World Beach Volleyball: Nigeria gets wild card to Qatar championships
Lagos March 11, 2019 The Qatar Volleyball Association has extended a wild card to athletes in the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF) to compete in this year’s Katara Beach Volleyball Cup.
Francis Imoudu, The head coach of the beach volleyball team, made this known on Monday in Lagos.
If athletes are given a wild card for a particular competition, they are allowed to play in it, although they have not qualified for it in the usual way.
Imoudu said that top beach volleyball players like Jefferson Bellaguarda (Brazil), Kay Matysik (Germany), Phil Dalhausser (USA) and Todd Rogers (USA) will star in this year’s extravaganza.
It is going to be staged at Katara Amphitheater in Qatar from March 12 to March 16.
Nigeria is the only African team invited for the four-star event allotted by the FIVB in the Middle East.
Imoudu expressed joy over the invitation and promised that Nigeria will put up a good performance at the event.
He said that Obayemi Ogunshina and Hilary Simon will fly the colours of Nigeria in Qatar.
Imoudu said that it was a thing of pride and joy for Nigeria to be the only African side at the four star championship.
“I want to assure Nigerians, including the President of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Mr Musa Nimrod, that we are going to put up a good performance.
“This invitational championship will also prepare the boys for the busy 2019 calendar and also use the opportunity to score points for the world FIVB ratings,’’ Imoudu said.
He said the invitational championship was made possible by the efforts of the NVBF President and immediate past president, Gumel.
According to Imoudu, Nigeria has never participated in an FIVB Beach tour, this is the first time and we are the only Africa team in an entry of over forty countries.
He said that the nation is enjoying this privilege due to the positive hard work of the president who sits on the FIVB board.
“The championship is the second of the 10 competitions called FIVB 4stars to be organised during the 2019 season by the International Volleyball Federation worldwide.
“The competition in Doha will see the participation of 56 teams from 28 different countries.
“In the main draw, the world’s top 14 out of 16 teams will be contesting for the title, which shows the value of the event,’’ Imoudu said.
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World Environment Day marked in Afghanistan
UN chief asks entire world to change course on environment
“We need our entire global community to change course. Let’s rethink what we buy and use; adopt sustainable habits, farming and business models; safeguard remaining wild spaces and wildlife; commit to a green and resilient future.”
Habitat degradation and biodiversity loss are accelerating. Climate disruption is getting worse. Fires, floods, droughts and superstorms are more frequent and damaging. Oceans are heating and acidifying, destroying coral ecosystems, noted Guterres.
“And now, a new coronavirus is raging, undermining health and livelihoods. To care for humanity, we must care for nature,” he said. “As we work to build back better, let’s put nature where it belongs — at the heart of our decision-making.”
Roundup: FAO, European countries mark World Environment Day by calling for protecting biodiversity
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and a string of European countries Friday marked World Environment Day, calling for steps to make the world more resilient as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.
Qu Dongyu, director-general of the Rome-based United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), speaking at a virtual World Environment Day event, said protecting the environment leads to better health outcomes.
“Biodiversity provides the necessary infrastructure that supports life on earth,” Qu said. “We have to build up biodiversity. We now have an excellent opportunity to rethink the relationship between humans, animals, and the environment.”
“Better nature means better human health,” Qu concluded.
At FAO, the day was marked with a focus on biodiversity and a special “virtual” event.
“We are focused on the big global problem of the day, which is the coronavirus pandemic,” Berhe Tekola, the director of FAO’s Animal Health and Production Division, told Xinhua.
“But by protecting biodiversity, by advising people in poor countries on how they can eat more safely and how they can avoid environmental damage,” Tekola said, “we can have better health outcomes, and the world would be safer from some of the contagions that cause certain kinds of disease.”
“The dramatic events that have recently touched the whole of our planet demand that we acknowledge the essential link between the equilibrium of nature and our survival,” he said.
“To emerge from the difficulties that we are faced with today, we have an extreme need for research and for long-sighted policies that can imagine and render accessible a near future of sustainable prosperity,” the president continued.
Albanian President Ilir Meta also appealed for more efforts on environmental protection. Via a Twitter post, Meta said that no one should allow mismanagement of urban waste and air pollution to damage citizens’ lives.
“Albania lacks nothing to be the ‘diamond’ of the Mediterranean and Europe,” Meta said, calling for everyone’s contribution in protecting the country’s nature.
In neighboring North Macedonia, the government also reaffirmed commitment to preserved biodiversity.
“North Macedonia abounds with natural rarities and is fortunate to be endowed with rich biodiversity, but at the same time, it is our duty to preserve it,” the government said in a statement.
To mark World Environment Day, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis presented a plan for promoting electromobility. The target is for one in three new vehicles in the country to be electric by 2030.
Under the plan, the state would offer financial incentives for switching to electric vehicles. The incentives would cover about 25 percent of the cost for about 14,000 new electric cars, Mitsotakis said.
He said the funds allocated for this purpose would reach 100 million euros (113 million United States dollars) over 18 months.
Electric cars would also be exempt from parking fees for two years, and charging costs would be deductible from taxable income, the Greek leader said.
The government also aims to increase the number of electric buses on Greek roads. In an upcoming tender for new buses to be used in public transportation in Athens and Thessaloniki, a significant percentage would have to be electric vehicles.
“The World of Banksy” comes to Prague on exhibition
Works of the British anonymous street art artist Banksy first appeared in Prague on Friday in an exhibition called “The World of Banksy — the Immersive Experience.”
The exhibition presented a selection of Banksy’s work — in the form of reproductions — to the public, which included over 60 printed items from private collections and more than 30 examples of wall graffiti.
The exhibition will last till Sept. 27.
In the first part of the exhibition, Banksy’s most famous graffiti are spray-painted on the panels, so the whole evokes a kind of street full of art that the visitor is walking on. Leading Czech street artists and academic painters worked on the redrawn motifs, and used techniques similar to those used by Banksy, said the curator of the exhibition.
In the second smaller part, the most famous printed versions of Banksy’s works can be seen.
Unlike many current pop culture icons who thrive by promoting their faces and lives on social media, Banksy’s allure comes from his anonymity, which puts the message of art front and center.
World Environment Day: Plateau commissioner decries indiscriminate dumping of waste
The commissioner told the News Agency of Nigeria , on Friday in Jos that the situation was impeding the evacuators’ efforts to discharge their duties diligently.
He said that the Plateau Environmental Protection And Sanitation Agency (PEPSA) had designated areas for residents to dump their waste to ensure a clean and healthy environment.
“PEPSA designated places where refuse will be dumped and where the trucks can pick it, but people have nelected the areas. They throw their waste at every corner. This is very worrisome.
“Some people even throw waste into rivers making it impossible to evacuate such dirt.
“Some areas are not motorable because of indiscriminate erection of buildings, but people in those houses feel they can dump their waste at their door step, ignoring the designated areas. The evacuators cannot go door to door,” he said.
The commissioner said that the waste plant at Mistali in Bassa Local Government would soon take off, and expressed optimism that the gesture would increase the number of waste collectors and create employment opportunities.
He said that 5,000 tree seedlings were planted in March at the Bukuru nursery under the UN REDD+ programme coordinated by the Federal Government, adding that Plateau had also benefited from the two FG afforestation interventions.
“One such intervention is in Ganuwuri, Riyom Local Government. It is 80 percent completed and we have planted 25,000 seedlings.
“The other one is in Mangu Local Government and is situated at Langai forest reserve. There, fencing has been completed and 15,000 seedlings will be taken to the site,” he said.
He said that Nigeria Erosion and Water Management Programme (NEWMAP), funded by the World Bank, facilitated the planting of 50,000 trees with 25,000 seedlings each, planted in Kanke and Shendam local Government Areas.
He said that as part of efforts to preserve the environment and discourage tree felling, the state distributed gas cylinders and stoves provided by the federal Government to communities close to the forest reserves across its 17 local governments.
He added that tree planting not only beautifies the environment, but provides clean air.
World Environment Day: NNPC expresses commitment to biodiversity
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed its determination to adhere to sustainable environmental practices in all its operations to safeguard biodiversity in the country.
Kyari in a keynote address said the corporation would continue to be guided by sound environmental policies and standards, so that the corporation did not harm the environment and the communities of creatures within its sphere of operations.
“Biodiversity has remained the single most important factor that enables all living creatures to depend on the mutual services of one another, in order to ensure survival, a balanced ecosystem and the sustainability of our planet,” Kyari said.
He noted that the emergence of pandemics such as Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), a virus that was said to be common to Asian bats, had provided greater insights on how biodiversity equilibrium could shift, making it easier for diseases to pass from animals to people.
According to him, these activities have directly or indirectly impacted the balance of biodiversity, making wild species and alien organisms struggle to find new homes.
World Bank to fund Maputo urban transformation project
The World Bank will give 150 million United States dollars to an urban transformation project in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, to improve its infrastructure and institutional capacity for sustainable development, Maputo Mayor Eneas Comiche announced on Friday.
“(The project is) to support the main priorities of the municipal development plan 2019-2023, aimed at fighting poverty and promoting sustainable and inclusive growth of the territory,” the mayor told the press in Maputo.
According to a document released by the World Bank in December 2019, the aims of the Maputo Urban Transformation Project include addressing informal settlements, harnessing the potential of city center and promoting sustainable urban growth.
The project had its first public hearing on Friday following a visit to the city and a review on the project by technicians from the World Bank.
World Environment Day: Oyetola warns Osun residents against environmental degradation
Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun has called on the people of the state to refrain from acts capable of undermining environmental sustainability.
Oyetola gave the warning at a tree planting programme, organised to commemorate this year’s World Environment Day, on Friday in Osogbo.
The governor said that his administration would take proactive steps against those in the habit of encroaching into government’s forests for unlawful activities.
“We are prepared to invoke the full weight of the law on anyone caught engaging in illegal land clearing for farming, uncontrolled logging, gathering of firewood and deforestation,” he said.
The governor also said that anyone caught engaging in indiscriminate or ill-planned bush burning, high population rate, degradation of the environment occasioned by illegal mining and illegal hunting for bush meat would be dealt with.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration, “Biodiversity”, Oyetola said that biodiversity was essential to human development, because “it is the foundation that supports all the lives on land and below the waters.”
The governor, who decried the poor environmental management culture, noted that on a global scale, biodiversity was being lost at higher rate than that of natural extinction.
He said that illegal land clearing for farming, uncontrolled logging, deforestation, bush burning and high population rate were among the factors affecting biodiversity conservation in the state.
Oyetola expressed his administration’s commitment to tree planting in order to reverse the situation.
Earlier in his address, the state Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation, Mr Sola Oladepo, said that nonchalant attitude towards biodiversity conservation in the past had culminated in massive degradation of forest reserves in the state.
Oladepo said that the state government was ready to plant one million trees across the state.
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