SANGONeT is closing office from 12 December 2014 to 5 January 2015. We wish you a wonderful festive season.

sustainable development

sustainable development

  • Rio+20: We Are Not Colonies Anymore

    The planet is in a mess, and climate change is perhaps the biggest threat to both prosperity and political stability worldwide. It is always the poor who suffer most; and yet the battle continues to be led by those who do not have the best interests of the most vulnerable at heart. But why? Perhaps it is time, instead, to mobilise the people.

    I cannot say it better than one Brazilian activist I met at Rio+20. “The developed world must realise we live in the 21st century,” he said. “We are not their colonies anymore. Power has shifted in the south and east – it is time they stopped thinking they are Masters of the Universe; that they can lecture us and decide on the future of the world.”

    I could not agree more.

    Rio+20 was meant to evaluate the progress we made on political commitments made at the Earth Summit of 1992, and to take decisive steps to avert a global climate crisis that threatens the very existence of our planet and its citizens. But to my enormous disappointment, I do not believe it will meet the expectations of our people – because the people’s voices are not there.

    The global leadership involved in these negotiations carry the responsibility for destroying the hopes of our children and the future generations. That is a heavy load I hope they are prepared to bear.

    As I travel to the villages and slums in my work around the challenge of hunger, I see the desperation of mothers unable to plant the crops that will feed their children, because extreme weather brings flooding and prolonged droughts. It is all very well for those in power to continue in their pursuit of wealth at the expense of the environment; meanwhile, the climate crisis tightens the noose of poverty around the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.

    Household food insecurity is an epidemic; malnutrition grows; poverty and disease explodes; millions of our children are born underweight and become stunted or die of preventable causes. The scramble for Africa becomes furious as the economic powers of the world grab our arable lands to feed their own populations. Climate change will be the source of biggest social, political and economic wars of the future. The crisis in the Horn of Africa, and now in a growing area around Niger, strangles the life out of our communities. Conflicts start over access to water and grazing lands Africa, with the least capacity to deal with this challenge, will face the brunt of the impending disaster. The developed world will benefit, and Africa will pay.

    But, although it is most pronounced here, sadly it is not only in Africa. This staggering inequality, and the battle for food on an increasingly broken planet, is also what I see in villages across India, Bangladesh and Asia. In this growing human catastrophe, our emperors fiddle while Rome is burning. The heads of state, in their ‘blue light brigade’, speeding through the streets of Rio, sitting in the air-conditioned Rio Centre, do not have the political will nor the passion to understand the extent of this humanitarian crisis. The odd representative that they bring into the conversation remains a token: either representing the development industry of poverty experts, or the rare face of a rural woman or indigenous leader who will provide the photo opportunity. But once it is snapped, it is forgotten.

    For my part, I sat with the leaders of the Rural Women’s Movement in Southern Africa, representing tens of thousands of small-holder farmers. Our discussion was about the real issues of improving agriculture yields, ensuring that their children have access to nutritious food, water, education and health. It was about improving women’s rights, empowerment, leadership and incomes. 

    What it was not, was about carbon trading or the ‘green economy’.

    “These people who are negotiating on our behalf have been doing this for 20 years, and our situation is getting worse. Where do they get a mandate? How do we fire them so that we can speak for ourselves?” asked Emily, a battle-hardened activist. It is voices like hers that should be leading us.

    But in civil society we are fragmented and divided by policy, tactics and ego. We are as guilty as the powerful economic and political elites we accuse. We have our own emperors. And in this environment, I fail to see a strategy that harnesses the ferment I see in the world.

    People are outraged and are taking to the streets. They want a new world. They embrace a bold vision of social justice, human dignity and freedom. They are frustrated by the new apartheid that grows in the world that divides us into the global rich and the majority of global poor.

    It is time we listened to these voices; they are powerful and, more specifically, they are right. There is a battle to be fought, and we cannot just whitewash over it. The sceptics of climate change that face us are highly organised. They are fighting a war that will protect their vested interests, which put profits ahead of our people and our planet.

    They buy governments, scientists and civil society leaders to challenge the science and evidence that tells us we are in crisis. In the inadequacy and injustice of our governments’ response, there is an urgent need for unprecedented unity and mobilisation across global civil society to avert these crises.
         
    In the light of this global apartheid, Rio is a fascinating place – and a peculiarly apt choice to host the summit that highlights these ongoing inequalities. It has all the pretentions of being the metropolis and centre of politics of Brazil, as well as the carnivals of culture. It has history and beauty on its side. But the rich, installed in their fortresses, emerge to parade their bronzed bodies along the wide boulevards of Ipanema and Copacabana and mingle with the ordinary people, while their servants, the poor, live in the precarious favelas high on the hillsides with magnificent views – but in the line of fire for any disasters caused by climate change.

    So, the contradictions of Rio parallel the contradictions of the Rio Summit. The rich and poor nations made it their battlefield, leaving discussions paralysed by the impasse and strong divide between developed and developing countries.

    Many key issues remain outstanding. 

    But perhaps most worryingly, the negotiations to produce an outcome document saw a backtracking on a central equity principle in the 1992 Rio summit – namely to commit to finance and technology transfer to address the crisis the developed world has caused.

    Many developing country governments and activists fear that the debates on the ‘green economy’ will replace sustainable development, which is prioritising our fight against poverty. But as a senior advisor in a developing country said to me, “We see attempts to drive a commodification and financialisation of nature, life and ecosystems. We have always lived with nature in a sustainable way. We fear that the proposed market financial mechanisms to address climate change will lead to the same financial crisis that enriched speculators in the developed world.”

    I look at the texts and agree. The whole battle has watered down to the ‘voluntary transfer of technology on mutually agreed terms’, which implies the sale of equipment on commercial terms, contrary to previous commitments. Also, the original commitments of developed countries to provide new and additional financial resources to meet the previous agreed aid target of 0.7 percent of their gross national product (GNP) the developed world has been rigorously resisted by countries like the United States and Canada.

    The debate on the Sustainable Development Goals is likewise bogged down. The developing countries have accepted this concept and have put forward principles, including the idea of common but differentiated responsibilities. Simply put, this means that the developed world must pay the historical debt for the mess they have created.

    Another key contested area is how the post Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) reviews process and how these new goals are linked. Developed countries want the United Nations secretary-general (UNSG), Ban Ki-moon, to take charge of a process for experts to come up with the goals, whereas the developing country governments want to drive the process with inputs that can be given by the UNSG and experts.
     
    Ultimately, the summit should launch a process to negotiate these goals, but this time in an open and transparent way, and backed up by concrete action plans, with details on the financing and technology transfer aspects to implement these plans.
     
    But herein rests the opportunity for civil society, social movements and labour to campaign for a seat at the main table. If they fail to achieve this, then they must consider seriously the option of withdrawing from a process that has no meaningful role for them. The history of the current negotiations process revolves around power and many of the civil society representatives have been sucked into a process in which they do not have the power.

    As the Civicus Report on Civil Society says, “The space granted to CSOs [civil society organisations] is always a gift rather than a right, often contested, sometimes ceremonial… For us as civil society, the pressing need arising from this is to assert our voice and our right to be included. To do this we need to organise ourselves, in more comprehensive, inclusive and multifaceted ways than we have managed before. We need to learn from the new social movements which rose to prominence in recent years like in the ‘Arab Spring’, to not just advocate, but to model alternatives in the way we organise, convene, act and speak.”

    There is global recognition that, with crises lingering on many fronts, a drastic reshaping of social and economic structures and relations with the environment needs to happen now, and fast. Civil society organisations and people’s movements must call on their governments and multilateral bodies at the global and regional levels, to uphold and pursue the principles and framework of sustainable development that give primacy to human rights, equity, democracy and social and environmental justice in the discussions towards Rio+20 and beyond.

    That is the bold vision that our people demand. That is what we have to organise towards. And what we need now – non-negotiably – is a fearless and courageous group of leaders who can demonstrate passion and humility when they speak on behalf of our people.

    - Jay Naidoo is founding General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, former minister in the Mandela Government and chair of GAIN, a global foundation fighting malnutrition in the world. Also refer to www.jaynaidoo.org.
    Author(s): 
    Jay Naidoo
  • UN Chief Hails Climate Deal

    United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has described the global talks on climate as ‘important success’ but warned that new efforts as still required.

    Ban points out that, "The outcomes in Cancun have given us important tools. Now we must use them, and strengthen our efforts in line with the scientific imperative for action."

    He further notes that while there is much work yet to do, the success of the conference has set the world on the path to a safer, more prosperous, and sustainable world for all.

    To read the article titled, “UN chief hails climate deal,” click here.
    Source: 
    News24
  • Key Issues in the Cancun Climate Conference

    A year after the chaotic Copenhagen summit, the 2010 UNFCCC climate conference begins in Cancun. Expectations are low this time around, especially compared to the eve of Copenhagen.

    That's probably both good and bad.  The conference last year had been so hyped up before hand, with so much hopes linked to it, that the lack of a binding agreement at the end of it and the last-day battle over process and text made it a near-disaster.

    Few expect this year's meeting in the seaside resort of Cancun to produce anything significant in commitments either to cut Greenhouse Gas emissions or to provide funds to developing countries. Thus if Cancun ends with few significant decisions, it won't be taken as a catastrophe.  It will however be seen as the multilateral system not being able to meet up to the challenge.  And that system will be asked to try harder, next year.

    The atmosphere at the end of the meeting will of course be crucial.  The events, especially at the Ministerial segment, and how the presence of heads of states is handled, should be organised in a transparent and inclusive way, without the surprises of Copenhagen.  That way, Cancun will end with the goodwill needed to carry on the work, even if there are no spectacular outcomes here.

    It would be unwise (to say the least) to try a repeat (or a variation) of the exclusive high-level small-group process of selected political leaders that clashed with the inclusive multilateral negotiating process in the last days of Copenhagen, and that produced the chaotic ending.

    The process in the first week, when negotiators are expected to work hard on the 13 August text and the Tianjin revisions to text, that were both member-driven, will also be important.  An inclusive, transparent process driven by members themselves, is required.  Even if this takes time, it is time well invested.  Attempts to shorten this process by methods not agreed to or that are not transparent may instead produce a short circuit and a fire, waste even more time and result in loss of goodwill and confidence.

    The lowering of expectations

    On the other hand, the lowering of expectations indicates how low climate change has sunk in just a year in the world's political agenda. And that is bad indeed, because the climate problem has got even worse.

    2010 is already rivalling 1998 as the hottest year since records were kept.  And there have been so many natural disasters in 2010;  some of them like the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan are linked to climate change. Other events, especially the spread of the financial crisis to Western Europe, and the  persistent high unemployment in the United States despite economic growth, have taken over the attention of the politicians and public in the developed countries. The counter-attack by climate skeptics in questioning the science, and by politicians that don't like climate actions, has also affected the public mood to some extent.

    Also, the chances of getting a global climate change agreement appear much more dim, as the issues are shown up to be more difficult and complex than earlier envisaged.  And when a problem seems intractable, most politicians tend to lose interest because like other people they don't like to be associated with failure. And the problems in the negotiations are many, and they will re-emerge again in Cancun. While the need to address climate change is urgent, there is also the need for patience in getting a successful outcome.

    The Fate and Shape of the Global Climate Regulatory Regime

    The main problem is the inability of the United States administration to make a meaningful commitment to cut its country's emissions to an adequate extent, because it is now clear that Congress will not adopt  a comprehensive climate bill.

    This makes the other developed countries reluctant to firm up their own commitments, or even retain the existing regulated system.  Many of them are still dragging their feet in stating how much they should cut their emissions, individually and as a group, in the Kyoto Protocol's second period that is to start in 2013.

    Worse, Russia and Japan have openly stated they do not want to continue with the Kyoto Protocol, because the US is not in it and major developing countries do not have to join the binding disciplines.  A most depressing Kyodo agency news item was published on the eve of Cancun, under the headline “Japan will oppose Kyoto extension   at COP16.”   It quotes a Vice Minister and senior climate negotiator as saying Japan will not agree to extend Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 even if it means isolating itself at the UN.

    Australia, New Zealand and Canada among others have also been unwilling or reluctant to commit to Kyoto's second period.  That leaves the European Union, which says it prefers to shift to a new system too but is still open to remaining in Kyoto if others do.  Only Norway has said firmly it agrees to a second Kyoto period.

    The death of the Kyoto Protocol, under which the developed countries except the US have legally-binding targets to cut their emissions, is something the developing countries cannot accept.  They want the developed countries to cut their emissions as a group by more than 40% by 2020 (compared to 1990), and for each country to do an adequate cut, under the Kyoto Protocol.  The figures have to be re-calculated to fit 2013-2017 as the second period proposed by the G77 and China.

    The US was supposed to take on a “comparable effort” in mitigation as the other developed countries, but under the Convention since it is not a KP member.  Para 1b(i) of the Bali Action Plan was designed for that.

    This was a crucial part of the overall understanding on mitigation reached in Bali: (1) that the Annex I parties in KP would take on adequate 2nd period commitments on aggregate and individual reduction targets consistent with what science requires; (2) that the US would make its own comparable commitment in the Convention, in accordance with Para 1b(i); and (3) developing countries would undertake enhanced mitigation actions with financial and technological support, both of which would be measurable, reportable and verifiable (MRV).

    This three-piece Bali understanding is now unravelling with alarming speed.  The KP is in mortal danger, as most of its Annex I members show clear signs of abandoning ship.  The new vehicle they are looking to join is vastly inferior. It is the voluntary pledge system that the US had been advocating, in which individual developed countries state how much reduction they would like to set as their target.

    In the system, there is no aggregate target to be set in accordance with what the science says is required.   There is no mechanism to review the commitments (individual and aggregate) and to get Parties to revise them so that they meet adequate levels.  The mild discipline is that there will be a periodic review on whether the Parties meet their pledged targets, but not a review as to whether the pledges are adequate.

    There has been a major battle, quite indirect and under the radar screen at first and then fierce and open after that, over the model of climate regime for Annex I mitigation -- the KP model of binding aggregate and individual cuts versus the pledge and review voluntary system. At Bali the first model was adopted, but increasingly challenged in the many 2009 sessions before Copenhagen. Then the fight reached a boiling point in Copenhagen, when the US-led pledge system gained an upper hand for the first time when the Copenhagen Accord seemed to be firmly on the side of the pledge system, in its Para 4.

    However, the balance of forces in this battle of models was to some extent restored after Copenhagen when the major developing countries that assisted in the birth of the Accord reaffirmed that they needed the KP to continue into a second period, and that they wanted the binding system of aggregate and individual commitments that are comparable, and with reduction figures consistent with the science.  The EU has indicated it also wants this binding system;  this is important as the EU is a prime architect and was a champion of this system.  For these Parties, para 4 of the Accord and the binding system are complementary and not contradictory.

    For the developing countries the retention of the binding system for Annex I parties is a touchstone, a Litmus Test to prove that those that are responsible for most of the stock of emissions in the atmosphere, are serious about the much-proclaimed “taking leadership in the fight against climate change.”   If the developed countries downgrade their mitigation commitment from a binding system based on adequate efforts, to a voluntary pledge system without a review of adequacy, then it would be tantamount to giving up leadership, and to a deregulation of the system, and at the worst possible time --  when there is growing scientific and empirical evidence of the seriousness of the climate problem.

    Disastrous Projection of Pledges

    Top climate scientists in a new UN Environment Programme report show how disastrously off-mark such a voluntary system can be.  Instead of cutting their emissions by at least 25-40% below 1990 levels in 2020 as required (or by more than 40%, as demanded by developing countries), the developed countries will actually increase their emission by 6%  in a bad scenario (based on the lower end of pledges and the use of loopholes) or will only cut by 16% in the good scenario (based on the upper end of pledges and without the use of loopholes).  The calculations are based on the pledges the developed countries made under the Copenhagen Accord.

    These pledges, together with the figures from announcements made by some developing countries, show that the world is moving in the direction of a global temperature increase of between 2.5 to 5 degrees celsius before the end of this century, according to the UNEP report.  This is far removed from the 1.5 or 2 degree “safe limit”, and is a recipe for catastrophe.

    In 2005 the global emissions level is estimated at 45 Giga tonnes (i.e. 45 billion tonnes) of CO2 equivalent and in 2009 it is estimated at 48 Gton. With business as usual, this will rise to 56 Gton in 2020, which is on the road to disaster.  The  scientists in the UNEP study agree that emissions have to be limited to 44 GtCO2e by 2020 to stay on a 2 degree limitation course.   Based on the Copenhagen Accord pledges, the emissions in 2020 could be 49 Gton under a good scenario, but as high as 53 Gton (almost like business-as-usual) in the bad scenario.

    It is evident that all groups of countries have to contribute to improving this disastrous situation.  However the Annex I countries are obliged to take the lead, and show the way.  But their pledges so far are deficient, as a group.  And the intended downgrading of the regulated system to a deregulated system goes in the wrong direction. A major turn-around in the attitude of most developed counties towards their own emission reduction will be the most important and the hardest problem to resolve in Cancun.

    The Obligations Proposed for Developing Countries

    Another contentious issue will be the proposed new obligations to be placed on developing countries.  At Bali, it was agreed the developing countries would enhance their mitigation actions, and have those actions that are internationally supported to be subjected to MRV.  The finance and technology support provided by developed countries would also be subjected to MRV.  The mitigation actions that developing countries fund themselves do not have to be subjected to an international MRV system.

    However Bali-Plus obligations on developing countries are also now being proposed by developed countries.  These proposed obligations include an “international consultation and analysis” (ICA) system to be applied to mitigation actions that are unsupported, and a much more rigorous system of reporting on overall mitigation actions through national communications (once in four years) and supplementary reports (once in two years).  Since the most important elements of the national communications are also to be in the supplementary reports, this in effect means reporting once in two years.

    The Bali-plus obligations also include proposals by the EU that developing countries together have a mitigation target of “deviation from business as usual” by 15-30 percent by 2020. And  many developing countries have voluntarily announced targets for reducing emissions growth, reducing the emissions-GNP intensity, or even reducing emissions.

    The situation has become complicated.  There are many developing countries which did not sign on to the Copenhagen Accord, so the need to undertake ICA does not apply to them, unless the ICA becomes accepted by all.  Many of the developing countries that associated with the Accord do not agree with the stringent MRV and ICA systems proposed by the developed countries, as reflected as options in the various texts.

    More importantly, the MRV concept was agreed to as part of the three-element Bali understanding on mitigation, that includes the KP continuing into a second period, and the US making a comparable commitment under the Convention. These two crucial parts of the understanding involve the commitments of developed countries and they are now under threat.  Many developing countries are questioning why they should continue to agree to upgrading their obligations if developed countries are wanting to downgrade their own system of commitments.

    Another obligation that developed countries are seeking to place on developing countries is to give the latter a large contributory role in the overall meeting of long-term global emissions goals, such as a 50 percent global cut by 2050 compared with 1990.  If Annex I countries take on a 80 percent reduction, while the global goal is a 50 percent reduction, this means developing countries would have to undertake a per capita emissions cut of over 50 percent, and a “deviation from business as usual” of over 80 percent.

    These are very onerous targets for developing countries, which also have priorities for economic development.  Their development prospects would suffer if the targets designed for them are accepted, unless there is a sufficiently massive transfer of financing and technology.  The implications of these targets are still not fully understood.  The discussions on a global goal are taking place in the shared vision issue.

    Cancun Deliverables? New Structures in Finance, Technology and Adaptation

    Developing countries are also saying they are willing to enhance their mitigation actions and to prepare more detailed reports, but they need the funds and affordable access to new technologies to do these.  The provision of finance and technology, which are commitments of the developed countries, is also needed for adaptation and capacity building.

    The possible bright spot in Cancun could be a decision to create a new climate fund in the UNFCCC and under the authority of the Conference of Parties. The discussion on this is quite advanced.  Agreement to establish the new fund would be a limited gain, as the details of the fund (including its governance and the amounts it will have) would still have to be worked out later, through a process that Cancun can also decide on. Nevertheless, it would be an advance if Cancun can make this significant decision to establish the new fund. 

    But Cancun may be deprived of even such a simple outcome. The US made clear in Tianjin, and this was confirmed by a recent speech by its special climate envoy Todd Stern, that there cannot be an “early harvest” in Cancun such as setting up a fund. For the US to agree to that, there must be a Cancun agreement on mitigation, in which developing countries agree to the stringent obligations on reporting and international analysis, and in which developed countries undertake a pledge and review system.

    At Cancun, it can be expected there will be an appeal to the US to allow the fund to be set up, and not to tie this to conditions that its demands in other areas be met first. The US will be told not make the the climate fund a “hostage” to its getting its way in other areas of the negotiations. On technology transfer, another key issue for developing countries, there has been progress on the technology mechanism to be set up, an Executive Body and a Centre and Network.  Again, a decision to establish these bodies is within reach in Cancun, and it should not be stalled on the ground that progress must first be made in other areas.

    The developing countries also want a new Adaptation Committee as well as a new international mechanism to address loss and damage caused by climate change.  This has yet to be agreed to.

    If Cancun can deliver the establishment of these new structures in finance, technology and adaptation, it would have something to show, and we would not leave empty handed.  These are only relatively small measures, but they are still significant, if only to demonstrate that there are still results possible from international cooperation in climate change.  If these are not delivered in Cancun, the smoke signals to the world will not be good at all.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Martin Khor is the Executive Director of the South Centre.

    This article was first published on 30 November 2010 in SouthViews No.14.

    SouthViews is a service of the South Centre to provide opinions and analysis of topical issues from a South perspective.

    The article is re-published with the permission of the South Centre.

    For more information, please contact:

    Vicente Paolo Yu
    South Centre
    Tel: +41 22 791 8050
    E-mail: yu@southcentre.org
    Author(s): 
    Martin Khor
  • Fetola Mmoho Consulting

    Founded: 
    2006
    Our Mission is to make a significant difference to the economies and people of Southern Africa
  • United Nations Climate Change Conference / COP15 - Follow Conference Online

    The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) will be held from 7-18 December 2009 at the Bella Centre in Copenhagen. 

    COP15 - the official title of the conference - refers to the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

    More than 15 000 delegates from 192 countries, including 100 world leaders, will convene in Copenhagen for the most important UN conference on climate change to agree a new global climate deal aimed at protecting the future of our planet.

    To follow the conference proceedings and outcomes, as well as critical analysis of the key issues which will be discussed, we have compiled a comprehensive list of online resources covering the event:

    # Official Websites

    COP15

    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

    European Commission Climate Action

    United States Copenhagen 2009

    # Civil Society Resources

    Inside COP 15

    The WWF - the world's largest conservation organisation - has partnered with Green TV and Greenfilm to create Inside COP15, a live and on-demand online video service which will operate round the clock for the two weeks of the conference. It will be posting up to 10 videos a day, plus a live show every evening covering the essential topics and developments of the day.

    Climate Change Media Partnership

    Internews, Panos and IIED have joined forces to support developing world journalism and perspectives from the heart of the international climate negotiations. Forty journalists from Asia, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Middle East, Caribbean and Latin America are participating in a climate change media partnership fellowship programme designed to improve media coverage of climate change issues in developing countries, including reporting on COP15.

    Global Compliance Research Project

    “We have been confused by the targets and timeframes being proposed/requested by the range of groups and governments. On our site are proposed the required targets and time frames as we see them, funding mechanisms and some legal views for agreement... These targets should be non negotiable; we must agree on required strategies, within a precautionary approach to the conservation of the planet and to the protection of people. That is returning earth to as close as possible, as soon as possible to homeostasis and for us this is not a choice but a moral imperative.”

    Earth Hour

    Greenpeace International

    Hopenhagen

    Seal the Deal

    United for Climate

    World Resources Institute

    # Media Coverage

    BBC

    The Guardian

    CNN

    Al Jazeera

    Mail & Guardian

    Inter Press Service / Terraviva

    New Scientist

    # Social Media:

    Facebook

    Flickr

    Twitter

    YouTube

    Wikipedia

    If you would like to suggest any other relevant links and resources to be added to this list and/or would like to share your views about the outcomes of COP15 with NGO Pulse readers, please forward your contributions to info@sangonet.org.za.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    READERS' COMMENTS:

    In response to your invitation to submit views on the climate change talks,  I listened to an interesting interview on the radio this morning with a not for profit group present at the talks with which I so agree.

    Governments are only going to move on the issues- really move- in response to their electorates really pushing for change. If votes hang on the issues, the change will happen. It is therefore incumbent on us all as citizens of the planet to:
    • Inform ourselves well concerning the issues – this is not hard to do – there is so much information circulating on a whole range of issues and debates about climate change;
    • Make our views known on what we want;
    • Join and support pressure groups worldwide for the reduction of carbon emissions big time before 2020 – the deadline for staying under the critical 2 degrees celcius temperature increase and giving ourselves a worthwhile shot at sustainable change and survival as a planet;
    • Recognise that THIS IS THE BIGGEST AND MOSY KEY ISSUE FOR OUR FUTURE HEALTHY GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT AND OUR SURVIVAL ACTUALLY AS A HUMAN RACE,  AND FOR OUR FLORA AND FAUNA;
    • Get the word out in Africa where communities are low on the scale of awareness and knowledge concerning the issues even though their governments appear fairly well informed.

    Jan Beeton
    QED Development Consulting

    ---------------------------------------------------------

  • Call for Useful Policy on Biofuels

    A policy to govern the development of bio-fuel sector should involve the communities that are likely to be affected by the new venture. This is the view of Action Aid Tanzania.

    The organisation says that involving communities during preparation of the legal document will help the country to refrain from social and environmental devastations associated with bio-fuel development.

    The organisation further says that, “The process to enact a policy should be participatory."

    To read the article titled, “NGO calls for useful policy on biofuels,” click here.


    Source: 
    <br /> All Africa
    Article link: 
  • Power Tariff Hikes Hurt Africa

    Steep power price increases will drive up inflation in sub-Saharan Africa as utilities try to boost electricity generation, weighing on growth on the continent.

    This is according to the World Bank's International Finance Corporation.

    In South Africa, Eskom is under pressure to increase generation after a crippling power shortage in January 2008 forced it to introduce rationing, plans to spend R1.3 trillion by 2025 to double generating capacity.

    The government has allocated billions of rand to help Eskom expand capacity, but the utility has had to pass on some of the cost to consumers; through a 27.5 percent tariff rise last year and a 31.3 percent increment this year.

    In Zimbabwe, the government allowed state power firm, Zesa, to adjust its pricing model higher to improve viability, but local industries struggling to get back on their feet after a decade-long economic meltdown say their survival is threatened.

    As the country struggles through a crisis that crippled infrastructure and drove unemployment to over 90 percent, many Zimbabweans can only afford paraffin-lit stoves and candles for lighting.

    To read the article titled, “Power tariff hikes hurt Africa,” click here.
    Source: 
    <br /> Finance24
    Article link: 
  • ZNRI Embarks on Clean-up Exercise in Harare

    The Zimbabwe’s National Revival Initiative (ZNRI), a coalition of churches, NGOs and government has taken a bold stand in which the organisation attempts to get rid of the garbage in Harare.

    ZNRI project manager, Aaron Mushoriwa, says that the project aims to keep the environment clean while improving the image of Zimbabwe prior the 2010 World in South Africa.

    Director in the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity, Sylvester Maunganidze, argues that the initiative will contribute to the attraction of visitors in Harare.

    To read the article titled, “Churches, NGOs embark on clean-up exercise,” click here.
    Source: 
    <br /> All Africa
    Article link: 
  • The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook

    The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook is the definitive source of relevant information for all industry players from government, water utilities and supply organisations, water research and technology institutions, NGOs, the top 100 water and related companies in Southern Africa, tertiary education institutions, university libraries and various other relevant stakeholder companies and organisations. The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook is an annual, high quality A5 Guide that has a verified free and purchased combination circulation of 8000 copies and compiled by leading thinkers, academics, researchers and industry practitioners. The Handbook provides these readers with the information that they require to make informed decisions.

    To order the handbook, click here.


  • Development and Dreams: The Urban Legacy of the 2010 Football World Cup

    With less than 300 days to go until the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Development and Dreams: The Urban Legacy of the 2010 Football World Cup considers the effects of South Africa’s hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The contributors to this volume, both academics and development practitioners, provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the probable consequences of the 2010 Football World Cup for the economy of South Africa and its cities, on infrastructure development, and on the projection of African culture and identity. The management, costs and benefits associated with the World Cup are put under the spotlight, as are the uncertain economic and employment benefits of such mega-events. The debates over venue selection, investment in infrastructure, tourism and fan-park sites are analysed, and the less tangible hopes, dreams and aspirations associated with the World Cup are explored. Academics, policy-makers and the reading public will find this book an invaluable companion as South Africa prepares to host the world’s largest sporting event.

    For more information or to purchase the book at cost of R166.67, click here.
Syndicate content