Monday, January 13, 2014

"Hasselback Potatoes A Tasty Treat"

#AceRecipeNews this is a fellow blogger and a really great all round cook. More at #Chefs-tips




Ace News Group posted: "#AceFoodNews says l cook with these at work and have found them to be great with so many meals #chefs-tips "
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Hasselback potatoes to die for!

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I've been seeing these potatoes on pinterest for quite a while now and have been meaning to get round to making them. Finally the opportunity arose when my husband bought a whole big bag of baking potatoes. I thought it would be a lengthy process, especially in the roasting but found that these Hasselback potatoes are even quicker to make than the jacket potato.
#AceFoodNews says l cook with these at work and have found them to be great with so many meals #chefs-tips
Ace News Group | November 2, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Categories: Ace Food News | URL: http://wp.me/p2QGMH-8j
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Monday, October 7, 2013

New Bank Climate Department Up And Running At Last!

The World Development Report 2011The World Development Report 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ace News Group: New Bank Climate Department Up And Running At Last! 

At a meeting of the Asia Society in New York, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, estimated that a 1 degree increase in the planet's temperature (we are already at .8 degrees) would cost her country 3-4% of its GDP growth annually. At the same time, DARA, a European-based NGO, and the Climate Vulnerability Forum released the second Climate Vulnerability Monitor, which estimates that climate change is already costing the world 1.6% of GDP growth globally, and contributing to over 400,000 deaths. The report, written by over 50 scientists, economists and policy experts, also estimates that by 2030 climate change and air pollution combined could cost the world 3.2% of growth globally, and up to 11% in the world's least developed countries. 
I spent  nine of the last 20 years living in Africa, watching the continent struggle terribly with negative growth in the 90's, fight its way to positive growth and eventually celebrate a 5-8% growth rate that allowed many African countries to put a serious dent in poverty. But clearly, those hard won gains in poverty reduction and development are at risk, and sooner than we thought. The most important message of DARA's report is that climate change is not just a problem for future generations.
But as former President José María Figueres of Costa Rica reminded a United Nations General Assembly audience last week, climate change also presents an enormous economic opportunity. Bloomberg's New Energy Finance reported that over $1 trillion was invested in clean energy last year. And the feeling is that this figure could be much higher if we could just figure out the policies and financial instruments to unleash capital in the direction of green growth. So which path will we seize for our changing climate? The one which builds on the growth and development of past decades or the one which leads to the grim prospect of losing hard fought gains against poverty? The race to choose is on, and for those of us whose dream is a world free of poverty, for those of us who couldn't bear to see Africa return to the economic and social struggles of the 90's, we'd better get sprinting.
So today ─ against this very compelling background ─ we launch our new Climate Policy and Finance Department (CPF) at the World Bank. This department brings together the Climate Change team, the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) Admin Unit, the Carbon Finance program, the GEF and Montreal Protocol teams around this essential question: what can the World Bank Group do to help countries take climate action at a faster speed and larger scale, and turn climate change into an engine for growth?
Two weeks ago in Venice – a beautiful but very climate vulnerable city – the San Giorgio Group met for its second annual meeting to discuss how to unleash capital towards mitigation and adaptation. This is a gathering of climate policy and finance experts, who are led by the Climate Policy Initiative. We heard the results of three case studies where significant investments fused private and public funds, and domestic and international capital, into packages which financed investments in off shore wind, solar water heaters and concentrated solar power. The CIFs were directly involved in the financing of the cases presented for solar projects in Morocco and South Africa. The projects used an array of supportive policy incentives and innovative financial instruments to encourage investors and allocate risk – and everyone in the room was desperate to learn how. 
In a second day, focused on risk management, we learned that the World Bank's own Partial Risk Guarantees are considered the best existing instruments for leveraging in private capital. And we learned that while there are a number of instruments available to cover political risk in developing countries, there are few instruments available to cover policy risk anywhere. Policy risk turns out to be quite important in our world with uncertain global regulations for carbon and financial crises putting pressure on even the most climate progressive countries. 
These lessons in project finance may seem a bit dry, but if we can learn and help our clients apply them fast enough, we can help to unleash the flows needed for transforming our economies into engines of inclusive green growth, and turn the threat of poverty's return into an opportunity for its defeat. So CPF is off and running!



Click here https://blogs.worldbank.org/climatechange/new-bank-climate-department-and-running to view full story.


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How a small grant turned Humbo green!

Ace News Group: The Humbo communities wanted to see a transformation because they knew that their lands had been stripped as a result of unregulated cattle grazing and massive clearance of vegetation to meet their excessive demand for timber, firewood and charcoal.


How a small grant turned Humbo Green!

A comparative picture of the Humbo region in February   2002 and March 2010.
A number of years ago, I started a journey with seven poor communities located about 380 kilometres southwest of Addis Ababa, by a mountain called Humbo. The idea was to allow a degraded mountain to regenerate and the communities would earn carbon credits for their efforts.
I still hear this phrase echoing in my ears: "With the meager amount of resources they have, this is an impossible agenda". But the communities were stubborn and dedicated, and last week, the project was issued 73,339 carbon credits (temporary Certified Emission Reductions, tCERs) for their efforts. Similar payments will add up to $700,000 over the next 10 years from the BioCarbon Fund.
The Humbo communities wanted to see a transformation because they knew that their lands had been stripped as a result of unregulated cattle grazing and massive clearance of vegetation to meet their excessive demand for timber, firewood and charcoal. Soil erosion and flooding had intensified as a result. They could see their farmlands increasingly covered with silt, cobbles and boulders. Above all, they could attest that their farmlands were losing fertility, becoming unproductive and yields were down.
But getting the Humbo project off the ground had a number of challenges. In Ethiopia, individuals and communities only hold land on a usufruct basis, as trustees with rights to enjoy the renewable natural resources of the land owned by the government. The World Vision staff who visited Humbo for the first time were greeted with suspicion.
As we say in Ethiopia: "Experience makes the best teacher". Over the years, some communities might have experienced land grabs, making them wary of visitors coming to them to talk about farmland. In issues like this, patience and perseverance are critical and the World Vision staff who visited Humbo had an abundance of that. After many meetings, the communities agreed to take on the challenge and work collaboratively to take 2,728 hectares out of agricultural cultivation and livestock grazing, and let them regrow by applying simple techniques such as farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR), which communities use to help native species re-sprout by nurturing and pruning existing tree and shrub root stocks in the soil.
What makes this project so special to me is that what started with a small grant of $200,000 had such enormous impacts on this community, now financing all kinds of micro activities such as beekeeping, fattening of cattle and milling flour which before had to be done far away. One could chest out and extoll the enormous leveraging powers of tiny drop of funds from carbon credits and what they can achieve. I guess the pictures above that compares the Humbo landscape in 2002 and 2010 says it all. Just one word is needed: Magnificent! The battle to stop terrestrial landscape degradation can be won by adopting and replicating successes such as Humbo across Ethiopia and the globe.
The success of this pilot forestry project can be attributed to a host of actions that were taken up front and relationships that continue to be nurtured. They included the excellent collaboration and team work between many stakeholders including the World Bank, World Vision, Ethiopian government implementing agencies and the seven community co-operatives in Humbo.
Background: Humbo is not only Ethiopia's first Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project, but also Africa's first large-scale afforestation/reforestation (A/R) project registered under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The project is expected to sequester over 880,000 metric tonnes of CO2e over 30 years. This project will generate 338,000 tonnes worth of carbon credits (by 2017), of which the World Bank's Bio Carbon Fund will purchase about half. The Humbo project is the first in Africa to generate temporary Certified Emission Reductions (tCERs), the Kyoto- compliant asset from land use activities, setting an example for similar projects to be scaled up across the continent.

Click here https://blogs.worldbank.org/climatechange/how-small-grant-turned-humbo-grean to view full story.


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Lessons from Hanoi: The Imperative of Implementing Climate-Smart Agriculture

Ace News Group: Resilience in the Face of Climate Change
The first Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, in The Hague in 2010, made a strong case for tackling the need to increase productivity, adaptation, and mitigation in agriculture concurrently – through climate-smart agriculture.



Ninh Binh Province was hit by severe flooding two weeks ago, like many other regions in Vietnam. It was yet another sharp reminder that Vietnam will increasingly be facing the effects of climate change. However, as we were visiting the region a few days later, activity had returned to normal, and people were busy working in rice paddy fields or cooking meals for their families (with biogas produced from livestock waste).
Ninh Binh Province has shown remarkable resilience to flooding, thanks in part to an innovative program set up by local authorities called "living with floods." It consists of stepping up the number of staff (military, policemen, civilians) on duty during the flood season and reinforcing physical infrastructure – dikes have been upgraded with more than 2,700 cubic meters of rocks, and about 2 million cubic meters of mud have been dredged to assure water flow in the Hoang Long River.
This field trip to Thanh Lac Commune during the 2nd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change illustrated some examples of what resilient agriculture could be and how adaptation, productivity, and mitigation should be considered in an integrated manner. Ensuring the resilience of the country's agricultural sector will be essential, not only to its own food security, but to the world's—it is the world's second largest rice exporter.
Resilience in the Face of Climate Change
The first Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, in The Hague in 2010, made a strong case for tackling the need to increase productivity, adaptation, and mitigation in agriculture concurrently – through climate-smart agriculture.
Climate-smart agriculture seeks to increase productivity in an environmentally and socially sustainable way, strengthen farmers' resilience to climate change, and reduce agriculture's contribution to climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing carbon storage on farmland. It includes proven practical techniques, such as mulching, intercropping, conservation agriculture, crop rotation, integrated crop-livestock management, agro-forestry, improved grazing, and improved water management, as well as innovative practices such as better weather forecasting, drought- and flood-tolerant crops, and risk insurance.
As a core component of an inclusive green growth strategy for the agricultural sector, climate-smart agriculture is urgently needed. This year's conference stressed that urgency in its final communiqué, issued on Sept. 7, as more than 500 delegates from 150 countries and 20 international organizations met against the backdrop of volatile agricultural markets and rising food prices.
The Hanoi Communiqué advocates developing policies with an integrated approach, putting farmers at the center of the innovation process, building new partnerships with a strong involvement of the private sector, and financial innovation.
Practical Implementation
One strong message coming out of the World Bank report "Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathway to Sustainable development" is that developing countries need to implement inclusive green growth quickly in order to avoid being locked into unsustainable and irreversible pathways that will be very costly, if not impossible, to reverse.
This is especially true for agricultural production, which must increase rapidly to keep pace with rising food demand, but must do so in an environmentally sustainable way. Failure would result in large-scale environmental damage – deforestation, soil degradation, biodiversity loss, eutrophication– that would be virtually impossible to reverse.
At this year's conference, a two-pronged strategy emerged for spurring the implementation of climate-smart agriculture:
  • Use landscape approaches to integrate agriculture, forests, fisheries and water resources, and
  • Strengthen the private sector's involvement in order to scale up climate-smart agriculture projects.
Meeting that strategy will require countries to facilitate better collaboration among the government bodies in charge of agriculture, water and forest. It also requires mainstreaming the creation of public-private partnerships to finance the scaling up of climate-smart agriculture. Both can be challenging, as the Inclusive Green Growth reports shows, but both are necessary.
Climate-smart agriculture must now be implemented quickly. Failure is not an option. Food security and the preservation of natural capital on which agriculture depends can only be guaranteed by sustainable agriculture intensification that avoids overtaxing natural resources and can adapt to an already changing climate.
The 3rd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security, and Climate Change will take place in South Africa next year. In the invitation, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the minister for agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in South Africa stressed the importance of standing "united as a sector on the need to be more climate-smart about agriculture, with benefits to agriculture and the planet."

Click here https://blogs.worldbank.org/climatechange/lessons-hanoi-imperative-implementing-climate-smart-agriculture to view full story.



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GM Cabbage with Scorpion Poison Coming Soon

English: Real scorpion wine on sale, in Taipei...English: Real scorpion wine on sale, in Taipei 中文: 蝎子酒,台北 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Get ready for genetically engineered cabbages that come complete with their own scorpion poison, just for you to eat. It's touted as requiring less pesticide use and being, of course, completely safe. Close investigation, though, indicates that neither claim is likely true.


acefinance posted: "Agribusiness is in a mad rush to take over the earth, and seems willing to stop at nothing. Coming soon is cabbage with scorpion poison engineered in every cell. Of course, they claim it's safe and will result in less pesticide use, but history and logic "

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acefinance:
Agribusiness is in a mad rush to take over the earth, and seems willing to stop at nothing. Coming soon is cabbage with scorpion poison engineered in every cell. Of course, they claim it's safe and will result in less pesticide use, but history and logic say otherwise. Who will wake from the insane mating between Agribiz and GMOs?

Alacrán, scorpion
Alacrán, scorpion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Get ready for genetically engineered cabbages that come complete with their own scorpion poison, just for you to eat. It's touted as requiring less pesticide use and being, of course, completely safe. Close investigation, though, indicates that neither claim is likely true.

A pesticide made with scorpion poison genetically engineered into a virus was first tested back in 1994. Interestingly, the scientists who sprayed the test field wore full body suits to protect them from this "harmless" poison. One must wonder at just how safe it could be when the developers themselves don't trust it more than that! Of course, the head of the trial, Professor David Bishop, insisted that the trial was safe—though he himself opted to take a vacation, rather than be there for it.

In the newer incarnation of scorpion poison genetic engineering, genes from the scorpion, Androctonus australus hector, for production of poison are being genetically engineered into cabbages. The goal is to produce them for public consumption. With the FDA's history of rubberstamp approvals for genetically modified crops, it seems unlikely that anything will interfere with their production and entry into a supermarket near you.


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acefinance | July 28, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Categories: Ace Food News, Ace Health News, Ace News Desk, Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p2QGMH-4s
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Thirsty? Talk to the Water Sommelier

Giuseppe Novena, sommelier presso l'Hotel Herm...Giuseppe Novena, sommelier presso l'Hotel Hermitage (Photo credit: VinoFamily)



acefinance posted: "When l thought the world could not get any crazier along comes someone, who provides different types of water ,provided by a sommelier! "

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acefinance:
Not in the mood for wine tonight, but still want to feel real classy? Then boy, do we have a trend for you! Introducing the refreshing new concept of the water sommelier. As the Daily Meal notes, water menus -- and even water bars -- have been springing up all over the place. Because face it: just ordering plain old tap water is so passé.
When l thought the world could not get any crazier along comes someone, who provides different types of water ,provided by a sommelier!
acefinance | July 23, 2013 at 10:56 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p2QGMH-4x
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