Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Canada's embarrassing intention to withdraw from global treaty on desertification and drought.
Canada again singled itself into global embarrassment by declaring its solo intention to withdraw from a 1995 pact that fights global desertification and drought. 154 countries are signatories to the efforts to mitigate the impacts, most of which are secondary to anthropogenic actions at the sites and through global climate change impacts which we all contribute to.
The Canadian rationale, is that the program is expensive and has not demonstrated value. The decision was made behind closed Cabinet doors and not publically released. Questions were to be directed to the Canadian International Development Agency which just had its funeral plans enshrined in the federal budget.
And, just one month in advance of a major conference specifically designed to evaluate the impacts and benefits of the program.
The total expense of being signatory to the pact was less than $150,000 per year for the past two years, put in perspective, that is just less than the base salary of one member of parliament, or the supplemental salaries on top of this for two cabinet ministers.
Perhaps the most condemning editorial comes from The globe and Mail April 1 and not an April Fool’s joke. The Harper government is continuing its spiral from providing support to those in need and continuing to bolster corporate welfare. Having just recently announcing that the big six banks are considered “too big to be allowed to fail”, it has little heart for the failure of poverty stricken African Sarahan region countries who have already failed.
Droughts have traditionally accounted for 50% of extreme weather related deaths globally. Since the 1990s and global mobilization on the issue, death rates have plummeted to less than 1% of the previous decades and accounting for just less than 1% of extreme weather deaths.
Desertification occurs in dryland areas, generally poverty stricken situations where some 10-20% of global drylands have already degraded to desert like conditions. These drylands are home to a third of the global population. The program supported by the UN convention summarizes the impacts and value of their work at UNEP desertification
Should we be surprised at the insane actions of the Harper government? Probably not, as is the health of the banking system not more important than global social capital? Or perhaps it is the skewed view of blue suits unwilling to walk in the footsteps of those unable to afford shoes.