Land grabs: Africa’s new ‘resource curse’?

Pambazuka News

As developed nations attempt to secure supplies of food and biofuels to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the food and energy security of their populations, Khadija Sharife writes in this week’s Pambazuka News about the rush by foreign investors to buy up agricultural land across Africa, all too often at the expense of the wellbeing and livelihoods of local communities Continue reading Land grabs: Africa’s new ‘resource curse’?

Climate ‘is a major cause’ of conflict in Africa

BBC
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website

Climate has been cited as a factor behind civil conflict in Darfur

Climate has been a major driver of armed conflict in Africa, research shows – and future warming is likely to increase the number of deaths from war.

US researchers found that across the continent, conflict was about 50% more likely in unusually warm years.

Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they suggest strife arises when the food supply is scarce in warm conditions. Continue reading Climate ‘is a major cause’ of conflict in Africa

Report Details ‘Coal’s Assault on Human Health’

The Chraleston Gazette
by Ken Ward Jr.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Coal pollution is assaulting human health through impacts on workers, residents near mining operations and power plants, and the environment in coalfield communities, according to a new report by a group of physicians.

The report by Physicians for Social Responsibility examined coal’s impacts on major organ systems of the human body, from the lungs to the brain. Continue reading Report Details ‘Coal’s Assault on Human Health’

What They Really Believe

New York Times Editorial
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: November 17, 2009
If you follow the debate around the energy/climate bills working through Congress you will notice that the drill-baby-drill opponents of this legislation are now making two claims. One is that the globe has been cooling lately, not warming, and the other is that America simply can’t afford any kind of cap-and-trade/carbon tax. Continue reading What They Really Believe

Cardinal tells Food Summit: ‘Africa needs water, not GM crops’ Posted

Independent Catholic News

Cardinal Wilfred Napier

At the Rome Food Summit which opened yesterday,  Cardinal Napier, Archbishop of Durban, said: “I have the impression that this organization does not know what the real problems of nutrition in Africa are. Africans do not need GMOs (genetically modified organisms), but water. We have our crops that grow well without genetic modifications, as long as you give them enough water. Well help us to build wells, dams and aqueducts; GMOs do not need it.” Continue reading Cardinal tells Food Summit: ‘Africa needs water, not GM crops’ Posted

Haiti after the Donors’ Conference A Way Forward

U S Institute of Peace – Click this link for complete report.
Robert Maguire
Robert Maguire, a Haiti specialist, is an associate professor of international affairs at Trinity Washington University. He was a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in 2008–09 and currently serves as the chair of the Institute’s Haiti Working Group.
Summary
Following a year of economic setbacks, natural disasters, and political tumult in Haiti, bilateral and multilateral donors convened at a mid-April 2009 conference and pledged $353 million to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth there. But it is by no means certain that this pledge—and the additional hundreds of millions of dollars coming in from earlier pledges—will reverse the country’s fortunes. At present, Haiti continues to be characterized by turmoil, a lack of sustained growth, and extremes of poverty and human suffering, and it remains highly vulnerable to external shocks. This report surveys poverty and inequality in Haiti and examines obstacles to sustained stability and growth as a means of understanding why stimulative efforts have not succeeded thus far. It offers conclusions and recommendations aimed at providing Haitians and their international supporters a way forward for achieving sustained stability and growth and for lessening the country’s turmoil and vulnerability to external shocks. Continue reading Haiti after the Donors’ Conference A Way Forward

Viewpoint: Young Catholics should not be encouraged to join the Army

Independent Catholic News
By: Catherine Hand
Catherine Hand, from Tideswell in Derbyshire writes:
“I do not think it right that the Army should be allowed to come to a careers evening in our school,” I said as a governor of our local Catholic comprehensive school.  Amazement, surprise and incomprehension greeted me. Continue reading Viewpoint: Young Catholics should not be encouraged to join the Army

Farmers Not Invited to Food Summit?

InterPress Service
by Sabina Zaccaro

Hortense Kinkodila of La Via Campesina in Congo Brazaville. Credit:Sabina Zaccaro/IPS

ROME – World farmers are not part of the official delegations at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) food summit on food security that opened here Monday. But they came anyhow to express their views, since, they say, it is their communities that are most impacted by the food crisis.

Small-scale producers from the Amazonian rainforest, from Africa, the Pacific islands and the Himalayas gathered in Rome for the Peoples’ Food Sovereignty Forum (Nov. 13-17), held in parallel to the FAO meetings, to discuss the serious effects of the crisis in their communities. Continue reading Farmers Not Invited to Food Summit?

Poverty, Global Trade Justice, and the Roots of Terrorism

Yes Magazine
To combat terrorism, we should address the root causes of poverty, says former “economic hit man”
by John Perkins
The following is adapted from Hoodwinked: An Economic Hitman Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded—and What We Need to Do to Remake Them. Random House, 2009:
Navy Seal snipers rescued an American cargo ship captain unharmed and killed three Somali pirates in a daring operation in the Indian Ocean on Sunday, ending a five-day standoff between United States naval forces and a small band of brigands in a covered orange lifeboat off the Horn of Africa. Continue reading Poverty, Global Trade Justice, and the Roots of Terrorism

Africa fights the ‘people trade’

Africa Renewal
Scourge of human trafficking ensnares hundreds of thousands
By Michael Fleshman

traf2
A young girl from Benin City in Nigeria’s southern Edo State, where the vast majority of Nigerian women trafficked to Europe for prostitution originate. © Panos / Lorena Ros

When 20-year-old Isoke Aikpitanyi was offered a job in Italy in 2000 she leapt at the chance. Life was difficult at home in Nigeria and opportunities for young women were limited and few. She knew that she would have to enter the country illegally and that the promised job would be low-paying and menial — that of a maid or nanny perhaps. But it seemed better than staying home, and the woman who made the job offer would also make the travel arrangements and pay the costs, which Ms. Aikpitanyi would repay from her earnings. Continue reading Africa fights the ‘people trade’