Showing posts with label #AceHealthNews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #AceHealthNews. Show all posts

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!

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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.

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Video - Sugar is a Toxic Substance - When it is a Substitute

Sugar SubstitutesSugar Substitutes (Photo credit: Jepster)

Sugar and other sweeteners are everywhere.
They're hidden in a huge percentage of
processed foods.

They're sold to us as a way
to feel good and enjoy life more.

What price are we paying for our addiction
to sugar and other sweeteners? Obesity.
Diabetes. Cancer.

This report for 60 Minutes reveals the
addictive nature of sugar and the price
we pay for our overindulgence.

The good news? Switching to a diet of whole,
unprocessed foods can reverse the effects.

Video (14:09):

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tilapia fish salad

Tilapia fish salad: Tilapia is a white fish similar to cod and works wonderfully with the sweet and sour tamarind dressing in this dish


Something light after all that indulgence over the festive season, a really nice fish salad! Enjoy, with a nice crisp Chardonnay!  

The posts l provide are my views of good recipes and also are shared from a number of contacts, news and blogging services. They are not always tried and tested by me unless it states that l have cooked any myself,whereby it will be noted on the post accordingly. Please tweet at #AceFoodNews or email News & Views

Thank you, Chris [Resident Chef - Ace News Services]
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