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News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks at Financing for Peace: Innovations to Tackle Fragility session during the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday for the first time since both took office earlier this year and amid a U.S. push to cut funding to the world body and its agencies. Guterres met with Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, and then "had an opportunity to meet with President Trump," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "The secretary-general and the president agreed to meet again in the near future," Dujarric told reporters at the United Nations. "In his meetings at the White House, the secretary-general felt he had had an interesting and constructive discussion on cooperation between the United States and the United Nations," he said. U.N. Security Council ambassadors are due to meet Trump in Washington on Monday, diplomats said. The United States is president of the 15-member council for April. Trump has proposed a 28 percent budget cut for diplomacy and foreign aid, which includes an unspecified reduction in financial support for the United Nations and its agencies, as well as enforcement of a 25 percent cap on U.S. funding for peacekeeping operations. The United States is the biggest contributor to the United Nations, paying 22 percent of the $5.4 billion core budget and 28.5 percent of the $7.9 billion peacekeeping budget. These are assessed contributions agreed by the U.N. General Assembly. The United States currently owes the United Nations $896 million for its core budget, U.N. officials said. The United States is also reviewing peacekeeping missions as their mandates come up for renewal in a bid to cut costs. U.N. agencies such as the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), the children's agency UNICEF, and the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), are funded by governments voluntarily. The State Department said this month it was ending funding for UNFPA, the international body's agency focused on family planning as well as maternal and child health in more than 150 countries. Guterres warned that the cut could have "devastating effects" on vulnerable women and girls. In 2016, the United States was the top contributor to the UNDP's core budget, with an $83 million donation; the leading donor to UNICEF's core budget in 2015 with $132 million; and the fourth-largest donor to the UNFPA, giving $75 million in core budget and earmarked contributions.


Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. September 13, 2016 - Key partners of the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems Project ("the UNDP/GEF CLME+ Project") assembled from 6 to 9 September in Miami to discuss and plan coordinated action towards the sustainable management and use of living marine resources in the region. Press release


Welchen Effekt die Bemühungen des IDF haben könnten, machte Kading mit dem Hinweis deutlich, dass ein Anstieg von nur 1 Prozent bei Versicherungen gegen katastrophenbedingte wirtschaftliche Verluste in einer bestimmten Region die Belastung des Steuerzahlers durch Wiederaufbaukosten um 22 Prozent senken kann. Das IDF verfolgt das Ziel, durch besser informierte Risikominimierungsmaßnahmen Klima- und Katastrophenrisiken weltweit zu senken und den Prozentsatz des versicherten Wirtschaftswerts in der Welt zu steigern, der in einigen der ärmsten Volkswirtschaften oftmals nur 1 Prozent beträgt. Das Hauptziel des IDF ist die Stärkung der Widerstandsfähigkeit gegen Klima- und Katastrophenrisiken. Dies steht in Einklang mit dem InsuResilience-Ziel der G7, bis 2020 den Klimarisiko-Versicherungsschutz auf weitere 400 Mio. Menschen in gefährdeten Ländern auszuweiten. „Wenn wir dieses Ziel in den nächsten drei Jahren erreichen wollen, müssen wir alle zusammenarbeiten. Dabei ist die führende Rolle der Versicherungsbranche von entscheidender Bedeutung”, so Levy. „Katastrophen bringen jedes Jahr hohe wirtschaftliche Kosten. Sie sind einer der Hauptfaktoren, die Menschen in die Armut zurückwerfen können. Sich gegen Katastrophen zu versichern, führt zu deutlichen Wohlfahrtsvorteilen.” Den IDF-Vorsitz führt Stephen Catlin gemeinsam mit Joaquim Levy, Managing Director und Chief Financial Officer der Weltbankgruppe, und Helen Clark, Administrator des Entwicklungsprogramms der Vereinten Nationen (UNDP). Die Amtszeit von Clark im UNDP ist abgelaufen und die UN wird voraussichtlich bald einen Nachfolger benennen. Zu den weiteren Mitgliedern des Lenkungsausschusses gehören Mark Carney, Governor der Bank of England und Chair des Financial Stability Board, sowie 13 CEOs aus der Versicherungsbranche.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Better World Campaign President Peter Yeo issued the following statement today on the funding levels for the United Nations and UN Peacekeeping included in the FY17 Omnibus spending bill: “We are deeply appreciative of the successful efforts made by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for the past eight years to fully fund America’s contributions to the United Nations. As a result, American leadership at the UN has been greatly strengthened and our country has been able to successfully push for far-reaching and meaningful reforms in the organization. “In the Omnibus bill, we are pleased that the Trump Administration and a bipartisan majority in Congress maintained this progress by agreeing to fully fund the UN regular budget and a number of UN agencies, including the UN’s Children Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Program (UNDP), and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). These funding commitments come just one week after nine former U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations under five different Republican and Democratic administrations sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging full funding for the organization. “Unfortunately, the bill eliminates funding for key environmental programs like the Green Climate Fund and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, doesn't redress the misguided determination that defunded the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and falls short on fully funding the U.S. negotiated share of UN Peacekeeping operations. “Of equal concern, the reinstatement of the 25 percent cap on the U.S. share of peacekeeping costs, instead of the actual 28 percent rate previously negotiated by the U.S. will return the U.S. into arrears on its UN contributions for the first time in nearly a decade. As a result, our ability to achieve American national security and foreign policy objectives in the UN Security Council, and to lead on continued UN reforms, will be diminished. “Despite a decade-long streak of bipartisan support for the UN on Capitol Hill, the FY 2017 Omnibus bill is mixed in terms of meeting our financial obligations to the United Nations. “We urge Congress and the Administration to restore our nation’s commitment to the UN and UN Peacekeeping by paying our bills in full in FY 2018.” About the Better World Campaign The Better World Campaign works to foster a strong relationship between the U.S. and the UN to promote core American interests and build a more secure, prosperous, and healthy world. The Better World Campaign engages policymakers, the media, and the American public alike to increase awareness of the critical role played by the UN in world affairs and the importance of constructive U.S.-UN relations.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.fao.org

Lao PDR is rich in biodiversity, and Lao people make use of agro-biodiversity resources for food, medicine and income on a daily basis. Yet, this resource is under threat from changing agricultural and land use practices, including overexploitation. An agro-biodiversity project is currently underway to ensure that agro-biodiversity is incorporated in national policies and that Lao farmers continue to benefit from the biodiversity present in their farming systems. Technically supported by FAO and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the project has guided policy formulation since 2011. As part of this larger initiative, training has been provided to farmers in Phonxay district in the cultivation of oyster mushrooms. The project started in October 2014 when a mushroom cultivation group was formed and has been receiving technical input from FAO as well as the local technical service centre. Connecting farmers to high-value markets Ms. Vieng, 32, can now proudly say that she is a mushroom farmer. She smiles while showing an oyster mushroom from a bag she learned to prepare after participating in a training on mushroom cultivation together with her group in Huayman, her native village in Phonexay District, Lao PDR. Along with three other village groups, she and seven other villagers from Huayman joined the cultivation group in October 2014. From the onset, they learned how to prepare raw material with guidance from the technical service centre located in the neighbouring village of Nambor. Farmers in the area have a long tradition of collecting wild mushrooms for consumption, but they knew little about how to cultivate them. The newly formed mushroom groups went on a study trip to learn from two other successful mushroom farmers in Luang Prabang. They quickly realized that oyster mushrooms are easily sold in the Luang Prabang markets at a price of 20-25 000 Kip per kg (US$ 2.5 - 3). So when the technical service centre facilitators, in partnership with an expert from the Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Vientiane, suggested offering training to villagers to cultivate oyster mushrooms, they saw an opportunity. One year has passed since Ms. Vieng joined the group. “As a result of the training our group has produced 1.5 tons of oyster mushrooms and now I spend less time in the surrounding forests looking for food,” she says. The group has sold mushrooms totalling 20 million kip (USD 2 500) of which 60% is deposited in a local bank. Many villagers, like Ms. Vieng, now have an extra income to better support their livelihoods and their children. Although the oyster mushroom is an easy species to cultivate much attention needs to be paid to avoid contamination at every step of the process, from sterilization of bagged raw material and inoculation, to keeping the houses clean. “Huayman village is performing wonderfully because the villagers understood the simple sanitary rules they need to follow like how to maintain optimal humidity through regular watering in the growing house.  This has been the key to their success,” says, Ms. Viengkham, expert from the Department of Agriculture. The oyster mushroom cultivation groups in Phonexay District have sparked the interest and motivation of other villagers in the area. Mr. Hounpheng is a farmer who lives in Panma village, around 18 kilometres from the Nambor Technical Service Center. “When I learned about the groups, I asked the organizers to let me join and attend one training session and now I know how to properly cultivate mushrooms,” he says. The mushroom cultivation groups will see their third harvest in 2016 and thereafter they are expected to produce without the need of additional technical assistance. Policies for food security and agricultural development A strong partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has positioned FAO as a trusted partner to support the development of key policies in the country. At the beginning of 2015, FAO collaborated with the World Bank in the formulation of the Government’s strategic action and investment plan to implement the new national rice policy. This intervention included advice on sustainable approaches to food security through increased production and trade and export development.


PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading insurance and risk management experts from around the world gathered at RIMS 2017 to outline ways risk management efforts can bolster economic development and improve the speed and effectiveness of recovery efforts after natural disasters. The Insurance Development Forum (IDF), an unprecedented public/private partnership of the United Nations, World Bank and the global insurance industry, sponsored the panel session, “How Risk Management Can Build Economic and Human Resilience,” as part of the new Executive Leadership Track at RIMS 2017. The panelists were Stephen Catlin, Executive Deputy Chairman of XL Catlin and Chair of the IDF; Joaquim Levy, Managing Director and CFO of the World Bank Group; and Bradley Kading, President of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers. To underscore the potential impact of the IDF’s efforts, Kading noted that a mere 1% increase in insurance against economic losses from catastrophe in a given region can reduce by 22% the burden on taxpayers for the cost of recovering from those losses. The IDF’s goal is to reduce climate and disaster risks worldwide through better informed risk mitigation and to expand the percentage of the world’s economic value that is insured – often as little as 1% in some of the poorest economies. “One of the challenges of working between the public and private sectors is that we do have different fiscal priorities,” Catlin told the audience. “The issue is can [insurers] get a reasonable return for our shareholders whilst at the same time providing a product which has societal value. My answer to that is in fact yes we can and I think we’ve proven it over time. … I think we are better off going as an industry particularly alongside the World Bank and United Nations” with shared objectives. The IDF’s initial focus is on building greater resilience to climate and natural hazards risks in line with the G7 InsuResilience target of extending climate risk insurance coverage to an additional 400 million people in vulnerable countries by 2020. “To reach this goal in the next three years, we all need to work together, and the leadership of the insurance industry has been crucial,” Mr. Levy said. “Disasters have an enormous economic cost every year and are one of the main factors that can push people back into poverty. Insuring against them brings significant welfare benefits.” Central to the IDF’s efforts is working to create a resource of industry knowledge and best practices through its contributions to the Technical Assistance Facility (TAF), which governments and public officials can use to become better informed about the role of insurance and risk mitigation solutions in at-risk countries. The TAF will also help public officials navigate the regulatory challenges and implementation hurdles that often limit the effectiveness of insurance facilities and prevent their use as a safeguard against natural disasters and climate risks. The IDF will build upon its efforts at RIMS 2017 and bring together more humanitarian and development experts, insurance executives and policy makers during the International Insurance Society’s Global Insurance Forum in London July 17-20, 2017. The meeting will focus on some of the major insights from the IDF’s work and is designed to encourage greater adoption of insurance facilities by governments around the globe. The Insurance Development Forum (IDF) is an unprecedented public/private partnership between leaders of the United Nations (UN), the World Bank Group, and the insurance industry. Its initial focus is to contribute to closing the protection gap—the gap between insured disaster losses and the actual economic costs of disasters—by optimizing and extending the use of insurance and its related risk management capabilities to build greater resilience for people, communities, businesses and public institutions that are vulnerable to climate change, disasters and related economic shocks. The IDF is chaired by Stephen Catlin, and co-chaired by Joaquim Levy, World Bank Group Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, and Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. Ms. Clark’s term at the UNDP has expired and the UN is expected to make a replacement appointment shortly. Other Steering Committee members include Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and Chair of the Financial Stability Board, and 13 insurance industry CEOs. Follow the IDF on Twitter at @InsDevForum. For more information contact David.Rylatt@XLCatlin.com or visit www.theidf.org.


CLARENCE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT:XXII), a plant biotechnology company that is focused on tobacco harm reduction and cannabis research, announced today that James Vail, the Company’s Director of Business Development, will present the Company’s X-22 smoking cessation aid to high level executives from Chinese and international pharmaceutical companies at the BIOCHINA Partnering Forum in Zhuhai, China on May 31 – June 1, 2017. X-22 is a Very Low Nicotine tobacco-based botanical medical product under development as a prescription smoking cessation aid. Independent clinical studies have demonstrated that combustible cigarettes containing 22nd Century’s Very Low Nicotine tobacco with non-addictive levels of nicotine enable smokers to disassociate the act of smoking from the rapid intake of nicotine. X-22 involves the same smoking behavior as conventional cigarettes and does not expose smokers to any new drugs or new side effects. In an independent market research survey of 501 current smokers in the United States, 89% said X-22 would be their top or first choice to help them quit smoking. Recent rule changes by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) will open an expedited pathway for X-22 in China. Under the old rules, China lagged behind other countries in approving important medicines. In announcing the proposed new rules, China’s CFDA Director, Bi Jingquan, promised to speed up foreign drug approvals in China and, in support of such desired result, the CFDA has already quadrupled the CFDA’s staff of Drug Team Reviewers. Major pharmaceutical giants, including Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), and Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO), have already expressed their approval of the new CFDA rules in China, which include: (i) expedited regulatory processes for new drugs, which shorten approval processes in China from over 2-years to just 12 months, (ii) an expansion of China’s "green channel" fast-track pathway for important new drugs, and (iii) waiving the requirement for a China-specific trial when a multi-regional clinical trial is conducted. Mr. Vail explained, “The new rule changes by the CFDA will cut in half the time needed for important drug approvals in China… which provides 22nd Century with a distinct and timely opportunity to bring X-22 to China’s smokers.” 22nd Century is aggressively pursuing new partnership opportunities throughout Asia, with a strategic focus on China, which is the world’s largest smoking market and the world’s second largest pharmaceuticals market. Earlier this month the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a report calling for "increased action to combat China's tobacco epidemic." Entitled The Bill China Cannot Afford: Health Economic and Social Costs of China's Tobacco Epidemic, the report was co-authored by the WHO and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Dr. Bernhard Schwartlander, the WHO representative in China, reviewed the report and found: "The rapid increase in costs associated with tobacco use in China is unsustainable… the total annual economic cost in 2014 [was] RMB 350 billion (USD $57 billion), an increase of 1,000% since [the year] 2000." “With over 275 million adult smokers and nearly 1.5 million tobacco-related deaths each year in China, it is imperative that the Chinese government and Chinese smokers have access to X-22, which we believe is the world’s most effective smoking cessation aid,” explained Henry Sicignano, III, President and CEO of 22nd Century Group. “The advent of the new Chinese Food and Drug Administration rules will be extremely advantageous for 22nd Century; now we are accelerating our efforts to introduce X-22 to tens of millions of smokers across China.” 22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company focused on technology which allows it to increase or decrease the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in cannabis plants through genetic engineering and plant breeding. The Company’s primary mission in tobacco is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. The Company’s primary mission in cannabis is to develop proprietary cannabis strains for important new medicines and agricultural crops. Visit www.xxiicentury.com and www.botanicalgenetics.com for more information. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking information, including all statements that are not statements of historical fact regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of 22nd Century Group, Inc., its directors or its officers with respect to the contents of this press release, including but not limited to our future revenue expectations. The words “may,” “would,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend” and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity or performance. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date that they were made. These cautionary statements should be considered with any written or oral forward-looking statements that we may issue in the future. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States, we do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to reflect actual results, later events or circumstances, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should carefully review and consider the various disclosures made by us in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, filed on March 8, 2017, including the section entitled “Risk Factors,” and our other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission which attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if the underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may vary materially from those expected or projected.


News Article | March 31, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

ABO-GROUP behaalde in 2016 een dubbelcijferige omzetgroei, gesteund door het economische herstel in Nederland en België, het succes van nieuwe producten en een belangrijke overname. De groepsomzet steeg met 16,3%, waarvan 5,4% organisch en 10,9% uit acquisities in Nederland. Ondanks een nog steeds prijsgevoelige markt, nam algemeen de vraag toe. De sterkste groei werd opgetekend bij Geosonda België, in geotechniek Nederland en bij de energieafdeling E20. Ook de adviesactiviteiten in België (ABO) gingen stevig vooruit (+15%), voornamelijk door het uitbreiden van het productaanbod richting archeologie en BREEAM. De Franse markt kende weinig animo. De operationele winst voor afschrijvingen kwam uit op 3,6 mio euro (0,34 euro/aandeel), een sprong van 76%. De sterke verbetering vindt haar oorsprong in operationeel betere prestaties in België, waar de verliezen in de internationale afdeling werden teruggebracht, in combinatie met een betere gang van zaken bij de consultingactiviteiten. De uitbouw van het dienstenpallet van de groep werpt zijn vruchten af. Het productpallet werd stelselmatig uitgebouwd, zodat klanten voor steeds meer zaken bij ABO terecht kunnen. De geïntegreerde aanpak levert de klant, naast een prijsvoordeel, vooral tijdswinst op in de uitvoering van zijn project. De Nederlandse markt kende een zeer gunstige evolutie, enerzijds door hogere opbrengsten met gelijke kostenstructuur, anderzijds door de integratie en overname van Geomet/GBO. De bijdrage uit Frankrijk bleef vrij stabiel, zowel in omzet als in winstgevendheid. De belastingen nemen aanzienlijk toe, voornamelijk door realisatie van reeds in het verleden aangelegde belastingsvorderingen in 2016, daar waar in 2015 de courante belastingen nog in evenwicht werden gehouden door erkenning van bijkomende belastingsvorderingen. Het boekjaar 2017 is sterk van start gegaan. Het orderboek blijft goed gevuld, en dit zowel met opdrachten voor het lopende boekjaar, als voor volgende boekjaren. De Nederlandse markt blijft aan een hoog tempo groeien. De groei in België wordt gesteund door de uitbreiding van het productpallet en bijkomende commerciële inspanningen. De Franse markt lijkt aan te trekken. De gewonnen nieuwe meerjarige opdrachten voor Grand Paris Express geven een toegenomen vertrouwen in de toekomst. ABO-Group wil zijn milieu- en energieadvies, engineering- en testingactiviteiten verder uitbouwen en dit zowel in zijn drie thuislanden (België, Nederland, Frankrijk), als in een aantal specifieke groeimarkten (Centraal- en Zuid-Oost-Azië, Afrika en de voormalige Oostbloklanden). De groep houdt vast aan zijn strategie en positionering als een Europese speler met internationale ambities. ABO-Group zet in op interne, organische groei, met aanwerving van experts voor het opzetten en uitbouwen van nieuwe activiteiten. Om de lokale aanwezigheid in Zuid-Oost Azië te versterken, werd een kantoor geopend in Vietnam. Daarnaast wil de groep ook zijn acquisitiestrategie in de thuislanden verder ontplooien. In 2016 werd ABO-Group eigenaar van Geomet, werd een 55% belang gekocht in GBO BV en werd een 10% bijkomend belang verworven in Enviromania (Translab). Het positieve effect van de in de voorbije jaren gerealiseerde transacties is overduidelijk. De groep wil dit traject verderzetten en zal ook in 2017 een aantal opportuniteiten trachten te verzilveren. Begin 2017 werd alvast opnieuw een bijkomend belang van 10% verworven in de asbestactiviteiten (Translab), waardoor de groep meerderheidsaandeelhouder wordt. Daarnaast dienen zich tal van dossiers aan in de thuislanden en wordt tegelijk uitgekeken naar geografische uitbreiding in Europa. Ter versterking van het productaanbod, werd bij de veldwerkafdelingen geïnvesteerd in twee technologisch hoogstaande machines. Voor de Belgische geotechnische afdeling werd gekozen voor een sondeerwagen die uitgerust is met volautomatisch en elektrisch sonderen. Voor het Nederlandse milieukundig veldwerk werd geïnvesteerd in een sonische boormachine. Met beide investeringen is een bedrag gemoeid van meer dan 1 miljoen euro. ABO-ERG, met hoofdkantoor in Toulon, won in 2016 een aantal grote opdrachten waaronder het project "Le Grand Paris". ABO-ERG zal in de periode 2017 - 2020 studies en  geotechnische onderzoeken uitvoeren voor de toekomstige metrolijnen richting Roissy en is daarnaast verantwoordelijk voor het funderingsonderzoek van de bestaande oostelijke metrolijnen rond Parijs. In de regio Île-de-France werd eveneens een project gewonnen voor de SNCF. In milieuadvies creëert ABO-ERG toegevoegde waarde via het aanbieden van een brede waaier aan bodemkundige diensten. Eind 2016 werd een belangrijk contract gewonnen voor Rio Tinto in het kader van milieu-monitoring alsook voor de geotechnische studies voor de oude mijnsites en stortplaatsen. Dit project is een type voorbeeld van het samengaan van geotechnisch en milieukundig advies. ABO-ERG investeert jaarlijks in haar geotechnisch en grondmechanisch laboratorium teneinde de hoogwaardige dienstverlening te garanderen. Zo leiden investeringen in veiligheid en technische opleiding tot kwalitatievere en snellere uitvoering van proeven, wat tegemoet komt aan de strengere eisen van projecten zoals "Le Grand Paris" en SNCF. In lijn met de groei van de uitgevoerde geo- en milieutechnische studies werd de productiecapaciteit van bepaalde testen eveneens verdubbeld. ABO-ERG is verder sterk betrokken bij een aantal onderzoeksprojecten die op korte termijn tot technische en commerciële voordelen moeten leiden. Zo coördineert ABO-ERG het MATRIX-project, dat via technische data-analyse een combinatie nastreeft van veldproeven en staalnames. Grote hoeveelheden data kunnen op die manier snel vertaald worden in real time monitoring, 3D-weergaves van vervuiling en de optimalisatie van het aantal uit te voeren sonderingen. ABO NV richt zich als consultancy- en engineeringbureau op integraal advies voor alle mogelijke bouw- en herontwikkelingsprojecten. ABO NV is gericht op de Belgische markt, met kantoren in Vlaanderen, Brussel en Wallonië. ABO focust op bodemonderzoek en bodemsanering, geotechniek, alle mogelijke milieustudies, archeologisch en bouwhistorisch onderzoek, alsook integraal advies inzake duurzame herontwikkeling en ruimtelijke planning. De diensten van ABO gaan van projectomschrijving (beleidsondersteunend advies, strategische nota's), de (pre)haalbaarheidsfase (techno-economische studies, situeringsstudies, milieu-impactstudies, risicoanalyses, begeleiding bij aanbesteding, .), de ontwerpfase (detail engineering, het opmaken van een bestek, sociale en milieu impact studie, vergunningen, .) tot de begeleiding en het monitoren van de werken. Voor de succesvolle realisatie van projecten kan ABO dagelijks rekenen op een multidisciplinair team van 90 specialisten over verschillende vakgebieden. Voor 2017 verwacht ABO een verdere sterke groei in archeologie en BREEAM, duurzaam bouwadvies en geotechniek. Daarnaast wordt volop ingezet op verdere diversificatie, zoals asbeststudies (i.f.v. het asbest afbouwbeleidsplan) in samenwerking met Translab. De internationale activiteiten van ABO-Group werden in 2016 verder gestroomlijnd. In een snel veranderende wereld, waarin consultancy en project management steeds meer worden verweven, werden de internationale prospectieactiviteiten bijgestuurd voor bepaalde regio's. Gelet op de snelle ontwikkeling van de milieuregelgeving ten gevolge de industriële ontwikkeling en de uitbouw van havengebieden is er in Vietnam een ontluikende milieumarkt ontstaan. Daarom werd de beslissing genomen tot het oprichten van een filiaal in Hanoi, hetgeen reeds resulteerde in een aantal concrete opdrachten. ECOREM participeerde ook in 2016 in duurzame ontwikkelingsprojecten, waarin People-Planet-Profit centraal staan. Zo werden experten ingeschakeld in technische assistentie en adviesopdrachten voor UNDP en Wereldbank in Bangladesh en de Malediven, en werd een strategische studie opgestart in Mauritius met financiering van het Franse Ontwikkelingsagentschap AFD. ECOREM droeg ook bij in projecten met een uitgesproken humanitair karakter. De grootste hongersnood sinds WO II in Afrika is grotendeels gerelateerd aan een acuut drinkwatertekort. Een project in Burkina-Faso werd samen met internationale en lokale organisaties opgestart om gedurende drie jaren een deel van de lokale noden te kunnen invullen. ECOREM bleef tenslotte als milieuconsultant ook actief op de thuismarkten in West-Europa, voornamelijk in strategische projecten zoals de kustprotectiewerken aan de Noordzee en de energieopslag in waterbekkens in Wallonië. Kennis, innovatie en kwaliteit zijn en blijven sleutelwoorden in de internationale ontwikkeling van de activiteiten van ABO-Group. Een vernieuwing van het bestaande interne kwaliteitssysteem, aangepast aan de internationale consultancy activiteiten van ECOREM, werd begin 2017 goedgekeurd (ISO 9001-2015). 2016 was voor Energy To Zero (E20) een jaar van investering in groei. E20 wenst zijn marktaandeel verder te vergroten door het aanbieden van bestaande diensten in nieuwe markten, alsook het uitbreiden van de huidige dienstverlening in bestaande markten. Omzetgroei is verzekerd door het binnenhalen van twee grote contracten voor een energiemaatschappij (energie-audits en -scans), een bijkomende opdracht voor VLAIO en het werven van nieuwe bedrijven voor het lopend energiecoachingcontract voor een Vlaamse stad. In 2016 werd ook de basis gelegd voor de uitrol van een nieuw netwerk waarin bedrijven samengebracht worden om hun energieverbruik te verminderen in België, gericht op het verbeteren van de energie-efficiëntie van Gentse bedrijven. Verder zullen investeringen in R&D en externe onderzoeksprojecten toelaten aanvullende activiteiten te ontplooien en lange termijn samenwerking met klanten op te bouwen. Binnen GEOSONDA, de milieukundige en geotechnische specialist in grondonderzoek, worden de drie belangrijkste onderzoekstechnieken (grondboringen, sonderingen en het aanleggen van proefsleuven) uitgevoerd binnen milieu, geotechniek en archeologie. Mede door de speciale onderzoekstechnieken en de verschillende R&D-projecten, kan een dienstenpakket worden aangeboden dat nagenoeg uniek is in de Benelux. Voor 2017 verwacht Geosonda een stevige omzetgroei, onder andere door de investering in een nieuwe state-of-the-art sondeermachine. Zo wordt niet alleen de capaciteit voor de klanten gevoelig verhoogd, maar ook het aanbod van veilige en snelle diepsonderingen verder uitgebreid door middel van het optocone draadloze meetsysteem in combinatie met de automatische buizenschroever. Daarnaast wordt ook sterk ingezet op complexe boortechnieken, met o.a. kernboringen voor verkenningsonderzoek in rotsbodems en chemische injecties voor het saneren van verontreinigde bodems. De activiteiten in Nederland kenden een sterke rugwind in 2016, gesteund door de aantrekkende markt voor residentieel vastgoed. Alle operationele vennootschappen kenden een aanzienlijke groei. Vanaf de zomer kreeg de integratie van Geomet/Geosonda de nodige aandacht en werd er extra personeel aangeworven om aan de vraag te kunnen voldoen. Met sterke projecten in utiliteitsbouw, appartementenbouw, woningbouw alsmede funderingsinspecties onderstreept Geomet haar expertise. Naast de algemene projecten onderscheidt Geomet zich eveneens in complexe geotechnische vraagstukken zoals kademuren en hoogbouw in dichtstedelijk gebied. ABO-Group is een beursgenoteerd bedrijf gespecialiseerd in consultancy, testing & engineering, specifiek gericht op bouw, milieu en energie. ABO-Group is zowel in haar drie thuislanden (België, Nederland en Frankrijk), als op de internationale markt actief en garandeert haar klanten een duurzame oplossing. Voor een meer uitgebreide beschrijving van de activiteiten van de groep, wordt verwezen naar de website van ABO-Group (www.abo-group.eu).


Fulu E.,UNDP Inc | Jewkes R.,Gender and Health Research Unit | Jewkes R.,University of Witwatersrand | Roselli T.,UNDP Inc | Garcia-Moreno C.,World Health Organization
The Lancet Global Health | Year: 2013

Background: Male perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) is under-researched. In this Article, we present data for the prevalence of, and factors associated with, male perpetration of IPV from the UN Multi-country Cross-sectional Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of perpetration of partner violence, identify factors associated with perpetration of different forms of violence, and inform prevention strategies. Methods: We undertook standardised population-based household surveys with a multistage representative sample of men aged 18-49 years in nine sites in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Papua New Guinea between January, 2011, and December, 2012. We built multinomial regression models of factors associated with lifetime violence perpetration: physical IPV, sexual IPV, both physical and sexual IPV, multiple emotional or economic IPV versus none, and calculated population-attributable fractions. In the analysis, we considered factors related to social characteristics, gender attitudes and relationship practices, victimisation history, psychological factors, substance misuse, and participation in violence outside the home. Findings: 10 178 men completed interviews in our study (between 815 and 1812 per site). The response rate was higher than 82·5% in all sites except for urban Bangladesh (73·2%) and Sri Lanka (58·7%). The prevalence of physical or sexual IPV perpetration, or both, varied by site, between 25·4% (190/746; rural Indonesia) and 80·0% (572/714; Bougainville, Papua New Guinea). When multiple emotional or economic abuse was included, the prevalence of IPV perpetration ranged from 39·3% (409/1040; Sri Lanka) to 87·3% (623/714; Bougainville, Papua New Guinea). Factors associated with IPV perpetration varied by country and type of violence. On the basis of population-attributable fractions, we show factors related to gender and relationship practices to be most important, followed by experiences of childhood trauma, alcohol misuse and depression, low education, poverty, and involvement in gangs and fights with weapons. Interpretation: Perpetration of IPV by men is highly prevalent in the general population in the sites studied. Prevention of IPV is crucial, and interventions should address gender socialisation and power relations, abuse in childhood, mental health issues, and poverty. Interventions should be tailored to respond to the specific patterns of violence in various contexts. Physical and sexual partner violence might need to be addressed in different ways. Funding: Partners for Prevention-a UN Development Programme, UN Population Fund, UN Women, and UN Volunteers regional joint programme for gender-based violence prevention in Asia and the Pacific; UN Population Fund Bangladesh and China; UN Women Cambodia and Indonesia; UN Development Programme in Papua New Guinea and Pacific Centre; and the Governments of Australia, the UK, Norway, and Sweden. © 2013 Fulu et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY-NC-ND.


Jewkes R.,Gender and Health Research Unit | Jewkes R.,University of Witwatersrand | Fulu E.,UNDP Inc | Roselli T.,UNDP Inc | Garcia-Moreno C.,World Health Organization
The Lancet Global Health | Year: 2013

Background: Rape perpetration is under-researched. In this study, we aimed to describe the prevalence of, and factors associated with, male perpetration of rape of non-partner women and of men, and the reasons for rape, from nine sites in Asia and the Pacific across six countries: Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, undertaken in January 2011-December 2012, for each site we chose a multistage representative sample of households and interviewed one man aged 18-49 years from each. Men self-completed questions about rape perpetration. We present multinomial regression models of factors associated with single and multiple perpetrator rape and multivariable logistic regression models of factors associated with perpetration of male rape with population-attributable fractions. Findings: We interviewed 10 178 men in our study (815-1812 per site). The prevalence of non-partner single perpetrator rape varied between 2·5% (28/1131; rural Bangladesh) and 26·6% (225/846; Bougainville, Papua New Guinea), multiple perpetrator rape between 1·4% (18/1246; urban Bangladesh) and 14·1% (119/846; Bougainville, Papua New Guinea), and male rape between 1·5% (13/880; Jayapura, Indonesia) and 7·7% (65/850; Bougainville, Papua New Guinea). 57·5% (587/1022) of men who raped a non-partner committed their first rape as teenagers. Frequent reasons for rape were sexual entitlement (666/909; 73·3%, 95% CI 70·3-76·0), seeking of entertainment (541/921; 58·7%, 55·0-62·4), and as a punishment (343/905; 37·9%, 34·5-41·4). Alcohol was a factor in 249 of 921 cases (27·0%, 95% CI 24·2-30·1). Associated factors included poverty, personal history of victimisation (especially in childhood), low empathy, alcohol misuse, masculinities emphasising heterosexual performance, dominance over women, and participation in gangs and related activities. Only 443 of 1933 men (22·9%, 95% CI 20·7-25·3) who had committed rape had ever been sent to prison for any period. Interpretation: Rape perpetration committed by men is quite frequent in the general population in the countries studied, as it is in other countries where similar research has been undertaken, such as South Africa. Prevention of rape is essential, and interventions must focus on childhood and adolescence, and address culturally rooted male gender socialisation and power relations, abuse in childhood, and poverty. Funding: Partners for Prevention-a UN Development Programme, UN Population Fund, UN Women, and UN Volunteers regional joint programme for gender-based violence prevention in Asia and the Pacific; UN Population Fund Bangladesh and China; UN Women Cambodia and Indonesia; United Nations Development Programme in Papua New Guinea and Pacific Centre; and the Governments of Australia, the UK, Norway, and Sweden. © 2013 Jewkes et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY-NC-ND.

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