Climate Change Protesters Target BBC HQ

 

Extinction Rebellion climate protesters on Friday blocked the main entrances at the BBC’s London headquarters, with one journalist reporting that the building was on “lockdown”.

The group has carried out a wave of demonstrations in the British capital and around the world since Monday, primarily attempting to blockade city centre streets.

In the latest protest, around 50 activists set up camp in front of the main doors at the BBC’s Broadcasting House, in central London, prompting the reported shutdown.

BBC financial journalist Paul Lewis tweeted: “No one in no one out. Locked down.”

Videos of the action posted on social media showed several demonstrators had scaled an awning above the entrance and displayed the group’s flag — an hourglass symbol — on the building as staff looked on through windows from inside.

“We, the people, have decided to do your job and Tell the Truth from the BBC Broadcasting House about where we’re headed if we don’t change course,” Extinction Rebellion said in a statement on its Facebook page about the latest stunt.

“We hold you accountable for your criminal and corrupt complacency for totally marginalising the seriousness of the #PlanetaryEmergency.”

 

 

A BBC spokeswoman said the news company “already covers many climate change and environmental issues across its output”.

“We know how important these issues are to audiences and will continue to focus on them across both news and non-news programmes,” she said in a statement.

The demonstration is the latest in a week of long-planned protests by Extinction Rebellion in countries around the world to highlight what it claims is the inadequate response of governments to climate change.

The protests in Britain have seen more than 1,000 people arrested since Monday.

Thursday’s actions included an attempted “Hong Kong-style occupation” of the terminal building at London City Airport in the east of the capital, with hundreds blocking the main entrance.

One demonstrator, identified by the protest group as former Paralympic cyclist James Brown, climbed on top of a British Airways jet.

That prompted criticism from Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick who called the act “reckless, stupid and dangerous”.

Canadian PM Trudeau To Participate In Climate Change March

 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he will take part in a climate action march led by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg — as the environment emerges as a key election issue.

His main rival Conservative leader Andrew Scheer will be campaigning in Vancouver, but Friday’s rally in Montreal is expected to draw local Tory candidates as well as Trudeau.

Trudeau, who faces elections October 21, paddled up in a canoe Thursday in Sudbury, Ontario to make announce he would be marching in Montreal with thousands of other Canadians to “fight for the environment.”

“There has been an extraordinary amount of mobilization by young people and by Canadians across this country and indeed around the world calling for real action on climate change,” he said.

The Montreal event coincides with similar so-called “climate strikes” around the globe.

Schools, colleges and universities have suspended classes for the day, and the city government has encouraged staff to take the day off.

Thunberg, 16, on Monday accused world leaders in a rousing “How Dare You?” speech at the UN climate summit of betraying her generation.

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” she thundered, visibly angry and close to tears.

The teen has spurred millions of youths to protest, drawn by her steely determination despite her years.

Organizers said Thunberg also will take aim at airlines’ skyrocketing CO2 emissions in a speech outside the UN aviation agency in Montreal, which is holding its annual conference.

The International Civil Aviation Organization’s 193 member states this week are taking stock of the implementation of a climate plan unveiled at its last general assembly in 2016.

Aviation accounts for about two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the ICAO.

Under its so-called Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), participating airlines are expected to stabilize their CO2 emissions by 2020, and buy offsetting credits thereafter if they exceed set limits.

Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic for the UN climate summit in New York specifically to avoid flying.

AFP

Climate Change: Protesters Call On Govt To Protect Citizens

Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

 

Protesters took to the streets of Abuja on Friday to call on the government to protect citizens against the effects of climate change.

Bearing various placards, they called on the government to focus on massive public financing of agro-ecology both at local, states and federal level.

See photos below.

WHO Urges World Leaders To Protect Health From Climate Change

 

 

The World Health Organization says climate change is one of the defining issues of our time.

In a communique by its Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the health organization stressed that climate change is also one of the world’s most urgent health threats.

Mr Ghebreyesus who noted that in less than two weeks’ time, he will join the UN Secretary-General and other world leaders at the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations General Assembly, revealed that this landmark summit will showcase the concrete commitments governments are making to address climate change and to secure and improve the health and well-being of their citizens.

READ ALSO: Every 40 Seconds, Someone Dies By Suicide – WHO

“Two of those commitments have been developed by the World Health Organization and its partners. The first is a pledge to ensure that air meets WHO safety standards by 2030 at the latest, and to align climate change and air pollution policies. Many of the same practices that lead to climate change also result in deadly air pollution.

“The second is to provide financial resources to protect people from the detrimental health impacts of climate change. Today, less than 0.5% of international finance for climate change is allocated to health, and the most vulnerable countries, particularly small island developing states, receive only a fraction of that. Countries are being asked to allocate more to protect people against the ravages of the climate crisis.

“Twelve days remain for leaders to sign up to those commitments: I urge those who have not yet made their commitments to join those who have pledged action to protect people from the devastating heatwaves, floods and cyclones linked with climate change, and to reduce the risk of malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea, and heat stress,” Mr Ghebreyesus stated.

The Climate Action Summit takes place on the same day as the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.

The WHO DG stated that it is significant that these events will run in parallel.

He stressed that “Taking steps to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change, and to ensure that everyone can access the health services they need, when and where they need them, are two of the top priorities in global public health”.

According to the WHO boss, it is only when countries can provide health services to all, including those in greatest jeopardy from climate change, that “we will achieve our goals of promoting health, keeping the world safe, and protecting the vulnerable”.

London University Bans Beef Products To Fight Climate Change

In this file photo taken on February 25, 2014 an employee prepares a hamburger at Bolt Burgers in Washington, DC, February 25, 2014. Students at London’s Goldsmiths will no longer be munching on canteen staples such as burgers and chilli after the prestigious university announced it would ban all beef products to fight climate change. PHOTO: Saul LOEB / AFP

 

Students at London’s Goldsmiths will no longer be munching on canteen staples such as burgers and chilli after the prestigious university announced it would ban all beef products to fight climate change.

Professor Frances Corner, the new head of Goldsmiths, said that she was taking the drastic action to pull beef from campus cafes and shops from next month because “declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words”.

“Though I have only just arrived at Goldsmiths, it is immediately obvious that our staff and students care passionately about the future of our environment and that they are determined to help,” she added.

Goldsmiths hopes to become carbon neutral by 2025, and is not the first university to alter menus in a bid to reduce emissions.

Cambridge University’s catering services have not served beef or lamb since 2016.

Students at Goldsmiths will also face a 10p levy on single-use plastic items when they return after the summer break.

Climate campaigner Rosie Rogers called the move “encouraging”.

“We call on others to urgently follow suit, and to include cutting all ties from fossil fuel funding in their climate emergency response,” said the Greenpeace UK activist.

But Stuart Roberts, vice president of the National Farmers’ Union, accused the university of a “lack of understanding or recognition between British beef and beef produced elsewhere”.

“Tackling climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time but singling out one food product is clearly an overly simplistic approach,” he said.

Famous Goldsmiths alumni include artist Damien Hirst, Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen and members of British indie band Blur.

AFP

Empty Nets As Overfishing, Climate Change Affects Lake Malawi

Malawian fishermen work through their catch on their return ashore on the banks of the Lake Malawi at the Senga village on May 19, 2019 in Senga, Malawi. PHOTO: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP

 

On the shores of Lake Malawi, a crowd eagerly awaits the arrival of a white and yellow cedarwood boat carrying its haul.

The crew of six deliver a single net of chambo, sardine and tiny Usipa fish from the boat, just one of 72 vessels that land their catch every day on the beach at Senga Bay.

But overfishing and climate change have taken their toll.

Hundreds of local traders gather each morning and afternoon at Senga only to find that fish populations are falling in Lake Malawi, Africa’s third-largest body of freshwater.

“We were hoping to catch a half-boat full or maybe a quarter-boat… but I’m afraid the fish are dwindling in numbers,” port manager Alfred Banda told AFP staring wearily at the small catch as it was dragged onto the sand.

“Before we used to catch a full boat but now we are struggling,” he said, adding that a full boat would earn a team of between six and 12 fishermen about $300.

Bordering three countries — Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique — Lake Malawi stretches across more than 29,000 square kilometres (11,200 square miles) with over 1,000 species of fish.

The 14,000 people living at Senga Bay depend on the lake for food and for their livelihood.

“Seven years ago there was lots more fish than today. In 2019 it is different, there’s no fish in the water,” trader Katrina Male, a 40-year-old mother of six, told AFP as she stalked the nets of newly brought in fish seeking the best deal.

“The fish nowadays are more expensive, because they are becoming scarce,” Male said. “Some children have stopped going to school because their parents can’t find the money.”

‘No alternative to fishing’

For both locals and climate experts, declining fish numbers reflect a combination of environmental change and overfishing that augurs ill for the future.

The World Bank ranks Malawi among the top 10 at-risk countries in Africa to climate change, with cyclones and floods among the major threats.

Senga community leader John White Said says increasing gale force winds and torrential rains have made it harder for fishermen on the lake.

“Our men can’t catch fish because of wind which is much stronger than before,” he said, adding that the rains are increasingly unpredictable on the lake.

“The rain before would not destroy houses and nature but now it comes with full power, destroying everything and that affects the water as well.”

According to USAID, the number of rainfalls incidents in the aid-dependant country is likely to decrease — but each rainfall will be more intense, leading to droughts and floods.

The threat was highlighted in March when Malawi was hit by torrential rains from Cyclone Idai, killing 59 people. The storm also cut a swathe through Mozambique and Zimbabwe, leaving nearly 1,000 dead.

On top of the environmental impact, the number of fishermen in Senga had doubled in the last 10 years due to the lack of other jobs, Said said.

“There is no alternative to fishing.”

One of the few to benefit is 38-year-old boat owner Salim Jackson, who rents out his two vessels.

“I got into fishing 13 years ago because I had no other option, I never went to school. But it has brought me good money,” he said.

‘Unsustainable fishing practices’

By sunset, the balls of fishing net lay stretched out on the beach and both buyers and fishermen negotiate prices.

Traders take their purchases in buckets to makeshift reed tables to be dried, smoked, fried or boiled in preparation for the market.

“Declining fish catches are mainly due to unsustainable fishing practices,” said Sosten Chiotha, a Malawian environmental science professor who works for the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) action group.

“Overfishing is a challenge in Lake Malawi (but) there are efforts on co-management and closed seasons to ensure that the fishery recovers.”

Chiotha added that climate change was hitting Malawi with “increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events in the major ecosystems including lakes.”

That leaves Malawi’s agriculture-based economy sharply vulnerable to climatic events and entrenched poverty heightens pressure on the environment.

Wearing a black silk thawb robe and white kufi cap, Said stands tall on Senga beach, surveying the scene around him.

“I’m worried,” he said. “In Malawi most people depend on fishing financially and as a cheap food source.

“The men have to cast their nets further and further away from the beach.”

AFP

Deforestation, Climate Change – Dead End For Wildlife

Oyo Govt Warns Residents Against Illegal Tree Felling
File photo

 

Climate change combined with galloping tropical deforestation is cutting off wildlife from life-saving cooler climes, heightening the risk of extinction, researchers said Monday.

Less than two-fifths of forests across Latin America, Asia and Africa currently allow for animals and plants to avoid potentially intolerable increases in temperature, they reported in the journal Nature Climate Change.

“The loss of tropical forests between 2000 and 2012 led to an area larger than India losing the capacity to protect species from the effects of climate change,” lead author Rebecca Senior, a professor at the University of Sheffield, told AFP.

“Not only does forest loss remove habitat directly, it also makes it harder for species to move.”

The lack of escape routes to cooler habitats means that warming “will likely result in national and global extinction of vulnerable species,” she added.

At current rates of climate change, animals and plants moving to the least heat-ravaged spots accessible today would, on average, be exposed by 2070 to an environment 2.7 degrees Celsius (4.8 F) hotter than during the second half of the 20th century, the study found.

Even under a best-case scenario in which humanity caps global warming at 2 C — an increasingly unlikely prospect — species in tropical regions would still see a jump of 0.8 C by that date.

Extreme Fragmentation

The 2015 Paris climate treaty enjoins nations to hold warming to “well below” 2 C.

Last year, the UN climate science panel concluded that even this threshold would not prevent severe impacts, such as the loss of shallow-water coral reefs, which anchor a quarter of marine life.

A single degree of warming since the industrial revolution has already boosted the frequency and intensity of heat waves, droughts and tropical storms.

Animal and plant species have always moved up or down mountains, towards or away from the poles, or into cooler or warmer waters when faced with shifts in climate.

But rarely has climate change been so rapid, and never has it been combined with extreme habitat fragmentation.

“Tropical species are particularly sensitive to temperature change,” Senior said. “Most are found nowhere else on Earth, and make up a huge proportion of global biodiversity.”

Scores of studies have shown how rising temperatures have forced fauna and flora to adapt their behaviour in ways that curtain their ability to collect food, reproduce or both.

Some 550 species – more than half already threatened with extinction — are listed as vulnerable to droughts and temperature extremes on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List.

Nail In The Coffin

They include mammals such at red-handed howler monkeys, jaguars and giant otters.

Amphibians – already besieged globally by mysterious pathogens – are especially vulnerable.

“They are highly specialised to particular habitats, can’t move very far, and are very sensitive to overheating and drying out,” Senior pointed out.

“This is another nail in their coffin.”

Higher temperatures force some tropical hummingbirds to seek shade rather than forage, testing their capacity to adapt.

Other research has documented species decline and loss due to forest loss and fragmentation, which has created islands of primary forest hemmed in by palm oil plantations, biofuel crops, cattle ranches and the soyabean crops used to feed livestock.

An area of tropical forest five times the size of England — some 600,000 square kilometres (230,000 square miles) — has been destroyed since 2014, according to Global Forest Watch, a research unit at the University of Maryland.

The new study, however, is the first to investigate the interaction between tropical habitat loss and climate change on a global scale over more than a decade.

Climate Change: FG Adequately Financing Environmental-Friendly Projects – Zainab Ahmed

 

Immediate past Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has said that the Federal Government is taking into account, environmental and social governance by providing adequate financing for environmentally-friendly projects.

Mrs Ahmed, in an exclusive chat with Channels TV, said that since December 2017, FG has been able to issue two green bonds to fund projects relating to water, power, and environment.

“It is about being able to ensure we take into account, environmental and social governance when we are making decisions and also on the part of the government, to make sure that we raise adequate financing for environmentally-friendly projects.

“In Nigeria, we have been able to issue two green bonds in December 2017 and June 2019, which means we are aware of our responsibilities as a government; the green bonds are issued to fund projects that are in the national budget, relating to water, power as well as the environment and some projects in health.”

READ ALSO: Financial Autonomy: Buhari Promises To Stabilise State Legislature, Judiciary

The former Minister added that a lot of planning, with the right level of funding, is needed to tackle environmental issues.

“It is a reality that climate change presents a very high risk to the world globally and we are not isolated in Nigeria, we have seen clearly what climate change has done to the far North, there is a very high level of desertification and it is increasing.

“There is a huge cost to environmental issues if they are not planned for and financed and addressed adequately, it will affect the growth that we aspire to and if we don’t plan for them and get the right level of funding, it will affect the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“The green bond gives us an opportunity to be able to raise adequate financing to fund environmental-friendly projects that are already incorporated in our national budget.”

She added that the green bonds will create jobs and make small businesses and individuals partake in improving Nigeria’s environment.

“The output is that there are opportunities even in the challenge that exists in climate change. Climate-friendly projects have the potentials to create a large number of jobs; we also have an opportunity in raising green bonds to be able to crowdsource funding so that investors are not just large companies, but small businesses as well as individuals.

“I hope going forward that the Nigerian government will be able to issue green bonds to enable the average Nigerian invest small sums so that we all feel that we are contributing directly towards the improvement of our environment.”

Tradition Meets Tech As Kenya’s Herders Adapt To Climate Change

Traditional Samburu tribeswomen gather their goats to be sold at Merille livestock market, some 411km north of Nairobi in Kenya’s Marsabit county, on April 30, 2019. PHOTO: TONY KARUMBA / AFP

For generations, Kaltuma Hassan’s clan would study the sky over Kenya’s arid north for any sign of rain — some wind here, a wisp of cloud there — to guide their parched livestock to water.

But such divination has been rendered hopeless by intensifying droughts. Days on foot can reveal nothing more than bone-dry riverbeds and grazing land baked to dust, sounding the death knell for their herd.

“You might go a long distance, and they die on the way… It is a very hard life,” Hassan told AFP in Marsabit, a sparse and drought-prone expanse where millions of pastoral families depend entirely on livestock to survive.

Today, she leaves less to chance.

The 42-year-old relies on detailed rainfall forecasts received via text message from a Kenyan tech firm to plan her migrations, a simple but life-changing resource for an ancient community learning to adapt to increasing weather extremes.

Nomadic livestock herders in East Africa’s drylands have endured climate variability for millennia, driving their relentless search for water and pasture in some of the world’s most inhospitable terrain.

But their resilience is being severely tested by climate change, forcing a rethink to traditional wisdom passed down for generations.

Kenya endures a severe drought every three to five years, the World Bank says, but they are increasing in frequency and intensity, and temperatures are rising too.

With conditions ever-more unreliable, Hassan no longer relies on warriors she once dispatched to scout for suitable grazing land for her cattle.

“They wake up very early in the morning and they look at the clouds, they look at the moon, to predict. I use this now,” she said, scrolling through customised weather updates on her phone, sent via SMS in Rendille, a local language.

The service uses advanced weather data from US agricultural intelligence firm aWhere to provide subscribers with rain and forage conditions for the week ahead in their locality.

The forecasts are sent as text messages, so they are compatible with basic phones often used by pastoralists in remote areas.

Kenyan IT firm Amfratech, which launched the SMS service earlier this year, has also rolled out a more advanced app-based version. They hope to eventually sign up tens of thousands of pastoralists.

Dry skies

Rainfall — the difference between feast and famine in East Africa and the Horn — is more erratic than ever, arriving late or not at all.

A long dry spell can set a pastoral family back years and erode their capacity to handle future shocks, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said in a 2018 report.

A second blow in quick succession can leave them teetering on starvation.

Such a crisis is already brewing in Kenya’s pastoral country to the north and over its borders in neighbouring arid regions.

This year’s so-called long rains failed to arrive, putting millions at risk. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network has warned that hunger in pastoral areas will worsen in coming months.

“It doesn’t rain like it once did,” said Nandura Pokodo, at a dusty livestock market in Merille, an outpost in Kenya’s northern pastoralist heartland. Nobody wants his drought-weary animals, so he will return home empty-handed.

“It’s harder to find pasture… year after year.”

As the rains failed, Pokodo, 55, wandered for days between March and April in search of grazing land but found nothing. He lost 20 goats and sheep — a ruinous outcome for nomads whose fortunes are intertwined with their beasts.

“Even if you have a million shillings but have no goats or sheep or camel, they consider you very poor,” said Daniel Kapana, the head of Merille market, and an intergenerational herder himself.

 Turn to technology

The text messages have also helped Samuel Lkiangis Lekorima protect not just his livestock, but the safety of his community.

Longer, harsher droughts have stoked intense competition between pastoralists for ever-scarcer water and pasture. A feud between two groups over a watering hole near Ethiopia left 11 dead in May, local media reported.

Lekorima, a 22-year-old herder from Marsabit, said advance knowledge of rainfall helped keep his people wandering far, and avoid any potential tensions with distant clans.

“When I get that message, I phone people (and) tell them… don’t go far away, because there is rain soon,” he told AFP.

Other modern interventions are also playing a part, helping protect not just pastoralists but a sector that contributes more than 12 percent to Kenya’s GDP, according to the World Bank.

The Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute uses satellite imagery to determine when pasture levels are critically low — a portent of livestock death.

Some insurance products are linked to this index and issue payments before drought hits, so pastoralists can buy enough fodder for lean times ahead. Tens of thousands of herders have signed up, industry groups say.

“A drought should no longer be an emergency,” said Thomas Were, of CTA, an EU-funded institution that is driving a pastoralist-resilience project in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Helima Osman Bidu, a traditional herder and mother-of-three, has joined a women’s collective that invests in non-livestock related enterprises, another approach to drought-proofing the family finances.

“It is good to have something on the side,” she told AFP, nodding to a padlocked metal box nearby containing the group’s seed money.

AFP

World ‘Not On Track’ With Climate Change, UN Chief Warns

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during Jordan’s King Abdullah II receiving the 2018 Templeton Prize at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC in 2018. MANDEL NGAN / AFP

 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched a brief South Pacific tour in New Zealand Sunday, warning the world was “not on track” to limiting global temperature rises.

In a strong message for action on climate change, Guterres said international political resolve was fading and it was the small island nations that were “really in the front line” and would suffer most.

His visit, ahead of the Climate Action Summit in September in New York will also take him to Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu which are under threat from rising sea levels.

READ ALSOTense Future For US-China Ties, With Or Without Trade Deal

“We are seeing everywhere a clear demonstration that we are not on track to achieve the objectives defined in the Paris agreement,” Guterres said on the failure to limit rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial revolution levels.

“And the paradox is, that as things are getting worse on the ground, political moves seem to be fading,” he added in the joint press conference in Auckland with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

However, he did excuse New Zealand from his accusation, describing Wellington’s leadership as “extremely important” after it introduced legislation to become carbon neutral by 2050, although greenhouse gas emissions from its economically vital agricultural sector will not have to meet the commitment.

Ardern called climate change “the biggest challenge” facing the international community and said it would be “gross negligence” to avoid the issue.

During his three days in New Zealand, Guterres will also meet with Muslim leaders in Christchurch to show solidarity following the March 15 massacre in which 51 people were killed by a lone gunman who attacked two mosques during Friday prayers.

AFP

FAO Tracks Climate Smart Agricultural Practices In Northeast Nigeria

 

 

Climate change has negatively impacted food production in the Sahel and is driving conflict in the region.

Disputes often arise over scare resources such as arable land for crop production, animal grazing or water.

The current climatic reality, including poor or erratic rainfall, long dry spells, and floods, has led to reduced incomes of households, worsening food insecurity, nutrition and employment and laying the groundwork for conflict.

In northeast Nigeria, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is working to strengthen the agricultural response to climate change in the region, through promoting the Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) approach in the conflict-affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

Between 28 to 29 March, 2019, the UN agency, in collaboration with the regional ministries of agriculture and environment in the three states and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), validated data collected on climate-smart agricultural interventions as part of a larger goal to create a baseline and profiles for CSA activities in the region.

The validation workshop, which took place in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, included 52 participants across the three states, including representatives of government agencies as well as research institutes.

READ ALSO: Edo Govt Tasks Residents On Proper Waste Management

The baseline and profiles being developed will include a map of who is doing what, where and how in the three states and will feed into policy and investment guidance on climate-smart agricultural activities. FAO’s work will also support regional governments and other sector players on scaling up the climate smartness of agricultural interventions in the region.

FAO deputy representative in Nigeria, Nourou Macki-Tall, stressed that the impact of climate change was very visible in the northeast and will be addressed by FAO. “The development of the CSA profiles for the three states is a first step in upscaling FAO’s CSA activities in Northeast Nigeria. The ultimate aim is to reach the majority of subsistence farmers to make their livelihoods more sustainable in the face of climate change,” he said.

During the event, Iyabo Mustapha, Chief Land Resources Officer, representing the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, spoke of the timeliness interventions on CSA. ‘At the federal level in Nigeria, the linkages between agriculture and climate change are increasingly put on the forefront.

The continued dialogue between the government and the FAO is therefore of high importance and will maximize the outcomes of CSA interventions,’ she shared. FAO plans to extend the CSA profiles throughout other areas of Nigeria.

Importance of CSA approach amid harsher conditions for farmers
With low agricultural returns and the increasing unviability of previous agricultural lands due to climate change, the climate-smart agriculture approach equips farmers and other agriculture sector players with the tools, training, and strategies needed to adapt to a harsher, more problematic production systems.

FAO’s CSA strategy in northeast Nigeria aims to (1) increase agricultural productivity of climate-change and conflict-affected households, (2) support adaptation to climate change and (3) mitigate the emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs). So far, FAO has trained numerous agriculture support staff on the CSA approach across the three states and has developed a Safe Approach to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) programme in the northeast.

FAO’s SAFE programme involves the provision of cleaner, fuel-efficient stoves and solar lanterns which reduce the need for wood fuel and greenhouse gas emissions. The Organization’s climate change and SAFE activities are funded by the Government of Norway

Youths Protest Globally, Call On World Leaders To Push For Climate Change

Students hold up placards and shout slogans during the “Fridays For Future” movement on a global day of student protests aiming to spark world leaders into action on climate change on March 15, 2019. LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

Tens of thousands of young people skipped school across the globe on Friday and marched through the streets on a global day of student protests aiming to push world leaders into action on climate change.

Classrooms in capitals from Bangkok to Berlin, Lagos to London were expected to be empty, as the ambitious organisers of the student strike hoped to stage 1,000 demos in more than 100 countries.

Students flooded into the streets across Europe and Asia carrying placards that read “There is no planet B”, “You’re destroying our future” and “If you don’t act like adults, we will.”

Despite 30 years of warnings about dire impacts, carbon dioxide emissions hit record levels in 2017 and again last year.

READ ALSO: World Leaders Appeal For ‘Urgent Action’ On Environment

Loading the atmosphere with greenhouse gases at current rates, scientists agree, will eventually lead to an uninhabitable planet.

In Stockholm, Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg who inspired the protests, was thronged by journalists and several dozen protesters, one carrying a banner declaring “Make the Climate Greta Again”.

“I don’t think I was really behind this movement, I think it was already there and just needed a spark to light up,” she told Swedish public television station SVT.

“We are living through an existential crisis that has been ignored for decades and if we do not act now it may be too late,” said Thunberg, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism.

In Delhi, one of the world’s most polluted cities, 200 students took part in a colourful protest, waving ribbons, juggling and performing stunts with hoops.

“We have to make a choice whether we want to sit and be indifferent or do something for our planet,” said 16-year-old student Srijani Datta, who also issued a warning to the world’s politicians.

“Most of us are 16-17 and we are going to turn 18 soon. We are going to be eligible for voting. As voters we will show we care about climate change. If you can’t give us that (fresh air and water), you will not get our votes.”

In Sydney, 18-year-old Charles Rickwood, warned that if nothing is done, Australia’s famous Great Barrier Reef could be destroyed.

“Especially if current trends in the environment continue, we’ll see the one, two degrees increase in our ocean then it will simply become unsustainable and we could lose the entire Great Barrier Reef,” he told AFP.

‘The youth are rising up’ –

However, the demos attracted mixed reactions from politicians.

In Australia, Education Minister Dan Tehan said the strike was “not something that we should encourage.”

And Germany’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said students should be in school — even as crowds of youngsters took to the streets across the country.

“Climate now, school later,” said one placard. “”I believe more in unicorns than in the will of politicians to save the planet,” said another.

However, the budding activists received encouragement from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who said it was important for the young generation to send a message.

“We hear you and we’re getting on with setting a path for carbon neutrality,” the 38-year-old leader said in a statement.

“Please keep bringing as many people as you can with you because we simply won’t achieve our goals alone.”

In famously hard-working South Korea, demonstrations only began once lessons finished for the day.

“It’s hard for students to skip school in order to participate in this climate strike,” said organiser Jeong Juwon, 25.

“In South Korea, exam results are very important and it’s a big burden, and also the unemployment crisis is at its worst.”

In the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, students circulated a petition to be submitted to the government demanding concrete measures to tackle climate change.

“The planet is heating up, the youth are rising up,” they chanted.

 ‘Slacktivists’ 

Wellington university student Josie Mason, 20, said she was “excited by the fact that youth are being heard and are making a stand right now.”

“They call our generation the ‘slacktivists’ because it’s really easy to say you’re going to an event on a Facebook page or like something but not really do anything,” she said.

The Paris treaty calls for capping global warming at “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) but the planet is currently on track to heat up by double that figure.

The UN’s climate science panel warned in October that only a wholesale transformation of the global economy and consumer habits could forestall a catastrophe.

In Hong Kong, activists dressed up as polar bears and sharks to highlight the damage done to the environment by climate change.

“The main thing we want people to realise is that we are not only asking the Hong Kong government to do more, it is also people themselves who need to do more,” said Zara Campion, 17, co-organiser of the strike.

Delhi resident Shagun Kumari, 13, told AFP: “My eyes hurt from pollution. My shirt gets dirty from dust. I want fresh air that won’t harm my lungs and clean water to drink so that I don’t keep falling sick.”

Fellow Indian protester Datta noted: “If the children and youth don’t care then in a country like India you can’t make this happen.”

AFP