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Archive for the tag “Climate”

FAO issues alert over third consecutive failed rainy season, worsening hunger in East Africa (14.07.2017)

Number of people needing humanitarian assistance on the rise.

ROME, Italy, July 14, 2017 – Poor rains across East Africa have worsened hunger and left crops scorched, pastures dry and thousands of livestock dead – according to an alert released today by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The most affected areas, which received less than half of their normal seasonal rainfall, are central and southern Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, northern and eastern Kenya, northern Tanzania and northeastern and southwestern Uganda.

The alert issued by FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) warns that the third consecutive failed rainy season has seriously eroded families’ resilience, and urgent and effective livelihood support is required.

“This is the third season in a row that families have had to endure failed rains – they are simply running out of ways to cope,” said FAO’s Director of Emergencies Dominique Burgeon. “Support is needed now before the situation rapidly deteriorates further.”

Increasing humanitarian need

The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the five aforementioned countries, currently estimated at about 16 million, has increased by about 30 percent since late 2016. In Somalia, almost half of the total population is food insecure. Timely humanitarian assistance has averted famine so far but must be sustained. Conditions across the region are expected to further deteriorate in the coming months with the onset of the dry season and an anticipated early start of the lean season.

The food security situation for pastoralists is of particular concern, in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, where animal mortality rates are high and milk production from the surviving animals has declined sharply with negative consequences on food security and nutrition.

“When we know how critical milk is for the healthy development of children aged under five, and the irreversible damage its lack can create, it is evident that supporting pastoralists going through this drought is essential,” said Burgeon.

Livestock prices have plummeted because of poor animal body conditions and this, coupled with soaring cereal prices, has severely constrained pastoralists’ access to food.  Rangeland and livestock conditions are expected to further deteriorate at least until the next rainy season starts in October.

Poor crop prospects

In several cropping areas across the region, poor rains have caused sharp reductions in planting, and wilting of crops currently being harvested. Despite some late rainfall in May, damage to crops is irreversible.

In addition, fall armyworm, which has caused extensive damage to maize crops in southern Africa, has spread to the east and has worsened the situation. In Kenya, the pest has so far affected about 200 000 hectares of crops, and in Uganda more than half the country’s 111 districts are affected.

In Somalia there are unfavourable prospects for this year’s main gu crops, after the gu rains were late with poor rainfall and erratic distribution over most areas of the country. In the Lower Shabelle region, the main maize producing area, seasonal rainfall was about 50 percent below- average and drought conditions are currently affecting up to 85 percent of the cropland.

In Ethiopia, unfavourable belg rains in southern cropping areas are likely to result in localized cereal production shortfalls. Drought is also affecting yields in Kenya’s central, southeastern and coastal areas. In Tanzania, unfavourable rains are likely to result in localized cereal production shortfalls in northern and central areas, while in Uganda there are unfavourable production prospects are unfavourable for first season crops in the southwestern and northern districts.

Cereal prices are surging, driven by reduced supplies and concerns over the performance of current-season crops. Prices in May were at record to near-record levels in most markets and up to double their year-earlier levels.

Guyana: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned reports carried in Venezuelan press regarding the approval of a new resolution approved by the Energy and Petroleum Commission of the Venezuelan National Assembly (19.03.2017)

It has come to the attention of the Government of Guyana through a media report in the Venezuelan publication El Nacional of 15th March 2017 that a resolution of the Energy and Petroleum Commission of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela entitled ‘Approved Agreement to Reject Oil Operations in the Essequibo’ has called for the immediate cessation of on-going offshore oil exploration and exploitation activities under Guyanese license in the Stabroek concession block well within the maritime Exclusive Economic Zone of Guyana in accordance with international law. So far as the Government of Guyana is aware, the Government of Venezuela has not adopted or otherwise endorsed the resolution, in which case the Government of Guyana would respond as appropriate.

The inflammatory resolution contains serious factual and legal errors. First, it suggests erroneously that the offshore activities in Guyanese waters have “recently” commenced whereas the Stabroek license was awarded in 1999 and exploration commenced the following year in 2000, 17 years ago. Second, it suggests erroneously that Guyana is prohibited from developing its resources in this area because of Article V of the Geneva Agreement of 1966. But nothing whatsoever in the terms of that provision indicates that the parties cannot exercise jurisdiction over their sovereign territories. Otherwise, it would mean that for the past fifty years, Guyana had no right to develop 70% of its territory, and the same applies to Venezuela’s development of the Orinoco region and adjacent maritime area which, like the Essequibo, was the subject of the 1899 Arbitral Award. Needless to say, such an argument is manifestly absurd.

This political posturing comes at an unfortunate time when the UN Secretary-General has appointed Ambassador Dag Nylander as his Personal Representative to provide Guyana and Venezuela a final opportunity to resort to the Good Offices process in order to resolve the controversy arising from Venezuela’s contention that the 1899 Arbitral Award delimiting the land boundary between Guyana and Venezuela is “null and void”. The parties have until the end of 2017 to make significant progress in arriving at a final resolution of the controversy failing which the Secretary-General will refer the matter to the International Court of Justice. Guyana is fully committed to the search for a full and final resolution of the controversy under the Good Offices process in the limited time that remains. Such deliberate provocations and absurd demands that Guyana halt all development activities, especially when for over fifty years Venezuela has intimidated Guyana and obstructed a resolution of the controversy in accordance with international law, only serve to undermine this final opportunity for the parties to once and for all bring an end to this matter by agreement, failing which adjudication will be the only remaining means of settlement.

Guyana remains committed to friendly and neighbourly relations with the Government and people of Venezuela, but it will categorically refuse to surrender any of the sovereign rights to which it is entitled under international law, not least in this, the fifty-first anniversary of its independence from colonial rule, as a new period of prosperity awaits its people.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
March 17, 2017

Press and Publicity Unit
Ministry of the Presidency

Anti-Climate Change Studies from Harvard sponsored by Exxon Mobile!

dr-willie-soon

A little dossier came my way, I am sure this is not new or even hot news. Since the Exxon Mobile has been well-known for producing evidence of lacking results in the Anti-Climate Change paradigm. Therefore, reading up on one study that was fixated and well-funding studies to Dr. Willie Soon at the astrophysical Observatory at the Smithsonian at the prestigious Harvard University. So you can see particular program that the Exxon Mobile bought to deflect the temperature of the sun over decades of time, so they could show that no evidence that the sun and solar evidence was there. This was done with corporate studies in a trusted institution where a doctor we’re bought and where the set of project studies was tailor made for the outcome that Exxon Mobile wanted. They paid for this. So that the Dr. Soon would get paid for his work and rubberstamp a belief the Oil Company had.  This was apparently done in full knowledge of the University. Take a look!

Mail from Exxon to Dr. Willie Soon in January 2008:  

“Hi Willie – the proposal looks fine. Please have the Center send me an invoice for 2008, for General Support for your work. Can you clarify for me, on page two there’s a reference to “original” and “review” papers – does that mean not peer reviewed, and peer reviewed?

I’d love to see a copy of the DVD. Who is releasing it – Smithsonian?

Lauren Kerr

Exxon Mobil Corporation” (Lauren Kerr – ‘Re: would it be OK for me to submit my sun-climate research proposal to Exxon-Mobil for 2008 support?’ (14.01.2008).

Mail to Lauren from unknown on the new terms and prices in February 2008:

“Dear Lauren,

Thanks very much for getting back to me last week about ExxonMobil’s support of Dr. Willie Soon’s research. We are very pleased at the outcome of this decision. I am attaching a proposal for your review and a request for payment. You may recall that I mentioned the adjustment in our indirect costs upwards from the 15% that Walt Buchholtz and I negotiated when he was still in your position. You will see in the attached that the project cost increases to -$76,000. I look forward to hearing good news from you soon.

With best regards and thanks,

Amanda” (Amanda Preston – ‘Proposal to Support Dr. Willie Soon’ 27.02.2008).

In July 2008: Amanda Preston of Harvard wrote in a letter:

“Dear Mr. Boudreaux: Thank you very much for Exxon Mobil’s contribution of $76,106 to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to support Dr. Willie Soon’s project, “Understanding Solar Variability and Climate Change.” Restricted gifts are very important for our science re9C81Ch. Particularly the projects that seek to better understand our own Sun” (Amanda Preston, 11.07.2008).

In 21st January 2010 an E-Mail from Amanda Preston of Harvard said this:

I received an email from Judith Batty at ExxonMobil about the $76,106 contribution for Dr. Willie soon’s research. I have attached the 3011 Transmittal Form from 4/2/09. You will see that $22,181.00 was allocated to task 40301770IS50AP. This amount is equivalent to the indirect costs that would have been charged if the gift had been a grant on instructions from Charles Alcock, I asked ExxonMobil to allow us to reclassify that amount as an unrestricted contribution” (Amanda Preston – ‘2009 ExxonMobil Gift of $76, 106’ 21.01.2010).

What is project of Dr. Wille Soon’s about:

“This proposal seeks $76, 106 from ExxonMobil Corporation for year one of this two-year project, “Understanding Solar Variability and Climate Change: Signals from Temperature Records of the United States.” Dr. Willie Soon proposes to conduct an intensive up-to-date science review of solar variability and climate change (see e.g., Soon 2007a), with emphasis on the signals from temperature record of the U.S. that will be a clear improvement of previous studies. The goals for the first year are to collect and assess the scientific quality of available temperature records from the United States, aggregated into four inter-related spatial domains: 1) a rural city (i.e., a city that is minimally disturbed by urban development), 2) an individual state, 3 regional U.S. area, and 4) the who1e contentious U.S. The goals for the second year are to study any plausible connection of these U.S. temperature records with estimated solar irradiance history for the past 112 years from 1895 to 2006” (…) “Soon (2007a) calls for the solar physics community to firmly establish this value emphasizing its great importance in establishing the mean climatology in climate models. The mean climatology in climate models can be subjected a rather arbitrary turning given that the absolute level of total solar irradiance is not determined to any level of confidence, with values ranging from 1372 to 1360 W/m2” (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory – ‘Understanding Solar Variability and Climate Change: Signals from Temperature Records of the United States – A Proposal to ExxonMobil Corporation’ (February, 2008).

koch_soon_funding

Another Corporation that support his science against climate change!

So this here is proof of science paid by the petroleum giant of Exxon Mobile. That they could fix and make assured they are getting the results they want out of a program. So that the University and the Dr. Willie Soon who fixed it so they followed the agreement done with Exxon Mobile. Therefore the studies doesn’t seem legitimate or feasible when the business controls the studies and science instead of the own independent scientists who finds the result in the material, instead of already deciding the result before the study. Peace.

A look into the Exxon Mobile offshore adventure in Guyana!

EXPGUYcovfold2010

There been in the works for years about offshore drilling on the outside of the coast of Guyana. This has been well-known and is internationally known, as before the drilling the start. There was made arrangement between Exxon Mobile and Republic of Guyana. Therefore the squabble of the sea-bed and the ocean with Venezuela and Guyana… shows that both nations knew the value, as even at one point the Suriname could have showed with aggression of force towards Guyana. This was in the calculation of the United States Oil Company. Exxon Mobile was aware of this even in the 1990s and therefore before the boarders of the sea nd the republics right of the possible offshore adventure, the company had assessed the possible problems ahead. That shows how far this company goes to get massive profits. This is one of the Standard Oil babies, therefore the Exxon Mobile has a history and that repeat itself. Even Rex Tillerson the newly appointed State Secretary in the Trump Administration had something to do with newly forged deals with the Guyana republic. As the Republic of Guyana, also difference in value of the oil reserve between 2016 and 2017 is staggering. That the oil value goes from $70bn in 2016 instead of $200bn in 2017. This shows the proof what is coming and what the state can benefit from the oil drilling. Take a look!

Tillerson in Guyaya:

Rex Tillerson was scheduled to meet with Guyanese President David Granger at mid week to discuss ExxonMobil’s humongous oil and gas find of the country’s Atlantic coast back in May of last year. He was due to arrive late Tuesday” (…) “Oil Minister Raphael Trotman says every effort is being made to avoid this. Legislation which had catered mostly to deal with exploration rather than production is being updated, local content clauses requiring companies to hire locals and buy local will be included and professionals are being scrambled for overseas training in areas including petroleum law” (…) “Trotman has also said that a big chunk of revenues from the first few years of production — expected to commence around 2019-20 — will go to Exxon, meaning that Guyana “would be getting hundreds of millions of dollars but once that phased is passed we are taking about billions annually. At today’s prices the Liza find is worth about $70 billion dollars” (Wilkerson, 2016).

By law in Guyana Parliament:

“This Order may be cited as the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) (Tax Laws) (Esso Exploration and Production Limited, CNOOCNexen Petroleum Guyana Limited and Hess Guyana Exploration Limited) Order 2016” (…) ““Agreement” means the Petroleum Agreement between the Government of Guyana of the one part and Esso Exploration and Production Limited, CNOOCNexen Petroleum Guyana Limited and Hess Guyana Exploration Limited of the other part dated 27 June 2016 concerning the Stabroek Block, Offshore Guyana, which is a production sharing agreement” (Guyana, 2016).

esso-2000-guyana-p1esso-2001-guyana-military-p2esso-2000-guyana-p3

Agreement in 1990s:

“Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) has a Production Sharing Contract with the Government of Guyana dating back to 1999, which now covers 26.8k km2 in the Stabroek block, following required acreage releases (Figure A.1). In 2014, Hess (30%) and Nexen (25%) farmed in to the block. In May 2015, EEPGL announced a significant discovery of high-quality oil-bearing sands with the Liza-1 well (approximately 190 km [120 miles] offshore Guyana)” (Esso, P: 1, 2016).

Staboek oil drilling:

The FPSO will be designed to receive full well stream production and process oil at a design rate of 100,000 Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD) annual average, with the ability for sustained peaks of up to 120,000 BOPD, and a minimum oil storage capacity of 1.6 million barrels of oil. It will be designed to remain on station continuously for at least 20 years. Production and injection wells will be tied back (i.e., connected) directly to the FPSO via flowlines and risers. Umbilical(s) will provide power, control, and subsea chemicals to the drill centers” (…) “At peak production during Phase 1, the FPSO will offload up to 1 million barrels of oil to a conventional tanker approximately once every 10 days using an industry proven FPSO tandem offloading configuration. The conventional tanker will be held in position with the assistance of tug(s) to maintain a safe separation distance of approximately 120m from the FPSO” (Esso, P: 8, 2016).

Plan for Decommissioning:

“At this time, the expectation is that the SURF components would be detached from the FPSO and abandoned-in-place on the sea floor, consistent with standard industry practice. Risers and umbilicals would be flushed before being abandoned and wells would also be plugged and abandoned. For each well, cement and mechanical barriers would be used to secure the well casing and isolate the wellbore from the formation. A cement plug would also be set near the mudline surface to cap each well. The FPSO is expected to be towed away” (Esso, P: 11, 20016).

Waste Production:

esso-guyana-waste

The new report of 2017 has more details into the production offshore of Guyana. There are certainly new aspects of the oil drilling. Where the environment get a little bigger aspect as even the changes of environment get a few more fleshy details:

Air emissions resulting from the Project have the potential to change ambient air quality in the Project Area of Interest (AOI) on a localized basis. Potential impact of greenhouse gas emissions from the Project on climate change” (…) “Subsea sound could cause impacts to sensitive marine fauna (e.g., whales, turtles, and fish) in the PDA” (…) “The Project will disturb marine geology and sediments on a localized basis in the PDA and could impact sediment quality from non-aqueous base fluid (NABF) on drill cuttings discharges” (…) “The Project could potentially impact beaches, mangroves, and wetland habitats in the Project AOI as a result of non-routine, unplanned events” (…) “The Project has the potential to adversely impact cultural heritage through localized disturbance of archaeological or historical sites related to Project development. These resources have conservation, cultural, and other values to stakeholders” (Esso, P: 14-17, 2017)

So with this in mind the government has even had a workshop in February this year. So that the Exxon Mobile Corporation and their drilling and offshore petroleum in the sea of Guyana. The whole deal and agreement between the nation and the business is not clear to the public, except that the business is supposed to be licenced for the drilling and give tax-monies of the production. The Exxon Mobile has already proven that they don’t build a refinery, so the export from the platform to the specialized boats to transport petroleum. Therefore the meeting in Jamaica, Kingston, shows the ability to speak with the ones that starting industry in the South American Nation:

“A HIGH-LEVEL team of Government officials was on Wednesday morning briefed by ExxonMobil on its production preparations, a move which marks the commencement of a series of consultations by the U.S. oil giant with stakeholders.The technical briefing was held at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston and a similar exercise was also expected to be carried out later in the day with a team led by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo” (…) “The report stated that early, rough estimates by experts of how much recoverable oil Guyana could have range to more than four billion barrels, which at today’s prices would be worth more than US$200B.

In addition to the Liza field, Exxon and drilling partner, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited are also exploring the Payara field, which is part of a block of 6.6 million acres. On January 12, Exxon announced that its drilling partner encountered more than 95 feet (29 metres) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs at Payara. It said that the area was safely drilled to 18,080 feet (5,512 meters) in 6,660 feet (2,030 metres) of water” (Solomon, 2017).

esso-2001-guyana-military-p1esso-2001-guyana-military-p2esso-2001-guyana-military-p3

So the plans of drilling are set and the anticipated waste is happening as well. That Exxon Mobile will make a killing on these fields in pure and true. The massive reserves will surely make the government of Guyana happy as they even got settled who owned the waters between them and Venezuela.

There are so many more things to come as the proof of the environmental problems and the financial implications is also coming to the forefront with the different values in 2016 and 2017. Exxon Mobile has been hands on and used all means, even foreseen the implications of their activity in Guyana, as they we’re even embedded with the government before the drilling and before the settlement and lawful judgement on who could licence the sea and offshore areas was put in order. Even decades before and therefore the problems with Venezuela and Surinam over who owns it, shows the true levels of planning that the Oil Corporations does. That the Exxon Mobile leadership does what it takes to get giant petroleum reserves. Like the Standard Oil did in the past, so does it future clone Exxon.

We can just follow and wonder what this will lead too and what sort of ways the state can get the funds and resources into the consolidation funds, not to speak of in use for the citizens of Guyana. Not only the elite and the central leadership as so many petro-dollars have ended at. Let’s hope that the Guyana Republic and their leadership can sustain the offshore adventure and also give it back to its citizens. Peace.

Reference:

Esso Exploration and Production Limited Project – ‘SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION TO THE APPLICATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORISATION FOR EEPGL’S LIZA PHASE 1 DEVELOPMENT, STABROEK LICENSE AREA, OFFSHORE GUYANA’  (8/2/2016) “ESSO EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION GUYANA LTD”

Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd – ‘PROJECT SUMMARY FOR LIZA PHASE 1 DEVELOPMENT, STABROEK LICENSE AREA, OFFSHORE GUYANA’ (January 2017)

Memorial of Guyana – ‘Exxon signs PSC for Deepwater Acreage off Guyana; Adds to Global Deepwater Portfolio’ (14.06.1999).

Guyana: ‘THE PETROLEUM (EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION) ACT – IN EXERCISE OF THE POWER CONFERRED UPON ME BY SECTION 51 OF THE PETROLEUM (EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION) ACT, I MAKE THE FOLLOWING ORDER’ No. 10 of 2016 (2nd August 2016).

Solomon, Alva – ‘Oil Brief –Exxon briefs Gov’t, Opposition on preparations for oil production’ (01.02.2017) link: https://guyanachronicle.com/2017/02/01/oil-brief-exxon-briefs-govt-opposition-on-preparations-for-oil-production

Wilkinson, Bert – ‘Tillerson scrubs Guyana visit’ (15.12.2016) link: http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2016/12/2016-12-16-bw-tillerson-trump-pick-cancels-guyana-visit-cl.html

Mogadishu Declaration on Regional Cooperation on the Current Drought (22.02.2017)

East-Africa

Mogadishu – Wednesday, 22 February 2016The following joint declaration was made in Mogadishu by H.E. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti, H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, and H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

1. We have come together as the heads of government of four countries in a region facing significant stress as a result of the current drought. Multiple seasons of failed rains and global weather patterns have, yet again, negatively affected the resilience mechanisms of millions of our people. This is evident in the immediate humanitarian crisis facing us today and will show up in longer term socio-economic vulnerability in communities that today are selling all their assets and uprooting their families for survival.

2. This situation, which may worsen in Somalia and result in a renewed famine over the coming months, could also have security and political implications in our region and beyond, as coping mechanisms are eroded and tensions over dwindling resources risks sparking conflict. Scores of people are moving both within countries and across borders in the hope of increasing their chances of survival. This upheaval is taking a particularly heavy toll on children and women, and makes people vulnerable to exploitation, human rights abuses and to criminal and terrorist networks. Drought-related disease outbreaks and inter-communal conflict are already on the rise.

3. While each of our governments is mobilising to respond, the dire situation calls for international collaboration and regional partnership between governments, civil society, aid organisations, business and international donors.

4. We commit ourselves to regional cooperation to facilitate a more comprehensive response and strong partnership.

5. We commit to strengthening our cross-border collaboration and our efforts to establish security and stability in Somalia to ensure an effective response to the drought and to enable further progress in peace building and state building in Somalia. We further commit to the provision of appropriate protection and assistance to those compelled to leave their areas of origin as a consequence of the drought, including those who have fled to neighbouring countries.

6. We will be consulting on a regular basis to review progress on these issues, and to agree upon any necessary collective action that will help our countries and region respond to this emergency. Furthermore, we have instructed our respective foreign ministers and drought response teams to work together and keep us briefed.

7. In the longer term, we commit to working together bilaterally and through existing regional bodies such as IGAD, the African Union as well as the United Nations to address the underlying structural issues that commonly affect our economies, environments and communities, including cross-border rangeland and water resource management.

END

FAO reports on the souring food prices in the East African Countries!

eldoret-cereal-warehouse

“In pastoral areas of Kenya, Somalia and southeastern Ethiopia, the widespread drought had a severe impact on pasture and water availability, and prices of livestock sharply decreased in recent months to very low levels, as livestock body conditions dramatically deteriorated. In these areas, the resulting sharp decline of terms of trade for pastoralists is severely constraining food access for large numbers of households” (FAO, P: 10, 2017).

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has this month released a report that assessed the prices and the issues concerning food prices in the nations around the world. This is the droughts, lack of rain and the problems occurring after the El Nino that hit the African continent. Therefore, the sad reality with the influx of issues and variables, the food markets in different nations has hit a snag and they have gone up. At levels that are worrying, as the markets they haven’t had the same rise in added income compared to the prices of staple foods. This hits the poorest the most and gives them a harder day to day, as their added prices makes the cost of living even more turbulent and hazardous than it already is.

Like the Maize and Beans prices in Kenya:

“Maize prices increased in January by 9-14 percent in most monitored markets, as the output of the short rains harvest, currently underway in eastern and coastal lowlands, was sharply reduced due to insufficient rainfall. Prices of maize in January were 20-30 percent higher than 12 months earlier in several markets, also as a result of a below-average long rains harvest, recently completed in high potential western areas of the Rift Valley. Sustained imports from neighbouring Uganda contained the increased in maize prices. In drought affected coastal counties, sharper year-on-year price increases are recorded, and in December 2016 prices of maize in Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Taraka Nithi and Embu counties were up to 40 percent higher than a year earlier. Prices of beans are also at high levels and in January they were up to 40 percent higher than their year-earlier levels. Most pastoral areas were affected by drought, and prices of livestock declined in recent months as animal body conditions deteriorated. For instance, in Marsabit, Mandera, Garissa and Tana River counties, prices of goats in December 2016 were 15-30 percent lower than 12 months earlier” (FAO, P: 3, 2017).

That the prices of maize had added about 20-30 percent in a year time is worrying for the region, as the Kenyan market and the current state before the elections. The Kenyan state is borrowing at a steady haste for bigger infrastructure investments, but isn’t using funds to secure the agricultural output. This is lacking initiative or use of government subsidises to secure enough production, as much as there are droughts that has hit areas, where the prices has risen as a cause of lacking output or none as the climate has deteriorating the soil. That not only Maize has risen on higher prices, also the hiking of prices of beans shows the incapacity of agricultural output in general and also securing cheap government imports.

Like the prices of Maize and Sorghum in Somalia:

“Prices of locally-produced maize and sorghum continued to soar in January as the output of the 2016/17 secondary deyr harvest was affected by a severe drought and is estimated at 25 percent of last five-year average. In Mogadishu, prices of coarse grains increased up to 35 percent. In most markets of key maize producing region of Lower Shabelle, maize prices surged in January by 32-41 percent. Overall, prices of coarse grains in January in key markets of central and southern Somalia were up to twice their levels of 12 months earlier. Prices are likely to further escalate in the coming months, as an earlier than usual stock depletion will be compounded by concerns over the performance of the 2017 gu harvest. In pastoral areas, drought caused shortages of grazing resources, with deterioration of livestock body conditions. Livestock prices sharply declined in recent months, especially in the south, and are at very low levels, up to 60 percent lower than 12 months earlier. As a result of declining livestock prices and increasing cereal prices, terms of trade for pastoralists sharply deteriorated over the last 12 months. The equivalent in maize of a medium size goat declined in Buale market from 114 kg January 2016 to just 30 kg in January 2017. The severe drought has also caused a sharp decline in milk production and surge in milk prices” (FAO, P: 5, 2017).

So Somalia who has just gone through an election, has had a heavy affected by the drought, as the grains and food production has been hit by it. As proven with the rising food prices in Mogadishu and the prices has doubled in Central and Southern Somalia, in only a year! That proves the dire food situation, as the fierce internal fighting, the federation food production combined with the military fighting together with a drought has the food markets and food productions. Therefore the citizens and farmers are the losers, as they cannot have peaceful production, lacking rains and also insecurity of their own safety. All these things combined with the uncertainty of the electorate and the new administration. The steady rise of food prices has surely hit a population that did not need another crisis.

Rising prices in South Sudan:

“In the capital, Juba, prices of sorghum and maize declined in January by 6 and 10 percent, respectively, partly as a result of the harvesting of 2016 second season crops in southern bi-modal rainfall areas, which improved the domestic supply situation. Prices of other staples, wheat flour, cassava and groundnuts, followed similar patterns. In markets located in central and northern uni-modal rainfall areas, prices of sorghum increased by 15-20 percent in December 2016 and January 2017, after having declined in previous months with the harvesting of 2016 crops. In January, food prices in nominal terms were between 2 and 4 times above their levels in January last year, due to insecurity, a tight supply situation, hyperinflation and a significant depreciation of the local currency” (FAO, P: 5, 2017).

In South Sudan the new crisis of internal battles hit, even after the long term peace-agreement was fresh and the battles that started in July 2016. The continued escalation has hit the country. South Sudan administration has been busy fighting the SPLM-IO. The SPLM-IO has also been busier fighting the SPLA/M. Therefore the engagement with trying to get people to live in peace and fresh produce to happen in the country has stopped. That together with the civil war the agricultural output has been lost with the fleeing civilians and burning villages. Therefore in this current state, the food prices rise as the lacking food stocks of internal produced are dwindling, as the state needs more import of foreign food. Not only the inflation rates of the currency, the food production has been unstable. Therefore the rising prices and the armed situation create the rise of food prices. So the stability of the nation will also secure the currency and also the agricultural output, as of now is more or less in need of food aid because of the current in-fighting and lack of government oversight. This is unhealthy and makes even the security of food into a limbo.

Rising prices of Maize in Uganda:

“Prices of maize followed a sustained upward trend in recent months, increasing in all monitored markets by 33-58 percent between August and December 2016. Subsequently, prices followed mixed trends in January, declining in the capital, Kampala, as the second season harvest increased supplies, remaining firm in Lira market, located in a major cereal producing area, and continuing to increase in Busia, a key cross-border hub with Kenya. Overall, maize prices in January were up to 75 percent higher than a year earlier and at near-record to record levels, as the upward pressure exerted on prices by a reduced second season harvest, affected by poor rainfall in southeastern parts bordering lake Victoria, was compounded by a reduced first season harvest gathered last June/July and by sustained export demand from neighbouring countries, mainly Kenya and South Sudan. In Kampala, prices of beans and cassava flour, important staples, are also at high levels, and in January they were about 25 percent higher than 12 months earlier” (FAO, P: 6, 2017).

Ugandan government has already showed lacking instruments to the current drought and the lesser output during the election and campaigning of the current leadership. This is proven now with the monetary issues that are in dire straight in republic. The proof of the rising prices as the export of maize and others to South Sudan, as the added refugees who also needs foods and are also supported aided food. The government needs to secure added food production and development of bigger yields of the staple foods. That the food prices have sky-rocketed as the region has all been hit in corridors and districts where the dried lands have killed of livestock and others. Government has showed lacking oversight and mechanism from the government has not helped the dry-lands and the aftermath. Because of this with the added strains of a cash-strapped government after a heavy-burden state after elections, has not stagnated or had initiatives to stop the growing prices of food.

Maize prices are rising also in Tanzania:

“Prices of maize continued to increase in January in all monitored markets, as production prospects for the vuli harvest, currently underway in northern and eastern bi-modal rainfall areas, are unfavourable due to poor and erratic rainfall. Further support to prices was provided by concerns over the performance of the msimu harvest, to be gathered from May in central and southern uni-modal rainfall areas, as early-season dryness affected planting operations and crop establishment. Prices of maize in January were almost twice their year-earlier levels in Arusha, located in the northeast, while they were about 25 percent higher than in January 2016 in Dar Es Salaam, the largest urban centre” (FAO, P: 6, 2017).

That President Magufuli and his party like to be the example of the East Africa. Here the Tanzanian government are delivering the same sort of levels of rising prices. The maize prices are affected by drought and the Tanzanian government also have had to take in the refugees from other nations of late. This together with the less rainfall has pushed the prices on maize in Tanzania. Certainly the prices that doubled shows signs of lacking agricultural output and less yields as the rains and drought has happen during the last 12 month.

The numbers of rising food prices together with the lacking yields shows the worrying signs of lesser rain and longer dry seasons. This all hurt the citizens and the customers in the central regions or in urban areas who buys the foods from the agricultural districts, as much as the violence and the crisis in South Sudan and long term effects of the civil war in Somalia. This happens after the drought and other political issues, together with little efforts to add the yields, shows in the rising prices of staple foods. So now the people have to pay more for the same food they would have bought last year, in some places not only 20% added, but up to double or tripled. This is certainly added strains on the personal economy of the citizens in these nations. Peace.

Reference:

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – ‘Food Price Monitoring and Analysis – Bulletin’ (14.02.2017)

UN, World Bank, insurance sector tackle climate vulnerability (06.10.2016)

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NEW YORK, 6 October 2016 – A new public-private partnership between the leaders of the United Nations, the World Bank and the insurance sector has adopted a risk management strategy that seeks to harness insurance to promote economic recovery and resilience to climate hazards and disasters.

The Insurance Development Forum (IDF) said that it has decided to contribute to achieving the G7 “InsuResilience” target of providing 400 million of the most vulnerable people in developing countries with increased access to direct or indirect insurance coverage against the impacts of climate change and related natural catastrophes by 2020.

“For many developing countries with scarce resources, rebuilding is often beyond their means. Typically, a disaster is followed by appeals to bilateral, regional, and international partners for aid relief and financial support,” said Ms. Helen Clark, IDF Co-Chair and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.

“This support, however, often falls well short of what is required. Systemic lack of funds and recurrent inefficiency of recovery initiatives on the ground impede progress. Insurance can be an efficient, fast-disbursing mechanism to build back better in vulnerable countries and communities hit by disasters, but also to reduce risks and the costs of risks in the long term.”

The IDF was first announced at the COP21 UN climate summit in Paris in December 2015 and officially launched in April 2016.

It is led by a Steering Committee, chaired by Mr. Stephen Catlin, Deputy Executive Chair of XL Group Ltd., with Co-Chairs Ms. Clark and Mr. Joaquim Levy, World Bank Group Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer. Other Steering Committee members include Mr. Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and Chairman of the Financial Stability Board, and Mr. Robert Glasser, the UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, as well as 13 insurance industry CEOs. Additional governmental and public sector organizations are expected to engage in the coming year.

The IDF adopted its insurance-based strategy when it met on the sidelines of the recent UN General Assembly session. It approved a proposal to create a Technical Assistance Facility (TAF), which will assemble public and private insurance industry resources and tools necessary to support governments in building public-private partnerships that will better manage the financial consequences of climate events and natural disasters while increasing the use of insurance in emerging markets and developing countries. Work has begun to secure funds for the programme.

The IDF’s work is linked with a string of UN agreements adopted in 2015 to set the global development agenda for years to come. They include the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“With growing natural disaster losses it is essential that governments learn how to incorporate risk management fundamentals into their planning, budgeting and governing processes so that their citizens can be better protected,” said Mr. Catlin.

Joaquim Levy, IDF Co-Chair and World Bank Group Chief Financial Officer stated that “many emerging market and developing countries lack sufficiently developed insurance markets, which does stifle growth and has a negative impact not only on business but on general welfare, notably among the poorest. The lack of insurance instruments or broader risk-pooling or risk-mitigation mechanisms is also evident in the public sector, affecting government’s ability to respond to natural disasters and other large-scale events”.

Mr. Rowan Douglas, chair of the IDF Implementation Committee and head of the Capital Science and Policy Practice at Willis Towers Watson, said, “We all recognize a unique moment and opportunity to make a huge step forward in the protection of lives, livelihoods and communities – realizing the benefits of insurance across public, private and mutual and cooperative sectors.”

The IDF focuses on members of the “Vulnerable Twenty Group”, which was set up in 2015 and groups the finance ministers of countries highly vulnerable to a warming planet in dialogue and action to tackle global climate change.

Press Release: Ethiopia first country to launch ClimDev-Africa Special Fund project (26.08.2015)

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The ClimDev Africa Special Fund (CDSF) launched its first project in Ethiopia on August 3 to help the country cope with, and build resilience to, climate change by enhancing capacity in climate monitoring, data analysis, interpretation, forecasting and dissemination for use in national decision-making.

The project entitled “Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Climate Resilient Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in Ethiopia – (SCI-EWS)” will be implemented over a span of three years at a total cost of EUR 1 million.

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Speaking at the launch, Ato Alemayehu Tegenu, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, noted that, “Enhancing the capacity of the country’s National Meteorology Agency by promoting strategies that effectively manage risks; reduce vulnerability; and maximize opportunities associated with climate variability, change and extreme weather events for different socioeconomic sectors, is central to our commitment to build a fully climate resilient green economy by 2025.” Improved service delivery and cost recovery systems as a result of the project, are expected to generate additional income for the Government to ensure the future sustainability of the system together with the National Meteorological Agency.

Justus Kabyemera, AfDB ClimDev-Africa Special Fund Coordinator further stated, “This project exemplifies the importance of the ClimDev-Africa Special Fund to help mitigate the challenges associated with gathering and relaying important climate-related information on the continent – a critical step to help countries deal with climate change-related risk. In countries such as Ethiopia, in which climate change is not only recognized as a real threat, but as an opportunity as well, working towards sustainable adaptation and mitigation will help it achieve rapid economic development by promoting safe agricultural investments and boosting industrial growth.”

In addition to Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy and staff, the launch was also attended by representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB), ClimDev-Africa, and non-governmental organizations.

Following the launch, relevant National Meteorological Agency staff attended a three-day workshop on AfDB project implementation rules and procedures, such as procurement and monitoring and evaluation.

Ethiopia is the first country to benefit from the Fund.

About ClimDev-Africa Special Fund

Launched in November 2014, the ClimDev Africa Special Fund (CDSF) is the funding arm of ClimDev Africa, a joint programme between the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank. Housed at the AfDB, it is a demand-led fund that pools resources to finance investment activities on the ground across Africa for the generation and use of climate information for climate-resilient development. Grants are provided to projects in line with the ClimDev-Africa Programme’s goal, purpose and results areas and are implemented by national and regional organizations at all levels on the continent.

Guyana-Norway Cooperation on the deforestation, the Low-Carbon Development-Strategy(LCDS) and REDD+ Program in Guyana

Virgin Forest Resource

Today is the day after we have celebrated our Constitutional Day here in Norway. This is the day after the giant national party. Last week it just happened to be an election in the small South-American state Guyana which is in-between Surinam and Venezuela. As the Corruption Perception Index shows the magnificent position that Guyana in the world that there in the place of number 124 of 175 countries. Here is the chart from Transparency International:

Guyana Transparency

 

To follow the story, I have looked for sources and how it has gone. This I had to do after reading Chris Lang’s report ‘Why did Norway agree to pay US$40 million just before Guyana’s election?’. That he published on the internet page red-monitor.org. As a Norwegian I haven’t really heard anything about the election or the funding of the rainforest projects in Guyana. We have seen our development minister Erik Solheim travelling to Brazil and looking at the crazy animals and green trees in the rainforest. So I had to check what has been said. Here is what I have found. And hope it’s worth five minutes of your day.

The now former president of the Republic of Guyana H. E. Donald Ramotar on the 5th payment on the 7th of May 2015 stated this: “Fellow Guyanese, I am pleased to announce today that Guyana has received a payment of $8 billion (Guyana) from the Government of Norway. This is a billion more than last year’s payment, and brings the total received from Norway to $38 billion” (…) ”All Guyanese should feel proud of the vote in confidence expressed by Norway in announcing that they are willing to pursue a second agreement up to 2020, a policy that only the PPP/C supports in Guyana. And all Guyanese should feel proud that we have earned the most money from a forest partnership in the world, after Brazil. Money that is being directly spent on the people” (…) ”the LCDS has done a lot. Guyana has now deployed US$120 million into projects, which are enabling the rehabilitation of Cunha canal that will protect Georgetown, and the communities and farms along the Mahaica River from floods like we saw back in 2005” (…) ”First, the opposition tried to stop Norway from paying Guyana the money that we earned from keeping our forests standing. When the opposition failed to achieve this, they tried to stop us from spending this hard earned money on the Guyanese people by cutting the entire LCDS budget!” (…) ”we have always been fighting to protect our nature so that we can leave an even more beautiful Guyana as a legacy to our children – and today we are leading the world in showing how finances can flow to forest countries. Guyana was once known for rigged elections and economic decay – today we are known for global environmental leadership. The benefits are for all our people, and we must not throw them away”.

On the 8th May “The Government of Guyana this morning announced the receipt of US$40 million from the Government of Norway for maintaining low deforestation rates and improving forest governance” (PRNewswire).

To the Antigua Observerer President Ramotar is quoted on the agreement with Norway: “(This is) a policy that only the PPP/C (People’s Progressive Party/Civic) supports in Guyana. And all Guyanese should feel proud that we have earned the most money from a forest partnership in the world, after Brazil, money that is being directly spent on the people.” (…) “believe that not a single Guyanese living on the coast should need to worry when there’s heavy rainfall that their community will flood. And not a single Guyanese in the hinterland should need to worry about not having water during droughts. Nor should any Amerindian community need to worry about having enough economic opportunities to support their development.” (…) “Today, Guyana is one of the leading countries in the world in managing natural resources sustainably. And every Guyanese is benefitting from this. Our most recent deforestation rate was even lower than the previous year.” (…) “All Guyanese should feel proud of the vote in confidence expressed by Norway.” (…) ““I urge every Guyanese to think hard about what is at stake and to make the best decision next Monday to continue down a path of development and progress,” (Antigua Observerer).

On the 12th May reports was saying: “Guyana has received $40 million for climate services and intends to use part of the money for a transformational hydroelectric project in order to reduce the cost of electricity” (…) “The payment was made by the Government of Norway and represents earnings from the Guyana-Norway partnership which in total now amount s to $190 million out of a potential $250 million” (Caribbean News Service).

On the 16th May this new has arrived: “HIS Excellency, Brigadier (rtd) David Arthur Granger, is Guyana’s duly elected and sworn 8th Executive President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Head of State of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. President Granger was administered the Oath of Office yesterday at the Public Buildings by Chancellor of the Judiciary, Carl Singh, in the presence of the thousands that converged to witness history. The Oath was administered following the reading of the Official Proclamation by Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Dr. Steve Surujbally” (…) “The official Inauguration Ceremony for the new Government is slated for May 26, at the Guyana National Stadium, and as had been promised by then coalition presidential candidate, Brigadier (rtd) Granger, Guyanese will celebrate the nation’s 50th Independence Anniversary from its colonial masters, under an APNU+AFC Government of National Unity” (Eleazar).

Newly elected David Arthur Granger said on the inauguration: “I extend the arm of friendship to former president, Donald Ramotar, and the members of the PPP to join this great movement of national unity.” (…) ”let us embrace each other regardless of religion, regardless of race, regardless of class, regardless of occupation…as fellow Guyanese let us work together to realise our inspiring national motto, One People, One Nation, One Destiny” (…) ”Guyanese, the elections are over, the people have chosen their representatives, the Constitution has been respected, our democracy has been fortified, let us now put past rivalries behind us and work in unity to banish poverty, ignorance, fear and hatred” (Eleazar).

Tweedie of the Morning Star tells the story of how close the election in Guyana really was: “GUYANA’S ruling party has alleged fraud in the general election, with just 43 votes separating the two main presidential candidate” (…) “It claimed that the opposition Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) received almost twice as many votes as there were voters in some regions” (…) “The PPP also expressed concern over the “extremely high” number of rejected ballots and accused the APNU of intimidating its representatives and chasing them away from polling stations” (…) “And the APNU declared victory for its candidate David Granger on Tuesday, long before the vote was complete” (Tweedie).

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran has commented: “No longer motivated by his high ideals, it (the PPP/C) allowed one-man rule, arrogance, crime, corruption, nepotism and high living to flourish and become dominant features of its governance” (…) “Ramkarran said that the PPP/C ignored the fact that it lost a significant percent of its support at elections held in 2011. “It deluded itself by a self-serving analysis that apathy caused its supporters to stay away from the polls in 2011. This prompted an expectation that elections with a divisive political strategy will restore its majority. Thus it rejected any idea of a coalition government.”(Rockecliffe).

Guyana timelines_0

Afterthought:

If this isn’t getting your minds to think and I understand the thoughts of Chris Lang and Redd Monitor. I am just thinking. What is the real measure of the money spent into the saving of the rainforest? How will this sizeable funding scheme really be governed? We now can read reports of possible election frauds in Guyana, also considering the number and place of the country considering their position as the 124 of 175. There are expected that the former President will be happy for the agreement between Norway and Guyana. This is the 6th Payment and also building a Hydroelectric plant in Guyana for 40$B. If this doesn’t make your mind boggle a bit and how this doesn’t seem right. I get worried when the politicians and campaign talks about this funding of deforestation. If you don’t mind I will snip out the most questionable quotes from the ‘Joint Concept Note’ that both government agreed on 6th May 2015. Also the letter from Guyana Forestry Commission from 13. Januar 2015. Hope you enjoy! Peace.

GuyanaJCNGuyanaJCN2 GuyanaJCN3GuyanaJCN4GuyanaJCN5GuyanaJCN6GuyanaJCN7

GuyanaJCN8GuyanaJCN9

 

GuyanaJCN10GuyanaJCN11

The letter from Guyana Forestry Commission:

GFCP1GFCP2GFCP3

PS: If  that wasn’t cool enough for you. Peace!

Reference:

Antigua Observer – ‘Norway pays over $8B to Guyana – signals willingness to partner with Gov’t until 2020’ (08.05.2015) Link: http://antiguaobserver.com/norway-pays-over-8b-to-guyana-signals-willingness-to-partner-with-govt-until-2020/

Caribbean News Service – ‘Guyana $40 Million Fund to Help Develop Hydroelectric Project’ (12.05.2015) Link: http://caribbeannewsservice.com/now/guyana-40-million-fund-to-help-develop-hydroelectric-project/

Eleazar, Gary –  Guyana Chronicle Online – ‘David Arthur Granger sworn in as Guyana’s 8th Executive President …extends ‘Olive Branch’ to ousted PPP/C administration …says let us put past rivalries behind us and work in unity’ (16.05.2015) Link: http://guyanachronicle.com/david-arthur-granger-sworn-in-as-guyanas-8th-executive-president-extends-olive-branch-to-ousted-pppc-administration-says-let-us-put-past-rivalries-behind/

Rockcliffe, Abena – Kaieteur News – ‘A Guyana void of poverty, corruption and nepotism awaits – Ramkarran’ (18.05.2015) Link: http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/05/18/a-guyana-void-of-poverty-corruption-and-nepotism-awaits-ramkarran/

Tweedie, James – Morning Star – ‘Guyana Election: Ruling Party Alleges Fraud as Candidates Lie 43 Votes Apart’ (15.05.2015) Links: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-81e1-Guyana-elections-Ruling-party-alleges-fraud-as-candidates-lie-43-votes-apart

PRNewswire – ‘Guyana receives US$40 million payment from Norway for climate services and continued low deforestation’ (08.05.2015) Link: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/guyana-receives-us40-million-payment-from-norway-for-climate-services-and-continued-low-deforestation-300080282.html#

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