Early-warning and drought risk reduction

 

http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/2017/01/press-release-satellite-based-early-warning-system-to-bolster-drought-risk-reduction/

Press Release: Satellite based early-warning system to bolster drought risk reduction

Experts meet in Delhi to discuss how South Asian countries could adopt the new drought monitoring system to better prepare and mitigate drought risks

(Delhi, January 30):  The South Asia Drought Monitoring System (SADMS) and its newly launched online portal was demonstrated at a regional workshop held in New Delhi today. The SADMS expected to provide near-real information of drought onset and progression helping decision makers respond in time. The interactive SADMS online portal, http://dms.iwmi.org/, would help in data sharing and viewing of all available drought and related maps for the entire region instantly.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & Director General of ICAR, Government of India said, “South Asia routinely suffers from drought and severe impact on agriculture production and livelihoods.  Early warning and monitoring system are important but at the same time need to be robust as climatic variation is huge and location specific. If water is going to be more limited in the future and droughts more frequent, a drought monitoring system would be even more relevant going forward.”

Agricultural technology innovations and diversification strategies to manage droughts

 

Photo credit: Africa Rising

Extent of adoption of sustainable intensification practices in target communities of eastern Zambia in 2010/11 to 2015/16.

Sustainable intensification practices―a ray of hope for Zambian farmers facing drought

by

 

Smallholder farmers in eastern Zambia, whose livelihoods are heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture, have been increasingly exposed to rising intensity and frequency of El-Niño induced droughts. Recurrent droughts have escalated over the past 35 years with serious droughts in 1982/83, 1991/92, 1993/92, 1997/98, 2002/03, 2004/05, 2007/08, and 2015/16. Erratic rains and prolonged dry spells have adversely affected agricultural production and sustainability of rural livelihoods in those years.

The 2015/16 El Niño-induced drought is predicted to reduce maize yield by more than 40% in eastern Zambia, with the valley areas heavily affected. High levels of poverty among smallholder farmers (78%), insufficient resilience, economic diversification, and investment initiatives leave farmers vulnerable to these climate shocks. Predicted increases in intensity and frequency of droughts are likely to exacerbate climate-induced economic shock in the next decades, pushing farmers into a vicious cycle of poverty.

The socioeconomic team under the Africa RISING Project carried out a study to understand smallholder farmers’ perception of El-Niño-induced droughts, their impacts on their socioeconomic activities, and their adaptation strategies at the household level. In this study, adaptive capacity is defined as the ability of a system to adjust to climate shocks (including prolonged in-season droughts and shorter growing seasons < 100 days), to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities or to cope with the consequences. The adaptive capacity of communities depends on many factors such as a) household resource endowments; b) strong social network; c) climate-resilient farming technologies; d) access to inputs; e) knowledge of climate risk; d) agricultural extension services; f) rural financial markets; and g) marketing and storage systems. Although Zambia has an early warning system, forecasting institutions are inadequately equipped and communication to extension officers and farmers in user-friendly formats is limited.

Read the full article: Africa Rising

Deforestation and economy

 

 

Poor nations’ economies grow with rising deforestation

by Baraka Rateng’

Speed read

  • Researchers assessed the link between economic growth and deforestation
  • They found that in poor countries, increased deforestation leads to growth
  • An expert says the study is useful for formulating policies

Poor countries’ economic growth increases with deforestation rates but the effect disappears in wealthier economies, a study says.

According to researchers, climatic factors and inadequate data make it difficult to establish the link between economic development and overexploitation of natural resources.

But using satellite data, researchers were able to assess the link between deforestation rates and economic factors across countries.

“Our results quantify the potential costs that such policies could potentially have in terms of forest cover loss.”

Jesús Crespo Cuaresma, Vienna University of Economics and Business

The study published this month (16 January) in the journal Scientific Reports found that as developing countries become richer, a decrease in forest cover occurs, but such a relationship disappears at higher levels of income per capita.

“This implies that increases in deforestation, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa, are expected as poorer economies converge in income per capita to that of developed countries,” says Jesús Crespo Cuaresma, a research scholar and professor of economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, who led the study.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Solar-Powered Water Purifier for Global Drinking Water Shortages

 

newsimage_23909
From the top left corner, moving clockwise, the four images depict: University at Buffalo students performing an experiment, clean drinking water, water evaporating, and black carbon wrapped around plastic in water with evaporated vapor on top evaporated water. Credit: University at Buffalo. – http://www.azocleantech.com/images/news/NewsImage_23909.jpg

New Solar-Powered Water Purifier Could Help Address Global Drinking Water Shortages

Written by AZoCleantech

You have seen how Bear Grylls turns polluted water into drinking water with little more than plastic and sunlight. Based on this survival technique, academics have now added a third element – carbon-dipped paper – to create a highly efficient and inexpensive method to turn contaminated water and saltwater into potable water for personal use.

The idea could help address drinking water shortages worldwide, and especially in developing areas and territories affected by natural disasters. This is described in a study published online today (Jan. 30, 2017) in the Global Challenges journal.

Using extremely low-cost materials, we have been able to create a system that makes near maximum use of the solar energy during evaporation. At the same time, we are minimizing the amount of heat loss during this process.

Qiaoqiang Gan, PhD, Associate Professor, University at Buffalo

Other members of the research team are from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University at Buffalo‘s Department of Chemistry, Fudan University in China, and the lab of Gan, who is a member of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics and UB’s RENEW Institute, an interdisciplinary institute dedicated to solving complex environmental problems.

Solar Vapor Generator

In order to perform the study, the research team created a small-scale solar still. The device, known as a “solar vapor generator,” uses the heat converted from sunlight to clean or desalinate water. Here’s how the device works:

Read the full story: AZO Cleantech

Dire food shortages in Horn of Africa

 

Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

Farmers in the Horn of Africa need urgent support to recover from consecutive lost harvests and to keep their livestock healthy and productive. Photo: FAO/Simon Maina

Warning of dire food shortages in Horn of Africa, UN agriculture agency calls for urgent action

With only one-quarter of expected rainfall received in the Horn of Africa in the October-December period, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today called for an immediate response to prevent widespread drought conditions from becoming a catastrophe.

“The magnitude of the situation calls for scaled up action and coordination at national and regional levels,” FAO Deputy Director-General, Climate and Natural Resources, Maria Helena Semedo told a high-level panel on humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa chaired by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, which was held yesterday on the side lines of the 28th African Union (AU) Summit in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia.

“This is, above all, a livelihoods and humanitarian emergency – and the time to act is now. We cannot wait for a disaster like the famine in 2011,” she added.

FAO estimates that over 17 million people are currently in crisis and emergency food insecurity levels in member-countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), namely Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, which are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

Currently, close to 12 million people across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are in need of food assistance. Much of Somalia, north-east and coastal Kenya, south-east of Ethiopia as well as the Afar region are still to recover from El Niño-induced drought of 2015/16 while South Sudan and Darfur region of Sudan are facing the protracted insecurity.

Acute food shortage and malnutrition also remains to be a major concern in many parts of South Sudan, Sudan (west Darfur) and Uganda’s Karamoja region.

FAO warns that if response is not immediate and sufficient, the risks are massive and the costs high.

Read the full article: UN NEWS CENTRE

New drought hits Ethiopia

 

Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

In February 2016, villagers gather at the Ula Arba water point, in Ziway Dugda Woreda, Arsi zone Oromia region, Ethiopia. Photo: OCHA/Charlotte Cans

As new drought hits Ethiopia, UN urges support for Government’s ‘remarkable’ efforts

Commending the Ethiopian Government and humanitarian partners on the response to last year’s El Niño drought that left 10.2 million people needing food assistance, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien today said the international community must show “total solidarity” with country as it faces a new drought.

“This High-Level event must express our total solidarity with the Ethiopian people and the Ethiopian Government. And let’s be clear: that solidarity is not a matter of generosity. It is a matter of justice and of self-interest,” the Secretary-General told those gathered for the event, held earlier today in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on the margins of the 28th Summit of the African Union.

It is a matter of justice in relation to the enormous generosity of the Ethiopian people themselves, he said, recalling that during his 10 years as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, he had witnessed the way Ethiopia became not only the largest African refugee-hosting country but the country with the most determined policy of keeping all its borders open, even in the most difficult security situations; “an example that, I would say, needs to be thought about in a world where unfortunately, so many borders are being closed.”

Moreover, he said, the current crisis has not caught the Government and the people of Ethiopia unprepared, even if the magnitude of the crisis clearly is above the capacity of the Horn of Africa country to resolve. “Ethiopia has persistently applied a policy of building resilience in relation to the natural disasters that unfortunately with climate change have come to be more and more frequent and intense,” explained Mr. Guterres.

Showing solidarity with Ethiopia is a matter of self-interest “because the link between humanitarian and development with peace and security is growing everywhere, and to invest in building resilience of populations and to invest in the best humanitarian needs in situations of stress like the one we are facing is also to contribute to strengthen peace and security,” said Mr. Guterres, noting that a number of countries around Ethiopia are in the midst of deep crises – Somalia, South Sudan and Eritrea.

In Ethiopia and beyond, development and peace and security must be tackled jointly – UN chief

Read the full article: UN NEWS CENTRE

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MY COMMENT (Willem Van Cotthem, University of Ghent, Belgium)

Hopefully, these people have already learned how to set up a kitchen garden with container gardening.  See https://www.facebook.com/groups/221343224576801/

$265 billion annually !

 

Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

Rural development and youth employment are strongly connected to migration. Photo: FAO/Riccardo Gangale

Global Goals on poverty and hunger require $265 billion annually – UN conference told

The world must take urgent action to mobilise the estimated $265 billion a year needed to achieve the first two Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and hunger by 2030, the head of the United Nations agency for financing rural development projects has told an international conference.

“The need is urgent,” Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said at last night’s opening of a conference, titled “Investing in inclusive rural transformation: innovative approaches to financing,” held in Rome, Italy on 26-27 January.

“Despite decades of commitments and considerable effort to end poverty and hunger, nearly 800 million children, women and men still go hungry every day, and an almost equal number live in extreme poverty,” he added, stressing the need to be more creative in using public resources and mobilise financing.

He also emphasized the need to make it easier for the private sector and philanthropists to invest in rural areas, where rates of poverty and hunger are highest.

Speakers agreed it cannot be left up to governments alone. In 2015, Official Development Assistance (ODA) was approximately $192 billion and only $9 billion of that was earmarked for agriculture.

Read the full story: UN NEWS CENTRE

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TIMES 5 = 1325 BILLION (MY COMMENT: Willem VAN COTTHEM)

Just one question and I rest my case:

“Take you have 1325 billion dollars to spend over 5 years, how many kitchen gardens with containers for hungry families can you build in that period of time and what would be the sustainable effect of such an action (program) on malnutrition, hunger and poverty?”.