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
Août31

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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Power Africa:  the US key strategy
Août25

Power Africa: the US key strategy

Power Africa: the US key strategy On August 4, the United States of America  submitted a communication to the United Nations regarding its participation in the next United Nations climate change negotiations in Bonn. A shift and a global reflection for its key strategy: Power Africa. Analysis. By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache August 25 2017 On August 4, the United States submitted a communication to the United Nations regarding its participation in the next United Nations climate change negotiations in Bonn and other events related to climate change. The US will indeed be part of the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP-23) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In recent a press release, the State department indicated that this participation aims “to protect U.S. interests and ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration.” And it added: “such participation will include ongoing negotiations related to guidance for implementing the Paris Agreement”. On June 1, however, the US president, Donald Trump announced his intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. But while he was in Paris during Bastille Day in july as a host of the French President Emmanuel Macron, he said during a press conference that “something can happen”. It means that there is a shift in the US position toward the Paris Accord. In the  press released , it mentionned that the US president “is open to re-engaging in the Paris Agreement if the United States can identify terms that are more favorable to it, its businesses, its workers, its people, and its taxpayers.” The US said its willing to find “a balanced approach to climate policy” and will promote economic growth and ensure energy security with various approaches. “ We will continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and technology breakthroughs, and work with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and deploy renewable and other clean energy sources,” related the press release. Achieving Power Africa Recently, the United States of America government led initiative, Power Africa, has released its annual report. Power Africa is the US initiative aims to electrify Africa with more than 150 public and private sector partners, dedicated to invest 54 billion US dollars to achieve Power Africa’s goals. Power Africa wants to increase installed generation capacity by 30,000 megawatts (MW) and adding 60 million new electricity connections by 2030. The 2017 report highlights how Power Africa has facilitated more than 10 million electrical connections for more than 50 million people in Africa through initiative such as Power Africa’s Women in African Power (WiAP) network. This report shows financing agreements which have generated more than 500 million US...

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Bénin : les ressources halieutiques en péril
Août24

Bénin : les ressources halieutiques en péril

Au Bénin, les pêcheurs sont désorientés. Dans certaines localités, cette activité professionnelle n’est plus la principale source de revenus. Reportage. Par Hippolyte AGOSSOU 24 août 2017 La pêche, source importante de devise, contribue au Produit Intérieur Brut (PIB) du Benin. D’après le dernier rapport de l’OCDE sur les perspectives de développement en Afrique, le secteur agricole dont la pêche représentait 23,5 pourcent du PIB du Bénin en 2016. En 2011, ce secteur représentait 25,6  pourcent du PIB. Principal raison de cette baisse : les changements climatiques. D’après la FAO, l’Afrique  fait partie des régions les plus vulnérables aux changements climatiques. L’Afrique, faible émetteur d’émission de gaz à effet de serre, est victime du réchauffement planétaire. Ces changements climatiques affectent la pêche et peuvent laisser craindre de potentielles crises de sécurité alimentaire. Au Bénin, la pêche génère près de 600 000 emplois direct et indirect au plan national, selon Eugène Dessouassi de la direction de pêches. Plusieurs familles vivent donc de ce secteur. La pénurie Ces dernières années, les ressources naturelles du Benin sont victimes des grandes mutations liées aux changements climatiques. Le réchauffement planétaire bouleverse les habitudes des professionnels du secteur agricole dont la pêche. Les pêcheurs ne vivent plus véritablement de leur activité. « Tout a changé : après six heures passées au large, la moisson est vraiment maigre, » témoigne Ayo*, un pêcheur d’une cinquantaine d’années  au port de pêche de Cotonou, la capitale économique du Bénin. Et de poursuivre : « Il y a vingt voire trente ans, il fallait juste se concentrer au large pendant deux heures et trente minutes et on avait des poissons à la sortie, mais aujourd’hui, c’est différent, il n’y a plus rien »précise-t-il en descendant de sa barque. Le poisson se fait rare à Cotonou et les recettes des pêcheurs le sont aussi. Trois autres hommes viennent d’accoster. Quelques minutes plus tard, c’est la panique : nombreuses sont les personnes à se disputer le rendement peu productif des pêcheurs. Ce n’est pas facile. D’année en année, ils se retrouvent face à une pénurie de plus en plus prononcée et sont  incapables de satisfaire leur clientèle. Le ton monte, la clientèle habituelle ne veut pas partir sans rien obtenir. Finalement, les fidèles sont servis. « Avant, nos prises atteignaient quinze tonnes et plus par jour, mais aujourd’hui revenir avec une tonne de poisson est un véritable parcours de combattant, » assure Agla, le président de la coopérative de pêcheurs. Les écailleuses souffrent elles aussi de cette pénurie de poissons. « Quand j’ai commencé à travailler ici, j’étais très jeune mais chaque soir je rentrais avec un minimum de seize milles franc CFA [25 euros], mais maintenant le maximum que je gagne par jour...

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Dr Richard Munang: “With EBAFOSA, everyone can be engaged in Africa”
Août15

Dr Richard Munang: “With EBAFOSA, everyone can be engaged in Africa”

Dr Richard Munang: “With EBAFOSA,everyone can be engaged in Africa” Currently the Africa Regional Climate Change Programme Coordinator of the UN Environment, Dr Richard Munang helps drive countries to implement the Paris Agreement and helping young people finding opportunities in green jobs. Presentation. By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache Dr Richard Munang is the Africa Regional Climate Change Programme Coordinator of the UN Environment for 8 years. He holds a PhD in Environmental Change and Policy from the University of Nottingham, in the United Kingdom. He also holds an Executive Certificate in Climate Change and Energy Policy Making from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, in the United States of America. In 2016, he received the prestigious African Environmental Hero award conferred by the International Environmental Roundtable for Africa for his leadership on environmental policies across the continent. His assignments “My main role is to help drive UNEP strategies on climate change in Africa, mostly in helping countries to implement the Paris Agreement, from the perspective of seeing climate action as social economic opportunity to address aspect on food security, create jobs and other opportunities as well as offsetting carbon and contributing to the resilience of ecosystem,”Dr Munang said recently. He is indeed coordinating the implementation of diverse projects in key economic sectors especially in agriculture, and in energy. From 2009 to 2012, he worked on coordinating a program called “climate change adaptation and development in Africa”. This project involved 11 countries.  Ghana, Togo, Senegal, Benin, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda were part of this project. “We have learned that there is no absence of action across the continent, but what has been the problem is that these actions are often isolated and not be brought together,” he explained. Dr. Munang launched  the first Africa Adaptation Gap Report which has helped to galvanize a coherent continental strategic climate policy position. Change the attitudes with EBAFOSA He is currently working on showing examples of adaptation projects in Africa, through the framework Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security in Africa Assembly: EBAFOSA. In 2015, indeed, the UN environment in collaboration with the African Union Commission and other partners created EBAFOSA. Today,  Dr Munang  mentors African youth: he gives them knowledge to solve Africa’s environmental and development challenges. He is working with 44 countries. “With EBAFOSA,everyone can be engaged in Africa: it is also an opportunity for young people, to develop mobile application in the agriculture value chain for instance,” he explained. For Dr Munang, Combining  Agriculture with Information Communication Technology (ICT) is the key for Africa Sustainable Development. After years of advocacy on adaptation to climate change in Africa, he  thinks that  institutions of higher...

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Le Congo-Brazzaville au secours des mangroves
Août09

Le Congo-Brazzaville au secours des mangroves

Le Congo-Brazzaville au secours des mangroves Menacées par des pressions industrielles et humaines, dans le département de Pointe-Noire, les mangroves tendent à disparaître. Face à cette destruction massive, les autorités ont décidé de mettre en œuvre le plan stratégique d’actions de protection sur cinq ans annoncé en 2016. Explications.   Par Marien Nzikou-Massala 10 août 2017 Durant les  vingt dernières années, la capitale économique de la République du Congo,  Pointe Noire, a vu se succéder de nombreux changements : urbanisation, explosion démographique et surtout développement technologique. Sans réelle protection des espaces naturels. D’après des experts, la forte présente humaine et son expansion a favorisé la destruction quasi-totale des écosystèmes de mangroves des sites de la Loya et de Mazra qui jadis faisaient la beauté des lieux et attiraient des visiteurs. Dans ses sites, tout a été presque détruit malgré quelques expériences timides de reboisement à Mazra. Une perte considérable Aujourd’hui, le département de Pointe-Noire a perdu presque la quasi-totalité de sa superficie de mangroves en deux décennies. En 2000 cette superficie s’étendait à 13 hectares au Nord de Pointe-Noire et à 506 hectares au Sud de Pointe-Noire. En 2014, elle a régressé de 449 hectares, d’après les études cartographiques du Centre National des Inventaires et d’Aménagement des Forets (CNIAF) au sud de Pointe-Noire. Principales raisons de cette dégradation avancées par des techniciens  de l’environnement : l’incohérence des  stratégies  politiques  institutionnelles et juridiques en matière de conversation et de conservation et de gestion de ces écosystèmes de mangroves, et exploitations massive du bois de chauffage. Pour freiner cette dégradation,  en 2016, le département de Pointe-Noire a annoncé la  mise en place d’un « plan d’action stratégique de restauration et d’utilisation durable des écosystèmes de mangroves et des zones humides associées » sur cinq ans. Mais, ce n’est que récemment que les autorités ont manifesté leur volonté  de mieux gérer les mangroves, forêts et zones côtières de ce pays d’Afrique Centrale, à ce plan d’Action En quoi consiste ce plan ? Ce plan est présenté comme un document de planification stratégique, avec   un programme d’actions à mener sur cinq ans  en vue d’assurer la gestion intégrée et durable des mangroves et d’autres zones humides associées et des forets côtières dans l’espace urbain. Principales mesures de prévention : le rétablissement des journées « «retroussons les manches ». Dans le cadre de ces journées, des activités de salubrité seront organisées pour améliorer la qualité de vie des populations dans la commune urbaine et prévenir les inondations. Pour les administrateurs de la ville de Pointe-Noire, ce plan est un outil opérationnel qui est mis à la disposition de la mairie afin de renforcer ses capacités dans les différents secteurs : assainissement urbain , lutte contre...

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