The European Commission needs to take measures to promote the responsible cultivation of palm oil and phase out its use for biofuels, Czech MEP Kateřina Konečná said. The environment committee votes on her report on 9 March. Palm oil is extensively used in food, cosmetics and biofuels, however the unsustainable production of the cheap vegetable oil leads to deforestation, loss of nature habitats and greenhouse gas emissions, the European Parliament said in a press release. The production of palm oil leads to deforestation as jungle is removed to be replaced by palm plantations. In her report Konečná said the European Parliament should be very ambitious. “There should not be any palm oil in biofuels,” she said.
Guyana says it will sign the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) under the European Union Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (EU/FLEGT) initiative, which Georgetown adopted in 2003. The VPA will result in Guyana having access to more lucrative markets in the European Union (EU) for its timber products. It will also see improved governance at all levels, more revenues, capacity building, international recognition and reform policies and laws where needed. Commissioner of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), James Singh, said upon the completion of the agreement between Guyana and the EU, the VPA will be used as a legal binding agreement. “I am happy to report that before the course of this year, before June we will be able to sign the initial agreement.
Efforts are underway in Fiji to revive the country's cocoa industry, one year on from Tropical Cyclone Winston.A European Union-funded project, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, has set up three new cocoa processing units, each of which includes a fermenter and cocoa dryer. The co-founder of a Fiji-based chocolate company, Tomohito Zukoshi, built the units and says they will provide a consistent A-grade quality cocoa for export. Mr Zukoshi said Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji's cocoa sector and it is still recovering. "We had invested so much of our manpower to do the pruning, and clearing, before the cyclone and then the cyclone hit and it just became worse - we lost the entire 2016's crops."
Development agencies must use the momentum from COP22 to prioritise water infrastructure projects and help mitigate the effects of climate change and extreme weather events in Africa, write Elke Herrfahrdt-Pähle and Waltina Scheumann. Elke Herrfahrdt-Pähle is an economist and Waltina Scheumann is a political scientist. This editorial was first published by the German Development Institute (DIE). Last Friday (18 November) marked the end of COP22 in Marrakesh, which addressed the implementation of the climate agreement signed in Paris one year ago. The accord at long last recognised that climate change adaptation is equally as important as greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
Climate Change Ghana is hosting a two-day workshop aimed at creating an Africa-European Climate Change Research Platform to strengthen the capacities of researchers towards sustainable agricultural growth. The vision is to develop a new crop of African researchers in climate change-related studies for agriculture intensification with studies that better reflect the needs of their local industries and policies in support of sustainable agriculture. They would collaborate with their European Union (EU) counterparts for sustained knowledge sharing and improved outcomes.
Mozambique annually loses the equivalent of US$57 million due to illegal fishing and other harmful practices, in the absence of effective maritime surveillance along nearly 2,800 kilometres of coastline, said the director of Operations of the Ministry of the Sea, Interior Waters and Fisheries. Leonid Chimarizene also told weekly newspaper Domingo that Mozambique differs from most coastal countries because it allows ships to moor at any port, “which means that we must have inspectors all along the coast.”
A Joint Communication proposing actions for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans has been adopted by the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. The initiative would make it possible to address certain global challenges such as climate change, poverty, food security, piracy, crime, trafficking in human beings, through better protected and sustainably managed oceans, whose economy has been estimated at EUR 1.3 trillion.
In a world-first, the Pacific has launched a regional industry association for practitioners involved in climate change, disasters and other sectors related to building resilience. The Pacific Regional Federation for Resilience Professionals will boost the skills, education, training and employment opportunities for diverse professionals dedicated to climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and maintaining ecosystem services in a highly vulnerable region. The launch by the European Union, Pacific community, and The University of the South Pacific took place at the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management in Suva, Fiji, within the margins of Pacific Resilience Week 2016.
The newly refurbished Nadi District Emergency Operations Centre and the Western Division Emergency Operations Centre - Planning Office and Divisional Controller’s Office in Lautoka were opened today. This was made possible through the European Union funded ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project which is implemented by the Pacific Community. The cost of the project was $92,236. Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Meleti Bainimarama says the new office will ensure government services are not disrupted during an emergency.
In many regions of central and northern Tanzania, lives and livelihoods suffer from periodic weather-related stress, particularly from below-normal rainfall. The resulting crop failures and loss of livestock increases economic hardship, forcing thousands of families to skip meals, sell assets, cut back on medical care, or stop attending school. While these strategies help populations live through difficult times, they dampen quality of life and limit opportunities for development.