Colors: Blue Color

As President Muhammadu Buhari prepares to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, the presidency has appealed to the Nigerian media to focus on issues, not Yoruba Nation and Biafra revolutionaries.

In a statement on Wednesday, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu said it was shocking to see Yoruba Nation advocates throw their lot in with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at the start of UNGA on Tuesday.

More investments in innovations and knowledge are urgently needed to increase the ability of rural people to adapt to climate change and shocks, said Jyotsna Puri, a long-time advocate for climate change adaptation and evidence-based policy and big data, who today takes up the position of Associate Vice President of the Strategy and Knowledge Department at the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

“The world is at a crossroad. Current systems - whether food, health or others - are failing to deliver desired outcomes for the climate and the environment, for nutrition and human health, and for social welfare and decent livelihoods,” said Puri.

As an Indian national, Puri feels her background gives her an advantage: she is able to recognize the large potential in developing countries. “Although they are very varied, developing countries, such as India, are leaders in locally innovative solutions in development and the climate,” said Puri. “International organisations need to leverage the technical capacity and strong data systems in developing countries far better.”

Puri takes up her new position at a critical time, when erratic climate patterns are negatively impacting food production and rural livelihoods across the globe. Small-scale rural farmers are highly vulnerable to the impacts of changing weather, yet the world depends on them to produce about a third of its food. In 2020, there was an increase in global hunger as a result of  climate change, conflict, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with one in ten people not having enough to eat, particularly in rural areas.

To help respond to this, Puri brings to her new position more than 20 years of experience in strategic thinking, and rigorous evidence and development policy in agriculture, environment, health and infrastructure-related poverty alleviation. In 2019, the Global Landscapes Forum recognized her as one of 16 women global leaders leading the work on restoring the earth.

In her previous role as IFAD’s Director of the Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division, Puri was responsible for ensuring that IFAD’s programmes build in social, environmental and climate safeguards while guaranteeing its investments generate benefits in these areas. Prior to this, she held various leadership positions at the Green Climate Fund, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), UNEP, the World Bank and UNDP. She is also adjunct associate professor at Columbia University, New York, where she was a research scientist.

In her new role, she will lead the team that provides expert guidance on IFAD's strategic direction, thematic priorities and technical quality of the organization’s investments and operations.

“I will ensure that IFAD’s technical knowledge and strategies focus on how IFAD, working with partners, can deliver the greatest impact to increase rural communities’ ability to adapt to climate change and shocks, and develop innovative solutions to make them resilient, all the while insisting on credibility and measured results,” she said.

IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$23.2 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached an estimated 518 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialized agency based in Rome – the United Nations food and agriculture hub.

Justin Kareem Hawley was recently appointed as the first Ambassador of St Kitts and Nevis (SKN) to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In a meeting that took place between Hawley and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, credentials were presented and Hawley was officially welcomed.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland called for urgent action to ensure improved climate resilience of small states and promised to amplify the concerns of small and other vulnerable states around climate change at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow this November.

During visit to The Bahamas this week, the Secretary-General said: “Without a doubt, we are living through a global climate crisis which is unfolding with disturbing speed and intensity across the Commonwealth, and the world.

Exposure to high levels of air pollution can make children obese and put them at greater risk of asthma, a new study has found. The study said obese children had a 79% greater chance of having asthma.

This association was highest seen in Delhi, which experiences hazardous air quality every year. And while there could be many causes for obesity in children, "ambient air pollution could be an important contributing factor", it said.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and Web Summit announced that RISE, "one of the world's most influential tech events", will return to Hong Kong in March 2022, as an in-person event. This highlights Hong Kong's thriving start-up economy, leading position in innovation and technology, as well as its status as The World's Meeting Place for business events to tap tremendous opportunities in the region.

RISE was launched in Hong Kong in 2015 and has already hosted five successful events, becoming Asia's largest tech event, according to CNBC.

As the Jamaican government requires vaccinations for students 12 and over in order to resume face-to-face classes and more adults get inoculated amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, it was confirmed that the country doesn’t have a compensation programme should someone get injured from the vaccine. The confirmation came as the overseer of the vaccination program for the Ministry of Health & Wellness Dr Melody Ennis said that, as of August 24, there were 303 notifications of adverse events related to the vaccine, up from 249 at the time of her last report on July 29.

“It is an honour to be able to speak to you, leaders from across the world, men and women who in the past year have been part of the fight against our common enemy the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Many of you will have spent sleepless nights and long hours struggling to ensure the safety and future of your people. You will have spent restless days working to hold back the tide of infection and striving to find a way to keep your people, your country, indeed your very society safe. You have shown leadership and I thank you for that.

If we do not invest more in protecting biodiversity, development cannot be sustainable and we will not eradicate hunger or achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, said the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) ahead of his participation in the IUCN World Conservation Congress, in Marseille.

“Biodiversity is a cornerstone of healthy and sustainable food systems,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD.

Over 3,000 buyers have so far registered to attend IMEX America from across the planner community – event agencies, associations, corporate planners and independents – all with business to place and many at a senior level (defined as C-level, directors, owners/partners).

Agencies currently account for 47 per cent of the total, corporate buyers 22 per cent while association buyers make up 9 per cent and independent buyers 18 per cent (other – 4 per cent).

The mayor of New Orleans has called on residents to evacuate unprotected city neighbourhoods as Hurricane Ida bears down on the Louisiana coastline. "What I am told is that this storm will not be weakening," Mayor LaToya Cantrell said.

Hurricane Ida has intensified over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico ahead of its expected arrival on the southern US coast. It has already brought heavy rain and high winds to western Cuba.

Ghana’s chief Imam Sheikh Osman Sharubutu has donated more than $8,000 (£5,800) to support the construction of a controversial national cathedral.

The African country has a history of inter-religious harmony, although the donation is regarded as unusual. The 102-year-old cleric said the gesture was to strengthen peaceful co-existence between Christians and Muslims.

The US intelligence community has been unable to determine the origins of Covid-19, and is split on whether it leaked from a lab or developed in nature, according to a new report. The report issued by the office that oversees the nation's 18 spy agencies did conclusively determine that it was not developed as a biological weapon.

Experts warn that time is running out to gather evidence of its beginnings.