Via the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
The Harper government is pulling out of a United Nations convention that fights droughts in Africa and elsewhere, which would make Canada the only country in the world outside the agreement.
The abrupt move caught the UN secretariat that administers the convention off guard, which was informed through a telephone call from The Canadian Press.
“Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity, were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit,” says the secretariat’s description of the 1994 convention.
It calls the convention the “sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.”
The decision could stoke more criticism of the Harper government’s record on the environment.
Canada, along with Japan, Russia and New Zealand, joined the United States in opting out of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
The government has also faced widespread criticism for muzzling scientists, leading to a recent complaint to the federal information commissioner to look into the matter.
Its decision to cut the funding for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy has also sparked an outcry.
Civilization is unraveling under environmental pressure. Maybe that is unsurprising. But who would have expected Canada to be the one pulling on the thread?