Climate Week: UN General Assembly
Sep19
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Linking extreme weather to climate change- Scientists
Sep09

Linking extreme weather to climate change- Scientists

As we are watching with concern the unfolding extreme weather events around the globe today and in recent weeks, the relationship of these extremes to the underlying trend of climate change is being discussed by scientists. The Science Media Centre in London, UK has been collating some of these expert views. These comments are also available on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Newsroom website.   Dr Adrian Champion, of the University of Exeter, said: “The occurrence of two category five hurricanes in the same season hasn’t been known to happen since records began. “It’s difficult to predict whether Irma will continue to strengthen – they get their energy from warm oceans and, given it’s already made landfall, you could expect it to weaken – but now it’s passing over the ocean again it could re-intensify. “The question regarding whether Jose will develop into a category five hurricane is mixed. Given that Irma has just passed through, there isn’t as much ‘energy’ to intensify Jose. However, the conditions are similar. “The climate change projections are that we’ll get fewer, but more intense, cyclones in the future.” Dr Ilan Kelman, Reader in Risk Resilience and Global Health at University College London, said: “As the scale of devastation from Hurricane Irma emerges, once post-disaster needs are met, we can ask about readiness. The islands which were hit knew they were in a hurricane zone and many run drills every year to be prepared for the hurricane season. In places, it appears to have saved lives. But we always want to strive to help everyone–and to be ready beforehand to reconstruct as soon as the storm has passed.” Dr Chris Holloway, tropical storm expert at the University of Reading, said: “Hurricane Irma is a potentially life-threatening storm for the Caribbean islands and neighbouring Leeward Islands due to winds up to 185 mph and storm surge up to 11 feet with large swells on top of this. The storm is likely to maintain very strong intensity (category 4 or 5) over the next three days, probably staying just north of the Greater Antilles but still a potential threat to Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. After that, the forecast track becomes more uncertain, with the storm likely affecting the Bahamas and Florida over the weekend. “Since the storm will begin to turn more towards the north in about five days, but the exact timing of this turn is uncertain, all of the Florida peninsula, the Bahamas, Cuba, and the Carolinas and Georgia should be prepared for a possible landfall or other effects of a severe hurricane.  The main dangers with this storm are storm surge and...

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Small Grants to empower rural communities
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Small Grants to empower rural communities

Small Grants to empower rural communities By DeodatusMfugale Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. August, 30 2017 Recently the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) disclosed  5.2  billion shillings to 60 rural communities in Tanzania ( mainland  and Zanzibar), through the  the Global Environmental Facility Grants Programme(GEF). With these small grants, millions of rural Tanzanians will implement projects ranging from provision of sustainable energy to water supply and sanitation. Projects on climate change adaptation such as fish farming, beekeeping and horticulture will be implemented. These community-based activities in agriculture, fisheries, livestock management, agroforestry and solar energy are meant to address the direct needs of the rural poor. Additionally, other areas will be covered include conservation of water sources, ecotourism, promotion of land use planning and small and artisanal mining. Women empowerment These small grants will not only be able to positively impact the lives of millions of Tanzanians but these financial supports will  also gain valuable skills and experience to the communities on sustainable basis, according to the UNDP. In Western Kilimanjaro, for instance, part of the Lake Natron Ecosystem will focus on building the resilience of local communities to climate change impacts through their participation in development projects. Climate Action Network Tanzania is the lead partner in implementing this project that will promote appropriate ecosystem management through landscape planning. It will also promote gender mainstreaming in climate smart agriculture and other activities.This project aims also to provide space for women, men and youth. It will help them to participate fully in all activities. “It is important to fund activities among rural communities because they are part of the critical dimensions of development,” said the UNDP Officer In Charge, David Omozuafoh. To his view, this project will also protect indigenous knowledge on environment and natural resources and will establish community based ecosystem management committees, through education ( training, learning best practices. “Development activities at community level provide policy feedback on poverty eradication strategies whereas community-based experiences and ideas constitute building blocks for people-centred policies and strategies,” explained the UNDP officer.                      ...

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Bénin- Erosion côtière : La population en alerte face aux promesses
Août06

Bénin- Erosion côtière : La population en alerte face aux promesses

Bénin- Erosion côtière :La  population en alerte face aux promesses   Le Bénin, un des 38 pays côtiers d’Afrique fait face à l’érosion côtière due aux activités naturelles et humaines. Les changements climatiques accentuent ce phénomène naturel. Principales victimes : les populations riveraines.  Reportage. Par Hippolyte AGOSSOU 06-08-2017   Consternation L’érosion côtière, résultat d’activités humaines et naturelles, accentuée par les dérèglements climatiques. La hausse de la température se fait sentir particulièrement dans les zones côtières d’Afrique, par, entre autres, l’élévation du niveau de la mer. Le quartier Jack de Cotonou , dans la capitale économique du Bénin, n’est pas épargné. Les habitants de ce quartier  sont inquiets. « Depuis 2001, les politiques, à la veille d’élections, nous promettent d’entreprendre des projets de grande envergure, mais finalement lorsqu’ils arrivent au pouvoir, il n’y aucun résultat, » explique, Rachel, une habitante du quartier. Rachel et ses voisins vivent quotidiennement sous la menace des vagues. Le niveau de la mer monte entraînant des dégâts et la peur est de plus en plus présente surtout la nuit. La population a en effet peur d’être envahie par les vagues.  Le jour est source d’espoir. Difficile tout de même de garder son calme. « Combien de temps cette situation va-t-elle encore durer ? », s’interroge Awali, un étudiant du quartier. Et de poursuivre : « Depuis que je suis en seconde, des gens viennent recenser nos familles : il y a peine deux semaines, ils sont passés pour savoir ce que nous avons perdu et presque tous les jours des mesures de la plage sont effectuées près de notre domicile, mais au bout du rouleau rien n’avance, » conclut-il avec désolation. Les drames Suite aux marées d’avril 2016, le gouvernement de Patrice TALON  s’est engagé à mobiliser des ressources pour la protection et la valorisation des zones côtières. Mais le quartier Jack est toujours en attente. Principal obstacle : les formalités administratives. Il existerait un problème de montage de dossier de passation des marchés au sein des Directions techniques du Ministère du cadre de vie. Mais cette information n’est pas confirmée par les autorités. « Les appels offres sont lancés : les entreprises soumissionnaires sont attendues,» affirme récemment Adolphe Tohoundjo, Directeur de l’aménagement des berges et des côtes. « Mon jeune frère a été emporté l’année dernière par les vagues, » explique Paul, un étudiant, vivant dans le quartier. Sa famille est traumatisée et demande de l’aide parce que les vagues sont de plus en plus violentes. «  Nombreuses maisons ont été englouties par la mer et certaines écoles publiques du quartier vont bientôt disparaître : Il faut que le Gouvernement réagisse ! », exhorte le père de Paul, les larmes aux yeux. Des faits prouvés par la science L’érosion côtière  devrait se poursuivre...

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Africa: Practising sustainable development with youth
Juil30

Africa: Practising sustainable development with youth

Africa: Practising sustainable development with youth   The African youth wants to take advantage to the ongoing  sustainable development opportunities in the continent. Introduction.   By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache 07-30-2017   Recently, the African youth elected the Interim Executive Board members of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme CAADP) Youth Network in Uganda. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme is an  African Union’s policy framework for agricultural transformation, food security and nutrition, economic growth launched in 2003.   The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme youth network is a youth ( 18 to 35) platform for farmers, Agroentrepreneurs, Nutritionists, and Agricultural practitioners. Their Goal: Create one million jobs for youth in the Agriculture Value Chain by 2025 and supported Agroentrepreneurs by 2020. Their Focus Areas: Agribusiness, Food Security and Nutrition, Climate Smart Agriculture, Green and Blue Economy. The official launched of this youth network is expected to be held in Dakar ( Sénégal) in September 2017.   What has been done so far?   In October  2016, two African organizations,  the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) and  the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme CAADP Youth Network supported the publication of a book which aims  to establish and promote at least 10,000 youth-led farms and agribusinesses across Africa by 2020. This publication named as “Youth Eco-Smart Projects” was developed by   Fresh & Young Brains Development Initiative. Fresh & Young Brains Development Initiative is a Nigerian youth Non Governmental Organization and the founder is a young Nigerian lawyer, Nkiruka Nnaemego. She is also an agroentrepreneur and development practitioner. Nkiruka and her colleagues from Africa (Ibraheem Ceesay from the Gambia, Mariam Allam from Egypt…) are engaging and  integrating  African youth in the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and  Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) processes.   NDCs: “The heart of the Paris Agreement” Hakima El Haite   About the Youth Eco-Smart Projects book   The book has been launched during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP22) in Morocco   November 10, 2016,  at the Youth Side Event on “ Integrating Youth in the Implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions  (NDCs) across Africa. This event was indeed  organized by the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change ( AYICC), an African Union initiative launched in 2006 with the aim of mobilizing young people to have one voice on the issues of climate change. The book intends to promote selected youth-led ecologically smart projects and initiatives. It encourages African Governments and Partners to support the selected projects. It finally advocates for more financial support to ensure active youth engagement in sustainable agriculture.   Some Excepts from the...

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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,...

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