Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα insects. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα insects. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 21, 2015

UN: Madagascar needs money to continue battle against locust plague


UN, 21 January 2015 – The battle against a plague of locusts in Madagascar is in danger of being lost, as funding to continue efforts against widespread infestations runs out, putting 13 million people at risk of food insecurity, the United Nations agricultural agency said today.

A three-year anti-locust programme was launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) alongside the Madagascan Government in 2013 in response to a plague that swept the country the previous year. It successfully halted the spread but the risks of relapse are high in the rainy season, which provides ideal breeding conditions, an FAO press release said. 

“Taking action now is critical to ensure the significant efforts made so far, financially and technically, are built upon rather than lost,” said Dominique Burgeon, Director of FAO's Emergency and Rehabilitation Division. “The current campaign is essential to reinforce the decline of the current plague, avoiding any relapse, and then continue towards a full-fledged locust recession.”

The first quarter of the year is especially important because it corresponds to the second phase of breeding. Most locusts present at this time are wingless 'hoppers', which are easier to combat because they are more sensitive to pesticides and slower moving than winged adults. After last year's successes, the FAO warns that hoppers will gather in smaller groups, making them harder to find and requiring more ground and aerial surveys to do so.

Failure to carry out in full the 2013-2016 FAO-Government joint programme would waste the $28.8 million so far mobilised and could trigger a large-scale food-security crisis in the country. A further $10.6 million is needed to complete the campaign, paying for monitoring and spraying operations to the end of the rainy season in May 2015.

The FAO cautions that even a relatively short interruption to monitoring and spraying operations of about two months could significantly erase progress made so far, which includes the surveying of about 30 million hectares - an area almost as large as Japan - and the tackling of locust infestations over more than 1.3 million hectares.

“The costs that will result from ceasing locust control activities will be far greater than the amount spent so far, so it is critical for the international community stay the course and complete the Locust Emergency Response Programme,” said Patrice Takoukam Talla, FAO's Representative in Madagascar.
About 40 per cent of crops in southern Madagascar are at risk from locusts and more than three quarters of the population in the Atsimo Andrefana and Androy regions, where maize and cassava production have declined sharply and rice output remains well below trend, currently face food insecurity, up notably from a year earlier.

Resources raised so far as part of the $39.4 million needed have come from several Governments, a World Bank loan, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund and the International Fund for Agriculture Development. 
 un.org
21/1/15
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Σάββατο, Αυγούστου 16, 2014

Can Insects Feed a Hungry Planet?

Earth’s population is ballooning every day, which increasingly presents a host of challenges, from housing to resource depletion to food.

The issue of feeding billions of people on a warming planet—along with related concerns such as food waste, water usage and greenhouse gas emissions—continues to be explored.

It has been widely established that factory farming contributes to climate change and even that eating less beef will benefit the environment. But what about eating … bugs. Bugs?


Two billion people around the globe eat insects. Major areas of consumption include Latin America, Southeast Asia and Central Africa. As new ways are examined to feed a rapidly expanding global population, and with a minimal environmental impact, will entomophagy—the consumption of insects as food—be taken seriously in other parts of the world?

Folks at Ensia—Anna Egelhoff, John Sisser and Todd Reubold—put together this infographic to address that very question:..............................http://ecowatch.com

15/8/14
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Τρίτη, Φεβρουαρίου 11, 2014

EU allows cultivation of new US genetically modified corn

BRUSSELS: EU ministers allowed the controversial cultivation of a new genetically modified crop, US firm Pioneer's TC1507 corn, after opponents failed on Tuesday to muster enough support against the move.
A meeting of European Affairs ministers could not establish a majority either way, Greek chairman Evangelos Venizelos said.
Accordingly, TC1507 was allowed through, after Venizelos asked for legal advice.
The rules require that "if the Council (of member states) does not take a decision, then the measure has to be adopted by the European Commission", a legal adviser said.

The Commission, the EU's executive arm, was on the spot after a European Court ruled late last year that the company's 2001 request for approval had to be dealt with without further delay.
Cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms stokes widespread suspicion in the 28-nation EU on health and environmental grounds.
GM crops, however, have won repeated safety approvals and several ministers noted on Tuesday that they are imported into the EU in large amounts, and having been fed to animals, had by now entered the human food chain.
The General Affairs Council of ministers had to decide the issue on Tuesday under what is known as "qualified majority voting".
  • This complex system weighs member states according to their size to ensure that it is a majority of the EU's 500 million population which decides an issue, not the simple number of countries for or against.
  • In this instance, some 19 member states opposed, mustering 210 votes out of a required 260 to block the measure.
Britain, Finland, Estonia, Spain and Sweden were in favour but abstentions proved crucial.
  • Germany, the EU's most powerful and biggest country with 19 votes, changed its position to abstain from against, thereby taking itself out of the balance.
  • Also abstaining were Belgium, Portugal and the Czech Republic with 12 votes each.
France and Hungary led the opposition and the arguments, saying ministers would not be able to easily explain the outcome to the public.

Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 16, 2014

Food safety: MEPs oppose authorising new genetically modified maize

The genetically modified maize “Pioneer 1507” should not be placed on the market for cultivation, because its insect-resistant pollen might harm non-target butterflies and moths, says the European Parliament in a resolution passed on Thursday. MEPs call on the EU Council of Ministers to reject its proposed authorisation, and urge the European Commission not to propose or renew authorisations of any GMO variety until risk assessment methods have been improved.


MEPs oppose the placing on the EU market of this genetically modified maize on the grounds that this would exceed the Commission’s implementing powers as laid down in EU rules on the deliberate release into the environment of GMOs. In particular, they note that the Commission proposal fails to specify any “conditions for protection of particular ecosystems/environments and/or geographical areas", as required by the legislation.

The resolution was passed by 385 votes to 201 with 30 abstentions.

Adverse effects

In its February 2012 opinion, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) explicitly did not agree with the conclusion cited by Pioneer that there is negligible risk of maize line 1507 to non-target Lepidoptera in the EU, and pointed out that they may be at risk when exposed to its pollen.

Parliament also notes that maize 1507 is resistant to the herbicide glufosinate, and is marketed as such in the United States and Canada. However, the EU classifies glufosinate as toxic to reproduction and will not authorise its use after 2017, it points out.

Background

The last genetically modified crop to be authorised for cultivation in the EU was the Amflora potato, in 2010, but it was withdrawn from the EU market in December 2013, by order of the EU General Court (part of the Court of Justice). The only other GM crop authorised for cultivation in the EU is Monsanto’s MON 810 maize, but the renewal of its authorisation has been pending for years.

Procedure:  non-legislative resolution
europarl.europa.eu
16/1/14
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