckt werden. Im Jahre 2011 waren es 23 Prozent.

Die südkoreanische Umweltbewegung begann wie in der BRD auch aus einer Anti-AKW-Bewegung. Umweltfragen wurden in der koreanischen Diktatur zu kritischen Hochburgen in der Demokratiebewegung, die auf einen schwer erkämpften Weg 1987 zu einer zivilen demokratischen Regierungsform führte. Es ging aber auch den Kampf gegen Atommülllagerstätten, die die koreanische Regierung bauen wollte. Der Super Gau in Tschernobyl 1986 führte zu einen massenhaften Zulauf zur der Anti Atom Bewegung.

1988 wurde die koreanische Öffentlichkeit von der Anti Atom Bewegung über die Probleme mit den AKW und nukleare Entsorgung informiert. Zehntausende Menschen nahmen an Demonstrationen teil und unterzeichneten Petitionen protestierten weiter gegen den Bau neuer Atomkraftwerke und Atommülllagerstätten. 1989 wurde eine Kampagne gegen den Bau von AKW am AKW-Standort Yongkwan durchgeführt. 1990 wurde eine Demonstration mit 20.000 Menschen gegen eine Atommüll-Anlage organisiert, die auf der vor gelagerten Insel Anmyon errichtet werden sollte. Die koreanische Regierung hatte dort versucht, heimlich ein hochradioaktives Endlager zu errichten.

1993 kam es zur Gründung von Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM). Im Jahr 1995 erzwang KFEM nach langen Protesten die Absage einer geplanten Atommüll-Lagerstätte auf der Insel Gulup zu bauen. Der Vorschlag wurde im November abgebrochen. 1997 begann der Start der Kampagne gegen Atommüll Transporte von Taiwan nach Nordkorea. Das Projekt der Castor Transporte wurde im Dezember 1997 aufgegeben. Im Juli 1998 wurde ein Austauschprogramm mit Umweltgruppen in der Mongolei durchgeführt.

Nach dem Scheitern ein Endlager zu errichten versucht die Regierung jetzt erneut. Es soll 2003 bei der 70.000-Einwohner-Stadt Buan, 200 Kilometer südlich von Seoul, gebaut werden. Seit Juli 2003 gibt es ununterbrochen jeden Tag Lichter – Demonstrationen gegen das Endlager. Auf dem Höhepunkt der Demonstration waren 10.000 Demonstranten gegen die Atompläne der Regierung auf den Straßen. Die koreanische Regierung hatte bis zu 10.000 Polizisten eingesetzt, die zum Teil brutal gegen die Demonstranten vorgehen: 41 Demonstranten landeten im Gefängnis, über 400 wurden durch Polizeiangriffe und Übergriffe verletzt. Unter den Verletzten waren auch alte Menschen, Frauen und Kinder.

Die Demonstrationen sind bunt, vielfältig und fantasievoll: 300 Fischer machten mit ihren Booten eine Rallye gegen das geplante Atommülllager, ebenso 1500 Autofahrer mit ihren Autos und tausende von Radfahrern. 340 Dorfbürgermeister beteiligen sich, hunderte von Ärzten und Marine-Veteranen. Mönche fasteten und Priester beteten mit den Demonstranten.

In Buan wächst eine echte Graswurzel-Demokratie. Es gibt Marathon-Läufe, aber auch Musikfestivals gegen das Atommülllager. Unter dem Motto der traditionsreichen koreanischen Widerstandsbewegung “three steps one bow” (“Drei Schritte nach vorn, einmal auf den Boden”) machten 1200 Demonstranten einen 49 Kilometer langen Marsch und warfen sich dabei etwa zehntausend Mal auf den Boden, unter den Demonstranten waren auch viele SchülerInnen.

Die meisten koreanischen Medien haben bisher über die massenhaften Anti-Atom-Demonstrationen nur wenig und oberflächlich, manchmal auch diffamierend berichtet. (2005)

Nach Fukushima 2011 gab es vermehrt Anti Atom Demonstrationen. So z. B. “Nuklearfreies Korea, nuklearfreies Samcheok!” riefen die Demonstranten. Sie schwenkten Transparente und hielten Schilder in die Luft. Per Megafon forderten sie die Stilllegung aller koreanischen Atomkraftwerke und den Stopp der Planungen, die den Bau von sieben weiteren Atomreaktoren vorsehen. Unterstützung erhielten sie vom Meer aus, wo die Umweltorganisation Greenpeace mit ihrem Segelschiff Rainbow Warrior Anker geworfen hatte.

18. August 2012″

 

(Quelle: contrAtom.)

Thailand: Hmmm, Meeresfrüchte

Dienstag, Juli 17th, 2012

“Migrant workers protest

Published: 12/04/2012 at 06:40 PM
Online news:


Recent protests by thousands of migrant workers in Songkla and Kanchanaburi has exposed further evidence of how Thai exporters to giant American, European and Australian food chains have gone unaudited.

Thousands of Cambodian and Burmese workers claimed during strikes early this month at Pattana Seafood factory in Songkla they were being seriously exploited. They accused their employer of reducing meal allowances, docking their pay for so called "bondage payments" and holding their passports to prevent them from leaving.

One of the striking workers said the company has reduced their food allowance (20 baht per day) and decreased the attendance bonus (from 400 baht every two weeks to 300 baht per month) from the new wage of 247 baht since April 1.

The company and the broker CDM Trading Manpower, the workers said, have sent away a few hundred people who wanted to return home, but the others either could not make a decision or continued to argue for their rights, such as whether they had to pay to get their passports back and for transportation.

They said after April 19, the company will deal with the labour problem again, sources said.

Thai labour authorities said they were monitoring the situation and believe the resentment stems from misunderstandings due to the language barrier.

Pattana Seafood has had no strikes at its other branches in Samut Sakhon’s Mahachai and Chantaburi, Anusorn Kraiwatnussorn, the vice labour minister said.

“In Mahachai, they may have Burmese interlocutors that might help fine-tune internal communications between employers and employees, while in Chantaburi, they might have Khmer-speaking people who clarifies things to the workers. But not so in Songkla,” Mr Anusorn told the Bangkok Post.

Company representatives could not provide adequate information and claimed there was no labour problem at the Songkla factory.

Pattana Seafood is a key exporter of seafood to Australia, the US and Europe. According to American labour union sources, the company is a large supplier of shrimp to Walmart.

Cambodian ambassador to Thailand You Ay told the Bangkok Post said she has told the CDM broker who brought in 800 workers from Cambodia to work at the Songkla factory to settle the issue quickly and smoothly or she will appeal to her government to withdraw its licence in Phnom Penh.

“Now, 90% of the protesters have agreed to a settled deal. Those who are satisfied with the work and wage-payment conditions can continue to stay there, but for those who want a new job, CDM will see to it,” Ms You Ay said.

She said she has communicated with the factory and CDM and advised the workers to respect Thai labour laws and not to resort to any violence.

The Cambodian ambassador said the problem was that the factory is cutting the food allowance of 20 baht as it had agreed to increase the daily wage from 147 baht to 274 baht from April 1. But they have not been able to settle the issue with the workers.

UN sources confirmed the hasty, and at times illegal, migration routes of the Cambodian workers coming to the Songkla factory. For example, 20-year-old Sok from Kampong Thom, who learnt of the work opportunity through a CDM Trading Manpower Co advertisement, signed a Khmer/English contract that he did not read.

CDM told them that the length of the contract would be two years, and after it expired they would provide transport back to Cambodia. They would also provide a room to stay, a mattress, pillow, plate and a food allowance.

But when he got to Thailand, he found he had to work 26 days a month. He got his salary every two weeks, but half was withheld to ensure he did not run away. “Most of the workers wanted to go home, but we will be in debt from preparing to travel and an unknown amount we are told to pay to get passports and transportation,” he said.

Similar conditions exist for 395 Burmese workers, who came in groups between October and February, Burmese sources said.

A separate protest was also reported at Vita, a pineapple canning factory in Kanchanaburi province on April 11. Sources said a stand-off between the factory and the workers, thousands of them from neighbouring Myanmar, remained tense with local police called in to ensure no violence.

The Vita company is a key supplier of food to Walmart. According to US Customs Import, 356 of 485 shipments from Vita to the US — or 73 per cent — went to Walmart under the “Great Value” private label of Walmart.”

 

(Quelle: Bangkok Post.)

Philippinen: Kirche gegen Kontrazeptiva

Montag, Juli 2nd, 2012

“PHILIPPINES: Rescuing “failed” family planning with cash

 

Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila

 

MANILA, 2 July 2012 (IRIN) – The government of the Philippines is aiming to save its “failed” national family planning programme and drastically cut maternal deaths by spending 500 million pesos (almost US$12 million) on contraceptives in 2012, a move bitterly opposed by the influential Roman Catholic Church.

The Department of Health has said it will use the money to purchase “family planning commodities and supplies” – an official euphemism for condoms, intra-uterine devices (IUDs), birth control pills and other contraceptives – and distribute them on a large scale for the first time in largely underfunded community centres across the country.

It is a controversial decision that even public health officials and family planning advocates admit may not be carried out by local officials wary of angering the Church or losing the votes of Catholic supporters.

The Church frowns on contraceptives and discourages Filipinos from using them, so government support for family planning programmes has usually been limited. Earlier attempts to boost family planning services failed when strict congressional vetting scrapped any programme that involved paying for and distributing contraceptives.

The money for the new family planning initiative will have to come from 2012 general budget allocations of $990 million. Health department officials say the move is aimed at cutting maternal mortality rates, which went from just 162 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2006 to 221 in 2011 – a rise of 35 percent – according to the government’s 2011 Family Health Survey.

Health officials say at this pace the Philippines will likely miss the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing the 1990 maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by three-quarters by 2015.

“The Philippines started its family planning programme in the 1970s, when we had a similar population to Thailand of around 40 million. But now our population is roughly 95 million, while Thailand only has 65 million,” said Esmeraldo Ilem, head of the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, the national maternity facility in the capital, Manila.

“This difference… is attributed to Thailand’s very successful [family planning] programme,” he said. “In other words, ours has been unsuccessful.” The hospital’s dark hallways and perpetually overcrowded maternity wards could symbolize the country’s inadequate health sector management.

A reproductive health bill that includes allocating funds for contraceptives and introducing sex education for primary school children has been bitterly debated in Congress for the past two years, but there is little sign of it being passed anytime soon.

Foreign governments and NGOs have so far filled the gap, but the global financial crisis and changing geopolitical priorities have forced them to cut back on aid, say Philippine government officials. In 2005 donors provided $4.4 million for contraceptives, with the US government contributing most of the money, according to the public-private Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, which tracks shipments of reproductive health supplies.

Funding for contraception was half that amount in 2011. The International Planned Parenthood Federation, Marie Stopes International – a global reproductive health NGO – and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) together provided $2.2 million for contraceptives, with $836,000 coming from UNFPA.

As a result, some six million Filipina women reported an “unmet need” for modern family planning services, according to the health department.

“These are women who are too old or too young to give birth, or those who already have too many [children], yet still come here and bear babies because they do not have proper access to health services,” Ilem said as he made the rounds in Fabella’s crowded wards.

The city government of Manila hosts the national headquarters of the Catholic Church in a country where more than 80 percent of the people identify themselves as members.

“In Manila, there is no health centre where you can find free contraceptives.” The city banned contraceptives in government health centres about a decade ago.

President Benigno Aquino, elected in 2010 on a promise to end poverty, initially voiced support for the reproductive health bill, but intense lobbying by Church officials, whose views on key issues often shape public opinion, has softened that position.

“We will not meet the MDG [Millennium Development Goal] on maternal health,” Ilem said. “But at the very least the purpose of this spending is to help save our family planning programme by… mak[ing] contraceptives available to the public.”

The statistics and acronyms mean little to women like Irish Gili, 31, a mother of eight who had just delivered her latest baby at Fabella. She has never had access to family planning advice, much less free contraceptives. She nearly died while delivering her seventh child, but found herself pregnant again, barely a month after giving birth.

“I have been advised to have a [tubal] ligation already,” she said. “I suppose I need to that now. I have so many mouths to feed, and my body can no longer handle another childbirth.”

aag/pt

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]”

 

(Quelle: IRIN News.)

Klima: Sackgasse CDM?

Samstag, November 26th, 2011

“CDM does not reduce emissions. Leaving fossil fuels in the ground does

By Chris Lang, 18th November 2011

Last month, I took part in a meeting in Bangkok about carbon markets in Southeast Asia. Much of the discussion during the meeting involved the complexities and details of the Clean Development Mechansim, but the two points in the headline came across clearly.

Below is an article I wrote about the meeting for the World Rainforest Movement. In a separate post, I’ll post a version of the presentation that I gave at the workshop.

CDM does not reduce emissions. Leaving fossil fuels in the ground does

Published in WRM Bulletin No. 172, November 2011

Last month, I was in Bangkok for a meeting about carbon markets in southeast Asia. It was ironic to be discussing a false solution to climate change when large areas of Thailand were underwater and floods were threatening the capital. (While we cannot say that this particular flood was caused by climate change, we can say that this type of flood will become more common as the planet continues to warm.)

The Bangkok meeting was organised by CDM-Watch and Focus on the Global South with participants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma and Cambodia. The meeting highlighted two distinct problems with CDM projects:

  1. Because CDM is a carbon trading mechanism, it does not reduce emissions; and
  2. Several CDM projects are in themselves destructive and create serious impacts for local communities and their environments.

“The CDM has never been designed to reduce emissions,” said Jacques-Chai Chomthongdi of Focus on the Global South. “Even worse is that there are no measures in place that address negative environmental and social impacts.”

For several years, International Rivers has been monitoring how CDM hydropower projects are not additional, because they would have gone ahead anyway, without assistance from the CDM. At the Bangkok meeting, Carl Middleton, of Chulalongkorn University, spoke about the Kamchay Dam in Cambodia, which is currently under validation as a CDM project. Financing for the project was secured in 2006 from the China Exim Bank and construction of the dam is expected to be finished this year. “It is impossible to assume that this project is additional,” Middleton commented. The dam will flood 2,000 hectares of lands including part of the Bokor National Park. “No intention has been communicated to address the severe environmental impacts it will cause,” Middleton added.

International Rivers maintains a database of hydropower projects in the CDM project pipeline. As of 29 October 2011, 1975 hydro projects with an installed capacity of 86,439 MW had applied for CDM credits, more than two-thirds of which are in China.

Nichakan Yuenyao is a local researcher from a community affected by a biomass power project in Surin Province in Thailand. She spoke at the meeting about the impacts that the community is suffering as a result of this supposedly “clean development” project. She explained that air pollution from the project was a problem, leading to lung diseases and skin problems. One villager told her he has to keep his doors and windows closed all day in an attempt to keep the dust out of his house. Noise is also a problem and after four years of operation, the biomass plant has affected villagers’ water supplies.

Another speaker was Patrick Bürgi, one of the co-founders of carbon trading company South Pole Carbon Asset Management. “Some of these environmental impacts could be easily addressed, for example by adding dust nets or sprinkling water,” he said. “The problem is that there is no enforcement mechanism in place.” Which is quite an admission, coming from a proponent of CDM projects.

During his presentation, Bürgi explained that, “CDM is about money transferred from the developed world to the developing world to finance projects that will help climate change mitigation.” Since this is not true, I asked Bürgi to confirm that in fact CDM does not reduce emissions, because it is a carbon trading mechanism. While emissions may be reduced in one place, selling carbon credits allows pollution elsewhere to continue. CDM is “at its best a zero sum game”, as then-chair of the CDM Executive Board, Lex de Jonge put it in 2009.

In addition to Bürgi, the panel included Bo Riisgaard Pedersen of the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy and Sudeep Kodialbail of SGS a CDM Designated Operational Entity. Although they nodded while I was asking the question, they were somewhat reluctant to acknowledge in so many words that CDM does not reduce emissions. Eventually Kodialbail acknowledged the point (sort of). “If you look at the UNFCCC website, it’s very interesting when you read it because they don’t use the word reduce, they use the word stabilise,” he said.

Hearing this, I jumped up. “It doesn’t reduce,” I shouted. “Can we have this in big letters? CDM does not reduce emissions. It’s true. CDM does not reduce emissions. Can we all agree?”

It turns out that we could agree. “You are quite right saying that CDM as such does not lead to net reduction of emissions,” Bürgi replied.

For me, the highlight of the meeting came towards the end when Jerome Whitington of the National University of Singapore talked about a proposal that he and colleagues are working on for a strict cap on fossil energy extraction – in other words a planned phase out of coal, oil and natural gas mining.

In 2007, before the UN climate meeting in Bali, journalist George Monbiot made a similar suggestion and pointed out that, “The talks in Bali will be meaningless unless they produce a programme for leaving fossil fuels in the ground.” Four years later, with greenhouse gases rising by a record amount last year, it is about time that this simple solution to runaway climate change was taken seriously.”

 

(Quelle: redd-monitor.org)