Position papers will be due on February 2, 2018. The position paper format, and all other important conference documents, can be found on our conference website, http://lhhsconference.weebly.com/. Email all position papers to our committee email: lhhsUNEP@gmail.com . Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns!
Hello, delegates, my name is Carly Crocker and I am your head chair. I am a senior at Laguna Hills High School, and this is my fourth year in MUN. The vice chair is Noah Estling, a junior, and the moderator is Bradley Higashi, a sophomore.
Topic A: The Global Impact of Water Pollution Background: Two thirds of our earth is covered with water, leaving little space for humans to thrive; another problem we come upon is the fact that humans are overpopulating, which the earth cannot withstand. Due to these major issue, the bodies of water on earth are being polluted at an alarming rate, quickly diminishing the quality of the water. The main country causing the conflict is China. For example, the industry business in China has been blooming quite quickly due to the cheap manufacturing costs; toxins emitted from these factories and industries have been contaminating the water, resulting in the water being useless for man to use. This prevents the water to be used for proper drinking water and farming purposes. It is true that China is the biggest water polluter in the world, but we cannot only point the finger at them; the whole world has contributed to water pollution in one way or another. Every year, countries along the coasts have, altogether, been dumping approximately eight million tons of trash into the ocean every year, resulting in the creation of garbage patches. Sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, which leads to the deaths of many sea turtles. These garbage patches are lethal to not only us humans, but also to the environment, which in all affects everyone. The most affected by the Great Garbage Patch are the countries along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. A change must be put into action if we want to deplete this extremely atrocious conflict. UN Involvement: The United Nations has gone through great lengths to ensure access to safe drinking water; the U.N. has also been very successful in this area. In 2010, the U.N. General Assembly cited the “right to water and sanitation” as a fundamental human right where water must be safe, affordable, and convenient to everyone. 1981-1990 was recognized as the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade by the United Nations. This decade focused upon providing safe and sanitary drinking water for underdeveloped nations. Because of the awareness and increased resources towards this issue, more than one billion people were given access to sustainable drinking water. The United Nations created the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) where one goal was to reduce the amount of people unable to have access to safe drinking water by fifty percent. The U.N. actually accomplished this goal in 2010, five years before they wished to accomplish it. Many accomplishments have been ascertained within the past twenty years: two and a half billion people have gained access to drinking water, 91% of people in the world have better access to drinking water, and 42% of the most least developed nations now have access to more sustainable drinking water conditions.WHO and the UNEP have been working closely together to provide both a more sanitary way to extract clean drinking water and providing education and facilities to promote proper sanitation and hygiene in water. Bloc Positions: European Bloc: Most European nations strictly enforce rules regarding any sort of pollution, yet most of Eastern Europe seems to be in a quickly-expanding pollution issue. A lot of the problems come from neighboring communist nations dumping waste into rivers. Poland has the most environmental issues of all the European nations, and similar to many other nations, is imposing a fine for companies that are contributing to the mass amount of pollution to pay. Latin American Bloc: In many nations in Latin America, the water is not to be drinken. Much of it has not been sanitized and contains bacteria and parasites. Much of the clean water seems to go to farmers for their plants, while people located in in other parts of Latin America do not even have access to drinkable water, although not quite as bad as places like Africa or India. Latin American officials are aware of the issues, but have not taken many steps towards improvement due to the lack of resources that are needed to address such a big issue. Asian Bloc: Similar rise in pollution as seen in the Latin American bloc. It is caused by economic and demographic spread that has been occurring rapidly. Significant urban and factory growth has caused both air and water pollution to worsen, and overpopulation within several Asian nations makes the issues increase, putting millions at risk. Western/North American Bloc: Canada has recently been having issues with pathogens getting into water supplies, leading to kidney failure and death. In some places people have been consuming water that has a small mix of sewage in it. The United States believes that a massive investment in water infrastructure could help reduce the issue, but it is simply too expensive for many nations to afford. Mexico has the worst water pollution issues in all of North America, yet does the least to try and improve the situation. Not only do they not the money to improve it, but they have higher priorities. African Bloc: Water pollution is continually worsening despite minor efforts to clean the waters. Little little can be done to prevent this increase in pollution, simply because most of the African nations lack the money, technology, and support that they need in order slow the progression. Nonetheless, African officials still try and look for small improvements that could be implemented to lessen the growing water pollution.
Questions to Consider:
How highly should a nation prioritize water pollution issues? Should it come before other human rights issues?
How should nations that do not have a lot of money deal with their citizens drinking unsanitized water?
What steps should a country take towards removing pollution from water?
Should less water be used on livestock and plants and more on people that do not have access to clean water?
How should the United Nations be addressing problems coming from places that have such high levels of water pollution that most of the citizens already have illness due to it?
Parker, Laura. “Eight Million Tons of Plastic Dumped in Ocean Every Year.” National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 25 Aug. 2017, news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/02/150212-ocean-debris-plastic-garbage-patches-science/
Topic B: The Loss of Biodiversity Background: Biodiversity, the variability of all species in a certain environment and the ecological conflicts they have. Humans may not know it, but biodiversity helps us in multiple and crucial ways. Some benefits biodiversity offers us may be, food and water, regulation of climate, new medicines, education and knowledge, and the production of oxygen. Without biodiversity, the tensions of survival will increase. Loss of biodiversity is caused by pollution, hunting and fishing, climate change, and the overuse of natural materials in their environment. All of those factors contribute to the alteration or loss of the environment. Take the overuse of natural materials for example; if you take away a pivotal resource for a species survival, the whole domain will be lost, affecting the person who overused a vital part of the habitat and the world. One of the biggest issues for loss of biodiversity is the 3 billion people depending on marine animals for food and other extremely beneficial factors. We cannot afford to lose biodiversity, since we benefit quite a bit from it. UN Involvement: The United Nations laid out in their 2030 Sustainable Development Goals as important to create biodiversity and sustainability in all climates, both unused by man and used for commercial endeavours. The U.N. has cited many man caused reasons as a threat to biodiversity such as poaching of ivory in Africa, little regulation leads to chemical dumping in ocean water, and man made climate change. The Paris Accords also stressed the importance of sustaining biodiversity with the impending threats of increased climate change. For the past forty years, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has has been an epicenter of preserving biodiversity. CITES is a collection of multiple nations in which they try to ensure illegal trade of endangered flora and fauna is not endangering their species. This voluntary joined organizations lays groundworks for international laws, as well as working locally to ensure proper treatment of all plants and animals. Presently, the CITES has helped over 35,000 species for ensuring safety of these animals, and broad biodiversity across the globe. The United Nations wishes to work with local organizations to promote more sustainable possibilities in the ecosystems.
European Bloc: Many plants and species native to Europe have been forced to extinction because of human involvement within their ecosystems. European nations have made a few efforts towards saving biodiversity, but more needs to be done if they want to keep up with the rate and which it is being lost. If they were to all fully implement the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, than the biodiversity within the bloc would increase. Latin American Bloc: South America is known for its big and beautiful rainforests, and most people within the countries want to keep it that way; however, companies that move their for cheap labor seem to have different ideas. Most of the biodiversity loss within Latin America is the result of corporations cutting down ecosystems in order to make space, so the best step these nations are taking is the implementation of stricter laws regarding businesses with their country. Asian Bloc: The quick expansion of economic growth within Asia brought many benefits to the countries within it, but also fuelled threats to its ecosystems and biodiversity. Continued biodiversity loss is inevitable, but the types, areas and rates of biodiversity loss are not. Selected command-and-control measures and economic policies are slowly being implemented to slow down the rate of biodiversity loss. Despite the fact that Southeast Asia keeps discovering new species that are helping biodiversity, most of the Asian nations are not working towards stopping industrialization from hurting the continents biodiversity. Western/North American Bloc: Deforestation and pollution seem to have the biggest impact on nations within North America. All three countries undergo large amounts of deforestation yearly, and lose different plants and animal breeds because of it. The disappearing species is beginning to make a huge impact within all three nations, but not much has been done to restore biodiversity because these nations prioritise other issues. African Bloc: A new convention is being called upon within Africa as biodiversity continues to plummet. Despite efforts to keep specie diversity high, Africa is a hotspot for targeted animals. They are unsustainable and undergoing hundred of other issues, making the biodiversity conservation fall low on the list of issues to deal with.
Questions to Consider:
Should nations work together to create a rise in biodiversity? If so, what nations and why?
What specific laws should nations implement for companies to follow in order to protect biodiversity?
What else should the United Nations be doing in order to restrict an increase in the loss of biodiversity?
How highly should this issue be prioritized compared to other issues that developing nations are dealing with?
How much money should a nation spend on protecting ecosystems and biodiversity?