The United Nations has declared 20112012 as International Year of the Bat and Bat Conservation International (BCI) as an International Year of the Bat Founding Partner.
The more than 1,200 species of bats - about one-ﬁfth of all mammal species - are incredibly diverse. They range from the world’s smallest mammal, the tiny bumblebee bat that weighs less than a penny to giant ﬂying foxes with six-foot wingspans. Except for the most extreme desert and polar regions, bats have lived in almost every habitat on Earth since the age of the dinosaurs.
Bats are essential to the health of our natural world. They help control pests and are vital pollinators and seed-dispersers for countless plants.Yet these wonderfully diverse and beneﬁcial creatures are among the least studied and most misunderstood of animals.
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2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy for All
Recognizing the importance of energy for sustainable development, the United Nations General Assembly has designated, by its resolution 65/151, the year 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All presents a valuable opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of increasing sustainable access to energy, energy efﬁciency, and renewable energy at the local, national, regional and international levels.
Energy services have a profound effect on productivity, health, education, climate change, food and water security, and communication services.
Lack of access to clean, affordable and reliable energy hinders human, social and economic development and is a major impediment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Today, 1.4 billion people still do not have access to modern energy, while 3 billion rely on “traditional biomass” and coal as their main fuel sources.
With leadership from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN-Energy - a coordinating group of 20 UN agencies - is undertaking a new global initiative, Sustainable Energy for All.
This initiative will engage governments, the private sector, and civil society partners globally to achieve three major goals by 2030:
• Ensure universal access to modern energy services.
• Reduce global energy intensity by 40 per cent.
• Increase renewable energy use globally to 30 per cent.
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2012 as International Year for Cooperatives
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to socioeconomic development, particularly their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration.
With the theme of “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World”, the Year seeks to encourage the growth and establishment of cooperatives all over the world. It also encourages individuals, communities and governments to recognize the agency of cooperatives in helping to achieve internationally agreed upon development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals. The International Year of Cooperatives has three main objectives:
- Increase public awareness about cooperatives and their contributions to socio-economic development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals
- Promote the formation and growth of co-operatives among individuals and institutions to address common economic needs and for socioeconomic empowerment
- Encourage Governments and regulatory bodies to establish policies, laws and regulation conducive to co-operative formation and growth.
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