Tabi Joda-Column: ” It is  time to reverse the trends!”
Juil30

Tabi Joda-Column: ” It is time to reverse the trends!”

Tabi Joda-Column: ” It is  time to reverse the trends!” In Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon alone, 50 metric tons of plastic fragments food packages, straws and table water bottles and empty sachet water bags are drained into the Atlantic Ocean every day. But it is time to reverse the trends.  It is everyone’s responsibility not only governments to protect the planet.     Over the last ten years the amount of plastic bags produced and used worldwide surpass the amount produced and used during the whole of the 20th century. Regrettably, 50% of the plastic we use, we just use them once and throw away. If we can place in a heap the amount of plastic bags we throw away into the environment each year, it will stretch from earth to the moon and back twenty five times. Globally, more than one million plastic bags are used every minute and an average individual throws away approximately 185 kg of plastic waste per year. An average household dumps about 900kg of plastic waste in a year. Similarly, an approximate 500 billion plastic bags are used and 135 billion plastic water bottles are thrown away every year. Plastic waste accounts for around 10 percent of the total waste generated in households worldwide.   The disaster Risk!     Every piece of plastic in the ocean breaks down into segments such that pieces from a single liter of plastic bottle could end up on every beach throughout the world. Similarly, almost every farmland is partially covered by plastic. Apart from the harmful effects of plastic bags on animals, plants and aquatic life, the toxic chemical from plastic waste are harmful to the human body when absorbed. A study has shown that apart from Americans who have up to 93% of people tested positive for BPA (a plastic chemical), level of effect are even higher in other parts of the world especially Africa where recycling and waste management policies and orientations are low or even absent in most places. Other studies have shown that some of these compounds found in plastic have been known to alter human hormones or have other potential risk on human health.   Alongside the hazardous risks on human health, over one million sea birds and over 100,000 marine mammals are reportedly killed annually from toxins originating from plastic waste in our oceans. 44% of seabird species, 22% of cetaceans, 32% of sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species, crabs and prawns are killed by plastics or have their habitat altered by plastic in or around their bodies. Plastics also degrade soil quality leading to low crop productivity and consequently poverty,...

Read More
COP 23-Column: Addressing Youth Radicalization and Extremism beyond Hunger and Unemployment
Juil04

COP 23-Column: Addressing Youth Radicalization and Extremism beyond Hunger and Unemployment

COP 23-Column: Addressing Youth Radicalization and Extremism beyond Hunger and Unemployment By Tabi Joda* The mantra One of the most turbulent distractions to mainstream global issues is perhaps, youth radicalization and extremism. The deleterious effects of climate change and natural disasters have increased unsustainable socioeconomic practices. Unfortunately, global and local actors seem to misunderstand the potential and actual motivations surrounding this emerging phenomenon. The mantra of hunger and unemployment is dominating local and international debates on the question. But there is apparently more to the question of radicalization and extremism, in relation to hunger and youths unemployment, than it reaches mainstream understanding.   There is global awe about a suddenly obvious proliferation of youth subscription into insurgent activities often propelled by extremist ideologies. That is a known fact. Vis-à-vis present demographic transitions, there is an ever rising trend of misguided population movements from rural peripheries into urban metropolis leading to alarmingly loud concentration of desperate youths in city centres especially in Africa. To that effect, it is ever more imperative to identify the vulnerabilities upon which youth radicalization and extremism lies. The complications get even worse when we try to answer the question why youths are increasingly being agents of destruction instead of being productive members of their communities.   Different narratives These trends have provoked several narratives from different development angels. But whether these narratives exist in cluster or not, the question at stake is as we feel the impacts of Boko haram insurgents in North East Nigeria and Far North of Cameroon, Alshabaab insurgents in almost all of Somalia including Kenya and beyond, and the Tuareg insurgent groups in Mali who are just about to completely retreat into the deserts, are these narratives based on old thinking or do they offer new thinking, new forms of measurement and research into the root causes of why youths are increasingly being radicalized and mobilized into extreme groups.   Much has been argued about tackling the unemployment crises that is keeping many youth idle and leaving them vulnerable as destructive agents rather than constructive ones. Other arguments have emerged about the question of alleviating youth poverty as a critical step to mitigating exposure of youths to radicalization through extremist groups. These assumptions are good, but it remains to be seen if the discussion will in fact lead to more research and a greater focus on evidence-based approaches tackling the root causes of the issues. “Development efforts have often been driven by assumptions and not evidence,” said Keith Proctor, a senior policy researcher at Mercy Corps. In a summit held a few years ago at the White House about countering violent extremism, the...

Read More
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...

Read More
“Southern Africa could create 78,000 new jobs in less than 20 years”- Thelma Munhequete
Déc19

“Southern Africa could create 78,000 new jobs in less than 20 years”- Thelma Munhequete

Southern Africa could create 78,000 new jobs in less than 20 years By Thelma Munhequete*   I have attended the global Gender Climate Alliance Innovation Forum, on the sideline of COP22,  the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Marrakech, Morocco last november. The event was supported by different UN Agencies, organizations and stakeholders. 200 participants from different countries attended the two days event. Different experience and action where shared. Mary Robinson from the Mary Robinson Foundation, addressed the need of bigger and great Dialogues among Women  globally, Regionally and at a country level. Participants  have concentrated efforts to   improve gender balance and increase the participation of women in all UNFCCC processes. The Forum addressed key questions:  Where  Are We?  Where  Are We Going? What topics? How  can we integrate gender into urban climate policy? These are my thoughts. Where Are We? Gender in the communities is a relatively new topic in Mozambique. But it  has not received much attention although it is acknowledged that women and the youth are the most vulnerable groups in the communities. In its response to ensure social safety and protection of the citizens, the Government of Mozambique introduced measures through departments. This is further supported by Policy Frameworks and Legal instruments. As Country Executive Director of Africa Foundation which works  in southern Africa Countries, both in Mozambique and Zambia,  I  shared my experience in Mozambique. The lack   of data  is the main obstacle to integrate climate change, gender mainstream and the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) simultaneously, in order to reduce poverty, promote food security and further gender equality in my country. Climate change is affecting the youth. In most  cases, the youth helps the family. The decrease in water pressure reduces the reliability of the water borehole in the villages. During drought,people move with their livestock for grazing and so require water. These additional challenges compromise the health condition of the youth as well as the education. It is critical to assess the viability of scaling up successful local solutions as well as identifying new solutions for them. Where  Are We Going? The associated lack of food, water and income is already visible and it’s reaching social consequences such adoption of risky behaviours consuming of alcohol abuse, criminal activities (Poaching), theft and corruption that lead to family breakdowns. We have embraced the principles of gender equality and empowerment of women and youth . Through our affiliation to the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), we  aim to mainstream gender in all  projects. We adopted the Global Environment Facility’s Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) to guide our gender action plan which forms part...

Read More
Crowding the private sector into Africa’s climate action
Déc12

Crowding the private sector into Africa’s climate action

Crowding the private sector into Africa’s climate action It is in the enlightened self-interest of African private sector to begin to mobilise investment capital for Africa’s climate action LAGOS, Nigeria, December 12, 2016/ — The global community for climate action was spooked by the November 8 election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. The US President-elect had earned the sobriquet of “climate denier,” for his claim that climate change is a hoax. However, there is cautious optimism that his presidency will not overturn the global agenda on climate change. Hopefully, his views on climate change will change and align with reality when he settles into the Oval Office. Policymakers also believe that global climate agreements cannot be reversed easily. In the meantime, stakeholders are pressing on with formulating strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations’ agency on climate change held on November 7 – 18 in Marrakech, Morocco. At the climate talks, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, Pakistan and seven other countries ratified the December 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. A total of 111 countries, including the United States, China and Member Countries of the European Union ratified the agreement by the time COP 22 concluded. Since the Paris accord entered into force on November 4th, quite earlier than anticipated, global action against climate change has effectively shifted to strategic programming. Therefore, in Marrakech, Canada, Germany, Mexico and the United States published their plans to significantly decarbonize their economies by 2050. A group of 47 developing nations also committed to running entirely on renewable energy sources “as rapidly as possible.” Some of the plans are already gaining traction. Investments in renewable energy totalled $286 billion in 2015. This surpassed by 3% the previous high of renewable energy investment achieved in 2011. Data gleaned from Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016, a joint publication by United Nations Environment Programme and Bloomberg, further revealed that last year, coal and gas-fired electricity generation drew less than half the record investment made in solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. The trend in renewable energy investment is a mixed bag, even in developing countries. China alone accounted for 55% of total investment last year; Africa’s share was less than 5%. As climate change mitigation is being driven by investment in green energy, Africa is already taking the familiar position at the back seat on the ‘green energy train’. This was not unanticipated by climate policymakers. Although China is the clear leader in investment in renewables, other developing countries, in particular the low-income countries, are...

Read More
What’s next for climate action ? -Patricia Espinoza
Nov25

What’s next for climate action ? -Patricia Espinoza

What’s next for climate action ? -Patricia Espinoza Shortly after the conclusion of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, the UN’s top climate change official Patricia Espinosa visited Norway, where she met with government and local leaders and gave a speech at the 2016 Zero Emission Conference in Oslo. Hosted by the Norwegian NGO ZERO, the conference was designed to show that it is possible to create a thriving, modern society without the use of fossil fuels or fossil based materials, and with zero greenhouse gas emissions. In her speech, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa summed up the central outcomes of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, along with outlining the next steps for international, national and local climate action, and addressed the issue of what specifically Norway can do to help implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement.  Her speech     The Marrakech InsightsFirst, I saw unparalleled political will to act on climate change. The momentum that carried us from hundreds of thousands of people in the streets at the People’s Climate March in 2014… to an ambitious agreement in Paris last year has not diminished.Political will brought the Paris Agreement into force just days before this year’s conference in Marrakech, setting a tone for the meeting and allowing us to hold the historic first Conference of the Parties to the Paris Agreement. Second, Marrakech featured close cooperation to advance critical issues, which can be seen in the conference outcomes. Governments took a crucial step towards writing the rules of the Paris Agreement. They outlined the finance, technology and capacity building support that enables the developing world to move to low-emission development and build resilience. Marrakech featured long-term de-carbonization plans from major emitters and medium-income countries.* The Marrakech Action Proclamation unites nations in the determination to implement the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.This is all very positive and shows that governments are willing to work together. It also sends a strong signal that we have unstoppable global momentum on climate change and sustainable development. Third and finally, Marrakech shined a light on movement in markets and in the private sector. And it highlighted climate actions by local governments. The business leaders action In markets, we see a transformation to low-emission. The clean energy market is growing and now it makes more sense to choose renewable energy over all others. Investors are moving to cleaner, greener assets to secure stable returns. Throughout the private sector, we see high efficiency operations, sustainable supply chains and products that reduce consumer’s climate footprint. Local governments Local governments are moving in the...

Read More

En continuant à utiliser le site, vous acceptez l’utilisation des cookies. Plus d’informations

Les paramètres des cookies sur ce site sont définis sur « accepter les cookies » pour vous offrir la meilleure expérience de navigation possible. Si vous continuez à utiliser ce site sans changer vos paramètres de cookies ou si vous cliquez sur "Accepter" ci-dessous, vous consentez à cela.

Fermer