Books & products

UNEP has launched its fourth International Photographic Competition on the Environment in 19 cities around the globe. Again sponsored by Canon Inc., it is open to both professional and amateur photographers of all nationalities and ages, with Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes in General, Youth and Children’s categories.

Klaus Toepfer, UNEP’s Executive Director, said: ‘the previous three competitions have proved highly successful, generating huge interest within the photographic world and significant public awareness of environmental issues globally.’

Fujio Mitarai, President and CEO of Canon Inc., said: ‘Our corporate philosophy is kyosei, which means living and working together for the common good. In accordance with this philosophy, we believe that a harmonious coexistence with nature and the environment is essential for society to achieve sustainable development. I hope that the photographers participating in this competition, through the images they have captured, will be able to share the kyosei ideal with the world.’ For details on how to enter see

Natural Allies , a new UNEP publication, provides a clear picture of how civil society can and does work with UNEP, both benefiting from and strengthening its programme of work. Incorporating the advice of the many organizations that were consulted during a peer review process, it explains how civil society can interact directly with governments, whose decisions guide UNEP’s work, and participate in UNEP activities. The publication is available to buy at
The journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) has been developing a broad international outreach programme to disseminate credible environmental health information throughout the world. It includes converting EHP to an open-access journal, providing complimentary print subscriptions to readers in developing countries, publishing a quarterly Chinese-language edition, participating in a Fogarty International Center initiative to partner with African medical journals, publishing a section in Spanish in the Chilean/Latin American journal Ciencia & Trabajo, and translating the ‘In this issue’ section of the magazine into Chinese, French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. See
Women are essential agents of change as the book Women and the Environment demonstrates. Produced by UNEP in partnership with the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) – with the financial support of the United Nations Foundation – it pays tribute to their essential contributions to environmental conservation and management. UNEP hopes that the book, which is available at, will inspire the environmental and sustainable development community to understand better the importance of gender and to integrate a gender perspective across all its work.
Tessa and the Fishy Mystery is the first booklet in the UNEP Tunza children’s environmental story series. It is a beautifully illustrated tale about a young girl living by the sea and confronting various environmental issues such as pollution, overfishing and mangrove deforestation. The booklet also has a ‘facts and figures’ section on seas and oceans. Priced at $6, it is available from
Researchers at the University of Delaware in the United States have discovered how to make a new type of computer circuit board out of chicken feathers. Some 1.36 billion kilos of waste feathers are generated each year by the 8 billion broilers produced in the United States alone, posing a major disposal problem. But they have proved ideal for the boards, which Richard Wool – who developed the idea – says required material that was ‘light, yet strong, with as much air involved as possible’. Electrons move twice as fast on the feather boards as on traditional ones, and they meet electronics industry standards.
The Optimist is the enticing title of a new quarterly magazine launched by Green Cross International led by Mikhail Gorbachev. True to its title, it sets out to be visionary and forward looking, focusing on raising awareness of the wealth of solutions and innovations to be found within the rich cultural, historical, scientific and technical resources at humankind’s disposal.
PHOTOGRAPH: University of Delaware

This issue:
Contents | Editorial K. Toepfer | Miles to go before we relax | Practical consensus | Power shift | Equally effective | People | Peace of mind, piece of land | The young ones | Fuelling change | At a glance: Women, health and the environment | Aishwarya Rai | Unprecedented opportunity | Books and products | Chemical inheritance | Toxic trespass | First empower | Citizen engagement | Adding feminine perspective | After all ‘nature’ is female... | A unique voice

Complementary issues:
Culture, values and the environment 1996
Poverty, Health and the Environment 2001
World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002
Energy 2003
Water, Sanitation, People 2004

AAAS Atlas of Population and Environment:
Population and natural resources
Population, waste and chemicals