Africa
LOCUST SWARMS SPREAD TO SOUTH SUDAN, THREATEN FOOD SECURITY OF MILLIONS
02/24/2020
Update Volume
50
Update Issue
6

Locust swarms across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Tanzania, and Uganda have now entered South Sudan, threatening crops and livelihoods of 25 million people. The locust outbreak in Kenya is the worst the country has faced in 70 years, while Somalia and Ethiopia are experiencing their worst swarms in 25 years.

SCIENTISTS ATTEMPT TO SAVE ELEPHANTS USING SEIZED IVORY
01/29/2018
Update Volume
48
Update Issue
3

Scientists are using information gleaned from both illegal ivory art and elephant dung to provide clues that could help save their lives. The process consists of cutting up seized artifacts and subjecting them to carbon dating to determine when the elephants were killed. DNA from the ivory art is then compared to a DNA database derived from elephant dung to pinpoint where they lived. Previous work by the researchers has provided valuable information to focus poaching law enforcement in Africa and prosecute ivory traffickers elsewhere.

AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK INVESTS IN CLIMATE CHANGE
11/21/2016
Update Volume
46
Update Issue
33

Last week at the COP22 meeting in Marrakesh, members of the African Development Bank announced their plans to combat and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The Bank sees pushing forward on energy development—including investment in renewable energy—as a way to boost the economy of African countries and combat climate change. The Bank’s plan, the New Deal on Energy for Africa, plans to invest $12 billion in the continent’s energy sector, including in developing up to 300GW of renewable energy power by 2030 as part of their African Renewable Energy Initiative.

ERRATIC WEATHER CAUSING RISE IN IRRIGATION IN AFRICA
09/12/2016
Update Volume
46
Update Issue
25

Sub-Saharan Africa is seeing a surge of interest in irrigation among small-scale farmers as climate change brings more erratic weather and as rising populations in countries from Nigeria to Kenya mean growing demand for a reliable harvest, agriculture and water experts say. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) estimates that more than a million hectares of small farms are now irrigated in the region. In Tanzania, the area of small farms with access to irrigation has risen from just 33,500 hectares in 2010 to about 150,000 today, institute figures show.

ENGLISH HIGH COURT TO DECIDE JURISDICTION OVER POLLUTION IN ZAMBIA
04/18/2016
Update Volume
46
Update Issue
11

Four Zambian villages have sued Vedanta Resources, a mining company based in London, for contaminating their water sources and land since 2004 through its mining operations. The villagers, who have fallen sick and have suffered huge crop losses, are asking Vedanta Resources and its Zambian subsidiary for compensation. Although the subsidiary is responsible for the alleged violations, the villagers have petitioned the high court in London to hear the case because they claim Vedanta Resources exercises control over its subsidiary’s activities.

GLOBAL STUDY FINDS VITAL BEES AND POLLINATORS AT RISK
02/29/2016
Update Volume
46
Update Issue
6

A growing number of pollinator species worldwide are being driven toward extinction by diverse pressures, many of them human-made, threatening millions of livelihoods and hundreds of billions of dollars worth of food supplies, according to the first global assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released February 26. Bees and other pollinators face increasing risks to their survival, threatening foods such as apples, blueberries and coffee worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

BOTSWANA SELLS RIGHTS TO FRACKING IN KGALAGADI PARK
12/07/2015
Update Volume
45
Update Issue
34

The government of Botswana quietly sold the rights to frack for shale gas in nearly half of the Kgalagadi Park. Prospecting licenses were granted to a UK-listed company called Nodding Donkey in September 2014, although the sale was not reported. The company recently changed its name to Karoo Energy. The park is located along the border of South Africa and spans more than 36,000 sq. km. It is one of Africa’s largest conservation areas and is home to pygmy falcons, the gemsbok desert antelope, and black-maned Kalahari lions.

FIVE AFRICAN COUNTRIES SIGN AGREEMENT TO COMBAT ILLEGAL TIMBER TRADE
09/14/2015
Update Volume
45
Update Issue
25

The governments of Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda signed the Zanzibar Declaration at the XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa, this week. The declaration aims to curb illegal trade in timber in Eastern and Southern Africa countries and to encourage member states to promote cooperation among their national forest agencies in information and intelligence sharing. Additionally, the declaration requests that member states implement bans on log exports and create monitoring and reporting systems for their timber industries.