Tanzania: Communities are fighting for their rights
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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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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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World Green Economy Organization :  A New approach from the Arab world
Nov26

World Green Economy Organization : A New approach from the Arab world

World Green Economy Organization :  A New approach from the Arab world Recently at the UN Climate Conference in Marrakech, the World Green Economy Organization was announced globally in presence of  Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, United Arab Emirates Minister of Climate Change and the Environment,  Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and Chairman of the board of the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) and Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache Towards a green economy “The World Green Economy Organization aims to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement and increase awareness on climate change to enhance the shift towards a green economy and a low carbon economy that is climate-resilient, resource-efficient, and socially inclusive,” said in Morocco Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and Chairman of the board of the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO), during the global launch of the World Green Economy Organization in Marrakech (Morocco). “ Launching WGEO at this time reflects the relentless efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” he added . After the October 2016 third World Green Economy Summit in Dubai, the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties, COP 22, in Marrakesh, Morocco, was an opportunity for the Arab world to show its willing to diversify its economy and also a way to promote its willing to work with all countries around the world towards a green economy. Dubai Plans Last June, Mr Al Tayer, announced in Dubai that  his country will build within the next five years  a largest Concentrated Solar Power (CPS) which will generate  1,000 megawatts (MW) of power by 2030 as part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy to generate 75 per cent of Dubai’s power from clean energy by 2050. This solar project could reduce more than 6.5 million tonnes of CO2. It can therefore meet its pledges linked to the Paris Agreement : keep global warming temperatures below 2°C in a long term goal, he added. The project will even surpass the existing world’s largest CPS tower in Morocco that has a power generating capacity of 150MW, senior energy officials said. How the World Green Economy Organization will work? According to Mr Al Tayer, the World Green Economy Organization, based in Dubai,  will play an instrumental role in mitigating climate change.   It will serves as a mechanism for adaptation and mitigation to climate change by generating new solutions for sustainable energy, water and other environmental challenges. How ? “by lowering the risk of green economy investments and bridging...

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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...

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Seyni Nafo : Plaidoyer pour un financement durable
Nov24

Seyni Nafo : Plaidoyer pour un financement durable

Seyni Nafo : Plaidoyer pour un financement durable Une semaine après la COP 22, le président du groupe des négociateurs africains, Seyni Nafo et ambassadeur pour le climat pour le Mali,  donne son point de vue sur la finance climat et ses solutions. Entretien.   Propos recueillis par Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache   Eraenvironnement.com : Quels étaient les objectifs  des négociateurs à Marrakech ? Seyni Nafo: Nous avions pour objectif de poser les fondements juridico-techniques et opérationnels de l’accord. Que veut dire ce charabia ? Il fallait qu’on se mette d’accord sur la feuille de route qui doit décliner le travail en termes de modalités procédures et directives d’application de l’Accord de Paris. Il comprend tout le régime de transparence sur l’atténuation [réduction de gaz à effet de serre] , sur le suivi financier, sur la  comptabilisation des efforts d’adaptation, tout le rulebook comme on dit en anglais. Nombreux pensent qu’il nous faut deux ans pour terminer toutes les directives et modalités qui accompagnent le texte de Paris. Ce sont ces décisions qui seront prises en 2018. On a donc deux ans de travail technique. En 2018, il y aura un second rendez-vous : la rédaction d’une revue à mi-parcours des efforts, en anglais le « facilitative dialogue ». C’est un dialogue qui  évalue les efforts de réductions de gaz à effet de serre,  et d’adaptation dans un cadre global. Cet exercice doit aboutir à une augmentation de l’ambition, une augmentation du niveau de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre. En 2018, les vraies décisions devraient être prises. A Marrakech, , il n’y avait pas de décisions à prendre. On devait clarifier la feuille de route de maintenant à 2018.  Nous avions comme mission d’écrire les termes de références, en décrivant le nombre d’ateliers et le nombre de papier techniques à réaliser. Le rapport du Groupe d’experts intergouvernemental sur l’évolution du climat (GIEC) publié en 2018 aura-t-il un impact sur les décisions ? Normalement oui. Il va informer les débats au niveau de l’effort. L’objectif d’un tel rapport est de tirer la sonnette d’alarme et   de mettre une pression positive sur les décideurs. Oui, cela va être important. Généralement, lors des cycles de contributions, au moment où les pays doivent faire des engagements de réduction de gaz à effet de serre, les pays doivent être informés par un rapport du GIEC. C’est pour cette raison que sera publié le rapport spécial 1,5°C. On espère qu’il sera prêt en 2018 pour permettre de tirer la sonnette d’alarme et d’être un argument assez important pour que les pays remontent leurs obligations de réduction de gaz à effet de serre[Actuellement, les émissions de gaz à effet de serre sont...

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16th Francophonie Summit held in Madagascar : “a great opportunity for the country to showcase its potential”  Ylias Akbaraly
Nov22

16th Francophonie Summit held in Madagascar : “a great opportunity for the country to showcase its potential” Ylias Akbaraly

16th Francophonie Summit held in Madagascar: “a great opportunity for the country to showcase its potential”  Ylias Akbaraly The 16th Francophonie Summit held for the first time in Antananarivo (Madagascar)  from 22th to 27th Novembrer is «  a great opportunity for the country to showcase its potential”, said Ylias Akbaraly,  Chairman of  Sipromad Group, one of the fifth richest man in Francophonie. He has welcomed the Summit calling it as “an ideal platform for Madagascar to position itself as the potential Tiger of the Indian Ocean and a huge opportunity for African businesses to strike new partnerships. ” This year’s theme is “Shared growth and responsible development: conditions for stability around the world and within La Francophonie”. In 1989, Mr Akbaraly, started with   a staff of 20 and a turnover of  USD 20,000. He   has turned the family business into a multimillion dollar conglomorate today with over 3,000 staff , a turnover of over  USD 150 million . Sipromad Group has offices in Paris, Dubai and Mauritius and want to expand his company.  In an deeper interview, Ylias Akbaraly discusses his vision of sustainable development in Madagascar and in Africa. By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache Eraenvironnement.com : For the first time, Madagascar is hosting the Francophone Summit, this country has many challenges related to the fight against poverty. How will this event benefit the country located in the Indian Ocean? Ylias Akbaraly: This is a big chance for Madagascar and for the businessmen in Madagascar because there are many delegations, heads of state and important businessmen attending the Summit. For example Morocco.  King Mohamed VI  is here with over 200 businessmen. So, I believe it’s a great opportunity for the country to showcase its potential. We are also signing some deals on the occasion in banking which will help in growing our business in Africa. You have mentioned that Madagascar can be the tiger of Indian Ocean. Could you please explain how it can unlock its potential? Madagascar can be the Tiger of the Indian Ocean, the reason is very simple first, our location (right in between Asia and Africa). Second, we are the biggest country in the Indian Ocean and third, our population. We have a young population which is well educated. The government should look into simplifying regulations, making it easier for entrepreneurs and foreign businessmen to come, to settle, and to start a business. I will say that the investors too should offer the best education and training to the “young generation.” You have invested in a wild range of sectors from property (realty), Agrobusiness, aviation to hydro electricity (infrastructure),  in Madagascar.  Madagascar is seen as of one...

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