Wednesday’s Daily Brief: #NoTobacco Day, China’s economy, family farming, #ClimateAction

Don’t let smoking steal life’s breathtaking moments, urges UN health agency

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that tobacco use claims about eight million lives a year. (file)

Tobacco use continues to claim around eight million lives a year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, in a call for faster action from governments to tackle smoking and the enormous health, social, environmental and economic costs it entails.

Ahead of World No Tobacco Day, marked on Friday, 31 May, WHO’s Dr Vinayak Prasad, acting Director, Department for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases, highlighted the damage that tobacco causes to the lungs of smokers and non-smokers alike.

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China’s ‘remarkable’ creative economy marches ahead

798 Art District, former military factories now housing art and creative spaces in the northeast of Beijing.

China’s creative economy � which includes books, film, music and video games � is growing faster than other countries, making it the world’s driving force in the field over the past 15 years, says a new UN trade report.

The study from the UN Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, tracks national performance in the trade of creative goods and services between 2002 and 2015, and shows that China is the biggest single exporter and importer, with trade growing exponentially over the period.

China’s performance is described in the report as remarkable, because of its sustained growth over three decades, its dominance of the world market for creative goods and services, and its role in sustaining the regional and global creative economy.

Speaking to UN News, Amy-Louise Shelver from UNCTAD said the report shows that the view of China as simply the factory of the world is now outdated: I think that’s a one-dimensional view of what’s actually happening in China. Obviously China’s growth over the past 20 to 30 years has certainly been based on its performance as a factory of the world: that’s what it’s used to kickstart its economy. Subsequent to that, there’s been a massive broadening of China’s goods and services offering, and it’s important to see it as a multi-dimensional economy, not simply a manufacturing hub.

Family farms are ‘drivers of sustainable development’

Farmers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have accessed land to grow crops. (file 2011)

Launching the United Nations Decade of Family Farming in Rome on Wednesday, two UN agencies have lauded family-run farms, which account for over 90 per cent of the sector, as key drivers of sustainable development, that play a major role in ending hunger and malnutrition.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) also announced a Global Action Plan to upgrade support for family farmers, particularly those in developing countries, with detailed guidance for the international community.

Although farmers produce most of our food, they are vulnerable to poverty, especially in developing countries, and the plan highlights the need to increase access to social protection for farmers, as well as finance, training and opportunities to generate income.

Mozambique cyclones a ‘wake-up call’ to boost resistance: UN weather agency

Internally displaced people in Beira, Mozambique,dry clothes at a secondary school used to shelter evacuees from Cyclone Idai, March 2019.

The havoc caused by cyclones Idai and Kenneth across Mozambique is a wake-up call for vulnerable countries to build resistance” against further high-impact tropical storms, coastal flooding and intense rainfall linked to climate change, according to the United Nations weather agency chief.

A World Meteorological Organization (WMO) fact-finding mission to Mozambique recommended on Wednesday a package of disaster-risk-reduction priorities to strengthen the country’s early warning systems and reduce damage due to weather, climate and water-related hazards.

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Floating Cities: the new urban frontier

Climate change and urbanization are combining to create an urgent global need for sustainable cities. In response, the United Nations is exploring how the creation of floating cities can help solve the urban crisis while.

Source: UN News Centre