Connect with us

Environment

Cocoa Regulators May Suspend Companies Sustainability Schemes

In a conference on behalf of Ghana and its west African player Cote d’Ivoire, Joseph Baohen Aidoo, chief executive of Ghanaian regulator Cocobod said cocoa and chocolate companies in West Africa were upsetting the government’s effort at combating farmer poverty.

Published

on

The World Cocoa Foundation through Ghana’s cocoa regulator (Cocobod) has threatened to suspend the sustainability schemes used by major cocoa and chocolate companies. The system assures consumers that the beans they use are sustainably and ethically sourced.

In a conference on behalf of Ghana and its west African player Cote d’Ivoire, Joseph Baohen Aidoo, chief executive of Ghanaian regulator Cocobod said cocoa and chocolate companies in West Africa were upsetting the government’s effort at combating farmer poverty.

Consequently, their sustainability schemes, which allow companies such as Barry Callebaut and Nestle to charge consumers a premium for chocolate certified as sustainably sourced, might be suspended.

Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, which together account for two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, introduced a living income differential (LID) last year on all 2020/21 cocoa sales and said the proceeds would be used to raise the income of cocoa farmers who earn an average of $1 per day.

Aidoo explains that “Any brand that is seen not to be serious in accepting the LID by mid-December 2020 must consider all its cocoa beans from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire as conventional. We are prepared to name and shame these brands,”

Barry Callebaut, Hershey, Mars, and Nestle restated their financial commitment to efforts by Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to fight farmer poverty.

Related: Ivory Coast President Ouattara Honours Ghana’s Cocobod CEO

World’s biggest food company, Nestle said it is paying the surcharge when buying its “normal volume of cocoa purchases” from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. It added that it was one of the first to pay the LID when it was introduced.

Chocolate makers Barry Callebaut and Mars also said they were paying the surcharge, but did not specify volumes. Hershey said it pays the LID when buying 2020/21 cocoa based on the needs of its business.

Both countries have struggled to sell forward their 2020/21 cocoa crop since introducing the LID, in large part because the coronavirus-induced recession lowered demand for non-staple foods like chocolate.

Aidoo also urged cocoa farmers at Wassa Amenfi in the Western South region to enrol on the Cocoa Management System (CMS) being spearheaded by the Board to improve operations within the cocoa sector.

The CMS Project was launched to capture accurate data on cocoa farmers in Ghana to facilitate and enhance planning in the cocoa sub-sector.

He inducted an eleven-member executive team of the Wassa Amenfi Cocoa Farmer’s Cooperative Union at Wassa Akrapong. It is made up of over 800 registered cooperatives.

Conservation News

Ghana and Switzerland Sign Historic Pact for Climate Action

Under the agreement, the National Clean Energy Access Programme (NCEP) will be implemented. It is expected to lead to the transfer of mitigation outcomes to Switzerland in exchange for financial resources and the extension of Swiss technical expertise as a demonstration of the scalability of Ghana’s conditional mitigation commitments.

Published

on

The government of Ghana and Switzerland has signed a bilateral pact as a framework for the implementation of Article Six (6) of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

After two years of negotiations between the two countries, the signing of the framework agreement marks the first of its kind in Africa, and second in the World. The new partnership will enable the adoption of green and low carbon technology solutions across the country resulting in social and environmentally beneficial outcomes.

With this Agreement, Ghana will receive funding from the Swiss side for sustainable development projects.  Switzerland will take carbon credits from the Ghanaian side for the emission cuts to meet her climate commitments without compromising Ghana’s effort to achieve her own climate actions.

The negotiations between technical teams of Ghana and Switzerland was further boosted by a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Bern between Ghana and Switzerland during the State visit to Switzerland by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in February, 2020.

​Read also: https://newscentral.africa/rwanda-to-create-green-energy-bank/

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner stated, “We are proud to have been able to facilitate the dialogue between Switzerland and Ghana, build trust in the process on both sides and offer our technical support in the implementation…”

Article six (6) of the Paris Agreement on carbon markets is an innovative voluntary instrument available to countries to mobilise finance and catalyse private sector investments for the implementation of nationally determined contributions.

Steiner further explains “…We hope this bilateral agreement will enable Ghana’s national clean energy access programme (NCEP) to fulfil its objectives by abating up to 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, providing energy access to millions and head towards a green recovery.”

Read also: https://newscentral.africa/experts-kenya-global-emission-challenge/

In his speech, the President of Ghana H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway called on the private sector of both countries to consider “this bilateral cooperation as a step to further strengthen collaboration between Swiss and Ghanaian companies to identify commercially viable and sustainable development projects over the next decade”.  

​In formulating this agreement both parties have highlighted practical ways of operationalising the envisioned architecture of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Credit: wri.org

Read also:https://newscentral.africa/fossil-fuel-human-cost-powering-africa/

Under the agreement, the National Clean Energy Access Programme (NCEP) will be implemented. It is expected to lead to the transfer of mitigation outcomes to Switzerland in exchange for financial resources and the extension of Swiss technical expertise as a demonstration of the scalability of Ghana’s conditional mitigation commitments.

Continue Reading

East Africa News

Record-Setting Cyclone Gati Hits Somalia

It’s the first recorded instance of a hurricane-strength hitting the country with sustained winds of around 105 mph. Gati is much more intense than the previous strongest storm to hit Somalia.

Published

on

The strongest tropical cyclone ever measured in the northern Indian Ocean, tropical Cyclone Gati arrived in Somalia, East Africa on Sunday.  

It’s the first recorded instance of a hurricane-strength hitting the country with sustained winds of around 105 mph. Gati is much more intense than the previous strongest storm to hit Somalia. 

In 2018, tropical Cyclone Sagar crashed into northern Somalia near the Djibouti border with winds of around 60 mph and heavy rain.

Climate experts with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Physical Sciences Laboratory say that Gati is the strongest tropical cyclone that has been recorded in the region.   

They added that its escalation from about 40 mph to 115 mph was the largest 12-hour increase on record for a tropical cyclone in the Indian Ocean. The storms usually form then begin to move west towards the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. This runs into another force field with devastating tendencies around coastal terrains.  

The storms are leading to a lot more rain. The attendant effect of climate change is causing spikes in ocean temperatures and a moister atmosphere. These are major triggers for tropical cyclones.   

Although Northern Somalia gets about 4 inches of rain per year on the average, projections show that Gati could bring 8 inches over the next two days — “two years’ worth of rainfall in just two days,” an observer adds. 

A United Nations alert warned the storm posed an immediate threat to the marine shipping lane that links Somalia and the Gulf states.

Threats of heavy rain and flash flooding may hit regions like Socotra, Somalia, Yemen, and western Oman from Sunday night into Monday and potentially Tuesday.

SBC Somali TV reports eight people have died in the storm, several others wounded including five fishermen from Yemen.

Reports show that streets and houses in Hurdiya and Bosaso have been flooded. Several buildings in the eastern Somalia town Hafun are equally affected with dozens of people being evacuated.

Continue Reading

Central Africa News

Aubameyang Names Rwandan Baby Gorilla “Goal”

Published

on

Gabon international striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang named a baby gorilla ‘Goal’ at Rwanda’s annual mountain gorilla naming ceremony Kwita Izina held Thursday virtually for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ceremony which was held late on Thursday 24 September was conducted on the World Gorilla Day, which was first observed on September 24, 1967, when Dian Fossey an American researcher, founded the Karisoke Research Center to study endangered mountain gorillas.

Fossey was one of the foremost primatologists in the world and spent 20 years in Rwanda, where she actively supported conservation efforts, strongly opposed poaching and tourism in wildlife habitats, and made more people acknowledge sapient gorillas. Her work largely helped reduce the downward population trend in mountain gorillas, saving them from extinction. She was murdered in her cabin at a remote camp in Rwanda in December 1985.

“Conservation, tourism, and community development go hand in hand. Each reinforces the other. I commend the people living around the park for being good stewards of the natural environment and such warm hosts for our visitors,” Rwandan President Paul Kagame said during the virtual ceremony.

At Thursday’s ceremony, nine female and 15 male baby gorillas born between May 2019 and June 2020 from 12 families, were given names by national volcanoes park rangers, vets, guides and three players from Arsenal FC. In May 2018, Arsenal signed a 3-year deal worth £30 million with the Rwanda Development Board to promote tourism in the country and also sponsor the team’s shirt sleeves on matchday shirts.

One of them born during the coronavirus pandemic was named “Amabwiriza” (Guidelines), as a ranger calls for gorillas visitors and people in general, to abide by guidelines to stop the spread of the virus.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who has scored 72 goals for Arsenal FC, who he also captains, named the baby gorilla ‘Goal’ calling for ‘collective goals to their protection’.

Defender Hector Bellerin named one ‘Iriza’ (First born), while goalkeeper Bernd Leno named another ‘Myugariro’ (Defender) saying it will be his pleasure “to meet my baby boy gorilla”.

Among other names given to baby gorillas include;

Amarembo – Gateway
Nkomezamihigo (Keep it up) – Born in June 2020
Kazeneza (Welcome) – Oldest of a new one year old family of gorillas
Umuyobozi (leader) – In honor of Rwandan authority’s efforts in conservation
Umuganga (Vet) – Given by Dr Antoine Mudakikwa a retired gorilla vet

The powerful mountain gorilla is now critically endangered with only around 880 left in the wild. They’re found in high-altitude montain and bamboo forests – sometimes at elevations of 4,000m – where they mainly eat leaves, shoots and stems.

More than 1,000 gorillas live in Virunga Mountains, a chain of volcanoes between DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

Since 2005 more than 300 gorillas have been given names in efforts to monitor their life and protect them from poachers, it was said in the 16th event, the first virtually held because of coronavirus.

Aubameyang, Bellerin and Leno return to action with Arsenal on Monday 28 September when they visit Anfield to face reigning Premier league Champions Liverpool.

Continue Reading

Trending