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February 27 2014

February 26 2014

February 25 2014

February 23 2014

February 22 2014

February 20 2014

February 19 2014

February 18 2014

February 17 2014

February 14 2014

Ending Illegal Logging and Launching Forest Carbon Credits in Madagascar

 Illegally logged rosewood from Masoala and Marojejy in Antalaha, Madagascar via wikipedia CC-BY-2.0

Illegally logged rosewood from Masoala and Marojejy in Antalaha, Madagascar via wikipedia CC-BY-2.0

The new administration in Madagascar is seemingly making a concerted effort to curb down deforestation in Madagascar. First, new president Hery Rajaonarimampianina has made ending illegal logging of Madagascar rosewood a priority at his first executive meeting[fr]. Second, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced that the Government of Madagascar has approved carbon sales with Microsoft and its carbon offset partner, The CarbonNeutral Company, and Zoo Zurich. The funds from carbon sales will be used by Makira REDD+ Project for conservation, capacity building, and enforcement activities related to conservation of Madagascar's rainforest. It is yet to be seen whether these measures will be implemented in the field. 

Examining the Post-Colonial Evolution of Francophone and Anglophone Africa

Screen capture of animated slideshow on the legacy of French and English colonization in Africa via Le Monde

Screen capture of animated slideshow on the legacy of French and English colonization in Africa -Blue countries are French-speaking nations, red countries are English-speaking nations.  via Le Monde

The topic of the post-colonial evolution of francophone versus anglophone African states has always a fodder for intense debate. Cheidozié Dike, from Nigeria, brings a new perspective to the subject :     

While the French Loi Cadre system was mostly about integration, the British colonial system sought only exploitation. Creating an air of suspicion between the nations that make up present-day Anglophone Africa, fracturing connections before they were even made, all the better to rule.[.;] Francophone Africans do not feel the need to aspire to western culture, because the French culture was wedded with local customs such that it became an indivisible whole

However, the predominant analysis from francophone Africa is quite different. Ouréguéhi, from Benin, articulates why he thinks francophone Africa is lagging behind its anglophone counterpart financially [fr]:

Les pays anglophones ont été libérés de leur colon sur tous les plans. la France a toujours les regards dans les affaires des colonisés sans oublier la dictée qu'elle fait à ces pays. Quand tu veux voir celui que tu prétends aider évoluer, tu lui donne les conseils tout en lui laissant le choix de sa politique

English-speaking countries were freed from their colonizers at all levels. France still keeps an eye in the affairs of its former colonies, not to mention the fact that she still dictates (a few policies) of these countries. When you want to help someone evolve, you give him/her advice but you let them choose their own policy. 

Reposted bycheg00 cheg00

What Guinea Needs Now is Peace and Stability

Conakry Ville via wikimedia license CC-BY-2.0

Downtown Conakry via wikimedia CC-BY-2.0

Serge Lamah reports on his blog[fr] that Oyé Guilavogui, the communication minister has pointed out the pressing needs for Guinea today :

Vous vous rappelez, en 2011, les avions en direction de Conakry ne désemplissaient pas. Les hôtels étaient pleins à tout moment, aujourd’hui, allez-y, il y a de la place toutes les saisons. Les avions viennent à moitié vides parce qu’il n y a pas eu de calme, on ne s’est pas acceptés. Donc on est obligé de tout remettre à plat pour faire revenir les investisseurs. Pour qu’un investisseur mette son argent dans un pays, le premier critère est qu’il faut qu’il y ait la stabilité, la paix.

You remember in 2011, planes bound for Conakry never emptied. Hotels were always but today, there are always empty rooms all year long. The planes are half empty because there is always uncertainty and we have yet to learn to live with each other again. So we are forced to get back to the drawing board and in order to appeal to investors again. For an investor to invest in a country, the first criterion is that there must be stability and peace. 

February 12 2014

Drug Bust Holds Lessons for Caribbean Distribution Chains

Of the recent drug bust originating out of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados Underground says:

The fundamentals are clear. Supply chain security in the Caribbean is weak, and known local and regional solutions need to be applied and strengthened.

February 11 2014

Mapping Conflicts Between Indigenous Peoples and Corporations in Latin America

map conflicts latin america

Codpi (Coordination for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) has created a map to monitor projects that are affecting indigenous territories, as their website explains [es]:

This map aims to collect cases of conflict that arise due to the presence of transnational corporations -mainly those with headquarters in Spain- in the territories of indigenous peoples in Latin America.

In Otramérica [es], Diego Jiménez from Codpi adds:

It is a tool in permanent construction, which collects some of the most important cases of violations, and that will be completed periodically to reflect a total of 50 identified [cases]. For each [case] a record is published -accessible from the interactive map- that contains basic information about the violated rights, the resistance posed by the indigenous people and a summary of the current situation. We have also included a number of links and additional audiovisual material.

With all this, we don't want to limit ourselves to denouncing a situation of enormous and increasing severity. We also hope that this tool will be useful and effective for indigenous peoples and also for the organizations, social movements and groups working with them.

Argentina: ‘We Increase’ Progress or Corruption?

Imagen del usuario @AdrianBono en Twitter

“Don't buy Pantene, 40% increase”; “Don't buy Elvive due to excessive increase” Image by user @AdrianBono on Twitter

A speech on national television by President Cristina Fernández in which she announced a new increase in retirement pensions and in education allowances, among other things, provoked immediate responses among Twitter users who began using the hashtag #Aumentamos (we increase) to give their own account of what has ‘increased’ in the country.

Since the beginning of 2014, for example, one of the issues that most impacts Argentinians is the increase in prices. From the cost of basic household goods to appliances and cars, there have been substantial changes affecting the economy in general.

User casarosada uploaded the February 4 speech to YouTube [es]:

During the speech, Cristina Fernández emphasized the positive gains generated during her tenure:

Aumentamos las medidas que permitieron aumentar: hemos aumentado los puestos de trabajo, 6 millones de puestos de trabajo. Hemos aumentado las fábricas, más de 58 mil fábricas desde 2003; hemos aumentado los parques industriales.

We’ve increased the measures that allowed gains: we’ve increased jobs, 6 million new jobs. We’ve increased the number of factories, more than 58,000 factories since 2003; we’ve increased [the number of] industrial parks.

Fernández continues:

Aumentamos las universidades nacionales, tenemos nueve más; aumentamos el número de escuelas y de aulas [...] aumentamos la cantidad de becas y salarios para que los científicos se quedaran en la Argentina; aumentamos la inversión en ciencia y tecnología [...] Aumentamos la infraestructura en riego, en camino, en obras que permitieron recuperar miles de hectáreas bajo el agua; aumentamos la cantidad de argentinos que tienen agua potable y cloacas, también aumentamos el pavimento.

We’ve increased national universities, we have nine more; we increased the number of schools and classrooms […]; we’ve increased the number of scholarships and salaries so that scientists will stay in Argentina; we’ve increased investment in science and technology; […] we increased irrigation infrastructure, road works, and works that allowed us to recover thousands of acres of land under water; we increased the number of Argentinians who have potable water and sewer, and we’ve increased [the amount of] paved areas.

And finally:

Aumentamos el número de jubilados en más de 2,5 millones, gente que no tenía una cobertura previsional y que nos convierte en el país de Latinoamérica de mayor cobertura previsional, con 93%; aumentamos los salarios [...]. Aumentamos la compra de medicamentos [...]. Aumentamos las inversiones en viviendas [...]. Aumentamos la cobertura de aquellos que todavía no tienen un trabajo registrado, que están en ese limbo que se denomina trabajo informal [...].

We increased the number of retirees by more than 2.5 million, people who had no pension coverage, and that makes us the largest country in Latin America with pension coverage at 93%; we increased wages […] We increased purchases of medications […].  We increased investment in housing […] We increased coverage for those who don’t have registered work, who are in that limbo called informal work […]

She also said that her government has increased ‘consumption capacity’ and added: “I don’t think there are any Argentinians going hungry.”

Following the speech, the phrase “we increased” [es] quickly became a local trend on Twitter, with opinions for and against:

We’ve increased EVERYTHING! Corruption, poverty, hatred, the pockets of officials, shamelessness, lies, insecurity, her wealth

We’ve increased poverty, taxes, corruption, ignorance, insecurity, unemployment, violence, etc. The most corrupt government in history!

We’ve increased theft, prices, people who don’t have anything to eat, floods, deaths. But no worries, Cris says nobody is lacking anything (?)

But those who were in agreement with the national broadcast expressed their support:

We're with you yesterday, today and always! Happiness and commitment with the people!

A society that doesn’t help its elders and doesn’t help educate its children is a society that has no memory

What can I tell you about our beloved president after listening to her? That today more than ever: we will keep supporting this project!

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