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2nd Call for Papers: 2018SAEEC Conference

The President of the board of the Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation (SAEEC), Ms. Lisa Reynolds, cordially invites you to submit an abstract for consideration to speak at the 2018 Southern African Energy Efficiency Conference to be held on 13-14 November 2018 at Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa. All potential speakers’ abstracts will be reviewed by the Conference Technical Programme Committee based on this submission.
2018SAEEC Conference Abstracts due May 31, 2018.

ABSTRACTS COVERING THE FOLLOWING POSSIBLE THEMES ARE WELCOME FOR SUBMISSION:

  • Alternative & Renewable Energy
  • CHP / Power Generation
  • End-Use Technologies
  • Energy Management
  • Energy Policy
  • Energy Services
  • Government Energy Management
  • High Performance & Green Buildings
  • Industrial Energy Management
  • Sustainable Development
  • Transportation Systems

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SUBMISSION SCHEDULE:

01 March 2018: Abstract applications open
31 May 2018:
Closing date
02 July 2018: Notice of abstract acceptance
01 August 2018: First-draft papers submission
03 September 2018: Feedback and recommendations…………………………………………….
17 September 2018: Final paper submission
28 September 2018: Letter of acceptance
Abstracts submitted will be selected on the basis of significance, relevance, correctness, originality and clarity by a panel of reviewers.

Abstract Registration

Abstract Guidelines

For more information please contact us:
Ms Nikki Nel
Project Manager
Timzama Event Imagineers
Tel:  +27 18 290 5130
Email:  support@saee.org.za

The Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation Conference (2018SAEEC) is presented by the Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation (SAEEC) and organized by Timzama Event Imagineers.

Water scarcity under the spotlight at Water Research Council meeting

Water scarcity in South Africa will be high on the agenda of a three-day Water Research Council meeting under the theme “Adaptation to the New Normal”‚ which opened on Monday east of Johannesburg.

South Africa is recovering from the 2016 drought and the Western and Eastern Cape are still experiencing critical water shortages.

Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyana said the rise of extreme weather patterns because of climate change and a growing global population were realities which impacted on water resources.

“The challenges are global‚ therefore the memoranda of understanding with neighbouring Namibia and the Water Research Council must assist in resolving challenges in the regions‚” she said.

The minister said a high-level panel on water was meeting at the UN this week.

“The outcomes of this symposium must speak to a better water future and encourage international partnerships‚” Mokonyana said.

She said Gauteng enjoyed water from Lesotho because of such a partnership.

Water Research Council CEO Desighen Naidoo said the current infrastructure and regulatory environment in South Africa needed to be revisited with vigour.

Priorities he listed included: “Enabling sustainable development and ensuring universal access to basic services in the new normal through creativity‚ innovation and systems amenable to dynamic adaptation and improvement.”

The council’s biennial symposium is a platform for new knowledge and innovation to improve water and sanitation delivery.

South Africa’s average annual rainfall of 490mm is far lower than that of the global average‚ of 814mm per year‚ according to the WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature).

The authoritative Atlas of Freshwater Ecosystem Priority Areas in South Africa reports that more than half of the country’s rivers are being strangled by pollution and water extraction.

Source: talkofthetown

LUX* implements 100% renewable energy production project on Ile des Deux Cocos property

The 20kWp project’s state-of-the-art design and storage solution will allow for 11 hours of utilization daily and fulfil self-sufficiency of the property including during night-time
LUX* Resorts & Hotels has implemented 130 solar panels and batteries to fully substitute diesel-based power generation for the needs of Ile des Deux Cocos, off-grid South-East Mauritius (www.IleDesDeuxCocos.com/fr). The 20kWp project’s state-of-the-art design and storage solution will allow for 11 hours of utilization daily and fulfil self-sufficiency of the property including during night-time.Building upon the many eco-friendly initiatives already embedded in LUX* sustainable vision, this corner achievement demonstrates the virtuous power of the group’s Tread Lightly program whereby guests participation supports long-term improvement of the properties’ environmental impacts. Such allocation complements the carbon offsetting contribution channelled to regional CO2 compensation projects portfolio in partnership with Aera Group (https://Aera-Group.fr) (formerly known as ecosur afrique) which maintains a tailored selection of carbon compensation commitments across Africa and Asia, matching accurate and up-to-date GHG impacts monitoring across destinations to best-in-class corresponding offset projects.

Recent entries in LUX* Tread Lightly compensation portfolio include voluntarily Verified Carbon Standard certified emission reductions from:

  • Producing Green Electricity From Individual Wind Mill Owners in India
  • Supporting Biogas Energy in Eastern Africa

Vishnee Payen, Sustainability & CSR Manager of LUX* Resorts & Hotels, commented that “LUX* ensures to have Sustainable Development at the core of its strategy and operations. The Tread Lightly initiative helps to contribute to local and global goals such as Energy Efficiency, Reduction in Carbon Emissions, also aligning with the SDGs and COP22 targets. We are dependent on the environment and it is our duty to protect it for ourselves and for future generations to come. This can only be achieved through tangible projects implementations and responsible resource consumption. LUX* will continue its journey towards renewable energy solutions and eco-products as far as possible and at the same time contributing to the economy and supporting communities.”

Alexandre Dunod, AERA Group advisory manager, highlighted “another mark of leadership in sustainability from LUX* which should inspire the industry in 2017 declared by UN as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Environmental responsibility and transparency are growing significantly in the hospitality sector on the way to Paris agreement implementation and we are proud of being part of such pioneer efforts in the Indian Ocean and beyond.”

Learn more on : https://Aera-Group.fr/fiche/lux-resorts-hotels & www.LuxResorts.com/en/tread-lightly.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Aera Group.

Wastewater should be recognized as a valuable resource, UN says on World Water Day

In a world where the demand for water continues to grow and the resource is finite, a new United Nations report argues that wastewater, discarded into the environment every day, once treated, can help meet the needs for freshwater as well as for raw materials for energy and agriculture.

Needless to mention, treating wastewater and removing pollutants can also remarkably reduce the impact on the environment as well as on health.

“Improved wastewater management is as much about reducing pollution at the source, as removing contaminants from wastewater flows, reusing reclaimed water and recovering useful by-products [as it is about increasing] social acceptance of the use of wastewater,” noted Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General in her foreword to the World Water Development Report 2017 – Wastewater: An untapped resource.

The report, launched today in Durban, South Africa, on the occasion of World Water Day, also highlights that improved management of wastewater is essential in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“It’s all about carefully managing and recycling the water that runs through our homes, factories, farms and cities,” said Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Chair of UN-Water, urging for reducing and safely reusing more wastewater.

“Everyone can do their bit to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase safe water reuse by 2030.”

Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) has specific targets on halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally (target 6.3) as well as supporting countries in wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies (target 6.a).

Health and environmental dimension – particularly stark for low-income countries

The report also revealed that low-income countries are particularly impacted by the release of waste water into the environment without being either treated or collected, where, on average, only 8 per cent of domestic and industrial wastewater is treated, compared to 70 per cent in high-income countries.

As a result, in many regions of the world, water contaminated by bacteria, nitrates, phosphates and solvents is discharged into rivers and lakes ending up in the oceans, with negative consequences for the environment and public health.

For instance, in Latin America, Asia and Africa, pollution from pathogens from human and animal excreta affects almost one third of rivers, endangering the lives of millions of people.

Furthermore, growing awareness on the presence of hormones, antibiotics, steroids and endocrine disruptors in wastewater poses a new set of complexities as their impact on the environment and health have yet to be fully understood.

These set of challenges underscore the need for urgent action on collection, treatment and safe use of wastewater.

Wastewater as a source of raw materials

In addition to providing a safe alternative source for freshwater, wastewater is also a potential source of raw materials, noted the report.

Owing to developments in treatment techniques, certain nutrients, like phosphorus and nitrates, can now be recovered from sewage and sludge and turned into fertilizer. It is estimated that nearly 22 per cent of the global demand for phosphorus (a depleting mineral resource) can be met by treating human urine and excrement.

Use of treated wastewater has long been practised by astronauts, such as those on the International Space Station who have been reusing the same recycled water for over 16 years

Similarly, organic substances contained in wastewater can be used to produce biogas, which could power wastewater treatment facilities as well as contribute to energy needs of local communities.

In addition, use of treated wastewater is growing for agricultural irrigation. At least 50 countries around the globe are now using treated wastewater for this purpose, accounting for an estimated 10 per cent of all irrigated land.

Lastly, the report also mentioned that treated wastewater can augment drinking water supplies, although this is still a marginal practice. Cities such as Singapore, San Diego (United States), and Windhoek (Namibia) have been treating wastewater to supplement drinking water reserves.

A great example is use of treated wastewater, long practised by astronauts, such as those on the International Space Station who have been reusing the same recycled water for over 16 years.

Source: un

Why is sustainability such an important consideration in mining?

Sustainability has always been a key consideration in the mining industry and will continue to shape activity today and beyond.

Tord Svensson, head of TOMRA Sorting Mining

Activity in the mining industry is integral to modern life, with minerals and commodities mined across the world playing a crucial role the way in which both businesses and consumers operate.

As with any industry providing essential products and services, a significant amount of attention is placed on its processes and their impact from both an environmental and economic perspective.

Figures compiled by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development division show that, in the 20th century, extraction of construction minerals increased by 34 times, while that of ores and industrial minerals increased 27 times, which significantly outpaced the quadrupling of the global population and even the 24-fold increase in worldwide GDP.

Constant questions

The dramatic increase in activity naturally placed strain on resources and also created questions around sustainability, but the fact is that sustainable practices have long been an important consideration in mining, stretching back more than 50 years.

In an industry where developments take place across decades and decisions being made now could only come to fruition in half a century, it is essential that the potential impact of any move is taken into account.

A global report carried out by professional services firm Deloitte into the constant challenges and constraints affecting sustainability in mining found that that the ever-increasing demand for mined resources remains a major concern, as well as the consumption of resources such as energy and water, which are required throughout the extraction process.

Increasing pollution generated by the extraction process must also be factored into thinking, with these principles applying to both large-scale, multinational corporates, as well as smaller-scale operations.

In many cases, the sustainability of extraction can vary greatly depending on the industry, but regardless of the processes and techniques being employed and implemented, these operations are still associated with negative environmental and social impacts in some markets.

Evolving challenges

The ever-present challenge for the sector is strengthening the relationship with local communities and reinforcing the importance of mining to both revenue and employment in many nations, particularly developing countries.

The non-renewable nature of mined resources is also at odds with sustainability, which further illustrates how crucial the efficient use of resources for development remains.

Of course, questions around how to maximize the developmental benefits of mining while also contributing to both environmental and social sustainability are nothing new.

It was given the spotlight in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, agreed at the 2002 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development, where three priority areas were identified, including addressing the environmental, economic, health and social impacts and benefits of mining throughout the entire lifecycle, encompassing issues such as the health and safety of workers.

Another key aim outlined was to enhance the participation of stakeholders, including local communities and – just as crucially – fostering sustainable mining practices through the provision of financial, technical and capacity-building support to all countries.

Core practices

At its core, the practices that will be central to maintaining and improving the sustainability of global mining is the management and reduction of energy and resources used in extracting materials.

Although new sites are being discovered and means of extracting materials are being developed, the nature of the work can have a significant number of side-effects on the surrounding area both in the short and long term. This necessitates the use of the most effective possible methods and machinery, as well as approaches to reducing water and energy use.

Minimizing the use of water that is diverted for mining activity – and can impact both the quantity and quality of water available downstream – has proven highly effective in countries such as Canada, where figures from the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy show that water intake used in mining fell by a third in just ten years.

Reducing energy consumption is also paramount if the impact of the mining industry is to be mitigated; it is estimated that three per cent of the world’s energy is used to mine natural commodities, while land disruption remains a key issue as land that could potentially be used for vegetation may be spoiled.

The use of technology that can play a key role in reducing the industry’s impact on the planet in both the long and short term is therefore paramount, and TOMRA’s range of sorting technology is playing a crucial role in this.

Sensors are able to recognize the target material according to typical characteristics such as color, atomic density, transparency and conductivity and then selectively extract it using a pulse of pressurized air to minimize waste.

A strong emphasis is placed on reducing eventual water and energy consumption when designing all TOMRA machinery, and sensor-based material handling sorters are no exception.

Sorting has a direct effect on reducing the downstream energy consumption in relation to the amount of mass removed by the sorter. If a sorting machine removes 15 per cent of waste by mass, then downstream processes will use approximately 15 per cent less energy, and the same applies to water consumption.

However, processing a ton of sorted ore will consume the same amount of energy as unsorted material; the key factor being that you will be able to produce the same amount of final concentrate treating less material.

Sustainability continues to be at the heart of the mining industry, and maintaining this focus will ensure that new methods of extraction are being complemented by sustainable processes that help to maintain the integrity of the area being mined and its local population and offer tangible business benefits.

Source: miningglobal

Green building buy-in now imperative for corporates, developers, urge analysts

As government chases legislation to enforce the implementation of green building principles, analysts advise that embracing sustainable development is crucial for all sectors of South Africa.

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Sustainable development specialists and property analysts have urged all South African businesses and developers to embrace the reality of “green building” as government actively pursues legislation to enforce more sustainable construction. Sustainable building academic at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Chris Allen advises that government is in the process of developing a green building framework aligned to the Green BuildingCouncil of South Africa’s green star rating system, in order to reap the benefits in government buildings throughout the country, namely more efficient operation leading to lower running costs.

On the back of these moves to strengthen South Africa’s already significant switch to more sustainable buildings in the wake of the energy crisis of 2008, government is providing both the carrot and stick to get the private sector to follow suit.

“You’re going to see the private sector adopting green building practices more vigorously, with the government starting to request energy performance certificates for their buildings this year, with the aim of asking the same of commercial buildings from 2018 and the private sector from 2020,” said Allen.

Allen recently spoke on the topic at a regional SA Property Owners Association (SAPOA) meeting in Port Elizabeth. He was joined by sustainable solutions experts Brian van Niekerk, managing director of sustainable solutions company Rhino Group, and Heather McEwan, MD of Rhino Group company Rhino Lighting.

Allen, a lecturer in building science within the department ofconstruction management at NMMU, said: “The real benefits to green buildings start to accrue when it comes to their running costs. The commercial reality is that their running costs are 30 to 40% down on conventional developments. Added to this is a similar improvement in the productivity levels of people working in green buildings as a result of increased natural lighting levels, ventilation rates and even how those commuting to these buildings get there.”

Last year a research report by Allen and fellow NMMU academic Katharina Crafford based on Rhino Group’s showcase House Rhino – which is an energy-plus home located at Crossways Farm Village outside Port Elizabeth – was hailed at a global conference in the UK. African Energy-Plus construction: A case study of House Rhino received the Chair’s Award at the Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society international conference at Leeds Beckett University.

“Due to the energy crisis that South Africa has experienced over the past seven years, challenging preconceived ideas by creating attractive, affordable, energy efficient buildings has become critical to offsetting massive cost increases for electricity,” reads the research report.

Van Niekerk said there were already a myriad of avenues for corporates to reduce their energy consumption without implementing major or costly energy savings systems.

“During our energy efficiency audits of major businesses and retailers, many of the buildings which we go into don’t meetbasic energy efficiency requirements. By making simple changes in their daily operations, those businesses have saved tens of thousands of rands on energy costs,” said Van Niekerk.

Often businesses neglected making the most of the space at their disposal, said Van Niekerk. Rhino Group has recently completed a 3MW solar installation for a client in Johannesburg – using mounted solar panels with the dual purpose of creating undercover parking for the client.

It takes typically seven years for a landlord to cover the costs of solar installations, said Van Niekerk, adding: “It’s a very good investment. For landlords, when you look at the return on investment, you can protect yourself by having renewable energy to cover you in case tenants default – plus you’re greening the building for the tenant.”

McEwan, whose company also undertakes energy audits for major companies, said one recent audit revealed that the amedium-sized retailer could save more than R12 000 annually – or reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 10 tonnes – simply by changing the setting on the air conditioning system from 18˚C to 22˚C.

SAPOA Port Elizabeth chairman Mark Bakker said while the perceived cost of developing a green building has always appeared to be prohibitive, “one needs to take into account not only the direct savings that will be made by using alternate sources, but also the indirect benefits that will be gained through higher achievable rentals, longer term and happier tenants”.

“Property owners need to explore the ‘going green’ avenue, not only because government is implementing requirements or because ‘it’s the right thing to do’, but also because in the longer term they will benefit from happier tenants,” said Bakker.
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Supporting African Jobs, Economic Growth and Sustainable Development Through Aviation

Aviation is vital to the modern, globalised world, supporting millions of jobs and driving economic growth. But the benefits of connectivity must be protected with appropriate support from governments if the air transport sector is to help fulfil its potential as a connector of people, trade and tourism and a driver of sustainable development. These are the conclusions drawn in a new report, Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders, issued by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG).

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Worldwide, aviation supports 62.7 million jobs and generates $2.7 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP). Not only does air transport provide significant economic benefits, but it also plays a major role in the social development of people and communities all over the globe, allowing people to travel for educational opportunities and cultural exchange, more broadly. Across Africa, specifically, air transport supports 6.8 million jobs and contributes $72.5 billion to the African continent’s GDP.

In the next 20 years, forecasts suggest that aviation-supported jobs worldwide will increase to over 99 million and GDP to $5.9 trillion. Africa is the second-fastest growing region in the world as far as international air traffic is concerned. However, the overly strict regulatory environment in the region must be simplified if Africa’s true economic potential is to be realised. For decades, industry leaders have been urging governments in Africa to unlock this potential by moving ahead with the policy of open skies in the region, allowing aviation services to flourish and continue to support growth. Industry costs in Africa, including passenger fees, are among the highest in the world. These regulatory arrangements should be improved, according to industry experts in the region.

ATAG executive director, Michael Gill, says that the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the United Nations highlights a number of goals that the international community should strive to achieve by 2030: “We found that air transport in some way supports 14 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, from decent work and economic growth to quality education and reduced inequalities. By continuing to grow in a sustainable manner, aviation can strive to be a force for good for many years to come.”

“A significant factor in our work on sustainable development is the industry’s world-leading climate action plan. We need support from governments around the world to agree on a key part of that plan at the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly, where we hope an agreement can be reached on a global offsetting scheme for air transport. It is a vital part of our industry’s future role in helping to support development worldwide.”

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Elijah Chingoso, Secretary General of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA): “Sustainable development of air transport in Africa requires that the industry be fully liberalised, industry costs are brought down to global standards through adhering to ICAO stipulations as well as removal of constraints to the development of the industry such as monopolies and visa requirements. Reliable aviation infrastructure, efficient, inexpensive and sustainable transport services are crucial for speedy socio-economic development, regional integration and for the continent’s competitiveness in the global economy.”

Boni Dibate, Director Africa Affairs for the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO): “As the second fastest growing region for international air traffic, Africa needs efficient, cost-effective and safe air traffic management (ATM) infrastructure to fully realise the economic benefits of aviation. CANSO is working hard with its industry partners to improve the safety, efficiency and sustainability of ATM across Africa, by improving safety through its standard of excellence; providing training; disseminating best practice; and promoting opportunities for collaborative decision-making. States have a key role to play by investing in ATM infrastructure; modernising airspace by implementing the ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrades; and liberalising air transport by implementing the Yamoussoukro Declaration.”
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Source: businesswire


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African countries can achieve their sustainable development goals by 2030

The concept of sustainable development goals (SDGs) allows for nationally adapted and differentiated approaches for implementing what is seen as a common and collective responsibility. The SDGs are intended to guide priorities both for the development needed in the emerging countries and for the sustainable transition required throughout the world over the next 15 years. The SDGs include most of the highest priority objectives of the world’s economic, social and environmental agendas and in that sense achieve a degree of balance

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The individual goals are not, however, so well balanced within themselves.  Some are clearly primarily economic goals, others social and some environmental.   Only a partial integration has been achieved of the three dimensions within each area.  This is a serious shortcoming since the objective must be to encourage a more integrated approach within each area and each subject community.

For example, the health and education communities need goals that fully express the significance and importance of a fully integrated sustainability approach within their areas, including the economic and environmental dimensions as well as the social.

As a concept sustainable development calls for a practical approach which maximises positive outcomes by recognising the interdependencies between the economy, the environment and society. It is about securing long-term success in all three of these areas by working across sectors to deliver integrated and creative solutions with multiple benefits. Sustainable development therefore requires a systems-based approach for achieving positive, enduring change.

A new report prepared by Accenture for the Global e-sustainability Initiative (GeSI) indicates how the information and communication technology (ICT) sector can help countries achieve the objectives of the 17 SDGs by 2030. The report envisions how digital solutions will contribute substantially to the three dimensions of development covered by the SDGs.  In the area of improving people’s lives an estimated 1.6 billion people could benefit from more accessible, affordable and better quality medical services through e-healthcare.  Connected road vehicle solutions could save up to 720,000 lives annually and prevent up to 30 million traffic injuries.

In pursuing equitable growth, digital solutions like the Internet of Things and robotics can help bring almost USD 1 trillion in economic benefits to industries from smart manufacturing and smart logistics.

In terms of protecting the environment, digital solutions could enable the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and drive market transformation for renewables, cutting carbon emissions by about 20% in 2030.

Through the strategic deployment of digital solutions, the ICT sector can act as the catalyst for helping the world’s nations solve critical and complex social, economic, and environmental challenges.  However Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of ITU, the United Nations Specialised Agency for ICT, emphasises that despite the promise and potential of technology, the world cannot lose sight of the fact that more than four billion people have yet to be brought online.

”Connecting the unconnected and bridging the digital divide must be addressed as an urgent policy priority requiring more innovative public-private partnerships and finance and investment models,” he said.

Where governments were once the primary source of development assistance, today the private sector, civil society, academia and donors are all working together to discover, fund and scale up innovative solutions for long-term development challenges.  Some of these solutions have already resulted in transformative innovations that have improved development outcomes.  Building the skills and ecosystem to participate in the fast-growing digital economy is probably one of the most powerful drivers for future employment and economic prosperity.

The recurring themes in all this are clearly innovation and collaboration and this is where a global expert in revenue-assurance and ICT solutions like Global Voice Group (GVG) can assist. GVG has developed innovative solutions that enable real-time data-driven governance supported by highly reliable and effective data systems.  These innovative systems allow governments, through their respective agencies, to monitor different sectors of the economy in terms of regulatory and tax compliance optimising the collection of surcharges, taxes, levies or any other contributions due to government.

Patrice Baker, CEO of GVG states that: “Global Voice Group (GVG), has pioneered a sound approach of ICT governance supported by effective technology and ICT solutions for government and regulatory bodies.  Our technologies and services can be collectively defined as revenue-assurance solution for governments as they help protect and boost State revenues.  Their benefits extend beyond revenue protection and boosting—by providing control tools for regulatory enforcement and high-level analytical tools for policy and decision-makers.  Overall our solutions enable government control over data and further modernisation of government institutions in order to meet all the requirements of the new digital world.  Our telecoms revenue-assurance solutions have been implemented in ten emerging countries.  To date they have enabled the governments of these countries to create new revenue streams of nearly USD 1.5 billion to finance their development projects and further reduce dependency on foreign aid. Taking advantage of digital solutions will give countries the ability to measure, track and advance the SDGs within trusted environments and enable true progress.”

The tried and true assistance the company has provided to African and other governments has empowered them to take charge of their own socio-economic future through the smart integration of ICTs.  This also paves the way for the empowerment of individuals and the opening of new windows for delivering more effective and scalable connectivity projects.
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Africa: New Protocol Aims to Cut Trillion-Dollar Food Waste Bill

Four years ago, 27-year-old Tsering Dorji of western Bhutan’s Satsam village took to organic vegetable farming. Since then, thanks to composted manure and organic pesticide, the soil health of his farm has improved, and the yield has increased manifold.

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Dorji, once a subsistence farmer, now has about 60 bags of surplus food every two months to sell and earn a profit. But come the rainy season and he still loses thousands of rupees carrying his produce to markets that are miles away.

“Vegetables like radish, carrot and cucumber often break and tomatoes get squashed when I transport them. So I have to either sell them for [the deeply discounted price of ] 5-10 rupees a kg or just throw them away. This is very a hard time for me,” Dorji told IPS.

The young farmer is not alone. The world over, but especially in developing countries, farmers lose millions of dollars due to food loss. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the total bill for food loss and food waste is a whooping 940 billion dollars a year.

The scenario could, however, change significantly in coming years courtesy of a new global mechanism called the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard. Launched at the 4th Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) a two-day conference held in Copenhagen from June 6-7, this is a protocol to map the extent and the reasons for food loss and food waste across the world.

The conference, which brought together governments, investors, corporations, NGOs and research organisations, termed it a great ‘breakthrough” – one that could lead to effective control and prevention of global food loss and food waste.

“The new Food Loss and Waste Standard will reduce economic losses for the consumer and the food industry, alleviate the pressure on natural resources and contribute to realising the ambitious goals set out in the SDGs, “said Christian Jensen, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Denmark, launching the protocol.

The protocol

The Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard (FLW) has been developed jointly by the Consumer Goods Forum, the FAO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Specific guidelines for how the standard will instruct countries and companies to measure their food waste are still being drafted, but the protocol includes three components.

The first is that the standard includes modular definitions of food waste that change based on what an entity’s end goal is – so if a country is interested in curbing food waste to fight food insecurity, its definition of food waste will be different than a country looking to curb food waste to fight climate change.

Secondly, the standard includes diverse quantification options, which will allow a country or company with fewer financial or technical resources to obtain a general picture of their food loss and waste.

And finally, the standard is meant to be flexible enough to evolve over time, as understanding of food waste, quantification methods, and available data improves.

Sustainable Development Goal 12.3

Food loss and waste has significant economic, social, and environmental consequences. According to the FAO, a third of the food produced in the world is lost while transporting it from where it is produced to where it is eaten, even as 800 million people remain malnourished.

In short, food loss increases hunger. The lost and wasted food also consumes about one quarter of all water used by agriculture and, in terms of land use, uses cropland area the size of China, besides generating about 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Target 12.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addresses this he global food challenge by seeking to halve per capita food waste and reduce food losses by 2030.

The FLW Protocol can help steer the movement forward, say UN officials. According to Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the protocol could not only help understand just how much food is “not making it to our mouths, but will help set a baseline for action”.

The protocol has also triggered the interest of business leaders like the world’s largest food company, Nestle. “What gets measured can be managed. At Nestle, we will definitely benefit significantly by using the standard to help us address our own food loss and waste,” said Michiel Kernkamp, Nestle Nordic Market chief.

Benefiting the poorest growers

But can the FLW protocol benefit the smallest and the poorest of the food producers in the developing countries who lack modern technology, innovation, and regular finance and are surrounded by multiple climate vulnerabilities such as flood, drought, salinity and other natural disasters?

“Yes,” says Khalid Bomba, CEO of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency.

The protocol, by identifying the pockets of food loss, can highlight the areas that need urgent intervention, he says.

“For ordinary proof producers, food loss happens for a number of reasons such as lack of innovative tools, improved seeds, market opportunity and climate change. The new protocol can be a tool to find out how much losses are happening due to each of these reasons. Once this data is collected, it can be shared with the NGOs and the business communities. Accordingly, they can decide how and where they want to intervene and what solutions they want to apply.”

Bomba, however, cautions that the protocol should not be mistaken for a solution. “This protocol in itself cannot end food loss. It is just a tool to understand the problem better and find the appropriate solution.”

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Solar bus affirms Africa’s commitment to UN environmental goals

NAIROBI, (CAJ News)- THE continent’s first solar-powered bus, whose production is set for 2018, has been hailed as major breakthrough towards Africa’s commitment to the United Nations global Agenda for Sustainable Development for 2030 and validated Uganda as ready for automotive manufacturing and engineering.

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The innovation has been one of the highlights of the second session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2), at the just-concluded United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Headquarters in Nairobi.

Known as the Kayoola Solar Bus, it is a product of the Uganda-based Kiira Motors and a brainchild of the Makerere University under the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), which is the investment arm of the Ugandan Government, as a presidential initiative for automotive manufacturing.

The Kayoola Solar Bus, produced in 2016 is one of the three concept vehicles produced by the Kiira Vehicle Technology Innovation Programme.

It is a 35-seater electric bus with zero tailpipe emissions, a range of 80 km, with latent range extension from the real-time charging enabled by the roof mounted solar panels.

One of its two batteries can be charged by solar panels on the roof which increases the vehicle’s 80km (50 mile) range.

The development of the Kayoola Solar Bus Concept represents the commitment of the Kiira Motors Project to championing the progressive development of local capacity for vehicle technology innovation, a key ingredient for institutionalizing a sustainable vehicle manufacturing industry in the East African country.

The solar bus, which makes the most of the abundance of sunlight in the country, is intended for urban areas than inter-city use because of the restrictions on the distance it can travel.

If it is mass produced, each bus would cost up to US$58 000.

Achim Steiner, the UNEP Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the UN, is among delegates that toured the Kayoola Solar Bus during a tour of the Sustainable Innovations Expo, held at the sidelines of the UNEA conference where the bus was on showcase, in addition to being the official green transport partner for the UN conference.

Steiner expressed excitement and pride to see 21st century mobility technology being put “on the road in Africa, by Africans.”

“I challenge local investors in to invest in the fast growing green economy in Africa, as is exhibited through the production of environmentally friendly vehicles,” said Steiner.

Paul Isaac Musasizi, the Chief Executive Officer Kiira Motors, lauded the endorsement of Kayoola Solar Bus by the UNEP.

He committed to further engage the government and private sector for further policy and investment commitment.

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Source: cajnewsafrica


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