Posts Tagged ‘Madagaskar’

Global: Die wunderbare Welt des CO2 (Teil 1)

Dienstag, Dezember 4th, 2012

Klima_1.1

(Tabelle aus: United Nations Environment Programme: The Emissions Gap Report 2012, S. 16, 17
Download des o. g. Reports hier.)

 

(Quelle: United Nations Environment Programme: The Emissions Gap Report 2012)

Afrika: Ungebremster Landraub

Freitag, November 18th, 2011

“Land für Konzerne

Millionen Hektar fruchtbarer Boden in Afrika an ausländische Investoren verkauft

Von María José Esteso Poves *

Mehr als 47 Millionen Hektar bebaubarer Boden sind weltweit allein 2009 an internationale Konzerne verkauft worden, zwei Drittel davon in Afrika. Diese Zahlen teilte die Weltbank in einer 2010 veröffentlichten Studie mit, räumte jedoch zugleich ein, daß die realen Werte aufgrund der fehlenden Transparenz dieser Geschäfte noch höher sein könnten. Tatsächlich kommen unabhängige Organisationen wie das Global Land Project auf deutlich höhere Angaben. Dieser Vereinigung zufolge sind im gleichen Zeitraum allein in Afrika 63 Millionen Hektar Grund und Boden an ausländische Investoren verkauft oder verpachtet worden.

Während internationale Konzerne so bebaubares Land »hamstern«, hungern die Menschen. Mehr als zehn Millionen erleben derzeit am Horn von Afrika eine der härtesten Hungersnöte der Geschichte. Die UN-Organisation für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (FAO) nannte als Ursache für die Katastrophe die schlimmste Dürre im Osten Afrikas seit 30 Jahren. Die für die Bevölkerung immer knapper werdenden Naturressourcen durch den Verkauf der Ländereien an ausländische Unternehmen erwähnte die Organisation hingegen nicht. Die von afrikanischen Regierungen willkommen geheißenen Investoren nutzen die Flächen vor allem für die Herstellung von Biokraftstoff für die Industrienationen, während immer weniger Boden für die Produktion von Lebensmitteln zur Verfügung steht.

In Afrika leben 80 Prozent der Bevölkerung auf bäuerlichen Familienbetrieben. Darüber hinaus ist in vielen Ländern des Kontinents Grund und Boden Kommunaleigentum. Doch welche Vereinbarungen die Behörden über deren Nutzung mit den transnationalen Konzernen getroffen haben, ist weitgehend unklar. Vor allem Unternehmen aus Saudi-Arabien und China gelten als die größten Aufkäufer von Grundstücken in Afrika, aber auch Kuwait, Katar, Bahrain und Unternehmen aus Schweden, Deutschland und Großbritannien haben sich per Abkommen in Angola, Kenia, Sambia, der Demokratischen Republik Kongo oder Moçambique Ländereien angeeignet. Führend beim Landraub in Afrika ist jedoch Indien. Nach Angaben der indischen Wirtschaftszeitung The Economist Times haben mehr als 80 indische Unternehmen in Plantagen in Kenia, Äthiopien, Madagaskar, Senegal und Moçambique investiert, die für den indischen Markt produzieren.

Der Experte Gustavo Duch bezeichnete diese Politik als »einen harten Angriff auf die Ernährungssouveränität der Völker«. Er wies auch das von offizieller Seite gern vorgebrachte Argument zurück, daß die fraglichen Ländereien ansonsten »verschwendet« seien. Tatsächlich böten die Wälder und Ackergebiete Anbaumöglichkeiten für die vielen kleinen Dörfer und Ansiedlungen.

Eine Vorreiterrolle beim Ausverkauf des eigenen Landes spielt Äthiopien. Allein in der Amtszeit des Präsidenten Meles Zenawi seit 1995 wurden in der Region Gambella mehr als 2500 Kilometer an fruchtbarem Grund und Boden an Unternehmen aus 36 Ländern verpachtet. In diesem Jahr sollen hier mehr als 15000 Menschen umgesiedelt werden, um ihnen »einen besseren Zugang zu Wasser, Schulen und Verkehr« zu ermöglichen. Die äthiopische Regierung versichert, daß alle diese Umsiedlungen »freiwillig« erfolgen, doch der eigentliche Grund ist der Ausverkauf des Landes, der den Familien die Lebensgrundlage entzieht.

Gegen diesen Landraub wächst der Widerstand. Mehr als 500 Bauern- und Umweltorganisationen sowie Gewerkschaften richteten während des Pariser G-20-Gipfeltreffens einen Appell an die führenden Industriestaaten. Zwischen dem 17. und 20. November wollen sie sich in Nyeleni in Mali treffen, um dort gemeinsame Strategien gegen den weiteren Verkauf von Grundstücken zu vereinbaren.

Der Beitrag erschien zuerst in der spanischen Wochenzeitung Diagonal. Übersetzung: Carmela Negrete

* Aus: junge Welt, 1. November 2011″

 

(Quelle: AG Friedensforschung.)

Afrika: Hier stimmt noch die Rendite

Freitag, Januar 14th, 2011

“In Corrupt Global Food System, Farmland Is the New Gold

By Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Jan 13 (IPS) – Famine-hollowed farmers watch trucks loaded with grain grown on their ancestral lands heading for the nearest port, destined to fill richer bellies in foreign lands. This scene has become all too common since the 2008 food crisis.

Food prices are even higher now in many countries, sparking another cycle of hunger riots in the Middle East and South Asia last weekend. While bad weather gets the blame for rising prices, the instant price hikes of recent times are largely due to market speculation in a corrupt global food system.

The 2008 food crisis awoke much of the world’s investment community to the profitable reality that hungry people will do almost anything, even sell their own children, in order to eat. And with the global financial crisis, food and farmland became the “new gold” for some of the biggest investors, experts agree.

In 2010, wheat futures rose 47 percent, U.S. corn was up more than 50 percent, and soybeans rose 34 percent.

On Wednesday, U.S.-based Cargill, the world’s largest agricultural commodities trader, announced a tripling of profits. The firm generated 1.49 billion dollars in three months between September and November 2010.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Bills pay a return of less than one percent.
“We have set up a global food system that supports speculation. And with [such] markets, we can’t get speculators out of the food business,” said Lester Brown, an agricultural policy expert and founder of the Washington- based Earth Policy Institute.

“Farmland is better gold than gold for speculators,” Brown told IPS.
Growing concern over access to food is also creating a new geopolitics around food security, with many countries buying up farmland and banning the export of food, he said.

World leaders have utterly failed to address the simple fact that while there is enough food, a billion people, living in every country in the world, simply can’t afford to buy it, said Anuradha Mittal of the Oakland Institute, a U.S.-based policy think tank on social, economic and environmental issues.

“Why were a billion hungry with a record wheat harvest in 2008?” Mittal told IPS.

And how is it there are one billion people who are overweight, with 300 million of those considered medically obese?

The global food system is designed to generate profits not feed people, and nothing has changed since 2008, she said. “There has been no focus on how to achieve food security or on regulating the food trade,” Mittal noted.

Instead, the World Bank, World Trade Organisation and other multilateral organisations are pushing for more production and more trade liberalisation, she said. That approach is exactly how Africa became unable to feed itself after being previously food secure.

“Africans have become share-croppers, exporting coffee, cotton, flowers and now food while going hungry,” Mittal said.

Under the guise of investing in agriculture, huge amounts of money are being offered to debt-ridden countries in exchange for long-term leases to their foodlands. “Our research shows that the most fertile lands are being secured. There are huge issues around governance and corruption in this land grabbing,” said Mittal.

More than 100 billion dollars has been invested in buying farmland since 2008, mainly in Africa by foreign companies and foreign-state owned industries, according to GRAIN, a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers.

This massive investment hasn’t yet translated into more food availability, says Lester Brown. Often times, buying land is just the first step. Major investments are also needed in farming infrastructure like roads, vehicles, storage capacity, mechanical services for equipment, irrigation and so on.

“I haven’t seen a big increase in grain production anywhere. Right now it looks like a lot of land speculation,” he said.

Brown has long documented the fact that yields of rice, wheat and other grains have not been increasing in many countries while demand has escalated. China, he notes, now imports 70 percent of its soy and is expected to begin to use its plentiful cash reserves to buy large quantities of wheat and corn in the near future.

And with the U.S. converting 30 percent of its corn crop into ethanol to ‘feed’ its cars and trucks, food supplies will be tight for some years, he predicts.

With the decline in traditional equity stocks along with collapse of housing and commercial real estate markets, billions of investment dollars are being mobilised to buy farmland and food commodities. It’s not just Wall Street looking for big returns, it’s also private and public pension funds in Europe and North America as well, said Devlin Kuyek of GRAIN.

Investors from Saudi Arabia have leased large tracts in land in Ethiopia, Senegal, Mali and other African countries amounting to several hundred thousand hectares. “How can African countries hope to have food security by signing long-term leases to foreign interests?” Kuyek told IPS.

When South Korea’s Daewoo Logistics tried to buy 1.3 million hectares, or one-third, of Madagascar’s farmland in 2008, violent protests erupted and the government was toppled. South Korea still has at least a million hectares in long- term leases elsewhere and China 2.1 million ha, mainly in Southeast Asia.

Some of the leases are for 99 years at a one dollar a hectare, but local people “are not eligible for the deals being promoted in countries where millions of people remain dependent on food aid”, said Howard Buffett, a U.S. farmer and philanthropist whose father is Warren Buffett, the well- known billionaire investor.

Howard Buffet reports being offered land deals where African governments promise to provide 70 percent of the financing, all utilities, and a 98-year lease requiring no payments for four years.

The last thing Africa needs are policies that “enable foreign investors to grow and export food for their own people to the detriment of the local population” writes Buffet in the introduction to the 2010 Oakland Institute report, “(Mis)investment in Agriculture”.

Buffet’s foundation has a research farm in South Africa and says investments are needed, but in terms of seeds, inputs, improved extension services, education on conservation techniques and generally assisting local farmers. Investing in land grabs will simply fuel conflict over land and water, he concluded.

Shockingly, about 70 percent of the billion hungry people in the world are farmers, herders and other food producers who could feed themselves if they had access to land, markets and a little bit of credit, said GRAIN’s Kuyek.

“That well-understood reality has been ignored for years,” he said. “These land grabs are just wrong: morally and socially wrong.”

(Quelle: IPS.)

Global: (Be-)Merkenswerte Gesundheitsstatistik

Mittwoch, Juli 14th, 2010

GLOBAL: Ten eyebrow-raising health stats



Photo: Tugela Ridley/IRIN
Where are the world’s youngest mothers?

DAKAR, 14 July 2010 (IRIN) – Pause for thought: IRIN has trawled the 2010 World Health Statistics report to bring you 10 fascinating facts on global health.

Not the spreadable kind: In 43 low-income countries 40 percent more people had non-communicable diseases – including diabetes, heart disease and stroke – than infectious illnesses in 2004. Non-infectious diseases killed 33 million worldwide in 2004.

Sleepless in Swaziland: No under-five children slept under insecticide-treated bed nets to ward off malarial mosquitoes in Swaziland, whereas in Madagascar 60 percent of children did so, according to the countries’ most recent surveys conducted since 2000.

Midwifery in Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan is the only low-income country in the past decade to boast coverage of nurses and midwives similar to that in high-income countries – 108 nurses and/or midwives per 10,000 residents. Australia (109), Switzerland (110), Luxembourg (104) and Canada’s (100) are comparable.

Oil-rich, but doctor-poor: Equatorial Guinea, which in 2009 had the world’s 64th highest per capita income, and the highest in sub-Saharan Africa (World Bank), had the same number of doctors per 10,000 residents (3) as did Bangladesh, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Namibia, Togo, Sudan, Yemen and the Pacific islands of Samoa and Tonga.

Protected in the Pacific: Fewer than a quarter of women in Africa reported using contraception, while over 80 percent of women in the region WHO classifies as western Pacific used it. Chad had the world’s lowest contraceptive use at 2.8 percent.

Choking on fumes: Of the 20 countries worldwide where more than 95 percent of those surveyed reported using solid fuels (wood, coal, charcoal, crops) for indoor cooking – associated with higher rates of fatal respiratory diseases like pneumonia – six are in West Africa (not counting Benin, Gambia and Chad, which come within points of the highest threshold.)


Photo: Rodrigo A. Nguema/IRIN
Petrol dollars have not made it to parts of Equatorial Guinea’s capital, Malabo (file photo)

Measles: While 76 percent of one-year-olds in Africa on average were immunized against measles in 2008 versus 58 percent in 1990, these rates were 24 and 51 percent, respectively, in Somalia and Equatorial Guinea in 2008.

Slow on sanitation: Thirty percent of people in Africa used “improved sanitation facilities” – including a composting or flushing toilet, piped sewer systems, septic tanks, or latrines with open ventilation or concrete slabs – in 1990. Eighteen years later, the statistical equivalent of less than half an additional person joined them.

Under-weight children: Some four out of 10 under-five children are considered underweight in Niger, India and Yemen.

Youngest mothers: Almost two out of 10 girls aged 15-19 in Niger have given birth, followed by Afghanistan (1.5) and Bangladesh (1.3).

 

(Quelle: IRIN News.)

 

Siehe auch:

GLOBAL: Poll ranks AIDS as top health issue
GLOBAL: Health lessons from four big earthquakes

Weltweit 1.240 Vogelarten vom Aussterben bedroht – 132 bereits für immer verloren

Mittwoch, Mai 26th, 2010

“Carnivorous fish blamed for grebe’s extinction in Madagascar

Global assessment of the conservation status of birds says loss of Alaotra grebe brings total number of extinct species to 132

A grebe from Madagascar has become extinct after carnivorous fish were introduced to the lakes where it lived, experts said today as they warned that one-eighth of bird species now face extinction.

The number of birds threatened with global extinction has risen, according to the latest assessment, and now stands at 1,240 species.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list’s update for birds, carried out by Birdlife International, said 25 species had been added to the list of those at risk.

Just under half were added because they are newly recognised species, such as two buntings from the UK overseas territory of Tristan da Cunha, but 13 joined the list because they are more at risk of being wiped out.

There was some good news in the update, including for the Azores bullfinch, which was downgraded from “critically endangered” to the lower “endangered” category after conservation work to remove the threat caused by non-native plants in its habitat and to restore natural vegetation.

But the Alaotra grebe has been driven to extinction by the introduction of non-native carnivorous fish to lakes in the area of east Madagascar where it was found, and by the use of fishing nets which caught and drowned the bird.

Birdlife International’s director of science, policy and information, Dr Leon Bennun, said “no hope now remains” for the wetland bird.

The loss of the grebe brings the total number of bird species which are thought to have become extinct since 1600 to 132.

The RSPB’s international director, Dr Tim Stowe, said: “The confirmation of the extinction of yet another bird species is further evidence that we are not doing enough in the fight to protect the world’s wildlife.

“Although there are some key successes, overall the trend is downward, bringing more species year on year to the brink of extinction and beyond.”

Other wetland birds are under increasing pressure from the introduction of invasive species, as well as from drainage and pollution of their habitats, the conservationists warned.

The marsh-dwelling Zapata rail, from Cuba, has been uplisted to critically endangered, the highest category of risk of extinction, in the face of threats from introduced mongooses and exotic catfish.

The only nest of the secretive species ever found was described by the Caribbean ornithologist James Bond – whose name provided the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s famous spy.

Once common wader species in Asia and Australia, such as the great knot and the far eastern curlew have seen numbers decline sharply in the face of pollution and drainage of coastal wetlands.

Dr Stuart Butchart, Birdlife’s global species programme officer, said: “Wetlands are fragile environments, easily disturbed or polluted, but essential not only for birds and other biodiversity but also for millions of people around the world as a source of water and food.”

Elsewhere, the white-bellied cinclodes from Peru and the black-winged starling, found in Indonesia, have also been uplisted to critically endangered.

And in Europe, the Corsican nuthatch and the recently recognised Monteiro’s storm-petrel, have been added to the list of those birds under threat of disappearing.

But three birds have been dropped from the list of threatened species because of improvement in their status or reductions in threats – the Laysan albatross, the ochraceous piculet, a kind of woodpecker found in Brazil, and the Elliot’s pheasant from China.

And along with the Azores bullfinch, the yellow-eared parrot from Colombia and the Chatham albatross have been downlisted from critically endangered to endangered.

Dr Butchart said: “These successes show what is possible, and they point the way forward to what needs to be done by the global community.

And he said: “2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity; world leaders failed to stem the decline of biodiversity. We cannot fail again.”‘

(Quelle: Guardian.)

Siehe auch:

Zwergtaucher in Madagaskar offiziell ausgestorben

Madagaskar: Frauen- und Menschenrechte in der Krise

Freitag, April 30th, 2010

By Zo Randriamaro

“The political situation in Madagascar is far from improving, after several unsuccessful attempts from national, regional and international mediators to resolve the political crisis during more than a year. This has overshadowed another worrying trend, which is clearly gendered: the crisis that affects not only political and civil rights, but also economic and social rights in the country.

The cases of human rights violations have been much less publicised than the power struggles among the proponents of the political crisis, not only because such information is not of the kind that the authorities would like to publicise, but also because it has not attracted the attention of the international mediators involved in the protracted process for the resolution of the political crisis, nor that of the mainstream media (…).”

Weiterlesen…

(Quelle: allAfrica.com.)