New green technology to help Kenya ‘s flowers
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New green technology to help Kenya ‘s flowers

    New green technology to help Kenya ‘s flowers   By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache It is well known Kenya’s roses, carnations and summer flowers, in particular, are renowned for being long-lasting.  Indeed, one terminal at Nairobi airport is dedicated specially to the transport of flowers and vegetables.  Therefore, perishable floral cargo can go from grower to consumer in record time.  Kenya is the third largest exporter of cut flowers in the world and is the undisputed East African floriculture champion. Flower exports have become Kenya’s third major export (after tea and tourism) bringing more than $100m in to the Kenyan economy each year. But nowadays flowers exports is under constant threat of damage by pest and disease due to climate change. ADAS Horticulture, part of UK based RSK Group, has pioneered new technology for reducing the impact of pest and pathogen attacks which cause significant crop and supply chain losses in Kenya. It will help Kenya become a leading exporter of fresh produce, according to the company. ADAS is indeed a trading name of RSK ADAS Ltd. RSK Group in the UK’s largest privately owned multi-diciplinary  environmental consultancy and one of the fastest growing companies of its kind in Europe. With operations in Europe, Africa, Middle East, its comprehensive, solutions-led consultancy services help organisations around the world conduct business in a compliant and environmentally-responsible manner.   Fighting the disease: UV technology The most problematic disease which causes crop and supply chain losses is Botrytis(commonly known as grey mould) but it is not the only problem.  Pests and pathogens are estimated to contribute up to 40% of cut rose yield losses worldwide. Standard chemical control techniques involving direct spray applications of pesticides are not always effective and their use is being constantly challenged by consumer and environmental impact concerns. To address the problem of pestilence and find a sustainable, environmentally friendly solution, ADAS has spent the last three years working  with industry and academic partners to develop new sustainable, non-contact, non-chemical technologies. The project was funded by Innovate UK. Explaining the innovative technology, Dr Barry Mulholland, Director, ADAS Horticulture, said, “We worked with a Kenyan business, which grows and exports roses back to the UK. To him, the technology comprises two strands: firstly, UV light to make crops more resistant to pest and pathogen attack and also improve product marketable quality; and secondly, UV light in post harvest environments to remove ethylene, which is known as the “silent killer” and is responsible for the accelerated ageing of fresh produce.” This is the first time ever that UV technology has been on a crop while it is growing. It has been noted by the company that the resistance goes through the supply chain. How does it work? “By removing ethylene, the ageing process is effectively suspended. By simply extending shelf life by...

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World commits to pollution-free planet at environment summit 
Déc09

World commits to pollution-free planet at environment summit 

World commits to pollution-free planet at environment summit By Duncan Mboyah The world environmental ministers have made a commitment to have a pollution-free world at the close of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi recently. The leaders made resolutions and pledges promising to improve the lives of billions across the globe by cleaning up air, land and water. “The science we have seen at this assembly shows we have been so bad at looking after our planet that we have very little room to make more mistakes,” said Edgar Gutierrez, Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and the President of the 2017 UN Environment Assembly.He said that for the first time, the assembly is sending a powerful message that they will listen to science, change the way people consume and produce, and tackle pollution in all its forms across the globe. For the first time at a UN Environment Assembly, environment ministers issued a declaration saying that they will honour efforts to prevent, mitigate and manage the pollution of air, land and soil, freshwater, and oceans – which harms health, societies, ecosystems, economies, and security. The declaration committed to increase research towards the fight against pollution through tailored actions that includes sustainable lifestyles based on a circular economy, promoting fiscal incentives to move markets and promote positive change and strengthening and enforcing laws on pollution. “We have a long struggle ahead of us, but the summit showed there is a real appetite for significant positive change,” Erik Solheim, UN Environment Executive Director said. He said that the massive support from civil society, businesses and individuals – with millions of pledges to end pollution – show that this is a global challenge with a global desire to win this battle together. Almost 2.5 million pledges from governments, civil society, businesses, and individuals were logged. If all commitments are met, 1.49 billion people will breathe clean air, one-third of the word’s coastlines will be clean, and USD 18.6 billion of investment will come online. The Ministers noted that tackle pollution will enable countries contribute to sustainable development by fighting poverty, improving health, creating descent jobs, improving life below the water and land and reducing Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). They committed to collaborate with the politicians, scientists, the private sector and civil society to deliver a pollution free planet. They committed to continue to respect the Rio principles on environmental and development in efforts to make the environment clean. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for air quality, more than 17,000 people die prematurely due to ill health associated with pollution. Hundreds of children below the age of five die from contaminated water and...

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Pollution: Big challenges for  delegates attending  UNEA conference in Kenya
Déc04

Pollution: Big challenges for delegates attending  UNEA conference in Kenya

  Pollution: Big challenges for delegates attending  UNEA conference in Kenya By Duncan Mboyah   Kenya hosts  over 7,000 delegates who  attend the United Nations Environmental; Assembly (UNEA), according to Kenyan official. Prof. Judi Wakhungu, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources said that heads of states and government, 100 ministers, environmental scientists, UN agencies, members of the civil society and private sector are attending the conference that takes place from December 4th – 6th. “Governments around the world are looking up to United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) to monitor and review and establish environmental challenges including pollution,” the CS said during a media briefing. Prof. Wakhungu said that Kenya is committed to supporting the work of the United Nations and desires to maintain Nairobi’s position as the central hub of the UNEP. UNEA is the world’s highest level decision making body on environment and it meets biannually in Nairobi. The last meeting was held in Nairobi in 2015. UNEA has a universal membership of all 193 UN Member States and enjoys the full involvement of UN organizations, specialized agencies, inter-governmental organizations, civil society and the private sector. The Assembly provides a platform for leadership on global environmental policy and aims at delivering a number of tangible commitments to end pollution of air, land, waterways, oceans, and to safely manage our chemicals and waste. Under this year’s theme of ‘Towards a free pollution planet’, delegates will deliver a policy declaration on pollution, linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to signal that humanity can work together to eliminate the threat of pollution and the destruction of our planet. “We have instituted and implemented a wide range of policy and regulatory measures towards eradicating pollution on air, land, water and marine,” she noted. Kenyan is expected to showcase to the world how it has managed to implement the recent ban on use of plastic bags. About Duncan Mboya Duncan Mboyah  is a  Kenyan citizen who specializes in science journalism – health, environment, agriculture and sustainable socioeconomic development. He is currently working with Xinhua News Agency in Nairobi covering science and climate change. Duncan has over 15 years of journalism practice and has written hundreds of articles on climate change effects in Kenya and Africa in general in the past years. He also regularly contributes articles to Scidev net, a British owned online science publication that specializes on science and technology development in the developing world. He has a Degree – Bachelor of Science in Communication and Journalism from Moi University and is currently a Communication’s Studies Masters student at Moi University, Kenya. Duncan also works as a media consultant...

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COP 23: Un aperçu de la finance climatique- ICCG
Oct07

COP 23: Un aperçu de la finance climatique- ICCG

COP 23-Un aperçu de la finance climatique- ICCG   Plusieurs représentants de gouvernements et d’institutions financières ont été interviewés à l’occasion d’une réunion organisée par  le ICCG ,  l’initiative sur les politiques de changement climatique et de gouvernance, un institut basé en Italie.   Explications. Par Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache Comment atteindre les objectifs de l’accord de Paris ? Selon Barbara Buchner, la directrice exécutive de l’institut  Climate Policy Initiative, , il doit y avoir un développement massif rapide autant dans l’adaptation que dans la réduction des gaz à effet de serre, afin d’atteindre les objectifs de l’accord de Paris et atteindre les 2 voire 1,5  degrés recommandés par la science.   Si nous ne sommes pas en mesure  de mettre en application sérieusement le premier tour des contributions nationales, nous ne pourrons pas passer au second tour : nous devons ainsi sérieusement travailler ensemble avec le secteur privé, les gouvernements, c’est une importante mission de coordination, explique le Norbert Goriben, le responsable de Climate Finance International. Mais, mettre en application les contributions nationales n’est pas si évident, notamment en Afrique.  “Nous n’avons pas assez de données pour répondre aux exigences en matière d’établissement de rapports liés à l’accord de Paris et nous avons besoin de renforcement de capacités pour développer la collecte de données, les technologies, les ressources humaines et nous avons besoin de financement pour mettre en œuvre ces projets liés aux contributions nationales, indiquent Pacifica F. Achieng Ogola, Directrice du département Changement Climatique du Ministère de l’Environnement, des Ressources Naturelles et du Développement Régional du Kenya. Et de préciser :  ” Les modalités de mise en œuvre de certains éléments des contributions nationales ne sont pas très explicites, nous attendons les conclusions des Conférences des Nations Unies sur le Climat , COP 23,et COP 24. Selon les experts interviewés, le partenariat sur les contributions nationales lancé par le Maroc et l’Allemagne, l’an dernier, ont impulsé le développement et la planification de la finance climatique, mais les avancées sont timides. Le secteur privé peut avoir un rôle important dans l’accélération de l’accès à la finance climatique.  ...

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Climat- Afrique: “Il faut qu’il y ait une cohérence”- Seyni Nafo
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Climat- Afrique: “Il faut qu’il y ait une cohérence”- Seyni Nafo

  Climat- Afrique: “Il faut qu’il y ait une cohérence”- Seyni Nafo Propos recueillis par Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache 02-07-2017 A quelques mois de la conférence des Nations sur le climat, prévue à Bonn ( Allemagne), mais organisée par les Iles Fidji, le président du groupe des négociateurs africains, Seyni Nafo se confie sur plusieurs sujets brûlants. Entretien.   Eraenvironnement.com: Vous sillonnez actuellement le monde dans le cadre de vos activités.  Vous avez notamment participé à la première réunion sur le bilan de la COP 22 au Maroc. Il y a une polémique autour des projets issus de l’initiative d’accès à l’énergie. La société civile dénonce une mainmise de l’Union Européenne et de la France. Qu’en pensez-vous ?   Seyni Nafo: Non, il n’y a pas de mainmise de l’Union Européenne et de la France. Il y a un peut-être un déficit de communication.  Ce n’est pas un conseil d’administration classique. Le conseil d’administration est un conseil africain de sept africains des régions du nord, de l’ ouest, de l’ est, et du sud avec en plus le président de la Banque Africaine de Développement et celui de l’Union Africaine, avec en plus deux membres non régionaux, l’Union Européenne et la France, au nom de l’ensemble des partenaires qui se sont engagés à Paris en 2015. Le président Condé, en tant que coordinateur des énergies pour l’Afrique et président en exercice de l’Union Africaine a demandé aux français et aux européens sur la base de ce qu’il y a comme pipeline, sur la base des projets  de pipeline, de préparer une liste initiale qu’ils seraient certain de  financer. La polémique est liée à un problème de communication. Une décision prise par les chefs d’Etat lors d’un conseil d’administration peut être critiquée. Mais l’énergie est une urgence. L’approbation des projets est une décision des chefs d’Etats, ce n’est pas la France, ni le commissaire de l’Union Européenne qui vont les manipuler et les influencer. Que voulez-vous dire ? Ce qu’il faut comprendre, c’est qu’un chef d’Etat ce n’est  pas un ministre et un ministre, ce n’est pas un négociateur, un négociateur ce n’est pas la société civile. Je pense que pour  le président Alpha Condé et un certain nombre de chefs d’Etat, plus de deux ans après le lancement de l’initiative, annoncée pendant la COP 21 en 2015,  il est temps de montrer que l’initiative est en marche. Pour eux, La manière de le faire ce sont les projets. Il y a eu des négociations en ce sens. Pourquoi  le scientifique  Youba Sokona a-t-il démissionné de ses fonctions de directeur du service d’exécution de l’initiative d’accès à l’énergie en Afrique ? Il y a eu...

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Climate information prize launched in Kenya
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Climate information prize launched in Kenya

 Climate information prize launched in Kenya By Duncan Mboyah   A climate information prize, The Tekeleza Prize worth USD$ 200,000,  has been launched by the Climate Information Prize programme  to incentivize the development of innovative solutions and to help vulnerable communities to be better informed. Explanations.   Bridging the Gap A climate information prize, The Tekeleza Prize worth USD$ 200,000,  has been launched recently in Kenya to make climate change information more usable and accessible for vulnerable communities and to incentivize the development of innovative solutions. The winning organizations will help vulnerable communities  having access to the information they require. It will  enable them to tackle climate uncertainty and risk. To quote  Assistant Director of the Kenya Meteorology Department, David Gikungu, “The organizations [ Winners]   will be getting valid information from the Kenya Meteorology Department (KMD) and disseminate to consumers for free in helping create awareness.” “Since climate change has adverse effects on individuals and communities, especially those whose livelihood are dependent on weather,  better access and usability of products and services are needed”, explained Gikungu. He observed that there is a lot of information on climate change but unfortunately they are not in formats that communities are able to understand and use.“We have to use climate information to develop initiatives that help the vulnerable adapt to climate variability and change,” he pointed out . The meteorologist said that the gap between producers and users of climate has existed for a long time due to the way the information was packaged and the language used. “The department has devolved its services to all regions in the country and has set up radio stations broadcasting in vernacular languages with the aim of informing farmers, pastoralists and other users in far flung parts of the country,” he added. The means Nicki Spence, the Climate Information Prize manager said that climate change has caused massive sufferings to many people globally hence the need to encourage innovators develop new ideas of tackling it. “The winning organizations will listen and respond to local needs of different groups within their locality by availing easily understood information,” Spence said. For him, Kenya is the best country globally to carry the program due to the government’s commitment to help and also the level of knowledge on climate change in the country. CARE International Kenya’s leader for Adaptation Fiona Percy observed that given the adverse effects of climate change, experts and organizations need to start translating information in a language they understand and not foreign languages. “We must begin to ask ourselves who are the consumers of climate change information and what  is the medium they prefer...

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