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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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...

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COP 22: Why Marrakesh Is More Important Than Paris COP21? – Olumide Idowu
Oct31

COP 22: Why Marrakesh Is More Important Than Paris COP21? – Olumide Idowu

COP 22: Why Marrakesh Is More Important Than Paris COP21? COP 22 will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco, from 7 to 18 November 2016. COP 20 in Lima was tagged the COP of negotiations of a universal climate change agreement, COP 21 in Paris last year was a COP of Agreement while COP 22 in Morocco is tagged the COP of Implementation. Taking critical decisions to ensure the implementation of the Paris Agreement is the major endeavor at COP 22 in Morocco. Last year, African Development Bank support contributed significantly to ensuring that Africa’s concerns were addressed in the Paris Agreement. The Bank has also committed to triple its climate change finance to about USD 5 billion per year and to provide USD 12 billion on renewable energy investments by 2020. In consistence with the New Deal on Energy for Africa that provides a good entry point for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and given that COP 22 is a key milestone for the implementation of that Agreement, it is important that Africa is fully on board, while ensuring linkages with the Bank’s High Fives. “To make the Paris Agreement a real-world success story we need more than a historic political agreement, we need practical climate action to “decouple GDP from GHG” – or economic growth from greenhouse gases – as UN climate chief Christiana Figureres put it during a lecture at Climate-KIC partner the Grantham Institute.” Fours ways Marrakesh is going to help achieve that: Going from National to Global Action Plans is very important: In the run up to Paris, countries submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Now, they are preparing their first climate action plans (NDCs) – dropping the ‘Intended’ from the title – which will be updated every five years and should represent an increase in ambition. This is the often cited ‘ratcheting’ mechanism built into the Paris Agreement. In Marrakesh, countries will hope to agree on how the stock-taking exercise should work every five years, and how they can make sure it will indeed ratchet up the level of ambition around the world. The action plans outline the post-2020 climate actions of each country and contain details such as emission-reduction targets and how governments plan to make those happen. A range of policies, including those addressing the aviation and maritime sectors (which are missing from the Paris Agreement), need to be drawn up and implemented to create what is often called the “enabling environment” for the transition to a low-carbon economy.   Making Measuring Progress Transparent will keep the commitment: Perhaps even more important, are...

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COP 22- Nigeria-Civil Society:  “tackling climate change with women and youth”- Olumide Idowu
Oct18

COP 22- Nigeria-Civil Society: “tackling climate change with women and youth”- Olumide Idowu

After 10 years of volunteering, Olumide Idowu is one  of the emerging  young leaders of Africa. He will be  one of the young people who can make the difference in COP 22. Profile.   “When it comes to tackling climate change, everyone needs to be brought to the table, especially women and young people, ” said Olumide Idowu. Olumide has  been engaging youth in Nigeria and Africa with making their voice to be heard both “offline and online” for  10 years. “I want a better place for all”,  he proclaims. After COP 21, Olumide reacted quickly by involving social networks, reporting, strategic projects to fight against climate change in Africa . He worked with many organizations such as the United Nations Environment Program,  UN-Habitat as Youth Champions for Africa, Save the Children Nigeria, Amnesty International . He is part of different strategic team: Environmental Leadership Academy, Mentorship HUB Africa, Climate Wednesday, Youth Initiative Africa. He raises issues such as  waste management, smart agriculture, water management and climate finance. Olumide has a Bachelor of Statistics and a diploma of Computer Science & Communication  from the University of Abuja in  Nigeria. Recently,  he attended the 10th conference of the the African Youth Initiative on climate Change ( AYICC). Olumide is currently the  Senior Communication of this organization. Launched in 2006, AYICC aims to mobilize  young people to have one voice on climate change issues. This year themes were: -Promoting the role of youth in having  access to climate finance through the Green climate fund. -Integrating youth in climate related policies, plan, projects and program at national and regional and international levels. -Building capacity of youth on climate science and negotiations in order to increase their participation and influence on Climate governance   By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache          ...

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