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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Nigeria-climate action : “We can all make a difference to climate change”- Olumide Idowu* 
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Nigeria-climate action : “We can all make a difference to climate change”- Olumide Idowu* 

Nigeria-climate action : “We can all make a difference to climate change”- Olumide Idowu*   Column   Changing our lifestyle It is easy to get disheartened or fearful about climate change. Climate change in Nigeria is principally a major problem caused by the increase of human activities if you like, call it human mismanagement of the earth leading to several direct and indirect impacts on health. These climatic changes have wide-range harmful effects including increase in heat-related mortality, dehydration, spread of infectious diseases, malnutrition, damage to public health infrastructure. If we continue as we are now, the effects of global warming around the world could be catastrophic. Some aspects of climate change may already be irreversible. Yet many scientists believe that by taking positive action now, it is possible to slow the pace of climate change and reduce further global warming. Changing our lifestyle and our behaviour will help reduce the human impact on the environment. We can all make a difference to climate change. Here are some suggestions for a healthier, more sustainable approach to living in our environment in Nigeria. Reduce Car Emissions: Leave the car in the garage and walk or cycle for short trips; Use public transport; Keep your car tyres inflated to the recommended pressure; Drive slowly and smoothly; Car-pool with workmates.   Reduce Energy Expenditure in your Home: Turn off lights and appliances when not in use; Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs; Insulate your home and reduce your heating and cooling bills; Install a water-saving showerhead and take shorter showers; Dry your clothes outside on the line rather than in the clothes dryer; Switch to ‘green energy’ for your electricity needs.   Reduce your ‘Carbon Footprint’ When you Shop: Buy local and seasonal food produce to reduce energy use in transport and storage; Buy items with minimal packaging whenever possible; If you buy new items, make sure they are made from sustainable, low-impact materials; Buy secondhand rather than new – from op shops, garage sales or over the Internet.   Recycle Waste and Reuse Pre-Loved Items: Recycle as much of your rubbish as you can; Compost vegetable scraps; ‘Detox your home’ – dispose of unwanted chemicals safely rather than pouring them down the sink or putting them in the rubbish bin; Be creative in finding new uses for ‘found’ or pre-loved objects.   Longer term choices that help the Environment: Buy energy efficient household appliances; Install a solar-powered hot water system; Install rainwater tanks; Buy a more fuel-efficient car or think about not owning a car – perhaps you can share one; Move to an area where your workplace, shops...

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World Environment day: ” We must not let education become the forgotten casualty of climate change”-Silas Lwakabamba
Juin05

World Environment day: ” We must not let education become the forgotten casualty of climate change”-Silas Lwakabamba

World Environment day: “We must not let education become the forgotten casualty of climate change”-Silas Lwakabamba*   On World Environment Day, there are plenty of words spoken about the obvious damage being wreaked by climate change – the chaos of hurricanes, wild fires and melting polar ice caps is there for all to see. But there’s another more hidden casualty of this new world of rising temperatures, drought, and increased natural disasters:  the education of our young people. At the simplest level, the wilder weather that we’re already seeing means children are prevented from getting to school. Hurricanes Irma and Harvey meant 1.7 millionUS students were temporarily unable to go to school last year – and officials in Puerto Rico have also recently announced plans to close over 280 schools following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria. “Climate change is compounding educational inequalities that already exist” In wealthier nations, the damage caused by the increasing occurrence of extreme weather events more often than not tends to cause temporary disruption to children’s education.  But in poorer countries, the consequences can be far more long lasting. Buildings and infrastructure can take months or years to rebuild, with devastating implications for learning. Girls are most likely to be taken out of school in the wake of climate-related shocks, as was found in studies in Pakistan and Uganda after natural disasters there. So, indirectly, climate change is compounding educational inequalities that already exist. But the hardest hit parts of the world are those where universal education is still denied millions and Sub-Saharan Africa is on the front lines. Adult literacyrates are around 65%, compared to a global average of 86%. Here, over a fifth of childrenaged 6-11 are out of school, and a third of those aged 12-14. In Rwanda, we know the devastating impact of being forced from one’s home can have on a child’s education. But the big refugee crises of the future will not just be driven by war, but by the environment, with experts warning tens of millionsare likely to be displaced in the next decade by droughts and crop failures brought about by climate change.  What’s more, rising temperatures are predicted to result in the spread of lethal diseases. It is thought that a 2°C rise in temperatures could lead to an additional 40-60 million people in Africa being exposed to malaria. The disease is already one of the most significant factors in student absenteeism on the continent, with estimates ranging from 13 – 50%depending on the region.  Environmental changes are diminishing children’s education in other ways too. Malnourishmentdirectly affects children’s ability to learn. The World Food Programme has identified hunger and malnutrition as one of the most significant impacts of...

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Tanzania –Natural Resources: “ Communities  must know their rights and obligations”- Report
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Tanzania –Natural Resources: “ Communities  must know their rights and obligations”- Report

Tanzania –Natural Resources: “ Communities  must know their rights and obligations”- Report   In a recent workshop held in Dar es Salaam ( Tanzania), experts discussed the recent publication  of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance Tenure. Feature.   By Deodatus Mfugale in Dar Es Salaam “Inadequate and insecure tenure rights increase vulnerability, hunger and poverty and can lead to conflict and environmental degradation when competing users fight for the control of the resources,”  an  UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), published recently.   The eradication of hunger and poverty, and the sustainable use of the environment, depend to a great extent on how communities gain access to land, fisheries and forests which in turn is regulated by the exiting tenure systems. Tenure systems define and regulate how communities gain access to natural resources, whether through formal law or informal arrangements.   However tenure systems increasingly face stress as the world’s growing population requires food security, and as environmental degradation and climate change reduces the availability of land, fisheries and forests. This has sparked stiff competition for resources among the various users with marginalized communities getting a raw deal. Many developing countries are endowed with abundant natural resources that could be used to improve the lives of their people and boost the economy of the respective countries. Countries with natural resources like forests, land, fisheries and wildlife could be treading with firm steps on the path to sustainable development but are struggling to feed their people most of whom live in abject poverty. Governance failure in ensuring secure tenure and access to natural resources has denied Tanzanian rural communities from benefitting from existing sources of livelihoods. They have thus failed to attain food security and reduce poverty at family level. How to understand the management of natural resources?  In a recent workshop held in Dar es Salaam to discuss the report, Dr Zacharia Ngeleja of Ardhi University said that the Guidelines contribute to achieving sustainable livelihoods, social stability, housing security, rural development, environmental protection and sustainable social and economic development. While the Voluntary Guidelines merely present principles and internationally accepted standards for practices for the responsible governance of tenure, countries can develop their own strategies and other conditions that may ease the application of the Guidelines. During the workshop participants underscored the need to educate communities on laws, policies, rules and procedures governing tenure of land, forests and fisheries so that they understand their rights and obligations. “If they understand the issues then they can demand for tangible benefits from their responsibility to conserve natural resources and only then can Responsible Governance of Tenure come into play. It...

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African Climate Talks II: Africa needs to act urgently
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African Climate Talks II: Africa needs to act urgently

African Climate Talks II: Africa needs to act urgently By Olumide Idowu* Participants attending the African Climate Talks II (ACT-II) in Addis Ababa ( Ethiopia) in March,  called Africa to change how it does business to reap the benefits of the Paris Agreement. Attending the two-day talks last month called “Market policy versus market mechanisms in the implementation of the Paris Agreement”, speakers asked for an urgent shift in how the continent will forge ahead to escape the consequences of climate change. Ambassador Lumumba Di-Aping, from South Sudan and former chair of the G77 called for strengthening of the current regime, noting that the current Paris Agreement is fundamentally flawed and inadequate. “The agreement will be the main basis for multilateral cooperation during the first period of commitments (2020-2030). The African Continent in this new architecture is tragically weaker than even before,” Di-Aping said. He urged Africa to reinvent itself consistently through science. “We must think “out of the box” to build the framework for a more effective effort from 2025 onwards – one consistent with Africa’s survival and prosperity,” he said. Dr James Murombedzi, the Officer in Charge of the Africa Climate Centre Policy (ACPC) noted that the continent needs to invest in strong evidence based African narrative. “This narrative should have a science, research and policy interface. We also should invest in informed societies that participate in the shaping of policies and strengthen capacities of countries,” Murombedzi said. “The temperatures are rising and Africa is suffering. Let us unite to save our continent. Let us develop sustainable ways of dealing with climate change,” Woldu said. Di-Aping noted that Africa must move beyond the old dichotomy of “mitigation and adaptation.” “We must look at each sector – agriculture, industry etc – and focus on integrating climate considerations into wider industrial and development planning in an integrated way. The climate regime must focus not just on “emissions reductions” but on the real solutions needed to achieve them,” Di-Aping said. He urged for negotiations which provide a space where these with problems, with solutions and with money, can meet as part of a structured process. “We need to make the UNFCCC more relevant to the real world.  The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative is to be commended as an important step in the energy sector – we need matching initiatives in each other sector,” he said. “Let us think about the financial sector and financial instruments and engineering. If we need a major plan to address 1.50C, the question arises how to fund it. Clearly the $10 billion in the GCF will not be enough; and developed countries have no intention...

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Bénin : L’adaptation au cœur des solutions
Mar24

Bénin : L’adaptation au cœur des solutions

Bénin : L’adaptation au cœur des solutions   Un financement français de 58 millions d’euros vient d’être octroyé au Bénin. Son objectif : permettre à la population de lutter contre les changements climatiques. Explications. Par Hippolyte AGOSSOU     Le 5 mars dernier, le Benin a signé une convention de financement avec l’Agence Française de Développement. Cette convention d’un montant de 58 millions d’euros a pour objectif d’aider à la mise en place du projet d’Adaptation des Villes aux Changements Climatiques. Le projet d’Adaptation des Villes aux Changements Climatiques (PAVIC) est une des composantes préétablie dans le plan d’Action du gouvernement pour aider, par des outils spécifiques, les villes à s’adapter aux conséquences des changements climatiques dans le domaine de l’agriculture, de l’industrie, de la pêche notamment. Son ambition : accompagner un changement de mentalités afin de protéger les zones sensibles et inondables et soutenant des activités qui respectent l’environnement. Autres mission : renforcer les capacités des acteurs locaux des territoires urbains pour faire face aux aléas climatiques en améliorant  leur résilience et en permettant au Bénin de faire face de manière stratégique aux changements climatiques.   « Cet appui important du gouvernement français aidera le Bénin à atteindre les objectifs fixés dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre de ce projet contenu dans le Plan d’Action du Gouvernement du Président Patrice TALON, »  a indiqué le ministre béninois du cadre de vie José Didier TONATO. Quatre villes vont bénéficier du programme : Bohicon, Comé, Cotonou et Sèmè-Podji. L’Afrique est considérée comme l’un des continents les plus vulnérables au changement climatique. La plupart des pays africains comme le Bénin témoignent vraisemblablement de grande difficultés à s’adapter aux effets de cette mutations environnementale. De fait,  les autorités béninoises en charge du cadre de vie multiplient les actions pour identifier de potentiels partenaires pouvant les aider  techniquement et financièrement dans le processus d’adaption des populations. La France est considérée comme un des partenaires privilégiés du Bénin.  ...

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