Archive for May 20th, 2020

20/05/2020

Reading the Tea Leaves

The first ever International Tea Day, backed by the United Nations, takes place on 21 May. We take a look at the challenges facing the global tea industry, and how it can build back better after COVID-19 to support smallholder farmers and sustainability. 

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Photo by Max Zieren/UNEP, 2018

2020 (UN Environment)* — Tea, one of the oldest estate cash crops, can play a significant role in rural development, poverty reduction and food security.

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20/05/2020

Tea: a Love that Has Stood the Test of Time

Human Wrongs Watch

Celebrating the popular beverage important to farmers, development and culture

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A roadside seller serves up tea in India. ©shutterstock.com/Abir Bhattacharya

19 May 2020 (FAO)* —  In a world of cultural differences, is there one thing that can bind everyone together? Well, we all need to eat. Drink too, in fact. Interestingly enough, the drink most often chosen around the world after water, is tea. It is loved by millions from India to England, Afghanistan to Algeria – each culture with its own tradition.
20/05/2020

Millions Evacuated in India, Bangladesh as Cyclone Amphan Nears

Human Wrongs Watch

The cyclone is one of the strongest storms of the year, with winds of up to 185 km/hr

View from the space of the powerful Cyclone Amphan at dusk. India, May, 2020.

View from the space of the powerful Cyclone Amphan at dusk. India, May, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @HuracanesCarib

19 May 2020 (teleSUR)* — India and Bangladesh were forced to evacuate more than 2 million people from risk areas as Cyclone Amphan advanced through these territories.
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“About 2.2 million people will be evacuated. We seek to avoid the deaths of citizens due to the dangerous meteorological phenomenon,” Bangladesh’s disasters vice minister, Enamur Rahman, told the press.

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20/05/2020

To Restore Forests, First Start With a Seed

Human Wrongs Watch

How did Rwanda manage to restore more than 800,000 hectares — almost half of its original pledge — in less than a decade?

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Emmanuel Nsabimana, a casual labourer at the National Tree Seed Centre, in Huye, in Rwanda’s Southern Province, has worked planting trees for over 40 years. He believes there has been considerable improvements in the seed quality from the centre since the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) became one of the contributors to its restoration. Credit: Emmanuel Hitimana/IPS

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20/05/2020

Post-Pandemic ‘Green Shift’ in Transport Could Create Up to 15 Million Jobs, Help Countries Move to Greener, Healthier Economies

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Transforming the transport sector to be more environmentally-friendly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, could create up to 15 million new jobs worldwide and help countries move to greener, healthier economies, according to a UN-backed report published on Tuesday [19 May 2020].

UN Photo/Evan Schneider | A bus driver in New York City wears a mask to protect himself against the Coronavirus.
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The study argues that recovery from the crisis cannot mean a return to “business as usual” for a sector that accounts for more than 60 million jobs globally.

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20/05/2020

Tropical Cyclone Amphan Threatens India and Bangladesh

Amphan (pronounced Um-Pun) is on track for densely populated areas at a time when restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic  is complicating disaster management – and making it more necessary than ever before.

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20/05/2020

Honey Bees Feel Sting of Viral Disease

Human Wrongs Watch

20 May 2020 (UN Environment)* — There’s nothing new in nature. Viruses have been around for as long as plants and animals, if not longer. Most viruses are benign to humans and other animals and in fact are essential for life. Some—as humans are finding out with COVID-19—have negative consequences.

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Chronic bee paralysis is a well-defined viral disease of honey bees across the world. Until recently, according to a study in Nature Communications, it caused rare, but severe, symptoms, including colony loss.

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20/05/2020

‘We All Depend on the Survival of Bees’

Human Wrongs Watch

20 May 2020 (United Nations)* — Bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, are increasingly under threat from human activities.

Tn hree out of four crops across the globe producing fruits or seeds for humause as food depend, at least in part, on bees and other pollinators.
Three out of four crops across the globe producing fruits, or seeds for use as human food depend, at least in part, on bees and other pollinators. ©FAO/Greg Beals

Pollination is, however, a fundamental process for the survival of our ecosystems.

Nearly 90% of the world’s wild flowering plant species depend, entirely, or at least in part, on animal pollination, along with more than 75% of the world’s food crops and 35% of global agricultural land.

Not only do pollinators contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversity.

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20/05/2020

‘Alarming’ Military Build-Up Underway in Libya, as COVID-19 Heightens Insecurity

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — The civil war in Libya is in danger of intensifying as foreign intervention grows and the spectre of the COVID-19 pandemic adds to a deepening sense of insecurity, the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) told the Security Council on Tuesday [19 May 2020].

OCHA/Giles Clarke | A detainee mother, with sleeping baby on her back, feeds her other child some bread inside the female room of a detention centre in Benghazi, Libya.

Stephanie Williams, who is also Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya, said on Tuesday that while the rest of the world adjusts to life with the novel coronavirus, Libyans have dealt with almost constant bombardment and frequent water and electricity outages during the holy month Ramadan.

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