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NEWYORK, USA (PAMACC News) - Millions of people have taken to the streets today Friday September 20,2019 demanding their governments take greater climate action, in what has been described as the largest climate protest in history.On the eve of the UN climate Summit , record numbers of youth climate campaigners joined by parents, workers, trade unions, businesses and organisations in a global strike ramping up pressure on political leaders to respond to the climate crisis.Rights groups including participants of the People' s Summit on Climate and human Survival organised by Amnesty International joined the youth protest today Friday September 20th.The protest rights groups say is also going on World wide, with picket lines and marches simultaneously going on from Russia to Johannesburg and Turkey to New Delhi.One of the largest demonstrations took place in New York, where UN secretary general António Guterres has convened world leaders to, as he put it, “put climate action into higher gear” over one the most important climate Summit starting on Saturday September 21,2019.What is the UN Summit AllAbout?According to the UN secretariat the summit has been billed as a critical moment for political leaders to show their willingness to increase their climate plans, in a bid to bridge the ambition gap to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C – the tougher goal of the Paris Agreement demanded by vulnerable countries and backed by Guterres.From Monday September 23, climate campaigners in Washington are expected to stage a protest against the lack of action of Donald Trump’s administration. The strike is modelled on Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s own weekly protests, demanding her government take action commensurate to the findings of the science and a landmark report on 1.5C.The ‘Fridays For Future’ movement she inspired has dramatically increased public pressure on governments to listen to people’s demands for more ambitious climate action.Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Guterres said the leadership and initiative showed by youth around the world was “remarkable”.“The youth has been showing an enormous leadership, and I hope that that leadership will have a very strong impact on the societies as a whole, on their families and, based on that, on their governments of their countries,” he said.Young people are due to play a key role throughout the high-level meeting, starting with a youth summit on Saturday.Of governments that were not taking action, Alexandria Villaseñor, co-founder of US Youth Climate Strike and founder of Earth Uprising, said on Thursday: “They can listen to us now, or they can listen to us later… because our voice is going to continue getting louder as the climate crisis gets more urgent.”“The audacity of simply asking for leaders to lead is extraordinary and we are indebted to young people the world over for pushing us to this place,” Guterres’ special representative for sustainable energy Rachel Kyte told journalists on Thursday.The strike has also been supported by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), which boasts 200 million members globally.“Your standing up to governments, demanding action around climate has in fact…
PAMACC News - Joseph Mithika Mwenda, a Kenyan climate activist and the head of the Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance has received the prestigious Earth Care Award by the Sierra Club at a colourful ceremony held in the Marriott Oakland City Centre in Oakland, California.The award comes just a few months after Apolitical, a global network for governments announced him among the 100 most influential persons especially on climate policy, nominated by hundreds of public servants from around the world, including experts at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Harvard University, Oxford University, Bloomberg Philanthropies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organisation in the United States which brings together 3.5+ million members and supporters who fight and defend everyone’s right to a healthy world.“This is not a singular honour but the recognition of the work by thousands of PACJA members and partners in Africa and elsewhere who have sacrificed all what they have to ensure we reach this level,” said Mwenda soon after he was nominated in June “With profound humility, I accept this Award that will no doubt energise my resolve to continue fighting to accord voice to those at the frontline of climate crisis.”Mwenda has been steadfast in the fight for climate justice from the country level in Africa, to the international conferences through the Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).The alliance is a consortium of more than 1,000 organisations from 48 African countries, and brings together a diverse membership drawn from Faith-based Organisations, Community-Based Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, Trusts, Foundations, Indigenous Communities, Farmers and Pastoralist Groups with a shared vision to advance a people-centred, right-based, equitable, just and inclusive approach to climate change response. PACJA is implementing a variety of projects that traverse direct programming, policy and advocacy, sub-granting and capacity building, mainly focusing on the most vulnerable groups that are “unreachable” in traditional development paradigms. The Alliance plays a central role in key African processes spearheaded by African Union, UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and African Development Bank (AfDB), among them, the flagship Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev) Programme. It is a Partner in Adaptation of African Agriculture on Climate Change Initiative (AAA), whose main goal it to build resilience for the mainly smallholder agriculture from climate shocks.
ACCRA, Ghana (PAMACC News) - The erosion of trust in South Sudan’s public institutions is hindering humanitarian work in the war torn country, a UN agency has said.Hsiao Wei Lee, the senior strategy advisor and head of programme at World Food Programme (WFP), South Sudan, said during the 2019 AGRF in Accra, Ghana, that it is becoming problematic to rebuild the country due to weakened trust among the people and institutions there.According to Lee, military institutions in the country have taken over key decision making activities, there, leaving out its people. Yet the people are the ones mostly affected by sporadic conflicts in South Sudan.“Livelihoods in South Sudan depend highly on free movement but this is being constrained by conflict. People are not able to keep up with coping strategies,” said Lee.Latest research conducted by her agency indicated that over 90 per cent of the population in South Sudan would like chiefs and communal groups to be wholly involved in peace building.This is because even short term conflicts have long term impacts on communities, especially when it comes to food insecurity.Agnes Kalibata, the president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), said climate change is being blamed for food insecurity in the country, yet it is conflict that is leading to worsening hunger there.According to her, two thirds of the people of South Sudan are going hungry due to conflict, yet there are attractive investment opportunities in the country that can make it prosper.“South Sudan is in a better position compared to about a decade ago. AGRA’s programs there have proved that there are agriculture investment opportunities that can be a game changer for the country,” said Kalibata.Over 400,000 people in the war torn country have died due to conflict since 2013. Two million more live in neighbouring countries as refugees.While this is the case, over 85 percent of the population live below the poverty line, while 60 percent of these depend on humanitarian assistance.But this situation can be improved. All that is needed is to tie peace building with humanitarian aid and development, according to Patrick Diskin, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) deputy mission director in South Sudan.“It is impossible to provide humanitarian assistance where there is no peace. The people also need to be educated and exposed to formal jobs,” said Pierre Vauthier, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) South Sudan country representative.However, Henry Taban, the executive director and chairman of the Rural Action Against Hunger in South Sudan, said the Partnership for Recovery and Resilience (PfRR) programme in South Sudan is helping restore the social fabric in the country.This, he said, is being done through building partnerships with community groups, NGOs and UN agencies.“Building partnerships is the best model to help in the recovery process of South Sudan,” said Taban.
Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation has restated its commitment to scaling proven technologies capable of driving digital growth in African agriculture. Dr Chrys Akem, Programme Coordinator of Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) made this known at the ongoing 2019 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) holding at Accra International Conference Center (AICC), Accra, Ghana. The Forum, which brings together more than 2,500 delegates and high-level dignitaries, including current and former Heads of State and Government; Agriculture and Finance Ministers; eminent leaders of global and regional development institutions; is considering the theme “Grow Digital: Leveraging Digital Transformation to Drive Sustainable Food Systems in Africa.” According to Dr Akem, given unprecedented growth and adoption of digital technologies across the continent, Africa has an opportunity to leapfrog the agricultural transformation trajectory of the past and revolutionize life by overcoming isolation, speeding up change and creating jobs of the future. “But all these cannot happen if we don’t take digital solutions to scale in African agriculture and that is where TAAT comes in,” Dr Akem said. Funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), TAAT’s main objective is to improve the business of agriculture across Africa by raising agricultural productivity, mitigating risks and promoting diversification and processing in 18 agricultural value chains within eight Priority Intervention Areas (PIA). The programme increases agricultural productivity through the deployment of proven and high-performance agricultural technologies at scale along selected value chains including rice, aquaculture, maize, cassava, wheat, and livestock. Others are sorghum and millet, orange-fleshed sweet potato and high iron beans. This year’s forum, according to Dr Akem, is paying particular attention to issues relating to TAAT’s mandate especially with regards to leveraging digital tools comprising of precision agriculture, sensor technology, digital financial services, data-driven agriculture, and ICT-enabled extension services to transform agriculture. “TAAT is therefore using its exhibition booth at the forum to showcase how it is deploying proven, digital technologies to transform African agriculture. Some of the success stories on display include decision support tools for farmers, cassava business connector, RiceAdvice, the free Android-based decision-support tool for providing farmers with guideline on field-specific crop management practices for rice to improve rice productivity and increase profitability amidst others. “There is no green revolution in Africa, yet so many technologies exist,” said Jennifer Blanke, Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development at the African Development.” “With these technologies, Africa should be able to leapfrog, but this can only happen if projects are scaled up,” she said Dr Agnes Kalibata, President of African Green Revolution Alliance (AGRA) echoed similar sentiments while kick-starting a week of discussions. “By using digitalization to leapfrog traditional development pathways, we can make the decade to 2030 the last mile of delivering Africa’s green revolution”. The 2019 AGRF features digital technologies and platforms transforming agriculture across the continent and globe. It seeks to identify and catalyse the enabling policies, programs, and investments needed to further leverage this digital transformation for sustainable African food systems.
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