Tanzania: Communities are fighting for their rights
Avr08

Tanzania: Communities are fighting for their rights

Tanzania: Communities are fighting for their rights   By Deodatus Mfugale Issues surrounding disputes over land ownership  are many in Tanzania and in Africa generally. From 2000 to 2010, several violent conflicts in various parts of Tanzania occurred between agribusiness investors and communities. The conflict thus involved three parties, the government, the investor and the local community. The villagers found that the government had colluded with the investor to deny them the right to own land. “The government had given us a raw deal. It was bad enough to sell the farm to the investor when people in the village needed that land. Giving the investor additional land made our situation worse,” said Alex Kyando, a resident of Kapunga village. In 2006 when the Tanzania government decided to privatize the Kapunga Rice Farm located in Mbeya Region ( Southern Highlands) to Export Trading Company, local communities were very disappointed and responded in a violent manner. In Babati District of Manyara Region, communities set on fire Tanzanian investor of Asian origin’s houses, stores, machinery, tractors. His relatives were also killed. The bloody incident was a climax of a long-standing conflict between the two parties: local communities alleging that the investor had unlawfully taken their land and they wanted it back. But the land was sold to the investor for a 100 years lease agreement. The local community originally offered the land to the government to create a state farm. But   the government had failed to manage it. Government Now things are changing and the demand by communities to uphold the right to own land is paying off.  In 2015,  the government declared that it would give back to the community the 1, 875 hectares of land that were sold to the investor of Kapunga Rice Farm which were over and above the original size of the farm. The government declaration became effective last year when the Minister responsible for lands announced that the parcel of land in question had been handed over to Mbarali District Council. “We have revoked the title deed for the land that was not originally part of Kapunga Rice Farm when it was sold to Export Trading Company. The Mbarali District Council will survey the land and give it back to the villagers,” said William Lukuvi, Minister for Lands. Arguments Until January this year, the survey had been completed and the land handed over to Kapunga Village Government for allocation to community members. Although there are complaints from some individuals that the allocation was not done fairly, most of the community members are happy with the government’s decision and the subsequent actions by the district council...

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Appel à film pour la sixième édition du Festival Deauville Green Awards
Mar31

Appel à film pour la sixième édition du Festival Deauville Green Awards

Appel à film pour la sixième édition du Festival Deauville Green Awards Par Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache Les entreprises, institutions, ONG et collectivités luttant contre les changements climatiques ont jusqu’au 28 avril pour participer au festival Deauville Green Awards. Créé il y a six ans, le festival Deauville Green Awards  a pour objectif de valoriser les films institutionnels, spots et documentaires autour du développement durable et des éco-innovations. Présenté comme la fenêtre mondiale sur l’environnement, la communication et le développement durable, le  Deauville Green Awards proposera de nombreuses projections spéciales et actions à destination des festivaliers et du grand public. Une opportunité pour tous les acteurs de l’audiovisuel, de la communication et  du développement durable et de la RSE de toute l’Europe et du monde de se retrouver. Au programme, trois compétitions : Spots de deux minutes ( Messages courts de sensibilisation), Info de 25 minutes ( Films d’information, médias audiovisuels des collectivités, entreprises, ONGS), Docu ( Documentaires, Programmes TV, Webdocs). Quatorze catégories avec comme thèmes principaux les grands enjeux environnementaux ( lutte et adaptation au changement climatique, préservation de la biodiversité), les domaines d’application écologique ( la transition énergétique, agriculture et sylviculture durables, habitat, bâtiment, urbanisme, transport, éco-mobilité…), les questions de société ( Santé et cadre de vie, Handicap, diversité, solidarité, transition démographique…). Le 29 juin 2017, lors de la cérémonie de remise des prix, le jury de professionnels  décernera les Totem d’or et d’argent aux meilleures productions de chaque catégorie et section.     Teaser des Deauville Green Awards 2017 from Deauville Green Awards on Vimeo....

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Feed the world sustainably: challenging
Mar29

Feed the world sustainably: challenging

Feed the world sustainably: challenging Welcome words by Nnimmo Bassey, Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) at Media Training-Promoting Biosafety in Nigeria held in Benin City , Nigeria, on Friday, 24th March 2017   Promoting genetically modified organisms: dangerous The need to interrogate our biosafety has become very pertinent because of the many myths around modern agricultural biotechnology. These myths are being peddled regularly by the industry promoting genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their team players in public offices. A major plank on which biosafety, and perhaps biosecurity, rests is the precautionary principle[1]. This principle, or approach, is a safeguard against the permission or introduction of products or elements into the environment where there is no scientific consensus that such an introduction would be safe or would not have an adverse impact. In other words, the precautionary principle helps to disallow the use of citizens as guinea pigs in experimental release of products that could harm them. The argument that there is a risk in everything is hollow and an acceptance of that as an excuse to expose citizens to harm is inhuman. Information of biosafety: a moral duty In this engagement on biosafety we hope to share information on the issues of biosafety and GMOs in Nigeria and Africa. The aim is that media practitioners would be able to sift the facts from the myths, and by so doing help the public to require a sense of responsibility from our biosafety regulators, research institutions, political forces and commercial interests behind the risky genetic engineering approach to food production.The key myths by which citizens are sold the idea of GMOs as being desirable include that they provide the most assured way of feeding the burgeoning population of hungry mouths in the world. The planks on which this highly seductive myth has been erected are quite flimsy. Why GMO is saleable ? Research has shown that GMOs do not necessarily yield higher than normal crops, making the talk of producing more food by using GMOs simply fatuous. Secondly, over one third of food currently produced in the world today simply gets wasted,[2] while most of the GMOs currently grown in the world end up as animal feed.[3]Another argument used to sell GMOs is that they require the use of less chemical in terms of pesticides and herbicides because the crops can be engineered to withstand herbicides or to act as pesticides themselves. A possible source for cancer The emergence of what have been termed super weeds and superbugs have dented that claim as farmers have had to sometimes apply stronger doses of herbicides and pesticides on farms where such...

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Climate and Development Agendas Are Inherently Linked
Mar26

Climate and Development Agendas Are Inherently Linked

Speaking at the opening of the President of the General Assembly High-Level Event Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda in New York on 23 March, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said that the sustainable development and climate change agendas are inherently linked. “By looking at climate and sustainability holistically, we maximize the potential for positive outcomes of every action we take. And when international commitments are turned into country-level action, tangible benefits are delivered to communities and the people who live there,” she said. Here is her full address: H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, Let me first recognize the President of the General Assembly and the Government of Fiji for your climate leadership. Today’s special event is the latest in a long list that is your lasting legacy of leadership on this critical issue. Thank you for shining a light on vulnerability through your work in the Pacific Islands Forum and Climate Vulnerable Forum. Thank you for your bold Paris Agreement contribution of 100 per cent renewable power by 2030. Thank you for being the first to ratify the Paris Agreement. And thank you for your excellent partnership as COP 23 President in preparation of this year’s UN climate change conference. I must also express my sincere gratitude to the Secretary-General for making the connection between climate change and the sustainable development agenda and calling for an integrated approach to our challenges. Your vision of preventing future risk through stronger institutions, more resilient societies and bold action must guide every nation forward through the sometimes turbulent waters of transformative change. How far is the Paris Agreement ? One hundred and thirty-seven Member States are working towards that vision by ratifying the Paris Climate Change Agreement. This is both a crucial step towards concerted action on climate change and a step towards truly sustainable development. As the international community takes these important initial steps in this new era of implementation, we must do so with the full knowledge that the sustainable development agenda and climate change agenda are inherently linked. These challenges must be addressed in an integrated manner because there is only one on-the-ground reality. By looking at climate and sustainability holistically, we maximize the potential for positive outcomes of every action we take. And when international commitments are turned into country-level action, tangible benefits are delivered to communities and the people who live there. Implementation is the policy that meets these commitments. And we must move quickly to put this policy in place. We must bend...

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To Bonn and Beyond
Fév14

To Bonn and Beyond

To Bonn and Beyond Message from the Incoming COP 23 President Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama   Maintaining  the momentum of the Paris Agreement Bula vinaka! Wherever you are the world, I convey my warmest greetings, along with the greetings of the Fijian people. Fiji assumes the Presidency of COP 23 determined to maintain the momentum of the 2015 Paris Agreement and the concerted effort to reduce carbon emissions and lower the global temperature, which was reinforced at COP 22 in Marrakesh. To use a sporting analogy so beloved in our islands, the global community cannot afford to drop the ball on the decisive response agreed to in Paris to address the crisis of global warming that we all face, wherever we live on the planet. That ball is being passed to Fiji and I intend, as the first incoming COP president from a Small Island Developing State, to run with it as hard as I can. We must again approach this year’s deliberations in Bonn as a team – every nation playing its part to combat the rising sea levels, extreme weather events and changing weather patterns associated with climate change. And I will be doing everything possible to keep the team that was assembled in Paris together and totally focused on the best possible outcome. “Our concerns are the concerns of the entire world” I intend to act as COP President on behalf of all 7.5 billion people on the planet. But I bring a particular perspective to these negotiations on behalf of some of those who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change – Pacific Islanders and the residents of other SIDS countries and low-lying areas of the world. Our concerns are the concerns of the entire world, given the scale of this crisis. We must work together as a global community to increase the proportion of finance available for climate adaptation and resilience building. We need a greater effort to develop products and models to attract private sector participation in the area of adaptation finance. To this end, I will be engaging closely with governments, NGOs, charitable foundations, civil society and the business community. I appeal to the entire world to support Fiji’s effort to continue building the global consensus to confront the greatest challenge of our age. We owe it not only to ourselves but to future generations to tackle this issue head on before it is too late. And I will be counting on that support all the way to Bonn and beyond....

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Les ONG multinationales, la RSE et le développement économique de l’Afrique
Jan24

Les ONG multinationales, la RSE et le développement économique de l’Afrique

Les ONG multinationales, la RSE et le développement économique de l’Afrique Par Thierry Téné, Associé et Directeur de l’Institut Afrique RSE Plainte contre le WWF Le 6 janvier 2017 est une date historique pour les Principes Directeurs de l’OCDE, qui sont des recommandations des Gouvernements des 35 pays les industrialisés du monde, à l’attention des multinationales pour la prise en compte de la Responsabilité Sociétale (droits de l’Homme, environnement, intérêts des consommateurs, fiscalité, etc.). Jusqu’à ce jour, ce sont les entreprises multinationales qui faisaient l’objet des plaintes des ONG pour non respect des Principes Directeurs de l’OCDE. Mais en ce début d’année, le Point de Contact National Suisse a jugé recevable la plainte de l’ONG britannique SURVIVAL contre l’ONG suisse WWF (Fonds Mondial pour la Nature). Dans sa plainte très documentée, SURVIVAL accuse WWF d’abuser des droits des pygmées BAKA du Cameroun au nom de la conservation de la nature.  Cette procédure auprès de l’OCDE met en exergue plusieurs problématiques en lien le développement économique de l’Afrique. Les interrogations Comme toutes les ONG représentées dans plusieurs pays, WWF (présente dans 80 pays) ne devrait-elle pas être aussi considérée comme une organisation multinationale qui devait justifier ses pratiques et actions ? Elle finance d’ailleurs plusieurs programmes de conservation de la nature en Afrique. Ce qui a des répercussions non seulement sur la politique d’exploitation des ressources naturelles des Etats (source des ressources financières) mais aussi les conditions de vie des populations comme les pygmées qui vivent dans la forêt. Jusqu’ici « donneuses » de leçons sur les questions sociales, environnementales, de droit de l’Homme et éthique, les ONG peuvent désormais se retrouver également au banc des accusées comme les Etats et les entreprises. La RSE : la solution Mais le plus surprenant dans cette saisie de l’OCDE est l’absence de marge de manœuvre du Gouvernement Camerounais alors qu’il s’agit de ses ressortissants, que les faits dénoncés se passent sur son territoire avec une implication de son armée et des éco-gardes financés par le WWF dans le cadre d’un partenariat avec l’Etat. Face à la montée en puissance de la lutte contre le changement climatique (entrée en vigueur de  l’Accord Paris), du rôle croissant des ONG multinationales, de l’adoption des Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD), de la signature des Principes de l’Equateur (prise en compte des critères Environnementaux, Sociaux et de Gouvernance pour tout investissement supérieur ou égal à 10 millions de dollars) par les institutions financières, les états africains ne peuvent plus envisager leur développement économique sans intégrer la Responsabilité Sociétale des Entreprises (RSE) . La polémique autour de l’huile de palme est l’un des symboles de cette problématique. Entre les besoins pour la...

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