Inter Press ServiceIPS Correspondents – Inter Press Service http://www.ipsnews.net News and Views from the Global South Sat, 24 Feb 2018 03:16:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.5 Climate: Strong Commitment and New Global Action on Water Scarcityhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2016/11/climate-strong-commitment-and-new-global-action-on-water-scarcity/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=climate-strong-commitment-and-new-global-action-on-water-scarcity http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/11/climate-strong-commitment-and-new-global-action-on-water-scarcity/#respond Mon, 21 Nov 2016 05:08:34 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=147858 “No country, irrespective of its size or strength, is immune from the impacts of climate change, and no country can afford to tackle the climate challenge alone.” With this warning, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, commented on the final conclusions reached at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 22) –which was held in […]

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A farmer transporting hay to Tera weekly market, Tera, Bajirga, Niger. Credit: FAO

By IPS Correspondents
MARRAKESH, Morocco, Nov 21 2016 (IPS)

“No country, irrespective of its size or strength, is immune from the impacts of climate change, and no country can afford to tackle the climate challenge alone.”

With this warning, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, commented on the final conclusions reached at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 22) –which was held in Marrakech, Morocco on Nov. 7-18– to move forward on the implementation of the Paris Agreement that entered into force November 4.

In the Marrakech Action Proclamation, State Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) affirmed their strong “commitment” to the “full implementation” of the Paris Agreement.

They also welcomed the “extraordinary momentum on climate change worldwide,” as of Friday 18 November, 111 countries have ratified the Agreement.

Last December at the previous Conference, known as COP 21, 196 Parties to the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement, so-named after the French capital where it was approved.

It aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. "Water scarcity - already a major global issue - will intensify with climate change and pressures linked to population growth," FAO

“This momentum is irreversible – it is being driven not only by governments, but by science, business and global action of all types at all levels,” adds the Marrakech Proclamation.

“Our task now is to rapidly build on that momentum, together, moving forward purposefully to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to foster adaptation efforts, thereby benefiting and supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Negotiations between State-Parties concluded on Nov. 18 night. Governments set a rapid deadline of 2018 to complete the rulebook for “operationalizing” the Paris Agreement to ensure confidence, cooperation and its success over the years and decades to come.

In the Marrakech Proclamation, developed country reaffirmed their 100 billion dollars mobilisation goal per year by 2020 to support climate action by developing countries. All countries also called on all non-state actors to join them “for immediate and ambitious action and mobilisation, building on their important achievements.”

On Nov.17, the Conference launched the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action Agenda to further scale up cooperative efforts in which businesses, sub-national and local governments and civil society team up with national governments to promote low-emission and resilient development.

“Scale up Action, Rapidly”

“The world must rapidly move to scale up actions and ambitions on climate change,” said for his part José Graziano da Silva, Director-General the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) during the Marrakech summit.

Southern Madagascar has been hit by consecutive droughts. Credit: FAO

Southern Madagascar has been hit by consecutive droughts. Credit: FAO

Speaking on Nov. 16 at a high-level action day on agriculture and food security, he noted that climate change impacts on agriculture – including crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries, land and water – are already undermining global efforts to assure food security and nutrition.

“And the rural poor are the most affected.”

With over 90 per cent of countries referring to the important role of agriculture in their national plans to adapt to and mitigate climate change, Graziano da Silva stressed, “it is time to invest in sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture as a fundamental part of the climate solution.”

Although agriculture contributes to nearly 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, it is a fundamental part of the solution to boost resilience and combat climate change impacts – especially in developing countries where agriculture is often the backbone of the economy.

Boosting agriculture can reduce malnutrition and poverty, create economic opportunities, and generate faster, fairer growth especially for young people. Sustainable agriculture also improves the management of natural resources such as water; conserves biodiversity and ecosystem services; and increases carbon sequestration while easing the pressures that drive deforestation.

“We have to transform agriculture to make it more productive and more resilient at the same time. This transformation will help to address, at the same time, the triple threat of hunger, poverty and climate change,” Graziano da Silva said. “Countries are recognizing this potential with unprecedented commitments.”

Scaling up international flows of climate finance and unlocking additional investment in adaptation in agricultural sectors is needed to give traction to the action, he added.

Water Scarcity, the Big Challenge

In a bid to tackle the impact of global water scarcity, FAO on Nov. 18 launched the Global Framework for Action to Cope with Water Scarcity in Agriculture in the Context of Climate Change.

Water scarcity – already a major global issue – will intensify with climate change and pressures linked to population growth.

“From California to China’s eastern provinces and from Jordan to the southern tip of Africa, an estimated four billion people – almost two-thirds of the global population – live with severe water shortages for at least some of the time.” Water scarcity “is one of the main challenges for sustainable agriculture,” Graziano da Silva said.

At another high-profile side event, he hailed the timely launch of the Initiative in Favor for the Adaptation of African Agriculture, which is the Kingdom of Morocco’s flagship programme and has been endorsed by 27 countries so far.

The so-called Triple A “will drive action in precisely the areas we need to transform the agriculture sectors” – sustainable land and soil management, better water management and comprehensive climate risk management – and FAO will collaborate strongly to scale up the initiative.

“That will require larger climate finance flows for adaptation, and for agriculture in particular, Graziano da Silva added, noting that currently only two per cent of climate finance is being directed at the agriculture sector. “That is extremely low, and quite below our needs,” he said.

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Mideast: ‘Climate Change Will Make a Difficult Situation Much Worse’http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/11/mideast-climate-change-will-make-a-difficult-situation-much-worse/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mideast-climate-change-will-make-a-difficult-situation-much-worse http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/11/mideast-climate-change-will-make-a-difficult-situation-much-worse/#respond Thu, 17 Nov 2016 13:56:31 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=147822 “Climate change will make a difficult situation much worse, and will affect millions of people in the Middle East and North Africa region,” World Bank MENA Vice-President Hafez Ghanem stated at the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech, Morocco on 7-18 November. Aware of their vulnerabilities […]

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Men from the Koloma IDP camp in Goz Beida, Eastern Chad, build a shelter for a generator that the community has purchased in order to pump water through a water system built by Oxfam and handed over to the IDP committee in 2012. Credit: OCHA/Pierre Peron

By IPS Correspondents
MARRAKECH, Morocco, Nov 17 2016 (IPS)

“Climate change will make a difficult situation much worse, and will affect millions of people in the Middle East and North Africa region,” World Bank MENA Vice-President Hafez Ghanem stated at the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech, Morocco on 7-18 November.

Aware of their vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change, countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have begun taking action to confront the phenomenon and today, several highlighted their initiatives at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech, Morocco, known as COP 22.

Agriculture in the MENA region is especially vulnerable to changes in temperature and precipitation. As global temperatures rise, they will rise even faster in MENA, causing more frequent and severe droughts.

The 2015 drought in Morocco destroyed more than half the wheat harvest and led to a 1.5 per cent drop in the country’s Gross Domestic Output.

During a panel discussion on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Initiative on Climate Resilience at COP 22 on November 11, Saudi Arabia’s Chief Climate Negotiator, Khalid Abuleif, said that the region “is going to see a lot of challenges from an ecosystem point of view and from a socio-economic point of view.” The challenge is not only about reducing gas emissions but also about raising “our resilience.”

Abuleif stressed that as Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy, any new sector will be put under regulations that will address sustainability and climate resilience.

He added that his country is focusing especially on water management, “making sure we are using water in a sustainable manner,” and on the protection of coastal zones.

Tunisia has announced a 41 per cent emission reduction by 2030. Most importantly, 13 per cent will be based on national efforts, while the rest will come from support provided by the international community.

Country Flags outside the UN COP22 venue in Marrakech, Morocco. Photo: UNFCCC

Country Flags outside the UN COP22 venue in Marrakech, Morocco. Photo: UNFCCC


A week after COP 22 concludes, Tunisia will host an international investment conference (29-30 November) to mobilize 2.4 billion dollars, 40 per cent of which will be allocated to projects pertaining to the ‘green economy,’ with a focus on renewable energy.

In Morocco, to meet the country’s commitments on climate action, the “Bank Al Maghrib” (Central Bank of Morocco) recently unveiled the road map of the Moroccan financial sector in climate financing.

The country has also taken steps to adapt its agriculture, with better water management and more climate-resistant crops, while also lowering its emissions by eliminating most energy subsidies and with the construction of the large solar plant in Ouarzazate, World Bank senior official Hafez Ghanem noted.

“This is the kind of comprehensive climate action we will support across the region, with a special focus on the poorest and most vulnerable,” he added.

The World Bank Group announced on November 15 a new plan to ramp up support for countries in the MENA region by nearly doubling the portion of Bank financing dedicated to climate action, taking it to around 1.5 billion dollars per year by 2020.

The plan focuses on four priorities: food and water security; sustainable cities adapted to new climate conditions; the transition to low-carbon energy; and the protection of the poorest that are most exposed to the impacts of climate change.

The Marrakech Conference follows the adoption by 196 UNFCCC States Parties last December, of the Paris Agreement, so-named after the French capital where it was approved, which aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The Agreement entered into force in time for COP 22, which has been under way since 7 November. Before the meeting wraps up on18 November, parties hope to define the rules of implementation of the Paris Agreement and establish a viable plan to provide financial support to developing countries to support climate action.

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1 in 3 Europeans Believe Their Lawmakers and Officials Are Highly Corrupthttp://www.ipsnews.net/2016/11/1-in-3-europeans-believe-their-lawmakers-and-officials-are-highly-corrupt/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=1-in-3-europeans-believe-their-lawmakers-and-officials-are-highly-corrupt http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/11/1-in-3-europeans-believe-their-lawmakers-and-officials-are-highly-corrupt/#respond Wed, 16 Nov 2016 14:38:06 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=147790 One in three people living in Europe and Central Asia think that corruption is one of the biggest problems facing their country, a figure that rises to two in three in Spain, Moldova and Kosovo, showing that urgent action against the abuse of power and secret deals is needed. These are some of the key […]

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Credit: Transparency International

By IPS Correspondents
BERLIN, Nov 16 2016 (IPS)

One in three people living in Europe and Central Asia think that corruption is one of the biggest problems facing their country, a figure that rises to two in three in Spain, Moldova and Kosovo, showing that urgent action against the abuse of power and secret deals is needed.

These are some of the key findings that Transparency International (TI) has revealed in a new report, which adds that a nearly a third of citizens across Europe and Central Asia believe that their government officials and lawmakers are highly corrupt. A majority of people say their governments are not doing enough to stop corruption.

Over half the people in European Union (EU) countries (53 per cent), EU accession candidate countries (53 per cent) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), mainly former Soviet Union countries, (56 per cent) said their governments had failed to curb corruption, according to the TI new report People and Corruption: Europe and Central Asia.

The governments of Ukraine (86 per cent), Moldova (84 per cent), Bosnia and Herzegovina (82 per cent), and Spain (80 per cent) were judged worst by their citizens, adds the report, which was released on November 16.

Transparency International spoke to nearly 60,000 citizens in 42 countries in Europe and Central Asia on their experiences with corruption in their daily lives for its, which is part of the Global Corruption Barometer 2016 series.

On average, it adds one in six households paid a bribe when they accessed public services. Although fewer households paid bribes for public services in many EU member states, rates were significantly higher further east; the highest rates were in Tajikistan (50 per cent), Moldova (42 per cent), Azerbaijan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Ukraine (38 per cent), and Russia (34 per cent), says TI.

Romania had the highest rate for a EU member state at 29 per cent, followed by Lithuania with 24 per cent.

In the richest countries, it adds, almost two out of three people (65 per cent) believe the wealthy have too much influence on policy compared to 44 per cent in the EU accession countries and 46 per cent in CIS countries.

In Spain, 88 per cent of people said wealthy individuals had undue influence over government decisions; in Portugal, it was 85 per cent, in France 79 per cent, in Germany and the United Kingdom 77 per cent.

“Corruption is a significant problem all across the Europe and Central Asia region. In EU countries many citizens see how the wealthy and those in government distort the system to their advantage,” said José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International.

“Governments are simply not doing enough to tackle corruption because individuals at the top are benefiting. To end this deeply troubling relationship between wealth, power and corruption, governments must require higher levels of transparency, including around who owns and controls companies through public beneficial ownership registries.”

“By their very positions at the top of the power pyramid, corrupt elites and oligarchs are hard to remove. But we have seen that it can be done if people stand together to demand higher standards from their leaders and the judiciary acts independently to hold them to account,” said Ugaz.

Yet one key stumbling block to fighting corruption is the lack of protection for those who speak up against it, the Berlin-based organisation says.

“And 30 per cent of all those questioned across Europe and Central Asia said that the main reason more people don’t report cases of corruption is because they fear the consequences. Two out of five who blew the whistle suffered retaliation as a result.”

Fear of Speaking Out

There is also a stigma attached to speaking out, according to the new report. Particularly in CIS countries, only a quarter of people think that reporting corruption was socially acceptable (27 per cent).

“Few citizens feel empowered to help stop corruption in their country: Less than half of people (47 per cent) in EU countries feel that they can make a difference in the fight against corruption, and this falls to less than a third (31 per cent) in CIS countries.”

Transparency International makes four key recommendations to reduce political corruption and help people speak up without fear of retaliation. Governments across Europe and Central Asia should:
• Have transparent rules on lobbying and a public lobbying register, so that policy decisions can be better scrutinised.

• Ensure the independence of the judiciary, particularly in EU accession and CIS countries, by reducing the influence of the executive over the judiciary and prosecutorial services and including transparent and objective systems for the appointment, transferral and dismissal of judges and prosecutors.

• Adopt and enforce comprehensive legislation to protect whistle-blowers.

• Support whistle-blowers and reporters of corruption and ensure appropriate follow-up to their disclosures.

Transparency International is a global movement working for a world free of corruption. Through chapters in more than 100 countries and an international secretariat in Berlin, it works together with governments, businesses and citizens to stop the abuse of power, bribery and secret deals.

For a downloadable map showing bribery rates across Europe and Central Asia, click here. To see the previous reports on Africa and the Middle East and North Africa click here and here. Reports on the Americas and Asia Pacific are upcoming in 2017.

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Asia, Looking Beyond the Green Revolutionhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2016/08/asia-looking-beyond-the-green-revolution/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=asia-looking-beyond-the-green-revolution http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/08/asia-looking-beyond-the-green-revolution/#respond Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:23:58 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=146661 More than 2.2 billion people in Asia rely on agriculture for their livelihoods, but the Asian Development Bank warns that stagnant and declining yields of major crops such as rice and wheat can be ultimately linked to declining investments in agriculture. Public investments in agriculture in India, for instance, have been roughly the same since […]

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About 296 million acres of Indian farmland are degraded, while some 200 million people are dependent on this land for their sustenance. In recent years, FAO support for rural livelihoods and sustainable management of water, soil and other natural resources have occupied centre stage in India, followed by crops and livestock, food security information systems and fisheries. Credit: Stella Paul/IPS

About 296 million acres of Indian farmland are degraded, while some 200 million people are dependent on this land for their sustenance. In recent years, FAO support for rural livelihoods and sustainable management of water, soil and other natural resources have occupied centre stage in India, followed by crops and livestock, food security information systems and fisheries. Credit: Stella Paul/IPS

By IPS Correspondents
Aug 24 2016 (IPS)

More than 2.2 billion people in Asia rely on agriculture for their livelihoods, but the Asian Development Bank warns that stagnant and declining yields of major crops such as rice and wheat can be ultimately linked to declining investments in agriculture. Public investments in agriculture in India, for instance, have been roughly the same since 2004.

In most Asian countries, agriculture is the biggest user of water and can reach up to 90 percent of total water consumption – a fact that must be addressed as this critical resource comes under increasing strain from climate change, development and population growth.

The vision of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) office in Bangkok is a food-secure Asia and the Pacific region, helping to halve the number of undernourished people in the region by raising agricultural productivity and alleviating poverty while protecting the region’s natural resources base.

About 296 million acres of Indian farmland are degraded, while some 200 million people are dependent on this land for their sustenance. In recent years, FAO support for rural livelihoods and sustainable management of water, soil and other natural resources have occupied centre stage in India, followed by crops and livestock, food security information systems and fisheries. Credit: Stella Paul/IPS

About 296 million acres of Indian farmland are degraded, while some 200 million people are dependent on this land for their sustenance. In recent years, FAO support for rural livelihoods and sustainable management of water, soil and other natural resources have occupied centre stage in India, followed by crops and livestock, food security information systems and fisheries. Credit: Stella Paul/IPS

Zainab Samo, along with her son and daughter, planting a lemon seedling on her farm in Oan village in Pakistan’s southern desert district of Tharparkar, to fight the desert’s advance and for a windbreak. In the drylands of India and Pakistan, farmers still maintain many of their traditions of nurturing biodiversity of wild and cultivated food crops and medicinal plants, despite introduction of monocropping by the Green Revolution. Credit: Saleem Shaikh/IPS

Zainab Samo, along with her son and daughter, planting a lemon seedling on her farm in Oan village in Pakistan’s southern desert district of Tharparkar, to fight the desert’s advance and for a windbreak. In the drylands of India and Pakistan, farmers still maintain many of their traditions of nurturing biodiversity of wild and cultivated food crops and medicinal plants, despite introduction of monocropping by the Green Revolution. Credit: Saleem Shaikh/IPS

Farmers in Indonesia’s West Java province follow instructions on the government’s “integrated planting calendar”. National food security based on self-sufficiency of rice production remains a major concern of the government. Credit: Kanis Dursin/IPS

Farmers in Indonesia’s West Java province follow instructions on the government’s “integrated planting calendar”. National food security based on self-sufficiency of rice production remains a major concern of the government. Credit: Kanis Dursin/IPS

Women farmers in Nepal, which has one of the world's highest malnutrition rates. According to FAO, the low consumption of fruit and fresh vegetables, which is highly dependent on local seasonal availability, contributes to nutritional disorders such as deficiencies in iron and vitamin A. Over the last 64 years, almost 300 projects have been implemented in Nepal by FAO, embracing a broad range of programmes related to crop, vegetables, forestry, livestock, fishery, food safety, nutrition, planning, policy, rural development and environmental conservation. Credit: Naresh Newar/IPS

Women farmers in Nepal, which has one of the world’s highest malnutrition rates. According to FAO, the low consumption of fruit and fresh vegetables, which is highly dependent on local seasonal availability, contributes to nutritional disorders such as deficiencies in iron and vitamin A. Over the last 64 years, almost 300 projects have been implemented in Nepal by FAO, embracing a broad range of programmes related to crop, vegetables, forestry, livestock, fishery, food safety, nutrition, planning, policy, rural development and environmental conservation. Credit: Naresh Newar/IPS

With floods, droughts and other calamities battering deltaic Bangladesh regularly, farmers need little prompting to switch to climate-resistant varieties of rice, wheat, pulses and other staples. An important opportunity in terms of technology advancement is offered by the genetic improvement of crops that can adapt to future climate conditions, also called "climate proofing" crops. Credit: Naimul Haq/IPS

With floods, droughts and other calamities battering deltaic Bangladesh regularly, farmers need little prompting to switch to climate-resistant varieties of rice, wheat, pulses and other staples. An important opportunity in terms of technology advancement is offered by the genetic improvement of crops that can adapt to future climate conditions, also called “climate proofing” crops. Credit: Naimul Haq/IPS

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Nurturing African Agriculturehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2016/08/nurturing-african-agriculture/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nurturing-african-agriculture http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/08/nurturing-african-agriculture/#respond Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:18:35 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=146655 While agriculture could be the driving force to lift millions of Africans out of poverty and alleviate hunger, its full potential remains untapped. For example, only between five and seven percent of the continent’s cultivated land is irrigated, leaving farmers vulnerable to climate shocks like the devastating El Nino-driven drought in southern Africa. That’s why […]

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Gadam sorghum was introduced to semi-arid regions of eastern Kenya as a way for farmers to improve their food security and earn some income from marginal land. The hardy, high-yielding sorghum variety has not only thrived in harsh conditions, it has won a place in the hearts - and plates - of local farmers. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

Gadam sorghum was introduced to semi-arid regions of eastern Kenya as a way for farmers to improve their food security and earn some income from marginal land. The hardy, high-yielding sorghum variety has not only thrived in harsh conditions, it has won a place in the hearts - and plates - of local farmers. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

By IPS Correspondents
Aug 24 2016 (IPS)

While agriculture could be the driving force to lift millions of Africans out of poverty and alleviate hunger, its full potential remains untapped. For example, only between five and seven percent of the continent’s cultivated land is irrigated, leaving farmers vulnerable to climate shocks like the devastating El Nino-driven drought in southern Africa. That’s why international agencies like the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are forging key partnerships to enhance agricultural production, sustainable natural resource management and increased market access.

From boosting the productivity of drylands to introducing innovative, time-saving technology, success stories abound in Africa. Here are some viewed through the lenses of IPS photojournalists in the field.

Philippi residents grow organic produce such as spinach, lettuce, spring onions and beetroot in netted food tunnels, for sale to upmarket restaurants in Cape Town as well as for their own table. The FAO Organic Agriculture Programme aims to enhance food security, rural development, sustainable livelihoods and environmental integrity by building capacities of member countries in organic production, processing, certification and marketing. Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

Philippi residents grow organic produce such as spinach, lettuce, spring onions and beetroot in netted food tunnels, for sale to upmarket restaurants in Cape Town as well as for their own table. The FAO Organic Agriculture Programme aims to enhance food security, rural development, sustainable livelihoods and environmental integrity by building capacities of member countries in organic production, processing, certification and marketing. Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

In Sierra Leone, Emmanuel Kargbo, a 26-year-old farmer, pushes a motorised soil tiller recently given to his farming cooperative. Before he was trained to use it, it would take him more than twice as long to do it by hand. Getting technology into the hands of farmers is critical since global food production needs to increase by 70 percent by 2050 in order to feed an additional 2.3 billion people, and food production in developing countries needs to almost double. Credit: Damon Van der Linde/IPS

In Sierra Leone, Emmanuel Kargbo, a 26-year-old farmer, pushes a motorised soil tiller recently given to his farming cooperative. Before he was trained to use it, it would take him more than twice as long to do it by hand. Getting technology into the hands of farmers is critical since global food production needs to increase by 70 percent by 2050 in order to feed an additional 2.3 billion people, and food production in developing countries needs to almost double. Credit: Damon Van der Linde/IPS

Gadam sorghum was introduced to semi-arid regions of eastern Kenya as a way for farmers to improve their food security and earn some income from marginal land. The hardy, high-yielding sorghum variety has not only thrived in harsh conditions, it has won a place in the hearts - and plates - of local farmers. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

Gadam sorghum was introduced to semi-arid regions of eastern Kenya as a way for farmers to improve their food security and earn some income from marginal land. The hardy, high-yielding sorghum variety has not only thrived in harsh conditions, it has won a place in the hearts – and plates – of local farmers. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

Small-scale farmer Ruth Chikweya working on her land near Harare, Zimbabwe. To counter the risk of poor yields, lost income and hunger, the Government of Zimbabwe turned to FAO for assistance in helping farmers in the country's marginal areas focus more on producing small grains such as sorghum and millet - both traditionally important crops that can be grown with relatively less water resources and which are more nutritious than maize. Credit: Tonderai Kwidini/IPS

Small-scale farmer Ruth Chikweya working on her land near Harare, Zimbabwe. To counter the risk of poor yields, lost income and hunger, the Government of Zimbabwe turned to FAO for assistance in helping farmers in the country’s marginal areas focus more on producing small grains such as sorghum and millet – both traditionally important crops that can be grown with relatively less water resources and which are more nutritious than maize. Credit: Tonderai Kwidini/IPS

Isaac Ochieng Okwanyi has had his most successful harvest ever after using lime to improve the quality of his soil. Okwanyi, a 29-year-old father of two, began farming after he was evicted from Nairobi’s Mathare slum in 2008 following the country’s post-election violence. According to FAO, soil management is an integral part of land management. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

Isaac Ochieng Okwanyi has had his most successful harvest ever after using lime to improve the quality of his soil. Okwanyi, a 29-year-old father of two, began farming after he was evicted from Nairobi’s Mathare slum in 2008 following the country’s post-election violence. According to FAO, soil management is an integral part of land management. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

 

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Urban agriculture sprouts in favelas, Fabíola Ortiz reportshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2015/04/urban-agriculture-sprouts-in-favelas-fabiola-ortiz-reports/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=urban-agriculture-sprouts-in-favelas-fabiola-ortiz-reports http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/04/urban-agriculture-sprouts-in-favelas-fabiola-ortiz-reports/#respond Thu, 16 Apr 2015 18:26:43 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=144234 Video report “Urban agriculture sprouts in favelas” plus full contribution by IPS journalist Fabíola Ortiz. You don’t need to live in the country side to grow vegetables. It is possible to maintain an organic farming based on ‘agricology’, in the favelas or shanty towns in Rio de Janeiro a pioneering initiative is now underway. Ms. […]

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By IPS Correspondents
Apr 16 2015 (IPS)

Video report “Urban agriculture sprouts in favelas” plus full contribution by IPS journalist Fabíola Ortiz.

You don’t need to live in the country side to grow vegetables. It is possible to maintain an organic farming based on ‘agricology’, in the favelas or shanty towns in Rio de Janeiro a pioneering initiative is now underway. Ms. Maria Helena joined the first course of organic urban agriculture.

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Cameroonians combat climate change armed with wood stoveshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2015/01/cameroonians-combat-climate-change-armed-with-wood-stoves/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cameroonians-combat-climate-change-armed-with-wood-stoves http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/01/cameroonians-combat-climate-change-armed-with-wood-stoves/#respond Mon, 12 Jan 2015 18:09:33 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=144233 Cameroon’s women are making strides in the fight against climate change. For the past months local housewives have been testing “improved wood stoves”, a revolutionary cooking appliance which consumes less wood and produces less smoke than traditional cookers. In a country where people are usually too poor to have access to gas and wood consumption […]

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By IPS Correspondents
Jan 12 2015 (IPS)

Cameroon’s women are making strides in the fight against climate change. For the past months local housewives have been testing “improved wood stoves”, a revolutionary cooking appliance which consumes less wood and produces less smoke than traditional cookers.

In a country where people are usually too poor to have access to gas and wood consumption is on the rise, improved wood stoves can limit deforestation and help women improve their quality of life.

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Asia: So Close and Yet So Far From Polio Eradicationhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2014/10/asia-so-close-and-yet-so-far-from-polio-eradication/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=asia-so-close-and-yet-so-far-from-polio-eradication http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/10/asia-so-close-and-yet-so-far-from-polio-eradication/#respond Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:41:05 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=137358 Mallika Aryal contributed to this report from Kathmandu, Kanya D’Almeida from Colombo and Ashfaq Yusufzai from Peshawar, Pakistan.

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A Pakistani child receives a dose of the oral polio vaccine (OPV). According to the WHO, Pakistan is responsible for 80 percent of polio cases worldwide. Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS

By IPS Correspondents
KATHMANDU/PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Oct 24 2014 (IPS)

The goal is an ambitious one – to deliver a polio-free world by 2018. Towards this end, the multi-sector Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is bringing out the big guns, sparing no expense to ensure that “every last child” is immunised against the crippling disease.

Home to 1.8 billion people, roughly a quarter of the world’s population, Southeast Asia was declared polio-free earlier this year, its 11 countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste – joining the ranks of those nations that live without the polio burden.

United in the goal of eradicating polio, an infectious viral disease that invades the nervous system and can result in paralysis within hours, governments across the region worked hand in hand with community workers, NGOs and advocates to make the dream a reality.

“Pakistan has the highest [number of polio cases] among the three endemic countries worldwide." -- Elias Durry, emergency coordinator for polio eradication with the WHO in Pakistan
According to GPEI, immunisation drives reached some 7.5 billion children over the course of 17 years, not just in city centres but also in remote rural outposts. During that time, the region witnessed some 189 nationwide campaigns that delivered over 13 billion doses of the oral polio vaccine (OPV).

High-performing countries like Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Bhutan eradicated polio a decade-and-a-half ago while India, once considered a stubborn hotbed for the disease, clocked its last case in January 2011, thus bringing about the much-awaited regional ‘polio-free’ tag.

But further north, dark clouds in the shapes of Afghanistan and Pakistan blight Asia’s happy tale. Together with Nigeria, these two nations are blocking global efforts to mark 2018 as polio’s last year on this planet.

Celebrating success from Nepal to the Philippines

For countries like Nepal, home to 27 million people, the prevalence of polio in other nations in the Asian region threatens its hard-won gains in stamping out the disease.

“There’s always fear that polio may see a resurgence as the disease hasn’t been eradicated everywhere,” said Shyam Raj Upreti, chief of the immunisation section of Nepal’s child health division (CDH).

Anxious to hold on to the coveted polio-free status, Nepal recently introduced the inactivated injectable polio vaccine (IPV) into its routine immunisation programme, the first country in South Asia to do so.

“While the oral polio vaccine has been the primary tool in polio eradication efforts, new evidence shows that adding one dose of IPV – given to children of 14 weeks by intramuscular injection – to the OPV [schedule], will maximise immunity to poliovirus,” Upreti explained.

He credits his country’s success to a high degree of social acceptance of the importance of child health in overall national development. “Female health volunteers play a key role in making the community understand why immunisation is important,” he said, adding that these volunteers provide services to some of the poorest segments of the population.

Between 1984 and 2011, Nepal’s immunisation coverage more than doubled from 44 to 90 percent. Ashish KC, child health specialist at UNICEF-Nepal, said that immunisation programmes didn’t stop even during the ‘people’s war’, a brutal conflict between the Maoists and the Nepali state that lasted a decade and killed 13,000 people.

“We understood that [we] needed a multi-sector approach, so service delivery was decentralised, and access was made easier,” KC told IPS. “Immunisation went beyond health, it became a part of [our] development plans.”

Such a mindset is also apparent in the Philippines, where the government recently decided to include the IPV into its national health plan, making it the largest developing country to do so.

According to a press release by Sanofi Pasteur, the multinational pharmaceutical company working closely with the Philippine government on its eradication initiatives, many Filipinos feel deeply about polio, having had a prime minister who was a survivor of the disease and lived with lifelong disabilities as a result.

“What’s striking about the Philippines is how strong a partnership there is around vaccinations,” said Mike Watson, vice president of vaccinations and advocacy at Sanofi Pasteur, referring to the unprecedented support shown by government officials and civil society at an event in Manila earlier this month that ended with several children receiving the IPV, the first of some two million children who will now be vaccinated every year.

“Getting the vaccine out to distribution centres on the smaller islands obviously poses a logistical challenge, but the Philippines has proven it’s really good at that,” Watson told IPS.

He added that strong networks of community health workers have enabled the Philippines to move into the “endgame”, the last stage in global eradication efforts that will require the 120 countries that aren’t currently using the IPV to introduce it by the end of 2016, representing one of the biggest and fastest vaccine introductions in history.

Over 5,700 km away from the Philippines, however, lives the lingering threat of polio, with thousands of children still at risk, and hundreds suffering from the debilitating results of the disease.

Pakistan’s polio troubles

This past June, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended a travel ban on all those leaving Pakistan without proof of immunisation, in a bid to prevent the spread of polio outside the country’s troubled borders.

But absent swift political action, travel bans alone will not staunch the epidemic.

A 2012 Taliban-imposed ban on the OPV has effectively prevented over 800,000 children from being immunised in two years, health officials told IPS.

In 2014 alone, Pakistan has recorded 206 cases of paralysis due to wild poliovirus, the most savage strain of the disease. Last week, 19 new cases of this strain were brought to the attention of the authorities.

“Pakistan has the highest [number of cases] among the three endemic countries worldwide,” Elias Durry, emergency coordinator for polio eradication with the WHO in Pakistan, told IPS.

The situation is most severe in the northern tribal areas, where the Taliban has used both violence and terror to spread the message that OPV is a ploy by Western governments to sterilise the Muslim population.

“The militancy-racked Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) accounts for 138 cases, while the adjacent Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province has 43 cases,” Pervez Kamal, director of health in FATA, told IPS.

North Waziristan Agency has registered 69 cases, while the Khyber Agency and South Waziristan Agency are struggling with 49 and 17 cases respectively.

In a tragic development, an 18-month-old baby girl named Shakira Bibi has become the latest in a long line of polio victims. Her father, Shoiab Shah, told IPS that “Taliban militants” were responsible for depriving his daughter of the OPV.

In an unexpected twist, a military offensive aimed at breaking the Taliban’s hold over northern Pakistan has given health officials rare access to hundreds of thousands of residents in the tribal areas.

With close to a million people from North Waziristan Agency fleeing airstrikes and taking refuge in the neighbouring KP province, community health workers have been delivering the vaccine to residents of displacement camps in cities like Bannu and Lakki Marwat.

Still, this is only a tiny step towards overcoming the crisis.

Altaf Bosan, head of Pakistan’s national vaccination programme, said 34 million children under the age of five are in need of the vaccine but in 2014 alone “about 500,000 children missed their doses due to refusals by parents to [defy] the Taliban’s ban.”

The government has now elicited support from religious leaders to convince parents to submit to the OPV programme.

“Islamic scholars from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt [and] Afghanistan have issued a fatwa [edict], reminding parents that it is their Islamic duty to protect their children against disease,” Maulana Israr ul Haq, one of the signatories, told IPS.

According to the WHO, Pakistan is responsible for nearly 80 percent of polio cases reported globally, posing a massive threat to worldwide eradication efforts.

 

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Excerpt:

Mallika Aryal contributed to this report from Kathmandu, Kanya D’Almeida from Colombo and Ashfaq Yusufzai from Peshawar, Pakistan.

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The mirage of equality. The Situation of Women in the World of Work in Mexicohttp://www.ipsnews.net/2014/10/the-mirage-of-equality-the-situation-of-women-in-the-world-of-work-in-mexico-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-mirage-of-equality-the-situation-of-women-in-the-world-of-work-in-mexico-2 http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/10/the-mirage-of-equality-the-situation-of-women-in-the-world-of-work-in-mexico-2/#respond Sat, 18 Oct 2014 18:10:58 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=144211 It may be hard to argue that Mexico is not at the forefront of legislation in Latin America. In the last decade, abortion was decriminalised, at least in the Capital, and the possession of small quantities of certain drugs for personal consumption was also decriminalised. This country, famous for its sexist culture, has also ratified […]

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By IPS Correspondents
Oct 18 2014 (IPS)

It may be hard to argue that Mexico is not at the forefront of legislation in Latin America. In the last decade, abortion was decriminalised, at least in the Capital, and the possession of small quantities of certain drugs for personal consumption was also decriminalised. This country, famous for its sexist culture, has also ratified several international gender equality instruments.

But Mexico hasn’t been able to translate these legal commitments into practices that impact the prevalent culture in the workplace, where discriminatory behaviours and abuses against women remain deeply entrenched.

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Organic Agriculture could help Africa fight povertyhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2014/09/organic-agriculture-could-help-africa-fight-poverty-3/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=organic-agriculture-could-help-africa-fight-poverty-3 http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/09/organic-agriculture-could-help-africa-fight-poverty-3/#respond Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:18:22 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=144208 Experts say mainstreaming organic farming in African could help feed the hungry on the continent, reduce poverty and mitigate the effects of climate change.

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By IPS Correspondents
Sep 16 2014 (IPS)

Experts say mainstreaming organic farming in African could help feed the hungry on the continent, reduce poverty and mitigate the effects of climate change.

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CASEFE, a family-owned hydroponic farming operationhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2014/08/casefe-a-family-owned-hydroponic-farming-operation-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=casefe-a-family-owned-hydroponic-farming-operation-2 http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/08/casefe-a-family-owned-hydroponic-farming-operation-2/#respond Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:50:05 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=144232 CASEFE, a family-owned hydroponic farming operation, is located in the province of Flores, Uruguay. Hydroponics is a sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural production method that does not rely on pesticides and can guarantee food for the future.

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By IPS Correspondents
Aug 29 2014 (IPS)

CASEFE, a family-owned hydroponic farming operation, is located in the province of Flores, Uruguay.

Hydroponics is a sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural production method that does not rely on pesticides and can guarantee food for the future.

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Akinwumwi Adesina: “Our approach to agriculture as a business is the way to make it sustainable”http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/08/akinwumwi-adesina-our-approach-to-agriculture-as-a-business-is-the-way-to-make-it-sustainable/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=akinwumwi-adesina-our-approach-to-agriculture-as-a-business-is-the-way-to-make-it-sustainable http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/08/akinwumwi-adesina-our-approach-to-agriculture-as-a-business-is-the-way-to-make-it-sustainable/#respond Sat, 16 Aug 2014 17:56:17 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=144210 Akinwumwi Adesina, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria, interviewed by IPS journalist in Zimbabwe Busani. “Agriculture is not a development program”.

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By IPS Correspondents
Aug 16 2014 (IPS)

Akinwumwi Adesina, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria, interviewed by IPS journalist in Zimbabwe Busani.

“Agriculture is not a development program”.

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Mothers Light Up Homes in Rural Tanzaniahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2014/06/mothers-light-up-homes-in-rural-tanzania/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mothers-light-up-homes-in-rural-tanzania http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/06/mothers-light-up-homes-in-rural-tanzania/#respond Tue, 10 Jun 2014 18:59:35 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=134914 “My mother used to just stay at home, now she has come back and is an engineer and a leader. She is on the Village Energy Committee,” said a 10-year-old girl from the village of Chekeleni, in Tanzania’s southeastern Mtwara district. “When I grow up I will also be a leader. Maybe I will be […]

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By IPS Correspondents
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 10 2014 (IPS)

“My mother used to just stay at home, now she has come back and is an engineer and a leader. She is on the Village Energy Committee,” said a 10-year-old girl from the village of Chekeleni, in Tanzania’s southeastern Mtwara district.

Arafa Mwamba is a solar engineer in Chekeleni village, near Mtwara, Tanzania.Arafa trained as part of the innovative Barefoot Solar project which enables women from the poorest communities in rural Tanzania to run successful businesses by installing, repairing and maintaining solar equipment for their communities and beyond.VSO volunteer Lesley Reader project manages the scheme by liaising with the Tanzanian government, Barefoot college and the Indian government.

Solar engineer Arafa Mwamba Halfani, from Chekeleni, after installing one of the 20-watt solar panels. Credit: Ben Langdon/VSO

“When I grow up I will also be a leader. Maybe I will be the president,” she said.

Just over a year ago, homes in the village of Chekeleni were dark after sunset. Today they are filled with light from solar lamps as women bustle around cooking and children do their homework near the glowing lamps. At least 200 households now have their own solar installations for lighting and other electrical needs.

Six women have brought this light to three remote southern Tanzanian villages in the Mtwara and Lindi districts. They are among the 25 illiterate, rural mothers, many of them also grandmothers, from four African countries who were trained at the Barefoot College in Tilonia in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan, to install and maintain solar energy panels.

The programme was part of the 2011 ‘Rural Women Light up Africa’ initiative, a partnership between UN Women and the Barefoot College.

After six months the trainees graduate as Barefoot Solar Engineers and return to their villages to electrify households with solar lighting units and assume responsibility for their repair and maintenance for a period of five years.

“We hope this will be a challenge to other women who want changes and want to eradicate poverty,” said Mariam Luwongo, one of the engineers from the southern village of Nitekela.

These women not only bring electricity to their communities for the first time, but they also introduce a renewable and sustainable source of energy that can be maintained and replicated in other communities.

Despite being illiterate, of modest means and having never travelled outside Tanzania, within weeks of returning home, the six engineers have managed to set up a solar electricity system for the three small villages of Chekeleni, Nitekela and Mjimwema, in southern Tanzania, close to the Mozambique border.

Equipment is currently being procured locally to ensure that the entire community can benefit from their own solar system.

Villagers pay toward the costs of their equipment and its maintenance in installments over five years. These funds also ensure the women engineers receive a monthly stipend for their work.

Households that sign up to the initiative pay an initial deposit of 20,000 Tanzanian shillings (roughly 12 dollars) and then monthly installments that amount to around 60,000 shillings (approximately 37 dollars).

They receive one 20-watt solar panel, one 12-volt battery, one cell phone charger and three nine-watt lamps per household. The women assembled the equipment during their training in India. It was then purchased and delivered to Tanzania by UN Women.

Tangible benefits include savings on the cost of kerosene (a saving of about 1,000 shillings per month) and charging cell phones at the local market. There are also fewer health and safety hazards because highly flammable kerosene is no longer needed.

Children study in the evening thanks to a solar-powered lantern in the village of Chekeleni, southern Tanzania. Credit: Ben Langdon/VSO

Children study in the evening thanks to a solar-powered lantern in the village of Chekeleni, southern Tanzania. Credit: Ben Langdon/VSO

Solar engineer Arafa Mwamba Halfani, from Chekeleni, said she and her colleagues were happy with their new skills and they would now try and light up other communities nearby.

Another positive impact of the lighting project has been the increase in women’s voice and independence. At least four of the nine members of the Village Energy Committees are women and in Nitekela the committee chair is also a woman. Financial, leadership and governance training is enabling them to plan and lead effectively, while simultaneously working towards sustainability.

All three Village Energy Committees are now formally registered community organisations with their own bank accounts. Many of these women have also become role models.

Even skeptics have been won over. In one of the villages, at an initial meeting when the idea of the solar engineers was introduced, one elder spoke on behalf of many and voiced doubts that these women could do the job.

Several months later, he sought out UN Women to support the programme and praised the women engineers who had installed solar equipment in his house and even repaired subsequent problems. He feels he is living a much better life thanks to these women.

Well-lit places also provide extra security and most member households have a light bulb at their door, which serves as a street lamp for passersby and can often help in reducing violence, particularly violence against women and girls.

A testament to the success of the programme is that the Indian Government has agreed to fund the set-up of a solar energy training centre just outside Mtwara in Tanzania.

The six Tanzanian women trained at Barefoot College headquarters will train new students in the skills they acquired in India. Based on proposed plans the establishment of this college will allow the ministry of community development, gender and children to extend this initiative to other regions around the country.

For solar engineers like Mariam and Arafa, solar power has provided a new beginning, a respected place in their community and a much brighter life.

Beijing20Logoen-png

 

 

This article is a contribution to UN Women’s campaign ‘Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!’ More at: beijing20.unwomen.org

 

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South Africa’s Quest to Cut Carbon Emissionshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2014/05/south-africans-quest-cut-carbon-emissions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=south-africans-quest-cut-carbon-emissions http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/05/south-africans-quest-cut-carbon-emissions/#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 23:43:24 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=134616 The post South Africa’s Quest to Cut Carbon Emissions appeared first on Inter Press Service.

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By IPS Correspondents
May 28 2014 (IPS)

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The Evolution of Climate Legislation in Three Infographshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2014/05/evolution-climate-legislation-three-infographs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=evolution-climate-legislation-three-infographs http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/05/evolution-climate-legislation-three-infographs/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 17:15:07 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=134575 The global canon of climate legislation has undergone significant changes over the last four decades. These changes in recent years have included a growing body of signature laws and initiatives spearheaded by countries in the global South, many of which are disproportionally affected by decades of uncurbed global environmental degradation and greenhouse gas emissions. The […]

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By IPS Correspondents
May 27 2014 (IPS)

The global canon of climate legislation has undergone significant changes over the last four decades. These changes in recent years have included a growing body of signature laws and initiatives spearheaded by countries in the global South, many of which are disproportionally affected by decades of uncurbed global environmental degradation and greenhouse gas emissions.

The following three infographics provide historic context alongside key data from the fourth edition of the GLOBE International Climate Legislation Study and to illustrate the long-term and more recent evolution of laws that accompany a growing global awareness of the negative impacts of climate change and the need for international cooperation on collective responses.

 
A timeline of events that contributed to increasing willingness to address climate change:
 

 
How do developed and developing countries compare in recent policy responses to climate change?
 
 

 
 
How does your country compare in the number and types of climate laws?
 

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Climate Legislation Over the Last 10 Yearshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2014/05/climate-legislation-last-10-years/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=climate-legislation-last-10-years http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/05/climate-legislation-last-10-years/#respond Mon, 19 May 2014 15:18:13 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=134390 Climate Legislation   in the last decade | Create Infographics For our interactive world map showing all climate laws per country going back four decades, click here:

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By IPS Correspondents
May 19 2014 (IPS)

For our interactive world map showing all climate laws per country going back four decades, click here:

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How Does Your Country Fare on Climate Legislation?http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/05/how-does-your-country-fare-on-climate-legislation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-does-your-country-fare-on-climate-legislation http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/05/how-does-your-country-fare-on-climate-legislation/#respond Mon, 19 May 2014 13:59:04 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=134386 The post How Does Your Country Fare on Climate Legislation? appeared first on Inter Press Service.

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By IPS Correspondents
May 19 2014 (IPS)

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UAE Diplomatic Offensive in Latin Americahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2014/04/133974/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=133974 http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/04/133974/#respond Tue, 29 Apr 2014 16:01:01 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=133974 The visit by United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Uruguay, Paraguay and Peru brings to an end 10 days of unusually intense diplomatic activity by the Gulf nation in Latin America. On Monday Apr. 28, Al Nahyan met with his Uruguayan counterpart Luis Almagro before he was received by […]

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UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his Uruguayan opposite number Luis Almagro at an Apr. 28 press conference in Montevideo. Credit: Presidencia de Uruguay

By IPS Correspondents
MONTEVIDEO, Apr 29 2014 (IPS)

The visit by United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Uruguay, Paraguay and Peru brings to an end 10 days of unusually intense diplomatic activity by the Gulf nation in Latin America.

On Monday Apr. 28, Al Nahyan met with his Uruguayan counterpart Luis Almagro before he was received by President José Mujica. On Tuesday Apr. 29 he continued on his tour to Paraguay and Peru.

The minister is visiting the region as part of the delegation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, who visited Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, in that order, from Apr. 20 to 26.

The agenda for dialogue in Uruguay included the opening of an embassy by this South American country in the UAE.

In a press conference with Almagro, Al Nahyan said “I look forward to the opening of a Uruguayan Embassy in Abu Dhabi in the near future. This will serve to increase dialogue between the UAE and Uruguay on a range of issues, and to support an expansion of business links.”

Uruguay is particularly interested in drawing investment from the UAE in the projected deep-water Atlantic port in the eastern department or province of Rocha.

Almagro, who visited the UAE in 2011, said that country had experience in participating in similar port projects in Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Peru.

The foreign ministers also reported a project involving cooperation in horse breeding genetics and renewable energy, although the two countries have not yet signed concrete agreements in these areas.

Al Nahyan stressed the need for an adequate legal framework, which according to Almagro is in the final stage of drafting and will include an agreement to avoid double taxation.

“Our countries also share a strong interest in renewable energy and cooperation on climate change issues,” said Al Nahyan.

He added: “We commend Uruguay for its efforts to spread important messages about climate change to the world and I look forward to welcoming Uruguay’s participation in the Abu Dhabi Ascent meeting, which will support preparations for the 2014 Climate Summit,” to take place Dec. 1-12 in Peru.

The May 4-5 Abu Dhabi Ascent meeting will draw senior U.N. officials, ministers, bankers, and representatives of business and civil society, to promote commitments towards reaching a new global climate treaty in 2015.

The UAE supports Uruguay’s candidacy for a seat on the U.N. Security Council for 2016-2017, Al Nahyan also stated.

In addition, the conversations focused on multilateral relations between the Arab world and Latin America, and particularly sensitive Middle East issues such as the Palestinian question.

Almagro returned Sunday Apr. 27 from an official tour to Jordan, Palestine, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

In his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the two governments indicated an interest in opening embassies.

In Montevideo, Al Nahyan expressed appreciation for Uruguay’s efforts, which he said formed part of “growing international support for the cause of the Palestinian people.”

Meanwhile, during his tour through four key Latin American countries – Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile – Prime Minister Al Maktoum met with each president and signed agreements in important areas.

With Chile he signed an accord to avoid double taxation on income and wealth of air transport and naval companies.

In Argentina, a memorandum of understanding was reached for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

With the Brazilian government, Al Maktoum signed an agreement in defence for technology sharing, cooperation in training and instruction, weapons, crisis management and logistical support.

With Mexico, where he began his tour on Apr. 20, Al Maktoum signed a declaration on the conclusion of the negotiations of the Accord for the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment between the two countries.

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Distribution of Cancer Cases in Jordanhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2014/04/distribution-cancer-cases-jordan-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=distribution-cancer-cases-jordan-2 http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/04/distribution-cancer-cases-jordan-2/#respond Fri, 11 Apr 2014 12:44:33 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=133597 The post Distribution of Cancer Cases in Jordan appeared first on Inter Press Service.

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Distribution of Cancer Cases in Jordan

Distribution of Cancer Cases in Jordan

By IPS Correspondents
AMMAN, Apr 11 2014 (IPS)

The post Distribution of Cancer Cases in Jordan appeared first on Inter Press Service.

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Global Cancer Incidence vs. Mortality by Regionhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2014/04/global-cancer-incidence-vs-mortality-region-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=global-cancer-incidence-vs-mortality-region-2 http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/04/global-cancer-incidence-vs-mortality-region-2/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:05:05 +0000 IPS Correspondents http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=133607 The post Global Cancer Incidence vs. Mortality by Region appeared first on Inter Press Service.

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Infographic- Global Cancer Incidence vs. Mortality by Region

Infographic- Global Cancer Incidence vs. Mortality by Region

By IPS Correspondents
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 10 2014 (IPS)

The post Global Cancer Incidence vs. Mortality by Region appeared first on Inter Press Service.

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