Source: The Guardian
By Sam Jones
23 May 2012 - With nearly 500,000 people displaced, aid agencies warn that Yemen's instability will worsen unless donors increase funding. Yemen is facing a food crisis of "catastrophic proportions", with almost half the population going hungry and a third of children in some areas severely malnourished, aid agencies have warned.
A coalition of seven humanitarian organisations – Care International, International Medical Corps, Islamic Relief, Mercy Corps, Merlin, Oxfam and Save the Children – is urging the international community to step up aid before Yemen slides further into poverty and political instability.
The Middle Eastern country's already precarious state was highlighted on Monday when a suicide bomber attacked a military parade, killing more than 90 people and wounding at least 220. The bombing, one of the deadliest in recent years, was a setback in Yemen's battle against al-Qaida-affiliated Islamists and has heightened concerns over a country in the frontline of the US global war on militants.
The aid agencies – which point out that the UN's humanitarian appeal has received only 43% of the funding it needs – are urging delegates at Wednesday's international Friends of Yemen conference to do more to tackle the food crisis.
For the complete article, please see The Guardian.
By Thin Lei Win
HANOI, 24 April 2012 — Climate change threatens to reduce catches from fisheries and worsen hunger among some of sub-Saharan Africa's poorest people, who rely on fish as a major source of protein and earnings, according to new research from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
"When you look at Ethiopia and Kenya, for example, our study shows that a 10,000 tonne reduction in fish production would make these two countries reach a hunger level that is categorised as 'extremely alarming'," said Essam Yassin Mohammed, IIED researcher and co-author of the paper, which will be published in the coming months.
But policy makers have overlooked the sector in their plans to adapt to climate change, mainly because little is known about the role of fisheries in fighting poverty and food insecurity, Mohammed added.
"The main message (of the paper) is that we have failed to recognise the importance of fisheries to our national economies," he told AlertNet at the 6th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change last week.
"Well above half of fish produced in sub-Saharan Africa is from small-scale artisanal fisheries and is not accounted for in national statistics. Thus its contribution to the economy and food security remains invisible," he said.
The fishing sector employs 10 million people in sub-Saharan Africa. Fish is the main or only source of animal protein for one out of five people in the region, and as one of the most traded commodities, it is also an important source of cash.
Climate change poses "significant threats" to what is an already strained resource due to overfishing, Mohammed said.
Rising temperatures and sea levels, together with increasing salinity and ocean acidification, could reduce fish stocks, destroy habitats and affect fish migration patterns.
Smaller catches would result in fewer fish to eat and export, cutting incomes, Mohammed warned.
Climate change is likely to displace some fish species across national borders, making it economically unviable and politically difficult for fishermen to follow them, he added.
For the complete article, please see allAfrica.
VIENTIANE, 16 April 2012 - With pressure on natural resources increasing in Laos, the first community land titles granted to five villages in Vientiane Province could provide a national model for environmental protection while safeguarding the livelihoods of villagers.
“It’s very important because the communal land titles can give communities the right to access and harvest natural resources, and overcome land concessions to companies,” Souvanpheng Phommasane, an advisor for SNV Netherlands Development Organization told IRIN.
The title deeds cover an area of 2,189 hectares of bamboo-producing forest. After a two-year process the land was finally handed over to the five villages in Sangthong District, 50km west of the capital, Vientiane, in February.
Hanna Saarinen, coordinator for the Land Issues Working Group, which represents 40 concerned civil society organizations, says the issue of land ownership is becoming more urgent.
“In the last five to 10 years there have been more and more competing interests [seeking control] over natural resources,” she said. Private sector companies as well as communities “have been using the same land, the same forest for years”.
For the complete article, please see IRIN.