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Climate change group to end London protests, promises ‘more actions’

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Climate change group to end London protests, promises ‘more actions’

Protests

The protesters blocked several major roads in the British capital.

“We will leave the physical locations, but a space for truth-telling has been opened up in the world,” the group said in a statement.

“The truth is out, the real work is about to begin,” Extinction Rebellion said, warning people to “expect more actions very soon.”

London’s Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that officers had detained more than 1,000 people since the protests began on April 15.

Most were released without charge, but more than 70 protesters were charged with breaching the public order and other offences, the force said.

The group urged Britain and other nations to enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and set up a national citizen’s assembly to oversee changes in environmental policy.

One of the group’s campaign slogans echoes renowned broadcaster and wildlife presenter David Attenborough’s warning to a UN climate change summit in December.

“If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon,” Attenborough said.

 

Foreign

Global environment body grants Zambia 6 million USD for climate-resilient projects

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The Global Environment Facility has given Zambia a grant aimed at helping the country build resilience in areas prone to negative effects of climate change, a government official said on Wednesday.

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata said the grant of 6,185,000 U.S. dollars has been given following the approval of Zambia’s proposal.

She said the government has been working with the global environment body since 2017 for the project called Building the Resilience of Local Communities in Zambia through the introduction of Ecosystem-based adaptation and that the approval of the proposal was a step in the right direction.

The project, she said, involves building the capacity of communities living in wetlands and forests to respond to negative effects of climate change.

“The project proposal was aimed at mobilizing funds for the sustainable management of wetlands and strengthening communities to be resilient to the impact of climate change,” she told reporters during a press briefing.

The Green Environment Facility will serve as the implementing agency of this project, she added.

According to her, the project will also address the climate change vulnerability of ecosystems in rural communities, with the aim of reducing the vulnerability.

This, she noted, will be achieved by strengthening the capacity of government and supporting rural communities living in wetlands and forests to adapt to climate change effects.

(XINHUA)

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Agriculture

Climate change: AFAN advises members on improved seeds variety

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The  All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Adamawa  on Tuesday advised  members to cultivate  improved variety of seeds that grow within short time, going by the current situation of climate change.

Usman Michika, Chairman of  AFAN in the state who gave the advice on behalf of the association during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria  in Yola, said  improved varieties produced more yields.

The association said it was doing its best in educating members on how to improve their production and  profits at the end of the season.

It called on members to avoid farming on cattle routes and  grazing  reserves to avert clashes with herdsmen.

It  also advised them not to allow their farm produce to overstay in the  farms to avoid any clash.

According to the association , farmers are facing challenges of kidnappers and sometimes clashes between members and herders.

It called on governments to set up a committee  at the state, local government  and  community level  to check the frequent clashes between  farmers and herders.


Edited By: Vivian Ihechu (NAN)

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Environment

Environmentalist raises concern about effects of climate change

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An Environmentalist, Mr Gafar Odubote, has called for urgency in tackling the effects of climate change in Nigeria.

Odubote, a climate change enthusiast, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.

He appealed to government at all levels to treat the issue of climate change with utmost urgency and not with lip service.

“When we checked efforts in combating the effects of climate change in the country, we observed that government had embarked on a lot of advocacy efforts.

“Nothing is really being done to combat the growing effects of climate change. Government needs to view effects of climate change with an urgent necessity.

“The efforts government put and is putting to combat COVID-19 pandemic, should equally be put in addressing climate change. It should not wait till people start dying,” he said.

Odubote also called for a time-based action plan aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change in Nigeria as done in other African countries.

“We should not just stop at advocacy but we need to act. Government knows likely areas of greenhouse gas emissions and should provide a time plan to curb it.

“The cars release a lot of carbon into the atmosphere, while the industries that generate a lot of gas should be looked into.

“We need a sustainable plan to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we generate as a country to tackle climate change effects,” Odubote said.

The environmentalist called on other stakeholders to collaborate with government to educate Nigerians on the adverse effects of climate change on their health. NAN)


Edited By: Chidi Opara/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Kenyan farmers mark global milk day amid calls for adoption of climate-smart animals

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Kenyan dairy farmers on Monday joined their counterparts from across the globe to mark the World Milk Day as experts rooted for adoption of more hardy animals to enhance production amid challenges of climate change.

The day was founded some 20 years ago by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to distinguish the importance of milk as a food and to celebrate the dairy sector.

This year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, FAO discouraged the holding of in-person events, calling for social media celebrations.

After milking their animals on Monday, some of the dairy farmers in the east African nation toasted their produce in celebration of resilience and hope for more production amid rising challenges.

East African nation milk producers are currently facing a myriad of challenges among them shrinking land sizes, erratic weather conditions due to climate change and restrictions to curb the spread of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that have shrunk the market.

Climate change effects have led to erratic pasture production and increased disease and pest incidences.

But still, the farmers have been resilient, producing up to 60 million liters of milk a month or 720 million liters annually, according to the Kenya Dairy Board.

Rachel Kinyua, a farmer from Meru County in central Kenya, is among those earning a living from milk that her six cows, out of the 15 she keeps, produce.

She gets 160 litres of milk every day and delivers to the Meru Union Dairy Cooperative Society, which buys at 35 shillings (about 0.35 United States dollars) per liter.

“I am happy with the yield but I want to increase the number of milkers to 10, though challenges like severe drought affect production,” Kinyua, who keeps Friesian animals, which are very high feeders, said.

But as dairy production goes on, experts are calling for adoption of climate-smart animals that are not only hardy but also offer more on less feeds.

These include dairy goats, crossbreed cows, camels and sheep. For the goats, crossbreeds of Alpines and Toggenburgs — European breeds — have emerged as the most popular among Kenyan farmers seeking to produce more milk.

Similarly, crossbreeds of Sahiwals, Fleckvieh and local breed Zebu cattle have also been embraced by dairy farmers in the east African nation.

For sheep, farmers are embracing crossbreeds of traditional Red Maasai, Boer and Dorper, the last two which are resilient and imported from South Africa.

Camels, on the other hand, are being adopted by farmers in arid and semi-arid areas due to their hardy nature.

Initially, the animals were mainly kept in northern Kenya but more farmers in the south, Coast and eastern parts of the country are embracing camels as their milk products like yogurt, fresh milk and meat become mainstreamed in the east African nation’s market.

There are at least three million camels in Kenya, mostly kept by pastoralists in the north, with the number growing steadily over recent years.

George Gitao, a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Nairobi, noted camels are more important now than ever because they are tough, survive in drought and pollute less.

“Camels produce one of the most nutritious milks and the world‘s best wools, good leather and extremely healthy meat,” he said.

Bernard Faye, a veterinarian and chair of the International Society of Camelid Research and Development, observed that the global camel market is projected to grow at more than 10 percent for the next decade, thus, farmers must produce more of its milk and meat in the future to reap from the animals.

Besides the resilient livestock, experts are advising for adoption of hardy but nutritious fodder that helps in production of more milk from the animals.

These fodder include panicum, cobra and cayman grasses that are not only nutritious to animals but also regrow faster after cutting, thus, allowing farmers to have plenty of fodder even with little rains, according to Fredrick Muthomi, an agronomist.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Kenyan farmers grapple with oscillating temperatures as climate varies

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After floods, due to heavy rains, killed at least 285 people and destroyed hundreds of acres of crops between April and May in Kenya, farmers have started to feel another pinch of climate variability.

Night and day-time temperatures in different parts of the east African nation are oscillating between too high and too low, affecting crop production.

Areas that are worst-hit include those around the capital Nairobi and in the neighbouring central and eastern regions, where most food consumed in the city is grown.

Data from the meteorological department shows that temperatures in Nairobi and surrounding areas are currently rising to a high of 27 degrees Celsius during the day and falling at night to 14 degrees Celsius, from day temperature average of 24 degrees Celsius and night 20 degrees Celsius in the past.

The fluctuation in temperatures is hurting crops, with horticultural and coffee farmers feeling much of the heat.

For tomato farmers, especially those growing the crop in the field, the cold temperatures at night have given rise to an increase in blight disease, which is destroying plants and fruits.

The increase in disease means that farmers have to spend more money on chemicals and spraying the crops pushing up the cost of production.

“Blight has become a major problem currently, especially among farmers growing tomatoes, strawberries, capsicum, chilli, potatoes and cucumbers.

The cold weather disease is attacking crops and farmers have been forced to dig deeper into their pockets to take curative measures,’’ said Beatrice Macharia of Growth Point, an agro-consultancy in Kajiado County, south of Nairobi.

The county is one of the biggest sources of food for the capital Nairobi, with most of the farmers growing crops under irrigation.

“Blight attacks leaves forming circular brown lesions and they then turn yellow and fall off.

For tomatoes, the fruits have brown marks and the inside becomes watery as they shrink,’’ she said, noting that most of the inquiries she is currently receiving are virtually about the disease.

Macharia observed that one has to spray crops like potatoes, coffee, tomatoes, eggplant and capsicum with chemicals at least twice every week when the temperatures are too low lest they die due to bacterial blight.

In the past, a cold weather would set in the east African nation in July and end in August, but for the last two years, climate variability has seen the chilly spell start in May and last over two months, giving farmers a hard time.

Chicken, goats and cattle farmers also have to contend with the cold spell that leads to rise in coccidiosis and pneumonia, which affects livestock.

Cold weather normally leads to increased cost of production because a farmer has to rely on supplemental heat, which can be from electricity or charcoal to keep the birds warmer.

Macharia noted that the variation of climate is making farming a little harder as animals and crops struggle to adjust to the infrequent weather patterns that oscillate from heavy rains, dry spell and a colder period in just a few months.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

Kenyan farmers grapple with oscillating temperatures as climate varies

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After floods due to heavy rains killed at least 285 people and destroyed hundreds of acres of crops between April and May in Kenya, farmers have started to feel another pinch of climate variability.

Night and day-time temperatures in different parts of the east African nation are oscillating between too high and too low, affecting crop production.

Areas that are worst-hit include those around the capital Nairobi and in the neighboring central and eastern regions, where most food consumed in the city is grown.

Data from the meteorological department shows that temperatures in Nairobi and surrounding areas are currently rising to a high of 27 degrees Celsius during the day and falling at night to 14 degrees Celsius, from day temperature average of 24 degrees Celsius and night 20 degrees Celsius in the past.

The fluctuation in temperatures is hurting crops, with horticultural and coffee farmers feeling much of the heat.

For tomato farmers, especially those growing the crop in the field, the cold temperatures at night have given rise to an increase in blight disease, which is destroying the plant and the fruits.

The increase in disease means that farmers have to spend more money on chemicals and spraying the crops pushing up the cost of production.

“Blight has become a major problem currently especially among farmers growing tomatoes, strawberries, capsicum, chilli, potatoes and cucumbers. The cold weather disease is attacking crops and farmers have been forced to dig deeper into their pockets to take curative measures,” said Beatrice Macharia of Growth Point, an agro-consultancy in Kajiado County, south of Nairobi.

The county is one of the biggest sources of food for the capital Nairobi, with most of the farmers growing crops under irrigation.

“Blight attacks leaves forming circular brown lesions and they then turn yellow and fall off. For tomatoes, the fruits have brown marks and the inside becomes watery as they shrink,” she said, noting that most of the inquiries she is currently receiving virtually are about the disease.

Macharia observed that one has to spray crops like potatoes, coffee, tomatoes, eggplant and capsicum with chemicals at least twice every week when the temperatures are too low lest they die due to bacterial blight.

In the past, a cold weather would set in the east African nation in July and end in August, but for the last two years, climate variability has seen the chilly spell start in May and last over two months, giving farmers a hard time.

Chicken, goats and cattle farmers also have to contend with the cold spell that leads to rise in coccidiosis and pneumonia, which affects livestock.

Cold weather normally leads to increased cost of production because a farmer has to rely on supplemental heat which can be from electricity or charcoal to keep the birds warmer.

Macharia noted that the variation of climate is making farming a little harder as animals and crops struggle to adjust to the infrequent weather patterns that oscillate from heavy rains, dry spell and a colder period in just a few months.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Britain proposes Nov 2021 date for delayed UN climate summit

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Britain has proposed hosting in November 2021 a United Nations’ climate summit that was postponed from this November due to the coronavirus pandemic, a letter from the Cabinet Office seen by Reuters showed on Wednesday.

The two-week summit had been expected to trigger fresh pledges from hundreds of world leaders to stick to their promise under the Paris agreement on climate change and act to avert catastrophic global warming.

Report says the two-week summit is expected to be the biggest ever to hold in Britain.

According to a letter from the cabinet office to the UN, seen by Reuters, the government has proposed that the conference, known as COP-26, be rescheduled for Nov. 1 to 12, 2021.

However, the media team for COP26 at the UK’s Cabinet Office was not immediately available for comment.

The letter does not confirm if the rescheduled summit would take place in Glasgow, Scotland, as previously planned.

It also does not say whether rescheduling would mean pushing back the following annual UN climate summit (COP-27), which was due to take place in Africa at the end of 2021.

Any decision on a new date ultimately rests with the UN’s climate body, which meets on Thursday to discuss Britain’s proposal.

This has come as no surprise to those who understand how UN climate conferences work.

Since the Paris agreement, the annual gathering has been seeking to further the international commitment to limit global temperature rises.

International diplomacy by the next host nation – the UK for COP26 – begins the moment the gavel comes down on the previous COP.

Without it, there would be very little progress and with minds so heavily focused on tackling COVID-19 this other crisis – the climate one – has taken a bit of a back seat.

In addition, countries will need to understand what their starting position is with economies being crushed by the pandemic.

Many world leaders are talking of a “green recovery’’ and so allowing this breathing space might be beneficial to the long term climate cause.

Still, some investors, diplomats and campaigners said postponing the summit would buy governments time to prepare emissions-cutting plans and integrate climate targets into stimulus packages to revive their virus-hit economies.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Foreign

LatAm economic climate index falls to three-decade low

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Latin America’s economic climate index has fallen to its lowest level in 31 years, driven down by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on regional economies, according to a report released on Tuesday.

According to Brazil’s leading economic think tank, the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), between January and April the index for Latin America tumbled from -14.1 points to -60.4 points, the worst reading since January 1989, when the measurement was first established.

The index has been in the negative numbers since April 2018, though it had recently begun to show a slight recovery.

Both the perception of the current economic situation and the expectations for the future fell, with the former sliding from -53.8 to -89.9 points and the latter “plunging to -23.1 points.”

“The results show that Latin America was in a stage of recovery in the economic cycle at the beginning of 2020, with the index of expectation improving and positive, and the index of the current situation negative but improving,” the report said.

“April’s results show that the pandemic drove the region directly to a recession, with a reversal in expectations and a very significant worsening in the assessment of the current situation,” it added.

Each of the 11 countries analyzed in Latin America registered a decrease in its economic climate index, with Brazil going from -2 points to -60.9 points between January and April, and Paraguay, from -28 points to -70.4 points in the same period.

The perception of the current situation was negative all around, with Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela scoring the worst.

Expectations were positive for Chile (30 points) and Uruguay (25 points), and neutral for Colombia (0 points), but negative for the rest of the countries.

“The favorable expectations in January pointed to a possible continuity in the trend towards an improvement in the economic climate. COVID-19 interrupted that potential recovery,” said the report.

In all regional countries studied, lack of innovation and consumer demand were considered important factors for economic performance, along with corruption, identified as a key problem for nine of the countries, with the exception of Chile and Uruguay.

(XINHUA)

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Environment

Experts highlight impact of climate change on ecosystem

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Dr Kevin Njabo, Africa Director, Centre for Tropical Research (CTR), University of California, USA, has warned of the devastating impact of climate change on the ecosystem.

Njabo spoke during the Zoom meeting organised by the Conservation Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Lagos, on Saturday.

The event is in commemoratiin of the 2020 Biodiversity Day with the theme “Our Solution Are In Nature”.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the International Day for Biological Diversity is a United Nations’ international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues.

The African director, who spoke on, “Wildlife and Pandemics,” said that climate change could also have effect on wildlife and environmental sustainability.

According to him, rising global temperature due to climate change will negatively impact on food, water security, increase the spread of diseases and put pressure on the ecosystem.

He said that increase in the spread of zoonotic diseases was as a result of human activities such as agricultural expansion, logging, mining and so on.

“In the last 50 years, the world has lost 60 per cent of all wildlife and the number of new infectious diseases has quadrupled in the last 60 years,” Njabo said.

Also speaking, Dr Joseph Onoja, Technical Director, Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), in his lecture titled “The Role of Wildlife to a Pandemic” listed four ways by which nature provided solutions to pandemic.

According to Onoja, the four ways are sanitation, flood prevention, regulation as well as pest management.

He explained the role of vultures in cleaning up carcasses before they develop bacterium, noting that forest was important in the prevention of flood and landslides.

Another speaker, Dr Anil Kumar, Foundation for Natural Conservation, India, compared the Biodiversity of India to that of Nigeria.

Kumar said that biodiversity was thriving in India because of religion, yoga system, tolerance, strong and legal support.

He said that the main threats to biodiversity are habitat destruction; introduction of invasive species;

genetic pollution; overpopulation of human; over exploitation; climate change and diseases.

On COVID-19, he explained that viruses generally coexisted with their hosts and ecosystem and would be violent when forced to another host or system.

Kumar said that the destruction of biodiversity and habitat loss of their (viruses) primary hosts was the cause of the outbreak of diseases.

He urged people to stop animal trade and the disruption of the ecosystem. .

AIC /

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Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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