AFRICA: HALTING DEFORESTATION - FROM ASPIRATION TO ACTION
The amount of forest area destroyed in the world each year and the ultimate cost of this deforestation can hardly be measured. It has an impact extending far beyond the forest itself. Once the forests have disappeared, the integrity of the soil and water systems that they previously supported will be damaged, often permanently. Three-quarters of all freshwater for farms, industry and homes comes from forests and wetlands. In addition, forests also absorb more carbon than any other ecosystems, therefore, once they are destroyed, this carbon is emitted back into the atmosphere having a negative impact on the global climate. The negative impacts of deforestation for people and the environment are widespread and serious. The world will most likely fail to meet important global targets such as the SDGs if there is no correction in land use. Consequently, this will affect the actions required by the SDGs to eliminate hunger and poverty, preserve health and fight climate change as these rely heavily on the goods and services that forests provide.
The article in the link below discusses the implications of deforestation and how they affect the SDGs.
MOROCCO HOSTS 1ST SUMMIT OF WORLD MERIT COUNCILS
The first edition of the World Merit Councils Summit opened at a polytechnic university near Marrakech, bringing together change-makers from around the world to discuss inclusive opportunities and ways to empower youth to build a better future. Over 150 young volunteers and professionals from 125 countries took part in debates focussing on the local and global actions needed to achieve the United Nations SDGs. World Merit is a global community of millennials, that aim to make a positive difference both locally and globally through programmes dedicated to the SDGs. To find out more about the summit, please follow the link to the relevant news article.
EAST AFRICA AIMS TO ELIMINATE HIV/AIDS, PREVENTABLE MATERNAL AND CHILD DEATHS BY 2030
In a joint effort, East African leaders aim to eliminate HIV/AIDS, preventable maternal deaths and child deaths by 2030. To succeed, the leaders have committed themselves and their countries to building on the health of the East African Community (EAC) population. At a round table in Uganda, the Chairperson of the EAC Sectoral Council of Ministers of Health and Minister of State Health, in the Republic of Uganda, Sarah Opendi, emphasised that poor health has hampered the region’s ability to attain the national and global socio-economic goals set out in the national development plans, Common Market Protocol, the EAC vision 2050 and the SDGs. To get more details of what was discussed at the round table, please follow the link below to the relevant news article.
DAY ZERO ON THE BACK OF DROUGHT IN SOUTHERN AFRICA: LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE
The dramatic announcement of Day Zero (the day water is shut off completely) in Cape Town has sparked international interest, as Cape Town has now become the posterchild for drought in Southern Africa. Periods of drought have plagued the region for many years and the effects of El Niño, the most severe drought in 20 years are still felt today. One of the primary reasons for water scarcity in Africa is the lack of development of technology and processes that are applicable to solving today’s problems. Instead, people try “to solve 21st century problems with 20th century technology and solutions, using 19th century operating rules, standards, and guidelines”. This is evident in the Cape Town water crisis. The news article in the link below discusses more reasons for water scarcity in Africa and provides possible solutions that could aid in achieving SDG 6: clean water and sanitation.
NIGERIA CALLS FOR COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS WITH PRIVATE SECTOR ON FOOD SECURITY
Adequate water, energy, food and ecosystems are vital elements for meeting basic human needs. Presently, each of these elements are under immense pressure as climate change is making it harder to access them, hence threatening food security, especially in Africa. Speaking at a one-day Consultative/Engagement workshop on Water, Energy, Food and Ecosystem (WEFE), in Abuja, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hassan Buka said that people in Africa are most at risk, if climate change is not dealt with effectively. Therefore, efficiently and sustainably managing water, energy, food and ecosystems will be critical to achieving most of the SDGs in Africa. To find out more about the WEFE workshop in Abuja, please follow the link to the relevant news article.