News in Brief 26 July 2017 (AM)

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Nigerian refugees returning from Cameroon wait to register at Banki camp in northern Nigeria. Photo UNHCR/Romain Desclous

UN appeals for funding to assist vulnerable people in north-east Nigeria

The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has launched an appeal for funding to scale up its activities in north-east Nigeria.

The agency says it will need an additional US$9.5 million because of an unexpected surge in the return of Nigerian refugees since the beginning of the year.

The majority are coming from Cameroon.

“We must do everything we can to assist these vulnerable people,” said Volker Türk, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection.

Many of the returnees are unable to go back to their homes due to security concerns and end up being displaced again, in dire humanitarian conditions, he noted.

Closure of London market “threat to cultural life” warns UN experts

Plans to close a London market as part of a gentrification project represent a threat to cultural life, a group of United Nations human rights experts has warned on Wednesday.

Furthermore, the move would result in the expulsion of current residents and shop owners from the place where they live and work, the experts say.

The Seven Sisters Indoor Market in the London Borough of Haringey faces closure under the redevelopment plans.

The market contains around 120 small shops, most of them family-run and with a few employees.

Since 2008, local residents and shop owners have been part of a legal battle to preserve the market and the area.

They have been challenging planning applications, organizing protests and raising awareness about the importance of the site.

The UN experts are asking UK authorities to be mindful of the consequences on the economic, social and cultural rights of the people living and working in the market.

World must do more to protect and conserve coastal mangroves

The world needs to do more to protect and conserve coastal mangroves which are among “the most threatened ecosystems on Earth,” the UN said on Wednesday.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) made the call on the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem observed every year on 26 July.

Mangroves, shrub and tree species that live along shores and rivers help advance food security, sustain fisheries and forest products.

They also play a unique role in trapping and storing significant amounts of coastal blue carbon from the atmosphere and ocean, which is crucial for mitigating climate change.

Up to 67 per cent of mangroves have been lost to date, the agency says, and nearly all unprotected mangroves could perish in the next 100 years.

UNESCO is urging the global community to “reverse the trend of degradation” because of the essential role mangroves play in keeping the planet healthy.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’50″

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