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24 May 2018

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News Releases

Myanmar starts work on a national Red List

03 August 2018
An expert presented the results of a group discussion in the workshop © Monika

On July 23-27, 70 of Myanmar’s top species experts gathered at the Forest Research Institute in Yezin, near Nay Pyi Taw, to take important steps in the development of a National Red List of Threatened Species.

The event built on the success of a similar Red List training workshop that was also held in Yezin in July 2017, and the establishment of National Red List Working Groups for mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, plants, and aquatic species.

With the support of the Forest Department’s Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division, WCS, and WWF, IUCN facilitated three days of Red List training for specialists from Myanmar universities, international NGOs such as WCS, WWF, and FFI, and local NGOs including BANCA, MBNS, and FREDA.

The training covered a variety of topics including how to deal with data of varying quality, the nine Red List categories and five criteria, and how to apply these categories and criteria at the national or regional levels.  By the end of the training, all participants had practised carrying out Red List assessments using real data for species found in Myanmar.

Species experts in group discussion © MonikaFollowing the training, the seven members of the Reptiles and Amphibians Working Group spent two days working with the IUCN trainers to conduct the first set of assessments for Myanmar’s National Red List.  70 species of reptiles were assessed, including 30 species of freshwater and marine turtle, and 34 species of lizard.  These draft assessments will now be independently reviewed prior to publishing.

Taking advantage of the wealth of expertise present, the event also included a consultation on updating the national protected species list associated with Myanmar’s new Biodiversity Law.  More than 1,200 species were proposed for inclusion on the list as “Completely Protected”, “Normally Protected”, or “Seasonally Protected”.

 

 

Guinness Record 2018: 100'000 climate change postcards

23 July 2018
Photo: Daniel Maselli, SDC

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC intends to beat the Guinness World Record of the largest composed postcard with the help of children and youth.

Intention - Mobilizing immediate action to stop global warming
The Paris Agreement concluded in 2015 intends to stop global warming at a maximum of +2°C compared to pre-industrial times. This will only be possible if society at large commits to substantially reduce current greenhouse gas emissions by taking immediate action. In such an endeavour children and young people are key players – both, as the generations that will have to live longer with tomorrow’s climate as well as driving force to achieve a climate compatible development.

Photo: IUCNThis is why the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) through its Global Programme Climate Change and Environment (GPCCE) wants to help mobilize youth all over the world. The main goal is to launch a ‘Global Climate Change Youth Movement’ that will raise the voice of children and adolescents to be heard by leaders and decision makers – especially at the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that will take place in Poland (COP24).

History of the idea

The ‘World Advanced Vehicle Expedition’ (WAVE) through its initiator Louis Palmer organized the first successful attempt to compose the largest postcard during COP22 in Marrakech in 2016 featuring over 50’000 postcards (www.wave.earth, see photographs below). With the help of numerous partners and supporters we now intend to double the number of postcards for a new Guinness record. In addition to the slogan displayed in Marrakech an additional message will be conveyed using green postcards that say ‘We are the future – give us a chance’.

Targets 2018

In 2018 two major achievements are planned by SDC and its partners:

  1. Set a new Guinness World Record (www.guinnessworldrecords.com)! The largest ever composed postcard is going to be exposed on the Aletsch glacier in Switzerland – the longest and deepest glacier of the Alps. The maxi-postcard will be covered with over 100’000 commitments of learners from schools all over the world;
  2. Extract a number of key messages from the many postcards received to be addressed to policy and decision makers all over the world. This shall include the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Gutteres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Ms. Patricia Espinosa, the Heads of States from all the countries that will have provided postcards, as well as all Members of the Swiss Parliament. The messages will be sent by Swiss youth on behalf of young world citizens using real postcards featuring the Jungfraujoch and being stamped there at the highest post office in Europe.

Key message

Photo: Daniel Maselli, SDCOn a surface of ice of about 50x50 m over 100'000 postcards glued on A0 posters and sealed to be weatherproof will be exposed. The key message added to be visible from high above will be:

We are the future -  Give us a chance
Stop global 
warming 1.5°C

Location & timing

Photo: IUCNThe postcards will be exposed on 30 October 2018 on the largest glacier of the Alps located at an altitude of more than 3500m a.s.l. in a place called 'Top of Europe' reachable by train and pertain the highest post office in Europe (Jungfraujoch).

Invitation for schools to join?

Do you and your school want to take action for a safer climate and become part of a new Guinness World Record at the same time? How? Easy – paint a postcard on which you tell the world about your climate action!

We invite any school and their young learners from 6 to 20 years of age to produce his / her postcard. 

By sending us the postcards every young learner agrees to have his/her art piece exposed for the Guinness World Record and further used for non-commercial / not for profit communication purposes including subsequent events. The acknowledgement will be self-speaking as the author has to put his/her card name on the card by default to comply with the regulations (see below).

Big news: 50'000 cards from  Southern Africa

MIET Africa - one of our key partner in this initiative - is facilitating the participation of youth from the SADC region by attempting to collect 50’000 postcards for the Guinness World Record of the largest postcard mosaic ever.

The motivation for such a large participation is expressed in the following collective statement of youth from the SADC region:

"Despite the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region being home to some of the most beautiful natural environments on this earth, its people experience many challenges - such as poverty, water and food insecurity and disease – all of which are exacerbated by the negative effects of climate change. We, the children and youth of the region, are often the hardest hit, with interrupted access to education having a detrimental effect on our educational attainment.  We are therefore excited to contribute to this record-breaking postcard initiative which provides us with a compelling opportunity to send a message to the world’s leaders and decision-makers to act now, because "We are the Future - give us a chance”.

By the way: For this great commitment we have received support from a Swiss paper trading company which has offered us 60'000 white cards on special art paper: 'Tintoretto Neve 250g/m2' and 'Ambassador Natural 250 g/m2' - both are creative woodfree papers. 50'000 cards have already been shipped to Harare in Zimbabwe from where MIET will distribute them to the participating schools in the whole region. Many thanks for this donation!

Postcard requirements

  • Use DIN A6 i.e. 148 mm x 105 mm cards
  • Use  solid paper of 140-250 g/m2
  • Write and/or visualize the commitment of the artist to improve the world’s climate and limit global warming to a maximum of +2°C
  • Add the name and surname of the artist
  • Add the name of the school, the location (city, village) and the country
  • Climate Change postcard example

Photo: IUCNExample of a valid postcard with all required elements

Support and deadline

We are happy to provide empty white and green standard cards – if necessary along with some color pencils – to schools that need support. After registration and upon mutual agreement the materials will be made available at Swiss embassies or consulates who will also take care of sending the completed postcards to Switzerland. The deadline for delivering the postcards to a Swiss embassy or consulate is 15 September 2018 at the latest. However, the earlier the better in order to make sure they will be exposed on the Aletsch glacier on 30 October 2018!

Contact and registration

Let us know if you are interested to participate or if you have suggestions whom to contact to mobilize youth to create climate commitment postcards by sending an e-mail to Daniel Maselli (copy to Lauriane Bolomey). You will hear back as soon as possible!

Key messages addressed to decision makers

With the intention to inform and contact important decision makers, a special 'Youth Climate Postcard' featuring the Guinness Record on the Aletsch glacier will be produced. Subsequently a number of key messages conveyed from youth all over the world having participated in the initiative will be addressed in a personalized manner to Heads of States, Members of Parliaments, CEOs of companies and other VIPs concerned by climate change and/or linked to the United Nation as Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as signal to the COP24 Climate Conference in Poland in December 2018.

The goal of this sub-initiative is to further raise the voice of children and young people to compel decision makers to take immediate and relevant action to address climate change and ultimately to contribute to launching a 'Global Youth Movement for Climate Change Action'.

Tracking postcard commitments

IUCNSince the overall goal is to create a 'Global Youth Movement for Climate' demonstrating that young people are eager and capable to 'walk the talk' - i.e. to implement their commitment written on their handcrafted postcard art piece - we would like to go one step further.

If feasible we will provide support and help in fundraising where funds are required e.g. through crowdfunding so that commitments of entire schools can be implemented even where monetary resources are scarce such as in many developing countries.

We will further try to track the commitments that have indeed been implemented by either turning their colour from white to green (and for the green cards with the slogan to red) - or by replacing the card with the portrait of the child / young person. This shall be done on a virtual postcard featuring all postcards received and be trackable on the internet (link to be provided later if the idea can be technically implemented).

Partners

We are very happy to welcome any partner ready to support our idea, project and vision to break a new Guinness World Record compiling the largest composed postcard ever as well as to create a 'Global Youth Climate Movement'.  We welcome both in-kind support and cash contributions as most appropriate for partners. Please contact Daniel Maselli.

 

 

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