Inter Press ServiceProjects – Inter Press Service http://www.ipsnews.net News and Views from the Global South Tue, 23 Oct 2018 00:54:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.7 Supporting Morocco’s Quest to Close USD24 Billion Green Investment Gaphttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/supporting-moroccos-quest-close-usd24-billion-green-investment-gap/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=supporting-moroccos-quest-close-usd24-billion-green-investment-gap http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/supporting-moroccos-quest-close-usd24-billion-green-investment-gap/#respond Mon, 22 Oct 2018 14:48:00 +0000 Friday Phiri http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158295 Friday Phiri interviews NICOLE PERKINS, the GGGI country representative in Morocco

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Morocco has in recent years emerged as a continental leader in terms of modelling green growth. Credit:Celso Flores/CC By 2.0

By Friday Phiri
PEMBA, Zambia, Oct 22 2018 (IPS)

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

The green growth model, according to experts, is seen as having the required balanced approach that fosters economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which people’s well-being relies.

While Morocco has in recent years emerged as a continental leader in terms of modelling green growth, the country has an estimated green investment gap of USD24 billion.

The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), an international treaty-based organisation that assists countries develop a green growth model, is actively supporting initiatives to help the North African country close this gap and transition to a green economy.

IPS had an opportunity to speak to Nicole Perkins, the GGGI country representative in Morocco on the specific aspects of support being offered, and how it relates to the green growth model being spearheaded by GGGI. Excerpts of the interview follow:

Inter Press Service (IPS): The government of Morocco has requested technical support from GGGI to support the transition to a green economy. The design of the project is dedicated to the development of inclusive green territories in order to contribute to Morocco’s goal of a national overall GHG emission reduction target of 42 percent below business-as-usual (BAU) emissions by 2030, and contribute to the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) target of closing the green investment gap of USD24 billion in conditional investments. Could you briefly shade more light on this project?

Nicole Perkins (NP): GGGI’s work in Morocco provides technical support to accompany the implementation of the National Sustainable Development Strategy, aimed at promoting a green, inclusive, integrated and sustainable development model at the territorial (regional) level, and the realisation of Morocco’s NDC number 9, which is to develop a model, low-carbon city centred on optimised energy, transport and waste management.

Our support focuses on the development of policies and incentives, identification and design of bankable projects, and assistance in mobilising funding for their implementation, in alignment with the advanced regionalisation process adopted by the Kingdom of Morocco.

On Oct. 23, 2017, GGGI and the Moroccan government signed in Rabat, a Memorandum of Understanding during a workshop they co-organised on the theme: green growth and development of the green territories in Morocco.

In June 2018, GGGI Morocco received two official letters requesting technical support from both the ministry of interior and the secretary of state for transport, for a total of eight measures in the areas of increasing sub-national access to climate finance, and sustainable mobility, which provides a solid focus for the 2019-2020 programme.

Nicole Perkins, the GGGI country representative in Morocco. Courtesy: Nicole Perkins

IPS: The general thematic area of support is green cities and territories. Could you explain in some detail, the concepts of green cities and territories? What are they, and how do they relate to the green growth model? 

NP: For GGGI, green cities are:

• Innovative and smart: This implies cities that provide a unique environment and an opportunity for innovation, through technology, information, communication and good governance – and the synthesis of these.

• Resource-efficient and based on circular economies: Waste-to-resource and circular economy to lower resource footprints. They are transformational and creative: they decouple growth from resource use.

• Climate smart and resilient: In pursuing low-carbon pathways in support of the Paris Agreement, and underpinned by resilient infrastructure, systems and communities.

• Inclusive and pro-poor: Green cities must provide livelihood opportunities beyond BAU. They are pro-poor, ‘connected’, accessible, and provide affordable solutions for all.

• Healthy and liveable: With an improved quality of life, cleaner air and accessible green spaces.

• Prosperous and bankable: Cities that are competitive, create opportunity and are attractive for (new) investment.

Green territories can be geographically defined as a region or province that inclusively encompass both the urban and rural populations. They leverage the characteristics of green cities and ensure healthy linkages between the urban and rural components in terms of access to economic opportunities and sustainable services such as transport, waste, water, energy, education and health.

IPS: Aside from the key strategic outcome of greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, the project aims to achieve, among others, green jobs, sustainable services, air quality, ecosystem services, and enhanced adaptation to climate change. Briefly explain how the project intends to achieve these targeted outcomes?

NP: The programme aims to increase access to climate and green growth finance; strengthen national institutional capacity to develop policy in the transport/mobility sector; accelerate national and sub-national investments in the National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS), NDCs, and Sustainable Development Goals; and improve the enabling environment in the territories in order to catalyse pro-poor, pro-youth, inclusive, and gender-sensitive investments in environmental goods and services. To achieve these outcomes, GGGI in Morocco is focusing on: supporting the design, implementation and operationalisation of a multi-sectoral National Financing Vehicle, its institutional framework, capacity building, and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation.

This will contribute to the NDC target of closing the green investment gap of USD24 billion in conditional investments and contribute to Morocco’s goal of a national overall GHG emission reduction target of 42 percent below BAU emissions by 2030.

Regarding the transport and mobility sector, GGGI is providing policy advice and project development services to increase access to sustainable transport and mobility, transition to green transport/mobility, and support the implementation of the National Sustainable Mobility Roadmap, contributing to the NDC target of 23 percent energy savings in the transport sector by 2030.

At a sub-national level, GGGI support is to catalyse the development of Morocco’s inclusive green territories and support the Regional Project Execution Agencies in selectively and strategically developing a pipeline of bankable, sustainable, inclusive and scalable projects in order to attract investments into Environmental Goods and Services and transition to a low carbon economy, contributing among others to Morocco’s NSDS target of 23 percent energy savings in the transport sector by 2030; 20 percent recycled materials rate by 2020; 50 percent wastewater reuse rate in inland cities by 2020; 60 percent wastewater treatment rate by 2020.

IPS:  What financing model have you used to raise funds for the project? Is it a wholly public financed project or a mixture? This comes on the back drop that Green cities—the roads, pavements, street lights are all public sector and are owned by governments not the private sector. 

NP: GGGI Morocco has been building ties with in-country priority donors and conducted comprehensive partner and donor consultations on a national level, which provide the foundation for the 2019 – 2020 biennial country programme. Both GGGI and Morocco’s various donors and international financing institution partners have indicated interest in supporting the government of Morocco’s requests for technical support and GGGI’s efforts to assist Morocco in implementing its NSDS territorial approach to transitioning to inclusive green growth. The structuring of project financing, and avenues for partner involvement and contribution is currently in process.

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Excerpt:

Friday Phiri interviews NICOLE PERKINS, the GGGI country representative in Morocco

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Cuban Women, Vulnerable to Climate Change, in the Forefront of the Strugglehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/cuban-women-vulnerable-climate-change-forefront-struggle/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cuban-women-vulnerable-climate-change-forefront-struggle http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/cuban-women-vulnerable-climate-change-forefront-struggle/#respond Sun, 21 Oct 2018 19:44:26 +0000 Patricia Grogg http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158279 When people ask marine biologist Angela Corvea why the symbol of her environmental project Acualina, which has transcended the borders of Cuba, is a little girl, she answers without hesitation: “Because life, care, attachment, the creative force of life lie are contained in the feminine world.” Acualina is a little philosopher dressed in an ancient […]

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A group of women clean a street after the passage of Hurricane Irma, in the Havana neighborhood of Vedado in September 2017. Women play a leading role in mitigating the impacts of climate change, a phenomenon to which they are also the most vulnerable. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

A group of women clean a street after the passage of Hurricane Irma, in the Havana neighborhood of Vedado in September 2017. Women play a leading role in mitigating the impacts of climate change, a phenomenon to which they are also the most vulnerable. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

By Patricia Grogg
HAVANA, Oct 21 2018 (IPS)

When people ask marine biologist Angela Corvea why the symbol of her environmental project Acualina, which has transcended the borders of Cuba, is a little girl, she answers without hesitation: “Because life, care, attachment, the creative force of life lie are contained in the feminine world.”

Acualina is a little philosopher dressed in an ancient Greek tunic in the colours of the Cuban flag – red, white and blue. She teaches, gives advice, issues warnings and provides guidelines on how to reduce risks to the environment. Her educational message is broadcast on TV and spread through other means, ranging from stickers to books.

This environmental education initiative created by Corvea in the coastal neighbourhod of Náutico, in Playa, a municipality on the northwest side of Havana, just celebrated its 15th anniversary. It is an area plagued by pollution, mainly coming from the mouth of a river, and from an open coast that causes flooding of the sea or the river during extreme climatic events.

“This is my way of developing, on a voluntary basis, organisational capacities to protect the environment, and adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. We developed this experience in many ways,” the 69-year-old expert, who has received international awards for her work on behalf of the environment, told IPS.

Corvea pointed out that in the face of the impacts of global warming, women are not only protagonists, but are also the most vulnerable. “In general, women are overburdened with work and in the face of a disaster, everything is magnified, the care of children and older adults, food and water shortages,” she said.

“The sixth sense that they attribute to us is activated with more power than normal and we have no other choice but to act, in the end we end up more tired than men: they are occupied (busy working) while we are occupied (working) as well as preoccupied (worried about and caring for everyone) – we have a double workload,” concluded the biologist, whose awareness-raising messages are tailored to children but also reach adults.

According to official reports, Cuban women currently make up 46 percent of the state labour force and 17 percent of the non-state sector. At the same time, they make up 58 percent of university graduates, more than 62 percent of university students, and 47 percent of those who work in science.

In politics, nine of the 25 cabinet ministers and 14 of the 31 members of the State Council are women, as are 299 of the 612 deputies of the National Assembly of People’s Power, the local parliament. The Minister of Science, Technology and Environment has been Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya since 2012.

The first head of this ministry, created in 1994, was scientist Rosa Elena Simeón. She was succeeded by José Miguel Miyar Barrueco, Pérez Montoya’s predecessor.

The data point to a steady increase in professional qualifications and in the level of female participation in Cuban society. However, they continue to be more vulnerable to the impact of climate change, which has intensified the force and frequency of hurricanes and exacerbated periods of drought.

Angela Corvea sits in front of the image of Acualina, the educational project she created 15 years ago in Cuba to teach children - and their families - how to reduce environmental risks, including climate risks, in an island nation where the impacts of rising temperatures are very noticeable. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

Angela Corvea sits in front of the image of Acualina, the educational project she created 15 years ago in Cuba to teach children – and their families – how to reduce environmental risks, including climate risks, in an island nation where the impacts of rising temperatures are very noticeable. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

The response of men and women to this type of disaster is usually different. “Women generally assume the greatest responsibility during evacuations, packing up necessary personal belongings and water and food, often on their own with the children and the elderly in their care,” journalist Iramis Alonso told IPS.

Alonso, who specialises in scientific and environmental issues, added that women “tend to take longer to get back to work after these events, depending on how quickly support services are restored, such as day care centres. That affects them from the point of view of income more than men.”

“All efforts and conflicts are complicated by disasters, because women in every sense are more vulnerable, both at home and at work, where a machista organisational culture still reigns,” sociologist and academic Reina Fleitas told IPS.

In her opinion, disaster management policy should include a gender perspective, because solutions to the problems they generate have to be related to the different impacts and capacities created by people for recovery.

The researcher regretted that “vulnerability studies do not always include a gender focus, there is resistance to recognising that there is a feminisation of poverty that does not mean an increase in the number of women living in poverty, but rather the intensity of how they live.”

“It is known that the vast majority of Cuban women have double workdays and when a natural disaster occurs their efforts triple,” environmental educator Juan Francisco Santos told IPS.

They are the ones who have to prepare the food for the family, “who have to come up with meals, in many cases working magic to figure out how to cook,” she said.

 Several women walk in the rain towards their homes carrying food, as part of their preparations for the imminent arrival in Cuba of Hurricane Gustav, in 2008, in a Havana neighbourhood. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS


Several women walk in the rain towards their homes carrying food, as part of their preparations for the imminent arrival in Cuba of Hurricane Gustav, in 2008, in a Havana neighbourhood. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

In her view, there are several factors that increase women’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change. In the first place, she mentions the domestic role assumed by the majority of women and, as heads of households, they suffer greater tensions in the face of shortages during extreme events.

Santos said the aging of the population also plays a role, “because most of them are responsible for the care of both the very young and the elderly,” as well as “the lack of understanding of what it means to be a woman, on the part of men and of many women, and society as a whole.”

The educator attributed the “differentiated” responses of men and women to the danger of disasters.to “cultural constructions.”

The male provider, the woman (mother) protector, the man guarding the home, the woman in charge of domestic chores, the man “in the vanguard” and the woman “in the rear,” are the stereotyped roles that still remain widespread, he said.

“Faced with a natural disaster, we will continue to reproduce the world as we conceive it,” warned Santos.

According to the State Plan for Confronting Climate Change, approved by the Council of Ministers on Apr. 25, 2017, officially known as the Life Task, scientific studies confirm that Cuba’s climate is becoming warmer and more extreme.

The average annual temperature has increased by 0.9 degrees Celsius since the middle of the last century.

At the same time, great variability has been observed in storm activity and, since 2001, this Caribbean island nation has suffered the impact of 10 intense hurricanes, “unprecedented in history.”

Since 1960 rainfall patterns have changed and droughts have increased significantly, and the average sea level has risen by 6.77 centimetres to date. Coastal flooding caused by the rise of the sea level and strong waves represent the greatest danger to the natural heritage and buildings along the coast.

Future projections indicate that the average sea level rise could reach 27 centimetres by 2050 and 85 centimetres by 2100, causing the gradual loss of the country’s surface area in low-lying coastal areas, as well as the salinisation of underground aquifers.

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Africa Remains Resolute Heading to COP 24http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/africa-remains-resolute-heading-cop-24/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=africa-remains-resolute-heading-cop-24 http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/africa-remains-resolute-heading-cop-24/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 13:15:06 +0000 Friday Phiri http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158250 In December 2015, nations of the world took a giant step to combat climate change through the landmark Paris Agreement. But African experts who met in Nairobi, Kenya at last week’s Seventh Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA VII) say the rise of far-right wing and nationalist movements in the West are […]

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The pastoralists of Ethiopia’s Somali region make a living raising cattle, camels and goats in an arid and drought-prone land. They are forced to move constantly in search of pasture and watering holes for their animals. Ahead of COP 24, African experts have identified the need to speak with one unified voice, saying a shift in the geopolitical landscape threatens climate negotiations. Credit: William Lloyd-George/IPS

By Friday Phiri
NAIROBI, Oct 18 2018 (IPS)

In December 2015, nations of the world took a giant step to combat climate change through the landmark Paris Agreement. But African experts who met in Nairobi, Kenya at last week’s Seventh Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA VII) say the rise of far-right wing and nationalist movements in the West are threatening the collapse of the agreement.
The landmark Paris Agreement focuses on accelerating and intensifying actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future, through greenhouse-gas emissions mitigation, adaptation, finance, and technology transfer among others.

And as Parties struggle to complete the implementing measures needed to get the Paris regime up and running, African experts have identified the need to speak with one unified voice, saying a shift in the geopolitical landscape threatens climate negotiations.

“The rise of ‘the inward-looking nationalist right-wing movement and climate deniers’ in the West is a signal of hardening positions in potential inaction by those largely responsible for the world’s climate problems,” Mithika Mwenda, secretary general of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, told the gathering.

Mwenda said civil society organisations were seeking collaboration with governments on the continent and stood ready to offer support as Africa seeks homegrown solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Our leaders who hold the key for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement should remain candidly focused and resist attempts to scatter the unified African voice to deny Africa a strong bargain in the design of the Paris rulebook,” Mwenda told IPS in an interview.

The 24th Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Katowice, Poland in December, is earmarked as the deadline for the finalisation of the Paris Agreement operational guidelines.

But there are concerns from the African group that there is a deliberate attempt by developed parties to derail the process as the operationalisation of the agreement implies a financial obligation for them to support the adaptation and mitigation action of developing countries.

Since 2015 when the Paris Agreement was reached, the world has seen a shift in the geopolitical landscape, ushering in a climate-sceptic Donald Trump as president of the United States, and several far-right wing nationalist movements gaining power in Europe.

“Two strong groups have joined forces on this issue – the extractive industry, and right-wing nationalists. The combination has taken the current debate to a much more dramatic level than previously, at the same time as our window of opportunity is disappearing,” said Martin Hultman, associate professor in Science, Technology and Environmental studies at Chalmers University of Technology and research leader for the comprehensive project titled ‘Why don’t we take climate change seriously? A study of climate change denial’.

For his part, Trump made good on his campaign promise when he wrote to the UNFCCC secretariat, notifying them of his administration’s intention to withdraw the United States from the treaty, thereby undermining the universality of the Paris Agreement and impairing states’ confidence in climate cooperation.

With this scenario in mind, the discussions at the recently-concluded climate conference in Africa were largely dominated by how the continent could harness homegrown solutions and standing united in the face of shifting climate political dynamics.

In his opening remarks, which he delivered on behalf of Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s environment and forestry minister, Keriako Tobiko said climate change was a matter of life and death for Africa.

And this was the reason why leaders needed to speak with a strong unified voice.

“We have all experienced the devastating and unprecedented impacts of climate change on our peoples’ lives and livelihoods as well as our national economies. Africa is the most vulnerable continent despite contributing only about four percent to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but when we go to argue our case we speak in tongues and come back with no deal,” he said.

He said given Africa’s shared ecosystems, it was essential to speak in one voice to safeguard the basis of the continent’s development and seek transformative solutions.

This climate conference was held just days after the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius which warned of a catastrophe if immediate action is not taken to halt GHG emissions.

And commenting on the IPCC report, Tobiko reiterated the resolutions of the first Africa Environment Partnership Platform held from Sept. 20 to, under the auspices of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the technical body of the African Union, which emphasised the need to turn environmental challenges into economic solutions through innovation and green investments.

Tobiko said that Kenya would be hosting the first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference from Nov. 26 to 28 to promote sustainable investments in oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers.

Just like the Africa Environment Partnership Platform — which recognised “indigenous knowledge and customary governance systems as part of Africa’s rich heritage in addressing environmental issues” — indigenisation was also a trending topic at the CCDA VII.

Under the theme: ‘Policies and actions for effective implementation of the Paris Agreement for resilient economies in Africa’, the conference attracted over 700 participants from member states, climate researchers, academia, civil society organisations and local government leaders, among others.
Experts said that local communities, women and the youth should be engaged in Africa’s efforts to combat the vagaries of climate change.

James Murombedzi, officer-in-charge of the Africa Climate Policy Centre of the U.N. Commission for Africa, said African communities have long practiced many adaptation strategies and viable responses to the changing climate.

However, he said, “there are limits to how well communities can continue to practice adaptive livelihoods in the context of a changing climate”, adding that it was time they were supported by an enabling environment created by government-planned adaptation.

“That is why at CCDA-VII we believe that countries have to start planning for a warmer climate than previously expected so this means we need to review all the different climate actions and proposals to ensure that we can in fact not only survive in a 3 degrees Celsius warmer environment but still be able to meet our sustainable development objectives and our Agenda 2063,” added Murombedzi.

Murombedzi said it was sad that most African governments had continued spending huge sums of money on unplanned adaptations for climate-related disasters.

And these, according Yacob Mulugetta, professor of Energy and Development Policy, University London College, “are the implications of global warming for Africa which is already experiencing massive climate impacts, such as crop production, tourism industries and hydropower generation.”

Mulugetta, one of the lead authors of the IPCC special report, however, noted that “international cooperation is a critical part of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees,” but warned African climate experts to take cognisance of the shifting global geopolitical landscape, which he said is having a significant bearing on climate negotiations.

Meanwhile, the African Development Bank (AfDB), pledged continued support to a climate-resilient development transition in Africa through responsive policies, plans and programmes focusing on building transformed economies and healthy ecosystems.

James Kinyangi of the AfDB said the Bank’s Climate Action Plan for the period 2016 to 2020 was ambitious, as it “explores modalities for achieving adaptation, the adequacy and effectiveness of climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer – all aimed at building skills so that African economies can realise their full potential for adaptation in high technology sectors.”

Under this plan, the bank will nearly triple its annual climate financing to reach USD5 billion a year by 2020.

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Caribbean Nations Pay Steep Price for Climate Change Caused by Othershttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/caribbean-nations-pay-price-climate-change-caused-others/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=caribbean-nations-pay-price-climate-change-caused-others http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/caribbean-nations-pay-price-climate-change-caused-others/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2018 19:10:50 +0000 Daniel Gutman http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158216 Although their contribution to global warming is negligible, Caribbean nations are bearing the brunt of its impact. Climate phenomena are so devastating that countries are beginning to prepare not so much to adapt to the new reality, but to get their economies back on their feet periodically. “We live every year with the expectation that […]

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Rural Migration: An Opportunity, Not A Challengehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/rural-migration-opportunity-not-challenge/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rural-migration-opportunity-not-challenge http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/rural-migration-opportunity-not-challenge/#respond Mon, 15 Oct 2018 11:03:04 +0000 Tharanga Yakupitiyage http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158170 While it can be a challenging issue, migration must be seen as an opportunity and be met with sound, coherent policies that neither stem nor promote the phenomenon. A new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) examines rural migration and urges countries to maximise the contribution of such migrants […]

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Women and children caught in a dust-laden gust at an IDP settlement 60km south of the town of Gode, reachable only along a dirt track through the desiccated landscape. Credit: James Jeffrey/IPS

Women and children caught in a dust-laden gust at an IDP settlement 60km south of the town of Gode, reachable only along a dirt track through the desiccated landscape. Credit: James Jeffrey/IPS

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 15 2018 (IPS)

While it can be a challenging issue, migration must be seen as an opportunity and be met with sound, coherent policies that neither stem nor promote the phenomenon.

A new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) examines rural migration and urges countries to maximise the contribution of such migrants to economic and social development.

“We cannot ignore the challenges and costs associated with migration,” FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva said.

“The objective must be to make migration a choice, not a necessity, and to maximise the positive impacts while minimising the negative ones,” he added.

FAO’s senior economist and author of the report Andrea Cattaneo echoed similar sentiments to IPS, stating; “Migration, despite all the challenges that it may pose, really represents the core of economic, social, and human development.”

Though international migration often dominates headlines, the report shows that internal migration is a far larger phenomenon.

More than one billion people living in developing countries have moved internally, with 80 percent of moves involving rural areas.

Migration between developing countries is also larger than those to developed countries. For instance, approximately 85 percent of refugees globally are hosted by developing countries, and at least one-third in rural areas.

Cattaneo additionally highlighted the link between internal and international migrants, noting that in low-income countries, internal migrants are five times more likely to migrate internationally than people who have not moved.

A significant portion of international migrants are also found to have come from rural areas. FAO found that almost 75 percent of rural households from Malawi migrate internationally.

Abdul Aziz stands with his child in Dhaka's Malibagh slum. He came to Bangladesh’s capital a decade ago after losing everything to river erosion, hoping to rebuild his life, but only to find grinding poverty. Credit: Rafiqul Islam/IPS

Abdul Aziz stands with his child in Dhaka’s Malibagh slum. He came to Bangladesh’s capital a decade ago after losing everything to river erosion, hoping to rebuild his life, but only to find grinding poverty. Credit: Rafiqul Islam/IPS

Why all the movement?

While human movements have long occurred since the beginning of time, many migrants now move out of necessity, not choice.

Alongside an increase in protracted crises which force communities out of their homes, it is the lack of access to income and employment and thus a sustainable livelihood that is among the primary drivers of rural migration.

In China, significant rural-urban income gaps drove rural workers to abandon agriculture and migrate to cities.

Between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of China’s population living in urban areas increased from 26 percent to 56 percent, and an estimated 200 million rural migrants now work in the East Asian nation’s cities.

However, such rapid urbanisation increasingly seen around the world is posing new challenges in the availability of resources.

Poor environmental conditions and agricultural productivity have also driven rural workers away.

A recent study revealed that a 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature is associated with a 5 percent increase in the number of international migrants, but only from agriculture-dependent societies.

In other countries such as Thailand and Ghana, migration is prompted by the lack of infrastructure and access to services such as education and health care.

This points to the importance of investing in rural areas to ensure migration is not overwhelming and that residents have the means to live a prosperous life.

However, it is very important to consider the right type of investments and development, Cattaneo said.

“The type of development matters. Development per say is not going to reduce migration…but if you have the right type of development and investments in rural areas, you can make the case that you can reduce some of this migration,” Cattaneo told IPS.

A forward outlook

In the report, FAO advocates a territorial development approach to reduce rural out-migration  and thus international migration including investments in social services and improving regional infrastructure in or close to rural areas.

For instance, investments in infrastructure related to the agri-food system—such as warehousing, cold storage, and wholesale markets—can generate employment both in agriculture and the non-farm sectors and provide more incentive for people to stay instead of move to already overburdened cities.

Policies should also be forward-thinking and context specific, Cattaneo noted while pointing the consequences of climate change. This could mean investing in new activities that are viable to a particular region while another region moves towards more drought-resistant crop.

While migration may still continue, it will not be driven by the lack of economic opportunities or suitable living conditions.

“Migration is a free choice but if you put in place good opportunities at home, many people may decide not to migrate. Some will still want to migrate and that’s fine—that’s actually the type of migration that works. It’s not out of need, it’s out of choice,” Cattaneo told IPS.

In fact, migration often plays a significant role in reducing inequalities and is even included as a target under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10, which aims to reduce inequality within and among countries.

Whilst reducing their own inequalities, migrants also contribute to economic transformation and development around the world.

“We focus on the challenges without looking at the opportunities that can come with migration because at the end of the day, people are a resource for society,” Cattaneo said.

“If we can find a way to put them into productive use, then that’s an added value for the destination or host country,” he added, pointing to Uganda as an example.

In recent years, Uganda has seen an influx of refugees from conflict-stricken nations such as South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

With its open-door policy, the East African country now has 1.4 million refugees, posing strains on resources.

Despite the challenges, its progressive refugee policy allows non-nationals to seek employment, go to school, and access healthcare. The government also provides a piece of land to each refugee family for their own agricultural use.

“This is a country that has looked beyond the challenges to see the opportunities, and they are making these people be productive part of society,” Cattaneo said.

With certain rhetoric that has cast migrants in a negative light, the international community still has a way to go to learn how to turn challenges into opportunities.

“Much remains to be done to eliminate poverty and hunger in the world. Migration was – and will continue to be – part and parcel of the broader development process,” Graziano da Silva concluded.

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Helping Ethiopia Achieve Green Growth and Avoid Industrialised Nations’ Environmental Mistakeshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/helping-ethiopia-achieve-green-growth-avoid-industrialised-nations-environmental-mistakes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=helping-ethiopia-achieve-green-growth-avoid-industrialised-nations-environmental-mistakes http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/helping-ethiopia-achieve-green-growth-avoid-industrialised-nations-environmental-mistakes/#respond Mon, 15 Oct 2018 09:14:42 +0000 James Jeffrey http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158165 As Ethiopia undergoes a period of unprecedented change and reform, the Global Green Growth Institute(GGGI) is partnering with the Ethiopian government to try and ensure this vital period of transition includes the country embracing sustainable growth and avoiding the environmental mistakes made by Western nations. The basis of this effort comes from GGGI supporting the […]

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Ethiopia is not an industrialised country but is looking at alternative economic activity that allows a low-carbon economy and means of living. Credit: James Jeffrey/IPS

By James Jeffrey
ADDIS ABABA, Oct 15 2018 (IPS)

As Ethiopia undergoes a period of unprecedented change and reform, the Global Green Growth Institute(GGGI) is partnering with the Ethiopian government to try and ensure this vital period of transition includes the country embracing sustainable growth and avoiding the environmental mistakes made by Western nations.

The basis of this effort comes from GGGI supporting the Ethiopian government in the development and implementation of its Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE), a strategy launched in 2011 to achieve middle-income status while developing a green economy.

As elsewhere in Africa where GGGI is partnering with other member countries—Ethiopia was the first country to sign up among the current group of 10—the goal is to act now to enable countries to have a future comprising economic growth and poverty reduction while building resilience, promoting sustainable infrastructure and ensuring efficient management of natural resources.

“Countries like Ethiopia aren’t industrialised, so they have a chance to leapfrog in their development that means they wouldn’t follow us and make the mistakes we did when we industrialised,” Dexippos Agourides, GGGI’s head of programmes for Africa and Europe who is based in Addis Ababa, tells IPS. “We are talking about an alternative economic activity that allows a low-carbon economy and means of living.”

The global effort toward green growth gained momentum after the Paris Agreement in which signatories agreed to collectively tackle climate change through the mechanism of implementing nationally determined contributions (NDC), a country’s tailored efforts to reduce its emissions and enable it to adapt to climate change-induced challenges.

“The government has made big commitment and set very ambitious targets, so even if they only go halfway to their targets that would still be a significant achievement,” Agourides says. “There are big gaps in the plan, which is where we come in to accompany the government in this ambition.”

Hence GGGI’s 12-person team in Addis Ababa providing embedded expert and advisory technical support and capacity building to the Ethiopian government.

Their main effort is to ensure CRGE strategies and financing go toward six sectors identified as key for green growth: energy, reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, agriculture (land use and livestock), green urbanisation and cities, transport, industry and health.

Ethiopia’s goal is to act now to enable it to have a future comprising economic growth and poverty reduction while building resilience, promoting sustainable infrastructure and ensuring efficient management of natural resources. Credit: James Jeffrey/IPS

One example of how this looks on the ground is Ethiopia’s programme of building industrial parks becoming greener, through schemes such as waste sludge from factories being used by other industries.

Another example is Ethiopia’s ambitious programme of reforestation and management of existing forest cover, which had reduced from covering about 35 percent of the country a century ago to around 3 percent in 2000—it’s now back up to around 15 percent.

GGGI is also working with the government on adaptation plans for areas prone to drought and flash flooding that appear increasingly volatile due to climate change.

“We look at past patterns and predict who suffers and how, so we can make plans so people are not hit,” says Innocent Kabenga, GGGI’s country representative for Ethiopia.

At the same time, Kabenga notes, methods such as reusing water, hydro-power, wind and solar are all being considered as means of mitigating Ethiopia’s carbon footprint. Such a plethora of renewable energy options comes from Ethiopia having one of the most complex and variable climates in the world due to its location between various climatic systems and its diverse geographical structure.

When it comes to the often-contentious issue of more foreign funds going to Ethiopia—already one of the world’s biggest recipients of overseas aid—those at GGGI point out that it is not necessarily a case of more funds but making sure existing funding go to the right place.

At the same time, there is no getting around the financial costs involved, both for Ethiopia’s green growth goals—in 2017, GGGI helped Ethiopia access USD 135 for its programme reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, as well as access the Green Climate Fund—and for GGGI. Its budget comes from a mixture of developed and developing countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico and Indonesia, a geographic spread reflecting the nature of the challenge that GGGI is engaged with.

“These are issues that have no boundaries, that no one country can solve, which is why we need to implement these national agreements that will help the world to survive,” Kabenga says. “Western countries have more money, and it their actions [contributing to climate change] that have affected the developing world.”

Despite governmental willingness, those at GGGI acknowledge much more is needed to turn words into concrete actions, especially within the complex context of Ethiopia’s federal democracy that devolves significant power to each region.

Furthermore, each ministry involved in the CRGE must do its job, and the government policy at the federal level must be successfully transmitted to Ethiopia’s regional governments—who must then do their bit.

Tying all that together—and as the country is going through one of its most significant political upheavals in 27 years as a new prime minister attempts to initiate significant reforms throughout government and society—is no easy thing, Agourides acknowledges. But if it can be done, then the economic and environmental benefits for Ethiopia could be huge, while allowing it to avoid the pitfalls elsewhere of growth at any cost that has done untold damage to this precious planet.

“Ethiopia stands at the top of least developed countries in terms of commitment, engagement and awareness,” Agourides says. “But implementation is the issue given the size and complexity of the country.”

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Students Go Green to End Global Energy Povertyhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/students-go-green-end-global-energy-poverty/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=students-go-green-end-global-energy-poverty http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/students-go-green-end-global-energy-poverty/#respond Mon, 15 Oct 2018 08:47:25 +0000 Busani Bafana http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158155 In Africa, over 640 million people – almost double the population of United States – have no access to electricity, with many relying on dirty sources of energy sources for heating, cooking and lighting. While not offering a solution to the electricity gap in Africa, Brian Kakembo Galabuzi, a Ugandan economics student, can offer a […]

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A Congolese man transports charcoal on his bicycle outside Lubumbashi in the DRC. Credit: Miriam Mannak/IPS

By Busani Bafana
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe , Oct 15 2018 (IPS)

In Africa, over 640 million people – almost double the population of United States – have no access to electricity, with many relying on dirty sources of energy sources for heating, cooking and lighting.

While not offering a solution to the electricity gap in Africa, Brian Kakembo Galabuzi, a Ugandan economics student, can offer a cleaner and cheaper solution.

Galabuzi is the founder of Waste to Energy Youth Enterprise (WEYE), which is registered as a limited company that makes carbonised fuel briquettes from agricultural waste materials and organic waste.

Galabuzi got the idea after networking with other students concerned about global energy poverty at the 2015 International Student Energy Summit in Bali, Indonesia. Energy poverty is defined as the lack of adequate modern energy for cooking, warmth, lighting, and essential energy services for manufacturing, services, schools, health centres and income generation.

WEYE was created with the basic idea of commercialising grass root bio-waste to energy solutions in order to create a youth-led clean cooking transition in Uganda.

The promise of a financial income or benefit have been effective hooks to get young people to embrace sustainable energy as a source of income. The  youth promote sustainable energy because they want to earn from it, says Galabuzi.

“We believe that the benefits of sustainable energy, such as time saving, clean air, environmental conservation and good health are not what the highly-unemployed youth what to hear,” Galabuzi tells IPS.

“The majority of the world’s population is youth – of which the biggest population is unemployed. This why we designed a solution based on financial benefit (income generating opportunity) for unemployed youth and women,” he says.

Resource rich but energy poor

Africa is energy rich but nearly two thirds of its population of more than 1,2 billion have no access to electricity.

The African continent has an estimated 10 terawatts of potential solar energy, 350 gigawatts (GW) of hydroelectric power and 110 GW of wind power. All these sources can be harnessed with the right investment, a 2015 study by influential consulting company, McKinsey & Company found.

However, poor investment in off-grid connections in Africa means that polluting fossil fuels and biomass are major energy sources. However, off grid connections can provide clean and affordable energy to millions of people while helping reduce carbon emissions and preventing indoor pollution.

Growing energy demand in Africa and other developing economies presents an urgent need for the promotion and provision of more affordable and cleaner energy. Wood, charcoal, grass and solid waste, such as animal and human waste, are forms of biomass that can be converted into fuel and used as energy sources.

In Africa, over 640 million people have no access to electricity, with many relying on dirty sources of energy sources for heating, cooking and lighting. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

A clean energy business

And students like Galabuzi are seeing opportunities here.

While acknowledging that his company is not the first to make briquettes, Galabuzi says what is unique is that the briquettes are made from organic waste materials and sold to institutions that use firewood – 80 percent of which harvested in Uganda. Recent studies indicate that Uganda is at risk of losing all its forest in 40 years unless it halts deforestation. This is largely due to population growth and increased demand for land and firewood energy.

“Our solution guarantees our clients a 35 percent reduction in cost of cooking fuel, 50 percent reduction in cooking time and, most importantly, a smoke free cooking environment for the cooking staff,” Galabuzi tells IPS.

Galabuzi says despite the presence of solar, hydro power and gas as alternative sources of cooking energy, fuel briquettes are affordable and efficient energy alternatives.

A pilot of the fuel briquettes at St. Kizito High School, a school based in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, and the first school to adopt WEYE’s technology, showed encouraging results. Galabuzi explains the school registered an annual financial saving of over USD 2,500, a 50 percent reduction in cooking time and increased job satisfaction among the cooking staff due to the healthy, clean and smokeless cooking conditions.

“Our project uses organic waste from farmers and food markets such as maize cobs, banana peels and many others, which were considered useless,” he says.

“We offer the farmers and waste collectors monetary value for this organic waste and give them a new avenue to generate income, boosting the agricultural and waste management sectors.”

Galabuzi says his business has the potential of employing over 40 individuals in waste collection, sorting, production, marketing, distribution and finance.  It also has a potential market of over 30,000 institutions in Uganda. Already WEYE is training youth and women how to make briquettes and to start up their own briquette companies, with support from the Uganda government youth fund.

The WEYE Clean Energy Company Limited is authorised to sell charcoal briquettes and clean cook stoves in Uganda. The business model was tested during an 8-week ‘Greenprenuers’ programme run by the Global Green Growth Initiative, Youth Climate Labs and Student Energy (SE).

Felistas Ngoma, 72, from Nkhamenya in the Kasungu District of Malawi, prepares food in her kitchen. Credit: Charity Chimungu Phiri/IPS

Students driving sustainable energy transition

SE is a global organisation, based in Alberta, Canada. It builds the potential of young people to accelerate subsistence energy transitionthrough training, coaching and mentorship.

The interest in energy by SE, which has a membership of 50,000 young people from 30 different countries around the world, led to a partnership with Seoul-based Global Green Growth Initiative (GGGI) to promote the young ‘greenpreneurs’ programme. This programme gives the youth opportunities to turn innovative ideas into green businesses in sustainable energy, water and sanitation, sustainable landscapes and green cities.

“We got interested in greenpreneurship because a lot of people in our network are interested in energy but are more at a systems level and how energy connects to gender, empowerment, access to clean sources of fuel, access to energy in remote areas and smart technology,” Helen Watts, director of Innovation and Partnerships at SE, tells IPS.

Global discussions on energy, while politicised, have previously been at commercial and academic levels. But SE has opened a platform to promote wider discussions on finding and implementing innovative solutions to solving the energy challenge and help meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

Watts says the partnership with GGGI is an opportunity to open up GGGI’s youth entrepreneurship model, which is country specific, into a global accelerator model with young people from emerging and developing economies. Another organisation, the Youth Climate Lab, an innovation lab space organisation that seeks to build the capacity of young people to participate in the climate policy, innovate and collaborate on climate adaptation and mitigation, has been brought in as a partner.

“Young people have this incredible capacity to break the kind of zero sum game of sustainability of profitability,” says Watts.

“They have an amazing ability to think outside boxes of what has been done and collaborate with different peers and community members to map out these incredible solutions to both grow their communities and local economies while providing cleaner, affordable solutions to different challenges community members are facing.”

SE was started in 2009 by a group of students who worked in the energy industry in Canada and every two years it organises an international summit on the future of sustainable energy as a platform to talk about energy transition.

The first International Student Energy Summit in 2009 brought together 350 students from 40 countries. The 6th International Students Energy Summit was hosted in Mexico in 2017 with 600 students from 100 countries. Next year the summit will be in London and is expected to attract 700 students.

SE has also developed energy chapters in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, North America, Oceania, South America and South Asia, which are like student clubs in post-secondary institutions. The chapters are supported to help members develop their green energy ideas into reality in their communities. The first chapters were established in United Kingdom, Nigeria and Canada.

“Energy has really captured me and inspired me to dedicate my entire career to energy transition projects because of how fundamental energy is to our everyday lives,” Sean Collins, a co-founder of SE, tells IPS, adding that the value of energy is embedded in the work of SE that there is consideration of both energy’s striking benefits and its impacts.

“I think the thing I am most proud of has been our work to set the expectation that youth deserve a seat at the table in all energy conversations as a peer with older generations, policy makers, legacy industry and other groups. It is our generation that will be primarily responsible for the practical transition to a lower carbon economy, so we need to be an active participant in these discussions from day one.”

Fostering discussions and implementation of energy innovations creates impact. Businesses like Galabuzi’s WEYE clean energy company can be potential models to provide energy to more 600 million people in Africa who go without electricity.

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Indonesia Unveils Low Carbon Development Frameworkhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/indonesia-unveils-low-carbon-development-framework/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=indonesia-unveils-low-carbon-development-framework http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/indonesia-unveils-low-carbon-development-framework/#comments Fri, 12 Oct 2018 20:47:23 +0000 Kanis Dursin http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158144 Indonesia is convinced that low carbon development and a green economy are key to further boosting economic growth without sacrificing environmental sustainability and social inclusivity. Low carbon development, also called low emission development strategies or low carbon growth plans, refers to economic development plans or strategies that promote low emissions and or climate-resilient economic growth. […]

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A woman works in her vegetable patch at the foot of Mount Sinabung, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Indonesia is one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) that cause global warming on our now beleaguered planet Earth.Credit: Kafil Yamin/IPS

By Kanis Dursin
JAKARTA, Oct 12 2018 (IPS)

Indonesia is convinced that low carbon development and a green economy are key to further boosting economic growth without sacrificing environmental sustainability and social inclusivity.

Low carbon development, also called low emission development strategies or low carbon growth plans, refers to economic development plans or strategies that promote low emissions and or climate-resilient economic growth.

“It is timely for Indonesia to put in place sustainable development principles that balance the economic, social and environmental aspects. In this context, the government of Indonesia has committed to become the pioneer of sustainable development by initiating the LCDI [Low Carbon Development Indonesia report] and at the same time, preparing and implementing green financing mechanisms,” minister of national development planning (BAPPENAS) Bambang Brodjonegoro said.

He was launching the LCDI report that spells out the country’s green development path at the “Conference on Low Carbon Development and Green Economy” organised by the Indonesian government on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Organised as part of the 2018 International Monetary Fund-World Bank Group Annual Meetings that run through Oct. 14, the conference was co-hosted by several international institutions that help Indonesia in mapping and designing green growth programmes, including the UK Climate Change Unit, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the Indonesian Climate Change Trust Fund, the New Climate Economy, and the World Resources Institute Indonesia.

The renewed stance towards green growth comes as the archipelago island nation is recovering from a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and a resultant tsunami that hit its Sulawesi Island on Sept. 28. There were an estimated 2,000 casualities.

It was followed Thursday Oct. 11 by another earthquake of 6.0 magnitude which hit the tourist area of Bali, where the current IMF-World Bank Group Annual Meetings are being held.

Indonesia is one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) that cause global warming on our now beleaguered planet Earth.

In 2012, Indonesia produced a total of 1,453 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCOe), an increase of 0,459 GtCOe from the year 2000, according to the first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Indonesia submitted to the United Nations. At least 47.8 percent of the country’s GHG emissions came from land-use change and forestry, including peatland fires, followed by emissions from the energy sector, at 34.9 percent.

In 2015, Indonesia set an ambitious target to reduce GHG emissions by 29 percent under the business-as-usual scenario, and by 41 percent with international assistance and financial support by 2030. The same target was put in the NDC submitted to the U.N. under the Paris Agreement, which seeks to slow down warming to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius.

Marcel Silvius, GGGI Indonesia country representative at his office in Jakarta, Indonesia. Credit: Kanis Dursin/IPS

“The pledge puts Indonesia in a vulnerable position,” Marcel Silvius, Indonesia Country Representative of GGGI, an inter-governmental organisation that supports the implementation of green growth in Indonesia, told IPS. “It sets the agenda for former, current, and future governments.

“That is very brave, it is something that is lacking in other governments. There are very strong positive signals that Indonesia is a country that other countries look at as an example and they want Indonesia to succeed,” he added

“Countries that are not so forthcoming in their pledges will receive less foreign collaboration. So, it is all positive for Indonesia. I think Indonesia is leading on certain fronts, one clearly is on the peat land restoration, only a few countries put so much emphasis on rehabilitation of this ecosystem, Indonesia is one and Russia is another,” Silvius said.

In September, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo instructed related ministries and regional governments to stop issuing new permits for oil palm plantations, which are often blamed for forest and peatland fires, and to review existing ones for possible revocation.

In January 2016, the government established the Badan Restorasi Gambut or Peatland Restoration Agency. Directly under the president, the agency is tasked with restoring 20,000 square kilometres of degraded peat forest by 2020.

“I think Indonesia in many respects has been braver compared to other countries such as the United States, [and] even Europe. Indonesia has taken the right steps that we don’t see in other countries, including in developed countries,” Silvius said.

He also praised Indonesia’s decision to organise the conference on low carbon development and the green economy during the IMF-World Bank Group Annual Meetings in Bali.

“The event gives a strong policy signal and creates a proper investment climate for organisations like the IMF and the World Bank and countries who are members of the World Bank and the IMF. The government also needs to give this kind of signals to the private sector,” Silvius told IPS in the interview in Jakarta.

The conference included panel discussions featuring several prominent speakers including former vice president Boediono, former trade minister Mari Elka Pangestu, Co-Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, CEO of Unilever and Co-Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate Paul Polman, and LCDI Commissioner and Co-Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate Lord Nicholas Stern.

During the discussions, the speakers and participants shared their knowledge on the green economy, including business models that incorporate inclusive development and GHG emission reductions and ensure maintenance and restoration of natural capital, sectorial financing priorities and challenges, as well as strategies on how to effectively implement low carbon development.

The LCDI serves as a guideline in designing a development plan. If followed accordingly, the framework is “expected to accelerate rapid economic growth, reduce the poverty rate, and decrease greenhouse gas” emissions.

“To underline this commitment of implementing LCDI, the ministry of national development planning will mainstream the LCDI report on low carbon development framework into our next five years 2020-2024 National Medium Term Development Plan. This will become the very first ever low carbon development plan in the history of Indonesia,” said Brodjonegoro.

Recent global research suggested that bold climate action could deliver 26 trillion dollars in economic benefits in the form of new jobs and better health outcomes globally from now to 2030, compared to the business-as-usual approach.

Frank Rijsberman, Director General of GGGI, explained that foreign and domestic capital was available for the development of green projects, but that private investors require a sound supportive policy framework to help de-risk their investments in innovative green projects.

“There needs to be a strong collaboration of trusted global institutions and leaders from government and the private sector that are committed to green growth. This can certainly bring a significant change, which is very much needed by Indonesia for a better, cleaner, and more prosperous future,” Rijsberman said.

Meanwhile, the World Bank hailed Indonesia’s implementation of its NDC but warned that the current policy framework was still a challenge.

“Indonesia is making significant strides in the implementation of its NDC, including in aspects of mitigation and adaptation. However, the current policy, regulatory, and governance framework for forested landscapes remains a challenge,” Ann Jeannette Glauber, lead Environment Specialist for the World Bank, told IPS via email.

The World Bank, Glauber said, has worked with the Indonesian government, private sector, and civil society to support the country’s efforts to move toward a green growth trajectory, including providing knowledge, partnership and financing support.

“We continue to stand ready to support the government of Indonesia with technical assistance and financing support to meet their green growth objectives at their request,” Glauber said.

And what is the way forward for the country? With all the pledges and programmes to cut gas emissions, Indonesia, according to Silvius, needs support.

“I don’t think any government in the world can do these things on their own including developed countries. There should be real collaboration and transfer of knowledge between countries, financial collaboration and assistance. Indonesia cannot do it on its own,” he said.

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Rwanda Leverages Green Climate Fund’s Opportunities to Fast-Track Sustainable Developmenthttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/rwanda-leverages-green-climate-funds-opportunities-fast-track-sustainable-development/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rwanda-leverages-green-climate-funds-opportunities-fast-track-sustainable-development http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/rwanda-leverages-green-climate-funds-opportunities-fast-track-sustainable-development/#respond Fri, 12 Oct 2018 16:16:26 +0000 Aimable Twahirwa http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158135 In a move to achieve its green growth aspirations by 2050, Rwanda has placed a major focus on promoting project proposals that shift away from “business as usual” and have a significant impact on curbing climate change while attracting private investment. The latest report published by the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) in 2015 states […]

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Greening practices are being adopted in Rwanda which include the terracing on hillsides to control erosion like here in Rulindo district, Northern Rwanda. Credit: Aimable Twahirwa/IPS

By Aimable Twahirwa
KIGALI, Oct 12 2018 (IPS)

In a move to achieve its green growth aspirations by 2050, Rwanda has placed a major focus on promoting project proposals that shift away from “business as usual” and have a significant impact on curbing climate change while attracting private investment.

The latest report published by the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) in 2015 states that the country needs to adapt – and keep adapting – so that Rwandans can become climate resilient and be assured that they can thrive under changing climate conditions.

Rwanda is one of a few nations in the world to develop its own climate-related domestic budget to finance mitigation and adaptation projects and leverage international climate finance. Since it was established in 2012, the National Fund for Climate and Environment, commonly known as “FONERWA”, has played a major role in this country’s climate resilient development by financing various green economy projects.

It is also the focal point for channeling international climate finance into projects in Rwanda, while offering technical assistance to project proponents to ensure the success of investments.

“Thanks to this expertise, much of the core funding has been allocated to projects on a grant basis, returns are being measured in impact,” Daniel Ogbonnaya, the acting country representative and lead, Rwanda programme coordinator of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), in Kigali, tells IPS.

GGGI is an international organisation that has partnered with the Rwandan government to help the country access the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF, established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), assists developing countries in adaptation and mitigation to counter climate change.

For example, one of FONERWA’s major impacts during the implementation phase has seen over 130,000 green jobs created, nearly 25,000 families connected to clean energy, and approximately 20,000 hectares of land secured against erosion, according to official estimates.

Now the East African country which has faced challenges related to the pressures on natural resources from a growing population is relying on FONERWA to implement its national Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy, adopted in 2011, to achieve some of its national climate targets.

FONERWA, which is the sole vehicle through which environment and climate change finance is channeled, programmed, disbursed and monitored in the country, is also being used by the government as an instrument to facilitate direct access to international environment and climate finance.

Government departments and districts can access FONERWA funding. But the fund is also open to charitable and private entities, including businesses, civil society and research institutions. However, to be eligible for funding, proposals are required to meet standard criteria set out for achieving the country’s green growth.

GGGI is providing technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of FONERWA in designing world class climate resilience projects and to enhance the fund’s ability to mobilise more resources.

The institute has been focusing on providing demand-driven technical advisory services; the development of inclusive green growth plans that are gender sensitive; and the creation of an enabling environment to engage and foster public and private sector investment in green growth.

While a significant amount of money has been allocated by FONERWA toward efforts to help mitigate climate change, one of the key criteria for approval of funding proposals was taken into account in selecting public and private adaptation and mitigation projects and programmes to finance.

The director general of REMA and also the national focal person of the GCF, Coletha Ruhamya, explained that growth in Rwanda is only possible if the private sector is on board and plays a leading role.

“This is because business practice in the country has always been associated with environmental pollution and degradation,” she told IPS.

In April, FONERWA proposed a new approach dedicated to encouraging the private sector to take advantage of the existing opportunities in addressing environmental challenges, including climate change.

Since its inception in 2012, FONERWA has successfully funded 35 competitively-awarded, high-impact projects to the tune of 54 million dollars and has also received in 2018 another 33 million dollars of earmarked funding from the GCF as the accredited entity’s implementing partner for a new climate-resilience project in Rwanda.

However, some stakeholders in the private sector stress the need for serious sensitisation programmes meant for local investors to understand the opportunities that are in the industrial sector through leveraging on the green fund.

The chief executive officer of the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF), Stephen Ruzibiza, told IPS that local private investors have a lot to access withinvthe green fund.

Currently the PSF is engaging with FONERWA and a limited number of local financial intermediaries to offer long-term loans to private businesses focusing on environmental sustainability with a low interest rate which is fixed at 11.5 percent.

The current average lending interest rate for commercial banks in Rwanda is 17.58 percent, according to the National Bank of Rwanda.

According to Jean Ntazinda, a consultant with the FONERWA Readiness Support Project, the private sector in Rwanda has so far been left behind when compared to government entities in accessing the GCF financing mechanism.

“Although at the national level some private sector projects relating to adaptation got financed, there is a long way to bring the private sector on board due to the lack of another entity accredited by GCF,” Ntazinda told IPS in an exclusive interview.

In 2015, Rwanda’s ministry of environment became accredited with the GCF and received a promise of 10 to 50 million dollars in climate finance. It was the country’s first national institution to receive GCF accreditation.

In March 2018, the government of Rwanda received an additional 32.8 million dollars from GCF to strengthen climate resilience in Gicumbi District, Northern Province.

The ‘Strengthening Climate Resilience of Rural Communities in Northern Rwanda’ project, that will run for six years, is expected to invest in climate-resilient settlements for families currently living in areas prone to landslides and floods, and support community-based adaptation planning and livelihoods diversification.

Currently FONERWA is in the process of developing several innovative funding mechanisms to finance pro-poor climate projects in Rwanda.

For instance, Result-Based Finance (RBF) is one of the approaches currently being used to fund renewable energy mini-grid projects in poor rural areas of Rwanda at a time when Rwandan officials are aiming to achieve 51 percent of electricity access by the end of 2019, from the current 45 percent.

RBF are payments that are disbursed at the end of the construction of the mini-grids, provided that pre-agreed conditions and milestones are met.

“This incentivises developers to look for private equity and debt to fund the construction costs. And it gives further certainty to the lenders that parts of the debt will be repaid,” Ogbonnaya told IPS.

However, Ogbonnaya is convinced that local commercial banks in Rwanda are willing to promote access to private finance for green initiatives, but don’t yet understand the process.

“This is because using government or local budget is key to showing country ownership and to showing that a specific project is part of a broader national strategy, but for adaptation funds, co-benefits such as social, environment, gender impacts and pro-poor impacts are so crucial,” he said.

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Kenyan Women Turning the Tables on Traditional Banking and Land Ownershiphttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/kenyan-women-turning-tables-traditional-banking-land-ownership/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kenyan-women-turning-tables-traditional-banking-land-ownership http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/kenyan-women-turning-tables-traditional-banking-land-ownership/#comments Fri, 12 Oct 2018 15:58:12 +0000 Miriam Gathigah http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158133 This article is part of a series of stories to mark World Food Day October 16.

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Mary Auma feeding one of the cows she bought with credit from her table banking group. Credit: Miriam Gathigah/IPS

By Miriam Gathigah
NAIROBI, Oct 12 2018 (IPS)

It was less than eight months ago that Mary Auma and her three children, from Ahero in Kenya’s Nyanza region, were living in a one-room house in an informal settlement. Ahero is largely agricultural and each day Auma would go and purchase large quantities of milk and resell it – earning only a 10 percent profit.

But in February life for the single mother and her children changed for the better when she raised the USD 1,500 required to purchase an acre of land and two cows. The money did not just buy her assets, but financial security and a sustainable income. And she has moved her kids to a nicer neighbourhood. “Eight years ago, none of us had land to call their own. Today, all 24 of us have been able to acquire land through loans received from the group’s savings." --Irene Tuwei, a member of the Chamgaa table banking group.

This is all because two years ago Ahero joined a table banking group. Table banking is a group saving strategy in which members place their savings, loan repayments and other contributions. They can also borrow funds immediately. Table banking groups are growing in popularity across Africa, and can be found in Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. In some places they are called  table banks and in others they are known as village banks.

Auma always wanted to own land so she could become self-sufficient.
“With a piece of land, I could live on it, keep cows, chicken and grow vegetables behind my kitchen. This is what I have always wanted but I had no money to start these projects,” she tells IPS.

When you can’t bank on land, bank on the table

While women can freely own and buy land in Kenya, less than seven percent of them have title deeds, according to the non-governmental organisation Kenya Land Alliance.

“You need collateral to secure a loan from a commercial bank and women generally do not have property. They are therefore unable to access credit to buy land. The concept of table banking is highly attractive to women because they loan each other the capital needed to acquire property,” Francis Kiragu, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi, tells IPS.

Auma says that the loans from her table banking group are attractive since the only collateral women need to provide are household assets. “It is rare for members to default on loans as members are mainly neighbours and fellow church [goers] who come together in good faith,” she explains.

As more women take over control of their farmlands, this will not only become their source of food but also income. Having an income is important as it increases their purchasing power. Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

Increased access to loans means increased access to land

Farming on lands they do not own has made it difficult for women to make transformative decisions and to contribute to sustainable food security. But as informal banking takes on a new form among rural women in Africa, there is a chance that women will start having increased access to land.

“Women are no longer hoarding pennies to share amongst themselves. We meet once a week and in just one sitting, 24 of us can now contribute up to 5,000 dollars,” Irene Tuwei, a member of the Chamgaa table banking group in Turbo, Rift Valley region, tells IPS.

Tuwei says that unlike in the past, women do not have to wait months to receive their savings. Table banking is an improved version of traditional merry-go-rounds where women would save a little from their household budgets and the lump sum would be handed over to one person at a time. This would sometimes mean that if there were 15 members in a merry-go-round it could take 15 months for each member to have their turn in accessing the funds.

Things have, however, evolved from this to a revolving fund.

“In table banks, not a single coin is banked, which gives us instant loans without providing the kind of security banks ask for,” Tuwei says.

Table banking still guided by rules

One of the most visible table banking movements in Kenya is the Joyful Women Table Banking movement that has 200,000 members in all 47 counties, and which claims to have a revolving fund estimated at 27 million dollars. This is said to be currently in the hands and pockets of women across the country in form of loans.

Tuwei’s Chamgaa group is one of 12,000 under this movement.

“These groups are so successful that we now have banks reaching out to us offering special accounts where we can borrow money at very friendly terms. Before, these banks would never accept our loan applications because we did not have assets to attach while applying for them,” Tuwei tells IPS.

Table banking is guided by rules and regulations designed and agreed upon by members. They include how often to meet, with some groups meeting weekly and others monthly.

The rules also include loan repayment periods and also touch on how members should conduct themselves during meetings. Tuwei says that across table banking groups, small misdemeanours such as being late for a meeting can attract a fine of between USD 2 to USD 5. Loans given to members are also charged interest.

Land and independence to call their own 

“Eight years ago, none of us had land to call their own. Today, all 24 of us have been able to acquire land through loans received from the group’s savings,” Tuwei says of her group.

Tuwei was struck by polio at an early age which affected her legs. So she could not move around freely and required assistance to plough her fields.
Since joining the group, she owns three motorbike taxis, some cows, chickens, pigs and an ox plough. She also has plans to open a petrol station near a busy highway soon.

She now also harvests approximately 80 bags of maize cobs, which translate to about 40 bags of grains once shelled. From this, she makes approximately USD 2,300 every harvest season and puts some of this money into her table banking group to boost her savings.

“At the end of the year we share all the money that has been revolving among us for 12 months based on what each member has contributed, additional money gathered from penalties and interest from loans is shared equally,” says Tuwei.

Women need land to combat world hunger

This year’s World Food Day comes on the heels of alarming reports that after a period of decline, world hunger is now on the rise, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

According to FAO, while rural women are the mainstay of small-scale agriculture and contribute significantly to the farm labour force and to day-to-day family subsistence, they have great difficulty in accessing land and credit.

Kiragu is emphatic that while the face of farming is still very much female, it will take more women accessing loans, land and information on better farming practices to end hunger, achieve food security as well as improved nutrition.

“To begin with, the agricultural sector is not receiving sufficient financial support. In Kenya, only four percent of private sector credit is going to the agricultural sector,” Allan Moshi, a land policy expert on sub-Saharan Africa, tells IPS.

Women in Kasungu, a farming district in Central Malawi, select dried tobacco leaves to sell at the market. According to FAO, rural women are the mainstay of small-scale agriculture and contribute significantly to the farm labour force. Credit: Mabvuto Banda/IPS

Women understand land better

According to FAO, women in forestry, fishing and agriculture receive a paltry seven percent of the total agricultural investment.
Even more worrisome is that while women in Africa contribute 60 to 80 percent of food, only an estimated five percent of women have access to agricultural extension services.

“Women understand land even better than men because they interact with the soil much more closely. We are now seeing more women taking charge of the land and not just as laborers, but also as land owners,” says Charles Kiprop, an agricultural extension officer in Turbo. He says that the number of women who own land as well as those who hire acres of land during the planting season is slowly on the rise.

Kiprop tells IPS that women have also become more proactive in accessing key information on better farming practices. “I have been invited by women’s groups to speak to them on farming practices on many occasions. Women no longer wait and hope that we will pass by their farms, they are now coming to us either as land owners or those who have hired land,” he explains.

The worst is yet to come

Participation of women in harnessing food production cannot be overemphasised, particularly in light of the Global Report on Food Crises 2018, which says that the worst is yet to come. The report was co-sponsored by FAO, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

It predicted that dry weather conditions would aggravate food insecurity in a number of countries, including those in the horn of Africa’s pastoral areas in Somalia, parts of Ethiopia and Kenya.

“The March-May rainy season in Kenya was below average, this has affected food production and spiked food prices,” Kiprop adds.

According to the food security report, in the absence of conflict and displacement, climate change shocks were the main drivers of acute food insecurity in 23 out of the 65 countries and territories analysed in the previous 2017 on food crises. African countries were particularly affected.

The report indicates that at least 10 percent of the population in Ethiopia, 25 percent in Kenya, 27 percent in Malawi and 42 percent in Zimbabwe are food insecure. Other affected African countries include Madagascar, Senegal, Lesotho, Swaziland and Djibouti.

According to the report, “the global prevalence of childhood wasting (low weight for height) is around eight percent, higher than the internationally agreed nutrition target to reduce and maintain childhood wasting to below five percent by 2025.”

Women with an income and purchasing power

Moshi tells IPS that as more women take ownership of farmlands, “this will not only become their source of food but also income. Having an income is important as it increases their purchasing power.”

“Rural women will then be able to buy foods that they do not have therefore ensuring that their households are food secure,” he adds.

He notes that the women will also be able to purchase farm inputs.

Tuwei confirms that having an income has had a direct impact on her capacity to adhere to better farming practices.

“Five years ago, I could not afford to hire an Ox plough and would rely on the goodwill of neighbours who would first plough their lands and then come to my rescue. Many times they would come when it was too late to plough and plant in time,” she explains.

Tuwei further says that she and others in her group can now afford to use quality seeds, unlike before when they relied on seeds saved from previous harvests and those borrowed from neighbours.

“With the right tools, women can overhaul the agricultural sector because they have always been the ones involved in the day to day farm activities,” says Kiragu.

And thanks to the success of her milk business, Auma is ultimately glad that not only can she feed her children, but she can provide for their education and thereby their future also.

“Our table banking group is slightly different because we also contribute 20 dollars each week towards the welfare of our children. If a child needs school fees the mother is given a loan specifically from this part of our saving and at the same time she can take the usual loans from the general contribution so that she can keep her other projects going.”

The post Kenyan Women Turning the Tables on Traditional Banking and Land Ownership appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

This article is part of a series of stories to mark World Food Day October 16.

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The Caribbean Reiterates “1.5 Degrees Celsius to Stay Alive”http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/caribbean-reiterates-1-5-degrees-celsius-stay-alive/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=caribbean-reiterates-1-5-degrees-celsius-stay-alive http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/caribbean-reiterates-1-5-degrees-celsius-stay-alive/#respond Fri, 12 Oct 2018 08:58:20 +0000 Kenton X. Chance http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158120 If there is one lesson that Dominican Reginald Austrie has learnt from the devastation Hurricane Maria brought to his country last September, it is the need for “resilience, resilience, resilience”. And it is not just because he is his country’s minister of agriculture. When the category 5 hurricane made landfall in Dominica, Austrie, then the […]

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In many parts of Dominica, Hurricane Maria razed the greenery, including agricultural cultivation, from the hillside of the mountainous island. Credit: Kenton X. Chance/IPS

By Kenton X. Chance
BRIDGETOWN, Oct 12 2018 (IPS)

If there is one lesson that Dominican Reginald Austrie has learnt from the devastation Hurricane Maria brought to his country last September, it is the need for “resilience, resilience, resilience”.

And it is not just because he is his country’s minister of agriculture.

When the category 5 hurricane made landfall in Dominica, Austrie, then the country’s minister of housing, was weeks away from harvest time at his two-acre farm where he had 800 plantain trees, in addition to yams.

“So, personally, I suffered some loss. But to me, my agriculture, while it is commercial, it’s not really my livelihood,” he told IPS on the sidelines of the 15th Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA), the premier agriculture event in the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which is taking place in Barbados from Oct. 8 to 12.“For us, our own scientists warned us of the ravages with respect to drought, with respect to the destruction of our reefs, and by extension, our marine life." -- prime minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley.

“I experienced it, I saw it and I know how much it cost me; that I can never recover the cost of production and so I understand what the regular and ordinary farmer is going through, fully dependent on agriculture,” Austrie, who became minister of agriculture three months ago, said of the monster hurricane.

In addition to the destruction of his plantain trees, Hurricane Maria left several landslides on Austrie’s farm when it tore across Dominica, leaving an estimated USD 157 million in damage to the agriculture and fisheries sectors, and total loss and damage amounting to 225 percent of the nation’s GDP.

Austrie is taking steps to reduce the impact of future cyclones, which forecasters say will become more frequent and intense as a result of climate change.

“So now I had to look at terracing, I had to look at the plants I can grow between the terraces to hold up the soil and I have to really look at whether I want to continue doing plantains, whether I want to expand,” he told IPS.

Climate resilience in agriculture and fisheries was a feature at CWA.

The event opened on the day that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said, in its latest report, that limiting global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrialisation levels would require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.

As part of their advocacy for a legally-binding global climate accord, small island developing states (SIDS) like those in the Caribbean, have been using the mantra “1.5 to stay alive”.

SIDS say capping global temperature rise at 2°C above pre-industrialisation levels — as some developed countries have suggested — would have a catastrophic impact on SIDS.

The IPCC’s latest report says limiting global warming to 1.5°C, compared to 2°C, could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society.

“One of the key messages that come out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” said Panmao Zhai, co-chair of IPCC Working Group I.

In an address to delegates at CWA, secretary-general of CARICOM, Irwin LaRocque said the IPCC report supports the findings of Caribbean climate scientists “which showed that we will attain the 1.5°C warmer world much sooner than anticipated — by 2030”.

LaRocque said such as situation will result in much harsher climatic conditions for the Caribbean.

“Worse, the current trend of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, would lead to warming in the range of three degrees centigrade by the end of the century.”

CARICOM continues to advocate for greater ambition in the reduction of greenhouse gases, but must prepare for the worst, he said.

“We, therefore, need to upscale our planning for adapting to that reality,” LaRocque said, even as he noted that the IPCC report corroborates Caribbean scientists’ projections that even a 1.5 degree rise would result in significant impacts on fresh water and agricultural yields.

Further, such a level of warming would cause extreme temperatures, increases in frequency, intensity, and/or amount of heavy precipitation, and an increase in intensity or frequency of droughts.

“To counter that threat, we have been working on a programme along with our international development partners, to improve the resilience of the agriculture sector,” he said.

LaRocque pointed out that CARICOM’s agricultural research agency has been developing climate smart agriculture technologies suitable for agriculture in the region.

“CARDI has recommended identification, storage, sharing and utilisation of climate-ready germplasm of important food crops as one of the best mechanisms for building climate resilience that safeguards food and nutrition security.”

Meanwhile, CARICOM’s newest head of government, prime minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, reminded delegates at the event that in September she told the United Nations General Assembly that the CARICOM region understands that it has been made dispensable “by those who believe that a 2-degree change in temperature is acceptable to the world”.

She told CWA that she did not know then that the IPCC report that came after her speech would paint such a scenario.

Mottley, who was elected to office in May, said, however, that Caribbean nationals should not have been taken by surprise.

“For us, our own scientists warned us of the ravages with respect to drought, with respect to the destruction of our reefs, and by extension, our marine life.

“They warned us, more than 10 years ago. And we have allowed others to determine our advocacy and our voice without, perhaps remembering that phrase from one of the other countries, Jamaica, that ‘We small but we tallawah (feisty)’.”

And while those calls were not headed a decade ago, Hurricane Maria and the other cyclones, including Hurricane Irma, which affected the Caribbean in 2017, have brought them home forcefully.

“One of the things we have learnt is resilience, resilience, resilience…

“Dominica is a mountainous country. We farm on the hillsides. But there are technologies that can now be used to protect your lands from moving. We have to begin using new and innovative technologies,” Austrie told IPS as he reflected on the impact of Hurricane Maria on Dominica.

“And so we believe that while Maria dealt us a blow and nobody wishes for another Maria, it taught us some lessons, which had it was not for Maria, we would have taken for granted. We had adopted a kind of complacent attitude but I believe that Maria really struck us and sent it home that we have to begin to do things differently,” Austrie said.

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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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As Amazon Warms, Tropical Butterflies and Lizards Seek the Shadehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/amazon-warms-tropical-butterflies-lizards-seek-shade/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=amazon-warms-tropical-butterflies-lizards-seek-shade http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/amazon-warms-tropical-butterflies-lizards-seek-shade/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 10:48:00 +0000 Jewel Fraser http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158062 Recent research at a centre in Guyana shows that some types of butterflies and lizards in the Amazon have been seeking shelter from the heat as Amazonian temperatures rise. The CEIBA Biological Centre (CEIBA), in Madewini, Guyana, under its executive director Dr. Godfrey Bourne, is investigating the impact of global warming on tropical ectotherms, namely, […]

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A new CEIBA Biological Centre (CEIBA) study investigates the impact of global warming on tropical ectotherms, namely, butterflies and lizards, whose body temperatures are determined by the environment. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

By Jewel Fraser
PORT OF SPAIN, Oct 9 2018 (IPS)

Recent research at a centre in Guyana shows that some types of butterflies and lizards in the Amazon have been seeking shelter from the heat as Amazonian temperatures rise.

The CEIBA Biological Centre (CEIBA), in Madewini, Guyana, under its executive director Dr. Godfrey Bourne, is investigating the impact of global warming on tropical ectotherms, namely, butterflies and lizards, whose body temperatures are determined by the environment.

A study he supervised, conducted by students Chineze Obi and Noreen Heyari, revealed that “changes in wing positions [of Postman butterflies] were associated with regulating absorption of solar energy. Thus, thoracic temperatures were effectively regulated so that body temperatures were maintained between 28° and 34° C. Postman butterflies were fully active within this range of temperatures.” But when things got too hot for wing manoeuvres to help them, the butterflies simply retreated and rested, the researchers found.

They also found that the postman butterfly maintained “relatively stable temperatures during fluctuating” outside temperatures.

These findings suggest that some Amazonian ectotherms may be adjusting their behaviour to cope with the heat, but at the expense of the normal activities required for survival and breeding.

“Because postman butterflies and Neotropical collared lizards maintain lower temperatures than ambient for most of the [investigation periods], they may be shade seeking to stay cooler, instead of spending time foraging, mate seeking, and defending territories. Taken together these results suggest that rising global temperatures could already be having negative impacts on [them],” Bourne told IPS.

Accordingly, the journal, Animal Behaviour, in an article published in August explains, “Thermoregulatory behaviours are of great importance for ectotherms buffering against the impact of temperature extremes. Such behaviours bring not only benefits but also organism level costs such as decreased food availability and foraging efficiency and thus lead to energetic costs and metabolic consequences.”

Bourne said he chose to study butterflies and lizards native to the Amazon because even moderate increases in temperatures could have profound impacts on these creatures’ daily activities and metabolic function.

“Tropical terrestrial ectotherms, including butterflies and lizards, have a narrower thermal tolerance than higher-latitude species, and are currently living very close to their maximum temperature limits,” he told IPS.

He said the rate of temperature increase in the Amazon, which Guyana shares with its neighbours, was 0.25°C per decade during the late 20th century, with an expected increase in temperature of about 3.3°C during this century if greenhouse gas emissions are at moderate levels.

A Small blue Grecian Heliconius sara. Research shows that some Amazonian ectotherms may be adjusting their behaviour to cope with the heat, but at the expense of the normal activities required for survival and breeding.Courtesy: Dr. Godfrey Bourne

“Butterflies [invertebrates] and lizards [vertebrates]…both generate body temperatures primarily from temperatures of the environment; [this is in contrast to] endothermy, a high-cost physiological approach to life where body temperatures are generated from ingested foods…Butterflies and lizards are well-studied, conspicuous, and easily tractable taxa that provide some of the strongest evidence for the ecological effects of recent climate change,” he told IPS via e-mail.

His research builds on other, published, research. An article in the journal, Global Ecology and Conservation, notes that “decreasing local climate suitability (magnitude) may threaten species living close to their upper climatic tolerance limits, and high velocities of climate change may affect the ability of species to track suitable climatic conditions, particularly those with low dispersal.”

In addition, sex ratio also influences a species’ chances of survival. “If we see sexual dimorphism in behaviours with one sex being more active during hotter times of the day, then we may see changes in sex ratios, favouring the sex that is more active during higher temperatures. Under such a scenario, sex ratio imbalance will eventually contribute to population crashes,” he told IPS.

A 2016 study by Australian scientists, published in the journal Ecological Modelling, found that when the sex ratio was biased towards the female sex under warming climates, then the size of reptile populations increased greatly, but where the bias was towards the male sex under warmer temperatures, “population sizes declined dramatically.”

The cumulative impact may be “reduced breeding and low population growth for the sun-avoiding butterfly and lizard species, but longer persistence for their [sun-loving] relatives. But in 20 years, I suspect that all populations may become locally extinct,” Bourne said.

At the same time, humans will also feel the adverse consequences if these creatures lose out in the struggle against climate change. One estimate suggests a third of the foods eaten by human beings is pollinated. “In the long term…pollinator services will be minimised, leading to reduced fruit and seed production, and eventually to reduced new plant recruitment for forests,” Bourne said.

As lizards also play a role in plant recruitment, their demise will also adversely affect the food supply. The tropical lizards Bourne has studied eat small fallen fruit, and “when eating these fruit they move several metres from the parent tree where the seeds are discarded,” he explained. “Seeds discarded away from the parent tree have a higher probability of escaping insect, bird, and mammal seed predators, and so are likely to germinate. These have a higher likelihood of recruitment and becoming established into the forest matrix,” Bourne said. Hence, a reduction in lizards will ultimately mean less food from plants.

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WGEO & GGGI LAUNCH JOINT INITIATIVE FOR THE FUNDING OF SMART GREEN CITIEShttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/wgeo-gggi-launch-joint-initiative-funding-smart-green-cities-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wgeo-gggi-launch-joint-initiative-funding-smart-green-cities-2 http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/wgeo-gggi-launch-joint-initiative-funding-smart-green-cities-2/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 09:48:24 +0000 GGGI http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158093 The World Green Economy Organization (WGEO) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) signed a partnership agreement today in Dubai to fast-track green investments into bankable smart city projects. The joint initiative makes it possible for smart green cities and sustainable infrastructure projects to gain access to grants and investments through the WGEO Trust Fund. […]

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The World Green Economy Organization (WGEO) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) signed a partnership agreement today in Dubai to fast-track green investments into bankable smart city projects.

Saeed Mohamed Al Tayer, Chairman of the World Green Economy Organization (left) and Dr. Frank Rijsberman, Director-General of GGGI

By GGGI
DUBAI, Oct 9 2018 (GGGI)

The World Green Economy Organization (WGEO) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) signed a partnership agreement today in Dubai to fast-track green investments into bankable smart city projects.

The joint initiative makes it possible for smart green cities and sustainable infrastructure projects to gain access to grants and investments through the WGEO Trust Fund. 60 bankable smart green city projects worth a total of US$1.1 billion are being delivered by GGGI to this initiative over the next 3 years. Each project benefits from the explicit support of host government, and as such present a competitive advantage to interested investors.

“I see a tremendous opportunity in our collaboration from jointly setting up the process to managing the Project Preparation phase and developing green city bankable projects. I’m confident that our projects will attract the GGGI Member countries as well as WGEO investors to want to invest.”
Dr. Frank Rijsberman, Director-General of GGGI

Committed to supporting a transition to a green economy, the joint project between WGEO and GGGI will serve as a platform to identify, develop and fund long-term, high-impact bankable projects. Recognizing that people are at the center of sustainable development, the partnership between WGEO and GGGI aims to contribute to securing a world that is equitable and inclusive. Sustainable economic development means that the green economy must include the reduction of inequalities and bring multiple social, economic and environmental benefits to all citizens.

“Smart green cities and sustainable infrastructure projects create unprecedented opportunities for long-term prosperity, leading to more vibrant and attractive markets, healthy economies, poverty reduction, and sustainable development”, – says H.E. Mr. Saeed Mohamed Al Tayer, Chairman, World Green Economy Organization

“The World Green Economy Organization is uniquely placed to provide systematic and holistic catalytic support to the promotion of the green economy, meaning that it will handle all aspects of the promotion of green economy. Access to green finance through the WGEO Trust Fund is one among a number of practical value propositions offered by the organization”, His Excellency Added.

Dr. Frank Rijsberman, Director-General of GGGI says: “I see a tremendous opportunity in our collaboration from jointly setting up the process to managing the Project Preparation phase and developing green city bankable projects. I’m confident that our projects will attract the GGGI Member countries as well as WGEO investors to want to invest.”

GGGI is championing green growth and climate resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement commitments. GGGI is a trusted advisor to governments in over 30 countries transitioning to green economic growth. GGGI results support 6 outcomes critical to achieving SDGs and NDCs:  greenhouse gas emission reduction; creation of green jobs; increased access to sustainable services; improved air quality; adequate access to ecosystem services; and enhanced climate adaptation.

WGEO emerged in response to the call by the international community, as reflected in the outcome document of the Rio+20 conference, entitled “The Future We Want”, where governments, the private sector, and all other stakeholders are called to support countries interested in the transition to a green economy.

WGEO seeks to promote the mainstreaming of the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, by linking financing, technology, capacity building and all other elements of the enabling environment for green economy.

WGEO facilitates the implementation of various green investment projects, including renewable energy, specialized green industrial zone development, waste management, waste to energy, e-mobility, green transportation and smart water solutions.

 

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Leveraging the Potential for Green Growth in Vulnerable Countrieshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/leveraging-potential-green-growth-vulnerable-countries/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=leveraging-potential-green-growth-vulnerable-countries http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/leveraging-potential-green-growth-vulnerable-countries/#respond Mon, 08 Oct 2018 09:39:19 +0000 Carmen Arroyo http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158030 In May the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced next year’s summit on climate. This assertion has given the Global Green Growth Institute international momentum, which was reflected in the events of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City. During the UNGA week the Global Green Growth […]

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A farmer walks past the solar panels used to pump water in the Soan Valley. The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) works closely with countries to diversify their economies, promote solar energies, and connect financial investors with specific green growth projects. Credit: Zofeen Ebrahim/IPS

By Carmen Arroyo
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 8 2018 (IPS)

In May the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced next year’s summit on climate. This assertion has given the Global Green Growth Institute international momentum, which was reflected in the events of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City.

During the UNGA week the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), an international organisation based in Seoul, South Korea, led the conversation on green growth. Frank Rijsberman, the institute’s director general, highlighted that green growth is not a matter of the future but of the present. Green growth, defined as sustainable economic growth, is essential due to the damage caused by climate change and increased pollution.

While at UNGA, GGGI participated in the Sustainable Development Impact Summit, organised by the World Economic Forum, the P4G (Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030), and the Sustainable Investment Forum, organised by Climate Action and U.N. Environment Programme Finance Initiative.

GGGI also helped organise the event named “Leveraging Green Growth Potential in Vulnerable Countries,” which took place at the U.N. headquarters. Representatives from the Rwandan and Ethiopian governments, the U.N.-OHRLLS (U.N. Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States), and the European Union participated.

Challenges and best practices for green growth

At the event, the speakers discussed the challenges green growth encounters, the best practices in the field, and how public opinion regarding sustainable energies has shifted in the last years. Green growth, at the core of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, is not at the sidelines of international policy anymore, but at the centre of the conversation.

The United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, and even South Korea are already pursuing green growth agendas. But the shift is especially important for developing countries, which are more at risk due to climate change.

“Mainstreaming green growth is the only option for vulnerable countries,” stated Rijsberman at the event. “This is not just a challenge but also an opportunity.”

For Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, High Representative for U.N.-OHRLLS, promoting sustainable growth in developing countries is a priority. She told IPS: “Leveraging the potential for green growth in vulnerable countries is critically important.”

Often times environmental damages are linked with other issues, explained Katoa. “Poverty and its alleviation are intricately linked to the environment and climate change is a threat which demands our immediate attention,” she commented.

Policy and finance obstacles to green growth

Despite its importance, getting governments to change to sustainable growth is not always easy.

According to Rijsberman, “policy obstacles, government, and finance” need to be taken into account. But the biggest challenge remains shifting investment patterns. The breakthrough for renewable energies comes with lower prices, he says.

“It is hard to compete fossil fuels if they are cheap,” said Rijsberman at the event. When fossil fuels become more expensive than renewable energies, it is easier to find investment for green growth projects. That, claimed Rijsberman, is already happening.

“Solar and wind have become cheaper than coal,” Rijsberman told IPS.

Now, the challenge for GGGI and national governments is to find investors to fund green growth projects —for example, increasing solar panels.

“Our goal for 2020 is to raise more than two and a half billion dollars in green and climate finance,” said Rijsberman.

Katoa, from U.N.-OHRLLS, stated: “It is clear that global financing needs to be stepped up considerably and directed towards investments that contribute to green growth and building resilience. This includes both traditional as well as new channels.”

The difficulties of changing public opinion have been overcome in the most part. Natural disasters, heat waves, and pollution have made public opinion aware that climate change is real, and solutions are needed.

During the event at the U.N. headquarters, Mauro Petriccione, director general for Climate Action at the European Union, pointed out how European opinion has shifted.

“It has taken the last two summers to make Europeans aware of the effects of climate change,” he said. Now, he added, “Europe is taking strong legislative action to this respect.”

New skills for renewable energies

Finally, the loss of jobs in the fossil fuel industry needs formal solutions. Rijsberman suggested formal retraining, because the skills needed in renewable energies are different from those required in the coal and oil industries.

Despite these difficulties, there are many cases of success in this transition. Rwanda and Ethiopia have already changed to sustainable growth. They are, as Rijsberman calls them, “champions of green growth.”

For countries like Ethiopia the change to sustainable energies is crucial. Climate disruptions have an immediate effect on their economy, which depends mainly on agriculture. Thus, the government prioritises climate resilience to secure its citizens’ livelihood.

Selamawit Desta, the Ethiopian representative at the event, shared with IPS how they succeeded in transitioning to green growth. “In 2008, we stopped subsidising fossil fuels. It was hard, but we gave an option. Food or fossil fuels,” she explained. And since then, Ethiopia barely has emissions.

Other countries with vast natural resources, also affected by climate change, need to take advantage of their ability to develop renewable energies.

Katoa stated: “Natural resource bases play a critical role in the economies of least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and Small Island Developing States.”

She continued: “These nations also typically have a large untapped potential for renewable energy, which can help to bring sustainable energy access to underserved and remote rural communities.”

Collaborative work with GGGI

The institute, founded in 2010, relies upon 36 countries, both members and partners of GGGI. They work closely with them to diversify their economies, promote solar energies, and connect financial investors with specific green growth projects.

Inevitably, their work depends on the will of the national governments. But more and more states are willing to collaborate with the Institute. During the event “Leveraging Green Growth Potential” both the Rwandan minister of environment, Vincent Biruta, and the representative for the Pacific Islands expressed their gratitude to GGGI.

GGGI also counts with a large institutional network, working with organisations such as the U.N., the World Bank, and the OECD, to promote green growth knowledge.

She added: “We look forward to ongoing cooperation with GGGI particularly in addressing climate change challenges and improving access to sustainable energy in vulnerable countries.”

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Cambodia Green Infrastructure (CGI)http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/cambodia-green-infrastructure-cgi/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cambodia-green-infrastructure-cgi http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/cambodia-green-infrastructure-cgi/#respond Fri, 05 Oct 2018 14:20:23 +0000 GGGI http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158020 In this post Aaron Sexton of Cambodia Green Infrastructure (CGI) discusses what compelled him to create social enterprise start-up with his business partner Sirey Sum.   The flooding wasn’t my real concern when I first saw it, even though it had flowed into houses and businesses. It was the actual content of the water that […]

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By GGGI
Oct 5 2018 (GGGI)

In this post Aaron Sexton of Cambodia Green Infrastructure (CGI) discusses what compelled him to create social enterprise start-up with his business partner Sirey Sum.  

The flooding wasn’t my real concern when I first saw it, even though it had flowed into houses and businesses. It was the actual content of the water that shocked and appalled me. For years the black water in what is colloquially known as ‘Shit River’ has been bubbling away. It looks toxic. The ghastly contents of the open storm drain have always reminded me of a place that a gangster in a movie would dispose of one of his enemies. The water is putrid. Vile. And so is the smell.

The vast majority of storm and wastewater from across the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, currently flows or is pumped into a wetland system to the south of city. Its only treatment before it naturally flows of seeps into the Mekong and Bassac rivers is the natural absorption managed by a wetland system. Rapid development and population in Cambodia ha seen vast sums of money invested into the capital, many areas are dominated by construction sites. It is almost impossible not to see a crane from any part of the city. Yet, prioritising development has come at a large environmental and social cost. Even the wetlands are under threat. A city will be built where they do their magic.

Cambodia Green Infrastructure (CGI) is a social enterprise that has been created to design and install innovative green infrastructure solutions to improve urban areas. At CGI we believe installing bioretention systems across predetermined locations in the city will bring multiple benefits to the millions of people that reside here, many of whom make less than $3 a day. The systems will primarily work to reduce the duration and impacts of flood events, whilst absorbing pollutants carried from   impermeable surfaces during rain events. However, the benefits are much more wide ranging. Installing bioretention systems has been proven to: improve health, livelihoods, the economy, the value of housing, and biodiversity. The systems also act to reduce air pollution, sequester carbon, collect sediment, reduce noise from traffic, and enhance the attractiveness of an urban landscape. I actually believe they will bring a sense of pride into a community and act as a catalyst to tackle other environmental and social issues.

With all these positives, benefits, and advantages of this low impact, cost-effective concept surely the question is: ‘when do we start?’. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Convincing the correct people in the correct department is never that easy in Cambodia. It’s a place where if you don’t know someone the greatest idea in the world can be immediately rejected. CGI have been patiently introducing our idea to key stakeholders, potential partners and donors. We have been collecting and collating data and information from anyone that is willing to share. We have developed a feasibility study and a business model for our concept. It’s almost judgement day. It’s time to rub Buddhas belly.

 

 

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Kase Cooperative: Bringing “Power” to Peoplehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/kase-cooperative-bringing-power-people/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kase-cooperative-bringing-power-people http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/kase-cooperative-bringing-power-people/#respond Fri, 05 Oct 2018 14:03:11 +0000 GGGI http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158011 “We’ve always been dreaming of reliable and affordable electricity supply, but it is never going to happen in the near future. The grid is only distanced less than 2 km, but PLN (state-owned utility company) said the cost would be too high due to our isolated location,“ said Head of Kase Village, who run community […]

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By GGGI
Oct 5 2018 (GGGI)

“We’ve always been dreaming of reliable and affordable electricity supply, but it is never going to happen in the near future. The grid is only distanced less than 2 km, but PLN (state-owned utility company) said the cost would be too high due to our isolated location,“ said Head of Kase Village, who run community diesel generator last 4 hours daily but cost at least twice compared to national electricity tariff, in disappointment.

pow·er /ˈpou(ə)r/

 

  • The ability or capacity to do something or act in a particular way.   
  • Energy that is produced by mechanical, electrical, or other means and used to operate a device

Sitting in Buru Island, Maluku Province in eastern region of Indonesia, Kase is what you call off-the-beaten-path village, which the only way to reach is by using traditional boat all the way across Banda Sea, the deepest body of water in Indonesia. “I even offered them to use our Village Fund from central government, so they can bring the grid into our village but nothing comes up.” He continued, “Most of us do fishing, yet we can only immediately sell or consume the fishes, some are traditionally smoked to preserve to be sold to mountainous villages nearby, but I imagine how we can advance when the electricity is around.”

 

 

Kase Village circumstance might be an ugly truth, but it’s actually only reflected one amidst 2.500 villages with lack or even the absence of electricity service across Indonesia. Equal energy access remains a though job in this country, especially for those last miles communities. Mostly used solution to address this issue is simply by providing the quick-installed technology like Solar Home System (SHS), which ended up not sustainable.

Better approach to also include economic activities utilizing electricity is then embraced, yet it does not merely give the best result. Our ground observations in more than 50 villages over Indonesia shows that the productive activities without adding the value of raw products (like cold storage) sometimes is not enough, and productive use of energy in individual basis, not communally managed under centralized entities, also would not always work. Beyond power provision to cater their basic energy need, we have to find a way how to make community experience the benefit of the electricity, to finally empower themselves to grow beyond business-as-usual by fully utilizing the service.

Considering that there must be thousand villages with the similar issues; electricity and economic growth, we then attempt to develop customized renewable energy solution beyond basic electrification, offering electricity service both for consumptive use and productive use purposes, managed under local entities. Driven by unique grassroots needs, particularly the productive use, we treat energy as a service, not only basic infrastructure.

By energy as service, we meant that it does not only consist of basic technology provision, but also entire advanced processes of the local raw commodities into value-added product which can result in higher selling price and eventually the increased local income. It will run and managed under local entities, be it cooperative, village-owned enterprises, or Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). The revenue is gained through the service fee from electricity consumption and profit sharing of the sales of finished products. Whilst, we see ourselves as a project enabler, working in close coordination with local partner base in the village to continuously empower and coach them to be expanded and eventually independent and self-sustain, also facilitate them with market access, product innovation, external funding, technology access, and power plant management.

In the case of Kase, given the fact of its remoteness, this village is a perfect suit for solar PV micro-grid system, since there is no hydro potential nearby. This solar PV power plant, managed under local cooperative, is designated to fulfill the demand of 24-hour electricity for households as well as the advanced fish processing in a form of seasoned smoked fish fillet.

We believe finished fish product packed as ready-to-eat results in higher selling price and can penetrate to broader market, not only the neighborhood villages. To make the micro-grid operated in a sustainable manner, local community are still charged with low tariff to cover operation and maintenance cost, while profit sharing of smoked fish fillet sell is applied for cooperative to cover capital expenditure and the replacement of vital components in the future.

 

 

Being selected and able to get through 1st Greenpreneurs Program is an exciting journey for our team. Judging from our background, us three are actually more to on-the-ground implementer with lack of experiences in business development, but this program enables us to receive mentorship deepen knowledge on that through experienced practitioner, access to extensive network for green business, and sharpen our initial business idea.

The series of webinar enables us gained a lot of new insights, the weekly exercises help us in identifying things that we haven’t considered before in order to develop convincing, solid business plan, and our supportive mentor is always around to brainstorm and give feedback on our progress.

We are really happy that in one of our mentoring session, we even discuss the opportunity to expand our business lines by expanding the potential market not only focusing remote communities, but also for small-to-medium plantations who intend to expand their business lines not only selling raw products, but also finished ones, along with vocational schools who do training their students to create a specific product through self-sustainable business.

This got us thinking that we can also possibly develop more general scheme of renewable-powered services aside of electricity, such as smoking house, solar drying house, ice making, packaging, water supply utilizing solar pump, and so on. In addition to this, we were specifically impressed with the Week 4 Webinar featured Eli Forrester, co-founder of Volta.

We see much similarity of the approach they implement and are inspired by their success in bringing clean and reliable electricity for service for diverse users. It makes us more motivated that our idea is considerably doable and further believe that actually many people are heading towards the same direction.

 

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Climate Change Response Must Be Accompanied By a Renewed Approach to Economic Developmenthttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/climate-change-response-must-accompanied-renewed-approach-economic-development/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=climate-change-response-must-accompanied-renewed-approach-economic-development http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/climate-change-response-must-accompanied-renewed-approach-economic-development/#respond Fri, 05 Oct 2018 07:16:25 +0000 Desmond Brown http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157932 In the face of the many challenges posed by climate change, Panos Caribbean, a global network of institutes working to give a voice to poor and marginalised communities, says the Caribbean must raise its voice to demand and support the global temperature target of 1.5 °C. Ahead of the United Nations climate summit in December, […]

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In August Grenada expereinced heavy rainfall which resulted in “wide and extensive” flooding that once again highlighted the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to climate change. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

By Desmond Brown
KINGSTON, Oct 5 2018 (IPS)

In the face of the many challenges posed by climate change, Panos Caribbean, a global network of institutes working to give a voice to poor and marginalised communities, says the Caribbean must raise its voice to demand and support the global temperature target of 1.5 °C.

Ahead of the United Nations climate summit in December, Yves Renard, interim coordinator of Panos Caribbean, said advocacy, diplomacy and commitments must be both firm and ambitious.

He said this is necessary to ensure that the transition to renewable energy and a sharp reduction in emissions are not only implemented but accelerated.

“This is a mission that should not be left only to climate change negotiators. Caribbean leaders and diplomats, the private sector and civil society must also be vocal on the international scene and at home,” Renard told IPS.

“The global response to climate change must not be reduced to a mechanical concept. It needs to be accompanied by a renewed approach to economic development and by a change in mentality, so that it is included in the broader context of people’s livelihoods, social values and development priorities.”

The Panos official said artists, civil society leaders and other actors in the Caribbean should emphasise the need to challenge the dominant approaches to development and to help shape new relationships between people, businesses, institutions and the natural world.

Meanwhile, the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) said community-based and ecosystem-based approaches are critical to build resilience to climate change, especially in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

“Investing in conserving, sustainably managing and restoring ecosystems,” CANARI states, “provides multiple benefits in terms of building ecological, economic and social resilience, as well as mitigation co-benefits through carbon sequestration by forests and mangroves.”

Renard said as evidenced all over the Caribbean in recent years, it is the poorest, marginalised and most vulnerable who are the most affected by climate change.

These include small farmers suffering from severe drought, households without insurance unable to recover from devastating hurricanes, and people living with disabilities unable to cope with the impacts of disasters.

“Climate change exacerbates inequalities, and adaptation measures must provide the necessary buffers and support to poor and vulnerable groups,” Renard told IPS.

“All sectorial, national and international legal and policy frameworks must recognise the benefits that can be gained from participation and partnerships, including the empowerment of communities, businesses, trade unions and civil society organisations to enable them to play a direct role in the identification and implementation of solutions, particularly in reference to adaptation.”

Yves Renard, interim coordinator of Panos Caribbean, says artists, civil society leaders and other actors in the Caribbean should emphasise the need to challenge the dominant approaches to development and to help shape new relationships between people, businesses, institutions and the natural world. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

Additionally, he said the architecture and operations of climate finance institutions must be improved to facilitate direct access by national and regional actors; and to consider the financing of adaptation actions on the basis of full cost, especially in small countries where there is limited potential to secure co-financing.

He said that climate finance institutions also needed to facilitate civil society and private sector involvement in project design and execution; and, increase SIDS representation in the governance of financing institutions.

Renard said that in light of the critical importance of decentralised and community-based approaches to adaptation and resilience building, financing institutions and mechanisms should design and implement facilities that make technical assistance and financing available to local actors, as is being done, with significant success, by the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environment Facility.

He said that even in some of the poorest countries in the region, local actors have been taking the initiative in responding to the impacts of climate change.

“For the Caribbean, a regional coalition of civil society actors is necessary so as to build solidarity, and to share experiences and expertise on climate action in local contexts. These civil society networks must reinforce and build on actions taken by regional governments, and more international support is required for this work to be undertaken,” he said.

“Increased resources and capacities in communications and advocacy are required in order to disseminate the scientific evidence on climate change, to deepen understanding within the region on climate change and its impacts, and to push for more ambitious action on climate change at the global level.”

In addressing the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly debate, Grenada’s foreign affairs minister Peter David called on other Caribbean nations and SIDS to serve as “test cases” for nationwide implementation of climate-related technologies and advances.

David said the Caribbean also represents some of the most globally compelling business cases for sustainable renewable energy investment.

“Being climate smart goes beyond policies,” he said. “It goes beyond resilient housing, resilient infrastructure and resilient agriculture. It means that the region can also serve as a global beacon for renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

“We aim to not only be resilient, but with our region’s tremendous potential in hydro-electricity and geothermal energy, we could also be climate smart.”

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Land Restoration and Boosting Agriculture Through Production of Organic Fertilizershttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/land-restoration-boosting-agriculture-production-organic-fertilizers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=land-restoration-boosting-agriculture-production-organic-fertilizers http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/land-restoration-boosting-agriculture-production-organic-fertilizers/#respond Thu, 04 Oct 2018 13:55:39 +0000 GGGI http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157987 Rwanda population increasing rate in 2018 is 2.40% according to UN estimation report 2018, the population is estimated at 12.50 million in area of 26,338 km², there are still a multitude of challenges relating to poverty reduction, as almost 80% of the rural population is still subsistence farmers with an average landholding estimated at less than […]

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By GGGI
Oct 4 2018 (GGGI)

Rwanda population increasing rate in 2018 is 2.40% according to UN estimation report 2018, the population is estimated at 12.50 million in area of 26,338 km², there are still a multitude of challenges relating to poverty reduction, as almost 80% of the rural population is still subsistence farmers with an average landholding estimated at less than 0.59 hectares. So, need to enhance the food security and nutrition aspects is important for understanding (http://www.fao.org/3/a-bp633e.pdf P5).

Agriculture in Rwanda accounts for a third of Rwanda’s GDP; constitutes the main economic activity for the rural households (especially women) and remains their main source of income. Today, the agricultural population is estimated to be a little less than 80% of the total population. (MINAGRI REPORT, 2016).

The sector meets 90% of the national food needs and generates more than 50% of the country’s export revenues. While the population increase and the food need increase the farming land never increase contrary it decrease and it production decrease leading to the need of fertilizer to keep agriculture land fertile which is now over cultivated. Agriculture is supposed to grow from 5.8% to 8.5% by 2018, exports to increase in average from 19.2% to 28% and imports to be maintained at 17% average growth (MINAGRI STRATEGIC PLAN, 2016/2017).

With small land for cultuvation, farmers apply huge chemical fertilisers to increase the crop production which lead to soil unfertility, environmental toxicity and production of unsafe food from accumulation of harmful chemicals due to lack of alternative.

 

Our innovation at Rwanda Biosolution Ltd is production of organic composts from grasses and domestic wastes using EM technology (Effective Microorganism Technology), which is environment friendly. This is linked to SDG15. While traditional ways give composts in 8 to above months, modern techniques in 6 months, so they are not able to satisfy our two agriculture seasons per year in Rwandan farmers which lead farmers to apply huge amount of chemicals fertilisers; our EM composting technology gives composts in only two months and our vision in two years is to produce composts in only one month after buying composting machines.

This is linked with SDG 2 With our technology we can satisfy Rwandan and surrounding farmers in supplying them with quality and quantity organic composts in all farming season which will contribute in quality and quantity crop production. This is linked with SDG1 of ending hunger as Rwanda biosolution main objective.

Our vision is to become the first Rwandan industries to produce organic compost which fulfil all standards. Supply all Rwanda farmers and Easter African farmers in general. Our objectives are; in years to come we forecast the increase of our customers and production, after one year we want to be able to supply at least 5 of 30 Rwandan districts, in two years we want to at least to be in the first 3 preferred brand in fertilizer domain we all wish that in also wish to have fulfil standards certification need so that we can also export our products out of country in the regions.Our main competitors are wholesalers who import and sell chemical fertilizers, and their products are expensive and are not trusted by many farmers.

 

The Value Proposition:

Our fertilizer is unique:

  1. Efficient: the organic fertilizers ore all around the word known for its capacity to boost agriculture production quickly and efficiently.
  2. Of low and affordable price: because they will be made raw materials  that are locally found, like grass and domestic waste that many people consider useless the final price will be low.
  3. Clean without harming the environment: many people including farmers are accusing chemical fertilizer to harm their lands, but if the use our products which are organic they will be neither harm nor danger to environment.

Greenpreneurs programme has become a good platform for networking, collaborating and learning from other young entrepreneurs and provide us mentorship to speed up our business process from planning to action. It offers an opportunity for sharing problems, solutions and experiences from a wide spectrum. We are very motivated to learn best environmental practices for sustainable development. This opportunity develop our leadership abilities and management skills and bring us in tandem with competitive global management styles. Consequently, our productivity and services will increase to satisfy the need of our community.

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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.

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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