Search NaijaAgroNet

Showing posts with label sustainable development. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sustainable development. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

AU identifies priority actions for sustainable small-scale fisheries

The Head of NEPAD’s Natural Resources Governance Programme, Dr Hamady Diop, has said that they have identified priority actions for sustainable development of small-scale fisheries, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Diop made this known at an AU-IBAR and NEPAD Agency’s joint side-event on Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa, held in Rome recently.

“The Policy Framework and Reform Strategy acknowledges the diversity of uses of fish resources and advocates a broad, inclusive approach to fisheries management and aquaculture development,” he said.

Diop also noted that the priority is a blue print for fisheries and aquaculture to effectively contribute to Africa’s transformational goals.

He pointed out that Africa’s priority actions for the sustainable development of small-scale fisheries include strengthening the governance of the sector; improving the contribution of small-scale fisheries to food and nutritional security, and wealth creation; as well as reducing the susceptibility of small-scale fisheries to climate change and related risks.

In the case of aquaculture, priority actions, he said, among others include establishing an enabling environment; improving service delivery; capacity building; trans-boundary ecosystem management for aquaculture, and; innovation, which also entails research and development.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa addresses  conservation and sustainable resource use; Small scale fisheries development, Sustainable aquaculture development, Responsible and equitable fish trade and marketing, Strengthened regional and sub regional cooperation, Awareness Enhancing and human capacity development and High seas fisheries.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cotula explains how law can make foreign investment work

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) has published a handbook that shows how government officials and civil society organisations in low and middle-income countries can use legal tools to ensure foreign investments contribute to sustainable development.

NaijaAgroNet reports that the book focuses on investments in agriculture and the extractive industries – mining, oil and gas, authored by Dr Lorenzo Cotula.

These sectors, the author said attract much of the foreign investment in many low and middle-income countries. Increased investment could transform local economies by contributing public revenues and new livelihood opportunities. But the deals can also pile pressure on natural resources and spark conflict with local communities who depend on them.

"Public mobilisation against 'land grabbing' highlights that investment quality, not just quantity, matters a great deal, even in countries where investment is much needed," Dr Cotula said, stressing that legal tools can influence investment quality – from the tax regime to social and environmental safeguards, though to the inclusiveness of investment models and processes.

"There is much that governments and civil society can do to use those tools to promote investments that respond to local aspirations, and to get a better deal from incoming investments," he said.

The handbook, NaijaAgroNet gathered, explained what the laws that regulate foreign investment are, how they work, and how to use them most effectively.

It covers the variety of legal arenas that can influence the outcomes of investments — from investment treaties, extractive industry legislation, land tenure, human rights norms, environmental legislation and tax law —including arrangements to fight tax avoidance.

The book covers four main ways in which government and civil society can use legal tools to promote sustainable development, by:
  • Aligning public policies and decisions on investment with a strategic vision of sustainable development based on local and national aspirations.
  • Ensuring a fair economic deal.
  • Taking social and environmental considerations seriously.
  • Balancing investment protection with competing policy goals.
The handbook aims to support government officials in low and middle-income countries in their management of foreign investment for sustainable development, and support civil society efforts to influence decisions and hold government and investors to account.

Governments play a central role in developing and enforcing legal rules. But Cotula argues that engagement with investment law is not a task for regulators and legal experts alone.

"Harnessing the law to make investment work for sustainable development requires vibrant civil society organisations and social movements to advocate, scrutinise, challenge and influence," writes Cotula. "Perhaps most importantly, it requires citizens themselves to be able to appropriate and wield legal tools in their efforts to shape their own future."

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology
Pix: cover of the book

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ethiopia to host first African confab on chemistry education

The first-ever African conference on Research In Chemistry Education [ACRICE-1]  will be hosted by the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, in December 2013, reports NaijaAgroNet.

President of the Federation of African Societies of Chemistry (FASC) Dr. Temechegn Engida, confirmed this to NaijaAgroNet, saying that FASC and Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, will be co-host at the event. He noted that at the occasion of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the African Union (AU) the conference has become imperative and has been scheduled for December 5-7, 2013.

ACRICE-1, Dr. Engida said, will bring together university staff members, chemistry educators and chemistry teachers from across African continent and the world at large and provide a unique pan-African forum for the sharing ideas and new findings to solve education problems in African countries.

Participants at the confab with the theme: Chemical Education for the Human Development in Africa, FASC president said, will examine a wide range of pedagogical best practices that address local and global issues in educating African students for total quality in the global age.

Therefore, ACRICE conference, Dr. Engida pointed out, is intended as a platform for understanding and enriching education for preparation of African citizens who are able to deal with local and global challenges.

To this end, FASC is calling on educators and researchers at all levels to share vital knowledge and strategies for teaching and learning in culturally responsive ways, capable of boosting chemistry for sustainable development in Africa.
Remmy Nweke
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

Monday, October 22, 2012

FAO, Brazil vote N3.15b to assist developing nations

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Orgarnisation (FAO) has entered into a $20 million, about N3.15 billion worth of agreement with Brazil in a bid to help developing countries in the production of cotton.
“This agreement represents an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of South-South cooperation between developing-world partners as a vehicle for sustainable economic growth,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva while signing the agreement recently at FAO’s Rome headquarters.
FAO revealed to NaijaAgroNet in a press statement that the agreement would enable developing nations boost cotton production through Brazilians’ expertise in the production of cotton.
The agreement which is a four-year project was signed by the UN special agency, FAO, the Brazilian Cotton Institute and external cooperation wing of Brazil’s Foreign Relations Ministry, to see to the technical assistance and training in best practices in cotton cultivation and its marketing.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that the first phase of the project would be in Haiti and the MERCOSUR zone of South America, and will later be extended to some other developing countries in Latin America as well as Africa.
Commenting on the agreement, FAO Director General, José Graziano da Silva affirmed that the agreement is an opportunity for the demonstration of effectiveness of the South-South cooperation among developing-world partners.
According to the FAO chair, the agreement is a vehicle for sustainable economic growth.
While the Brazilian Cotton Institute will provide $10 million, about N1.57 billion financial support for the project with an additional $10 million from the external cooperation wing of Brazil’s Foreign Relations Ministry, FAO's Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean will contribute $200 000, about N31.5 million worth of nonfinancial support.
The FAO's nonfinancial contribution, NaijaAgroNet learnt entails provision of expertise and technical information and mobilising the agency's international networks for support. 

Yinka Awosanya/ED
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sustainable Development and Governance in Nigeria

Different nations of the world are to a greater or lesser extent faced with the same constraints and opportunities, and are called with varying degree of urgency to provide individual answers to the common challenges.
No matter the priorities of each country, areas such as education, economics and social development, health and environment still await sustainable solutions. This requires a creative application of democratic principles and practices to tackling both local and national imperatives. Quality governance, with an eye on environmental sustainability is one sure way of, not only solving a country’s priorities, but also achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
Environmental sustainability is critical because without it, the achievements of the rest of the goals may be short-lived. The fact is that, economics depend, to a large extent, on environmental resources.
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola
Scared by the unsustainable lifestyle in Nigeria, the Chairman of Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Chief Philip Asiodu warned that “Economic downturn is nothing compared with a global ecological downturn and the disasters that will come with it.” Thus, if we think this warning by the retired technocrat is alarmist or untimely, then we may have to consider the impact of climate variability on the economy of Kenya; between 1997 and 2001, its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth dropped from 4.6 per cent to 0.3 per cent. The key factor is that the downturn leads to inadequate investment in sustainable infrastructure to control floods or store water for use during draught.
The question is, as nations continue to have their fare share of environmental problems like flood, hurricanes, pollutions, droughts to name a few, what is our beloved country putting in place at the Federal, State and local government levels to prevent, or mitigate the threats to the integrity of our ecosystem? While Nigerians are yet to recover from the shock arising from last year flood disaster in Lagos and Ibadan, and a more terrifying flood which claimed over 50 lives and property worth millions of naira just hit Jos, Plateau State. If that level of flooding disaster could happen in Jos, what should we expect in flood-prone areas like Niger, Oyo, Ogun? What should we expect in flood-plagued city of Lagos.
For instance, the Gov. Babatunde Fashola administration in Lagos, is doing his best to clear drainages, but his best is not enough, for some reasons. First, the source of the flood is trans-boundary. The flood from neighboring states of Oyo and Ogun empties into it.
Secondly, there are numerous settlements occupied by the urban poor which lack drainages. Successive administrations in the state has failed to construct a comprehensive drainage system. Thirdly, as a coastal, commercial and civic city, its huge population is overburdening the few available working infrastructure. The encroachment of human settlements unto floodplain areas increases the vulnerability to flood.
If you take a trip to some of the rural communities in Anambra and Edo (North), you will see what erosion has done to the quality of life of the people. In most cases their livelihood, as subsistence farmers, are threatened. It is either the path to their farms, markets, or that of their streams has been taken over by erosion.
In virtually all the eastern states and some south-south states, the soil fertility is gone and their successive state governors have not been concerned about food production like their colleague in the North and West. Consequently, fertilizers have been scarce. It was the newly elected governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, who recently commenced the distribution of fertilizers in the state directly to farmers.
The degradation of the environment of oil producing states of the south-south is an old song, yet nothing much have changed in the livelihood of the people in spite of budgetary allocations to the region. Many of these communities are yet to have access to sanitary infrastructure and quality maternal care.
Poverty still pervades across most northern states due to desertification and lack of poverty-oriented policies. Their case is presently worsened by insecurity occasioned by the recent Boko Haram insurgence.
In no distant time, this will adversely impinge on the agricultural productivity of that region. It is sad to note that in most of these Nigerian communities, many of the breadwinners are people on less than $3 dollars a day income. How many of our state governors and local government authorities can boast of projects that are environmentally sustainable. Housing estates and market projects in state capitals are often showcased by many governors. Yet, they are offered to citizens at unsustainable prices. Some states have built schools and even some Federal government MDG schools are situated in flood plains, thereby making such projects unsustainable.
If the searchlight is turned to the government at the centre, the picture is that of contradictions. Too many environmental agencies, yet no action. Too many environment summits and conferences, yet little technical capacity. Too much efforts towards aforestation, yet making Kerosene unaffordable. Too much talk on power sector reforms, and advocacy for energy efficiency, yet inappropriate pricing and non-availability of power. Too much grants received, and budgetary allocations appropriated, yet no funds released to execute sustainable projects.
Good governance entails the awareness by those in power of possible ecological and sociological breakdowns, putting in place ways and means of minimizing their effects. It also entails their monitoring to ensure the adoption of Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) by private sector concerns in their domains.
Sustainable development, therefore, depends largely on the quality of governance and political will. There is a compelling need to mobilize the required political will at all levels of government. It is also necessary to mobilize all relevant stakeholders in the work.
As Borge Brend, the former Nowegian Minister of Environment aptly puts it, “Developing countries need to assign priorities, draw up strategies, invest in human resources, and implement poverty oriented policies. Good governance (That is, anti-corruption policies), democracy building, and respect for human rights are crucial to combat poverty and to make development sustainable.”

MacDenis Igbo
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

AEO calls on government to boost job creation for youths

The African Economic Outlook has called on governments across the continent to boost jobs creation for youths.
NaijaAgroNet learnt from the outlook that the population of African youths is expected to double by 2045, giving the continent one billion workforce and making it the largest globally.
The AEO also urged the government to provide employment opportunities and ensure a political process that would allow the youths to express their views towards policy changes in order to prevent instability in the continent.
“This is an opportune time to reset the policy agenda of African governments towards an inclusive, employment-creating and sustainable growth strategy, aimed particularly at addressing the special needs of the young,” the outlook reads in part.
The current trend of education on the continent, NaijaAgroNet gathered will result to 59 per cent of 20-24 years old with secondary education by 2030 as against the present 42 per cent and by 2030 there would be 12million African youths with tertiary education.
NaijaAgroNet recalls that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) revealed recently that 73million jobs were created between 2000 and 2008 with 16 million targeted at populations between 15 and 24 years of age, leading to unemployment of youths in informal jobs.

Yinka Awosanya
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

Friday, June 8, 2012

Climate Change @ Bonn: LDC group seeks new talk plan, adoption by 75% majority

New dimension has been added to the clamour for a better environmental change with a call by the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) of the world for the United Nations climate change talk to adopt a 75 per cent majority of any latest Protocol with a timeline.
This formed submission by LDC Group at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which holds in Bonn between 14 and 25, May 2012 at the Maritim Hotel.
LDCs are classified as the world’s poorest countries and in order to up persuade the UN climate change to talk more on how to reach their goal of having an effective and legally binding agreement ready for governments to adopt by 2015.
The LDC group chairman, Pa Ousman Jarju, the group’s spokesperson, Sandra Freitas, informed that the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) group’s formal submission to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, under which the talks take place, seeks the inclusion of some demands.
These demands encompass new legally binding agreement to take the form of a new protocol under the convention that builds on and enhances the commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
Addition to toe six points of demands are that parties should agree new rules to allow the adoption of the Protocol by a 75 per cent majority, not by consensus as under current rules; A final negotiating text should be ready a full year ahead of the 2015 deadline rather than the usual six months deadline that the UNFCCC imposes.
Further, the LDC group noted that this would raise the ambition of commitments to mitigate climate change before 2020 must be the top priority;  The new Protocol should have as a key objective, the full implementation of mitigation, adaptation and finance and capacity building among others; and Systems for monitoring, reporting and verifying finance and mitigation actions must not be weaker than but should build upon those that already exist in the Kyoto Protocol.
Pa Ousman Jarju pointed out that at the last year’s conference of parties to the convention in Durban, South Africa, it was agreed to complete negotiations by 2015, but such deadlines have been broken before.
“Our countries cannot wait. We are already feeling the effects of climate change, but the time has come for us to be leaders in the international effort to address this global challenge,” he said.
Equally, he said, the creation of a new body to negotiate a second protocol under the Convention represents an overdue acknowledgement by all Parties that the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol alone are insufficient to drive action consistent with the ultimate objective of the Convention.
“Urgent action is needed by all Parties to prevent dangerous interference with the climate system, and in particular to stay below 2°C and keep open the possibility of limiting warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial in the long-term as called for by the most vulnerable countries,” he said.
According to the group, as negotiators gather in Bonn for the latest round of talks this week, the LDC group also proposes changes to the way the negotiations work to make them faster and fairer.
NaijaAgroNet recalls that to ensure that all issues could be dealt with, the group says the number and duration of future negotiation sessions must be agreed in Bonn, along with a timetable to discuss particular issues.
The group further says parties should consider electing officers to the bureau that will run the talks for more than the usual two year period, to ensure continuity and that the size of the bureau should perhaps be expanded given the urgency of its task and that wide range of topics it must work on.
Pa Ousman Jarju emphasised that the LDC group comes to the Bonn climate change talks with a strong set of recommendations, stressing “In the spirit of international cooperation and with our desire to see the UN climate change convention meet its objective, we urge other parties to join our call for these improvements to the negotiating process and its final goals.”
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

Nigeria, five others benefit from Gates’ largesse

    Farmers from six African countries, including Nigeria, are to benefit from the largesse of the second phase of the Commercial Products (COMPRO-II) project being funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
According to NaijaAgroNet investigations, Gates Foundation has before now approved the project which amounts to $7 million, about N1.09 billion, with Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania as the six countries to benefit from the second phase of the project.
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet also revealed that the project is tagged ‘Institutionalization of quality assurance mechanism and dissemination of top quality commercial products to increase crop yields and improve food security of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.’
IITA Director General, Nteranya Sanginga noted that the main objectives of the project are to institutionalize quality assurance mechanisms and facilitate the rapid dissemination of top quality commercial products to increase yields and also improve security of smallholder farmers.
Further, he said the project is to increase awareness among over two million smallholder farmers on effective and profitable commercial products by 2016 through public-private partnership.
Prem Warrior, a senior Programme Officer at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said that the expected outcome of the project is the institutionalization of screening and approval of commercial products.
The phase II of the project proposes to transit technologies used for the phase 1 of the project into Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda; institutionalize regulatory and quality control processes;    disseminate effective products through public-private partnerships; develop communication tools, and    strengthen human capacity.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that at the end of the project, more farmers are expected to confidently use the quality assurance products because of their safety, efficacy, and quality will be ensured through institutionalized regulatory and quality assurance mechanisms.
 Yinka Awosanya/LS
 ... Linking agrobiz, people & technology