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Monday, August 3, 2020

Breastfeeding: Still best for mothers, babies during the COVID-19 pandemic - NaijaAgroNet

UNICEF has said that the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for stronger measures to support exclusive breastfeeding, as Nigeria joins the world to celebrate this year’s World Breastfeeding Week themed “Supporting breastfeeding for a healthier planet.”
The call came as UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), in a joint statement, urged governments to find innovative solutions to protect and promote women’s access to breastfeeding counselling, a critical component of breastfeeding support.

Breastmilk saves children’s lives as it provides antibodies that give babies a healthy boost and protect them against many childhood illnesses. While researchers continue to test breastmilk from mothers with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, current evidence indicate that it is unlikely that COVID-19 would be transmitted through breastfeeding.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, like most emergencies, leaves families with children in an extremely vulnerable position. Given the present lack of evidence that transmission of the virus could occur through breastmilk, we recommend that mothers should be encouraged to initiate and continue to breastfeed their babies while observing good hygiene practices,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria.

UNICEF and WHO recommend that babies be fed only breastmilk for their first 6 months, after which they should continue breastfeeding – as well as eating other nutritious and safe foods – until 2 years of age or beyond. Currently, only 29 percent of Nigerian children between the ages of 0 to 6 months are exclusively breastfed.

Breastmilk substitutes such as infant formula, other milk products, and beverages not only contribute negatively to the health and development of the child, but also to environmental degradation and climate change. Breastmilk, on the other hand, is natural, and is the only food a baby needs in the first 6 months of life.

UNICEF called on relevant agencies to strictly enforce adherence to the National Regulation on the Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions by putting to a stop to the unwholesome marketing of breastmilk substitutes. Civil society organizations should also not seek or accept donations of breastmilk substitutes in emergency situations.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, availability and increased access to health care workers, including midwives and nurses, to deliver skilled breastfeeding counselling to mothers and families is essential. Efforts must be made to increase investment in maternal, infant, and child nutrition interventions at the community level support and to implement policies that support maternity leave for 6 months in the public sector, and an enabling environment for breastfeeding in the private sector. Advocacy for paid paternity leave must also continue to ensure full participation of both parents in the early moments of the child.

“Through strengthened policy provisions and increased investment for breastfeeding, we can ensure that mothers in Nigeria are empowered to breastfeed their babies,” said Peter Hawkins. “Breastfeeding is still the safest during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Sunday, August 2, 2020

COVID-19: Collaboration with private labs raises test by 50% - NaijaAgroNet

The government of Lagos State has said that accreditation of some seven private and public laboratories increased testing on the populace over COVID-19 by 50 per cent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Disclosing this, the incident commander and governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, informed 
NaijaAgroNet at the weekend that in June, for instance they expanded COVID-19 testing capacity in Lagos with the accreditation of seven private laboratories.

“In the week ending July 26, 2020, we successfully tested close to 9,000 samples in Lagos State, across the public and private sector laboratories, a 50% increase from the approximately 6,000 samples tested in each of the preceding two weeks..” he said.

Lagos, he said, believes that this increased testing will lead to an rise in the number of daily confirmed cases of the CoronaVirus in Lagos State.

“This is a welcome development, since our capacity to contain the pandemic depends significantly on how successful we are in identifying all the existing cases,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu also mentioned that they have seen a general decrease in positivity rates in Lagos State over the past two weeks, which, combined with the increase in testing numbers, paints a very encouraging picture of the outcome of responses strategy.

“We will continue to fine-tune our efforts and strategies to build on our successes and close any existing gaps,” he said.

Lagos, he said, has patterned response strategy after Mumbai, India, which like Lagos is a densely populated mega-city with similar demographic and climatic conditions.

“I must however say that we are also recording similar results in terms of our successes,” he said.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

OPEC-Nigeria think of post-COVID-19 market - NaijaAgroNet

The OPEC-Nigeria Bilateral Meeting that took place last week ended with a signal of the strong dialogue and cooperation between OPEC and Africa’s biggest producing country, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Such a dialogue, 
NaijaAgroNet gathered, is key for compliance with the OPEC global production cuts deal of April, to which all of OPEC’s African member countries have agreed to. Nigeria’s support to global market stability and energy cooperation is significant and gives confidence to operators and future investors seeking to do business in West Africa.

“African producers and service companies are the hardest hit when there is volatility in the market. H.E. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo and Dr. Ayed S. Al-Qahtani leading these discussions sends a strong message that collaboration and sticking to the principles of a stable market is good for Nigeria, its producers and the economy at large,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.

“We continue to support the Government of Nigeria, and the country’s Ministry of Petroleum Resources in their effort to improve the environment for investment and getting the industry to rebound post-Covid-19. We believe they are right in making this a priority and we welcome the bold initiatives by Nigeria’s leadership,” he added.

Nigeria’s ongoing Marginal Fields Bidding Round was launched in earlier this year and has already been met with significant success, reportedly attracting hundreds of bidders. The round is expected to result in a new wave of local content development in Nigeria, a country already widely regarded as the most successful example of local content and capacity building across the continent.

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Monday, July 27, 2020

OPL oil scam: Group wants Malami to declare full recovered assests - NaijaAgroNet

Group of anti-graft civil society groups has has Nigeria's Justice Minister and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, to make full disclosure on recovered assets linked to the OPL multi-billion dollar oil scam, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Assets running into billions of dollars have been recovered due to local and international litigations but there are increasing public outrage against the lack of transparency in the process

The lack of openness in the entire process continues to fuel public suspicion that corrupt officials might manipulate the procedure for personal gains.

A consortium of anti-corruption groups across the world are raising series of fresh questions on the role of Malami and the funding arrangements that Johnson and Johnson, the Nigerian legal firm that has the fiat for all OPL 245 recovery claims has entered into with Drumcliffe Partners, a U.S. litigation fund, to finance various OPL 245 related asset recovery cases.

On Sunday, the Corner House, Global Witness, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) and Re-Common through a letter to the AGF Malami launched a filament of global campaigns for transparency in the quantum of assets recovered from the scam which lid was been blown open. In the petition, the groups raised 25 critical questions for Malami.

"Nigerians need to know assets recovered relating to the OPL 245 scam. This is one of the most significant corruption cases in Nigeria involving billions of dollars in stolen funds used by political figures to procure assets kept across the world. It is important that Nigerians and the international community know how many assets have been recovered", the groups said in the jointly signed statement on Sunday. 

Following earlier media publications by the group titled The Ministry of Justice Needs To Get Its Act Together On Asset Recovery" raising questions about the Ministry of Justice's handling of asset recovery and damages claims, particularly in relation to the OPL 245 corruption scandal, Global Witness was contacted by Montfort Communications, a public relations firm that defends the legal team of Nigerian central government. The groups said Montfort offered to arrange a meeting to explore earlier raised concerns about the lack of transparency in the asset recovery deal saying is was ready for an open meeting driven by overall public interest.

The groups have raised 25 fundamental questions seeking answers from both the OPL 245 asset recovery lawyers and Malami who, as senior law officer and Minister of Justice, should be abreast of the funding arrangements and their implications for Nigeria. 

The groups said Nigerians are anxious to know how many OPL 245 related contracts have been signed between Johnson and Johnson and Drumcliffe, on what dates, when and how was Malami informed of the existence of such contracts.

The group stated "Nigerians want to know if any complaint has ever been made to any official body or official of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in respect of terms of the contracts, has Johnson and Johnson or any legal firm employed by Johnson and Johnson explained the terms of the contracts to any official of the Federal Government and whether any assessment has been made by Johnson and Johnson or any legal firm employed by Johnson and Johnson of potential conflicts of interest that might arise from the contracts?" It said contracts signed with all relevant authorities relating to the asset recovery should not be shrouded in mystery. 

The coalition asked Malami to clarify what fees and expenses arising from Nigeria's asset recovery does Drumcliffe fund and what does it not fund, who is Drumcliffe's counterparty in the funding agreements adding whether it was the Federal Government or Johnson and Johnson.

The groups asked further "How much funding has Drumcliffe allocated or spent to date on the various OPL 245 asset recovery efforts (Italian civil claim, JP Morgan, Shell-Eni etc), what is Drumcliffe's typical rate of return, or what lowest rate of return Drumcliffe will accept, and also Drumcliffe's contractual rate of return in the case of FRN/OPL 245 recoveries. 

It noted that litigation funders typically prefer to deduct what is owed to them prior to recovered assets or damages being remitted to the claimant. The coalition asked Malami to confirm that in the OPL 245-related contracts entered into between Johnson and Johnson and Drumcliffe, all recovered monies will be automatically credited to the Federal Government without prior deductions adding that if this is not the case it would wish to know what procedure will be followed.

"Has that procedure been sanctioned by the Attorney General or the Solicitor General? What deductions would be made and how these consistent with Government policy on asset recovery claims. What assurances can you give that Drumcliffe is not controlling the FRN's legal strategy? What codes of conduct, if any, does Drumcliffe subscribe to in the USA? Who regulates Drumcliffe? and what are the key regulatory requirements?"

It said, it is important to know what assurances can Malami give that Drumcliffe has the capital in reserve to support the Federal Government's asset recovery efforts long-term, who is paying the FG's £850k legal costs from the recent case it lost against Shell, Eni and others in London and when did the FG's legal team in the recent Shell and Eni case first inform the government that Drumcliffe would not be liable for the £2 million adverse costs in the Shell, Eni and others case in London.

The groups asked further "Who is liable for putting up any securities for costs in other ongoing cases, Drumcliffe or the FG and if it is the government, are they aware of this and when did you first inform them of the development.

It also wanted to know if Drumcliffe had funded other FG and OPL 245 asset recovery cases before, why are Drumcliffe's funds incorporated in Delaware, who typically invests in Drumcliffe's litigation funds and what due diligence has been undertaken by Johnson and Johnson on the investors in Drumcliffe? And on Drumcliffe itself.

It asked further "Has the FRN been informed of the names of the investors in Drumcliffe and what contingent liabilities have been built up by the FRN for OPL 245 asset recovery cases undertaken through Johnson and Johnson? Who sanctioned these liabilities."

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Saturday, July 25, 2020

Merck Foundation marks 2020 World ART day - NaijaAgroNet


The Merck Foundation provides long term hands-on Embryology & Fertility Specialists training to develop local Embryologists & Fertility Experts across Africa and Asia; Merck Foundation makes history by training the first African Embryologists and Fertility Experts in many countries such as; The Gambia, Burundi, Guinea, Chad, Niger, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany marks ‘World ART Day 2020’ through providing long term hands-on embryology training and clinical fertility specialists training to develop local Embryologists and fertility specialists to improve access to quality and cost-effective fertility care in Africa and Asia, this is as part of Merck More than a Mother campaign.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation, President of Merck More than a Mother and One of 100 Most Influential Africans (2019) emphasized, “I strongly believe in the critical role of Embryologists and fertility specialists to empower infertile women through improving their access to information, change of mindset and quality & equitable fertility care.

I am very proud that as part of ‘Merck More Than A Mother’ campaign in partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Academia and Fertility Societies, we were able to provide hands on long term embryology training and clinical fertility specialists to develop more than 182 local Embryologists & Fertility Experts from 35 countries, many of them were trained to be the first local embryologists in many countries where they never had local embryologists or fertility specialists before such as; The Gambia, Burundi, Guinea, Niger, Chad, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Liberia. Together with you, Merck Foundation Alumni and our partners, we are making history and reshaping the landscape of fertility care”.

Merck Foundation will also provide on line one-year diploma and two years master degree in sexual and reproductive medicines from UK University to more than 80 doctors from Africa and Asia to contribute to our mission to break the stigma around Infertility and reshape the landscape of fertility care in the global south.

African First Ladies of 18 Countries are working closely with Merck Foundation as Ambassadors of Merck more than a Mother including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Niger, Namibia, Mozambique, Liberia, Guinea Conakry, The Gambia, DR Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Chad, CAR, Botswana and Burundi (former First Lady) and Malawi (Former First Lady). “The African First Ladies have partnered with Merck Foundation to lead and execute many initiatives in their respective countries as Merck More Than a Mother Ambassadors to empower infertile women and break the stigma around infertility. This speaks volume about the work we are doing” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Merck Foundation has trained more than 82 Embryologists in addition to over 100 Fertility Specialists from 35 countries which are: Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, CAR, Cote D'IVOIRE, DRC, Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malaysia, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Niger, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, The Gambia, Togo, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe.

Merck hands-on Embryology and Fertility specialists Training program is an ongoing initiative and Merck Foundation will continue to train more doctors and embryologist in more African, Asian and developing countries.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Friday, July 24, 2020

COVID-19: Gospel on dangers of vaccine according to Chris Okotie - NaijaAgroNet

This article is an excerpt from my broadcast on YouTube concerning the Covid-19 pandemic. It deals with the issue of the vaccine being prepared to fight the virus. You may have to listen to the full broadcast to fully understand what I am talking about here. Here is the link.   

What the devil has attempted to do, is to create the pattern of communion in this situation. How? Communion involves that which is solid, and that which is liquid. The bread is solid, the wine is liquid. That’s what this vaccine project is all about. 

Bill Gates, as Commander of the Ten, like I mentioned in the numerology of his name, has dealt with the solid, which is what the bread is, by affecting what we eat, in what is called GMO; Genetically Modified Organisms, now found in what we eat. This is the pattern for the bread. The vaccine on the other hand, brings the liquid to you, just like the blood, and it is injected into you. So, it is received into you, because, when you drink the wine, it goes into your system, so that when you consume the GMO’s, and you receive the vaccine, you bring the body and blood together; so to speak, just as it is in communion; the body of Jesus Christ and His blood. That’s what replicates that pattern. And I told you that the reason for the communion is because it affects you on three dimensions: Your eyes, your vision. Your mouth, the words that you speak, because, the power of life and death resides in the tongue. Your hands, your enterprise, what you can do. 

So, what Bill Gates is doing; under the auspices of the United Nations, is to make sure that you receive the food … Many people did not complain about GMOs’, because they didn’t understand where this was leading. They thought it was just changing whatever nutritional values these things have. They did not understand the spiritual import: But now, they do. 

So, when you eat the genetically modified organisms that you eat, and you take the vaccine, you’ve entered into communion with Satan, with Lucifer, and that communion involves blood. Now, since the blood of Jesus is not what he’s talking about, or what he has to offer, he will require you to seek blood somewhere else, and the only place that you can find blood, is another human being. So, one of the things that the vaccine will make you do, is to become a ‘vampire’, who needs to drink blood for sustenance. But we as Christians, we don’t drink blood, we drink the wine, which is an emblem of the blood, and that sustains us spiritually. But his communion will require you drinking blood spiritually, so that you are a vampire for your sustenance. That is why you have seen all of the movies about vampires. 

Hollywood is one of the mouthpieces of the god of this world. He has many prophets there that are directors, and a lot of actors and producers. You say, why does he say what to do ahead of time? Because he is an imitator of scripture; of our God. Martin Luther called him the ape of God. He imitates God, because God; through prophecy, will tell you what He wants to do ahead of time; and you can’t change it. So, to provide the same pattern, he has his people telling you things, like Rockerfeller Foundation, and all these things that they say to you; ahead of time: And they assume that there is nothing that you can do about it, because this thing going on now, was already predicted, they already talked about it. They MUST provide the pattern … The pattern, because that’s where the power comes through, so, they must provide that pattern. 

That’s why they do their movies, to tell you what they are going to do, because the drugs inside this vaccine, will make you a zombie; you are a walking cadaver, you’re neither dead nor alive, so, you can be controlled by the power of Satan … Zombified, so he can control you. He has the power, that’s why it’s called sorcery. In the book of Revelations, when the Bible talks about the reason why the people on earth cannot turn away from their sin, even though the judgment of God is manifest, the Bible says it’s because of their sorceries. That word is a translation of the word Pharmachaea; it’s a reference to drugs. That is not talking about drugs that you can easily swallow, or pills that you take, because, that will be too expensive for the devil; to turn all of the world into drug addicts; all of us. Now, he can do that, so, the easiest way to do it, is through vaccines. 

So, everything he needs to put in the drugs, is in the vaccine. That’s why you see in the movies that deal with witchcraft like Harry Porter, things like that, you will see them stirring this liquid, because, when you take that, that’s the drug, that’s the pharmachaea, the reference to the drugs. It opens doors in the soul realm, in the mind realm, that God had shut, because of the sin of Adam. 

That’s why those who play around with drugs, when they take these drugs, they begin to hallucinate, and they begin to see things. Because doors that were shut, are open, because when you take these things, you become susceptible to witchcraft, and you can now leave your body into what they call astral travels, and things like that. You need those things as a catalyst, they facilitate the movement from physical into the spirit realm. And all of those things are in the drugs. 

So, just as communion connects you to the Lord, through the bread, which connects you to the body, which gives you healing, and the wine connects you to the blood, which gives you forgiveness. That’s exactly what the devil will do, or is already doing. The GMO’s will connect you to Lucifer, the vaccine will connect you to Lucifer, concerning your body and your spirit, or your soul, so he can control you. That way, he can determine the population of the world, because, all he has to do, is command you to die; you kill yourself. Or command the disease to kill you, and he can reduce the population of the world through that, or turn you into a zombie, just like I said: he can do that. And he controls what you say, because that’s what communion does. Our mouth has power of life, and for Satan to control our mouth, we must begin to say words that are contrary to the Bible. 

In the New Testament, there are two words that describe evil. There’s the word, kakos: When a man is doing evil, and just wants to do evil, and deals with the consequence of that evil, he doesn’t care about anybody else. He just wants to do evil, and then he’ll bear the consequences. But there’s another word called, poneros, which is used to describe the evil of this world. That is evil that is done by a man and he does it in such a way that he drags you down by the evil that he commits. So he wants you to be a partaker of the consequence of the evil, even though you did not partake in the evil, because those two words are used to describe Satan’s operations. 

kakos; people who do evil on the internet, and then do not care about anyone else. They just purveyeur, they sell evil, they do evil, they attract evil, they communicate evil with the things that they say, they blaspheme God, they speak enchantments and divinations contrary to the word of Almighty God. Then you have others who are poneros evil, who do things to seduce others, so that they can participate in the consequence of the evil, and drag you down with them. 

*Contributed by Rev. Chris Okotie, who is the Pastor of the Household of God Church, Lagos.

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FRA 2020 key findings - NaijaAgroNet

The world has a total forest area of 4.06 billion hectares, which is about 31 percent of the total land area. Europe, including Russian Federation, accounts for 25 percent of the world's forest area, followed by South America (21 percent), North and Central America (19 percent), Africa (16 percent), Asia (15 percent) and Oceania (5 percent), NaijaAgroNet reports.

The global forest area continues to decrease, and the world has lost 178 million hectares of forest since 1990. However, the rate of net forest loss decreased substantially over the period 1990-2020 due to a reduction in deforestation in some countries, plus increases in forest area in others through afforestation and natural expansion of forests.

Africa has the largest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010-2020, at 3.9 million hectares, followed by South America, at 2.6 million hectares. The highest net gain of forest area in 2010-2020 was found in Asia.

Since 1990 an estimated 420 million ha of forest has been lost worldwide through deforestation, conversion of forest to other land use such as agriculture. However, the rate of forest loss has declined substantially. In the most recent five-year period (2015-2020), the annual rate of deforestation was estimated at 10 million hectares, down from 12 million hectares in 2010-2015 and 16 million hectares in 1990-2000.

The area of forest in protected areas has increased by 191 million ha since 1990, and has now reached an estimated 726 million ha (18 percent of the total forest area of reporting countries). In addition, the area of forest under management plans is increasing in all regions - globally, it has increased by 233 million ha since 2000, reaching slightly over two billion hectares in 2020.

Top ten countries worldwide for average annual net losses of forest area between 2010 and 2020 are: Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Angola, United Republic of Tanzania, Paraguay, Myanmar, Cambodia, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Mozambique.
Top ten countries for average annual net gains in forest area in the same period are: China, Australia, India, Chile, Viet Nam, Turkey, United States of America, France, Italy, Romania.

Commenting on the FRA key findings, Senior Forestry Officer and FRA Coordinator Anssi Pekkarinen said: "While the rate of deforestation decreased substantially during the last decades, it still remains a source of great concern. At the current pace we risk not meeting the 2030 SDG targets related to sustainable forest management. We need to step up efforts to halt deforestation in order to unlock the full potential of forests in contributing to sustainable food production, poverty alleviation, food security, biodiversity conservation and climate change while sustaining the production of all the other goods and services they provide."

FRA provides essential information for understanding the extent of forest resources, their condition, management and uses. Since FRA 1990, assessments have been published every five years. It is a country-driven process, conducted by FAO at the request of its member states and in close collaboration with hundreds of national and international experts.

With support from the European Union, the Government of Norway, Finland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Global Environment Facility, and in collaboration with FAO member states, the FRA Advisory Group, Collaborative Forest Resources Questionnaire partners, and others, FRA will continue to evolve as a dynamic, transparent and continuous reporting process that provides easy access to official up-to-date, high-quality data.

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Global Forest Resources debuts - NaijaAgroNet

United Nations agency, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has launched the 2020 Global Forest Resources Assessment report (FRA 2020) NaijaAgroNet reports.

FRA 2020, NaijaAgroNet gathered, offers detailed regional and global analyses in a new, digitally interactive way in an innovative and easy-to-use digital format.
Available for public viewing, the Global Forest Resources Assessment report (FRA 2020) and its first-ever online interactive dissemination platform contain detailed regional and global analyses for 236 countries and territories.

Users can now consult a comparable and consistent set of more than 60 forest indicators across countries and regions and download the requested data in a non-proprietary digital format. Monitoring of change over time is also possible in parameters such as forest area, management, ownership and use.

"The wealth of information on the world's forests is a valuable public good for the global community to help facilitate evidence-based policy formulation, decision-making and sound investments in the forest sector," said Deputy Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo, at the launch. "These newly released tools will enable us to better respond to deforestation and forest degradation, prevent biodiversity loss and improve sustainable forest management."

Millions of people around the world depend on forests for their food security and livelihoods. Protecting forests is also key to conserving natural resources, as they harbour most of the Earth's terrestrial biodiversity and help mitigate climate change impacts. According to the recently published the State of the World's Forests (SOFO) report, forests contain 60,000 different tree species, 80 percent of amphibian species, 75 percent of bird species, and 68 percent of the Earth's mammal species.

Therefore, it is crucial to turn the tide on deforestation and the loss of biodiversity which can be done by conserving and sustainably managing forests and trees within an integrated landscape approach - addressing forestry and food security challenges together. Reliable and comprehensive information on forests and other land-uses plays a vital role in this process, FAO said.

In addition, the FRA 2020 data are used by FAO to estimate carbon emissions and removals from forests, by country and at a global level. For instance, the new FRA-based estimates indicate that global emissions from forest loss decreased by about one-third since 1990. Figures on carbon emissions and removals, based on the FRA data, are made available through the FAO statistics database FAOSTAT.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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FAO outlines uses of Hand-in-Hand initiative - NaijaAgroNet

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has outlined several uses of the Hand-in-Hand initiative, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Some of the uses, FAO said the platform provides vital information to monitor agricultural water productivity, including agricultural systems at risk due to human pressure on land and water; compare human population density to distribution of cattle or compare density between two livestock species around the world; ascertain aquatic species distribution; and analyse precipitation trends.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that this initiative avails analysis of information from national forest monitoring systems that show distribution of forest resources with other geospatial data such as the road network.

This, FAO said, allows the separation of undisturbed forest areas that have high conservation value from accessible areas that are more suitable for restoration or production.

"The geospatial platform will allow us to design more targeted agricultural interventions and investment plans through a territorial approach - an approach that fosters equality, inclusion and sustainable food and nutrition security," said FAO's Chief Economist Maximo Torero.

FAO will add new datasets and country- and domain-specific case studies to the platform to improve targeting and tailoring of policy interventions, innovation, finance and investment, and institutional reform in food and agriculture.

The platform is part of FAO's Hand-in-Hand initiative - an evidence-based, country-led and country-owned initiative aimed at accelerating agricultural transformation and sustainable rural development to eradicate poverty (SDG1) and end hunger and all forms of malnutrition (SDG2), including through the use of the most sophisticated tools available such as advanced geo-spatial modeling and analytics.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

FAO launches hand-in-hand geospatial data platform - NaijaAgroNet

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched the Hand-in-Hand geospatial platform with a large and rich set of data on food, agriculture, socioeconomics, and natural resources to help strengthen evidence-based decision-making in the food and agriculture sectors, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The platform, NaijaAgroNet gathered is a crucial tool for all efforts to build back better and create more resilient food systems post COVID-19.

It boosts over one million geospatial layers and thousands of statistics series with over 4,000 metadata records, bringing together geographic information and statistical data on over ten domains linked to food and agriculture - from food security, crops, soil, land, water, climate, fisheries, livestock to forestry. It also includes information on COVID-19's impact on food and agriculture.

The data has been sourced from FAO and other leading public data providers across the UN and NGOs, academia, private sector and space agencies. It also incorporates FAOSTAT data on food and agriculture for over 245 countries and territories from 1961 to the most recent year available.

"Geospatial technologies and agricultural data represent an opportunity to find new ways of reducing hunger and poverty through more accessible and integrated data-driven solutions," said FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu.

"The Geospatial Platform serves as a digital public good to create interactive data maps, analyze trends and identify real-time gaps and opportunities," said the FAO chief.

The platform can be used by anyone and its application will in turn help data-driven and evidence-based decision-making in food and agriculture.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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