Posted tagged ‘science’

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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VATICAN OKEYED ALIENS’ EXISTENCE, WILL WORLD POWERS FOLLOW SUIT?

February 11, 2014

VATICAN OKEYED ALIENS’ EXISTENCE, WILL WORLD POWERS FOLLOW SUIT?

Erle Frayne  Argonza

 

The BRA (Britain-America-Russia) ‘triumvirate of alien researchers’ holds something so special in their respective vaults of knowledge that each power held as top secret for many decades now. It has a great deal to do with the Extra-Terrestrial Intelligences or ETIs, the results of which were actually inferred through systematic research and interaction with ETIs. 

The question that the rest of us Earth humans or Earthans are asking now is, why has there been so much secrecy regarding the ETI phenomenon? Does it suffice to claim that humanity is not prepared yet for the knowledge about the ETIs, and so the policy of the BRA Establishment is to keep mum about the matter? Or is it because the knowledge derived from the research is of military significance, and anything militarily-oriented is classified information?

We could say that all of the above reasons held true last century, more so in the decades after World War I. Humanity was still mired in superstition and Victorian mindsets than, the level of knowledge was still in the level of the Enlightenment Era and was pathetically narrow to comprehend ETIs, and the military information given by the ETIs whom the BRA interacted with were pure and plain classified.

But that was true for the 20th century though. Mankind had moved on since those early exploratory decades. It may be time to make public pronouncements about the ETIs.

Fact is, the Nazi Germans were the first to study the ETIs intensively and may have received knowledge from some ETI groups. The same knowledge may have been used to design the nuclear bomb, and were it not that Allied onslaught wiped out German military production altogether, the same Bomb could have been dropped on Germany’s enemies, permitting Germany to establish its 1000-year Reich. Japan and Italy could have benefitted enormously from the 1000-year tyranny, thanks to ETI technology.

It did not happen that way though. The BRA countries, which were the core leaders of the Allied Forces, also had their own intensive R&D done on the subject, at the same time when relativity theory and quantum mechanics were revolutionizing the sciences. They later got hold of Nazi scientists who were ETI researchers, and secretly employed the same in their own research pursuits.

But another world power, the Vatican, silently observed those occurrences during the past decades. Little did the world outside know that after Vatican II, the church installed its own ETI research bureau, headed by a cardinal and staffed with scientist priests and lay. The bureau was instrumental in collating previous data and evidences, the most baffling being some skulls of unusual shape—deposited in Vatican relics—that do not at all cohere with any of the hominoid and hominid skulls known to man. These were alien skulls right inside the Vatican!

As the Vatican ETI bureau did its work silently, only occasionally coming out with seemingly independent views by church members, it also secured its own information about what the BRA ‘triumvirate’ was doing about ETI and their state-of-the-art technological applications.

Now that the planet had entered the starting phase of its post-industrial, Information Age phase, humans are simply ready to accept knowledge about their own brethren beyond our star systems. The Vatican was expecting that the secular BRA triumvirate, reinforced by UN and international scientific circles, should make the pronouncement now, at this very moment, when people are looking for some hope to be able to get out of the growing global chaos.

But the BRA officialdom failed to do its part, for one reason or another. And this could have prompted the Vatican hierarchy to do the first salvo of revelation, by utilizing an astronomer priest to pronounce the official policy about ETIs. Accordingly, God created many life forms and life streams, including human-related beings, and so ETIs are well within the ambit of the integrity of Creation. 

What a bombshell this revelation is! A true bombshell! Now the Vatican is examining the public feedback from the pronouncement to see if there are hostile or antipathetic thoughts whatsoever. And there are none! Which now empowers the Church all the more, mandating it to make the official heraldry about ETIs in the next couple of years.  

There’s no way that the BRA countries would counter this move with PR slanders against the Church for the latter to keep its mouth shut. No force on Earth can do that on the Vatican, remember. Or else the Church will mastermind the economic collapse and fragmentation of the world power involved, this being its sanguine leverage against any arrogantly abusive power.

[28 May 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

WITCH HUNTING NANOTECHNOLOGY? QUE SERA SERA BRAZIL!

October 9, 2013

WITCH HUNTING NANOTECHNOLOGY? QUE SERA SERA BRAZIL!

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Magandang araw! Good day!

 

It seems that Brazilians have among them a new crop of superstitious punks whose noxious superstition discovered their enemy whom they need to stake to death in public: nanotechnology practitioners. By practitioners we mean those who practice the research & development of nanotech into usable byproducts.

 

The superstitious witch hunters have found allies among legislators who are proposing to ban nanotech items in food & beverage or F&B labels. If these Inquisitors have their way, they may end up heaping up public hysteria on the nanotech practitioners who may get lynched or stoned to death.

 

Fortunately, there are more sane minds than madmen among the legislators in the noblesse federal republic. Of course, it need not be stressed that the sane legislators struck down as impertinent and dismissed the inquisitional stone age superstitionists.

 

You can find the reportage about the rather ubiquitous inquisition below.

 

[Manila, 06 October 2013]

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/technology/feature/brazil-struggles-to-regulate-emerging-nanotechnology.html

Brazil struggles to regulate emerging nanotechnology

Speed read

  • Congress has rejected a bill to label food and drugs containing nanotech
  • Yet a US$186 million nanotechnology initiative was launched last month
  • A new bill is pending, which may introduce what some see as badly needed regulation

[RIO DE JANEIRO] The Brazilian Congress has rejected a bill that aimed to introduce labelling on all food, drugs and cosmetics containing nanostructures, arguing that it was alarmist and that there was no scientific basis for warning people about nanotechnology in products.
 
The move is the latest rebuff to such regulation, even as the country spearheads multimillion-dollar nanotechnology programmes and experts argue that better oversight of this new technology could benefit both industry and consumers.
 
A Senate report on the rejected bill said that the proposed labelling could have been interpreted as a “warning” even on products improved by nanotechnology, potentially causing losses to companies that have invested in improving their products through this technology.
 
Consequently, there could be a fall in research and development investment in the sector, which would undermine national investment into nanotechnology such as the National Nanotechnology Programme, a multimillion-dollar initiative launched in 2005, and its extension the Brazilian Nanotechnology Initiative launched last month (19 August) that is worth 440 million reals (approximately US$186 million) by the end of 2014.
 
The bill’s demise marks the second failure to regulate the fast-growing sector: in 2005, a more ambitious bill, with provisions for a national policy on nanotechnology, including labelling, risk assessment and other decisions, was evaluated by the industry, science, and finance committees  from Congress’s Chamber of Deputies, which found the field to be at too early a stage for legislation.
 
The benefits of legislation
 
Meanwhile, some experts argue that regulation would make nanotechnology and its industrial applications more transparent, providing a good basis for advancing research and public support for it.
 
It would also help guide research and define, evaluate and minimise potential risks to human health and the environment, they say.
 
The most recently rejected bill was less ambitious than its predecessor, aiming primarily to introduce product labelling.

“Regulation … would bring only benefits to industry, trade, scientists and society.”

Edson Duarte, former
member of the Chamber of Deputies

First presented to Congress’s Senate in May 2010, the bill proposed changing existing laws to incorporate products made using nanotechnology, based on the argument that consumers have the right to know exactly what is in things they buy.

Just as genetically modified foods have to be labelled in some countries, the bill would have forced firms to label any foods, drugs and cosmetics containing nanotech.
 
But two of the Senate’s commissions — for social affairs and for the environment and consumer protection — that reviewed the proposal said there was no scientific basis for imposing “warnings” over nanotechnology’s use.
 
The senators added that the labels were not sufficient to inform consumers, who could be confused and then avoid what could actually be “improved products”.
 
This “alarmism” would harm companies that have invested in nanotechnology and halt plans for the sector’s development in the country, they said.
 
But the author of 2005 bill, which was rejected for similar reasons, says this reasoning is misguided.
 
“My bill was rejected on the grounds that it could inhibit research and development of new products. It is an absolutely misguided justification,” says Edson Duarte, former member of the Chamber of Deputies. “Regulation would serve to establish a minimum level of control over the sector and would bring only benefits to industry, trade, scientists and society.”
 
Further legislation
 
The Senate may soon have another stab at legislating on the issue: a new bill, proposing the creation of a labelling law for all nanotech products, including imports and exports, is pending in the Chamber of Deputies.
 
Instead of changing existing laws on foods and drugs to include the labelling of anything made using nanotechnology, as the recently rejected bill attempted, the new proposal would encompass labelling all products containing nanotech, without requiring other laws to change.
 
“We are confident that our proposal will be approved,” says José Sarney Filho, the new bill’s author and a representative in the Chamber.
 
In his view, the business sector is becoming more aware of growing consumer pressure for information and is less resistant to labelling regulations, both of which may help convince senators to approve the bill. The bill was favourably reviewed by the Committee for Economic Development, Industry and Trade, in the Chamber of Deputies, last month.
 
But Duarte says that a remaining obstacle for nanotech regulation in Brazil is opposition by free-market groups. “These are the ones who can hamper regulation and press [Congress] not to create laws for industry,” he says.
 
Duarte is worried about nanotechnology advancing rapidly with no regulation.
 
Yet Oswaldo Luiz Alves, a nanotech expert at the State University of Campinas and a member of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation’s Advisory Committee on Nanotechnology, says the time lag between big investment in a new technology and its regulation is not unique to the nanotech sector.
 
“This situation has been happening with many technologies. Even in developed countries, regulation came in second,” he says.
 
Despite the setback of the bill’s rejection, Alves believes the situation is now favourable to advancing nanotechnology regulation in Brazil, especially as the nation’s new nanotechnology initiative gets under way.
 
“But we need to consistently move forward with the right steps and, above all, in harmony with the international context so that we do not create situations that prevent us from participating, as effective actors, in the trillion-dollar economic activity of nanotechnology,” says Alves.
 
Link to the senators’ report on the rejected bill (in Portuguese)
 
Link to the newly proposed labelling bill (in Portuguese)
 
Link to the 2005 rejected bill (in Portuguese) 

 

HAS MONSANTO INVADED CHILE’S SMALL PLANTERS?

October 4, 2013

HAS MONSANTO INVADED CHILE’S SMALL PLANTERS?

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

“God must be angry on Chilean peasants, He’s sending Monsanto here!” could be an apt idiom by angry Chileans over the passing of the Monsanto Bill in their legislature. I am very much in sync with the protesting farmers and concerned Chileans, as I know the dire implications of getting Monsanto to invade their country.

 

I was among the social activists in the Philippines who opposed the signing of the GATT-Uruguay Rounds in the mid-90s, and spoke in many venues to expose the social costs that the treaty would spawn. The rise of gigantic trusts or monopolies has been on the agenda plate of the global oligarchs in the the 90s when the treaty was signed, and, as an adroit observer of international political economy, I was among those who forecast the rise of such global monopolies that will control certain sectors of agriculture such as seed production.

 

That monopolization is taking place in steel and mining. Ditto for agriculture, with Monsanto as the flagship trust. I am no professional basher of genetic modification of organisms, as I myself witnessed the great benefits brought forth by genetic engineering on many varieties of veggies, fruits, and grains in my backyard country. However, the likes of Monsanto gobbling up grains, which effectively prohibits small farmers to own seeds for re-cultivation later, is pure EVIL.

 

The Monsanto Bill had raised blood pressures in Chile that is rising fast as a developing country in South America. Details of the issues raised are reflected in the reportage below.

 

[Manila, 30 September 2013]

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/bioprospecting/news/farmers-rights-at-stake-in-chile-s-monsanto-law-bill.html

Farmers’ rights ‘at stake in Chile’s Monsanto law bill’

Speed read

  • Campaigners say the bill suits big firms rather than ordinary farmers
  • But biotech companies deny claims that it would unfairly restrict seed use
  • Strong intellectual property rights could also aid agricultural exports, say the bill’s supporters

[SANTIAGO] Campaigners who last month marched through more than a dozen Chilean cities against a bill dubbed the ‘Monsanto law’ after the giant US biotech firm, plan to protest again if the bill progresses through the country’s Senate.
 
Meanwhile, the bill’s supporters — mainly associations of large-scale farmers — are lobbying senators to back it.
 
At issue is the legal implementation in Chile of the latest version of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91).
 
As a signatory to the 1978 version, Chile already protects plant breeders’ rights, but campaigners claim that the new version of the convention suits commercial rather than conventional breeders.
 
“UPOV 91 extends the intellectual property rights of companies that produce seeds, thus increasing their monopoly over seed production and exchange,” Iván Santandreu, co-founder of the NGO Chile without GMOs (genetically modified organisms), tells SciDev.Net.
 
“If UPOV 91 becomes law, it will become illegal for farmers to save and exchange seeds,” he adds.

But Miguel Sánchez, executive director of ChileBIO, an association that represents agricultural biotechnology companies, says: “UPOV 91 allows a seed developer to charge a farmer for using any intellectually protected seed, even retroactively.
 
“But nobody forces this farmer to buy and use intellectually protected plant varieties. If he does, it is because he believes the protected seed will increase his yields.”
 
Sánchez adds that campaigners’ fears that UPOV 91 will not stop large firms from appropriating native vegetable species and varieties or their agricultural or medicinal uses are misplaced.
 
“A seed developer cannot claim intellectual property rights for a vegetable species such as maize. He can only do so if he has bred a maize variety that is new and distinct,” Sánchez tells SciDev.Net.
 

“If UPOV 91 becomes law, it will become illegal for farmers to save and exchange seeds.”

Iván Santandreu,
Chile without GMOs

Another of the campaigners’ concerns is that the proposed law would introduce GMOs into the country through the backdoor by allowing companies to register GM seeds (GMOs are banned in Chile).
 
“This allegation is wrong: UPOV 91 does not mention GMOs,” Patricio Parodi, scientific advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture of Chile, tells SciDev.Net.
 
“Campaigners are conflating it with the bill on genetically modified plants, which has been stagnating in the National Congress since 2006. Only this law would make way for the general use of GMOs in Chile,” he adds.
 
Santandreu replies that, while UPOV 91 may not mention GMOs by name, it refers to genetic improvement and defines this process as ranging from hybridisation to genetic engineering.
 
But the politicians, large farm owners and agricultural companies backing the bill argue that an agricultural exporter such as Chile needs solid intellectual property rights.
 
“We cannot be seen as a country that practises intellectual property piracy. Chile has signed many free trade agreements, including with the US and Japan, on the basis of reciprocal intellectual property rights,” says Parodi.
 
José Antonio Poblete, commercial manager of the Fruit Nurseries Association of Chile, told the Constitutional Court last year: “If Chile does not adhere to UPOV 91, there will be no reward for all the efforts made by 12 new, state-backed genetic programmes that are developing new fruit varieties”.
 
But anti-GMO campaigners remain unconvinced.
 
“We are waiting for the next significant development in Congress before we march again,” Santandreu says.
 
Link to International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants

WORMS CAN BE WIPED OUT BY GM BACTERIA

September 20, 2013

WORMS CAN BE WIPED OUT BY GM BACTERIA

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Worm parasitism, notably of the pinworm variety, infects over 2 billion children and pregnant mothers across the globe. That’s nearly 1 in every 3 Earthlings infested by the worm disease!

 

Sadly, many worms are now resistant to drugs. Reversing the process, with the object of eliminating worm parasitism in the long run, seems to find its salvation in the genetic modification of a certain bacterium. But while the new panacea awaits trial results on humans, many children and pregnant women will face the scourge of disabilities brought by worm parasitism.

 

The GM bacterium was already tested on hamsters in the laboratory. Gladly, the finds about the impact of the GM strain on the parasite-infested hamsters were positive and conclusive. The next stage—of testing the panacea on humans—is now in the works, which should cheer up many children and mothers.

 

The brightening reportage is shown below.

 

[Manila, 18 September 2013]

 

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/medicine/news/gm-bacteria-could-help-mass-produce-hookworm-drugs.html

 

GM bacteria could help mass produce hookworm drugs

Speed read

  • GM bacteria similar to those used in food makes proteins against parasitic worms
  • The proteins are more effective in animal experiments than currently used drugs
  • The work has yet to reach the pre-clinical stage but plans are underway

[SÃO PAULO] Researchers have produced a protein that kills parasitic intestinal worms, by genetically engineering a bacterium similar to those used in probiotics — raising hopes of more effective and safer therapies for infections that affect up to two billion people worldwide.

“There is a growing number of drug resistant parasites.”

Rose Gomes Monnerat 

The protein, Cry5B, has previously been shown to kill parasitic worms. It is normally produced by Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium used as an insecticide and not considered safe for use in people.

Bacteria containing Cry5B could be an ideal drug against human parasites, researchers say, as they can be easily and cheaply produced in large quantities, as well as shipped and stored under adverse conditions.

The researchers inserted the protein-producing gene into another related bacterium, Bacillus subtilis — strains of which are commonly used in foods such as probiotic yoghurts.

They first showed that the modified strain successfully produces the protein, and then tested it for treating parasitic worms in hamsters.

When given in small doses to hamsters infected with hookworm, Ancylostoma ceylanicum — which is capable of infecting people, and is related to a major human parasite, A. duodenale — the protein reduced the parasite burden by 93 per cent.

The study reports that this is comparable or even more effective than currently approved drugs for treating hookworms, whipworms and large roundworms.

These parasitic worms “are the leading causes of disease burden and disability in children and pregnant women worldwide” and “infect mostly impoverished people in the developing world and contribute significantly to keeping these people trapped in poverty”, the study says.

Rose Gomes Monnerat, a researcher at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), and a member of the study team, tells SciDev.Net: “Treatment of gut parasites has been done with highly toxic drugs so far.”

“There is also a growing number of reports of drug resistant parasites. So it is important to have alternatives to their control,” she adds.

Manoel Victor Franco Lemos, a biologist at São Paulo State University, Brazil, says: “Although the results have been achieved by using animal models of parasitic infections, the worm species used are quite close to those that cause the same infections in humans”.

But he highlights the need for trials on humans.

Raffi Aroian, co-author and a biologist at the University of California, San Diego, says: “We are talking to knowledgeable people about how much pre-clinical testing would have to be done prior to human clinical trials”.

One of the main challenges, Aroian adds, is that although the B. subtilis strain used is a model for food-safe bacteria and used in some probiotics, it is not a proven food-safe bacterium.

“Now we need to put the gene into a proven food-safe one,” he says.

“Additionally, several toxicity tests must also be done until we can ensure its safety,” says Monnerat.

The study will be published in the September issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Link to full article in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

References

Applied and Environmental Microbiology doi:10.1128/AEM.01854-13 (2013)

AID AGENCIES BETTER LOCALIZE THEIR PURCHASES OF MATERIALS

September 16, 2013

AID AGENCIES BETTER LOCALIZE THEIR PURCHASES OF MATERIALS

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

$69 Billion is spent each year by international aid agencies for procurements of needed materials from external markets. The total amount is over half of aid funding for developing countries.

 

The advisory from experts who know the development processes in Africa is this: aid agencies better source materials locally. The behavior will impact as sound social development practice. Besides, the materials sourced from local markets do reduce the cost of materials.

 

I still recall, in my studies on economic history, when aid agencies infused massive aid funds supposedly on Philippine agriculture in the late 40s through the 60s. PH during those days was predominantly agricultural, with farmers and fisherfolks comprising past 75% of the population. Studies showed that the aid agencies bought tractors, fertilizers and seedlings from International Harvester and outside sources. The tractors alone provided headaches for the end-users, as they are hardly practicable in terrains that are hardly fit for them.

 

Let it be stressed that procuring materials in external market bring along with them inefficiencies. Besides, there could be corruption in the procurement processes, as they could favor certain manufacturers or producers that result to padding of prices. In the end, a very small portion of the aid funds actually go directly to the target beneficiaries, thus defeating the purpose of the development endeavor.

 

Below is the insightful report about the subject matter.

 

[Manila, 12 September 2013]

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/global/aid/news/aid-agencies-should-go-local-when-sourcing-materials.html

Aid agencies should ‘go local’ when sourcing materials

Speed read

  • Buying locally would slash costs, and identify locally appropriate solutions
  • 20 per cent of aid purchases are still tied to firms in donor countries
  • Local social enterprise experts firms to carry out policy reviews

Aid agencies should source development products from local manufacturers to help them make the most of their budgets and improve their impact, a group of small businesses, service providers and manufacturers from Africa said this week.

Development agencies spend around US$69 billion each year on procuring goods and services from external providers — more than 50 per cent of total official development assistance — according to a press release by AidEx, a global humanitarian and development aid event held annually in Brussels. But 20 per cent of bilateral aid purchases are still tied to firms in donor countries, resulting in project expenses increasing by up to 40 per cent.

The group of businesses participating in the AidEx Developing World Supplier Zone — an area of 25 free stalls designed to help businesses from developing countries reach an international buying audience — is now urging aid agencies to carry out procurement policy reviews that would compare the cost, delivery time and social benefits of obtaining goods and services through local providers. They are also calling for the removal of conditions that tie donors to procurement in donor countries.

“Aid agencies’ use of local suppliers is key to maximising business opportunities and upskilling communities.”

Ben Solanky

By using local businesses in Africa, aid agencies could lower transaction costs, shorten delivery times and improve the investment climate in the surrounding region, the press release said.

“It’s vital for aid organisations to seriously consider locally developed solutions in their procurement, as these companies’ offerings have already been tried and tested ‘on the ground’,” said Grant Gibbs, project manager at Hippo Water Roller, a water technology project in South Africa.

“Superimposing First World business models can underestimate differences in African infrastructure — particularly at the rural level — and lead to inefficiencies,” Gibbs added.

Simon Lucas, CEO of Reltex Africa, a humanitarian relief materials supplier based in Kenya, said the benefits of the organisation’s location in Mombasa, for example, are that it “can easily access raw materials and re-export finished goods through supply chain routes across East Africa.”

“This,” he said, “has led to reduced transportation times and decreased environmental impact for humanitarian aid deliveries.

“When looking at purchasing products from Africa, I urge procurement managers to look further than just the price and take into account the social benefits and economic input to the region.” 

Charles Mugasa, of Ugandan social enterprise start-up Chiabiz, said: “Aid agencies must prioritise local companies that have grassroots connections with the community if they are to realise their goals, otherwise the bureaucratic nature of governments can get in the way.”

And Ben Solanky, director of Global Hand, a non-profit matching service for public-private partnerships, added: “Aid agencies’ use of local suppliers is key to maximising business opportunities and upskilling communities.

Dialogue, openness and connectivity between for-profits and non-profits is crucial in Africa — to see the idea of ‘doing well’ become an economic reality.”

 

FOLKLORE TO IMPROVE LITERACY: ORAL TRADITION IN ASEAN

May 24, 2012

FOLKLORE TO IMPROVE LITERACY: ORAL TRADITION IN ASEAN
Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Ra

Visual and oral traditions are very strong among the peoples of ASEAN region. In our current analytic models, Southeast Asians are strongly right-brained as learners.
The right-brained facet of ASEAN peoples is largely a legacy of the Lemuro-Atlantean race (part of 4th ‘root race’). As per explications from Divine wisdom or Theos Sophia, the current Southeast Asians, with Malayan and IndoMongolian ethnicies as the largest, were among the last sub-races to evolve in the Atlantean racial phenotypes. The Mahatmas termed them as Lemuro-Atlantean, as they were bred from the surviving Lemurians that appeared prior to Atlantis’ heyday.
The use of folklore as potent tools for learning is practically accepted in the entire ASEAN region. Below is an example of a human development effort in Malaysia in substantiation of the folklore as learning tool.
[Philippines, 16 June 2011]
Source: http://www.unicef.org/malaysia/media_7099.html
Folklore inspiration to improve Malaysian Orang Asli children’s literacy
By Indra Nadchatram
KUALA LUMPUR, 25 July 2007 – Malaysia’s Orang Asli children will soon get to improve their literacy skills as a result of a specially tailored education program which will incorporate Orang Asli folklores and legends into teaching and learning aids.
Organised by the Ministry of Education and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the remedial program will introduce story-telling techniques in the classroom together with story books designed to capture the imagination of close to 6,000 Orang Asli children, with the aim of encouraging reading habits and improving writing skills.
While the country has achieved impressive results in education with a net enrolment rate of 96% in primary school for Malaysian children, most children from the Orang Asli community however are found lagging behind. Orang Asli children together with children from Sabah and Sarawak’s indigenous groups make up for a sizeable proportion of Malaysia’s remaining 4% children who fair poorly in both primary school enrolment rates and achievements.
Trapped in poverty
Due to poor education performances, Malaysia’s Orang Asli remain one of the poorest in the country. A household income survey carried out less than ten years ago found as many as 51% of the population living below the poverty level.
Teacher Santey anak Dugu (24) who hails from Malaysia’s Mah Meri ethnic group in Selangor’s Carey Island blames the lackadaisical attitude of Orang Asli parents towards education for low school enrolment, absenteeism and drop out rates.
“Orang Asli parents simply don’t realise the value of an education. When girls reach 10 or 11 year old, they are often asked to stay at home to look after their younger siblings and do household chores, while boys will be taken out to sea to fish,” says Santey. “It is a huge loss to our community because without an education, we will always remain trapped in poverty”.
Collecting folk stories
Santey together with 19 Orang Asli teachers representing 5 ethnic groups – Jakun, Mah Meri, Semai, Semalai and Temuan from the states of Pahang, Johor, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka came together recently for a four day workshop to share Orang Asli folklores and legends with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF.
Like many other Orang Asli teachers who participated in the Workshop, Santey relied heavily on the knowledge of her village elders for Mah Meri folklore. She is particularly glad for the program as it means the culture and beliefs of her community will be kept alive for the younger generation through the story books.
“I am excited about the value the Ministry of Education and UNICEF is placing on our cultural heritage. It gives me pride to be able to share stories from my own community for others to learn from,” continues Santey.
Santey believes the folk stories, each with its own important life lesson, will be a powerful incentive to encourage both parents and children to get involved in learning. At the same time, the initiative will help the others learn about the traditions and beliefs of the different Orang Asli ethnic groups in Malaysia.
Children’s love for stories
A total of 13 stories were collected during the workshop to develop story telling materials and text books for use by Year Two and Year Three Orang Asli students in the country. In addition, the Ministry of Education and UNICEF will train Orang Asli teachers from 93 schools in techniques and practices of storytelling which will include the use of facial expressions, body gestures and exaggerated character voices.
According to the Ministry of Education’s Assistant Director, Puan Norhayati Mokhtar, the program design takes into consideration children’s love for stories.
“Stories are most meaningful and best able to promote literacy when they speak to a student’s world. Using folklores can help children develop pride in their ethnic identity, provide positive role models, develop knowledge about cultural history, and build self-esteem,” explains Puan Norhayati.
This recent initiative builds on the Ministry of Education and UNICEF’s 1997 Special Remedial Education Program for Orang Asli children.
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