Posted tagged ‘environment’

CLIMATE CHANGE: PLANETARY OR GALACTIC?…ROCKET SCIENTIST BACKTRACKS GLOBAL WARMING

February 25, 2014

CLIMATE CHANGE: PLANETARY OR GALACTIC?…ROCKET SCIENTIST BACKTRACKS GLOBAL WARMING

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

We cannot deny, as shown by evidences, that Earth changes are taking place today. There are no fixed interpretations of the changes though, and the scientific community is the least unified about such interpretations.

Whether the fixed idea of ‘global warming is carbon-based monstrosity’ is fully accepted across the sciences and civic groups remains as a hot issue. It is, for one thing, too contentious, and in my opinion as a social scientist, too reductionist with pugnacious eco-fascist underpinnings.

Astronomers have recently reported updates about all planets of the solar system undergoing changes in their polar areas. Even the sun does not escape its own equivalent changes that have repercussions on the electromagnetic belt of our very own planet.

Unfortunately, global Establishment media and information niches have released the news in separate, isolated packets so that they won’t be noticed by the public, thus sustaining the rather erroneous and suspicious fixed idea of a carbon-based or human intervention-induced Earth changes.

Below is a news item about an Australian rocket scientist who was previously among the most vocal interpellators of a carbon-based global warming problematic. The same scientist has now backtracked on his previous statement, indicating as such the disagreements within the scientific community about the subject.

[27 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to the Executive Intelligence Review database news.]

 

Former Global Warming Rocket Scientist Cools to Reality

July 18, 2008 (EIRNS)—

An Australian Greenhouse Office consultant from 1999 to 2005, David Evans, now slams the global warming theory he once supported. In an opinion piece in Rupert Murdoch’s national newspaper, The Australian, Evans stated that: I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.”We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet.”

Evans said he initially thought the evidence seemed “pretty good,” but had admitted it was not conclusive. Now he says straight out: “There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause significant global warming. None. The Labor Government is about to deliberately wreck the economy in order to reduce carbon emissions. [They are] going to be regarded as criminally negligent or ideologically stupid for not having seen through it. And if the Liberals support the general thrust of their actions, they will be seen likewise.”

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MANAGING RISK FUELS PROSPERITY, AFRICA RE-TOOL!

October 27, 2011

MANAGING RISK FUELS PROSPERITY, AFRICA RE-TOOL!

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

African development stakeholders better go through a rethink of their development strategies and frameworks during the past decades. The challenge is for African experts and specialists to re-tool and configure new ‘best practices’ in aid of facilitating risk management as framework and strategy for achieving development goals.

 

The global framework is that of the Millenium Development Goal or MDG which most member countries of the UN committed to support and enact. The 2015 deadline nears, which makes it so tight a schedule to put into practice the emerging frameworks, strategies and tools. Chances are that the MDG goals may me achieved below the expected results or ‘barely passing rate’.

 

Below is a reportage about Africa’s poor nations’ chances to manage risks as a way to achieving the MDG.

 

[Philippines, 28 October 2011]

 

Support: http://www.beta.undp.org/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2011/10/06/helping-africa-s-poor-to-manage-risks-key-to-region-s-progress-says-new-report-.html

 

Helping Africa’s poor to manage risks key to region’s progress, says new report

06 October 2011

New York — African countries should enhance the strength and resilience of their poor populations through targeted social safeguards, according to “Assessing Progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”, a region-specific report released today.

This year’s annual report shows that such policies will help in the region’s steady progress on some of the MDGs, eight internationally-agreed targets to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, gender inequality and environmental degradation by 2015.

In spite of this progress, recent food, fuel and financial crises, coupled with threats from climate change and the recent instability in North Africa are likely to affect the region’s MDG achievement.

“We urge policy-makers to recalibrate their social protection programs, so that they are perceived not as handouts but rather as measures to strengthen productive assets,” said the authors of the foreword to the report.

According to the report, national schemes, such as pensions, safety nets and school feeding programmes, can impact positively on several MDGs by addressing the immediate needs of the most vulnerable, providing them with labor market skills and safeguards against relapses into poverty.

The document lays out a number of success stories in the area of policy, including Algeria’s social protection scheme that contributed to reducing unemployment from 30 to 10 percent between 2000 and 2009, and Ethiopia’s 2005-2008 public works projects that led to construction of nearly 4,500 rural classrooms and improved food security for 7.8 million citizens.

Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme, covering 67 percent of the population, cut out-of-pocket expenditure for health by 50 percent. In Malawi, agricultural subsidies and outreach services resulted in an increase in the number of food-secure households, from 67 to 99 percent between 2005 and 2009.

Such schemes provide immediate protection for the poor while also making a longer term contribution to creating dynamic economies and more resilient societies, according to the report published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Union Commission (AUC).

Tracking MDGs

Thanks to policy innovations and social protection schemes, Africa has made steady progress on a number of targets. For example, it increased primary school enrolment rates from 65 to 83 percent between 1999 and 2008.

In addition, 80 percent of the 36 African countries that have data for 1990 to 2010 increased the number of women in parliament during that period; and HIV/AIDS prevalence rates have dropped from just under six percent in 2001 to five percent in 2009.

However, while all regions of the world made progress on reducing maternal mortality, Africa faces a formidable task on this indicator, with several countries showing averages of 1,000 deaths per 100,000.

In addition, although the population with access to safe drinking water increased from 56 to 65 percent between 1990 and 2008, the rate of progress is insufficient for the continent to reach the 2015 MDG target of reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.

Progress on some of the MDGs may have stalled or been reversed by the impact of the global economic crisis on Sub-Saharan Africa where the proportion of those earning less than US$1.25 a day decreased from 67 to 58 percent between 1998 and 2008.

More than 20 percent of young people in North Africa, for example, remained unemployed in 2008, while more than 75 percent of the labor force in Sub-Saharan Africa had vulnerable jobs in 2009.

In addition to carefully targeted and fiscally sound social safeguards, the report says more attention should be focused on designing strategies that promote job-rich growth and increase agricultural productivity.

To access the report, please visit http://www.undp.org/africa/mdg/

Contact Information

Ethiopia:

UNECA – Yinka Adeyemi, Tel: +251-11-5443537, yadeyemi@uneca.org,

AUC – Noureddine Mezni, Mobile: +251911511723

NewYork: UNDP – NicolasDouillet, +1.212.906.5937, nicolas.douillet@undp.org

Tunisia: AfDB – Pénélope Pontet deFouquières, +216 71 10 12 50, p.pontetdefouquieres@afdb.org

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FORESTRY SECTOR & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: GHANA CASE

October 18, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Magandang umaga! Good morning!

 

It is interesting to examine how state players can somehow enable the social responsibility field by enforcing rules on certain market players to recognize the social responsibility criterion in their areas of operations. One such appropriate case is the country of Ghana, where logging firms must follow the same criterion through an instrument called ‘Social Responsibility Agreement.’

 

A summary of the report about the country case is shown below.

 

[07 October 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Eldis database reports.]


 

 

Social responsibility agreements in Ghana’s forestry sector

Authors: Ayine,D.M.
Produced by: International Institute for Environment and Development (2008)

In Ghana, legislation requires logging firms to commit a portion of their financial resources towards the provision of social amenities to local forest communities. Logging firms must perform this legal obligation by signing and implementing “Social Responsibility Agreements” (SRAs) with forest communities. This report is about legal arrangements for enabling forest communities in Ghana to participate better in the benefits generated by timber activities.

The document considers whether SRAs serve as effective vehicles for the sharing of benefits between local forest communities and investors. It reviews experience with Social Responsibility Agreements, and looks at what difference they have made to forest communities. In addition the author assesses the design, implementation and outcomes of Social Responsibility Agreements in the forestry industry in Ghana, drawing on a number of SRAs concluded between timber firms and local communities. Conclusions include:

  • Ghana’s experience may provide interesting lessons for other countries that are looking into developing arrangements to promote benefit sharing in forestry or in other sectors
  • the positive features of SRAs include clearly laid out minimum standards, explicit legal backing, and consideration for the conditions laid out in SRAs in the selection process for competitive TUC bids
  • wthe legal framework provides an enabling environment for the negotiation of SRAs, the actual practice of negotiating and implementing these agreements leaves much to be desired
  • Social Responsibility Agreements may become a more effective tool if local groups are better equipped to negotiate them. This requires establishing mechanisms to broaden community representation, so as to minimise local elite capture of SRA benefits. 

INDIA’S RURAL SALVATION COULD BE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

August 26, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Good morning from Manila!

 

India’s rural poor is very high in frequency as its overall rural population is still at an all-time high of 80%. No matter how heated the industrialization efforts are at the moment, it will take time before the benefits of industrialization will permeate the rural folks.

 

It is no wise action to force rural areas to commercial urbanization as an option to alleviate urban poverty.

 

[15 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]

 

 

Sustainable agriculture: a pathway out of poverty for India’s rural poor

Produced by: Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (2008)

Millions of farmers in remote rural areas of India struggle to feed themselves and their families, while the resources on which they depend are deteriorating daily. This book shows how sustainable agriculture can help India’s farmers – especially those in poor, remote areas – pull themselves out of poverty.

The book details 14 examples of how development initiatives have helped farmers in some of the remotest parts of the country break out of the cycle of poverty, debt and environmental degradation, and improve their lives and livelihoods through agriculture that is economically, ecologically and socially sustainable.

The examples fall into three areas:

  • organic agriculture
  • land and water management
  • improving market access for small-scale farmers.

These examples were selected not only due to their success, but also because they have the potential to be replicated on a large scale. The analysis and lessons are intended to be applied to a wide variety of situations, not just in India, but also throughout the world. The authors argue that such large-scale application is vital if the Millennium Development Goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and ensuring environmental sustainability are to be met.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38679&em=310708&sub=agric

MAPPING OUT CHANGING ENVIRONMENT

August 24, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Mapping out changing environment to constitute an atlas is a new, exciting area in geo- mapping.

Below is a recently launched atlas on Africa concerning changing environment, by the United Nations Environment Program.

[10 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]

Africa: atlas of our changing environment

Produced by: United Nations [UN] Environment Programme (2008)

This African atlas is the first publication to use satellite photos to depict environmental change in each and every African country during the last thirty years. Through an array of satellite images, graphs, maps, and photographs, this Atlas presents a powerful testament to the adverse changes taking place on the African landscape as a result of intensified natural and human impacts.

The atlas is composed of three parts:

  1.  
    • the first part provides a comprehensive overview of Africa’s geographical attributes, highlighting issues such as land degradation and desertification, water stress, declining biodiversity, deforestation, increasing dust storms, rising pollution and rapid urbanisation
    • part two presents examples of transboundary environmental issues related to shared lands and waters, migrating animals and people, and pollutants that drift over borders of neighbouring countries. It highlights both emerging challenges and success stories in addressing these issues
    • part three contains brief profiles of every African country, their important environmental issues, and a description of how each is faring in terms of progress towards the targets under the UN’s Millennium Development Goal 7, which is to ensure environmental sustainability. “Before and after” satellite images from every country highlight specific places where change is particularly evident.

Observations and measurements of environmental change illustrated in this Atlas help gauge the extent of progress made by African countries towards reaching the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. It is argued that this book contributes to the knowledge and understanding that are essential for adaptation and remediation.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38210&em=310708&sub=enviro

ENERGY & ECOSYSTEM RESILIENCE

August 20, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Climate change is reshaping human engagements the world over. In Africa, observations have already been made before regarding vulnerabilities to climate change and related attendant ecological concerns.

 

Below is a report regarding energy interventions that could re-adjust the livelihood/economic engagements of peoples of Africa.

 

[09 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]

 

 

 

A preliminary assessment of energy and ecosystem resilience in ten African countries

Authors: Connor,H.; Mqadi,L.; Mukheibir,P.
Produced by: HELIO International (2007)

Africa is vulnerable to climate change on two fronts: firstly, because of existing vulnerabilities and secondly, due to capacity limitations for disaster mitigation and inability to adapt to climate change. There is an urgent need to ensure that activities centring on adaptation to climate change and sustainable energy development are increased and maintained so as to generate sustainable livelihoods.

This paper is a preliminary attempt to identify points of vulnerability as they relate to climate change-related events and sketch out what changes are needed – both politically and programmatically – to increase resilience. It explores the current state of vulnerability and details potential for adaptation. Results are presented summarising the key vulnerabilities for eight sub-Saharan countries: Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

It is argued that energy development for Africa in a changing climate will require greater emphasis on small-scale, decentralised and diversified supply and increased distribution to households and enterprises alike. A diversified and distributed energy mix is identified as the best insurance policy against climate change. However, it is argued that adaptation of energy policies and systems is only part of the solution; building up the resiliency of local populations and energy systems is equally important.

Key priorities identified for policy are:

  1.  
    • harness the value of indigenous knowledge to plan and achieve resilience
    • mobilise adequate and stable financial resources
    • mainstream adaptation and resilience in the development process
    • develop policies to institutionalise and mobilise “social capital”

The authors conclude that, despite the obstacles facing Africa, hope is not lost. They identify a number of positive characteristics upon which successful programmes can and should be built, including:

  1.  
    • culturally, Africa has strong social networks, which serve an important function in educating communities, disseminating information and serving as substitutes for collateral in micro-loans
    • as primary collectors and users of biomass and water, women are well-placed to monitor and manage resources, spur innovation on adaptive techniques and experiment with new management approaches
    • Africa’s decades-long experience coping with poverty that may be its strongest resource. By its collective survival, the region has shown itself to be adaptive and resilient despite enormous obstacles.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38442&em=310708&sub=enviro

ENERGY & ECOSYSTEM RESILIENCE

August 18, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Climate change is reshaping human engagements the world over. In Africa, observations have already been made before regarding vulnerabilities to climate change and related attendant ecological concerns.

 

Below is a report regarding energy interventions that could re-adjust the livelihood/economic engagements of peoples of Africa.

 

[09 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]

 

 

 

A preliminary assessment of energy and ecosystem resilience in ten African countries

Authors: Connor,H.; Mqadi,L.; Mukheibir,P.
Produced by: HELIO International (2007)

Africa is vulnerable to climate change on two fronts: firstly, because of existing vulnerabilities and secondly, due to capacity limitations for disaster mitigation and inability to adapt to climate change. There is an urgent need to ensure that activities centring on adaptation to climate change and sustainable energy development are increased and maintained so as to generate sustainable livelihoods.

This paper is a preliminary attempt to identify points of vulnerability as they relate to climate change-related events and sketch out what changes are needed – both politically and programmatically – to increase resilience. It explores the current state of vulnerability and details potential for adaptation. Results are presented summarising the key vulnerabilities for eight sub-Saharan countries: Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

It is argued that energy development for Africa in a changing climate will require greater emphasis on small-scale, decentralised and diversified supply and increased distribution to households and enterprises alike. A diversified and distributed energy mix is identified as the best insurance policy against climate change. However, it is argued that adaptation of energy policies and systems is only part of the solution; building up the resiliency of local populations and energy systems is equally important.

Key priorities identified for policy are:

  1.  
    • harness the value of indigenous knowledge to plan and achieve resilience
    • mobilise adequate and stable financial resources
    • mainstream adaptation and resilience in the development process
    • develop policies to institutionalise and mobilise “social capital”

The authors conclude that, despite the obstacles facing Africa, hope is not lost. They identify a number of positive characteristics upon which successful programmes can and should be built, including:

  1.  
    • culturally, Africa has strong social networks, which serve an important function in educating communities, disseminating information and serving as substitutes for collateral in micro-loans
    • as primary collectors and users of biomass and water, women are well-placed to monitor and manage resources, spur innovation on adaptive techniques and experiment with new management approaches
    • Africa’s decades-long experience coping with poverty that may be its strongest resource. By its collective survival, the region has shown itself to be adaptive and resilient despite enormous obstacles.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38442&em=310708&sub=enviro