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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Investing in climate risk: the new strategy–Sovereign Wealth Funds
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Investing in climate risk: the new strategy–Sovereign Wealth Funds

  Investing in climate risk: the new strategy  -Sovereign Wealth Funds Six sovereign wealth funds which collectively represent more than USD 3 trillion in assets have committed to only invest in companies that factor climate risks into their strategies, thereby helping to achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache Given the size, long term investment horizons of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), and the financial risks posed to SWFs should warming exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, SWFs are in a unique position to both benefit from sustainable market outcomes and to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. The six funds are organized in the “One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Working Group,  established in December 2017 at the One Planet Summit in Paris, France. The working group consists of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Kuwait Investment Authority, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Norges Bank Investment Management of Norway, the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Qatar Investment Authority. In a joint statement from all 6 SWFs, they said that “By using the Framework, SWFs can reinforce their long-term value creation, improve their risk-return profile, and increase long-term portfolio resilience by factoring and integrating climate issues into their decision-making.” The framework The framework is based on three principals: alignment, ownership, and integration. Alignment of investment decisions with climate change conscientiousness includes the recommendation of public reporting on the alignment and the consideration that the financial risks from climate change may prevent SWFs from delivering the same returns in the future. The second principal of ownership encourages companies to take responsibility for climate change in their business strategy and planning, governance, and risk management. Companies are expected to understand the implications of their greenhouse gas emissions and take responsibility for reducing the emissions to levels agreed upon in the Paris Climate Agreement. SWFs are also encouraged in the framework to help companies understand the financial risks of climate change that the Paris Agreement seeks to address. Ownership also suggests that SWFs require companies to provide regular reporting of climate change related data according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. The third and final principal is the full integration of climate change related risk and investment opportunities into the SWF investment strategy. Funds should be managed according to the expected transition to a low carbon economy and include a focus on investment in climate change adaptation and mitigation to reduce investment risks. Climate change risk should also be considered in new investment decisions.  An investment that would increase greenhouse gas emissions and thus climate change will lead to greater risk in the...

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

    Reasons Why We Should Care About the Environment   The environment around us is an essential part of human survival. I like to believe that people who do not care about the environment, simply do not understand how important it is to all of us and that it does not affect them directly, these are my reasons you should be concerned about the environment. A Clean Environment Is Essential for Healthy Living: The more you don’t care about our environment, the more it will become polluted with contaminants and toxins that have a harmful impact on our health. Air pollution can cause respiratory diseases and cancer, among other problems and diseases. Water pollution can lead to typhoid, diarrheal diseases, and another one. The local authorities have to promote care the environment.   Earth Is Warming: For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. Now it not possible to ignore that.   Your Great-Great & Great-Great-Great Grandchildren Will Appreciate It: But there must be the look ahead, there must be a realization of the fact that to waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness.   Biodiversity Is Important: Biodiversity refers to the variety of plants, animals, and other living things in our world. it can be negatively influenced by habitat loss and degradation due to human activity, climate change, and pollution, among other things. Earth Is Our Home: It’s where we live, so we better take care of it. For sure we could be better person if we help with small things for our home, this planet the only that we have now.   What Can We Do? The problems we are facing now are tough. However, the good news is that, you don’t have to be an expert or a millionaire to save the Planet – everyone can help to do their bit for the environment. In other words, if each of us can be more conscious of environmental issues and willing to take some simple steps to save the Planet, we can make a huge contribution. Nowadays, with increasing environmental awareness among the public, people around the world are coming together to fight for a greener future, and the effort has achieved great results. As a pioneering member of environmental advocacy community, Better World International is always committed to improve and take care of our surrounding environment, by providing practical tips to its members on the things they can do to live more...

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Climate Week: Climate and Sustainable development actions: A key for Africa
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Climate Week: Climate and Sustainable development actions: A key for Africa

Climate Week: Climate and Sustainable development actions: A key for Africa   Some 800 delegates from 59 countries, including ministers and other high-level government and international officials, together with non-state delegates, offered their insights into the challenges and possible responses to climate change, and harvested those insights for consideration in the official international climate negotiation process. Explanation. By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache with UNFCCC   The collecting of views – under the banner of the year-long Talanoa Dialogue launched at negotiations in Bonn, Germany, in November 2017 – was a key part of Africa Climate Week that just concluded in Nairobi (Kenya). During this Africa Climate Week, co-organized with the African Development Bank and member of the Nairobi Framework Partnership ( NFP), from 9th to 13th April in Nairobi ( Kenya), some 800 delegates from 59 countries, including ministers and other high level expressed their responses to the threat of climate change, and harvested other insights for consideration in the official international climate negotiations process.  Action on climate change and sustainable development together are the keys for the development of Africa. The Nairobi Framework Partnership (NFP) is celebrating this year its 10th anniversary, as is the Africa Carbon Forum, which was launched by NFP to spur investment in climate action through carbon markets, mechanisms and finance. The NFP members include: the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Emissions Trading Association, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UNEP DTU Partnership, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, United Nations Development Programme, UN Climate Change, and World Bank Group. Cooperating organizations include: Africa Low Emission Development Partnership, Climate Markets and Investment Association, Development Bank of Latin America, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Inter-American Development Bank, Latin American Energy Organization and West African Development Bank. What was their messages exactly? At the first regional Talanoa event since the launch in Bonn, delegates distilled their deliberations into key messages: Finance – Public finance must be instrumental in unlocking private finance Markets – Carbon markets are about doing more together, and doing more with less Energy – Energy is a high priority, affecting everything. Financial instruments should be put in place to de-risk investment and enhance involvement in smaller and medium-sized enterprises Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Achieving the SDGs, including the climate one is the only way forward Technology – Businesses are ready to pick up new technology solutions, provided there is a good business case. The voice of the private sector is needed now more than ever. “We are engaged across most of the Sustainable Development Goals and clearly focusing on how to create synergy between the different goals and especially with the climate goal, which is...

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