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[en] We live a climate emergency. This is a fight for our lives. This is a fight we must win. Business as usual is no longer an option. Everywhere, people demand more vigorous and quick action to stop climate change. Everyone wants a sustainable future. Everyone wants to live on a clean, green and healthy planet. It is our responsibility to listen to them. And achieve results. We have very little time left. The window to act is closing fast, though 2019 and 2020 give us a chance, which could be the last. To stop runaway climate change, to avoid more weather disasters, to avoid more suffering, nations need to use all options at their disposal to update their climate action plans under the Paris Agreement by 2020. We need these plans to be much more ambitious than they are now. Because we are going in the wrong direction. We need to adapt to a changing climate. We need to stabilize the global temperature rise at 1.5°C. But we are on route to an increase of more than double. And this means an uncertain future for humanity. What is the conclusion? We need more climate ambition. And we need it now. Your conference provides an opportunity to advance. You can help those nations willing to do so to consider or strengthen their use of nuclear power.
[en] Hundreds of infectious animal diseases are out there, and, without the right preventative measures, they can strike at any time. While most of these diseases spread only between animals, some can jump from animals to people; these are called zoonotic diseases. To help tackle these threats to animals, people and economies, the right training and equipment in diagnostics is needed. One of the ways specialists get that is through support from the IAEA, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). For decades, specialists have worked with the IAEA and FAO to improve their capacities to use nuclear, nuclear-derived and other methods to detect and diagnose animal and zoonotic diseases. These diagnostic methods are key to preventing, controlling and, when possible, eradicating these diseases, which can have disastrous consequences for animal and human health, as well as for communities and economies.
[en] Ethiopia exports over one million cattle per year, a number which would not be possible without nuclear techniques. To prevent epidemics, all livestock destined for export, as well as domestic consumption, need to be vaccinated against animal diseases. In Ethiopia, vaccines are developed and produced at the National Veterinary Institute (NVI). These vaccines are developed to fight evolving pathogens and then produced for use both domestically and in neighbouring countries. The IAEA, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), supports both stages of the process.
[en] In 2019, the pork industry in Viet Nam escaped a wave of African swine fever (ASF) and other animal diseases hitting South-East Asia, thanks to quick action by researchers at the country’s National Centre for Veterinary Diagnosis (NCVD). The research team used training and equipment obtained through IAEA support, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), to rapidly diagnose diseases like ASF with nuclear-derived and other techniques, controlling the spread of these diseases, protecting the country’s livestock industry and ensuring food security. China, which shares a border with Viet Nam, reported its first case of ASF in August 2018. The disease quickly spread to the southern part of the country and eventually to Viet Nam. Since a vaccine for ASF was still unavailable, early and accurate detection of the disease was essential in order to implement strict sanitary and biosecurity measures to contain and eventually eliminate the disease.
[en] The activity concentration of radon in underground water of Bureti sub-county was measured using liquid scintillating counter device. The average radon activity concentration in all the water samples was 12.41 Bql-1. The maximum and minimum activity concentrations of radon were 22.5 and 4.57 Bql-1, respectively. In total, 53% of the total samples analysed had radon concentration levels above the US Environmental Protection Agency-recommended limit of 11.1 Bql-1. The annual dose received by an individual as a result of waterborne radon was determined according to the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation reports and was found to be 33.23 μSvy-1. All the samples recorded a value<100 μSvy-1 recommended by the World Health Organization and the European Union council. (author)
[en] Malaysia is committed to it’s environmental commitment to reduce green house gases (GHG) emission. The nation is moving towards green energy development in line with the pledge made at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in France. Malaysia have pledged nonbinding cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to reduce its carbon emission up to 45% by 2030.
[en] The virus responsible for COVID-19, originating in animals, emerged in humans in late 2019 and upended the world as we know it. While it is the first disease in over a century to cause daily lives and economies worldwide to grind to a halt, it is not the first disease to cross from animals to people. More than 60 per cent of diseases now affecting humans started in animals — and with improved surveillance and animal disease control, they could be stopped in their tracks. This is what underlines the importance of global initiatives like the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VETLAB) Network, through which veterinary labs exchange information, share best practices and support each other. The VETLAB Network is maintained by the IAEA, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and is funded through the Peaceful Uses Initiative and the African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund.
[en] In 2018, Bulgaria halted the spread of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) — a disease that can devastate livestock — thanks in part to the support of the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This was the first time PPR had been recorded in the European Union, which made halting its spread early an important goal for the region. Summer outbreak In the summer of 2018, cattle breeders on the farms of Voden in south-eastern Bulgaria noticed that their animals were suffering from a disease. Soon after, authorities reported that the country was facing an outbreak of PPR. Within days, two Bulgarian scientists came to the IAEA to receive training and materials to rapidly detect and characterize the PPR virus using nuclear-derived techniques. The area underwent active surveillance, and no more cases have been reported since July 2018.
[en] As the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease spreads across the world, the IAEA, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is offering its support and expertise to help countries use real time reverse transcription– polymerase chain reaction (real time RT–PCR), one of the fastest and most accurate laboratory methods for detecting, tracking and studying the COVID-19 virus. Real time RT–PCR is a nuclear-derived method for detecting the presence of specific genetic material in any pathogen, including a virus. Originally, the method used radioactive isotope markers to detect targeted genetic materials, but subsequent refining has led to the replacement of isotopic labelling with special markers, most frequently fluorescent dyes. This technique allows scientists to see the results almost immediately while the process is still ongoing, whereas conventional RT–PCR only provides results at the end of the process.
[en] Over the next decade, the world faces two significant interrelated challenges. First, developing countries must increase electric generation to provide their citizens with access to affordable, reliable energy. Access to energy is necessary for economic development and prosperity, fundamental for economic growth,and critical to enabling societies to achieve basic levels of health, education, and social development. Although only one of the United Nation’s seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 7) focuses specifically on energy access, it is widely recognized that without such access many of the other SDG will not be met.The United Nations recently warned that “[w] without urgent action, the world will fall short of achievement of SDG 7 and consequently other SDG.”