Archive for October 23, 2011

SALUTATIONS TO WOMEN NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS FOR PEACE

October 23, 2011

SALUTATIONS TO WOMEN NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS FOR PEACE

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Late as this salutation may be, let me express my own kudos to the three (3) women who recently won the Nobel Prize for Peace, to wit: Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and her compatriot Leymah Gbowee.

Polarity principles spawn a one-sided, exclusionary development everywhere, among which is the exclusion of women, urban & rural poor, and indigenous peoples from the development game. Exclusionary development also tends to breed violence, as those marginalized social sectors’ demand for equity and justice is met with violent repression from status quo forces.

It is surely very refreshing to witness women coming to the fore to promote peace and development in areas that are too male-dominated and war-torn. The 3 Nobelists for Peace have shown exemplary deeds in pursuit of such a precious peace, and so they deserved the international accolade and esteem.

[Philippines, 24 October 2011]

Source: http://www.beta.undp.org/undp/en/home/presscenter/articles/2011/10/07/undp-salutes-nobel-laureates-ellen-johnson-sirleaf-leymah-gbowee-tawakkul-karman.html

UNDP salutes Nobel Laureates
07 October 2011

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, compatriot Leymah Gbowee, and Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman were jointly awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peacebuilding work.

“We salute the 2011 Nobel Laureates Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman,” said Helen Clark, chief of the United Nations Development Programme. “They show us what can be achieved when women participate and take on decision making roles, and they serve as an example for us all.”

“We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society, ” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said the announcement.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is Africa’s first democratically elected female president, and a former head of UNDP in Africa. She is widely praised for her role as a champion for women and development, as well as her contributions towards peace in Liberia.

Leyman Gbowee is an activist who has mobilized women to boost the peace process in Liberia, while Tawakkul Karman has been at the forefront of the campaign for women’s rights and democracy in Yemen.

This brings to 15 the number of women who have received the Nobel Peace Prize since it was first conferred in 1901.

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PEACE & DEVELOPMENT LINKS:
http://erleargonza.blogspot.com, https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://www.facebook.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://sta.rtup.biz, http://magicalsecretgarden.socialparadox.com, http://en.netlog.com/erlefrayne, http://www.blogster.com/erleargonza, http://www.articlesforfree.net, http://ipeace.us, http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org, http://www.blogleaf.com/erleargonza, http://erleargonza.seekopia.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://efdargon.multiply.com, http://www.blogleaf.com/erleargonza, http://talangguro.blogfree.net

ARSENIC KILLS POOR NATIONS’ FOLKS, ANY NATURAL FILTER?

October 23, 2011

ARSENIC KILLS POOR NATIONS’ FOLKS, ANY NATURAL FILTER?

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

In a previous note, the study findings of which were culled from science development news, I cared to help disseminate the finding that sand can serve as water filter. Accordingly, the practice has been around as an indigenous technology for centuries now in Asia.

That holds true for surface water, a fact that can change as the ground water is pumped out from wells. As in the case of Bangladesh, where deep wells serve as common water utilities, many deaths have arisen due to the arsenic levels of the water.

What natural materials could serve as effective filter for arsenic? The news below, culled from scidev.net, can help enlighten us about the question.

[Philippines, 24 October 2011]

Source: http://www.scidev.net/en/agriculture-and-environment/water/news/natural-sediment-may-shield-groundwater-from-arsenic.html
Natural sediment may shield groundwater from arsenic
Syful Islam
10 October 2011
[DHAKA] Contamination of deep groundwater with arsenic from shallower sources may not be as serious as feared — if pumping deep water is limited to domestic use, a study has found.
Exposure to arsenic-contaminated groundwater has been linked to almost one in every five deaths in Bangladesh, and some 100,000 deep wells have been constructed to pump deeper, cleaner water. Recent modelling studies have suggested that these cleaner water sources are also being contaminated — from shallower water seeping down to replenish deeper wells.
But a study published in Nature Geoscience yesterday (9 October) found that natural adsorption of arsenic by sediment — sand in the aquifers — reduces contamination risk in most areas.
“Deep groundwater in Bangladesh is at risk from contamination by arsenic from shallow groundwater seeping downwards if not carefully managed,” Yan Zheng, who co-authored the study while he was a senior scientist at Columbia University, United States, told SciDev.Net. “The risk is higher if deep groundwater is used for irrigation, which consumes a lot more water than [use for] domestic purposes.”
Modelling studies have suggested that the contamination of deep groundwater results from shallower water seeping down to replenish pumped deep water. But these studies did not consider the influence of sediment, which can adsorb arsenic, Zheng and his team say.
They tested this adsorption in the field in Bangladesh, and used their results to estimate the vulnerability of deep groundwater to arsenic pollution from shallower water seeping down.
They found that sediment removes around 70 per cent of arsenic within a day, reducing the risk of contamination of deep groundwater in most, but not all areas; and more so when the water is pumped for domestic use only, rather than irrigation. This suggests that current contamination of deep wells is either natural or comes from individual cases of badly designed wells that allow more seepage, Zheng said.
He added that the recommendation for the policymakers “is not to use deep groundwater for irrigation”, and to regularly and systematically monitor water quality in the areas identified as more vulnerable to contamination.
Zheng also said that the agricultural sector should urgently look for sources of surface water to use for irrigation instead of groundwater.
Wais Kabir, executive chair of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, agreed that irrigation leads to higher risk of arsenic contamination of groundwater and said that Bangladesh needs to “change its food habits” and produce crops that need less irrigation.
S M Ihtishamul Huq, the Department of Public Health Engineering’s superintendent engineer, told SciDev.Net: “We have to be more cautious while using groundwater for irrigation where the presence of arsenic is much higher.”
He suggested changing crop patterns to reduce dependency on groundwater for irrigation. For example, he said: “We cultivate paddy during the winter using the groundwater irrigation. If we instead produce wheat [in] that period we do not need to irrigate much.”
Link to full paper in Nature Geoscience
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PEACE & DEVELOPMENT LINKS:
http://erleargonza.blogspot.com, https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://www.facebook.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://sta.rtup.biz, http://magicalsecretgarden.socialparadox.com, http://en.netlog.com/erlefrayne, http://www.blogster.com/erleargonza, http://www.articlesforfree.net, http://ipeace.us, http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org, http://www.blogleaf.com/erleargonza, http://erleargonza.seekopia.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://efdargon.multiply.com, http://www.blogleaf.com/erleargonza, http://talangguro.blogfree.net

CHAMPIONING RISK PREVENTION: SHOWCASING PAKISTAN’S PREX

October 23, 2011

CHAMPIONING RISK PREVENTION: SHOWCASING PAKISTAN’S PREX

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Disaster risk reduction is among the buzzwords circulated by development stakeholders worldwide. The phraseology has caught up with the chief execs of nation-states, among which is President Asif Ali Zadari of Pakistan.

Excessive risk levels of whatever kind can be very taxing on the investment climate. Risk management is among the entrepreneurial paradigms and tools of the day, with ‘best practices’ already in the works among market players. High-risk prone areas such as the Kashmir, where both politico-military risk and geo-hazards converge, will suffice enough to serve as ‘barriers to entry’ of eager market players there.

Below is a reportage from the DevEx regarding the subject.

[Philippines, 23 October 2011]

Source: http://www.devex.com/en/articles/pakistani-president-pledges-to-champion-disaster-prevention?source=ArticleHomepage_Center_2

Pakistani President Pledges to Champion Disaster Prevention
By Ivy Mungcal on 10 October 2011
With his country still reeling from the effects of massive floods that inundated Pakistan for two consecutive years, President Asif Ali Zadari has pledged to become a “champion of the process of disaster risk reduction.”
Zadari made this commitment during a meeting with U.N. Disaster Risk Reduction Chief Margareta Wahlstrom, during which the president also pledged to scale up efforts to improve Pakistan’s early warning system.
“Pakistan wants to be safe, resilient and able to respond to any type of disaster. We want to take ownership of disaster risk reduction and to empower our people to be able to respond to the risks and threats posed by natural hazards,” Zadari said.
The Pakistani president’s remarks come as an international organization warn it is unlikely for governments to meet the commitment they made to ensure the world’s safety from natural hazards and reduce overall disaster losses by 2015.
The Hygo Framework for Action is a 10-year plan adopted by U.N. member states at the World Disaster Reduction Conference in 2005.
Citing poor implementation of the plan, the international non-governmental organization Oxfam urged governments to step up their efforts to meet the HFA’s goals of improving people’s resilience to natural disasters, the Tribune reports. In particular, Oxfam urged the Pakistani government and its partners to address the growing crisis in the country and invest in efforts to prevent similar situations in the future.
“Everyone is aware of how disasters have taken their toll in Pakistan and how they are continuing to put people at the brink of desperation. Until we start preparing for these events and develop a system, the vicious circle of suffering will continue to affect millions of people,” Neva Khan, Oxfam’s director for Pakistan, said.
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders – emailed to you FREE every business day.
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PEACE & DEVELOPMENT LINKS:
http://erleargonza.blogspot.com, https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://www.facebook.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://sta.rtup.biz, http://magicalsecretgarden.socialparadox.com, http://en.netlog.com/erlefrayne, http://www.blogster.com/erleargonza, http://www.articlesforfree.net, http://ipeace.us, http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org, http://www.blogleaf.com/erleargonza, http://erleargonza.seekopia.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://efdargon.multiply.com, http://www.blogleaf.com/erleargonza, http://talangguro.blogfree.net

AFRICAN COUNTRIES BEWARE OF ANTI-GAY POLICIES, AID CUTS COME!

October 23, 2011

AFRICAN COUNTRIES BEWARE OF ANTI-GAY POLICIES, AID CUTS COME!

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Gracious day from Manila!

Tough anti-gay African bureaucrats and tyrants beware! Your politically incorrect mindsets will cost you an enormous lot in terms of aid cuts from donor countries. This is the message being brought forth to politically incorrect Africans by the bureaucrats of the UK, and if pursued by the donor the move will be precedent-setting.

The issue involved here is not exactly anti-gay versus pro-gay, but rather that of human rights. The equal rights of marginal sectors, such as paraplegics, senior citizens, women, gays & lesbians, children and small planters is the core issue involved.

Below is the reportage on the subject coming from the DevEx.

[Philippines, 23 October 2011]

Source: http://www.devex.com/en/articles/uk-to-cut-aid-to-african-countries-with-tough-anti-gay-policies?source=ArticleHomepage_Center_3
UK to Cut Aid to African Countries With Tough Anti-gay Policies
By Ivy Mungcal on 10 October 2011
The United Kingdom plans to reduce its official development assistance to African countries that persecute homosexuals, the country’s international development secretary has announced.
U.K. Secretary for International Development Andrew Mitchell noted the U.K. has already suspended 19 million pounds ($29.67 million) in budget support to Malawi earlier this year over governance and related concerns. Mitchell said the U.K. government is now considering aid-related sanctions on Ghana and Uganda for their tough anti-gay and lesbian policies and stances, the Daily Nation says.
“We only provide aid directly to governments when we are satisfied that they share our commitments to reduce poverty and respect human rights,” the Daily Nation quotes a spokesperson of Mitchell, who emphasized the U.K. government is “committed to combating violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all circumstances, in this country and abroad.”
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders – emailed to you FREE every business day.
Ivy Mungcal
Ivy covers international development breaking news for The Development Newswire, Global Development Briefing and other Devex publications, focusing in particular on U.S. aid reform as well as the Americas and Caribbean.

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PEACE & DEVELOPMENT LINKS:
http://erleargonza.blogspot.com, https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://www.facebook.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://sta.rtup.biz, http://magicalsecretgarden.socialparadox.com, http://en.netlog.com/erlefrayne, http://www.blogster.com/erleargonza, http://www.articlesforfree.net, http://ipeace.us, http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org, http://www.blogleaf.com/erleargonza, http://erleargonza.seekopia.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://efdargon.multiply.com, http://www.blogleaf.com/erleargonza, http://talangguro.blogfree.net