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africa | Miren Gutiérrez

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La pesca perdida de África Occidental

Nuestra investigación analiza, por primera vez, las actividades de los buques frigoríficos y procesadores que faenan frente a las costas del África Occidental, utilizando una exclusiva de datos detallados de satélite y seguimiento.

La sobreexplotación de los recursos pesqueros en los mares del mundo ha alcanzado niveles catastróficos. Numerosos caladeros importantes están reduciéndose. Numerosas especies están siendo empujadas hacia la extinción. La pesca ilegal, no declarada y no reglamentada (INDNR) está muy implicada en esta sobreexplotación.

Hasta una quinta parte de las capturas pesqueras de todo el mundo proceden de la pesca INDNR, un elemento que vincula a los consumidores de Europa, Estados Unidos y Asia con una práctica que está propiciando una tragedia global que conlleva la sobreexplotación de un recurso de propiedad común.

África Occidental es el epicentro de la tragedia. Sus costas son un imán para abastecer a los buques que abastecen la demanda europea y asiática.  La sobreexplotación está destruyendo el sustento de los pescadores artesanales y evaporando las oportunidades para el desarrollo de la producción y el comercio regionales.

Alfonso Daniels, Miren Gutiérrez, Gonzalo Fanjul, Arantxa Guereña, Ishbel Matheson y Kevin Watkins han trabajo en un informe publicado por el Overseas Development Institute (ODI) sobre este tipo de pesca en África Occidental. Los autores explican cómo el acabar con la pesca INDNR y ayudar al sector en los países de esta región podría conllevar importantes ventajas en materia de desarrollo, incluyendo la creación de más de 300.000 nuevos puestos de trabajo.

La Unión Europea es la mayor importadora mundial de pescado, y a pesar de que su normativa en materia de pesca ilegal está considerada como la más avanzada, según una estimación de Greenpeace, el valor los productos pesqueros ilegales que entran a la Unión Europea (UE) podría ascender a los 1.100 millones de dólares anuales.

Buques de todo el mundo —incluyendo China, Corea del Sur y Países Bajos— faenaban allí en 2013. Las capturas de la región se exportaron a todo el mundo, como los grandes mercados europeos de Reino Unido, España y Países Bajos.

“El informe muestra por primera vez cómo se comportan las flotas pesqueras extranjeras en África Occidental”, explica Miren Gutiérrez, “revelando además la falta de transparencia sobre sus operaciones”. “La Unión Europea y todos los países involucrados, incluyendo los africanos, tienen que poner fin a esta crisis”, dice la investigadora.

Según una estimación de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO), más de la mitad de los caladeros del litoral africano, solamente entre Senegal y Nigeria, han sido objeto de sobreexplotación. Se considera que entre un tercio y la mitad de las capturas proceden de la pesca INDNR.

Qué datos arroja la investigación

El informe Los peces perdidos de África Occidental (Western Africa’s missing fish) analiza, por primera vez, las actividades de los buques frigoríficos y procesadores que faenan frente a las costas del África Occidental, utilizando datos detallados de satélite y seguimiento aportados en exclusiva por la empresa española FishSpektrum. Los investigadores analizaron datos de la base de datos de UVI (Identificadores únicos de buques) de FishSpektrum Krakken®, un recurso para la identificación de pesqueros y transportes de pescado, para analizar los movimientos de los buques frigoríficos y otras naves frente a las costas de África Occidental.

Aproximadamente las cuatro quintas partes del pescado exportado desde la región en 2013 lo fue en buques contenedores (conocidos como refeers), no en buques congeladores ni procesadores industriales (frigoríficos).

 

Descarga: Resumen en español [PDF, 1.7 Mb]
Descarga: Informe completo [PDF, 2.9 Mb]

 

Una de las principales lagunas de la normativa de la UE en lo relativo a la pesca ilegal, no declarada y no reglamentada (INDNR) implica que los contenedores no están sujetos a normas tan estrictas como los pesqueros y buques frigoríficos. Por ejemplo, no se exigen inspecciones en puerto del cargamento de los buques contenedores.

De los 35 buques frigoríficos que faenaban en la región en 2013, los datos de seguimiento muestran itinerarios que coinciden con el traspaso de capturas desde pesqueros a buques frigoríficos, incluso dentro de las zonas pesqueras exclusivas de Senegal y Costa de Marfil. La legislación nacional de ambos países prohíbe dichas transferencias.

Los funcionarios de la UE confirmaron a los autores que, entre 2012 y 2014, se bloquearon las cargas de solamente 135 buques contenedores de pescado, de todo el mundo, debido a la sospecha de pesca ilegal, un insignificante porcentaje del total de las importaciones a la UE.

Recomendaciones del informe

La investigación llama a mayores intervenciones de los gobiernos regionales, conjuntamente con la inversión internacional en medidas para disuadir y sancionar a quienes se dedican a la pesca ilegal. En este momento, los gobiernos carecen de los recursos necesarios para supervisar las actividades de las flotas pesqueras: por ejemplo, en 2013 Sierra Leona solamente tenía dos naves guardacostas para patrullar todas sus aguas territoriales, según publicó el periodista José Naranjo —quien participa también en el informe— en 2014.

Se pide la creación de una base de datos y de un sistema de seguimiento globales, y exigencia de un número de registro de ID exclusivo a todos los pesqueros; la resolución de la laguna legal relativa a los contenedores de INDNR, con el objeto de que los buques de contenedores sean sometidos a las mismas inspecciones que los pesqueros y buques frigoríficos; y la prohibición absoluta de traspasos en alta mar, tal y como lo establece la legislación de Senegal y Costa de Marfil para sus zonas pesqueras exclusivas.

Los gobiernos regionales deberán ratificar e implementar nuevas normas internacionales, dirigidas a reforzar los controles portuarios y a promover más asistencia y refuerzo de capacidades de parte de donantes internacionales.

FEATURE: The Zambezi – Competing claims and climate change

Climate change is increasing the competition for freshwater resources in the Zambezi River Basin, as CDKN’s Miren Gutierrez reports.

The Zambezi River Basin is home to about 40 million people who depend on the river for fish, drinking water, agricultural irrigation, electricity production, mining, and other uses. Yet until recently, nobody had thought of examining how these competing uses might be impacted by climate change, and how this could affect some of the most important regional energy investments – hydropower plants on this shared river.

One of the challenges has been putting hydropower production in the river basin management equation, says Randall Spalding-Fecher, Project Research Director of ‘Climate Change and Upstream Development Impacts on New Hydropower Projects in the Zambezi’. This project was funded by CDKN and implemented from 2012 to 2014 by a consortium led by University of Cape Town’s Energy Research Centre, including Centre for Energy Environment Engineering Zambia, University of Zambia, University of Eduardo Mondlane, Pöyry, and OneWorld Sustainable Investments.

“While investment in power supply is catching up, the gap between electricity supply and demand in the region persists”, says Mr. Spalding-Fecher. “There is huge potential for Southern Africa to develop hydropower production as part of increasing supply, which has not kept up with population increases and economic growth. Electrification levels in many countries of the region are still some of the lowest in the world and power shortages frequently impair regional economies.”

“There are many hydropower plants in the pipeline, but the planning for these rarely considers climate change in any meaningful way and often ignores potential increases in upstream demand for other uses. Some of these plans are outdated; their designs were formulated based a historical climate that will be quite unlike the future climate”, he adds. “Although there uncertainties in the absolute magnitude of changes, we know that there is the potential for dramatic changes in rainfall patterns in Southern Africa in the next 30 or 40 years, and these hydropower plants are  expensive, long-term commitments.”

Projected climate change, economic and urban development, and population changes are expected to have sweeping consequences in the Zambezi River Basin. That is why, in 2012, CDKN set out to develop a spatial water allocation model for the Zambezi River Basin that would include hydropower plants and other infrastructure vulnerable to climate change (e.g. irrigation).

The idea was to provide scientifically robust and integrated information and tools to allow policy-makers to make informed choices on how they might respond to the impacts of climate change, and how current development plans might need to change. The objective of this work was to assess how upstream changes in climate and irrigation demand would affect water availability for major downstream hydropower plants. The analysis covered major existing plants (including the Kariba dam, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the Cahora Bassa dam, in Mozambique), extensions to existing plants, and major new plants (such as the Batoka Gorge dam, also on the Zambia–Zimbabwe border).

The analysis showed that some of these new investments are vulnerable to potential drying climate. Some new investments, such as Batoka Gorge, might struggle to produce their target output under either a wetting or drying climate.  For others, the combined effect of climate change and “prioritising irrigation demand in the upstream catchments could compromise hydropower output”, says a policy brief summarising the findings. “Over time, the combined effects of climate change and the competing uses accumulate, and these effects are more pronounced further downstream in the basin”, says Mr. Spalding-Fecher.

A final report looking at the water supply and demand scenarios warns that, ‘while future climate is subject to scientific uncertainty, the impact of irrigation is a policy uncertainty. This both because the level of irrigation investment is driven by political and economic priorities, but also because the priority given to irrigation demand versus hydropower demand for water is a political decision.’

The report offers scenarios testing the impact of different future climates and levels of irrigation development assuming that both hydropower is prioritised over irrigation, and the opposite. The reason for exploring these alternatives is not to arrive at a single ‘right’ answer, but to show the implications of different decisions and possible futures.

During this first phase of the project, CDKN sought to generate buy-in among stakeholders, including the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), and the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM), and SADC Energy, among others.

“But we knew this was not sufficient. This (first) phase looked at individual plants, but not at the entire power system”, says Spalding-Fecher. Phase 2 will address impacts on national and regional electricity grids, by “linking water modelling with a regional electricity model in a way that is sophisticated enough to include robust projections, but user-friendly for decision-makers”. With World Bank’s financial support, Mr. Spalding-Fecher and his team are leading this second phase.

Challenges ahead…

The Zambezi is the fourth-longest river in Africa, and its basin covers about 1.37 million square kilometres across eight countries: Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Transboundary management of these shared water resources has been an ongoing challenge.

“Water management in the basin is especially difficult because countries have multiple and competing interests; inadequate basin-level institutional structures; institutional, legal, economic, and human resource constraints; poor data collection, poor communication; and inadequate training”, say Christine J. Kirchhoff and Jonathan W. Bulkley in a paper published in 2008.

In fact, one of the main challenges, according to Mr. Spalding-Fecher, is coordination. For example, so far the project has had ‘nointeraction’ with the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) –formed in 2002. “There is a long way to go in terms of coordination both across sectors and between different levels of governance (e.g. regional, sub-regional, national, basin/sub-basin)”.

Mr. Spalding-Fecher groups the existing challenges into three categories: institutional, policy-related, and technical.

“More institutional dialogue and communication is needed across sectors and countries. For example, the energy people need to talk to food people, etc.”, he says. “There is some level of dialogue across most sectors, but the energy sector tends to be less connected to any of the others. We need to bridge that gap.” There is the challenge of enabling structures, and bilateral and multilateral agreements, and policy. And there is the need for technical analysis and decision support tools to inform those discussions. Until now, there was some data and modelling available, but “they were not integrated and user-friendly enough to support that work, and were often not in the public domain”.

The solutions need to work across sectors, but also across scales. Mr. Spalding-Fecher mentions one example: “One decision we had to make was whether to look at water use by mining across the entire basin or not. At a local level, it is big issue in the Northern Zambia, where copper is mined. But if you look downstream, the other flows are large enough that mining is unlikely to impact major downstream investments … There is a historic lack of coordination across sectors and across scales. You need to look at how you use regional agreements to facilitate the best choices at national and local levels.”

 

Image: Zambezi, courtesy Mags pics for everyone, flickr.com

OPINION: After Paris – “Going from intended to implemented, that is the question” says Margaret Kamau, Kenya

Kenya aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 relative to Business As Usual. This goal is subject to international support in the form of finance, investment, technology development and transfer, and capacity building. Margaret Kamau, CDKN´s Country Engagement and Project Manager talks to Miren Gutiérrez about what this target means for her country. This is part of a CDKN series on implementing the Paris Agreement: read more at www.cdkn.org/after-paris-perspectives

 

The Paris Agreement created an ambitious mandate for the global community. Does it change the national conversation in Kenya about action on climate change? If so, how?

Well before, for much of 2015, there has been quite a momentum in Kenya around preparations for COP21[Editor: 21st Conference of the Parties for the UNFCCC], the INDCs [Climate plans which countries submitted to the conference] and the Paris Agreement. A number of stakeholders were quite involved in the ‘road to COP’ process. I think that this kind of momentum has carried on in 2016.

From meetings that we had this February and March, we can tell there is a bit of uncertainty about “what next” with regards to the Paris Agreement. But the Government of Kenya is taking steps to clarify this. For example, in mid-February there was a meeting on the post-Paris situation with a wide range of civil society organisations and other stakeholders, where the government was able to explain what the next steps were and what the COP21 meant.

In two weeks, there is another stakeholder consultation session, now addressed towards developing the next steps after Paris. Now we are waiting to hear what the government has planned and what they need support for. I know they are also looking at the implications for Kenya’s growth and sustainable development. So I think the main influence COP21 has had is creating momentum before, during and after the event.

Ban Ki Moon visits geothermal plant, Kenya, courtesy UNEP

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon visits a geothermal power facility in Kenya; courtesy UNEP.

Are these consultations with civil society and stakeholders binding in any way, has the government been gathering their feedback, or are they just informative?

They have been mainly for information purposes, not to get feedback or to pass clear information on what the next steps are. But I believe the intention of the government is that the next meeting is to be more action oriented. Kenya’s civil society has challenged the government to take action to implementing the agreement. But not openly in the media.

As for coverage, media articles and news stories on climate change tended to be published before and during COP21, with different sectoral approaches. Since the Paris conference, we haven’t seen as much. Although that is not necessarily negative…

Kenya indeed submitted an ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’ (INDC). What will it take to get from ‘intended’ to ‘implemented’? What are the big opportunities and challenges?

That is the question. In terms of implementation, we believe the next step the government should take is to lay out the key priority actions in the climate action plan, and take them forward. There is the realisation that the actions contained in the INDC have been ongoing actions. So it is about accelerating investment to support implementation in those areas.

The big opportunities are first at a sectoral level. The energy sector, the forestry sector, the transport sector have all seen significant growth in the last few years. So those would be quick wins: sectors where there has been ongoing work.

In the energy sector, for example, there is already significant investment [in low carbon energy], but there is room for more. The next steps would be: identifying the actions, the key people and institutions to take those actions and accessing the finance required.

Another opportunity would be leveraging the momentum that the Paris Agreement has created to make sure that all stakeholders are aware of it, and employing this ongoing interest and buy-in for activities.

Finance presents both an opportunity and a challenge. We have different financing opportunities, such as Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which may be accessed to implement the country’s NDC. A Kenyan entity has just been accredited as the National Management Authority to access direct funding from the GCF. These are opportunities that the government is already taking.

NAMAs are being developed for the bus rapid transit system, another one for a grid of renewable energy and waste management. A geothermal NAMA was developed and is explored in CDKN’s Inside Story on Climate Compatible Development.

In addition, there is bilateral and multilateral funding: the governments of the UK and Japan and institutions such as the World Bank are funding elements of the NDC as well.

In the finance arena, the Government of Kenya has faced hurdles in producing investment plans and proposals that actually attract funding. Here, some investment may be needed in enhancing capacity for proposal development. A current CDKN project is supporting the government to write an adaptation proposal for the GCF. We are responding to a direct government request to help them fill a gap.

Other challenges include coordination. Over the past years, I think the government has improved its coordinated approach towards climate change and development. This has been particularly evident recently during the INDC process. But coordination across government remains a challenge which they continue to address.

Nairobi skyline credit Jonathan Stonehouse

Skyline of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital; courtesy Jonathan Stonehouse

The Paris Agreement calls for limiting average global temperature rise well below 2C, as close to 1.5C as possible. Kenya’s emissions are not huge, but they are growing fast – what hope to see economic growth and human development with lowered emissions in the specific case of Kenya?  

Using the energy sector is a good example. We have seen a significant increase in investments in the renewable energy sector, particularly in geothermal and wind power. About 50% of Kenya´s electricity[1] comes from renewable sources, and this is a number that is increasing on a daily basis. We think that this it is not actually hampering economic growth, because before geothermal power became the focus, hydroelectric power was being produced from dams. Obviously, that meant that during the power crisis electricity was quite erratic because of the reliance on hydropower [Editor: linked to reduced rainfall and river levels – the CDKN Inside Story explains further]. So the focus on this new generation of renewables is actually supporting growth because it is a more reliable source of power and businesses now have more reliable sources of power.

In agriculture, initiatives such as the one led by COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) to reduce agricultural emissions across Kenya and several other African countries will help combat climate change while addressing food security, from the policy level to the farm level.

We have seen initiatives and interventions to improve forest cover and to improve forest conservation resulting in a better environment for people and the communities living around forests. And this translates to improved human development and better economic growth. So far it has not limited economic growth either.

This will continue being a trend for the next couple of years. We still have untapped solar and wind resources. We are expected to have a large 300 megawatt solar farm in the next few years, which will only reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and promote economic growth.

kenya ihub courtesy UNDP

Technology hub, Kenya; courtesy UNDP.

If you check most INDCs from developing countries their emission reduction targets are subject to technology development, international climate finance and capacity building. What would happen if these ‘means of implementation’ do not flow? 

Countries like Kenya have taken some steps towards building internal capacity and using domestic financial national resources to put in place climate change initiatives. This is evident in some government-enabled food security projects, as well as in the setting up of research institutions, industrial research institutions, with technology development. If the means are not put forward, it is not to say that countries such as Kenya will not take action anyway. But the view is that action will be slower because obviously there are other pressing needs that the domestic budget needs to serve. It won’t be a large allocation for a long time, so this will slow the process in achieving sustainable development.

Why are some countries more successful than others in attracting international resources to support climate compatible development? Does their ability to negotiate have anything to do with it? How would you rate Kenya´s performance so far?

Definitely the ability of a country to negotiate in the international arena plays a huge role in attracting climate finance. But also, one thing that stands out looking at these countries have taken initiatives on their own. Brazil, Mexico and Morocco may have allocated domestic resources towards climate change initiatives. And this can help make a case before they go and negotiate climate finance. I believe part of making the case is showing what you can do with our own resources. I think that these have been countries that have been successful in doing this, and when they go to international arena they are not just asking for money. They are saying: this is what we have done and now we need more money to grow this pilot initiate.

Finally, Kenya not very well known for its negotiation power, but I think being part of the African Group of Negotiators has helped Kenya and fellow African countries to try to negotiate collectively. But [its influence] could be improved with further international support.

The SDGs have many climate-related components, as well as a dedicated climate goal. What are some of the ways that the SDGs will influence the planning and practice of development in Kenya in the coming years?

There has not been a lot of communication on the SDGs locally, since the New York summit last September. CDKN helped convene an SDG dialogue process in 2014 – to provide a platform for Kenyan voices in developing the goals. And what came out of this process is that Kenya would need more integrated planning, not just for key economic sectors, making integrated planning a habit if the SDGs are to be achieved. Kenya is also in the process of writing up a green economy strategy, which looks at how to maintain sustainable development while growing the economy.

 

Image: Kenya, courtesy DFID.

[1] Kenya is looking to geothermal energy to power its growth and reduce reliance on imports. As of 2015, geothermal accounted for 51% percent of Kenya’s energy mix (up from only 13% in 2010). Kenya´s also investing on wind, with Africa’s largest wind farm (310 MW) set to provide another 20% of the country´s installed electricity generating capacity. Those two combined will help Kenya generate 71% of its electricity with renewables in the future, according to CleanTechnica.

Q&A: Africa – High On Political Empowerment, Low On Education

Miren Gutierrez interviews SAADIA ZAHIDI, co-author of Global Gender Gap report

Saadia Zahidi: The GGG index

Saadia Zahidi: The GGG index "looks at women as resources"

ROME, Dec 3 (IPS) – “It is clear that there are huge discrepancies within Sub-Saharan Africa, but overall the region is doing extremely well in terms of political empowerment,” says Saadia Zahidi, head of the Women Leaders and Gender Parity Programme at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in a telephone interview from Geneva. But what are the pending matters in the region?

The Global Gender Gap (GGG) index ranks 134 countries according to gender equality, and it is designed to measure gender-based gaps in access to resources and opportunities in individual countries rather than the overall levels of the available resources in those countries. It looks at four factors: economic participation and opportunity; educational attainment; political empowerment; and health and survival of women.

Zahidi discusses concrete cases based on the data dug out for the GGG report, and comments on the emergence of South Africa as a country with one of the lowest gender gaps in the world and other trends in the Sub-Saharan region.

Continue reading

Gender-South Africa: ‘There Is A Sense Of Vindication’

There Is A Sense Of Vindication – Gender-South Africa

Miren Gutierrez* interviews THENJIWE MTINTSO, Ambassador of South Africa to Italy

'This is our time. We can avoid repeating mistakes and learn from other's experiences' / Credit:Victor Sokolowicz/ IPS

This is our time. We can avoid repeating mistakes and learn from other's experiences

ROME, Nov 26 (IPS) – Born in a squatter camp in Orlando East and raised by a single mother; working in a factory while completing secondary school by correspondence; arrested and banned by the apartheid government: South Africa’s ambassador to Italy is an example of the long road her country has travelled.

In the context of an international conference on gender violence and the role of media in Rome – organised by Inter Press Service and supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the City of Rome – Mtintso, a gender activist and former journalist, spoke with IPS about the story behind the scenes of the fight for gender equality in South Africa.

IPS: South Africa is in the sixth best position in the latest Global Gender Gap index by the World Economic Forum. “The latest data reveal that South Africa made significant improvements in female labour force participation in addition to gains for women in parliament and in ministerial positions in the new government. South Africa holds the top spot of the region in political empowerment.” Do you feel vindicated?

THENJIWE MTINTSO: There is a sense of vindication, yes. Also of awareness, in the sense that, when I was a journalist in the 1970s, (the issue of the discrimination against women) was sometimes considered out of place (within the struggle against apartheid), to the point that some women were wondering ‘are we talking foolish?’ The view among the people undertaking the social struggle against the apartheid regime was that, since women are part of the nation, there was no need to make a difference.

I consider this success story a direct effect of the struggle for equality for women (of that period). It is thanks to the women who were part of the struggle for national liberation and gender equality, women who formed the movement, who achieved a unity across races, that we are where we are.

In that in a particular political environment, in which women felt the pressure from different fronts, that it was possible that white and black women were united. White women were the wives and black women were the domestic help. Men in reality had two wives.

So women were driven closer in the environment previous to the first elections (in 1994). They got together and decided they weren’t going to let men speak on their behalf.

IPS: You have highlighted that fact that South Africa is in a better position than Italy (ranked 72 in the GGG index).

TM: There is a historical difference. We have undergone a huge crisis. The struggles that we went through created a different dynamic that made this possible.

IPS: However we are talking about a country that has the world’s highest number of rapes per capita (1.19538 per 1,000 people), according to Seventh U.N. Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998-2000. More than 25 percent of South African men questioned admitted to raping someone, according to a recent study conducted by the Medical Research Council (MRC). What are the main areas in which discrimination is still pervasive?

TM: This problem is very serious. With the improvements, there have been backlashes. What happened is that the faster we were going (in terms of gender equality), the more challenges men were facing. And some of them were not ready to be led by women, they were not ready to have their women earning more, they were not ready to transfer leadership roles to women.

Unfortunately, the violence was a response. We have young men beating young women. The economic strains are making things worse. Men are supposed to provide for their families (while the crisis is affecting their capacity to do so). Men’s frustrations combine against women.

But although the statistics are correct, there is now more reporting (in violence against women). So the increase in reporting is showing too in the statistics.

Read more…
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