Thursday, August 14, 2014

Is Ebola Outbreak a Global Health Disaster?



By Charles Ogallo.

Fear of Ebola Outbreak has engulfed the entire world with increasing cases of infections and death from the deadly virus being reported daily across Africa.

Health workers across the globe have been put on high alert as World Health Organization WHO classifies several countries in Africa mainly West Africa as high risk areas for the deadly Ebola stain.

West African nations have been struggling to control both the deadly outbreak and the fear it has created.

WHO at a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday named Kenya among African nations vulnerable to Ebola outbreak as a result of being major transport hubs in the region receiving 76 flights a week.

The U.N. health agency says 1,013 people have died so far in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa of the 1,848 suspected or confirmed cases recorded by authorities. The killer virus is spread by direct contact with bodily fluids like blood, diarrhea and vomit.

However more questions than answers are being raised as to whether the current Ebola strain could have come from illegally-trafficked apes.

According to Mongabay.org, the original explanation for the virus breaking out in this remote part of southeastern Guinea, near the borders of Sierra Leone and Liberia, was that people had eaten infected bush-meat.


"Fruit bats are thought to be the natural reservoir of all strains of Ebola virus, and they can pass it on to other species in various ways, including through their feces, dropping pieces of half-eaten fruit that other animals eat, or by being butchered and eaten themselves as bush-meat" Says the report.
Read more at                                

Saturday, January 18, 2014

UN Climate Technology Centre and Network gets New Director.

Published by KOJANEWS.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced on Friday the appointment of Jukka Uosukainen as the Director of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). 

The CTCN, the operational arm of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Technology Mechanism, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resilience to changing weather patterns, drought, soil erosion, and other impacts of climate change in developing nations.
CTCN Center in Finland



Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), congratulated Mr. Uosukainen and said that CTCN is now ready to fulfill its mandate by assisting developing countries to make informed decisions about mitigation and adaptation technologies that suit their needs. 

“With the appointment of its new Director, the Climate Technology Centre and Network is now ready to make a substantive contribution to accelerating the use of existing and new technologies that can lead the way towards a low-carbon future and improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in developing countries, who are dealing with climate change impacts in their daily lives.” said Mr. Steiner. 

The CTCN aims to overcome the historic challenges of mobilizing funds and eliminating policy and technical barriers to promote accelerated, diversified and scaled-up transfer of environmentally sound technologies for climate change mitigation and adaptation, consistent with the national socio-economic and sustainable development priorities of the requesting countries.
Jukka Uosukainen.
 


Mr. Jukka Uosukainen has worked in the national and international environmental sector for more than two decades, chairing and facilitating various UN committees, including of the UNFCCC and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). More recently, he served as the Special Envoy for Climate Change for the Government of Finland. 

Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) also welcomed Jukka Uosukainen appointment saying his leadership will proceed to realize CTCN goal of accelerating and scaling-up clean energy, energy efficiency and technologies that can assist in combating and coping with climate change.

 “I would like to congratulate Jukka Uosukainen for being chosen for this important role” she said. 
Christiana Figueres-UNFCCC boss



“As nations work towards a new universal climate agreement in 2015, the fully operational CTCN provides an important signal that the global infrastructure to combat climate change is in place and can deliver," added Ms Figueres. 

Expected outcomes of the CTCN's work are reduced greenhouse gas emission intensity and climate vulnerability as well as improved local innovative capacities. Private and public investment in adaptation and mitigation will be mobilized on a greater scale and collaboration and peer learning on technology transfer and deployment across and within developing countries will be the norm. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Guidebook for Climate Change Journalists in Africa Released.

Published by Kojanews.

The Book produced by UNESCO responds to a real need in African journalists reporting of complex phenomenon of Climate Change.

The Book entitled Climate Change in Africa; a guidebook for Journalists also answers to many needs of Africa Journalists especially the scientific interpretations of climate change, in-depth information on climate change,Tips for journalists reporting on climate change and sourcing for climate change stories using data.

For more details click http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/G03710.pdf?
  

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Its a win for CDM as COP19 ends in Warsaw,Poland.

By Charles Ogallo.

The 19th Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol came to an end in Warsaw City of Poland with a thumb up from delegates over Clean Development Mechanism.

This follows an agreement that Parties make greater use of the clean development mechanism -CDM to ensure the continued success of the mechanism beyond the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol with regard to its contribution to the achievement of the objective of the convention.

The over 2000 delegates expressed satisfaction with the success of the clean development mechanism in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, which to date has been responsible for over 7,300 project activities being registered in over 90 countries.

1,500 components project activities have also been included in over 230 programmes of activities registered in more than 60 countries where over 1.4 billion certified emission reductions being issued for an investment of over USD 215 billion.

Concerns were however raised over current price fluctuation in the global carbon market in regards to difficult market situation currently faced by participants in the clean development mechanism and the consequent loss of institutional capacity related to the mechanism, both of which are threatening the value of the clean development mechanism as a tool for Parties to collaborate in achieving the objective of the Convention.


The Executive Board of the clean development mechanism was significantly commended for the substantial work undertaken over the past year which led to the success of the mechanism in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol

Friday, November 15, 2013

“Being a girl, does not mean failure in life”

By  Charles Ogallo.

UNICEF estimates that 66 million girls across the world are out of school, and 1 in 7 of these girls marries before they reach age 15, especially in developing countries like Kenya.

The girls are often removed from school to prepare for weddings or to work in order to save for their dowry. Once married they are not permitted to continue with their education. So what next? see the link  Because I am a Girl

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Emotions explode at UN-Climate Change Conference in Poland

By Charles Ogallo

The realities of climate change effects continue to weigh heavy on delegates attending high powered UN climate change conference in Warsaw, Poland  with many giving emotional speeches terming  two devastating events that took place over the weekend in Puntland and Philippines as climate change madness.

Tropical cyclone that hit parts of Puntland State in northeastern Somalia over the weekend killing at least 100 people, took place just a day before the high powered UN conference opens it doors at the historical city Warsaw.

That was followed by another devastating Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines which experts termed as one of the most powerful typhoons ever to make landfall.

Yeb Sano, Philippines head of delegation at the UN climate change in Poland, whose speech brought tears to the eyes of many delegates, announced that he will stop eating until participants make meaningful progress focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The Puntaland State and Philippines events may have been signals to nations and their representatives at the COP19 Warsaw conference that immediate action was required to avert further destructions across the global.  

Addressing the conference at the Warsaw National Stadium on Monday, the venue of COP 19, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change –UNFCCC who appeared alarmed by the two devastating events asked delegates to act fast in-order to safeguard present and future generations.  


She pointed to the sobering realities of climate change and the rise in extreme events that climate science has long predicted, including the devastating Typhoons and cyclones.
UNFCCC Boss

“We must stay focused, exert maximum effort for the full time and produce a positive result, because what happens in this stadium is not a game. There are not two sides, but the whole of humanity.  There are no winners and losers, we all either win or lose in the future we make for ourselves.” says  Christiana. 


The cyclone, known as 03A, hit the Eyl, Beyla, Dangorayo and Hafun districts along the eastern coast of Somalia before moving across to Alula at the tip of the Horn of Africa.

The President of Puntland, Abdirahman Farole, held an emergency meeting in the capital Garowe, as the government declared a state of emergency.

Hundreds of people were reportedly missing, with thousands of livestock lost and fishing boats swept away.

Eyl, about 1,300 km north-east of Mogadishu, was the worst affected area.

“Both the fishing communities and nomadic pastoralists were badly affected,” President Farole told the media at a briefing on Monday, announcing that the Puntland Disaster Management and Rescue Committee was set to respond to the natural disaster.

Monday, November 11, 2013

UN-Climate Change Conference begins in Warsaw, Poland with Calls for Actions.

By Kojanews.net,  (  Warsaw, 12 November 2013)

Top UNFCCC Delegates at Warsaw COP19. 
The Conference of parties -COP 19 begins with calls for governments to harness strong groundswell of action on climate change across all levels of government, business and society and make real progress here towards a successful, global climate change agreement in 2015.  http://unfccc.int/2860.php

The newly elected President of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19/CMP 9), His Excelency  Mr. MarcinKorolec, Poland’s Environment Minister, said in his opening address on Monday that climate change is a  global problem that must be turned further into a global opportunity.

“It’s a problem if we can’t coordinate our actions. It becomes opportunity where we can act together. One country or even a group cannot make a difference. But acting together, united as we are here, we can do it,” he said.

In her opening speech at the Warsaw National Stadium on  Monday , the venue of COP 19, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, called on the over 2000 Delegates  to “win the Warsaw opportunity” in order to safeguard present and future generations.

“We must stay focused, exert maximum effort for the full time and produce a positive result, because what happens in this stadium is not a game. There are not two sides, but the whole of humanity.  There are no winners and losers, we all either win or lose in the future we make for ourselves.”

Ms. Figueres pointed to the sobering realities of climate change and the rise in extreme events that climate science has long predicted, including the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that just hit the Philippines, one of the most powerful typhoons ever to make landfall.

Ms. Figueres highlighted the key areas in which COP 19 can make progress:  “We must clarify finance that enables the entire world to move towards low-carbon development. We must launch the construction of a mechanism that helps vulnerable populations to respond to the unanticipated effects of climate change. We must deliver an effective path to pre-2020 ambition, and develop further clarity for elements of the new agreement that will shape the post-2020 global climate, economic and development agendas”.

In addition, the meeting in Warsaw will focus on decisions that will make fully operational the new institutional support under the UNFCCC for developing nations in finance, adaptation and technology. These are the Green Climate Fund, the Technology Mechanism and the Adaptation Committee, all agreed in Cancun in 2010.

Ms. Figueres stressed the fact that the meeting in Warsaw is taking place against the background of growing awareness that climate change is real and accelerating, and the growing willingness of people, businesses and governments to take climate action, at all levels of society and policy.

“There is a groundswell of climate action. Not only for environmental reasons, but also for security, energy, economic and governance reasons. Political will and public support favor action now. A new universal climate agreement is within our reach. Agencies, development banks, investors and sub national governments are on board. The science from the IPCC is clear. Parties can lead the momentum for change and move together towards success in 2015.”

In order to showcase the growing climate leadership and contributions to the climate challenge from all sides, a Business Forum organized by the UN and the Polish host government will take place next week alongside the meeting. Cities and regions will gather for the first ever “Cities Day” that highlights their actions. And a Gender Day will showcase women’s role in meeting the climate challenge.

Also next week, the UNFCCC secretariat will showcase Momentum for Change lighthouse activities, climate action that demonstrates positive results for innovative finance, women and the urban poor. In addition, the initiative will launch a new area that focuses on contributions by the information and technology sector to curb emissions and increase adaptive capacity to respond.



The UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw (11 to 22 November) is currently being attended by government delegates, representatives from business and industry, environmental organizations, research institutions and the media. More than 100 Heads of State and Government and Ministers are scheduled to attend the high-level segment of the meeting, which begins on 19 November and ends with a decision-making plenary on 22 November.