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Archive for November, 2012

Doha Climate Change Conference – November 2012


COP 18 / CMP 8

Doha Climate Change Conference – November 2012

The 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol opened on Monday, 26 November and continues until Friday, 7 December 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar.

NEW: Status of credentials
Informal Ministerial Round Table
pdf-icon Overview schedule – 29 Nov (155 kB)


Webcast from COP 18 / CMP 8


UNFCCC press briefing on the opening day of the negotiations
Download as podcast Addressing the media on the opening day of the Doha Climate Change Conference, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, outlined the objectives of the conference, including a renewed commitment under the Kyoto Protocol.


What’s up around the COP on Friday 30 November
Calendar 13.15: The Private Sector Initiative on Adaptation under the Nairobi work programme (Side Event Room 7)
The secretariat, together with partners to the Nairobi work programme, will showcase successful adaptation activities and related challenges in the private sector under the Nairobi work programme Private Sector Initiative (PSI).

18.30: Adaptation Fund at a critical juncture: Achievements and challenges with dwindling resources (Side Event Room 6)
Financing Adaptation and Accreditation.

More information on all events can be found in the Daily Programme and on the CCTV screens at the venue.

Informal Ministerial Round Table
The COP18/CMP8 incoming President, H.E. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, is extending an invitation to all Ministers and Heads of Delegation to participate in an Informal Ministerial Round Table on Wednesday, 5 December 2012 from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm, and resuming at 3.00 pm untill 6.00 pm, in the Qatar National Conference Center.This informal initiative of the President, responding to requests from Parties, will offer the opportunity for an exchange of views around the theme:

“Ambition, support and delivery, now and in the future”

The overarching question for the Informal Ministerial Round Table is: “How can Mitigation, Adaptation and Means of Implementation be strengthened now and in the future?”
The discussion will offer the opportunity for high-level informal reflections and for a constructive exchange of views on issues.

The participation will be open to all interested Parties. Detailed information on the format of the event and on the topics for the discussion will be provided in the coming days.

The conference will be hosted by the Government of Qatar and supported by the UNFCCC secretariat. As nominated by the Asia-Pacific Group, H.E. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah is the President-Designate for COP 18 and CMP 8.

Meet the conference hosts:

Christiana Figueres

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary UNFCCC
Read biography
Follow @CFigueres on Twitter

H.E. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiya

H.E. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, President-Designate for
COP 18 and CMP 8
pdf-icon Read biography (56 kB)

The Doha Conference will comprise of:
The 18th Conference of the Parties (COP) pdf-icon Provisional agenda (64 kB) pdf-icon Annotations
The 8th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) pdf-icon Provisional agenda (58 kB) pdf-icon Annotations
The 37th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) pdf-icon Provisional agenda (78 kB) pdf-icon Annotations
The 37th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) pdf-icon Provisional agenda (88 kB) pdf-icon Annotations
The second part of the 17th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) pdf-icon Adopted agenda
The second part of the 15th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) pdf-icon Adopted agenda
The second part of the 1st session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) pdf-icon Adopted agenda

Israel, Hamas Agree to Gaza Cease-Fire After Egypt Talks

Israel, Hamas Agree to Gaza Cease-Fire After Egypt Talks
By Mariam Fam, Jonathan Ferziger and Calev Ben-David
November 21, 2012 3:55 PM EST

Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas agreed to bring to an end more than a week of air strikes and missile attacks, after talks brokered by Egypt’s Islamist leaders and the U.S.
If it holds, the cease-fire will give Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is running for a third term in January, the tangible success of stopping Hamas rockets targeting Israeli civilians. Hamas’s political leader Khaled Mashaal portrayed the outcome as a “victory for all Palestinians” by forcing Israel into talks to ease the controls on border crossings into the Gaza Strip.

Israel, Hamas Agree to Truce Starting Today
(1:28) 4 hours ago

Israel’s Netanyahu on Cease Fire With Hamas
(5:32) 3 hours ago
The agreement aims to halt air strikes that have left more than 150 people dead in Gaza and rocket attacks that have killed five Israelis, according to officials. Israel has hit more than 1,500 targets, and Palestinians launched more than 1,400 missiles. Hamas, which rules Gaza, is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the U.S. and European Union.
The accord officially came into effect at 9 p.m. local time today after Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced it earlier at a news conference in Cairo.
Palestinians celebrated on the streets in Gaza City.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) extended its longest rally in seven weeks, while Treasuries fell for a third day and oil trimmed earlier gains as Israel and Hamas agreed to the cease- fire.
Clinton said that she welcomed the accord and expressed hope it will “move us closer to a comprehensive peace.”
“In the days ahead, the United States will work with partners across the region to consolidate this progress, improve conditions for the people of Gaza, and provide security for the people of Israel,” she said.

Meet Jack, A Vegan Advocate for Life

Meet Jack, A Vegan Advocate for Life

vegan power for life

Jack is a Registered Dietitian and writes a nutrition blog at He is the author of Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It? and maintains

Jack is the President and co-founder of Vegan Outreach. Vegan Outreach produces Why Vegan and other booklets. Vegan Outreach’s Adopt a College program directly hands booklets to over 500,000 students every semester. In 2005, Jack was elected to the Animal Rights Hall of Fame.

In this interview, you’ll find reliable vegan resources while learning more about Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-based Diet!

Let’s get right to the good stuff!

Elisa: Jack, what initially inspired you to become a vegan and how long have you lived a vegan lifestyle?

Jack: I went on a fishing trip in 1986 that made me start thinking harder about how humans treat animals. It felt wrong to me that if a fellow human were drowning we would be doing all we could to save them, but a fish suffocating (on land) was of no moral concern. I had a strong desire to intervene on behalf of the fish. In the next few years I came across Peter Singer’s book, Animal Liberation, as well as information from PETA about factory farming and that began my journey into animal and vegetarian advocacy.

Elisa: How has veganism influenced your life in the past 20 years?

Jack: Basically, veganism influences just about everything I do given that it is not only how I live, but what I do for an occupation. Most of my friends are vegan. And for these reasons, veganism has become somewhat unnoticeable to me in my daily life – it’s just a given. When I first became vegan I felt really good that I was no longer contributing money towards the factory farming and slaughter of animals, but realizing that the problem was still there quickly turned me towards advocacy.

Elisa: As co-founder and president of Vegan Outreach, established in 1993 and one of the most well-known vegan activist groups in the world, I’m curious what prompted you to begin such a prestigious organization for the vegan community?

Jack: Vegan Outreach started out very small and un-prestigious! But we knew that taking our message to the masses, especially college students, was key to creating change for animals. Luckily, we had many people who also strongly believed in what we were doing and with their support we went from a handful of people leafleting with black and white pamphlets to the hundreds of leafleters we now have who will have distributed about 2.5 million of our booklets in 2011 alone. We give out our booklets to students at about 700 to 800 schools every semester. This tactic has proven to be effective and if you would like to see more vegetarians in the world, please get involved at Vegan

Elisa: What inspired you to become an author and was it a challenge to originally publish your work?

Jack: Ginny and I were already doing a lot of writing on vegan nutrition and I had been developing “recommendations” for vegans for many years through, so it was a natural step to organize all our writings into a book. Finding an agent was challenging but finding a publisher was much easier – Da Capo Press has published a lot of books about veganism and they were enthusiastic about the project, so it has been a great fit.

Elisa: What gave you the incentive to write Vegan for Life?

Jack: There is a lot of confusion and misinformation about vegan nutrition and we wanted to provide people with a resource they could trust.

There are many nutritionists promoting their particular view using scientific research as though they are an attorney trying to win a case, citing what promotes their view and ignoring the rest. I believe it is important not to start with the conclusion when you research a topic, but rather end up where the evidence leads.

Luckily, there is a lot of good evidence indicating a vegan diet can be a healthy way to live. Since writing our book, the first study measuring vegan’s risk of getting diabetes was published and it found vegans to have a 60% reduced risk compared to regular meat-eaters. That’s something to write home about. More on that here. Cross-sectional studies have also shown vegans to have lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index.

Elisa: Who should read Vegan for Life and why?

Jack: Of course, I would encourage anyone interested in plant-based eating to read Vegan For Life! Even long-term vegans who have followed my writings have said Vegan For Life changed their eating habits. A lot of the information circulating among the vegan community is quite dated and anyone who is vegan or promotes plant-based eating should really be up on the recent research. Our book condenses it all into one convenient place.

Elisa: What is the main point that you’d like readers to take away when reading Vegan for Life?

Jack: The goal of our book is to make plant-based eaters more aware of healthy choices. While I certainly hope that our book will move many people towards a plant-based diet, and in many ways I see benefits from a holistic view of nutrition, probably the most important contribution I have made is to impart upon vegans that micronutrients matter. In particular, being deficient in vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, iodine, omega-3s, iron, or zinc results in real consequences.

The biggest thrust of my nutrition career has been to make the vegan community aware of the need to get a regular source of vitamin B12. After that, convincing vegans to meet calcium recommendations is my biggest goal because osteoporosis is not something to mess with and a lot of vegans have become complacent about calcium.

In my advocacy, I have found that it is not rocket science to get people to try a veg diet – Vegan Outreach and other groups are doing a great job getting people to give it a try. It’s more difficult to get people to stick with it. And while that’s also not rocket science, it is nutritional science! Our book should be a useful tool for helping people go vegan for life!

Elisa: You’ve recently released a nutrient analysis tool: Would you tell us about this resource and how the average consumer or health professional might benefit from bookmarking this link?

Jack: is a website that allows anyone to track their nutrition intake to see how much protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids they get each day. There are many nutrient calculators out there, but very few that provide the level of detail that does. Nutrition professionals will find it useful if they do not have their own diet analysis software.

Pea Counter also provides a user-friendly way to look up foods in the USDA Nutrient Database and, unlike the USDA’s website, allows you to share links to the nutrient content of a specific food.  There is a page of all the Dietary Reference Intakes as well as calculators for common nutrition measurements (such as Body Mass Index).

Image Source: Manuel/Flickr


Elisa Rodriguez: Dietician

Elisa’s a dietitian defying lupus with plant foods while nurturing veg-friends in quest to conquer disease. She created and co-owns Improve Your Grooveas paperless platforms enabling people to master their mojo. Elisa enjoys providing nutritional solutions to clients nationwide. By living with several autoimmune conditions and multiple food intolerances, Elisa offers a unique perspective in today’s healthcare. Elisa teaches people to seek empowerment through lifestyle choices with a holistic emphasis yielding incredible outcomes!

Vegan Food Choices That Can Win Over Relatives At Holiday Time

Vegan Food Choices That Can Win Over Relatives At Holiday Time

Vegan Food Choices That Can Win Over Relatives At Holiday Time

I recently called a friend to ask how his Thanksgiving was.  He is a pretty healthy guy who practices a vegan diet and recently has been leaning towards raw foods.  He told me that his Thanksgiving was fine and proudly told me about the raw food dish he made. Of course I expected to hear details about the social part of his holiday as well, but it turns out he ate his Thanksgiving meal by himself while his family celebrated at his sibling’s house.


This was sad and frustrating. My friend eating all by himself was only taking in secondary nutrition. Secondary nutrition is what you call the nutrition most people think of – food, beverages, and nutritional supplements. Primary nutrition is what gives our lives meaning. It’s what feeds our soul. It is relationships and hugs from people we love.  It is careers, spiritual practice, physical activity, and leisure time – fun, hobbies, entertainment, and rest. Getting together with people we love and nurturing relationships is a vital part of life and benefits us in many ways.

“They don’t like my food, and they eat turkey and I don’t like to be around that,” is what he told me.  I could relate to this because that was how things used to be in my house.  I would get up on my high horse and preach to everyone that they should eat a certain way. I was frustrated that people didn’t like the organic whole food vegan dishes I cooked because I knew they would make them healthy, and that what they were eating was killing them.  Of course, there were family members who would comment kindly about the vegan dish brought to the table – but the reality is that they were thinking that it was nothing more than a poor protein vegetable side dish (a dish that does nothing to stimulate any consideration of giving up meat).

The solution to the problem is to lose the “rabbit food” and go with meat substitutes.

Meat substitutes, also known as meat analogs, are vegan food products that look, smell, feel and taste like meat in practically every way. This can be a shock to people. Someone who is used to eating a meat-centered diet, like most Americans, is ok trying meat substitutes, but is turned off by anything that strays from the norm (and appears healthy).

Meat substitutes don’t threaten one’s culture, identity and traditions, or alienate taste buds with something strange or foreign looking.  What’s more, they frequently have more protein than the meat they are trying to replicate. There are companies that produce meat substitutes – Garden, Yves, Light Life, Tofurky, and Field Roast to name a few.  They make everything from Italian sausage to pepperoni and deli slices – all 100% vegan. They can be found in health food stores, Trader Joe’s. And now, more and more traditional food stores are carrying these products. There is also which features chef made gourmet vegan dishes, delivered to your door anywhere in the USA and Canada that include meat substitutes like Vegan Chicken Pot Pie.

So how does this solution really work?

Meat substitutes are not extreme. They are not threatening. People try them, and that’s a big hurdle.  If you are a traditional household holding a festive holiday dinner, a macrobiotic dish or raw food dish is typically not in sync with everything else on the table. Meat substitutes on the other hand can rival the meat-based focal point of the meal.  I’ve seen it many times, and many people have written to me telling me so:

Now, let the magic begin

When people try meat substitutes for the first time they are often amazed.  It challenges their old way of thinking:  vegans and vegetarians just eat salad.

I have found that when you couple meat substitutes with great information there is a very good chance that a person will make better dietary choices like consuming less meat, or eliminating it completely. Most people are aware that consuming less meat improves health, offers relief to animals, and helps the environment.

If you are on a super healthy diet and adding meat substitutes to your holiday dish is a step down from your nutritionally superior throne, just remember, it can be a step up for the people you love the most.  No one says you cannot also bring your super healthy dish. In fact bringing both to the table provides people with a demonstration of where they can start, and where that may lead. I don’t know about you, but if someone I love who’s been getting F’s on their report cards suddenly gets a D, I’m happy for that progress, and I am happy to support them reach an A+ level – at a pace they can handle.  But if they never get beyond a D, it’s better than an F.

It is my prayer that we recognize the good karma and the good dose of primary nutrition that comes from encouraging people in our lives to move towards a healthier diet.  We just need to offer vegan alternatives to the foods they already know, love and enjoy. My friend who had Thanksgiving by himself missed a huge opportunity to help open closed minds and possibly heal a relationship that needed healing.  Using meat substitutes, I recently enjoyed my 4th completely Vegetarian Thanksgiving with my slowly converting Italian American Family.

If you are a vegan or an extremely healthy vegetarian, consider bringing foods that are not so extreme to the people who really need to improve their diet the most. And please don’t ignore the power that meat substitutes can offer.  Let us make an effort the next holiday – whether it is Christmas or the Fourth of July – to use meat substitutes as fun, enjoyable, ways for family members to enjoy the same food, even if its not all the time.

Michael Balducci-- Contributor, One Green PlanetMichael Balducci is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, holds a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from the T. Coin Campbell Foundation, is Founder of Veggie Brothers, LLC  which produces & distributes via their website (USA- Canada) over 100 chef made vegan dishes that features vegan versions of Americans favorite meat based foods so that people can easily get on and stay on a healthier, compassionate, and  sustainable plant based diet, without missing a thing.

Image Source: Rescue Rabbit/Flickr

5 Questions: Former NBA star John Salley touts the vegan life

5 Questions: Former NBA star John Salley touts the vegan life

John SalleyVegans can get plenty of protein without meat, Salley says. (3 Cubed Studios, LLC.)
By Jessica P. OgilvieNovember 17, 2012

The vegan lifestyle and the lifestyle of professional athletes aren’t often associated with each other. But John Salley, a former NBA star who’s played with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, swears by the strictly animal- and animal-product-free diet he’s taken up since retiring from the game.

Here, he talks about maintaining his energy and ability, the benefits of going vegan and misconceptions.

Why did you decide to become vegan?

Five years ago, I was doing a [public service announcement] for PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] about being vegetarian, and all the food there at the photo shoot was vegan. I suddenly felt like eating anything from an animal wasn’t good for me — I paid attention to what it was doing inside my body. I also wanted my body and libido back from when I was 26, and I got them both.

I went into raw vegan for a while, but I prefer cooked food, the way it smells, the way it feels going through your system.

As an athlete, how do you get enough protein on a vegan diet to be able to stay in such good shape?

I get it from the same place the cows get it from: green, leafy vegetables. No one asks the cow or the chicken where it gets its protein. I eat about 4,000 or 5,000 calories a day, and I cook for myself. I also have a line of cooks that work with me — some raw, some vegan.

In the morning, I eat organic grits … and I have ginger tea with coconut oil. I eat a lot of kale, and I drink about half a gallon to a gallon of water a day. At night, I’ll make pizza with almond cheese and different vegetables and seasonings; I put turmeric on everything.

If you were still playing basketball full time, would you be able to maintain a vegan lifestyle and still play to your greatest potential?

If I had a vegan lifestyle when I was playing, I would still be playing. I’m just rebuilding my body now from all the wear and tear.

You’ve worked to ask Congress to increase the number of vegetarian options available to kids at school. Why do you think that’s important?

It was important working up on the Hill with the congressmen to convince them that these kids are the people who will be voting soon, and if all of them are sick and dying, there won’t be any votes. There’s no reason that America should be No. 1 in obesity; we have the greatest country in the world. It’s about taking care of your health — kids over the age of 5 do a lot of things from habit, and you can teach them about eating healthy and how important their food is.

It helps keep their weight in the right place; it even helps keep pimples off their face. Just like you teach them how to salute their flag, you should teach them how to shop for food.

What is the biggest misconception about vegans?

That we are all hippies. The biggest misconception is that it’s like a political statement. It’s not; it’s just people who are conscious of what goes in their body and what happens in their environment at the same time. Also, for me, it’s hard to not be an animal advocate.,0,5148722.story

Raw foods have the potential to change your entire life!

Raw foods have the potential to change your entire life!


Welcome! I’m Simone, and I am here to show you how raw foods can be a simple, delicious and easy way to change every aspect of your life.How can I do that?By sharing with you the insights I have learned through adopting a raw vegan diet. Through my regular recipe posts that are examples of easy and scrumptious dishes that anyone can make and everyone will enjoy. By passing on useful information that I have studied about raw vegan nutrition and various raw foods.When I adopted a raw vegan diet, everything shifted for me in my life. Not just my weight, but an entire energy shift.  By eating almost 100% raw, my skin became clearer, my eyes had more clarity, I felt more vibrant, I started to feel more focussed and creative, and my energy levels soared! I also found that it was easy to maintain a healthy weight, I overcame some unhealthy habits, and I had a whole new outlook on life- all because of my diet! I see eating  a predominantly raw food diet as a way of eating food that has maintained its highest energetical value, so that I can stay healthy and well, and keep in a positive frame of mind.

I believe that this change is possible for everyone to experience, and that doing so does not have to be complicated, OR difficult. I want to show you how increasing your raw food intake by just a small percentage will cause so many positive changes to also happen in your life.

“Simone’s Uncooking class helped me to expand my repertoir and raw food menu items, which was          previously limited to a few salads. It also sparked my imagination and inspired me to come up with some new things.”
Lisa Warden, Jakarta

I love running classes, writing blog entries, experimenting in the kitchen and then sharing the recipes I discover, as well as constantly educating myself about raw foods and nutrition. Eating a raw diet is not a regime but a way of life that I am excited and enthusiastic about sharing with as many people as possible, so that you too can experience the positive changes in your life.

    “Great energy, great dishes, great knowledge of ingredients and nutrition.”
Lisa Kane, Jakarta

It is not always easy being a raw foodie while travelling and living in a meat-and-fried-food loving nation like Indonesia. However, I am passionate about the raw food movement, and I believe that from little things, big things can grow. It’s all about raising awareness, and making a difference through teaching people a little bit each day about what it means to eat raw and to have a wholesome lifestyle. I hope that by doing this work, more people will get on board, and other raw vegans living in Asia can be inspired to keep pursuing the movement which I believe is nothing short of life changing.

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My Bio

Who am I?
I am an Australian expat living in Jakarta. I’ve always been focussed on living a healthy lifestyle that combines a diet of good, wholesome food, regular exercise, doing yoga and outdoor activities like scuba diving and of course having fun (particularly in the sun!).My goalsIt is my aim to raise awareness in Asia of the raw food movement, and to share my explorations in this lifestyle choice. I have been eating a wholefoods, plant-based vegetarian diet since I was 16 years old. I made the transition to being a vegan first and then moved into being a raw vegan in 2010. This means that for half my life, I have been conscious of the food that I eat. I have read widely about the effects on my body of eliminating animal products, and as well as enjoying the benefits for my body of eating this way, I also can rest in the knowledge that I am eating compassionately for the planet we live in.

My education

I’ve been an educator for my entire career, and have vast experience teaching in classrooms all over the world, and I have a love of training and education. In addition to the many books on raw foods that I have read, I have also studied The High Raw Vegan Mastery program on raw vegan nutrition at the Vegetarian Health Institute and have completed Russell James’ The Raw Chef Academy home study course. Also, I am a certified  Uncooking 101 School living food chef and teacher.  Additionally, I am currently studying to be a holistic health coach at the Institute of Integrated Nutrition so that I can broaden my knowledge of ways that we can eat healthy and nutritious raw and vegan meals, and to also advise people on their health and wellness concerns to help people become healthier.

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