Stories written by Friday Phiri

Money Grows on Trees–Don’t Uproot Them

Jennifer Handondo, a small scale farmer of Choma district in southern Zambia, plants food crops such as maize mostly for her family’s needs. Because of uncharacteristically high temperatures and low rainfall during the rainy season in March, the divorced mother who single-handedly supports her three children, has not been able to harvest as much as she usually does. So she has diversified into selling seedlings of neem, Moringa and other medicinal trees.

Indigenous Rights Approach a Solution to Climate Change Crisis

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) was held in Bonn, Germany to rally behind a new approach to achieving a future that is more inclusive and sustainable than the present – through the establishment of secure and proper rights for all.

Improving the Lives of Millions of Mothers and Children

It is slightly after 3pm on a hot Wednesday afternoon in Chipata district, eastern Zambia, and a group of women are gathering for a meeting. It is Elizabeth Tembo’s turn to stand amongst the other mothers like herself and share key lessons on nutrition.

U.N. Remains Defiant Amid Last Minute U-turns on Global Compact for Migration

Amidst negative sentiments and last-minute withdrawals from the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) by some member countries, the United Nations says the regrettable decisions are being fuelled by misinformation.

Supporting Morocco’s Quest to Close USD24 Billion Green Investment Gap

Science has increasingly made it clear that the world is on an unsustainable growth model where economic development is occurring at the expense of the environment. The need for a well-balanced approach has therefore become a necessity rather than a luxury.

Africa Remains Resolute Heading to COP 24

In December 2015, nations of the world took a giant step to combat climate change through the landmark Paris Agreement. But African experts who met in Nairobi, Kenya at last week’s Seventh Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA VII) say the rise of far-right wing and nationalist movements in the West are threatening the collapse of the agreement.

Climate Change Becomes a Reality Check for the North

“This season, the month of May was particularly hot and dry,” says Leo De Jong, a commercial farmer in Zeewolde, in Flevopolder, the Netherlands. Flevopolder is in the province of Flevoland, the largest site of land reclamation in the world. Here a hectare of land costs up to 100,000 Euros. “At the moment, we are spending between 20,000 and 25,000 Euros per week on irrigation.”

How Accurate Information About the Weather is Yielding Resilience for Zambia’s Smallholders

Just having better information about when and for how long it will rain is proving the difference between success and failure among smallholder farmers in southern Zambia. Empowered with timely information about the weather ahead of the 2017/18 farming season, 56-year-old Fainess Muzyamba of Pemba district ditched her traditional maize crop for sweet potatoes.

Unlocking Private Finance for Developing Countries’ Green Growth

Climate finance has never been more urgently needed, with massive investments in climate action required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and avoid the devastating effects of a warmer planet.

Climate Finance: The Paris Agreement’s “Lifeblood”

As negotiators concluded ten days of climate talks in Bonn last week, climate finance was underlined as a key element without which the Paris Agreement’s operational guidelines would be meaningless.

Leading from the Front: Zambia Launches Plant a Million Trees Initiative

As global climate experts meet in Bonn this week to discuss how to take climate action forward, Zambia counts itself amongst the leaders as President Edgar Lungu officially launches the Plant a Million (PAM) trees Initiative.

Over to You, Children! Zambia’s ‘Plant a Million Trees’ Takes Root

Trees are a vital component in the ecosystem—they not only give oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give refuge to wildlife, but also provide materials for tools, shelter and ultimately, food for both animals and human beings.

Village Savings: Helping Small Farmers Weather Climate Shocks

In the past, Lameck Sibukale only knew savings in the form of rearing chickens, goats and more importantly, cattle—a long cherished cultural heritage of the Tonga-speaking people of southern Zambia.

Long Maligned for Deforestation, Charcoal Emerges from the Shadows

“We have various financial obligations that push us to charcoal making. Top on the list is farming inputs and school fees,” explains Arclay Moonga, a charcoal producer and chairperson of the recently formed Choma District Charcoal Association in Southern Zambia.

Economic Development vs. Climate Action: Rebutting Deniers and Wafflers

As negotiators meet in Bonn to put together a deal to implement the Paris Agreement, John Holdren, a professor of environmental policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, stressed that economic development and climate change mitigation and adaptation are not ‘either-or’ but must be pursued together.

Conservation Agriculture: Zambia’s Double-edged Sword against Climate Change and Hunger

As governments gather in Bonn, Germany for the next two weeks to hammer out a blueprint for implementation of the global climate change treaty signed in Paris in 2015, a major focus will be on emissions reductions to keep the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C by 2020.

Improved Fish Processing Brings Dramatic Gains for Women

Fishing is the capture of aquatic organisms in marine, coastal and inland areas. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), marine and inland fisheries, together with aquaculture, provide food, nutrition and a source of income to 820 million people around the world, from harvesting, processing, marketing and distribution. For many, it also forms part of their traditional cultural identity.

U.S. “Dumping” Dark Meat Chicken on African Markets

The United States and Europe’s preference for white meat is hurting Africa’s poultry industry, says Luc Smalle, manager at the agro firm Rossgro in South Africa’s Mpumalanga area.

Insurance: A Valuable Incentive for Small Farmers’ Climate Resilience

Frequent extreme weather and climate shifts pose a challenge to already vulnerable groups such as smallholder farmers in the developing world. Between 2004 and 2014, farmers are said to have endured the brunt of the 100-billion-dollar cost of climate-related disasters.

Growing Unemployed Youth in Africa a Time Bomb, But…

There are nearly 420 million young Africans between the ages of 15 and 35 today. And it is estimated that within ten years, Africa will be home to one-fifth of all young people worldwide.

Nutrition Key to Developing Africa’s “Grey Matter Infrastructure”

Developing Africa’s ‘grey matter infrastructure’ through multi-sector investments in nutrition has been identified as a game changer for Africa’s sustainable development.

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