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As The World Bank Turns

June 30th, 2014 | Add a Comment

As The World Bank Turns 

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-walker/as-the-world-bank-turns_b_5530214.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics

Something exciting, almost revolutionary, is happening at one of the most conservative of the world’s international institutions. The World Bank, which for decades has been criticized has overly focused on the construction of dams and other infrastructures as the cure for poverty, is turning its focus to the real engine of economic progress in the developing world: girls and women.

The shift from physical capital to human capital has been in the works for several years, but it has accelerated under the leadership of Jim Yong Kim, who became the Bank’s president on July 1, 2012. Kim, an anthropologist by training, understands that gender inequality is one of the biggest obstacles, if not the biggest, to improving economic conditions in the world’s poorest countries.

Two years ago, prior to Kim’s appointment, the World Bank’s annual “World Development Report” focused on the promotion of gender equality, describing it as “smart economics,” but doubts remained as to whether the Bank was really changing its bricks and mortar orientation. The jury is still out, but the Bank’s new concentration on girls and women is gaining critical momentum. And the World Bank Group’s Gender and Development team, led by Jeni Klugman, appears to the leading the charge.

Last month, the team released a new report titled, “Voice and Agency: Empowering women and girls for shared prosperity.” The report argues, and persuasively so, that investing in gender equality will “yield broad development dividends.” Gender equality requires, at a minimum, that women have “voice.” By voice, the Bank means “having the capacity to speak up and be heard and being present to shape and share in discussions, discourse, and decisions.”

But voice alone is not enough. Women also require “agency,” which the Bank describes as, “the capacity to make decisions about one’s own life and act on them to achieve a desired outcome, free of violence, retribution, or fear.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Unrelenting population growth driving global warming, mass extinction

June 27th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Unrelenting population growth driving global warming, mass extinction

See: http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0626-hance-overpopulation-climate-biodiversity.html

It took humans around 200,000 years to reach a global population of one billion. But, in two hundred years we’ve septupled that. In fact, over the last 40 years we’ve added an extra billion approximately every dozen years. And the United Nations predicts we’ll add another four billion-for a total of 11 billion-by century’s end. Despite this few scientists, policymakers, or even environmentalists are willing to publicly connect incredible population growth to worsening climate change, biodiversity loss, resource scarcity, or the global environmental crisis in general.

“We are already to a point where our population size is unsustainable,” Jeffrey McKee with the Ohio State University toldmongabay.com. “In other words, we are already beyond the point of the biological concept of ‘carrying capacity.’ Millions of people go hungry every day, and an unfathomable number don’t even have access to clean drinking water. A world of 11 billion people would be regrettable to humans as well as to other species.”

See: http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0626-hance-overpopulation-climate-biodiversity.html

UK faces ‘significant’ shortage of farmland by 2030

June 27th, 2014 | Add a Comment

UK faces ‘significant’ shortage of farmland by 2030 

See: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28003435

Britain is running out of land for food and faces a potential shortfall of two million hectares by 2030 according to new research.

The report, from the University of Cambridge, says the growing population plus the use of land for energy crops are contributing to the gap.

It criticises the government’s lack of a coherent vision on how to make the most of UK farm land.

The authors warn that tough choices may need to be made on future land use.

The total land area of the UK amounts to over 24 million hectares with more than 75% of that used for farming.

While self sufficient in products like barley, wheat, milk, lamb and mutton, the UK still imports large amounts of fruit and vegetables and other farm products including pork.

Overall the UK runs a food, feed and and drink trade deficit of £18.6bn.

Under pressure

With a population expected to exceed 70 million by 2030, the extra demand for living space and food will have a major impact on the way land is used, the report says.

See: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28003435

Why The Next 20 Years Will Be Completely Unlike The Last 20

June 27th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Why The Next 20 Years Will Be Completely Unlike The Last 20 

See: http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/85873/why-next-20-years-will-completely-unlike-last-20

Let’s pull back for a moment and look at the Really Big Picture:

We’re facing a future in which the economic growth the world has enjoyed over the past century can no longer continue.

Over-indebtedness, mal-investment, cronyism, manipulation, and misguided policymaking have all certainly contributed to our current predicament. But the principal causes are much bigger. And much harder to address.

Simply put, we’re entering an era when it’s becoming increasingly difficult to obtain the resources we need — at the cost we need — to power the economic activity we need.

The trends of resource depletion, escalating mining & drilling costs, species die-offs, emptying aquifers, declining energy yields and the like are increasingly pitting the world’s 7 billion people (soon to be 9 billion before 2050) against each other in competition for the remaining biomass and minerals that make industry possible.

As a result, massive changes to our way of life are in store. No matter where each of us lives.

See: http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/85873/why-next-20-years-will-completely-unlike-last-20

PMC’s Tom Kazungu Speaks About How to Stop Illegal Trade in Wildlife: with Serial Dramas

June 27th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Nairobi, Kenya – On June 24th, PMC’s Kenya Country Representative and long-time Sabido Methodology trainer Tom Kazungu spoke to a room full of people who were all concerned about illegal poaching and trade in wildlife products and told them that addressing the issue through entertainment might be the best approach to creating change, and saving species like the African elephant.

Experts predict that the extinction of the African elephant in the wild could happen within eleven years – by 2025 – and the forest elephant could be extinct within ten years – unless drastic changes are made. In addition to losing incredible wild animals, African communities are also seeing increased violence and crime associated with the illegal trade, and those working to stop the poaching are often in a direct line of danger.

It was issues like this that led the United Nations Environmental Programme to host the first UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. The event took place from June 23-27, 2014 with side panels focused on particular issues. Population Media Center, The Tsavo Trust, and the Kenyan Government partnered to present a side panel on “Illegal Trade in Wildlife.”

The Kenyan government focused on the complexity of wildlife crime and how it needs to be dealt with on various levels of government including enforcement, demand reduction, and legislation. Ian Saunders, COO of The Tsavo Trust, discussed sustainable development and wildlife management practices, and conservation and anti-poaching efforts in East Africa. Kazungu described PMC’s approach as “entertainment with proven social benefits,” citing impressive impacts from previous socially-oriented serial dramas and proposing a long-running TV series to catalyze behavior change and stop illegal wildlife trade. PMC has successfully addressed environmental issues in several of its programs, including deforestation of gorilla habitat in Rwanda, illegal dynamite fishing in Papua New Guinea, and adaptation to climate change in Vietnam.

 

ABOUT POPULATION MEDIA CENTER (PMC):

Population Media Center (PMC) is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 15 years of field experience using the Sabido methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world. www.populationmedia.org

Mende’s signature propels 5 new serial dramas in D.R. Congo

June 27th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Kinshasa, D.R. Congo – Tuesday in Kinshasa marked a pivotal point for Population Media Center (PMC), as Lambert Mende, the Congolese Minister of Media, signed a Protocole d’Entente that will allow PMC to launch five new radio serial dramas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Not only will PMC be producing more shows in a single country simultaneously than ever before, but programs will air in five different languages, targeting the Congo’s pressing health and human rights concerns related to reproductive, maternal, and child health. Read the rest of this entry »

Burundian Celebrations Revolve Around a Socially-Themed Radio Drama

June 25th, 2014 | Add a Comment

SHELBURNE, VT – Food, music, dancing….these are some of the elements you’ll find at different events throughout Burundi. And, although it’s not unusual for Burundian events to include these festive and cultural activities, it might be unusual for people to be rallying around a radio serial drama that has social importance.

Population Media Center (PMC) is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization that strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world. One of their programs hit the airwaves in Burundi in January of 2014. Agashi (“Hey! Look again!”) is a 208-episode radio serial drama that airs in Kurundi, which is one of Burundi’s two official languages.

“I was in Burundi with our Burundian staff in April,” says Scott Connolly, PMC’s Director of Research, “and was lucky enough to get a T-shirt and a hat. This country team is pro-active about promotion, which is great because we love to see as much community involvement as possible. It builds trust for people to be able to speak openly and honestly about the issues the program addresses.”

PMC strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television. PMC uses a methodology called the Sabido methodology, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience, with some of those characters exhibiting and benefitting from positive behavior change.

PMC hires all local staffs to write, produce, and promote the programs, making sure that the characters and storylines are all culturally sensitive and relevant. The Burundi team has moved quickly and efficiently in putting together a variety of events, many of which feature singing, dancing, drumming, prize giveaways (such as radios), and speeches by members of the PMC-Burundi team and other locals.

At each event, participants can receive Agashi t-shirts, hats, banners, or stickers.  Click here to see fabulous photos from some of the Agashi events.

 

ABOUT POPULATION MEDIA CENTER (PMC):

Population Media Center (PMC) is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 15 years of field experience using the Sabido methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world. www.populationmedia.org

Mudede’s claim that contraception causes cancer is misleading and alarmist

June 23rd, 2014 | Add a Comment

Mudede’s claim that contraception causes cancer is misleading and alarmist 

See: http://bulawayo24.com/index-id-opinion-sc-columnist-byo-49173.html

In remarks at an Africa Day celebration in Harare on 25 May, Zimbabwe’s Registrar General, Tobaiwa Mudede, advised the country’s women to stop using contraceptives, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported two days later.

According to the report, which was picked up and repeated by a number of other Zimbabwean and South African media and sent to Africa Check, the chief registrar claimed, among other things, that:

*    the promotion of birth control measures is a “ploy” by western nations to retard population growth in Africa;

*    the use of these contraceptives made women at greater risk of developing cancer, and should be stopped.

So what is the evidence? Africa Check investigated.

What evidence did Mudede present?
Africa Check asked the Registrar General’s office, which normally deals with administrative matters such as passports, birth and death certificates, not health concerns, to provide a full transcript of the Registrar’s remarks.

They declined to do so, and refused to answer when asked what evidence he had for his comments and whether or not he has had formal training in medicine.

See: http://bulawayo24.com/index-id-opinion-sc-columnist-byo-49173.html

Inadequate family planning methods fostering rapid population growth

June 23rd, 2014 | Add a Comment

Inadequate family planning methods fostering rapid population growth 

See: http://www.manaonline.gov.mw/index.php/national/health/item/395-inadequate-family-planning-methods-fostering-rapid-population-growth

Phalombe, Malawi – June 18, 2014: The shortage of adequate family planning methods and trained medical personnel in heath facilities are said to be contributing towards rapid population growth in the country.

This was disclosed on Wednesday at an interface meeting that the Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (EP&D) held with Non-Governmental Organizations in Phalombe with the objective of analyzing the effects of rapid population growth on the country’s social economic development.

In her remarks at the meeting, Family Planning Coordinator for Phalombe District Cottana Mtembo said stocks of the various family planning methods such as pills and condoms usually run out for days before end of the month causing women to use methods that they are not familiar and comfortable with which sometimes leads to unnecessary pregnancies.

“Just yesterday I had to collect some contraceptive pills from Mpasa Health Center to stock Phalombe Health Center which has completely run out of the pills. Moreover, the stock that I collected is not even enough but will only take the health center for the next three days and run out,” Said Mtembo.

See: http://www.manaonline.gov.mw/index.php/national/health/item/395-inadequate-family-planning-methods-fostering-rapid-population-growth

House GOP Sounds Off With Still More Disagreeable Dissonance

June 23rd, 2014 | Add a Comment

House GOP Sounds Off With Still More Disagreeable Dissonance 

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-seager/house-gop-sounds-off-with_b_5512896.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Why do Republicans in the House play the same old song every year when sitting down to decide the fate of millions of women worldwide?

Every year they trot out their mean-spirited, anti-woman agenda aimed at cutting funds for reproductive health. They take steps to ensure that women whose lives are at risk from a dangerous pregnancy can’t get the help they need. They prevent aid recipients from making decisions that are in their own citizens’ and patients’ best interests. They insist that Peace Corps volunteers raped during their service to this country must carry to term their unwanted pregnancies.

The House Republicans keep putting this foreign aid broken record of paternalism and misogyny on the turntable and hope America will dance to it.

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-seager/house-gop-sounds-off-with_b_5512896.html?utm_hp_ref=tw