“Our “Why I Vote” campaign gives artists a chance to share personal opinions on the key issues shaping the 2016 Presidential Election. Along the way, they encourage young people, a traditionally under-represented demographic at the polls, to participate in the political process that impacts us all. Each episode focuses on a particular subject, including immigration, LGBTQ rights, mass incarceration, and education opportunities. We’re hoping to galvanize first-time voters interested in shaping their own future. The latest episode features T.I. telling his own story of growing up in Atlanta at the beginning of the government’s “War on Drugs.” With an uncle going to prison, the young MC had a first-hand look at the way these policies impacted families and communities. The rise of mass incarceration and the privatization of prisons are paramount issues that drive T.I. to vote. He made an impassioned call to use our power as citizens and vote on November 8. From now through Election Day we will air new episodes of “Why I Vote” with American Authors, Kesha and several other artists we’ll announce soon. Watch, share and make sure your voice is heard by voting in the 2016 election. Music video by T.I. performing Why I Vote. 2016” (Vevo, 2016)
UN, World Bank, insurance sector tackle climate vulnerability (06.10.2016)
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.
Dr. Ruhakana Ruganda Statement on Crime Preventers place during the campaign trail and election period (05.01.2016)
Friends, this is a statement I have just issued at a Press Conference at the Uganda Media Centre today:
Ladies and gentlemen of the media,
We invited you today, to inform the country through you, about the critical importance of peace, unity, security and stability during this election campaign period and beyond.
As we have said in the past, peace, security, unity and stability of our country are common goods, which we must all guard jealously irrespective of our differences. They are cardinal values that do not know any differences. They are critical for our country’s progress and development.
The presidential campaigns have largely remained peaceful thus far, as the candidates have traversed the country and many citizens have come out to listen to the various messages. This is to be applauded, celebrated and encouraged.
Sadly, though, it has come to our attention that some political actors including some candidates are diverting from this good trend. There is an emerging trend of fanning sectarianism through the use the media and other platforms. This is not only dangerous; it is also criminal.
We appeal to all candidates and their supporters to focus more on the things that unite and build their communities and Uganda rather than dividing them.
If those involved in trying to divide Ugandans along the above mentioned sectarian lines don’t desist, government will invoke the necessary legal machinery to investigate and prosecute them in the courts of law.
For instance, we are following up reports that a small group of the radical opposition are talking and planning violent actions during and after the election with the overall objective to disrupt social and economic activities as well as to paralyze governance.
As part of this dangerous plan, there is also persistent talk of “defiance” mainly at campaign rallies by some candidates. Such candidates have been stating publicly state that they will not respect any of the laws or guidelines as issued from time to time by either the Independent Electoral Commission or other responsible Government agencies. This, again, is unacceptable and illegal. Whatever we do must be guided by, and conform to the laws of Uganda.
Government has established that some of these groups, under the guise of training agents to protect their votes, are raising semi-militia groups under different code names like Power 10 (P10), Pentagon, Youth Brigade and Ki-face, among others. These groups, we have learnt, are being prepared to incite violence and violent confrontations, starting on polling day until the swearing ceremony in case they lose the elections.
Election campaigns are not a licence to break the law.
The NRM government will not standby when some elements are trying to cause violence, havoc and disrupt the peace and development in Uganda.
We would like to let the public, including those being lured into these mischievous schemes, to know that government is closely following them. I, therefore, appeal our people, particularly the youth, not to be tempted into joining such groups seeking to break the law. Those who dare to join will face the full force of the law.
Finally, I would like to re-assure Ugandans and the international community that the NRM Government has in place sufficient measures to ensure that the forth-coming elections are held under tranquil and peaceful atmosphere.
This will ensure that the outcome is credible and reflects the true will of our voters and, should, therefore, be respected by all.
Press Release: African Countries Launch AFR100 to Restore 100 Million Hectares of Land (05.12.2015)
Commitments from 10 countries announced at the Global Landscapes Forum
PARIS (December 6, 2015)—African countries launched AFR100 (African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative), a pan-African, country-led effort to restore 100 million hectares (386 thousand square miles) of degraded and deforested landscapes by 2030. The AFR100 target of 100 million hectares has been endorsed by the African Union. So far 10 African countries have agreed to join AFR100 and committed at least 31.7 million hectares of land for forest landscape restoration. AFR100 partners are earmarking more than USD $1 billion in development finance and more than $540 million in private sector impact investment to support restoration activities.
The announcement was made during the Global Landscapes Forum at the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, where forest landscape restoration is a key ingredient of the global movement to adapt to and mitigate climate change. Commitments made through AFR100 build on significant climate pledges made by many African countries to support a binding global climate agreement.
“Restoring our landscapes brings prosperity, security and opportunity,” said Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Natural Resources in Rwanda. “With forest landscape restoration we’ve seen agricultural yields rise and farmers in our rural communities diversify their livelihoods and improve their well-being. Forest landscape restoration is not just an environmental strategy, it is an economic and social development strategy as well.”
For the first time, AFR100 brings together political leadership with an ambitious package of financial and technical resources to support a large-scale forest landscape restoration effort across Africa. Nine financial partners and 10 technical assistance providers have pledged support, led by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD Agency), Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and World Resources Institute (WRI).
“The scale of these new restoration commitments is unprecedented,” said Wanjira Mathai, Chair of the Green Belt Movement and daughter of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai. “I have seen restoration in communities both large and small across Africa, but the promise of a continent-wide movement is truly inspiring. Restoring landscapes will empower and enrich rural communities while providing downstream benefits to those in cities. Everybody wins. ”
Countries that have agreed to join the AFR100 initiative include:
• Democratic Republic of Congo | 8 million hectares
• Ethiopia | 15 million hectares
• Kenya | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Liberia | 1 million hectares
• Madagascar | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Malawi | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Niger | 3.2 million hectares
• Rwanda | 2 million hectares
• Togo | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Uganda | 2.5 million hectares
AFR100 builds on the climate commitments made by African countries. So far, 13 of the INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) submitted by African countries include restoration, conservation of standing forests, or “climate-smart” agriculture. According to WRI analysis, following through on the commitments would cumulatively reduce emissions by 1.2 Gt CO2eq over the next 10 years, or 36 percent of Africa’s annual emissions and 0.25 percent of global emissions.
“Restoration is really Africa’s gift to the world,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, president and CEO, World Resources Institute. “As the world forges a climate agreement in Paris, African countries— which bear the least historic responsibility for climate change– are showing leadership with ambitious pledges to restore land. These countries are well on their way to meet the goal of restoring 100 million hectares of land, which will help sequester carbon and bring economic benefits to low-income, rural communities. These African leaders are turning their words into action and making a real contribution to respond to the global threat of climate change.”
AFR100 recognizes the benefits that forests and trees can provide in African landscapes: improved soil fertility and food security, greater availability and quality of water resources, reduced desertification, increased biodiversity, green jobs, economic growth, and increased capacity for climate change resilience and mitigation. Forest landscape restoration has the potential to improve livelihoods, especially for women. For example, 20 years ago, women in southern Niger spent an average of 2.5 hours daily collecting firewood, which was scarce in the degraded landscape. Now they prune on-farm trees saving two hours a day, time that can be spent on other income generating activities.
Commitments announced through AFR100 also support the Bonn Challenge, a global target to bring 150 million hectares of land into restoration by 2020 adopted in Germany in 2011, the New York Declaration on Forests that extends that challenge to 350 million hectares by 2030, and the African Resilient Landscapes Initiative (ARLI), an initiative to promote integrated landscape management with the goal of adapting to and mitigating climate change. With these new partners, the Bonn Challenge process has surpassed the 100 m hectare mark, on track to meet its goal well ahead of the 2020 target date.
AFR100 builds on a strong tradition of successful forest landscape restoration in Africa. In Ethiopia’s Tigray region, local communities have already restored over 1 million hectares, making the land more drought-resistant. In Niger, farmers have increased the number of on-farm trees across 5 million hectares of agricultural landscapes, improving food security for 2.5 million people. AFR100 will provide a forum for countries and communities to share knowledge and resources to achieve restoration at a greater scale.
“We know that restoration works for Africa. We’ve seen it work in countries as diverse as Malawi, Ethiopia, and Mali,” said Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD and former Prime Minister of Niger. “But we need to scale up restoration across the whole continent- more than 700 million hectares of land in Africa have potential for restoration. AFR100 provides a platform to work together more effectively to accelerate the achievement of restoration successes to benefit tens of millions of people who are currently searching for ways to adapt to climate change and improve their well-being.”
AFR100 will help to translate ambitious commitments into action with support from private sector investors, foundations, development banks, and bilateral and multilateral funders. AFR100 will leverage a variety of financing, including grants, equity investments, loans, risk management guarantees and funds for specific interventions.
So far, AFR100 partners have set forth over USD $1 billion of development financing:
- World Bank: USD $1 billion in investment in 14 African countries by 2030, as part of the Africa Climate Business Plan to support Africa’s climate resilient and low carbon development
- Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is providing support for the development of the AFR100 initiative
Impact investors have already earmarked USD $546.5 million for restoration under AFR100:
- Ecoplanet Bamboo: USD $175 million by 2020
- Sustainable Forest Investments – Netherlands: USD $150m by 2030
- Terra Global Capital: USD $100 million by 2030
- Green World Ventures: USD $65 million by 2020
- Moringa Partnership: USD $56.5 million by 2030
- NatureVest (impact investment arm of the Nature Conservancy)
- Permian Global
Through AFR100, we expect to trigger one of the largest investments in forest landscape restoration the world has ever seen,” said H.E. Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany. “This investment is vital for empowering local communities to scale up the inspiring restoration successes we’ve seen in Africa over the last decade.”
In addition to new financing, a coalition of organizations will provide technical assistance on a wide range of activities, including the mapping of restoration opportunities, securing further financing, and implementing restoration efforts on the ground. Partners include World Resources Institute (WRI), Clinton Foundation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), Kijani, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD Agency), The Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative (LPFN), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The Greenbelt Movement.
Land Grab – Uganda’s farmers battle with palm oil producers and insights to the business.
What the Ministry of Agriculture press release earlier this august:
The Press Statement from the Government of Uganda
Here is another blogger who has followed the land grabbing and has great article:
And a few sheets of information to prove that their more to this business then just some words here and there!
Another fact sheet as well:
More information read this: