The global community have agreed to make Sustainable Development Goal, a target of achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030, a national target for action to save productive land.
In a closing statement at the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the country parties also agreed to address insecurity of land tenure, including gender inequality in land tenure.
At the session jointly presided over by UNCCD Executive Secretary, Ibrahim Thiaw and India Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, the country parties expressed support for new initiatives or coalitions to improve human health and well-being, the ecosystem, peace and security.
COP 14 also adopted a landmark decision to buttress global efforts to better mitigate and manage the risks of drought and build resilience.
“We have woken up to the fact that we will see more frequent and severe droughts, a phenomenon that will be exacerbated by climate change.
“To my mind, this is the COP where we put people at the heart of what we do,’’ Thiaw said.
The UNCCD scribe said that a global movement of restoration, anchored in nature-based solutions would deliver benefits for the three Rio Conventions and for many of the world’s most pressing issues.
He said that the private sector played an important role in land restoration and called for a framework for rewarding conservation, restoration and sustainable use of resources.
Also speaking at the closing, Javadekar restated his country’s commitment to achieving its land restoration target by 2030.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the 10 days of over 200 meetings and 44 exhibitions were opened by India Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, in attendance.
About 9,000 delegates from 122 country parties, including UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Muhammed, UNCCD Executive Secretary, Ibrahim Thiaw, ministers and heads of UN agencies attended the conference, whose theme is “Investing in Restoration to Unlock Opportunities”.
The international community had adopted the Convention to Combat Desertification in Paris on 17 June 1994 out of concern that “desertification and drought are problems of global dimension affecting all regions’’.
In 2015, the international community also agreed to pursue a global target to ensure all countries work towards keeping a healthy balance of productive land by accelerating the recovery of degrading land while avoiding and reducing land degradation.
Mrs Ibukun Odusote, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, led Nigeria delegation comprising officials from the ministry, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), National Agency for Great Green Wall and The Ecological Fund.
Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde
Iran deploys military helicopters to fight fire in forests
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Army on Sunday deployed helicopters to the forests of Zagros mountain in the west and southwest of Iran to fight fire outbreak, according to local media.
The move came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the day issued an order to the relevant institutions to emergently respond to the fire spread in forests of Bushehr, in south of Iran, and Khuzestan, in southwestern Iran.
The IRGC and Army had already sent seven helicopters to Gachsaran and Dehdasht forests in southwestern Iranian province of Kohkilouyeh and Boyerahmad and Behbahan in Khuzestan Province.
According to the latest reports, the fire eruption in the west, southwest and south of the country over the past weeks has completely burnt 300 hectares of forests and grasslands in Gachsaran as well as 200 hectares of forests in Kohkilouyeh.
German self-employed with high degree of digitization cope better with COVID-19 crisis
The self-employed people in Germany with a high degree of digitization were able to better cope with the coronavirus crisis, according to a study by the Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) published on Friday.
“Highly digitized solo self-employed persons are much more resistant to crises and suffer less often from negative consequences of the pandemic,” stated Irene Bertschek, head of the research division at ZEW.
The survey showed that 73 percent of the self-employed in Germany who had a very low degree of digitization were no longer able to carry out their business activities. Among the very highly digitized solo self-employed, on the other hand, the figure was much lower at only 28 percent.
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, around one in three self-employed ramped up their digitization efforts.
“Pushing for digitization was more frequent among women and comparatively young people who were working from home or have a university degree,” commented Daniel Erdsiek, researcher of the ZEW division digital economy.
Despite the ongoing digitization, one in four self-employed people in Germany considered it “very likely” that they would have to give up their self-employment within the next 12 months, ZEW noted.
Pakistan shoots down Indian quadcopter along LoC: Pakistan army
The Pakistan army said on Wednesday that it had “shot down” an Indian quadcopter along the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region.
An army statement said the Indian quadcopter committed airspace violation in Rakhchikri sector along the LoC which divides the two countries in Kashmir.
“Pakistan Army troops shot down an Indian spying quadcopter in Rakhchikri Sector along LoC. The quadcopter had intruded 650 meters on Pakistan’s side of the LoC,” the army’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations, said in a brief statement.
It is the second time the Pakistan army has claimed to shoot down an Indian quadcopter in less than two months.
The Pakistan army said on April 9 that it had “shot down” an Indian quadcopter along the LoC after it committed airspace violation.
Pakistan and India had declared ceasefire along the LoC, the de facto border between both countries in the disputed Kashmir region in 2003. However, both sides routinely exchange fire and accuse each other of ceasefire violations.
Tension has been heightened after India lifted the special status for the Indian-controlled Kashmir in August, 2019. Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations, suspended trade relations and train service with India in response.
Russia confirms crew died in military helicopter hard landing in Far East
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that a military Mi-8 helicopter made a hard landing in Ugolnye Kopi airfield in Russia’s Far East on Tuesday, and the crew died in the crash, local media Sputnik reported.
The Russian Aerospace Forces helicopter was performing a training flight in Chukotka autonomous district before it made the landing, said the ministry.
Earlier, Sputnik cited a source to say that four people are believed to have died in the landing.
Preliminary information showed that a technical malfunction of the helicopter could be the cause of the crash, and a commission of the Aerospace Forces chief command has departed for the crash site, the defense ministry said.
On May 19, a military Mi-8 helicopter of the Russian Aerospace Forces crashed near the city of Klin in Moscow Region, and its crew died of injuries. The defense ministry said then that a technical malfunction possibly caused the disaster.
Urgent: Military helicopter makes hard landing in Russia’s anadyr with casualties — media
A Mi-8 military helicopter made an emergency landing at Anadyr airport in Russia’s Far East with casualties, Russian media outlet Sputnik cited local authority to report on Tuesday.
Earlier, Sputnik cited a source to say that four people are believed to have died in the landing.
Vespa maker Piaggio wins EU case against Chinese copycat design
Therefore it “must be invalidated,” the EU body said.
Piaggio said the EUIPO case was part of its “wider activities against counterfeiting,” which have “led to the cancellation of more than 50 trademarks registered by third parties in the last two years.”
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Helicopter hit during anti-IS operation in western Iraq
An Iraqi army helicopter was slightly hit by a machinegun on Monday during an operation by Islamic State (IS) militants in the western province of Anbar, the Iraqi military said.
The incident took place when an army force destroyed IS positions and seized weapons and explosives during an operation to hunt down IS militants in a desert area near the two of al-Rutba, some 400 km west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement.
It said that the troops were backed by two helicopter gunships and during the operation the helicopters pounded three IS vehicles, but one of the vehicles was carrying a heavy machinegun and opened fire at the helicopters.
One of the helicopters was slightly damaged, but managed to return to the base safely, the statement added.
Earlier in the day, an Iraqi army source told Xinhua that one helicopter was shot down after being attacked by the extremist IS militants in south of al-Rutba.
The incident came as the Iraqi security forces are carrying out operations to hunt down IS militants in the desert and rugged areas in the provinces of Anbar, Salahudin and Nineveh as well as the border areas with Syria.
However, IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or deserts and rugged areas, launching frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.
Lawyer seeks £1m compensation from UK based TV station over copyright infringement
A Nigerian legal firm, Remedium Law Partners has demanded one million pounds from a United Kingdom (UK) based cable television station, Sky TV, as compensation for copyright infringement over a Television programme titled “Urban Kitchen”.
Paul Michael, Public Relations Officer, Remedium Law Firm said this in a statement issued and made available to News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
The law firm via an email had accused Solution Media and InfoTech Ltd and Hi-Impact TV of fraudulently broadcasting “Urban Kitchen” without due authorisation and permission from Sate Television, the producer of the content.
He therefore demanded the sum of N100 million as compensation for copyright infringement.
He stated that, while the agreement for the authorised broadcast of “Urban Kitchen” ought to be within Nigeria only, it extended the broadcast of the content to the UK.
According to him, a 21 days deadline was given to both Solution Media and InfoTech Ltd and Hi-Impact TV, Sky TV UK as well as Solution Media and InfoTech UK Ltd to comply with the demands or be prepared to face legal action.
However, reacting to the allegation, Sky TV Viewer Relations, Elyse, via an email to Remedium Law Partners, thanked the law firm for the email sent to SKY TV and promised to look into the alleged copyright infringement.
Edited By: Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)
North Macedonia to invest in health sector to better cope with second COVID-19 wave
The government of North Macedonia will make a big investment in the health sector to strengthen the intensive care departments in order to better cope with a possible second wave of COVID-19, Health Minister Venko Filipce told a press conference on Tuesday.
“Coronavirus will most probably have a second wave as most studies and experiences from other outbreaks show,” Filipce said.
The minister announced that the government is preparing for a second wave in autumn in consultation with the World Health Organization and other countries.
According to Filipce, all intensive care departments will have modern medical equipment, ventilators, digital X-ray devices, beds and other equipment needed for health protection.
“Preparations for a second wave are ongoing and North Macedonia will be ready to protect the health of the citizens,” he added.
As of Tuesday, the total number of confirmed cases in North Macedonia reached 1,839, with 1,351 recoveries and 106 fatalities.
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