Inter Press ServiceVideo – Inter Press Service http://www.ipsnews.net News and Views from the Global South Thu, 17 Jan 2019 16:51:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.8 Turning Mangrove Trees into Sustainable Assets for Myanmarhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2019/01/turning-mangrove-trees-sustainable-assets-myanmar/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=turning-mangrove-trees-sustainable-assets-myanmar http://www.ipsnews.net/2019/01/turning-mangrove-trees-sustainable-assets-myanmar/#respond Mon, 07 Jan 2019 14:22:38 +0000 Stella Paul http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=159520 In 2015, Worldview International Foundation began a mangrove restoration project, planting saplings of the trees on about 121 hectares of land in Myanmar’s Ayyerwady region. In this video, Aung Aung Myint tells IPS when the mangrove restoration began and elaborates on the main species that have been planted. Originally, Myint says, the condition of the soil […]

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By Stella Paul
SHWE THAUNG YAN, Myanmar, Jan 7 2019 (IPS)

In 2015, Worldview International Foundation began a mangrove restoration project, planting saplings of the trees on about 121 hectares of land in Myanmar’s Ayyerwady region.

In this video, Aung Aung Myint tells IPS when the mangrove restoration began and elaborates on the main species that have been planted. Originally, Myint says, the condition of the soil was concerning, but has increased over the years.

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“No to the pact of Marrakech!”http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/12/no-pact-marrakech/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=no-pact-marrakech http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/12/no-pact-marrakech/#respond Tue, 11 Dec 2018 15:50:56 +0000 Houda Hasswane http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=159173 At the same time more than 160 countries adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), on the streets of Marrakech pro-migration groups and activists gathered in the city centre to chant: “No to the pact of Marrakech!” The historic Compact has found itself caught between a rock and a hard place: […]

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By Houda Hasswane
MARRAKECH, Dec 11 2018 (IPS)

At the same time more than 160 countries adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), on the streets of Marrakech pro-migration groups and activists gathered in the city centre to chant: “No to the pact of Marrakech!”

The historic Compact has found itself caught between a rock and a hard place: It has been criticised by nationalists and those arguing for stronger borders on one side, and by human rights and migrant activists on the other.

The protest in Marrakech brought together people from the National Federation of the Agricultural Sector, the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, the Maghreb Coordination of Human Rights Organisations and the Platform of Associations and sub-Saharan communities in Morocco among other movements and communities.

 

 

The Compact, protestors say, does not represent a change in anti-migration policies, or in the current offensive against migrants and refugees by many countries in the northern hemisphere.

“The pact is a setback in terms of human rights, protection of migrants and their families as provided for in international conventions already approved by the United Nations and other institutions,” says Camara Alpha, general secretary of Platform of Associations and Sub-Saharan Communities in Morocco.

Protestors say they want to see a new global pact of solidarity for the rights of migrants, one which will guarantee the inalienable right to free movement of all people, by promoting regional and international cooperation, and public policies protecting migrants.

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Blue Fashion Steals the Show at Nairobi Conferencehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/12/blue-fashion-steals-show-nairobi-conference/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=blue-fashion-steals-show-nairobi-conference http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/12/blue-fashion-steals-show-nairobi-conference/#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 10:58:41 +0000 Sam Olukoya http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158990 The fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world. Pesticides and insecticides used on crops grown for fabrics together with the chemicals used in the production of fabrics cause enormous damage to the environment. Some of Africa’s leading fashion designers staged a fashion show at the Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi Kenya […]

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The fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world. Pesticides and insecticides used on crops grown for fabrics together with the chemicals used in the production of fabrics cause enormous damage to the environment. Some of Africa’s leading fashion designers staged a fashion show at the Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi Kenya to unveil innovative creations made from natural materials sourced from seas, oceans and lakes. The aim was to showcase the use of environmentally friendly marine materials in the fashion industry. IPS was there.

By Sam Olukoya
NAIROBI, Dec 3 2018 (IPS)

The fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world. Pesticides and insecticides used on crops grown for fabrics together with the chemicals used in the production of fabrics cause enormous damage to the environment.

Some of Africa’s leading fashion designers staged a fashion show at the Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi Kenya to unveil innovative creations made from natural materials sourced from seas, oceans and lakes. The aim was to showcase the use of environmentally friendly marine materials in the fashion industry. IPS was there.

 

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AUDIO: No Blue Economy Without Conserving the Oceanshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/audio-no-blue-economy-without-conserving-oceans/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=audio-no-blue-economy-without-conserving-oceans http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/audio-no-blue-economy-without-conserving-oceans/#respond Thu, 29 Nov 2018 21:53:02 +0000 Terna Gyuse http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158947 Sabine Jessen is the National Director of the Oceans Program for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. Speaking to IPS at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, she argues that we first need to figure out what we need to conserve, before we think about what resources we can still use without threatening the […]

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By Terna Gyuse
NAIROBI, Nov 29 2018 (IPS)

Sabine Jessen is the National Director of the Oceans Program for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. Speaking to IPS at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, she argues that we first need to figure out what we need to conserve, before we think about what resources we can still use without threatening the ecosystems we need to preserve.

 

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VIDEO: Seeking Ways to Include Women in the Blue Economyhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/video-seeking-ways-include-women-blue-economy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=video-seeking-ways-include-women-blue-economy http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/video-seeking-ways-include-women-blue-economy/#respond Thu, 29 Nov 2018 21:28:22 +0000 Sam Olukoya http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158945 Women make up about half of the over 120 million people whose livelihood depend on the blue economy. But women play only a marginal role in the blue economy with most of them earning subsistence income. Women are mainly excluded from more important aspects of the Blue Economy like shipping and large scale fishing. The […]

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By Sam Olukoya
NAIROBI, Nov 29 2018 (IPS)

Women make up about half of the over 120 million people whose livelihood depend on the blue economy. But women play only a marginal role in the blue economy with most of them earning subsistence income. Women are mainly excluded from more important aspects of the Blue Economy like shipping and large scale fishing.

The Canadian High Commission to Kenya and the Canadian government funded International Development Research Centre, IDRC, organized a side event at the first global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, with the aim of seeking ways of increasing women participation in the blue economy.

 

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VIDEO: Combatting Climate Change with Bamboohttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/combatting-climate-change-bamboo/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=combatting-climate-change-bamboo http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/combatting-climate-change-bamboo/#respond Thu, 29 Nov 2018 09:12:50 +0000 IPS World Desk http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158940 Did you know bamboo can help combat climate change? Fast growing and flexible, bamboo plants and products can store more carbon than certain types of tree. Bamboo is also used around the world as a source of renewable energy, and to make thousands of durable products – providing a lifeline for communities vulnerable to the […]

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Did you know bamboo can help combat climate change? Fast growing and flexible, bamboo plants and products can store more carbon than certain types of tree. Bamboo is also used around the world as a source of renewable energy, and to make thousands of durable products - providing a lifeline for communities vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. With over 30 million hectares of bamboo across Africa, Asia and Latin America, the plant can provide a significant contribution to combatting climate change in the developing world. This video was produced by the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation INBAR and Inter Press Service.

By IPS World Desk
ROME, Nov 29 2018 (IPS)

Did you know bamboo can help combat climate change? Fast growing and flexible, bamboo plants and products can store more carbon than certain types of tree. Bamboo is also used around the world as a source of renewable energy, and to make thousands of durable products – providing a lifeline for communities vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

In early October, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a dire report on the state of our planet: it stressed the urgent need for solutions, to cut the risks of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty.

A part of the solution may be found in a surprising place – bamboo.

There are at least 30 million hectares of bamboo in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Fast growing and quick to mature, this grass plant is already a staple part of many people’s lives and livelihoods – as a source of food, fibre and fuel, which can be used to make thousands of products.

Bamboo can be an important carbon sink, storing more carbon than certain kinds of tree. This is because it can be harvested regularly, creating a large number of durable products which store carbon for several years, as well as the carbon in the plant itself. These products are long-lasting, recyclable, and can replace a variety of emissions-intensive materials, such as PVC, aluminum, steel and concrete.

Bamboo is also a sustainable source of bio-energy, whether used directly as fuel wood, modified into charcoal for cooking and heating, or converted into gas for thermal and electrical energy. It can, furthermore, help prevent desertification: its extensive root systems mean that bamboo binds earth and restores soil health, even in the most desertified landscapes.

Bamboo can help communities adapt to the negative impacts of climate change – providing a sustainable, year-long source of income, and creating flexible, strong, disaster-resilient housing.

The International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) is an intergovernmental organisation which promotes the use of bamboo and rattan for environmentally sustainable development and green growth.

Since its inception in 1997, INBAR’s aim has been to help people realise the full potential of bamboo – providing research, on-the-ground projects and training in areas such as climate-smart agriculture and carbon storage.

As bamboo grows throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia and the Americas; INBAR believes it can provide a significant contribution to combatting climate change in the developing world.

This video was produced by the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation and Inter Press Service.

 

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VIDEO: On the way to COP24 – The Caribbean Will Not be Left Outhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/video-way-cop24-caribbean-will-not-left/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=video-way-cop24-caribbean-will-not-left http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/video-way-cop24-caribbean-will-not-left/#respond Sat, 24 Nov 2018 12:06:15 +0000 Desmond Brown http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158847 As the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – is set to take place from December 3-14 in Katowice, Poland, the Caribbean insists on a seat at the table of negations. Two of the region’s lead negotiators say the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) must be present. Pointing to recent […]

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Residents on the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada say they have been building back better in the wake of devastating hurricanes in recent years. Local climate change experts are hoping to advance on the Paris Climate Agreement at the upcoming 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change. COP24 will be held in Katowice, Poland from December 3-14

By Desmond Brown
GRENADA, Nov 24 2018 (IPS)

As the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – is set to take place from December 3-14 in Katowice, Poland, the Caribbean insists on a seat at the table of negations.

Two of the region’s lead negotiators say the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) must be present. Pointing to recent devastating hurricanes and their impact on the region, they say the Caribbean must attend the COP to work towards resilience building, to make progress on the issue of loss and damage, and to make progress on the issue of technology development, especially for as it relates to the changing energy sector.

 

 

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VIDEO: Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, Nairobi, Kenya 2018http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/video-sustainable-blue-economy-conference-nairobi-kenya-2018/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=video-sustainable-blue-economy-conference-nairobi-kenya-2018 http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/video-sustainable-blue-economy-conference-nairobi-kenya-2018/#respond Sat, 24 Nov 2018 11:40:04 +0000 IPS World Desk http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158845 The first global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from Nov. 26 to 28 and is being co-hosted with Canada and Japan. Over 13,000 participants from around the world are coming together to learn how to build a blue economy.     Read more: http://www.ipsnews.net/topics/sustainable-blue-economy-conference/

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The first global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from Nov. 26 to 28 and is being co-hosted with Canada and Japan. Over 13,000 participants from around the world are coming together to learn how to build a blue economy.

By IPS World Desk
ROME, Nov 24 2018 (IPS)

The first global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from Nov. 26 to 28 and is being co-hosted with Canada and Japan. Over 13,000 participants from around the world are coming together to learn how to build a blue economy.

 

 

Read more: http://www.ipsnews.net/topics/sustainable-blue-economy-conference/

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Global Migration Film Festivalhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/global-migration-film-festival/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=global-migration-film-festival http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/global-migration-film-festival/#respond Thu, 22 Nov 2018 16:08:07 +0000 International Organization for Migration http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158808 The Global Migration Film Festival showcases films that capture the promise and challenges of migration   THE FESTIVAL Over the years, films have been used to inform, entertain, educate and provoke debate. It is in this spirit that IOM, the UN Migration Agency, launched The Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) in 2016. Cinema and migration […]

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By International Organization for Migration
Nov 22 2018 (IOM)

The Global Migration Film Festival showcases films that capture the promise and challenges of migration



 
THE FESTIVAL

Over the years, films have been used to inform, entertain, educate and provoke debate. It is in this spirit that IOM, the UN Migration Agency, launched The Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) in 2016.

Cinema and migration have a magical bond stretching back over a century ago when film makers, many of whom were immigrants themselves, began making movies that depicted a world on the move. Their films brought the dramatic, poignant and comic stories of migrants to diverse audiences, through images that provoked feeling amongst people of every culture.

The Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) features films and documentaries that capture the promise and challenges of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities. The goal of the festival is to pave the way for greater discussion around one of the greatest phenomenon of our time.

 
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Films have the power to show different facets of life, which can in turn help viewers to cultivate deeper empathy for migrants and a better understanding of their realities, needs, perspectives and capacities.

The objective of the GMFF is to use films as educational tools that influence perceptions of and attitudes towards migrants, by bringing attention to social issues and creating safe spaces for respectful debate and interaction.

Furthermore, the Festival is an innovative creative avenue for normalizing discussions of migration through storytelling, and it is an advocacy tool that can also draw attention to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thus helping all nations as they work to meet them.

Films can: INFORM, INSPIRE, TRANSFORM AND PROMOTE INCLUSION

 
HOW IT WORKS

Professional and emerging filmmakers are invited to submit films about the migrant experience according to the established theme:

The Promise and Challenge of Migration, and the Positive Contributions Migrants Make to Their New Communities. A committee of international film professionals will select a number of outstanding productions to be screened for a diverse audience: thousands of people in almost 100 countries.

The screenings will take place in varied locales, from cinemas to concert halls, and even impromptu settings in hard to reach areas and along popular migration routes such as the trans-Sahara corridor.

MORE THAN 30 FILMS
IN OVER 100 COUNTRIES

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Mexico-US migration: What can data tell us?http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/mexico-us-migration-can-data-tell-us/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mexico-us-migration-can-data-tell-us http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/11/mexico-us-migration-can-data-tell-us/#respond Thu, 15 Nov 2018 10:37:29 +0000 International Organization for Migration http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158683 Douglas Massey, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, shares his views on data and migration between the US and Mexico. This interview took place during first International Forum on Migration Statistics, organized by OECD, IOM and UN DESA between 15-16 January 2018.

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By International Organization for Migration
Nov 15 2018 (IOM)

Douglas Massey, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, shares his views on data and migration between the US and Mexico. This interview took place during first International Forum on Migration Statistics, organized by OECD, IOM and UN DESA between 15-16 January 2018.

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Why It is Vital for Everyone to Eat Organichttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/vital-everyone-eat-organic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=vital-everyone-eat-organic http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/vital-everyone-eat-organic/#respond Mon, 29 Oct 2018 17:07:04 +0000 Maged Srour http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158424 “Organic is the only living solution to climate change,” says Vandana Shiva, food and agriculture expert and member of the World Future Council (WFC). Nowadays, favouring the scale up of agroecology – which includes producing organic products – is unfortunately not that simple. The WFC, together with International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements and the […]

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By Maged Srour
ROME, Oct 29 2018 (IPS)

“Organic is the only living solution to climate change,” says Vandana Shiva, food and agriculture expert and member of the World Future Council (WFC). Nowadays, favouring the scale up of agroecology – which includes producing organic products – is unfortunately not that simple.

The WFC, together with International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), have identified legal frameworks and policies that feature important elements of agroecology. The awarded policies are real examples of best practices that can contribute substantially to scaling up agroecology as a pathway to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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UN Secretary-General: About 820 Million People Still Suffer From Hungerhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/un-secretary-general-820-million-people-still-suffer-hunger/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=un-secretary-general-820-million-people-still-suffer-hunger http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/un-secretary-general-820-million-people-still-suffer-hunger/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2018 17:54:52 +0000 Antonio Guterres http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158214 U.N. Secretary-General's message on World Food Day

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António Guterres

By António Guterres
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 16 2018 (IPS)

In our world of plenty, one person in nine does not have enough to eat.  About 820 million people still suffer from hunger.

Most of them are women.

Some 155 million children are chronically malnourished and may endure the effects of stunting for their entire lives.

And hunger causes almost half of the infant deaths worldwide.

This is intolerable.

On World Food Day, let us commit to a world without hunger — a world in which every person has access to a healthy, nutritious diet.

Zero hunger is about joining forces.

Countries and companies, institutions and individuals: we must each do our part towards sustainable food systems.

Today, we renew our commitment to uphold everyone’s fundamental right to food and to leave no one behind.

Thank you.

 

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Excerpt:

U.N. Secretary-General's message on World Food Day

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World Food Day: World Hunger is on the Rise Againhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/world-hunger-rise-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=world-hunger-rise-2 http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/world-hunger-rise-2/#respond Mon, 15 Oct 2018 09:58:41 +0000 IPS World Desk http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158168 According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), over 820 million people are currently suffering from chronic undernourishment across the globe. The reasons for the surge are complex, but are attributed to increasing conflict, economic slowdowns and the rise in extreme weather events related to climate change. Furthermore, rapidly increasing obesity levels are […]

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World Food Day - This year's day is being observed under the theme: "OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE. A ZERO HUNGER WORLD BY 2030 IS POSSIBLE."

By IPS World Desk
ROME, Oct 15 2018 (IPS)

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), over 820 million people are currently suffering from chronic undernourishment across the globe. The reasons for the surge are complex, but are attributed to increasing conflict, economic slowdowns and the rise in extreme weather events related to climate change.

Furthermore, rapidly increasing obesity levels are reversing many years of progress in combatting hunger and malnutrition.

Indeed, today 672 million people suffer from obesity and a further 1.3 billion people are overweight.

However, change can happen.

This year’s World Food Day is being observed under the theme: “OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE. A ZERO HUNGER WORLD BY 2030 IS POSSIBLE.”

70 percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas where people’s lives depend on agriculture, fisheries or forestry. That’s why Zero hunger calls for a transformation of rural economy: through government to create opportunity and through Smallholder farmers engaging the future of sustainable agricultural methods.

But employment and economic growth aren’t enough, especially for those who endure conflict and suffering.

Zero Hunger moves beyond conflict-resolution and economic growth, taking the long-term approach to build peaceful, inclusive societies.

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Farmers Generate Their Own Electricity in El Salvadorhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/farmers-generate-electricity-el-salvador-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=farmers-generate-electricity-el-salvador-2 http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/farmers-generate-electricity-el-salvador-2/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2018 08:54:18 +0000 Edgardo Ayala http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158287 In Lilian Gómez’s house, nestled in the mountains of eastern El Salvador, the darkness of the night was barely relieved by the faint, trembling flames of a pair of candles, just like in the houses of her neighbours. Until now. Electricity arrived when they decided to build their own hydroelectric dam together, not only to […]

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Carolina Martínez and her children stand in front of their house, where a light bulb can be seen, in the village of Joya de Talchiga in the eastern Salvadoran department of Morazán. The 36-year-old teacher is one of the beneficiaries of the community hydroelectric project, which since 2012 has provided electricity to more than 40 local families. Credit: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Carolina Martínez and her children stand in front of their house, where a light bulb can be seen, in the village of Joya de Talchiga in the eastern Salvadoran department of Morazán. The 36-year-old teacher is one of the beneficiaries of the community hydroelectric project, which since 2012 has provided electricity to more than 40 local families. Credit: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

By Edgardo Ayala
Oct 10 2018 (IPS)

In Lilian Gómez’s house, nestled in the mountains of eastern El Salvador, the darkness of the night was barely relieved by the faint, trembling flames of a pair of candles, just like in the houses of her neighbours. Until now.

Electricity arrived when they decided to build their own hydroelectric dam together, not only to light up the night, but also to take small steps towards undertakings that help improve living conditions in the village.

Read more about this issue here.

 

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Guinea: Bauxite Mining Boom Threatens Rightshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/guinea-bauxite-mining-boom-threatens-rights/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=guinea-bauxite-mining-boom-threatens-rights http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/guinea-bauxite-mining-boom-threatens-rights/#respond Thu, 04 Oct 2018 14:32:51 +0000 Human Rights Watch http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157991 Drive for Revenue Shouldn’t Come at Local Residents’ Expense

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By Human Rights Watch
CONAKRY, Guinea, Oct 4 2018 (Human Rights Watch)

Guinea’s fast-growing bauxite mining industry is threatening the livelihoods of thousands of Guineans, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Mining has destroyed ancestral farmlands, damaged water sources, and coated homes and trees in dust.

The 146-page report, “What Do We Get Out of It?: The Human Rights Impact of Bauxite Mining in Guinea,” focuses on two mining projects that were Guinea’s two largest bauxite producers in 2017: La Société Minière de Boké (SMB), a joint venture linked to the world’s largest aluminum producer, China Hongqiao Group, that has expanded extremely rapidly since it began in 2015; and la Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG), a decades-old company co-owned by multinationals Alcoa and Rio Tinto. Guinea’s government, which has transformed Guinea into the world’s third-largest exporter, should take immediate steps to better regulate companies and protect communities.

“Bauxite mining, unless properly regulated, threatens to destroy the way of life and livelihoods of dozens of communities at the front line of mining operations,” said Jim Wormington, West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Guinean government’s focus on growing the bauxite sector has too often taken precedence over the protection of the environment and human rights.”

Guinea has an abundance of natural resources, including the world’s largest bauxite reserves, but remains one of the world’s poorest countries. The demand for Guinean bauxite in global markets has increased in recent years as other countries, notably Indonesia and Malaysia, banned exports, in the latter case partly due to the industry’s environmental impact. Guinea is already the biggest exporter of bauxite to China, the world’s largest aluminum producer. And with several new mining projects preparing to begin exports, Guinea’s bauxite boom shows no sign of slowing down.

Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 300 people in 30 mining-affected villages in the Boké region, the center of the bauxite boom, and conducted dozens of interviews with government officials, mining companies, civil society groups, environmental scientists, and public health experts.


A woman in Lansanayah, a village 750 meters from a bauxite mine owned by La Société Minière de Boké consortium. Credit: 2018 Ricci Shryock for Human Rights Watch

Dozens of farmers described how mining companies take advantage of the government’s failure to protect rural land rights to exploit ancestral farmlands without compensation to address the long-term value of land to the community. Since the passage of a 2011 mining code, the government has failed to pass regulations, required by the code, establishing compensation standards for land acquisition that could better protect farmers’ rights.

“They’ve expanded into our fields, the areas we depended on for food,” said a community leader from Boundou Waadé, a village surrounded by five CBG mines. “And now much of our fertile land has been taken from us.”

While the compensation companies do pay can be a short-term windfall, farmers rarely receive training from the government or mining companies on how to reinvest it. “I used the compensation money I got to send my two sons to Europe [via the North African migration route],” a father said. “But after they arrived in Libya I didn’t hear from them. I’m worried they are in prison or dead.”

Although women participate in farming, the bulk of compensation is paid to men in family or community leadership roles. “Our husbands just give us whatever they want, even if the products that came from this land were used by all of us,” said one woman. While at least some men get employment with mining companies to replace lost land, few jobs are open to women. Of the more than 7,600 people employed by SMB in September 2018, only 274 were women.

Scores of residents said that mining had reduced water levels and quality in local rivers, streams and wells, threatening the right to water of thousands of people. In several communities adjacent to SMB mines, damage to natural water sources meant villagers were forced to rely on SMB for long periods to bring them water in tankers. “Some days the water in the tankers is dirty,” said one community leader. “So we have to conserve the clean water we have and wait for the next delivery.”

Dozens of residents also said that the dust produced by the mining and transport of bauxite had blighted their lives, with red dust entering villages and homes and covering crops. And villagers, many of whom said they believe mining is already contributing to respiratory illnesses, worry about longer-term health impacts.

Guinea’s government told Human Rights Watch in a May 2018 letter that it only approves mining projects that demonstrate compliance with environmental and social standards and that the government, “utilizes fully its state power to ensure Guinean laws [relating to the mining sector] are respected and to oversee the activities of mining companies.”

But while the capacity of government institutions to oversee mining has improved in recent years, government institutions do not have the personnel, resources, and the political will to effectively oversee an ever-expanding list of projects. “We are a poor country, and so we need jobs for our young people, schools for our children,” said Seydou Barry Sidibé, secretary general of Guinea’s Environment Ministry. “So while some mining companies do not respect environmental and social norms, it’s not easy for us to suddenly close these companies down.”

In meetings with and letters to Human Rights Watch, mining companies pointed to their efforts to stimulate local development and mitigate the negative impacts of mining. SMB, in a September 2018 letter to Human Rights Watch, said that, “the respect of human rights forms the pillar of our values,” and provided a detailed response to the report’s factual findings. CBG also responded in detail to the report’s findings, underscoring that, since receiving a World Bank-linked loan in 2016, the company has done much to improve its environmental and social management.

As Guinea’s bauxite boom continues, the government’s capacity to oversee the mining industry and protect community members’ rights needs to keep pace, Human Rights Watch said. While the government wants to attract investment, it should also fine, suspend, or stop mining projects if companies egregiously or persistently flout the environmental, social and human protections enshrined in Guinean and international human rights law.

“Guinea’s bauxite sector is poised to expand even further in the coming years,” Wormington said. “If that is to be a blessing, and not a curse, the government needs to ensure that ordinary Guineans, particularly those living closest to mining operations, are the beneficiaries of mining’s rapid growth rather than its victims.”

“What Do We Get Out of It? The Human Rights Impact of Bauxite Mining in Guinea” is available at:
https://www.hrw.org/node/322822

A special feature, “’This is our land’” How Guinea’s Bauxite Boom Affects Human Rights is available at:
https://www.hrw.org/node/322921

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Guinea, please visit:
https://www.hrw.org/africa/guinea

For more information, please contact:
In Conakry, Jim Wormington (English, French): +1-917-592-8738 or +224-620-45-12-12 (mobile); or worminj@hrw.org. Twitter: @jwormington

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Excerpt:

Drive for Revenue Shouldn’t Come at Local Residents’ Expense

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Saving the Lungs of Our Planethttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/saving-lungs-planet/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=saving-lungs-planet http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/saving-lungs-planet/#respond Thu, 04 Oct 2018 04:47:17 +0000 Gordon Radley http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157973 Dr Sylvia Earle, an eminent marine biologist and explorer has strong views on how nations needs to work together to save what the United Nations calls the lungs of our planet. When asked how well the U.N.’s call to action for balance and respect of the oceans will work Earle says: “It will work or […]

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Dr Sylvia Earle, an eminent marine biologist and explorer has strong views on how nations needs to work to save what the United Nations calls the lungs of our planet.

By Gordon Radley
Oct 4 2018 (IPS)

Dr Sylvia Earle, an eminent marine biologist and explorer has strong views on how nations needs to work together to save what the United Nations calls the lungs of our planet.

When asked how well the U.N.’s call to action for balance and respect of the oceans will work Earle says: “It will work or not depending on the response of people who understand the importance and the fact that there was a conference by the United Nations about the ocean is cause for hope.”

Her remarks come ahead of the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference being co-hosted by Canadian and Kenyan governments in Nairobi Nov. 26 to 28.
The theme of the conference is ‘Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. It is the first global conference on a sustainable blue economy.

 

 

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Saving the Kindergarten of Sharkshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/saving-kindergarten-sharks/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=saving-kindergarten-sharks http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/saving-kindergarten-sharks/#respond Thu, 04 Oct 2018 04:38:04 +0000 Gordon Radley http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157970 Every winter dozens of bull sharks come to Mexico’s Mayan Riviera to breed. A single bull shark can give birth to up to 15 young. They are the only species of shark that can live in both fresh and salt water. Saving Our Sharks has called for a strict no fishing sanctuary along the Mexican […]

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Every winter dozens of bull sharks come to Mexico’s Mayan Riviera to breed. A single bull shark can give birth to up to 15 young. They are the only species of shark that can live in both fresh and salt water.

Every winter dozens of bull sharks come to Mexico’s Mayan Riviera to breed. A single bull shark can give birth to up to 15 young. They are the only species of shark that can live in both fresh and salt water.

By Gordon Radley
MAYAN RIVIERA, Mexico, Oct 4 2018 (IPS)

Every winter dozens of bull sharks come to Mexico’s Mayan Riviera to breed.
A single bull shark can give birth to up to 15 young. They are the only species of shark that can live in both fresh and salt water.

Saving Our Sharks has called for a strict no fishing sanctuary along the Mexican Caribbean to help protect the fish at this very vulnerable time in their lives.

Ahead of the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference being co-hosted by Canadian and Kenyan governments in Nairobi Nov. 26 to 28, the protection of marine life and oceans, seas, lakes and rivers is in the forefront of the development agenda.

The theme of the conference is Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

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World Day for Indigenous Peopleshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/08/world-day-indigenous-peoples/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=world-day-indigenous-peoples http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/08/world-day-indigenous-peoples/#respond Tue, 07 Aug 2018 13:56:08 +0000 IPS World Desk http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157107 This video is part of a series of stories and op-eds initiated by IPS on the occasion of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, on August 9.

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By IPS World Desk
ROME, Aug 7 2018 (IPS)

370 million self-identified indigenous peoples are spread across the world, but continue to face discrimination and marginalization.

Dispossessed of their lands, territories and ancestral resources, these people have increasingly been forced to give up their way of life, and have been pushed into unfamiliar worlds to survive.

In Latin America, for example, 40% of all indigenous peoples now live in urban areas – they account for 80% of those populations in some countries of the region.

Globally, they represent 5% of the world’s population, yet account for 15% of all of those in poverty.

Indigenous people have always sought recognition of their identities, their way of life and rights to their traditional lands. But, throughout history, they have been felled.

Today, they are arguably the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in the world.

This year’s “International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples” will focus on the current situation of indigenous territories, root causes of migration and displacement, with particular emphasis on indigenous people living in urban areas.

The observance of this day will explore ways forward to revitalize indigenous people’s identities and encourage the protection of their rights in or outside their traditional territories.

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Excerpt:

This video is part of a series of stories and op-eds initiated by IPS on the occasion of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, on August 9.

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VIDEO: Climate Change Could Have Devastating Consequences for Saint Luciahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/08/video-climate-change-devastating-consequences-saint-lucia/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=video-climate-change-devastating-consequences-saint-lucia http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/08/video-climate-change-devastating-consequences-saint-lucia/#respond Tue, 07 Aug 2018 11:14:05 +0000 Desmond Brown http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157104 The Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia is home to more than 2,000 native species — of which nearly 200 species occur nowhere else in the world. Though less than 616 square kilometres in area, the island is exceptionally rich in animals and plants. Saint Lucia’s best-known species, the endangered Amazon parrot, is recognised by […]

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Climate Change Could Have Devastating Consequences for Saint Lucia

By Desmond Brown
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Aug 7 2018 (IPS)

The Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia is home to more than 2,000 native species — of which nearly 200 species occur nowhere else in the world. Though less than 616 square kilometres in area, the island is exceptionally rich in animals and plants.

Saint Lucia’s best-known species, the endangered Amazon parrot, is recognised by its bright green plumage, purple forehead and dusty red-tipped feathers.

But a major conservation organisation warns that climate change and a lack of care for the environment could have devastating consequences for Saint Lucia’s healthy ecosystems and rich biodiversity.

Sean Southey chairs the Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

He told IPS that urgent action is needed to safeguard the eastern Caribbean island nation’s biodiversity, which is under constant threat.

Other species of conservation concern include the pencil cedar, staghorn coral and St. Lucia racer. The racer, confined to the nine-hectare island of Maria Major, is thought to be the world’s most threatened sake. Also at risk are mangrove forests and low-lying freshwater wetlands, Southey said.

But he said it was not too late to take action. He urged St. Lucia and its Caribbean neighbours to take advantage of their small size.

 

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VIDEO: World Day to Combat Desertification – Land Has True Value. Invest In Ithttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/world-day-combat-desertification-land-true-value-invest/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=world-day-combat-desertification-land-true-value-invest http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/world-day-combat-desertification-land-true-value-invest/#respond Wed, 13 Jun 2018 09:25:16 +0000 IPS World Desk http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156195 This video is part of a series of stories and op-eds launched by IPS on the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought on June 17

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World Day to Combat Desertification - Land Has True Value. Invest In It

By IPS World Desk
ROME, Jun 13 2018 (IPS)

We are witnessing the degradation of about 24% of the planet’s land, with water scarcity affecting almost 2 billion people on the planet.

Globally, 169 countries are affected by land degradation or drought, or both. Already average losses equal 9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) but for some of the worst affected countries, such as the Central African Republic, total losses are estimated at a staggering 40 percent of GDP. Asia and Africa bear the highest per year costs, estimated at 84 billion and 65 billion dollars, respectively.

 

 

Desertification entails losses of 42 billion dollars in annual global income, while actions to recover land cost between 40 and 350 dollars per hectare. The returns on investments in actions against degradation at the global level are four to six dollars for every dollar invested.

Over 250 million people are directly affected by desertification, and about 1 billion people in over 100 countries are at risk
Dryland ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use.

Poverty, political instability, deforestation, over-grazing and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the productivity of the land.

Over 250 million people are directly affected by desertification, and about 1 billion people in over 100 countries are at risk. These people include many of the world’s poorest, most marginalized and politically weak citizens.

Since the year 2000, we have seen a substantial increase in migration forced by desertification: from 173 million people to 244 million people in only 15 years.

The 2018 World Day to Combat Desertification, focuses on how consumers can regenerate economies, create jobs and revitalize livelihoods and communities by influencing the market to invest in sustainable land management.

The day convenes under the slogan: “Land Has True Value. Invest In It,” to remind the world that land is a tangible asset with measurable value beyond just cash.

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Excerpt:

This video is part of a series of stories and op-eds launched by IPS on the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought on June 17

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