African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".


  • African Press International Daily Online News Channel

  • * * API on Facebook

  • Total Visitors

    • 5,358,732 HITS
  • Flag tracker

    web counter
  • RSS BBC News – Africa

    • Deadly attack on South Sudan UN base April 17, 2014
      Dozens of civilians sheltering in a UN base in the South Sudan city of Bor have been killed in an attack by armed youths, the UN says.
    • French troops free Mali aid workers April 17, 2014
      French troops in Mali free five aid workers who were kidnapped in the north of the country by suspected Islamist militants in February.
    • Parents seek Nigeria kidnap girls April 17, 2014
      The parents of some of the girls abducted from their school in north-east Nigeria head into the forests in a dangerous search for their daughters.
    • Pistorius forensic tests challenged April 17, 2014
      The tests carried out by a forensic expert for Oscar Pistorius' murder trial are rigorously challenged by the state prosecutor in South Africa.
    • Algeria votes on Bouteflika's future April 18, 2014
      Algerians have voted in elections in which incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke last year, is seeking a fourth term.
    • Senegal's Karim Wade 'to face trial' April 17, 2014
      A Senegalese court rules that Karim Wade, the ex-president's son, should stand trial on corruption charges over his wealth, an official says.
    • Guinea-Bissau run-off to pick leader April 17, 2014
      Officials in Guinea-Bissau say a run-off vote will be held next month after no candidate won an outright victory in Sunday's presidential election.
    • Remittance fees 'hurt Africans' April 16, 2014
      Communities in sub-Saharan Africa are being "hurt" by high fees charged by money transfer operators, charity Comic Relief says.
    • UN mulls medal for peacekeepers April 16, 2014
      The UN Security Council hears a proposal to create a medal for bravery in UN peacekeeping, to be named after a Senegalese soldier who saved lives during the Rwandan genocide.
    • Head of oldest African park shot April 16, 2014
      The Belgian director of Africa's oldest national park - Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo - is shot and wounded in an ambush.
    • 'Last' Chadian soldier leaves CAR April 16, 2014
      Chad has withdrawn all its peacekeepers from the Central African Republic, an official confirms, after accusations they sided with Muslim rebels.
    • South Sudan rebels 'seize' oil hub April 15, 2014
      Rebel forces in South Sudan say they have recaptured the oil hub of Bentiu and want oil companies to halt operations.
    • Elite marathon runner misses flight April 15, 2014
      A London Marathon runner from Sierra Leone is missing after she disappeared and failed to catch a flight home.
    • VIDEO: Hunt for 100 abducted girls in Nigeria April 16, 2014
      Security forces in Borno State in Nigeria are searching for dozens of teenage girls abducted by suspected members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
    • AUDIO: 'Killing books' in Libya April 15, 2014
      Libyan author Mansour Bushnaf says Libya does not have much of reading culture because under Col Muammar Gaddafi, people were afraid of books.
    • VIDEO: At site of Nigeria bus station blast April 14, 2014
      A powerful bomb blast has ripped through a crowded bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, killing at least 71 people.
    • VIDEO: Cleaning up Cairo's waste system April 14, 2014
      The Egyptian government is turning to its traditional rubbish collectors - the Zabaleen - to revolutionise Cario's waste disposal industry.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 23 - in 60 secs April 16, 2014
      The girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius was shot in quick succession as she fell down, a forensics expert has told the South African athlete's murder trial.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 21 - in 60 secs April 14, 2014
      The prosecutor at the Oscar Pistorius murder trial suggests the South African athlete is using his emotions "as an escape".
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial shown prosthetic leg April 17, 2014
      The prosthetic leg belonging to Oscar Pistorius has been shown to the court during his murder trial. He denies murder, claiming he mistook Reeva Steenkamp for a burglar.
  • RSS BBC News – Home

    • Junior officer 'had Korea ship helm' April 18, 2014
      The third officer was at the helm of the ferry that capsized off South Korea, investigators say, as divers work to access the sunken hull.
    • Sacked doctor was unfairly dismissed April 18, 2014
      A sacked heart specialist was unfairly dismissed after raising concerns about patient safety, an employment tribunal rules.
    • Everest avalanche kills 12 guides April 18, 2014
      At least 12 local guides have been killed after an avalanche on the slopes of Mount Everest, officials in Nepal say.
    • East Ukraine militants snub deal April 18, 2014
      Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine refuse to leave official buildings, just hours after an international deal was reached to defuse the crisis.
    • Tributes for Gabriel Garcia Marquez April 18, 2014
      Presidents and fellow writers pay tribute to Nobel prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez ,who has died in Mexico aged 87.
    • Labour hires Obama poll guru Axelrod April 18, 2014
      David Axelrod, the strategist who masterminded Barack Obama's presidential victories, will be a key adviser on Ed Miliband's 2015 general election campaign, the Labour Party says.
    • Foreign doctors 'need tougher test' April 18, 2014
      Tests taken by foreign doctors who want to work in the NHS should be made harder to pass to bring them in line with UK standards, a study says.
    • Teachers' unions meet amid disputes April 17, 2014
      Calls for more action over pay and pensions are expected this weekend when the two biggest teachers' unions meet for their annual conferences.
    • Bullied children still suffer at 50 April 17, 2014
      Children can experience the negative effects of bullying on their physical and mental health more than 40 years later, says a study from King's College London.
    • Channel Tunnel trains back to normal April 18, 2014
      Channel Tunnel rail services have returned to normal on Good Friday morning after being hit by severe disruption.
    • British teenager killed in Syria April 18, 2014
      An 18-year-old British man has died in Syria, the Foreign Office says.
    • Deadly attack on South Sudan UN base April 17, 2014
      Dozens of civilians sheltering in a UN base in the South Sudan city of Bor have been killed in an attack by armed youths, the UN says.
    • Foreign doctor 'safety fears' - front pages April 18, 2014
      Some papers focus on suggestions foreign-trained doctors are less skilled than British counterparts, while others report on a child said to have caught meningitis from a cat.
    • Female cave insects have 'penises' April 18, 2014
      Female insects with 'penises' have been discovered in Brazil - the first example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia.
    • Chick knit plea response 'fantastic' April 18, 2014
      An online appeal by a Manchester children's hospice for knitted chicks boosts its flock to an "unexpected" more than 6,300.
    • Pulis happy to discuss Cardiff row April 18, 2014
      Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis is willing to talk to the Premier League over Cardiff's claims of team-sheet leaking.
    • Trott to take break from cricket April 18, 2014
      England batsman Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from cricket because of a recurrence of his anxiety issues.
    • Changes 'against Paralympic values' April 18, 2014
      British Paralympic champion Danielle Brown fears athletes with 'invisible' disabilities will suffer after rule changes.
    • Hamilton top in second practice April 18, 2014
      Lewis Hamilton heads Ferrari's Fernando Alonso as the Mercedes driver sets the pace in Friday practice at the Chinese GP.
    • Lawro's predictions v Ken Doherty April 17, 2014
      BBC Sport's football expert Mark Lawrenson takes on former snooker world champion Ken Doherty in this week's predictions
  • RSS Reuters: Politics

  • RSS CNN.com – Africa

    • Luxury shoes made in Ghana April 15, 2014
      Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.
    • Meet Nigeria's 'Mark Zuckerberg' April 3, 2014
      At 23, many people around the world are still at university -- at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
    • Why we need more geek girls April 3, 2014
      "It was like taking a big leap of faith."
    • 'Uncle Ebo' revives Ghanaian theater April 15, 2014
      African Voices meets James Ebo Whyte a passionate storyteller with a series of successful plays to his credit.
    • How medics saved lives at Westgate April 9, 2014
      When gunmen stormed into Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Abbas Gullet was one of the first emergency responders on the scene. As head of Kenya's Red Cross, he was in charge of coordinating services for people in need.
    • Embracing Ghana's natural beauty April 1, 2014
      She started her business with just £100, lugging her beauty bag from door to door, but some 25 years later Grace Amey-Obeng has built a multi-million dollar cosmetics empire that's helping change the perception of beauty for many.
    • Africa's most endangered April 16, 2014
      Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened. Find out more about its most endangered animals.
    • Secrets of 'gorilla whisperer' March 25, 2014
      Zain Verjee visits Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park -- the home of half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla population.
    • Savannah from the sky March 13, 2014
      It's almost impossible for a photographer to find fresh visual perspectives these days. Brooklyn-based Zack Seckler had to travel to a different continent and strap into an ultra-light aircraft to find one. His Botswana series presents the country from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique and captivating view of the savannah.
    • Rating Pistorius's defense April 16, 2014
      After five days of intense cross-examination, has Olympian Oscar Pistorius helped or harmed his defense that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkam?
    • Pop art condoms saving lives April 15, 2014
      The Center for African Family Studies in Nairobi has teamed up with Kenyan artist Michael Soi to create eye-catching condom wrappers to promote safe sex and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people.
    • Ebola: A swift and bloody killer April 16, 2014
      It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here.
    • 'I lost my fingers, made new ones' April 14, 2014
      A South African carpenter lost his fingers in an accident -- now he's making mechanical fingers and hands for others.
    • Kenya double in London Marathon April 13, 2014
      World record-holder Wilson Kipsang completed a Kenyan double at the London Marathon Sunday as home hope Mo Farah disappointed on his debut over the 42km distance.
    • Pistorius at mercy of 'bull dog?' April 11, 2014
      He's known as the "bull dog" in South Africa's legal circles, and just two days in to Gerrie Nel's merciless cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius, it's easy to see why.
    • 'Now is the time for Afro-realism' April 11, 2014
      Over the last 20 years, the narrative on the African continent has shifted from Afro-pessimism to Afro-optimism. The truth lies somewhere in between. Now is the time for Afro-realism: for sound policies based on honest data, aimed at delivering results.
    • Africa's tastiest street food April 11, 2014
      Here are your photos of the tastiest -- and most unusual -- African street food.
    • Most stylish tribe in Africa? April 10, 2014
      A South African designer is making sure that when Xhosa boys come of age, they're dressed to the nines.
    • Egypt's sex pest epidemic? April 9, 2014
      A university student cowers in a pharmacy as a mob outside threatens her with sexual violence. A law student is groped by her classmates, the dean cites her "inappropriate attire." Frightening allegations but advocates say this is an everyday reality for women in Cairo.
    • Day that changed Kenya forever April 9, 2014
      When gunmen stormed into Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Abbas Gullet was one of the first emergency responders on the scene. As head of Kenya's Red Cross, he was in charge of coordinating services for people in need.
  • Country Stats

    free counters

The unfolding impact of extreme climate variability ‘is just a sample of the catastrophe

Posted by African Press International on June 28, 2013

By Jaspreet Kindra 

A hot meal for the people displaced by floods in India’s Uttarakhand state

JOHANNESBURG,  - The floods in India’s Uttarakhand State, which may have claimed as many as 5,000 lives, were prompted by an unusually high amount of rainfall. The disaster, possibly the largest so far this year, underscores what is at stake in the UN’s upcoming climate talks in Warsaw, Poland.

“We do know that in warmer climate situations, we expect the atmosphere to be able to hold more moisture, and therefore that heavy rainfall events will become more common in the future,” said Andrew Turner, a monsoon expert with the Walker Institute for Climate System Research at the University of Reading.

The extreme event also puts a spotlight on loss and damage caused by climate change and the need for resources for help poor countries adapt - issues to be negotiated at the 19th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will be held from 11 to 22 November. Discussions on these matters have been moving slowly; some important related issues were not even raised at the recently concluded talks in Bonn.

Harjeet Singh, ActionAid‘s international coordinator for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation, said the unfolding impact of extreme climate variability “is just a sample of the catastrophe our children will witness if we do not dramatically reduce emissions and prepare to deal with it.”

IRIN has asked experts from NGOs and governments what they would like to see happen in Warsaw and what they believe is realistically possible.

Major deals

The upcoming talks will be considering two major deals: first, a new global regime for 2020 and onwards to curb the emission of harmful greenhouse gases and help poor countries adapt to climate change – this should be ready by the 2015 UN climate talks to be held in Paris – and, second, a pre-2020 deal to reduce emissions.

“The unfolding impact of extreme climate variability ‘is just a sample of the catastrophe our children will witness if we do not dramatically reduce emissions and prepare to deal with it’”

The current legal instrument to reduce harmful emissions, the Kyoto Protocol, has been extended to 2020. But the International Energy Agency warned this monththat the world is not on track to meet its goal of limiting the global rise in temperature to 2 degrees Celsius by the turn of the century. An increase of over 2 degrees would be catastrophic, leading to a rise in sea levels and threatening the existence of small island states and low-lying countries.

The experts IRIN consulted identified three key issues they want to see addressed: Loss and damage, funding for adaptation, and preventing forest loss.

Loss and damage mechanism

When poor countries walked away from the 2012 climate change talks in Doha, it seemed possible that a mechanism addressing climate change-related loss and damage could be formalized in the upcoming Warsaw talks. The mechanism would open the door for poor countries to receive compensation should they experience loss and damage from climate change.

What should happen

Saleemul Huq, lead author of the chapter on adaptation in the fourth assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says he would like to see the adoption of the proposed “Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage”. He says countries need not work out the details, but rather they should accept the skeleton of a mechanism in Poland.

This sort of arrangement has worked in the past. A green climate fund was accepted in principle, as were discussions around adaptation, in previous climate change meetings; both these elements were fleshed out in subsequent meetings and have a permanent place in the main negotiation text of the talks.

Joe Aitaro, a negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States representing the Pacific island of Palau, says he would like to see the mechanism agreed upon and operationalized.

What is likely to happen

Aitaro and Huq are pessimistic about the issue moving forward in Warsaw.

But ActionAid’s Singh, Germanwatch’s climate policy advisor Sönke Kreft and Asad Rehman, international climate head at Friends of the Earth, are more hopeful. A stalemate on a procedural issue stalled talks around loss and damage in Bonn, Kreft said, but he expected the issue will find a permanent home under the UNFCCC in Warsaw. At the moment, he said it was unclear where the issue will be placed under the new regime.

Singh says that, despite the glitches in Bonn, “negotiators worked informally to detail out functions and modalities of the international mechanism, which is a step in the right direction.”

Rehman says, it might require Poland, as the host of the talks, to provide “extra political space as necessary to reach the agreement” on the mechanism.

Funding for adaptation

In 2009, developed countries promised to provide US$30 billion by 2012 to help poor countries adapt to climate change. They also promised to provide $100 billion a year from 2020 onwards. Developed countries reported in Doha that they had reached the $30 billion target, but this was disputed by academics and civil society.

What should happen

Rich countries should make clearer commitments about how they intend to scale-up their funding until 2020, said Sven Harmeling, the lead on climate change policy at Germanwatch. Countries should also make a commitment of $150 million to the Adaptation Fund set up under the UNFCCC, he said.

Current amounts pledged by rich countries are considered much lower than what is required. The UNFCCC has estimated that by 2030, poor countries will need between $28 billion and $59 billion a year to adapt. The World Bank thinks between $20 billion and $100 billion should help.

Heavy rains in India – an unusual event
The heavy rainfall which prompted massive floods in Uttarakhand State were caused by an unusual interaction between the westerly jet stream and the monsoon- laden easterly winds, according to Andrew Turner, a climatologist with the Walker Institute for Climate System Research at the University of Reading.

“The jet stream snakes across the northern (and southern) hemisphere and meanders north and south. Sometimes the jet stream gets stuck in one position, and this can cause extreme heat and drought in some regions and heavy rainfall in others,” according to the Walker Institute website.

“This appears to have led to much more intensive rainfall than usual, as it interacts with the moist surface flow from the Indian Ocean,” Turner told IRIN.

A similar situation occurred in Pakistan in 2010, leading to some of the most devastating floods in recent memory. Such events may be increasing in frequency.

The monsoons in India also arrived a month earlier than usual, Turner told IRIN. “In northern India, the states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand had received between three and four times as much rainfall as normal in the 1-22 June period, and Uttarakhand in particular received almost 10 times as much rainfall as normal in the week 13-19 June,” he said.

The Adaptation Fund says that over the past two years, it has given out more than $180 million to increase climate resilience in 28 countries around the world. Two other funds under the UNFCCC – the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) – recently said they have received a combined $198 million in new pledges, bringing total international commitments to more than $1 billion.

What is likely to happen

Harmeling is pessimistic. He says developed countries are unlikely to make clearer commitments; the global economic downturn has made countries tighten their purse strings.

REDD+

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) is a UNFCCC programme to prevent the increase of greenhouse gases through deforestation; its successor, REDD+, additionally aims to reverse forest loss. REDD+ is currently designed to provide financial incentives for forest preservation, attaching a monetary value to carbon captured by forests, but questions over funding have stalled its implementation.

Some of the sticking issues have included the rights of indigenous forest communities and the protection of biodiversity, conditions, or “safeguards”, that counties were required to meet to qualify for REDD+ funding. No policies have yet been developed to implement these safeguards. There have also been questions about monitoring and addressing drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. In particular, activists want to know when and how often information will be presented about the safeguards’ implementation.

What should happen

Vera Coelho of Wetlands International says the organization wants both developed and developing countries to report back on actions to reduce deforestation and peatland degradation.

Rosalind Reeve of the REDD+ Safeguards Working Group (R-SWG), an alliance of NGOs, would like more clarity about the safeguards.

What is likely to happen

Reeve says some developments in Bonn were encouraging, as countries were asked to provide “submissions on lessons learned and challenges with developing safeguards’ information systems, since this will enable the improvement of systems.” She said the outcome on the timing and frequency of when information will be provided “to demonstrate that safeguards are being addressed and respected is disappointing.”

Donald Lehr, spokesperson for R-SWG, says the current negotiation text for Warsaw, as” currently formulated, causes a problem for indigenous peoples, since it implies they are causing deforestation and forest degradation as opposed to be being good stewards of the forest whose traditional practices need to be recognized”.

He continued, “Several countries, including the Philippines, Tuvalu and Australia for the Umbrella Group [an informal coalition of non-EU developed countries] expressed concern about the ‘drivers’ language, so we expect that it and text on safeguards reporting will be negotiated further in Warsaw.”

jk/rz source http://www.irinnews.org

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,226 other followers

%d bloggers like this: