2011

August -  08

News Highlights

 

National convention of BJP education cells

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  National convention for state BJP Education Cells was held recently at BJP National Headquarters, New Delhi.  Besides the scholars in education sector, all the State’s Ministers for Education from BJP ruled states and  state BJP conveners for Education Cell through out the country attended the convention.

On behalf of Arunachal Pradesh state BJP Lenzing Pertin, state BJP council member from Mebo, participated in the convention and presented overall education scenario in the state which drew appreciations for the members who expressed their desire to visit the state and interact with the concerned authorities.

Meanwhile, the State BJP Education Cell decided to convene National seminar in October, 2011 in the state where resource persons from centre would also participate. The party president also appointed Pertin as the state convenor of BJP education cell.

 

Flashflood lashes Yomcha

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: The flash flood in Bome river which is meandering through the Yomcha town has caused several damages to the properties including agricultural field in Yomcha area, said All Yomgam Youth Association (AYYA), Yomcha  in West Siang district.

The road communication between Yomcha to Akker Yomgam, Gangkak and Gamlin village also badly affected due to collapse of log bridges and culvert followed by the torrential rain, the Association said in a release. Apart from general public, the students are also facing lot of communication problems and are unable to attend classes in Govt Hr Secondary, Yomcha due to disruption in road communication, it added.

The Association appealed to the district administration and Panchayat leaders to take stock of damages  and provide adequate relief to the victims.

 

Exposure visit

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Krishi Vigyan Kendra Papum Pare (PIA) under the ongoing project “Conservation of Mithun and its Habitat through Community participation” organised a two days exposure visit cum training programme to National Research centre (NRC) Mithun, Jharnapani Nagaland  recently.

A team of 10 Mithun farmers of Midpu, Mani and Chiputa villages of Papum Pare District led by participated in the programme.

The farmers were taken to the NRC Mithun Farm where they were trained on scientific rearing of Mithun and different strains of Mithun found in four states of  Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur were exhibited to the participants. The farmers team also visited Pig Breeding farm, Poultry farm, Rabbit farm and various water harvesting structures of ICAR Complex, Nagaland.

Dr. C. Rajkhowa Director, NRC Mithun interacted with the participants followed by PowerPoint presentation by Dr. S. Mukherjee, Senior Scientist (Animal Genetics) and Dr. K.C Das Senior Scientist (Animal Nutrition) of NRC Mithun Nagaland.   

The two days programme was undertaken with the initiatives from Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT) Guwahati.

 

Festival of Arunachal

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Arunachal Students’ Union Shillong  has decided to celebrate “all tribes festival of Arunachal Pradesh cum-social fresher’s meet” with six days  programme from Sept 6. The festival aims at promoting brotherhood, unity and integrity among all Aruanchalees residing in Shillong.

Besides the students and Arunachalee people residing in Shillong, many ministers, MLAs, student leaders and well wishers from Arunachal Pradesh are expected to take part in it.

 

Handover capital road to BRTF: Forum

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Arunachal Pradesh Colleges’ Forum (APCF) appealed to the state Govt to hand over the NH52-A road to BRTF for proper maintenance within 15 days.

Expressing displeasure over the performance of PWD in road maintenance, the Forum alleged that the  people of the Capital Complex have been facing great difficulties due to low quality of works being maintained by the department concerned. It appealed to the Govt to hand over the national highway to BRTF for quality works immediately. The forum threatened to agitate if its demand is not fulfilled.

Admission fees: Meanwhile, APCF expressed concern over the  higher admission fees being charged by various private colleges  from the poor students of the state. It decided to visit  private colleges  in this regard.

 

Bandh opposed

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: The United Siang Progressive Alliance (USPA), which has been voicing against the eviction drive at Pasighat town, has vehemently opposed the August Nine bandh call by All Bogong Student Union.

Describing the proposed bandh call as illegal, illogical and an attempt to pressurize the authority to continue the eviction drive, USPA in a release demanded the district administration as well as police to impose strict law and take stern action against the bandh callers since the Supreme Court in a judgment has declared any kind of bandh call as illegal.

USPA in its meeting yesterday further resolved to take counter measures such as road and economic blockade if the proposed bandh call is not withdrawn.

 

Appointments

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Olom Nopi and Dungge Apang have been appointed as the new president and general secretary of Upper Siang Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers’ Association (AUSSSATA).

Joram Tayam and Khoda Gambo have been selected as president and general secretary of the  Arunachal Pradesh Government Colleges Miscellaneous Teachers Forum.

RinchinTashi Bachung and Kishor Mosbu have been selected as new president and general of All Bugun (Khowa) Students’ Union in its 3rd general conference cum election/selection held at Sinchung in West Kameng district recently.

News Impact

Administration warns against illegal earth cutting

NAHARLAGUN, Aug 7: Bemoaning the recent rain-triggered devastation in the Capital Complex, mostly caused by man-made reasons, Capital Complex deputy commissioner Bokar Basar today reiterated the administration’s warning against illegal earth cutting.

Despite the issuing of executing orders twice, banning such activities, people are resorting to such activities causing irreparable damages to various infrastructures, including roads and government buildings, and posing a threat to lives, Basar said in a statement.

Diversion of the stream between Model and Leki villages by contractor Techi Tama for the construction of a private building led to complete erosion of the stretch of NH-52A on August 5. The district magistrate has asked Tama to show cause why legal action should not be initiated against him and expenditure for the restoration borne by him, the DC informed.

Those violating the ban order would face legal action too, he said, and urged the public to cooperate with the administration in the restoration work being undertaken by the public works department (PWD) on a war footing.

The July 19 order, to be effective till further order, had also directed people who are living without authorization in OBT/SPT/RCC houses constructed on river beds, streams and sides of hillocks without adequate protection to vacate the areas and shift to safer spots. The administration will not be responsible for loss of life and property in unauthorized settlements, it said.

 

Poor healthcare threatens endangered wildlife

Raju Mimi

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: A new study shows that limited access to healthcare is not just a problem for those living in remote areas of India. It is a threat to India’s endangered wildlife as well.

A team of wildlife scientists and doctors led by Nandini Velho, a doctoral student at James Cook University in Australia and research associate at National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore, has been working in Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh. They recently found that management of the reserve was severely affected by the number of malaria cases among its staff.

“Prevention is indeed better than cure”, said Velho. “Not only is it cheaper and often easier to implement, it also means that fewer families will suffer from disease or death.”

Many of India's national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are in remote and rugged areas, where disease is a major problem for people. The National Rural Health Mission has been in place from 2005 and seeks to improve healthcare access and quality for people in rural areas. Yet rugged terrain, institutional apathy and corruption combine to limit access to decent medical attention.

“Malaria is a huge problem in northeast India, with more than five out of every thousand people infected annually,” said Dr. Umesh Srinivasan, a medical doctor and wildlife biologist from NCBS on the research team. “Contrast this with less than two per thousand in the rest of the country. Even worse, malaria in the northeast is resistant to most antimalarial drugs.”

The team, which also includes scientists from the Institute of Public Health in Bangalore, found that over 70 per cent of the 144 forest staff of Pakke Tiger Reserve suffered from malaria over a four-year period. Malaria made many of the guards too sick to carry out their duties which led to an increase in wildlife poaching in the park.

“It’s a serious and deadly problem,” said William Laurance, a professor at James Cook University. “In a sense, malaria is not just sickening and killing people. It is killing wildlife as well—including endangered species such as the tiger.”

“A key concern is that there are hardly any government medical facilities in the area,” said co-author Dr. Prashanth N.S. a public health specialist. “This means the forest department has to spend almost 3% of its annual budget for the treatment of staff suffering from malaria—even though the health system is supposed to provide free malaria treatment for everyone.”

“Many other Indian parks are imperilled by disease as well,” said Laurance. “Malaria is a serious problem in tiger reserves such as Namdapha and Dampa. It’s also prevalent in parts of eastern India, all along the foothills of the Himalayas, and in at least a dozen other tiger reserves across India.” These findings show that, although the mandates of the forest and health departments are different, running wildlife sanctuaries effectively will require both departments to integrate well.

During this study Velho, with the help of Kedar Bhide from Sumitomo Chemicals, a Mumbai company, distributed insecticide-treated mosquito nets to all forest watchers in anti-poaching camps in Pakke Reserve. As a result, the malaria infection rate dropped ten-fold over the past year.

“This is surely good news,” said Velho. “But for these gains to continue, the institutions responsible must step up and take responsibility. It doesn’t take much—just simple mosquito nets can make a huge difference.”

“Measures like this will ensure the forest watchers are safe and the wildlife they protect can sleep in peace,” said Velho.

 

Goel’s name cleared as CJ of Gauhati HC

Taba Ajum

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Punjab and Haryana high court acting chief justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has given his consent to the Supreme Court collegium for elevation to the post of chief justice of the Guahati high court. It is learnt that the Supreme Court collegium, consisting of five senior most judges headed by the chief justice of India, has already cleared justice Goel’s name for elevation as chief justice.

Being the senior most judge in the high court, justice Goel has been functioning as the acting chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court for sometime.  According to the senior officials of the high court, elevation orders of justice Goel are expected very soon and in case before his departure chief justice Ranjan Gogoi doesn’t join back, justice MM Kumar is likely to officiate as acting chief justice being the next in the seniority list.

Presently, chief justice Madan Bhimarao Lokur is heading the Guahati high court which has its jurisdiction over seven sister states of north-east India namely Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.

As per information since chief justice Lokur is due to retire on December 31, 2015, justice Goel may be transferred to the Guahati high court as first puisne judge (associate judge) and after some time would take over as the chief justice. There is also speculation that chief justice Lokur may be transferred to some other high court or elevated to the Supreme Court.

 Many high profile cases which is of interest for people Arunachal including the infamous PDS scandal is currently undergoing trial in Gauhati high court.

 

Mass vaccination cum animal health camp

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Mass vaccination cum animal health camps were organized at Midpu,  Mani and Chiputa villages under Doimukh circle with active community participation on August five last.

Around 70 animals, including Mithun and other livestock were vaccinated to prevent the outbreak of diseases such as FMD, HS & BQ which is prevalent in the area. The medicines were also distributed to the livestock owners of the village. The required vaccines and medicines were provided by the Directorate of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, Nirjuli .

A team of veterinary expert led by Dr. Z. Lekhro from National Research Center on Mithun, Jharnapani, Nagaland also participated in the vaccination programme.

Further, the programme was assisted by Field Staff of District Veterinary Office, Yupia.

The Livestock owners of the area expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the organizer of the camp and requested to conduct such programme in future. The programme was organized by Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Papum-Pare in collaboration with SRTT/NRTT under the project ‘Conservation of Mithun and its Habitat through community Participation’.

The overall programme was executed by Dr. Nabam Gama, Farm manager, KVK Papum Pare & Dr. Atol Bengia, Supervisor, KVK- NRTT Project.

 

BCVP resolves to seek developmental assistance

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: The newly formed Bokar Chetriya Vikash Parishad (BCVP) during its first ever general meeting held at Aalo, West Siang district recently has decided to submit a proposal to all the executing agencies of various projects such as hydro power, mining etc being implemented soon in all Bokar dominated areas, extending from Hiro to Tadadege, under Monigong circle of Mechukha Sub-Division for grant of 4 per cent special developmental assistance for area development in the line of Kumoan Vikash Mandal (KVM), Uttrakhand.

Stating that eventhough lots of progress were being made in other parts of the State in developmental front the Bokar area particularly from Hiro to Tadadege were in underdevelopment stage, BCVP chairman T Vijay Samyor felt that the area would be developed if the executing agencies of various organizations extend atleast 4 per cent developmental assistance to the people of the area.

While expressing grave concern over lack of developments in various fields such as education, socio-economic development etc in the area,  BCVP members also decided to request the State Govt to give Other Backward Class (OBC) status to the people of area keeping in view the present scenario of the area.

 

PWC restores road link on self-help basis

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: The Pachin Welfare Committee organized a two days public social service and successfully restored road  link in Pachin area  this evening. Several sectors in the colony including Govt. Secondary School, Pachin and Abotani Vidya Niketan Secondary School remained cut off for last few days due to recent devastating rain which washed away the roads in many areas.

Besides the general public, students of Abotani Vidya Niketan along with its staffs actively participated in the road restoration works. The Social Service also cleared debris caused out of the landslides and soil erosions on the NH to Pachin road during the recent rains.  Meanwhile, the Committee in its public meeting has questioned the step-motherly attitude of the state Govt towards the problems being faced by the people of Pachin colony. The Committee demanded the Govt to start NH to Pachin link road  maintenance works immediately.

The much hyped M/s Subhash Drinking water project at Pachin river, particularly its run-off (weir) concrete structures erected on the river between D-Sector and Pachin Colony poses a great threat by  submerging large areas at the Pachin river bank at the vicinity of the project site, the committee said.

The Committee demanded the state Govt to depute special team to assess the calamity damages caused in the area and ensure special financial package for restoration works.

The Welfare Committee extended its deep sense of gratitude and thanks to Er. Tadar Mangku, EE, PHED, Tai Tagak, Chairman, Abotani Vidya Niketan School for their cooperation and voluntary support  with man and materials.

 

Society calls for early restoration of road link

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: The Passa Valley Development and Welfare Society (PVDWS) today demanded early restoration of road between Seppa to Pakke-Kessang on Seppa-¬Rillo-Sagalee-Itanagar road. The Society said that the Passa Valley remains cut off from rest of the state since July 18 due to washing away of formation level of road in various places.Blaming the Chief Engineer, National Highway, PWD for delay in clearing the road blockade “on the pretext of shortage of manpower and machineries” the  Society said  delay in restoration of road caused great hardship to the people of Passa valley in particular and East Kameng district as a whole. It resented in spite of Govt directive the authorities did not take action for clearance of road blockade till date.

The Society  further sought the intervention of the Chief Minister in this regard  and requested him for adequate allocation of fund to the newly created Highway department which is now  undertaking  need based maintenance and repair of road damaged by heavy spell of rain since July 18-19 in East Kameng district.

 

Crab mentality and traffic woes in Itanagar

Tashor Pali

As school students we were taught “crab mentality” means an attitude of a person "if I can't have it, neither can you." Later I realised that “crab mentality” is actually a metaphor that refers to a pot of crabs in which one tries to escape over the side, but is relentlessly pulled down by the others in the pot. We face many such similar situations in our day today life.

The other day, when I was on my way to office from Itanagar to Naharlagun, I also faced such situation. There were number of landslides in between Itanagar-Naharlagun NH 52A after heavy downpour in the previous night. There was huge debris on the road near Dree Ground due to landslides. A bulldozer which was pressed into operation could manage to clear a little passage good enough for passing of one vehicle. Police regulated the traffic at block point where either side of the traffic coming from Itanagar or Naharlagun was stopped at a point so that vehicles coming from opposite direction could cross the block point. As the traffic was slowed down, there was a long queue of vehicles on both sides of the block point.

When the queue of vehicles became longer for the impatient (crab mentality) peoples to wait, immediately some vehicles at the end of the queue start to jump the queue and reached the block point which was followed by many more such impatient (crab mentality) drivers creating one more new queue on both sides of the block point. Result was there to see. No vehicle could move further resulting in a mammoth traffic jam. Within a few minutes the scene appears as if all the vehicles in the Capital Complex have gathered there for a kind of exhibition. Desperately caught in jam for about two hours I shouted at one of the drivers who break the line, in Arunachali hindi, “kyu line mei nahi ateh ho, line mai aoge to 10 -15 minute late honge, aur abhi deko do ghante se ham yaha hain, na tum nikal sakte ho na ham.” (Why you people don’t come in line, if you follow the line hardly you will be late for 15-20 minutes, now you see we are stuck here for the last two hours and neither I can go nor you). The driver shouted back immediately “mujhe akele ko kyu bolte ho, sabhi aise a rahe hain, sab ko bolo”. (Why telling me alone, everybody is coming like that, tell every one).  When I was about to shout back at the driver there came one policeman blowing his whistle to highest of its pitch though apparently there was no effect on anybody. I asked the policeman, “bhai sahab, aap log line todne walo ko action kyu nahi lete”. (Why don’t you take action against those who break the line). The policeman said, “kya kare, hum bolne se sab hamko hi ulta gussa karte hain” (What to do, if I tell them, they scold us instead). Literal application of “Ulta chor kotwal ko dateh”.

In that two hours of ordeal another interesting thing I had noticed was, when sane people were folding the rear view mirror on the right side of the driver to adjust space in the traffic, there was one gentleman who left entire front right side door open creating more congestion in the already congested space. But no body dare to say anything. People prefer to stop their vehicle in the middle and wait rather than saying anything to the person who left his car door open. I was terribly upset and pondering why people behave like that. Having no appropriate answer finally I consoled myself reminding the words of my law professor who used to say jokingly, “if people don’t break the law, lawyers will be jobless”.

It’s a bitter truth that everyone of us has a little bit of “crab mentality” inside us. Some of us control it while many people give it a free hands thereby creating problem for self and others equally. Experience of traffic jam during landslides and road maintenance is very common for everyone of us in the capital complex. Every time we conveniently blame the government for the whole mess. We never realise that it’s largely because of our “crab mentality” that we are inviting more such troubles.  It is high time to get ourselves out of such “crab mentality” and live in peace. (The writer is a Dy. Director (IEC), APSACS, Naharlagun.)

 

SE inaugurates Singchung sports meet

BOMDILA, Aug 7: The first ever Sports Meet sponsored under Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyaan (PYKKA) at Singchung Sub-Division in the district began this morning. The sports meet is being conducted to create awareness on the importance and relevance of sports and to tap and mould the talents of the youngsters in the right direction.

Inaugurating the sports meet, Superintending Engineer (RWD) Rupa Circle, Er. Hibu Tama, underscoring the importance of Games & Sports, urged the players to excel in their chosen field of activity. Besides 5 per cent reservation as sports quota, incentives in the form of cash awards by the Central, State and North-East Council (NEC), lucrative placements are being made in private and other institutions for players of national and international repute, he said. But as far as this sports meet is concerned, preference and priority should be given to participation, as participation paves the way for competition and excellence, he added.

Earlier, Circle Officer Rajiv Chiduni urging the players to maintain the sportsmanship spirit said that the youths have been provided with the right platform to channelize their energy and spirit towards a positive growth with conduct of this tournament.

The 8-days Sports meet includes various indoor games and the VolleyBall competition. The events would be held at the newly constructed Outdoor Stadium executed by the Rural Works Department at an estimated cost of 1.30 crores which was funded by the Directorate of Sports & Youths Affairs.

The Finals of the Volley Ball would be played on August 15 to commemorate the Independence Day celebration.

Among others, ADC S T Khampa, ex-minister Naresh Glow and the Zilla Parishad Members of Singchung were present on the occasion. DIPRO

 

Federation for early renovation of roads

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Arunachal Youth Federation (AYF) has appealed to the state Govt to take immediate steps for renovation of capital road and early completion of state Assembly and secretariat buildings.

The Federation further said the ministers and VIPs who are staying at Delhi instead of discharging their duties at the hours of need should resign on moral ground.

Denouncing the bandh culture, the Federation also requested the state Govt to act tough against bandh which adds injury to already suffering denizens of the capital complex.

Department criticized

Meanwhile, All Capital Complex Citizen Tribal Right Forum (ACCCTRF) has criticized the PWD and UD department including its minister for alleged failure to chalk out plan for maintenance of roads, highways in state capital in particular and the state as a whole.  The roads in the capital complex are going from bad to worse and public are fed up with present condition of road, the Forum claimed and said that the  concern minister should resign on moral ground.

The Forum also appealed to the Chief Minister to visit all the capital roads including sector roads and take stock of the damages caused by nature’s fury.

Copyright © 2008, The Arunachal Times Publications Pvt. Ltd., Siang House, Sector - E, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh - 791111, India

All rights reserved.

Readers Forum

Our side of the story

Dear Editor,

This is in reference to the press release carried in your esteemed daily on Aug 6  and issued by a fly by night organization call United Siang Progressive Alliance (USPA) led by one Okom Tamuk pertaining to the Eviction drive carried out by district administration in Pasighat. The content of the press communiqué as claimed by the USPA in the concluding paragraph reads; “meanwhile, the Anti Eviction drives meeting held yesterday at Pasighat ended with no resolution following disruption of the meeting by some anti-social elements, USPA claimed. However, the 20 Banggos attended in the meeting opposed the eviction drive accepting Bogong Banggo, it further claimed”.

As the Bogong Banggo name has been dragged in the news paper by USPA. It’s pertinent on our part to tell our side of story. The statement given by Tamuk shows its total disregard for the traditional kebang system prevalent in our society. The news item is full of misleading information carried with deceit and utter lie. All the content is made out of his sheer imagination  and cooked up by him  to misguide the common public which he is quite adept at doing as observe on many a occasion. The fact is that the meeting organized by the people evicted from 1st phase drive at Pasighat, Solung ground, on 4th August 2011, under the chairmanship of Tapun Tarang with Advocate Vijay Taram  and Aku Borang in the Drafting Panel ended in a positive note.  The representative from all the Banggos of East Siang District participated in the deliberation  and contrary to expectation of the meeting organizers endorsed for total eviction drive in the district head quarter irrespective of status, political affiliation. Every one agreed that the land donated by Bogong Banggo should be used for general development.

Tamuk needs to introspect before terming someone as an “Anti Social Element”. We can understand his desperation and the latest Drama enacted by him is not void of reasons. Being the highest land grabber of Pasighat, (he is illegally occupying the whole agricultural demonstration field of GTC, Government land at high region area near boys nursing hostel, vast area at Upper Banskota near Govt High Secondary school Pasighat and near Govt. fishery pond). He has his vilified reason to do all these hara-kiri. But truth will prevail and society will endure. Unlike USPA where he is one  and all and is characterized by opportunism to be used for personal motives, our Banggo has an altogether a different history. We are a proud contributor in the growth of Adi Society in particular  and Arunachal in general. We strongly belief his attempted act to sabotage the genuine issue in the line of community, sub tribe and clan will never be subscribe by the greater Adi Society.

We also on our part request the government to depute a high level committee to enquire into his land grabbing and other activities so that his real mask can be unearthed. Further given the opportunity Bogong Banggo will not shy away from participating in any deliberation or platform that is for the betterment of the society as a whole. Lastly we would like to request the media fraternity to properly scrutinize any media release lest it would make USPA like one man organization without any substance to be paper tigers that has the potential to create mistrust among the peace loving common masses.  

Yours’

Tagom Jamoh, President,

Oyin Moyong, GS,

B.B.K  

Dejir Tamuk,  President,

Rokom Jamoh, GS

B.B.Y.K

 

 

Its up to forest department to maintain ecology

Dear Editor,

I humbly appreciate the endeavour shown by Dr. Boni Amin Laskar in highlighting the ancient traditional practices of preserving the wild animals by Idu-Mishmis of Dibang. Idu Mishmi has a rich culture which can be seen in their traditional attire, the design of clothes, houses, in the hymn of the Igu (priest) which they can chant non stop for 3 to 4 days. Idu Mishmis have set of rules for every occasion which is in practice since time immemorial. The seniors of the Tribe have always imparted their knowledge  and wisdom to the younger for generations. So in our area we still find the rarest species like Mishmi takin, hollock gibbon, tigers, coptis-teeta, acrus calamus,rubia cordiafolia,taxus baccata etc. Now it’s up to the forest and wildlife deptt to take the initiatives to maintain the ecology by preserving the forest declared areas which is being slowly occupied by the migrated peoples.

Yours’

Asahi Mito

Roing, Mayu

(On e-mail)

 

 

 

********************************

 

All email and surface mails must be accompanied with contact numbers and full postal address. Do keep writing but please make sure that letters are short and to the point.        

----Editor

 

Innovative tool to gauge energy consumption

 

Efforts to establish international standards for measuring energy use in buildings have received a boost, after the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) decided to consider an innovative tool developed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to gauge energy consumption and CO2 emissions in homes and offices across the world.

The Common Carbon Metric (CCM) - developed by UNEP's Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative - could form the basis for a new international standard for measuring the environmental performance of existing buildings. The ISO - the world's largest developer and publisher of international standards, covering 162 countries - will develop relevant methods.

The Common Carbon Metric is intended to create a uniform system for defining the climate impact of buildings through a consistent protocol, which can, in turn, help develop international baselines for use by architects, designers and the construction industry.

Today, the building sector is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions with about one third of global energy use taking place in offices and homes. Moreover, building-related CO2 emissions are set to rise from 8.6 billion tones in 2004 to 11.1 billion tones in 2020.

First launched during the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009, UNEP's Common Carbon Metric measures both energy use and greenhouse gas emissions equivalent in buildings per metre squared or per occupant over the course of one year.

After initial tests by the UNEP Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative in 2010, the Common Carbon Metric was further refined and a second phase of testing has started recently, with preliminary results to be presented in October.

Developing new standards for buildings can help governments plan more effectively towards achieving national targets on sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.

EDITORIAL