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UN Chronicle. 1991 Jun; 28(2): p..Environmental degradation is killing children. That is the alarming message of the 73-page report--Children and the Environment--published jointly by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and (UNEP) in 1990. The two organizations examined the effect of environmental quality on the child in the womb, on infants and children, as well as the special problems of children at work and those in distress. The study finds that "children are too often the victims of pollution--their young bodies make them far more vulnerable than adults to the poisons we spew into the air, and toxins we sow on Earth". It states that global warming, ozone depletion, loss of genetic resources, desertification and general land degradation are "this generation's legacy to its descendants". Before it is too late, the report urges, "intergenerational equity", which incorporates the welfare of future generations into developmental planning, must be implemented. UNICEF and UNEP warn that achieving it could be "the foremost challenge facing policy makers in the closing years of the twentieth century, and beyond". (excerpt)
DESARROLLO DE BASE. 1991; 15(3):36-8.The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) was held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 and dealt with world trade, environmental education, environmental emergencies, the transfer of technology and financial resources, and the restructuring of international systems for tackling environmental problems. Other issues on the agenda were the protection of the atmosphere, the ozone shield, deforestation, the conservation of biological diversity, sustainable urban and rural development, and the safeguarding of human health and quality of life. The preparation for the conference took place through a series of meetings, which also featured the problems of rural areas in the Americas. Some environmental organizations based in Washington, D.C. had become impassive over the years and promoted bipartisan and apolitical issues in order to obtain funds. Nonetheless, some groups criticized the projects of the World Bank. In 1990 the World Bank established the World Environmental Program for developing countries, which envisioned the execution of 15 projects and 11 technical assistance proposals. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were also active in this effort. The Interamerican Development Bank also launched a forest policy for preserving forest resources. This was the consequence of the 1982 scheme that aimed at protecting forest populations and promoting sustainable forest industries. At another conference of development specialists the discrimination against women was cited as a major factor in the deleterious use of natural resources. A new development concept was urged that would incorporate the rights and participation of women as a central strategy in solving the global environmental crisis. The global population is growing at a rate of 95 million people per year, which underlines the need for better representation of women, poor people, and rural areas in state agencies and multilateral and environmental organizations for promoting sustainable local development. The increasing use of energy, the North-South dichotomy, and the issue of global warming were also explored.