Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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EDITO
Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) – also called “The Purple Book” is the first step in a international effort to attain a sound global management system for chemical. Chemicals are often a vital part of industries, and are shipped globally in a number of products in hazardous and non-hazardous forms. Currently, it is estimated that in the EU alone  15 % of workers handle hazardous chemicals on a daily basis, and 19 % of workers report being exposed to toxic vapours for a quarter or more of their working time.

Wednesday, 06 May 2015

Recent research has proven that today’s tourists are concerned with environmental and social responsibility in the management practices of their destinations. According to data collected by the Centre on Ecotourism and Sustainable Development (CESD) and the International Ecotourism Society (TIES), “it is important to the vast majority of [tourists] that their trip not damage local ecosystems. They are interested in patronising hotels that are committed to protecting the local environment, and increasingly view local environmental and social stewardship as a responsibility of the businesses they support.”

Thursday, 30 April 2015

According to a leaked internal document of the European Commission (EC), EU member states shall be allowed to import genetically modified (GM) food imports for both human and animal consumption. This model correlates with the recent GM cultivation rules, which is also an à la carte system. Environmentalists are not happy with this outcome, as in their opinion, GM crops will propagate and circulate freely within the EU market regardless of each member states preference. Currently, 48 GM crops are imported, but this figure is expected to increase with the adoption of the new legal framework on GM crops.

The Global Seeds Market shall be boosted by the increased adoption of genetically modified seeds, says the Global Sees Market Report 2015-2019. This correlated with an increase in demand for food production and rise of agricultural challenges whih has led to the supply of high-quality, high-performing geneticlally engineered and hybrid seeds. It notes that while traditional seeds still occupy a sizeable share of the market, biotech seeds are increasingly important.The report uses case studies and is based on four segments of the market: cotton, maize, vegetables and others.

Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, alongside Jim Yong Kim President World Bank Group confirmed its commitment to support climate related investments. They highlighted the engagement needed to be scaled-up through greater private sector involvement in climate finance. “It is time for renewed action to address the global risk of climate change and 2015 provides a unique opportunity to focus on this fundamental threat. It is crucial to encourage a shift that delivers a more resource efficient, climate resilient and low-carbon global economy. Europe has a firm commitment to addressing climate change and the European Investment Bank, as the EU Bank, will build on a strong track record to address these challenges.

In the run up to the UN Climate Change conference (COP21) in Paris in December, African Ministers have renewed their call for a strong and universal climate change agreement with increased flows of funds, including through market and finance opportunities, sufficient to fulfill Africa's development aspirations. Africa, with its vulnerable populations and vast potential, has perhaps the most to lose from climate change and the most to gain from an effective climate change agreement. "In these last eight months before Paris, the focus must shift from restating negotiating positions to finding common ground solutions," said UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary Richard Kinley at a day-long ministerial segment at the Africa Carbon Forum 2015 hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The UK is Europe’s leading donor for overseas development aid (ODA). The UK is one of only five member states to have met the UN target of 0.7% for ODA. The others are Denmark (0.85%), Norway (0.99%), Luxembourg (1.07%), and Sweden (1.10). In March, Britain became the first G7 country to pledge in law to commit to spending 0.7% of gross national income on ODA. The law had cross party support. Currently, UKIP are the only prominent national party seeking a reduction in the overseas aid budget.

The government of Guinea-Bissau has called a five-year moratorium on felling trees across the country. The situation of the country’s forests is very serious and current exploration of these resources threatens environmental equilibrium. The Media Minister of Guinea-Bissau conducts awareness and information campaigns on the seriousness of the situation in the forests. Official figures point to the existence in Guinean forests of over 140,000 illegally felled logs in the past two years.

The European Commission has launched an onlineconsultation on how science and innovation can contribute to the EU ensuring safe,nutritious, sufficient and sustainable food globally. This debate is linked tothe theme of this year's Universal Exhibition in Milan: "Feeding thePlanet, Energy for Life". Its objective is to go beyond culturalactivities and open a real political debate on global food security andsustainability. European Commissioner Navracsics highlighted the vital role that Europehas in tackling the challenges of food and nutrition security andsustainability. Expo 2015 represents a great opportunity to showcase what theEU is already doing in this field and foster international collaboration.

The International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed is willing to promote insects as a source for animal protein for both human consumption and animal feed. Given that the global population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050, the world by then would have to increase its food production by 70% in order to feed the population, meaning that the global demand for animal-based protein sources would double between 2000 and 2050. As the animal feed production is already competing for resources such as water, land and fertilizers, insects could play a crucial role.